What will President's Trump’s US-Mexico border wall look like?

Seven Sharp's Tim Wilson finds out the facts on the infamous wall. Source: Seven Sharp


Topics



Trump boasts of America's might

President Donald Trump delivered a sharp rebuke of multinational authority at the United Nations on Tuesday, drawing headshakes and even laughter from fellow world leaders as he boasted of America's economic and military might.

Trump arrived late, forcing a last-minute scheduling switch, then received polite applause but also blank stares as he took his blustery brand of "America First" policies to the annual General Assembly.

Speaking in triumphal terms, Trump approached the address as an annual report to the world on his country's progress since his inauguration. He crowed that in "less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country."

Rather than applaud or indicate they were impressed, the audience began to chuckle and some broke into outright laughter. Trump appeared briefly flustered before joking that it was not the reaction he expected but "that's all right."

The moment only reinforced Trump's isolation among allies and foes alike, as his nationalistic policies have created rifts with erstwhile partners and cast doubt in some circles about the reliability of American commitments around the world.

Trump seized his opportunity to assert American independence from the international body. He was unapologetic about his decisions to engage with the erstwhile pariah North Korea, remove the U.S. from the international Iran nuclear accord and object to U.N. programs he believes are contrary to American interests.

"We reject the ideology of globalism and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism," Trump said.

He referenced a long list of U.N. initiatives, from the International Criminal Court to the Human Rights Council, that his administration is working to undermine.

"As far as America is concerned, the ICC has no jurisdiction, no legitimacy and no authority," he said. The U.S. is boycotting the Human Rights Council, arguing it overlooks abuses by some and serves as a venue for anti-American and anti-Israeli action.

Trump's denunciation of globalism drew murmurs from the room that stands as the very embodiment of the notion.

Other tense moments included his criticism of Germany's pursuit of a direct energy pipeline from Russia, which drew a dismissive headshake from a member of the U.S. ally's delegation. His mention of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar all in one breath, was received by stone-faced Saudi officials. The UAE and Saudi Arabia have been boycotting Doha since last year as part of a political dispute tearing apart the typically clubby Gulf Arab nations.

The laughter in the first moments of the address evoked a campaign line Trump frequently deployed against his predecessor Barack Obama — who embraced international engagement — suggesting that due to weak American leadership, "the world is laughing at us."

In 2014, Trump tweeted "We need a President who isn't a laughing stock to the entire World. We need a truly great leader, a genius at strategy and winning. Respect!"

In addition to the keynote speech, Trump is to chair a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the topic of countering nuclear proliferation on Wednesday. His four days of choreographed foreign affairs were to stand in contrast to a presidency sometimes defined by disorder.

Appearances on the global stage tend to elevate the stature of presidents both abroad and at home. But even before his arrival for the annual gathering of world leaders and diplomats, the desired image was being overshadowed at home by domestic political troubles, with Trump forced to confront the salacious and embarrassing.

The fate of his second Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, was cast into fresh doubt over the weekend amid a second allegation of sexual misconduct, which Kavanaugh denies.

Drama also swirled Monday around the status of his deputy attorney general. Rod Rosenstein was reported last week to have floated the idea of secretly recording Trump last year and to have raised the idea of using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. The man overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia probe and a frequent target of Trump's ire offered to resign and perhaps expected Monday to be fired. He received a stay of punishment at least until Thursday, when he is to meet with Trump at the White House.

With cable news chyrons flashing breathless updates about both Beltway dramas, news of Trump's foreign policy moves from the U.N., led by a new trade deal with South Korea, struggled to break through and disappointed White House aides.

A year ago, Trump stood at the international rostrum and derided the North Korean leader as "Little Rocket Man" and threatened to "totally destroy North Korea."

"It was a different world," Trump said Monday of his one-time moniker for Kim Jong Un. "That was a dangerous time. This is one year later, a much different time."

Trump praised Kim as "very open" and "terrific," despite the sluggish pace of progress toward denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivered a personal message to Trump from Kim after their inter-Korean talks last week in Pyongyang.

"You are the only person who can solve this problem," Moon said to Trump, relaying Kim's words.

The president said the location for a second summit with Kim is still to be determined, but officials have said Trump is holding out hope it could take place on American soil. Such a move would present a complex political and logistical challenge for the North Korean leader. Trump has often fondly invoked the Singapore summit, a made-for-TV event that attracted the world's media attention and largely received positive marks from cable pundits — reviews that were not repeated for his summit with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Helsinki the following month.

