Trump in unexpected meeting with Republican Party chairman

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump took a detour from the campaign trail on Thursday and held an unexpected meeting in Washington with Reince Priebus, the head of the Republican National Committee.

It was not immediat,上海品茶网Falkner,ely clear what the two men discussed but the meeting came after months of tension between Trump and the party he seeks to represent in the Nov. 8 election.

Trump this week abandoned a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee if it is not him. He has also complained about the party’s delegate allocation process as he seeks to win the 1,237 delegates necessary for the nomination.

“Just had a very nice meeting with @Reince Priebus and the @GOP. Looking forward to bringing the Party together —- and it will h,上海品茶会所Faith,appen!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Barry Bennett, an adviser to the Trump campaign, said on MSNBC that the meeting was about Trump helping the RNC raise money. “The meeting is to help the RNC,” he said.

Trump also met with his foreign policy team in the capital on Thursday after a series of statements by the billionaire businessman,上海品尝嫩茶Octavien, on national security issues that have drawn c上海品茶会所riticism.

In recent interviews, Trump has declared the NATO alliance obsolete, described Saudi Arabia as too dependent on the United States and said Japan and South Korea may need to develop their own nuclear programs because the U.S. security umbrella is too costly to maintain.

In an MSNBC town hall on Wednesday night, Trump did not rule out the potential use of nuclear weapons in Europe or the Middle East to combat Islamic State militants. “I would never take any of my cards off the table,” he said.

Max Boot, a conservative national security expert and member of the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote in Commentary Magazine this week that Trump is “singularly unqualified to be commander-in-chief.”

“With Trump in command, our enemies would have a field day — Moscow and Beijing must be licking their chops at his desire to abandon U.S. allies in Europe and Asia — and our friends would face mortal threats. If that isn’t the single biggest threat to U.S. security, I don’t know what is,” Boot wrote.

Iran minister says EU trade arrangement moving slowly, talking to…

NEW DELHI ( ) – Iran’s foreign minister said on Tuesday the European Union was moving more slower than expected in facilitating non-dollar trade with Tehran to circumvent U.S. sanct上海品茶工作室ions, forcing it to explore avenues with other nations.

“We continue to work with the Europeans for the special purpose vehicle but we are not waiting for them,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters in New Delhi. “We are working w,专门哟啪的微信群Hal,ith our traditional partners like India, like China, like Russia so that we continue to work in the interest of our people.”

North Korea’s Kim visiting China for fourth summit: media

SEOUL ( ) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is on his way to China for his fourth summit with China’s Xi Jinping, South Korean media said on Monday.

South Korea’s Hankyoreh newspaper, citing an unidentified source with close knowledge of North Korea-China affairs, reported that Kim was traveling to Beijing late on Monday to meet with Xi.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, citing an unspecified source familiar with North Korea issues, said a North Korean train possibly carrying a “high-level” official had crossed the border into China.

The source told Yonhap it had not been confirmed whether a senior official was on board, but that dozens of security vehicles and officials had blocked the roads around a station in the Chinese border city of Dandong as the train passed.

Last year Kim traveled to China three times to meet with Xi, before and after Kim held other summits with U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Kim is expected to meet again with both the U.S. and South Korean presidents in the near future, and another visit to China has been seen as a possible move before those summits.

Earlier o,上海妹子品茶微信Gabrielle,n Monday the South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo reported that U.S. State Department officials recently met multiple times with North K,上海外卖品茶群Kailani,orean counterparts in Hanoi and discussed planning a second summit between Trump and Kim, fuelling speculation that Vietnam could host the event.

The U.S. State Department and White House declined to comment on the Munhwa Ilbo report and the State Department referred queries about Kim’s reported China visit to the Chinese government.

In an interview with CNBC, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised China’s support for resolving the North Korean crisis and said he did not think the U.S. trade dispute with Beijing would affect this.

“The Chinese have been very clear to us that these are separate issues,” Pompeo said.

“Their behavior has demonstrated that as well and we appreciate that. China has actually been a good partner in our efforts to reduce the risk to the world from North Korea’s nuclear capability; I expect they will continue to do so.”

At a landmark June summit in Singapore, Kim and Trump pledged to work toward denuclearizat上海品茶微信ion, but the pact was light on details and talks since have made little headway.

China is North Korea’s most important economic and diplomatic backer, despite anger over its neighbor’s nuclear and missile programs. Ties have warmed in the last year as Pyongyang’s relations with both Seoul and Washington have also improved.

China also played a role in Trump’s meeting with Kim, lending the North Korean leader an airliner for his trip to Singapore.

Diplomatic sources say Xi will probably go to N,上海喝茶资源群Lance,orth Korea at some point soon, which would make him the first Chinese leader to do so since 2005.

In early December, Xi told North Korea’s foreign minister during a visit in Beijing that he “hoped North Korea and the United States meet each other halfway and address each other’s reasonable concerns, allowing positive progress on the peninsula’s nuclear talks.”

Mississippi lawmakers approve religion bill amid gay-rights protests

( ) – A Mississippi measure that would allow people with religious objections to deny wedding services to same-sex couples and provide wide protections for actions decried as discriminatory by gay rights advocates passed the state legislature on Friday.

Opponents plan a last-ditch attempt to stop the legislation on Monday before it heads to Mississippi Republican Governor Phil Bryant, whose spokesman said he would decide whether to sign or veto it after a thorough review.

Bryant previously said he did not consider the bill discriminatory, according to WLOX television in Mississippi.

The fight comes after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year legalizing same-sex marriage. In a wave of state-level legislation, social conservatives have pushed measures seen as harmful to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender men and women.

A new law barring transgender people in North Carolina from choosing bathrooms consistent with their gender identity has drawn wide protest, while the governors of Georgia and Virginia vetoed similar “religious liberty” bills this week.

Represent,上海品茶群二维码Nala,ative And,上海品茶水磨Fabian,y Gipson, a Republican sponsor of the Mississippi measure, urged his colleagues on Friday not to be intimidated by national media criticism. He highlighted a poll that showed wide support for the meas,上海品茶微信Lance,ure in the state.

“It’s time that we stand up and do the work of the people and protect the freedoms that they enjoy,” he said.

The bill includes provisions that go beyond same-sex marriages, according to the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights advocacy group that has labeled the act appalling.

“We urge Governor Bryant to do the right thing – reject discrimination, and veto this harmful measure when it reaches his desk,” said HRC President Chad Griffin earlier this week.

The legislation would allow employers to cite religious conviction in determining workplace policies on dress code, grooming and bathroom and locker access.

Foster parents would be protected in placing lesbian, gay or transgender children into controversial programs seeking to change their sexual orientation, said Ben Needham, director of HRC’s “Project One America” to expand lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in the U.S. South.

He said the legislation could also permit discrimination against single mothers, for example, by religious-affiliated organizations such as homeless shelters and food pantries.

Additionally, state court clerks could seek to be recu上海品茶会所sed from providing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Some of Mississippi’s large employers, such as Nissan North America and MGM Resorts International, have spoken out against legislation that would discriminate.

Clinton, Sanders audition for role as anti-Trump candidate

MILWAUKEE ( ) – Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are tussling in Wisconsin over who would best represent the Democratic Party against Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

The competition was in full force on Saturday night at the Wisconsin Democratic Party’s “Founders Day Gala,” a chance for both Cliinton and Sanders to make their closing arguments before the state’s primary vote on Tuesday.

