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New York officials call suspicious packages terrorism

“This was clearly an act of terror attempting to undermine the free press and leaders of this country through acts of violence,” De Blasio said, adding “We’ve seen worse. And we will not be intimidated.”

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New York, Oct 25 : New York authorities are calling the sending of a pipe bomb to CNN headquarters in Manhattan’s Time Warner building an act of terrorism, although they ruled out any “specific threats” in the city.

At a joint press conference with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, state Governor Andrew Cuomo and security personnel, Cuomo said that given the profile of the incidents that have occurred in recent hours it “we wouldn’t be surprised” if more such devices turned up, Efe reported.

“Terrorism only works if you let it work. What they are trying to do is scare us and destabilize us. We will not allow that to happen. We will not allow these terrorist thugs to change the way we live our lives,” the governor said.

“This was clearly an act of terror attempting to undermine the free press and leaders of this country through acts of violence,” De Blasio said, adding “We’ve seen worse. And we will not be intimidated.”

Both the mayor and the governor said that there are no credible or specific threats against the city, but they emphasized that they will reinforce security at key media locations and other important sites.

New York police chief James O’Neill said that the package found in the Time Warner building apparently contained a “live explosive device” and an envelope containing “white powder,” and both are being investigated.

Authorities said that this and other devices sent to former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama and Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz were homemade bombs.

John Miller, the deputy New York police commissioner for counter-terrorism, said that “It appears that an individual or individuals sent out multiple similar packages,” including one received at the New York-suburb residence of magnate George Soros, a bomb that he said was “proactively detonated” and sent to the FBI laboratory.

The US Secret Service on Wednesday denied a media report indicating it had intercepted a suspicious package addressed to the White House.

CNN had reported earlier, citing a law enforcement official, that a package addressed to the presidential mansion in Washington DC and apparently containing a pipe bomb had been intercepted at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington.

That report came after the US Secret Service said in a statement that it had recovered one package addressed to Hillary Clinton in Westchester County late Tuesday and another addressed to Obama’s residence in Washington.

The White House issued a statement condemning the attempted attacks on key Democratic Party figures and their supporters.

“We condemn the attempted violent attacks recently made against President Obama, President Clinton, Secretary Clinton and other public figures. These terrorizing acts are despicable, and anyone responsible will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” President Donald Trump’s administration said.

America

US unemployment rate falls to 50-year low

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The U.S. unemployment rate fell in September to a new five-decade low of 3.5%, while employers added a modest 136,000 jobs.

The Labor Department says that despite the ultra-low unemployment rate, which was down from 3.7% in August, average hourly wages slipped by a penny. Hourly pay rose just 2.9% from a year earlier, lower than 3.4% at the beginning of the year.

Hiring has slowed this year as the U.S.-China trade war has intensified, global growth has slowed, and businesses have cut back on their investment spending. Still, hiring has averaged 157,000 in the past three months, enough to lower the unemployment rate over time.

The unemployment rate for Latinos fell to 3.9%, the lowest on records dating from 1973.

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America

Trump embarrassed by TV channel

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

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New York, Sep 26 : US President Donald Trump was subjected to an embarrassment when the MSNBC news channel cut away from his press conference while he was speaking on the controversy surrounding him over the Ukrainian probe against former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump on Wednesday was addressing the press conference against the backdrop of impeachment proceedings announced against him by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following allegations that he put pressure on the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to order a probe against Biden whose family has business interests there.

The allegation against Trump came to light because of a whistleblower and a transcript of the conversation between him and Zelensky in July, which has become public.

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

She added that Trump was trying to do it to deflect the attention from his impeachment.

According to the transcript of the telephonic conversation that has gone public, Trump is heard asking Zelensky to “do us a favour”, after the latter expresses gratitude for the military aid the US provided to his country.

Trump’s words of “do us a favour” is seen as a quid pro quo for the American military aid, because of which the impeachment proceedings have been announced.

After Wallace cut the press conference, her guest on the programme, justice and security analyst Matthew Miller, rebuked Trump for saying that Biden and his son had done wrong.

“This story has been looked at and thoroughly debunked by everyone involved,” Miller said, adding the real issue was whether Trump’s conduct is “impeachable”.

Trump is facing problem at a time when he is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

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Kim Jong-un receives ‘excellent’ letter from Trump

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Pyongyang, June 23 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has received a personal letter with “excellent” and “interesting” content from US President Donald Trump, Pyongyang’s state media said on Sunday.

“After reading the letter, the Supreme Leader of the Party, the state and the armed forces said with satisfaction that the letter is of excellent content,” the Korean Central News Agency said, referring to its leader.

“Appreciating the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump, Kim Jong-un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content,” it added.

The KCNA did not disclose when and how the letter was delivered to Kim, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The letter appears to be in response to the one Kim sent to Trump recently in time for the anniversary of their first-ever summit in Singapore last June.

Trump had described Kim’s letter as “beautiful” and “very warm”. He also emphasized that the relationship between them remains strong and that “something will happen that’s going to be very positive”.

The exchange of correspondence between the leaders renewed hopes for a resumption of denuclearization talks which have stalled since the breakdown of their second summit in February.

The summit collapsed as Pyongyang wanted sanctions relief as a corresponding measure in exchange for dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear complex, while Washington insisted that sanctions should remain in place until the North completely gives up its nuclear weapons programme.

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