Donald Trump and Greta Thunberg address elites at Davos

Davos, January 22 (RHC)-- U.S. President Donald Trump is in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum, where he delivered a speech on Monday to the gathered elites.  The climate crisis was the top priority for this year’s forum, but Trump focused on touting his tax cuts, immigration policies and trade deals with China, Canada and Mexico. 

Trump claimed that U.S. air and water was cleaner than ever. The U.S. president has worked to dismantle environmental regulations since taking office and has denied climate change. Trump also told reporters in Davos his impeachment trial, underway in the U.S. capital, was a “hoax” and a “witch hunt.”

Although Trump denies that his travels to Switzerland will cost the average American, the website Quartz calculated that Trump’s two-day appearance in Davos will cost taxpayers over $5.6 million.

Seventeen-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg is also in Davos, where she spoke on a youth climate panel earlier today.  Greta Thunberg said: “If we are to have a 6 to 7% chance of limiting the global average temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, we had, on January 1st, 2018, about 420 gigatons of CO2 left to emit in that budget.  I’ve been repeating these numbers over and over again in almost every speech.  But honestly, I don’t think I have once seen any media outlets or person in power communicate this and what it means. I know you don’t want to report about this. I know you don’t want to talk about this.  But I assure you I will continue to repeat these numbers until you do.”

Edited by Ed Newman
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Trump and his unilateral policy get a rough ride at Davos Forum

Davos, Switzerland, Jan 22 (Prensa Latina) Criticisms and questions against US President Donald Trump and the unilateral policy implemented by his administration characterized the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday.

The secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Angel Gurria, opened fire at the occupant of the White House, after Trump's speech, which was described as poor by many delegates and experts attending the meeting.

In statements to the TV channel CNBC, Gurria criticized Trump's unilateral policies, called for dialogue and consensus, and without mentioning names, he noted that multilateralism is a need of the modern world.

For his part, Nobel Prize laureate in Economics Joseph Eugene Stiglitz pointed out that Trump avoided key issues such as climate change, and described the president's characterization of the US economy as totally erroneous.

Trump's statements came shortly after the speech given by the young Swedish girl Greta Thunberg, who accused political leaders of doing nothing to prevent global warming and of putting the economy ahead of ecological transition.

Another major speech at the opening session of the event was that of the executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Alicia Barcena, who noted that inequality and low economic growth hinder development.

Barcena added that economic growth slowed down in 18 of 20 Latin American countries and in 23 of 33 economies in the entire Latin American and Caribbean region in general.

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Donald Trump Tears Into Environmental 'Doom' Mongers In Davos

Davos: President Donald Trump tore into environmental "prophets of doom" at the Davos forum Tuesday, rejecting fiery warnings from teenage campaigner Greta Thunberg, and lauding the "unprecedented" US economy just hours ahead of his impeachment trial back home.

Thunberg was in the audience in the Swiss Alps to hear the typically bullish speech by Trump, delivered shortly before the US Senate was to open the crucial next stage in his trial for abuse of power and obstruction.

The 50th meeting of the World Economic Forum aimed for a strong focus on climate change but Trump made clear he had no time for Thunberg's warning that "our house is still on fire."

"We must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse," said Trump, complaining that "they want to see us do badly".

He claimed that "alarmists" had been wrong over the decades when predicting population crisis, mass starvation or the end of oil.

Trump branded those warning of out-of-control global warming and other environmental disasters "the heirs of yesterday's foolish fortune tellers".

The scathing assessment came just afer Switzerland's president, Simonetta Sommaruga, made an emotional appeal for saving the health of an ailing planet on the same stage.

By contrast, Trump did not even mention global warming, a phenomenon that nearly all climate scientists say is dangerously accelerating, with possibly devastating results for humanity.

Trump was just as unapologetic over his impeachment, which is now kicking into high gear.

He said in Davos he was working for American investment, meeting with "the most important people in the world and we're bringing back tremendous business".

"The other's just a hoax," he said of the "disgraceful" impeachment trial.

The White House spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said Trump "will be briefed by staff periodically" on the drama unfolding in Washington.

Trump campaigns

Large parts of Trump's address sounded like a campaign speech aimed at a domestic audience as much as the Davos gathering of global political and business elites.

"Two years ago I told you we had launched the great American comeback," Trump said, referring to his last appearance at the yearly Davos bash. "Today I'm glad to declare the United States is in the midst of a great economic boom the likes of which the world has never seen before."

