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Germany wants to strengthen multilateralism with China: Merkel

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said her country wants to strengthen multilateralism with China and she is looking forward to her visit to China next week.

Merkel will visit China next Thursday and Friday at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. It will be her first trip to China after re-election and the 11th as the German chancellor, Xinhua news agency reported.

Merkel said in a podcast published on Saturday that as Germany and China have agreed on regular political dialogue and intergovernmental consultations, she went to China to conduct these talks on average once a year.

Germany and China have carried out very close cooperation within G20, Merkel said, adding that during her upcoming visit the two sides will talk about bilateral relations, rule of law, China’s development, economy and other international affairs.

“We want to strengthen multilateralism. And that will play a role in our discussion,” said Merkel.

Merkel will also visit Shenzhen, an economic hub in China’s southern Guangdong Province.

“I am glad that I’m going to Shenzhen this time as well. I have regularly visited provinces in China, not just the capital. I am again and again aware of the dynamics and the extent to which China is developing,” Merkel said.

The German Chancellor said she was very interested in visiting Shenzhen where China’s economic opening-up began and where there are many German companies.

America

Trump declares North Korea ‘extraordinary threat’

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Washington, June 23 : US President Donald Trump cited an “unusual and extraordinary threat” to American national security as he maintained long-standing economic restrictions on North Korea, including the freezing of any assets in Washington, a media report said.

An official declaration, contained in a notice to Congress, came on Friday despite Trump’s assertion this month that his June 12 historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons threat, reports The Washington Post.

Harsh economic restrictions will continue for one year under the declaration Trump signed Friday.

The paperwork keeps in place restrictions first imposed a decade ago by President George W. Bush.

The ban on the transfer of any American assets by North Korea’s leaders or its ruling party has been extended or expanded several times by former President Barack Obama and Trump himself in response to North Korean missile tests and other actions.

“The existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula (and the actions and policies of the government of North Korea… Continue to constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the US,” Trump wrote in the declaration.

Friday’s development comes in contrast to a tweet on June 13 where Trump said: “Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office… There is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.”

The move follows as the US and South Korea cancelled two more training exercises on Friday, reports the BBC.

The Pentagon said the goal was to support diplomatic negotiations.

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UN condemns harassment of Russian women at World Cup

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FIFA World cup

Rio De Janeiro, June 23: The UN Women’s office here has released videos condemning sexual harassment of Russian women by Brazilian men at the ongoing FIFA World Cup.

“It is unacceptable the deliberate intention of some Brazilian fans to sexually harass women during the World Cup, using embarrassment, deception, and thus violating the human rights of women,” said the agency on Friday.

The videos shared by Brazilian men on social network sites showed Brazilian men harassing a Russian journalist trying to work.

In another, they approached a Russian woman and convinced her to repeat some words in Portuguese. Not knowing what she is saying, the woman repeats several expressions with strong sexual and racist connotations.

The videos have caused uproar and raised much criticism in Brazil and abroad. The men have since been identified, however, no official measures could be taken against them, Xinhua news agency reported.

“With low slang words, they reduced women to sexual objects in the demonstration of how misogyny, which even underlies the culture of rape, takes different forms and has no borders, occurring in an event that aims to promote the integration of peoples and feelings of union for sport.

“To Russian women and women of all nationalities, UN Women Brazil expresses its solidarity,” the agency added.

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Trump hosts victims of undocumented migrants

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Washington, June 23 : US President Donald Trump has hosted the relatives of victims killed by illegal immigrants amid outrage over the separation of migrant families.Trump has defended his hardline stance on immigration by hosting an event with relatives of people killed by what the president called “illegal alien crime” and contrasting the families who had been “permanently” separated from their loved ones with those currently languishing on the US border .

“Your loved ones have not died in vain,” he told the group of so-called Angel Families at the White House on Friday, BBC reported.

Trump has faced global condemnation for the US immigration policy that has seen more than 2,000 migrant children stripped from their families.

He bowed to public pressure and reversed the policy earlier this week.

The president signed an executive order on Wednesday to end the separate detention of undocumented immigrant children from their parents after illegally entering the country.

As part of the the administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy, which seeks to criminally charge and jail undocumented border crossers, children cannot legally be held with their parents. They have instead been kept in separate facilities.

“These are the American citizens permanently separated from their loved ones,” he said on Friday, before introducing family members of victims.

“I cannot imagine it being any worse, but we promise to act with strength and resolve.

“We’ll not rest until our border is secure, our citizens are safe and we end this immigration crisis once and for all,” Trump added.

Laura Wilkerson, whose son was killed in 2010 by an undocumented immigrant, told audience members: “None of our kids had a minute to say goodbye. We weren’t lucky enough to be separated for five days or 10 days.

“We were separated permanently.”

Approximately 2,300 children have been removed from their families since Mr Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy began in May, and housed in detention centres run by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Some shelters, including three in Texas, house so-called “tender age” children, who are under five years old.

About 500 children have been reunited with their families since May, a Homeland Security official said on Thursday. But it is unclear how the remaining families affected will be reunited.

Images of children in metal cages, and audio of young migrants crying out for their parents sparked protests and drew international condemnation from world leaders and organisations.

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