President Donald Trump

FILE PHOTO: Lighthizer testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testifies at a House Ways and Means Committee on U.S.-China trade in Washington U.S., February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

March 21, 2019

By Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s plans for trade negotiations with the United States fall far short of what is required and any idea of delaying formal talks would not work, the U.S. ambassador to the EU said on Thursday.

The European Commission, which negotiates trade deals on behalf of the 28 EU countries, has presented two negotiating mandates to governments for approval, one on reducing tariffs on industrial goods, the other on making it easier for companies to clear their products for sale on both sides of the Atlantic.

“The mandate that is being circulated falls far short of what even (Commission) President Juncker and President Trump discussed in July in Washington. The idea was to have a wide-ranging conversation about all aspects of our relationship,” Gordon Sondland told an AmCham business conference in Brussels.

The EU and the United States ended months of standoff in July when President Donald Trump agreed with Jean-Claude Juncker not to hit EU car imports with extra tariffs while the two sides worked on improving economic ties.

EU governments have failed so far to agree on launching formal trade talks, Germany pressing for a quick start, and France bidding for more time.

Stalling, said Sondland, would have consequences.

“The more the EU leadership plays the delay game the more we will have to use leverage to realign the relationship,” he said.

Some in Europe, he said, believed they could simply wait for a new U.S. president, but this tactic would not work.

“The (U.S.) Democrats disagree with President Trump on many issues…. but when it comes to fixing our trade imbalance with the EU there is no daylight between (us), none,” he said.

A key part of the July agreement was to remove import duties on “non-auto industrial goods”. The EU has said cars should be included and rejected Washington’s demand that agriculture should feature in talks too.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told Congress last week that discussions were at a “complete stalemate”.

The EU says progress has been made – its two negotiating mandates, discussions of possible regulatory cooperation and the doubling of U.S. soybean imports into Europe since July, although mainly because they are cheaper than rival imports.

Sondland repeated the U.S. line that agriculture had to be part of trade discussions, but acknowledged that the two sides could build up deals piece by piece, as long as they did move though the issues.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A couple look towards signs pointing out distances to different cities,at an observation post in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights
FILE PHOTO: A couple look towards signs pointing out distances to different cities,at an observation post in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, January 21, 2019. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

March 21, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday it was time to back Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Middle East War.

“After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!” Trump said on Twitter.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by David Alexander)

Source: OANN

William Davis | Contributor

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke joined the chorus of Democrats and Republicans criticizing President Donald Trump for his renewed attacks on the late Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain.

Trump has sharply criticized McCain in recent days for his decision to turn over the unverified Steele dossier to the FBI in 2016 — as well as his decisive vote against a bill to repeal Obamacare in 2017. Trump said of the Senate icon, “I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be.” (RELATED: Lou Dobbs Defends Trump Against GOP Critics Over McCain Comments)

O’Rourke responded on the campaign trail in New Hampshire on Thursday, praising McCain for sticking up for then-Senator Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign after a woman made racist comments against the Democratic Nominee. (RELATED: The Media Is Lavishing Praise On McCain After His Passing, But Look At What It Had To Say When He Ran Against Obama)

“I just keep going back to Sen. McCain himself and the example that he set for all of us, running for the presidency in 2008,” O’Rourke said. “That kind of dignity and civility, and mutual respect in our politics is missing right now.”

“The bar was really set by Sen. McCain,” O’Rourke said. “He really was extraordinary in that way.”

Elected officials from both parties have taken Trump to task for his attacks on McCain, and Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recently announced his intentions to reintroduce a bill to rename the Russell Senate Office Building after the 6-term Arizona Senator.

Follow William Davis on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman visit the Western Wall Tunnels in Jerusalem's Old City
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visit the Western Wall Tunnels in Jerusalem’s Old City March 21, 2019. Abir Sultan/ Pool via REUTERS

March 21, 2019

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accompanied Israel’s prime minister on a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday in the first such gesture since Washington recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, angering Palestinians.

The ancient Western Wall, the most sacred prayer site in Judaism, is located in the eastern part of the city that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed in a move not recognized internationally.

Israel has long considered all of Jerusalem as its eternal, indivisible capital, while Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state they seek in territory Israel took in the June 1967 war.

Shortly after entering office in January 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump visited the Western Wall, though without Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Later that year Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy and officially recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, though making clear that he was not prejudging a settlement on where the city’s borders should be.

Since that shift, the U.S. ambassador to Israel has paid visits to the Western Wall along with Netanyahu. Pompeo suggested that his own visit as the top U.S. diplomat in Netanyahu’s presence was significant.

“I think it’s symbolic that a senior American official goes there with the prime minister of Israel,” he told reporters prior to arriving in the walled Old City.

The Western Wall is a remnant of the compound of a Jewish temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. The elevated plaza above it is the Noble Sanctuary, the third holiest site in Islam, containing the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Pompeo, Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador David Friedman together approached the wall and each leaned against its massive stones with one hand. Pompeo then placed a prayer note in between the stones, as is customary.

Before going to the wall, he visited the nearby Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed to be site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial.

Pompeo, now on a Middle East tour, visited Kuwait before Israel and is due to proceed to Lebanon. His trip to Israel, three weeks before a closely contested election, was portrayed in local media as a Trump administration boost for the right-wing Netanyahu.

(Reporting by Rami Amichay; Writing by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Mark Heinrich)

Source: OANN

DCNF Video Team | Contributor

CNN’s Jim Acosta and President Donald Trump have a very contentious relationship. Check out this compilation video of Acosta’s glowing questions to President Barack Obama versus his to President Trump.

Trump has famously called Acosta ‘fake news,’ and Acosta is known for his contempt of the president.

WATCH:

Under Obama, Acosta would introduce a question with flatteries like “some people are calling your best week ever last week.” But Acosta also recently criticized The Daily Caller’s Saagar Enjeti for asking a question that he thought “was asked in a way that really teed it up like a game of tee ball here in the Rose Garden.” (RELATED: Bar Hopping With Liberals On Election Night)

Watch some of The Daily Caller News Foundation’s other videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel to make sure you never miss out.

SUBSCRIBE HERE!

Check out the most recent videos by TheDCNF:

Is Thanksgiving Racist?

Super Bowl Or See Michelle Obama Speak?

Do You Really Need An ID To Purchase Cereal?

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

Imported automobiles are parked in a lot at the port of Newark New Jersey
Imported automobiles are parked in a lot at the port of Newark New Jersey, U.S., February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

March 21, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A conservative group has sued the U.S. government for access to a report on whether auto imports pose a big enough security risk to justify hefty tariffs on the sector, part of a growing chorus demanding a copy of the document.

Cause of Action Institute (CoA), a watchdog aligned with the conservative political activists David and Charles Koch, asked the District of Columbia Federal Court on Wednesday to require the Commerce department to hand over a copy of the report, which could unleash tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported cars and parts.

Last month, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross submitted the so-called “Section 232” national security report to President Donald Trump, starting a 90-day countdown for him to decide whether to impose the tariffs on millions of imports.

The Commerce department declined to comment.

The industry has warned that tariffs could add thousands of dollars to vehicle costs and potentially lead to hundreds of thousands of job losses throughout the U.S. economy.

The Commerce Department started its investigation in May 2018 at Trump’s request. Known as a Section 232 investigation, its purpose was to determine the effects of imports on national security. It had to be completed by February.

In the suit, CoA alleged the Commerce Department has missed deadlines to respond to Freedom of Information Act Requests it filed for the report on Feb. 18, a day after the report was sent to the White House.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has also sought a copy of the report without success, Politico reported.

Administration officials have said tariff threats on autos are a way to win concessions from Japan and the EU. Last year, Trump agreed not to impose tariffs as long as talks with the two trading partners were proceeding in a productive manner.

(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Additional Reporting by David Shepardson and David Lawder; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf
FILE PHOTO: A gas flare on an oil production platform in the Soroush oil fields is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Persian Gulf, Iran, July 25, 2005. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi

March 21, 2019

By Alex Lawler

LONDON (Reuters) – Iran’s oil exports have dropped in March to their lowest daily level this year, according to tanker data and industry sources, even before Washington formally requires importing countries to reduce purchases to avoid infringing U.S. sanctions.

Shipments are averaging between 1.0 and 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) so far this month, according to Refinitiv Eikon data and three other companies that track Iranian exports. That’s lower than February, when shipments were at least 1.3 million bpd.

Shipments have dropped from at least 2.5 million bpd in April 2018, the month before U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions, fueling a year of economic crisis in the country.

Tehran has vowed to keep exporting oil despite U.S. efforts to reduce its shipments to zero, but the export decline could be another indicator of economic pressure from the embargo.

In a new year speech on Thursday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Islamic Republic had resisted U.S. sanctions and called on the government to boost national production to face enemy pressures.

For the oil market, the drop in Iranian shipments will add to an OPEC-led oil supply cut and comes ahead of U.S. plans to clamp down further on Iranian exports from May, after ending of the current round of fairly generous waivers from sanctions.

Still, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, which began cutting production from Jan. 1 to bolster prices, are unlikely to be in a rush to change course, analysts say, without concrete signs of a shortage.

“We do expect less Iranian oil exports after May,” said Sara Vakhshouri of energy consultant SVB Energy International.

“However, we don’t think that OPEC will increase its production in anticipation of lower Iranian oil exports, but only if there are clear signs of further Iran and/or Venezuelan export cuts in the market,” Vakhshouri said.

Venezuela, an OPEC member, is also under U.S. sanctions which have curbed its exports.

Iran’s export levels have become more opaque since U.S. sanctions on the country’s oil sector took effect in November, although estimates of March supplies are falling into a narrower range than in previous months.

Kpler, a company that tracks oil flows, said Iranian shipments so far in March had dropped sharply to 1.03 million bps from 1.44 million bpd in February.

“Iranian crude loadings have struggled through the first half of March,” Kpler said in a report, although it said exports would rise closer to 1.3 million bpd in the rest of March.

(Editing by David Holmes)

Source: OANN

It is "stupid" for President Donald Trump to keep attacking late Sen. John McCain, and there can be "no positive outcome" from it, former White House Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci said Thursday.

"When you are attacking dead people, it's not good," Scaramucci told CNN's "New Day." "It's one of the main reasons why you have graveyards and people don't touch the grave yards. They drive by them on the highway and say that's a valuable piece of land but they leave all the caskets inside graves."

Trump again slammed McCain, who died of brain cancer last August, during a speech at an Army tank plant in Lima, Ohio, on Wednesday, after attacking him on Twitter.

"That's an unnatural social act and it will turn people off eventually," Scaramucci said. "I wish he wouldn't do that because he's got so many great things going on, and so many great things about the country and the world that are taking place. Why do that? I just think it's wrong."

He said he does understand Trump's grievances against McCain, including his vote on repealing Obamacare, but added the criticisms are not "scoring any points with anybody."

Scaramucci said he always got along with McCain, and he does not believe veterans, who support Trump by the millions, "are in love" with the president's attacks on the late senator.

"So, he could sit there and try to justify it he may have staff around him that tells him, 'hey, that's great that you're attacking a dead senator,' but I don't think it's great," Scaramucci said.

Source: NewsMax

Henry Rodgers | Capitol Hill Reporter

Former Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a 2020 hopeful, said he once watched an X-rated film with his mother during a town hall Wednesday night.

Hickenlooper was asked about a piece in his book in which he says he came home from college to a table full of food cooked by his mother. Hickenlooper said he told his mother he and his friend had already purchased tickets to an X-rated film, titled “Deep Throat,” so he asked his mother if she would like to come along, as her husband had just died and he says he did not want her to be lonely.

“She didn’t want to be left alone in the house again,” Hickenlooper said. “So I took my mother to see ‘Deep Throat.’”

The former Colorado Governor also said his mother was “mortified” after seeing the film, but that she did not leave during the film because she had already bought a ticket. Hickenlooper claims to not have known how graphic X-rated films are, before buying the ticket.

WATCH: 

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper participates in a discussion as part of the Brookings Institution’s Middle Class Initiative October 10, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Hickenlooper will have to defeat a long list of Democratic candidates to take on President Donald Trump in the 2020 general election. (RELATED: Hickenlooper Faces Uphill 2020 Battle In A Democratic Field That’s Sprinting To The Left)

“I’m running for president because we need dreamers in Washington, but we also need to get things done,” Hickenlooper said in a video announcing his decision. “I’ve proven again and again I can bring people together to produce the progressive change Washington has failed to deliver.”

Follow Henry Rodgers On Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

Paul Ingrassia | Contributor

Former President Jimmy Carter officially became America’s longest living president Thursday when he turned 94 years and 172 days, surpassing George H.W. Bush’s age of 94 years and 171 days at the time of his death. 

Carter, who has been out of office since 1981, also holds the record for longest post-presidency. At 38 years and counting, Carter has a significant leg up on the runner-up, Herbert Hoover, who spent 31 years and 230 days out of office after his presidency. 

