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Democrats Believe That Donald Trump is Plunging US into Chaos

The Senate will meet again on Thursday to try and reach a budget agreement so that the government can be fully reopened, but the White House says that the shutdown may continue into January

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Indian American Congressman asks Trump to end government shutdown. VOA

Democratic congressional leaders on Monday said that US President Donald Trump is “plunging the country into chaos” with his recent attacks on the Federal Reserve and engineering a partial government shutdown, which has left 25 per cent of US government agencies without operating funds.

The Democratic declaration comes after Wall Street closed on Monday with heavy losses and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the main market benchmark, fell 2.91 per cent — or more than 653 points — in its worst Christmas Eve performance in history, Efe reported.

In a joint statement, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi warned that: “It’s Christmas Eve and President Trump is plunging the country into chaos. The stock market is tanking and the president is waging a personal war on the Federal Reserve — after he just fired the Secretary of Defence,” referring to Gen. James Mattis, who resigned last week only to be booted by Trump as of January 1, two months before his stated departure date.

Trump on Monday tweeted that “the only problem” with the US economy is the Fed because that entity doesn’t “have a feel for the Market.”

According to local media reports, the president has been considering whether to fire Fed Chairman Jerome Powell after he raised US interest rates last week, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has denied that Trump is going to jettison Powell.

The president, moreover, is being harshly questioned over his dismissal of Mattis, who submitted his resignation letter late last week — to be effective February 28 — after Trump abruptly announced that he was withdrawing all US troops from Syria.

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U.S. President Donald Trump. VOA

Due to the government shutdown, some 25 per cent of US government activities have been paralyzed since Friday at midnight because Congress has not been able to approve a budget and funding for those departments has expired.

The shutdown came about because Trump has demanded that Congress include $5 billion to build portions of his much-touted wall along the Mexican border, something that Democratic lawmakers have refused to agree to, although some $1.3 billion has been allocated by Congress for other types of enhanced border security.

Democratic and Republican lawmakers, along with Trump, are negotiating to try and reopen the government, but Schumer and Pelosi said Monday that reaching an agreement is difficult because the White House does not have a unified position.

The Democratic leaders said that different people in the White House are saying different things about what the president could or could not accept in exchange for ending the shutdown he originally he would be “proud” to bring about, and thus the administration evidently does not have a common or unified stance on the matter.

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Trump met on Monday at the White House with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to discuss border security, but it is not yet known what the results of that meeting were.

The Senate will meet again on Thursday to try and reach a budget agreement so that the government can be fully reopened, but the White House says that the shutdown may continue into January.

Trump wants to secure additional funding for his border wall from the Republican-controlled Senate — where the GOP is seriously divided — before the Democrats take over the House on January 20, after which they are expected to cancel any budgetary plans that include the wall. (IANS)

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Google, YouTube Pull Over More Than 300 Trump Ads as US Prez Poll Nears

The main formats Google offers political advertisers are Search ads, YouTube ads and display ads. Under the new rules, political advertisers may target their ads only down to the postal code level

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

More than 300 Donald Trump ads have been pulled by Google and its video-sharing platform YouTube for violating the companies’ policies. The campaign videos, notably, ran over the summer.

This comes at a time when handling political advertisements on social media has become a growing concern as the 2020 US presidential election approaches and tech giants are under fire over political ads.

Twitter has even decided to ban all kinds of political ads on its platform.

Over 300 video ads for President Trump were taken down, mostly over the summer, for violating the company policy. Compared to the TV, online ads can spread lies at an alarming rate — bolstered by machine-learning algorithms that can identify target audiences at enormous speed and scale, CBS News reported on Monday.

According to CBS News, even though the ads were taken down, the archive does not detail what policy was violated.

It was not clear if it was a copyright violation, a lie or extreme inaccuracy.

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FILE – Silhouettes are seen in front of a Youtube logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica, Oct. 29, 2014. VOA

The ads determined to be offending are not available to be screened. We found very little transparency in the transparency report, the report added.

It is pertinent to note that political ads on social media do not adhere to different rules than political ads on TV.

The political ads on social media fall under specific scrutiny because of their unique ability to disseminate bad information and their inability to properly tackle them.

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Meanwhile, earlier in November, Google announced new limits on political advertisers globally from micro-targeting users via election ads based on their political affiliation.

The main formats Google offers political advertisers are Search ads, YouTube ads and display ads. Under the new rules, political advertisers may target their ads only down to the postal code level. (IANS)