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Found 418 results

  1. Demonstrators at a #NoMuslimBanEver rally and march "to protest discriminatory policies that unlawfully target and hurt American Muslim and immigrant communities across the country", Washington, October 18, 2017. AFP/Jim Watson WASHINGTON: A second judge ordered a freeze on President Donald Trump's newest travel ban order on Wednesday, saying it was essentially targeted at Muslims in violation of the US Constitution. Maryland federal judge Theodore Chuang said the ban affecting travellers from six majority-Muslim countries and North Korea, as well as many officials from Venezuela, essentially had not changed from the first two versions, which were shot down in lower courts as discriminating against a single religion. He pointed out, as in earlier rulings, that Trump had repeatedly promised a ban on Muslims coming into the country during last year's presidential election. Chuang was the second judge this week to order a block on the open-ended ban, issued in a White House executive order in September and which was to come into effect on Wednesday. Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the White House Wednesday, chanting "no Muslim ban," and "no ban, no wall, freedom for all" ? referencing Trump's plans to build a wall on the Mexican border. A march to the Trump International Hotel, a few blocks away, was also planned. Yemeni Fathi al-Huthaifi, 41, told AFP his wife is stranded in Saudi Arabia as a result of the ban. "She's waiting for her visa but the travel ban makes it delayed, delayed," explained Huthaifi, who has five children, all with US citizenship. "When we allow one group to get banned, then we allow other groups to get banned," civil rights activist Linda Sarsour said, adding, "This is part of a standing campaign of this administration, a white supremacist agenda." Isra Chaker ? a refugee camp adviser for Oxfam America ? branded the ban "an affront to the American tradition". "This decision impacts life of real people... no one (chooses) to become a refugee," she said. On Tuesday, Hawaii federal district judge Derrick Watson also objected to the ban, saying it illegally discriminated against the entire populations of six countries ? Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen ? and would not, as it claimed, add to US national security. Trump has battled with the courts since the first version of the ban, and in June finally gained Supreme Court approval to implement an amended second version for 90 days, which ended last month. On Tuesday the White House said it would fight the newest ban by Watson, pointing to yet another likely fight in the Supreme Court.
  2. A police officer keeps watch in front of the US Federal Reserve building in Washington, DC, US on October 12, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Files WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump will announce his decision on who will be the chair of the Federal Reserve in the ?coming days?, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday. Trump has an interview scheduled on Thursday with current Fed Chair Janet Yellen, whose term expires in February. She is one of five candidates Trump is considering for the job. A White House official said October 12 Trump had met with Stanford University economist John Taylor to discuss the job, it was reported earlier this week. Trump is working from a short list that also includes Fed governor Jerome Powell, former Fed governor Kevin Warsh, Trump?s top economic adviser Gary Cohn, and Yellen ? whose term expires in February, sources have said. Trump to meet Yellen Thursday in search for new Fed chair: source On Thursday, a White House official said Trump had met with Stanford University economist John Taylor to discuss the job Trump says to decide whether or not to replace Fed's Yellen in a few weeks Trump said he would decide who chairs the US central bank, following interviews with Kevin Warsh, Jerome Powell, and two others The president is expected to make his announcement before leaving on a trip to Asia in early November. Trump told reporters late last month he had met with four candidates to lead the US central bank and would make a decision ?over the next two or three weeks.? A new Fed chair would take the helm as the central bank eases well away from crisis-era policies in response to a strengthening economy and falling unemployment, though inflation still lingers below the Fed?s 2-percent goal.
  3. Freddy Guerrero sits amidst the remains of his auto shop after the island was hit by Hurricane Maria in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, October 16, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez/Files WASHINGTON/NEW YORK: US President Donald Trump and Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello are due to meet at the White House on Thursday to discuss rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Maria devastated the island a month ago, the White House said. The Trump administration and Congress are considering further assistance for the bankrupt US territory as it seeks to recover from its worst natural disaster in 90 years. The catastrophic storm struck on September 20, causing widespread flooding and damaging homes, roads, and other infrastructure. Less than 20 percent of the 3.4 million Americans who live on the island have electricity after the power grid was wrecked, and 35 percent still lack drinking water. Disaster costs are expected to run into the tens of billions of dollars. The US Congress is currently working on boosting funding for emergency relief as well as a $4.9-billion loan to help Rossello?s cash-strapped government, which is poised to run out of money for payroll and essential services at the end of the month. ?The meeting is related to the current recovery and response in Puerto Rico, and the long-term recovery process and what it?s going to take to recover in all aspects,? Carlos Mercader ? a spokesman for the territory?s government ? said. ?We need to think about rebuilding Puerto Rico in a holistic way. All the crops are all dead, agriculture is dead, housing is destroyed,? he said, noting more than 50,000 homes were destroyed and more than 660,000 individuals have so far filed claims with the federal government. Rossello asked Trump on October 2 to expand the disaster declaration that provides for federal emergency services to allow federal funds to be spent on fixing damaged schools, buildings, and power plants. The governor has also asked the White House and Congress for at least $4.6 billion in block grants and other types of funding. The White House budget office asked departments and agencies to provide estimates of funding needs by October 24. Trump visited the Caribbean island earlier this month to view the damage and meet with Rossello. But he and White House aides have suggested there would be a limit to how much help Puerto Rico could expect from Washington to solve its long-term issues.
  4. The latest version of US President Donald Trump's travel ban is slapped down by two US federal judges, suggesting the measure is heading to the Supreme Court for resolution. ? AFP WASHINGTON: A second US judge ordered a freeze on President Donald Trump?s newest travel ban order Wednesday, saying it was essentially targeted at Muslims in violation of the US Constitution. Maryland federal judge Theodore Chuang said the ban of travelers from six majority-Muslim countries and North Korea, and on many officials from Venezuela, essentially had not changed from the first two versions, which were shot down in lower courts as discriminating against a single religion. He pointed out, as in earlier rulings, that Trump had repeatedly promised a ban on Muslims coming into the country during last year?s presidential election. Chuang was the second judge this week to order a block on the open-ended ban, issued in a White House executive order in September and which was to come in effect on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Hawaii federal district judge Derrick Watson also objected to the ban, saying it illegally discriminated against the entire populations of six countries -- Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen -- and would not, as it claimed, add to US national security. Trump has battled with the courts since the first version of the ban, and in June finally gained Supreme Court approval to implement an amended second version for 90 days, which ended last month. On Tuesday, the White House said it would fight the newest ban by Watson, pointing to yet another likely fight in the Supreme Court. "We are therefore confident that the judiciary will ultimately uphold the president?s lawful and necessary action and swiftly restore its vital protections for the safety of the American people," the White House said.