From left, President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter attend the state funeral for former U.S. President George H. W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral. (Photo by Alex Brandon - Pool/Getty Images)

From left, President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama, former first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter attend the state funeral for former U.S. President George H. W. Bush at the Washington National Cathedral. (Photo by Alex Brandon – Pool/Getty Images)

H.W. Bush was previously the oldest president in American history when he reached 93 years, 166 days in November of 2017, officially surpassing former President Gerald Ford at the time of his death in 2006. H.W. Bush died on Nov. 30 2018. (RELATED: George H.W. Bush Just Became The Longest Living President)

Only six (John Adams, Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, H.W. Bush and Carter) of the 45 men who ascended to the highest office of the land reached the age of 90 in their lifetimes. Carter is the only one still living of the six.

Four of the six men who reached the age of 90 did so in the twenty-first century. Adams, America’s second president served from 1797-1801 and was the only president to turn 90 in the nineteenth century. Hoover, who was president from 1929-1933, was the second president to reach 90. He was the only president to hit 90 in the twentieth century in 1964, 139 years after John Adams. 

Adams, however, outlived Hoover by 176 days, making him the longest record holder to maintain the title of oldest president until Ronald Reagan turned 90 years and 248 days in 2001. Adams held onto the title for nearly two centuries, the longest duration by far.

After Carter, the next oldest living president is the current occupant of the office, President Donald Trump, who is 72-years-old, 280 days.

Trump, alongside former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, are the only three presidents who were born in the same year: 1946, the first year of the baby boomer generation. Carter remains the only living president from the greatest generation, a demographic group that roughly encompasses Americans born between 1900 and 1924.

Carter, who has overcome a number of health ailments in recent years including brain cancer, still remains active in public life and in his various humanitarian efforts.

Follow Paul Ingrassia on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

Michael Cohen’s business partner on the failed Trump Tower Moscow project will testify publicly before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 27, the committee announced.

Felix Sater will testify “about his business ventures with the Trump Organization and the potential Trump Tower Moscow deal,” according to a Thursday press release from the committee.

The committee will also have an open hearing on March 28 on “Putin’s Playbook: The Kremlin’s Use of Oligarchs, Money and Intelligence in 2016 and Beyond.”

The hearings are the first under Democratic Chairman Adam Schiff’s tenure.

Sater, a real estate executive who has worked as an informant for the U.S. government for decades, worked with Cohen beginning in late 2015 to build a Trump-branded skyscraper in Moscow. (RELATED: Bruce Ohr Testimony Undercuts Adam Schiff’s Theory About FBI’s Handling Of Dossier)

Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, speaks about President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, during an interview with Mike Allen of Axios, on Jan. 31, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Sater sent several text messages touting the project and pledging to get the support of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also came up with the idea to offer Putin a $50 million penthouse as part of the negotiation to secure the deal. Sater said the offer was part of a “marketing conversation” he had with Cohen.

Cohen pleaded guilty in the special counsel’s probe to lying to Congress about the timeline of his work on the Trump Tower project. He claimed that negotiations ended in January 2016, before the beginning of the 2016 primaries. Cohen acknowledged in his Nov. 29 plea agreement that he continued his efforts through June 2016.

Sater, who has known Cohen since childhood, has said he saw no evidence of election-related collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

Schiff, a California Democrat, has shifted his focus recently from the question of collusion to whether Russia or other foreign countries have compromised President Donald Trump through lucrative business deals.

Follow Chuck on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

The chairwoman of the Tennessee Democratic Party admitted this week that she “used a poor choice of words” when she dismissed her state as “racist.”

In her apology, published by the Tennessean newspaper of Nashville, Mary Mancini suggested Republicans in Tennessee are guilty of “bigotry, misogyny and homophobia.”

Mancini wandered into the political minefield earlier this month at a meeting with County Coffee Democrats when she mused about the candidates that Tennessee Democrats were nominating — supposedly not selecting enough people of color, millennials  or members of the LGBTQ community.

Thousands celebrate the annual LGBTQ Capital Pride parade in Washington June 10, 2017. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

Thousands celebrate the annual LGBTQ Capital Pride parade in Washington June 10, 2017. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

“We have a little bit of a problem in this state, and I’m just going to say it outright,” Mancini said, according to Fox News. “This is a racist state.” (RELATED: Taylor Swift’s Political Outreach Falls Short And Political Commentators Let Her Know It)

Mancini reportedly repeated the smear again, this time referring to Tennessee as “a very racist state.”

The chairwoman’s comments did not resonate well, even within her own party — so she issued a half-hearted apology that suggested only Republicans are bigoted.

“In the heat and the frustration of seeing and hearing the constant drumbeat of bigotry, misogyny and homophobia coming from the Republicans at the state legislature, I used a poor choice of words and vented my frustration and I apologize,” Mancini wrote in her statement. (RELATED: Tennessee Senate Candidate Advocated For Taxpayers To Fund Down Syndrome Abortions)

In response to her frustration, Tennessee Republican Chairman Scott Golden told the Tennessean that Mancini’s words only hurt the image of the state while insisting Republicans are committed to “lift all Tennesseans up,” through education and employment.

In the November midterm elections, Republican Marsha Blackburn became Tennessee’s first woman senator, replacing outgoing GOP Sen. Bob Corker.

In the lead-up to that election, a Democratic communications officer said the “idiots” who voted for President Donald Trump “aren’t listening” to other viewpoints.

US President Donald Trump arrives for a "Make America Great Again" campaign rally at McKenzie Arena, in Chattanooga, Tennessee on November 4, 2018. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump arrives for a “Make America Great Again” campaign rally at McKenzie Arena, in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Nov. 4, 2018. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)

Mancini made her initial comments about race when she suggested a black candidate couldn’t win his state constituency because there are few minority voters and “two out of the three counties in that area are extraordinarily racist,” Mancini told the County Coffee Democrats, according to Fox.

“I wasn’t the only one who was told that we need to run someone who is not African-American in that district, because (some believed) an African-American cannot win in that district because white people will not vote for an African-American,” Mancini told the Tennessean.

Follow David on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman stand next to the dedication plaque at the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman stand next to the dedication plaque at the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young/Pool

March 21, 2019

By Dan Williams

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described Hezbollah on Wednesday as a risk to Middle East stability and conferred with Israel about the heavily armed, Iranian-backed Lebanese group ahead of a trip to Beirut.

Pompeo, who has been on a regional tour to promote the Trump administration’s hard tack against Iran, received a warning from Israel which worries it may again be in the sights of Hezbollah forces winding down their intervention in Syria’s war.

Meeting Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem, Pompeo listed Hezbollah, Palestinian Hamas and Yemen’s Houthis – all recipients of Iranian support – as “entities that present risks to Middle East stability and to Israel”.

“They are determined to wipe this country off the face of the planet and we have a moral obligation and a political one to prevent that from happening. You should know that the United States is prepared to do that,” Pompeo said in public remarks at the meeting.

For its part, Israel has carried out repeated air strikes on Hezbollah in Syria, where the Shi’ite Muslim militia – along with Russian air power – helped President Bashar al-Assad turn the tables against mainly Sunni Muslim rebels and militants.

In a speech broadcast on the Persian new year on Thursday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Islamic Republic had successfully resisted “unprecedented, strong” U.S. sanctions.

Iran has faced economic hardship since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew last year from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers and reimposed sanctions.

Focusing his remarks on Lebanon, Rivlin told Pompeo that its prime minister, Saad al-Hariri, “cannot say to anyone that Lebanon is separate from Hezbollah” – a reference to the group’s political clout in Beirut where it has ministers in the government as well as lawmakers in parliament.

“If some(thing) will happen from Lebanon toward Israel, we will hold Lebanon as the responsible (party)”, Rivlin said, speaking in English.

Washington also has been increasingly voicing concern at Hezbollah power, echoing Israel, whose forces were fought to a standstill by the militia in a 2006 Lebanon war.

Pompeo’s visit to Jerusalem was widely seen in Israel as a boost for Netanyahu, who enjoys a close relationship with Trump, just three weeks before a closely contested Israeli election.

In a further signal of solidarity with Israel, Pompeo was later scheduled, accompanied by Netanyahu, to visit Judaism’s Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City.

In May 2017, Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the wall, but did not ask Netanyahu to join him.

Seven months later, Trump broke with decades of U.S. policy and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, incensing Palestinians who claim the city’s eastern sector as the capital of a future state they seek.

Last May, Washington moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Pompeo also visited the embassy on Thursday.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Mark Heinrich)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey hold a news conference for their proposed
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) hold a news conference for their proposed “Green New Deal” to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

March 21, 2019

By Valerie Volcovici and Nichola Groom

WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. solar and wind power companies may have the most to gain from the Green New Deal, an ambitious proposal backed by several Democratic presidential candidates to end U.S. fossil fuel consumption within a decade.

But do not expect the renewable energy firms to endorse it.

Representatives of America’s clean energy companies are withholding their support for the climate-fighting plan, calling it unrealistic and too politically divisive for an industry keen to grow in both red and blue states.

The cool reaction reflects the difficulty that progressive politicians vying for the White House may have in selling aggressive global-warming policy to the business community and more moderate voters.

It also underscores a new reality for U.S. solar and wind power companies long associated with the environmental left: As they have improved technology and lowered prices, their growth is shifting from politically liberal coastal states to the more conservative heartland, where skepticism of climate change and government subsidies runs high.

“If you just broadly endorse the Green New Deal, you are liable to upset one side of the aisle or the other. And that’s not constructive,” said Tom Werner, the CEO of SunPower Corp, one of the nation’s biggest solar power companies.

“The idea that you could go 100 percent (clean energy) in 10 years would require a lot of things happening perfectly, simultaneously,” he said. “You’d have to have bipartisan support, 52-state support.”

The Green New Deal was introduced last month by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat Congresswoman from New York, along with fellow Democrat Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts. It has since become the center of a renewed debate in Washington about how vigorously the government must act to address climate change.

The Congressional resolution, which has no force of law, calls for the federal government to make investments to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in a decade by meeting 100 percent of America’s power demand with clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, or geothermal energy.

It also calls for massive investments in green infrastructure projects like “smart grids” to improve efficiency, along with a guarantee of millions of high-wage jobs with paid vacations, medical leave and retirement security. The resolution does not get into detail about how subsequent legislation would achieve these goals.

So far, at least eight Democratic presidential hopefuls – including senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota – have endorsed the plan as they seek to stand in stark opposition to the pro-drilling policies of President Donald Trump.

Trump’s fellow Republicans have widely panned the Green New Deal, saying it would cost trillions of dollars of taxpayer money, may be technically unfeasible, and smacks of radical socialism.

Rhiana Gunn Wright, founder of the think tank New Consensus, which is drawing up Green New Deal policies, said her group will not estimate costs of the plan until it is more fully drafted next year. She said opponents’ estimates are premature and do not account for the benefits of climate action and the costs of inaction.

The feasibility of the proposal has been a source of concern for the clean energy industry, too.

“We love the enthusiasm the Green New Deal has brought to the climate issue … but we need to operate in political reality,” said Dan Whitten, vice president of public affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association, the solar industry’s main lobby group.

Another concern is the fact that the plan extends beyond energy and climate policies to include guarantees of jobs, training and healthcare for communities affected by climate change, said Greg Wetstone, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, a non-profit organization promoting renewable energy industries.

“It creates controversy and complexity, tying this to issues that are not in our sphere,” he said.

Representatives of renewable energy firms Sunrun and Sunnova Energy said they were happy the Green New Deal was drawing so much attention to clean industry but stopped short of endorsing the plan.

“The Green New Deal has sparked an important conversation, and we’re excited to be part of it,” said Alex McDonough, Vice President of Public Policy at Sunrun.

INROADS IN TRUMP COUNTRY

The U.S. solar and wind industries have expanded over the last decade, thanks to lucrative government subsidies, and now employ some 350,000 workers nationwide – more than four times more than the coal sector, according to the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report released this month.

While the growth began in liberal-leaning regions such as California and New England, it has more recently come in states that voted heavily for President Donald Trump in 2016, including Texas, North Carolina, Iowa and Florida, according to data from the American Wind Energy Association, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and SEIA.

That has helped strengthen the industry’s appeal to Republican lawmakers, allowing it to rebrand as a jobs engine in addition to a tool for combating global warming. And during the last election cycle in 2018, solar and wind companies contributed significantly more money to Republican candidates than to their traditional Democratic allies.

“We have raised these industries above science experiments and feel-goodery, and we are now real businesses and can’t just play to one half of the country,” said one renewable sector lobbyist, who asked not to be named discussing the topic.

“Staying out of the line of fire is the goal of most companies and trade associations,” said another clean energy industry representative. “There will be a real danger for our industry and companies if they are shouting out about the Green New Deal from the rooftops.”

The Sunrise Movement, a grassroots group that brought the Green New Deal into the national spotlight by holding demonstrations and confronting lawmakers on video, said it was aware of the reticence of green energy companies to back their proposal.

