Trump Pardons

President Trump granted clemency to 11 individuals on Tuesday, some of whom had been convicted of crimes ranging from tax fraud to obstructing an investigation to money laundering. The series of pardons and commutations was extended to several people who had historic ties to Trump, his business, and his family. However, those receiving clemency also included several people who had been serving long prison sentences for drug crimes, a seeming extension of Trump’s support for the First Step Act.

Trump in India

President Trump was in India this week, as he was welcomed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to messages of “Namaste Trump.” The president was greeted with enormous fanfare as he spoke at a cricket stadium in front of 100,000 people and posed with his wife in front of the majestic Taj Mahal. However, clashes between Hindus and Muslims took place during the president’s visit, and the violence has resulted in at least 20 confirmed dead. Trump was not able to secure any broad trade deals as the administration may have hoped, only committing to sell limited military equipment to India.

Negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan

The U.S. has been in continual talks with the Taliban, agreeing to a reduction of hostilities this week. Though a few violent episodes have occurred, the reduction has largely held. The Taliban and U.S. hope to reach an agreement that results in the Taliban denouncing al Qaeda while the U.S. draws down and eventually pulls out troops. However, this negotiation is complicated by the absence of the Afghan government, which is divided after recent election results.

Democratic Primary

Democratic presidential candidates had a heated debate on Tuesday roiled by politicians talking over each other and moderators desperately trying to retain control of the room. Bernie Sanders faced confrontations about his record on socialist foreign leaders and the costs of his plans, while former Mayor Bloomberg heard continued criticism from Senator Elizabeth Warren about his nondisclosure agreements. Check on 2020 Fever for more information on the primary.