US news ticker policy: The United States is badly affected by the pandemic. Donald Trump’s crisis management is repeatedly criticized. In addition, the US president threatens to finally terminate payments to WHO. Trump also takes on the social network Twitter. Everything important to the US policy in the ticker of VIP News.
World Criminal Court Condemns US Government Attack
Friday, June 12, 10:00 a.m .: The International Criminal Court has sharply condemned threats from the US government against court officials as an attack on the independence of the judiciary. Despite the “threats and coercive measures,” the court remains determined to carry out its mandate independently and impartially, a Friday statement in The Hague said.
US sanctions against International Criminal Court officials
15:52: US President Donald Trump has approved sanctions against International Criminal Court officials investigating or prosecuting US security forces. Any possession of those affected in the United States can be frozen, according to a Trump order published by the White on Thursday. The International Criminal Court in The Hague cleared the way for investigations into suspected war crimes in Afghanistan in March – including against CIA officials.
The White House said the president had also approved the extension of visa restrictions to criminal court officials and their dependents. The International Criminal Court prosecutes war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. 123 states have ratified the basic treaty of the court, the so-called Roman statutes. The United States is not a State party to the Court of Justice and has strictly rejected it for years.
Russia and the US hold disarmament talks in Vienna on June 22
Wednesday, June 10th, 11.04am: Russia and the US plan to hold talks at the foreign ministry level in Vienna on June 22 to discuss a possible new nuclear disarmament agreement. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov confirmed the date on Tuesday, according to the Interfax agency. Arms control and “strategic stability,” he said. However, it is unclear whether – as requested by the United States – China will take part in the meeting. Washington announced on Monday evening that it had agreed with Moscow on the new talks on nuclear disarmament.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas emphasized the importance of new initiatives against the nuclear threat. “Preventing a new nuclear arms race is a question of survival for humanity,” he said after a video conference by the so-called Stockholm Initiative for Nuclear Disarmament, in which 16 countries are involved. “We can’t just wake up in the eye of the storm, we have to act together now.”
The United States government’s special representative for disarmament, Marshall Billingslea, wrote on Twitter that he had agreed a date and place for negotiations with Ryabkov in June. He did not give details. China was also invited. Ryabkov said that Billingslea himself is traveling to Vienna, but Russia is surprised that the United States has not stopped bringing China into play. This is not provided for under the applicable contract.
Russia has repeatedly put pressure on it to finally start negotiations. The last major New Start nuclear disarmament treaty regulating the limitation of strategic nuclear weapons expires on February 5, 2021. Russia has warned several times about an uncontrollable nuclear arms race if the contract is not renewed. Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin complained at a video conference with the Russian Security Council in May that there were no serious negotiations with the United States to extend New Start. It is an issue of paramount importance – “not just for us, but for the whole world,” said Putin.
Russian diplomat Ryabkov said at the end of May that after the US presidential election in November, it was too late to negotiate an extension, as Russia proposed. The USA had declared its willingness to talk. However, they have – so far without success – demanded that China also be involved in a new contract. “Will China show goodwill and negotiate like that?” Asked Billingslea in his tweet.
The New Start contract provides for the nuclear arsenals of Russia and the USA to be reduced to 800 delivery systems each and 1,550 operational nuclear warheads. Just last summer, another important disarmament agreement between the two countries was canceled: the INF treaty banning land-based short and medium-range nuclear weapons.
Putin and US President Donald Trump last called on the phone in early June. After the telephone call, the Russian side said that the dialogue between Moscow and Washington should be activated. This is also important for “military confidence measures” and “strategic stability”. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Sochi, Russia, met with optimism in May last year after speaking with Secretary of State Sergei Lavrov that the New Start contract could be extended.
The United States had also recently announced the withdrawal from the military observation flight agreement (“open skies”). They justified the step by saying that Russia did not abide by the agreement. That is why the US is no longer bound by it. The Open Skies Treaty allows the 34 signatory states to perform several observation flights per year in the airspace of the contracting parties. It was closed in 1992 and came into force in 2002. So far there have been more than 1,500 observation flights.
