Tag Archives: Declares

Trump declares 'major breakthrough' in Syria, lifts sanctions on Turkey

Trump declares 'major breakthrough' in Syria, lifts sanctions on TurkeyPresident Trump on Wednesday declared his strategy in Syria a success amid bipartisan anger over the president's decision to pull U.S. troops from the region.



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Trump claims he saved lives of 'thousands' in Syria as he declares end of US involvement in the war

Trump claims he saved lives of 'thousands' in Syria as he declares end of US involvement in the warPresident Donald Trump has claimed the US had saved the lives of “thousands” in Syria and took credit for the ceasefire, in a barnstorming speech declaring the end of American involvement in the war. “This is an outcome created by us, the United States, and nobody else,” he said, addressing reporters at the White House a day after Turkey and Russia brokered a deal for Kurdish-held north-east Syria without the US president. Mr Trump green-lit a Turkish-led offensive along the Syrian border two weeks ago, effectively abandoning Kurdish partners who had helped to defeat Islamic State. International condemnation followed as hundreds of thousands of civilians fled the fighting and more than 80 Syrian civilians were killed. Russian military vehicles entering the city of Kobani on the border with Turkey. VOApic.twitter.com/6was7YmHaK— Sirwan Kajjo (@SirwanKajjo) October 23, 2019 Mr Trump imposed sanctions on Ankara in response to its offensive moves, but announced in his speech yesterday that these would be lifted if the ceasefire held. "We’ve avoided another costly military intervention, many thousands of people could have been killed,” he said, flanked by Mike Pence, Vice President, and Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State. “Turkey, Syria and all forms of the Kurds have been fighting for centuries. We have done them a great service, a great job for all of them,” he said, declaring the US was done fighting others’ wars. “We’re getting out. Let’s someone else fight over this long bloodstained sand.” He promised in the future to only deploy American troops into battle when the US’s national interests are at stake, and only when there was a plan to win. “We will only win,” he said. His claims of success bore little resemblance to the reality on the ground, however, and were likely intended for his base at home to whom he had promised an end to "endless wars". The US president’s announcement came a day after a deal was struck between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin to "facilitate the removal" from the border region of Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters. Russian President Vladimir Putin receives Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi Credit: Getty The agreement will also see Turkey preserve a so-called "safe zone" inside Syria about 75 miles long and 20 miles deep.  Turkey’s defense ministry said that the withdrawal from the buffer zone would mean that there was “no further need to conduct a new operation,” preventing a feared humanitarian catastrophe. The deal effectively redraws the map of northern Syria and ends nearly six years of autonomy carved out by the local Kurdish administration.  Russian and allied Syrian government forces began patrolling for the first time yesterday in towns US forces were once stationed.  Humvees bearing Russian flags were filmed driving into Kobane, marking the first pro-regime presence in the area in more than seven years. The talks, which took place in Mr Putin’s dacha in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, confirmed Moscow’s position as powerbroker in Syria. A convoy of Russian military vehicles drives toward the northeastern city of Kobane Credit: AFP "The United States has been the Kurds' closest ally in recent years. (But) in the end, it abandoned the Kurds and, in essence, betrayed them," Dmitri Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said pointedly on Wednesday. "Now they (the Americans) prefer to leave the Kurds at the border (with Turkey) and almost force them to fight the Turks." Or as Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, put it: “When you are present on the ground, then you are also present on the negotiating table." The US, which did not have a seat at the table for Tuesday’s talks, has been shut out of decision-making and left with little leverage to demand assurances for its former Kurdish partners. Mark Esper, US secretary of defence, meanwhile, was in Baghdad on Wednesday meeting with Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to manage the fallout of their quick retreat. The US withdrew the bulk of its some 1,000 troops from Syria on Monday, greeted on the way out by Kurdish residents throwing rotten fruit and holding up signs reading: “We will not forget this betrayal”. The Pentagon had announced the troops were expected to move to western Iraq to continue the campaign against Islamic State and "to help defend Iraq". But it appeared the move was not first approved by Baghdad, which issued a statement saying they did not have the right to remain in the country. Mr Esper was told he had 30 days to remove the troops.



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UPDATE 1-China's Xi declares new $63-bln Beijing airport is formally open

UPDATE 1-China's Xi declares new $  63-bln Beijing airport is formally openBeijing’s new multi-billion dollar airport, Daxing International, was formally declared open by President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, days ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The 450-billion-yuan ($ 63-billion) project, completed in less than five years, will give a boost to infrastructure growth, flagging amid the biggest economic slowdown in decades, as China and the United States remain locked in a trade war. The airport was hailed as “a new powerful source of national development” at a ceremony overseen by Xi in which top government officials, including He Lifeng, the head of the state planner and a vice premier, Han Zheng, participated.



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Elizabeth Warren Declares War on Lobbying, Hires Lobbyist One Day Later

Elizabeth Warren Declares War on Lobbying, Hires Lobbyist One Day LaterIs she serious?



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Trump declares himself unimpeachable, based on 'perhaps the greatest economy' ever

Trump declares himself unimpeachable, based on 'perhaps the greatest economy' ever"How do you impeach a President who has helped create perhaps the greatest economy in the history of our Country?" Trump asked on Twitter.



