US Ambassador To Panama Says He Cannot Serve Trump, Resigns

The ambassador declared the end of his 35-year career with the US government effective March 9.

The United States´ Panamanian Ambassador John D. Feeley announced his resignation Thursday, saying he could not serve under president Donald Trump.

RELATED: Racist: Massive Outrage over Trump 'Shithole' Migration Remark

"As a junior foreign service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the president and his administration in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies. My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honor bound to resign. That time has come," Feeley said.

In an open letter published on the embassy's website, addressed to the Central American president, Juan Carlos Verla and Vice President Isabel Saint Malo, the ambassador declared the end of his career with the US government effective March 9.

Throughout his 35 years in both the nation’s Marines and Department of State, the ambassador dedicated his efforts to supporting integration and maintaining good relations between the Americas. According to the letter, the US ambassador leaves his position with a feeling of immense gratitude to the foreign government and the citizens of Panama who shared a relationship of mutual friendship, respect and teamwork.

Feeley’s duties with the Panamanian government will be assumed by Deputy Chief of Mission, Roxanne Cabral, until a suitable replacement can be found.

 

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Palestinians Reject United States Threat

Ramallah, Jan 3 (Prensa Latina) The office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the threat of US President Donald Trump to cut off financial aid to Palestinians if they do not resume negotiations with Israel.

According to Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the presidential spokesman, 'Jerusalem and its sacred places are not for sale, neither for gold nor silver.'

Peace and real negotiations must be based on Arab and international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative that leads to the establishment of the independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital, the spokesman said.

If the United States has any concern for its interests in the Middle East, it must abide by the principles and resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations, otherwise, Washington will push the region to the abyss, Abu Rudeineh added.

The US government announced yesterday that it will cut funds to the Palestinians and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) as a means of pressure to resume peace talks with Israel.

Ramallah ended the negotiations on the matter after the US recognition, contrary to international law, of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

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Impeachment Process of VP Glas Authorized by Ecuador's Assembly

Jorge Glas has been sentenced to six years in prison for corruption linked to the sprawling Odebrecht case in what his supporters are calling a 'political witch-hunt.'

A body within the Ecuadorian National Assembly has given the greenlight for an impeachment trial to take place against former Vice-President Jorge Glas after he was sentenced to six years in prison for corruption.

RELATED: Mother of Convicted Former Ecuador VP Appeals to Pope

Four of the seven lawmakers that make up the Legislative Administration Council voted in favor late Tuesday of the motion to authorize the prosecution commission within parliament to begin the impeachment process against Glas. 

The news comes just days after the Constitutional Court unanimously endorsed the launch of impeachment proceedings against the suspended official. The council had previously failed to pass the motion three times becausee of a lack of support in the top court. 

Glas, who was also the vice-president under former president Rafael Correa, now has five days to present his defence against the impeachment to the assembly. He can delegate a lawmaker to carry out his defence, which is likely to be the case given that he is already being held in preventive detention.

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Roberto Gomez, from the right-wing opposition CREO movement leading the case against Glas, also has five days to present his own arguments for impeachment, which will be analyzed to consider whether it meets the parameters established in the constitution.

Glas has been in detention since October, when charges were brought against him over receiving bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht in return for awarding the scandal-ridden firm lucrative state contracts.

RELATED: Correa: Lenin Moreno is a 'Wolf in Sheep's Clothing' who was 'With the Opposition

Glas was elected vice-president in the second electoral round last April, with President Lenin Moreno as leader of the left-wing Alianza Pais. He served as vice president since 2013 under Correa, who has been critical of the trial against his ally, accusing the courts of many irregularities and saying that Glas is "innocent."

Lenin ran his presidential campaign under the leftist agenda of his predecessor but has largely broken from Correa and worked to appease right-wing political and economic actors in the country.

Correa and his supporters have accused the new president of “betraying” the ideals of the ruling party AP, which was founded by Correa more than a decade ago and argue that prosecuting Glas is a entirely political.

Odebrecht allegedly paid US$33.5 million in bribes to secure contracts in Ecuador. The opposition says that Correa's government was slow to investigate, although he rejects that.

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‘Merkel is on a destructive course, refuses to correct her policies’

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s momentum is clearly downward, and she is going to be in an even weaker position if snap elections are called. She should step aside and recognize time has been called, political experts told RT.

After talks on forming a coalition government collapsed, Chancellor Angela Merkel was forced to seek advice from German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The president will now try to persuade the members of the failed coalition to rethink their decision and return to talks.

RT talked to political experts about the uncertain future Merkel's currently facing.

RT: Merkel says she'd prefer a snap election to the formation of a minority government. Would that not be a retrograde step?

