News ID: 113377
Publish Date : 14 March 2023 - 21:48
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Becoming “further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia” is not a vital U.S. national interest, said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is eying running for president. Public opinion polls show DeSantis as the strongest threat to former President Donald Trump for their party’s nomination for the 2024 presidential contest. “While the U.S. has many vital national interests ... becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them,” DeSantis said. “The Biden administration’s virtual ‘blank check’ funding of this conflict for ‘as long as it takes,’ without any defined objectives or accountability, distracts from our country’s most pressing challenges,” he said. President Biden’s Democratic administration has provided billions in military support to Ukraine and rallied partners behind the country that Russia invaded just over a year ago.
STRASBOURG, France (AFP) -- The head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said she wants to avoid economic dependence on Beijing, but not fully “decouple” the EU’s economy from China. Explaining the stance she took last week when she visited U.S. President Joe Biden, Brussels’ top official said the European Union was merely seeking a level playing field. The pair’s joint statement was a small step in resolving differences over trans-Atlantic trade, but came as Washington is mobilizing allies to form an anti-China front. EU member states differ over how to approach the standoff, with some more wary than others about being dragged into a U.S.-led confrontation with Beijing. Some officials in Brussels privately expressed annoyance that von der Leyen might have inked a statement -- even a simple promise of more talks -- without consulting EU capitals. One said that for a subject involving the EU’s geopolitical positioning, von der Leyen should have had “a mandate” from the member states.
STRASBOURG, France (AFP) -- A large group of MEPs called on Tuesday for a tax on wealthy individuals, similar to one on multinational companies, to fund the transition to a carbon-free world. A previous landmark deal for a global minimum 15 percent tax on multinational businesses is set to start to go into force this year. The signatories, numbering more than 130 MEPs, claimed that in 2018 Tesla owner Elon Musk, “then the second-richest man in the world, did not pay a single cent in federal taxes” and “in France, known for its high taxes, the 370 richest families are effectively taxed only around two to three percent”. The authors propose a 1.5 percent tax on wealth of 50 million euros ($54 million) or more, but said the exact level should be decided “collectively and democratically”. Most of the MEPs who signed are from Green or left-wing parties. They were joined by non-governmental organizations, including Oxfam, supported by a dozen economists and by 20 millionaires. 
OTTAWA (AFP) -- Two men were killed in Canada and nine other pedestrians were injured when they were run over by a pickup truck in a small northern town, police said. Quebec police spokeswoman Sergeant Helene St-Pierre told AFP a 38-year-old local man has been arrested and investigators are looking into whether he ran people over on purpose in the town of Amqui, about 650 kilometers (400 miles) north of Montreal. Accident reconstruction experts are working to establish the circumstances of the crash, she said. In 2018, a Canadian man rammed a rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in downtown Toronto, killing 11 and injuring 16 in the deadliest such attack in Canada’s history. 
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s president claimed that his country is safer than the United States, a week after two U.S. citizens were killed and two kidnapped and later rescued in the border city of Matamoros. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said U.S. travel warnings and reports of violence in Mexico were the result of a conspiracy by conservative politicians and U.S. media outlets to smear his administration. “Mexico is safer than the United States,” López Obrador said at his morning news briefing. “There is no problem in traveling safely in Mexico.” The president brushed off continued concern over violence. “This is a campaign against Mexico by these conservative politicians in the United States who do not want the transformation of our country to continue,” López Obrador said.
SEOUL (Reuters) -- South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol will travel to Japan for talks on Thursday with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, a South Korean official said, days after South Korea announced a plan to end a row between the U.S. allies over wartime forced labor. Yoon’s two-day visit to Japan from Thursday will be the first such trip by a South Koran leader in 12 years. South Korea announced last week that its companies would compensate victims of forced labor under Japan’s colonial rule from 1910-1945, seeking to end a dispute that has undermined U.S.-led efforts to present a unified front against China and North Korea.


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