Trump threatens to shoot migrants who throw stones

first_imgPresident Donald Trump speaks at a rally in support of US Senate candidate Josh Hawley on 1 November in Columbia, Missouri. Hawley is in a tight race with incumbent Democrat senator Claire McCaskill. Photo: AFPUS president Donald Trump on Thursday warned that soldiers deployed to the Mexican border could shoot Central American migrants who throw stones at them while attempting to cross illegally.Trump told journalists at the White House that a group of several thousand migrants walking through Mexico towards the US border had thrown rocks “viciously and violently” at Mexican police.“We’re not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back,” he said.“I told them (troops) consider it (a rock) a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexican military and police, I say consider it a rifle.”Trump spoke during a presentation of his controversial policy on cracking down against what he says is uncontrolled illegal immigration.Contacted for comment, Pentagon spokesman Army Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Davis said the military would not discuss hypothetical situations on the use of force “but our forces are trained professionals who always have the inherent right of self-defence.”“I would also emphasize that our forces are in support of DHS/CBP, who are performing law enforcement activities,” he added, referring to the frontline Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection.Trump has ramped up the rhetoric daily ahead of next Tuesday’s midterm congressional elections, accusing the opposition Democrats of wanting to throw open the borders to floods of “tough people,” “rapists” and other types of threats.The current focus of the president’s repeated claim to be acting against “an invasion” is the dwindling group of a few thousand impoverished migrants trying to get north, but still far from the US border.Trump said that from now on, the United States will stop its policy of allowing people to claim political asylum at the border unless they have first gone through an official border post.Those caught at the border will be held in tent camps or other facilities until they can be deported or have their requests approved, he said.Critics say that such a radical rethink to asylum policies could violate current laws.But Trump rejected this.“This is totally legal. No, we’re stopping people at the border. This is an invasion, and nobody is even questioning that,” he said.“We’ll be doing an executive order sometime next week,” he said, giving little further detail.Despite Trump’s increasingly severe warnings of immigration chaos, the government on Wednesday issued figures saying that only about 400,000 people have been apprehended at the border in 2018, down from around 1.6 million in 2000.Trump said he was not anti-immigrant but wanted immigration to be completely brought under control.“Mass uncontrolled immigration is especially unfair to the many wonderful law-abiding immigrants already living here who followed the rules and waited their turn,” he said.“Some have been waiting for many years. Some have been waiting a long time. They have done everything perfectly, and they are going to come in.”last_img read more

Sri Lanka churches hotels bomb attacks toll rise to 138

first_imgA shoe of a victim is seen in front of the St. Anthony`s Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 21 April 2019. Photo: ReutersEaster Day bomb blasts at three Sri Lankan churches and three luxury hotels killed 138 people and wounded more than 400, hospital and police officials said, following a lull in major attacks since the end of the civil war 10 years ago.In just one church, St. Sebastian’s in Katuwapitiya, north of Colombo, more than 50 people had been killed, a police official told Reuters, with pictures showing bodies on the ground, blood on the pews and a destroyed roof.Media reported 25 people were also killed in an attack on a church in Batticaloa in Eastern Province.The three hotels hit were the Shangri-La Colombo, Kingsbury Hotel and Cinnamon Grand Colombo. It was unclear whether there were any casualties in the hotels.Nine foreigners were among the dead, the officials said.There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks in a country which was at war for decades with Tamil separatists until 2009 during which bomb blasts in the capital were common.Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe called a national security council meeting at his home for later in the day.One of the explosions was at St Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade, Colombo.”Our people are engaged in evacuating the casualties,” a source with the bomb squad said.St. Sebastian’s church posted pictures of destruction inside the church on its Facebook page, showing blood on pews and the floor, and requested help from the public.Sri Lankan military officials stand guard in front of the St. Anthony`s Shrine, Kochchikade church after an explosion in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 21 April 2019. Photo: ReutersLast year, there were 86 verified incidents of discrimination, threats and violence against Christians, according to the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL), which represents more than 200 churches and other Christian organisations.This year, the NCEASL recorded 26 such incidents, including one in which Buddhist monks allegedly attempted to disrupt a Sunday worship service, with the last one reported on 25 March.Sri Lankan security personnel keep watch outside the church premises following a blast at the St. Anthony`s Shrine in Kochchikade, Colombo on 21 April 2019. Photo: AFPOut of Sri Lanka’s total population of around 22 million, 70 per cent are Buddhist, 12.6 per cent Hindu, 9.7 per cent Muslim, and 7.6 per cent Christian, according to the country’s 2012 census.In its 2018 report on Sri Lanka’s human rights, the US State Department noted that some Christian groups and churches reported they had been pressured to end worship activities after authorities classified them as “unauthorised gatherings.”The report also said Buddhist monks regularly tried to close down Christian and Muslim places of worship, citing unidentified sources.last_img

Plan for Obama Presidential Center Advances over Protests

first_imgThe Associated PressConstruction of the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago took a major step forward May 17 with a city commission’s decision to sign off on the project after hours of testimony from both supporters and opponents of the project.The Chicago Plan Commission unanimously approved a proposal to build former President Barack Obama’s center in Jackson Park on the city’s South Side. The action came over protests from opponents who want an agreement that local residents will benefit from the $500 million project.Crowds protest outside a planning commission meeting for the Obama Presidential Center at City Hall demanding a Community Benefit Agreement, May 17, 2018, in Chicago. (James Foster /Chicago Sun-Times via AP)“Community residents have no ownership, no say-so, no input,” said Devondrick Jeffers. “We know this is a huge investment in the community, but it’s not truly an investment if residents don’t benefit from this as well.”However, Obama Presidential Center supporters cheered the plans for the presidential center, saying it would bring job opportunities to the area and foster economic development.Obama Foundation chairman Martin Nesbitt told the commission former president and Michelle Obama pushed planners not to limit their imagination on the possibilities for the community that would surround the center.“Our vision is that the center is a public campus integrated into the park as a part of it and not apart from it,” Nesbitt said. “When families and young people come to our campus, we hope to have them inspired to see that they have the power to change the things in their lives and the communities they live in.”Nesbitt claimed 20 percent of the jobs at the center are reserved for residents who live in lower-income neighborhoods and contractors hired to build the center are mainly African-American-owned firms.Officials want to break ground on the center this year, with the opening slated for 2021. The plan for the center still has other hurdles to clear, including City Council approval.The city also must contend with a lawsuit filed this week by a non-profit group trying to block the project on the grounds it is not a true presidential library. The group takes that stance because the center will only have a digital archive of documents and not the documents themselves.last_img read more

North Staffordshire motorists warned to expect delays over weekend

first_imgGet the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailPolice are advising motorists to expect delays on the roads of North Staffordshire this weekend due to a football match and a wide load passing through the area. The load will set off from Stafford at around 8am on Sunday December 17 – having previously being postponed due to bad weather. Police say the load will be travelling from the county town to Newcastle via the A34 Northbound. The load’s route will take it from Stafford, through Stone and then onto Newcastle and Talke. There are also expected to be delays around the Bet365 stadium as Stoke City play West Ham at home. Read MoreHave you seen these parking spaces taped off? This is why A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “Please be aware or some potential traffic congestion over this weekend with Stoke City FC at home on Saturday, and a wide load movement on Sunday from Stafford to Talke along the A34. “Please be patient and follow any Police officer instructions to help minimise your delay.”last_img read more