At least 15 injured as driver ploughs truck into crowd in Swedish capital; authorities have one person in detention
Trump ordered the attack on the airfield in northern Syria believed to be where a sarin attack was launched that killed at least 72 civilians, including many children
While Israel, Saudis, Syrian rebels delight at the attack on Assad’s Shayrat air base, one airstrike does not make for a new foreign policy
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
Palm Beach, Florida (CNN) President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping established a new framework for high-level negotiations on a range of issues and pledged to make progress on trade negotiations within the next 100 days during meetings here Thursday and Friday, top US officials said.
|WV Legislature Approves Medical Marijuana Bill
Posted: 07 Apr 2017 12:34 PM PDT
The bill received final approval in the West Virginia Legislature on Thursday and is headed to the desk of Gov. Jim Justice. He has publicly expressed support for legal access to medical marijuana and is expected to sign the bill into law, making West Virginia the 29th state to adopt an effective medical marijuana law.
SB 386, titled the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, charges the Bureau of Public Health with regulating medical marijuana growers, processors, and dispensaries. Patients with specifically listed qualifying medical conditions will be allowed to use extracts, tinctures, and other preparations of marijuana, but not marijuana in flower or leaf form. This differs from the original version of the bill and the medical marijuana programs in most other states. A summary of SB 386 is available at http://bit.ly/2nbUAq3.
MPP issued the following statement in a press release:
For the love of my woman
I would do most anything
She brought forth the fruit
Of our love, ignoring the pain
Her heart is so tender
Like the touch of her hand
Balancing the teaching of our child,
Tutor, Mommy and friend
O Lord, please grant me to be worthy
Of the love of this your Angel
You have sent me from Your home
Lord, please grant me the wisdom,
Knowledge, strength, good sense and love
To be the man, teacher and Daddy
To the offspring of our love
O Lord, thank you for your grace
Kindness and tender mercy
Of this woman whom I love
Thank you o Lord for sending me
Your Angel adorned in your love
I pray I be found worthy in your eyes Lord,
Of the love of this woman, my sweetheart, my bride
Lightning is pretty in the sky at night
It flutters and flashes from the heavens on high
A power from God only an atheist could deny
The beauty is awesome, the power, a fright
Like the fingers of God stretched across our domain
The thunder adjoins like the clapping of God’s hands
When the lightning strikes close
It will scare the hell out of a mortal man
Do not seek shelter from the beauty
Underneath of a tree
If you feel the hairs of your back stand high
Fall on your face and pray that you will not soon be fried
Please take it from me, your brother and friend
If one of God’s fingers touches you
And you are blessed to survive the fright
You’ll never again stand in the open, enjoying the sight.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)
“It is in our vital national interest to prevent the use and spread of chemical weapons,” the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, told the U.N. Security Council during a special meeting on the strikes. She added that she had warned the council on Wednesday that the United States might act alone.
“Assad did this because he thought he could get away with it,” Haley said of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “He thought he could get away with it because he knew Russia would have his back. That changed last night.”
But Russia condemned the strikes against its ally in Damascus and said it was suspending an agreement to minimize the risk of in-flight incidents between U.S. and Russian aircraft operating over Syria.
President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said the risk of confrontation between warplanes of the U.S.-led coalition and Russia in the skies over Syria has “significantly increased” after President Trump ordered the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Shayrat in retaliation for a chemical attack that killed more than 70 civilians.
U.S. military officials said they warned the Russians in advance that they were not the target of the missile attacks launched early Friday from the USS Ross and USS Porter, and that Russian forces did not attempt to use their advanced air-defense systems in Syria to stop the U.S. missiles.
The two countries have traded information about flights by a U.S.-led coalition targeting the Islamic State and Russian planes operating in Syria in support of the Assad government, to avoid accidents and misunderstandings, an effort known as “deconfliction.” The Russian Defense Ministry said Friday it was suspending the pact effective at midnight, because it sees the U.S. strike “as a grave violation of the memorandum.”
