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Americans don’t trust Trump: Indian-American Congresswoman

Press Trust of India

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Washington:Americans do not trust US President Donald Trump as they cannot believe that he does not know anything about his campaigns’ connection with Russia during the 2016 presidential election, Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has said.
Her comments came days after Paul Manafort, who once headed Trump’s campaign, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigations of Russian interference in the election.
US President Donald Trump has called a New York Times op-ed “treason”, after an anonymous source wrote about alleged disarray among White House staff.
Jayapal, the first Indian-American woman to be elected to the US House of Representatives, told CNN on Sunday: “When you think about this, it isn’t just the individual pieces that we’re seeing, but what we’re seeing is top advisers, people who ran the campaign, the campaign manager, the deputy campaign manager, the president’s personal lawyer who have all pleaded guilty”.
“You have to begin to wonder how it could possibly be the case that the president knew nothing about what was going on.
“We obviously still have ways to go in terms of connecting Russia to the campaign and the president. That is still out there,” she said.
This is reflected in the polls, she said. “You see people recognising they don’t trust the president. They believe that Bob Mueller is doing a good job and that the investigation should continue. People are saying, look, this is outrageous,” Jayapal said about the ongoing investigations by former FBI Director Mueller on the allegations of Russian interference in 2016 elections.
“This level of corruption, greed, some of the individual charges that are outlined in the Manafort, charging document really show that this guy (Paul Manafort, former Trump Campaign manager)… is in jail because of jury tampering. This was the person who ran Donald Trump’s campaign. Not just some junior person, the person who ran his campaign. I think that’s a problem,” said the Indian-American Congresswoman from the Washington State.
Jayapal said people want a check on the president. “They see the chaos of the last 18 months. They don’t want it. They don’t like shattering of norms. What does a person who has the biggest bully pulpit of the White House do? They don’t like the tweets that come from the president, contesting what happened in Maria,” she said.
People want him to be focused, to be presidential and Trump is none of those things. But in addition to that, people are not seeing their own lives changing. Healthcare is the number one issue on the table. It really is, she said.
“When you look at what Republicans have done to undermine healthcare costs, to drive premiums up, to strip pre-existing, the ability to qualify for health care with pre-existing conditions, these are things that Americans care about. They do not see healthcare getting better,” Jayapal added.


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International

23 killed as thunderstorms, dust storm lash Pakistan

Agencies

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Islamabad: Massive thunderstorms and a dust storm lashed Pakistan’s Punjab and Sindh provinces, killing at least 23 people, injuring scores of others, according to media reports

Heavy rain and storm caused by a westerly wave uprooted electricity poles and trees in different parts of the country and also damaged properties on Monday.

Intermittent downpour in western, central and northern parts of the country for the past few days has rendered mud houses susceptible to the collapse, while land slide and flash floods in some areas have already made several roads dangerous for travel, Dawn reported.

 

Thunderstorm in Punjab province resulted in the collapse of several buildings, leaving at least nine persons, including two women, dead. Four deaths were reported in Khanewal district; three in Hasilpur area of Bahawalnagar district; and two Dunyapur tehsil of Lodhran district. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province’s Chitral valley, a woman and two men died when the roof of their house collapsed and fell on them.

In Balochistan province, authorities declared emergency on Monday after torrential rains and flash flooding wreaked havoc and killed at least nine persons, including a child. Heavy rainfall in Quetta, Gwadar, Chagai, Harnai, Duki, Jewani, Jaffarabad, Kohlu, Sibi, Barkhan, Chaman and other districts of Balochistan caused flooding in nullahs and drains which severed land link in various parts of the province, the Express Tribune reported.

The low-lying areas had been submerged due to continuous rainfall in Kohlu and adjoining areas. In separate incidents related to the dust storm that hit Karachi, four persons, including two young girls died, an equal number of fishermen went missing and dozens of others suffered injuries, according to officials and rescue services.

Gusty winds also uprooted several trees, poles and signboards, broke windowpanes of some high-rise buildings and damaged the walls of schools and homes in Karachi.

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Iran’s legislature labels US troops in Mideast as terrorist

Agencies

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TEHRAN: Iran’s lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a bill labelling US forces in the Middle East as terrorist, a day after the US terrorism designation for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard formally took effect, state TV reported.

Defence Minister Gen. Amir Hatami introduced the bill authorising the government to act firmly in response to “terrorist actions” by US forces. It demands authorities use “legal, political and diplomatic” measures to neutralise the American move, without elaborating.

The US move aims at “thwarting Iran’s influence,” and shows that America’s longstanding sanctions against Iran have become ineffective, Hatami told lawmakers.

 

During the debate, some hard-liner lawmakers had demanded listing the entire US army and security forces as terrorist.

The TV report said 204 lawmakers approved the bill, out of 207 present at the session in the 290-seat chamber. Two lawmakers voted against the bill and one abstained.

However, it remains unclear how the bill’s passage in parliament would affect the Gourd’s activities in the Persian Gulf, where the US Navy has in the past accused Iranian patrol boats of harassing American warships.

The Revolutionary Guard has forces and wields influence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, and is in charge of Iranian missiles that have US bases in their range.

The Guard’s designation the first-ever for an entire division of another government adds another layer of sanctions to the powerful paramilitary force and makes it a crime under US jurisdiction to provide it with material support.

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US asks its citizens to reconsider travel plans to Pakistan

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Washington: The US has advised its citizens to reconsider their travel to Pakistan due to terrorism and asked them not to travel to restive Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), identified as the most dangerous areas due to terror attacks.
While Pakistan in general has been placed in “Level Three” category in the latest travel advisory issued by the US , several parts of the country, including Balochistan, KPK province, PoK and India-Pakistan border, have been placed in the most dangerous “Level Four” category, in which US citizens are asked not to travel due to high risk areas.
“Due to risks to civil aviation operating within or near Pakistan, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR),” the State Department said in the travel advisory.
Asserting that terror groups continue plotting possible attacks in Pakistan, the State Department said that terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls, military installations, airports, universities, tourist locations, schools, hospitals, places of worship and government facilities.
“Terrorists have targeted US diplomats and diplomatic facilities in the past, and information suggests they continue to do so,” it said.
Terrorist attacks continue to happen across Pakistan, with most occurring in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Large-scale terrorist attacks have resulted in hundreds of casualties, it said.
“Do not travel to Balochistan province,” the State Department said, adding that active terrorist groups, an active separatist movement, sectarian conflicts and deadly terrorist attacks against civilians, government offices and security forces destabilise the province.
Similarly, in the PoK, it warned that militant groups are known to operate in the area and the threat of armed conflict between India and Pakistan remains. “Indian and Pakistani military forces periodically exchange gun and artillery fire across the Line of Control (LoC),” it said.
Noting that India and Pakistan maintain a strong military presence on both sides of the border, the travel advisory said the only official Pakistan-India border crossing point for persons who are not citizens of India or Pakistan is in the province of Punjab between Wagah and Attari.
“Do not travel to KPK province, which includes the former FATA,” the advisory said.
Active terrorist and insurgent groups routinely conduct attacks against civilians, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), government offices, and security forces. “These groups historically have not discriminated between government officials and civilians. Assassination and kidnapping attempts are common, including the targeting of polio eradication teams,” it said.

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