Trump, NATO chief pledge Al­liance’s ‘en­dur­ing im­por­tance’ in phone call

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United States Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump and NATO sec­re­tary-gen­eral Jens Stoltenberg agreed on Fri­day on the West­ern al­liance’s “en­dur­ing im­por­tance”, NATO said, striv­ing to re­as­sure Europe that Wash­ing­ton will re­main com­mit­ted to its se­cu­rity. Mr Trump ques­tioned dur­ing his elec­tion cam­paign whether the United States should pro­tect al­lies seen as spend­ing too lit­tle on their de­fence, rais­ing fears that he could with­draw fund­ing for NATO at a time of height­ened ten­sions with Rus­sia.

“The pres­i­dent-elect and the sec­re­tary gen­eral both un­der­lined NATO’s en­dur­ing im­por­tance and dis­cussed how NATO is adapt­ing to the new se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment, in­clud­ing to counter the threat of ter­ror­ism,” NATO said in a state­ment af­ter a phone con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Mr Trump and Mr Stoltenberg. There was no im­me­di­ate com­ment from Mr Trump’s side. The NATO state­ment said the Repub­li­can Mr Trump, who will suc­ceed Demo­cratic Pres­i­dent Barack Obama on Jan­uary 20, is ex­pected in Brus­sels for a NATO sum­mit next year. The two lead­ers also ad­dressed de­fence spend­ing and agreed that “progress has been made on fairer bur­den­shar­ing, but that there is more to do” - un­der­lin­ing the fact that the United States spends far more on de­fence than Europe does.

Af­ter the break-up of the Soviet Union a quar­ter of a cen­tury ago, NATO’s Euro­pean mem­bers cut de­fence spend­ing to his­toric lows, leav­ing the United States to make up around three quar­ters of the al­liance’s mil­i­tary ex­pen­di­ture. A more as­sertive Rus­sia un­der Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin has be­gun to change the pic­ture and Euro­pean gov­ern­ments are again spend­ing more. Hin­dus­tan Times

Jeff Ses­sions picked for top law job

San Diego: Don­ald Trump has named more con­ser­va­tive hard­lin­ers for key posts, with Alabama Se­na­tor Jeff Ses­sions nom­i­nated as at­tor­ney gen­eral.

Mr Ses­sions, a for­mer pros­e­cu­tor, was turned down for a fed­eral judge­ship in 1986 be­cause of al­leged racist re­marks. Con­gress­man Mike Pom­peo is nom­i­nated as CIA di­rec­tor and re­tired Lt Gen Michael Flynn made na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser. Mr Trump’s lat­est picks were praised on Twit­ter by David Duke, for­mer leader of the white su­prem­a­cist KKK group. In a state­ment, Mr Trump called Mr Ses­sions a “world class le­gal mind”.

“Jeff is greatly ad­mired by le­gal schol­ars and vir­tu­ally ev­ery­one who knows him,” he added. BBC

Trump agrees to set­tle Trump Univer­sity law­suits

San Diego: US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump has agreed to set­tle fraud law­suits re­lat­ing to his Trump Univer­sity se­ries of real es­tate sem­i­nars for US$25 mil­lion (FJ$52.12m), New York’s at­tor­ney-gen­eral said on Fri­day Novem­ber 18. A set­tle­ment would end a dis­pute that dogged Mr Trump through­out his pres­i­den­tial elec­tion cam­paign and led to one of the more con­tro­ver­sial mo­ments of his run when he claimed the judge over­see­ing two of the cases was bi­ased be­cause he was of Mex­i­can ancestry.

Lawyers for the pres­i­dent-elect have been ar­gu­ing against stu­dents who claim they were they were lured by false prom­ises into pay­ing up to US$35,000 (FJ$72,962.75) to learn Mr Trump’s real es­tate in­vest­ing “se­crets” from his “hand­picked” in­struc­tors. Reuters

US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump.

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