Pakistan Supreme Court Orders PM Sharif to Step Down Over Corruption Charges
Pakistan’s Supreme Court has disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding public office and ordered him to step down immediately.
The court convicted Sharif on charges of amassing overseas assets, concealing them and living beyond his means.
The five-member panel of judges in its unanimous ruling Friday also ordered anti-corruption authorities to swiftly open investigations into Sharif’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz, her husband and Pakistani Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. Dar has also been banned from holding public office and ordered to step down.
The charges against the Sharif family and others stemmed from leaked financial documents known as the Panama Papers, which listed the prime minister’s children as holders of offshore bank accounts and posh overseas property.
The documents also named hundreds of other Pakistani citizens.
Senate Fails to Repeal Obamacare
The U.S. Senate failed early Friday to enact a partial repeal of the seven-year old Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. Three Republican lawmakers -- John McCain of Arizona, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine -- voted with Democrats in the 49-51 defeat of the Republican-led repeal effort.
President Donald Trump took to his Twitter account shortly after the vote to admonish the Republicans who sided with the Democrats. "3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!," the president wrote.
The so-called "skinny repeal" legislation would, among other things, have ended the requirements that most Americans buy health insurance or pay a penalty, and that companies with 50 or more employees provide coverage to their workers.
Republican senators have wanted for seven years to do away with Obamacare, the signature domestic legislative achievement of former President Barack Obama. About 20 million Americans gained health care insurance under Obamacare. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated in a study of the "skinny repeal" measure that 16 million Americans would lose their coverage and premiums would increase by 20 percent.
Republican leaders saw the the scaled-down bid as a way of honoring their campaign promises to repeal and replace Obamacare. Conservative lawmakers want to gut as much as possible of Obamacare, while more moderate Republicans are worried that such changes could affect health insurance coverage for millions of poorer Americans.
Earlier this week, Senate Republicans failed twice to overturn the ACA - either by repealing the law outright or repealing it and at the same time replacing it with a new version.
Of the two failed votes earlier in the week, nine Republicans first joined all the Democrats in rejecting a proposed replacement health care bill crafted by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The second effort called for outright repeal of Obamacare in two years' time, during which period Congress would be expected to agree on replacement legislation; that was rejected by a similar margin, with seven Republicans joining the unified Democratic minority bloc.