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Trump, in Oval Office, signs first executive order on Obamacare

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President Donald Trump signed his first executive order on Friday, heading into the Oval Office shortly after his inaugural parade to direct agencies to ease regulations associated with Obamacare, the signature healthcare law of his predecessor that Trump has vowed to replace.

The White House also directed an immediate regulatory freeze for all government agencies in a memo from Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

The White House did not immediately provide details about what the executive order or memo entailed.

Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act was a central pledge for Trump during the presidential election campaign, although Republicans in the U.S. Congress have not yet laid out a plan to replace the insurance program.

In a hastily arranged signing ceremony, with some of his top aides around him, Trump sat behind the presidential Resolute Desk, signing the order. He also signed commissions for his newly confirmed Defense Secretary James Mattis and his Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

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Trump spoke briefly about his day with reporters. “It was busy, but good. It was a beautiful day,” Trump said.

Vice President Mike Pence then swore in Mattis and Kelly in a separate ceremony.

There were other signs of change in the Oval Office, which former President Barack Obama vacated on Friday morning. Golden drapes hung where crimson ones had earlier in the day, and new furniture dotted the room.

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(This version of the story corrects spelling of Priebus in second paragraph; removes erroneous reference to Churchill bust replacing Martin Luther King Jr. bust in final paragraph)

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)


Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Kim Jong-un threatens to restart nuke tests as Trump’s efforts to talk to the regime fall apart again: report

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On Tuesday, CNN's Brian Todd reported that the North Korean regime is on the brink of rescinding what little they promised President Donald Trump, as the future of his efforts to continue talks appear uncertain.

"Kim Jong-un's regime is once again in negotiation by intimidation," said Todd. "Just two weeks after their historic meeting at the DMZ, and President Trump's short stroll into North Korea, North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un appears to be threatening to start testing his nuclear weapons again. In a new statement, Kim's foreign ministry calls the joint U.S./South Korean military exercises planned for next month a breach of the main spirit of what President Trump and Kim agreed to in Singapore, and says, 'We are gradually losing our justifications to follow through on the commitments we made with the U.S."

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‘He’s ignorant — not stupid’: NYT columnist says Trump is trying to ‘bait’ Democrats because he wants to run against AOC

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President Donald Trump is not going to get the 2020 opponent he wants, so he's going to pretend that his actual opposition is being led by the four young women in Congress known as The Squad, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni wrote on Tuesday.

Trump has spent the last few days with racist attacks on the four first-term members, who are Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

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‘Nickel and Dimed’ for the sharing economy: Inside the hellish new reality of low-wage work

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In 2001, journalist Barbara Ehrenreich's investigative book "Nickel and Dimed" revealed to those who weren't on low-wage payrolls how expensive it is to be a member of the working poor in America. Some things haven't changed since Ehrenreich's experiences working as a Walmart clerk, a restaurant server and a maid, among other jobs. Housing can still be prohibitively expensive on low hourly wages, and high turnover remains a constant. Workers still risk their health — mental, physical and emotional — every precarious day.

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