Trump

Trump’s Twitter blocks violate First Amendment rights, appeals court affirms

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Enlarge / The Twitter timeline of US President Donald Trump as seen on June 29, 2017, in Bydgoszcz, Poland. (credit: Getty | Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto )

It’s one thing for most of us to block Twitter users who annoy us, but it’s a violation of those users’ First Amendment rights for the president to do so, a federal appeals court confirmed.

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday issued an opinion supporting an earlier federal court ruling that as long as Donald Trump is a public official, he cannot block people (which prevents them from reading his feed or responding to his comments) he disagrees with on Twitter.

The opinion (PDF) is narrow, specific, and unanimous, with all three judges concurring. “We do not consider or decide whether an elected official violates the Constitution by excluding persons from a wholly private social media account,”

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Console makers seek to avoid 25% price bump driven by Trump’s trade war

Console makers seek to avoid 25% price bump driven by Trump’s trade war

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This could all be 25% more expensive if the Trump administration's latest Chinese tariff threats go through.

Enlarge / This could all be 25% more expensive if the Trump administration’s latest Chinese tariff threats go through.

With the long-running trade war between the United States and China continuing to escalate, the Trump administration is now threatening to institute a 25% tariff on an additional $300 billion in goods from the country, a move that would cover almost all Chinese exports. In light of that threat, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony issued a letter today asking the administration to exempt video game consoles from any such tariff plans.

The seven-page letter, signed by the business affairs VPs of the three major console makers, argues that any tax on game console imports would “injure consumers, video game developers, retailers, and console manufacturers; put thousands of high-value, rewarding U.S. jobs at risk; and stifle innovation in our industry and beyond.”

Since game consoles are sold at or slightly above

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Trump administration finalizes replacement for Obama’s Clean Power Plan

Trump administration finalizes replacement for Obama’s Clean Power Plan

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Coal truck at a mine.

Enlarge / A truck loaded with coal is viewed at the Eagle Butte Coal Mine, which is operated by Alpha Coal, on Monday May 08, 2017, in Gillette, Wyoming. (credit: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

On Wednesday, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed the “Affordable Clean Energy” rule, known as ACE, to replace the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, or CPP.

The ACE rule was proposed last summer, and after going through the procedural steps required to enact the rule, Administrator Wheeler finally signed it today, along with an official repeal of the CPP. Details regarding the final rules have been submitted to the Federal Register, one of the last steps to making federal rules official in the US.

Obama’s CPP attempted to set federal power plant emissions limits by state. Under the CPP, states would have had an incentive to push the most-polluting

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Trump terminates NIH medical research over use of fetal tissue

Trump terminates NIH medical research over use of fetal tissue

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Front of Federal-style civic building.

Enlarge / A seal that reads “US Public Health Service” adorns a building on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. (credit: Getty | Mark Wilson)

President Trump personally made the call to impose new restrictions on the use of fetal tissue in medical research, according to reporting by The Washington Post. The decision, announced Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services, pleased anti-abortion advocates while horrifying medical researchers, who say the move will cripple lifesaving research that helps millions of patients.

In a statement made Wednesday, June 5, the HHS explained the new restrictions, which primarily include discontinuing research projects conducted within the National Institutes of Health by government scientists that involves the use of tissue collected from aborted fetuses. According to HHS, that applies to only three active research projects out of more than 3,000 in progress by

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Trump tries to shut Huawei out of US market with executive order

Trump tries to shut Huawei out of US market with executive order

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Customers purchase mobile phones at a Huawei store in China.

Enlarge / Customers purchase mobile phones at the Huawei Experience Center on May 16, 2019 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. (credit: Getty Images | VCG/Long Wei)

The Trump administration yesterday took two actions that could effectively prevent Huawei from buying US technology and prevent it from selling products to US companies.

An executive order issued by President Trump and a separate action taken by the US Commerce Department could “cut the Chinese telecommunications giant off from American suppliers and ban it from doing business in the US,” The Wall Street Journal wrote.

The order doesn’t mention Huawei or China by name, but it was widely seen as targeting Huawei and other Chinese companies such as ZTE. Huawei is the second-biggest smartphone vendor in the world, according to IDC, and it sells a large amount of network equipment to telecom providers and other companies.

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Trump administration puts offshore drilling expansion in Arctic, Atlantic on ice

Trump administration puts offshore drilling expansion in Arctic, Atlantic on ice

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An offshore oil drilling rig.

Enlarge / Shell has halted the controversial oil drilling in the Chukchi Sea, citing the marginal discovery of oil was “not enough to continue the search for the foreseeable” future. In a statement on September 28, the company said, “Shell will now cease further exploration activity in offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future.” (credit: Photo by Orjan F. Ellingvag/Corbis via Getty Images)

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal this week, the Department of the Interior’s new secretary, David Bernhardt, said that the Trump administration would indefinitely suspend its plans to expand offshore oil drilling in the Arctic and several areas in the Atlantic ocean. The Secretary did not appear to comment on whether the administration would move forward with offshore drilling in areas outside of those regions.

The decision not to pursue lease sales in the Arctic and some areas of the Atlantic is a significant one

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