Over and over, Trump brought up statistics he claimed proved his "unprecedented" success, based on slashing environmental protections and renegotiating trade relationships with China and the United States' two huge neighbours Canada and Mexico.

"The American dream is back, bigger better, stronger than ever before," he said.

Robin Niblett, director of the Chatham House think tank, called Trump's performance "an almost plain vanilla presidential campaign speech, laying out an unassailable set of statistics that tell the Democrats 'good luck taking me on on this, because you won't stand a chance."


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United States: Trump's Political Trial Looming

Spanish news agency EFE said it should start on Tuesday next week in Washington.

It would be carried out, as planned, by the Senate.

The main charges against the president are abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. This was reported by the head of the Republican majority in that legislative body, Mitch McConnell.
The latter told reporters:

"It will take place if procedural issues are resolved within this week."

We should take the oath of the president of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, "who during the trial will act as head of the Senate replacing vice president, Mike Pence."

New formal steps?

Nancy Pelosi, top figure within the House of Representatives, announced that she would put to vote the names of legislators who will act as prosecutors and send the charges against Trump to the Senate.

EFE commented on the matter, in this way will be effective the accusations pending over Donald Trump before the Senate.

Pelosi said in a statement:

"The American people deserve the truth, and the Constitution demands a trial."

Observers also pointed out that the House of Representatives will appoint the so-called "managers of impeachment", who will act as prosecutors in the impeachment process.

However, despite the building expectation, experts reiterate that the Republican majority in the Senate will save Donald Trump.

But there’s something impossible to avoid, an even greater deteriorated image of the president.

When? In a year of general elections that includes the presidency.

Seemingly Fragile Truce Between Trump and Iran

Donald Trump said last Thursday that the new sanctions imposed on Tehran are already working.

Excuse? The missile attacks on bases that house U.S. troops in Iraq.

"Already done. We have expanded them. They were very severe, but now they have increased. ”

And he added without further explanation: "I just recently approved them with the Treasury."

The president had promised hours earlier "additional punitive sanctions" in retaliation for the attack.

Seen by experts, he recalled the Associated France Press (AFP), as a moderate response to the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.

The latter, in a North American strike with drones in Baghdad.

According to the Pentagon, there were eleven missiles fired by Iran that reached the air base of Ain al Asad (west) and another in the north used by North Americans and allied forces.

With these types of sanctions, said AFP, Washington's non-military response "was seen as a sign of good will to calm down the escalation of the conflict."

Iran (...) hit us with missiles. They shouldn't have done that. Fortunately for them, nobody was injured, nobody was killed,” Trump repeated on Thursday.

And then he added:

"They are very affected by the sanctions."

“They can strengthen their country's economy very quickly if they wish. We'll see if they negotiate or not. ”

Amid that apparently conciliatory atmosphere, Vice President Mike Pence said that Trump will ask his European allies to nullify the nuclear pact signed with Iran.

That agreement, observers recalled, was in the process of extinction since the United States withdrew from the commitment.

Pence was blunt: The president will ask our allies to withdraw from the "disastrous nuclear agreement with Iran" and demand that they give up their long history of terrorist violence.

As well as its nuclear ambitions, and join the family of nations.

Pence made his statements during an interview with the far-right "Fox & Friends."

Some indicated Trump's friction with Britain, France, Germany and other NATO members, since the U.S. backed down in 2018 from the nuclear agreement negotiated by Barack Obama.

Your excuse to do so? That it granted Tehran too many economic benefits without preventing that at some point it will build a nuclear weapon.

Great Britain, France, Germany, the European Union, China, and Russia have not left the agreement.

Another proof that corroborates how uncertain it is to establish any sort of obligation with Trump and his tribe.

All of this, when in reality, the fiery episode between Washington and Iran doesn’t seem to have end, in the first place.

Not So Fast, Mr President: Did Trump Abuse His Power by Ordering Soleimani's Assassination?

Following US President Donald Trump's decision to assassinate prominent Iranian General Qasem Soleimani on 3 January, Washington and Tehran wound up on the verge of a full-scale armed conflict. But for now, both sides seem to have chosen to avoid bloodshed, with Iran’s retaliation resulting in only minor damage to American bases in Iraq.

The POTUS' unilateral decision to assassinate Iran’s top commander of the Quds Force without consulting with Congress in advance has sparked heated debate among US lawmakers on whether the president abused his powers and should be limited in his ability to take action that could lead to a war with the Islamic Republic.

