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Going to met Kim Jong in Hanoni, Trump.

WASHINGTON: By Rizwan Aftab Donald Trump and Kim Jong are going to meet for the second time in Summit in Hanoni. Trump announce the meeting location on Twitter،“It will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27 & 28. I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim & advancing the cause of peace! He Added “My representatives have just left North Korea after a very productive meeting and an agreed upon time and date for the second Summit with Kim Jong Un,”

WASHINGTON: By Rizwan Aftab Donald Trump and Kim Jong are going to meet for the second time in Summit in Hanoni. Trump announce the meeting location on Twitter،“It will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27 & 28. I look forward to seeing Chairman Kim & advancing the cause of peace! He Added “My representatives have just left North ... Read More »

Major US airports experiencing delays due to staffing issues amid government shutdown

Due to air traffic control staffing shortages, the FAA has warned of delays at New York's LaGuardia and other East Coast airports. The disruption to air traffic has come amid an ongoing federal government shutdown. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported delays in air travel on Friday due to staffing issues at two air traffic control facilities. The FAA delays are impacting flights at New York's LaGuardia Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, and Philadelphia International Airport in Pennsylvania — all three airports are in the top 25 busiest airports in North America. Staff shortages at two East Coast air traffic control facilities prompted the federal agency to institute a program that spaces out the time between arriving flights, but that it would lead to nearly 90-minute delays. "We've mitigated the impact by augmenting staffing, rerouting traffic, and increasing spacing between aircraft as needed," the FAA said. "The results have been minimal impacts to efficiency while maintaining consistent levels of safety in the national airspace system," the agency added. The FAA also briefly ordered a ground stop for LaGuardia on Friday morning, which meant that airplanes that were not already enroute to the airport were kept at their airports of origin, flight-tracking site Flightradar24 said on Twitter, adding that the order was later lifted Air traffic controllers, airport screening staff and other Transportation Security Administration (TSA) staff are among the federal workers who are not getting paid during an ongoing partial government shutdown in the US, which has lasted 35 days. The White House said that US President Donald Trump was being kept up-to-date on the airport delays and that they were "monitoring" the situation. Two competing plans from Democrats and Republicans to end the shutdown failed to pass through the Senate on Thursday. Negotiations over the federal budget have stalled over the issue of building a wall on the US's southern boarder with Mexico, a project that Trump had long said that Mexico would finance. On Thursday, Trump said he would support "a reasonable agreement" to reopen government, but that he'd want a "prorated down payment" on the wall. House and Senate Democrat leaders said they would not support an agreement that included funding for the wall.

Due to air traffic control staffing shortages, the FAA has warned of delays at New York’s LaGuardia and other East Coast airports. The disruption to air traffic has come amid an ongoing federal government shutdown. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reported delays in air travel on Friday due to staffing issues at two air traffic control facilities. The FAA delays ... Read More »

Trump administration must return press pass to CNN reporter Jim Acosta

A judge has ordered the Trump administration to immediately return White House press credentials to CNN's Jim Acosta. The journalist's press pass was revoked after a contentious press conference with President Trump. A US District Court on Friday ordered the White House to temporarily restore the press credentials of CNN journalist Jim Acosta. The journalist, who is CNN's chief White House correspondent, was barred from the White House after a contentious press conference with President Donald Trump. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders accused Acosta of "placing his hands" on an intern as she sought to take the microphone from him after the president indicated he would not answer a question from Acosta. The White House agreed to temporarily reinstate Acosta's press pass after the order. Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee, ordered the administration to restore Acosta's press pass while the case is pending. Kelly said there should be a due process in place for limiting a journalist's access to the White House. Describing the White House's reasons for revoking Acosta's credentials, Kelly said the "belated efforts were hardly sufficient to satisfy due process." Sanders had spelled out the reasons in a series of tweets only after CNN filed its lawsuit. 'Let's go back to work' The judge also found that Acosta suffered "irreparable harm," as he dismissed the Trump administration's argument that CNN could just send other reporters to report on the White House in Acosta's place. "Let's go back to work," Acosta told reporters after the hearing. CNN said in a statement it "looked forward to a full resolution in the coming days" and thanked "all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press." Trump has made no secret of his dislike for the US broadcaster, often describing the network as "fake news." But in court, US government lawyers said Acosta was penalized for acting rudely at the conference and not for his criticisms of the president.

