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