Trump plans to withdraw US soldiers from Germany – AKK has no confirmation yet
Tuesday, June 9th, 11.10am: The German government and NATO are keeping quiet about the alleged plans to withdraw several thousand US soldiers from Germany. Secretary of Defense Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said she hadn’t received official US government approval until Monday afternoon. So far she only knows the information from the press, said the CDU leader after a conference call of the party presidium. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also did not want to comment on the reports.
At the weekend, several US media had reported on plans by US President Donald Trump to withdraw 9500 of the approximately 34 500 US soldiers from Germany. However, there was no official confirmation from the White House or the Pentagon. White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said at a press conference Monday that Trump was constantly reviewing the U.S. military’s position abroad. Trump and Richard Grenell, the US Ambassador to Germany who had just resigned, had already threatened to withdraw troops last year – also with a view to German military spending, which despite a significant increase is still well below the NATO target of two percent of gross domestic product .
Kramp-Karrenbauer emphasized that the presence of US soldiers in Germany served overall security in the NATO alliance, including American security. That is the “basis on which we work together”. Incidentally, this is also the basis on which many American soldiers are a “real part” in local society. They are well integrated and played an important role on site.
In an online debate by the Atlantic Council and German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) think tanks, Stoltenberg said he could never comment on speculation. He could only say that the USA and all other allies are constantly discussing the military presence in Europe.
Stoltenberg also pointed out that the United States had recently expanded its presence on the continent. For example, there are more rotating troops in the Baltic States and Romania, and more US presence at the Spanish naval base in Rota and Norway. In addition, the United States had taken over the leadership of the NATO combat force in Poland. “European allies and the United States (…) are currently doing more together than in many years before,” said Stoltenberg.
Former U.S. ambassador to Germany, John Kornblum, does not expect Trump to pull troops out of Germany. “I predict that there will be no withdrawal of these soldiers,” he told the “Passauer Neue Presse” (Monday). “Trump is big in his announcements and doesn’t act after all.”
Report: Trump wants to withdraw more than a quarter of the US soldiers from Germany
Friday, June 5, 8.10 p.m .: According to a media report, US President Donald Trump wants to withdraw 9500 of the 34,500 US soldiers stationed in Germany. The Wall Street Journal said Friday, citing government officials, that Trump’s National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien recently signed a memorandum.
The newspaper named September as the time horizon for the withdrawal. The maximum number of US soldiers who can stay in Germany at the same time should therefore be limited to 25,000. The “Spiegel” also reported on Friday evening that the White House in Washington had informed parts of the US Congress about plans to do so.
The Wall Street Journal referred to Trump’s demands on Germany to increase defense spending. In the dispute, the then US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, threatened partial withdrawal of the US soldiers from Germany last August if the federal government did not increase its military budget.
A spokesman for the federal government did not want to comment on the article of the “Wall Street Journal” on Friday evening on AFP request. The spokesman for the US National Security Council, John Ullyot, said on Friday (local time) on request from dpa that there is currently no announcement. Trump is constantly checking the deployment of US soldiers abroad. “The United States remains committed to working with our close ally Germany.”
Trump’s health check: healthy but obese
Thursday, June 4, 10.50 a.m .: A peculiarity in US politics is that presidents occasionally have to disclose their health. This is not legally required, but it has become a kind of ritual that Donald Trump cannot avoid. For the third time in his term, the U.S. President underwent a health check for publication. The White House announced the results on Wednesday (local time).
Trump’s doctor Sean Conley wrote in his short report that the president is still healthy. In the past few weeks, Trump had made headlines for controversial use of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for corona prophylaxis. He took the product for two weeks – although there is no reliable scientific evidence that the drug is effective in connection with the coronavirus, and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) points out health risks. However, Conley said Trump had completed the treatment with the agent “safely and without side effects”.
