Tag Archives: urges

Assad urges progress on Idlib deal ahead of Syria talks

Assad urges progress on Idlib deal ahead of Syria talksSyrian President Bashar al-Assad on Friday called for progress on a stalled buffer zone deal around jihadist-dominated Idlib region ahead of fresh talks aimed at ending his country’s eight-year war. Assad met envoy Alexander Lavrentiev from key ally Russia in Damascus to discuss the negotiations due April 25-26 in Kazakhstan. Iran and Russia are the major supporters of the Syrian regime, and along with rebel backer Turkey have sponsored repeated rounds of talks in the Central Asian nation.



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North Korea urges Trump to drop Pompeo from talks; U.S. plays down weapons test

North Korea urges Trump to drop Pompeo from talks; U.S. plays down weapons testNorth Korea’s state news agency said Kwon Jong Gun, in charge of U.S. affairs at the foreign ministry, had warned that no one could predict what would happen if Washington did not abandon the “root cause” that compelled Pyongyang to develop nuclear weapons. The statement came shortly after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the test of a new tactical guided weapon, North Korea’s first weapon test since a summit between him and Trump broke down in late February. U.S. officials appeared to play down both developments, with acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan telling reporters at the Pentagon that while there had been a test, it was “not a ballistic missile.” A spokeswoman for the State Department said it was aware of the report about Pompeo and added: “The United States remains ready to engage North Korea in a constructive negotiation.” Despite the summit breakdown, North Korea had maintained a freeze in nuclear and ballistic missile testing in place since 2017,and Trump has repeatedly pointed to that as an important outcome from a year of engagement with Pyongyang.



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North Korea urges Trump to drop Pompeo from talks; U.S. plays down weapons test

North Korea urges Trump to drop Pompeo from talks; U.S. plays down weapons testNorth Korea’s state news agency said Kwon Jong Gun, in charge of U.S. affairs at the foreign ministry, had warned that no one could predict what would happen if Washington did not abandon the “root cause” that compelled Pyongyang to develop nuclear weapons. The statement came shortly after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un oversaw the test of a new tactical guided weapon, North Korea’s first weapon test since a summit between him and Trump broke down in late February. U.S. officials appeared to play down both developments, with acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan telling reporters at the Pentagon that while there had been a test, it was “not a ballistic missile.” A spokeswoman for the State Department said it was aware of the report about Pompeo and added: “The United States remains ready to engage North Korea in a constructive negotiation.” Despite the summit breakdown, North Korea had maintained a freeze in nuclear and ballistic missile testing in place since 2017,and Trump has repeatedly pointed to that as an important outcome from a year of engagement with Pyongyang.



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US urges Sudan army to bring civilians into government

US urges Sudan army to bring civilians into governmentThe United States on Thursday urged Sudan’s army to bring civilians into government after ousting veteran leader Omar al-Bashir, saying an announced two-year timeline was too long. Washington calls “on transitional authorities to exercise restraint and to allow space for civilian participation within the government,” State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters. “The Sudanese people should determine who leads them and their future and the Sudanese people have been clear and are demanding a civilian-led transition,” Palladino said.



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UPDATE 1-Baltimore city council urges mayor to resign amid probe into $500,000 book payment

UPDATE 1-Baltimore city council urges mayor to resign amid probe into $  500,000 book paymentPugh, a 69-year-old Democrat first elected in 2016, last week said she would take an indefinite leave of absence for health reasons after the Baltimore Sun revealed the deal with the University of Maryland Medical System. “The entire membership of the Baltimore City Council believes that it is not in the best interest of the city of Baltimore for you to continue to serve as mayor,” the council wrote to Pugh in a letter signed by 14 members. Every member of the council signed the letter except Bernard “Jack” Young, the council president who is currently serving as acting mayor of the city.



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NATO chief warns of Russia threat, urges unity in U.S. address

NATO chief warns of Russia threat, urges unity in U.S. addressSaying “time is running out,” Stoltenberg also called on Russia to return to compliance with the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, from which U.S. President Donald Trump plans to withdraw the United States this summer. “NATO has no intention of deploying land-based nuclear missiles in Europe,” Stoltenberg said. “But NATO will always take the necessary steps to provide credible and effective deterrence.” In an interview later with Reuters, Stoltenberg did not elaborate on what those steps would be, saying NATO was looking into a wide range of options including arms control initiatives.



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Nancy Pelosi urges Joe Biden to keep his hands to himself

