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Donald Trump Hits Out At Republicans Telling Them: ‘You Don’t Have My Back!’

James Tennent
                   © Getty  

US President Donald Trump has criticised his Republican colleagues by saying that they were not doing enough to “protect” him.

“It’s very said that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their President,” Trump tweeted after another post calling investigations into Russian interference in the last election “phoney”.

“As the phoney Russian Witch Hunt continues, two groups are laughing at this excuse for a lost election taking hold, Democrats and Russians!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

In the last few days, Trump has been active on social media, as he dismisses the crises still unfolding in only his sixth month of presidency. On Saturday (22 July), he once again attacked Hillary Clinton, eight months after his election victory.

Donald Trump walking towards Air Force One© JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images Donald Trump walking towards Air Force One  

Also, there was another Twitter dig at his own party came on Saturday when the president wrote: “The Republican Senators must step up to the plate and, after 7 years, vote for Repeal and Replace. Next, Tax Reform and Infrastructure. WIN!”

Trump’s overhauling agenda has been slowed by the realities of Washington politics. After a tight push to get the bill through the House of Representatives, efforts to pass a bill replacing Obama’s signature health care policy fell apart.

Republicans on the right of the party argued that the bill did too little to scrap the Affordable Care Act while more moderate senators in the party wanted a less drastic change. The Congressional Budget Office has produced a series of scores for the evolving Republican health care bill that continually shows millions of Americans losing health coverage under the plans.

Trump promises to reform the tax system and create a huge infrastructure bill have been stymied by the continuing failures to progress with health care. (IBT)

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Russia Demands Return Of Diplomatic Property From U.S |The Republican News

 Russia is demanding the immediate return of diplomatic properties seized by the Obama administration after claims Moscow hacked the US election.
The Kremlin has accused the United States of setting conditions on the return of the compounds in New York and Maryland.

Former president Barack Obama ordered their seizure in December as well as the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats.

Russia has vehemently denied any involvement in election hacking.

Deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov will meet US undersecretary of state Thomas Shannon to try to thrash out a solution on Monday.

His boss, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, was also reported as saying on a visit to Belarus that “anti-Russian feeling” in the United States meant it was not certain that Moscow and Washington could agree on key global issues.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “We consider it absolutely unacceptable to place conditions on the return of diplomatic property, we consider that it must be returned without any conditions and talking.”

President Putin and President Trump met at a summit in Hamburg last week© Reuters President Putin and President Trump met at a summit in Hamburg last week

President Vladimir Putin raised the issue with Donald Trump when they met for the first time at the G20 summit in Hamburg this month.

Mr Obama said he was ordering the ban due to US intelligence reports of Russian hacking and an alleged influence campaign to sway the US presidential election in Mr Trump’s favour.

He said Moscow was using the compounds for “intelligence-related purposes”.

The Russian President held off from retaliating at the time and said he would wait to see how Mr Trump reacted after he came into the White House.

However, hopes that Mr Trump will soon act on his campaign pledges to boost relations have faded as any ties to Moscow have become toxic.

The White House has faced a maelstrom of US investigations into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Russia is intensifying its threats that it could now retaliate by blocking a country house and a storage facility used by the US Embassy in Moscow.

Mr Lavrov said last week: “If Washington decides not to solve this issue, we will have to take counter actions.”

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova complained that the US was also refusing to issue visas for Russian diplomats to replace those expelled. (Sky News)

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US Patriots Missiles Deployed In Lithuania For NATO Drills |The Republican News

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A battery of the US-made Patriot ground-to-air missiles has been deployed in Lithuania as the NATO military alliance is readying for war games near the country’s border with Russia.

Lithuania’s Defense Ministry announced on Tuesday that the missile system would be used in the upcoming NATO exercises, called Tobruq Legacy 2017.

The ministry hailed the deployment as a sign of “the firm engagement of the United States to ensure Lithuania’s security and its readiness to send strategic capability to the region.” Authorities said the Patriot system would return to the United States after the drills end on July 22.

NATO’s multi-national war games will involve troops from Britain, the US, Lithuania and Poland. That comes against the backdrop of increasing tensions between the NATO and Russia. Moscow has repeatedly accused Western governments, mainly the US, of using the military alliance to spark a new arms race in the Baltics and the Balkan region. The Russians say NATO’s eastward expansion toward Russia’s borders is a serious threat to Russia’s security.

The row between NATO and Russia escalated three years ago when deep political developments in Ukraine led to a full-fledged conflict east and south of the country. More than 10,000 have been killed in the war in Ukraine’s industrial east, where Russia is accused of supporting militants. Russia denies any involvement and blames the entire mess on the US and allies.

