USA: the environment agency pinned again for an expense

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broke the law by spending more than $ 40,000 on the construction of a soundproof booth for its leader, who has already been criticized for spending deemed excessive, investigators said. Government Monday,

Led by Scott Pruitt, the EPA – the equivalent of a Ministry of the Environment – should have consulted Congress before committing this expense, said the Government Accountability Office (GAO) , a non-partisan organ

"The EPA used its credits in a way specifically prohibited by law," GAO head Thomas Armstrong said in a letter to US officials.

the proscribed effect of spending more than $ 5,000 to furnish, redecorate, or make improvements to the office of an official appointed by the president without informing Congress.

But the agency spent more than $ 43,000 to install a c Soundproof Cabin.

Scott Pruitt has been the EPA Manager since last year. He is in charge of one of the priority missions of the Trump presidency: to dismantle the environmental record of Barack Obama.

Recently, it is under the fire of the critics for expenses considered excessive, like first class trips and guards of the permanent corps, as well as for a very advantageous rent.

The president reaffirmed his support, calling him a "good man" who does "very good job."

Several elected officials called for the dismissal or the resignation of Mr. Pruitt, including three Republicans. Environmental experts say they are trying to weaken the agency he heads.

In a joint statement, Congressman Betty McCollum and Senator Tom Udall, two Democrats, called the Investigators' findings of "latest evidence of the rampant corruption" of the agency under Scott Pruitt.

Pollution: California attacks the Federal Environmental Protection Agency

California is once again showing its commitment to the environment by once again attacking the Trump administration. Justice Minister Xavier Becerra and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) California Air Quality Board jointly filed a complaint on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, in a lawsuit against the federal environmental protection agency. EPA. The latter has recently announced measures to relax automobile anti-pollution standards.

In a statement Xavier Becerra and CARB protested against the withdrawal " illegal " of the EPA, " long-standing measures that require major polluters – such as oil refineries and chemical plants – to act sustainably to lower their polluting emissions ". If the removal of air protection measures comes into effect, " children in California and across the country, especially those living near polluting factories, will grow up with tons of additional dangerous particles in the air." they breathe says the Minister of Justice. " Instead of prioritizing the health of hard-working Americans, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt wants to loosen the brunt of the polluters, it's unconscious and illegal ," he said. il.

Xavier Becerra calls the court to invalidate the cancellation of these measures by the federal environmental protection agency, because this decision will, according to him, against the law " Clean Air Act "on air quality and represents" a whimsical and arbitrary reversal "of the long-term position of the agency.

Dismantle the climate plan

Nicknamed "CAFE" (Corporate Average Fuel Economy), the standards for the period 2022-2025 had been set by the administration of Barack Obama shortly before the arrival of the Republican Donald Trump in the White House. This decision therefore responds to Donald Trump's intention to dismantle most of the "climate plan" established by his predecessor. The real estate mogul has also chosen to pull the United States out of the Paris climate deal, saying it is damaging to US economic interests.

CAFE standards provided for gradual increases in vehicles to achieve a goal of 54.5 miles for a gallon of gasoline by 2025, accounting in France, 4.32 liters per hundred kilometers. With the decline in gasoline prices in recent years, US consumers have begun to buy larger and more polluting vehicles, SUVs (city 4x4s) and pickups (pickup trucks) now more than 60 % of the market

The California and the Trump administration are at open warfare over many sectors (weapons, immigration, environment ). The Justice Department has continued the Democratic stronghold, where most of the inhabitants are of Hispanic origin, for its "sanctuary" policy against undocumented migrants, while the Californian Minister of Justice has lodged a complaint several times against the federal government.

Bus Driver Trump Press Agency Arrested for Owning Firearms

Before President Donald Trump's party left the Mar-a-Lago resort in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday (19/2), the driver of one of the vans that would carry the press was briefly held for possession of a firearm.

According to reports, the driver said he forgot to leave a personal firearm in his car before entering the van.

The Secret Service confirmed that their agents held briefly the drivers known to have the legal firearms. But according to the Secret Service, firearms were banned outside Secret Service checkpoints at President Trump's luxury club.

Security checks were conducted in the parking lot across the Mar-a-Lago resort road, about an hour before the press van joined the presidential entourage.

The Secret Service ensured that the matter was resolved and Trump "was not in danger."

White House staff said all drivers were replaced after the incident.

When Trump's group arrived at Trump International Golf Club Monday morning, a van carrying journalists broke away from the group and went to the waiting room at Palm Beach international airport. [em/ii]

US Immigration Agency Captures Immigrant Rights Defenders Leaders

Police and demonstrators from immigrant rights groups clashed on Thursday outside the Federal Plaza Building, New York, the immigration court office, after news spread that the rights leader (19659003) Ravi Ragbir, a well-known activist who protects immigrant families from deportation, is detained by immigration officials inside the building.

The city leader said Ragbir collapsed while in detention, and this incident occurred during the investigation routine with the Immigration Enforcement Agency or ICE. Several supporters, who had gathered outside the building to protest, blocked an ambulance going out, resulting in several more arrests, including two members of the City Council.

The people then prayed led by Reverend Donna Schaper, of Judson Church Memorial and founder of the New Sanctuary Coalition in New York.

Schaper said to VOA, "If ICE has started to act beyond the bounds, we have no choice, and they will make our movement stronger." [ps/jm]

Militants Attack Means of Afghan Intelligence Agency

Heavily-armed militants attacked the Afghan intelligence service in Kabul on Monday, sparking a fierce battle with the security forces.

Afghan officials say several assailants wearing police uniforms attacked and occupied a half-finished building before firing a rocket at a nearby training center, the National Security Directorate (NDS).

"Afghan special forces quickly came and surrounded the building in an attempt to neutralize the attackers," Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi told VOA. It has no information on whether there is a victim.

Residents in nearby areas have reported hearing a series of explosions from the area in Kabul where the siege of militants is underway.

So far, neither Taliban insurgents nor any militant group has claimed responsibility (19659002) Meanwhile, Afghan officials in Badghis province, western Afghanistan, have confirmed that Taliban insurgents ambushed a security convoy early Monday and killed police commander in the remote Aab Kamari area.

Abdul Rasoul who was killed and a child the fruit was ambushed while on a journey that was said to help security forces in a remote outpost attacked by the Taliban. [gp]