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Donald Trump, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Joe Biden - US News - Ukraine Headline

President Donald Trump urged the new leader of Ukraine this summer to investigate the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a person familiar with the matter said. Democrats condemned what they saw as a clear effort to damage a political rival, now at the heart of an explosive whistleblower complaint against Trump. It was the latest revelation in an escalating controversy that has created a showdown between congressional Democrats and the Trump administration, which has refused to turn over the formal complaint by a national security official or even describe its contents. Trump defended himself Friday against the intelligence official’s complaint, angrily declaring it came from a “partisan whistleblower,” though he also said he didn’t know who had made it. The complaint was based on a series of events, one of which was a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, according to a two people familiar with the matter. The people were not authorized to discuss the issue by name and were granted anonymity. Trump, in that call, urged Zelenskiy to probe the activities of potential Democratic rival Biden’s son Hunter, who worked for a Ukrainian gas company, according to one of the people, who was briefed on the call. Trump did not raise the issue of U.S. aid to Ukraine, indicating there was not an explicit quid pro quo, according to the person. Joe Biden reacted strongly late Friday, saying that if the reports are true, “then there is truly no bottom to PresidentContinue reading

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Donald Trump - USA Headlines Story Now

The Trump administration is poised to revoke California’s authority to set auto mileage standards, asserting that only the federal government has the power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy. Conservative and free-market groups have been asked to attend a formal announcement of the rollback set for Wednesday afternoon at Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington. Gloria Bergquist, spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said Tuesday that her group was among those invited to the event featuring EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The move comes after the Justice Department recently opened an antitrust investigation into a deal between California and four automakers for tougher pollution and related mileage requirements than those sought by President Donald Trump. Trump also has sought to relax Obama-era federal mileage standards nationwide, weakening a key effort by his Democratic predecessor to slow climate change. Top California officials and environmental groups pledged legal action to stop the rollback. The White House declined to comment Tuesday, referring questions to EPA. EPA’s press office did not respond to a phone message and email seeking comment. But Wheeler told the National Automobile Dealers Association on Tuesday that the Trump administration would move “in the very near future” to take steps toward establishing one nationwide set of fuel-economy standards. “We embrace federalism and the role of the states, but federalism does not mean that one state can dictate standards for the nation,” Wheeler said, adding that higher fuel economy standards would hurt consumers byContinue reading

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Mohammad Baqeri - Iran News Headlines

Iran’s top military commander says the country’s military stands ready to defend its interests and protect its security in the Persian Gulf. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is fully ready under the current circumstances to defend its security and interests in the Persian Gulf,” Chairman of Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri said while addressing cadets in China’s PLA National Defense University in Beijing on Thursday. “History shows that we have never initiated [an act of] aggression or a war and will not do so, but we will firmly defend our security and sovereignty in case of any aggression or intervention by foreigners,” he added. The senior military commander further reiterated Iran’s position that security of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, through which passes a major portion of all oil globally consumed, should be provided by regional states and not the foreigners. He said the presence and deployment of forces from the US and other Western countries, and plans like the already failed US-led coalition in the Persian Gulf purportedly seeking to boost security in the region, have and will have no result but aggravated insecurity. “The Islamic Republic of Iran has done its share of ensuring security of this sensitive region through the years and would continue to do so,” said Mohammad Baqeri, adding, “However, it views the military presence of foreign powers as a major challenge to the security of the region.” He said Iran’s policy for establishing regionalContinue reading

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US Democrats 2020 Candidates

