Originally Published: March 12, 2018 6:01 a.m.
NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK, Kenya — On the outskirts of a sprawling reserve of Kenyan grasslands where endangered animals roam wild, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lavished praise on an American-funded forensics lab that tracks down elephant-poachers for prosecution, and urged aggressive action in Africa on conservation.
Yet earlier this month, the Trump administration quietly lifted the U.S. ban on importing African elephant trophies, to the dismay of environmental groups who said it sends precisely the wrong message.
U.S. words and deeds are colliding as Tillerson travels across Africa. On trade policy, HIV/AIDS and humanitarian aid, the United States at times seems at odds with itself, muddying efforts to show it wants the continent to flourish and is here to help.
In the case of the elephants, conservationists appeared to have a powerful ally in President Donald Trump, who intervened personally last year to stop the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from lifting the Obama-era ban on tusks imported from Zambia and Zimbabwe. Trump took to Twitter to call the practice a “horror show.”
US officials: No more conditions imposed on North Korea for talks
Trump administration officials said Sunday there will be no more conditions imposed on North Korea before a first-ever meeting of the two nation’s leaders beyond the North’s promise not to resume nuclear testing and missile flights or publicly criticize U.S.-South Korean military exercises. The officials’ comments followed the surprise announcement last week that President Donald Trump has agreed to meet the North’s Kim Jong Un by May.
“This potential meeting has been agreed to, there are no additional conditions being stipulated, but, again they — they cannot engage in missile testing, they cannot engage in nuclear testing and they can’t publicly object to the U.S.-South Korea planned military exercises,” deputy White House spokesman Raj Shah said.