US President Donald Trump

Why Trump declares emergency in Washington ahead of Biden’s inauguration

*President Donald Trump directs Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ‘identify, mobilise, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency’

*Facebook removes posts that include the phrase “Stop the Steal” from its services, citing an “ongoing risk of violence associated with the term” regarding attacks on Capitol Hill

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

With nine days until US President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, and in against the backdrop of the assault on the US Capitol Wednesday last week, outgoing President Donald Trump has approved an emergency declaration for Washington, District of Columbia (D.C).

ConsumerConnect reports Washington, D.C., a city and district, is a Federal territory established in 1790 as the site of the new permanent capital of the United States of America (USA).

According to a statement released by the White House Monday night, President Trump authorises the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to “identify, mobilise, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.”

US troops deployed to the Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Agency report indicates Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser had asked the President to declare a “pre-emergency disaster” and for the Homeland Security to establish a “security and federal force deployment plan.”

Meanwhile, in connection with the attacks on the Capital Hill, Facebook Inc. says it is banning the phrase ‘Stop the Steal’ from its platforms due to its use by Trump supporters advocating violence.

The tech giant says it will remove posts that include the phrase “stop the steal” from its services, citing an “ongoing risk of violence associated with the term” following last week’s storming of the Capitol.

Recall that Facebook had banned a “Stop the Steal” group from its service after November’s US presidential election, but the phrase has become a rallying cry for Trump supporters who allege, without evidence, that Biden and the Democrats stole the election.

Now, the social media platform is blocking the phrase as part of enforcing its policy that forbids “coordinating harm.”

The move comes days after the company suspended Trump’s accounts on both Facebook and Instagram until at least the January 20 inauguration.

The company’s spokesperson stated it may “take some time” for the company to scale up its efforts at removing the phrase from Facebook’s properties, but that it has “already removed a significant number of posts” using the term.

In the meantime, House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio is urging the Federal Aviation Administration to take steps to prevent unrest on commercial airline flights ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Citing media reports of unruly passengers on flights to and from Washington since the riot at the Capitol, Democrats DeFazio, of Oregon, and Representative Rick Larsen, a Washington State Democrat and Chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee, wrote to FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson.

They said the agency should consider levying fines of as much as $35,000 per violation for passengers who disrupt flights with politically motivated protests.

They stated: “We also urge you not to hesitate to refer violations of criminal laws, including violations of the prohibition on interference with crew members’ performance of their duties, to the Justice Department for prosecution as well as to other appropriate Federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Transportation Security Administration.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has also issued a warning that there are plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals beginning on January 16 and at the US Capitol starting on January 17.

The protests may continue through inauguration day on January 20, according to a law enforcement official.

The news came as the Department of Homeland Security announced that security efforts for the inauguration will begin a week early.

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