Political Cartoons – Wiley Toons http://wileytoons.com/ Fri, 11 Jun 2021 20:37:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 https://wileytoons.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default1.png Political Cartoons – Wiley Toons http://wileytoons.com/ 32 32 Biden Sells G-7 on Global Tax, But US Congress Obstacles | New policies https://wileytoons.com/biden-sells-g-7-on-global-tax-but-us-congress-obstacles-new-policies/ https://wileytoons.com/biden-sells-g-7-on-global-tax-but-us-congress-obstacles-new-policies/#respond Fri, 11 Jun 2021 20:04:00 +0000 https://wileytoons.com/biden-sells-g-7-on-global-tax-but-us-congress-obstacles-new-policies/ By JOSH BOAK, Associated Press President Joe Biden may have persuaded some of the world’s largest economies to raise corporate taxes, but the U.S. Congress could be a lot harder to sell. Leaders of the Group of Seven – which also includes the UK, France, Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan – are in line with […]]]>


By JOSH BOAK, Associated Press

President Joe Biden may have persuaded some of the world’s largest economies to raise corporate taxes, but the U.S. Congress could be a lot harder to sell.

Leaders of the Group of Seven – which also includes the UK, France, Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan – are in line with Biden to impose a global minimum tax of at least 15% on the big enterprises. G-7 leaders began a three-day summit in England on Friday after their finance ministers approved the global tax minimum earlier this month.

A minimum tax is supposed to put an end to an international race to the bottom in corporate taxation that has led multinational companies to register their profits in countries with low tax rates. This allows them to avoid taxes and encourages countries to reduce rates. The minimum rate would make it harder for businesses to avoid taxes and could potentially supplant a digital services tax that many European countries impose on U.S. tech companies that pay low rates.

Officials in the Biden administration believe the use of overseas tax havens has discouraged companies from investing in the country, to the detriment of the middle class. The president hopes that approval from the G-7 can serve as a springboard for securing membership from the largest group of 20 nations.

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The agreement is not a definitive agreement, as the terms should be agreed upon by the countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and implemented by each of them. The president needs other countries to support a global minimum tax to ensure that his own plans for an improved tax in the United States do not hurt American businesses.

“It has the potential to stop the race to the bottom,” said Thornton Matheson, senior researcher at the Tax Policy Center. . “

The idea of ​​an improved global minimum tax is also an integral part of Biden’s national agenda, but it is meeting resistance in Congress.

The president has proposed using a global minimum tax to help finance his vast infrastructure plan. Its budget proposal estimates it could raise nearly $ 534 billion over 10 years, but Republicans say tax code changes would make the United States less competitive in a global economy.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen defined the deal as a matter of fundamental fairness after the finance ministers meeting.

“We must have stable tax systems that generate sufficient income to invest in essential public goods and respond to crises and ensure that all citizens and businesses fairly share the burden of financing government,” she said.

Texas Representative Kevin Brady, top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, said GOP lawmakers would fight “tooth and nail” against the tax. Republicans see lower taxes as encouraging companies to invest and hire, giving little weight to Biden’s argument that improved infrastructure and better-trained workers would help increase growth.

“It’s an economic capitulation,” Brady said Friday. “President Biden succeeded in doing the impossible – he was better off being a foreign company and a foreign worker than an American company and an American worker.”

Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has repeatedly said his party will oppose any measure reversing the 2017 tax cuts promulgated by President Donald Trump.

The 2017 overhaul created a new way to tax foreign corporate profits with what is known as ‘low-tax intangible global income’. Congressional Democrats have said the framework encourages companies to invest in foreign countries rather than in their own country.

Biden proposed increasing that rate to 21% among other changes to the code. The administration sees the 15% of the G-7 as a floor rather than a ceiling for tariffs. But the G-7 plan differs from what Biden has proposed and details remain to be finalized, with tax experts noting that there appear to be discrepancies in the rates and treatment of assets such as buildings and equipment.

Democrats want to dig into the fine print of any deal before giving full approval to what comes out of the G-7, which means Biden will have to continue selling to American voters and their representatives.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden of Oregon supports the general idea of ​​a global minimum tax. But Wyden said in a statement with House Ways and Means Committee chairman Richard Neal of Massachusetts that they need to dig into the deal to see if Americans will really benefit.

“We are optimistic about the possibility of reaching a strong multilateral agreement to harmonize our international tax rules, end the race to the bottom and end taxes on digital services,” said the two Democratic lawmakers. “We look forward to working with the administration and assessing the outcome of these negotiations for American workers, businesses and taxpayers.”

