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Theresa May does ‘not agree’ with US ban on refugees



Theresa May

Jan 29: British Prime Minister Theresa May does “not agree” with President Donald Trump’s refugee ban and will appeal to the US if the “extreme vetting” affects British citizens.

May on Saturday was criticised for refusing to condemn Trump’s executive order banning refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, the BBC reported.

The order has halted all refugee admissions and has temporarily barred citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen from entering the US. Trump has also banned Syrian refugees indefinitely.

At an earlier news conference in Turkey, May said it was up to the US to decide its own policy.

May’s refusal to openly challenge the ban had prompted criticism from politicians, including Conservative MPs.

Heidi Allen, Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire, tweeted: “Strong leadership means not being afraid to tell someone powerful when they’re wrong.”

Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn said the Prime Minister showed “weak failure” in standing up for British values, adding Trump’s order as shocking and appalling.



US police prepare for protests if Trump fires Mueller



Donald Trump

New York, April 20: Police in the US city of Pittsburgh are preparing for rioting should President Donald Trump fire special counsel in Russia probe Robert Mueller, a memo said.

A memo from the police commander instructed detectives to bring riot gear to work “until further notice”, the BBC reported. The internal email said “there is a belief” that Trump will soon fire Mueller, prompting “large-scale” protests.

“The protest would be semi-spontaneous and more than likely happen on short notice,” police commander Victor Joseph wrote in the email obtained by CBS News.

“Beginning Thursday, all major crimes detectives are required to bring a full uniform and any issued protective equipment (riot gear) with them to work until further notice.”

Democratic advocacy group has organised the demonstration in Pittsburgh if Mueller is fired, but according to CNN, it is unclear if the police memo was a result of the planned protest.

“We are getting ready in Pittsburgh to respond quickly and forcefully to a clear obstruction of justice,” the group’s online event page said, adding that emergency protests are planned in major cities across the US.

More than 2,300 people have registered to participate in the protest so far, according to the Pittsbrugh Post-Gazette.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto confirmed that the memo had been sent to the city’s detectives.

On Twitter, Peduto responded to critics of the move, saying it was an internal email and they have no inside information on what the President might do. “The conspiracy theories are borderline crazy,” the mayor tweeted.

City officials say the decision was just a precaution and not due to any insight on Trump’s plans, the BBC reported.

Mueller is leading an investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

Mueller’s investigation is also looking at whether there was collusion between Trump’s campaign team and Russian agents to influence the 2016 election.

The President denies any wrongdoing, and has repeatedly expressed his frustration with the inquiry.

Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said: “In this case, we have not assessed the credibility of the potential for disturbances, and we do not have any knowledge of the president’s decision-making process.”


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Trump’s tactics in diplomacy: Boosts Pompeo’s image, secures America’s interests



Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump boosted the caliber of CIA director Mike Pompeo who traveled to North Korea to meet with leader Kim Jong Un, a secret visit undertaken by him to lay the groundwork for the planned upcoming historic summit between the two leaders.

President confirmed on Wednesday that he dispatched Pompeo to Pyongyang last month to meet with Kim to prepare on the denuclearisation agenda of the summit, which Trump hopes to persuade North Korea to abandon nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States.

The Kim dynasty has ruled North Korea since 1948 for three generations and Kim Jong-un has clear and long-term goals of achieving the status of a nuclear state which is a key to their grip on power at home and securing his regime from external threats posed by the United States and its allies.

The main reason behind posting a tweet was to provide an evidence for the Senate that Mike Pompeo is perfect diplomat capable of handling highly sensitive negotiations, which is Trump’s choice to replace the ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

During his Senate confirmation hearing last week, Pompeo said his main aim would ensure “an agreement so that the North Korean leadership will step away from its efforts to hold America at risk with the nuclear weapon and Kim should not think of any relaxation on sanctions until he dismantles the nuclear weapons.

Republicans have a narrow Senate majority and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are opposing Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the panel could be forced to take the unusual step of sending the nomination to the full Senate without a favorable recommendation.

The meeting will likely take place in late May or early June but the location is yet to be ascertained.Sites including Washington, Beijing, Seoul and Pyongyang have been ruled out rather the location that is neutral to both sides are being considered and possible locations for the summit include Geneva or any other venues in Europe or Asia.

Trump, currently hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago, said that if he felt that the meeting with Kim Jong-un will not be fruitful, he will cancel or walk out of the meeting.”If I think it’s a meeting that is not going to be fruitful, we’re not going to go,” Trump said .”If the meeting, when I’m there, is not fruitful, I will respectfully leave the meeting.”