  5. WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump accused James Comey Wednesday of fixing a probe into Hillary Clinton's email last year, pointing to a heavily censored email released by the FBI as evidence. The email, released Monday, was described by the FBI as "drafts" of Comey's July 5, 2016, statement in which he announced that the investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server as secretary of state had concluded and no charges would be brought. The documents were censored in their entirety except for the headers in an email Comey sent to top aides May 16, and a follow-up email sent by one of his aides to other FBI officials requesting comments "on this statement so we can roll it into a master doc for discussion with the Director at a future date." "Wow, FBI confirms report that James Comey drafted letter exonerating Crooked Hillary Clinton long before investigation was complete," Trump said via Twitter. "Comey stated under oath that he didn't do this - obviously a fix? Where is Justice Dept?" he said. "As it has turned out, James Comey lied and leaked and totally protected Hillary Clinton. He was the best thing that ever happened to her!" Comey has denied manipulating the results of the Clinton investigation, which figured large in the heated presidential election campaign. Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017, citing Comey´s investigation into alleged links between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian interference in the election, as well as Comey´s alleged protection of Clinton. In September, amid the first reports of Comey's draft clearance letter on Clinton, legal specialist and Comey friend Benjamin Wittes argued there was nothing wrong with preparing a statement well ahead of time when an investigation´s result is apparent. "There is nothing surprising about this news that Comey began drafting what became the declination statement early," he said via Twitter. "By May, after 9 months of investigation, unless HRC (Clinton) lied to the FBI or it found something new, this was headed for a declination."
  6. US President Donald Trump told the widow of a soldier killed during an ambush in Niger "he knew what he was signing up for," according to a lawmaker who accused him of insensitivity. Photo: AFP file WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump told the widow of a soldier killed during an ambush in Niger "he knew what he was signing up for," according to a lawmaker who accused him of insensitivity. Frederica Wilson, a Democratic congresswoman from Florida, said she listened in to part of a group phone call between the president and the grieving family of Sergeant La David Johnson. "I didn´t hear the whole phone call, but I did hear him say, 'I'm sure he knew what he was signing up for, but it still hurts,'" she told CNN. Trump denied making the comments, tweeting Wednesday: "Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!" Johnson was among four US soldiers killed earlier this month in Niger, where Daesh fighters have established a presence. The Miami native´s body was returned home Tuesday afternoon, according to the Miami Herald. He is survived by his wife Myeshia Johnson, who is pregnant with the couple´s third child. After the phone call, Myeshia "was crying, she broke down. And she said ´he didn´t even know his name,´" added Wilson, referring to Trump. Trump had faced criticism for not contacting the families of the soldiers killed in Niger right away. At a press briefing on Monday, he said he had written them letters and would call soon while accusing his predecessor Barack Obama of neglecting to call as many grieving families as himself. He also suggested on a call to Fox News radio Tuesday that Obama had not made a condolence call to retired Marine general John Kelly, Trump´s White House chief of staff after his son was killed in action in Afghanistan. The statements sparked outrage from former Obama aides, who said Trump´s claims were baseless.
  7. A US federal judge on Tuesday barred the White House from implementing yet another version of President Donald Trump's controversial executive order on immigration, hours before it was due to go into full effect. The decision by US District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii -- which the White House signaled it would appeal -- marks the latest blow to Trump's long-running efforts to restrict entry of travelers from targeted countries into the United States.signaled it would appeal -- marks the latest blow to Trump's long-running efforts to restrict entry of travelers from targeted countries into the United States. Watson said the third rendition of the travel ban -- covering people from six mainly Muslim countries, as well as North Korea and some officials from Venezuela -- could not be justified under law. In his decision, Watson wrote the ban "suffers from precisely the same maladies as its predecessor: it lacks sufficient findings that the entry of more than 150 million nationals from six specific countries would be 'detrimental to the interests of the United States.'" The ruling means the Trump administration could again ask the Supreme Court to decide whether his immigration orders are legal. Legal saga The newest order was announced last month to replace an expiring 90-day temporary ban on travellers from the Muslim-majority nations of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The September decree removed Sudan from the list, but added Chad and North Korea for full bans and Venezuela for a ban limited to certain classes of officials. The White House justified the measure as needed to protect US national security -- but critics said it appeared virtually the same as the original order of January 27. Courts shot that version down saying it targeted Muslims, violating the US constitutional protections for religious freedom. A second version was only slightly adjusted and was quickly tied up in similar legal wrangling. In June, the Supreme Court accepted to review the case but let the 90-day ban go mostly into effect in the meantime. When the ban expired, the court said there was nothing to rule on. Trump went forward with a new version with no expiry date, tacking on North Korea and Venezuela to the list of targeted countries and implying the updated measure did not simply target Muslim countries. But Watson -- who also issued freezes on the first two attempts -- said the order does not improve US security, since individuals who pose risks can already be denied entry under existing law. The order "plainly discriminates based on nationality" in a manner antithetical to US laws "and the founding principles of this nation," he wrote. Watson placed a freeze on the ban on travelers from the six countries, but allowed it to be implemented on North Korea -- which sent only a handful of people to the United States last year -- and Venezuela, where US sanctions have also already made travel to the United States difficult for many officials. 'Dangerously flawed' The White House quickly rejected his argument, calling it "dangerously flawed" and promising to fight the action. "The entry restrictions in the proclamation apply to countries based on their inability or unwillingness to share critical information necessary to safely vet applications, as well as a threat assessment related to terrorism, instability and other grave national security concerns," it said. "We are therefore confident that the judiciary will ultimately uphold the president's lawful and necessary action and swiftly restore its vital protections for the safety of the American people." One of the most controversial changes in the latest version of the White House order was the addition of Chad, whose forces are working with US troops in the battle against Boko Haram extremists. But the administration appeared to be preparing to back away from this widely-criticized position. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert announced that in recent weeks the Chad government had shown a "clear willingness to work closely with us on these issues." She did not give any timeline, but said the US "is committed to working with Chad to address the deficiencies, toward the goal of improving vetting capabilities and lifting visa restrictions."
