Tag Archive | "United States of America"

Al Qaeda wants to create local leadership in South Asia: US official

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Al Qaeda wants to create local leadership in South Asia: US official

Posted on 27 March 2017 by GGS News

Washington: The top al Qaeda leadership has started nurturing terror units in South Asia, including in India, to give a local face to their outfit, according to a senior US defence official.
“We believe that Qaeda’s senior most leadership realises that their presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been under pressure for quite some time. So, they wanted to create an organisation with more of a local face. People that are South Asian as opposed to Egyptian or something else that can last there long term,” the senior defence official said.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the official was responding to a question on the activities of Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent and its relationship with Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

According to the official, the creation of al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent is part of the long-term planning of the Qaeda leadership to develop local leadership in the region.

“We believe it was created specifically as Qaeda’s permanent presence within South Asia,” the official said.

“So by South Asia means Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh…That whole region. Not just Afghanistan. And, certainly some of the intelligence that we found through raids in Afghanistan have indicated that there are connections between AQIS (Qaeda in Syria) guys in Afghanistan and people in Bangladesh and elsewhere within South Asia,” the official said.

“So, there’s a definite direct connection there. In the long-term planning, there, as well. We believe that Al Qaeda’s senior most leadership realises that their presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been under pressure for quite some time,” the official said.

Responding to questions, the official, who keep tracks of development on al Qaeda and ISIS front, said that there are “definite” links between the Islamic State leadership in Syria and Iraq and those in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The core of Al Qaeda leadership is still in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the official pointed out.

Announcing the formation of Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent, its leader Ayman al-Zawahiri had said it would be “good news for Muslims in Burma, Bangladesh and in the Indian states of Assam, Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir, where they would be rescued from injustice and oppression”.

PTI |

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Police officer, three others killed in Wisconsin shooting

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Police officer, three others killed in Wisconsin shooting

Posted on 23 March 2017 by GGS News

Police officer, three others killed in Wisconsin shooting. A Photo By AP

Milwaukee : A police officer and three other people were killed in a string of shootings that unfolded three small communities in central Wisconsin, local media reported on Wednesday.
A suspect was taken into custody by police at an apartment complex in Weston, Wisconsin, following the incident, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel newspaper reported. Weston is about 90 miles west of Green Bay.

Todd Baeten, police captain for Wausau, Wisconsin, told an afternoon press conference that the incident began shortly before 1 pm central time when shots were reported fired at the Marathon Savings Bank in the nearby town of Rothschild.

Baeten told the news conference that several minutes later a similar report was received from a law firm in Wausau before officers converged on the apartment complex.

Wausau police and the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigations declined to confirm the casualties to Reuters.

Reuters |

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Donald Trump paid $38 mn in taxes, made $150 mn in 2005: White House

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Donald Trump paid $38 mn in taxes, made $150 mn in 2005: White House

Posted on 15 March 2017 by GGS News

Donald Trump paid $38 mn in taxes, made $150 mn in 2005: White House

Washington : The White House said that President Donald Trump made more than USD 150 million in income in 2005 and paid USD 38 million in income taxes that year.
The acknowledgement came shortly before MSNBC host Rachel Maddow reported on two pages of Trump’s 2005 tax forms on her Tuesday night show.

The records were obtained by Pulitzer prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, who said he received the documented unsolicited, in the mail.

The documents have become highly sought-after because Trump refused to release his returns during the campaign, breaking a decades-long tradition. He claimed he was under audit by the Internal Revenue Service and said his attorneys had advised against it — though experts and IRS officials said such audits don’t bar taxpayers from releasing their returns.

The White House pushed back pre-emptively Tuesday night, saying that publishing those returns would be illegal.

“You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago,” the White House said in a statement.

The unauthorised release or publishing of federal tax returns is a criminal offense, punishable by a fine of up to USD 5,000 and up to five years in jail. But Maddow argued that MSNBC was exercising its First Amendment right to publish information in the public interest.

Based on the documents obtained by Johnston, Trump paid USD 36.5 million in taxes on USD 153 million in income, for an effective tax rate of around 24 percent. That percentage is higher than the roughly 10 percent the average American pays each year — but below the 27.4 percent that taxpayers earning 1 million dollars a year average, according to data from the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.

Trump’s tax returns spotlight the role of the Alternative Minimum Tax, which was established nearly five decades ago to prevent the wealthy from using deductions and clever accounting to largely avoid paying taxes.

