US, China top diplomats discuss key issues, show differences

US, China top diplomats discuss key issues, show differences

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Trump still a GOP titan: ‘A restoration is coming’

Quiz: Can you pass the Declaration of Independence test?

Professor points to Declaration of Independence as cause to legalize all drugs

Quiz: How well do you know your guns?

‘Most patriotic thing I’ve done’: Tipsters aid FBI in most arrests in Capitol attack

SPONSORED CONTENT

Commentary

Cheryl K. Chumley

‘Vaccine passport’ is outrageously unconstitutional

Michael McKenna

House marches toward its death with vote to strip Greene of committee posts

Tom Basile

John Kerry: Joe Biden’s one-man wrecking ball

View all

Question of the Day

Do you support raising the federal minimum wage to $15?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Saturday, February 6, 2021

BEIJING (AP) – The top American and Chinese diplomats spoke Saturday in the first major exchange between the countries since President Joe Biden took office and touched on several critical issues that have strained their ties.

China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed in a phone call the situation in Xinjiang, home to the Uighur minority whose treatment is heavily criticized in the West, as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The two statements reaffirmed the different positions of the countries, which have clashed on issues from trade to Beijing’s crackdown in Hong Kong to increased U.S. support for self-ruled democratic Taiwan.

TOP STORIES

Liz Cheney says she won't resign after Wyoming GOP calls for her to step down

Transgender sprinters finish 1st, 2nd at Connecticut girls indoor track championships

11 Iranians arrested in Arizona after jumping U.S.-Mexico border

Blinken said the U.S. would work with allies to hold China “accountable for its efforts to threaten stability in the Indo-Pacific, including across the Taiwan Strait.”

He said that the United States will continue to stand up for human rights and democratic values, including in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, according to the State Department statement.

Yang said that at present, “the Sino-U.S. relationship is at a crucial juncture.”

“The Chinese government’s policy towards the U.S. has always maintained a high degree of stability and continuity,” he was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

He urged Washington “to correct the mistakes made over a period of time and work with China to uphold the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation and focus on cooperation, manage differences as well as promote the healthy and stable development of China-U.S. relations.”

The Chinese said maintained that Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet were strictly internal affairs and they won’t tolerate any foreign interference, Xinhua reported.

Yang called the Taiwan issue as the “most sensitive, most important and core issue between the U.S. and China.”

Under former President Donald Trump, the U.S. has increased weapons sales to and official exchanges with island, which China claims as part of its own territory to be reunited by force if necessary.

Blinken specifically called on China to condemn the military coup in Myanmar. Yang, in response, emphasized that the international community should create a good external environment for the proper settlement of the Myanmar issue.

China has invested billions of dollars in Myanmar mines, oil and gas pipelines and other infrastructure and is its biggest trading partner.

Kremlin welcomes US proposal to extend the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between the two countr

Kremlin welcomes US proposal to extend the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between the two countr

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Big Tech declares war: ‘Woke capitalism instead of freedom’

Quiz: Do you remember these grumpy TV characters?

Trump attorneys pursuing voting fraud claims snatch defeat from jaws of victory

Quiz: Can you pass a U.S. Constitution test?

College Fix editor puts student journalists on front line of fight for free speech

SPONSORED CONTENT

Commentary

Cheryl K. Chumley

Executive orders are not unifying

Everett Piper

A prayer for the Biden administration and the nation

Tony Perkins

Should extreme pro-abortionist Xavier Becerra be in charge of America’s health care?

View all

Question of the Day

Should D.C. become a state?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Friday, January 22, 2021

MOSCOW (AP) – Kremlin welcomes US proposal to extend the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between the two countries.

US rejects UN plea to reverse Yemen rebel terror designation

US rejects UN plea to reverse Yemen rebel terror designation

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Joe Biden missed many opportunities to learn about son’s business dealings

Quiz: Can you pass this general physics test?

State Department lifts all restrictions on government contacts with Taiwan

Quiz: Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

‘Hello, my wonderful social justice warriors’: School sued over critical race theory instruction

SPONSORED CONTENT

Commentary

Charles Hurt

Armed insurrection: Congress votes to overturn the next election

Daniel N. Hoffman

Kim Jong-un’s threat to bring U.S. ‘to its knees’ heightens Biden’s challenges

Newt Gingrich

GINGRICH: Big Tech is a big fraud with its bogus censorship

View all

Question of the Day

Should Trump pardon protesters arrested at the U.S. Capitol?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this Oct. 1, 2018, file photo, a severely malnourished boy rests on a hospital bed at the Aslam Health Center in Hajjah, Yemen. A leading aid organization on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 warned that U.S. Secretary of … more >

Print

By EDITH M. LEDERER

Associated Press

Thursday, January 14, 2021

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The U.N. chief and top officials urged the United States on Thursday to reverse its decision to declare Yemen’s Iran-backed rebels a terrorist group to prevent massive famine and death in the conflict-torn Arab nation – but the Trump administration in its final days stood by its action.

The U.S. deputy ambassador, Richard Mills, told the Security Council the U.S. has listened to warnings of the terrorist designation’s humanitarian impact and will take measures to reduce the impact on aid deliveries and commercial imports.

“But we do believe that this step is the right move forward to send the right signal if we want the political process to move forward,” he said.

TOP STORIES

Leftist activist arrested, charged in Capitol riot

Military battling a hidden enemy: White supremacy

Liz Cheney suffers impeachment vote blowback at home: 'Couldn't win a primary today for dog catcher'

In 2014, the rebel Houthis overran the capital, Sanaa, and much of Yemen’s north, driving the government into exile. A U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition intervened the following year to try and restore the internationally recognized government, but years of U.N. efforts to get both sides to agree to a cease-fire and start peace negotiations have not succeeded.

The conflict has been disastrous for Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, killing more than 112,000 people, creating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and wrecking infrastructure from roads and hospitals to water and electricity networks.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared the Houthis a “foreign terrorist organization” late Sunday. The designation takes effect Jan. 19, President Donald Trump’s last full day in office before Joe Biden is inaugurated president.

U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock warned the Security Council that the U.S. designation will likely lead to a “famine on a scale that we have not seen for nearly 40 years.”

Data show that 16 million of Yemen’s 30 million people will go hungry this year, he said. “Already, about 50,000 people are essentially starving to death. … Another 5 million are just one step behind them.”

Lowcock said Yemen imports 90% of its food, nearly all purchased through commercial channels, so aid shipments cannot be enough to stave off hunger.

Stressing that the designation is already seeing companies pull back from Yemen, Lowcock warned that famine will not be prevented by the measures the United States has promised to introduce so some humanitarian aid and imports can continue to reach Yemen.

World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley told the council the Nobel Peace Prize-winning agency was forced to reduce the number of Yemenis receiving aid from 13 million to 9 million, and then to cut rations in half because of a lack of funding.

Starting Feb. 1, “we will have to cut rations to 25%” because money is running out, he added.

“We are struggling now without the designation,” Beasley said. “With the designation it’s going to be catastrophic. It literally is going to be a death sentence to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of innocent people in Yemen.”

Beasley predicted that the U.S. action, coupled with the funding crisis, will leave 24 million of the 30 million Yemenis “struggling to eat” and get fuel and medicine.

“In 2020, the United States stepped up to WFP with $3.75 billion of support and I’m very grateful for that,” he said. “But this designation – it needs to be reassessed, it needs to be reevaluated, and quite frankly it needs to be reversed.”

Beasley said WFP needs $860 million to avert famine in Yemen for the next six months, and “we don’t even have half that.”

He said the Gulf Arab states – singling out Saudi Arabia – “need to pick up the humanitarian financial tab for this problem.” If they don’t, he warned, donors will take money from other countries where it’s desperately needed, “which means we’re going to have famine in many, many other countries.”

Martin Griffiths, the U.N. special envoy for Yemen, backed Lowcock’s assessment that the U.S. designation “would contribute to famine in Yemen and thus should be revoked.”

In addition, he said, “We fear that there will be inevitably a chilling effect on my efforts to bring the parties together.”

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres supports the calls by Lowcock, Beasley and Griffiths for the U.S. to reverse its designation, pointing to their “very passionate” and detailed remarks of the consequences on Yemenis.

On the political front, Griffiths condemned the Dec. 30 missile strike at Aden’s civilian airport targeting the newly formed Cabinet, an attack that killed more than 25 people. He said Yemen‘s internationally recognized government has concluded the Houthis were “behind the attack” – a charge the rebels have denied.

British Ambassador Barbara Woodward told the council the United Kingdom “assesses that it is highly likely that the Houthis were responsible for this cowardly and craven attack.”

“Only they had the means, the motive, and the opportunity for this clear and deplorable attempt to destabilize the newly formed Yemeni government,” she said.

Griffiths expressed “solidarity with the new government, which has demonstrated its resolve to stay in Aden despite the security risks to carry out its duties to the Yemeni people.”

US imposes new sanction on Beijing over South China Sea

US imposes new sanction on Beijing over South China Sea

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Joe Biden missed many opportunities to learn about son’s business dealings

Quiz: Can you pass this general physics test?

State Department lifts all restrictions on government contacts with Taiwan

Quiz: Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

‘Hello, my wonderful social justice warriors’: School sued over critical race theory instruction

SPONSORED CONTENT

Commentary

Charles Hurt

Armed insurrection: Congress votes to overturn the next election

Daniel N. Hoffman

Kim Jong-un’s threat to bring U.S. ‘to its knees’ heightens Biden’s challenges

Newt Gingrich

GINGRICH: Big Tech is a big fraud with its bogus censorship

View all

Question of the Day

Should Trump pardon protesters arrested at the U.S. Capitol?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool) more >

Print

By MATTHEW LEE

Associated Press

Thursday, January 14, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration on Thursday imposed new sanctions on Chinese officials over Beijing‘s increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea. The penalties are yet another Trump administration move that may make President-elect Joe Biden’s diplomacy with China more difficult when he takes office next week.

