In one of his first acts in office, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has signed an agreement with his counterparts from three Central American countries to establish a development plan to stem the flow of migrants seeking asylum in the U.S.
The Foreign Ministry said Saturday that the plan includes a fund to generate jobs in the region and aims to attack the structural causes of migration from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
President Donald Trump on Thursday told troops deploying to the border they could shoot migrants who might throw rocks at them.
[Editors note: President Trump appeared to walk back his remarks about rules of engagement on Friday.]
But what troops will actually be able to do — or should do — is tightly governed.
Experts on domestic military deployments said the president’s words would not offer protection to forces in the case that troops fire upon a migrant and cautioned that troops must know and follow the rules of engagement specific to this unique deployment.
“My understanding is that the president’s comments are irrelevant in a legal judgment about whether using lethal force was appropriate. There is a right to self-defense but there is a high bar against taking action against just rockthrowing,” said Center for Strategic and International Studies senior adviser Mark Cancian.
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Army Gen. Martin Dempsey also took a hard and unusually public position on the rocks comments, saying forces won’t respond so disproportionately.
Military Times - click to read rules of engagement
North Korea has warned it could revive a state policy aimed at strengthening its nuclear arsenal if the United States does not lift economic sanctions against the country.
The statement released by the Foreign Ministry on Friday evening said North Korea could bring back its “pyongjin” policy of simultaneously advancing its nuclear force and economic development if the United States doesn’t change its stance. The North sopped short of threatening to abandon ongoing nuclear negotiations with Washington.
Still, it accused Washington of derailing commitments made by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump at their June summit in Singapore to work toward a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. It was the first time the North said it could potentially resume weapons tests and other development activities since Kim signalled a new state policy in April.
In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he plans to talk next week with his North Korean counterpart, apparently referring to senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol. Pompeo did not provide the location and date for the meeting, which will likely be focused on persuading North Korea to take firmer steps toward denuclearization and setting up a second summit between their leaders.
The Trump administration on Friday announced the restoration of the final round of sanctions on Iran that were lifted under the controversial 2015 Iran nuclear deal -- though there will be some exemptions for eight countries.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced the sanctions on Iran’s shipping, financial and energy sectors. Particularly, the sanctions will target Iran’s crude oil exports and will penalize countries that don’t stop importing oil and foreign companies that do business with certain Iranian entities.
But the administration is also announcing that there would be eight significant reduction exemptions (SREs) to countries that haven’t completely eliminated oil imports from Iran. The waivers will last for a six-month period and will be re-evaluated after that time is up.
The move is the latest round of sanctions re-imposed since President Trump announced the U.S. exit from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. In August the administration re-imposed a host of economic sanctions, drawing criticism from European leaders in particular.
Trump has repeatedly blasted the deal, which critics say does not do enough to end Iran’s aggression. At a U.N. Security Council meeting in September, Trump defended his administration’s decision to pull out of the Obama-era deal, and blasted what he called a “horrible, one-sided deal [that] allowed Iran to continue its path toward a [nuclear] bomb and gave the regime a cash lifeline when they needed it the most.”
“They were in big big trouble,” he said. “They needed cash, we gave it to them.”
At least 21 killed in school shooting massacre in Crimea, wounds more than 65, 10 in critical, 5 in coma described as “extremely grave”
Unless you watch the news closely you likely missed the news that a day ago there was a very deadly mass public school shooting in Crimea. It will probably be another day or so until there is a good idea how many people were killed by eighteen-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov. This case will quickly be forgotten in the news coverage.
There is even bias in even some of the headlines on this story. Take the UK Mirror whose subheadline is: “Vladislav Roslyakov’s victims have emerged after he killed 21 in a bomb and gun attack at a college in Kerch.” In Australia, the headline reads: “Teenagers among 19 killed in bombing, shooting, at Crimea college.” But “all the victims died of gunshot wounds.”
From the UK Mirror:
Vladislav Roslyakov killed 21 people and injured more than 65 in a bomb and gun attack at a college in Crimea. . . .
Among the dead – mostly students aged between 15 and 19 – were a mother and daughter, Svetlana and Anastasia Baklanova, aged 57 and 26. . . .
The alleged killer shot and killed himself in the college library. There were angry disputes over whether the killer was alone.