AP |

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Days after Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s killing, Indian-origin businessman shot dead outside his house in US

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Days after Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s killing, Indian-origin businessman shot dead outside his house in US

Posted on 04 March 2017 by GGS News

NEW YORK : With the nation still in shock from the killing of an Indian engineer in the US last week, another Indian-origin businessman has been shot dead outside his home in South Carolina, media reports said.

On Thursday night, Harnish Patel had closed his shop at 11.24 p.m. and barely ten minutes later he was shot dead outside his house in Lancaster, a media report said.

Patel’s death comes two days after President Donald Trump had condemned as “hate and evil” the killing of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, the previous Wednesday in a Kansas bar.

Local officials in Lancaster, however, did not believe that Patel’s killing was a bias crime as investigations are on, The Herald reported

“I don’t have any reason to believe that this was racially motivated,” County Sheriff Barry Faile said on Friday.

In the February 22 Kansas killing, Kuchibhotla was shot dead by a man screaming, “Get out of my country”.

Another Indian Alok Madasani, who was with the victim at a bar, and an American, Ian Grillot, who tried to stop the shooting, were also shot and injured.

Adam Purinton, a white and a former Navy SEAL was arrested and charged with murder. He had reportedly said that he had shot two Iranians after shooting the Indians.

The hate crime was condemned by leaders in both the US and India.

In his State of the Union address to the joint session of the Congress on February 28, Trump said: “Last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”
Local WSOCTV said that in Lancaster there was a lot of anger over the killing of Patel, who was considered an important member of the community and a kind person who treated his customers as friends and helped law enforcement.

His store was close to the Sheriff’s office and deputies often frequented the store.

Faile said on TV that Patel was a “great family man” and a friend.

The station said that Patel was survived by his wife and child in elementary school, who were at home when he was killed.

People had created an impromptu shrine outside Patel’s Speed Mart store by leaving balloons and flowers in his memory, the station said. A sign on door read, “Store closed for few days because of family emergency. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

A tearful customer, Nicole Jones, told the station that when someone didn’t have money, Patel gave them food. “I would have no idea who would do this to him as good as he is to everybody,” she said.

A store employee, Keira Baskin, said that he only wanted the best for his employees and his family.

On Thursday night a woman called the police and said that she heard screaming and gunshots and when sheriff’s deputies arrived there they found Patel dead from apparent gunshot wounds a few feet from his house, WBTV reported.

Police found two shell casings at the crime scene. A police dog could not pick up any scent to follow from there, WSOCTV reported.

NDTV |

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Donald Trump administration considering separating women, children at Mexico border

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Donald Trump administration considering separating women, children at Mexico border

Posted on 04 March 2017 by GGS News

Donald Trump administration considering separating women, children at Mexico border

Washington : Women and children crossing together illegally into the United States could be separated by US authorities under a proposal being considered by the Department of Homeland Security, according to three government officials.
Part of the reason for the proposal is to deter mothers from migrating to the United States with their children, said the officials, who have been briefed on the proposal.

The policy shift would allow the government to keep parents in custody while they contest deportation or wait for asylum hearings. Children would be put into protective custody with the Department of Health and Human Services, in the “least restrictive setting” until they can be taken into the care of a US relative or state-sponsored guardian.

Currently, families contesting deportation or applying for asylum are generally released from detention quickly and allowed to remain in the United States until their cases are resolved. A federal appeals court ruling bars prolonged child detention.

President Donald Trump has called for ending “catch and release,” in which migrants who cross illegally are freed to live in the United States while awaiting legal proceedings.

Two of the officials were briefed on the proposal at a February 02 town hall for asylum officers by US Citizenship and Immigration Services asylum chief John Lafferty.

A third DHS official said the department is actively considering separating women from their children but has not made a decision.

DHS, HHS and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.

U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat whose district includes about 200 miles (320 km) of the border with Mexico, slammed the proposal. “Bottom line: separating mothers and children is wrong,” he said in a statement.

“That type of thing is where we depart from border security and get into violating human rights,” he said.

About 54,000 children and their guardians were apprehended between Oct. 1, 2016, and Jan. 31, 2017, more than double the number caught over the same time period a year earlier.

Republicans in Congress have argued women are willing to risk the dangerous journey with their children because they are assured they will be quickly released from detention and given court dates set years into the future.

Immigrant rights advocates have argued that Central America`s violent and impoverished conditions force mothers to immigrate to the United States and that they should be given asylum status.

LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS

Implementing the new policy proposal “could create lifelong psychological trauma,” said Marielena Hincapie, executive director at the National Immigration Law Center. “Especially for children that have just completed a perilous journey from Central America.”

