domestic policy – Tech2.Org Largest Nonprofit Digital Media. We work to Give a Voice to the powerless, to help Public & to Illuminate their lives. Mon, 16 Jul 2018 00:19:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Once murdered in Nicaragua while the government points to opposition strongholds Mon, 16 Jul 2018 00:19:54 +0000

MEXICO CITY: Nicaragua's beleaguered president, Daniel Ortega, moved to reinforce his control of power, as paramilitary forces loyal to his government attacked anti-government protesters at several key points over the weekend, killing about 11 people

after the clashes in the main university campus of Managua. Meanwhile, up to eight people were killed on Sunday when masked gunmen attacked opposition barricades in two provinces, according to the Human Rights Association of Nicaragua, a local human rights group that has …


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Numbers support Trump’s tough talk about NATO Sun, 15 Jul 2018 21:41:25 +0000

Your July 12 article on President Trump's comments at the NATO summit includes correcting his erroneous statement that the United States spends 4.2% of gross domestic product on defense, when according to NATO the spending is "only" 3.75% of GDP ("Trump Presses NATO in defense," page one). However, he later reports without doubt the Chancellor Angela Merkel's assertion that "Germany is the second largest provider of NATO troops".

In fact, Germany has only the fifth largest army by active personnel, after EE. UU., Turkey, France and United …


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The Prime Minister of Haiti resigns – WSJ Sun, 15 Jul 2018 03:39:42 +0000

PUERTO PRINCIPE, Haiti's Haitian Prime Minister

Jack Guy Lafontant

resigned on Saturday amid orders to resign over his handling of a failed plan to increase fuel prices that sparked a wave of deadly protests.

Mr. Lafontant told the Chamber of Deputies of Haiti that he sent the president

Jovenel Moise

your resignation letter Mr. Moise confirmed via Twitter that he had accepted Mr. Lafontant's resignation along with those of other cabinet members.

The abrupt resignation of the prime minister came before a vote on a motion of no confidence, Mr. Lafontant, a first step to asking that Mr. Moise appoints a new prime minister to form a cabinet to handle the crisis. The prime minister is the second highest official in Haiti after the president.

Mr. Lafontant answered questions about riots on July 6 and 8 that followed the government's attempt to raise fuel prices by up to 51% as part of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund. At least seven people were killed and dozens of businesses were looted during the riots.

On the other hand, Mr. Lafontant took the opportunity to announce his resignation, while in several parts of Haiti small protests were held to demand the resignation of the head of state.

When the session began, Gary Bodaeu, president of the chamber, wrote on his Twitter account that the legislature "is at a crossroads in history, it must assume its responsibilities." Previously he had described the price increases as "inopportune" and "inoperative".

Mr. Lafontant suspended fuel price increases after the protests broke out last week, but riots continued and the prime minister's resignation requests grew, even from the opposition and some business groups.

Mr. Lafontant, a 57-year-old physician who took office in March 2017, had said that price increases of 38% to 51% for gasoline, diesel and kerosene were necessary for Haiti to balance its budget.

Government officials agreed to reduce fuel subsidies in February as part of an aid package with the IMF. The agreement also included increased spending on social services and infrastructure and better tax collection in an effort to modernize the economy of one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere.

Mr. The replacement of Lafontant will be proposed by Mr. Moise and confirmed by the Senate.


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The increases in consumer prices in the United States are eating The workers’ wage gains Thu, 12 Jul 2018 16:59:43 +0000

WASHINGTON-U.S. Consumer prices rose for the third consecutive month in June, reducing modest wage gains and sending inflation to its highest rate in more than six years.

The consumer price index, which measures what Americans pay for everything from veterinary services to baby clothes, increased 0.1% seasonally adjusted in June from the previous month, the Labor Department said on Thursday. . Excluding volatile food and energy components, prices increased 0.2%. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected an increase of 0.2% …


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Women prove the political culture & # 39; machista & # 39; of Mexico with large electoral gains Thu, 12 Jul 2018 10:00:00 +0000

CITY OF MEXICO: Female candidates made great strides in Mexico's elections this month, fueling significant changes in a political landscape that women have long lamented suffering from machismo.

Women secured 49.2% of the 128-member Mexican Senate: an increase of 50% and 47.8% of the lower house of Congress, the two highest levels of female representation in the nation. In Mexico City, the voters of the 8.9 million inhabitants of the capital elected their first mayor.


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An optimist Pompeo, in Kabul, urges talks with the Taliban Mon, 09 Jul 2018 19:19:49 +0000

KABUL-U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who made an unannounced visit to the Afghan capital on Monday, said the possibility of talks between the Kabul government and Taliban militants was now brighter thanks to the Trump administration's rejuvenated strategy to combat the war of 17 years.

sir. Pompeo's first official visit to Afghanistan since taking office as the United States' top diplomat came as the administration seeks to boost momentum towards talks with the Taliban following last month's unprecedented ceasefire.


