Deadly Barcelona attack is worst in a day of violence in Spain – Trending Stuff

(CNN)Spain saw one of its most violent times in recent memory for a spate of incidents around the country seemed to be connected to a terror attack Thursday in Barcelona that left 13 people dead and more than 100 injured.

Also Thursday, two police officers in Barcelona were hurt when they were hit by a car, but police were unsure if that was related to the other incidents.

The deadly events started in the morning with a van plowing through crowds on the renowned Las Ramblas avenue, a popular tourist section of Barcelona. Authorities said of the 80 people taken to hospitals, 15 were hurt.

As police searched for the van driver, Spain’s Prime Minister called it an act of “jihadi terrorism.”

Here are the newest developments in a tragic day:

Two suspects — one from Morocco, one by the Spanish enclave of Melilla — were arrested in connection with the Barcelona assault, Catalan Police Chief Josep Lluis Trapero said.

One suspect in the Barcelona assault is on the run. “The driver abandoned the van and escaped from the area,” Trapero stated.

About 115 kilometers to the southwest, there was a second attack early Friday. Catalan police tweeted that five suspected terrorists were killed in Cambrils. Emergency officials said a police officer and six civilians were injured.

One person was killed in an explosion in a home in Alcanar, around 200 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of Barcelona.

Catalan authorities said early Friday they’re “working under the hypothesis that the terrorists taken down in Cambrils were related to the events that took place in Barcelona and Alcanar.”

A motorist ran over two police officers at a security checkpoint at Barcelona, authorities said, and the driver was located close to the city. Both officers did not require hospital treatment and suffered minor injuries, authorities said. It was uncertain whether that incident was related to the terror attack.

ISIS’ media wing, Amaq, said the perpetrators of the Barcelona attack were “soldiers of the Islamic State.” However, ISIS has not explicitly claimed responsibility.

The Barcelona attack was one of the most deadly in Spain since more than 190 people were killed in a March 2004 attack against commuter trains.

Another witness who was hiding in a shop nearby heard gunshots, according to state-run broadcaster TVE24. A third said he saw a van driving “around 80” kph, or 50 mph. He said “there is no doubt it was intentional,” according to TVE24.

Ali Shirazinia, who was cycling alongside Las Ramblas at the time, told CNN he heard “a lot of screams” and saw the crowds split along the busy promenade.

Then he heard what sounded like the driver flooring the accelerator and saw a white van with blue markings come hurtling down the street. “It literally came right down the Ramblas and ran to people on every side,” he said.

“The Ramblas is full of pedestrians, street merchants, street performers, and I saw people flying into the air and everyone was running to the shops on both sides of the Ramblas, a great deal of people were shocked.”

Tourist Susan McClean told CNN she saw a “tidal wave” of people running away from Las Ramblas after the incident.

She ducked into a nearby shop and the shutters were pulled down while police sped toward the scene.

“There was clearly a great deal of distress,” she said.

McClean said she returned to her hotel one street away after leaving the shop.

Two arrests, one deadly explosion

Two suspects who were arrested were taken into custody hundreds of kilometers apart.

One suspect was arrested in Alcanar, around 200 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of Barcelona.

Also in Alcanar, one person was killed in an explosion at a house, Trapero said, adding that incident was connected to the Barcelona attack. But Trapero didn’t say whether the arrest and explosion were tied to each other.

He did say the victim is Spanish and was not on police radar.

The other Barcelona suspect was arrested in Ripoll, about 110 kilometers (68 miles) north of Barcelona and 300 kilometers (186 miles) from Alcanar.

Government officials respond

The Catalan regional government said it was holding an emergency meeting to discuss the incident.

To facilitate police operations, the Catalan emergency services urged people via Twitter to avoid going out or undertaking any other type of movement that was not “strictly required.”

The Spanish royal family tweeted: “They are assassins, simply criminals who are not going to terrorize us. All of Spain is Barcelona. Las Ramblas will return to be everyone’s.”

The Union of Islamic Communities of Catalonia expressed “condemnation and repulse” for the Barcelona attack.

“Faced with this criminal fact, the marriage of Islamic communities in Catalonia reiterates its full commitment to the fight against any kind of terrorism, and it is expected that those responsible for these attacks may be detained and brought before the courts as early as possible,” its statement said.