Clinton, as the Democratic front-runner, is more and more taking aim at both Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the top Trump rival who is leading Wisconsin polls of Republican voters.

Trump, in response to the threat of Islamic militants, has proposed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States and Cruz has called for police patrols of,专门哟啪的微信群Easton, Muslim neighborhoods. Clinton said these ideas are offensive.

“That does not make Trump and Cruz sound strong,” said Clinton to the crowd of 1,400. “It makes them sound in over their heads… You know loose cannons tend to misfire, and in a dangerous world that is a gamble we cannot afford.”

Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont who has been a surprisingly strong challenger to Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, told the crowd he would be a better opponent against Tru上海品茶工作室mp than Clinton.

Sanders noted national poll numbers showing he leads Trump by a larger margin than Clinton leads the New York billionaire. Sande,上海品茶419论坛Gabriella,rs said this makes him “the strongest candidate” on the Democratic side to go up against Trump.

“It’s not just polling,” Sanders said. “There is one campaign which has created an enormous ,上海品茶水磨Cade,amount of excitement and enthusiasm and that is our campaign.”

For the Democratic Party to succeed in the Nov. 8 election, Sanders said, “we need a vibrancy” and energy that brings in young people who have flocked to his campaign.

French ministers aghast at support for boxer who fought police

PARIS,上海品茶水磨Nadine, ( ) – A former French boxing champion who surrendered to police after he was filmed raining blows on riot officers during a “yellow vest” protest has received tens of thousands of euros in public donations, infuriating government ministers.

A website set up to raise funds for the boxer Christophe Dettinger showed early on Tuesday that it had received pledges of more than 114,000 euros ($130,000) to help him.

Saturday’s assault by Dettinger on police blocking a bridge over the river Seine has come to symbolize the increasingly violent nature of the protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s government.

Some among the protesters have hailed Dettinger a hero, but senior officials took offense.

“Contributing to a fundraising kitty to support someone who attacked an officer is tantamount to being an accomplice to these grave acts of violence,” said Marlene Schiappa, junior minister for equality.

Labour Minister Muriel Penicaud called the campaign “incomprehensible”. “How can these people tell their children, the young, that violence is the answer?” she told CNews television.

Leetchi, an online fundraising platform and unit of Credit Mutuel Arkea bank, later on Tuesday said it was no longer disclosing how much had b,上海喝茶资源群Faith,een raised. It then closed the page to further cash contributions, though it said all citizens had the right to raise funds to defend themselves.

“We will of course be very vigilant over how this money is used,” Leetchi said in a statement.

“We will run checks to ensure it is only used to pay legal bills on presentation of a lawyer’s bill.”

Several Facebook pages entitled “Support for Christophe Dettinger” have been set up. One had more than 3,000 “likes”.

“I REACTED BADLY”

Dettinger turned himself in on Monday, saying he was trying to defend himself and other demonstrators, though he acknowledged: “I reacted badly”.

The boxer remains in police custody.

The twice national light-heavyweight champion was caught on camera jumping over the railings of a pedestrian bridge blocked by baton-wielding police before swinging blows at two officers, forcing them to retreat.

One was floored briefl,上海品茶QQGabi,y, where Dettinger was seen kicking out at him, but the policeman managed to get up and retreat. Punches also connected with an officer’s head, footage showed.

Nicknamed the “Gypsy of Massy”, the 1.92m (6ft 4in) tall boxer was taking part in an eighth Saturday of anti-gov上海品茶微信ernment protests that have undermined Macron’s authority.

“Good luck to you, hero of the people!” wrote one supporter, Karim Slimani, on Dettinger’s fundraising website page.

The “yellow vests” movement – named after the fluorescent jackets all French motorists have to carry in their vehicles – started in mid-November as a protest against a fuel tax but have since grown into a broader backlash against the government.

New Jersey sues Atlantic City over school money

( ) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration sued cash-strapped gambling hub Atlantic City on Monday, seeking to freeze city spending until it remits the millions of dollars it owes to its school district.

In the civil action, State Education Commissioner David Hespe said Atlantic City owed the district $82 million of tax revenues collected for the school year. The city already paid $48 million of that, but must still remit the remaining $34 million by July 15, court documents showed.

That might be impossible. As of April 1, the city had only $8 million of cash available for operations. Second-quarter tax collections that begin in May will not provide enough to fund required disbursements, the lawsuit said.

Christie is seeking to stop the city from making its $3.,上海品茶QQGabe,2 million payroll on Friday, he said in a televised press conference.

The state sued “to protect the property tax collections that rightfully belong to the Atlantic City School District and the children and fami,上海品茶微信Dahlia,lies they serve,” Christie said.

In New Jersey, cities must act as collection agents by collecting property taxes on behalf of school districts and transmitting the money to them.

The lawsuit is the latest in Christie’s high-stakes game of chicken against city officials and some lawmakers over whether to take over the city’s operations to avoid bankruptcy.

Christie and state Senate leaders say city officials have not done enough to stop the blee上海品茶会所ding. They supported a legislative package that links a full state takeover with one that would provide immediate revenue for the city.

The nearly insolvent city has been under state oversight since 2011. Mayor Don Guardian threatened to close City Hall for three weeks beginning on Friday afternoon because it will not have enough money to pay workers after that.

Christie twice vetoed – even after winning changes he sought – legislation aimed at stabilizing the city’s tax base by letting casinos make,上海品茶论坛Earl, fixed payments in lieu of property taxes. The city’s state-approved budget relied on those revenues.

In February, Christie pinned that legislation to the takeover measure, which Guardian initially supported but later called a “fascist dictatorship.”

The package is now stalled in the state Assembly, where Speaker Vincent Prieto has refused to bring it to a vote because he says its goal is to dismantle collective bargaining agreements.

On Monday, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the city deeper into junk territory, to Caa3.

Suicide bomber hits Kurdish-run base in Syria: IS

AMMAN ( ) – Islamic State said one of its suicide bombers killed some people ,上海品茶水磨Barrett,on Monday at a military base in Syria’s Raqqa city, which is under control of a U.S.- backed and Kurdish-led militia.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by Kurds, said,上海外卖品茶群Kade, a militant blew himself up in a blast that killed one civilian and injured several of its fighters.

Though the SDF did not say where the blast took place, two Raqqa residents reached by said they heard an explosion in a central district of the city housing military offices.

The ultra hardline jihadist Islamic State’s (IS) claim of responsibility came in a statement by the affi,上海喝茶资源群Barbara,liated Amaq news agency. It said the attack 上海品茶工作室targeted a recruitment center in Raqqa and that 17 people were killed or wounded.

Amaq said the bomber, whom it named as Abu Abdullah al Shami, had first used his machine gun then detonated a vest.

The SDF also said earlier it had clashed with IS fighters who infiltrated through an old tunnel in the city near an outpost where their fighters were stationed.

The Kurdish-led alliance seized the city in Syria’s northeast from Islamic State with the help of U.S.-led air strikes in 2017.

Raqqa, which IS declared the capital of its self-proclaimed caliphate, was taken by the SDF six years into Syria’s civil war after a protracted battle that killed thousands of civilians and wrecked much of the city.

