Rep. George Santos criminally charged for defrauding campaign donors – National & International News – WED 10May2023

Rep. George Santos criminally charged for defrauding campaign donors.

FDA advisory panel backs over-the-counter birth control pill.

Israel-Gaza violence continues to escalate as ceasefire talks falter.



Rep. George Santos criminally charged for defrauding campaign donors

Rep. George Santos (R-NY) has famously lied about his resume and heritage and has since been implicated in frauds of all shapes and sizes, including defrauding a veteran whose service dog needed life-saving surgery. Shortly after these lies came to light after winning his election, the Federal Election Commission began investigating Santos for campaign finance violations before the Department of Justice took over. Now, the DOJ has officially charged Santos with wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and making false statements to Congress. Santos faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

The indictment alleges that Santos defrauded his own campaign donors. He allegedly stole from a fake campaign fund to buy designer clothes and make credit card and car payments. On his Congressional financial disclosure form he falsely claimed to be a millionaire. He also fraudulently collected unemployment benefits he wasn’t entitled to.

 U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said the indictment reveals that Santos used “repeated dishonesty and deception to ascend to the halls of Congress and enrich himself.”

Santos turned himself in to authorities in New York today. He later pleaded not guilty to all charges before being released on a $500,000 bond. Although Santos had to turn his passport in, his attorneys asked that he be allowed to travel freely in the US so he can still attend Congressional votes in Washington. He still has no plans to resign his seat despite being under indictment.

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FDA advisory panel backs over-the-counter birth control pill

In a unanimous vote, the Food and Drug administration’s advisory panel has voted to allow a daily birth control pill to be sold without a prescription in the US. The Opill has been on the market with FDA approval since 1973. Unlike other birth control regimens which contain both estrogen and progesterone, Opill contains only progesterone. The combination of estrogen and progesterone can create more health complications for some patients. 

Some groups, including the Catholic Medical Association, have raised objections about allowing women to obtain birth control without seeing a doctor. They raised concerns that some patients might not be familiar enough with potential complications. For example, women who have survived certain types of breast cancers shouldn’t take the drug. The CMA also said it might discourage women from getting screened for cervical cancers and other health issues.

However, the FDA advisory panel believes the potential gains for women outweigh the risks. Allowing over-the-counter sales of Opill will remove barriers for disadvantaged women who want to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Moreover, birth control pills are available without a prescription in over 100 countries and women have proven capable of assessing themselves for risks.

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Israel-Gaza violence continues to escalate as ceasefire talks falter

Israel has continued carrying out airstrikes over Gaza that began yesterday. At least 20 Palestinians have been killed so far in the shelling, more than half of them civilians and many of them children. Meanwhile, Israel says a group calling itself Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) has fired over 400 rockets into Israel in the last two days. Officials said most of these were intercepted or fell in open areas causing no damage. There have been some injuries on the Israeli side, but no deaths in the last two days.

At the same time, Israeli soldiers continued raids in the West Bank, targeting members of PIJ. Hamas, the militant group that rules in Gaza, does not appear to have entered the fighting so far. However, the longer this conflict goes on, the more likely Hamas will jump in, which will mean full-blown war.

Egyptian intelligence officials have tried, and so far failed, to broker a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian militants. 

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