Thirty new students are from Arizona, and nearly 100 moved from California. But the small town of Prosper, Texas, is expecting more growth — a lot more — so it built a $53 million high school football stadium outside Dallas, just two years after finally getting a Walmart. The scoreboard is 63 feet (19 meters) tall, the biggest at any Texas high school, and on a Saturday night it blared Aerosmith’s “Dream On” as band mom Lisa DeMarco settled into one of the 12,000 seats. She’s heard “a few liberals” have moved in but doesn’t know any. “It’s a red state. I love the Second Amendment part of it, and I don’t like the fact there’s a lot of people talking blue,” said DeMarco, herself a newcomer from Georgia. By holding Thursday’s presidential debate in Houston, Democrats are out to show the rest of the country they can finally win again in Texas, propelled by fast-changing suburbs like Prosper that are beginning to trend more liberal after decades of Republican dominance. But for Democrats, the transformation may not come by 2020. For years in Texas, Democrats have counted on shifting demographics, especially a soaring Hispanic population and more left-leaning voters moving in from other states, to turn the state blue. But even after big gains in 2018 — including flipping two congressional districts — conservative bastions like Collin County reflect the difficult task still ahead. Although Democrats might finally break GOP control of the statehouse and are encouraged that fiveContinue reading

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Koizumi Shinjiro Japanese Political Leader, Japan

Japan’s Shinzo Abe Wednesday appointed new foreign and defence ministers and promoted a popular rising political star, in a cabinet reshuffle that fuelled speculation over the prime minister’s successor. The spectacular appointment as environment minister of the telegenic Shinjiro Koizumi, the 38-year-old son of much-loved former PM Junichiro, set tongues wagging in Tokyo political classes as the Abe era draws to a close. “Abe intends to start an open race to pick the next prime minister or even the one after that,” said SMBC Nikko Securities chief market economist Yoshimasa Maruyama. A darling of the Japanese media, Koizumi received blanket coverage for his recent marriage to television broadcaster Christel Takigawa, which was announced at the prime minister’s office. He is the third-youngest minister appointed to the cabinet in Japan since the end of World War II, in a country where seniority is prized in politics and many other walks of life. Despite intense media spotlight, he has been coy on expressing his view on the issues of the day and there will be close scrutiny over his policies on nuclear power, particularly on whether he will break with his father’s anti-nuclear stance. “I hope Mr Shinjiro Koizumi will tackle global issues such as ocean plastics and climate change not with worn-out approaches but with the new ideas of the young generation,” Abe said. “He is more seasoned than I was in my 10th year” (since being elected). I hope he will secure results,” said the prime minister. ‘New challenge’ AbeContinue reading

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Donald Trump - USA Headline Story Now

President Donald Trump said that US peace talks with the Taliban are “dead” and that he is ramping the war back up after canceling secret talks with the Afghan insurgents at his weekend retreat. “They are dead. As far as I am concerned, they are dead,” Trump said at the White House about the long-running attempt to reach an agreement with the Taliban and extricate US troops following 18 years of war. The announcement followed Trump’s dramatic cancelation of a top-secret plan to fly Taliban leaders in for direct talks at the Camp David presidential facility outside Washington. Driving another nail into the coffin of what had appeared to be nearly finalized negotiations, Trump said that a US military onslaught on the guerrillas was back up at its fiercest in a decade. “Over the last four days, we have been hitting our Enemy harder than at any time in the last ten years!” he wrote in a tweet. On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “we’ve killed over a thousand Taliban in just the last 10 days.” Whiplash Trump angrily denied that the whiplash effect of his sudden shifts on Afghanistan was causing turmoil. Until this weekend, there had been steadily mounting expectations of a deal that would see the United States draw down troop levels in Afghanistan. In return, the Taliban would offer security guarantees to keep extremist groups out. But then on Saturday, Trump revealed that he had canceled an unprecedented meeting between the Taliban andContinue reading

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John Bercow vs Boris Johnson - UK News

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday he would not request an extension to Brexit, hours after a law came into force demanding that he delay Britain’s departure from the European Union until 2020 unless he can strike a divorce deal. For the second time in a week, lawmakers then rejected Johnson’s request to try to break the deadlock through an early national election. With the future of Brexit mired in uncertainty, parliament was suspended until Oct. 14, sparking tense scenes in the House of Commons where opposition lawmakers held signs reading “silenced” and yelled “shame on you” at Johnson’s ruling Conservatives. Johnson appeared to have lost control of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union with the approval of the law, which obliges him to seek a delay unless he can strike a new deal at an EU summit next month. EU leaders have repeatedly said they have not received specific proposals ahead of an EU summit on Oct. 17 and 18, at which Johnson says he hopes he can secure a deal. “This government will press on with negotiating a deal, while preparing to leave without one,” Boris Johnson told parliament after the result of the vote on an early election. “I will go to that crucial summit on October the 17th and no matter how many devices this parliament invents to tie my hands, I will strive to get an agreement in the national interest … This government will not delay Brexit any further.” Opposition Labour Party leaderContinue reading