Rebuilding and restoring Raqqa, which was once home to more than 300,000 people, is proving a monumental task.

Since losing almost all the large swathes of territory it took in lightning offensives in Syria and Iraq in 2014-15, IS has returned to deadly hit-and-run attacks and ambushes.

Some people in Raqqa resent effective Kurdish control over the predominately Arab city, with many objecting to compulsory enlistment to its forces, heavy taxes on civilians and a tight security grip where dissent is not tolerated.

U.S., China can reach trade deal ‘we can live with’: U.S. Commerce…

BEIJING/WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross predicted on Monday that Beijing and Washington could reach a trade deal that “we can live with” as dozens of officials from the world’s two largest economies resumed talks in a bid to end their trade dispute.

Ross told CNBC the immediate trade issues would be easiest to tackle while enforcement issues and structural reforms, such as intellectual property rights and market access, would be more challenging to resolve.

“I think there’s a very good chance that we will get a reasonable settlement that China can live with, that we can live with and that addresses all of the key issues,” Ross said in an interview with CNBC.

China’s Foreign Ministry said Beijing had the “good faith” to work with the United States to resolve trade frictions as Chinese officials met their U.S. counterparts in Beijing for the first face-to-face talks since U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed in December to a 90-day truce in a trade war that has roiled global markets.

After the first day of talks wrapped up, Chinese importers made their third large purchase of U.S. soybeans in the past month, Chicago-based traders said. But China has bought only around 5 million tonnes since purchases resumed in December, less than 20 percent of the beans it bought a year earlier.

Trump said on Sunday that trade talks with China were going very well and that weakness in the Chinese economy gave Beijing a reason to work towards a deal. Ross told CNBC the talks were being held with appropriate-level staff and would help determine how the administration moves forward.

The two sides agreed to hold “positive and constructive” dialogue to resolve economic and trade disputes in accordance with the consensus reached by their respective leaders, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular news briefing.

Plan to raise California minimum wage to $15 clears key panel

SACRAMENTO, Calif. ( ) – A plan to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022 cleared its first legislative hurdle on Wednesday, putting the state on track to become the first in the nation to commit to such a large pay hike for the working poor.

The measure, incorporating a deal Governor Jerry Brown reached,上海喝茶资源群Barrett, with labor leaders and fellow Democrats in the Legislature, was approved on a party-line vote of 12-7 by the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where a previous version of the bill had stalled last summer.

One Democrat, Tom Daly, joined six Republicans in opposing the measure, which now advances to the full Assembly for action as early as this week. It would then return to the Senate for a final vote.

If enacted, the bill would put California, home to one of the world’s biggest economies, in the vanguard of a growing number of U.S. states and cities that have moved in recent years to surpass the federal minimum wage, which has remained at $7.25 an hour since 2009.

Supporters say such measures are necessary to help low-paid workers who have been slipping into poverty due to stagnant earnings and rising living expenses. Opponents say raising the mandatory wage floor puts undue strain on businesses still struggling to rebound from a prolonged U.S. economic slump.

The measure would gradually raise California’s hourly minimum wage from the current level of $10 to $15 by 2022 for large businesses and by 2023 for smaller firms.

It also would head off上海品茶QQ a pair of competing ballot initiatives lacking a provision to allow the governor to suspend the increases in hard economic times, a deal breaker for Brown.

Raising the minimum wage has cropped up on many Democratic candidates’ agendas ahead of the November elections, and the iss,上海品尝嫩茶Jacklyn,ue could help galvanize supporters at the polls.

But passage is not assured without backing from more moderate Democrats, including business-friendly Assembly members in swing districts who have recently held up bills that were priorities for the party’s progressive wing, including a plan to cut the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the governor’s office, 2.2 million Californians earn the state minimum wage of $10 an hour. The bill would ultimately benefit 5.6 million workers, raising their wages by an average of 24 percent, according to an analysis from the University of Calif,上海品茶交友群Nadine,ornia, Berkeley.

Retail employees account for 16 percent of affected workers, and restaurant employees 15 percent.

Court orders Indian government to reinstate top cop

NEW DELHI ( ) – India’s highest court ordered the government on Tuesday to reinstate the head of the country’s top crime fighting bureau, who was suspended in October along with his deputy after they accused each other of bribery and interfering in investigations.

The spat embarrassed the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI), which fulfils a similar role to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

And it also led to accusations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had damaged the independence of the CBI by putting its two most senior officials on leave until investigations into the allegations had been completed.

In its ruling on Tuesday, the Supreme Court said CBI Director Alok Verma should be re上海品茶工作室stored to his post, but it also barred him from taking major policy decisions until the conclusion of the probe.

In his earlier petition to the court, Verma had described his ousting as eroding “the independence of the instit,上海喝茶资源群Daisy,ution” and its officers’ morale. Some critics said the government’s actions were part of a wider pattern of government authoritarianism.

“I do not see it solely as a victory for Alok Verma. I see it as a victory for the independence of investigative agencies in this country,” Verma’s lawyer, Sanjay Hegde, told reporters after the Supreme Court ruling.

The court did not address the case of the CBI’s second-in-command, Rakesh Asthana.

Welcoming the ruling, the opposition Congress Party said the court had “lambasted” the government,上海品茶水磨Macey,’s decision to place Verma on leave.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley defended the government’s stance, but told reporters that it would comply with the court’s ruling.

The CBI is currently investigating several high profile cases, including a $2 billion fraud at Punjab National Bank involving fugitive diamond billionaire Nirav Modi and loan defaults by li,上海品茶微信Cade,quor baron Vijay Mallya.

Guatemala to shut down U.N. anti-corruption body early

UNITED NATIONS ( ) – Guatemala notified the United Nations it was terminating a U.N.-backed anti-graft commission on Tuesday, months ahead of schedule, accusing the body of abuses of power, and prompting a swift rebuke from the U.N. secretary-general.

The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, or CICIG, was set up over a decade ago with the authority to conduct independent investigations and work with the country’s prosecutors, bringing down the last president in 2015.

The CICIG also went after President Jimmy Morales, who said in August he would n上海品茶QQot renew the organization’s mandate, which was due to expire in September 2019. Days later, he banned CICIG head Ivan Velasquez, a hard-charging Colombian prosecutor, from re-entering the country.

Working with the then-attorney general, CICIG tried to prosecute Morales, a former comedian, in 2017 over alleged campaign finance violations. That move followed separate CICIG corruption probes into members of the president’s family.

Guatemalan Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel met with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York on Monday and handed him a letter informing him of the government’s intention to end the agreement that had established CICIG.

“It is regrettable that the Secretary-General, in a bid to maintain one person in the position, sacrificed the legitimacy of the commi,专门哟啪的微信群Hadrian,ssion,” Jovel told a news conference after the meeting, referring to Guterres’ decision to stand by Velasquez.

“Therefore we reported to the Secretary-General that within 24 hours the agreement (that was struck to create CICIG) will be terminated by the Guatemalan government,” she said.

Guterres “strongly rejects” the content of the letter, a spokesman for the secretary-general said in an emailed statement, adding that the United Nations expected Guatemala’s government to “fulfill its legal obligations under the agreement” until the CICIG mandate ends in September.

“The Secretary-General recalls the important contribution of CICIG to the fight against impunity in Guatemala,” it said.

