US Congress sends anti-white supremacist measure to Trump

Chicago interfaith community gathered for a service to show solidarity with the people of Charlottesville, Va., in this Aug. 14, 2017 photo, in Chicago. (AP)
Updated 13 September 2017

US Congress sends anti-white supremacist measure to Trump

WASHINGTON: Congress unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday condemning neo-Nazis, the KKK and other white nationalists that urges President Donald Trump to address hate groups after last month’s deadly racially-charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The joint resolution, which describes the violence as a “domestic terrorist attack,” calls on the Trump administration to improve data collection on hate crimes and speak out against increasingly prevalent hate groups.
The House of Representatives unanimously approved the measure Tuesday, after the Senate did so a day earlier, and it now goes to Trump for his signature.
Lawmakers from Virginia said Congress spoke with “a unified voice” to unequivocally condemn the unrest, in which a counterdemonstrator was killed when a car driven by a suspected white supremacist plowed into a crowd after a rally called by far-right extremists turned violent.
The measure recognizes and offers condolences for the death of Heather Heyer, two emergency responders also killed in a helicopter crash while monitoring the protest, and the 19 people injured in the violence.
“I hope this bipartisan action will help heal the wounds left in the aftermath of this tragedy and send a clear message to those that seek to divide our country that there is no place for hate and violence,” said House Democrat Gerry Connelly.
Trump was widely criticized for using divisive language after clashes between white supremacist groups and those opposed to them.
The president’s job approval ratings sank to one of the lowest levels of his turbulent seven-month presidency, as respondents savaged his handling of racial issues following the deadly chaos.
The resolution expresses “support for the Charlottesville community, rejecting white nationalists, white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups, and urging the president and the president’s cabinet to use all available resources to address the threats posed by those groups.”


Pakistan stays on FATF terrorism financing ‘gray list’

Updated 21 February 2020

Pakistan stays on FATF terrorism financing ‘gray list’

  • FATF urges Islamabad to swiftly complete full action plan by June 2020
  • Says it will ‘take action’ if Pakistan fails to comply

KARACHI: The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global money-laundering and terror financing watchdog, on Friday gave Pakistan until June 2020 to improve its anti-terrorism financing measures.
“The FATF strongly urges Pakistan to swiftly complete its full action plan by June 2020,” the global body said in a statement issued at a plenary meeting in Paris.
This is the second four-month extension given to Pakistan to implement the agreed action plan.
The global watchdog decided to keep Pakistan on its gray list until the country’s next progress review in June.
The FATF said it would “take action” if Pakistan failed to make progress in prosecuting and penalizing terrorism financing.
In response to the FATF decision, the Pakistani government reiterated its commitment to taking all necessary action required.
“A strategy in this regard has been formulated and is being implemented,” Pakistan’s Ministry of Finance said in a statement.
“(The) FATF reviewed progress made by Pakistan toward implementation of the Action Plan, while acknowledging the steps taken by Pakistan toward implementation of the Action Plan and welcoming its high level political commitment,” the statement read.
The ministry said that during the last reporting period, Pakistan had made “significant progress” in the implementation of the 27-point FATF plan, which was demonstrated by the completion of nine additional action items.
While noting the improvements, the FATF expressed concerns over Pakistan’s failure to complete the action plan in line with the agreed timelines and “in light of the TF (terrorism financing) risks emanating from the jurisdiction.”
“Pakistan was required to completely ban terror outfits, take measures to control cash flows, and make laws to curb money laundering,” Muzamil Aslam, a Pakistani economist, told Arab News. “Now it is political will to take measures by June 2020 to get the country out of gray list.”
Ahead of the FATF meeting, Pakistan sentenced Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader Hafiz Saeed to five and a half years in prison on terrorism financing charges. The move was seen as a demonstration of compliance with FATF recommendations.
Pakistan managed to avoid the FATF’s balcklisting thanks to support from friendly countries, including Malaysia, Turkey and especially China.
Ahead of the FATF summit, Pakistan’s de facto finance minister, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, said that “China and other brotherly countries have supported Pakistan throughout the process in terms of guiding the country to improve its frameworks.”
Pakistan was placed on FATF’s gray list of countries with inadequate control over curbing money laundering and terrorism financing in 2018.

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