Happening Today: JFK Files, Catalonia, Opioids, Harvey Weinstein - NBC New York

Happening Today: JFK Files, Catalonia, Opioids, Harvey Weinstein

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    Forecast for Friday, Oct. 27

    Chris Cimino's weather forecast for Friday, Oct. 27. (Published Friday, Oct. 27, 2017)

    What to Know

    • Trump blocked the release of hundreds of records on the assassination of President JFK, while the National Archives came out with others

    • President Trump pledged "we will overcome addiction in America," declaring opioid abuse a national public health emergency

    • Disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein sued his former company, seeking access to emails, his personnel file and other records

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    Thousands of JFK Documents Released, But Trump Withholds Others

    President Trump blocked the release of hundreds of records on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, bending to CIA and FBI appeals, while the National Archives came out with a hefty cache of others. The documents approved for release show federal agents madly chasing after tips, however thin, in the days after the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination and juggling rumors and leads worldwide. The materials also cast a wide net over varied activities of the Kennedy administration, such as its covert efforts to upend Fidel Castro's government in Cuba. In a Sept. 14, 1962, meeting disclosed in the files, for example, a group of Kennedy's senior aides, including brother Robert, the attorney general, discussed a range of options against Castro's communist government.

    Separatist Lawmakers Motion for Catalonia Independence Vote

    In an impassioned address, Spain's prime minister urged the country's Senate to grant special constitutional measures that would allow the central government to take control of Catalonia's autonomous powers to try to halt the region's independence bid. But in Barcelona, separatist lawmakers filed a proposal for Catalonia's regional parliament to vote later in the day on whether to establish an independent republic, as Spain's biggest political crisis in decades appeared headed for a showdown. Thousands of pro-secession supporters gathered near the parliament building in anticipation. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who received rapturous applause before and after his speech in the Senate in Madrid, told the chamber Spain was facing a challenge not seen in its recent history. What is happening in Catalonia is "a clear violation of the laws, of democracy, of the rights of all, and that has consequences," he said. Rajoy said the government's first move would be to dismiss Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and his ministers if the Senate approves the Spanish government's use of Article 155 of the Constitution in a vote.

    Trump Declares Opioids Public Health Emergency, But Doesn't Devote New Funding

    In ringing and personal terms, President Trump pledged "we will overcome addiction in America," declaring opioid abuse a national public health emergency and announcing new steps to combat what he described as the worst drug crisis in U.S.history. Trump's declaration, which will be effective for 90 days and can be renewed, will allow the government to redirect resources, including toward expanded access to medical services in rural areas. But it won't bring new dollars to fight a scourge that kills nearly 100 people a day. Deaths have surged from opioids, which include some prescribed painkillers, heroin and synthetic drugs such as fentanyl, often sold on the nation's streets. Administration officials said they also would urge Congress, during end-of-the year budget negotiations, to add new cash to a public health emergency fund that Congress hasn't replenished for years and contains just $57,000. However, critics said the words weren't enough.

    Harvey Weinstein Sues Former Company Over Emails, Records

    Disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein sued his former company, seeking access to emails, his personnel file and other records he contends may exonerate him from multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault. Weinstein's lawsuit seeks access to the records, which Weinstein's lawyers argue are key to the Oscar-winner's defense from the avalanche of harassment claims made against him since an Oct. 5 report by The New York Times. Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Co. three days later. His lawsuit makes clear that if he is able to obtain the records, he may use them to pursue a wrongful termination case or other legal actions against the company. The lawsuit notes the numerous legal troubles facing Weinstein and his former company, including criminal investigations, a civil lawsuit that alleges The Weinstein Co. knew of decades of harassment allegations lodged against the producer and a civil rights investigation launched by the New York attorney general. Weinstein is asking a judge to expedite a ruling on his case. A representative for The Weinstein Co. did not immediately respond to an email message seeking comment.

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