Trump Offers Mexico US$20 Million to Stop Migrant Caravan

Mexico refused Trump's offer, but sent anti-riot police to repress the caravan anyway.

After Mexican authorities used public force to stop the migrant caravan from entering Mexico from the Guatemalan border, Mexico’s Secretary of the Interior Alfonso Navarrete revealed that US President Donald Trump offered them US$20 million to stop undocumented migration.

RELATED: Mexico, Guatemala Police Suppress Migrant Caravan at Border

In interview with Radio Formula, Navarrete said Mexico’s relationship with Trump’s government has been harsh “because they’re demanding things that the country, of course, won’t accept … like stopping the migrant caravans and carry out massive deportations.”

“We were offered US$20 million to stop the migrant caravan because their arrival would be on the same dates as the day of the elections in the US. We’re not a wall for immigrants,” declared Navarrete in reference to the November 6 mid-term elections.

The secretary said Trump offered money from ‘private funds,’ not public, but the Mexican government clearly said it won’t accept “a cent of a dollar” for that purpose and won’t fall for their “dirty game.”

He also explained the government is doing efforts to incorporate immigrants to regularization programs and safeguard them from possible dangers during their journey through Mexico.

“We have delivered 80 thousand registry numbers to illegal immigrants, but limiting their stay in the country,” he said.

Even though images of security officers beating up immigrants trying to cross the border made the news worldwide, Navarrete said they were given the order to never harm them and carry out only defense actions.

Trump’s government suggested a similar offering to Mexico in exchange for deporting 17 thousand undocumented immigrants as part of an effort to “address the crisis in our southern border,” according to Katie Waldman, national security spokeswoman.

But the Mexican government didn’t accept the money to be Trump’s wall against immigrants anyway. After security forces violently prevented hundreds of immigrants from the Honduran caravan to enter the country, President Donald Trump praised Mexico’s actions and said its southern neighbor had acted in such a way because they “respect US leadership.”

“And I want to thank Mexico! Mexico has been so incredible! And the leaders of Mexico! You know why? Because now Mexico respects the leadership of the United States!” said Trump.

The US is trying to establish Mexico as a ‘safe third country,’ a filter that would be in charge of handling asylum petitions for Central American immigrants. Doing so would retain a considerable number of them, possibly fostering the appearance of refugee camps at its borders.

  • Published in World

Brett Kavanaugh: Judge or Foul Word?

The large segmentation that faces the North American society has just gone even deeper.

The New York Times commented, this Saturday, in Washington that the senate appointed Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court of the United States.

This case viewed by some as a victory of the president, ended up with investigations on inappropriate sexual behavior.

As SHERYL GAY STOLBERG wrote, the balance of the voting was 50 in favor and 48 against.

Her article pointed out that while the voting of those legislators was ongoing, in the surroundings of the Capitol demonstrators gathered and were dragged out by police officers of the White House.

While repressed by the police they shouted “This is a stain is in the history of the United States!”, “do you understand?”, yelled a woman, while she finished the voting.

After several discussions, the Republican Party supported the Kavanaugh’s appointing.

Senator Joe Manchin III from West Virginia the only democrat who backed him up.

The final result was no surprise because senators had already pronounced in this regard.

Observers say that this decision will bring serious consequences for the North American society, the Senate and the Supreme Court.

The rejection was huge, after the voting another group of demonstrators sat on the Capitol steps and shouted: “No, no, no!”, next they were restrained by police officer wearing uniform as well as civilian clothes.

Where lies one of the most controversial points in Kavanaugh’s appointing?

Women and survivors of sexual assaults feel powerless because their accusations went unheard.

A crucial moment in the debate was when the republican senator John Cornyn, from Texas in his speech qualified of “mafia tactics” referring to the activists and survivors of sexual assaults.

One of the demonstrators who came face to face with the republican senators shouted: “I am with the survivors”, “this it is a corrupt process!.”

Some of the future colleagues of judge Kavanaugh were concern on the image of the Court, as did judges Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

Judge Kagan expressed in Princeton University “people believe that the Court is not politically divided, that should not be an extension of the politics but that somehow should be above it, although that doesn't happen in all cases.”

Judge Kavanaugh will bend, further, the ideological tendency of the court towards the right and will consolidate a rigid conservative majority.

Substituted magistrate, Anthony M. Kennedy, 53 years old, “moderate conservative” could continue in the Court many more years, because of his age.

