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AP Fact Check: The Silent Partner in Trump’s Boasts

President Donald Trump has a silent partner behind several of the accomplishments he likes to boast about: Barack Obama. 

Despite assailing his Democratic predecessor for waging a “cruel and heartless war on American energy,” for example, Trump can brag about U.S. energy supremacy thanks to the sector’s growth in the Obama years. 

And the Obama-Trump decade is soon to yield an economic record if things stay on track a little longer — the most sustained expansion in U.S. history. Though Trump claims all the credit, the expansion started in Obama’s first year, continued through his presidency and has been maintained under Trump. 

There are no fist bumps in the offing, however. 

The past week saw the kickoff of Trump’s 2020 campaign with a rally in Florida. That and other events provided Trump a platform that he used to exaggerate what he’s done, take some factually challenged swipes at Obama and Democrats at large, and make promises that will be hard to keep. Here are samples: 

FILE – U.S. Border Patrol agents keep watch on a large group of migrants who they said were attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, in El Paso, Texas, May 29, 2019.

Migrants 

TRUMP, in interview with Telemundo broadcast Thursday, talking about separating children from adults at the Mexican border: “When I became president, President Obama had a separation policy. I didn’t have it. He had it. I brought the families together. I’m the one that brought `em together. Now, I said something when I did that. I’m the one that put people together. … They separated. I put `em together.” 

JOSE DIAZ-BALART, interviewer: “You did not.” 

THE FACTS: Trump is not telling the truth. The separation of thousands of migrant children from their parents resulted from his “zero tolerance” policy. Obama had no such policy. After a public uproar and under a court order, Trump ceased the separations. 

Zero tolerance meant that U.S. authorities would criminally prosecute all adults caught crossing into the U.S. illegally. Doing so meant detention for adults and the removal of their children while their parents were in custody. During the Obama administration, such family separations were the exception. They became the practice under Trump’s policy, which he suspended a year ago. 

Before Trump’s zero-tolerance policy, migrant families caught illegally entering the U.S. were usually referred for civil deportation proceedings, not requiring separation, unless they were known to have a criminal record. Then and now, immigration officials may take a child from a parent in certain cases, such as serious criminal charges against a parent, concerns about the health and welfare of a child or medical concerns. 

TRUMP, in Telemundo interview, talking about detention centers at the border: “President Obama is the one that built those prison cells.” 

THE FACTS: He has a point. Whether they are called prison cells or something else, Obama held children in temporary, ill-equipped facilities and built a large center in McAllen, Texas, that is used now. 

Democrats routinely and inaccurately blame Trump for creating “cages” for children. They are referring to chain-link fencing inside the McAllen center — Obama’s creation. 

Conditions for detained migrants deteriorated sharply during a surge of Central American arrivals under Trump, particularly in El Paso, Texas. 

FILE – Trucks are seen after crossing the border from Mexico into the U.S. at the World Trade Bridge, in Laredo, Texas, June 20, 2019.

Trade 

TRUMP, in remarks Thursday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “This will be the largest trade deal ever made, and it won’t even be close.  If you take a look at the numbers, second is so far away, you don’t even call it second.  So it’s very exciting. And very exciting for Mexico; very exciting for Canada.” 

THE FACTS:  That’s wrong, simply by virtue of the number of trade partners involved. 

The proposed new agreement, replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement, covers the same three countries. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, negotiated by the Obama administration, included the three NAFTA partners — United States, Canada and Mexico — plus Japan and eight other Pacific Rim countries. Trump withdrew the United States from the pact on his third day in office. 

Even the Pacific deal pales in comparison with one that did go into effect with the U.S. on board, the Uruguay Round. Concluded in 1994, the round of negotiations created the World Trade Organization and was signed by 123 countries. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston said the WTO’s initial membership accounted for more than 90 percent of global economic output. 

TRUMP, on his tariffs, in a rally Tuesday in Orlando, Fla.: “We are taking in billions and billions of dollars into our Treasury. … We have never taken 10 cents from China.” 