And otherwise? Trump weighs a good 110 kilograms according to the current values, which are always supplied in detail. That is about as much as the last health check last year. With his height of about 1.90 meters, Trump is still just above the threshold of 30 when calculating the body mass index and is therefore considered obese in the statistics.
At the health check in early 2018, Trump had weighed 108.4 kilograms. At that time, Trump’s personal physician Ronny Jackson already advised the president to lose weight at this weight and made him diet and exercise. According to Jackson, the goal was for Trump to lose a good five kilos.
At that time, Trump had also officially checked his intellectual ability. For this purpose, he made a test of how it is used, among other things, for the early detection of suspected dementia and Alzheimer’s. The patient has to recognize, for example, drawn animals such as a lion or a rhino, or trace a cube. There are also questions that focus on the ability to concentrate and remember. Trump passed 30 out of 30 at the time – and hoped that this would end speculation about his mental ability to perform the job. Last year and this year he did not do this.
India’s Prime Minister accepts Trump’s G7 invitation
Wednesday, June 3, 9:30 a.m .: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed willingness to participate in an extended round of a G7 summit planned by US President Donald Trump. This was confirmed by circles of the Indian Foreign Ministry of the German Press Agency on Wednesday. In a communication, Modi praised Trump’s “creative and forward-looking approach” that took the realities of a Corona world into account.
Trump, who is hosting the G7 summit of the major industrialized nations of Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States this year, wants to postpone the meeting planned for June to possibly September, as well as India and Russia , South Korea and Australia invite. He recently said that he did not feel that the “very outdated group” of the seven countries correctly reflected what was happening in the world.
The Prime Minister of India also raised concerns over the “ongoing turmoil” in the US on the phone with Trump and wished Trump all the best for an early resolution of the situation, the Indian State Department said.
The two men also discussed disputes on the controversial India-China border. The two neighboring countries had waged a brief war over their Himalayan border in 1962, which China had won. Since then there have been incidents. Indian media reported that several injuries had occurred in clashes in May. Trump had recently offered to mediate.
Premier Modi called the conversation with Trump “warm and productive”. Reforms of the World Health Organization (WHO) were also discussed
Trump threatens consequences after violent protests in Minneapolis
10/10 Clock: US President Donald Trump has threatened to face riots in the city of Minneapolis. “I just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the military was at his side. If there were any problems, we would take control, but when the looting started, the shooting would start,” Trump tweeted on Friday night (Local time).
In the city of Minneapolis in the state of Minnesota, riots broke out again on Friday night (local time), which was triggered by the death of Black George Floyd after a brutal police operation. Protesters broke into a police station, local media reported. There were also fires on television pictures. “These types of thugs dishonor the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump wrote.
Trump accused the city mayor of “total lack of leadership”. “Either the very weak Mayor of the Radical Left, Jacob Frey, gets the curve and brings the city under control, or I send the National Guard in and do the job properly.” State governor Tim Walz had mobilized the National Guard on Thursday and declared a state of emergency for Minneapolis and surrounding areas.
Minnesota’s National Guard said that more than 500 soldiers had been deployed to the Minneapolis region. It is her job to protect life and property and to ensure peaceful demonstrations. The National Guard is part of the U.S. Army Reserve and is headed by a state in peacetime. However, the President can mobilize the National Guard in national emergencies.
The anger and outrage of the demonstrators was triggered by a ten-minute video of Floyd’s death, which spread like wildfire on social media: a white policeman pressed his knee to the neck of the 46-year-old for several minutes, repeatedly for help pleaded before he passed out. The African American repeatedly said, “I cannot breathe.” He died shortly afterwards in a nearby hospital. The four police officers involved were released, but have so far not been arrested or charged.
Republicans in Pennsylvania kept coronavirus infections secret
Friday, May 29, 10:01 a.m .: US Democrats’ MPs in the Pennsylvania regional parliament have asked several Republicans to resign because they had kept a coronavirus case from their ranks. “They warned each other but not us,” said visibly angry Democratic MP Brian Sims. Republican MP Andrew Lewis refused to publicize a positive coronavirus test for a week.
