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USA POLITICS: Trump in Japan, Talks Tough Against North Korea

USA POLITICS: Trump in Japan, Talks Tough Against North Korea

“No dictator, no regime, no nation should ever underestimate American resolve,” Trump told hundreds of cheering U.S. and Japanese troops in camouflage uniforms gathered at Yokota Air Base, just west of Tokyo, soon after he arrived.

“Every once in a while, in the past, they underestimated us. It was not pleasant for them, was it?” said Trump, who wore a bomber jacket as he addressed the troops.

“We will never yield, never waver and never falter in defence of our freedom,” Trump said.

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CUBA POLITICS: Donald Trump to Defend Cuba Embargo at UN

CUBA POLITICS: Donald Trump to Defend Cuba Embargo at UN

A “no” vote Wednesday from U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley will return the United States to a place of extreme isolation within the global community over its policy toward Cuba, potentially undermining the Trump administration’s broader goals for engagement with Latin America. The U.S. embargo on Cuba is almost universally opposed throughout the world.

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USA POLITICS: Trump Tax Overhaul Faces Huge Opposition in Every Way

USA POLITICS: Trump Tax Overhaul Faces Huge Opposition in Every Way

“We’re opposed to the tax bill without the tax credit in there, and we’ll be working very aggressively to see it defeated,” NAHB chief executive Jerry Howard told Reuters.

House Republicans have also faced opposition from Trump and others after proposing to sharply curtail tax-free contributions to 401(k) programs and move retirement savings to a style of account that allows tax-free withdrawals, rather than the tax-exempt contributions that are popular with 401(k) investors.

Trump and Republicans have vowed to enact tax reform this year for the first time since 1986. But the plan to deliver up to $6 trillion in tax cuts for businesses and individuals faces challenges even from rank-and-file House Republicans.

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JAPAN POLITICS: Shinzo Abe to Push Pacifist Constitution Reform After Strong Election Win

JAPAN POLITICS: Shinzo Abe to Push Pacifist Constitution Reform After Strong Election Win

“We won a two-thirds majority as the ruling bloc, but it is necessary to strive to form a wide-ranging agreement among the ruling bloc and opposition (to revise the constitution),” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a news conference on Monday.

“And then we aim to win the understanding of the people, so that we can gain a majority in a referendum,” Abe said. He stopped short of claiming to have won a mandate for amending the constitution in Sunday’s election.

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USA POLITICS: Trump’s Tougher Stance Could Backfire By Boosting Iran’s Guards

USA POLITICS: Trump’s Tougher Stance Could Backfire By Boosting Iran’s Guards

“We want foreign investors to stay, but if they leave because of (U.S.) pressure, the Guards can easily replace them. There is no better alternative,” the official said, declining to be named because he was not authorized to speak to media.

Under sanctions, Iran’s clerical rulers rewarded the Guards by showering them with contracts for skirting the restrictions as well as for suppressing dissent at home and helping Tehran’s regional allies from Iraq to Lebanon.

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NIGERIA POLITICS: US, UK Biggest Recipients of Looted Funds From Nigeria: US Intelligence Expert

NIGERIA POLITICS: US, UK Biggest Recipients of Looted Funds From Nigeria: US Intelligence Expert

Mr Mathew Page, former United States intelligence community’s top expert on Nigeria has said, “Nigeria’s kleptocrats deftly use both Nigerian banks and the international financial system, especially anonymous shell corporations and offshore tax havens, to launder stolen public funds and stash them overseas, often in the form of high-end real estate in London, Dubai, New York, and California.

“Despite possessing robust discretionary powers, the US and UK rarely deny visas to corrupt officials or report cases of suspected corruption or unexplained wealth back to law enforcement agencies back home.

“The UK is one of a small number of global financial centres that play a key role in processing substantial levels of corrupt capital,” Mathew Page said.

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EUROPE POLITICS: EU-US Data Transfer Pact to Pass First Annual Review

EUROPE POLITICS: EU-US Data Transfer Pact to Pass First Annual Review

The European Commission last month conducted its first annual review of the framework as it seeks to ensure the United States lives up to its promises to better protect Europeans’ data when they are transferred across the Atlantic – failing which it could suspend the Privacy Shield.

The EU executive however is satisfied that the framework continues to ensure adequate protection of Europeans’ personal data although it will address a number of recommendations to Washington, an EU source told Reuters.

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CANADA POLITICS: US Creates More Tensions in NAFTA Talks

CANADA POLITICS: US Creates More Tensions in NAFTA Talks

The Trump administration says the clause, causing NAFTA to expire every five years unless all three countries agree it should continue, is to ensure the pact stays up to date. But Mexico and Canada insist there is no point updating the pact with such a threat hanging over it, arguing the clause would stunt investment by sowing too much uncertainty about the future of the agreement. The head of Unifor, Canada’s largest private sector labor union, said it was clear the United States did not want a deal.

“NAFTA is not going anywhere. This thing is going into the toilet,” Jerry Dias told reporters on Thursday.