THE FACTS: It’s false to say the U.S. never collected a dime in tariffs on Chinese goods before he took action. They are simply higher in some cases than they were before. It’s also wrong to suggest that the tariffs are being paid by China. Tariff money coming into the Treasury is mainly from U.S. businesses and consumers, not from China. Tariffs are primarily if not entirely a tax paid domestically. 

Iran 

TRUMP, in a Friday tweet: “President Obama made a desperate and terrible deal with Iran – Gave them 150 Billion Dollars plus 1.8 Billion Dollars in CASH! Iran was in big trouble and he bailed them out. Gave them a free path to Nuclear Weapons, and SOON. Instead of saying thank you, Iran yelled … Death to America. I terminated deal.” 

TRUMP, on his accomplishments, in Fox News interview Wednesday: “And then terminating one of the worst deals ever made, the Iran deal that was made by President Obama — paid $150 billion. Paid $1.8 billion in cash. I terminated that and Iran is a much different country.”  

THE FACTS: There was no $150 billion payout from the U.S. Treasury. The money he refers to represents Iranian assets held abroad that were frozen until the international deal was reached and Tehran was allowed to access its funds. 

The payout of about $1.8 billion is a separate matter. That dates to the 1970s, when Iran paid the U.S. $400 million for military equipment that was never delivered because the government was overthrown and diplomatic relations ruptured. 

That left people, businesses and governments in each country indebted to partners in the other, and these complex claims took decades to sort out in tribunals and arbitration. For its part, Iran paid settlements of more than $2.5 billion to U.S. citizens and businesses. 

The day after the nuclear deal was implemented, the U.S. and Iran announced they had settled the claim over the 1970s military equipment order, with the U.S. agreeing to pay the $400 million principal along with about $1.3 billion in interest. The $400 million was paid in cash and flown to Tehran on a cargo plane, which gave rise to Trump’s dramatic accounts of money stuffed in barrels or boxes and delivered in the dead of night. The arrangement provided for the interest to be paid later, not crammed into containers. 

FILE – A worker helps monitor water pumping pressure and temperature at an oil and natural gas extraction site in Colorado, March 29, 2013.

Energy 

TRUMP, at Orlando rally: “We’ve ended the last administration’s cruel and heartless war on American energy. What they were doing to our energy should never be forgotten. The United States is now the No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world.” 

TRUMP, in Fox News interview Wednesday: “We’re now No. 1 in the world in energy.”  

THE FACTS: As he’s done many times before, Trump is crediting himself with things that happened under Obama. 

Here’s what the government’s U.S. Energy Information Administration says: “The United States has been the world’s top producer of natural gas since 2009, when U.S. natural gas production surpassed that of Russia, and the world’s top producer of petroleum hydrocarbons since 2013, when U.S. production exceeded Saudi Arabia’s.” 

Jobs 

TRUMP, at Orlando rally: “Almost 160 million people are working. That’s more than ever before.” 

THE FACTS: True but that’s a tribute to Americans making babies and immigrants coming to the country. Population growth, in other words. 

Other than during recessions, employment growth has been trending upward since 1939, when the Labor Department started counting. The phenomenon is not a marker of leadership; it has spanned successful and failed presidents. 

More on point, the annual rate of job growth has been within the same range since roughly 2011. It was 1.6% through May. 

Another measure is the proportion of Americans with jobs, and that is still below record highs. The Labor Department says 60.6 percent of people in the U.S. 16 years and older were working in May. That’s below the all-time high of 64.7 percent in April 2000 during Bill Clinton’s administration, though higher than the 59.9 percent when Trump was inaugurated in January 2017. 

TRUMP, at Orlando rally: “Women’s unemployment is now the lowest it’s been in 74 years.” 

THE FACTS: No, the jobless rate for women of 3.1% in April was the lowest in 66 years, not 74, and it ticked up in May to 3.2%. 

Economy 

TRUMP, at Orlando rally: “It’s soaring to incredible new heights. Perhaps the greatest economy we’ve had in the history of our country.” 

THE FACTS: The economy is not one of the best in the country’s history. It expanded at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in the first quarter of this year. That growth was the highest in just four years for the first quarter. 

