Trump’s twin international disgrace to the US

Really? Free speech? Go ask Trump!

Trump’s twin international disgrace to the US

KUALA LUMPURA (May 2018): Two international news reports titled China regrets closing of door to U.S. after 'disinvited' from drill and Trump can’t block his critics on Twitter, US judge rules show how arrogant and insincere US President Donald Trump is to uphold global peace and order.

I Love Malaysia-China Silk Road is appalled by the US’ hostility towards China, instead of making peace.

It says a lot about the US’ arrogance and bilateral foreign policy. Even a military drill is used to promote hostility!

And, do you still consider the US as a nation that promotes freedom of speech?

Trump, the US 45th president, even had the audacity to go to court to try to curb free speech rights that is guaranteed in the Constitution’s First Amendment.

Fortunately for the Americans, Trump failed, with Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald on May 23 ruling that the US president cannot legally block Twitter users who disagreed with him.

Here are the two news reports that internationally disgraced Trump and his country:

"China regrets closing of door to U.S. after 'disinvited' from drill

Thursday, 24 May 2018
4:49 PM MYT

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Defence Ministry expressed regret on Thursday after the United States withdrew an invitation to China to attend a major U.S.-hosted naval drill, saying that closing the door does not help promote mutual trust and cooperation.

The Rim of the Pacific exercise, known as RIMPAC and previously attended by China, is billed as the world's largest international maritime exercise and held every two years in Hawaii in June and July.

RIMPAC had enabled the armed forces of the world's two largest economies to directly engage with each other and had been viewed by both countries as a way to lessen tensions and reduce the risk of miscalculation should the two meet under less friendly circumstances.

The Pentagon said the withdrawal of the invitation was in response to what it sees as Beijing's militarisation of islands in the disputed South China Sea, a strategic waterway claimed in large part by Beijing.

"This decision by the United States is not constructive. Closing the door to communication at any time is not conducive towards promoting mutual trust and communication between the Chinese and U.S. militaries," it added.

China's island-building programme in the South China Sea has sparked concern around the region and in Washington about Chinese intentions. China says it has every right to build what it calls necessary defensive facilities on its own territory.

Over the weekend China's air force landed bombers in the South China Sea as part of a training exercise, triggering concern from Vietnam and the Philippines.

The ministry reiterated that its building of defence facilities was to protect the country's sovereignty and legitimate rights, and had nothing to do with militarisation.

"The United States has no right to make irresponsible remarks about this," it added.

"Being invited or not cannot change China's will to play a role in protecting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and cannot shake China's firm determination to defend its sovereignty and security interests".

It is in both countries interests to develop healthy military ties, and China hopes the United States keeps the broader picture in mind, abandon its "zero sum" mentality and appropriately handle disputes, the ministry said.

Pentagon officials have long complained that China has not been candid enough about its rapid military build-up and using South China Sea islands to gather intelligence in the region.

Chinese officials have accused Washington of viewing their country in suspicious, "Cold War" terms.

Speaking at a separate briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China has sovereign rights in the South China Sea and it is not realistic for the United States to use this kind of action to try to coerce Beijing.

The United States has dispatched warships to disputed areas of the South China Sea in a bid to challenge China's extensive sovereignty claims in the territory, which is subject to various claims by China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard, Zhang Min and Michael Martina; Editing by Darren Schuettler) - Reuters/The Star Online

Trump can’t block his critics on Twitter, US judge rules

Thursday, 24 May 2018
3:09 PM MYT

The judge acknowledged that even though the president has certain free speech rights, he cannot violate the rights of other Twitter users. — AP

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump cannot legally block Twitter users who disagree with him, a federal judge ruled on May 23 in a case with potentially far-reaching implications for social media use by public officials.

Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said the blocking of Trump critics – which prevents them from seeing and interacting with the president’s tweets – violated the free speech rights of those users guaranteed in the Constitution’s First Amendment.

In a 75-page opinion, the New York federal judge said the users “were indisputably blocked as a result of viewpoint discrimination” and that this was “impermissible under the First Amendment”.

The ruling comes in response to a lawsuit filed by a group of Twitter users and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.

The judge acknowledged that even though the president has certain free speech rights, he cannot violate the rights of other Twitter users.

“While we must recognise, and are sensitive to, the president’s personal First Amendment rights, he cannot exercise those rights in a way that infringes the corresponding First Amendment rights of those who have criticised him,” she said in her opinion.

Buchwald stopped short of accepting the request for an injunction against Trump and his social media aide, Dan Scavino, who was also named in the complaint, saying she expected the White House to abide by her “declaratory” ruling.

Not above the law

“Because no government official is above the law and because all government officials are presumed to follow the law once the judiciary has said what the law is, we must assume that the president and Scavino will remedy the blocking we have held to be unconstitutional,” she wrote.

The White House directed queries to the Department of Justice, where a spokeswoman said in a statement, “We respectfully disagree with the court’s decision and are considering our next steps.”

Jameel Jaffer, the Knight Institute’s executive director, welcomed the ruling, saying it “reflects a careful application of core First Amendment principles to government censorship on a new communications platform.”

Jaffer added in a statement, “The president’s practice of blocking critics on Twitter is pernicious and unconstitutional, and we hope this ruling will bring it to an end.”

In the lawsuit, the seven individual plaintiffs, including a University of Maryland professor, a Texas police officer and a New York comic, said they were blocked from the @realDonaldTrump account after posting tweets critical of his policies.

Although they were still able to see the tweets without logging in to Twitter, and to quote Trump’s tweets in their own messages, their comments were excluded from the threads that make up a public “conversation” involving the president and his 52 million followers.

The case could affect other social media interactions involving public officials.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group which backed the lawsuit, said the case is part of a “broader issue” on how public officials use social media.

“We receive reports about how governmental officials manipulate social media comments to exclude opposing views to create the impression that hotly contested policies are not contested at all,” EFF said on Twitter after the case was filed.

The Knight Institute said it was lodging an appeal in the case of a Virginia resident blocked on Facebook by a local public official.

A supporting brief in the New York case argued that the case is important in guaranteeing political speech.

“In light of social media’s importance to modern life, President Trump’s practice of blocking individual users robs them of a singularly valuable opportunity to make their speech heard,” said the brief filed by the Georgetown University Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection. — AFP/The Star Online
Is Trump trying very hard to get into this “Men of Peace” list?