U.S. attorney general nominee will not target law-abiding marijuana…

WASHINGTON ( ) – President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the,爱北京验证阿拉爱上海Talon, U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday he disagreed with a decision by 爱上海419former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse a policy that eased federal enforcement of marijuana laws, saying it sowed confusion in the marketplace and harmed businesses that had invested money.

“My approach to this would be to not upset settled expectations,” Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee in his confirmation hearing, adding that if confirmed, he will “not go after companies” that had relied on the Obama-era guidance that Sessions later rescinded.

Barr’s comments are likely to bring some relief to burgeoning marijuana economies in states like California, which were thrown for a loop last year when Sessions abruptly withdrew guidance written in 2013 by then-Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

That guidance, known as the “Cole Memo,” still recognized marijuana as a “dangerous drug” that is illegal under federal law. However, it instructed prosecutors not to prioritize enforcing federal marijuana laws in states or localities that authorized various uses of the drug and effectively regulate and police it.

Session’s abrupt announcement last January caught banks off guard about how they could continue doing business with marijuana growers and sellers, prompting many to flood the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) with phone calls seeking guidance.

FinCEN had previously released its own parallel guidance on how banks could do business with the cannabis industry without running afoul of federal anti-money laundering rules.

reported a year ago that the Justice Department did not alert FinCEN about its change to the marijuana policy before it was announced.

Sessions was a staunch marijuana opponent, and once said in a speech that he believed it was helping fuel the opioid crisis by serving as a gateway drug.

Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday t,上海后宫阁419Lance,hat he personally opposes pot, but felt the best long-term solution to addressing disparate state and federal rules was for Congress to come up with a plan.

“I think it’s a mistake to back off on marijuana,” he said.

“However, if we want a federal approach, if we want states to have their own laws, then let’s get there,” Barr said.

Asked about Barr’s comments, Saphira Galoob, a federal cannabis lobbyist, said, “It is a positive sign that … Barr recognizes and acknowledges the country’s will for a regulated cannabis marketplace – and that a majority of Americans clearly sup,爱上海北京验证论坛Hadrian,port respecting states and protecting patients.”

Senator Graham says U.S.-Saudi cannot move on until prince ‘dealt…

ANKARA ( ) – Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said on Saturday the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia cannot move forward until Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is “dealt with”, without being more specific.

Speaking in Ankara a day after meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Graham also said Congress will reintroduce sanctions against those involved in the killin,上海新千花网[随机上海419论坛符],g of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“The relationship between the U.S. a,上海蝴蝶419论坛Lark,nd Saudi Arabia cannot move forward until Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is dealt with,” Graham said.

Khashoggi was a prominent Saudi journalist and U.S. resident who wro,上海楼凤个人Nadine,te opinion columns for the Washington Post. He was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

Riyadh initially denied knowledge of Khashoggi’s disappearance, then offered contradictory explanations, including that he was killed in a rogue operation.

Saudi officials have said the crown prince knew nothing of the killing. Saudi Arabia said last year that 21 Saudis were taken into custody in relation to the Khashoggi case, 11 of whom have been indicted and referred to trial.

Crown Prince Mohammed’s top aide Saud al-Qahtani was dismissed after overseeing the operation.

The United States imposed economic sanctions on 17 Saudi officials in November for their role in the Khashoggi killing.

The Senate voted in December to move ahead with a resolution to end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition in the war in Yemen, and lawmakers vowed to push for sanctions against the kingdom in the new year.

More than 60 British lords criticize Labour’s Corbyn over…

LONDON ( ) – Mo爱上海419re than 60 opposition Labour members of Britain’s upper house of parliament signed a statement in a newspaper on Wednesday accusing leader Jeremy Corbyn of failin,2019上海龙凤419Talon,g “the test of leadership” over anti-Semitism in the party.

Corbyn, a veteran campaigner for Palestinian rights and critic of the Israeli government, has long been dogged by charges he has allowed a culture of anti-Semitism to thrive in Britain’s main opposition party – something he ,上海419论坛官方网站Kai,denies.

Eight lawmakers left the party earlier this year over anti-Semitism and Corbyn’s position on Brexit, which has also angered many members who want Labour to adopt an unequivocal pro-European Union position,上海后花园龙凤Mace,.

The statement in the Guardian newspaper, signed by several former ministers when Labour was in power from 1997 to 2010, has a stark message: “The Labour Party welcomes everyone* irrespective of race, creed, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation. (*except, it seems, Jews).”

“You have failed to defend our party’s anti-racist values. You have therefore failed the test of leadership.”

The statement, signed by about a third of Labour members in the House of Lords including former ministers such as Peter Mandelson, challenged whether the party could ever win a national election “if we can’t get our own house in order”.

Last week, a BBC program reported that Corbyn’s office had interfered in the independent party discipline processes aimed at rooting out anti-Semitism, a charge rejected by the party.

A Labour spokesman said the party stood “in solidarity with Jewish people and are fully committed to the support, defense and celebration of the Jewish community” and speeding up its procedures to deal with anti-Semitism cases.

“Regardless of false and misleading claims about the party by those hostile to Jeremy Corbyn’s politics, Labour is taking decisive action against anti-Semitism,” he said.

Corbyn has made clear through the media that anti-Semitism had no place in the party, it said.

Thousands demonstrate in Sudan to mark 40 days since deadly crackdown

KHARTOUM ( ) – Tens of t,上海419论坛最新Dahlia,housands demonstrated in cities across Sudan on Saturday, witnesses said, to mark 40 days since security forces killed dozens when they stormed a protest camp in the capital Khartoum.

The demonstrations were the first since the ruling military council and civilian opposition agreed in principle to a power-sharing arrangement ahead of elections. The deal has yet to be finalised and signed.

A meeting between the two sides planned for Saturday was postponed to Sunday, a leader of the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) coalition told . But the military council denied the meeting was being delayed.

“Saturday’s session will discuss the constitutional document as determined by the mediation,” state news agency SUNA said, citing the council.

African Union mediator Mohamed Hass,爱上海北京验证论坛Pablo,an Lebatt had said on Thursday the council and the FFC would meet on Saturday to study and ratify a constitutional declaration. They had agreed to a political declaration that determines the transition’s different institutions, he said.

After the meeting, the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which leads the FFC, said: “The draft constitutional declaration is ‘not final’ and is not open to final signature in its current form.”

The constitutional declaration’s signing was pushed to Sunday for further consultations based on FFC’s wishes, Lebatt said on Sky News Arabia earlier on Saturday.

In Khartoum on Saturday, thousands protested on Sitteen Street, a major thoroughfare in the capital, a witness said. Some lit candles to remember those killed at the protest camp on June 3, while others lit the torches on their mobile phones.

“We came out to express our opinion and convey our voice and salute the memory of our eternal martyrs,” said protester Mostafa Sayed Ahmed.

上海419论坛Six vehicles belonging to the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), each carrying about six men armed with assault rifles and sticks, drove through a portion of Sitteen Street as protesters chanted “Civilian!” at them, a witness said.

“The fate of the former regime, to us, until now, is vague and many things are unclear,” said Osama Iskandar, a young protester, referring to the government of Omar al-Bashir, who was overthrown by the military on April 11.

“We will be on the Sudanese street level until our demands are fulfilled,” he said.

A witness also saw more than 20 RSF vehicles carrying men in riot gear at Abu Janzir Square in the heart of Khartoum.

“Look at these crushed people,” said Hussein Ismail, a middle-age demonstrator who was chanting “We either get their rights or die like them!”

“Their demands are clear, which are a civilian government, a democratic state, which is a people that calls for justice and peace and love.”

Several hundred also demonstrated in Khartoum’s Burri neighborhood, a working-class district and the cradle of many of the protests. RSF troops stood on roads surrounding Burri, armed with sticks.

“Blood for blood, even if (we get) civilian rule!” protesters chanted.

Security forces used barbed wire to block a main road leading to the Defence Ministry compound, the site of the protest camp crushed by security forces in June, a witness said.

At least 128 people were killed during the raid and in the two weeks that followed, according to doctors linked to the opposition. The government confirmed at least 61 deaths.

Across the Blue Nile, hundreds protested in the neighborhoods of Shambat and al-Mazad in Khartoum North.

In Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman, hundreds demonstrated on al-Arbaeen Street, a major artery. Thousands also turned out in Wad Madani, capital of Jazeera state, while others protested in Port Sudan, capital of Red Sea state, and Al-Ubayyid, capital of North Kordofan.

General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy head of the Transitional Military Council and head of the RSF, which controls Khartoum and whose members are accused of violently dispersing the sit-in outside the Defence Ministry, defended the latter’s role in maintaining security.

“Rapid Support are not angels, but we prosecute every offender,” Dagalo, known by his nickname Hemedti, said ,爱上海同城对对碰aishLark,in a televised speech. “Were it not for Rapid Support, Khartoum’s situation would have been different.”

U.S. homeland security chief seeks pay for Coast Guard amid shutdown

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said on Tuesday she was working with the White House and Congress to pass legislation to fund the Coast Guard so that its workers could get paid even amid the partial government shutdown.

“Like the other branches of the U.S. military, active duty @USCG should be paid for their service and sacrifice to this nation,” Nielsen wrote on Twitter.

According to the Military Times, about 43,000 Coast Guard employees are working without ,上海贵族宝贝论坛Fabi,pay, and another 10,000 are furloughed, as the shutdown grinds into its fourth week. The guard said on Monday it would not be able to make its Tuesday payday and last week announced it was increasing the amount of interest-free loans available to some members.

A standoff over fun上海419论坛ding for President Donald Trump’s long-promised border wall, which he says will curb the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States from its southern neighbors, has led to the longest shutdown in U.S. history. On Tuesday the shutdown dragged into its 25th day with neither Trump nor Democratic congressional leaders, who have called the wall immoral and ineffective, showing signs of bending on funds.

As part of the Department of Homeland Securi,上海楼风419论坛Nala,ty, the Coast Gu,爱上海同城最新Cade,ard is charged with blocking illegal immigration and the smuggling of illicit goods into the United States by sea.

Since Oct. 1, it has stopped approximately 383 migrants attempting to enter Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands illegally, according to its website.

Von der Leyen cracks EU parliament nut, national leaders will prove…

BRUSSELS ( ) – Ursula von der Leyen had to dangle a range of promises on migration, taxes, climate change and the rule of law to secure even a wafer-thin margin of support in the European Parliament to become the EU’s first female chief executive.

But delivering on those pledges will be an even harder task for von der Leyen, a close ally of Ger上海龙凤419man Chancellor Angela Merkel, because the EU’s national leaders, although they picked her for the job, are deeply at odds over many of those issues.

The 28 member states are divided on how to handle refugees, on committing to carbon neutrality by 2050 and on the question of safeguarding democracy in the bloc.

“She promised a whole lot of things and it’s not clear at all that we would be able to deliver,” said one senior EU diplomat. “It’s good to have ambition but one can already see that some areas will be extremely difficult.”

Policy gridlock would inflict further damage on the EU, which has been buffeted in recent years by the euro zone debt crisis, Britain’s decision to leave, an erosion of democratic norms and the rise of far-right and far-left eurosceptic parties.

As head of the EU executive Commission for five years from November, von der Leyen will oversee trade negotiations, economic and climate policy for 500 million Europeans and antitrust rulings involving powerful tech giants.

She was approved in a secret ballot of EU lawmakers on Tuesday, but with only nine more votes than the 374 required in the badly fractured assembly.

Some lawmakers from von der Leyen’s own center-right party appear to have deserted her at the last minute, perhaps piqued by her promises of a greener and more equitable Europe that were designed to win over wavering socialists and liberals.

Making up for the lack of centrist votes, von der Leyen has non-mainstream parties – including Poland’s ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party – to thank for getting her across the line in parliament.


The competing demands that parties make on the new European Commission president as the price for their support in Tuesday’s vote will be writ large in the European Council of national leaders, who are just as divided as the parliament.

Already decisions on the most contentious issues tend to stall in the Council because many of the EU’s key policy decisions require unanimity among the national capitals.

Poland and Hungary have led an eastern states’ revolt against the ambitious 2050 climate goal, striking i,爱上海419验证Ebba,t down last month.

Von der Leyen has proposed a transition fund whereby wealthier states would support their poorer peers in phasing out coal and helping with job losses, but it remains to be seen if this will be enough to win them over.

Raising the EU’s climate ambitions does resonate with many capitals, especially Paris. France will also be happy with her economic an,后楼凤419Easton,d social policy proposals, which include continuing work toward a euro zone budget and a scheme to safeguard bank deposits in euro zone countries. Both plans have been held up, mostly due to opposition from von der Leyen’s native Germany.

Von der Leyen also proposed an EU-wide unemployment scheme and a minimum wage.

“As with many other things she has promised, the social pillar is a very sensitive issue,” said another EU diplomat.

“The economic situation and social structure differs a lot among member states, which is precisely why work on harmonizing that has been difficult. It’s hard to see anything quick.”

On taxation, the EU’s work on a digital tax, a common corporate tax and ensuring big tech companies pay in Europe – all among von der Leyen’s promises – have also stalled over opposition from Ireland, the Netherlands and others.

To allow progress, von der Leyen wants to switch to majority – rather than unanimous – approval for tax, foreign policy, climate, energy and social issues.

“The paradox is that EU states would need to agree unanimously to move to majority decisions. None would voluntarily sign up for the risk of being outvoted on an important file,” a third EU diplomat said.

Von der Leyen’s idea to give the European Parliament the right to propose legislation – currently it can only vote on laws put forward by the Commission or EU states – would require changing the bloc’s founding treaties, with the risk of ratification being compromised by resurgent eurosceptic groups.

She did not explain how she would “relaunch” talks on the EU’s broken asylum rules, discussion of which has caused splits between southern states where migrants arrive, rich destination countries and easterners which refuse to help host new arrivals.

