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China tells U.S. ‘now is the time’ if it wants peace with N. Korea

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, May 24th, 2018

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hold a joint news conference after their meeting at the State Department in Washington, U.S., May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

A senior Chinese official told the United States on Wednesday (May 23) if it wants peace with North Korea now is the time for a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“I told our U.S. colleagues that if you want to solve the problem, now is the time. If you want peace, now is the time. If you want to make history, now is the time,” Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi told a news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In an unrelated incident, news an American citizen working at the U.S. consulate in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has reported suffering from “abnormal” sounds and pressure leading to a mild brain injury, the U.S. embassy said.

The embassy, which issued a health alert to Americans living in China, said it could not link the case to health issues suffered by U.S. government staff in Cuba dating back to late 2016.

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was concerned about the “serious medical incident” and raised it with China’s visiting State Councillor Wang Yi.

“We notified China of what took place as best we know it and they have responded in a way that is exactly the right response,” Pompeo told a news conference with Wang. “We’re working together to resolve (this) … I hope we can figure it out.”

The unnamed American citizen assigned to the consulate in Guangzhou had reported a variety of “physical symptoms” dating from late 2017 to April this year, the U.S. embassy in Beijing said in an email.

The worker was sent to the United States for further evaluation. “The clinical findings of this evaluation matched mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI),” the embassy said.

The U.S. government in October expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from the United States for what it said was Cuba’s failure to protect staff at the U.S. embassy in Havana from mysterious health incidents at one point thought to possibly have been acoustic “attacks”. — Reuters

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CNN sues White House over revoked credentials of correspondent

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

 

President Donald Trump listening to CNN reporter Jim Acosta | REUTERS

CNN filed a lawsuit on Tuesday (November 13) against the Trump administration over the revocation of press credentials for White House correspondent Jim Acosta, whose questions and reporting have been a frequent target of criticism by President Donald Trump.

“We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process,” CNN said in a statement. “While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone. If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.”

The Republican president has steadily intensified his criticism of the media, with CNN remaining a major target.

Trump erupted into anger last week during a news conference when Acosta questioned him about the so-called migrant caravan traveling through Mexico and about an ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

“That’s enough, that’s enough,” Trump said on Wednesday, as a White House intern attempted to take the microphone off Acosta. “You are a rude, terrible person.”

The White House suspended his credentials later that day, with press secretary Sarah Sanders accusing Acosta of putting his hands on the intern who was trying to take the microphone from him. She called his behavior “absolutely unacceptable.”

Video of the encounter showed Acosta pulling back as the intern moved to take the microphone. He called the White House accusations a lie.

“While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone,” CNN said. “If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials.” — Reuters

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Trump, Obama tout clashing visions of U.S. as elections near

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, November 5th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Barack Obama (R) greets President-elect Donald Trump at inauguration ceremonies swearing in Trump as president on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Barack Obama made dueling election appearances on Sunday, offering sharply different views on the country’s problems but agreeing on the high stakes for voters in the final 48 hours of a tight campaign.

With opinion polls showing dozens of tight U.S. congressional and gubernatorial races in Tuesday’s election, the current and former presidents said the results would determine what kind of country Americans live in for the next two years.

“This election will decide whether we build on this extraordinary prosperity we have created,” Trump told a cheering crowd in Macon, Georgia, warning that Democrats would “take a giant wrecking ball to our economy.”

Trump campaigned with Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who is in a tight race with Democrat Stacey Abrams for the governor’s office.

Obama condemned Trump, without addressing him by name, and Republicans for what he described as their divisive policies and repeated lies. He hammered Trump and Republicans for repeatedly trying to repeal his signature healthcare law while at the same time claiming to support the law’s protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

“The only check right now on the behavior of these Republicans is you and your vote,” Obama told supporters in Gary, Indiana, during a rally for endangered Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly.

“The character of our country is on the ballot,” he said.

