FROM CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE TO FINANCIAL BURDEN: HOW TRUMP CHANGED DISCOURSE ON TRANSGENDER INCLUSION IN MILITARY
Donald Trump has reversed yet another policy decision ushered in by the Obama administration. In a setback to the transgender community, Trump banned transgender individuals to serve in the army in any capacity – a ban that was lifted only months before his victory. The US military, according to Trump, must not be “burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that the transgender in the military would entail”.
Politico, however, cites another reason for Trump’s surprise announcement. In order to clear a spending bill which would provide funding for his promised military spending and border wall plans, Trump readily gave into threats from Republican hardliners. Whatever the reason, the contrast between Trump and the previous administration’s view on the issue could not be starker. In 2015, vice president Joseph R. Biden Jr. had called transgender rights “the civil rights issue of our times”.
RACIST BARBS CUT MICHELLE OBAMA DEEP
Michelle Obama just said something which a lot of Americans already knew. Despite being the first lady of the US for nearly a decade, there are people who would refuse to see beyond her skin colour. “After eight years of working really hard for this country, there are still people who won’t see me for what I am because of my skin color,” Obama said.
From being dismissed for having a gorilla face to being called an “ape in heels”, America’s first Black first lady has endured barbs about her race both subtly and directly. At times, as they often are, the gibes would be both racist and sexist, and as Obama has confessed now, she cannot pretend that they did not hurt. “We are living with small tiny cuts, and we are bleeding every single day. And we’re still getting up,” she said.
MERKEL’S NEW FOES: REFUGEES SHE WELCOMED
Angela Merkel, who as recently as last week said that she would not cap the number of asylum seekers Germany would admit, has new foes in her country. While she has been reproached immensely for her stand on migration into Germany by nativists and political opponents alike, Merkel is also facing opposition from an unexpected quarter: from refugees she welcomed.
Migrants seeking relief from the Syrian civil war are now deluging German courts suing the Merkel government for limiting their rights. And the courts are struggling to keep up, even as there is a 90 percent success rate on appeal. According to some estimates, around 250,000 asylum appeals – by migrants who have been denied protection or given less than they were expecting – are pending across Germany. In the face of growing public opinion against the country’s open-door policy, the German government has sought to limit migrants’ rights.
NOT EASY TO BE MUSLIM IN TRUMP’S AMERICA
Half of America’s Muslims think that it has become harder to be Muslim in the U.S. in recent years. More than 60 percent of the American Muslims surveyed by the Pew Research Center said that there is a lot of discrimination against their religious group, Donald Trump worries them and that other Americans do not see Islam as part of the mainstream American society.
Under Barrack Obama, in contrast, most Muslims thought the country was headed in the right direction and viewed the president as friendly toward them. Now, nearly two-thirds of them are dissatisfied with the state of affairs in their country. But Trump is not the first Republican president under whom Muslims feel alienated. A decade ago, with George W. Bush in the White House too, the community looked askance at the establishment.
MAGAZINE BANNED IN UAE FOR ‘FALSE NEWS’
The Arabian Business had recently reported that courts in Dubai were in the process of liquidating dozens of failed real-estate projects in the city. Days later, the popular magazine and website have been banned in the UAE. “The magazine committed violation of the rules and regulations of Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) by publishing false news that was based on inaccurate information,” a statement released by the media office of Dubai said.
Curiously, the ban came after the Arabian Business deleted the article and posted an apology on its website. In fact, it had gone on to call the piece an “oversight”, conceding that it related to projects dating from 2010 that are “now outdated”. Yet, the piece which was by then picked up by other publications left the authorities enraged.