Hincapie said the U.S. government is likely to face legal challenges based on immigration and family law if they decide to implement the policy.

The policy would allow DHS to detain parents while complying with a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals order from July 2016 that immigrant children should be released from detention as quickly as possible. That order said their parents were not required to be freed.

To comply with that order, the Obama administration implemented a policy of holding women and children at family detention centres for no more than 21 days before releasing them.

Holding mothers in prolonged detention could also strain government resources, said Randy Capps of the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington-based non-profit.“You are talking about a pretty rapid increase in the detention population if you are going to do this,” Capps said. “The question is really how much detention can they afford.”

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly last week ordered immigration agents to deport or criminally prosecute parents who facilitate the illegal smuggling of their children.

Many parents who arrive on the US-Mexico border with their children have paid smugglers to guide them across the dangerous terrain.

Reuters |

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`Mingle with locals, don’t flaunt your wealth`: Advice for Telugus in US after Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s killing

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`Mingle with locals, don’t flaunt your wealth`: Advice for Telugus in US after Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s killing

Posted on 02 March 2017 by GGS News

HYDERABAD : Telugus in the United States of America (USA) have been advised on how to stay safe and not provoke locals who may not be too happy to see Indians prosper. The advise ranges from asking Indians not to flaunt their expensive vehicles and drawing attention to their position and earnings.
Telugus from Telangana who have settled in the US are taking measures to prevent themselves from getting into trouble with Americans with a racist bent of mind and are also giving out suggestions. A meeting of the Telangana America Telugu Association (TATA) was organized in Washington on February 27 where issues of concern to Telugus were discussed.
In the aftermath of the killing of Srinivas Kuchibhotla+ , an aviation engineer from Hyderabad working for Gramin in Olathe, Kansas, USA, on February 22, the association is of the opinion that Telugus should take necessary precautions. Srinivas’ colleague and friend Alok Madasani was injured in the shootout in Austin’s Bar and Grille.In a telephonic conversation from Hanford, California, TATA president Jhansi Reddy told TOI that while some immediate precautions needed to be taken, a long-term plan of action was also required. “We know there is a lot of fright in Hyderabad, or for that matter in India, after the Olathe incident but people here are not so worried. There have been a couple of incidents in which two Indians (both from Telangana) were shot dead but we are hopeful things will settle down,” she said. Reddy said one of the most important things that Telugus (or Indians) need to do is mingle and socialize with Americans so that they get to know them and understand their culture. “Being aloof can create suspicion in anybody’s mind. We have to free ourselves from the mentality of keeping with our own flock,” she said.She added that IndianAmericans should show more inclination towards getting into politics. “Having our people as representatives would mean that we can have a say and our voice will be heard,” she said. “Everyone wants to take up jobs but not many think of taking up politics as a career,” she pointed out.In addition, she said Indians should participate in fund-raising for politicians during elections. The idea is when they get elected, they will look into the issues of Indians in the US and speak up for them.

TNN |

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Donald Trump administration has found only $20 million in existing funds for wall on US-Mexico border: Document

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Donald Trump administration has found only $20 million in existing funds for wall on US-Mexico border: Document

Posted on 02 March 2017 by GGS News

Donald Trump administration has found only $20 million in existing funds for wall on US-Mexico border: Document

WASHINGTON : President Donald Trump’s promise to use existing funds to begin immediate construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border has hit a financial roadblock, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The rapid start of construction, promised throughout Trump’s campaign and in an executive order issued in January on border security, was to be financed, according to the White House, with “existing funds and resources” of the Department of Homeland Security.

But so far, the DHS has identified only $20 million that can be re-directed to the multi-billion-dollar project, according to a document prepared by the agency and distributed to congressional budget staff last week.

The document said the funds would be enough to cover a handful of contracts for wall prototypes, but not enough to begin construction of an actual barrier. This means that for the wall to move forward, the White House will need to convince Congress to appropriate funds.

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An internal report, previously reported by Reuters, estimated that fully walling off or fencing the entire southern border would cost $21.6 billion – $9.3 million per mile of fence and $17.8 million per mile of wall.DHS officials did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

Trump has said he will ask Congress to pay for what existing funds cannot cover and that Mexico will be pressured to pay back U.S. taxpayers at a later date.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has said he will include funding for a border wall in the budget for next fiscal year. He has estimated the cost to be between $12 billion and $15 billion.

Many Republican lawmakers have said they would vote against a plan that does not offset the cost of the wall with spending cuts.

In the document it submitted to Congress, the DHS said it would reallocate $5 million from a fence project in Naco, Arizona, that came in under budget and $15 million from a project to install cameras on top of trucks at the border.