 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) speaks to media after the exploratory talks about forming a new coalition government collapsed in Berlin, Germany, November 20, 2017 © Hannibal Hanschke

Steven Meissner, independent political observer: It will be a step backward for her. I don’t think there is any chance that she will be able to make the 34 percent that she made in September. Her momentum is clearly down. The voting population will be fairly disappointed in the outcome of her negotiations. Her standing has been hurt. She is on the way out. I said this on the eve of the elections that her days are numbered, and it is becoming more and more apparent to other observers that her days are numbered. If they have to go through another election, I would guess a number something like 29 to 30 percent is all she will do. In other words, she is going to be in an even weaker position than she is right now. Ideally, the CDU before they go into another election should have a new candidate and start over with a fresh face, but they are not going to be able to do that very quickly.

RT: Why is she calling for the snap elections?

SM: She is between a rock and a hard place. Where is she going to go? This Jamaica coalition has basically not been doable. A minority government in Germany on a federal level has never been done. Nobody really thinks that that would work or would be stable. In other words, within a year or two, it would probably collapse anyway, and you would have elections. If she had any real honor as a leader, she would have stepped back on election night, and she didn’t. So I don’t expect her to step down now either… she could step back and say I’m giving it up to a new leader of the party, and he or she will go into the election with better chances than she will...

RT: Could you explain the situation with the possible snap elections in Germany? What does it mean? Is it a step back for Merkel?

Dr. Max Otte, professor for general and international business administration at the University of Applied Sciences, Worms: It was very surprising to me. So far, she has always clung to power. I thought she would have sought another negotiated solution, so this is a surprise. Everybody is putting this to FDP. In the end, the Jamaica coalition, comprised of Greens, FDP, CDU/CSU was a very unlikely and strange construct. That cannot work, and we can see that the country is in some turmoil here. This is indeed an unprecedented situation.

 
Migrants take selfies with German Chancellor Angela Merkel © Fabrizio Bensch

RT: The German president has called this an unprecedented situation in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, and he is calling for fresh negotiations. How likely is it they will lead to anything new?

MO: The FDP is really for a change in the course. The FDP is maintaining its senses. I think it could have the power to bring the CDU back to its senses. It is unfortunate that the FDP was singled out as a culprit in this. I think they have a very sensible direction. We don’t know if there is going to be new elections, but if there are going to be new elections, I am pretty certain the FDP and probably also the AfD - the opposition party that came into a parliament with 13.6 percent of votes - will gain because there is quite silent and significant part of the population that wants a change in the immigration policy. I would be surprised if we had fresh elections, but Merkel has apparently stated that we are going to have them…

The Greens want this immigration policy to continue, and I think this is a big detriment for Germany, so the FDP had to walk out because there was no possibility of a consensus… Merkel is apparently closer to the Greens than to the FDP, which is really not surprising, but it’s a shame for the country. Why not form a minority government with the CDU/CSU being tolerated by the AfD and the other parties? That’s a very sensible option, but nobody talks about that. Everything is in the air, and we just have to wait and see how things develop.

RT: How likely is it that Merkel will win again if there are snap elections?

MO: I was surprised that she actually called for fresh elections because I think that she will lose further. I think she is past her prime and she should step aside. She hasn’t recognized the call of time. And sometime now or later the reality will hit her. I think she should resign, she has completely failed and this is the receipt for it.

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Senate committee to interview Trump Jr. behind closed doors

Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will privately interview Donald Trump, Jr., Thursday -- and are expected to ask about his meeting with a Russian lawyer in New York City during last year's presidential campaign.

Senators had sought to interview the president's son publicly in July but he instead offered to be privately interviewed and provide documents.

"We look forward to a professional and productive meeting and appreciate the opportunity to assist the committee," Trump, Jr.'s attorney, Alan S. Futerfas, said in a statement.

Last week, Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California issued a joint statement confirming the interview with the president's eldest son was imminent.

Trump, Jr., has acknowledged he met with a Russian lawyer -- who he said had damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton that could help his father's presidential campaign. He released emails this summer that showed it was "part of Russia and its government's support for [President Donald] Trump."

Also attending the meeting were Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, now a senior adviser to the president, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Kushner and Manafort have already been interviewed by the Senate Committee on Intelligence.

The Senate and House intelligence committees are investigating Russian election meddling and any ties to Trump's campaign, but the judiciary panel wants to investigate whether any federal criminal statutes that ban solicitation from foreign nationals were violated.

Feinstein told reporters Wednesday the committee staff will conduct the interview, and a public hearing will be conducted later. Feinstein said she doesn't plan to attend the interview.

Other committee members, including Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, said they plan to attend.

"There are penalties if he lies, and he presumably is aware that he is testifying with very severe penalties if he fails to tell the truth, so we presume he will," Blumenthal told reporters.

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Trump ratifies his fight against the “tyranny of communism” in Cuba

“The fact is that the deal with Cuba is bad”, claimed Trump, who reaffirmed his aim to sweep with the great agreements signed by the previous Administration.

U.S. President Donald Trump pledged on Wednesday to fight the “tyranny of communism”, which in his opinion is applied on the island of Cuba.

"The United States will fight the tyranny of communism”, he stated during a speech before his supporters in the state of Iowa.

Trump, who retook actions against Cuba, ratified his interest in dismantling the agreements signed by former US President Barack Obama, particularly the warming of relations between Washington and Havana.

