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Donald Trump, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Joe Biden - US News - Ukraine Headline

President Donald Trump urged the new leader of Ukraine this summer to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a person familiar with the matter said. Democrats condemned what they saw as a clear effort to damage a political rival, now at the heart of an explosive whistleblower complaint against Trump. It was the latest revelation in an escalating controversy that has created a showdown between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration, which has refused to turn over the formal complaint by a national security official or even describe its contents. Trump defended himself Friday against the intelligence official’s complaint, angrily declaring it came from a “partisan whistleblower,” though he also said he didn’t know who had made it. The complaint was based on a series of events, one of which was a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, according to a two people familiar with the matter. The people were not authorized to discuss the issue by name and were granted anonymity. Trump, in that call, urged Zelenskiy to probe the activities of potential Democratic rival Biden’s son Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian gas company, according to one of the people, who was briefed on the call. Trump did not raise the issue of U.S. aid to Ukraine, indicating there was not an explicit quid pro quo, according to the person. Joe Biden reacted strongly late Friday, saying that if the reports are true, “then there is truly no bottom to PresidentContinue reading

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Donald Trump - USA Headlines Story Now

The Trump administration is poised to revoke California’s authority to set auto mileage standards, asserting that only the federal government has the power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy. Conservative and free-market groups have been asked to attend a formal announcement of the rollback set for Wednesday afternoon at Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington. Gloria Bergquist, spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said Tuesday that her group was among those invited to the event featuring EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The move comes after the Justice Department recently opened an antitrust investigation into a deal between California and four automakers for tougher pollution and related mileage requirements than those sought by President Donald Trump. Trump also has sought to relax Obama-era federal mileage standards nationwide, weakening a key effort by his Democratic predecessor to slow climate change. Top California officials and environmental groups pledged legal action to stop the rollback. The White House declined to comment Tuesday, referring questions to EPA. EPA’s press office did not respond to a phone message and email seeking comment. But Wheeler told the National Automobile Dealers Association on Tuesday that the Trump administration would move “in the very near future” to take steps toward establishing one nationwide set of fuel-economy standards. “We embrace federalism and the role of the states, but federalism does not mean that one state can dictate standards for the nation,” Wheeler said, adding that higher fuel economy standards would hurt consumers byContinue reading

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US Democrats 2020 Candidates

Thirty new students are from Arizona, and nearly 100 moved from California. But the small town of Prosper, Texas, is expecting more growth — a lot more — so it built a $53 million high school football stadium outside Dallas, just two years after finally getting a Walmart. The scoreboard is 63 feet (19 meters) tall, the biggest at any Texas high school, and on a Saturday night it blared Aerosmith’s “Dream On” as band mom Lisa DeMarco settled into one of the 12,000 seats. She’s heard “a few liberals” have moved in but doesn’t know any. “It’s a red state. I love the Second Amendment part of it, and I don’t like the fact there’s a lot of people talking blue,” said DeMarco, herself a newcomer from Georgia. By holding Thursday’s presidential debate in Houston, Democrats are out to show the rest of the country they can finally win again in Texas, propelled by fast-changing suburbs like Prosper that are beginning to trend more liberal after decades of Republican dominance. But for Democrats, the transformation may not come by 2020. For years in Texas, Democrats have counted on shifting demographics, especially a soaring Hispanic population and more left-leaning voters moving in from other states, to turn the state blue. But even after big gains in 2018 — including flipping two congressional districts — conservative bastions like Collin County reflect the difficult task still ahead. Although Democrats might finally break GOP control of the statehouse and are encouraged that fiveContinue reading

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Donald Trump - USA Headline Story Now

President Donald Trump said that US peace talks with the Taliban are “dead” and that he is ramping the war back up after canceling secret talks with the Afghan insurgents at his weekend retreat. “They are dead. As far as I am concerned, they are dead,” Trump said at the White House about the long-running attempt to reach an agreement with the Taliban and extricate US troops following 18 years of war. The announcement followed Trump’s dramatic cancelation of a top-secret plan to fly Taliban leaders in for direct talks at the Camp David presidential facility outside Washington. Driving another nail into the coffin of what had appeared to be nearly finalized negotiations, Trump said that a US military onslaught on the guerrillas was back up at its fiercest in a decade. “Over the last four days, we have been hitting our Enemy harder than at any time in the last ten years!” he wrote in a tweet. On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “we’ve killed over a thousand Taliban in just the last 10 days.” Whiplash Trump angrily denied that the whiplash effect of his sudden shifts on Afghanistan was causing turmoil. Until this weekend, there had been steadily mounting expectations of a deal that would see the United States draw down troop levels in Afghanistan. In return, the Taliban would offer security guarantees to keep extremist groups out. But then on Saturday, Trump revealed that he had canceled an unprecedented meeting between the Taliban andContinue reading