The surveillance project was awarded to Virginia-based Tactical Micro, but was held up due to protests from other contractors, according to the DHS document. Tactical Micro could not be reached for comment.The DHS only searched for extra funds within its $376 million budget for border security fencing, infrastructure and technology, so it would not have to ask for congressional approval to repurpose funding, according to the document.

Contractors cannot begin bidding to develop prototypes until March 6 but more than 265 businesses already have listed themselves as “interested parties” on a government web site.

Those interested range from small businesses to large government contractors such as Raytheon (RTN.N).

 

Reuters |

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Will extinguish ISIS from our planet with help of Muslim allies: Donald Trump in his 1st presidential address

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Will extinguish ISIS from our planet with help of Muslim allies: Donald Trump in his 1st presidential address

Posted on 01 March 2017 by GGS News

Washington : President Donald Trump addressed a joint session of Congress Tuesday night. Here are his remarks as prepared for delivery, as provided by the White House. Check out our staff’s live annotations at this page.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States, and Citizens of America:

Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our Nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains. Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.

Each American generation passes the torch of truth, liberty and justice –- in an unbroken chain all the way down to the present.

That torch is now in our hands. And we will use it to light up the world. I am heretonight to deliver a message of unity and strength, and it is a message deeply delivered from my heart.

A new chapter of American Greatness is now beginning.

A new national pride is sweeping across our Nation.

And a new surge of optimism is placing impossible dreams firmly within our grasp.

What we are witnessing today is the Renewal of the American Spirit.

Our allies will find that America is once again ready to lead.

All the nations of the world — friend or foe — will find that America is strong, America is proud, and America is free.

In 9 years, the United States will celebrate the 250th anniversary of our founding — 250 years since the day we declared our Independence.

It will be one of the great milestones in the history of the world.

But what will America look like as we reach our 250th year? What kind of country will we leave for our children?

I will not allow the mistakes of recent decades past to define the course of our future.

For too long, we’ve watched our middle class shrink as we’ve exported our jobs and wealth to foreign countries.

We’ve financed and built one global project after another, but ignored the fates of our children in the inner cities of Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit — and so many other places throughout our land.

We’ve defended the borders of other nations, while leaving our own borders wide open, for anyone to cross — and for drugs to pour in at a now unprecedented rate.

And we’ve spent trillions of dollars overseas, while our infrastructure at home has so badly crumbled.

Then, in 2016, the earth shifted beneath our feet. The rebellion started as a quiet protest, spoken by families of all colors and creeds -– families who just wanted a fair shot for their children, and a fair hearing for their concerns.

But then the quiet voices became a loud chorus — as thousands of citizens now spoke out together, from cities small and large, all across our country.

Finally, the chorus became an earthquake – and the people turned out by the tens of millions, and they were all united by one very simple, but crucial demand, that America must put its own citizens first … because only then, can we truly MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

Dying industries will come roaring back to life. Heroic veterans will get the care they so desperately need.

Our military will be given the resources its brave warriors so richly deserve.

Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways gleaming across our beautiful land.

Our terrible drug epidemic will slow down and ultimately, stop.

And our neglected inner cities will see a rebirth of hope, safety, and opportunity.

Above all else, we will keep our promises to the American people.

It’s been a little over a month since my inauguration, and I want to take this moment to update the Nation on the progress I’ve made in keeping those promises.

Since my election, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Softbank, Lockheed, Intel, Walmart, and many others, have announced that they will invest billions of dollars in the United States and will create tens of thousands of new American jobs.

The stock market has gained almost three trillion dollars in value since the election on November 8th, a record. We’ve saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars by bringing down the price of the fantastic new F-35 jet fighter, and will be saving billions more dollars on contracts all across our Government. We have placed a hiring freeze on non-military and non-essential Federal workers.

We have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption by imposing a 5 year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials –- and a lifetime ban on becoming lobbyists for a foreign government.

We have undertaken a historic effort to massively reduce job‑crushing regulations, creating a deregulation task force inside of every Government agency; imposing a new rule which mandates that for every 1 new regulation, 2 old regulations must be eliminated; and stopping a regulation that threatens the future and livelihoods of our great coal miners.

We have cleared the way for the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines — thereby creating tens of thousands of jobs — and I’ve issued a new directive that new American pipelines be made with American steel.

We have withdrawn the United States from the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership.

With the help of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, we have formed a Council with our neighbors in Canada to help ensure that women entrepreneurs have access to the networks, markets and capital they need to start a business and live out their financial dreams.

