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Trump attacks ‘dishonest media’ while making false claims at Florida rally

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In late September 2016, Donald Trump held a rally in Melbourne, Florida, where he railed against the media and bragged about the size of the crowd. Five months later, elected president of the United States and having arrived in Air Force One to the music of the film Air Force One, he did it again.

Chaos in the White House: ‘There’s never been anything like this’
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“They have their own agenda. And their agenda is not your agenda.”

Speaking in an airplane hangar in front of a crowd of roughly 9,000 people, Trump returned time and time again to the speech lines of his campaign. “Life is a campaign,” he told reporters before taking the podium. “Making our country great again is a campaign. For me, it’s a campaign. To make America great again is absolutely a campaign. It’s not easy, especially when we’re also fighting the press.”

“When the media lies to people I will never ever let them get away with it,” he said.

With his speech, Trump continued driving on his attack of reporters, newspapers and news networks, generalizing them as “the dishonest media”.

“We are not going to let the fake news tell us what to do, how to live and what to believe,” he said. “We are free, independent people and we will make our own choices.” Trump cited the press criticisms of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln as precedents in his war on the media. All three had combative relationships with the press, though Lincoln cultivated reporters and Jefferson once declared he would prefer “without government” rather than the reverse.

As in his campaign speeches, Trump bemoaned the state of domestic and foreign affairs claiming, “I and we inherited one big mess” and “we don’t win in any capacity”. As in the campaign, he boasted about the size of the crowd and his victory over the Democratic party, which he said had suffered “the greatest defeat in the history of the country”.

The president was especially eager to deny a steady stream of reports of chaos, infighting and disarray in his first month in the White House, culminating last week when his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was forced to step down amid scandal. “I promise you that the White House is running so smoothly,” Trump said. “So smoothly.”

Trump also once again continued his attacks on the ninth circuit court of appeals, which suspended the travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim nations. He claimed constitutional authority to make the ban – the courts have not ruled on its lawfulness – and said the judges were “picked by Obama”, though two of three were appointed by Jimmy Carter and George W Bush.

The president added, that the US knows “nothing” about refugees and visa-holders it has admitted into the country although approved people are extensively vetted through interviews and background checks. He said that he would roll out a new executive order in the coming days in order to address the court’s decision. “We don’t want people with bad, bad ideas coming into our country,” he said.

Trump also used his rally to repeat the claim that Intel was investing $7bn to build a factory in Arizona, creating about 3,000 jobs. However, the company had already announced the same factory back in 2011 when Barack Obama was in power.

Trump’s speech frequently echoed the nationalist rhetoric of his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who has railed against globalization, wealthy “elites” and transnational trade deals. Trump yet again praised Britain’s vote to leave the EU and claimed to be part of a worldwide nationalist movement.

“Erasing borders does not make people safer or more prosperous, it undermines democracy,” he said. “Look at Brexit. Much smaller example but it’s still something you can look at.”

The president promised to bridge “chasms of distrust” with “bridges of opportunity”, claiming: “The nation state remains the best model for human happiness and the American nation remains the greatest symbol of liberty.”

Trump is spending the holiday weekend in south Florida but has continued to work, according to White House staffers. On Saturday he met with candidates to replace Flynn at his private club, Mar-a-Lago, but in Melbourne he explained his unorthodox decision to hold a rally two hours north of Palm Beach. “I’m here because I want to be among my friends and among the people.”

The rally ended like so many others during Trump’s campaign. A pledge to “make America great again”, the Rolling Stones song You Can’t Always Get What You Want blaring in the background.

America

United States Employment Rate will fall further: Fed

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Washington, April 16 (IANS) Economic activity “contracted sharply and abruptly” across all regions in the US as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday.

“The hardest-hit industries – because of social distancing measures and mandated closures – were leisure and hospitality, and retail aside from essential goods,” the Fed said in its latest survey on economic conditions, known as the Beige Book, based on information collected from its 12 regional reserve banks before April 6, Xinhua reported.

“All Districts reported highly uncertain outlooks among business contacts, with most expecting conditions to worsen in the next several months,” the Fed said.