“We’ve met with companies and industries who could have a lot to gain from the Green New Deal, but the politics at this stage are too difficult to navigate,” Sunrise co-founder Evan Weber said.

He said Sunrise had met with the SEIA and AWEA, along with other executives.

Weber said industry support for the Green New Deal would be welcomed but is not vital: “We don’t expect all of them to be a strong advocate for the Green New Deal until the politics shift.”

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici and Nichola Groom; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Brian Thevenot)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey hold a news conference for their proposed
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) hold a news conference for their proposed “Green New Deal” to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

March 21, 2019

By Valerie Volcovici and Nichola Groom

WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. solar and wind power companies may have the most to gain from the Green New Deal, an ambitious proposal backed by several Democratic presidential candidates to end U.S. fossil fuel consumption within a decade.

But do not expect the renewable energy firms to endorse it.

Representatives of America’s clean energy companies are withholding their support for the climate-fighting plan, calling it unrealistic and too politically divisive for an industry keen to grow in both red and blue states.

The cool reaction reflects the difficulty that progressive politicians vying for the White House may have in selling aggressive global-warming policy to the business community and more moderate voters.

It also underscores a new reality for U.S. solar and wind power companies long associated with the environmental left: As they have improved technology and lowered prices, their growth is shifting from politically liberal coastal states to the more conservative heartland, where skepticism of climate change and government subsidies runs high.

“If you just broadly endorse the Green New Deal, you are liable to upset one side of the aisle or the other. And that’s not constructive,” said Tom Werner, the CEO of SunPower Corp, one of the nation’s biggest solar power companies.

“The idea that you could go 100 percent (clean energy) in 10 years would require a lot of things happening perfectly, simultaneously,” he said. “You’d have to have bipartisan support, 52-state support.”

The Green New Deal was introduced last month by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat Congresswoman from New York, along with fellow Democrat Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts. It has since become the center of a renewed debate in Washington about how vigorously the government must act to address climate change.

The Congressional resolution, which has no force of law, calls for the federal government to make investments to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in a decade by meeting 100 percent of America’s power demand with clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, or geothermal energy.

It also calls for massive investments in green infrastructure projects like “smart grids” to improve efficiency, along with a guarantee of millions of high-wage jobs with paid vacations, medical leave and retirement security. The resolution does not get into detail about how subsequent legislation would achieve these goals.

So far, at least eight Democratic presidential hopefuls – including senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota – have endorsed the plan as they seek to stand in stark opposition to the pro-drilling policies of President Donald Trump.

Trump’s fellow Republicans have widely panned the Green New Deal, saying it would cost trillions of dollars of taxpayer money, may be technically unfeasible, and smacks of radical socialism.

Rhiana Gunn Wright, founder of the think tank New Consensus, which is drawing up Green New Deal policies, said her group will not estimate costs of the plan until it is more fully drafted next year. She said opponents’ estimates are premature and do not account for the benefits of climate action and the costs of inaction.

The feasibility of the proposal has been a source of concern for the clean energy industry, too.

“We love the enthusiasm the Green New Deal has brought to the climate issue … but we need to operate in political reality,” said Dan Whitten, vice president of public affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association, the solar industry’s main lobby group.

Another concern is the fact that the plan extends beyond energy and climate policies to include guarantees of jobs, training and healthcare for communities affected by climate change, said Greg Wetstone, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, a non-profit organization promoting renewable energy industries.

“It creates controversy and complexity, tying this to issues that are not in our sphere,” he said.

Representatives of renewable energy firms Sunrun and Sunnova Energy said they were happy the Green New Deal was drawing so much attention to clean industry but stopped short of endorsing the plan.

“The Green New Deal has sparked an important conversation, and we’re excited to be part of it,” said Alex McDonough, Vice President of Public Policy at Sunrun.

INROADS IN TRUMP COUNTRY

The U.S. solar and wind industries have expanded over the last decade, thanks to lucrative government subsidies, and now employ some 350,000 workers nationwide – more than four times more than the coal sector, according to the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report released this month.

While the growth began in liberal-leaning regions such as California and New England, it has more recently come in states that voted heavily for President Donald Trump in 2016, including Texas, North Carolina, Iowa and Florida, according to data from the American Wind Energy Association, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and SEIA.

That has helped strengthen the industry’s appeal to Republican lawmakers, allowing it to rebrand as a jobs engine in addition to a tool for combating global warming. And during the last election cycle in 2018, solar and wind companies contributed significantly more money to Republican candidates than to their traditional Democratic allies.

“We have raised these industries above science experiments and feel-goodery, and we are now real businesses and can’t just play to one half of the country,” said one renewable sector lobbyist, who asked not to be named discussing the topic.

“Staying out of the line of fire is the goal of most companies and trade associations,” said another clean energy industry representative. “There will be a real danger for our industry and companies if they are shouting out about the Green New Deal from the rooftops.”

The Sunrise Movement, a grassroots group that brought the Green New Deal into the national spotlight by holding demonstrations and confronting lawmakers on video, said it was aware of the reticence of green energy companies to back their proposal.

“We’ve met with companies and industries who could have a lot to gain from the Green New Deal, but the politics at this stage are too difficult to navigate,” Sunrise co-founder Evan Weber said.

He said Sunrise had met with the SEIA and AWEA, along with other executives.

Weber said industry support for the Green New Deal would be welcomed but is not vital: “We don’t expect all of them to be a strong advocate for the Green New Deal until the politics shift.”

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici and Nichola Groom; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Brian Thevenot)

Source: OANN

An anti-Brexit protester waves an EU flag outside the Houses of Parliament in London
An anti-Brexit protester waves an EU flag outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

March 21, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – More than 700,000 people have rushed to sign a petition on the British parliament’s website calling for the government to revoke its divorce notice to the European Union and remain in the bloc.

Attracting thousands of signatures every few minutes, the petition took off in the hours after Prime Minister Theresa May made a televised address to the country late on Tuesday, criticizing squabbling lawmakers for failing to agree an exit strategy and telling parliament to make a final choice.

“It is high time we made a decision,” May said, telling Britons: “I am on your side.”

EU leaders will tell May on Thursday she can have two months to organize an orderly Brexit but Britain could face a disruptive ejection from the bloc next Friday if she fails to win backing from parliament.

More than 17 million Britons voted in favor of leaving the EU in a 2016 referendum while 16 million voted to remain, with May serving notice of the UK’s intent to leave under Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty the following year.

The “Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU” petition on the parliament website had attracted 706,096 signatures by 1048 GMT, backed by support on social media, although the site appeared to be regularly crashing due to the large numbers trying to sign.

“The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people’. We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU,” the petition said.

Parliament must consider holding a debate on all petitions that gain more than 100,000 signatures.

Supporters wrote on Twitter that the petition showed the strength of feeling against May’s strategy while backers of Brexit said it needed to attract more signatures than the 17.4 million people who voted to leave the EU three years ago before anyone should take any notice.

More than 1.8 million people signed a petition calling for U.S. President Donald Trump to be prevented from making a state visit to Britain, leading to a debate in parliament in 2017.

More than 4 million people signed another petition in 2016 which called for another EU referendum in the event that neither the remain or leave camps achieved 60 percent of the vote.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Giles Elgood)

Source: OANN

Dutch Prime Minister Rutte of the VVD Liberal party and Dutch far-right politician Wilders of the PVV Party take part in a meeting at the Dutch Parliament after the general election in The Hague
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (R) of the VVD Liberal party and Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders of the PVV Party take part in a meeting at the Dutch Parliament after the general election in The Hague, Netherlands, March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

March 21, 2019

By Toby Sterling

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – An upstart populist party shocked the Dutch political establishment by winning the most votes in provincial elections after a preliminary count in the early hours of Thursday, boosted by a possible terrorist attack this week in the city of Utrecht.

The result shows the enduring strength of far-right populism in the Netherlands, coming nearly two decades after the assassination of populist Pim Fortuyn in 2002 led to a similar upset in parliamentary elections.

The most important short term impact is that Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s center-right coalition will be forced to seek outside support to win Senate approval for laws passed by parliament. Provincial votes determine the composition in the Senate, where Rutte’s government has lost its majority.

The big winner in the vote was the Forum for Democracy party, led by 36-year-old Thierry Baudet, which holds just two seats in parliament after entering politics in 2016. On current projections it will have an equal number of seats in the Senate as Rutte’s VVD.

In a speech to supporters peppered with literary allusions, Baudet said the arrogance of the elites had been punished.

“We are standing in the rubble of what was once the most beautiful civilization in the world,” he said.

Following the lead of U.S. President Donald Trump, Baudet opposes immigration and emphasizes “Dutch first” cultural and economic themes. He opposes the euro and thinks the Netherlands should leave the European Union.

Baudet had continued campaigning when other parties stopped after Monday’s attack in Utrecht, in which a gunman shot three people dead on a tram. Baudet blamed the incident on the government’s lax immigration policies.

A 37-year-old Turkish-born man has been arrested on suspicion of carrying out the shooting. Prosecutors have not determined a motive, though they say it may have been terrorism.

Pollsters had for weeks predicted Rutte’s center-right coalition would lose its Senate majority. But experts, including pollster Maurice de Hond, said the Utrecht attack boosted turnout most among opponents of immigration.

The Dutch economy has been one of Europe’s best performers under successive Rutte-led governments, but resentment over early 2010s austerity programs lingers. Recent debate has focused on funding the government’s plans to meet international goals on climate change.

GOING GREEN

Left-leaning voters feel not enough is being done and supported the pro-environment Green Left party, which also booked big gains nationwide on Wednesday, including taking nearly a quarter of the vote in Amsterdam.

Rutte is expected to look to the Green Left or Labour parties for outside support once the new Senate is seated in May, though there are other possibilities in the increasingly fragmented political landscape, which include religious parties and a party focused on voters older than 50.

Rutte said he would be looking for support from “constructive” parties on either the left or the right. Baudet ruled out any cooperation.

“This means drinking a lot of coffee and making even more phone calls” Rutte told supporters.

“So I’m counting on it that the country will remain well manageable with this result.”

Parliamentary elections are due by March 2021.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Kim Coghill)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are seen before a family photo during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina November 30, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci/File Photo

March 21, 2019

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may meet President Donald Trump in the United States in late April for talks on North Korea and Japan-U.S. trade, two government officials and Japanese media said on Thursday.

The meeting was requested by the Japanese side and arrangements were being made for the end of April, the Asahi Shimbun daily said, without giving a specific date.

Two government officials familiar with the matter told Reuters that planning for Abe’s visit was underway.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman said an overseas trip by Abe had not been decided.

The talks would likely focus on North Korea after Trump’s failed meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in February, against a backdrop of Tokyo’s concern that is being sidelined in those negotiations, the Asahi Shimbun said.

Japan’s cabinet is expected to vote next month on extending unilateral sanctions against North Korea by two years, public broadcaster NHK said on Wednesday.

Japan-U.S. trade is also expected to be on the agenda.

Trump has prodded Japanese automakers to add more jobs in the United States as the White House has threatened to impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported vehicles, on the grounds of national security.

Japanese officials have repeatedly said that Abe and Trump agreed last year that Washington would not impose auto tariffs as long as bilateral trade talks are going on.

The Asahi Shimbun said discussions are also being held on a separate meeting in April between Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

(Reporting by Yoshifumi Takemoto; writing by Elaine Lies; editing by Darren Schuettler)

Source: OANN

Phillip Stucky | Contributor

Former President George W. Bush scored his first hole-in-one Wednesday at the Trinity Forest Golf Course, according to his Instagram page.

“With coaching from @thebushcenter CEO Ken Hersh and board members Mike Meece and Bill Hickey, I scored my first hole-in-one at the home of our Warrior Open and the @attbyronnelson. Next golf goal: live to 100 so I can shoot my age,” Bush said in the post. (RELATED: George W Bush Calls Immigrants A ‘Blessing And Strength’)

Bush was in the news Tuesday when former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid claimed that he would much rather Bush were in office than President Donald Trump.

“[Bush] and I had our differences, but no one ever questioned his patriotism. Our battles were strictly political battles,” Reid said. “There’s no question in my mind that George Bush would be Babe Ruth in this league that he’s in with Donald Trump in the league,” he added. “Donald Trump wouldn’t make the team.”

Trump was quick to respond and attack Reid on Twitter, writing Monday, “Former Senator Harry Reid (he got thrown out) is working hard to put a good spin on his failed career. He led through lies and deception, only to be replaced by another beauty, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer. Some things just never change!”

Source: The Daily Caller

Former Tallahassee mayor and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, calling his state "unorganized," on Wednesday told Politico he plans to launch a massive voter registration effort to register 1 million new voters before the 2020 presidential election.

"We're looking at a target of 1 million – we've got over 3 million people eligible to vote, and that's to say nothing of the 1.4 million returning citizens,” he said in reference to the former felons who will have their voting rights restored following a constitutional amendment approved by voters last year.

"Voter registration is red flag No. 1," he added.

Gillum on Wednesday also told The New York Times during a wide-ranging interview that Democrats have not been disciplined in Florida and organizing is key to defeating President Donald Trump.

