A group of former US national security officials was yesterday to release a statement saying that there is no justification for US President Donald Trump to use a national emergency declaration to fund a wall along the US-Mexico border.
The statement, which was reviewed by The Associated Press, had 58 signatures from prominent former officials, including former US secretaries of state Madeline Albright and John Kerry, former secretaries of defense Chuck Hagel and Leon Panetta and former secretary of homeland security Janet Napolitano.
The Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives is today expected to vote to block Trump from using the declaration. The measure is sure to pass and the Republican-held US Senate might adopt it as well, but Trump has already promised a veto.
“There is no factual basis for the declaration of a national emergency,” said the statement, adding that border crossings are near a 40-year low and that there is no terrorist emergency at the border.
Trump declared an emergency to obtain wall funding beyond US$1.4 billion that the US Congress approved for border security. The move allows Trump to bypass Congress to use money from the US Department of Defense and other budgets.
Trump’s edict is also being challenged in the federal courts, where a host of Democratic-led states, such as California, are among those that have sued to overturn Trump’s order.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
BEYOND CULTURE: The US State Department was expected to announce that the Chinese government-funded institutes would have to register as foreign missions US President Donald Trump’s administration is increasing scrutiny of a long-established Chinese-government funded program that is dedicated to teaching Chinese language and culture in the US and other nations, the latest escalation of tensions with Beijing. The US Department of State was expected to announce as soon as yesterday that Confucius Institutes in the US — many of which are based on college campuses — would have to register as “foreign missions,” according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified. The designation would amount to a conclusion that the institutes are “substantially owned or effectively controlled” by