In its waning days, the Trump administration put in place travel bans on an unspecified number of Chinese officials and their families for what it said were violations of international standards regarding the freedom of navigation in those waters. The administration also said it was adding China‘s state oil company, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, to a list of companies with which U.S. citizens are banned from doing business.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the sanctions less than a week Inauguration Day, next Wednesday, in what is the latest in a series of last-minute U.S. moves against China.

TOP STORIES

My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell insists Trump will remain president despite election loss, insurrection

Military battling a hidden enemy: White supremacy

Liz Cheney suffers impeachment vote blowback at home: 'Couldn't win a primary today for dog catcher'

“The United States stands with Southeast Asian claimant states seeking to defend their sovereign rights and interests, consistent with international law,” Pompeo said. “We will continue to act until we see Beijing cease its coercive behavior in the South China Sea.”

Since the fall of 2019, the administration has steadily pressured China over human rights issues in Tibet, Hong Kong and the western region of Xinjiang, as well as over trade, Taiwan and the Chinese response to the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, the administration banned the import to the U.S. of some agricultural goods, provoking an angry response from Beijing.

Thursday’s move affects Chinese officials and others involved in South China Sea activities. The announcement did not specific which officials would be targeted but many may be covered under previous actions,

In July, Pompeo announced that the U.S. would reject virtually all of China‘s maritime claims in the South China Sea, which are disputed by most of China‘s smaller neighbors.

US nuclear submarine transits Strait of Hormuz amid tensions

US nuclear submarine transits Strait of Hormuz amid tensions

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Intelligence pros morphed into partisan political activists in rush to defend Hunter Biden

Quiz: Can you pass an elements of the periodic table test?

Border wall forces drug smugglers to turn to drones

Quiz: Can you match the songs to these 1980s one-hit wonders?

Law could delist some Chinese companies from U.S. markets

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To Get Rid of Deep Belly Fat

Commentary

Charles Hurt

All hail AOC, Death Panel Princess …

Newt Gingrich

Why I will not accept Joe Biden as president

Robert Knight

Ruling elites continue cultural cleansing rampage and not even Honest Abe is safe

View all

Question of the Day

Will you trust the results of U.S. elections again?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Monday, December 21, 2020

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – An American nuclear-powered guided-missile submarine traversed the strategically vital waterway between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula on Monday, the U.S. Navy said, a rare announcement that comes amid rising tensions with Iran.

The Navy’s 5th Fleet based in Bahrain said the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Georgia, accompanied by two other warships, passed through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow passageway through which a fifth of the world’s oil supplies travel.

The unusual transit in the Persian Gulf’s shallow waters, aimed at underscoring American military might in the region, follows the killing last month of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist named by the West as the leader of the Islamic Republic’s disbanded military nuclear program. It also comes some two weeks before the anniversary of the American drone strike in January that killed top Iranian military commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Iran has promised to seek revenge for both killings.

TOP STORIES

All hail AOC, Death Panel Princess …

Trump gets China's attention by deploying Navy destroyer to Taiwan Strait

California Gov. Newsom picks Alex Padilla to fill Kamala Harris's Senate seat

The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine’s presence in Mideast waterways signals the U.S. Navy’s “commitment to regional partners and maritime security,” the Navy said, demonstrating its readiness “to defend against any threat at any time.” The USS Georgia is armed with 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles and can host up to 66 special operations forces, the Navy added.

Earlier this month, the U.S. military flew two bomber aircraft to the Middle East in a mission that U.S. officials described as a message of deterrence to Iran. The displays of military might are meant to signal the United States’ continuing commitment to the Middle East even as President Donald Trump’s administration withdraws thousands of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 5th Fleet covers an area of 2.5 million square miles (6.5 million square kilometers), running through the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.

Iran builds at underground nuclear facility amid US tensions

Iran builds at underground nuclear facility amid U.S. tensions

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Intelligence community plays politics in Hunter Biden probe

Quiz: Who said these famous quotes in history?

‘Every single case has been ruled on’: Trump legal team vows to pursue appeals, file new challenges

Quiz: How well do you know your guns?

Democrats hope wins in Georgia runoffs will spell end to Senate filibuster

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To Get Rid of Deep Belly Fat

Commentary

Charles Hurt

When it comes to being a flaming disaster, Biden is an expert

Daniel N. Hoffman

Not so fast on rejoining a badly flawed Iran deal, Mr. Biden

Scott Walker

Enough is enough liberals, America must be open for business

View all

Question of the Day

Will you trust the results of U.S. elections again?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

This Dec. 11, 2020, satellite photo by Maxar Technologies shows construction at Iran’s Fordo nuclear facility. Iran has begun construction on a site at its underground nuclear facility at Fordo amid tensions with the U.S. over its atomic program, satellite … more >

Print

By Jon Gambrell

Associated Press

Friday, December 18, 2020

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran has begun construction on a site at its underground nuclear facility at Fordo amid tensions with the U.S. over its atomic program, satellite photos obtained Friday by The Associated Press show.

Iran has not publicly acknowledged any new construction at Fordo, whose discovery by the West in 2009 came in an earlier round of brinkmanship before world powers struck the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

While the purpose of the building remains unclear, any work at Fordo likely will trigger new concern in the waning days of the Trump administration before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Already, Iran is building at its Natanz nuclear facility after a mysterious explosion in July there that Tehran described as a sabotage attack.

TOP STORIES

Proud Boys leader says he set fire to 'Black Lives Matter' sign taken from church, denies wrongdoing

Georgia announces signature matching review in all counties

Small business owners buck Gretchen Whitmer's shutdown: 'We don't have any other option'

“Any changes at this site will be carefully watched as a sign of where Iran’s nuclear program is headed,” said Jeffrey Lewis, an expert at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies who studies Iran.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The International Atomic Energy Agency, whose inspectors are in Iran as part of the nuclear deal, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The IAEA as of yet has not publicly disclosed if Iran informed it of any construction at Fordo.

Construction on the Fordo site began in late September. Satellite images obtained from Maxar Technologies by the AP show the construction taking place at a northwest corner of the site, near the holy Shiite city of Qom some 90 kilometers (55 miles) southwest of Tehran.

A Dec. 11 satellite photo shows what appears to be a dug foundation for a building with dozens of pillars. Such pillars can be used in construction to support buildings in earthquake zones.

The construction site sits northwest of Fordo’s underground facility, built deep inside a mountain to protect it from potential airstrikes. The site is near other support and research-and-development buildings at Fordo.

Among those buildings is Iran’s National Vacuum Technology Center. Vacuum technology is a crucial component of Iran’s uranium-gas centrifuges, which enrich uranium.

A Twitter account called Observer IL earlier this week published an image of Fordo showing the construction, citing it as coming from South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Research Institute.

The AP later reached the Twitter user, who identified himself as a retired Israeli Defense Forces soldier with a civil engineering background. He asked that his name not be published over previous threats he received online. The Korea Aerospace Research Institute acknowledged taking the satellite photo.

Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from Iran’s nuclear deal, in which Tehran had agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Trump cited Iran’s ballistic missile program, its regional policies and other issues in withdrawing from the accord, though the deal focused entirely on Tehran’s atomic program.

When the U.S. ramped up sanctions, Iran gradually and publicly abandoned the deal’s limits as a series of escalating incidents pushed the two countries to the brink of war at the beginning of the year. Tensions still remain high.

Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran agreed to stop enriching uranium at Fordo and instead make it “a nuclear, physics and technology center.”

“This location was a major sticking point in negotiations leading to the Iran nuclear deal,” Lewis said. “The U.S. insisted Iran close it while Iran’s supreme leader said keeping it was a red line.”

Since the deal’s collapse, Iran has resumed enrichment there.

Shielded by the mountains, the facility also is ringed by anti-aircraft guns and other fortifications. It is about the size of a football field, large enough to house 3,000 centrifuges, but small and hardened enough to lead U.S. officials to suspect it had a military purpose when they exposed the site publicly in 2009.

As of now, Iran is enriching uranium up to 4.5%, in violation of the accord’s limit of 3.67%. Iran’s parliament has passed a bill that requires Tehran to enrich up to 20%, a short technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%. The bill also would throw out IAEA inspectors.

Experts say Iran now has enough low-enriched uranium stockpiled for at least two nuclear weapons, if it chose to pursue them. Iran long has maintained its nuclear program is peaceful.

While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani opposed the bill, the country’s Guardian Council later tweaked and approved it. The bill seeks to pressure European nations to provide relief from crippling U.S. sanctions.

Meanwhile, an Iranian scientist who created its military nuclear program two decades ago recently was killed in a shooting outside of Tehran. Iran has blamed Israel, which has long been suspected of killing Iranian nuclear scientists over the last decade, for the attack. Israel has not commented on the attack.

US brands Vietnam, Switzerland as currency manipulators

U.S. brands Vietnam, Switzerland as currency manipulators

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Intelligence community plays politics in Hunter Biden probe

Quiz: Who said these famous quotes in history?

‘Every single case has been ruled on’: Trump legal team vows to pursue appeals, file new challenges

Quiz: How well do you know your guns?

Democrats hope wins in Georgia runoffs will spell end to Senate filibuster

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To Get Rid of Deep Belly Fat

Commentary

Michael McKenna

Don’t get angry with ‘happy holidays’

Tammy Bruce

Liberals sell ramshackle house of cards and market it as ‘renovated’

Joseph Curl

Wags on social media and liberals take aim at Trump’s presidential library

View all

Question of the Day

Will you trust the results of U.S. elections again?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before a Congressional Oversight Commission hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 (Alex Wong/Pool via AP) more >

Print

By Martin Crutsinger

Associated Press

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Treasury Department has branded Vietnam and Switzerland as currency manipulators while putting China and nine other countries on a watch list in an annual report designed to halt countries from manipulating their currencies to gain unfair trade advantages.

It marked the first time that the United States has labeled another country as a currency manipulator since August 2019 when it called out China at a time when the world’s two largest economies were locked in tense trade negotiations.

