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Trump changes tone on immigration

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Washington, Aug 22 : Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, appearing to temper his hard-line approach to tackling immigration, said on Monday that he wants to come up with a plan that is “really fair” to address the millions of undocumented immigrants now in the US.

The changed comments from Trump, who is planning a major immigration speech this week, comes after he vowed to build a wall along the border with Mexico and deport immigrants who have entered illegally. The strategy had helped propel Trump to winning the Republican presidential nomination, writes the New York Times.

Asked on Fox News if he was flip-flopping on his immigration ideas, Trump insisted that he still intends to be “strong” while emphasizing the importance of fairness.

“We want to come up with a really fair, but firm, answer,” Trump said. “It has to be firm. But we want to come up with something fair.”

Trump’s different tone could be an attempt to court moderate Republican voters disturbed by his tough stances on immigration. His remarks come as recent polls have shown him falling behind Hillary Clinton in several swing states.

Trump’s new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, signalled over the weekend that the candidate has been rethinking his approach.

Pressed in an interview on CNN as to whether a deportation force was still on the table as a law enforcement measure, Conway danced around the question before demurring.

“To be determined,” she said.

Over the weekend, Trump met with his newly formed Hispanic advisory council, and BuzzFeed reported that he expressed interest in finding a “humane and efficient” way to deal with undocumented immigrants that sounded at odds with his previous plan to remove them from the country.

During his primary campaign, Trump assailed all his Republican rivals for being too weak on immigration. He kicked off his campaign saying that Mexico was sending criminals and rapists into the country, vowed that Mexico would pay for his planned border wall, and called for the “mandatory return of all criminal aliens.”

On Sunday evening, the campaign of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton released a statement scoffing at Trump’s potential change of heart on deportation, reported CNN.

“Donald Trump’s immigration plan remains the same as it’s always been: tear apart families and deport 16 million people from the United States,” said campaign chair John Podesta.

Jose Fuentes, a Trump supporter and the former attorney general of Puerto Rico, was at the roundtable with Trump on Saturday, and said he did not walk away with the interpretation that Trump was open to legalization for some undocumented immigrants.

He said it was Trump who brought up the issue of those who are in the US illegally and
asked the group to share their ideas on how to deal with them. Fuentes said that Trump used the language of wanting to handle the issue in a “fair,” “humane,” and “legal” way, but Fuentes said he didn’t automatically take that to mean that Trump was going allow some to stay or have legal status.

“He wanted to hear our ideas on how to deal with it. He requested that we put it in writing,” Fuentes told CNN. “But that doesn’t mean he’s going to take them or that he’s changed his mind.”

The new tone from Trump comes as be continues to struggle in the polls with nonwhite voters. Since reshuffling his campaign leadership last week, Trump has already expressed “regret” for remarks that he has made during the campaign that might have been hurtful, and he expanded his outreach to black voters. While it may be too late to win over skeptical Hispanic voters, expressing the desire to be more fair could still help Trump with swing voters, says the NYT.

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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, 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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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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