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Trump’s White House is gagging interns and threatening to financially destroy them

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President Donald Trump’s White House is forcing interns to sign non-disclosure agreements, the Daily Beast reported Thursday. If the new White House interns refuse, they’re threatened with financial ruin.

Zoe Jackman, the director of the internship program welcomed interns into the White House earlier this year, but a representative from the White House counsel’s office then demanded they sign the form. It was during the orientation meeting, called an “ethics training,” when the counsel’s office warned the youngsters about the consequences of leaking information to the media.

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“Interns were also told that they would not receive their own copies,” The Beast reported, citing inside sources.

The demand of NDA’s for government workers has been a legal concern since the Trump administration entered the building. Past campaign staffers were forced to sign them, but that was a private business operation. Government workers have different standards and rules, legal scholars explained.

The Washington Post obtained a draft of the non-disclosure agreement, which threatens violators with a $10 million penalty for each offense.

Yet, when asked about details by CNN’s Jake Tapper in 2018, the White House said in a statement that staffers “were never asked or required to sign NDAs with $10 million clauses. Beyond that, we do not discuss security or personnel matters.”

“All White House employees—from senior officials to interns—understand the necessity of discretion based on the fact that they hold positions of public trust, with an emphasis on public,” the Beast quoted former Obama National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price. “But this White House’s approach to non-disclosure agreements, even for interns, seems to suggest that guarding against criticism of the president and his family—what most of us would consider to be protected speech—is just as important as safeguarding the sensitive information the American public entrusts to the government.”

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“A public employee can’t be forced to sign away the right to speak,” law professor Mark Fenster of the University of Florida told Reuters.

“These NDAs strike me as clearly unconstitutional under the First Amendment,” law professor Heidi Kitrosser of the University of Minnesota agreed.

Liz Hempowicz of the non-profit Project on Government Oversight (POGO) explained that there are caveats on free speech for government workers but the broad way in which the NDAs are said to be written might be too much. However, she warned against claims it’s unconstitutional.

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When former staffer Cliff Sims came out with his tell-all book the Trump campaign launched a lawsuit for violating his NDA. Sims, however, was a White House staffer, so it’s unclear why the campaign is suing him.

In past administrations, NDAs were handed out to those dealing with classified information, but NDAs like Trump’s are unheard of, the Beast said.

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Former Trump campaign staffer Jessica Denson has already launched her own class-action lawsuit against the NDAs.


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WATCH: Franklin Graham tells Jeanine Pirro coronavirus pandemic is because of people sinning

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Franklin Graham blamed sinners for the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic during a Saturday night appearance on Fox News.

Host Jeanine Pirro noted the growing death toll and wondered how God could let that happen.

"Well, I don't think it's God's plan for this to happen," Graham said.

"It's because of the sin that's in the world, judge," he argued.

"Man has turned his back on God, we have sinned against him, and we need to ask for God's forgiveness and that's what Easter's all about," he continued.

"This pandemic, this is the result of a fallen world that has turned its back on God," he added.

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Drought causing water shortage amid coronavirus crisis in Chile

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With historically low river flows and reservoirs running dry due to drought, people in central Chile have found themselves particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus pandemic.

Years of resource exploitation and lax legislation have allowed most reservoirs in that part of the country to run dry.

"There are now 400,000 families, nearly 1.5 million people approximately, whose supply of 50 liters of water a day depends on tankers," Rodrigo Mundaca, spokesman for the Movement for the Defense of Water, the Earth and the Protection of the Environment, told AFP.

One of the main pieces of advice to protect people against coronavirus is to wash your hands regularly.

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Trump warns of ‘tough week’ ahead — after the United States surpassed 300,000 coronavirus victims

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US President Donald Trump warned Americans on Saturday to brace for a "very horrendous" number of coronavirus deaths in the coming days as the total number of global fatalities from the pandemic soared past 60,000.

As confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States surpassed 300,000 with more than 8,300 deaths, there was some encouraging news in Italy and Spain.

Europe continues to bear the brunt of the epidemic, however, accounting for over 45,000 of the worldwide deaths, and Britain reported a new daily high in fatalities.

There are now more than 1.17 million confirmed coronavirus cases around the world and there have been 63,437 deaths since the virus emerged in China late last year.

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