If she acts on her promises to be tougher than the outgoing Commission on ensuring all EU states honor democratic standards, she would anger Hungary and Poland,

Beata Mazurek, spokeswoman of Poland’s ruling PiS party, told on Wednesday that Warsaw ,爱上海同城交流论坛Hallie,wants the new Commission to treat all EU states equally. Poland has complained repeatedly that the current Commission’s legal action against Warsaw over the rule of law is biased.

‘Hola, I’m Mike Pence’: U.S. VP delivers message of support to…

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence issued a video message of support to Venezuelans on Tuesday to encourage those who are protesting against President Nicolas Maduro and underline U.S. backing for opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Venezuela’s opposition on Wednesday plans to hold marches nationwide as part of an annual event that marks the fall of a military government in 1958. Government c,上海千花mm自荐Oakley,ritics are increasingly comparing Maduro to dictator Marcos Perez, who was pushed from power that year.

In a taped video message in English bit.ly/2sGkcvy with a few Spanish words and phrases mixed in, Pence, who has lashed out at Maduro before, declared him a “dictator” who has no rightful claim to power.

“On behalf of President Donald Trump and all the American people, let me express the unwavering support of the United States as you, the people of Venezuela, raise your voices in a call for freedom,” Pence said after offering a greeting of “hola,” which means “hello” in Spanish.

“Nicolas Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power. He has never won the presidency in a free and fair election, and has maintained his grip of power by imprisoning anyone who dares to oppose him.”

Pence declared U.S. support again for Guaido, with whom he spoke by phone earlier this month, and the National Assembly, which he leads, as the “last vestige of democracy.” Pence said Washington supported Guaido’s decision to assert the body’s powers, declare Maduro a “usurper” and push for a transitional government to be established.

“As you make your voices heard tomorrow, on behalf of the American people, we say to all the good people of Venezuela: estamos con ustedes,” Pence said, following up with the translation in English: “We are with you, we stand with you, and we will stay with you until democracy is restored and you reclaim your birthright of libertad.”

Maduro was inaugurated on Jan. 10 amid worldwide criticism that his leadership was illegitimate after a 2018 election that was widely viewed as fraudulent.

In response to Pence’s comments, M爱上海aduro accused him of trying to force a coup and said he had ordered a revision of Venezuela’s diplomatic relations with the United States.

“Never before has a high-level official said that the opposition should over,上海千花验证归来Barrett,throw the government,” Maduro told a news conference. The U.S. embassy in Caracas did not respond to a re,2019上海龙凤419Caitlin,quest to comment.

Pence has largely taken the lead within the Trump administration in condemning Maduro. He called the inauguration a sham and made clear the United States did not recognize the election result.

U.S. unsure about circumstances of tanker towed to Iran

DUBAI ( ) – U.S. officials say they are unsure whether an oil tanker towed into Iranian waters was seized by Iran or rescued after facing mechanical faults as Tehran asserts, creating a mystery at sea at a time of high tension in the Gulf.

The MT Riah disappeared from ship tracking maps when its transponder was switched off in the Strait of Hormuz on July 14. Its last position was off the coast of the Iranian island of Qeshm in the strait.

Iran says it towed a vessel into its waters from the strait after the ship issued a distress call. Although Tehran did not name the vessel, ,上海千花验证归来Hadleigh,the Riah is the only ship whose recorded movements appea,上海419龙凤后花园Sabrina,r likely to match that description.

A U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said it appeared that the tanker was in Iranian territorial waters, but it was not clear whether that was because Iran had seized it or rescued it.

The mystery comes at a time when Washington has called for greater security for ships in the Gulf.

Iran has threatened to retaliate for the British seizure of an Iranian oil tanker accused of violating sanctions on Syria. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has branded the British action “piracy”.

The United States has also blamed Iran for attacks on tankers in the Gulf since May, which Tehran denies.

Shipping experts say U.S. sanctions on Iran intended to halt its oil exports have led to a rise in unusual tanker movements away from shipping lanes, with Iran seeking covert ways to export its oil. Increasingly, ships are switching off location transponders, transferring oil at sea and concealing their routes. Iran has also become more dependent on a fleet of ageing ships, and some have had to be towed for emergency repairs.

Adding to the riddle of the missing ship was difficulty establishing who owns it, which no country or company has so far publicly claimed. Initial reports described it as Emirati. However, an Emirati official told the tanker was neither owned nor oper,阿拉爱上海会员验证区Ebba,ated by the UAE.

The tanker’s registered manager is Prime Tankers in the UAE. That company told it had sold the tanker to another UAE-based company, Mouj al-Bahar. An employee at Mouj al-Bahar told that the firm did not own it but had been managing the vessel up to two months 上海龙凤419ago, and that it was now under the management of a company called KRB Petrochem. could not reach KRB Petrochem for comment.

Indonesian president tells cities to build waste-to-energy plants

JAKARTA ( ) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has urged cities across the country to se,上海419龙凤体验Daisy,t up waste-to-energy plants this year to tackle the country’s growing mountain of trash, according to a statement published on the cabinet secretary’s website on Tuesday.

The world’s fourth-most populous country with 260 million people gener,爱北京验证阿拉爱上海爱上海419Naia,ates huge amounts of garbage and, according to a 2015 study published in Science journal, was the world’s second-biggest contributor of plastic pollutants in the oceans.

In the same statement, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung said cities including Jakarta, Surabaya, Bekasi and Solo had pledged to build such plants, which incinerate trash to drive turbines to create power.

“This is not about the electricity, this is about taking care of the trash,” Widodo said on the cabinet secretary’s website, where he also questioned why there had not been more progress.

The president issued a regulation in April last year pushing regions to set up eco-friendly plants to turn waste into electricity.

According to a February energy ministry statement, 12 waste-to-energy power plants were due to be operating by 2022 and combined should create up to 234 megawatts of electricity using 16,000 tons of waste a day.

Indonesia’s archipelago of more than 17,000 islands has struggled to cope with waste, with much of it going into landfill and often eventually seeping out to pollute rivers and oceans.

Indonesia has also become the latest Southeast Asian country to send back trash amid a spike in imports from Western countries after China banned imports, disrupting the global flow of millions of tonnes of waste each year.

As part of efforts to reduce pollution, Indonesia has also sought to put a levy on plastic bags but this has been delayed by parliament after complaints from industry.

Anung, the cabinet secretary, said on the website that Bekasi, a satellite city of mo,爱上海北京验证论坛Falkner,re than two million people near Jakarta, generated 1,700 tonnes of waste a day.

France to create space command within air force: Macron

PARIS ( ) – French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday he had approved the creation of a space command within the French air force to improve the country’s defense capabilities.

Addressing military personnel a day before the Bastille Day爱上海419 parade, Macron said the new military doc,2019上海龙凤419Gabe,trine setting up a space command wou,后楼凤419Rachel,ld strengthen protection of French satellites. He said the investment involved had yet to determined.

“To give substance to this doctrine and ensure the development and reinforcement of our space capabilities, a space command will be created next September in the air force,” Macron said, adding that it would later become the Space and Air Force.

French Defence Mi,上海后宫阁419Hal,nister Florence Parly said last year she was committed to giving France strategic space autonomy in the face of growing threats from other powers amid a race in space militarization.