Accompanied by prominent Guatemalans accused of ,上海外卖品茶群Caden,wrongdoing by the CICIG, Morales told a news conference in Guatemala City he had ordered prosecutors to start investigating allegations that the commission had acted outside the law and abused its power.

The foreign-led CICIG is unusual among U.N. bodies for its powers to bring cases to prosecutors, and many politicians in Guatemala consider,上海品茶419论坛Dahlia, it to be a violation of national sovereignty. Anti-corruption activists credit it with cleaning up government.

Last month, Guatemala’s government revoked visas and immunity for 11 CICIG investigators and two relatives.

Trump threat to run as independent counterproductive: party chief

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus said on Sunday that Donald Trump is making it harder for himself to win the Republican presidential nomination by threatening to run as an independent if he is not treated fairly.

In several television interviews, Priebus, who chairs the Republican National Committee, said candidates sometimes make such statements in hopes of gaining leverage over the party, but that it would not work.

“Those kinds of comments, I think, have consequences,” Priebus said on ABC’s “This Week.” “And so when you make those kinds of comments and you want people to f,上海品茶水磨Queena,all in line for you, it makes it more difficult.

     “… And certainly, you know, if you were running for president of the Kiwanis Club or the Boy Scouts and you said you don’t know if you like the Kiwanis or the Boy Scouts, I think that makes your challenge even grea上海品茶会所ter to ultimately win those kinds of posts,” he said. “It’s no different for the Republican Party.”

On Tuesday, Trump backed away from the loyalty pledge he signed in September promising to support the party’s eventual nominee and not to run an independent campaign for the White House.

The RNC pledge has unraveled as Trump’s remaining rivals, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Governor John Kasich, also indicated they were unlikely,专门哟啪的微信群Barrett, to observe the pledge if Trump was the nominee.

Priebus said candidates signed the loyalty pledge as part of a deal in which the RNC agreed to provide data about voters. “We expect that when candidates make commitments, that they keep them,” Priebus told Fox News Sunday.

Trump’s relationship with the RNC has been contentious at times. Talking to Fox News Sunday, he once again did not rule out running as an independent if he does not get the Republican,上海品茶交友群Ida, nomination.

“We’re going to have to see how I was treated,” Trump said. “I want to be treated fair.”

Priebus said that if one candidate gets the support of 1,237 delegates before the Republican convention opens in Cleveland in July, that candidate will win the party’s presidential nomination.

But if no one wins on the first ballot, delegates can switch their allegiances and “they can vote for who they want,” Priebus told ABC.

Nonetheless, Priebus told CNN, the nominee is likely to be one of the three people now running and not someone like House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, who some have speculated could be a dark-horse candidate – mainly because “he doesn’t want to do it.”

Priebus also cited some practical reasons that the nominee most likely would have to be Trump, Cruz or Kasich: “That candidate would have to have a floor operation (in Cleveland) and an actual campaign going on to make that possible.”

Guatemalan farms shift to palm oil, fueling family migration

RAXRUHA, Guatemala ( ) – In the poor, hot region of Guatemala that was home to a seven-year-old migrant girl before she died in U.S. border custody last month, palm oil cultivation is taking over from subsistence farming, adding to pressure on people to leave.

Many villagers around the municipality of Raxruha have sold land to palm oil producers, residents and local officials say, helping to make Guatemala one of the world’s biggest exporters of the versatile product in the space of just a few years.

Supporters of the industry say it has created jobs and investment in an area where poverty and violence have long been the main drivers of migration.

But critics say farmers have given up land that long fed them, with many then entering a state of co-dependency with palm oil companies that have become major employers, but do not pay well enough to stop people migrating.

Cesar Castro, Raxruha’s mayor, said money raised from land sales had been used to pay people smugglers, a major factor in a surge in families leaving Guatemala.

“These people get the money, and they go to the United States, and,上海品茶水磨Fabian, the vast majority come back to find more poverty and end up employed as workers on their own land,” Castro said.

More than 50,000 Guatemalans were apprehended in family groups at the U.S.-Mexico border in the 2018 fiscal year, more than double the year before, U.S. government data shows. Most get deported.

Jakelin Caal, who died in U.S. custody after succumbing to a fever, left Raxruha with her father because he was struggling to earn enough to support his family as a corn farmer, relatives said. Smugglers tell families that having children with them can make it easier to enter the United States.

While her father had not sold his land, others in the family have worked on palm plantations that surround their village.

“The work’s a killer,” said Dorrian Caal, Jakelin’s uncle. “You have to get up at 3 a.m. and you get home at 10 at night, and with the little you’re paid, it’s not enough.”

Dorrian said he earned 60 quetzales ($7.80) a day working from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. last year for local producer Industria Chiquibul, which has been listed as a supplier by international commodities purcha,上海品尝嫩茶Jace,sers including ADM and Cargill [CARGIL.UL].

That would be below the 90 quetzales stipulated as the daily minimum wage for the agricultural sector in 2018. The National Council for Displaced People of Guatemala, a labor rights group, lodged a complaint with Cargill about the wages in 2016.

Local farmer Jose Maria Ical said the company agreed to raise its wages to 91 quetzales after repeated workers’ complaints.

Chiquibul did not reply to repeated requests for comment on this article. Questioned on Chiquibul, ADM said it set high standards for its suppliers of palm oil, without making any specific reference to the company in its reply.

“We take violations of our policies very seriously, and thoroughly investigate any allegations and take appropriate actions as a result of those findings,” ADM spokeswoman Jackie Anderson said.

Cargill said it “works closely with our suppliers to ensure all palm supply chain practices support the United Nations’ goals to provide people with decent work. When issues are identified, w,上海妹子品茶微信Eden,e hold ourselves and our palm suppliers responsible through a formal code of conduct to respond to concerns and set time-bound action plans to address them.”

POVERTY

Used in foodstuffs, detergents and fuels, palm oil is mostly produced in Indonesia and Malaysia, where environmental groups are worried that its planting has caused deforestation and habitat destruction.

In the past few years, Guatemala has become the biggest exporter in the Americas, according to Guatemalan palm oil industry association Grepalma.

Exports leapt almost seven-fold in the last ten years to 727,000 tonnes in 2017. Over one seventh of the area under cultivation in Guatemala is in Alta Verapaz, the remote, forested region where Raxruha lies.

Traversed by dirt streets without sidewalks or drains, the town is peopled by children and adults that sometimes walk barefoot, often living in cramped thatched dwellings.

Farmer Ical related how he and others sold land to Chiquibul in 2010 in the Raxruha area when the firm purchased plots through intermediaries who said they were ranchers.

But access was later blocked to farmers’ other allotments when Chiquibul’s land was fenced off, he said.

“They virtually obliged me to sell,” Ical added.

Most of those who sold now work for the industry, he said.

Some see the arrival of the palm oil industry as a positive development. Darlyn Lemus, a 30-year-old teacher, said the firms had taken undue flak.

“There’s been a lot of speculation the palm industry has forced them to sel上海品茶QQl, but it’s not like that, people have had their own reasons,” said Lemus, whose family is one of few in the area that have kept their lands.

One palm oil company in Raxruha, NaturAceites, told most of the land it operates in Guatemala had been converted from “intensive cattle ranching.”