The Times added that Donald Trump, when appointing Kavanaugh in the Court, fulfilled one of the promises of his electoral campaign, scarce days before the midterm elections.

The newspaper said that the leader has used Kavanaugh process to mobilize the republican far-right and at the same time make fun of Christine Blasey Ford, an academic researcher who accused the judge of raping attempt when they were teenagers.

This case whose testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and published in The Washington Post unleashed waves of accusations that raised an FBI investigation on Kavanaugh’s conduct.

Another of his accusers, Deborah Ramírez, affirmed: “Thirty five years ago, the students of the room chose to laugh and look the other way, while Brett Kavanaugh perpetrated sexual assaults.”

And she added, now “While I see many of the senators speak and vote in the Senate, I feel like am back in Yale, where half of the room is laughing and looking the other way. Only this time, instead of drunken university students, they are the North American senators who deliberately ignore his behavior. This is how we victims get isolated and silenced.”

In his audience at the Senate, Kavanaugh defined Blasey’s accusations as “a calculated and orchestrated political coup.”

The democratic senator Chris Van Hollen, from Maryland said “at the beginning of the process she had doubts and I’m afraid that, in the end, they persist more than ever.”

He added, “Any hope that Kavanaugh is an impartial judge was shattered by his declaration during the last hearing.”

Here it is another example of the Senate in whose hands are important decisions in the political life of the United States.

Trump Threatens To Close US-Mexico Border Over Migrant "Onslaught"

Washington: US President Donald Trump threatened Thursday to send the military to close its southern border if Mexico fails to stem the "onslaught" of migrants from Central America, in a series of tweets that blamed Democrats ahead of the midterm elections.

The attack comes with Trump's Republicans fighting to retain control of Congress in the November 6 vote, and as thousands of migrants from impoverished Honduras were marching north through Guatemala toward the United States.

"I am watching the Democrat Party led (because they want Open Borders and existing weak laws) assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders are doing little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS," Trump said.

"In addition to stopping all payments to these countries, which seem to have almost no control over their population, I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught - and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!"

The tweets came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepared to embark on a tour of the region that will see him visit Mexico ahead of its December inauguration of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, as well as Panama.

Trump has made cracking down on illegal immigration and building a wall that stretches the length of the 1,954-mile (3,145 km) border a keystone of his presidency, but his animus toward Mexico had cooled since Obrador's election in July.

Despite their sharp differences, the US and Mexico have made progress on several issues, including the signing of an updated transcontinental trade pact, the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

But, possibly with an eye on November 6 polls that will determine whether Republicans retain control of Congress, Trump returned to the fiery rhetoric that has marked his past relations with Mexico.

"The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the USMCA," he said.

Caravan presses on

It was not immediately clear what form of military deployment Trump had in mind. The president announced plans in April to send thousands of National Guard troops to the border, where they could remain until his promised wall is constructed.

At least five US states later refused to send the troops amid an outcry over a policy to separate migrant children from their parents, since discontinued.

Exhausted after tramping in the sun and rain, an advance group of the Honduran migrants on Wednesday took refuge in a church-sponsored shelter in the center of Guatemala City.

Their objective now is to regroup and press on towards the border with Mexico.

A caravan of vehicles carrying more than 2,000 migrants left last Saturday from the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula after organizing themselves on social media.

  • Published in World

US Midterm Vote: More Controversy in Georgia As Black Seniors Removed From Bus

Last week, over 53,000 voter applications were placed on hold in Republican candidate Brian Kemp’s office ahead of the election; 70 percent were from black applicants.

U.S. mid-term elections in the state of Georgia has again attracted controversy after dozens of black senior citizens were removed from a bus that was transporting them to vote.

RELATED: US Midterms: Concerns Over Rigged Election in Georgia

The bus was preparing to leave a county-operated senior center - with about 40 people - when the center director ordered them off the vehicle, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

"We knew it was an intimidation tactic,” Black Voters Matter (BVM) co-founder, LaTosha Brown, said. “It was really unnecessary. These are grown people.” 

BVM had arranged for the bus, the Journal-Constitution reported. Brown added that the group had secured permission, before explaining that a county clerk had raised concerns about the bus.

Jefferson County Administrator Adam Brett said his office viewed the event as a “political activity” because it was organized with county Democratic Party Chairwoman Diane Evans.

