Pompeo : US Won’t Allow Russian Questioning of Former US Ambassador

The U.S. has no intention of allowing Russia to question Michael McFaul, Washington’s former ambassador to Moscow and a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told VOA on Thursday.

“It’s not going to happen,” the top U.S. diplomat said in an interview at the State Department.

Pompeo said Putin “made a proposal about a number of things during the course of the conversation” he had Monday at his Helsinki summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

“There were suggestions, comments, thoughts by President Putin with respect to that inquiry,” Pompeo told VOA. “President Trump was very clear – we’re not gonna force Americans to go to Russia to be interrogated by the Russians.”

The Russian leader proposed to let U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators fly to Moscow to interview 12 military intelligence officials indicted in connection with hacking into computers of Democrats working to defeat Trump in the 2016 election in exchange for Russian interviews of McFaul; an American-born British businessman, Bill Browder, who worked to get legislation passed in the U.S. and elsewhere to sanction Russia for human rights violations, and other Americans.

Source : voanews


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Russia, China Delay US Push for Halt of Refined Petroleum to North Korea

Russia and China have requested more time to consider a U.S. request to stop deliveries of refined petroleum products to North Korea, diplomats said Thursday.

The U.S. asked a U.N. sanctions committee last week to halt the shipments after accusing North Korea of exceeding a U.N. limit on fuel deliveries through illegal imports.

The U.S. claimed the imports go beyond the quota of 500,000 barrels per year allowed under U.N. sanctions and asked the committee to inform all U.N. member nations and the public that North Korea has violated the quota.

The U.S. also asked the committee to urge member states to exercise “enhanced vigilance” against Pyongyang’s attempts to obtain the products and to prevent ship-to-ship transfers.

The quota was among the sanctions imposed by the Security Council last December in response to North Korea’s launch of a missile North Korea said is capable of striking anywhere on the U.S. mainland.

At the June summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Kim agreed to denuclearization. The Trump administration, however, has said sanctions will remain in place until the denuclarization process, which has yet to begin, is completed and verified.

Source : VOA


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Trump says he’s ‘not happy’ with Fed raising interest rates

President Donald Trump on Thursday said he’s not happy with the raising of interest rates by the Federal Reserve and suggested the central bank is working at cross purposes with his administration’s economic program.

In an interview published on CNBC, Trump said he wasn’t thrilled with the Fed’s rate hikes — despite calling Jerome Powell, whom he picked to replace Janet Yellen, a “good man” — and said he didn’t care that he was breaking a precedent under which presidents do not comment on the Fed so as to safeguard its independence.

“So somebody would say, ‘Oh, maybe you shouldn’t say that as president. I couldn’t care less what they say, because my views haven’t changed,” Trump said.

Second-quarter GDP is estimated to run at an annual rate north of 4%.

“Because we go up and every time you go up they want to raise rates again. I don’t really – I am not happy about it. But at the same time I’m letting them do what they feel is best.” He added, “But I don’t like all of this work that goes into doing what we’re doing.”

“I don’t like all of this work that we’re putting into this economy and then I see rates going up,” Trump said.

Source: Marketwatch


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