Minister of the Environment Leads Great But Trump Defends Him

First-class travel, permanent bodyguards, excessive spending, very advantageous rent: the spending scandal of Donald Trump's environment minister swells, but the US president reiterated his support, satisfied with his action.

Scott Pruitt has headed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) since last year, tasked with one of the Trump Presidency's priority missions: to dismantle Barack Obama's environmental record.

Oklahoma, where he had built his reputation as an advocate for the fossil industries as Attorney General, he got on with his new job with such zeal that he is now thanked by Donald Trump, who had not been so lenient to Ministers of Health or Veterans Affairs.

List of Potential Ethical Violations by EPA Administrator Grows Yet Every Week of Revelations Made by Medics ias and elected congressional Democrats

Scott Pruitt has indeed traveled a lot in first class, accompanied by numerous bodyguards. A safety precaution, justified the EPA, evoking threats … But the argument collapsed when it was learned that Mr. Pruitt, for personal trips he had to pay from his pocket, was content to

The number of bodyguards is plethoric, compared to its predecessors: 19 agents and 19 vehicles, for protection 24 hours a day, according to CNN. Democrat Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who was contacted confidentially by EPA officials, estimates that the number was 30 in a six-week period.

By comparison, Gina McCarthy, who was in the same post under Barack Obama, had only half a dozen, and was traveling alone on weekends. Another administrator, under George W. Bush, Christine Todd, told CNN that she was walking to work alone.

– 'Preferential treatment' –

Scott Pruitt is also charged with having transferred a bodyguard who had refused to activate the sirens on his vehicle because the Minister was late for a dinner because it was not an emergency.

He allegedly ordered excessive expenses such as installing a secure phone booth in his office ($ 43,000). At least five public servants who opposed other spending plans, such as buying an armored office or renting a private plane on a monthly basis, were dismissed or sacked, according to the New York Times.

Not to mention the particularly advantageous lease signed by Scott Pruitt for his nights in Washington: an apartment rented $ 50 a night to a lobbyist, well below market prices.

The US president has, surprisingly, conceded that his minister was relatively expensive

"Although security spending is somewhat higher than its predecessors, Scott Pruitt has received death threats because of his bold action at the EPA," tweeted Donald Trump. "Exceptionally clean air and water, while saving billions of dollars in the US"

"Rent was about the price of the market, travel expenses OK Scott does a great job!"

If the presidential tweet clears the sky in the short term, it does not put an end to the affair.

The Inspector General of the EPA investigates, and the Democratic Opposition of the Congress continues to discover overwhelming facts, referred by EPA officials who regard Pruitt as the agency's gravedigger and benefit from a law allowing them to confidentially confide in parliamentarians to denounce ethical violations.

"While security issues are extremely important, personal security should never be used as a pretext for obtaining preferential treatment," wrote Senator Sheldon Whitehouse to the Inspector General of the EPA. [19659002ManyelectedDemocratsandthreeRepublicanscalledforhisresignationTherestofthemajority'selectedofficialsareincreasinglyreluctanttodefendit

Trey Gowdy, Chair of the House Government Control Commission, has said in response to an environmental activist that he "lost patience" for this kind of behavior.

But as long as the President maintains his trust, Scott Pruitt is assured of keeping his job.

Trump Minister of the Environment on the run for his expenses

US President Donald Trump provided ambiguous support Tuesday to his environment minister, Scott Pruitt, whose travel at taxpayer expense and a very advantageous lease to Washington are scrutinized in Congress, a elected by the majority calling for his resignation.

"I hope he will be fine," the White House leader told reporters without confirming whether he still supported his minister.

Scott Pruitt has for several months been accused of excessive use of Government fleet aircraft or first class tickets on scheduled routes.

A trip to Italy for a meeting of Ministers of the United States G7 and a private tour of the Vatican cost $ 120,000 last summer for Scott Pruitt, EPA advisers and his bodyguards, according to CBS.

The EPA is hammering out all the dice have complied with the internal validation rules.

But these revelations add to others regarding other Trump government ministers and Democrats from a congressional oversight committee have denounced the Trump administration's "extravagant airlift spending," demanding

The Republican-controlled House Committee opened an inquiry last September into the whole range of travel practices of the administration.

Scott Pruitt is also in the crosshairs of Democrats and associations after the revelation that he was paying only $ 50 a night to rent a three-bedroom apartment near the Capitol, partially owned by a Washington lobbyist. The lobbyist's husband is also the president of a major lobbying firm, one of whom was given EPA approval for an oil pipeline last year.

