Tag Archives: policy

Hospitals Deny Patients Organ Transplants for Smoking Weed

While the tension between state and federal laws has created a difficult situation for cannabis users, there’s another factor that is complicating the changing attitude towards weed: hospitals. Though it isn’t legally mandated, many hospitals won’t allow people who use weed to be placed on organ transplant waiting…

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Watch Trump and Justin Trudeau’s Joint White House Press Conference

On Monday, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau met with Donald Trump at the White House and tried to start off on the right foot with the new US president, CNN reports.

The president has already soured relations with Australia and Mexico after spats over the phone and on social media, but Trudeau—whose stance on refugees and trade stand in stark contrast to Trump's—is under pressure to stay on good terms with the American leader since his threat to renegotiate NAFTA could potentially hurt Canada's economy. 

According to the Associated Press, the two reportedly discussed trade, jobs, and women in the workforce. Earlier Monday afternoon, Trump and Trudeau held a roundtable discussion with some of the countries' top female business executives to lay the groundwork for a new task force called the United States Canada Council for the Advancement of Women Business Leaders-Female Entrepreneurs. Trump's daughter Ivanka—who recently had her merchandise pulled from Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and TJ Maxx—was reportedly in charge of recruiting the business leaders for the discussion. 

At around 2 PM, Trudeau and Trump will hold a joint press conference at the White House and answer questions from reporters regarding their meetings. Let's just hope they both make it through the day without a cringeworthy handshake, like the one Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe had to suffer last week. 

Watch the joint press conference at 2 PM via the livestream below.

Too Many Americans Don’t Know ‘Obamacare’ Is the Same Thing as the Affordable Care Act

As illustrated by numerous late-night Jimmy Kimmel spoofs, it's clear that there are still a lot of people in this country who are confused about what Obamacare is and what it does. However, thanks to a new poll, we now have a solid statistic—a third of Americans have no idea that Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are actually the same thing, the New York Times reports.

The Morning Construct survey polled 1,890 adults online and found that 35 percent of them either thought the two names belonged to different polices, or said they didn't know that they were names for the same healthcare law. Perhaps more worrisome, young people between the ages of 18 and 29 who made less than $50,000 seemed the most confused about Obama's signature healthcare act—a major demographic that the bill was designed to help.

Maybe even worse, when asked what would happen when "Obamacare" was repealed, roughly 44 percent of people did not realize that would mean a repeal of the Affordable Care Act—12 percent said a repeal of Obamacare would not result in a repeal of the ACA, and 32 percent said they didn't know. That means almost half of all Americans don't understand what would happen if Republicans went through with their plan to "repeal and replace" Obamacare. 

Additionally, 39 percent of people didn't know or incorrectly answered that Medicaid subsidies would not disappear if the Affordable Care Act was repealed, according to Business Insider. While 72 percent of Republicans polled knew that Obamacare was another name for the Affordable Care Act, only 47 percent of them said Medicaid coverage and subsidies would disappear should it be repealed. On the other hand, 79 percent of Democrats said Medicaid would be affected, something Bernie Sanders has vocally warned against while using a giant poster of Trump's tweet on the Senate floor. 

Although a large chunk of Americans are still clearly confused, they may have some time to educate themselves before Congress makes any moves on a repeal. Donald Trump had called on Congress to make repealing the Affordable Care Act a top priority, but now Republicans are reportedly looking into repairing the bill, rather than scrapping it altogether. 

According to the Morning Construct poll, 45 percent of Americans approved of Obamacare, and 46 percent said they disapprove, despite widespread confusion over its name.

How Ordinary British People Are Trying to Fight Trump’s Refugee Ban

Top photo: Demonstrators holding placards during a rally against President Donald Trump's Muslim ban. Photo by Steven Senne AP/Press Association Images

This post originally appeared on VICE UK.

Over the weekend, hundreds of thousands of people took to America's streets and airports to protest Donald Trump's "Muslim ban." An executive order signed by the president on January 27 suspended resettlement of Syrian refugees indefinitely, suspended all other refugee resettlement for 120 days, and banned anyone from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US for 90 days.

