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Chief Bakes

Trump thread, all things Trump

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Chief Bakes

Trump sceptical a deal on border wall can be reached

  • 28 January 2019
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Media captionFive questions about Trump's border wall

US President Donald Trump says he is sceptical a deal can be reached on border security before government funding expires again next month.

He spoke to the Wall Street Journal as 800,000 federal employees returned to work after the longest ever closure of federal agencies, lasting 35 days.

The Republican president said he doubts he would lower the sum he is prepared to accept for a US-Mexico border wall.

Congress must agree a new bill by 15 February to avoid another shutdown.

The US economy lost $3bn (£2.2bn) from the government shutdown, according the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office on Monday.

Its analysis said the economy overall shed about $11bn during the five-week period, but about $8bn would be recouped as employees receive back pay.

A committee of lawmakers from both parties is poised to negotiate, but Mr Trump told the Journal the chances of a political breakthrough are "less than 50-50".

Asked if he would accept less than the $5.7bn he wants to build a border barrier, he said: "I doubt it."

"I have to do it right," he added, noting that he has not ruled out a second shutdown in as many months to accomplish his signature campaign pledge.

The president also sounded unwilling to make any significant concession to strike a grand bargain with Democrats.

Mr Trump said he doubted he would back citizenship for immigrants who entered the US without documentation as children.

On Friday, the president bowed to mounting pressure to end the crippling shutdown of about a quarter of the US government.

But while Congress quickly passed a bill to fund federal agencies, Mr Trump again came away without a dollar of taxpayers' money for his long-promised border wall.

His perceived retreat provoked a welter of conservative criticism, prompting him unusually to lash out at his favourite cable show, Fox News.

Mr Trump tweeted on Sunday: "Never thought I'd say this but I think @johnrobertsFox and @GillianHTurner @FoxNews have even less understanding of the Wall negotiations than the folks at FAKE NEWS CNN & NBC!"

 

In a first version of that tweet, the president misspelled Fox correspondent Gillian Turner's name as Jillian - tagging an unsuspecting California teenager instead.

He also took a dig at right-wing commentator Ann Coulter - who last week labelled him a wimp - telling the Wall Street Journal: "I hear she's become very hostile.

"Maybe I didn't return her phone call or something."

Meanwhile, as the president rails against illegal immigrants, reports have emerged in recent weeks that his own golf resorts have been hiring undocumented workers for years.

On Saturday, the Associated Press reported that a dozen undocumented immigrants employed at Mr Trump's New York club were abruptly fired.

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Chief Bakes
  • 6 February 2019
 
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Media captionLive: Donald Trump addresses Congress in his annual State of the Union speech

US President Donald Trump is about to deliver his annual State of the Union address before Congress.

He is expected to use the speech to restate his case for a wall along the border with Mexico - and to outline what he believes are his major achievements after two years in office.

He is also likely to talk about North Korea and the trade dispute between the US and China.

In a rebuttal, Democrats will accuse Mr Trump of abandoning US values.

What will he say?

After two years of toxic partisanship, Mr Trump on Tuesday night repeated calls for political unity that he has made in his previous two State of the Union speeches.

"Together, we can break decades of political stalemate," he will say, according to excerpts of the address.

"We can bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions, and unlock the extraordinary promise of America's future. The decision is ours to make."

Hours before the speech, Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader of the Senate, poured pre-emptive scorn on Mr Trump's remarks.

The New York senator said on the chamber floor: "It seems every year the president wakes up and discovers the desire for unity on the morning of the State of the Union, then the president spends the other 364 days of the year dividing us, and sowing a state of disunion."

The president fired back on Twitter: "I see Schumer is already criticizing my State of the Union speech, even though he hasn't seen it yet."

In a private lunch with news anchors at the White House on Tuesday, Mr Trump called Mr Schumer "nasty", using an offensive term, reports the New York Times.

The president was also quoted as having called former US Vice-President Joe Biden, a potential White House challenger in 2020, "dumb".

As Mr Trump delivered his primetime speech on Tuesday, his chief congressional antagonist was sitting at the rostrum over his shoulder.

The Democratic leader of the House of Representatives, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has staunchly resisted the president's demands for funding for a US-Mexico border wall and regularly mocks him.

