White House Backs Off as Lawmakers Work to Avert Shutdown

Lawmakers are nearing agreement on sweeping spending legislation to keep the lights on in government, after the White House backed off a threat to withhold payments that help lower-income Americans pay their medical bills.   It was the latest concession by the White House, which had earlier dropped a demand for money for President Donald Trump’s border wall. Even with Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress and the…

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Not Just a Boys’ Club: Women Hooking Into Fishing Industry

“At the beginning of my fishing career, all the world told me that the trade was for men,” says Chrifa Nimri, “but now all my colleagues respect and call me captain.” The 69-year-old Tunisian fisherwoman is one of a very small female minority in a very male-dominated profession – commercial fishing. Around the world, the dangerous work of hauling in the catch at sea is overwhelmingly performed by men. But if…

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White House: US Not Withdrawing From NAFTA Now

After reports that President Donald Trump was considering an executive order to withdraw the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement, the White House said Wednesday that Trump agreed not to take such action after phone calls with the leaders of Canada and Mexico. Since launching his bid for president, Trump has repeatedly criticized the nation’s trade deals, especially NAFTA, saying the agreement signed in 1994 has been…

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US Central Bank Could Lean Against Trump Tax Cut

President Donald Trump’s plan to slash business and household taxes could shift the U.S. economy into higher gear, but it may have one effect the White House would not welcome — interest rates ratcheted higher than expected by a wary central bank. The Trump administration says hundreds of billions of dollars fed into the economy via deep cuts in business taxes and more generous exemptions for individuals will unleash a…

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Ivanka Trump, World Bank Discuss Women Entrepreneur Fund

Ivanka Trump has been involved in discussions with the World Bank about establishing a funding operation to support female entrepreneurs, bank and administration officials said Wednesday. The officials stressed that nothing has been set up yet and that talks are ongoing about how this would be structured. They said it could be a World Bank-run “facility,” which accepts contributions from governments and private donors and then provides funding and support…

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Mnuchin: Trump Has ‘No Intention’ of Releasing Tax Returns

President Donald Trump “has no intention” of releasing his tax returns to the public, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Wednesday, asserting Americans have “plenty of information” about the president’s financial matters. For decades, presidents have released their tax returns. But Trump has so far refused, suggesting he would share the tax documents only after the Internal Revenue Service completes an “audit” of them. He’s never disclosed proof of an audit….

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Trump’s Cuts to US Refugee Program Lead to 300-plus Layoffs

The president’s desire to cut refugees is also costing U.S. jobs. A reduction in refugee resettlement that began after an executive order by President Donald Trump in late January has led to at least 300 layoffs in the U.S. nonprofit sector and nearly 500 positions abroad, according to data collected by VOA. In some cases, the jobs slashed were held by resettled refugees. A review of news releases, media reports,…

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India’s Planned Investment in Sri Lanka’s Trincomalee Port Gets a Push

India’s plans to invest in a strategic port in Sri Lanka as a counterbalance to China’s massive infrastructure investments in the Indian Ocean island country got a push Wednesday as Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited New Delhi. China’s development of the key Hambantota port in Sri Lanka, which is a gateway to crucial shipping lanes, has raised concerns in New Delhi about Beijing’s widening naval influence in its…

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Canada Increasingly Draws Trump’s Ire

President Donald Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Tuesday said they did not fear a trade war with Canada after American punitive action on lumber and milk. “They have a tremendous surplus with the United States,” Trump said, adding “people don’t realize Canada’s been very rough on the United States. … They’ve outsmarted our politicians for many years.” Trump added that he wanted “a very big tax” on Canadian…

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Trump Set to Call for Big US Corporate Tax Cut

U.S. President Donald Trump is set to call for a sharp reduction in the nation’s corporate tax rate, the highest among the world’s industrialized countries. Trump is planning to unveil his tax plans Wednesday, with aides saying he will ask Congress to slash the current 35 percent rate down to 15 percent, a pledge he first made during last year’s presidential election campaign. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the…

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