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US government in shutdown after Senate fails to pass new budget

Added: 20.01.2018 17:42 | 0 views | 0 comments

The US government has started to shut down after Congress failed to overcome a bitter standoff over spending and immigration, marking a choatic end to Donald Trump's first year as president.  Last-minute negotiations crumbled as Senate Democrats blocked a four-week stopgap extension in a late-night vote, causing the fourth government shutdown in a quarter of a century. Social Security and most other safety net programmes are unaffected by the lapse in federal spending authority. Critical government functions will continue, with uniformed service members, health inspectors and law enforcement officers set to work without pay. But if no deal is brokered before Monday, two million federal employees will be furloughed – given leave of absence. Most staff in the departments of housing, environment, education and commerce will stay at home. Half of workers in the treasury, health, defence and transportation departments will also not be going to work next week. National parks and monuments face closure while visa and passport processing could be delayed. Essential services that protect "life or human property" will continue, including national security, postal services, air traffic control, inpatient medical services, emergency outpatient medicine, disaster assistance, prisons, taxation and electricity generation. Donald Trump's first year in office: the conflict and controversy Click here for a detailed account of what happens now. Congress scheduled an unusual Saturday session to begin considering a three-week version of the short-term spending measure - and to broadcast that they were at work as the shutdown commenced. It seemed likely each side would try forcing votes aimed at making the other party look culpable for shuttering federal agencies. White House blames Democrats After hours of closed-door meetings and phone calls, the Senate scheduled its late-night vote on a House-passed plan. It gained 50 votes to proceed to 48 against, but 60 were needed to break a Democratic filibuster.  The president watched the results from the White House residence, dialing up allies and affirming his belief that Democrats would take the blame for the shutdown, a source familiar with his conversations said.  Sen. Charles Schumer walks to the chamber after a closed meeting with fellow democrats on Capitol Hill Credit: AP The White House lashed out at Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, blaming him for the shutdown "Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown," Trump's spokeswoman Sarah Sanders declared. Senate Democrats put politics above national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country’s ability to serve all Americans. We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands.— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 20, 2018 "Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country's ability to serve all Americans. "We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands," she said. Schumer hits back Mr Schumer fought back, however, blaming the president for leading him to believe a deal was possible on a measure to prevent the expulsion of undocumented migrants who arrived in the country as children. "Every American knows the Republican Party controls White House, the Senate, the House - it is their job to keep the government open. It is their job to work with us to move forward," Mr Schumer told the Senate. "They control every ounce of the process and it is their responsibility to govern and here they have failed," he declared. FAQ | What is a federal government shutdown? The measure brought to Congress would have extended federal funding until Feb 16 and restored a health insurance programme for poor children for six years - a long-time Democratic objective. But it would have cut the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals programme, known as Daca, that affects Dreamers. who have been protected from deportation. White House officials insisted there was no urgency to fix Daca, which expires on March 5. Mr Trump, who had made strict measures on immigration a cornerstone of his presidential campaign, last week rejected a bipartisan proposal, saying he wanted to include any deal for Dreamers in a bigger legislative package that also boosts funding for a border wall and tighter security at the border with Mexico. The lawmakers and Mr Trump's White House had mounted last-ditch negotiations to stave off what had come to appear as the inevitable, with the parties in stare-down mode over federal spending and proposals to protect the 700,000 younger immigrants from deportation. Earlier on Friday, Mr Trump had brought Mr Schumer to the White House in hopes of cutting a deal on a short-term spending agreement. Talks collapse over immigration The two New Yorkers, who pride themselves on their negotiating abilities, started talking over cheeseburgers about a larger agreement that would have included greater military spending and money for a southern border wall. But the talks fell apart almost as abruptly as they started. In a phone call hours later, the president raised new concerns about the deal he and Schumer had discussed, according to a person familiar with the conversation. In a subsequent phone call with Schumer, chief of staff John Kelly said the deal discussed was too liberal. The White House did not immediately comment on that account. As word of the Schumer meeting spread, the White House hastened to reassure Republican congressional leaders that Trump would not make any major policy concessions, a source said. US Federal Government Shutdowns On Capitol Hill, McConnell said Americans at home would be watching to see "which senators make the patriotic decision" and which "vote to shove aside veterans, military families and vulnerable children to hold the entire country hostage... until we pass an immigration bill". "We can't keep kicking the can down the road," said Schumer, insisting on more urgency in talks on immigration. "In another month, we'll be right back here, at this moment, with the same web of problems at our feet, in no better position to solve them." Mr Schumer called on the president and leaders of both parties to resume negotiations on Saturday. Mr McConnell said he would seek a new funding bill through to February 8 but a Senate Democratic source said that was too far out. Democrats had argued for an extension of four or five days to force both sides into serious negotiations on the immigration issue. Election issue With mid-term congressional elections looming later this year, Republicans risk being blamed by voters when the government stops functioning over lack of funds. A new Washington Post/ABC poll found that 48 per cent of Americans blame Trump and the Republicans for a potential shutdown, and only 28 per cent hold Democrats responsible. Trump had been set to leave on Friday to attend a fundraiser at his Palm Beach, Florida, estate marking the anniversary of his inauguration, but delayed his travel. The shutdown is the first since 2013, when tea party Republicans - in a strategy not unlike the one Mr Schumer is employing now - sought to use a must-pass funding bill to try to force then-President Barack Obama to delay implementation of his marquee health care law. At the time, Mr Trump told Fox & Friends that the ultimate blame for a shutdown lies at the top. "I really think the pressure is on the president," he said.   2:10PM Donald Trump blames Democrats Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border. They could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead. #WeNeedMoreRepublicansIn18 in order to power through mess!