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Democrats say Trump agrees to work on immigration bill, wall in dispute

September 14, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
Reuters
Thu, 2017-09-14 07:17
ID: 
1505363574107737000

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders in the US Congress have agreed to work together on legislation to protect “Dreamers,” the illegal immigrants who were children when they entered the United States, the lawmakers said on Wednesday, although a dispute erupted over exactly what had been agreed.
Following a dinner with Trump at the White House, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said the “productive meeting” focused on “DACA,” a program established by former President Barack Obama.
“We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a statement.
All year, Democrats have insisted that they will block any legislation that contains funding for a wall along the length of the US border with Mexico, a top Trump campaign goal that many Republicans in Congress also do not support.
While White House officials have suggested legislation on DACA could move forward without wall funding, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders disputed the characterization that a deal had been reached to leave it out of any legislation focused on the Dreamers.
“While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to,” she said on Twitter.
Throughout his 2016 campaign for president and since taking office in January, Trump has demanded the construction of a wall to keep out illegal immigrants and drugs. He initially said Mexico would pay for the wall but has requested money from the US Congress after the government of Mexico refused to pay.
The dinner was the latest effort in a new initiative by Trump to work with opposition party Democrats on major legislation.
Following the dinner, a White House official said the president, Schumer and Pelosi discussed tax reform, immigration, border security, infrastructure investments and trade as part of Trump’s bid to reach out to Democrats.
“The administration looks forward to continuing these conversations with leadership on both sides of the aisle,” the official said.
Over a dinner of Chinese food, Trump and the Democratic leaders also discussed issues related to US-China trade, according to a congressional aide briefed on the meeting.
Schumer and Pelosi also said that they urged Trump to make permanent government subsidy payments under the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”
“Those discussions will continue,” the lawmakers said.
Trump and most Republicans in Congress have demanded the repeal of Obamacare but have been unable to agree on a replacement for the health care program that became law in 2010.
Using his executive powers, Trump canceled Obama’s DACA program in which about 800,000 undocumented young people have escaped the threat of deportation and been able to apply for work permits in the US. Trump argued that Obama over-stepped his authority in creating the program.
But Trump gave Congress six months to come up with a replacement program in the form of legislation to be enacted into law.
Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar, who attended a White House meeting with Trump earlier on Wednesday, told reporters the president said he would not insist on wall funding as part of a Dreamers bill, but would pursue it on other, future legislation.
Cuellar said Trump urged lawmakers to link a Republican bill to cut legal immigration to the United States with protections for Dreamers. But many Democrats oppose lowering the cap on annual legal immigration.

Main category: 
related_nodes: 
Trump orders end to ‘Dreamer’ immigration program
Trump to Congress: ‘Get ready to do your job’ on immigration
Pope hopes Trump will reconsider ‘Dreamers’ order

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The campaign against Saudi preachers continues

September 14, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Well-informed sources revealed that, today, the Saudi security arrested Saudi preachers including academic scholar Ali Badahdah, Idris Abkar as well as Khaled Al-Shannar, Adel Banaemah and Khalid Al-Mahewush. There were also reports that claimed that preacher Nasser Al-Omar, Abdullah Sweilem among other preachers were equally arrested. The arrests came under during a campaign that lasted for four successive days impacted about 27 Islamic scholars, preachers, writers, researchers and poets who are confirmed to be arrested by the Saudi security, since Sunday. Over the past few days, Saudi authorities arrested Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Abdullatif, Aqidah (Islamic creed) professor, academic scholar and novelist Mustafa Al-Hassan, and poet Zied Bin Naheet, who is best known for praising Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin […]

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Blaze kills 24 at Islamic school in Malaysian capital

September 14, 2017 rbksa 0
Author: 
Reuters
Thu, 2017-09-14 06:58
ID: 
1505362527177700200