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Chief Bakes

Donald Trump to visit UK in December for Nato summit

  • 6 February 2019
US President Donald Trump inspects the guard of honour formed of the Coldstream Guards during a welcome ceremony at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London Image copyright AFP
Image caption US President Donald Trump's first official visit to the UK took place in July 2018

US President Donald Trump is expected to visit the UK in December for a Nato summit, the alliance's secretary general has said.

Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement that "the Allies have agreed" to meet to discuss security challenges and how Nato can adapt to keep people safe.

Theresa May said it would be an "important opportunity" to modernise.

Mr Trump's controversial first official trip to the UK took place in July 2018, amid a backdrop of angry protests.

The US president met the Queen at Windsor Castle and held talks with the prime minister at Chequers, while thousands of people marched through central London in protest at his visit.

The police operation for the visit cost an estimated £18m, according to the National Police Chiefs' Council.

The US president, who has repeatedly criticised the military alliance, will meet heads of state in London - the home of Nato's first headquarters.

Theresa May said: "The UK is one of the founding members of Nato and I am very pleased that the secretary general has asked us to host a meeting of Nato leaders this year to mark its 70th anniversary".

Mr Stoltenberg said the UK continues to play a key role in the alliance, making "essential contributions to our shared security".

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Cathedral Bobby

It's bad enough the idiot having to come here but it costing the taxpayer £18 million adds insult to injury. We should tell him not to bother and send all the sensitive discussion papers straight to Russia cutting out Putin's favourite sycophant dotard.

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Mac7

So...the security bill for all the others attending the summit is ok? Was there any benefit to the economy for Trumps visit(s)?

It never ceases to amaze me how people call for mass protests and think he should be banned from visiting but when far worse world leaders attend the UK, the same isn’t true.

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Cathedral Bobby
19 minutes ago, Mac7 said:

So...the security bill for all the others attending the summit is ok? Was there any benefit to the economy for Trumps visit(s)?

It never ceases to amaze me how people call for mass protests and think he should be banned from visiting but when far worse world leaders attend the UK, the same isn’t true.

Difference is Mac they all don't come with a £18 million bill attached. And he is causing the world and our futures the most pain at the moment. The rest of the world are trying to do something about global warming the biggest threat to us, wildlife and world. We know Russia and China are threats, but this idiot is meant to be our friend. What a 🤡

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Chief Bakes

Trump sees total rout of Islamic State group as imminent

  • 6 February 2019
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Donald Trump at the conference in Washington, 6 February Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Donald Trump: "Their land is gone"

US President Donald Trump has said territory held by the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq could be "100%" liberated as early as next week.

"It should be announced, probably some time next week, that we will have 100% of the caliphate," he told a gathering of coalition partners.

However, he also cautioned that he wanted to "wait for the official word".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged the US would continue to fight IS, despite withdrawing troops from Syria.

Mr Trump shocked coalition allies in December when he declared that the group had been defeated, amid reports he wanted to pull out US soldiers within 30 days.

But he later slowed the withdrawal after several resignations from key defence officials and strong criticism from Republicans and allies abroad.

The global coalition against IS, now numbering nearly 80 nations, was formed in 2014 after the group overran swathes of territory and went on to launch terror attacks outside the region.

How does Trump view the battle against IS now?

"Their land is gone," he told Wednesday's conference in Washington. "The Isis [IS] caliphate has been decimated. Nobody thought we could do it this quickly."

But the group still had "tiny sections that can be so dangerous", he said, and "foreign fighters must not gain access" to the US.

"You are always going to have people, they are sick they are demented," he said. "You are always going to have them no matter how well you do well militarily."

Image copyright AFP
Image caption US ground troops first became involved in Syria in 2015

The US leader thanked coalition partners, saying, "We will be working together for many years to come.

"Someday, maybe we won't even have to think about this problem that is so prevalent today," he added.

In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, Mr Trump said "virtually all" of the group's territory in Syria and Iraq had been liberated.

"Great nations do not fight endless wars," he said, backing his decision to withdraw.

What did Pompeo say?

He called the troop pullout "a new stage in an old fight". It was, he said, a "tactical change... not a change in the mission".

"The US troops withdrawing from Syria is not the end of America's fight," he told the conference. "The fight is one we'll continue to wage alongside you."

