Nation Watch: February 16, 2017

As social actions around the world demonstrate, the people listen, the streets listen. A vast, strong community seeks a world of greater compassion and justice. Politicians listen too, when there are enough people in real and virtual streets.

Cultural Weekly’s Nation Watch highlights topics you may wish to take action on. We also wish to alert you to DCReport, a new website dedicated to investigative journalism of what the President and Congress do, not what they say, founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Cay Johnston.

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The President signed three executive orders aimed at fighting crime. One relates to strengthening federal laws aimed at reducing international crime organizations like drug cartels. The second “focuses on preventing crime against law enforcement, including a push to define new federal crimes and potentially establish new mandatory minimum sentences.” The third order gives Attorney General Sessions the power to develop strategies “to reduce crime, including, in particular, illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and violent crime.”  Source: The Hill

Health Care
A federal judge blocked a proposed merger between Anthem and Cigna. Anthem plans to appeal. Source: The Hill

Ted Cruz introduced a bill that would abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Source: Housing Wire 

Acting chairman of the SEC, Michael Piwowar, has moved against two Dodd-Frank rules. “One of the rules requires public companies to reveal the gap between their chief executive’s’ annual compensation and the median — or midpoint — pay of their employees.” The other rule “requires companies to disclose information about their use of minerals from Congo, where militias that have been linked to atrocities have profited from mining minerals used in electronics, jewelry and other goods.” Source: Associated Press


The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of continuing the blocking of the President’s travel ban. Source: LA Times

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 700+ people in one week’s time. Source: The Intercept

An undocumented victim of domestic violence was detained in a courthouse by immigration agents. Source: El Paso Times

Republican legislators across the country are moving to deny their own funding to cities that refuse to comply with federal immigration authorities, in regards to immigration and Sanctuary City designation. Source: The Hill

White House counsel Kellyanne Conway publicly promotes Ivanka Trump’s business, and House Oversight Committee recommends disciplinary action. Source: LA Times

National Security
National Security Adviser to the White House, Michael Flynn, resigns. Source: NPR 

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz has asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate the leaks that led National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to resign. Source: The Hill 

Senate Judiciary Committee demands Justice Department hand over all documents on Michael Flynn. Source: The Hill

“Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.” Source: The NY Times 

The President reaffirms support for Japan after North Korea missile test. Source: The Hill

The President agrees to support “One China” policy, which is the diplomatic acknowledgement of China’s position that there is only one Chinese government. Source: The Guardian 

Labor Department
Amidst much opposition, Andrew Puzder withdraws his nomination for Labor Secretary. Source: The NY Times 

Vince Viola withdraws from consideration for Army Secretary. Source: The Hill 

Defense Secretary Mattis has ordered NATO to increase defense spending or the U.S. will “moderate its commitment.” Source: CNN

ND Governor orders evacuation of Dakota Pipeline “protest” camp. Source: Reuters via Yahoo News


Last week’s Nation Watch.

Prepared by Jessica Ceballos Campbell with Adam Leipzig.

Top image by Hassified, under Creative Commons license.

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