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How a repeal of the Affordable Care Act could affect women, why Prada is apologizing for a window display, and what a 15-year-old girl told delegates at the United Nations climate summit.
On Thursday, The Washington Post reported that a 7-year-old girl from Guatemala, who had crossed illegally into the United States from Mexico with her father and a group of 161 other migrants, died from dehydration, shock and liver failure while in U.S. Border Patrol custody. A Guatemalan official has identified her as Jakelin Caal, and her father as 29-year-old Nery Caal, who has not spoken publicly about the incident.
Now, officials are trying to piece together what led to the girl’s death. While a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that the girl “reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days,” a representative for her family said Saturday that she was in healthy condition before being taken into custody. The family is now calling for an “objective and thorough” investigation.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, Jakelin’s father complained that she was sick and vomiting after they were picked up by a bus about eight hours after they crossed the border. Over the course of the ensuing 90-minute ride to a Border Patrol station in Lordsburg, N.M., her condition worsened. By the time they arrived at the station, the girl’s fever had reached 105.9 degrees, and she died 15 hours later at the Providence Children’s Hospital in El Paso, Tex.
DHS officials and the Trump administration deny that the agency is responsible for Jakelin’s death, and DHS is conducting an internal investigation into the matter. On Saturday, Guatemalan Consul Tekandi Paniagua told CNN that the father has “no complaints about how Border Patrol agents treated him and his daughter,” and that they did everything they could to save her once she became sick.
On Friday — a day before the Dec. 15 deadline to sign up for 2019 health coverage through the law — a federal judge in Texas struck down the Affordable Care Act nationwide, ruling that it is unconstitutional because of a change in federal tax law. The law still remains in place, and the ruling will almost certainly be appealed and sent to the Supreme Court.
Responding to the news, President Trump tweeted that “Obamacare has been struck down as an unconstitutional disaster” and implored Congress to pass a law to replace it. Democrats, meanwhile, vowed to protect the ACA, which was a hallmark of Barack Obama’s presidency.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the ACA broadened health insurance coverage to more women, particularly low-income women, than ever before. A repeal of the ACA would affect the 130 million Americans who have preexisting conditions, which, for women, includes having been pregnant, having had breast cancer and having prior Caesarean sections.
The Miss Universe pageant, which took place in Bangkok on Sunday, broke barriers in more than one way this year: For the first time, the pageant featured only female judges. It also featured its first openly transgender contestant, Angela Ponce, who was crowned Miss Spain this year. Catriona Gray, from the Philippines, won the competition; she beat out 93 other contestants and is the fourth woman from her country to win the title.
Prada has apologized for displaying products that were reminiscent of blackface characters at a New York store. The Prada Group said Friday that it had taken down the display and would stop selling the $550 charms, which resembled a red-mouthed monkey. “They are imaginary creatures not intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface. Prada Group never had the intention of offending anyone and we abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery,” the company said in a statement. Following the incident, Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan argued that the latest controversy is yet another example of how the fashion industry struggles with issues of race and ethnicity.
The two-week United Nations climate summit, which took place in Poland, ended Saturday as diplomats from nearly 200 countries struck a deal to uphold the Paris climate agreement and work toward cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Among these countries was the United States, despite the fact that President Trump has promised to withdraw from the pact.
Earlier in the week, Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old environmental activist from Sweden, addressed delegates. “You only talk about moving forward with the same bad ideas that got us into this mess even when the only sensible thing to do is pull the emergency brake,” she said. “You are not mature enough to tell it like it is.”
• More than a year after #MeToo, the House and the Senate agreed on an overhaul of their sexual harassment policies. According to a summary of the bill, lawmakers would be required to reimburse the Treasury Department for harassment settlements; awards and settlements would be publicly reported; and protections would extend to unpaid staff. The bill is likely to move swiftly through both chambers and take effect before the new Congress convenes in January.
• On Wednesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi secured the votes needed to elect her House speaker by striking a deal with Democratic rebels: She agreed to serve no more than four years in the post.
• The House unanimously passed a bill called the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act, which seeks to address the recent rise in maternal deaths in the United States. The bill, which still needs full approval from the Senate, authorizes $12 million in new funds for five years for states to improve how they track and investigate maternal deaths.
• As the Trump administration weighs halting federal funding for research using fetal tissue — which includes advancing possible cures for HIV and cancer — House Republicans are ramping up pressure to stop the practice. In a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday, antiabortion scientists testified that alternatives exist.
A new study from Creative Artists Agency and tech company Shift7 found that films with women as the lead actors make more money at the box office worldwide. The study looked at 350 of the highest-grossing U.S. films released between 2014 and 2017 — 105 of which were led by women — and found that across categories, whether low-budget or blockbuster movies, those with female leads raked in better sales. In the category for the highest-budget films, that gap was more than $70 million.
Moreover, the study found movies that passed the Bechdel test, which measures if films feature two women who talk to each other about something other than a man, made more than ones that failed the test.
On Thursday, singer Nancy Wilson died at her home in Pioneertown, Calif., at 81. Born in Chillicothe, Ohio, on Feb. 20, 1937, Wilson was trained in church choirs. She would go on to win several awards during her career in entertainment, which spanned nearly six decades. She won an Emmy for her television program, “The Nancy Wilson Show,” and earned seven Grammy nominations and three wins between 1964 and 2006. Wilson retired in 2011, performing her last show in Athens, Ohio.
Wilson was also actively involved in such social causes as literacy and education for low-income black children, and she also participated in the civil rights march in Selma, Ala., in 1965.
—Macy Freeman, Washington Post multiplatform editor
It’s winter, which means one thing in my mind: It’s satsuma season. Growing up in California, my mom would buy these citrus fruits by the bagful. They are sweet, tangy, juicy — the perfect thing to brighten up a dreary day. That’s why, when I saw them at my Whole Foods in Washington, D.C., the other week, I could hardly believe my luck. Even though I’m thousands of miles away from California, they still taste like home.—Lena Felton, Lily multiplatform editor
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