He said the world was entering "an era of decentralised jihad", and said the US would call on its allies for help "very soon".

"We ask that our coalition partners seriously and rapidly consider requests that will enable our efforts to continue," he said.

US asks allies for more

By Barbara Plett Usher, BBC state department correspondent

Mike Pompeo said President Trump's surprise decision to withdraw troops from Syria was a tactical change, not a change in the US mission or commitment.

But he called on other nations to do more in the continued fight against IS, by providing funds to help stabilise liberated areas in Syria and Iraq and by repatriating and prosecuting foreign fighters jailed by America's Kurdish allies in Syria.

Mr Trump did not consult members of this anti-IS coalition when he decided to bring US troops home, or with the US general who oversees troops in the Middle East, Joseph Votel.

Gen Votel told a Senate committee this week that without sustained counterterrorism pressure the IS militants would regroup.

Has IS been defeated?

Republicans, military officials and US allies abroad have all questioned Mr Trump's assertion that IS has been defeated.

On Tuesday the head of the US military's Central Command, Gen Votel, told a Senate committee up to 1,500 IS militants remain in a 20 sq mile (52 sq km) pocket on Syria's border with Iraq.

Gen Votel said the anti-IS coalition needed to secure its hard-won gains by "maintaining a vigilant offensive" against the group, which still has "leaders, fighters, facilitators, resources and the profane ideology that fuels their efforts".

Meanwhile, a report by a US defence department watchdog cited Central Command as saying that without sustained pressure IS "could likely resurge in Syria within six to 12 months".

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Chief Bakes

North Korea nuclear talks: US envoy Biegun prepares for Trump-Kim summit

  • 9 February 2019
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US envoy Stephen Biegun and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, Seoul, 9 February 2019 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Stephen Biegun briefed South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on his visit to the North

The US envoy for North Korea has returned from Pyongyang, where he held talks to prepare for a second US-North Korean leadership summit.

Stephen Biegun spent three days in discussions, and US officials said he would meet his counterpart again.

US President Donald Trump confirmed he would meet North Korea's Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 27-28 February.

Mr Trump said his representatives had a "productive meeting" and that he was looking forward to advancing peace.

How did Mr Biegun's visit go?

In Pyongyang, Mr Biegun met his North Korean counterpart Kim Hyok-chol and "discussed advancing President Trump and Chairman Kim's Singapore summit commitments of complete denuclearisation," said a US State Department statement.

The two envoys will meet again ahead of the much anticipated summit at the end of the month.

On his return to South Korea, Mr Biegun briefed the country's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.

"I am confident that if both sides stay committed, we can make real progress," he told reporters.

"We have some hard work to do with the DPRK [North Korea] between now and then," Mr Biegun added, looking ahead to the Hanoi summit.

President Trump tweeted that "North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, will become a great Economic Powerhouse," something that, the president added, came as no surprise to him "because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is".

Meanwhile, the UN has warned that North Korea is continuing its nuclear programme and breaking sanctions.

In a report earlier this week, it said actions including the illegal transfer of banned goods at sea could make sanctions - the international community's main way of putting pressure on North Korea - "ineffective".

'Concrete deliverables'

The first summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore last June generated significant coverage and optimism, but delivered very few concrete developments.

Both sides said they were committed to denuclearisation, but with no details of how this would be carried out or verified.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The first Kim-Trump summit was big on handshakes and rhetoric but low on detail

Experts caution that despite Mr Trump's declaration that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat, the country has never said it would give up its nuclear weapons programme without similar concessions from the US.

Before travelling to Pyongyang on Wednesday, Mr Biegun said he wanted to achieve some "concrete deliverables".

The US wants North Korea to make a full declaration of all its nuclear weapons facilities and commit to destroying them, under international supervision - something North Korea has never said it will do.

In a speech at Stanford University last week, Mr Biegun said the US would not agree to lift sanctions until this happens, but he indicated it could provide assistance in other ways, saying: "We did not say we will not do anything until you do everything."

He also said Kim Jong-un had previously committed to "the dismantlement and destruction" of all North Korea's plutonium and uranium facilities, which provide the material for nuclear weapons.

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Media captionNorth Korea's leaders "view nuclear as key to regime survival"

But a report to the UN Security Council on Monday suggested North Korea was continuing its nuclear and missiles programmes, while making efforts to protect its facilities from possible future strike.

