Tuesday, July 05, 2022 |
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Trump’s 100-days promises: A long way to go on most of them
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sure enough, the big trans-Pacific trade deal is toast, climate change action is on the ropes and various regulations from the Obama era have been scrapped. It’s also a safe bet President Donald Trump hasn’t raced a bicycle since Jan. 20, keeping that vow.
Add a Supreme Court justice — no small feat — and call these promises kept.
But where’s that wall? Or the promised trade punishment against China — will the Chinese get off scot-free from “the greatest theft in the history of the world”? What about that “easy” replacement for Obamacare? How about the trillion-dollar infrastructure plan and huge tax cut that were supposed to be in motion by now?
Trump’s road to the White House, paved in big, sometimes impossible pledges, has detoured onto a byway of promises deferred or left behind, an AP analysis found.
Of 38 specific promises Trump made in his 100-day “contract” with voters — “This is my pledge to you” — he’s accomplished 10, mostly through executive orders that don’t require legislation, such as withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
Trump backs away from demand for border wall money
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump appears to be stepping back from demanding a down payment for his border wall, which could remove a major obstacle to a bipartisan deal on must-pass spending legislation just days ahead of a government shutdown deadline.
Trump told a gathering of around 20 conservative media reporters Monday evening that he would be willing to return to the funding issue in September.
The border wall money is fiercely opposed by Democrats, whose votes are needed to pass the legislation. They are equally incensed over Trump’s threat to deprive former President Barack Obama’s health care law of key funds to help poor people.
The wall is also unpopular with many Republicans, and GOP negotiators on Capitol Hill were uneasy about the clash over the wall potentially sparking a government shutdown.
Those were the most pressing issues confronting lawmakers as they returned from a two-week spring recess to face a critical deadline. Congress must pass a $1 trillion catch-all spending bill to pay for all agencies of government by midnight Friday or trigger a partial shutdown the next day, which happens to coincide with the 100th day of Trump’s presidency.
Arkansas executes Jones; plans 2nd lethal injection of night
VARNER, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas executed inmate Jack Jones Monday night and prepared for another lethal injection in what would be the nation’s first double-execution since 2000.
Jones was pronounced dead at 7:20 Monday night, 14 minutes after the procedure began at the state’s Cummins Unit in southeast Arkansas. There were no apparent complications, and Jones’ chest stopped moving two minutes after officials checked for consciousness.
Jones, who’d argued that his health conditions could lead to a painful death, gave a lengthy last statement. His final words were: “I’m sorry.”
“I hope over time you can learn who I really am and I am not a monster,” he said in the roughly 2-minute statement.
Inmate Marcel Williams was scheduled to be executed at 8:15 p.m. Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his final appeals.
Old-guard rallies around newcomer Macron for French runoff
PARIS (AP) — France’s established parties are rallying around the man who helped shut them out of the presidential runoff, maverick centrist Emmanuel Macron — an alliance of convenience aimed at keeping far-right Marine Le Pen out of the Elysee Palace.
Support for Macron also poured in Monday from the seat of the European Union, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Jewish and Muslim groups troubled by Le Pen’s nationalist vision.
European stock markets surged, and France’s main index hit its highest level since early 2008, as investors gambled that the rise of populism around the world — and its associated unpredictability in policymaking — may have peaked.
For all the paeans to Macron’s unifying vision in divided times, it is now up to French voters to decide whether to entrust him with this nuclear-armed nation in the May 7 presidential runoff. Polls consider him the front-runner but that’s no guarantee that the French will come together to stop Le Pen the way they stopped her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, from reaching the presidency in 2002.
France’s divided political mainstream, rejected by an angry electorate, united Monday to urge voters to back Macron and reject Le Pen’s far-right agenda.
State Department removes promotion of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. State Department has removed its promotional posting about President Donald Trump’s Florida resort, after a storm of ethics criticism Monday.
In an April 4 blog post that was republished by several U.S. embassies abroad, Mar-a-Lago was described as “Trump’s Florida estate,” where he has hosted foreign leaders. “By visiting this ‘winter White House,’ Trump is belatedly fulfilling the dream of Mar-a-Lago’s original owner and designer,” the post said.
Left unsaid: Mar-a-Lago is part of Trump’s business empire. After his election, the resort doubled its membership fee to $200,000. As president, Trump has visited the property seven times, and its restaurant fills up when he’s in town.
The State Department said late Monday that its intention was “to inform the public about where the president has been hosting world leaders” and that it regrets “any misperception.” That statement now appears in place of the original blog post.
The White House did not respond to questions about whether it had any involvement in the original posting or the decision to take it down.
