ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
65°
Showers
H 82° L 67°
  • cloudy-day
    65°
    Current Conditions
    Showers. H 82° L 67°
  • rain-day
    79°
    Afternoon
    Showers. H 82° L 67°
  • clear-night
    74°
    Evening
    Clear. H 82° L 67°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

National Govt & Politics
US warns Hungary, other allies to shun business with Huawei
Close

US warns Hungary, other allies to shun business with Huawei

US warns Hungary, other allies to shun business with Huawei
Photo Credit: Zsolt Szigetvary/MTI via AP
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto, right, shakes hands with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the ministry in Budapest, Hungary, Monday, February 11, 2019. Pompeo is on an official visit to Hungary. (Zsolt Szigetvary/MTI via AP)

US warns Hungary, other allies to shun business with Huawei

The United States may be forced to scale back certain operations in Europe and elsewhere if countries continue to do business with the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday in a new warning that underscores U.S. concerns about the firm.

In Budapest on the first leg of a five-nation European tour during which he is raising American concerns about China and Russia's growing influence in Central Europe, Pompeo said nations would have to consider choosing between Huawei and the United States. The warning was broad but pointedly delivered in Hungary, a NATO ally and European Union member where Huawei is a major player.

"They are a sovereign nation," Pompeo said of Hungary. "They get to make their own decisions. What is imperative is that we share with them the things we know about the risks that Huawei's presence in their networks present — actual risks to their people, to the loss of privacy protections for their own people, to the risk that China will use this in a way that is not in the best interest of Hungary."

The U.S. has been warning countries about the risks of Chinese telecom technology as governments choose providers for the rollout of "5G" wireless Internet, which will enable faster download speeds but also greater connectivity among devices.

Pompeo says the presence of Chinese telecom infrastructure could drive a technological wedge between the U.S. and some allies.

"It also makes it more difficult for America to be present," Pompeo said. "That is, if that equipment is co-located where we have important American systems, it makes it more difficult for us to partner alongside them."

Pompeo said he had raised the concerns with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto and would also do so with nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has been criticized for seeking closer ties with Russia and China and for increasingly authoritarian rule at home.

"We want to make sure we identify (to) them the opportunities and the risks with using that equipment. And then they will get to make their decisions," Pompeo said.

The U.S. has repeatedly accused China of using technology to pilfer trade secrets. China recently has said that it's "totally unreasonable" to make some of these accusations and that the U.S. is just trying to suppress a rising competitor.

At a news conference with Pompeo, Szijjarto acknowledged that Huawei is present in Hungary but played down its position in the market. He also made the point repeatedly that Hungary accounts for only 1.2 percent of European Union trade with China.

"This does not endanger us from being an ally," Szijjarto said.

Pompeo will take the same message about Huawei to his next stop, Slovakia, on Tuesday, before heading to Poland, where he will participate in a conference on the future of the Middle East expected to focus on Iran. He will wrap up the tour with brief stops in Belgium and Iceland.

Pompeo said he hoped to reverse what he called a decade of U.S. disengagement in Central Europe that created a vacuum Russia and China have exploited. Over the course of the past 10 years, he said, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leaders have become much more aggressive in the region and made inroads.

"We must not let Putin drive wedges between friends in NATO," he said, adding that he had also warned of "the dangers of allowing China to gain a bridgehead in Hungary. Russia and China are authoritarian powers who do not share our joint aspirations of freedom."

President Donald Trump's administration has made a point of reaching out to Orban, who shares Trump's strong stance on limiting migration and has adopted increasingly authoritarian measures, including cracking down on the opposition, labor unions, independent media and academia.

The administration of Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, had largely steered clear of Orban, who won a third consecutive term last year in a campaign based on anti-immigration policies and whose policies have been met with street protests and deepening concern within the EU.

Pompeo put the blame for much of the backsliding on a lack of U.S. engagement.

"I think for a long time we shunned them in a way that drove them to fill the vacuum with folks who didn't share our values," he said. "The Russians and the Chinese ended up getting more influence here, they do not remotely share the American ideals that we care so deeply about."

Pompeo was given a list of concerns in a meeting with Hungarian civic leaders. Some of their groups have been targeted by legislation making their work more difficult, like a tax on funds received from abroad and the possible jail time for those convicted of aiding asylum seekers. Three groups that took part said they believed Pompeo would bring them to Orban.

"The meeting and the openness to the opinion of the civic groups again demonstrated that the American leadership is committed to the defense of the values of the rule of law and the role of civil society," the groups said in a statement.

Last month, Orban said he wanted "anti-immigration forces" to become a majority in all European Union institutions, including its Parliament and the EU's executive Commission, and predicted that there would soon be two civilizations in Europe — one "that builds its future on a mixed Islamic and Christian coexistence" and another in Central Europe that would be only Christian.

Orban's government has been targeted for criticism, including from the U.S., for forcing a Budapest-based university founded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros to move most of its programs to Vienna. His fiery rhetoric against migrants and refusal to join a new European Union public prosecutor's office focusing on fraud and corruption have also raised concerns.

___

Associated Press writer Pablo Gorondi contributed to this report.

