As the world becomes smaller thanks to technological advances in communication and transportation, enterprises in general become bigger and more efficient. Unfortunately, this includes the human trafficking business. Human trafficking is the modern form of slavery, with illegal smuggling and trading of people, for forced labor or sex. Men and woman, boys and girls around the world find themselves in real slavery. The International Labor Organization (ILO) now estimates that the slavery industry is worth approximately $150 billion and that almost two-thirds of that annual profit ($100 billion) is from commercial sex slavery, according to Time.com. There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today. Full Story
The Senate voted along party lines Tuesday to repeal an Obama-era regulation restricting the scope of drug testing that states could require for recipients of unemployment benefits.
The measure overturning a Labor Department rule, which limited the industries for which states could mandate drug testing as a prerequisite for receiving unemployment benefits, passed 51-48.
President Donald Trump is expected to sign it into law, making the drug-testing rule the eighth Obama administration regulation that the Republican Congress has successfully killed this year through the previously little-used Congressional Review Act. That two-decade-old law allows lawmakers to scrap recently finalized executive-branch regulations through a resolution of disapproval, which can be passed with simple majorities in the House and Senate.
The move was opposed by civil rights groups and labor unions, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the AFL-CIO.
Politico reports that in order to get the White House’s attention, the Afghan government is ” has pitched Trump on its vast mineral reserves” that “
Afghan officials say Trump, a veteran deal-maker, appears to be listening. “This is the first administration that is focused on Afghanistan’s economic potential, and we welcome that,” said Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Washington.
In a Dec. 3 phone call, Trump and Ghani discussed Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, whose value a Pentagon study has estimated at up to $1 trillion. An official Afghan readout of the call said that Trump told Ghani the U.S. wants to help Afghanistan develop its “tremendous natural resources.”
Perhaps the most notable of Afghanistan’s buried treasures are its large quantities of lithium, a silvery, soft metal crucial to laptop and cellphone batteries that’s sometimes called the oil of the future. A 2010 Pentagon memo concluded that Afghanistan could one day become “the Saudi Arabia of lithium.”
While few people associate impoverished and war-torn Afghanistan with high technology manufacturing, Kabul’s leaders believe they have a receptive audience in the White House. Trump officials, Mohib added, “are interested in minerals — specifically lithium.’” Also, “Other countries are trying out their own pitches. Japan’s prime minister has presented Trump a plan to create 700,000 new jobs through joint projects. European diplomats are touting trans-Atlantic commerce and job creation. Even Iraqi officials are promoting the value of their oil industry for U.S. investment, though they adamantly reject Trump’s “take the oil” bluster.”
President Donald Trump had a meeting with the Afghanistan ambassador.
According to IJR, during this Q and A, the Afghan ambassador was asked about the current American administration and how the people of Afghanistan viewed President Trump. Those listening were stunned at his answer.
The ambassador gave a candid response, that provided insight into two very different men.
His full response to the question:
“I’ve personally met with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago and the president has had two phone conversations with President Ghani [The president of Afghanistan]. One call was after he won the election and one after [Trump] became president. Before the calls, we were advised to keep conversations short because, we were told, Trump will not be interested in the details of the call and does not have a long attention span, so it would be pointless to have a long call. However, we were pleasantly surprised at how much time President Trump spent asking very informed questions. The first time the presidents spoke, the questions Trump asked impressed us. “How can you win in this fight [against terrorism]?” he asked. “What do you need to become financially independent?” and “How can American business invest in Afghanistan? How can we develop businesses and mining in your country?”
Trump would listen intently after each question, often asking follow-ups. Trump’s second call with our president was even longer than the first. Asking these types of questions for our country is something the Obama administration never did. The Obama administration was the most academic administration we have ever had to deal with but the Trump administration has been the most thoughtful and intelligent.
Trump continually asked “How can you win? What does Afghanistan need to win?” in reference to our fight with terrorism. Trump wants to win. Sincerely. All the Obama administration wanted to do was not lose. The Obama administration was hesitant with us. The enemy could sense that. When the Obama administration announced its plans to pull troops out of the region, they announced the exact date they would do it. All our enemies had to do was wait [Obama] out. They knew the date they had to hang on until — which gave them the will to fight. They used that time to recruit and build up resources. To bring real reform, we must be able to defeat enemies outside our country and inside. We must overthrow the Afghan warlords who are profiteering off the war. Every time we tried to remove one of them from power, [Secretary John] Kerry would say “no” because it would potentially make it unstable and require more troops be brought in. The entire Obama administration was too cautious, but Kerry was the most cautious. Perhaps the Obama administration was fatigued by the time we assumed power. [President Ghani assumed power in September of 2014.] But Trump is very different from Obama in this way.”