The French military spending program for 2019-2025 has earmarked 3.6 billion euros ($4.06 billion) for investments and renewal of French satellites.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation aims to recognize space as a domain of warfare this year, four senior diplomats told in June.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration announced a plan last year to create a new “Space Force” as the sixth branch of the military by 2020.

Ukraine investigates grenade attack on Kiev TV station

KIEV ( ) – Ukrainian authorities said on Saturday they were investigating an attack on a Kiev television station owned by an opposition ele,上海419论坛Balthazar,ction candidate, which caused damage but injured no one.

An unknown assailant fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the 112 TV channel building in western Kiev at 0340 a.m. (0040 GMT), police said in a statement, adding the incident was being investigated as “an act of terrorism”.

“Policemen are looking for the attacker…There were no injured,” the statement said.

112 TV aired footage of the damaged front building banner, a broken window and crumbling plaster inside.

Former supporters of pro-Moscow ex-president Viktor Yanukovich, who oppose Ukraine’s integration with the West, often appear as speakers on 112 TV. Yanukovich fled to Russia in 爱上海2014 following street protests against his rule.

Taras Kozak, a member of the Russia-friendly Opposition Platform party, owns a 99% stake in the TV station. Kozak is registered as a candidate in Ukraine’s July 21 parliamentary election.

Managers at the TV channel said earlier its journalists had previously received threats via social media from Ukrainian nationalists.

Kozak called the attack a “threat to independent media”, a,上海419论坛体验Hal,nd blamed “inaction” by authorities.

Relations between Ukraine and Russia have been tense since Moscow’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and its support for armed separatists in the Donbass region of eastern Uk,上海后花园419最新Lark,raine, in a conflict that has killed 13,000 people.

The Opposition Platform party, of which one of its leaders Viktor Medvedchuk is a frequent 112 TV guest speaker, accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Saturday of encouraging radical nationalists to confront several TV stations, including 112.

Zelenskiy did not immediately respond to the accusations.

His Servant of the People party is the most popular political movement in the country, according to a recent opinion poll. The Opposition Platform was in second place.

Japan-South Korea feud deepens with disputed accounts of trade meeting

SEOUL/TOKYO ( ) – A row between Japan and South Korea escalated on Saturday, with contested accounts of a frosty meeting the day before that had failed to make progress on a dispute that could threaten global supplies of microchips and smartphone displays.

Tokyo lodged a protest against Seoul, saying it had broken an agreement on what the two sides would disclose from the Friday discussions on Japan’s curbs of exports to Korea of some materials used to make high-tec爱上海h equipment, said Japanese trade ministry officia,上海后花园419最新Rae,l Jun Iwamatsu.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) also disputed a Korean offici,上海推油论坛新419Falkner,al’s statement that Seoul had asked Japan on Friday to withdraw the restrictions.

But a Korean trade ministry official shot back that Seoul had “clearly demanded Japan withdraw its trade restrictions at yesterday’s meeting, and there should be no disagreement over that matter with Japan.”

He told the two sides had discussed what they would disclose but that there was no agreement.

“I am frustrated,” said the Korean official, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Japan recently tightened restrictions on the export of three materials used in high-tech equipment, citing what it has called “inadequate management” of sensitive items exported to South Korea, as well as a lack of consultations about export controls.

But the dispute also appears to be rooted in a decades-old wartime disagreement. It comes amid deep frustration in Japan over what Tokyo sees as Seoul’s failure to act in response to a South Korean court ruling ordering a Japanese company to compensate former forced laborers from the Second World War.

In the Friday talks, South Korean officials expressed regret over Japan’s export restrictions and asked Tokyo to remove them, participant Han C,2019上海龙凤419Octavien,heol-hee, a trade ministry director, told reporters as he was leaving Japan on Saturday.

In response, Iwamatsu, director of METI’s trade control policy division, told a hastily arranged news conference: “We’ve checked the record of the meeting … We found no clear comment asking for the withdrawal.”

Iwamatsu said the two sides had agreed on what they would disclose from the talks but that the Korean official went beyond the agreement. “We believe this is something that affects our relationship of trust,” he said.

One reason for the sensitivity over characterizing the talks could be a Japanese fear that if Korea can assert that it used consultations and unsuccessfully sought to have Tokyo withdraw the curbs, Seoul could justify escalating the matter to the World Trade Organization.

“The nature of the meeting is not a consultation, but an occasion where Japan gives explanation after getting a request from the South Korean government,” Iwamatsu said.

Related CoverageSouth Korea ‘clearly’ called for withdrawal of Japan’s export curbs at meeting: Seoul official

“Therefore we would like to correct an expression from a South Korean official that the meeting can appropriately be described as a consultation for problem solving.”

Friday’s talks began with two negotiators from each side facing off in stony silence in a small meeting room, without greeting each other and with the Japanese officials not standing or bowing when their Korean counterparts entered.

A Japanese official later explained that the bureaucrats had earlier met and exchanged greetings. South Korean media, however, reported there was a “cold reception” for their officials, and that the meeting took place in a room that looked like a “garage”.

U.S. to ‘support efforts’ by South Korea, Japan to end worsening…

SEOUL ( ) – The United States will “do what it can do” to help defuse a worsening political and economic dispute between South Korea and Japan, a senior U.S. diplomat said on Wednesday, as South Korea warned that the row would have global repercussions.

The United States has been hesitant to publicly wade into the feud between its allies, but the dispute, which threatens global supplies of memory chips and smartphones, has overshadowed the visit by David Stilwell, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia policy.

Stilwell told reporters in the South Korean capital, Seoul, that he took the situation seriously but did not elaborate on what steps Washington might take and said fundamentally it was up to South Korea and Japan to resolve their differences.

“We hope that resolution will happen soon,” he said.

“The United States, as a close friend and ally to both, will do what it can do to support their efforts to resolve it.”

Last week, Stilwell had told Japan’s NHK broadcaster the United States would not intervene in the dispute, and instead encouraged dialogue between Washington’s two biggest allies in Asia to settle it.

Simmering tension, particularly over the issue of compensation for South Koreans forced to work for Japanese occupiers during World War Two, took a sharp turn for the worse this month, when Japan restricted exports of high-tech materials to South Korea.

Japan has denied that the dispute over compensation is behind the export curbs, even though one of its ministers cited broken trust with South Korea over the labor dispute in announcing the restrictions.

Instead, Japan has cited “inadequate management” of sensitive items exported to South Korea, with Japanese media reporting some items ended up in North Korea.

South Korea has denied that.

The export curbs could hurt global technology companies, including the operations of South Korean tech giant Samsung in the Texas state capital of Austin, a senior South Korean government official told reporters.

“It will adversely affect companies ranging from Apple, Amazon, Dell, Sony and billions of consumers all over the world,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss sensitive diplomatic issues.

Related CoverageJapan to reject South Korea’s request for meeting on export curbs: Kyodo

Samsung Electronics said in a statement in response to the official’s comments: “We cannot say there will be no impact on the Austin factory, but we will make utmost effort not to disrupt future production.”

When asked whether the South Korean government was considering retaliatory measures, the official said South Korea preferred to resolve the dispute diplomatically.

