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World News

No-deal Brexit looms as race for new British PM wraps up

No-deal Brexit looms as race for new British PM wraps upThe battle to be Britain's next prime minister enters its final straight on Wednesday with both candidates hardening their positions on Brexit, putting the future government on a collision course with Brussels. Ex-London Mayor Boris Johnson, the favourite to replace Theresa May, and foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, are now both referring to Britain's departure with no overall deal in place as a realistic prospect. The business community and many lawmakers fear dire economic consequences from a no-deal Brexit which would lead to immediate trade tariffs for certain sectors including the automotive industry.



07/17/2019 - 07:44 AM

 

Germany introducing mandatory measles vaccination for kids

Germany introducing mandatory measles vaccination for kidsThe German government is proposing a measure to make measles vaccinations mandatory for children and employees of kindergartens and schools. Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet approved the plan Wednesday, noting the number of measles infections has risen significantly in recent years. In the phased-in program beginning in March, parents of school-aged children, starting at kindergarten, will have to provide proof of vaccination.



07/17/2019 - 07:24 AM

 

China issues 17,000 smart watches to pupils to track movements

China issues 17,000 smart watches to pupils to track movementsA local government in southern China has handed out smart watches to nearly 17,000 primary school pupils, capable of pinging their real-time locations and emergency alerts to their parents. The watches, distributed to students in 60 schools, are equipped with chips powered by BeiDou, China’s own version of GPS, according to the Guangzhou Daily, a Chinese state media outlet. GPS is a system developed and owned by the US government. “With this watch, Mom and Dad can know where I am, and I can call and voice message them immediately after class,” one enthusiastic fourth-grader told state media. The smart watch-tracking government program is entirely voluntary and about half of the devices distributed have already come online. Plans are in place to issue another 13,000 smart watches to students, and the authorities will soon begin handing them out to elderly people. User information will be uploaded to a database maintained by China’s ministry of public security and the ministry of industry and information technology, according to state media. Cities in China have been getting creative in finding new ways to monitor students and curb truancy with the latest technologies. In December, more than ten schools in Guizhou and Guangxi provinces began requiring students to wear “intelligent uniforms” embedded with computer chips to track their movements and trigger an alarm if they skip class, according to state media. China sent a satellite of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System into space in June Credit: Xinhua / Barcroft Media Two chips, sown into the shoulders of school jackets, can sustain around 500 wash cycles and temperatures of 150 degrees Celsius. Facial recognition scanners at school gates match the chips with the correct students, meaning anyone who tries to swap jackets in order to play truant will be caught. Alarms will also sound if a pupil falls asleep in class. Last May, a high school in Hangzhou installed facial recognition technology to check how attentive pupils were in class. Movements of students are watched by three cameras positioned above the blackboard, and can pick up seven different emotions, including neutral, happy, sad, disappointed, angry, scared and surprised. If the technology concludes a student is distracted in class, it will send a notification to the teacher to take action. BeiDou was originally developed by the Chinese military to reduce reliance on the US-owned GPS system, but its positioning accuracy is to within 10 metres while GPS can track down to 30 centimetres. In efforts to speed up adoption of the system, Chinese authorities have ordered taxis, buses and other vehicles to install BeiDou, and many domestic phone brands including Huawei and Xiaomi are now also compatible with the system. There are only a handful of other global satellite navigation systems, including Russia’s Glonass and Europe’s Galileo, which has suffered an outage over the last two weeks. The UK has been involved in developing Galileo, sinking £1.2 billion in the project, but now intends to build its own as part of Brexit fallout.



07/17/2019 - 07:08 AM

 

British-Iranian woman held in Iran moved to psychiatric ward

British-Iranian woman held in Iran moved to psychiatric wardA British-Iranian woman imprisoned in Iran has been transferred to a hospital mental health facility, her husband said Wednesday. Richard Ratcliffe said in Britain that his wife, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has been moved to the mental health ward of Iman Khomeini hospital under the control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 40, was arrested in Iran while traveling with the couple's young daughter in April 2016 and has been sentenced to five years in prison after being accused of spying, which she and her family vehemently deny.



07/17/2019 - 06:39 AM

 

Egypt releases transgender woman after 4 months in jail

Egypt releases transgender woman after 4 months in jailAn Egyptian rights group says authorities have released a transgender woman held for more than four months in connection to a call for protests. El-Kashef was among dozens arrested over calls for demonstrations following a Feb. 27 train crash in Cairo that killed at least 25 people. Prosecutors say they suspect she belongs to an unnamed terrorist group, a reference to the banned Muslim Brotherhood.



07/17/2019 - 06:28 AM

 

UK's Hammond attacks "terrifying" views of Brexiteer Rees-Mogg

UK's Hammond attacks "terrifying" views of Brexiteer Rees-MoggBritish finance minister Philip Hammond said on Wednesday it was "terrifying" that leading Brexit advocate Jacob Rees-Mogg, who could have a role in the next government, thought Britain could be better off by leaving the EU without an exit deal. Hammond, who does not intend to continue as finance minister when a new prime minister is named next week, was responding to criticism from Rees-Mogg - the latest turn in a long-running row that typifies Brexit divisions in the ruling Conservative Party. Rees-Mogg, who has been linked with a role in government if fellow Brexiteer Boris Johnson becomes prime minister, argues Britain could be better off.



07/17/2019 - 06:23 AM

 

UK Brexit minister Barclay says chances of a 'no deal' EU exit are underpriced

UK Brexit minister Barclay says chances of a 'no deal' EU exit are underpricedThe chances of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal at the end of October are underpriced, Britain's Brexit minister Stephen Barclay said on Wednesday. Asked about the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, Barclay pointed to the fact that parliament is only due to sit for a relatively short period of time in September and October and that legislation required to pass a deal would be significant.



07/17/2019 - 06:18 AM

 

The Man With the Real Power in Brazil

The Man With the Real Power in Brazil(Bloomberg) -- Want to receive this post in your inbox every day? Sign up for the Balance of Power newsletter, and follow Bloomberg Politics on Twitter and Facebook for more.While Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro complains that lawmakers want to make him a ceremonial head of state like the Queen of England, the real power rests with Rodrigo Maia, the speaker of Congress’s lower house.Pale, paunchy, and soft-spoken — with occasional ferocious flashes of temper — Maia sees his mission as defending the democratic institutions that some of Bolsonaro’s more radical supporters favor scrapping, Simone Iglesias and Samy Adghirni report. Bolsonaro’s son Carlos has repeatedly whipped up his massive social media following against him.Maia, 49, showed his authority this month when he united 17 fractious parties to approve a crucial revamp of a social security system that is dragging on Latin America’s biggest economy. After the Chamber of Deputies passed the measure and sent it to the Senate, he wept as supporters gave him a standing ovation.The speaker backs pro-market aspects of the president’s program, but has blocked more inflammatory proposals such as loosening gun-control laws. Without a strong democratic system, he argues, Brazil won't attract essential investment.Attacks on Brazil’s institutions by some in Bolsonaro’s camp don’t help.“They’re a movement, an antidemocratic fringe and this doesn’t pressure me,” Maia says. “But it does worry me.”Global HeadlinesRare rebuke | The Democratic-led U.S. House responded to Donald Trump’s sustained attacks on four female Democratic lawmakers by taking the extraordinary step of rebuking the president for racism. The resolution accused the president of having “legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.” It is a serious accusation that sharpens the battle lines going into the 2020 elections.Read about how Republicans objected to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling Trump’s comments racist.Making the case | The incoming president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said in interview she aims to persuade Trump that Europe and the U.S. still have many common interests. One person hoping she succeeds will be her successor as German defense minister. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer wants to use the job to revive her chances of becoming chancellor and the last thing she needs is a long-running battle with the White House.Initial penalty | Trump confirmed reluctantly that Turkey won’t be able to buy U.S. F-35 fighter jets because it is taking delivery of a Russian missile-defense system. The U.S. is still weighing economic sanctions, even as Trump inaccurately said that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was "forced" into buying the S-400 because Obama's administration would not sell him the Patriot system.Sudan deal | The ruling military council and civilian opposition alliance in Sudan signed a political accord today as part of a power-sharing agreement meant to end a crisis that followed the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir in April. A second, constitutional accord is expected to be ratified on Friday that will lead to the formation of an 11-seat sovereign council with executive responsibilities and the holding of elections in three years.Economic cost | Hong Kong's protracted protests might be starting to hurt its economy. The Hong Kong Retail Management Association reported that most of its members saw a single-to-double-digit drop in average sales revenue between June and the first week of July, amid fears the city's political chaos could impact its status as a global financial hub.What to WatchThe signs of summer have arrived in the Chinese resort town of Beidaihe: Umbrellas are out, traffic controls are in place and the regional Communist Party chief has stopped by to check everything's ready for President Xi Jinping's visit. Click here for what to look for at this year's conclave. A clash over digital taxation could overshadow a meeting near Paris of Group of Seven finance chiefs, as France digs in on imposing levies that will hit American tech giants Saudi Arabia says it will allow some businesses to stay open 24 hours a day, news that triggered confusion over whether it was ending rules that require shops to shut for Islam’s five daily prayers.And finally...Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens died yesterday aged 99. Appointed in 1975 by a Republican president, only to become a leading liberal voice on presidential powers, Stevens retired in 2010 as the second-oldest justice in American history. He frequently spoke for his wing of the court in high-profile dissents, including the 5-4 decision stopping the Florida ballot recounts that might have led to Democrat Al Gore’s election over George W. Bush in 2000. \--With assistance from Karen Leigh, Kathleen Hunter and Ben Sills.To contact the author of this story: Karl Maier in Rome at kmaier2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at rmathieson3@bloomberg.net, Anthony HalpinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



07/17/2019 - 06:13 AM

 

Saudi Arabia intercepts drone launched by Yemeni rebels

Saudi Arabia intercepts drone launched by Yemeni rebelsThe Saudi military says it has intercepted a drone launched at the kingdom's southern border by Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen. Col. Turki al-Maliki, a military spokesman, was quoted in the state-run Saudi Press Agency on Wednesday as saying the drone was launched by the Houthi rebels from Yemen's governorate of Sanaa toward the Saudi city of Jizan.



