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Trump considers the synagogue ‘essential’ in the middle of a pandemic



President Donald Trump speaks with reporters about the coronavirus in the James Brady Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, May 22, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump threatened to “override” governors if their states did not follow the new federal recommendations, but it was not clear what authority the President was referring to. Recommendations are voluntary.

“Some governors consider liquor shops and abortion clinics to be important, but leave churches and houses of worship. That is not true. So I am correcting this injustice and calling important houses of worship,” Trump said during an announcement at the White House. .

Trump said he called on the governor to “allow the church and place of worship to be opened now.”

“If there are questions, they must call me, but they will not succeed in that call,” Trump added.

“The governors need to do the right thing and leave these very important places of faith open now, this weekend. If they don’t, I will override the governor,” he continued.

Then in the briefing, the White House coronavirus taskforce coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany underlined that the reopening was at the discretion of the governor and religious leader.

“I think every leader in the religious community must get in touch with the local health department so they can communicate with their congregation. Of course, people who have significant comorbidities, we want them to be protected. I know the house of worship wants to protect them,” said Birx. “Maybe they can’t go this week if there are many Covid cases. Maybe they are waiting for another week. But there is social distance … in places of worship.”

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McEnany, asked about Birx’s response, said the decision to reopen based on new federal guidelines was “up to the governor.”

McEnany will not explain what authority Trump will use to “override” the governor’s decision to keep the place of worship closed.

New guidelines released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday recommended religious institutions provide soap and hand sanitizers, encourage the use of cloth masks and clean their facilities every day if they want to open while coronavirus is still spreading. These institutions should also promote social distance and consider limiting the distribution of objects such as books and hymns, the CDC said.

The guidelines also offer leeway for organizations to make their own decisions about what they should do to limit the spread of the virus, and the guidelines are explained by the CDC as “general considerations,” “suggestions” and “public health guidelines that are not binding for consideration.”

They did not mandate that houses of worship be opened on Memorial Day weekends.

A senior administration official told CNN that the guide was initially postponed because some officials believed that the proposal was too detailed and impossible to reach by the church and others. There was also talk of not giving any guidance at all about religious services, but Trump had a conversation with CDC officials and urged them to release something.

The White House coronavirus task force completed the guidelines at a meeting Thursday, the source said.

The president referred to a conversation with CDC officials on Thursday, telling participants and the press at a listening session with African-Americans, “I said, ‘You should turn it off.’

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“I spoke with the CDC today about the church. We must open our church. We must open our country,” he said.

When Trump has pressured regions and countries to reopen in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, he gave special weight to reopening places of worship.

He said in April that it would be “beautiful” for the church to be open and “packed” on Easter Sunday. He later said the date was aspirational.

By Easter Sunday, he advised religious leaders to wait for the country to be “healed” from the coronavirus pandemic before providing direct services.

But recently, the President regretted that digital religious services are not the same as personal services.

“People want to be in their churches. It’s nice to sit at home and watch something on a laptop, but it will never be the same as being in a church and with your friends. And they want it to be open, and I think it will happen … soon, “Trump said during a Thursday listening session.

Large groups, such as those in places of worship, have been linked to the coronavirus group. This month, two churches in northern California linked the spread of coronavirus among church members and pastors with Mother’s Day services. A church in Texas recently canceled its mass after one of its pastors died and five others later tested positive for the corona virus.

The Southern Baptist Convention said on Friday that it was “pleased” with Trump’s decision.

But the Interfaith Alliance and the Council on American-Islamic Relations said Friday that they oppose calls to open places of worship amid a pandemic.

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CAIR said that American Muslim scholars and community leaders had determined that public religious activities would be limited because of a pandemic and that was not likely to change despite new guidelines.

This story has been updated with additional developments Friday.

Konstantin Toropin, Kaitlan Collins, Nick Valencia, Maggie Fox, and Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.

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Portuguese government highly appreciates the priorities of the Czech Presidency of the European Union – Observer



Portuguese government highly appreciates the priorities of the Czech Presidency of the European Union - Observer

The Secretary of State for European Affairs this Wednesday expressed full agreement with the five political priorities identified by the upcoming Czech Presidency of the European Council, highlighting issues of support for Ukraine and the energy transition.

The priorities of the Czech presidency will eventually become the priorities of the Portuguese government for the next six months. We hope that the Assembly of the Republic will follow this path,” said Thiago Antunes at the opening of the parliamentary debate on the priorities of the Czech presidency.

The Secretary of State for European Affairs began by setting the priorities of the executive branch in Prague for the second half of this year: managing the refugee crisis and the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine, energy security, strengthening European defense and cyber security, the strategic sustainability of the European economy, and the resilience of the democratic institutions of the European Union.

According to a member of the Portuguese government, the first priority is continued military assistance, humanitarian and financial to Ukraine“with the application of sanctions against Russia and its allies.”


“The European Union is facing the biggest wave of refugees since the Second World War, and the Czech Presidency proposes to mobilize and coordinate all the necessary resources for the reception and integration,” especially of children, he said.

