Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Saudi Arabia: Women’s Rights Activists Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyouni Jailed for Helping Starving Mother
Two leading women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia are set to start a 10-month prison sentence for helping a woman who was starving. According to Equality Now, reliable sources say Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyouni will be arrested in the very near future, after losing an appeal against their sentence. Suad Abu-Dayyeh, Equality Now's Middle East and North Africa Consultant, said the sentence they were given in June shows authorities in Saudi Arabia are looking to silence the women for their human rights work. Al-Huwaider and Al-Oyouni were arrested in 2011 after responding to a plea for help from Canadian woman Nathalie Morin, who had texted them to say she and her children had been locked inside her house with no food. After arriving at the address, both women were arrested by police and charged with "supporting a wife without her husband's knowledge, thereby undermining the marriage". They denied the charges, saying they never intended to turn the woman against her husband - adding they never even met her. They believe they were set up by authorities because of their human rights work. Morin was not allowed to testify at the trial but has publicly declared her support for them. She wrote on her blog: "I am sorry for what's happening to madam Wajeha Al Huwaider and her friend. "[The] two Saudi women find themselves in a serious legal problem with jail just for trying to help me ... there is no evidence for the charges that are against her [Wajeha] and her friend." She also posted a YouTube video after they were convicted, saying she was trapped in Saudi Arabia and that she had never met Al-Huwaider or Al-Oyouni. As well as their 10-month prison sentence, the women have been banned from leaving Saudi Arabia for two years after their release. Abu-Dayyeh said: "It remains unclear whether Fawzia and Wajeha were victims of a set-up because of their past human rights work, and the critical stances they have historically taken against the Kingdom's restrictive laws and overall treatment of women. "The harsh sentences against them seem to indicate that the Saudi authorities are more concerned with punishing and silencing those who strive to protect and advocate for human rights, rather than actually addressing human rights abuses - a violation of international law. "The women have been targeted by police for years for their campaigning and now find themselves at the mercy of the system they have fought so tirelessly to change. "According to reports, this is also the first time in Saudi legal history that a travel ban has been imposed in a case involving domestic issues. "This case and the system of lifelong male guardianship of women in the Kingdom, clearly illustrate that protecting a husband's dominant, possibly abusive position in the family is more important than ensuring his wife's well-being, and that those who try to fight against discrimination and violence against women might well themselves be targeted."
An MP for Bangladesh's main opposition party has been sentenced to death by a war crimes court for charges including murder and genocide during the 1971 war of independence with Pakistan. Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, the first member of the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) to be tried by the court, was found guilty of nine out of 23 charges. The BNP and his lawyers argue that the trial was politically motivated. Previous verdicts against Islamist leaders have been followed by protests. The war crimes tribunal was set up by the Awami League-led government in 2010 and opposition parties have accused it of pursuing a political vendetta against its opponents. Tribunal's Chairman Justice ATM Fazle Kabir said: "We are of the unanimous view that the accused deserves the highest punishment for committing such crimes that troubled the collective conscience of mankind." But human rights groups and the BNP have both said that the tribunal falls short of international standards. "We will do whatever we need to do to show the world that this is a farce," the Reuters news agency quoted Chowdhury's wife, Farhat Quader Chowdhury, as saying immediately afterwards. Mr Chowdhury's lawyers say that they will appeal against the conviction at the Supreme Court. The BBC's Mahfuz Sadique - who was in court - says that Mr Chowdhury repeatedly interrupted the tribunal judges as they delivered their two-and-a-half hour verdict. "This judgement came from the [law] ministry. A copy of the verdict has been available on the internet since yesterday," Mr Chowhury cried out after the announcement of his conviction and sentencing had been finally completed. Our correspondent says that Mr Chowdury's lawyer also claimed that the verdict was a foregone conclusion - but allegations that it was available online beforehand are impossible to substantiate. Attorney General Mahbubey Alam has dismissed the allegations as "out of the question, incorrect... and merely an assumption". Lawyers sympathetic to the BNP meanwhile are reported to have threatened to "try everyone connected" with the war crimes tribunal once the party returns to power. Senior BNP official Khandker Mahabub Hossain said: "Everyone related with the trial will be tried some day on this soil." Security was tight in Dhaka where the