“Jefferson County administration felt uncomfortable with allowing senior center patrons to leave the facility in a bus with an unknown third party,” Brett said. “No seniors at the Jefferson County senior center were denied their right to vote.”

Last week, over 53,000 voter applications were placed on hold in Republican candidate Brian Kemp’s office ahead of the election, according to an Associated Press report. Almost 70 percent of those registrations are reportedly from black applicants. Voters will choose between African American Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams, and Kemp, for governor. 

Public polls have suggested that the racial makeup of the voters is trending to significantly impact the election’s outcome.

Kemp, who is the secretary of state, is responsible for overseeing the elections. Statistics show a virtual dead heat. Voting rights advocacy groups have criticized Kemp for using his office to suppress voters in an attempt to influence the mid-term election result.

Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams Photo: Reuters FILE

Election officials can place non-matching applications on hold under Georgia’s “exact match” verification process. The policy requires that information on voter applications "exact match" policy requires that information must identically match information on file with the Georgia Department of Driver Services or the Social Security Administration.

The secretary of state has remarked that he is executing his designated job.

“The thing of it is, is that blue waves aren’t blue … the blue wave is African-American. It’s white, it’s Latino, it’s Asian-Pacific Islander. It is disabled. It is differently abled. It is LGBTQ, it is law enforcement. It is veterans. It is made up of those who have been told they are not worthy of being here. It is comprised of those who are documented and undocumented. It is comprised of those who have been told they’re successful and those who have been left behind,” Abrams commented.

During a Fox News interview, Kemp countered to accuse Abrams of supporting immigrants without legal status to vote.

“Wow. It means she wants illegals to vote in Georgia. This is a shocking development in the campaign. While she was campaigning with Elizabeth Warren she actually said this,” Kemp said. “I think hard-working Georgians should decide who their governor is, not people here illegally like my opponent wants.”

Abrams could become the United States' first African-American woman mayor and the first person from an ethnic minority to be governor of the state of Georgia.

  • Published in World

Brazil right-winger would follow Trump's lead on foreign policy

BRASILIA (Reuters) - The far-right front-runner in Brazil’s presidential race plans to put foreign policy in the hands of a diplomat who has praised the nationalist agenda of U.S. President Donald Trump that has shaken the global order, an adviser to the candidate said.

Policy experts said the pick fits conservative firebrand Jair Bolsonaro’s plan to make Brazil’s most dramatic foreign policy shift in decades. Bolsonaro has already vowed to rethink membership in developing nation blocs Mercosur and BRICS and move the country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, embracing Trump as few in Latin America have done.

That represents a direct reversal of nearly a decade and a half of diplomacy under leftist Workers Party (PT) governments, which focused on alliances with South American neighbors and other emerging powers.

With a commanding lead just a dozen days before a run-off against Fernando Haddad of the PT, Bolsonaro has already begun naming members of a future cabinet, but has not confirmed his pick for foreign minister.

Ernesto Fraga Araújo, head of the United States and Canada department at the foreign ministry, is Bolsonaro’s first choice for the role, according to Paulo Kramer, a politics professor who advises the Bolsonaro campaign.

In unusual behavior for a Brazilian diplomat, Fraga Araújo has used a personal blog dedicated to arguments “Against Globalism” to call for Brazilians to back Bolsonaro’s campaign. But it was an article called “Trump and the West” in a diplomatic journal that showed the Bolsonaro camp how much the 51-year-old diplomat shared their world view, Kramer said.

Fraga Araújo argued in the paper that Trump is saving Western Christian civilization from radical Islam and “globalist cultural Marxism” by standing up for national identity, family values and the Christian faith as Europe has not.

Brazil has a chance to recover its “Western soul,” embrace Trump’s brand of nationalism, and pursue its national interests instead of being tied to blocs of nations, he wrote.

MAKE BRAZIL GREAT

Bolsonaro has not been shy about his affinity for the U.S. president, whose 2016 campaign served as a model for his own anti-establishment movement, pledging an iron fist against corruption and crime.

“Just like he wants to make America great, I want to make Brazil great,” the former army captain said on the Roda Viva television program in July.

He proudly saluted the U.S. flag at an event in Florida with Brazilian expatriates, according to a video his campaign posted on social media last year.

Brazil, one of the world’s most closed major economies, is already skeptical of free trade. But Bolsonaro has pointed to several symbolic moves underscoring an ideological realignment, too.

