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Remarks about Women and their bodies emerging from a Presidential Candidate were “cruel, frightening, and it hurts,” says Michelle Obama

Obama did not mention the name Donald Trump during a rousing and highly emotional campaign speech for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire

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First lady Michelle Obama speaks during a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Manchester, New Hampshire, Oct. 13, 2016. VOA

October 14, 2016: First lady Michelle Obama said on Thursday that remarks about women and their bodies emerging from one of the presidential candidates were “cruel, frightening, and it hurts.”

Obama did not mention the name Donald Trump during a rousing and highly emotional campaign speech for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. But she was clearly referring to fresh allegations from four women who say Trump groped and forced kisses on them.

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“This is not normal, This is not politics as usual,” Obama said. “This is disgraceful. It is intolerable. And it doesn’t matter what party you belong to — Democrat, Republican, independent — no woman deserves to be treated this way. None of us deserves this kind of abuse. … This has got to stop right now.”

Young women listen to first lady Michelle Obama speak during a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Manchester, N.H., Oct. 13, 2016. VOA
Young women listen to first lady Michelle Obama speak during a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Manchester, N.H., Oct. 13, 2016. VOA

The first lady said she was not just concerned about “a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behaviour” and how that affects young girls and boys. She said the entire world looks toward the United States as a model for women’s rights and education.

Moral authority

“But if we have a president who routinely degrades women, who brags about sexually assaulting women, then how can we maintain our moral authority in the world?” Obama asked. “How can we continue to be a beacon of freedom and justice and human dignity?”

Trump was just as forceful in defending himself against allegations made by women in The New York Times, The Palm Beach (Florida) Post, and PeopleMagazine that he had groped them. He called their stories “totally, absolutely false.”

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“These claims are all fabricated. They’re pure fiction and outright lies,” Trump told supporters Thursday in Florida. “These events never, ever happened, and the people who said them fully understand.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the South Florida Fairgrounds and Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., Oct. 13, 2016. VOA
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the South Florida Fairgrounds and Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., Oct. 13, 2016. VOA

Trump said that he had “substantial evidence to dispute” the claims and that he would make it public at an “appropriate time very soon.”

Trump said Hillary and former President Bill Clinton know “very well” the stories are false. He called the U.S. media a “political special interest” allied with the Clintons in an effort to destroy his bid for the White House.

He demanded that the Times retract its story and threatened to sue the newspaper. An attorney for the Times said it stood by the story and welcomed the chance to meet Trump in court.

Clinton’s response

Hillary Clinton’s only response to the newest Trump allegations was to recommend that people watch Michelle Obama’s speech, saying the first lady made a “compelling and strong case about the stakes in the election.”

Seventy-four year-old Jessica Leeds told the Times that she sat next to Trump on an airline flight more than 30 years ago. She alleged Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt before she fled to another seat in the back of the plane.

“He was like an octopus,” Leeds said. “His hands were everywhere.” She said she saw Trump two years later at a charity event and that he started insulting her.

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Another woman, Rachel Crooks, described her 2005 encounter with Trump, telling the Times that she met him for the first time outside an elevator in his Manhattan building and that he almost immediately started kissing her on the mouth.

Mindy McGillivray talked about her meeting with Trump to The Palm Beach Post, saying he grabbed her rear end backstage after a show at his Mar-a-Lago resort, where she was assisting a photographer.

Supporters of Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump recite the Pledge of Allegiance at a campaign rally in Panama City, Florida, Oct. 11, 2016. VOA
Supporters of Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump recite the Pledge of Allegiance at a campaign rally in Panama City, Florida, Oct. 11, 2016. VOA

Reporter’s account

People Magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff talked about interviewing Trump and his then-pregnant wife, Melania, at Mar-a-Lago in 2005 when he took her into a room and “pushed me against the wall and forced his tongue down my throat.”

Stoynoff said Trump told her they were going to have an affair.

McGillivray and Leeds said they both shouted at their television sets during last Sunday’s Trump-Clinton debate when they heard him deny ever forcing himself on women.

Trump was answering a question about a leaked 2005 videotape in which he bragged that he could grope women because he is a “star.” He dismissed the remarks as “locker-room banter,” but he apologized and said he hated what he had said.

The allegations against Trump may have wrecked his presidential hopes.

RealClearPolitics, a political website, said Clinton nationally now had a 6 percentage-point lead over Trump with the election less than a month away.

Many fellow Republicans have seemingly conceded the White House to Clinton and are now focused on maintaining control of Congress. (VOA)

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Trump Endorses Short-Term Bipartisan Fix For Obama Care

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Washington, October 18: US President Donald Trump on Wednesday expressed support for a bipartisan initiative to restore the Obama Care subsidies he suspended last week.

“We have been involved and this is a short-term deal because we think ultimately block grants going to the states is going to be the answer,” Trump told reporters at the White House, Efe news reported.

Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wa.) announced on Tuesday an accord “in principle” to re-instate for two years the cost-sharing reduction payments, known as CSRs, that Trump halted last week.

The proposal would at the same time give states “more flexibility in the variety of choices they can give to consumers”, Alexander said.

Alexander, the chair of the Senate Health Committee, received encouragement from the President last weekend for his attempt to find common ground with the Democrats.