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Robert Mugabe - Zimbabwe Politics Today

The family of Zimbabwe founder Robert Mugabe is pushing back against the government’s plan to bury him at the National Heroes Acre monument in Harare and wants him to be buried in his home village instead, three relatives told Reuters. Zimbabweans have been confused about when and where they would get to pay their last respects to Mugabe since his death in a Singapore hospital on Friday after a long illness. Mugabe had dominated Zimbabwean politics for almost four decades from independence in 1980 until he was removed by his own army in a November 2017 coup. Revered by many as a liberator who freed his people from white minority rule, Mugabe was vilified by others for wrecking one of Africa’s most promising economies and ruthlessly crushing his opponents. The Zimbabwean government said in a memo sent to embassies on Sunday that it planned to hold a state funeral for Mugabe in the National Sports Stadium on Saturday, with a burial ceremony on Sunday, but it did not say where the burial would be held. The choice of Mugabe’s resting place has been a topic of discussion since the Zimbabwe Independent newspaper reported last month that Mugabe would snub the offer of a burial at National Heroes Acre – a site reserved for the country’s heroes – because he felt bitter about the way he was removed from power. If Robert Mugabe is buried in Kutama village, 85 km (52 miles) from Harare, it would be a major rebuke ofContinue reading

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Juan Orlando Hernandez - Honduras

In a closet-sized underground hip-hop studio in one of the deadliest neighborhoods in Honduras’ capital, Leonardo Sierra believes nothing will change in his country until the United States decides it should. In the 28-year-old’s assessment, it is Washington — fearing a leftist alternative in this Central American country important to U.S. drug and migration policy — that is keeping unpopular President Juan Orlando Hernández propped up even as U.S. prosecutors call him a co-conspirator in his brother’s drug-trafficking case and protesters call for him to step down. From the depths of Tegucigalpa’s gang-controlled La Travesía neighborhood to the halls of the nation’s congress, Hondurans wonder how long the U.S. government can stick with Hernández. While their president jets off to Washington for meetings and photo ops, average Hondurans are glued to the slow drip of revelations coming from a federal courthouse in Manhattan. Hernández has said the allegations in the U.S. come from drug traffickers seeking revenge against him, but U.S. prosecutors promise will provide evidence in a trial scheduled for October showing that Hernández harnessed his brother’s drug-trafficking connections to propel his own political fortunes. “Particularly in this country the influence of the United States is decisive,” said Raul Pineda Alvarado, a political analyst and former three-term congressman from Hernández’s National Party. “If the U.S. decides Juan Orlando Hernandez is more trouble than he is worth his days will be numbered; if it doesn’t, he could finish his term,” Pineda said. Many Hondurans still cite the U.S. government’s decisionContinue reading

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Avigdor Lieberman - Benjamin Netanyahu - Gadi Eisenkot - Israel News

Avigdor Lieberman entered Israeli politics as a loyal protégé of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Now, the maverick politician could be the one to topple his former mentor. Lieberman, a burly, tough-talking immigrant from the former Soviet Union, forced Israel’s unprecedented second election of the year and is poised to be the kingmaker again. Polls suggest Netanyahu won’t be able to form a coalition government without Lieberman’s support. Lieberman has played hard to get. “I don’t have to join at any cost,” he told Channel 12 news over the weekend. “The prime minister’s policy is simply submission to terrorism.” For years, Netanyahu and Lieberman have had a roller-coaster relationship. Lieberman, once Netanyahu’s chief of staff, has held a series of senior Cabinet posts and was often a staunch partner. But he’s has also been a rival, critic and thorn in Netanyahu’s side. In a high-stakes gamble, he passed up the post of defense minister in Netanyahu’s government following April’s election, leaving the prime minister without a parliamentary majority and forcing the Sept. 17 do-over vote. Their dispute, over what Lieberman says is excessive influence of ultra-Orthodox religious parties, has become a central issue in the current campaign. Lieberman says he will insist on a secular unity government between Netanyahu and his main challenger, Benny Gantz, in order to push out ultra-Orthodox parties. But Netanyahu says his former ally’s real goal is to oust him from office, and Lieberman is suddenly discovering newfound support from those who hope he does just that.Continue reading