One of the clearest signals would be moving Brazil’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, following Trump’s cue, as neighboring Paraguay has done.

Brazil has long supported a two-state solution for the conflict over Palestine and in 2010 recognized the Palestinian state based on 1967 borders with Israel.

However, Bolsonaro has said Palestine is not a country and vowed to move Brazil’s embassy to Jerusalem and close the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia.

“It’s a great idea because it would signal change and say to the world that we cherish democracies that have the rule of law and independent powers with checks and balances,” said Congressman-elect Luiz P. O. Bragança, who has advised Bolsonaro on foreign policy.

“Israel is probably the only country in the Middle East that falls into that category. All the others are oligarchies or dictatorships,” said Bragança, a member of the family with a claim to the throne lost when Brazil became a republic in 1889.

QUESTIONING ALLIANCES

Bolsonaro’s attitude toward South American neighbors has been chillier, especially socialist Venezuela, which he has pledged to confront firmly. Still, his aides said he would not cut off diplomatic ties or close the border because that would shut out refugees flowing into Brazil.

He has publicly disdained the fractious Mercosur trade bloc, which Brazil founded with Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

“Bolsonaro’s foreign policy will be pragmatic. It will not discriminate against any nation and will follow the best interests of Brazil,” said Kramer, his foreign policy adviser.

Even the BRICS alliance, which has gained steam as Brazil set up development banks and encouraged trade with Russia, India, China and South Africa, could get a skeptical second look from Bolsonaro. Many in Brazil’s foreign ministry would resist a move to withdraw.

“Bolsonaro could try to get out of BRICS with a Trumpian attitude,” said Oliver Stuenkel, professor of international relations at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo. “That would send a signal to China that Brazil is becoming hostile.”

Stuenkel said Bolsonaro would have an easier time getting out of the Paris Climate Agreement, which he blames for tying Brazil’s hands on managing land, including the Amazon rainforest.

On China, Brazil’s main trade partner and source of foreign investment in recent years, experts say Bolsonaro may be forced to temper his more antagonistic impulses for the sake of economic interests.

Bolsonaro has warned of Chinese investors taking control of strategic natural resources in the mining and energy sectors.

“China isn’t buying in Brazil, China is buying Brazil,” he said in August. “Are you willing to leave Brazil in the hands of the Chinese?”

However, Rubens Barbosa, a former Brazilian ambassador to the United States, is optimistic that a Bolsonaro administration would shun protectionism, even when it comes to China.

“Bolsonaro may have reservations about the sale of certain assets, but if Chinese investment goes into infrastructure that Brazil badly needs to export food and minerals, I do not think he will oppose it,” Barbosa said.

  • Published in World

Trump Says He Is "Comfortable" As President Despite Political Battles

Washington: President Donald Trump said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that he was "comfortable" in the White House after almost two years in office, despite political storms over immigration, tariffs and his nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

"It was a little surreal to say I'm the president of the United States, but I think that's true with everybody," Trump told the CBS television news program "60 Minutes."

"Even my friends, they don't call me Donald, they call me Mr. President. And I say: 'Will you please loosen up?' I've learned on the job. I have."

"Now I very much feel like POTUS," Trump added, using the acronym for president of the United States.

The interview, in which Trump proved as eager as ever for verbal jousting on a range of issues, showed no sign he had any intention of abandoning his freewheeling, in-your-face persona as president.

Trump would not say whether he intended to return to the contentious policy of separating immigrant children from their families at the border, but gave no ground on what he saw as the need for tough policy.

"When you allow the parents to stay together, OK, when you allow that, then what happens is people are going to pour into our country," Trump said. "There have to be consequences ... for coming into our country illegally."

The family separations and the detention of thousands of children, mostly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, prompted widespread condemnation of Trump's policy. About 2,500 children and parents were separated before Trump abandoned the policy in June. Days later, a federal judge ordered the families reunited, a process that is still incomplete.

After a political brawl in the Senate over sexual misconduct allegations against his Supreme Court nominee Kavanaugh, Trump said his remarks at a Mississippi rally in which critics said he mocked accuser Christine Blasey Ford were necessary to win the confirmation fight.

"Had I not made that speech, we would not have won. I was just saying she didn't seem to know anything," Trump said. "And you're trying to destroy a life of a man who has been extraordinary."