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Juan Orlando Hernandez - Honduras

In a closet-sized underground hip-hop studio in one of the deadliest neighborhoods in Honduras’ capital, Leonardo Sierra believes nothing will change in his country until the United States decides it should. In the 28-year-old’s assessment, it is Washington — fearing a leftist alternative in this Central American country important to U.S. drug and migration policy — that is keeping unpopular President Juan Orlando Hernández propped up even as U.S. prosecutors call him a co-conspirator in his brother’s drug-trafficking case and protesters call for him to step down. From the depths of Tegucigalpa’s gang-controlled La Travesía neighborhood to the halls of the nation’s congress, Hondurans wonder how long the U.S. government can stick with Hernández. While their president jets off to Washington for meetings and photo ops, average Hondurans are glued to the slow drip of revelations coming from a federal courthouse in Manhattan. Hernández has said the allegations in the U.S. come from drug traffickers seeking revenge against him, but U.S. prosecutors promise will provide evidence in a trial scheduled for October showing that Hernández harnessed his brother’s drug-trafficking connections to propel his own political fortunes. “Particularly in this country the influence of the United States is decisive,” said Raul Pineda Alvarado, a political analyst and former three-term congressman from Hernández’s National Party. “If the U.S. decides Juan Orlando Hernandez is more trouble than he is worth his days will be numbered; if it doesn’t, he could finish his term,” Pineda said. Many Hondurans still cite the U.S. government’s decisionContinue reading

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America Chlorinated Chicken

The European Union has long refused to import poultry from the United States that is routinely rinsed with chemical washes to kill germs. But the United Kingdom’s planned exit from the EU is putting the practice back in the spotlight, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson even taunting Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn by calling him a “chlorinated chicken.” The term has come to sum up concerns that Britain could be pressured to accept to looser food safety standards when negotiating its own post-Brexit trade deals. Unlike in the EU, the use of antimicrobial sprays and washes is widespread in the U.S. chicken industry. Companies apply them to kill germs at various stages during processing, such as when carcasses are de-feathered, gutted or any other point when feces could splatter and spread germs like salmonella. The chemicals used in rinses have to be approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and their use is limited to specified amounts. The agency says the rinses are present in finished products at insignificant levels. The U.S. chicken industry says the use of chlorine has declined to about 10% of the country’s plants, as other chemicals have become more common. It says the rinses help improve food safety, but that it’s difficult to completely rid raw chicken of salmonella and campylobacter germs, which don’t sicken birds and are commonly found in their guts. “Chicken and campylobacter are best friends,” said Ashley Peterson of the National Chicken Council, an industry group. Campylobacter (kam-pih-loh-BAK’-tur) isn’t widely knownContinue reading

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Boris Johnson and Donald Trump - USA - UK News

Britain hasn’t even divorced the European Union yet, and already a new suitor has come calling: the United States. During a visit this week to the United Kingdom, Vice President Mike Pence brought word from his boss, President Donald Trump: The United States is eager to reach a new trade pact — one that won’t be possible until Britain completes Brexit and moves out of the 28-country EU trading bloc. “Our message is clear: The minute the UK is out, America is in,” Vice President Mike Pence said in a visit with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street on Thursday. Not so fast. Building a new U.S.-U.K. trading relationship atop the wreckage of Brexit won’t be easy. British officials are already vowing to resist an agreement that is lopsided in favor of the more powerful United States, creating potential for disputes over matters such as chlorinated chicken and the divisive Scottish dish haggis. “I know that you guys are pretty tough negotiators,” Johnson told Pence. “So, we’re going to work very hard to make sure that that free trade deal is one that works for all sides.” As a member of the EU, Britain outsourced its trade policy to the bloc’s bureaucrats in Brussels. Before it can pursue an independent course and reach a brand-new trade pact with Washington, London will have to negotiate a divorce with the EU— or crash out of the bloc without a deal and risk damaging its own economy. “Until that getsContinue reading

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Deutsche Bank - Germany

U.S. congressional investigators have identified possible failures in Deutsche Bank AG’s (DBKGn.D) money laundering controls in its dealings with Russian oligarchs, after the lender handed over a trove of transaction records, emails and other documents, three people familiar with the matter said. The congressional inquiry found instances where Deutsche Bank staff in the United States and elsewhere flagged concerns about new Russian clients and transactions involving existing ones, but were ignored by managers, two of the people said. Lawmakers are also examining whether Deutsche Bank facilitated the funneling of illegal funds into the United States as a correspondent bank, where it processes transactions for others, one of the sources said. The congressional probe, whose initial findings have not been previously reported, is at an early stage, and it is not yet clear whether it will lead to any action against the bank, the three sources said. A Deutsche Bank spokesman, Troy Gravitt, said the bank cannot comment on the work of the congressional committees but remains committed to cooperating with authorized investigations. Addressing past deficiencies in the bank’s controls, the spokesman said: “We have worked to address them, taken disciplinary measures with regards to certain individuals and reviewed our client onboarding and monitoring processes.” The House of Representatives Financial Services Committee declined to comment. The Democrat-controlled House began examining possible money laundering in U.S. property deals involving President Donald Trump, a Republican, earlier this year. The lawmakers are also looking into whether Trump’s dealings left him subject to the influenceContinue reading

