Showing 1 to 10 of 45 blog articles.
168 views · 8 days ago

Kim Jong Un, looking relaxed in a dark suit and laughing with aides, oversaw the festivities on the “Day of the Sun” at Pyongyang’s main Kim Il Sung Square.

Sue-Lin Wong and James Pearson

By Sue-Lin Wong and James Pearson

PYONGYANG/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea displayed what appeared to be new long-range and submarine-based missiles on the 105th birth anniversary of its founding father, Kim Il Sung, on Saturday, as a nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier group steamed towards the region.

Missiles appeared to be the main theme of a giant military parade, with Kim’s grandson, leader Kim Jong Un, taking time to greet the commander of the Strategic Forces, the branch that oversees the missile arsenal.

A U.S. Navy attack on a Syrian airfield this month with Tomahawk missiles raised questions about U.S. President Donald Trump’s plans for reclusive North Korea, which has conducted several missile and nuclear tests in defiance of U.N. sanctions, regularly threatening to destroy the United States.

Kim Jong Un, looking relaxed in a dark suit and laughing with aides, oversaw the festivities on the “Day of the Sun” at Pyongyang’s main Kim Il Sung Square.

Goose-stepping soldiers and marching bands filled the square, next to the Taedonggang River that flows through Pyongyang, in the hazy spring sunshine, followed by tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and other weapons.

Single-engine propeller-powered planes flew in a 105 formation overhead.

Unlike at some previous parades attended by Kim, there did not appear to be a senior Chinese official in attendance. China is North Korea’s lone major ally but has spoken out against its missile and nuclear tests and has supported U.N. sanctions. China on Friday again called for talks to defuse the crisis.

Weapons analysts said they believed some of the missiles on display were new types of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).

The North has said it has developed and would launch a missile that can strike the mainland United States but officials and experts believe it is some time away from mastering all the necessary technology.

147 views · 8 days ago

‘TimeWASHINGTON ― Tens of thousands of activists demonstrated in cities across the country on Saturday ― the date when Americans’ taxes are normally due ― to demand the release of President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

The largest marches took place in New York City and Washington, D.C. Some 100 other cities hosted smaller marches.

Protest organizers estimated that over 25,000 people attended the rally in Washington, D.C., and 20,000 people participated in New York City.

Together, the rallies across the country were among the largest anti-Trump demonstrations since the Women’s March drew millions of people into the streets on Jan. 21.

“Trump says only the media cares about this taxes. Today, we’ve proved him wrong. It’s time for Trump to come clean, so we know who he’s really working for,” said Working Families Party national membership director Nelini Stamp, a keynote speaker at the New York City, in a statement following the march.

In Washington, D.C., the march began with a rally at the U.S. Capitol followed by a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, past the Internal Revenue Service headquarters and the Trump International Hotel ― where protesters chanted “shame” in unison. The rally at times played the role of an all-purpose demonstration against Trump, replete with derisive condemnations of the president ― including references to alleged collusion of staff members from his presidential campaign with the Russian government.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee, gave one of the most impassioned speeches at the U.S. Capitol. Waters, who has become a leading voice of opposition to Trump, vowed to impeach the president for his “contemptible” actions, as she led the crowd in a chant of “impeach 45.”

“I have laryngitis. But the only way I would not have been here with you today is if they cut my throat and stopped me from talking,” she declared. “If he thinks he can get away with playing king, he’s got another thing coming!” To Come Clean’: Tens Of Thousands Demand Trump Releases His Tax Returns

289 views · 11 days ago

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335 views · 13 days ago

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269 views · 15 days ago

The Trump administration appears divided on whether the U.S. is pursuing a policy of regime change in Syria, days after the first direct American military attack against the Syrian government.

Thursday’s strike “was related solely to the most recent horrific use of chemical weapons,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. The goal of the attack was to send a message to Syrian President Bashar Assad and its ally Russia that the U.S. wouldn’t tolerate the use of chemical weapons, he continued. “Other than that, there is no change to our military posture.”

But United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said there can be no peace in Syria with Assad in power. “There’s not any sort of option where a political solution is going to happen with Assad at the head of the regime,” she told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday. “Regime change is something that we think is going to happen because all of the parties are going to see that Assad is not the leader that needs to be taking place for Syria.​”​

Though Haley stopped short of indicating the U.S. would take military action to overthrow the Syrian dictator, her comments reflect a sharp change from the administration’s previous position. At the end of last month, Haley told reporters that the U.S. priority in Syria “is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out.” At the same time, Tillerson said Assad’s fate would be decided by the Syrian people.

