Updated Nov 25, 2019

Trump signs bipartisan bill making animal cruelty a federal felony

Photo: Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill Monday afternoon making animal cruelty a federal felony, ABC News reports.

The big picture: The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act was passed by the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The law criminalizes specific acts of animal cruelty, including burning, crushing, drowning, suffocation or other activities that cause "serious bodily injury."

  • The bill is a follow-up measure to the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which made it illegal to create or distribute "animal crushing" videos.

What they're saying: "Passing this legislation is a major victory in the effort to stop animal cruelty and make our communities safer," co-sponsor Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said earlier this month."

  • "Evidence shows that the deranged individuals who harm animals often move on to committing acts of violence against people. It is appropriate that the federal government have strong animal cruelty laws and penalties," Toomey added.

Go deeper: Julián Castro releases animal welfare plan seeking to undo Trump's rollbacks

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Study: 44,000-year-old cave paintings discovered in Indonesia

Photo credit: Endra, Griffth University, Australia

Researchers have found a 44,000-year-old cave painting in Indonesia depicting images of a hunting party, NPR reports.

Why it matters: The discovery of the images helps researchers further understand the origin of art, NPR notes. Previously, many believed humans began painting in caves in Europe, but this further details that theory, per NPR.

Go deeperArrowDec 13, 2019

Trump signs short-term spending bill to stave off government shutdown

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump on Thursday, just hours before the midnight deadline to shut down the government, signed a short-term measure funding the government through Dec. 20, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: The House passed the measure earlier this week, and the Senate approved it on Thursday. The measure sets another shutdown deadline days before Congress breaks for the end-of-year holidays. Congress and Trump will have only four weeks to work through disputes over border wall funding and to agree on broader spending bills.

Go deeper: U.S. budget gap hits $134.5 billion, up 34% in a year

Keep ReadingArrowNov 21, 2019

Republican blocks election-meddling bill

Sen. Mike Crapo. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

A Republican senator is blocking bipartisan legislation meant to counter foreign election interference, saying it is more anti-Trump than anti-Russia.

The big picture: The Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act of 2019 is sponsored and supported by both Republicans and Democrats. But efforts to counter Russian election interference have often run afoul of the Trump administration, which has frequently downplayed Russian meddling in the 2016 race and pointed a finger (without evidence) at Ukraine instead.

Go deeperArrowDec 11, 2019