verdict was heard in a packed courtroom. But troops were also deployed to Chittagong, the home district of Chowdhury where he has been re-elected six times - and where there is likely to be anger at the verdict. Trauma of independence Analysts say the tribunal's verdicts have exposed profound divisions in Bangladeshi society. Last month when the Supreme Court gave the death penalty to a senior leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, Abdul Kader Mullah, there were demonstrations both for and against the decision. The sentences handed down to its leaders over the last few months have unleashed a wave of unrest, pitting supporters of Jamaat against pro-government groups. But this rupture goes back to the very origins of Bangladesh when some groups, including Islamist groups like Jamaat, opposed the struggle for independence from Pakistan. The special court was set up in 2010 by the government to deal with those accused of collaborating with Pakistani forces who attempted to stop East Pakistan (as Bangladesh was then) from becoming an independent country. It is trying nine Jamaat leaders and two members of the BNP - they have always denied any role in war crimes committed by pro-Pakistan militias. Chowdhury is the first of those BNP members - and the first sitting MP - to be sentenced. Prosecutors accused him of genocide, abduction, committing atrocities against Hindus and forcefully converting a number of Hindus to Islam. During the war his father was an influential politician who worked to prevent Bangladesh breaking away. The prosecution also said that his father's residence in Chittagong was turned into a torture cell at that time. Bangladesh government figures estimate more than three million people were killed during the war. Other researchers put the figure at between 300,000 and 500,000.
The U.S. government began a partial shutdown on Tuesday for the first time in 17 years, potentially putting up to 1 million workers on unpaid leave, closing national parks and stalling medical research projects. Federal agencies were directed to cut back services after lawmakers could not break a political stalemate that sparked new questions about the ability of a deeply divided Congress to perform its most basic functions. After House Republicans floated a late offer to break the logjam, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected the idea, saying Democrats would not enter into formal negotiations on spending "with a gun to our head" in the form of government shutdowns. After missing the midnight deadline to avert the shutdown, Republicans and Democrats in the House continued a bitter blame game, each side shifting responsibility to the other in efforts to redirect a possible public backlash. If Congress can agree to a new funding bill soon, the shutdown could last days rather than weeks. But no signs emerged of a strategy to bring the parties together. The political dysfunction at the Capitol also raised fresh concerns about whether Congress can meet a crucial mid-October deadline to raise the government's $16.7 trillion debt ceiling. With an eye on the 2014 congressional elections, both parties tried to deflect responsibility for the shutdown. President Barack Obama accused Republicans of being too beholden to Tea Party conservatives in the House of Representatives and said the shutdown could threaten the economic recovery. The political stakes are particularly high for Republicans, who are trying to regain control of the Senate next year. Polls show they are more likely to be blamed for the shutdown, as they were during the last shutdown in 1996. "Somebody is going to win and somebody is going to lose," said pollster Peter Brown of the Quinnipiac University poll. "Going in, Obama and the Democrats have a little edge." The dollar held steady on Tuesday even though much of the U.S. government was due to start shutting down. S&P stock futures inched up 0.2 percent, unchanged from earlier price action after the cash index fell 0.6 percent on Monday, while U.S. Treasury futures slipped 5 ticks. Most Asian markets were trading higher on Tuesday. POLITICAL POLARIZATION The shutdown, the culmination of three years of divided government and growing political polarization, was spearheaded by Tea Party conservatives united in their opposition to Obama, their distaste for Obama's healthcare law and their campaign pledges to rein in government spending. Obama refused to negotiate over the demands and warned a shutdown could "throw a wrench into the gears of our economy." Some government offices and national parks will be shuttered, but spending for essential functions related to national security and public safety will continue, including pay for U.S. military troops. "It's not shocking there is a shutdown, the shock is that it hasn't happened before this," said Republican strategist John Feehery, a former Capitol Hill aide. "We have a divided government with such diametrically opposed views, we need a crisis to get any kind of results." In the hours leading up to the deadline, the Democratic-controlled Senate repeatedly stripped measures passed by the House that tied temporary funding for government operations to delaying or scaling back the healthcare overhaul known as Obamacare. The Senate instead insisted on funding the government through November 15 without special conditions. Whether the shutdown represents another bump in the road for a Congress increasingly plagued by dysfunction or is a sign of a more alarming