To protect our citizens, I have directed the Department of Justice to form a Task Force on Reducing Violent Crime.

I have further ordered the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, along with the Department of State and the Director of National Intelligence, to coordinate an aggressive strategy to dismantle the criminal cartels that have spread across our Nation.

We will stop the drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth — and we will expand treatment for those who have become so badly addicted.

At the same time, my Administration has answered the pleas of the American people for immigration enforcement and border security. By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of dollars, and make our communities safer for everyone. We want all Americans to succeed –- but that can’t happen in an environment of lawless chaos. We must restore integrity and the rule of law to our borders.

For that reason, we will soon begin the construction of a great wall along our southern border. It will be started ahead of schedule and, when finished, it will be a very effective weapon against drugs and crime.

As we speak, we are removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our citizens. Bad ones are going out as I speak tonight and as I have promised.

To any in Congress who do not believe we should enforce our laws, I would ask you this question: what would you say to the American family that loses their jobs, their income, or a loved one, because America refused to uphold its laws and defend its borders?

Our obligation is to serve, protect, and defend the citizens of the United States. We are also taking strong measures to protect our Nation from Radical Islamic Terrorism.

According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted for terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home -– from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and yes, even the World Trade Center.

We have seen the attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany and all over the world.

It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur. Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values.

We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America — we cannot allow our Nation to become a sanctuary for extremists.

That is why my Administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our Nation safe — and to keep out those who would do us harm.

As promised, I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS — a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women, and children of all faiths and beliefs. We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.

I have also imposed new sanctions on entities and individuals who support Iran’s ballistic missile program, and reaffirmed our unbreakable alliance with the State of Israel.

Finally, I have kept my promise to appoint a Justice to the United States Supreme Court — from my list of 20 judges — who will defend our Constitution. I am honored to have Maureen Scalia with us in the gallery tonight. Her late, great husband, Antonin Scalia, will forever be a symbol of American justice. To fill his seat, we have chosen Judge Neil Gorsuch, a man of incredible skill, and deep devotion to the law. He was confirmed unanimously to the Court of Appeals, and I am asking the Senate to swiftly approve his nomination.

Tonight, as I outline the next steps we must take as a country, we must honestly acknowledge the circumstances we inherited.

Ninety-four million Americans are out of the labor force.

Over 43 million people are now living in poverty, and over 43 million Americans are on food stamps.

More than 1 in 5 people in their prime working years are not working.

We have the worst financial recovery in 65 years.

In the last 8 years, the past Administration has put on more new debt than nearly all other Presidents combined.

We’ve lost more than one-fourth of our manufacturing jobs since NAFTA was approved, and we’ve lost 60,000 factories since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Our trade deficit in goods with the world last year was nearly $800 billion dollars.

And overseas, we have inherited a series of tragic foreign policy disasters.

Solving these, and so many other pressing problems, will require us to work past the differences of party. It will require us to tap into the American spirit that has overcome every challenge throughout our long and storied history.

But to accomplish our goals at home and abroad, we must restart the engine of the American economy — making it easier for companies to do business in the United States, and much harder for companies to leave.

Right now, American companies are taxed at one of the highest rates anywhere in the world.

My economic team is developing historic tax reform that will reduce the tax rate on our companies so they can compete and thrive anywhere and with anyone. At the same time, we will provide massive tax relief for the middle class.

We must create a level playing field for American companies and workers.

Currently, when we ship products out of America, many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes — but when foreign companies ship their products into America, we charge them almost nothing.

I just met with officials and workers from a great American company, Harley-Davidson. In fact, they proudly displayed five of their magnificent motorcycles, made in the USA, on the front lawn of the White House.

At our meeting, I asked them, how are you doing, how is business? They said that it’s good. I asked them further how they are doing with other countries, mainly international sales. They told me — without even complaining because they have been mistreated for so long that they have become used to it — that it is very hard to do business with other countries because they tax our goods at such a high rate. They said that in one case another country taxed their motorcycles at 100 percent.

They weren’t even asking for change. But I am.

I believe strongly in free trade but it also has to be FAIR TRADE.

The first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, warned that the “abandonment of the protective policy by the American Government [will] produce want and ruin among our people.”

Lincoln was right — and it is time we heeded his words. I am not going to let America and its great companies and workers, be taken advantage of anymore.

I am going to bring back millions of jobs. Protecting our workers also means reforming our system of legal immigration. The current, outdated system depresses wages for our poorest workers, and puts great pressure on taxpayers.

