Protocol in Asia? Trump to use ‘whatever language he wants’LAURIE KELLMAN •Trump’s N. Korea Push Takes Center Stage in Asia WASHINGTON (AP) — When in Asia, make sure handshakes aren’t too long — or short. Don’t bobble names or titles. Stifle the critical tweets. Don’t question the food.These points of etiquette and protocol are part of the region’s core culture known as „face” — keeping yours, helping others save theirs. In many ways, they are the opposite of President Donald Trump’s impulsive, in-your-face style. And he’s not expected to soften it even in the shadow of North Korea, with whom he’s rattled sabers about „fire and fury” and nuclear war.Related SearchesTrump Asia TripProtocol MeaningICT ProtocolBredesen Protocol„The president will use whatever language he wants to use,” National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters Thursday, on the eve of Trump’s 12-day tour through South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. „I don’t think the president really modulates his language. Have you noticed?”So much for the prospects of Trump and the finer points of protocol during the trip, on which he’ll be toting a hefty economic and national security agenda. But he’ll have a squad of White House and State Department officials guiding the way on other, more logistical matters in the ancient discipline of choreographing everything — from how a room is set up to who stands where — and avoiding embarrassments.”One of the things with protocol is obviously to do no harm,” Sean P. Lawler, Trump’s nominee to be to be U.S. chief of protocol, said Wednesday before the Senate committee considering his confirmation. As the director of visits and diplomacy for the National Security Council, he will accompany Trump on the trip.”We are the bridge,” said Capricia Marshall, President Barack Obama’s chief of protocol from 2009 to 2013.Protocol experts say American informality frequently gets lost in translation in the traditional cultures Trump will be visiting.On Wednesday, Trump showed signs of understanding the sensitivity. Even as he complained during a Cabinet meeting about „bad” trade deals and deficits, including with China, Trump was restrained.”I don’t want to embarrass anybody four days before I land in China,” Trump said, before adding: „But it’s horrible.”Among the challenges Trump faces as he heads to Asia are the complexities of the „Asian face,” a concept that’s foreign to many Americans but lies at the foundation of societies across the region.Generally, it means making sure behavior, posture, gestures, remarks and more do not spark strong negative emotions in others, or oneself.So, for example, Trump’s 19 seconds of shaking, patting and yanking the hand of Japan’s leader at the White House in February crossed all kinds of cultural lines. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe responded with an on-camera eye roll as Trump looked away. Trump is playing golf with Abe during the trip, according to White House officials.Names and titles are important in Asia.In July, the Trump White House issued a news release that called Chinese President Xi Jinping the leader of „the Republic of China.” Xi is the president of the People’s Republic of China. Taiwan calls itself the Republic of China. China said it received an apology from the U.S.Then there’s Trump’s fondness for using Twitter to respond to comments he doesn’t like — „bing, bing, bing,” as he told Fox Business Network this month. In Asia, doing that in real time could offend the region’s cultural aversion to confrontation.”I think you will find that they are very sensitive to slights,” said Georgetown University professor Dennis Wilder, who formerly served on the National Security Council. He cautions Trump against „any kind of tweeting” that would criticize the leader of a country he’s visiting. „I think this can go well, but he just needs to understand that ‘face’ in East Asian cultures is terribly important and he needs to make sure that he gives ‘face’ to the other leaders.”Particularly in China, a breach of protocol can affect the content of the meeting, according to Peter Selfridge, the most recent holder of the chief of protocol post, from 2013 to Trump’s inauguration in January.”The Chinese appreciate precision when it comes to formal diplomatic engagements,” said Selfridge. „Americans certainly welcome this as well, but are perhaps more accepting of improvisation and can even use it to their advantage.”Trump wouldn’t be the first U.S. leader to commit a protocol faux pas in Asia.In 2014, local bloggers huffed that Obama looked like an „idler” or a „rapper” when he turned down a chauffeured ride to the Asia Pacific Economic Conference in Beijing and arrived in his own, more-secure presidential limo, and was chewing gum, as he was known to do to fight nicotine cravings.Trump might consider advice from his predecessors if he finds he is served something other than his favorite steak with ketchup.Richard Nixon, the first president to open the diplomatic door to China, advised Ronald Reagan on a 1984 trip there: Don’t ask about the food, just swallow it.”Still, I had difficulty identifying several items on my plate that first night,” Reagan wrote in his memoirs, „so I stirred them around in hopes of camouflaging my reluctance to eat them.”_Associated Press writer Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this story._Follow Kellman on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/APLaurieKellman
