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Trump vetoes bill to end US support for Saudi-led Yemen war despite GOP opposition

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday vetoed a resolution from Congress directing him to end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, the second such move of his presidency.

The resolution was a harsh bipartisan rebuke to Trump that took the historic step of curtailing a president’s war-making powers — a step he condemned in a statement announcing his veto.

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“This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,” Trump said.

The veto was the second of his presidency, after he overrode a congressional resolution that aimed to reverse the border emergency he declared in order to secure more funding for his wall between the United States and Mexico in March.

Vetoing the measure is an “effective green light for the war strategy that has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis to continue,” said International Rescue Committee president and CEO David Miliband.

“Yemen is at a breaking point with 10 million people on the brink of famine. There are as many as 100 civilian casualties per week, and Yemenis are more likely to be killed at home than in any other structure.”

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Trump argued that US support for the bloody war between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and Iran-aligned Huthi rebels was necessary for a variety of reasons, “first and foremost” to “protect the safety of the more than 80,000 Americans who reside in certain coalition countries.”

These countries “have been subject to Huthi attacks from Yemen,” he said, referring to drone and missile strikes the Saudi-led coalition has either claimed were intercepted or denied altogether.

The president also said the resolution would “harm the foreign policy of the United States” and “harm our bilateral relationships.”

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– War crimes –

And it would “negatively affect our ongoing efforts to prevent civilian casualties and prevent the spread of terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS, and embolden Iran’s malign activities in Yemen,” Trump said, referring to two Sunni Muslim militant groups and his Shiite bete noire.

The resolution, which passed the US House of Representatives earlier this month and the Senate in March, was a historic milestone, as it was the first time in history that a measure invoking the 1973 War Powers Resolution reached the president’s desk.

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Democrats argued that US involvement in the Yemen conflict — through intelligence-sharing, logistical support and now-discontinued aerial refueling — is unconstitutional without congressional authority.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — the country’s most senior Democratic politician — took aim at Trump’s veto in a series of tweets on Tuesday.

“The conflict in Yemen is a horrific humanitarian crisis that challenges the conscience of the entire world,” Pelosi wrote. “Yet the President has cynically chosen to contravene a bipartisan, bicameral vote of the Congress & perpetuate America’s shameful involvement in this heartbreaking crisis.”

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Senator Bernie Sanders, a lead author of the Yemen resolution and a Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, said that “the people of Yemen desperately need humanitarian help, not more bombs.”

“I am disappointed, but not surprised, that Trump has rejected the bi-partisan resolution to end U.S. involvement in the horrific war in Yemen,” Sanders tweeted.

Critics of the intervention warn that Saudi forces are likely using US weapons to commit atrocities in the four-year war.

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Some 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen over the past four years, according to the World Health Organization, although rights groups say the toll could be five times higher.

Both the Saudi-led alliance and Huthi rebels have been accused of acts that could amount to war crimes, while the coalition has been blacklisted by the United Nations for killing and maiming children.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘He’s getting more panicked’: Editor lays out how Trump’s self-destruction could set the world on fire

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On Tuesday's edition of MSNBC's "Deadline: White House," Bloomberg Opinion executive editor Tim O'Brien said that President Donald Trump is losing what little control he had — and getting all the more dangerous for it.

"I think he’s getting more panicked," said O'Brien. "I think — I suspect that Trump, when the Mueller investigation ended, thought that sort of existential threats to his presidency had been put to rest, and in very short order I think 'Trump the racist' became a very appropriate and damning moniker that got attached to him after Elijah Cummings, 'Trump the racist' will be part of his historical legacy. And now you have the economy starting to deteriorate a bit around the edges. Whether or not that’s going to be a recession or not, I don’t know, but there’s enough alarm bells on there for a president who has routinely attached his reputation, to a strong economy that’s a job creating economy, and markets are going bananas."

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Mexican court rules to allow recreational cocaine use

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A Mexican judge has granted two people's requests to be allowed to use cocaine recreationally, the organization behind the cases said Tuesday, calling it a "historic step" -- though it must first be reviewed by a higher court.

The rulings, the first of their kind in Mexico, would allow the two petitioners to "possess, transport and use cocaine," but not to sell it, according to Mexico United Against Crime, an organization devoted to ending the Latin American country's "war on drugs."

The Mexico City court ordered the national health regulator, COFEPRIS, to authorize the petitioners' cocaine use in personal, recreational doses, the organization said.

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US President Trump reiterates call for Russia to rejoin ‘G8’

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US President Donald Trump renewed calls on Tuesday to let Russia join the G7 -- thus making it the G8 again -- group of advanced industrialized countries.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump noted that his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, had wantedRussia out of what used to be the G8 "because Putin outsmarted him”.

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