Days later, after a chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians that the U.S. blames on Assad’s regime, the Trump administration sharpened its rhetoric and launched several dozen cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield, marking the first U.S. military effort against the Assad government.

President Donald Trump’s military attack on the Assad regime was, in itself, a stark reversal from his earlier position to work with Russia, Syria’s key ally, to negotiate a solution to the country’s civil war. He suggested on the campaign trail that Assad was an unsavory but stable ruler, and that the U.S. should not focus on pushing him out of power.

441 views · 17 days ago

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501 views · 19 days ago

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104 views · 20 days ago

Trump’s move will pull $76 million from the UNFPA ― about 7 percent of its budget. In 2016, the funding provided access to contraceptives to 800,000 people around the world and prevented an estimated 100,000 unsafe abortions and 10,000 maternal deaths, according to the organization. At the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, for instance, UNFPA-supported health providers have managed to deliver more than 7,000 babies without a single maternal death.
“If our problem is with the Chinese government’s policies, why are we taking it out on an organization providing basic reproductive health care in 149 other countries? How is that helping anyone?” said Brian Dixon, a spokesperson for the Population Connection Action Fund. “It’s not doing anything to punish the Chinese government, but it’s hurting women and families around the world.”
This is not Trump’s first move to hamper international family planning efforts. Earlier this year, he reinstated the Global Gag Rule, a federal ban on U.S. funding for any international health organization that even counsels women on safe abortions. The rule affects $9.5 billion in U.S. global health funding to organizations working on AIDS, malaria, and maternal and child health.
“Advocates from around the world will not stand idly by as Trump and his administration attempt to reverse decades of progress in reproductive health and rights,” said Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity. “Trump’s refusal to invest in strong, healthy, and empowered women and girls will jeopardize families, dismantle communities, and will kill women.”
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Laura Bassett Politics Reporter, The Huffington Post

95 views · 20 days ago

NEW YORK ― Days after Melania Trump presented courage awards to 13 women working for gender equity around the globe, President Donald Trump’s administration halted all U.S. grants to the United Nations Population Fund, an international humanitarian aid organization that provides reproductive health care and works to end child marriage and female genital cutting in more than 150 countries.
The State Department invoked the 1985 Kemp-Kasten Amendment, which he said will ensure that “U.S. taxpayer dollars do not fund organizations or programs that support or participate in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.” President George W. Bush used the same policy to defund the UNFPA from 2002 to 2008, arguing that the organization’s presence in China constituted participation in the country’s “one child” coercive family planning policy.
The UNFPA does not provide or promote abortions. The organization works in China to make reproductive health program voluntary and rights-based and has advocated against the country’s one-child policy. The Trump administration did not explain exactly how it determined that the UNFPA violated any U.S. law.
“The UNFPA no longer provides any financial support to the Chinese government to support its family planning program. Not a dollar,” said Peter Yeo, vice president of public policy at the United Nations Foundation. “So I’m not quite frankly sure how you make this Kemp-Kasten determination with a straight face.”

83 views · 23 days ago

© Provided by The Hill In a tweet on Saturday morning, President Trump called NBC journalist Chuck Todd "Sleepy Eyes." President Trump on Saturday called for NBC News to devote more attention to his unproven claims that President Obama spied on him and stop covering the investigations into Russia's interference in the election.
"When will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd and @NBCNews start talking about the Obama SURVEILLANCE SCANDAL and stop with the Fake Trump/Russia story?" Trump tweeted just before 9 a.m.
"It is the same Fake News Media that said there is 'no path to victory for Trump' that is now pushing the phony Russia story. A total scam!" he added shortly after.
It was not immediately apparent what NBC coverage Trump was taking issue with. Chuck Todd on Friday interviewed top Washington lawyer Abbe Lowell and former Obama press secretary Josh Earnest on "MTP Daily" about the latest Russia developments.
Russian interference in last year's election is the subject of investigations by the Senate Intelligence Committee, House Intelligence Committee and the FBI.
Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn has volunteered to be interviewed by the FBI and congressional committees probing possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
The president has frequently decried coverage of the investigations into Russian meddling as "fake news."
Trump last month claimed in a series of tweets that Obama "wiretapped" him before the election. He did not supply any evidence.
FBI Director James Comey says he knows of "no information" validating Trump's accusation. Trump has stood by the allegations, and the White House has said the comment refers to the Obama administration's surveillance activities more broadly.
Meanwhile, Todd on Saturday brushed off Trump's "Sleepy Eyes" tweet: "For those wondering, I slept well even tho I stayed up late watching the #msstate upset of UConn. #cowbell. Don't feel sleepy at all though," Todd tweeted.