Duckworth calls out ‘Cadet Bone Spurs’ after Trump’s ‘treasonous’ remark – Trending Stuff

Washington (CNN)An Illinois Democrat who was seriously wounded in Iraq derisively referred to President Donald Trump’s draft deferments after Trump called Democrats “treasonous” for not clapping during his State of the Union speech.

Duckworth, an Army veteran who lost her legs while serving in Iraq, appeared to be referencing Trump’s draft deferments. Trump received five draft deferments throughout the Vietnam War, and on one occasion, Trump received a deferment because of bone spurs.

On Monday, Trump called out Democrats’ behavior at his speech last week.

“They were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said, ‘Treasonous.’ I mean, yeah, I guess, why not,” Trump said, adding, “Can we call that treason? Why not.”

This isn’t the first time Duckworth has pointed out Trump’s draft deferments. Last month, she brought it up on the Senate floor.

“I spent my entire adult life looking out for the well-being, the training, the equipping of the troops for whom I was responsible. I will not be lectured about what our military needs by a five-deferment draft dodger,” Duckworth said at the time.

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

Categories CNN

Donald Trump orders Pentagon to plan grand military parade – Trending Stuff

The Trumps watch the military parade in Paris alongside Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron. Photograph: Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images

In the past, Eaton noted, Trump has praised the tactics of autocrats such as Saddam Hussein and Vladimir Putin. He added: Unfortunately, we do not have a commander in chief right now as much as have a wannabe banana republic strongman.

Richard Painter, former White House ethics lawyer for George W Bush, tweeted: Cool. Just like in North Korea and Russia. But what do we do about those traitors who dont clap during our Dear Leaders speech? a reference to Trumps criticism of Democrats who did not applaud during his state of the union address.

And journalist Joy Reid wrote on Twitter: Oh my god … he wants to be Kim Jong-un.

A date for the event has not yet been chosen. Options include Memorial Day on 28 May, Independence Day on 4 July and Veterans Day on 11 November, which would coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war. If the route includes Pennsylvania Avenue, it would pass by Trumps controversial hotel.

But the Post added: The cost of shipping Abrams tanks and high-tech hardware to Washington could run in the millions, and military officials said it was unclear how they would pay for it.

Thomas Crosson, a spokesman for the Pentagon, said: We are aware of the request and are in the process of determining specific details. We will share more information throughout the planning process.

Trump’s global rebuke for ‘shithole’ remark – Trending Stuff

US diplomats around the world were summoned for formal reproach, amid global shock over Trump calling African nations, Haiti and El Salvador shitholes

Donald Trump has been branded a shocking and shameful racist after it was credibly reported he had described African nations, as well as Haiti and El Salvador as shitholes and questioned why so many of their citizens had ever been permitted to enter America.

US diplomats around the world were summoned for formal reproach, amid global shock that such crude remarks could ever be made in a semi-public meeting by the president of America.

In a strongly-worded statement, the UN said it was impossible to describe his remarks as anything other than racist, while the Vatican decried Trumps words as particularly harsh and offensive.

The 55-nation African Union said the remarks were clearly racist.

Trump initially allowed reported accounts of his comments to go unchallenged, but went into damage limitation mode on Friday, insisting he had not used derogatory words but admitting that the language he had used at a meeting with Senators on immigration was tough.

But the democratic senator Dick Durbin who was present at the meeting with Trump on Thursday insisted that the reports were entirely accurate.

Trump’s ‘shithole’ comments ‘racist and vile’, says top Democrat video

He said those hate-filled things and did so repeatedly.

Shithole was the exact word used once not twice but repeatedly, Durbin said, adding that the word was specifically used in the context of African countries.

The UN human rights spokesman, Rupert Colville, told a Geneva news briefing: There is no other word one can use but racist. You cannot dismiss entire countries and continents as shitholes, whose entire populations, who are not white, are therefore not welcome.

Trump’s ‘shithole countries’ remark is racist, says UN – video

Salvador Snchez, the president of El Salvador, said Trumps words had struck at the dignity of Salvadorans.

El Salvador formally protests and energetically rejects this kind of comment, Snchez wrote on Twitter.

