Take That: Trump Administration Considering ‘Delisting Chinese Companies from U.S. Stock Exchanges’

  • The Trump administration “is considering delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges, three sources briefed on the matter said on Friday.” The move “would be a radical escalation of U.S.-China trade tensions.”
  • It could also be seen as “part of a broader effort to limit U.S. investment in Chinese companies, two of the sources said.”
  • One source said the move was “motivated by the Trump administration’s growing security concerns about the companies’ activities.” Any decision would have to be approved by President Trump.
  • One of the sources said: “This is a very high priority for the administration. Chinese companies not complying with the PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board) process poses risks to U.S. investors.”
  • On news of the possible move, major U.S. indexes fell. Coincidentally, the news “came days before China celebrates the 70th anniversary of the birth of the People’s Republic on Oct. 1, when the world’s No. 2 economy will shut down for a week of festivities.”
  • Details of how the delisting would work have not been released at this time.
  • In June, however, “U.S. lawmakers from both parties introduced a bill to force Chinese companies listed on American stock exchanges to submit to regulatory oversight, including providing access to audits, or face delisting.”
  • Chinese authorities have been resistant to allow “overseas regulators to inspect local accounting firms – including member firms of the Big Four international accounting networks – citing national security concerns.”
  • At the time, Republican Senator Marco Rubio said: “Beijing should no longer be allowed to shield U.S.-listed Chinese companies from complying with American laws and regulations for financial transparency and accountability.”
  • Trade talks are expected to resume between the U.S. and China “Oct. 10-11 after months of tit-for-tat moves by both sides which have weakened global growth and driven rollercoaster moves in markets.”

Reference Links

  • Reuters: Trump considers delisting Chinese firms from U.S. markets: sources READ
  • Politico: Trump administration considers hitting China’s Wall Street connections READ
  • Investor’s Business Daily: China Stocks Sink As White House Mulls Limits On U.S. Portfolio Flows To China READ
  • South China Morning Post: White House weighs restrictions on US capital flows into China READ

Judge Blocks Trump Administration’s New Guidelines for Detention of Immigrant Children

  • On Friday, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee “said she will block the Trump administration’s rules for the detention of immigrant children because they fail to honor a decades-old settlement agreement that spells out the conditions of custody.”
  • The judge made the decision “after a hearing where attorneys for detained immigrant children said the rules would let the U.S. government keep kids locked up indefinitely and in facilities that aren’t licensed by the state.”
  • During the hearing held in Los Angeles, Gee said “that she didn’t see how the new rules adhered to a 1997 settlement that applies to all children — not just those caught on the U.S.-Mexico border without their parents.”
  • Gee told the government lawyers: “Just because you tell me it is night outside doesn’t mean it is not day.”
  • Gee wrote that the government “cannot simply ignore the dictates of the consent decree merely because they no longer agree with its approach as a matter of policy.”
  • As a way to crack down on asylum seekers arriving at the U.S. southern border, the Trump administration attempted “to end the agreement. It issued the rules with the hope of detaining immigrant children in facilities with their parents.”
  • Under the 1997 agreement, it “allows for the settlement to be phased out when rules are issued for the care of detained immigrant children that honor its terms.”
  • A Department of Justice spokesperson “said the administration is disappointed with the ruling because they did what was required to implement the new rules.”
  • August Flentje, a lawyer for the government, argued during the hearing that “the rules were consistent with the agreement and the government had spent significant time to develop them.”

