Romney’s nephew fails to make Colorado primary ballot

DENVER (AP) — Businessman Doug Robinson, a nephew of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, failed to qualify for Colorado’s Republican gubernatorial primary ballot, a state official announced Friday.

Colorado politicians hoping to land on their party’s statewide primary ballot must gather 1,500 signatures from party voters in each of the state’s seven congressional districts.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams said Robinson was unable to get the required signatures in the 2nd Congressional District, a liberal stronghold centered in Boulder.

Robinson’s campaign said it would challenge the decision in court.

“We know we have enough signatures,” spokeswoman Brett Maney said.

Williams, also a Republican, said former state Rep. Victor Mitchell did gather enough signatures to qualify for the primary.

Robinson, an investment banker, is the second prominent Republican who failed to make his party’s gubernatorial primary ballot in the past week.

An alternative to the petition path to the ballot is to garner support from at least 30 percent of the delegates at the party’s annual assembly.

On Saturday, Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, failed to reach that threshold at the Republican state assembly. Treasurer Walker Stapleton and former Parker Mayor Greg Lopez both qualified for the ballot through the assembly.

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is term-limited. Democrats competing for the nomination to replace him include former state Sen. Mike Johnston, former state Treasurer Cary Kennedy, Lt. Gov Donna Lynne and Rep. Jared Polis.

Lynne’s petitions to appear on the Democratic primary ballot were certified by the Secretary of State Friday afternoon.

…read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News


North Korea Says It Has Suspended Missile Testing and Plans to Close Nuclear Site

(SEOUL, South Korea) —

North Korea said Saturday it has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests and plans to close its nuclear test site.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said the country is making the move to shift its national focus and improve its economy.

The North also vowed to actively engage with regional neighbors and the international community to secure peace in the Korean Peninsula and create an “optimal international environment” to build its economy.

The announcements came days before North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in in a border truce village for a rare summit aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff with Pyongyang.

A separate meeting between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump is anticipated in May or June.

North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the World – big progress! Look forward to our Summit.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 20, 2018

The North’s decisions were made in a meeting of the ruling party’s full Central Committee which had convened to discuss a “new stage” of policies.

The Korean Workers’ Party’s Central Committee declared it a “great victory” in the country’s official “byungjin” policy line of simultaneously pursuing economic and nuclear development.

The committee unanimously adopted a resolution that called for concentrating national efforts to achieve a strong socialist economy and “groundbreaking improvements in people’s lives.”

“To secure transparency on the suspension of nuclear tests, we will close the republic’s northern nuclear test site,” the party’s resolution said.

The agency quoted Kim as saying during the meeting: “Nuclear development has proceeded scientifically and in due order and the development of the delivery strike means also proceeded scientifically and verified the completion of nuclear weapons.

“We no longer need any nuclear test or test launches of intermediate and intercontinental range ballistic missiles and because of this the northern nuclear test site has finished its mission.”

North Korea’s abrupt diplomatic outreach in recent months came after a flurry of weapons tests, including the underground detonation of a possible thermonuclear warhead and three launches of developmental intercontinental ballistic missiles designed to strike the U.S. mainland.

Some analysts see Kim as entering the upcoming negotiations from a position of strength after having declared his nuclear force as complete in November. South Korean and U.S. officials have said Kim is likely trying to save …read more

Source:: Time – World


Analysis: Trump can’t stop raising the bar for N. Korea success

By David Nakamura | Washington Post

PALM BEACH, Fla. – President Donald Trump has been upping the ante for his planned meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, increasing the pressure on his administration to deliver results on an issue that has vexed his predecessors but that Trump has now embraced as his signature foreign policy initiative.

Although it remains unclear when and where the summit will take place, Trump spent much of his two-day conference here with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this week boasting about the historic moment and ruminating on what could be achieved.

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With Abe seated next to him at Mar-a-Lago, his gilded retreat, Trump told reporters that negotiators from North and South Korea were already at work discussing ways to bring a formal end to the Korean War, after the 1953 armistice left the divided peninsula in a perpetual state of tension. He cast the move as an appropriate appetizer for the banquet of denuclearization talks to follow.

“They have my blessing,” Trump, the self-proclaimed master dealmaker, declared. Later at a news conference with Abe, who remains wary of the sudden thaw in relations, Trump described his upcoming encounter with Kim as “a historic moment and possibly beyond that, if it works out properly.”

What has emerged in recent days is that Trump the president, who has elevated North Korea’s nuclear threat to his top foreign policy priority, is facing increasing pressure to deliver tangible results from his high-risk gambit, while Trump the showman, who is obsessed with ratings and scorecards, continues to elevate the bar of what is possible.

“We’ve gone from uncertainty about whether this summit will happen to greatly heightened expectations,” said Victor Cha, a Korea expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who served as a senior National Security Council official under President George W. Bush. “He’s done it himself. We’ve gone from, ‘Maybe this will happen,’ to all of a sudden talking about a peace treaty and normalization of relations.”

In many regards, a first-ever summit between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader is perfectly suited to the ego of Trump, who thrilled supporters during the Republican National Convention in July 2016 when he declared, “I alone can fix it.”

Since taking office, Trump has sought …read more

Source:: East Bay – National & World