North Korean media warns of “unhealthy ideas” spread by mobile phones

SEOUL ( ) – North Korea’s main state newspaper warned on Tuesday of the “negative impact” from mobile phones use around the world, as both legal and illicit communications devices proliferate in the isolated country.

Rodong Sinmun published an article citing a ban on phones in classrooms in France and reports of technology-enabled cheating in India and argued that mobile devices were spreading “decadent and reactionary ideological culture”.

“Erotic notices, fictions and videos, as well as violent electronic games, are spreading through the mobile phones without limits,” the newspaper wrote.

“This means that mobile phones are used as tools to instill unhealthy ideas in minors.”

North Korea’s authoritarian government maintains a tight grip on communications, with almost no ordinary citizens allowed to connect by phone or internet to the outside world.

Still, since 20爱上海41908, the government has rolled out tightly controlled cell networks for communication within the country, with an estimated 3 million subscribers.

South Korean officials estimate that there are about 6 million mobile phones in North Korea, a country of 25 million people.

Analysts say there are signs that the government is slowly allowing more communications technology, even if it rema,上海龙凤1314 shlfLarissa,ins restricted to networks within North Korea.

According to a report on Dec. 3 by the 38 North website, which monitors North Korea, state media recently broadcast reports of the first outdoor Wi-Fi network in downtown Pyongyang.

Defectors who have left North Korea report that many people secretly watch foreign media, especially South Korean entertainment.

Several North Korea security agencies police communications devices, often randomly inspecting computers, phones, and other devices for banned foreign media or the capability to receive international signals, the U.S. State Department said in ,上海419对对碰Ida,a report on censorship and human rights in North Korea released last week.

“North Koreans caught with illicit entertainment items such as DVDs, CDs, and USBs are at a minimum sent to prison camps and, in extreme cases, may fa,上海龙凤shlf66Dallas,ce public execution,” the State Department said in the report.

Some North Koreans living along the border with China have turned to smuggled Chinese devices to make international calls, but human rights activists say North Koreans caught with illicit phones risk being sent to prison camps.

‘Neither war nor peace’: Doctors targeted in Syria’s lawless rebel…

ISTANBUL ( ) – Doctor Khalil Agha was working at a hospital in northwest Syria when masked gunmen knocked at his door, waved a piece of paper saying he was wanted by a powerful Islamist group, and bundled him into their car, bound and blindfold.

The surgeon, whose captors demanded $100,000 for his freedom, was one of 10 medical personnel who doctors say have been seized this year in a rebel-held region sinking into anarchy.

A deal between Russia and Turkey three months ago averted a Syrian army offensive to recapture the region, centered around Idlib province. But cuts in foreign funding – both to militant groups and local police struggling to assert some order – have undermined security.

Now medical workers are feeling the impact as armed gangs compete for influence and money. Doctors are targeted because they are well-known, comparatively well-paid and inclined to express views that put them at odds with their kidnappers.

For the first five years of the civil war, until the end of 2016, there were almost no attacks on medics, said Munther Khalil, head of the Idlib Health Directorate. “But in the last two years, there have been explosive devices that target our cars, car thefts, detentions and assassination attempts.”

Four months ago Agha was working a shift at his hospital in eastern Lattakia province, near Idlib, when he heard a knock. He opened the door to find two armed men who told him he was wanted by a court run by the Islamist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which controls much of the region.

They tied his hands and covered his eyes. “It wasn’t until they released me seven days later that I saw daylight,” he said.

His kidnappers accused him of working with Turkey, foreign NGOs and another Syrian opposition group and demanded $100,000 from his wife. She sold her jewelry and his car, and borrowed money from as many people as she could to pay the ransom.

NORTHWEST UNREST

The arrival of tens of thousands of fighters and civilians from defeated rebel enclaves elsewhere in Syria has made a bad situation worse in the northwest, the last major bastion of opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.

“The number of factions increased, and the fighting between factions increased as some groups took control and others went extinct,” Agha said.

“Everyone started working alone, according to their own agenda – religious or political – leaving no one in complete control,” he said.

The area is held by an array of rebels, the most powerful being Tahrir al-Sham, an amalgamation of Islamist groups dominated by the former Nusra Front – an al Qaeda offshoot until it distanced itself from the group in 2016.

Other groups fight under the rebel Free Syrian Army banner with Turkish backing, in an alliance called the “National Front for Liberation”.

Foreign payments to several factions were halted following a U.S. decision to halt its funding program last year, cutting off groups that depended almost wholly on donations from outside and driving some to kidnapping to make ends meet.

Earlier this year, a cut in British support ended funding for projects including an independent police force.

The Free Syr爱上海ian Police, which operates only in rebel-held areas outside the control of Tahrir al-Sham, was unarmed in accordance with a deal with Western backers – the United States, Britain, Denmark, Netherlands, Canada and Germany.

Since the funding ended, some policemen have taken up arms. But they cannot defend civilians and doctors against kidnappings by armed groups in areas out of their control.

“We don’t have a magic wand,” said Colonel Maher Ghrebeh.

The funding cut also forced policemen to find other jobs to make ends meet, undermining their security work, said General Fouad al-Sweid, head of the Idlib Free Police. “Policemen are being forced to leave work and go work in their olive groves, harvest potatoes, work as laborers or bakers.”

“NEITHER WAR NOR PEACE”

Over the summer, doctors in Idlib went on a three-day strike to protest against the kidnappings and rampant insecurity. Some doctors started carrying small arms for protection, though others said that would not protect them.

“What good would a light weapon be in the face of an armed group?” said one pharmacist who was recently abducted.

The pharmacist, who asked not to be named, was doing his rounds in a village in Idlib when he was stopped by masked men. Armed and riding a pickup truck with a ,上海楼风419论坛Pablo,mounted rifle, the seven men forced him to abandon his car, blindfolded him and took away his phone.

They then drove him to an unidentified location and put him in a dark, guarded room, where he was held for five days and tortured. They sent recordings of the torture to his wife and demanded $150,000 in exchange for his release.

The pharmacist’s wife sold all her jewelry and borrowed money until she had $18,000, negotiating the armed group down to that amount and won his release.

Agha didn’t go back to his hospital for three months after being freed, and he now has a list of 29 people he owes mone,后楼凤419Barbara,y.

He says he’s still afraid, but despite friends warning him against returning, he’s back doing surgery at the hospital.

In the relative lull which followed September’s truce, Agha says they almost miss the bombs.

“We wish for bombardment and clashes, because people get distracted,” he said with a weak laugh.,上海推油论坛新419Earl, “The situation we’re in, neither war nor peace, is a disaster.”

Venezuela calls U.S. comments on Guyana dispute ‘interventionist’

CARACAS ( ) – Venezuela’s foreign ministry on Tuesday described as “interventionist and disrespectful” U.S. comments on a weekend incident in which the country’s navy stopped two ships exploring for oil for Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) off Guyana’s coast.