In the late 1990s, growth topped 4 percent for four straight years, a level it has not yet reached on an annual basis under Trump. Growth even reached 7.2 percent in 1984. 

The economy grew 2.9% in 2018 — the same pace it reached in 2015 under Obama — and simply hasn’t hit historically high growth rates. 

Trump has legitimate claim to a good economy but when it comes to records, there’s one he will have to share with Obama. The economy is on track to achieve its longest expansion ever, in July. Much of that decade-long growth came during Obama’s presidency, an achievement that Trump so far has largely sustained.  Other than in its durability, the economy is far from the finest in history. 

The wall 

TRUMP, in Fox News interview Wednesday: “We’ll have over 400 miles built by the end of next year.” 

TRUMP, at Orlando rally:  “We’re going to have over 400 miles of wall built by the end of next year. It’s moving very rapidly.” 

THE FACTS: That’s highly unlikely, and even if so, the great majority of the wall he’s talking about would be replacement barrier, not new miles of construction. Trump has added strikingly little length to barriers along the Mexico border despite his pre-eminent 2016 campaign promise to get a wall done. 

Even to reach 400 miles or 640 kilometers, he would have to prevail in legal challenges to his declaration of a national emergency or get Congress to find more money to get anywhere close. 

So far, the administration has awarded contracts for 247 miles (395 km) of wall construction, but that initiative has been constrained by court cases that are still playing out. 

In any event, all but 17 miles (27 km) of his awarded contracts so far would replace existing barriers. 

Taxes 

TRUMP, at Orlando rally:  “We’ve done so much … with the biggest tax cut in history.” 

THE FACTS: His tax cuts are nowhere close to the biggest in U.S. history. 

It’s a $1.5 trillion tax cut over 10 years. As a share of the total economy, a tax cut of that size ranks 12th, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 cut is the biggest, followed by the 1945 rollback of taxes that financed World War II. 

Post-Reagan tax cuts also stand among the historically significant: President George W. Bush’s cuts in the early 2000s and Obama’s renewal of them a decade later. 

Environment 

TRUMP, in Fox News interview Wednesday: “Our water and our air today is cleaner than it ever was. … Our air — it’s the best it ever was.” 

TRUMP, at Orlando rally: “Our air and water are the cleanest they’ve ever been by far.” 

THE FACTS: Not true about air quality, which hasn’t gotten better under the Trump administration. U.S. drinking water is among the best by one leading measure. 

After decades of improvement, progress in air quality has stalled. Over the last two years the U.S. had more polluted air days than just a few years earlier, federal data show. 

There were 15% more days with unhealthy air in America both last year and the year before than there were on average from 2013 through 2016, the four years when America had its fewest number of those days since at least 1980. 

The Obama administration, in fact, set records for the fewest air-polluted days, in 2016. 

On water, Yale University’s global Environmental Performance Index finds 10 countries tied for the cleanest drinking water, the U.S. among them. On environmental quality overall, the U.S. was 27th, behind a variety of European countries, Canada, Japan, Australia and more. Switzerland was No. 1. 

Judges 

TRUMP, on the confirmation of federal judges, at Orlando rally: “President Obama was very nice to us. He didn’t fill the positions.”  

THE FACTS: Trump’s sarcasm aside, he does have a better success rate than Obama in filling judicial vacancies. The Republican-controlled Senate in Obama’s last two years avoided taking action on many of his nominees. Republicans still control the Senate and have been able to confirm about 120 of Trump’s picks despite their slim majority. That’s about 35 more than Obama had confirmed at this point in his presidency. 

Health care 

TRUMP, at Orlando rally: “We will always protect patients with pre-existing conditions. Always.” 

THE FACTS: His administration’s actions say otherwise. It is pressing in court for full repeal of Obama’s health law, which requires insurers to take all applicants, regardless of medical history, and charge the same standard premiums to healthy people and those who had medical problems before or when they signed up. 

Trump and other Republicans say they’ll have a plan to preserve protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but the White House has provided no details. 

