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OPINION: US ELECTIONS

CLINTON

Americans abroad: get off the fence, stop Trump

If you're an American in Europe, don't let high-minded queasiness stop you using your vote - there's too much at stake, says Laura Shields of Democrats Abroad.

Americans abroad: get off the fence, stop Trump
The idea of liberal rage isn’t exactly something that instils fear in your average person. But as a British- American living in Belgium, I am mad as hell about what is going on in both my countries and I’m not going to take it anymore.
 
After campaigning against Brexit and watching many of my fellow Brits disenfranchised and unable to vote because of arbitrary and unfair rules, I am not going to sit by and watch my fellow 8 million Americans living abroad not use their precious vote on November 8th.
 
Unlike many Europeans, American citizens have votes for life.  Do you realise how lucky this makes us?  And anyone who has been through the annual trauma of filing an FBAR or US tax return is more than entitled to vote as compensation. 
 
Voting is a privilege. So get over any high-minded expat queasiness you may have about not being ‘entitled to vote’ or not really following what’s going on back in the States, and register. You’ll be pretty annoyed on November 9th when you realise the election was stolen in a daylight raid by a campaign that wouldn’t know a scruple if it slapped them in the face with a bag of Skittles.
 
Still unconvinced? Then ask yourself this:
 
Do I think it’s ok that there are people who genuinely think that there was no racism in America before Obama?
 
And that African-Americans have only themselves to blame for the problems they’ve experienced over the past 40 years?  
 
Do I really want America to go backwards instead of moving forward on immigration, health care, education, the environment?
 
If you do, then you are beyond hope.
 
But if you don’t, and you also don’t want a Commander-in-Chief spouting this kind of divisive rubbish both at home and on the world stage, then you need to vote for Hillary Clinton in November. 
 
You may have preferred Bernie Sanders, you may be an independent or Republican, but let’s make one thing crystal clear: abstaining or voting for a third-party candidate is a vote for Trump.
 
See what I did there? Populists like to make things grotesquely simple. So I’m doing it too. And it’s not just me: Both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have already said as much.
 
Registering to vote and getting your ballot takes 10 minutes and a quick walk to the post office. But hurry up. Most States are about to close the registration process.
 
And use your vote wisely: there are enough divisive populists in power right now. 
 

Laura Shields is a Spokesperson for Democrats Abroad Belgium. Americans living outside the US can register to vote at www.VotefromAbroad.org

NORWEGIAN

Norwegian to slash staff by half in wake of Trump travel ban

Norwegian Air Shuttle said on Thursday it would temporarily lay off up to half its staff, following the US travel ban and the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Norwegian to slash staff by half in wake of Trump travel ban
A Boeing 737 33-S operated by Norwegian landing at Oslo's Gardermoen Airport. Photo: Erlend Aas/ NTB Scanpix/AFP
“The new restrictions imposed further pressure on an already difficult situation,” Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian, said in a statement, referring to the 30-day travel ban from Europe to the US introduced by US president Donald Trump.
   
“Due to the extraordinary market situation as a result of the coronavirus… we must look at all possible measures to reduce costs,” the company said in a statement.
   
“This unfortunately also includes temporary lay-offs of up to 50 percent of our employees and the number may increase,” it added, confirming the staff would be let go.
 
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The low-cost carrier also said it was cancelling more than 4,000 flights, including 3,000 already announced on Tuesday.
   
“We do not rule out that others may follow,” airline spokesman Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen told AFP. “The situation is changing from minute to minute,” he told AFP.
   
According to the airline, about 40 percent of its long-haul fleet would be grounded as it was cancelling the majority of flights from European airports to the US.
   
The company said it would continue to operate flights between London — which is excluded from the travel ban — and the US, and hoped to re-route as many of its passengers as possible.
   
Norwegian, which has been in deficit for three years and is heavily indebted due to an ambitious expansion policy, especially in long-haul flights, has been plummeting on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
   
On Thursday, after the announcement by the US president, the share fell by 22 percent. The stock has fallen by over 80 percent in the last month.
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