Finland elects youngest-ever prime minister

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Finland elects youngest-ever prime minister

Sanna Marin narrowly won Sunday’s vote to replace outgoing leader Antti Rinne, who resigned on Tuesday after losing the confidence of the coalition partner Centre Party over his handling of a postal strike.

WORLD Updated: Dec 09, 2019 08:13 IST

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Helsinki
Sanna Marin narrowly won Sunday’s vote to replace outgoing leader Antti Rinne
Sanna Marin narrowly won Sunday’s vote to replace outgoing leader Antti Rinne(via REUTERS)

Finland’s Social Democrats elected a 34-year-old former transport minister to the post of prime minister on Sunday, making her the youngest head of government in the country’s history.

Sanna Marin narrowly won Sunday’s vote to replace outgoing leader Antti Rinne, who resigned on Tuesday after losing the confidence of the coalition partner Centre Party over his handling of a postal strike.

“We have a lot of work to do to rebuild trust,” Marin told reporters on Sunday night, while deflecting questions about her age.

“I have never thought about my age or gender, I think of the reasons I got into politics and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate.”

At 34, Marin also becomes one of the world’s youngest state leaders, ahead of Ukraine’s prime minister Oleksiy Honcharuk, who is currently 35.

Former PM Antti Rinne had headed Finland’s centre-left five-party coalition since June, and Marin’s appointment is unlikely to lead to significant policy changes by the Social Democrat-led administration.

“We have a shared government program which we have committed to,” Marin said.

The SDP won April’s legislative elections on promises to end years of economic belt-tightening introduced by the Centre Party to lift Finland out of a recession.

Rinne stepped down after several weeks of political crisis over a plan to cut wages for 700 postal workers.

Finland’s postal service withdrew the reform plans in November after widespread strikes, but questions emerged over whether or not Rinne had previously endorsed the cutbacks, leading to the Centre Party declaring it had lost its trust in the prime minister last Monday.

Parliament is expected to formally swear in the new prime minister on Tuesday.

Brazil: Bolsonaro Harasses Argentina

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL’S 247 NEWS)

 

Bolsonaro harasses Argentina and cancels minister’s move to Fernández’s inauguration

In an unprecedented move, Jair Bolsonaro decided to hostile Argentina, Brazil’s largest importer of industrial products, and canceled Minister Osmar Terra’s move to the inauguration of Alberto Fernández and Cristina Kirchner on Tuesday.

Alberto Fernández
Alberto Fernández (Photo: Agustin Marcarian / Reuters)
 

247 – Brazil ‘s Minister of Citizenship Osmar Terra was inaugurated by Alberto Fernández and Cristina Kirchner on Tuesday (10) canceled by Jair Bolsonaro. Brazil should not have representatives at the ceremony. The information comes from the local Clarín newspaper.

In early November Bolsonaro said the government would not send anyone into possession, but changed his mind and said Osmar Terra would represent Brazil in Argentina.

Alberto Fernández has invited former president ousted by the recent coup in Bolivia, Evo Morales, and former president Lula. 

On Thursday (5), the elected president of Argentina met with the president of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies, Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ), and other parliamentarians: Aguinaldo Ribeiro (PP-PB), majority leader, Paulo Pimienta (PT-RS), PT leader, Baleia Rossi (MDB-SP), MDB leader, Elmar Nascimento (DEM-BA), Democrat leader, Orlando Silva (PCdoB-SP), Sérgio França Danese, Brazilian Ambassador to Argentina; and Marcelo Dantas, Maia International Relations advisor.

Clarín reported that the presence in the delegation of Maia Paulo Pimenta and Orlando Silva, both left, bothered Bolsonaro.

Brazil: Lula is the most viable alternative against neo-fascism

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL’S 247 NEWS OUTLET)

 

Datafolha reveals that Bolsonaro melts in the presidency and that Lula is the most viable alternative against neo-fascism

“In normal times, Lula would be summoned by those who helped strike him to rescue Brazil from the abyss and rebuild the project of a Brazilian civilization. But will there be such greatness on the part of the scammers? And more than that, there will be ‘ permission “of imperialism for Brazil to liberate itself? Seeing in 2020, “says journalist Leonardo Attuch, commenting on the Datafolha survey

 

Bolsonaro reaches the end of the first year of his tenure with the worst rating of an elected president since the return to democracy, as someone who negatively affects the image of Brazil in the world as a character whose word can not be trusted and as someone who does not behaves as presidential decorum requires . That is: even if his fall was temporarily halted due to some economic relief, data revealed this Sunday by Datafolha indicate that he melts in the presidency of the Republic.