US diplomats and the US embassy in San Salvador sought to assure those in El Salvador of their respect for the country. Jean Manes, the US envoy to El Salvador, tweeted in Spanish: I have had the privilege to travel around this beautiful country and meet thousands of Salvadorans. It is an honour to live and work here. We remain 100% committed.

Robin Diallo, the US charg daffaires to Haiti, was summoned to meet the Haitian president, Jovenel Mose, to discuss the remarks. The former Haitian president Laurent Lamothe expressed his dismay, saying Trump had shown a lack of respect and ignorance.

Across Africa there was diplomatic fury. Botswanas government called Trumps comment reprehensible and racist and said the US ambassador had been summoned to clarify whether the nation was regarded as a shithole country after years of cordial relations. Ugandas state minister for international relations, Henry Okello Oryem, called the remarks unfortunate and regrettable.

The African Union said it was alarmed by Trumps language. Given the historical reality of how many Africans arrived in the United States as slaves, this statement flies in the face of all accepted behaviour and practice, its spokeswoman Ebba Kalondo told Associated Press.

Jessie Duarte, the deputy secretary general of South Africas ruling ANC, said: Ours is not a shithole country; neither is Haiti or any other country in distress. Its not as if the United States doesnt have problems. There is unemployment in the US, there are people who dont have healthcare services.

The leader of South Africas main opposition party, Mmusi Maimane, described the comments as abhorrent. He tweeted of Trump:

Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane)

The comments referred to here are abhorrent. He confirms a patronizing view of Africa and promotes a racist agenda. Africa/US relations will take strain from this, with a leader who has failed to reconcile humanity. The hatred of Obamas roots now extends to an entire continent https://t.co/Kq09tVu0Bo

January 12, 2018

The US state department tried to pour water on the flames, issuing a tweet from its Bureau of African Affairs saying that the United States will continue to robustly, enthusiastically and forcefully engage in #Africa, promoting this vital relationship.

Mexicos former president, Vicente Fox, who has been an outspoken critic of Trump, said in a colourful tweet that Americas greatness was built on diversity. He added Trumps mouth was the foulest shithole in the world. With what authority do you announce who is welcome in America and who is not? Americas greatness is based on diversity, or have you forgotten your migration background, Donald?

David Miliband, the president of the International Rescue Committee, said Trumps comments were leading a race to the bottom on refugees.

Trump has made few references to Africa since his election, and many senior Africa-focused posts in his administration remain unfilled.

In September, he appeared to invent a new country called Nambia while addressing African leaders in Washington. Trump also told them: I have so many friends going to your countries, trying to get rich. It has a tremendous business potential.

The US governments Africa Media Hub made an effort to limit the diplomatic damage of the presidents words.

Without directly referring to Trumps statement, a tweet said the US remains committed to working together w/Africans to realize the promise of a more peaceful, more productive, more prosperous 21st century Africa. US deeply respects the people of #Africa & values its partnerships with them.

Boniface Mwangi, a well-known social activist in Kenya tweeted:

Boniface Mwangi (@bonifacemwangi)

Africa isnt a shithole. Its the most beautiful continent in the world. Beautiful,hardworking people. We have diamonds, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, copper, bauxite, silver, petroleum, cocoa, coffee, tea etc. Sadly we have #shithole leaders like Trump shitting on us everyday. pic.twitter.com/Vv4Wgtq4Pk

January 12, 2018

Standing at a coffee stall outside an office block in Rosebank, a commercial and business neighbourhood in central Johannesburg, Blessing Dlamini, a 45-year-old administrative assistant, said Trumps words came as no surprise.

He has shown the world he is a racist. We should just block him from our thoughts, Dlamini said.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

US outnumbered 14 to 1 as it vetoes UN vote on status of Jerusalem – Trending Stuff

Nikki Haley furious over resolution, describing it as an insult and saying US wont be told where it can put its embassy

A UN security council resolution calling for the withdrawal of Donald Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital has been backed by every council member except the US, which used its veto.

The unanimity of the rest of the council was a stark rebuke to the Trump administration over its unilateral move earlier this month, which upended decades of international consensus.

The Egyptian-drafted resolution did not specifically mention the US or Trump but expressed deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.

A spokesman for the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, responded to the veto by saying it was unacceptable and threatens the stability of the international community because it disrespects it.

