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Fri, 26th May 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “franklin d roosevelt” Tag

Trump revealed intelligence secrets to Russians in Oval Office: US officials

U.S. President Donald Trump disclosed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister about a planned Islamic State operation during their meeting last week, two U.S. officials with knowledge of the situation said on Monday.

The intelligence shared at the meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, was supplied by a U.S. ally in the fight against the militant group, both officials said.

 The White House said the allegations, first reported by the Washington Post, were not true.

“The story that came out tonight as reported is false,” H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, told reporters at the White House, adding that the two men reviewed a range of common threats including to civil aviation.

“At no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed. The president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known. … I was in the room. It didn’t happen,” he said.

The White House also released a statement from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who said the meeting focused on counterterrorism, and from deputy national security adviser Dina Powell, who said the Post story was false.

Duterte Warns Trump: “That Guy Kim Simply Wants To End The World”

In a rare comment on the deteriorating North Korean situation, outspoken Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte urged the US to show restraint after North Korea’s latest missile test and to avoid playing into the hands of leader Kim Jong Un, who “wants to end the world“. The notoriously blunt Duterte said on Saturday that the Southeast Asia region was extremely worried about tensions between the United States and North Korea, and said one misstep would be a “catastrophe” and Asia would be the first victim of a nuclear war.

“There seems to be two countries playing with their toys and those toys are not really to entertain,” the president said quoted by Reuters during a news conference after the ASEAN summit in Manila, referring to Washington and Pyongyang. “One miscalculation of a missile, whether or not a nuclear warhead or an ordinary bomb, one explosion there that would hit somebody would cause a catastrophe.”

Duterte also warned the United States, Japan, South Korea and China that they are sparring with a man who was excited about the prospect of firing missiles. Duterte’s speech, which was delivered in his capacity as chairman of ASEAN, was due to speak by telephone to U.S. President Donald Trump later on Saturday. He said he would urge Trump not to get into a confrontation with Kim.

“You know that they are playing with somebody who relishes letting go of missiles and everything. I would not want to go into his (Kim’s) mind because I really do not know what’s inside but he’s putting mother earth, the planet to an edge.

Subramanian Swamy ARGUES ED PROBE ALSO IN TATA-UNITECH DEAL

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday argued in 2G Court that apart from CBI, the Enforcement Directorate should also be directed to probe the covert financing of Rs 1700 crore by Tata Group to Unitech to acquire telecom licenses during 2G Scam. Producing CBI’s communication to him before the Court, Swamy said the investigating agency confirmed that they are still probing the matter, found by the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO).

Swamy argued that for the past three years CBI is taking the stand that they are probing the matter, hence, the Court should seek a status report. Judge OP Saini, however, did not oblige Swamy asking him to provide more info or documents, if any on the next hearing May 31.

The BJP leader said the manner of the illegal money transfer of Rs.1700 from Tata group companies to Unitech was nothing but money laundering and a case under PMLA should be registered. In his petition, Swamy said that apart from Ratan Tata, Unitech’s Sanjay Chandra and controversial lobbyist Nira Radia should be prosecuted.

“The issue pertaining to certain land deal investments by Tata Group in Unitech, as reflected in the Report of SFIO, has been examined by CBI and findings thereof have been reported to Supreme Court vide progress reports/affidavits filed in sealed cover including progress report dated July 6, 2011. “Further investigation on some aspects relating to the role of Tata in 2G Spectrum case is continuing under due intimation to Supreme Court vide progress report dated Jun  12, 2014.

Japan Press : Coming not so soon: Trump’s ‘historic’ tax plan

Despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s bluster on “historic tax reform” and $1 trillion in infrastructure investment, his visions still remain short on specifics, while the Congress appears headed to an epic clash over a contentious corporate tax plan.

American stocks surged in euphoria after Trump said Feb. 9 that he would announce something “over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax.” Yet his address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, his first, contained nothing but generalities — a far cry from the promised “phenomenal” plan.

