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In a nutshell News from the week of 11/11—abridged edition

Impeachment Inquiry, Google, and the santa clarita shooting

Ellen, Harper and Rachel breakdown the news

Monday

Google

by Harper Dhadde

Project Nightingale is the product of a partnership between Google and the medical system Ascension—which holds the detailed personal-health information of millions of people across 21 states, including Illinois. The Wall Street Journal reported that the shared data includes “lab results, doctor diagnoses and hospitalization records, among other categories, and amounts to a complete health history, complete with patient names and dates of birth,” aiming to give medical professionals better access to health information. Under the partnership, dozens of Google employees will have access to patient information.

The program attracted worries about the security of the information—including a federal inquiry into whether it complied with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) restricting how doctors, health systems and their business associations may handle identifiable patient data.

Wednesday

Impeachment Inquiry

by Ellen Yandel

The public phase of the House impeachment inquiry began Wednesday with the public testimonies of Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and State Department official for European Affairs George Kent. Both officials have already appeared before Congress behind closed doors, but revealed a few new details in their public testimonies. Taylor claimed that, last Friday, he had been made aware of a dinner conversation an aide had with Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. Sondland told the aide that “President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden,” when asked what the president thought about Ukraine. Meanwhile, Kent noted his concerns that pushing Ukraine for investigations—particularly by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani—was out of a desire for leverage against political opponents, not to further US interests.

Both Taylor and Kent made efforts not to take sides, though Republican lawmakers accused them both of presenting rumors rather than facts.

Thursday

Santa Clarita Shooting

by Rachel Hale

On Thursday, Saugus High School junior Nathaniel Berhow opened fire on five classmates and turned the handgun on himself in Santa Clarita, California. Two of the victims, Grace Anne Muehlberger, 15, and Dominic Blackwell, 14, died at a hospital, while three more were wounded but are expected to survive. Berhow, who turned 16 the day of the shooting, died in hospital care due to the wound from his .45-caliber pistol on Friday afternoon, according to the Los Angeles County’s Sheriff’s Department.

Vice President Mike Pence said the shooting was “another heartbreaking day for students and parents,” and promised that President Donald Trump’s administration is committed to supporting local law enforcement. “This President and this administration will remain resolved to bring the scourge of mass shootings to an end and we will not rest or relent until we end this evil in our time and make our schools and our communities safe again,” Pence said. While authorities have not named a clear motive, investigators think the attack was planned and found several unregistered firearms at the alleged shooter’s home, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

Image Attribution

  1. "Google" image from "The Pancake of Heaven!" licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
  2. "Impeachment Inquiry" image from State Department
  3. "Santa Clarita Shooting" image from "Swwookie"