“Lamar has been working very, very hard with … his colleagues on the other side, and, Patty Murray is one of them in particular, and they’re coming up, and they’re fairly close to a short-term solution. The solution will be for about a year or two years, and it will get us over this intermediate hump,” Trump said on Tuesday.

Trump signed an executive order last Thursday loosening some of the requirements set down for health insurance plans by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the signature domestic policy initiative of his predecessor Barack Obama.

He signed another directive terminating the CSR payments late Thursday night.

The President, who vowed to repeal and replace the ACA – popularly known as ObamaCare – has grown frustrated by the failure of the Republican-controlled Congress to pass a bill undoing the 2010 legislation.

“This takes care of the next two years,” Alexander said of his and Murray’s proposal. “After that, we can have a full-fledged debate on where we go long-term on health care.”

Murray, meanwhile, said that the plan would protect people from sharp increases in premiums resulting from Trump’s decision to end the CSR payments.

“Overall we are very pleased with this agreement,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said, praising the deal for including “anti-sabotage provisions” to prevent the administration from undermining the ACA.

The Republican lawmakers were reluctant to comment on the Alexander-Murray accord.

“We haven’t had a chance to think about the way forward yet,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said after meeting with his Republican colleagues.

Despite his encouraging words for Alexander, Trump kept up his criticism of the ACA.

“Obama Care is virtually dead. At best you could say it’s in its final legs. The premiums are going through the roof. The deductibles are so high that people don’t get to use it. Obama Care is a disgrace to our nation and we are solving the problem of Obama Care,” he said. (IANS)

 

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Donald Trump Expands Travel Ban, Restricts Visitors from 8 Countries

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President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before boarding Air Force One at Morristown,Municipal airportN.J. (source: VOA)

Washington, September 25:— The revised US travel ban will restrict travellers from eight countries to visit the United States, says an order signed by President Donald Trump on Sunday. The new travel ban, which takes effect on, October 18, will restrict residents of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

According to the U.S. officials, these countries have refused to share information about terrorism and other issues with the United States.The new travel ban drops Sudan from the list but adds Chad, Venezuela and North Korea to the original six Muslim-majority countries.

The announcement late Sunday came as Trump’s previous temporary travel ban on visitors from six Muslim-majority countries was expiring, 90 days after it went into effect. The earlier order had barred citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S. unless they had a “credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

US President Donald Trump’s travel ban inflicts “Significant harm” on Muslim Americans

Reaction to the president’s order from human-rights organizations and other groups that work with immigrants was largely negative.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, said the latest version of the “Muslim ban” that Trump tried to introduce on taking office earlier this year as part of the administration’s “ugly white supremacist agenda.”

Trump said in the new proclamation: “As president, I must act to protect the security and interests of the United States and its people. The restrictions announced are tough and tailored, and they send a message to foreign governments that they must work with us to enhance security.”

Trump last week called for a “tougher” travel ban after a bomb partially exploded on a London subway.Trump last week called for a “tougher” travel ban after a bomb partially exploded on a London subway.

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US will Provide $32 Million to Rohingyas As Humanitarian Aid Package

The United States state department will provide a humanitarian aid package to the Rohingya Muslim minority who have fled violence in Myanmar and crossed into neighbouring Bangladesh

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The US will provide a humanitarian aid package worth $32 million to the Rohingya Muslim minority Source: Wikimedia Common

New York, September 21, 2017: The US will provide a humanitarian aid package worth $32 million to the Rohingya Muslim minority who have fled violence in Myanmar and crossed into neighbouring Bangladesh, the State Department announced.

The funding “reflects the US commitment to help address the unprecedented magnitude of suffering and urgent humanitarian needs of the Rohingya people,” said the State Department’s Acting Assistant Secretary Simon Henshaw on Wednesday at the ongoing UN General Assembly here.

He added that the US hoped its contribution would encourage other countries to provide more funding as well, reports CNN.

The aid package comes a day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke with Myanmar de facto leader of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi and “welcomed the Myanmar government’s commitment to end the violence in Rakhine state and to allow those displaced by the violence to return home,” according to the State Department.

Tillerson “urged the Myanmar government and military to facilitate humanitarian aid for displaced people in the affected areas, and to address deeply troubling allegations of human rights abuses and violations”.

The State Department also said the aid “will help provide emergency shelter, food security, nutritional assistance, health assistance, psychosocial support, water, sanitation and hygiene, livelihoods, social inclusion, non-food items, disaster and crisis risk reduction, restoring family links, and protection to the over 400,000 displaced persons”.

ALSO READ: Melbourne Sikhs join protests in Australia against Rohingya Muslims massacre.

Henshaw said Wednesday’s announcement brought the total US aid to Myanmar refugees, including Rohingya, to nearly $95 million in fiscal year 2017.

Some 415,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since the ongoing violence broke out on August 25 when Rohingya rebels attacked police checkposts in Rakhine resulting in the deaths os 12 security personnel, CNN reported.

Speaking at the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence called on the world body “to take strong and swift action to bring this crisis” of violence against the Rohingya people in Myanmar to an end.

“The United States renews our call on Burma’s security forces to end their violence immediately and support diplomatic efforts for a long-term solution.

“President (Donald) Trump and I also call on this security council and the United Nations to take strong and swift action to bring this crisis to an end.”

Pence also spoke about how the violence in Myanmar is a perfect example of the kind of problem the UN should help solve. (IANS)