WASHINGTON: The US on Wednesday ordered all non-emergency staff to leave its embassy in Baghdad and consulate in Arbil, as tensions mount between the United States and Iraq’s neighbor Iran, prompting Kremlin concern.
Washington has ramped up pressure on Tehran in recent days, accusing Iran of planning unspecified “imminent” attacks in the region, and bolstering the American military presence in the Gulf.
A State Department advisory announcing the partial embassy closures warned of numerous “terrorist and insurgent groups” active in Iraq, including “anti-US sectarian militias” who could “threaten US citizens and Western companies throughout Iraq.”
The US last year shut its consulate in the protest-hit southern Iraqi city of Basra, blaming “indirect fire” by Iran-backed forces.
Tensions have sharply escalated between arch-rivals Washington and Tehran since US President Donald Trump withdrew last May from the 2015 international Iran nuclear deal which removed sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.
CG JoAnne Wagner opens Photo Expo “Muslims in America” (VIDEO AND TEXT)
KARACHI: JoAnne Wagner Consul General of USA, and Syed Sardar Shah Sindh Minister for Culture, have inaugurated a photo exposition titled Muslims in America at Lincoln Corner in the Liaquat National Memorial Library here.
Commenting on the exhibition Consul General remarked: “The images in the exhibit demonstrate two founding principles of American society: those of tolerance of religious diversity; and freedom of religious practice. Americans are proud of their right to practice the religion of their choice, without any fear,”
The photo exhibition showcases religious diversity and religious freedom in the USA that is home to one of the most diverse Muslim populations in the world.
The exhibit will remain open to the general public till 4th June.
Washington considering duties on countries that undervalue currency
WASHINGTON: US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced Thursday that the US has proposed a new regulation allowing it to impose counterveiling duties on imports from countries that seek to undervalue their currencies.
Under the proposed regulation, “foreign nations would no longer be able to use currency policies to the disadvantage of American workers and businesses,” Ross said in a statement.
“This proposed rulemaking is a step toward implementing President (Donald) Trump’s campaign promise to address unfair currency practices by our trading partners.”
Ross, who did not respond to a request for comment, did not specify which countries would be targeted.
The statement only said that the proposed regulation “identifies the criteria the department would use to determine if countervailing duties should be imposed for currency undervaluation.”
Countervailing duties on imports are sometimes imposed against countries to offset any premiums or subsidies given, directly or indirectly, to the fabrication, production or export of merchandise.
Trump often accuses Beijing of deliberately weakening its currency to boost its exports, but his administration has refused several times to officially accuse China of manipulating its currency.
Trump, Pelosi trade barbs as impeachment talk stirs anger
WASHINGTON: Democratic congressional leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said Donald Trump is angry that her party is not rushing to impeach him, as the relationship reached new lows with the rivals trading crude personal barbs.
It was the second straight day of a very public war of words between Trump and the speaker of the House of Representatives, who earlier questioned the president’s mental fitness for office and expressed hope that those close to Trump would stage an intervention “for the good of the country.”
Trump responded by branding Pelosi “crazy Nancy,” in what appeared to be the first time he ascribed a pejorative nickname to the woman who is his congressional nemesis.
The back-and-forth attacks are highlighting the bitter feud that has swelled since the release last month of the special counsel’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
According to Pelosi, Trump’s strategy is to get his opponents to commit themselves to impeachment — a process that would almost certainly pass in the House, and then fail in the Republican-controlled Senate, ultimately energizing Trump’s core voters during his re-election bid.
“The White House is just crying out for impeachment,” she told journalists.
Trump is “disappointed” that the Democrats are holding off for now, Pelosi said, even as they intensify congressional investigations into the president’s links to Russia and his alleged obstruction of justice — probes that Trump is trying to block.
“It may take us to a place that is unavoidable in terms of impeachment or not, but we’re not at that place,” she said.
Under pressure from the congressional probes, Trump on Thursday ordered the US intelligence community to “fully cooperate” with an investigation into what he has termed “spying” on his 2016 election campaign.
According to Trump, court-approved surveillance of his campaign’s links to Russians amounted to “spying.” He has even called the probe treason and indicated he would like to see criminal charges brought against his investigators.