“They have no agenda but hate. No ‘accomplishments’ but hurting people. No motivation but cruelty. Disgusting, outrageous, and pathetic,” she tweeted on Saturday.
She was commenting on an article about the HHS rule, which would reverse the Obama-era decision to protect “gender identity” under federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination in health care.
Gillibrand, a 2020 contender, added to the many progressive voices denouncing the Trump administration’s decision. It was the latest in a series of policies that interpreted sex discrimination protections as only applying to biological attributes rather than self-described identity.
HHS has pushed back on the idea that its decision would result in discrimination. “I don’t want to see that happen,” Roger Severino, director of the Office of Civil Rights, reportedly said.
“Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect,” he also said, noting that he intended to “fully enforce” laws against discrimination.
Gillibrand’s comments received a wave of criticism on Twitter:
Gillibrand, an outspoken critic of the president’s, has also joined other 2020 candidates in condemning abortion regulations as well as immigration practices under the administration.
According to RealClearPolitics’ polling average, she fell behind a long list of other candidates vying for the Democratic nomination — grabbing just 0.7 percent of support.
Trump, meanwhile, enjoyed the strong support of the Republican National Committee and touted the economic milestones reached under his administration. Those included substantial GDP growth, record-low unemployment among the general population and within minority segments, and rapid manufacturing growth.
Source: Fox News Politics
TOKYO – President Donald Trump is downplaying recent North Korean missile tests, tweeting from Tokyo that they’re not a concern for him — even though they are for Japan.
Trump says, “North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me.” That message appears to contradict Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, who told reporters Saturday the short-range missile tests are a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
Trump says “he has confidence” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “will keep his promise to me.” He’s also embracing Kim’s attack on a Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump tweeted early Sunday before joining Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a game of golf and attending a sumo wrestling match.
Source: Fox News World
President Trump expressed his confidence in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Saturday, indicating that the strongman’s rogue nation may have tried to send him a “signal” with a new editorial critical of former Vice President Joe Biden.
“I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe [Biden] a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?” he tweeted on Saturday.
He was referring to an editorial, published on Tuesday, that lobbed a series of insults at Biden, the 2020 contender leading in the race to challenge Trump for the presidency. The editorial, posted by the Korean Central News Agency, called Biden “self-praising” and suggested it was laughable for Biden to consider himself the most popular presidential candidate.
“He is self-praising himself as being the most popular presidential candidate. This is enough to make a cat laugh,” the piece read.
Trump’s tweet came at a time when National Security Adviser John Bolton has been unequivocal in saying that recent North Korean missile launches violated U.N. Security Council resolutions. “U.N. Security Council resolutions prohibit North Korea from firing any ballistic missiles,” he said. “In terms of violating U.N. Security Council resolutions, there is no doubt about that.”
Kim and Trump met during a historic summit in 2018, following an aggressive pressure campaign at the beginning of Trump’s presidency. Another summit in February ended with Trump walking away after North Korea demanded the U.S. lift all of its sanctions on it,
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Bradford Betz contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
LOS ANGELES – A 102-year-old woman facing eviction from her California home of nearly 30 years is getting help from Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Los Angeles Times reports Thelma Smith was given until June 30 to move out by landlords who say their daughter needs a place to live.
Los Angeles’ rent control law provides relocation assistance for elderly and disabled.
But Smith, a retired secretary for the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation, lives in an unincorporated section of Los Angeles County, just outside the city limits. The law doesn’t apply there.
Schwarzenegger, who knew Smith through his involvement with the charity, called the eviction “heartless.” He tweeted: “Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life.”
A spokesman says Schwarzenegger’s staff has met with Smith to find a solution.
Source: Fox News National
President Trump is expected to nominate former Virginia attorney general Kenneth Cuccinelli to oversee the nation’s immigration system as the next director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, according to media reports.
Cuccinelli — an immigration hardliner — would replace Lee Francis Cissna, who is resigning after pressure from the White House, the New York Times reported. He officially steps down June 1. Trump has long-regarded the country’s immigration system as broken and in need of restructuring.
Cissna had support from a number of groups opposed to illegal immigration, but not from White House officials.
While Cuccinelli has Trump’s support, getting confirmed to the post could be a problem. The Times reports that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said his chances were close to zero.
McConnell previously said he opposed Cuccinelli to head the Department of Homeland Security after Kirstjen Nielsen was fired last month.
