The Trump administration has told agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services to avoid using certain words or phrases in official documents being drafted for next year's budget, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. The newspaper said one of the agencies, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was given a list of seven prohibited words or phrases: "vulnerable," "entitlement," "diversity," "transgender," "fetus," "evidence-based" and "science-based." Officials at a second agency were also told to use "Obamacare" instead of the Affordable Care Act to describe President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare law and to use "exchanges" instead of "marketplaces" in reference to venues where people can buy federally subsidized health insurance, the Post reported.
The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution affirming that any change to the status of Jerusalem has no legal effect and must be reversed, in response to the US decision to recognize the city as Israel's capital. Breaking with the international consensus, US President Donald Trump this month announced that he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, sparking protests and strong condemnation. The draft resolution obtained by AFP stresses that Jerusalem is an issue "to be resolved through negotiations" and expresses "deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem," without specifically mentioning Trump's move.
Pope Francis celebrated his 81st birthday Sunday with a hero cake and a message urging the world -- and children in particular -- to join in the holiday mood and be joyful. The Argentine pontiff thanked the crowds gathered in Saint Peter's Square for the Angelus prayer as they sang happy birthday, and was expected to slice into his birthday cake after lunch. The artist -- whose real name is Mauro Pallotta -- famously depicted Francis as Superman in 2014 and has since begun supporting Vatican charitable projects by selling T-shirts bearing the flying pope.
Russia investigation: Robert Mueller 'has obtained tens of thousands of Trump transition team emails'
Robert Mueller has obtained thousands of emails from 12 accounts linked to Donald Trump's transition team. The special counsel investigating alleged collusion with Russia is using the cache to confirm existing information and open up new leads, according to Axios. Some reportedly came from Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, who is now a White House advisor.
By Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. renewable energy industry expressed relief after a compromise Republican tax bill released late on Friday preserved key tax credits that had been at risk of being removed, but it raised concerns about a provision that may threaten investment in the sector. The final tax bill retains the production and investment tax credits for wind and solar energy that have spurred investment in the fast-growth industries. It also eliminates the alternative minimum tax, which would have reduced the value of those credits.
The Pentagon acknowledged on Saturday that its long-secret UFO investigation program ended in 2012, when U.S. defense officials shifted attention and funding to other priorities. The New York Times reported on Saturday that the hush-hush program, tasked with investigating sightings of unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, ran from 2007 to 2012 with $22 million in annual funding secretly tucked away in U.S. Defense Department budgets worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An organization established for U.S. President Donald Trump's transition to the White House a year ago said on Saturday that the special counsel investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election had obtained tens of thousands of emails unlawfully. Kory Langhofer, counsel to the transition team known as Trump for America, Inc., wrote a letter to congressional committees to say Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team had improperly received the emails from the General Services Administration, a government agency. Career staff members at the agency "unlawfully produced TFA’s private materials, including privileged communications, to the Special Counsel’s Office," according to the letter, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.
By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump will lay out a new U.S. national security strategy on Monday based on his "America First" policy and will, among other items, make clear that China is a competitor, two senior U.S. officials said on Saturday. Trump has praised Chinese President Xi Jinping while also demanding that Beijing increase pressure on North Korea over its nuclear program and to change trade practices to make them more favorable to the United States. The national security strategy, to be rolled out in a speech by Trump, should not be seen as an attempt to contain China but rather to offer a clear-eyed look at the challenges China poses, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution finding any change to the status of Jerusalem has no legal effect and must be reversed, after the US recognized the city as Israel's capital. Egypt circulated the draft text on Saturday, and diplomats said the council could vote on the proposed measure as early as Monday. Breaking with the international consensus, US President Donald Trump this month announced that he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, sparking protests and strong condemnation.