U.S. Congress approves criminal justice bill backed by Trump
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress on Thursday gave final approval to bipartisan legislation supported by President Donald Trump that would bring sweeping changes to prison sentencing and the treatment of inmates during incarceration and following their release. By a vote of 358-36, the House of Representatives passed the bill that was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate on Tuesday.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress on Thursday gave final approval to bipartisan legislation supported by President Donald Trump that would bring sweeping changes to prison sentencing and the treatment of inmates during incarceration and following their release.
By a vote of 358-36, the House of Representatives passed the bill that was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate on Tuesday. It now goes to Trump, who is expected to sign it into law.
The "First Step Act," years in the making, represents an easing of tough, law-and-order minimal sentencing requirements imposed on judges that stemmed from a 1980s drive to clamp down on an illegal drug epidemic in the United States.
But with about 2.2 million people incarcerated in the United States, many of them serving long prison sentences for nonviolent crimes, conservatives and liberals in Congress worked in an uncharacteristically bipartisan fashion to pass the bill.
"These changes recognise the fundamental unfairness of a system that imposes lengthy imprisonment that is not based on the facts and circumstances of each offender and each case," Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler said during House debate.
Nadler is poised to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee next month when Democrats take majority control of the chamber.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Susan Heavey, Mohammad Zargham and Jeffrey Benkoe)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.