UNITED STATES: Ivanka Trump Joins Father’s Administration

On 29 March, Ivanka Trump announced she will officially join her father President Donald Trump’s, administration. According to a White House official, she will become the Assistant to the President as an unpaid employee. The announcement follows questions by ethics experts regarding her original plan to serve in a more informal capacity.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.eee@gmail.com]

UNITED STATES: Senate Democrats Request President’s Tax Returns

On 7 March, democratic senators requested President Donald Trump’s tax returns. The requesters stated the returns are a matter of national security. This is the second time the democratic senators have requested the tax returns within the last two weeks. President Trump has declined to the release the returns, stating they were under federal audit. The Internal Revenue Service stated there is not an issue with releasing them publically.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

UNITED STATES: Hawaii Requests Emergency Halt on New Executive Order

On 8 March, Hawaii state officials announced the state will request that a federal court put a temporary restraining order on President Donald Trump’s latest executive order enforcing the travel ban. The goal of the temporary restraining order is to obtain an emergency halt on the executive order. Hawaii is the first state to challenge the travel ban in federal court.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

ICELAND: Legislation Proposed to Force Companies to Prove Equal Pay

On 8 March, government officials announced plans to introduce legislation that would require employers to prove they offer equal pay to employees. The legislation specifically applies to companies with more than 25 employees. The equal pay provision applies to nationality, sexuality, gender, and ethnicity. If passed, the legislation would make Iceland the first country to make companies prove they provide equal pay. The announcement was made on International Women’s Day.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

AUSTRALIA: PM Clarifies US Travel Ban Restrictions

On 31 January, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the US travel ban against seven countries does not affect individuals with Australian passports. The announcement came after a student who had an Iranian and Australian passport was denied a visa into the US for a school trip. The student was denied the visa at the U.S. Consulate in Melbourne. Prime Minister Turnbull stated his announcement came with confirmation from the White House.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

UNITED STATES: Diplomats Sign Dissent Memo over Travel Ban

On 31 January, a US Department of State official announced the Department of State received a cable criticizing President Trump’s travel ban. The cable was received the day after White House spokesman Sean Spicer announced individuals who had an issue with the ban should resign. The official did not provide the exact number of signatories, but said over 800 diplomats stated they would sign any following drafts.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

UNITED STATES: President Calls for Review of Interrogation Methods

On 25 January, the Associated Press announced the discovery of an executive order draft made by President Donald Trump to review interrogation methods employed by the United States. Trump also discussed the possible reopening of black site prisons employed by the CIA. If carried out, the action would reverse the order to close the Guantanamo Bay detention site in Cuba.  

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

 

UNITED STATES: Presidential Election Recount Begins in Michigan

On 5 December, Michigan Secretary of State officials announced commencement of the presidential election recount in Michigan. A Michigan federal judge ordered the recount to be funded by the state. Jill Stein, who has pushed for the recount in Wisconsin and Michigan, has been in Pennsylvania court attempting to initiate a recount there as well.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]

GHANA: Fraudulent US Embassy Shut Down

On 5 December, State Department officials announced the closure of a non-official, fake US Embassy operating outside of Ghana’s capital city. The fake embassy operated for approximately ten years and issued hundreds of visas. The group charged 6,000 USD per visa. Approximately 150 fraudulent passports have been recovered thus far. The operation is speculated to have been created by crime rings in the area.

[Madison Landry, madison.landry.ee@gmail.com]