EL­IZ­A­BETH WAR­REN KICKS Off RUN for Prez, ig­nor­ing an­ces­try row

The Demo­crat field is al­ready the party’s most di­verse ever in gen­der, age and eth­nic­ity

Millennium Post - - Mp World -

LAWRENCE (US): Demo­crat El­iz­a­beth War­ren has of­fi­cially kicked off her 2020 White House run with a full-throated pledge to de­fend work­ing Amer­i­cans, un­bowed by a row over her Na­tive Amer­i­can an­ces­try that has threat­ened to nip her cam­paign in the bud.

“This is the fight of our

lives,” she told cheer­ing sup­port­ers in gritty Lawrence, Mas­sachusetts, against “a rigged sys­tem that props up the rich and pow­er­ful and kicks dirt on ev­ery­one else.”

“Mil­lions of fam­i­lies can barely breathe,” War­ren said Satur­day, in a feisty speech that struck ag­gres­sively pop­ulist and un­apolo­get­i­cally left

lean­ing notes.

“It is not right.” The Mas­sachusetts se­na­tor -- who had an­nounced her in­ten­tion to run on New Year’s Eve -- is among the high­est-pro­file of the grow­ing pool of Democrats hop­ing to un­seat Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in 2020.

The Demo­cratic field is al­ready the party’s most di­verse ever -- in gen­der, age and eth­nic back­ground -- and one of its more pro­gres­sive. It in­cludes sev­eral well-known women

law­mak­ers, with Se­na­tor Amy Klobuchar ex­pected to join their num­bers on Sun­day.

War­ren’s past bat­tles with Wall Street have brought her a

large fol­low­ing, and her cam- paign team has drawn the grudg­ing re­spect of its ri­vals. Hop­ing to ride the mo­men­tum of her Lawrence speech, she heads next to early-vot­ing Iowa and New Hamp­shire, fol­lowed by five other states.

But for now it is un­clear how badly dam­aged War­ren is by the stub­born con­tro­versy over her claim to Na­tive Amer­i­can roots -- a claim Trump has seized upon to be­lit­tle her, mock­ing her as “Poc­a­hon­tas.”

Hop­ing to put the con­tro­versy to rest, War­ren re­leased DNA tests in Oc­to­ber -- but this back­fired when they showed her to have only neg­li­gi­ble amounts of Na­tive blood, dat­ing back gen­er­a­tions. War­ren ul­ti­mately apol­o­gized to the Chero­kee Na­tion.

The mat­ter reared its head again this week when The Washington Post pub­lished what it said was an of­fi­cial 1980s doc­u­ment in which War­ren listed her race as “Amer­i­can In­dian.”

‘Ex­posed as a fraud’: Trump’s re-elec­tion cam­paign is­sued a dis­mis­sive state­ment ahead of War­ren’s an­nounce­ment, say­ing she had “been ex­posed as a fraud by the Na­tive Amer­i­cans she im­per­son­ated and dis­re­spected to ad­vance her pro­fes­sional ca­reer.” It said her “so­cial­ist ideas” would hurt work­ers.

“This is a story that she did not want in this launch,” said John Clu­verius, a po­lit­i­cal sci­ence pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Mas­sachusetts-low­ell.

But he also cau­tioned that “it’s still very, very early” to spec­u­late on “how it harms her, or doesn’t harm her.”

Lawrence, the scene of War­ren’s an­nounce­ment, is a for­mer mill town where a group of women work­ers, in­clud­ing many im­mi­grants, launched a strike in 1912 that spread across the re­gion and came to be seen as a his­toric vic­tory for women and for la­bor, with im­proved wages and work­ing con­di­tions.

The 69-year-old se­na­tor has made the pro­tec­tion of mid­dle­class rights the cen­tral pil­lar of her po­lit­i­cal mes­sage.

Lawrence, once part of a bustling US tex­tile in­dus­try, has for years fallen on hard times, with the loss of thou­sands of fac­tory jobs.

But War­ren showed noth­ing but pride in Lawrence’s proworker his­tory.

“I will never give up on you,” she said. “I am in this fight all the way.” -

She called for “big, struc­tural change” in Amer­ica that would reach be­yond new US lead­er­ship -- though she called the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion “the most cor­rupt in liv­ing mem­ory.”

War­ren said she would press for steeper taxes on the rich, strong anti-cor­rup­tion

leg­is­la­tion, curbs on lob­by­ists and a de­fense of the cli­mate. She also sup­ports univer­sal health care.

She pointed to her own rise from hum­ble ori­gins -the daugh­ter of a jan­i­tor, she started her school­ing in a 50-a-se­mes­ter com­mu­nity col­lege and ended up teach­ing law at Har­vard -- ar­gu­ing that she can help bring a re­vival of the Amer­i­can Dream.

War­ren tried in her speech to ap­peal to a broad eth­nic coali­tion, say­ing, “We must not al­low those with power to weaponize ha­tred and big­otry to di­vide us.”

Clu­verius says War­ren will need strong His­panic sup­port since two pop­u­lar African Amer­i­cans -- Demo­cratic sen­a­tors Ka­mala Har­ris and Cory Booker -- are also in the crowded field.

