Happening Today: Harvey Recovery, Travel Ban, Penn State, L'Oreal, Mark Ruffalo

What to Know

  • The White House has prepared a request to Congress for an initial $5.9 billion package in Harvey recovery aid
  • A former monk has filed a federal lawsuit against L'Oreal, accusing the company of stealing patented technology in a wrinkle cream
  • Actor Mark Ruffalo has joined activists marching from Charlottesville, Virginia, to the nation's capital to condemn white supremacy

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White House Preparing $5.9B Request for Harvey Recovery Aid

The White House has prepared a request to Congress for an initial $5.9 billion package in Harvey recovery aid, a first down payment to make sure recovery efforts over the next few weeks are adequately funded. The Trump proposal, which is being finalized pending White House consultations with key Republicans, promises to represent just a fraction of an eventual Harvey recovery package that could rival the $100-billion-plus in taxpayer-financed help for victims of 2005's Hurricane Katrina. A senior administration official said the plan will be sent to Congress on Friday and House and Senate votes appear likely next week. The official was not authorized to release the information publicly before a final decision is made and spoke on condition of anonymity. House GOP leaders have signaled they are aiming to act fast on Harvey aid. Much larger future installments will be required but the initial package, to replenish Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster coffers through Sept. 30, shouldn't be controversial. The initial aid money would be a down payment for immediate recovery efforts, to be followed by larger packages later, said White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert. It will take weeks or months to assess the full extent of the damage and need.

Lawsuit Over Trump's 1st Attempt to Ban Travel Is Settled

Foreigners who were barred from entering the U.S. during President Trump's first attempt to ban travel from seven Muslim-majority nations will get government help reapplying for visas. Civil rights lawyers and the Trump administration told a federal magistrate judge in New York that they had settled a lawsuit over the treatment of hundreds of travelers who were detained at U.S. airports in the hours between Trump's issuance of the ban on Jan. 27 and a federal judge's issuance of a temporary block on Jan. 28. Under the terms of the deal, the government has agreed to notify anyone overseas who was banned that they have three months to reapply for visas with the help of a Department of Justice liaison. Several courts ordered the initial ban lifted. The revised version has replaced it under limitations set by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in October on a challenge to the second order.

Judge to Rule Whether Penn State Frat Death Case Can Proceed

Members of a now-shuttered Pennsylvania State University fraternity will learn on Friday whether a district judge believes there is enough evidence to send charges related to the death of a pledge to county court for trial. District Judge Allen Sinclair said after the seventh day of a preliminary hearing ended that he would render his decision at 11 a.m. The ruling could result in dismissal of some or all of the hundreds of charges filed against Beta Theta Pi and its members. The fraternity and 18 of its members were charged after the Feb. 4 death of sophomore engineering student Tim Piazza, whose agonizing night in the fraternity house was caught on security camera, showing him clearly in pain after drinking heavily and suffering a series of falls. The 18 fraternity brothers face charges including involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, hazing, alcohol violations, reckless endangerment and evidence tampering, but they don't all face the same charges. Two of the brothers waived the hearing, meaning only 16 brothers and the fraternity were involved in it.

Former Monk Sues Cosmetics Giant Over Anti-Aging Formula

A former Roman Catholic monk has filed a federal lawsuit against cosmetics giant L'Oreal, accusing the company of stealing patented technology in an anti-aging wrinkle cream that his charity was selling to raise money for the poor. Dennis Wyrzykowski and his company, Carmel Laboratories LLC, have been joined in the lawsuit by the University of Massachusetts Medical School, which developed the technology and licensed it to Carmel in 2009. According to the lawsuit, the cream, called Easeamine, is made using technology inspired by a discovery by two UMass scientists that adenosine, a chemical compound found in the heart, can promote skin elasticity. The lawsuit, filed in June and amended this month, alleges L'Oreal was aware UMass held the patent for the science. It alleges L'Oreal had been denied patents because of their similarity to those granted to UMass, but the cosmetic company went ahead with a line of products based on the adenosine technology.

Actor Mark Ruffalo Joins March Against White Supremacy

Actor Mark Ruffalo has joined activists marching from Charlottesville, Virginia, to the nation's capital to condemn white supremacy recently on display in the Virginia city. "The Avengers" star tweeted photos of himself in "The March to Confront White Supremacy." In a statement, Ruffalo says he's marching in memory of Heather Heyer, who died when a car plowed into a group of people protesting the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 12. Ruffalo also condemned President Trump's response that "both sides" were to blame for the violence. Ruffalo says there's "no place for racism, violence, and hatred" in the country.

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Gives $1M to Harvey Relief

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation has donated $1 million to the newly established United Way Harvey Recovery Fund which will go toward short and long term relief and recovery efforts. United Way Worldwide said the national fund will distribute 100 percent of donations to recovery efforts for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. United Way is the world's largest privately-funded non-profit and anticipates Harvey recovery efforts will take several years. The $1 million from DiCaprio's foundation represents the inaugural donation to the fund. It is the latest disaster relief support from the Oscar-winner's namesake foundation. DiCaprio and his foundation have previously donated to recovery efforts following the 2004 tsunami, the Haiti earthquake and Hurricane Sandy. Many celebrities have pulled out their pocketbooks to help Harvey victims in recent days.

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