Monthly Archives: August 2017

The Trump administration just halted this Obama-era rule to shrink the gender wage gap

By Danielle Paquette

President Trump speaks at a rally in Phoenix. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

The Trump administration has halted a rule that would have required large companies to report to the government what they pay employees by race and gender — an Obama-era policy that aimed to close what economists call the wage gap.

The decision landed Tuesday evening, prompting outrage from groups who note that women and minorities still aren’t receiving equal pay for equal work. Some of the furor was directed at Ivanka Trump, who has previously spoken out against wage disparities and workplace discrimination.

Fatima Goss Graves, president and chief executive of the National Women’s Law Center, said the move contradicts President Trump’s claim that he wants prosperity for every American.

“It’s not enough to say ‘equal pay,’ ” Grave said. “It matters what policies you stand behind.”

[Ivanka Trump and the World Bank have a new idea to help women globally]

In a letter sent Tuesday to Victoria Lipnic, acting chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Neomi Rao, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, said the Office of Management and Budget had paused the government’s pay data collection process to review it.

“OMB is concerned that some aspects of the revised collection of information lack practical utility, are unnecessarily burdensome, and do not adequately address privacy and confidentiality issues,” Rao wrote, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.

Ivanka Trump released a statement hours later.

“Ultimately, while I believe the intention was good and agree that pay transparency is important, the proposed policy would not yield the intended results,” the president’s daughter said. “We look forward to continuing to work with EEOC, OMB, Congress and all relevant stakeholders on robust policies aimed at eliminating the gender wage gap.”

A source close to Ivanka Trump, …read more

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‘Dreamers’ took a big risk by registering with the government. Now, their trust may lead to their deportation.

By Vivek Wadhwa

Protesters gather to mark the fifth anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program near Trump Tower in New York on Aug. 15. (European Pressphoto Agency/Justin Lane)

About 800,000 young immigrants could lose their jobs and be rounded up by police and deported to countries where their lives are at risk — and which are foreign to them — if the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is allowed to lapse.

Attorneys general from 10 states have challenged DACA, which allows young, unauthorized immigrants, known as “dreamers,” to live and work legally in the United States without fear of deportation. They plan to sue the Trump administration if it doesn’t begin rolling back the program by Tuesday. Given that in 2016, Texas successfully challenged an effort by President Barack Obama to expand DACA, such a lawsuit might succeed. And the chances that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will defend DACA are slim, given that in July he maintained his position that the Justice Department would have no objection to abandoning DACA “because it is very questionable, in my opinion, constitutionally.”

These children took a big risk by registering with the government to be covered under DACA. Now, this trust in the American government may lead to their deportation if the Trump administration doesn’t act to save the program.

In 2012, Obama launched DACA to allow children of undocumented parents to work without punishment. The parents of these children brought them here to give them better lives, and the children didn’t knowingly break any laws. These dreamers grew up as Americans, believing they were entitled to the same rights and freedoms as their friends. Yet when they became old enough to work or go to college, they learned that there are limits on where they can study and what they can do. They …read more

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Why it seems like North Korea is launching missiles all the time now

By Christopher Ingraham

North Korea shot a ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday morning, a provocation coming directly on the heels of a three-missile test on Saturday.

If it seems like these launches are happening all the time now, there’s a good reason for that. The country has dramatically escalated its missile test operations since 2014, according to a database maintained by the Center for Nonproliferation Studies and the Nuclear Threat Initiative, groups that work to reduce nuclear proliferation.

“North Korea is testing its missiles faster than I can update the page,” said Shea Cotton, a research associate at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies who maintains the database.

For a launch to be included in the tally, it must involve a missile “capable of delivering a payload of at least 500 kilograms a distance of 300 kilometers,” Cotton said. After a test launch, it can sometimes take several days for analysts to determine whether the launched involved one or more of these larger missiles or smaller artillery rockets that aren’t tracked in the database.

The chart above, derived primarily from the Center for Nonproliferation Studies and the Nuclear Threat Initiative data, tells the story. Current ruler Kim Jong Un has overseen a surge in missile testing following his ascension in 2011. In 2017 alone, for instance, North Korea has conducted at least 18 missile tests. That’s more than the 16 tests conducted during the entire 17-year reign of his father, Kim Jong Il.

In the past four years, North Korea has launched nearly twice as many missiles (76) as it did in the three preceding decades (39).

The reliability of the missiles has significantly improved since the first year of testing in 1984, when half of the launches failed. There were no failures among the 25 launches conducted in 2012 and 2013. While there have been …read more

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