Each of the neighboring South American countries says the incident on Saturday occurred within its territorial waters. In response to the event, the U.S. State Department said Venezuela had behaved “aggressively” and called on the country to “respect international law and the rights of its neighbors.”

“It is evident that the U.S. government is interfering in a matter that is not at all incumbent upon上海419论坛 it, with the goal of promoting corporate interests closely linked to the Washington ruling elite,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Socialist President Nicolas Maduro has accused the United States of plotting to invade Venezuela and overthrow his government, while Washington has placed sanctions on Venezuela’s debt and members of Maduro’s government over accusations of corruption, human rights violations and election-rigging.

A century-long territorial dispute between Venezuela and Guyana has flared up in recent years with Exxon’s discovery of more than 5 billion barrels of oil and gas off Guyana’s coast. In OPEC-member Venezuela, crude output is hovering near 70-year lows amid a severe economic crisis.

Guyana says Caracas gave up its claim to the Essequibo, a sparsely populated jungle area making up two-thirds of Guyana’s territory, after an 1899 ruling by an international tribunal, but Venezuela later backtracked on that decision. The U.N. this year referred the dispute to the International Court of Justice.

Two vessels owned by Norway’s Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS.OL) and under contract by Exxon Mobil were conducting seismic survey work in the area. The ships sto,上海龙凤419Nadine,pped their work and turned east after the Venezuelan navy told them Guyana did not have jurisdiction there.

When asked on Monday if there were plans for the vessels to resume their activities, Guyana Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge said the government was “in discussion” with Exxon. Neither Exxon nor PGS immediately responded to requests for comment on Tuesday, and the U.S. State Department declined to comment.

On Monday, the Caricom group of 15 Caribbean nations including Guyana – many of which have historically received subsidized oil from Venezuela under Caracas’ Petrocaribe program – said it viewed the “interc,爱上海419论坛Tallulah,eption” by Venezuela’s navy “with grave concern.,爱上海419Pablo,”

“Such acts violate the sovereign rights of Guyana under international law,” the group said in a statement.

Sherpa widows to climb Everest to inspire single women

KATHMANDU ( ) – The widows of two sherpa climbers, who died on Mount Everest, will try to climb the world’s highes,上海贵族宝贝交流群Gabrielle,爱上海t mountain to complete the unfinished ascents of their husbands and hopefully inspire other single women, the pair said on Wednesday.

Furdiki Sherpa’s husband died while fixing ropes for his foreign clients on the 8,850-meter (29,035-ft) mountain in 2013.

She,爱上海419Talon, said she would make a joint bid in May with Nima Doma Sherpa, wife of one of the 16 sherpas killed in an avalanche near the base camp in 2014.

“We are going to climb the mountain to close our pain and to honor our husbands by reaching the peak they could not,” the two said in a statement.

Nima, 36, said both climbers had completed training and scaled two smaller peaks. Nepal is home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains.

Everest, which straddles the Nepal-China border and can be reached from both sides, has been climbed by 4,833 people since it was first scaled by New Zealander Sir Ed,上海千花网新人自荐Queena,mund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953, according to a post by Everest blogger Alan Arnette.

Climbing officials say only about 500 of the Everest climbers were women.

Furdiki, 42, who like most sherpas goes by her first name, said the death of her husband resulted in immense economic hardship.

“The death of my husband is not the end of my life,” the mother of two children told . “I am undertaking the expedition to spread the message that widows can accomplish even such hard adventures.”

After Jindal, Louisiana reels from corporate tax giveaways

( ) – Near the end of his eight years as Louisiana governor, Bobby Jindal, a tax-slashing conservative and presidential hopeful, acknowledged that the state’s business tax breaks had gone too far.

“The truth is, we have a system of corporate welfare,” Jindal said during an April speech to legislators.

The comment resonates now as the state faces its worst budget crisis in three decades – largely because of the soaring cost of subsidies, as well as personal income tax cuts, championed by Jindal.

Business tax subsidies peaked in 2012, when the state exempted 88 percent of corporate income taxes, or about $1.8 billion. It has exceeded 80 percent since then, according to the Louisiana Department of Revenue.

For a graphic showing how corporate tax exemptions soared as state revenue fell, see tmsnrt.rs/1T7qbm9

Plummeting oil prices dealt the latest blow to state revenues. Deficits are projected at $940 million for the fiscal year ending June 30 and about $2 billion for next year.

“It’s gotten pretty bad, pretty rapidly,” said the state legislature’s chief economist, Greg Albrecht, who believes Louisiana is heading into a recession.

Jindal has kept a low profile since leaving office in January and could not be reached for comment. In a January speech, he highlighted efforts to cut government and stimulate the economy without raising taxes.

“You look at the projects — the employers coming in and those who are expanding — we’ve seen tremendous progress,” he said.

RISING STAR

In 2008, when Jindal became governor at 36, he was a rising GOP star, often mentioned as a potential presidential candidate. He cultivated that image, staking his political fortunes on a platform of slashing taxes, dismantling big government and attracting business.

The next year, Jindal helped push through legislation to cut personal income taxes and worked to enhance Louisiana’s already robust corporate tax breaks.

In July of 2009, he signed bills that created or expanded nine tax credits to sectors including film, port cargo and infrastructure. The credits are typically worth 20 to 40 percent of a company’s in-state spending, or in some cases spending on payroll or research.

In all, annual corporate tax exemptions rose during Jindal’s term by about $1 billion, to $1.96 billion in 2014, according to state data.

His tax-cutting hit a wall in 2013 when he failed to convince a Republican-controlled legislature to abolish personal and business income taxes.

“He really wanted to go to a national stage, run for president, and say he repealed the personal income tax,” said Robert Travis Scott, president of the Public Affairs Research Council, a nonpartisan organization.

Many of Jindal’s political successes had consequences for Louisiana’s budget. A state-commissioned study found that film tax credits, for example, cost the state an estimated $171 million in 2014.

“The state ends up with the short end of the stick,” said Loren Scott, author of the study, which also found some economic benefits.

Among the biggest beneficiaries of Louisiana subsidies is the petrochemical industry. One massive project under construction in Southwestern Louisiana – Sempra Energy’s $6 billion liquefied natural gas processing complex and export terminal – will receive a $2.2 billion property tax break over a de,上海爱上海Hadleigh,cade, records show.

The plant will create 130 permanent jobs with average salaries of $80,000, records show. The California-based company also got rebates on some payroll costs and a capital investment tax credit.

Louisiana’s subsidies are getting more scrutiny in the budget crisis. Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards, who took office in January, has proposed cutting incentives but faces resistance from Republican legislators and business groups.

