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It would be 'wrong' to get fired because of sexual orientation: Trump's Labor nominee

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iStock(NEW YORK) — The son of a conservative icon, Eugene Scalia, told a Senate panel on Thursday that it would be “wrong” for employers to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In his first testimony as President Donald Trump’s nominee to become Labor secretary, Scalia also promised to take “a careful look” at a recent Trump administration proposal that would allow federal contractors to factor in a person’s religion when hiring. Critics of the plan say it would enable employers to discriminate against LGBTQ workers and other groups by claiming the employee didn’t share their religious views. “Do you believe it is wrong for an employer to terminate someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity?” asked Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia. “I do believe it’s wrong,” Scalia replied. “I think that most of my clients had policies against that. Certainly my firm did. And it’s something that would not have been tolerated by me or my firm, or most of my clients.” Scalia also was asked about an article he wrote in 1985 in college

Trump denies report that 'promise' he made to foreign leader prompted whistleblower complaint

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Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump on Thursday reacted to a Washington Post story that a “promise” he made to a foreign leader had caused a whistleblower in the intelligence community to make a formal complaint, calling it “Presidential Harassment!” In a series of tweets Thursday morning, Trump called the Post account “Another Fake News story,” saying “Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies.” “Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially “heavily populated” call. I would only do what is right anyway, and only do good for the USA!” he tweeted. As Trump was tweeting, the inspector general for intelligence community was on Capitol Hill being questioned behind closed doors by the House Intelligence Committee on the matter. He was expected to brief members on the handling of the complaint as opposed the content, Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said

Former Bush staffer urges 'fellow Latinos' to vote Trump out of office in 2020

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adamkaz/iStock(WASHINGTON) — A former staffer in the George W. Bush White House has urged his “fellow Latinos” to vote President Trump out of office, saying Republicans “have lost control of the monster they helped create.” “I am a Republican,” Abel Guerra wrote in an opinion piece published by The Washington Post on Wednesday. “I worked in the George W. Bush White House. And I say to my fellow Latinos: I’m not asking you to become a Democrat. But I am asking you to vote President Trump out of office.” “From day one, Trump spewed his white-supremacist views, promising to halt the invasion of immigrants and spurring a rhetoric of resentment and retaliation against the ‘other,’” wrote Guerra, who was the associate director of public liaison during the Bush administration from 2001 to 2004. The op-ed also invoked the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, that claimed the lives of 22 people in August. Authorities have since revealed that the shooter traveled for at least 10 hours to specifically target “Mexicans” at the store, which sits near the

Acting ICE chief defends agents, scolds lawmakers for political rhetoric

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danielfela/iStock(WASHINGTON) — In an interview with ABC News, the nation’s top immigration enforcement official scolded lawmakers for heated political rhetoric that he said put his agents’ safety at risk and declared that “everyone” should “take a deep breath,” an admonition that could apply to President Donald Trump as well as critics of his policies. “We’re not Nazis,” he said in a wide-ranging interview this week, referencing comparisons from Democrats who’ve described migrant detention centers as “concentration camps.” The plea by acting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matthew Albence is likely to solicit pushback. Critics say his agency’s tactics have grown increasingly aggressive, including one incident in which ICE officers smashed the window of a car with a man sitting inside with his young children. He was dragged out and arrested, then deported. Agency officials said the force was justified because the man had previously been deported and had reentered the U.S. – a felony. But Albence insists that not enough is being done to tell the side of the agents who are responsible for enforcing President Donald Trump’s most

Police: Boarding school fire kills at least 26 children, one teacher in Liberia

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omersukrugoksu/iStock(MONROVIA, Liberia) — More than two dozen people, mostly children, have died in a fire that engulfed a religious boarding school outside Liberia’s capital in the middle of the night, authorities said. An Islamic school on the outskirts of Monrovia caught fire late Tuesday night, around 11 p.m. local time, while students and faculty were asleep inside. Fierce flames swept the main entrance of the building, leaving many people trapped, according to the Liberia National Police spokesman Moses Carter. At least 26 children and one teacher were killed. Two other children were the only students to escape the blaze, Carter said. The inspector general of the Liberia National Police, Patrick Sudue, described the disaster as “one of the worst in decades” to occur in the West African nation. The remains of the victims have been handed over to the families for burial. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to Carter. Liberian President George Weah declared Thursday a national day of mourning in remembrance of those who died. He visited the scene of the blaze in the suburb

