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Trump, Abe discuss military ties, denuclearization of Korean Peninsula

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Trump and Abe hail US-Japan alliance

New York, Sep 24 : US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held  talks on the sidelines of the UN General assembly and both the leaders  discussed trade ,military ties and denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

Abe is  in New York this week for the U.N. General Assembly session and said he had a “very constructive” dinner meeting with President Trump at Trump Tower, where the leaders discussed trade and military ties.

Both the leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

“We had a very constructive discussion on trade and investment between Japan and the United States.”

“Prime Minister @AbeShinzo is coming up to Trump Tower for dinner but, most importantly, he just had a great landslide victory in Japan. I will congratulate him on behalf of the American people!” Trump tweeted earlier Sunday.

Abe added that Trump and he also had constructive talks on trade relations between Japan and the US.

Later, the Japanese Prime Minister tweeted that his dinner with Trump lasted longer than he expected, and allowed them to have frank and constructive conversations in a relaxed environment.

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67 killed, 126 injured in polling day violence in Afghanistan

The 193 attacks against security forces and polling centres began at around 7 a.m and continued until at least 6 p.m, Deputy Interior Minister Akhtar Mohammad Ibrahimi told a press conference, reports Efe.

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Afghanistan Polls Day Attack
Picture Credit : Swadaya Srikandi @swadayasrikandi

Kabul, Oct 21 (IANS) At least 67 people were killed — 27 civilians, nine members of security forces and 31 insurgents — and 126 injured in 193 attacks carried out throughout Afghanistan by the Taliban, who had threatened to target Saturday’s parliamentary elections, which were held three years late.

The 193 attacks against security forces and polling centres began at around 7 a.m and continued until at least 6 p.m, Deputy Interior Minister Akhtar Mohammad Ibrahimi told a press conference, reports Efe.

The attacks include a suicide blast in Kabul, 76 raids against polling centres throughout the country, a dozen explosions near those polling centres, as well as armed fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security forces.

As a result of these attacks, 27 civilians were killed and close to 100 were wounded, while at least nine members of the security forces died and 25 were injured, Ibrahimi said.

In addition, 31 Taliban insurgents were killed and 18 were arrested, he said.

According to the Deputy Interior Minister, the number of attacks on Saturday represent half of those that took place in 2014 during the presidential elections.

Despite the violence, presidential spokesman Haroon Chakhansori described the elections as a “success” and a “defeat for terrorists”.

According to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior, authorities deployed 70,000 soldiers and police officers to provide security during Saturday’s election.

The Taliban warned Afghans that they would target all polling booths and urged people against voting.

“Enemy’s polling stations all over the country are under attack by Mujahideen, countrymen must refrain from taking part in this fake process to save their lives and not to become a tool for the implementation of the evil plans of the enemy,” Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement.

Another Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi claimed that 400 attacks were carried out, in which “dozens of soldiers and police were killed or injured,” adding that “the elections failed”.

The elections were initially planned to take place in 2015, but were delayed for three years due to security challenges and political and economic instability.

These elections have been seen as a test regarding the state of Afghanistan’s fragile democracy, as well as a trial ahead of the presidential elections set to take place in April 2019.

This was the first time that the Afghan government was responsible for security during an election since NATO ended its combat operations in the country in 2014.

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Kasatkina wins Kremlin Cup title, ends Jabeur’s historic run

Kasatkina’s victory also means she will head to the WTA Finals in Singapore after overtaking Aryna Sabalenka as the first alternate.

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Picture Credit Twitter : @DKasatkina

Moscow, Oct 20 : Daria Kasatkina of Russia won the Kremlin Cup title on Saturday, prevailing over Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 and ending Jabeur’s historic run in which she became her country’s first-ever WTA finalist.

Kasatkina, World No. 14 and her country’s highest-ranked player, needed a little over two hours to claim her second WTA trophy and her first on home soil, having lost to Germany’s Julia Gorges in straight sets in the 2017 championship match, reports Efe.

But Saturday’s match looked to be headed in a similar direction as her 24-year-old Tunisian opponent, ranked world No. 101, easily came out on top in the opening set and took a 4-1 lead in the second.

However Kasatkina staged a comeback, and two extremely long breaks in a row sent them into the tie-breaker, which the 22-year-old Russian won.

After a tough third set, Kasatkina outlasted Jabeur and won the Premier-level trophy, becoming one of the few Russian players to do so, alongside Anastasia Myskina (2003-2004), Anna Chakvetadze (2006), Elena Dementieva (2007), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (2014) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (2015-2016), according to the WTA.

Kasatkina’s victory also means she will head to the WTA Finals in Singapore after overtaking Aryna Sabalenka as the first alternate.

IANS

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Second Brexit referendum: Over half a million people march in London

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London, Oct 20 : Over half a million people marched through central London on Saturday calling for a second, final vote on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, protest organizers announced.

Demonstrators assembled at London’s Park Lane before marching en masse towards Parliament Square in a show of force that hoped to bring about a so-called People’s Vote, essentially a second referendum on whether to go ahead with Brexit once a final deal has been drafted, the BBC reported.

Organizers at the People’s Vote HQ said more than 570,000 people had descended on central London, with many coming from across the nation to vent their frustration with the Brexit process. Scotland Yard said it was not able to estimate the size of the crowd.

Several well-known British personalities have endorsed the People’s Vote initiative, as have politicians from across the political spectrum, including London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Khan, who started the march, was among those to speak at Parliament Square, along with representatives from the main political parties.

“What’s clear is that the only options on the table now from the Prime Minister are a bad Brexit deal, or no deal whatsoever. That’s a million miles away from what was promised two-and-a-half years ago,” he said.

Labour’s Lord Adonis, a campaigner for People’s Vote, said: “Brexit’s becoming a dog’s dinner. This week’s fresh chaos and confusion over Brexit negotiations has exposed how even the best deal now available will be a bad one for Britain.”

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon sent a message of support to the rally, saying the Scottish National Party would support a vote that would give the option of staying in the EU.

Richard Tice, founder of Leave Means Leave and former co-chair of Leave.EU, said: “The idea that you should have a second referendum would be incredibly damaging, most of all to the trust in democracy from people up and down this country.”

The protest came at a time when Brexit negotiations were deadlocked over how to maintain a soft border between the Republic of Ireland, an EU member state, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, once Britain is no longer part of the EU’s single market.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, who leads the minority Conservative Party government, had dismissed the possibility of staging a referendum on the terms and conditions of Brexit.

The UK narrowly voted to leave the EU in a referendum in June 2016. The country is on track to leave in March 2019, with or without a deal.

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