She will also need to win over fe­male vot­ers, which might ex­plain the highly un­usual -- and some­what risky -- de­ci­sion to in­clude a story about potty-train­ing her baby daugh­ter.

War­ren re­counted her de­ci­sion to go to law school when Amelia was not quite two years old, but said the only day care she could find -- with five days be­fore classes were to start -would take the child only if potty-trained.

A de­ter­mined War­ren ac­com­plished the task, she told a laugh­ing crowd, “cour­tesy of three bags of M&MS.” “Since that day, I’ve never let any­one tell me that any­thing is ‘too hard,’” she quipped. DUBAI: A record in­vest­ment pack­age be­ing pre­pared by Saudi Ara­bia for Pak­istan will

likely pro­vide wel­come re­lief for its cash-strapped Mus

lim ally, while also ad­dress­ing re­gional geopo­lit­i­cal chal­lenges, an­a­lysts say.

At the heart of the in­vest­ment is a re­ported USD 10 bil­lion re­fin­ery and oil com­plex in the strate­gic Gwadar Port on the Ara­bian Sea, the ul­ti­mate des­ti­na­tion for the mas­sive multi­bil­lion dol­lar China Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor, which lies not far from the Indo-ira­nian port of Chaba­har.

Two Saudi sources have con­firmed to AFP that heir ap­par­ent to the Gulf king­dom’s throne, Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man, will visit Is­lam­abad shortly, with­out giv­ing a date.

And a num­ber of ma­jor in­vest­ment deals are ex­pected to be signed dur­ing a visit, of­fi­cials from both coun­tries have told AFP.

Riyadh and Is­lam­abad, decades-old al­lies, have been in­volved for months in talks to ham­mer out de­tails of the deals in time for the high-pro­file visit.

“The out­come of the talks so far has been very pos­i­tive and this is go­ing to be one of the big­gest-ever Saudi in­vest­ments in Pak­istan,” a Pakistani se­nior fi­nance min­istry of­fi­cial told AFP.

“We hope that an agree­ment to this ef­fect will be signed dur­ing the up­com­ing visit of the Saudi crown prince to Pak­istan,” said the of­fi­cial, re­quest­ing anonymity.

The Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported last month that both Saudi Ara­bia and the United Arab Emi­rates, Is­lam­abad’s big­gest trad­ing part­ner in the Mid­dle East, have of­fered Pakistani Prime Min­is­ter Imran Khan some USD 30 bil­lion in in­vest­ment and loans.

Riyadh in­vest­ments are ex­pected to pro­vide a life­line for Pak­istan’s slump­ing econ­omy which was down­graded in early Fe­bru­ary by S&P rat­ings agency from a B to a B-, Saudi econ­o­mist Fadhl al-boue­nain said.

“Saudi in­vest­ment to Pak­istan comes within an eco­nomic aid pack­age aimed at re­liev­ing the stress of ex­ter­nal debt and a short­age of for­eign cur­rency, be­sides boost­ing the slug­gish econ­omy,” Boue­nain told AFP.

The OPEC heavy­weight also aims to achieve strate­gic and com­mer­cial goals with in­vest­ments in in­fra­struc­ture and re­fin­ery projects, he said.

Saudi Ara­bia and its Gulf part­ner, the UAE, have al­ready de­posited USD 3 bil­lion each in Pak­istan’s cen­tral bank to help re­solve a bal­ance of pay­ments cri­sis and shore up its de­clin­ing ru­pee.

They have also re­port­edly de­ferred some USD 6 bil­lion in oil im­ports pay­ments as Is­lam­abad has so far failed to se­cure fresh loans from the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund.

Khan has al­ready vis­ited Riyadh twice since tak­ing of­fice in July and in Oc­to­ber at­tended a pres­ti­gious in­vest­ment con­fer­ence widely boy­cotted by other po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic fig­ures af­ter the mur­der of jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi.

Khan also vis­ited Saudi ri­vals Qatar and Turkey, as well as China seek­ing in­vest­ments.

“One of the goals for Saudi Ara­bia ex­pand­ing in­vest­ments in re­fin­ing world­wide is to se­cure mar­ket share and sus­tain­able ex­ports in the face of in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion,” Boue­nain said.

Saudi En­ergy Min­is­ter Kha

lid al-falih vis­ited Gwadar in Jan­uary and in­spected the site for the pro­posed oil re­fin­ery at the deep sea port, just 70 kilo­me­tres away from its Ira­nian com­peti­tor, Chaba­har.

He was quoted by lo­cal me­dia as say­ing the king­dom was study­ing plans to con­struct a USD 10 bil­lion re­fin­ery and petro­chem­i­cals com­plex in Gwadar.

Like most oil sup­pli­ers, the world’s top crude ex­porter has been in­vest­ing heav­ily in re­fin­ery and petro­chem­i­cals projects across the globe to se­cure longterm buy­ers of its oil. A pipe­line from Gwadar to China would cut the sup­ply time from the cur­rent 40 days to just seven, ex­perts say. De­vel­oped as part of China’s Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive with in­vest­ments worth some USD 60 bil­lion, Gwadar is be­ing billed as a re­gional in­dus­trial hub of the fu­ture, eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble for Cen­tral Asia, Afghanistan, the Mid­dle East and Africa.

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