Reference Links

  • AP: The Latest: Judge to block rules for detained migrant kids READ
  • CBS: Migrant detention ruling: Judge blocks government effort to indefinitely detain migrant families READ
  • ABC7: Judge will block Trump administration’s rules for detained migrant children READ
  • Live 5: Judge will block Trump rules for detained migrant kids READ

White House Confirmed Trump’s National Security Lawyers Advised Sealing Record of Ukraine Phone Call; Trump Questions if CIA Officer Even Whistleblower

  • On Friday, the White House “confirmed a key detail from the unidentified CIA officer who has accused President Donald Trump of abusing the power of his office.” Concurrently, “Trump insisted anew that his actions and words have been perfect and the complaint might well be the work of a partisan operative.”
  • The White House also “acknowledged that a record of the Trump phone call that is now at the center of the House impeachment inquiry had been sealed away in a highly classified system at the direction of Trump’s National Security Council lawyers.”
  • Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway spoke to reporters and confirmed “the whistleblower has protection under the law,” which contradicted Trump earlier in the day when he “suggested then that his accuser isn’t a whistleblower at all.”
  • At the heart of the matter is “why the rough transcript of Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president was put on lock down, in the words of the whistleblower.”
  • The CIA officer remarked “that diverting the record in an unusual way was evidence that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the conversation.”
  • The whistleblower’s “complaint alleges that Trump used his office to solicit interference from a foreign country to help himself in next year’s U.S. election.”
  • “Days after ordering a freeze to some military assistance for Ukraine,” in the phone call, “Trump prodded new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to dig for potentially damaging material on Democratic rival Joe Biden and volunteered the assistance of both his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and U.S. Attorney General William Barr.”
  • Also, on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke of the impeachment inquiry: “This is no cause for any joy,” and she added that “she was praying for the president.”
  • Pelosi added: “I would say to Democrats and Republicans: We have to put country before party.”
  • Pelosi also “refused to set a deadline for the probe but promised to act expeditiously.”
  • On Friday, the House Intelligence Committee and “other committees jointly issued a subpoena on Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for documents in the Ukraine matter.”

Reference Links

  • AP: White House attorneys directed sealing of phone transcript READ
  • New York Post: Lawyers ordered moving transcript of Ukraine call to secure system: White House READ
  • WWNY: White House attorneys directed sealing of phone transcript READ
  • PBS NewsHour: White House attorneys directed Ukraine call transcript to be sealed READ

Trump to California: Clean Up Your Act; EPA Writes Letter to Gov. that State is Violating Clean Air Act, Polluting Water Due to Homeless Problem

  • After President Trump’s threat to punish California for the pollution he says is caused by the state’s homeless, the Trump administration is following through with EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler sending a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom.
  • The letter stated that the administration doesn’t feel the governor is doing enough to enforce the Clean Air Act.
  • After visiting California last week, Trump said “that San Francisco is violating pollution laws by allowing needles and other waste from homeless encampments to drain into the ocean.”
  • San Francisco Mayor London Breed denied the claims and responded to the letter: “I’m sick of this president taking swipes at our city for no reason other than politics.”
  • Breed added: “As I’ve said before, there are no needles washing out to the Bay or ocean from our sewer system, and there is no relationship between homelessness and water quality in San Francisco.”
  • The letter from the EPA also said “that the state is not acting with enough urgency to address environmental problems related to homelessness.”
  • Wheeler wrote: “California is responsible for implementing appropriate municipal storm water management and waste treatment requirements as part of its assumed federal program. The state is failing to properly implement these programs.”
  • Wheeler wrote that “the alleged violations put nearly 800,000 residents at risk” and he asked Newsom to respond in 30 days about what the state plans to do about it.”
  • A spokesman for Newsom, Nathan Click, said: “The president is abusing the powers of the presidency and weaponizing government to attack his political opponents. This is not about clean air, clean water or helping our state with homelessness. This is political retribution against California, plain and simple.”
  • The Trump administration and California have been engaged in “an escalating fight over a range of issues, including homelessness, the environment and immigration.”

