Two police officers patrol through the snow near the congress center where the World Economic Forum, WEF, will take place in Davos, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. The meeting brings together entrepreneurs, scientists, chief executives and political leaders from Jan. 23 to 26. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

The Latest: US officials delay flight to Davos amid shutdown

January 22, 2018 - 10:59 am

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The Latest on the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (all times local):

5:00 p.m.

The White House says a delegation of Cabinet members is delaying their departure for this year's World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland amid the federal government shutdown.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that they will determine what to do "as the day goes on and as we see how the next couple of hours go."

Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin (mih-NOO'-shin) is leading the delegation of Cabinet members and top aides and was scheduled to leave Monday. President Donald Trump was planning to leave later in the week.

Asked if Trump would attend if the government is still shutdown, Sanders said: "I don't know that that's very likely. I wouldn't imagine it is."


4:35 p.m.

The head of Switzerland's Young Socialists is accusing Swiss authorities of bowing to "global elites" by rejecting a request to protest in the town of Davos this week against President Donald Trump's visit.

Tamara Funiciello told The Associated Press on Monday: "I find it scandalous! It's unbelievable."

The authorities said heavy snowfall had limited the space available for a demonstration in Davos on Thursday, the day before Trump is due to address the World Economic Forum.

Funiciello said the move was "a way of hiding behind the power of global elites," adding that the authorities "need stronger spines."

She added: "If they really wanted to give people the space to demonstrate, it would have been possible." She accused the authorities of trampling on Swiss democracy.

Funiciello said her group was searching for other ways of registering their opposition to Trump's visit, such as by airing a live web stream from Davos and refocusing their attention on an anti-Trump demonstration Tuesday in Zurich, Switzerland's largest city.


2:40 p.m.

Authorities in Davos, Switzerland, have rejected a request by left-wing groups to stage a protest during the World Economic Forum, saying heavy snowfall means there's not enough space.

Davos officials said in a statement Monday that "the extremely tight space situation due to the enormous amount of new snow doesn't allow for a rally in the coming days."

Members of Switzerland's Social Democratic Party and Green Party had requested permission to stage a protest Thursday.

The Alpine resort's inability to cope with the mid-winter glut of snow means that protesters won't get to stage their demonstration a day before U.S. President Donald Trump is due to speak at the meeting of top political and economic leaders.


12:50 p.m.

The Swiss military is stationing 4,377 troops in and around Davos, Switzerland, to provide security for this year's meetings at the World Economic Forum, which is set to be headlined by U.S. President Donald Trump.

General Aldo Schellenberg told The Associated Press that the number was not changed following the announcement that Trump would be the first serving president U.S. president to attend in nearly 20 years. He also said the security detail is similar to that provided in the past few years.

Around 93 percent of the military on display are conscripts. The Swiss air force is providing 2,580 troops, while 1,600 are infantry and 187 are from the military police.

In light of the heavy snow that's falling around Davos, military and police officials are not sure how many people are preparing to protest against Trump's visit.

There is some uncertainty about Trump's attendance, however, in light of the government shutdown in Washington.


11:15 a.m.

The founder of the World Economic Forum has told The Associated Press that he hopes President Donald Trump's planned visit to a gathering of world decision-makers and elites in Davos later this week will "provide him even better with a global perspective."

Klaus Schwab declined to comment whether the U.S. government shutdown might spoil Trump's plans to attend the event in the Alpine snows and deliver a speech on Friday.

Schwab said Monday: "It's good to have the president here, if the snow conditions and the situation in Washington allow us."

The White House has said Trump plans to detail his "America First" policy in Davos. More than 60 heads of state and government, plus hundreds of business leaders, academics, policy advocates and celebrities are expected for the Tuesday-Friday meeting.

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