  8. US President Donald Trump was facing a backlash on Tuesday after falsely claiming that Barack Obama and other former US leaders did not call the families of fallen soldiers. Photo: AFP WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump was facing a backlash on Tuesday after falsely claiming that Barack Obama and other former US leaders did not call the families of fallen soldiers. "Stop the damn lying ? you´re the president," Obama´s former attorney general Eric Holder said in a tweet. Holder added that he had personally accompanied Obama to Dover air force base in Delaware, where the bodies of US troops killed in action overseas are returned, and saw him "comfort the families." Retired general Martin Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said both Obama and George W. Bush, "cared deeply, worked tirelessly for the serving, the fallen, and their families." Trump's remarks came on Monday when he was asked why he had not said anything so far about four US Special Forces soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger on October 4. "I´ve written them personal letters," Trump said. "I will, at some point during the period of time, call the parents and the families -- because I have done that, traditionally. "So, the traditional way ? if you look at president Obama and other presidents, most of them didn´t make calls, a lot of them didn´t make calls," he said. Trump said calling the families was "the toughest calls I have to make" and backtracked somewhat later when pressed about how he could assert that Obama did not do so. "I don´t know if he did," he said. "I was told that he didn´t often. And a lot of presidents don't; they write letters. "I do a combination of both," he said. "President Obama I think probably did sometimes, and maybe sometimes he didn´t. I don´t know. That´s what I was told." "All I can do ? all I can do is ask my generals," he said. "Other presidents did not call. They´d write letters. And some presidents didn´t do anything." 'Ask General Kelly' Trump returned to the subject in an interview Tuesday with Fox News radio and brought up his chief of staff, retired general John Kelly, whose son, a Marine Corps lieutenant, was killed by a landmine in Afghanistan in 2010. "To the best of my knowledge I think I´ve called every family of somebody that´s died and it´s the hardest call to make," Trump said. "As far as other (presidents) I mean I don´t know." he said "You could ask General Kelly ´Did he get a call from Obama?´" "You could ask other people. I don´t know what Obama´s policy was," he said. "I write letters and I also call. I really speak for myself. I don´t know what Bush did. I don´t know what Obama did." Other former Obama aides joined Holder in condemning Trump´s remarks. "This is an outrageous and disrespectful lie even by Trump standards," Ben Rhodes, who served as Obama´s deputy national security adviser, said on Twitter. Former defense secretary Leon Panetta told CNN that Obama "wrote letters, also made some calls as I recall, but more importantly, actually visited with the family." Criticism of Trump´s remarks was not confined to former Obama aides. Gregg Popovich, coach of the five-time NBA champion San Antonio Spurs and an Air Force veteran, called Trump a "pathological liar." "His comments today about those who have lost loved ones in times of war and his lies that previous presidents Obama and Bush never contacted their families are so beyond the pale, I almost don´t have the words," Popovich told The Nation. "This man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks that he can only become large by belittling others," Popovich said. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump was not calling out his predecessors. "The president wasn´t criticizing predecessors, but stating a fact," Sanders said. "When American heroes make the ultimate sacrifice, presidents pay their respects. "Sometimes they call, sometimes they send a letter, other times they have the opportunity to meet family members in person," she said. "This president, like his predecessors, has done each of these," she said. "Individuals claiming former presidents, such as their bosses, called each family of the fallen, are mistaken."
  9. Boyle seen after returning to Canada/AFP/Getty Images Joshua Boyle, the Canadian man who was recently rescued along with his family after five years in Taliban captivity, said he thought his captors were joking when they told him Donald Trump had become president of the United States. ?It didn?t enter my mind that he was being serious,? Boyle, who was rescued alongside his wife and three children in Pakistan last week, told the Toronto Star. He also said he didn't know Justin Trudeau was the Canadian prime minister until he was released, and he only learned Trump was the US president when he was forced to make a "proof-of-life" video. Boyle said he and his family were trying to adjust to normal life back in Canada. Boyle says child killed, US wife raped during five-year captivity The rescued family arrived in Canada after five years in Taliban captivity ?Obviously it will be of incredible importance to my family that we are able to build a secure sanctuary for our three surviving children to call a home, to focus on edification and to try to regain some portion of the childhood that they have lost,? he said in a statement after arriving in Toronto on Friday. Boyle and his American wife Caitlan Coleman were kidnapped while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012 by the Taliban. They were rescued by Pakistani troops in the northwest of the country, near the Afghan border, last week.
  10. A newspaper featuring a picture of U.S. President Donald Trump is seen in Tehran, Iran, October 14, 2017. Nazanin Tabatabaee Yazdi/TIMA via REUTERS ANKARA: US President Donald Trump?s hardened stance towards Iran has evoked a mixture of indifference and national pride among Iranians but many were concerned about economic hardship should a multinational nuclear deal unravel. In a major shift in US foreign policy, Trump said on Friday he might ultimately terminate the 2015 agreement that lifted sanctions in return for Tehran rolling back technologies with nuclear bomb-making potential. ?Who the hell is Trump to threaten Iran and Iranians? Of course we don?t want economic hardship, but it does not mean we will be their puppet and do whatever they say,? said housewife Minou Khosravani, 37, a mother of two in the central city of Yazd. Within minutes of Trump?s speech, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani went live on state television, ruling out any renegotiation of the deal Iran signed with major powers. He also signalled Iran would withdraw from the agreement if it failed to preserve Tehran?s interests. Tired of economic adversity during years of tough sanctions over Iran?s nuclear programme, many Iranians still fervently back the decision by Iran?s clerical rulers to resist US pressure. ?I am not a regime supporter. But I side with Iran?s rulers against Trump and his illogical pressure on Iran,? said hairdresser Ziba Ghanbari, 42, when contacted by Reuters in the northern city of Rasht. Iranians around the globe took to social media in anger. Former official Mostafa Tjzadeh, who spent seven years as a prisoner of conscience in Iran, tweeted: ?One nation, One message: No to #Trump. We are in this together.? ?Long on rhetoric, short on substance,? tweeted Niloofar Ghadiri, a journalist in Tehran. Economic hardship Iranian authorities say 15 percent of the country?s workforce is unemployed. Many formal jobs pay a pittance, meaning the true figure of people without adequate work to support themselves is probably far higher. Lack of foreign investment, if more sanctions are imposed, will deepen the unemployment crisis. Currency exchange shops are refusing to sell US dollars because of the uncertainty as the rial has lost value in the past days. Iranians fear new sanctions will also see the price of food, including rice, bread and dairy products, rise. ?My worry is that the economy will go back to the sanctions era when we had difficulties to find essential food and even medicine. I want my son to have a good life,? said elementary school teacher Gholamali Part, 43, in Tehran. To improve Iran?s economy, Rouhani has rolled out the red carpet for global investors since sanctions were suspended. But so far only a few major European investors have returned to Iran?s market, including planemaker Airbus, French energy group Total and Germany?s Siemens. Others are deterred mainly by a separate raft of sanctions Washington continues to impose in retaliation for what it calls Tehran?s support for terrorism and human rights abuses. Iran denies involvement in terrorism. The nuclear deal was also signed by China, France, Russia, Britain, Germany and the European Union. Despite assurances by other signatories over their continued commitment, European companies could think twice about involvement in Iran if the deal cannot survive. Hossein, like millions of Iranians who bore the brunt of the sanctions, has no high hopes. ?We are going to be sanctioned again,? said Hossein, who declined to give his full name. ?Rare unanimity? Inflation has dropped to single digits since Rouhani was first elected in 2013, but he has failed to tackle high unemployment and the gap between rich and poor is widening. The hardline daily Kayhan, which campaigned against the deal during 18-months of the nuclear talks, wrote: ?Trump keeps the nuclear pact: advantages for America, restrictions for us!? In a report headlined ?Mr Blunder?s isolation?, the moderate Arman daily wrote: ??A rare unanimity supports Iran in the World? is the closest definition of the mood after Trump?s speech last night.? Some Iranians are indifferent. ?I don?t care. Will there be holidays if the deal fails? That is important because I can go on a holiday with my friends,? said Arjang Bakhtiari, 19, whose family owns factories in several cities. Trump?s decision in effect leaves the fate of the deal up to the US Congress, which might try to modify it or bring back US sanctions previously imposed on Iran. The failure of the deal could be politically tricky for Rouhani, its chief architect, who has been criticized by the country?s utmost power, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for the country?s slow pace of economic recovery. Khamenei cautiously backed the deal, but has repeatedly expressed pessimism about the United States remaining committed to it. The economic problems caused by the US pressure could weaken Rouhani?s stance in Iran?s faction-ridden and complex establishment.
