Trump delivers first "State of the Union" speech +++ BBC study finds Taliban threaten 70% of Afghanistan
News | 31 January 2018
Trump delivers first "State of the Union" speech
The US President Donald Trump has called on Americans to come together in the face of the many challenges facing the nation. In his first "State of the Union" address he appealed for people to set aside their differences and unite, saying there was “never a better time to start living the American dream”: "all of us together, as one team, one people and one American family, can do anything. We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny and the same great American flag." In his address, Trump said he was "extending an open hand" to Democrats to work together. He also appealed for increased funding for the military and said he was ordering Guantanamo Bay to be kept open, reversing an Obama-era directive to close the controversial detention camp. In the Democratic Party's official response to the speech, the Congressman Joseph Kennedy the third accused the government of rowing back on civil rights and attacking environmental protection. He also said that soaring stock prices under Trump had done nothing to ease the economic anxieties of many Americans: "many have spent the last year anxious, angry, afraid. We all feel the fractured fault lines across our country. We hear the voices of Americans who are forgotten and feel forsaken."
BBC study finds Taliban threaten 70% of Afghanistan
Research carried out by the BBC says Taliban fighters are now openly active in 70% of Afghanistan. The study confirms a major expansion of the areas under threat from the Taliban or under their control since foreign combat troops left in 2014. The Afghan government has played down the report, saying it controls most areas. The recent attacks claimed by the Taliban and the Islamic State group have killed scores of people.
Strong earthquake shakes Pakistan and Afghanistan
A strong earthquake measuring 6.1 on the scale has shaken Pakistan and Afghanistan including the capital cities of both countries. Officials say a young girl was killed and 15 injured.
Germania fraternity to be disbanded
The Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz says the fraternity at the centre of a scandal over neo-Nazi texts found in a songbook is to be disbanded. Kurz said the cabinet had agreed that proceedings would begin against the Germania Wiener Neustadt.
Sunny in the mountains and some sunshine also forecast for the low-lying areas. Highs are ranging between 3 and 9 degrees, where there's a föhn wind up to 12.
- Gennie Johnson