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General Category => General Forum => Topic started by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 12, 2018, 07:59:06 pm

Title: GOOD NEWS: The UK escapes being visited by a stupid mentally-ill retard…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 12, 2018, 07:59:06 pm

from The Guardian....

Donald Trump visit to London called off amid fears of mass protests

President will not now open new US embassy next month,
with secretary of state Rex Tillerson likely to take his place.

By HEATHER STEWART and DAVID SMITH | 12:17AM GMT — Friday, 12 January 2018

(https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/af1824e6d283337a51cc1e43780a157315b828d6/157_75_2084_1250/master/2084.jpg?w=1920&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=aae5e0c783f36b5413891ccd4735f194) (https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/af1824e6d283337a51cc1e43780a157315b828d6/157_75_2084_1250/master/2084.jpg?w=1920&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=aae5e0c783f36b5413891ccd4735f194)
Donald Trump and Theresa May pictured in Brussels ahead of a Nato summit meeting in May last year. — Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images.

DONALD TRUMP has cancelled a visit to Britain next month to open the new US embassy in London amid fears of mass protests.

The American president claimed on Twitter that his reason for calling off the trip was his displeasure at Barack Obama having sold the current embassy for “peanuts” and built a replacement for $1.2bn. “Bad deal,” he wrote.

But the embassy's plan to move from Mayfair to Nine Elms in London was first reported in October 2008 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/7649184.stm) — when George W Bush was still president and Obama had not yet been elected.

Theresa May invited Trump for a state visit when she became the first world leader to visit the president in the White House a year ago.

With activists pledging to stage mass protests and MPs determined not to give the president the opportunity to address parliament, no date for a state visit has been set.

Instead, it had been expected that Trump would make a brief, less formal “working visit” next month, to cut the ribbon on the $1bn (£750m) embassy in Nine Elms, south-west London, and hold meetings with May.

Officials had been examining plans for the president to meet the Queen, without the pomp of a full-blown state banquet, with the attendant risk of disruptive protests.

However, even that more modest plan now appears to have been abandoned for the time being. Government sources suggested that Washington had signalled that secretary of state Rex Tillerson would instead open the multimillion-pound embassy.

(https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/1b6464741a387975259cffa1c9d0c1a1613876e5/160_0_1531_1914/master/1531.jpg?w=1920&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=8288bdc9fcd68ca7eb8f1242d39ce640) (https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/1b6464741a387975259cffa1c9d0c1a1613876e5/160_0_1531_1914/master/1531.jpg?w=1920&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=8288bdc9fcd68ca7eb8f1242d39ce640)
US secretary of state Rex Tillerson.

Trump confirmed on Twitter (https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/951679619341737986) late on Thursday night that the trip was off. “Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for “peanuts,” only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars,” he wrote just before midnight local time. “Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!”

Citing security and environmental reasons, the US state department agreed to sell the current embassy building in Grosvenor Square to the Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, which intends to turn it into a luxury hotel. Estimates put the site's value at £500m before it was made a listed building (https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2008/aug/25/architecture.heritage), which would have diminished the value because of restrictions on development.

Relations with the controversial president hit a low late last year when May criticised his decision to retweet material posted by the far right extremist group, Britain First.

Trump responded by tweeting directly to the prime minister that she should focus on tackling domestic terrorism.

The government was so concerned about his decision to share the extremist videos that Britain's ambassador to Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, took the rare step of raising the issue directly with the White House.

Trump's ambassador to London, Woody Johnson, subsequently insisted: “The president and the prime minister have a very, very good relationship. I know the president admires and respects the prime minister greatly.”

He added: “My job and the president's job is to protect Americans. He's doing the best that he can.

“You're going to have little stumbles along the road. Absolutely. You're going to have things that happen. But the intent is there and it's genuine, and it's going to happen.”

May's government has been keen to strike up a close working relationship with the Trump administration despite his erratic behaviour, because of Britain's desire to strike a swift trade deal with the world's largest economy.

When the PM visited the White House, she was pictured holding hands with the president.

Trump has sparked alarm among diplomats by repeatedly entering into Twitter spats with key public figures, including North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, to whom he recently boasted about the size of the US nuclear arsenal.

(https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/a675216c5c488ee0c925f9d3eabb55a4fde6c66c/318_52_1699_1776/master/1699.jpg?w=1920&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=fd5b6be67a1027d5f556782759280971) (https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/a675216c5c488ee0c925f9d3eabb55a4fde6c66c/318_52_1699_1776/master/1699.jpg?w=1920&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=fd5b6be67a1027d5f556782759280971)
Donald Trump and Theresa May hold hands as they walk along the colonnade of the White House
in Washington D.C. — Photograph: Olivier Douliery/European Pressphoto Agency.

The White House has been rocked in recent days by the revelations in an explosive book, Fire and Fury, by the US journalist Michael Wolff, who suggested even senior figures in the administration questioned the president's fitness for office.

Asked about the revelations last weekend, May said she believed they were not serious, and Trump was a man making decisions, “in the interests of the United States”.

Trump faced fresh criticism on Thursday night after The Washington Post reported that he had questioned planned changes to immigration rules, asking colleagues why the US had to welcome arrivals from “shithole countries” (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/11/trump-pans-immigration-proposal-as-bringing-people-from-shithole-countries).

The president is expected to be the biggest draw at the World Economic Forum in Davos later this month, where politicians and business leaders gather each year to network, and discuss the pressing issues facing the international economy.

