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priorities
October 21, 2018

President Trump said Saturday he is reviewing a list of five candidates to replace outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, and he expects to announce a decision soon. "We'll have somebody great," the president pledged. "We're going to pick somebody very quickly."

Two of the candidates are men, and three are women, Trump said, telling reporters he "might prefer" to have a woman in the role. "I think it's become maybe a more glamorous position than it was two years ago," he said. "Maybe, I wonder why, but it is. [Haley has] made it a very glamorous position."

Haley's next step remains unknown, as she has insisted she will not run for the presidency in 2020. Bonnie Kristian

July 26, 2018

Now that President Trump has succeeded in achieving free and fair trade, supporting religious freedom, and generally just making America great again, he's ready to move on to other issues — namely, fixing Twitter.

Trump on Thursday tweeted that he would get the government involved in ending the platform's "shadow banning," an algorithm change that some Republicans say has led to suppressed engagement and fewer followers.

The president's favorite form of communication has been accused of bias against conservative figures, which the company has acknowledged and said it is trying to rectify. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) on Wednesday told The Hill that he felt "victimized and violated" by Twitter, accusing the company of trying to tamp down his free speech. "It's really frustrating to think that the marketplace of ideas couldn't accommodate the thoughts and musings that I contribute," he said.

Other Republicans, like Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), have allegedly been affected by the "shadow banning," with their profiles becoming more difficult to find and each tweet gaining fewer and fewer "impressions." The change came when Twitter began trying to bring less attention to "troll-like behaviors."

Twitter's product lead, Kayvon Beykpour, tweeted an explanation that the system wasn't actively suppressing users based on their political views, and promised that "we’re making a change today that will improve this." Summer Meza

February 7, 2018

President Trump has reportedly given orders to the Pentagon to prepare a military parade, inspired by the one that dazzled him on Bastille Day during his visit to France. Not everyone is enthusiastic about the idea: "The way to show our service members and veterans that we appreciate their service is to use the parade money to fund their health care and other services they need," Del. Eleanor H. Norton (D-District of Columbia) tweeted. Even military enthusiasts are grumbling.

The typically Trump-friendly Fox News hosts don't seem so thrilled, either. After a short segment on Trump's proposal, Fox & Friends' Brian Kilmeade muttered: "I don't know, it seems like a waste of money."

The Week's Peter Weber agrees. Read why he thinks Trump should personally foot the bill if he wants his parade here. Jeva Lange

February 6, 2018

President Trump held a meeting last month with the nation's top generals inside a secret room at the Pentagon, to discuss something that's been on his mind for months. Before you lock yourself in a panic room, relax — they weren't talking about North Korea or anything nuclear, just a military parade that Trump wants to see wend its way through Washington, D.C.

Two officials briefed on the meeting told The Washington Post the meeting was attended by Defense Secretary James Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Josepeh Dunford. "The marching orders were: I want a parade like the one in France," one official said. "This is being worked at the highest levels of the military." Trump was inspired by the Bastille Day celebration he witnessed in Paris last year, while a guest of French President Emmanuel Macron, and he couldn't get the image of marching troops and rolling tanks out of his head. Two months later during a meeting with Macron, he told reporters, "It was one of the greatest parades I've ever seen," adding, "we're going to have to try to top it."

There's no date set, the Post reports, although Trump would like it on a patriotic holiday like the Fourth of July and wants it to go along Pennsylvania Avenue, passing the Trump International Hotel. The cost of shipping symbols of U.S. military might is costly — it could add up to millions and millions of dollars — and it's yet to be decided who will pay for this. The whole thing sounds a bit off to people like presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, who told the Post: "I don't think there's a lack of love and respect for our armed forces in the United States. What are they going to do, stand there while Donald Trump waves at them? It smacks of something you see in a totalitarian country — unless there's a genuine, earnest reason to be doing it." Catherine Garcia

January 16, 2018

Negotiations concerning Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which indefinitely defers deportation for immigrants illegally brought to the United States as children, have stalled, but Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Tuesday participants shouldn't be too worried.

Deporting DACA registrants, who are also called DREAMers, is "not gonna be a priority of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement to prioritize their removal. I've said that before. That's not the policy of DHS," Nielsen said on CBS. She added that as long as DACA recipients are properly registered and do not commit any crimes, they will remain low priority for deportation "in perpetuity."

Nielsen did not say whether she has issued formal guidance to that effect, something critics say is necessary for her promise to be meaningful. At present, DREAMers are protected by a judge's order directing DHS to continue processing DACA renewal applications for prior registrants, a reversal of the Trump administration's September decision to rescind DACA, which included a six-month deadline for Congress to save the program.

Watch an excerpt of Nielsen's comments below. Bonnie Kristian

April 6, 2017

Israel's Labor Party isn't even going to try to compete with Britney Spears. The political party, one of the biggest in Israel, recently decided to change the date of its upcoming July 3 election because it fell on the same date as the pop star's first-ever concert in Tel Aviv. Instead, the Labor Party will cast ballots for its new chairperson one day later, on July 4.

A party spokesperson said the adjustment was made to "make it easier for people to reach polling stations" without fighting concert traffic, and also because they'd had "difficulty recruiting security guards" for the vote, as many were tied up with Spears' concert. The spokesperson did not say whether Labor Party members' burning desire to finally hear "Oops! ... I Did It Again" performed live factored into the decision. Becca Stanek

March 20, 2017

This week marks a big one for President Trump, with the Senate set to begin confirmation hearings Monday for his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, and the House eyeing Thursday to vote on the GOP health-care proposal to replace ObamaCare.

But none of that seems to be on the forefront of the president's mind, given he began the week with these tweets early Monday morning:

Granted, also Monday, the House Intelligence Committee will hold a rare public hearing on Russian involvement in the U.S. election, featuring testimonies from FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers. The intelligence community has concluded that Russia did meddle in last year's election, but to what extent and ends is unclear. But rather than redirect attention to his widely praised Supreme Court pick or replacing ObamaCare — a signature campaign promise — Trump insisted the "real story" is the leaking of classified information:

Later in the morning, the president took time to blast "Fake News CNN" for continuing its polling operation despite being a "WAY OFF disaster" during the election. He also made sure to praise Fox News for its "much higher ratings":

The Trump presidency is entering its ninth week — a week that could deliver its first major victories in Gorsuch and the American Health Care Act. But so far, Trump's last message of the morning is a simple one: Never forget he beat Hillary Clinton to win the presidency. Kimberly Alters

October 5, 2016

The Islamic State knows what it takes to successfully conquer territory, put down insurrection, and maintain religious purity, and the answer, of course, is to not allow cats to have sex inside of houses.

Learning from the mistakes of empires past — Rome, for instance, was notorious for letting cats get it on wherever they wanted — ISIS's Central Fatwa Committee has issued a ban on indoor cat breeding in Mosul, the last major city the terrorist organization controls in Iraq. "ISIS called on the residents of Mosul to obey the fatwa and not violate it," reported Al Sumaria News, an Iraqi outlet. "ISIS issued dozens of fatwas in Mosul based on its vision, ideology, and beliefs."

The ban comes as something of a surprise, since kittens have played a key role in ISIS's social media presence; fighters often pose with cats as a recruitment ploy to suggest life with ISIS has a lot of murder but also cute cuddle times. "Soft towards the creation of Allah," wrote one militant in the caption of a cat photo, "but fierce and harsh towards the disbelievers." Bonnie Kristian

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