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Oct 7, 2019

US Politics: Judge's order releasing Trump's tax returns and blasting 'repugnant' immunity claim put on hold

Jonathan Stempel



NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge on Monday said eight years of U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax returns must be provided to Manhattan prosecutors, forcefully rejecting the president’s argument that he was immune from criminal investigations.
Trump’s returns will not be turned over immediately, after the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan granted the president’s request to temporarily block the order, handed down by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero.
The Manhattan judge had called the immunity claim “repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values,” and said he could not “square a vision of presidential immunity that would place the President above the law.”
His 75-page decision complicates Trump’s battle to keep his finances under wraps, despite having promised during his 2016 White House run that he would disclose his tax returns.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat, had subpoenaed personal and corporate tax returns from 2011 to 2018 and other records from Trump’s longtime accounting firm Mazars USA.
The subpoena was part of Vance’s criminal probe into the Republican president and his family business.
Marrero’s decision would have forced Mazars to start turning over documents on Monday afternoon, but the appeals court said the case had “unique issues,” justifying a delay.
The court said it may hear Trump’s appeal as soon as the week of Oct. 21 to 25. Trump has not been accused of criminal wrongdoing.
Two committees of the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives have separately subpoenaed Deutsche Bank AG for Trump’s financial records, which include tax returns.
“The Radical Left Democrats have failed on all fronts, so now they are pushing local New York City and State Democrat prosecutors to go get President Trump,” Trump tweeted after Marrero’s decision. “A thing like this has never happened to any President before. Not even close!”
 REUTERS FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump attends Young Black Leadership Summit at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 4, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo
In suing Vance last month to block his subpoena, Trump said he was immune from criminal probes while in the White House and that the U.S. Constitution required Vance to wait.

HOUSE PROBE

The Constitution does not say whether sitting presidents can be indicted, and the Supreme Court has not decided the issue.
Federal prosecutors cannot charge sitting presidents because presidents have temporary immunity, according to the Department of Justice, but that does not block criminal probes by state-level prosecutors like Vance or even federal prosecutors.
“It’s uncharted legal terrain,” Jens David Ohlin, vice dean at Cornell Law School, said in an interview.”If the framers of the Constitution desired a president who was completely immune from all forms of criminal prosecution, they would have said so,” he added. “The counterargument is that the Constitution would prohibit it because it would infringe on the president’s ability to govern the country.”
Vance issued the subpoena four weeks after issuing another subpoena to the Trump Organization for records of hush money payments, including to two women prior to the 2016 election who said they had sexual relationships with Trump, which he denies.
Those payments were made to Stormy Daniels, a porn star whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, with the involvement of Trump’s now-imprisoned former lawyer Michael Cohen.
Trump is also trying to block the House subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and is awaiting a ruling from the 2nd Circuit.
The House probes are separate from the debate over whether Trump should be impeached because of his dealings with Ukraine.
Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Trump, said he was pleased the Vance subpoena was put on hold. Danny Frost, a spokesman for Vance, declined to comment.
The Justice Department, which opposed dismissing Trump’s challenge to the subpoena, declined to comment.
Mazars did not respond to requests for comment, but has said it would comply with its legal obligations.
Slideshow (4 Images)

‘OVERREACH OF EXECUTIVE POWER’

In his decision, Marrero, who was appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton, declined to assert jurisdiction over the Vance subpoena, saying Trump should have brought his case in a New York state court.
But the judge made clear that if the appeals court disagreed with that finding, Trump should lose.
Marrero said the president failed to show that enforcing the subpoena would interfere with his presidential duties, cause irreparable harm or be against the public interest.
He also rejected as too broad the idea of shielding Trump, his family and his businesses from criminal process.
“The expansive notion of constitutional immunity invoked here to shield the President from judicial process would constitute an overreach of executive power,” Marrero wrote.
Marrero said even President Richard Nixon conceded during the Watergate scandal that he would be required to produce documents in response to a judicial subpoena.
Trump’s lawyers said the case raised “momentous” questions about the president’s immunity and complying with the subpoena would cause irreversible damage.
“There will be no way to unscramble the egg scrambled by the disclosure,” the lawyers said in a court filing.
Trump is running for re-election. His current term ends on Jan. 20, 2021.
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

US Politics: Democrats subpoena Pentagon, White House budget office in impeachment probe

