Washington, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Turkey on Wednesday amid ongoing Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria.
Pence is scheduled to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday, when Pence will "reiterate President Trump's commitment to maintain punishing economic sanctions on Turkey until a resolution is reached," according to a statement released by Pence's office on Tuesday.
During his stay in Turkey, Pence will also voice the conditions for a negotiated settlement, the statement added.
However, Erdogan has already rejected Trump's cease-fire offer but agreed to keep in dialogue with Washington.
"I told President Trump that we would not declare a cease-fire first before discussing other issues ... we will make a deal first, then we will talk about the truce," Erdogan was quoted as saying by Turkish broadcaster NTV on Tuesday, referring to a phone call he had with Trump on Monday.
Pence and Pompeo's tour comes after the United States on Monday rolled out a package of sanctions on Turkey over its military operations in Syria, including blacklisting senior Turkish officials, halting bilateral trade negotiations and raising tariffs on steel imports from the country.
Wellington, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- New Zealand Finance Minister Grant Robertson said Wednesday that the country will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Chile.
The objective of coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change.
It was formed in April this year, in recognition that meeting climate goals require not only environmental policies but also "climate-fiscal" policies like considering climate change in annual national budgets.
"New Zealand is delighted to be joining the Coalition. We welcome the opportunity to take on the challenges of reforming fiscal policy and the financial system to address the impacts of climate change," Robertson said.
"We are already putting this into action in New Zealand with this year's Wellbeing Budget expanding the range of measures by which we assess our success as a government, including in the areas of environmental and climate change policy.
"Our government also has an ambitious domestic policy programme to promote climate action and is taking specific steps that advance the objectives of the coalition.
"They include the Zero Carbon Bill, which proposes a 2050 emissions reduction goal in line with the Paris Agreement, establishing an independent Climate Commission to advise on the transition and the setting up of NZ Green Investment Finance Ltd to accelerate low emissions investment in New Zealand," Robertson said
Hong Kong, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- The Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese foreign ministry in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Wednesday expressed strong indignation over some U.S. politicians' actions of passing Hong Kong-related bills at the U.S. House, warning that playing Hong Kong as a card will get the United States nowhere.
Some U.S. politicians have kept bent on passing Hong Kong-related bills including the so-called "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019", ignoring the facts and confounding right with wrong. By doing so, they have openly endorsed anti-China troublemakers in Hong Kong, tested the red line of the "one country, two systems" principle, grossly interfered with Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs as a whole, and trampled upon international law and basic norms governing international relations, the commissioner's office said in a statement.
"We express strong indignation over and condemn such actions, which have again exposed the politicians' gangster logic and hegemonic mindset," it said.
Washington, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- U.S. Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday declined to submit documents related to the Trump administration's dealings with Ukraine as requested by a congressional subpoena.
In a letter to the House of Representatives on Tuesday -- the deadline set by the subpoena for Pence to hand over the records -- Matthew Morgan, the vice president's counsel, repeated the Trump administration's view that the ongoing impeachment inquiry led by House Democrats is "unfair" and lacks "due process."
Morgan wrote in the letter that "the purported 'impeachment inquiry' has been designed and implemented in a manner that calls into question your commitment to fundamental fairness and due process rights," and Pence's office will cooperate on the investigation only when it is conducted "in a manner consistent with well-established bipartisan constitutional protections and a respect for the separation of powers."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the initiation of a formal impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Sept. 24 over the president's conduct during a controversial phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25.
The impeachment inquiry was prompted by a whistleblower complaint filed in late August alleging that Trump pressured Zelensky to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, whom Trump accused of involvement in a corruption case in Ukraine.
One of the reasons the White House considers the impeachment proceedings illegitimate is the absence of a full House vote.
"Never before in history has the Speaker of the House attempted to launch an 'impeachment inquiry' against a President without a majority of the House of Representatives voting to authorize a constitutionally acceptable process," read the letter.
Pelosi said at a news conference Tuesday evening that she will not hold a vote on the House floor to authorize an impeachment inquiry as of now. "We're not here to call bluffs," she said. "This is not a game to us. This is deadly serious."
Standing by the side of Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee, Chairman Adam Schiff said "the Constitution is very clear: The House will have the sole power of impeachment."
"Republicans know it, but they don't want to discuss the president's conduct," Schiff added. "They'd rather discuss the process."
Pelosi and three House committees leading the impeachment inquiry -- Intelligence, Oversight and Reform and Foreign Affairs -- believe Trump's conversation with Zelensky, as well as administration officials' interactions with the Ukrainian authorities before and after the call, manifested "efforts to pressure foreign powers to intervene in the 2020 elections."
Trump has denied wrongdoing, insisting that the call was "perfect" and calling the impeachment inquiry "another witch hunt" against him.
Also on Tuesday, Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer who has been at the center of the controversy and who has also been subpoenaed for documents, refused to comply with Congress' demand as well.
Berlin, Oct. 16 (Xinhua/UNB) -- The head of the German delegation for the 7th CISM World Military Games held in Wuhan from October 18-27 told Xinhua that Germany is expecting a motivated host-team, overwhelming hospitality, and perfect organization.
"We will meet powerful competitors counting on with a profound team-spirit," major Christian Luetzkendorf commented before the German delegation took off to attend the Olympics for soldiers of the members of the International Military Sports Council.
Luetzkendorf will be the head of around about a 250 athlete-strong German team competing in nearly all of the 25 disciplines.
All pre-event competitions in China indicate good conditions, a pre-games delegation reported, as noted by Andreas Beu, the German press-officer.
"We have the highest respect for the organizers as a lot effort has been invested in preparing in the best possible way," Beu underlined. The German team is expecting China to benefit from "home advantage."
Next to China, the German delegation is convinced that Russia and Brazil will play a vital role when it comes to top-ranking places in all competitions. Like China, both nations are seen as strong summer-event competitors.
"We are looking forward to a great event," Luetzkendorf emphasized. The German delegation chief lined out the importance of the CISM World Games as vital for soldiers from all over the world.
Germany has been a CISM member for 60 years and will be hosting the 2021 winter games in Berchtesgaden and Traunstein, located in the Bavarian alpine region.
The German army, the Bundeswehr, is the country's biggest supporter of sports-athletes, with 744 athletes forming part of the so-called "Sportfoerdergruppen" (sports promotion groups). They are spread over 12 center-points over the entire country.
Over half of the German medals won at Olympic games are achieved by employees of the Bundeswehr. The track and field athletes Gesa Felicitas Krause (3000 meters steeplechase) and shot-putter Christina Schwanitz both won bronze at the 2019 Athletics World Championships which recently took place in Doha.
All German CISM athletes have a service grade, but not all are serving army members; some are listed as sports soldiers.
About half of the women's football team, as well as the male basketball side, are employed by the Bundeswehr as serving personal. Niche sports athletes like Archery performers highly benefit from the German system based on the army.
All athletes practice either in army facilities such as the main army sports-school in Warendorf located in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia but mainly in their clubs or Olympic training centers.
Every discipline section for Wuhan has a team-captain or team-manager and is accompanied by medical staff and officials.
The German team is known for its quality in winter-competitions but is on a similar level in summer events. Strong fields of the German athletes competing in the summer games are in sports including parachuting, naval pentathlon, and military pentathlon.