The American legislature has in the past limited the commander-in-chief's power to make war, but, despite this, the Democrat-dominated House of Representatives passed a resolution, albeit non-binding, seeking to limit Donald Trump's ability to start hostilities against Iran. Here is what the process of launching foreign military operations looks like and how it actually works in the US right now.

Genuine Commander-in-Chief or Just a Lame Duck?

The US Constitution designates the president as "commander-in-chief of the army and navy"; however, it does not explicitly describe the president as having the authority to initiate hostilities on their own (such as conducting an airstrike on a foreign state's territory). Instead, the Constitution names Congress as the body with the power to officially declare a war. It's generally believed by scholars that as commander-in-chief, the POTUS not only has the power to lead the military, but can also do so without a congressional declaration of war.

A napalm strike erupts in a fireball near U.S. troops on patrol in South Vietnam, 1966 during the Vietnam War
© AP Photo /
A napalm strike erupts in a fireball near U.S. troops on patrol in South Vietnam, 1966 during the Vietnam War

In fact, the US has engaged in several conflicts without declaring war officially, although presidents have usually received authorisation from Congress to do so in advance, as was the case with the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War in 1991, as well as with the War on Terror that started in 2001. However, US lawmakers decided to implement additional checks on presidential powers in the form of the so-called War Powers Resolution after the country was dragged into the disastrous 20-year-long Vietnam War due to President Lyndon Johnson interpreting a congressional resolution to protect US forces as a carte blanche to engage in a full-scale war.

So How Exactly Does the US Currently Start Its Wars?

The War Powers Resolution that was adopted by Congress in 1973 requires US presidents to seek congressional approval, in the form of a declaration of war or statutory authorisation, before deploying troops to fight abroad. Since 1942, the US has actually commenced all of its hostilities without an official declaration of war, relying instead on congressional authorisation or UN Security Council resolutions – another way for the US to engage in military activities abroad.

However, the 1973 resolution did leave one path open for a president to send American troops into hostilities – if US territories, possessions, or its armed forces are attacked (merely a threat is insufficient), then the POTUS can do so without a "go" from the legislative body. But in this scenario, the president is still required to consult with Congress before deploying troops, even if "imminent involvement in hostilities" is expected. Furthermore, the POTUS also needs to explain the reasons for and the duration of the deployment of US forces into hostilities within 48 hours.

How Many of These Rules Has Trump Really Followed?

When it comes to the recent assassination of Iranian General Soleimani, Trump, for starters, never notified Congress in advance of his plan to conduct the airstrike on 3 January. Additionally, the basis for the military operation, which had the potential to drag the US into a war with Iran, remains questionable.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks on human rights in Iran at the State Department in Washington, U.S., December 19, 2019
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers remarks on human rights in Iran at the State Department in Washington, U.S., December 19, 2019

Trump claims that Soleimani was planning attacks against US citizens in the near future, but later, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confessed that Washington knew neither the date nor the place of the allegedly planned attack. Even if the US had evidence suggesting that an attack was possible, technically Trump still didn't have the right to order the airstrike without a nod from Congress, as the War Powers Resolution only mentions an actual "attack" on US interests as a prerequisite for such a move.

Was Trump the First President to Ignore the War Powers Resolution?

While it does look like Trump did interpret his authority under the War Powers Resolution rather loosely, to say the least, he was not the first president to ignore the law's provisions, to the discontent of Congress.

One major instance when the resolution was violated was President Bill Clinton's use of American forces in the bombing of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War in 1999. Back then, US troops were conducting operations in a foreign country without authorisation from either Congress or the UN Security Council and without a clear threat to American interests (let alone any "attack" on them). In addition, this deployment lasted for 78 days, or 18 days longer than the War Powers Resolution allows for without congressional approval – which had not been granted.

Serbian protesters hold a banner reading, Clinton make sex not war outside the U.S. embassy in Munich, Germany during a demonstration against NATO airstrikes in Yugoslavia, Friday, March 26, 1999.
© AP Photo / Uwe Lein
Serbian protesters hold a banner reading, "Clinton make sex not war" outside the U.S. embassy in Munich, Germany during a demonstration against NATO airstrikes in Yugoslavia, Friday, March 26, 1999.

