Trump, Duterte underline value of ‘human rights’

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, shakes hands with US President Donald Trump during the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in Manila on Monday Nov. 13, 2017.(Noel Celis/Pool Photo via AP)
Updated 14 November 2017
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Trump, Duterte underline value of ‘human rights’

MANILA: Following their first official meeting, US President Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte released a joint statement accentuating the value of human rights.

Trump and Duterte met in Manila on Monday on the margins of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings.

“The two sides underscored that human rights and the dignity of human life are essential,” read part of a joint statement from the US and the Philippines.

It added that both leaders “agreed to continue mainstreaming the human rights agenda in their national programs to promote the welfare of all sectors, including the most vulnerable groups.”

However, the statement comes amid widespread criticism of Duterte for the alleged extrajudicial murders of thousands of alleged drug dealers and users across the country since he assumed office in June 2016, in his zero tolerance war on drugs.

In a press briefing on Monday, Duterte's spokesman, lawyer Harry Roque, said that the issue of human rights violations in the country was not raised during the Trump-Duterte bilateral meeting. He added, though, that Duterte explained his drug policy to Trump at length and that Trump “seems to be appreciative of his efforts.”

The joint US-PH statement said “the two sides discussed the ongoing campaign in the Philippines against criminality including illegal drugs.

“Both sides acknowledged that illegal drug use is a problem afflicting both countries,” it continued, adding that the two countries “committed to share best practices in the areas of prevention; enforcement, including capacity-building and transparency in investigations; and rehabilitation.”

In a separate development, the US Embassy in the Philippines commended Philippine authorities, particularly those with the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Inter Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA IADITG), the Philippine Bureau of Customs, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on the seizure of one kilogram of cocaine.

According to the embassy, on Nov. 12, US Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Manila shared information about a high-risk traveler aboard an incoming international flight with the Philippine Bureau of Customs and the PDEA at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. This information resulted in the arrest of a Colombian national for possession of drugs.

“This operation was successful thanks to close coordination between HSI, the Bureau of Customs, the PDEA, and the NAIA IADITG,” said the US embassy.

During an interview with the Bureau of Customs, the suspect admitted to swallowing the cocaine in order to smuggle it into the country. Authorities recovered 79 condom-wrapped pellets from the suspect.


‘No-deal’ Brexit would hit trucks, airlines and pet owners — govt papers

Updated 25 September 2018
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‘No-deal’ Brexit would hit trucks, airlines and pet owners — govt papers

  • Many business chiefs and investors fear politics could scupper an agreement
  • Without a deal, the UK would move to customs arrangements set by the WTO for external states with no preferential deals

LONDON: Leaving the European Union without a proper divorce deal could ground airlines, stop hauliers from lugging goods to the world’s biggest trading bloc and even make headaches for pet owners who want to take their dogs on holiday, according to government documents.
With just six months to go until the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, Prime Minister Theresa May has warned that negotiations are at an impasse and that the EU must come up with new proposals on how to craft a divorce settlement.
Many business chiefs and investors fear politics could scupper an agreement, thrusting the world’s fifth largest economy into a “no-deal” Brexit that they say would spook financial markets and silt up the arteries of trade.
Britain, which has warned it could leave without a deal, published 25 technical notices on Monday covering everything from commercial road haulage and buying timber to airline regulations and taking pets abroad.
“If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no agreement in place, UK and EU licensed airlines would lose the automatic right to operate air services between the UK and the EU without seeking advance permission,” the government said.
Overall, the government has published more than 65 such notices giving a glimpse of what a no-deal Brexit — the nightmare scenario for chief executives of most multinationals operating in Britain — would look like.
Amid warnings that trucks could stack up on both sides of the English Channel in the confusion of a no deal, Britain said it would seek to strike bilateral agreements with European countries to ensure hauliers would retain access.
The notices covered a vast swathe of the British economy, warning, for example, that labels on packaged food would have to be changed.
“Use of the term ‘EU’ in origin labelling would no longer be correct for food or ingredients from the UK,” the government said.
Honey producers would have to change their labels while EU countries might not accept British mineral water, the government said.
In the worse case scenario for pet owners, dogs, cats and even ferrets might need health certificates and rabies jabs. Travel plans would have to be discussed with a vet at least four months in advance before traveling to the EU.
That would mean someone wanting to take their pet to the EU on March 30, 2019, the day after Britain leaves the bloc, would have to discuss the trip with a vet before the end of November.
Without a deal, the UK would move from seamless trade with the rest of the EU to customs arrangements set by the World Trade Organization for external states with no preferential deals.
Brexiteers accept there is likely to be some short-term economic pain but say the government is trying to scare voters about the impact of a no-deal Brexit.
Britain, many Brexiteers say, will thrive in the longer term if cut loose from what they see as a doomed experiment in German-dominated unity and excessive debt-funded welfare spending.