The UK and France had indicated in advance that they would would back the text, which demanded that all countries comply with pre-existing UN security council resolutions on Jerusalem, dating back to 1967, including requirements that the citys final status be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

The resolution was denounced in furious language by the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, who described it as an insult that would not be forgotten. The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy, she said.

Its scandalous to say we are putting back peace efforts, she added. The fact that this veto is being done in defence of American sovereignty and in defence of Americas role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the security council.

The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, tweeted: Thank you, Ambassador Haley. On Hanukkah, you spoke like a Maccabi. You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many. Truth defeated lies. Thank you, President Trump.

Of all the issues at the heart of the enduring conflict betweenIsraeland the Palestinians, none is as sensitive as the status of Jerusalem. The holy city has been at the centre of peace-making efforts for decades.

Seventy years ago, when the UN voted to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, Jerusalem was defined as a separate entity under international supervision. In the war of 1948 it was divided, like Berlin in the cold war, into western and eastern sectors under Israeli and Jordanian control respectively. Nineteen years later, in June 1967, Israel captured the eastern side, expanded the citys boundaries and annexed it an act that was never recognised internationally.

Israel routinely describes the city, with its Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy places, as its united and eternal capital. For their part, the Palestinians say East Jerusalem must be the capital of a future independent Palestinian state. The unequivocal international view, accepted by all previous US administrations, is that the citys status must be addressed in peace negotiations.

Recognising Jerusalem as Israels capital puts the US out of step with the rest of the world, and legitimises Israeli settlement-building in the east considered illegal under international law.

Photograph: Thomas Coex/AFP

The tabling of the resolution followed a weekend of negotiations aimed at securing the widest consensus possible on the issue. The vote has underlined once again the widespread international opposition to the US move, even among some of its closest allies.

It came ahead of a planned trip by the US vice-president, Mike Pence, to Jerusalem on Wednesday that was set to take place amid a deep rupture in US-Palestinian relations.

However, Pence announced on Monday night that he was postponing the trip until February, citing the imminent congressional votes on tax reform, set to take place in the House and Senate starting on Tuesday. The vice-president is committed to seeing the tax cut through to the finish line, his spokeswoman said.

Abbass Fatah party has called for a day of demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories to coincide with the Pence trip.

Palestinian officials had warned that in the event of a US veto on the security council, they would also seek a resolution at the general assembly.

The push for a vote which came in the knowledge that the US would use its veto followed Trumps decision to overturn decades of policy by declaring that the US recognises Jerusalem as Israels capital and that he plans to move its embassy there.

Speaking before the vote, the UKs ambassador to the UN, Matthew Rycroft, said the text was in line with Londons position on Jerusalem as an issue that must be resolved through negotiations.

In an apparent rejection of the authority of the security council, Israels ambassador to the UN, Danny Dann, said before the vote: Members of the council can vote again and again a hundred more times. It wont change the simple fact that Jerusalem is, has been, and always will be the capital of Israel.

In the immediate aftermath of the US veto, Abbas announced that the Palestinian leadership would move to seek full membership of the United Nations, and try to raise the issue at an emergency meeting of the UN general assembly.

Palestine was admitted to the UN under the same observer status as the Vatican, but the road to full state membership is more complicated than persuading 14 security council members to back existing resolutions on the status of Jerusalem.

While Palestinians would probably get sufficient votes in the UN general assembly, it would first need to secure nine affirmative votes in the security council for the recommendation, with no vetoes.

The Palestinians and their supporters in the UN appear to be attempting to force the Trump administration into using its veto in ways that isolate both Israel and the US, in the hope of drawing in wider international mediation of the peace process.

Its a diplomatic battle we are fighting, one official told the Guardian. And so far we are having results. It is clear to us that the United States cannot be a mediator and we need international assistance.

Abbas is expected to visit Saudi Arabia and France this week to rally support.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

New York City plans to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue oil companies – Trending Stuff

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Its up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed put us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York safer and more resilient

New York City is seeking to lead the assault on climate change and the Trump administration with a plan to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue the worlds most powerful oil companies over their contribution to dangerous global warming.