  11. US President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One upon arrival at Greenville?Spartanburg International Airport, Greer, South Carolina, October 16, 2017. AFP/Mandel Ngan WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Monday suggested he would beat former rival Hillary Clinton in a 2020 rematch, encouraging the Democrat to try her luck against him in the next presidential campaign. "I hope Hillary runs," he said during a press conference. "Hillary, please run again! Go ahead." The Republican leader also suggested that Clinton's words of support to protesting professional athletes ? who in recent weeks have drawn the president's ire by kneeling during the national anthem before sporting events, a statement against racial injustice ? was one example of why she lost the 2016 race. "Honestly, it's that thinking and that is the reason she lost the election," Trump said, after dubbing Clinton's position on the issue "wrong." Kneeling during "The Star-Spangled Banner" is "disrespecting our flag" Trump repeated concerning the issue he has reignited in recent weeks, after saying players who refused to stand for the traditional pre-game anthem should be fired. Democrat Clinton has already ruled out the possibility of another White House bid.
  12. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies before a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the 'Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress' on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/Files WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump will meet with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday as part of his search for a new candidate for her position, a source familiar with the planned meeting said. On Thursday, a White House official said Trump had met with Stanford University economist John Taylor to discuss the job. Trump is working from a short list that also includes Fed governor Jerome Powell, former Fed governor Kevin Warsh, Trump?s top economic adviser Gary Cohn, and Yellen ? whose term expires in February, sources have said. White House chief of staff John Kelly said on Thursday Trump is ?some time away? from a decision on who should chair the Federal Reserve. ?There?s still ongoing? interviews,? Kelly told reporters. ?All of the people that have been in to interview have been really first round draft choices, and we have more to come,? he said. Trump told reporters late last month he had met with four candidates to lead the US central bank and would make a decision ?over the next two or three weeks.? Kelly?s remarks suggest a somewhat longer time frame. A White House official said Trump met with Taylor on Wednesday to discuss the job, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and other members of the team helping in the search. Last month, Trump met with former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh. A new Fed chair would take the helm as the central bank eases well away from crisis-era policies in response to a strengthening economy and falling unemployment, though inflation still lingers below the Fed?s 2-percent goal. Under Yellen, the Fed has raised interest rates and launched a plan to shrink its $4.5-trillion balance sheet, much of which was accumulated through a bond-buying program that Yellen said helped the economy avert an even deeper downturn.
  13. geo_embedgallery The National Football League (NFL) will tackle criticism from President Donald Trump over players who protest racial discrimination by kneeling during the US national anthem when league officials gather with team owners in New York for their autumn meeting this week. Trump has continued to rail at the symbolic kneeling, which has only become more widespread since his first comments last month, saying as recently as Monday that players who do so should be suspended for insulting the country. ?And the NFL should suspend some of these players for one game,? Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday. ?And then if they did it again, it could be two games and then three games and then for the season. You wouldn?t have people disrespect our country right now.? But an outright ban on the practice may not come soon, if, at all, NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart told reporters on a conference call on Monday ahead of the two-day meeting starting Tuesday of team owners, players and their union?s leaders at a Manhattan hotel. ?I anticipate a very productive presentation of things we can do to work together,? Lockhart said. ?Beyond that, I don?t anticipate anything else.? The league was more inclined to seek a compromise that recognized the players? concerns rather than to compel them to stand during pregame renditions of ?The Star-Spangled Banner,? he said. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started a polarizing national debate last year after refusing to stand during the national anthem. He initially sat during the anthem, then began going down on one knee. The kneeling gesture has since been emulated by others in the league ? where the majority of players are black ? who share his anger at police killings of unarmed black men and boys across the United States and racial disparities in the criminal justice system. In a memo sent to teams last week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league had been working with owners and players to promote the players? political concerns. Kaepernick ? who has still not been signed by any of the league?s 32 teams through the first six weeks of the NFL?s 2017 season ? said on Sunday he has filed a grievance against the league?s team owners. The filing says both the NFL and its owners colluded to deny Kaepernick a job in retaliation for his leadership and advocacy for equality and social justice.
  14. The President of America needs no introduction, as the world is privy to his, well, charms, but how many of you know that he's quite the automobile enthusiast with cars like the Cadillac Escalade and Ferrari F430 entering and leaving his garage like nobody's business. Here's a list of 11 of Donald Trump's meanest machines that will definitely blow your mind! 1. 1956 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud © N4BB What can we say? Trump's got taste and it's quite evident from his possession of this wine red luxury chariot. It's also evident that the now 70-year-old got the Rolls Royce quite early on. We don't just love his white pumps, we also love how the sturdy bumper is carrying the weight of them legs. 2. 1988 Cadillac Trump Golden Series Limousine © Yahoo It's got Trump in its name so you know that it's connected to him in a deeper way. According to a report, Cadillac and Trump designed this limo together back in '88 when the ambitious business tycoon suggested "big head room" and "all the assets anyone could want" in a car. We must admit, the vehicle is majestic! 3. 1993 Cadillac Allante © Probably the most stylish vintage vehicle Trump has in his collection. Imagine the president driving around in it with the top down, air coursing through his lush blonde hair, what a magnificent sight! Golden, much like the Prez himself. 4. 1997 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster © Cosas de Coches Oh yes, Trump is a lover of fast cars as much as he loves elegance, and this Diablo is proof of that. The Diablo carries a 5.7 litre V12 engine that can pump out 529hp and hit 323 kmph. 5. 2003 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren © WheelsEncyclopedia So, we've already established that this president is not only obsessed with speed, but also with design. Not only can the SLR McLaren go from 0-100kmph in 3.8 seconds using 627hp in a 5.5 litre V8 engine, its appeal was enhanced manifold by its definitive curves. 6. 2007 Ferrari F430 F1 Coupe © Exotic Car Source No hyper horse like the Prancing Horse, and Trump knew that well enough to get himself one, and a bright red F430 is just the fix for a flight-yearning heart. Reports say he didn't drive too much with the beast that carries a 4.3 litre V8 engine pushing out 483hp at a top speed of 315 kmph and, in fact, had the car auctioned off this year. 7. 2015 Rolls-Royce Phantom © Automotive-Art This is one vehicle that Trump has been seen driving around, and why not? The cabin might be built for luxury, but the driving experience is phenomenal in itself, especially when you know you can make it jump from 0-100kmph in about 6 seconds. 8. 2015 Mercedes-Maybach S600 © africametro An armoured vehicle, much like his current ride "The Beast", the S600 served up safety with style. The vehicle is resistant to ballistics and bullets and can sprint from 0-100kmph in 4.6 seconds. 9. 2016 Cadillac Escalade © The Austin Times The only SUV in his known collection, but also the only SUV worth owning, the Escalade is, without a doubt, a magnificent beast. 10. Cadillac One: The Beast © The Sun We've accepted now that Trump and Cadillacs go together and this isn't an ordinary wagon, it's an armoured limousine that has been souped up, keeping Trump's safety in mind. The vehicle is bulletproof and certified against ballistic impact. 11. Tesla Roadster © Auto Trader Gasoline guzzlers and EV's in the same house? Trump is clearly a man of surprises, and this Tesla Roadster (model year unknown) is proof of that. He can roll with responsibility and style, which is kinda nice, right?
