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Newspaper editorials across U.S. rebuke Trump for attacks on press

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, August 17th, 2018

Boston Globe newspaper. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Hundreds of U.S. newspapers on Thursday (August 16) launched a coordinated defense of press freedom and a rebuke of U.S. President Donald Trump for denouncing some media organizations as enemies of the American people.

The Boston Globe and the New York Times took part along with more than 350 other newspapers of all sizes, including some in states that Trump won during the 2016 presidential election.

The Globe said it coordinated publication among the newspapers and carried details of it on a database on its website.

Each paper ran an editorial, which is usually an unsigned article that reflects the opinion of an editorial board and is separate from the news and other sections in a paper.

The Globe’s editorial accused Trump of carrying out a “sustained assault on the free press.”

“The greatness of America is dependent on the role of a free press to speak the truth to the powerful,” it said. “To label the press ‘the enemy of the people’ is as un-American as it is dangerous to the civic compact we have shared for more than two centuries.”

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of the press.

Trump has frequently criticized journalists and described news reports that contradict his opinion or policy positions as fake news.

On Thursday, he tweeted “There is nothing that I would want more for our Country than true FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.” — Reuters

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Trump: US-China trade deal could be reached in weeks

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, April 5th, 2019

United States President Donald Trump (Reuters file photo)

United States President Donald Trump said a trade deal with China is getting very close and could be reached in about four weeks.

Trump spoke at a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who is in Washington for trade talks.

Liu said there has been great progress in the negotiations.

“Because of your direct involvement, we do have a great progress. Although we still have some remainings, but I think hopefully, we get a good result,” Liu said.

“We have a number of things, but we also we’ve agreed to far more than we have left to agree to. And, in fact I would say, I think I can say that some of the toughest things have been agreed to. We have some things that are actually easier right now that we’re, we’re doing. But it’s a very, very – I am using a word that I don’t like using too often – but it’s a very, very comprehensive deal,” Trump said.

China and the US are in the middle of intense negotiations to end a months-long trade war that has rattled global markets.

Washington wants sweeping changes to China’s economic and trade policies, while Beijing wants Trump to lift expensive sanctions on Chinese goods.

Trump also lamented about the amount of money that the US, China and Russia spend on weapons production, including nuclear weapons, and suggested that such money could be better spent elsewhere.

Trump floated the idea of following up on a potential trade deal with China with a second deal that addressed the issue of military spending and arms production.

“But as you know China is spending a lot of money on military, so are we, so is Russia, and those three countries [U.S.] I think can come together and stop the spending, and spend on things that maybe are more productive toward long term peace,” Trump said. REUTERS

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Trump signs directive in move to create a U.S. Space Force

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump presents newly signed Space Policy Directive 4 | Image captured from a Reuters video footage

(REUTERS) U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday (February 19) took a step towards creating a U.S. Space Force, a new branch of the military dedicated to handling threats in space.

Trump signed Space Policy Directive 4, which puts in place the foundation for a legislative initiative that could establish a Space Force as a new military service comparable to the U.S. Marines.

In an oval office signing ceremony, Trump said the Space Force is a national security priority.

“Today, I’m thrilled to sign a new order taking the next step to create the United States space force, so important. When you look at defense when you look at all of the other aspects of where the world will be some day, I mean this is the beginning is a very important process,” said Trump.

Trump also said that the U.S. has to be prepared against its adversaries and the Space Force is going to be a very big part of where the defense of the nation.

“Let’s say that defense of our nation is going to be America must be fully equipped to defend our vital interests, our adversaries are training forces and developing technology to undermine our security in space. And they’re working very hard at that, that’s why my administration has recognized space as a war fighting domain and made the creation of the Space Force a national security priority,” he added.

The memo directs the Department of Defense “to marshal its space resources to deter and counter threats in space,” through the establishment of the force that would be part of the Air Force, according to a draft seen by Reuters.

“We’re investing in new space capabilities to project military power and safeguard our nation’s interests especially when it comes to safety and defense. This directive calls on the Secretary of Defense to develop a legislative proposal that will establish the structure and authority of the Space Force as the sixth branch of the United States armed forces. That would mean a high ranking, the highest ranking person there would go on to be joint chiefs of staff, so it’s a very, very important deal,” Trump said.

According to Trump, the Space Force will organize, equip and train the next generation of warriors to deter aggression and defend the nation, its allies and American interests against hostile actions in the form of space and taking place in space.

“So we have a lot of things on the books, we have a lot of new defensive weapons and offensive weapons designed specifically for this and now we’re going to start taking advantage of. This is something they could have done sooner, but they decided to wait, and here I am and we’re going to do it and I’m very proud that during my administration we’re doing so much in space,” he noted.

Establishing the Space Force will require Congressional approval.

In August 2018, the Trump Administration announced an ambitious plan to usher in the force as the sixth branch of the military by 2020.

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Int’l journalists hit Duterte admin for Maria Ressa’s arrest

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, February 14th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Rappler’s CEO Maria Ressa

MANILA, Philippines – The Duterte administration is hit by international journalists and personalities for the recent arrest of online news website Rappler’s CEO, Maria Ressa due to cyber libel.

Several comments on social media slammed the administration for what they believe is “suppression” of Ressa’s freedom of expression.

CNN’s chief international anchor Christiane Amnpour called the arrest a “desperate move” by the government.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, a former journalist, condemned the arrest and said she is “deeply troubled” by the report.

The director of the Global Press Freedom of Expression and United Nations Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard, meanwhile, expressed support for Ressa.

Other press freedom advocates also expressed dismay over what they claim as unjust treatment to the Ressa of the Duterte government.

“We call on Filipino authorities to immediately release Ressa. Drop this spurious cyberlibel charge and cease and desist this campaign of intimidation aimed at silencing Rappler,” said the international media watchdog Committee to Protect Journalist.

Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo accused the administration of “political harassment” in an attempt to curtail press freedom.

“Isa na namang yugto na nagpapakita sa atin kung gaano iniipit iyong mga naglalakas-loob na makapagsalita laban sa mga polisiya ng administrasyong ito. Napakalaking dagok sa press freedom. Napakalaking warning na ibinibigay to anyone na magkakaroon ng lakas ng loob na magpahayag ng kanilang saloobin, ay napaparusahan,” Robredo said.

For its part, the Palace maintained that Ressa’s case should not be linked to press freedom.

“Ms. Ressa being a media practitioner and a high ranking officer of a media outfit critical of the President’s programs and policies has nothing to do with the present circumstances she is currently in,” said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Panelo said the Executive branch respects the decision of the judiciary and it has no reason to meddle with the court’s ruling on Ressa’s case.

Panelo stressed that no one is above the law and any citizen should abide by the Constitution regardless of their status or position. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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