The survey showed that employment declined in all districts as the COVID-19 pandemic affected firms in many sectors.

“Employment cuts were most severe in the retail and leisure and hospitality sectors, where most Districts reported widespread mandatory closures and steep falloffs in demand,” the survey said, adding severe job cuts were also widespread in the manufacturing and energy sectors.

“Contacts in several Districts noted they were cutting employment via temporary layoffs and furloughs that they hoped to reverse once business activity resumes. The near-term outlook was for more job cuts in coming months,” the survey said.

The survey noted that no district reported upward wage pressures, with most citing “general wage softening and salary cuts” except for high-demand sectors such as grocery stores.

“These trends were seen as reflecting weaker demand for many goods and services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the survey said.

The survey came after the Commerce Department reported earlier on Wednesday that US retail sales plunged in March by the most on record as the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to take a big toll on the US economy.

The US economy is expected to contract by 5.9 per cent this year, according to the World Economic Outlook (WEO) report released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday.

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New York statewide COVID-19 deaths surpass 10,000

Meanwhile, indicators including the rates of ICU admissions and intubations have gone down and the three-day-average rate of hospitalization basically reached a plateau, according to the governor.

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New York Coronavirus Case

New York, April 14 : Governor of the US state of New York Andrew Cuomo said statewide deaths from COVID-19 rose to 10,056, adding “the worst is over if we continue to be smart” in coping with the novel coronavirus.

Cuomo on Monday said at his daily briefing that a total of 671 people passed away on Sunday due to the disease, a number much lower than in the past few days, Xinhua news agency reported.

Meanwhile, indicators including the rates of ICU admissions and intubations have gone down and the three-day-average rate of hospitalization basically reached a plateau, according to the governor.

“We are controlling the spread,” said Cuomo. “I believe the worst is over if we continue to be smart. I believe we can start on the path to normalcy,” he said.

He said he would be joined by several other governors of neighbouring states later on Monday to discuss how to reopening the economy in a coordinated way.

On Twitter, the governor said that any plan to reopen society must be driven by data and experts, not opinion and politics.

He said the objective is to ease isolation and increase economic activity without increasing the infection rate.

“We will learn from the warning signs from other countries. We will take every precaution. We will work together as a region,” he added.

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US now has highest COVID-19 deaths, surpasses Italy: Johns Hopkins

A total of 20,071 people have died of the disease among 519,453 confirmed cases in the country as of 4 p.m. local time (2000 GMT) on Saturday

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Coronavirus Death US

Washington, April 12 : The UnS has surpassed Italy as the country with the highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world as the fatalities as of Sunday reached 20,604, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

As of Sunday morning, Italy has reported 19,648 coronavirus deaths, placing it in the second position after the US, the data published by the university’s enter for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed.

The US also accounts for the highest number of confirmed cases with 529,887. Spain, where the number of confirmed infections stands at 163,027, is a distant second, followed by Italy with 152,271 cases.

New York state, the epicentre of the pandemic in the US, has recorded the most deaths in the country, 8,627, which is followed by New Jersey and Michigan with 2,183 and 1,276, respectively, the CSSE data showed.

A total of 32,001 patients in the country have recovered, it added.

US President Donald Trump’s administration, which earlier estimated that the pandemic would cause anywhere from 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the US, revised its projection downward this week to 60,000, reports Efe news.

Members of the White House coronavirus task force credit the more optimistic forecast to the success of the stay-at-home orders issued by 42 of the 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, covering around 316 million people.

Trump, who has repeatedly decried the economic cost of closing schools and businesses to contain the virus, said late last month that he hoped to re-open the country by Easter Sunday.

During Friday’s news briefing by the task force, Trump sought to reassure Americans that he would guided by medical experts as well as by recommendations from the “Opening Our Country Council” he plans to install next week.

“I want to get it open as soon as possible. The facts are going to determine what I do,” the president said.

“I’m going to have to make a decision, and I only hope to God that it’s the right decision. But I would say, without question, it’s the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make,” Trump said.

As of Sunday, the number of global coronavirus cases stood at 1,777,517, with 108,862 deaths, while 404,236 people have recovered.

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