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Former Mossad Chief Says Israel Behind Iranian Nuclear Attacks | World news https://wileytoons.com/former-mossad-chief-says-israel-behind-iranian-nuclear-attacks-world-news/ https://wileytoons.com/former-mossad-chief-says-israel-behind-iranian-nuclear-attacks-world-news/#respond Fri, 11 Jun 2021 06:11:00 +0000 https://wileytoons.com/former-mossad-chief-says-israel-behind-iranian-nuclear-attacks-world-news/ By JON GAMBRELL, Associated Press DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The outgoing head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service offered the closest recognition, but his country was behind the recent attacks on Iran’s nuclear program and a military scientist. Yossi Cohen’s comments, addressing Channel 12’s Israeli investigative program “Uvda” in a segment aired Thursday evening, […]]]>


By JON GAMBRELL, Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The outgoing head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service offered the closest recognition, but his country was behind the recent attacks on Iran’s nuclear program and a military scientist.

Yossi Cohen’s comments, addressing Channel 12’s Israeli investigative program “Uvda” in a segment aired Thursday evening, offered an extraordinary debriefing by the head of the typically secretive agency in what appears to be the last days of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reign.

He has also clearly warned other scientists of Iran’s nuclear program that they could also become assassination targets even as diplomats in Vienna attempt to negotiate terms in an attempt to salvage his atomic deal with world powers.

“If the scientist is ready to change careers and won’t hurt us anymore, then yes, sometimes we offer him a way out,” Cohen said.

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Of the major attacks targeting Iran, none have struck deeper than two explosions in the past year at its Natanz nuclear facility. There, centrifuges enrich uranium from an underground hall designed to protect them from airstrikes.

In July 2020, a mysterious explosion destroyed Natanz’s forward centrifuge assembly, which Iran later blamed on Israel. Then, in April of this year, another explosion destroyed one of its underground enrichment rooms.

While discussing Natanz, the interviewer asked Cohen where he would take them if they could get there, he said “to the cellar” where “the centrifuges were spinning”.

“It doesn’t look like what it looked like anymore,” he added.

Cohen did not directly claim responsibility for the attacks, but his uniqueness offered the closest recognition to date of an Israeli hand in the attacks. The interviewer, journalist Ilana Dayan, also apparently offered a detailed description in a voiceover of how Israel introduced the explosives into the underground corridors of Natanz.

“The man who was responsible for these explosions, it becomes clear, made sure to provide the Iranians with the marble foundation on which the centrifuges are placed,” Dayan said. “As they install this foundation at Natanz’s facility, they have no idea that it already contains a huge amount of explosives.”

They also discussed the November murder of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist who launched Tehran’s military nuclear program decades ago. US intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency believe Iran abandoned this organized nuclear weapon search effort in 2003. Iran has long maintained its peaceful agenda.

While Cohen on camera does not claim responsibility for the murder, Dayan in the segment described Cohen as having “personally signed the whole campaign.” Dayan also described how a remote controlled machine gun attached to a pickup truck killed Fakhrizadeh and then self-destructed.

Cohen described an Israeli effort to dissuade Iranian scientists from participating in the program, which had seen some abandon their work after being warned, even indirectly, by Israel. Asked by the interviewer if the scientists understood the implications if they didn’t stop, Cohen replied, “They see their friends.

They also spoke about the Israeli operation to seize archival documents from Iran’s military nuclear program. Dayan said 20 officers, none Israeli, seized material from 32 safes, then scanned and handed over much of the material. Cohen confirmed that the Mossad received most of the material before it was physically withdrawn from Iran.

Cohen defended Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to make the results of the operation public, going against a long-standing practice of secrecy involving Mossad activities.

“It was important to us that the world saw this, but this thing should also resonate with the Iranian leadership, to say to them, ‘Dear friends: one, you have been infiltrated. Two, we see you… Three, the era of… lies is over, ”Cohen said.

Media in Israel operates under a decades-old policy that requires journalists to clarify stories involving security issues through military censors. The fact that Cohen’s remarks seemingly obliterated censors suggests that Israel wanted to issue another warning to Iran in the context of the Vienna nuclear negotiations.

