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5 takeaways through the May-Trump talks

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WASHINGTON – This was the instant Theresa May came in person when using the great American bear.

Donald Trump was courteous, calm and funny while he held his first press conference which has a world leader since becoming president – pulling faces, joking with reporters and repeatedly praising a “most special relationship” using the U.K., ticking a similar diplomatic box every U.S. leader feels compelled to tick.

He looked pleased as May announced the Queen had invited him to Britain later this holiday season. The happy couple had already bonded with a bust of Winston Churchill, returned for the Oval Office after an eight-year sojourn inside less photographed corridors of the White House.

And nevertheless president was defiantly, unmistakably himself. I thought this was no watered down Trump, tamed through the necessary office.

When May reaffirmed Britain’s resolve forpersistance to sanctions on Russia, Trump would not. When May announced the U.S. president was “100 percent” committed to NATO,?Trump muttered “true” but anything.

On torture, he repeated his view so it worked. On Brexit, he said it had been “fantastic” that Britain was finally “free and independent.” The U.K. pm smiled at all the right moments, and will also be satisfied with Trump’s warm words for Britain, however, this was uncomfortable stuff.

It is, however, her new reality. Over 48 hours inside the U.S., the U.K. prime minister has indelibly tied her fortunes to individuals of the new man within the White House.

    Here are five takeaways within the opening scene of this strangest of political romances.

    1) Trump are not to be tamed

    If May?stumbled on Washington interested in reassurances on key diplomatic differences,?Trump’s press conference performance must be chalked up as a loss.

    May were able to extract one concession – on NATO – but only just. There was no commitment on trade, notably warm words for Russia and praise for torture. In Britain’s eyes: Poor quality.

    In her opening remarks, May pulled something like a diplomatic fast one, shoehorning in Trump’s private reassurance about his persistence to the NATO military alliance. They needed to try this perhaps says more about Trump’s real feelings around the issue.

    When pressed by U.S. reporters about his thoughts about Russia, Trump was defiant. “If you can possess a great relationship with Russia and China sufficient reason for all countries I’m all for that. Whenever we can, that would be an optimistic.”

    He went further. If relations between Washington additionally, the Kremlin are as nice as those relating to the U.S. and U.K. that could be great, he stated.

    British prime ministers?aren’t familiar with hearing that. An exclusive relationship isn’t so special if people have one.

    2) Quiet menace

    “That was selection for any question? There goes that relationship!”

    This was Trump’s reaction to a humdinger of your question with the BBC’s Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg, who pointed out his controversial opinion of Muslims, abortion and torture weren’t exactly popular some parts of the U.K.

    Trump’s response was funny – but more so, perhaps, given that it contained some truth.

    Downing Street clearly believes Trump responds well to praise and carefully choreographed every element of this week’s day at the U.S. accordingly.

    May decided of her option to hail his “stunning” election victory, declaring her delight at having the capability to congratulate him personally.

    But for the upcoming 4 years it’s clear you can find will be many treading on diplomatic eggshells.

    Trump was clear in her view that America has been ripped off and hubby would be the strong leader it must stand up for itself again, whether Britain wants it or you cannot.

    3) A vassal state?

    As May attained the White House, driven past?a procession of yankee flags and greeted by way of the president over the steps of your West Wing, it had become?just like a regional governor okay Rome to greet the?new emperor.

    French presidential hopeful Emmanuel Macron reports May’s tour within the U.S. exposes Britain’s status like a “vassal” state of your U.S. empire.

    But May is not a pushover and was going to make it known, contradicting obama on Russian sanctions and insisting could not are put off by confrontation. The U.K. prime minister’s visit wasn’t any Washington sideshow either. The vast East Room in the White House was filled with U.S. and British reporters, camera crews and TV anchors.

    But the eye was clearly not really on?what May was required to say, so how this most unpredictable of politicians would definitely behave – and just what he was going to do about Mexico, Putin and China.

    The U.K. may get its special relationship with Trump, nonetheless it remains unclear whether it will possess affect his wider behavior.

    4) Symbolism matters

    As each leaders walked from the East Room press conference over the White House colonnade into the West Wing for supper, Trump took the British prime minister by hand, patting it slightly.

    The president is not likely to try out that with Vladimir Putin.

    May looked untroubled yet it’s unlikely to be the picture she would like beamed time for Britain. She wanted warm but businesslike. That was not it. Despite the fact that image,?the talks transpired well when using the British press:?”Trump blesses Britain,” said changes. “Love-in in the White House” was the Daily Mail’s first page headline.

