US House Passes $15 an Hour Minimum Wage

Posted: July 18, 2019, 2:58 pm

House lawmakers voted Wednesday to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
In a vote that mostly followed party lines, House members passed the Raise The Wage Act, the first minimum wage increase since 2009. The measure has not yet come up in the Senate. The bill would more than double the national minimum wage over the next 6 years, a marked increase from the current $7.25 federal minimum wage.
The bill would also raise the minimum wage for tipped employees to the same level from the current $2.13 an hour.
In the 231-to-199 vote, three Republican representatives joined the majority and voted for the bill, while six Democrats voted against it.
“This is about workers, it's about their economic and financial security and today is a bright day because it affects so many people in our country,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters at a news conference.
Skepticism
While the vote was nearly unanimous by Democrats, some members were skeptical.
Democrats Tom O'Halleran of..

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Trump Says He Isn’t Happy with ‘Send Her Back’ Chants From Rally Crowd

Posted: July 18, 2019, 2:14 pm

U.S. President Donald Trump is disavowing chants of “send her back” at his political rally which were heard when he questioned the loyalty of U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a war refugee from Somalia.
“I was not happy when I heard that chant,” Trump said to reporters in the Oval Office, adding he disagreed with it.
Asked why he did not try to stop the chant at the event on Wednesday evening in North Carolina, the president replied: “I think I did – I started speaking very quickly.”
Omar when asked about Trump on Thursday by reporters outside the Capitol, replied, “I believe he is fascist.”
She asked: “Because I criticized the president, I should be deported?”
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., a target of racist rhetoric from President Donald Trump, walks from the House to her office following votes, at the Capitol in Washington, July 18, 2019.Omar is one of four new Democratic Party members of Congress who are women of color who have repeatedly been attacked by Trump since Sunday on social med..

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Trump Says Isn’t Happy with ‘Send Her Back’ Chants From Rally Crowd

Posted: July 18, 2019, 2:14 pm

U.S. President Donald Trump is disavowing chants of “send her back” at his political rally which were heard when he questioned the loyalty of U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a war refugee from Somalia.
“I was not happy when I heard that chant,” Trump said to reporters in the Oval Office, adding he disagreed with it.
Asked why he did not try to stop the chant at the event on Wednesday evening in North Carolina, the president replied: “I think I did – I started speaking very quickly.”
Omar when asked about Trump on Thursday by reporters outside the Capitol, replied, “I believe he is fascist.”
She asked: “Because I criticized the president, I should be deported?”
The 4 Republicans Who Called Trump's Remarks 'Racist'They’re legislators with at least slight histories of bipartisanship and most with competitive elections looming in 2020Omar is one of four new Democratic Party members of Congress who are women of color who have repeatedly been attacked by Trump since Sunday on s..

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Documents on Trump ex-Lawyer’s Porn Star Hush Payment Released

Posted: July 18, 2019, 1:23 pm

Nearly 900 pages of documents regarding hush-money payments by Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to a porn actress and a Playboy model who said they had sexual encounters with the president were made public on Thursday, providing new insight into an investigation that landed Cohen in prison.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan on Wednesday had ordered that the material, used by prosecutors to obtain a 2018 search warrant for Cohen's home and office, be unsealed on Thursday morning. The judge found there was no reason to keep the documents secret after prosecutors told him that their investigation into the payments had ended.

Cohen, 52, pleaded guilty in August 2018 to violating campaign finance law by directing payments of $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels and $150,000 to Playboy model Karen McDougal to avert a scandal shortly before the 2016 presidential
election. Both women have said they had sexual encounters with Trump more than a ..

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US Senator Schumer Asks FBI, FTC to Probe Russia’s FaceApp Over Security Concerns

Posted: July 18, 2019, 12:57 pm

U.S. Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer called on the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission to conduct a national security and privacy investigation into FaceApp, a face-editing photo app developed in Russia, in a letter sent on Wednesday.
The viral smartphone application, which has seen a new surge of popularity due to a filter that ages photos of users’ faces, requires “full and irrevocable access to their personal photos and data,” which could pose “national security and privacy risks for millions of U.S. citizens,” Schumer said in his letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and FTC Chairman Joe Simons.
The Democratic National Committee also sent out an alert to the party’s 2020 presidential candidates on Wednesday warning them against using the app, pointing to its Russian provenance.
In the email, seen by Reuters and first reported by CNN, DNC security chief Bob Lord also urged Democratic presidential campaigns to delete the app immediately if they or their staff had already used..