Iran has repeatedly complained about Israel’s attacks, with Iran’s Ambassador to the IAEA Kazem Gharibabadi warning as late as Thursday that the incidents “will not only receive a decisive response, but will certainly not leave Iran has no option, but to reconsider its transparency measures and its cooperation policy. . “

The Iranian mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the comments from Cohen, who has been replaced by former agent David Barnea. Cohen in the interview admitted that he might one day seek out the prime minister’s office himself.

Associated Press editor Karin Laub in Amman, Jordan contributed to this report.

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The man who slapped French President Macron will stand trial | World news https://wileytoons.com/the-man-who-slapped-french-president-macron-will-stand-trial-world-news/ https://wileytoons.com/the-man-who-slapped-french-president-macron-will-stand-trial-world-news/#respond Thu, 10 Jun 2021 09:12:00 +0000 https://wileytoons.com/the-man-who-slapped-french-president-macron-will-stand-trial-world-news/ VALENCIA, France (AP) – A 28-year-old man who slapped French President Emmanuel Macron in the face will face trial on Thursday, facing a prison sentence and a fine if convicted of assaulting a public official. Damien Tarel was quickly arrested after the coup on Tuesday that took Macron in the face with an audible blow […]]]>


VALENCIA, France (AP) – A 28-year-old man who slapped French President Emmanuel Macron in the face will face trial on Thursday, facing a prison sentence and a fine if convicted of assaulting a public official.

Damien Tarel was quickly arrested after the coup on Tuesday that took Macron in the face with an audible blow as the French leader waved to a crowd in south-eastern France.

Tarel told investigators he hit without thinking, the prosecutor’s office said. He is due to appear Thursday afternoon before the court in Valence, in the Rhône valley in France.

The charge of violence against a person in public authority is punishable by imprisonment for up to 3 years and a fine of 45,000 euros ($ 54,000).

Another man arrested in the uproar that followed the slap, identified by the prosecutor as Arthur C., will be tried later, in 2022, for illegal possession of weapons.

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The prosecutor’s office said that in addition to finding weapons, the police who searched Arthur C.’s house also found books on the art of war, a copy of Adolf Hitler’s manifesto “Mein Kampf ”and two flags, one symbolizing the Communists and the other the Russian Revolution.

Neither Tarel nor Arthur C., also 28, had a criminal record, said the prosecutor.

Videos showed Macron’s assailant slapping the French leader’s left cheek and his bodyguards pushing the man away during a quick meeting with members of the public, who were held behind traffic barriers in the wine town from Tain-l’Hermitage.

We heard the assailant shout “Montjoie!” St Denis ! a secular royalist war cry, before ending with “Down with Macronie” or “Down with Macron”.

Tarel told investigators he was close to the yellow vests economic protest movement that rocked Macron’s presidency in 2019 and that he also had right-wing or far-right political beliefs without being a party member. or a group, depending on the prosecutor’s office.

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‘MeatEater’ Audiobook To Be A Collection Of Close Calls | Entertainment News https://wileytoons.com/meateater-audiobook-to-be-a-collection-of-close-calls-entertainment-news/ https://wileytoons.com/meateater-audiobook-to-be-a-collection-of-close-calls-entertainment-news/#respond Wed, 09 Jun 2021 12:01:00 +0000 https://wileytoons.com/meateater-audiobook-to-be-a-collection-of-close-calls-entertainment-news/ NEW YORK (AP) – Nothing like a terrifying encounter with a brown bear on Afognak Island, Alaska to inspire an audiobook project starring “MeatEater” host Steven Rinella. “It could have gone very, very badly,” Rinella told The Associated Press. “I focused on the idea of ​​close calls, what constitutes a close call and why close […]]]>


NEW YORK (AP) – Nothing like a terrifying encounter with a brown bear on Afognak Island, Alaska to inspire an audiobook project starring “MeatEater” host Steven Rinella.

“It could have gone very, very badly,” Rinella told The Associated Press. “I focused on the idea of ​​close calls, what constitutes a close call and why close calls hold our imaginations. “

The audio original “MeatEater’s Campfire Stories: Close Calls” will be released on July 20 by Penguin Random House Audio, which announced Wednesday that the book would tell everything from “encounters with grizzly bears, to being swept away in an avalanche, to being trapped. in an underwater cave, and even a brush with an armed cartel on a fishing trip.

Rinella is the longtime host of the popular Netflix outdoor series, while branching out into writing bestselling books such as “The MeatEater Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival” and hosting a podcast which he says , opened him up to the idea of ​​an audio original. Audiobook storytellers will include members of the MeatEater crew and external commentators ranging from hunting and fishing guides to a retired game warden.

