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Wednesday, August 16, 2017
reuters
Trumpcare

Judge Blocks Texas Plan To Cut Planned Parenthood Medicaid Funds

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks said state health officials “likely acted to disenroll qualified health care providers from Medicaid without cause.” He said the preliminary injunction will preserve the court’s ability to render a meaningful decision on the case’s merits.

February 21, 2017
Environmental

In A Nod To The Energy Industry, Pruitt Says EPA Can Also Be Pro-Jobs

The new head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Tuesday that America need not choose between jobs and the environment, in a nod to the energy industry, as the White House prepares executive orders that could come as soon as this week to roll back Obama-era regulation.

February 21, 2017
Planned Parenthood

Virginia Governor Vetoes Bill Defunding Planned Parenthood

The bill passed by the Republican-controlled legislature would have barred the state from providing funds to clinics that perform abortions not covered by Medicaid, the federal healthcare program for the poor. McAuliffe, a Democrat, said the measure would harm thousands of Virginians who relied on Planned Parenthood healthcare services and programs.

February 21, 2017
Anti-Semitism, Trump

Trump Issues First Public Condemnation Of Anti-Semitic Incidents

The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect in New York, which has criticized the Trump administration repeatedly over anti-Semitism, said his comments were too little too late. “The president’s sudden acknowledgement is a Band-Aid on the cancer of anti-Semitism that has infected his own administration,” Steven Goldstein, the group’s executive director, said in a statement.

February 21, 2017
A woman is silhouetted against a projected image of the Democratic National Committee during its Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting in Washington May 31, 2008. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Does The Race For Democratic Party Leader Matter?

The awkward confrontation between Democrats’ old guard and a rebellious set of young activists is an apt metaphor for the party’s current conundrum as it tries to respond to the populist angst rippling through America.

February 21, 2017
Dreamers, Immigration

Under New Immigration Guidelines, ‘Dreamers’ Are Safe — For Now

President Donald Trump’s administration will leave protections in place for immigrants who entered the country illegally as children, known as “dreamers,” but will consider all other illegal immigrants subject to deportation, according to guidance released on Tuesday.

February 21, 2017
Canada, Refugees

Facing An Uncertain Future In Trump’s America, Refugees Flee U.S. For Canada

Canadian police said on Monday they had bolstered their presence at the Quebec border and that border authorities had created a temporary refugee center to process a growing number of asylum seekers crossing from the United States. Last month, 452 people made claims in Quebec compared with 137 in January 2016, the agency said.

February 21, 2017
JCC, Jewish Community Centers

Jewish Centers Report Bomb Threats Across U.S.

Some 11 centers including those in the Houston, Chicago, and Milwaukee areas received phoned-in bomb threats that were later determined to be hoaxes. Monday’s incidents come after three waves of bomb threats in 2017. In all, 69 incidents at 54 JCCs in 27 states and one Canadian province have been reported, according to the JCC Association of North America.

February 21, 2017
CEO Tillerson

‘CEO’ Tillerson Faces Internal Skeptics

One of Rex Tillerson’s first directives as U.S. secretary of state was an order to senior staff that his briefing materials not exceed two pages. It was a reflection of Tillerson’s management style honed at the helm of Exxon Mobil, and one reason his closest aides at the State Department refer to him as “the CEO” rather than “the Secretary.”

February 20, 2017
Abortion

Norma McCorvey, Plaintiff In Roe v. Wade Abortion Ruling, Dies At 69

Norma McCorvey, the anonymous plaintiff known as “Jane Roe” in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion, died on Saturday at the age of 69, a journalist close to McCorvey said. McCorvey lent her real name to supporters of the abortion-rights movement in the 1980s. However, she did an about-face and later spoke out on behalf of anti-abortion campaigners.

February 19, 2017
Immigration, Deportations

Trump Team Drafts Plan To Raise Asylum Bar, Speed Deportations

The new guidelines, contained in a draft memo dated February 17 but not yet sent to field offices, directs agents to only pass applicants who have a good chance of ultimately getting asylum, but does not give specific criteria for establishing credible fear of persecution if sent home.

February 19, 2017
McCain, Trump, Dictators

John McCain: Suppressing Free Press Is ‘How Dictators Get Started’

“If you want to preserve – I’m very serious now – if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press. And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started,” he said in a recent interview on NBC.

