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Fri, 24th February 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “united states congress” Tag

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:

Emerging Markets -An Update

Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said he won’t seek a second term.
Korea’s parliament voted 234-56 to impeach President Park.
Czech National Bank raised the possibility of negative rates to help manage the currency.
A Brazilian Supreme Court justice removed Senate chief Renan Calheiros from his post, but was later overturned by the full court.
Brazil central bank signaled a possibly quicker easing cycle.

In the EM equity space as measured by MSCI, UAE (+6.2%), Poland (+6.0%), and Mexico (+5.9%) have outperformed this week, while Czech Republic (-0.6%), Hong Kong (-0.2%), and China (+0.6%) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, MSCI EM rose 2.8% this week while MSCI DM rose 2.8%.
In the EM local currency bond space, Brazil (10-year yield -60 bp), the Philippines (-59 bp), and Indonesia (-40 bp) have outperformed this week, while India (10-year yield +20 bp), China (+5 bp), and Czech Republic (-1 bp) have underperformed.  To put this in better context, the 10-year UST yield rose 3 bp this week to 2.41%. 
In the EM FX space, BRL (+3.1% vs. USD), COP (+2.9% vs. USD), and CLP (+2.8% vs. USD) have outperformed this week, while EGP (-2.3% vs. USD), CNH (-0.8% vs. USD), and SGD (-0.7% vs. USD) have underperformed.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said he won’t seek a second term.  He cited family reasons.  The next chief executive will be selected in March by a committee of 1,200.  China has veto power over the final selection, and so it’s clear that another establishment leader will be chosen. 

FBI clears Hillary Clinton on classified emails

FBI Director says the case against Hillary Clinton mishandling classified emails is closed again

FBI Director James Coney released an official statement saying that Hillary Clinton has been cleared, or that “we have not changed the conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.”

Hillary Accepted Qatar Money Without Notifying Government, While She Was Head Of State Dept

Three weeks ago, when we first reported that Qatar had offered to pay the Clinton Foundation $1 million after a hacked Podesta email disclosed that the ambassador of Qatar “Would like to see WJC [William Jefferson Clinton] ‘for five minutes’ in NYC, to present $1 million check that Qatar promised for WJC’s birthday in 2011”, we said that in this particular case, the Clinton Foundation may also be in violation of State Department ethics codes.


SecState Hillary Clinton, left, meets the Prime Minister of Qatar

Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani in 2010.

As we said in early October, while this has been seen by critics of the Clinton Foundation as yet another instance of influence pandering and “pay-to-play”, this time there may actually be consequences for the Clinton Foundation: according to the State Department, the previously undisclosed donation suggests there may be an ethics violation by the foundation, even though the State of Qatar is shown on the foundation’s website as having given at least that amount. There is no date listed for the donation.

Underscoring the potential flagrant abuse of ethical guidelines if the Qatar payment is confirmed, Hillary Clinton promised the U.S. government that while she served as secretary of state the foundation would not accept new funding from foreign governments without seeking clearance from the State Department’s ethics office. The agreement was designed to dispel concerns that U.S. foreign policy could be swayed by donations to the foundation.

10 reasons why Hillary Clinton’s victory in US Presidential election would be ‘disastrous’ for India

The India-US relationship would be under threat if Democratic party candidate Hillary Clinton wins the upcoming presidential election. According to the US- based political analyst Arvind Kumar, Hillary’s victory would be a disaster for India. In a detailed article published in the Sunday Guardian, the politics expert has shown how the Clintons have always been hostile to India and pursued policies against India not only vis-a-vis Pakistan but also in relation to the Indian space programme and Hindus. Considering the way Hillary’s husband and former US President, Bill Clinton, carried out his hostility towards India, it is highly unlikely that she would chart a different course of action if she wins the election. Kumar has pointed out that Hillary’s record as the US Secretary of State under President Barack Obama has also been anti-India in many aspects.

Here are 10 reasons that would make Hillary’s win a disaster for India, according to Kumar

1. Hillary Clinton’s victory would bring back the US hostility of the 1990s towards India under Bill Clinton

Kumar says that Hillary Clinton’ victory in the election would bring back the US’ hostility of the 1990s towards India under the presidency of Bill Clinton. He writes that India’s relationship with the US took a sudden downturn after Bill Clinton took office in 1993. For nearly a year, Clinton did not appoint an ambassador to India and he opposed India on a number of fronts. Kumar says Bill Clinton took a number of steps to disarm and weaken India by preventing access to technology and carried out a sustained attack on the Indian economy by imposing several economic sanctions.

2. Bill Clinton’s administration took several measures to “retard” development of India’s space and technology sectors

Kumar writes that in 1991, Senator Joe Biden, who is now the US Vice-President, introduced an amendment in the bill granting aid to Russia. The Bill made it mandatory for Russia that it would not sell cryogenic engines for India’s space programme. The Clinton administration took several measures to “retard” development of India’s space and technology sectors. The then US government also blocked the sale of Cray supercomputers that were approved under the
Ronald Reagan administration. In contrast, the Clinton administration allowed the sale of these supercomputers to China.

WikiLeaks emails throw light on PM Narendra Modi’s Silicon Valley visit

The latest batch of emails released by WikiLeaks from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta gives an insight into the planning done by the Obama administration to ensure a successfull visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Silicon Valley in 2015.

