Trump warns of 'last chance' to pass immigration deal

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with state and local officials about infrastructure in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington Monday. (AP)
Updated 13 February 2018
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Trump warns of 'last chance' to pass immigration deal

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump warned Democrats Tuesday that it is now or never when it comes to extending protections for young immigrants living in the country illegally.
Trump in an early-morning tweet said Democrats and Republicans must act now to provide legal protections to young "Dreamer" immigrants even as legislation faces an uncertain prospect in Congress.
"Wouldn't it be great if we could finally, after so many years, solve the DACA puzzle," he wrote, adding: "This will be our last chance, there will never be another opportunity! March 5th."
Trump was referring to a deadline he announced last year to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation. But a recent court ruling has rendered that deadline all but meaningless.
The Senate's Republican and Democratic leaders say it is going to be tough to broker a successful deal on immigration policy.
Trump has proposed a path to citizenship for 1.8 million immigrants in exchange for $25 billion for a border wall with Mexico and other security measures, as well as curbs on legal immigration. Many Democrats consider some of the proposals, including limiting the relatives that legal immigrants can bring to the US to be non-starters.
Trump will be meeting later Tuesday with the National Sheriffs' Association — a meeting where he is likely to continue his immigration pitch.
Trump also tweeted on his $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan, writing that "after many years we have taken care of our Military, now we have to fix our roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and more. Bipartisan, make deal Dems?"
Still, Trump has sent mixed messages on his commitment to the proposal, telling state and local officials at a White House meeting Monday that "if you don't want it, that's OK with me too."
The administration's plan is centered on using $200 billion in federal money to leverage more than $1 trillion in local and state tax dollars to fix America's infrastructure, such as roads, highways, ports and airports.


German city of Hamburg ato restrict older diesel vehicles

A car passes a traffic sign showing a ban on diesel cars at the Max-Brauer Allee in downtown Hamburg, Germany, on May 23, 2018. (REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer)
Updated 26 min 30 sec ago
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German city of Hamburg ato restrict older diesel vehicles

  • Diesel bans will affect two streets, non-Euro-6 models
  • Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has long sought to avoid bans, as has the VDA auto industry lobby representing carmakers such as Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW.

BERLIN: Germany’s second largest city, Hamburg, will ban the most polluting diesel vehicles from two major streets from next week, a move that could spur others to follow suit and raise pressure on carmakers to consider costly vehicle refits.
Hamburg, home to around 1.8 million people, said on Wednesday the ban would start on May 31 and affect diesel models that do not meet the latest Euro-6 emissions standards.
This follows a ruling in February by Germany’s top administrative court that the cities of Stuttgart and Duesseldorf should consider bans for older diesels.
The detailed publication of that ruling last Friday showed local authorities were entitled to implement targeted bans with immediate effect to bring air pollution levels into line with European Union rules, although curbs affecting wider city areas should only be phased in over time.
Bans on diesel vehicles from city centers are also planned in Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens by 2025, while the mayor of Copenhagen wants to bar new diesel cars from entering the city center as soon as next year.
Since the German ruling was disclosed, the environment minister of Germany’s northernmost state, Schleswig-Holstein, has said banning older diesel vehicles could also be an option for the regional capital Kiel, a city of about 250,000 people.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has long sought to avoid bans, as has the VDA auto industry lobby representing carmakers such as Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW.
Environment Minister Svenja Schulze — a member of the Social Democrats, junior partners in Merkel’s coalition government — urged carmakers to roll out retrofits for diesel cars to lower emissions. “Driving bans like those in Hamburg show how serious the situation is,” she told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. “It’s up to the car industry now.”
Levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emitted by diesel engines and known to cause respiratory disease should fall significantly as more efficient Euro-6 models are sold and emissions-cleaning software updates take effect, Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer was quoted as saying on Wednesday by the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper.
The bans in Hamburg affect a section of about 1.6 km (one mile) on Stresemannstrasse, where the restrictions will apply only to commercial vehicles weighing 3.5 tons or more, and a section of about 580 meters on Max-Brauer-Allee, covering all diesel vehicles.
Both thoroughfares are in Altona, a busy district in the west of the city.
Drivers aiming for a destination on the two affected streets, including residents, trash collectors, suppliers and taxis, will be exempt from the restrictions as they are designed to filter out through traffic, a spokesman for Hamburg’s environment and energy department said.
Of the 330,000 diesel cars on Hamburg’s roads, only about 116,000 have the Euro-6 technology that was introduced in 2014, according to local government data.
Police will make random checks and fine drivers of older diesel cars 25 euros ($30) and truck owners up to 75 euros for violating the new rules, he said.