Speaking about energy security, Thiago Antunes mentioned “the difficult but fast path that the European Union has already covered in a short period of time.”

“The war in Ukraine has demonstrated that the European Union cannot depend on Russia for energy supply, and the mission of the Czech Presidency will now be to achieve progressive and rapid autonomization and modernization in the energy sector. Portugal has all the conditions to become a central player in the energy transition,” says the European Affairs portfolio holder.

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In his opening remarks, Thiago Antunes also mentioned the goals of the Czech Republic to strengthen European defense, namely through partnership with the Atlantic Alliance, in which he highlighted the issue of cyber security in preventing attacks.

The Secretary of State for European Affairs then spoke. “European problem of vulnerability” in the face of global supply chainscontrasting with the need for reindustrialization, and highlighted the “disturbing reality of inflation in all Member States”.

Regarding the sustainability of democratic institutions in the European Union, the fifth goal of the Prague government, Thiago Antunes noted that this is the least related priority to the war in Ukraine.

“But this will certainly be one of the most frequent topics in European debates in the near future,” he added.

During the debate, PSD MP Sergio Marques accused the Portuguese government of adopting a position of “restraint and reluctance, almost opposition to granting Ukraine candidate status, changing its position only at the last minute so as not to be speaking in private.”

Then Andre Ventura, the leader of Chega, accused the PS of “failing to decide” on Ukraine’s accession to the European Union.

PS MP Kapulas Santos said his party “could not disagree with the priorities of the Czech presidency” but wondered if the “European Union” would survive the impact of the new enlargement.

In turn, MP Bernardo Blanco from the Liberal Initiative said that regarding the priorities of the Czech presidency, the party “fully agrees with the first priority regarding Ukraine”, but refused to depend “on countries that pose a great geopolitical risk.” .”, such as Russia or China.

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Communist Diana Ferreira believed that “the goals that are adopted in this presidency in matters of energy or energy security are to protect the interests of big capital” and believed that “solving these problems is not at all a priority.”

Mariana Mortagua of BE asked for flexibility in the entry of refugees into the European Union, as happened with Ukrainians, criticizing the “absolute hypocrisy of double ‘standards'”.

In the same vein, PAN sole deputy Inés Souza Real refused to allow the European Union to treat people fleeing war “as first and second class refugees”, while Livre’s sole deputy Ruy Tavares questioned whether the Portuguese government would support a joint refugee resettlement program in the European Union.”

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PAN wants to abolish fees for teaching Portuguese abroad



PAN wants to abolish fees for teaching Portuguese abroad

O PAN has submitted a draft to Parliament to stop collecting tuition/entry fees for young Portuguese and descendants of Portuguese who attend or will attend Portuguese language teaching abroad.

The diploma, which was presented this Wednesday to the Assembly of the Republic, refers to a petition signed by 4,524 people that was delivered to Parliament in the previous legislature. Petition titled “Portuguese for all! Concerning the right of our children and young people to study Portuguese abroad, it proposes to “protect and strengthen the teaching of Portuguese among children and young people of Portuguese and Portuguese living abroad”.

PAN understands that the formal learning of the Portuguese language by Portuguese children and young people living abroad is “more than the right of these children and young people, is the responsibility of the state” and is a way to ensure the continuity of “Portuguese across borders”.

“Petition No. 168/XIV/2.ª gives the Assembly of the Republic the opportunity to review the state of the official network of teaching Portuguese abroad for the Portuguese and the descendants of the Portuguese, as well as to consider its problems and the causes of these problems. “, – says PAN.

The party, led by Inés Sousa Real, warns of “a small number of students studying Portuguese abroad” and justifies this fact with “mandatory attendance rates applicable to all students”.

“Currently, the school has about 20,000 students, which is a third of what it was in 2008. This situation is largely justified by the fact that in the 2012/2013 academic year there was a mandatory attendance rate for all students, which meant revenge on the idea that there are constitutional rights for the Portuguese community abroad, but they can only be exercised if they are paid, which is regrettable,” the document says.

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PAN also reports that even during the pandemic, students had to continue paying tuition fees “despite being unable to attend remote classes due to a lack of necessary resources.”

“In the previous legislature, the PAN at the headquarters of the Education Commission requested the Minister of Education for the designation of the revenues generated from the collection of tuition fees, but never received a clear answer,” the party points out, also mentioning that he had already submitted a draft resolution about the abolition of tuition/registration fees for these young people who are “only not moving forward due to the dissolution of the Assembly of the Republic”.

“As part of this initiative, PAN, in an effort to address this clearly defined problem, is proposing to abolish tuition fees for all Portuguese and Portuguese young people who attend or will attend Portuguese language teaching, from January 1, 2023, as this makes no sense in constitutional law payable, and that students have to pay for what is already funded by the Portuguese state,” the document says.

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What Makes Professional AV Solutions the Top Priority in Business Meetings



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So, if you want to offer a great audio-visual meeting experience to all the participants from different geographical locations, you must opt for professional AV Solutions today. Connect with team Biamp Systems and place your order.

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