Patricia Zengerle



WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congressional Democrats issued subpoenas to the Pentagon and the White House budget office on Monday as part of their impeachment inquiry, seeking documents related to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withhold military assistance from Ukraine.
The subpoenas follow a whistleblower’s allegations that Trump leveraged $400 million in aid to secure a promise from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate political rival Joe Biden, and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.
The taxpayer funds had been approved by Congress to help Ukraine protect against Russian aggression.
“The committees are investigating the extent to which President Trump jeopardized national security by pressing Ukraine to interfere with our 2020 election and by withholding military assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression, as well as any efforts to cover up these matters,” according to a statement from three House of Representatives panels leading the inquiry.
Biden is a leading contender in the Democratic race to face Trump as he seeks re-election in November 2020.
The Department of Defense and the White Office of Management and Budget must turn over the documents by Oct. 15, they said.
The Pentagon was prepared to work with Congress on questions related to Ukrainian aid, said spokeswoman Jessica Maxwell.
The new subpoenas follow those issued to the State Department and White House in recent weeks by the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committees.
Democrats also have called a number of U.S. diplomats to Capitol Hill for closed-door testimony this week as they build their impeachment case against Trump, while the White House considers ways to slow down the process.
Trump has denied he did anything wrong in the July 25 call in which he asked Zelenskiy to work with his personal lawyer Rudolph Giuliani and U.S. Attorney General William Barr to look into the Bidens. The White House released a summary of the call.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks about Democratic legislative priorities and impeachment inquiry plans during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., October 2, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
“The impeachment inquiry is a scam,” Trump said on Monday at the White House.
Those scheduled to testify this week include Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union who was involved in efforts to get Ukraine to open the Biden investigation, and Masha Yovanovitch, who was abruptly recalled from her post as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in May after Trump supporters questioned her loyalty to the president.
The impeachment investigation could lead to the approval by the Democratic-led House of formal charges against Trump.
A trial on whether to remove him from office would then be held in the Republican-controlled Senate. Few Republicans have broken ranks with Trump so far over his asking Ukraine and China to launch investigations of Biden, a former vice president.

SECOND WHISTLEBLOWER

On Sunday, lawyers said a second whistleblower had come forward to substantiate an August complaint from an unidentified U.S. intelligence official that touched off the investigation.
Diplomatic text messages released by Democrats last week show that U.S. officials were involved in the effort to secure a public commitment from Ukraine to look into the business dealings of Hunter Biden.
Trump has alleged that Hunter Biden profited in his business dealings in both Ukraine and China from his father’s position, and that Joe Biden, as vice president, pushed Ukraine to fire a prosecutor to impede a probe of a company tied to his son.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at Young Black Leadership Summit at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 4, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
However, the prosecutor in question was widely regarded by Washington and its European allies as being too lax in his investigations. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of either Biden.
Sondland, a hotelier from Seattle, is a political appointee who was a major donor to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He was scheduled to testify on Tuesday, and Yovanovitch was due to appear on Friday.
Two Florida businessmen with ties to Giuliani will not be able to respond to a congressional request for documents by the Monday deadline and possible testimony a few days later, their lawyer John Dowd told intelligence committee counsel last week.
Congressional committee aides have said they are prepared to issue subpoenas for those who not comply with requests to give depositions.
Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Additional reporting by Idrees Ali, Jeff Mason in Washington and Karen Freifeld in New York; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

EU - FX | Currencies: Dollar steady as traders look to trade talks, Fed for direction

