Monthly Archives: December 2019

    U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives for the so-called "Gang of Eight" classified briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Toya Sarno Jordan

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As President Donald Trump girds for a U.S. Senate impeachment trial, he is entrusting the future of his presidency to someone widely known as a shrewd negotiator who also plays hardball politics at a level unusual even by Washington standards

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a self-proclaimed “Grim Reaper” who long has stood in the way of Democrats’ initiatives, is embracing that role as he suits up for an impeachment trial next month.

    Even before it has gotten off the ground, McConnell, the top Republican in Congress, has said there is no chance Trump, his party’s leader, will be convicted on charges that he abused his office and obstructed a congressional investigation into his conduct. On Wednesday, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives formally impeached Trump.

    In coming days, McConnell is expected to engage Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer in negotiations on how Trump’s Senate trial should be conducted, including on the question of whether witnesses should be called to testify. The two leaders declined to comment for this story.

    When McConnell takes a stand, he is difficult to move, said Dick Durbin, the Senate’s number two Democrat.

    “He only moves if he’s personally concerned about his own re-election or the election of his majority,” Durbin told reporters on Tuesday, while noting, “2020’s an election year.”

    Trump, 73, regularly telephones McConnell, according to a former aide to the senator. On the surface, the 77-year-old six-term senator from Kentucky could not be more different from Trump.

    Trump, a former reality television star and real estate entrepreneur, rarely misses opportunities to boast about himself and attack opponents or critics with Twitter posts.

    The laconic McConnell eschews Twitter, sometimes sits silently listening in meetings, according to those who have attended, and can repel reporters’ questions by refusing to utter a syllable.

    “As he sometimes says, he likes to allow himself the luxury of the unexpressed thought,” said Rohit Kumar, who worked for McConnell from 2007-2013 and was a deputy chief of staff.

    Trump and McConnell do share some traits, even as the senator tries to tamp down the president’s inclination for high drama. Both seize key moments to flex their muscles in a way opponents say unduly stretches the bounds of their powers.

    Trump, for example, funded construction of some U.S.-Mexico border wall by taking money already dedicated to other programs, an unusual step by a president in defiance of Congress.

    In February, 2016, McConnell enraged Democrats by refusing to consider then-President Barack Obama’s choice of federal Judge Merrick Garland to serve on the Supreme Court following the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. Had Garland been confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate, he would have tipped the court in a liberal direction.

    For all of his legendary doggedness, Democrats think McConnell at times can be pressured into bending. Earlier this year, for example, he chafed when Democrats branded him as “Moscow Mitch” for blocking additional election security money. Shortly afterward, the added funds flowed through the Senate.

    Brian Fallon, a former aide to Schumer, said in past negotiations, McConnell has shown an “intricate knowledge” of congressional procedure and the ability to cut deals with Democrats, but in a way that they get blamed if voters do not respond well.

    Kumar said that McConnell’s reserved style, punctuated by extra pauses of silence, can force those sitting across the negotiating table to fill the uncomfortable void by tipping their hands.

    People are “endlessly vexed by McConnell’s patrician, silent nature. He doesn’t need to fill the silence with his own voice,” Kumar said.

    McConnell has had frosty relations with Schumer and his predecessor, Harry Reid, a former boxer.

    One former senior Senate Democratic aide said that when Reid and McConnell were thrown together in a room, small talk about baseball was the only “safe” territory for two men who never found a path to a good working relationship.

    McConnell already has telegraphed that if negotiations with Schumer sputter, he could embark on another power play by finding 51 votes – a simple majority of the Senate – to end the trial in its early stages and acquit Trump without witness testimony.

    Both McConnell and Schumer served in the Senate during Bill Clinton’s 1999 impeachment trial – McConnell voted to convict the Democratic president and Schumer voted to acquit.

    Republican Senator James Lankford said living through those battles should help them fashion a settlement on conducting a trial.

    “There’s a handful of people who have been here before, seen impeachment up close and personally. It’s not a theory for them. There’s only been two of these (previously) in the history of the country and they were in one of them,” Lankford said.