Nancy Pelosi urges Joe Biden to keep his hands to himselfSpeaker asks former vice-president to ‘join the straight-arm club’ but says his behavior doesn’t disqualify him from a 2020 run * US politics live: follow the latest updatesNancy Pelosi said of Joe Biden’s behavior with women: ‘What’s important is how they receive it, not necessarily how you intended it.’ Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty ImagesNancy Pelosi – widely seen as the most powerful woman in Washington – has some advice for Joe Biden: keep your hands to yourself.As Biden, the former vice-president, scrambles to contain any political damage over his past behavior with women, the House speaker said at an event in Washington that her fellow Democrat and other male politicians should keep their distance during encounters with women and restrain from being touchy-feely.“Join the straight-arm club with me,” Pelosi, who is the first female speaker, said of Biden during a live interview with Politico on Tuesday. “He’s an affectionate person, to children, to senior citizens, to everyone, but that’s just not the way.”Over the past week, Biden – who has long been expected to launch a bid to be the Democratic candidate for the presidency in 2020 any time now – has been the subject of damaging news reports after two women accused him of inappropriate behavior towards them.Pelosi said the two allegations of unwelcome contact should not keep Biden from running for the presidency in 2020.“I don’t think it’s disqualifying,” she told the event on Tuesday. But she added that Biden “has to understand that in the world we are in now, people’s space is important to them and what’s important is how they receive it, not necessarily how you intended it”.The former Nevada lawmaker Lucy Flores described in an essay for the Cut her discomfort when Biden kissed her on the head during a campaign event in 2014. She has since said the episode is disqualifying and that he should not run.Amy Lappos, from Connecticut, also detailed an unwanted exchange with the former vice-president, describing how he grabbed her head and they rubbed noses during a 2009 fundraiser. She said she was prompted to recount the allegation publicly after watching the treatment of Flores.Biden issued a statement on Sunday saying he does not believe he has acted inappropriately during his long public life. The former vice-president said in that statement: “We have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will.”In a statement on Monday, a Biden spokesman, Bill Russo, blasted “rightwing trolls” from “the dark recesses of the internet” for conflating images of Biden embracing acquaintances, colleagues and friends in his official capacity during swearing-in ceremonies with uninvited touching.Biden hasn’t made a final decision on whether to run for the White House. But the developments underscored some challenges he will face if he does run.Following historic wins in the 2018 midterms, Democratic politics is dominated by energy from women. The allegations could leave the 76-year-old Biden, long known for his tactile mannerisms, appearing out of touch with the party as the Democratic presidential primary begins.Asked on Monday about the accusations against Biden, Pelosi said: “I don’t think that this disqualifies him from running for president, not at all.”But Biden’s potential Democratic rivals haven’t rushed to back him up. Over the weekend, the presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand came closest to calling out the former vice-president. Warren, a Massachusetts senator, said Biden “needs to give an answer” about what occurred. Gillibrand, a New York senator, said, “If vice-president Biden becomes a candidate, this is a topic he’ll have to engage on further.”Ultraviolet, a women’s advocacy group, tweeted: “Joe Biden cannot paint himself as a champion of women and then refuse to listen and learn from a woman who says his actions demeaned her. Good intentions don’t matter if the actions are inappropriate. Do better, Joe. And thank you @LucyFlores for coming forward.”On Tuesday, Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign manager, Faiz Shakir, strongly denied any suggestion that anyone from the senator’s team or his allies encouraged Lucy Flores to publish her account of an unwelcome interaction with Biden.“Neither the Bernie Sanders campaign nor anyone involved in it, planted, planned, persuaded, cajoled or otherwise urged Lucy Flores or anyone else to tell their story. Full stop, period, end of sentence. I don’t want to hear it. We didn’t play a role,” he said.Flores, the former Nevada lawmaker, supported Sanders during the 2016 election and was on the board of his group Our Revolution.The Associated Press contributed to this report



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Pope Francis urges Moroccan Christians against converting others

Pope Francis urges Moroccan Christians against converting othersPope Francis on Sunday warned Catholics in Morocco against trying to convert others to boost their small numbers, during a rare visit by a pontiff to the North African country. Speaking in Rabat's cathedral on his second day in the Moroccan capital, Francis insisted trying to convert people to one's own belief "always leads to an impasse". "Please, no proselytism!" he told an audience of around 400, who greeted the pope's arrival by ululating and applauding, while hundreds more gathered outside the cathedral. Christians are a tiny minority in Morocco where 99 percent of the population is Muslim, with sub-Saharan Africans making up a large part of the country's 30,000-strong Catholic community. Islam is the state religion and authorities are keen to stress the country's "religious tolerance" which allows Christians and Jews to worship freely. But Moroccans are automatically considered Muslim if they are not born into the Jewish community, apostasy is socially frowned upon, and proselytising is criminalised. Pope Francis greets locals during a visit to the Rural Centre for Social Services Credit: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images "I protect Moroccan Jews as well as Christians from other countries, who are living in Morocco," King Mohammed VI told crowds on Saturday, following the pontiff's arrival. There are a few thousand Christian converts in Morocco, who since 2017 have called openly for the right to live "without persecution" and "without discrimination". Francis is the first pontiff to visit the North African country since John Paul II in 1985 and the cathedral had been repainted for the occasion. Waiting for the pope outside, a Nigerian man said the visit "shows that living together is possible in Morocco." But "there are things to improve, notably the question of migrants and that of Moroccan Christians," said 36-year-old Antoine, who works for an association to defend migrant rights. The need to support migrants was mentioned again Sunday by Francis, who has made the issue a focal point of his papacy. On Saturday he visited migrants at a Caritas charity centre, where the pope criticised "collective expulsions" and said ways for migrants to regularise their status should be encouraged. Morocco says it has a "humanistic" approach to migration and rejects allegations by rights groups of "brutal arrest campaigns" and "forced displacement" to the country's southern border.



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Russia Urges U.S. to Publish Mueller Report on Meddling in Full

Russia Urges U.S. to Publish Mueller Report on Meddling in Full(Bloomberg) — Russia called on the U.S. to publish in full Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, saying this is the best way to clear up allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.



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Pompeo urges Lebanon to move away from 'dark' Iran

Pompeo urges Lebanon to move away from 'dark' IranUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday urged Lebanon to pick a side as he visited the country on a regional tour to build a united front against Iran. Pompeo flew in from Israel a day after he became the first high-ranking American official to visit the Western Wall in annexed east Jerusalem with an Israeli prime minister. “Lebanon and the Lebanese people face a choice: bravely move forward as an independent and proud nation or allow the dark ambitions of Iran and Hezbollah to dictate your future,” he said during a joint news conference with his Lebanese counterpart.



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