Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 23rd 2017 Contents world call 225-4465 Exts 2032, 2033 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, July 23, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Donald Trump insists he has
‘complete power’ to pardon
US President Donald Trump
has insisted he has the “com-
plete power” to pardon people,
amid reports he is considering
presidential pardons for fam-
ily members, aides and even
A Democratic Party spokesman
has called the reports “extremely
The US authorities are probing
possible collusion between the
Trump team and Russia. Intelli-
gence agencies think Russia tried
to help Trump to power.
Russia denies this, and the pres-
ident says there was no collusion.
The Washington Post reported
on Thursday that Trump and his
team were looking at ways to par-
don people close to him.
Presidents can pardon people
before guilt is established or even
before the person is charged with
Describing the reports as dis-
turbing, Senator Mark Warner, a
Democrat who sits on the House
Intelligence Committee, said
“pardoning any individuals who
may have been involved would be
crossing a fundamental line”.
Yesterday Trump tweeted:
“While all agree the US President
has the complete power to pardon,
why think of that when only crime
so far is LEAKS against us. FAKE
Trump also attacked “illegal
leaks” following reports his at-
torney general discussed cam-
paign-related matters with a
The Washington Post gave an
account of meetings Attorney
General Jeff Sessions held with
the Russian ambassador to the
US, Sergey Kislyak. The newspa-
per quoted current and former US
officials who cited intelligence in-
tercepts of Kislyak’s version of the
encounter to his superiors.
One of those quoted said Kislyak
spoke to Sessions about key cam-
paign issues, including Trump’s
positions on policies significant
During his confirmation hearing
earlier this year, Sessions said he
had no contact with Russians dur-
ing the election campaign. When
it later emerged he had, he said the
campaign was not discussed at the
An official confirmed to Reuters
the detail of the intercepts, but
there has been no independent
The officials spoken to by the
Post said that Kislyak could have
exaggerated the account, and cited
a Justice Department spokesper-
son who repeated that Sessions
did not discuss interference in
But the Post’s story was the focus
of one of many tweets the US pres-
ident fired off yesterday morning.
“A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK
from the Amazon Washington
Post, this time against Attorney
General Jeff Sessions. These ille-
gal leaks, like Comey’s, must stop!”
Trump said. —BBC
Philippines Duterte: Martial
law extended in Mindanao
Legislators in the Philippines
have voted overwhelmingly to
extend martial law to deal with an
Islamist insurgency in the restive
island of Mindanao.
Militants linked to so-called Islam-
ic State have been occupying parts of
Marawi, a city in the south, since May.
President Rodrigo Duterte said the
extension was necessary to crush the
insurgency, but his critics say it is
part of a wider power grab.
Mindanao is home to a num-
ber of Muslim rebel groups
seeking more autonomy.
Martial law allows
the use of the mili-
tary to enforce law
and the detention of
without charge for long
It is a sensitive issue in the Philip-
pines, where martial law was imposed
by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos
for much of his rule.
A previously imposed 60-day mar-
tial rule was due to expire yesterday.
It went into effect on 23 May, just
hours after deadly clashes between
the army and gunmen linked to so-
called Islamic State.
The extension means the law will
now remain in force until 31 Decem-
In May, President Duterte warned
that martial law could be extended
across the Philippines after insur-
gents killed police officers in Marawi.
Some opposition lawmakers ques-
tioned why it should be applied to the
whole of the southern island, instead
of just the city.
“I fear that the plan to extend the
martial law in Mindanao will pave the
way for a Philippines-wide martial
law,” Senator Risa Hontiveros was
quoted by AFP as saying.
Another senator, Franklin Drilon,
said the extension was too long, while
congressman Edcel Lagman said there
was “no factual basis” for it.
A dozen protesters also interrupted
proceedings at yesterday’s hearing,
chanting “never again to martial law”,
the news agency reports.
Army chief of staff General Edu-
ardo Ano said it was necessary to re-
strict the movement of the Islamist
militants, warning that the ongoing
rebellion could spread to other cities
on the island, the GMA News website
He described it as a “Mosul-type,
hybrid urban warfare”, referring to
fighting in the Iraqi city that was until
recently held by IS.
Security officials addressing con-
gress ahead of the vote said the law
was required to stabilise the region,
where supporters of IS may be in-
spired to stage similar uprisings in
other areas of Mindanao.
They said only about 60 gunmen
were left in a 49-hectare area of Mara-
wi, but nearly 1,000 pro-IS militants
were active elsewhere in the south,
holding 23 hostages.
Marawi was home to 200,000 resi-
dents but many have fled the violence.
There are fears for those trapped who
face a lack of food and water.
More than 420 militants, 100 sol-
diers and 45 civilians have been killed
in the fighting.
Clashes began when the army failed
in its attempt to capture Isnilon Hap-
ilon, believed to be the main IS leader
in the Philippines and linked to the
local Maute group, which has declared
allegiance to IS.
In response the Maute group at-
tacked parts of the city, taking hos-
Congo’s mining revenue
More than 20 per cent of the Demo-
cratic Republic of Congo’s mining reve-
nue is being lost due to corruption and
mismanagement, a campaign group
According to a Global Witness report,
the money is being distributed through
corrupt networks linked to President
At least $750m (£580m) has gone
missing over the past three years, it
The government has not commented
but has previously denied allegations of
corruption in its mining sector.
DR Congo is Africa’s biggest producer
of copper and the world’s largest sup-
plier of cobalt used in batteries for
It is also rich in gold, diamonds and
coltan, used in mobile phones, but its
people remain among the poorest in the
world following years of conflict and
“Congo’s mining revenues should be
helping to lift its people out of pover-
ty,” says Pete Jones, a Global Witness
According to the report, much of DR
Congo’s mining revenue goes missing
after being paid to the state-owned
mining company, Gécamines.
The head of Gécamines, a close ally of
President Kabila, has denied allegations
of corruption and insisted the company
These people are mining coltan, which is widely used in mobile phones.
The streets of Marawi
have been left virtually
deserted since the
US President Donald Trump
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