He denied making fun of her, saying instead that he had treated her with respect.

"I'm not going to get into it because we won. It doesn't matter. We won," Trump said. Kavanaugh was confirmed by a 50-48 vote in the US Senate earlier this month.

A New York businessman whose upset 2016 victory against Democrat Hillary Clinton sent shock waves across the political world, Trump said he had discovered that the Washington political scene was even tougher than the business world.

"Washington, DC is a vicious, vicious place: the attacks, the bad-mouthing, the speaking behind your back. But you know, and in my way, I feel very comfortable here," the president told CBS.

"I always used to say the toughest people are Manhattan real estate guys and blah, blah. Now I say they're babies."

  • Published in World

Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s parting shot at Donald Trump and Brexit

Carol Ann Duffy has used her final collection as poet laureate to skewer the politicians who led the UK into Brexit, and Donald Trump.

In a poem titled The Ex-Ministers, she names no names but writes: "We are nothing to them now; lemmings going over the white cliffs of Dover."

Swearing In, dedicated to inventive insults about the US president, calls him "thatch-fraud" and "news-maggot".

Duffy's official role ends in 2019. Her new collection is titled Sincerity.

At its launch at the Manchester Literature Festival on Thursday, she said the political poems were inspired by the "evil twins of Brexit and Trump".

'Buttock-faced smarm'

In The Ex-Ministers, she writes about politicians who do lucrative commercial deals around the world after leaving office.

Another poem, titled A Formal Complaint, is a rage against a breed of "gatekeepers" and "fake patriots".

It includes the line: "They do not mean us well, these patriots, with their buttock-faced smarm."

In one poem, Gorilla, she recounts her encounter with a gorilla in a zoo, ending with the line: "With a day's more evolution, it could even be President."

Swearing In consists of four verses of insults about Mr Trump - including "twitter-rat", "tan-faker" and "bigot-merchant" - and ends with the line: "Mandrake Mymmerkin, welcome to the White House."

"Mandrake Mymmerkin" comes from William Dunbar's 16th Century poem The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy. Mandrake means an unpleasant and unwanted root or thing, and a mymmerkin is a small person.

'Constant, dutiful Queen'

Duffy has been poet laureate since 2009 and has written about topical events as part of her role, but she has rarely done so in such an overtly political way.

In 2016 and 17, she worked with the National Theatre on a show titled My Country, taking stock of Britain after the Brexit vote.

Her new collection also includes a poem called Britannia, comparing the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire with the 1966 Aberfan disaster, when a slag heap engulfed a Welsh village, killing 116 children and 28 adults.

"I should not connect the two, but I do," she writes.

While politicians come in for Duffy's ire, she maintains respect for the Queen.

The final line of Britannia reads: "The constant, dutiful Queen" - a reference to the fact the monarch's reign has spanned the two tragedies, and she visited both sites soon after each.

Sincerity, which will be published on 1 November, also pays homage to figures including Queen Victoria, William Shakespeare and Charlotte Bronte.

Much of the collection tackles themes of passing time and ageing, such as the death of parents, childhood memories and children growing up and leaving home.

  • Published in Culture

U.S. Elections: Will anti-Trump vote prevail?

Although many anticipated it that way, the criterion is not clearly unanimous.

Steffen W. Schmidt, professor of Political Science at Iowa University, claimed that the Democratic Party should not count on the Hispanic vote to tip November’s upcoming midterm election in their favor.   

Thus published Theconversation.com website on Sunday.  

Schmidt argues that the said possibility could be stimulated by the anti-immigrant policy followed by Trump.

So, Democrats try to court Latinos in red states such as Arizona and Florida.

But the professor adds that his investigation questions that a massive Latin vote tilts the balance towards Democrats.

He bases it, by way of example, through inaccurate surveys.

Steffen W. Schmidt considers that “2018 will be a sharp and significant test of Latin voter behaviour in U.S., regarding the 2016 presidential election”.

Now, the difference lies, among others, on the fact that many US Latinos and their families suffer the highly questioned migratory policy of President Donald Trump, as well as the cruelty against the young immigrants known as “Dreamers”.

The university professor warned that should the Latin vote moves away from Republicans in November, “Trump would have endangered the political future of his own party”.

Something is secure: the behaviour, generally, primitive of the head of state, has undermined the Republican Party and has turned the White House into a nasty casino of public dirty tricks.

  • Published in Specials
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