U.S. government shutdown, epektibo na; 800,000 federal workers, mapipilitang mag-leave ng walang sahod

admin   •   October 1, 2013   •   1942

New York City, USA - As of Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 12:01am, the U.S. Government partially shuts down as the congress declined to fund federal departments. Though 800,000 federal workers will be out of their jobs this morning, the Department of Homeland Security employees are expected to stay on the job, including officers at the boarders and ports of entries, members of the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration officers, Secret Service and other law enforcement agents. US Citizenship and Immigration Services will continue to process green card applications. (AARON ROMERO / Photoville International / UNTV)

FILE PHOTO: New York City, USA – As of Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 12:01am, the U.S. Government partially shuts down as the congress declined to fund federal departments. Though 800,000 federal workers will be out of their jobs this morning, the Department of Homeland Security employees are expected to stay on the job, including officers at the boarders and ports of entries, members of the Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration officers, Secret Service and other law enforcement agents. US Citizenship and Immigration Services will continue to process green card applications. (AARON ROMERO / Photoville International / UNTV)

ESTADOS UNIDOS — Epektibo na ang government shutdown sa Amerika matapos mabigong magkasundo ang Republican at Democrats sa pagpasa ng emergency funding bill na naglalayong baguhin ang Health Care Law ni President Barack Obama.

Dahil dito, sinimulan na ng White House’s budget office na sabihan ang federal agencies na magsara na ng kanilang opisina. Tinatayang nasa 800-libong non-essential federal workers ang mapipilitang mag-leave ng walang sahod.

Apektado ng shut down ang ilang national parks at federal wildlife at posibleng maapektuhan rin ang pensyon ng mga beterano.

Ilang White House staff rin ang posibleng mamalagi na lang sa kanilang tirahan.

Pinangangambahang maantala rin ang passport, visa at mortgage applications sa bansa.

Bago pa man ang nakaambang government shutdown, pinirmihan ni President Obama ang isang panukalang batas na naglalayong maipagpatuloy ang sahod ng mahigit isang milyong military personnel na naka-duty.

Dismayado naman ang mga House Democrats sa pangyayaring ito.

Ayon kay Maryland Congressman Steny Hoyer, “We are unhappy because we think shutting down the government will hurt the economy, hurt the national security, undermine any morale that is left of our federal workers and do what the American people don’t want done and that is to shutdown government. They want, efficient, effective, cost-effective government but they don’t want to shut it down.”

Pahayag naman ni House Democratic Leader Nanci Pelosi, “You do not use the threat of shutting down government to try to advance your policy agenda — that’s just not the way it works and that is what is called irresponsible and that is why this is the Tea Party government shutdown.”

Sa kabila nito, tiwala pa rin si President Obama na malalampasan nila ang problemang ito bagama’t hindi maiaalis na mag-alala ito sa magiging epekto ng government shutdown sa ekonomiya ng bansa.

“Unfortunately, Congress has not fulfilled its responsibility. It’s failed to pass a budget and as a result much of our government must shut down until Congress funds it again. Secretary Hagel, General Dempsey and your commanders will have more information on how this affects you and your families. Today I want to speak directly to you about what happens next. Those of you in uniform will remain on your normal duty status. The threats to our national security have not changed and we need you to be ready for any contingency. Ongoing military operation like our efforts in Afghanistan will continue. If you’re serving in harm’s way we’re going to make sure you have what you need to succeed in your missions. Congress has passed, and I’m signing into law, legislation that makes sure that you get your paychecks on time and we’ll continue to address any impact this shutdown has on you and your families.”

“To all of our DOD civilians I know the days ahead could mean more uncertainty including possible furloughs and I know this comes on top of the furloughs that many of you already endured this summer. You and your families deserve better than the dysfunction we’re seeing in Congress,” saad ni Obama.

Taong 1995 at 1996 nang huling magkaroon ng shutdown ang US government kung saan umabot sa $1.4 billion ang ginastos ng gobyerno upang makapagpatuloy ang operasyon nito. (James Bontuyan / Ruth Navales, UNTV News)

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

UNTV News   •   November 5, 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

Bomb threat greeted with skepticism by New Yorkers

admin   •   October 25, 2018

 

Bomb Squad at Time Warner Building | REUTERS

In speaking to Reuters, New Yorkers took in stride the events in their city Wednesday (October 24) after police intercepted suspected bombs mailed to former U.S. President Barack Obama, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and other high-profile Democrats, in what New York officials described as an act of terrorism.

With the country deeply polarized, the packages brought a new level of tension to Nov. 6 political contests that will decide whether Democrats can challenge the majorities now held by Trump’s Republicans in Congress.

The CNN bureau in New York also received a device looking like a pipe bomb, leading police to evacuate the building, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, said his office also received a suspicious package. CNN reported that Eric Holder, who was U.S. attorney general under Obama, was also among those targeted.

“We’re used to it a bit. Since 9/11, it’s sort of a routine thing. This happens every few months now. I just want to get my lunch, go on with my day,” Dildeepal Galesa, an employee of Universal Music, told Reuters.

U.S. President Donald Trump condemned what he called “despicable acts” and vowed to bring those responsible to justice.

“In these times, we have to unify, we have to come together, and send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that acts or threats of political violence of any kind have no place in the United States of America,” Trump said at the White House.

“We’re extremely angry, upset and unhappy about what we witnessed this morning, and we will get to the bottom of it,” Trump said.

A similar pipe bomb was delivered earlier this week to the home of George Soros, a major Democratic Party donor.

There has been no claim of responsibility.

All of the targets are frequently disparaged by right-wing critics and Trump, whose spokeswoman condemned the acts.

“Our condemnation of these despicable acts certainly includes threats made to CNN as well as current or former public servants. These cowardly acts are unacceptable and won’t be tolerated,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Twitter.

Alexander Soros, the son of George Soros, said in an opinion piece published by The New York Times that his father had long faced verbal criticism and threats over his involvement in politics, “but something changed in 2016” when Trump was elected.

“Before that, the vitriol he faced was largely confined to the extremist fringes, among white supremacists and nationalists who sought to undermine the very foundations of democracy. But with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, things got worse,” Alexander Soros wrote.

He placed direct responsibility with those who sent the devices, but added: “I cannot see it divorced from the new normal of political demonization that plagues us today.” — Reuters

Obama warns of dangers of ‘strongman politics’

admin   •   July 18, 2018

Former U.S. President Barack Obama. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

 

Former United States President Barack Obama warned of the dangers of the rising influence of “strongman politics” on Tuesday (July 17).

Speaking at the 16th Nelson Mandela annual lecture in Johannesburg, South Africa, the former president said some current politicians were seeking “to undermine every institution or norm that gives democracy meaning.”

He warned that support for far-right politicians in the West was based on “barely hidden racial nationalism.” -Reuters

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