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Mike Pence - USA Politics News Headline

US Vice President Mike Pence is receiving a tongue-lashing from European allies as he plays understudy to the president on the world stage. From the Taoiseach of Ireland to the mayor of Reykjavik, leaders have been publicly confronting Pence on issues such as the U.K.’s exit from the E.U., nuclear disarmament and climate change. The appeals appear part of a desperate effort to try to get through to a Trump administration that follows its own norms and rules, and find someone— anyone — who might be able to change the president’s mind. But again and again, Pence has appeared to brush off the efforts, which spilled into public view before he’d even left the airport in Shannon, Ireland. There, Simon Coveney, the country’s foreign minister, confronted Pence with an urgent message about the potential impact of Brexit. He warned a return to hard borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland would not only disrupt commerce, but could also threaten a fragile peace. “As somebody who understands Ireland well, I think you understand why it’s such an emotional issue,” Coveney said, trying to leverage Pence’s personal connections to the country. “It’s a huge issue for this country right now. It’s dominating politics here. It’s about trying to mitigate against potential damage.” Pence, appearing less than amused by the public confrontation, said he was “grateful” for Coveney’s “candor” and quickly pivoted. But the pleas continued in Pence’s meetings with other Irish leaders, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. “All I ask is that you bringContinue reading

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Bans Flavored Electronic Cigarettes

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer moved Wednesday to make her state the first to ban flavored electronic cigarettes, accusing companies of using candy flavors and deceptive advertising to “hook children on nicotine.” The Democrat ordered the state health department to issue emergency rules that will prohibit the sale of flavored nicotine vaping products, including to adults, and the misleading marketing of e-cigarettes. Retailers will have 30 days to comply with the rules once they’re filed in coming weeks. The rules will almost certainly be challenged in court. New York last November began taking steps to bar the sale of flavored e-cigarettes but withdrew proposed rules, and legislators rejected Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget proposal to clarify the state health department’s authority to limit sales. The federal government and states ban the sale of vaping products to minors, yet government survey figures show that last year, one in five U.S. high school students reported vaping in the previous month. Top government health officials, including the surgeon general, have flagged the trend as an epidemic. “This is a health crisis that we’re confronting, and it would never be permitted if it was cigarettes. We’re letting these companies target our kids, appeal to our kids and deceive our children,” Gretchen Whitmer told reporters. Michigan’s chief medical executive determined that youth vaping constitutes a public health emergency. As of last week, 215 possible cases of severe pulmonary disease associated with the use of e-cigarettes had been reported by 25 states, according to the Centers for DiseaseContinue reading

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Joe Biden - US Today Headline Stories

Democrats have a Joe Biden problem. The former VP might still lead the polls, but with serious concerns raised about his memory and mental state, nominating him to face Donald Trump in 2020 is a risk the party can’t afford. Biden relayed a moving story of military heroism and his own role in honoring a US Navy captain to a rapt audience last week. The problem was, as the Washington Post reported, “almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect.” In fact, Biden combined elements of three different events into “one story of bravery, compassion and regret that never happened.” The generous interpretation here is that Biden did not intentionally lie, but genuinely mixed up the details due to failing memory. The cynical interpretation is that he embellished in order to play up his own role in the tale to win some campaign brownie points. Whatever the case may be, there’s no good way to spin it. The Post’s report sparked a flurry of headlines and speculation about Biden’s mental state: “We Need to Talk about Joe Biden,” reads a National Review headline. “Joe Biden Needs An Intervention,” says Townhall. “Pull it together, Joe Biden,” argued an op-ed in the Post itself. Everyone knows Joe Biden has been a gaffe machine throughout his entire career, and Democrats have always considered his blunders to be part of a folksy charm. But it’s time to get real. As long as Biden leads in the polls, Trump will be laughing himselfContinue reading

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Joe Biden - US Today Headline Story

