Nov 6, 2019

Senate unanimously passes bill making animal cruelty a federal felony

A puppy in its kennel at the Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk after a trip of nearly 1,200 miles from Georgia. Photo: Brianna Soukup/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The Senate unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would expand a law to make animal cruelty a federal felony, for which people could face fines and up to seven years in prison.

The big picture: The “Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act,” or "PACT," builds on a law that previously only criminalized animal cruelty if those at fault made and sold videos of the act. If President Trump signs the bill, which has already been passed by the House, authorities will be able to prosecute people for crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling, or sexually exploiting animals.

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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."

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 25, 2019

Senate unanimously passes bill reaffirming support for Hong Kong autonomy

Thousands of people hold an unsanctioned march through the streets of Hong Kong. Photo: Mohd Rasfan/Getty Images

The Senate unanimously passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act on Tuesday to reaffirm American support for the city's autonomy.

The big picture: The bill asserts the U.S.' commitment to "democracy, human rights, and the rule of law" as it relates to Hong Kong's autonomy, according to bill sponsor Sen. Marco Rubio's description. The legislation comes amid months of violent clashes between police and protestors in Hong Kong.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019

Podcast: Hong Kong tensions escalate

The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would ban the export of certain crowd control measures like tear gas and pepper spray to Hong Kong police forces. This comes as violence mounted over last weekend, and more than 1,000 demonstrators were arrested.

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Keep ReadingArrowNov 20, 2019