Pompeo also raised the case of the three American prisoners with Kim in North Korea. Trump said his administration is working “very diligently” on the release of three Americans and also the unresolved cases of at least 13 Japanese who were abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 1980s, one of Abe’s top priorities and an issue of intense emotional power in Japan.

White House officials said Pompeo’s conversations in Pyongyang has fueled Trump’s belief that productive negotiations were possible.Pompeo’ssecret trip to North Korea was arranged by South Korean intelligence chief Suh Hoon with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yong Chol, and was intended to assess whether Kim was serious about giving up his nuclear weapons program or not.

Earlier in 2000, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with Kim Jong Il, the current leader’s late father, to discuss strategic issues.and in 2014, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. traveled to Pyongyang to secure the release of two American captives. Prior to Trump-Kim summit, South Korean President Moon Jae-in is scheduled to meet Kim Jong-un at Panmunjom on April 27. If the summit goes well, it will be the start of a long process of negotiations that could pave the way for a deal to end the standoff over North Korea’s nuclear weapons.

The first and foremost priority will be the denuclearisation of North Korea and another agenda will be pushed by South Korea for a more permanent peace agreement on the Korean Peninsula, potentially involving the U.S. and China, to replace the armistice that ended the Korean War.

The 1953 armistice was signed by North Korea, China, and the U.S.-led United Nations forces, of which South Korea was a part.

South Korea’s presidential chief of staff, Im Jong-Seok, who is leading Seoul’s preparatory committee for the inter-Korean summit, has said that South Korea has already arranged the “backbone” of the joint statement which is likely to be signed with North Korea.

South Korea is leaving no stone unturned to make the inter-Korean summit a success and also making an attempt to increase summits including a trilateral summit involving South Korea, North Korea and the US.

Contrary to his predecessors, Trump adopted an aggressive posture of rhetoric and by asking North Korea directly to dismantle nuclear program rather than asking for returning to six-party talks, has been successful in compelling North Korea to first implement actions on denuclearisation rather demanding concessions.

Abe said Trump’s “unwavering conviction, as well as his determination,” have made talks with North Korea possible.
Abe made it clear that Without denuclearisation, no concessions will be given, “Maximum pressure should be maintained, and actual implementation of concrete actions toward denuclearization will be demanded.”

It was the initiative of South Korean President Moon that diplomatic channels were started with Kim Jong-un and the opportunity was wisely utilized during Winter Games, held in PyeongChang in February in which North Korean athletes took part.

A high-ranking South Korean delegation led by Chung Eui-Yong, the head of the presidential national security officials met the North Korean dictator in Pyongyang in March 2018 aimed at reducing nuclear tensions and paved the way for US talks.

“Most of all, I will deliver President Moon Jae-in’s sincere and firm resolution to maintain the dialogue and improvement in relations between the South and the North, which were fostered on the occasion of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula,” Chung said.

Blog : By Arti Bali,

(Senior Journalist)

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Sexual crimes against minors in India up 500%: CRY




New Delhi, April 19: Crimes against minors have soared 500 per cent over the past 10 years in India, says a new analysis by Child Rights and You (CRY).

CRY has done a cumulative analysis which revealed a rise of sexual crimes against children to 106,958 in 2016 as against 18,967 in 2006.

“More than 50 per cent of crimes against children have been recorded in just five states: Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and West Bengal,” said a CRY statement.

According to the NGO, while Uttar Pradesh topped the list with 15 per cent of recorded crimes against children, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh came close at 14 and 13 per cent respectively.

“It is also a matter of grave concern that in 11 out of 36 states and union territories (UTs), more than 50 per cent of the offences against children are sexual offences and in 25 out of 36 states and UTs more than one-third of the crimes against children are sex crimes,” it added.

The National Crime Records Bureau data of 2016 suggests that crimes against children in India have increased by 14 per cent from 2015.

As per a 2016 analysis of crimes under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, sexual offences accounted for one third of all crimes against children in India.

According to it, a sexual offence is committed against a child in India every 15 minutes.

All crimes under POCSO Act constitute around 33 per cent of total crimes against children. The number of sexual offences registered against children increased by an alarming 300 per cent over the last five years.

The report comes amid widespread anger over incidents of rape throughout the country.

An eight-year-old girl from a nomadic group in Jammu and Kashmir was found raped and murdered in January while the body of a nine-year-old girl was found in Gujarat with 86 injury marks.

Two incidents of rape of minors were reported on Thursday — from Uttar Pradesh and Odisha.


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