Former White House aide who wrote exposé sues Trump

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with a group of sheriffs from around the country before leaving the White House in Washingto on Feb. 11, 2019, for a trip to El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Updated 12 February 2019
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Former White House aide who wrote exposé sues Trump

  • Cliff Sims says the government is trying to punish him for writing his book “Team of Vipers”
  • Trump has dismissed Sims as a “low level staffer” whose book was “based on made up stories and fiction”

WASHINGTON: A former White House aide is suing President Donald Trump and arguing the government is trying to illegally penalize him after he wrote a book that portrayed an unflattering picture of life in the West Wing.
Cliff Sims filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court in Washington.
Trump’s campaign accused Sims last month of violating a nondisclosure agreement by publishing his book, “Team of Vipers.”
Trump has dismissed Sims as a “low level staffer.” He said the book was “based on made up stories and fiction.”
Sims’ lawsuit charges the government is using a private surrogate to “serve as an illegitimate cutout” and impose liability through the nondisclosure agreement. Sims argues he learned the information only through his time as a federal employee.
The White House didn’t immediately comment.


G20 set to agree on marine plastic pollution deal

Updated 7 min 8 sec ago
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G20 set to agree on marine plastic pollution deal

  • Plastic pollution has become an increasing international concern
  • Among the many concerns is the issue of microplastics, the tiny pieces of degraded waste that are difficult to collect once they enter the water

TOKYO: The Group of 20 major economies were set to agree a deal on reducing marine plastic waste at a meeting in Japan Sunday where they also discussed energy security following the oil tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman.
Japan “proposed a workable framework” on marine plastic waste that involves emerging and less developed countries, and was welcomed by member countries, environment minister Yoshiaki Harada told reporters late Saturday at the G20 environment and energy ministers’ meeting.
Plastic pollution has become an increasing international concern, particularly after bans imposed by China and other countries on the import of plastic waste from overseas.
Many countries, including Japan, have seen plastic waste pile up in the wake of the ban.
Among the many concerns is the issue of microplastics, the tiny pieces of degraded waste that are difficult to collect once they enter the water.
Microplastics tend to absorb harmful chemicals and accumulate inside fish, birds and other animals.
The proposal, made at the two-day meeting in the central mountain resort of Karuizawa, would be the first-ever framework to reduce plastic pollution in the ocean, and is expected to be included in a joint communique by the G20 ministers later Sunday.
Under the expected agreement, G20 members would commit to undertaking efforts to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up polluting oceans and to reporting their progress on a regular basis, according to Japanese media.
If an international framework on reducing marine plastic waste is agreed, it would be “the first step toward resolving the issue,” Hiroaki Odachi of Greenpeace Japan told AFP.
“But given the critical situation of ocean pollution with plastics, it is urgently needed to set up legally binding action plans with clear timelines and goals,” he added.
With only an estimated nine percent of plastics ever produced recycled, campaigners say the only long-term solution to the plastic waste crisis is for companies to make less and consumers to use less.
Japanese industry minister Hiroshige Seko, who is co-chairing the discussions with Harada, said late Saturday that Japan would aim to require businesses to charge for disposable shopping bags by as early as April to help reduce waste.
Many countries in the world already charge for single-use bags or ban them outright.
On energy security, Seko said Tokyo “is watching with grave concerns at the attacks on oil tankers by someone.”
“From a viewpoint of global energy security, it is necessary for the international community to jointly deal with the act,” Seko told the meeting.
The ministers agreed on the importance of securing stable energy supplies, he said.