City officials have set a goal of divesting New Yorks $189bn pension funds from fossil fuel companies within five years in what they say would be among the most significant divestment efforts in the world to date. Currently, New York Citys five pension funds have about $5bn in fossil fuel investments. New York state has already announced it is exploring how to divest from fossil fuels.

New York City is standing up for future generations by becoming the first major US city to divest our pension funds from fossil fuels, said Bill de Blasio, New Yorks mayor.

At the same time, were bringing the fight against climate change straight to the fossil fuel companies that knew about its effects and intentionally misled the public to protect their profits. As climate change continues to worsen, its up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed put us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York safer and more resilient.

De Blasio said that the city is taking the five fossil fuel firms BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell to federal court due to their contribution to climate change.

Court documents state that New York has suffered from flooding and erosion due to climate change and because of looming future threats it is seeking to shift the costs of protecting the city from climate change impacts back on to the companies that have done nearly all they could to create this existential threat.

The court filing claims that just 100 fossil fuel producers are responsible for nearly two-thirds of all greenhouse gas emissions since the industrial revolution, with the five targeted companies the largest contributors.

The case will also point to evidence that firms such as Exxon knew of the impact of climate change for decades, only to downplay and even deny this in public. New Yorks attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, is investigating Exxon over this alleged deception.

Divestment is the opposite of investment. It’s the shifting of stocks, bonds or funds from certain businesses or sectors.

Individual people invest in various ways to generate money, but large institutions such as cities, universities and religious organizations do this on a huge scale. Traditionally, fund managers put together investment portfolios that will provide the best returns for these institutions, regardless of where the money is invested.

The divestment movement, primarily consisting of climate activists, is urging private and public institutions to rid their portfolios of all oil, gas and coal stocks to send a financial and ethical message that fossil fuels are harmful and shouldn’t be tolerated. So far, it’s estimated that funds totalling $6tn have committed to divesting from fossil fuels.

Activists hope this momentum will deprive fossil fuels of a social license, similar to tobacco, and help accelerate the deployment of cleaner energy, such as wind and solar.

New York was badly rattled by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and faces costs escalating into the tens of billions of dollars in order to protect low-lying areas such as lower Manhattan and the area around JFK airport from being inundated by further severe storms fueled by rising sea levels and atmospheric warming. De Blasios office said climate change is perhaps the toughest challenge New York City will face in the coming decades.

New Yorks lawsuit echoes a similar effort on the west coast, where two California counties and a city are suing 37 fossil fuel companies for knowingly emitting dangerous levels of greenhouse gases. One of those firms, Exxon, has complained that it has been targeted by a collection of special interests and opportunistic politicians as part of a conspiracy to force the company to comply with various political objectives.

The legal action and the divestment draw perhaps the starkest dividing line yet between New York and the Trump administration on climate change. Under Trump, the federal government has attempted the withdraw the US from the Paris climate accords, tear up Barack Obamas signature climate policies and open up vast areas of Americas land and waters to coal, oil and gas interests.

De Blasio and the city comptroller, Scott Stringer, have come under pressure for several years from activists to rid New Yorks pension funds of any link to fossil fuels, with some environmentalists claiming the city has been too slow to use its clout to tackle climate change.

Stringer admitted the divestment will be complex and will take some time but said the citys pension funds could promote sustainability while also protecting the retirement of teachers, police officers and other city workers.

New York City today becomes a capital of the fight against climate change on this planet, said Bill McKibben, co-founder of climate group 350.org.

With its communities exceptionally vulnerable to a rising sea, the city is showing the spirit for which its famous its not pretending that working with the fossil fuel companies will somehow save the day, but instead standing up to them, in the financial markets and in court.

Christiana Figueres, former UN climate chief and architect of the Paris climate agreement, added: The exponential transition toward a fossil-fuel-free economy is unstoppable and local governments have a critical role to play. There is no time to lose.

Its therefore extremely encouraging to see NYC step up today.

New York joins cities such as Washington DC and Cape Town in divesting, along with universities such as Stanford in California and Oxford in the UK. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, notable for its links to the past oil wealth of John D Rockefeller, has also sought to divest.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Trump decries immigrants from ‘shithole countries’ coming to US – Trending Stuff

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump expressed frustration behind closed doors with people coming to the US from “shithole countries,” sources told CNN on Thursday.