Dylan Stableford Senior Editor •Trump calls NYC terror suspect an „animal”President Trump says he would consider sending the suspect in Tuesday’s terror attack in New York City to the U.S. detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.“I would certainly consider that,” Trump said when asked by a reporter what he would like to see done with the alleged attacker. “Send him to Gitmo.”Officials say the 29-year-old suspect, Sayfullo Saipov, killed eight people and wounded 13 others when he drove a rented pickup truck along a bike path in lower Manhattan. Saipov ran from the pickup truck after ramming into a school bus, brandishing what police later determined were fake weapons. He was shot in the abdomen by a police officer, arrested and taken to a New York City hospital. He has yet to be formally charged.Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, no suspected terrorists detained on U.S. soil have been sent to Guantánamo.According to the State Department, Saipov, a legal permanent U.S. resident, immigrated from his native Uzbekistan in March 2010 through the Diversity Immigrant Visa program, which is designed to increase the number of immigrants from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. through a lottery system.Trump said Wednesday that he is starting the process of terminating the program.“I am going to ask Congress to immediately initiate work to get rid of this program,” he said, adding: “Diversity lottery — sounds nice. It’s not nice. It’s not good.”Related: Trump incorrectly blames Obama for freeing ‘vicious’ Gitmo detaineesTrump called for “quicker and stronger” justice for terrorists.“We’re so politically correct that we’re afraid to do anything,” he said. “What we have right now is a joke. It’s a laughingstock.”Trump’s suggestion about sending Saipov to Gitmo came after Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called on the president to treat the alleged attacker as an enemy combatant.“The terrorist attack in New York is the latest brutal, horrific example of the war that radical Islamist extremists are waging against our nation and our way of life,” McCain said in a statement Wednesday. “From Orlando to San Bernardino and Boston to Manhattan, we must not consider these attacks on our homeland in isolation, but rather recognize them for what they are: acts of war. As such, the New York terror suspect should be held and interrogated — thoroughly, responsibly, and humanely — as an enemy combatant consistent with the Law of Armed Conflict. He should not be read Miranda Rights, as enemy combatants are not entitled to them. As soon as possible, the administration should notify Congress how it plans to proceed with the interrogation and trial of this suspect.”McCain said he agreed with Trump’s criticism of the visa program, which he, along with a bipartisan group of senators, tried to eliminate with a comprehensive immigration reform bill passed in 2013. (The legislation died in the House.)“Now more than ever, Congress should come together to devise and pass legislation to fully and humanely reform our broken immigration system and secure the homeland,” McCain said.
Trump announces Jerome Powell as next Fed chair, replacing Janet YellenMyles Udland Markets Reporter •President Donald Trump on Thursday announced he will nominate Jerome Powell to replace Janet Yellen as Chair of the Federal Reserve.Powell, currently a member of the Fed’s board of governors, had emerged as the odds-on favorite to get the nomination in recent weeks. Pending his confirmation by the Senate, he will take over from Yellen on February 4, 2018.Related SearchesPowell Fed ChairJerome Powell Federal ReserveJanet Yellen Federal ReserveIs Name Powell Next Fed“He’s strong, he’s committed, he’s smart,” Trump said of Powell in an announcement in the Rose Garden Thursday afternoon.“[Powell] has proven to be a consensus-builder for the sound monetary, and financial, policy that he so strongly believes in,” Trump said. “Based on his record, I am confident that Jay has the wisdom and leadership to address the challenges that our economy may face.”“I hope the Senate will swiftly confirm him,” Trump said.Unlike Yellen, Powell is not a PhD-trained economist, having earned a law degree from Georgetown in the 1979 before serving as Undersecretary of the Treasury during the George H.W. Bush administration. Powell was named to the Fed’s board of governors by Barack Obama in 2012 and later re-appointed to a 14-year term set to end in January 2028.President Donald Trump picks Jerome Powell for Fed chair. (Getty Images)“I am both honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve our great country,” Powell said.“If I am confirmed by the Senate, I will do everything within my power to achieve the goals assigned to the Federal Reserve by the Congress: stable prices and maximum employment.”“I congratulate my colleague Jay Powell on his nomination to be Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board,” Yellen said in a statement on Thursday.“Jay’s long and distinguished career has been marked by dedicated public service and seriousness of purpose. I am confident in his deep commitment to carrying out the vital public mission of the Federal Reserve. I am committed to working with him to ensure a smooth transition.”The ‘continuity candidate’ Powell is seen by many observers as presenting markets with a seamless transition from the Yellen-led Fed in terms of how he will likely seek to conduct monetary policy.