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Trump expects China trade war decision within four weeks

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Trump expects China trade

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said Thursday that trade war negotiations with China should wrap up within four weeks and expressed optimism about striking a deal.

“We are doing very well with China talks,” he told reporters. “We are getting what we have to get.”

Later, at a Saint Patrick’s Day celebration in the White House with the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, Trump predicted results in the near future.

“We’ll have news on China probably — one way or way or the other, we’re going to know over the next three to four weeks,” Trump said.

Despite Trump’s upbeat assessment, the two sides continue to lock horns on the hugely complex dispute between the world’s biggest economies. Earlier this week, Trump said there was still no plan for him to hold a summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Trump said Wednesday he is “in no rush” for a deal but that there is “a very good chance” for one.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a congressional committee earlier Thursday that he expects the deal to be finalized soon, but cautioned that the process is complex.

“We are working diligently but there are 150 pages documents that we are working on,” Mnuchin said in response to a question.

 

 

 

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Record number of US black women graduating from West Point

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WASHINGTON: They pose proudly in uniform, swords in hand: 34 young black women are set to graduate from West Point on Saturday, a record for the prestigious US military academy.

It is not the only record for the class of 2019: of the 985 cadets who have completed their four-year training, 221 are women.

“The strength of our Army lies within the diversity of its people and @WestPoint_USMA continues to prepare our future leaders to lead the modern #Soldier,” the US Army said on its Twitter account.

“Nothing standard-wise has changed, it’s just a concerted effort to broaden the people applying,” said academy spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Ophardt.

“Our last true integration was in 1980 when the first group of women graduated from the Academy. Since then, we had a diverse pool, but not what we wanted,” he said.

According to data released by West Point, the class of 2019 includes 110 African Americans (11 percent), 79 Asians or Pacific Islanders (eight percent), 88 Hispanics (nine percent) and seven Native Americans (0.7 percent).

One of the proud graduates-to-be, Tiffany Welch Baker, this week told the NBC’s Today show that she wanted to be a role model.

“I hope those girls can see themselves in us,” she said. “I want these little black girls to say hey, I can do it too! It is possible for me.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Iran FM: US troop boost ‘threat to international peace’

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TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Saturday a US decision to deploy 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East is a “threat to international peace,” state media reported.

“Increased US presence in our region is very dangerous and a threat to international peace and security and must be confronted,” Zarif said while talking to newsmen before heading home from a visit to Pakistan.

Washington says the reinforcements, which come after the deployment earlier this month of an aircraft carrier task force, B-52 bombers, an amphibious assault ship and a missile defence system, are in response to “campaign” of recent attacks approved by Iran’s top leadership.

“Americans make such claims to justify their hostile policies and to create tension in the Persian Gulf,” Zarif said.

The United States this month ended the last exemptions it had granted from sweeping unilateral sanctions it reimposed after abandoning a landmark 2015 nuclear between major powers and Iran in May last year.

The move dealt a heavy new blow to Iran’s already reeling economy as even vocal critics of the renewed sanctions, like Turkey, announced they had stopped buying Iranian oil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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US military helicopter destroyed in Afghanistan ‘hard landing’

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KABUL: Passengers and crew aboard a US military helicopter were injured when the chopper they were travelling in was destroyed during a “hard landing” in Afghanistan, a US official said Saturday.

According to Colonel David Butler, a spokesman for US Forces Afghanistan, a CH-47 Chinook helicopter “hit the ground hard on the way to drop passengers off” during a mission in Helmand province.

Butler said the helicopter had been totally destroyed during the landing.

“Both Afghan and US personnel were injured but all are stable and expected to recover,” he said.

“No hostile fire or enemy contact involved.”

 

 

 

 

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