NATO’s war games in Lithuania come as Russia is planning to hold massive drills in September. The action will be held in Belarus and Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave which borders Lithuania and Poland and hosts nuclear-capable Iskander missiles since last year. Patriot system is designed to intercept tactical ballistic missiles, low-flying cruise missiles and aircraft.

(Source: PressTV)

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U.S Transparency Bill To Expose Illicit Funds From Nigeria, Others |RN

Image result for USA and Nigeria flag

Corporate Transparency Bill introduced in the U.S. Congress last week may force disclosure of Nigerians and other nationals who run shell companies registered in the United States.

The bipartisan bill, ‘Corporate Transparency Act of 2017’, introduced by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat, and co-sponsored by Congressman Peter King, a Republican, will compel disclosure of beneficial owners “to prevent wrongdoers from exploiting United States corporations and limited liability companies for criminal gain”.

Both legislators represent New York, a city that has been cited in several investigative reports as one of the prime destinations for illicit financial flow from Nigeria.

The bill enjoys the support of members of the Financial Services Committee of the U.S. Congress, law enforcement agencies, 44 anti-corruption advocacy groups, and 27 investors whose combined asset are in excess of $855 billion.

The bill comes as the Federal Government Wednesday agreed to a Federal High Court ruling to publish names of treasury looters in the country.

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, had told State House correspondents shortly after the ruling that the Federal Government was aware of its responsibility for full disclosure but would follow due process.

He said, “I want to place on record that we have in place the Freedom of Information Act and government is fully aware of its responsibility arising from that legislation. So, the government will, at the appropriate time, make necessary disclosures, perhaps intermittently, against the background of the prevailing conditions relating to the tendency of certain suits and associated things.”

Nearly two million companies are registered in the United States every year. The bill will amend current incorporation law which often demands only basic information from proprietors and typically does not ask for the names of beneficial owners.

In her introduction, Congresswoman Maloney said: “criminals have exploited the weaknesses in state formation procedures to conceal their identities when forming corporations or limited liability companies in the United States.”

“They then use the newly created entities to commit crimes affecting interstate and international commerce such as terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, tax evasion, securities fraud, financial fraud and acts of foreign corruption,” she added.

Congresswoman Maloney’s speech to U.S. Congress on June 28 coincides with the recent uptick in Nigeria’s campaign for transparency in the financial sector. Speaking in Abuja on June 5 at the Conference on Promoting International Co-operation in Combating Illicit Financial Flows, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, observed that the Thabo Mbeki-led High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa singled out Nigeria as the source of most of the illicit fund flows out of Africa.

“The Thabo Mbeki report shows that most of the illicit funds’ flow that comes out of Africa are from Nigeria and that shows us very clearly especially the security agencies that we simply have to do more. It is evident that so much money is leaving our shores.

“There is no way the transfer of this assets can happen without a handshake between the countries that they are transferred and the international banking institutions in the countries in which they are transferred, there is no way it will happen without some form of connivance,” Mr Osinbajo said.

While the acting president called for criminalising financial institutions, Akere Muna of the International Anti-Corruption Conference Council, who also chaired the conference, drew attention to Mbeki report’s emphasis on the need for transparency in all segments of financial transaction as the key to combating all “aspects of illicit financial flows.”

Speaking at the conference, Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, stressed the long-term commitment needed to combat cross-border illicit financial transactions.

“We’re still collaborating with other nations of the world to repatriate funds stolen from Nigeria 20 years ago”, she said.

“Anonymous shell companies have become the preferred vehicle for money launderers, criminal organisations, and terrorist groups because they can’t be traced back to their true owners,” she said, adding that “the U.S. is one of the easiest places in the world to set up an anonymous shell company.”

“Frankly, it’s an embarrassment. We need to fix this gaping hole in our national security and listen to law enforcement who is requesting these changes.”

Ms. Maloney who was joined by Stefanie Ostfeld, Deputy Head of Global Witness’ U.S. office; Greg Baer, President of The Clearing House Association; and Rick Fulginiti, retired Price George’s County detective and Chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police’s National Legislative Committee, among others however, assured that once the Corporate Responsibility Law takes effect, criminal organisations that are infamous for using anonymous shell companies, both foreign and domestic, to open bank accounts, launder money and will no longer be able to escape oversight and thwart law enforcement.

The Corporate Transparency Bill 2017 will empower United States Treasury Department to issue regulations requiring corporations and limited liability companies to file information about their beneficial owners.

The bill also stipulates that Treasury Department will collect beneficial ownership information for corporations registered in states that choose not ask for such information.

