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Trump to attend ‘Howdy, Modi!’ in Houston: White House

WASHINGTON, Sept 15: In a significant boost to India-US ties and nod to their growing personal equation, President Donald Trump will be attending Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s diaspora outreach event in Houston next Sunday, called “Howdy, Modi!”, the White House announced Sunday.

Trump will not only attend but also address the gathering, people familiar with the hosting of the event said. The two leaders are not expected to hold discussions, either one-on-one or with their delegations, but are likely to meet in New York City on the sidelines of the UN general assembly debates.

This personal outreach by the American president comes at a critical stage in ties between the two countries after Pakistan sought to leverage Trump’s request for its help in Afghanistan peace talks, to seek his mediation to resolve the Kashmir dispute. Trump had agreed, and repeated his offer three times, before backing off in the face of a determined and unambiguous push back from India.

Trump will leave Houston the same day for another event with a visiting world leader, the Australian prime minister Scott Morrison but in Wapakoneta, Ohio, the White House said wrapping up joint appearances to “underscore the important partnerships between the United States and India, and Australia”.

The three countries are members of a growing Indo-Pacific partnership, along with Japan, called the Quad, which has had official-level meetings with growing frequency in the past one year. There was no word if a summit-level meeting of the Quad, or its foreign minister, was on the anvil.

Announcing President Trump’s participation in the Houston event, the White House said, it will be a “great opportunity to emphasize the strong ties” between the peoples of the two countries and to “reaffirm the strategic partnership between the world’s oldest and largest democracies, and to discuss ways to deepen their energy and trade relationship”.

This is probably the first time as president that Trump will address a diaspora outreach event alongside a visiting foreign leader; he has attended factory openings and ribbon-cutting ceremonies with them, such as his tour of an Australian-owned manufacturing with Morrison in Ohio.

But Trump’s address to the Houston gathering will not be his first to Indian Americans, who will be packing the “Howdy, Modi!” venue, coming in from all around the country. His first was in October 2016, when he spoke to them in Edison, New Jersey as the Republican nominee for the White House.

Welcoming the White House announcement, the Texas India Forum, which is organizing the Houston event, said in a statement they are also expecting several governors, lawmakers, mayors and other leaders and officials to attend.

Houston will be Prime Minister Modi’s third diaspora outreach in the United States, which he has uniquely elevated and transformed from small community gatherings favored by previously visiting prime ministers cutting across party lines, to gigantic events filling massive sporting and concert venues, starting with the iconic Madison Square Garden in September 2014, on his first visit after assuming office.

Next year, it was the SAP Center in San Jose, California.

With a capacity to seat more than 70,000 people, the NRG Stadium, venue for the upcoming event, is the largest yet. The organizers have said they are expecting more than 50,000 people.

That should impress President Trump, who never fails to mention the crowd-size of his political rallies, often comparing them to those recorded by one of his favorite musicians Elton John, as the New York Times reported Sunday, citing among things, this tweet from him last month: “Great news! Tonight, we broke the all-time attendance record previously held by Elton John at #SNHUArena in Manchester, New Hampshire!”

The White House is eyeballing numbers in anticipation of the outreach already. “The event,” it said in its statement on the president’s attendance, “… is expected to draw tens of thousands of people.” The president might follow up with his own take after the event possibly.

Prime Minister Imran Khan will be watching closely. Following in Modi’s footsteps, he became in July the first Pakistani leader to address a similar outreach for Pakistanis, at a sporting venue in Washington DC, the night before his meeting with President Trump at the White House.

Khan packed the 20,000-seat venue to his credit, but the absence of US lawmakers and officials stood out in stark contrast to Modi’s that have reflected bipartisan footfall support from US political leaders such as governors, lawmakers, mayors — nearly 40 US senators and House Representatives had attended the MSG event.

Texas India Forum excited to welcome President Trump to address 'Howdy, Modi!'

By Deepak Arora

HOUSTON, Sept 15: The Texas India Forum is excited to welcome President Donald J. Trump to address over 50,000 Americans as we host Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India in Houston on September 22 at NRG Stadium.

The “Howdy, Modi! Shared Dreams, Bright Futures” Community Summit attendees represent 48 states, coming together to emphasize the shared values and aspirations of two great nations whose partnership is important to global peace, prosperity, and human progress.

