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World
02 May 2017

Trump administration reportedly revokes Michelle Obama's "Let Girls Learn" initiative

Trump wages war against Michelle Obama?

US President Donald Trump's administration is reportedly revoking former First Lady Michelle Obama's signature 'Let Girls Learn' program with immediate effect.

The initiative, launched by former president Barack Obama and Michelle in 2015, was aimed at providing proper education to 62 million adolescent girls around the world.

However, despite CNN accessing an internal memo on the matter, the White House has denied the reports.

In context

Trump wages war against Michelle Obama?

Let Girls Learn - the project

The initiative, in collaboration with Peace Corps and US Agency for International Development (USAID), was conceptualized by Michelle after she met Malala Yousafzai. It included mentorship programs, leadership camps and more. The total funding for girls' education in 50 countries reached over $1bn last year.

Peace Corps received email cancelling the program

Details

Peace Corps received email cancelling the program

The purported rollback came to light when Peace Corps staffers reportedly received an email on May 1. "Moving forward, we will not continue to use the 'Let Girls Learn' brand or maintain a stand-alone program," it said.

Employees were also told aspects of the project would be retained, but the name 'Let Girls Learn' has to go.

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Statement

White House denies reports

Meanwhile, the White House denied making any changes to the program. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert confirmed the same.

"The Administration supports policies and programs to empower adolescent girls, including efforts to educate them through the completion of secondary school," said a USAID spokesperson.

However, officials refused to comment on the initial memo, nor on whether "Let Girls Learn" would remain a standalone program.

In the meantime, Agriculture Department targets Michelle's school lunch program

Lunch

In the meantime, Agriculture Department targets Michelle's school lunch program

The reports surfaced the same day the Department of Agriculture announced new rules clashing with Michelle Obama's Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

Easing school lunch regulations, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced suspension of sodium reduction and whole-grain requirements, and return of 1 percent fat flavored milk to school cafeterias.

However, Perdue insisted, "We're not winding back any standards at all."

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