24 January 2017

Trump moves to pull US out of big Asia trade deal

President Donald Trump speaks while hosting a breakfast with business leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. At left is Wendell P. Weeks, Chief Executive Officer of Corning, at right is Alex Gorsky Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson & Johnson.
Charting a new American course abroad, President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership on Monday, using one of his first actions in office to reject a centerpiece of Barack Obama's attempts to counter China and deepen U.S. ties in Asia.
Trump's move on trade aimed to fulfill a central campaign promise even as he appeared to be fixated on re-litigating the 2016 election.

Trump undoes parts of Obama agenda with executive actions

Vice President Mike Pence, left, and National Trade Council adviser Peter Navarro, right, wait for President Donald Trump to sign three executive orders, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.
President Donald Trump signed three executive memorandums on Monday, kicking off his first full week in the White House by undoing parts of his predecessor's agenda and renewing a longtime Republican priority on abortion funding.
Trump signed a memorandum that freezes hiring for some federal government workers, a notice to abandon the proposed Pacific Rim trade pact known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and another executive action to reinstate a ban on providing federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information on the option.

Federal judge swats Aetna-Humana insurer combo

This Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, file photo, shows signage in front of Aetna Inc.'s headquarters in Hartford, Conn. A federal judge has rejected health insurer Aetna’s plan to buy rival Humana for about $34 billion and become a major player in the market for Medicare Advantage coverage. U.S. District Judge John Bates said in an opinion filed Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, that he largely agrees with federal regulators who contended that such a combination would hurt competition.
A federal judge has rejected health insurer Aetna's bid to buy rival Humana on grounds that the deal would hurt competition in hundreds of Medicare Advantage markets, ultimately affecting the price consumers pay for coverage.
U.S. District Judge John Bates said in an opinion filed Monday that federal regulation would probably be "insufficient to prevent the merged firm from raising prices or reducing benefits," and neither new competitors nor an Aetna plan to sell some of the combined company's business to another insurer, Molina Healthcare Inc., would be enough to ease competitive concerns.

Amnesty urges Egypt to investigate Sinai killings by police

Egypt must launch an independent and thorough investigation into the recent killing of 10 men by security forces in the Sinai Peninsula, Amnesty International said on Monday.
The government announced earlier this month that the 10 had been killed in a shootout in the northern Sinai city of al-Arish. But in a Monday statement, the London-based advocacy group repeated what the families of the slain men already claim — that at least six of them had already been in police custody for weeks before their deaths.