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Wednesday, October 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Lebanon PM seeks foreign support for reforms amid protests

Lebanon’s embattled prime minister sought international support Tuesday for a sweeping economic reform package announced a day earlier, which was intended to pacify massive protests calling for his government to resign

Trump seeks to cut foreign aid to 3 Central American nations

Taking drastic action over illegal immigration, President Donald Trump moved Saturday to cut direct aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, whose citizens are fleeing north and overwhelming U.S. resources at the southern border.

U.N. asks for billions to avert four hunger crises, but the money doesn’t arrive

At the beginning of this year, the United Nations made one of its boldest requests ever for funding. It needed billions of dollars to fund a humanitarian response, said Secretary General Antsnio Guterres, or as many as 20 million people might starve to death. Five months later, the results of that appeal are dismal.

U.S. senators say food aid constraints delay help amid famine

As President Donald Trump seeks to cut foreign aid under the slogan of “America First,” two U.S. senators are proposing making American food assistance more efficient after meeting with victims of South Sudan’s famine and civil war.

Capitol Hill Republicans not on board with Trump budget

Defense hawks, rural conservatives and even some of Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters in Congress sharply criticized the president’s first budget proposal on Thursday, pushing back on the huge potential hike in defense spending as insufficient and decrying some other cuts to federal agencies and programs.

US lets in Thai fish caught by slaves despite law

WASHINGTON (AP) — In its first report on trafficking around the world, the U.S. criticized Thailand as a hub for labor abuse. Yet 14 years later, seafood caught by slaves on Thai boats is still slipping into the supply chains of major American stores and supermarkets. The U.S. has not enforced a law banning the import of goods made with forced labor since 2000 because of significant loopholes, The Associated Press has found. It has also spared Thailand from sanctions slapped on other countries with weak records in human trafficking because of a complex political relationship that includes cooperation against terrorism.

Tunisians skeptical on eve of historic election

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — In a raucous cafe in a Tunis slum, men talked in loud voices and paid little attention to the politicians debating on the television mounted on the wall. Qais Jebali swiftly made espressos behind the bar and explained why no one in the gritty neighborhood of Tadamon cared about the upcoming elections. "We've had five governments since 2011 and nothing has changed on the ground," he said, arranging the cups of strong black coffee on a tray with a bowl of sugar. "The poor people don't trust the government because they are marginalized, harassed by police and don't have money to pay bribes."

Strikes on militants at Iraq dam after ‘massacre’

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Airstrikes pounded the area around Iraq's largest dam on Saturday in an effort to drive out militants who captured it earlier this month, as reports emerged of the massacre of some 80 members of the Yazidi religious minority by Islamic extremists. Residents living near the Mosul Dam told The Associated Press that the area was being targeted by airstrikes, but it was not immediately clear whether the attacks were being carried out by Iraq's air force or the U.S., which last week launched an air campaign aimed at halting the advance of the Islamic State group across the country's north.

Ukraine rebel leader asks for aid, cease-fire

DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's rebels are surrounded and ready to agree to a cease-fire to prevent a "humanitarian catastrophe," the insurgents' new leader said Saturday as conditions deteriorated in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, artillery thundering through deserted streets. There was no immediate government response to the cease-fire statement. Ukrainian troops have made steady advances against the rebels in recent weeks.

Leading Democrat calls foreign aid system outmoded

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Soviet Union was the Cold War threat, Ian Fleming's creation James Bond was headed to the screen as Sean Connery in "Dr. No" and the U.S. established a new system for doling out foreign aid. Fifty-one years later, a leading House Democrat closing out three decades in Congress says a new structure to provide U.S. assistance worldwide is long overdue, and he has a plan.

US colleges look to foreign students

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Want to see how quickly the look and business model of American public universities are changing? Visit a place like Indiana University. Five years ago, there were 87 undergraduates from China on its idyllic, All-American campus in Bloomington. This year: 2,224. New figures out Monday show international enrollment at U.S. colleges and universities grew nearly 6 percent last year, driven by a 23-percent increase from China, even as total enrollment was leveling out. But perhaps more revealing is where much of the growth is concentrated: big, public land-grant colleges, notably in the Midwest.

Romney: Benghazi a ‘terrorist attack’

NEW YORK (AP) — Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says the attack on the American consulate in Libya was an act of terrorism and says the United States must use foreign aid to bring about lasting change in such places. In a speech Tuesday, Romney said foreign aid cannot sustain a developing country on a permanent basis and that U.S. policies should promote work, not reliance. The former Massachusetts governor also says aid should give people dignity and change attitudes toward the West.

Romney, Obama focus on US posture abroad

NEW YORK (AP) — President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are sparring over how best to address U.S. challenges abroad in nearly back-to-back addresses at the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting. Following deadly anti-American protests in Muslim countries over the past two weeks, Romney was to outline plans Tuesday to rework the U.S. foreign aid system, tying development money to requirements that countries allow U.S. investment and remove trade barriers. Obama also was to address top foreign leaders, CEOs and nongovernmental organizations at the gathering spearheaded by former President Bill Clinton.

House Won’t Test War Powers Act Over Bosnia $2.5 Billion Sought To Finance Operation

The Clinton administration told a dubious Congress Wednesday it had a legal right to keep thousands of American soldiers on peacekeeping duty in Bosnia without a pullout deadline and asked for nearly $2.5 billion to finance the operation through September 1999. Within hours, the House voted 225-193 against a hotly fought resolution that would have forced President Clinton to withdraw U.S. troops from Bosnia or get permission from Congress to leave them there.

Nato Promises To Help Albania Cope With Refugees

NATO agreed Wednesday to provide more money and technical aid to help Albania police its border with Yugoslavia's troubled Kosovo province, but called any talk of sending troops premature. NATO also is activating a civil emergency unit to help Albania and neighboring Macedonia cope with any influx of refugees from Kosovo, officials said. The province is 90percent ethnic Albanian, and a push for independence from Yugoslavia has turned bloody in the past two weeks.

Lawmakers For End To Cuba Sanctions

The new year brings another anniversary for Cuba's revolution and another chapter in the long running debate in Washington over whether U.S. policies are weakening Fidel Castro's decades-long rule or merely increasing the suffering of his people. A bipartisan group of legislators is pushing to end restrictions on the sale of U.S. food and medicine to the island. But while critics evoke images of Cuban children going hungry or sick because of U.S. policies, the administration argues that these conditions are the byproduct of a deeply flawed system. Past efforts at easing the U.S. embargo have always fallen short, but advocates for change believe they are in a stronger position this time. Still, support for maintaining the status quo remains strong. "In trying to send a message to Castro, we're denying the people of Cuba access to the most basic humanitarian items and harming the innocent and the needy," says Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., a member of the Foreign Relations Committee.