Female lawmakers in the opposition Democratic Party wore white at Trump’s address Wednesday to show support for women’s rights. © AP 

During the campaign, Trump called for cutting the federal corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives have drawn up a proposal of their own that would introduce a 20% border adjustment tax to fund a corporate tax rate cut to 20%. This plan would impose no taxes on exports but would bar companies from deducting import-related costs from taxable income.

Trump has not taken a clear stand on the border adjustment tax, and Tuesday’s address only alluded to the issue. “When we ship products out of America, many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes,” he said. “But when foreign companies ship their products into America, we charge them nothing, or almost nothing.” Read More 

White House Bars CNN, NYT, Others From Media Briefing

Just a few hours after Trump warned during his CPAC speech that “we’re gonna do something about the media”, he did just that after the White House barred a number of news outlets from covering Sean Spicer’s Q&A session on Friday afternoon.  Spicer decided to hold an off-camera “gaggle” with reporters inside his West Wing office instead of the traditional on-camera briefing in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room according to press reports. 

Among the outlets not permitted to cover the gaggle were various news organizations that Trump has singled out in the past including CNN, The NYT, The Hill, Politico, BuzzFeed, the Daily Mail, BBC, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News.

Several non mainstream outlets were allowed into Spicer’s office, including Breitbart, the Washington Times and One America News Network.  Several other major news organizations were also let in to cover the gaggle. That group included ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Reuters and Bloomberg, however AP and Time have boycotted the event.

The White House Correspondents’ Association sharply criticized the decision.

“The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today’s gaggle is being handled by the White House,” Jeff Mason, the association’s president, said in a statement.  “We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not,” he added. “The board will be discussing this further with White House staff.”

Russia: “The New American Leaders Are Repeating Obama’s Mistakes”

The Trump-Putin honeymoon continues to chill… that is if Trump’s top foreign policy advisors speak for the president, which remains very much unclear.

As discussed yesterday, in the clearest sign yet that when it comes to diplomacy with Russia, there are two clear axes developing within the Trump administration: a Pence/Mattis/Haley foreign policy and a Trump/Bannon/Miller foreign policy, Vice President Mike Pence told the crowd at the Munich Security Conference that he would “hold Russia accountable” even as he vowed “unwavering support” for NATO. This prompted the following interesting scene moments later, as recounted by Bloomberg.

 Shortly after Vice President Mike Pence pledged to “hold Russia to account” while looking for common ground in a speech to European allies, a hawkish Russian legislator reached out to shake his hand as he passed through a crowded hotel corridor.

“Mr. Vice President, I am from Moscow and we hope we will reach those arrangements you were talking about,” said Alexei Pushkov, a member of the defense committee in the upper chamber of the Russian parliament. He enthusiastically told reporters afterward that he saw the Vice President’s smile as a good sign.

Senate confirms Steven Mnuchin as US Treasury secretary

The US Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump’s nomination for treasury secretary, a former Goldman Sachs banker and hedge fund manager.

The Senate confirmed Steve Mnuchin’s nomination to be secretary of the Department of the Treasury by a vote of 53-47.

Mr Mnuchin spent 17 years at Goldman before becoming a hedge fund manager, film financier and chairman of Pasadena-based OneWest Bank. His confirmation as secretary means that former Goldman employees hold two of the top economic jobs in the US, as former president and chief operating officer Gary Cohn left the bank to become director of the White House’s National Economic Council.

The Uncanny Similarities Between President Trump And FDR

Trump and Roosevelt: two peas in a pod?

For the record, I voted for Donald Trump. Not that I was in love with the guy. It was really a matter of default. On the Oklahoma state ballot, I had the choice of Hillary “Crimes Against Humanity + Here Comes World War III” Clinton, the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Mr. Trump. I chose Trump, a populist, sometimes demagogue and buffoon, but a real outsider who might shake the establishment up.

It is still early, but no one can say that the first two weeks of Trump’s administration have been boring or predictable. He loudly called the outgoing CIA director, John Brennan, a liar and said that the agency’s Russia dossier was all fake news. John F. Kennedy said just as much in private and paid the ultimate price for his honesty. Trump has apparently kept on his own private security services, since getting elected, to avoid the same fate as JFK.