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America Chlorinated Chicken

The European Union has long refused to import poultry from the United States that is routinely rinsed with chemical washes to kill germs. But the United Kingdom’s planned exit from the EU is putting the practice back in the spotlight, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson even taunting Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn by calling him a “chlorinated chicken.” The term has come to sum up concerns that Britain could be pressured to accept to looser food safety standards when negotiating its own post-Brexit trade deals. Unlike in the EU, the use of antimicrobial sprays and washes is widespread in the U.S. chicken industry. Companies apply them to kill germs at various stages during processing, such as when carcasses are de-feathered, gutted or any other point when feces could splatter and spread germs like salmonella. The chemicals used in rinses have to be approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and their use is limited to specified amounts. The agency says the rinses are present in finished products at insignificant levels. The U.S. chicken industry says the use of chlorine has declined to about 10% of the country’s plants, as other chemicals have become more common. It says the rinses help improve food safety, but that it’s difficult to completely rid raw chicken of salmonella and campylobacter germs, which don’t sicken birds and are commonly found in their guts. “Chicken and campylobacter are best friends,” said Ashley Peterson of the National Chicken Council, an industry group. Campylobacter (kam-pih-loh-BAK’-tur) isn’t widely knownContinue reading

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Iran Uranium News

Iran has begun using arrays of advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium in violation of its 2015 nuclear deal, a spokesman said Saturday, warning that Europe has little time left to offer new terms to save the accord. The comments by Behrouz Kamalvandi of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran signal a further cut into the one year experts estimate Tehran would need to have a enough material for building a nuclear weapon if it chose to pursue one. Iran maintains its program is peaceful. Iran already has breached the stockpile and enrichment level limits set by the deal, while stressing it could quickly revert back to the terms of the accord if Europe finds a way for it to sell its crude oil abroad despite crushing U.S. sanctions. However, questions likely will grow in Europe over Iran’s intentions as satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press on Saturday showed an once-detained oil tanker Tehran reportedly promised wouldn’t go to Syria was off its coast. Tensions between Iran and the U.S. have risen in recent months, with mysterious attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, Iran shooting down a U.S. military surveillance drone, and other incidents across the wider Middle East. Iran separately seized another ship and detained 12 Filipino crewmembers, a semi-official news agency reported Saturday. “Our stockpile is quickly increasing,” Kamalvandi warned in a news conference. “We hope they will come to their senses.” The accord saw Iran limits its enrichment of uranium in exchange for sanctionsContinue reading

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Boris Johnson and Donald Trump - USA - UK News

Britain hasn’t even divorced the European Union yet, and already a new suitor has come calling: the United States. During a visit this week to the United Kingdom, Vice President Mike Pence brought word from his boss, President Donald Trump: The United States is eager to reach a new trade pact — one that won’t be possible until Britain completes Brexit and moves out of the 28-country EU trading bloc. “Our message is clear: The minute the UK is out, America is in,” Vice President Mike Pence said in a visit with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street on Thursday. Not so fast. Building a new U.S.-U.K. trading relationship atop the wreckage of Brexit won’t be easy. British officials are already vowing to resist an agreement that is lopsided in favor of the more powerful United States, creating potential for disputes over matters such as chlorinated chicken and the divisive Scottish dish haggis. “I know that you guys are pretty tough negotiators,” Johnson told Pence. “So, we’re going to work very hard to make sure that that free trade deal is one that works for all sides.” As a member of the EU, Britain outsourced its trade policy to the bloc’s bureaucrats in Brussels. Before it can pursue an independent course and reach a brand-new trade pact with Washington, London will have to negotiate a divorce with the EU— or crash out of the bloc without a deal and risk damaging its own economy. “Until that getsContinue reading