A person familiar with the meeting said Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham brought a plan to Trump that involved cutting the visa lottery in half and, at the behest of the Congressional Black Caucus, the rest would go to underrepresented countries in Africa and Temporary Protective Status nations, including Haiti. The person said the language was salty on both sides.

One person briefed on the meeting said when Durbin got to Haiti, Trump began to ask why we want people from Haiti and more Africans in the US and added that the US should get more people from countries like Norway.

A person familiar with what was said at the meeting told CNN that Trump also said: “Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out.”

Trump was taping a message in the State Dining Room on Thursday afternoon for Martin Luther King Jr. Day as the story was breaking, an official said. Another official said Trump expressed to aides within the hour that the media was blowing his comment out of proportion.

The Washington Post first reported on Trump’s comments in the Oval Office meeting, which the Post said “shocked” lawmakers in attendance.

Reached for comment about the article, White House spokesperson Raj Shah did not deny the “shithole” remark, but instead said in a statement that Trump “is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.”

One of the sources told CNN that White House adviser Stephen Miller was at the meeting, and White House chief of staff John Kelly attended part but probably not all of the meeting.

The Trump administration late last year announced it would end the TPS designation for Haiti, a move that could affect tens of thousands of Haitian immigrants. Likewise, the Department of Homeland Security on Monday announced it would end protections more than 200,000 Salvadorans, and on Thursday the White House rejected a bipartisan immigration proposal, including a fix for people protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

A White House official told CNN the President’s “shithole” remark is being received much differently inside of the White House than it is outside. The official said that although this might enrage Washington, staffers predict the comment would resonate with Trump’s base, similarly to how Trump’s attacks on NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem did.

Neal Katyal, a lead lawyer challenging Trump’s attempts to impose a travel ban on mostly Muslim nations, has argued the travel ban reveals a discriminatory intent on the President’s part, and responded to news of Trump’s comment in light of the ongoing legal battle.

“As I put the finishing touches on the travel ban brief to the Supreme Court tonight, the President’s words remind us again of how his un-American racist ideology impacts policy,” Katyal said.

The White House denied similarly derogatory remarks in December, when The New York Times reported Trump said during a meeting in June that people coming from Haiti “all have AIDS,” that recent Nigerian immigrants would never “go back to their huts” in Africa and that Afghanistan is a terrorist haven.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders denied at the time that Trump had made the comments and cited denials from several of the meeting’s attendees.

Categories CNN

Ratko Mladi convicted of war crimes and genocide at UN tribunal – Trending Stuff

Fikret Ali holds a copy of Time magazine that featured his emaciated image on its cover in 1992. Photograph: Phil Nijhuis/AP

Mladi was one of the worlds most wanted fugitives before his arrest in 2011 in northern Serbia. He was transferred to the ICTY in the Netherlands, where he refused to enter a plea. A not guilty plea was eventually entered on his behalf. Through much of the trial in The Hague, he was a disruptive presence in court, heckling judges and on one occasion making a cut-throat gesture towards the mother of one of the 8,000 victims of the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

Mladi was acquitted of only one charge, that of genocide in Bosnian municipalities outside Srebrenica. The chamber ruled that although he was part of a joint criminal enterprise to carry out mass killings there, which represented crimes against humanity, they did not rise to the level of genocide because the victims did not represent a substantial proportion of the Bosnian Muslim population of those municipalities.

The breakup of the former Yugoslavia

The breakup of the former Yugoslavia formally begins when Slovenia and Croatia declare independence. The Serb-led Yugoslav army withdraws from Slovenia after a 10-day conflict, but the war in Croatia that followed would last until 1995.

War breaks out in Bosnia

Bosnian Serbs swiftly take control of more than two-thirds of Bosnia and launch the siege of Sarajevo, headed by Ratko Mladi, who becomes the Bosnian Serb army commander a month later. The siege lasts 1,460 days, during which more than 11,500 people die.

Srebrenica massacre

Mladi’s troops capture Srebrenica, where more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys were killed, most by summary execution. Nato bombs Bosnian Serb positions following reports of the slaughter.

The international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia indicts Mladi and Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadi on charges including genocide.

