December 3, 2022

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'Out of bounds': Republicans criticize Trump over Joe Arpaio pardon

'Out of bounds': Republicans criticize Trump over Joe Arpaio pardonThe onslaught of criticism against Donald Trump’s decision to pardon former sheriff Joe Arpaio did not let up on Sunday, with members of the president’s own party calling the move “absolutely staggering”, “out of bounds” and a dangerous message to send to law enforcement. “It absolutely should be out of bounds for somebody to use [the power to pardon] as some sort of a political wedge,” said Ohio governor John Kasich, who competed against Trump in the Republican primary in 2016 and is widely reported to be considering a run in 2020.


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Smugglers' tunnel uncovered on US-Mexico border

Smugglers' tunnel uncovered on US-Mexico borderMilitary authorities have uncovered a tunnel under the Mexico-US border that was used to smuggle migrants from the city of Tijuana to San Diego, California, the Mexican government said Sunday. The entrance on the Mexican side was inside a warehouse and the exit was just beyond the border fence in San Diego, officials said. Twenty-five migrants were picked up by the US Border Patrol as they emerged from the passageway, a Mexican state police official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.


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Angela Merkel tells asylum seekers not to take holidays in their country of origin

Angela Merkel tells asylum seekers not to take holidays in their country of originHarsher measures should be taken against asylum seekers if they take a holiday in their country of origin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview, in which she also said she had no regrets over her open-door refugee policy. "Taking holidays in the country in which you are being persecuted is not on," she said in an interview with Welt am Sonntag, adding that it could be a reason to re-examine an asylum case.  While there is no official data on asylum seekers returning to their home countries on "holiday", the issue has been the focus of media reports in Germany. Leader of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and candidate for chancellor, Martin Schulz Credit: EPA/SASCHA STEINBACH Newspaper Die Welt first reported last year that it had uncovered cases of recognised asylum seekers who travelled to countries such as Syria and Afghanistan for a short time before returning to Germany. Martin Retsch, from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), said the practice was not “widespread”. The issue is, however, indicative of the tensions that have built in Germany as a result of the influx of refugees. Mrs Merkel said she has no regrets over her refugee policy, which saw Germany controversially open its doors to hundreds of thousands of refugees two years ago, despite the deep rifts the decision caused in her party. Graphic: Germany’s political spectrum “I would make all of the important decisions of 2015 the same way again”, she said in the interview yesterday/Sunday.  Just four weeks ahead of the German election, an Emnid opinion poll on Sunday suggested Merkel’s refugee policy was not likely to lose her the election, putting her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 15 points ahead of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD).  However, 46 per cent of voters have yet to make up their minds, according to a survey for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper. Profile | Angela Merkel Martin Schulz, Mrs Merkel's main challenger, stepped up his attacks yesterday in an attempt to turn around his flagging campaign, labelling the Chancellor "aloof" and "out of touch". The Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader said Mrs Merkel had tried to dictate terms for their sole televised debate after she reportedly rejected a television network's proposals to change up the format to allow for more spontaneity when the pair face off next Sunday. "More and more people are seeing this as a kind of aloofness that is already playing a big role in this campaign and will mobilise my voters," said Schulz.


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Syrian army advances against IS in Deir Ezzor province

Syrian army advances against IS in Deir Ezzor provinceSyrian government troops advanced 13 kilometres (eight miles) on Sunday in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor as they pressed an offensive against the Islamic State group, a monitor said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said troops of the Damascus regime pushed into the southwest of the oil-rich province from the desert town of Sukhnah. In June, Syrian troops broke into Deir Ezzor from a border region with Iraq and earlier this month they breached it from the neighbouring province of Raqa, but moving just four kilometres in.


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After decades of war, Colombia's FARC rebels debut political party

After decades of war, Colombia's FARC rebels debut political partyBy Nelson Bocanegra and Julia Symmes Cobb BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's leftist FARC rebel group is introducing its political party at a conference that began on Sunday, a major step in its transition into a civilian organization after more than 50 years of war and its first chance to announce policy to skeptical voters. The six-day meeting in Bogota of FARC members, who have handed in more than 8,000 weapons to the United Nations during their demobilization, is expected to conclude on Friday with a platform that the party will campaign on in elections next year. Under its 2016 peace deal with the government to end its part in a war that has killed more than 220,000 people, the majority of fighters in the group formally known as Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia were granted amnesty and allowed to participate in politics.


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After Charlottesville, Tillerson says Trump 'speaks for himself'

After Charlottesville, Tillerson says Trump 'speaks for himself'Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declined to say Sunday whether President Trump’s values align with the United States’ values, instead maintaining that Trump “speaks for himself.” The comment was made during Tillerson’s appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” after host Chris Wallace questioned him about a U.N. committee’s criticism of Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va.


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Pakistan postpones U.S. visit after Trump speech

Pakistan postpones U.S. visit after Trump speechBy Kay Johnson ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan postponed a visit by a U.S. acting Assistant Secretary of State, officials said, as small protests broke out against President Donald Trump's accusations that Islamabad was prolonging the war in Afghanistan. The visit of Alice Wells, acting assistant Secretary of State for South and Asian Affairs, scheduled for Monday, would have been the first high-profile visit by a U.S. official since Trump's Afghan policy speech on Aug. 21.


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