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2018 This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present. #DemocratShutdown— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2018 This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present. #DemocratShutdown— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2018   7:09AM The Twitter war rages The time for talking has ended. The time for tweeting has begun. Both sides are currently slugging it out on social media.  The Republicans say: Senate Democrats have let down our troops, our children, and all Americans. All of this is just unnecessary. It is reckless. Senate Democrats have brought us to a shutdown.— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) January 20, 2018 The facts before us are simple. Right now, the Democratic leader has no compromise immigration bill on the table. No bill exists. Why do Americans need to suffer from a government shutdown when he doesn’t even have an immigration bill?— Leader McConnell (@SenateMajLdr) January 20, 2018  The Democrats say: Republicans control the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. No matter how they spin this shutdown, we know what happened: They abandoned their responsibility.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) January 20, 2018 This will be called the #TrumpShutdown. There is no one who deserves the blame for the position we find ourselves in more than President Trump.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 20, 2018 6:59AM The cheeseburger summit An NBC News reporter says Schumer and Trump held talks while munching on cheeseburgers.  FAQ | What is a federal government shutdown? 6:55AM What is shut down? FAQ | What is a federal government shutdown? 6:25AM McConnell to propose shorter-term funding plan Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will seek to halt the shutdown with a proposal to fund the government through February 8. McConnell says February 8 is "a very reasonable time" and pushes the matter beyond President Donald Trump's Jan. 30 State of the Union address. It's unclear how quickly lawmakers might vote on McConnell's proposal. It's also uncertain if shrinking the timeframe of a short-term agreement from four weeks to three weeks will draw enough votes to reopen the government. 6:02AM Trump staying in Washington 'until this is finished' Mr Trump had already scrapped plans to depart on Friday for his Mar-a-Lago club, where he'd been set to attend a high-dollar fundraiser on Saturday night to commemorate his first year in office. While White House aides did not respond to questions about the president's weekend plans, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters he didn't expect Trump to go to Florida on Saturday. "I think the president's been very clear: He's not leaving until this is finished," he said. The reverberations of the shutdown will be felt across Washington, all over the nation - and within the White House residence. According to federal stipulations, just 21 of the 96 members of the White House residential staff would report to duty on any day of a shutdown. 5:56AM No talks on immigration until shutdown over As well as blaming the Democrats, Trump's administration said it would not discuss immigration until the government is up and running again. "When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders, we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform." 5:40AM Battle of the hashtags The White House is calling it the #SchumerShutdown. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, is calling it the #TrumpShutdown. “Tonight, on the eve of the first anniversary of his inauguration, President Trump earned an ‘F’ for failure in leadership," Ms Pelosi said. “I hope that we can now conduct bipartisan negotiations where we find our common ground to honor our responsibility to meet the needs of the American people.” I hope that we can now conduct bipartisan negotiations where we find our common ground to honor our responsibility to meet the needs of the American people. #TrumpShutdown Read my full statement here:— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) January 20, 2018 5:34AM Schumer responds Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is giving his version of the talks - putting much of the blame on the president. He says he had offered to "put the border wall on the table" during discussions with Mr Trump, but that was not enough for him to make a deal.  He says an outline of a deal was in hand on immigration and spending caps but Trump "did not press his party in Congress to accept it". Sen. Schumer: "What happened to the President Trump who asked us to come up with a deal and promise that he'd take heat for it? What happened to that president? He backed off at the first sign of pressure."— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 20, 2018 5:27AM Senator McConnell reacts The Senate Majority Leader says the Democrats derailed talks with  their desire to force the passage of legislation to protect some 700,000 younger immigrants from deportation. Sen. McConnell: "Almost everybody on both sides doesn't understand how we ended up here because most of this stuff we agree on. There's only one reason we ended up here: the shoehorning of illegal immigration into this debate."— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 20, 2018   5:23AM What Trump said in the past Earlier, the Democrats were keen to show what Mr Trump said when the government shutdown in 2013.  .@realDonaldTrump’s take on a government shutdown, in 2013: “I really think the pressure is on the president.”— Senate Democrats (@SenateDems) January 19, 2018 5:21AM The 'behavior of obstructionist losers' The White House is continuing its attack - and you suspect Donald Trump may be dictating.  This is the behavior of obstructionist losers, not legislators. When Dems pay our armed forces & first responders we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform. During the politically manufactured #SchumerShutdown, @POTUS will fight for & protect the American people.— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 20, 2018 5:15AM White House kicks off blame game As soon as the shutdown began, the White House tweeted it response - laying the blame squarely at the Democrats. Senate Democrats put politics above national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country’s ability to serve all Americans. We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands.— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 20, 2018

