Shutdown the longest in US history
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. |