07/17/2019 - 06:08 AM

 

Trump’s Bungled Iran Gambit Is Helping China Become a Naval Power With Global Reach

Trump’s Bungled Iran Gambit Is Helping China Become a Naval Power With Global ReachPhoto Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily BeastGWADAR, Pakistan—British warships are acting as nervous escorts to British oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, even as Europe tries desperately to find a way out of the escalating crisis with Iran provoked by U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear accord last year. But the Chinese role in the background of this escalating crisis has been largely overlooked, and could have enormous strategic consequences. Already, China is positioning itself to act as a policeman protecting its own strategic interests in the Persian Gulf,  the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean beyond.Trump and the Persian Gulf Have a Long, Surprising HistoryThe key is the port of Gwadar on Pakistan’s southwest coast about 625 nautical miles east of the Strait of Hormuz, the gateway for about a third of the world’s international oil traffic.  China is spending a huge amount—$60 billion—building what is called the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to link western China with Gwadar Port through a network of highways, railways and gas pipelines. This, in turn, is part of its grand design known as the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, or OBOR. The U.S. Defense Department, reporting to Congress in May, summed up U.S. concerns about Chinese strategy, which it sees as likely to make countries around the world potentially dependent on their ties to the China’s economy and uncritical of, if not indeed subservient to, its policies. But the Defense Department noted that global presence also heightens China’s global exposure to “international and regional turmoil, terrorism, piracy, and serious natural disasters and epidemics,” which the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is supposed to deal with.Specifically, as the Defense Department noted, “Some OBOR investments could create potential military advantages for China, should China require access to selected foreign ports to pre-position the necessary logistics support to sustain naval deployments in waters as distant as the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Atlantic Ocean to protect its growing interests.”Which brings us back to Gwadar, here in the often troubled province of Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan. The Chinese already have discovered they’re targets for a shadowy separatist organization calling itself the Balochistan Liberation Organization, which attacked the Chinese consulate in Karachi in November. In May this year the group hit the luxury Pearl Hotel which looks out on Gwadar Harbor. All four attackers and at least one security guard were killed. “Our fighters have carried out this attack on Chinese and other foreign investors,” the group said.Undeterred, China continues to push ahead as the  builder, financier and operator of this strategic port, and Beijing may be much more concerned about Washington’s aggressive policies in the region than it is about the terrorists.Iran's threat to shut the Strait of Hormuz has pushed the U.S. into proposing a maritime coalition to protect shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean Region.  It would act as a kind of regional watchman with eyes on all shipping lanes. But that would also position the coalition as a potential threat to China’s development of strategic assets here.On the other hand, a naval base in Gwadar enables Beijing to monitor American activities very closely, patrolling sea lanes to protect its own interests while monitoring U.S. activities in the Indian Ocean.Pakistan would have a number of incentives to cooperate, including its icy relations with Washington.  Defense cooperation is a major aspect of what Pakistan and China call their "all-weather friendship.”For the record, Beijing has dismissed news reports that it will build a full-fledged naval base at Gwadar. But as the Pentagon pointed out,  in the near term China is more likely to preposition logistical support for a growing Chinese naval presence. An escalation of the U.S.-Iran conflict or volatility in the Gulf could give Beijing the pretext to build a more ambitious naval base at Gwadar for security reasons. It is dependent on imported oil for more than 70 percent of its needs, and much of that comes out of the Gulf. U.S. Must Put a Ban on Google Helping China Develop a Global Digital DictatorshipIf a base is to be built, some analysts believe China’s model for Gwadar might be its installation at Yulin along the southern coast of China’s Hainan Island, a strategic key in Beijing’s efforts to claim control over virtually all of the South China Sea. Yulin can accommodate aircraft carriers, and so-called “caverns” are believed capable of hiding up to 20 nuclear submarines from spy satellites. If a similar base were located at the crown of the Arabian Sea, China’s ability to expand the reach of its navy would increase exponentially.  None of that lies in the immediate future, but it’s clearly the kind of thing the Pentagon is worrying about. As the report to Congress stated bluntly, one of the “overriding strategic objectives” of the Chinese Communist Party is to “secure China’s status as a great power and, ultimately, emerge as the preeminent power in the Indo-Pacific region.”How ironic it would be if the Trump administration’s manufactured crisis with Iran opened the door wide for such a strategic breakthrough by China. With additional reporting by Christopher DickeyRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



07/17/2019 - 05:36 AM

 

Central America’s Wars of the ’80s Still Haunt the U.S.

Central America’s Wars of the ’80s Still Haunt the U.S.William Gentile/Corbis via GettyForty years ago this week, on July 19, 1979, rebels who called themselves Sandinistas overthrew the Nicaraguan dynasty of the Somoza family that was first installed by U.S. Marines in the 1930s. By 1983, Reagan was using the largely Marxist leadership of the Sandinista regime to feed paranoia about Communist encroachment, as if Central America represented an existential threat to the United States. His policies included overt support for business and military elites, tacit support for death squads, and covert backing for anti-Sandinista Contra rebels accused of gross human rights abuses. If Congress would not back him, Reagan warned, there would be “a tidal wave of refugees—and this time they’ll be ‘feet people’ and not ‘boat people’ [like those who fled South Vietnam after the Communist takeover in 1975]—swarming into our country.”Today, Central American refugees are indeed coming to the U.S. border in numbers the Trump administration claims are overwhelming. The reasons they flee their homes can be traced to this basic fact: neither the revolutions nor Reagan’s counter-revolutions delivered on their promises, while vast numbers of Central Americans continue to live in poverty and fear. Bill Gentile was a young freelance reporter and photographer in Central America in the 1980s, his series, beginning today, takes us into the crucible of the region’s uprisings, which still haunt the conscience of the United States.—Christopher Dickey, World News Editor* * *Part I: The Revolution (1978-1979)* * *Like many journalists who covered Nicaragua, I have been deeply affected by my long relationship with that country and her people. I lived and worked there during some of the most formative years of my life, and the life of Nicaragua herself. It's where I first witnessed war. It's where I first saw violence used to achieve political and social change. It's where I met my first wife. It's where I forged life-time friendships. It's where I came to recognize privilege and power as enemies. Nicaragua also is where I came to understand and to cherish my role as journalist.—Bill GentileContra rebels patrolling the northern mountains of Nicaragua. One soldier wears a ‘USA’ baseball hat, representing the country that aids their anti-Sandinista struggle.William Gentile/Corbis via Getty* * *Night Moves* * *In a small complex of cabañas tucked away under coconut trees on the outskirts of the Nicaraguan capital, Managua, where a contingent of international journalists had set up a base of operations, I was up late one night listening to stories of war. Guy Gugliotta was a Miami-based correspondent for the Miami Herald. Tall and lanky with a soft voice and tired eyes, he didn't easily fit my preconceived notion of a Vietnam veteran and former Swift Boat commander. But he was.I’ve never been to Vietnam but I grew up on imagery of that war in the pages of Life magazine. Huge color photographs made by some of the most courageous and most talented photojournalists of the era arrived each week at my home in the steel town of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, about 40 minutes northwest of Pittsburgh. They planted within me a lifelong fascination with imagery and journalism.In Managua that night, I smoked Marlboro reds while Gugliotta and I worked on a bottle of Nicaraguan rum and he talked about how he kept himself and his men alive in Vietnam while executing one of the most dangerous assignments of that decade-long war; how he anticipated and calculated for every contingent; how his eyes scoured every curve in the rivers that he and his men were assigned to patrol; how a flash of light off a metal surface or a reflection from the river bank could be the precursor of an ambush and the death of him and the men under his command; how he would instruct his men to respond; and, ultimately, how he would help get himself and his men back home.In the background, I remember, Bob Seger sang "Night Moves” on a cassette plugged into the recorder I used to file reports for ABC Radio News.I didn’t know then that Gugliotta’s lessons on guerrilla warfare might help save my life in the not-so-distant future.* * *The Somoza and Sandino* * *It was 1979 and I was a freelance journalist on a trip through Central America to see first-hand the stories that I had been editing on the desk of United Press International (UPI) at my base in Mexico City. The bureau there covered not only Mexico, but Central America and the Caribbean as well. I also freelanced for ABC Radio, the Baltimore Sun, and the Kansas City Star. At the time, I was more a print guy than a photo guy.I landed in Managua only days before the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (FSLN), or Sandinista National Liberation Front, declared its "final offensive" against the U.S.-backed rule of President Anastasio Somoza, who had inherited the regime from his father in 1957. A popular insurgency against Somoza family rule had been festering for years and the FSLN managed to seize the leadership role and channel the rebellion into a final push against the regime.The United States’ role in Nicaragua is not one that most Americans can be proud of. U.S. Marines invaded and occupied the country on numerous occasions and for various periods of time beginning in 1909. The first Somoza—Antastasio Somoza García, known as “Tacho”—was installed as the head of the Nicaraguan National Guard, set up the the U.S. as a supposedly non-partisan constabulary. That did not last long. Augusto César Sandino, who had led a guerrilla war against the U.S. Marines, finally agreed to make peace in 1934, only to be murdered by Somoza’s guard with U.S. complicity. And Tacho seized all power in 1937. In return for its role as staunch U.S. ally and anti-communist bulwark in Central America, the United States supported the Somoza dynasty for four decades. (In 1939, Franklin Roosevelt is supposed to have said of Tacho, “He’s a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”) This despite the regime’s consistent and grotesque human rights violations. Then, for six weeks in the summer of 1979 Nicaragua suffered a national convulsion that left some 30,000 of her citizens—in a country of only about 2.5 million inhabitants at the time—dead. Courtesy Bill Gentile* * *A Bullet in the Head* * *As it became clear that the successor to the dynasty, Anastasio “Tachito” Somoza Debayle, was in trouble, journalists from around the world converged on Managua. These included a team led by ABC television correspondent Bill Stewart, and since I was a stringer for ABC Radio, I briefly worked with the ABC team as a translator. By 1979 I was pretty fluent in Spanish, an asset essential to negotiate one’s freedom or one’s life with mostly young, scared, exhausted and sometimes very pissed-off soldiers. Stewart had arrived on the scene after covering the revolution in Iran. He spoke no Spanish. On June 20, 1979, a squad of Somoza's national guardsmen manning a Managua checkpoint stopped the van carrying Stewart and his colleagues. (As it happened, I had left the ABC team a couple of days earlier.) Stewart and his Nicaraguan translator approached the soldiers as the camera and sound men in the van secretly filmed the event through the windshield. The guardsmen made Stewart kneel, and then lie face down on the city street. One of them pumped a single bullet into the back of his head. They also killed Stewart’s Nicaraguan translator, out of sight of the cameraman inside the van. The global broadcast of that footage crushed support of the Somoza regime. Even its most stalwart anti-communist U.S. congressional defenders could not continue to support the family’s continued rule.* * *Suicide Stringers* * *In response to the killing, the vast majority of journalists covering the revolution evacuated the country, some in protest and others out of concern for their own safety. I was one of a handful who stayed.John Hoagland was another. He was freelancing for the Associated Press (AP), making $25 for every picture the international wire service transmitted from Nicaragua to its headquarters in New York City.  John was a surfer from California, and he looked it:, tall and tanned with sun-tinged hair. Rumor was that he once was a bodyguard for Angela Davis and carried a .357 Magnum while on the job. A bold Fu Manchu moustache added to his reputation as a take-no-bullshit dude but perhaps masked the decency and the kindness that was his core.Courtesy Bill GentileYoung, hungry and determined to “make it,” John and I began to work together despite the fact that we worked for competing wire services. We took risks that perhaps more sensible journalists might not have considered. The Somoza regime’s use of small aircraft to bomb and strafe the eastern barrios of Managua had become routine during the final offensive. Sandinista cadres had taken positions there and the regime conducted air raids every afternoon, so most journalists stayed away from the place until the raids were over. But not John and I.We made our way one afternoon past rebel barricades and checkpoints along the Carretera Norte that connects the capital to the international airport. We wanted to get close to insurgents confronting a National Guard position along the same key route. As one of the regime’s planes fired rockets at the insurgents, John ducked for cover and I ran toward the open door of a nearby house in a bid to do the same. That’s when a rocket from one of the planes plowed through the roof of my intended refuge, blowing debris through the front door. Three steps faster and I would have eaten a shrapnel sandwich.After that incident, our colleagues began calling John Hoagland and me the “suicide stringers.”Covering the final offensive was a non-stop scramble for information. Fighting between the National Guard and the Sandinista-led insurgency moved from one city to another on an almost daily basis. Death tolls. Body counts. Casualty reports. Refugees. Press conferences. Sandinistas seizing control of towns and cities across the country. More casualty reports. To stay abreast of these always-moving events, the UPI team relied heavily on our “secret weapon.”In his early 60s and blessed with an authoritative demeanor, Leonardo Lacayo was a long-time journalist and local stringer for UPI. At his home on the outskirts of the city, “Don Lacayo” had a short-wave radio system he used to monitor communication between Somoza and his national guardsmen in the field. So we often knew what was happening before it actually happened. Lacayo was such a closely guarded secret in the super competitive world of breaking news coverage that the UPI journalists were forbidden to use his real name even in private conversation, out of concern that our competitors would find him out. We were allowed only to refer to him as “El Hombre”—The Man.* * *The Bunker* * *Anastasio Somoza’s bunker, or command post, was a stone’s throw from the Intercontinental Hotel in what remained of Managua. The city was severely damaged in a 1972 earthquake that killed tens of thousands of its citizens. On the morning after the dictator and his family fled the country, Nicaragua’s National Guard disintegrated as its members stripped off their uniforms and fled. Many tried to pass themselves off as civilians and headed north to the border with Honduras.Courtesy Bill GentileA few yards from the bunker, two national guardsmen were trying to jump-start a car to join their fleeing colleagues. They asked me and a colleague to help them push their car so they could be on their way. As my colleague and I took our places behind the trunk of the car, we could see the body of a third guardsman lying on the back seat. The two guardsmen were taking their dead with them as they fled the incoming Sandinista fighters.The following day and not far down a main street from Somoza’s bunker, the plaza in front of Managua’s metropolitan cathedral filled with thousands of Nicaraguans welcoming the incoming Junta of National Reconstruction, victorious Sandinista fighters and followers.Courtesy Bill GentileTomorrow: Terrible and Glorious Days—The Contra War (1982-1989)Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



07/17/2019 - 05:21 AM

 

Trump’s better deal with Iran looks a lot like Obama’s

Trump’s better deal with Iran looks a lot like Obama’sTrump has repeatedly urged Iran to negotiate, saying that Tehran’s nuclear ambitions are his chief concern, talking points that experts say echo the 2015 deal.



