Trump’s on-off dance with complicated acquaintances BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Broken dates. Coy suggestions. Missed encounters. Private opportunities. Amid weighty issues of state, another fascination at the Group of 20 summit has been President…
Trump’s on-off dance with complicated acquaintances
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Broken dates. Coy suggestions. Missed encounters. Private opportunities.
Amid weighty issues of state, another fascination at the Group of 20 summit has been President Donald Trump’s will-he, won’t-he dance with two fellow leaders who are something of international outcasts these days. Would Trump, who has an affinity for strongmen and a distaste for business as usual, stay away from Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?
On Day One of the summit in Argentina — fittingly, the land of the tango — the diplomatic quick-stepping was everywhere Friday.
Trump has not been shy in his praise of the crown prince and Putin in the past. But Prince Mohammed has been under global pressure lately over the murder of a Saudi journalist, and Putin has drawn fresh criticism for his country’s mounting aggression against Ukraine.
So Trump canceled his plans to meet with Putin and left bin Salman off his public agenda. But even then, Trump said he looked forward to meeting Putin soon. And he never fully ruled out seeing bin Salman, saying Thursday, “I would have met with him but we didn’t set that one up.”
Bush hailed across party and global lines as man of decency
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President George H.W. Bush is returning to Washington as a revered political statesman, hailed by leaders across the political spectrum and around the world as a man not only of greatness but also of uncommon decency and kindness.
Bush, who died late Friday at his Houston home at age 94, is to be honored with a funeral service at National Cathedral in the nation’s capital on Wednesday, followed by burial Thursday on the grounds of his presidential library at Texas A&M. Following an arrival ceremony Monday, his body will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda for a public viewing until Wednesday morning.
President Donald Trump, who ordered federal offices closed for a national day of mourning on Wednesday, is to attend with first lady Melania Trump and other high-ranking officials.
Bush’s crowning achievement as president was assembling the international military coalition that liberated the tiny, oil-rich nation of Kuwait from invading neighbor Iraq in 1991 in a war that lasted just 100 hours. He also presided over the end of the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union.
“We didn’t agree much on domestic policy, but when it came to the international side of things, he was a very wise and thoughtful man,” former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, a Democrat who lost the presidency to Bush in 1988, told The Associated Press on Saturday. He credited Bush’s ability to negotiate with former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev as playing a key role.
George H.W. Bush dies at 94; made greatest mark in Gulf War
HOUSTON (AP) — He was the man who sought a “kinder, and gentler nation,” and the one who sternly invited Americans to read his lips — he would not raise taxes. He was the popular leader of a mighty coalition that dislodged Iraq from Kuwait, and was turned out of the presidency after a single term. Blue-blooded and genteel, he was elected in one of the nastiest campaigns in recent history.
George Herbert Walker Bush was many things, including only the second American to see his son follow him into the nation’s highest office. But more than anything else, he was a believer in government service. Few men or women have served America in more capacities than the man known as “Poppy.”
“There is no higher honor than to serve free men and women, no greater privilege than to labor in government beneath the Great Seal of the United States and the American flag,” he told senior staffers in 1989, days after he took office.
Bush, who died late Friday at age 94 — nearly eight months after his wife of 73 years died at their Houston home — was a congressman, an ambassador to the United Nations and envoy to China, chairman of the Republican National Committee, director of the CIA, two-term vice president and, finally, president.
Air Force One was being sent to Texas to transport Bush’s casket to Washington, where his body will lay in state at the Capitol Rotunda. The public can pay their respects from Monday evening through Wednesday morning.
Trump sets aside political differences in honoring Bush
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Donald Trump, the disruptive, anti-establishment president who spent years deriding much of what George H.W. Bush stood for, set aside differences in politics and temperament Saturday to honor the late president.
Trump declared a day of national mourning and ordered American flags to be flown at half-staff for 30 days to honor a man of “sound judgment, common sense and unflappable leadership.” The president and first lady Melania Trump added that Bush had “inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service.”
Bush, who was president from 1989 to 1993, died late Friday at age 94.
The quarter-century since Bush left office featured his Republican Party’s steady march away from his steely pragmatism and international partnership, culminating in the dramatic break from long-held GOP principles ushered by Trump’s election. It coincided with a swing in the nation as a whole toward more tribal politics.
While Trump spoke graciously, he has not always been so kind to Bush or his family. He ran against one of Bush’s sons, Jeb Bush, in the GOP presidential primaries in 2016, and was sharply critical of the two-term presidency of another, George W. Bush. He shattered the unwritten norms of the small fraternity of Oval Office occupants by keeping up criticism of the Bushes from the West Wing.
Like father, like son? Not so much in Bush dynasty
WASHINGTON (AP) — George Herbert Walker Bush and George W. Bush had only so much in common as presidents. They shared one big thing besides name, family and party, though. They were both conservatives for their time.
Very different times.
Bush the father was a Republican who could carve a moderate path here and there without a crushing response from the right — think immigration liberalization, for example. “I’m a conservative,” he once said. “But I’m not a nut about it.”
