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FILE PHOTO: Chinese paramilitary vehicles are parked at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center in Shenzhen near the border with Hong Kong, China August 18, 2019. REUTERS/Martin Pollard

World

China’s State Council has called for greater development of the southern city of Shenzhen and the integration of its culture and economy with neighboring Hong Kong and Macau.

Danish PM: Trump's idea of buying Greenland is 'absurd'

World

Frederiksen said Sunday that the Arctic, with resources that Russia and others could exploit for commercial gain, "is becoming increasingly ...

Denmark's prime minister says U.S. President Donald Trump's idea of buying Greenland from Denmark is "an absurd discussion," reiterating that the semi-autonomous Danish territory in the Arctic is not for sale.

President Donald Trump meets with China's President Xi Jinping at the start of their bilateral meeting at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019.

World

"Just in case it might have an impact on people, what we’ve done is delayed it, so they won't be relevant for the Christmas shopping season,"

The United States announced Tuesday that a 10% tariff set to be slapped on $300 billion of Chinese imports starting next month would be delayed until later this year for certain products, including "cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors and certain items of footwear and clothing."

U.S. farmers suffer 'body blow' as China slams door on farm purchases

World

Tariffs imposed by China on U.S. soybeans have slashed exports of the most valuable U.S. crop and forced Trump’s administration to compensate farmers for two years with combined spending of as much as $28 billion.

Chinese companies have stopped buying U.S. agricultural products, China’s Commerce Ministry said on Tuesday, a blow to U.S. farmers who have already seen their exports slashed by the more than year-old trade war.

China's yuan steadies, but stocks slump as trade war engulfs currency

World

China’s commerce ministry also announced overnight that its companies had stopped buying U.S. agricultural products in retaliation against Washington’s latest tariff threat.

China’s tumbling yuan steadied on Tuesday as authorities took steps to contain its slide, while stocks tanked after Washington labeled Beijing a currency manipulator in a sharp escalation of Sino-U.S. trade tensions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. File image

World

If the United States wants to have negotiations with Iran then it must lift all sanctions, Rouhani said, noting that Iran must be allowed to export oil.

War with Iran is the mother of all wars, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday in a speech broadcast live on state TV, warning once again that shipping might not be safe in the Strait of Hormuz oil waterway.

People watch a TV broadcasting a news report on North Korea firing two unidentified projectiles, in Seoul, South Korea, August 6, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

World

A United Nations report said on Monday Pyongyang has continued to enhance its nuclear and missile programmes and used cyberattacks to take in $2 billion to fund the development.

North Korea fired missiles into the sea off its east coast for the fourth time in less than two weeks, South Korea said on Tuesday, as Pyongyang warned that hostile moves against it “have reached the danger line.”

Defense Head Esper: US to Soon Put Intermediate Range Missile in Asia

World

Trump has called New START "just another bad deal" made by the Obama administration, and has said he wants to negotiate a three-way nuclear arms control agreement among the U.S., Russia and China.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he wants to deploy an intermediate range conventional missile in the Pacific region within months, now that the Trump administration has formally pulled out of a Cold War-era arms control treaty with Russia.

People take part in a solidarity rally in Lenina Square in support of rejected independent candidates in the upcoming Moscow City Duma election, Aug., 03, 2019.

World

Last week police cracked down and arrested 1,400 people at a demonstration called by the same organizers.

Hundreds of protesters were violently arrested in Moscow Saturday, the latest demonstration against the Kremlin-aligned United Russia party.

Protesters Clash With Police in Hong Kong. Image credit - NYT

World

Millions have taken part in street protests against a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be sent to China to face trial in Communist Party-controlled courts.

Hong Kong on Monday bore the scars of another night of violent protests with hard hats, umbrellas and water bottles littering some central streets, as Beijing was set to make an announcement on the Asian financial center’s worst crisis since 1997.

A boat is seen close to oil installations at Lake Maracaibo in Cabimas, Venezuela October 5, 2017. Picture taken October 5, 2017. REUTERS/Isaac Urrutia

World

The meeting did not include the United States, which pulled out of the agreement in May 2018 and slapped sanctions back on Iranian oil exports.

