President Donald Trump on 9/11: ‘America cannot be intimidated’

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump stand for a moment of silence during a ceremony to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, at the Pentagon. AP Related News

Leading his first commemoration of the solemn 9/11 anniversary, President Donald Trump on Monday said that “the living, breathing soul of America wept with grief” for each of the nearly 3,000 lives that were lost on that day 16 years ago. Addressing an audience at the Pentagon, one of three sites attacked on September 11, 2001, Trump used the anniversary to sternly warn terrorists that “America cannot be intimidated.” He said those who try are destined to join a long list of vanquished enemies “who dared to test our mettle.”

Trump and first lady Melania Trump observed a moment of silence at the White House on Monday at the exact moment that a hijacked airplane was slammed into the World Trade Centre. The Trumps bowed their heads and placed their hands over their hearts as “Taps” rang out across the South Lawn. They were surrounded by White House aides and other administration officials in what has become an annual day of remembrance.

Nearly 3,000 people were killed when hijackers flew commercial airplanes into New York’s World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Trump, a native New Yorker who was in the city on 9/11, said the attack was worse than the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor during World War II because it targeted civilians. He vowed that it would never be repeated.

“The terrorists who attacked us thought they could incite fear and weaken our spirit,” Trump said later at the Pentagon, where he was joined by Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “But America cannot be intimidated and those who try will join a long list of vanquished enemies who dared test our mettle.”

He said that when America is united, “no force on earth can break us apart.” Trump also offered words of comfort the many whose loved ones perished in the attacks.

“For the families with us on this anniversary, we know that not a single day goes by when you don’t think about the loved one stolen from your life. Today, our entire nation grieves with you,” Trump said. Later, he said “the living, breathing soul of America wept with grief for every life taken on that day.” Vice President Mike Pence was representing the administration a ceremony at the 9/11 memorial in Shanksville. Trump has a checkered history with 9/11. He frequently uses the attack to praise the city’s response but has also made unsubstantiated claims about what he did and saw on that day.

For all the latest , download

More Related News

US court deals blow to Trump travel ban, says some refugees must be allowed in the country

President Donald Trump (AP) Related News

A federal court in California dealt a new blow to the Trump administration’s travel ban, ruling that some refugees must be allowed into the country. It is the latest twist of the legal wrangling touched off by President Donald Trump’s ban, first announced in January with little notice and widely criticised as discriminatory against Muslims. Trump says it is needed to keep out terrorists.

In the new ruling, the US Ninth Circuit of Appeals, based in San Francisco, on Thursday upheld a ruling by a court in Hawaii, a decision against which the administration had appealed.

The new decision states that the ban must exclude “refugees who have a formal assurance from an agency within the United States that the agency will provide or ensure the provision of reception and placement services to that refugee.”

It could pave the way for the entry of some 24,000 refugees whose asylum requests had already been approved. And as the US Supreme Court had ruled in July, the three-judge panel in San Francisco confirmed that the ban cannot be applied to grandparents and other close family members living in six mainly Muslim countries and seeking to visit relatives in the United States.

The Supreme Court ruled in late June that the 90-day travel ban, purportedly aimed at better screening out potential security risks, can be broadly enforced for travelers from the six mainly Muslim countries “who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

Days later, the Trump administration interpreted that to mean that only “close family” was exempted. It defined this as the parents, spouses, children, sons- and daughters-in-law, siblings and step- and half-siblings of people in the United States.

The California court said Wednesday the administration “does not offer a persuasive explanation for why a mother-in-law is clearly a bona fide relationship in the Supreme Court’s prior reasoning, but a grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew or cousin is not.”

The San Francisco court was ruling on the issue because the Supreme Court had refused a Justice Department request that it define what it means by “bona fide relationship” and “close family.” The Justice Department issued a statement saying “we will now return to the Supreme Court to vindicate the executive branch duty to protect the nation.”

The Supreme Court is scheduled to revisit the travel ban and study its constitutionality in October.

For all the latest , download

More Related News

US President Donald Trump does not rule out army action against North Korea

US President Donald Trump. Related News

President Donald Trump has said that military option against a defiant North Korea is certainly an option for him, but hoped that he does not have to use it. “Military action would certainly be an option. Is it inevitable?  Nothing is inevitable. It would be great if something else could be worked out,” he told reporters at a news conference with the Kuwait’s Emir Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday.

“We would have to look at all the details, all of the facts. But we’ve had presidents for 25 years now, they’ve been talking, talking, and the day after an agreement is reached, new work begins in North Korea, continuation on nuclear. So, I would prefer not going the route of the military, but it’s something certainly that could happen,” Trump said in response to a question.

Stressing that the US military is now stronger than ever, Trump said, “Hopefully we’re not going to have to use it on North Korea. If we do use it on North Korea, it will be a very sad day for North Korea”.

“I’m not negotiating with you. Maybe we’ll have a chance to negotiate with somebody else, but I don’t put my negotiations on the table. Unlike past administrations, I don’t talk about them. But I can tell you that North Korea is behaving badly, and it’s got to stop,” he said.

For all the latest , download

More Related News

China to play constructive role to bring together Pakistan, Afghanistan

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (left) and his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif. Related News

China on Friday said it will play a “constructive role” to bring Pakistan and Afghanistan on the same page as part of fresh efforts to resolve the 16-year conflict with the Taliban by hosting a trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of the three countries. The move by Beijing and Islamabad is seen as an apparent attempt to counter US President Donald Trump’s tough policy against the Taliban and Pakistan which was announced last month as part of America’s new Afghanistan and South Asia policy.