What has happened to each of Donald Trump's campaign pledges?

Added: 20.01.2018 14:42 | 0 views | 0 comments

Donald Trump was elected on a pledge to "make America great again"  - a feat, he said, he would achieve by boosting the economy; taking a tough stance against foreign allies and cutting immigration.  On his first anniversary of entering into office, what has happened to each of President Trump's campaign promises? Build a border wall  Mr Trump insists his border wall with Mexico is still happening, but has accepted it will not all be made up of a physical barrier. While illegal border crossing arrests are at a 47-year low, Mr Trump has yet to get any money for the wall's construction signed off from Congress. We must have Security at our VERY DANGEROUS SOUTHERN BORDER, and we must have a great WALL to help protect us, and to help stop the massive inflow of drugs pouring into our country!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 16, 2018 Earlier this month it was reported that the administration had asked Congress for nearly $18 billion to fund the project.  'Massive' tax cuts Mr Trump has delivered America's biggest tax cut in 30 years, his most significant legislative win during his time in office so far.  I promised that my policies would allow companies like Apple to bring massive amounts of money back to the United States. Great to see Apple follow through as a result of TAX CUTS. Huge win for American workers and the USA!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2018 However, claims it is the "biggest ever" have been proved wrong, according to analysis. Despite being sold as a boon for the average American, it is estimated that big corporations (whose tax rate has dropped from 35 to 21 per cent) and high earners will see the most benefit. Muslim ban  Mr Trump's promise to stop all Muslim immigration into the US was watered down even before the election. During the campaign Mr Trump called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States", but conceded the next day that the policy would not apply to all Muslims. Within their first week in office, the Trump administration suspended immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries. After repeated legal challenges and three re-writings of the directive, a version of the ban is in place - for now. Paris climate agreement The US president kept his vow to pull out of the Paris accord, which aims to prevent global temperatures from rising by 2C above pre-industrial levels, but has hinted he may return.  France's president Emmanuel Macron (L) and US President Donald Trump shake hands before a meeting  Credit: AFP During the election campaign, Mr Trump said he would "cancel" the agreement and "stop all payments of US tax dollars to UN global warming programs". Instead, he promised to boost America's coal, oil and shale industries by lifting restrictions on drilling. But in a news conference with French president Emmanuel Macron last week, he said: "Frankly, it's an agreement that I have no problem with, but I had a problem with the agreement that they signed, because, as usual, they made a bad deal." Repeal Obamacare In 2016, Mr Trump said: "My first day in office, I'm going to ask Congress to put a bill on my desk getting rid of this disastrous law... You're going to have such great health care at a tiny fraction of the cost. It's going to be so easy." He failed spectacularly to live up to the pledge in his first six months after Republican senators voted down the repeal bill.  However, at the end of last year Mr Trump succeeded in recalling a key part of it - individual mandate, which effectively forces people to get health insurance - and has set in place a series of measures to undermine Obamacare.  $1 trillion in infrastructure  The Trump campaign's $1 trillion infrastructure plan fell by the wayside in 2017 but is thought to be next on the legislative agenda for 2018. A train derailment in Washington state which killed 3 and injured 62 last month shone a light on the issue, something Mr Trump recognised, tweeting that it showed the need for his “soon to be submitted infrastructure plan”. The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 18, 2017 The president has indicated he wants bipartisan support for any measures, which could prove successful given that Democrats tend to be in favour of more funding, but it is unlikely to happen before the midterm elections. Bring back waterboarding  Mr Trump campaigned on a promise to bring back the banned intelligence service practice of waterboarding on suspects, saying "I would bring back waterboarding, and I'd bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding”.  He appears to have abandoned the idea, and has since commented that he had heard arguments that torture was not effective. Moving US embassy to Jerusalem Last year Mr Trump followed through on his campaign promise to to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli-capital, upending 70 years of US policy and triggering international outrage.  