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Nikki Haley exits Trump administration with her reputation significantly enhanced

The clearest expression of her independence came in April over the question of whether the administration would impose new sanctions on Russia in response to a chemical weapons attack in Syria, which is effectively a client state of Moscow.



Trump and Nikki Haley

Chicago, Oct 10 : Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN and the highest-ranking woman official in the Trump administration, is leaving with her reputation not only intact but even significantly enhanced.

As she prepares to leave at the end of 2018 after two years at the UN, the 46-year-old daughter of Indian American Sikh parents named Namrata, Haley is being widely seen as greatly skillful in negotiating the often incendiary and capricious administration under President Donald Trump.

With six years as the governor of South Carolina before her UN assignment, Haley is the first administration official who successfully carved out a reputation for independence even while not stepping on Trump’s toes.

If anything, she exits with Trump expressing sanguine fondness for her, calling her “very special to me”.

Even though Haley charted her own course as a UN diplomat in an administration run on presidential whims, she managed rather well in not attracting unvarnished attention of her boss.

The clearest expression of her independence came in April over the question of whether the administration would impose new sanctions on Russia in response to a chemical weapons attack in Syria, which is effectively a client state of Moscow.

In an interview with CBS News on April 15, Haley had said: “Russia sanctions will be coming down. (Treasury) Secretary (Steven) Mnuchin will be announcing those on Monday if he has not already, and they will be going directly to any sort of companies that were dealing with equipment related to (Syrian leader Bashar al-) Assad and chemical weapons use.”

“So I think everyone is going to be feeling it at this point. I think everyone knows that we sent a strong message, and our hope is that they listen to us,” she had said.

The comments apparently put the White House and openly Russia-friendly Trump in a bind, prompting top White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow to say that Haley had “got ahead of the curve”, adding, “There might have been some momentary confusion about that.”

Stung by the “momentary confusion” comment, Haley swatted right back in a memorable counter — “With all due respect, I don’t get confused” — in an interview with Fox News.

That strong but succinct rejoinder from Haley was her way of saying that while she may broadly support the President’s agenda she was not going to be a pushover.

Throughout her two years as the top US diplomat at the UN, Haley managed to strike a delicate balance between executing the Trump doctrine, such as it is, and maintaining her personal credibility with world diplomats.

She may not have intended it that way originally, but once in the job, she assiduously built up her foreign policy credentials for a future presidential run.

Of course, during a West Wing announcement of her departure in the presence of Trump on Tuesday, she pre-emptively said: “I don’t have anything set where I am going to go… And I will say this to all of you that are going to ask about 2020: No, I am not running for 2020.

“I can promise you what I’ll be doing is campaigning for this one.” While saying “this one” she pointed to Trump sitting to her left.

That was as definitive as it can get in politics and, as of now, there are no expectations that she might still run for president in 2020. Even if she chooses to run in 2024, Haley would be only 52. It is unlikely that she would fade out for the next five years.

She was expected to take a break after an intensive eight years of public service during which she has emerged as a star of the Republican Party at a time when Trump snuffs all the oxygen out.

She made it a point to praise Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner during the brief West Wing media interaction for their various engagements behind-the-scenes, perhaps making sure that she can ride some of the president’s base if she does indeed run in 2024.

(Mayank Chhaya can be contacted at [email protected])


Michael Jackson cheated death on 9/11 attack



Michael Jackson 9/11 attack

London, Feb 15: Late pop legend Michael Jackson escaped death during the terrorist attack in the US in 2001.

Jackson could have been one of the victims of the 9/11 attack in which almost 3,000 people were killed when terrorists crashed planes into the Twin Towers. The singer overslept that day and missed his appointment which was scheduled to take place in the Towers, reports

“Thankfully, none of us had had a clue that Michael was due at a meeting that morning at the top of one of the Twin Towers,” the “Billie Jean” singer’s brother Jermaine Jackson wrote in his biography titled “You Are Not Alone: Michael: Through a Brother’s Eyes”.

It is also written in the biography that on the night of the attack, the King of Pop overslept after staying up late to talk to his mother Katherine.

“‘Mother, I’m okay, thanks to you,’ he told her. ‘You kept me up talking so late that I overslept and missed my appointment.'”

Despite surviving one of the world’s biggest terrorist attacks, Jackson died eight years later after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 50.


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Michelle Obama makes surprise appearance at Grammy Awards




Los Angeles, Feb 11: Former US First Lady Michelle Obama joined artistes Lady Gaga, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jennifer Lopez on the Grammy stage here to talk about the impact of music on her life.

After singer Alicia Keys, the host of the ceremony on February 10, welcomed the guests and spoke about the “shared global language” — music — she called Gaga, Smith, Lopez and Obama to join her on stage.

“From the Motown records I wore out on the South Side to the ‘who run the world’ songs that fuelled me through this last decade, music has always helped me tell my story,” Obama said to the audience that wildly cheered for her throughout her speech.

“Music helps us share ourselves. Our dignity and sorrows, our hopes and joys. It allows us to hear each other and to invite each other in. Music shows us that all of it matters.”

Prior to the strong speech, singer Camila Cabello’s opening performance made a political statement.

The “Havana” singer performed alongside Ricky Martin, Young Thug, J. Balvin, and Cuban-American jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval.

Balvin, a Colombian singer, held up a prop newspaper with the headline: “Build bridges, not walls”. He performed his famous “Mi Gente” song with Camila.

Here’s the complete list of GRAMMY winners:


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Trump expresses desire to meet Imran Khan: Pakistani Official

“There are no dates, as of now, for this meeting. A lot of preparation and homework is required before such high-level engagements are materialized,”



Trump meet Imran Khan

Islamabad, Jan 25 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has expressed his desire to meet Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, spokesperson of Pakistan’s foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Addressing the weekly briefing here, the spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said that during his recent visit to Pakistan, US Senator Lindsey Graham, discussed about Trump’s interest in meeting with Khan, however, date and venue have not been finalized yet.

“There are no dates, as of now, for this meeting. A lot of preparation and homework is required before such high-level engagements are materialized,” he said, Xinhua news agency reported.

He said that Senator Graham also met with the prime minster and foreign minister, which were useful in understanding each other’s perspective and reviewing the regional security situation. Matters of bilateral and regional interest, including Afghan situation were discussed.

Earlier in December, Trump wrote a letter to Khan, seeking Pakistan’s support and facilitation in negotiated settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan.

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