Headlines: June 4, 2019
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President Donald Trump’s visit to the UK has been met with thousands of protesters in cities around the country, but especially in London. A gathering on Tuesday morning centered around a large sculpture of Trump sitting on a golden toilet while tweeting. The protest was organized under the banner of Together Against Trump – stop the state visit and was meant to coincide with his lunch time visit to Downing Street. Also making an appearance at the protests was the infamous Trump baby blimp. Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who could be Britain’s next Prime Minister, tweeted support for the protests and for London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who Trump has attacked. Corbyn said that the, “protest against Donald Trump’s state visit is an opportunity to stand in solidarity with those he’s attacked in America, around the world and in our own country – including, just this morning, @SadiqKhan.” Mr. Khan talked about Trump’s visit to the UK on an interview on Sky News.
Meanwhile Trump met with Theresa May on the second day of his 3-day visit. After slamming her for failing to carry out a Brexit plan, Trump praised the out-going Prime Minister and touted a trade deal between the US and UK.
Here in the US, CNN reported that the White House directed former staffers Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson to not cooperate with Congress over subpoenas for information, citing Executive Privilege. Both Hicks and Donaldson’s roles as witnesses to Trump’s shenanigans were outlined in the Special Counsel report and the House Judiciary Committee had set a Tuesday deadline for them to turn over their documents. But, according to CNN, “The White House sent letters to the committee stating that White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney had directed Hicks and Donaldson, the former deputy White House counsel, not to turn over the documents.” Ms. Hicks could still turn over documents requested by the panel that fall outside the period that the White House has power over – namely her time during the 2016 Trump Presidential campaign.
The House Oversight Committee has given Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr until this Thursday to comply with a bi-partisan demand for documents related to the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 US Census. If they refuse to comply, Committee Chair Elijah Cummings has threatened to hold them in contempt of Congress. In a letter to the two department heads, Cummings wrote, “The Trump administration has been engaged in one of the most unprecedented coverups since Watergate, extending from the White House to multiple federal agencies and departments of the government and across numerous investigations.”
A federal judge on Monday ruled against a House attempt to block President Trump’s border wall. The ruling was on the grounds that lawmakers could not prove harm to them as a result of Trump’s actions. Because other groups have successfully sued to stop the wall, the ruling may have little practical impact.
Virginia’s governor Ralph Northam has called a special session of the state legislature in light of last Friday’s mass shooting that left 12 dead and 7 injured. Gov. Northam explained why he was calling for the special session at a press conference on Tuesday morning, giving details of the gun control measures he wants to pursue in the wake of last Friday’s mass shooting.
The city of Dallas, Texas is calling on the FBI for help after a third transgender woman was killed since last October. Twenty-six year old Chynal Lindsey was identified on Monday as the latest victim after her body was found in White Rock Lake over the weekend. Transgender women of color, especially African American trans-women have been disproportionately targeted in Dallas and the announcement by local law enforcement authorities to ask for federal help was welcomed by the city’s LGBTQ activist community.
President Trump has warned that his announced 5% tariffs on Mexican imports tied to cross-border migration, would go into effect next week. As some of his Republican colleagues expressed alarm at the move, Trump warned that opposing him would be, “foolish.” He also said, “Mexico shouldn’t allow millions of people to try and enter our country, and they could stop it very quickly and I think they will.” As usual Trump exaggerated his figures by at least an order of ten. Even though Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he would resist Trump’s demand, the Mexican government has reportedly been cracking down on Central American migrants that travel through Mexico to the US through the use of mass raids.
Presidential candidate Joe Biden has embraced some policy aspects of the Green New Deal after critics slammed his weak platform on climate change. His campaign released a 22-page plan on Tuesday morning that said, “Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face.” His plan sets a deadline of 2050 for the US to arrive at net-zero emissions. While the Sunrise Movement, which backed the Green New Deal, praised Biden for being bold, they urged him to set the deadline far earlier than 2050. A new poll shows Biden has lost about 7% support since he first announced his candidacy. Meanwhile Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is also a presidential contender, released her own climate change plan that centers on $2 Trillion in spending that includes a $100 billion “Green Marshall Plan.” In a piece she published on Tuesday morning, Warren wrote, “The climate crisis demands immediate and bold action…Like we have before, we should bank on American ingenuity and American workers to lead the global effort to face down this threat — and create more than a million good jobs here at home.”
In other climate news, a report published on Tuesday found that more than 200 of the biggest corporations in the world foresee climate change costing them almost $1 trillion. The report, by the Carbon Disclosure Project is described by Reuters as, “a respected voice in a growing coalition of pressure groups, fund managers, central bankers and politicians who believe global warming poses a systemic risk to the financial system.”