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US vet cancels project to raise money for border wall

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US vet cancels project to raise money for border wall

WASHINGTON: An Iraq war veteran canceled his plan to crowdsource $1 billion to help President Donald Trump build a wall on the Mexico border Friday after raising only $20 million and drawing questions about his online activities.

Triple-amputee veteran Brian Kolfage launched a GoFundMe account in December, quickly piling up donations as Trump was unable to get Congress to fund the wall — leading to a now three-week-old partial shutdown of the government.

But donations slowed and Kolfage said the group had concluded that the government won’t be able to make use of them in the foreseeable future.

In addition, Kolfage was put on the defensive late Thursday by a BuzzFeed News article that raised questions about his use of funds from a previous GoFundMe campaign, and alleged he ran an operation to fabricate fake news against liberal groups and politicians in order to generate traffic and profits from advertising.

Kolfage said on his GoFundMe page that he will refund donations or, if donors agree, will put them toward a new company that will build sections of the wall itself on private property along the frontier.

“Our highly experienced team is highly confident that we can complete significant segments of the wall in less time, and for far less money, than the federal government,” he wrote on his fundraising page.

The non-profit company, We Build the Wall, Inc., is led by Kolfage and other prominent anti-immigration activists including private security expert and regular Trump consultant Erik Prince; David Clarke, the former Milwaukee sheriff and a favorite of Trump; and Kris Kobach, the conservative secretary of state of Kansas.

Kolfage announced the move Friday after condemning the BuzzFeed article as “absolute lies to trick Americans” to not support the new venture.

BuzzFeed noted that Facebook had cancelled accounts he had for pages that promoted right-wing views that Facebook deemed “inauthentic activity,” its term for spam and click-bait focused pages, often known for fake news.

BuzzFeed also said that a 2015 GoFundMe campaign started by Kolfage raised over $16,000 for a veteran mentorship program.

But it reported that three military hospitals named by Kolfage said they never received any funds from him.

 

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Top diplomats of S.Korea, U.S. hold phone talks ahead of Trump’s visit to Seoul

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Top diplomats of S.Korea U.S. hold phone talks ahead of Trumps visit to Seoul

SEOUL: The top diplomats of South Korea and the United States held phone talks ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Seoul later this month, Seoul’s foreign ministry said Monday.

During her visit to Russia on Sunday night (Moscow time), South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha talked on the phone with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about Trump’s visit to Seoul and the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the ministry said in a statement.

Trump was scheduled to visit Seoul on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) summit in Osaka, Japan on June 28-29.

During the 15-minute dialogue, Kang and Pompeo shared the view that Trump’s trip to South Korea will be a crucial opportunity to discuss ways on the complete denuclearization of and the settlement of permanent peace on the peninsula.

Trump’s Seoul visit would come since the denuclearization talks between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States have been stalled after the second summit between top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and Trump, which ended with no agreement in late February in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi.

Kang and Pompeo agreed to continue close consultations on the peninsula issues, sharing the need for consultations on situations in the Middle East, including the recent attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

The South Korean foreigner minister has been in Moscow for talks with her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Monday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Boeing’s embattled chief faces tough crowd at Paris Air Show

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Boeings embattled chief faces tough crowd at Paris Air Show

PARIS: Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg will have his work cut out for him at the Paris Air Show this week as he tries to reassure airlines and industry partners over the fate of its flagship 737 MAX plane, indefinitely grounded after two fatal crashes.

Aviation regulators meeting last month were unable to determine when the popular jet might again be allowed to fly, causing costly headaches for airlines worldwide.

“An air show is a good opportunity to connect with customers, suppliers and fellow aerospace manufacturers to strengthen our partnerships and drive industry safety,” Muilenburg posted on Twitter over the weekend.

He has already apologised and vowed to come up with a fix for the 737 MAX’s automated anti-stall system, blamed for an Ethiopian Airlines crash in March and an Indonesian Lion Air crash in October, which together claimed 346 lives.

But in comments to journalists later Sunday he acknowledged the work they still had to do.

“We have work to do to win and regain the trust of the public,” said Muilenburg.

“We come to this salon focussed on safety. We come with a sense of humility and learning, still confident in our market — but it’s a humble confidence.”

But reports that US safety regulators may have let Boeing engineers self-certify some of the plane’s equipment have battered confidence in the company.

“It’s had a very clear impact on Boeing’s brand and reputation,” said Pascal Fabre at the consulting firm Alix Partners.

The crisis has also rattled pilots as well as national aviation regulators who worry about a lack of sufficient oversight at the American heavyweight.

And on the financial front, it could provide an opening for archrival Airbus to win over new customers for its own A320 family of single-aisle jets, which constitute by far the biggest share of airlines’ fleets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Trump to launch 2020 campaign in retiree-friendly Florida

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Trump to formally announce his re election bid on June 18

WASHINGTON: Ronald, Don and John are living the good life in this haven of Republican retirees in Florida, a city designed for the aging, with paths everywhere for golf carts and where residents have plenty of time to campaign for their president, Donald Trump.

The Villages is a pleasant, immaculately clean, fast-growing retirement town in central Florida. The average age of its 75,000 inhabitants is 71. Some two-thirds are Republican.

One afternoon not long ago five retirees all wearing Trump pins reviewed lists of recent arrivals in the city in order to send them invitations to join Republican-affiliated clubs.

An hour’s drive to the south, in Orlando, the US president will be formally launching his re-election campaign on Tuesday.

“We’re very proud,” Ronald McMahan, vice president of one of the clubs,said. “We’re proud to be Republicans, we’re proud to be with other Republicans and very proud that Mr. Trump has chosen to open his campaign here.”

Trump’s choice of Florida was no accident. If he is to win a second term in the White House in 2020, he will have to win in Florida again.

 

 

 

 

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