Rinella said the audiobook should have a raw, spontaneous feel, as many of them shared memories they had rarely expressed before.

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“We were able to find people by word of mouth, friends of friends,” he said. “We encouraged them to come to the studio. You will hear people get very emotional. They may be telling something for the first time in front of an impartial audience, an unfamiliar audience, and the emotion becomes very real to them.

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France to host meeting in mid-June to garner support from Lebanese army | World news https://wileytoons.com/france-to-host-meeting-in-mid-june-to-garner-support-from-lebanese-army-world-news/ https://wileytoons.com/france-to-host-meeting-in-mid-june-to-garner-support-from-lebanese-army-world-news/#respond Tue, 08 Jun 2021 19:51:00 +0000 https://wileytoons.com/france-to-host-meeting-in-mid-june-to-garner-support-from-lebanese-army-world-news/ PARIS (Reuters) – France will convene a virtual meeting of countries on June 17 to secure support for the Lebanese military as it seeks to weather an economic crisis that has put the military on the brink of collapse, said Tuesday the French Ministry of the Armed Forces. . Paris, which led aid efforts to […]]]>


PARIS (Reuters) – France will convene a virtual meeting of countries on June 17 to secure support for the Lebanese military as it seeks to weather an economic crisis that has put the military on the brink of collapse, said Tuesday the French Ministry of the Armed Forces. .

Paris, which led aid efforts to its former colony, has sought to step up pressure on quarrelsome politicians in Lebanon, after unsuccessful attempts to rally them to a new government and launch reforms to unlock foreign liquidity.

Discontent is brewing among Lebanese security forces over a currency crash wiping out most of the value of their wages.

Army chief Joseph Aoun was in France last month to warn of an increasingly untenable situation and in response, Paris provided food and medical supplies for military personnel, whose salaries had fallen by five or six times, forcing many to take additional jobs.

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Two diplomatic sources said the meeting would seek assistance from countries offering food, medical supplies and spare parts for military equipment. However, it was not designed to supply weapons or other military equipment.

“The objective is to draw attention to the situation of the FAL (Lebanese Armed Forces), whose members are facing the deterioration of living conditions and which may no longer be able to fully fulfill their missions, essential to stability of the country, “the ministry said, adding that it would host the meeting with the United Nations and Italy.

It aims to encourage donations to benefit the LAF, he said.

Countries from the Lebanon International Support Group, which includes the Arab Gulf States, the United States, Russia, China and European powers, have been invited.

The Lebanese pound has collapsed 90% since late 2019 in a financial collapse that poses the greatest threat to stability since the 1975-1990 civil war.

The military has long been viewed as a rare institution of national pride and unity. Its collapse at the start of the civil war, when it split along sectarian lines, led to the downfall of Lebanon under militia rule.

(Reporting by John Irish; editing by Grant McCool)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.



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Britt files documents to run for US Senate in Alabama | New policies https://wileytoons.com/britt-files-documents-to-run-for-us-senate-in-alabama-new-policies/ https://wileytoons.com/britt-files-documents-to-run-for-us-senate-in-alabama-new-policies/#respond Mon, 07 Jun 2021 22:42:00 +0000 https://wileytoons.com/britt-files-documents-to-run-for-us-senate-in-alabama-new-policies/ By KIM CHANDLER, Associated Press MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) – A longtime aide to retired U.S. Senator Richard Shelby is racing to replace him in what is shaping up to be a GOP primary slugfest at a time when the National Republican Party is trying to chart a course after President Donald Trump’s departure. Katie Boyd […]]]>


By KIM CHANDLER, Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) – A longtime aide to retired U.S. Senator Richard Shelby is racing to replace him in what is shaping up to be a GOP primary slugfest at a time when the National Republican Party is trying to chart a course after President Donald Trump’s departure.

Katie Boyd Britt, former president of the Business Council of Alabama and former chief of staff to Shelby, on Thursday filed federal documents to run for the seat in the 2022 election. Although she has not announced a race, it has long been speculated that she would.

Shelby announced in February at the age of 86 that he would not be running for a seventh term.

The GOP primary could serve as a microcosm of the biggest national standoff against the Republican Party leadership. While Shelby amassed a conservative voting record, the measured Republican senator did not embrace the bombastic populist style of some GOP candidates.