A judge has ordered the Trump administration to immediately return White House press credentials to CNN’s Jim Acosta. The journalist’s press pass was revoked after a contentious press conference with President Trump. A US District Court on Friday ordered the White House to temporarily restore the press credentials of CNN journalist Jim Acosta. The journalist, who is CNN’s chief White ... Read More »

World leaders gather to mark 100 years since WWI armistice

Leaders of some 70 countries are commemorating the armistice that ended World War I a century ago. Some 10 million soldiers lost their lives in the conflict. In London, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier became the first German head of state to place a wreath at the Cenotaph war memorial in central London. He arrived with Prince Charles, who laid the first wreath on behalf of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, who looked on from a nearby balcony. The wreath that Steinmeier laid at the cenotaph bore the following handwritten message: "Honored to remember side by side/Grateful for reconciliation/Hopeful for a future in peace and friendship." Ahead of the ceremony, the British government said Steinmeier's wreath was laid "in a historic act of reconciliation." Paris, Arc de Triomphe Some 70 world leaders gathered at the famous Arc de Triomphe in the French capital to mark 100 years since the end of World War I. Commemorations in Paris had been scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. local time (1000 UTC), the time that the Armistice signed by the Allies and the Germans on November 11, 1918, went into force. However, the proceedings were slightly delayed, with leaders arriving too late for the exact moment. The large number of countries represented in Paris reflects the widespread nature of a conflict in which an estimated 37 million people, including 10 million soldiers, lost their lives. The city of Paris itself was a key objective in the war, with the Allies fighting successfully against German efforts to capture it in 1914. The solemn ceremony, held in rainy conditions, featured schoolchildren reading moving messages written by soldiers in eight languages, as well as musical performances, including by French-born Chinese-American cellist Yo-Yo Ma and West African singer Angelique Kidjo. Patriotism, not nationalism French President Emmanuel Macron held an address in which he described the joy at the end of the conflict, but also remembered the horrors and millions of dead and wounded. In his speech, he called the nationalism that underlay the war a betrayal of patriotism. He appealed for friendship and dialogue between the nations to create a peaceful future. "The old demons are rising again," Macron said. "We must reaffirm before our peoples our true and huge responsibility: that of passing on to our children the world that previous generations dreamed of." "Together, we can banish the specters of climate change, poverty, hunger, illness, all the inequalities and every ignorance," he added Far-flung conflict The Paris commemorations were preceded by ceremonies in New Zealand, Australia, India, Hong Kong and Myanmar, former British colonies that lost tens of thousands of people sent to fight in the war. Although Sunday's ceremonies celebrate an act that brought a short-lived peace to the world, they are taking place at a time of growing nationalism and international tensions. US President Donald Trump, one of the leaders attending the event, is seen by many as undermining the Western alliance and world bodies such as the UN with his self-declared nationalism. Trump will not be present at the Paris Peace Forum conceived by Macron to highlight the importance of international institutions for global peace and prosperity. The Forum is to be opened with a speech given by German Chancellor Angela Merkel alongside UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Some of those who participated in Sunday's commemorations had relatives who fought in what is often known as the "Great War," and had come a long way to be in Paris, as DW's Bernd Riegert reported. Some protest Other attendees of the memorial service and Forum included Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump and Putin greeted each other and shook hands at the ceremony, Russian television showed. The gesture comes as relations between their two countries remain strained, among other things because of alleged Russian interference in recent US elections. The US president pointedly did not extend his hand to Trudeau. Earlier this year, Trump described the Canadian premier as "dishonest and weak" amid a dispute over what he alleges are Canada's "unfair" trade practices. As Trump's motorcade made its way up the Champs-Elysees, it was temporarily halted after two topless protesters approached it wearing slogans on their bodies. Police quickly overpowered the protesters, whom the feminist group Femen claimed as its own.