Nations around the world, like Canada, Australia and many others –- have a merit-based immigration system. It is a basic principle that those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to support themselves financially. Yet, in America, we do not enforce this rule, straining the very public resources that our poorest citizens rely upon. According to the National Academy of Sciences, our current immigration system costs America’s taxpayers many billions of dollars a year.

Switching away from this current system of lower-skilled immigration, and instead adopting a merit-based system, will have many benefits: it will save countless dollars, raise workers’ wages, and help struggling families –- including immigrant families –- enter the middle class.

I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible, as long as we focus on the following goals: to improve jobs and wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation’s security, and to restore respect for our laws.

If we are guided by the well-being of American citizens then I believe Republicans and Democrats can work together to achieve an outcome that has eluded our country for decades.

Another Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, initiated the last truly great national infrastructure program –- the building of the interstate highway system. The time has come for a new program of national rebuilding.

America has spent approximately six trillion dollars in the Middle East, all this while our infrastructure at home is crumbling. With this six trillion dollars we could have rebuilt our country –- twice. And maybe even three times if we had people who had the ability to negotiate.

To launch our national rebuilding, I will be asking the Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in the infrastructure of the United States — financed through both public and private capital –- creating millions of new jobs.

This effort will be guided by two core principles: Buy American, and Hire American.

Tonight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that expand choice, increase access, lower costs, and at the same time, provide better Healthcare.

Mandating every American to buy government-approved health insurance was never the right solution for America. The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we will do.

Obamacare premiums nationwide have increased by double and triple digits. As an example, Arizona went up 116 percent last year alone. Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky just said Obamacare is failing in his State — it is unsustainable and collapsing.

One third of counties have only one insurer on the exchanges –- leaving many Americans with no choice at all.

Remember when you were told that you could keep your doctor, and keep your plan?

We now know that all of those promises have been broken.

Obamacare is collapsing –- and we must act decisively to protect all Americans. Action is not a choice –- it is a necessity.

So I am calling on all Democrats and Republicans in the Congress to work with us to save Americans from this imploding Obamacare disaster.

Here are the principles that should guide the Congress as we move to create a better healthcare system for all Americans:

First, we should ensure that Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage, and that we have a stable transition for Americans currently enrolled in the healthcare exchanges.

Secondly, we should help Americans purchase their own coverage, through the use of tax credits and expanded Health Savings Accounts –- but it must be the plan they want, not the plan forced on them by the Government.

Thirdly, we should give our great State Governors the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left out.

Fourthly, we should implement legal reforms that protect patients and doctors from unnecessary costs that drive up the price of insurance – and work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs and bring them down immediately.

Finally, the time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across State lines –- creating a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring cost way down and provide far better care.

Everything that is broken in our country can be fixed. Every problem can be solved. And every hurting family can find healing, and hope.

Our citizens deserve this, and so much more –- so why not join forces to finally get it done? On this and so many other things, Democrats and Republicans should get together and unite for the good of our country, and for the good of the American people.

My administration wants to work with members in both parties to make childcare accessible and affordable, to help ensure new parents have paid family leave, to invest in women’s health, and to promote clean air and clear water, and to rebuild our military and our infrastructure.

True love for our people requires us to find common ground, to advance the common good, and to cooperate on behalf of every American child who deserves a brighter future.

An incredible young woman is with us this evening who should serve as an inspiration to us all.

Today is Rare Disease day, and joining us in the gallery is a Rare Disease Survivor, Megan Crowley. Megan was diagnosed with Pompe Disease, a rare and serious illness, when she was 15 months old. She was not expected to live past 5.

On receiving this news, Megan’s dad, John, fought with everything he had to save the life of his precious child. He founded a company to look for a cure, and helped develop the drug that saved Megan’s life. Today she is 20 years old — and a sophomore at Notre Dame.

Megan’s story is about the unbounded power of a father’s love for a daughter.

But our slow and burdensome approval process at the Food and Drug Administration keeps too many advances, like the one that saved Megan’s life, from reaching those in need.

If we slash the restraints, not just at the FDA but across our Government, then we will be blessed with far more miracles like Megan.

In fact, our children will grow up in a Nation of miracles.

But to achieve this future, we must enrich the mind –- and the souls –- of every American child.

Education is the civil rights issue of our time.

I am calling upon Members of both parties to pass an education bill that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth, including millions of African-American and Latino children. These families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school that is right for them.

