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Republican Donald Trump’s First 100 Days: What Are His Plans as President of the United States?

Responding to criticisms that his platform lacked specifics and solid plans, Trump laid out a list of proposals for what he wanted to accomplish once reaching the Oval Office

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Donald Trump, then a candidate for the U.S. presidency, holds a sign supporting his plan to build a wall between the United States and Mexico that he borrowed from a member of the audience at his campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, March 9, 2016. VOA

November 13, 2016: In October, Donald Trump laid out his agenda for his first 100 days as president of the United States.

Responding to criticisms that his platform lacked specifics and solid plans, Trump laid out a list of proposals for what he wanted to accomplish once reaching the Oval Office.

Proposals were divided into three categories: measures to “clean up the corruption and special interest collusion” in Washington, actions to protect American workers, and restoration of security and the constitutional rule of law.

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Additionally, Trump proposed 10 legislative measures he intended to work with Congress on, including repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature health care plan that expanded medical insurance to millions of Americans. Trump and other critics have said the plan of costs too much and provides inferior care. The controversial health care measure, known as Obamacare, was signed into law in 2010.

A man holds up a "Drain the Swamp in Washington DC" sign as then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign event on the tarmac of the airport in Kinston, North Carolina, Oct. 26 2016. VOA
A man holds up a “Drain the Swamp in Washington DC” sign as then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign event on the tarmac of the airport in Kinston, North Carolina, Oct. 26 2016. VOA

‘Drain the swamp’

In the first category of his efforts to “drain the swamp” of Washington, Trump listed six initiatives, including tightening regulations on lobbyists.

The first of these six, imposing term limits on all members of Congress, would actually have to be initiated and approved by the Senate, because it would require a constitutional amendment. Constitutional amendments are proposed by Congress, not the president. Although Republicans hold a majority in both houses, it is still not clear how much support some of Trump’s proposals will receive from Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already said he opposes term limits.

Another proposal on Trump’s list is a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce the size of the federal workforce through attrition. This is most likely supported by Republican lawmakers, whose spending plans for years have called for reducing the number of non-national-security employees.

Of the seven proposals Trump made regarding the protection of American workers, three of them are related to the environment and U.S. energy policy, including approving construction of the controversial Keystone pipeline, canceling payments to U.N. climate change programs, and lifting restrictions on the production of shale oil, natural gas and clean coal.

Other proposals include rejecting the Trans-Pacific Partnership and renegotiating a number of other trade deals, including the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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Trump listed five actions to restore “security and the constitutional rule of law,” one of which is filling the Supreme Court seat held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia — an action Obama tried to take, only to be blocked by the Senate.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., right, speaks with Lenka Mendoza of Dumfries, Va., who is originally from Peru, during a rally in front of the White House in support of executive action addressing immigration reform, Nov. 19, 2014. VOA
Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., right, speaks with Lenka Mendoza of Dumfries, Va., who is originally from Peru, during a rally in front of the White House in support of executive action addressing immigration reform, Nov. 19, 2014. VOA

Cancel ‘unconstitutional’ orders

Other actions deal largely with immigration issues. The first proposal is to cancel all executive actions, memoranda and orders issued by Obama that Trump has labeled “unconstitutional.” Of these, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is one that could end, affecting protection for more than 1 million immigrants who were brought to the country as children.

Trump also stated his intention to remove undocumented immigrants with criminal records from the country, as well as suspend immigration from “terror-prone” countries from which he contends immigrants cannot safely be vetted.

Another is his proposal to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico, which he reaffirmed the Mexican government would ultimately pay for. Mexico’s president told Trump in a meeting earlier this year that Mexico would not finance a wall.

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The full transcript of Trump’s speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, that outlined his plan for his first 100 days in office can be seen here. (VOA)

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Facebook Chief Operating Officer Supports Releasing Russia-linked Advertisements

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Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, delivers a speech during the visit of a start-up companies gathering at Paris' Station F, in Paris. voa

Washington, October 12: Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said Thursday she “absolutely” supports the public release of all advertisements produced by a Russia-linked organization during the 2016 presidential election.

Sandberg said the company is “working on transparency” following the revelation last month that a group with alleged ties to the Russian government ran $100,000 worth of ads on Facebook promoting “divisive” causes like Black Lives Matter.