07/17/2019 - 05:05 AM

 

UK Brexit minister Barclay: I told Barnier could not see unchanged Brexit deal being approved

UK Brexit minister Barclay: I told Barnier could not see unchanged Brexit deal being approvedBritish Brexit minister Stephen Barclay said on Wednesday he told the European Union's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier that he did not envisage an unchanged exit deal being approved by Britain's parliament. Barclay ruffled feathers last week in Brussels, telling EU negotiators the deal agreed with Prime Minister Theresa May was "dead". May is due to step down next week and the frontrunner to succeed her, Boris Johnson, plans to seek changes to the deal.



07/17/2019 - 05:03 AM

 

China’s Leaders Head to Secretive Summer Camp to Ponder Trump

China’s Leaders Head to Secretive Summer Camp to Ponder Trump(Bloomberg) -- The signs of summer have arrived in the northern Chinese resort town of Beidaihe: The umbrellas are out, the traffic controls are in place and the regional Communist Party chief has stopped by to make sure everything’s set for the most important of visitors.China’s so-called summer capital -- located on the Yellow Sea, more than 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Beijing -- each year plays host to a conclave of party luminaries including President Xi Jinping, his top aides, as well as retired leaders. While the meeting’s agenda, guest list and exact dates are shrouded in secrecy, there are indications that events are already underway, such as the traffic restrictions that took effect Saturday and last until Aug. 18.This year’s gathering, which likely won’t be joined by Xi and other sitting state leaders until early next month, may bear even closer watching than usual as China faces growing risks at home and abroad. Beidaihe’s mid-August conclusion has in the past heralded policy moves, with leaders this year likely to discuss the slowing economy, the simmering U.S. trade war and plans to mark seven decades of party rule over the People’s Republic of China.“The unrest in Hong Kong, the trade talks with the U.S., and the celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the PRC will likely dominate the discussions in Beidaihe this year,” said Minxin Pei, author of the 2016 book “China’s Crony Capitalism: The Dynamics of Regime Decay" and a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in California. “On a specific issue such as the trade talks, Beidaihe could have a decisive impact.”The Beidaihe meeting comes amid doubts about China’s ability to forge a lasting truce with President Donald Trump, who continues to raise the prospect of expanded tariffs on Chinese goods even after agreeing with Xi last month to resume trade talks. The world’s second-largest economy had the weakest quarterly growth since at least 1992 and a record 8.3 million graduates are entering a softer job market.Long-running TraditionMoreover, weeks of protests in Hong Kong over an attempt to allow the transfer of criminal suspects to the mainland have left the local legislature ransacked and exposed widespread criticism of the city’s leadership. Taiwan’s China-skeptic president, Tsai Ing-wen, has resuscitated her hopes of winning a second term by seizing on the Hong Kong anxiety and running against Beijing.The Beidaihe tradition dates to the earliest days of Mao Zedong’s reign, when party patriarchs used to swim in the sea with their bodyguards. For instance, the decisions that led to Mao’s Great Leap Forward -- an aggressive push to develop industrial power that resulted in widespread famine -- were made there in 1958.The event has endured as an opportunity for sitting leaders to build consensus ahead of more formal annual party meetings held in the autumn back in the marble halls of Beijing. State media reports show attendees discussed the party leadership lineup in the resort area in 1997, and economic development after hosting the Olympic Games in 2008.The nation’s top leaders usually fall out of public view during their own meetings in Beidaihe, adding to the mystery around the event. Since coming to power in 2012, Xi has largely disappeared from the front page of the party’s flagship People’s Daily newspaper for a 15-day window stretching from July 31 at the earliest to Aug. 17 at the latest.There are exceptions for natural disasters and other major events, such as when Xi was featured on the front page of the People’s Daily on Aug. 12, 2017, in an article about his phone call with Trump. Still, the need for top policy officials to be near the leaders in Beidaihe creates a two-week block of time when scheduling high-level meetings, such as planned U.S.-China trade talks, is more difficult.Critical DecisionsMore recently, the party has announced several critical decisions in the weeks after Beidaihe meetings, including the move to prosecute former Politburo member Bo Xilai in 2012 and Xi’s sweeping restructuring of the People’s Liberation Army in 2015. Events have also included more academic discussions, such as a gathering last year of 62 scientists from fields including semiconductors, aerospace, railways and poverty alleviation.Security is paramount during such sensitive discussions and local party leaders institute traffic controls and conduct inspection tours. Wang Dongfeng, party secretary of the surrounding Hebei province, paid a personal visit to Beidaihe ahead of the “tourist season” on July 7 and 8, according to a local newspaper report that made no mention of the leadership gathering.Xi’s consolidation of party power, including writing his status as China’s “core” leader into the constitution last year, has raised questions about the need for the summer meetings. The Liaowang Institute, a think tank affiliated with the official Xinhua News Agency, wrote in 2015 that Beidaihe was “gradually losing its political color and returning to its original role as a health resort in the northern China.”Still, it may provide a useful forum to manage intraparty debate, such the unusually public discussion last year over whether Xi’s decision to shift from former leader Deng Xiaoping’s “hide your strength, bide your time” foreign policy had prompted a premature showdown with the U.S. On Aug. 9, People’s Daily confronted critics in an editorial, saying “such a heavyweight cannot be hidden by taking a ‘low key’ approach, just like an elephant cannot conceal its body behind a small tree.”“Last year’s gathering at Beidaihe appeared to have strengthened Xi politically,” said Pei of Claremont College. “I would say it is even more important these days because a strongman leader such as Xi actually needs to cultivate and build support among his senior colleagues whenever he can.”To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Dandan Li in Beijing at dli395@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Sharon ChenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



07/17/2019 - 05:00 AM

 

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe being transferred to psychiatric hospital raises hopes for release, husband says

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe being transferred to psychiatric hospital raises hopes for release, husband saysThe husband of a British-Iranian woman jailed in Iran has said her transfer to a hospital psychiatric ward raises hopes of her being released.  Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 40, was arrested at Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport while travelling with their young daughter in April 2016 and sentenced to five years in prison after being accused of spying, a charge she vehemently denies. Her husband Richard Ratcliffe said she was transferred from Evin prison on Monday to the psychiatric ward of Iman Khomeini hospital, in Tehran, where she is being held under the control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Mr Ratcliffe told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the move could be a "prelude to her release".  He said: "It's possible it's good news. It's possible it's a prelude to her release. It's also possible that it's a prelude to her getting treatment and all my fears are unfounded and she's getting treated and she's there for a while to get treatment and then will go back to prison.  Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been transferred to the mental ward of Iman Khomeini hospital in Tehran "But it's also possible that there's something else going on. One of the things that happened the last time she met the Revolutionary Guard, which was when she was on hunger strike, they were pressurising her to sign denouncements of the British Government and confess to various things.  "So that's when I started getting worried - as yesterday carried on - is that are they isolating her again to squeeze her." Her father said he visited the hospital on Tuesday but was not allowed to see his daughter and that she has not been allowed to contact her family. When Mr Ratcliffe first found out his wife was being moved to the hospital, he told Today: "We were quite hopeful that it was good thing, so we started off quite euphoric. "Now it's transpired that she's under the control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, it's worrying." Before being transferred, Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe told relatives: "I was healthy and happy when I came to Iran to see my parents. Richard Ratcliffe outside the Iranian Embassy in London "Three and a bit years later and I am admitted to a mental health clinic. "Look at me now, I ended up in an asylum. It should be an embarrassment. "Prison is getting harder and harder for me. I hate being played in the middle of a political game. I just hate it." In a press release, the Free Nazanin Campaign said it is not known what treatment she is receiving or how long she is expected to remain in hospital. The transfer comes after Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe went on hunger strike for 15 days last month in protest at her "unfair imprisonment". Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe with her daughter Gabriella Mr Ratcliffe also did not eat for the period in solidarity with his wife as he camped on the pavement outside the Iranian Embassy in London. The couple's five-year-old daughter Gabriella has stayed in Iran with her grandparents since her mother's arrest. Mr Ratcliffe said: "Nazanin hoped that her hunger strike would move the Iranian authorities, and it clearly has. "Hopefully her transfer to hospital means that she is getting treatment and care, despite my distrust of just what pressures can happen behind closed doors. It is unnerving when we don't know what is going on. "I am glad her dad has been down there to keep vigil outside. "Mental hospital has its worries at the best of times - but particularly when kept isolated and under the control of the Revolutionary Guard. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe timeline "Even now it still seems like games of power and control are being played by the Iranian authorities - even at the point of hospitalisation. "We hope again this is the beginning of the end. And yet, we were also here last summer. "We will be following up with the new prime minister whenever that is decided to ensure he takes personal responsibility for Nazanin's case." Earlier this year, Foreign Secretary and Tory leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt granted Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe diplomatic protection in a bid to resolve her case.