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Two Republicans are already in the running: Congressman Mo Brooks, who is armed with Trump backing, and Lynda Blanchard, a businesswoman who served as Trump’s ambassador to Slovenia.

Brooks, 66, has been criticized for telling attendees of a Jan. 6 rally that preceded the U.S. Capitol riot that it was time to “start pulling names and kicking ass.” Brooks said the phrase was meant to set the crowd on fire for the next election cycle and is misinterpreted as advocating the violence that followed.

Britt resigned from the Business Council of Alabama on Friday. In a statement, the board said she was leaving to pursue other opportunities.

In her own statement, Britt said she considered one of her greatest accomplishments to “bring back into the fold what had been forgotten before – our small businesses on Main Street, and businesses and the rural industries that make the hearts of local communities beat faster in every corner of our great state. “

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Former NBA star works to end solitary confinement in prisons | New policies https://wileytoons.com/former-nba-star-works-to-end-solitary-confinement-in-prisons-new-policies/ https://wileytoons.com/former-nba-star-works-to-end-solitary-confinement-in-prisons-new-policies/#respond Mon, 07 Jun 2021 08:59:00 +0000 https://wileytoons.com/former-nba-star-works-to-end-solitary-confinement-in-prisons-new-policies/ By PAT EATON-ROBB, AP Sports Writer Caron Butler can easily point out the lowest moment of his life – the days he spent as a teenager locked in solitary confinement inside a juvenile prison. The former UConn and NBA star was scheduled to be at the Connecticut State Capitol on Monday to ask Gov. Ned […]]]>


By PAT EATON-ROBB, AP Sports Writer

Caron Butler can easily point out the lowest moment of his life – the days he spent as a teenager locked in solitary confinement inside a juvenile prison.

The former UConn and NBA star was scheduled to be at the Connecticut State Capitol on Monday to ask Gov. Ned Lamont to sign legislation that would strictly limit the use of solitary confinement and others forms of isolation of prisoners in prisons.

The bill, which requires almost all inmates to be allowed out of their cells for at least 6.5 hours and also limits the use of certain restraints, received final legislative approval early Sunday morning. It comes as the state is closing its maximum security institution, the Northern Correctional Facility, which was designed specifically to keep inmates in segregation.

Butler was open about his struggles as a youth in Racine, Wisconsin. He was a drug dealer and was arrested over a dozen times before serving over a year in prison for drug possession and firearms.

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He was 15 when he fought in prison and was thrown into solitary confinement, spending 23 hours a day in solitary confinement in a small cell for two weeks. He had no contact with anyone – no books, no radio, no television. He said none of the violence or other trauma in his young life had prepared him for the desperation of this situation.

“Being in those four walls and four corners does something to you,” Butler said, in an interview with The Associated Press. “Mentally and spiritually it takes a lot out. It dehumanizes you.

Butler said he believed he survived on a strong family support system. He discovered basketball in prison. He changed his life when he got out to the point where Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun saw something in him and offered him a scholarship.

Butler became the Big East’s Player of the Year in 2002 and spent 14 seasons in the NBA, where he is now an assistant coach in Miami.

But Butler, who is also an administrator at the Vera Institute for Justice, said he will never forget the torture he endured in prison and hopes Connecticut’s legislation sets an example for other states.

“Now I look back and I want to tell my young self to keep hope,” he said. “There are people who care. In the future, there will be elected officials who will care about this community in real time. There is going to be change on the horizon. They will find ways to rehabilitate that never dehumanize people. “

Opponents of the bill say it will take away a tool from guards that helps maintain discipline in prisons. But his supporters say he understands exceptions, such as allowing officers to isolate a prisoner when necessary to protect someone’s life. But now there will be a review process to make sure the isolation ends.

Barbara Fair, the lead organizer of the Stop Solitary CT campaign, which is part of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, said that while thousands of people have horror stories about living in isolation, it is important that someone as famous as Butler comes forward.

“He’s someone that people can connect with,” she said. “This is the biggest problem with our prison systems, is that often times people find it difficult to connect with the humanity of incarcerated people. “

Butler is not the first former UConn star to advocate for criminal justice reform.

Former UConn female star Maya Moore left the WNBA to lead what has become a successful fight to overturn the wrongful conviction of Jonathan Irons, a man who later became her husband. She also launched a social action campaign called Win With Justice, designed to draw attention to the power wielded by prosecutors and their obligation to use it responsibly.

Butler said it was no coincidence that she and others, like former UConn player Renee Montgomery, were active in promoting social justice reform.

