House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (C) (D-CA) and newly elected members of the House Democratic Leadership team pose for a formal portrait at the US Capitol on November 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

Here is a brief look at Press TV newsroom's headlines from 1800 GMT, December 31, 2018 to 0800 GMT, January 1, 2019.

US government shutdown

US House Democrats have prepared a proposal aimed at putting an end to the government shutdown without providing money for President Donald Trump’s dream border wall project. The proposal would extend the existing one-point-three billion dollars spending level on border fencing and other security measures. This, as Trump has demanded five billion dollars in funding allocated for the construction of a wall along the Mexico border. Democrats refuse the president’s demand as immoral. Some of Trump’s own party members accuse him of overhyping the immigration problem for political gains.

US senator's presidential plan

US Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren has announced her intention to run for the 2020 presidential election. Warren criticized what she described as wealthy-dominated political apparatus in Washington and vowed to build a grassroots campaign for change. The Massachusetts senator is known for being a fierce critic of President Donald Trump. The two have, on several occasions, traded barbs with Warren denouncing Trump as an insecure money grubber with a platform of racism, sexism and xenophobia. The former law professor is a strong opponent of Wall Street and a self-described defender of the ordinary American against powerful interests.

French president policy

French President Emmanuel Macron says he recognizes public anger against his government’s economic reforms which have sparked massive protests. Delivering a New Year's address, Macron vowed to continue the reforms despite the recent violent demonstrations. He described leaders of the yellow vest protests as hateful mob. The comments come as 150,000 police force have been deployed across the country to deal with fresh demonstrations. France also remains on high alert over the threat of terrorism. Two weeks ago, the country was hit by yet another terror attack that left five people dead at a Christmas market in Strasbourg.

North Korea warns US

The leader of North Korea says Pyongyang might consider a change of approach if the United States continues demanding unilateral action. Kim Jong-Un made the statement during a televised New Year address. He stressed his commitment to complete denuclearization, but said the process would move faster if the US took corresponding action. The North Korean leader announced that he is ready to meet with US President Donald Trump at any time for a second summit. Kim also called on South Korea to stop joint military exercises with the US. Last June, Kim and Trump signed an agreement to work toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Little progress has been made since then. North Korea demands a relief from sanctions, while the US insists on the policy of maximum pressure.

Sudan president's pledge

The Sudanese president has pledged to quell any attempt to undermine the country’s security amid widespread protests against his government. Bashir made the remarks in a meeting with senior police commanders. He acknowledged the Sudanese people were facing problems but said destruction and looting would not solve them. On Monday, anti-riot police once again clashed with protesters in the capital Khartoum, using tear gas to disperse the crowd. Security forces were deployed on rooftops with armored vehicles patrolling the main streets. The demonstrators want Bashir to step down. The protests have turned violent on several occasions over the past few days. A number of people have been killed. The protesters are angry over rising prices.

HRW slams Bahrain

Human Rights Watch condemns Bahrain for upholding a five-year jail sentence for prominent rights activist, Nabeel Rajab. The rights group said upholding Rajab’s sentence is a grave miscarriage of justice. Amnesty International also denounced the verdict as shameful. It said the decision exposes Bahrain’s justice system as a complete farce. According to a defense lawyer, Bahrain’s Court of Cassation rejected an appeal against the verdict. Rajab is in prison on a number of charges including criticizing Saudi Arabia's deadly airstrikes in Yemen and accusing Bahraini authorities of torture. Manama has launched a deadly crackdown on dissent since a popular uprising engulfed the kingdom back in 2011. Thousands of people, including rights activists, have also been jailed.

China-US ties

The presidents of China and the US have exchanged messages, pledging to boost cooperation. In the messages sent Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping underlined the importance of working with Washington to advance bilateral relations. US President Donald Trump, for his part, praised the last four decades of diplomacy between China and the US, and hailed what he called “his solid friendship" with the Chinese leader. It comes as tensions between Beijing and Washington have been rising over trade disputes.

Welcoming 2019

Millions of people around the globe have held celebrations to mark the New Year, welcoming it by fireworks and other festivities.

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