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1 Million Protesters, $10.5 Trillion in Budget Cuts + Other Hot News

No popularity contests were won last week.
ILLUSTRATOR Jasrelle Serrano
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During inauguration weekend, massive protests nationwide.

President Trump was sworn in last Friday on Capitol Hill amid large-scale protests across the United States. The Women’s March held in Washington, DC as well as in all 50 states galvanized anti-Trump sentiments, attracting an estimated attendance of over one million protesters. Unpopularity among voters, characterized by the lowest approval rating of incoming presidents in recent history, has overshadowed Trump's ascension to the country’s highest office. In an unprecedented move, scores of Democratic senators were absent from the ceremony, protesting Trump’s recent comments criticizing civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis. 

Trump to propose $10.5 trillion in budget cuts over 10 years.

While highly contentious confirmation hearings for appointees to major departments are still under way, the president’s transition team is reportedly planning large budget cuts across major departments including commerce, energy, transportation and state. Severe cuts for the arts are likely imminent with a privatization of the public broadcaster and a complete elimination of the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities also to be proposed. Another notable cut is the proposed elimination of funding for the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

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After ‘tokhang for ransom’ scandal, PNP Chief to stay in job.  

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House Speaker Alvarez called for PNP Chief Dela Rosa’s resignation last Friday, expressing concerns that the recent kidnapping and killing of a South Korean business man in Camp Crame, allegedly by police officers under his command, signify a clear ‘loss of respect.’ Initially refusing to do so, Dela Rosa later offered his resignation in a private conversation with the president, which he rejected by telling the police chief to ‘just do your job.’

Relationship between Catholic Church, Duterte remains contentious.

After the recent signing of an executive order aimed at implementing the provisions of the Reproductive Health bill, the president continued a hostile dialog last week when he blasted the Church over their criticism of the violent drug war. The president cited a host of issues within the Church such as alleged polygamous behavior, homosexuality, and sexual abuse by priests, and reiterated his accusation, first made during the election campaign, of sexual abuse by a priest during his student days.

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Christopher Puhm
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