The data also indicate that the perception of anti-corruption has also declined – which is natural for a government involved in the electoral orange grove and Queiroz crack schemes – and that the size of the so-called “pockets of cattle” is 14% of the population. Brazilian . That is: this would be the size of the hard core of pockets, which today deceives a smaller number of Brazilians, who seem tired in the face of so many insults that come from Brasilia and such grotesque governance from the point of view of civilization.

What could save Bolsonaro would be an economic drag, but the signs in this field are still contradictory. Although unemployment has fallen relatively, gains in perceived welfare are limited due to the precariousness of new vacancies and lower incomes. Aside from this, the devalued real contributes to higher inflation, especially of food, which affects the poorer population, which today rejects and feels betrayed by pockets.

As Marcos Coimbra, director of Vox Populi says, at the end of the year, what sustains Bolsonaro is only time. “Most of the population, indifferent to politics and misinformed, think it is too early to decree that it is no good. If government time were not yet small, the demands would be higher and patience less. Incompetence would not be excused as a result. of inexperience or ‘novelty’, he says, in an article published here in 247.

The question that arises before Brazilians, especially those who imagine themselves to be “elite”, is that it is felt to maintain, in the name of a neoliberal policy that promises only a chicken flight, the support of an unreliable president. without decorum and that crumbles the image of Brazil in the world. More than that, someone who is perceived abroad as a threat to civilization.

And so we come to the trap in which Brazil has been placed in recent years. The one who raised Brazil’s image in the world and led the government best rated by most Brazilians, former President Lula, was the target of an intense campaign of hatred, driven by local prejudices and major international interests, but still remains the same. most viable name to defeat Brazilian neo-fascism. The game, as the columnist Merval Pereira of Globo says , is polarized between Lula and Bolsonaro and projects that call themselves “center” are unfeasible.

From Bolsonaro, nothing can be expected but civilization degradation. Lula, in turn, also defined his challenge. “There is only one sense to my freedom: it is to fight for the Brazilian people to have the right to smile again in that country. To fight for the people to have the right to eat three times a day, the right to study, to have access to have the right to eat meat, “he said.

In normal times, the choice between these two poles would be obvious. Lula would be summoned by those who helped strike him to rescue Brazil from the abyss and rebuild the project of a Brazilian civilization. But is there such greatness on the part of the scammers? And, more than that, will there be the “permission” of imperialism for Brazil to liberate itself or some more forceful action of the people of Bacurau? Seeing in 2020.

Is Hillary Still Thinking about Running in 2020?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL REVIEW)

 

Is Hillary Still Thinking about Running in 2020?

Hillary Clinton, accompanied by her husband former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) and running mate Senator Tim Kaine, addresses her staff and supporters at a hotel in New York, November 9, 2016. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

My friend Maureen Callahan (who, like me, is a longtime fan of Howard Stern’s celebrity interviews, which elicit more frankness than anybody’s) says Hillary Clinton’s appearance on the Stern show amounts to her “biggest hint yet that she’s mulling a 2020 presidential run.” Clinton is ostensibly on tour to promote one of those “book projects” — I didn’t say “books” — slapped together by ghostwriters that she and her daughter keep putting their names on for the apparent sole purpose of giving them a hook for television appearances. As Callahan notes, on the Stern show Clinton more or less dropped the pretense that she was there to promote a book. She was there to promote herself, and as Callahan also notes, Stern’s style provides a nearly unique opportunity for anyone who wants to come across as human and genuine. Stern thinks that Clinton’s avoidance of his show in 2016 cost her the election. She certainly could have used some help in the human-and-genuine department. Stern reaches exactly the sort of audience Hillary needs to hate her a bit less.