"When you don't have a governor who can raise money for a party in 24 years, it's very difficult for you to expect that party to turn on a dime and pull rabbits out of the hat," he said. "I'd say it's a failure, writ large, of how people have treated Florida when it comes to organizing. It's a state to go to when you want a presidential win, but outside of that? Good luck."

Gillum told The Daily Beast he plans to pull from his list of supporters and volunteers to help register new voters.

"We're going to be a major player and deliver Florida to whoever the Democratic nominee is," he told the news outlet.

Source: NewsMax

Former Vice President Joe Biden's recent meeting with Stacey Abrams, a former lawmaker in the Georgia House of Representatives, has sparked speculation the two could team up for a presidential run in the upcoming election.

Biden has yet to publicly announce his candidacy for president, but stories in recent days have claimed he is preparing to launch a campaign.

Last week, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Biden and Abrams met in Washington, D.C., about their political futures — Biden for president and Abrams potentially for the Senate — following her failed campaign to serve as Georgia governor last fall.

The Associated Press reported Biden requested the meeting.

CNN reported earlier this week, meanwhile, Biden is looking to choose a running mate early in his campaign, making his meeting with Abrams more notable. A Biden aide told the network that bringing a running mate onboard earlier than normal would show voters Biden is serious about unseating President Donald Trump.

The Journal-Constitution also reported Abrams has met with other Democrats who are already confirmed presidential candidates as she ponders what is next in her political life.

Source: NewsMax

U.S. Senator Rubio arrives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) arrives for the weekly Republican Party caucus luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

March 21, 2019

By Ezequiel Abiu Lopez

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio met on Wednesday with the Haitian president and members of parliament and discussed the formation of a new Cabinet following the ouster this week of Jean Henry Ceant as prime minister.

The Florida Republican lawmaker arrived in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, following crippling nationwide protests and a political crisis touched off by the dismissal of Ceant in a vote of no confidence by the country’s legislative body on Monday.

Haiti has had several prime ministers in recent years. President Jovenel Moise remains in office.

Rubio wrote on his Twitter account that he discussed the formation of a new government in his meeting with Gary Bodeau, head of the lower house, and Carl Cantave, president of the Senate.

Ceant took office in September as thousands of demonstrators were streaming through the streets in the main cities of the impoverished island nation.

In renewed protests since Feb. 7, many called for Moise to step down because of ballooning inflation, a weakening currency and allegations of misused funds from a Venezuelan oil subsidy scheme called PetroCaribe.

Ceant, who has likewise been blamed for the rampant inflation and protests, has insisted his dismissal on Monday was unconstitutional and that he is still the head of government.

Moise said on Twitter that he spoke with Rubio about security and holding parliamentary elections.

Rubio heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women’s Issues.

His visit comes days before Moise and four other Caribbean leaders attend a meeting on Friday with U.S. President Donald Trump in Florida to discuss the political crisis in Venezuela and China’s commercial expansion.

(Reporting by Ezequiel Abiu Lopez; Editing by Delphine Schrank and Peter Cooney)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Passersby walk past in front of an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: Passersby walk past in front of an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, September 28, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

March 21, 2019

By Andrew Galbraith

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Shares in Asia rose on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve took a more accommodative stance at its policy meeting, but concerns over slowing global growth and U.S.-China trade talks are expected to limit gains.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.5 percent in early trade. Australian shares were last down 0.1 percent.

Markets in Japan are closed on Thursday for a public holiday.

The rise in the broad Asian index followed a wobbly session on Wall Street overnight, as growth and trade concerns overcame an initial shift toward more risk-taking sparked by the Fed’s dovish shift.

In comments at the end of a two-day policy meeting Wednesday, the Fed abandoned projections for any interest rate hikes this year amid signs of an economic slowdown, and said it would halt the steady decline of its balance sheet in September.

But while investors cheered the Fed’s new approach, the reasons behind it sparked concern. Lingering worries about China-U.S. trade talks, which are set to resume next week, also weighed on the investment mood, with U.S. President Donald Trump warning that Washington may leave tariffs on Chinese goods for a “substantial period” to ensure Beijing’s compliance with any trade deal.

“What the Fed is doing is trying to engineer a soft landing. What the market is hearing though is things have gotten so weak so quickly … and the earnings outlook is so dire that real money managers don’t want to chase this rally,” Greg McKenna, strategist at McKenna Macro wrote in a morning note to clients.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.55 percent to 25,745.67, the S&P 500 lost 0.29 percent to 2,824.23 and the Nasdaq Composite added less than 0.1 percent to 7,728.97.

The Fed’s comments pushed yields on benchmark U.S. Treasurys lower, with 10-year notes yielding 2.5245 percent compared with a U.S. close of 2.537 percent on Wednesday.

The abandonment of plans for more rate hikes this year pushed the two-year yield, sensitive to expectations of higher Fed fund rates, to 2.3982 percent, down from a U.S. close of 2.4 percent.

After falling on Wednesday, the dollar steadied, with a basket tracking the currency against major rivals flat at 95.910.. It was up a hair against the Japanese currency, buying 110.70 yen.

The euro was up 0.14 percent on the day at $1.1427, while sterling rebounded from a sharp drop Wednesday after British Prime Minister Theresa May asked the EU to delay Brexit until June 30, a shorter extension than some in the market had been expecting. May later said she was “not prepared to delay Brexit any further.”

The pound was up 0.11 percent at $1.3211.

In commodity markets, oil prices, which had jumped Wednesday on supply concerns, retreated.

U.S. crude fell 0.1 percent to $60.17 a barrel after touching four-month highs on Wednesday. Brent crude was a touch lower at $68.47 per barrel.

Gold gained on the weaker dollar, with spot gold up 0.27 percent at $1,315.72 per ounce. [GOL/]

(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Sam Holmes)

Source: OANN

  • Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe has repeatedly spread conspiracy theories. 
  • Tribe has amplified conspiracies about President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia teaming up to expose Jeff Bezos and Russia orchestrating a plane crash to cover up collusion, among others.
  • Tribe’s role as internet conspiracist hasn’t kept media outlets from promoting him on TV and in news articles.

Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe has habitually spread conspiracy theories, but that hasn’t prevented him from maintaining a presence in the national media.

Tribe was among several high-profile figures to amplify a false conspiracy theory in February that President Donald Trump had teamed up with Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Salman to leak Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s affair to the National Enquirer.

“Are Donald Trump and the murderous Saudi Prince bin Salman co-conspirators with David Pecker and AMI in a failed criminal plot to blackmail and extort Jeff Bezos as owner of the Washington Post? Asking for a friend in the Southern District of New York,” Tribe wrote on Twitter, where he has more than 492,000 followers. (RELATED: Majority Of Democrats Believe A Straight-Up Conspiracy Theory)

His conspiratorial post was shared thousands of times across Twitter.

Screenshot/Twitter

Screenshot/Twitter

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the Enquirer had paid the brother of Bezos’s mistress $200,000 for text messages between the two lovers, confirming a Daily Beast report that identified the brother — not the Saudis — as the Enquirer’s source. Tribe’s tweet was still up as of Wednesday evening.

The Harvard Law professor has made a habit of spreading baseless conspiracy theories, seemingly without repercussion.

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Attorney Laurence H. Tribe attends The ACLU of Southern California’s 2011 Bill of Rights Dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on Dec. 12, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

In one instance, Tribe implied that a Russian plane crash in February 2018 was a cover-up of collusion between Trump and Russia.

His tweet, which again received thousands of retweets, read: “Among those killed in the tragic plane crash yesterday: Sergei Millian, a Papadopoulis [sic] friend who had emailed Kushner and is said to be behind one of the most salacious claims in the dossier on Trump’s involvement with Russia. Probably just coincidence. .”

He sarcastically added that the “coincidence” “[s]ounds plausible.”

Tribe’s viral claim was nowhere close to the truth. Millian wasn’t on the plane.

In December 2018, Tribe shared a left-wing blog post titled “Mueller Hints That Mike Pence May Be Indicted Soon.” There is no evidence to support that headline, and the vice president has not been indicted.

“The title of this piece gets well ahead of its skis in terms of actual substance,” Tribe conceded, before continuing “but the evidence described provides rich food for thought. And if Pence is truly in Mueller’s cross-hairs, that’s a huge game-changer.”

No reporting to date supports the claim that Pence is “in Mueller’s cross-hairs.” The blog Tribe cited, PoliticusUSA.com, has a track record of spreading misinformation.

In January, Tribe cited the same blog to say that Trump’s announcement of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plans to travel to Afghanistan during the government shutdown bordered on “treason” by giving “aid and comfort” to the Taliban.

Tribe’s role as internet conspiracist hasn’t prevented national media outlets from elevating his profile, quoting him in their articles and hosting him on their panels.

Tribe has appeared on MSNBC five times this year, according to a transcript search on the media monitoring service Grabien.

The Washington Post cited Tribe in an article Monday about Republican Iowa Rep. Steve King, who shared a meme on Facebook saying that Republican states would win in a civil war because they have “8 trillion more bullets.” King deleted the post after criticism.

The Post quoted a tweet from Tribe, who said that King “isn’t actually COMMITTING treason, but he is fomenting and inciting it.” Tribe said King’s meme provided the House of Representatives “[a]mple reason to expel him.”

Tribe’s media appearances have continued long after a May 2017 BuzzFeed report noted his established track record of spreading anti-Trump conspiracy theories.

In one instance BuzzFeed documented, Tribe shared an article from the Palmer Report, a left-wing blog known for spreading misinformation, that claimed Trump had paid then-Republican Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz “$10 million in Russian money” in advance of the 2016 election.

The only source for the conspiracy theory was a tweet from an anonymous Twitter user.

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is coming to the defense of his late friend John McCain in the face of continued attacks by President Donald Trump.

After Trump threw another volley of verbal shots at McCain, a war hero, former POW, and retired Republican senator who died after a battle with brain cancer last August, Graham told reporters Wednesday that Trump's words are doing more damage to himself than McCain.

"I think the president's comments about Sen. McCain hurt him more than they hurt the legacy of Sen. McCain," Graham said. "I'm going to try to continue to help the president.

"My job is to represent the people of South Carolina. They want me to work with the president where I can. I've gotten to know the president. We have a good working relationship. I like him."

Graham, however, added he is not happy when Trump takes aim at McCain. The president and the late senator feuded ever since Trump questioned his status as a war hero during the 2016 campaign. Trump is still bitter about McCain's no vote on the Obamacare repeal in 2017, which killed the measure.

"I don't like when he says things about my friend John McCain," Graham said. "The best thing that can happen, I think, for all of us is to move forward."

Source: NewsMax

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is coming to the defense of his late friend John McCain in the face of continued attacks by President Donald Trump.

After Trump threw another volley of verbal shots at McCain, a war hero, former POW, and retired Republican senator who died after a battle with brain cancer last August, Graham told reporters Wednesday that Trump's words are doing more damage to himself than McCain.

"I think the president's comments about Sen. McCain hurt him more than they hurt the legacy of Sen. McCain," Graham said. "I'm going to try to continue to help the president.

"My job is to represent the people of South Carolina. They want me to work with the president where I can. I've gotten to know the president. We have a good working relationship. I like him."

Graham, however, added he is not happy when Trump takes aim at McCain. The president and the late senator feuded ever since Trump questioned his status as a war hero during the 2016 campaign. Trump is still bitter about McCain's no vote on the Obamacare repeal in 2017, which killed the measure.

"I don't like when he says things about my friend John McCain," Graham said. "The best thing that can happen, I think, for all of us is to move forward."

Source: NewsMax

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is coming to the defense of his late friend John McCain in the face of continued attacks by President Donald Trump.

After Trump threw another volley of verbal shots at McCain, a war hero, former POW, and retired Republican senator who died after a battle with brain cancer last August, Graham told reporters Wednesday that Trump's words are doing more damage to himself than McCain.

"I think the president's comments about Sen. McCain hurt him more than they hurt the legacy of Sen. McCain. I'm going to try to continue to help the president," Graham said.

"My job is to represent the people of South Carolina. They want me to work with the president where I can. I've gotten to know the president. We have a good working relationship. I like him."

Graham, however, added that he's not happy when Trump takes aim at McCain. The president and the late senator feuded ever since Trump questioned his status as a war hero during the 2016 campaign. Trump is still bitter about McCain's no vote on the Obamacare repeal in 2017, which killed the measure.

"I don't like when he says things about my friend John McCain," Graham said. "The best thing that can happen, I think, for all of us is to move forward."

Source: NewsMax

Just 36 percent of registered voters support impeaching President Donald Trump, a 7-point percent decrease from December stemming from a drop in Democrats who have changed their mind, a CNN poll finds.

In December, 80 percent of Democrats said they were in favor of impeachment, but that number now stands at 68 percent. The poll follows a statement by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., that impeachment would be "so divisive to the country."

