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Did Trump pay hush money to an adult film star to prevent her from talking during polls?

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WASHINGTON: A section of press has reported that Trump had, by means of a lawyer, paid $130,000 to an adult star to stop her from talking during the election apropos an alleged consensual relationship the duo had back in 2006. 

Negating the allegation, the star said: “I am stating with complete clarity that this is absolutely false. My involvement with Donald Trump was limited to a few public appearances and nothing more…

“Rumors that I have received hush money from Donald Trump completely false. If indeed I did have a relationship with Donald Trump… you would be reading about it in my book”.

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Business

VW, Ford confirm alliance

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DETROIT: Volkswagen and Ford announced today that the automakers had agreed to an alliance to jointly develop commercial vans and pickups starting in 2022 in a bid to reduce costs.
The announcement came after more than six months of talks between the car giants which has also included discussions around autonomous and electrification technologies. The companies said they had agreed to “investigate collaboration on autonomous vehicles, mobility services, and electric vehicles and have started to explore those opportunities.”
The deal reached between the American and German automakers to develop commercial vans and medium-sized pickups as early as 2022 does not involve cross-ownership, according to a joint statement.

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Asia

Trade deal with China likely: Trump

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WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said Monday he expects to be able to reach a trade deal with China, which is feeling the impact of US tariffs.
“We are doing very well with China. They’re having a hard with their economy because of the tariffs,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
“I think that we are going to be able to do a deal with China.”
US officials were in Beijing last week for talks aimed at ending the bruising trade confrontation that has subjected more than $350 billion in two-way trade to steep tariffs.
Chinese officials said the next round of negotiations would be held in Washington between January 30 and 31.
Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed on December 1 to a three-month truce in the escalating spat.
“I can tell you we are getting things that before I became president you would have had no chance at getting,” Trump said. “They would have laughed in your president’s face.”
As Trump has pressed Beijing to increase imports of US goods, China’s trade surplus with the United States hit a record last year of $323.3 billion, an 11 percent increase over 2017, according to Chinese customs data released Monday.
However, in a sign that the White House’s punitive measures are having an impact, China’s exports to the US sank last month.
And China’s total exports fell 4.4 percent in December from a year earlier, while imports dropped 7.6 percent, reflecting sluggish demand at home and abroad.

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Business

Hyundai, Kia’s US sales flat in 2018

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SEOUL: Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. posted 0.6 percent on-year sales growth in the United States last year due to a slowing economy and a lack of competitive models, the companies said today.

In 2018, Hyundai and Kia sold a combined 1.27 million vehicles in the U.S. market. Hyundai’s sales fell 1.1 percent on-year to 677,946 units and Kia’s were little changed compared to a year earlier at 589,763 units, Hyundai Motor Group said in a statement, citing figures from Autodata Ltd., a leading British global automotive technical information provider.

The two South Korean carmakers responded belatedly to the growing demand for sport utility vehicles in the world’s most important automobile market, leading to weak sales results last year.

Hyundai launched the all-new Santa Fe SUV in the U.S. late last year and plans to introduce the Palisade flagship SUV and a new entry-level SUV, the group said in a statement.

It also intends to launch an all-new Sonata sedan in the U.S. this year to help boost sales, it said.

Kia said it will launch the Telluride SUV and a new entry-level SUV in the U.S. in 2019. The Telluride will be produced at Kia’s plant in Georgia and sold only in North American markets, it said.

Hyundai and Kia, which together form the world’s fifth-biggest carmaker by sales, are stepping up their drive to strengthen their lineups with new SUV models for North America.

Overall vehicle sales in the U.S. gained 0.6 percent to 17.33 million units in 2018. There is a forecast that vehicle demand in the U.S. will fall to under 17 million autos due to higher interest rates this year, the statement said.

The won’s volatility against the dollar, tougher competition with Japanese rivals due to a weaker yen and the U.S. government’s possible tariffs on imported vehicles remain major woes for the Korean carmakers this year, it said.

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