Lewis said he had tested positive on May 20 and immediately quarantined. Because he had attended parliamentary sessions in the state until May 14, his party leadership advised three Republican MPs to voluntarily isolate them. The Democrats were not informed, although they had contact with MPs in several sessions.
Several Democratic MPs called for the resignation of President Mike Turzai and other senior Republicans. “This is the culmination of hypocrisy,” said Sims. The Republicans kept the diagnosis secret because it contradicted their political position that it was safe to return to work. Republican MPs have also repeatedly downplayed the dangers of the corona pandemic in Pennsylvania and refused to wear masks during parliamentary sessions, Sims said.
The United States is the most affected country by the corona pandemic worldwide. Republican President Donald Trump has also been repeatedly criticized for dealing with the epidemic. He urges the US economy to rebound rapidly – apparently not least because of his chances in the November presidential election.
Number of corona deaths in the United States rises to more than 100,000
Thursday, May 28, 10:45 a.m .: Coronavirus pandemic deaths in the US have exceeded 100,000. According to the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the number of corona deaths rose to around 100,400 by Wednesday evening (local time). The number of registered infections was almost 1.7 million.
The United States is by far the world’s hardest hit by the pandemic. After the increase in the number of fatalities there had slowed down significantly over the past few days, it has now increased again sharply: The Johns Hopkins researchers counted 1401 further corona deaths within 24 hours. In the previous three days, the daily death toll had been less than 700.
However, the majority of the US states have already started to relax measures against the spread of the virus. In many places, restaurants were reopened and companies started working again. This is welcomed by President Donald Trump, who is pushing for a rapid revival of the US economy – apparently not least in view of his chances in the November presidential election.
In the gaming metropolis of Las Vegas in the state of Nevada, several large casinos will reopen on Thursday next week. Governor Steve Sisolak said he approved this after consulting with health experts. In Las Vegas “all possible precautions” against the spread of the virus were taken, he assured.
“We encourage visitors to come, have fun and have a good time,” said the governor. Las Vegas casinos have been closed for more than two months.
Trump in conflict with twitter
Wednesday, May 27th, 12.01am: There has been a violent conflict between US President Donald Trump and the Internet service he uses widely. On Tuesday, the company marked the President’s messages for the first time as misleading. These two tweets dealt with alleged massive fraud in postal votes. Trump was furious with the Twitter measure and accused the company of “interfering” in the November presidential election. Read more here.
Trump is outraged by media criticism at his weekend golf course visit
Tuesday, May 26, 9:00 a.m .: With angry counter-attacks on the media, US President Donald Trump has resisted criticism of his golf course visit last weekend. The “completely corrupt ‘fake news’ makes it sound like a mortal sin,” Trump wrote on Monday in the online service Twitter. They are “sick with hatred and mendacity”.
Trump had played golf at the weekend for the first time since March, while the number of corona deaths was approaching the 100,000 mark. This had caused outraged reactions on social networks and in many media. They also recalled Trump’s own earlier attacks on his predecessor Barack Obama for playing golf during the 2014 Ebola outbreak.
Trump said at the time that Obama was sending “the wrong signal”: a president should stop playing golf for a few years and “concentrate on the job,” he added.
“I knew this would come,” Trump responded to the criticism: “What they don’t say is that it was my first golf game in almost three months, but even if I waited three years, they would do their usual blows hand me out. “
Trump received unexpected support from Obama’s former adviser David Axelrod. He doesn’t defend the president very often, but he doesn’t dislike a round of golf, the policy commentator said on Twitter. “Apart from that, it gives the rest of us a break from these crazy tweets.”
Trump’s attacks on Obama at the time were “hypocritical,” continued Axelrod. But just as hypocritical are those who then defended Obama and now attacked Trump.
USA ban entry from Brazil
Monday, May 25, 11:19 p.m .: Given the scale of the corona pandemic in Brazil, the United States is banning entry from the South American country. US President Donald Trump wants to prevent people from becoming further infections in the United States after their stay in Brazil, the White House said on Sunday.
