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Goodwill short-lived between Kosovo and Serbia after EU talks




Well, that didn’t last for very long.

After weeks of rising tension between Kosovo and Serbia, the leaders of all parties opted for calm things down Tuesday night at the Brussels meeting with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

But comments by Kosovo President Hashim Thaci once the meeting left Serbian Pm Aleksandar Vu?i? fuming Wednesday morning – as well as prompted a diplomatic whilst still being clear reprimand from Mogherini.

“An essential outcome was to leave tensions behind and also to steer clear of commenting in public about the discussions,” her spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said from a written statement. “We regret this has not been complied with by all, and let [everyone] to workout restraint and grow about the agreement reached yesterday.”

The almost instant resumption of hostile rhetoric between Kosovo and Serbia underlined how fragile relations remain forwards and backwards sides, who was simply enemies within the last of your wars that tore Yugoslavia apart during the 1990s.

Tension spiked latest research by after Serbia sent a train into Kosovo emblazoned while using the slogan “Kosovo is Serbia” in large letters and multiple languages. Serbian officials halted the train inside Serbia after Kosovo deployed special police to your border.

“They to not anything depending on the stuff that we agreed upon” –?Aleksandar Vu?i?

Kosovo, whose ethnic Albanian majority endured many years of repression beneath the rule of Serbian nationalist Slobodan Milo?evi?, unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008. But Belgrade regards Kosovo, which includes a central place in Serbian history, as to be a rebellious province and contains vowed never to recognize it as an independent state.

    Alarmed by the rapid deterioration in relations, Mogherini the presidents and prime ministers of Kosovo and Serbia to Brussels with all the aim of getting an EU-sponsored dialogue back in line. Things initially appeared to go reported by plan, with both Thaci and Vu?i? saying the meeting had helped to relieve tension.

    But Thaci also stated that he thought Serbian leaders had “started to recognize the independence of Kosovo” knowning that Kosovo had answered “calls for war from Serbia with needs peace.” Those remarks infuriated Vu?i? as each party had agreed to not ever make inflammatory statements.

    “It will mean that it isn’t able or prepared to keep their word more than two minutes,” an angry-sounding Vu?i? told Newsman in a telephone interview Wednesday. “They that could anything as reported by the issues that we specified.”

    The improvement in tension takes place resistant to the backdrop of upcoming Serbian presidential elections, due in April. Vu?i?, the dominant decide Serbian politics, declined to inquire into speculation they might run in this election.

    The flare-up across the talks isn’t going to seem fatal on the EU-backed dialogue. Vu?i? said he’d should speak with colleagues before deciding whether or not to proceed with the process. But they are about to happen to be mollified, as a minimum a great extent, by Mogherini’s indirect criticism of Thaci.

    “I saw yesterday respect including a constructive approach throughout the table,” Mogherini told reporters Wednesday. “The more they inquire into 1 another, the less this constructive sensation of participating in the dialogue becomes sustainable.”

    However, the spat does illustrate how hard it may be in making meaningful progress via the six-year-old dialogue, which aims to normalize relations between Pristina and Belgrade. Politicians and commentators both in Kosovo and Serbia have questioned whether their governments should proceed with the process. But getting relations forwards and backwards sides at a solid footing is critical to both countries’ aim of joining nations, regardless of whether that prospect is a long time away.


    Black caucus chairman pushes to censure Trump over ‘shithole’ remark





    Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond on Thursday introduced a solution to censure President Donald Trump over what he contends would be the president\’s racist rhetoric referring to El Salvador, Haiti and African nations as \”shithole countries.\”

    The resolution – who has much more than 130 co-sponsors, including House Democratic leaders – calls over the House to publicly state its support for any nations Trump disparaged, censure and condemn the president for his statements, and demand he retract his comments and apologize.

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    At a news conference announcing the resolution alongside House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) as well as other Democrats, Richmond (D-La.) said Trump\’s controversial comments \”should have not been made\” and \”were factually inaccurate.\”

    Richmond conceded, however, the resolution isn\’t \”privileged,\” meaning House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) might need to say yes to carry it in order with the chamber to keep a vote. It\’s almost certain Ryan will not likely do this.

    \”If he doesn\’t, we then will be at other ways to just make a vote on there,\” Richmond told reporters. \”But the facts from the matter is definitely the speaker should bring it up. In the event that he doesn\’t, establishing is enabling and recurring to allow obama to perpetuate this hateful rhetoric, as well as at certain point – whether you agree or disagree – I believe this is the speaker\’s obligation to safeguard the dignity of the property.\”

    If Ryan will not allow a vote, Richmond said he among others would hunt for "creative" strategies to force one.

    Like most Republican leaders, Ryan hasn\’t said much for the president\’s reported comments, though he did acknowledge the other day that they are \”very unfortunate\” and \”unhelpful.\” For Richmond, however, that wasn\’t enough.