The Trump administration removed the designation from China in January after the two nations had achieved trade agreements aimed at lowering China‘s huge trade surplus with the United States.

TOP STORIES

Lindsey Graham denounces calls for Donald Trump to pardon 'traitor' Edward Snowden

Hatcher defeats Knight in Alabama Senate runoff election

Joe Biden says he's 'confident' son Hunter did nothing wrong

The Treasury report said that Vietnam and Switzerland were the only two countries that met all three criteria for being named a currency manipulator. The designation will trigger special negotiations over the next year, and if they are not successful in resolving the issue, the United States can move forward to impose economic sanctions on Vietnam and Switzerland.

In addition to China, the other countries put on a monitoring list were Japan, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and India. Taiwan, Thailand and India were put on the watch list this year while the other countries were already on the watch list issued with the last report in January.

US paid for ambassador to New Zealand to fly on private jet

US paid for ambassador to New Zealand to fly on private jet

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Record number of Republican women set to join Congress

Quiz: Do you remember these grumpy TV characters?

‘No doubt’ China is upgrading its nuclear power to be on par with U.S., Russia

Quiz: Can you pass a U.S. Constitution test?

Teachers unions leading fight against parents, students to keep schools closed

SPONSORED CONTENT

Don’t Leave Contact Lens Patients on the Wrong End of a Raw Deal

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Peter Morici

What voters are telling Joe Biden about his Democrats’ radical agenda

Victor Davis Hanson

Irony abounds as the left politicizes COVID-19 pandemic

Tammy Bruce

Democrats’ plea for ‘unity’ rings hollow

View all

Question of the Day

Should a COVID vaccine be mandatory?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this July 11, 2017, file photo, U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown poses for a photograph at the U.S. Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand. The United States government paid for Brown and his wife, Gail, to … more >

Print

By NICK PERRY

Associated Press

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – The United States government paid for ambassador Scott Brown and his wife to fly domestically in New Zealand on a private jet so they could avoid going into quarantine at the border, documents show.

Just about everybody who returns to New Zealand is required to spend 14 days in a hotel guarded by the military as part of the nation’s strict strategy to keep out the coronavirus. But the Browns were able to use their special status as diplomats to avoid staying in a hotel, and instead isolated themselves at their home in Wellington.

The Browns’ special treatment has upset many New Zealanders. Documents released to The Associated Press under official information laws show the case was discussed by top officials and lawmakers and was not resolved until days before they arrived back.

TOP STORIES

Megyn Kelly pulls kids from woke school pushing claims of 'white … state-sanctioned depravity'

Raphael Warnock pressured to quit Georgia Senate race over military remark

Barack Obama bashes America (again)

The Browns returned to New Zealand in late August after spending a month in the U.S. on what the ambassador described as a “working vacation.”

After arriving at Auckland Airport, the Browns went to a private runway and left for Wellington on a chartered jet, documents show. That was because regular domestic flights can’t be used by new arrivals who might be carrying the virus.

U.S. officials did not immediately provide the cost of the flight, although one charter operator said such a trip would typically cost between 10,000 and 20,000 New Zealand dollars ($7,000- $14,000).

The U.S. Embassy in New Zealand said Wednesday that the flight was paid for by the embassy and the U.S. State Department, freed up hotel space for returning New Zealanders and was cost-effective.

“As the Browns were at home, the U.S. taxpayer was saved the cost of per diem and other expenses which they would otherwise have been entitled to claim,” the embassy wrote in an email.

The documents indicate the discussion about the couple’s return began back in June, when Brown wrote an email to New Zealand officials saying, “I need to be assured that I will be able to get into my car and drive home and self-isolate.” The ambassador added, “It would be problematic for me to do my job in a hotel.”

Brown told officials that he and his wife, Gail, would make sure they tested negative for the virus in the U.S. before returning.

New Zealand officials responded that top lawmakers in the government’s Cabinet were discussing what to do about diplomats – who they can’t force into quarantine because of their special status under the Vienna Convention – and “we are hopefully close to the decision-point on these issues.”

But the uncertainty would drag on for weeks.

An initial plan had the ambassador completing his two-week quarantine in Auckland at the home of the U.S. consul-general. A second plan had Brown driving the eight-hour trip back to Wellington.

“We’ll have his vehicle pre-positioned at the airport with food, water, and extra fuel, and will arrange a ‘contact-less’ handover of the keys,” U.S. officials wrote in an email.

In the end, U.S. officials told their counterparts it was their preference to book a charter flight. Brown wrote that he’d gotten approval for the plan from Washington.

“I am hopeful that this rock solid, logical plan can be approved so I can start the balls moving to make it happen,” Brown wrote on Aug. 20 from the U.S., just a week before he was due to arrive back.

The following day, New Zealand officials wrote to say the Ministry of Health had given the plan the thumbs-up.

“Outstanding!” a U.S. official responded.

Brown, a former Republican senator from Massachusetts, has close ties with President Donald Trump and was once considered a possible running mate. Brown and his wife plan to return to the U.S. permanently within the next few weeks, where Brown will take up a new role as president and dean of New England Law school in Boston.

US, Israel extend science accords into West Bank settlements

US, Israel extend science accords into West Bank settlements

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

How the shenanigans of rogue postal workers expose the weak link in mail-in voting

Quiz: Can you name these TV Shows by their catchphrases?

State Department establishment hopes to regain clout in Biden administration

Quiz: Can you name the actors who played these 1980s TV characters?

COVID-19 cases strain rural hospitals, worry health officials

SPONSORED CONTENT

This unique, American-made survival rifle is perfect for your go-bag

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Michael McKenna

New York Times asleep at the switch over journalistic ethics

Victor Davis Hanson

Election really about furious liberal Dems changing constitutional norms

Cal Thomas

What problems did Joe Biden solve during his decades in government?

View all

Question of the Day

Will Republicans win the House on Election Day?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, second right, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, second left, attend a ceremony to sign amendments to a series of scientific cooperation agreements, at Ariel University, in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, Wednesday, … more >

Print

By

Associated Press

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

JERUSALEM (AP) – The United States and Israel amended a series of scientific cooperation agreements on Wednesday to include Israeli institutions in the West Bank, a step that further blurs the status of settlements widely considered illegal under international law.

Until now, three U.S.-Israeli science cooperation agreements excluded projects in areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war – including the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

Israeli and American officials signed protocols amending the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation, the Binational Science Foundation, and Binational Agricultural Research and Development Foundation at a ceremony in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

TOP STORIES

Amy Coney Barrett hit with impeachment calls over Pennsylvania election case

Melania Trump blasts Biden, Democrats' 'socialist agenda'

Democrats falling short in swing states, early voting statistics show

Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war, and in the decades since have built dozens of settlements that are now home to some 500,000 Israelis. The Palestinians seek the West Bank and east Jerusalem as part of a future independent state. Most of the international community considers Israeli settlements illegal under international law and supports the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 boundaries.

Breaking with decades of American policy, the Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the U.S. Embassy there. It also recognized Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, which was captured from Syria in the 1967 war. In another reversal, the administration also said the U.S. does not consider settlements illegal.

In a statement, the U.S. Embassy in Israel said that “these geographic restrictions are no longer consistent with U.S. policy,” and that updating the agreements to remove them “further strengthens the special bilateral relationship” between the two countries.

“This geographic restriction within the three agreements was an anachronism, it had no place within our evolving region,” U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said at a ceremony at Ariel University.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a strong proponent of the settlements, thanked Friedman for his efforts “to right past wrongs.”

In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority condemned the step as a “dangerous precedent.”

“This step is an actual American participation in the occupation of Palestinian lands,” said Nabil Abu Rdeneh, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas.

Amending the agreements grants legitimacy to Israel’s West Bank settlements and “further blurs the Green Line,” said Brian Reeves, spokesman for Israel’s Peace Now organization, referring to the boundary between Israel and the West Bank.

Eugene Kontorovich, director of international law at the Kohelet Policy Forum, a conservative Jerusalem think tank, said the decision would have long-lasting repercussions.

“This historic international agreement cements U.S. policy that Israeli settlements are not illegal, and puts money behind it,” he said.

US, North Macedonia, and Kosovo sign 5G deal

US, North Macedonia, and Kosovo sign 5G deal

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Thin blue line lining up behind Trump: ‘This is make-or-break for law enforcement’

Quiz: How much do you know about U.S. presidents?

‘America’s Forgotten’: Democrat director discovers horrors of illegal immigration while making film

Quiz: Can you name the actors who played these 1980s TV characters?

North Korea’s tyrant threatens Trump with new ballistic missile capable of targeting U.S.

SPONSORED CONTENT

This unique, American-made survival rifle is perfect for your go-bag

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Everett Piper

Charting the decline of universities: LGBTQ+ sexual ethics fail logic and reason

Scott Walker

What swing voters want in this election

Charles Hurt

Meet the Bidens, the one family who made a fortune in the Obama economy

View all

Question of the Day

Who won the final presidential debate?

Question of the Day

 
Joseph R. Biden

 
Donald J. Trump

 
Tie

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Friday, October 23, 2020

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) – North Macedonia and Kosovo signed an agreement Friday with the United States on high-speed wireless network security aimed at excluding Chinese hardware providers.

The agreement to join the so-called “5G Clean Network Security” nations was signed at ceremonies attended by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev of North Macedonia and Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti of Kosovo, as well as Keith Krach, a U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth.

U.S. government officials have led a campaign across Europe and elsewhere against the inclusion of tech giant Huawei and other Chinese companies in 5G networks. The Trump administration accuses the companies of sharing sensitive data and personal information with China’s security apparatus.

TOP STORIES

Trump says 'Borat' star is 'a creep': 'I don't find him funny'

Texts from Hunter Biden's business partner show Joe Biden involved in China deal talks

Murkowski says she'll vote 'yes' on Judge Barrett's confirmation

China argues that the U.S. initiative is driven by commercial concerns.

