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AUGUST 27, 2018


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The Story

Over the weekend, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) – the legendary war hero and lawmaker – passed away at age 81 after a battle with brain cancer.

Tell me more about the war hero part.

Before McCain went into politics, he followed his dad into the Navy. He was serving as a fighter pilot in Vietnam when his plane was shot down over Hanoi. He spent five years as a prisoner of war there, where he was tortured and kept in solitary confinement. His dad was still high up in the Navy at this time, so McCain was offered early release. But he refused. He was released in 1973, and his body never fully recovered.

Tell me about his time in office.

McCain repped Arizona in the House and then Senate for 35 years. He also ran for president in 2000 and 2008. He brought Sarah Palin along for the VP ride during his '08 campaign – which he admitted might not have been the best move.

What was he like as a lawmaker?

A total maverick. He earned his rep for being salty, candid, and sometimes going against his party on key issues. He pushed to defend universal freedoms everywhere, and for America to lead on the global stage. He was passionate about getting rid of big money in politics. And last year, he surprised Republicans by casting one of the party's three 'no' votes to sink an Obamacare repeal bill.

What was he up to recently?

He spent his last months on his ranch in Arizona with his wife. And finished his last book, where he reminded Americans they're "more alike than different." On Friday, his family announced that he had discontinued medical treatment.

What are people saying?

'We've lost a hero.' Lawmakers and former presidents on both sides of the aisle have called him: a patriot, a hero, a public servant, a mentor, and a friend. Two former presidents – Obama and Bush 43 – have been asked to deliver eulogies at the funeral. And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he would introduce a resolution to name the Russell Senate building after McCain.


McCain spent a lifetime in service to the US. He'll be remembered as one of the country's most outspoken and courageous politicians.


What people are watching…

Jacksonville, FL. Yesterday, a gunman opened fire at a video game tournament there. Two people were killed and a number of others were injured. Police say the gunman also died by suicide at the scene. No word on his motive yet.

What people are talking about…

Pope Francis. Over the weekend, a former Vatican ambassador to the US accused the pope of covering up sex abuse allegations. ICYMI, the Catholic Church has been rocked by sex abuse scandals for years. See: Boston, Chile, Argentina, and most recently Pennsylvania. Last month, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick – a well-known DC archbishop – resigned after it came out that he allegedly sexually abused minors. Now, a former ambassador's saying there's more to the story. In an 11-page letter, he said Pope Francis knew about these allegations since 2013. And didn't kick McCarrick out of the church – instead, he made him his "trusted counselor." He also accused Pope Benedict XVI of knowing, and says he told McCarrick to get out of the spotlight (read: not holding mass, going to public meetings, or traveling). The former ambassador's calling on the pope to resign. The pope said he "won't say a word about it." This all came out during the pope's trip to Ireland – aka another Catholic country that's still trying to heal from its own sex abuse scandal.

Who people are remembering…

Neil Simon. Yesterday, the famous playwright died at age 91. Simon first wrote for TV, but made a name for himself writing plays – including hits like "The Odd Couple" and "Barefoot in the Park." At one point in the late '60s, he had four shows on Broadway at once. And in the '90s, he won a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize for "Lost in Yonkers." He died over the weekend from complications with pneumonia. RIP.

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