breakdown in the political process could be determined by the reaction among voters and on Wall Street. "The key to this is not what happens in Washington. The key is what happens out in the real world," said Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis. "When Joe Public starts rebelling, and the financial markets start melting down, then we'll see what these guys do." A Reuters/Ipsos poll showed about one-quarter of Americans would blame Republicans for a shutdown, 14 percent would blame Obama and 5 percent would blame Democrats in Congress, while 44 percent said everyone would be to blame. An anticipated revolt by moderate House Republicans fizzled earlier on Monday after House Speaker John Boehner made personal appeals to many of them to back him on a key procedural vote, said Republican Representative Peter King of New York. After Boehner made his appeal, House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer called on him to permit a vote on a simple extension of federal funding of the government without any Obamacare add-on. "I dare you to do that," Hoyer roared. THE FALLOUT The potential fallout has some Republican Party leaders worried ahead of the 2014 mid-term elections and the 2016 presidential race, particularly given the Republican divisions over the shutdown. Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who commandeered the Senate floor for 21 hours last week to stoke the confrontation and urge House colleagues to join him, sparked a feud with fellow Republicans who disagreed with the shutdown and accused the potential 2016 presidential candidate of grandstanding. "Whether or not we're responsible for it, we're going to get blamed for it," King told reporters on Monday. "They've locked themselves into a situation, a dead-end that Ted Cruz created." It was unclear how long the shutdown would last and there was no clear plan to break the impasse. The Senate on Tuesday planned to recess until 9:30 a.m., at which time Democrats expect to formally reject the House of Representatives' latest offer for funding the government. The shutdown will continue until Congress resolves its differences, which could be days or months. But the conflict could spill over into the more crucial dispute over raising the federal government's borrowing authority. A failure to raise the $16.7 trillion debt ceiling would force the country to default on its obligations, dealing a potentially painful blow to the economy and sending shockwaves around global markets. Some analysts said a brief government shutdown - and a resulting backlash against lawmakers - could cool Republican demands for a showdown over the debt limit. "A lot of this is political theater. It's not about real policy. Part of this is taking a stand for their constituents," said Julian Zelizer, a historian at Princeton University. "If there is fallout from a shutdown and there is a big enough shock, maybe they will be willing to move on to other issues," he said. Obama says negotiating over the demands would only encourage future confrontations, and Democrats are wary of passing a short-term funding bill that would push the confrontation too close to the deadline for raising the debt ceiling. "The bottom line is very simple - you negotiate on this, they will up the ante for the debt ceiling," Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer said.
http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/Center for Human Rights Education- Pakistan and its member organization has expressed deep concerns over the three recent incidents of terrorism in Peshawar, the Provincial Capital of Khyber Pakhtun khwa (KPK) Province and has demanded urgent and effective actions to save the lives of the people. Enough lip service has been done but now the people want to see a concrete policy, effective strategy and action to stop terrorism. Today’s (September 29) bomb blast at Qisa Khwani Bazaar, recent attack on the government employee’s bus and deadly attack on the Christian community in a Church on September 24, 2013 has raised feelings of fear among the people and shows the failure of the security apparatus and the government. It is very sad that the federal and the provincial governments has not shown their seriousness after the deadly attack on the Church and remained failed to stop the other two attacks in the same city. This is a very serious situation. Therefore, Centre for Human Rights Education- Pakistan calls upon the government, Pakistan’s security apparatus and other political forces to pay attention to the worsening law and order situation and fulfil their responsibility of securing people’s right to life. Centre for Human Rights Education views that "It is good to have debate on whether to go for a dialogue or any other action to deal with the issue of terrorism. But the government ultimately needs to decide in consultation with other genuine political forces about the option it needs to adopt in the current circumstances. However while making any decision it should be kept in mind that the Pakistan’s territory and the lives of its people cannot be kept hostage in the hands of the terrorists who do not our law, our political system and the sovereignty of our country and want to impose their agenda by force. This is never acceptable".
A day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked Pakistan to shun terrorism to make peace with India, a top US defence official suggested that over time Islamabad "flirted" with terrorism as state policy.