07/17/2019 - 04:30 AM

 

Revolt Edges Closer to Civilian Rule in Sudan as Pact Signed

Revolt Edges Closer to Civilian Rule in Sudan as Pact Signed(Bloomberg) -- Sudan’s military council signed a power-sharing deal with the country’s firebrand opposition that seeks to stem months of uncertainty and sporadic bloodshed after the overthrow of long-time President Omar al-Bashir.Under the accord, civilian and military representatives will form an 11-seat sovereign council with executive responsibilities, and elections will take place after three years. Images aired on pan-Arab satellite channels Wednesday showed the council’s deputy head, Mohamed Hamdan, and the opposition’s Ibrahim Al-Amin signing the agreement in the capital, Khartoum.Sudan’s army has controlled Africa’s third-largest country since mass demonstrations sparked by an economic crisis spurred it to oust Bashir in April. The opposition has kept up its protests despite a clampdown, accusing the council -- peopled by the old guard from Bashir’s three-decade rule -- of trying to prevent a genuine transition to democracy.Sudan’s upheaval has drawn in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who’ve pledged economic aid and seek to retain influence in the Red Sea nation as their tussles with Iran and Turkey for regional supremacy spread to the Horn of Africa. Prior interventions by the Gulf states in the uprisings that have rocked the Arab world since 2011 have acted to bolster national armies or maintain the status quo.The new pact, which analysts say still leaves many questions on the transition unanswered, was the fruit of sustained international pressure on Sudan’s military rulers in the wake of a June crackdown by security forces on a Khartoum protest site. More than 100 people were killed, with some of the bodies dumped in the Nile River.A second signing of a so-called constitutional declaration is scheduled to take place Friday.“This deal prevents the worst, but will not be sufficient on its own to bring Sudan back from the brink,” Alan Boswell, an analyst with the Brussels-based International Crisis Group, said before the signing. “The coordinated pressure across continents required to produce this deal will now be required to keep it on track.”To contact the reporters on this story: Mohammed Alamin in Khartoum at malamin1@bloomberg.net;Tarek El-Tablawy in Cairo at teltablawy@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at asalha@bloomberg.net, Michael Gunn, Paul AbelskyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



07/17/2019 - 04:17 AM

 

Merkel’s Would-Be Successor Rolls Dice on High-Risk Cabinet Post

Merkel’s Would-Be Successor Rolls Dice on High-Risk Cabinet Post(Bloomberg) -- Angela Merkel’s would-be successor is gambling that one of Germany’s riskier cabinet jobs will help get her chances of becoming chancellor back on track.In an unexpected about-face, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer will take command of Germany’s military as defense minister. It’s a position that has ended several political careers in the past, though her predecessor, Ursula von der Leyen, just landed the job of leading the European Commission in Brussels.Kramp-Karrenbauer, known as AKK in Berlin, had previously said she would steer clear of Merkel’s cabinet, preferring to distance herself from a coalition government that’s fraying at the seams. Instead, she would build her case to replace Merkel after the next election, due in 2021, from her position as leader of the Christian Democratic Union.But AKK has struggled to boost the fortunes of the CDU since taking charge in December. She fumbled with overtures to the party’s right wing and saw a slide in the polls. As of May, Merkel had grown more determined to stay in office amid doubts that AKK was up to the job, according to party officials close to the chancellor.By opting to take over Germany’s fighting forces, Kramp-Karrenbauer exchanges her independence for a position that could be the ultimate proving ground for her abilities.“If you want to show leadership you don’t think about the risk, you just get on with the job,” Ralph Brinkhaus, head of the CDU parliamentary caucus, said in an interview with ZDF television Wednesday. “In life, just as in politics, there are always risks, but if you don’t trust yourself to take on difficult tasks, then you don’t belong in politics.”Trump’s Spending DemandsIn Germany’s defense ministry, which oversees more than 180,000 active-duty troops, there are risks aplenty. AKK’s four predecessors, all in Merkel’s bloc, have seen their political fortunes fade. Two of them resigned in disgrace.When von der Leyen took over in 2013, she herself was tipped as a potential chancellor. After almost six years in the post, she was been mired in accusations about Germany’s military readiness, with helicopters that can’t fly, submarines that can’t sail, and an investigation into her use of outside consultants. The call to Brussels got her out of a fix.With about two years left in Merkel’s fourth term, AKK may manage to avoid some of the pitfalls of the defense ministry. But she will have to navigate the deteriorating transatlantic relations.Germany has been a regular target of calls by President Donald Trump for U.S. allies to boost funding for the military. Merkel, who turns 65 on Wednesday, has stood by a NATO-sponsored target of spending 2% of gross domestic product on defense, even if it takes longer to get there than Trump wants.However, officials in the Social Democratic Party -- Merkel’s junior coalition partner which controls the Finance Ministry -- says the 2% target is an arbitrary number that they have no intention of reaching.\--With assistance from Iain Rogers.To contact the reporters on this story: Patrick Donahue in Berlin at pdonahue1@bloomberg.net;Arne Delfs in Berlin at adelfs@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Chris ReiterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



07/17/2019 - 04:16 AM

 

More than 60 British lords criticise Labour's Corbyn over anti-Semitism

More than 60 British lords criticise Labour's Corbyn over anti-SemitismMore than 60 opposition Labour members of Britain's upper house of parliament signed a statement in a newspaper on Wednesday accusing leader Jeremy Corbyn of failing "the test of leadership" over anti-Semitism in the party. Corbyn, a veteran campaigner for Palestinian rights and critic of the Israeli government, has long been dogged by charges he has allowed a culture of anti-Semitism to thrive in Britain's main opposition party - something he denies. Eight lawmakers left the party earlier this year over anti-Semitism and Corbyn's position on Brexit, which has also angered many members who want Labour to adopt an unequivocal pro-European Union position.



07/17/2019 - 04:13 AM

 

Netanyahu makes history as Israel's longest-serving leader

Netanyahu makes history as Israel's longest-serving leaderAs Benjamin Netanyahu becomes Israel's longest-serving prime minister, he is solidifying his place as the country's greatest political survivor and the most dominant force in Israeli politics in his generation. After failing to form a parliamentary majority following April elections, the country is holding a repeat vote on Sept. 17.



07/17/2019 - 02:03 AM

 

Merkel Picks AKK to Take Over Troubled German Defense Ministry

Merkel Picks AKK to Take Over Troubled German Defense Ministry(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Angela Merkel unexpectedly picked Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to succeed Brussels-bound Ursula von der Leyen as defense minister, handing the head of Germany’s Christian Democrats a difficult portfolio as she seeks to develop her bid to become chancellor after Merkel’s term ends.The German leader, who has said she intends to remain in charge until the next scheduled election in 2021, moved quickly to replace von der Leyen, whose nomination as the next president of the European Commission was approved by the bloc’s parliament on Tuesday.The 56-year-old Kramp-Karrenbauer, known in Germany as AKK, inherits a job considered something of a poisoned chalice. Critics say the country’s armed forces are chronically underfunded. They have been plagued by allegations of inefficiency and reports of faulty equipment, with helicopters that can’t fly and submarines unable to sail.“When such an important position -- a core job in the cabinet -- becomes available, then a CDU leader must step up and take responsibility, and she is doing that,” Ralph Brinkhaus, head of the CDU parliamentary caucus, said in an interview with ZDF television Wednesday.“If you want to show leadership you don’t think about the risk, you just get on with the job,” he added. “In life, just as in politics, there are always risks, but if you don’t trust yourself to take on difficult tasks, then you don’t belong in politics.”Germany has been a regular target of calls by President Donald Trump for U.S. allies to boost funding for the military. Merkel, who turns 65 on Wednesday, has stood by a NATO-sponsored target of spending 2% of gross domestic product on defense, even if it takes longer to get there than Trump wants.However, officials in the Social Democratic Party -- Merkel’s junior coalition partner which controls the Finance Ministry -- say the 2% target is an arbitrary distraction that they have no intention of implementing.(Adds Brinkhaus comments beginning in fourth paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Arne Delfs in Berlin at adelfs@bloomberg.net;Iain Rogers in Berlin at irogers11@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net, Chris ReiterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



07/17/2019 - 01:33 AM

 

Iran says minister's missile remarks meant to challenge US

Iran says minister's missile remarks meant to challenge USIran says remarks by the country's foreign minister about Iran's missile program possibly being up for negotiations with the U.S. meant to challenge Washington's arms sales policy to the region — and were not meant to indicate a readiness by Tehran for any such talks. The Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, tweeted late on Tuesday that Mohammad Javad Zarif's comments "threw the ball into the U.S. court while challenging America's arm sales" to its Mideast allies.



07/17/2019 - 01:20 AM

 

PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - July 17

PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - July 17- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday Iran appeared willing to negotiate over its missile program "for the first time," in what he and U.S. President Donald Trump presented as evidence that sanctions and military pressure were working, less than a month after the president halted a planned military strike against Iran. - A federal judge on Tuesday ordered President Donald Trump's former adviser Roger Stone Jr. off major social media platforms, declaring that he violated a gag order by using them to attack the special counsel's investigation and officials tied to it.



07/17/2019 - 12:47 AM

 

Lebanese Delegation Requested Saudi Aid, Former Premier Says

Lebanese Delegation Requested Saudi Aid, Former Premier Says(Bloomberg) -- A delegation of three former Lebanese premiers asked Saudi Arabia for financial assistance to help shore up their country’s deteriorating finances ahead of a probable shift toward austerity.Fouad Siniora, Najib Mikati and Tammam Salam met with King Salman on Monday in Riyadh and proposed ways the kingdom could help, Salam said in an interview.“We brought up the financial issue and that Saudi used to place deposits and invest in treasury bills in the past. We said this would seriously contribute to fortifying Lebanon financially,” said Salam, who’s a member of parliament.Saudi Arabia began mending ties with Lebanon earlier this year when it lifted a travel advisory imposed in 2013 and dispatched a team of officials from the Shura Council to Beirut. Relations between the two countries took a hit after Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a close ally of the kingdom, resigned from Riyadh over Iran’s growing role in his country. Hariri rescinded the resignation amid claims it was orchestrated by the Saudis. Riyadh last year renewed a $1 billion credit line to Lebanon.Lebanon has pledged to reduce its budget deficit, fight corruption and overhaul its loss-making state-owned utility company to unlock $11 billion in loans and grants offered at an investor summit last year. Parliament is discussing the much-delayed 2019 budget in hopes of showing the international community that it’s serious about reforms.To contact the reporter on this story: Dana Khraiche in Beirut at dkhraiche@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alaa Shahine at asalha@bloomberg.net, Mark Williams, Stuart BiggsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



07/17/2019 - 12:18 AM

 

US hopes North Korea talks will go ahead despite Pyongyang threat

US hopes North Korea talks will go ahead despite Pyongyang threatThe United States said Tuesday it hoped to hold denuclearization talks with North Korea, after Pyongyang warned that US-South Korean military exercises could affect their planned resumption. The North had earlier Tuesday hinted it could even reconsider its moratorium on nuclear testing over next month's drills, which have been held for years but were scaled down to ease tensions with Pyongyang. It was the North's first statement on the talks since US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to a resumption of dialogue at an impromptu meeting in the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas on June 30.



07/16/2019 - 11:43 PM

 

The Latest: Iran says it helped a tanker with tow to harbor

The Latest: Iran says it helped a tanker with tow to harborIran's state-run media is quoting the country's Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying the Islamic Republic helped an oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz amid U.S. concern that Tehran seized one there. The state-run IRNA news agency early Wednesday quoted Abbas Mousavi as saying Iran towed an unnamed vessel to harbor after it suffered a technical malfunction.



07/16/2019 - 10:37 PM

 

US pushes for talks as North Korea hints it may lift nuclear test moratorium

US pushes for talks as North Korea hints it may lift nuclear test moratoriumWashington has said it looks forward to resuming disarmament talks with North Korea despite a threat by Pyongyang on Tuesday that it might call off its suspension of its 20-month nuclear and missile tests. The latest missive by the North Korean foreign ministry pre-empted a planned joint US-South Korea military exercise in August, which it called “a rehearsal of war, aimed at militarily occupying our Republic by surprise attack.” The statement said that Donald Trump, the US president, had pledged to suspend the military drills at his first historic summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore last year, which he reiterated at another unprecedented meeting of the two leaders last month on the border between the North and South.  It pointed out that its own earlier declaration of a moratorium on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests was made to improve ties and “not a legal document inscribed on paper.” It added: “With the US unilaterally reneging on its commitments, we are gradually losing our justifications to follow through on the commitments we made,” stressing the military drill would also affect talks if it went ahead.  Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump agreed to resume talks when they met last month Credit: Susan Walsh/AP The statement bodes badly for breaking the deadlock in nuclear disarmament talks, even after Kim and Mr Trump agreed to resume working level negotiations after the US leader took the extraordinary step last month of becoming the first sitting US president to enter North Korea.  At the time, Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, predicted negotiating teams would get back to the table by mid-July.  On Tuesday, the state department remained upbeat about the prospect of progress.   "We would hope that no one would try to block, in their government or our government, the ability for President Trump and Chairman Kim to make progress on the commitments they made to each other in Vietnam," spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told a briefing, referring to the leaders’ February summit in Hanoi. "We look forward, of course, to resuming those negotiations, and we hope to talk, always, so we can advance progress on these commitments," Ms Ortagus said, reported Yonhap.



