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Haspel, Trump’s Choice For CIA Director, Withdraws Her Name

Taken aback at her stance, senior White House aides, including legislative affairs head Marc Short and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, rushed to meet Haspel at her office late Friday afternoon.

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Donald Trump
Trump open to meeting Kim again. (Wikimedia Commons)

Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the CIA, has offered to withdraw her nomination after some White House officials raised concerns about her ability to get confirmed, the media reported.

Haspel told the White House she was interested in stepping aside if it avoided the spectacle of a brutal confirmation hearing on Wednesday and potential damage to the Central Intelligence Agency’s reputation and her own, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.

She was summoned to the White House on Friday for a meeting on her history in the CIA’s controversial interrogation programme – which employed techniques such as waterboarding that are widely seen as torture – and signaled that she was going to withdraw her nomination.

Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump's pick to head the CIA, has offered to withdraw her nomination after some White House officials raised concerns about her ability to get confirmed, the media reported.
CIA, USA- wikimedia commons

She then returned to CIA headquarters, informed officials told The Washington Post.

Taken aback at her stance, senior White House aides, including legislative affairs head Marc Short and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, rushed to meet Haspel at her office late Friday afternoon.

Haspel, who serves as the CIA’s deputy director and has spent 33 years in the agency, most of it undercover, faces some opposition in Congress because of her connection to the interrogation programme, which was set up after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

In 2002, Haspel oversaw a secret CIA detention facility in Thailand, where one Al Qaeda suspect was waterboarded.

Three years later, Haspel was involved in the CIA’s destruction of nearly 100 videotapes that recorded the detainees’ interrogations, launching an investigation by a special prosecutor who ultimately decided not to bring charges against those involved.

An administration official told The Washington Post that the nomination remains on track.

Also Read: North Korea Accuses US of Pressurising, Says It Will Harm Peace 

“There is a hearing prep session today, courtesy calls with senators Monday and Tuesday, and classified materials will be delivered to Senate security so senators can read the real record instead of relying on gossip and unfounded smears,” the official added.

A CIA spokesperson told CNN on Sunday: “There has been a fascinating phenomenon over the last few weeks. Those who know the true Gina Haspel — who worked with her, who served with her, who helped her confront terrorism, Russia and countless other threats to our nation — they almost uniformly support her.

“When the American people finally have a chance to see the true Gina Haspel on Wednesday, they will understand why she is so admired and why she is and will be a great leader for this Agency.” (IANS)

 

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US White House Releases Report Announcing Onset of Cold War With China

US has formally announced the onset of Cold War with China

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US has officially announced Cold war with China. Wikimedia Commons

By Aarti Tikoo Singh

With its new vision document on China, the US has formally announced the onset of its Cold War with the Asian giant, accusing it of exploiting rule-based world order and re-shaping international system in favour of Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ideology and interests.

Just short of calling it Cold War, the US in its latest report titled, ‘United States Strategic Approach to the People’s Republic of China’, released by the White House, has announced that it is “responding to the CCP’s direct challenge by acknowledginga that the two major powers are in a “strategic competition and protecting” their “interests appropriately”.

Until now, the US policy towards the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the report said, was “largely premised on a hope that deepening engagement would spur fundamental economic and political opening” in China and make it a “responsible global stakeholder, with a more open society”.

However, after over 40 years, “it has become evident that this approach underestimated the will of the CCP to constrain the scope of economic and political reform”.

Over the past two decades, reforms have slowed, stalled, or reversed, the report said.

“The PRC’s rapid economic development and increased engagement with the world did not lead to convergence with the citizen-centric, free and open order as the US had hoped. The CCP has chosen instead to exploit the free and open rules- based order and attempt to reshape the international system in its favour.”

Beijing openly acknowledges that it seeks to transform the international order to align with CCP interests and ideology, the US said. “The CCP’s expanding use of economic, political, and military power to compel acquiescence from nation states harms vital American interests and undermines the sovereignty and dignity of countries and individuals around the world.”

mountain china

Beijing openly acknowledges that it seeks to transform the international order to align with CCP interests and ideology, the US said. Pixabay

The White House pointed out that Beijing in its neighborhood, engages “in provocative and coercive military and paramilitary activities in the Yellow Sea, the East and South China Seas, the Taiwan Strait, and Sino-Indian border areas”.

Just a day ago, US diplomat and acting assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, Alice Wells had called out the CCP regime for ratcheting up tensions with India along its borders. Chinese soldiers in the last few months has engaged in several violent faceoffs with Indian soldiers in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Ladakh over boundary issues.

Announcing its approach, the US report said that it is “working in concert with mutually aligned partnersa”Southeast Asian nations, Japan, India, Australia, Republic of Korea and Taiwan on their outlook on the free, open and secure Indo-Pacific region”.

Guided by a return to principled realism, the report said thatA given the strategic choices China’s leadership is making, “the United States now acknowledges and accepts the relationship with the PRC as the CCP has always framed it internally: one of great power competition”.