“Markets should take a Powell announcement largely in stride, keeping financial conditions easy and providing little disruption to an economy that is experiencing solid growth,” said Peter Hooper, an economist at Deutsche Bank.“In addition, Powell has now had five years experience working inside the Fed, by all reports very effectively on both macroeconomics/monetary policy and on regulatory policy. He seems well versed in both important spheres of Fed responsibility.”Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets, said last week that Powell, “would be a natural extension of Yellen at a point where policy is not screaming for a wildly different policy approach.” Ian Shepherdson, an economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, called Powell the “continuity candidate.”A regulatory divergenceThe most likely area where Powell will differ from Yellen as Fed Chair is on financial regulation.Powell has been seen my some economists as more sympathetic to the de-regulatory push made by some members of the Trump administration, notably Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Recall that back in August, Yellen made a speech at the prestigious Jackson Hole Symposium which effectively argued that the Fed’s post-crisis regulatory approach had been correct.Current Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen (L) and Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell, Yellen’s chosen successor (AFP Photo/SAUL LOEB, Britt LECKMAN)It’s also worth noting that on Wednesday, newly-confirmed Fed governor Randal Quarles, vice chair for supervision, attended his first FOMC meeting since being confirmed. Quarles is seen as an ally of a financial industry seeking less regulatory pressure from the Fed.Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note last week that Powell would be a “good compromise candidate since he is a Republican, appears to be fairly closely aligned with Yellen on the interest rate outlook, but is more open to loosening financial regulation.”During a speech in October about the Treasury market, Powell said, “There is certainly a role for regulation, but regulation should always take into account the impact that it has on markets—a balance that must be constantly weighed. More regulation is not the best answer to every problem.”In terms of monetary policy, however, Powell is not expected to stray from Yellen’s view, with Shepherdson noting that Powell did not once dissent — that is, vote against — any Fed action taken during his time on the board of governors and the FOMC.The market outlook In the wake of reports over the past few weeks pointing to Powell as a favorite to land the job, market reaction has been muted.Porcelli writes that Powell, “will practice a patient approach to policy which is identical to what is in place now.” Which is to say — the Fed will likely raise rates in December and three times next year given recent inflation readings, which have been below the Fed’s 2% target.On Wednesday, the Fed said in its latest policy statement that it is, “monitoring inflation developments closely.”As we noted late last month, John Taylor, the Stanford economist who had also been reported as one of Trump’s top choices for the job, posed larger potential risks to markets according to most economists and strategists.Taylor is best known for the “Taylor rule,” a framework for conducting monetary policy that would have seen benchmark interest rates set notably higher in recent years. This outline for policy would’ve been in tension with Trump’s self-proclaimed preference for low interest rates.But the installation of Powell — or Taylor, for that matter — at the top of the Fed is not a sign that a policy overhaul is necessarily coming to the central bank.Rick Rieder, global chief investment officer of fixed income at BlackRock, told Yahoo Finance in early October that at the Fed, unlike an elected office, the staff that remains in place between Chairs drive a lot of the thinking. In this view, then, no matter who replaced Yellen at the helm of the central bank, there was unlikely to be a complete shift in the Fed’s overall approach to conducting policy.And right now that dominant theme at the Fed is to raise interest rates steadily, but cautiously, and wind down its balance sheet in an orderly, but deliberate, manner.Whatever comfort financial markets have come to have with the current Fed regime, it seems unlikely that this dynamic will change with Powell at the helm.Myles Udland is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @MylesUdland