“Things happened on our platform that shouldn’t have happened,” she said during the interview with Axios’s Mike Allen.

Later Thursday, Facebook Chief Operating Officer is set to meet with Congressional investigators who are looking into what role the advertisements which began running in 2015 and continued through this year may have played in the 2016 presidential election.

The $100,000 worth of ads represent a very small fraction of the total $2.3 billion spent by, and on behalf of, President Donald Trump and losing-candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaigns during the election.

Multiple congressional investigations have been launched, seeking to determine what effect alleged Russian meddling may have played in the election.

In addition, Robert Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is conducting a criminal probe, including whether President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian operatives during the election season. Trump has denied working with the Russians.

Facebook had previously agreed to disclose the thousands of Facebook ads to congress. Sandberg said Thursday she thinks “it’s important that [the investigators] get the whole picture and explain that to the American people.”

In response to the Russian ad buys, Facebook Chief Operating Officer said that company is hiring 4,000 new employees to oversee ads and content. She said the company is also using “machine learning and automation” to target fake accounts that spread fake news.

She defined fake news as “things that are false hoaxes” and said Facebook is working to stamp out the bad information by teaming up with third-party fact checkers and warning users before they share news deemed fake by Facebook.

She said it is important to be cautious when going after fake news because “a lot of what we allow on Facebook is people expressing themselves” and “when you cut off speech for one person, you cut off speech for all people.”

“We don’t check the information posted on Facebook before people post it, and I don’t think people should want us to,” she said.

Hundreds of fake accounts were used to distribute the Russia-linked advertisements, Sandberg said. But had those ads been posted by legitimate users, “we would have let them run,” she said.(VOA)

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Donald Trump will soon end the DACA Programme-Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Programme for unregistered immigrants

The DACA programme grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children

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Donald Trump will soon end the DACA Programme for unregistered immigrants
Donald Trump will soon end the DACA Programme for unregistered immigrants. Wikimedia

USA, September 4, 2017: US President Donald Trump has decided to end DACA programme- a programme that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children with a six-month delay, the media reported.

Trump has wrestled for months with whether to do away with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme introduced by his predecessor Barack Obama in June 2012 to shield hundreds of thousands of undocumented youths from deportation.

But conversations with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who argued that Congress was responsible for writing immigration law, helped persuade the President to terminate the programme, the informed sources told Politico news on Sunday.

In a nod to reservations held by many lawmakers, the White House has planned to delay the enforcement of the President’s decision for six months, giving Congress a window to act, the sources said.

Trump is expected to formally make an announcement on the programme’s termination on Tuesday, and the White House informed House Speaker Paul Ryan of the President’s decision on Sunday

Paul Ryan thinks that ending DACA programme is not a good idea

On Friday, Paul Ryan said that he did not think the President should terminate DACA  programme and that Congress should act on the issue.

According to official documents, approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants are currently benefiting from the DACA programme.

Permits under DACA programme are granted for two years before needing to be renewed.

The latest study by groups that support DACA programme estimated that 1,400 people a day could lose their protections if renewals ended.

Bernie Sanders criticised Donald Trump’s decision to end DACA programme

Former Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has condemned the move, reports CNN.

“If Trump decides to end DACA programme, it will be one of the ugliest and cruellest decisions ever made by a president in our modern history,” the Vermont Senator tweeted on Sunday night. (IANS)

 

 

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US President Donald Trump’s Tough Stand Against Pakistan and more Highlights from his Speech

Donald Trump on wanting cooperation from India for reconstruction of Afghanistan

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US President Donald Trump during speech
US President Donald Trump during speech. Wikimedia
  • We must stop the resurgence of safe havens that enable terrorists to threaten America
  • The new policy by Trump will allow the military to observe the conditions on the ground before they take a decision on if they want to attack or withdraw
  • We have been paying Pakistan  billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting

Virginia, USA, August 23, 2017: US President Donald Trump in his speech at Arlington, Virginia on August 21, 2017, divulged details on his new policy for Afghanistan and South Asia. He made it clear in his speech that American troops will continue to fight the war between US and Afghanistan, the longest war in US history which has been continuing for 17 years.

Trump made it a point to announce that he’s not just rearranging the Afghanistan policy. He also spoke against Pakistan and criticized them for harboring the terrorists and said that the US would want India’s help and contribution to restore the stability of Afghanistan.