U.S. military officials said they continued to communicate with the Russians before the deadline, including after the attack.
“There’s someone who is on the other end who is talking to us,” a senior U.S. military official said Friday.
But the Kremlin’s decision to suspend the 2015 memorandum of understanding on the air operations immediately ratcheted up tensions further, even as Russian officials hoped the strike against Assad’s forces would not further sour U.S.-Russian relations already in a deep chill.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled to visit Moscow next week in what was to be an attempt to reset relations with Moscow and lay out U.S. positions on a variety of issues, including Ukraine and suspected attempts by Russia to meddle in the U.S. presidential election. Now, however, the prospects for the meeting have been overshadowed by the fallout from the strikes, which Russia’s U.N. envoy called an “illegitimate action by the United States.”
“The consequences of this for regional and international stability could be extremely serious,” Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said during the U.N. Security Council debate.
“The U.S. has often talked about the need to combat international terrorism,” Safronkov added, yet it attacked the Syrian air force, which he claimed is leading that fight in Syria.
“It’s not difficult to imagine how much the spirits of terrorists have been raised by this action from the United States,” he said.
And Syria’s representative, Deputy Ambassador Mounzer Mounzer, called the United States and its allies, Britain and France, “the three colonialists” who, he said, pursue hypocritical ends in the Middle East.
The Russian government and some critics in the United States have questioned whether it is clear that the Syrians launched chemical weapons, rather than the suspected nerve agent being dispersed by other means such as a conventional bomb hitting a chemical storage facility on the ground. But U.S. military officials said they have high confidence that they know what happened.
“We know the routes that the aircraft took, and we know these aircraft were overhead at the time of the attack,” one senior U.S. military official said of the chemical weapons strike Tuesday.
The Pentagon released images Friday that it said showed the blast site where the Syrian bomb carrying a chemical weapon, likely sarin, detonated on Tuesday. Military officials said the staining on the road around the blast site crater is indicative of a chemical weapons attack. It was launched about 6:50 a.m., and a Russian-made aircraft piloted either by Syrians or Russians carried out an airstrike later in the day on a nearby hospital where many of the victims were taken for treatment, military officials said.
Senior U.S. military officials said they are investigating whether the Russian military participated in any recent chemical weapons strikes against civilians in Syria. But the officials said they do not yet have any information suggesting that the Russians did so.
The Syrian regime has increasingly faced pressure from opposition forces and was in danger of losing control of Hama air base in northwestern Syria, the officials said. The installation is believed to be used as both a base for Syrian helicopters and as a manufacturing facility for barrel bombs.
On March 25, a chlorine attack was launched in Hama, and a second chemical weapons attack of an undisclosed kind of gas was launched March 30, one senior U.S. military official said. That escalated to the attack Tuesday, in which the Syrians launched their largest chemical weapons attack since 2013, he said.
“This escalatory pattern of using industrial chemicals, to using suspected chemical munitions, to verified chemical munitions, caused us obviously great concern about the direction this was going,” the official said.
In Congress, lawmakers called for a response to the chemical weapons attack that could include punitive measures against Russia, Assad’s chief sponsor in his war effort.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested Friday that he would look favorably on a proposal to step up sanctions against Russia, Iran and others who support the Assad regime’s war effort in Syria — a measure that passed in the House last year but was never taken up in the Senate.
Putin has been supplying Assad’s army with warplanes and other reinforcements that the United States believes have been used in attacks on Syrian civilians.
But McConnell deferred to the Trump administration as to whether those sanctions would be necessary — unless bipartisan support for such a move in the Senate is considerable.
“If they [the administration] feel they need additional sanctions, or we can come up with something that seems to enjoy bipartisan support, I’d be open to it,” McConnell said. “The Russians are not out friend.”
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS)
China-US relations should bring more benefits to people: Xi
VISITING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday called on China and the United States to bring the two peoples more benefits as the world’s two biggest economies develop ties.