This unique event brings together the President of the world’s most influential democracy, the Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy, and a bipartisan delegation of Governors, Members of Congress, Mayors, and other public officials.

Special gesture, tweets Modi

NEW DELHI, Sept 16: US President Donald Trump’s confirmation to join the Indian-origin community at the Houston event is a special gesture that signifies the special friendship between India and USA, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday.

In two tweets, Modi said he was delighted that Donald Trump would join him at the community programme in Houston, Texas on September 22.

“The special gesture of President @realDonaldTrump to join us in Houston highlights the strength of the relationship and recognition of the contribution of the Indian community to American society and economy, #HowdyModi,” Modi said, responding to the White House confirming that Trump will attend PM Modi’s Indian diaspora event.

This is believed to be the first time as a US President will address a diaspora outreach event alongside a visiting foreign leader.

The special gesture of President @realDonaldTrump to join us in Houston highlights the strength of the relationship and recognition of the contribution of the Indian community to American society and economy. #HowdyModi

India’s envoy to the US Harsh Vardhan Shringla has described the joint presence of the two leaders addressing the ‘Howdy Modi’ event as “historic and unprecedented”. Singla said that Donald Trump’s presence reflects not only the closeness and levels in the relationship between the two countries “but also the personal chemistry” between PM Modi and President Trump.

Trump says US is ‘locked and loaded’ to respond to Saudi oil attack

WASHINGTON, Sept 15: President Donald Trump said Sunday the US is “locked and loaded” to respond to an attack on Saudi oil infrastructure that Washington has blamed on Iran, as Riyadh raced to restart operations at plants hit by drone attacks.

It is the first time the president has hinted at a potential American military response to the attack, which slashed Saudi oil production by half and led both the kingdom and the United States to announce they may tap their strategic reserves.

“Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!” Trump tweeted.

The Tehran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, claimed Saturday’s strikes on two plants owned by state energy giant Aramco.

But US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pointed the finger squarely at Tehran, saying there was no evidence the “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” was launched from Yemen.

“The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression,” the top US diplomat said.

That drew an angry response from Tehran, where foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said: “Such fruitless and blind accusations and remarks are incomprehensible and meaningless.” The remarks were designed to damage Iran’s reputation and provide a pretext for “future actions” against the Islamic republic, he added.

Baghdad, caught between its two main allies -- Tehran and Washington -- also denied any link to the attacks amid media speculation that the drones were launched from Iraq.

Saudi de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said the kingdom is “willing and able” to respond to this “terrorist aggression.” But a tit-for-tat strike on Iranian oil fields is “highly unlikely,” said Middle East expert James Dorsey.

“The Saudis do not want an open conflict with Iran. The Saudis would like others to fight that war, and the others are reluctant,” said Dorsey, from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

Instead, the kingdom focused on restoring production at the plants, as the Saudi bourse slumped three percent when the week’s trading began on Sunday morning.

Saturday’s explosions set off fires that engulfed the Abqaiq plant, the world’s largest oil processing facility, and nearby Khurais, which hosts a massive oil field.

Saudi’s energy infrastructure has been hit by the Huthis many times before, but this strike was of a different order, abruptly halting 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd) or about six percent of the world’s oil supply.

“The genie is out of the bottle,” said Bill Farren-Price, director of the London-based RS Energy Group.

“It is now clear that Saudi and other Gulf oil facilities are vulnerable to this kind of attack, which means that the geopolitical risk premium for oil needs to rise.” No casualties were reported but the full extent of the damage was not clear, nor the type of weapons used, and reporters were kept away from the plants amid beefed-up security.

Aramco also said it will dip into its reserves to offset the disruption.

On Saturday, CEO Amin Nasser said that “work is underway” to restore production, but the incident could affect investor confidence ahead of Aramco’s stock market debut.

A significant volume of oil production can be restored within days but the company would need weeks to reach full output again, Bloomberg News reported Sunday, citing unnamed sources.

Trump tweeted that he had “authorised the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed, in a to-be-determined amount.” The president also “informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other States,” without naming specific projects.