FILE – Abortion rights activists protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court, during the March for Life in Washington, Jan. 18, 2019.

Abortion 

TRUMP, at Orlando rally: “Leading Democrats have even opposed measures to prevent the execution of children after birth.” 

THE FACTS: Executing children is already a crime. 

Trump is offering here a somewhat toned down version of a distorted story he’s been telling for months that falsely suggests Democrats are OK with murder. 

His account arises from extremely rare instances when babies are born alive as a result of an attempted abortion. When these cases occur, “execution” is not an option. 

When a baby is born with anomalies so severe that he or she would die soon after birth, a family may choose what’s known as palliative care or comfort care. This might involve allowing the baby to die naturally without medical intervention. Providing comfort without life-extending treatment is not specific to newborns. It may happen with fatally ill patients of any age. 

Veterans 

TRUMP, at Orlando rally: “We passed VA Choice. …They’ve been trying to get that passed also for about 44 years.” 

THE FACTS: No, Congress approved the private-sector Veterans Choice health program in 2014 and Obama signed it into law. Trump signed an expansion of it. 

Russia investigation 

TRUMP, on Fox News interview Wednesday: “I’m the most transparent president in history. I let Mueller have everything they wanted.” 

THE FACTS: It’s highly questionable to say Trump was fully cooperative in the Russia investigation. 

Trump declined to sit for an interview with Robert Mueller’s team, gave written answers that investigators described as “inadequate” and “incomplete,” said more than 30 times that he could not remember something he was asked about in writing, and — according to the report — tried to get aides to fire the special counsel or otherwise shut or limit the inquiry. 

In the end, the Mueller report found insufficient evidence to establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia but left open the question of whether Trump obstructed justice. 

According to the report, Mueller’s team declined to make a prosecutorial judgment on whether to charge partly because of a Justice Department legal opinion that said sitting presidents cannot be indicted. The report instead factually laid out instances in which Trump might have obstructed justice, specifically leaving it open for Congress to take up the matter. 

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У Грузії тривають протести з вимогами звільнення затриманих і відставок

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Третє «золото» України на Європейських іграх: Анастасія Сапсай, самбо

Українська самбістка Анастасія Сапсай здобула вже третє «золото» команди України на II Європейських іграх. У ваговій категорії понад 80 кг вона перемогла грузинську спорсменку Елене Кебадзе.

Раніше 22 червня золоті медалі завоювали Дар’я Білодід і Георгій Зантарая (обидва – дзюдо).

Крім того, за день українці мають також дві срібні (Анастасія Новікова і Олена Сайко, самбо) і одну бронзову (Наталя Смаль, самбо) медалі.

Після першого «медального» дня змагань у білоруському Мінську команда України наразі на четвертому місці – після Росії, Білорусі і Грузії.

Загалом в іграх беруть участь понад чотири тисячі спортсменів із 50 країн, які змагаються в 23 дисциплінах у 15 видах спорту.

Більше про перемоги українських спортсменів на ІІ Європейських іграх читайте у нашому Живому блозі.

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ЦВК відмовила КПУ в реєстрації партійного списку

Центральна виборча комісія відмовила в реєстрації кандидатів у народні депутати України, включених до виборчого списку Комуністичної партії України, в загальнодержавному багатомандатному виборчому окрузі на позачергових виборах народних депутатів України 21 липня 2019 року, повідомили в ЦВК про результати чергового засідання.

Також відмовлено в реєстрації представника цієї політичної партії в ЦВК з правом дорадчого голосу, мовиться в повідомленні.

Детальної мотивації в повідомленні ЦВК для преси не наведено, сам текст постанови про це наразі ще не оприлюднений.

На цьому ж засіданні Центрвиборчком зареєстрував партійні списки партій «Об’єднання «Самопоміч» і «Незалежність», загалом 153 кандидатів. Крім того, комісія зареєструвала 228 кандидатів, які балотуються в одномандатних виборчих округах у порядку самовисування, і 77 кандидатів, висунутих політичними партіями, в одномандатних округах.

