June 20, 2018

Review Category : People

Meghan Markle makes Ascot racing debut in royal procession

Meghan Markle makes Ascot racing debut in royal processionMeghan Markle made her debut on Tuesday at one of the English social season's blue riband events, Royal Ascot, joining her husband Prince Harry in a horse-drawn carriage for the traditional procession along the course at the start of the five-day race meeting. Wearing a white Givenchy dress and black and white Philip Treacy hat, the new Duchess of Sussex and her husband were accompanied in the carriage by Harry's uncle Edward, the Earl of Wessex, and his wife Sophie.


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United States withdraws from UN human rights council as criticism mounts over border policy

United States withdraws from UN human rights council as criticism mounts over border policyThe United States has pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which it has accused of anti-Israel bias. Any suspension or withdrawal would be the latest US rejection of multilateral engagement after it pulled out of the Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal.  Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, and Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, made the announcement on Tuesday, with Mrs Haley saying the Geneva-based organisation was "not worthy of its name". Mrs Haley described the council as a "protector of human rights abusers and cesspool of political bias" and accused the body of "politicising and scapegoating countries with positive human rights records." She said the decision had not been taken lightly, and added: “We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organisation that makes a mockery of human rights.” Nikki Haley, pictured beside Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, announcing US withdrawal from the UN human rights council, on Tuesday in Washington DC Credit: AFP She said the US would have stayed if the changes they sought had been implemented, and said she did not rule out rejoining at a later date. Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, said the US decision was "regrettable". "We’ve made no secret of the fact that the UK wants to see reform of the human rights council, but we are committed to working to strengthen the council from within," he said. "Britain’s support for the human rights council remains steadfast. It is the best tool the international community has to address impunity in an imperfect world and to advance many of our international goals. "That’s why we will continue to support and champion it." Mrs Haley announced last year that Washington was reviewing its membership of the 47-country body. The US is halfway through a three-year term and its departure marks the first time that a sitting member would volunteer to step aside. Libya was suspended in 2011 after a government crackdown on unarmed protesters.   Under President George W. Bush the US refused to join the Geneva-based forum when it was created in 2006, but did so after President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Established to promote human rights worldwide the council has passed more than 70 resolutions critical of Israel, 10 times as often as it has criticised Iran. The US move came as Donald Trump achieved his highest job rating since the first week of his presidency. For the first time since January 2017 he recorded an approval figure of 45 per cent in a weekly Gallup poll. It meant Mr Trump's popularity was exactly the same as Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan at the same stage of their presidencies, while Barack Obama was at 46 per cent. The poll was conducted over the course of last week and reflected a strengthening economy, falling unemployment, and the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore. It was unclear how much the poll had been affected by a growing furore over a new "zero tolerance" policy of separating illegal immigrant parents from their children at the Mexican border. A separate Quinnipiac poll showed 66 per cent of Americans oppose the controversial policy, although 55 Per cent of Republicans support it. Donald Trump has faced fierce criticism for the so-called "zero-tolerance" policy that forcibly removes children from their parents Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci The policy means all illegal immigrants are now detained and prosecuted, and their children are removed and held in separate detention centres. The  UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein criticised the policy on Monday, calling it "unconscionable." Mrs Haley hit back on Tuesday, attacking the council for its own “hypocrisy”.  The council’s current membership includes 14 countries that are ranked as “not free” by Freedom House: Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, China, Cuba, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iraq, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. "Once again, the United Nations shows its hypocrisy by calling out the United States while it ignores the reprehensible human rights records of several members of its own human rights council," she said. In the past, illegal immigrant families were "caught and released" while they awaited proceedings. Over a six-week period more than 2,000 children have been separated from their parents, and photographs have emerged of minors being held in wire mesh cages. A secretly recorded tape also emerged of Central American children at a detention centre in Texas crying and pleading for their parents as a guard joked: "We have an orchestra here". Mr Trump on Tuesday said America was being "infested" by illegal immigrants and members of the MS-13 gang, and blamed Democrats for the crisis. He wrote on Twitter: "Democrats are the problem. They don’t care about crime and want illegal immigrants, no matter how bad they may be, to pour into and infest our country, like MS-13. They can’t win on their terrible policies, so they view them as potential voters! We must always arrest people coming into our country illegally." People protest against the Trump administration policy of separating immigrant families Credit: REUTERS/Mike Blake Asked if Theresa May thought it was acceptable to cage children, the prime minster's spokesman said: "The welfare and safeguarding of children is at the heart of our immigration policy. We do not separate child refugees or asylum seekers from their families." Jeff Sessions, the US attorney general, dismissed comparisons to Nazi concentration camps. He told Fox News: "Well, it's a real exaggeration, of course. In Nazi Germany, they were keeping the Jews from leaving the country." There was condemnation from all four living US former first ladies, and a host of senior Republicans including Senator John McCain. Ted Cruz, the high profile conservative Republican senator from Texas, also said he was "horrified" and that "this has to stop". Mr Cruz said he was introducing a bill in Congress to allow illegal immigrant families to stay together in temporary shelters. Mr Trump was scheduled to meet with Republicans in Congress to discuss potential immigration bills on Tuesday night.   A view of inside a Texas detention facility shows children sleeping under foil sheets Credit: Courtesy CBP/Handout via REUTERS At a meeting for small business owners on Tuesday, he said: "We want to solve this problem. I don't want children taken away from their parents. "When you prosecute the parents for coming in illegally, which should happen, you have to take the children away." He said there were only two choices - "totally open borders or criminal prosecution". Mr Trump said he was asking Congress for a "third option". Democrats accused the president of using the separation of families as a "negotiating tool" as he sought to strong-arm them into supporting funding for a border wall. Meanwhile, more than $4.8 million was raised on Facebook to help separated families with legal services. It was the social network's largest ever fundraiser and those donating included chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.