The bill when it becomes law would also establish minimum beneficial ownership disclosure requirements, the beneficial owners’ name, current address, and details of their non-expired passport or state-issued driver’s license must be recorded at the time of registration. False, fraudulent or incomplete beneficial ownership information will attract civil penalties. (The Sun)

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U.S Allies Give Blunt Reviews Of Trump’s Foreign Trip |The Republican News

 

Gregory Korte
US President Donald Trump (front row C) reacts as he stands by (front row from L) Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, (back row from L Romanian President Klaus Werner Iohannis, Slovakia's President Andrej Kiska and Iceland's Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson, during a family picture during the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit at the NATO headquarters, in Brussels, on May 25, 2017.© MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images US President Donald Trump (front row C) reacts as he stands by (front row from L) Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban… 

WASHINGTON — President Trump received a largely cordial welcome on the first overseas trip of his presidency. But now that he’s returned to Washington, the foreign leaders he met with are increasingly blunt in their reviews of the American president.

In separate remarks intended mostly for domestic consumption, leaders of Germany, France and Israel all sought to distance themselves from Trump, just days after meeting with the president during his nine-day foreign trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Vatican City, Brussels and Italy.

Among the sources of friction: Trump’s reluctance to unreservedly commit to the North Atlantic alliance, his skepticism of a climate change accord signed on to by his predecessor, President Obama, and outreach to Palestinians in pursuit of a Middle East peace agreement.

“It’s clear that in Europe at least, that anti-Trump position plays well domestically,” said Ivo Daalder, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO in the Obama administration. “But the larger issue is that the trip didn’t go well in Europe.”

The dynamic is partly one of Trump’s brash style. “I think what grates on European leaders is the sense that he does not treat them as equals, let alone as allies,” Daalder said. “He approaches them in this confrontational way, in an attempt to constantly get a better deal out of them.”

Trump hasn’t spoken about the trip publicly, avoiding press conferences for the entire journey. But on Twitter, he pronounced the mission a triumph. “Just returned from Europe. Trip was a great success for America. Hard work but big results!” Trump tweeted on Sunday.

The reaction abroad was more cautious:

France: New French President Emmanuel Macron said his now-famous white-knuckled handshake with Trump was a deliberate attempt to demonstrate that he wouldn’t be bullied by the American president. “One must show that you won’t make small concessions, even symbolic ones, but also not over-publicize things, either,” he told the French newspaper Journal du Dimanche“My handshake with him — it wasn’t innocent.”

Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday at a Bavarian beer hall that Europe can no longer “fully rely” on its overseas allies. On climate issues, she said, the Group of Seven meeting was “seven against one” — counting the European Union as part of the seven (and the United States as the one). Her chief political rival took umbrage at the way Trump sought to “humiliate” Merkel in Brussels. “I reject with outrage the way this man takes it upon himself to treat the head of our country’s government,” said Martin Schulz, who is challenging Merkel for the chancellorship as an “anti-Trump” candidate. He said Trump was “acting like an autocratic leader.”

United Kingdom: British Prime Minister Theresa May is upset that American intelligence officials leaked information about the Manchester concert bombing to the media. Trump acknowledged that he got an earful from May, tweeting Sunday that she was “very angry” about the leaks. “Gave me full details!”

Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has said Israel has “no better friend” than Trump, appeared to hold the president at arm’s length on Monday. Speaking to members of his conservative Likud party, Netanyahu warned that a Trump-brokered peace negotiation with the Palestinians “comes at a price.” And while he welcomed U.S. support for Israel, he emphasized that “there is no such thing as innocent gifts.”

Palestinian Authority: An Israeli television station reported that Trump shouted at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, during their meeting in Bethlehem last week yelling, “You tricked me!” and accusing the Palestinian Authority of inciting violence in the West Bank. (The Palestinians denied the report.)

Trump’s trip began in Saudi Arabia with a summit of Muslim Arab leaders — and they’re perhaps the least likely to grumble. After feeling neglected by Obama, the Saudis welcomed a $110 billion arms package and Trump’s more bellicose rhetoric toward mutual enemies like Iran and the Islamic State.

But in Europe, Trump’s “America First” foreign policy appeared to alienate other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the 68-year-old alliance intended to contain Russia — the country at the center of a growing controversy over ties to Trump aides.

At a ceremony meant to solemnize the collective defense provision of the NATO charter in Brussels, Trump failed to explicitly reassure European allies that the U.S. would come to their aid in the event of an attack. Instead, he renewed his complaints that they were not paying their fair share. (In doing so, he misrepresented the commitment by NATO allies to spend at least 2% of their economies on defense.)

And in Sicily, where leaders of the G-7 economic powers gathered, Trump continued his hard-line stance on climate and trade issues. He reportedly told Merkel that Germany was “bad” or “evil” (depending on the translation) because of its trade imbalance with the United States.

But among Trump supporters, his tough talk to foreign leaders drew raves. Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he “could not be more pleased” with Trump’s international travels.