    Reporting by Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell; editing by Ross Colvin and Grant McCool

     

      WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats and the White House announced a deal Tuesday on a modified North American trade pact, handing President Donald Trump a major Capitol Hill win on the same day that impeachment charges were announced against him. Both sides hailed the deal as a win for American workers.

      They said the revamped U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement was a significant improvement over the original North American Free Trade Agreement, with Democrats crowing about winning stronger provisions on enforcing the agreement while Republicans said it will help keep the economy humming along

      “There is no question of course that this trade agreement is much better than NAFTA,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in announcing the agreement, saying the pact is “infinitely better than what was initially proposed by the administration.”

      Trump said the revamped trade pact will “be great” for the United States.

      “It will be the best and most important trade deal ever made by the USA. Good for everybody – Farmers, Manufacturers, Energy, Unions – tremendous support. Importantly, we will finally end our Country’s worst Trade Deal, NAFTA!,” the president said in a tweet.

      The deal announcement came on the same morning that Democrats outlined impeachment charges against Trump. The trade pact is Trump’s top Capitol Hill priority along with funding for his long-sought border fence.

      Trump said it was no coincidence that Democrats announced they had come to an agreement shortly after laying out the two impeachment charges they will seek against him.

      “They were very embarrassed by (impeachment), and that’s why they brought up USMCA an hour after because they figure it will muffle it a little bit,” Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.

      In Mexico City, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland joined Mexican officials to sign the updated version of the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, or USMCA, at a ceremony in Mexico City’s centuries-old National Palace.

      Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard congratulated the negotiators for reaching a second set of agreements to answer U.S. concerns about labor rights in Mexico, and regional content.

      “Mission accomplished!” Ebrard told the gathered officials.

      Lighthizer praised the joint work of the Trump administration, Democrats, business and labor leaders to reach an agreement, calling it “nothing short of a miracle that we have all come together.”

      “This is a win-win-win agreement which will provide stability for working people in all three countries for years to come,” Freeland said. “That is no small thing.”

      A U.S. House vote is likely before Congress adjourns for the year and the Senate is likely to vote in January or February. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the vote on the trade deal will likely occur after an expected impeachment trial in the Senate.

      Pelosi was the key congressional force behind the deal, which updates the 25-year-old NAFTA accord that many Democrats — especially from manufacturing areas hit hard by trade-related job losses — have long lambasted.

      She and Ways and Means Committee Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., forged a positive working relationship with Lighthizer, whom they credited with working in good faith.

      “Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, we have reached an historic agreement on the USMCA. After working with Republicans, Democrats, and many other stakeholders for the past two years we have created a deal that will benefit American workers, farmers, and ranchers for years to come,” Lighthizer said. “This will be the model for American trade deals going forward.”

      NAFTA eliminated most tariffs and other trade barriers involving the United States, Mexico and Canada. Critics, including Trump, labor unions and many Democratic lawmakers, branded the pact a job killer for the United States because it encouraged factories to move south of the border, capitalize on low-wage Mexican workers and ship products back to the U.S. duty free.

      Weeks of back-and-forth, closely monitored by Democratic labor allies such as the AFL-CIO, have brought the two sides together. Pelosi is a longtime free trade advocate and supported the original NAFTA in 1994. Trump has accused Pelosi of being incapable of passing the agreement because she is too wrapped up in impeachment.

      The original NAFTA badly divided Democrats but the new pact is more protectionist and labor-friendly, and Pelosi is confident it won’t divide the party, though some liberal activists took to social media to carp at the agreement.

      “There is no denying that the trade rules in America will now be fairer because of our hard work and perseverance. Working people have created a new standard for future trade negotiations,“said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “President Trump may have opened this deal. But working people closed it.”

      Business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce also chimed in to support the long-delayed agreement.

      “This agreement has been the result of painstaking bipartisan negotiations over the past year, and would not have been possible if not for the willingness of President Trump to work patiently with Democrats to get something done that he knew was in the best interests of American workers, farmers and manufacturers,” said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, a former U.S. trade representative.

      Republicans leaders and lawmakers have agitated for months for the accord but Pelosi has painstakingly worked to bring labor on board. Democrats see the pact as significantly better than NAFTA and Trumka’s endorsement is likely to add to a strong vote by Democrats that have proven skeptical of trade agreements.