  15. Summer Zervos (centre L) ? who filed a defamation lawsuit against US President Donald Trump ? cries as she marches with her attorney Gloria Allred (L) and fellow sexual misconduct accuser and Former Miss Utah Temple Taggart (centre R) at the Women's March, Washington, January 21, 2017. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan/Files WASHINGTON: A woman ? who has said that US President Donald Trump groped her during a 2007 meeting ? has subpoenaed his presidential campaign for any documents concerning similar allegations, according to a subpoena filed in New York State Supreme Court. Summer Zervos ? a former contestant on Trump?s reality TV show The Apprentice ? sought all documents from his campaign pertaining to ?any woman alleging that Donald J. Trump touched her inappropriately?, identifying nine by name, the subpoena said. Trump has denied Zervos? accusation in the past. On Monday, asked about the subpoena at an impromptu White House news conference, Trump called it ?totally fake news.? ?It?s just fake. It?s fake. It?s made-up stuff, and it?s disgraceful, what happens, but that happens in the ? that happens in the world of politics,? he said. The Trump campaign did not immediately return a request for comment on the subpoena. Last October, shortly before the November 8 presidential election, Zervos held a news conference to say that Trump kissed her, touched her, and tried to get her to lie down on a bed with him during a meeting about a possible job. The accusation came a week after a 2005 video emerged showing the Republican candidate bragging about groping and making unwanted sexual advances. While Trump said at the time the video was just a talk and he had never behaved in that way, several women subsequently went public with allegations of sexual misconduct against the New York real estate magnate going back three decades. Trump denied all the allegations. Zervos sued Trump for defamation in New York State Supreme Court after he denied her account of their meeting and accused her and other women of lying. The subpoena ? part of that lawsuit ? was served in March and entered into the court file in September. Trump?s lawyers agreed to preserve the pertinent documents, but they are also trying to have the lawsuit dismissed or delayed. ?We served it simply to make sure that the documents get preserved,? Mariann Wang ? one of Zervos? lawyers ? said in a phone interview on Monday. BuzzFeed website first reported on the subpoena late on Sunday.
  16. WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said Monday that a "total termination" of the Iran nuclear deal remains possible, after refusing to certify the 2015 accord and leaving its fate to Congress. His comments came as the EU announced it was sending its chief diplomat to Washington next month to try to save the agreement that saw Tehran dramatically scale back its nuclear ambitions in return for an end to punishing sanctions. Speaking to reporters ahead of a cabinet meeting, he said: "I feel strongly about what I did. I'm tired of being taken advantage of." "It might be total termination, that's a real possibility, some would say that's a greater possibility." But he also appeared to leave the door open for a new deal, while praising the negotiation skills of his Iranian counterparts. "It also could turn out to be very positive. We'll see what happens," he said. "I thought the tone of the Iranian leaders was very modified and I was happy to see that but I don't know if that means anything. "They're great negotiators, they negotiated a phenomenal deal for themselves, but a horrible deal for the United States." Trump alarmed allies across the Atlantic with a belligerent speech on Friday in which he stopped short of pulling out of the agreement but warned he could do so at any time, restating his belief the deal was letting Iran off the hook. EU ministers have warned that ditching the deal when Iran has repeatedly been certified as keeping up its end of the bargain would send a signal to North Korea that negotiating with the international community is a waste of time. Federica Mogherini, the EU´s foreign policy head, said Monday she would "be in Washington in early November" to urge US lawmakers not to pull out of the deal, known as the JCPOA, which was negotiated with Iran by the US, Britain, France, China, Germany and Russia. There is broad support among US lawmakers for fresh pressure on Iran over its continued missile development and subversive activities in the region - factors that Trump says violate the "spirit" of the agreement. Western diplomats say European powers share some of these concerns but believe they should be dealt with in other forums and warn it would be a mistake to sacrifice the nuclear deal. Tehran has warned such action would mean Washington had broken its end of the bargain, and thus likely signal the end of their own compliance. Trump's Iran statement on came four months after he moved to pull out of the 196-nation Paris agreement on climate change, signaling a widening gulf between Washington and its closest European allies.
  17. Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock became South Africa's most prolific ODI partnership, South Africa v Bangladesh, 1st ODI, Kimberley, October 15, 2017/Getty Images KIMBERLEY, SOUTH AFRICA: Quinton de Kock and Hashim Amla shared a record partnership as South Africa cruised to a "ruthless" ten-wicket win in the first one-day international against Bangladesh at the Diamond Oval on Sunday. De Kock (168 not out) and Amla (110 not out) put on an unbeaten 282 to overhaul Bangladesh´s 278 for seven with 7.1 overs to spare. The South African openers overshadowed the feat of Mushfiqur Rahim, whose 110 not out was the first century by a Bangladesh batsman against South Africa in any international match. Bangladesh´s total was their highest in one-day games against South Africa. Mushfiqur´s innings came with a price. He appeared to suffer a hamstring injury and he watched the De Kock-Amla partnership from the players´ balcony, adding to injuries which kept two other key players, Tamim Iqbal (thigh) and Mustafizur Rahman (ankle) out of the match. "We have to keep fighting," said Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza about the injuries. "These things happen in cricket. You can´t blame anything." Mashrafe said that although Bangladesh had posted a good total, "we knew we had to take wickets. If you can stop the runs at both ends the pressure will bring wickets. But we couldn´t apply pressure." South African captain Faf du Plessis praised what he described as another "dominating" performance. "As a team you want to be ruthless. Today was a very, very good example of that. When you´re bossing the game and you are 150 for no wicket it´s easy to throw wickets away, but the guys are hungry to put in massive performances." De Kock made his runs off 145 balls with 21 fours and two sixes. Amla had less of the strike, facing 112 balls and hitting eight fours. Their partnership was the highest for any wicket for South Africa and the joint sixth highest in all one-day internationals. Mushfiqur´s fifth one-day century was greeted with rapturous applause by hundreds of Bangladeshi supporters. He made his runs off 116 balls with 11 fours and two sixes. He shared successive partnerships of 59 with Shakib Al Hasan, 69 with Mahmudullah and 42 with Sabbir Rahman for the third, fourth and fifth wickets. Shakib made a quiet return after resting during a two-match Test series in which Bangladesh were heavily defeated. He made 29 and conceded 48 runs in eight overs. But he became only the fifth player to complete the one-day international ´double´ of 5000 runs and 200 wickets. Kagiso Rabada spearheaded South Africa´s bowling attack, taking four for 43.
