Policy & Advocacy
Top stories summarized by our editors
2/20/2017

President Donald Trump's administration announced it is considering changing the way it calculates the US trade deficits, which could inflate trade deficit numbers. The administration seems to favor the idea to exclude products imported to the US that are later transferred to another country, but employees at the US Trade Representative's office said they believe the proposed calculation would be inaccurate.

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Fortune, Bloomberg
2/20/2017

The White House budget office has released a list of programs that President Donald Trump could eliminate in an effort to cut federal spending. The programs include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, AmeriCorps, the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities and the Legal Services Corp.

2/20/2017

According to a survey from the African American Research Collaborative, 43% of African-Americans polled said they were enthusiastic about voting in the 2016 election because they were excited to vote against Donald Trump. Ninety-six percent of those polled said they disapprove of Trump's proposal of a "stop and frisk" policy and would prefer police wear body cameras.

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African Americans, Trump, 96%
2/20/2017

Famine conditions have been officially declared in two South Sudan counties, according to a joint announcement from the South Sudan government and several United Nations organizations. "This famine is man-made," said Joyce Luma, head of the World Food Program in South Sudan, adding that "there is only so much that humanitarian assistance can achieve in the absence of meaningful peace and security."

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UN, World Food Program
2/20/2017

Countries, institutions and civil societies must be stronger and more resilient to deal with the increasing threat of conflicts aggravated by climate change, population growth and food issues, said United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He is calling for reforms to help rebuild the public's confidence in government and multilateral institutions.

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Xinhuanet.com (China)
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Antonio Guterres, UN, climate change
2/20/2017

Gambian President Adama Barrow has ordered the release of 171 prisoners held without trial under his predecessor and said he is committed to ending human rights abuses in his country. Barrow said his government will also undertake legal reforms.

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human rights
2/20/2017

The South Sudan military is investigating claims that soldiers entered the village of Kubi and raped at least five women and girls, some at gunpoint, after beating and detaining village men, says Anglican Bishop Paul Yogusuk. Three high-ranking South Sudanese military officers and a government official have recently resigned, citing human rights abuses by federal authorities.

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human rights
2/20/2017

Arctic and Antarctic ice coverage is retreating at record levels, with Arctic ice 8.6% below average levels and Antarctic ice 22.8% below average in January, according to the United Nations World Meteorological Organization. Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit record highs in January, say WMO officials.

2/20/2017

United Nations secretary-general's special representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, met with Pakistani officials today to ease tension between the two countries. Hostility has escalated since Pakistan blamed Afghan terrorists for recent attacks in Pakistan, including one on a Sufi shrine last week that killed 88.

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Pakistan, UN, Secretary General
2/20/2017

A federal trade court has ruled that Snuggies, the popular fleece coverings, are not clothing. Judge Mark Barnett ruled that because the Snuggie does not have closures in the back, it should not be subject to the higher tariff applied to articles of clothing.

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Snuggies