Additionally, the poll found:

  • 50 percent of college graduates backed impeachment in December compared to 35 percent now.
  • Support for impeachment fell drastically since last June, when 47 percent of voters said they backed such an effort.
  • About 40 percent say Democrats are overreaching in investigating Trump, while 34 percent say they are doing the right amount, and 22 percent say they are doing too little.
  • 53 percent say most Americans think Trump is not doing enough to cooperate with investigations by Democrats, while 32 percent say it is the right amount.
  • 67 percent say Trump should release his tax returns publicly.
  • 48 percent approve of the job special counsel Robert Mueller is doing compared to 37 percent who say they disapprove.

The CNN poll was conducted by SSRS March 14-17 among a random national sample of 1,003 adults.

Source: NewsMax

Late senator John McCain is honored during the 2018 Iran Uprising Summit in New York
Late senator John McCain is honored during the 2018 Iran Uprising Summit in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 22, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky

March 20, 2019

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The widow and daughter of John McCain on Wednesday criticized President Donald Trump and his online supporters for repeated attacks on the former U.S. senator, Republican presidential nominee and Vietnam War hero who was tortured during five and a half years spent as a prisoner of war.

Speaking on Wednesday to an employee at an Ohio factory that makes military tanks, Trump again hammered McCain.

“So I have to be honest, I’ve never liked him much,” Trump said. “I really probably never will. But there are certain reasons for it.”

Meghan McCain, the daughter of the late senator, spent the last few days defending her father and politely criticizing Trump. On Wednesday she said the president had reached “a new, bizarre low – attacking someone who is not here is a new low.”

She also said, “If I had told my dad … he would think it is so hilarious that our president was so jealous of him that he was dominating the news cycle in death.”

Barely six months after McCain’s death, Trump started the latest exchange between himself and the McCain clan on Sunday in a blast of Tweets, including one that attacked “‘last in his class’ (Annapolis) John McCain.”

A spokeswoman for Meghan McCain said she was not immediately available for further comment.

Cindy McCain, the senator’s widow, sarcastically urged her Twitter followers to “see how kind and loving a stranger can be” and shared with them an online message from someone who described John McCain as a “traitorous piece of warmongering shit and I’m glad he’s dead.”

On Tuesday, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office while sitting next the president of Brazil, Trump added: “I never was a fan of John McCain, and I never will be.”

The tweets and soundbites triggered a swirl of anti-McCain attacks and pro-McCain appeals on social media, like the one Cindy McCain shared, and cable TV discussion.

Without rebuking Trump, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in a Tweet: “Today and every day I miss my good friend John McCain. It was a blessing to serve alongside a rare patriot and genuine American hero in the Senate.”

Republican Senator Johnny Isakson was more critical. In an interview with Georgia Public Broadcasting on Wednesday, he called Trump’s remarks about McCain “deplorable.”

The White House had no comment on Trump’s latest attacks.

Trump on Wednesday expressed concern about McCain’s role in the handling of a “dossier,” compiled before the 2016 U.S. presidential election by a former British spy and paid for by lawyers for the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The dossier alleged Russian financial dealings with Trump and included salacious personal details that remain unconfirmed. After the election, a copy of the dossier was given to McCain, who gave it to the FBI, according to court documents that were made public last week.

Trump and his supporters have aggressively attacked the document ever since its contents became public.

“John McCain received a fake and phony dossier … He got it, and what did he do? He didn’t call me,” Trump said during his visit to the Ohio factory. “He turned it over to the FBI hoping to put me in jeopardy and that’s not the nicest thing to do.”

(Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh, Dan Grebler and Nick Carey)

Source: OANN

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

A former operator of a spa that’s entangled in a prostitution investigation responded Wednesday to top Democrats’ call for the FBI to investigate her because of her ties to President Donald Trump and China.

“I’m Republican and I’m Chinese,” Li “Cindy” Yang told NBC News. “That’s the reason the Democrats want to check me.”

Yang sold Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, roughly seven years ago. Now the spa and its new operators are in the news after authorities charged New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in late February with soliciting a prostitute there. (RELATED: Brazil’s New President Says What He And Trump Have In Common: ‘We Are God-Fearing Men’)

Senate and House Democrats requested the FBI open criminal and counterintelligence investigations into Yang, reported ABC News. They point to media reports claiming Yang’s company GY Investments sells opportunities to get close to Trump to Chinese clients.

”Although Ms. Yang’s activities may only be those of an unscrupulous actor allegedly selling access to politicians for profit, her activities also could permit adversary governments or their agents access to these same politicians to acquire potential material for blackmail or other even more nefarious purposes,” the Democrats wrote in a March 15 letter according to NBC News.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft celebrates on Cambridge street during the New England Patriots Victory Parade on February 05, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Patriots owner Robert Kraft celebrates on Cambridge street during the New England Patriots Victory Parade on Feb. 5, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Yang told NBC News she has lived in the U.S. for roughly two decades and has not had contact with any Chinese government officials.

“I love Americans. I love our president. I don’t do anything wrong,” she said.

Yang has made numerous social media posts of photographs with Trump, including a selfie with the president at a Super Bowl party at the Trump International golf resort in Florida, reported NBC News. She is “part of a network of organizations pushing for Taiwan to return to Chinese control and that fall under the oversight of the Chinese government,” reported the Miami Herald.

Kraft is expected to reject a plea deal that would result in prosecutors dropping criminal charges against him for allegedly soliciting prostitutes, according to reports Wednesday. Many pundits have weighed in on the scandal, including CNN’s Michael Smerconish, who called investigating Kraft “the largest waste of resources since Jussie Smollett” on Feb. 23.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

Send tips to [email protected].

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

A former operator of a spa that’s entangled in a prostitution investigation responded Wednesday to top Democrats’ call for the FBI to investigate her because of her ties to President Donald Trump and China.

“I’m Republican and I’m Chinese,” Li “Cindy” Yang told NBC News. “That’s the reason the Democrats want to check me.”

Yang sold Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, roughly seven years ago. Now the spa and its new operators are in the news after authorities charged New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in late February with soliciting a prostitute there. (RELATED: Brazil’s New President Says What He And Trump Have In Common: ‘We Are God-Fearing Men’)

Senate and House Democrats requested the FBI open criminal and counterintelligence investigations into Yang, reported ABC News. They point to media reports claiming Yang’s company GY Investments sells opportunities to get close to Trump to Chinese clients.

”Although Ms. Yang’s activities may only be those of an unscrupulous actor allegedly selling access to politicians for profit, her activities also could permit adversary governments or their agents access to these same politicians to acquire potential material for blackmail or other even more nefarious purposes,” the Democrats wrote in a March 15 letter according to NBC News.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft celebrates on Cambridge street during the New England Patriots Victory Parade on February 05, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Patriots owner Robert Kraft celebrates on Cambridge street during the New England Patriots Victory Parade on Feb. 5, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Yang told NBC News she has lived in the U.S. for roughly two decades and has not had contact with any Chinese government officials.

“I love Americans. I love our president. I don’t do anything wrong,” she said.

Yang has made numerous social media posts of photographs with Trump, including a selfie with the president at a Super Bowl party at the Trump International golf resort in Florida, reported NBC News. She is “part of a network of organizations pushing for Taiwan to return to Chinese control and that fall under the oversight of the Chinese government,” reported the Miami Herald.

Kraft is expected to reject a plea deal that would result in prosecutors dropping criminal charges against him for allegedly soliciting prostitutes, according to reports Wednesday. Many pundits have weighed in on the scandal, including CNN’s Michael Smerconish, who called investigating Kraft “the largest waste of resources since Jussie Smollett” on Feb. 23.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

Send tips to [email protected].

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during Friday prayers in Tehran
FILE PHOTO – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during Friday prayers in Tehran September 14, 2007. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl/File Photo

March 20, 2019

GENEVA (Reuters) – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Thursday in a new year speech broadcast on state TV that the Islamic Republic successfully resisted “unprecedented, strong” U.S. sanctions.

Iran has faced economic hardship since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from a multilateral nuclear deal last year and reimposed sanctions.

Khamenei also said that economic hardship and the fall of the currency remain top problems and that the government should confront these issues by boosting production.

(Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Source: OANN

A growing number of Americans say immigration levels should remain the same or increase, according to a major U.S. survey, a shift that comes as the Trump administration has ramped up immigration enforcement.

At the same time, the latest data from the General Social Survey — a widely respected poll that has measured trends on American attitudes since the 1970s — shows a growing partisan divide on the topic over the past decade.

The 2018 survey was released this week and shows 34 percent of Americans want immigration levels to be reduced, down from 41 percent in 2016, according to an analysis by The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and GSS staff.

That's compared with 23 percent of Americans who want more immigration, up from 17 percent in 2016. Forty-one percent say they want immigration levels to stay the same.

It's the first time since the survey question was first asked in 2004 that more Americans want immigration to remain the same than to be reduced.

The survey is conducted every two years, and the question was last asked before President Donald Trump took office and made it harder for people to immigrate to the United States.

Trump — who made immigration enforcement a centerpiece of his election campaign — has repeatedly called for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and his push for wall funding last year drove the federal government to a monthlong shutdown that furloughed hundreds of thousands of government workers.

The administration enacted a travel ban for citizens of mostly Muslim countries, including Iran and Yemen, that has torn many families apart. And officials last year separated immigrant parents from their children to prosecute illegal border crossers, a move that sparked an international outcry.

"People are more tolerant of immigration than the president and the far right would have us believe," said Louis DeSipio, a political science professor at the University of California, Irvine.

According to the survey, nearly three times as many Democrats as Republicans want more immigrants allowed into the country, while Republicans are more than twice as likely as Democrats to favor less immigration.

But fewer Republicans want a reduction in immigration than did in 2016. In 2018, 52 percent of Republicans said they wanted less immigration, down from 62 percent two years earlier.

Forty-four percent of Democrats say they want immigration levels to remain the same, while 34 percent want an increase in immigration.

The survey — which does not distinguish between illegal and legal immigration — also looked at Americans' views on the issue by race. About 41 percent of whites want a decrease in immigration, while only 24 percent of blacks and 22 percent of Hispanics say the same.

Trump has made immigration an intensely political issue, and also an issue of race, said Manuel Pastor, director of the University of Southern California's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration.

"Trump is trying to create a Republican Party that's much more based in an older, white electorate in nonmetropolitan areas of the country," Pastor said. "The Democrats are trying to put together political coalitions that have a deep base in metropolitan areas, and that includes many more people of color."

The General Social Survey has been conducted since 1972 by NORC at the University of Chicago, primarily using in-person interviewing.

Sample sizes for each year's survey vary from about 1,500 to about 3,000 adults, with margins of error falling between plus or minus 2.2 percentage points and plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The most recent survey was conducted April 12 through November 10, 2018 and includes interviews with 2,348 American adults. MARGIN OF ERROR?

Online: http://www.apnorc.org

Source: NewsMax

A growing number of Americans say immigration levels should remain the same or increase, according to a major U.S. survey, a shift that comes as the Trump administration has ramped up immigration enforcement.

At the same time, the latest data from the General Social Survey — a widely respected poll that has measured trends on American attitudes since the 1970s — shows a growing partisan divide on the topic over the past decade.

The 2018 survey was released this week and shows 34 percent of Americans want immigration levels to be reduced, down from 41 percent in 2016, according to an analysis by The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and GSS staff.

That's compared with 23 percent of Americans who want more immigration, up from 17 percent in 2016. Forty-one percent say they want immigration levels to stay the same.

It's the first time since the survey question was first asked in 2004 that more Americans want immigration to remain the same than to be reduced.

The survey is conducted every two years, and the question was last asked before President Donald Trump took office and made it harder for people to immigrate to the United States.

Trump — who made immigration enforcement a centerpiece of his election campaign — has repeatedly called for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and his push for wall funding last year drove the federal government to a monthlong shutdown that furloughed hundreds of thousands of government workers.

The administration enacted a travel ban for citizens of mostly Muslim countries, including Iran and Yemen, that has torn many families apart. And officials last year separated immigrant parents from their children to prosecute illegal border crossers, a move that sparked an international outcry.

"People are more tolerant of immigration than the president and the far right would have us believe," said Louis DeSipio, a political science professor at the University of California, Irvine.

According to the survey, nearly three times as many Democrats as Republicans want more immigrants allowed into the country, while Republicans are more than twice as likely as Democrats to favor less immigration.

But fewer Republicans want a reduction in immigration than did in 2016. In 2018, 52 percent of Republicans said they wanted less immigration, down from 62 percent two years earlier.

Forty-four percent of Democrats say they want immigration levels to remain the same, while 34 percent want an increase in immigration.

The survey — which does not distinguish between illegal and legal immigration — also looked at Americans' views on the issue by race. About 41 percent of whites want a decrease in immigration, while only 24 percent of blacks and 22 percent of Hispanics say the same.

Trump has made immigration an intensely political issue, and also an issue of race, said Manuel Pastor, director of the University of Southern California's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration.

