11 December 2018 11:42 PM

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GLOBALIST | 24 DECEMBER, 2017

Flavour Of The Week - United States of America

This weekend Globalist records developments in the US including violence in Sarah Palin’s home


US AND ISRAEL ISOLATED AT UNITED NATIONS

In the 193-member United Nations General Assembly, 128 countries including India had voted to approve a non binding resolution demanding that the United States rescind the Dec. 6 decision on shifting the American Embassy to Jerusalem. The vote came despite President Donald Trump threatening to cut off aid to those U.N. member countries which voted against his decision. He had said “They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us,” he said. “Well, we’ll be watching those votes. Let them vote against us; we’ll save a lot. We don’t care. Media reports said that Pakistan had been mobilising widespread protests and calling on the Arab world to pressurise the United States.The Middle East Media Research Institute had published an article, “Pakistani religious, political leaders react to President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel”, which cited Jamaat-e-Islami Leader Naeemur Rehman calling for a million man march. Naeem had said “To recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital Is Trump’s declaration of war against the world of Islam… America, by becoming the agent of the Jewish lobby, is pursuing a policy of destroying all Muslim countries,”.

TRUMP EXPENSIVE TAXATION PLAN HELPS THE RICH

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives had given final approval to the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years, sending a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax bill to President Donald Trump for his signature. Democrats were united in opposition to the tax legislation with Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, called the tax bill a scam, saying it “is simply theft — monumental, brazen theft from the American middle class and from every person who aspires to reach it.” They said it would add $1.5 trillion over the next decade to the $20 trillion national debt. Under the bill, millions of Americans would stop itemizing deductions, putting tax breaks that incentivize home ownership and charitable donations out of their reach, but also making tax returns somewhat simpler and shorter. The top tax rate for high earners was reduced. The estate tax on inheritances was changed so far fewer people would pay. In addition to cutting the U.S. corporate income tax rate, the debt-financed legislation gave other business owners a new 20 percent deduction on business income and reshaped how the government taxes multinational corporations along the lines that the country’s largest businesses had recommended for years. Under the final tax bill, the corporate tax rate would fall to 21 percent, from the current 35 percent. Individuals would also see tax cuts, including a top rate of 37 percent, down from 39.6 percent. The size of inheritances shielded from estate taxation would double, to $22 million for married couples, and owners of pass-through businesses, whose profits are taxed through the individual code, would be able to deduct 20 percent of their business income. But the individual tax cuts would expire after 2025.

AMERICA LIFTS MORATORIUM ON RESEARCH TO MAKE GERMS MORE LETHAL

Federal officials had ended a moratorium imposed three years ago on funding research that altered germs to make them more lethal. Such work could now proceed, said Dr. Francis S. Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, but only if a scientific panel decided that the benefits justified the risks. Critics said these researchers risked creating a monster germ that could escape the lab and seed a pandemic. Now, a government panel would require that researchers show that their studies in this area were scientifically sound and that they would be done in a high-security lab. The pathogen to be modified must pose a serious health threat, and the work must produce knowledge — such as a vaccine — that would benefit humans. In October 2014, all federal funding had been halted on efforts to make three viruses more dangerous: the flu virus, and those causing Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). But the new regulations apply to any pathogen that could potentially cause a pandemic. For example, they would apply to a request to create an Ebola virus transmissible through the air, said Dr. Collins.

AMERICA’S STRATEGIC DOCTRINE-RUSSIA, CHINA PAKISTAN CRITICISE IT

A 68-page doctrine was released by the White House. In his speech, President Trump made no mention of Russian interference in the 2016 election. The doctrine described Russia and China as “revisionist” powers for seeking a change in the American-led world order. It stated “After being dismissed as a phenomenon of an earlier century, great power competition returned,” the document says. Russia and China, it says, “are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.” Dmitri S. Peskov, President Vladimir V. Putin’s spokesman, responded with the Kremlin argument that the world would be a safer place if there were several powerful countries that could keep one another in check. The doctrine, he said, showed America’s continuing “aversion to the multipolar world.” A spokesman for the Kremlin criticized Trump’s foreign policy strategy as having an “imperialist character” while the Chinese Embassy in Washington suggested that the document’s theme of “America First” reflected “outdated, zero-sum thinking.” The Chinese said that “We call on the United States to abandon its outdated zero-sum thinking, and work together with China to seek common ground and engage in win-win cooperation,”. The doctrine also called on Pakistan to demonstrate that it was a “responsible steward” of its nuclear assets and warned that the fear of a nuclear conflict with India remained a key concern in Washington. It also called on Pakistan to intensify its action against militant groups operating from Pakistani soil. Pakistan’s the Foreign Office called the reports assertions "unsubstantiated" and "unfounded" allegations contrary to ground realities and trivializing Pakistan’s efforts for fighting terrorism.

TURMOIL IN THE PALIN HOUSEHOLD

Track Palin the elder son of former Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin had been charged with assault and burglary in a violent confrontation with his father in which the two men struggled over a handgun at his parents’ Alaska home. Track Palin, 28, broke through a window of the house in Wasilla, Alaska, and scuffled with his father, Todd Palin in a clash that stemmed from a family dispute over a truck. The altercation left Palin’s father bloodied and his mother, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, visibly shaken according to the police. Track Palin – now barred by court order from further contact with his parents, younger brother Trig or sister Piper – remained jailed in lieu of $5,000 bail. He was charged with a felony count of burglary with attempted injury, and a misdemeanor count of fourth-degree assault. It was Sarah Palin who called police to the home to report that her elder son was assaulting his father and “freaking out and was on some type of medication,” the police affidavit stated. Todd Palin told police the conflict started when his son called to say he was coming to the house to get a truck, and the father objected, prompting the son to threaten that he was en route “anyway to beat his ass,”. The father armed himself with a pistol as he waited for his son to arrive, but ultimately, the affidavit said, “Todd decided he was not going to shoot his son” and was disarmed by the younger Palin as the two struggled.
 

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