Trump and Moon on Monday signed a new version of the U.S.-South Korean trade agreement, marking one of Trump's first successes in his effort to renegotiate economic deals on more favorable terms for the U.S. Trump labeled it a "very big deal" and said the new agreement makes significant improvements to reduce the trade deficit between the countries and create opportunities to export American products to South Korea.

In both venues, U.S. officials say, Trump is expected on Tuesday and Wednesday to offer a contrast between the path of negotiation chosen by North Korea and that of Iran. Trump earlier this year bucked allies and removed the U.S. from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, citing Iran's malign influence in the region and support for groups like Hezbollah. The next round of tough sanctions on Iran is set to go into effect in November.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is in New York to attend U.N. meetings. U.S. officials said Trump is not seeking a meeting with him but is not opposed to talking if Iran requests a session.

In this Aug. 31, 2018 photo, President Donald Trump gestures while speaking at the Harris Conference Center in Charlotte, N.C. President Donald Trump is escalating his attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, suggesting the embattled official should have intervened in investigations of two GOP congressmen to help Republicans in the midterms. Trump tweeted Monday that “investigations of two very popular Republican Congressmen were brought to a well publicized charge, just ahead of the Mid-Terms, by the Jeff Sessions Justice Department.”   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Donald Trump Source: Associated Press


Topics

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

Opposition party vows to reject May's Brexit deal

Britain's main opposition Labour Party announced Tuesday it will reject Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May's proposed divorce deal with the European Union when it comes to a vote in Parliament and might support a new Brexit referendum.

The party's chief Brexit spokesman accused May's government of offering the country a choice between "really bad and even worse."

If Britain and the EU agree on a deal, it must be approved by the British and European parliaments before Britain leaves. The math on the U.K. vote looks ominous for May's government, however, because it lacks an overall majority.

Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer told Labour's annual conference that the party would vote against a Brexit deal along the lines that May is proposing because it does not meet "six tests" it has set, including protecting workers' rights and retaining access to European markets.

"We do not accept that the choice is between whatever the prime minister manages to cobble together and no deal ... between really bad and even worse," Starmer said.

Starmer said that if Parliament rejected the deal, there should be a new election on Brexit.

"If that is not possible, we must have other options," he said. "Our options must include campaigning for a public vote — and nobody is ruling out 'remain' as an option."

Starmer's suggestion that a new referendum could reverse Britain's 2016 decision to leave the EU — which wasn't in the advanced printed text of his speech — drew a standing ovation from many delegates in the conference hall.

Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn has long opposed the idea of a new Brexit referendum, saying the party must respect voters' decision to leave.

Most of the party's 500,000 members voted in 2016 to remain in the EU, but many of its 257 lawmakers represent areas that supported Brexit. Brendan Chilton of the pro-Brexit group Labour Leave argues that the party would "hemorrhage votes" if it tried to stop Britain from leaving the 28-nation bloc.

But with Britain due to leave the EU in six months, on March 29, and negotiations at an impasse, Corbyn is under intense pressure from party members to support a new public vote.

Conference delegates are expected later Tuesday to back a compromise motion leaving the option of a second Brexit referendum open but not calling for it directly.

EU leaders last week rejected the British government's blueprint for future trade ties at a fractious summit in the Austrian city of Salzburg.

May's plan seeks to keep the U.K. in the EU's vast single market for goods but not for services, in order to ensure free trade with the bloc and an open border between the U.K.'s Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland. But EU officials say that amounts to unacceptable "cherry-picking" of elements of membership in the bloc without accepting all the costs and responsibilities.

The Salzburg rebuff left May under siege from Brexit-supporting Conservatives, who want her to seek a looser relationship based on a bare-bones free trade agreement that would leave Britain free to strike new deals around the world.

For now, May is sticking by her plan. After a meeting of her divided Cabinet on Monday, May's Downing St. office said hers is "the only plan on the table ... and she remains confident of securing a deal with the EU."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Tuesday that time is tight. An EU summit next month is seen as a make-or-break moment for a Brexit deal.

Speaking in Berlin, Merkel said there were "six to eight weeks of very hard work in front of us in which we must take the political decisions."

"Of course, to a significant extent, this also depends on what Britain really wants — the discussion isn't so clear here," she said.