Israel drops objection to US sale of ‘certain’ arms to UAE

Israel drops objection to US sale of ‘certain’ arms to UAE

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Thin blue line lining up behind Trump: ‘This is make-or-break for law enforcement’

Quiz: How much do you know about U.S. presidents?

‘America’s Forgotten’: Democrat director discovers horrors of illegal immigration while making film

Quiz: Can you name the actors who played these 1980s TV characters?

North Korea’s tyrant threatens Trump with new ballistic missile capable of targeting U.S.

SPONSORED CONTENT

This unique, American-made survival rifle is perfect for your go-bag

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Everett Piper

Charting the decline of universities: LGBTQ+ sexual ethics fail logic and reason

Scott Walker

What swing voters want in this election

Charles Hurt

Meet the Bidens, the one family who made a fortune in the Obama economy

View all

Question of the Day

Who won the final presidential debate?

Question of the Day

 
Joseph R. Biden

 
Donald J. Trump

 
Tie

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this Aug. 13, 2020 file photo, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces full diplomatic ties will be established with the United Arab Emirates, during a news conference in Jerusalem. Israel says, Friday, Oct. 23, it will not … more >

Print

By JOSEPH KRAUSS

Associated Press

Friday, October 23, 2020

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel said Friday it will not oppose the U.S. sale of “certain weapon systems” to the United Arab Emirates following an agreement with Washington to upgrade its own capabilities in order to preserve its military edge in the Middle East.

The statement released by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz did not specify which weapons systems, but appeared to refer to the possible sale of F-35 stealth fighter jets, which the UAE hopes to obtain following its agreement to normalize ties with Israel.

Gantz’s office declined to elaborate on the statement, which was released late Friday in Israel, when the country is largely shut down for the Jewish Sabbath. There was no immediate comment from the Pentagon.

TOP STORIES

Air Force veteran Aja Smith hopes to be first Black Republican woman from California in Congress

Fox News analyst speculates about 'curious' Wi-Fi outage delaying Biden column

Ga. state rep mocked after apparently confusing Trump's 'coyotes' remark with animal

The statement said Gantz reached “understandings” with the Pentagon during a visit to Washington this week that “will allow the procurement of advanced weapon systems that will significantly upgrade Israel’s military capabilities, maintain its security and its military advantage in the region as well as its qualitative military edge in the coming decades.”

It said Gantz was “notified by the US administration of its plans to notify Congress of its intention to provide certain weapon systems to the UAE.”

“The Prime Minister and the Defense Minister both agree that since the US is upgrading Israel’s military capability and is maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge, Israel will not oppose the sale of these systems to the UAE,” it said.

The UAE agreed to normalize relations with Israel earlier this year, bringing longstanding covert ties into the open in a deal hailed by the U.S. and Israel as an historic breakthrough in Middle East diplomacy. The UAE and Bahrain, which signed a similar normalization agreement, became the third and fourth Arab nations to establish formal diplomatic ties with Israel.

Sudan agreed to normalize ties with Israel earlier on Friday. Egypt and Jordan made peace with Israel decades ago.

Israelis welcomed the agreement with the UAE, which paved the way for the other normalization accords, but word that the U.S. intended to sell F-35s to the Emirates proved controversial.

Netanyahu repeatedly denied there was any link between arms deals and opening ties to the Emirates. That was met with skepticism in Israel, particularly amid accusations that he bypassed Israel’s defense establishment in agreeing to a past German sale of advanced submarines to Egypt.

Critics have accused Netanyahu of lying over a key element that is believed to have clinched the deal for the UAE. Gantz, a political rival who formed a fractious coalition government with Netanyahu last spring, said he was kept in the dark about the UAE deal until the last minute.

Netanyahu said in a statement late Friday that the discussion of arms sales only began after the normalization accords were concluded and that he did not object because the U.S. agreed to upgrade Israel’s own capabilities.

US envoy warns new violence threatens Afghan peace process

US envoy warns new violence threatens Afghan peace process

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Thin blue line lining up behind Trump: ‘This is make-or-break for law enforcement’

Quiz: How much do you know about U.S. presidents?

‘America’s Forgotten’: Democrat director discovers horrors of illegal immigration while making film

Quiz: Can you name the actors who played these 1980s TV characters?

North Korea’s tyrant threatens Trump with new ballistic missile capable of targeting U.S.

SPONSORED CONTENT

You can now own the same rifle that Abraham Lincoln had in the 1860’s

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

David Keene

How the presidential election may be won or lost in the suburbs

Richard W. Rahn

Which candidate do the Chinese and Russians want to win the U.S. presidential election?

Peter Morici

Stick with stocks through the contested election

View all

Question of the Day

Should the FBI reveal what they know about Hunter Biden's laptop?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Afghan security inspects the site of a suicide car bombing in Ghor province western of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Oct. 18. 2020. A suicide car bombing on Sunday killed at least a dozen people and wounded more than 100 others in … more >

Print

By RAHIM FAIEZ

Associated Press

Monday, October 19, 2020

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – The U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan warned Monday that “distressingly high” levels of violence threaten to derail ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Zalmay Khalilzad’s comments come as renewed fighting for days has plagued Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, a longtime Taliban stronghold. The Taliban this Friday agreed to halt its attacks on condition of the U.S. stopping its airstrikes in the area.

But then came a suicide car bombing Sunday that killed at least 13 people and wounded around 120 others in Afghanistan’s western Ghor province. Though no one claimed responsibility for the bombing, suspicion immediately fell on the Taliban.

TOP STORIES

Republican governor to consider new stay-at-home order 'if the numbers dictate it'

Trump campaign launches two-week ad blitz, predicts victory in key states

No Russian conspiracy in Biden laptop scandal: DNI Ratcliffe

“Violence has stalked Afghans for far too long. It has robbed far too many Afghans of their loved ones,” Khalilzad wrote on Twitter. “The tragedy in Ghor today is the most recent example.”

He added: “The belief that says violence must escalate to win concessions at the negotiating table is very risky. Such an approach can undermine the peace process and repeats past miscalculations by Afghan leaders.”

The Taliban offered no immediate reaction to Khalilzad’s tweets. However, it issued a statement Sunday over the U.S. airstrikes targeting Helmand province. The Taliban warned that “all responsibility and consequences from continuation of such actions shall fall squarely on the shoulders of the American side.”

Omer Zwak, a spokesman for Helmand’s provincial governor, said Monday there were still gun battles in a few areas of the province’s Nad Ali and Nawa districts. The Afghan air force separately conducted limited airstrikes to support Afghan forces trying to retake Taliban-held areas, Zwak said.

The fighting has overwhelmed the only emergency hospital in Lashkar Gah, Helmand’s provincial capital, said Marco Puntin, the program coordinator at EMERGENCY, an aid group working there. He said doctors faced those wounded from six-consecutive nights of fighting.

“Most of the patients we are currently admitting to the hospital are victims of bomb attacks and therefore suffer complicated injuries, which require complex surgery and a long hospital stay,” Puntin said in statement. “Civilians are paying the price for this offensive, trapped by the crossfire and often hit by mortars, rockets and grenades.”

The peace talks in Qatar between the Taliban and Afghan government negotiators began in September, but after a ceremonious start they became bogged down, mainly in the minutiae of Islamic jurisprudence. This current round of negotiations come after a deal in February between the U.S. and the Taliban that seeks to end America’s longest war.

Despite the challenges, the ongoing talks represent the most-serious effort yet at ending decades of war in Afghanistan that followed the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that toppled its Taliban government, which then was hosting al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden who planned the Sept. 11 attacks.

Meanwhile, prominent Afghan politician Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who was once designated a militant by the U.S. and who made peace with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government in 2016, arrived in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad for a three-day visit, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Hekmatyar met with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who called for a reduction in violence in Afghanistan, leading to a cease-fire, according to a ministry statement. Hekmatyar was also scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Imran Khan.

US official holds Beirut meetings after Israel-Lebanon talks

US official holds Beirut meetings after Israel-Lebanon talks

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Emboldened Antifa increasingly violent as national profile rises

Quiz: Man-made and natural disasters test

North Korea’s new missile able to target U.S. unveiled to send message to Trump, analysts say

Quiz: Who are these movie villains?

Israel’s unease over F-35 sales to UAE tests new relations

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Scott Walker

Kamala Harris embarrassed herself at VP debate and Barrett confirmation hearings

Daniel N. Hoffman

Beware of hostile regimes weaponizing Trump’s COVID-19 battle

Tammy Bruce

Dems make fools of themselves at Barrett confirmation hearing

View all

Question of the Day

Should the remaining presidential debates be cancelled?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

A UNIFIL Navy ship patrols in the Mediterranean Sea next to a base of the U.N. peacekeeping force, off the southern town of Naqoura, Lebanon, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. Lebanon and Israel are to begin indirect talks Wednesday over their … more >

Print

By

Associated Press

Thursday, October 15, 2020

BEIRUT (AP) – Lebanon’s parliament speaker met Thursday with a visiting U.S. official, a day after Beirut began indirect negotiations with Israel over their disputed maritime border.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker, the top American diplomat for the Middle East, did not speak to reporters after his meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

Berri has been the main Lebanese official dealing with U.S. mediators regarding the dispute with Israel over the past decade.

TOP STORIES

Kamala Harris embarrassed herself at VP debate and Barrett confirmation hearings

Hunter Biden demanded Chinese billionaire pay $10 million for 'introductions alone,' emails show

Twitter locks press secretary Kayleigh McEnany's account

On Wednesday, Schenker attended the opening session of U.S.-mediated talks between Lebanon and Israel in a U.N. compound in the border area known as Ras Naqoura. A joint statement released Wednesday by the U.S. State Department and Jan Kubis, the U.N. special coordinator for Lebanon, said the Israeli and Lebanese teams “held productive talks and reaffirmed their commitment to continue negotiations later this month.”

Israel and Lebanon have no diplomatic relations and are technically in a state of war. They each claim about 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea as being within their own exclusive economic zones.