      “I think the vote’s going to be pretty good,” said No. 2 House Democrat Steny Hoyer, D-Md., a veteran party whip. “There’s a general agreement — not total agreement, it’s not unanimity — that USMCA is better. It’s an improvement. And to the extent that Trumka and labor comes out and says that this is an improvement, I think that that will be unifying.”

      The pact contains provisions designed to nudge manufacturing back to the United States. For example, it requires that 40% to 45% of cars eventually be made in countries that pay autoworkers at least $16 an hour — that is, in the United States and Canada and not in Mexico.

      The trade pact picked up some momentum after Mexico in April passed a labor-law overhaul required by USMCA. The reforms are meant to make it easier for Mexican workers to form independent unions and bargain for better pay and working conditions, narrowing the gap with the United States.

      Democrats succeeded in tossing overboard a 10-year protection for manufacturers of new drugs, including so-called biologics, that had won reprieve from lower-cost competition in the original accord. But Pelosi lost out in a bid to repeal so-called Section 230, a provision in a 1996 law that gives social media companies like Facebook broad immunity from lawsuits over the content they publish on their platforms.

      Conservative Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Pat Toomey offered a rare GOP voice against the accord, which he said veered to the left and “undermines the free flow of capital” from the U.S. to its trading partners.

      “This is basically NAFTA with a few modernizations, and some restrictions on trade and an expiration date. If people think that’s a huge improvement than I guess they’ll be happy with it,” Toomey told reporters. “If people think free trade is important, they’ll presumably see it as the step backward that I see it as.’’

      Toomey said Democrats had outmanuevered the administration, an assessment that Pelosi shared.

      “We ate their lunch,” Pelosi told her Democratic colleagues in a closed-door meeting, according to an aide in the room.

      Vice President Mike Pence, however, released a statement praising Trump’s leadership and claiming Democrats “have finally acquiesced” in allowing a vote on the trade pact.

      “From my perspective it’s not as good as I had hoped,” McConnell said, while No. 2 Senate Republican John Thune of South Dakota offered a mixed assessment as well, saying the changes agreed to by Pelosi and Lighthizer were “not favorable.”

      __

      Associated Press writers Matthew Daly and Aamer Madhani in Washington and Mark Stevenson in Mexico City contributed to this story.

       

      District Attorney John Flynn says there were four homicides in 2018 and three in 2017. A vigil will be held Friday in Tonawanda for the latest victim, Mavilie Ruiz

      Brittany Donovan and her mother, Frances Perry Donovan, remember a former co-worker and friend, Mavilie Ruiz.

      “Knowing her she just put her all into everything she did,” Brittany said.

      Frances told Panorama Hispano she worked with Mavilie at a local nursing home for more than a decade.

      “There was nobody that disliked Mav. Everybody loved Mav. One of the favorite nurses on the units,” Frances said.

      Investigators say Mavilie was strangled to death in her home in the Town of Tonawanda.

      Her husband, 50-year-old Jose Ruiz Jr., is now charged with manslaughter for the crime.

      “My mom called me when I was at work, and I didn’t even say anything because I was so shocked. I didn’t believe it. I still can’t believe it,” Brittany said.

      The Donavans are planning to attend a vigil on Friday outside of Mavilie’s home to honor her life.

      They say they’ll be standing with co-workers.

      “We as a group are gonna be out there in unity, against domestic violence, to support Mav, and to prove to the community what a good woman she was. We want people to know what a good woman she was,” Frances said.

      District Attorney John Flynn says this marks the 12th domestic violence-related homicide in Erie County just this year.

      “We only had four in 2018 and three in 2017,” he added.

      Flynn says the District Attorney’s office is working to combat the spike.

      “Well, the first thing we’re doing obviously is, we’re aggressively prosecuting all these cases,” he said.

      Flynn says the District Attorney’s office is also trying to get ahead of the problem, working with victims in cases that haven’t escalated to murder.

      “There are so many resources available and so many entities available that want to do one thing: protect victims of domestic violence. This office quite frankly leads the way in that regard,” he told 2 on Your Side.

      The Donovans say the vigil for Mavilie will be held Friday night at around 5:30, outside of her house at 41 Tillotson Place in Tonawanda.

