UNITED NATIONS — Any return of Syrian refugees from countries across the region must be conducted on a strictly voluntary basis, the United Nations stressed on Monday, after Moscow unveiled plans to cooperate with Washington on the issue. Russia’s defence ministry said last Friday that working together on the safe return of Syrian refugees was one of the points of agreement reached between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump at their inaugural summit in Helsinki. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the issue had featured in the presidents’ talks, with any return to be carried out "at the right time" through a "voluntary mechanism". Asked about the prospect, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters he was "not aware that we have been involved in those direct talks". He went on to stress: "As a matter of principle, the return of people to their home should always be voluntary and done in dignity and in safety. "It is up to people to... no one … [Read more...] about Syrian refugee return must be voluntary, UN tells US, Moscow
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) and US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen disembark from their plane in Mexico City, where Pompeo will meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. (Photo: AFP/Pedro Pardo) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo led the high-level delegation to meet the leftist leader known as "AMLO," who will take office on December 1 after winning a landslide election victory. Trump's son-in-law and senior aide Jared Kushner, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were also along for the one-day trip, which included meetings with Mexico's outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto and Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray. Pompeo was all smiles as he met Lopez Obrador on the leftist leader's own turf -- an aging Mexico City house with scant security where he has set up his transition team's offices. "We look forward to working with President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez … [Read more...] about Team Trump looks to start off on right foot with Mexico president elect
Viet Nam News ANKARA — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday took on greater powers than any Turkish leader for decades as he was sworn in for a second presidential term, naming his son-in-law to the key post of finance minister in a revamped cabinet. Erdogan, who has already transformed Turkey in 15 years of rule, took his oath of office in parliament under the new presidential system denounced by opponents as a one-man regime. Describing the monumental change as a "new beginning", he vowed at a later ceremony at his vast Ankara presidential palace to be the president of all 81 million Turks. "We have come not to be master but to be servant of our people," he added. He then unveiled the first cabinet under the new system, appointing his son-in-law Berat Albayrak, 40, to the crucial post of finance minister, in a move that appeared to rattle markets. Army chief of staff General Hulusi Akar joined the government as defence minister but Mevlut Cavusoglu kept the post of … [Read more...] about Erdogan takes on new powers, names son-in-law finance chief
Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Thursday (Jul 5) he will invite US President Donald Trump to his inauguration on Dec 1, the leftist leader's latest olive branch after two years of deeply strained ties. Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won a landslide election victory to become Mexico's first leftist leader in recent memory. (AFP/Johan ORDONEZ) "We are neighbouring countries, we have economic and trade relationships, ties of friendship. It is very important to us to cooperate on development. We share 3,180 kilometres of border. So President Trump will be invited," Lopez Obrador told journalists. Whether he comes "will depend on his agenda and his decision," he said. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will also be invited, he added. Lopez Obrador won a landslide election victory Sunday to become Mexico's first leftist leader in recent memory, in a resounding rejection of the two established parties that have ruled the country … [Read more...] about Mexico president elect says will invite Trump to inauguration
Viet Nam News JERUSALEM — Israeli forces killed 55 Palestinians on the Gaza border in the conflict’s bloodiest day in years on Monday as clashes and protests coincided with the deeply controversial opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. The unrest, which left more than 2,400 Palestinians wounded, erupted before a White House delegation and Israeli officials opened the embassy at an inauguration ceremony in Jerusalem. It was the deadliest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza war. The dead included eight children under the age of 16, according to the Palestinian envoy to the United Nations. The Gazan health ministry provided the overall death and injury toll. Tens of thousands had gathered near the border in protest while smaller numbers of stone-throwing Palestinians approached the fence and sought to break through, with Israeli snipers positioned on the other side. At the United Nations, the US blocked the adoption of a Security Council … [Read more...] about Israeli forces kill 55 in Gaza clashes as US opens Jerusalem embassy
U.S. President Donald Trump said last week he would reconsider joining the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, if it were a “substantially better” deal than the one offered to President Barack Obama. Here is a look at the state of play in the negotiations and the conditions needed to be in place for the United States to join an agreement Trump scrapped as soon as he took office. What are the TPP and CPTPP? The original 12-member agreement was known as the TPP. It was a signature trade policy of Obama, but he was unable to secure Congressional support for the deal. It was thrown into limbo when Trump withdrew from the deal three days after his inauguration in January 2017, a move he said was aimed at protecting U.S. jobs. Following the U.S. withdrawal, the remaining 11 countries renegotiated parts of the TPP, removing some of Washington’s demands. In March, they signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership … [Read more...] about Trump says US could rejoin TPP if deal improved. How hard would it be?