The confidential report, a copy of which was seen by news agencies, also said North Korea was routinely breaking international sanctions.

The report said there had been a "massive increase in illegal ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products and coal" - where material is moved from non-North Korean ships out at sea to evade monitoring.

The international sanctions against North Korea are designed to severely limit its import and export abilities, with the aim of putting pressure on the country to give up its nuclear ambitions.

But Reuters quoted the report as saying that violations on this scale "render the latest UN sanctions ineffective".

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Chief Bakes
  • 10 February 2019
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Media captionWATCH: Nick Kwek toured the border dividing the US state of Arizona and Mexico's Sonora

Talks between US Republicans and Democrats to reach a border security agreement and avoid another government shutdown have stalled, reports say.

Negotiators had wanted a deal by Monday to give Congress time to pass legislation by Friday, when last month's federal funding deal runs out.

The previous shutdown, lasting 35 days, was the longest in US history.

The disagreement centres on President Donald Trump's insistence on a bill that funds a US-Mexico border wall.

The latest impasse has arisen because Democrats want officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to concentrate on detaining migrants with criminal records instead of those who have overstayed their visas by limiting the number of beds its detention centres have, the New York Times reported.

Democratic negotiators were hoping to cap the number of beds at 16,500. That is roughly the number of people detained in the last years of the Obama White House, the Washington Post says.

Negotiators had also been looking at between $1.3bn and $2bn in funding for Mr Trump's proposed border wall, a long way off the $5.7bn the president has been demanding, reports said.

On Sunday, lead Republican negotiator Senator Richard Shelby told Fox News that he was "not confident we're going to get there".

"I'll say 50-50 we get a deal," he said, adding: "The spectre of a shutdown is always out there."

Mr Trump suggested that Democratic leaders were preventing negotiators from reaching an agreement.

Last month he said the talks were a "waste of time".

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Media captionOther presidents got money for a border barrier - why not Trump?

A new shutdown could see federal agencies including the Homeland Security, State, Agriculture and Commerce Departments lose access to money and begin to shut down again.

It would affect about 800,000 federal employees, who would go unpaid. During the last shutdown some employees continued to work unpaid but many others called in sick.

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Chief Bakes

US shutdown: Parties in fresh talks as next deadline looms

  • 11 February 2019
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Media captionNick Kwek toured the border dividing the US state of Arizona and Mexico's Sonora

Democratic and Republican negotiators are due to meet on Monday to try to reach a deal on border security and avoid another government shutdown.

They remain divided on the detention of undocumented immigrants and on funding for President Donald Trump's promised border wall with Mexico.

Mr Trump accused Democrats of a making a "brand new demand" that was "crazy".

Congress has until Friday to pass legislation before the current federal funding agreement runs out.

If a new agreement is not reached by both the House of Representatives and the Senate - and signed by the president - a partial government shutdown will began on Saturday.

The previous shutdown, which lasted 35 days and ended on 25 January, was the longest in US history.

Hundreds of thousands of workers were furloughed while others in essential services, such as hospital care, air traffic control and law enforcement, worked without pay.

The cost to the US economy was estimated at $11bn (£8.5bn).

The talks on Monday are scheduled to take place in Washington, hours before President Trump holds a rally in the border city of El Paso, in Texas, aimed at gathering support for the border wall.

What is the latest impasse about?

Some 17 Republican and Democratic negotiators from the Senate and the House have been holding talks to try to reach a border security agreement that can be accepted by Congress.

The latest impasse seems to be centred on a Democratic demand to limit the number of undocumented migrants already in the US who can be detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Democrats want to cap the number of beds at detention centres reserved for those cases at 16,500.

By doing that, they hope to force ICE to focus on detaining irregular migrants with criminal records instead of those who have overstayed their visas and, Democrats say, are productive and offer no threat.

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Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionOther presidents got money for a border barrier - why not Trump?

On Monday, Mr Trump tweeted that the "Democrats do not want us to detain, or send back, criminal aliens! This is a brand new demand. Crazy!."

The Democrats are also looking at between $1.3bn and $2bn in funding for Mr Trump's proposed border wall, a long way off the $5.7bn the president has been demanding.

President Trump tweeted that "angry" Democrats needed to "loosen up and have some fun".

