ScotSkim: safety

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Donald Trump / Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Donald Trump speaks with supporters at a campaign rally at the Prescott Valley Event Center in Prescott Valley, Ariz.

US pulls out of long-standing nuclear arms treaty with Russia

An agreement that was initially made to avoid nuclear conflict is said to be eliminated, as President Trump announced on his way to a campaign rally in Nevada.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty established during the Cold War required the destruction of both party’s ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, according to the State Department’s records.

Since the treaty was signed in 1987, U.S. officials have accused Russia of violating it on multiple occasions. For instance, this matter was addressed in the U.S. Defense Department’s most recent Nuclear Posture Review, which states that Russia continues to violate a multitude of arms control commitments.

Before leaving to Nevada for a campaign rally, Trump informed reporters that the U.S. would be pulling out of INF.

“Russia has violated the agreement. They have been violating it for many years,” Trump said.

After continuous efforts to follow the numerous agreements between the two parties, Russia is rejecting its obligations to maintain nuclear stability. Many worry that the U.S.’s withdrawal could also mean the downfall of any remaining arms agreements with Russia.

“Trump national security adviser John Bolton is traveling to Moscow this week to inform Russian President Vladimir Putin of the U.S.’s plans to leave the treaty,” according to NPR.

Little Sisters of the Poor commence legal battle over birth control

An Obamacare mandate that equalizes preventative health care for the genders is being called into question, as some believe it burdens the freedom of religion.

The Little Sisters of the Poor is an international congregation of Roman Catholic women that houses residents around the country, according to the organization’s mission statement. They began receiving national attention after they sought exemption from a contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act.

This contraception mandate allows free access to birth control for women, with an exception to houses of worship.

The issue for the congregation is that they are being forced to provide contraception for their residents, which is in direct conflict with their Roman Catholic beliefs.

KGO-TV

However, former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reminds the public that all Little Sisters of the Poor is required to do is “provide notification to the government or to their insurer that they are opting out.”

As a result of this conflict, seven nuns from the congregation stood alongside their lawyers before a panel of judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday. The goal was to determine if California, and other states, have the power to challenge the federal exemption.

While the case proceeds, the nuns’ lawyers aim to protect their clients’ religious freedom by preventing them to be forced to pay for contraception.

Selma Blair shares multiple sclerosis diagnosis

Actress Selma Blair announced her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) in an Instagram post on Friday.

Despite the often disabling disease of the central nervous system, Blair remains optimistic and is “relieved to at least know” of her diagnosis, as she told her followers. Additionally, the “Cruel Intentions” actress disclosed her symptoms of a foggy memory and clumsiness.

The course of treatment for MS typically entails physical therapy and medications that suppress the immune system, which will help symptoms and slow disease progression, according to the Mayo Clinic.

After the post, Blair received comforting comments from family and friends.

“I love you, I’m proud of you, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you,” said Sarah Michelle Gellar, a friend and fellow actress who starred alongside Blair in the 1999 film “Cruel Intentions.”

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