Tag Archives: funding

Tunisia in Transition Braces for IMF Visit as Funding Needs Rise

Tunisia in Transition Braces for IMF Visit as Funding Needs Rise(Bloomberg) — Tunisia’s turbulent political scene faces a new potential obstacle, as the government prepares to receive an IMF mission to discuss its economic program while also planning to raise external financing by about 10%.The International Monetary Fund’s mission is slated to begin Oct. 8, five days before a tightly contested presidential run-off vote between two political outsiders. Around the same time, parliament is due to start discussing a draft budget for 2020.That document will likely be a key issue for the IMF before it approves the next installment of a $ 2.9 billion loan it extended to Tunisia in 2016. The government has butted heads with the Washington-based lender over enacting its program before, as it tries to balance spending cuts with keeping a lid on discontent spurred by issues such as high youth unemployment.Economic growth slowed to 1.1% in the first six months of 2019, less than half the pace of expansion during the same period the year before. Tunisia’s 2011 ouster of then-leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was the spark for the Arab Spring that roiled the region, but the subsequent failures of nine consecutive governments paved the way for the drubbing of veteran politicians in last month’s presidential elections.Under the draft budget, the North African country will require 8.8 billion dinars ($ 3.1 billion) in external financing and another 3 billion dinars in domestic funding, according to an official familiar with the government’s plans. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the figures have yet to be made public. External financing needs were 8 billion dinars in 2019.The next review could contain “commitments” by the government “on the choices and reforms to be undertaken,” Major Reforms Minister Taoufik Rajhi was quoted as saying by the state-run TAP news agency. “The sixth review is necessary to ensure the financing of the 2020 budget.”Separately, Rajhi told Bloomberg that no decision had been taken on the methods, size or timing of the potential external funding. Tunisia sold 700 million euros ($ 766 million) in international bonds in July.IMF Urges Tunisia Discipline After Flouting of Wages AdvicePrevious run-ins between the government and IMF have resulted in the delay of the payout of at least one loan installment, further squeezing the country’s finances and leaving it for a time with reserves to cover less than three months of imports.To contact the reporter on this story: Jihen Laghmari in Cairo at jlaghmari@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at asalha@bloomberg.net, Tarek El-Tablawy, Michael GunnFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Texas capital of Austin approves first-in-the-nation funding for abortion transportation, lodging, child care

Texas capital of Austin approves first-in-the-nation funding for abortion transportation, lodging, child careAustin, Texas, has become the first city in the nation to approve funding for abortion access services such as transportation, advocates said.



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GOP rejects cuts to wall funding, Dems threaten filibuster

GOP rejects cuts to wall funding, Dems threaten filibusterA Republican-controlled Senate committee on Thursday rejected Democratic attempts to cut President Donald Trump’s latest border wall request and prevent him from again funding the project without congressional approval. Democrats threatened to filibuster a Pentagon spending bill. The Senate Appropriations Committee lined up behind Trump in party-line votes giving preliminary, tentative approval to Trump’s latest $ 5 billion wall request and blocking a Democratic attempt to prevent Trump from transferring additional Pentagon funds to build the border barrier.



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More than 120 U.S. military construction projects to be hurt by Trump's border wall funding

More than 120 U.S. military construction projects to be hurt by Trump's border wall fundingMore than 120 U.S. military construction projects will be adversely affected as the Pentagon prepares to use $ 3.6 billion to help build or enhance 175 miles (282 km) of the border wall with Mexico, U.S. officials said on Tuesday. Earlier this year, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. The emergency declaration allows the Trump administration to use money from the military construction budget and the Pentagon has said it could use $ 3.6 billion from the budget.



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More than 120 U.S. military construction projects to be hurt by Trump's border wall funding

More than 120 U.S. military construction projects to be hurt by Trump's border wall fundingMore than 120 U.S. military construction projects will be adversely affected as the Pentagon prepares to use $ 3.6 billion to help build or enhance 175 miles (282 km) of the border wall with Mexico, U.S. officials said on Tuesday. Earlier this year, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. The emergency declaration allows the Trump administration to use money from the military construction budget and the Pentagon has said it could use $ 3.6 billion from the budget.



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Planned Parenthood Refuses Title X Funding in Response to Trump Administration Restrictions

Planned Parenthood Refuses Title X Funding in Response to Trump Administration RestrictionsPlanned Parenthood will refuse all Title X funding rather than comply with the Trump administration's restrictions governing the discussion of abortion at clinics that participate in the program, the group announced Monday.Planned Parenthood decided to abandon Title X, which accounts for roughly 15 percent of its overall federal funding each year, in response to a Trump administration rule barring clinics that participate in the program from referring women to abortion providers.“When you have an unethical rule that will limit what providers can tell our patients, it becomes really important that we not agree to be in the program. But to be clear we’re doing that because we’re being forced out,” the group said in a Monday statement. “Trump’s administration is trying to force us to keep information from our patients. The gag rule is unethical, dangerous, and we will not subject our patients to it.”Prior to its withdrawal, Planned Parenthood was receiving $ 60 million of the $ 286 million allocated annually through Title X. The organization will continue to receive roughly $ 500 million in annual Medicaid reimbursements from the federal government.A federal appeals court ruled in July that the Trump administration's rule change could take effect while a lawsuit, brought by Planned Parenthood and other groups in February, runs its course. The Department of Health and Human Services then gave Planned Parenthood until August 19 to submit a plan demonstrating that it would make “good faith efforts” to comply with the new rule. Planned Parenthood requested a stay from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week that would have delayed the rule-implementation deadline its legal challenge was resolved, but the court rejected that request.The March for Life, a leading pro-life advocacy group, suggested that Planned Parenthood's decision confirmed the group prioritizes abortion over women's health care. Earlier this month, Planned Parenthood fired its president, Leana Wen, after less than a year, for being insufficiently zealous in her defense of abortion rights.“Planned Parenthood, our nation’s largest abortion provider, today made a choice not to separate its abortion operation from Title X services, and in doing [so] declined Title X funding, which makes up approximately four percent of their annual budget,” said March for Life president Jeanne Mancini. “Abortion is neither healthcare nor family planning and taxpayer dollars should not support abortion. Leana Wen’s recent firing and Planned Parenthood’s decision today doubles down on their ultimate goal, which is political abortion advocacy, not healthcare.”