Oil prices fell on Monday after Iran described emergency talks on a multi-party nuclear agreement with a group of signatories as “constructive”, suggesting an easing of tensions in the Middle East.

Other European Union countries, including Austria, Britain, Spain and Italy, have also announced plans for their own digital taxes.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday that France would proceed with taxing revenues of big technology firms and urged the United States not to bring trade tariffs into the debate on how to fairly raise levies on digital services.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts as he meets engineering graduates on the site of an under-construction tramline in Stretford, near Manchester, Britain July 27, 2019. Ben Stansall/Pool via REUTERS

World

“My friends, I do not want a no-deal Brexit, that is not where we’re aiming, but we have to face the fact that at the moment we’re being told, ...

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cautioned the European Union on Saturday that the “anti-democratic” Irish backstop must be ditched if they were to strike a Brexit divorce deal.

File image - North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un

World

On Tuesday, the North’s KCNA news agency reported that Kim inspected a large, newly built submarine, accompanied by missile program leaders, in a possible signal of the continued development of a submarine-launched ballistic missile program.

North Korea fired two short-range missiles early on Thursday from its east coast, South Korea’s military said, the first missile test since leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to revive stalled denuclearization talks.

S. Korea, Russia differ over warning shots fired at jets

World

Seoul defense officials said the Russian reconnaissance aircraft left the area three minutes later but later returned and violated South Korean airspace again for four minutes.

South Korean air force jets fired 360 rounds of warning shots Tuesday after a Russian military plane twice violated South Korea's airspace off the country's eastern coast, Seoul officials said in an announcement that was quickly disputed by Russia.

Boris Johnson speaks after being announced as Britain's next Prime Minister at The Queen Elizabeth II centre in London, Britain July 23, 2019. Reuters photo

World

Johnson, the face of the 2016 Brexit referendum, won the votes of 92,153 members of the Conservative party, almost twice the 46,656 won by his rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Boris Johnson, the Brexiteer who has promised to lead Britain out of the European Union with or without a deal by the end of October, will replace Theresa May as prime minister after winning the leadership of the Conservative Party on Tuesday.

In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, Britain said the tanker was approached by Iranian forces when it was in Omani territorial waters exercising ...

Britain on Saturday denounced Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf as a “hostile act” and rejected Tehran’s explanation that it seized the vessel because it had been involved in an accident.

Undated photograph shows the Mesdar, a British-operated oil tanker in Fawley, Britain obtained by Reuters on July 19, 2019. JOHN PITCHER/via REUTERS

World

The Stena Impero and Mesdar changed direction sharply within 40 minutes of each other shortly after entering the Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz, ....

Britain said Iran seized two oil tankers in the Gulf on Friday and told Tehran to return the vessels or face consequences in the latest confrontation to ratchet up tension along a vital international oil shipping route.

Iran military says all its drones have returned safely to base: report

World

“All drones belonging to Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz ...

Iran’s top military spokesman said all the country’s drones had returned safely to base, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, after President Donald Trump said a U.S. Navy ship had “destroyed” one.

U.S. says Navy ship 'destroyed' Iranian drone in Gulf

World

Oil prices jumped on Thursday after news of the ship seizure. They later fell, however, on weakness in U.S. equities markets and an expectation that ....

The United States said on Thursday that a U.S. Navy ship had “destroyed” an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after the aircraft threatened the vessel, but Iran said it had no information about losing a drone.

In the latest episode to stir tensions in the Gulf, U.S. President Donald Trump told an event at the White House that the drone had flown to within 1,000 yards (meters) of the USS Boxer and had ignored “multiple calls to stand down.”

“This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters. The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities and interests,” Trump said.

“The drone was immediately destroyed,” he added.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters at the United Nations: “We have no information about losing a drone today.”

The Pentagon said in a statement that the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, had taken “defensive action” against a drone on Thursday morning as the Boxer was moving into the Strait of Hormuz.

“We do assess it was an Iranian drone,” said Commander Rebecca Rebarich, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

Tensions in the Gulf region are high, with fears that the United States and Iran could stumble into war.

The United States has blamed Iran for a series of attacks since mid-May on shipping around the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important oil artery. Tehran rejects the allegations.