If Japan went so far as to drop,上海龙凤1314 shlfNadia, South Korea from its “white list” of countries with minimum trade restrictions, it would cause a “tremendous amount of problems” and strain ties between Japan, South Korea, and the United States, the official added.

South Korean Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki repeated his call for Japan to lift the curbs, while adding that South Korea would soon unveil plans to make its supply chain more independent.

“The government is working on comprehensive plans to reduce the country’s dependence on Japan’s materials, components and equipment industries,” he said at the start of a regular meeting of ministers responsible for various aspects of the economy.


Yasutoshi Nishimura, Japan’s deputy chief cabinet secretary, urged South Korea to take “appropriate steps” to resolve the labor issue, which was reignited by a South Korean court last year that ordered Japanese companies to pay compensation.

“There is no change to our stance that we strongly urge South Korea to take appropriate and timely steps to comply with international law, and accept an arbitrator in accordance with the treaty,” he said.

Japan believes the issue of compensation for its wartime actions was settled under a 1965 treaty.

When asked about media reports that Japan was considering seeking damages from South Korea if Japanese corporate assets were sold off to compensate laborers, Nishimura said the government would respond firmly and was considering options to “protect Japanese companies’ legitimate economic activities”.

The dispute could have implications for Nor,上海千花网友验证Kailani,th Korea policy, a key agenda item for Stilwell, who arrived on Tuesday.


The Japanese government has distanced itself from Japan,上海419龙凤体验Talon,ese media reports that South Korea violated international sanctions by exporting banned goods to North Korea, saying it had said no such thing.

Nevertheless, on Tuesday, a South Korean intelligence official fired back, telling lawmakers that Japan had been “lukewarm and passive” in enforcing U.N. sanctions on North Korea.

Relations between the neighbors have long been plagued by memories of Japan’s 1910-45 colonization of the Korean peninsula.

China’s population set to peak at 1.44 billion in 2029: government…

SHANGHAI ( ) – China’s population is set to reach a peak of 1.442 billion in 2029 and start a long period of “unstoppable” decline in 2030, government scholars said in a research report published on Friday.

The world’s most populous country must now draw up policies to try to cope with a declining labor force and a rapidly ag,爱上海同城交流论坛Fabi,eing population, according to the summary of the latest edition of the “Green Book of Population and Labor” published by the China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Growth in the working population had now stagnated, the report said, and the rising number of elderly people will have a far-reaching impact on the social and economic development in the country, especially if fertility rates remain low.

“From a theoretical point of view, the long-term population decline, especially when it is accompanied by a continuously ageing population, is bound to cause very unfavorable social and economic consequences,” it said.

China’s population,上海419龙凤交友Kade, is expected to fall back to 1.36 billion by the middle of the century, it said, which could mean a decline in the workforce of as much as 200 million. If fertility rates remain unchanged, the population could fall to 1.17 billion by 2065, it said.

China decided in 2016 to relax a controversial “one-child policy” aimed at curbing population growth and allow all couples to have two children. However, the country’s birth rate still fell 3.5 percent in 2017 and is expected to have fallen again last year.

China’s “dependency rate” – or the proportion of non-working people, including children and the elderly, in the total population – rose for the first time in more t上海419论坛han 30 years in 2011, and is widely predicted to increase further for at least the next few decades.

The proportion of retirees is projected to rise until 2060, the CASS report said, and while the decision to relax “one-child” rules was designed to rebalance China’s age structure, in the short term it will also lead to a greater dependency rate.

According to previous forecast,免费上海楼凤论坛Ida,s, China’s elderly population is expected to reach 400 million by the end of 2035, up from around 240 million last year.

Deadly pesticide in temple food that killed 15 in India

NEW DELHI ( ) – A toxic pesticide that a U.N. agency wanted India to ban a decade ago contaminated food that killed at least 15 people at a temple last week, police said on Tuesday.

Mor上海龙凤419e than 100 also had to go to hospital after devotees consumed portions of tomato rice blessed at the Hindu temple in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

A senior police officer told laboratory tests showed the presence of monocrotophos – a pesticide which attacks the nerves – in food and vomit samples.

“We are trying to find out how the food got contaminated and not ruling out foul play. We have detained a few people and are enquiring further,” said Chamrajnagar district police superintendent Dharmender Kumar Meena, without specifying the number of arrests.

The same pesticide was responsible for the death of 23 schoolchildren in the eastern state of Bihar in 2013, one of India’s worst mass poisonings.

That was caused by cooking oil kept in a container previously used to store monocr,上海419论坛官方网站Nadine,otophos.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), swallowing just 120 milligrams of monocrotophos – the weight of about five grains of rice – can be fatal.

In a 2009 report, the U.N. health agency urged India to ban the pesticide, as the United S,爱上海同城aishBarney,tates, European Union and various other Asian nations have done.

Its import is now illegal in at least 46 countries.

But India plans to continue allowing its use in non-vegetable crops because it i,上海千花网Ebba,s effective and cheaper than alternatives, said a senior government official.

Monocrotophos costs only about 50 rupees (70 U.S. cents) a kg, while a similar patented alternative would cost as much as 20,000 rupees, said Pranjib Kumar Chakrabarty, assistant director general of the state-run Indian Council of Agricultural Research.

“Farmers want to keep using it,” Chakrabarty told . “It’s safe as long as best practices are followed and they are not used in vegetables.”

Monocrotophos controls a range of pests from aphids to caterpillars, mites, moths, stem borers and locusts on crops such as cotton, rice and sugarcane. Poisoning symptoms can include sweating, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision and foaming at the mouth.

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.

Hungary protests spark opposition coalition – but will it last?

BUDAPEST ( ) – Week-long protests in Budapest have forged fragmented opposition parties into a rare coalition against Viktor Orban, drawing young Hungarians into the streets to demonstrate against what they see as his increasingly authoritarian rule.

Passage of two laws last week backed by the prime minister’s Fidesz party angered a variety of domestic voter groups, galvanizing the weak and divided opposition to act with a unity rarely seen in his eight years in power.

The protests in Budapest raised the question of whether such fledgling cooperation can last long enough to put down roots and offer viable op爱上海419position to a charismatic politician normally adept at side-lining dissent.

While no substantial shift in Hungary’s domestic balance of power appears on the cards for now, there is a sense among some Hungarians that Orban overplayed his hand by pushing through the two laws that drew such a concerted opposition response.

One law, dubbed the “slave law”, allows employers to ask staff to work up to 400 hours per year of overtime.

Another would set up new courts controlled by the justice minister, which critics say could lead to political meddling.

Denes Hubicsak, an engineer, 24, joined almost all the protests since Dec. 12 and came to the state television building on Monday night, ignoring freezing cold, to demand independent public media and courts.

“I’m here because I want to live here in 10 years’ time as well,” he said. “Many people here are protesting because of the slave law now, but they sometimes forget the ot,爱上海419Eden,her one: the law about administrative courts.”

Hubicsak said he did not have high hopes of the EU reining in what critics see as the increasingly authoritarian policies of Orban, as this has not happened in the past eight years.

