Trump Threatens Government Shutdown Over Border Wall Funding

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened Sunday to shut down the government if Congress does not fund construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to thwart illegal immigration.

The U.S. leader claimed opposition Democrats need to give him “the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall!” and other tougher national immigration policy changes. But it was a splintered Republican majority bloc of lawmakers, along with unified Democratic opposition, that twice in recent weeks rejected immigration changes Trump supported.

Trump, in a Twitter comment, called for the U.S. to “finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!

Trump’s call for a wall, a favorite vow from his 2016 presidential campaign, would likely cost more than $20 billion, but Congress so far has allocated only $1.5 billion for extra border security. Democrats have often assailed the wall proposal, along with some Republicans. Trump, meanwhile. has long claimed Mexico would pay for it, but Mexican leaders have adamantly said they would not, leaving the U.S. president to plead with Congress to fund it.

Trump’s threatened government shutdown would come as spending authorization runs out again at the end of the current fiscal year at the end of September, about five weeks before nationwide congressional elections on November 6. U.S. lawmakers usually, but not always, reach a spending accord shortly before funding runs out or after a short funding hiatus, as occurred last year.

As he continued to lobby for a border wall, Trump issued a new warning to migrants looking to illegally cross the Mexican border into the United States, saying they would face “consequences” even if they are accompanied by children.

He said that many of the border crossers “are just using children for their own sinister purposes.”

“Congress must act on fixing the DUMBEST & WORST immigration laws anywhere in the world!” Trump said. After the recent defeat of immigration legislation, there is no current active move to change U.S. immigration policies and one of the two chambers of Congress, the House of Representatives, just left Washington for a five-week summer recess.

Trump contended that “Democrats, who want Open Borders and care little about Crime, are incompetent, but they have the Fake News Media almost totally on their side!”

Trump’s latest attacks against U.S. immigrants entering the U.S. illegally — most of them from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras — comes as his administration continues to deal with the fallout of his “zero tolerance” policy of weeks ago in which more than 2,500 children were separated from their parents as they crossed into the United States.

A month ago, Trump ended the breakup of families. Under a court order, the U.S. government reunited by last Thursday more than 1,800 children with their parents, other family members already in the U.S. or sponsor households.

But more than 700 more are awaiting reunification or can’t, for one reason or another, be reunified. A total of 431 parents were deported without their children or left of their own accord. Nearly 100 children have parents who can’t be located.

Dana Sabraw, a U.S. judge in San Diego, California, who is overseeing the reunification of families, said the government deserves “great credit” for the reunification of the 1,800 children with their parents or other family members. But he also said “the government is at fault for losing several hundred parents in the process and that’s where we go next.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Court Pick Kavanaugh’s Gun Views Are No Mystery

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh says he recognizes that gun, drug and gang violence “has plagued all of us.” Still, he believes the Constitution limits how far government can go to restrict gun use to prevent crime. 

As a federal appeals court judge, Kavanaugh made it clear in a 2011 dissent that he thinks Americans can keep most guns, even the AR-15 rifles used in some of the deadliest mass shootings. 

Kavanaugh’s nomination by President Donald Trump has delighted Second Amendment advocates. Gun law supporters worry that his ascendancy to America’s highest court would make it harder to curb the proliferation of guns. Kavanaugh has the support of the National Rifle Association, which posted a photograph of Kavanaugh and Trump across the top of its website. 

The Supreme Court has basically stayed away from major gun cases since its rulings in 2008 and 2010 declared a right to have a gun, at least in the home for the purpose of self-defense. 

Gun rights advocates believe Kavanaugh interprets the Second Amendment right to bear arms more broadly than does Anthony Kennedy, the justice he would replace. As a first step, some legal experts expect Kavanaugh would be more likely to vote for the court to hear a case that could expand the right to gun ownership or curtail a gun control law.

Kavanaugh would be a “big improvement” over Kennedy, said Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America. Kennedy sided with the majority in rulings in 2008 and 2010 overturning bans on handgun possession in the District of Columbia and Chicago, respectively, but some gun rights proponents believe he was a moderating influence.

“Kennedy tended to be all over the map” on the Second Amendment, Pratt said.

​’Dangerous views’

Former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords, the Arizona Democrat who was gravely wounded in a 2011 shooting at a constituent gathering, said in a written statement that Kavanaugh’s “dangerous views on the Second Amendment are far outside the mainstream of even conservative thought.”

