Shut­down the long­est in US his­tory

The Sunday Independent - - WORLD - AP AP AP

WASH­ING­TON: The par­tial gov­ern­ment shut­down be­came the long­est in US his­tory when the clock ticked past mid­night on Fri­day as Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and ner­vous Repub­li­cans scram­bled to find a way out of the mess.

A so­lu­tion couldn’t come soon enough for about 800 000 fed­eral work­ers who got pay state­ments on Fri­day but no pay. Some posted pho­tos of their blank salary state­ments on so­cial me­dia as a cry to end the shut­down, an im­age many in the White House feared could turn more vot­ers against the pres­i­dent.

The House and Se­nate voted to give work­ers back­pay when­ever the fed­eral gov­ern­ment re­opened, then left town for the week­end, leav­ing the shut­down on track to be­come one for the record books as the clo­sure en­tered day 22.

And while Trump con­sid­ered one dra­matic es­cape route – declar­ing a na­tional emer­gency to build the wall with­out a new stream of cash from Congress – mem­bers of his own party were fiercely de­bat­ing that idea and the pres­i­dent urged Congress to come up with an­other so­lu­tion. “What we’re not look­ing to do right now is na­tional emer­gency,” Trump said.

He in­sisted he had the au­thor­ity to do so, but he’d still pre­fer a deal with Congress.| BANGKOK: Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau says Canada will grant asy­lum to a Saudi woman flee­ing al­leged fam­ily abuse. The UN High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees granted her refugee sta­tus on Wed­nes­day. Trudeau said Canada ac­cepted the UN’s re­quest.

Thai­land’s im­mi­gra­tion po­lice chief said Ra­haf Mo­hammed al-Qu­nun, 18, had left on a flight headed for Canada on Fri­day.

Alqu­nun was stopped last Sat­ur­day at a Bangkok air­port by immi-gra­tion po­lice who de­nied her en­try and seized her pass­port.

She bar­ri­caded her­self in an air­port ho­tel room and launched a so­cial me­dia cam­paign that drew global at­ten­tion to her case.

The move could fur­ther up­set Saudi-Canada re­la­tions. In Au­gust, Saudi Ara­bia ex­pelled Canada’s am­bas­sador to the king­dom and with­drew its own am­bas­sador af­ter Canada’s for­eign min­istry sup­ported women’s rights ac­tivists who had been ar­rested. The Saudis also sold Cana­dian in­vest­ments and or­dered their cit­i­zens study­ing in Canada to leave. | WASH­ING­TON: Demo­cratic rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tulsi Gab­bard of Hawaii has an­nounced she will run for pres­i­dent next year.

Gab­bard said in a CNN in­ter­view last night she would be for­mally an­nounc­ing her can­di­dacy within the next week.

The 37-year-old Iraq war vet­eran is the first Hindu elected to Congress. She has writ­ten a mem­oir that’s due to be pub­lished in May.

Gab­bard was crit­i­cised in 2016 for trav­el­ling to Syria and meet­ing Pres­i­dent Bashar al-As­sad, who has been ac­cused of war crimes. She said it was im­por­tant to meet with ad­ver­saries if “you are se­ri­ous about pur­su­ing peace”.

Gab­bard was one of the most promi­nent law­mak­ers to back Bernie San­ders over Hil­lary

Clin­ton in the 2016

Demo­cratic pri­mary. |

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