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Portuguese government condemns high court’s budget rejection

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Portugal’s centre-right government on Saturday condemned the constitutional court’s rejection of several aspects of the country’s tough 2013 budget, saying that the decision “makes it difficult” to make budget cuts promised to creditors.

The court’s decision would have “a negative impact” on the austerity programme underway, said government spokesman Luis Marques Guedes.

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He said that the Portuguese prime minister had requested an emergency meeting with President Anibal Cavaco Silva to discuss the situation.

On Friday the court ruled that some measures in the budget were unlawful, including the scrapping of a 14th month of salary for civil servants and retirees, as well as cuts to unemployment and sickness benefits.

The rulings — at a time of mounting public anger over the deepening austerity — could compromise the government’s need to apply tough budget measures to meet the terms of a 78-billion-euro ($100 billion) EU-IMF bail-out that was granted in 2011.

Local media said the court decision would see the state lose out on about 1.2 billion euros in savings.

“It’s the laws that need to conform to the constitution and not the other way around,” court president Joaquim Sousa Ribeiro said Friday in a statement, adding that the decision covered all of 2013 and therefore carries retroactive powers.

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The 2013 austerity budget, approved by parliament last year, was expected to bring Portugal 5.3 billion euros in savings, 80 percent financed by tax increases that Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar has called “enormous” but indispensable to pull the bailed-out eurozone country out of the crisis.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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WATCH: Protester scales Secret Service building to spray-paint profane anti-Trump message

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On Friday, protests around the country continued against the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

As CNN covered shots of protests in Washington, D.C., one demonstrator could clearly be seen scaling a Secret Service building, before taking out a can of spray paint and writing "F**K TRUMP" on the edifice.

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Some commenters on social media noticed, and tweeted their support for the protester.

Just watched this white boy hero climb these bars & spray paint "FUCK TRUMP" on live TV. #BlackLivesMatter @CNN pic.twitter.com/89nLCK52fc

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Trump aide told investigators Paul Manafort began spreading Ukraine conspiracy theories as soon as DNC server hack was revealed

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On Friday, a new batch of documents recording the interviews former special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors held with aides to President Donald Trump was released, as part of a Freedom of Information Act request by BuzzFeed News.

One of the revelations in the interviews with Rick Gates, who served as an aide to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was that Manafort began pushing conspiracy theories about Ukraine at the same time that the Russian hack into the Democratic National Committee became publicly known.

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CNN’s Jim Acosta walks through all the times Trump has ‘thrown gasoline’ on racial tension

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On CNN Friday, following President Donald Trump's abrupt exit from a press conference following a racially charged tweet, chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta broke down President Donald Trump's history of stoking racial tensions during moments of crisis.

"He is trying to clean up this tweet that he posted last night," said Acosta. "First, just what the president said a few moments ago. He said the looters in Minneapolis should not be able to drown out the voice of so many peaceful protesters. That, obviously, is a very mild version of what he was trying to say or he claims he was trying to say last night when he tweeted, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." That obviously is an expression steeped in all kinds of ugliness. The Miami Police chief back in 1967, when there was unrest in that city, used that expression. George Wallace, the segregationist, used words like that in 1968."

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