Philippines President Prefers Trump, Ivanka Meets Al Gore, CDC Admits Failures


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Duterte says Trump approves of his controversial drug killings.
Photo Credit: 
The National

Yesterday, Al Gore and President-elect Donald Trump convened for a meeting. Originally, Al Gore was scheduled to speak with Ivanka Trump only, but the president-elect joined in at the last minute. After leaving Trump Tower, Gore reported that he “had a lengthy and very productive session with the president-elect. It was a sincere search for areas of common ground. I had a meeting beforehand with Ivanka Trump. The bulk of the time was with the president-elect, Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued, and I’m just going to leave it at that." While it’s not clear what exactly Ivanka Trump’s views are on climate change, her father’s have been worrisome to many, particularly with his recent threats to withdraw the country from previous climate agreements.

As Trump muses over the possibility of imposing huge tariffs on foreign goods and U.S. companies manufacturing those goods overseas, some reporters are pointing out that this could be harmful for his own daughter’s business dealings. Ivanka Trump’s clothing line is produced in China and Vietnam, through a deal which allows the company to cut manufacturing costs, just the kind of deal which Trump has highly condemned during his campaign. Over the weekend, Trump tweeted out that “[A]ny business that leaves our country for another country, fires its employees, builds a new factory or plant in the other country, and then thinks it will sell its product back into the U.S. without retribution or consequence, is WRONG!” He additionally stated that he would inflict a 35 percent tax on U.S. companies selling products in the U.S. that were manufactured elsewhere.

Trump has also been busy tweeting out against China, posting early Monday morning, “Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency (making it hard for our companies to compete), heavily tax our products going into their country (the U.S. doesn’t tax them) or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea? I don’t think so!”

Over the weekend, the Philippine government issued a statement regarding President Rodrigo Duterte’s phone call with Donald Trump. The statement said that Trump approved of the president’s controversial campaign against drug users and dealers, which has resulted in more than 4,500 deaths in the last five months. Philippine officials also said that Trump invited Duterte to visit the White House. The Trump team’s statement was much less enthusiastic, stating that “President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of the Philippines offered his congratulatory wishes to President-elect Trump. In their conversation, they noted the long history of friendship and cooperation between the two nations, and agreed that the two governments would continue to work together closely on matters of shared interest and concern.” The change in tone from the Philippine president is notable, given his harsh reactions to President Obama, and his strong words for the current president.

Meanwhile, the president-elect nominated Ben Carson to head up the Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, many are protesting, saying Carson has no experience in such a role. In a statement released by the Trump team, Carson was said to “[have] a brilliant mind and [be] passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities.” A further look at Carson’s past reveals prior criticism of the Obama administration’s efforts to improve racial integration within the national housing policy.

Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a statement bemoaning the lack of progress in what they call a “winnable battle” against obesity, food poisoning and hospital infections. While under the Obama administration, they’ve been able to successfully battle certain obstacles, such as smoking and teen pregnancy, other key areas of concern are not showing the same progress. Since 2009, illness rates from salmonella have increased, and rates for certain urinary tract infections caused by hospital and medical clinic stays did not change. The rate of childhood obesity grew to more than 17 percent. The CDC has a federal budget of more than $13 billion, with funding distributed to health departments around the country. A new administrator will take control of the CDC soon, as Trump appoints his own individual to the job.

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