Barcelona officials ordered all public events to be canceled, and metro and train stations in the area were closed.

NATO chief: We stand united

World leaders were quick to voice their condemnation of the attack and offer support to Barcelona via Twitter.

“My thoughts are with all those affected. We stand united in the fight against terrorism,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

US President Donald Trump said: “The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we adore you!”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan also gave his support, saying: “London stands with Barcelona against the evil of terrorism.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the attack in Barcelona “revolting,” her spokesman tweeted. “We are mourning the victims of this disgusting assault in Barcelona — in solidarity and friendship side by side with the Spanish.”

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker branded the Barcelona attack “cowardly,” adding: “We shall never be cowed by such barbarism.”

Las Ramblas is a predominantly pedestrianized street popular among tourists in Barcelona. Extending for about three-quarters of a mile through the center of the city, the tree-lined street is especially crowded in the summer, the height of tourist season.

The promenade passes by kiosks, flower sellers, pavement cafes and bars. It includes a number of the city’s most popular sites.

Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

Categories CNN

What wrapping Helmut Kohl’s coffin in flags can’t do – Trending Stuff

One can expect a public spectacle that will exemplify a post-Brexit and Trump-era Europe trying to overcompensate for its dire, lonely position in the world by displaying an outburst of symbolic assertions of its brilliant present and future.

Politicians from around the world will speak — most likely about Kohl’s vision for a truly united European Union, his role in establishing the euro, his rather heroic fight for German unification.

Officially, it was Kohl’s European spirit that made European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker push for the funeral to be accompanied by this ceremony he called a “European act of state,” the first of this kind ever to take place.

But the scene, which will be live-streamed on the Internet, seems too powerful of a move to be only about Kohl’s impressive legacy. Instilling the importance of a “European state” could be the other objective.

At a time when Europe is in fact further away than ever from inspiring a belief of anything like statehood, it seems like a desperate attempt to save a vision that is trembling.

The resilience against a more integrated European Union that we saw displayed in 2005 in the French and Dutch referenda on a shared constitution has today turned into resentment.

It’s true that the EU might “only” be crippled by the departure of the UK, but will survive, and France and the Netherlands did not elect hard-core right-wing nationalist state leaders.

However, a Europe where there is even the slightest possibility for figures like Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders to become leaders of European states — and create more of the governments that we see in Hungary and Poland — must urgently ask itself how it can inspire trust in a European path.

Wrapping the coffin of an influential creator of Europe in European flags won’t do. Perhaps demonstrating its ability to tackle issues of importance like the economy, migration and security, would be better. But in this, Europe is failing.

Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus are only slowly recovering from the debt crisis that began 2009 when these countries successively began to announce their inability to repay or refinance their government debt or to bail out over-indebted banks under their national supervision.

Greece is still on the brink of leaving the single currency and lived through its worst-ever recession over the past several years.

In a sense the EU has been very unlucky in terms of how hard it has had to prove itself and how embarrassing its failures have been.

On top of its bleeding economy, which was already shattered by the global economic crisis of 2006 before the credit crisis, unprecedented external pressures kicked in.

When the influx of refugees hit European borders in 2015 — reportedly the biggest influx since World War II — the border agency Frontex was understaffed and resourceless. Coastal nations like Italy and Greece were left to fend for themselves.
While some efforts at easing their lot succeeded, some countries still simply refuse to take the refugees allocated to them by European institutions, while others, such as Germany, take on a disproportionate share of the responsibility.

If the EU managed to act collectively in taking in refugees, then the refugee crisis would be less of a crisis.

The same would hold true if the renewed confrontation between Russia and Europe were ever to escalate. While there is a lot of talk about military integration from the EU, the reality looks different.

Again it is Germany that is left to put forth the greater effort. This time it is to form a European army under the label “Framework Nations Concept.”

So far, this has meant only announcing the integration of its armed forces with the Czech Republic and Romania — not exactly the most powerful armies in the EU. And since the well-equipped UK military is also leaving Europe, the military heavyweights like France might be stepping up to help Germany form a more unified defense. But that hasn’t happened yet

After President Donald Trump’s meeting with G7 and NATO leaders, this integration has seemingly become more crucial. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Europe could no longer completely rely on its allies, and must take its fate into its own hands.
It’s a sentiment that is shared by other allies of the US. Polls show that the confidence in Trump as an ally has diminished.