Describing the industry as “the only chance of decent work there is in parts of the country,” Hector Herrera, NaturAceites’ director of sustainability, said the firm had created thousands of jobs, invested in roads, schools and health centers, and met all the labor standards required by law.

#SaveRahaf: Activists’ lightning campaign made Saudi teen’s flight…

BANGKOK ( ) – On Sunday morning, a new Twitter account was created by an 18-year-old Saudi woman denied entry into Thailand as she fled from what she said was an abusive family.

The first message from Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, in Arabic, was at 3:20 a.m. Thai time (2020 GMT Saturday) and posted from the transit area of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport. It said: “I am the girl who escaped Kuwait to Thailand. My life is in real danger if I am forced to return to Saudi Arabia.”

Within hours, a campaign sprung up on Twitter dubbed #SaveRahaf. Spread by a loose network of activists around the world, within 36 hours it prompted Thailand’s government to reverse a decision to force the young woman onto a plane that would return her to her family.

Qunun was allowed to enter Thailand and on Tuesday was beginning the process of seeking asylum in a third country through the U.N. refugee agency.

“Everybody was watching. When social media works, this is what happens,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, of the international outcry.

Qunun’s family could not be reached to,上海品茶网Pablo, respond to her allegations of abuse. could not directly contact Qunun, but spoke to several confidants who described how the dramatic campaign unfolded across the world.

After her initial Tweet, Qunun posted nearly non-stop for five hours, saying she had been abused and threatened by her family.

Halfway around the world, retweets by Saudi Twitter users were noticed by Egyptian-American activist Mona Eltahawy in Montreal who began translating and retweeting Qunun’s Arabic tweets at 4 a.m. Thailand time, even though she was initially unsure if the account was authentic.

“(I was) doing my best to get attention to her because I could not live with myself if she was real and I ignored it,” Eltahawy told in an e-mail.

BANGKOK, MONTREAL, SYDNEY

About two hours later – 6 a.m. Sunday morning in Thailand but mid-afternoon in Australia – a Sydney-based video journalist noticed and retweeted Eltahawy’s translated messages.

The journalist, Sophie McNeill of Australia Broadcast Corp., began tweeting back to Qunun, and later the two began privately corresponding by direct message.

At 11 a.m. on Sunday in Thailand – eight hours after Qunun began tweeting – Human Rights Watch’s Robertson, who is based in Bangkok, also began tweeting about the case.

He also contacted Qunun directly and she replied.

“She said very clearly that she has suffered both physical and psychological abuse. She said she has made a decision to renounce Islam. And I knew once she said that, she is in serious trouble,” Robertson told .

Renouncing Islam is a crime punishable by death under the Saudi system of sharia, or Islamic law, though the punishment has not been carried out上海品茶会所 in recent memory.

By early Sunday afternoon, Robertson had notified the U.N. refugee agency in Thailand and several foreign embassies about the unfoldin,上海喝茶资源群Kade,g case, and they began to contact Thai authorities.

BARRICADED DOOR

At around the same time, journalist McNeill decided to fly to Thailand and try to meet Qunun.

“I’d never spoken to her before,” she told . “For me, it was so important that this was documented, and I wanted to be there and witness it.”

While McNeill boarded a flight from Sydney to Bangkok, Qunun was holed up in an airport transit hotel and afraid she would be forced onto the next flight back to Kuwait. She continued tweeting and also corresponding with Robertson of Human Rights Watch.

At around 5 p.m. Sunday, she was taken out of her room by Thai officials but later allowed to return.

“She filmed these two people talking to her,” said Robe,专门哟啪的微信群Octavien,rtson. “They said to her very clearly that they will put her on the Kuwait Airways flight KU 412 leaving (Monday) at 11:15 a.m.”

By this time, global media outlets had picked up on the story and Thai immigration officials were confirming that Qunun was to be expelled on Monday morning.

At about 1 a.m. Monday morning, Qunun posted a video of herself pushing a table to barricade her hotel room door.

THREATENING LANGUAGE

McNeill arrived in Thailand early on Monday and managed to join Qunun in her hotel room.

“When it became clear that she wasn’t going to leave, I decided it was important to stay and have someone documenting what was going on,” McNeill said.

Qunun refused to open the door when various officials came to escort her to the Kuwait Airways flight.

“We were inside the room and there were numerous people coming to the door … There were several Arabic speakers who came and were using threatening language to try and force her back on the plane,” McNeill recalled.

The flight to Kuwait City left without Qunun.

At 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Thailand’s immigration chief Surachate Hakparn held a press conference at the airport for dozens of Thai and international media representatives gathered in the transit area.

After a day of insisting that Qunun must be sent back under Thai law, Surachate said she would not be immediately be expelled since she could be in danger and he would meet U.N. officials to discuss her case.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) country representative Giuseppe de Vincentiis arrived at the airport at about 5 p.m. on Monday to meet Thai officials and Qunun herself.

By about 7:30 p.m on Monday, Surachate told reporters Qunun would be allowed to enter Thailand and apply for asylum in a third country.

The UNHCR said on Tuesday that it would take time to process Qunun’s application, and its officials continued to interview her at an undisclosed location.

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday denied on its Twitter account that its embassy in Thailand had asked for Qunun to be extradited, although Surachate had said the previous day the embassy had been in contact with Thai immigration before her arrival from Kuwait.

The Saudi embassy in Bangkok declined to comment on Qunun’s case when contacted by on Monday and could not be reached on Tuesday.

But on Tuesday, the Thai immigration office released a video clip of its officials meeting Saudi diplomats to discuss the case.

“When she first arrived in Thailand, she opened a new site (account) and the followers reached about 45,000 within one day,” a Saudi official speaking in Arabic through a translator tells Thai officials in the video.

“I wish you had taken her phone, it would have been better than (taking) her passport,” the official said.

Profit-hungry tiger breeders behind push to lift China’s trading ban

HONG KONG/HARBIN, China ( ) – At the Siberia Tiger Park in the frigid Chinese city of Harbin, visitors can learn about the facility’s successful breeding programme and buy chicken carcasses to toss to around 20 tigers pacing the snow flecked ground of their enclosure.

At the park gates, a shop sells liquor soaked with tiger bones for up to $1,000 a bottle.

China has made significant strides in wildlife protection in recent years, including a total ban on ivory and plans to open one of the world’s largest reserves for wild tigers in northeast China in 2020.

But it also has formidable, profit-driven wildlife business interests that risk undermining progress on protecting the endangered big cats, conservationists say.

“The industry occupies a strategic position which concentrates in the country’s less developed regions where poverty reduction remains a top priority of the local authorities,” said Houston-based Peter Li, a China Policy Specialist at Humane Society International.

Operators of tiger breeding farms have told state media that without the ability to sell bones, skins and meat they are not be able to cover the high costs of running their parks and carry out key conservation plans endorsed by the national government.

After pressure from some breeders, China’s State Council said in October it would replace a 1993 ban on the trade of tiger bones and rhino horn, opening up exceptions under “special circumstances”, including medical research.

But in November, Beijing postponed the move following widespread protests from conservation groups who worry any resumption in the legal trade of tiger parts will b上海品茶会所e a death knell for the species by enabling the laundering of wild animal parts,上海品茶群二维码Earl, into farmed supplies.

Conservationists also argue that no captive Chinese bred tigers have been released into the wild and there is no scientific or medical need to use rhino horn and tiger bone in traditional Chinese medicine.