She predicted that Kavanaugh would back the gun lobby’s agenda, “putting corporate interests before public safety.”

In his 2011 dissent in a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Kavanaugh argued that the district’s ban on semiautomatic rifles and its gun registration requirement were unconstitutional.

That case is known as “Heller II” because it followed the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller striking down the city’s ban on handguns in the home.

Kavanaugh said the Supreme Court held that handguns are constitutionally protected “because they have not traditionally been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens.”

“Gun bans and gun regulations that are not long-standing or sufficiently rooted in text, history and tradition are not consistent with the Second Amendment individual right,” he wrote in a point rejected by the majority.

Critics contend Kavanaugh’s analysis is flawed because AR-15s were not around during the early days of the republic.

Constitutional limit

In his dissent, Kavanaugh wrote that he had lived and worked in Washington for most of his life and was “acutely aware of the gun, drug and gang violence that has plagued all of us.”

He said few government responsibilities are more significant than fighting violent crime. “That said, the Supreme Court has long made clear that the Constitution disables the government from employing certain means to prevent, deter or detect violent crime,” he wrote. 

He said it was unconstitutional to ban the most popular semiautomatic rifle, the AR-15, since it accounted for 5.5 percent of firearms by 2007 and over 14 percent of rifles produced in the U.S. for the domestic market.

He said semiautomatic rifles had been commercially available since at least 1903, “are quite common in the United States” and the Supreme Court said in a 1994 ruling that they “traditionally have been widely accepted as lawful possessions.”

Semiautomatic rifles were used in several mass shootings in recent years, including the February killing of 17 people at a Florida high school.

Kavanaugh rejected the majority’s reasoning that semiautomatic handguns were sufficient for self-defense, saying: “That’s a bit like saying books can be banned because people can always read newspapers.”

He belittled the description of the guns as “assault weapons,” saying that handguns could be called the “quintessential” assault weapons because they are used much more than other guns in violent crimes. 

He was equally dismissive of Washington’s gun registration protocol, saying it had not been traditionally required in the nation and “remains highly unusual today.”

Machine guns

Still, Kavanaugh supported the ban on full automatics or machine guns, reasoning that they “were developed for the battlefield and were never in widespread civilian use.”

In 2016, Kavanaugh dissented when two of his colleagues lifted an order blocking the city from enforcing a limit on issuing licenses to carry concealed firearms.

The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence said the dissent shows Kavanaugh believes the district’s “good reason” requirement for concealed-carry permit applicants is unconstitutional. His views on that subject drew more scrutiny after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 days ago in a Hawaii case that people have the right to openly carry guns in public for self-defense. 

 

Phil Mendelson, a Democrat and chairman of the D.C. Council, said Kavanaugh’s dissent made clear that “his views on gun control are on the extreme side.” Councilmember Mary M. Cheh, a Democrat and professor of constitutional law at George Washington University, said she’s “worried about the shift to the right, for sure.”

Some legal experts believe Kavanaugh’s confirmation would make it more likely the court would hear another potentially groundbreaking Second Amendment case. Only four of nine justices need to vote in favor of reviewing a case.

UCLA law school professor Adam Winkler, author of Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America, said Kavanaugh could become that crucial fourth vote because three justices — Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito Jr. — all have voiced support for the court to take on Second Amendment cases.

Still, it takes five justices to win a case and Chief Justice John Roberts may turn out to be as reluctant as Kennedy to further define the law.

Georgia State University law professor Eric Segall said the court’s recent silence on gun laws has fueled speculation that neither the conservative justices nor their liberal colleagues knew how Kennedy would vote. Segall suspects the Supreme Court would be more likely to review a Second Amendment case if Kavanaugh is confirmed because there is less uncertainty about where he stands compared with Kennedy.

“The lower courts are just all over the place, reaching different results on different gun laws. The court has to provide guidance at some point, and it will,” Segall said.


УПЦ КП проводить ходу «За єдину помісну церкву» (трансляція)

Хресна хода відбувається центральними вулицями Києва


ІААФ зберігає заборону на виступи росіян через допінг

Керівний орган світової легкої атлетики, Міжнародна асоціація легкоатлетичних федерацій (ІААФ) зберігає пов’язану із допінговими порушеннями заборону на виступ російських спортсменів, але дозволяє окремим із них змагатися в статусі «нейтральних атлетів».

Це рішення оголошене за 10 днів до старту чемпіонату Європи в Берліні.