3-4 minutes - Source: CNBC




GP: China Yuan US Dollars CHINA-CURRENCY-US 191007
A Chinese bank employee counts 100-yuan notes and US dollar bills at a bank counter in Nantong in China’s eastern Jiangsu province on August 6, 2019.
STR | AFP | Getty Images
The dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies on Monday as traders awaited U.S.-China trade talks later in the week for clues to the state of the prolonged trade war between Washington and Beijing, even as chances of a deal appeared low.
Investors’ overall appetite for risk was weak on Monday after a Bloomberg report said that Chinese officials were reluctant to agree to U.S. President Donald Trump’s broad trade deal.
Top-level U.S.-China trade talks are scheduled to resume next Thursday and Friday, when Chinese Vice Premier Liu He meets with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Washington.
“The tone of markets overall has softened again today following news that Chinese officials are reluctant to agree to a broad trade agreement with the U.S.,” Shaun Osborne, chief market strategist, at Scotiabank in Toronto, said in a note.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of other currencies, was up 0.17% at 98.98.
Renewed concerns over the trade war pressured trade-oriented currencies such as the Australian dollar, which slipped 0.34% against the greenback.
“A trade agreement between the United States and China still does not seem to be imminent,” Marc-André Fongern, a strategist at MAF Global Forex in Frankfurt said.
“Negotiations so far have revealed little progress,” he said. Investors also awaited the U.S. Federal Open Market Committee’s minutes from its September meeting, due on Wednesday, for clues to whether the Fed will cut rates at its October meeting, its third interest rate cut for the year.
″(Fed Chair Jerome) Powell and his colleagues might increasingly consider a more aggressive loosening of monetary policy,” said Fongern.
“This would only temporarily weaken the dollar, as it looks set to remain in demand as a safe-haven currency,” he said.
Hedge funds have added to their massive long dollar positions, which rose in the latest week to a nine-week high, according to Reuters calculations and Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released on Friday.
While the dollar has been in favor for many months now thanks to its relatively high interest rate and a strong economy, the ongoing trade war with China and a scramble for funding in U.S. money markets has added fuel to the fire in recent weeks.
The greenback hit a 28-month high against the euro early last week. On Monday, the common currency was up 0.14% at $1.0991.
Sterling edged lower against the greenback as investors grew increasingly concerned that Britain and the European Union were no closer to agreeing a Brexit withdrawal deal. The pound was 0.06% lower on the day.

Bonds | Treasury Yields Report: Yields rise as traders monitor US-China trade talks

Fred Imbert, Sam Meredith




trader in pit of CME CBOT For FOMC Rate Decision
A trader works in the S&P 500 pit on the floor of the CME Group’s Chicago Board of Trade.
Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images
U.S. government debt yields edged higher on Monday as traders monitored trade developments between Washington and Beijing.

U.S. Markets Overview: Treasurys chart

TICKER COMPANY YIELD CHANGE %CHANGE
US 3-MOU.S. 3 Month Treasury1.7230.0130.00
US 1-YRU.S. 1 Year Treasury1.6560.0550.00
US 2-YRU.S. 2 Year Treasury1.4640.0660.00
US 5-YRU.S. 5 Year Treasury1.3910.0620.00
US 10-YRU.S. 10 Year Treasury1.5580.0440.00
US 30-YRU.S. 30 Year Treasury2.050.0360.00
At around 2:30 p.m. ET, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note traded at 1.55%, up about 4 basis points from Friday’s session close. The 30-year bond yield rose to 2.05%. Yields move inversely to prices.
“The discussions with China and the U.S. are a critical component of what drives the market from here,” said Gregory Faranello, head of U.S. rates at AmeriVet Securities. “In 2019, the theme has been about global trade.”
“The markets seem fairly comfortable heading into the meeting, but I think we will need to see real progress and not just jawboning ... to actually move the global economy forward,” Faranello said.
The moves come after a report suggested Chinese officials were increasingly reluctant to agree to a broad trade deal pursued by President Donald Trump.
Trade talks between the U.S. and China are set to resume in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Vice Premier Liu He, who will lead negotiations for China, told dignitaries that his offer to the U.S. will not include commitments on reforming Chinese industrial policy or government subsidies, Bloomberg reported Sunday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
“We do not have high expectations for the meeting,” Seth Carpenter, chief U.S. economist at UBS, said in a note. “There is some possibility of a so called ‘skinny deal.’”
“Such a skinny deal, however, would do little to change the qualitative path of our forecast,” Carpenter said. “We would still forecast a substantial slowdown in 2020H1. A larger deal is of course possible but remains very low probability. Substantive issues remain between the US and China.”
The world’s two largest economies have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.
A flurry of disappointing U.S. economic data last week suggested the ongoing trade war was starting to take its toll, stoking concerns of a possible recession. However, the U.S. employment rate dropped to its lowest level in nearly 50 years on Friday, easing concerns of a slowdown.
The jobless rate dipped 0.2 percentage points to 3.5% in September, the Labor Department reported, matching a level it last saw in December 1969.

