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Pompeo confirms he’s been approached to run for Senate

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WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acknowledged Wednesday that he had been approached to run for Senate next year but said he was focused for now on being America’s top diplomat.

He said that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the top Senate Republican, asked him to consider the race in Kansas, where Pompeo served three terms in the House of Representatives until he joined President Donald Trump’s administration.

“I spoke to Senator McConnell once. He asked me if I’d think about it, and I told him I appreciated the phone call,” Pompeo said in an interview.

Pompeo declined to respond if he was interested, saying that answering might violate a US law against federal employees engaging in political activity.

“Lots of folks have reached out to me and suggested I ought to do that. I have suggested to them that I have a very full plate as secretary of state, and I intend to keep doing this so long as President Trump will commit to it,” Pompeo said.

The Republicans are bracing for a potentially tough vote in November 2020, when Trump is up for re-election and the party is defending almost twice as many Senate seats as the Democrats.

Kansas has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1932, the longest streak in which either of the two major US parties has held a lock on both seats in a state.

But the Midwestern state in November elected a Democrat as governor and Senator Pat Roberts, a popular 82-year-old Republican, has said he will not run again next year.

Pompeo would enjoy instant name recognition if he ran for Senate. He keeps a presence in Kansas through regular local media interviews and is popular with conservative Christians, speaking often about his faith.

Secretary of state is generally considered the most prestigious cabinet position, with Hillary Clinton and John Kerry both leaving the Senate to take the job.

But the Senate would ensure Pompeo a prominent position in Washington for at least six years, regardless of the outcome of the next presidential election.

Trump has been quick to turn on his cabinet members although Pompeo, who was first tapped to run the CIA, has by all accounts been among the president’s favorites.

Pompeo last year replaced Rex Tillerson, a former chief executive of oil giant ExxonMobil, whom Trump later derided on Twitter as “dumb as a rock.”

 

 

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Business

BMW, Daimler to invest 1b euros

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BERLIN: German auto giants BMW and Daimler said Friday they would invest one billion euros ($1.1 billion) in combining and extending their carsharing schemes, in future offering a slew of joint “mobility services”, including for electric cars.
“We are pooling the strength and expertise of 14 successful brands and investing more than one billion euros to establish a new player in the fast-growing market for urban mobility,” Dieter Zetsche, chief executive of Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler said in a statement.

 

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Asia

India divertig attention from Spy’s case?

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda has termed the Indian threat to stop the flow of water from eastern rivers to Pakistan a “failed attempt”, just like the Pulwama incident, to divert attention from its failure in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case in International Court of Justice (ICJ).
In his reaction over India’s threat to stop Pakistan’s water, he said India could not blame Pakistan for its failure in the International Court of Justice to prove spy Kulbhushan innocent. As per Indus Water Treaty, India could not stop Pakistan’s water, he added, says a press statement here on Friday.
Describing the threat hilarious and void, he said the Indian government was preparing the ground to seek public support in next election by hurling allegation against Pakistan. “India must keep it in mind that it is a New Pakistan,” Vawda said adding that valiant Armed Forces of Pakistan would give a befitting response if India launched any misadventure. He said India would get nothing from its war hysteria except embarrassment among the comity of the nations.

 

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Europe

Brexit: 9th MP leaves Labour in a week!

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Hitachi freezes British nuclear project

LONDON: The Labour party contingency of Britain’s parliament lost more blood Friday, with a ninth MP leaving Labour in less than a week, blasting alleged anti-Semitism in the party leadership.
Ian Austin, representing Dudley North in the West Midlands, chose the local paper Express and Star to make his announcement, in a guest op-ed slamming the party as “broken.” Citing the alleged anti-Semitism in the party, Austin said he was “appalled at the offense and distress [leader] Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party have caused to Jewish people.”
“I always tell them the truth and I could never ask local people to make Jeremy Corbyn prime minister,” he said. “It is terrible that a culture of extremism, antisemitism, and intolerance is driving out good MPs and decent people who have committed their life to mainstream politics,” he wrote. He said that he had not spoken to the new Independent Group, now made up of eight Labour MPs and three former Conservative MPs.
“The hard left is now in charge of the party, they’re going to get rid of lots of decent mainstream MPs and I just can’t see how it can return to the mainstream party that won elections and changed the country for the better,” Austin said. He added, “I think the Labour party is broken and clearly things have to change but that’s not what today is about, and I’ve not talked to them about that.”
A Labour spokesman said the party “regrets” Austin quitting, adding, “He was elected as a Labour MP and so the democratic thing is to resign his seat and let the people of Dudley decide who should represent them.” Earlier this week, amid the continuing chaos over Brexit, a group of seven MPs resigned from Labour and said they would stay in parliament as independent lawmakers, followed soon thereafter by an eighth. Three Conservative MPs also resigned their party this week to join the Independent Group.

 

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