Iran in June shot down a U.S. military surveillance drone in the Gulf with a surface-to-air missile. Iran says the drone was in its airspace, but Washington says it was in international skies.

Trump said at the time the United States had come close to launching a military strike on Iran in retaliation for the downing of the U.S. drone.

The increased use of drones by Iran and its allies for surveillance and attacks across the Middle East is raising alarms in Washington.

The United States believes that Iran-linked militia in Iraq have recently increased their surveillance of American troops and bases in the country by using off-the-shelf, commercially available drones, U.S. officials say.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the drone on Thursday was brought down through electronic jamming.

NUCLEAR DEAL

Relations between the United States and Iran have worsened since last year when Trump abandoned a 2015 deal between world powers and Iran in which Tehran agreed to restrict nuclear work in return for the lifting of sanctions.

The United States has reimposed sanctions to throttle Iran’s oil trade and says it wants to increase pressure on Tehran to renegotiate the accord, discuss its ballistic missile program and modify its behavior in the Middle East, where Washington is allied to several Arab states opposed to Iran.

Iran’s clerical rulers have ruled out renegotiating the nuclear deal or holding talks on its missile program, which it says is purely defensive.

But Zarif told reporters on Thursday that Iran had offered to make a concession on its nuclear program - to ratify a document prescribing more intrusive inspections - if the United States abandoned its economic sanctions - a proposal that drew U.S. skepticism.

“If Iran wants to make a serious gesture, it should start by ending uranium enrichment immediately,” a U.S. senior administration official said, adding any talks should include “a permanent end to Iran’s malign nuclear ambitions, including its development of nuclear-capable missiles.”

Earlier on Thursday, the United States demanded Iran immediately release a vessel it seized in the Gulf, and a U.S. military commander in the region said the United States would work “aggressively” to ensure free passage of vessels through the vital waterway.

Iran played down the seizure of the ship, which it said was a small vessel that was smuggling oil.

Iranian state TV aired footage of a vessel called “RIAH.”

The Panamanian-flagged oil tanker MT Riah disappeared off trackers in Iranian territorial waters days ago.

“We do this (inspecting ships) every day. These are people who smuggle our oil,” Iran’s Press TV quoted Zarif as saying, adding: “It was a small ship used to smuggle 1 million liters – not 1 million barrels – of crude oil.”

Washington has recently beefed up its military presence and the U.S. Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, says that Gulf Arab states have stepped up patrols.

Revolutionary Guards Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami said on Thursday that Iran had adopted a defensive strategy, but warned that “if our enemies make any mistakes ... our strategy can become an offensive one.”

Oil prices jumped on Thursday after news of the ship seizure. They later fell, however, on weakness in U.S. equities markets and an expectation that crude output would rise in the Gulf of Mexico following last week’s hurricane in the region.

The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on an international network of companies and their agents it said were involved in the procurement of materials for Iran’s nuclear program.

 

Source: Reuters

U.K. defends ambassador after disparaging Trump comments leak. Image credit - politico

World

"While I thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent State Visit last month, it was the Queen who I was most impressed with!"

President Donald Trump in a tweet on Monday said that the United States "will no longer deal with" U.K. Ambassador to the U.S. Kim Darroch after his blunt criticism of the president and administration in diplomatic cables was leaked.

Boeing pledges $100 million to those affected by Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max crashes

World

He said Boeing agrees with the FAA that they "must take action," and that they're "already working on the required software."

Boeing on Wednesday pledged to pay $100 million to individuals impacted by the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes that killed a total of 346 people.

Trump says Iran 'playing with fire' with uranium enrichment

World

Zarif said Iran’s next move would be to enrich uranium beyond the maximum 3.67% fissile purity allowed under the deal, a threshold Tehran has previously said it would cross on July 7.

Iran announced on Monday it had amassed more low-enriched uranium than permitted under its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, drawing a warning from U.S. President Donald Trump that Tehran was “playing with fire.”

Iran breaches uranium stockpile limit set by nuclear deal

World

In Moscow, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov noted that Iran had warned in advance it was going to exceed the limit set by the deal and emphasized that Tehran's move followed "unthinkable" U.S. pressure.

Iran has broken the limit set on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, international inspectors and Tehran said Monday, marking its first major departure from the unraveling agreement a year after the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the accord.

