The President Will Host the Leaders of Egypt, Jordan and China This Week, While Congress Continues to Focus on Iran, Russia and North KoreaPresident Donald Trump will welcome Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and King Abdullah II of Jordan to the White House this week. He is expected to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping to Mar-a-Lago later in the week.President Trump met last Thursday with Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen. According to the White House, the two leaders “underscored the need to maintain momentum in the fight against ISIS.” The White House further acknowledged that Denmark was “one of the first countries to join the counter-ISIS coalition, offering F-16 fighter jets, military trainers, special operations forces, and humanitarian assistance to the effort.” The leaders also discussed Afghanistan and strengthening NATO.President Trump spoke with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq last Wednesday. According to the White … [Read more...] about President Trump Signed New Executive Orders Last Week, Focused on Trade and Energy
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When Fidel Castro and his band of revolutionaries took control of Cuba in 1959, they established a Communist dictatorship antithetical to everything the U.S. represented—and aligned with America’s enemies. In 1961, a CIA-backed invasion by Cuban refugees to overthrow the Castro regime failed, almost from the moment it began, at the Bay of Pigs. The following year, the Cuban Missile Crisis nearly triggered World War III.Former ABA President Stephen Zack had long expected the day would come when Cuba and the United States would finally break the Cold War-inspired status quo in place for more than half a century that has impoverished and isolated Cuba while creating a sworn enemy of America within 90 miles of its border. But like Godot saying he would be back any day now, Zack had expected a change for so long that he stopped expecting it.The two countries haven’t had diplomatic relations since the Eisenhower administration, and a near-total embargo on American imports … [Read more...] about A new dawn for Cuba as it opens for business
Will insurance expansion and industry consolidation result in higher healthcare costs, at least in the short term, and further stress the economy and the healthcare industry? That highly political question is being asked now in light of preliminary analysis of 2013 healthcare spending data.Healthcare spending grew broadly in 2013, and especially in the second half of 2013, according to The New York Times in its Saturday, April 19, 2014 article entitled “Health Care Spending’s Recent Surge Stirs Unease.” According to government data, fourth quarter health care spending growth increased by 5.6 % in the fourth quarter of 2013, as compared to a 1.3 % increase in the first quarter of 2013. The 5.6 % increase was noted as the highest growth rate since 2004. Separately, the Altarum Institute, a nonprofit research group, reported that health spending started to climb in the summer of 2013, and that this February it reached a 7 year high.According to some analysts, two trends … [Read more...] about New Data Shows Higher Healthcare Costs in Second Half of 2013 – Is this A Result of the Affordable Care Act?
ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATEOn March 20, the Senate first amended and then by a vote of 73-26 passed H.R. 933, the continuing appropriations bill that will fund the Federal government through the end of Fiscal Year 2013. An amendment by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) that sought to cut $60 million from the Defense Department’s Advanced Drop-In Biofuel Production Project was rejected by a vote of 40-59. The following day, the House of Representatives voted 318-109 to approve the bill, which the President is expected to sign before the current continuing resolution expires on March 27.On March 21, the House of Representatives passed a budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2014 (H. Con. Res. 25) by a 221-207 vote. The vote fell almost entirely along party lines. The House budget blueprint calls for tax reform without raising any new revenues and purports to balance the budget by 2023 solely via spending cuts.In the early hours of March 23, the Senate passed … [Read more...] about Energy and Environmental Law Update – March 25, 2013
ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATEAs Congress returns after a week-long recess, energy-related issues and legislation are at the top of the agenda for many members and committees. On May 6, the Senate’s first action is to begin debate on S. 601, the Water Resources Development Act, a bipartisan bill which would authorize water infrastructure projects including dams and dredging. On May 8, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a business meeting to consider several bills, including Sen. Shaheen (D-NH) and Sen. Portman’s (R-OH) energy efficiency bill, S. 761. On May 9, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will vote on Gina McCarthy’s nomination to be Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator. While she is expected to eventually be confirmed by the full Senate, McCarthy must still navigate a hold on her nomination by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and must address over 1,000 questions submitted by Republican … [Read more...] about Energy & Environmental Law Update May 6, 2013
ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATEAfter approving a three-day continuing resolution through January 18 to buy time for debate, Congress sent a bipartisan $1.1 trillion omnibus Fiscal Year 2014 spending bill (H.R. 3547) to President Obama January 16. The measure, which the president signed the following day, funds the federal government through September, and though it includes a few energy riders, it leaves the big debates for later.The agreement gives $30.1 billion overall for Interior and environmental programs, $231 million above the enacted level for fiscal year 2013, increasing spending for national parks and avoiding deeper sequestration cuts that both parties hoped to prevent. The measure boosts the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by $299 million from post-sequestration 2013 levels. The legislation includes $34.1 billion for energy and water programs for the remainder of the fiscal year, a $777 million increase over current funding levels; $27.3 billion … [Read more...] about Energy & Environmental Law Update – Week of January 21, 2014
The Trump administration will end the Obama-era policy known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Effective tomorrow, no new applications will be accepted. Two small caveats offer rays of hope to some DACA recipients (Dreamers): (1) any Dreamers whose permits are set to expire before March 5, 2018 will be allowed to apply for a two-year renewal; (2) Congress could decide to protect the program within the six-month timeframe set by the White House.Anticipating the termination of DACA, multiple Democratic politicians and immigrants’ rights organizations have hinted at or promised litigation in order to protect Dreamers generally and DACA in particular including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. But those lawsuits are likely to fail due to the nature of DACA itself. The program was originally outlined by President Barack Obama via an executive action which is now being undone by another executive action. The basis for which any pro-DACA party might sue upon is thin and … [Read more...] about Why Pro-DACA Lawsuits Are Just Flashy PR Moves
I am privileged to be given this opportunity to present the Second H.R. Khanna Memorial Lecture.I remember the days of Emergency when we, the public, were very unaware of what was happening as there was total censorship of newspapers.During the height of emergency, the people of the country were wholly unaware of what was happening in regard to the challenges which would have an impact upon the future of the country. During these times, I myself had appeared in various political detention matters in the Karnataka High Court and in matters such as the dismissal of the Karunanidhi Government on 31st January, 1976 just before the General Elections were to be held in Tamil Nadu State, really with intention of eliminating the political rival in the State. If any attempt was made by newspaper to publish any of the news relating to challenges to the Central Government, the censure would straightway cut it out and there would be a white blank triangle, square or rectangle where the news would … [Read more...] about The Rule of Law and Human Rights in India
Dear Rt. Hon’ble Members of the Parliament,I write this letter as there is a tremendous urgency in addressing the issue of vehicular pollution. The debate on pollution is straying far away from the prime causes of the all-pervading poisonous air which we breathe. POLLUTION THE GREAT LEVELLERThis is your second winter in Delhi. Your lungs are breathing in 500 to 700 RSPM c3 (Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter per cubic meter). That is 25 to 31 times the permissible limit. Mind you the WHO standards of permissible RSPM levels is 20. It not 100, as claimed by the government sources.NO 2, nitrogen dioxide which exudes from diesel engines in such large amounts when touches moisture turns to acid. This includes the moisture in our airway passages. To contain nitrogen dioxide emissions is so difficult that even VW had to build in systems to cheat emission testing devices.Pollution is a great leveler. Unlike bottled water, it affects every one of us; the rich and the poor, … [Read more...] about Open Letter to Parliamentarians on our Unrestrained Vehicular Pollution
“D arshanatsparshanatpanattaha gangati keertanat punatyapunya purushana shatashotha” The holy sight of Ganga river gives knowledge, splendour, name, fame etc. The gravest of sins like Bramhatya (killing of Brahmin) and Gauhatya ( killing of a cow) get absolved by the mere touch of Ganga holy water, reads the above mentioned shloka. India can be categorised as the only country where river is more than a river, more than water, more than a source of life, more than any role that a river plays in anyone’s life. The holy river Ganga is said to have Lord Shiva’s spirits in its core, is devotionally worshipped by the Indians. There is a famous saying that “all the religions had their growth between Ganga and the Euphrates.” In the holy place haridwar, Ganga after escaping from the giant Himalayas partakes of the ancient rituals, receives the blessings and begins her work in earnest, with a renewed devotion, as she enters the plain, from where … [Read more...] about Is Interlinking of Rivers a Violation of International Environmental Law?