“The previous administration,” Edwards said, “blew a hole in our state budget by writing checks for tax credits, rebates, or refunds to corporations with no consideration of whether Louisiana receives a good return on our investment.”

Jindal advisor Curt Anderson said the subsidies resulted in new jobs and higher wages. “His decision to shrink the government and grow the private sector economy was purposeful.”

Business groups continue to support the incentives, saying they are invaluable to the state economy.

“In terms of economic development, Jindal was an outstanding governor,” said Michael Hecht, president of Greater New Orleans Inc. “Corporations are being scapegoated.”

Falling oil prices and personal income tax cuts also played major roles in the crisis, according to state data. Oil-r上海419论坛elated revenues are projected to drop by nearly $400 million this fiscal year, the data shows. Personal income tax breaks pushed by Jindal and predecessor, Democrat Kathleen Blanco, reduced revenues by about $800 million annually, said Albrecht, the state economist.

Most Louisiana business subsidy programs preceded the Jindal administration, but their use and cost shot up during his tenure, said Jan Moller, director of the nonpartisan Louisiana Budget Project. The governor, he said, directed state economic development officials to “aggressively pursue companies and give them as many incentives as p,上海419论坛宝山Kaiden,ossible.”

CRISIS MANAGEMENT

As Louisiana faced mounting shortfalls, Jindal sought solutions that didn’t involve raising taxes.

“Despite the fact that the state was hemorrhaging money, he just wanted to keep his tax virginity” for his presidential campaign, said Edward Chervenak, a political science professor at the University of New Orleans, echoing a theme common among Democrats and Republicans alike in the state.

Having signed a pledge not to raise taxes, Jindal turned to one-time fixes, such as offering tax amnesty to delinquent taxpayers and raiding state trust funds. That included drawing down $520 million from the Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly and $540 million from a reserve fund for st,上海419会所高级论坛Dalton,ate employee healthcare, according to Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy.

Jindal failed last year to sell the state’s tobacco settlement, worth $1.2 billion over time, for an upfront lump sum of $750 million – a move Kennedy compared to “a junkie selling his TV or smartphone to buy another fix.”

Lawmakers now face tough choices. Healthcare and education budgets – particularly colleges – already have been slashed and could see more cuts. And legislators are considering raising sales taxes by up to 2 cents.

State Representative Julie Stokes, a Republican from the New Orleans suburb of Kenner, said her GOP colleagues have been reluctant to raise taxes, and she understands.

“Look, I don’t want to talk about it – I’m a conservative Republican from a conservative Republican district,” she said. “But I just feel like we’ve got to lose the talking points and have an honest dialogue.”

Ethnic clashes kill 13 in Burkina Faso as security worsens

OUAGADOUGOU ( ) – Thirteen civilians have been killed in ethnic violence in central Burkina Faso, the government said on Wednesday, echoi,后楼凤419Hadleigh,ng a rise in inter-communal conflicts in neighboring Mali linked to Islamist violence.

Burkina has seen a spike in Islamist attacks in recent months as jihadists seek to increase their influence across the Sahel. On Dec. 31, the government declared a state of emergency in several northern provinces bordering Mali.

Attacks this week show how that violence may be fuelling ethnic clashes for the first time in Burkina.

After nightfall on Dec. 31, armed men on motorbikes descended on the village of Yirgou, made up largely of people of Mossi ethnicity, and killed six people, including the village chief, government spokesman Jean Paul Badoun said.

The following day, Badoun said, Yirgou residents killed seven Fulani herders in apparent retaliation. The residents blamed the herders for sheltering the men who attacked them the day before.

The ethnic viol上海419论坛ence echoes problems seen in neighboring Mali where Fulani have been accus,新上海419论坛网[随,爱上海419论坛Macauly,机符],ed of hiding Islamists who have carried out attacks across the region in recent years. Armed men killed 37 Fulani civilians there on Tuesday.

Ten gendarmes were shot dead near the Malian border last week in an attack claimed by Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM), an umbrella group for al Qaeda-linked militants in the Sahara.

JNIM claimed responsibility for other attacks this year, including one in the capital Ouagadougou in March that killed about eight security agents and wounded dozens of others.

Thousands of people have fled their homes due to the attacks and reprisals by security forces.

Up to 17 Afghan security forces killed in west of country: officials

HERAT, Afghanistan ( ) – Up to 17 members of the Afghan security forces were killed on Sunday in Farah province on the border with Iran, according to officials in the region, where the Taliban have been pressuring government forces for months.

Officials said the casualties occurred in different incidents late on Sunday night as insurgents kept up attacks on security checkpoints in vulnerable districts.

Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said Taliban fighters attacked security forces in Pusht-e Rod district, in the west of the province, killing five police.

However a member of the local provinc,上海贵族宝贝论坛Idaia,ial council, Fareed Bakhtawar, said 10 police were killed in Pusht-e Rod, while another seven soldiers were killed in the district of Bala Boluk, where the insurgents have tightened their grip this year.

The government no longer releases combined casualty totals but there has been a nearly constant stream of similar fighting that has chipped away at the strength of Afghan security forces, often stationed on vulnerable checkpoints.

,爱上海419Tessa,

Farah province, a remote desert area of smuggling routes and uncontrolled borders, has seen constant fighting this year and in May, the上海龙凤419 insurgents even briefly overran the provincial capital before being driven back with the aid of U.S. forces.

UK economy will shrink without Brexit deal, IMF warns

LONDON ( ) – Britain’s economy will shrink if it leaves the European Union without a Brexit deal and it will suffer some damage whatever terms it agrees, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday, challenging the promises of some Brexit supporters.

The Fund predicted Britain’s economy would grow by about 1.5 percent a year in 2018 and 2019 — lagging behind Germany and France — if a broad Brexit agreement was struck.

“I’m a desperate optimist, and I very much hope and pray that there will be a deal between the European Union and the UK,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said.

But failure to get a deal would lead to a contraction, she said.

“Let me be clear, compared with today’s smooth single market, all the likely Brexit scenarios will have costs for the economy and to a lesser extent as well for the EU,” Lagarde said as the IMF presented its annual report on Britain’s economy.

“The larger the impediments to trade in the new relationship, the costlier it will be. This should be fairly obvious, but it seems that sometimes it is not.”

Britain is due to leave the EU in little more than six months’ time but London and Brussels have yet to strike a deal to secure a transition period.

Prime Minister Theresa May has struggled to bridge a deep divide within her Conservative Party about how close a relationship Britain should have with the EU.

She is hoping to mak上海龙凤419e progress toward,上海419论坛Pamela, a deal when she meets fellow EU leaders this week.

British finance minister Philip Hammond, speaking alongside Lagarde, said the government had to heed the “clear warnings” from the IMF of a no-deal Brexit.

Hammond has been criticized by some Conservative Party lawmakers who say he wants to keep Britain too close to the EU.