Israel has already developed a natural gas industry elsewhere in its economic waters, and Lebanon hopes oil and gas discoveries in its territorial waters will help it overcome the worst economic and financial crisis in its modern history.

Lebanon’s economic crisis is the result of decades of corruption and mismanagement, but has been dramatically worsened by the coronavirus pandemic as well as a massive blast in Beirut on Aug. 4, which killed and wounded many and caused damage worth billions of dollars.

Schenker visited Beirut after the blast and met members of Lebanon’s civil society. He did not hold talks with politicians at that time.

The international community has said it will not help Lebanon get out of its economic crisis before it implements major reforms, on top of fighting corruption.

President Michel Aoun was scheduled to hold binding consultations with members of parliament on Thursday to name a new prime minister, but postponed it for a week at the last minute.

A top candidate for the post was former Prime Minister Saad Hariri. He resigned in October last year, days after nationwide protests broke out demanding an end to the rule of the political class that’s brought the country to the verge of bankruptcy.

On Wednesday, Hariri failed to win the backing of the two largest Christian blocs in parliament.

US expresses concern over China link to Cambodian base

US expresses concern over China link to Cambodian base

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

How Treasury Dept. tracked overseas cash pocketed by Hunter Biden

Quiz: Do you remember the 2000s?

China ramps up campaign of bribes and economic extortion in global power play

Quiz: Can you pass a U.S. state capitals test?

‘Not plausible’: Flynn-Russian female agent rumor doubted early on by FBI whistleblower

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Michael McKenna

Tracking surveys show presidential race closer than one-off polls suggest

Victor Davis Hanson

Ignoring current problems, California’s Newsom signs illogical reparations bill

Andrew P. Napolitano

Michigan’s Supreme Court liberates citizens from Whitmer’s draconian pandemic orders

View all

Question of the Day

Will Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis impact the election?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Cambodian navy troop members stand on a navy boat at Ream Naval Base in Sihanoukville, southwestern of Phnom Penh, Cambodia on July 26, 2019. Cambodia’s government on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, officially denied suggestions that its demolition of a U.S.-funded … more >

Print

By SOPHENG CHEANG

Associated Press

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) – The United States expressed disappointment Wednesday that Cambodia is tearing down a U.S.-funded building used for a maritime security program, and voiced concern that the action may be linked to the possible use of a Cambodian naval base by China’s military.

“Such a military presence would negatively impact the U.S.-Cambodia bilateral relationship and be disruptive and destabilizing to the Indo-Pacific region,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement distributed Wednesday by the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh.

Controversy over the Ream Naval Base on the Gulf of Thailand erupted more than a year ago, when The Wall Street Journal reported that an early draft of a reputed agreement seen by U.S. officials would allow China 30-year use of the base, where it would be able to post military personnel, store weapons and berth warships.

TOP STORIES

Pelosi: Trump's tweets on coronavirus relief bill are an attempt to reverse 'terrible mistake'

Republican attorneys general slam former colleague Kamala Harris as 'original lawless liberal'

Trump leaves residence, works from Oval Office

The State Department said the U.S. hopes Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will accept Washington’s offer of a dialogue to discuss how the United States “can support infrastructure at Ream that would benefit an independent Cambodia and all nations supportive of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Washington and Beijing are contending for influence in Southeast Asia. China is Cambodia’s closest political ally and main source of economic support, through aid and investment. Relations between Cambodia and the United States are rocky because of Washington’s criticisms of Hun Sen’s government for being undemocratic.

Concerns about China’s intentions for the area were heightened by a deal that gave a Chinese company control over a large part of the coastline, and construction of an airport on its land that appeared to be designed to accommodate military as well as civilian aircraft.

Hun Sen in June last year responded that China has not been given exclusive rights to use the base, while also saying that warships from all nations, including the United States, are welcome to dock there. He pointed out that Cambodia’s Constitution does not allow foreign military bases to be established on its soil.

However, the issue was resurrected last week with new reports in Western media about satellite photos showing the demolished facility.

Cambodia on Tuesday issued a statement saying that the demolition of the 7-year-old Tactical Command Headquarters at the Ream base and its relocation in a new building elsewhere was a planned upgrade because the existing facility was too small and lacked docking facilities, with limited capacity for training and other activities, It said the new facility would involve no change in function or relationships with foreign partners.

Hun Sen on Wednesday addressed the controversy again. Speaking at a ceremony opening an amusement park, he denied that Cambodia was allowing China to establish a base on its territory. He said that to clarify the issue, he has ordered the state television to rebroadcast, with English subtitles, his speech last year denying that China was being allowed to set up a base.

He also said he had ordered the Foreign Ministry to send an official diplomatic note to all foreign embassies in Cambodia to let them know his government’s position.

China says US has ordered it to close Houston consulate in what it calls a provocation that violates

China says US has ordered it to close Houston consulate in what it calls a provocation that violates

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Eastern Oregon residents eye revolt to join Idaho amid daily protests in Portland

Quiz: Who said these famous quotes in history?

NIH’s ‘Shark Tank’-style competition helps develop rapid coronavirus test

Quiz: Can you pass a European history test?

War footing: Trump takes on Putin, China in international power battle

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Victor Davis Hanson

Why the current cultural revolution isn’t like the ‘60s

Cal Thomas

They’re coming for our guns (really)

Michael McKenna

Progressives must destroy American history to complete their new order revolution

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

BEIJING (AP) – China says US has ordered it to close Houston consulate in what it calls a provocation that violates international law.

US offers $5M bounty for top Venezuela judge, Maduro ally

US offers $5M bounty for top Venezuela judge, Maduro ally

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Eastern Oregon residents eye revolt to join Idaho amid daily protests in Portland

Quiz: Who said these famous quotes in history?

NIH’s ‘Shark Tank’-style competition helps develop rapid coronavirus test

Quiz: Can you pass a European history test?

War footing: Trump takes on Putin, China in international power battle

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Cal Thomas

They’re coming for our guns (really)

Michael McKenna

Progressives must destroy American history to complete their new order revolution

Tammy Bruce

Vandals, Marxists, Antifa lay siege to Portland, while Dems decry federal intervention

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this Jan. 31, 2020 file photo, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, right, speaks with Supreme Court President Maikel Moreno at the Supreme Court in Caracas, Venezuela. Maduro is at the court to give his annual presidential address. On … more >

Print

By

Associated Press

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – The Trump administration offered a $5 million reward Tuesday for information leading to the arrest of the head of Venezuela’s high court, accusing the judge of taking bribes.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Supreme Tribunal of Justice President Maikel Moreno, a close political ally of socialist President Nicolás Maduro, actively participated in transnational organized crime.

Moreno has allegedly received bribes in over 20 criminal and civil court cases, Pompeo said.

TOP STORIES

Black Lives Matter leader Charles Wade charged with sex trafficking

GOP lawmaker tells AOC: 'You are out of your freaking mind'

Bill de Blasio's 'crucial' $52 million coronavirus hospital treated 79 patients

Moreno quickly rejected the reward, saying it was based on lies aimed at undermining him and will only strengthen his “autonomy and independence” as the head of Venezuela’s high court.

“This is not the first time a mouthpiece of the U.S. empire has tried to attack me,” Moreno said in a statement posted on Facebook. “They will never succeed because the independence and sovereignty of our homeland is not up for discussion.”

The Trump administration this year launched a “maximum pressure” campaign to oust Maduro as Venezuela’s economic and social crisis deepens in the once-wealthy oil nation. U.S. officials earlier this year charged Maduro as a narcoterrorist, offering $15 million for his arrest.

Maduro has rejected the U.S. charges against him, saying the are politically motivated.

The White House recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate leader. U.S. federal prosecutors earlier this year charged Moreno with money laundering offenses associated with the bribery.

“The United States continues to stand with the people of Venezuela in their fight against corruption and for the peaceful restoration of democracy,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Seafarers group: Tanker off UAE sought by US ‘hijacked’

Seafarers group: Tanker off UAE sought by U.S. ‘hijacked’

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Rise of Kim Jong-un’s sister marks increase North Korean cyberattacks

Quiz: Can you pass a U.S. Constitution test?

New St. Andrews College president under fire after ‘we know science’ bathroom video

Quiz: Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

Not so Top Gun: Navy’s newest $13 billion supercarrier plagued by mechanical woes

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Michael McKenna

Expect huge tax increases and a slumping economy if Biden wins

Victor Davis Hanson

NFL fans will not tolerate watching multimillionaires dishonor the flag

Andrew P. Napolitano

A brief history of the freedom of speech in America

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

BREAKING NEWS BANNER FROM THE WASHINGTON TIMES more >

Print

By Jon Gambrell

Associated Press

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An oil tanker sought by the U.S. over allegedly trying to circumvent sanctions on Iran was hijacked on July 5 off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, a seafarers organization said Wednesday.

Satellite photos showed the vessel in Iranian waters on Tuesday and two of its sailors remained in the Iranian capital.

It wasn’t immediately clear what happened aboard the MT Gulf Sky, though its reported hijacking comes after months of tensions between Iran and the U.S.

TOP STORIES

Black Lives Matter leader Charles Wade charged with sex trafficking

Trump plans to send federal authorities into cities to break up 'war zone' of violence

Cancel culture punishes Goya Foods over pro-Trump remarks; calls for boycott land with a thud

David Hammond, the CEO of the United Kingdom-based group Human Rights at Sea, said he took a witness statement from the captain of the MT Gulf Sky confirming the ship had been hijacked.

Hammond said that 26 of the Indian sailors on board had made it back to India, while two remained in Tehran, without elaborating.

“We are delighted to hear that the crew are safe and well which has been our fundamental concern from the outset,” Hammond told The Associated Press.

Hammond also said that he had no other details on the vessel. TankerTrackers.com, a website tracking the oil trade at sea, said it saw the vessel in satellite photos on Tuesday in Iranian waters off Hormuz Island.