Reference Links

  • NPR: Trump Administration Blames Homeless For California’s Water Pollution READ
  • AP: Trump administration accuses California of water pollution READ
  • ABC: ‘OK’ hand gesture, ‘bowlcut’ added to hate symbols database READ
  • Fox Business: EPA orders California to fix water pollution blamed on homeless READ

Okay…’OK’ Hand Gesture Now Deemed a Hate Symbol, Connected to White Supremacy

  • The ‘OK’ hand symbol that once signified things are fine is now being deemed a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League.
  • On Thursday, the ADL, “a Jewish civil rights organization, added 36 symbols to its ‘Hate on Display’ database including the index finger-to-thumb sign that in some corners of the Internet has become associated with white supremacy and the far right.”
  • Director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism, Oren Segal, said “that for years on fringe online message boards such as 4chan and 8chan, the ‘OK’ sign has been deployed in memes and other images promoting hate.”
  • Segal added that “given the number of white supremacists who have adopted it, he said it can now carry a nefarious message.”
  • Segal said: “Context is always key. More people than not will use the OK symbol as just ‘OK.’ But in those cases where there’s more underlining meaning, I think it’s important for people to understand that it could be used, and is being used, for hate as well.”
  • According to website called “Know Your Meme, as a prank, 4chan users in 2017 launched a campaign to flood social media with posts linking the ‘OK’ hand gesture to the white power movement.”
  • As part of the prank, “commenters on the message board appropriated images of people posing in the White House and other locations making the hand symbol as proof that it was catching on.”
  • Segal, however, “said that while many of those images were misconstrued by users on the online message boards, the number of people espousing hate while using the gesture has grown so widespread that it can no longer be considered a prank.”
  • Segal noted that “the suspected white supremacist in Christchurch, New Zealand, accused of killing 51 worshippers at two mosques in March, who flashed the ‘OK’ hand gesture during an initial court appearance.”
  • Segal said: “Over the past couple years, we’ve seen that the hoax was essentially successful in being applied by actual white supremacists.”
  • Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s CEO, said in a statement: “We believe law enforcement and the public needs to be fully informed about the meaning of these images, which can serve as a first warning sign to the presence of haters in a community or school.”

Reference Links

  • NPR: The ‘OK’ Hand Gesture Is Now Listed As A Symbol Of Hate READ
  • USA TODAY: ‘OK’ hand gesture added to growing list of hate symbols for white supremacy READ
  • NBC: ‘OK’ hand gesture, ‘bowlcut’ added to hate symbols database READ
  • CBS: “OK” hand sign added to list of hate symbols for white supremacy READ

Dictator Mugabe’s Final Resting Place Finally Decided; Family Backtracks at Last Minute

  • After weeks of back-and-forth, “Robert Mugabe will be buried in his home town, following a final twist in a row over the former Zimbabwean leader’s resting place.”
  • Mugabe died earlier this month at age 95 and his funeral was held in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare.
  • However, “the government had resisted his family’s wish for him to be buried in his home region of Zvimba, deciding that he should lay in Heroes Acre – a national monument and burial ground.”
  • While the family eventually gave in and agreed, they backed out of the idea on Thursday, and “it was not immediately clear what prompted the late change in plans. The Mugabe family had appeared content with the burial at Heroes Acre, after it was agreed that a mausoleum would be built for the former leader.”
  • In a statement released on Thursday, “Information Minister Nick Mangwana said the change was in line with policy to respect the wishes of families of deceased heroes.”
  • After his death,” the family publicly complained that they had not been consulted about arrangements for the state funeral” and “accused the government of coercion, and said plans to bury Mugabe at the monument were contrary to [Mugabe’s] wishes.”
  • The statement also “said that one of his final requests was for his wife, Grace Mugabe, to never leave Mr. Mugabe’s coffin during the funeral and up until the point when he was buried.”
  • According to reports, “his family is said to be bitter over his being ousted by his former ally, President Mnangagwa, two years ago – a resentment that may have contributed to the clash over his burial place. Mr. Mnangagwa had pushed for it to be Heroes Acre.”
  • Mugabe became Zimbabwe’s first leader after the country gained independence in 1980. He was a former guerilla leader.
  • The later years of his rule “was marked by economic ruin and the violent repression of his political opponents” before he was overthrown in 2017 by a coup.

