Hurricane Trump hits America: President deletes gay rights, other laws scrapped as Taliban threaten US
Emerging reports suggests that Donald Trump's new administration has deleted swathes of Barack Obama's pet policies from the White House website.
Daily Mail reports that deleted from the website were the phrases 'LGBT' rights and 'climate change.'
A page in the issues section promoted an 'America First Energy Plan' that included a support for clean coal technology. The only reference to the climate is the elimination of an Obama-era environmental initiative to reduce carbon initiatives.
Chicago Tribune reports that The issues page of Trump's White House offered no new plans or policies but rather a rehash of many of his most prominent campaign promises - a signal to the nation that Trump, more pragmatic than ideological, plans to implement at least the key guideposts of his campaign vision.
His policies include plans to both withdraw from and renegotiate major trade deals, grow the nation's military and increase cyber-security capabilities, build a wall at the nation's southern border and deport undocumented immigrants who have committed violent crimes.
Trump deletes Lesbigay Right from USA Main website
Several social issues disappeared from the WhiteHouse.gov site Friday, including a page dedicated to LGBT rights.
A report on the Labor Department’s website on LGBT workers rights was also removed.
Advocates for the LGBT community have worried about what a Trump administration would mean for the progress made on equality issues under President Obama. As a candidate, President Trump said he is opposed to gay marriage and Vice President Pence has taken strong anti-gay rights stances throughout his political career.
And while it’s standard for the new administration to update the White House’s official website with its agenda as part of the transition it is notable that the Trump administration did not choose to include anything about the LGBT community.
The tax issue
Trump met with a dozen prominent American manufacturers at the White House on Monday, January 23, promising them he would slash regulations and cut corporate taxes.
But he warned them of penalties if they moved production outside the country.
Trump, who took office on Friday, promised to bring manufacturing plants back to the United States during his campaign, and has not hesitated to call out by name companies that he thinks should bring outsourced production back home.
He told the chief executives of Ford, Dow Chemical, Dell-Technologies, Tesla and others that he would like to cut corporate taxes to the 15 per cent to 20 per cent range.
This is down from current statutory levels of 35 percent – a pledge that will require cooperation from the Republican-led US Congress.
But he said business leaders have told him that reducing regulations is even more important.
“We think we can cut regulations by 75 per cent, maybe more,” Trump told business leaders in the Roosevelt Room.
“When you want to expand your plant or when Mark wants to come in and build a big, massive plant or when Dell wants to come in and do something monstrous and special – you’re going to have your approvals really fast”, Trump said, referring to Mark Fields, CEO of Ford, who sat around the boardroom style table.
The new president told companies that they were welcome to negotiate with governors to move production between states, but said those businesses that choose to move factories outside the country would pay a price.
“We are going to be imposing a very major border tax on the product when it comes in”, Trump said.
“A company that wants to fire all of its people in the United States, and build some factory someplace else, and then thinks that that product is going to just flow across the border into the United States – that’s not going to happen”, he said.
Trump was scheduled to hold a meeting later on Monday with labour leaders and U.S. workers, the White House said.
Trump, a Republican who took over from former Democratic President Barack Obama, was also expected to sign executive orders to renegotiate the free trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico, and to formally withdraw the United States from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Between winning the presidential election in November and taking office, Trump hosted a number of U.S. CEOs in meetings in New York, including business leaders from defense, technology and other sectors.
Reuters reports that he also met with leaders of several labor unions, including the AFL- CIO.
Trump, a real estate developer, has particularly focused on manufacturing, lamenting during his inaugural address on Friday about “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation” and vowing to boost US industries over foreign ones.
Withdrawing from 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TGPP)
President Donald Trump signed an executive order formally withdrawing the United States from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TGPP) trade deal on Monday in Washington.
This is in line with a promise made during his campaign last year.
In an Oval Office ceremony, Mr. Trump also signed an order imposing a federal hiring freeze and a directive banning U.S. non-governmental organisations receive federal funding from providing abortions abroad.