Following a phone call between Trump and Prince Mohammed, the White House condemned the attacks on “infrastructure vital to the global economy.” Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since May last year, when Trump pulled the US out of a landmark 2015 deal with world powers that promised Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Despite the US accusation, the White House said on Sunday Trump may still meet his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani at the upcoming United Nations assembly.

Saudi Arabia has spent billions on military hardware but recent events have underscored the vulnerability of its infrastructure to attack.

The Huthis have staged repeated cross-border missile and drone attacks targeting Saudi air bases and other facilities in what they say is retaliation for the Riyadh-led bombing campaign on rebel-held areas in Yemen.

Trump confirms death of Hamza bin Laden

WASHINGTON, Sept 14: US President Donald Trump on Saturday confirmed that Hamza bin Laden, the son and designated heir of Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, was killed in a counter-terrorism operation along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

“The loss of Hamza bin Laden not only deprives Al-Qaeda of important leadership skills and the symbolic connection to his father, but undermines important operational activities of the group,” Trump said in a statement issued by the White House.

US media reported in early August, citing intelligence officials, that the younger Bin Laden had been killed sometime in the last two years in an operation that involved the United States.

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper confirmed the death later last month, saying it was “his understanding” that Bin Laden was dead, but Trump and other senior officials had not publicly confirmed the news.

The 15th of Osama bin Laden’s 20 children and a son of his third wife, Hamza, thought to be about 30 years old, was “emerging as a leader in the Al-Qaeda franchise,” the State Department said in announcing a $1 million bounty on his head in February 2019 -- perhaps after his actual demise.

Frontrunner Joe Biden comes out fighting in Democratic White House debate

HOUSTON, Sept 13: Frontrunner Joe Biden came out swinging in the third Democratic debate for the White House nomination, clashing with his top two rivals over the future of health care in America and dismissing their plans as unrealistic pipe dreams..

Biden, under pressure to appear in command as the candidate to beat in 2020, pushed back hard against senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren during the debate in Houston, Texas a showdown seen as a tough test of the 76-year-old’s stamina.

In a high-octane clash with his fellow septuagenarians, the former vice president warned Sanders’s plan to finance universal healthcare “gets him halfway there,” while Warren has yet to indicate how hers will be paid for.

“I lay out how I can pay for it, how I can get it done, and why it’s better,” Biden said of his plan, which maintains and builds on the Affordable Care Act known as Obama care.

Warren, a rising star in the race, and Sanders each put up a spirited defence of their proposals.

“Those at the very top, the richest individuals and the biggest corporations, are going to pay more. And middle-class families are going to pay less,” Warren said.

Sanders, whose plans advocates for a shift away from private health insurance, assured voters “we will finally make sure that every American has health care as a human right, not a privilege.” The three-way battle over health care kicked off a marathon debate, as 10 hopefuls scrambled for breakout moments as they vie for the right to challenge President Donald Trump.

But the candidates stood united on one key factor: ousting Trump from the White House.

“We must and will defeat Trump, the most dangerous president in the history of this country,” Sanders said. “But we must do more. We must do more.” At a dinner with Republican legislators on Thursday evening, Trump quickly dropped his message of “respect” toward his opponents, which he’d expressed just three hours earlier.

He called Sanders “Crazy Bernie, he’s a crazy guy.” He lamented that he’d “hit Pocantonas” Warren “way too early,” in reference to his mockery of the senator’s controversial claim to have had Native American blood.

And he reserved his longest joke for Biden, or “Sleepy Joe.” “He’s fallen asleep, he’s no idea what he’s doing or saying,” Trump said to laughter from his party, before acting out a scene in which he imitated Chinese President Xi Jinping negotiating with Biden, with the Democrat mumbling “where am I?” and Xi telling him “sign here.” All eyes were on Biden who is battling accusations that he is a gaffe-prone candidate past his prime who could struggle during a gruelling campaign.

Biden maintains a grip on pole position with 26.8 per cent support, despite a noticeable dip in recent weeks, according to a poll average compiled by Real Clear Politics.

Sanders, at 78 the oldest candidate in the field, is narrowly ahead of Warren at 17.3 per cent support, and has largely avoided clashing with his friend and fellow progressive.

A summer of verbal miscues -- and an apparent lack of preparedness for spirited attacks by rivals in the first debate -- raised doubts about Biden’s age and mental clarity, concerns he and his team have roundly dismissed.