News: Twitter and Facebook could be facing billions in fines after Ireland investigations

Elizabeth Schulze




GP: Mark Zuckerberg Facebook  1
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook Inc. attends the Viva Tech start-up and technology gathering at Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles on May 24, 2018 in Paris, France.
Christophe Morin/IP3 | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has concluded investigations into Facebook’s WhatsApp and Twitter over possible breaches of EU data privacy rules, a spokesperson for the agency revealed to CNBC Monday.
The investigations will now move into the decision-making phase, according to Graham Doyle, head of communications for Ireland’s DPC. During this next phase, Ireland’s chief data regulator, Helen Dixon, will issue draft decisions, which are expected to come toward the end of the year.
These would mark Ireland’s first decisions related to U.S. multinational companies since Europe’s privacy law called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect on May 2018.
In her draft decisions, Dixon will determine the penalty, if any, that either company faces for breaching data privacy rules. Companies can be fined up to 4% of global annual revenues for breaching Europe’s data privacy law called GDPR. For Facebook, that could mean a fine of more than $2 billion based on its fiscal year 2018 revenue.
Because many big tech companies have their EU headquarters in Ireland, the Irish DPC supervises the firms under GDPR. Ireland’s DPC has opened more than a dozen investigations into big tech companies including Facebook, Apple, Google and Twitter.
Doyle said the commission had now concluded its investigation into WhatsApp in a case it opened last year related to transparency. The DPC, according to its annual report, has been examining whether WhatsApp had provided information in a transparent way to users and non-users of the app’s services.
The DPC has also concluded its investigation into Twitter, Doyle said. The investigation was launched in response to a data breach notification it received from Twitter on January 8, 2019.
Commissioner Dixon can now request additional information from Facebook and Twitter in both cases before issuing her decision. Her draft decision will then go to other EU regulators for feedback before a final decision is made.
Facebook and Twitter declined to comment.

Energy | Oil | Oil Price Report: Oil prices up more than 1% as US-China trade talks loom, supply issues mount

3-4 minutes - Source: CNBC




GP: Iran Salman Oil Field 190422
Workers cross walkways between zones aboard an offshore oil platform in the Persian Gulf’s Salman Oil Field, near Lavan island, Iran, on Jan. 5. 2017.
Ali Mohammadi | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Oil prices rose around $1 on Monday, buoyed by hopes of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and supported by challenges to supply facing major exporters.
Brent crude rose 91 cents or 1.5% to $59.25 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $53.73, up 92 cents or 1.7%.
Both futures contracts ended last week with a more than 5% decline after dismal manufacturing data from the United States and China, with the trade row between the world’s top economies undermining global economic prospects.
U.S. and Chinese officials meet in Washington on Oct. 10-11 in a fresh effort to work out a deal, which U.S. President Donald Trump said his administration had a “very good chance” of achieving.
On the supply side, deadly anti-government unrest has gripped Iraq, the second-largest producer among the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Iraq’s oil exports of 3.43 million barrels per day (bpd) from Basra terminals could be disrupted if instability lasts for weeks, Ayham Kamel, Eurasia Group’s practice head for Middle East and North Africa, said in a note.
“Any oil production disruption would occur at a time when Saudi Arabia has lost a significant part of its energy system redundancies (spare capacity),” he said.
The major Buzzard oil field in the British North Sea was also shut for pipe repair work, China’s CNOOC said on Friday, while Shell maintains force majeure remains on exports of Bonny Light crude in Nigeria.
Still, Total’s giant Johan Sverdrup offshore oil field started up in the North Sea this month with a goal of achieving 440,000 bpd at peak production.
Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Sunday it would close the Faregh oil field at Zueitina port for scheduled maintenance from Monday until Oct. 14.
But analysts said the resumption in Saudi Arabian production after Sept. 14 attacks could undermine a price rally.
“The Saudi attacks have quickly been forgotten about and global growth is back to being the main driver of oil markets,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.
“Such complacency could come back to bite oil traders as another aggressive spike will likely accompany any further escalation in the region.”
Despite Monday’s gains, Brent is still down more than 20% from the 2019 peak of $75.60 a barrel recorded in April.
But OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo said it was still too early for the group to discuss deeper oil output cuts to support prices, Russian news agency TASS reported on Monday.