The firm, Williams & Jensen, said in the New York Times that he had not intervened in this matter, and the EPA denied any connection.

Two elected Democrats wrote to the Inspector General of the EPA asking him to to open an inquiry, because not only was the price of $ 50 per night below market price, but Scott Pruitt only paid for the nights he actually spent in the apartment.

"Clauses (of lease) were so in favor of Pruitt that such a lease does not even exist on the market for ordinary citizens, "said representatives Ted Lieu and Don Beyer.

And a Republican representative, Carlos Curbelo, even called on Tuesday for the resignation of the administrator of the EPA, who has rank of minister in the government am

"Apart from our political differences, Scott Pruitt's corruption scandals are a shame for the administration, and his behavior represents a profound lack of respect for American taxpayers. It is time for him to resign or for the president to oust him, "tweeted the elected representative of the majority.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif has been declared unfit to lead his party

Pakistan's highest court has ordered deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif of the ruling PML-N party to be dismissed as party leader.

The Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday (21/2) also annulled all decisions made by Sharif disqualified as a member of the National Assembly last year.

"As a result of the above statement, all steps taken, orders issued, directives given and documents issued by the Respondent No. 4 as Party Chairman after disqualification on 28 July 2017 "

Sharif was removed from his post as prime minister in a widely publicized case and called the Panama Papers scandal, for not announcing his salary from his son's company as part of his assets in his candidacy documents.

Sharif m claiming the decision was part of an influential military conspiracy in Pakistan to remove it from the political world.

The decision was seen as a major blow to Sharif and his party for potentially affecting the upcoming Senate election as well as the parliamentary elections won by Sharif's party. [19659002] As party leader, Sharif signed a candidate's candidacy bid. A senior journalist, Suhail Waraich argues, the election commission may be compromised by the ruling party. [my/jm]

13 People Killed in Heli Crash by Mexican Minister

Mexico City
 At least 13 people were killed when a Mexican military helicopter crashed while reviewing earthquake damage in a small town in the southern state of Oaxaca. The three helicopters carrying Mexican Interior Minister Alfonso Navarete and Governor Oaxaca Alejandro Murat fell on two vans in an open field while trying to land on the ground. Santiago Jamiltepec

Navarete and Murat survived the incident. But 12 people at the scene were killed and another died while being taken to the hospital, the Oaksaca attorney general's office said. In addition, 15 others suffered injuries.

Previously reported, Navarete and Murat made visits to earthquake-affected locations using military helicopters. But the incident happened on the way to Pinotepa de Don Luis on Friday (16/2) evening local time.

In his statement to the local television, Televisa, Navarete said he and Murat were not seriously injured. Several other passengers were injured in the incident.

Navarete said the military helicopter pilot that he was riding lost control of the landing. The incident occurred when the helicopter was at an altitude of just 40 meters above the Earth's surface. The helicopter airs from Mexico City to Pinotepa de Don Luis.

One of Televisa's reporters who was also in the same helicopter said that the helicopter suddenly dropped after it triggered a large dust collection at the landing site. Local television shows showed the military helicopter rolling to the side, surrounded by vehicles. The exact cause of this incident has not been publicly disclosed.

A magnitude 7.2 earthquake caused nearly a million homes and businesses without electricity in Mexico City and south and damaged at least 50 houses in Oaxaca. It was reported that the quake did not trigger any casualties.

In September, Oaxaca and Mexico City were rocked by an earthquake that caused extensive damage and killed at least 471 people.

[Gambas:Video 20detik]

(jbr / zak)

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Nepalese Communist Leader Elected to Prime Minister

K.P. Sharma Oli has been elected a new Nepalese prime minister after leading an alliance of two communist parties to victory in recent parliamentary elections.

A spokesman for the presidential office said Oli was appointed to form a new government after November and December elections passed Wednesday night (14/2). The result left Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba resigned Thursday morning after eight months in office.

Also read: Ignore India, Nepal Turns to China

Oil , 65, served as prime minister from 2015 to 2016, amid Nepal's transition from a monarchy to a federal republic. During his tenure, demonstrations on the constitution led to a blockade that paralyzed the India-Nepal border by New Delhi, which pushed Nepal into closer diplomatic relations with its neighbor China.

The country in the impoverished Himalayan mountains is gripped by political instability since its formation an elected parliament in 1990, including a decade-long Maoist insurgency and the abolition of the monarchy in 2008. [lt]