Dayton agreement signed

The Dayton agreement is signed, ending the war and creating two mini-states in Bosnia: a Bosnian-Serb one and a Muslim-Croat one.

Mladi goes into hiding

Nato peacekeepers and western intelligence agencies operating in Bosnia step up attempts to track down war crimes suspects, but Mladi is sheltered by loyalists inSerbia. He is seen attending football games and eating at Belgrade restaurants.

Mladi arrested

Following intense pressure from the international community on Serbia, Mladi is arrested in Serbia.

He appears in court at the UN tribunal for the first time in June but refuses to enter pleas to the charges against him. At a second hearing in July, judges enter not guilty pleas on his behalf.

Trial hears closing statements

The trial in The Hague is arguably the most significant war crimes case in Europe since the Nuremberg tribunal, in part because of the scale of the atrocities involved. Over 530 days, the UN tribunal hears from 591 witnesses and examines nearly 10,000 exhibits concerning 106 separate crimes.

During closing statements, prosecutors urge judges to convict Mladi on all counts and sentence him to life in prison. Defence attorneys call for acquittal.

Mladi convicted

More than 20 years after the Srebrenica massacre, the now 74-year-old Mladi is sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Delivering the verdicts, the judge said Mladis crimes rank among the most heinous known to humankind and include genocide and extermination.

The Bosnian Serb political leader, Radovan Karadi, was also found not guilty of genocide in the municipalities. That tribunal verdict in 2016 triggered protests from Bosniaks, who wanted the court to acknowledge that genocide was committed across Bosnia, not just in Srebrenica.

In evaluating Mladis culpability for genocide, the court pointed to his command and control of the Bosnian Serb army and interior ministry forces, which carried out almost all of the executions, his presence in the area, and his frequent remarks about how the countrys Muslims could disappear.

Orie said: The chamber found that the only reasonable inference was that the accused intended to destroy the Bosnian Muslim of Srebrenica as a substantial part of the protected group of Muslims in Bosnia Herzegovina.

Accordingly, the chamber found the accused intended to carry out the Srebrenica joint criminal enterprises through the commission of the crime of genocide and was a member of the Srebrenica joint criminal enterprise.

Ratko Mladi, the ‘butcher of Bosnia’ video profile

Once Mladic has exhausted any appeals, he could, theoretically, be sent to the UK to serve out the rest of his life behind bars. Britain is one of the countries that has signed up to the tribunals agreement on the enforcement of sentences.
The UK has hosted other Serbian convicts sent on from the ICTY. In 2010, Radislav Krsti who was convicted at the Hague in 2001 for his part in the Srebrenica massacre, had his throat slashed in his cell at Wakefield prison by three Muslim inmates intent on revenge.

The former Liberian warlord Charles Taylor is also serving out his 50 year prison term in a UK jail.
Mladic will remain in the UN detention centre at Scheveningen, near the Hague, in the meantime. Any appeal will be dealt with by the successor court, the UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals.

The hearing, broadcast live, was followed closely in Bosnia. The Bosnian prime minister, Denis Zvizdi, said the verdict confirmed that war criminals cannot escape justice regardless of how long they hide.

In Lazarevo, the Serbian village where Mladi was arrested in 2011, residents dismissed the guilty verdicts as biased. One, Igor Topolic, said: All this is a farce for me. He [Mladi] is a Serbian national hero.

Mladis home village of Bozinovici retains a street named after the former general, where he is praised as a symbol of defiance and national pride.

The trial is one of the last to be heard by the ICTY, which is to be dissolved at the end of the year.

People,
People, including victims, protest in front of the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) prior to the verdict Photograph: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images

After the ruling, Serge Brammertz, the ICTYs chief prosecutor, said it was not a verdict against all Serb people. Mladis guilt is his and his alone, he said.

Mladis defence lawyer, Dragan Ivetic, announced that he would appeal against the convictions.

In Geneva, the UNs high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Raad al-Hussein, described Mladi as the epitome of evil and said his conviction was a momentous victory for justice.

My nuclear button is ‘much bigger,’ ‘more powerful’ – Trending Stuff

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump on Tuesday taunted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, warning Kim about US nuclear capabilities as tensions worsen between the two nations.

“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!” Trump tweeted.