However the move, which outraged Palestine and other Middle Eastern countries, means his ambition to bring peace to the region seem as far away as it ever was. Tear up 'bad' trade deals Mr Trump pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement within days of taking office. He has yet to formally pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, but is aggressively renegotiating its terms, prompting others to predict the US will withdraw soon. However, despite his oft-repeated campaign threat to brand China a currency manipulator, he has yet to impose penalties on Chinese imports or take steps towards realigning their trade relationship.  Instead Mr Trump has used the threat of punishing trade relationships as leverage to get Beijing to put political pressure on North Korea. Mr Trump also promised to impose a 35 percent tariff on goods from US companies that ship production abroad - which he has not followed through with.  Destroying Isil The American-led coalition has had a string of victories against the Islamic State (Isil) including retaking vast swathes of territory. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marching in Raqqa, Syria Credit: AP Mr Trump has lauded the victories although critics say Barack Obama's administration laid the groundwork for the success with its strategy of working with local forces.  However the terrorist group still remains a potent force, successfully recruiting jihadists abroad, and Mr Trump has pledged to keep US troops in the region until Syria's civil war reaches a political settlement. Leave Afghanistan  During the campaign Mr Trump made a play of attacking former president George Bush's foreign wars and questioning why US troops were in the country. However, he appeared to cave to establishment pressure in August and agreed to send around 3,500 more troops to the country. “My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like to follow my instincts,” Mr Trump said of his policy U-turn. “I heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk of the Oval Office.” Iran nuclear deal Mr Trump has failed to scrap the Iran nuclear deal despite calling it the "worst deal ever". However he has started a collision course which could still bring it down. Better relations with Russia  During the campaign Mr Trump praised Vladimir Putin's leadership, suggested they could work together to end the Syrian civil war and urged warmer relations between their two nations.  Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin  Credit: AP But the cloud of the investigation into Russian meddling in the US election and the influence of senior generals has led to a more traditional stance on Russia. Moreover, Russia still remains at logger heads with the US-led allied coalition over Syria. Mr Trump has also hardened his stance on Nato, putting pressure on allies to increase their military spending.    Slap tariffs on China and Mexico Mexico was a focal point of Mr Trump's campaign and he threatened to put a 35 per cent tariff on goods made in Mexico but sold in the US. Mr Trump made similar trade threats to China but has held off a trade war with the nation in the hope that they can work on North Korea together. Stop North Korea's nuclear programme Kim Jong-Un has engaged in a war of words with Donald Trump Mr Trump has dramatically increased pressure on the regime in Pyongyang, forcing through tighter economic sanctions, particularly through the UN, and engaging in a heated war of words with its leader.  However, North Korea insists it will continue to test nuclear weapons and recently claimed it will soon have missiles capable of reaching the US mainland. It is unclear where the talks between Mr Trump and Kim Jong-Un will lead, but global watchers fear a nuclear war cannot be definitively ruled out. Cut red tape Mr Trump followed through with his promise to cut red tape, making one of his first executive orders a requirement for agencies to scrap two regulations for every new one they put in place. In December Mr Trump renewed his pledge to cut regulation, saying: "In 1960, there were approximately 20,000 pages in the Code of Federal Regulations. Today, there are over 185,000 page". To date, however, the administration says it has only cancelled or delayed 1,500 rules. Bring back jobs and boost the economy  Mr Trump centered his presidential campaign on how his business credentials would help him boost the economy.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average has increased by more than 28 per cent since Mr Trump's election, the highest since 1945 and unemployment is at its lowest level since 1973.     But critics claim the economic recovery is simply following a trend that began under the last months of the Obama administration for which Mr Trump is simply reaping the reward.  

