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By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday scrapped a planned trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, later this month, citing border security only hours after attributing a possible cancellation to the government shutdown.

“Because of the Democrats intransigence on Border Security and the great importance of Safety for our Nation, I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip,” Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday while on his way to visit the Texas side of the border. “My warmest regards and apologies to the @WEF!”

But Trump, who said earlier Thursday that he would “probably” claim national emergency powers for himself in a bid to circumvent Congress and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, is in the midst of a partial government shutdown that will enter its fourth week if it is not resolved before Saturday.

While the two issues are being discussed in tandem in Washington, they are not necessarily one and the same.

On the South Lawn of the White House earlier in the day, Trump linked a possible decision to stay home to the shutdown.

“If the shutdown continues, I won’t go,” he said. “I had planned to go. It has been very successful when I went.”

Trump attended the annual summit of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful business and political leaders, held in the Swiss Alps, in 2018. This year’s meeting is scheduled for Jan. 22 through Jan. 25.



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Politics

No deal Brexit NUCLEAR BUNKER set up beneath Whitehall by MOD – 3,500 troops on standby

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GOVERNMENT officials have held an emergency Cobra meeting over Brexit and the Ministry of Defence has set up an armed forces command centre beneath Whitehall, as the UK ramps up preparations for no deal.

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U.S. says “door wide open” to more talks with North Korea

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Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

By Josh Lederman

WASHINGTON — Senior Trump administration officials Thursday said “the door is wide open” to more talks with North Korea after last month’s high-level talks in Hanoi failed to reach a nuclear agreement.

The officials told reporters that President Trump remains “personally engaged” and also wants contacts to occur on the working level, although they wouldn’t disclose whether any such contacts have occurred since the summit between the president and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Officials said the U.S. is working to tighten pressure on North Korea to “unprecedented” levels by better enforcing sanctions and other economic measures against the North.

“This is a new approach,” one senior official said. “You’ve had piecemeal sanctions over the years.”

Tougher pressure, combined with Trump’s willingness to sit down with Kim to discuss North Korea’s future, will hopefully lead North Korea to decide to denuclearize, the officials say.

“We’ll give it some time,” said one official.

The officials said there’s no been change to Trump’s diplomatic approach and that any suggestion that the U.S. was open to a phased approach in which some sanctions would be lifted before denuclearization was a “misinterpretation.” But asked about Trump’s own comments in Hanoi that he didn’t want to box himself in on that issue, the officials said that they, too, didn’t want to box the president in.

The U.S. sees an increasing problem with illicit shipping by North Korea in violation of U.S. and U.N. sanction, including ship-to-ship transfers at sea, the disabling of automated ship identification systems, falsification of cargo documentation, and North Korean coal exports that have resumed in the Gulf of Tonkin.

On Thursday, the Treasury Department slapped sanctions on two shipping company for trying to evade North Korea sanctions. These are the first sanctions since Hanoi.

The Treasury today also issued a new advisory warning about these practices.

Additional companies are “at risk” and will be punished if caught, the officials said.

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Theresa May to QUIT? Growing number of Tory MPs tell leader to leave amid Brexit chaos

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THERESA MAY has been told to resign by Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee of Tory MPs.

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