The evening message followed more than a dozen others Trump had sent throughout the day on issues ranging from The New York Times’ coverage of his administration to conflict in the Middle East.

Kim’s address came amid growing tension

Kim said Monday in his annual New Year’s Day address that “The entire mainland of the US is within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office. They should accurately be aware that this is not a threat but a reality.”

In the address, Kim also expressed a desire for a peaceful resolution with South Korea, a break from the aggressive language he used to threaten the US.

Trump, as part of his Tuesday morning tweetstorm, said the potentially warm gesture to South Korea from Kim is “perhaps” good news, “perhaps not,” and referred to “sanctions and ‘other’ pressures” on North Korea.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders said at the White House news briefing that the US approach to North Korea had not changed, that the US continues to regard North Korea as a global threat and seeks an international solution while keeping “all of our options on the table.”

Trump has repeatedly made statements about North Korea via Twitter. The President said it was a waste of time for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to negotiate with North Korea — referring to Kim in the tweet as “Little Rocket Man” — shortly after the US diplomat said he hoped to de-escalate the standoff through talks. After a North Korean statement insulted Trump by calling him a “dotard,” the US President tweeted that he would “NEVER” call the North Korean leader “short and fat,” while also saying that “maybe someday” he would be Kim’s friend.

South Korea initially receptive to possible dialogue

Recent years have seen North Korea display increasing strength in its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development, while Kim makes provocative statements threatening to attack his enemies. In November, North Korea claimed it had the capability to attack any part of the US mainland.
The UN Security Council has voted to ratchet up sanctions in response to the continued development of North Korea’s nuclear program. Last month, the US conducted another round of military exercises with South Korea, which Kim called for South Korea to end in his New Year’s statement.
But Kim’s call for talks between the two countries at the beginning of the year struck many observers as noteworthy, and South Korean leadership has been receptive to Kim’s potential openness to dialogue. The spokesman for South Korean President Moon Jae-in said South Korea also hoped for a resolution between the two countries.

Moon said he would look to restore communication between the South and the isolated North, and that he welcomed North Korea participating in the Winter Olympic Games, which South Korea is hosting next month.

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

Categories CNN

Trump threatens to cut aid to countries over UN Jerusalem vote – Trending Stuff

General assembly to vote on rejecting US recognition of city as Israeli capital with Trump warning: Were not going to be taken advantage of any longer

Donald Trump has threatened to withhold billions of dollars of US aid from countries which vote in favour of a United Nations resolution rejecting the US presidents recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

His comments came after the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, wrote to about 180 of 193 member states warning that she will be taking names of countries that vote for a general assembly resolution on Thursday critical of the announcement which overturned decades of US foreign policy.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Trump amplified Haleys threat.

Let them vote against us, he said.

Well save a lot. We dont care. But this isnt like it used to be where they could vote against you and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars, he said. Were not going to be taken advantage of any longer.

The warning appeared aimed largely at UN members in Africa, Asia and Latin America who are regarded as more vulnerable to US pressure.

Egypt, which drafted Mondays UN security council resolution which the US vetoed, is particularly vulnerable, receiving $1.2bn in US aid last year.

But Trumps comments may also resonate elsewhere including in the UK, which is hoping to negotiate a quick post-Brexit trade deal with Washington.

The emergency UN general assembly meeting was called for Thursday to protest against the US veto at Mondays security council meeting on a resolution the Jerusalem issue which was supported by all other 14 members.

The security council resolution demanded that all countries comply with pre-existing UN security council resolutions on Jerusalem, dating back to 1967, including requirements that the citys final status be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Key US allies Britain, France, Italy, Japan and Ukraine were among the 14 countries in the 15-member council that voted in favour on Monday, and were expected to do the same at the assembly on Thursday.

Diplomats expect strong support for the resolution, which is non-binding, despite the US pressure to either abstain or vote against it. However, a council diplomat said Canada, Hungary and the Czech Republic might bow to US pressure and not support the draft resolution.

Critics point out the the Trumps recognition of Jerusalem as well as the US veto are both in opposition to numerous security council resolutions.

Trumps extraordinary intervention marked the latest escalation of diplomatic tensions over a decision that has seen the US widely criticised and isolated. It came after a day of high drama.

