The Morning Scroll: Helicopter Crashes Into NYC Building & California to Offer Health Benefits to Immigrants

Morning! While you were sleeping (or staying up to binge-watch Friends for the tenth time, or pulling an all-nighter in the library), a few things went down that you’ll probably want to know about. So grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and get scrolling.

What in the World

 

A helicopter crashed onto the roof of a building in Midtown Manhattan on Monday, filling the air with smoke and inundating the streets with fire trucks.

 

The New York City Fire Department confirmed on fatality in the crash-landing on top of the AXA Equitable Building, The Hill reports. The pilot of the helicopter, Tim McCormick, was reportedly killed in the incident. He was the only person on board the privately owned Agusta A109E helicopter, said police and fire officials.

 

No one else was injured in the crash, which took place just blocks from Times Square.

 

The incident is believed to be an accident and there is no indication of terrorism, a senior official with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) told ABC News.

 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the cause of the “shocking, stunning incident” was unclear, but added, “There is no ongoing threat to New York City.”

 

The crash, which took place on a rainy New York afternoon around 1:45 p.m., caused a fire and a fuel leak which has been stopped.

 

Although the crash appears to be an accident, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters, “If you’re a New Yorker, you have a level of PTSD from 9/11 ... So as soon as you hear an aircraft hit a building, I think my mind goes where every New Yorker’s mind goes.”

 

The crash occurred inside an area of Manhattan with flight restrictions that require aircraft to get permission from air traffic control to enter. FAA officials told ABC News that it air traffic control did not handle this flight.

 

Cuomo said officials are looking into why the aircraft was flying in a restricted area, and whether the helicopter had permission to do so.

 

President Donald Trump said in a tweet that he had been briefed on the crash and praised first responders.

 

“I have been briefed on the helicopter crash in New York City. Phenomenal job by our GREAT First Responders who are currently on the scene. THANK YOU for all you do 24/7/365!” Trump wrote. “The Trump Administration stands ready should you need anything at all.”

 

Rumor Has It

 

This might just be the most random bit of celebrity news you will read all week, but Justin Bieber has challenged Tom Cruise over Twitter to a fight in the UFC ring, also known as the Octagon. And it’s all just a little...confusing?

 

“I wanna challenge Tom Cruise to fight in the octagon. Tom if you don’t take this fight, your [sic] scared and you will never live it down,” Bieber challenged Cruise via Twitter. “Who is willing to put on the fight? @DanaWhite?”

 

UFC President Dana White hadn’t chimed in on the challenge, but, according to E! News, champ Conor McGregor said is happy to promote the match.

 

“If Tom Cruise is man enough to accept this challenge, McGregor Sports and Entertainment will host the bout,” McGregor tweeted. “Does Cruise have the sprouts to fight, like he does in the movies? Stay tuned to find out!”

 

He then went on to challenge Mark Wahlberg to a fight because, well, why not?

 

People on Twitter were extremely confused about the whole ordeal.

 

“Why Tom Cruise out of all people?” wrote one user.  Mario Lopez even took to Twitter, writing, "Why the Beebs wanna put hands on Tom Cruise? And it’s “you’re” homie…”

 

But there were tons of people in the comments section who fiercely defended and advocated for Tom Cruise, Cosmopolitan reports.

 

“You know Tom does all his own stunts, right? Dude would absolutely destroy you,” tweeted one user.

 

“Not only is Tom Cruise an unbeatable machine of strength and speed, he’s also insane and completely undeterred by the fear of death,” another person wrote. “Good luck, Justin.”

 

Another Cruise supporter wrote, “Tom Cruise was an all-state wrestler in high school and has been training for over 30 years....You can’t eat a burrito correctly....Sit down Biebs,” referencing Bieber’s burrito prank.

 

While Cruise hasn’t responded to the challenge, his resume definitely makes him a worthy opponent. He has, after all, hung off the side of a plane, sped his motorcycle through traffic and every other beyond scary stunt you can think of, all for his films.

 

Our money is on Cruise. Sorry, Bieber.

 

Then This Happened

 

California is set to become the first state to offer full health benefits to some adults living in the country illegally.

 

Democrats in the State Legislature agreed to include the benefits in California’s expansive plan on how it will spend $213 billion of state and federal tax money over the next year, The Associated Press (AP) reports.

 

The agreement allows low-income immigrants without legal status who are between the ages of 19 and 25 to be eligible for California’s Medicaid program, The Hill reports.

 

Only those in that age group with incomes that are low enough to qualify will be able to get the health benefits. State officials estimate that there will be approximately 90,000 individuals who will qualify, with a cost of $98 million per year. The State Senate wanted to expand the proposal to include those who are 65 and older, but California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) opposed the call, saying the high $3.4 billion cost was too much.

 

The proposal will also make California the first state to assist middle-income families with their monthly insurance premiums. According to AP, a family of four earning as much as six times the federal poverty level — or more than $150,000 a year — will be eligible to receive approximately $100 a month from the state government to help with their monthly health insurance premium bills.

 

In order to pay for the proposals, the state will reportedly tax individuals who do not pay for health insurance. It is a revival of the individual mandate penalty that was initially a part of the federal health care bill former President Obama signed into law until Republicans in Congress eliminated it in 2017 as part of the overhaul to the tax code.

 

Both of these proposals would be a win for first-year Gov. Newsom, who proposed both of the health care policies.

 

The budget agreement must still be approved by the full State Legislature. California state law requires lawmakers to enact a budget by midnight on June 15.

 

Happy Thoughts

 

The first trailer for “Frozen 2” premieres today!