Top News Stories for Today – January 21, 2017
Trump to attend National Prayer Service
President Donald Trump will spend his first morning in office at the National Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral, following a longstanding tradition that dates to the United States’ first president. The interfaith ceremony will host 26 religious leaders representing the Catholic, Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, and Baha’i traditions.
Among notable attendees are Dr. Alveda King, a niece of Dr. Martin Luther King; Imam Mohamed Magid of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center; and Cissie Graham Lynch, the granddaughter of evangelist Billy Graham. The event “will be in keeping with the uniting and uplifting inaugural events, demonstrating President-elect Trump’s commitment to be president for all Americans,” said a statement from the inaugural committee before the inauguration. ABC News, Christianity Today
Estimated 200,000 women to march in Washington
Some 200,000 women are expected to descend on the capital on Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington, an organized protest of the new Donald Trump administration anticipated to contrast both with Trump’s inauguration Friday and the smaller and occasionally violent protests that attended it.
“The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights,” says the march website, which includes a mission statement as well as guiding principles for the event. “We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.” Initially suggested by a grandmother from Hawaii, the march has ballooned into a national movement with celebrity support and sister marches scheduled Saturday in state capitals around the country. The Associated Press, The Hill
Trump signs executive order on ObamaCare
Hours after he was sworn in on Friday, President Trump signed an executive order making it his administration’s official policy “to seek the prompt repeal” of the Affordable Care Act, though he can’t repeal it without a bill from Congress.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the order’s goal is “minimizing the economic burden” of “ObamaCare,” giving the Health and Human Services Department and other federal agencies discretion to try and ease the “fiscal burden” the law purportedly places on states, health care companies, and individuals. Priebus also issued a memo telling all executive agencies to freeze pending regulations and delay enacting ones already approved. Also Friday, the White House announced the Trump administration’s intention to develop a sophisticated missile defense system to protect the US. against Iran and North Korea, as well as an intent to eliminate the Climate Action Plan and the cancellation of a Housing and Urban Development program to reduce certain mortgage fees. CNN, The Associated Press
Defense and homeland security secretaries swear in
After confirming Defense Secretary James Mattis on Friday evening by a 98-1 vote, the Senate approved the nomination of former retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly as secretary of homeland security, 88-11. Vice President Mike Pence swore them in just after 7:30 p.m. local time.
Kelly, who retired last year as head of the US. Southern Command, will take over a department with more than 240,000 employees who oversee everything from border security to protecting the president and America’s electrical grid. Mattis will be in charge of the Defense Department’s $580 billion budget and its 1.9 million active-duty service members and reservists. Trump said at a luncheon after his inauguration that Mattis and Kelly were straight from “central casting,” pointing specifically to his new defense secretary. “If I’m doing a movie, I’d pick you, Gen. Mattis,” he said. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) is expected to be confirmed as CIA director on Monday. The Associated Press, The Washington Post
World leaders on US inauguration
President Donald Trump received messages of congratulations and concern from across the globe after he was sworn into office Friday, delivering an inaugural address that heavily emphasized an “America first” stance.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto each expressed a desire to strengthen their countries’ respective ties with the US, while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement he looks forward to working with Trump “to restore prosperity to the middle class.” Pope Francis encouraged Trump to be guided by America’s “rich spiritual and ethical values.” Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the de facto leader of the European Union, visited an art museum instead of listening to Trump’s inaugural address. ABC News, CBS News
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