“I’ve not spoken to him about any of them. I have expressed my, shall I say, lack of enthusiasm for one of them … Ken Cuccinelli,” McConnell told reporters in April.
Source: Fox News Politics
MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s minister of the environment presented her resignation to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador Saturday, the second Cabinet resignation in less than a week, after receiving criticism for an air flight.
In a letter on her Twitter account, Josefa González-Blanco said she resigned because she delayed the departure of a flight that had waited for her to start a working trip.
López Obrador, who took office Dec. 1, has promised a government without privileges or corruption.
“There is no justification,” the minister of the environment and natural resources said in the letter. “The true transformation of Mexico requires a total congruence with the values of equity and justice. No one should have privileges and one’s benefit, even if it is to fulfill one’s functions, should not be put above the welfare of the majority.”
The delay of the flight for more than half an hour had generated criticism from other passengers and the media.
González-Blanco’s resignation comes four days after that of Germán Martínez Cázares, head of the Mexican Social Security Institute, the country’s main public health system. In his resignation, Martínez Cázares lashed out at health spending cuts.
López Obrador himself has gotten rid of his presidential guard and travels on commercial flights. On Tuesday, he said that since he imposed a rule requiring public officials receive approval for international trips, he has received about 100 petitions and approved only 20.
Source: Fox News World
Grizzly bears are expanding their range in the U.S. Northern Rockies, spreading from remote wilderness into farmland amid a legal fight over proposed hunting.
New government data from grizzly population monitoring show bruins in the Yellowstone region of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho expanded their range by about 1,500 square miles (3,900 square kilometers) over the past two years.
They now occupy almost 27,000 square miles (69,000 square kilometers), a range that has grown 34 percent in the past decade.
That means more bears on private lands where they can encounter humans and attack livestock, said Frank van Manen with the U.S. Geological Survey.
Run-ins with bears are happening in agricultural areas where the fearsome animals hadn’t been seen for decades, raising tensions in communities over the grizzly’s status as a federally protected species in the U.S. outside Alaska
“Not all grizzly bears are livestock killers, but of course it only takes a few to do potentially quite a bit of killing,” van Manen said.
Wyoming and Idaho officials proposed grizzly hunts last year, but they were blocked by a judge’s ruling.
Government attorneys on Friday asked an appeals court to overturn part of that ruling. The case could take months or even years to decide, even as there’s no end in sight to the trend of bears getting into more conflicts at the periphery of their range.
An estimated 700 bears live in the Yellowstone area. Biologists say that’s a conservative figure and doesn’t include grizzlies that are outside a designated monitoring area that’s centered on Yellowstone National Park.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contends the animals no longer need federal protection. State officials say hunting would give them a tool to better manage their numbers, but that it would be limited to sustainable levels.
In his ruling that blocked hunting, U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen said in part that officials had not given enough consideration to how lifting protections for Yellowstone bears would affect other grizzly populations in the Rockies.
The government conceded that point in Friday’s court brief, saying officials already had started working on the topic and would explain the impact that lifting protections would have on other bears.
But U.S. Justice Department attorneys pushed back against the judge’s further contention that a “comprehensive review of the entire listed species” was needed. That would require officials to look more closely at the status of other bear populations, beyond the impacts of a decision to lift protections around Yellowstone.
The attorneys said such a detailed review exceeds what’s required under federal law.
Environmentalists argue that it’s too soon to lift protections first imposed in 1975, especially because conflicts between humans and bears remain a prime cause of bear deaths. Also, Yellowstone bears are isolated from other populations, which has raised questions about their long-term genetic health.
“For us it’s never been a numbers game,” said Andrea Santarsiere with the Center for Biological Diversity. “For grizzly bears to really be recovered, we need to see those populations connected.”
A coalition of American Indian tribes wants Congress to protect grizzlies permanently. They say the animals are sacred and play a role in many ceremonies and traditions.
Yellowstone became a refuge for the species last century after hunting and trapping killed off bears across most of their range.
The park remains a grizzly stronghold. But younger, male bears search for territory of their own outside the park, with females soon following behind, van Manen said.
A similar dynamic has played out in Northwestern Montana, home of more than 1,000 grizzlies. The area includes Glacier National Park and the vast Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Bears in recent years have attacked livestock dozens of miles outside those wild areas, on the open plains of central Montana where ranches and cropland occupy the landscape.
