Vox Sentences: Another Trump veto

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Trump vetoes a resolution that would end US participation in Yemen’s civil war; Afghanistan will hold its first talks with the Taliban on Friday.


Trump’s support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen continues


Mark Wilson/Getty Images
  • President Trump vetoed a bipartisan resolution that would have ended US involvement in the Saudi-led Yemen war. [BBC]
  • The War Powers Resolution would have required the president to remove troops from wars that Congress has not formally declared; per the Constitution, such power solely belongs to the legislative branch. The resolution would have pressured the United States to pull out of the conflict in Yemen, which has killed more than 50,000 people. [ABC News / Conor Finnegan]
  • Trump took the resolution as a personal attack, calling it “an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities.” He also downplayed American involvement in the war, saying that the US only provides arms and intelligence for Saudi Arabia, not actual soldiers on the ground. [NYT / Mark Landler and Peter Baker]
  • Democrats are angry because they see Trump’s veto as aligning with his long history of sympathy for Saudi interests. Some senators had signed the War Power Resolution to criticize Trump’s support for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been implicated in the killing of Saudi journalist and Virginia resident Jamal Khashoggi. [Washington Post / Felicia Sonmez, Josh Dawsey, and Karoun Demirjian]
  • Some thought Trump could be persuaded, as he had campaigned on an antiwar message, vowing to stop unnecessary US involvement in foreign wars. This veto puts an end to that hope. [Vox / Tara Golshan]
  • The option of voting to override Trump’s veto goes to the GOP-controlled Senate — who will most likely back Trump’s decision. So for now, it seems the United States will continue to be involved in Yemen’s war. [CNN / Allie Malloy]

The first meeting between Kabul and the Taliban

  • Afghan delegates will have their first-ever meeting with Taliban officials, scheduled for Friday in Qatar. This is a turning point in a US-led peace process that has dragged on for months. Although the Taliban said it would not agree to negotiate until American troops are out of the country, it agreed to have an informal talk with representatives from Kabul, who agreed to meet despite the Taliban announcing a “spring offensive.” [Washington Post / Pamela Constable]
  • The list of attendees for the “intra-Afghan dialogue” was released on Tuesday. The Taliban, which does not speak directly with President Ashraf Ghani’s government, said the delegates will be recognized only as “ordinary” Afghans and not representatives of the administration. [New York Times / Mujib Mashal and Fahim Abed]
  • The 250 delegates include representatives of political parties, government officials, opposition figures, the families of war victims, and women’s rights activists, to name a few. [AP]
  • Around 50 women are expected to attend the talks. Previously, women had generally been excluded from peace negotiations despite repeatedly expressing concerns about the restrictions that could be placed on them were the Taliban to return to power. [Al Jazeera]
  • Last year was one of the deadliest for Afghan civilians, and new violence is spreading across the country as the Taliban announces the launch of its spring offensive. The Taliban currently controls or influences about half of the country. [Dawn / AFP]

Miscellaneous

  • As the 20th anniversary of the Columbine shooting approaches, Denver police warned that an armed and dangerous woman with a fixation on the shooting was in the area, leading to the shutdown of hundreds of schools. During a massive hunt for the suspect, the police found her dead. [NYT / Julie Turkewitz and Jack Healy]
  • Some Texas prison officials took a social media challenge when they began to jokingly suggest violence against inmates in their posts. [Houston Chronicle / Keri Blakinger]
  • After this week’s fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, France’s prime minister announced an international contest for the chance to rebuild the structure’s famous spire. [USA Today / Ryan Miller]
  • Carl’s Jr. is testing out the ultimate in munchies: a CBD burger. [CNN / Danielle Wiener-Bronner]
  • These Israeli scientists have just created the first 3D-printed heart using human cells. Heart disease is one of the leading killers in the US; the health implications of this breakthrough are huge. [Newsweek / Aristos Georgiou]

Verbatim

“The conflict in Yemen is a horrific humanitarian crisis that challenges the conscience of the entire world. Yet the President has cynically chosen to contravene a bipartisan, bicameral vote of the Congress and perpetuate America’s shameful involvement in this heartbreaking crisis.” [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statement following Trump’s veto]


Watch this: How the Saudis ended up with so many American weapons

The US has for a long time been selling weapons to Saudi Arabia — now its No. 1 customer. The Saudis have bought bombs, tanks, guns, and planes over the years to defend themselves from various threats. The US supplied those weapons because threats to the Saudis have usually been a threat to the US as well. [YouTube / Sam Ellis]


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