«Рада ІААФ одностайно ухвалила резолюцію про те, що в цей час не буде відновлено повноваження Російської федерації легкої атлетики», – заявив Руне Андерсен, який очолює підрозділ ІААФ із розв’язання російського питання. Водночас він відзначив прогрес російської сторони з «безлічі значущих питань».

В окремій заяві, оприлюдненій пізно ввечері 27 липня, ІААФ заявила, що ще двоє російських спортсменів виконали «критерії відповідності», щоб отримати можливість у 2018 році виступати на міжнародних змаганнях як нейтральні атлети.

Від листопада 2015 року, після виявлення широкомасштабної та підтримуваної державою допінгової програми в Росії повноваження російської федерації як члена ІААФ були призупинені.


AP Fact Check: Trump Falsely Claims Historic Turnaround

President Donald Trump falsely claimed he’s pulled off “an economic turnaround of historic proportions.”

Speaking at the White House Friday after the government reported that the economy grew at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter, Trump declared that the gains were sustainable and would only accelerate. Few economists outside the administration agree with this claim.

His remarks followed events Thursday in Iowa and Illinois, where Trump falsely repeated a claim that the U.S. economy is the best “we’ve ever had” and incorrectly asserted that Canada’s trade market is “totally closed.”

 

WATCH: Trump Says Economy Numbers Sustainable, But Experts Doubtful

A look at the claims:

Historic turnaround

TRUMP: “We’ve accomplished an economic turnaround of historic proportions.” — remarks Friday at the White House.

THE FACTS: Trump didn’t inherit a fixer-upper economy.

The U.S. economy just entered its 10th year of growth, a recovery that began under President Barack Obama, who inherited the Great Recession. The data show that the falling unemployment rate and gains in home values reflect the duration of the recovery, rather than any major changes made since 2017 by the Trump administration.

While Trump praised the 4.1 percent annual growth rate in the second quarter, it exceeded that level four times during the Obama presidency. But quarterly figures are volatile and strength in one quarter can be reversed in the next. While Obama never achieved the 3 percent annual growth that Trump hopes to see, he came close. The economy grew 2.9 percent in 2015.

The economy faces two significant structural drags that could keep growth closer to 2 percent than 3 percent: an aging population, which means fewer people are working and more are retired, and weak productivity growth, which means that those who are working aren’t increasing their output as quickly as in the past.

Both of those factors are largely beyond Trump’s control.

Trade deficit

TRUMP: “One of the biggest wins in the report, and it is, indeed a big one, is that the trade deficit — very dear to my heart because we’ve been ripped off by the world — has dropped.”

THE FACTS: Trump is correct that a lower trade deficit helped growth in the April-June quarter, but it’s not necessarily for a positive reason.

The president has been floating plans to slap import taxes on hundreds of billions of dollars of foreign goods, which has led to the risk of retaliatory tariffs by foreign companies on U.S. goods.

This threat of an escalating trade war has led many companies to increase their levels of trade before any tariffs hit, causing the temporary boost in exports being celebrated by Trump.

Richard Moody, chief economist at Regions Financial, said the result is that the gains from trade in the second quarter will not be repeated.

​Best economy ever

TRUMP: “We’re having the best economy we’ve ever had in the history of our country.” — remarks in Granite City, Illinois.

THE FACTS: Even allowing for Trump’s tendency to exaggerate, this overstates things.

The unemployment rate is near a 40-year low and growth is solid, but by many measures the current economy trails other periods in U.S. history. Average hourly pay, before adjusting for inflation, is rising around a 2.5 percent annual rate, below the 4 percent level reached in the late 1990s when the unemployment rate was as low as it is now.

Pay was growing even faster in the late 1960s, when the jobless rate remained below 4 percent for nearly four years. And economic growth topped 4 percent for three full years from 1998 through 2000, an annual rate it hasn’t touched since.

Canada market closed

TRUMP: “The Canadians, you have a totally closed market … they have a 375 percent tax on dairy products, other than that it’s wonderful to deal. And we have a very big deficit with Canada, a trade deficit.” — remarks in Peosta, Iowa.

THE FACTS: No, it’s not totally closed. Because of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada’s market is almost totally open to the United States. Each country has a few products that are still largely protected, such as dairy in Canada and sugar in the United States.

Trump also repeated his claim that the U.S. has a trade deficit with Canada, but that is true only in goods. When services are included, such as insurance, tourism, and engineering, the U.S. had a $2.8 billion surplus with Canada last year.