More than a month and half before Narendra Modi was to visit Silicon Valley in the last week of September, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal wrote an email to John Podesta, who had by then joined the Clinton Campaign, seeking his advice and input on making the trip successful and also checking if the former US president Bill Clinton can co-host a clean energy event with the Modi at Stanford.

In an email to Podesta dated August 12, Biswal said there is a lot of interest in the Indian government to focus on two themes for the Silicon Valley visit.

First is the digital economy, she wrote and added that here the focus will be a visit to google and some announcements on Google’s massive investments in India, she said.

“The other focus is on clean energy. Here the Indians want to visit Tesla and hopefully announce a Tesla partnership/venture with India focusing on their battery storage system for solar,” Biswal said.

“The other major effort is around a clean energy roundtable with Stanford that Commerce had been working on. It now it seems (Commerce Secretary Penny) Pritzker cannot make it to California and the Indians are looking for some other USG (US government) principal to participate with industry, academia and government,” she wrote.

Over 70% Of US Doctors Surveyed Say Hillary’s Health Concerns Are “Serious, Possibly Disqualifying”

On a day when Hillary Clinton proclaimed the media biased (against her), labeling the GOP as “sad, misogynistic sexists,” a survey of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) found that nearly 71% of physicians thought concerns about Hillary Clinton’s health are “serious – could be disqualifying for the position of President.”

With her lead over Trump tumbling to six-week lows following a poor performance at last night’s “commander-in-chief” forum, and a press conference focused on what she was not asked (or didn’t answer)…

Source: RealClearPolitics

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has called “sexism” on the GOP. As The Hill reports,

The Democratic nominee, along with top surrogates and allies, has seized on Trump’s recent comment that Clinton does not have a “presidential look,” using the comment to depict him as sexist.

The former secretary of State also laid into Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus for his tweet that she looked “angry” during an MSNBC presidential forum.

Clinton didn’t rule out sexism when asked if she was being treated differently in the political race because she is a woman.

“I’m going to let all of you ponder that last question,” the first female presidential nominee replied with a grin at a press conference.

“I think there will be a lot of Ph.D. theses and popular journalism writing on that subject for years to come. I don’t take my advice and I don’t take anything seriously that comes from the RNC.”

Brazilian Senate to Hold Vote on Rousseff Impeachment on Wednesday Morning

Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff attends the final session of debate and voting on Rousseff's impeachment trial in Brasilia, Brazil, August 29, 2016Brazil’s Supreme Court President Ricardo Lewandowski had held consultations with senators and was ready to schedule the special session for the vote on 11 a.m. local time (14:00 GMT), the Globo news portal reported on Tuesday.

The portal added that if 54 senators voted for the impeachment, Rousseff would be removed from office, otherwise the impeachment would be terminated and she would resume the presidency. In May, the upper house of the Brazilian parliament voted 55-22 to start impeachment proceedings against Rousseff after she was accused of concealing the country’s budget deficit ahead of the 2014 election. Rousseff regards the impeachment proceedings as an illegal coup attempt. Rousseff has been suspended from office for 180 days. Vice President Michel Temer has being fulfilling the functions of the presidency during that period.

Clinton Presidency Would Likely Take Hawkish ‘Cold War’ Stance With Russia

A 2014 US-backed coup in Ukraine followed by a referendum, in which Crimea voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia, sent Washington-Moscow ties on a downward spiral that continues to feed distrust between the two global powers.

“If Clinton is elected, there’s going to be some level of continuity with [US President Barack] Obama because they share the same type of worldview and to some degree a similar foreign policy,” University of Dayton Political Science Professor Daniel Birdsong told Sputnik.

Birdsong explained the mindset as one in which engagement is primarily diplomatic, and if military intervention is involved, a reluctance to deploy US “boots on the ground,” a reliance on airpower and the use of local proxies in combat zones.

The approach, he said, is reminiscent of President Bill Clinton’s interventions in the Balkans in the 1990s.

The hawkish image projected by Clinton could be rooted in her being the first female presidential candidate from a major political party, Birdsong explained.

“She has to contend with a stereotype of women being weaker on national defense, on military engagement,” Birdsong said. “Her taking a muscular stance on foreign policy, or with Russia more specifically, has to do with that.”

Unrealistic to expect Congress to pass GST bill in poisonous atmosphere: Jairam Ramesh

Charging Prime Minister Narendra Modi with “poisoning” the political atmosphere,senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has said it is unrealistic for theBJP-led NDA government to expect his party to cooperate and facilitate passage of the GST bill in the Monsoon session of Parliament.

“Government cannot do constitutional murder in Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Meghalaya and expect GST (bill) to be passed,” Ramesh told PTI here today.

“Murder process is still going on in Meghalaya and Manipur. Government is doing its best to cut and clip the wings of the Supreme Court and I think this is dangerous for our democracy,” the former Union Minister alleged.

“Mr Modi wants to silence all opposition. He wants to silence opposition parties and he wants to silence the Supreme Court. This is unacceptable to Indians,” he said.

“There is a certain political environment that is required for bills to be passed and Mr Modi has done everything possible to poison the atmosphere. In this atmosphere to expect the Congress to cooperate, I think it’s been very unrealistic,” the Rajya Sabha member said.

He claimed that the government is looking at the Goods and Services Tax (GST) purely from the point of view of big industries.

“We are looking at GST from an industry, trade and consumer point of view. We want GST to be not only pro-industry, but also pro-consumer. GST is a major innovation, we want GST. GST will benefit, if properly implemented,” the Congress spokesperson said.

But, he also pointed out that the bill would not usher in “full GST”.