SANTIAGO - Eleven countries including Vietnam, Japan and Canada signed a landmark Asia-Pacific trade agreement without the United States on Thursday in what one minister called a powerful signal against protectionism and trade wars. The deal came as U.S. President Donald Trump vowed earlier in the day to press ahead with a plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move that other nations and the International Monetary Fund said could start a global trade war. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will reduce tariffs in countries that together amount to more than 13 percent of the global economy - a total of $10 trillion in gross domestic product. With the United States, it would have represented 40 percent. “Today, we can proudly conclude this process, sending a strong message to the international community that open markets, economic integration and international cooperation are the best tools for creating economic … [Read more...] about Asia-Pacific nations sign sweeping trade deal without U.S.
President Donald Trump criticized U.S. abortion laws as among the most permissive in the world in a speech to anti-abortion activists at the annual March for Life on Friday, and pledged his administration would always defend "the right to life." The Republican president's speech, relayed via video link from the White House Rose Garden to thousands gathered on Washington's National Mall, highlighted his shift in recent years from a supporter of women's access to abortion to a powerful opponent. "As you all know, Roe v. Wade has resulted in some of the most permissive abortion laws anywhere in the world," he said, criticizing the 1973 Supreme Court decision that affirmed a woman's right to an abortion at most stages of a pregnancy. Trump said the United States "is one of only seven countries to allow elective late-term abortions," mentioning China and North Korea. "It is wrong. It has to change." The other countries that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks are Canada, the … [Read more...] about Trump decries ‘permissive’ US abortion laws at rally
Protesters, part of a 500,000 strong crowd, during the Women's Rally on the one-year anniversary of the first Women's March, when millions marched around the world to protest US President Donald Trump's inauguration, in Los Angeles, California on January 20, 2018. Photo by AFP/Mark Ralston Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of U.S. cities on Saturday for a second Women's March opposing President Donald Trump on the first anniversary of his inauguration. The demonstrations come one year after more than three million people turned out nationwide to voice opposition to the president, according to a Washington Post estimate. The flagship rally was held in Washington, with sister protests echoing worldwide. The expectations for this year's marches are more modest than the explosive turnout last year, but the weekend of demonstration aims to keep the momentum of resistance rolling with the theme "Power to the Polls" -- a message designed to drive national voter … [Read more...] about Tens of thousands take to US streets for Women’s March 2.0
Pepper growers concern about falling pricesPepper growers are entering the harvest season of 2018 in the southeastern region of Vietnam, concerning about price fall and output reduction because of pests and diseases.Traders now pay VND65,000-66,000 a kilogram of pepper, accounting for half of the price in the same period last year.Long lasting rains last year created conditions for pests and diseases to attack pepper crop, resulting in output drop this year.According to statistics, high pepper prices in previous years sent farmers to expand farming area to 40,100 hectares in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dong Nai and Binh Phuoc provinces in 2017. The area far exceeds the plan of 12,800 hectares by 2020 of the Government.That has broken supply and demand balance causing continuos price reductions for the last two years. Enterprises develop fast in number, efficiency low: economic survey 2017Data from economic survey of HCMC 2017 showed that although the number of enterprises quickly develops, their … [Read more...] about BUSINESS IN BRIEF 14/1