Leaders of some 70 countries are commemorating the armistice that ended World War I a century ago. Some 10 million soldiers lost their lives in the conflict. In London, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier became the first German head of state to place a wreath at the Cenotaph war memorial in central London. He arrived with Prince Charles, who laid the first ... Read More »

Germany, Europe see little hope for Trump policy change after US midterm election

Berlin isn't expecting Trump to change his "America First" stance following the US midterm elections, Germany's foreign minister said. Other German and European politicians hailed the results as a setback for Trump. Although Democrats made electoral gains in Tuesday's midterm elections, officials in Germany and other European Union countries said they do not believe the results will prompt a change in US President Donald Trump's approach to foreign policy. "It would be a mistake to expect a course correction from Donald Trump now," German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wrote on Twitter. He emphasized that the United States remains Germany's closest partner outside of Europe, but in order to maintain that partnership he said, "We will have to recalibrate and adjust our relationship with the USA." The Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives in Tuesday's polls, but Trump's Republicans strengthened their grip on power in the Senate. The transatlantic coordinator for the German government, Peter Beyer, was also skeptical that Tuesday's election results will ease Europe's worries, particularly since NATO matters and international trade are under the jurisdiction of the Republican-controlled Senate. "I don't think we should expect too much from this outcome and the impact on us," Beyer told German public broadcaster ZDF. EU politicians praise Democrat wins Frans Timmermans, the vice president of the European Commission, wrote on Twitter that US voters "chose hope over fear, civility over rudeness, inclusion over racism, equality over discrimination." "They stood up for their values. And so will we," the Dutch politician added, looking ahead to the European Parliament elections in 2019. Pierre Moscovici, a former French finance minister who is the European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, made an ironic comment about Trump's claim of "tremendous success" in the election. "The Democrats win the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years despite powerful Republican gerrymandering," Moscovici wrote on Twitter. "Donald Trump is right: 'Tremendous success tonight.'" Manfred Weber, a German politician who heads up the European Parliament's center-right European People's Party (EPP), said the results were a "mixed signal." With Democrats in control of the House of Representatives, pushing through Trump's legislative agenda will now be harder, Weber told local public broadcaster Bayerische Rundfunk, adding that Republicans and Democrats will have to work together to find solutions and "that is perhaps the good news of the day." Good day for democracy in America' Some in Germany saw the election results as an opportunity to forge better ties with Congress, and possibly block actions from Trump that could negatively impact Europe. "Now there are more people in office who might be more open to having a constructive dialogue with Europeans and I think Germans will use that opportunity," Daniela Schwarzer, Director at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) told DW. Jürgen Hardt, the foreign policy spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc in parliament, said Germany needs to quickly line-up talks with the new members of Congress in Washington. Berlin especially needs to make clear the "the importance of the transatlantic relationship" to the new representatives and senators, he told public broadcaster SWR. Annalena Baerbock, the co-leader of the Greens, hailed the election as a "good day for democracy in America," adding that the results show "that discriminatory rhetoric and policies of marginalization do not win over the majority." Overall, Democratic candidates for Congress won nearly 14 million votes more than Republican nominees. Backing for Trump came from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), who congratulated the US leader on his victory in the Senate, saying the results were due to his "successful economic and migration policy," reported DW's Thomas Sparrow.

Berlin isn’t expecting Trump to change his “America First” stance following the US midterm elections, Germany’s foreign minister said. Other German and European politicians hailed the results as a setback for Trump. Although Democrats made electoral gains in Tuesday’s midterm elections, officials in Germany and other European Union countries said they do not believe the results will prompt a change ... Read More »

Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect pleads not guilty

Appearing in court for the second time this week, Robert Bowers pleaded not guilty to 44 counts against him. He's accused of killing 11 worshippers at the weekend. Robert Bowers, the man charged withopening fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue and killing 11 worshiperspleaded not guilty on Thursday in federal court to all 44 counts against him. The counts include hate crimes as well as firearms offenses. Bowers, an avowed anti-Semite, appeared defiant in court. He spoke little, and only said that he understood the charges against him, and that some of them could result in the death penalty. He followed by entering a plea of "not guilty." The grand jury voted to indict Bowers on 44 counts, according to a filing in federal court in Pittsburgh. They include 11 counts of "obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death" (a federal charge akin to murder that can carry the death penalty), and various charges related to his use of a gun in an act of anti-religious violence. Bowers was injured during a shootout with police after he opened fire at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood on Saturday. It is believed to be the worst anti-Semitic attack in US history. More funerals after Trump's contentious visit Three more victims' funerals were expected later in the day in Pittsburgh — for Sylvan Simon, 86, his wife, Bernice, 84, and for Richard Gottfried, 65. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump made a politically tricky visit to Pittsburgh, accompanied by his wife Melania, Orthodox Jewish son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka. Their arrival coincided with the first victims' funerals. Opponents and noisy groups of local protesters said, however, that he shouldn't even have gone to Pittsburgh. Starkly illustrating the controversy, there wasn't anyone available, beyond the local air force base commander and his wife, to meet the president on arrival from Washington.

Appearing in court for the second time this week, Robert Bowers pleaded not guilty to 44 counts against him. He’s accused of killing 11 worshippers at the weekend. Robert Bowers, the man charged withopening fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue and killing 11 worshiperspleaded not guilty on Thursday in federal court to all 44 counts against him. The counts include hate ... Read More »

Trump heralds Bolsonaro victory in Brazil

Right-wing president-elect Jair Bolsonaro said he would aim to unite a divided country. US President Donald Trump was one of the first to congratulate the new leader. Jair Bolsonaro's victory in the second round of presidential election voting on Sunday has moved Brazil sharply to the right after four elections won by the left-leaning Workers' Party. Bolsonaro won 55 percent of the votes, with about 45 percent for Workers' Party (PT) candidate Fernando Haddad. US President Donald Trump called Bolsonaro on Sunday and said he had had "a very good conversation" with Brazil's president-elect. "We agreed that Brazil and the United States will work closely together on Trade, Military and everything else!," Trump tweeted on Monday. "Excellent call, wished him congrats!" Trump spoke of "a strong commitment to work side-by-side" on issues affecting Brazil, the US and beyond, the White House said. Like Trump, Bolsonaro has suggested he might pull Brazil out of the Paris agreement on climate change and has promised to cut environmental regulations. Bolsonaro said immediately after his victory was announced on Sunday night he would try to "pacify" Brazil after a heated election campaign. "This country belongs to all of us, Brazilians by birth or by heart, a Brazil of diverse opinions, colors and orientations," he said in a live television address. He has promised to crack down on violent crime and has been a frequent critic of womens' rights, gay rights and black rights, advocated torture and killings by police. He also said he would name military men to his Cabinet. The election was fought in a febrile and often violent atmosphere, with Brazilians bombarded by WhatsApp messages from Bolsonaro's camp attacking Haddad. Bolonaro was stabbed and almost died while campaigning in September. Muted and less-muted foreign reactions The German government said in a statement on Monday that it hoped to maintain a bilateral relationship with Brazil "on the basis of our joint values." Spokesman Steffen Seibert said "it remains to be seen what the policies of the newly elected president will look like." French President Emmanuel Macron meanwhile congratulated Bolsonaro on being "elected by the Brazilian people to the presidency," also highlighting the "common values" of the "promotion of democratic principles." The leader of Italy's right-wing League, Matteo Salvini, welcomed the victory of Bolsonaro with a message on Twitter: "Brazil and its citizens have sent the left home," he wrote. "The friendship between our people and our governments will be even stronger," he wrote. Economic policy the key Bolsonaro's future chief of staff Onyx Lorenzoni said the new administration would focus on economic priorities and give "business more autonomy." The new president's first foreign visits will be to Chile, followed by the US and Israel. Bolsonaro has brought multimillionaire investment banker Paulo Guedes on board as his economic adviser. The 69-year-old Guedes is to become "super minister" for economics. Brazil has one of the largest budget deficits in the world, at just under 8 percent of GDP in 2017, with national debt amounting to roughly 80 percent of GDP. Opposition defiant Haddad said he would mount a "vigorous opposition" after congratulating Bolsonaro via Twitter on Monday. "President Jair Bolsonaro. I wish you success. Our country deserves the best. I write this message today with a light heart, with sincerity, so that it brings the best out in us all. Good luck!" he wrote. Haddad said his party would fight on but would respect the country's institutions. "We have the responsibility to mount an opposition, putting national interests, the interests of the entire Brazilian people, above everything," Haddad said in a speech to supporters on Monday. "Brazil has possibly never needed the exercise of citizenship more than right now." Haddad was selected by the PT to run for the presidency in place of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, an ex-president jailed on corruption charges in April and excluded from the race. The hashtag EleNaoEMeuPresidente ("HeIsNotMyPresident" in Portuguese) was a top trending topic on Twitter in Brazil on Monday morning. International civil rights groups have also expressed concern about Bolsonaro's apparent autocratic tendencies. Human Rights Watch, for example, called on Brazil's judiciary and other institutions to "resist any attempt to undermine human rights, the rule of law and democracy under Jair Bolsonaro's government." Steve Schwartzman of the Environmental Defense Fund warned that Bolsonaro's promises about the environment would be "dangerous to the planet." Domestic support The judge who oversaw many cases in a recent corruption investigation wished Bolsonaro well. "It is important to enact, with dialogue and tolerance, reforms to improve the economy and the integrity of the public administration, as well as restoring the population's confidence in the political class," Judge Sergio Moro wrote in a statement. Many Brazilians were angry with the Workers' Party for its alleged role in a major corruption scandal, known as "Operation Car Wash."