The War Powers Resolution was also violated by Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, who directed the US military join the campaign against Libyan air defences in 2011. While the operation was conducted under the pretext of implementing a UN Security Council-approved no-fly zone over the country, it had still not been backed by American lawmakers, some of whom expressed concern that the POTUS was abusing his status as commander-in-chief.

Obama justified his actions at the time by calling the operation necessary to "prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and address the threat" allegedly posed to "international peace and security" by the Libyan Civil War, which had largely been fuelled by Western countries themselves. He also argued that the US operations in the conflict would be "limited in their nature, duration, and scope", even though Washington actually contributed more than any other of its NATO partners to the intervention in the country.

But despite ignoring and violating the existing laws regulating when the US can enter into an armed conflict, no president has so far been directly punished for doing so, even if members of Congress have expressed their discontent. On the other hand, Trump has faced major opposition in the US Congress throughout his presidency and was recently impeached, meaning he could face something more serious than just grumbling from lawmakers. Although Democrats only control the lower chamber of Congress, Trump's actions in Iraq have made some Republican senators consider supporting their opponents' recent initiative to limit the POTUS' ability to engage in hostilities with Iran.

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Trump Boasts General Soleimani Killing as 'American Justice'

The U.S. President also mocked Democratic lawmakers who questioned his decision to carry out a military attack without consulting Congress.

During a rally held in Toledo, Ohio, President Donald Trump Thursday defended his order to kill General Soleimani, drawing cheers from thousands when he said his death delivered "American Justice."

RELATED: House Approves Limiting Trump's Ability to Wage War on Iran

“Last week the United States once again took the bold and decisive action to save American lives and deliver American justice," Trump said.

“Soleimani was actively planning new attacks and he was looking very seriously at our embassies and not just the embassy in Baghdad, but we stopped him, we stopped him quickly, we stopped him cold."

On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a resolution to stop the U.S. President from further military action against Iran.

Besides mocking such a decision, Trump justified his actions by arguing that Democratic lawmakers would have leaked to the media if he had given them a heads-up before the operation.

“He was a bad guy. He was a blood-thirsty terror, and he’s no longer a terror, he’s dead. And yet now I see the radical-left Democrats have expressed outrage over the termination of this horrible terrorist."​​​​​​

Trump's appearance at the arena in Toledo was his first campaign rally of the 2020 election year, a sign of how critical the state is to his winning a second four-year term in office next November.

The U.S. President won Ohio in 2016 by 8 percentage points, flipping a state that had gone for Democrat Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012.

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Trump-Iran: Backfiring?

When the civilized conscience of the world rejects the murder of a prestigious Iranian figure, Qasem Soleimani, Donald Trump celebrates it.

What’s more striking is that the head of the White House is proclaimed aware of such offense typically gangster-like.

This was reported on Monday from Tehran by a correspondent of the Associated France Press (AFP), Marc Jourdier.

As the journalist wrote, Trump declared: Soleimani’s bloody devastation is over after the United States struck him down.

A little later, Trump threatened Iran with "major reprisals."

When did he do it? Almost at the same time that the Iraqi Parliament voted to expel U.S. troops from its territory.

The AFP warned that after the murder of General Qasem Soleimani, the "architect of Iranian intelligence," the world fears a conflict.

He added the case of Abu Mehdi Al Muhandis, whom he called number two of a pro-Iran paramilitary coalition, Hashd al Shaabi.

The French agency also commented that Trump returned to Washington on Air Force One, after 14 days of vacation in Florida.

He did not issue statements that would ease people.

On Saturday, there was a demonstration at the Torch of Friendship, where Miami residents asked Trump to prevent a conflict with Iran.

They were referring to the president's threats to destroy 52 targets of that nation like the number of hostages during the situation in 1979 at the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

Just hours ago, witnesses said, several rockets struck near that embassy without any casualties.

For more than two months, dozens of rockets have fallen in areas where there were U.S. diplomats and military in Iraq.

Observers insisted on preventing the murders of Soleimani and Al Muhandis from generating "an unusual agreement against the United States in Iraq."

Equivalent to say? Strengthening the domestic unity against the empire.

One of the many events surfacing from the situation in that side of the world.

Also, at the Parliament a large number of its members joined their voices to shout: "No to the United States!"

After that demonstration Trump threatened Iraq with "very large" punishments if they forces his troops out of the country.

"They will make the sanctions against Iran seem almost weak," added the president.

Donald Trump in election year only acts spurred by them, but not without backfiring results.

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