  18. Nikki Haley ? the US Ambassador to the United Nations ? delivers remarks at a security council meeting at UN headquarters during the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, US, September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/Files WASHINGTON: Senior Trump administration officials said on Sunday that the United States was committed to remaining part of the Iran nuclear accord for now, despite President Donald Trump?s criticisms of the deal and his warnings that he might pull out. Nikki Haley ? the US ambassador to the United Nations ? said that Tehran is complying with the 2015 nuclear accord intended to increase Iran?s accountability in return for the lifting of some economic sanctions. ?I think right now, you?re going to see us stay in the deal,? Haley told NBC?s Meet the Press. In a speech on Friday, Trump laid out an aggressive approach regarding Iran and said he would not certify it is complying with the nuclear accord, despite a determination by the United Nations? nuclear watchdog that Tehran is meeting its terms. The Republican president threw the issue to the US Congress, which has 60 days to decide whether to reinstate US sanctions. He warned that if ?we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated?. So far, none of the other signatories to the deal ? Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, Iran, and the European Union (EU) ? have cited serious concerns, leaving the United States isolated. In her Meet the Press interview, Haley said the United States was not saying that Iran was in breach of the agreement, but she raised concerns about its activities that are not covered by the pact, including weapons sales and sponsorship of militant groups such as Hezbollah. Haley said that other countries were ?turning a blind eye? to these Iranian activities in order to ?protect? the nuclear agreement. She said the United States needed to weigh a ?proportionate? response to Tehran?s actions on the world stage. ?The goal at the end of the day is to hold Iran accountable,? Haley said in the interview, which mainly focused on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is formally known. Haley and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hammered away at the need to address what they see as shortcomings in the two-year-old international accord while simultaneously placing pressure to rein in Iranian activities outside the scope of that deal. A second pact? Tillerson, alluding to other signatory countries? opposition to reopening the Iran pact, raised the possibility of ?a second agreement? to run parallel to the existing one. Among the ?areas of concern,? he mentioned were its sunset provisions and Tehran?s ballistic missile program. Haley also said the reason the United States was looking closely at the Iran nuclear deal was due to escalating tensions over North Korea?s nuclear weapons development. ?What we?re saying now with Iran is don?t let it become the next North Korea.? On Friday, Trump also said he was authorizing the US Treasury to sanction Iran?s Revolutionary Guards, and on Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he was planning to move ahead. Mnuchin ? interviewed on Fox News? Sunday Morning Futures ? said he has spoken about Iran with his counterparts attending World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in recent days. He did not provide any details on possible sanctions. US Senator Susan Collins ? appearing on ABC?s This Week ? noted that Trump could have taken a more extreme step by withdrawing from the agreement. But in words of support for Trump, the moderate Republican lawmaker said, ?Instead, he put a spotlight on two troubling deficiencies in the agreement,? referring to a lack of limitations on Iran?s tests of ballistic missiles and a ?pathway to developing a nuclear weapon? down the road. While many US allies strongly criticized Trump?s decision not to recertify the Iran deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the move, saying the current terms of the Iran nuclear accord would allow it to have a nuclear stockpile within a decade. ?We cannot allow this rogue regime 30 times the size of North Korea?s economy to have a nuclear arsenal,? Netanyahu said on CBS? Face the Nation.
  19. US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confer during a working lunch with African leaders during the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, US, September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Files WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday minimized tensions with his boss, President Donald Trump, and brushed aside comments from an influential lawmaker, who compared Trump?s undermining of his top diplomat to a public castration. ?I am fully committed to his objectives. I agree with his objectives. I agree with what he is trying to do,? Tillerson said of Trump on CNN?s State of the Union program. Tillerson?s tenure as secretary of state has been dogged by rumours about rifts with Trump over policy. Earlier this month, Trump undercut Tillerson in a tweet, saying the secretary of state was wasting his time trying to negotiate with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said Trump?s comments were the equivalent of castrating the secretary in public. ?I checked. I?m fully intact,? Tillerson said when asked about Corker?s comments on CNN. Tillerson repeatedly declined to answer a question about a report by NBC News that said the secretary of state had called Trump a ?moron? during a private meeting in July with US officials. The secretary of state accused CNN moderator Jake Tapper of trying ?make a game? out of pressing him on the ?moron? comment. ?I?m not playing,? Tillerson said. Tillerson has often found himself at odds with the president on a range of issues, from withdrawing from the Paris agreement on climate change to North Korea and, at times, Iran, according to current and former US officials and news media reports. Signs of tensions between Trump and Tillerson have raised questions among in foreign capitals about whether the secretary of state speaks for the administration. Tillerson has batted away rumours that he might resign. Nikki Haley ? the US Ambassador to the United Nations ? has been mentioned as a possible replacement to Tillerson should he step down. She said she was happy being in New York ? where the United Nations is based ? and that from what she has observed, Trump and Tillerson have a constructive relationship. ?The secretary puts out as many options for the president as he can. He makes a decision, there?s a mutual respect, and they go forward. And so everything that I have witnessed, all was fine,? she said. Tillerson acknowledged in a separate appearance on CBS? Face the Nation on Sunday that he and the president ?don?t agree on everything?. ?Sometimes he changes his mind,? Tillerson said. ?I will work as hard as I can to implement his decisions successfully.?
  20. TEHRAN: US President Donald Trump´s speech outlining an aggressive new strategy against Iran violated Tehran´s nuclear agreement with world powers, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said. Trump´s virulent speech contravened three articles of the 2015 deal, Zarif said in televised remarks broadcast late on Saturday. The clauses he referred to mandate the signatories to implement the accord "in good faith" and the US administration and Congress to "refrain from re-introducing or re-imposing" sanctions related to Iran´s nuclear programme. "I have already written nine letters (to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini) listing the cases where the United States has failed to act on or delayed its commitments under the JCPOA," Zarif added, calling the nuclear deal by its technical name. Zarif said he was going to write a new letter regarding Trump´s speech on Friday. He called on the United States to prolong sanctions relief, otherwise "the Islamic Republic of Iran will definitely take a similar and reciprocal measure." In his speech, Trump refused to "certify" Tehran´s compliance with its obligations under the nuclear deal. He warned he could rip up the agreement "at any time," saying it had failed to address Iran´s influence in its region and its illegal missile programme. Trump said he supported efforts in Congress to work on new measures to address these threats. The remarks triggered swift condemnation from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani of what he called "baseless accusations and swear words". Responding to US threats of new sanctions against Tehran´s missile programme, Zarif repeated that Iran would not tolerate interference in its defence policy. "Our achievements in the field of ballistics are in no way negotiable," he said. "We live in a region into which hundreds of billions of dollars of lethal American weapons have poured, turning it into a gunpowder storehouse... so we have the right to have defensive means," he said. The nuclear agreement was signed in July 2015 between Iran and six world powers -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. Mogherini helped to negotiate the nuclear deal. It lifted some Western and UN sanctions and in return Tehran curtailed a large part of its atomic programme to assure the world that a nuclear bomb -- which Iran denies seeking -- would remain well out of its reach.
