Trump: No emergency declaration to end US govt shutdown

As a result, 800,000 federal employees — including FBI agents, air traffic controllers and museum staff — received no paychecks on Friday. (File/AFP)
Updated 13 January 2019
0

Trump: No emergency declaration to end US govt shutdown

  • Trump fired off a series of tweets Saturday in an effort to defend his stance and goad Democrats to return to Washington
  • The impasse has paralyzed Washington — its impact felt increasingly around the country — with the president refusing to sign off on budgets

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said he was holding off on declaring a state of emergency to end the partial US government shutdown that dragged into a 23rd day Sunday, as he insisted on $5.7 billion to build a Mexico border wall that congressional Democrats oppose.
Asked by Fox News why he didn’t immediately declare a national emergency to secure the funds without congressional approval, Trump said he wanted to give opposition Democratic lawmakers more time to strike a deal.
“I want to give them the chance to see if they can act responsibly,” he told Fox in an interview late Saturday.
The US government shutdown became the longest on record at midnight Friday, when it overtook a 21-day stretch in 1995-1996 under president Bill Clinton.
Trump fired off a series of tweets Saturday in an effort to defend his stance and goad Democrats to return to Washington and end what he called “the massive humanitarian crisis at our Southern Border.”
“Democrats could solve the Shutdown in 15 minutes!” he said in one tweet, adding in another, “We will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their ‘vacations’ and get back to work. I am in the White House ready to sign!“
But most lawmakers left town on Friday and will not return before Monday, leaving little chance for any solution to the stalemate before then.
The impasse has paralyzed Washington — its impact felt increasingly around the country — with the president refusing to sign off on budgets for swaths of government departments unrelated to the dispute.
As a result, 800,000 federal employees — including FBI agents, air traffic controllers and museum staff — received no paychecks on Friday.
At a White House meeting Friday Trump described an emergency declaration as the “easy way out,” and said Congress had to step up to the responsibility of approving funding for the wall.
“If they can’t do it... I will declare a national emergency. I have the absolute right,” he said.
Trump however acknowledged that such a move would likely trigger a legal battle ending in the Supreme Court.
Opponents say such a unilateral presidential move would be constitutional overreach and set a dangerous precedent in similar controversies.
Trump pushed back Saturday on a media report that his White House was “chaotic” with no plan or strategy to end the shutdown.
To understand the plan “you would have to understand the fact that I won the election, and I promised... a Wall at the Southern Border. Elections have consequences!” he tweeted.
Both Democrats and Republicans agree that the US-Mexican border presents challenges, but Trump has turned his single-minded push for more walls into a crusade that opponents say is a stunt to stoke xenophobia in his right-wing voter base.
For the president, who visited the Texas border with Mexico on Thursday, the border situation amounts to an invasion by criminals. Only in recent days has he begun describing the problem as “humanitarian.”
Some studies show that illegal immigrants commit fewer crimes than people born in the United States.
And most narcotics are smuggled through heavily guarded checkpoints in vehicles, the government’s Drug Enforcement Administration said in a 2017 report.


Eight killed by explosion in Somalia's Mogadishu

Updated 15 June 2019
0

Eight killed by explosion in Somalia's Mogadishu

MOGADISHU: A car bomb exploded near the Somali parliament Saturday, killing eight people, emergency workers said, hours after militia executed nine civilians from a clan with suspected links to the extremist Al-Shabaab.
"We have confirmed eight people killed and 16 others wounded in the blast," the private Aamin Ambulance service said.
A second blast on a key road leading to the airport of the Somali capital Mogadishu did not cause any casualties.
The Al-Shabaab group claimed responsibility for the attacks saying "they were targeting two checkpoints, one of them along the airport road and (the other) along the road that leads to house of legislators."
Abdulahi Mire, who witnessed the explosion near the parliament building said; "I saw four dead bodies and four others wounded in the blast."
Police sealed off the road and ambulances rushed to the scene, he added.
Local shopkeeper Naimo Ali said the blast was "huge" and destroyed a part of her shop.
"I saw several people strewn in the road and some of them were motionless," she added.
According to security sources the second explosives-laden car a Toyota Noah, was spotted by security forces at a checkpoint. They opened fire and killed a man in the car, which then exploded.
No one was injured in the blast.