Chicago, Oct 28 (AP/UNB) — President Donald Trump used a conference of police chiefs on Monday to slam the host city as "embarrassing to us as a nation" under the leadership of its top cop, who skipped the event over disagreements with Trump's immigration policies.
Trump has frequently criticized Chicago for its crime problems and status as a sanctuary city, one of scores of cities around the country that refuse to work with federal authorities to round up people who are living in the U.S. illegally.
"It's embarrassing to us as a nation," Trump said. "All over the world they're talking about Chicago. Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison."
Trump also lashed out at Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who angered Chicago's police by skipping Trump's first appearance in the city as president.
"More than anyone else he should be here, because maybe he could maybe learn something," Trump said, claiming Johnson puts the needs of illegal immigrants above the needs of the law-abiding residents of Chicago.
"Those are his values and frankly those values to me are a disgrace," Trump said, vowing to never to give priority to the needs of illegal immigrants. "I want Eddie Johnson to change his values and to change them fast."
Chicago's police department had no immediate comment on Trump's remarks.
Johnson's decision to skip Trump's address angered the city's chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, which said in a Facebook post that "such a gesture would be an insult to both President Trump and the office of the presidency itself and would be a mark of disgrace upon the city throughout the entire nation, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot." Lightfoot has also refused to meet with Trump while he is in her city.
Then FOP Lodge 7, which represents rank-and-file Chicago police officers, announced that it had cast a vote of no confidence in Johnson.
The vote might please Trump, who likes to tell officers not to treat crime suspects so gently and was cheered at last year's gathering of the same police chiefs' organization in Orlando, Florida, when he advocated the use of the "stop and frisk" policing tactic that has been deemed unconstitutional.
The president's visit also comes as more than 25,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union have been on strike since Oct. 17.
At the conference, Trump signed an executive order creating a presidential commission on law enforcement to study issues like substance abuse, homelessness and mental illness, the White House said. The order calls for establishing a framework for better training, recruiting and retaining law enforcement officers.
The president also announced that the Justice Department will begin a stronger crackdown on violent crime in the United States, targeting gang members and drug traffickers in high-crime areas.
"Let's call it the surge," Trump said.
Johnson, meanwhile, is under internal investigation after he was found sleeping in a city-owned vehicle earlier this month. Lightfoot said the superintendent, who called for the investigation, told her he had "a couple of drinks with dinner" before he fell asleep at a stop sign while driving home. Johnson blamed the episode on a change in his blood pressure medication.
While in Chicago, Trump is scheduled to headline a campaign luncheon that's set to raise approximately $4 million for a joint fundraising committee benefiting Trump's reelection effort and the Republican National Committee, according to the GOP.
Trump last visited Chicago in 2016 as a candidate for president for what supposed to be a campaign rally on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. But after fights broke out between supporters and protesters awaiting his arrival at the arena, Trump canceled the event before he took the stage.
Trump said then that he had consulted with Chicago police before making the decision. But the city's top cop at the time, interim Superintendent John Escalante, disputed Trump's characterization.
Sidon, Oct 28 (AP/UNB) — Lebanese soldiers have forcibly removed anti-government protesters from a highway linking the southern city of Sidon to the capital, Beirut, and briefly detained around a dozen of them.
No weapons were used and there were no reports of serious injuries from the confrontation early on Monday.
Lebanese protesters have been using civil disobedience to block roads across the country in support of mass demonstrations against the government. The protests, in their 12th day, are directed at the political elites which have dominated the country since its 1975-1990 war, and which many accuse of corruption and economic mismanagement.
The protests have paralyzed the country but have been largely peaceful. Security forces have exercised restraint, dragging protesters off the roads by their arms and legs without arresting them.
Nonthaburi, Oct 28 (AP/UNB) — Officials say Thailand plans to seek talks with the United States on a decision to end preferential trade privileges on a range of Thai exports including seafood.
Senior Thai Commerce Ministry Keerati Rushchano said Monday that his office has been warning exporters that the U.S. might withdraw the duty-free status for some products.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative announced Friday it was suspending $1.3 billion in trade preferences for Thailand under the Generalized System of Preferences because of its failure to adequately protect worker rights.
Keerati and Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said that Thailand will try to negotiate the issue before it takes effect in April.
Thailand has faced complaints for years over labor issues, particularly in its fisheries industry.
Dhaka, Oct 28 (UNB) – The High Court (HC) on Monday granted six-month interim bail to BNP MP Harun-ur Rashid Harun of Chapainawabganj-3 constituency in a case filed for abusing duty-free import privilege.
The HC bench of Justice Md ShawkatHossain passed the order after hearing an appeal challenging a lower court verdict that had sentenced Harun to five years imprisonment in the case.
The HC also stayed the lower court order to Harun for paying fine of Tk 50 lakh.
Advocate Joynul Abedin stood for the BNP MP while Advocate Khurshid Alam represented the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
On October 21, Dhaka Special Judge Court-4 handed down the verdict against MP Harun.
The court also sentenced Managing Director of TV channel NTV Enayetur Rahim Bappi to two years jail with Tk one lakh fine while businessman ImtiazSadeque, to three years imprisonment with Tk 40 lakh fine. They were tried in absentia.
According to the prosecution, Harun-ur-Rashid imported a duty-free vehicle at Tk 11.65 lakh in 2004. Later, he in collusion with Imtiaz sold out the vehicle to Enayetur Rahim at Tk 97 lakh.
Later, sub-inspector Mohammad Yunus Ali of Tejgaon Police Station filed a case against MP Harun and two others on March 17, 2007.
Later on July in 2007, ACC Assistant Director MonayemHossain after investigation submitted charge sheet before the court against the trio.