Pentagon strategy drops climate change as a security threat

Added: 20.01.2018 9:26 | 0 views | 0 comments

Climate change and the impact it has on national and international security was not included in the US national defense strategy, unveiled by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday. The move is perhaps not surprising given that President Donald Trump has called climate change a hoax, and last June announced that he would pull the United States out of the historic Paris climate pact unless there were changes to the US side of the deal. In 2016 President Barack Obama labeled climate change a threat to national security, and for years experts and scientists have pointed to the impacts of natural disasters, famines and rising sea levels as prompting refugee flows that threaten global stability.

Donald Trump cancels Florida trip as looming government shutdown triggers blame game

Added: 20.01.2018 8:42 | 0 views | 0 comments

Donald Trump has cancelled his trip to Florida in an attempt to help avoid a government shutdown as Republicans piled pressure on their political opponents.  The president was due to fly to his Mar-a-Lago resort on Friday afternoon but will now stay in Washington as the hours tick down to a government funding deadline.  If Democrats do not vote through a month-long extension by the end of the day then much of federal government will grind to a halt.  A fierce blame game erupted in the American capital as political rivals pointed the finger at each other over who was at fault for the stand-off. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader of the Senate, used a speech to accuse Democrats of being unpatriotic by refusing to vote for a funding extension.  An American flag flies outside of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC Credit: Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg “The American people, the citizens who actually elected us, will be watching," he said.  "They will see which senators make the patriotic decision, stand up for the American people and vote to continue government funding." He claimed Democrats would effectively “shove aside veterans, military families and vulnerable children to hold the entire country hostage” if they voted against a funding extension.  The White House called an unexpected press conference on Friday morning that saw two senior administration figures take the fight to the Democrats.  Marco Short, the White House director for legislative affairs, accused the Democrats of hypocrisy given the fury they expressed when Republicans forced a government shutdown in 2013.  Mick Mulvaney, director of the office of management and budget, said the Democrats were “opposing a bill that they don’t oppose” in an attempt to win further concessions.  Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate Credit: AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley A government shutdown, which comes when Congress fails to agree spending for departments, sees all but essential government services close.  It last happened under Barack Obama five years ago and lasted 16 days.  A stand-off over immigration is at the heart of the current row. Democrats want Mr Trump to extend protections for the so-called “dreamer” migrants who came to America illegally as children.  Republicans want money for a Mexican border wall, the end of the diversity ‘lottery’ visa scheme and moves to curb chain migration, when a migrant’s family members follow after a move.  A measure to push the midnight Friday deadline back 30 days was passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday but has not yet been voted on in the Senate.  Government Funding Bill past last night in the House of Representatives. Now Democrats are needed if it is to pass in the Senate - but they want illegal immigration and weak borders. Shutdown coming? We need more Republican victories in 2018!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 19, 2018 Sixty votes are needed to pass budget measures in the Senate. The Republicans have only 51 seats – meaning they need Democrat support.  The Republicans are attempting to strong-arm Democrats into backing the funding extension by warning that failing to do so will cause upheaval and hit military spending.  They have also included a six-year extension to the Children's Health Insurance Program [CHIP] used by nine million youngsters, which Democrats have been demanding.  However some Democrats are reluctant to sign off a deal because Mr Trump has failed to agree to protect“dreamer” migrants. They see their votes on funding as a key political capital that should not be traded away for too low a price.  Nobody wants to shut down the govt, not Dems, not the GOP. The only one who has ever rooted for a shutdown is @realDonaldTrump who said our country could use “a good shutdown” – only he could come up with that. But no shutdown can be good for the American people.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) January 19, 2018 Some analysts have also noted that for Democratic presidential hopefuls there could be political interest in holding out in order to appeal to their support base, which is firmly anti-Trump. Republicans have dubbed the potential funding cut-off the “Schumer shutdown” after Chuck Schumer, the most senior Democrat in the Senate.  Mr Schumer in turn has pointed out that Mr Trump once said that America could use “a good shutdown”.  Some Democrats have dubbed it the "Trump shutdown".  Mike Pence, the vice president, will still travel to the Middle East on Friday night regardless of a government shutdown, his office has said.  Some 48 per cent of voters blame Mr Trump and the Republican Party for the impending shutdown, according to an ABC News/ Washington Post poll. Just 28 per cent blame the Democrats. 