So while there is a populist outburst against the EU, people also understand that America might not be there to help.

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That lonely place might in fact be a moment to call for greater collective commitment to European institutions that will be necessary for it to act effectively.

But emotional funerals and processions won’t be enough to win people over. New suggestions for an economic and defense strategy are required.

Trump to order increased scrutiny of H-1B visa program

President Trump will take a trip to Wisconsin Tuesday, where he will sign an order targeted at altering a visa program that generates extremely knowledgeable employees from abroad.

The order, called “Buy American, Hire American,” would direct the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Labor and State to propose brand-new guidelines to avoid migration scams and abuse. Those departments would likewise be asked to use modifications so that H-1B visas are granted to the “most-skilled or highest-paid candidates.”

The White House stated the H-1B program is presently damaging American employees by generating more affordable labor and stated some tech business are utilizing it to employ great deals of employees and own down earnings.

Administration authorities stated the order likewise looks for to reinforce requirements that American-made items be utilized in particular federal building jobs, along with in numerous federal transport grant-funded jobs. The authorities stated the commerce secretary will examine ways to close loopholes in implementing the existing guidelines and offer suggestions to the president.

The order particularly asks the secretary to evaluate waivers of these guidelines that exist in free-trade contracts. The administration stated that if the waivers are not benefiting the United States they will be “renegotiated or withdrawed.”

During his project, Trump stated eventuallies he supported high-skilled visas, then came out versus them. At one dispute, he required completely ending the program, stating: “It’s extremely bad for our employees and it’s unjust for our employees. And we ought to end it.”

The authorities stated the modifications might be legal or administrative and might consist of greater costs for the visas, altering the wage scale for the program or other efforts.

About 85,000 H-1B visas are dispersed yearly by lotto. Lots of go to innovation business, which argue that the United States has a scarcity of competent innovation employees.

But critics state the program has actually been pirated by staffing business that utilize the visas to import immigrants– typically from India– who will work for less than Americans. The staffing business then offer their services to business customers who utilize them to contract out tech work.

Employers from Walt Disney World to the University of California in San Francisco have actually laid off their tech staff members and changed them with H-1B visa holders. Contributing to the indignity: The U.S. employees are often asked to train their replacements to receive severance plans.

On the prepared order by Trump, Ronil Hira, a teacher in public law at Howard University and a critic of the H-1B program, informed the Associated Press, “It’s much better than absolutely nothing.” He included, “It’s not as aggressive as it requires to be.”

The tech market has actually argued that the H-1B program is required due to the fact that it motivates trainees to remain in the United States after getting degrees in modern specializeds– and they cannot constantly discover adequate American employees with the abilities they require.

Congress is thinking about numerous costs to upgrade the visa program. One, presented by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, would need business looking for H-1B visas to very first make a good-faith effort to employ Americans, a requirement numerous business can evade under the present system; provide the Labor Department more power to examine and sanction H-1B abuses; and offer “the very best and brightest” foreign trainees studying in the United States top priority in getting H-1B visas.

Trump will sign the order at the Kenosha head office of tool maker Snap-on Inc. His see comes as the president deals with an approval ranking of simply 41 percent in Wisconsin, a state he hardly won in November. The see likewise would take him to the congressional district of House Speaker Paul Ryan, who will not be signing up with the president since he’s on a bipartisan congressional journey checking out NATO nations.

Trump has actually taken a trip to promote his program less than his current predecessors. White House spokesperson Sean Spicer stated Trump wished to check out “a business that develops American-made tools with American employees.”

Trump brought Wisconsin in November by almost 23,000 votes– less than 1 portion point– making him the very first Republican to win the state given that 1984. He campaigned on the guarantee of returning production tasks that have actually been lost in Upper Midwest states.

Founded in Wisconsin in 1920, Snap-on makes hand and power tools, diagnostics software application, info and management systems, and store devices for usage in a range of markets, consisting of farming, the military and air travel. It has 8 producing websites in North America, consisting of one in Milwaukee. The business utilizes about 11,000 individuals worldwide.

