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Donald Trump May Consider Declaring National Emergency To Build Border Wall

Trump, as he often has, claimed erroneously that "Large sections of WALL have already been built with much more either under construction or ready to go."

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President Donald Trump speaks during a discussion of "fighting human trafficking on the southern border" with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, center, and International Network of Hearts President Alma Tucker at the White House in Washington, Feb. 1, 2019.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday that he would consider declaration of a national emergency as the path forward to building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border because he didn’t think lawmakers’ negotiations would produce the necessary funds.

“We will be looking at a national emergency because I don’t think anything is going to happen. I think Democrats don’t want border security. And when I hear them talking about the fact that walls are immoral, walls don’t work — they know they work,” Trump said.

On Thursday, the president called bipartisan congressional talks over border wall funding a “waste of time.”

‘I’ve set the table’

In a White House interview with The New York Times on Thursday, Trump again hinted he might declare a national emergency in order to bypass Congress and build the wall without its approval.

Nancy Pelosi, Border
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill, Jan. 24, 2019. VOA

“I’ll continue to build the wall and we’ll get the wall finished. Now, whether or not I declare a national emergency, that you’ll see … I’ve set the table, I’ve set the stage for doing what I’m going to do.”

If within two weeks lawmakers can’t reach a deal on border security that Trump would sign, there could be another government shutdown.

If Trump does declare a national emergency, Democrats who don’t want any money for a border wall will probably immediately challenge Trump in court.

The president had strong words for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has repeatedly said she will not agree to give Trump the $5.7 billion he wants for a wall.

Border Security
Members of a U.S Army engineering brigade place concertina wire around an encampment near the U.S.-Mexico international bridge, Nov. 4, 2018, in Donna, Texas. VOA

“I think Nancy Pelosi is hurting our country very badly by doing what she’s doing,” Trump said, adding that while he has always gotten along with her, “I don’t think I will anymore.”

Pelosi has said she is open to other kinds of barriers along the border, but Trump said alternatives were unacceptable.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said it was sending an additional 3,500 troops to the U.S. southern border with Mexico to assist with security measures.

Rep. Adam Smith, the Washington state Democrat who is chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, released the latest troop numbers after slamming the Pentagon’s lack of transparency in a letter to acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.

A defense official confirmed that the Pentagon was sending 3,500 additional active-duty troops to the border, for a total of 5,800 active-duty troops and 2,300 National Guard troops supporting the Department of Homeland Security’s request for additional border security.

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President Donald Trump speaks during a tour as he reviews border wall prototypes in San Diego, March 13, 2018. VOA

The official, who spoke to VOA on condition of anonymity, added that this “initial pop” in the number of troops would not be sustained through September.

How they’ll be used

Some of these 3,500 will be replacing troops who will be leaving soon, while others are being assigned to the border for only 30 or 60 days in order to set up large coils of barbed wire in specific areas, according to the official.

Without giving details, Trump tweeted Thursday: “More troops being sent to the Southern Border to stop the attempted Invasion of Illegals, through large caravans, into our Country. We have stopped the previous Caravans, and we will stop these also. With a Wall it would be soooo much easier and less expensive.”

Trump, as he often has, claimed erroneously that “Large sections of WALL have already been built with much more either under construction or ready to go.” The U.S. has been repairing existing barriers, which Trump called “a very big part of the plan to finally, after many decades, properly Secure Our Border. The Wall is getting done one way or the other!”

Also Read: White House Challenges Democrats To Prove Their Commitment To Border Security

At various times, Trump has called the barriers at the border an impenetrable concrete wall, and other times “steel slats,” or a see-through barrier.

On Thursday, though, Trump said, “Let’s just call them WALLS from now on and stop playing political games! A WALL is a WALL!” (VOA)

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Americans Tend to Rely on Social Media for News which is often Unreliable: Report

Those who rely on social media and peers for news, on the other hand, don't see those platforms as reliable yet still choose to get their news from these sources

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Social Media
The findings of a research suggest that perceived reliability is not the only factor that drives what Americans choose as their go-to News sources on Social Media. Pixabay

Owing to lack of time and competing demands, one-third of Americans rely on news platforms they acknowledge are less reliable, mainly social media and peers, says a new report.

The other two-thirds of the public consider their primary news sources trustworthy, mainly print news and broadcast television, according to the report from California-based non-profit RAND Corporation.

“A lack of time and competing demands may explain why a third of Americans turn to news sources they deem less reliable, which suggests improving the quality of news content or teaching people how to ‘better consume’ news isn’t enough to address ‘Truth Decay,'” said Jennifer Kavanagh, senior political scientist and co-author of the report.

“Media companies and other news providers may need to provide more easily accessible and digestible ways for individuals to consume high quality investigative journalism”.

“Truth Decay” is a phenomenon defined as diminishing reliance on facts, data and analysis in public life.

The report draws from a national survey of 2,543 Americans to examine how reliability, demographics and political partisanship factor into news choices and how often people seek out differing viewpoints in the news.

About 44 per cent of respondents reported that news is as reliable now as in the past, while 41 per cent said it has become less reliable and 15 per cent – mostly women, racial and ethnic minorities and those without college degrees – said it is more reliable.

Social Media
Owing to lack of time and competing demands, one-third of Americans rely on News platforms they acknowledge are less reliable, mainly Social Media and peers, says a new report. Pixabay

Respondents who lean on print and broadcast platforms were more likely to deem them reliable.

Those who rely on social media and peers for news, on the other hand, don’t see those platforms as reliable yet still choose to get their news from these sources.

“The findings suggest that perceived reliability is not the only factor that drives what Americans choose as their go-to news sources,” said Michael Pollard, a sociologist and lead author of the report.
“Despite acknowledging that there are more reliable sources for news, people with demands on their time may be limited to using less reliable platforms.”

Asked whether they ever seek out alternate viewpoints when catching up on the news, 54 per cent said they “sometimes” do, 20 percent said, “always or almost always,” 17 per cent said “infrequently,” and 9 percent said, “never or almost never.”

The report also identified the four most common combinations of news media types consumed by Americans: print publications and broadcast television, online, radio, and social media and peers.

Those who are college-educated were less likely to get their news from social media and peers, instead opting for radio and online sources.

Social Media
Media companies and other News providers may need to provide more easily accessible and digestible ways for individuals to consume high quality investigative journalism, especially on Social Media. Pixabay

Those with less than a college education were more likely to report “never or almost never” seeking out news with alternate viewpoints.

“Those who are married were three times more likely than singles to rate their peers as the most reliable source for news,” said the report.

ALSO READ: Here’s how you can Appear More Competent Through your Clothing

Unmarried people were more likely than married people to report they “always or almost always” seek out sources with differing views. (IANS)