KUALA LUMPUR: A fire at an Islamic boarding school for boys killed at least 24 people, most of them students, in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur on Thursday morning, officials said.
Officials suspected an electrical short circuit caused the blaze that broke out in a top floor dormitory, where most of the students perished.
The fire at Darul Qur’an Ittifaqiyah, a “tahfiz” boarding school where students learn to memorize the Qur’an, was reported around 5.40 am local time, according to a statement from the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department.
The blaze began in the sleeping quarters on the top floor of the three-story school building, the statement said. Kuala Lumpur police chief Amar Singh told reporters that 22 students and 2 wardens were killed. All the students were boys aged 13-17, and they probably suffocated due to smoke inhalation.
“They’re still counting the bodies, which were piled on top of each other in a corner,” Singh said in the aftermath of one of the worst fires in Malaysia during the past two decades. The dormitory had only one entrance, leaving many of the victims trapped inside, he said. Some witnesses said they had heard the students crying for help after the fire broke out.
“The building was surrounded by metal grills that could not be opened from the inside. The students, after realizing the fire and heavy smoke, tried to escape through the window,” said Fire and Rescue Department operations deputy director Soiman Jahid told reporters outside the school.
“But because of the grills, they could not escape,” he said. Soiman said they were still investigating the cause of the fire but it was likely caused by short circuit or a lit mosquito repellant coil.
A man identified only as Hazin, who lived next door to the school, said his son called the fire department after they heard screams and saw the flames. “The children were crying for help, but I couldn’t help them as the door was already on fire,” he said. “I only managed to save a few of the kids who jumped out the window.”
Hazin said his friend’s son was among the students who perished.
“We ran there because he knew he was inside, but I couldn’t save him. He was trapped inside,” he said.
While the emergency services removed the victims and inspected the site, distraught parents were seen crying as they spoke with officials on the street where hundreds of people had gathered.
Viewed from outside the only obvious tell-tale signs of disaster at the school were the blackened upper floor windows, as otherwise the tin roofed building appeared unscathed, with a Malaysian flag hanging limply from the yellow external walls.
Only inside did the intensity of the inferno become clear, as the dormitory was completely blackened, lined with the charred frames of bunk beds where the boys had slept.
Several of the 18 survivors were taken to hospital to be treated for injuries, officials said. Trucks carrying bodies of the victims were seen arriving at the morgue.
Tahfiz schools, which are unregulated by the education ministry and fall under the purview of the religious department, have been under scrutiny since earlier this year when an 11-year-old boy died after reported abuse in Johor, north of Singapore.
Officials said based on the records of the Kuala Lumpur fire safety department, the school had just submitted a request for fire safety approval for the building but no checks had been carried as at the request was still being processed.

Main category: 
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Malaysia sets boat ablaze as it turns up heat on illegal fishing
Comedy own goal dampens Malaysia’s golden day

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Ripple Price Technical Analysis – XRP/USD Sell on Rallies

September 14, 2017 Aayush Jindal 0

Key Highlights Ripple price declined below the $0.2060 support area against the US Dollar, and currently remains at a risk. There is a short-term connecting bearish trend line forming with current resistance at $0.2030 on the hourly chart of XRP/USD (data source from Kraken). The price might correct a few points, but upsides remain capped … Continue reading Ripple Price Technical Analysis – XRP/USD Sell on Rallies

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Ripple Price Technical Analysis – XRP/USD Sell on Rallies

September 14, 2017 BitNewz.net 0

Key Highlights Ripple price declined below the $0.2060 support area against the US Dollar, and currently remains at a risk. There is a short-term connecting bearish trend line forming with current resistance at $0.2030 on the hourly chart of XRP/USD (data source from Kraken). The price might correct a few points, but upsides remain capped … Continue reading Ripple Price Technical Analysis – XRP/USD Sell on Rallies

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US Tax Reform; Downside Surprise in Chinese Data; BOE

September 14, 2017 Oil N' Gold 0

US dollar strengthened across the board on rekindled hopes of tax reform. The greenback rose across the major currencies, sending the DXY index +0.7% higher at close. The greenback was in particular strong against commodity currencies, after falling st…

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Fatah delegation visits Cairo to discuss completion of Palestinian reconciliation

September 14, 2017 Middle East Monitor 0

Today, Cairo has declared that it would welcome a delegation from the Palestinian movement Fatah on Friday to discuss ways to complete the Palestinian reconciliation. Fatah delegation includes Azzam Al-Ahmad, member of Fatah Central Committee and head of its parliamentary bloc, Hussein Al-Sheikh, Minister of Civil Affairs in the Palestinian Authority and member of the Central Committee, and Rawhi Fattouh, member of the Central Committee and the movement’s international relations commissioner. It is not known whether Fatah leaders will meet up with Hamas delegation, which paid a visit to Cairo last Thursday headed by Ismail Haniyeh, head of the movement’s political bureau. In a statement to the official radio station Voice of Palestine on Wednesday, Azzam Al-Ahmad stipulated that Hamas […]

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College Students Rejoice! Bernie Sanders Introduces Long-Awaited “Medicare For All” Bill

September 14, 2017 Tyler Durden 0

After successfully leveraging promises for far-left policy reforms into a competitive challenge against frontrunner Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Democratic primary (forcing Debbie Wasserman Schultz to intervene on her longtime friend’s behalf), Senator Bernie Sanders has finally introduced a long-anticipated piece of legislation: His bill to create a single-payer health-care system, or, as his supporters know it best, “Medicare for all.”

As expected, the proposal would offer the same suite of medical benefits required for some insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act and eliminate most out-of-pocket costs. Mr. Sanders argues that although taxes would likely rise to support the new system, families would save money by no longer needing to purchase health coverage, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Unsurprisingly given Sanders’s well-known views on government spending, the 96-page bill offers no mechanisms to pay for the plan, which is expected to cost the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars a year. A Bernie spokesman said his office plans to release a separate white paper focusing on payment strategies, but as of now, no such plan exists.

