Donald Trump Hails ‘New National Pride’, Lays Out Agenda For America

WASHINGTON, (AFP): President Donald Trump hailed the emergence of a "new national pride" in his maiden speech to Congress on Tuesday, pushing for tough immigration enforcement as the key to delivering jobs and security at home. During a turbulent first 40 days in office, the new US president has doubled down on his vow to put "America First" -- but has yet to translate his populist vision into legislative reality. But he came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday hailing a "new national pride" and..

Donald Trump Seeks Help Of Insurers To Smooth Obamacare Transition

NEW YORK, (REUTERS): President Donald Trump sought on Monday to bring the nation's largest insurance companies on board with his plans to overhaul Obamacare, saying their help was needed to deliver a smooth transition to the Republicans' new plan. "We must work together to save Americans from Obamacare - you people know that and everyone knows that - to create more competition and to bring down prices substantially," Trump told insurers at a meeting at the White House. The gathering took..

Donald Trump To Skip Correspondents’ Dinner, A First In 36 Years

WASHINGTON, (AFP): Donald Trump has ratcheted up his feud with the US media by announcing he will skip the annual correspondents' dinner, the first US president to do so in 36 years. By boycotting the event Trump breaks a tradition that began in 1921 in which journalists invite the US president for a light-hearted roast. "I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!" Trump wrote Saturday on..

Nigerian kidnappers demand $200,000 for German scientists

KADUNA, (AP): Kidnappers are demanding a ransom of 60 million naira (about $200,000) for a German archaeologist and his associate abducted this week from a northern Nigerian village, a worker at the excavation site said. Two villagers were shot and killed in the kidnapping, police confirmed Friday. The worker said he heard a man make the demand in a telephone call Thursday to the site’s supervisor. The caller warned him not to involve police or security forces, said the worker, who spoke on..

White House Blocks Major US Media Outlets From Press Briefing

WASHINGTON, (AFP): President Donald Trump's White House barred several major US media outlets from a daily press briefing Friday, raising accusations of favoritism. The White House excluded some outlets that have provided critical coverage like CNN and the New York Times from an off-camera event that replaced the traditional on-camera daily briefing. Much smaller conservative outlets like the One America News Network that have provided favorable coverage did attend. Trump earlier decried the..

US President Donald Trump Plots ‘Tough Policies’ To Return Jobs From China

WASHINGTON, (AFP): President Donald Trump huddled with US manufacturing moguls at the White House Thursday, discussing "tough policies" to bring "our jobs back" from places like China and Mexico. Seeking to codify protectionist rhetoric that helped propel him to an historic election win, Trump renewed his promise to overhaul the way America does business with the world. Between banter with CEOs from two dozen firms, an ebullient Trump promised "regulatory reform, tax reform and trade policies..

Trump lays out tougher approach to illegal immigration

WASHINGTON, (AP): Donald Trump the presidential candidate made no secret of his desire to crack down on illegal immigration, but once elected, he repeatedly offered varying interpretations of just how tough he would be in the White House. Now a pair of enforcement memos from Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly lay bare exactly what the Trump administration plans to do and how many of the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally will be targeted for deportation...

ASEAN Unsettled By China’s Weapon Systems, Tension In South China Sea

PHILIPPINES, (REUTERS): Southeast Asian countries see China's installation of weapons systems in the South China Sea as very unsettling and want to prevent militarisation and urge dialogue to stop "recent developments" from escalating, the Philippines said on Tuesday. Foreign ministers of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) were unanimous in their concern about Beijing's reclamation and militarisation of manmade islands, Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay..

Amid protests, UK lawmakers to debate Trump visit invitation

LONDON, (AP): British lawmakers are set to debate a call for US President Donald Trump to be denied a state visit to the UK but the Conservative government insists the invitation remains firmly in place. Trump opponents plan to demonstrate outside Parliament in London as legislators hold a non-binding debate Monday. It comes in response to an online petition with more than 1.8 million signatures saying a formal state visit “would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen.” On state..

US carrier group patrols in tense South China Sea

WASHINGTON, (REUTERS): A United States aircraft carrier strike group has begun patrols in the South China Sea amid growing tension with China over control of the disputed waterway and concerns it could become a flashpoint under the new U.S. administration. China’s Foreign Ministry on Feb. 15 warned Washington against challenging its sovereignty in the South China Sea. The U.S. navy said the force, including Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, began routine operations in the South..

