Trump, Erdogan discuss working group on Russian S-400 missile system

Russian servicemen sit in the cabins of S-400 missile air defence systems in Tverskaya Street before a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in central Moscow, Russia April 29, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 29 April 2019

Trump, Erdogan discuss working group on Russian S-400 missile system

  • The White House confirmed on Monday that Trump and Erdogan had discussed Turkey’s planned purchase of the S-400 missile defense system

ANKARA: US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call on Monday discussed a Turkish proposal to create a joint working group on its planned purchase of a Russian S-400 missile defense system, the Turkish Presidency said.
“Our Honourable President brought up the proposal to establish a working group regarding the procurement of the S-400 defense system from the Russian Federation,” it said.
The two countries have argued for months over Turkey’s order for the missile defense system, which the United States says is incompatible with NATO’s defense network and could compromise its F-35 fighter jets.
Ankara has said a working group could assess the impact of the S-400 on the fighter jets, but on Friday said that it has not heard back from the Americans.
The White House confirmed on Monday that Trump and Erdogan had discussed Turkey’s planned purchase of the S-400 missile defense system.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and several US senators have warned Turkey it will face penalties for buying S-400s under a law that calls for sanctions against countries procuring military equipment from Russia.
Turkey has said that as a NATO member, it poses no threat to the United States and the sanctions should not apply.
Trump and Erdogan also discussed trade and the ongoing crisis in Syria, the White House said.


Sanders set for ‘vigorous’ campaign return after heart scare

Updated 19 October 2019

Sanders set for ‘vigorous’ campaign return after heart scare

  • Less than three weeks after suffering a heart attack, the Democratic presidential contender is beginning what he’s calling a “vigorous” return to campaigning
  • Sanders suddenly finds himself looking up at progressive rival Elizabeth Warren and establishment favorite Joe Biden in the polls

NEW YORK: Bernie Sanders isn’t going anywhere.
Less than three weeks after suffering a heart attack, the Democratic presidential contender is beginning what he’s calling a “vigorous” return to campaigning with a rally expected to draw thousands of supporters to New York City on Saturday afternoon. One of them will be Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders’ latest high-profile endorsement, who will share the stage with Sanders this weekend and give his stagnant White House bid an instant dose of energy.
The event marks a coming-out party of sorts for the 78-year-old Vermont senator. He had emergency heart surgery this month but insists that he’s more committed than ever to his 2020 White House bid. With the first voting contests less than four months away, he has some work to do.
Beyond health concerns, Sanders suddenly finds himself looking up at progressive rival Elizabeth Warren and establishment favorite Joe Biden in the polls. Now he must reassure voters that he has the physical stamina to go forward while addressing broader concerns that his policies may be too far left to defeat President Donald Trump in a general election.
Enter Ocasio-Cortez.
The endorsement from the 30-year-old progressive star “send the message that the movement is growing, that it’s gaining influence, that it’s gaining traction,” Sanders’ campaign manager Faiz Shakir said.
He predicted that the newly announced support from Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, who will not be present Saturday, would help Sanders generate significantly more support from young people and minorities going forward.
“Those are two people who I think have immense power to mobilize young people, and I promise you you’ll be seeing them in Iowa, but not only in Iowa, but around the country, trying to get people engaged around the issues,” Shakir said.
For now, at least, Sanders can use the help.
While he pledged during this week’s presidential debate to move forward with a “vigorous” campaign, he’s moving cautiously in the short term. The rally in Queens is his only scheduled appearance before he returns to Iowa late next week.
The week after, he’ll join Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Michigan, for a tour of her congressional district. Tlaib hasn’t announced whether she’ll join Ocasio-Cortez and Omar in endorsing Sanders, but she is also part of the so-called “Squad” of minority women on Capitol Hill who has been frequent targets of Trump’s attacks.
Despite aggressive rhetoric from Sanders himself, senior adviser Jeff Weaver said Sanders would ease himself back onto the campaign trail. But by December, Weaver predicted, Sanders’ health scare will be forgotten.