"Trump is trying to create a Republican Party that's much more based in an older, white electorate in nonmetropolitan areas of the country," Pastor said. "The Democrats are trying to put together political coalitions that have a deep base in metropolitan areas, and that includes many more people of color."

The General Social Survey has been conducted since 1972 by NORC at the University of Chicago, primarily using in-person interviewing.

Sample sizes for each year's survey vary from about 1,500 to about 3,000 adults, with margins of error falling between plus or minus 2.2 percentage points and plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The most recent survey was conducted April 12 through November 10, 2018 and includes interviews with 2,348 American adults. MARGIN OF ERROR?

Online: http://www.apnorc.org

Source: NewsMax

Late senator John McCain is honored during the 2018 Iran Uprising Summit in New York
Late senator John McCain is honored during the 2018 Iran Uprising Summit in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 22, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky

March 20, 2019

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The widow and daughter of John McCain – former U.S. senator, Republican presidential nominee and Vietnam War hero – on Wednesday criticized President Donald Trump and his online supporters for attacking McCain and his family.

Speaking on Wednesday to an employee at an Ohio factory that makes military tanks, Trump again hammered McCain. “So I have to be honest, I’ve never liked him much,” Trump said. “I really probably never will. But there are certain reasons for it.”

Meghan McCain, the daughter of the late senator, spent the last few days defending her father and politely criticizing Trump. On Wednesday she said the president had reached “a new, bizarre low – attacking someone who is not here is a new low.”

She also said, “If I had told my dad… he would think it is so hilarious that our president was so jealous of him that he was dominating the news cycle in death.”

Barely six months after McCain’s death, Trump started the latest exchange between himself and the McCain clan on Sunday in a blast of Tweets, including one that attacked “‘last in his class’ (Annapolis) John McCain.”

A spokeswoman for Meghan McCain said she was not immediately available for further comment.

Cindy McCain, the senator’s widow, sarcastically urged her Twitter followers to “see how kind and loving a stranger can be” and shared with them an online message from someone who described John McCain as a “traitorous piece of warmongering shit and I’m glad he’s dead.”

On Tuesday, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office while sitting next the president of Brazil, Trump added: “I never was a fan of John McCain, and I never will be.”

The tweets and soundbites triggered a swirl of anti-McCain attacks and pro-McCain appeals on social media, like the one Cindy McCain shared, and cable TV discussion.

Without rebuking Trump, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in a Tweet: “Today and every day I miss my good friend John McCain. It was a blessing to serve alongside a rare patriot and genuine American hero in the Senate.”

The White House had no comment on Trump’s latest attacks.

(Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Dan Grebler)

Source: OANN

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro takes part in wreath laying at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro arrives during ceremonies to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery during his visit to Washington in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

March 20, 2019

BRASILIA (Reuters) – The government of Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro has seen its popularity plummet since he took office in January, with just a third of those asked approving of its performance, according to a poll published on Wednesday.

Despite easily winning October’s election, Bolsonaro’s government has the worst approval rating of any administration at this early stage since Brazil returned to democracy three decades ago.

Pollster Ibope said 34 percent of those surveyed found the Bolsonaro government doing a “great/good” job, compared to 49 percent in mid-January. The government’s “bad/terrible” rating rose 13 percentage points to 24 percent, Ibope said.

Bolsonaro spent the week cosying up to U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington, without receiving much in return, sparking frustration among trade officials.

Back home, criticism of Bolsonaro is growing just as he has put before Congress his fiscally crucial but highly unpopular plan to reform the pension system. Most economists agree the system must be overhauled to shore up public finances and foster growth.

Brazil’s Congress is typically not particularly responsive to public opinion, but if the pension reforms were to spark street protests, the pressure on lawmakers to balk at the bill could have an impact.

Those surveyed who said they trusted Bolsonaro in the role dropped 13 percentage points from January to 49 percent. Those who say they have no trust in him jumped 13 points to 44 percent.

Bolsonaro’s strongest approval ratings are among higher income Brazilians, while the lowest ratings were registered in large cities, and in the poorer Northeast region, Ibope said.

Evangelical Christians were the social group that most trust in Bolsonaro, the poll showed.

Ibope surveyed 2,002 people between March 16-19 across Brazil. The poll’s margin of error is 2 percentage points.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; editing by Brad Brooks and Rosalba O’Brien)

Source: OANN

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

  • Brazil’s new President Jair Bolsonaro sat down with American media after his meeting with President Donald Trump Tuesday.
  • He discussed his desire to “make Brazil great” and how he owes his life “to God” after being stabbed on the campaign trail. 
  • Brazil had been ruled by politicians from the left for years, and Bolsonaro is the country’s first conservative leader in its democratic era.

Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, wants to “make Brazil great” and says he owes his life “to God” after being stabbed on the campaign trail, according to his interview with American media following his meeting with President Donald Trump Tuesday.

The U.S. and Brazil have had a fraught relationship in the past, but Bolsonaro and Trump want to turn over a new leaf. They have not, for example, ruled out cooperating in military action in Venezuela, where socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro’s regime is in turmoil.

“To a large extent, I support what Trump does; he wants to make America great, I also want to make Brazil great. I also have concerns about the indiscriminate entrance of foreigners without any criteria. But beyond this, we are both Christians and we are God-fearing men,” Bolsonaro told Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in an interview published Wednesday. (RELATED: Democrats Who Won’t Support Ousting Venezuela’s Socialist Dictator Pile On Brazil’s Democratically Elected Leader)

Bolsonaro’s election marked a turn in his home country as well. Brazil had been ruled by politicians from the left for years, and Bolsonaro is the country’s first conservative leader in its democratic era, reported CBN.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro presents U.S. President Donald Trump with a Brazil national soccer team jersey Number 10 for striker position at the White House March 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro presents U.S. President Donald Trump with a Brazil national soccer team jersey Number 10 for striker position at the White House March 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)

“It is time to overcome old resistances and explore the very best potential between Brazil and the United States. After all, it is fair to say that today, Brazil does have a president who is not anti-American,” Bolsonaro said in the White House Rose Garden Tuesday, according to CBN.

Bolsonaro is only three months into his first term and has been nicknamed “Trump of the Tropics” for his brash rhetoric and desire to bring conservative reform to Brazil. Bolsonaro’s critics claim he uses “misogynistic and homophobic” rhetoric and wants to take away land rights from indigenous people.

The Brazilian politician also discussed the stabbing that almost cost him his life when he was a leading candidate in his country’s presidential election in 2018. The man who allegedly stabbed him was a former member of a socialist political party and sympathizer of radically left leaders.

“Doctors who attended to me said that for every 100 stabbings of the kind I endured, only one person survives. So, I am a survivor and owe my life to God. It was His will for me to live,” Bolsonaro told CBN.

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared iterim president Juan Guaido and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro speak during a press conference at Palace Itamaraty on February 28, 2019 in Brasília, Brazil. (Photo by Andressa Anholete/Getty Images)

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared iterim president Juan Guaido and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro speak during a press conference at Palace Itamaraty on February 28, 2019 in Brasília, Brazil. (Photo by Andressa Anholete/Getty Images)

Prompted by Bolsonaro’s White House visit, progressive U.S. lawmakers piled on criticism of the Brazilian leader after decrying U.S. action in Venezuela against Maduro.

Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar wrote on Twitter Tuesday that Bolsonaro has “praised torture,” “called refugees ‘scum of the world,’” “compared same-sex adoption to pedophilia,” “expressed admiration for Brazil’s military dictatorship” and “called for extrajudicial killings.”

“We must call out human rights abuses worldwide,” concluded Omar, who is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

This was not the first time Democratic lawmakers expressed concerns about Bolsonaro. California Rep. Ro Khanna, former Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison (whom Omar succeeded) and 16 others wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling Bolsonaro a “far-right extremist” before his election, reported Politico. They also claimed Bolsonaro said he would not accept defeat should he lose the election.

Brazil recognized Guaido over Maduro in January. Maduro compared Bolsonaro to former German dictator Adolf Hitler in a speech on Jan. 14 after he questioned the integrity of Venezuela’s elections.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

Send tips to [email protected].

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

Jon Brown | Associate Editor

The Washington Post offered Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a platform to express his opinion Tuesday for the second time in less than five months, despite the unparalleled number of journalists imprisoned by his government.

Sixty-eight journalists are imprisoned in Turkey, more than any other country in the world, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Nevertheless, in an op-ed entitled “The New Zealand killer and the Islamic State are cut from the same cloth,” Erdogan used WaPo as a soapbox from which to scold Western nations for failing to adequately distinguish Islam from terrorism.

Likening the New Zealand mosque shooter to radical Islamic terrorists, Erdogan maintained that the shooter’s motives were a distortion of Christianity and admonished that the world “must establish that there is absolutely no difference between the murderer who killed innocent people in New Zealand and those who have carried out terrorist acts in Turkey, France, Indonesia and elsewhere.” (EXCLUSIVE: A Look Inside Andrew Brunson’s Harrowing Turkish Courtroom Experience)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a ceremony marking the 104th anniversary of Battle of Canakkale, also known as the Gallipoli Campaign, in Canakkale, Turkey March 18, 2019. Cem Oksuz/Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS

“Unfortunately, Islamophobia and xenophobia, among other practices incompatible with liberal values, were met with silence in Europe and other parts of the Western world,” he continued. “We cannot afford to allow this again. If the world wants to prevent future assaults similar to the one in New Zealand, it must start by establishing that what happened was the product of a coordinated smear campaign.”

Erdogan’s op-ed was a continuation of sentiments he expressed last week at the funeral of a Turkish minister, where he condemned the entire world — and the West, especially — for rising Islamophobia and racism.

“With this attack, hostility towards Islam, that the world has been idly watching and even encouraging for some time, has gone beyond individual harassment to reach the level of mass killing,” he said, according to Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News. (RELATED: Erdogan Uses New Zealand Mosque Shootings To Condemn World For ‘Hostility’ To Islam)

The Post, which uses the slogan “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” also published Erdogan in a Nov. 2, 2018, op-ed that condemned Saudi Arabia for the murder of journalist and WaPo columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

FILE PHOTO: Presidents Hassan Rouhani of Iran, Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin of Russia hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Ankara, Turkey April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo

Presidents Hassan Rouhani of Iran, Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Vladimir Putin of Russia hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Ankara, Turkey April 4, 2018. REUTERS/Umit Bektas/File Photo

“Erdogan makes a solid point that all murderers or terrorists of innocent people should be treated alike and equally condemned,” said Jeffrey McCall, a communications professor at DePauw University who specializes in journalism ethics. “Letting Erdogan come off as all righteous, however, given his track record of curtailing free expression in his own country, is quite unnecessary.”

“It was a curious move when the Post gave Erdogan op-ed space last fall in the wake of the Khashoggi murder, but a case could be made at that time because the assassination took place in Turkey,” McCall continued. “There is no particular need now to give Erdogan a platform to broadly criticize other governments and suggesting the West is normalizing extremism.” (RELATED: Turkey’s Erdogan Wants Twitter To Silence American Critic)

“The Post, in a sense, seems to be giving Erdogan a legitimacy that is undeserved, given his own record on human rights and the many other measured voices that are available to weigh in on such a serious topic,” he added.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 19: Executive editor at The Washington Post, Martin Baron, (L) and Vanity Fair's Sarah Ellison speak onstage during "A Newspaper Editor in the Spotlight" at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 19, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Executive editor at The Washington Post, Martin Baron, (L) and Vanity Fair’s Sarah Ellison speak onstage … (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Shortly after the 2016 presidential election, WaPo executive editor Martin Baron used Erdogan as an example of the possible dangers that could befall American journalists under President Donald Trump. In remarks delivered at a Manhattan dinner party upon winning an award, Baron quoted CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, saying:

This is how it goes with authoritarians like Sisi, Erdogan, Putin, the Ayatollahs, Duterte, et al. … First the media is accused of inciting, then sympathizing, then associating—until they suddenly find themselves accused of being full-fledged terrorists and subversives. Then they end up in handcuffs, in cages, in kangaroo courts, in prison — and then who knows?

“When the press is under attack, we cannot always count on our nation’s institutions to safeguard our freedoms—not even the courts,” Baron then warned, adding, “Many journalists wonder with considerable weariness what it is going to be like for us during the next four — perhaps eight — years. Will we be incessantly harassed and vilified? Will the new administration seize on opportunities to try intimidating us? Will we face obstruction at every turn? If so, what do we do?” (RELATED: Koppel: NYT And WaPo Not What They Used To Be Thanks To Trump Vendetta)

Baron went on to emphasize the importance of “holding the most powerful to account,” and that failing to do so raises the question, “If we do not do that, then what exactly is the purpose of journalism?”

WaPo did not respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment.

Follow Jon Brown on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: 2019 World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos
FILE PHOTO: Roberto Azevedo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

March 20, 2019

By Ana Mano

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s agreement with the United States to forgo special treatment by the World Trade Organization (WTO) would apply only to future negotiations within the multilateral trade body, Director General Roberto Azevedo said on Wednesday.

