Feb 28, 2018

FEMA official cites "boys club" in resignation letter

FEMA Administrator Brock Long on Capitol Hill. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

One of two public-affairs officials that have resigned from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) cited sexism within the agency in their resignation letter, Politico reports.

Why it matters: According to Politico, Paul McKellips, former FEMA press secretary, explains in his resignation letter that Susan Phalen, former head of external affairs, "was excluded from key meetings...because senior FEMA leaders favored male executives."

  • McKellips wrote: "No matter how hard or how often she asked for a seat at the table, she was neither invited to strategic planning meetings nor given access to leadership."
  • William Booher, director of public affairs for FEMA, said in a statement to Axios: "FEMA is an open and collaborative workplace environment. Our agency is committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and respect, promoting a culture that embraces diversity and allowing all employees the opportunity to achieve their full potential. We reject any assertion to the contrary."

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In photos: India welcomes president with massive "Namaste Trump" rally

First Lady Melania Trump, President Trump and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend the "Namaste Trump" rally at Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, on Monday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told a massive crowd at a rally in Ahmedabad, northwest India, Monday he hopes to reach a trade deal with his ""true friend" Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit to the country "except he's a very tough negotiator."

Why it matters: The countries are forging deeper ties, particularly in the military dimension, as India’s location, size and economic growth making it the "obvious counterweight to China" for American policymakers, per Axios' Dave Lawler and Zachary Basu. Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonstrated the importance of the visit with a "Namaste Trump Rally" at a packed 110,000-capacity Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad — the world's largest cricket venue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 32 mins ago - World

Coronavirus spreads to more countries as cases in South Korea surge

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain each reported their first cases of the novel coronavirus, Al Jazeera first reported, as infections in South Korea, Italy and mainland China continued to increase on Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, World Health Organization officials expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,619 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 45 mins ago - Health

Sanders reveals free childcare plan for preschoolers

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday a new plan to guarantee free child care and pre-kindergarten to all American children from infancy to age four.

Details: In the wide-ranging interview, Sanders told Anderson Cooper he planned to pay for universal childcare with a wealth tax. "It's taxes on billionaires," he said.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy