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President Donald Trump slammed by UN official over torture support

British UN official Ben Emmerson lashed out at US President Donald Trump for his controversial comments defending torture procedures at Geneva

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Geneva, March 4, 2017:  Today a UN official stated, the defence of torture that President Donald Trump has been promoting has set a precedent for other countries to follow, even if the US refrains from acting on it.

UN rights rapporteur Ben Emmerson told reporters in Geneva, “Trump’s support for waterboarding and other such techniques shows a staggering level of ill-preparedness to govern. We are in a situation where we have the first ever democratically elected head of state in the world who positively advocates torture.”

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According to PTI report, He also said, “And that is a state of affairs which lays down a gauntlet, it lays down a precedent. It enables other states to point… And to say well … Why shouldn’t we?”

Days after his inauguration, Trump said days he believes waterboarding and other techniques which are widely seen as torture “absolutely” work, but whether to reinstate them or not would defer to his CIA and Pentagon chiefs.

Emmerson said, “That statement in itself, never mind whether it is implemented, in itself, has undermined the international prohibition on torture.”

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He also managed to add that it has thereby “elevated the risk that suspects will be tortured producing unreliable, often useless intelligence,” and the risk of terrorism has been increased in response.

Emmerson, the UN’s rapporteur on guarding rights and freedoms while countering terrorism, had lashed out at Trump in a speech yesterday.

To hear the new US leader “glibly extolling the virtues of torture as a weapon in the right against terrorism… Was enough to make my blood run cold,” he said, “It shows a staggering level of ill-preparedness to govern.

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Emmerson feels the Re-introduction of waterboarding “for reasons of jingoistic populism” would “fuel the resentments that stoke the risk of terrorism.” He added, “All this leaves one wondering whether lasting progress in this field is ever going to be possible.”

The British UN official was interacting with media at the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council which is currently underway in Geneva.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

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Donald Trump Negotiates Trade Deal With Japan

Trump to negotiate the trade deal with Japan

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Donald Trump is the President of U.S.
FILE IMAGE- Donald Trump

The US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday he is negotiating a bilateral trade agreement with Japan and that his country would only re-enter the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) if its member countries offered him a deal he could not refuse.

“I don’t want to go back into TPP. But if they offered us a deal I can’t refuse on behalf of the US, I would do it. In the meantime, we are negotiating, and what I really would prefer is negotiating a one-on-one deal with Japan,” Donald Trump said at a press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

However, Abe stressed his country’s position towards the TPP, saying that it “is the best for both countries,” although he acknowledged the US’s interest in a bilateral trade deal, Efe reported.

Trump said that should his country reach a trade agreement with Japan, there will be talks about the possibility of ending tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move that Washington introduced in March to a number of countries, including Japan.

Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump added that his primary concern at the moment is the “massive” trade deficit with Japan, which amounted to “from $69 billion to $100 billion a year.”

In fact, the trade deficit with Japan last year stood at $69 billion, far from the $100 billion that the US President claimed, according to the official figures by the US Department of Commerce.

The two leaders made these announcements in a joint press conference at the tycoon’s private club Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, where Abe arrived on Tuesday to have meeting with Trump on his four-day visit to the US.

Also Read: China And Russia Accused of Manipulating Their Currencies By Trump

Last week, the White House announced that Trump had asked the US foreign trade representative Robert Lighthizer and the economic adviser Larry Kudlow to “take another look at whether or not a better deal (with the TPP) could be negotiated.”

However, Trump has shown little interest in negotiations that would further complicate the matter, since the other 11 countries that negotiated the original TPP, with the then Barack Obama administration, have already signed their own multilateral deal, the so-called Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), or TPP-11.

Shinzo Abe
FILE IMAGE- Shinzo Abe.

On the other hand, during this four-day visit Abe has a special interest in getting an exemption for Japan from the 10 per cent and 25 per cent tariffs that the Trump administration imposes on aluminum and steel imports, respectively.

Trump has granted a temporary exemption until May 1 to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and the European Union.

Also Read: White House Denies Any Direct Talks Yet Between Trump And Kim

Japan has been left out of the exempted countries despite being one of the US’s major allies, and for that reason Abe is trying to make use of his visit to secure a place on that list, although Japan barely produces aluminum and the amount of steel exported to the US stands at only around 5 percent of its total steel exports.  IANS