Reference Links

  • BBC: Mugabe to be buried in home town after final twist in row READ
  • The Telegraph: Robert Mugabe to be buried in home village as Zimbabwe government abandons mausoleum plans READ
  • YAHOO!: Zimbabwe’s Mugabe will be buried at home village: govt READ
  • Zim Live: Mugabe to be buried in Zvimba this weekend after family snubs Heroes Acre READ

Deal Reached by Trump’s Lawyers, Manhattan DA’s Office to Delay Enforcement of Subpoena Demanding Trump’s Tax Returns

  • President Trump’s lawyers and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office have agreed on “a temporary arrangement under which prosecutors won’t enforce a subpoena for Trump’s tax returns for a short period of time, the district attorney’s office said in a court filing Thursday.”
  • The DA’s office sent a letter to Judge Victor Marrero acknowledging “that it’s agreed to refrain from enforcing the subpoena until either two business days after the judge rules on pending motions or until Oct. 7, whichever comes first.”
  • Under the deal, “absent a court order, Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, will immediately start a rolling production of documents responsive to the subpoena when the agreement expires.”
  • The deal “comes one day after Marrero, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, ordered the parties in the lawsuit to try to reach an agreement on how to proceed before he rules in the case. Marrero had issued a one-day stay of the subpoena.”
  • In late August, “the district attorney’s office issued the subpoena to Mazars, demanding Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a grand-jury investigation.”
  • Additionally,” Trump filed a lawsuit against Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance (D) and Mazars to challenge the subpoena.”
  • Trump’s lawyers have argued “that the subpoena violates the law because the president can’t be criminally investigated and prosecuted while in office, but the district attorney’s office disagrees.”
  • One of Trump’s lawyers said: “The idea that any state, New York or any other, could decide that they would indict a sitting president, there is no support for that while he is president.”
  • In the meantime, “Trump is seeking a preliminary injunction, while the district attorney’s office wants the case to be dismissed.”

Reference Links

  • The Hill: Lawyers reach deal to delay enforcement of NY tax return subpoena READ
  • MSN: New York prosecutors agree to delay in seeking Trump tax returns READ
  • YAHOO!: New York prosecutors agree to put request for Trump tax returns on hold READ
  • NBC New York: Judge Delays Manhattan DA Cy Vance’s Subpoena for Trump Tax Returns Until Next Week — At Least READ

Trump to Hold Rally in Omar’s Home District in Minnesota in October; Vows to Flip State He Narrowly Lost in 2016

  • Next month, President Trump will hold a rally in progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Minnesota district in a bid to flip the state in 2020. Trump narrowly lost Minnesota in 2016.
  • In 2016, “Trump lost Minnesota and its 10 electoral votes to Hillary Clinton by roughly 45,000 votes. But his campaign has targeted it as one of a few states it believes it can flip in his reelection bid.”
  • According to reports, “the rally will take place at the Target Center in Minneapolis, home to the Minnesota Timberwolves.”
  • Trump has stated in “recent months that he believes he will win the state of Minnesota in 2020 in large part because of Omar. Trump has repeatedly targeted the freshman congresswoman for criticism, at times drawing rebukes from his own party members.”
  • This summer, Trump tweeted: “In 2016 I almost won Minnesota. In 2020, because of America hating anti-Semite Rep. Omar, & the fact that Minnesota is having its best economic year ever, I will win the State! ‘We are going to be a nightmare to the President,’ she say. No, AOC Plus 3 are a Nightmare for America!”
  • In response to news of Trump’s Minnesota rally, Omar tweeted: “Our beautiful state welcomes everyone with open arms. But to be clear: we will continue reject you and your campaign of lies and bigotry.”
  • Jennifer Carnahan, the Minnesota Republican Party Chairwoman, “said she was overjoyed to welcome President Trump back to Minnesota for the fourth time in the last sixteen months.”
  • Trump has vowed to flip several key states that tend go to Democrats in the 2020 election, including Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Reference Links

  • The Hill: Trump to hold campaign rally in Omar’s Minnesota district in bid to flip state READ
  • Star Tribune: Trump plans campaign rally in Minneapolis in October READ
  • Brainerd Dispatch: Trump sets re-election rally in Minneapolis READ