Where I differ from Callahan is on this point: Clinton isn’t doing anything new. She keeps saying the same thing in slightly different ways. What she’s saying is this: I am open to running again, so please, American people, beg me to get in this race. She’s doing this because she wants the pollsters to go out and see if she would vault to the top of the field. She sent her Renfro, Philippe Reines, out more than a year ago to beg pollsters and pundits to add her to the list of contenders: “It’s curious why Hillary Clinton’s name isn’t in the mix — either conversationally or in formal polling — as a 2020 candidate,” Reines said last October. “She’s younger than Donald Trump by a year. She’s younger than Joe Biden by four years. Is it that she’s run before? This would be Bernie Sanders’ second time, and Biden’s third time. Is it lack of support? She had 65 million people vote for her,” etc.

Yet the only people who want Hillary to run are comics, Republicans, Republican comics . . . . people like me. Democrats realize she blew it. Democratic fundraisers are furious with her for being such a poor candidate that she created the Trump presidency. There was an open path to the White House, she had a huge fundraising advantage, she had only token opposition from a batty old socialist in the primary, she had Barack Obama’s blessing, and she lost against a total novice because people just can’t stand her. Her token opposition turned into the siege of Leningrad. Her convention speech underwhelmed. She did not and indeed could not explain the clandestine means she set up for removing her communications from public scrutiny, committing the felony of taking classified information out of secure channels in the process. She did not and indeed could not offer a better rationale for her candidacy than a combination of “I deserve this” and “Trump is worse.”

This is not to say she won’t run. Maybe she will. Lately she has taken to skipping the part in which she persuades the public to clamor for her and has taken to claiming, with zero evidence, that she has been “deluged” with entreaties to run. “I’d have to make up my mind really quickly,” she said on the U.K.’s Graham Norton Show, “because it’s moving very fast.” She has been saying a version of this ever since 2016, making it clear that she is not retired and could be persuaded to run. Usually she says, in the same interview, some variant of “I’m not running,” meaning not currently running, and Democrats choose to hear that part of it because they’re sick of her.

But how would Hillary even run a campaign? She is now well to the right of the thinking of the party. She was instrumental to the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act. She voted for the Iraq War and continued to support it for years. She’s way too old to portray herself as a force for radical change. So she’d go after Biden voters, I guess. Maybe she sees delegates being divided among her, Biden, and three or four other candidates. Maybe she foresees a brokered convention from which she emerges as the Hubert Humphrey-style safe choice amid 1968-like chaos. Could Milwaukee 2020 be Chicago 1968? That’d be fun to watch.

Brazil: Lula and Dilma are acquitted of Janot’s farce

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BRAZILIAN NEWS AGENCY 247)

 

Lula and Dilma are acquitted of Janot’s farce over ‘quadrillion’

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and former President Dilma Rousseff were acquitted on Wednesday of the charge of joining a suspected criminal organization, known as the “quadrillion”. Decision is of the judge Marcos Vinicius Reis Bastos, of the 12th Federal Court of the DF. The magistrate indicated the “attempt to criminalize political activity” by the improper accusation

 

247 – Former presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff were acquitted on Wednesday of the charge of joining a suspected criminal organization, which became known as the “quadrillion”. 

The decision is made by Judge Marcos Vinicius Reis Bastos, from the 12th Federal Court of DF. In his sentence the magistrate says that the Federal Public Prosecution’s complaint “reflects an attempt to criminalize political activity” and provides no evidence of the involvement of former presidents in the charges. 

Also exonerated from the prosecution were former ministers Antonio Palocci and Guido Mantega, and former PT treasurer João Vaccari Neto. 

“In the face of an impartial judge, we were able today to acquit @LulaOficial briefly . The magistrate of Brasilia has indicated the” attempt to criminalize political activity “by the improper accusation known as the ‘quadrillion’ – which is part of Lawfare against @LulaOficial ‘, celebrated lawyer Cristiano Zanin Martins, who defends former President Lula. 

The charge is from 2017, and was offered to the Federal Supreme Court by then Attorney General Rodrigo Janot. The then PGR stated that between 2002 and 2016, the accused ‘integrated and structured a criminal organization operating during the period in which Lula and Dilma Rousseff successively securitized the Presidency of the Republic to commit a myriad of crimes’.

Read Judge Marcos Vinicius Reis Bastos’ decision in its entirety:

Check out Cristiano Zanin’s Twitter: 

Cristiano Zanin Martins

@czmartins

Perante um juiz imparcial, conseguimos hoje a absolvição sumária de @LulaOficial. O magistrado de Brasília indicou a “tentativa de criminalizar a atividade política” pela descabida acusação que ficou conhecida como “quadrilhão” – que faz parte do Lawfare contra @LulaOficial.