      Brittany and Francis say they plan to have purple and white candles to raise awareness for domestic violence.

       

       

        MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Barely a day goes by without Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador berating business and political elites, whom he blames for fueling the country’s poverty and corruption

        But behind the scenes, the leftist is proving more accommodating to Mexico’s top tycoons during his first year in office than his language often suggests.

        Meeting regularly with Lopez Obrador, corporate bosses have steered him toward more business-friendly policies, according to more than two dozen senior executives and government officials who spoke to Reuters. Quietly, they have also urged the president to soften some of his rhetoric.

        What some business heavyweights describe as an improving relationship yielded fruit in August, when Lopez Obrador backed off a threat to tear up several government contracts awarded to private companies to build and operate natural gas pipelines. The president said the deals ripped off taxpayers. But business leaders warned him the cancellations would spook foreign investors and could disrupt ongoing trade negotiations with the United States, the executives and officials said.

        They also told him the infrastructure would help deliver cheap energy to his top priority: Mexico’s poorest.

        “We used all means of persuasion,” said Carlos Salazar, head of Mexico’s top private sector association, the Business Coordinating Council (CCE), and one of the main mediators on the pipeline dispute.

        Elected in July 2018 as Mexico’s first left-wing president in over three decades, Lopez Obrador has promised to transform the country by putting the neediest first and slashing inequality.

        A firm believer in the reforming power of government, Lopez Obrador has pledged to strengthen Mexico’s leading state-run enterprises – oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and power utility the Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE).

        His clashes with institutions that check presidential power, from market regulators to the Supreme Court, have unsettled investors. So has his often incendiary rhetoric. He has described money as the “mother or father of the Devil” and pilloried “neo-liberal” free market economics as the source of Mexico’s woes hundreds of times.

        Still, he has acknowledged publicly that he cannot create jobs, spread wealth and realize his goal of 4% annual economic growth without private capital. Since his term began in December 2018, domestic investment has sagged and the economy has stalled.

        The private sector has been largely supportive in public, for fear of antagonizing the 66-year-old president. But in private, many leading executives are still wary of his economic stewardship, said Andres Rozental, a business consultant and former deputy foreign minister.

        “They’re worried to death about what’s going on,” Rozental said. “The uncertainty, the disincentivization of private sector involvement in the economy.”

        Lopez Obrador says his approach will take time to deliver results. Responding to a question from Reuters, he described his relationship with Mexico’s business leaders as “very good,” but said some differences of opinion were inevitable.

        “Policy has changed, and now they’re adapting,” he said, without elaborating.

        AIRPORT BLUES

        Five weeks before taking office, Lopez Obrador stunned investors by canceling a new Mexico City airport, ignoring a plea to keep it going by billionaire Carlos Slim, whose Grupo Carso SAB was a principal contractor.

        Lopez Obrador said the $13 billion project was geologically unsound and tainted by corruption; prosecutors have not charged anyone with wrongdoing. The cancellation hammered Mexican financial markets and angered top business groups. Grupo Carso declined to comment on his criticism of the project.

        Concerns flared again in late June when power utility CFE said it would renegotiate the seven pipeline contracts signed under the previous government, whose record was marred by graft allegations. The CFE said the $12 billion in contracts were too expensive and imposed harsh terms on the cash-strapped company.

        As one of the contractors, Slim’s Grupo Carso was once again in the firing line. So were Canada’s TC Energy Corp; IEnova, a Mexican unit of U.S. company Sempra Energy; and Fermaca, a local gas pipeline operator owned by Swiss private equity firm Partners Group AG.

        Canada’s ambassador complained. U.S. lawmakers and business groups warned the dispute could jeopardize the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the successor of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has yet to be approved by U.S. or Canadian lawmakers.

        As talks between the pipeline firms and the CFE dragged on, CCE boss Salazar and Antonio del Valle, head of the Mexican Business Council, which represents the country’s top magnates, held meetings with Lopez Obrador to break the impasse.

        Using a map, they explained how the new infrastructure – including a marine pipeline from Texas – would bring affordable gas to Mexico’s underdeveloped south, according to a person familiar with the matter. Salazar and del Valle confirmed the map.