The Associated Press added to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/04/18/trump-to-order-increased-scrutiny-h-1b-visa-program.html

State Department defends press access

District of Columbia (CNN.com)The State Department maintained its report on openness to the press Wednesday, declaring that it could restart daily press briefings and maybe give newsmen beyond Washington accessibility to the the headlines conferences via remote movie abilities.

The bureau issued a declaration after a CNN report Tuesday reporting the section’s day-to-day televised briefing had not occurred since January 1 9 and that advice generally available about officers’ trips, telephone calls and assemblies has slowed since the inauguration of the Trump management.
“The Department of State continues to provide members of the media a full suite of services,” performing spokesman Mark Toner mentioned in a declaration. “The Department has answered 174 questions from reporters in the United States and around the globe in the past 24 hours alone.”
    The State Department is the sole bureau outside the White House that usually discusses openly every day by way of a televised news conference, and is in charge of describing US foreign policy to the nation as well as the globe.
    Beyond conveying to US citizens how their interests are being represented by the government abroad, public outreach and that day-to-day briefing by the section functions to set the international community — both friends and foes — on notice about American priorities and passions.
    There continues to be little in the manner of communicating about the priorities, programs or policies of Foggy Bottom, February 2, since Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took the helm. Former State Department staffers and present and observers have stated that may be a function of Tillerson becoming settled right into an occupation that was new and extremely difficult.
    In addition they point to the chance the White House might be seeking to take the lead on international coverage. And they flag a nuts and bolts issue: Many leadership positions at State stay unfilled, leaving employees without path.
    Tillerson, as a former exxon mobil CEO himself comes from a company lifestyle that’s not especially open to the press.
    And a silence that is cautious might appear safer for now, one former State Department official indicated, given the government’s foreign-policy h-AS contained many messages that are combined, with President Donald Trump freely creating positions which other Cabinet members have openly rejected.
    While Trump has questioned NATO and floated the notion of aone-state remedy to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Vice President Mike Pence as well as other best officers have reaffirmed the US dedication to NATO, while US Ambassador to the U N Nikki Haley h AS mentioned the United States remains committed to your two-state answer.
    The State Department on Wednesday mentioned that routine press briefings conducted by means of a representative will restart but didn’t supply information on when which may occur. It added that “the department is also exploring the possibility of opening the briefing to reporters outside of Washington, DC via remote video capabilities.”
    That practice h-AS lately started in the White House and a few media watchers have explained it as a means for the spokesman in order to avoid answering questions from routine White House press the government has criticized.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/22/politics/state-department-defends-press-access/index.html

    Categories CNN

    Trump commits to NATO summit appearance

    (CNN)Despite loudly voiced objections to its significance and its financing, United States President Donald Trump has actually devoted to go to a conference of NATO leaders in Europe in May, inning accordance with the company.

    Trump, who was outspoken on the project path about the function– and maintenance– of the security pact, spoke to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Sunday night.
    During the call, the 2 leaders “reconfirmed the value of the Alliance in struggling times,” inning accordance with a declaration from NATO.

      EU leaders have actually been rattled by Trump’s talk about Europe and the NATO transatlantic alliance. In addition to calling the alliance “obselete,” he has actually voiced his assistance for Britain’s departure from the EU and slammed European refugee policies.
      French President Francois Hollande struck out at Trump as Hollande came to the casual top on the future of the EU in Malta.
      “There are dangers, there are obstacles,” he stated. “What is at stake is the very future of the European Union.”

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/06/politics/donald-trump-nato-commitment/index.html

      Categories CNN

      Greek and Turkish warships in standoff in Aegean sea

      Incident comes amid fresh tension between the countries, after Greek court blocked extradition of Turkish army officers over failed July coup

      Greek and Turkish warships were involved Sunday in a brief faceoff near a group of disputed Greek islets in the Aegean, coinciding with renewed tensions between Athens and Ankara.

      The Greek defence ministry said a Turkish navy missile boat, along with two special forces rafts, entered Greek territorial waters near the Imia islets.

      Located just off the Turkish coast and claimed by Ankara, the uninhabited rocky islets are a historic flashpoint in a long-running demarcation dispute.