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Jon Stewart Eviscerates Rand Paul for Blocking 9/11 Victim Funding: ‘It’s an Abomination’

Jon Stewart Eviscerates Rand Paul for Blocking 9/11 Victim Funding: ‘It’s an Abomination’One month ago, former Daily Show host Jon Stewart went on Fox News to shame Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for failing to protect 9/11 first responders. Wednesday afternoon, he was back on that network to give his fellow Republican senator from Kentucky a piece of his mind. In an interview with Bret Baier, Stewart immediately took aim at Rand Paul who, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), blocked a Senate bill that would extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, making the case that it should be offset by other spending cuts.  Responding directly to Paul, Stewart called his objection “absolutely outrageous,” adding, “Pardon me if I’m not impressed in any way by Rand Paul’s fiscal responsibility virtue signaling.” Jon Stewart Fires Back at Mitch McConnell on ‘Colbert’: Stop ‘Jacking Around’ 9/11 First RespondersStewart went on to condemn Paul for supporting President Trump’s $ 1.5 trillion tax cut that “added hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit” and now trying to “balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community.” “Bret, this is about what kind of society we have,” a clearly furious Stewart continued. “At some point, we have to stand up for the people who have always stood up for us, and at this moment in time maybe cannot stand up for themselves due to their illnesses and their injuries. And what Rand Paul did today on the floor of the Senate was outrageous.” “He is a guy who put us in hundreds of billions of dollars in debt,” he said of Paul. “And now he’s going to tell us that a billion dollars a year over 10 years is just too much for us to handle? You know, there are some things that they have no trouble putting on the credit card, but somehow when it comes to the 9/11 first responder community—the cops, the firefighters, the construction workers, the volunteers, the survivors—all of a sudden we’ve got to go through this.” Appearing next to Stewart was 9/11 first responder and activist John Feal, who thanked the host and Fox News as a whole for being so “generous” with their time on this issue before calling Senators Paul and Lee “bottom-feeders” who “lack humanity” and “lack leadership.”Stewart said survivors like Feal and others shouldn’t have to “drag themselves back to Washington, put their hats in their hands and beg for something that this country should have done 14 years ago,” adding, “It’s an abomination.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Alexander Acosta: Trump official who helped paedophile Epstein evade prosecution wants to slash funding for fighting child sex trafficking

Alexander Acosta: Trump official who helped paedophile Epstein evade prosecution wants to slash funding for fighting child sex traffickingAlexander Acosta \- who was recently found out to have helped paedophile Jeffery Epstein evade justice – now wants to cut 80 per cent of funding to the government agency that combats child sex trafficking. The US labour secretary plans to reduce the International Labour Affairs Bureau’s (ILAB) funding from $ 68m to $ 18.5m in the Department of Labours' 2020 fiscal year. ​The ILAB works to combat human trafficking and forced labour, particularly with cases of children.Mr Acosta came under fire after it emerged that he had granted Epstein immunity from federal prosecution in 2008 while he was being investigated for his part in a child sex trafficking ring. The reduction of funds has been heavily criticised by congress members, including Katherine Clark, a Massachusetts Democrat who called Mr Acosta’s proposal “reckless” and “immoral”. Speaking to The Guardian, Ms Clark said this funding cut shows a pattern: “Like so many in this administration Mr Acosta chooses the powerful and wealthy over the vulnerable and victims of sexual assault and it is time that he finds another line of work.”“I’m sure this is a very uncomfortable topic for him,” Ms Clark said, “but I don’t think he should be able to hide from it.”Mr Acosta has been facing growing pressure from Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi to resign in the wake of the revelation of the 2008 plea deal that he had oversaw, where an FBI investigation concentrating on Mr Epstein’s relationships with over 30 potentially underage girls was shut down. Epstein pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of solicitation in the state, and the children were labelled prostitutes. Epstein served just 13 months in a Florida minimum security prison.Donald Trump has attempted to minimise Mr Acosta’s role in the 2008 deal, saying: “I hear there were a lot of people involved in that decision, not just him.”Mr Trump also noted Mr Acosta was “an excellent secretary of labour” and said: “The rest of it we’ll have to look at very carefully but you are talking about a long time ago.”



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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Speaker Nancy Pelosi attack each other over border funding vote

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Speaker Nancy Pelosi attack each other over border funding voteRepublican strategist Kimberly Klacik and Democratic strategist Kevin Walling weigh in on the divide in the Democratic Party as we head into the 2020 election cycle.



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Trump appeals U.S. judge's border wall funding ruling

Trump appeals U.S. judge's border wall funding rulingU.S. Department of Justice lawyers said in a court filing that they were formally appealing Friday’s ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “[W]e’re immediately appealing it, and we think we’ll win the appeal,” Trump said during a press conference on Saturday at a summit of leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies in Japan. “There was no reason that that should’ve happened,” Trump said.



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