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After Trump Sworn In, Thousands Protest Presidency In Celeb-Studded March
Thousands of women from across the country descended on Washington Saturday to protest Donald Trump just hours into his presidency, donning bright pink hats and carrying a dizzying array of political signs – in a celebrity-studded march that put the nation’s lingering divisions on full display despite the 45th president’s appeal a day earlier for unity. The protesters were largely peaceful, in contrast to the scattered bands of rioters who wreaked havoc on parts of D.C. on the sidelines of Friday’s inauguration. This crowd was far larger and more organized. But despite indications from some event organizers last week that the demonstration was not defined as “anti-Trump,” it was in every respect a march against the new president -- taking place as he attended a National Prayer Service after waking up in the White House for the first time. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Conservatives don't protest like liberals.
Returns Churchill Bust To The Oval Office
President Trump has returned a bust of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to the Oval Office, which had been removed by his predecessor in 2009. Reporters first noticed that the bust had been placed back in the room on Friday, just as Trump was signing a series of executive orders at the Resolute desk. Obama had moved the bust to the White House residence during his first few days in office and later installed separate busts of Martin Luther King Jr. and President Lincoln in its place. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Great on Churchill - MLK should go.
Starts Day Two At National Cathedral, Will Visit CIA In Afternoon
Donald Trump sought divine blessings for his new administration Saturday as the forces of resistance to his presidency gathered in mass rallies in Washington and around the world. The President left the White House with his family for an interfaith prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral on his first full day in office following Friday's pageantry and parties, which were punctuated by his first steps to stamp his power on Washington. As Trump left his new home Saturday morning, large crowds of protestors poured into Washington and cities in 50 states for a Women's March, a grassroots organizing effort meant to demonstrate a show of force to the new administration that women's rights are human rights and to stress respect for racial, gender and political diversity that organizers say were threatened by Trump's campaign. CNN
How Much Obama's Pension Is Worth
At noon on Friday, 55-year old Barack Obama became a federal retiree. His pension payment will be $207,800 for the upcoming year, about half of his presidential salary. Obama and every other former president also get seven months of "transition" services to help adjust to post-presidential life. The ex-Commander in Chief also gets lifetime Secret Service protection as well as allowances for things such as travel, office expenses, communications and health care coverage. All those extra expenses can really add up. In 2015 they ranged from a bit over $200,000 for Jimmy Carter to $800,000 for George W. Bush, according to a government report. Carter doesn't get health insurance because you have to work for the federal government for five years to qualify. CNN
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Was First President To Spend More On Welfare Than Defense
Barack Obama was the first president of the United States to spend more on “means-tested entitlements”—AKA welfare—than on national defense, according to data published by his own Office of Management and Budget. Historical tables that the OMB posted on the Obama White House website, include annual totals for both “national defense” spending and “means-tested entitlement” spending going back to fiscal 1962--which is three years before President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation creating the Medicaid program, a means-tested entitlement that together with the Children's Health Insurance Program enrolled 74,407,191 beneficiaries as of November 2016. CNS News
VOA VIEW: Expected!
U.S. President George H.W. Bush's Health Improves
Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush is recovering well from pneumonia but will remain in the intensive care unit at the Texas hospital where he has spent the last week, a spokesman said in a statement. Barbara Bush, his wife, was also taken to the Houston Methodist Hospital this week with bronchitis but may be well enough to be discharged on Sunday, the statement said. "Following another good night's rest, President and Mrs. Bush have both continued to improve over the past 24 hours," Jim McGrath, the spokesman, said in his statement. "President Bush is breathing well without any mechanical assistance, his spirits are high, and he is looking forward to getting back to a regular schedule." Reuters
VOA VIEW: Good!