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Carrie Lam - Hong Kong News HEadlines

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said that the decision to withdraw an extradition bill that sparked months of demonstrations in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory was her government’s own initiative to break the impasse, and not Beijing’s directive. Lam told a news conference that China’s central government “understands, respects and supports” her government in the entire process. Withdrawal of the bill meets one of protesters’ five key demands, but activists have vowed not to yield until the government fulfills all of them. Those also include an independent investigation into allegations of police brutality during the protests, the unconditional release of those detained, not labelling the protests as riots, and direct elections of the city’s leader. The massive but peaceful demonstrations began in June against the legislation, which would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial, but clashes with police have become increasingly violent as the demands evolved into a wider call for democracy. Demonstrators threw gasoline bombs at officers last weekend protests and police retaliated with water cannons, tear gas, rubber bullets and batons. Nearly 1,200 people have been detained so far. Lam reiterated that the government cannot accede to the protesters’ other demands. She said the police watchdog agency will be impartial and best suited to investigate alleged police misconduct, and that releasing detainees without charges would be “unacceptable.” She denied making a U-turn on the bill, noting that she suspended the bill in mid-June, days after the protests began, and in July declared theContinue reading

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Deutsche Bank - Germany

U.S. congressional investigators have identified possible failures in Deutsche Bank AG’s (DBKGn.D) money laundering controls in its dealings with Russian oligarchs, after the lender handed over a trove of transaction records, emails and other documents, three people familiar with the matter said. The congressional inquiry found instances where Deutsche Bank staff in the United States and elsewhere flagged concerns about new Russian clients and transactions involving existing ones, but were ignored by managers, two of the people said. Lawmakers are also examining whether Deutsche Bank facilitated the funneling of illegal funds into the United States as a correspondent bank, where it processes transactions for others, one of the sources said. The congressional probe, whose initial findings have not been previously reported, is at an early stage, and it is not yet clear whether it will lead to any action against the bank, the three sources said. A Deutsche Bank spokesman, Troy Gravitt, said the bank cannot comment on the work of the congressional committees but remains committed to cooperating with authorized investigations. Addressing past deficiencies in the bank’s controls, the spokesman said: “We have worked to address them, taken disciplinary measures with regards to certain individuals and reviewed our client onboarding and monitoring processes.” The House of Representatives Financial Services Committee declined to comment. The Democrat-controlled House began examining possible money laundering in U.S. property deals involving President Donald Trump, a Republican, earlier this year. The lawmakers are also looking into whether Trump’s dealings left him subject to the influenceContinue reading

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Boris Johnson in Parliament - UK Politics News Headline Today

Prime Minister Boris Johnson kept up his push Thursday for an early general election as a way to break Britain’s Brexit impasse, as lawmakers moved to stop the U.K. leaving the European Union next month without a divorce deal. Already dealt stinging defeats this week from his opponents in Parliament, Johnson suffered a personal blow as his own brother quit the government, saying it was not serving the national interest. Johnson remained determined to secure an election after lawmakers on Wednesday rejected his attempt to trigger a snap poll. House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg told Parliament that a vote would be held Sept. 9 on a new motion calling for an election in October. Johnson’s office said the prime minister would appeal directly to the public with a speech later in the day, arguing that politicians must “go back to the people and give them the opportunity to decide what they want.” Boris Johnson called the refusal by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to endorse an election a “cowardly insult to democracy.” Johnson’s determination to lead Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31 faces strong opposition from lawmakers, including members of his own Conservative Party who oppose a no-deal Brexit. His brother, Jo Johnson, quit the government, saying he could no longer endure the conflict “between family loyalty and the national interest.” Jo Johnson was an education minister in his older brother’s government, despite his opposition to leaving the EU without a divorce deal. He said he wouldContinue reading

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