President Trump delivers State of the Union address


Trump's prime-time address comes at a critical moment in his presidency. Trump will likely paint the United States' southern border as being in a state of emergency, insisting that his wall is a matter of national security and that only a wall can prevent an invasion of gang members, caravans, drug cartels and terrorists. Democrats have refused to acquiesce to his demands for a border wall, and Republicans are increasingly unwilling to shut down the government to help him fulfil his signature campaign pledge.

Trump was not expected to issue the emergency declaration in his speech, in part because he's aware of GOP opposition and wants to avoid being booed in the House chamber.

The president will talk about immigration, a major focus of his administration and a subject he covered a year ago when he suggested a "four-pillar" system in which "nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs".

"Simply put, walls work and walls save lives". Their opposition was on vivid display as Democratic congresswomen in the audience formed a sea of white in a nod to early 20th-century suffragettes. It's about him being treated differently than every other president. Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey.

Another Democratic star, Stacey Abrams, delivered the party's response to Trump. Prior to the advent of television and radio, past presidents submitted a written address, rather than giving a speech before Congress.

But the key aim in the speech, littered with soaring rhetoric and interrupted continuously by applause from the Republicans, was to announce a new, more inclusive presidential tone ahead of Trump's 2020 reelection bid. His approval rating stands at just 34 per cent after the shutdown, according to a recent survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence and White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney went over the speech on Monday night with about a dozen supporters including former campaign aides Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, as well as Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, a source familiar with the meeting said.

"We will soon have destroyed 100% of the Caliphate, but will be watching them closely", Trump tweeted last week.

Brazilians pay homage to victims of dam collapse
A local official said evidence suggested the collapse, at a mine owned by Brazilian company Vale SA, was caused by liquefaction. The sledge caused by the dam collapse tracked straight for Vale's cafeteria, where numerous workers were eating lunch.

Trump previously tried to pressure Congress into backing his idea by refusing to sign off on budgets for swathes of the federal government, leading to a five-week shutdown of some 800,000 government jobs.

While some Congressional Democrats say the state of the union is nothing to boast about, many expect a different tune from the president. Nonetheless, Trump has claimed that the economic recovery in the all his doing, and that misleading claim will likely be made again during his 2019 State of the Union address. Despite the shutdown, the US economy added a robust 304,000 jobs in January, marking 100 straight months of job growth. That is the longest period on record. Despite the objections of some advisers, Mr Trump announced in December that he was withdrawing U.S. forces in Syria.

In a weekend interview with CBS, Trump said efforts to defeat the IS group were "at 99 percent right now".

Trump, in excerpts of his address, defended his moves, declaring: "Great nations do not fight endless wars".

Another possible topic in the address is the US-China trade dispute. He announced details of a second meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un, outlining a February 27-28 summit in Vietnam.

According to White House officials, the president will take the opportunity to call for bipartisanship among the government. An announcement is expected on a new initiative aimed at ending transmissions of HIV by 2030. "He will be asking for bipartisan support to make that happen", said White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.

In return, the president says he'll back a three year extension of protection for 700,000 immigrants who came to the country illegally with their parents - the DACA children. After Pelosi and the lawmakers chose to fly commercial instead, the Trump administration denied them military support and instructed them to get permission from Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House Chief of Staff. Pelosi called this a "complete violation of separation of powers".