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Freedom in the air

US Congress

Raul Castro urges US to lift Cuba trade embargo

Raul Castro urges US to lift Cuba trade embargo

Cuban President Raul Castro has urged the US to end its trade embargo after the two countries opened formal talks on restoring diplomatic relations. He said the five-decade embargo "caused enormous human and economic damage". But only the US Congress has the power to lift the embargo, and correspondents say many Republicans are still deeply...

Obama-House row deepens over illegal immigrants

Obama-House row deepens over illegal immigrants

The US Congress has passed two measures to stem the flow of Central American children into the United States despite the strong objections of President Barack Obama, who vowed to address the crisis unilaterally. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives late Friday approved allocating $694 million to deal with the influx of minors into the...

Crimea Annexation

Nato suspends Russia ties

Nato said it has suspended all cooperation with Russia over the Crimea crisis and questioned Moscow's claim to have withdrawn troops from near the Ukrainian border, saying it could not confirm any pullback. And just hours later the US Congress easily passed an aid package for Ukraine that includes sanctions against Russia for annexing Crimea, in the lawmakers' first binding response. The West's latest moves came as Moscow heaped even more pressure on Ukraine's teetering economy with a painful gas-price hike,...

UN declares Crimea vote illegal

UN declares Crimea vote illegal

The UN General Assembly has approved a resolution describing the Moscow-backed referendum that led to Russia's annexation of Crimea as illegal. It comes after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to a loan deal with Ukraine worth $14-18bn. The US Congress also passed legislation on Thursday backing a $1bn loan guarantee for Ukraine. Tensions are high...

US firms urge return of GSP

US firms urge return of GSP

In an effort to lessen their tax burden, a host of American companies and trade organisations have urged the US Congress to immediately restart the GSP programme that expired for all countries on July 31 last year. “Over the past five and a half months, American companies like ours—and our members—have paid nearly $2 million per day in higher taxes while waiting for Congress to renew the programme. We cannot afford to wait any longer,” said the 463 signatories in a letter to the US Congress on January 27. The signatories span from single-person sole proprietorships to some of the largest corporations in the world. They include: manufacturers of auto parts,...

The US Senate and Bangladesh

The US Senate and Bangladesh

A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate regarding the critical need for political dialogue in Bangladesh, and for other purposes” was the title of the US Senate resolution passed on January 7 with regard to Bangladesh. On November 20, 2013, the US House (of Representatives) Sub-committee for Asia and Pacific Regional Foreign...

Don't let the hawks win

Don't let the hawks win

PRESIDENT Obama is fighting a battle with Congress in an effort to deter the latter from introducing a range of new sanctions against Iran, which he believes will derail the progress made on the nuclear issue. The roadmap agreed upon in November between the two sides will see, as stated by John Kerry,...

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