And if the strategy had to be summed up in one word, it would be, “Collaborate!” Yes, collaborate with Taliban. Let me phrase it this way, “Empowering TTP to Prevent Violent Terrorism in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan”. Sounds catchy, doesn’t it? Almost as catchy as “Man-Caused Disasters”, “Scourge of Democracy”, “Bane of Free Markets” and comes from the same school of thought. Imran is the Chancellor of The University of Denial, whose motto is that the best way to fight terrorism in Pakistan is not to talk about it. And “Not talking about it” is a big part of PTI’s strategy. Here’s what Imran had to say and Asma Jahangir’s riposte to it.Imran warns repeatedly that drone attacks lead to terrorism. The LEJ has “Loose Lips, Kill Shias”, and “Loose Stereotypes” blow up ordinary Pakistani women and children to avenge drone attacks. This strategy treats terrorism as a persistent side issue, rather than a violent existential threat to the state and its subjects. And its only answer is to keep appeasing the extremist groups to entreat them to not to blow us up. Empowering Taliban is a transparent defense of Taliban and other organizations engaged in violent radical activities within our national territory.Rather than countering the violence perpetrated against the citizens of Pakistan, it pretends those attacks have never been made, and urges the state to continue partnering with the extremists. A course that leads national law enforcement to unwittingly work with the terrorist organizations. Fighting terrorism with more Islamism is Imran’s approach and it derives from his long-held fondness for Taliban. This is the fulcrum of appeasement. On the one hand Imran and those like him argue that terrorists are a tiny minority of a tiny minority. On the other, if the Republic of Pakistan fails to mend its ways and appease them, they warn that the bloodshed will continue and will spread. Imran now stands blatantly exposed as the apologist for a radical movement which has wrought mayhem all across Pakistan. Imran’s new strategy could have been written by Munawar Hassan. And, probably, it was. Even if it was not, what Imran has in common with the loose ideologues is that neither of them wants to allow a serious discussion about terrorism in Pakistan. Instead they want the conversation to be about how overblown and how dangerous the talk of fighting terrorism is. But if the idea of fighting Taliban is overblown, then why is it dangerous? And if it is dangerous, then why is it overblown? TBX1 Imran replaces terrorism with vague euphemism. With words so generic that they mean nothing at all. And the content is equally generic. Swap out a few words and it could be about any social problem in Sweden or Norway. But that’s the essence of this strategy. Inaction and ignorance. Ten years of inaction. Months of silence followed by hours of noise. It is not a rhetoric that sets out real goals and objectives. Its only objective is to sideline serious efforts to combat Taliban and replace it with blank buzzwords. Because he has no idea what’s out there anymore. To know the enemy is the first step toward defending against an attack. But how do you defend against a threat, when you can’t even spell its name? The terrorists of the TTP. The Orwellian blankness of Imran’s strategy is a space of ignorance to mask the truth of terrorism. The enemy is reduced to a social problem, terrorism to justifiable violent extremism, and the war on terror to nonsense. Postscript: It’s about time the likes of sensible people like Asad Umar start questioning their presence among the likes of Imran, Pervez Khattak, Arif Alvi etc. - See more at: http://lubpak.com/archives/285103#sthash.MC1DGR4F.dpuf
The Baloch HalBy Naeema Saeed A Few days ago, I told the editor of the Baloch Hal that I wanted to write for the paper. I see the Baloch Hal as an endeavor, being a part of which would be nothing less than a privilege for any Pakistani. But what could I possibly write about? The things which bother us are predominantly too “Pakistani” that are, ethnically, irrelevant to many in Balochistan. They are irrelevant because the people over there are routinely abducted and are mercilessly butchered. Yet, this does not stir the national conscience. But what else do I know about Balochistan? Hardly much! I only know about the eventual tragedies resulting from decades’ long negligent behavior and unfulfilled promises. And amongst those tragedies too, I am aware of only a fraction, and within that fraction, the state plays the victim as do the dissident groups. Finally, I had decided that I would write about the things the Punjabis have knowingly or unknowingly sacrificed for Pakistan and yet their acts are not acknowledged rather their attitude is seen as the imperial power that colluded with the establishment. However that evening I met a gentleman who has been working with a donor agency. He wanted to make a proposal regarding peace resolution, conflict prevention or something like that. “Why not explore Balochistan?” I asked. He was reluctant. Nobody goes there, he explained. The law and order situation is at its