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Government funding bill would force Trump to create exclusion process for China tariffs

“Getting an exclusion process added is a win for trade groups who have fought to expand the exclusion process” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Overall, the Trump administration has hit $250 billion worth of Chinese products with tariffs as part of its ongoing trade war with Beijing.The administration has not created a process for requesting exemptions from the remaining $200 billion worth of goods, however.The Trump administration would be obligated to consider excluding more products from its China tariffs under a spending bill introduced early Thursday morning that is needed to avert a…

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Environmental lawyers are preparing to sue the Trump administration once he issues his emergency order to expand a wall along the country’s southern border.

“Environmental lawyers are preparing to sue the Trump administration once he issues his emergency order to expand a wall along the country’s southern border” reports washingtonexaminer.com. Dillen argues Trump’s use of his emergency powers to further fund the construction of a border wall would violate the Constitution. She argued that Congress has the authority to set spending priorities, but Trump continues to operate as if “checks and balances and the will of the people do not matter.“ Environmental groups were the first to sue Trump over his proposed border wall…

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The White House has granted about one out of every four requests made for an exception to it’s steel tariffs, granting relief to companies that say they can’t find comparable products made inside the U.S.

“The White House has granted about one out of every four requests made for an exception to it’s steel tariffs, granting relief to companies that say they can’t find comparable products made inside the U.S. “As of February 11th, 66,001 steel and 9,548 aluminum exclusion requests have been filed” reports washingtonexaminer.com. The administration has also granted 2,824 exclusions for its aluminum tariffs.The administration officially instituted 25 percent tariffs on steel and 10 percent on aluminum in March, citing Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act. Source: washingtonexaminer.com

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Middle East conference opens with warnings that all problems originate in Iran

“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday hailed as a historic breakthrough the presence of Israeli and Arab officials in the same room at a conference on Middle East security” writes unknown author for washingtonpost.com. The United States and Poland shelved tentative plans to circulate an agreement that conference attendees would all sign, two diplomats said.Netanyahu, however, has minced no words, telling reporters in Israel, “The focus of the conference is Iran.” Pompeo said the two are intrinsically linked. Source: washingtonpost.com

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Democratic senators urge administration to reject Sprint T-Mobile merger

“The Sprint logo is displayed on a a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York City Thomson Reuters WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group of seven Democratic U.S. senators and independent Senator Bernie Sanders on Tuesday urged the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission to reject the proposed $26 billion merger between T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp” reports businessinsider.com. The merger is “likely to raise prices for consumers, harm workers, stifle competition, exacerbate the digital divide, and undermine innovation,” they wrote. A U.S. House panel is set…

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dedicate more resources and investment into research, promotion and training on artificial intelligence

“WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday will sign an executive order asking federal government agencies to dedicate more resources and investment into research, promotion and training on artificial intelligence (AI), a senior administration official said” writes Min Read for reuters.com. Under the American AI Initiative, the administration will direct agencies to prioritize AI investments in research and development, increase access to federal data and models for that research and prepare workers to adapt to the era of AI. There was no specific funding announced for the initiative,…

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Trump to launch artificial intelligence initiative, but many details lacking

“And today President Donald Trump will sign an executive order launching the American AI Initiative, directing federal agencies to focus on the technology” writes Matthew Hutson for sciencemag.org. The senior administration official noted that one concern is protecting data privacy. 4) Workforce.Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a defining issue of our time, affecting national security, economic development, human rights, and social media—for better and worse. Source: sciencemag.org

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Trump’s HIV strategy faces potential minefield

“Hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding would be phased in over subsequent years, although the commitment could change significantly as the Trump administration works through the budget process” writes Jack Shafer for politico.com. “We stand ready to work with him and his administration if they are serious,” 22 HIV and AIDS patient advocacy groups wrote in a joint statement.Meanwhile, members of the faith-based community have quietly encouraged the administration to highlight the link between sexual behavior and the possibility of contracting HIV, said two individuals.The strategy would require…

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