Таким чином, повідомили в ЦВК, на цей час в одномандатних виборчих округах зареєстровано 1 тисячу 380 кандидатів у народні депутати, в тому числі тих, які балотуються в порядку самовисування, – 1 тисячу 155, висунутих політичними партіями – 225. А у загальнодержавному багатомандатному виборчому окрузі наразі зареєстровані 1 тисячу 313 кандидатів, включених до виборчих списків 10 політичних партій.

Так само на недавніх виборах президента України Центрвиборчком відмовився реєструвати кандидатом лідера Комуністичної партії України Петра Симоненка, якого висунула КПУ. Тоді в ЦВК заявили, що Симоненка висунула партія, статут, найменування та символіка якої не відповідають вимогам закону України «Про засудження комуністичного та націонал-соціалістичного (нацистського) тоталітарних режимів в Україні та заборону пропаганди їхньої символіки».

На цей час політична діяльність Компартії України заборонена наказами Міністерства юстиції як такої, що не відповідає згаданому законові, відомому як «закон про декомунізацію», хоча сама партія юридично не ліквідована і залишається в реєстрі партій України: 2015 року КПУ була заборонена рішенням Окружного адмінсуду Києва, але рішення суду про заборону партії досі не набуло чинності – розгляд її апеляційної скарги в Київському апеляційному адмінсуді був тоді ж зупинений в очікуванні на досі не ухвалене рішення Конституційного суду України за поданням групи депутатів щодо конституційності «закону про декомунізацію», на підставі якого її забороняли.

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В Івано-Франківській області від удару блискавки загинули три людини

У Рогатинському районі Івано-Франківської області 21 червня внаслідок удару блискавки в зупинку загинули троє людей, ще двоє постраждали. Про це повідомили у поліції.

На зупинці в селищі Беньківці перебували п’ятеро людей. Загиблі – мешканці Львівської області 1954, 1963 та 1985 року народження. Вони відвідували родичів. Постраждали дві місцеві мешканки.

«Одна із потерпілих стояла трохи далі від інших осіб і пояснила, що від миттєвого удару її відкинуло на землю, а коли піднялася, то чоловіки ознак життя не подавали», – мовиться у повідомленні.

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Honestly, You’re More Likely to Return a Lost Wallet With Cash Inside

What would you do if you found a lost wallet? New research suggests that your answer may depend on what you find inside.

In 38 out of the 40 countries studied, people were more likely to return a lost wallet if it contained money. The finding, which goes against existing models of human behavior, could help policymakers find ways to encourage people to be more honest in social and business settings.

Economic models predict that people are more likely to be dishonest if there’s money on the line. Financial self-interest isn’t the only important factor, though. The new study suggests that it’s also important for people to see themselves as honest.

Self-interest versus self-image

In order to investigate how self-interest and self-image interact in the real world, a research team led by Alain Cohn of the University of Michigan used a classic moral dilemma: finding a lost wallet.

The researchers turned in 17,303 “lost wallets” to employees at public places like banks, theaters and post offices in 355 cities spread across 40 countries. The transparent plastic showcased the contents: business cards, a grocery list and a key. In addition to those personal items, some wallets contained money, $13.45 in local currency, adjusted for the country’s purchasing power, and others contained none.

The researchers tallied the number of wallets returned and investigated whether the people who received them were less likely to return them if they contained money, as expected.

“To our surprise, the answer is overwhelmingly no,” Cohn said in a teleconference.

Money made a difference

In nearly all of the countries studied, people were more likely to return a lost wallet that contained money than one that didn’t. Participants in Switzerland and Norway were most likely to reach out to the owner, and those in China and Morocco were least likely, but the trend persisted across the globe. On average, the return rate rose from 40 percent when the wallet didn’t contain money to 51 percent when it did.

Raising the financial stakes strengthens the effect.

In the U.S., U.K. and Poland, the researchers increased the amount of money from $13.45 to $94.15. With even more to gain from dishonesty, people were more likely to return the lost wallet. The average percentage of wallets returned jumped from 61 percent to 72 percent when the amount of money was increased.