07/16/2019 - 10:17 PM

 

We Asked Two Experts If a War with Iran Is Coming

We Asked Two Experts If a War with Iran Is ComingPollack stated that Washington’s actions were counterproductive to America’s interests in securing a new, better nuclear deal. America’s policy of maximum pressure on Iran continues, with the U.S. Department of the Treasury announcing new sanctions on eight Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commanders. That directive was tweeted during a luncheon event on Iran at the Center for the National Interest, which was moderated by Geoffrey Kemp, the Senior Director of Regional Security Programs at CFTNI who also served in the White House during the first Reagan administration as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs on the National Security Council Staff. The discussion focused on the ongoing crisis, Iran and America’s interests, and whether war could be avoided.“[Donald] Trump’s approach is self-defeating,” declared panelist Kenneth Pollack, Resident Scholar for Middle Eastern Political-Military Affairs at the American Enterprise Institute, and both a former Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs and a former Director for Persian Gulf Affairs at the National Security Council. Pollack explained that the hardliners keep claiming vindication, noting that they had warned that the United States might tear up the Iran deal. Pollack emphasized that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei started in the moderate camp but has drifted steadily toward a hardline position.(This first appeared in June 2019.)



07/16/2019 - 08:00 PM

 

Lawyer Who Took On Brexit May Sue Over Suspending Parliament

Lawyer Who Took On Brexit May Sue Over Suspending Parliament(Bloomberg) -- A lawyer who won a landmark ruling that allows the U.K. to reverse Brexit is considering what could be one of several lawsuits seeking to block any attempt to suspend Parliament to force through a no-deal departure from the bloc.Jolyon Maugham is consulting with other lawyers on whether the case -- which may stop a future prime minister, most likely Boris Johnson, from circumventing lawmakers -- can be filed before any attempt to do so has actually been made, he said by phone on Tuesday.A case would add to the legal pressure over suspending Parliament, after anti-Brexit campaigner Gina Miller said she’s already begun a challenge on the issue. Miller has written to Johnson warning him that proroguing or suspending Parliament to bypass the will of lawmakers would be illegal, she told Bloomberg TV on Tuesday. Maugham’s case, if he brings it, would be separate from hers.A lawsuit would “ask the courts to determine who, Parliament or the prime minister, gets to decide whether we no-deal,” Maugham said. “For me, the answer should obviously be Parliament.”“It’s not theoretical,” Miller said about her plans to sue. “We have already started the protocol process -- if he should go there.”Johnson, the favorite to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May when she steps down next week, has refused to rule out suspending Parliament to get Brexit done by Oct. 31. Miller’s comments follow a significant hardening of position by both Johnson and his rival for the top job, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. They both say they won’t accept any form of Irish backstop in a deal with the European Union -- a key provision designed to keep the border open after Brexit and a red line for the bloc in negotiations.Former Prime Minister John Major has also said he would be ready to take the government to court if the incoming leader tries to suspend Parliament, a position Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has also backed.But Miller, who is a founding partner at SCM Direct, ruled out joining forces with anyone if it meant “politicizing” the issue. “It’s got to be about the black-and-white letter of the law,” she said.The power to suspend Parliament lies with the monarch at the request of the prime minister, which Miller said could leave Queen Elizabeth II in a “very, very difficult position.” Declining the premier’s request would make the monarch an “active participant in the political scene.”Miller also said she sees the chances of a second referendum on Brexit as “almost zero” due to the divisions in the main opposition Labour Party on the issue. Parliament has so far showed there’s no majority for another vote.As early as 2016, Maugham helped raise money through crowdfunding for the first public step in Miller’s landmark case, where she used the courts to force the government to get parliamentary approval before beginning Brexit talks.Two years later, Maugham brought his own Brexit case in Scotland, with the ultimately successful goal of getting the issue in front of the EU Court of Justice. There, the EU’s top judges in Luxembourg ruled that the U.K. could unilaterally revoke its so-called Article 50 notice at any time before it actually left the bloc.But his fresh challenge wouldn’t be connected to Miller’s.There are “different views about the best way to run litigation, and the issue is sufficiently important” for the separate cases to be heard, Maugham said. He may again bring his case in Scotland and it would likely be crowdfunded, he said.(Updates with Jolyon Maugham’s possible case, from first paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Stuart Biggs in London at sbiggs3@bloomberg.net;Anna Edwards in London at aedwards49@bloomberg.net;Kaye Wiggins in London at kwiggins4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Thomas Penny, Anthony AaronsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



07/16/2019 - 07:01 PM

 

Venezuela crisis: Trump administration ‘plans to divert $40m in aid’ to Guaido-led opposition

Venezuela crisis: Trump administration ‘plans to divert $40m in aid’ to Guaido-led oppositionDonald Trump’s administration is reportedly planning to divert more than $40m in humanitarian aid for Central America to support the US-backed opposition in Venezuela. Citing sources and an internal memorandum, the Los Angeles Times suggested the $41.9m had been destined for Guatemala and Honduras. The countries are at the center of a migration crisis in which thousands of people have fled poverty, violence and corruption and attempted to cross the southern US border.The money will instead be used for salaries, airfare, propaganda, technical assistance for elections and “good governance” training for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and his faction, the memo reportedly said. Spokespeople for the State Department, Mr Guaido and Venezuela’s Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Mr Guaido invoked the Venezuelan constitution in January to assume an interim presidency, arguing the South American country’s President Nicolas Maduro was illegitimate.Four months later, he led a failed attempt to spark a military rebellion against Mr Maduro, who said it was part of a US-orchestrated coup. The president has called Mr Guaido a US-backed puppet and has so far retained his grip on the levers of government.Close allies of Mr Guaido have subsequently been arrested. While his parliamentary immunity has been lifted, he has so far not been jailedUnder Mr Maduro’s leadership, the economy has collapsed and shortages of food and medicines have become widespread. Fuel has also become scarce in parts of the oil-rich country and and some drivers have queued for days at petrol stations. There have also been frequent blackouts.Mr Maduro’s government has blamed US sanctions for the shortages, while the opposition had argued that they are the result of mismanagement and corruption by consecutive socialist governments.In April, United Nations agencies said more than 4 million Venezuelans had fled the country, adding that the pace of people fleeing had ”skyrocketed” since the end of 2015.The State Department announced in June it was slashing hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, after Mr Trump said the three countries were not doing enough to stem migration. Agencies contributed to this report



07/16/2019 - 06:56 PM

 

Trump administration to continue deporting Venezuelans despite crisis

Trump administration to continue deporting Venezuelans despite crisis* US as yet unwilling to grant temporary protected status * Senators accuse Trump of ‘having it both ways’ over MaduroThe Ascencio family from Venezuela are returned by US authorities to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico as part of the so-called Remain in Mexico program for asylum seekers this month. Photograph: Salvador Gonzalez/APThe Trump administration has said it is not yet willing to grant temporary protected status to Venezuelans, meaning it will continue to deport people back to a country it says is being destroyed by a tyrant.The news comes amid a humanitarian crisis that could forcibly displace as many as 8.2 million people by the end of 2020, and the same month that the United Nations accused the Venezuelan government of killing thousands of its own citizens.In a letter released on Tuesday, the acting US Citizenship and Immigration Services director, Ken Cuccinelli, said the administration was not willing to grant temporary protected status (TPS) to Venezuelans. “As it relates to Venezuela,” Cuccinelli wrote in the letter, addressed to the Senate minority leader, Dick Durbin, “the US Government continues to monitor the situation in Venezuela.”Venezuela is now the leading country of origin for asylum seekers in the United States, with nearly 30,000 Venezuelans applying for protection in 2018.The TPS program is designed to prevent foreign nationals from being deported back to countries facing civil unrest or the aftermath of a devastating natural disaster. It has also been a target of the White House, which has sought to terminate TPS for migrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan.“Venezuela is exactly the sort of situation that TPS was designed to address,” said Charanya Krishnaswami, Americas advocacy director at Amnesty International.Donald Trump has presented himself as a steadfast opponent of the Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro and most prominent supporter of his opponent Juan Guaidó, but his administration continues to deport Venezuelans to their homeland. Between October 2017 and September 2018, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement deported 336 Venezuelan citizens.“At the same time the government is saying it needs to monitor the situation more, administration officials are calling the government of Maduro a ‘thugocracy’, and decrying the humanitarian situation that so many Venezuelans are facing,” Krishnaswami added.In a joint response to the administration’s letter, Senators Durbin and Bob Menendez said the president “cannot have it both ways. He cannot warn Americans that Venezuela is so dangerous they should avoid traveling there and then turn around and tell Venezuelans in the US they are forced to return.”A USCIS representative insisted that “the letter is being misinterpreted”, noting that, ultimately, a TPS designation “is a decision made by the Secretary of Homeland Security”.Néstor Guillén, a Venezuelan green-card holder in the US since 2006, said the disparity between US rhetoric and action reflects “hypocrisy and opportunism” by an electorally minded Republican party. “TPS is the lowest-hanging fruit by which we can help Venezuelans in the short term,” he said. The Trump administration is “selling snake oil, not lending humanitarian assistance”.Refusing to grant TPS “sends the absolute wrong message to Venezuelans, and to the rest of Latin America”, said Geoff Ramsey of the Washington Office on Latin America. “It’s as if this administration’s concern for Venezuelans ends the instant they leave their country.”



07/16/2019 - 06:33 PM

 

Can Russia and America Avoid a New Nuclear Arms Race?

Can Russia and America Avoid a New Nuclear Arms Race?Delegations from the United States and Russia plan to meet in Geneva in mid-July 2019 to begin discussing a possible extension of the New START treaty, one of the major arms-control accords limiting the size and power and the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals.The 2010 treaty restricts both the United States and Russia to 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads on a maximum of 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles and strategic bombers.But the treaty expires in 2021. And experts worry that the administration of U.S. president Donald Trump, in particular Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton, plans to sabotage a possible extension in order to allow for unlimited atomic rearmament.“Before the Group of 20 summit last month in Japan, Russian president Vladimir Putin said he planned to push Pres. Donald Trump for an extension to New START,” The Associated Press reported. “Putin said his nation was ready to agree to an extension, but that Russia had not seen any initiative from the Americans even though the treaty expires in 2021.”“Trump’s national security team has dithered for more than a year on beginning talks with Russia to extend [New START] before it expires in February 2021,” wrote Daryl Kimball, an expert with the Arms Control Association in the United States.”It is now apparent that Bolton is trying to steer Trump to discard New START.”“There's no decision, but I think it's unlikely,” Bolton said of New START in a June 2019 interview.



07/16/2019 - 05:55 PM

 

Head of UN nuclear watchdog reported to be stepping down

Head of UN nuclear watchdog reported to be stepping downThe United Nations' nuclear watchdog says it can't confirm rumors that its director general is stepping down for health reasons. The office was responding to questions about media reports saying Amano was resigning due to health issues.



07/16/2019 - 05:49 PM

 

America and Iran: On a Path Towards War?

America and Iran: On a Path Towards War?Iran’s leader has taken a defiant stance against the United States and its allies, signalling a potential “fraying” of the 2015 deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program, The New York Times reported.Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on July 16, 2019 denounced “the vicious British” after U.K. forces earlier in the month seized an Iranian oil tanker off Gibraltar.In a speech to clerics, Khamenei “appeared to signal his intention to ignore diplomacy for the moment and stoke tensions with the West over the embattled nuclear accord,” the Times’ Rick Gladstone wrote.“Khamenei spoke as unconfirmed news reports suggested Iran’s Revolutionary Guards may have seized a United Arab Emirates tanker in the Persian Gulf, possibly in retaliation for Britain’s impounding of an Iranian tanker near Gibraltar this month.”Iranian militia troops had attempted to retaliate on July 10, 2019 by seizing a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. A Royal Navy frigate intervened and stopped the assault.Khamenei’s tone has sharpened of late. “The defiance expressed by the top leader ... contrasted with what seemed like a less confrontational stance taken at the White House,” Gladstone added.U.S. president Donald Trump told reporters his administration is “not looking for regime change” in Iran. “They’d like to talk, and we’ll see what happens,” Trump said.Mike Pompeo, the U.S. secretary of state, claimed Iran was willing to negotiate over its missile program, which Gladstone pointed out is “an area of Western concern that was not covered in the 2015 nuclear agreement.”