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The Syrian regime takes a key border crossing as more rebel peoples surrender Fri, 06 Jul 2018 18:12:56 +0000

BEIRUT-The Syrian regime and its ally, Russia, took control of a major border crossing with Jordan on Friday in an agreement with anti-government rebels that also included the surrender of four nearby towns in the south-west of the country.

The government forces have seized the Nassib border crossing and have raised the Syrian flag there, according to state media and Syrian media affiliated with Hezbollah, another ally of the regime. A rebel spokesman and the Syrian Human Rights Observatory based in the United Kingdom said the Russian military police …


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Trump is expected to seek Putin’s help to stop the Iranian army in Syria Fri, 29 Jun 2018 02:19:42 +0000

President Donald Trump is expected to seek help from Moscow to reduce Iran's military presence in Syria when it meets in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 16 for a summit, European diplomats say.

Some US officials see a potential for a US and Russian "convergence" on the issue that Mr. Trump could explore at the summit meeting, said a senior diplomat, one of several who recently spoke on the subject with US officials.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo underscored the administration's concerns about Iran's presence in Syria in an appearance before Congress on Wednesday.

"If the Russians could get the Iranians out of there, I would applaud them," Pompeo said, adding that Moscow's ability to achieve that was "an open question."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., SC), who is close to Mr. Trump, said in an interview that some high-ranking US officials seem attracted to the idea and call it "a projection of where I think they are heading."

"The Israeli has become a major concern for Israel, a close ally of the United States, which has launched repeated air strikes against Iranian positions in Syria … But the Syrian opposition is concerned that a possible Russian-American agreement end by strengthening the control of the power of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

A spokesman for the National Security Council of the White House refused to comment on the strategy of the summit of Mr. Trump, including possible initiatives on Syria, and he said only that "the president hopes that it will lead to a constructive compromise that improves peace and security throughout the country." world. "

The summit meeting is expected to address a wide range of issues, including Syria , the role of Russian-backed forces in eastern Ukraine and arms control. Administration officials have been minimizing the idea that the summit will result in tangible "deliverables".

The Helsinki summit will take place several days after the summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Brussels. The last juxtaposition of presidential meetings with allies and a long-standing adversary was discordant.

The allied nations are still resentful of the bitter trade disputes that erupted earlier this month with Mr. Trump at the summit of the Group of Seven's leading nations. Next, there was a warm summit meeting in Singapore between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

If a contentious NATO meeting is also followed by a positive meeting between Messrs. Trump and Putin, that could open up opportunities for the Kremlin to exploit the fissures within the Western alliance, some officials worry.

"The administration has been doing damage control and saying, 'Do not worry, we will be extremely firm'," said a European official at the upcoming Helsinki summit. "But, again, we do not know."

John Bolton, White House national security adviser who secured the summit meeting with Putin, stopped in London and Rome to meet with allied officials before traveling to Moscow earlier this week.

Mr. Trump, who has always favored the best relations with Moscow, has been exploring the possibility of a summit between the United States and Russia at least since May. A scenario supported by some in the State Department is to seek the help of Moscow to push the Shiite and Iranian militias that support from a strip of territory in southwestern Syria bordering Jordan and Israel.

In return, the Russians are asking the United States to close the military post it maintains in Al Tanf, which the United States and other allied forces use to support the local Syrian fighters, near the intersection of the Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi, say US officials.

Russia has violated the ceasefire pact for southwestern Syria in recent days through air strikes to support an offensive by the Syrian government against opposition groups in the area.

While Russia's intentions are not entirely clear, some US officials believe they are trying to put pressure on the US, Jordan and Israel agree to a new accommodation that would allow the Assad government to reassert its authority in the area border with Israel and Jordan based on Iran's influence General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, plans to meet with senior Israeli military officials in Washington this week, US officials say.

A grander version of the Russian administration's policy could seek the help of the Kremlin to completely remove the Iranian forces from Syria, or at least diminish their role, in exchange for Washington's acceptance of Russia's role in the country and perhaps even the continued dominance of Assad, European diplomats said

The defenders of the approach said that the United States has limited influence in Syria, the Russians have influence over Assad and that the presence of Iran has become one of the main security concerns of the Trump administration in the region. Mr. Trump has already cut off covert aid to Syrian opposition groups and has declared his interest in eventually withdrawing the 2,200 US troops from eastern Syria.

Skeptics argue that Assad relies heavily on Iranian forces to recover opposition territory in the conflict and that no amount of Russian pressure could lead him to evict them.

"The regime won the civil war with the formation and support of the Iranian and that is not a fact that will change soon," said an expert in the region.

Mr. Graham is also among the skeptics, claiming that Russian officials will not be willing to encourage a lasting political agreement in Syria until they have suffered more casualties.

"There will come a day when we can have a serious conversation with the Russians about solving the problems in Syria," Graham said. "We are not close to that, they are dominating Syria at low cost."

