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From reality TV to UN, Trump to wield Security Council gavel

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He has chaired board meetings, cabinet meetings and starred in a reality television show, but on Wednesday U.S. President Donald Trump will wield the gavel in the United Nations Security Council to denounce Iran for what his administration sees as its malign regional behavior.

Trump is able to preside over the 15-member council as the United States holds the monthly rotating presidency, which coincides with the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations in New York this week.

“I am sure that’s going to be the most watched Security Council meeting ever,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told reporters.

But despite the unpredictable nature of Trump, some diplomats aren’t expecting a reality television performance in the Security Council, where nearly every member is likely to be represented by their prime minister or president except Russia and China, which are expected to send ministers.

“I don’t think it will be that entertaining at all,” said one senior U.N. diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Even those who don’t like him, the attitude of all other heads of state and government in a public meeting when faced with any president of the United States of America is to be on their best behavior,” the diplomat said.

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It is rare for the council – formed in 1945 to maintain international peace and security – to meet at the head-of-state and government level. This will be the third time the body is chaired by a U.S. president. It has the ability to impose sanctions or authorize the use of military force.

Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama presided over meetings in 2009 and 2014 on nuclear nonproliferation and foreign terrorist fighters. In both cases the council adopted resolutions on the topics under discussion. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said there are no plans to adopt a resolution at Wednesday’s meeting.

“We want to make sure (Iran) understands the world is watching. That’s the biggest reason for this meeting,” she said earlier this month.

‘THRILLED’
The topic of the meeting will be nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, a broad issue that allows leaders around the horse-shoe table to raise a variety of subjects from North Korea to chemical weapons attacks in Syria and Britain.

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However, Trump signaled on Twitter he will zero in on Iran, when he posted: “I will chair a United Nations Security Council meeting on Iran.” Tehran has accused the United States of abusing the power of the Security Council president.

The U.S. concept note on the meeting circulated to Security Council members does not specifically mention any countries.

“The purpose of this meeting is to discuss ways the Security Council can better enforce the resolutions it has adopted … to counter the spread and use of the world’s most dangerous weapons,” it reads.

The role of the Security Council president is typically administrative and neutral. The president is in charge of scheduling and presiding over council meetings and briefing other members states and the press on the council’s work.

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Trump will have a binder in front of him to read from in order to run Wednesday’s meeting. He will make a statement first in his national capacity and then it is likely to take about two hours for all council members to speak. Haley has twice taken council envoys to Washington, where they have met with Trump.

Russia has shielded Iran from U.S. attempts to get the Security Council to call out Tehran over accusations it supplied weapons to Yemen’s Houthi group, a charge that Iran denies.

When asked what he thought about Trump chairing a Security Council meeting, Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said with a smile: “I felt thrilled.” He added: “I don’t think we will see any major intrigue in what he will say.”

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Yara Bayoumy, James Dalgleish and Diane Craft

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Melania Trump ripped for bragging about helping children while her husband runs concentration camps for kids

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Melania Trump was ripped on Monday for pushing her signature "Be Best" campaign against bullying while her husband, President Donald Trump, runs concentration camps for children along the southern border.

"Looking forward to collaborating with all of our #BeBest Ambassadors. Delighted to be working alongside so many people both inside and outside of government to better the lives of children everywhere!" Melania Trump tweeted Monday.

The response was some of the harshest since she wore an "I Don't Care" jacked to visit the border.

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Border Patrol blocking Americans from donating toothbrushes and diapers for detained children

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Donald Trump on the US-Mexico Border

On Sunday, Austin Savage and five of his friends huddled into an SUV and went to an El Paso Target, loading up on diapers, wipes, soaps and toys.

About $340 later, the group headed to a Border Patrol facility holding migrant children in nearby Clint with the goal of donating their goods. Savage said he and his friends had read an article from The New York Times detailing chaos, sickness and filth in the overcrowded facility, and they wanted to help.

But when they arrived, they found that the lobby was closed. The few Border Patrol agents — Savage said there were between eight and 10 of them — moving in and out of a parking facility ignored them.

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Michael Flynn’s legal team is making bizarre moves — signaling he’s still hoping for a Trump pardon

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When disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn recently hired a new firebrand lawyer, Sidney Powell, it suggested he could be maneuvering to change his legal strategy.

And on Monday, new signs emerged that his legal team is looking to shake things up. Flynn had another status hearing on Monday before Judge Emmet Sullivan as he awaits sentencing for charges brought by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

In the hearing on Monday, Powell, who had been publicly critical of the Russia investigation before joining Flynn’s team, requested a security clearance to review documents in the case. This was a surprising move, because the government said that there was no classified information in the documents it had turned over to the defense.

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Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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