Unveiling the new China-driven Afghanistan policy, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif said that Beijing will play a “constructive role” to bring Islamabad and Kabul together.

“The participation of China in bringing together and finding a political solution to Afghan problem is very vital. To support the initiative, Pakistan has already undertaken many steps, and will pursue those steps of improving relationship with Kabul,” Asif said while addressing a joint press conference with Wang.

He said that before his visit to Beijing, he had held talks with his Afghanistan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani and they have agreed to meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly which will be the first such meeting after Trump’s Afghanistan and South Asia policy speech wherein he announced deploying more troops in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban, specially the Haqqani network based in Pakistan.

To keep Pakistan and Afghanistan engagement substantive and robust, Asif said Pakistan will take up confidence building measures and keep engaged with Kabul at all levels including political, military and intelligence.

“We have had a very compressive discussion a while ago. China and Pakistan have agreed that the solution to Afghan problem is fundamentally a political solution and not a military solution. We three are neighbours. We have stakes in Afghanistan’s peace and we are already involved in a substantive way, creating atmosphere and culture of peace in the region.

“With China’s intervention and its role in bringing together Islamabad and Kabul, we will go a long way and will definitely pursue a policy of engagement with Kabul in bringing peace to our region,” Asif said.

Meanwhile, Wang, who has been trying to play a mediatory role between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the last few months following persistent criticism by Kabul accusing Islamabad of fostering terrorism by aiding and abetting the Haqqani network, said that both Pakistan and Afghanistan are important neighbours of China.

“A good relationship will serve both the countries otherwise it will hurt both the countries. So, we sincerely hope that both the countries will work in the same direction and work together for the well-being of Pakistan and Afghanistan and contribute peace in the region,” he said.

The Chinese side welcomes Pakistan’s attitude of improving relations with Afghanistan, Wang said.

As a close neighbour of Pakistan and Afghanistan, China values its relations with both the countries and will work to narrow the differences between them and help them build mutual trust, he said.

“In addition, we are exploring trilateral cooperation between the three countries. I want to let you know that with the communication between the three parties, there is initial progress in trilateral cooperation,” he said.

It is planned that before the end of this year, there will be the first China, Pakistan, Afghanistan foreign ministers meeting in China, Wang said without directly referring to Trump’s more pro-active engagement in Afghanistan wherein the US president also spoke of India’s active role in rebuilding the war-ravaged country.

“We have identified three priority areas which are strategic communication, security dialogue and practical cooperation. On that basis, we will work to advance on trilateral basis starting from easier matters with goal of establishing a new platform for regional cooperation.

“I am confident that with the consorted efforts from Pakistan and Afghanistan and with the active support from China and relations between the two countries and cooperation among the three countries will embrace a brighter future,” Wang said.

Observers say that Wang’s remarks indicate that China will re-activate its efforts to mediate between Pakistan and Afghanistan which till now were proved unsuccessful due to Islamabad’s unwillingness to withdraw its backing to the Taliban, blamed for creating havoc in Afghanistan.

China in the past also tried to engage the Taliban by inviting its representatives to Beijing.

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani started his presidency in 2014 with a visit to China soon after his election hoping for a pro-active role by China to rein in Pakistan to control the Talban and bring it to the negotiating table in the backdrop of then US president ’s plans to withdraw US troops.

With unabated violence, Ghani’s government turned to India and the US, leading to the recent policy rejig by Trump to announce the new Afghan policy under which Washington will pursue more aggressive policy against the Taliban and Pakistan.

For all the latest , download

More Related News

In North Dakota, Donald Trump finds Democrat willing to explore tax plan

US President Donald Trump Related News

U.S. President Donald Trump has found at least one Democrat willing to entertain his tax reform pitch: Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who plans to travel with him on Air Force One on Wednesday to a tax event in her home state. Trump is trying to persuade Democrats to support his push to cut tax rates and simplify the tax code this year, a plan critical to bolstering Republicans heading into 2018 midterm elections, but which so far has included few details.

The White House plans to put Trump out on the road on a near-weekly basis this fall to sell his plan, which faces huge obstacles in Congress. Republicans control Congress but have so far been unable to pass Trump’s top legislative priorities. He has appealed to Democrats to help, but lawmakers from the party are furious about his recent comments about white supremacists and his move on Tuesday to end a program that gave work permits to some immigrants brought illegally into the United States as children.

Last week, Trump made his first major tax reform speech in Missouri, urging voters to reject that state’s Democratic U.S. senator, Claire McCaskill, in the 2018 midterm elections unless she supports tax reform.

Similarly, Wednesday’s speech is aimed in part at Heitkamp, a Democrat up for re-election in a Republican stronghold, who has been willing to buck her party in the past. “Both of the Reagan tax cuts were passed by a Democratic majority in the House (of Representatives), a Democratic speaker, and the vast majority of Democrats in the Senate, including a Democratic senator from the great state of North Dakota,” Trump will say, according to excerpts released by the White House.

On Friday, Heitkamp said both parties need to work together on tax reform, which she views as critical for businesses and families in her state. “I hope President Trump uses this visit to address the kitchen-table issues that keep the North Dakotans I’ve met with across the state this past month up at night,” Heitkamp said in a statement. Trump’s political push on tax reform will get an assist from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbying group, which is set to begin a multimillion-dollar, multi-state campaign in New York on Thursday, a Republican familiar with the plan said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The campaign will be aimed at Republican members of Congress and some members of the conservative Freedom Caucus. “It talks about the need for a sense of urgency, the need to change tax loopholes, the need for family tax relief, and it’s got to happen now,” the official said.

For all the latest , download

More Related News