The president had earlier said that Democrats were "behaving, all of a sudden, irrationally".

What is the situation at the border?

As wall discussions labour on, Mr Trump plans on sending more than 3,700 active troops to the US-Mexico border to help agents with security efforts this month. With more than 2,000 troops already at the border, the new deployment would top November's mid-term election-time numbers of 5,900.

Meanwhile, pushing back against the Trump administration's call for border states to help with security, California's Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom says he will recall hundreds of the state's national guard from the border.

Gov Newsom's move follows that of his Democratic colleague, Gov Michelle Grisham of New Mexico, who pulled her state's troops from the border last week.

Both governors have cited the withdrawal as retaliation against Mr Trump's "fear-mongering".

Why is there the risk of another shutdown?

On 25 January, President Trump agreed to a three-week spending deal to end the shutdown and allow Congress to reach an agreement.

That funding ends at midnight on Friday. Another short-term deal could prevent a new shutdown, according to the New York Times.

Mr Trump made building a wall on the border with Mexico one of his key promises in the 2016 campaign.

The president has backed away from calls to make Mexico pay for a concrete wall but during his State of the Union speech last Tuesday - delayed because of the previous shutdown - he insisted on a "smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier".

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Media captionJust why did the US government partially shut down?

He has previously threatened to declare a national emergency and fund the wall without Congress. But this idea is disliked even by some fellow Republicans, and Democrats are likely to challenge it in the courts.

What would happen in a shutdown?

Federal agencies including the departments of Homeland Security, State, Agriculture and Commerce could lose access to money and begin to close down again, affecting about 800,000 federal employees, who would go unpaid.

During a shutdown, essential services continue to operate, with workers being required to show up. Last time, some employees continued to work unpaid but many others called in sick.

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Chief Bakes
  • 12 February 2019
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Democrats and Republicans reach agreement in principle to fund the US government and avert another partial shutdown

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version.

You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts.

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Chief Bakes

Venezuela crisis: Maduro condemns 'extremist' Trump

  • 12 February 2019
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President Maduro Image copyright AFP
Image caption President Maduro has resisted pressure to call early presidential elections

Venezuela's embattled President Nicolás Maduro has called Donald Trump's government a "gang of extremists" and blamed the US for his country's crisis.

In an interview with the BBC, Mr Maduro said he would not allow humanitarian aid into Venezuela as it was a way for the US to justify an intervention.

"They are warmongering in order to take over Venezuela," he said.

The US and most Western governments have recognised opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president.

Mr Maduro is under growing internal and international pressure to call early presidential elections amid a worsening economic crisis and accusations of widespread corruption and human rights violations.

Meanwhile, Mr Guaidó has called for new anti-government protests later on Tuesday.

Maduro on Trump

Relations between the US and Venezuela were already fraught before President Trump backed Mr Guaidó as leader. Venezuela broke off diplomatic relations in response while Mr Trump said the use of military force remained "an option".

The Trump administration was one of the first to support Mr Guaidó as interim president and declared Mr Maduro's re-election last year "illegitimate".

In a rare interview, Mr Maduro said he hoped "this extremist group in the White House is defeated by powerful world-wide public opinion".

Speaking in the capital Caracas, he told the BBC's Orla Guerin: "It's a political war, of the United States empire, of the interests of the extreme right that today is governing, of the Ku Klux Klan, that rules the White House, to take over Venezuela."

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Media captionWhy Venezuela matters to the US... and vice versa

The US has also imposed a raft of economic measures on Venezuela, including against the state-owned oil company, PDVSA, aiming to hit the country's main source of revenue.

It has criticised Mr Maduro's increased use of the courts and security forces to suppress political opposition.

When asked, in response to his Ku Klux Klan comment, if he believed Mr Trump was a "white supremacist", Mr Maduro said: "He is, publicly and openly... They hate us, they belittle us, because they only believe in their own interests, and in the interests of the United States."

Maduro on humanitarian aid

The president has rejected allowing humanitarian aid into the country, a move that is being organised by the opposition. He said Venezuela had "the capacity to satisfy all the needs of its people" and did not have to "beg from anyone".

But for years Venezuelans have faced severe shortages of basic items such as medicine and food. Last year, the inflation rate saw prices doubling every 19 days on average.