Pentagon to Deploy Patriot Missiles, Radar Systems, Support Personnel to Saudi Arabia After Devastating Oil Facilities Attack

  • The Pentagon announced on Thursday that “it plans to send four radar systems, a battery of Patriot missiles and about 200 support personnel to bolster Saudi Arabia’s defenses after the largest-ever attack on the kingdom’s oil facilities this month.”
  • These latest comments “added details to the Pentagon’s announcement on Friday about U.S. plans to deploy more forces to Saudi Arabia after the Sept. 14 attack on the world’s biggest crude oil-processing facility, which Washington has blamed on Iran.”
  • The deployment is still smaller in scope than what “U.S. officials previously said was under consideration by the Trump administration following the attack on Saudi Arabia.”
  • News outlets “previously reported the Pentagon was considering keeping an aircraft carrier in the Gulf region indefinitely, as speculation mounts that the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group will soon need to wind up its deployment.”
  • A statement from the U.S. military “said it was putting additional capabilities on prepare to deploy orders, meaning they could be mobilized more quickly in a crisis.”
  • These “include two additional Patriot missile batteries, made by Raytheon Co and the Lockheed Martin Corp-built, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD.”
  • With news of the latest deployments, it appears “to close the door to any near-term decision to wage retaliatory strikes against Iran following the attack, which rattled global markets and exposed major gaps in Saudi Arabia’s air defenses.”
  • Iran continues to deny “any involvement and the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the attack.”
  • Washington, however, “says the trajectory of the incoming missiles and drones eliminate Yemen as the staging ground for the strike.”

Reference Links

  • Reuters: Pentagon to send radar, Patriot missiles to bolster Saudi defenses READ
  • Military Times: 200 air and missile defense soldiers set to deploy to Saudi Arabia READ
  • CNBC: Pentagon to deploy Patriot missile system to Saudi Arabia after Iran oil attacks READ
  • Stars and Stripes: Pentagon to send Patriot battery to Saudi Arabia to help protect against further attacks READ

Putting America First: Trump Administration Proposing Only Permitting 18,000 Refugees into U.S. in 2020

  • On Thursday, the Trump administration proposed only permitting 18,000 refugees to resettle in the U.S. in 2020, which would be “the lowest number in the history of the modern refugee program.”
  • Concurrently, President Trump “issued an executive order saying his administration would seek the approval of state and local governments to resettle refugees in their communities, in a shift for a federally directed program.”
  • A hallmark of Trump’s presidency has been decreasing immigration “and one of his first acts after assuming office in January 2017 was to issue an order capping the maximum number of refugees that year at 50,000, less than half the number former President Barack Obama had set a few months earlier.”
  • The caps were later “whittled down to 45,000 for 2018 and 30,000 for 2019, over the objections of senior officials in the Department of Defense, who view the program as crucial to rewarding and building allies in U.S. military campaigns oversees.”
  • In a statement, the administration justified the 2020 cap by saying “the focus had to be on processing in country asylum claims, most of which are filed by migrants from Central America crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.”
  • The State Department said: “The current burdens on the U.S. immigration system must be alleviated before it is again possible to resettle large number of refugees.”
  • Experts in the matter say “the U.S. refugee resettlement program, designed to take in people fleeing violence and persecution all over the world, serves mostly a different population than the immigrants arriving at the southwest border.”
  • These experts also say that “beneficiaries are meant to include persecuted religious minorities, people whose lives are in danger for assisting the U.S. military, orphaned children, and victims of female genital mutilation.”
  • The vice president of a group that aids refugees said: “Additional cuts next fiscal year would devastate thousands already referred for resettlement, nearly 30,000 of whom have already completed [government] interviews.”

Reference Links

  • Reuters: Trump administration proposes slashing number of refugees for U.S. resettlement READ
  • The Washington Times: Trump to cut refugees to 18,000, give localities veto over resettlement READ
  • Axios: Trump lowering the number of refugees permitted into U.S. to 18,000 READ
  • The Hill: Trump administration imposes 18K limit on refugees, the lowest ever READ