For example, Brazil’s self-defined status as a “developing” country has allowed it to subsidize up to 10 percent of its agricultural output, whereas the limit for “developed” nations is 5 percent, Azevedo said.

That would not change with Brazil’s potential new status, he said at a foreign trade seminar, because the plan to forgo the special WTO status would not affect prior agreements.

After a White House meeting on Tuesday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and U.S. President Donald Trump said in a joint statement that Brazil had agreed to begin a process to relinquish special and differential treatment in WTO negotiations, in line with a U.S. proposal. In return, the United States would back Brazil’s bid to become a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a forum for rich nations.

“The proposal would only concern future negotiations and whether countries would benefit or request differentiated treatment in WTO talks,” Azevedo said.

Azevedo said the United States has proposed new criteria to differentiate among a range of countries in the “developing” category, which includes major economies such as Brazil and China along with smaller nations such as Guatemala and Honduras.

According to Azevedo, such criteria could include whether a country is a member of the OECD or the G20 group of nations, and whether its participation in total global trade exceeds 0.5 percent.

(Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Richard Chang)

Source: OANN

Chris White | Energy Reporter

The number of public record requests to the Environmental Protection Agency from major media outlets exploded shortly after President Donald Trump was elected, The Free Beacon reported Wednesday.

The New York Times made only 13 Freedom of Information Act requests during former President Barack Obama’s second term, the report notes, citing an analysis of FOIA requests dating back to 2013. The data sets show that The NYT quadrupled that number during the first year of Trump’s presidency, sending 59 FOIA requests to the EPA that year. The paper sent 100 over the course of Trump’s entire first term.

The NYT was not the only outlet that saw its FOIAs spiked. Reporters at The Washington Post, meanwhile, sent only one FOIA request to the agency during Obama’s entire second term, and have sent more than 40 FOIA requests to the EPA since 2016, when Trump was elected. (RELATED: Media Take Aim At Trump’s EPA For Doing What Obama Used To Do With FOIAs)

Then Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt walks during a picnic for military families celebrating Independence Day at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2018. Picture taken July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Politico, which reported extensively on former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s ethical troubles, filed 15 requests during Obama’s second term and 198 since Trump took office. CNN’s numbers ballooned as well — the news channel sent 25 requests during Obama’s second term and 47 since.

Pruitt’s agency haggled with waves of EPA requests dating back to the previous administration. EPA FOIA officers had responded as of October 2017, to 70 percent of the 652 requests left open at the beginning of that year, according to an agency release. Some requests had been open since 2008.

EPA received 11,493 FOIA requests in fiscal year 2017, which is the most they’ve gotten since 2007 when outside groups filed 11,820 records requests. The agency got 995 more FOIAs in 2017 than in 2016.

Follow Chris White on Facebook and Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

Kellyanne Conway on Wednesday criticized her husband for ripping into President Donald Trump and defended her boss, calling him a “counterpuncher” who shouldn’t take the attacks sitting down.

“He left it alone for months out of respect for me,” Conway, a counselor to the president, told Politico in a telephone interview. “But you think he shouldn’t respond when somebody, a non-medical professional accuses him of having a mental disorder? You think he should just take that sitting down?”

Trump’s feud with George Conway has played out with hated rhetoric on social media. George Conway last week questioned Trump’s mental health, to which the president fired back:

“George Conway, often referred to as Mr. Kellyanne Conway by those who know him, is VERY jealous of his wife’s success & angry that I, with her help, didn’t give him the job he so desperately wanted. I barely know him but just take a look, a stone cold LOSER & husband from hell!”

Kellyanne Conway told Politico her husband shouldn’t “play psychiatrist” and said the president was “obviously defending me. He could privately say to me, ‘Honey you’re a distraction. We love you. You'll always be a part of the family but go be with your kids. They need you. Go make a million dollars an hour. Go do that honey.’ It’s the opposite.”

Source: NewsMax

FILE PHOTO: Joe Biden speaks to fire fighters in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Former Vice President Joe Biden poses for a selfie after addressing the International Association of Fire Fighters in Washington, U.S., March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

March 20, 2019

By Ginger Gibson and James Oliphant

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Vice President Joe Biden has begun building a presidential campaign ahead of an expected announcement next month that he will vie for the Democratic nomination in 2020, sources familiar with his plans said on Wednesday.

Biden has told supporters and former staff that he will run, according to one source who has knowledge of discussions. Biden and his aides also have reached out to donors and potential bundlers – people who volunteer to raise money on behalf of the candidate – to assess support, according to another source.

A third source with direct knowledge of Biden’s plans offered a caveat, saying the former vice president was very close to running, but “it’s not 100 percent.”

“We’re leaning into that moment” when Biden gives the green light, the source said. Biden, the source said, feels “a very strong sense of responsibility to make sure Donald Trump is not president for a second term.”

The sources asked to remain anonymous because of the confidential nature of the ongoing discussions.

Biden all but gave away his plans last weekend when he spoke at a fundraiser in his home state of Delaware. After referring to himself as part of the field of presidential hopefuls, he corrected himself, saying instead that he could run.

An official bid by Biden could profoundly shake up the sprawling Democratic field, with more than a dozen candidates already seeking to challenge President Donald Trump, the likely Republican nominee.

After 36 years in the U.S. Senate and eight years as vice president under former President Barack Obama, Biden will position himself as the Democratic standard bearer for a party that has moved more to the left than the last time his name appeared alone on a ballot.

Public opinion polls have him as an early favorite, with nearly every measure of early support showing him leading.

But he also will enter the race as Democrats debate the future of the party, with some calling for a fresh-faced liberal to move the party forward and others hoping for a centrist who can heal national divisions. At 76, Biden will be the second oldest candidate in the Democratic primary, after Senator Bernie Sanders. Biden made two unsuccessful bids for the Democratic presidential nomination, in 1988 and 2008.

Waiting until after March 31 to announce his bid will allow Biden to avoid an April 15 deadline for candidates to submit fundraising disclosures about how much money they have raised so far.

If Biden does jump into the race in the final days of March, he would be behind those who have already posted large fundraising totals, like Sanders and former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke, who each raised about $6 million their first day in the contest.

The delay in launching also could be to allow Biden time to secure staff.

Mark Putnam, a Democratic advertising and video maker who worked for Obama and several of last year’s successful congressional candidates, was seen last weekend surveying scenes outside Biden’s childhood home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, according to the political news website Politico. He would be a top-tier hire for Biden.

Putnam crafted an ad for the unsuccessful “Draft Biden” movement that tried to convince Biden to run in 2016. His office did not respond to a request for comment about whether he is working for Biden now.

(Reporting by Ginger Gibson and James Oliphant; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

U.S. President Trump and Brazilian President Bolsonaro hold news conference at the White House in Washington
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro listens to U.S. President Donald Trump during a joint news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

March 20, 2019

By Lisandra Paraguassu and Anthony Boadle

WASHINGTON/BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro won glowing praise and conditional promises from U.S. President Donald Trump on his visit to the White House this week, yet Brazilian negotiators came away grumbling about their hosts driving a hard bargain.

Diplomats and other officials said Brazil got few immediate concessions in return for granting a unilateral visa waiver for U.S. visitors, a tariff-free quota for wheat imports and easier access for U.S. space launches from Brazil.

Bolsonaro, an outspoken Trump admirer who seemed eager to please at their first meeting, failed to win more room for Brazil’s sugar exports or overturn a U.S. ban on fresh Brazilian beef – both major objectives of the country’s farm sector.

“If this is the way forward, we might as well stay put,” said a Brazilian official directly involved in the negotiations, who requested anonymity to speak freely. “They asked for everything, but didn’t want to cede on anything.”

Reactions among Brazilians focused largely on the symbolism of the visit, with Bolsonaro supporters calling it a vindication for the iconoclastic leader and critics cringing to see him so cozy with Trump.

Yet the frustration of the Brazilian delegation reflects the deeper difficulty of overcoming trade barriers and agribusiness competition between the two countries, even as their presidents find common ground in their brash style and conservative views.

Bolsonaro celebrated his visit as the start of a new era of U.S.-Brazil friendship, playing up his admiration of Trump and their shared disdain for political correctness and “fake news,” as they often call unfavorable press coverage.

The presidents also found common ground in condemning Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and cooperating on public security and military development. Designating Brazil a “major non-NATO ally” will ease U.S. arms sales to the Brazilian armed forces, while a new technology safeguard agreement will help U.S. companies to conduct commercial space launches in Brazil.

However, in more transactional areas such as trade, the Brazilians’ goodwill offerings, such as an annual import quota of 750,000 tonnes of tariff-free wheat, were not met in kind.

“If this reciprocity does not occur, Bolsonaro’s preference for the U.S. will look naive in the future,” said Welber Barral, a former Brazilian foreign trade secretary.

Brazil’s new openness to wheat imports will mainly benefit U.S. exporters and was a slap in the face to neighboring Argentina, another major trade partner, Barral said.

He also warned that Brazil stands to face more setbacks on trade if it gives up the benefits of “developing country” status at the World Trade Organization (WTO) — the U.S. condition for supporting Brazil’s bid to join the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a policy forum for wealthier nations.

That conditional endorsement — concrete WTO concessions in return for symbolic OECD membership — left Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes visibly annoyed after his meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

“That’s no exchange. He’s making that demand,” he told journalists.

Addressing an audience at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday, Guedes also gave a hint of the sticking points that stood in the way of broader trade agreements.

“You want to sell pork? Okay, buy my beef. You want to sell ethanol? Buy my sugar. Beef for pork, ethanol for sugar, wheat for auto parts. They’re little things,” he said.

None of the exchanges he suggested were formalized in talks.

Guedes reminded the audience that China, Brazil’s top trading partner, would be ready to pick up the slack if the United States did not engage.

“They are moving in, trying to invest,” Guedes warned.

(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu and Anthony Boadle, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

Source: OANN

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

  • Progressive lawmakers who decried the U.S. decision to remove recognition from Venezuela’s socialist dictator piled on the criticism of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsanaro Wednesday.
  • Bolsonaro and President Donald Trump met in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.
  • The progressives’ position on Venezuela is very different from that of more seasoned Democratic lawmakers including Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, who agrees with the Trump administration on the issue.

Progressive lawmakers who decried the U.S. decision to recognize the rival of Venezuela’s socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro piled on the criticism of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro Wednesday after he met with President Donald Trump Tuesday.

Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar wrote on Twitter Tuesday that Bolsonaro has “praised torture,” “called refugees ‘scum of the world,’” “compared same-sex adoption to pedophilia,” “expressed admiration for Brazil’s military dictatorship” and “called for extrajudicial killings.”

“We must call out human rights abuses worldwide,” concluded Omar, who is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. (RELATED: Woman Who Climbed Statue Of Liberty To Protest Trump Sentenced To 5 Years Probation)

Democratic California Rep. Ro Khanna mirrored Omar’s stance on Twitter Wednesday.

US President Donald Trump (R) and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (L) walk down the Colonnade before a press conference at the Rose Garden of the White House March 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump (R) and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (L) walk down the Colonnade before a press conference at the Rose Garden of the White House March 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool via Getty Images)

“As Bolsonaro tours the CIA and meets Trump at the White House, we must speak out against his human rights abuses and attacks on marginalized Brazilians. Our democratic principles cannot be sidelined,” Khanna wrote along with a link to a story about the leaders’ meeting from The Washington Post.

Omar, Khanna and Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard broke with their party to criticize Trump for his decision to oppose Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro in January. The people of Venezuela have faced extreme economic hardship and crackdowns on their freedom under Maduro, who succeeded infamous socialist dictator Hugo Chavez.

Omar has called the actions of the Trump administration a “US backed coup.” She has also compared the U.S. putting pressure on Maduro to a foreign country deciding to recognize Trump’s 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton as the nation’s leader instead.

“Now if a foreign country just said, ‘Well, we think because Hillary got lots of votes, we’re just going to acknowledge Hillary as the leader of the United States.’ We would have a problem with that,” she said Feb. 27.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared acting president Juan Guaido shake hands during a joint press conference after holding a meeting at Planalto palace in Brasilia on February 28, 2019. (SERGIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declared acting president Juan Guaido shake hands during a joint press conference after holding a meeting at Planalto palace in Brasilia on February 28, 2019. (SERGIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Omar, Khanna and Gabbard’s position is very different from that of more seasoned Democratic lawmakers, including Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, a former member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Durbin sided with Trump on the foreign policy issue. He said in a Jan. 23 statement:

Last year I visited Venezuela and found a country on the verge of political, economic, and humanitarian collapse. I told then-President Maduro that if he went ahead with a sham election under absurdly rigged conditions he would find his regime even further isolated and in question. Tragically that is exactly what has happened and why President Trump, Secretary General of the Organization of American States Almagro, and other nations in the region have appropriately recognized National Assembly President Juan Guaidó as the constitutionally appropriate leader of Venezuela.

Bolsonaro gave an exclusive interview to the Christian Broadcasting Network while in the U.S.