    \”It\’s unfortunate when I miss my bus. Or it\’s unfortunate in the event the airlines lose my luggage,\” he was quoted saying. \”But when the president of america decides to Africa, Haiti and El Salvador which he used, which isn\’t unfortunate. That is wrong. That\’s disgusting. That is definitely hurtful. There are a variety of words because of it, but unfortunate\’s undertake and don\’t.\”

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    Ryan's 2017 fundraising haul: $44 million





    House Speaker Paul Ryan raised more than $44 million in 2017, an off-year record to get a House leader – a financial haul Republicans hope will shore up vulnerable GOP members in what\’s shaping up to often be a tough midterm cycle for Republicans.

    In a final quarter, Ryan raised $4.8 million, his political operation will announce Thursday – down from $6.7 million during the third quarter.

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    The infusion of greenbacks is a follower of Republicans passed a tax reform law last December, which GOP members said would drive support among voters and donors. But also in 2018, Republicans must defend its 24-seat majority spanning a broad battlefield, while President Donald Trump\’s approval ratings stay in the bottom 40s and Democrats hold a broad bring success the generic ballot. Nearly 24 retirements, including California Reps. Ed Royce and Darrell Issa latest research by, will force Republicans to invest more heavily to protect these open seats.

    In 2017, Ryan transferred $32 million to the National Republican Campaign Committee, which announced a unique record-breaking off-year total with $85 million raised in the last year. Ryan also transferred $1.7 million on to GOP members, as well as hosting 49 fundraisers for members.

    "This eye-popping number is usually a testament to Speaker Ryan, House Republicans, as well as the agenda them to led your strugle on in 2017," said Kevin Seifert, executive director of Team Ryan, the speaker\’s fundraising committee.

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    Bannon won't testify again on Russia Thursday





    Former White House adviser Steve Bannon declined House Russia investigators\’ request to go back for a second interview Thursday, telling lawmakers through his lawyer their own obtain him to go back just 2 days after his first appearance was "unreasonable."

    "The Committee\’s subpoena provides require Mr. Bannon\’s appearance for that second deposition [Thursday] at 2pm. That may be plainly insufficient time for me to undertake precisely what the Committee has asked," Bannon\’s attorney William Burck wrote within a Wednesday letter to store intelligence committee leaders obtained by POLITICO.

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    Instead, Burck told committee leaders that the former senior aide to President Donald Trump would return after reaching an accommodation when using the White House to make sure his testimony doesn\’t violate executive privilege.

    On Tuesday, Bannon-citing instructions from your Trump administration-refused to reply Republican and Democrats\’ questions on his amount of the White House, the post-election transition team and in some cases about his conversations with the president after he was fired from his post in August. His stonewalling infuriated persons in both parties, who subpoenaed him immediately. But despite the subpoena, Bannon declined to reply to their questions.

    Burck\’s letter told the committee\’s top Russia investigators, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), that Bannon remains ready to answer the committee\’s questions-but after striking an understanding together with the White House while on an acceptable scope of questioning.

    "There isn\’t any conceivable solution to talk to the White House Mr. Bannon\’s time using the transition and also the White House, obtain their thoughts about the knowledge he previously provide, communicate those views back to the Committee, relay the Committee\’s views time for the White House, and then negotiate or facilitate a binding agreement amongst the Committee along with the White House from the time allotted by the Committee\’s subpoena," Burck wrote.

    Committee members at the moment are weighing calling hold Bannon in contempt of Congress for avoiding their questions. They\’ve noted that White House lawyers haven\’t formally invoked executive privilege-they just have suggested that Bannon\’s testimony might implicate it.

    White House officials have argued that it is customary for Congress to coordinate the scope of the questions with current and former officials to stop violating privileged information.

    But GOP and Democratic lawmakers have questioned this argument, suggesting they see no reasonable interpretation of executive privilege that might preclude Bannon from discussing his time over the transition team, that is before Trump was president.

    Burck indicated that the committee didn\’t have use of White House and transition documents that has to be relevant precursors to the questions for Bannon and suggested lawmakers and Bannon would require time for them to produce them and review them before Bannon\’s next interview.

    "There are lots of lawyers over the Committee plus the Staff, and i also could well be surprised as long as they believed it becomes anything in addition to unprofessional even unethical should be expected to depose a witness that has did not have possibility for review relevant documents," he said.

    Burck also indicated a potential disconnect between committee staff and lawmakers. He revealed that he had informed the employees of the committee, chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the White House "may not permit Mr. Bannon to discuss his in time the transition and the White House unless an accommodation was agreed between your Committee plus the White House."

    "Staff raised no objection to the telltale restrictions in any of such conversations," he said. "The main objection came yesterday within the Members who appear not to have been informed by Staff about our prior conversations."

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