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USA POLITICS: Adamant Trump Mulls Decertifying Iran Deal, US Officials Say ‘Trump’s Bellicose Rhetoric Troubling’

USA POLITICS: Adamant Trump Mulls Decertifying Iran Deal, US Officials Say ‘Trump’s Bellicose Rhetoric Troubling’

“They came up with a plan that protects the things they are concerned about but doesn’t recertify, which the president made clear he was not going to do. That ship has sailed,” according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official said Trump has been telling foreign leaders and U.S. lawmakers that his refusal to certify the Iran deal would not blow it up.

“He’s not walking away from it. The chances of him walking away from it go down if they work with him on making it better,” the official said.

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MEXICO POLITICS: Mexico Warns US Against ‘Protectionist War’

MEXICO POLITICS: Mexico Warns US Against ‘Protectionist War’

“We are deeply worried by what the U.S. has added recently in the free-trade negotiations,” said Senator Marcela Guerra, who heads Mexico’s Senate committee on North American affairs.

U.S. President Donald Trump argues that NAFTA has hollowed out U.S. manufacturing, sending jobs to Mexico and fueling a U.S. goods trade deficit of more than $60 billion with its southern neighbor.

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: North Korean Workers Leave Chinese Border Hub Because of New Sanctions

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: North Korean Workers Leave Chinese Border Hub Because of New Sanctions

The Wing Cafe used to advertise its “beautiful North Korean” waitresses on its shopfront by the Yalu. The sign is now gone, and cafe staff said the waitresses had returned home in recent weeks after their visas expired.

“There have been changes in government policy,” the manager of another restaurant said. “It’s not convenient to say more.”

The sanctions have come as a rude jolt to Dandong businesses and traders who had long rolled with North Korea’s unpredictability but believed their neighbour’s economic reliance on China would keep its belligerence in check.

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CANADA POLITICS: Chelsea Manning Denied Entry to Canada

CANADA POLITICS: Chelsea Manning Denied Entry to Canada

In 2013, Chelsea Manning was convicted on 20 counts, including six involving the Espionage Act, but was acquitted of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy. She announced her plans to transition shortly after her conviction.

In one of his last acts as president, Barack Obama commuted Manning’s sentence, and she was released from military prison in May after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence.

Manning, 29, refuted that comparison of charges online and said she would be challenging her Canadian denial at a future hearing.

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WORLD POLITICS: North Korea, US Clash at UN Forum Over Nuclear Weapons

WORLD POLITICS: North Korea, US Clash at UN Forum Over Nuclear Weapons

North Korea’s envoy told the same forum the North’s nuclear deterrent would never be up for negotiation, echoing Pyongyang’s regular denunciation of U.S. “aggression”.

“The measures taken by the DPRK to strengthen its nuclear deterrence and develop inter-continental rockets is justifiable and a legitimate option for self-defence in the face of such apparent and real threats,” diplomat Ju Yong Chol told the forum, referring to “constant nuclear threats” by the United States.

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USA POLITICS: Trump Disbands Business Councils After CEOs Exit in Protest

USA POLITICS: Trump Disbands Business Councils After CEOs Exit in Protest

“Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both,” U.S. President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Maduro Seeks to Capitalize on Trump’s Military Threat

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Maduro Seeks to Capitalize on Trump’s Military Threat

President Donald Trump’s comments may be a political lifeline for the unpopular Maduro. Like his predecessor and mentor, the late Hugo Chavez, Maduro says the country must be unified by socialism in order to defend against a U.S. invasion aimed at stealing Venezuela’s vast oil resources.

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CANADA POLITICS: Canada Suggests it Could Quit NAFTA Talks

CANADA POLITICS: Canada Suggests it Could Quit NAFTA Talks

“Canada will uphold and preserve the elements in NAFTA that Canadians deem key to our national interest – including a process to ensure anti-dumping and countervailing duties are only applied fairly when truly warranted,” Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a speech at the University of Ottawa.

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Korean Peninsula Tension Eased Slightly as US Played Down Risk of Imminent War

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Korean Peninsula Tension Eased Slightly as US Played Down Risk of Imminent War

While backing U.S. President Donald Trump’s tough talk, U.S. officials including National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster played down the risk on Sunday of the rhetoric escalating into conflict.

“I think we’re not closer to war than a week ago, but we are closer to war than we were a decade ago,” McMaster told ABC News’ “This Week”.

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CANADA POLITICS: Quebec Border Camp Swells With Asylum Seekers From US, Many Haitian

CANADA POLITICS: Quebec Border Camp Swells With Asylum Seekers From US, Many Haitian

Most of the recent arrivals have been Haitians, officials say, who fear they will be deported from the U.S. as their “temporary protected status,” which granted more than 50,000 Haitians residency in the U.S. after the 2010 earthquake, is set to expire in January. Spurred by false accounts of guaranteed residency in Canada, they made for the border.

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USA POLITICS: Christopher Wray Biography

USA POLITICS: Christopher Wray Biography

Christopher A. Wray graduated from Yale University in 1989 and received his law degree in 1992 from Yale Law School. Read Christopher Wray Biography.

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USA POLITICS: McCain Joins Democrats to Prevent Obamacare Repeal Bill in US Senate

USA POLITICS: McCain Joins Democrats to Prevent Obamacare Repeal Bill in US Senate

When McCain walked to the front of the Senate chamber to cast his deciding “no” vote, giving a thumbs down, Democrats cheered, knowing the bill would fail.

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