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Trump abruptly cancels NATO news conference after summit turns sour

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNBC NEWS)

 

Trump abruptly cancels NATO news conference after summit turns sour

KEY POINTS
  • President Donald Trump on Wednesday abruptly canceled a news conference that was scheduled to cap a contentious trip to the U.K. for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 70th anniversary meeting.
  • The presser was scheduled to come after a series of bilateral meetings with NATO members, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
  • Hours before it was set to start, video emerged of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau caught on a hot mic apparently mocking Trump.
GP: Donald Trump NATO Summit 191204 BRITAIN-NATO-SUMMIT
US President Donald Trump (L) and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) pose for the family photo at the NATO summit at the Grove hotel in Watford, northeast of London on December 4, 2019.
Peter Nicholls | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump on Wednesday abruptly canceled a press conference that was scheduled to cap a contentious trip to the U.K. for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 70th anniversary meeting.

“When today’s meetings are over, I will be heading back to Washington,” Trump said in a series of tweets.

“We won’t be doing a press conference at the close of NATO because we did so many over the past two days. Safe travels to all!” Trump said.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Great progress has been made by NATO over the last three years. Countries other than the U.S. have agreed to pay 130 Billion Dollars more per year, and by 2024, that number will be 400 Billion Dollars. NATO will be richer and stronger than ever before….

14.5K people are talking about this

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….Just finished meetings with Turkey and Germany. Heading to a meeting now with those countries that have met their 2% GOALS, followed by meetings with Denmark and Italy….

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….When today’s meetings are over, I will be heading back to Washington. We won’t be doing a press conference at the close of NATO because we did so many over the past two days. Safe travels to all!

14.2K people are talking about this

The presser was scheduled to come after a series of bilateral meetings with NATO members, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

Hours before the news conference was set to start, video emerged of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau caught on a hot mic mocking Trump.

Watch Trudeau, Macron and Johnson appear to gossip about Trump on hot mic

Trump offered a blunt retort when asked Wednesday about Trudeau’s comments.

“He’s two-faced,” Trump said, before adding, “I find him to be a very nice guy but the truth is I called him out on the fact that he’s not paying 2% and I guess he’s not very happy about it.” Trump has long griped about NATO members paying less than their “fair share” toward the alliance, and brought up the issue repeatedly over the two-day anniversary meeting this week.

In an audio clip later published by reporters covering the NATO event, Trump appeared to compliment himself for his harsh words toward Trudeau. “That was funny when I said the guy’s two-faced,” Trump is heard saying.

Trudeau, speaking with French President Emmanuel Macron, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, said that Trump “was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top.”

“You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor,” Trudeau said at another point in the video, raising his eyebrows and motioning with his hand for effect.

None of the politicians in the hot mic video, which emerged on social media Tuesday evening, mentioned Trump by name. But Trudeau reportedly said Wednesday that it was Trump’s surprise announcement of the location for next year’s Group of Seven summit that made “his team’s jaws drop to the floor.”

Trump revealed Tuesday that the 2020 G-7 summit will be held at Camp David in Maryland, weeks after he retreated from a plan to host it at his own Miami golf resort.

Later Wednesday, while sitting alongside Conte, Trump explained that “There’s no reason to have press conferences because you had about eight of them,” apparently referring to his lengthy prior remarks to reporters.

The hot mic gossip was the latest point of tension at the meeting, but it was far from the only dispute between leaders on display.

Macron defended his recent claim that NATO was suffering from “brain death” from critics including Trump, who had called that comment “very nasty.”

The French leader also called out Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his threat to oppose NATO’s plan for the defense of Baltic countries if it does not recognize groups Turkey deems as terrorists. The White House announced Wednesday morning that Trump had met with Erdogan during the NATO event.

UK Labour Party omits Jews from campaign video promoting minority rights

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

UK Labour Party omits Jews from campaign video promoting minority rights

Amid anti-Semitism scandal, clip posted by Corbyn mentions over 20 marginalized groups and says party ‘will value you,’ but neglects Jews

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gestures during a general election campaign visit at Whitby Leisure Centre in Whitby, northern England, on December 1, 2019. (Paul ELLIS / AFP)

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn gestures during a general election campaign visit at Whitby Leisure Centre in Whitby, northern England, on December 1, 2019. (Paul ELLIS / AFP)

UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn failed to mention Jews in an election campaign video that champions diversity and the rights of over 20 groups.

