United States

International: House votes to repeal Obamacare; now on to Senate

President Donald Trump scored his first big legislative victory on Thursday as the House of Representatives voted to replace Obamacare, in an important step towards achieving one of the Republican party’s top goals since Barack Obama passed his signature healthcare measure seven years ago.

House lawmakers voted 217-213 to pass the Republican healthcare measure. While the bill now moves to the GOP-controlled Senate where it faces obstacles, the vote is a victory for Mr Trump who had ended his first 100 days in office with no big legislation.

International: US installs missile defence system in South Korea

The US military has started installing a controversial missile defence system at a site in South Korea, amid high tensions over neighbouring North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions.

The Thaad system is designed to protect against threats from North Korea.

Hundreds of local residents protested against the deployment, as vehicles carrying equipment arrived at the site in the south of the country.

China argues Thaad will destabilise security in the region.

International: Arkansas carries out first US double-execution in 16 years

Two inmates received lethal injections on the same gurney Monday night about three hours apart as Arkansas completed the nation's first double execution since 2000, just days after the state ended a nearly 12-year hiatus on administering capital punishment. 

While the first inmate, Jack Jones, 52, was executed on schedule, shortly after 7pm, attorneys for the second, Marcel Williams, 46, convinced a federal judge minutes later to briefly delay his execution over concerns about how the earlier one was carried out.

International: US submarine arrives in South Korea

A US submarine has arrived in South Korea, amid worries of another North Korean missile or nuclear test.

The missile-armed USS Michigan is set to join an incoming group of warships led by aircraft carrier Carl Vinson.

North Korea is celebrating its army's 85th founding anniversary on Tuesday. It marked the event with a large-scale firing drill, South Korea said.

Tensions have risen in the area in recent weeks, with the US and North Korea exchanging heated rhetoric.

International: Former US President George HW Bush hospitalised again

Former President George H.W. Bush is in Methodist Hospital in Houston following treatment for a recurrence of a case of pneumonia.

Bush, who is 92, has been there since Friday for observation, spokesman Jim McGrath says.

McGrath issued a brief statement:

"President George H. W. Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital on Friday for observation due to a persistent cough that prevented him from getting proper rest.

"It was subsequently determined he had a mild case of pneumonia, which was treated and has been resolved.

International: 'Armada' Trump claimed was heading to North Korea was actually heading to Australia

Four warships Donald Trump claimed were being sent to North Korea last week, were in fact steaming in the opposite direction to take part in military exercises with the Australian Navy over 3,500 miles away.

The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and three other ships in its fleet, which Mr Trump described as an “armada”, were said to have been deployed to the Sea of Japan as a “show of force” in response to North Korea’s missile tests, military officials said on April 8.

International: Trump to sign executive order on foreign workers in high-skilled jobs

President Donald Trump is to sign an executive order to review a temporary visa programme used to place foreign workers in high-skilled US jobs.

The order will also direct agencies to enforce government rules on excluding foreign contractors from bids for government projects.

He will sign the so-called Buy America, Hire America order on a visit to a tool factory in the US state of Wisconsin.

The order is aimed at fulfilling his "America First" campaign promises.

But it falls way short of Mr Trump's campaign pledge to end the H-1B visa programme.

International: Putin says US-Russia relations are worse since Donald Trump took office

Vladimir Putin has said trust between Russia and the United States has deteriorated since President Donald Trump took office.

"One could say that the level of trust on a working level, especially on the military level, has not improved, but rather has deteriorated," Mr Putin said in an interview when asked about relations with Washington since Mr Trump became president.

US intelligence agencies have accused Mr Putin of trying to help Mr Trump get elected as president.

1,793 deportees back from US

Over the last 10 years, some 1,793 Trinidad and Tobago nationals were deported from the United States back to T&T, National Security Minister Edmund Dillon confirmed yesterday.

Dillon gave the figure in Parliament while replying to queries from Opposition Caroni East MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh on the issue.

Gopeesingh had sought the deportee levels from 2007 to 2016.

According to Dillon’s figures, the highest level of nationals deported from the US over the ten-year period was in 2008, when 325 were sent back.

The lowest figure was 2015 when 77 returned.

Thin air awaits Soca Warriors in qualifier against the US

While keeping one eye on the crucial need for points, the Soca Warriors will have another concern when they face the United States in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifier on June 8th, that of thin air.

The U.S. Soccer Federation has finalised its decision to play its June 8 qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago at Commerce City, Colorado.

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