Joe Biden entered the Democratic primary promising “from day one” to reject campaign cash from lobbyists. “I work for you — not any industry,” Joe Biden tweeted. Yet hours after his April campaign kickoff, the former vice president went to a fundraiser at the home of a lobbying executive. And in the months since, he’s done it again and again. It’s hard to quantify how much Biden has raised from the multibillion-dollar influence industry, but the roughly $200,000 he accepted from employees of major lobbying firms is far more than any of his rivals have received, according to a review of campaign finance data by The Associated Press. Though it’s a small fraction of the $21.5 million he reported raising in the second quarter of 2019, the money demonstrates a comfort with an industry that is the object of scorn of Democratic activists and some of Biden’s principal rivals. Biden’s pledge applies only to federally registered lobbyists, and most of the money tracked by the AP was from others in the influence industry. But thousands of dollars did come from federally registered lobbyists, and Biden’s campaign said it is returning such donations. His campaign accepted roughly $6,000 in contributions from at least six federally registered lobbyists, including representatives of Google, aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin, and pharmaceutical companies, records show. An additional $5,750 was donated by two lobbyists who had been registered shortly before making contributions to Biden’s campaign, records show. In at least two instances, donations came fromContinue reading

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China vs US - United States - America News Headlines

The United States and China on Sunday put in place their latest tariff increases on each other’s goods, potentially raising prices Americans pay for some clothes, shoes, sporting goods and other consumer items before the holiday shopping season. President Donald Trump said U.S.-China trade talks were still on for September. “We’ll see what happens,” he told reporters as he returned to the White House from the Camp David presidential retreat. “But we can’t allow China to rip us off anymore as a country.” The 15% U.S. taxes apply to about $112 billion of Chinese imports. All told, more than two-thirds of the consumer goods the United States imports from China now face higher taxes. The administration had largely avoided hitting consumer items in its earlier rounds of tariff increases. But with prices of many retail goods now likely to rise, the Trump administration’s move threatens the U.S. economy’s main driver: consumer spending. As businesses pull back on investment spending and exports slow in the face of weak global growth, American shoppers have been a key bright spot for the economy. “We have got a great economy,” said Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. “But I do think that the uncertainty caused by volatile tariff situation and this developing trade war could jeopardize that strength, and that growth, and that is, I think, that’s a legitimate concern,” he told ABC’s “This Week.” As a result of Trump’s higher tariffs, many U.S. companies have warned that they will be forced to pass on toContinue reading

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Donald Trump Phone Call - US News

“Even if you believe Taliban assurances (of) denying safe haven to al-Qaida, I don’t see how they even have the capability to do so,” said said Republican Rep. Michael Waltz.

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Donald Trump - USA Politics News

When shots rang out last year at a high school in Parkland, Florida, leaving 17 people dead, President Donald Trump quickly turned his thoughts to creating more mental institutions. When back-to-back mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, jolted the nation earlier this month, Trump again spoke of “building new facilities” for the mentally ill as a way to reduce mass shootings. “We don’t have those institutions anymore and people can’t get proper care,” Trump lamented at a New Hampshire campaign rally not long after the latest shootings. Now, in response to Trump’s concerns, White House staff members are looking for ways to incorporate the president’s desire for more institutions into a long list of other measures aimed at reducing gun violence. It’s the latest example of White House policy aides scrambling to come up with concrete policies or proposals to fill out ideas tossed out by the president. And it’s an idea that mental health professionals say reflects outdated thinking on the treatment of mental illness. Trump sometimes harks back to his earlier years in New York to explain his thinking on preventing future mass shootings. He recently recalled to reporters how mentally ill people ended up on the streets and in jails in New York after the state closed large psychiatric hospitals in the 1960s and 1970s. “Even as a young guy, I said, ‘How does that work? That’s not a good thing,’” Trump said. As the White House looks for ways to fight gun violence,Continue reading

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Jim Mattis - USA News Today

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is warning that bitter political divisions threaten American society, saying he views “tribalism” as a greater risk to the nation’s future than foreign adversaries. The retired Marine general, who resigned in December 2018 in a policy dispute with President Donald Trump, said he worries about the state of American politics and the administration’s treatment of allies. “We all know that we’re better than our current politics,” Mattis wrote in an essay adapted from his new book and published Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal. “Unlike in the past, where we were unified and drew in allies, currently our own commons seems to be breaking apart.” Mattis said the problem is made worse by this administration’s disregard for the enduring value of allies, which he alluded to in the resignation letter he gave Trump on Dec. 20. “Nations with allies thrive,” he wrote in the Journal essay, “and those without them wither. Alone, America cannot protect our people and our economy. At this time, we can see storm clouds gathering.” In an apparent reference to Trump, Mattis added: “A polemicist’s role is not sufficient for a leader. A leader must display strategic acumen that incorporates respect for those nations that have stood with us when trouble loomed.” Jim Mattis is breaking months of public silence as he promotes his new book, “Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead,” which is scheduled to be published Sept. 3. He is to discuss the book in an appearance next TuesdayContinue reading

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