The Emirati government, the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

North Korea says it has no plans for talks with US

North Korea says it has no plans for talks with US

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Morale is lower with White officers’ in wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

Grim math of the border: Media hypes ‘haunting’ deaths, ignores thousands of rescues

Quiz: Can you match the nickname to the Major League Baseball player?

Benjamin Netanyahu maintaining vow to annex West Bank land by July 1

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Cheryl K. Chumley

America groans under the weight of disunity

Everett Piper

Al Gore, U.N. secretary-general and other elitists call for a ‘great reset’ of the global economy

Robert Knight

Left-wing activist wants to replace ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ with Lennon’s ‘Imagine’

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By KIM TONG-HYUNG

Associated Press

Saturday, July 4, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea on Saturday reiterated it has no immediate plans to resume nuclear negotiations with the United States unless Washington discards what it describes as “hostile” polices toward Pyongyang.

The statement by North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui came after President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, told reporters in New York Thursday that Trump might seek another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as an “October surprise” ahead of the U.S. presidential election.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who had lobbied hard to help set up the now-stalled negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, also expressed hope that Trump and Kim would meet again before the election in a video conference with European leaders on Tuesday.

TOP STORIES

Antifa 'ringleader' arrested in attempted destruction of Andrew Jackson statue: 'They had acid'

Hydroxychloroquine is effective, 'helped save lives,' new peer-reviewed study finds

Barr orders legal action against governors whose COVID-19 actions infringe on civil rights

Kim and Trump have met three times since embarking on their high-stakes nuclear diplomacy in 2018, but negotiations have faltered since their second summit in February last year in Vietnam, where the Americans rejected North Korean demands for major sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capability.

Kim entered 2020 vowing to bolster his nuclear deterrent in face of “gangster-like” U.S. sanctions and pressure. Choe’s statement followed a series of similar declarations by the North that it would no longer gift Trump with high-profile meetings he could boast of as his foreign policy achievements unless it gets something substantial in return.

“Is it possible to hold dialogue or have any dealings with the U.S. which persists in the hostile policy toward the DPRK in disregard of the agreements already made at the past summit?” Choe said, referring to North Korea by its formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“We do not feel any need to sit face-to-face with the U.S., as it does not consider the DPRK-U.S. dialogue as nothing more than a tool for grappling its political crisis,” she said.

Some analysts believe North Korea would avoid serious negotiations with the United States at least until the November presidential election as there’s a chance U.S. leadership could change.

Choe said the North has already established a “detailed strategic timetable” for managing what she described as U.S. threats.

“The U.S. is mistaken if it thinks things like negotiations would still work on us,” she said.

The North in recent months have also been ramping up pressure against South Korea, blowing up an inter-Korean liaison office in its territory and threatening to abandon a bilateral military agreement aimed at reducing tensions. It follows months of frustration over Seoul’s unwillingness to defy U.S.-led sanctions and restart joint economic projects that would breathe life into the North’s broken economy.

The North’s state media on Friday said that Kim, while supervising a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party on Thursday, discussed “import issues related to the external affairs” but didn’t specify what they were.

US to provide Cambodia with $56 million in development aid

US to provide Cambodia with $56 million in development aid

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘A fundamental challenge’: William Barr says U.S. is cracking down on Chinese spying

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

EXCLUSIVE: U.K. assassination attempt reveals illegal Russian chemical weapons push

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Trump says Biden weaker than Hillary Clinton; predicts historic economic recovery

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

David Keene

Rioters who burned police stations and businesses may find their nemesis, Trump, reelected

Peter Morici

Investors that stick with stocks will be rewarded as economy reopens

Everett Piper

Welcome to the neo-Marxist ‘Church of Holy Wokeness’

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Friday, June 26, 2020

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) – The United States has agreed to provide Cambodia with more than $56 million in development assistance, the two countries announced.

The aid provides an opportunity to improve relations between the nations, which are strained because of Washington’s criticism of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government as authoritarian and undemocratic.

After the U.S. judged Cambodia’s 2018 general election to be unfree and unfair, it imposed limited diplomatic and economic sanctions to show its disapproval.

TOP STORIES

Parler topples 'tech tyrant' Twitter in Apple 'News App' store

IG Report confirms Obama lied about Hillary's emails

Facebook moderators brag about deleting pro-Trump posts in Project Veritas sting

The U.S. is also competing with China for influence in Cambodia, where Beijing has its strongest political foothold in Southeast Asia thanks to generous aid and investment and a lack of criticism of Hun Sen’s style of governing.

The joint statement received Friday said $38 million of the aid is for health and education, and about $18 million for agriculture and environmental programs.

It quoted Chin Bun Sean, a government minister and vice chairman of Cambodia‘ state development agency, as saying the agreement signed Thursday “is an important pillar in promoting and strengthening the cooperation and partnership between the two countries.”

The statement said U.S. development assistance to those sectors has totaled more than $253 million since March 2016, and that an additional $11 million was provided to help Cambodia cope with this year’s COVID-19 pandemic.

“The U.S. government is committed to continuing its support to the Cambodian people towards sustainable, inclusive, and equitable socio-economic development,” it quoted U.S. Ambassador W. Patrick Murphy as saying.

US report: Pakistan doing too little to counter terrorism

US report: Pakistan doing too little to counter terrorism

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘A fundamental challenge’: William Barr says U.S. is cracking down on Chinese spying

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

EXCLUSIVE: U.K. assassination attempt reveals illegal Russian chemical weapons push

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Trump says Biden weaker than Hillary Clinton; predicts historic economic recovery

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Everett Piper

Welcome to the neo-Marxist ‘Church of Holy Wokeness’

Charles Hurt

The Democrats’ ‘Bonfire of Inanities’

Scott Walker

Ignorant rioters take violence to Madison and leftist Democrats do nothing

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this March 1, 2020 file photo, supporters of Pakistani religious group rally to celebrate the signing agreement between United States and Taliban, in Quetta, Pakistan. Washington’s annual terrorism report says Pakistan is doing too little to counter … more >

Print

By KATHY GANNON

Associated Press

Friday, June 26, 2020

ISLAMABAD (AP) – Washington’s annual terrorism report said Pakistan was doing too little to counter terrorist groups, particularly those taking aim at rival India and the dreaded Haqqani network operating in Afghanistan.

Islamabad bristled at the criticism in the U.S. State Department report, saying it has been relentless in its assistance to Washington as the United States brokered a peace deal with the Taliban, which it signed in February. At the time, the deal was touted as Afghanistan’s best chance in four decades of finding a lasting peace.

Amir Rana, executive director of the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, which tracks militant groups, said Friday the report is a warning to Pakistan that it needs to do more to target terrorist financing and dismantle terrorist networks if it wants to avoid being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force, the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog based in Paris.

TOP STORIES

William Barr: Geoffrey Berman was an 'interim' U.S. attorney 'living on borrowed time'

Tommy Lee warns 'Trumpsters': 'We are going to pay you back so f-ing hard for all of this'

Christians should destroy all Baphomet statues

Pakistan, which was put on a so-called grey list by the task force in 2018, was given a further reprieve this month to avoid the blacklist by meeting a series of benchmarks set by the task force. If Pakistan is put on a blacklist, its international borrowing would be severely restricted.

“The tone of the report this year was more critical than the previous year’s,” said Rana. “This is a warning that it needs to do more to stay off the blacklist, to dismantle terrorist groups still operating in Pakistan.”

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry in a statement late Thursday called the report disappointing.

Pakistan has arrested some high profile terrorist group leaders, such as Hafiz Saeed, chief of the outlawed Lasjkar-e-Taiba. However, the whereabouts of others, such as Maulana Masood Azhar, the head of Jaish-e-Mohammad, is still unknown, said Rana. That group took responsibility for the devastating 2019 attack on Indian troops in Indian-ruled Kashmir.

More than a dozen Al-Qaida in the Asian Subcontinent operatives have been arrested in Pakistan’s Punjab province in recent months and this week several were sentenced to lengthy prison terms, said Rana. That would indicate Pakistan’s willingness to tackle some of the militant groups in Pakistan.

“While the Report recognizes that Al Qaeda has been seriously degraded in the region, it neglects to mention Pakistan’s crucial role in decimating Al Qaeda , thereby diminishing the threat that the terrorist group once posed to the world,” the Foreign Ministry statement said.

The State Department report called Pakistan’s help in getting a deal with the Taliban “a constructive role.”

Pakistani officials who addressed the report’s finding Friday asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media. They said that on the one hand, the U.S. wants Pakistan to break all ties with Afghanistan’s Taliban groups, like the Haqqani network. Yet it wants Islamabad to use its influence to bring that group to the negotiating table.

Rana said it was Pakistan’s decades-old association with the Haqqani network, which dates back to the 1980s invasion of Afghanistan by the former Soviet Union, that helped move U.S. talks with the Taliban forward.

The next stage of the peace deal, which is considered crucial, is negotiations between Afghans on both sides of the conflict. Those negotiations are expected to take place sometime in July in the Middle Eastern State of Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office.

US watchdog: Afghan gov’t weakened ahead of Taliban talks

US watchdog: Afghan gov’t weakened ahead of Taliban talks

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘A fundamental challenge’: William Barr says U.S. is cracking down on Chinese spying

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

EXCLUSIVE: U.K. assassination attempt reveals illegal Russian chemical weapons push

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Trump says Biden weaker than Hillary Clinton; predicts historic economic recovery

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Scott Walker

Ignorant rioters take violence to Madison and leftist Democrats do nothing

Victor Davis Hanson

Anger will decide the 2020 election

Michael McKenna

Presidential election polling not broken, Trump trails Biden

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this Aug. 19, 2019, file photo, a man waves an Afghan national flag during Independence Day celebrations in Kabul, Afghanistan. Washington’s watchdog warns, Thursday, June 25, 2020, that “systemic” corruption within the Afghan government is weakening its … more >

Print

By KATHY GANNON

Associated Press

Thursday, June 25, 2020

ISLAMABAD (AP) – A U.S. watchdog warned that “systemic” corruption within the Afghan government is weakening its bargaining position in upcoming peace negotiations with the Taliban, even as the insurgents said Thursday they were ready and had compiled their agenda for the long-awaited talks.

John Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, said the Taliban and other militants underscored the government’s corruption, using it to “undermine public support for the government, garner recruits to their cause, and weaken the government’s bargaining position during future peace negotiations.”

“It is the most insidious threat the Afghan government faces because it saps the support of citizens who are trying to go about their daily work, feed their families, and live free of fear and intimidation,” Sopko told a monitoring group known as Integrity Watch Afghanistan on Wednesday.

TOP STORIES

CDC: Fewer people dying in COVID-19 surge than March, April

Businesses, residents sue Seattle over CHOP

Carly Fiorina to support Joe Biden over Donald Trump

Meanwhile, about 50 civil society activists in Kabul rallied on Thursday against corruption, urging the International Monetary Fund to rescind a $220 million loan given last month to the Afghan government to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Afghanistan has reported over 30,000 cases, including 675 deaths, but testing is severely limited, and experts say the number of infected is likely much higher.

The protesters said the government has already wasted billions of international money. Najibullah Azad, who leads the group of lawyers, doctors and economists in the protest, said government corruption is devouring international money and thatt he feared the IMF’s $220 million would disappear.

Sopko criticized Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government, saying it only paid lip service to fighting corruption, “ticking off the boxes” rather than implementing changes and arresting some of the worst offenders.

“The private sector and particularly international investors – who care far more about their own bottom line – will not overlook Afghanistan’s failure to tackle the corruption challenge,” he said. “Afghanistan’s leaders must come to realize that in the end, private sector investment will matter far more to their country’s future than international donors, because after 19 years of war, foreign governments, including the United States, are growing weary of paying Afghanistan’s bills.”

International donors cover 75% of Afghanistan’s operating budget and the U.S. alone pays $4 billion annually to finance Afghanistan’s military and security forces.

Ghani’s spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, objected to Sopko’s criticism, insisting that “the government has done a lot to tackle corruption and that has to be seen.”

No date has yet been set for negotiations but Deborah Lyons, the U.N. special representative to Afghanistan told the U.N. Security Council on Thursday that she was “cautiously optimistic” the talks could start in July in Doha, Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office.

One of the obstacles to the start of the negotiations has been the exchange of prisoners, envisaged under a deal the Taliban signed with the United States at the end of February. That accord – and the Afghan-Taliban talks that were meant to follow – are seen as Afghanistan’s best chance for peace and an opportunity for U.S. and NATO troops to leave the war-torn country after nearly two decades of fighting.

The Taliban’s political spokesman, Suhail Shaheen, told The Associate Press that the Afghan government has so far released 3,500 Taliban prisoners. The U.S.-Taliban deal calls for 5,000 Taliban prisoners to be freed by Kabul. It also said the Taliban should free 1,000 government personnel, including military men, they hold captive.

___

Associated Press writer Tameem Akhgar in Kabul, Afghanistan, contributed to this report.

US says its embassy in Kabul battling coronavirus outbreak

US says its embassy in Kabul battling coronavirus outbreak

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Trump on renaming U.S. military bases honoring Confederate officers: No way!

Quiz: Can you name the actors who played these 1980s TV characters?

FBI picked most outlandish anti-Trump dossier claims for official U.S.-Russia report

Quiz: How well do you know your guns?

Summer spike? Experts warn of ‘reverse’ seasonal effect on coronavirus

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Robert Knight

Liberals attack on American culture emboldened by Supreme Court last week

Everett Piper

Supreme Court rules women are no longer real but just fantasies

Cheryl K. Chumley

Pandering to the pretensions of Black Lives Matter overlords

View all

Question of the Day

Should Trump rally-goers in Tulsa wear face masks

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – This Dec. 25, 2013, filer, photo shows a general view of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan after it was hit by rocket fire in Kabul, Afghanistan. The U.S. State Department says Saturday, June 20, 2020 that COVID-19 … more >

Print

By RAHIM FAIEZ and MATTHEW LEE

Associated Press

Saturday, June 20, 2020

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – The U.S. State Department says COVID-19 infections have been reported at its embassy in the Afghan capital and affected staff include diplomats, contractors and locals.

The State Department did not say how many were affected. An official at the embassy in Kabul, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media, said up to 20 people were infected, the majority of them Nepalese Gurkhas, who provide embassy security.

“The embassy is implementing all appropriate measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” the State Department said in a statement late Friday.

TOP STORIES

Lawyer: Black jurors should refuse to convict black people accused of murdering white people

AOC cheers rally sabotage, mocks Trump campaign: 'You just got ROCKED'

Earthquake shakes Oklahoma after Trump's Tulsa rally

The infected staff are in isolation in the embassy while the remainder on the compound are being tested, said the embassy official. That official added that embassy staff were told they can expect tighter isolation orders.

The State Department said a sanitization of the premises was being carried out to “prevent further outbreak.”

Afghanistan has 28,424 confirmed coronavirus cases. International aid organizations monitoring the pandemic’s spread in the country say the numbers are much higher because of a lack of testing capabilities as well as access to testing.

Observers also fear the highly contagious coronavirus has spread throughout the country with the return of nearly 300,000 Afghans from Iran, the hardest hit country in the region. Iran has recorded more than 200,000 cases and 9,392 deaths.

Few of the Afghans who returned from Iran were tested before they fanned out across the country to their homes.

Earlier this month, the International Rescue Committee warned Afghanistan was on the brink of a humanitarian disaster mostly because the government does not have the capacity to even test 80% of coronavirus cases.

A handful of NATO troops have also tested positive for the infection. State

___

Lee reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Kathy Gannon in Islamabad contributed to this report

Chinese officials call for improved ties with US

Chinese officials call for improved ties with US

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

U.S. seeks role as China, India face off at border

Quiz: Name the famous inventors of these revolutionary products

Rod Rosenstein says he was led to believe the Carter Page FISA applications were accurate

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Antifa planned anti-government insurgency for months, law enforcement official says

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Scott Walker

Black lives matter: Reform law enforcement but also defund Planned Parenthood

Ralph Z. Hallow

All the nonsense that fits, The New York Times prints

Andrew P. Napolitano

Don’t go to work, don’t go to church and don’t gather, unless the government approves

View all

Question of the Day

Should Confederate names be taken off U.S. military bases?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By The Associated Press

Associated Press

Thursday, June 11, 2020

BEIJING (AP) – Beijing will honor its trade deal with the U.S. and wants to see better ties with Washington, senior Chinese officials said Thursday.

Zhu Guangyao, a former finance minister and Cabinet advisor, said the two countries should “waste no time” in improving relations to help better coordinate a response to the coronavirus pandemic.

He and other officials told reporters in Beijing that the two biggest economies are so closely entwined that they must find a way to work together because a lack of cooperation has come at a “high price.”

TOP STORIES

Seattle's 'autonomous zone' is 'Mad Max' movie mayhem come alive

'Bigger than life': George Floyd known for big heart, good works, struggles with drugs, crime

Tom Arnold: Liberals should 'borrow our dad's hunting rifles' and confront Trump's 'misfit tools'

“The close connection between the Chinese and U.S. economies is the result of four decades of hard work on both sides, and that is also the reflection of the wishes of consumers in China and the United States,” Zhu said.

“Such interdependence will not disappear simply because some people clamor for ‘decoupling.’”

Zhu said relations with the U.S. were “far from satisfactory” with communications at a “standstill.”

“We hope through communications we can enhance our cooperation and mutual trust,” he said.

Tensions have flared over Beijing’s handling of the new coronavirus that first surfaced in central China late last year and over the recent passage of legislation requiring the semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong to implement a national security law.

The law has added to worries that the former British colony is losing the special status Beijing promised it when it took control in 1997.

President Donald Trump’s administration reacted to the move by announcing that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous and will be stripped of its preferential trade and commercial status.

The officials insisted China is following through on promises to by buy more U.S. products and other commitments.

Progress on an interim trade agreement that has helped smooth friction over trade and technology remains unclear, partly because of disruptions brought on by lockdowns to contain the pandemic.

“Objectively speaking, the epidemic has had an impact on the implementation of this agreement, but in this kind of situation, China emphasizes that we should work hard together to ensure the implementation of the Phase 1

agreement,” Zhu said.

The officials said Beijing was well equipped to overcome the economic ills worsened by the pandemic, with ample room for both monetary and fiscal policies.

Like the U.S., China has a huge domestic market that is still relatively undeveloped, with massive untapped demand, said Tang Min, an economist and State Council adviser.

Although data for May were dismal, they reflected orders cancelled at the height of the pandemic in many countries. And many Chinese consumers have been piling up savings while they stayed home during and after quarantine lockdowns.

“In June or July we’ll see an improvement, in particular the recovery of the domestic market in the latter half of the year, and the Chinese economy will have a very strong rebound,” Tang said.

RICK ROSS – Apple Of My Eye lyrics

Just being somebody that the neighborhood respected
And my mama could be proud of, was the apple of my eye
That’s all I ever wanted, just to being something man
At that point what else can you ask for?

Tears running out of a nigga face
In a room full of failures I feel out of place
Still sleeping on the floor when you deserve better
Got you reeking through the cold even in warm weather
I told Meek I wouldn’t trust Nicki, instead of beefing with your dog you just give him some distance
We all make mistakes, lets not be to specific
You rather be a killer than be statistic
An never fold no I never ran
On my soul I’ll roll like an avalanche
I thank the lord I got some great friends
That’s why every bottle I open I say amen
Just had seizure at the Super Bowl
Woke up in the third quarter looking for the smoke
If its more then a quarter million, Ill count it twice
Poochie broke my heart shit I call it life
An never will I call it rite
Not perfect but I’m the one you would call at night
Traveling the world, I’m just reppin’ my city
But rarely do I hear that this nigga done did it
When niggas in fatigues will keep you intrigued
Cause the loss of lifes the only thing that niggas believe
So I pray you listen carefully
Then I become another muthafuckin’ casualty

Always speak and say right
I just never ever walk on by
(never ever walk on by)
You even stop and put one in the sky
(the sky)
You do it for the love of you and I
(for the love of you and..)