Top intelligence official to brief Congress on whistleblower complaint

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drnadig/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire will testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Sept. 26, after Chairman Adam Schiff accused his office of withholding an intelligence community’s whistleblower complaint from Congress. Schiff, D-Calif., issued a subpoena last week for the complaint, described as “urgent” by the intelligence community’s inspector general. The chairman said Wednesday that Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson would brief the committee behind closed doors on Thursday morning regarding the handling of the complaint, but likely not the content. Next Thursday’s hearing with Maguire will be public. “The director has said essentially that he is answering to a higher authority and refusing to turn over the whistleblower complaint. This is deeply troubling,” Schiff said on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday. “Ignoring the subpoena, ignoring our request. No DNI — no director of national intelligence — has ever refused to turn over a whistleblower complaint,” he added. A spokesperson for the DNI did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The complaint involves conduct by someone outside the intelligence community, according to a

Pentagon spent at least $184,000 at Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland

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Ivan Cholakov/iStock(WASHINGTON) — U.S. military personnel spent at least $184,000 on layovers in Scotland at the Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland, located 20 miles from the Prestwick Airport in Glasgow, which has become a major transit point for U.S. Air Force crews, according to the Pentagon. Senior Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform investigating whether President Donald Trump has benefited from the overnight stay of military air crews at the resort said the amount is more than had been previously known. A review of government credit card and travel records showed that U.S. military personnel spent $124,578.96 from Aug. 9, 2017 to July 26, 2019, according to a letter written by James Stewart, the assistant secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, who is performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. “This amounts to an average of $189.04 per overnight stay, which is well within the overseas Per Diem and Meals and Incidental expenses average of $282.92,” Stewart wrote in his letter. An additional $59,729.12 in credit card vouchers could

Warren won't say if she'd raise middle class taxes to pay for her health care plan

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US Senate(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., took the stage at the Late Show with Stephen Colbert to big applause Tuesday night, waving broadly to the cheering crowd — before sitting down in the hot seat to face questions about health care, one of the most pressing issues of the 2020 race. Colbert pressed the candidate famous for her many plans, drilling down on how exactly a Warren administration would plan to pay for Medicare for All — and whether or not the middle class would see a tax hike were she to make it to the White House. “You keep being asked in the debates, how are you going to pay for it? Are you going to be raising the middle class taxes?” Colbert asked. “How are you going to pay for it? Are you going to be raising the middle class taxes?” “So, here’s how we’re going to do this,” Warren started. “Costs are going to go up for the wealthiest Americans, for big corporations … and hard-working middle-class families are going to see their costs going down.”

Rep. Joe Kennedy to announce primary challenge to Sen. Ed Markey

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US Senate(BOSTON) — Rep. Joe Kennedy III, D-Mass., the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, will formally announce a 2020 primary challenge to Sen. Ed Markey on Saturday in Boston, according to a source familiar with his plans, before kicking off a statewide tour to promote his candidacy for the Democratic nomination. He informed Markey of his decision Wednesday, according to another source familiar with their conversation. Kennedy’s intentions were first reported by the Boston Globe — teeing up one of the cycle’s marquee intraparty clashes. Within a couple of hours, Markey’s campaign insisted he is the “right choice” in a statement Wednesday. “In 2013, Ed Markey asked voters to send him to the U.S. Senate to fight for the people of Massachusetts,” said John Walsh, Markey’s senior campaign adviser. “Since then, he has fought on the front lines to show them they were right. … Elections are about choices, and Ed looks forward to spending the next 14 months campaigning hard every day to show the people of the Commonwealth why he’s the right choice.” Walsh also made clear Markey

White House distances itself from AG Barr's gun control ideas as NRA pans it

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Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead(WASHINGTON) — Attorney General William Barr spent Wednesday shopping a proposal to expand background checks to conservative Republicans in Congress. There’s just one problem: President Donald Trump is not on board with any of it. “That is not a White House document, and any suggestion to contrary is completely false,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said. That lack of support had the potential of killing the proposal before it was barely out of the gate. But the attorney general pressed on with a memo, obtained by ABC News, that contained ideas for expanding background checks for “all advertised commercial sales,” expanding who could perform the checks and seeking to negate any kind of federal firearms registry — a primary concern for many gun rights groups. Obtained by ABC News “The president has made clear he’s interested in any meaningful, workable measures that can provide greater security to the American people. I’ve been up here gathering perspective, kicking around some ideas, so I’m in a better position to advise the president,” Barr told