New US Travel Ban To Spare Green Card Holders: Trump Official

MUNICH, (REUTERS): A new version of a Trump administration travel ban will not stop green card residency holders or travellers already on planes from entering the United States, US Secretary for Homeland Security John Kelly said on Saturday. US President Donald Trump's initial attempt to clamp down for security reasons on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and on refugees snarled to a halt amid a judicial backlash and chaos at airports. "The president is contemplating releasing..

Donald Trump Calls Media ‘Enemy Of The American People’

WASHINGTON, (AFP): Donald Trump ratcheted up his attacks on the media Friday, describing the press as "the enemy of the American people!" in a tweet. Shortly after landing at his holiday home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida -- where he is spending a third consecutive weekend -- the president lashed out in 140 characters. "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!" Trump wrote. Trump had tweeted an earlier post which..

Donald Trump To Replace Travel Ban Order In Near Future

SAN FRANCISCO: US President Donald Trump will replace his executive order suspending travel from seven Muslim-majority countries "in the near future," according to a Justice Department court filing on Thursday. Given the upcoming executive order, the Justice Department said a federal appeals court should not reconsider a ruling that suspended Trump's January 27 order. "In so doing, the President will clear the way for immediately protecting the country rather than pursuing further, potentially..

US Shift On Two-State Solution ‘Doesn’t Make Sense’: Palestinians

RAMALLAH, PALESTINIAN, (AFP): US President Donald Trump's break with decades of support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is irresponsible and does not advance peace, a senior Palestinian said on Wednesday. "This does not make sense," Palestine Liberation Organisation executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi told AFP. "This is not a responsible policy and it does not serve the cause of peace. "They cannot just say that without an alternative," she added. On..

Female Assassins Killed Kim Jong-un’s Half-Brother, Suspects South Korea

SEOUL, (REUTERS): South Korea's spy agency suspects two female North Korean agents assassinated the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Malaysia, lawmakers in Seoul said on Wednesday, as Malaysian medical authorities sought a cause of death. US government sources also told Reuters they believed that Kim Jong Nam, who according to Malaysian police died on Monday on his way to hospital from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, had been murdered by North Korean..

Challenge To Donald Trump Travel Ban Moves Forward In 2 Courts

SAN FRANCISCO, (REUTERS): The most consequential legal challenge to US President Donald Trump's travel ban will proceed on two tracks in the next few days, including a US appeals court vote that could reveal some judges who disagree with their colleagues on the bench and support the arguments behind the new president's most controversial executive order. In a Seattle federal courtroom, the state of Washington will attempt to probe the president's motive in drafting his January 27 order, while..

Pakistan High Court Bans Valentine’s Day Celebrations

ISLAMABAD, (AFP): A Pakistani court Monday banned public celebrations of Valentine's Day in the capital Islamabad, the latest attempt by authorities to outlaw a holiday seen by many in the traditional Muslim society as vulgar and Western. The Islamabad high court issued the order after a petitioner declared love was being used as a "cover" to spread "immorality, nudity and indecency... which is against our rich traditions and values". The ruling, seen by AFP and greeted with approval by..

North Korea Tests Ballistic Missile, US To Avoid Escalation

WASHINGTON, (REUTERS): North Korea fired a ballistic missile into the sea early on Sunday, the first such test since US President Donald Trump was elected, and his administration indicated that Washington would have a calibrated response to avoid escalating tensions. The test was likely to have been of an intermediate-range Musudan-class missile that landed in the Sea of Japan, according to South Korea's military, not an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), which the North has said it..

Hundreds Of Immigrants Arrested In ‘Routine’ US Enforcement Surge

(REUTERS): U.S. federal immigration agents arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least four states this week in what officials on Friday called routine enforcement actions. Reports of immigration sweeps this week sparked concern among immigration advocates and families, coming on the heels of President Donald Trump's executive order barring refugees and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim nations. That order is currently on hold. "The fear coursing through immigrant homes and..

Donald Trump Says He’ll Win Travel Ban Battle, More Measures Coming

WASHINGTON, (AFP): US President Donald Trump said on Friday he is confident his administration will prevail in the legal battle over his controversial immigration order, while pledging to move quickly on additional security measures. An appellate court decided unanimously on Thursday to maintain a block on Mr Trump's order barring refugees and nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States - a ruling Mr Trump denounced as "disgraceful." But Mr Trump skirted..

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