Self-proclaimed “resistance” enrages President Trump
Last week, White House officials kept busy distancing themselves from an anonymous New York Times opinion piece in which the writer claimed they and other officials “are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of [Trump’s] agenda and his worst inclinations.” The New York Times claims they know the writer to be a senior official of the Trump administration but chose to protect their identity as his or her job “would be jeopardized by its disclosure.”
The writer refers to the “president’s amorality” and says many appointees are trying to thwart the president’s “more misguided impulses until he is out of office.”
“We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility,” they warn. President Trump railed against the New York Times and questioned the authenticity of the anonymous writer.
“If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist,” Trump tweeted Wednesday, “the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!” Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are among those who have denounced the piece.
Celebration after India legalizes gay sex
Homosexuality was decriminalized in India last week by the nation’s Supreme Court. The law was originally struck down in 2009 before being reinstated by the Supreme Court in 2013. The Supreme Court agreed to reexamine the law in 2016 after LGBTQ activists argued for its unconstitutionality. Activists say police used the law to harass LGBTQ members and groups.
“Why should I have to hide my identity?” a supporter said, adding, “I can’t do anything about it and I am a citizen of this country. People need to understand that we have equal rights.” The country’s main opposition party tweeted their satisfaction with the verdict and their hopes that “this is the beginning of a more equal and inclusive society.”
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres similarly praised the decriminalization. “I welcome today’s decision by India’s highest court,” he tweeted last Thursday.
Jim Mattis makes visit to Afghanistan
As the Trump administration alludes to restarting peace talks with the Taliban, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis made an unannounced arrival last Friday to Kabul, Afghanistan. Mattis was joined by the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., and the new American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin Scott Miller.
A spokesman for Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said the officials discussed peace negotiations with the president and Abdullah Abdullah, the government’s chief executive.
“We have more indications that reconciliation is no longer just a shimmer out there, no longer just a mirage,” Mattis told reporters. “It now has some framework, there’s some open lines of communication.”
Though the White House stated in the past that any peace talks would be between the Afghanistan government and Taliban insurgents, the insurgents have labeled the government “a puppet regime” and say they will only speak to American officials. Despite this, the White House assures that any talks will be “Afghan-owned and Afghan-led.”