Many Brexit supporters say Britain must distance itself from Brussels in order to strike its own trade deals with fast-growing economies around the world.

The IMF said those kind of deals would not offset the drag to the economy from leaving the EU.

Ruth Lea, an economist with Arbuthnot Banking Group and a Brexit advocate, accused the IMF of joining a new round of “Project Fear,” a term Brexit supporters use for pre-referendum warnings of the economic consequences of a Leave vote.

“Did they learn nothing from their loss of,爱上海419Abraham, credibility after Project Fear Mark 1? In other words, stop making bold claims when you really don’t know what will happen,” Lea said on Twitter.

Britain’s economy — the world’s fifth-biggest — slowed after the 2016 referendum decision to leave the EU and it continues to be outpaced by most other rich nations.

However, stronger-than-expected data last week showed the economy had its fastest growth in nearly a year, helped by the World Cup and hot summer weather.

The IMF said there was a “daunting” range of issues still to be dealt with before Brexit.

Lagarde also said the IMF would lower its forecast for global economic growth when it updates its outlook in November.

“But I can say at this point, without disclosing any numbers, is that clouds on the horizon have not become lighter but darker,” she said.

Obama says global climate deal must include emerging economies

UNITED NATIONS ( ) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday a new global agreement on climate change must include strong commitments from emerging economies and move past the rich-poor country divide that has hampered progress in United Nations negotiations.

Obama addressed the U.N. climate change summit with a statement meant to build,上海419论坛Ionia, political momentum for a global deal on climate change in 2015 and a list of commitments his adminis,上海千花网Raina,tration has made to address.

He said a “gl上海龙凤419obal compact” needs to include strong commitments from some of the world’s emerging economies because the amount of greenhouse gases they emit increases as their economies grow.

“This time we need an agreement that reflects economic realities in the next decade and beyond,” Obama said.

“It must be ambitious because that’s what the scale of this challenge demands.”

Obama said that prior to taking the podium, he met with China’s vice premier Zhang Gaoli and they agreed that the world’s two biggest emitters “have a responsibility to lead.”

China surpassed the United States in 2007 as the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter.

Following Obama’s remarks, Zhang said China would aim to cap emissions or have them peak “as early as possible.” The issue is critical to U.N. negotiations. Some Chinese government advisers said this could happen after 2030.

The minister also said China would double annual financial support for a fund specifically created for developing countries to help other developing countries become more resilient to climate change.

Leaders mostly did not disclose specifics about the plans they are due to unveil next year, ahead of Paris climate talks scheduled for December 2015.

In response to a request by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for some indication of country plans, Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK is aiming to cut its greenhouse emissions by 80 percent by 2050 and to push the European Union to target a 40 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2030.

Some leaders announced financial commitments to help smooth the path to a 2015 agreement, with French President Francois Hollande saying his country would inject $1 billion into the Green Climate Fund. South Korean President Park Geun-hye pledged to contribute up to $100 million to that fund and Mexico said it would kick in $10 million.

“We will push everyone, large and small, rich and poor, into a 2015 global agreement in Paris that will deepen our initial efforts and break through challenges,” said Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak.

Peru president’s call for confidence vote not a power grab: minister

LIMA ( ) – Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra decision to trigger a legislative procedure that could allow him to dissolve Congress is not a power grab but a constitutional way to pressure lawmakers to pass urgent reforms, his foreign minister said in an interview.

Nestor Popolizio defended Vizcarra’s decision to summon a vote of confidence in his Cabinet as part of the president’s efforts to fight graft and strengthen institutions, denying allegations by opposition lawmakers that it was authoritarian.

Accusing lawmakers of stalling his core reforms, Vizcarra late Sunday called for the vote of confidence as a way to move four bills to clean up the judiciary and Congress in response to an influence-peddling scandal that triggered street protests.

Under Peru’s constitution, if Congress delivers a vote of no confidence, Vizcarra would have to re,上海龙凤419Becky,place his entire Cabinet but he could also dissolve Congress and call for legislative elections.

The heightened tensions between Congress and the president have ushered in a new period of political uncertainty in one of Latin America’s most stable economies.

“I know this legal framework doesn’t exist in other countries. That’s why it may create a certain type of confusion or interpretation,” Popolizio told late Monday after Vizcarra’s decision drew international attention.

“But it’s an absolutely democratic process that adheres to the Peruvian constitution,” he said.

Popilizio’s remarks hinted at concerns within Vizcarra’s six-month-old government about how the dispute might be playing out abroad. The last time a president closed Congress in Peru was in 1992, during the authoritarian rule of Alberto Fujimori.

It was Fujimori who passed the current constitution in 1993, giving 上海419论坛presidents strong powers to check Congress. His daughter Keiko Fujimori now leads the conservative opposition party, Popular Force, which has an absolute majority in Congress.

Popular Force lawmakers have said other matters are more pressing than Vizcarra’s proposed reforms, such as rebuilding regions affected by severe floo,上海419论坛Naia,ding last year.

The party criticized Vizcarra’s request for the vote of confidence as unconstitutional on Monday, with some lawmakers accusing him of trying to stage a legislative coup d’etat.

But Popolizio said Vizcarra’s political strategy was just as constitutional as Popular Force’s push to remove former president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski from office under Article 113 of the constitution on grounds he was not morally fit to govern.

Congress’ first vote to push out Kuczynski failed but the former Wall Street banker resigned on the eve of a second ballot.

“The question of confidence as well as the presidential vacancy procedures are covered in the constitution,” Popolizio said. “They are by nature democratic. They are precisely part of the democratic game that exists in the country.”

Popolizio said Peru’s economy was “growing and will continue to grow at some of the best rates in the region,” and Vizcarra’s bid to ensure passage of his proposed reforms will only help.

“These are good signs for investors,” Popolizio said. “If you have a judiciary that’s working properly and solid institutions, what you have is legal security encouraging investment.”

Vizcarra’s prime minister is expected to address Congress on Wednesday to ask lawmakers to pass the reforms and renew confidence in the Cabinet.

Death toll reaches 136 in Tanzania ferry disaster with scores missing

DAR ES SALAAM ( ) – Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday ordered the arrest of those responsible for a packed ferry sinking on Lake Victoria with a death toll of at least 136 and scores of people still missing.

The ferry MV Nyerere capsized just a few meters from the dock o,上海龙凤419Jasper,n Ukerewe, the lake’s biggest island, which is part of Tanzania. Initial estimates suggested there were more than 300 people on board.

In an address to the nation on state-owned broadcaster TBC in which he declared four days of mourning, Magufuli said: “We have directed that all individuals who were involved in causing this accident to be arrested.”

“I have information that some have been arrested including the captain who, I am told, was not on board.”

With some opposition politicians saying the government responded late to the sinking, Magufuli warned against politicizing the disaster.

