At UN, diplomats are watching candidate Nikki Haley
At UN, diplomats are watching candidate Nikki Haley
Speculation about Haley’s presidential ambitious has picked up since she defended Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, staring down friends and foes alike at the world body.
The 45-year-old Republican resorted to a veto to block criticism from the UN Security Council and threatened reprisals against those who voted against Washington at the General Assembly.
The clash gave UN ambassadors a reality check: Haley, they say, is a politician, not a diplomat, and at the United Nations, she is playing to a domestic audience.
“She is not trying to win votes at the General Assembly. She is trying to win votes for 2020 or 2024,” a council diplomat said. “She is clearly using this position to run for something, that’s obvious.”
The former South Carolina governor arrived at the United Nations last year, promising a “new day” under Trump’s America First policy and vowing to “take names” of countries that don’t toe the line.
Seen at the outset as a foreign policy lightweight, Haley was quickly taken seriously because of her close ties to the unpredictable Trump.
Over the past year, she has pushed through three new sets of sanctions against North Korea, bringing China and Russia on side to tackle what Trump sees as his administration’s number one security threat.
Those sanctions won the unanimous backing of the council, where finding common ground with Haley is testing diplomatic skills.
The daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley is hawkish on Iran, fiercely pro-Israel and a strong advocate of cost-cutting at the United Nations.
That those three signature issues play well with the US Republican voter base is not lost on most diplomats.
“What matters above all are perceptions internally, in the US,” said another council diplomat, who like many declined to be quoted.
Haley was among the first administration officials to take a hard line on Russia, declaring that sanctions over Crimea would remain in place until Moscow gave the territory back to Ukraine.
Ukrainian Ambassador Volodymyr Yelchenko, who just wrapped up a two-year stint at the Security Council, says Haley is doing an “excellent job.”
“She may be less diplomatic sometimes than some could expect, but this is more an asset than a shortcoming,” he said.
For months, Haley had been tipped as a possible replacement to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom she has upstaged with her media appearances and statements that at times appear to break new ground.
In October, she put that speculation to rest, telling reporters that she wasn’t interested.
“I would not take it,” Haley told reporters on a trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo. “I want to be where I’m most effective.”
She is seen as a possible vice president to Mike Pence, should he take over the presidency.
Author Michael Wolff, whose book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” has become a national sensation, claims Haley has set her sights higher and is eyeing the presidency.
According to published excerpts, Haley began positioning herself as Trump’s heir after concluding in October that he was a one-term president.
Wolff quoted a senior White House staffer who described her “as ambitious as Lucifer” and another who offered the view that while being groomed by Trump, “she is so much smarter than him.”
Haley has brushed aside questions about her political ambitious, saying she is focused on the job at hand as she remains firmly in the limelight as the UN’s most-watched ambassador.
Thousands of British families homeless despite being in work
- More than 33,000 working families do not have a stable place to live, a 73 percent rise from 2013
- Overall, homelessness has risen in England for more than six years, with 80,000 families in temporary accommodation including more than 120,000 children
LONDON: More than half of homeless families in Britain now have at least one adult in work after a sharp rise in the number of employed people unable to afford a secure home, a leading homelessness charity said on Monday.
More than 33,000 working families do not have a stable place to live, a 73 percent rise from 2013, according to a study by Shelter’s social housing commission that blamed rising private rents, a freeze on benefits and a shortage of social housing.
“It’s disgraceful that even when families are working every hour they can, they’re still forced to live through the grim reality of homelessness,” said Shelter CEO Polly Neate in a statement.
“In many cases, these are parents who work all day or night before returning to a cramped hostel or B&B (bed and breakfast) where their whole family is forced to share a room.
“A room with no space for normal family life like cooking, playing or doing homework.”
Mary Smith, 47, works full time in retail and lives in a hostel near London with her three sons after she was evicted by her landlord and became unable to afford private rent.
“I was brought up by a very proud Irish woman, and taught that you don’t discuss things like your finances - so letting my colleagues at work know what’s happening is very hard,” said Smith in a statement.
“I’m not hopeful for our future. I think it’s going to be this constant, vicious circle of moving from temporary place to temporary place, when all my family want is to settle down.”
Overall, homelessness has risen in England for more than six years, with 80,000 families in temporary accommodation including more than 120,000 children, government data shows.
Losing a tenancy is now the single biggest cause of homelessness in Britain, accounting for 27 percent of all households accepted as homeless in the last year, said Shelter.
The proportion of working homeless families, from security guards to hotel workers, has increased at different rates across Britain, with the East Midlands and North West England faring the worst, the report found.
It defines working families as those where at least one adult is in work.
Despite this, homeless charity Crisis said last month that Britain could end homelessness within a decade if it invested more in social housing and welfare benefits.
Britain’s parliament last year passed the Homelessness Reduction Act, which was designed to ensure that local councils increased obligations towards homeless people.
The government has also set an ambitious target of building 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.