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May 2019
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LS polls come to close; over 64 pc voting recorded in last phase        PM performs puja at Kedarnath after meditating for 17 hrs, will also visit Badrinath        Modi govt set to return to power, Exit polls predict        Exit polls gossip, don''t trust them: Mamata        S. Arabia calls GCC, Arab League meetings        Blast near tourist bus injures at least 17 in Egypt        Bravo, Pollard named in W Indies reserve players list for World Cup 2019        Opposition unity: Naidu meets Akhilesh, Mayawati over opposition unity post LS polls        I could be assassinated like Indira Gandhi, BJP after my life: Kejriwal        LS polls candidate attacked in Kerala        UK gets new weapons act, secures Sikh right to carry kirpans        Austrian far-right leader resigns over ''Ibiza affair''        Kedar Jadhav declared fit for 2019 World Cup        Bayern roll 5-1 over Frankfurt to clinch their 7th successive Bundesliga title        Modi is an actor, says Priyanka; compares him to Asrani in Sholay        Every religion has its own terrorist: Kamal Haasan        Modi locked up entire cabinet before demonetisation: Rahul        Afghan security forces killed in US strike in Helmand        Trump says he hopes for no war as US-Iran tensions escalate        Irfan Pathan becomes first Indian to enroll for Caribbean Premier League Players Draft        
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International News
Trump demands USD 5.7 bln funding for US-Mexico border wall to end growing humanitarian crisis
 
Washington, Jan 9 (PTI): President Donald Trump Wednesday asked the Democrats to allocate a whopping USD 5.7 billion funding for his controversial US-Mexico border wall plan to halt a "growing humanitarian and security crisis" and cited the cold-blooded murder of an Indian-origin police officer by an illegal immigrant to implement his signature campaign promise.

Trump's remarks during in his maiden prime-time address to the nation from the Oval Office came amid a partial government shutdown that is days away from becoming the longest in US history.

In his eight-minute address carried live by all the major US television networks, Trump said the federal government remained shut because of the Democrats and sought to pressure on them to agree to his request for funding for the wall as a condition of ending the 18-day government shutdown that has crippled many offices.

Trump said illegal immigrants and drugs flowing across the porous southern border with Mexico posed a serious threat to American safety.

He also tried to ramp up support among Republicans who are getting nervous about government workers and others who are feeling the pain of the shutdown.

"This is a humanitarian crisis. A crisis of the heart, and a crisis of the soul," Trump said in his eight-minute address.

Noting that America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich the American society and contribute to the nation, he said all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled, illegal migration.

Funding for a border wall has been the main sticking point in negotiations with Democrats to reopen parts of the federal government.

A wall along the US-Mexico border was one of Trump's signature campaign promises. Trump wants USD 5.7 billion to build the wall, even though he said repeatedly during his campaign that he would make Mexico pay for the structure.

The Democrats are refusing to allocate the money, arguing that a wall would be costly and ineffective. Mexico has rejected Trump's demand to pay for the border wall.

The standoff triggered a partial government shutdown on December 22, shuttering nine federal departments and several smaller agencies and forcing some 800,000 workers to go on unpaid leave or work without pay. The shutdown will enter its 19th day Wednesday, making it the second-longest in history after the 21-day shutdown in 1995 96.

Trump in the past few days had threatened to declare a national emergency over the issues that would have allowed him to start building the wall with military funds without congressional authorisation.

But in Wednesday's address he stopped short of declaring a national emergency.

Making a strong pitch for the wall, Trump said the federal government remained shut because of Democrats.

In his address, Trump described Indian-origin policeman Ronil "Ron" Singh, who was recently killed in California, as an "American hero". He said America's heart broke the day the young officer was "savagely murdered" in cold blood by an "illegal alien".

Corporal Singh, 33, of the Newman Police Department was shot and killed during a traffic stop on December 26 allegedly by an illegal immigrant.

Singh, a native of Fiji, joined the force in July 2011.