Addressing a welcome banquet hosted by US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania, Xi said he and Trump held good talks earlier in the afternoon, reaching important consensus for the development of China-US ties.
The two countries are willing to expand cooperation in trade and investment, diplomacy and security, law enforcement and cyber security, cultural and people-to-people exchanges on the basis of mutual respect and benefit, said Xi.
He also urged the two countries to manage differences and address sensitive issues in a constructive way.
During the speech, Xi expressed his readiness to lead, together with President Trump, people who have good wishes and passion to upgrade China-US relations.
Trump congratulated Xi on his achievements in leading China’s development, and the international respect Xi earned in the process.
Trump said he had a good discussion with Xi in their first meeting, exchanged opinions on a wide array of topics, and established a warm personal rapport.
Xi arrived in the southeastern US coastal town of Palm Beach on Thursday afternoon, starting his first meeting with Trump in a bid to push forward China-US relations from a new starting point.
The two leaders exchanged in-depth views with each other on major global and regional issues of common concern. They are to further their discussion on Friday.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI DAILY NEWS)
Xi says ready to boost China-US ties from new starting point with Trump
CHINESE President Xi Jinping said here Thursday that he is ready to work with his US counterpart, Donald Trump, to push forward China-US relations from a new starting point.
While meeting with Trump at the latter’s Florida resort of Mar-a-Lago, Xi said there are “a thousand reasons to make the China-US relationship work, and no reason to break it.”
Since the normalization of China-US relations 45 years ago, the bilateral relationship, even though experiencing ups and downs, has made historic progress and brought enormous and pragmatic benefits to the two peoples, Xi said.
The Chinese president said it takes political resolve and historical commitments from leaders of both countries to enhance the bilateral relations in the 45 years to come.
Xi also invited Trump to pay a state visit to China in 2017.
Xi said he has maintained frequent contacts with Trump through phones and letters for some time, and is glad to meet Trump here as his guest.
A sound bilateral relationship will benefit not only the two countries and peoples, but also the world at large, he stressed.
He added that cooperation is the only right choice for China and the United States, saying that the two countries are capable of becoming great cooperative partners.
The Chinese president also underlined the role of four newly-established high-level mechanisms for dialogue and cooperation between China and the United States in such areas as diplomacy and security, economy, law enforcement and cyber security, as well as social and people-to-people exchanges.
Xi urged the two countries to set up a cooperative priority list for early harvest, advance negotiations on the bilateral investment treaty, and explore the pragmatic cooperation in infrastructure construction and energy, among other areas.
He also said the two sides should properly handle sensitive issues, manage and control differences in a constructive manner, and strengthen communication and coordination in major international and regional affairs.
China and the United States should expand their cooperation in addressing global challenges, such as non-proliferation and the fight against cross-border crimes, Xi said.
Xi called on the two counties to strengthen communication and coordination in such multilateral mechanisms as the United Nations, the Group of 20 and APEC, so as to jointly safeguard world peace, stability and prosperity.
For his part, Trump accepted the invitation for a state visit to China with pleasure, and hoped to make the trip at an early date.
The United States and China bear heavy responsibilities as major countries in the world, he said, adding that he is full of expectations for the meeting and hopes to establish a sound working relationship with Xi for the greater development of bilateral relations.
The two heads of state also informed each other of their current priorities in domestic and diplomatic agenda, and exchanged views on regional hot-button issues.
Upon their arrival at Mar-a-Lago, Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, were greeted by Trump and US First Lady Melania.
Before the in-depth, friendly and long-time conversation between Xi and Trump, the two couples also enjoyed the singing of a traditional Chinese ballad and the recitation of Chinese ancient poems by Trump’s grandchildren.
Xi arrived in the southeastern US coastal town of Palm Beach earlier in the day for the first meeting with Trump, in a bid to chart the course of bilateral ties in a new era.