Joining us tonight in the gallery is a remarkable woman, Denisha Merriweather. As a young girl, Denisha struggled in school and failed third grade twice. But then she was able to enroll in a private center for learning, with the help of a tax credit scholarship program. Today, she is the first in her family to graduate, not just from high school, but from college. Later this year she will get her masters degree in social work.

We want all children to be able to break the cycle of poverty just like Denisha.

But to break the cycle of poverty, we must also break the cycle of violence.

The murder rate in 2015 experienced its largest single-year increase in nearly half a century.

In Chicago, more than 4,000 people were shot last year alone –- and the murder rate so far this year has been even higher.

This is not acceptable in our society.

Every American child should be able to grow up in a safe community, to attend a great school, and to have access to a high-paying job.

But to create this future, we must work with –- not against -– the men and women of law enforcement.

We must build bridges of cooperation and trust –- not drive the wedge of disunity and division.

Police and sheriffs are members of our community. They are friends and neighbors, they are mothers and fathers, sons and daughters – and they leave behind loved ones every day who worry whether or not they’ll come home safe and sound.

We must support the incredible men and women of law enforcement.

And we must support the victims of crime.

I have ordered the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to serve American Victims. The office is called VOICE –- Victims Of Immigration Crime Engagement. We are providing a voice to those who have been ignored by our media, and silenced by special interests.

Joining us in the audience tonight are four very brave Americans whose government failed them.

Their names are Jamiel Shaw, Susan Oliver, Jenna Oliver, and Jessica Davis.

Jamiel’s 17-year-old son was viciously murdered by an illegal immigrant gang member, who had just been released from prison. Jamiel Shaw Jr. was an incredible young man, with unlimited potential who was getting ready to go to college where he would have excelled as a great quarterback. But he never got the chance. His father, who is in the audiencetonight, has become a good friend of mine.

Also with us are Susan Oliver and Jessica Davis. Their husbands –- Deputy Sheriff Danny Oliver and Detective Michael Davis –- were slain in the line of duty in California. They were pillars of their community. These brave men were viciously gunned down by an illegal immigrant with a criminal record and two prior deportations.

Sitting with Susan is her daughter, Jenna. Jenna: I want you to know that your father was a hero, and that tonight you have the love of an entire country supporting you and praying for you.

To Jamiel, Jenna, Susan and Jessica: I want you to know –- we will never stop fighting for justice. Your loved ones will never be forgotten, we will always honor their memory.

Finally, to keep America Safe we must provide the men and women of the United States military with the tools they need to prevent war and –- if they must –- to fight and to win.

I am sending the Congress a budget that rebuilds the military, eliminates the Defense sequester, and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.

My budget will also increase funding for our veterans.

Our veterans have delivered for this Nation –- and now we must deliver for them.

The challenges we face as a Nation are great. But our people are even greater.

And none are greater or braver than those who fight for America in uniform.

We are blessed to be joined tonight by Carryn Owens, the widow of a U.S. Navy Special Operator, Senior Chief William “Ryan” Owens. Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero –- battling against terrorism and securing our Nation.

I just spoke to General Mattis, who reconfirmed that, and I quote, “Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.” Ryan’s legacy is etched into eternity. For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom –- we will never forget him.

To those allies who wonder what kind of friend America will be, look no further than the heroes who wear our uniform.

Our foreign policy calls for a direct, robust and meaningful engagement with the world. It is American leadership based on vital security interests that we share with our allies across the globe.

We strongly support NATO, an alliance forged through the bonds of two World Wars that dethroned fascism, and a Cold War that defeated communism.

But our partners must meet their financial obligations.

And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that.

We expect our partners, whether in NATO, in the Middle East, or the Pacific –- to take a direct and meaningful role in both strategic and military operations, and pay their fair share of the cost.

We will respect historic institutions, but we will also respect the sovereign rights of nations.

Free nations are the best vehicle for expressing the will of the people –- and America respects the right of all nations to chart their own path. My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America. But we know that America is better off, when there is less conflict — not more.

We must learn from the mistakes of the past –- we have seen the war and destruction that have raged across our world.

The only long-term solution for these humanitarian disasters is to create the conditions where displaced persons can safely return home and begin the long process of rebuilding.

America is willing to find new friends, and to forge new partnerships, where shared interests align. We want harmony and stability, not war and conflict.

We want peace, wherever peace can be found. America is friends today with former enemies. Some of our closest allies, decades ago, fought on the opposite side of these World Wars. This history should give us all faith in the possibilities for a better world.

Hopefully, the 250th year for America will see a world that is more peaceful, more just and more free.

On our 100th anniversary, in 1876, citizens from across our Nation came to Philadelphia to celebrate America’s centennial. At that celebration, the country’s builders and artists and inventors showed off their creations.