  21. US President Donald Trump speaks about the Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 13, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump struck a blow against the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement on Friday in defiance of other world powers, choosing not to certify that Tehran is complying with the deal and warning he might ultimately terminate it. Trump announced the major shift in US policy in a speech in which he detailed a more aggressive approach to Iran over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and its support for extremist groups in the Middle East. He accused Iran of ?not living up to the spirit? of the nuclear agreement and said his goal is to ensure Tehran never obtains a nuclear weapon, in effect throwing the fate of the deal to Congress. ?We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran?s nuclear breakout,? Trump said. Trump?s hardline remarks drew praise from Israel, Iran?s arch-foe, but was criticized by European allies. The move by Trump was part of his ?America First? approach to international agreements which has led him to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. His Iran strategy angered Tehran and put Washington at odds with other signatories of the accord - Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union - some of which have benefited economically from renewed trade with Iran. Responding to Trump, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Friday on television that Tehran was committed to the deal and accused Trump of making baseless accusations. ?The Iranian nation has not and will never bow to any foreign pressure,? he said. ?Iran and the deal are stronger than ever.? European allies have warned of a split with the United States over the nuclear agreement and say that putting it in limbo as Trump has done undermines US's credibility abroad, especially as international inspectors say Iran is in compliance with the accord. The chief of the UN atomic watchdog reiterated that Iran was under the world?s ?most robust nuclear verification regime.? ?The nuclear-related commitments undertaken by Iran under the JCPOA are being implemented,? Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency said, referring to the deal by its formal name. US Democrats expressed scepticism at Trump?s decision. Senator Ben Cardin said: ?At a moment when the United States and its allies face a nuclear crisis with North Korea, the president has manufactured a new crisis that will isolate us from our allies and partners.? CONGRESS DECIDES While Trump did not pull the United States out of the agreement, he gave the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the pact. If Congress reimposes the sanctions, the United States would in effect be in violation of the terms of the nuclear deal and it would likely fall apart. If lawmakers do nothing, the deal remains in place. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker was working on amending the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act law to include ?trigger points? that if crossed by Iran would automatically reimpose US sanctions. The trigger points would address strengthening nuclear inspections, Iran?s ballistic missile programme and eliminate the deal?s ?sunset clauses? under which some of the restrictions on Iran?s nuclear programme expire over time. Trump directed US intelligence agencies to probe whether Iran might be working with North Korea on its weapons programs. The president, who took office in January, had reluctantly certified the agreement twice before but has repeatedly blasted it as ?the worst deal ever.? It was negotiated under his predecessor, former President Barack Obama. Trump warned that if ?we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated.? ?We?ll see what happens over the next short period of time and I can do that instantaneously,? he told reporters when asked why he did not choose to scrap the deal now.
  22. Iranian women walk past the former US embassy in Tehran on November 3, 2016. Photo: AFP file TEHRAN: Iranians responded with anger and mockery on Saturday to the bellicose speech against their country by US President Donald Trump and his threats to tear up the landmark nuclear deal. "I was so angry last night," said Layla, 42, who runs an artisan shop in Tehran. "This person hates Iran so much that even if we don't support the ideas of the regime, we find ourselves supporting them and the Revolutionary Guards." Like millions of other Iranians, she spent Friday night watching Trump reel off a list of grievances committed by the "Iranian dictatorship, its sponsorship of terrorism, and its continuing aggression in the Middle East and all around the world". He threatened to "terminate" the 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and six world powers unless Congress passed stringent new sanctions. But for many, Trump's biggest insult was the use of the term "Arabian Gulf" rather than "The Persian Gulf" ? a big no-no in a country with a fierce nationalistic streak. "Everyone knew Trump's friendship was for sale to the highest bidder. We now know that his geography is too," wrote Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Twitter, referring to the US alliance with Iran's regional rival Saudi Arabia. Most countries and international bodies still use "Persian Gulf" as the conventional name for the region's waterway, despite pressure to change it from the Arab Gulf monarchies. 'In Iran's favour' "Trump's statements are so ridiculous that it actually works in Iran's favour. Speaking about the 'Arabian Gulf' is taken very badly by people here," said Abbas, a 40-year-old banker on his way to work. "The reaction of the Europeans shows that the United States is isolated, and only Saudi Arabia and Israel have supported Trump," he added. The other signatories to the nuclear deal ? Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia ? have called for its preservation, saying that Iran is clearly sticking to its commitments. Map and factfile on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. US President Donald Trump is withdrawing presidential backing for the landmark deal. Photo: AFP file1 In an interview with the US television channel CBS News, Zarif said Trump's assault on the nuclear deal sealed under his predecessor Barack Obama had served to undermine US credibility on the international front. "Nobody else will trust any US administration to engage in any long-term negotiation because the length of any commitment, the duration of any commitment from now on with any US administration would be the remainder of the term of that president," Zarif said. Trump's efforts to reach out to ordinary Iranians, who he referred to as the "longest-suffering victims" of the Islamic regime, also appeared to have fallen on deaf ears, with many recalling the travel ban he slapped on them earlier this year. His Instagram page was inundated by more than a million comments, mostly from jeering Iranians. "Trump stopped Iranians going to the US. How can he say he's on our side?" said Layla. For all the bluster, Trump's strategy was not as tough as many had predicted. It placed new sanctions on Iran's Revolutionary Guards, but did not designate them a foreign terrorist organisation as trailed in the run-up to the speech. 'We will stand together' The hardline Kayhan newspaper spun this as a victory, saying Trump had not "dared" to do so after the Guards warned the US would have to move its regional bases out of reach of Iranian missiles. President Hassan Rouhani had pushed back against the Revolutionary Guards' deep involvement in the economy after winning re-election earlier this year. But Trump's threats have brought a new solidarity among Iran's often bitterly divided institutions. "We have dissatisfactions, for example, there are economic problems," said Bahram Siavoshi, 36, as he walked to work at a private finance firm in Tehran. "But if it comes to it, we will stand together to the end and will defend even the Guards. Their efforts cannot be ignored. If it wasn't for them we would be like Syria or Yemen." US President Donald Trump reignited America's decades-old feud with Iran by calling into question the future of a 2015 deal limiting its nuclear programme. Photo: AFP file Rouhani took to the airwaves shortly after Trump's speech on Friday night, dismissing it as "nothing but the repetition of baseless accusations and swear words". "He has not studied international law. Can a president annul a multilateral international treaty on his own?" Rouhani said. Nonetheless, the deal's future hangs in the balance as the US Congress has 60 days to decide how to tighten sanctions, or possibly introduce new red lines that would trigger a US response. "If the Congress goes ahead with new sanctions, then the deal is dead and Iran will restart its nuclear programme and move forward full-steam ahead in all fields," Mohammad Marandi, a professor at the University of Tehran, told AFP. "Iran will probably invest even more than before in order to show the Americans that they can't get away with destroying the agreement."