The White House made it clear that it is not interested in effecting any change in China’s domestic governance model but at the same time said that it won’t make “concessions to the CCP’s narratives of exceptionalism and victimhood” .

The US policies, the report said, are designed to protect its interests and empower its institutions to withstand the CCP’s malign behaviour and collateral damage from the PRC’s internal governance problems.

China
The White House made it clear that it is not interested in effecting any change in China’s domestic governance model. Wikimedia Commons

Accusing the CCP of running propaganda and false narratives, the White House declared that it will continue to challenge Beijing’s attempts at false equivalency between rule-of-law and rule- by-law; counterterrorism and oppression; representative governance and autocracy; and market-based competition and state-directed mercantilism.

The US will not accommodate Beijing’s actions that weaken a free, open, and rules-based international order, the report said, adding that it will continue to refute the CCP’s narrative that the the US is in strategic retreat.

Also Read: Smartly Manage Your Sweet Cravings Amid the Lockdown

Using the Cold War terminology, the White House announced that it will work with its robust network of allies and like- minded partners to resist attacks on shared norms and values, within their own governance institutions, around the world, and in international organizations.

The US government said it does not cater to CCP’s demands to create a proper “atmosphere” or “conditions” for dialogue because it sees no value in engaging with Beijing for symbolism and pageantry.

“We instead demand tangible results and constructive outcomes. We acknowledge and respond in kind to Beijing’s transactional approach with timely incentives and costs, or credible threats thereof. When quiet diplomacy proves futile, the United States will increase public pressure on the PRC government and take action to protect United States interests by leveraging proportional costs when necessary,” the report said. (IANS)

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We Are Working Very Closely With India: Trump on Covid-19 Vaccine Project

US and India are working together on Covid-19 vaccine project, revealed Trump

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"Operation Warp Speed" aims to make a vaccine against COVID-19 by the end of this year, told President Trump. Wikimedia Commons

By Arul Louis

Launching “Operation Warp Speed” to ready a vaccine against Covid-19 by the end of the year, President Donald Trump said on Friday the US was working with India on the project suggests the Latest World News.

“We are working very closely also with India,” Trump said while speaking to reporters when he unveiled the project at the White House.

He also acknowledged the work of Indian-Americans on vaccine development projects.

There is a “tremendous Indian population in the United States, many of the people you are talking about are working on the vaccine too. Great scientists and researchers,” he said.

Trump, who recalled his February visit to India, ended his comment on India saying, “Say hello to your Prime Minister!”

Earlier, he said that India and other countries would have access to any vaccine or therapy developed by the US.

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Trump acknowledged the work of Indian-Americans on vaccine development projects. Wikimedia Commons

He said that the US and companies were not seeking to make a profit out of the crisis and wanted to make them available to all.

Trump said that the goal of “Operation Warp Speed” was to try to have a vaccine ready by the end of the year.

“We would love to see if we could do it prior to the end of the year,” he said.

Read More: Young Indians Are At An Evergrowing Risk Of Hypertension

He said that Moncef Slaoui, who is the former head of GlaxoSmithKline vaccines division, would head the project with General Gustave Perna looking after the logistics.

Trump said that the vaccine would be available to all who wanted it and the military, the other arms of the government and the private sector would be fully mobilised to get them out.

The best candidates of the several under development would be made ready in advance and would go out as soon one gets approved. (IANS)

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“We Could Cut Off The Whole Relationship”, Says Trump on China

Trump told Fox Business that he could cut off the whole relationship with china

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Donald Trump Coronavirus
"There are many things we could do," Trump told Fox Business on Thursdayl. Wikimedia Commons

US President Donald Trump has said that he “could cut off the whole relationship” with China, in one of his strongest comments against Beijing in the wake of the Asian giant’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the media reported.

“There are many things we could do,” Trump told Fox Business on Thursday, adding: “We could cut off the whole relationship.”

The Trump administration has been mulling avenues to possibly punish or seek financial compensation from China for what it sees as withholding information about the virus, which originated in the city of Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, last December.

On Monday, the administration cut investment ties between US federal retirement funds and Chinese equities.

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Trump also said “right now I don’t want to speak to” his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. Wikimedia Commons

Speaking exclusively to Fox Business, the President raised the impact of ending relations, saying: “Now, if you did, what would happen? You’d save $500 billion if you cut off the whole relationship.”

Trump also said “right now I don’t want to speak to” his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

“They should have never let this happen,” Trump said. “So I make a great trade deal and now I say this doesn’t feel the same to me.

Read More: WhatsApp Launches Campaign to Reduce Spread of Fake News Amid COVID-19

“The ink was barely dry and the plague came over. And it doesn’t feel the same to me.”

Although the pandemic originated in China, the US currently accounts for the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world.

According to the Johns Hopkins University, the number of COVID-19 cases increased to 1,417,889 on Friday, with 85,906 deaths. (IANS)