Macron criticizes US over its ‘isolationist’ principles

admin   •   April 26, 2018   •   2800

French President Emmanuel Macron arrives to address a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., April 25, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

A day after flaunting his friendship with Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron challenged many of the US president’s policies on Wednesday.

During his visit to the US, Macron and Trump repeatedly shook and grabbed hands, exchanged kisses on the cheek, and slapped each other’s backs while praising their friendship.

But on the last day of his visit, Macron repeatedly criticized the president’s isolationist principles in a speech to a joint meeting of Congress, an honor given to a small number of visiting foreign leaders.

“This requires more than ever the United States’ involvement as your role was decisive for creating and guarding today’s free world. The United States is the one who invented this multilateralism. You are the one now who has to help preserve and reinvent it,” Macron said.

The French leader even encouraged students at George Washington University to step up the fight against one of the issues previously hurled at Trump.

“You will have to fix the climate change, air pollution, the biodiversity in the ocean. My generation will do its best, in order for your generation to have the choice to choose. But it will be the duty of your generation to do the job,” said the French leader.

Macron is in the US to try to persuade Trump to stay in the 2015 nuclear pact between Iran and six major powers.

Capping his three-day visit, the French president calls on the US to not leave the deal until a broader international accord is reached that addresses all remaining concerns about Iran.

Trump has often vowed to pull Washington out of the agreement. He will decide by May 12 whether to restore u-s economic sanctions on Tehran, which could be a first step to ending the deal.

But a US envoy clarifies on Wednesday, Washington is not seeking to reopen the nuclear deal but hopes to stay in it to fix its flaws with a supplementary agreement. — Reuters

US donates 500 shelter-grade tarps for families affected by Typhoon Kiko in Batanes

Marje Pelayo   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The United States government through the USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance donated 500 shelter-grade tarpaulins for Filipino families in Batanes whose houses were affected by Typhoon Kiko (International name Chanthu).

The tarps, which arrived on Thursday (September 24), were transported by USAID Philippines partner International Organization for Migration (IOM) Philippines in cooperation with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Philippine Air Force.

Soon, another 450 USAID shelter-grade tarps will be delivered to the province through the assistance of the Philippine Navy.

All tarpaulin shelters will help 500 affected families in the province.

 

PH gets additional US-donated Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses

Robie de Guzman   •   September 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has received another batch of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines donated by the United States government, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said.

In a statement, the NTF said 561,600 more Pfizer shots from the US government through World Health Organization (WHO)-led COVAX facility arrived in Manila on Monday night.

Last September 19, the Philippines also received a total of 2,020,590 doses of Pfizer shots, which were also donated by the US through COVAX.

“I’m really proud that we donated for the last two days more than 2 million doses that will give more than a million Filipinos full vaccination,” US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava said.

Variava also expressed gratitude to the government of the Philippines, the WHO, and UNICEF for the continuing partnership which is helping to save lives and overcome the pandemic.

The latest batch of Pfizer vaccines were immediately transported to the Pharmaserve cold storage facility in Marikina City.

NTF special adviser Dr. Teodoro Herbosa said that majority of these vaccines will be deployed to Region 4-A, Region 3, Cebu, and Davao.

“We continue to catch up in those areas where we only have about 3% to 5% fully vaccinated [individuals]. So hinahabol talaga natin ‘yung outside NCR.” Herbosa said.

Aside from the donated jabs, 3,935,880 procured Pfizer doses have been delivered to the Philippines as part of the 40 million doses the country has secured from the American pharmaceutical firm.

In total, the Philippines has received some 16 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from the COVAX Facility.

As of September 20, a total of 64,942,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses coming from various manufacturers have been delivered to the Philippines since February.

Philippines to export more mangoes, pineapples to US

Robie de Guzman   •   August 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — More Philippine-grown mangoes and pineapples will soon be exported to the United States, the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced.

The DA said the development comes after its Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) reached a deal during a virtual meeting held on August 12.

“Expanding the export market of Philippine pineapples and mangoes in the US and other countries will not only enhance our national economy, but more importantly, provide increased incomes to thousands of farmers and their families in pineapple- and mango-producing provinces nationwide,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said in a statement.

The recent agreement between the APHIS and BPI could dramatically increase the country’s exports of pineapples and resume shipments of mangoes to the US via additional ports of entry, he added.

The Philippines currently exports fresh pineapples to the US through Guam, Commonwealth of Marianas Island, and North Atlantic regions. From 2013 to July 15, 2021, exports amounted to only 346,190 kilograms.

The country previously exported fresh mangoes to the US, from 2005 to 2008, totaling 386,099 kilograms, all produced in Guimaras Island, the DA added.

The DA said USDA-APHIS accepted evidence that the Philippines’ main export pineapple variety is not a host to the oriental fruit fly.

The fruit pest, known scientifically as Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), is very destructive and often finds its way into the US, sometimes triggering wide-scale eradication programs.

The Philippines may start shipping pineapples to various US markets before year-end, the DA said.

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