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DISASTER MANAGEMENT
U.S. Coast Guard avoids budget cuts
by Ryan Maass
Washington (UPI) Mar 17, 2017


The U.S. Coast Guard will not see the budget cuts the Trump administration planned for the branch after a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers blocked the move.

While President Donald Trump continues to push Congress to boost budgets for military branches managed by the Department of Defense, the administration sought to strip $1.3 billion in spending for the Coast Guard. The cut would have been equal to 12 percent of the branch's budget.

The Coast Guard is managed by the Department of Homeland Security. According to Defense News, the service received an "avalanche" of support from lawmakers from both major political parties after a letter signed by 23 senators protested any cuts.

Speaking to reporters following the event, Coast Guard Chief. Adm. Paul Zukunft said the administration should be considering an increase for the branch's budget, rather than a cut.

"The Coast Guard often finds itself serving in the shadows, and we need to put ourselves in the limelight," he said. "We're deployed all over the world. We've been deployed to the North Arabian Gulf for going over 13 years now. We are where our Department of Defense is. We are an armed service."

USA Today reports Trump initially asked for $54 billion to fund the other armed services, but left the Coast Guard out of the request.

In a press release issued Thursday, the Defense Department revealed Trump is asking House Speaker Paul Ryan for an additional $30 billion for fiscal year 2017 to "rebuild the armed forces" and hasten the defeat of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh.

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Ai Weiwei slams 'shameful' politicians ignoring refugees
Prague (AFP) March 16, 2017
Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei on Thursday slammed "shameful" politicians who ignore refugees as he launched a giant art installation centered on their fate at the National Gallery in Prague. Called "Law of the Journey", the show features a 70-metre-long (230-foot-long) inflatable boat with 258 oversize refugee figures. A tribute to the thousands who have drowned crossing the Mediter ... read more

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