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British Parliament to debate Trump’s visit after 1.7 mn sign petition

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London, Feb 1, 2017: Britain’s Parliament on Tuesday said it would debate whether to revoke US President Donald Trump’s invitation to a State visit after a petition calling for it to be cancelled garnered almost 1.7 million signatures.

The debate was scheduled to take place on February 20, after the petition, created by Briton Graham Guest, received almost seventeen times the number of signatures it needed to qualify as a topic for parliamentary consideration, Efe news reported.

“Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the UK in his capacity as head of the US Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen,” said the petition statement, referring to Elizabeth II.

The petition was launched in response to Trump’s controversial executive order to withhold US visas from the citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations.

Another petition in favour of Trump’s State visit also surpassed 100,000 signatories.

British Prime Minister Theresa May invited the newly-appointed US president to visit Britain following a visit to the White House.

She was the first foreign leader to visit Trump since he took office on January 20.

IANS

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6,700 Rohingya Muslims killed in Myanmar: Report

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Nay Pyi Taw, Dec 14: International humanitarian non profit Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) on Thursday announced that at least 6,700 Rohingya were died after violence broke out in Myanmar’s Rakhine state late August.

On the basis of surveys in Bangladesh, the score is much higher than Myanmar’s official figure of 400, news agency IANS quoted citing the BBC report.

“In the most conservative estimations” at least 6,700 of those deaths have been caused by violence, including at least 730 children under the age of five, MSF asserted in a reports.

MSF which is also known as Doctors Without Borders, stated it was “the clearest indication yet of the widespread violence” by Myanmar authorities.

“What we uncovered was staggering, both in terms of the numbers of people who reported a family member died as a result of violence, and the horrific ways in which they said they were killed or severely injured,” MSF Medical Director Sidney Wong stated.

Among the deceased kids below the age of five, MSF said over 59 per cent were reportedly shot, 15 per cent burnt to death, 7 per cent beaten to death and 2 per cent killed by landmine blasts.

More than 647,000 Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh after military crackdown began on August 25 following Rohingya Arsa militants attack on more than 30 police posts, news agency IANS quoted citing the BBC reported.

After an internal probe, the Myanmar Army last month exonerated itself of any blame regarding the crisis.

It refused killing any civilians, burning their villages, raping women and girls, and stealing possessions.

The Muslim-majority community are denied citizenship by Myanmar, where they are identified as immigrants from Bangladesh. The authorities does not use the term Rohingya but calls them Bengali Muslims.

“The numbers of deaths are likely to be an underestimation as we have not surveyed all refugee settlements in Bangladesh and because the surveys don’t account for the families who never made it out of Myanmar,” Wong further added.

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Donald Trump’s top African-American adviser steps down

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Omarosa Manigault Newman

Washington, Dec 14: The highest-profile African-American adviser to US President Donald Trump, Omarosa Manigault Newman, will resign on January 20, the White House Press Secretary has said.

“Omarosa Manigault Newman resigned yesterday (Tuesday) to pursue other opportunities,” Sarah Sanders said in a brief statement on Wednesday, Efe news reported.

“Her departure will not be effective until January 20, 2018. We wish her the best in future endeavors and are grateful for her service.”

Manigault had served the Trump administration as communications director for the White House Public Liaison Office.

Her exit — part of an expected round of departures as Trump’s first year in office draws to a close- follows last week’s announcement that his deputy national security adviser for strategy, Dina Powell, plans to resign early next year.

Powell, however, will continue to have a role in Middle East diplomacy.

Manigault, who became a recognizable face on TV reality programs in the US, was a contestant on the Trump-hosted NBC show “The Apprentice” in 2004.

In 2008, she was a contestant on the sequel to that series, “The Celebrity Apprentice,” also hosted by Trump.

Manigault, 43, was an active member of Trump’s team during the campaign and later served on the presidential transition team’s executive committee.

IANS

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US ready for North Korea talks without preconditions, says Tillerson

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Washington, Dec 13: The US is ready to open nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea, without preconditions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said.

“Let’s just meet and let’s talk about the weather if you want,” he said on Tuesday at a policy forum in Washington, BBC reported.

His statement appeared to shift the US position away from previous demands that North Korea must first disarm.

North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons technology has led to heavy US-led sanctions against the regime.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Tillerson insisted that the economic and diplomatic sanctions would continue until “the first bomb drops”.

Diplomatic relations between the two nations have been strained by recent North Korean missile tests, and by a war of words between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.

Speaking at the Atlantic Council policy forum, Tillerson said that the US “simply cannot accept a nuclear armed North Korea”.

But appearing to soften the US stance to talks, he said: “Let’s just meet and let’s talk about the weather if you want and talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table if that’s what you’re excited about.

“Then we can begin to lay out a map, a road map, of what we might be willing to work towards.”

Tillerson also said that China had made contingency plans to accommodate North Korean refugees in the event of a conflict.

IANS

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