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Trump ready for US shutdown to last ‘for years’

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Donald Trump Trade War
US President Donald Trump (File Photo)

Washington, Jan 5: US President Donald Trump has said he is prepared for a partial shutdown of the US government — now entering its third week — to last years.

After meeting top Democrats, he also said he could declare a national emergency to bypass Congress and build a US-Mexico border wall, the BBC reported.

Trump insisted he would not sign any bill without wall funding, which Democrats adamantly oppose.

Around 800,000 federal workers have been without pay since December 22.

The Republican president initially gave a positive account of Friday’s meeting at the White House, describing it as “very productive”.

But then he acknowledged in response to a journalist’s question that he had threatened to keep federal agencies closed for years if necessary.

“I did say that, absolutely I said that,” said Trump in the executive mansion’s Rose Garden. “I don’t think it will but I am prepared.”

“I’m very proud of doing what I’m doing,” the president added. “I don’t call it a shutdown, I call it doing what you have to do for the benefit and safety of our country.”

When asked whether he had considered using emergency presidential powers to bypass congressional approval of funding, Trump said he had.

“I may do it. We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly. That’s another way of doing it.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday’s meeting had been “contentious”.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told reporters: “We told the president we needed the government open. He resisted.

“In fact he said he’d keep the government closed for a very long period of time. Months or even years.”

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Disaster

Iran’s Khamenei says all must help fight ‘tragic’ virus resurgence

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Ali Khamenei

Everyone must help fight the “tragic” resurgence of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says.

Speaking in a video conference to parliamentarians, Khamenei stated that Iran’s “enemies” fail to achieve their “anti-Iran goals” despite strong pressure on Tehran.

Earlier, Khamenei criticized the US for using “knee on neck” policies on the whole world and also accused the US of creating COVID-19.

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Disaster

China raises flood response to 2nd-highest level

The water level in Taihu Lake, the country’s second-largest freshwater lake, has risen above the alert level for 15 consecutive days, said the MWR.

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Flood in China

Beijing, July 12 : China on Sunday raised the emergency response for flood control to Level II, the second-highest in the response system, as heavy rains continued to lash vast stretches of the country.

Since July 4, alert-triggering floods have been observed in 212 rivers nationwide, among which 19 topped previous water level records, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) as saying.

By Sunday afternoon, floods in 27 provincial regions, including Jiangxi, Anhui, and Hubei had resulted in the deaths or disappearance of 141 people, and 2.25 million emergency relocations this year.

Around 28,000 homes were flattened and 3.53 million hectares of crops affected, with the direct economic loss at 82.23 billion yuan ($11 billion).

The water level in Taihu Lake, the country’s second-largest freshwater lake, has risen above the alert level for 15 consecutive days, said the MWR.

China’s State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters also lifted the emergency response to Level II later Sunday, following its last upgrade from Level IV to Level III on July 7.

The announcement came after Poyang lake, China’s largest freshwater lake located in Jiangxi province, saw its water level at the Hukou station nearing the guaranteed level of 22.5 metres at 4 p.m. on Sunday, indicating an extraordinary emergency of flood control.

Due to severe flooding, the headquarters, the Ministry of Emergency Management, and the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration on Sunday allocated disaster-relief supplies to Jiangxi, Hunan, and Guizhou.

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Thousands march in UK in support of Black Lives Matter

The Sussex force said the man was arrested and became aggressive towards officers before being placed on the ground.

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Black Live Matter Protest Brighton

London, July 12 : Some 5,000 people took to the streets of UK’s Brighton city in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, the media reported.

Large crowds of demonstrators set off from the city’s Palace Pier on Saturday afternoon, with many carrying signs that read “Decolonise everything” and “Defund the police”, the Metro newspaper reported.

Protesters shouted “black lives matter every day” and “UK is not innocent” as they walked together along the seafront and were serenaded by a string quartet as they passed the Brighton war memorial.

Congregating at The Level, thousands of demonstrators called out together: “It is our duty to do this every day. It is our duty to fight for racial justice. It is our duty to win. We are stronger together.

“We are here with love, peace and solidarity. We have nothing to lose – too many have already lost too much.”

Saturday’s march came days after footage of a young man being held down by police emerged, according to the Metro newspaper report.

He shouted “I can’t breathe” during the incident, complaining that one of the officers was putting pressure on his neck.

The Sussex force said the man was arrested and became aggressive towards officers before being placed on the ground.

The incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Saturday’s demonstration follows mass anti-racism protests across the world in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American who died under police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

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