“To a large extent, I support what Trump does; He wants to make America great, I also want to make Brazil great. I also have concerns about the indiscriminate entrance of foreigners without any criteria. But beyond this, we are both Christians and we are God-fearing men,” he told CBN in a story posted Wednesday.

Bolsonaro is only three months into his first term and has been nicknamed “Trump of the Tropics” for his brash rhetoric and desire to bring conservative reform to Brazil. Bolsonaro’s critics say he used “misogynistic and homophobic” rhetoric and took away land rights from indigenous people.

Brazil recognized Guaido over Maduro in January. Maduro compared Bolsonaro to former German dictator Adolf Hitler in a speech on Jan. 14 after he questioned the integrity of Venezuela’s elections.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

Send tips to [email protected].

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands as they deliver joint statements during their meeting in Jerusalem
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands as they deliver joint statements during their meeting in Jerusalem March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young/Pool

March 20, 2019

By Jeffrey Heller

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showcased his close relationship with the Trump administration on Wednesday, hosting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo three weeks before an Israeli election.

Washington’s announcement that President Donald Trump, a popular figure among Israelis, had invited Netanyahu to the White House for talks and a dinner two weeks ahead of the April 9 vote was also widely seen in Israel as a boost for the right-wing Likud party chief.

Following a visit to Kuwait, Pompeo met Netanyahu in Jerusalem, where both men hailed U.S.-Israeli ties under Trump, a popular figure among Israelis and a leader whom the prime minister has featured on election billboards.

“We also know that our alliance in recent years has never been stronger,” Netanyahu said in comments to reporters, with Pompeo at his side.

Netanyahu is battling for his political survival against both a strong challenger in centrist candidate Benny Gantz and against plans by Israel’s attorney-general to indict the prime minister, now in his fourth term, in three corruption cases.

Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and portrayed himself in the election race as a leader with a wealth of international diplomatic experience that Gantz, a former armed forces chief and novice politician, cannot match.

“I look forward to my visit next week to Washington, where I will meet with President Trump, and I believe we can carry this relationship even stronger,” Netanyahu said. “It’s getting stronger and stronger and stronger.”

Angering Palestinians and drawing international concern, Trump broke with decades of U.S. Middle East policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017 and moving the American Embassy, which Pompeo will visit on Thursday, to the city last May.

Pompeo, in his remarks, said the Israeli people should have confidence that Trump – who is due to present a peace plan after the Israeli ballot – will maintain a “close bond” with Israel.

“I know that you and the president have an outstanding working relationship,” Pompeo said, addressing Netanyahu. “He sent me here to build upon that and to represent him here.”

Netanyahu said he and Pompeo, at the start of their discussions, examined how to “roll back Iranian aggression” in the region.

Pressure on Iran, Netanyahu said, must be intensified now that the United States has reimposed sanctions on Tehran following Washington’s withdrawal from a 2015 deal with world powers to limit the Iranian nuclear program.

Pompeo and Netanyahu later attended a meeting in Jerusalem with leaders from Cyprus and Greece on the construction of a 2,000 km (1,243 mile) gas pipeline linking vast eastern Mediterranean gas resources to Europe through those countries and Italy at a cost of $7 billion.

Lebanon – Pompeo’s next stop – has warned its Mediterranean neighbors that the planned EastMed pipeline must not be allowed to violate its maritime borders.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump addresses members of U.S. military during refueling stop in Anchorage, Alaska
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump introduces U.S. Army Bronze Star recipient Sgt. Sean Rogers after calling him onstage while addressing members of the military during a refueling stop at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S., February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

March 20, 2019

By Mike Stone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Defense is proposing to pay for President Donald Trump’s much-debated border wall by shifting funds away from projects that include $1.2 billion for schools, childcare centers and other facilities for military children, according to a list it has provided to lawmakers.

The Pentagon gave Congress a list on Monday that included $12.8 billion of construction projects for which it said funds could be redirected.

Around 10 percent of the list relates to educational establishments and includes school buildings for the children of service members in places like Germany, Japan, Kentucky and Puerto Rico.

The move comes as a surprise given the Trump administration’s oft-touted support for the sacrifices made by military families and suggests the White House’s desire to build a wall on the border with Mexico outstrips nearly all other issues.

However, of the $1.2 billion in projects related to education, approximately $800 million worth are far in the future, and those funds could readily be used for wall construction and replaced later.

The Pentagon told Congress that just because a project was listed, it “does not mean that the project will, in fact, be used” as a funding source to build sections of the border wall.

Trump earlier in March asked for $8.6 billion in his 2020 budget request to help pay for his promised wall on the U.S-Mexico border to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking. It drew swift criticism from Democrats.

He declared a national emergency in a bid to fund the wall without congressional approval, a move that allows his administration to use money from the military construction budget, if needed.

In a tense Congressional hearing last week, Democratic senators demanded that they be provided a list of military funds that could be utilized to fund wall construction.

Military officials have vowed that they would not use any funds from military housing. A recent Reuters investigation https://reut.rs/2t1Y2UA found thousands of U.S. military families were subjected to serious health and safety hazards in on-base housing, prompting moves from lawmakers to improve landlord controls.

But elementary and middle schools on bases around the world serving military families are at risk of suffering from the funding diversion, as well as a new engineering building and parking garage at West Point, the Army’s military academy in New York state.

Joint Base Andrews, where the president’s Air Force jet is based, was slated to receive $13 million for a “Child Development Center,” but funding for that project is on the list.

The base currently has three child development centers serving the 12,000 to 14,000 active and reserve military stationed there.

(Reporting by Mike Stone; Editing by Chris Sanders and Rosalba O’Brien)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Trump addresses members of U.S. military during refueling stop in Anchorage, Alaska
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump introduces U.S. Army Bronze Star recipient Sgt. Sean Rogers after calling him onstage while addressing members of the military during a refueling stop at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S., February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

March 20, 2019

By Mike Stone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Defense is proposing to pay for President Donald Trump’s much-debated border wall by shifting funds away from projects that include $1.2 billion for schools, childcare centers and other facilities for military children, according to a list it has provided to lawmakers.

The Pentagon gave Congress a list on Monday that included $12.8 billion of construction projects for which it said funds could be redirected.

Around 10 percent of the list relates to educational establishments and includes school buildings for the children of service members in places like Germany, Japan, Kentucky and Puerto Rico.

The move comes as a surprise given the Trump administration’s oft-touted support for the sacrifices made by military families and suggests the White House’s desire to build a wall on the border with Mexico outstrips nearly all other issues.

However, of the $1.2 billion in projects related to education, approximately $800 million worth are far in the future, and those funds could readily be used for wall construction and replaced later.

The Pentagon told Congress that just because a project was listed, it “does not mean that the project will, in fact, be used” as a funding source to build sections of the border wall.

Trump earlier in March asked for $8.6 billion in his 2020 budget request to help pay for his promised wall on the U.S-Mexico border to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking. It drew swift criticism from Democrats.

He declared a national emergency in a bid to fund the wall without congressional approval, a move that allows his administration to use money from the military construction budget, if needed.

In a tense Congressional hearing last week, Democratic senators demanded that they be provided a list of military funds that could be utilized to fund wall construction.

Military officials have vowed that they would not use any funds from military housing. A recent Reuters investigation https://reut.rs/2t1Y2UA found thousands of U.S. military families were subjected to serious health and safety hazards in on-base housing, prompting moves from lawmakers to improve landlord controls.

But elementary and middle schools on bases around the world serving military families are at risk of suffering from the funding diversion, as well as a new engineering building and parking garage at West Point, the Army’s military academy in New York state.

Joint Base Andrews, where the president’s Air Force jet is based, was slated to receive $13 million for a “Child Development Center,” but funding for that project is on the list.

The base currently has three child development centers serving the 12,000 to 14,000 active and reserve military stationed there.

(Reporting by Mike Stone; Editing by Chris Sanders and Rosalba O’Brien)

Source: OANN

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi doesn’t support the Green New Deal resolution that’s backed by Democratic lawmakers and presidential candidates, according to Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib.

Tlaib, a Democrat and Green New Deal supporter, told Fox 2 Detroit that Pelosi’s lack of support for the Green New Deal and Medicare for All hadn’t stopped progressives from pushing those bills.

“What’s incredible is like, even if she’s not jumping up and down about Medicare for All, we’re still proceeding with Medicare for All,” Talib said in an interview that aired Tuesday night. “Is she endorsing Green New Deal? No, but that hasn’t stopped us.”

The Green New Deal was introduced by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey in February. The resolution calls for fundamentally transforming the U.S. economy to fight global warming and expand the welfare state. (1 In 5 Americans Blame Global Warming For Cold Winter Weather)

Republicans derided the Green New Deal as “socialist,” but Democratic leadership also gave the resolution a cold reception. Pelosi called it the “green dream or whatever,” and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer plans on having his caucus vote “present” on the resolution.

U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib questions Cohen during House Oversight hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) questions Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney of U.S. President Donald Trump, as he testifies before a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts.

U.S. President Trump walks down Capitol steps with Speaker of the House Pelosi after they attended luncheon at U.S. Capitol in Washington

U.S. President Donald Trump walks down the U.S Capitol steps with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) after they both attended the 37th annual Friends of Ireland luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst.

“It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive,” Pelosi told Politico in February. “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?”

Democrats want to make climate change a top issue in 2020, but there’s disagreement on how to move forward with legislation. Moderate Democrats favor a piecemeal approach while those on the far-left favor Ocasio-Cortez’s sweeping plan.

Republicans see the Green New Deal as an electoral boon that can be tied to vulnerable Democrats in the next election cycle. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans on bringing the Green New Deal to a vote by the end of the month, which Democrats oppose.

Pelosi’s office did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Follow Michael on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

Henry Rodgers | Capitol Hill Reporter

2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke once floated El Paso, Texas’s lax law enforcement as the key to the city’s safety.

The Texas Democrat said in 2012 El Paso was the safest city in the country with a population over 500,000.

“It may be because you have very progressive law enforcement officials here who refuse to enforce federal immigration laws,” O’ Rourke said in a 2012 interview with In These Times after he won the Democratic primary for a congressional seat he later went on to win.

“Regardless of status” El Paso’s key is to make sure everyone feels welcome, O’Rourke told the magazine and touted “the really strong, family-centric values that you have in immigrant communities.” O’Rourke also said the southern border is the “safest part” of Texas, but that barriers or walls are not the reason for low crime.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke addresses a campaign rally at the Pan American Neighborhood Park on Nov. 4, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“The border is the safest part of the state. But for so many, the border has become this convenient foil to look tough on crime, tough on immigration, tough on these Mexicans who want to come and take our jobs and our benefits, and give our kids drugs,” O’ Rourke continued.

O’Rourke has since claimed that the U.S.-Mexico border wall is the reason why there has been an increase in the number of migrants that have died illegally entering into the country. (RELATED: Beto O’Rourke Thinks People Have Died Because Of The Border Wall)

“The number of people dying at the U.S.-Mexico border in some years has grown,” O’Rourke said during a town hall in El Paso in December. “In some years has grown because it’s connected to that wall that we have already built that pushes people who are at their most desperate and vulnerable to ever-more inhospitable stretches of the Chihuahuan Desert.”

O’Rourke will have to defeat a long list of Democratic candidates to take on President Donald Trump in the 2020 general election.

Follow Henry Rodgers On Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

Henry Rodgers | Capitol Hill Reporter

2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke once floated El Paso, Texas’s lax law enforcement as the key to the city’s safety.

The Texas Democrat said in 2012 El Paso was the safest city in the country with a population over 500,000.

“It may be because you have very progressive law enforcement officials here who refuse to enforce federal immigration laws,” O’ Rourke said in a 2012 interview with In These Times after he won the Democratic primary for a congressional seat he later went on to win.

“Regardless of status” El Paso’s key is to make sure everyone feels welcome, O’Rourke told the magazine and touted “the really strong, family-centric values that you have in immigrant communities.” O’Rourke also said the southern border is the “safest part” of Texas, but that barriers or walls are not the reason for low crime.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke addresses a campaign rally at the Pan American Neighborhood Park on Nov. 4, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“The border is the safest part of the state. But for so many, the border has become this convenient foil to look tough on crime, tough on immigration, tough on these Mexicans who want to come and take our jobs and our benefits, and give our kids drugs,” O’ Rourke continued.

O’Rourke has since claimed that the U.S.-Mexico border wall is the reason why there has been an increase in the number of migrants that have died illegally entering into the country. (RELATED: Beto O’Rourke Thinks People Have Died Because Of The Border Wall)

“The number of people dying at the U.S.-Mexico border in some years has grown,” O’Rourke said during a town hall in El Paso in December. “In some years has grown because it’s connected to that wall that we have already built that pushes people who are at their most desperate and vulnerable to ever-more inhospitable stretches of the Chihuahuan Desert.”

O’Rourke will have to defeat a long list of Democratic candidates to take on President Donald Trump in the 2020 general election.

Follow Henry Rodgers On Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller


Current track

Title

Artist