    The personal chemistry between the two leaders is vital. Nevertheless the relationship between their top teams is practically as esential for a functional, day-to-day level.

    At the press conference every one of the main players were in the room.

    Steve Bannon, the president’s ideological inspiration, started in smiling and shaking hands wonderful May’s top team, including ambassador Kim Darroch, whom he seemed to know well.

    Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager throughout his run for president, was second row back. Sean Spicer barked instructions before the two leaders emerged.

    The night before, May held a drinks reception along at the British ambassador’s residence, giving her a chance to speak privately mostly of Trump’s key cabinet appointments including Pentagon chief James “Mad Dog” Mattis and Wilbur Ross – a man who, as Trump’s nominee for commerce secretary, can help negotiate the U.K.-U.S. trade deal on which May has placed a lot credit.

    The two teams were also present on the White House talks Friday and for lunch together with the two leaders afterwards (they had blue cheese salad, beef shortribs with potato puree and winter vegetables and also a salted caramel creme br?lee).

    5) Mayism takes shape

    From ribs in Washington with one strongman leader to coffee in Ankara with another.

    Direct from talks with president Trump while in the White House, May jets overnight to Turkey for talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an.

    What either man does domestically appears of little interest to May. On the flight over to the U.S. May was asked what she’d because of represent Britain’s Muslim community in talks with Trump. Her reply involved anything that she could do on their behalf in your house. Pressed on whether she’d a responsibility to represent British muslims, she shot back which she what food was in Washington to represent the many Britain.

    To May, it will be the national interest at the very least. Human rights can wait.

    In her speech to Republican leaders in Philadelphia Thursday she declared get rid of liberal interventionism. On Friday she declared Mexico’s failures of Trump a subject for Mexico and Trump and none of her business. On Saturday could begin deepening the connection with Erdo?an in spite of his increasingly authoritarian turn.

    In a world of strong men, turmoil, Brexit and Trump, Britain’s second female prime minister is prepared to work with whoever looks gonna make the U.K. more secure, from both terror and economic shocks.

    This article have been updated to clarify Donald Trump’s solution to Theresa May’s NATO comments.

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    Republican lawmakers don\’t back Trump’s attacks on Comey

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    More troubling into a lawmakers was the reality that Trump will continue to weigh in on the investigation – in public and on Twitter – and has launched a campaign to attack Comey\’s credibility.

    \”You stands out as the first president to search down since you also can\’t stop inappropriately discussing an analysis if you only were quiet would clear you,\” Graham said on CBS\’ \”Face the united states.\”

    Since Comey testified Thursday prior to Senate Intelligence Committee, Trump has questioned hmo\’s FBI director\’s credibility. Comey stated after his firing, he steered the content of memos memorializing his account of meetings with all the president on the press. Though he maintains the information presented in those memos was unclassified, Trump initiated a policy of attacking him as a \”leaker\” and suggested Sunday that his decision to produce his concerns public may just be illegal.

    Comey\’s testimony "showed no collusion, no obstruction, he\’s a leaker," Trump said on Friday inside White House\’s Rose Garden. On Sunday morning, he tweeted, \”I believe the James Comey leaks will be considerably more prevalent than anyone believed possible. Totally illegal? Very \’cowardly!\’\”

    But even Trump\’s staunchest Republican defenders declined to directly back which claim on Sunday. \”I have no idea should it be a crime,\” Lee said. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) declared that \”even if your law had not been broken,\” Comey shouldn\’t have leaked towards the press.

    \”Man up,\” he stated on Fox News\’ \”Sunday Morning Futures.\” \”Come out and say, \’This is precisely what happened.\’\” King also mused that Comey may be behind a string of damaging press leaks in December, January and February that have already contributed to the administration\’s stumbling start.

    But Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) had strong praise for Comey after his testimony. \”I mean personally component all the committee members we\’re grateful for your company to the united states not only to your capacity as FBI director speculate prosecutor, and above all being somebody who loves the united states enough to see it want it is,\” Burr told the former FBI chief.

    Trump has drawn his staunchest defense from his political allies. Longtime confidant Roger Stone, who himself is caught up in the Russia investigation but has defiantly insisted he previously had no illicit contacts with Russians throughout the campaign, blasted Comey repeatedly over the weekend.

    \”No obstruction of justice, no collusion from Trump camp. This man is deranged,\” Stone said of Comey on Sunday, tweeting an image of an Comey T-shirt while using words \”Nut Job\” emblazoned below his face.

