Caution tape: GOP senators are poised to repeal the ACA but they don't have anything to replace it with. The Better Care Reconciliation Act, which was the proposed substitute for Obamacare didn't have enough support in the Senate. Still, the future of health care in the US is a big open question as the possibility of repealing the ACA is still very much on the table.
A report from the Congressional Budget Office projects 18 million more people would lose coverage in just one year and by 2026 that number would reach 32 million. There's also a strong likelihood that premiums would increase beginning with 25 percent the first year and then doubling by 2026. Now might be a good time to call your senator and share your thoughts one way or the other.
Reentry and Reintegration: VICE has led the charge in hiring candidates with previous criminal records as part of the VICE Apprenticeship Program. The formal strategy trains and sets up formerly incarcerated people with editorial and production jobs at VICE Media. It's now part of New York state's Work for Success Pledge, a state-level online pledge, created by Governor Andrew Cuomo and his Council on Community Reentry and Reintegration, that urges businesses to commit to hiring former convicts who struggle to reenter the workforce following their convictions. The Work for Success Pledge will be formally announced at a press conference and panel discussion at the VICE offices in Brooklyn, featuring Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado, and more.
Protecting trans rights: Texas lawmakers are aggressively pushing anti-trans legislation that discriminates against trans people using restrooms that correspond with gender identity. The state is also preventing local government from creating pro-trans non-discrimination laws. If you live in Texas and care about the rights of trans people, then reach out to your lawmakers and tell them you oppose anti-trans bills. Find out more about how you can get involved from the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Trimming the muscle: According to The Hill, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is making moves to shut down the Office of Global Criminal Justice, the federal department that officially responds to war crimes. The special coordinator at the OGCJ was recently reassigned to a different department and the rest of the staff is getting the same treatment. State Department officials remain mum, but Tillerson defended department budget cuts last month saying they were "leaning in."
OMG: Yesterday was World Emoji Day and the internet reacted with pictographs of excitement. The evolution from smilies to actual images has also been a milestone in representation fueled by technology. Emojis now showcase various skin tones, same sex couples, pregnancies, and even single-parent families.
In celebration of the special day, Apple showcased its newest emojis that will be featured in next iOS update. Some of the new characters included a woman with a headscarf and a woman breastfeeding.
A sign of good faith: The Church of England has shifted its stance on the LGBTQ community, opting to create a more inclusive congregation by condemning conversion therapy. Conversion therapy is a scientifically disproven medical practice that attempts to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity. It's been declared harmful and dangerous, but within the US it's still legal in 42 states. The Anglican Church has some influence over evangelical communities worldwide and could sway anti-LGBT attitudes in global Christian communities.