“I cannot see the pressure from the EU or from the European People,上海419论坛Macauly,’s party that could influence them a little, or make Orban or Fidesz just think twice,” he said.

The demonstrations, which peaked at around 10,000 on Sunday, pose no immediate threat to Orban as Fidesz enjoys strong voter support, ever since his third straight election win in April.

But if the protests p,爱上海同城论坛网Earl,ersist and leftist parties and the nationalist Jobbik party can turn the latest cooperation into a lasting campaign, such concerted activism might erode Fidesz’ widely expected win at European Parliament and municipal elections next year, some analysts said.

There were many students among the protesters on Sunday, and some also joined on Monday night. This is the so-called Generation Y — Hungarians in their 20s and 30s — for whom Orban and his policies are not an appealing choice.

They are very unhappy about the government’s education policies which they say fail to prepare them for life in the 21st century by too rigidly focusing on rote-learning.

“What they do in higher education is really bad,” said Dora, 16, who did not want to give her full name. “I am worried I won’t have a good college to go to in Hungary and I don’t want to go abroad …I also oppose the labor law.”


Orban has clashed with Brussels over his policies to curb the media and courts, has tweaked the election system to favor Fidesz and put loyalists at the head of several institutions.

Orban has projected himself as defending Hungary’s Christian culture against Muslim migration into Europe, an image which resonates with millions of voters, especially in rural areas.

Fidesz had 38 percent support in a November poll by pro-government think-tank Nezopont, while all the opposition parties had about 25 percent combined.

Csaba Toth, director of liberal think tank Republikon, said the opposition was now working in rare unity and could build on this next year when Hungary holds European and municipal polls.

“But if they are not able to come up with something forward-looking in the next few days before Christmas, the whole (protest sentiment) could collapse,” he said.

A government spokesman dismissed the protests as a desperate attempt by a weak opposition and foreign-paid activists.

“Citizens have the right to protest as long as they don’t break the law. But beware when a small minority of foreign-trained activists, representatives of losing political parties and, yes, Soros network putschists emerge hell-bent on toppling a popular, democratically elected government,” Zoltan Kovacs wrote in a blog on Monday.

A spokesperson for George Soros’ Open Society Foundations said on Monday that Soros had not stoked the protests.

Judge excoriates Trump ex-adviser Flynn, delays Russia probe…

WASHINGTON ( ) – A U.S. judge fiercely criticized President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Tuesday for lying to FBI agents in a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and delayed sentencing him until Flynn has finished helping prosecutors.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan told Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, that he had arguably betrayed his country. Sullivan also noted that Flynn had operated as an undeclared lobbyist for Turkey even as he worked on Trump’s campaign team and prepared to be his White House national security adviser.

Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his December 2016 conversations with Sergei Kislyak, then Russia’s ambassador in Washington, about U.S. sanctions imposed on Moscow by the administration of Trump’s Democratic predecessor Barack Obama. The conversations took place between Trump’s November election victory and his inauguration in January 2017.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, leading the investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia ahead of the election, had asked the judge not to sentence Flynn to prison because he had already provided “substantial” cooperation over the course of many interviews.

Lying to the FBI carries a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison. Flynn’s plea agreement stated that he was eligible for a sentence of between zero and six months.

Sullivan sternly told Flynn his actions were abhorrent, noting that Flynn had also lied to senior White House officials, who in turn misled the public. The judge said he had read additional facts about Flynn’s behavior that have not been made public.

At one point, Sullivan asked prosecutors if Flynn could have been charged with treason, although the judge later said he had not bee上海419论坛n suggesting such a c,爱上海同城交流论坛Ida,harge was warranted.

“Arguably, you sold your country out,” Sullivan told Flynn. “I’m not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense.”

Trump urges Kosovo to reach ‘historic’ deal with Serbia

PRISTINA ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump has sent a letter to Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci urging him to do everything to reach a longstanding deal with Serbia two decades after their war ended, according to Thaci’s official website.

Serbia and its former province of Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008, committed in 2013 to a European Union-sponsored dialogue meant to resolve all unsolved issues but little progress has been made.

“Failure to capitalise on this unique opportunity would be a tragic setback, as another chance for a comprehensive peace is unlikely to occur again soon,” says the text of the letter posted on Thaci’s website on Tuesday.

“The United States has invested heavily in the success of Kosovo as an independent, sovereign state,” it said.

In Washington, the White House had no comment. There was no immediate comment from the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo’s capital Pristina.

Serbian-Kosovar tensions rose anew last爱上海419 week when Kosovo’s parliament voted to approve the creation of a 5,000-strong standing army – ,上海后花园千花网Rachel,only a week after Serbia’s premier suggested such a move could provoke military intervention by Belgrade.

In June this year, Thaci said he would seek a solution with Serbia by “correcting borders”, but politicians and analysts in Kosovo said that means land swaps.

But his plan rang alarm bells among Balkans neighbors and some Western governments who saw it as a move to take three Serbian municipalities ,龙凤网419论坛Quay,inhabited mainly by ethnic Albanians, who make up more than 90 percent of Kosovo’s population.

If there would be a land swap then Serbia would get part of northern Kosovo populated mainly by minority Serbs who refuse to recognize the authority of the Pristina government.

Britain and Germany have said they do not favor border changes but the United States said if these were agreed by Serbia and Kosovo, it would respect such a deal.

The United Nations Security Council publicly discussed the issues between the two countries and recent tensions on Monday at a meeting attended by the presidents of Serbia and Kosovo. 

The letter posted by Thaci’s website said Trump would welcome hosting the Kosovo and Serbian presidents at the White House as part of such an “historic accord”.

Kosovo is recognized by more than 110 countries, including the United States, but n,上海419论坛体验Octavia,ot by Serbia, Russia or China.

Washington remains the biggest supporter of Kosovo both politically and financially.

It was under U.S. command that NATO bombed Serbian forces in 1999 to halt killings and expulsions of Kosovo Albanians during a counter-insurgency operation.

Factbox: Britain’s post-Brexit immigration plans

LONDON ( ) – The British government set out its biggest overhaul of immigration in decades on Wednesday, publishing a long-awaited policy paper on how it intends to approach the issue after it exits the European Union.

