Another politician could be in big, big legal trouble

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Thursday 08.09.18

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By AJ Willingham
Chris Collins 
 
New York GOP Rep. Chris Collins is the latest politician to be tapped on the shoulder by the long arm of the law, and this time it's for ... drumroll ... insider trading. Federal prosecutors yesterday charged Collins, his son and another man with 13 counts of securities fraud, wire fraud and false statements stemming from an alleged insider trading scheme centered on an Australian pharmaceutical company. Collins has called the charges "meritless" and says he will not step down. 

It's still not clear what the political fallout will be, although with the midterms just months away, things could get ugly. The National Republican Congressional Committee has already distanced itself from Collins, calling the charges "serious." Depending on how things go, the indictment could mean Collins' comfy seat could be up for grabs come November.  
 
Saudi Arabia and Canada 

Over the last week, a comment Canada made about Saudi Arabia has blown up into a full diplomatic feud. It started last Friday, when the Canadian Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the arrest of some Saudi activists. The Saudi government responded by expelling the Canadian ambassador from Riyadh and recalling the Saudi envoy to Ottawa, suspending Saudi state airline flights to Toronto, and ending thousands of Saudi scholarship programs in Canada. Then on Tuesday, Saudi authorities announced they would halt all medical treatment programs in Canada and transfer Saudi patients to hospitals outside the country. Overkill? Possibly. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Canada "made a mistake and needs to fix it." 
 
Primaries 
 
We're still feeling some rumblings from Tuesday's primaries. That special election in Ohio that was too close to call? Democrat Danny O'Connor, who trails the GOP's Troy Balderson by fewer than 2,000 votes, is refusing to concede. Missouri voters made a big statement by apparently ousting the St. Louis County prosecutor who didn't charge the officer responsible for the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown. His replacement? A Ferguson councilman. 

In other parts of the country, women were dropping firsts all over the place. Ex-MMA fighter Sharice Davids won the Democratic nomination for a House seat in Kansas and could become the first openly gay Native American woman in Congress. And in Michigan, Rashida Tlaib clinched a Democratic congressional nom and will likely run unopposed in November. That means she'll probably be the first Muslim woman elected to Congress
 
Argentina 
 
Argentina's Senate has voted against a bill legalizing elective abortion. The proposed law was the subject of fiery debate in the mostly Catholic homeland of Pope Francis, and protesters and abortion rights activists had taken to the streets ahead of the decision. The bill had narrowly passed the lower house of Congress in June; the Senate voted it down, 38 to 31, early this morning. The bill would have expanded abortion rights to allow women to end a pregnancy in the first 14 weeks. Laws now allow the procedure only in cases of rape or when the mother's health is at risk.
 
Malawi
 
A scourge of superbugs is killing Malawi's babies, and doctors are rushing to find a solution. A combination of poverty, unhygienic conditions, a lack of clean water and supplies, and substandard hospital environments means babies are especially at risk for deadly infections. In the last few years, doctors have seen more and more infections, like some strains of E. coli, that are resistant to typical antibiotics like penicillin. Antibiotic resistance is a real problem, and not just in places like Malawi where other factors contribute to crises. The CDC estimates 23,000 Americans die every year from antibiotic-resistant infections. 
 
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