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Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionDesperate Venezuelan women are selling their hair at the border

Three million people have left the country since the economy started to worsen in 2014, according to the UN. And Mr Guaidó says more than 300,000 Venezuelans are at "risk of dying".

Mr Maduro, who has blamed US sanctions for Venezuela's economic woes, said the US intended to "create a humanitarian crisis in order to justify a military intervention".

"This is part of that charade. That's why, with all dignity, we tell them we don't want their crumbs, their toxic food, their left-overs."

Maduro on calling elections

Mr Maduro, who took office in 2013, was re-elected to a second term last year but the elections were controversial with many opposition candidates barred from running or jailed, and claims of vote-rigging.

Head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, Mr Guaidó declared himself president on 23 January, saying the constitution allowed him to assume power temporarily when the president was deemed illegitimate.

Mr Maduro - who still has the support of Russia and China and, crucially, of the Venezuelan army - said he did not see the need for early presidential elections.

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Paul Manafort: Trump ex-aide lied to prosecutors, judge rules

  • 14 February 2019
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Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Photo: June 2018 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Paul Manafort was found guilty of multiple fraud charges in 2018

Donald Trump's former election campaign chief Paul Manafort breached his plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller by lying to prosecutors, a US judge says.

US District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that Manafort "made multiple false statements" to the FBI, Mr Mueller's office and a grand jury.

Mr Mueller leads a probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

Manafort was convicted of financial fraud in August.

This related to his work as a political consultant in Ukraine.

Manafort, 69, then accepted a plea deal on other charges in return for co-operating with Mr Mueller's investigation.

In her ruling on Wednesday, Judge Berman Jackson said there was evidence that showed Manafort had lied about - among other things - contacts he had with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian political consultant. Prosecutors claim Mr Kilimnik had ties to Russian intelligence.

The judge also cleared Manafort of allegations that he lied on two other subjects.

The verdict means that Manafort - who has been held in a detention centre in Virginia since June - could now potentially face harsher sentences or have charges against him re-filed.

Last year, Mr Mueller said that Manafort lied "on a variety of subject matters" after signing the plea deal.

What was the plea deal?

Last August, Manafort was convicted on eight counts of fraud, bank fraud and failing to disclose bank accounts.

A month later he pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy against the US and one charge of conspiracy to obstruct justice in a plea bargain with Mr Mueller. The agreement avoided a second trial on money laundering and other charges.

The plea deal meant Manafort would face up to 10 years in prison and would forfeit four of his properties and the contents of several bank accounts - but deadlocked charges from the previous trial would be dismissed.

It was the first criminal trial arising from the Department of Justice's investigation into alleged Russian interference in the presidential election.

However, the charges related only to Manafort's political consulting with pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, largely pre-dating his role with the Trump campaign.

How did we get here?

Manafort worked for the Trump presidential campaign for five months in 2016 and was in charge when Mr Trump clinched the Republican party nomination.

President Trump has branded the Mueller investigation a "witch hunt" and insisted there was no collusion between his team and Russia.

Manafort was charged by Mr Mueller last October and during the trial he was accused of using 31 foreign bank accounts in three different countries to evade taxes on millions of dollars.

Prosecutors presented evidence of Manafort's luxurious lifestyle, saying it was only possible because of his bank and tax fraud.

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Chief Bakes
  • 14 February 2019
Breaking News image

President Donald Trump will sign a bi-partisan funding bill and then declare a national emergency to fund his wall, top Republican Mitch McConnell says.

Doing so would allow Mr Trump to use military funds for a US-Mexico wall.

Speaking on the Senate floor, the majority leader announced Mr Trump's plan just before the upper chamber votes on the compromise bill.

The bill would avert another government shutdown if it passes Congress and is signed by the president.

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version.

You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts.

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Chief Bakes
  • 15 February 2019
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Media captionLive: Donald Trump declares emergency over Mexico border wall

US President Donald Trump has confirmed he will use emergency powers to build a wall on Mexico's border, saying "walls work".

Building the wall was a key pledge of Mr Trump's campaign, but Democrats have described the emergency as a "gross abuse of power".

This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version.

You can receive Breaking News on a smartphone or tablet via the BBC News App. You can also follow @BBCBreaking on Twitter to get the latest alerts.

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