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Syrian rebel warns of 'volcanoes of fire' if Assad attacks south

Syrian rebel warns of 'volcanoes of fire' if Assad attacks southBy Tom Perry BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian government forces and their Iran-backed allies will face "volcanoes of fire" if they launch a threatened offensive in the opposition-held southwest, a rebel commander told Reuters on Tuesday. Syria's southwest has come into focus since President Bashar al-Assad and his allies crushed the last remaining rebel pockets near Damascus and Homs. Assad has vowed to recover opposition-held areas near the frontiers with Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, and government and allied forces are mobilizing.


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US soldier who said ‘communism will win’ and wore Che Guevara T-shirt to graduation kicked out of army

US soldier who said ‘communism will win’ and wore Che Guevara T-shirt to graduation kicked out of armyA US cadet who donned a Che Guevera T-shirt to his graduation in and shared a message online which said “communism will win” has been discharged from the army. In the video, Spenser Rapone opens his dress uniform to reveal a T-shirt with a red image of Argentine Marxist Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara – one of the world’s most famous revolutionaries in one of the photos which were taken at his graduation in May 2016. The 26-year-old, a cadet at US Military Academy West Point, raises his fist and flips over his cap to expose a hand-written message saying “communism will win” in another image.


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Harry and Meghan light up Royal Ascot as racing carnival begins

Harry and Meghan light up Royal Ascot as racing carnival beginsBritain's Queen Elizabeth II, as she has done for over 60 years, led the Royal Procession down the finishing straight on Tuesday to get probably racing's most famous carnival Royal Ascot under way. The greatest cheers, though, were reserved for newly-married couple Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, who are appearing together at the historic meeting for the first time. Harry and Meghan -- who were in the third of the four carriages -- later presented the trophy for the prestigious St James's Palace Stakes.


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Trump administration puts skimpy health insurance plans in place

Trump administration puts skimpy health insurance plans in placeHealth providers, insurers and medical groups have warned that the plans could drive up premiums and make insurance unaffordable for some people by siphoning off healthy consumers who want cheaper coverage, leaving behind a sicker patient pool with higher medical costs in Obamacare plans. The finalized rule is the Trump administration’s most recent effort to provide consumers with alternatives to Obamacare, former Democratic President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement.


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Wall Street tumbles, Dow erases 2018 gains as trade worries worsen

Wall Street tumbles, Dow erases 2018 gains as trade worries worsenU.S. stocks slumped and the Dow Jones Industrial Average erased its gains for the year on Tuesday, as a sharp escalation in U.S.-China trade dispute jolted the markets and triggered a rush to safer assets. President Donald Trump, in an unexpectedly swift and sharp move, threatened to impose a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods and Beijing warned it would retaliate. Trump said his move followed China's decision to raise tariffs on $50 billion in U.S. goods, which came after U.S. announced similar tariffs on Chinese goods on Friday.


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