“Two Hall of Fame coaches (Jim Calhoun and Geno Auriemma) taught us that when you’re passionate about something, you have to find a way to create a wave, make it bigger and create a current,” he said. Butler said. “Just like the momentum changes in a basketball game, you have to impose your will on a situation.”

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Harris visits Latin America to fight migration and corruption | New policies https://wileytoons.com/harris-visits-latin-america-to-fight-migration-and-corruption-new-policies/ https://wileytoons.com/harris-visits-latin-america-to-fight-migration-and-corruption-new-policies/#respond Sun, 06 Jun 2021 12:00:00 +0000 https://wileytoons.com/harris-visits-latin-america-to-fight-migration-and-corruption-new-policies/ By ALEXANDRA JAFFE and CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) – Kamala Harris, on her first trip abroad as Vice President, seeks to deepen diplomatic relations with Guatemala and Mexico, two Latin American countries critical to the administration’s efforts Biden to stem the surge in migration at the US border. Harris, who is due to […]]]>


By ALEXANDRA JAFFE and CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – Kamala Harris, on her first trip abroad as Vice President, seeks to deepen diplomatic relations with Guatemala and Mexico, two Latin American countries critical to the administration’s efforts Biden to stem the surge in migration at the US border.

Harris, who is due to leave Washington later on Sunday, is seeking commitments for greater cooperation on border security and economic investment, but corruption in the region – a much more intractable challenge – will complicate his efforts.

This has already had a significant impact on his work in the region. Harris has yet to engage substantially with the leaders of Honduras and El Salvador, both of whom are embroiled in corruption scandals. And it’s an issue that experts in the region say will need to be addressed in order to bring about lasting change.

“Corruption is a cancer in the region,” said Jason Marczak, director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center at the Atlantic Council. “Fighting corruption is fundamental to creating hope and creating the potential for opportunities. “

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Marczak noted that corruption in the region affects the protection of human rights, employment opportunities, the cost of goods and more. Jobs, he said, will come “with the investment, and the investment comes where there is certainty in the rule of law.” Without it, efforts to improve living conditions cannot go further.

In the months following President Joe Biden’s mission to address the root causes of migration to the US-Mexico border, Harris defined an approach centered on creating better opportunities and living conditions in the region through humanitarian and economic aid.

Harris announced plans to send $ 310 million to support refugees and tackle food shortages, and recently secured pledges from a dozen companies and organizations to invest in Northern Triangle countries to promote economic opportunities and vocational training.

Washington gained goodwill through its vaccine diplomacy last week. Guatemala’s President Alejandro Giammattei and Mexico’s Andrés Manuel López Obrador both received calls from Harris on Thursday telling them that the United States would send 500,000 doses and 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, respectively.

While in Guatemala, Harris plans to meet community leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs. In Mexico, Harris will participate in a conversation with women entrepreneurs and hold a panel discussion with workers. This is in addition to bilateral meetings with the leaders of the two countries.

Harris said in a meeting in May with Guatemalan justice officials that corruption is a “significant deterrent” to economic investment there.

She stressed the need to fight corruption in public remarks and events. When meeting with a number of prominent voices on the Guatemalan justice system, she highlighted her work as a prosecutor and said that “injustice is a root cause of migration”.

“Part of giving people hope is a very concrete commitment to eradicate corruption in the region,” she said.

Harris also raised the issue in virtual meetings with leaders of both countries and aides said she would do it again in meetings on her trip.

“There are the acute factors – natural disasters, food insecurity, the climate crisis, and then there are the root causes – poverty, violence, corruption,” Harris chief spokesperson said. , Symone Sanders. “From the vice president’s perspective, it’s about helping to create hope in the region, and that a better life is actually possible at home.”

While in Latin America, Harris will also have to navigate immigration policy. Republicans in Congress have criticized Biden and Harris for deciding not to visit the border, and argue that the administration is ignoring what they say is a crisis there. April was the second busiest month on record for unaccompanied children encountered at the US-Mexico border, following March’s record. The total number of Border Patrol encounters in April increased 3% from March, marking the highest level since April 2000.

The Conservatives will be watching Harris closely for any missteps, hoping to embroil him in further controversy over an issue they see as a political winner.

In his effort to secure commitments on corruption from leaders in the region, Harris can point to a number of actions taken by the Biden administration last week.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken highlighted the problem during his recent trip to Central America. The White House issued a memo that identified foreign corruption as a major national security problem and called on all federal agencies to prioritize it and modernize their tools to fight foreign corruption.