Commodities | Gold | Gold Price Report: Gold treads water as focus shifts to China-US talks, Fed minutes

3 minutes - Source: CNBC




GP: People mining gold 190227
People mining gold in a traditional way at a river dam in Sausi, Parigi Moutong in Central Sulawesi in Indonesia on Oct. 21, 2015.
Inayah Azmi Atifah | Pacific Press | LightRocket via Getty Images
Gold prices inched lower on Monday, but held a tight range around the $1,500 level as investors took a cautious approach ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve minutes and trade talks between Washington and Beijing this week.
Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,501.12 per ounce. Prices firmed 0.5% last week on concerns of slowing global growth. U.S. gold futures fell 0.4% to $1,506.80 per ounce.
“Last week was getting fairly bullish for gold with the ISM and non-manufacturing numbers, but the jobs number was not terrible and that sort of dampened the bullishness in gold,” said Ryan McKay, a commodity strategist at TD Securities.
“We also have the trade talks scheduled later this week ... unlikely anyone is going to take substantial bets in the days prior to the outcome of those meetings and all that’s interpreting into a range-bound action for gold here.”
The White House confirmed U.S.-China trade negotiations are set to begin on Thursday in Washington, although news reports suggest Beijing may be looking to restrict the scope of any deal.
The Fed Open Market Committee’s minutes from its September meeting are due on Wednesday.
A string of weak U.S. economic data comprising of dim manufacturing activity and a sharp slowdown in services industry growth heightened recession fears in the economy, although Friday’s decent jobs report halted bullion’s upside.
Speculators slashed their bullish positions in COMEX gold and trimmed bullish bets on silver contracts in the week to Oct. 1, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.
“Gold continues to get appraised against the U.S. bond yields and what the Federal Reserve is going to do next,” said AxiTrader market strategist Stephen Innes in a note.
“So, while price action seems supportive enough to suggest a long bias remains intact, ... market participants likely need further evidence from the Fed Board that they are shifting to an easing bias to push prices significantly higher.”
Lower interest rates tend to increase investor interest in non-yielding bullion.
“U.S. data has just started to weaken and it will continue to weaken as we move into 2020 and ultimately that will raise some questions for equity markets and increase volatility there, and we could see further allocations into gold,” TD Securities’ McKay said.
Elsewhere, platinum rose 0.9% to $884.31, while silver shed 0.1% to $17.53 and palladium fell 0.4% to $1,658.49.

World Politics: Trump administration pulls troops from northern Syria as Turkey readies offensive