The 68-second video released Saturday features images of British people, towns and cities, along with a September speech by Dawn Butler, who holds the party’s Women and Equalities portfolio.

Butler lists various population groups, including people who are LGBT+, straight, Roma, black, white, Asian, disabled, “struggling to pay rent” or “wear a hijab, turban, a cross.” She assures that “a Labour government will value you, just be your true authentic self.”

While Jews make up 0.37 percent of the United Kingdom’s population, leaders of major Jewish groups suggested the omission was not connected to the minority’s limited electoral strength.

Jeremy Corbyn

@jeremycorbyn

This is our strength.

Embedded video

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Rather, they say, it is linked to the anti-Semitism problem in Labour’s ranks following the 2015 election of Corbyn as its leader. Corbyn, a far-left politician, has supported boycotting Israel and called Hamas and Hezbollah his friends, and he has been widely and repeatedly accused of failing to adequately tackle rampant anti-Semitism within the party’s ranks.

Jonathan Goldstein, chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, addresses the crowd in Parliament Square at the #EnoughIsEnough demonstration organized by UK Jewish leaders to protest anti-Semitism in the Labour party, March 2018. (Marc Morris/Jewish News)

Jewish Leadership Council Chairman Jonathan Goldstein told the Jewish Chronicle that the omission of Jews from the video was “extraordinary and chilling” and “shows they don’t regard the Jewish community or anti-Semitism as equal to other communities or racism of other types.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews said that in the video, “The Jewish community is ‘erased’ as a minority group worthy of their support.”

Deborah E. Lipstadt@deborahlipstadt

Labour’s campaign video: Mention of every possible religious, ethnic, gendered, sexual orientation etc. minority. Except one. Jews. Sure it was just an oversight https://twitter.com/jeremycorbyn/status/1200675327636385792 

Jeremy Corbyn

@jeremycorbyn

This is our strength.

Embedded video

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A Labour Party spokesperson told UK media: “This video launched our Race and Faith Manifesto, which includes policies to guarantee the security and well-being of the Jewish community, defend and celebrate Jewish way of life, and combat anti-Semitism in Britain and across Europe. A Labour government will maintain real-terms funding for the Community Security Trust, make attacks on places of worship an aggravated offense, and force the tech giants to tackle anti-Semitism on social media.

“We will also protect the religious rights and freedoms of Jewish people and ensure public services meet the needs of Jewish people, from coroner services conducting quick burials to proper provision of religious and culturally sensitive social care and youth services. We will also ensure wider teaching about anti-Semitism in schools so that the next generation are better equipped to recognize and challenge these prejudices.”

Corbyn last week sparked outrage by repeatedly declining to apologize for his handling of anti-Semitism in the party in an interview with the BBC.

The BBC’s Andrew Neil pressed Corbyn six times to apologize to the Jewish community, in the wake of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis’s unprecedented statement that Britain’s Jews were “gripped by anxiety” over the future of the community in the country, amid the prospect of a Labour win in the December 12 election.

After being slammed for the interview, on Wednesday Corbyn tried to tamp down the flames by saying that the party had already apologized for anti-Semitism in its ranks.

Polls suggest that just six percent of UK Jews plan to vote Labour. Nearly half say they would “seriously consider” emigrating if Corbyn — a man 87% of those polled believe is an anti-Semite — gets to Downing Street.

Jewish groups have accused Corbyn of allowing a massive rise in anti-Semitism within the ranks of the party that was once considered the natural home of British Jewry. Thousands of cases of alleged hate speech against Jews have been recorded within Labour since 2015, when Corbyn was elected to lead the party.

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Kamala Harris Drops Out Of Presidential Race

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NPR NEWS)

 

Kamala Harris Drops Out Of Presidential Race

Sen. Kamala Harris is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race after her support and funding fell in recent months.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Updated at 3:25 p.m. ET

California Sen. Kamala Harris is dropping out of the presidential race, citing a lack of funds. She informed her campaign staff of the decision on a conference call and later sent an email to supporters, in which she wrote “my campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.”