Kenya Airways planes are seen parked at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport near Nairobi, Kenya, March 6, 2019.

World

The man’s body was traced back to Kenya Airways flight 100, which originated from Nairobi, according to a tweet from Kenya Airports.

A man found dead in a garden in London is believed to have fallen out of the landing gear of a flight where he was a stowaway, according to police.

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea. Reuters photo

World

Trump and Kim met in the so-called Joint Security Area (JSA), which is patrolled by soldiers from both Koreas. Moon joined the two after their initial handshakes.

U.S. President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas on Sunday, shaking hands warmly and both expressing hopes for peace.

U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping pose for a photo ahead of their bilateral meeting during the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

World

The world’s two largest economies are in the midst of a bitter trade war, which has seen them level increasingly severe tariffs on each other’s imports.

China and the United States will face a long road before they can reach a deal to end their bitter trade war, with more fights ahead likely, Chinese state media said after the two countries’ presidents held ice-breaking talks in Japan.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, center, and national security adviser John Bolton, right, listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Feb. 27, 2019, in Hanoi, Vietnam. File image

World

It's a sign of the Trump administration's isolation on the world stage when it comes to the Iran nuclear deal, ...

Iran may be standing down on its nuclear threat, at least for now, after Europe and China moved on Friday to ignore or bypass U.S. sanctions.

Trump says he doesn't want war with Iran, but there will be 'obliteration' if it comes

World

"I think I win the election easier," the president continued. "But I'm not sure that I like having it. I did nothing wrong. I was spied on.

President Donald Trump said Friday that he doesn't want war with Iran, but if it comes there will be "obliteration like you've never seen before."

Trump says he aborted retaliatory strike to spare Iranian lives

World

Khamenei has the last say on all state matters and has ruled out any talks with Washington while Tehran is under sanctions.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he aborted a military strike on Iran because he it could have killed 150 people, a disproportionate response to Tehran’s downing of an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone.

President Trump reportedly reconsidered a plan to strike at Iran over its downing of an RQ-4 Global Hawk, like this drone seen at the Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. U.S. Central Command/Screenshot by NPR

World

Trump's pullback of the strike plan was first reported by The New York Times, which described how even as late as as last as 7 p.m. ET, military and diplomatic officials had been expecting the attack to proceed.

President Trump approved airstrikes on Iran on Thursday after Iran shot down a U.S. drone but called off the operation after the initial moves were underway, according to multiple news outlets. NPR has not been able to independently confirm those reports.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this undated photo released on June 21, 2019 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA via REUTERS

World

The visit also comes a week before Xi and U.S. President Donald Trump meet at the G20 summit in Osaka amid an ongoing trade dispute.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed that strengthening bilateral ties, at a time of “serious and complicated” international affairs, was good for regional peace, North Korean state media said on Friday.

U.S. regulator bars airlines from flying over some Iran-controlled airspace

World

The order came hours after United Airlines suspended flights between New Jersey’s Newark airport and the Indian financial capital of Mumbai, ...

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday issued an emergency order prohibiting U.S. operators from flying in an overwater area of Tehran-controlled airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman due to heightened tensions.

An undated U.S. Air Force handout photo of a RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned (drone) aircraft.

World

So, it would be interesting to see what they have to say, whether the - I don't think the President wants to go to war. there's no appetite for going to war in our country.”

President Donald Trump said Thursday that the Iranian shootdown of an American drone may have not been intentional, but a "mistake" by someone "loose and stupid."

Iran Shoots Down U.S. Military Drone in Gulf Region.

World

Iran said last week that it was responsible for the security of the Strait of Hormuz, calling on American forces to leave the Gulf.

Iran has shot down a U.S. drone which the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Thursday was flying over southern Iran, raising fears that a major military confrontation could erupt between Tehran and Washington.

File photo: A man holds the flags of India and the U.S. while people take part in the 35th India Day Parade in New York August 16, 2015. Reuters image

World

The warning comes as trade tensions between the United States and India have resulted in tit-for-tat tariff actions in recent weeks. From Sunday, ...

The United States has told India it is considering caps on H-1B work visas for nations that force foreign companies to store data locally, three sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, widening the two countries’ row over tariffs and trade.

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