        In late August, Lopez Obrador announced the CFE had reached a deal with the companies that would realize savings for taxpayers and avoid a messy legal dispute. He thanked Salazar, del Valle and Slim for helping make it happen.

        Describing the pipeline accord as a “watershed,” del Valle said the talks helped create a mechanism for Mexico’s business leaders to address economic matters with the government.

        “Now we have the opportunity to participate,” he said.

        Others saw the pipeline settlement not as a breakthrough, but as an example of business leaders saving the president and his allies from their worst instincts.

        “They have no idea how close they were to a nuclear disaster in terms of financial markets, in terms of trade talks,” said one person involved in the pipeline negotiations.

        Lopez Obrador has publicly acknowledged the dispute risked souring investor confidence, but he said the previous contract terms were “damaging” to Mexico’s interests.

        GOODBYE ‘FIFI’

        Another challenge emerged in late May, when U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to slap tariffs on all Mexican goods if Lopez Obrador did not curb a surge in migrants trying to cross the U.S. border from Mexico.

        Within a week, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard had struck a deal. Salazar and other executives accompanied him to Washington and helped defuse the crisis by working with U.S. business allies who had fought to defend NAFTA from Trump in 2018, people familiar with the matter said. In the end, Trump called off the tariff threat after Mexico agreed to tighten its borders.

        That evening, Salazar told local media he had been part of a joint effort and urged business and government to tackle Mexico’s problems together. Lopez Obrador publicly thanked Salazar for his efforts.

        After the U.S. meetings, business leaders pressed the president to tone down his divisive language, particularly his use of the word “fifi,” a derogatory term for privileged elites that some bosses found needlessly provocative, a senior executive told Reuters.

        Since then, Lopez Obrador has publicly said he wants to avoid the word; his use of it has dropped dramatically. Asked by Reuters if the change in tone was the result of pressure from corporate bosses, the president denied it.

        “I only have one master, just one,” he said. “It’s the Mexican people.”

        Reporting by Dave Graham; Additional reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez; Editing by Marla Dickerson and Jason Szep

         

          BEIJING (Reuters) – China and the United States have agreed on the text of a phase one trade deal, vice finance minister Liao Min said in a media briefing on Friday.

          The U.S. will cancel some tariffs on a phased basis, China’s vice commerce minister Wang Shouwen said in the briefing, which officials from China’s state planner, ministry of finance, foreign ministry, agriculture ministry and ministry of commerce also attended.

          A trade deal will protect foreign firms’ interests in China while Chinese firms’ legal interests in dealing in the United States will be protected as well, Wang Shouwen said.

          But they offered no specific details on the amount of U.S. agricultural goods Beijing had agreed to buy, a key sticking point of the lengthy deal negotiations.

          “We have agreed to a very large Phase One Deal with China,” Trump said on Twitter Friday morning.

          Officials in China have “agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of Agricultural Product, Energy, and Manufactured Goods, plus much more,” he said. The U.S. has agreed to suspend tariffs on $160 billion in Chinese goods due to go into effect on Dec. 15, Trump said, and cut existing tariffs to 7.5%.

          The agreement covers intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, currency, and foreign exchange, the United States Trade Representative said in a statement Friday morning.

          The United States will maintain 25% tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports, but cut tariffs in half to 7.5% on $120 billion in imports, the USTR said.

          In a press conference Friday night in Beijing, Chinese officials said the two countries have achieved major progress in their phase one trade negotiations, and agreed on the text of a phase one deal.

          China will import more U.S. wheat and corn after the deal, China’s vice agricultural minister said.

          The U.S. has been pushing for Beijing to commit to buy $50 billion in agricultural products in 2020, a figure that Chinese officials have previously balked at.

          Asked specifically about the $50 billion figure, officials in Beijing said details on value will be disclosed later.

          The deal will provide more protection for foreign companies in China, and Chinese companies in the United States, Chinese officials said.

          Reporting by Vincent Lee, Stella Qiu, Martin Pollard, David Lawder; Writing by Heather Timmons; Editing by Nick Zieminski

           

           

            LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on Friday for unity to heal the Brexit divisions that have riven the United Kingdom, hours after winning a commanding victory from voters who backed his bid to deliver on the EU divorce by the end of January.