Mr Trump called the TPP order a “great thing for the American worker.”
The Taliban threat
The Taliban has called on President Donald Trump to withdraw U.S. forces from the "quagmire" of Afghanistan, saying that nothing has been achieved in 15 years of war except bloodshed and destruction.
In an open letter to the new U.S. president published on one of its official web pages, the insurgent movement said the United States had lost credibility after spending a trillion dollars on a fruitless entanglement.
"So, the responsibility to bring to an end this war also rests on your shoulders," it said.
So far, Trump has had little to say publicly about Afghanistan, where some 8,400 U.S. troops remain as part of the NATO-led coalition's training mission to support local forces as well as a separate U.S. counter-terrorism mission.
Two of his top security appointments - retired Marine Corps General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense and former General Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser - both have extensive experience in Afghanistan.
The Taliban, however, warned Trump against relying on the kind of "unrealistic" reports presented to former presidents by their generals, saying: "They would emphasize continuation of war and occupation of Afghanistan because they can have better positions and privileges in war."
The United States would not accept foreign forces on its territory or even in a neighboring country, said the Taliban. It accused Washington of imposing a "surrogate administration" on Afghanistan in the face of popular Muslim resistance.
"You have to realize that the Afghan Muslim nation has risen up against foreign occupation," it said.
The Taliban has made steady inroads against the Western-backed government in Kabul since coalition forces ended their main combat mission in 2014, with government forces now in control of only two thirds of the country.
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It has repeatedly urged the United States and its allies to leave Afghanistan, ruling out peace talks with the Kabul government while foreign forces remain on Afghan soil.
Trump has sharply criticized past U.S. administrations for their handling of conflicts in the Muslim world but he has also pledged to eradicate militant Islamists around the globe.
The abortion dilemma
Trump on Monday signed a decree barring US federal funding for foreign NGOs that support abortion, relaunching a battle that has long divided Americans. It comes just two days after women led a massive protest march in Washington to defend their rights, including to abortion.
The decision to ban foreign aid to groups that lobby in support of abortion rights is certain to deepen concern among already apprehensive US family planning and women’s rights organizations.
Stenny Hoyer, a Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, sharply criticized Trump for using his first week in office “to attack women’s health.”
Trump “It should be no surprise to the millions of women and men who gathered in protest this weekend across the country –- and around the world –- that Republicans are focused more on making it harder for women to access health care than on the serious economic and security challenges we face.”
The restrictions imposed Monday prohibit foreign nongovernmental organizations that receive US family planning assistance from using non-US funding to provide abortion services, information, counseling or referrals and from engaging in advocacy to promote abortion.
They were first put in place in 1984 by Republican president Ronald Reagan. Later eliminated by Democratic president Bill Clinton, they were reinstalled by his Republican successor George W. Bush, and annulled again after Barack Obama took office. Galvanized by Trump’s November 8 election, abortion opponents in states where Republicans hold power moved swiftly last month to adopt draconian anti-abortion measures that in some cases pose challenges to constitutional liberties.
The new president, meanwhile, has pledged to nominate an anti-abortion justice to the Supreme Court, which could lead to overturning Roe v. Wade, the emblematic ruling that legalized abortion in the United States in 1973.
Within moments of the inauguration of President Trump, the official White House website on Friday, witnessed an unexpected purge.
It came as part of the full digital turnover of whitehouse.gov, including taking down and archiving all the Obama administration’s personal and policy pages. That also included a page devoted to lesbigay, and transgender issues. At the same time, the official White House Twitter handles also changed over, allowing Mr. Trump to now post on Twitter as @POTUS.
But the digital change, which flashed into place at noon on Friday, immediately placed into sharp relief some of the starkest differences between the old president and the new.
And for advocates of climate change policy, it presented the first concrete sign that Mr. Trump remains, as he was on the campaign trail, skeptical and dismissive of the established science of human-caused climate change, and committed to blocking policies to curb it.