Mexican president’s visit to White House postponed after testy Trump call

In this file photo taken on July 7, 2017 US President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto shake hands during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. (AFP)
Updated 25 February 2018
0

Mexican president’s visit to White House postponed after testy Trump call

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto postponed plans for the Mexican leader’s first visit to the White House, after a testy phone call involving Trump’s push for a border wall, a senior US official said on Saturday.
“The two leaders agreed now was not the immediate right time for a visit but that they would have their teams continue to talk and work together,” the official said.
Mexican officials had been talking about a summit between Trump and Pena Nieto in the next few weeks, without specifying when.
The Washington Post, which first reported the delay earlier on Saturday, said the two leaders spoke for about 50 minutes on Tuesday. But the discussion led to an impasse when Trump would not agree to publicly affirm Mexico’s position that it would not fund construction of the wall along the US-Mexico border.
A Mexican official said Trump lost his temper during the conversation, the newspaper reported. But it said US officials described Trump as frustrated and exasperated, because he believed it was unreasonable for Pena Nieto to want him to back off his campaign promise of forcing Mexico to pay for the wall.
Mexico’s foreign ministry said it had nothing to say about the call, other than a statement on Tuesday that said Trump had expressed condolences for a helicopter crash in Mexico and both sides had committed to advancing the bilateral agenda of trade, migration and security.
The wall, a key item for Trump’s political base of supporters, has become a sticking point in talks to keep alive a federal program that protects from deportation young people who were brought to the United States illegally as children.
In his latest budget proposal to Congress, Trump requested $23 billion for border security, most of it for building the wall.
Pena Nieto, who met Trump in July on the sidelines of a G20 summit, canceled an earlier meeting after Trump threatened to impose a tax on Mexican imports to pay for the wall. Trump also met the Mexican president once during the 2016 election campaign.


UK interior minister says was victim of moped theft, pledges police action

Updated 5 min 21 sec ago
0

UK interior minister says was victim of moped theft, pledges police action

LONDON: Britain’s interior minister, Sajid Javid, said on Sunday that his phone had been stolen by moped-riding thieves several months ago and that he was seeking changes to police rules to help tackle the growing problem.
Moped theft, in which attackers surprise pedestrians and grab phones and bags, is one of several violent crimes in London that have attracted national attention. Earlier this year, a spate of stabbings briefly pushed London’s murder rate ahead of New York’s.
In an interview with the Sun on Sunday newspaper, Javid said the incident occurred outside London’s Euston station as he went to make a phone call. It happened before he took up his job in charge of domestic security.
“I was walking out of Euston station and reached for my phone to call a taxi ... before I knew what was happening, it had gone. They just rode up, grabbed it and zoomed off,” he said.
Javid, seen by some as a potential challenger to Prime Minister Theresa May, was appointed in April after a scandal over the treatment of legal migrants led to the resignation of his predecessor.
Javid said that while overall crime levels were down, he would make tackling rising knife crime and serious violence a priority. He wants to change rules which prevent police from chasing suspects on mopeds if they are not wearing helmets.
“It’s ridiculous. Police should be allowed to get on with the job,” he said. “If someone commits a crime and police want to pursue them, they should have much more freedom to.”