            The face of the victorious “Leave” campaign in the 2016 referendum, Johnson fought the election under the slogan of “Get Brexit Done”, promising to end the deadlock and spend more on health, education and the police.

            Results from the 650 parliamentary constituencies around the United Kingdom showed that Johnson’s Conservative Party had trounced its main opponent, winning 365 seats to the Labour Party’s 203, the best win for the Conservatives since 1987.

            “I frankly urge everyone on either side of what are, after 3.5 years, an increasingly arid argument, I urge everyone to find closure and to let the healing begin,” Johnson said outside Downing Street.

            “I know that after five weeks, frankly, of electioneering, this country deserves a break from wrangling, a break from politics and a permanent break from talking about Brexit.”

            Labour had its worst election defeat since 1935.

            Johnson’s landslide Conservative win marked the ultimate failure of opponents of Brexit who plotted to thwart a 2016 referendum vote through legislative combat in parliament and prompted some of the biggest protests in recent British history.

            Emboldened by victory, Johnson addressed opponents of Brexit directly.

            “I want to speak also to those who did not vote for us, or for me, and who wanted and perhaps still want to remain in the EU,” he said. “I want to you know that we in this One Nation Conservative government will never ignore your good and positive feelings of warmth and sympathy towards the nations of Europe.”

            “Because now is the moment, precisely as we leave the EU, to let those natural feelings find renewed expression in building a new partnership which is one of the great projects for next year,” he said, adding that the he wanted to work with the EU as “friends and sovereign equals”.

            But Brexit is far from over.

            He faces the daunting task of negotiating a trade agreement with the EU, possibly in just 11 months, while also negotiating another trade deal with U.S. President Donald Trump.

            The outcome of the negotiations will shape the future of Britain’s $2.7 trillion economy. After Jan. 31, Britain will enter a transition period during which it will negotiate a new relationship with the remaining 27 EU states.

            This transition period can run until the end of December 2022 under the current rules, but the Conservatives made an election promise not to extend it beyond the end of 2020.

            GRAPHIC-Live election results tmsnrt.rs/2r0WtJp

            Additional reporting by Sarah Young, William Schomberg, James Davey and Andy Bruce; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Giles Elgood and Gareth Jones

             

              Por AP News – El conteo es vital para determinar el presupuesto nacional a cada localidad y qué estados ganan o ceden bancas legislativa

              Detroit.  Cuando la oficina del censo empiece a contar a los habitantes de Estados Unidos el año que viene en Detroit tropezará con varios obstáculos: Hay decenas de miles de casas vacantes, escaso acceso a la internet y mucha pobreza. Todos estos factores que van a complicar su tarea.

              Otras ciudades del cinturón industrial que han perdido gente y del sur del país con gran cantidad de inmigrantes y de recién llegados, ofrecerán obstáculos similares, según un análisis que hizo la Associated Press de estadísticas del gobierno.

              A nivel nacional, aproximadamente una cuarta parte de la población vive en zonas donde será difícil llevar la cuenta, incluidas Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Los Ángeles, Puerto Rico, Milwaukee, Memphis, Tennessee y Fresno (California).

              Hacer una cuenta precisa es vital porque el censo determina la cantidad de dinero que se asigna en el presupuesto nacional a cada localidad y qué estados ganan o ceden bancas legislativas.

              “No hay nada más importante, y de mayor prioridad, que hacer una cuenta acertada”, dijo el director de la Oficina del Censo, Steven Dillingham, hablando ante legisladores este año.

              El reciente renacer de Detroit fue alimentado por la recuperación de edificios del centro de la ciudad, nuevos hoteles boutique y una pujante comunidad artística. Pero el “boom” no saca de la pobreza a mucha gente, ni resuelve la desconfianza derivada de décadas de confrontaciones raciales. Las casas vacías son consecuencia de un éxodo masivo que comenzó en la década de 1950 e hizo que la población de Detroit bajase de 1.8 millones de habitantes a 670 mil.

              La ciudad es hoy un ejemplo de las dificultades para contar a la gente.