07/16/2019 - 05:46 PM

 

Merkel and Macron Carried Off Their Trick, Barely

Merkel and Macron Carried Off Their Trick, Barely(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Ursula von der Leyen has clinched the presidency of the European Commission with a razor-thin margin of nine votes. It's a win for the national governments that backed her, a loss for the European Parliament that dreamed of putting forward one of its own — and a sign of some very tough tussles ahead for the 28-member bloc.When pulling a rabbit out of a hat, it helps to not show the audience the secret compartment underneath. The nomination earlier this month of von der Leyen, the former defense minister of Germany, to the helm of the European Union's executive arm, involved very little magic. As a compromise pick intended to settle differences between Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Emmanuel Macron, she was ideal. But for the new European Parliament, which had fielded better-known candidates who actually campaigned for the job, she was a mean trick.The memory of this vote may fade, but the institutional power struggle it reignites will live on. Deciding who gets to run the European Commission has historically been the preserve of national governments (a fact apparently lost on euroskeptic Brexiters like Nigel Farage, who painted von der Leyen as the symbol of an undemocratic superstate). But the European Parliament has long wanted more influence, and in 2014 its squabbling factions found enough common ground to field their own candidates — one of whom, Jean-Claude Juncker, won. With von der Leyen, the pendulum has already swung back.As an indicator of effective policy making in the EU, Tuesday’s vote was not reassuring. The European elections in May failed to produce a populist wave, but they did usher in a set of far more fragmented political factions, as traditional left and right power blocs lost their majority. The new politics were on show in the awkward coalition building that went on ahead of the vote. Von der Leyen’s lightning-quick campaign was packed with goodies that seemed incongruous for a center-right politician — including a $1.1 trillion “green deal,” a carbon tax, a minimum wage, an unemployment-benefit scheme, mechanisms to bolster the rule of law, and a stronger border force. That wasn’t enough to sway the Greens, and the Socialists endorsed her only at the 11th hour.It still pays not to underestimate the European Parliament — which approves big agreements like trade deals and Brexit — even if this time around it didn’t carry out its threats to send member states back to the drawing board. The Parliament will vote on von der Leyen’s Commission, too, when she gets it assembled, so she’ll have to be serious about keeping her promises.Nevertheless, national interests have won this time around. Macron and Merkel’s scheme went to plan — if just barely. And considering that the Parliament couldn’t unify enough to protect its own interests, it will be hard to claim this outcome was undemocratic.To contact the author of this story: Lionel Laurent at llaurent2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mary Duenwald at mduenwald@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Lionel Laurent is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Brussels. He previously worked at Reuters and Forbes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



07/16/2019 - 05:45 PM

 

Merkel and Macron Carried Off Their Trick, Barely

Merkel and Macron Carried Off Their Trick, Barely(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Ursula von der Leyen has clinched the presidency of the European Commission with a razor-thin margin of nine votes. It's a win for the national governments that backed her, a loss for the European Parliament that dreamed of putting forward one of its own — and a sign of some very tough tussles ahead for the 28-member bloc.When pulling a rabbit out of a hat, it helps to not show the audience the secret compartment underneath. The nomination earlier this month of von der Leyen, the former defense minister of Germany, to the helm of the European Union's executive arm, involved very little magic. As a compromise pick intended to settle differences between Germany's Angela Merkel and France's Emmanuel Macron, she was ideal. But for the new European Parliament, which had fielded better-known candidates who actually campaigned for the job, she was a mean trick.The memory of this vote may fade, but the institutional power struggle it reignites will live on. Deciding who gets to run the European Commission has historically been the preserve of national governments (a fact apparently lost on euroskeptic Brexiters like Nigel Farage, who painted von der Leyen as the symbol of an undemocratic superstate). But the European Parliament has long wanted more influence, and in 2014 its squabbling factions found enough common ground to field their own candidates — one of whom, Jean-Claude Juncker, won. With von der Leyen, the pendulum has already swung back.As an indicator of effective policy making in the EU, Tuesday’s vote was not reassuring. The European elections in May failed to produce a populist wave, but they did usher in a set of far more fragmented political factions, as traditional left and right power blocs lost their majority. The new politics were on show in the awkward coalition building that went on ahead of the vote. Von der Leyen’s lightning-quick campaign was packed with goodies that seemed incongruous for a center-right politician — including a $1.1 trillion “green deal,” a carbon tax, a minimum wage, an unemployment-benefit scheme, mechanisms to bolster the rule of law, and a stronger border force. That wasn’t enough to sway the Greens, and the Socialists endorsed her only at the 11th hour.It still pays not to underestimate the European Parliament — which approves big agreements like trade deals and Brexit — even if this time around it didn’t carry out its threats to send member states back to the drawing board. The Parliament will vote on von der Leyen’s Commission, too, when she gets it assembled, so she’ll have to be serious about keeping her promises.Nevertheless, national interests have won this time around. Macron and Merkel’s scheme went to plan — if just barely. And considering that the Parliament couldn’t unify enough to protect its own interests, it will be hard to claim this outcome was undemocratic.To contact the author of this story: Lionel Laurent at llaurent2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mary Duenwald at mduenwald@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Lionel Laurent is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Brussels. He previously worked at Reuters and Forbes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



07/16/2019 - 05:45 PM

 

Merkel's favoured successor to become German defence minister

Merkel's favoured successor to become German defence ministerGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel's favoured successor and the head of her CDU party will become the country's next defence minister, an official statement said Tuesday, after Ursula von der Leyen was elected European Commission president. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, best known to Germans as "AKK", will be appointed on Wednesday during a handover in Berlin with her predecessor von der Leyen and the first vice president of the Bundesrat upper house, which confirmed the news in a statement.



07/16/2019 - 05:44 PM

 

Oil slips as Trump, Pompeo signal Iran tensions may ease

Oil slips as Trump, Pompeo signal Iran tensions may easeOil prices slipped as President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signaled Iran tensions may ease.



07/16/2019 - 05:41 PM

 

What If America Lost a Carrier in a War with Iran?

What If America Lost a Carrier in a War with Iran?The Navy simply lacks enough ships and aircraft to meet the increasing demands of its global mission. The recent oil tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman reinforce the need to reestablish a highly visible U.S. naval deterrent in the Middle East. For eight months last year, no aircraft carrier strike group plied the region, the longest such interruption this millennium. With the United States needing a more robust posture against Iran and confronting renewed challenges in Asia and Europe, several immediate measures and concerted longer-term efforts are critical to ensure America has the carriers it needs.The requirement to maintain carrier presence in the Middle East is a critical part of a broader national security strategy, in which U.S. global security interests necessitate a worldwide force presence. Indeed, the Navy's mission demands remain as high as those of the Cold War, calling on ships to be everywhere seemingly at once, but today's fleet is less than half the size it was 30 years ago.During the Obama administration, a “rebalance” supposedly allowed the Pentagon to focus on Asia and Europe while washing its hands of the Middle East. In reality, we never effectively rebalanced forces in the Indo-Pacific, and the situation on the ground forced us to remain deeply involved in the Middle East. Now with a growing Iranian threat, it would be imprudent to suddenly abandon the region, even as we face renewed challenges in the Pacific, Atlantic and Mediterranean.(This first appeared in June 2019.)



07/16/2019 - 05:41 PM

 

Harris Says Trump Threatens Social Security: Campaign Update

Harris Says Trump Threatens Social Security: Campaign Update(Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris said Tuesday that a second term for President Donald Trump would endanger Social Security due to rising deficits.“To have four more years of this administration means to really put Social Security in jeopardy,” she said at a forum in Davenport, Iowa, hosted by AARP and the Des Moines Register.Harris said the widening deficit, which the White House projected this week will reach $1 trillion this year, was the result of Trump’s tax bill, which “benefits the top 1% and the biggest corporations.” Funds to make up the shortfall are “going to have to come from somewhere,” she added.Social Security is projected to be fully funded until 2034, according to its trustees, but then may be in trouble because the large Baby Boom generation, which began retiring about 10 years ago, has strained the Social Security trust fund.Harris also defended her co-sponsorship of legislation to expand Social Security and lift the payroll tax cap to add revenues to the program, which some Democrats support but is opposed by Trump and Republicans.New Hampshire Polls Split on Who Has 2020 LeadA new poll of New Hampshire voters shows Joe Biden leading the Democratic field with 24% of likely voters.The poll by CNN and the University of New Hampshire showed Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders with 19% each. But the trend line may be notable: she’s up by 14 points since April and he’s down by 11 points since then.State polls are tricky things months from a primary. Both the CNN-UNH poll and a Saint Anselm College poll released Monday had margins of error of more than 5 percentage points in the small state. The Monday poll showed a much tighter race with Biden, Kamala Harris and Warren all within the margin of error for first place.The new poll shows Pete Buttigieg in third place with 10% and Harris with 9%. Nobody else tops 2%. -- Sahil KapurBiden Wants Stronger Antitrust Laws for FarmsJoe Biden called for the strengthening of antitrust enforcement to protect farmers and ranchers as part of a broader plan targeting voters in rural areas, which have largely become Republican strongholds.Biden, who is leading in most polls for the Democratic presidential nomination, released a “plan for rural America” as he campaigned in Iowa on Tuesday.His plan notes, without giving specifics, he would also work to make U.S. trade policy more favorable to farmers, especially as some are feeling the effects of President Donald Trump’s trade war with China.To help small- and medium-sized farms, Biden would strengthen enforcement under the Sherman and Clayton Antitrust Acts and the Packers and Stockyards Act, his campaign said. Another contender for the Democratic nomination, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, has called for breaking up big agricultural businesses that supply farmers. “Consolidation is choking family farms,” she said in March. -- Jennifer EpsteinMark Sanford Is Mulling a Challenge to TrumpFormer South Carolina Representative Mark Sanford is considering a primary challenge to President Donald Trump, according to a report in the Charleston Post and Courier.Sanford told the newspaper in a story published Tuesday that he will decide whether to run over the next month. He said he would focus on sparking a debate about the debt, the deficit and spending.Sanford served as the state’s governor from 2003 to 2011. His second term was overshadowed by the disclosure he was having an extramarital affair. His staff famously explained his absence from the state by saying he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail,” when in fact Sanford, who was married, was in South America visiting another woman. He was censured by the South Carolina Supreme Court.He was elected to Congress in 2013, became a fierce critic of Trump, but lost the Republican primary for his House seat in 2018 after Trump endorsed his opponent.If he decides to run, Sanford would join former Massachusetts Governor William Weld who is also challenging Trump. Both face a daunting task campaigning against an incumbent president who remains popular with the party’s base. -- Max BerleySanders Would Meet With Dictators But No PraiseBernie Sanders said that as president he would sit down with authoritarian leaders like North Korea’s Kim Jong Un or Russia’s Vladimir Putin even though he remains critical of President Donald Trump’s “respect and affection for” dictators around the world.“Should we sit down and negotiate with them? Absolutely,” the Vermont senator and Democratic White House contender said at a Washington Post Live news event Tuesday. “Should we praise them as a great leader? I don’t think so.”Sanders also said that he would directly engage with leaders of Iran to try to improve strained relations and quell the risks of conflict that have been escalating under Trump. He said he would convene a broader meeting between the U.S., Iran, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations to try to reduce tensions in the region.“I think there is an opportunity to sit down with them, explain to them our concerns about their support for this or that terrorist group, their missile program,” Sanders said in the wide-ranging interview. “But also to tell Saudi Arabia and Iran that we are sick and tired of losing young men and women in the war on terror and spending trillions of dollars.”Meanwhile, Sanders said he probably would not move the U.S. Embassy back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem if he’s elected, although he said that could be a factor in peace talks among the U.S., Israel and Palestinians. Trump in late 2017 announced U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, even though it is disputed territory.Biden Says He Won’t Be ‘Third Term of Obama’Joe Biden’s presidency wouldn’t just be a continuation of Barack Obama’s two terms, the former vice president contended in an interview airing Tuesday.“This is not a third term of Obama,” he told MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski in an interview conducted Monday in Iowa when she asked about his relationship with the former president.“The world’s changed. It’s different. We have the same value set, he and I,” Biden said. “It’s a different world. The same things don’t apply.”The Democratic front-runner frequently invokes Obama on the campaign trail and has offered policy positions that align closely with the Obama administration’s work. He unveiled a plan Monday to defend and build on the Affordable Care Act at a time when other Democratic presidential hopefuls are looking past the signature Obama achievement on health care and advocating for Medicare for All. And he even fell into a trap Monday that Obama set on health care a decade ago, promising that under his proposal, “if you like your health care plan, your employer based plan, you can keep it.”Despite their close ties -- which Biden noted include friendships between his granddaughters and Malia and Sasha Obama -- Obama has not endorsed Biden, which he claimed in the interview was “because I have asked him not to do that -- I don’t want to put him in that spot and I want to earn this on my own.” Obama has said that he will stay out of the Democratic primary until there is a nominee to avoid influencing the race.Even without an endorsement, Biden wants voters to know that the ties run deep. “We’re friends. You know, it’s family,” he said. -- Jennifer EpsteinKamala Harris Threatens to Probe Drug Makers (6 a.m.)A centerpiece of Kamala Harris’s new plan to tackle rising prescription drug prices is a threat to launch an investigation into drug companies that are “price-gouging patients.”The Democratic contender says she’d do that by executive action if Congress doesn’t pass her plan to lower drug costs in her first 100 days. She says she’d demand that the bad actors lower their prices, and if they refuse, use regulatory powers to import cheaper alternatives and license some patents to low-cost competitors under the Bayh-Dole Act. -- Sahil KapurComing Up This Week:On Wednesday, CNN and the Democratic National Committee, the organizers of the next round of Democratic debates on July 30 and 31, will announce which 20 candidates will qualify for the event. On Thursday, CNN will broadcast a live drawing that will determine the lineup of 10 candidates on each night.Nineteen of the two dozen or so Democratic candidates are participating in AARP’s five forums in Iowa between Monday and Saturday.The Tuesday event in Davenport will feature Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris, and former HUD secretary Julian Castro.The Wednesday event in Cedar Rapids will feature Representatives Tim Ryan and Tulsi Gabbard, and Senator Michael Bennet.The Friday event in Sioux City will feature Senator Elizabeth Warren, author Marianne Williamson, former Representative Beto O’Rourke and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang.The Saturday event in Council Bluffs will feature Senator Bernie Sanders, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Montana Governor Steve Bullock and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.\--With assistance from Max Berley, Laura Litvan and Jennifer Epstein.To contact the reporter on this story: Sahil Kapur in Washington at skapur39@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