Alexander Graham Bell displayed his telephone for the first time.

Remington unveiled the first typewriter. An early attempt was made at electric light.

Thomas Edison showed an automatic telegraph and an electric pen.

Imagine the wonders our country could know in America’s 250th year.

Think of the marvels we can achieve if we simply set free the dreams of our people.

Cures to illnesses that have always plagued us are not too much to hope.

American footprints on distant worlds are not too big a dream.

Millions lifted from welfare to work is not too much to expect.

And streets where mothers are safe from fear — schools where children learn in peace — and jobs where Americans prosper and grow — are not too much to ask.

When we have all of this, we will have made America greater than ever before. For all Americans.

This is our vision. This is our mission.

But we can only get there together.

We are one people, with one destiny.

We all bleed the same blood.

We all salute the same flag.

And we are all made by the same God.

And when we fulfill this vision; when we celebrate our 250 years of glorious freedom, we will look back on tonight as when this new chapter of American Greatness began.

The time for small thinking is over. The time for trivial fights is behind us.

We just need the courage to share the dreams that fill our hearts.

The bravery to express the hopes that stir our souls.

And the confidence to turn those hopes and dreams to action.

From now on, America will be empowered by our aspirations, not burdened by our fears –-

inspired by the future, not bound by the failures of the past –-

and guided by our vision, not blinded by our doubts.

 

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Indian engineer, shot dead in Kansas bar, cremated in Hyderabad

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Indian engineer, shot dead in Kansas bar, cremated in Hyderabad

Posted on 28 February 2017 by GGS News

Hyderabad : Hundreds of grieving family members and friends bade a tearful farewell to Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla as his mortal remains were consigned to the flames amid poignant scenes in Hyderabad on Tuesday.

Kuchibhotla, 32, was shot dead on Wednesday by a US navy veteran in a bar in Kansas in a possible hate crime. Kuchibhotla’s colleague Alok Madasani, also an Indian, and an American citizen, who tried to stop the shooter, were injured in the incident.

Tears rolled down the cheeks of Kuchibhotla father K Madhusudhana Chary as he lit the pyre of his elder son at the Mahaprasthanam crematorium at Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad.

Kuchibhotla’s wife Sunayana Dumala and other family members, hundreds of people, including politicians, residents of his colony at Bachupalli and friends wept as the pyre was lit amid chants of Vedic hymns.

Cries of “Srinivas Kuchibhotla amar rahe” and “Bharat mata ki jai” rent the air.

Union minister of state for labour Bandaru Dattatreya, film actors Jeevitha and Rajasekhar and several other VIPs were among those who paid their last respects during the funeral

The funeral procession started from his Bachupalli residence at around 12.30 pm in a special hearse van, bedecked with flowers.

HT |

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Kansas shooting: White House breaks silence days after Indian techie’s killing, says `early reports` are disturbing

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Kansas shooting: White House breaks silence days after Indian techie’s killing, says `early reports` are disturbing

Posted on 28 February 2017 by GGS News

NEW DELHI : After almost a whole week’s silence, Donald Trump’s White House today touched on the murder of an Indian techie in Kansas, only to say that “early reports out of Kansas are…disturbing.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer made a passing reference to what many are calling a hate crime, while he was condemning attacks on Jewish community centres across the US.
“And while we’re at it, I don’t want to get ahead of the law enforcement, but I was asked the other day about the story in Kansas — the shooting in Kansas. And while the story is evolving, early reports out of Kansas are equally disturbing,” Spicer said.
Meanwhile, the Indian Embassy in US has issued a demarche on the incident to the US State Department and has called for a speedy investigation, ANI reported.
Separately, Democrat Hillary Clinton tweeted yesterday to say Trump should speak out.Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed and Alok Madasani was injured when Adam Purinton, a former US Navy veteran, shot them a bar in Olathe, Kansas, last Wednesday night.
Purinton reportedly got into an argument with the victims and hurled racial slurs. He yelled “get out of my country” and “terrorist” before shooting them.
Kuchibhotla of Hyderabad and his colleague Madasani from Warangal district in Telangana were working as aviation programme managers at Garmin, an MNC.
The mortal remains of the slain 32-year-old were flown to Hyderabad Monday night. He will be cremated today.Purinton is currently being held in jail on a $2 million cash bond. The US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is also helping gather evidence in the shooting because Kansas does not have a hate crime statute.
If the FBI can prove that Purinton’s actions constitute a hate crime, he could face federal charges that could potentially carry the death penalty

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