              Casi el 85% de la población vive en barrios que es difícil contar, de lejos el porcentaje más alto de cualquier ciudad grande del país.

              Annette Brock, quien vive en la zona céntrica, dijo que a algunos residentes les cuesta establecer una relación entre el censo y una mejoría en sus vidas.

              “Todos los demás reciben ayuda antes que nosotros”, dijo Brock. “No culpo a nadie si no quieren participar o si no quieren ayuda alguna, o si no quieren decir nada más. Están cansados de decir lo que piensan”, añadió.

              A nivel nacional, la oficina del censo pronostica que un 60.5% de las personas responderán a sus preguntas.

              En el último censo, del 2010, 220,000 personas vivían en casas que no llenaron el cuestionario, lo que le costó a la ciudad entre $2,000 y $5,000 por cada persona que no fue contabilizada, de acuerdo con Victoria Kovari, directora ejecutiva de la Campaña del Censo del 2020.

              Los investigadores dicen que las comunidades más difíciles de contar son la hispana, la de los afroamericanos, las de los inmigrantes que no hablan inglés, las familias no tradicionales y la gente con estilos de vida informales.

              Expertos afirman que los esfuerzos del gobierno de Trump por incorporar una pregunta sobre la ciudadanía puede ahuyentar a muchos inmigrantes, no solo los que no tienen permiso de residencia sino también a quienes sí lo tienen. La propuesta fue rechazada, pero hay quienes piensan que el daño está hecho.

              California y Nuevo México tienen algunas de las concentraciones de hispanos más grandes del país. En esos estados, el 40% de la población vive en barrios en los que es difícil llevar la cuenta.

              En un reflejo de lo importante que es el censo, California está invirtiendo unos $187 millones en publicidad y en actos para alentar la participación.

              “Hay que entender las barreras estructurales que existen”, dijo Ditas Katague, director de una oficina que promueve la participación en California.

               

                WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The House of Representatives announced formal charges against President Donald Trump on Tuesday that accuse him of abusing power and obstructing Congress, making him only the fourth U.S. president in history to face impeachment.

                The full Democratic-controlled House is expected to vote on the charges, or articles of impeachment, next week. It is almost certain to vote to impeach the Republican president, setting the stage for a dramatic trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, likely to begin in January.

                House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler told reporters that Democrats had to take action because Trump had endangered the U.S. Constitution, undermined the integrity of the 2020 election and jeopardized national security.

                “No one, not even the president, is above the law,” Nadler said at a news conference that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leaders of committees involved in the impeachment probe.

                “Our elections are a cornerstone of democracy … the integrity of our next election is at risk from a president who has already sought foreign interference in the 2016 and 2020 elections,” Nadler said.

                Trump has denied wrongdoing and calls the inquiry a hoax. The White House has refused to participate in the hearings in the House because it says the process is unfair.

                Trump attacked the impeachment effort in a Twitter post early on Tuesday, saying to impeach a president when the country has such a strong economy “and most importantly, who has done NOTHING wrong, is sheer Political Madness!”

                Democrats have moved rapidly in their impeachment inquiry since launching an investigation on Sept. 24 into allegations that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate a Democratic political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in the 2020 elections.

                They accuse Trump of abusing power by withholding aid to Ukraine, a vulnerable U.S. ally facing Russian aggression, as well as dangling a possible White House meeting to get Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to launch the investigation.

                Republicans say Democrats are seeking to overturn the results of the 2016 election with a “witch hunt” against Trump, who denies he did anything wrong.

                “Americans don’t agree with this rank partisanship, but Democrats are putting on this political theater because they don’t have a viable candidate for 2020 and they know it,” Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign manager, said in a statement.

                WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT

                Trump is unlikely to be convicted in the Senate, given it is controlled by his party, but his impeachment may yet have an impact on the campaign trail as Democrats seek to retake control of the White House.

                The House Judiciary panel could vote this week on whether to send the formal charges to the full House.

                Pelosi launched the impeachment probe after a whistleblower reported concerns over a July 25 telephone call in which Trump sought help from Zelenskiy to investigate Biden, a leading contender in the Democratic race to challenge Trump in next November’s election.

