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Trump Expands List Of Nations For Travel Ban
Americas

Trump Expands List Of Nations For Travel Ban

Donald Trump is coming out with policies which seem to indicate that he wants to get back at the Muslim community worldwide. Speaking at the World Summit in Davos recently, he said that he had plans of extending his travel ban to bar people from several additional countries.

 His redone list is an indication that he is going to come down heavily on people who still look forward to the American dream. This is all in preparation towards his election campaign where he has promised to curb illegal immigration into the United States.

He has already been coming down heavy on Mexico and he meant to concretize that by erecting a physical wall at the Mexico-US border. The construction of the wall is under a court stay. The travel ban policy, public polls show, is indicating a huge fan following amongst Republican voters. This goes well in favour of the Republican President.

Going against the spirit of multiculturalism, the travel ban had already been challenged in federal court. It has since then gone through three iterations after Trump took office in 2016 but it only received Presidential proclamation in September 2017. The current version requires the DHS to review the visa restrictions every 180 days and permits the addition or removal of countries. The ban was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2018 and includes a periodic review of whether countries should be added or taken off the list.

While the Trump administration has not sighted any particular reasons as to why some countries are being included, political analysts believe that this is a simple way to withhold right to immigration. Some of the countries listed include Belarus, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania, a list which was first spotted by Politico.

Some of these nations are in focus due to gross violation of human rights and America’s stance to impose travel bans could mean that movement of suffering civilians into US could be a closed chapter all together. It is a hard stand for a leader of a nation, but it might be the best one to keep violence and unrest at bay.

News of America Today

EU’s big vote in Brussels will finally make Brexit ‘done’
Europe

EU’s big vote in Brussels will finally make Brexit ‘done’

On Wednesday, European Parliament would undertake a historic vote, processing final rectification of the terms of the Britain’s exit from the European Union. Wednesday’s session would be a symbolic one where the union would give its final approval to clear path for Brexit.

UK would attend its last session as EU member on Tuesday, marking the end of the UK’s 47 years of EU membership. The outcome of the Wednesday session is clear, after both the parties signed the Withdrawal Agreement last week.

30 January would be more like a ceremonial session to be attended by 751 members of the European Parliament from 28 member states. The United Kingdom would cease to be part of the bloc on Friday at 23:00 GMT. From there on both the sides would enter a transition period which would last for eleven months, ending by December 2020. The transition period would be send to finalise negotiations on future trade relations EU and UK.

UK prime minister, Boris Johnson opts for quiet exit than a pompous display of triumph of his three years of Brexit dream. The next huge challenge which lays ahead of Johnson is striking a trade deal with EU before the end of the transition period, which many believe is nearly impossible given the complexity of the negotiations.

On Monday, Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, clarified that the bloc would adopt a tough stand towards UK and ‘will never, never, never” compromise on the integrity of its single market, adding that Britain must bear the consequences of divorcing  the union.

“Leaving the single market, leaving the customs union will have consequences. And what I saw … in the last year, is that many of these consequences have been underestimated in the UK.” Barnier said while Brussels was willing to be flexible and reasonable in trade talks, but Britain’s attitude has made frictionless trade between the two almost impossible.

News From Europe

The “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance is reinforced by three countries
Geopolitics

The “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance is reinforced by three countries

In an attempt to curb North Korea’s provocations, the alliance’s so-called “Five Eyes” alliance has expanded to include France, Japan and South Korea, which aims to exchange intelligence between these countries, according to Japan’s Kyodo News.

The alliance included Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States, and by joining the three new partners, it would enhance North Korean ballistic missile intelligence and control activities.

Last fall, officials from the eight countries met and discussed how best to gather information on North Korea, as well as exchange intelligence on China’s growing military power.

Prior to the expansion of the alliance, the eight countries were concentrating their efforts to monitor activities at sea to prevent North Korean ships from engaging in illegal cargo transfers, without a framework for cooperation between their intelligence units.

The United States has sought to build a new framework called “Five Eyes +” with friendly countries to counter threats in new areas, including space and cybersecurity, as China doubles its power in this area.

A US government source told the agency that Japan has become almost the “sixth eye” of the five-nation alliance, given its proximity to China and North Korea and its capabilities to collect relevant information through satellite and intelligence signals.

It is noteworthy that the alliance, which consists of five English-speaking countries, was established according to the “UKUSA” Multilateral Agreement, a treaty specialized in the field of joint cooperation in the field of intelligence.

Geopolitics News and Updates

Trump impeachment, Democrats demand Bolton to testify
Americas

Trump impeachment, Democrats demand Bolton to testify

Democrats in US Congress demand that former National Security Advisor John Bolton testify in the trial for impeachment of President Donald Trump.