Right-wing president-elect Jair Bolsonaro said he would aim to unite a divided country. US President Donald Trump was one of the first to congratulate the new leader. Jair Bolsonaro’s victory in the second round of presidential election voting on Sunday has moved Brazil sharply to the right after four elections won by the left-leaning Workers’ Party. Bolsonaro won 55 percent ... Read More »

China, Japan willing to mend ties amid Trump challenge

China's ongoing trade spate with the US has dominated Japan PM Shinzo Abe's visit to the country. The first Sino-Japanese summit since 2011 could further thaw relations between Asia's two biggest economies. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that Japan and China have a duty to ensure regional security. On his first bilateral visit to China, Abe added that the two countries need to normalize ties and work together on the North Korea issue. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang welcomed Abe at Beijing's Tiananmen Square. In a veiled reference to US President Donald Trump's "America First" protectionism policies, he stressed that both nations recognize free trade should be safeguarded. Abe's trip China comes at a time when Beijing is locked in a trade dispute with the US, with both countries imposing reciprocal tariffs. President Trump has also targeted Japanese exports in his effort to reduce US trade deficit. "The visit is certainly a historic turning point. The ties between the two countries deteriorated in the past few years, with Japan wary of China's assertive policies. On the other hand, Beijing is unhappy that Abe refuses to address Japan's wartime past," said Mathias Boelinger, DW's correspondent in Beijing, adding that both sides have to show flexibility to improve relations. "Trump is not the only reason, but he is certainly a major reason behind China's interest in mending ties with Japan. China fears the US is trying to isolate it," he added. Reseting economic ties Later on Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Abe are expected to discuss how to boost economic ties between the world's second and third largest economies. China is Japan's biggest trading partner and many Japanese companies have invested large sums in the country. Delegates from 500 Japanese firms are visiting China along with Abe. While Japan is eager to access China's massive market, China is interested in Japan's technology and corporate expertise. Ties between China and Japan have taken a positive turn over the past several months. This was evident during the recent meeting between Xi and Abe at a September summit in Russia's far-eastern city of Vladivostok. "Though the US is quite an influential factor in China-Japan ties, the effect is limited," China's Global Times newspaper said in an editorial. "If Beijing and Tokyo intend to plan their future bilateral relationship based on Washington's attitude, they will only get lost," the state-run daily said. In the past, Japan had aimed to limit Chinese growing political and military clout in Asia. Beijing and Tokyo have unresolved territorial disputes involving a group of uninhabited islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. They are currently administered by Tokyo, but Beijing claims sovereignty over them. North Korea conflict Before heading to Beijing, the Japanese prime minster said he would discuss the North Korean issue with President Xi. While Japan wants complete denuclearization of North Korea, China remains the biggest backer of the Kim Jong Un regime in the region. Read more: North Korea's Kim Jong Un visits China in first foreign trip: reports Abe told media on Friday that his country is committed to normalizing ties with North Korea, but several issues, including North Korea's kidnapping of Japanese citizens, must be resolved first.

