By Robert A. Vella
I spent yesterday renegotiating with my cable provider. To summarize:
- They raised my monthly charges by 45%.
- I requested a reduction in services to offset the increase which they couldn’t accommodate.
- I informed them that unless a solution could be found, I would cancel some or all of my services.
- They found a service package which I “qualified for” at 9% higher than my previous rate.
- I accepted their solution.
Back to the grindstone. Here’s today’s news roundup:
House Democrats finally managed to pass a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill Monday, sending the measure on to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it.
The 354-58 vote came after Republican conservatives blocked the bill from advancing on three separate occasions while lawmakers were away on a week-long recess — an appropriately acrimonious legislative finale after months of partisan discord.
Once it’s signed into law, the bill will unlock billions of dollars in grant funding and reimbursement cash for communities still recovering from hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, extreme flooding, wildfires and typhoons.
WASHINGTON — President Trump ended a losing streak in court clashes with the House on Monday, as a federal judge rejected the Democrat-controlled chamber’s lawsuit seeking to stop him from using emergency powers to build a wall along the southwestern border.
Judge Trevor N. McFadden of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, who was appointed by Mr. Trump, ruled that the House could not show that it had suffered the sort of injury that gave it standing to sue.
The ruling will not have any immediate practical consequences because other groups have already secured an order blocking Mr. Trump from proceeding. But if other courts accept Judge McFadden’s reasoning, the House’s litigation options will narrow as it battles the president on several fronts.
Related story: Anti-Trump protesters flood London streets
Experts say U.S. tariffs on Mexican goods, coupled with steeper levies on Chinese imports, will raise the price on everything from fruit and vegetables to cars and some electronic gadgets in the U.S.
The heightened trade tensions comes as signals point to a slowing U.S. economy. Analysts also fear the conflict with Mexico could hinder passage of the USMCA, the trade pact the Trump Administration endorses as a replacement NAFTA.
As President Donald Trump escalates his trade war by threatening new tariffs on Mexico and expanding levies on Chinese imports, experts warn that the chances of a sharp slowdown or even a recession within the next year are climbing.
With the 2020 census count less than a year away, a new report says undercounting certain populations will be likely, despite the best efforts of the U.S. Census Bureau, nonprofits and state and local officials to encourage participation.
Nationwide, the decennial census could fail to count anywhere from 900,000 to 4 million people, with blacks, Hispanics and children younger than 5 most vulnerable to being overlooked, according to estimates released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.
Florida, California, Georgia, New York, Nevada, Texas and New Mexico have the highest risk for undercounting, according to the Urban Institute, a think tank that conducts social and economic research.
A key witness in former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian election interference has been charged with transporting child pornography last year, according to court documents.
George Nader, who has a previous conviction on such charges, was charged in federal court in Virginia and is expected to make an initial court appearance in New York.
Nader played an unusual role as a kind of liaison between Trump supporters, Middle East leaders and Russians interested in making contact with the incoming administration in early 2017.
The Energy Department’s most environmentally important and technically ambitious project to clean up Cold War nuclear weapons waste has stalled, putting at jeopardy an already long-delayed effort to protect the Columbia River in central Washington.
In a terse letter last week, state officials said the environmental project is at risk of violating key federal court orders that established deadlines after past ones were repeatedly missed.
Two multibillion-dollar industrial facilities intended to turn highly radioactive sludge into solid glass at the Hanford nuclear site have been essentially mothballed. Construction was halted in 2012 because of design flaws and Energy Department managers have foundered in finding alternatives, state officials said in the letter that threatens new litigation.