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DHS Leader: Fewer Than 1,000 Family Separations

Posted: July 18, 2019, 12:47 pm

A top Trump administration official says the number of family separations at the border has fallen and they are done only for compelling reasons.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan says fewer than 1,000 children have been separated from families, out of 450,000 family groups that have crossed the border since October. He says they are separated because of health and safety concerns, among other reasons.
McAleenan was speaking Thursday before the House Oversight Committee. He was testifying amid a growing outcry over the treatment of migrants and the move this week to effectively end asylum on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Lawmakers questioned him about the policy that led to the separation of more than 2,700 children from parents last year. That policy has since been revised.

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Some in GOP Chastise Trump Rally’s Cries to ‘Send her Back’

Posted: July 18, 2019, 11:46 am

Some Republicans are criticizing the chants of “send her back'' by the crowed at a rally with President Donald Trump.
But none of those who have spoken so far are directly taking on Trump after he stirred up his supporters by reviling young Democratic congresswomen who've criticized him and suggesting they leave the U.S. Trump spoke Wednesday night in North Carolina.
The four lawmakers include a black woman, a Hispanic and two Muslims.
Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer heads the House GOP's campaign arm, and told reporters Thursday “there's no place'' for such chants.
Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger tweeted that the crowd's call was “ugly, wrong & would send chills down the spines of our Founding Fathers.''
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says it's time to “lower the rhetoric'' about racism.

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US Senator Warren Pitches New Constraints on Private Equity

Posted: July 18, 2019, 11:44 am

White House hopeful Elizabeth Warren is proposing new regulations on the private equity industry, pitching constraints designed to end what she decries as “legalized looting” by investment firms that take over troubled companies.
Warren's plan, the latest in a series of policy ideas that have propelled the Massachusetts senator to the top tier of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, would hold private equity firms liable for debts and pension promises made by the companies they buy up. It would restrict the firms' ability to pay dividends as well as high fees that shift money out of acquired companies.
The new private equity rules bring Warren's detail-driven campaign back to the familiar ground that launched her political career — reining in Wall Street.
Warren, the former chair of the independent panel that oversaw the government's 2008 bailout of major financial institutions, is a longtime foe of the financial industry who has underscored since launching her..

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Church Sign in Virginia Says “America: Love it or Leave It”

Posted: July 18, 2019, 11:27 am

A church sign in Virginia is drawing attention over a message that says: “America: Love it or Leave It.”
ABC 13 reported Tuesday that the sign is posted out outside Friendship Baptist Church in Appomattox. The station reports hundreds of people have expressed support and opposition to it on social media.
Pastor E. W. Lucas says he wanted to make a statement about the political divisions in Washington. He said he plans to leave the sign up for a while after receiving favorable comments.
President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that four Democratic congresswomen who oppose his policies should “go back” to their home countries, though three were born in the U.S.
The freshmen lawmakers have portrayed the Republican president as a bully who wants to “vilify” all people of color.

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Pregnant Women Overseas Lose Access to Pre-Natal Care Due to Trump’s ‘Global Gag Rule’

Posted: July 18, 2019, 3:52 am

Medical providers say some pregnant women in developing countries have lost access to prenatal health care because of the Trump administration’s expanded “global gag rule” that cut aid to international organizations involved in abortion-related activities.
A recent study in the Lancet Global Health journal also reports that abortions actually increased in Africa when these aid restrictions were enacted in the past.
U.S. President Donald Trump in 2017 reinstated the partisan “global gag rule,” which blocks around $8.8 billion of U.S. international health assistance to organizations that provide abortion services, offer pro-abortion counseling or advocate for the liberalization of abortion laws.
Also called the “Mexico City Policy,” named after the city that hosted a 1984 United Nations population conference where it was first announced, the abortion-related restrictions have been enacted by Republican U.S. presidents since Ronald Reagan and repealed whenever Democrats occupied the White..

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