Mazin Sidahmedtweeted on Tuesday. It follows a flurry of executive orders that were issued this week to begin dismantling former president Barack Obama’s legacy. This included reversing course on the Dakota Access pipeline, and reinstating the “global gag rule”, which cuts federal funding to international non-profit organizations that offer or advocate for abortions.
Donald Trump to order Mexico wall in national security crackdown
Trump gags environmental agenciesAs Trump prepares to purge several agencies that are involved in environmental regulation, his administration placed de facto gag orders on staff at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture, according to reports. Staff at the EPA were banned from “providing updates on social media or to reporters”. USDA staff were banned from releasing “news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content” until further notice, according to a memo viewed by BuzzFeed. This request targeted the department’s Agricultural Research Service, which is involved in climate change research. The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, said he needed to look further into the matter before commenting. The USDA and EPA are among five agencies which have been ordered to be silent in the last five days by the Trump administration.
Trump bans agencies from ‘providing updates on social media or to reporters’
$9bn of aid at risk due to ‘global gag rule’Trump’s reinstatement of the “global gag rule” will cost aid organizations billions of dollars around the world, campaigners told the Guardian on Tuesday. Trump’s signing of the executive order on Monday, which bans the federal government from providing funding to groups that offer abortions or abortion advocacy, has put the US’s estimated $9bn of global health spending into question. Groups now fear that organizations that are working on a wide range of issues such as HIV and Zika will have their US funding cut. While the order is usually reinstated by Republican presidents and repealed by Democrats, groups say Trump has signed the “most extreme” of its kind.
‘Global gag rule’ on abortion puts $9bn in health aid at risk, activists say
Manning: we need an uncompromising progressive leaderIn her first column since her 35-year sentence was commuted last week, Chelsea Manning writes that Obama’s legacy is a warning against not being bold enough. His two terms in office were met with consistent resistance from his opponents and he constantly sought to compromise, Manning writes. “The one simple lesson to draw from President Obama’s legacy: do not start off with a compromise,” she reasons. “They won’t meet you in the middle. Instead, what we need is an unapologetic progressive leader.”Manning will be released in May.
Compromise doesn’t work with our political opponents. When will we learn?
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Who will fill supreme court spot?One of the presidential campaign’s most contentious issues was who would take the vacant spot on the supreme court. According to reports, Neil Gorsuch, Thomas Hardiman and Bill Pryor have made the shortlist of potential nominees. All three are conservative federal appeals court judges appointed by former president George W Bush. They are all conservatives who, between them, have supported things such as a “religious liberty” healthcare exemption for employers who object to covering contraception in healthcare plans and rolling back abortion rights.
Trump’s supreme court shortlist: three potential nominees emerge
Author of Hillbilly Elegy says book ‘changed my life’JD Vance’s book Hillbilly Elegy captured the zeitgeist in 2016, as readers became fascinated with the disaffection among America’s white working class that many say led to the rise of Donald Trump. “It’s pretty insane,” Vance told the Guardian in an interview. “I would say it has changed nearly everything in my life.” He now works in Silicon Valley where he recently joined the controversial billionaire Peter Thiel’s venture capital firm and has also set up a non-profit to help deal with the opioid crisis in Ohio. He confessed to the Guardian that he may consider a run for office in the future.
Hillbilly Elegy author JD Vance on Barack Obama: ‘We dislike the things we envy’
Republicans want to focus on policyAs they prepare for their annual retreat in Philadelphia, some Republicans are wishing that Trump would focus more on policy and less on the rhetoric that seems to be dominating the headlines. Despite a series of policy wins in his first week in office for the GOP, headlines have been dominated by debates over the crowd size at the inauguration and Trump’s claims of voter fraud.
Republicans hoping to focus on policy irritated as Trump continues false claims
Williams and Nadal advance in AustraliaSerena Williams and Rafael Nadal have proceeded to the semi-finals in the Australian Open. Nadal defeated the young Canadian Milos Raonic in straight sets to set up a semi-final with Grigor Dimitrov. Johanna Konta’s impressive run at the tournament was ended by six-time champion Williams in about 75 minutes. Williams will meet the 34-year-old Croatian Mirjana Lucic-Baroni in the semis.
Serena Williams ends Johanna Konta’s Australian Open run in quarter-final