    But even Trump\’s top supporters struggled sometimes utilizing their defense. Trump\’s son Mr . trump Jr. seemed to suggest on Fox News over the past weekend that his father did the truth is tell Comey he \”hoped\” the FBI would let the Flynn investigation go.

    \”When he notifys you to behave, guess what, there\’s really no ambiguity there. There isn\’t any, \’Hey, I hope,\’\” Trump Jr. said. \”\’You we are friends. Hey, hope this takes place, but you reached do your career.\’ It is precisely what he told Comey.\”

    Yet, Trump Jr.\’s comment seemed to contradict obama brilliant legal team, who said Trump never made the remark in anyway.

    So when Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel Body of Trump\’s most vocal allies amid the growing scandal – on Sunday necessary Congress to terminate its inquiries into Russia\’s meddling while in the 2016 presidential campaigns, she drew a swift rebuke from Graham.

    \”None of this business,\” he explained when inquired on Romney McDaniel\’s remarks.

    One curveball that lawmakers might have to address this week: A Trump lawyer declined to eliminate that Trump would consider wanting to oust Mueller.

    \”The president is going to consult with his counsel and from the government and also outside. Exactly what not going to speculate upon which he will probably, or will likely not, do,\” attorney Jay Sekulow said on ABC\’s \”This Week.\”

    Sekulow said he \”can\’t imagine\” the situation would arise, but \”that, again, is a concern the president together with his advisers would discuss if there was a basis.\”

    Trump won\’t have the capability to fireside Mueller directly, but also in theory could order Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to dismiss Mueller and may fire Rosenstein if he didn\’t comply. Trump could then nominate someone who would likely dismiss the special prosecutor.

    Asked for the prospect of Trump pushing out Mueller, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said on the very same show, \”That\’d turn into a mistake.\” He called Mueller \”above reproach.\”

    Democrats have started suggesting with increasing volume that Trump often have obstructed justice by allegedly pressuring Comey out from the Flynn probe. Most on Sunday cautiously tiptoed about the issue, noting that Mueller\’s probe would get to the bottom of this question. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, though, said he offers to invite Trump to testify publicly and under oath prior to a Senate. Trump himself said Friday although be ready to protect himself in public places testimony. But Schumer\’s request seems unlikely to materialize anytime soon.

    Comments from lawmakers tee up a frenetic week of action into their Russia probes. The home Intelligence Committee has requested copies of any tapes Trump often have of his meetings with Comey. Trump hinted inside a tweet recently that some may exist, but he\’s since refused to verify or deny their existence, frustrating people in Congress looking to eliminate the difficulty. The Senate intelligence Committee is attempting to schedule a hearing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who\’s got recused himself in the role from the Russia investigation.

    Comey, on Thursday, suggested he previously nonpublic information that contributed to Sessions\’ recusal, and late Saturday, as concerns that information grew, Sessions announced his will testify . It\’s unclear whether Sessions\’ appearance are going to be public or private.

    The Senate intelligence panel can also be attempting to schedule a discussion with Trump\’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who reportedly attemptedto begin a communications back channel while using Kremlin at the end of December. And Manchin said he\’s seeking to plan a closed selecting two top intelligence officials – Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers – go over reports that Trump had asked these phones undermine the Russia investigation. Both men declined to communicate publicly about those reports throughout an open hearing prior to the committee on Wednesday.

    And Graham said he expects the Senate to secure a sanctions package that may slap Russia with penalties due to its interference inside 2016 election. If Trump doesn\’t sign it, he stated, \”He would be betraying democracy.\”

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    Clock ticking in Romanian corruption showdown

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    BUCHAREST – By passing a decree that may let corrupt politicians free, the Romanian government also set the clock ticking on efforts to thwart it.

    The measure was passed late Tuesday night, to turn into effective 10 days later. That deadline assists galvanize thousands of protesters who’ve flooded the streets to demand the decree be revoked.

    With the ecu Commission along with the embassies of Western nations also criticizing the move, the costa rica government must decide getting in touch with defy both mainstream European opinion additionally, the biggest demonstrations in Romania for the reason that fall of communism.

    Curiously, late government entities may not actually aid the protesters’ cause, like a temporary administration will not have the power to cancel the decree, according to political experts.

    Events were mounted in train when Justice Minister Florin Iordache announced how the government would update the penal code by decriminalizing the offense of official misconduct for cases involving injury to the population purse of less than

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    How Australia built a wall (and purchased it)

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    SYDNEY – Think of it Australia’s naval wall.

    It’s cloudy the amount Mr . trump is aware of how Australia treats refugees who arrive on its shores by boat. Though the program would probably get his approval.

