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Donald Trump withdraws US from Paris climate accord

Withdrawal from 2016 agreement, in line with president’s election campaign promise, could take up to four years.

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The US is withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, President Donald Trump has announced at a White House Rose Garden speech.

Before the announcement, Trump informed Congress about his decision preparing Republican legislators with arguments and lines to take in the face of an expected blowback.

Trump said it was his solemn duty to protect “America and its citizen” and thus “the US will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, but begin negotiations to re-enter the Paris accord or a new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States”.

“So we are getting out, but we will start to negoatiate and see if we can make a deal that’s fair”, Trump added. He described the Paris climate Accord as an “agreement that is disadvantageous to the US to the exclusive benefits of other countries”.

Trump announced that as of Thursday, “the US wil cease all implementation of the Accord and the draconian measures [it] imposes on our country”. This also means canceling all contributions to the Green Climate Fund “whic is costing the US a vast fortune”.

Trump also said he could not “in good conscience support a deal that punishes the US and that poses no punishment for the world’s great polluters”.

According to the rules of the 2016 Paris deal, stepping out of its provisions will be a lengthy process that could take up to four years.

Trump’s withdrawal from the accord fulfils a major campaign promise and is in line with his America First policy as laid out before being elected president.

Trump’s promise has drawn condemnation from many corners of the world.

“Climate change is not a fairy tale,” Antonio Tajani, European Parliament president, said on Wednesday.

“People die or are obliged to leave their homes because of desertification, lack of water, exposure to disease, extreme weather conditions.”

Jean Claude Juncker, European Commission president,warned that quitting the Paris agreement is not a straightforward process.

“The Americans can’t just leave the climate protection agreement,” Juncker announced in Germany on Wednesday.

“Mr Trump believes that because he doesn’t know the details.”

Juncker said it is the “duty of Europe” to tell the US how the agreement works.

Earlier on Thursday, China said it will keep up its end of the Paris climate change accord, even if the US pulls out from the agreement.

Li Keqiang, China’s prime minister, said his country will continue to work with the EU and other countries to uphold the deal.

Speaking after bilateral talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, Li said it was “also in our interest … to work step by step towards sustainable development” and environmental protection together with the international community.

WeForNews and news agencies

America

Trump declares North Korea ‘extraordinary threat’

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Washington, June 23 : US President Donald Trump cited an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to American national security as he maintained long-standing economic restrictions on North Korea, including the freezing of any assets in Washington, a media report said.

An official declaration, contained in a notice to Congress, came on Friday despite Trump’s assertion this month that his June 12 historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons threat, reports The Washington Post.

Harsh economic restrictions will continue for one year under the declaration Trump signed Friday.

The paperwork keeps in place restrictions first imposed a decade ago by President George W. Bush.

The ban on the transfer of any American assets by North Korea’s leaders or its ruling party has been extended or expanded several times by former President Barack Obama and Trump himself in response to North Korean missile tests and other actions.

“The existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula (and the actions and policies of the government of North Korea… Continue to constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the US,” Trump wrote in the declaration.

Friday’s development comes in contrast to a tweet on June 13 where Trump said: “Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office… There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.”

The move follows as the US and South Korea cancelled two more training exercises on Friday, reports the BBC.

The Pentagon said the goal was to support diplomatic negotiations.

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America

FBI should have informed me of Manafort investigation: Trump

Manafort has been under house arrest since he surrendered to the FBI in November 2017 after being indicted by a federal grand jury as part of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, tasked with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections.

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Washington, June 4 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has questioned the fact that the FBI did not inform him about the investigation of his then campaign manager Paul Manafort ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

“As only one of two people left who could become President, why wouldn’t the FBI or Department of ‘Justice’ have told me that they were secretly investigating Paul Manafort (on charges that were 10 years old and had been previously dropped) during my campaign?” Trump said on Sunday on Twitter.

“Should have told me!” The President also said that Manafort joined his campaign “very late” and that he worked with him for “a short period of time,” specifically, between June and August 2016, Efe news reported.

Manafort has been under house arrest since he surrendered to the FBI in November 2017 after being indicted by a federal grand jury as part of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, tasked with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections.

The indictment charged Manafort with conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts and being an unregistered agent of a foreign principal, among others.

Manafort had to step down as Trump’s campaign manager after it was discovered that he had failed to report receiving a $12.7 million payment for providing counsel to deposed pro-Moscow Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych (2010-2016).

Manafort’s trial, after he pleaded not guilty to the charges at a court appearance on October 30, 2017, is set for July 24 in the state of Virginia.

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Ex-English teacher finds errors in White House letter

According to the former teacher, the letter she received did not address her concerns.

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New York, May 28 (IANS) A retired English teacher found many errors in a White House letter bearing President Donald Trumps signature and mailed it back after making corrections, a media report said.

The letter, dated May 3 and printed on White House stationery, was addressed to Yvonne Mason, 61, who retired in 2017. After she made the corrections, she snapped a picture, posted the letter on Facebook and mailed it back to the White House.

“It was a poorly worded missive,” she told The New York Times on Sunday.

“Poor writing is not something I abide. If someone is capable of doing better, then they should do better.”

Mason, a Democrat who lives in Atlanta, had written to Trump to ask that he visit each family of those who died in the shooting that killed 17 people at a school in Parkland, Florida, in February.

“I had written to them in anger, to tell you the truth,” she said. “I thought he owed it to these grieving families.”

According to the former teacher, the letter she received did not address her concerns.

Instead, it listed a series of actions taken after the shooting, like listening sessions, meetings with lawmakers and the STOP School Violence Act, a bill that would authorise $500 million over 10 years for safety improvements at schools but had no provisions related to guns.

Some of the things Mason wrote in the letter were: “Have y’all tried grammar & style check?”

“Federal is capitalised only when used as part of a proper noun.”

There was more, but she did not correct everything.

“I did not mention the dangling modifier… I focused mainly on mechanics,” Mason told The New York Times.

“Nation” was capitalised, so was “states”. She circled both the words.

The letter stood in contrast to other letters she has received from politicians, Mason said.

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, sent “beautiful” letters that struck a tone that “makes me more important than him”, she said.

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