      Greek coastguard vessels and a navy gunboat shadowed the Turkish group, notifying them of the violation, and the Turks left the area after about seven minutes, the defence ministry said.

      In Turkey, the local media initially reported that the Turkish warship with Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar onboard was blocked by Greece from approaching the islets.

      The private Dogan news agency reported that there were tense moments for half an hour before the Turkish ship returned to the Turkish peninsula of Bodrum.

      But Turkish armed forces, quoted by the state-run news agency Anadolu, denied that the ship had been blocked, and said a small Greek coastguard vessel had watched from afar. It added that General Akar was onboard the ship to review and inspect Turkish vessels in the Aegean.

      The Imia islets called Kardak in Turkey lie just seven kilometres from Bodrum.

      A row over their sovereignty islets flared in January 1996, when the two countries sent marines to two neighbouring islands in a sign of an imminent armed confrontation.

      They then withdrew their troops after heavy diplomatic pressure by the United States, a fellow member of Nato.

      Sundays incident comes amid fresh tension between the two countries, after the Greek supreme court on Thursday blocked the extradition of eight former army officers who had fled to Greece after the failed 15 July coup. Turkey criticised the ruling as political and threatened to scrap a readmission agreement under which Turkey has been taking in migrants landing illegally in Greece.

      Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/30/greek-and-turkish-warships-in-standoff-in-aegean-sea

      Theresa May signs 100m fighter jet deal with Turkey’s Erdoan

      Prime minister also uses last leg of diplomatic tour to issue warning to Turkish president to respect human rights obligations

      Theresa May issued a stern warning to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoan about respecting human rights yesterday as she prepared to sign a 100m fighter jet deal that Downing Street hopes will lead to Britain becoming Turkeys main defence partner.

      May was in Ankara on the final leg of a diplomatic tour that had taken her to Washington to meet Donald Trump and underlined the compromises inherent in seeking closer trade and diplomatic links outside the European Union in the build-up to Brexit.

      Turkey is a fellow member of Nato and has cooperated with Europe in tackling the refugee crisis, but Erdoans government has locked up thousands of political dissidents and protesters in the wake of an attempted coup last year.

      Speaking alongside a stony-faced Erdoan in his opulent office, May said: Turkey is one of the UKs oldest friends our relations stretch back over 400 years but there is much that we can do in the future to build on that relationship together. Im proud that the UK stood with you on 15 July last year in defence of democracy, and now it is important that Turkey sustains that democracy by maintaining the rule of law and upholding its international human rights obligations as the government has undertaken to do.

      Erdoan said the two countries would press ahead with talks aimed at boosting business ties, adding that he hoped that trade between the two countries, now worth $15bn, could soon reach $20bn. The pair also discussed security and counter-terrorism cooperation and the conflict in Syria.

      Downing Street insisted that there was no contradiction between having concerns about a countrys human rights record and signing trade deals. The PMs approach is quite clear: she thinks it is important and in the UKs interests to engage with Turkey.

      But May faced criticism from some politicians for doing business with Turkey at all. The Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: As Theresa May seeks trade deals with ever more unsavoury leaders, she ignores the simple point that the most successful countries around the world respect human rights. Economies flourish in free societies.

      The prime minister, who had earlier laid a wreath at the mausoleum of Kemal Atatrk, the founder of modern Turkey, said: This agreement underlines once again that Britain is a great, global trading nation and that we are open for business.

      Andrew Smith, of Campaign Against Arms Trade, said the deal signed with Turkey confirmed that the UK was prepared to sell weapons to countries that flouted international human rights laws. There is a hypocrisy at the heart of UK foreign policy, and the message this sends to those being repressed or locked up for their beliefs is that their human rights dont matter. The fawning images and uncritical support are not just a propaganda victory for Erdoan; theyre a slap in the face for human rights campaigners and political prisoners across Turkey.

      Speaking before the prime ministers arrival in Turkey, Amnesty Internationals UK director, Kate Allen, said the visit was a vital opportunity for May to ask probing questions about allegations of excessive use of force and ill-treatment of detainees by Erdoans security forces. The human rights situation in Turkey had deteriorated markedly during the state of emergency imposed after last Julys botched coup, said Amnesty.