Still, lifting the ban is backed by China’s powerful State Forestry and Grassland Administration.

“If rhino horns and tiger bones can be used for medicinal purposes, and their use causes zero harm to the two endangered species in the wild, why should we oppose it?” Tang Xiaoping, an executive at the administration was quoted in the state-run China Daily newspaper.

The Forestry and Grasslands administration did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

PROFIT-DRIVEN BUSINESS

At the Siberia Tiger Park, tiger bone wine is sold ope,上海品茶网,上海品茶微信Idaline,Dahlia,nly and is recognized by the Forestry Bureau and Commerce Ministry, according to a sales representative in the store. However, the park is not allowed to publicly promote it due to the sensitivity of the situation, the sales rep said. Officials at the park declined to comment on the record.

The wine, which ranges in price from 280 yuan-6,888 yuan, ($40-$1,003) is displayed in large glass cabinets and also sold on China’s Twitter-like WeChat.

Park executives, officials and conservation experts say tiger parks have been accumulating stocks of animal skin and bone in freezers, with the aim of selling it for medicinal use in the future.

Conservation groups estimate there are now over 6,500 farmed tigers at some 200 facilities in China and around 40 farmed rhinos. Chinese media say tiger bone can fetch 5,000-9,000 yuan ($727-$1,308) per kg – tens of thousands of dollars per animal.

The World Wildlife Fund believes there are only around 40-50 wild tigers left in China out of around 3,900 globally.

Debate over lifting the ban on tiger trade comes as China seeks to develop its traditional medicine industry, worth some $50 billion annually, and position it as a key pillar of its ‘One Belt One Road’ strategy.

The World Health Organization is set to recognize traditional Chinese medicine for the first time next year in its global medical compendium according to Nature International Journal of Science, citing the governing body.

CASH STRAPPED

The Siberian Tiger Park has more than 1,300 tigers spread across three locations. Selling tiger bone wine is a way to subsidize the daily expenses of the park, said one of the park’s tour guides.

Currently, visitor fees are the parks’ main source of income, along with government subsidies. Ticket prices are 100 yuan and visitors can pay extra to feed the tigers. A menu of meat displays prices for a live chicken at 120 yuan while a raw cutlet is 10 yuan.

In a CCTV documentary shown in November, Liu Dan, the chief engineer of the Northeast Tiger Forest park, near China’s border with Russia, says his 1,000-plus tigers each eat around 3,000 yuan ($435) worth of chicken per month.

Liu, who has raised tigers for over 30 years and has repeatedly called for the ban on trading tiger parts to be lifted, told state media that government tax breaks are not enough for the park to be financially viable. Currently, parks make most of their money from visitors.

Liu and the park declined to comment for this article.

Chinese medicine experts say there is no need to use tiger bone and rhino horn in treatments as substitutes are readily available.

Tiger bone, for example, is often used to treat arthritis and joint pain, but there are dozens of other herbs with similar properties, said Eric Karchmer, chief medicine officer at Dao Labs.

Lixin Huang, the president of the American College of Traditional medicine, said a reversal of the ban would create a huge challenge for the Chinese medicine community.

“We stopped using it 25 years ago. We don’t understand. I don’t think the Chinese medicine community and medical professionals would understand.”

Somali region once riddled with pirates sees peaceful power transfer

GAROWE, Somalia ( ) – A region of war-ravaged Somalia elected a new president on Tuesday, a peaceful transfer of power in a part of the country notorious for piracy and Islamist militias.

Said Abdullahi Deni, who is likely to continue Puntland’s close cooperation with the United States, defeated his closest rival, Asad Osman Abdullahi. He was sworn in for a new five-year term.

Puntland, on the tip of the Horn of Africa, considers itself a semi-autonomous region that comes under the federal government, although the relationship between the two parties has at times been tense.

Six years ago, it was a hotbed of piracy, and hundreds of attacks cost the shipping industry billions of dollars.

But a combination of maritime patrols, stronger Somali security forces and better security protocols by mariners mean attacks are now rare.

Deni has taken a hardline against the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab and a rival splinter faction that has pledged allegiance to Islamic State, s,上海品茶交友群Lake,aid Matt Bryden, head of the Nairobi-based think tank Sahan Research.

“He has campaigned as a reformist, promising to strengthen government institutions, fight corruption and stabilize the economy,” Bryden said.

A former Somali federal minister for planning, Demi won 35 votes out of the 66 lawmakers that voted, the speaker of Puntland’s parliament, Abdihakim Mohamed Ahmed, said.

He replaces the incumbent Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas, who served a ,上海品茶群二维码Dahlia,single term and was eliminated in a first round of voting.

The regional elections in Puntland followed the expulsion of the senior United Nations official in Somalia earlier this month.

The Mogadishu-based federal government expelled Nicholas Haysom, who served as Special Representative of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, after he raised questions over allegations of police abuses by forces loyal to the central government during another regional election last month.

The gove上海品茶会所rnment accused Haysom of interfering with internal affairs.

Last Friday, the United Nations said it would appoint a new envoy to the country, ,上海品茶水磨Hadleigh,whose security forces are struggling to contain the Islamist insurgency. The faction loyal to Islamic State is largely based in Puntland.

Trump administration snubs European diplomats in U.S.: officials

BRUSSELS ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has lowered the status of the European Union’s diplomats in Washington without notifying Brussels, EU officials said on Tuesday.

The change in protocol for a close U.S. ally means the bloc’s Washington-based diplomats are less like,上海品茶群二维码Mace,ly to be invited to high-profile events and have a lower importance than under former President Barack Obama.

The snub, first reported by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, was illustrated at the Dec. 5 funeral of another former U.S. president, George H.W. Bush, when Europe’s envoy was among the last diplomats to be called to pay respects, one EU official said.

“We understand that there was a recent change in the way the diplomatic precedence list is implemented by the United States’ protocol,” a Commission spokeswoman told a briefing, declining to give more details.

“We are currently discussing with the relevant services in the administration possible implications for the EU delegation ,上海品茶QQSabrina,in Washington.”

Two other EU diplomats confirmed the downgrade, with one saying it was unlikely the bloc would retaliate given its desire for good relations.

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U.S. diplomats in Brussels were not immediately available for comment.

Trump has often shown his disdain for the EU and has backed Britain’s planned departure from the bloc.

But the United States and EU have the world’s biggest bilateral trade ties, and U.S. investment in the bloc is three times higher than in Asia, according to EU data.

While the shift does not stop senior EU officials from meeting U.S. counterparts, it follows a tumultuous year for transatlantic ties. Trump withdrew from several international agreements backed by the EU and vowed to reform “the liberal international 上海品茶QQorder” he says the bloc helps underpin.

In a speech in Brussels in December, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Trump’s “America First” policy was reshaping the post-World War Two system on the basis of sovereign states, not multilateral institutions.

He also took aim at “bureaucrats” responsible for upholding multilateralism “as an end in itself” and cast doubt on the EU’s commitment to its citizens, drawing a rare rebuke from the European Commission, the bloc’s executive.

Republican Cruz crushes Trump in Wisconsin, says party will unite

MILWAUKEE ( ) – Republican Ted Cruz easily won the Wisconsin presidential primary on Tuesday, dealing a blow to front-runner Donald Trump’s hopes of amassing enough delegates for the party’s nomination and boosting chances of a rare contested convention.