February 19, 2017
Anti-trump protests

More Anti-Trump Rallies Planned In U.S. Cities

The planned actions follow the Day Without Immigrants nationwide protest on Thursday against Trump’s immigration policies. Businesses shut their doors, students skipped class, and thousands of demonstrators gathered to highlight the importance of immigrants to the U.S. economy.

February 17, 2017
Pruitt

Senate Confirms Trump’s EPA Pick As White House Targets Regulation

The U.S. Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday over the objections of Democrats and environmentalists worried he will gut the agency. Democrats spoke through Thursday night and Friday morning on the Senate floor, trying to extend debate on Pruitt until later in February when 3,000 emails between him and energy companies will likely be revealed by a judge.

February 17, 2017
Sportsment, Environment

Sportsmen And Environmentalists Team Up To Fight Trump Energy Plans

Outdoor sporting groups — long associated with conservatism because of their support for guns rights and small government — are now collaborating with the environmental left to fight President Trump’s push to open more public lands to energy development.

February 17, 2017
Trump, Russia, Media

Angry Trump Dismisses Russia Controversy As ‘Scam’ By Hostile Media

President Trump dismissed a growing controversy about ties between his aides and Russia on Thursday as a “ruse” and “scam” perpetrated by a hostile news media, and denied that any of his associates had contacts with Moscow before last year’s election.

February 16, 2017
Scott Pruitt, EPA

EPA Staff Told To Prepare For Trump Executive Orders

A senior EPA official who had been briefed by members of the Trump administration mentioned the executive orders at a meeting of staffers in the EPA’s Office of General Counsel on Tuesday, but did not provide details about what the orders would say, said the sources, who asked not to be named.

February 16, 2017
Nannygate

Senate Narrowly Confirms Mulvaney As Trump’s Budget Director

The U.S. Senate on Thursday narrowly confirmed South Carolina congressman Mick Mulvaney to serve as White House budget director in a 51-49 vote. Underscoring the rocky reception that President Trump’s Cabinet nominees have had on Capitol Hill, the vote came as Republican Senator John McCain opposed Mulvaney along with 46 Democrats and two independents.

February 16, 2017
Puzder, Trump, Labor Secretary

Labor Secretary Nominee Puzder Can’t Take The Heat, Withdraws From Consideration

In a blow to President Trump, his nominee for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, withdrew his name from consideration amid concerns that he could not garner enough Senate votes to be confirmed. Puzder’s decision to withdraw is yet another setback this week for a White House still grappling with fallout from Monday night’s abrupt resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn.

February 15, 2017
Russians, Trump,

Republican Senators Push For Answers On Trump’s Russia Ties

Republican Trump critics including Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham voiced fresh consternation, but comments by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, who has been a Trump supporter, increased the pressure on the White House.

February 15, 2017
Mueller

NY Times: Trump Campaign Had Repeated Contact With Russian Intelligence

Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election. The intercepts alarmed U.S. intelligence because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Trump was speaking glowingly about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

February 15, 2017
Conway, ethics

Ethics Office: White House Should Weigh Disciplinary Action Against Conway

The ethics office has little enforcement power, but it can formally recommend disciplinary action if the White House does not act. That recommendation would not be binding, and the process would take until late April or early May. If the ethics office does formally recommend discipline, it would be up to the White House to decide any steps against Conway.

February 15, 2017
NATO, James Mattis

Nervous NATO Allies Put On Brave Face For Trump Era

In his debut trip to Europe as Pentagon chief, Mattis is set to echo longstanding U.S. calls that European allies invest more on defense, something his predecessors under Republican and Democratic administrations have done for years.

February 15, 2017
Fox News Napolitano picked up British wiretap tale from Russia Today

Trump Knew For Weeks That Flynn Had Misled The White House

According to White House spokesman Sean Spicer, President Trump was informed in late January that Flynn had not told Vice President Mike Pence the whole truth about conversations he had with Russia’s ambassador to the United States before Trump took office.

February 14, 2017
Flynn, Russia

U.S. Lawmakers Seek Deeper Probe Into Flynn’s Russia Ties

U.S. lawmakers, including some leading Republicans, called for a deeper inquiry into White House ties to Russia after national security adviser Michael Flynn quit amid revelations that he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with Moscow’s ambassador to the United States before Trump took office.

February 14, 2017