The order, which Trump says is about "keeping the country safe," has already faced huge opposition, with some critics arguing the order is unconstitutional, and many others pointing out that it will have absolutely no impact on the country's "safety" whatsoever—that the US is actually more under threat from American gun owners than any other group. Either way, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) promptly fought to block the order, on Saturday managed to convince a federal judge to grant an emergency stay to halt the deportation of people with valid visas who had already landed in the US, and raised more than $24 million this weekend.

However, the fight is far from over. It's easy to feel powerless wherever you are (in the UK, it doesn't help that the prime minister has so far refused to condemn the Muslim ban), but there are concrete actions you can take to help the battle—here are some of those:

Donations

The ACLU has promised to take action against Trump and his administration's "war on equality." Over the past weekend alone, it raised more than $24 million from more than 350,000 people, and you can donate here to help continue the fight. Sia is matching donations to the ACLU of up to $100,000, so send her a screenshot of your receipt here. Venture investor and entrepreneur Chris Sacca is matching donations of up to $25,000; tweet him here.

As well as the ACLU, you could also donate to smaller frontline community groups that need the support even more than the ACLU does. CAIR, CUNY CLEAR, Muslim Advocates, Muslim ARC, National Partnership for New Americans, New York Immigration Coalition, Families for Freedom, Dream Defenders, and Black Alliance for Just Immigration are just a few, and there are more listed here.

Grimes is matching donations of up to $10,000 to CAIR; you can tweet her proof of your donation here.

An anti-Trump protest in New York. Photo via Flickr user mal3k

Protests

There are plenty of protests taking place across the world, and all are a good way of showing solidarity. But as is often the case with these things, it's unlikely Trump or his administration are going to pay much attention to what the people demand. To get as much as you can out of protesting, aim as much pressure as you can directly at your government. World leaders might not be able to force Trump's hand, but at least they have his ear.

In the UK, there's a protest outside Downing Street at 6 PM tonight; head there to have your voice heard. There will also be a separate demo at the US embassy organized by Stop the War Coalition, Stand Up to Racism, and the Muslim Council of Britain on February 4.

Many other protests are happening in cities across the country today, including Edinburgh, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, and Leicester. There are 30 in all so far; see here for a full list.

Other Actions

If you have a spare room or are otherwise able to offer people stuck in the UK a place to stay, you can do so here.

This petition aims to prevent Donald Trump from making a state visit to the UK. It's awkwardly worded and calls for the visit to be canceled due to "embarrassment to the Queen" rather than "Trump's bigotry and general awfulness," but it already has more than 1,000,000 signatures. Downing Street has dismissed the petition as a "populist gesture" and said that canceling the visit would undo everything May "achieved" in Washington. And yes, it is an e-petition, the absolute epitome of clicktivism. But seeing as it's already surpassed the 100,000 signatures it needs to be debated in Parliament, if you oppose Trump and the idea of him visiting the UK, sign the petition to show the scale of opposition against him and his policies. A date is yet to be set for the issue to be debated.

You can also write to your local MP and ask that he or she represent your views in Parliament. Here are some other ways you can contact your MP and the best way to go about it.

Advice

You can find an advice sheet for nationals from the seven banned countries here, which lays out if and how you should go about traveling to and from the US.

Follow Marianne Eloise on Twitter. 

Follow Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff on  Twitter.

Trump’s New White House Website Doesn’t Mention Civil Rights

Along with taking over the official @POTUS Twitter handle, Donald Trump got the keys to the White House website. Unsurprisingly, he's made some changes—erasing Barack Obama's digital legacy and replacing it with, well, not much. 

For instance, references to climate change have been deleted, and in place of Obama's in-depth "Issues" section, which included pages on civil rights, poverty, and violence prevention, among other topics, Trump's administration has put up some vague outlines for six different issues he'd like to tackle as president, including energy and law enforcement.

The new White House promises to target what it describes as a "dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America," pledges in two different places to "rebuild" America's allegedly depleted military, and vows to slash regulations (including those intended to fight climate change) and reduce taxes—all Trump campaign promises. But curiously, there's nothing at all about healthcare reform, which is the first major political fight of the administration. 

There's also nothing on the Nominations & Appointments page—so it's possible that any omission is just the result of a brand new website not being 100-percent complete, rather than a conscious decision.

Oh, also a bit called "Trade Deals Working for All Americans" appears in its own section and in the section titled "America First Foreign Policy." Is it supposed to be like that?