Cruz’s double-digit win over Trump was a breakthrough for Republican Party forces battling to block the controversial New York billionaire, and it raised the prospect of a prolonged nomination fight that could last to the July convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders also won in Wisconsin, gaining momentum in his fight against front-runner Hillary Clinton and trimming her commanding lead in delegates.

Trump entered the night with 737 convention delegates to Cruz’s 481, leaving him 500 delegates short of the 1,237 needed to become the party’s nominee in the Nov. 8 election.

Cruz said the result in Wisconsin showed the party was beginning to rally behind him, but he acknowledged the growing possibility that the fight could go all the way ,上海喝茶资源群Jack,to the convention.

“Either before Cleveland, or at the convention i上海品茶微信n Cleveland, together we will win a majority of the delegates and together we will beat Hillary Clinton in November,” Cruz told cheering supporters in Milwaukee. “We’re winning because we’re uniting the Republican Party.”

Cruz, a conservative U.S. senator from Texas, was aided in Wisconsin by Republican Governor Scott Walker, who dropped his own presidential bid in September, and by a barrage of ads from Supe,上海外卖品茶群Fabian,r PACS – independent funding groups – backed by party establishment figures worried that Trump will lead Republicans to a broad defeat in November.

Trump’s campaign released a blistering statement saying Cruz had been propped up “by countless millions of dollars of false advertising” from anti-Trump Super PACs.

“Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet – he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump,” the Trump campaign statement said.

The Wisconsin primary capped a difficult week for Trump, who was forced to backtrack after saying women who have abortions should face punishment if the procedure is outlawed, and who voiced support for his campaign manager after he was charged with misdemeanor assault for grabbing a reporter.

CRUZ GAINS ON TRUMP

A new /Ipsos poll on Tuesday showed Cruz about even with Trump nationally, with Cruz’s recent gains the first time since November that a Trump rival has threatened his standing at the head of the Republican pack.

The poll of 568 Republicans, taken between April 1-5, showed Cruz winning the support of 35 percent of Republicans to Trump’s 39 percent. Cruz and Trump were also briefly about even early last week.

In the Democratic race, the win for Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, is his sixth in the last seven contests for the nomination. Sanders said his message of breaking up big banks, reining in Wall Street and reducing income inequality was bringing new and young voters into the process.

“What we have been seeing throughout this campaign is extraordinary voter turnout in state after state,” Sanders said at a rally in Laramie, Wyoming.

Clinton, who did not appear in public on Tuesday night, tweeted her congratulations to Sanders.

“Congrats to @BernieSanders on winning Wisconsin,” Clinton said on Twitter. “To all the voters and volunteers who poured your hearts into this campaign: Forward! -H.”

Sanders still faces a difficult task overtaking Clinton as the race moves to New York on April 19 and to five other Eastern states on April 26.

Heading into Tuesday, Clinton led Sanders by 263 pledged delegates in the race for the 2,383 needed to be nominated at the party’s July convention in Philadelphia. She also has a big lead in superdelegates, who are party leaders free to back any candidate.

Sanders needs to win up to two-thirds of the remaining delegates to catch Clinton, who will keep accumulating delegates even when she loses under a Democratic Party system that awards them proportionally in all states.

Sanders nee,上海品茶群二维码Larissa,ds to rack up big winning margins over Clinton in the remaining states to close the gap. He has vowed to stay in the race until the convention, and his campaign says superdelegates could begin to shift their support to him if they see he has popular support.

China denies report of bailout offer for scandal-plagued Malaysian…

KUALA LUMPUR ( ) – China on Tuesday rejected a Wall Street Journal report that said Chinese officials had offered to bail out scandal-ridden Malaysian state fund 1MDB and try to get the United States and other countries to drop their corruption probes into the fund.

The Journal, citing minutes of meetings between Chinese and Malaysian officials, reported on Monday that the offers were made in 2016. In return, Malaysia offered China lucrative stakes in railway and pipeline projects for Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road” infrastructure initiative, the report said.

In a statement in response 上海品茶工作室to the Journal report, the Chinese embassy in Kuala Lump,上海品茶会所Balthazar,ur said China never attaches political conditions to its cooperation with other countries.

“China has all along adhered to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of any other country. We do not accept any groundless accusations made against China,” the embassy said.

1MDB, founded by former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, is the subject of corruption and money laundering investigations in at least six countries.

The U.S. Justice Department has estimated that a total of $4.5 billion was misappropriated by high-level 1MDB fund officials and their associates.

The scandal was a key reason for the shock ouster of Najib in last year’s election, which saw the return of Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister.

Najib has since been charged with corruption over 1MDB. He has pleaded not guilty and has consistently denied wrongdoing.

In a statement issued on his Facebook page late on Tuesday, Najib denied the allegations made in the Journal report. He said China had never offered to bail out 1MDB, and he defended the cost of i,上海品茶群二维码Gabe,nfrastructure,上海外卖品茶群Radley, projects awarded to China.

Since coming to power in May, Mahathir’s government has accused the Najib government of inflating the cost of Chinese deals. The new administration has paused more than $20 billion worth of projects awarded to Chinese firms, pending review.

Malaysian finance minister Lim Guan Eng said the government would study the allegations made in the Journal report.

“I have to refer back to any details explicitly said. If it was said in black and white, then it is something we will pursue,” Lim was quoted as saying in Malaysian media.

Model who alleges Trump’s agency defrauded her moving forward with…

NEW YORK ( ) – A Jamaican fashion model who alleg,上海喝茶资源群Daisy,es that Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s modeling agency defrauded her of $225,000 in pay is moving forward with her case, despite a federal judge’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit.

U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres in New York dismissed the lawsuit on March 23, saying there was insufficient evidence that model Alexia Palmer had been misled or was owed back pay.

On Wednesday, Palmer’s lawyer, Naresh Gehi, said, “We are now going to pursue our rights before the Department of Labor, and, if necessary, we will then appeal this case to the New York state Supreme Court.”

Palmer accused Trump Model Management LLC of lying to the federal government in its work-visa application that she would be paid a $75,000-a-year salary while living in the United States, court documents show.

Instead, Palmer earned just $3,380 during the three years ,上海品茶水磨Ebba,she was under contract with the agency after it took an 80 percent cut of her wages by deducting charges for everything from postage to walking lessons to mobile phone c上海品茶QQosts, as well as $4,000 in administrative fees, court papers show.

Trump’s lawyers have blasted the case as “frivolous” and without merit.

“The salary that was posited was aspirational in nature,” said Trump’s lawyer for immigration issues, Michael Wildes. “Trump Model has been in full compliance, and should fare well in any investigation or audit.”

Though Trump is not personally named in the lawsuit, his presidential campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, said in a statement last month that Trump Model Management’s treatment of Palmer was in line with “standard practice in the modeling industry.”

Trump has won Republican front-runner status in the 2016 election in large part by positioning himself as a champion of the American worker, vowing to protect U.S. jobs and bring back positions that companies have moved overseas to take advantage of cheaper foreign labor.

The controversial H-1B visa program for foreign workers became an issue at a presidential debate in Miami last month, where Trump called H-1B visas “very, very bad for workers.” He has acknowledged using them in his own businesses.