Trump administration appeals against 'Dreamer' immigrant ruling to top court

Added: 20.01.2018 8:42 | 0 views | 0 comments

The U.S. Justice Department asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to quickly overturn a lower court ruling that blocked President Donald Trump's move to end a program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children. Solicitor General Noel Francisco said in a court filing "time is of the essence" and asked the high court to rule on the case before its current term ends in June. The Republican president in September rescinded, effective in March, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program put in place in 2012 by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.

The Final Year Gives an Insider’s Perspective of the Obama Presidency

Added: 19.01.2018 12:42 | 0 views | 0 comments

There is a persistent charge that the quietly devastating, on-the-fly documentary The Final Year, covering January 2016 to January 2017 in the administration of Barack Obama, is a piece of propaganda — which is valid only if you believe that portraying U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben ...


Donald Trump's medical examination mocked with 'girther' movement

Added: 18.01.2018 21:32 | 0 views | 0 comments

Donald Trump's medical examination has sparked online skepticism, dubbed the 'girther movement', as questions were raised over the measurements given for his height and weight. In his annual health check, the US president's official weight was given as 239 pounds (17 stone) and his height as 75in (6ft3), which classes him as medically overweight but just shy of obese. However, the White House doctor's claim that Mr Trump is in "excellent" health has prompted online mockery in the form of the Twitter hashtag '#girther'.  The online movement, which questions whether Mr Trump's true weight was provided, echos the 'birther' conspiracy theory Mr Trump led over Barack Obama's birth records. Mr Trump alleged that Mr Obama was born in Kenya and was therefore not eligible to be a US president. Trump 6’3” Obama 6’1” ��— Bill Jack (@ceomuscle) January 17, 2018 Among the skeptics was Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, who has offered to donate $100,000 to a charity of Mr Trump's choice if he steps on a scale. There have been around 56,000 tweets about the girther movement since Mr Trump's measurements were released, with one of the first tweets to use the term posted by political commentator Chris Hayes. Mr Hayes wrote: "Has anyone coined 'girther' for those who believe the president weighs more than his doctor reports?" One of the most popular tweets included a photograph purporting to show Mr Trump's driving licence listing the president as 6ft 2in, an inch shorter than Dr Ronny Jackson, the White House doctor, reported. If Mr Trump was 6ft 2in he would have a higher BMI and would be classed as obese.  Others posted photos of Mr Trump standing next to well-known figures in a bid to compare their heights and weights. However some social media users hit back at the claims, pointing out that muscle weighs more than fat, while some questioned whether the online mockery amounted to "fat shaming".

Trump administration appeals 'Dreamer' immigrant ruling to top court

Added: 18.01.2018 21:24 | 0 views | 0 comments

The U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday it had asked the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling last week that blocked President Donald Trump's move to end a program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.The Republican president in September rescinded, effective in March, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program put in place in 2012 by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.

Trump administration appeals 'Dreamer' immigrant ruling to top court

Added: 18.01.2018 21:06 | 1 views | 0 comments

The U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday it had asked the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling last week that blocked President Donald Trump's move to end a program that protects hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.The Republican president in September rescinded, effective in March, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program put in place in 2012 by his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.

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