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Let’s Discuss Mutual Interests; Let’s Go Through Unified Understanding

Modi has to show diplomatic expertise. He knows that India cannot have enmity with the US

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mutual interests
Mike Pompeo came in advance for the final round of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's face-to-face meeting with American President Donald Trump. Wikimedia Commons

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came in advance for the final round of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face-to-face meeting with American President Donald Trump. Trump sent him to fix the schedule of the two top leaders’ meeting. It was just before June 28 that a bilateral meeting would be held in the G-20 summit in Japan. But with Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar, Pompeo also held an advance meeting basically for themselves. Trump praised Modi with a tweet as soon as his second innings started, but his main goal was to ensure that India withdrew tax on US items – India has taxed medicine, cars, toys, and this tax had to be reduced.

US goods and services trade with India was estimated at $142.1 billion (2018). But the volume of this trade has now reduced. There is now a US trade deficit with India. There are complaints that India has increased tariffs in 29 of the US products that are coming into India.

Trump has opposed the buying of the S-800 TRIUMF missile system of India from Russia. From 2020, this missile will be available in India. According to the American consumers legislation, the US authorities are opposing this defence agreement. According to US law, the country will ban those who enter into a defence agreement with Russia. Again, the angry US authorities made it more difficult for Indians to get an opportunity to get H-1 visas. The cost of US visas has increased. As a result, Indian students and information technology workers are in trouble.

mutual interests
There is now a US trade deficit with India. Wikimedia Commons

There is also trouble on the Iran issue. In August 2012, the Trump administration issued fresh financial sanctions on Iran. US officials wanted India to freeze diplomatic ties with Iran, but New Delhi did not care about American threats. India did not change Modi’s policy on Iran. Understanding the situation in India, US officials have also given a concession to Iran on this issue till May this year. Now see what they do. In ‘self-interest’, there has been a peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Peace negotiations with the Taliban for India is not very happy news.

Support within the country is giving Modi the strength to fight a world leader like Trump. He is able to bargain. If a government is not backed by a majority in Parliament, if it is weak, or a patchwork coalition government, the government would be weak internationally.

However, the foreign policy of Trump is also difficult to understand – trade war with China; Russian sanctions; a shaky deal with North Korea; a fight with a neighbour like Canada and problems with Mexico. After the end of the Cold War, US relations with India have been consistently good. In 2008, George W. Bush and then Barack Obama finalised the nuclear deal with India. Then, the relationship between the two countries became stronger. After Trump became President, there were dark clouds over the bilateral relationship. But Trump is an amazing character. He often conflicts with a lot of small issues without emphasizing the large context of relations between two countries.

mutual interests
Modi has to show diplomatic expertise. He knows that India cannot have enmity with the US. Wikimedia Commons

Here, Modi has to show diplomatic expertise. So far, both Modi and Jaishankar have been successful on this front. Modi knows that India cannot have enmity with the US. However, submission in the name of friendship cannot be called successful diplomacy either. So both sides are seeking good relations, and Modi and Trump are fighting nervous wars in diplomatic negotiations.

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Meanwhile, another US presidential election is coming up. What if Trump is elected President once again? Ahead of the 2020 election, he is now becoming more conservative and more aggressive. The primary reading of foreign policy is that every sovereign state has some expectations which is called desire and real evaluation of how much is possible in the expectation is called effective desire or effective expectation. Now India should not expect that all claims of Modi will be accepted by Trump. Or India will accept all expectations of Trump. There is always a difference between these basic needs and effective demands. There is a conflict between the demands of the two sovereign states. The path of getting through these conflicts is wide.

All the countries are plagued by various problems today. The British ruled India once, but imagine what is happening in London today. In this situation, almost all sovereign states are becoming more protectionist. There is increasing nationalist Swadeshi conservatism but this mentality will increase conflict. So now let’s discuss mutual interests. Let’s go through a unified understanding. (IANS)

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Trump: Taxpayer-Funded Family Planning Clinics Must Stop Referring Women for Abortions Immediately

Ahead of a planned conference Tuesday with the clinics, the Health and Human Services Department formally notified them

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Trump, Family, Abortion
FILE - A Planned Parenthood clinic is seen June 4, 2019, in St. Louis. A Missouri commissioner on June 28, 2019, ruled that the state's only abortion clinic can continue providing the service at least until August as a fight over its license plays out. VOA

Taxpayer-funded family planning clinics must stop referring women for abortions immediately, the Trump administration said Monday, declaring it will begin enforcing a new regulation hailed by religious conservatives and denounced by medical organizations and women’s rights groups.

The head of a national umbrella group representing the clinics said the administration is following “an ideological agenda” that could disrupt basic health care for many low-income women.

Ahead of a planned conference Tuesday with the clinics, the Health and Human Services Department formally notified them that it will begin enforcing the ban on abortion referrals, along with a requirement that clinics maintain separate finances from facilities that provide abortions. Another requirement that both kinds of facilities cannot be under the same roof would take effect next year.

The rule is widely seen as a blow against Planned Parenthood, which provides taxpayer-funded family planning and basic health care to low-income women, as well as abortions that must be paid for separately. The organization is a mainstay of the federally funded family planning program and it has threatened to quit over the issue.

Trump, Family, Abortion
Taxpayer-funded family planning clinics must stop referring women for abortions immediately. Pixabay

Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen said in a statement that “our doors are still open” as her organization and other groups seek to overturn the regulations in federal court. “We will not stop fighting for all those across the country in need of essential care,” Wen said.

HHS said no judicial orders currently prevent it from enforcing the rule while the litigation proceeds.

Clare Coleman, president of the umbrella group National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, said “the administration’s actions show its intent is to further an ideological agenda.”

Abortion opponents welcomed the administration’s move. “Ending the connection between abortion and family planning is a victory for common-sense health care,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, said in a statement.

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Known as Title X, the family-planning program serves about 4 million women annually through independent clinics, many operated by Planned Parenthood affiliates, which serve about 40 percent of all clients. The program provides about $260 million a year in grants to clinics.

The family planning rule is part of a series of Trump administration efforts to remake government policy on reproductive health.

Other regulations tangled up in court would allow employers to opt out of offering free birth control to women workers on the basis of religious or moral objections, and grant health care professionals wider leeway to opt out of procedures that offend their religious or moral scruples.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure, but federal laws prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman.

Trump, Family, Abortion
The head of a national umbrella group representing the clinics said the administration is following “an ideological agenda” that could disrupt basic health care. Pixabay

Under the administration’s rule, clinic staff would still be permitted to discuss abortion with clients, along with other options. However, that would no longer be required.

The American Medical Association is among the professional groups opposed to the administration’s policy, saying it could affect low-income women’s access to basic medical care, including birth control, cancer screenings and testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. By law, the family planning program does not pay for abortions.

Religious conservatives see the regulation as a means to end what they call an indirect taxpayer subsidy of abortion providers.

Although abortion remains politically divisive, the U.S. abortion rate has dropped significantly, from about 29 per 1,000 women of reproductive age in 1980 to about 15 in 2014. Better contraception, fewer unintended pregnancies and state restrictions may have played a role, according to a recent scientific report. Polls show most Americans do not want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion.

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The Trump administration’s policy echoes a Reagan-era regulation that barred clinics from even discussing abortion with women. It never went into effect as written, although the Supreme Court ruled it was appropriate.

The policy was rescinded under President Bill Clinton, and a new rule took effect requiring “nondirective” counseling to include a full range of options for women. The Trump administration is now rolling back the Clinton requirement. (VOA)