07/16/2019 - 05:31 PM

 

Pentagon nominee regrets Turkey's 'drift' from West

Pentagon nominee regrets Turkey's 'drift' from WestArmy Secretary Mark Esper, President Donald Trump's nominee to become secretary of defense, told his Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday he is troubled by Turkey's decision to defy the United States by acquiring Russian-made air defenses. "It is very disheartening to see how they have drifted over the past several years," Esper said, citing the Turkish government's purchase of the S-400 air defense system that the Trump administration has said is likely to trigger U.S. economic sanctions and jeopardize Turkey's role in the NATO alliance, whose primary adversary is Russia.



07/16/2019 - 05:11 PM

 

Saudi forces intercept Yemeni rebel drones targeting cities

Saudi forces intercept Yemeni rebel drones targeting citiesSaudi Arabia's air force intercepted and destroyed three Yemeni rebel drones before they could reach targets in the southern Saudi cities of Jizan and Abha, a military spokesman said Tuesday. Col. Tukri al-Maliki was quoted in the state-run Saudi Press Agency saying the drones were launched by the Iran-backed rebel Houthis from the northern Yemeni governorate of Amran. Bomb-laden drones launched by Houthis killed a civilian and wounded others at a Saudi airport in Abha in recent weeks.



07/16/2019 - 03:45 PM

 

Pompeo to take up immigration, Iran on Latin America tour

Pompeo to take up immigration, Iran on Latin America tourSecretary of State Mike Pompeo will press US efforts to curb immigration and counter Iran during a four-nation tour of Latin America, the State Department said Tuesday. Pompeo on Sunday will stop in both Mexico and El Salvador as President Donald Trump takes controversial measures to deter and remove mostly Central American migrants who are seeking safety in the United States.



07/16/2019 - 03:01 PM

 

Russia bars opposition candidates from Moscow city ballot

Russia bars opposition candidates from Moscow city ballotRussian officials on Tuesday refused to register nearly 30 candidates for elections to Moscow's local parliament, including prominent critics of President Vladimir Putin despite protests over the move. Opposition politicians have been fighting to get on the ballot for September's elections to the Moscow city legislature as they seek to capitalise on growing public discontent over falling living standards and unchecked corruption. On Tuesday, Moscow election officials definitively rejected most of the prominent opposition figures from participating, citing lack of viable signatures.



07/16/2019 - 02:54 PM

 

Von Der Leyen Clinches EU's Top Job as Europe Averts Deadlock

Von Der Leyen Clinches EU's Top Job as Europe Averts Deadlock(Bloomberg) -- Ursula von der Leyen of Germany won confirmation as the next president of the European Commission, becoming the first woman set to assume Europe’s most powerful policy-making post.The German defense minister received the European Parliament’s endorsement on Tuesday to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg after pledging to spur investment through bolder climate policies. The verdict means a job held for the past 15 years by the continent’s Christian Democratic party, a traditional backer of open markets, will stay in its hands for the next five.The European Union assembly voted 383 to 327 in Strasbourg, France, to make von der Leyen commission chief starting Nov. 1, averting a confrontation with EU national leaders who unexpectedly tapped her two weeks ago after being deadlocked over official candidates fielded by the bloc’s main political families.“Our most pressing challenge is keeping our planet healthy,” von der Leyen, an ally of German Chancellor Angel Merkel, told the EU Parliament before the vote. “This is the greatest responsibility and opportunity of our times.”Climate BankThe Brussels-based commission is the 28-nation EU’s executive arm, which proposes and enforces European laws on everything from car emissions to energy pipelines. It also monitors national economies, negotiates trade deals, runs a diplomatic service, manages the bloc’s budget and acts as Europe’s competition authority.Von der Leyen said Europe’s goal to cut greenhouse gases blamed for global warming by 40% in 2030 compared with 1990 was inadequate and vowed a reduction target as high as 55%. She also pledged to turn parts of the European Investment Bank, the EU’s lending arm, into a “climate bank” in a bid to unlock 1 trillion euros of investment ($1.12 trillion) over the coming decade.On commerce, von der Leyen warned about the dangers of protectionism and stressed the need to uphold the multilateral system underpinned by the World Trade Organization. “We defend the rules-based order because we know it is better for all of us,” she said.Von der Leyen, 60, is the centerpiece of a European top-jobs package that reasserts the authority of the EU’s core countries -- particularly Germany and France -- as the bloc confronts Brexit, U.S. protectionism under President Donald Trump, renewed Russian muscle-flexing and growing Chinese economic heft.Building BridgesThe package also puts International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde of France in the presidency of the European Central Bank, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel in the chair of EU summits and Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell in the bloc’s top diplomatic post. Those three positions are also being vacated later this year.Von der Leyen will face political constraints from EU national capitals and the bloc’s Parliament as she assembles a team of commissioners over the coming weeks. The commission leadership is made up of one appointee from each member country and the EU Parliament plans to vote on von der Leyen’s whole team in October.The arduous task that EU government heads had in balancing party, national and geographic interests when negotiating the top-jobs deal will also play out in the formation of the new commission team. That is especially so because of the margin of her victory in the EU Parliament, where she surpassed the absolute-majority threshold needed by just nine votes.Von der Leyen will become the second German to lead the commission after Walter Hallstein was its first president from 1958 to 1967. Her father was a senior official in Hallstein’s commission and she was born in Brussels and lived there as a child.“It’s a feeling like coming home for me,” von der Leyen told reporters after the EU Parliament verdict. “I want to unite Europe.”In her campaign to win over the EU Parliament, she faced opposition from left-of-center groups including the Socialists, who were bitter their official candidate for commission president -- Dutchman Frans Timmermans -- was sidelined by the government chiefs after he gained late momentum.“These were definitely the most intense two weeks in my political life,” von der Leyen said.She has sought to build bridges with the Socialists, promising that Timmermans -- currently the commission’s principal vice president -- will retain a beefed-up role.She has also pledged to try to forge a team in which half the commissioners are women, vowing to ask national capitals to propose one male and one female appointee for her to choose between.“I will ensure full gender equality in my college of commissioners,” she said. “If member states do not propose enough female commissioners, I will not hesitate to ask for new names.”(Updates with margin of victory, comments from 11th paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Stearns in Strasbourg, France at jstearns2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.net, Richard Bravo, Nikos ChrysolorasFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



07/16/2019 - 02:31 PM

 

New European Commission president open to Brexit extension but won't renegotiate the deal