B上海419论坛elow are key measures in the document:


– the new system will apply to EU and non-EU citizens

– it will prioritize skilled migrants

– it will come into force after Britain’s planned post-Brexit implementation period, due to end in December 2020

– there is no target, but a pledge to reduce annual net migration to “sustainable levels”

– Britain will introduce an Electronic Travel Authorisation system similar to the United State’s ESTA scheme

– Irish nationals will not need visas

– EU citizens will not need visas for tourist visits up to six ,上海后花园千花网Sabrina,months


– no cap on numbers

– workers will need an employer to sponsor them

– they will be allowed to bring dependents, extend their stay and in some cases settle permanently

– employers will no longer be required to carry out a resident labor market test

– this visa will be subject to a minimum salary threshold, to be set in consultation with businesses over the next year

– where there ,上海419论坛Lance,are specific skills shortages, the minimum salary threshold may be lowered

– the government will aim to process most work visas within three weeks


– transitional measure, which will be reviewed by 2025

– open to workers of any skill level from “low risk” countries, including the EU

– limited to 12 months, followed by a further 12-month “cooling off” period to continuous work

– these workers will not be allowed to bring dependents or access public funds

– they will not be entitled to extend their stay or seek permanent settlement

– do not have to be sponsored by an employer or have a job offer


– no plans for such schemes, with the possible exception of seasonal agricultural workers

– a small-scale pilot scheme for agricultural workers will be run in 2019


– no limit on numbers of international students

– will be allowed to stay in Britain for a fixed period after they have finished studying in order to find work: six months for undergraduate and masters students and a year for PhD students


– will need to apply for settled status

– need to have been living in the UK continuously for five years to be eligible

– those who arrive before the end of the implementation period but have not been in Britain for five years can ap,上海419论坛最新Easton,ply for pre-settled status so they can stay until they have accumulated five years

– the settlement scheme will be open until six months after the end of the implementation period

U.S. House panel offers alternative to retirement adviser rule

WASHINGTON ( ) – Legislation to bypass the U.S. Labor Department and have Congress set standards for brokers who give retirement advice passed a major committee on Wednesday and is now headed to the full House of Representatives.

Although the bill faces slim chances of becoming law, it reveals the depth of feuding in Washington over the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law’s requirement that retirement advisers follow a “fiduciary” standard that puts their clients’ interests first.

The requirement aims to end potential conflicts of interest by brokers who advise on individual retirement accounts and to protect con,上海419论坛体验Jackson,sumers from buying unnecessary investment products that line brokers’ pockets.

Last week, the Labor Department sent a revised proposal for an adviser rule to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. Details will not be made public until the White House comple,021上海贵族宝贝论坛Jacklyn,tes its review. This was the department’s second stab at a r,上海后花园1314上海419论坛龙凤论坛上不去Lark,ule. Wide criticism from the industry and lawmakers alike forced it to withdraw its initial proposal in 2011.

The House Ways and Means Committee split along party lines as it debated the legislation, which would create a “best interest requirement” and lay out processes for advisers to follow.

Republicans, the majority, touted it as a workable alternative to the Labor Department’s rule, which they said could “frighten off” middle-income investors from seeking advice and give advisers incentives to work only for wealthy clients.

They took issue with how the Labor Department drafted its rule, as well, saying the first version was panned by thousands of people and complaining that the current version lacked transparency.

“Just disclose it,” said Rep. Peter Roskam, of Illinois, who helped write the bill, in comments directed at the department. “You’ve written it. It’s done. It’s not holy text.”

Democrats said lawmakers should wait to see the Labor Department’s rule before bypassing it. They also complained there were no hearings on the bill, introduced in December, and said industry pressure was behind a sudden rush to pass it.

President Barack Obama, a Democrat, would likely veto the legislation if it passed both the House and the Senate. Democrats cautioned that the bill’s major effect, then, will be to hamper negotiations lawmakers might want to have with his administration. Since the initial version was released, Democrats have raised potential problems they see in the rule with the Labor Department.

China says ‘resolutely opposes’ new U.S. law on Tibet

BEIJING ( ) – China denounced the United States on Thursday for passing a new law on restive Tibet, saying it was “resolutely opposed” to the U.S. legislation on what China considers an internal affair, and it risked causing “serious harm” to their relations.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act.

The law seeks to promote access to Tibet for U.S. diplomats and other officials, journalists and other citizens by denying U.S. entry for Chinese officials deemed responsible for restricting access to Tibet.

Beijing sent troops into remote, mountainous Tibet in 1950 in what it officially terms a peaceful liberation and has ruled there with an iron fist ever since.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily briefing that the law “sent seriously wrong signals to Tibetan separatist elements”, as well as threatening to worsen bilateral ties strained by trade tension and other issues.

“If the United States implements this law, it will cause serious harm to China-U.S. relations and to the cooperation in important areas between the two countries,” Hua said.

The United States should be fully aware of the high sensitivity of the Tibet issue and should stop its interference, otherwise the United States would have to accept responsibility for the consequences, she added, without elaborating.

Rights groups say the situation for ethnic Tibetans inside what China calls the Tibet Autonomous Region remains extremely difficult. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said in June conditions were “fast deteriorating” in Tibet.

All foreigners need special permission to enter Tibet, which is generally granted to tourists, who are allowed to go on often tightly monitored tours, but very infrequently to fore,上海后花园阿拉上海419论坛网Cadence,ign diplomats and journalists.

Hua said Tibet was open to foreign visitors, as shown by the 40,000 American visitors to the region since 2015.

At the same time, she said it was “absolutely necessary and understandable” that the government administered controls on the entry of foreigners given “local geographic and climate reasons”.

Tibetan rights groups have welcomed the U.S. legislation.

The International,419同城论坛Caden, Campaign for Tibet said the “impactful and innovative” law marked a “new era of American support” and was a challenge to China’s policies in Tibet.

“The U.S. let Beijing know that its officials will face real consequ,爱上海Idris,ences for discriminating against Americans and Tibetans and has blazed a path for other countries to follow,” the group’s president, Matteo Mecacci, said in a statement.

Next year marks the sensitive 60th anniversary of the flight into exile in India of the Dalai Lama, the highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

China routinely denounces him as a dangerous separatist, although the Dalai Lama says he merely wants genuine autonomy for his homeland.

Tired tugboat captains flag accident risk at Panama Canal

PANAMA CITY ( ) – In April last year, the 148-tonne tugboat Cerro Santiago collided with the U.S. Coast Guard vessel Tampa while passing through the Panama Canal after the captain of the tug fell asleep.

No one was injured, but the repairs to the Tampa cost $170,000, said a report by the U.S. Nati,爱上海同城aishRadcliff,onal Transpor,上海419论坛Dallas,tation Safety Board, a government agency.

The risk of such incidents is growing as fatigue plagues tug operators from long shifts, according to a report published this month commissioned by Panama’s captains union.

The Panama Canal Authority disputes the findings.

Since the Panama Canal opened a new set of locks in 2016, some captains have been covering long shifts.

The report said the system is negatively affecting crews’ health on the canal, which handles 5 percent of world trade.

The study, which included interviews with 55 captains, a third of the total working at the facility, is the union’s most recent push for a different shift system, crew members said.

“We’re worried about the deterioration of the captains’ health and fear another accident might happen,” captain Ivan De La Guardia told .

The union said it had sent 15 letters to the canal authority urging action, without receiving an answer.

De La Guardia, one of the union’s leaders, said that since July 1 there have been seven tugboat accidents. None were serious, but all involved captains falling asleep, he said.

When the new locks first opened, two tugboat captains were assigned to each maneuver in the canal. But the canal authority decided in mid-2018 that one captain would be enough after a period of “adaptation,上海419论坛宝山Rae,” ended.

That has implied longer shifts and more pressure at work, captain Roberto Feurtado said.

Jorge Quijano, administrator of the Canal authority, told that operational rules for tugboats demand only one captain, two crew and one machinist.

“The w上海419论坛ork that is being done is not generating any fatigue,” Quijano said, calling the operations safe and the work environment “appropriate.”

