On Friday, the White House took the unprecedented act of barring The New York Times, CNN, Politico, the Los Angeles Times, the BBC and several other news organizations from an off-camera briefing known as a gaggle. Meanwhile, several right-wing news outlets were allowed to attend, including Breitbart, The Washington Times and One America News Network. Just hours earlier, Trump repeatedly attacked the media, describing it as an “enemy of the people.” Then, on Saturday, Donald Trump announced he would not attend this year’s White House correspondents’ dinner. The last president to skip the dinner was Ronald Reagan in 1981. At the time, Reagan was recovering from an assassination attempt. We speak to Robert Mahoney, deputy executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The annual Pride Festival event turns a glittery spotlight on issues that obstruct the march towards full equality. We sent photographer Kina Sai along.
Under the theme “Pride and Progress: The Carnival Continues”, the Pride Parade edged kaleidoscopically down Auckland’s Ponsonby Rd, a blur of glitter, happiness, and eye make-up the thickness of armour. The exuberance was catching: the crowd—many thousands strong—looked, in places, almost as excellent as those marching, glitter liberally shared among strangers, rainbows painted on cheeks. “Together, we will commemorate the great work of the past,” the event’s description read. “Together, we will party in the present. Together, we will move forward into the future.”
ON FEBRUARY 2, the American Civil Liberties Union held a press conference at the Terminal 2 arrivals gate of Los Angeles International Airport. The occasion for the press conference was the return of Ali Vayeghan, an Iranian lawful permanent resident of the United States who had been deported a few days before as a result of President Trump’s Muslim ban, to American soil. The ACLU had secured a court order that rejected the ban and called for Vayegahn to be allowed back into the country. It was a moment of triumph for advocates of immigrant rights.
Earlier that day, the ACLU had received a call from the office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. The mayor, they had been told, wished to participate in the press conference. Hector Villagra, the executive director of the ACLU of Southern California, stepped up to the bevy of microphones to introduce the mayor. “We need to know that this city will be a sanctuary city,” he said, with Garcetti standing at his side. “That’s right,” said someone in the audience. “Thank you,” said another. Garcetti himself gave the remark a few hearty claps.
When Garcetti stepped up to the podium, he echoed the “sanctuary city” line. “We are a city of sanctuary, of refuge,” he said, “and also of defense of our Constitution.”
The White House said on Monday Donald Trump’s upcoming budget will propose a whopping $54bn increase in defense spending and impose corresponding cuts to domestic programs and foreign aid.
White House budget officials outlined the information during a telephone call with reporters given on condition of anonymity, a day before Trump’s first speech to Congress and as budget proposals were being sent out to government departments.
The budget officials on the call ignored requests to put the briefing on the record, even though Trump, whose relations with mainstream press outlets have deteriorated badly, decried on Friday the use of anonymous sources by the media.
The president has been angered by anonymously sourced stories reporting among other things an FBI investigation into alleged contacts between Trump aides and Russian intelligence, decried on Friday the use of anonymous sources by the media.
A film celebrating the White Helmets, a volunteer rescue group that operates in rebel-held parts of Syria, has scooped an Oscar for best short documentary on a night marked by politics.
The eponymously titled White Helmets, a 40-minute Netflix film, gives a window into the lives of the group’s volunteers as they scramble to pull people from the rubble of buildings flattened in bombing raids.
Accepting the Academy Award, director Orlando von Einsiedel urged the audience to get out of their seats and call for an end to Syria’s six-year civil war, which led to a standing ovation.
Von Einsiedel read a statement from White Helmets founder Raed al-Saleh in which he thanked the academy and said the group had saved tens of thousands of lives since it was formed in 2014.