Missy Ryan



The United States began withdrawing American troops from Syria’s border with Turkey, as the Trump administration appeared to wash its hands of an explosive situation between the Turkish military and U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters.
The late Sunday announcement that the United States would not intervene in a long-threatened Turkish offensive signaled an abrupt end to a months-long American effort to broker peace between two important allies. It came after a call between President Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan said Monday that the withdrawal began soon after their phone call.
A U.S. official confirmed to The Washington Post that troops had left observation posts in the border villages of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn at 6:30 a.m. local time.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the Turkish leader would “soon be moving forward” with dispatching troops to battle Kurdish forces who Ankara sees as terrorists but whom have been a chief U.S. partner against the Islamic State.
“The United States armed forces will not support or be involved in the operation, and United States forces, having defeated the ISIS territorial ‘caliphate,’ will no longer be in the immediate area,” Grisham said in a statement. ISIS is another name for the Islamic State, the militant group whose rise drew the U.S. military into Syria.
Pentagon chief says a solo incursion by Turkey into Syria is ‘unacceptable,’ but doesn’t pledge to stop it
The Syrian Democratic Forces, a major Kurdish group that has fought closely with the U.S. military, said the U.S. troops had already begun pulling out and criticized them for not fulfilling their obligations.
“The United States forces have not fulfilled their obligations and withdrew their forces from the border area with Turkey,” the statement said. “This Turkish military operation in north and east Syria will have a big negative impact on our war against Daesh and will destroy all stability that was reached in the last few years.” The statement used the Arabic acronym for ISIS.
It added that the group reserved the right to defend itself against Turkish aggression.
Erdogan, who has portrayed a Turkish incursion as necessary to protect his country’s borders, has spoken in recent weeks of resettling millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey in a “safe zone” in northern Syria, a plan that has been criticized by refugee advocates as well as local Syrian Kurds who could be displaced by such a proposal.
On Saturday, Erdogan said the invasion could begin “as soon as today or maybe tomorrow.” The operation — which he called “fountains of peace” — would be conducted by air and land, he said.
U.S. officials depicted the impending offensive, and the U.S. troop withdrawal, as a dramatic turn after their prolonged attempt to hammer out an arrangement that would allay the Turks’ concerns about Syrian Kurdish forces close to their border, while also averting a battle they fear will be bloody for Kurdish fighters who the Pentagon see as a stalwart ally.
Military officials point out that Kurdish assistance is still required to avoid a return of the Islamic State in Syria and to guard facilities where Islamic State militants and their families are being held.
 A senior U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an evolving situation, said the U.S. government “has no idea” what the Turkish operation would look like, whether it would be a small, symbolic incursion or a major offensive intended to push 30 or 40 kilometers into Syria.
 U.S. officials said an operation deep into Syria could further jeopardize the security of ISIS prisons. “There are many potential disastrous outcomes to this,” the official said.
The White House announcement comes only two days after the Pentagon completed its most recent joint patrol with Turkish forces in northern Syria, a central element of the U.S. effort to build trust in northern Syria. But a series of similar patrols and other measures overseen from a joint U.S.-Turkish military hub in southern Turkey have not reduced Ankara’s impatience to establish the buffer zone it has envisioned.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper described ongoing U.S.-Turkish cooperation in northern Syria, saying that his Turkish counterpart had agreed in a call last week “that we need to make the security mechanism work.”
In negotiations, the United States had said it would agree to a strip along the border to be cleared of Syrian Kurdish fighters and jointly patrolled by the United States and Turkey on the ground and in the air. That strip is about five miles wide, only about a quarter of what the Turks have demanded.
Syria camp is at risk of falling under ISIS control, Kurdish general says
Erdogan’s plan to send at least 3 million Syrian refugees into the 140 mile-long strip is also counter to what the United States says was part of the agreement they had reached to allow only the 700,000 to 800,000 refugees who originally fled the area to resettle there.
The joint patrols are taking place in only about a third of the border length with a plan to gradually expand them. In addition to not liking U.S. terms for the agreement, Erdogan believes the United States is dragging its feet in implementing it.
Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Erdogan, wrote on Twitter that Turkey’s proposed border zone would keep Turkey safe while allowing displaced Syrians to return. “Turkey is strong and determined,” he said.
After months of warning about the turmoil such a move could have, U.S. officials said they are now watching Turkey’s actions closely to inform their own decisions about how quickly they must move the hundreds of troops expected to be affected.
 “We're gonna get out of the way,” another U.S. official said.
There are about 1,000 U.S. troops in northeast Syria.
The SDF also predicted that Islamic State fighters would break out of prison camps the SDF manages in different areas of Syria.
The potential for greater risk to Islamic State prisons and camps comes after months of unsuccessful efforts by the Trump administration to convince countries in Europe and elsewhere to repatriate their citizens.
The White House statement said that “Turkey will now be responsible for all ISIS fighters” in that area. “The United States will not hold them for what could be many years and great cost to the United States taxpayer,” Grisham said.
The planned offensive comes amid already heightened U.S. tensions with its NATO ally Turkey, over Ankara’s plans to operate a sophisticated Russian air defense system.
Fahim reported from Batman, Turkey. Sarah Dadouch in Beirut and Dan Lamothe contributed to this report.
Turkey threatens to ‘bury’ Kurdish forces in Syria amid U.S. withdrawal
The once vast ISIS ‘caliphate’ is now reduced to a pair of villages in Syria
Turkey suspends three mayors, alleging links to Kurdish militants
Today's coverage from Post correspondents around the world

US Market | Premarket | Futures Indicator: US futures point to lower open

Sam Meredith




U.S. stock index futures were lower Monday morning.
At around 02:20 a.m. ET, Dow futures fell 100 points, indicating a negative open of more than 88 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were both slightly lower.
The moves in pre-market trade come after a media report suggested Chinese officials were increasingly reluctant to agree to a broad trade deal pursued by President Donald Trump.
Trade talks between the U.S. and China are set to resume in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Vice Premier Liu He, who will lead negotiations for China, told dignitaries that his offer to the U.S. will not include commitments on reforming Chinese industrial policy or government subsidies, Bloomberg reported Sunday, citing sources familiar with the matter.
The world’s two largest economies have imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of one another’s goods since the start of 2018, battering financial markets and souring business and consumer sentiment.
On the data front, consumer credit figures for August will be released at around 3:00 p.m. ET.
A flurry of disappointing U.S. economic data last week suggested the ongoing trade war was starting to take its toll, stoking concerns of a possible recession.
However, the U.S. employment rate dropped to its lowest level in nearly 50 years on Friday, easing concerns of a slowdown.
The jobless rate dipped 0.2 percentage points to 3.5% in September, the Labor Department reported, matching a level it last saw in December 1969.