“Let’s leave designated authorities to investigate,” he said.

Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest, has a length of more than 200 miles (33k kms) and is 160 miles (250 km) across at its widest point.

Tanzania has be,爱上海419Georgina,en hit by several major ferry disasters over the years. At least 500 people were killed when a ferry capsized on the lake in 1996. In 2012, 145 people died when a ferry sank off the shore of the archipelago of Zanzibar.

State-owned Habari Leo reported on its website 爱上海419on Friday that top officials of the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (Sumatra) would be questioned in regard to the accident.

Preliminary investigations, the paper said, showed the ferry had carried more passengers than its capacity permitted.

Thirty-seven people had been rescued from the lake, Jonathan Shana, the regional police commander for the port of Mwanza on the south coast of the lake told .

Shana said more rescuers had joined the operation when it resumed at daylight on Friday. He did not give exact numbers.

The precise number of those aboard the ferry when it capsized was hard to establish since crew and equipment had been lost, officials said on Thursday.

Graphic of the accident site – tmsnrt.rs/2prJv33

As U.S. sanctions near, Europe fails to protect Iran deal

UNITED NATIONS/BRUSSELS ( ) – At a meeting in Washington after Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal in May, a senior U.S. official told European diplomats that their efforts to save the deal by protecting EU investment in the Islamic republic were poin,爱上海419Rain,tless.

“You can’t,” the official said, and with just six weeks until the next wave of U.S. sanctions hits Iran on Nov. 4, European diplomats acknowledge he was right.

The European Union has failed to design a workable legal shield for its companies in Iran to beat the global reach of the U.S. financial system and defy President Trump, the diplomats say.

Instead, Europe is engaging with Russia and China to show that it is at least searching for ways to ensure Tehran gets some benefits from its oil sales so Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has a reason to keep to the accord, according to seven European officials and diplomats.

Facing a collapsing economy at home, Rouhani is in a bind as he addresses the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, pressed by hardliners to abandon the 2015 deal as its economic benefits evaporate.

EU-Iranian trade this year is running at 2 billion euros ($2.35 billion) a month, but this is expected to fall as big European companies pull out and Iranian oil exports are choked off by U.S. sanctions.

European heavyweights Peugeot, Renault, Deutsche Telekom and Airbus are among companies that have pulled out of Iran since May, while Air France and British Airways have also now ended operations after falling traffic.

Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk will stop shipping Iranian oil.

The accord, signed in Vienna by the United States, France, Britain, Germany, China, Russia and Iran, lifted sanctions in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear program, designed to prevent the country from obtaining a nuclear bomb.

Trump says the deal, the biggest foreign policy achievement of his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, failed to stop Iran’s ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 or its role in wars in Yemen and Syria.

Britain, France and Germany say abandoning the pact does not address U.S. security concerns and instead threatens stability in the Middle East. Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons.

The U.S. Treasury is reimposing sanctions on Iran’s energy, auto and financial sectors in two phases, starting this August.

The EU has tried to neutralize the U.S. penalties with measures such as euro-denominated finance lines and a law that could make it an offense for EU citizens to comply with U.S. sanctions. But these have not reassured companies that they would be protected against U.S. fines or risks to their U.S.-based activities if they did business in Iran, diplomats said.

“If y爱上海419ou decide to do business with an enemy of the United States of America, you will not being doing it with the United States,” said a U.S State Department official. “You will not have access to the U.S. financial system.”

Americans diplomats say the anger that EU diplomats showed in their May meetings with State Department officials in Washington has faded. The Europeans are beginning to grudgingly accept their failure to shield European investment in Iran from U.S. sanctions, the American envoys in Europe say.

“When the sanctions really start to hurt at the end of the year, it will make it much harder because what we will have on the table won’t be enough,” said one senior European diplomat.

COLD WAR REDUX

The European Commission’s boldest idea is for European central banks to pay Iran directly for oil in euros and bypass the U.S. financial system. But it has so far proved too politically sensitive at both the European Central Bank and Germany’s Bundesbank, two diplomats said.

In Luxembourg, the European Investment Bank, the bloc’s lending arm, rejected lending to EU companies in Iran for fear of jeopardizing its ability to raise money on U.S. markets.

Now Berlin, Paris, London and Brussels are working on a barter system once used by Moscow during the Cold War to exchange Iranian oil for European goods without money changing hands, using a so-calle,上海贵族宝贝论坛Nicole,d special purpose vehicle – a company set up to handle the business.

Such a system could appeal to Asian countries that purchase Iranian oil, such as India, which had contacted Brussels about avoiding U.S. sanctions. But diplomats say its complexity is evidence that the European powers are cornered.

“It’s very complicated and I think it would only work in a limited way,” a senior European diplomat said on condition of anonymity because the discussions are confidential.

Another European diplomat echoed that, saying: “By the end of the year, we hope to have some of these (proposals) in place and by then we’ll have seen November 4 pass and only then we will see whether what we can do will have any impact.”

In a sign of the obstacles, the European Union’s focus has also shifted to the longer term to try to overcome a perception that European policy is held hostage by the U.S. treasury.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has proposed promoting the euro as a global currency to challenge the dollar, potentially allowing oil to be priced on world markets in euros. But economists said that China has sought a global role for its renminbi currency for years without success.

“There should be no illusion that we are talking about slow, tectonic changes,” said Nicolas Veron, an economist at Brussels-based think-tank Bruegel.

EUROPEAN ‘SWIFT’?

The European Commission had also been in talks with Japan to avoid U.S. measures, but Tokyo looks set to stop importing Iranian crude by mid-October after the United States ruled out granting waivers from sanctions to any country.

Meanwhile, the United States is pressing to cut Iran out of the Belgian-based SWIFT global payment network that facilitates the bulk of the world’s cross-border money transactions, as it was in 2012 before the nuclear deal.

Although the United States does not hold a majority on SWIFT’s board of directors, the Trump administration could threaten to sanction bankers working at there, diplomats said.

“If you threaten maximum pressure, then it implies no waivers, no softening of the position, no loopholes so it’s only a matter of time,” said a senior French official.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in August called for a SWIFT-style system independent of Washington, but officials say that is another longer-term, complex project to consider.

Through what one Western official called “strategic messaging”, Europe hopes that by showing Tehran that capitals are working intensively on measures to keep European investment flowing into Iran, the Islamic Republic will stick to the terms of the nuclear accord and avoid doing anything rash.

“I think that the symbolism is the most important thing at this point,” said Sanam Vakil, a senior associate fellow at Chatham House, a London-based international think tank.

Berlin, Paris and London “don’t have the political strength and time to be able to offer Iran anything serious or significant,” she said.

White House reviewing policy toward U.S. hostages held by militants

WASHINGTON ( ) – President Barack Obama has ordered a comprehensive review of U.S. policy governing efforts to free Americans being held by militant groups overseas, the White House said on Monday.