worst in Balochistan. He even said that he would be rather work in Afghanistan, where his organization is already working. For quite a while, I have had a defensive attitude for the Pakistani side. I sympathize with the Punjabis especially, not out of chauvinism but because I believe that the establishment and the Punjabis are not the same and they are often mistakenly deemed as interchangeable. I believe that most of the Punjabis are the well-wishers of the people living across Pakistan yet they are ignorant of about what is being done elsewhere in their name. I believe that the Punjabis are so zealously Pakistani and Muslim that to them being anything else is sort of a sin. So they do not like being Punjabi and they do not recognize or appreciate any other ethnic identity. Many of them do not appreciate the existence of other sects and religions too. It is unfortunate but in a way the Punjabis of Pakistan were never totally free from the colonial imprints. They have been fighting a war of self-assertion and identity for a long time. During all this time, they had not been at peace with themselves or with their surroundings. The Punjabis speak Urdu and appreciate English speaking people. The Punjabi language is usually shunned away as a language, especially in urban areas. So, their Pakistani selves have suppressed their native culture. They imitate the West and at the same time eulogize the Muslim conquerors. They think that Mahmood Ghaznavi is the real hero and they intentionally skip Bhagat Singh in national archives. Many of them know nothing of Bacha Khan. All I see is that the Punjabis are suffering from cultural cringe and an identity crisis. They assert the Pakistani self so much that they often overlook the basic tenet of the constitution i.e. Pakistan is a federation. A federation does not simply imply that there should be two tiers of government. It implies unity in multiplicity. Federations rule out regulating cultural differences. It is not merely a congregation of the units, states, provinces or cantons. It is celebration of diversity. Yet, many Pakistani and the most of the Punjabis ignore these facts. Because of the complexes surrounding their identity, I sympathize with the Punjabis. However, on that very day when the guy told me that working in Balochistan is the last of all options, my all delusions vanished away. It dawned upon me that the Punjabis and the rest of Pakistanis are not simply ignorant, they are deliberately ignorant. Their fault lies in ignoring the dark reality intentionally. The fault lies with the media too. Recently two earthquakes jolted the province of Baluchistan. In spite of that, all we see are few still shots and footages on television channels. The new island in Gwadar, on the contrary, was given live coverage in news bulletins. I believe even 2011 London riots were given better coverage by the Pakistani media than the earthquakes in Balochistan that have claimed hundreds of lives. In the backdrop of this indifference, every Pakistani is a culprit. We want to own Balochistan without putting any effort for it. This definitely is a form of imperialism. We blamed the state machinery for the Dhaka tragedy. In the age of flourishing electronic and social media we cannot play innocent anymore. We know the situation in Balochistan is unstable but we just ignore and sit idly. This surely is not going to help. Another disgraceful episode was the pre-election campaigns of Pakistani politicians. Many claimed legitimacy by just setting foot in Balochistan. They branded arranging one political rally in Quetta as their success. That surely is a point of mourning. It points out to the irony that they had been absent from Balochistan for years without caring about what had been going on and they appeared on the scene for political maneuvering just before the general elections. Moreover what about post-election scenario? There is silence again. Pakistanis know that the conditions are bad, but how and why they are they so bad? They do not know and their attitude shows that they are not very keen either to change the status quo. All the government does is to blame India and so do many media persons. To improve the situation, we need to find out our own faults and work on them. Nobody from outside could have flared up the situation to the extent that we have done in Balochistan. It is high time that we in the Punjab realized our responsibilities toward Balochistan. Naeema Saeed, based in Lahore, is a student of law and a freelance journalist who has previously worked with Geo Television
