Washington — It was Nancy Pelosi’s first big showdown as US House speaker, but in the tense staring match over border wall funding with President Donald Trump, the self proclaimed master deal-maker blinked first — and was left licking his wounds as his adversary won plaudits for a resounding victory. Just a few short weeks after facing a challenge to her presumed leadership of the House Democrats, the 78-year-old San Francisco congresswoman has emerged as a shrewd tactician and a talismanic "Iron Lady" for newly emboldened progressives. Trump brought a temporary end on Friday to the longest government shutdown in US history, dropping his insistence on immediate funding for wall construction along the Mexican border. The announcement marked a significant climbdown by the president, suspending a row that paralysed Washington, disrupted air travel and left more than 800,000 federal employees without pay for five weeks. The Democrats were not required to yield a single inch, and the ret...

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