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‘Fools never told us he was there’: Trump hits out at Pakistan over Bin Laden

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Washington: Donald Trump repeated that Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden, killed by US Navy Seals in May 2011, should have been captured much earlier, casting blame on his predecessors and Pakistan.

“Of course we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did,” the US President tweeted, echoing remarks he gave to Fox News Sunday that drew the ire of Pakistan, where Bin Laden had been hiding.

“I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Centre,” he continued.

“President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars & they never told us he was living there. Fools!”

Ten years after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Bin Laden was found to be hiding in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, where he was killed in a raid by US Navy Seals.

The assault sent relations between the wayward allies to a new low.

In his interview on Sunday the Republican leader had said he cancelled assistance worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Pakistan earlier this year because “they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us.”

Trump had also told Fox News that Bin Laden had lived “beautifully in Pakistan and what I guess in what they considered a nice mansion, I don’t know, I’ve seen nicer.”

Pakistan leader Imran Khan hit back Monday at Donald Trump’s claim, calling on the president to name an ally which has sacrificed more against militancy.

“Pakistan suffered 75,000 casualties in this war & over USD 123 bn was lost to economy. US “aid” was a miniscule USD 20 bn,” Khan tweeted.


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In rebuke to Trump, US Senate blames Saudi crown prince for Khashoggi’s murder

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Washington: The US Senate delivered a rare double rebuke to President Donald Trump on Saudi Arabia , voting to end US military support for the war in Yemen and blame the Saudi crown prince for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The votes were largely symbolic because to become law the resolutions would have to pass the House of Representatives, whose Republican leaders have blocked any legislation intended to rebuke the Saudis.

In a historic move, Senators voted 56-41 to end US military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s civil war. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people and spawned what the United Nations calls the world’s most dire human crisis, with the country on the brink of famine.

It was the first time either chamber of Congress had backed a resolution to withdraw US forces from a military engagement under the War Powers Act. That law, passed in 1973, limits the president’s ability to commit US forces to potential hostilities without congressional approval.

Seven of Trump’s fellow Republicans joined Senate Democrats to back the measure.

Immediately after the Yemen vote, the Senate backed a resolution blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Khashoggi’s murder and insisting that Saudi Arabia hold accountable anyone responsible for his death.

Khashoggi, a US resident who was a columnist for the Washington Post, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October. The Senate vote, which was unanimous, puts pressure on House leaders to allow a vote on the Khashoggi resolution this month, before Congress adjourns for the year.

“Unanimously, the United States Senate has said that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. That is a strong statement. I think it speaks to the values that we hold dear,” said Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and sponsor of the resolution.

Trump has said he wants Washington to stand by the Saudi government and the prince, despite a CIA assessment it was likely he ordered Khashoggi’s killing. He promised to veto the war powers resolution.

Opponents of the resolution are reluctant to take any action to disrupt the strategic US relationship with Saudi Arabia, seen as an essential counterweight in the Middle East to Iran, arch-enemy of close US ally Israel.

Administration officials also see Saudi support as a linchpin for an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan yet to be unveiled by the Trump administration. And they have argued that ending US support could complicate Yemen peace talks.

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US to counter China, Russia’s influence in Africa

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WASHINGTON: The United States plans to counter the rapidly expanding economic and political influence of China and Russia in Africa, where the two nations use corrupt and predatory business practices, US national security adviser John Bolton said.

The United States’ No 1 priority will be developing economic ties with the region to create opportunities for American businesses and protect the independence of African countries, as well as US national security interests, he said in prepared remarks.

“Great-power competitors, namely China and Russia, are rapidly expanding their financial and political influence across Africa,” Bolton said. “They are deliberately and aggressively targeting their investments in the region to gain a competitive advantage over the United States.”

Bolton’s speech at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, comes as US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, leaders of the world’s two largest economies, seek to resolve trade disputes that have roiled global markets and created economic uncertainty.

“China uses bribes, opaque agreements, and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing’s wishes and demands. Its investment ventures are riddled with corruption,” Bolton said in his remarks.

Bolton had equally harsh words for Russia. “Across the continent, Russia advances its political and economic relationships with little regard for the rule of law or accountable and transparent governance,” he said.

He accused Moscow of selling arms and energy in exchange for votes at the United Nations, “votes that keep strongmen in power, undermine peace and security, and run counter to the best interests of the African people”. Bolton said the “predatory practices” used by China and Russia stunt economic growth in African and threaten its nations’ economic independence.

China’s development policies in Africa have been a concern for Washington as the United States seeks to ramp up development finance in the face of Chinas global ambitions.

The head of the US Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC) said in July that China is saddling poor nations with unsustainable debt through large-scale infrastructure projects that are not economically viable.

Bolton contrasted China’s “bait and switch” policies in Africa to the American approach. “The way we do business is much more straightforward,” he said.

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4 dead, 43 injured after high-speed train crashes into overpass in Turkey

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ANKARA: At least four persons died and over 43 injured after a high-speed train crashed into an overpass in Turkish capital Ankara, reported the country’s media.

A video footage uploaded by Posta Gazetesi, a Turkish daily newspaper, showed mangled metal remains of the train. Emergency workers were seen rescuing people from the accident site.

The accident took place at the overpass at the Marsandiz train station, to the west of Ankara at around 6:30 am (9 am IST) as the train was travelling between Ankara and the central Turkish province of Konya.

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