Browsing: US News


‘US President Donald Trump has given the Pentagon authority to decide about limits to American forces in Iraq and Syria.

The Pentagon affirmed Wednesday that it has not made any changes to what Reuters described as “a confusing system of troop limits” in the war-ravaged countries.

The Pentagon also asserted that the United States’ stated priority of fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorists has not shifted.

“But the shift on troop limits was another sign of the greater authority Trump appears comfortable giving his military commanders to make battlefield decisions and could allow for more rapid increases in troop levels in the future,” said the news agency in its report.

Now Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is the one that should make decisions about the so-called Force Management Level, according to Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White.’

Read more: Trump gives Pentagon power to decide about US troops limits in Iraq and Syria


‘Neocon war hawk Paul Wolfowitz is now “optimistic” about President Trump and privately emailing HR McMaster and James Mattis to whore for more wars in the Middle East.

From Politico:

To liberals and other critics, Wolfowitz would be the last person they want Trump to listen to. Long a lightning rod because of the havoc unleashed by the Iraq invasion, Wolfowitz has never apologized for advocating the war, although he has saidóand repeated in our conversationóthat it was not carried out as he would have wanted it to be. In recent days heës jumped right back into the public debate, nudging President Trump from the pages of the Wall Street Journal to follow up his bombing strike in neighboring Syria with more aggressive actionóand, he tells me, privately emailing with Trump Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and national security advisor H.R. McMaster, both longtime contacts since his Bush days, in hopes they will pursue a U.S. strategy of stepped-up engagement in the Middle East.’

Read more: Neocon Paul Wolfowitz Speaking Privately With McMaster And Mattis

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‘President Donald Trump on Wednesday told the leaders of Mexico and Canada that he will not pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, just hours after administration officials said he was considering a draft executive order to do just that.

The White House made the surprise announcement in a read-out of calls between Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“President Trump agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries,” said the White House.’

Read more: Trump surprises with sudden support for NAFTA

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‘The White House is proposing comprehensive tax reforms which are said to simplify the federal tax code by cutting rates and eliminating deductions.

The plan fell short on how the measures would be paid for with critics saying it will primarily benefit the wealthiest Americans.

“This is going to be the biggest tax cut and largest tax reform in the history of our country, and we are committed to seeing this through,” US Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, said announcing the tax reforms with scant details at the White House on Wednesday.’

Read more: Trump tax plan slashes taxes for ‘some’ businesses and wealthy estates


‘The land policies of the federal government, which commandeers about 640 million acres nationwide (28% of the 2.27 billion acres of the overall U.S.), do indeed call into question the very nature of such massive land control. The concentration of federal land ownership in the American West is especially staggering, with over 80% of Nevada falling under federal jurisdiction.

Behind the façade of the prosecution’s rather tedious, misleading courtroom arguments, that’s the real issue in the first trial of the landmark Cliven Bundy property-rights case—in which the jury deadlocked on April 24.

The opening trial started Feb. 6 and has dragged on longer than expected—concerning a case in which federal land jurisdiction and control are the true bedrock issues. But such issues have been buried under loads of lurid legal scenarios from the prosecution, which evidently seeks to paint all the defendants as “far-right” armed insurrectionists who would overturn government land mismanagement at gunpoint if necessary.’

Read more: With Mistrial Declared in First Bundy Trial, Federal Land Policies Remain the Real Issue


‘US conservative commentator Ann Coulter has cancelled a speech at the University of California, Berkeley, after a bitter free-speech row.

The pro-Trump author had been due to talk about immigration on Thursday.

On 19 April, school administrators said the risk of violent protests meant they could not provide a safe venue.

Ms Coulter, who had originally vowed to visit the campus anyway, changed her mind after the event’s organisers withdrew their support.

The Berkeley campus has witnessed destructive protests in recent months – not least over a planned appearance by alt-right poster-boy and outspoken Trump supporter Milo Yiannopoulos.

Rather than cancelling Ms Coulter’s speech altogether, university authorities had asked her to hold it next week and at an earlier time, when the risk of clashes was lower.’

Read more: Ann Coulter’s Berkeley speech cancelled a day beforehand

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‘Barbra Streisand, a Hillary Clinton supporter, says her candidate lost due to sexism.

“Women are still so underestimated; it’s incredible to watch even this last election with Hillary, the kind of strong woman, the powerful woman, the educated woman, the experienced woman, being thought of as the other, or too elite, or too educated,” she told WNYC’s Leonard Lopate on Wednesday.

“It’s very, very odd to me, and it was heartbreaking for her to lose, you know?” Adding that “power and woman has always been suspect. Strong women have always been suspect . . . in this country.”

During the campaign, Streisand lent her time to several fund-raising events, and has frequently voiced her disdain for President Donald Trump.’

Read more: Barbra Streisand blames sexism for Hillary’s election loss

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‘An Ohio couple, Christian and Katie Maple, lost custody of one of their children after they disagreed with the school’s mental health assessment of their child.

Camden Maple, a seven-year-old boy, has five siblings and enjoys Star Wars, Pokémon, football, video games, and Legos. He loves to write stories and draws comic books. While this sounds like an ordinary, creative, imaginative American little boy who can, according to his mom, be “rambunctious” at times, his school said that he needed mental health help.

While the school diagnosed him with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), his parents, who know him better than anyone else, believe that his “rambunctious” actions stem mostly from boredom and not being challenged in the classroom. Camden has been tested a full grade above his current one and often finishes assignments before the rest of the class. When he spends the extra time doodling, Camden gets punished for his creativity.’

Read more: CPS seizes child after parents challenge ADHD diagnosis

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‘The State Department on Monday announced the hiring of former “Fox and Friends” host Heather Nauert as the department’s official spokeswoman.

“Heather’s media experience and long interest in international affairs will be invaluable as she conveys the Administration’s foreign policy priorities,” the department said in a statement.

The “top-rated morning cable news show” Nauert anchored, as glowingly described by the State Department, is one of President Donald Trump’s favorites.’

Read more:  State Dept. hires host from Trump’s favorite Fox News show as spokeswoman

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‘One reliable way to know that Donald Trump has reversed himself on an issue is if he denies having done any such thing.

The pattern repeats itself: his Administration is dealt a major setback—the courts blocking his travel bans, the G.O.P. health-care bill dying in the House—and Trump responds by decreeing that “great progress” is being made and the media is neglecting to cover it.

It’s easy to become inured to how bizarre this is: America has a President who denies observable reality and uses his social-media accounts to feed his supporters an alternate version of the truth. All politicians spin. Trump lies, regularly and brazenly.

Read more: How Trump gave up on his border wall