Tag Archives: policy

Senate GOP Shows More Zeal to Challenge Trump on Foreign Policy

Senate GOP Shows More Zeal to Challenge Trump on Foreign PolicySome conservatives are indicating they may join Democrats to defy the White House in a vote planned Wednesday on a resolution that would withdraw U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Republican senators also are sponsoring legislation to impose additional sanctions on Russia and are pushing additional punishment for Saudi Arabia over the killing of columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Republican senators generally have been reluctant to criticize Trump on domestic issues — in part because of the president’s sway with GOP voters — though at least a few plan to vote Thursday against the president’s emergency declaration to fund border wall construction.



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Increase in migrant detentions at US border reveals Trump's policy failure

Increase in migrant detentions at US border reveals Trump's policy failureExperts say officials have failed to acknowledge violence and instability in Central America and say system of ‘metering’ is not working Central American migrants at the border. In smaller border towns, such as Laredo in west Texas, only up to two people are being let in each day. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images A staggering increase in the number of families apprehended at the US-Mexico border in February has highlighted the Trump administration’s failure to respond to the rise in Central Americans seeking protection in the US. In February, 66,450 people were apprehended at the US-Mexico border by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the agency announced on Tuesday – 17,800 more than were apprehended in January and double the number who were apprehended in February last year. Despite well-documented problems with violence and political instability in the countries people are fleeing, the administration has instead blamed “activist courts, congressional inaction, and criminals”. As the homeland security, secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, testified publicly on Capitol Hill on Wednesday about the latest border developments, Michelle Brané, the director of the migrant rights and justice program at the Women’s Refugee Commission, told the Guardian it was unrealistic to only acknowledge the “pull factors” luring people to the US. “People know that it is harder than ever to get to the United States. They know that they face detention, and possible [family] separation. They know all of that and yet they are still coming,” Brané said. The majority of those apprehended in February were from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – the northern triangle countries beset by violence, systemic corruption and gang activity. These countries are also vulnerable to climate change, which has forced agricultural workers off their land and caused food insecurity. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not acknowledge the factors driving migrants to leave in its announcement about the new data. “The truth is that the politics and policies of open borders have failed the American people,” Nielsen said in a statement. Brané said that for decades the US has been seen as a place where migrants can seek asylum and receive protections, so the increase cannot simply be attributed to the potential to get immigration relief or jobs. “We need to look at what is driving people to come,” Brané said. About 90% of those apprehended in February were from Guatemala, where farmers are being driven off their land and violence is widespread. There was also a dramatic increase in the number of Hondurans apprehended – from 10,047 in January to 17,523 in February. Members of a caravan that left Honduras’s violent industrial hub, San Pedro Sula, in January complained of poverty, violence and political instability. There has been a marked increase in people fleeing Central America since October, and the Trump administration has changed the way people are processed for asylum at designated ports of entry and placed new restrictions on how many people can be seen at one time. These restrictions, known as metering, have left asylum seekers stranded in Mexican border towns, waiting weeks or months, to become one of the few people processed each day for asylum, according to a February report by the Robert Strauss Center’s Mexico Security Initiative, UC San Diego’s Center for US-Mexican Studies and the Migration Policy Centre. In smaller border towns, such as Laredo in west Texas, only up to two people are being let in each day, according to the report. In Tijuana, 60 to 80 people are processed each day, out of about 2,300 waiting for an average of six weeks. In December, 5,000 people were waiting there, but thousands have since abandoned the line to attempt crossing outside the checkpoint, to stay in Mexico or to return home. “It would be much better, for the migrants and for the government and for our policies, to be able to process people in an orderly fashion through ports of entry,” Brané said. “The administration’s policies that are driving people away from that do nothing but create more chaos and danger.” The apprehension figures published Tuesday are still below the rates in the 1990s and 2000s, when those seeking entry to the US were mostly Mexican men traveling by themselves instead of the Central American families leading the increase today.