Harris’ departure, two months before voting and caucusing begin in the presidential contest, marks an abrupt end to a campaign that, for much of the winter and spring, looked like that of a top-tier presidential contender.

“I’ve taken stock, and I’ve looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days, I have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life,” Harris said in a video announcing her decision. “As the campaign has gone on, it has become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete.”

Harris kicked off her campaign in front of 20,000 supporters in Oakland, Calif., and consistently drew large crowds in Iowa, South Carolina, and other early primary states. She was among the top tier of candidates in both polling and fundraising and briefly surged toward the very top of the field shortly after the first presidential debate, when she confronted former Vice President Joe Biden about his early opposition to federal busing policies.

But that exchange was a high-water mark of sorts for her campaign, and as Harris dropped in the polls over the summer and fall, she had to lay off campaign staff and all but shutter operations in New Hampshire, and she struggled to raise money from donors.

Harris, who came from behind in the polls in her runs for both San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general, tried to stay in the race by focusing her efforts on Iowa but ultimately ended her bid exactly two months before the caucuses there.

Amid a crowded field filled with both moderate and progressive candidates, Harris struggled to carve out her own policy lane. She shifted positions several times on a defining issue for Democrats: health care. Harris initially backed the total elimination of private health insurance, only to later roll out a health care plan that allowed private plans as long as they met government standards.

Harris backtracked in several other high-profile moments, including her criticism of Biden’s anti-busing stances as a senator. She later admitted that her views of the federal government’s role in setting local policies was essentially the same as Biden’s.

Still, Harris was one of only seven candidates to qualify for December’s debate. At the moment, nine days before the deadline, no other nonwhite candidate has qualified for the debate stage.

That means that after a historically diverse field of candidates entered the Democratic primary race, the next debate is likely to consist of all white candidates.

Trump blasts French President Emmanuel Macron at NATO

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE LOS ANGLES TIMES)

 

Trump blasts French President Emmanuel Macron at NATO meeting planned to show unity

NATO Summit

President Trump during his meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in London on Tuesday.
(Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images)

President Trump lit into French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, criticizing comments the French leader made about NATO as “insulting” “very, very nasty,” and “very disrespectful.”

Trump’s comments came hours before he was scheduled to meet with Macron at the start of a two-day leaders conference of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that is supposed to stress unity for an alliance that is marking its 70th anniversary.

While Trump targeted Macron’s comments that questioned NATO’s effectiveness — something he has also done — he suggested that his greater ire stemmed from Macron’s threat to levy a 3% tax on tech companies, including American giants Facebook, Google and Amazon, a topic he and Macron have been at odds over for much of this year.

“If anybody’s going to take advantage of the American companies it’s going to be us,” Trump said. “It’s not going to be France.”

On another international economic issue, Trump continued the slow walk-back of his statement from last week that the U.S. and China were close to resolving their trade war.

“I have no deadline,” Trump said, suggesting that a new trade deal with the Chinese might not come until after next year’s election. “The China trade deal is dependent on one thing: Do I want to make it?” he said.

Trump has made a habit of clashing publicly with allies and breaking diplomatic norms during international conferences, which factored into NATO officials’ decision to keep this year’s leaders meeting short.

Trump arrived in London late Monday evening and is scheduled to depart on Wednesday.

Trump answered questions for more than 50 minutes with reporters during his initial meeting here with Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary-general, at the Winfield House, the official residence of the U.S. ambassador in the United Kingdom, located in Regent’s Park.

As Trump held forth on a variety of issues including impeachment, Russia, China trade and North Korean missile tests, Stoltenberg mostly sat watching, occasionally interjecting a comment about the importance of unity.

In addition to NATO officials, British political figures and candidates in next week’s parliamentary elections have also worried Trump would interfere in the campaign during his visit. Some conservatives here fear that Trump’s association with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Conservative Party leader, could hurt Johnson with British voters.

Trump said he would stay out of the election, but praised Johnson and insisted the two would be meeting, even though he does not have a one-on-one with the British leader on his public schedule.

“I stay out of it,” Trump said. “I think Boris is very capable, and I think he’ll do a good job.”

Trump also said he “can work with anybody” when asked about Jeremy Corbyn, the Labor Party leader who is Johnson’s chief opponent.