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • A loaded gun was brought inside a Pittsburgh elementary school Monday, officials said. >> Watch the news report here WPXI-TV reports that the weapon wasn't found until after school, when another student told a bus driver that someone had a gun. Children are not required to go through the metal detectors at Pittsburgh Faison Elementary School in Homewood, but a district spokesperson told WPXI that there are going to be changes in security measures starting Tuesday morning. >> Read more trending news  The kindergarten student had the loaded gun, with the safety on, in his backpack, inside his locker. Officials told WPXI that parents got a notice from the district's phone system. WPXI is working to find out if the child's parents will be charged.
  • Razor blades have been found under the handles of shopping carts at a Walmart store in North Carolina, police said. >> Watch the news report here The blades were found at the store in Siler City, about 35 miles south of Greensboro, WSOC-TV reported. Two people reportedly have been hurt. Siler City police are seeking two people of interest, both described as white men in their 30s. Police said the men were seen in a tan Chevrolet Suburban or GMC SUV. >> Read the full descriptions here >> See the surveillance photos here – The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.
  • A skyride malfunctioned Monday night at SeaWorld San Diego, initially stranding nine adults and seven children – including an infant. Here are the latest updates: Update 11:26 p.m. PST: Rescue workers have saved all 16 people who were trapped on the Bayside Skyride at SeaWorld San Diego, the San Diego Fire Department tweeted late Monday. >> See the tweet here Original story: A rescue is underway at SeaWorld San Diego after a skyride malfunctioned Monday night, initially stranding nine adults and seven children – including an infant. >> See a photo from the scene here >> Read more trending news  As of 10:30 p.m. PST, crews had rescued 14 people from the Bayside Skyride, which stalled when heavy winds 'tripped a circuit breaker' more than three hours earlier, KSWB reported. Two people were still trapped on the ride's gondolas, the San Diego Fire Department said. >> See the tweet here KSWB said some of the gondolas were over Mission Bay when the ride stopped working. Those trapped were 'lowered by harnesses & rescued by [San Diego Lifeguards] boats,' the Fire Department tweeted. Read more here.
  • A University of Central Florida employee suffered burns Monday after a chemical reaction, according to Orange County Fire Rescue officials. Firefighters were called to 3512 Perseus Loop Lane near the Facilities Operations building on UCF's campus around 3 p.m.  The 29-year-old who was the only person in the building at the time, and was transporting the chemicals when a static discharge sparked a fire.  He was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with burns to his face, arms and chest according to responding firefighters.  A university spokeswoman said the incident happened in a building on campus that is designed to handle chemicals and no students were involved in the incident or ever in any danger.  The worker's name was not released. Mike Jachles with OCFR said he was conscious and alert when he was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center.
  • Four days after the announcement of a series of executive actions to fund his signature border wall, President Donald Trump’s administration still needs to fill in the details on his plans to shift over $6.6 billion from the Pentagon and Treasury Department into funding border security, as members of Congress continue to wonder if the move will dig into their local military base construction projects. On Capitol Hill, lawmakers and their staffs were awaiting guidance on where the Pentagon would look for money in the $3.6 billion sought by the President in his emergency declaration from military construction projects, which was already the subject of new lawsuits. “Congress has not enacted any emergency legislation even remotely related to border wall construction, and thus the President’s reallocation of funds is unlawful,” read a suit filed against the President and Pentagon by several environmental groups. In a letter to the Acting Secretary of Defense, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) asked for a breakdown of which projects would be put on hold – as under the ‘national emergency’ law used by the President, the Pentagon would make those decisions – not the Congress. Congress approved $10.3 billion for military construction in Fiscal Year 2019 – the $3.6 billion sought by the President would be more than one-third of that amount – which has drawn expressions of concern from lawmakers. As Kaine noted in his letter, the move to shift money from military construction comes at a time when the Pentagon already was having to deal with hurricane damage at two major domestic bases – Camp Lejeune for the Marines in North Carolina, and Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. Tyndall was seriously damaged by Hurricane Michael in 2018 – and despite support for rebuilding the base, Congress has not yet acted on extra money for the Pentagon – or on broader hurricane relief for those hit in Florida and Georgia. During the partial government shutdown, Democrats in the House approved a bill which had $12.1 billion in disaster aid, both for hurricanes and wildfires – but that bill does not seem to be on the agenda in the U.S. Senate at this point. @DrNealDunnFL2 Dr Dunn, we are hearing here in the Panhandle that Trump is going after Tyndall rebuilding money for his wall. Please don’t let this happen! No Tyndall would be catastrophic to our area. Please help! — Billy Shears (@BillyShears9) February 14, 2019 The Commandant of the Marine Corps said over the weekend that he needs $3.5 billion just for repairs at Camp LeJeune from damage caused by Hurricane Florence in September of 2018 – which is equal to the figure of how much in military construction the President wants to shift into a border wall. Earlier this month, Air Force officials said they planned to spend $3 billion to rebuild Tyndall, which was flattened by Hurricane Michael in October of last year. House Democrats say they plan to hold a hearing as soon as next week to get a better idea on what military construction projects the Pentagon wants to scrap – in order to move money to the wall. Also still unclear is the legal underpinnings for two other moves announced last week by the White House, where the President would move money from a Treasury Department drug forfeiture fund, as well as money from a Pentagon anti-drug account – into a border wall.