In call to Trump, Chinese leader urges restraint over NKorea
WASHINGTON (AP) — As the world braces for a possible North Korean nuclear test, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday urged restraint in a call to President Donald Trump. America’s U.N. envoy warned of a strike if Pyongyang attacks a U.S. military base or tests an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Xi’s phone call with Trump came amid signs Pyongyang could soon conduct its sixth nuclear test explosion since 2006, or the latest in a rapid series of missile tests, further advancing its ambitions of developing a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the U.S. mainland.
In Washington, the Trump administration invited the entire 100-member Senate for a briefing Wednesday on the escalating crisis. Adding to the atmosphere of animosity, officials said North Korea has detained a third U.S. citizen.
Trump told ambassadors from U.N. Security Council members that the status quo in North Korea is “unacceptable” and the council must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions.
“This is a real threat to the world, whether we want to talk about it or not. North Korea is a big world problem, and it’s a problem we have to finally solve. People have put blindfolds on for decades, and now it’s time to solve the problem,” he said at the White House.
Pence thanks US military members during stop in Hawaii
HONOLULU (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence ended his trip to Asia on Monday with a thanks to U.S. service members based in Hawaii and promises of robust military spending under President Donald Trump.
Pence sat with troops for lunch at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii and noted the president’s push for increased military spending at a time when the U.S. faces threats in the Asia-Pacific posed by North Korea.
The vice president said he wanted to assure military members that “in these uncertain times, people who serve here at U.S. Pacific Command will know that in your commander-in-chief, you have a president who is going to fight to rebuild our military.”
Pence wrapped up a 10-day trip to Asia that included a visit to the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea, consultations with leaders in South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Australia, and a quick stop to see troops in American Samoa.
The United States’ efforts to curb North Korea’s nuclear and weapons programs dominated the trip, which put Pence in Asia shortly after Kim Jong Un’s regime unsuccessfully launched a ballistic missile.
Astronaut breaks US space record, gets call from Trump
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Astronaut Peggy Whitson broke the U.S. record Monday for most time in space and talked up Mars during a congratulatory call from President Donald Trump.
The International Space Station’s commander surpassed the record of 534 days, two hours and 48 minutes for most accumulated time in space by an American.
“This is a very special day in the glorious history of American spaceflight,” Trump said. His daughter and close adviser, Ivanka Trump, also offered congratulations to Whitson from the Oval Office.
Whitson said it’s “a huge honor” to break such a record. “It’s an exciting time” as NASA prepares for human expeditions to Mars in the 2030s, included in new legislation signed by Trump last month. She called the space station “a key bridge” between living on Earth and traveling into deep space, and she singled out the station’s recycling system that transforms astronauts’ urine into drinking water.
“It’s really not as bad as it sounds,” she assured the president.
Farmers fear deportation of workers could hurt livelihood
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The head of Bethel Heights Vineyard looked out over the 100 acres of vines her crew of 20 Mexicans had just finished pruning, worried about what will happen if the Trump administration presses ahead with its crackdown on immigrants.
From tending the plants to harvesting the grapes, it takes skill and a strong work ethic to produce the winery’s pinot noir and chardonnay, and native-born Americans just aren’t willing to work that hard, Patricia Dudley said as a cold rain drenched the vineyard in the hills of Oregon.
“Who’s going to come out here and do this work when they deport them all?” she asked.
President Donald Trump’s hard line against immigrants in the U.S. illegally has sent a chill through the nation’s agricultural industry, which fears a crackdown will deprive it of the labor it needs to plant, grow and pick the crops that feed the country.
Fruit and vegetable growers, dairy and cattle farmers and owners of plant nurseries and vineyards have begun lobbying politicians at home and in Washington to get them to deal with immigration in a way that minimizes the harm to their livelihoods.
O’Reilly surprised by Fox exit, says truth will come out
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Five days after being fired from his top-rated Fox News Channel perch, Bill O’Reilly used a podcast to express his dismay and vowed that “the truth will come out.”
“I am sad that I’m not on television anymore,” he said in an episode Monday of his personal website’s “No Spin News” podcast, available only to subscribers after this week’s free window. “I was very surprised how it all turned out.”
O’Reilly, who exited Fox News amid sexual harassment allegations that he has denied, said he couldn’t add much more “because there’s much stuff going on right now.”
“But I can tell you that I’m very confident the truth will come out and when it does, I don’t know if you’re going to be surprised, but I think you’re going to be shaken, as I am,” said O’Reilly, who was Fox’s most popular and most lucrative personality.
He declined to expand on that, he said, “because I just don’t want to influence the flow of the information. I don’t want the media to take what i say and misconstrue it.”
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