The politician appointed by Vladimir Putin as head of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, insisted Roslyakov was the sole perpetrator but the politician was shouted down by parents. . . .
The Law Library of Congress describes Russia’s strict gun control laws:
… circulation of firearms to Russian citizens older than eighteen years of age with a registered permanent residence, and for the purposes of self-defense, hunting, and sports activities only. The acquisition of guns is based on licenses provided for a five-year period by local police departments at one’s place of residence after a thorough background check, including a review of the petitioner’s ability to store guns safely and an evaluation of his/her medical records. Mentally ill people and those who have been treated for substance abuse are not allowed to possess firearms.
Individuals are not allowed to carry guns acquired for self-defense; a license only serves as a carrying permit for hunting and sport firearms when these guns need to be transported. Russian citizens may not own guns that shoot in bursts or have magazines with more than a ten-cartridge capacity.
Notably, weapons used in crimes are not gained legally:
Most of the weapons used in crimes committed in Russia turned out to be unregistered or were acquired by a person who used it for criminal purposes. While Russia maintains relatively restrictive gun control legislation and strict procedures regulating the purchase and storage of firearms by private individuals, there is a huge black market for weapons, and most weapons used by criminals are stolen military or police guns, guns sold by law enforcement personnel who seized illegal weapons from criminals and did not register the confiscation of those firearms, or firearms made from modified nonlethal guns.
Crime Prevention Research Center
French police arrested more than 100 people after gangs of masked youths stormed through Parisian suburbs and the centre of Lyon on Halloween night, authorities said on Thursday, following a message on social media calling for a “purge” against police.
Police fired tear gas overnight at hundreds of youths, who barged through the city centre of Lyon, hassling police and passersby, shattering shop windows and setting rubbish bins on fire.
In the deprived Seine-Saint-Denis area north of Paris, a sportswear store was looted, and young people robbing a grocery store attacked police with acid, according to Denis Jacob of police union Alternative Police.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has offered government support to efforts to open up Germany to U.S. gas, a key concession to President Trump as he tries to loosen Russia’s gripon Europe’s largest energy market.
Over breakfast this month, the chancellor told a small group of lawmakers her government had decided to co-finance the construction of a €500 million ($576 million) liquefied natural gas shipping terminal in northern Germany, according to people familiar with the meeting, giving a crucial nudge to a project that had failed to get off the ground for years in a country that gets most of its gas cheaply from Russia.
Mr. Trump has intensively lobbied Europe to buy significant amounts of LNG as part of his campaign to rewrite the terms of trade relations. German and U.S. officials said Berlin hoped embracing U.S. gas might help solve a protracted trade dispute and possibly even defuse threats by Washington to sanction Nord Stream 2, an unbuilt German-Russian gas pipeline that would double Russia’s existing gas export capacity to Germany.
Wall Street Journal
Speaking to reporters, Mr Trump said Russia had "violated" the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.
The deal banned ground-launched medium-range missiles, with a range of between 500 and 5,500km (310-3,400 miles).
The US would not let Russia "go out and do weapons [while] we're not allowed to", Mr Trump said.
"I don't know why President [Barack] Obama didn't negotiate or pull out," the president said after a campaign rally in Nevada. "They've been violating it for many years."
U.S. and Mexican officials have agreed on a plan to handle the approaching migrant caravan making their way up from Central America, a senior administration official told Fox News on Thursday.
Under the deal, which was developed over the course of several months, Mexico requested that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) establish shelters along its southern border with Central America, the official said.
Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Geronimo Gutierrez elaborated on the request, during an interview on Fox News’ “Special Report.”
“Just today, the Mexican government, and this is a very important step, requested the intervention of the U.N., the Office of the High Commissioner on Refugees, to help Mexico review any asylum claims from the members of the caravan,” Gutierrez said. “That will allow us to have a process by which in our border we will make sure that of serving human rights, respecting international law, if there are legitimate claims to refugee, those can be processed in a very clear way.”
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday he will not attend an investment conference in Saudi Arabia.
Mnuchin made the announcement on his Twitter account , saying that the decision was made after a White House meeting with President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Mnuchin said in his tweet, “I will not be participating in the Future Investment Initiative summit in Saudi Araba.”
The Washington Times