These three things will change the world today.
1. Trump’s national security crackdown
US president Donald Trump will sign executive orders on immigration and border security over the next few days.
Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 25 January 2017
“Extreme vetting” of people coming from seven predominantly Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa is likely. Strict restrictions on refugee access will also include the suspension of visas.
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One of Trump’s key policy proposals during the presidential election campaign was to build a 2,000-mile wall along the Mexican border and “make the Mexicans pay for it”.
“We have seen legitimate cases of transnational terrorism of people travelling from one country to another to do terrorist acts. We have actually seen a number of them in western Europe, so a country putting in place prudent measures to interdict terrorist travel by making sure you are screening refugees and visa applicants appropriately is not in any way imprudent,” James Carafano, who led the Trump’s homeland security transition team told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Earlier this week, Trump pushed ahead with other controversial plans.
On Monday, he reinstated the “global gag rule,” banning funding for groups offering abortions or abortion advice.
And on Tuesday, he authorised the construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines — a serious blow to environmental activists.
The pipeline, spanning nearly 1,200 miles across six US states would transport over 800,000 barrels of petroleum daily from Canadian oil sands to US refineries in the Gulf coast.
On many occasions, Trump has challenged the scientific evidence for climate change and promised to create US jobs by expanding energy infrastructure.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 6 November 2012
“Donald Trump is making good on the most shameful and discriminatory promises he made on the campaign trail,” Trita Parsi, from the National Iranian American Council, told the BBC.
“He called for a Muslim ban and is now taking the first steps to implement one. This will not stand. The American people are better than this.”
2. Publish Brexit white paper, urge MPs
More than half a dozen Conservative MPs have called on the government to publish its plan for Brexit in a formal policy white paper document.
The request from MPs comes after the Supreme Court judgement yesterday; parliament must vote on whether the government can trigger article 50, the official EU exit clause.
Brexit secretary David Davis said the government would publish a bill “within days” and warned against any attempts to “thwart the will of the people.”
Consider for a moment that the government is facing calls for a white paper on the most important constitutional change since the war.
— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) 24 January 2017
A parliamentary bill paving the way for talks with the EU could be introduced as early as Thursday, according to the BBC.
British prime minister Theresa May hopes to trigger article 50 by the end of March this year.
3. Sexist dress codes could face a ban
British companies could be fined for imposing sexist dress codes discriminating against women in the workplace.
A joint parliamentary report, published today, was commissioned following the treatment of Nicola Thorp in May. The 27-year-old was sent home by the major accountancy firm PwC because she arrived at the office wearing flat shoes instead of high heels.
“We call on the Government to review this area of the law and to ask Parliament to change it, if necessary, to make it more effective,” said the Petitions Committee and Women and Equalities Committee in the report.
Its key recommendation was to enforce the Equality Act 2010 more vigorously, as well as giving employment tribunals the power to apply bigger financial penalties on companies imposing so-called sexist dress codes.
“Far too many employers are still stuck in the past when it comes to dress codes,” said Trades Union Congress (TUC) general secretary Frances O’Grady. “It is unacceptable that in 2017 bosses are still forcing women to wear painful, inappropriate shoes and uniforms. But with employment tribunals costing up to £1,200 — even if you’re on the minimum wage — many women can’t afford to challenge sexist policies.”
The report coincides with new research published today by the Chartered Management Institute, which revealed that four in five managers witnessed some form of gender discrimination or bias over the last 12 months.