“While the results were initially surprising to us, we were not the only ones who did not anticipate this pattern,” Cohn said.

The researchers asked economists and non-economists to predict the outcome of the study. Both groups incorrectly predicted that the more money the wallet contained, the less likely the participants would be to return it.

Although the respondents believed that people were more likely to keep lost wallets that contained money, another group surveyed felt that the more money they found in a lost wallet, the more it would feel like stealing if they kept it. 

“The evidence suggests that people tend to care about the welfare of others and they have an aversion to seeing themselves as a thief,” Cohn said.

Selfless tendencies

Do people think only of themselves when considering a dishonest act, or do they think of others as well? To test this, the researchers removed the keys from some of the wallets in the U.S., U.K. and Poland and found that the average return rate was 9.2 percent higher when the wallets contained a key.

Since the key is valuable to the wallet owner but not the wallet finder, an increase in the return rate for wallets with a key shows that people consider how others may be harmed by their dishonesty.

While other studies have shown that people weigh the monetary rewards against the damage done to their self-image when acting dishonestly, this is the first field study to show that this is a global phenomenon.

“It’s so much work to run a study across so many national cultures and with so many observations. This is not an easy thing to pull off and to do it in such a controlled, really well-organized way, this is really something,” said Nina Mazar, a professor of marketing at Boston University who was not involved in the study.

In the case of a lost wallet, the right thing to do is clear. 

Most scenarios aren’t so obvious, though, and researcher Cohn suggests that a next step could be to study cases “where perhaps it’s less clear whether doing the wrong thing is actually being seen as wrong.” 

The study underscores the importance of self-image concerns in decision making, and exploring the more nuanced situations can help researchers understand why people choose to act dishonestly, which can help policymakers encourage civic honesty around the world.

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У Києві на вихідних обмежать рух транспорту

У Києві з 18:00 22 червня до 18:00 23 червня обмежать рух транспорту.

Як повідомляє Патрульна поліція, рух буде обмежено по вулиці Хрещатик, вулиці Богдана Хмельницького, вулиці Володимирська, вулиці Льва Толстого, вулиці Тарасівська, вулиці Антоновича, вулиці Велика Васильківська та по бульвару Тараса Шевченка.

Через закриття вулиць зміниться рух наземного громадського транспорту, повідомили у КМДА.

Київський метрополітен повідомив про зміни в роботі станції у центрі міста.

В українській столиці нині також тривають акції в рамках «КиївПрайду», вони розпочалися 16 червня і закінчаться 23 червня Маршем рівності. 

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Рейтинги «прямої лінії з Путіним» в Москві показали мінімум з 2013 року

Рейтинг щорічної «прямої лінії з Володимиром Путіним» серед жителів Москви виявився мінімальним з 2013 року. Про це повідомляє російське видання РБК посилаючись на попередні дані компанії Mediascope.

Рейтинг трансляції склав 6,8 відсотків. Це кількість людей, що дивилися «Пряму лінію» від загальної кількості населення Москви. Частка телевізійної аудиторії склала 52,5 відсотка. Всього трансляцію дивилося близько мільйона москвичів. При цьому, згідно з опублікованими даними, жителів столиці більше зацікавила друга частина передачі.

Як повідомляє російська служба Радіо Свобода, рейтинг «прямої лінії з Путіним» серед москвичів знижується четвертий рік поспіль. У 2015 році рейтинг у Москві склав 12,7 відсотків, а частка аудиторії 61,6 відсотків. У 2018 рейтинг знизився до 8,1 відсотка, а частка телевізійної аудиторії склала 54,1 відсотка.

Минулого року трансляцію дивилося близько 6 мільйонів росіян, що стало мінімальним показником з 2011 року. Даних щодо цьогорічного рейтингу «прямої лінії» по всій Росії Mediascope ще не має.

“Пряма лінія з Володимиром Путіним” пройшла 20 червня. Цього року не було включень і питань з анексованого Криму.

Захід тривав понад 4 години і єдиною згадкою про півострів під кінець «прямої лінії» стало питання від ведучої щодо будівництва залізничної частини Керченського мосту.