Tag Archives: Tough

After Idlib deal, Turkey faces tough task to oust jihadists

After Idlib deal, Turkey faces tough task to oust jihadistsA Russia-Turkey deal may have stopped a regime assault on Syria’s Idlib for now, but analysts are sceptical that rebel backer Ankara can impose it on the jihadists who dominate the area. Under the agreement announced Monday, a demilitarised zone is to be set up aroundIdlib, one of the country’s last major jihadist and rebel bastions on the border with Turkey. “I don’t see how Turkey will be able to impose its will on jihadists,” Syria expert Fabrice Balanche said.



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Kavanaugh urged tough, explicit questions for Clinton in Lewinsky investigation

Kavanaugh urged tough, explicit questions for Clinton in Lewinsky investigationTwo days before President Bill Clinton was questioned by a grand jury about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, Brett Kavanaugh gave independent counsel Ken Starr a list of tough, explicit questions to ask.



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Tough talks, no agreements at Merkel, Putin meeting near Berlin

Tough talks, no agreements at Merkel, Putin meeting near BerlinKremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters no agreements were reached, but the meeting had simply been intended to “check the watches” after Merkel’s meeting with Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in May. Ties between the two countries have been strained since Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014. “That’s why it is necessary to take measures against possible non-competitive and illegal attacks from the third countries in order to complete this project eventually,” he told reporters shortly before Putin flew back to Russia. At the start of the talks, Merkel underscored her expectation that Ukraine should continue to have a role in gas transit to Europe, and welcomed the start of discussions among the European Union, Ukraine and Russia on that issue.



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US reimposes tough, unilateral sanctions against Iran

US reimposes tough, unilateral sanctions against IranThe United States re-imposed a wave of tough, unilateral sanctions against Iran on Tuesday, bringing back into effect harsh penalties that had been lifted under a historic, multi-party nuclear agreement that President Donald Trump abandoned in May. The first of two rounds of US sanctions kicked in at 12:01 am (0431 GMT), targeting Iran’s access to US banknotes and key industries, including cars and carpets. Iranians are already seeing the effects of the sanctions, with Iran’s rial currency losing around half its value since Trump announced the US would withdraw from the 2015 nuclear accord.



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North Korea criticises US insistence on tough sanctions despite nuclear deal

North Korea criticises US insistence on tough sanctions despite nuclear dealNorth Korea on Saturday said the US was acting with "alarming" impatience on the issue of denuclearisation, after Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, stressed the need to maintain full sanctions pressure on Pyongyang. The contrasting comments at a security forum in Singapore came after a UN report showed Pyongyang was continuing with its nuclear and missile programmes and evading sanctions through ship-to-ship oil transfers. At historic talks with Donald Trump, the US President, in June, Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, signed up to a vague commitment to "denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" – a far cry from long-standing US demands for complete, verifiable and irreversible disarmament. While US officials have publicly been optimistic about the agreement, Pyongyang appears to have made little substantial progress and Washington has become concerned that some UN member states are easing sanctions. At the ASEAN Regional Forum, Ri Yong Ho, North Korea's Foreign Minister, criticised US impatience on denuclearisation. "What is alarming, however, is the insistent moves manifested within the US to go back to the old, far from its leader's intention," he said, according to a statement. Hidden trillions: What if North Korea’s economy opened up? Since the June agreement, Pyongyang had taken "goodwill measures", including a halt on nuclear and missile tests and "dismantling a nuclear test ground", he said. "However, the United States, instead of responding to these measures, is raising its voice louder for maintaining the sanctions against the DPRK," he said, using the initials of the North's official name. "As long as the US does not show in practice its strong will to remove our concerns, there will be no case whereby we will move forward first unilaterally," Mr Ri added. Earlier at the same forum, Mr Pompeo said he was emphasizing "the importance of maintaining diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea" but also said that he was "optimistic" about the prospects for progress when it came to North Korean denuclearisation. At Saturday's meeting, the US delegation also delivered a letter from Mr Trump intended for Mr Kim, by passing it to Mr Ri, said the State Department. On sanctions, Mr Pompeo singled out Russia after reports suggested Moscow breached sanctions by granting work permits to North Korean workers. During meetings with other foreign ministers in Singapore, Mr Pompeo said he had called specifically for sanctions to be enforced through halting ship-to-ship oil transfers. Cutting off oil and fuel to the North would require enforcement primarily by China, which supplies most of North Korea's energy needs, but also by Russia, which delivers some oil to Pyongyang.



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A White House proud of being tough is looking for more people to pardon

A White House proud of being tough is looking for more people to pardonWhen Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old grandmother serving life in prison for drug trafficking was granted clemency by President Trump on June 6, a phone call went out from the White House counsel’s office — the administration wanted more people like her.



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America Wasn't Tough Enough on China's ZTE—Here's How to Make It Right

America Wasn't Tough Enough on China's ZTE—Here's How to Make It RightThe Trump Administration has been better than its predecessors when it comes to Asia. The United States Commerce Department has granted Chinese telecom company, ZTE, a reprieve from a seven-year ban on using U.S.-made parts—a bad that was effectively a corporate death sentence. This is going to hurt ZTE—and China’s Communist Party (CCP).



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In Merkel migrant row, Germans back tough policies: poll

In Merkel migrant row, Germans back tough policies: pollAs Chancellor Angela Merkel fights to save her government in a heated battle over immigration, an opinion poll Friday showed most Germans support the tougher line of her rebel interior minister. The survey found that 62 percent of respondents were in favour of turning back undocumented migrants at the border, in line with the stance of Interior Minister Horst Seehofer who is openly challenging Merkel. The survey turns up the pressure on Merkel, who has faced a backlash for allowing into Germany more than one million people fleeing war and misery in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere since 2015.



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In Merkel migrant row, Germans back tough policies: poll

In Merkel migrant row, Germans back tough policies: pollAs Chancellor Angela Merkel fights to save her government in a heated battle over immigration, an opinion poll Friday showed most Germans support the tougher line of her rebel interior minister. The survey found that 62 percent of respondents were in favour of turning back undocumented migrants at the border, in line with the stance of Interior Minister Horst Seehofer who is openly challenging Merkel. The survey turns up the pressure on Merkel, who has faced a backlash for allowing into Germany more than one million people fleeing war and misery in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere since 2015.



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The Latest: Tough prison term for Mexican drug cartel leader

The Latest: Tough prison term for Mexican drug cartel leaderATLANTA (AP) — The Latest on the sentencing of Edgar Valdez Villarreal, otherwise known as "La Barbie" (all times local):



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