"The fact is that the deal with Cuba is bad”, said Trump, who advocated to achieving “a much better deal”.

The move announced by Trump last June 16 confirms the continuity of the economic, commercial and financial blockade on Cuba and toughens the restrictions over businesses with enterprises linked to authorities of Havana, besides banning private trips to the island.

Several countries in the world, especially from the American continent, have rejected the measures taken by Donald Trump and urged to resume the warming of relations started by the previous US Administration.

In his statements, Trump criticised again his predecessor in the White House, the “catastrophic” Paris Agreement and the “dishonest” media.

"This is great: Obama made a deal with Cuba, where thousands of people are incarcerated, made a deal with Iran; and then they say that Trump is a horrible person”, this is incredible”, he asserted.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / Cubasi Translation Staff

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Trump: Increases Opposition to His “Cuban” Politics

Another analyst from a far-right publication from Florida, this time Guillermo Descalzi, wrote a harsh critic to President Donald Trump.

He did it in the New Herald and it revolved about his Miami speech where last Friday he established changes in his behavior toward Cuba.

Descalzi began saying, there is lack of unity, logic, kindness, and generosity in our politics, trade and society.

Then he crushed Washington Congress when he said that most of its members say to work for the nation, “but it’s not like way.”

And he claimed, first they struggle for their positions, then their party, third to defeat the “others”, fourth with ordinary ideas to deviate the attention.

Fifth, he kept saying, for their well-being, sixth to ‘please', seventh to convince.

“There is ranting,” added Guillermo Descalzi, when he who pushed him to throw James Comey off the FBI headquarters now investigates him for doing so.”

After that he says that in the White House there’s a president that either supports them or goes against them.

But the journalist's toughest criterion came when he wrote that “Trump is cracking the floor beneath his feet” with Nixonian attitudes.

He even dares saying that being in the President’s proximity is dangerous and his closest relatives are beginning to get protection.

Even Pence, his second in command, a lawyer hired to defend his interests.

Descalzi comments, if the United States vice-president does that, you can just imagine the rest.

Then he quotes the example of the famous medical reformation which content has not been read yet by the democrats and only for a handful of republicans.

As a conclusion the analyst outlines: Trump hardened the politics toward Cuba for human rights violation.

He also ordered to strengthen the efforts to widen Internet access in Cuba.

Although this is a positive action, it’s aimed at pleasing his Cuban voters in Florida.

If it was a decision of principle, estimates Descalzi, he would also harden our politics toward Saudi Arabia, where human rights are violated.

But there isn’t a Saudi Arabian exile to please here, where seeking money is the goal, and they have plenty over here.

Something seems objective, the changes Trump imposed to the politics toward Cuba cannot hit home smoothly, they’ll never will.

All of these happens while his Administration is still spattered of many and bothersome suspicions.

Argentina's Cristina Fernandez Calls for Unity Against Neoliberalism, Launches New Political Movement

The former President announced the new "Citizen's Unity" alliance that wil against the conservative government 

Former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner launched Tuesday a new political alliance called Citizen's Unity that will put forward candidates to context seats in the country's upcoming legislative elections in the name of checking President Mauricio Macri's power in Congress.

RELATED: Macri's Conservative Coalition Loses Support Ahead of Legislative Elections

"I call for a citizen's unity, the unity of all Argentines," Fernandez said to a crowd of tens of thousands in Buenos Aires.

The politician criticized the rise in prices in basic services, incudluding gas and electricity, under the neoliberal agenda of the Macri administration.  

"We need to put a limit on this government in the next elections to stop this adjustment," Fernandez said. "With them we don't have a future, I don't think it's fair that we are suffering."

Social organizations and civil groups gathered at the packed stadium where the local Arsenal Football Club plays shouted, "We will return, we will return," a chorus made famous by her supporters. Some 30,000 people were expected to attend her announcement.

Fernandez, known in Argentina by her initials CFK, was expected to announce whether or not she will run for senator in Argentina's most populous province in the legislative elections scheduled for Oct. 22.

RELATED: Argentina's Workers Prepare Massive March Against Neoliberalism

"I come here to join as one more, to put my body, my head and my heart," Fernandez said. "To represent the interests of the men and women of flesh and bone."

The new alliance is made up of five political parties — New Gathering, Broad Front, Victory Party, Kolina and Federal Commitment — four of which were previously part of Fernandez' former political alliance, the Front for Victory. The Citizen's Unity coalition does not include Fernandez party with which she was elected president, the Justicialist Party, which is part of the Front for Victory. 

If Fernandez decides to run in this election, she could end up competing against her former Transportation Minister Florencio Randazzo, who has already announced his candidacy. Two sources close to her told Reuters she intends to run in Buenos Aires.

Rather than affiliating for the election with Peronism, the country's dominant progressive political movement, Fernandez and her allies' party aims to fight "the reinstatement of the neo-liberal model" under President Macri.

Candidates have until Saturday to confirm their plans to run in the legislative elections.

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