    In the three-and-a-half?years since launch of Operation Sovereign Borders, the “Lucky Country” has?turned?back rickety vessels and detained asylum seekers offshore in harsh conditions for the Pacific island of Nauru or Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island. Refugees who arrive by sea are banned from?ever settling in?Australia – without exception.

    Critics (and some proponents) in the system voice it out is brutal by design, providing those fleeing persecution with a cruel but effective deterrent. And delay: In 2013,?300 boats carrying 20,587 people made it to?Australia. Only 1 year later, the quantity of boat-people dropped to?157. Since 2014, no boat has made it?through.

    “On moral and ethical grounds We would express it is wrong to look at people with committed no offense, and treat them so badly how they?love to face persecution instead,” said barrister Julian Burnside, who works pro bono?with asylum seekers and campaigns against?offshore detention. “But be the fundamental logic than it.”

    The U.N.’s human rights committee ruled?the fact that indefinite detention of refugees over?security concerns breached international law.

    Whether Australia’s hardline system breaks international law is often a couple of heated debate in the united states – and abroad.

    Conditions in Australian-run detention camps are notoriously harsh. Reports of self harm, allegations of medical negligence, illness, suicide, rape,?assaults at the hands of fellow asylum seekers, hostile locals and authorities?are commonplace. In 2009, the Guardian published?2,000 leaked incident reports from Nauru, including allegations of a guard?threatening to kill a kid and the other swapping sexual favors for really shower time.

      Australia’s?leaders?insist they?adhere to their?obligations, but the U . n . and NGOs?have differing views. In April 2016, the U.N.’s human rights committee ruled?that your indefinite detention of refugees over?security concerns breached international law?and?ordered the nation to produce?five those who were detained?for six years.

      Also in 2009, the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) called for the immediate change in asylum seekers out of the Manus Island and Nauru processing centers, labeling?them inhumane and “immensely harmful.” Amnesty International swallows a similar view. “Amnesty disagrees while using the government’s interpretation of the obligations under international humanitarian law,” said Australian spokeswoman?Emma Bull.

      Dumb and dumber

      And?this system comes at a price. Australia,?which in the ’90s considered itself something of the?deputy regional peacekeeper into the United States’ global sheriff, has lost most of its humanitarian good waiting on home and abroad. Faced with a flood of negative media reports?quoting doctors about conditions in the processing centers, the Australian government threatened?doctors and nurses with two-year prison sentences if he or she spoke out. (Authorities eventually caved into media pressure and amended the foundations.)

      And as there are the monetary cost.?Australia currently holds about 1,250?refugees in the?offshore processing centers, who typically have spent 478 days in detention. As you move the government hasn’t already?detailed the cost of the work, according to the Australian National Audit Office?holding the refugees costs over?405,000 (in close proximity to $440,000) per person each and every year. Electrical systems, the?Australian government estimates Syrian refugees that happen to be able to settle in Australia as part of its humanitarian intake cost it roughly 10,700 per person annually.

      Australia, which contains?a population of 24 million, has pledged to?settle?19,000 refugees per year on its shores, when they don’t arrive by boat.

      Because?Australia bans boat-arrivals?from selecting its shores, those that?are granted refugee status either can live in detention, settle in the community on?Manus or Nauru, or say yes to move to one third country.

      That leaves the country?begging or bribing others?to take refugees off its hands.

      Enter the?refugee resettlement arrangement?struck in November with then U.S. Barack obama, which Trump referred to as a “dumb deal”?on Twitter.

      The agreement is true for refugees already on Nauru and Manus, plus those chosen Australia temporarily for medical therapy. They can be qualified to apply for a one-off resettlement during the U.S., be more responsive to vetting by American authorities.

      The deal was away from the back of one other, struck in?September by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in a invitation-only summit hosted by Obama. Under that arrangement, known as something of advance payment, Australia accepted resettle?Central American refugees from?camps in Panama and nicaragua , and pledged over 92 million aid for displaced people around the world.?(Australia, who has?a population of 24 million, has pledged to?settle?19,000 refugees 1 year on its shores, when they don’t arrive by boat.)

      If the U.S. deal falls through, Australia should resort to its plan b: Cambodia. Beneath a pact?struck in 2014, Australia accepted?cash nation around 40?million to resettle its refugees. Unfortunately, the agreement with Cambodia is?- to loan Trump’s phrase – a dumb deal. A couple of years after that it was struck, only?five refugees have decided look at the country, and simply one?has stayed there.

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