Eric Olson, director of policy at the Seattle International Foundation, which works to promote good governance in Central America, said tackling corruption will require special diplomatic skills. Harris will need to hold the leaders of Guatemala and Mexico to account while deepening trust and cooperation with the two countries.

“The challenge she faces is how, on the one hand, have a conversation, keep the door open – while not seeming to ignore the elephant evident in the room, which is this incredible penetration of the state by corrupt actors, ”he said. mentionned.

In Mexico, López Obrador continues to face a complicated security situation in many parts of the country. Nearly three dozen candidates or pre-candidates were killed ahead of this weekend’s midterm elections as drug cartels sought to protect their interests. The government’s inability to provide security in parts of the country is of concern to the United States in an immigration context, both for those displaced by violence and the impact it has on a severely weakened economy trying to emerge from the pandemic.

The number of Mexicans encountered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection increased steadily from December through April. Mexico remains a key ally of the United States in trying to slow immigration, not only of its own citizens, but also of those who pass through its territory. Successive US administrations have indeed attempted to push their immigration enforcement objectives south of Mexico and Guatemala.

Non-governmental organizations put widespread corruption in Guatemala at the top of their concerns ahead of Harris’ visit. Last month, two lawyers who openly criticize Giammattei’s administration were arrested on what they say are trumped up charges aimed at silencing them.

The selection of judges for Guatemala’s Constitutional Court, its highest, was mired in influence peddling and alleged corruption. Giammattei chose his chief of staff to fill one of the five vacant posts. When Gloria Porras, a respected force against corruption, was elected for a second term, the party-controlled congress of Giammattei refused to sit on it.

Harris’ visit raises high expectations, but organizations concerned about the rule of law and corruption in Guatemala doubt what the United States can do to stop the deterioration or co-opting of government institutions.

Tiziano Breda, Central America analyst at Crisis Group, said the challenge for Harris “is not to play the game of the Guatemalan government, where on the one hand he expresses his willingness to collaborate with the United States while on the other, it takes measures that weaken the rule of law, accountability and the fight against corruption.

Breda said the risk of any public display of support for the government could embolden him.

While experts say they are watching for potential announcements of additional food or economic aid in the wake of the trip, clear progress on corruption may be more elusive, and all efforts will take much longer to bear fruit. .

“These are societies built on corruption,” Olson said. “You won’t have an impact in six months.”

Sherman reported from Mexico City. Associated Press writer Sonia Pérez D. in Guatemala City contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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Iranian presidential candidates swap beards in televised debate | World news https://wileytoons.com/iranian-presidential-candidates-swap-beards-in-televised-debate-world-news/ https://wileytoons.com/iranian-presidential-candidates-swap-beards-in-televised-debate-world-news/#respond Sat, 05 Jun 2021 18:09:00 +0000 https://wileytoons.com/iranian-presidential-candidates-swap-beards-in-televised-debate-world-news/ DUBAI (Reuters) – Candidates for Iran’s presidential election this month traded strong spikes in a debate on Saturday, accusing each other of betrayal or lack of education to run an economy devastated by three years US sanctions. As the five die-hard candidates attacked the eight-year performance of pragmatic incumbent Hassan Rouhani, the main moderate candidate, […]]]>


DUBAI (Reuters) – Candidates for Iran’s presidential election this month traded strong spikes in a debate on Saturday, accusing each other of betrayal or lack of education to run an economy devastated by three years US sanctions.

As the five die-hard candidates attacked the eight-year performance of pragmatic incumbent Hassan Rouhani, the main moderate candidate, former central bank chief Abdolnaser Hemmati, blamed the hardliners for heightened tensions with the government. West which he said had aggravated Iran’s economic woes.

In the first of three debates leading up to the June 18 vote, former Revolutionary Guard leader Mohsen Rezaee accused Hemmati of “fully complying” with US sanctions and said he should face charges of treason.

“If I become president, I will ban Hemmati and a number of other Rouhani government officials from leaving the country, and I will prove in court what treacherous roles they played,” Rezaee said during the televised debate. three hours.

After Rezaee’s remarks, Hemmati half-jokingly asked hard-line candidate and justice chief Ebrahim Raisi: “Mr. Raisi, can you assure me that no legal action will be taken against me afterwards?” this event ? “

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With the hardline-led electoral watchdog, the Guardian Council, barring the main moderate and conservative candidates, turnout is expected to be record-breaking in a seven-man race between pure and slightly less tough candidates, and two quiet moderates.