Dakota Tribe Formally Calls On Pipeline Protesters To Disperse
"The pipeline fight has moved beyond the camps and our strategy must evolve with the process," Standing Rock Tribal Chairman David Archambault II said in a statement dated Saturday. The council said heavy snowfall in the area had raised the danger of flooding, and this week's clashes with police could imperil the environmental review process. "Because we worked together, the federal government will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement," the tribe said. "Moving forward, our ultimate objective is best served by our elected officials, navigating strategically through the administrative and legal processes." Reuters
The President: Secret Weapons And A Hefty Price Tag
With President Trump planning to spend significant time in New York and Florida, the logistics of keeping him safe and able to govern will get more challenging and the costs will only go higher, experts tell NBC News. "Every time the president leaves the White House, we have to move the White House with him," said Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service agent who has protected every living president. "It's logistics on top of logistics. It's thinking about every problem in advance and coming up with every type of contingency plan that you can think of." Confidential budget and planning documents reviewed by NBC News detail the precautions taken to ensure the president survives any kind of threat — from contaminated water to incoming missiles. MSNBC
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F-35 May Become Nuke-Capable Sooner Than Expected
The F-35A, the Air Force's version of the Joint Strike Fighter, could be certified to carry America's newest tactical nuclear weapon sooner earlier than planned if America's security situation deteriorated. The F-35 is scheduled to be certified to carry the B61-12 nuclear gravity bomb in the early 2020s, but those plans could be accelerated, reports Defensetech.The B61 is the only remaining nuclear free-fall bomb in the U.S. arsenal. First produced in the late 1960s, the bombs are being remanufactured to the B61-12 standard, which increases lobbing range, includes an inertial navigation system to increase accuracy, and most importantly has a "dial-a-yield" feature that allows the explosive yield of the bomb to vary from just 300 tons of TNT all the way up to 50 kilotons. The upgrade is so substantial that one expert at the Federation of American Scientists considers it practically an entirely new weapon system. MSNBC
Rich, SNL Writer, Smears Barron Trump As ‘Country’s First Homeschool Shooter’
Saturday Night Live writer Katie Rich is taking heat after targeting President Donald Trump’s preteen son in an Inauguration Day tweet. “Barron will be this country’s first homeschool shooter,” Ms. Rich, 33, wrote from her Twitter account Friday amid festivities surrounding Mr. Trump’s swearing-in. The jab was visible on the writer’s Twitter page for around three hours Friday before Ms. Rich deleted the tweet and set her account to private. Screenshots of the comment continued to circulate online through Saturday morning, however, spurring condemnation and calls for Ms. Rich’s termination. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Pitiful!
Of Osama Bin Laden’s Documents Released By Obama White House
The White House this week quietly released the last of the documents it obtained during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden nearly six years after the former Al Qaeda leader was killed inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence published declassified versions of 49 of bin Laden’s documents Thursday, Barack Obama’s last full day as president, rounding out his administration by recalling a highlight of his tenure in office. Along with administrative instructions and monthly accounting ledgers, the trove includes revealing personal correspondence discovered by Navy SEALS during the course of the May 2011 raid, such as letters penned by the late terrorist leader to various relatives and subordinates. Washington Times
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Department Says Trump Can Legally Hire Son-In-Law Jared Kushner
The Department of Justice has some good news for President Trump: its Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) has concluded that Mr. Trump’s decision to hire his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as a senior White House adviser does not violate federal anti-nepotism laws. The OLC issued a 14-page memo on Friday saying that the president is not barred from appointing Kushner because federal law grants the president special hiring authority that exempts him and his hires from anti-nepotism laws. Anti-nepotism laws prevent presidents from appointing family members to government positions. The statute, from 1967, reads: “A public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement, in or to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of the public official.” CBS
House Petition To Release Trump Taxes Gains Traction Online