While the bill’s chances of passing are infinitesimal (Republicans remain vehemently opposed), as the WSJ explains, the symbolism surrounding its introduction is actually quite potent.

As the Democratic party shifts further to the left, socialized medicine (Like they have in Canada!) is becoming a rallying cry for the party. Already, four of the top-polling contenders for the 2020 presidential nod have signed on to the plan.

“A health-care system as Mr. Sanders envisions it remains unlikely with Republicans in control of the White House and both chambers of Congress. But the idea has caught on with many Democrats since Mr. Sanders touted it on the 2016 presidential campaign trail; when he debuted a similar plan in 2013, none of his Democratic colleagues signed on.

 

Single-payer health care is becoming a rallying cry for many Democrats much as the seven-year promise to “repeal and replace” the ACA brought together Republicans.

 

At least four potential 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey, have all signed onto the plan.”

In a timeline chronicling the Democratic Party’s flirtations with single payer, the International Business Times explains how the idea of universal health-care coverage was first proposed by former President Harry Truman in 1945. After Democrats successfully created the Medicare and Medicaid programs during the 1960s, some progressive hoped to follow by extending coverage to all citizens. The idea slowly lost favor during the 1970s and 1980s, as Ronald Reagan criticized what he saw as “socialized medicine.”

But it was revived in 1992 when California’s once-and-future governor Jerry Brown campaigned on it during the Democratic primary. He was defeated by Bill Clinton who decided to institute reforms that preserved the existing private-insurance system after failing to muster support for “Hillarycare” – the Clintonian plan for a single-payer system.

Moving ahead to the Obama era, the former president famously flip-flopped on the issue, saying he “never supported single payer” even though there were records of him speaking favorably about the policy dating back to 2003, when he was a state senator in Illinois.

During the formulation of what would become Obamacare, some Democrats pushed to include a so-called “public option” in the bill – a measure for which the president’s support wavered. It was eventually killed by then-Democratic Sen. (and former vice presidential candidate) Joe Lieberman.

Which brings us back to today.  

If enacted, Sanders’s bill would begin extending Medicare-like coverage to people over a four-year transition period, with the eligibility age for the program—currently 65 and older—slowly lowered over time until it covers the entire population, according to WSJ. And while private insurers wouldn’t be permitted to compete with the government’s plan for basic coverage, consumers could purchase supplemental health policies.

The plan would also authorize the universal government health system to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs, an idea that conservative have said is tantamount to price fixing. The Sanders plan would also require abortion to be covered – an idea that will outrage evangelicals. Federal funds are presently prohibited from paying for abortions.

While hundreds of thousands of college students would probably rejoice at its passage (having free health-care coverage for life would certainly ease the psychic burden of not working), as author and former trader Nassim Taleb notes, “America is not Canada.”

As of Wednesday, 15 Democratic senators have signed on to support the bill. They are:

Tammy Baldwin (WI)

Richard Blumenthal (CT)

Cory Booker (NJ)

Al Franken (WI)

Kamala Harris (CA)

Mazie Hirono (HI)

Martin Heinrich (NM)

Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)

Ed Markey (MA)

Jeff Merkley (OR)

Brian Schatz (HI)

Tom Udall (NM)

Elizabeth Warren (MA)

Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)

Speculation about how Sanders will propose payment for the bill, which will likely be used as a template by Democrats in legislative battles for years to come, is already mounting. Here are a few ideas, courtesy of Axios.

  • A 7.5% income-based premium paid by employers, which his paper claims will raise $3.9 trillion over 10 years. This would exempt certain small businesses.
  • 4% income-based premium paid by households, which his paper claims will raise $4.2 trillion over 10 years. This would not affect low-income families.
  • Savings from health tax expenditures, which his paper claims will raise $4.2 trillion over 10 years.
  • Make the personal income tax and the estate tax more progressive, including limiting deductions for the wealthy. His paper claims this will raise $1.8 trillion and $249 billion over 10 years, respectively.
  • “Establish a Wealth Tax on the Top 0.1 percent,” which his paper claims will raise $1.3 trillion over 10 years.
  • Add a fee on large financial institutions, which his paper claims will raise $117 billion over 10 years.

Of course, not all Democrats are so fond of Sanders’s plan. Shockingly, it’s least popular among the party’s leadership. Nancy Pelosi has said she wouldn’t endorse the bill because she’s focused on protecting Obamacare. Schultz’s successor, DNC Chairman Tom Perez, said something similar. In summary, single-payer has gained enough political momentum within the party to force its opponents to at least couch their position in an excuse.

Because if the 2016 election cycle taught the Democrats anything, it’s that they oppose populist movements at their own peril. 

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