Daily Archives: February 18, 2017

Government to cut housing assistance to some Fukushima evacuees


UN Chief: U.S. wrong to stop Salam Fayyad appointment

Popular Domestic Programs Face Ax Under First Trump Budget – The New York Times


Former Representative Mick Mulvaney, a spending hard-liner, was confirmed as White House budget director on Thursday. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The White House budget office has drafted a hit list of programs that President Trump could eliminate to trim domestic spending, including longstanding conservative targets like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, AmeriCorps and the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities.

Work on the first Trump administration budget has been delayed as the budget office awaited Senate confirmation of former Representative Mick Mulvaney, a spending hard-liner, as budget director. Now that he is in place, his office is ready to move ahead with a list of nine programs to eliminate, an opening salvo in the Trump administration’s effort to reorder the government and increase spending on defense and infrastructure.

Most of the programs cost under $500 million annually, a pittance for a government that is projected to spend about $4 trillion this year. And a few are surprising, even though most if not all have been perennial targets for conservatives.

Mr. Trump has spoken volubly about the nation’s drug problems, yet the list includes the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, which dispenses grants to reduce drug use and drug trafficking. And despite Mr. Trump’s vocal promotion of American exports, the list includes the Export-Import Bank, which has guaranteed loans to foreign customers of American companies since the 1930s.

…(read more).

Tillerson makes soothing sounds on Syria strategy

Al Jazeera English

Published on Feb 18, 2017

All eyes have been on the new US Secretary of State as foreign ministers from G20 nations met in the German city of Bonn.

Rex Tillerson came with a message from the White House: America will not tilt towards Moscow as it works on a Syria strategy.

Al Jazeera’s Duncan Golestani reports from Bonn

US: All eyes on new environment chief Pruitt

Al Jazeera English

Published on Feb 18, 2017

Scott Pruitt has been named by the US Senate as the new environment chief.

Al Jazeera’s Tom Ackerman digs a little deeper into Pruitt’s past to see what kind of decisions the new chief is likely to make.

Australia puts coal mining ahead of Aboriginal rights

Al Jazeera English

Published on Feb 18, 2017

Australia’s government is changing the law in order to get a mining project over the line.

Carmichael coal mine is already controversial for environmental reasons.

Now, legislation protecting land rights for Aboriginal people is being altered, in order to move forward with development.

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Thomas reports from Mackay in Northern Queensland

Environmental Safeguards Are About To Completely Disappear Under Trump

The Ring of Fire

Published on Feb 18, 2017

A freshman Congressman from Florida has introduced legislation to completely abolish the EPA. Scott Pruitt has vowed to restructure the EPA. And now, we’re hearing reports that the Trump administration might be doing away with the EPA’s enforcement division, making the agency completely powerless to rein in corporate polluters. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.

Exploring the world’s digital future – Counting the Cost

Al Jazeera English

Published on Feb 18, 2017

Ten years ago the number of devices connected to the Internet was under a billion. Now, that number has exploded to 20 billion and it’s going to keep growing. Mobile computing, driver-less connected cars and interactive fridges are a reality. John Chambers, the executive Chairman of Cisco Systems, has been involved in building the infrastructure of the Internet since the 1980s. During his trip to Doha this week, we asked him about where he sees the future, what economies will lead the next Internet evolution and why the Arab World has the potential to leapfrog other countries in terms of innovation.

Wikipedia, open source and the truth – Listening Post (Feature)

Al Jazeera English

Published on Feb 18, 2017

Facts, trust and the power of open source knowledge with Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Katherine Maher.


Republicans Have Gerrymandered Their Way To A Permanent Majority

The Ring of Fire

Published on Feb 18, 2017

Democratic candidates for U.S. House races actually received more votes than Republicans in the last midterm election. However, Republicans managed to hold onto power in the House because they have gerrymandered their way into a permanent majority. Why aren’t more Democrats and activists speaking out about this important issue that threatens our democracy? Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.