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White House Photo Caption omits Husband of Luxembourg’s gay PM Gauthier Destenay

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White House Photo Caption omits Husband of Luxembourg’s gay PM Gauthier Destenay. Twitter

Washington, May 29, 2017: The White House omitted Gauthier Destenay, the husband of Luxembourg’s openly gay Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, from the caption to an official photograph of the spouses of Nato leaders taken at this weeks summit in Brussels.

Destenay, a Belgian architect, married Bettel in 2015, becoming the first same-sex spouse of a leader of a European Union member state, the Guardian reported on Saturday.

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American First Lady Melania Trump was identified twice in the original caption to the official White House photograph, which was taken by Andrea Hanks and posted to Facebook on Saturday in a collection of pictures from Trump’s nine-day international tour.

Destenay’s name later appeared in an edited version of the caption.

(LtoR) First Lady of France Brigitte Macron, First Lady of Turkey Emine Gulbaran Erdogan, First Lady of the US Melania Trump, Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Stoltenberg’s partner Ingrid Schulerud, Partner of Bulgaria’s President Desislava Radeva, partner of Charles Michel Amelie Derbaudrenghien, (back row, LtoR) First Gentleman of Luxembourg Gauthier Destenay, partner of Slovenia’s Prime Minister Mojca Stropnik and First Lady of Iceland Thora Margret Baldvinsdottir pose for a family photo before a diner of the First Ladies and Queen at the Royal castle in Laken/Laeken, on May 25 in Brussels. (AFP Photo)
The original caption read: “First Lady Melania Trump poses with Belgium’s Queen Mathilde, center, and other spouses of Nato leaders: First Lady Emine Erdogan of Turkey; Iceland’s Thora Margret Baldvinsdottir; the First Lady of France Brigitte Trogneux; First Lady Melania Trump; Slovenia’s Mojca Stropnik; Bulgaria’s Desislava Radeva; Belgium’s Amélie Derbaudrenghien, and Norway’s Ingrid Schulerud.”

Destenay, smiling and wearing a dark suit, white shirt and light blue tie, is clearly visible in the picture, behind Melania Trump’s right shoulder, reports the Guardian.

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The “mistake” faced a lot of criticism and backlash on social media.

Scott Bixby of the Daily Beast called the caption “homophobic”.

Destenay and Bettel’s marriage is not the first same-sex union at the highest levels of world politics.

In 2010, Johanna Siguroardottir, then Prime Minister of Iceland, became the first serving leader in the world to marry a same-sex partner. (IANS)

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U.S. Commerce Department Recommends White House on How to Proceed with Auto Industry Tariffs

Some trade organizations also blasted the Commerce Department for keeping the details of its "Section 232" national security report shrouded in secrecy.

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Auto industry, tariffs
Robots swing a cab and bed into place for a new heavy duty pickup truck on the assembly line where Chevrolet Silverado trucks are being built at General Motors Flint Assembly in Flint, Michigan, Jan. 30, 2019. VOA

The U.S. auto industry urged President Donald Trump’s administration on Monday not to saddle imported cars and auto parts with steep tariffs, after the U.S. Commerce Department sent a confidential report to the White House late on Sunday with its recommendations for how to proceed.

Some trade organizations also blasted the Commerce Department for keeping the details of its “Section 232” national security report shrouded in secrecy, which will make it much harder for the industry to react during the next 90 days Trump will have to review it.

“Secrecy around the report only increases the uncertainty and concern across the industry created by the threat of tariffs,” the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association said in a statement, adding that it was “alarmed and dismayed.”

“It is critical that our industry have the opportunity to review the recommendations and advise the White House on how proposed tariffs, if they are recommended, will put jobs at risk, impact consumers, and trigger a reduction in U.S. investments that could set us back decades.”

Representatives from the White House and the Commerce Department could not immediately be reached.

Auto industry, tariffs
Some trade organizations also blasted the Commerce Department for keeping the details of its “Section 232” national security report shrouded in secrecy. VOA

The industry has warned that possible tariffs of up to 25 percent on millions of imported cars and parts would add thousands of dollars to vehicle costs and potentially devastate the U.S economy by slashing jobs.

Administration officials have said tariff threats on autos are a way to win concessions from Japan and the EU. Last year, Trump agreed not to impose tariffs as long as talks with the two trading partners were proceeding in a productive manner.

“We believe the imposition of higher import tariffs on automotive products under Section 232 and the likely retaliatory tariffs against U.S. auto exports would undermine – and not help – the economic and employment contributions that FCA, US, Ford Motor Company and General Motors make to the U.S. economy,” said former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, the president of the American Automotive Policy Council.

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Some Republican lawmakers have also said they share the industry’s concerns. In a statement issued on Monday, Republican Congresswoman Jackie Walorski said she fears the Commerce Department’s report could “set the stage for costly tariffs on cars and auto parts.”

“President Trump is right to seek a level playing field for American businesses and workers, but the best way to do that is with a scalpel, not an axe,” she added. (VOA)