President Trump canceled the Transpacific Partnership (TPP), which was bad for everybody involved, except the transnational corporations who bribed, extorted and blackmailed some Pac Rim countries into signing on. But even America’s corporate owned Senate and Congress were resisting. Why? Because a signatory country gives up its national sovereignty to a corporate picked “international arbitration commission”.

Under the TPP, any company can take any country’s laws to this “unbiased” group of corporate jocks and claim that they are an “infringement on trade”. Think GMOs, agricultural chemicals, cultural and religious laws, subsidies to promote national industries and infrastructure; media and internet regulations; medicine and social security; environmental, worker and civilian safety laws, taxation, and on and on. Once this unelected, corporate board rules against any and all national laws, then the signatory country’s legislature is required to abolish those law and regulations, in the name of “free trade”.

Federal Judge Grants Partial Block Of Trump Immigration Order

Symbolic war broke out between the Judicial and Executive branches shortly before 9pm on Saturday evening, when federal judge Ann Donnelly in the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn issued an emergency stay halting Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven mostly Muslim nations entering the US, and temporarily letting people who landed in U.S. with valid visa to remain on US territory, saying removing the refugees could cause “irreparable harm”.

The court’s ruling was in response to a petition filed on Saturday morning by the ACLU on behalf of the two Iraqi men who were initially detained at JFK International Airport on Friday night after Trump’s ban, and were subsequently granted entry into the US.

The ACLU issued the following statement following the court ruling:

 A federal judge tonight granted the American Civil Liberties Union’s request for a nationwide temporary injunction that will block the deportation of all people stranded in U.S. airports under President Trump’s new Muslim ban. The ACLU and other legal organizations filed a lawsuit on behalf of individuals subject to President Trump’s Muslim ban. The lead plaintiffs have been detained by the U.S. government and threatened with deportation even though they have valid visas to enter the United States.

Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project who argued the case, said:

“This ruling preserves the status quo and ensures that people who have been granted permission to be in this country are not illegally removed off U.S. soil.”

ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero, had this reaction to the ruling:

“Clearly the judge understood the possibility for irreparable harm to hundreds of immigrants and lawful visitors to this country. Our courts today worked as they should as bulwarks against government abuse or unconstitutional policies and orders. On week one, Donald Trump suffered his first loss in court.

However, while some media reports present the court ruling as a wholesale victory over Trump’s order, the stay only covers the airport detainees and those currently in transit, and it does not change the ban going forward.

Judge Donnelly has ordered the federal government to provide a list of all people currently held in detention. Where the stay falls short is that according to the ACLU’s lawyer, there still can be no new arrivals from countries under the ban, but the ACLU and other organizations are working to file additional suits to roll back other portions of the order.

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A detailed read of Judge Donnelly’s ruling, per Josh Blackman, reveals that the order states that petitioners have shown a “strong likelihood of success” and that their removal would violate the Due Process and Equal Protection clause, and cause irreparable injury. (Note, this order only applies to those already in the country, and thus protected by the Constitution; the same analysis does not apply to those outside the United States).

As a result, the court issues what is effectively a nationwide stay, enjoining all of the named respondents, including President Trump, Secretary Kelly, and the acting director of the CBP, from the “commission of further acts and misconduct  in violation of the Constitution as described in the Emergency Motion for Stay of Removal.

The key part is what they are enjoined from doing:

Iran’s Central Bank Allows Issue of Credit Cards for First Time

According to ISNA, the cards will be issued with the credit limits of $3,000, $10,000 and $15,000. It will be possible to use them both for purchases in stores and online.

“It would be wrong to think that these cards will be quickly adopted by the banking network,” the agency quoted Seif as saying.

The credit cards are set to be issued in the number depending on applications received by the banks.

The Central Bank’s decision comes after in January, the European Union, the United Nations, and partially the United States lifted their sanctions against the Islamic republic after the International Atomic Energy Agency verified Tehran’s compliance with a nuclear agreement reached in July 2015. The lifting of the sanctions cleared the way for Iran to bolster its oil production and economy.