He enjoys strong support in particular from African-American communities and from working-class whites who appreciate his blue-collar appeal and believe he is best able to beat Trump, a top priority for Democratic voters.

Warren, 70, has electrified town halls and impressed voters with her extensive collection of policy platforms.

Early on Thursday she released her latest plan, one that would increase Social Security benefits for all Americans by USD 200 per month.

While Warren’s stock has risen, the campaigns of others such as Senator Kamala Harris and 37-year-old South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg have stalled.

For the second tier, including ex-congressman Beto O’Rourke, senators Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar, and Obama- era housing secretary Julian Castro -- all polling under three per cent -- a breakout moment is critical to stay relevant.

Navigating between the leaders and the strugglers is tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who has made establishing a universal basic income to offset job losses a key part of his campaign, and who grabbed the spotlight on Thursday by promising to give a “freedom dividend” of USD 1,000 per month to 10 American families for a year.

Indo-Pak tensions less heated now than 2 weeks ago: Trump

WASHINGTON, Sept 10: The relationship between India and Pakistan is “less heated” now than what was two weeks ago, United States President Donald Trump has said, reiterating his offer to help the two South-Asian neighbours only if both of them want.

The comments by Trump were his first and comes two weeks since his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G7 summit in France on August 26.

“India and Pakistan are having a conflict over Kashmir as you know. I think (it) is a little bit less heated right now than (what) was two weeks ago,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday.

Tensions between the two neighbours escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status by scrapping provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution.

“I get along with both countries very well,” Trump said while responding to a question on his assessment of the situation between India and Pakistan. “I am willing to help them if they want. They know that. That (offer) is out there.” During a meeting with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in July, Trump had offered to mediate between the two countries on the issue of Kashmir.

India was quick to reject the offer, saying the Kashmir issue was bilateral. It has also dismissed Trump’s astonishing claim that Modi had asked him to mediate.

During his meeting with Modi in France last month, Trump had said Kashmir is an issue that needs to be resolved between India and Pakistan.

Trump calls off secret meeting with Taliban, Afghan leaders after Kabul bombing

WASHINGTON, Sept 8: US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he had cancelled a secret meeting with the Taliban leaders and the Afghanistan president at a presidential retreat outside the American capital city and called off peace negotiations because of continued bombings by the insurgent group.

He wrote in a series of tweets Saturday that “unbeknownst to almost everyone, the major Taliban leaders and, separately, the President of Afghanistan, were going to secretly meet with me at Camp David on Sunday” but he cancelled the meeting because the Taliban sought to build “false leverage” through violence.

Trump referred specifically to a suicide bombing in Kabul on Monday which killed a US soldier and 11 others. “I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations,” he wrote further. “What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?”

It was not immediately clear if the peace negotiations that were said to have been in the final stages now stand cancelled because the American president has been known to reverse himself.

Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad, who was leading the US negotiation, had said recently that an agreement had been reached “in principle”, and there were expectations, according to US and Afghan officials. of a deal being as earlier the coming week, something that President Trump indicated also.

But the prospect of hosting the Taliban at a presidential retreat just two days before the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that had been planned and carried out by al Qaeda from Afghanistan during their rule drew immediate troubled many Americans. “Never should leaders of a terrorist organization that hasn’t renounced 9/11 and continues in evil be allowed in our great country,” wrote Republican lawmaker Adam Kinzinger wrote on twitter. “NEVER. Full stop.”

US President Trump probably saw an opportunity to make history there, like the Camp David Accords of 1978, hosted by President Jimmy Carter, that led to the signing of a peace treaty by Israel’s Menachem Begin and Egypt’s Anwar Sadat in 1979, who also went on to win the Nobel. But another Camp David summit in 2000 involving Israel and Palestine this time and hosted by President Bill Clinton ended so badly, the blame game continues to this day.

According to the deal reached in principle between the United States and the Taliban after nine rounds of talks in Doha, Qatar, the Americas would have to cut its troops in Afghanistan by 5,600 (from the current strength of 14,000) over 135 days after the signing of the agreement and shut down five of its bases there. The Taliban would given an undertaking in return to cut ties with terrorists and never allow Afghanistan to shelter terrorists and commit to inter-Afghan talks, to take place in Oslo, Norway.