His was an era of stepping back from the prospect of doomsday, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and a far more limited threat emerging with Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait — soon reversed. Not at all like the searing crucible of 9/11 that came early to his son.
The elder Bush died Friday at age 94. A look at the father and son presidencies through the prism of policy, crisis and family:
From Bush to Clinton, a grace note for the ages
WASHINGTON (AP) — It was a grace note for the ages.
“Dear Bill,” George H.W. Bush scribbled Jan. 20, 1993, to the Democrat about to succeed him as president. “When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that, too.”
Short yet intimate, the note left in the Oval Office from vanquished to victor seeded a friendship that flowered in the decades since, to a point where Bill Clinton said upon Bush’s death Friday : “I just loved him.”
Hillary Clinton says the letter made her cry, when she first read it back then and again when she heard Bush was gone. “That’s the America we love,” she said on Instagram . “That is what we cherish and expect.”
It is traditional for an outgoing president to leave a letter for his successor. Barack Obama’s to Donald Trump offered congratulations on “a remarkable run” and checked off verities of American leadership — advice to “build more ladders of success,” ”sustain the international order,” yet take time for family. It was as guarded as when they awkwardly posed for photos together and shook hands.
Strict building codes helped Anchorage withstand quake
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The magnitude 7.0 earthquake that rattled Alaska’s largest city cracked roads and collapsed highway ramps, but there were no reports of widespread catastrophic damage or collapsed buildings.
There’s a good reason for that.
A devastating 1964 Alaska earthquake — the most powerful on record in the United States — led to stricter building codes that helped structures withstand the shifting earth Friday.
“Congratulations to the people of Alaska for being really prepared for this earthquake,” U.S. Geological Survey Geophysicist Paul Caruso said Saturday. “Because a magnitude 7.0 in a city like that, you know, it could have been significantly worse.”
A seismic expert said Alaska and California use the most stringent standards to help buildings withstand earthquakes.
Worst riot in a decade engulfs Paris; Macron vows action
PARIS (AP) — France’s most violent urban riot in more than a decade engulfed some of central Paris on Saturday as “yellow jacket” activists torched cars, smashed windows, looted stores and tagged the Arc de Triomphe with multi-colored graffiti.
Protesters angry about rising taxes and the high cost of living clashed with French riot police, who closed off some of the city’s most popular tourist areas and fired tear gas and water cannon as they tried to quell the mayhem in the streets. At least 110 people were injured.
French President Emmanuel Macron denounced the violence from the G-20 summit in Argentina, saying those who attacked police and vandalized the Arc de Triomphe will be “held responsible for their acts.” He said he will hold an emergency government meeting Sunday on the protests.
“(Violence) has nothing to do with the peaceful expression of a legitimate anger” and “no cause justifies” attacks on police or pillaging stores and burning buildings, Macron said in Buenos Aires. He refused to answer any questions from journalists about the situation in Paris.
It was the third straight weekend of clashes in Paris involving activists dressed in the fluorescent yellow vests of a new protest movement and the worst urban violence since at least 2005. The scene contrasted sharply with other protests in France, where demonstrations and road blockades elsewhere were largely peaceful Saturday.
Hurts rallies No. 1 Alabama to 35-28 win over No. 4 Georgia
ATLANTA (AP) — Jalen Hurts spent most of the season watching from the sideline, cheering on the guy who took his job and hoping for one more chance to lead the Alabama Crimson Tide.
He didn’t pout. He didn’t gripe. He didn’t transfer.
On Saturday, Hurts got the call.
Boy, did he respond.
Hurts threw for one touchdown and ran for another with just over a minute to go, rallying No. 1 Alabama to a 35-28 victory over No. 4 Georgia in the Southeastern Conference championship game. It was a stunning twist on the scenario that played out less than 11 months earlier on the very same field.
US, China reach 90-day ceasefire in their trade dispute
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The United States and China reached a 90-day ceasefire in a trade dispute that has rattled financial markets and threatened world economic growth. The breakthrough came after a dinner meeting Saturday between President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires.
Trump agreed to hold off on plans to raise tariffs Jan. 1 on $200 billion in Chinese goods. The Chinese agreed to buy a “not yet agreed upon, but very substantial amount of agricultural, energy, industrial” and other products from the United States to reduce America’s huge trade deficit with China, the White House said.
The truce, reached after a dinner of more than two hours, buys time for the two countries to work out their differences in a dispute over Beijing’s aggressive drive to supplant U.S. technological dominance.
“It’s an incredible deal,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One. “What I’ll be doing is holding back on tariffs. China will be opening up, China will be getting rid of tariffs. China will be buying massive amounts of products from us.”
In a long-sought concession to the U.S., China agreed to label fentanyl, the deadly synthetic opioid responsible for tens of thousands of American drug deaths annually, as a controlled substance. And Beijing agreed to reconsider a takeover by U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm that it had previously blocked.