New European Commission president open to Brexit extension but won't renegotiate the dealUrsula von der Leyen, who was confirmed as the first woman president of the European Commission in Strasbourg on Tuesday, said she would support a Brexit extension but warned the Withdrawal Agreement would not be renegotiated.   The election of Mrs von der Leyen by the European Parliament came as Boris Johnson sent tremors through Westminster by significantly hardening his Brexit demands by rejecting either a time-limit or a unilateral exit mechanism to the Irish backstop as insufficient to satisfy MPs. Mr Johnson's apparent rejection of either compromise proposal was seen as a significant hardening of the line, since these were the two concessions that prominent Brexiteers had demanded earlier this year as the price of their support for Mrs May's deal. Mr Johnson has insisted Britain must leave, with or without a deal, on the October 31 Brexit deadline.  Mrs von der Leyen, 60, said that guaranteeing “peace and stability on the island of Ireland” and citizens’ rights were her Brexit priorities, echoing the EU’s long held insistence that the divorce treaty would never be renegotiated.  Mrs von der Leyen, who will lead the commission for the next five years, said, “The Withdrawal Agreement concluded with the government of the United Kingdom provides certainty where Brexit created uncertainty.” “However, I stand ready for a further extension of the withdrawal date, should more time be required for a good reason,” the former German Defence Minister added to catcalls from Brexit Party MEPs in the chamber.  Privately some senior EU diplomats have not dismissed reopening the deal if they turned the key on an orderly divorce deal with Irish government consent.  In Brussels EU officials and diplomats said they were reserving  judgment but are now increasingly braced for a 'no deal' at the Halloween deadline. "Boris Johnson has been many things to many people so let’s wait and see," said one EU diplomat close to the Brexit process, "but this isn’t promising at all." A meeting between Stephen Barclay, the Brexit Secretary, and Michel Barnier last week ended in deep divisions after the Brexit Secretary told the EU’s chief negotiator the Withdrawal Agreement was dead five times and that the backstop must be scrapped.  Boris Johnson at the leadership debate in London. Credit: Andrew Parsons / i-Images /i-Images Picture Agency  In Strasbourg, Nigel Farage, the Brexit Party leader, accused Mrs von der Leyen of wanting to build “a centralised, undemocratic, updated form of communism where nation state parliaments will cease to have any relevance at all.” “I think we can probably do without what you have to say here,” Mrs von der Leyen, a mother of seven, told Mr Farage before declaring that the challenges of the modern world were so large no country could face them alone.  The European Parliament backed Mrs von der Leyen’s candidacy, despite MEPs being furious that EU leaders had nominated her after three summits and marathon negotiations, rather than any of the lead candidates who ran for the post in the European elections.  Mrs von der Leyen narrowly secured the majority vote in the parliament of 374 votes by nine votes. 383 MEPs voted for her, 327 against, while 22 abstained and one vote was void.  Her victory ended weeks of speculation that the European Parliament could reject her, as it vowed to do with anyone appointed to the job without running in the May’s elections in a 2017 resolution.  After her tight victory, she was asked if she would rather deal with Mr Johnson or his rival Jeremy Hunt.  "I don't know either of them personally, she said, "I will work in a very constructive way with every head of state and government."  Martin Selmayr, the German controversial secretary general of the commission, announced he would resign in accordance with Brussels tradition that dictates no two people of the same nationality can hold the EU’s executive’s most powerful posts. Mrs von der Leyen, overcame opposition from the Greens, some Socialists and the far-right after a 30 minute speech in which she dared MEPs to reject the first woman nominated for the commission presidency in the secret ballot. She vowed to ensure “full gender equality” among her incoming commissioners, who are nominated by national governments. She will take up her post on November 1, a day after the Brexit deadline.  “We represent half of our population. We want our fair share,” she said. The outgoing Juncker Commission had 19 male and just nine female commissioners, despite Jean-Claude Juncker begging national governments to send women to Brussels. Since 1958 there have been 183 commissioners but only 35 have been women. Mrs von der Leyen, a close ally of Angela Merkel with a patchy record as Germany’s defence minister, said she would propose adding violence against women to the list of crimes defined in the EU’s Treaty.  She also promised a “Green Deal” aimed at making Europe carbon neutral by 2050, a mandatory minimum wage across the EU and plans to make tech giants pay a fair share of tax.  Brexit Bulletin promotion - end of article



07/16/2019 - 02:08 PM

 

Sudan army, protesters meet to discuss transition deal

Sudan army, protesters meet to discuss transition dealSudan's ruling generals and the pro-democracy movement are meeting to finalize a power-sharing deal. Representatives from the military council and the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change, which represents the protesters, are discussing in the capital of Khartoum on Tuesday a declaration included in an agreement reached earlier this month. The deal includes a joint Sovereign Council that will rule for a little over three years while elections are organized.



07/16/2019 - 01:47 PM

 

Neo-Nazis’ Air-to-Air Missile: An Explosive New Clue to Salvini’s Intrigues With the Russians

Neo-Nazis’ Air-to-Air Missile: An Explosive New Clue to Salvini’s Intrigues With the RussiansTino Romano/APROME—Italian police say they knew they were onto something big when they caught two Neo-Nazi sympathizers discussing the latest weapon in their arsenal on a tapped WhatsApp thread. And when the cops started seeing chatter the group was moving the weapon close to an airport near the northern city of Turin, they pounced. They found a massive French-made Matra Super 530 F air-to-air missile originally purchased by the military of Qatar, a rich little emirate on the Arabian Peninsula. “During the operation, an air-to-air missile in perfect working order and used by the Qatari army was seized,” Italian police said in a statement. They also confirmed that they stumbled upon the find when they were investigating far-right Italians “who have fought in Ukraine’s Donbass region against the [pro-Russian] separatists.”But the situation is murky, to say the least, and it now seems possible those fighting alongside the pro-Russian forces in the Ukraine  were the ones who actually hoped to get their hands on the missile. Under the same investigation in the same area of Italy on July 3, two Italians and a Moldovan who had been picked up earlier this summer were convicted on terrorism charges. The three had recently returned from fighting on the pro-Russian side in Ukraine. It seems unlikely this was pure coincidence.At the time of the discovery on Monday, authorities said they had no clear idea just what the Matra Super 530 F or any of the many other weapons in the cache would be used for. Those arrested this week— two Italians and a Swiss national—said they were not part of any political party despite one of them having run for office as a member of Forza Nuova, Italy’s most extreme far-right group. Italian Leader Goes Full Fascist on Persecuting Roma PeopleThen on Tuesday, Italian Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who is on the far right himself and has become Italy’s more prominent politician, said the weapons were meant to be used against him, and that he had tipped off the police after his secret service detail alerted him to the threat.“I signaled it,” he said on Tuesday. “It was one of the many threats on my life that I get every day. The secret service spoke of a Ukrainian group that threatened my life. I am happy that it served to discover the arsenal of someone demented.”The police, who work under the Interior Minister and, effectively, for Salvini, could not confirm or deny the claim. “Salvini is the head of the police, so he speaks for the force,” a Turin police spokesperson told The Daily Beast. It is certainly convenient for Salvini to say that neo-Nazis want him dead. After all, the far-right leader has lately been under heavy scrutiny for his anti-immigration and nationalist rhetoric in an ongoing battle with those who want to save migrants at sea. His closed-port policy has seen a massive reduction in arrivals of Africans and Middle Easterners into the country, though it has put him the sights of human rights campaigners who liken his policy to Donald Trump’s ban on Muslims and racist rants laced with promises to keep people of color out of the country. Salvini has long distanced himself from the most extreme alt-right factions of the Italian political spectrum including the Forza Nuova caught up in Monday's weapons find. But the group has been a vocal supporter of Salvini, and often is represented in his rallies. Such an outright threat–albeit a convenient one—muddies that point. Before Salvini claimed to be the target of the weapons cache, which included 800 bullets, 26 guns, 20 bayonets, and more than 300 weapons parts like silencers and long-range scopes from Austria, Germany and the United States, police had a different motive in mind. Ukraine’s Out of Control Arms Bazaar in Europe’s BackyardA source with Turin’s anti-terrorism arm called DIGOS told The Daily Beast that they thought perhaps the weapons were on the market to support Russian-backed forces fighting in the Ukraine. One of the men arrested, a 42-year-old Swiss national the Italian press named as Alessandro Monti, had a business buying and selling aircraft parts in Bissone, Switzerland, and he had been overheard trying to peddle the air-to-air missile for around half a million dollars to buyers supporting pro-Russian troops. “We only moved now rather than wait to find more because they moved the bigger weapon near an airport,” the source said. Salvini and his Lega party are currently tied up in a scandal involving allegations that they are receiving money from Russia to bolster their political party and the European Parliament with those sympathetic to lifting sanctions on Russia. As The Daily Beast reported earlier this year an Italian exposé claimed that Vladimir Putin funneled around $65 million to Salvini via a Russian company to the Italian state company, Eni, which Salvini helps manage in his role as interior minister. A tape that turned up earlier this month seems to prove at least some of that is true. On Monday, his close associate Gianluca Savoini testified in front of prosecutors looking into the matter. If the Neo-Nazi weapons were actually meant for the pro-Russia fighters in the Ukraine, as the investigation originally suggested before Salvini said they were directed at him, it could spell even more trouble for Salvini. And while they may well have been mentioned in death threats to the divisive leader, it is now impossible to confirm since, as the Turin police official suggested, Salvini controls the message. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



07/16/2019 - 01:40 PM

 

Iran's supreme leader says UK's 'evil' seizure of oil tanker will not go 'unanswered'

Iran's supreme leader says UK's 'evil' seizure of oil tanker will not go 'unanswered'Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has accused Britain of “theft” and “piracy” over the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker off the coast of Gibraltar, saying Iran would “not leave such evil deeds unanswered.” The comments came during a televised address, as concerns grew about a UAE-based Gulf oil tanker, the MT Riah, which went missing in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday. A US defence official said on Tuesday the US “has suspicions” the tanker has been seized by Iran, saying it disappeared near Qeshm, an island with an Iranian Revolutionary Guard base.  Tensions between Iran and the UK have escalated since the Iranian Grace 1 oil tanker was seized by British Royal Marines earlier this month off the coast of Gibraltar. The supertanker, which was carrying 2.1m barrels of light crude oil, was detained on suspicion of violating EU sanctions by transporting the oil to Syria. iran-tanker-seized Iranian officials have accused Britain of acting on behalf of the US in seizing the tanker. Analysts say whether or not there was collusion, the move was certainly designed to appease the Trump administration while European leaders attempt to salvage the struggling nuclear deal. Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, has insisted the seizure of the tanker had nothing to do with the oil being from Iran.  He had offered on Saturday to arrange the tanker’s release if Iran provides guarantees that the cargo is not bound for Syria. The Royal Navy has announced it will send a third warship, the HMS Kent, and a tanker, the HMS Wave Knight, to the Gulf but stressed the deployment had long been planned and was not a reaction to recent events. At a glance | Key players in Tehran The Ayatollah's remarks are likely to be rhetorical for now, says Sahil Shah, an Iran specialist at the European Leadership Network. “This language isn’t any stronger than anything they’ve said before,“ he said. ”But there are multiple flash-points across the region, both on land and water, through which Iran could raise the temperature on both the Americans and the Europeans.” After several weeks of rising tensions between Iran and the US, Tehran hopes to leverage European fears over the deal falling apart to encourage European leaders to oppose what Iranian officials see as sanctions overreach by the US and EU. “While oil supply is not tied to the [nuclear deal] per se, the threat is also meant to play into the EU fear about regional instability if the [deal] falls apart, part of an effort to force the EU to violate US sanctions, for instance on oil sales,” Amir Toumaj, an independent Iran analyst, told The Telegraph. Tehran announced last week its uranium enrichment level has surpassed the 3.67 per cent level imposed by the deal, but experts say the increase is marginal.  Iranian officials have given the EU a September deadline to offer a sufficient easing of economic sanctions to convince it to continue abiding by the terms of the deal, in what many see as a last chance to calm tensions.



07/16/2019 - 01:40 PM

 

Trump says US won't sell fighter jets to Turkey

Trump says US won't sell fighter jets to TurkeyPresident Donald Trump says the U.S. is not going to sell F-35 fighter jets to Turkey after Ankara decided to buy a missile defense system from Russia. The Trump administration has repeatedly told Turkey that it will be cut off from buying F-35s if it buys the S-400 Russian air defense system because it's incompatible with NATO defenses and could jeopardize sensitive information about F-35 technologies. Turkey is a member of NATO.



07/16/2019 - 01:38 PM

 

Odd Man Out: How the Independent Justin Amash Could Shake Up the 2020 Presidential Election

Odd Man Out: How the Independent Justin Amash Could Shake Up the 2020 Presidential ElectionWashington circles are abuzz with the suggestion that Justin Amash, the ex-Republican congressman from Michigan, may mount a third-party presidential campaign in 2020. In the few days since leaving the GOP, he’s talked about “room for a third party” and refused to rule out running for president. But sources close to Amash and the Libertarian Party deny that a presidential run is in the works—although the door is still open. For the time being, the Libertarian-leaning representative is looking to build a fiscally conservative, pro-restraint coalition across party lines.Michigan representative Justin Amash has made waves in recent weeks with his challenges to the Republican establishment. He first suggested that President Donald Trump should be impeached, then he contested the president’s authority to attack Iran without congressional approval, and finally left the party.Amash seemed to send mixed signals about his next move, telling CNN that he’s planning to run for re-election to the House of Representatives, but confirming that he still “wouldn’t rule anything like [a Libertarian presidential run] out.”



07/16/2019 - 01:24 PM

 

 

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