Shutdown: Trump says little progress

Shutdown: Trump says little progress

President Donald Trump stood firm yesterday on his demand for billions of dollars to fund a border wall with Mexico, which has forced a shutdown of the US government now entering its third week. “We have to build the wall,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for the Camp David presidential retreat, while conceding that the barrier could be “steel instead of concrete.” “It’s about safety, it’s about security for our country,” he said.

“We have no choice.” An impasse with lawmakers over funding for the border wall has partially shut down the federal government since December 22. Talks aimed at ending the shutdown were to continue Sunday, after discussions a day earlier between Vice President Mike Pence and representatives of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, the top two Democrats in Congress, made little headway. Democrats, who now control the House of Representatives, seem in no mood to make concessions to the president on a border wall Pelosi has described as an “immorality.”

“This shutdown could end tomorrow and it could also go on for a long time,” Trump said. “It really depends on the Democrats.” Both Democrats and Republicans have attempted to pin the blame for the shutdown on the other side. Building a wall along the 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) US-Mexico border was a central plank in the 2016 election campaign of Trump, who has sought to equate immigrants with crime, drugs and gangs. The president has described the situation at the border as a “national emergency,” and has said he is looking into ways to get a wall built without congressional approval.

While the US military and other major agencies are still fully funded, the impasse has left 800,000 government workers from other departments furloughed or working without pay. Those on the job and not being paid include airline security officers from the Transportation Security Administration, FBI agents, and others. The shutdown has left the Smithsonian museums, a major tourist draw, shuttered, garbage piling up at national parks, and workers concerned about paying their bills.




May makes fresh push for Brexit

May makes fresh push for Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May huddled with her ministers yesterday as she plotted a renewed bid to convince MPs to back her EU divorce deal after securing a delay to Brexit from European leaders in Brussels. The premier faces daun

May pleads to save Brexit plan

May pleads to save Brexit plan

A dogged but isolated Prime Minister Theresa May was headed back to Brussels yesterday to beg for more time to deliver her Brexit plan, in defiance of the MPs who twice rejected the withdrawal deal. May’s fellow European Union le

Oil slick heading to French coast

Oil slick heading to French coast

An oil slick was heading towards the French coastline yesterday after an Italian cargo ship sank in the Atlantic carrying 45 containers of “dangerous materials”, authorities said. “According to our forecasts, fragment

Startups pitch their business models

Startups pitch their business models

Flat6Labs Bahrain hosted its Second Demo Day at The National Theatre of Bahrain where eight startups from its second cycle pitched their businesses. The second cycle received over 200 applications from more than 40 countries which were

Turkey tumbles into recession

Turkey tumbles into recession

Turkey’s economy entered its first recession in a decade, official data showed yesterday, just weeks before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government faces local elections where growth and inflation will be key issues for

Abbas appoints Shtayyeh as PM

Abbas appoints Shtayyeh as PM

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas appointed longtime ally Mohammad Shtayyeh as prime minister on Sunday, a senior official said, in a move seen as part of efforts to further isolate Hamas. Abbas asked Shtayyeh, a member of the central


SCW to further promote women entrepreneurship

SCW to further promote women entrepreneurship

Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, Wife of His Majesty the King and President of the Supreme Council for Women (SCW), has stressed the council’s keenness to go ahead with the women’s empowerment programmes, mainly in the economic field, to achieve family stab

New programme to employ 240 newly-graduated Bahraini docs

New programme to employ 240 newly-graduated Bahraini docs

Chairing the Cabinet session yesterday, His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa launched a programme to employ 240 newly-graduate Bahraini doctors. Under the scheme, which will be implemented over two years, beginning from 2019, the new graduates will be trained and

Roommate killer’s jail term reduced

Roommate killer’s jail term reduced

An Indian man who stabbed his roommate to death last June has got his 10-year jail sentence reduced by the High Criminal Court of Appeals. The 38-year-old defendant was sentenced by the criminal court to 10 years of imprisonment in January, after he was found guilty of killing his roommat

Dog torturer’s custody extended

Dog torturer’s custody extended

A man who was arrested for torturing a dog in Bani Jamrah village will remain in custody pending further investigation, it was announced yesterday. Northern Governorate Chief Prosecutor Mohammed Abdullah said yesterday that the case has been referred to the concerned court. This came a da

50 birds worth Dh20m killed by lightning bolt

50 birds worth Dh20m killed by lightning bolt

As many as 50 rare birds worth over Dh20 million were killed when a lightning bolt hit a farm in Al Dhafra area in Abu Dhabi, Al Bayan reported. According to the farm’s owner Khalfan bin Butti Al Qubaisi, the birds had won many trophies in competitions. They were priceless, he said.

Probe ordered

Probe ordered

The Cabinet yesterday chaired by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, has ordered a thorough probe into allegations of two girls selling drugs at a school in the Northern Governorate. The Premier ordered the formation of a high-level committee, under the

Jakarta opens mass rapid transit system

Jakarta opens mass rapid transit system

Indonesia’s capital inaugurated its first mass rapid transit system on Sunday, a $1.1 billion project seen as crucial to tackling some of the world’s worst traffic congestion. President Joko Widodo and other officials joine

MAX anti-stall software fix ready

MAX anti-stall software fix ready

A fix to the anti-stall system suspected in the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet that killed 189 people in Indonesia is ready, industry sources said Saturday, as the company tries to avoid a lengthy grounding of its planes. Boeing was d

Sri Lanka opens work on $3.85bn refinery

Sri Lanka opens work on $3.85bn refinery

Sri Lanka began construction yesterday of a nearly $4 billion oil refinery it hopes will revive foreign interest in its shipping facilities after Beijing’s takeover of a nearby port spooked international investors. Prime Minister