      Separately Downing Street announced that, as a result of her talks with Trump, May had agreed to set up a preliminary trade negotiation agreement with Washington, aimed at smoothing the way to a bilateral trade deal when Britain leaves the EU.

      Britain must tread carefully in laying the groundwork for future trading relations, because it is not allowed to open formal negotiations with other countries while still inside the EU. However, No 10 sources suggested there were a series of steps that could be taken, short of drawing up a deal, that could smooth the path to the post-Brexit world. That could include lowering so-called non-tariff barriers, such as bans on particular products, and cutting down on regulations.

      Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, has been travelling around the globe seeking to lay the groundwork for future trade talks.

      The Turkish defence deal will see BAE Systems collaborate with Turkish companies to build a bespoke fighter jet, the TF-X. It is worth 100m small in economic terms, but Britain hopes it will kick off a long relationship and open the door to becoming Turkeys main defence provider. We would expect this to unlock further deals, a spokeswoman said.

      May and Erdoan also agreed to form a joint working group to begin talking about a bilateral trade deal that could be signed after Brexit. Britain currently trades with Turkey through Ankaras trade deal with the EU, which will no longer be valid when Britain leaves. The working group will be the 13th Britain has established to scope out potential agreements.

      The Turkish prime minister, Binali Yldrm, said that, as well as signing the so-called heads of agreement for the jet aircraft deal, May and Erdoan discussed security cooperation and counter-terrorism.

      Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/28/theresa-may-signs-100m-fighter-jet-deal-with-turkeys-erdogan

      Donald Trump and Theresa May: Another ‘special relationship’?

      (CNN)Reagan and Thatcher. Bush and Blair. Obama and Cameron. And now? Trump and May.

      The close relationship between US and British leaders goes back to Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, but how the longstanding “special relationship” will do under US President Donald Trump’s isolationist government and UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit Britain is still in question.
      May will function as the first foreign leader to fulfill with President Trump on Friday. Here is a look at the world is seen by every one of these.

      COMMERCE

      Trump’s view:
        Trump campaigned on protectionist trade policies throughout his candidacy and he is spent the first day or two as president signing executive orders that strengthen his vow to set “America first.”
        On his first day in office, he signed a executive actions to remove in the negotiating procedure for the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a deal he formerly described as a “disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country.” He is also said he really wants to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), using the probability of left everything together.
        Trump has expressed openness to carry out a fresh trade handle the UK, but has said he’ll prioritize American occupations.
        May’s view:
        May is a proponent of free trade and globalization — branding her vision of a “Global Britain” that’s “open for company” in her Brexit strategies.
          But May’s international vision may not reach as far as she trusts.
          When the UK leaves the single market, which ensures the free movement of services, products and individuals inside the 28 member bloc, it’s going to have to negotiate a fresh trade deal featuring all participant states.
            The UK mightn’t get the deals it needs as the EU will give preference first. This can be among the reasons May might look to get a fresh free trade handle the US.
            May has said she’ll seek free trade deals with individual nations in and out of Europe and will use her meeting with Trump to begin preliminary discussions. But even if Trump is open into a UK commerce venture that is new, the UK will not be able to sign any deals until it formally leaves the EU, a procedure which has not formally began and is likely to take at least two years.

            NATO

            Trump’s view:
            Trump has sent mixed messages on NATO. He is repeatedly known as the organization dated and committed campaign air time to rally against members of the 28-nation coalition for not bringing to the recommended defense spending amounts of around 2% of GDP.
              However, now that James Mattis has been confirmed as Defense Secretary, the new government could continue its dedication to the decades-old military alliance.
              Mattis, a solid supporter of NATO, talked with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and three coalition partners such as the UK this week and reaffirmed that the US had an “unshakeable commitment to NATO.”
              Mattis and Stoltenberg said they “looked forward to working together to strengthen the Alliance, including by increasing defense spending and doing even more to fight terrorism,” according to your statement released by NATO.
              May’s view:
              May lately reaffirmed her commitment to the coalition, saying that NATO has helped to “defend Europe and its Allies.” After discussing with Stoltenberg last week, she stated that she’d reiterate to Trump the coalition’s value inside their assemblies.
              As stated by the British Ministry of Defence, the UK spends 2.1% of their yearly GDP on NATO.

