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Guerrilla artist known for grotesque take on American politicians casts eye on Trump Administration

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, October 19th, 2018

“Bully, Culprit” by Artist Robbie Conal | REUTERS

 

A series of politically-charged portraits of U.S. President Donald Trump and his inner circle have been appearing on the streets of Los Angeles.

The works, usually seen plastered onto walls and bus stops, are the brainchild of acclaimed guerrilla street poster artist Robbie Conal and depict everyone from Trump himself to key members of his cabinet and his most senior advisors, always in an unflattering light and with a biting caption of political commentary.

With the U.S. ready to go to the polls on Nov. 6, Conal brought his street portraits together for an exhibition entitled “Cabinet of Horrors” at downtown LA’s Track 16 gallery.

“I thought well the election is coming up, let’s have a show of all of them and call it the cabinet of horrors,” said Conal, 74, who was born in New York City and now lives along the central California coast.

Aside from Trump, who in one portrait is depicted in a Russian military hat, Conal also takes aim in this current series at everyone from Vice President Mike Pence to former advisor Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway who is depicted with a Pinocchio nose.

Conal has previously lampooned Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Supreme Court justices and even Mahatma Gandhi and the Dalai Lama.

Conal’s art is normally put up around cities under the cover of darkness to evade authorities.

“It’s supposed to be in a place where it is not supposed to be and to kind of surprise people and tickle them when they are on their way to work or whatever they’re doing in their daily lives into thinking about these people who I think have abused their power and our name,” he explains.

“Robbie Conal’s Cabinet of Horrors” runs until December 8, 2018. — Reuters

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Trump, Obama tout clashing visions of U.S. as elections near

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, November 5th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) greets President-elect Donald Trump at inauguration ceremonies swearing in Trump as president on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Barack Obama made dueling election appearances on Sunday, offering sharply different views on the country’s problems but agreeing on the high stakes for voters in the final 48 hours of a tight campaign.

With opinion polls showing dozens of tight U.S. congressional and gubernatorial races in Tuesday’s election, the current and former presidents said the results would determine what kind of country Americans live in for the next two years.

“This election will decide whether we build on this extraordinary prosperity we have created,” Trump told a cheering crowd in Macon, Georgia, warning that Democrats would “take a giant wrecking ball to our economy.”

Trump campaigned with Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who is in a tight race with Democrat Stacey Abrams for the governor’s office.

Obama condemned Trump, without addressing him by name, and Republicans for what he described as their divisive policies and repeated lies. He hammered Trump and Republicans for repeatedly trying to repeal his signature healthcare law while at the same time claiming to support the law’s protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

“The only check right now on the behavior of these Republicans is you and your vote,” Obama told supporters in Gary, Indiana, during a rally for endangered Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly.

“The character of our country is on the ballot,” he said.

Trump and Obama are the most popular figures in their parties, and their appearances on the campaign trail are designed to stoke enthusiasm among core supporters in the late stages of a midterm congressional election widely seen as a referendum on Trump’s first two years in the White House.

Opinion polls and election forecasters have made Democrats favorites on Tuesday to pick up the 23 seats they need to capture a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would enable them to stymie Trump’s legislative agenda and investigate his administration.

Republicans are favored to retain their slight majority in the U.S. Senate, currently at two seats, which would let them retain the power to approve U.S. Supreme Court and other judicial nominations on straight party-line votes.

In the midst of a six-day national blitz of rallies ahead of Tuesday’s election, Trump will also appear later on Sunday in Tennessee, which hosts a vital U.S. Senate race.

HARD-LINE RHETORIC

In the final stages of the campaign, Trump has ramped up his hard-line rhetoric on immigration and cultural issues including warnings about a caravan of migrants headed to the border with Mexico and of liberal “mobs.”

He repeated those themes in Georgia, urging voters to “look at what is marching up – that’s an invasion.” He said Democrats encouraged chaos at the borders because it was good politics.

Ronna McDaniel, head of the Republican National Committee, said on ABC’s “This Week” program that the media had chosen to focus on Trump’s immigration rhetoric but the president was also emphasizing economic and job gains under his presidency.

The Labor Department on Friday reported sharply better-than-expected job creation in October, with the unemployment rate steady at a 49-year low of 3.7 percent and wages notching their best annual gain in almost a decade.

But in Indiana, Obama said Republicans were taking credit for the economic renewal that started under his presidency. “You hear those Republicans brag about how good the economy is, where do you think that started?” he asked.

Obama also appeared later on Sunday in his old home state of Illinois, which hosts a competitive governor’s race and several tight U.S. House of Representative races. Obama’s appearance on the campaign trail is his second in three days.

In the battle for the Senate, Democrats are defending seats in 10 states that Trump won in the 2016 presidential election, including a handful that he won by double digits.

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, who heads the Democratic Senate campaign arm, said it was “remarkable” that Democrats were even in striking distance of capturing the Senate given the unfavorable map they faced.

“The fact we still have a narrow path to a majority is a sea change from where we were two years ago,” he said on ABC. “These are some very close races and they are in states where Trump won big.”

As of Sunday morning, almost 34.4 million people had cast ballots early, according to the Election Project at the University of Florida, which tracks turnout. That is up 67.8 percent from the 20.5 million early votes cast in all of 2014, the last federal election when the White House was not at stake.

For all Reuters election coverage, click: here

Reporting by John Whitesides; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Susan Thomas

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LGBTQ activists protest reported move to remove transgender recognition

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

 

An activist with a poster “We Will Not Be Erased” in front of the White House on October 22, 2018 | REUTERS

 

LGBTQ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer) activists marched to the White House on Monday (October 22) to protest reports that the administration of President Donald Trump is attempting to strip transgender people of official recognition.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that the Trump administration is attempting to create a narrow definition of gender as being only male or female and unchangeable once it is determined at birth.

The Department of Health and Human Services has undertaken an effort across several government departments to establish a legal definition of sex under Title IX, the federal civil rights law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex, the Times said, citing a government memo that it obtained.

A draft of the Trump administration memo says gender should be determined “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable,” the memo says, according to the Times.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declined to comment on what she called “allegedly leaked documents” but cited a ruling by a conservative U.S. district judge as a guide to transgender policy.

Such an interpretation would reverse the expansion of transgender rights that took place under the previous administration of President Barack Obama which enacted regulations and followed court rulings that protected transgender people from discrimination, upsetting religious conservatives.— Reuters

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Trump unsatisfied with Saudi Arabia’s explanations over journalist

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

 

U.S. President Donald Trump talking to reporters on the south lawn of the White House on October 22, 2018. | REUTERS

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday (October 22) that he is unsatisfied with Saudi Arabia’s explanations of what happened to missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but he does not want to lose investment from Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia on Saturday confirmed the death of Khashoggi, who has not been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. U.S. lawmakers have been skeptical about Riyadh’s shifting explanations, and comments from Trump and the White House have varied. — Reuters

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