Source: Fox News National
LA PAZ, Bolivia – Organizers of the Lord Jesus of the Great Power Festival, which fuses Andean and Catholic cultures, have chosen the queen to head the annual event which will mobilize 74,000 dancers and more than 4,000 musicians in the Bolivian city of La Paz.
Wearing the red skirt, white-fringed shawl and hat of the “la morenada” dance, Steffany Arriaza Cabezas took first place among 73 participants in voting that concluded early Saturday. She will lead festivities on June 21.
Arriaza represented “Morenada X of the Great Power,” one of the most traditional fraternities in the festival with more than a thousand dancers. The morenada is a folk dance born in the Andes and inspired by the slave trade in the region during the colonial era. Its influence has extended to Peru, Chile and Argentina in recent decades.
Each participant enters the catwalk performing the dance she represents. The judges take into account the dress and choreography, and the contestants have to answer questions.
The first place winner receives a kitchen; the second place participant a refrigerator and the third place dancer a microwave oven. The queen will preside over the festival, said Marina Isabel Salazar, president of the Association of Folkloric Groups.
On June 21, the dancers will descend the steep streets of the highland city of La Paz from the Jesus of the Great Power Catholic church, where the festival was born 49 years ago. Over the years, the festival has become a cultural icon for the city.
Source: Fox News World
Facebook has released a statement amid concerns about its decision not to remove an altered video that went viral — one concocted to make it seem that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was slurring her words.
Although the social media giant triggered a backlash by not taking down the vid, it said it did reduce the content’s distribution and add a disclaimer notifying users that the video was “false.”
“We remove things from Facebook that violate our Community standards, and we don’t have a policy that stipulates that the information you post on Facebook must be true,’ the company said Friday, according to ABC7 News.
By Saturday, the video had more than 28,000 comments, nearly 50,000 shares, and at least 2.6 million views. It was posted on Wednesday. Underneath the video’s caption, a long list of articles, from labeled fact-checkers, criticized the video.
It showed Pelosi making controversial comments about Trump’s alleged behavior during an infrastructure meeting that was cut short earlier this week.
The platform clarified that it didn’t think all content deserved to be distributed but allowed some content as forms of expression.
“There’s a tension here; we work hard to find the right balance between encouraging free expression and promoting a safe and authentic community, and we believe that reducing the distribution of inauthentic content strikes that balance,” it said.
“But just because something is allowed to be on Facebook doesn’t mean it should get distribution. In other words, we allow people to post it as a form of expression, but we’re not going to show it at the top of News Feed.” The platform also outlined how it combated misleading content.
“We fight the spread of false news on Facebook in a number of ways, namely by removing content that violates our Community Standards, like fake accounts; reducing the distribution of content that does not directly violate Community Standards, but still undermines the authenticity of the platform, by demoting it in News Feed; and empowering people to decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share by informing them with more context in-product and promoting news literacy,” it said.
The controversy erupted amid already-growing scrutiny surrounding Facebook and other social media companies and the way they handled content on their platform. Facebook and Twitter specifically took heat for apparent bias against conservatives as well as allowing content promoted by Russians during the 2016 election.
Monika Bickert, Facebook’s vice president for product policy and counterterrorism, said on CNN that her company “dramatically” reduced the video’s distribution and told users the video was false.
“We have acted … anybody who is seeing this video in News Feed, anyone who is going to share it with somebody else, anybody who has shared it in the past — they are being alerted that this video is false,” she said.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper pressed Bickert on why she decided to keep the video on the platform.
“We think it’s important for people to make their own informed choice about what to believe. Our job is to make sure that we are getting them accurate information and that’s why we work with more than 50 fact-checking organizations around the world,” she told Cooper.
She added that the company would remove misinformation related to on-going riots or some kind of threat to physical violence.
Source: Fox News Politics
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats says the nation’s spy agencies will provide the Justice Department all appropriate information for its review of intelligence activities related to Russian interference in the 2016 election.
President Donald Trump claims his campaign was the victim of “spying” and has given Attorney General William Barr full authority to publicly disclose still-secret information collected during the investigation.
Some former intelligence officials and Democrats worry that Barr will cherry-pick intelligence to paint a misleading picture about the roots of the probe.
In a statement released Friday, Coats said he’s confident that Barr will work with “long-established standards to protect highly sensitive, classified information that, if publicly released,” would put U.S. national security at risk.
Source: Fox News Politics