              IMMIGRATION

                Trump’s view:
                He campaigned hard on developing a border wall with Mexico, making a Muslim registry and getting tough on illegal immigration.
                On Wednesday, Trump signed two executive orders on immigration and border security, which contained strategies to construct the wall and add increased spending to immigration enforcement and deportations.
                  An executive actions ban refugees, mainly from Muslim nations, is additionally expected.
                  Trump’s refugee prohibition would last for four months if enacted. After 120 days, the US would then prioritize entries of refugees who are fleeing religious persecution from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen, “provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality,” according to the draft order got by CNN.
                  Entries for Syrian refugees could be frozen indefinitely before an overhaul is seen by the checking procedure. The strategy would limit the total variety of refugees accepted to the United States in half throughout the 2017 fiscal year.
                  May’s view:
                  In her address to the 2015 Conservative Party Conference, May, then Home Secretary, laid out her position on immigration — repeating precisely the same hardline stand she is taken as Prime Minister. Inside it, she indicated the fury and bitterness felt by Brits out of work was spurred by immigration, she also maintained a considerable variety of asylum seekers were “foreign criminals” and asserted immigrants made society less “cohesive.”
                  How immigration will appear under Brexit is still uncertain, even though the Prime Minister has said she needed to ensure the rights of EU citizens already in Britain and British citizens in other EU states “as early as we can.”
                  Seeing future immigration from European nations, May said: “Brexit must mean charge of the amount of people that come to Britain from Europe. And that’s that which we’ll deliver.”
                  The Home Office in addition has assured to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020, but last year only 2,102 were resettled in the UK.
                  A year ago, May fought the Minister for Syrian Refugees post and has been critical of Angela Merkel’s open-door policy strategy.

                  RUSSIA

                  Trump’s view:
                  Trump has referenced that he desires to find a significant shift in US-Russia relations during his presidency. He recently said: “If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset.”
                  Trump has expressed an openness to work with Putin, and has said that Russia could be a partner in the struggle against ISIS. While President elect, he also indicated he was amenable to the chance for lifting sanctions on Russia — using the caveat the state helps the US in its continuing fight against terrorism. Both states are trying to improve their atomic capacities, increasing the prospect of a new arms race involving Russia and the United States.
                  For the present time, Trump said he intends to keep sanctions for “at least a period of time.”
                  He also recently admitted that Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Convention through the campaign — but added they “were totally open to be hacked.” Russia has denied any participation in america election campaign.
                  May’s view:
                  May appears less inclined to open up relationships with Russia.
                  She joined other world leaders in denouncing Russia’s participation in the Syrian battle and supports Britain’s continued sanctions in response to Russia’s part in “destabilizing Eastern Ukraine”.

                  CLIMATE CHANGE

                  Trump’s view:
                  Trump has splendidly called climate change a “hoax,” saying that environmentalism is “out of control.”
                  Although his pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt will not consider climate change is a hoax, the former Oklahoma attorney general is a long time EPA skeptic and has sued the bureau many times.
                  Trump’s stated that the US will “cancel” the Paris deal, a landmark climate change deal that commits states to lessen their greenhouse gas emissions with all the purpose of keeping a rise in worldwide temperatures to within 1.5 degrees Celsius.
                  On Tuesday, Trump signed executive activities to improve the acceptance of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines — contentious undertakings which could see water pollution, a rise in greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the destruction of Native American property and burial sites.
                  May’s view:
                  May vowed to ratify the Paris deal to slow climate change during her first address to the UN General assembly this past year.
                  But May’s dedication to the environment is not clear.
                  Among her first acts as Prime Minister shut down the Department of Energy and Climate Change — folding its into the Department for Energy Business & Industrial Strategy.
                  She is also supported hydraulic fracturing (fracking), a contentious approach that raises oil and gas generation that also includes devastating environmental threats, a few of including human induced quakes as well as the pollution of water sources.