The call arrived after the New York Times revealed how Bolton in the draft of his book wrote that Trump told him he wanted to freeze aid to Ukraine until he started investigating Biden.

The prosecution in the trial, led by Adam Schiff, defined the disclosure as “explosive”, asking to summon John Bolton. US president Donald Trump, doesn’t seems really concerned because he knows that the impeachment to pass need the vote of at least 4 Republican senators.

News of America Today

Varadkar and Barnier warned UK of tough challenges ahead
Europe

Varadkar and Barnier warned UK of tough challenges ahead

The Irish prime minister, Leo Varadkar, and the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, warned UK of tough challenges ahead of the Brexit negotiations. Both the leaders, who held a meet in Dublin on Monday, spoke at a joint press conference that EU’s key agenda ahead of the ‘very challenging’ talks with Britain would be to protect the interests of its member nations.

As per the Withdrawal agreement, EU-UK trade deal needs to be concluded by the end of this year.

“We’ll say goodbye to an old friend embarking on an adventure,” said Varadkar. “We hope it works out for them. But if it does not, there will always be a seat kept for them at the table.”

Barnier warned of economic disruption, in case negotiators failed to finalise a deal. He said, “If we have no agreement, it will not be business as usual and the status quo, we have to face the risk of a cliff edge, in particular for trade.”

Barnier added, “Brexit really showed, we are all part of a family. Brexit will not go away. We have important work ahead of us.”

He hinted that the 27-nation bloc would closely monitor the crossing of goods between the UK and Northern Ireland (part of EU).

EU leaders’ warning of tough negotiations came as Downing Street started the preparation to celebrate the UK’s departure from the bloc on Friday.

Varadkar, who is campaigning ahead of a general election in Ireland on Feb. 8, told the reporters that Ireland would hold a friendly attitude UK, though it would remain part of “team EU”.

In a recent interview with BBC, the taoiseach warned UK prime minister Boris Johnson that shifting away from Brussels standards would make it “a lot harder” for UK to strike a benefitting deal with EU. Varadkar drew an analogy of the disparity in negotiating power by saying, “The reality of the situation is that the European Union is a union of 27 member states, the UK is only one country. And we have a population and a market of 450 million people. The UK, it’s about 60 million. So if these were two teams up against each other playing football, who do you think has the stronger team? So long as we’re united.”

Irish prime minister added that reaching a trade deal before the end of this year is nearly impossible, and suggested his British counterpart to seek extension to the transition period, which ends on December 2020.

Johnson declined Varadkar’s suggestion, saying, “I have to say this is one of those rare occasions where I’m going to be obliged to respectfully disagree with my friend the taoiseach and just say I think we can wrap all this up in the time we’ve got. “We’ve got till, as you know, the end of the year and we will be doing things very fast, [in a] very friendly and respectful way, and in a way also, I think it’s important to stress, that really ensures we look after the interests of the Republic of Ireland as well.”   

News From Europe

Republicans May Face Tough Battle To Be Re-elected
Americas

Republicans May Face Tough Battle To Be Re-elected

It now seems that the fate of the impeachment can have an adverse affect on the future of the senators involved in the trial process too. According to Republican strategist James Bowers, the impeachment will play a major role in campaign ads for years.

There is already mounting pressure on the senators who are trying to juggle between the impeachment trial and their campaign dates. Of these, a handful of senators are facing tough re-election battles this year.

Political analysts believe that American voting pattern could be affected by the way the same senators acquit or convict Trump, or even to call witnesses in the trial. There is a mixed opinion around Trump’s impeachment trial. Voting polls have been divided over whether he should really be impeached or not.

Democrats need to pick up four seats from Republicans to win a majority in the Nov. 3 election, in which Trump also will be on the ballot.

Democrats are already pushing for Trump not to be given rights to cast a vote or campaign for the forthcoming elections.

According to three nonpartisan election services, between five and seven incumbent Senate Republicans are at risk of losing their seats, as do two incumbent Democrats. This information has been shared by The Cook Political Report, Inside Elections and Sabato’s Crystal Ball.

Because Trump was impeached by a Democratic dominated House of Representatives, the battle becomes tougher for the Republicans. Further, it has been noted that embattled Republicans like Corey Gardner of Colorado and Martha McSally of Arizona might face a voter backlash. This could happen if they vote to wrap up the trial quickly. This is something that the Republican leaders definitely want. They would like to avoid calling for more evidence and witnesses, which could potentially upend the proceeding.

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