In a letter to UN ambassadors, Haley told countries including European delegations that she will report back to the US president with the names of those who support a draft resolution rejecting the US move at the UN general assembly on Thursday, adding that Trump took the issue personally.

The new draft resolution for Thursdays general assembly is very similar to Mondays defeated security council resolution. Unlike the security council, however, where permanent members can wield a veto, there are no veto rights in the general assembly.

The resolution reaffirms 10 security council resolutions on Jerusalem, dating back to 1967, including requirements that the citys final status must be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

It affirms that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the holy city of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded.

The draft resolution demands that all states comply with Security Council resolutions regarding the holy city of Jerusalem, and not to recognize any actions or measures contrary to those resolutions.

Referring to Haleys letter, which was disclosed by the Guardian and other media organisations on Wednesday morning, Trump said: I like the message that Nikki sent yesterday at the United Nations.

Our great citizens who love this country are tired of this country being taken advantage of were not going to be taken advantage of any longer.

In her letter, Haley wrote: As you consider your vote, I encourage you to know the president and the US take this vote personally.

The president will be watching this vote carefully and has requested I report back on those who voted against us, she continued.

Haley followed the letter by tweeting: At the UN were always asked to do more & give more. So, when we make a decision, at the will of the American ppl, abt where to locate OUR embassy, we dont expect those weve helped to target us. On Thurs therell be a vote criticizing our choice. The US will be taking names.

The council is composed of 15 members. There are five permanent members:

China
France
Russia
United Kingdom
United States

There are also 10 non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the UN general assembly. The current non-permanent members are listed below (end of term date in brackets):

Bolivia(2018)
Egypt(2017)
Ethiopia(2018)
Italy(2017)
Japan(2017)
Kazakhstan(2018)
Senegal(2017)
Sweden(2018)
Ukraine(2017)
Uruguay(2017)

Photograph: Xinhua / Barcroft Images/Barcroft Media

Responding to the US threats, the Palestinian foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki, and the foreign minister of Turkey a co-sponsor of the UN vote Mevlt avuolu told reporters at Istanbuls Atatrk airport that they believed UN member countries will ignore pressure from Haley.

No honourable state would bow to such pressure, avuolu said.

The world has changed. The belief that I am strong therefore I am right has changed. The world today is revolting against injustices.

A senior diplomat from a Muslim country said of Haleys letter: States resort to such blatant bullying only when they know they do not have a moral or legal argument to convince others.

A senior western diplomat, described it as poor tactics at the United Nations but pretty good for Haley 2020 or Haley 2024, referring to speculation that Haley might run for higher office.

Shes not going to win any votes in the general assembly or the security council, but she is going to win some votes in the US population, the western diplomat said.

A senior European diplomat agreed Haley was unlikely to sway many UN states.

We are missing some leadership here from the US and this type of letter is definitely not helping to establish US leadership in the Middle East peace process, the diplomat said.

The tabling of the resolution followed a weekend of negotiations aimed at securing the widest consensus possible on the issue. The vote has underlined once again the widespread international opposition to the US move, even among some of its closest allies.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand calls on Trump to resign – Trending Stuff

(CNN)Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York told CNN on Monday that President Donald Trump should resign over allegations of sexual assault.

“These allegations are credible; they are numerous, ” said Gillibrand, a leading voice in Congress for combating sexual assault in the military. “I’ve heard these women’s testimony, and many of them are heartbreaking.”

If he does not “immediately resign,” she said, Congress “should have appropriate investigations of his behavior and hold him accountable.”

Responding to UN Ambassador Nikki Haley saying Sunday that Trump’s accusers “should be heard,” Gillibrand said, “Not only should women be heard, but they should be believed.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders responded to Haley’s comments at the press briefing Monday, where she reiterated that Trump “thinks it’s a good thing that women are coming forward” but noted that he denies the allegations.

“As the President said himself, he thinks it’s a good thing that women are coming forward but he also feels strongly that a mere allegation shouldn’t determine the course,” Sanders said. “And in this case, the President has denied any of these allegations, as have eyewitnesses … several reports have shown those eyewitnesses also back up the President’s claim in this process, and again the American people knew this and voted for the President and we feel like we’re ready to move forward in this process.”

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

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