China’s ongoing trade spate with the US has dominated Japan PM Shinzo Abe’s visit to the country. The first Sino-Japanese summit since 2011 could further thaw relations between Asia’s two biggest economies. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that Japan and China have a duty to ensure regional security. On his first bilateral visit to China, Abe added that ... Read More »

US bomb threats: Critics blame Trump’s toxic rhetoric

US President Donald Trump called for "more civility" in politics after a string of parcel bombs targeted prominent politicians. Critics claim his attacks on the media and Democrats provide fuel for political violence. Deep divisions and the specter of political violence erupted in the United States Wednesday after a string of parcel bombs were sent to prominent Democrats and news outlet CNN. At least seven packages were intercepted before they reached former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others. None of the parcels exploded and nobody was hurt. The FBI has launched an investigation. US President Donald Trump condemned political violence and called for unity, but Democrats and critics were quick to put the blame on the president's often vitriolic rhetoric. Read more: Opinion: Politically motivated violence in Trump's America is no surprise At a rally in Wisconsin ahead of the November 6 mid-term vote that could see Democrats take control of one or both houses of Congress, Trump told supporters the media had a responsibility "to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories." "Any acts or threats of political violence are an attack on our democracy itself," Trump said. "We want all sides to come together in peace and harmony." But he also said that those "engaged in the political arena" must stop treating political opponents as being "morally defective." "No one should carelessly compare political opponents to historic villains, which is done often," he said. Critics lay the blame at Trump's door Former CIA Director John Brennan, who had a parcel bomb addressed to him at CNN's office in New York, said he may have been targeted because of his strong criticism of Trump. Brennan is actually an analyst for NBC. "If I and others are being targeted because we're speaking out ... it's a very unfortunate turn of events," he said at an event in Austin. "Donald Trump too often has helped to incite these acts of violence" but "I'm hoping that maybe this is a turning point." The media has often been at the center of Trump's barbs against "fake news" and he has labeled journalists as "enemies of the people." CNN is one of the president's favorite targets. CNN president Jeff Zucker issued sharp criticism of Trump's verbal assaults on the media. "There is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media," said Zucker. "Words matter. Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that." Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi, two top Democrats, said in a statement that Trump's "words ring hollow until he reverses his statements that condone acts of violence." "Time and time again, the President has condoned physical violence and divided Americans with his words and his actions: Expressing support for the Congressman who body-slammed a reporter, the neo-Nazis who killed a young woman in Charlottesville, his supporters at rallies who get violent with protestors, dictators around the world who murder their own citizens, and referring to the free press as the enemy of the people," they said. Soros targeted The spree of parcel bombs started on Monday with one sent to the New York home of George Soros, a financier of liberal causes who is a bete noire of the far-right. In recent weeks, Soros has been accused by conservatives of trying to undermine Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination and backing a caravan of Central American migrants trying to reach the United States. Laura Silber, a spokeswoman for Soros' Open Society Foundations, blamed toxic political rhetoric for the bomb scares. "The hateful rhetoric that dominates politics in the US and in so many countries around the world breeds extremism and violence," Silber said in a statement. "In this climate of fear, falsehoods and rising authoritarianism, just voicing your views can draw death threats."

US President Donald Trump called for “more civility” in politics after a string of parcel bombs targeted prominent politicians. Critics claim his attacks on the media and Democrats provide fuel for political violence. Deep divisions and the specter of political violence erupted in the United States Wednesday after a string of parcel bombs were sent to prominent Democrats and news ... Read More »