After Trump's inauguration last year, thousands of people joined a Women's March in London (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/11/million-women-rise-thousands-march-through-central-london), echoing similar protests in Washington and other capitals, against his misogynist comments and behaviour.

Downing Street refused to confirm that the visit had been cancelled on Thursday night, with a spokesman repeating the government's longstanding position that “an invitation has been extended and accepted, but no date has been set”.

Asked about the reports, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders emailed a response that said: “The invitation was made and has been accepted we are still working to finalise a date.”


• Heather Stewart is joint political editor of The Guardian.

• David Smith is The Guardian's Washington DC bureau chief.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/12/donald-trump-visit-to-london-called-off-amid-fears-of-mass-protests (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/12/donald-trump-visit-to-london-called-off-amid-fears-of-mass-protests)

Title: Re: GOOD NEWS: The UK escapes being visited by a stupid mentally-ill retard…
Post by: Kiwithrottlejockey on January 12, 2018, 11:29:59 pm

from The Washington Post....

Trump ‘cancels’ London visit to dedicate new U.S. Embassy,
citing ‘bad deal’ to sell and relocate building

The old embassy was sold after the George W. Bush administration had
decided to relocate it from central London to a plot on the banks of the
Thames in the south of the city. The new embassy will open this month.

By ANNE GEARAN | 2:39AM EST — Friday, January 12, 2018

(https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_925w/2010-2019/Wires/Images/2018-01-12/Reuters/2018-01-12T064950Z_55629376_RC14675CB790_RTRMADP_3_USA-TRUMP-BRITAIN.jpg) (https://img.washingtonpost.com/rw/2010-2019/Wires/Images/2018-01-12/Reuters/2018-01-12T064950Z_55629376_RC14675CB790_RTRMADP_3_USA-TRUMP-BRITAIN.jpg)
The new U.S. Embassy building is seen during a press preview near the River Thames in London. — Photograph: Reuters.

PRESIDENT TRUMP said he has called off a planned ceremonial visit to Britain because he didn't want to be associated with what he called a bad real estate deal in which the U.S. Embassy is being relocated from central London to “an off location”.

In a Twitter message (https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/951679619341737986) shortly before midnight Thursday, Trump implicitly rejected reports that the trip — never announced but widely assumed to be in February — was being scrapped over concerns that the U.S. leader would be met with widespread protests (https://twitter.com/weezkeez73/status/951717232614297600).

“Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for ‘peanuts’, only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO," Trump wrote.

In fact, it was never certain that Trump would make the to visit Britain, historically America's closest ally. The last word from the U.S. ambassador there, Woody Johnson, was that while he hoped Trump would come to dedicate the new embassy, no date had been set for such a journey.

U.S. diplomats are expected to move in to the new quarters this month. The embassy's website has a large banner (https://www.instagram.com/p/Bc9olKagDW1) reading, “1 week until we move”.

Trump had been expected to combine a ceremonial opening for the new building — a distinctive glassy cube — with an official visit at the invitation of Prime Minister Theresa May.

May was the first foreign leader to visit Trump after his inauguration a year ago, and extended a return invitation that was put on hold in part because British lawmakers and others vowed to protest and boycott Trump over policies seen as anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant.

Trump told May in a phone call last month that he planned to visit early in 2018. The Daily Mail reported that Trump had backed out because he was unhappy about arrangements for the visit, which was billed as a “working” visit rather than a full state visit that could include a meeting with Queen Elizabeth.

The George W. Bush administration had decided more than a decade ago to relocate the embassy from offices on prime land in the tony neighborhood of Mayfair in central London to a plot on the banks of the Thames in the south of the city. Security concerns drove the move, in line with a worldwide upgrade and redesign of embassy facilities to better protect them from vehicle bombs and other terrorism.

The old embassy was sold to the real estate division of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund in November 2009.

May rebuked Trump in November (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/britain-furious-trump-defiant-as-fallout-swells-from-anti-muslim-videos/2017/11/30/d9ae0f2c-d5d7-11e7-b62d-d9345ced896d_story.html) after he retweeted unverified anti-Muslim videos from the far-right Britain First political group. She said Trump was “wrong” to do it and called the British group “hateful”.

British members of Parliament had called on May to rescind the invitation to Trump over the video incident and earlier actions, including his attempt to temporarily block immigration from several Muslim-majority nations.

“I am deeply uncomfortable because he is deliberately divisive, and this would be divisive at a time when we are trying to unite our country,” Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said in November.

Earlier this week, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson had rejected suggestions that now was not the time for a state visit.

“I think Her Majesty the Queen is well capable of taking this American president — or indeed any American president — in her stride, as she has done over six remarkable decades,” Johnson said. “She has seen them come and she has seen them go.”

• Anne Gearan is a national politics correspondent for The Washington Post.


Related to this topic:

 • The new U.S. embassy in London: A crystalline ‘sugar cube’ worth a billion dollars (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/the-new-us-embassy-in-london-a-crystalline-sugar-cube-worth-a-billion-dollars/2017/12/13/7378a612-df5b-11e7-b2e9-8c636f076c76_story.html)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2018/01/12/trump-cancels-london-visit-to-dedicate-new-u-s-embassy-citing-bad-deal-to-sell-and-relocate-building (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2018/01/12/trump-cancels-london-visit-to-dedicate-new-u-s-embassy-citing-bad-deal-to-sell-and-relocate-building)