US President Donald Trump arrives in UK for four-day visit

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at Stansted Airport, Britain, July 12 2018. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
Updated 12 July 2018
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US President Donald Trump arrives in UK for four-day visit

  • US President Donald Trump has arrived in the UK for the start of a four-day visit
  • His visit comes after he accused his beleaguered host of failing to deliver on voters' intentions when they decided to quit the EU

LONDON: US President Donald Trump has arrived in the UK for the start of a four-day visit, during which he will meet with UK Prime Minister Theresa May as well as with Queen Elizabeth II during a weekend in Scotland.

His visit comes after he accused his beleaguered host of failing to deliver on voters' intentions when they decided to quit the EU.
Ignoring all diplomatic niceties, the convention-shredding US president set up the four-day visit with a rebuke of May as she battles to stop her government falling apart over Brexit.
Shrugging off the plans for mass protests, which will include a giant baby-shaped blimp bearing Trump's features, he said in Brussels: "They like me a lot in the UK. I think they agree with me on immigration.
"I think that's why Brexit happened," he said, noting that Britain was "a pretty hot spot right now with a lot of resignations".
"The people voted to break it up (Britain's ties with the EU)," Trump told a press conference.
"So I would imagine that's what they will do, but maybe they will take a little bit of a different route. I don't know (if) that is what they voted for," he added.
"I'd like to see them be able to work it out so it could go quickly."
The trip, which will include tea with the Queen and a private weekend in Scotland, is set to be greeted by a mass demonstration in London on Friday.
Some 77 percent of Britons have an unfavourable view of Trump, according to a poll by YouGov with 1,648 respondents.
The poll conducted this week said 63 percent found Trump racist, and 74 percent said he was sexist.
Despite a series of diplomatic spats between Britain and Trump, the British government is hoping for a quick trade deal with the United States after it leaves the European Union.
"There is no stronger alliance than that of our special relationship with the US and there will be no alliance more important in the years ahead," May said ahead of the visit.
Woody Johnson, US ambassador to the UK, has said a deal will be "a major priority" for Trump, calling Brexit "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change direction".
Trump was flying over after a fraught NATO summit in Brussels where he piled pressure on allies to double their defence spending.
Trump is due to leave Britain on Sunday for talks in Helsinki the following day with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose government stands accused by May's of unleashing a lethal nerve agent in the city of Salisbury.

Britain "is in somewhat turmoil", Trump said before departing Washington, remarking that dealing with Putin might surprisingly be the easiest part of the European trip.
That turmoil includes the resignations of May's Brexit and foreign ministers over her plan to retain close ties with the EU after leaving the bloc in March.
Ambassador Johnson sought to play down Trump's comments.
"We're extremely confident in the ability of the UK to plough through this issue with Brexit and move on," he told BBC radio.


Myanmar army should be removed from politics: UN probe

Updated 18 September 2018
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Myanmar army should be removed from politics: UN probe

  • The report says an estimated 10,000 people were killed in the crackdown and that was likely a conservative figure
  • Investigators said the Tatmadaw should be restructured and the process should begin by replacing the current leadership

YANGON: Myanmar’s powerful army should be removed from politics, UN investigators said Tuesday in the final version of a damning report reiterating calls for top generals to be prosecuted for genocide against the Rohingya Muslim minority.
A brutal military crackdown last year forced more than 700,000 Rohingya to flee over the border to Bangladesh. Demands have mounted for those who waged the campaign to face justice.
The UN’s 444-page probe is the most meticulous breakdown of the violence to date. It says the military’s top leadership should be overhauled and have no further influence over the country’s governance.
Myanmar’s military dominates the Buddhist-majority nation, holding a quarter of seats in parliament and controlling three ministries, making their grip on power firm despite political reforms which began in 2011.
But the report said the country’s civilian leadership “should further pursue the removal of the Tatmadaw from Myanmar’s political life,” referring to the nation’s armed forces.
The UN’s analysis, based on 18 months’ work and more than 850 in-depth interviews, urges the international community to investigate the military top brass for genocide, including commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing.
Myanmar’s army has denied nearly all wrongdoing, insisting its campaign was justified to root out Rohingya insurgents who staged deadly raids on border posts in August 2017.
But the UN team said the military’s tactics had been “consistently and grossly disproportionate to actual security threats.”
The report says an estimated 10,000 people were killed in the crackdown and that was likely a conservative figure.
Investigators said the Tatmadaw should be restructured and the process should begin by replacing the current leadership.
Myanmar only recently emerged from almost a half century of military junta rule and Aung San Suu Kyi’s democratically-elected government remains in a delicate power balance with the generals.
Their presence in parliament gives them an effective veto on constitutional changes, making any transition to full civilian control extremely difficult.
Three key ministries -– home affairs, border and defense –- are also in their hands, giving them carte blanche to conduct security operations with little oversight.
“It is impossible to remove the army out of political life without changing the constitution, and the military have a veto over constitutional changes,” Mark Farmaner, from Burma Campaign UK, told AFP.
The UN team said there were reasonable grounds to believe that the atrocities — including systematic murder, rape, torture and arson -– were committed with the intention of destroying the stateless Rohingya, warranting the charges of genocide.
The mission, created by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017, did not focus its sights entirely on the army.
It directed specific criticism at Suu Kyi, whose global reputation has been shattered by her failure to speak up for the Rohingya against the military.
While acknowledging that the civilian authorities have little influence over military actions, the report said that their “acts and omissions” had “contributed to the commission of atrocity crimes.”
Pointing to “deeply entrenched” impunity in Myanmar, the investigators said the only chance to obtain accountability was through the international justice system.
They also pointed to failings of the UN’s office within Myanmar, alleging that “quiet diplomacy” was prioritized and that those who tried to push the UN’s Human Rights Up Front approach were “ignored, criticized, sidelined or blocked in these efforts.”
The independent UN team will present its findings to member states of the Human Rights Council in Geneva later on Tuesday, after which Myanmar will have a chance to respond to the allegations.
It also repeated suggestions that crimes against the Rohingya be referred to the International Criminal Court, which concluded in August that it had jurisdiction to investigate even though Myanmar is not a member of the treaty underpinning the tribunal.
Myanmar has dismissed the tribunal’s authority and analysts have pointed to the court’s lack of enforcement powers.
The investigators also recommended an arms embargo and “targeted individual sanctions against those who appear to be most responsible.”