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International programs favored by Ivanka Trump and Mike Pence will be spared by federal budget cuts: report

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President Donald Trump has been calling for extensive cuts to foreign aid programs. But on Monday, a senior Trump Administration official told Roll Call that that programs favored by Vice President Mike Pence and White House adviser Ivanka Trump will not be affected by a package of foreign aid cuts.

President Trump is “not going to touch those,” the anonymously quoted official told Roll Call.

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The foreign spending package would include cuts to U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development programs. But the programs that will survive the cuts, according to Roll Call, will include programs that promote women’s economic development in other countries (an Ivanka Trump favorite) and programs to protect Christians from persecution in other countries (a Mike Pence favorite).

The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, a program spearheaded by Ivanka Trump, will survive the cuts, according to Roll Call’s source — as will funding to support groups like Kurdish Yazidis living in Iraq, which has been one of Pence’s priorities.

The cuts, Roll Call’s source said, will also spare the almost $9 million devoted annually to global health programs like combating HIV/AIDS and malaria abroad.

The international spending package is being developed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). According to Roll Call’s Paul M. Krawzak, it is “not clear” if Trump will approve the package. But a source “with knowledge of the deliberations” told Roll Call that OMB officials are confident the package will go forward.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump aides desperately try to downplay ‘order’ to US companies to leave China

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Donald Trump's top aides on Sunday downplayed the idea of US companies being forced to abandon China any time soon, as an edict from the president ordering businesses to start looking for alternatives has been met with skepticism.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economics advisor Larry Kudlow took to the airwaves from France, where Trump is participating in the G7 summit, to smooth out tensions in the business community prompted by Trump's Friday tweet.

Trump said he has "no plan now" to bring US companies in line, and his aides quickly reinforced the message.

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Trump sparks confusion at G7 before doubling down on China tariffs

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President Donald Trump doubled down Sunday on his hard line against China after sowing confusion with statements that he might be willing to soften a trade war G7 partners fear threatens the world economy.

At the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Trump announced a major trade deal with Japan and promised more of the same with Britain, once Brexit is done.

But the positives were overshadowed by a mix-up over his apparent expression of regret for the latest escalation in the US-China dispute.

"I have second thoughts about everything," he conceded to reporters when asked if he regretted his decision on Friday to ramp up tariffs on all Chinese imports, worth some $550 billion, in retaliation for Beijing's earlier hike of levies on US goods.

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Persecuted Christians eye long-sought freedom in Sudan

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Sudan's Christians suffered decades of persecution under the regime of Islamist general Omar al-Bashir. Now they hope his downfall will give the religious freedom they have long prayed for.

Deep within the maze of dusty alleys that honeycomb Omdurman, Khartoum's sprawling twin city, Yousef Zamgila's church is not visible from the street.

It is hidden in the courtyard of a friend's home and consists of a few iron benches, a pulpit and crosses hastily painted on pillars holding a corrugated roof.

"The previous centre got destroyed because we didn't have the right papers. They always refused... So we use the land of our neighbours," says the Lutheran reverend.

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