The Californian police have arrested 33-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico identified as Gustavo Perez Arriaga on charges of killing Singh.

The president also said that 90 per cent of heroin sold in the US came from Mexico.

"Last month 20,000 migrant children were illegally brought into the United States, a dramatic increase. These children are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs. One in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico," Trump said.

"Women or children are the biggest victims by far of the broken system. This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end," he said.

"As part of an overall approach to border security law enforcement professionals have requested USD 5.7 billion for a physical barrier. At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall. This barrier is absolutely critical to border security. It's also what are professionals at the border want and need,"Trump said.

"The border wall would very quickly pay for itself. The cost of illegal drugs exceeds USD 500 billion a year, vastly more than the USD 5.7 billion we have requested from Congress," Trump said.

The Democrats immediately dismissed Trump's assertion on border security and accused the president of holding the nation hostage to a partial government shutdown for more than a fortnight now.

"Much of what we have heard from President Trump throughout this senseless shutdown has been full of misinformation and even malice. The President has chosen fear," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in the Democratic address to the nation immediately after Trump's address.

"President Trump has chosen to hold hostage critical services for the health, safety and well-being of the American people and withhold the paychecks of 800,000 innocent workers across the nation many of them veterans," she alleged.

Senate Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer said the American democracy doesn't work the way Trump wants.

"We don't govern by temper tantrum. No president should pound the table and demand he gets his way or else the government shuts down, hurting millions of Americans who are treated as leverage," he said.


S. Arabia calls GCC, Arab League meetings
Blast near tourist bus injures at least 17 in Egypt
UK gets new weapons act, secures Sikh right to carry kirpans
Austrian far-right leader resigns over ''Ibiza affair''
Afghan security forces killed in US strike in Helmand
Trump says he hopes for no war as US-Iran tensions escalate
Iran''s Zarif says ''no possibility'' of talks with US: Kyodo
Theresa May to confirm resignation date in June
US imposes visa restrictions on three senior Pakistani officials
Iran's supreme leader makes uranium enrichment threat
Hafiz Saeed's brother-in-law arrested in Pakistan
Several arrested as parts of Lanka remain under indefinite curfew after communal riots
Yemeni drones launch retaliatory raids against vital Saudi facilities: Al-Masirah
11 small Thai parties support army-backed candidate for PM
African police arrest 20 for suspected double voting in elections
At least 5 killed, over a dozen buried in mine collapse in western Indonesia
Lankan Catholics hold first Sunday mass since Easter attacks
5 persons, 3 militants killed in Gwadar hotel attack; Defence forces clear hotel of IEDs
Gunmen kill six during Catholic mass in Burkina Faso
Armed militants storm 5-star hotel in Pakistan''s Gwadar port city, 1 killed: police
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Cate Blanchett, Yvonne Strahovski to star in 'Stateless'
 Los Angeles: Cate Blanchett is set to feature in Australian TV psychological drama "Stateless".
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I am not going to get into politics: George Clooney
India moots tax breaks, refunds for foreign film units
To attack Vidyasagar is to attack Bangla language: Mahesh Bhatt
KERALA NEWS
LS polls candidate attacked in Kerala
 Kannur: Independent candidate from Vadakara Lok Sabha constituency and former CPI(M) local leader CO
Two women abort their plan to enter Lord Ayyappa temple Sabarimala
Kerala CM meets CEOs of leading business firms in Switzerland
Elephant to undergo medical test for Thrissur 'pooram'
NATIONAL NEWS
LS polls come to close; over 64 pc voting recorded in last phase
 New Delhi: Voting for the marathon seven-phased Lok Sabha elections came to a close on Sunday as 64.
PM performs puja at Kedarnath after meditating for 17 hrs, will also visit Badrinath
Exit polls gossip, don''t trust them: Mamata
Opposition unity: Naidu meets Akhilesh, Mayawati over opposition unity post LS polls
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