Man Allegedly Kills 3 People in Apparently Random Shooting at Colorado Walmart: ‘a Very Heinous Act’Char Adams •Police have arrested a suspected gunman who allegedly “nonchalantly” walked into a Walmart outside Denver on Wednesday night and opened fire on the customers, killing three people before fleeing the scene, PEOPLE confirms.Scott Ostrem was taken into custody hours after police launched a manhunt for him, the Thornton, Colorado, Police Department announced on TwitterThursday.Police said the killings appear to be a random act of violence and not an act of terrorism.It is not immediately clear Thursday morning what charges Ostrem may face or if he has retained an attorney who could comment on his behalf.Two men and a woman were killed in the shooting, which occurred around 6 p.m. at the Walmart in Thornton, police said. The men died inside the store and the woman died later that night at a hospital, authorities said on Twitter.• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.Suspect in Walmart shootingAuthorities at the scene of a shooting at a Walmart store in Thornton, Colorado, on Wednesday.Thornton police spokesman Victor Avila said Ostrem allegedly “nonchalantly” walked into the store and opened fire, the Associated Press reports.“This is a very heinous act,” Avila said. “We don’t know exactly what the motive of the person was, but it was certainly a terrible act.”No Walmart employees were hurt in the attack, a company official told local TV station KUSA.Nearly 50 witnesses were reportedly taken to a nearby police station in the wake of the shooting before being released. There was also a brief lockdown at a nearby medical center.Police investigate a shooting at a Walmart store in Thornton, Colorado, on Wednesday.One shopper, Aaron Stephens, told KUSA that he was at the self-checkout when he heard the gunfire.“At first I thought it was a firecracker,” he said. “It sounded more — it was louder … I was like, what the heck’s going on? Then I heard two more shots and I freaked out and hit the ground.”He added: “Employees were screaming. Customers were running like crazy. And I went out with everybody else.”Guadalupe Perez told the AP that she heard the gunshots as she was in the store with her young son. She recalled hearing someone yell, “Let’s go. Let’s go. Leave the groceries.”“You see all these things in the news and you go through it, it’s scary,” she said. “But thank God we’re okay and nothing happened to us.
”Weakened Trump readies for high-stakes Asia tripJerome CARTILLIER •Anti-war activists hold a banner showing a caricature of US President Donald Trump during an anti-Trump rally near the US embassy in Seoul on September 27, 2017 Anti-war activists hold a banner showing a caricature of US President Donald Trump during an anti-Trump rally near the US embassy in Seoul on September 27, 2017 (AFP Photo/JUNG Yeon-Je)Weakened on the domestic front, President Donald Trump embarks this week on a long and challenging Asian tour set to be dominated by the North Korean nuclear threat after months of verbal escalation between Washington and Pyongyang.Taking him from Japan to South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, the bumper November 3-14 trip is the US leader’s first to the region since his election exactly a year ago.On his agenda are several key regional summits but also closely-watched face-to-face meetings, be it with his powerful Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, or the controversial Philippines strongman, Rodrigo Duterte.With his approval ratings languishing at record lows, will the 71-year-old president manage to leave behind the spectacular recent developments in the probe into Russian election meddling? Will he forego his morning tweeting for the duration of the 12-day trip?The White House has sought to emphasize the length of the five-nation tour — the longest by any US president since George H.W. Bush in 1991 — as evidence of Trump’s commitment to engaging with the region.But doubts linger on that point, most notably on the economic front following Trump’s abrupt decision — three days into office — to pull out of the TPP trans-Pacific trade deal, which unsettled several signatories and Japan in particular.Supporters of the deal, struck in 2015 by 12 nations who together account for 40 percent of the world economy, had championed it as a vital counterweight to the growing influence of China.- Trump’s ‘friend’ Abe -After a brief stopover in Hawaii, Trump will Sunday join his „friend” Shinzo Abe for a round of golf before a series of meetings aimed at underscoring the strength of the US-Japanese alliance.In South Korea, Trump — unlike many of his predecessors — will not travel to the Demilitarized Zone dividing the Korean peninsula, instead delivering what is set to be a closely-scrutinized speech before the country’s national assembly.Seoul will be hoping during Trump’s two-day visit starting Tuesday for a reaffirmation of its alliance with Washington, at a time when the North is pushing ahead with its nuclear and ballistic missile programs in defiance of the international community.Ahead of the trip, National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster called on the world to „do more” to isolate Pyongyang, warning its nuclear program was not a threat for the US alone.He added it was necessary to wait „at least a few months” to see the effects of new UN sanctions on Kim Jong-Un’s regime, all the while emphasizing the US remained prepared for military action.South Korea however is also seeking reassurances of a different nature.”South Koreans also want to know that the United States is not going to prematurely or unnecessarily draw South Korea into any kind of military conflict,” said Scott Snyder of the New York-based think-tank the Council on Foreign Relations.Since taking office, the US president has vowed to unleash „fire and fury” if threatened by Kim, has contradicted his top diplomat about direct contacts with Pyongyang, and sent out a string of cryptic messages — „We’ll do what has to be done!” — that ultimately left observers guessing at his true intentions toward North Korea.For Michael O’Hanlon, a foreign policy fellow at the Brookings Institution, Trump has been „ad-libbing” on what has emerged as the major foreign policy challenge of his presidency so far.”And people like (Defense) Secretary (Jim) Mattis and Secretary (of State Rex) Tillerson are trying to somehow hold things together and make sense of it and keep the lid on, as best they can.”