A petition to release Donald Trump’s tax returns -- posted to the White House’s “We the People” petition website -- exploded with signatures Friday, just as Mr. Trump was celebrating his inauguration to the presidency. The petition was created Jan. 20 and called to “immediately release Donald Trump’s full tax returns, with all information needed to verify emoluments clause compliance.” It urged transparency in the face of the “unprecedented economic conflicts of this administration.” The emoluments clause is a reference to the Constitution’s restrictions on any person holding public office from accepting any fee or salary from a foreign government or state-run foreign companies without Congress’ consent. CBS
Dead After Tornado Rips Through South Mississippi
Four people were killed, roofs were ripped from homes and churches, and trees were torn from the earth early Saturday when a tornado hitting in the dark of night ripped through a region in southern Mississippi, officials said. Four people died after the twister blew through the city and surrounding area, said Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict. The twister was part of a wall of stormy weather traveling across the region, bringing with it rain and unstable conditions. ABC
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Rejects Notion Of Feud With CIA In Day-One Visit
President Donald Trump assured employees at the CIA of his strong support and said he would unleash them to defeat Islamic terrorists after previous presidents had held the intelligence community back during the nation’s 16-year-old war with extremists. "We have not used the real abilities that we have. We’ve been restrained,” Trump said in a rambling speech that strayed into criticism of the media, his performance during Friday’s inaugural speech and his belief that the U.S. should have “kept the oil” after invading Iraq. Standing before the CIA Memorial Wall, which is engraved with stars representing employees who lost their lives in service to the country, Trump rejected the notion that he had been in a “feud" with the intelligence community over its investigation of the Russian government’s hacking of the presidential campaign. Bloomberg
Russia Say Oil Cuts Are Deeper And Faster Than Expected
OPEC and Russia said they are ahead of schedule implementing their historic agreement to curb oil output and boost prices. Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Kuwait have already made deeper cuts than required, while Russia has been able to reduce supply faster than expected, ministers from the countries said as they arrived in Vienna on Saturday. Producers have already removed 1.5 million barrels a day from the market, according to Saudi Minister of Energy and Industry Khalid Al-Falih. Bloomberg
Student Loan Servicers Affect Tens Of Millions Of People
They aren't well-known. Their names are odd. And what they do — well, it's complicated. Yet student loan servicers — with names like AES-PHEAA and Nelnet — play a key role in the lives of the 44 million Americans who, combined, have amassed a $1.4 trillion mountain of student debt. And this week, regulators accused the largest of them, Navient, of making it harder for borrowers to repay loans by giving them flawed information, processing payments incorrectly and failing to act on complaints. In its lawsuit, the government's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau demands restitution for affected borrowers and financial penalties from Navient, which manages $300 billion in loans. Navient disputes the allegations. Las Vegas Sun
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White House Ringed By ‘Swamp’ Denizens Despite Pledge
The "new world" of Donald Trump's Washington was supposed to be drained of "swamp" creatures who make their living through political ties. But the lobbyists, consultants and ex-government officials who earn their keep by selling their influence aren't dissuaded by that piece of Trump's agenda. Former campaign aides and other associates, like many before them, are setting up shop in Washington. This migration happens anytime a new president comes to town. Still, it demonstrates the uncomfortable reality Trump faces if he's serious about his promise to "drain the swamp" of those who use their ties to officials to make "a fortune." Las Vegas Sun
Park Service Apologizes For Tweets Showing Poor Inaugural Turnout
The official Twitter account of the National Park Service was restored after briefly shutting down when a staff member retweeted images implying there was a low turnout on the National Mall for President Donald Trump's inauguration. The images, which were widely shared by Trump critics on social media, showed the mall teeming with an estimated 1.8 million people for Barack Obama's first inauguration in 2009 next to a decidedly less-than-full crowd in the same space Friday. The park service did not offer an estimate for the number of people who attended Trump's inauguration. UPI News
California Flight Diverted In Stormy Weather