The government on Monday gave a shock to the already burdened public by announcing an increase in the prices of petroleum products and electricity. The government notified a significant hike in power prices, ranging between Rs 2.93 and Rs 5.89 per unit for domestic consumers. The increased prices will be effective from October 1 (today). An official of the Water and Power Ministry said the raise in the power tariff would help the government generate revenue from consumers, a move that will reduce the power subsidy, in accordance with IMF loan conditions. The domestic consumers using more than 200 units will now pay Rs 14 per unit against the old rate of Rs 8.15 per unit, an increase of Rs 5.89 per unit. Consumers using more than 700 units would face a hike of Rs 2.93 per unit in the tariff. Bulk consumers will now pay Rs 18 per unit, instead of Rs 15.07 per unit. The consumers of the Peshawar Electrical Supply Company and those who use less than 200 units per month would be exempted from the hike in prices. Meanwhile, contrary to the proposals of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and Petroleum Ministry, the government on Monday went ahead with the increase in prices. The price of supreme petroleum has gone up from Rs 109.50 to Rs 113.25. Whereas, after an increase of Rs 4.69 a litre, the new price of diesel would be Rs 116.95 against the old price of Rs 112.26. The price of light diesel (LDO) has been increased by Rs 2.81, taking it to Rs 101.24 per litre from Rs 98.43. Likewise, the price of HOBC has been increased from Rs 138.33 to Rs 143.9. The price of kerosene oil, mostly used as fuel in remote areas where LPG is not available, has also gone up from Rs 105.99 to Rs 108.14 after an increase of Rs 2.14 litre. According to an official, OGRA had advised the government not to pass on the price differential to the consumers and maintain the September prices for the month of October. He said that the ministry had also endorsed the recommendations of OGRA and called for maintaining the prices and subsiding the differential. However, he added, the government’s finance managers have the final say in this regard. The official further said that the government is still subsidising supreme petroleum. “Instead of passing on the differential of Rs 5.45 a litre, the government has passed on Rs 4.12 and subsidised the product with Rs 1.33 litre,” he added. The opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have reacted strongly to the increase in power tariff by the government. PPP President Amin Fahim Monday said it was an anti-people step that would make survival difficult for the poor masses. “The government of the rich cares only about the rich and has nothing to do with the poor people,” Fahim said. He said the PPP would lodge a strong protest in the National Assembly and would also hold demonstrations across the country over the hike in prices. The party termed it a “callous and thoughtless move totally disregarding the plight of the poor people” of the country. In a statement leader of the opposition Khursheed Shah said that the raise of four rupees per unit in the price of electricity will place crushing burden on the people already reeling under inflation, lawlessness and unemployment. He said that the party will raise the issue in parliament along with other parties in the opposition with a view to force the government to take back its decision. Meanwhile, PTI termed the new electricity rates as “brutality against masses”. “What the PPP government did in five years, PML-N has done in four months,” the PTI spokesman said. He added that the party would stage protest rallies to demand withdrawal of increase in the electricity rates. The party said that this act of the government has burdened the already financially crushed people of the country and it would be unbearable for the poor masses. It warned the government to refrain from passing the burden of its expenditure and budget deficit to the people through such “cruel acts”.
In a move that is feared to unleash a new wave of massive inflation across the country, the government has enormously increased the prices of petroleum products and electricity tariff effective from Tuesday (October 1), Geo News reported Monday. According to sources at the Ministry of Petroleum, the petrol price has been raised by Rs4.12 and that of diesel by Rs4.69 per litre. Now a litre of petrol and diesel will be available to the consumers at Rs113.25 and Rs116.95 respectively. The price of light diesel has been jacked up by Rs2.81 per litre to Rs101.24. Earlier today, the government had notified a staggering rise in electricity tariff of up to Rs5.89 per unit with effect from October 1. The above steps are expected to let loose a huge storm of price hike, as rates of all the essential items including edibles will sharply go up in the coming days. The worst-hit will once again be the masses including the people belonging to low and fixed income brackets.
The U.S. federal government was due to start partially shutting down on Tuesday after lawmakers failed to compromise on an emergency spending bill before a midnight deadline. Competing spending measures flew back and forth between the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and Democratic-led Senate late into Monday night, but Congress deadlocked over Republican efforts to use a temporary spending bill as a means to delay implementation of President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare law. It is unclear how long a government shutdown will last. The funding gap will leave some essential functions like national security intact but sharply cut many regulatory agencies, furloughing up to a million federal workers.