Standin’ on your block but you so out of place
Uncle on the couch, momma running out of space
Lights off so you never tend to speak much
Go your separate ways every time the lease up
A fat ugly nigga thought I’d never be nothing
Another tree stump, happy with his free lunch
Duckin’ pigeons, I’m an eagle on a sunny day
Flap my wings once a week, pray I glide safe
I want fried chicken at my funeral
Rolls Royces, dope boys, Sway interviews
Everybody dying for the same things
Cop kill a nigga don’t nobody gangbang
I’m happy Donald Trump became the president
Because we gotta destroy, before we elevate
Real shit, look at me inside the white house
With a pocket full of weed inside the white house
Dead presidents tattooed on a nigga chest
U.S. treasury addressing me, mad at my address
Own the biggest residential pool is the US
Drake and Kanye can invite every bitch they ever met
Finger fuckin’ bitches in the holy water
Then I go an tell what happened to my only daughter
So her daddy told it to her firsthand
Never perfect but its not just bout them purses

Always speak and say right
I just never ever walk on by
(never ever walk on by)
You even stop and put one in the sky
(the sky)
You do it for the love of you and I
(yeah)

The streets could never teach me
All the things I got from you
I found myself in the wrong lane
And I ended up in pain (Pain)
I was strolling down a dark street
When this girl passed me by
She said you’ve always been a good friend
(Always been a good friend)
And you never never never let me down
I’ll just fall back never turn back
Let it go let it go
I’ll just fall back never turn back
Let it go let it go

Always speak and say right
I just never ever walk on by
(never ever walk on by)
You even stop and put one in the sky
(the sky)
You do it for the love of you and I
(for the love of you and I)

Pink Guy – Dog Festival Directions (Pink Season Album)

[Verse]
If you want to eat some dog
I have good news
There’s an annual dog festival
Where you can eat all the dog you want
And it’s located in Yulin Guangxi China
And the festival spans about ten days
With 15 thousand dogs consumed
And it goes from the 21st to the 30th of June
I just wanna let you know
I’m just tryna’ be a bro
So you first take a flight to Guangzhou China
Once you get off at that airport
You wanna ask around for the Guangxi provincial bus
And it costs 20 US dollars
And it’s a four and a half hour ride
And you get off at Maoming West
Just remember Maoming West
Now you might have to stay there a full night
Depending on the time you arrive
Because the next bus that goes to Yulin only runs like once a day
And you have to buy another ticket
It’s about another 22 bucks
But from there it goes straight to Yulin
Soon enough you’ll be eating some dog
Now there are about 8 available hotels in Yulin
I’m checking online now
I suggest the Yulin Lijing International Hotel
Offering a sauna, fitness center
Wow it’s not too bad at all
Nevermind, it’s 50 bucks a night
But with free complementary breakfast
And a free cancelation fee
So it’s not a bad as I thought
When you’re ready the concierge will know exactly which festival you’re talking about
And he or she will give you directions
So take a cab
But don’t get ripped off
If you’re white they’ll charge you double
I shit you not
I shit you not
But anyways enjoy your flight
Goodbye
Enjoy the dog festival

Run DMC – Jam-Master Jay (Run-Dmc Deluxe Reissue Album)

Kick off shoes, jump on the jock
Listen to the Jam Master as he starts to rock
His name is Jay and he’s on his way
To be the best DJ in the US of A

J-a-y are the letters of his name
Cutting and scratching are the aspects of his game
So check out the Master as he cuts these jams
And look at us with the mics in our hands
Then take a count, 1 2 3
Jam Master Jay, Run-D.M.C

He’s Jam Master Jay, the big beat blaster
He gets better cause he knows he has to
In ’84 he’ll be a little faster
And only practice makes a real Jam Master

We’re live as can be but we’re not singing the blues
We got to tell all y’all the good news
The good news is that there is a crew
Not 5, not 4, not 3, just 2
2 MC’s who are claiming the fame
And all other things won’t be the same
Beacause it’s about time for a brand new group
Run-D.M.C. to put you up on the scoop
We make the fly girls scream in ecstacy
We rock the freshest rhymes at a party
We put all the fellas in a daze
It’s everyone that we amaze
And we got the master of a disco scratch
There’s not a break that he can’t catch
Jam Master Jay that is his name
And all wild DJ’s he will tame
Behind the turntables is where he stands
Then there is the movement of his hands
So when asked who’s the best, y’all should say:
"Run-D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay"

Jam Master Jay is the one in charge
It’s up to him to rock beats that are truly large
He is the master of the scratch and cut
So move your arms, so move your legs
So won’t you move your butt

We’re not talking ground, we’re not talking sky
We’re not talking low, we’re not talking high
We’re not talking big, we’re not talking small
We want all of the people on off the wall
We’re not talking night, we’re not talking day
But we’re talking bout Jam Master Jay

De La Soul – Memory Of… (US) (feat. Estelle & Pete Rock)

[Hook: Estelle]
And it’s so easy to fall back to the memory of
And it’s easy to recall the good and fall into place
But you’re not easy to love
I love the memory of…
I remember your face, I remember your way

[Verse 1: Estelle]
I remember you now
Part of my existence
I remember your face
You came in and got me
All in a day
Yeah, all in a day
I remember your lips
Do you remember the taste?
Remember family names
Your child, my child, our child
Whitney and Dwayne
Different to my world now
Remember the way
You gripped my hips so tight now?
Slow up the pace
Maybe erase, don’t remember my words

[Hook: Estelle]
Cause it’s so easy to fall back to the memory of
And it’s easy to recall the good and fall into place
But you’re not easy to love
I love the memory of…
I remember your face, I remember your way

[Verse 2: Posdnuos]
How could I forget?
A ballad was born upon a demo of a fly love song
Didn’t take long before the archer with the wings heard it
Shot us in the heart with a contract, he knew we were a hit
The right amount of soul with a parallel amount of grit
But the archer couldn’t see the target of departure
Gave in your pink slip and called it quits
It’s understood you would
Label me a mate who wronged you
Cause I kept wanting to feature
With them other females on they songs too
Your words spoken in mono for monogamy
Telling me I had to go cause I chose
Stereo for stereotypical male biology
And now I’m left setting traps
For you to fall in for me again
Who hates you to tell me
"Slow up the pace, maybe erase, don’t…"

[Bridge: Estelle]
Slow up the pace
Maybe erase, don’t remember my words

[Hook: Estelle]
Cause it’s so easy to fall back to the memory of
And it’s easy to recall the good and fall into place
But you’re not easy to love
I love the memory of…

[Verse 3: Dave]
Our last trip to Vegas had me feeling like we had a chance
But chance just showed up at the wedding
I guess I didn’t read the heading
"Forgive and won’t erase the bitter past"
But I ain’t up for kissing ass
I bought you everything your pretty feet could fit in
Put you behind the finest steering wheels
Fearing you would drive a nigga crazy
Told you grow up, but shit, you was my baby
Bits and pieces never made nothing decent
When I accommodated you, you played me like a stranger

[Bridge: Estelle]
I remember you now (Accountability is major)
A part of what I did then
Remember your face
Just don’t let me trip over memory lane
Cause time can’t be replaced
And I don’t want to stay

[Hook: Estelle]
Cause, oh, it’s so easy to fall back to the memory of
And it’s so dah-dah-dee-dah
Dah-dah-dah-dah-dee-dah
It’s so easy to fall
In dah-dah-dah-dah-dee-dah
Remember your way
Remember your way

[Adlib: Posdnuos]
It’s De La featuring Estelle
With the Soul Brother Pete Rock

Popcaan – New Level

[Intro]
New level
Why?!
New level
You know…

[Verse 1]
Mmmmm
You nuh haffi be my friend
Me nuh haffi be your friend
You nah buy me food
You nah take care of mi kids them
Me know them a pussy from long time
So, me nuh too believe inna mankind
Mi future brighter than sunshine
Plus mi granny tell me this one time
[Chorus]
Say..
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
A dem turn Tony inna Rebel (you know, you know)
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
Woii yoii

[Verse 2]
Some of them too easy fi switch, a mussi Digicel Play
Them have a bag of man a press up and play them
Do anything from another man pay them
Only mi press up a mi Matic and ‘K them

[Hook]
Prepare fi the fight when you gone pon a new height
Nooo
Because them nuh waan you fi “do it” like a new Nike
My style is….fat pussy gyal inna drop top, Rayce
My nine is….always there anytime when a road time
Notnice… (you know, you know, you know)

[Chorus]
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
A dem turn Tony inna Rebel
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
New level, new devil

[Verse 3]
Jamaica
New money, no problem
Money we a use solve them
Some bwoy make money put dem a friend inna problem
Watch your things like King Alarm them
Them a chat me, but a gyal me a chat ’bout
Pounds and US, Euros me nuh stop count
The gyal them pretty like the money weh inna mi account
Real thugs mi nuh forgot ’bout

[Hook]
Prepare fi the fight when you gone pon a new height
Man a god inna earth, god inna real life, real life
Work hard fi di glory, mi do wha’ mi feel like, feel like!
If you try stop mi food you will dead inna real life
You know, you know, you know
Mmm hmmm

[Chorus]
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
A dem turn Tony inna Rebel (you know)
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
New level, new devil
Woii yoii

[Interlude]
New level
Why?!
New level

[Hook]
Prepare fi the fight when you gone pon a new height
Nooo
Man a god inna earth, god inna real life
Work hard fi di glory, mi do wha’ mi feel like
If you try stop mi food you will dead inna real life
You know, you know, you know
Mmm hmmm

[Outro]
New level, new devil (you know, you know, you know)
New level, new devil
You know, you know, you know (4x)

You know, you know, you know…