The California vacation former President Barack Obama and his family planned got off to a rocky start when their aircraft was forced to divert its landing to March Air Reserve Base instead of Palm Springs International due to stormy weather. The plane landed some 50 miles west of its original destination, disappointing spectators hoping to catch a glimpse of the former first family on Friday evening. Heavy rain, fog and winds forced an unplanned landing at the air reserve base. The Obamas were expected to arrive in Palm Springs about 3:30 p.m., but didn't land until about 6 p.m. A motorcade took the family to the Coachella Valley. They are staying with outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Spain James Costos. UPI News
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TRUMP INAUGURATION, NETANYAHU WASTES NO TIME PUTTING IRAN BACK ON AGENDA
Just 24-hours after US President Donald Trump spoke in his inaugural address about the need to eradicate radical Islamic terrorism, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put a brief video clip on social media aimed at placing the Iranian threat squarely back on the international agenda. “I plan to speak soon with President Trump about how to counter the threat of the Iranian regime, which calls for Israel's destruction,” Netanyahu said in the two-and-a-half minute video addressed directly to the Iranian people. Jerusalem Post
CONGRATULATES TRUMP ON INAUGURATION, INVITES HIM TO ISRAEL
President Reuven Rivlin sent a letter to President Donald Trump Saturday evening, congratulating him on his inauguration and inviting him to Israel. "The alliance between our states and our nations is not solely based on friendship. It is rooted in our shared values and longstanding commitment to freedom, liberty and democracy- the foundation stones of our societies," Rivlin stated. Jerusalem Post
Breast Implants: French Court Tells TUV To Pay Damages
A French court has ordered a German safety body to pay 60m euros (£52m; $64m) in compensation to 20,000 women who received faulty breast implants. UV was found liable over a global scandal affecting thousands of women. In 2010 it emerged that French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) had made implants with substandard, industrial-grade silicone. TUV Rheinland was among the bodies that had certified them. PIP exported 80% of its implants before the firm was liquidated in the scandal. The commercial court in Toulon, southern France, said TUV Rheinland must pay 3,000 euros to each of the 20,000 plaintiffs. BBC
Protesters 'Turned Away At US Border'
A few also report being questioned before reluctantly being allowed into the US. Hundreds of Canadians travelled to the US to participate in the Women's March on Washington. Thousands more are taking part in companion rallies planned in cities across the country. Sasha Dyck will be marching in Montreal after he and seven others were turned away by US officials at the Lacolle border crossing between the province of Quebec and New York State. BBC
First 24 Hours Bring Global Protests, A Dark Speech And Uncertainty
Hundreds of thousands of women turned Washington’s National Mall into a sea of pink on Saturday, sending the first concerted message of grassroots opposition to Donald Trump since he moved into the White House. “Minority president”, “Women roar” and “I’m afraid” were among the signs waved by a crowd, made up mostly of women but also comprising some men, that far exceeded turnout for Friday’s inauguration. Many wore pink handknit “pussy hats” – a rebuke to the billionaire businessman once caught on tape bragging: “Grab them by the pussy.” Guardian
Braced For Exodus To US As ‘Trump Effect’ Hurts The Peso
In Mexico it is known as “el efecto Trump”: a barrage of taunts and tweets that rattle the economy and hammer the peso. For the new president, it is part of a strategy to pressure companies to move jobs back to the United States. Mexico’s job will be to suck it up, accept the millions of people Trump has promised to deport, and pay for the proposed border wall. Reality may soon disrupt this vision because Donald Trump, in one of the first great ironies of his presidency, has given impoverished Mexicans more reason to migrate to the US. The peso’s slump against the dollar has dramatically driven up their cost of living, fuelling angry protests and steeling the resolve of some to sneak across the border. Guardian
Trump, Day Two: 'Half A Million' Join Women's March On Washington, As New
US President Gets To Work Undoing Obamacare
Women brandished signs with messages such as "Women won't back down" and "Less fear more love" and decried Trump's stand on such issues as abortion, health care, gay rights, diversity and climate change. Their message reverberated at demonstrations around the world, from New York, Philadelphia and Chicago to Paris, Berlin, London, Prague, Sydney and beyond. Estimates for the turnout in the US capital more than doubled on the day, from initial predictions of about 200,000, amid speculation more people could show up for the protest than did for the inauguration event on Friday. The city's subway reported 275,000 trips by 11am, compared to 193,000 on inauguration day. In London police blocked access to Trafalgar Square because of the sheer volume of people in the area, with organisers announcing on stage that 80,000-100,000 people had taken part in the event. Telegraph
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