Trump said, “In Afghanistan and Pakistan, America’s interests are clear. We must stop the resurgence of safe havens that enable terrorists to threaten America, and we must prevent nuclear weapons and materials from coming into the hands of terrorists and being used against us, or anywhere in the world for that matter.”

Trump listed out the factors that would lead to a change in Afghanistan and South Asia policy in the coming years:

  • Donald Trump criticized Barack Obama
    Trump, many times during his presidential campaign has criticized former US President Barack Obama “for announcing a date by which American troops would withdraw from Afghanistan.” He said that it allowed Taliban and others like them to reassemble and lay waiting for them to do so.
  • The new policy by Trump will allow the military to observe the conditions on the ground before they take a decision on if they want to attack or withdraw. Though it seems like a wise decision, it also means that the US troops are likely to be in Afghanistan for few more years, by taking into consideration how long this war has continued. The US President stressed upon, “A shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions.”

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  • Trump talked of a successful outcome

America will focus on their interests first, Donald Trump said, “The integration of all instruments of American power – diplomatic, economic, and military – toward a successful outcome.”  Trump said that America has spent a lot of time, money and soldier’s lives to try and rebuild countries in its own image. He expressed that a future political solution in Afghanistan might even include the Taliban, but it is up to the people of Afghanistan to take that decision. “We are not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists,” he said.

  • On Pakistan

Trump said, “We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat.” Trump made some strong remarks about Pakistan, a country that has apparently been an American ally for decades, but was also often accused of taking funds from USA and using them to “take part in an arms race with India”, instead of using that money to fight the terror organizations which were often nurtured by them. Trump said, “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately.”

  • On wanting cooperation from India

Donald Trump then talked about India and said: “Another critical part of the South Asia strategy for America is to further develop its strategic partnership with India – the world’s largest democracy and a key security and economic partner of the United States.  We appreciate India’s important contributions to stability in Afghanistan, but India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States, and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development.  We are committed to pursuing our shared objectives for peace and security in South Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region.”

Trump called for India’s helping hand- He wants India to play a much larger role in the rebuilding of Afghanistan, particularly in the areas like development and economic assistance. This came as positive news to New Delhi, and the Ministry of External Affairs was ready to welcome the statement with open arms. The spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs said “We welcome President Trump’s determination to enhance efforts to overcome the challenges facing Afghanistan and confronting issues of safe havens and other forms of cross-border support enjoyed by terrorists. India shares these concerns and objectives.”

ALSO READ: US President Donald Trump Needs to Do Better than Tweeting, to Deal with North Korea

But Donald Trump’s framing of the issue has a problem in it – this seems transactional (like a business deal) and the narrative put forward by the US President saying that Afghan reconstruction is mainly an American effort only. Trump said, “But India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States,” he said this as if he wants to say that this should be the reason due to which New Delhi should do what Washington asks from it. Though India’s trade relations with the US shouldn’t be the reason for which India would take a bigger role in Afghanistan reconstruction. Instead, it is because of India’s personal interests in wanting to see Afghanistan as a stable, peaceful and terror-free region which leads it to move in the direction of forming a partnership with Kabul. Journalist Bobby Ghosh said, “One of the strengths of India’s involvement in Afghanistan is that it is seen unambiguously as Indian involvement.”

The real hindrance to a much larger involvement of India in Afghanistan is the danger of Pakistan taking revenge and they have been more than willing to use their weapons of terror against India in the past. This is where Trump’s strict stand on Pakistan is welcome and much needed.hat we don’t know is how much of Trump’s words will turn into action in the coming years. In the past also, American leaders have vowed to be strict with Pakistan, but they caved into demands of the country’s military. Now, Trump has talked about a “dramatically changed” approach, and these have been the most direct remarks coming from a US president regarding Pakistan till now. Now, only time will tell how much change can this bring.

What we don’t know is how much of Trump’s words will turn into action in the coming years. In the past also, American leaders have vowed to be strict with Pakistan, but they caved into demands of the country’s military. Now, Trump has talked about a “dramatically changed” approach, and these have been the most direct remarks coming from a US president regarding Pakistan till now. Now, only time will tell how much change can this bring.


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