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Bush family pays respects to late patriarch in emotional public viewing of casket

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, 5 December 2018 12:18 PM

Former US President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush silently standing at his father’s flag-draped casket | REUTERS

Members of the Bush family paid their respects to their late patriarch on Tuesday (December 4) during an emotional visit to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda where the body of former President George H.W. Bush was lying in state.

Former President George W. Bush along with his wife Laura was greeted with hugs and handshakes by well-wishers who have been filing past the flag-draped casket during a public viewing that began late Monday and continues until Wednesday’s funeral.

Also present were the late president’s other son, former Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, and twin granddaughters Jenna BushHager and Barbara Bush.

Ordinary Americans, generals, and former Cabinet members have been paying their respects at the Capitol Rotunda to the late president, who died last week at the age of 94 after a life of service as a World War II hero, head of the CIA and wartime president. — Reuters

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U.S. charges China’s Huawei with bank fraud, stealing trade secrets

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 09:32 AM

Huawei logo on pillar in Shanghai, China | Reuters

The United States on Monday (January 28) charged China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, its chief financial officer, and two affiliates with bank and wire fraud to violate sanctions against Iran in a case that has added to tensions with Beijing.

In a 13-count indictment, the Justice Department said Huawei misled a global bank and U.S. authorities about its relationship with the subsidiaries, Skycom Tech and Huawei Device USA Inc, in order to conduct business in Iran.

In a separate case, the Justice Department also accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets, wire fraud and obstructing justice for allegedly stealing robotic technology from carrier T-Mobile US Inc to test smartphones’ durability.

T-Mobile had accused Huawei of stealing the technology, called “Tappy,” which mimicked human fingers and was used to test smartphones. Huawei has said that the two companies settled their disputes in 2017.

The charges add to pressure on Huawei, the world’s biggest telecommunications equipment maker, from the U.S. government, which is trying to prevent American companies from buying Huawei routers and switches and pressing allies to do the same. — Reuters

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Trump releases video announcing troop withdrawal from Syria

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, 20 December 2018 10:30 AM


US President Donald Trump giving a statement on withdrawing troops from Syria on Dember 19, 2018 | REUTERS

U.S. President Donald Trump overrode his top national security aides, blindsided U.S. ground commanders, and stunned lawmakers and allies with his order on Wednesday (December 19) for U.S. troops to leave Syria, a decision that upends American policy in the Middle East.

The result, said current and former officials and people briefed on the decision, will empower Russia and Iran and leave unfinished the goal of erasing the risk that Islamic State, or ISIS, which has lost all but a sliver territory, could rebuild.

Trump was moving toward his dramatic decision in recent weeks even as top aides tried to talk him out of it, determined to fulfill a campaign promise of limiting U.S. involvement militarily abroad, two senior officials said.

The move, which carries echoes of Trump’s repudiation of the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate change accord, is in keeping with his America First philosophy and the pledge he made to end U.S. military involvement.

A U.S. defense official said Trump’s decision was widely seen in the Pentagon as benefiting Russia as well as Iran, both of which have used their support for the Syrian government to bolster their regional influence. Iran also has improved its ability to ship arms to Lebanese Hezbollah for use against Israel.

Asked who gained from the withdrawal, the defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, replied: “Geopolitically Russia, regionally Iran.”

Another U.S. defense official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said U.S military commanders had expressed concerns with the administration about what a rapid withdrawal would mean for U.S.-backed local forces fighting Islamic State.

The official said the plan to withdraw had caught the commanders by surprise.

Lawmakers from both parties complained that they were not briefed in advance of the decision.

French officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they were scrambling to find out exactly what the announcement meant and how it will affect their participation in U.S.-led coalition operations against Islamic State.

Syria’s civil war, which began in 2011, has killed hundreds of thousands of people, displaced around half the country’s pre-war 22 million population and defied all efforts at diplomatic resolution. — Reuters

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Sully, George H.W. Bush’s service dog, returns home to New York

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, 20 December 2018 09:01 AM

Sully, the yellow Labrador Retriever, that served as U.S. President George H.W. Bush’s service dog | REUTERS

Sully, the yellow Labrador Retriever, that served as U.S. President George H.W. Bush’s service dog, has returned home to Long Island, New York.

Sully stayed with Bush during the last months of the former president’s life and remained next to his casket while the late president lay in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC.

“We all felt such a tremendous sense of pride in not only having worked with the president, but all the different veterans and veteran’s groups that we work with right here on Long Island and across the country,” said John Miller, the president and CEO of The Guide Dog Foundation and America’s VetDogs, during a news conference on Wednesday (December 19).

Sully will stay on Long Island, where he was born and trained by America’s VetDogs until early 2019. Then, the young lab be sent to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., to work with U.S. military veterans. — Reuters

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