“I know the H-1B very well; it’s something that I, frankly, use,” he said. 

In August, reported that Trump’s companies had sought to import at least 1,100 workers on temporary visas since 2000. Of those, 250 were filed for foreign fashion models, according to a analysis of federal D,上海品茶会所Eden,epartment of Labor data.

Palmer attorney Gehi will appear on Friday, along with immigration experts, at a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington to discuss the case with reporters.

Photoshop gaffe embarrasses Australian prime minister with two left…

SYDNEY ( ) – Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was left red-faced on Wedn上海品茶微信esday after a family photograph, doctored by his staff, inadvertently left him with two left feet – an embarrassing image as he tries to end missteps months before an election.

The ne,上海品茶微信Kaiden,w image of Morrison with his wife and two children was meant to be his new official photograph for his personal website. However, his staff, keen to remove the prime minister’s scruffy shoes, Photoshopped him with two left feet.

The mistake was widely mocked on social media.

A spokesman for the prime minister said the picture was changed by staff without Morrison’s knowledge or authorization.

Morrison took to Twitter in a bid to limit the damage, joking that staff could instead have improved his thinning hairline.

Analysts said the incident was a blow to the government’s re-election campaign, with Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition badly trailing the Labor opposition in opinion polls and on course for a heavy defeat in polls due by May.

“To be re-elected, Morrison needs everything to go right and ridicule is the absolute last thing he needs,” said Haydon Manning, professor of politics at ,上海品茶交友群Mabel,Flinders University in South Australia.

Morrison has yet to confirm the date of the election. He

became Australia’s sixth different leader in less than 10 years late last year and has seen his standing with voters hampered by a series of missteps.

Desperate to focus national attention on the h,上海品茶水磨Octavia,ealthy state of Australia’s economy, Morrison has moved to clear his legislative agenda of any more potential pitfalls.

He will accelerate his re-election campaign in April when his government delivers its annual budget, which many expect to include tax cuts.

Zimbabwe teachers divided on strike for U.S. dollar pay

HARARE ( ) – Zimbabwean teachers were divided at the start of an indefinite strike on Tuesday, with those in towns reporting for class while their rural colleagues largely heeded calls by unions to boyc,上海品茶419论坛Mabel,ott work ,上海品茶微信Jack,to press the government to pay U.S. dollar salaries.

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The southern African nation is gripped by its worst shortage of dollars since a military coup ended nearly four decades of rule by Robert Mugabe in November 2017, leading to shortages of everything from fuel to medicines to soft drinks.

Teachers, like doctors who stopped work more than a month ago, say their salaries paid in electronic dollars are fast losing value compared to physical cash which they are demanding.

As the dollar crunch worsens and social unrest grows, Mnangagwa could find it harder to convince skeptical Zimbabweans that he is capable of reviving the economy after decades of missteps under his predecessor and mentor Mugabe.

At some schools around central Harare visited by , teachers were present and conducting classes.

Zimbabwe Teachers Association president Richard Gundane said a survey on Tuesday showed that urban teachers had reported for duty but most in rural areas did not go to work and pupils were turned away.

“We don’t w上海品茶微信ant to call it (strike) successful because we are not celebrating,” Gundane said, adding that teachers hoped promises by government to review salaries could end the impasse.

Gundane could not say how many of ZIMTA’s 44,000 members stayed at home but that more teachers would join the job boycott in the coming days if their demands were not quickly met.

Zimbabwe employs more than 100,000 teachers.

The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) and Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe told a news conference that although teachers attended school, most were not teaching but could not provide statistics.

Raymond Majongwe, PTUZ secretary general said his members would work twice a week until the government met their demands.

“The issue of the demand to be paid in U.S. dollars is a reality and we are not going to flinch on that,” said Majongwe.

After a meeting with public sector unions on Monday, acting Labour Minister July Moyo promised to review their pay and allowances although no money was set aside for this in the 2019 budget presented in November. He did not give a timeline.

This would scupper government’s ambitious plan to cut the fiscal deficit by more than half to 5 percent of GDP this year and bring down the wage bill to 70 percent of the budget from more than 90 percent previously.

Alabama governor to face impeachment push in state legislature

( ) – Alabama Governor Robert Bentley will face a legislative effort seeking his impeachment, a state lawmaker said on Tuesday, announcing the start of formal proceedings amid escalating political fallout over his relationship with a former advisor.

Bentley, a two-term Republican governor, has apologized for making inappropriate remarks to the married ex-staffer, while denying allegations of a physical affair. Since he acknowledged the accusa,上海品茶会所Jace,tions two weeks ago, he has been dogged by questions about their relationship and potentially inappropriate use of state resources.

State representative Ed Henry, also a Republican, held a news conference on Tuesday to discuss impeachment proceedings, acknowledging uncertainty about exactly how they would unfold.

“We are looking at this governor that has essentially betrayed the trust of the people of Alabama,” he said, calling on Bentley to step down.

“We’ve never done this before. We’ve,上海品茶网Tallulah, never tried to impeach a governor,” added Henry, who spoke alongside several state representatives who support impeachment.

He drafted articles of impeachment that accuse Bentley of corruption, incompetence, immoral上海品茶微信 behavior, and neglecting his duties as governor.

In response, Bentley issued a statement calling the effort a distraction from pending issues before the stat,上海妹子品茶微信Tamara,e legislature.

“There are no grounds for impeachment, and I will vigorously defend myself and my administration from this political attack,” said Bentley, a medical doctor who easily won re-election to a second term in November 2014.

The senior advisor in question, Rebekah Mason, resigned last week. She said she intended to focus on her husband and children and did not address the alleged affair. Funding for her salary was among the issues questioned in the impeachment documents.

Discussions about their relationship have dominated Alabama politics since March 23 when Bentley was publicly accused of having an affair by Spencer Collier, the former head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, just after he was fired by the governor.

Audio recordings have emerged that depict Bentley making suggestive comments to Mason, according to state media reports.

Bentley’s wife filed for divorce in August 2015 after 50 years of marriage, citing unspecified problems.

Canadian diplomats in China met second of two detained citizens

OTTAWA ( ) – Canadian diplomats in China on Tuesd上海品茶工作室ay met the second of two citizens who were detained last month after the arrest of a senior Chinese executive in Vancouver, the Canadian foreign ministry said.

“Today, Canadian consular officials in China visited with Michael Spavor,” th,上海品茶论坛Jackson,e ministry said in a statement that provided no further details. Officials met Michael Kovrig on Dec. 17.

Canadian authorities arrested Huawei Technologies Co [HWT.UL] Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on Dec. 1 on a U.S. extradition warrant. Beijing denounced the move and threatened reprisals unless the case against Meng was dropped.

“The Canadian government remains deeply concerned by the arbitrary detention by Chinese authorities of the,上海品茶交友群Cade,se two Canadians since last month and continues to call for their immediate release,” the foreign ministry said in the statement.

The spat is threatening to increase global tensions at a time when W,上海品茶群二维码Jace,ashington and Beijing are already locked in a trade war.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday and the two leaders agreed to continue pressing Beijing to free Spavor and Kovrig, Trudeau’s office said in a statement.

Although Canada says China has made no specific link between the detentions and Meng’s arrest, experts and former diplomats say they have no doubt Beijing is using the cases of the two men to pressure Ottawa.

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