In recent months, Islamic State militants have beheaded three Americans, including Peter Kassig, an aid worker and former U.S. Army Ranger, whose death was announced in a video released by the group on Sunday.

“The administration’s goal has always been to use every appropriate resource within the bounds of the law to assist families to bring their loved ones home,” White House National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey said in a statement.

“In light of the increasing number of U.S. citizens taken hostage by terrorist groups overseas and the extraordinary nature of recent hostage cases,” added Baskey, “this summer President Obama directed relevant departments and agencies, including the Departments of Defense and State, the FBI, and the Intelligence Community, to conduct a comprehensive review of how the U.S. government addresses these matters.”

The administration could not detail all the steps it was taking to free U.S. hostages, but Baskey said “we will continue to bring all appropriate military, intelligence, law enforcement, and diplomatic capabilities to bear to recover American hostages. Those efforts continue every day.”

ABC News reported that a Pentagon official wrote last week to U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter that the review would include an emphasis “on examining family engagement, intelligence collection, and diplomatic engagement policies.”

It added that a Nov. 11 letter to Hunter from Christine Wormuth, undersecretary of,上海419论坛Dana, defense for policy, did no,上海龙上海419论坛凤419Maddox,t explicitly address the issue of ransom payments, which it is U.S. policy not to pay.

ABC News said Hunter wrote the White House in August after the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley by Islamic State, urging Obama “to guarantee we are maximizing our recovery efforts.”

Islamic State previously killed U.S. journalist, Steven Sotloff and British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning.

U.S. role in typhoon relief boosts new military deal with Manila

MANILA ( ) – Emergency relief provided by U.S. troops in areas devastated by typhoon Haiyan in the central Philippines makes a strong case for the two allies to clinch a new military accord, Manila’s foreign minister said on Monday.

The Philippines and the United States have been negotiating a new security agreement allowing wider and more prolonged access for the U.S. military at bases and other facilities in its former colony. It also provides for storage of equipment and supplies for humanitarian and maritime operations.

Last month, after four meetings, the talks stalled over legal and constitutional issues. Both sides, however, are committed to concluding a deal, a bo,上海419论坛Janelle,ost to the foreign policy of President Barack Obama’s administration focusing on Asia and the Pacific.

“What has been demonstrated in the central Philippines as a result of this typhoon and the assistance provided in terms of relief, rescue operation… is the need for this framework agreement that we are working on with the United States,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario told reporters.

“It accentuates one of the main purposes of the framework agreement, which is to make humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and response a very major aspect of the agreement.”

The United States ran two military bases in the Philippines until the early 1990s, but abandoned them when the government refused to extend the necessary agreements.

The current talks are taking place as the Philippines is engaged in a long-running territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea. Tensions have periodically sharpened, with vessels from each side keeping close watch on the other.

FIFTY SHIPS AND AIRCRAFT

The world’s biggest-ever storm to make landfall struck the central Philippines on November 8, killing more than 5,200 people, displacing 4.4 million and destroying 24 billion pesos ($547 million) in crops and infrastructure.

Within days, the U.S. military sent some 50 ships and aircraft to help distribute food, water and other supplies and speed up delivery by reopening roads, ports and airports.

Washington has contributed nearly $52 million in relief and shelter materials, including about $30 million in direct aid from the U.S. Department of Defense, which sent the aircraft carrier USS George Washington and escort ships.

New Jersey Congressman,上海龙凤419Genavieve, Chris Smith, speaking to journalists after meeting del Rosario, said the storm “has brought all of us even closer together”.

“We realized that this is a jewel of a friendship. We must preserve it at all cost. So I think… all other ongoing negotiations will all be given a positive boost as a direct result of this.”

Smith said the United States was committed to long-term reconstruction, particularly housing. “There’s a colossal need,” he said. “We saw it first hand and that would be something that we take back because we want to be part of the solution.”

The U.N. humanitarian office said life saving assistance is still urgently needed, particularly food, water and shelter due to limited access and lack of long-term supplies. The U.N. says it needs to raise $348 million to address those needs.

China’s post-typhoon relief efforts were initially criticized, even by Chinese media, as inadequate, but Beijing last week sent a state of the art hospital ship to assist.

The head of China’s relief mission said there could be no notion of diplomatic disputes in times of humanitarian crises.

“We know that our n爱上海eighbor is suffering from the … disaster. It is our duty to provide assistance in the fastest possible time,” Rear Admiral Shen Hao said on Monday aboard the 14,000-tonne Peace Ark.

“In the eyes of the doctors and nurses there is no conflict, there is no problem. The only thing in their eyes is medical assistance.”

($1 = 43.8650 Philippine pesos)

U.S. lawmaker urges continuation of Boeing F/A-18 fighter line

WASHINGTON ( ) – Randy Forbes, a key member of the House Armed Services Committee, on Thursday urged Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to rethink the U.S. Navy’s current plan to allow Boeing Co’s F/A-18 fighter jet production to close in 2016.

Forbes released a December 4 letter to Hagel in which he raised concerns about the fighter industrial base and warned about relying solely on the next-generation F-35C fighter jet being developed by Lockheed Martin Corp since it will not be ready for operational use on an aircraft carrier until 2019.

“The risk to U.S. national security and the health of our aviation industrial base of relying on only one tactical aircraft supply line is simply too great to allow the line to close,” Forbes said in the letter.

The lawmaker’s warning comes amid a concerted push by Boeing for additional U.S. and foreign orders for its popular F/A-18 Super Hornet and the EA-18G Growler electronic attack plane based on the same airframe to keep production going.

Boeing executives say they see good prospects for additional F/A-18 orders from the U.S. Navy, Canada, Australia, Denmark and several other countries, and they plan to continue investing in the fighter line.

Dennis Muilenburg, head of Boeing’s defense business, last month said ,上海419论坛Sam,the company must decide soon whether to self fund certain long-lead procurement items to extend the line beyond 2016, but he did not expect a decision to shut the line.

U.S. Navy officials say they would like to buy more F/A-18s and are exploring options to do so but caution that there is no funding for any such purchases at this point. The timing of any new foreign orders also remains unclear.

Forbes said the Pentagon should maintain F/A-18 production in St. Louis, Missouri to safeguard the industrial base and ensure competition. Shutting the line, he warned, would eliminate “vital competition that could result in spiraling costs, leading to more expensive, less capable systems.”

It would also eliminate competition among suppliers, including companies that build aircraft radar and engines.

Forbes urged Hagel to ensure continued competition in the fighter jet market, just as it has done in shipbuilding and submarine industries.

A Navy official, speaking on background, said the service would “very much like” to order more F/A-18 or EA-18G aircraft, but there was no funding available at the moment.