Macron had stirred controversy last month, worrying about NATO’s “brain death” in an interview with the Economist.

Ironically, the comments were spurred in large part by Trump’s “America First” agenda and his overall go-it-alone approach in Syria and other global hot spots that have concerned European allies about America’s reliability.

Trump called NATO “obsolete” during his campaign for president. But on Tuesday, he cast himself as the alliance’s defender, blaming Macron as an outlier while touting his own efforts to prod allies to increase the size of their defense budgets.

“Nobody needs NATO more than France,” Trump said. “We benefit the least….That’s a very dangerous statement for them to make.”

He said the United States is helping Europe protect against a foe “that may or may not be a foe,” referring to Russia. Trump took credit for pushing NATO, which was founded to counter what was then the Soviet Union, to broaden its focus to other threats.

“There are other foes out there also,” he said, further de-emphasizing Russian aggression.

Macron has tried more than other European leaders to befriend and flatter Trump. But like other allies, he has been frustrated by Trump’s rejection of the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear deal as well as his fights over trade. Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on wine and other French products in retaliation for France’s tech tax.

The public clash with an ally is hardly unusual for Trump, who has flouted diplomatic norms observed by his predecessors. During the same session, Trump also attacked domestic foes, something prior presidents have usually resisted while on foreign soil.

“In Germany, they like Obama. The reason they like Obama because Obama gave the ship away. He allowed them to take everything,” Trump said of his predecessor. “They may not like me because I’m representing us, and I represent us strong. President Obama did not represent us strong.”

“He gave everything away” to Europe, Trump said, without specifying what he was talking about. “We’re still paying the price for what he did.”

He called Democrats leading the impeachment inquiry against him “unpatriotic” and said they would be to blame if the probe causes “a cloud” on his efforts internationally.

He said he would not accept a censure resolution that would condemn his actions in Ukraine while stopping short of removing him.

“You don’t censure somebody when they did nothing wrong,” he said. “They’re what you call an investigation in search of a crime.”

Trump also weighed in on another domestic issue, the possibility that Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo would resign to run for Senate in Kansas.

Trump said Pompeo, who stood behind him while he made the comments, was doing a “tremendous job,” but “if I thought there was a risk to losing that seat, I would sit down and seriously talk to Mike.”

Many Republican leaders think there is a serious chance the party could lose the Senate seat being vacated by Pat Roberts, who plans to retire, and they have urged Pompeo to run.

Even as Trump clashed with an ally and Democrats, he continued to stress his strong relationship with American adversaries. He shrugged his shoulders when asked about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s missile tests.

“He really likes sending rockets up doesn’t he? That’s why I call him rocket man,” Trump said, again emphasizing his personal ties to the autocrat.

And even as NATO allies and American officials have complained about Turkey’s incursion in northern Syria and its decision to purchase Russian S-400 missiles, Trump undercut any attempts to rein in the NATO member country.

He praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for allowing the U.S. military to cross its airspace during the mission that led to the death of Abu Bakr Baghdadi, the founder of Islamic State. And he misleadingly blamed Obama for Turkey’s decision to buy the weapons, echoing Erdogan’s own line.

In addition to meeting Macron later today, Trump is also scheduled to hold a Republican fundraiser expected to raise $3 million, meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have tea with Prince Charles and his wife, Duchess Camilla Parker Bowles, and attend a reception with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.


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Brazil: Lula tries to resume alliances with center parties

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BRAZILIAN NEWS AGENCY 247)

 

Lula tries to resume alliances with center parties

Gradually, former President Lula tries to rebuild alliances with center-right or even center-right politicians who gave political support to his governments and former President Dilma Rousseff before the 2016 coup.

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247 – Former President Lula has returned to politics and attempted to rebuild alliances with politicians who supported his governments and former President Dilma Rousseff, according to journalist Daniela Lima, editor of the Panel, in her column . “Lula’s emissaries have begun looking for center party leaders with messages that the petist wants to talk about politics. The reception to the call has been reticent but polite. sought, there is also no hurry to reactivate contact, “writes the journalist.

“Even strong acronyms in the Northeast, where the PT is influential, hesitate. In municipal elections, they say, national polarization tends to have little impact. Lula has returned to active activity with ease. Governors of Allied acronyms are taking advantage of trips to Sao Paulo to mark meetings with the petista in his old institute “, he points out.