“The trip was executed to near perfection and it appears the president has made great progress on the broad range of objectives,” he said after speaking with Trump on Sunday. (USA TODAY)

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Chinese Jets Intercept U.S Surveillance Plane: U.S Officials |The Republican News

 

P-3 surveillance plane                   © Joshua Replogle/AP Photo P-3 surveillance plane  

WASHINGTON, May 26 (Reuters) – Two Chinese fighter jets intercepted a U.S. Navy surveillance plane over the South China Sea on Wednesday, with one coming within 200 yards (180 meters) of the American aircraft, U.S. officials told Reuters.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said initial reports showed that the U.S. P-3 Orion surveillance plane was 150 miles (240 km) southeast of Hong Kong in international airspace when the Chinese aircraft carried out the unsafe intercept. One Chinese aircraft flew in front of the American plane, restricting its ability to maneuver.

The Pentagon confirmed that two Chinese jets had carried out the intercept, saying it was “unsafe and unprofessional.”

“We continue to review the facts of this incident and will convey our concerns through appropriate channels with the Chinese government,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Commander Gary Ross said in a statement.

A U.S. Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

China is deeply suspicious of any U.S. military activity around its coastline, especially in the resource-rich South China Sea, parts of which are disputed by China and its smaller neighbors, including the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Incidents such as Wednesday’s interception are not uncommon.

Earlier this month, two Chinese SU-30 aircraft intercepted a U.S. aircraft designed to detect radiation while it was flying in international airspace over the East China Sea.  (REUTERS)

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Interracial Marriage Highest It’s Ever Been In The U.S. |The Republican News

 

Janice Williams
Heather Lindsay and her common-law husband Lexene Charles stand in front of the garage door of their Stamford, Connecticut residence on February 22, 2017 that was vandalized with a racial slur on January 14, 2017. Interracial marriage is on the incline in the U.S., according to a Pew Research Center report released on May 18, 2017.© TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images Heather Lindsay and her common-law husband Lexene Charles stand in front of the garage door of their Stamford, Connecticut residence on February 22, 2017 that was vandalized with a racial slur on January 14… 

 

Fifty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled miscegenation laws–or laws preventing people of different races and ethnicities from getting married–unconstitutional. Decades later, interracial marriage is now the highest its ever been in the United States, up 14 percent compared to what it was in 1967 when the courts ruled in favor of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who were thrown in jail in Virginia for violating the state’s rules against multicultural love.

Only 3 percent of couples in the country had intermarried at the time of the ruling, but by 2015, 17 percent of newlyweds in the U.S. had a spouse from a different racial background, according to U.S. Census Bureau data reviewed by the Pew Research Center in a report released Wednesday.  The increase is the highest it’s ever been, with interracial marriages of black people nearly tripling from 5 percent to 18 percent since 1980. White newlyweds with spouses of a different ethnicity have also increased, from 4 percent to 11 percent since 1980.

Interracial marriages aren’t just up for black and white love birds. About three-in-10, or 29 percent, of Asian newlyweds living in the U.S. entered an interracial marriage in 2015, according to the report. Of those marriages, 27 percent included spouses from Hispanic or Latino decent. As for American born Asians, 46 percent married someone from a different race in 2015 while 39 percent of American born Hispanics tied the knot with a person of a different ethnicity in 2015.

Personal views toward interracial relationships and marriage have changed even more dramatically in the U.S. A separate Pew survey recently found 39 percent of adults viewed intermarriage as a “good” thing for society, compared to just 24 percent who advocated for intermarriage in 2010.

Attitudes toward mixed marriages have shifted even more drastically when considering American views on the matter back in 1990, when 63 percent of non-black adults said they would be completely or somewhat opposed to a family member marrying a black person. In 2015, only 14 percent of non-black adults surveyed said they wouldn’t agree with a relative marrying a black person.

Following the Civil War, many states, particularly ones located in the South, still had regulations that made it illegal for a white person to marry anyone other than a white person. Virginia law also prohibited residents from traveling to other states to avoid miscegenation laws, which is exactly what Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Loving, a black and Native American woman, did when they exchanged vows in Washington in 1958.

When the couple was found out by the local sheriff of Central Point, Virginia, where they lived, they chose to move to the country’s capital and later had three children. It wasn’t until they returned to Virginia for a visit in 1967 that they were imprisoned for engaging in an interracial marriage.

Their case made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled miscegenation laws violated the Constitution, most evidently the 14th Amendment. And on June 12, 1967, marriage across racial and ethnic lines was deemed federally legal in the U.S.

Some states took longer than others to adapt to the ruling. Alabama was the last state to completely lift bans against interracial marriage in 2000.   (NEWSWEEK)

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