The entry ban applies to foreign nationals who were in Brazil in the two weeks before their planned entry into the United States. According to the White House, trade is not affected by the measure.
US security advisor Robert O’Brien had previously announced the entry ban on the television station CBS. “Given the situation in Brazil, we will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the American people,” said O’Brien.
The United States had already banned entries from China, the European Union and Great Britain, among others, because of the corona pandemic. To date, more than 97,000 people infected with the novel corona virus have died in the USA, more than in any other country.
Brazil has become the central source of the pandemic in South America in recent weeks. With almost 350,000 registered corona cases, the country has the second most infections worldwide after the United States. More than 22,000 deaths from the pandemic have been recorded. Experts believe that the number of unreported cases is much higher because comparatively little testing is carried out in Brazil.
Report: US considered nuclear test as warning to Russia and China
Saturday, May 23, 1:45 p.m .: According to a media report, the United States considered a nuclear test as a warning to Russia and China for the first time since 1992. The government of US President Donald Trump discussed this possibility at a meeting on May 15, the Washington Post quoted on Friday (local time) a senior government official and two former US officials. Disarmament activists immediately condemned the considerations.
According to the report, the May 15 conversation was initially unsuccessful. The sources cited were therefore divided as to whether the discussions were still ongoing. According to media reports, US government officials had previously claimed that Russia and China are conducting their own nuclear tests. Moscow and Beijing rejected this. The USA did not provide any evidence to support the claim.
The senior government official told the Washington Post that it could serve as a negotiating tactic in US efforts to build a nuclear deal with Russia and China to demonstrate Washington’s “quick test” ability.
Trump recently asked that China be involved in arms control talks with Russia. He told the Russian head of state Vladimir Putin that an “expensive arms race” must be prevented.
Dramatic departure from previous US defense policies
A US nuclear test, however, would mean a dramatic departure from the previous US defense policy and would alert other nuclear powers. Disarmament activists condemned the possible plans for a US nuclear test. “This would be the starting signal for an unprecedented nuclear arms race,” said Nary Arms Control Association head Daryl Kimball. Such a test should also bring the nuclear talks with the North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un to a standstill.
The International Nuclear Abolition Campaign (Ican), which received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017, warned that a US nuclear test could lead to a “new Cold War” and “destroy any chance of avoiding a dangerous new nuclear weapons arms race”. Ican Beatrice Fihn also warned of “complete erosion of the global weapons control framework”.
Report: One day after Trump’s announcement out Arms control contract To get off “Open Skies”
The newspaper report came a day after Trump’s announcement that it would step out of the “Open Skies” arms control treaty with Russia, which was intended to ensure military transparency and trust between the two world powers. The US is upset that Russia is not letting the US Air Force fly over areas where Washington suspects medium-range nuclear missiles.
After the announced exit from the United States, Russia assured that it would adhere to the agreement, which should reduce the risk of war. The agreement allows the total of 34 contracting states a certain number of short-term reconnaissance flights in the airspace of the other contracting parties. On these flights, by mutual agreement, pictures of military facilities and activities of the respective country’s army and other information may be collected.
US ambassador defends US appearance and criticizes Trump
The US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, defended the recent withdrawal from an international military agreement on Saturday. He attacked Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) because of his criticism of it. Russia “had not adhered to the ‘Open Skies’ agreement for some time,” said Grenell of the “Rheinische Post”. “Instead of complaining about the US response, Heiko Maas should have increased the pressure on Russia in recent years to honor its commitments.”
The United States’ withdrawal from the “Open Skies” agreement is the third termination of an arms control treaty by the United States since Trump took office in 2017. In addition to Germany, other European countries had asked the United States to reconsider the move.
It is not the first time that Trump’s defense policy has fueled concerns that the U.S. government is increasing the risk of nuclear war. In February, for example, the Pentagon announced that it had stationed a submarine with a long-range missile equipped with a relatively small nuclear warhead. This is a reaction to Russian tests of similar weapons.