Trump bud­dies up to Duterte on Asia trip

Medicine Hat News - - WORLD -

MANILA, Philip­pines Wind­ing down his visit to Asia, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump re­peat­edly praised Philippine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, called him by his first name, shared a joke with him about the me­dia and even com­pli­mented Manila’s weather. What he did not do Mon­day was what many of his pre­de­ces­sors made a point of do­ing while abroad: pub­licly high­light hu­man rights abuses.

Duterte has over­seen a bloody drug war that has fea­tured ex­tra­ju­di­cial killings. But dur­ing brief remarks to re­porters, Trump said he and Duterte have “had a great re­la­tion­ship,” and he avoided ques­tions about whether he’d raise hu­man rights con­cerns with the Filipino leader dur­ing a pri­vate meet­ing on the side­lines of a sum­mit of South­east Asian lead­ers.

The White House later said the two lead­ers dis­cussed the Is­lamic State group, il­le­gal drugs and trade dur­ing the 40minute meet­ing. Press Sec­re­tary Sarah Huck­abee San­ders said hu­man rights came up “briefly” in the con­text of the Philip­pines’ fight against il­le­gal drugs, but she did not say if Trump was crit­i­cal of Duterte’s pro­gram.

That ap­peared to con­flict with the Filipino ver­sion of the meet­ing. Harry Roque, a spokesman for Duterte, said: “There was no men­tion of hu­man rights. There was no men­tion of ex­trale­gal killings. There was only a rather lengthy dis­cus­sion of the Philippine war on drugs with Pres­i­dent Duterte do­ing most of the ex­plain­ing.”

De­spite all that, they later is­sued a joint state­ment say­ing that “the two sides un­der­scored that hu­man rights and the dig­nity of hu­man life are es­sen­tial, and agreed to con­tinue main­stream­ing the hu­man rights agenda in their na­tional pro­grams.”

New al­le­ga­tions made against Moore

WASH­ING­TON (AP) Yet an­other woman abruptly emerged Mon­day to ac­cuse Roy Moore of sex­u­ally as­sault­ing her as a teenager in the late 1970s, this time in a locked car, fur­ther roil­ing the Alabama Repub­li­can’s can­di­dacy for an open Se­nate seat. Lead­ers of Moore’s own party in­ten­si­fied their ef­forts to push him out of the race.

An­tic­i­pat­ing a tear­ful Bev­erly Young Nel­son’s al­le­ga­tions at a New York news con­fer­ence, Moore’s cam­paign ridiculed her at­tor­ney, Glo­ria Allred, be­fore­hand as “a sen­sa­tion­al­ist lead­ing a witch hunt.” The cam­paign said Moore was in­no­cent and “has never had any sex­ual mis­con­duct with any­one.” He in­sisted he was in the race to stay.

In the lat­est day of jar­ring events, Se­nate Repub­li­can leader Mitch McCon­nell and Moore es­sen­tially de­clared open war on each other. McCon­nell said the for­mer judge should quit the race over a se­ries of re­cent al­le­ga­tions of past im­proper re­la­tion­ships with teenage girls. No, said Moore, the Ken­tucky sen­a­tor is the one who should get out.

Cory Gard­ner of Colorado, who heads the Se­nate GOP’s cam­paign or­ga­ni­za­tion, said not only should Moore step aside but if he should win “the Se­nate should vote to ex­pel him be­cause he does not meet the eth­i­cal and moral re­quire­ments of the United States Se­nate.”

McCon­nell took a re­mark­ably per­sonal swipe at his party’s can­di­date for a Se­nate seat the GOP can­not af­ford to lose. “I be­lieve the women,” he said, mark­ing an in­ten­si­fied ef­fort by lead­ers to ditch Moore be­fore a Dec. 12 special elec­tion that has swung from an as­sured GOP vic­tory to one that Democrats could con­ceiv­ably swipe.

Iran-Iraq earth­quake

TEHRAN, Iran Res­cuers dug with their bare hands Mon­day through the de­bris of build­ings brought down by a pow­er­ful earth­quake that killed more than 400 peo­ple in the once-con­tested moun­tain­ous bor­der re­gion be­tween Iraq and Iran, with nearly all of the vic­tims in an area re­built since the end of the ru­inous 1980s war.

Sun­day night’s mag­ni­tude 7.3 earth­quake struck about 19 miles (31 kilo­me­tres) out­side the east­ern Iraqi city of Hal­abja, ac­cord­ing to the most re­cent mea­sure­ments from the U.S. Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey. It hit at 9:48 p.m. Iran time, just as peo­ple were go­ing to bed.