Critics of that deal, and there are plenty in both the US and in Afghanistan, have contended that far too many concessions were being given to the Taliban. It gets to keep the word “Emirate” in the official name of Afghanistan, as it was called during their rule; the commitment to disavowing links to terrorism was tenuous and without any enforcing mechanism; it does not commit itself to accepting democracy or honor the upcoming election; and the Afghanistan government has been kept out of it.

Could Trump’s Camp David play have worked? “It would’ve been a Trumpian move to the core: It would have legitimized bad guys, offered photo ops galore & generated tons of press attention,” wrote Wilson Center’s South Asia expert Michael Kugelman on twitter. “And very tacky. And…little would’ve come of it”.

Five U.S. Governors to visit India over next two months

WASHINGTON, Sept 4: The governors of five US states — New Jersey, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware and Indiana — are scheduled to visit India over the next few months to enhance economic ties with the country.

They will be leading high-powered trade delegations comprising top businesses from their respective states.

The unprecedented move of five American governors visiting India in quick succession is a part of the efforts by the Trump administration and the Modi government to enhance state-to-state relationship.

The effort has been propelled by the current India’s Ambassador to the U.S., Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who has travelled to 11 U.S. states so far.

Noting that states play an important role in both the countries, Shringla said this was a very important initiative.

“Increasingly, states have an important say in economic activities, investment, trade and people-to-people contact,” he said.

“I’m happy to say that in the next two months, we will have five governors of U.S. States visiting India,” he said, days before New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy leaves on his maiden trip to India with a high-powered trade delegation.

In fact, he is the first governor of New Jersey — a state which has a sizeable population of Indian Americans — to visit India. Early this Summer, Murphy had hosted Shringla over a dinner.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is scheduled to visit India from September 29 to October 6. This will also be the first ever India visit by a Arkansas Governor. Hutchinson had a working lunch with Shringla early this summer.

Later this month, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb would make his second trip to India, as part of his four-nation Asia sojourn including China, Japan and South Korea.

In India in early October, Holcomb will watch Indians Pacers in Mumbai for the NBA’s first games in India.

Similarly, Colorado Governor Jared Polis announced his decision to travel to India with a trade delegation in the presence of Shringla at a business round table in Denver this summer. He is slated to visit Mumbai, Bengaluru and New Delhi.

He will also participate in Global RE-Invest Expo, organized by India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, to be held between October 31 and November 2 in Greater Noida.

Delaware Governor John Carney is also scheduled to visit India this fall. In addition, Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis of California is also scheduled to travel to India soon.

Pakistan ‘most dangerous country’ in the world: Mattis

WASHINGTON, Sept 3: Former US defense secretary James Mattis has said he considers Pakistan as the “most dangerous country” he dealt with it in a long career spanning decades in the military and as a member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet, because of the level of radicalization of its society and its nuclear weapons.

Mattis, who left the Trump administration in January, also slammed Pakistan’s obsession with India, saying it “views all geopolitics through the prism of its hostility toward India” and that has also shaped their policy on Afghanistan as the “the Pakistan military wanted a friendly government in Kabul that was resistant to Indian influence”.

He has long years of experience dealing with Pakistan and South Asia, first as a top US Marine Corps commandeer in Afghanistan, head of US central command and then as secretary of defense.

“Of all the countries I’ve dealt with, I consider Pakistan to be the most dangerous, because of the radicalization of its society and the availability of nuclear weapons,” Mattis has written in “Call Sign Chaos”, an autobiography that hit the stands Tuesday. “We can’t have the fastest-growing nuclear arsenal in the world falling into the hands of the terrorists breeding in their midst. The result would be disastrous.”

Pakistan has the world’s fastest growing nuclear arsenal, with a substantial quantities of tactical weapons that its leaders have publicly boasted about, including a member or Prime Minister Imran Khan’s cabinet recently. And Mattis writes, echoing a longstanding US concern, “We can’t have the fastest-growing nuclear arsenal in the world falling into the hands of the terrorists breeding in their midst”

He went on to castigate Pakistani leaders, in an indirect comment on the current Imran Khan government, saying “they don’t have leaders who care about their future”.

Mattis also framed US-Pakistan relations as a continuing narrative afflicted by differences and distrust. “We could manage our problems with Pakistan, but our divisions were too deep, and trust too shallow, to resolve them,” he writes.