                That led to weeks of investigation and hearings in the House. Committee leaders met with Pelosi following the last scheduled impeachment hearing on Monday evening.

                Democrats say their investigation shows Trump withheld $391 million in military aid and the White House meeting to get Zelenskiy to investigate Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a debunked theory that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.

                Republicans argue Trump did nothing improper in his call with Zelenskiy and say there is no direct evidence he withheld aid or a White House meeting in exchange for a favor.

                The Judiciary Committee would need to give 24 hours’ notice before meeting to vote on whether to forward the articles to the full House for a final impeachment vote by the chamber.

                Reporting by Susan Cornwell, Richard Cowan, David Morgan and Susan Heavey; Writing by Doina Chiacu and Paul Simao; Editing by Ross Colvin and Jonathan Oatis

                 

                  WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump berated FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday after a U.S. government investigation found no evidence of political bias when the FBI began investigating contacts between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia in 2016.

                  Trump’s allies and his detractors both found support in Monday’s report by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog, which found 17 FBI missteps. The findings are unlikely to end debate over the legitimacy of the probes that have overshadowed his presidency.

                  Asked if he thought the FBI unfairly targeted the Trump campaign, Wray, who was appointed by Trump, told ABC News in an interview on Monday: “I do not.

                  Trump responded on Twitter early on Tuesday: “I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me.

                  “With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!”

                  Representatives for the FBI and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Trump’s tweet.

                  In Monday’s interview, Wray said he took the errors seriously but noted the watchdog had found the probe “was opened with appropriate predication and authorization.”

                  He also pushed back against the notion – advanced largely by Trump and his backers – that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is part of a “deep state” bureaucratic network aimed at undermining Trump.

                  “That’s the kind of label that’s a disservice to the men and women who work at the FBI who I think tackle their jobs with professionalism, with rigor, with objectivity, with courage,” Wray told ABC, calling the term “an affront to them.”

                  Reporting by Susan Heavey; additional reporting by Sarah Lynch; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Howard Goller

                   

                  Job Announcements for December

                   

                  Blue Cross Blue Shield Hiring Customer Service Reps $19.47 at the BETC Tuesday December 10th from 10am to 12pm

                  The exam unit is pleased to advise you that it is posting the up-coming  NYS Court Officer-Trainee 45-815 examination filing and administration periods.

                   

                  its dedicated NYS COT 45-815 webpage:  http://ww2.nycourts.gov/careers/COT-2020.shtml .  All details, including the exam announcement, frequently asked questions, and related links, can also be found on this webpage.

                  Please note that open-filing begins January 22, 2020 and ends February 26, 2020.  Examination will be computer-based and will be administered from April 15, 2020 toJune 10, 2020.

                   

                  PLEASE READ THE EXAM ANNOUNCEMENT BEFORE FILING and follow all application instructions carefully. The filing fee ($30) is NON-REFUNDABLE.

                  New York State Court Officer-Trainees, at time of appointment**, must be:

                  • at least 20.5 years old
                  • a high school graduate or equivalent
                  • A United States Citizen
                  • A resident of New York State
                  • Valid New York State Driver’s License
                  • Legally eligible to carry firearms

                  For additional info about physical, medical and psychological standards and screening:   http://ww2.nycourts.gov/careers/cot/screening.shtml

                  cid:image008.jpg@01D5599D.53D78B30

                  Buffalo Employment and Training Center

                  77 Goodell St., Buffalo, NY 14203

                  716-856-5627 / 716-856-5670– Fax  www.workforcebuffalo.org

                  Orientation Times: Monday – Thursday, 10 am or 2 pm.

                  Our job announcements, news and other info are also available on Facebook, LinkedIn, 

                  Twitter @BETC updates and Instagram @BETC716

                  Mayor: Byron W. Brown   County Executive: Mark C. Poloncarz Exec. Director, BETC:  Demone Smith

                  Jody Starr
                  Career Advisor-Replacement/Retention Specialist
                  (Adult, Dislocated Worker, Youth)
                  Buffalo Employment and Training Center
                  77 Goodell Street
                  Buffalo New York 14203
                  856-8139×3172
                  jstarr@wdcinc.org
                  http://www.workforcebuffalo.org/

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