“The F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler bring unique, proven and exceptional warfighting capability to the Navy and joint forces,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak on the record. “The Navy continues to closely monitor the production lines and evaluate options to meet our strike fighter requirements.”

POTENTIAL ORDER NOTICE WITHDRAWN

Richard Gilpin, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for air programs, told last month the Navy was looking at options for buying more F/A-18 jets, but no decisions had been made. U.S. officials are also talking with foreign buyers about orders that could extend production.

The Navy in October flagged a possible order of up to 36 more F/A-18 fighters or EA-18G electronic attack planes in fiscal 2015, but later withdrew the notice on federal procurement website since there is no funding for more planes.

Navy officials say their talks about possible additional purchases of the Boeing fighter do not reflect any wavering of their commitment to the Lockheed F-35 program,上海贵族宝贝论坛Lenny,, since both fighter jets are intended to operate together for decades.

But some F-35 backers worry that the Navy’s proposal to deal with across-the-board spending cuts required under sequestration by pausing production of the F-35 C-model for two years could unravel that part of the F-35 program, especially if the Navy continues to buy Boeing je爱上海ts in the meantime.

A two-year delay in order could push pack initial use of the F-35C until 2021, said one former Navy official. “At some point, depending on how the F-35 carrier variant and unmanned planes come along, they may just not need the F-35C anymore.”

The $392 billion F-35 JSF, the Pentagon’s biggest arms program, has seen a 70 percent increase in costs over initial estimates and repeated schedule delays, but U.S. officials say the program has made progress in recent years.

(See interview with F-35 program chief: reut.rs/1dSZGgd0)

Death sentence quashed on Sudanese teen who killed husband: lawyer

KHARTOU,爱上海419Hannah,M ( ) – A Sudanese court on Tuesday overturned a death sentence on a teenager who killed her husband whom she alleged had tried to rape her and jailed her for five years instead, the girl’s lawyer said.

Noura Hussein, 19, who said her father had made her marry the man, who was also her cousin, was sentenced to death by hanging last month by an Islamic religious court for his murder.

Rights campaigners had called for President Omar al-Bashir to pardon Hussein, say,爱上海Fallon,ing she was forced into a child marriage and had acted in self-defense and on Tuesday the appeals court quashed the death sentence.

As well as the five-year jail term, she was fined 375 Sudanese pounds (about $20), th上海419论坛e lawyer, Al-Fateh Hussein, told . He gave no further details.

Hussein said she was betrothed at the age of 16 but refused to accept the union and sought refuge with a relative for three years.

She returned to her family home in Khartoum in April this year after her father said the marriage was canceled, but found she had been duped and preparations for the wedding were underway.

She said that she refused to have sex with her husband after the wedding, but on the sixth day he raped her as three of his male relatives held her down to restrain her.

The following day, he attempted to rape her again and as she struggled to stop him, she stabbed him, killing him.

The Islamic religious court had found her guilty in May of premeditated murder.

Sudan is ranked 165 out of 188 countries on the U.N.’s Gender Inequality Index, which measures how women fare compared to men when it comes to access to health, education, political participation and employment opportunities.

Vindication: Architects of South Korea’s ‘Sunshine’ policy on North…

SEOUL ( ) – When the United States and North Korea hold a historic summit on Tuesday, supporters of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung say it will be the culmination of a mission launched two decades ago by the Nobel Peace Prize winner.

Kim, who died in 2009, introduced the “Sunshine” policy of engaging with the North in 1998. Although it was later branded a failure by critics, his aides and a son say the Singapore summit could make his dream a reality: lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.

“My father would be extremely delighted if they ,爱上海419Camilla,take steps to realise a permanent peace regime, an opportunity he missed by a hair’s breadth,” said Kim Hong-gul, his youngest son who currently heads the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, a coalition of about 200 civic groups working on inter-Korean peace.

“That would complete his lifetime mission.”

The policy is named after Aesop’s fable about the sun and the wind competing to remove a traveler’s coat and how the man wrapped the coat tightly around him in a blustery wind but threw it off when sun shone on him. The principle of Kim Dae-jung’s Sunshine policy was that persuasion was better than force, and that engagement through dialogue and economic and cultural exchanges would bring about a change in the North and foster peace between the two Koreas.

Kim Dae-jung won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for the first-ever inter-Korean summit since the 1950-53 Korean War with Kim Jong Il, the late father of current North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

For most of the next de,上海419论坛Ramsey,cade, the South gave aid and promoted exchanges with the North but the policy began to wane when a North Korean soldier shot and killed a South Korean tourist who strayed into an off-limits area in the North’s Mount Kumgang resort in 2008. After Kim Jong Un took power in Pyongyang in 2011, the North has pursued nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programs, hurling insults and threats at South Korea and the United States.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a supporter of the Sunshine policy, has made a fresh effort at detente since he was voted to power in May last year. He has held his own two summits with Kim Jong Un, in Apr,上海贵族宝贝论坛Samson,il and May.

Moon’s efforts to act as a mediator between Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump led to Tuesday’s summit, and that’s the role the late Kim Dae-jung had long sought to play, according to his son and former officials.

POLICY FAILURE

Kim Dae-jung, who fought North Korean communist guerrillas during the Korean War, was adamant that there must not be war again on the peninsula, and that the fate of the region should not be left in the hands of superpowers.

After the 2000 inter-Korean summit, Kim Dae-jung convinced then U.S. President Bill Clinton to visit Pyongyang and meet Kim Jong Il, according to memoirs written by Lim Dong-won, the former South Korean president’s point man on North Korea.

But the plan soon fell apart following the narrow election victory of George W. Bush, who hardened his line against North Korea with the help of Republican conservatives, he wrote.

Lim declined to comment for this story.

Another failure came in 2006, when the North shunned Kim Dae-jung’s offer to cross the border as retired president to help break the standoff with Washington over its freeze of about $24 million worth of North Korean funds at Macau’s Banco Delta Asia.

Lee Jong-seok, who helped shape the Sunshine policy from the early 1990s and became unification minister in 2006, says he is still “unthinkably sorry and heartbroken” when he recalls Kim Dae-jung’s crestfallen face after he told him he would not be able to go.

“It was around the time when conservative, anti-North Korea protesters camping out in front of his home every day,” Lee told .

“But he was so composed and resolute, saying he’s old enough not to be afraid of anything if he could contribute to making peace.”

Kim had planned to speak at the National Press Club in Washington on Sept. 19, 2009, marking the anniversary of a 2005 aid-for-disarmament accord reached by the six party talks involving the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia.

Kim, then 85, was in poor health but was insistent on going. However, he died just one month before the scheduled address.

“I delivered the speech on behalf of him, which was virtually his posthumous work,” said Chung Dong-young, Lee’s predecessor as unification minister.

