Politics Trump administration wages a 'war on information,' group charges
UN body warns gender parity progress could grind to a halt
The UN labour agency warned Wednesday that gradual progress toward parity between the sexes in the workplace was expected to soon grind to a halt and could even reverse. "On average around the world, women remain much less likely to participate in the labour market than men," the International Labour Organization (ILO) said in a report.At the moment, some 48.5 percent of women and girls over the age of 15 are part of the global workforce -- 26.5 percentage points below the rate of male participation, the report found.Thus, for every 10 men in a job globally, only six women are employed, it said.
WASHINGTON - The Trump administration has halted a new policy that would have required large companies to report what they pay their employees by race and gender. It has stopped a study of serious health risks for people who live near coal mine sites in Central Appalachia. And it has collected less crime data from across the nation than previous years.
In a new report released Tuesday, watchdog group Public Citizen outlined 25 ways President Donald Trump and federal agencies have conducted a so-called war on information over the last 14 months, largely eliminating data it finds inconvenient.
Ex-Trump campaign manager Manafort pleads not guilty to fraud
Manafort was hit with a second indictment that included fraud and tax-related charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller in Virginia. Paul Manafort is already charged with a slew of federal charges, including money laundering, in a D.C. court.Manafort’s longtime business associate and former Trump campaign aide, Rick Gates, pleaded guilty to lying to Mueller’s team last month. © Win McNamee/Getty Images Manafort’s longtime business associate and former Trump campaign aide, Rick Gates, pleaded guilty to lying to Mueller’s team last month.
In most cases, the information already had been previously collected by the government. But in other cases, a plan was in place for the government to start collecting the information.
"A president who cares little about facts and has a dubious understanding of the concept of truthfulness sets the tone for his overall administration," Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, told McClatchy. "But it's not just that the administration is sloppy with the facts; it has engaged in a deliberate campaign to suppress information that contradicts its corporate and ideological extremist agenda."
Public Citizen said the Trump administration is terminating studies that contradict its positions on big business priorities, manipulating data to promote an anti-immigrant agenda and failing to seek input from scientists and other experts. The study is not comprehensive but does show how the administration has denied facts, rejected expert advice and promoted falsehoods, its authors say.
Trump has not called Putin since his election, White House says
President Donald Trump has yet to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin on his election, and a phone call between the two leaders has yet to be set up , the White House said Monday. Deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters that the Trump administration will "work to cultivate the relationship we have with Russia" but added that they will also "obviously" impose "costs when Russia threatens our interests."When asked by reporters if the administration believed the Russian election was "free and fair," Gidley would only respond, "we're not surprised by the outcome.
In some cases, the administration has reversed course after being criticized, according to the report.
In one example, the report said the Department of Agriculture in February 2017 removed thousands of animal welfare documents from its website, including documents on the number of animals kept by research labs, circuses, companies and zoos. It began posting the information again later that month after animal rights groups complained, though it redacts some information citing "privacy" concerns.
In another instance, the report said, the Federal Emergency Management Agency deleted statistics in October 2017 on the percentage of Puerto Ricans with power and access to drinking water following Hurricane Maria. FEMA later began posting the information again that same month after the media reported it.
Even before Trump was sworn into office, he was accused of hiding information. Trump never released his tax returns, despite the common practice of presidents for four decades of releasing them and refused to post visitor logs for the White House until it settled a lawsuit that would reveal some details.
How many ways are there to leave the Trump administration?
As the president reshapes his administration, we should expect greater care that those leaving are replaced by appointees with more experience, greater expertise and the ability to govern. For that we look to the president but also to the Senate confirmation process and close congressional oversight.Yet, if Trump really wants a government that's on his team, it is time to look beyond the Cabinet-level positions and fill out the rest of his political appointments.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment about the Public Citizen report.
"These are not random suppressions of data and evidence, simply a byproduct of carelessness," the report states. "The Trump administration-wide information suppression is a considered and concerted effort to serve corporate and extremist ideological interests."
Other examples cited in the report:
- Suspending a study to update an offshore oil and gas operations inspection program.
- Scaling back research of the environmental impact of copper mining in a northern Minnesota wilderness area.
- Removing information about climate change from websites.
- Abandoning an international effort to require energy and mining firms to disclose payments given to governments.
- Barring student loan services from responding to information requests from third parties, including state regulators.
- No longer mandating that contractors bidding on federal projects disclose all labor law violations for the past three years.
- Not requiring the Census Bureau to ask about sexual orientation or gender identity on its two biggest surveys.
Public Citizen also cited the example of a commission Trump created to look into voter fraud after he said millions of people voted illegally in 2016, though he provided no proof. The commission was later disbanded after states revolted.
"Members of the Trump administration seem eager to dish off the record about the daily drama of a dysfunctional White House," said Alan Zibel, research director for Public Citizen's Corporate Presidency Project and co-author of the report. "But they routinely suppress far more consequential information about how Trump's dangerous worker safety, public health and environmental policies will impact Americans."
Visit the McClatchy Washington Bureau at www.mcclatchydc.com
Fired officer who killed unarmed black man to get back pay .
CINCINNATI — A white police officer fired after he fatally shot a black unarmed motorist will get about $344,000 in back pay and legal fees from the University of Cincinnati, the school said Thursday.The university is paying Ray Tensing to settle a union grievance brought on his behalf for his 2015 firing, following his indictment on murder charges. The charges were dropped last year after two juries deadlocked.The Fraternal Order of Police had challenged Tensing's firing, saying he shouldn't have been removed from the university's police force before the case was resolved.
Trump Appointee Ushers In Kleptocrat Golden Age
Mick Mulvaney is actively defanging the department that is supposed to be looking out for you. Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola, the hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think...
Trump Voter Fraud Investigation Backfires
A lawsuit has been filed against Trump's voter fraud panel. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, the hosts of The Young Turks, tell you why. Tell us what you think in the comment section below....
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