That was the reason why, Mattis contends, President Barack Obama did not inform Pakistan of the US Navy SEALs raid that found and killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011. Mattis, a Marine Corps general, was then head of the US central command that has oversight over American military operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“And that is the state of our relationship to this day,” Mattis writes in obvious implications for the current attempts by the Khan government to reset ties with the United States by persuading the Taliban, using Pakistan’s clout with them, to participate in peace talks as President Trump pushes to end the Afghanistan war, the longest in US history.

Five killed, 21 injured in Texas mass shooting

ODESSA (TEXAS), Sept 1: Authorities said Saturday that a gunman killed five people during a mass shooting in the West Texas cities of Odessa and Midland that left many more injured. At least three law enforcement officers were among those shot.

Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said that there were at least 21 injured by gunfire. He described the suspected shooter as a white male in his 30s. The suspect was shot and killed at the Cinergy movie theater in Odessa, Gerke said.

The shooting set off a chaotic afternoon in which police reported that a suspect hijacked a US Postal Service vehicle and began firing at random in the area of Odessa and Midland, hitting multiple people. Police initially reported that there could be more than one shooter, but Gerke says authorities now believe it was one shooter.

The condition of the victims was not immediately clear

“Once this individual was taken out of the picture, there have been no more victims,” Gerke said.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has urged residents to avoid major highways in the area during the shooting, including Interstate 20.

The shooting comes just weeks after a gunman in the Texas border city of El Paso killed 22 people after opening fire at a Walmart. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this week held two meetings with lawmakers about how to prevent mass more shootings in Texas.

Odessa is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of Midland. Both are more than 300 miles (483 kilometers) west of Dallas.

Trump’s 15% tariffs on $112 billion in Chinese goods take effect

WASHINGTON, Sept 1: The Trump administration’s latest round of tariffs on Chinese imports have taken effect, potentially raising prices Americans pay for some clothes, shoes, sporting goods and other consumer goods in advance of the holiday shopping season.

The 15% taxes apply to about $112 billion of Chinese imports. All told, more than two-thirds of the consumer goods the United States imports from China now face higher taxes. The administration had largely avoided hitting consumer items in its earlier rounds of tariff hikes.

But with prices of many consumer goods now likely to rise, the administration’s move threatens the U.S. economy’s main driver: Consumer spending. As businesses pull back on investment spending and exports slow in the face of weak global growth, American shoppers have been a key bright spot for the economy.

Trump nominates Indian-American Shireen Mathews to federal judgeship

WASHINGTON, Sept 1: US President Donald Trump has nominated Shireen Mathews, an Indian-American lawyer, to be a federal judge.

She is a partner with the elite law firm Jones Day, where she specialises in white-collar crimes.

Before that, she was an assistant federal prosecutor in California serving as the coordinator for criminal healthcare fraud cases.

Her nomination to Southern California Southern District federal court in San Diego was announced on Wednesday by the White House and her appointment has to be approved by the Senate.

Mathews is the sixth Indian-American nominated to the federal judiciary at various levels by Trump.

South Asia Bar Association (SABA) President Aneesh called it “a historic nomination” and urged “the Senate to quickly confirm her, adding another deserving South Asian voice to the judiciary.”

Mathews has served on SABA North America board of directors.

According to Jones Day, while she was a prosecutor, Mathews uncovered a multi-million dollar fraud in stolen medical equipment and also won one of the highest restitution awards for the Social Security (general public pension) trust fund.

Neomi Rao is the most prominent judicial nominee of Trump, who named her to the federal appeals court in Washington to succeed Brett Kavanaugh, who was elevated to the Supreme Court.

Based in the nation’s capital, that appeals court is considered the most important one after the Supreme Court and a nominee of former President Barack Obama Sri Srinivasan also serves on it.

Amul Thapar was nominated by Trump to an appeals court in Ohio that has jurisdiction over four states.

Rao and Thapar, along with federal court nominee J. Nicholas Ranjan received Senate confirmation.

Two other nominees for federal judgeships, Diane Gujarati and Anuraag Singhal are awaiting Senate action.

 

 

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India, Pakistan will sort out all differences soon: Trump
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