National News Roundup: Week 16 (May 7–13)

This is, without a doubt, the weirdest news week I have ever seen. And I’ve been compiling news for y’all for seventeen weeks now! Folks, as soon as Trump fired FBI Director James Comey mid-investigation, we veered into uncharted territory. Now it’s all star sightings, compasses, and calling Congress repeatedly from here.

Standard standing reminders apply: I am no journalist, though I play one in your inbox or browser, so I’m only summarizing the news within my area of expertise. This week contains multiple headlines outside my area as a legal generalist — I’m a lawyer, not a spy! — but all offroad adventures are marked with an asterisk. Okay, I think that’s about it for the disclaimers. Onward to the news!

The Weird:

The Bad:

The Good:

  • France Avoids Electing LePen. France, unlike the US, managed to avoid electing a fascist in their national election this week, opting for centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron instead of National Front candidate Marine LePen. The sound victory came despite a hacking effort to sabotage the centrist candidate. Apparently the French learn from history better than we do, which is good to know; experts say Macron’s victory can be attributed to France’s history with fascism and with the National Front specifically as well as skill and luck on Macron’s part.
  • A Round of Applause for Yates and Clapper. Sally Yates and James Clapper testified about collusion with Russia this week before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee. There were a lot of highlights, but biggest takeaway is that Yates warned the White House that Flynn was potentially compromised. The full testimony is a very interesting (if complex) read, and an important first step for investigative action; now that Comey has been fired, the Senate and House investigations may have more momentum than the FBI investigation.
  • Climate Change Challenge Tanks. Somewhat improbably, the Senate voted against rolling back Obama-era protections regarding methane release this week. Apparently Lindsay Graham, Susan Collins, and John McCain all voted against it! Also, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed an international declaration recognizing climate change. I’m honestly not sure how any of this happened, but I’ll take the good news coming in anyway.

And that’s all the news that’s fit to email, at least for now; stay tuned for further developments!