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US senator argues with school children about climate change policy

US senator argues with school children about climate change policyDemocratic senator Dianne Feinstein got into a heated exchange with primary-age school children over the Green New Deal, firmly stating that she will not support the renewable energy plan. A group of schoolchildren stopped by the California senator’s San Francisco office on Friday to call on her to support the scheme, spearheaded by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, that calls for net-zero greenhouse emissions and 100 per cent renewable energy in the US by 2030. In the video the California Democrat tells the children she could not support the Green New Deal because “there’s no way to pay for it”.



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The Latest: Vatican City to get a child protection policy

The Latest: Vatican City to get a child protection policyVATICAN CITY (AP) — The Latest on Pope Francis' summit at the Vatican on preventing clergy sex abuse (all times local):



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Foreign policy hawk Elliott Abrams joins Trump administration as Venezuela envoy

Foreign policy hawk Elliott Abrams joins Trump administration as Venezuela envoySecretary of State Mike Pompeo said Elliott Abrams will travel to New York with him Saturday for a meeting of the United Nation's Security Council.



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China population growth slows despite abolition of the one-child policy

China population growth slows despite abolition of the one-child policyChina's population grew at a slower rate last year despite the abolition of the one-child policy, official data showed Monday, raising fears an ageing society will pile further pressure on an already slowing economy. There were 15.23 million live births in 2018, a drop of two million from the year before, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. With 9.93 million deaths, this led to a growth rate of 3.81 per thousand in 2018, a dip from 5.32 per thousand the previous year. NBS commissioner Ning Jize said population growth had peaked, but said the country still had huge potential. "China's labour participation rate is not considered low worldwide, more than 700 million of our 900 million people (of working age) are employed, and there is still room (for growth)," he said. Signs of China's falling population growth had emerged when data released by some local authorities indicated a significant drop in births last year. In Qingdao, a city in eastern Shandong province – one of China's most populous regions – births between January and November decreased by 21 percent to just over 81,000 compared to the previous year. Top 10 | Largest countries by population Still, China's total population rose by 5.3 million in 2018 to 1.395 billion people, retaining its title as the world's most populous nation. China for decades limited most families to one child – often enforcing this policy through hefty financial penalties – in a bid to control population growth. This was relaxed in 2016 when couples were allowed two children in response to concerns about an ageing society and shrinking workforce. China's workforce – those aged between 16 and 59 – was 897.3 million last year, a 4.7 million drop from 2017, NBS data showed. The workforce is on track to decline by as much as 23 percent by 2050.



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From Trump tweets to Pentagon leaks, infighting leaves US Middle East policy in tatters

From Trump tweets to Pentagon leaks, infighting leaves US Middle East policy in tattersUS Middle East policy was plunged into fresh chaos on Monday following a pair of confusing, menacing tweets on Syria and Turkey by Donald Trump and a string of leaks from State Department and Pentagon officials targeting the hardline White House national security adviser John Bolton over Iran. In a pair of Sunday afternoon tweets, Trump threatened to “devastate Turkey economically” if it were to attack Syria’s Kurds, advocated the creation of a 20-mile buffer zone along the Syrian-Turkish border, and seemed to imply that Russia, Iran and the Damascus regime of Bashar al-Assad will take up the anti-Isis fight as the US withdraws troops from northern Syria.



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Trump's evolving foreign policy challenges top US diplomat

Trump's evolving foreign policy challenges top US diplomatRIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — If Mike Pompeo was surprised, he didn't show it. But the secretary of state had woken up in the capital of Saudi Arabia on Monday to find that President Donald Trump had tweeted a threat to NATO ally Turkey warning of economic harm should the Turks attack U.S.-backed rebel forces in Syria.



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Top US diplomat assails Obama in Mideast policy speech

Top US diplomat assails Obama in Mideast policy speechCAIRO (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a scathing rebuke of the Obama administration's Mideast policies on Thursday, accusing the former president of "misguided" thinking that diminished America's role in the region while harming its longtime friends and emboldening Iran.



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Trump administration's backtracking on Syria leaves foreign policy in a better place

Trump administration's backtracking on Syria leaves foreign policy in a better placeTweeter in chief Donald Trump's dizzying movement of U.S. troops has not been without casualties. Far too much is at stake in Syria: Our view



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