Trump and Obama are the most popular figures in their parties, and their appearances on the campaign trail are designed to stoke enthusiasm among core supporters in the late stages of a midterm congressional election widely seen as a referendum on Trump’s first two years in the White House.

Opinion polls and election forecasters have made Democrats favorites on Tuesday to pick up the 23 seats they need to capture a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, which would enable them to stymie Trump’s legislative agenda and investigate his administration.

Republicans are favored to retain their slight majority in the U.S. Senate, currently at two seats, which would let them retain the power to approve U.S. Supreme Court and other judicial nominations on straight party-line votes.

In the midst of a six-day national blitz of rallies ahead of Tuesday’s election, Trump will also appear later on Sunday in Tennessee, which hosts a vital U.S. Senate race.

HARD-LINE RHETORIC

In the final stages of the campaign, Trump has ramped up his hard-line rhetoric on immigration and cultural issues including warnings about a caravan of migrants headed to the border with Mexico and of liberal “mobs.”

He repeated those themes in Georgia, urging voters to “look at what is marching up – that’s an invasion.” He said Democrats encouraged chaos at the borders because it was good politics.

Ronna McDaniel, head of the Republican National Committee, said on ABC’s “This Week” program that the media had chosen to focus on Trump’s immigration rhetoric but the president was also emphasizing economic and job gains under his presidency.

The Labor Department on Friday reported sharply better-than-expected job creation in October, with the unemployment rate steady at a 49-year low of 3.7 percent and wages notching their best annual gain in almost a decade.

But in Indiana, Obama said Republicans were taking credit for the economic renewal that started under his presidency. “You hear those Republicans brag about how good the economy is, where do you think that started?” he asked.

Obama also appeared later on Sunday in his old home state of Illinois, which hosts a competitive governor’s race and several tight U.S. House of Representative races. Obama’s appearance on the campaign trail is his second in three days.

In the battle for the Senate, Democrats are defending seats in 10 states that Trump won in the 2016 presidential election, including a handful that he won by double digits.

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen, who heads the Democratic Senate campaign arm, said it was “remarkable” that Democrats were even in striking distance of capturing the Senate given the unfavorable map they faced.

“The fact we still have a narrow path to a majority is a sea change from where we were two years ago,” he said on ABC. “These are some very close races and they are in states where Trump won big.”

As of Sunday morning, almost 34.4 million people had cast ballots early, according to the Election Project at the University of Florida, which tracks turnout. That is up 67.8 percent from the 20.5 million early votes cast in all of 2014, the last federal election when the White House was not at stake.

For all Reuters election coverage, click: here

Reporting by John Whitesides; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Susan Thomas

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China makes key breakthroughs in space station development

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

 

Animation on China’s Tiangong space station | REUTERS

China has made key technological breakthroughs in developing its Tiangong Space Station, as announced at the 5th Manned Space Conference, which opened on Tuesday in Xi’an, the capital city of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.

The Tianhe core capsule of the space station will exhibit in full size at the upcoming 12th Zhuhai Airshow which runs from Nov 6-11.

The China-developed space station consists of a core capsule and two experiment modules. It can hold three astronauts and a maximum of six during change of the crew members.

China has long been making preparations for constructing and launching the space station. For example, it will launch the Long March-5B carrier rocket into space in 2019 to help carry the core module and experiment modules to the space station.

“Currently, we are making steady progress in the space station research and construction. Key technological breakthroughs have been made in producing the three modules including the core capsule and the Long March-5B carrier rocket. Selection of the third batch of reserve astronauts is also underway as scheduled,” said Hao Chun, director of China Manned Space Engineering Office.

The space station will enable experiments in multiple areas, including space science, biological technologies, and microgravity fundamental physics and materials sciences in space.

“We will complete on-orbit construction of the space station around 2022 as planned. It will be a national orbital space lab in the long run after being completed,” Hao said. — Reuters

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