Migrant caravan ‘could not be larger gift’ for Donald Trump

In a replay of his 2016 campaign, President Trump is whipping up anti-immigrant sentiment to stoke his base for the midterm election. But it will do nothing to stop what is a slow moving train wreck in Latin America. "Remember the midterms", US President Donald Trump reminded his 55 million followers on Twitter on Tuesday in a sequence of tweets focused on the so-called migrant caravan that is making its way through Mexico towards the US border. If there was ever any doubt that Trump would forego the attention-grabbing visuals of thousands of Latin American migrants braving brutal conditions to trek tens of miles per day in hopes of reaching the US, a series of presidential tweets sent out in the past couple of days erased it. Using military jargon to describe the caravan and alleging — without offering evidence — that criminals and "unknown Middle Easterners" were part of the group, Trump faulted Democrats and US courts for standing in the way of a tougher immigration policy, and El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the home countries of most of the migrants, for not preventing them from making the journey. "The timing of this could not be a larger gift to President Trump and the Republican Party in advance of the midterm elections", said Cynthia Arnson, director of the Wilson Center's Latin America program. She noted that, ahead of competitive midterm elections, Trump — by associating immigrants with crime — was simply going back to his electorally successful 2016 campaign playbook. "I think that's precisely why President Trump is going to his Twitter account and making all kinds of harsh statements to appeal to his base and to stoke that kind of fear", said Arnson. "There has been a consistent messaging from this White House to equate migrants with violent crime and the evidence is actually quite the contrary." Trump's controversial effort to turn the plight of thousands of migrants desperate enough to make the consequential decision to leave their homes to go on an arduous journey they hope will somehow enable them to find a safe haven in the United States is unlikely to sway any undecided voters. But it may well succeed in rallying his core base of supporters, which in a close election could be enough to eke out a victory. "This election is going to be won by turnout", said Karen Alter, a political scientist at Northwestern University. "Trump is trying to dial up the fear dial to distract to an area where he is being perceived as stronger, mainly his willingness to crack down on immigration, in hopes that that affects the turnout." Key issue for GOP A Pew Research Center poll published earlier this month appears to support the strategy of focusing on immigration to boost Republican turnout. "Illegal immigration is the highest-ranked national problem among GOP voters, but it ranks lowest among 18 issues for Democratic voters", found Pew researchers. Trump's push to elevate the migrant caravan to an urgent national security issue may bring in Republican votes, but it is disingenuous and does nothing to solve a migrant crisis that has been ongoing in ebbs and flows since 2014 when the first groups of unaccompanied minors entered the US during the Obama administration, noted the scholars. "The larger issue is that there is a slow moving train wreck going on in Latin America of governments that are falling apart and they are generating refugee crises", said Alter. In El Salvador, Honduras and other countries the security situation for people has become so dire now that families simply feel they cannot stay there. With governments unable to provide even the most basic protection for the people, corrupt police forces and ultra-violent gangs and drug cartels taking over, the choice for citizens is easy. Complete desperation "They are leaving out of complete desperation", said Alter. "And since they are leaving out of desperation, nothing that President Trump yells in his tantrum — 'I am going to remove foreign aid, I am going to build a wall' — none of that can stop desperate people who are literally facing life and death situations." What's more, nixing foreign aid to the deeply impoverished nations of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras will only increase the country's troubles and potentially cause even more people to seek refugee in the US. "There is nothing that could be more counterproductive in the medium and long term, because the only lasting resolution to the migrant crisis is to be found in the region and to changing the conditions of deprivation and violence that continue to cause people to flee because they feel they have no future and no safety within their own borders", said Arnson. Address root causes But that, said the scholars, would require the change of US policy toward a region that it has ignored far too long to its own and the region's detriment. "We are going to need to pay much more attention to our backyard than we have been paying attention to it recently", said Alter. "And the good news is that we don't actually have Muslim fundamentalist terrorists in Latin America and that these are really internal crises that you actually might have a chance to address." But instead of focusing on the much more difficult task, of addressing the root causes of the ongoing migrant crisis in the region, Trump has chosen the very convenient path "to throw these chaos bombs to distract the media, to distract the American public and to try to motivate people to turn out in the midterm elections."

In a replay of his 2016 campaign, President Trump is whipping up anti-immigrant sentiment to stoke his base for the midterm election. But it will do nothing to stop what is a slow moving train wreck in Latin America. “Remember the midterms”, US President Donald Trump reminded his 55 million followers on Twitter on Tuesday in a sequence of tweets ... Read More »

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