“I watched the debate and now I am even more sure not to vote. This election is a joke,” Fariba Semsari, a retired teacher, told the phone from the northern town of Rasht.

But a Tehran-based reporter, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “Hemmati has attracted support from some who would not have voted otherwise. Among other things, his decision to be portrayed in a television interview. of state by his outspoken wife impressed some women. “

Hemmati accused hard-line supporters of isolating Iran internationally and ruining its economy, large sectors of which are dominated by hard-line conglomerates.

“You have closed our economy and our foreign contacts … I ask you and your friends, businesses and institutions to withdraw from our economy, and then the Iranian economy will surely improve,” Hemmati said. , professor of economics.

Mohsen Mehralizadeh, a moderate politician, said the economy cannot be run by those with only traditional office studies, like Raisi.

“You only have six years of classical education, and while respecting your seminary studies, I must say that we cannot manage the economy and make plans for the country with so much education”, said Mehralizadeh, holder of a doctorate in financial management.

Raisi lambasted Rouhani’s government over runaway inflation and the rapid fall in the value of Iran’s currency, and rejected comments from Hemmati and other moderates who blame US sanctions for Iran’s economic problems and say that without proper management the country would have been worse off.

“It’s like a goalkeeper who lets in 17 goals … and then says that without me it would have been 30 goals!” said Raisi.

The election is expected to bolster the authority of extremist-close Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as Tehran and six world powers try to revive their 2015 nuclear deal. Washington walked out of the deal there is three years and reimposed the sanctions.

(Report by Dubai Newsroom and Parisa Hafezi; edited by Frances Kerry)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.



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Pritzker returns to card promise, signs Democrats’ version | Illinois News https://wileytoons.com/pritzker-returns-to-card-promise-signs-democrats-version-illinois-news/ https://wileytoons.com/pritzker-returns-to-card-promise-signs-democrats-version-illinois-news/#respond Fri, 04 Jun 2021 19:43:00 +0000 https://wileytoons.com/pritzker-returns-to-card-promise-signs-democrats-version-illinois-news/ By JOHN O’CONNOR, AP political writer SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Governor JB Pritzker on Friday signed a law establishing maps of legislative constituencies to govern elections for the next 10 years after promising as a candidate that he would veto maps drawn by politicians. Pritzker said in a statement on Friday that lines drawn exclusively […]]]>


By JOHN O’CONNOR, AP political writer

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Governor JB Pritzker on Friday signed a law establishing maps of legislative constituencies to govern elections for the next 10 years after promising as a candidate that he would veto maps drawn by politicians.

Pritzker said in a statement on Friday that lines drawn exclusively by Democrats who control the General Assembly preserved minority representation and respected restrictions in federal voting rights law.

“Illinois’ strength is in our diversity, and these maps help ensure that communities that have been left behind and left behind have fair representation in our government,” said Pritzker. “These district boundaries comply with federal and state voting rights laws. “

The Democrat also signed laws to approve new districts for the Illinois Supreme Court – the first in more than half a century – and the Cook County Board of Review.

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As a candidate for governor in 2018, Pritzker expressed support for an independent commission to draw maps and remove political considerations when placing lines. He has vowed to veto any map drawn up by politicians like these.

But this month, he stepped back from engagement, noting that the independent process never materialized. Rather, he said he would reject an “unfair” card.

Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie called it the creation of “political insiders” using “bad data.”

“He (Pritzker) cares more about keeping power for his political friends than about fair elections where the people of Illinois can choose their elected officials, rather than politicians choosing their constituents,” Republican Hawthorn Woods said. . “He has proven today that he is just another old school tax-raising politician who cannot be trusted.”

Political lines must be redrawn after each decennial census to reflect population movements and preserve voting rights. But data whose collection requires remapping will not be available until late summer due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Republicans and many activists with leftist philosophies criticized the maps and their creation because Democrats relied on outdated census data. Democrats pointed to a June 30 deadline for the Legislature to produce cards, but this constitutionally set date simply marks the period after which Democrats would lose exclusive control over them.

Another bill passed this week delays the March 2022 primary, which includes the race for governor, until June 28, in part because lawmakers will delay drawing congressional districts until they receive them. official census data.

Follow political writer John O’Connor at https://twitter.com/apoconnor

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.





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