Executive Order Signed to Create Voter Fraud Commission
POLITICO – A White House official told the pool of reporters monitoring the president on Thursday that the executive order will be more forward-looking rather than “reviewing alleged voter fraud [and] suppression.”
“The Commission will review policies and practices that enhance or undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of Federal elections — including improper registrations, improper voting, fraudulent registrations, fraudulent voting, and voting suppression,” the official told the press pool.
During last year’s presidential campaign, Trump offered repeated claims that the election would be rigged against him and would not commit to accepting the election results, instead insisting on reserving judgment until after votes were cast and the results released. Weeks after he won the election, Trump wrote on Twitter that “in addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,” an allegation for which he offered no proof.
Wal-Mart CEO to be Questioned in Lawsuit Over Mexican Bribery
Reuters – A federal judge on Thursday ordered Wal-Mart Stores Inc Chief Executive Douglas McMillon to submit to questioning in a lawsuit by shareholders hoping to learn what he knows about suspected bribery by the world’s largest retailer in Mexico.
U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey in Fayetteville, Arkansas, said McMillon’s “direct and personal involvement” in matters underlying a class-action lawsuit justified requiring him to sit for a deposition by the shareholders’ lawyers.
McMillon had been president of Wal-Mart International during a period when shareholders led by a Michigan pension fund said the retailer concealed suspected bribery by its Wal-Mart de Mexico unit to government officials, to speed up store openings.
The Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer had argued that McMillon lacked the “unique or special knowledge” to justify burdening him with a deposition.
Acting FBI Chief Contradicts White House on Russia and Comey
NYT – The acting director of the F.B.I. contradicted the White House on two major issues on Thursday: the support of rank-and-file agents for the fired F.B.I. chief James B. Comey and the importance of the agency’s investigation into Russian election interference.
In a striking repudiation of official White House statements, the acting director, Andrew G. McCabe, said the inquiry was “highly significant” and pledged to the Senate Intelligence Committee that the F.B.I. would resist any attempt to influence or hobble the investigation.
“Simply put,” he said, “you cannot stop the men and women of the F.B.I. from doing the right thing.”
That Mr. McCabe felt compelled to assert the F.B.I.’s independence was itself remarkable, a byproduct of the unusually public effort by Mr. Trump and his aides to take focus off the investigations into Russia’s election meddling.
TIME – Tillerson Says the US Won’t Be Rushed on Climate Change Policies
Arctic nations have renewed calls for the world to address climate warming, but U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the United States will not rush to make a decision on its policies.
Tillerson spoke Thursday in Fairbanks, Alaska, at a meeting of the Arctic Council, an advisory group made up of the eight Arctic nations and indigenous groups.
The council adopted a nine-page “Fairbanks Declaration 2017,” which noted that the Arctic is warming at more than twice the rate of the global average. The document noted the importance of reducing soot and methane emissions and said climate change is the most serious threat to Arctic biodiversity.
Tillerson signed the document. But in opening remarks, he cautioned that the United States is reviewing several important policies, including how the Trump administration will approach the issue of climate change.
Why Do So Many Cities Have Poor East Ends?
the Guardian – From London to Paris, New York to Helsinki, poverty tends to cluster in the east. A new study sheds light on this global pattern of poverty
The question is so obvious that you could easily forget to ask it: why do cities so often have a poor east side? To be clear, the mystery is not why every city has its leafy and its grubby sections – it costs money to live in nice places and to avoid nasty ones, which tends to group people into them by wealth. The mystery is why the poor groups always end up in the east.
Of course, the true picture is never neat nor simple, but by common consent, a British-biased list of cities with poor eastern districts would include: London, Paris, New York, Toronto, Bristol, Manchester, Brighton and Hove, Oxford, Glasgow, Helsinki, and Casablanca. No doubt there are some cities where poverty clusters in the west, but they seem harder to find; perhaps Delhi and Sydney?