By Michael Birnbaum The Washington Post Paul Sonne Tues., Oct. 2, 2018 BRUSSELS—The U.S. ambassador to NATO set off alarm bells Tuesday when she suggested that the United States might “take out” Russian missiles that U.S. officials say violate a landmark arms control treaty. Although Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison’s comments were somewhat ambiguous, arms control experts said they could be interpreted to mean a pre-emptive strike against Russian missiles. Such a move could lead to nuclear war. An official familiar with Hutchison’s thinking later said she did not mean a pre-emptive strike. Still, the comments drew a furious response from the Russian Foreign Ministry. “The impression is that people making such claims are unaware of the degree of their responsibility and the danger of aggressive rhetoric,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told reporters, the Interfax news agency reported. “Who … [Read more...] about Did Trump’s ambassador to NATO threaten Russia with pre-emptive strikes?
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Trump on Monday defended his decision to revisit penalties for Chinese company ZTE Corp for flouting U.S. sanctions on trade with Iran. Reuters WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Monday (May 14) defended his decision to revisit penalties for Chinese company ZTE Corp for flouting U.S. sanctions on trade with Iran, saying the telecom maker is a big buyer for U.S. suppliers. Trump, known for his fiery rhetoric against Chinese trade practices he says hurt U.S. jobs, faced backlash from both Republican and Democratic lawmakers after he pledged to work with Chinese President Xi Jinping to help ZTE, saying too many jobs in China had been lost. The company shut its main operations after the Commerce Department banned U.S. companies from selling components to ZTE for seven years after it violated the terms of a settlement deal for illegally shipping goods made with U.S. parts to Iran and North Korea. “ZTE, the large Chinese phone company, buys a big percentage of individual … [Read more...] about Trump defends intervention to help China telecom company ZTE
Winners and losers of a Kim-Trump deal POLITICAL FUTURES - Ian Bremmer (The Philippine Star) - May 9, 2018 - 12:00am What if Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un really do make a deal? There is plenty of reason for skepticism. Why would Kim surrender the nuclear weapons program he has worked so hard to expand? Why would the US withdraw its 28,500 troops? How can Kim build a sustainable North Korean economy that relieves him of the need to blackmail his way to financial help? There are other unanswered questions. But it’s possible a meeting between Trump and Kim will produce an agreement that represents a major step forward. Maybe it begins with the release of three US citizens detained in North Korea. With a pledge to continue discussion of “denuclearization,” perhaps Kim will agree to a permanent suspension of tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles, removing the threat that North Korea can launch a nuclear … [Read more...] about Winners and losers of a Kim-Trump deal
WASHINGTON: The US Supreme Court appeared closely divided Wednesday over whether President Donald Trump had the power to block travelers from six mostly Muslim countries, in the biggest legal test of the administration's contentious travel ban. Five of the nine justices appeared convinced that Trump had not overshot his authority over immigration matters in the most recent version of the ban, which the administration claims is justified by national security concerns. Both Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy -- who often casts a swing vote -- asked skeptical questions of those challenging the ban. The court's four liberal-leaning justices honed in on the policy's focus on Muslim countries and Trump's record of anti-Muslim statements during the 2016 election. A series of lower court rulings last year highlighted those concerns and branded the measure unconstitutional, dealing what were then stunning setbacks to the new administration. But the adjusted, … [Read more...] about US Supreme Court leans toward backing Trump travel ban
By Travis M. Andrews The Washington Post Tues., Feb. 27, 2018 U.S. President Donald Trump made headlines Monday when he asserted that he would have rushed into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to help during the school shooting earlier this month that killed 17 people — even if he didn’t have a gun. During a White House meeting with governors from across the country, Trump criticized former Broward County sheriff’s deputy Scot Peterson, who stayed outside of the school during the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, Fla. Peterson has since resigned. He has also defended himself, saying through his lawyer that he thought the gunfire was outside, not inside, a building on the school’s campus. Trump feels like he would have done a better job. “I really believe I’d run in there, even if I didn’t have a weapon,” he said. Read more: Article Continued Below ‘I really believe I’d run in there’: Trump … [Read more...] about Colbert to Trump: ‘What are you going to do, run in there and stab them with your bone spurs?’