The authority says the accident rate is below 1 percent at the canal, which has over 13,000 transits every year.

The new set of locks requires tugboats to accompany vessels passing through the waterway during the entire transit. Maneuvers can take up to 10 hours.

Nearly one in three captains interviewed for the report said they have worked up to 20 hours in a single shift, and six of them reported falling asleep at work.

Saudi Arabia modifies intelligence service following Khashoggi murder

RIYADH ( ) – Saud,上海后花园花千坊Rachel,i Arabia announced on Thursday the creation of three new government bodies aimed at improving the count,上海419论坛官方网站Kaiden,ry’s intelligence operations in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which has sparked international outrage.

King Salman ordered a restructuring of the intelligence service in October after the authorities, following initial denials, acknowledged that Khashoggi had been killed inside the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate by a team of Saudi intelligence and security agents.

Saudi officials have said, without providing proof, that the 15-man team was put together by the deputy head of the General Intelligence Presidency, Ahmed al-Asiri, whom the king fired along with royal,上海419龙凤后花园Dakota, adviser Saud al-Qahtani.

The new government departments – for strategy and development, legal af上海419论坛fairs, and performance evaluation and internal review – are meant to ensure that intelligence operations align with national security policy, international law and human rights treaties, state news agency SPA reported.

They were created by a committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s defense minister. He has denied accusations of ordering the hit against Khashoggi, a royal insider who became a critic of the crown prince.

Western allies have called on Riyadh to hold those responsible for the murder accountable. The Saudi public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five suspects, as the kingdom tries to contain its biggest political crisis for a generation.

The U.S. Senate last week blamed Prince Mohammed for the murder, in a rare rebuke to President Donald Trump, who has said he wants Washington to stand by the 33-year-old de facto leader, despite a CIA assessment it was likely he ordered the killing.

Migrant workers’ struggles push Uzbekistan to open up

SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan ( ) – Maksud Mahmudov was among millions of Uzbeks who left their impoverished homeland as soon as they finished school to find work in Russia. In 2014, he and others came back as the Russian economy floundered, but it took two more years to find work.

The 27-year-old now runs teams of builders for hire, taking advantage of a construction boom in his home city of Samarkand following a 2016 change of leadership in the Central Asian state, one of the world’s most tightly controlled countries.

“I used to earn around $500 a month doing construction work, but then the treat,上海千花交友网Idaleen,ment of migrants worsened, we were paid less, it became harder to obtain a work permit, so I had to return to my home country in 2014,” he said, recalling a year in which falling oil prices hit Russia’s energy-dependent economy.

That change is now encouraging Uzbek leader Shavkat Mirziyoyev to open up the economy of ex-Soviet Uzbekistan, which for nearly three decades rejected market reforms, leaving it largely isolated and with mass unemployment.

Uzbekistan was able to ignore the issue as long as Russia was absorbing millions of migrants, but plummeting oil prices sent Russia into recession in 2015 and many migrants had to leave.

Russian central bank data shows Uzbeks have sent home 42 percent less money on average in 2015-17 than in 2011-14. Volumes picked up somewhat last year – when the Russian economy and the rouble stabilized – but上海龙凤419 are still well below those seen before the oil price crash and sanctions.

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, who have re-engaged with Tashkent under Mirziyoyev, say implementing market reforms such as privatization are the only way to revive the economy and create new jobs.

Failing to do so could prompt Central Asia’s own equivalent of the Arab Spring, a senior World Bank economist warned last year, referring to a series of uprisings in 2011 that toppled longstanding leaders in Egypt, Yemen and Libya.

The Tashkent government has not commented on that warning and there has been no serious unrest in Uzbekistan since 2005, when security forces crushed protests in Andijan in the impoverished Ferghana valley.

But Mirziyoyev, who took over when his predecess,上海贵族宝贝交流群Lake,or Islam Karimov died in 2016 after 25 years in office, is now treating unemployment as a priority.

“They (migrants) are abroad for a reason. We could not create jobs for them, that’s why they are abroad. All the problems start here,” Mirziyoyev said at a meeting with officials earlier this year.

In its first major move to make hiring easier, the government will cut payroll taxes from next month, making it cheaper for companies to hire workers. The government estimates the measure will cost the state budget $570 million next year.


A long-standing lieutenant to Karimov, Mirziyoyev showed little appetite for change before becoming president.

The country, long closed off from the outside world, has taken a first step by liberalizing its foreign exchange market, bringing a surge in machinery and equipment imports for industries that are still state-owned and centrally planned.

The government has signed memorandums of understanding with large energy companies such as France’s Total and India’s ONGC and hosts financiers representing Western and Asian companies keen to disc,2019上海龙凤419Sabia,over how far change will go.

The experiences of Uzbekistan’s migrant labor force and their relatives shows the pressing need for reform, suggesting that, while political controls remain tight, the government’s new openness to investment is more than a fad.

Uzbekistan is rich in natural resources such as gas, gold and other metals and is one of the world’s leading exporters of cotton.

But between two and three million of Uzbekistan’s more than 33 million people work abroad, mostly in Russia, to provide for their families back home. One in three young males is a migrant, according to a recent World Bank survey.

Sixty-two-year-old Ruqiyakhon has three children working in Russia. Her youngest son was able to stay at home and train as a doctor only thanks to his elder brother’s earnings.

“Now he works at a local hospital but still tries to earn extra money by running his own small business,” she said, declining to give her full name for fear of the authorities.

“I wish they all could work here and get the same wages, but it is not possible … there is a big difference between wages here and there.”

She lives in the small Uzbek town of Uchkuprik in the Ferghana valley, Central Asia’s most densely populated area, where even breeding livestock for extra income is difficult due to a shortage of land.

While some Uzbeks can only find seasonal or short-term jobs abroad, others settle. Many go to Kazakhstan and South Korea, but Russia is the default choice because of Soviet-era ties.


One of Mirziyoyev’s first moves was to dismiss as “fiction” official statistics which have long put unemployment at about five percent. Under Karimov, for example, officials would record anyone who owned a cow as a self-employed farmer.

Last month, the labor ministry reported unemployment for the first half of 2018 at 9.3 percent, up from 5.2 percent a year earlier, and cited a new methodology as the reason for the sharp increase.

Some Uzbeks have complained about abuse at the hands of employers who could act with impunity because they knew employees were unlikely to walk away with jobs so scarce. Under Karimov, some Uzbeks, for example, had to hand over part of their salaries to superiors in order to retain their jobs.

Shakhnoza Ishankulova, who used to work as a teacher in her home town of Marjonbuloq in the Jizzakh region, was fired in 2011 after failing to pay up – she had just undergone chemotherapy and was the only breadwinner in the family.

After many attempts to get her job back or find work in another school, she moved to Moscow in 2013, where she began working as a cleaner.

“Why did I bother getting a degree?” she said. “I went to university, and to a lycee. But despite all that, I am holding a broom.”

In Samarkand, former migrant Mahmudov now leads a 40-strong construction team. He makes about $250 a month in the winter, when snow makes work difficult, but takes home about $500 per month in the summer – almost as much as he used to in Russia.