Mr. Pompeo said that Mr. Trump believes it is vital for Russia to be part of "important geostrategic conversations" and was sober about Mr. Putin's intentions.

"The president is waiting for the opportunity to find those few places where we can have productive conversations that lead to improvements for each of our two countries," said Mr. Pompeo.

Write to Michael R. Gordon at and Dion Nissenbaum at

Appeared in the print edition of June 29, 2018 as & # 39; Talks Between Trump, Putin is set for July 16 in Helsinki.


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The US economy UU It was weaker in the last quarter than we think Thu, 28 Jun 2018 14:09:37 +0000

WASHINGTON-Economic growth slowed earlier this year than the government previously reported, as consumers reduced spending and the housing market affected production.

Gross domestic product, a broad measure of goods and services produced in all of EE. The US expanded at a seasonal annual rate and adjusted for inflation of 2% in the first quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. That was weaker than a previous estimate of 2.2% growth.

Consumers spent less on services than previously thought. Purchases of health services by nonprofit organizations and spending on financial services and insurance were all weaker than the government previously reported. The economy also saw less investment in private inventory, mainly in retail inventories.

Even so, investment outside the housing market, such as computer software and research and development, was stronger than previously thought, growing at the fastest rate in three years.

"Although GDP growth in the first quarter was revised lower, and was softer than in the last three quarters of 2017 when growth averaged 2.7%, the economy is in a better condition than the number would indicate. principal, "said PNC chief economist

Gus Faucher

One possible problem: first-quarter growth has been weaker compared to other quarters in recent years due to problems with the way the government seasonally adjusts economic data. In the longer term, the economy grew 2.8% in the first quarter of the previous year.

The analysis suggests that growth recovered in the second quarter. The consulting firm Macroeconomic Advisers predicted on Wednesday that GDP growth would reach an annual rate of 5.3% in the second quarter, while the projected product of the GDPNow model of the Federal Reserve of Atlanta would grow by 4.5%. The Department of Commerce will publish growth data for the second quarter at the end of July, along with comprehensive historical data reviews.

Economists believe that growth will remain robust during 2018, driven by an ultra-low unemployment rate and steady growth in employment and wages. At the same time, the fiscal review of the end of 2017 could encourage the spending of companies and consumers.

An indicator of the company's earnings, after-tax earnings without valuation of inventories and adjustments of capital consumption, increased by 10.6% adjusted seasonally in the first quarter, above the previous reading that showed an increase of 7.8%. This could indicate the reduction of the federal rate of corporate taxes, which was reduced to 21% from 35%, and other changes in the tax laws may have substantially affected the profits of the companies.

The first quarter saw residential investment as a growth factor. Housing construction and renovations decreased at a revised annual rate of 1.1%. This could be reversed in the second quarter. Housing in the United States begins to rebound last month to the highest level since 2007.

Meanwhile, consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of total US economic production. UU., Increased at an annual rate of 0.9% last quarter. This signals the retreat of a more solid spending marked during the second half of 2017, which saw a strong holiday shopping season and a wave of hurricane-related purchases, such as replacement cars. A particularly severe winter has also been blamed for the weaker purchases in the first quarter.

"The deceleration in consumer spending in particular can raise an eyebrow, but the softer result should be seen with a good deal of skepticism." said Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors. "It is believed that growth in the second quarter regained momentum."

Personal consumption expenditure, a measure of household spending, increased by 0.6% seasonally adjusted in April compared to the previous month, according to the Department of Commerce. That was the biggest increase in five months, indicating a rebound in spending.

Participations of Francesca

, which sells women's apparel, accessories and household items, saw net sales fall for the first quarter, largely due to less pedestrian traffic in stores and fewer customers who actually shop when they walked in the door. Even so, the company saw the moderate decline in the spring.

"I know there have been several reports, the weather affects companies in [the first quarter]," said Steven Lawrence, Francesca's executive director, in a recent earnings call. "But clearly, you could see it in the seasonal categories, we definitely saw how clothing trends increase as we go through that April period and the weather heats up."

The report also showed that government spending grew to a annual rate of 1.3% in the last quarter, with federal and state spending slowing down on a stronger spending seen at the end of last year.

Net exports docked 0.04 percentage point of the general GDP growth rate in the first quarter. The change in private inventories subtracted 0.01 percentage point. Both categories tend to be volatile from quarter to quarter.

Write to Sharon Nunn at


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U.S. Approves Disney’s purchase of Fox entertainment assets Wed, 27 Jun 2018 18:29:42 +0000

The US Department of Justice UU It approved the acquisition of $ 21 billion of the assets of 21st Century Fox Inc. by Walt Disney Co. on Wednesday, on the condition that Disney dispose of Fox's regional sports networks.

The approval gives Disney a Advantage his battle with Comcast Corp. for control of key pieces of Rupert Murdoch's entertainment empire. The conditions imposed by the Department of Justice allow Disney to absorb even more the parts of Fox that have become the key to its long-term strategy, specifically the film and television studio of the company, …


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