                  Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/27/politics/donald-trump-and-theresa-may-special-relationship/index.html

                  Categories CNN

                  Nato has our ‘unshakeable commitment’, Pentagon chief vows

                  United States defence secretary James Mattis informs UK equivalent Michael Fallon that defence ties were the bedrock of our security

                  James Mattis, the brand-new United States defence secretary, has actually assured his British equivalent that Washington has an unshakeable dedication to Nato , regardless of Donald Trump formerly casting the military alliance as outdated.

                  During a telephone call with Michael Fallon on his very first complete day in workplace, Mattis stressed the United States unshakeable dedication to Nato, Pentagon spokesperson Captain Jeff Davis stated in a declaration.

                  Ahead of his inauguration, Trump informed 2 European papers he had long cautioned that Nato had issues.

                  Number one, it was outdated, since it was developed lots of, several years back, he stated, describing its Cold War, post-World War II origins.

                  Number 2, the nations aren’t paying exactly what theyre expected to pay.

                  Trump stated in his inaugural address on Friday that the United States had actually subsidised the armies of other nations, highlighting a typical reason for friction in the 28-nation alliance.

                  In reaction to Trumps remarks, German chancellor Angela Merkel alerted that Europe needs to take obligation for itself.

                  During his telephone call with Fallon, Mattis likewise stressed the United States and the United Kingdom will constantly take pleasure in a distinctively close relationship, shown in our defense ties which are a bedrock of United States security, inning accordance with his spokesperson.

                  As Theresa May prepared to check out Washington on Friday, the White House press secretary Sean Spicer stated the unique relationship in between Britain and the United States can constantly be more detailed.

                  Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/24/pentagon-chief-vows-unshakeable-commitment-to-nato

                  Mike Flynn: Trump team’s weakest link

                  (CNN)As President Donald J. Trump’s nationwide security group falls into location, there has actually been much focus on the compound of exactly what some are calling a “Trump Doctrine” that emerged throughout his inaugural speech: America. The expression itself is questionable, stimulating memories of WWII’s America First Committee and its anti-Semitic creators, and as particular policy it is unclear.

                  But now that Trump is governing, mottos have to be executed. And a dynamic is playing out within his Cabinet (and Cabinet-in-waiting) that deserves attention.
                      The verification hearings of Trump’s 3 verified Cabinet members– Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly and CIA Director Mike Pompeo– along with his candidates for Secretary of State (Rex Tillerson) as well as United States Ambassador to the UN (Nikki Haley) were mostly uncontroversial other than in one crucial regard: They all revealed basic dispute with standard tenets of Trump’s project and diplomacy technique.
                      Whether it was techniques to Russia, a border wall, environment modification, NATO or abuse, the candidates appeared to care little about how at chances their viewpoint was to those of the White House strategists. This recommends the cabinet might well currently be at war with the nationwide security group– primarily National Security Advisor Michael Flynn– from the beginning.

                      The

                      I remember exactly what my then-boss Secretary Janet Napolitano stated to me when I became part of Obama’s inbound group at the Department of Homeland Security: “Remember, there are almost 300,000 of them, and just a few lots people.” Her point: that a political device that fights with its firm experts might discover itself not able to effectuate fundamental modification. Pompeo, the CIA designate, understands this and is stated to be taking the shift seriously in spite of Trump’s openly fighting versus his intelligence companies in the weeks after his election.
                      If the “group of competitors” forming up in the brand-new administration were not evidence of Flynn’s restricted impact, report now recommend that he might be dealing with a mutiny from within the White House.
                      Quoting a shift authorities, the Washington Post reported recently that Flynn’s openly humiliating failure to lead a smooth shift of the nationwide security device has actually resulted in other White House consultants– consisting of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner– taking control of areas of the nationwide security docket. Flynn might discover himself outflanked and, if the examination into his ties to Russia continue, without numerous good friends.
                      Only President Trump and his management design are to blame for this “Real Housewives of the Secure Room Where Classified Information is Shared.” Worldwide disputes take no break for a brand-new president or his group’s internal disputes.
                      Trump’s rough very first weekend might teach his personnel that it is lastly time to govern. And it might likewise expose the weakest link in America’s nationwide security staffing: The guy at the White House, Michael Flynn.

                      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/23/opinions/flynn-trump-problematic-team-of-rivals-kayyem/index.html

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