Trump Says Economy Numbers Sustainable, But Experts Doubtful

Friday’s positive numbers on the U.S. economic growth are “very, very sustainable,” according to U.S. President Donald Trump. His comments came after figures showed U.S. GDP growth hit 4.1 percent in the second quarter. The question is whether that growth is sustainable, as VOA’s Bill Gallo reports from the White House.


Pentagon Creating Software ‘Do Not Buy’ List to Keep Out Russia, China

The Pentagon is working on a software “do not buy” list to block vendors who use software code originating from Russia and China, a top Defense Department acquisitions official said Friday.

Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters the Pentagon has been working for six months on a “do not buy” list of software vendors. The list is meant to help the Department of Defense’s acquisitions staff and industry partners avoid purchasing problematic code for the Pentagon and suppliers.

“What we are doing is making sure that we do not buy software that has Russian or Chinese provenance, for instance, and quite often that’s difficult to tell at first glance because of holding companies,” she told reporters gathered in a conference room near her Pentagon office.

The Pentagon has worked closely with the intelligence community, she said, adding “we have identified certain companies that do not operate in a way consistent with what we have for defense standards.”

Identifying these companies has meant that they are put on a list that is shared with the Pentagon’s acquisitions staff.

Lord did not provide any further detail on the list.

She also said an upcoming report on the U.S. military supply chain will show the Pentagon depends on Chinese components for some military equipment, a top Defense Department official said Friday.

The industrial base report will show “there is a large focus on dependency on foreign countries for supply, and China figures very prominently.”


Trump Thanks North Korea for Return of US War Remains

U.S. President Donald Trump extended a word of gratitude to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Friday for returning to U.S. authorities what are believed to be the remains of 55 U.S. service members who were killed in the Korean War more than six decades ago.

“I want to thank Chairman Kim for keeping his word,” Trump told reporters outside the White House. “We have many others coming, but I want to thank Chairman Kim in front of the media for fulfilling a promise that he made to me and I’m sure he will continue to fulfill that promise as they search and search and search.”

The transfer of the remains is the beginning of the fulfillment of an agreement reached between Kim and Trump during their historic Singapore summit last month.

About 7,700 U.S. soldiers are listed as missing from the Korean War, and 5,300 of the remains are believed to still be in North Korea.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon Friday the return of the remains may help remove a cloud of uncertainty that some grieving families have been forced to grapple with for decades.

“We have families that … have never had closure. They’ve never gone out and had the body returned, so what we’re seeing here is an opportunity to give those families closure, to make certain that we continue to look for those remaining.”

The White House said Thursday that a U.S. military plane transporting the remains departed Wonsan, North Korea. The plane landed Friday morning at Osan Air Base near the South Korean capital of Seoul, where the White House said a formal repatriation ceremony will be held on August 1.

The remains will be transferred from the base to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in Hawaii, where forensic work will be done to identify them.

Friday (June 27) marks the 65th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 war that split the communist North and the democratic South.

The remains were the first returned to the U.S. since a joint U.S.-North Korean effort between 1996 and 2005 recovered what were believed to have been the remains of 220 U.S. soldiers.

Since then, U.S. efforts to bring more American service members home have been slowed due to escalating tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs.

White House Bureau Chief Steve Herman and Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb contributed to this report.

 

 


Пенсійний фонд повністю виплатив пенсії за липень – Гройсман

Пенсійний фонд України повністю завершив фінансування виплати пенсій за липень, повідомив прем’єр-міністр Володимир Гройсман у Facebook.

«Інформація від Пенсійного фонду: щойно повністю завершили фінансування виплати пенсій за липень. Моє доручення виконано», – написав прем’єр.

25 липня на урядовій нараді Володимир Гройсман повідомив, що дав доручення до кінця поточного тижня врегулювати ситуацію із затримкою виплат пенсій та призначив службове розслідування щодо дій керівника Пенсійного фонду України та керівників у регіонах.

З 21 липня у Києві та деяких інших містах спостерігається затримка з виплатою пенсій.

У Пенсійному фонді пояснили, що зміщення строків виплати пенсій у липні зумовлене розривами надходження єдиного соціального внеску, та заявили, що всі пенсії будуть повністю виплачені.


Bolton May Meet Russian Security Official By End of Summer

U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton may meet the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, by the end of summer, Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Friday.

Ryabkov said a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was also being discussed but there had been some difficulties over scheduling.

“We are looking into different options of where minister Lavrov and Secretary of State Pompeo could possibly meet, including the sidelines of international events,” Ryabkov said.

 



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