Ms May is sticking to her plan for cooperation with the EU, but European leaders says it won’t work.
Source: 1 NEWS


Topics

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Bill Cosby's day of reckoning arrives

Facing the possibility of prison at 81, Bill Cosby arrived at a suburban Philadelphia courthouse Tuesday to learn his punishment for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman over a decade ago in what led to the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.

Prosecutors on Monday asked a judge to give the comedian five to 10 years behind bars, while his lawyers asked for house arrest, saying the legally blind Cosby is too old and helpless to do time in prison.

Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said the former TV star planned to remain silent when given the opportunity to address the court. Cosby did not testify at either of his two trials.

The once-beloved entertainer dubbed America's Dad for his role as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on the top-ranked, 1980s-era "Cosby Show" faced anywhere from probation to 10 years in prison for violating Temple University women's basketball administrator Andrea Constand at his estate near Philadelphia in 2004.

In the years since Constand first went to authorities in 2005, more than 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct, though none of those claims have led to criminal charges.

Tuesday's sentencing was a reckoning accusers and prosecutors said was decades in the making.

"The victims cannot be un-raped. Unfortunately, all we can do is hold the perpetrator accountable," said Gianna Constand, the victim's mother, who testified Monday that her daughter's buoyant personality was forever changed after the attack.

The hearing was set to conclude Tuesday after testimony from a defense psychologist who says Cosby is no longer a danger, given his age, and should not be branded a "sexually violent predator."

Defense lawyer Joseph Green Jr. urged the judge ignore the protests and activism surrounding the case and send Cosby home.

"The suggestion that Mr. Cosby is dangerous is not supported by anything other than the frenzy," Green said as demonstrators gathered outside the courthouse.

Being labeled a sexually violent predator would make Cosby subject to mandatory lifetime counseling and community notification of his whereabouts.

On Monday, Kristen Dudley, a psychologist for the state of Pennsylvania, testified that Cosby fits the criteria for a sexually violent predator, showing signs of a mental disorder that involves an uncontrollable urge to have nonconsensual sex with young women.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said Cosby would no doubt commit similar crimes if given the chance, warning that the former TV star seemingly gets a sexual thrill out of slipping women drugs and assaulting them.

"To say that he's too old to do that — to say that he should get a pass, because it's taken this long to catch up to what he's done?" Steele said, his voice rising. "What they're asking for is a 'get out of jail free' card."

Cosby, he said, has shown repeatedly that he feels no remorse over his actions. And he said the sentence should send a message.

"Despite bullying tactics, despite PR teams and other folks trying to change the optics, as one lawyer for the defense put it, the bottom line is that nobody's above the law. Nobody," the district attorney said.

After testifying for several hours at two trials, the first of which ended in a hung jury, Constand spoke in court Monday for just two minutes.

"The jury heard me. Mr. Cosby heard me. Now all I am asking for is justice as the court sees fit," said Andrea Constand, who submitted a much longer victim-impact statement that wasn't read in court.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, which Constand and other accusers have done.

Cosby's side didn't call any character witnesses, and his wife of 54 years, Camille, was not in court Monday.

Cosby became the first black actor to star in a prime-time TV show, "I Spy," in 1965. He remained a Hollywood A-lister for much of the next half-century.

The proceedings took place as another extraordinary #MeToo drama continued to unfold on Capitol Hill, where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces allegations of sexual misconduct from more than three decades ago.

Bill Cosby Source: Associated Press


Topics


Iran video threatens missile strikes on UAE, Saudi Arabia

A semi-official news agency in Iran believed to be close to the country's hard-line Revolutionary Guard has published a video threatening the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with missile attacks.

The Fars news agency tweeted and then later deleted the video today, just days after the weekend attack on an Iranian military parade that killed at least 25 people and wounded over 60.

The video shows file footage of previous ballistic missile attacks by the Guard, then shows a graphic of a sniper rifle scope homing in on UAE's capital, Abu Dhabi, and also on Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The video also threatens Israel.

Iranian officials have blamed regional Sunni Arab countries for backing the Arab separatists they say carried out Saturday's attack in Ahvaz.

TEHRAN, IRAN, may 13, 2018: Iranian missiles outside the Islamic Revolution and Holy Defense Museum, Tehran
Iranian missiles outside the Islamic Revolution and Holy Defense Museum, Tehran. Source: istock.com