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Trump’s re-election campaign began 2019 with $19 million in cash

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Washington: US President Donald Trump began the year with $19.2 million in campaign cash, a war chest that gives him a head start on Democrats lining up for the chance to run against the Republican in the 2020 White House race.

Trump raised $21 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, his campaign said . Unlike any other president in the modern era, Trump filed for re-election on the day he took office in January 2017, instead of waiting the traditional two years. That allowed him to raise and spend campaign cash his entire term.

He is likely to far outpace the fundraising by Democrats who are just beginning to build campaigns. None of the Democratic candidates have yet been required to disclose their money hauls, although US Senator Kamala Harris` campaign said she raised $1.5 million in the 24 hours after she launched her run.

 

More than two dozen Democrats are expected to mount a campaign in hopes of winning the party`s nomination.

David Brock, a Democratic fundraiser who oversaw the largest Super PAC his party has backed, said Trump`s haul will make Democrats nervous.

“There is not going to be enough money in the system, whether its online or big dollars, to support more than six or eight candidates,” Brock told Reuters. “There is a disadvantage that Democrats have to raise money to fight each other first before you can raise a war chest to fight Trump.”

Some of the Democrats` biggest donors are waiting to decide which candidate to back, Brock said.

“There is a lot less interest among donors on the ideological split as there is imagining the person who is best to stand up against Trump and really take the fight to him and just beat him,” Brock said.

Greg Berlin, a Democratic fundraiser at the firm Mothership Strategy, said he is confident Democrats will ultimately be able to compete with Trump`s cash levels.

“Whoever is the nominee will have well over a billion dollars combined with their primary and general money to compete with Trump,” Berlin said. “Trump will likely have well over a billion dollars, so I don`t think money matters at the end of the day.”


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International

Don’t leave children of foreign fighters in legal limbo, UN urges states

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LONDON: Children of foreign fighters must have the right to belong to a country, lawyers and the United Nations said , after Britain stripped the citizenship of a teenage mother who travelled to Syria at 15 to join IS.

The fate of Shamima Begum, who was found in a refugee camp in Syria last week, has illustrated the ethical, legal and security conundrum that governments face when dealing with the families of militants who swore to destroy the West.

With IS depleted and Kurdish-led militia poised to seize the group’s last holdout in eastern Syria, Western capitals are trying to work out what to do with battle-hardened foreign jihadist fighters and their wives and children.

 

The UN children’s agency, Unicef, said all children have “the right to a name, an identity and a nationality” according to international laws and governments had a responsibility to adopt safeguards that prevent a child from being born stateless.

“But where this occurs, those children need legal-aid and support to ensure no child is denied their right to citizenship,” Unicef said in an email.

There is no reliable estimate for the number of stateless people globally although the UN estimates it could be 12 million and wants to end statelessness by 2024 as it can leave people with no access to basic rights like education and health.

Amal de Chickera, co-director of the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion, said Britain should have taken Begum and her child and put her under investigation as it had an obligation to look after the baby and children in similar cases. “It’s deeply concerning to see this happening to a baby that’s just a few days old,” he said in a phone interview.

“One must question the effectiveness of this measure: does citizenship-stripping really strengthen or protect national security? Or can it potentially lead to further radicalisation?”—Thomson Reuters Foundation

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UN envoy says risk of Israeli-Palestinian war looms large

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United Nations: The UN Mideast envoy says the prospect of peace between Israel and the Palestinians “is fading by the day as the specter of violence and radicalism grows” and “the risk of war continues to loom large”.

Nikolay Mladenov also told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that a negotiated two-state solution is drifting further away.

In his words: “What is needed, first and foremost, is the necessary leadership and political will for change. Until that will can be found, Palestinians and Israelis will continue to slide into increasingly hazardous territory.”

 

Mladenov stressed that leaders must believe peace is possible through negotiations.

He also said leaders and the international community must be committed to support Israelis and Palestinians to reach a peace deal based on U.N. resolutions and bilateral agreements.

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Saudi to free 850 Indian prisoners from its jails

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Mumbai: Saudi Arabia will release 850 Indians from its prisons after a request from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MBS) visit to New Delhi, India’s Foreign Ministry has said.

Saudi jails hold the greatest number of Indians incarcerated in any country abroad. As of January 2019, 2,224 Indians were in prison in the kingdom for crimes including murder, kidnapping, bribery, and offences related to drugs and alcohol, according to Indian Foreign Ministry figures.

The approximately 2.7 million Indians in Saudi Arabia form the largest expatriate community in the kingdom, with many working in low-paid jobs in sectors such as construction, domestic services and retailing that Saudis spurn.

 

“At the request of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has ordered the release of 850 Indian prisoners lodged in Saudi jails,” India’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a tweet.

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