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posted on 10 June 2017

Early Headlines: Trump Can Stop Meuller, USDoJ Seeks Trump Foreign Payments, Eric Trump Charity, Puerto Rico Statehood, How UK Voted, Brazil Court Clears Temer, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 10 June 2017

Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.

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U.S.

Trump signaled in January that he planned to dramatically widen the net of illegal immigrants targeted for deportation, but his administration has not publicized its efforts to reopen immigration cases.

It represents one of the first concrete examples of the crackdown promised by Trump and is likely to stir fears among tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who thought they were safe from deportation.

  • Can Robert Mueller Really Hold Trump Accountable? (The Nation)  If Mueller is indeed is looking into whether Trump - or any members of his administration - obstructed justice in the process of firing Comey, what powers does Mueller have to make this inquiry, and what can he do with the results? The answers are complicated, but will be critical to understand over the coming months. The short answer is that Mueller has extraordinary powers to investigate, subpoena, and prosecute wrongdoing - but there are still several ways Trump can shut Mueller down.

  • U.S. seeks to dismiss lawsuit against Trump over foreign payments (Reuters) The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday called for the dismissal of a lawsuit alleging President Donald Trump violated the constitution by accepting foreign payments at his hotels. The lawsuit, filed in January, said Trump violates the Constitution's "emoluments" clause, which bars him from accepting gifts from foreign governments without congressional approval, by maintaining ownership over his business empire despite ceding day-to-day control to his sons.

In a filing in Manhattan federal court on Friday, the justice department argued that the plaintiffs in the case - an ethics non-profit, restaurant group and hotel events booker - do not have legal standing to sue.

The government also said payments to Trump's hotels do not qualify as a violation of the emoluments clause, which is intended to cover personal services performed by the president.

  • New York attorney general looking at Eric Trump charity's payouts (Reuters) New York's attorney general is looking into a report that the Eric Trump Foundation funneled more than $1 million from charity golf tournaments into President Donald Trump's business, a spokesman for the attorney general said on Friday. Forbes magazine reported this week that the charity run by Eric Trump, the president's second-oldest son, paid the Trump Organization to use its properties for charity events in recent years even though Eric Trump had told donors that the golf course and other assets were being used for free, so that just about all the money donated would help sick children. Forbes reported that based on filings from the Eric Trump Foundation and other charities, more than $1.2 million "has no documented recipients past the Trump Organization".

  • Puerto Rico votes on statehood - fifth time’s the charm? (The Conversation) On June 11, Puerto Ricans will have an opportunity to vote in a nonbinding plebiscite to determine Puerto Rico’s political status. Local voters will choose among three options: statehood, independence or territorial autonomy (keeping the status quo).

There are two main parties opposing statehood: the Popular Democratic Party, the main political party advocating for territorial autonomy or the commonwealth status; and the Puerto Rican Independence Party.

Both political parties are actively boycotting the plebiscite and campaigning against the pro-statehood New Progressive Party, which controls the executive and legislative branches of government. Because these parties are not planning to participate in Sunday’s plebiscite, it is likely that the pro-statehood party will receive a majority of the votes in the plebiscite.

Puerto Rico’s economic crisis has now washed the burden of its colonial legacy onto Washington’s doorstep. Congress has been trying to contain the island’s ballooning debt under the hardline austerity program of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA). But since the program is governed by a control board run by the same financiers responsible for driving the debt crisis in the first place, the island continues to sink into poverty while its creditors feast on the spoils.

UK

  • How Britain Voted (The New York Times) The Conservative party lost its parliamentary majority in the British general election on Thursday, as voters produced a hung Parliament, one in which no party has outright control. Prime Minister Theresa May will try to stay in power by forming a minority government with the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland.

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Philippines

  • Exclusive: U.S. forces join Philippine troops to end city siege (Reuters) U.S. special forces are helping the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to end a siege of the southern town of Marawi by militants allied to Islamic State, a U.S. embassy spokesperson in Manila told Reuters on Saturday. The seizure of Marawi by hundreds of fighters who have sworn allegiance to Islamic State, including dozens from neighboring countries and the Middle East, has fueled concern that the ultra-radical group is gaining a foothold in Southeast Asia.

Brazil

  • Four judges have voted to dismiss illegal financing case

  • Judgement removes most immediate threat to Temer’s presidency

Mexico

  • Germany's Merkel lends support to Mexico over NAFTA (Reuters) Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday backed Mexico to press for a successful renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Donald Trump, thanking its government for keeping German interests in mind during the talks. Germany and Mexico have pursued policies tailored toward exporting manufactured goods, and both ran trade surpluses of more than $60 billion with the United States last year.

Speaking on a visit to Mexico just a few weeks after her foreign minister visited the country and backed its pro-NAFTA stance, Merkel said she was pleased the deal's signatories, the United States, Mexico and Canada, were talking about an update.

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