- Xi Jinping, ‘powerful man’ -After Seoul, the 45th US president heads to Beijing next Wednesday to meet his counterpart Xi Jinping just weeks after he was formally handed a second term in power, solidifying his grip on the world’s most populous nation.”He’s a powerful man,” Trump recently declared of Xi. „I happen to think he’s a very good person,” added the US president, who despite his campaign rhetoric railing against China’s trade imbalance with the United States has so far trodden relatively carefully in dealing with the Asian giant.”The Chinese are basically quite content with the status quo of the economic relationship,” said David Dollar, an expert on China’s economy at the Brookings Institution, who predicts Xi will grant Trump a lavish welcome but few concessions.In Vietnam on Friday, Trump will take part in an APEC summit in Danang, and deliver a speech on his vision for a „free and open Indo-Pacific region” that is eagerly awaited by the business community.But following its rejection of the TPP, America’s roadmap for engaging with the region economically remains unclear.Wrapping up his trip in Manila on November 12-13, Trump will take part in the ASEAN summit of South East Asian leaders, and will hold what could turn out to be a colorful one-on-one with the outspoken Duterte, whose bloody crackdown on alleged drug gang members has drawn widespread condemnation.”We’re going to the Philippines, where the previous administration was not exactly welcome,” Trump crowed earlier this week.
Carole LANDRY •The UN General Assembly passes a resolution condemning the US embargo against Cuba, with only the United States and Israel voting against (AFP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)United Nations (United States) (AFP) – The United States on Wednesday voted against a UN resolution condemning the US embargo on Cuba, in a break from last year’s abstention by the former administration that highlighted a thaw in relations.The resolution was overwhelmingly adopted by a vote of 191 to 2, leaving the United States and Israel as the only opposing voices in the General Assembly.Related SearchesEmbargo MeaningCapital Of CubaThe 193-nation assembly has voted overwhelmingly every year since 1991 to demand an end to the embargo, delivering a rebuke to Washington over its Cuba policy.But in a first, the United States last year abstained as the administration of former president Barack Obama worked to repair relations with Havana and end more than five decades of enmity.Taking the floor ahead of the vote, US Ambassador Nikki Haley dismissed the debate as „political theatre” and an attempt by Cuba to „distract the world’s attention from the destruction it has inflicted on its own people.””As long as the Cuban people continue to be deprived of their human rights and fundamental freedoms — as long as the proceeds from trade with Cuba go to prop up the dictatorial regime responsible for denying those rights — the United States does not fear isolation in this chamber or anywhere else,” she said.Haley pledged that the US decision two years ago to open diplomatic relations with Cuba would remain unchanged, saying „our friendship and good will toward the Cuban people remain as strong as ever.”The US State Department said the decision to once again vote against the UN resolution was part of a review of US policy that seeks to focus on democratic reforms in Cuba rather than building ties.Imposed in 1959 at the height of the Cold War, the trade embargo on Cuba has remained in force and can only be lifted by the US Congress, which has steadfastly rejected such a move.- A government of millionaires -The resolution presented by Cuba stresses the „necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed” by the United States against Cuba.It noted that President Donald Trump has rolled back some of the measures taken by Obama.Addressing the assembly, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez slammed Haley’s remarks as „disrespectful, offensive and interfering” and said the current US policy was a „return to the past.””President Trump does not have the least morale authority to question Cuba,” said Rodriguez.”He is heading a government of millionaires aiming to implement savage measures against low-income families, against the poor people in this country, minorities and immigrants.””He is pursuing a program that encourages hatred and division.”Trump in June announced new travel restrictions and banned trade with Cuban businesses linked to the military and the intelligence services, a move that put key economic sectors including tourism out of reach to American firms.The United States restored diplomatic ties with Cuba in July 2015 and a month later re-opened its embassy in Havana. Obama made a landmark visit to the communist-ruled island in March 2016.