“And the key message was that a summit between the United States and North Korea would be the only way to resolve the nuclear issue.”

LEGACY OF PEACE

Many of the architects of th上海419论坛e Sunshine policy, including Lee, advise the Moon administration and were invited to a dinner on the sidelines of the first summit between Moon and Kim Jong Un in April.

Suh Hoon, who was instrumental in arranging the 2000 summit, is now Moon’s spy chief and played a key role in pursuing the summit between Kim and Trump.

The “sunshiners” say Moon has prevailed in his efforts because the North’s Kim Jong Un is a more confident leader, more keen to meet international standards, than his father.

“Both Kim Jong Un and Jong Il are cavalier, smart, charismatic and humorous but the young Kim is much more westernized and conscious of how others view him, with knowledge of media,” said Park Jie-won, a former special envoy of Kim Dae-jung to Pyongyang who has met both the North Korean leaders.

Kim Jong Un has said he is willing to denuclearize and focus on North Korea’s economic development. But there is scepticism whether he will suddenly give up an arsenal in which he and his family have invested for ,上海419论坛Gerard,decades.

Yet both Kim and Trump have come too far to risk any failure from the summit, and Kim’s boldness and Trump’s disposition as a dealmaker may come together to produce a surprising result, the former officials said.

“Both sides are coming to the summit out of their own fears and frustration, and we should try to encourage Kim Jong Un, rather than question his intention, so that he can shake off any doubt and take the right path with conviction,” Lee said.

Trump, Kim launch historic Singapore summit with a handshake

SINGAPORE ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shook hands and smiled as they started a historic summit on Tuesday, just months after they traded insults and threats of nuclear war.

For both men, the summit, the first between leaders of North Korea and the United States, is likely to be a defining moment of t,上海千花网Kay,heir careers.

The meeting would have been unthinkable last year when tensions spiraled in the region over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs as it raced toward the goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States.

Trump vowed to prevent that happening and threatened North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen”. He mocked Kim as “little rocket man” on a suicide mission.

Kim denounced the U.S. president as the “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” who would be “tamed … with fire”.

But once No,上海贵族宝贝论坛Eldrid,rth Korea conducted an underground test of a thermonuclear bomb last September, Trump began taking Kim more seriously.

Trump can look back to President Richard Nixon’s 1972 trip to China, when the ardent anti-communist defied conventional wisdom to meet Chairman Mao Zedong, irrevocably shifting the Cold War balance and setting China on a path to opening up.

Trump and his senior officials have in recent weeks been referring to Kim as “Chai,上海龙凤419Genavieve,rman”.

For Trump, cutting a deal to end the North Korean nuclear threat with his approach to Kim, in defiance of the U.S. security establishment’s long-held ways of dealing with the North, would be a success unmatched by any predecessors.

It would justify his supporters’ faith in his art of deal-making and allow him to repudiate the naysayers with a foreign-policy success he will be able to hail. Some supporters have said he could win the Nobel Peace Prize.

For Kim, about half Trump’s age and representing the third generation of North Korea’s ruling dynasty, the summit affords both him and his long-isolated country the international legitimacy his father and grandfather could only dream of.

North Korea has faced years of economic sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs since it conducted its first nuclear test in 2006.

‘TRUMP MODEL’

Trump and Kim could agree on a declaration to end the 1950-53 Korean War, the fire in which his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, forged the North Korean state. The war was concluded with,上海419论坛Georgina, a truce, not a peace treaty, but a treaty will also have to include China, which was party to the armistice.

The young Kim is reviled as an international pariah over the 2017 murder in Malaysia of his half-brother, and the execution of hundreds of officials, including his uncle, for suspected disloyalty.

But he will win legitimacy with the handshake.

A successful summit could also herald momentous changes in the security landscape of northeast Asia, in a similar way to how the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 changed Europe.

For China, peace on the Korean peninsula would benefit regional development, especially that of its northeastern rustbelt.  

While China has broadly supported the summit, it will want to protect its interests. North Korea has always been a useful buffer b上海419论坛etween China and U.S. forces in South Korea.

Japan will also be watching with ambivalence – happy to see the sabre-rattling ending but worried its security might be sacrificed in Trump’s rush to neutralizes the North Korean threat to the United States.

Three weeks ago, the summit seemed doomed.

Trump said on May 24 he was scrapping it after threats by North Korea to pull out over what it saw as confrontational remarks by U.S. officials demanding unilateral disarmament.

North Korea had earlier criticized U.S. national security adviser John Bolton, who had called for North Korea to quickly give up its nuclear arsenal in a deal that would mirror Libya’s abandonment of its program for weapons of mass destruction.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed by NATO-backed militants in 2011 after halting his nascent nuclear program and North Korea has long rejected any suggestion of a Libya model.

Trump later dismissed the Libya model. Instead his spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, spoke of “the President Trump model”.

“He’s going to run this the way he sees fit,” Sanders told Fox News.

Malaysia to reopen embassy in North Korea: Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR ( ) – Malaysia will reopen its embassy in Pyongyang, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said, sugg,爱上海Hart,esting an end to the diplomatic row over the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother in Kuala Lumpur last year.

“Yes, we will reopen the embassy,” Mahathir said in an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review published on Monday during his trip to Japan.

Malaysia’s once-close ties with North Korea were severely downgraded after Kim Jong Nam was killed at a Kuala Lumpur airport in Feb,爱上海419Ralph,ruary 2017 when two women smeared his face with VX nerve agent, which the United Nations lists as a weapon of mass destruction.

During thei上海419论坛r trial which is ongoing, the women said they were tricked into believing they were part of a reality show and did not know they were handling poison.

The United States and South Korea have said the murder was orchestrated by Pyongyang.

After Kim Jong Nam’s death, North Korea’s ambassador to Malaysia questioned the credibility of the police probe and insisted he was an ordinary citizen who died of a heart attack.

Malaysia then recalled its ambassador to North Korea, banned its citizens from t,上海419论坛Carina,raveling to the North and canceled visa-free entry for North Koreans.

North Korea retaliated with a travel ban on all Malaysians in Pyongyang, trapping three diplomats and six family members.

They were able to fly out only after Malaysia agreed to hand over Kim Jong Nam’s corpse and send three North Koreans wanted for questioning back to North Korea.

Malaysia’s embassy in Pyongyang has not been staffed since April last year, and the government was considering permanently closing it and moving services to its Beijing mission.

In the interview published a day before the Singapore summit between Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, Mahathir said he hoped both sides were ready to give ground.

“North Korea has a right to have some of its own interests (upheld), as much as the U.S. has its own interests to take care of in any negotiation,” Mahathir said.

“We shouldn’t be skeptical. When you (are suspicious), then y,上海千花网Gabriel,ou cannot work with people,” he added.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Spotted Visibly Shaking at Third Recent Public Event

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