  23. WASHINGTON: Donald Trump has gambled with US diplomatic credibility by attacking an Iran nuclear deal that his European allies cherish as a benchmark for international cooperation. And in doing so the US president has underlined the risk that his "America First" foreign policy will translate to one of "America Alone" as he confronts future crises. Between nationalist speeches, protectionist gestures and high-octane Twitter outbursts, observers have struggled to identify a coherent strategy behind Trump´s decisions. But one thread does stand out as he pulls out of trade deals, provokes allies and tears up international accords -- he seems determined that no international ties will bind him. The United States emerged as the indispensable superpower in the wake of World War II in part through its leadership in a global rules-based system of treaties and alliances. 'Withdrawal doctrine' But, as Trump made clear last month in a speech to the UN General Assembly, his vision is of a world where America is just the most powerful in a network of sovereign nations. "Trump foreign policy has found its theme: ´The Withdrawal Doctrine´," quipped Richard Haass, the influential president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Trump has not yet withdrawn from the Iran deal, although he made it clear that he is ready to do so if Congress and sceptical US allies do not agree to new sanctions. He did quit the UN cultural organisation, this week. He has collapsed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and appears to be poised to destroy the bigger NAFTA treaty. Time and again his bluster has put in question America´s commitment to its NATO allies, and time and again he has ordered reviews into the utility of remaining in UN agencies. He has even declared that America will drop out of the biggest -- and arguably most important -- accord in world history, the 196-member Paris climate deal. As might be expected, former members of President Barack Obama´s administration are furious and bewildered at what they see as an abdication of US leadership. "Once again, Trump is throwing into question the ability of the US to keep its commitment to international agreements," former top aide Ben Rhodes said. "Other nations will not want to enter into agreements with the United States," he warned. Ego and ideology Former secretary of state John Kerry, who negotiated the Iran deal, called Trump´s decision a "reckless abandonment of facts in favour of ego and ideology." Trump, he said, "weakens our hand, alienates us from our allies, empowers Iranian hardliners, makes it harder to resolve North Korea and risks moving us closer to military conflict." But Democrats are not the only ones criticizing the Republican billionaire's stance. Nicholas Burns a professor at Harvard´s Kennedy School of Government and, like Haass, a veteran of George W Bush´s administration is scathing. "We´re withdrawing as global leader under Trump," he said, dubbing the decision to dump the TPP and Paris and undermine the Iran deal "historic mistakes." Washington´s traditional allies in Europe were at first cautious in their approach to Trump, hoping he would mellow as he grew into the Oval Office role. But they were outraged by his Iran gambit, and united in their response. "It is clearly not in the hands of any president of any country in the world to terminate an agreement of this sort," declared EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. "The president of the United States has many powers (but) not this one." In Washington, having failed to get through to Trump despite the support of some of his top advisers, European diplomats are now lobbying Congress to save the Iran deal. Nevertheless, the Iran decision at least has some strong supporters in Washington. American leverage An outspoken group of foreign policy hawks, backed by influential senator Tom Cotton and Trump´s UN ambassador Nikki Haley, had been pushing for "decertification." And they, at least, agree with Trump that his tougher stance could give America more leverage, rather than less, with its foreign partners. "If anything, the decision to decertify but keep the US in the deal could serve to bolster US credibility," argues Behnam Ben Taleblu, of the Federation for Defense of Democracies. Trump, he says, is "sending a message that the US will not be a party to agreements where it feels it has a material disadvantage." This theory will be put to the test almost immediately. In the weeks to come Trump and senior US officials will attempt to build a coalition to pressure North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.
  24. US President Donald Trump make a gesture during a tour of the Secret Service training facility in Beltsville, Maryland, US, October 13, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas US President Donald Trump said early Saturday morning he wants to express his gratitude to Pakistan and its leadership for their "cooperation" ? something that came as a stark contrast to the scathing comments he had made earlier this year during the unveiling of the American strategy in South Asia. The American commander-in-chief reasoned that the US is "starting to develop a much better relationship with Pakistan and its leaders". Back in August, Trump disclosed his long-awaited strategy for South Asia ? especially Afghanistan ? as he put his own touch to America's longest war in his first formal presidential address to the nation. Trump had lambasted Pakistan and its leadership for providing safe havens and sanctuaries for terrorist elements and urged the nation to "do more" to prevent it. Pakistan needs to show 'commitment to civilisation, order, peace': Trump Talking about his plans, Trump said military power alone will not bring peace in Afghanistan and that Pakistan needs to step up its efforts "We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time [when] they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting," he said, warning that the vital aid the US offers to the country could be cut. "We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time [when] they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting," he said, warning that the vital aid the US offers to the country could be cut. ?That will have to change and that will change immediately." In response, the Pakistan Army had brushed off speculation that Trump's new strategy could include taking a stronger line against Islamabad, insisting the country has done all it can to tackle militancy. "Let it come," army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor told reporters, referring to Trump's decision. "Even if it comes? Pakistan shall do whatever is best in the national interest." Elsewhere in Pakistan, Trump's statement also caused an uproar as well. Numerous politicians and analysts had voiced their frustration ? including PIT chief Imran Khan, senators Sherry Rehman, Mushahid Hussain, Rehman Malik, and ANP leader Shahi Syed. However, China and Russia soon came to Pakistan's defence. Zamir Kabulov ? the Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan ? slammed the strategy and insisted that Islamabad is ?a key regional player to negotiate with". ?Putting pressure [on Pakistan] may seriously destabilise the region-wide security situation and result in negative consequences for Afghanistan,? the presidential envoy told a news publication. Prior to that, China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi ? in a phone call to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ? urged the US to value Pakistan's role in Afghanistan. ?We must value Pakistan's important role on the Afghanistan issue, and respect Pakistan's sovereignty and reasonable security concerns,? the diplomat said.
  25. US President Donald Trump walk from Marine One to the White House in Washington, DC, October 13, 2017. AFP/Brendan Smialowski WASHINGTON: The Trump administration on Friday rejected a capital increase by the World Bank, which the Bank says is necessary to expand its global anti-poverty mission. The US Treasury Secretary said the huge Washington-based institution is inefficient and can be more effective in the nearly $60 billion in development finance it currently allocates each year. Through greater efficiency, the bank can internally build its capital base and expand lending without the need for more contributions from its 189 shareholder nations ? of which the United States is the largest. He also said, in a statement to the Development Committee, which sets the action program for the bank and the International Monetary Fund, that the Bank needs to cut funding for emerging economies that don't need significant outside assistance. And he said that the bank needs more budget discipline, including controls on staff pay and benefits. "More capital is not the solution when existing capital is not allocated effectively. Demand for cheap capital will invariably exceed its supply ? the key is to ensure that these resources are deployed where they are needed most and can achieve effective and sustainable results," Mnuchin said. Without naming any specific country, he suggested that those relatively strong and developed beneficiaries of the Bank's programs like China, which has over $3 trillion in foreign reserves, no longer need its support. "We want to see a significant shift in allocation of funding to support countries most in need of development finance, including through a credible application of the World Bank's graduation policy," he said. For wealthier borrowers, the Bank would be better sharing its expert knowledge rather than deploying development loans, he said. "While we appreciate the Bank's effort to curtail spending through its expenditure review, we see scope for further budget discipline, especially with respect to compensation and the Executive Board budget," he added. The statement rebuffed World Bank President Jim Yong Kim's plans to increase the Bank's capital resources, and came as the administration of President Donald Trump pulls back from global agreements in a number of areas. This week Trump announced the US pullout from Unesco, the United Nations educational and cultural agency. He has halted two major trade pacts and has forced the renegotiation of a third.