The worst dam­age ap­peared to be in the Kur­dish town of Sar­pol-e-Za­hab in the western Ira­nian prov­ince of Ker­man­shah, which sits in the Za­gros Moun­tains that di­vide Iran and Iraq.

Saudis back­track

BEIRUT Saudi Ara­bia’s dra­matic moves to counter Iran in the re­gion ap­pear to have back­fired, sig­nif­i­cantly ratch­et­ing up re­gional ten­sions and set­ting off a spi­ral of re­ac­tions and anger that seem to have caught the kingdom off guard.

Now it’s try­ing to walk back its es­ca­la­tions in Le­banon and Ye­men.

On Mon­day, the kingdom an­nounced that the Saudi-led coali­tion fight­ing Shi­ite rebels in Ye­men would be­gin re­open­ing air­ports and sea­ports in the Arab world’s poor­est coun­try, days af­ter clos­ing them over a rebel bal­lis­tic mis­sile at­tack on Riyadh.

The move came just hours af­ter Le­banese Prime Min­is­ter Saad Hariri, who shocked the na­tion by an­nounc­ing his res­ig­na­tion from the Saudi cap­i­tal on Nov. 4, gave an in­ter­view in which he backed off his stri­dent con­dem­na­tion of the Le­banese mil­i­tant Hezbol­lah, say­ing he would re­turn to the coun­try within days to seek a set­tle­ment with the Shi­ite mil­i­tants, his ri­vals in his coali­tion gov­ern­ment.

The two de­vel­op­ments sug­gest that Saudi Ara­bia’s bullish young crown prince, Mohammed bin Sal­man, may be try­ing to pedal back from the abyss of a se­vere re­gional es­ca­la­tion.

Thou­sands protest pro­posed abor­tion ban

RIO DE JANEIRO Thou­sands of women marched through the streets of Rio de Janeiro on Mon­day to protest a re­cent con­gres­sional com­mit­tee vote to make abor­tion il­le­gal with­out ex­cep­tion in Brazil.

Many pro­test­ers car­ried their chil­dren in their arms or on their shoul­ders, shout­ing: “Our bod­ies are ours!” Some scuf­fles broke out be­tween pro­test­ers and po­lice when the march reached the Rio state leg­is­la­ture. Po­lice fired tear gas, but calm soon re­turned.

Abor­tion is cur­rently al­lowed in Brazil in cases of rape, a preg­nancy that threat­ens a woman’s life or a fe­tus with anen­cephaly, a birth de­fect in­volv­ing the brain. But the con­gres­sional com­mit­tee last week adopted a mea­sure that would re­move those ex­cep­tions, pro­vok­ing wide­spread out­rage though many Brazil­ians hold con­ser­va­tive views on abor­tion.

Ro­drigo Maia, speaker of the Cham­ber of Deputies, has said that any ban on abor­tion with­out an ex­cep­tion for rape won’t pass his cham­ber. The mea­sure is part of a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment, so it would need a su­per­ma­jor­ity in both Congress’ lower house and the Se­nate to be­come law.

Ferry McFer­ry­face

SYD­NEY, Aus­tralia The last of a new fleet of Syd­ney Har­bor fer­ries will be chris­tened Ferry McFer­ry­face — Syd­ney’s sec­ond most pop­u­lar choice af­ter the now fa­mous jokey Mc-moniker, Boaty McBoat­face, the state gov­ern­ment said on Tues­day.

Of­fi­cials over­ruled the trend-set­ting favourite name that was re­jected by Bri­tish of­fi­cials last year as the name of a new po­lar sur­vey ves­sel, New South Wales Min­is­ter for Trans­port and In­fra­struc­ture Andrew Con­stance said.

The Bri­tish ves­sel was ul­ti­mately chris­tened Sir David At­ten­bor­ough in hon­our of the nat­u­ral­ist and broad­caster, al­though one of its re­motely op­er­ated sub­marines was named Boaty McBoat­face.

“Given ‘Boaty’ was al­ready taken by an­other ves­sel, we’ve gone with the next most pop­u­lar name nom­i­nated by Syd­neysiders,” Con­stance said in a state­ment.

“Ferry McFer­ry­face will be the har­bour’s new­est icon and I hope it brings a smile to the faces of vis­i­tors and lo­cals alike,” he added.

Ferry McFer­ry­face joins the ranks of Trainy McTrain­face, a Swedish ex­press train, and Horsey McHorse­face, a Syd­ney race­horse, af­ter an in­ter­na­tional on­line trend started by a sug­ges­tion from a for­mer BBC ra­dio host.

Syd­ney res­i­dents have been en­cour­aged for the past year to name the six new fer­ries through the Name Your Ferry web­site and more than 15,000 re­sponded.

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