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Russia declares state of emergency as wildfires rage across area size of Belgium

Russia declares state of emergency as wildfires rage across area size of BelgiumRussia on Monday declared a state of emergency in two regions of Siberia as wildfires rage across 12,000 square miles of countryside. Terrified residents in the Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk regions called on the state to act as flames engulfed an area the size of Belgium.  There are few inhabited zones in the path of the inferno but smoke has blanketed major cities in Siberia and the Far East, making it hard to breathe and posing health risks for the population.  Over 720,000 people have signed a petition on Change.Org calling for a state of emergency to be declared across the whole of Siberia in order to draw more forces and state funding to battle the wildfires that have erupted in the past month.  Residents of the affected areas have been posting photos of burning forests and smog-covered cities and villages.  Local authorities have however cited at 2015 decree by the Ministry of Natural Resources that allows them not to extinguish wildfires if they do not pose a direct threat to settlements.  Fire-fighting can also be avoided if the cost of the operation is higher than the estimated damage. The governor of Krasnoyarsk, Alexander Uss, defended the government’s reluctance to put out the fires by comparing them to winter blizzards. He said that it can be “pointless and sometimes even harmful” to try and extinguish flames in unpopulated areas. More than 11 million hectares have already been affected by wildfires this season, Greenpeace Russia said in a statement on Friday, adding that blazes continue to spread around hundreds of thousands of hectares every day.  The environmental group warned that it was no longer a regional problem and more measures should be taken. It is not immediately clear if a state of emergency in some of the affected areas will help contain the wildfires. European scientists earlier raised concerns over unprecedented fires that started sooner than usual in the Arctic this summer season releasing huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The fires have been caused by record high temperatures combined with lightning and strong winds.



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Hong Kong leader declares extradition bill 'dead,' but protesters persist

Hong Kong leader declares extradition bill 'dead,' but protesters persistHong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam declared an extradition bill 'dead' after pressure. Yet protesters remain resolute in their demands.



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New York City declares public health emergency, orders mandatory measles vaccinations

New York City declares public health emergency, orders mandatory measles vaccinationsMayor Bill de Blasio says the city has "the power to do this."



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Donald Trump declares 'our country is full' during visit to Mexico border

Donald Trump declares 'our country is full' during visit to Mexico borderDeclaring "our country is full," Donald Trump on Friday insisted the US immigration system was overburdened and illegal crossings must be stopped as he inspected a refurbished section of fencing at the Mexican border. The US president, making a renewed push for border security as a central campaign issue for his 2020 re-election, participated in a briefing on immigration and border security in Calexico before viewing a 2-mile see-through steel-slat barrier that was a long-planned replacement for an older barrier – and not new wall. "There is indeed an emergency on our southern border," Mr Trump said at the briefing, adding that there had been a sharp uptick in illegal crossings. "It’s a colossal surge and it’s overwhelming our immigration system, and we can’t let that happen. … We can’t take you anymore. We can’t take you. Our country is full." As Air Force One touched down in the state, California and 19 other states that are suing Mr Trump over his emergency declaration to build a border wall requested a court order to stop money from being diverted to fund the project. But Mr Trump, who ratcheted up his hard-line immigration rhetoric in recent weeks, declared that his move, which included vetoing a congressional vote, was necessary. US President Donald Trump speaks with members of the US Customs and Border Patrol as he tours the border wall between the United States and Mexico in Calexico Credit: AFP Also on Friday, House Democrats filed a lawsuit preventing Mr Trump from spending more money than Congress has approved to erect barriers along the southwestern border. Congress approved just under $ 1.4 billion for work on border barricades. Mr Trump has asserted he can use his powers as chief executive to transfer an additional $ 6.7 billion to wall construction. Mr Trump, who earlier in the week threatened to shut down the border over the high numbers of migrants trying to enter the US, appeared to walk back his comments on Thursday. He said on Friday that it was because Mexico had got tougher in stopping an influx of immigrants from moving north. "Mexico has been absolutely terrific for the last four days," the president said as he left the White House. "I never changed my mind at all. I may shut it down at some point." The president’s visit came a day after he withdrew his nominee to lead US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Longtime border official Ron Vitiello appeared to be cruising towards confirmation, but Mr Trump said on Friday that he wanted to go in a "tougher direction." At a glance | Donald Trump’s border wall Mr Trump complained about the Flores legal settlement that governs treatment of migrant children and families. He blamed "Judge Flores, whoever you may be", but Flores was an unaccompanied 15-year-old girl from El Salvador. He also downplayed the claims of people seeking asylum at the border, declaring without evidence that many are gang members while comparing some of their efforts to find safety in the US to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections. "It’s a scam, it’s a hoax," Mr Trump said. "I know about hoaxes. I just went through a hoax." As Trump landed in California, the state’s governor criticised the president’s push for Congress to pass legislation that would tighten asylum rules to make it harder for people to qualify. "Since our founding, this country has been a place of refuge – a safe haven for people fleeing tyranny, oppression and violence. His words show a total disregard of the Constitution, our justice system, and what it means to be an American," said Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. Mr Trump has been increasingly exasperated at his inability to halt the swelling number of migrants entering the US, including thousands who have been released after arriving because border officials have no space for them. Arrests along the southern border have skyrocketed in recent months, and border agents were on track to make 100,000 arrests or denials of entry in March, a 12-year high. More than half of those are families with children, who require extra care.



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Venezuelans protest as Guaido declares 'greatest escalation of pressure'

Venezuelans protest as Guaido declares 'greatest escalation of pressure'Opposition supporters thronged the streets of Caracas and other cities on Saturday to protest against President Nicolas Maduro’s government, as massive blackouts and the collapse of water supplies further exacerbated a growing political crisis. The United States meanwhile has stiffened its economic sanctions against the government, and one top US official on Saturday warned Venezuela’s military that it must protect the rights of peaceful protesters.



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