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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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‘I can’t breathe’, Khashoggi’s last words

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journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Washington, Dec 10: “I can’t breathe,” were the last words uttered by Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi before he was killed by a Saudi hit squad at the country’s consulate in Istanbul in October, a CNN report said.

An informed source, who has read a translated transcript of an audio recording of the journalist’s painful last moments, told CNN on Sunday it was clear that the killing on October 2 was no botched rendition attempt, but the execution of a premeditated plan to murder Khashoggi.

The transcript begins at the moment Khashoggi enters the Saudi consulate in a quiet residential district of Istanbul at lunchtime on October 2.

Khashoggi thought he had made a routine appointment to pick up papers that would allow him to marry his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, but he soon found out that something was wrong when he recognised one of the men who meets him.

According to CNN’s source, a voice identified in the transcript as Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a former Saudi diplomat and intelligence official working for Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, and known to Khashoggi from their time together at the Saudi Embassy in London, addresses him.

“You are coming back,” the man says.

“You can’t do that,” Khashoggi replies. “People are waiting outside.”

Without any further dialogue, according to the source, the transcript indicates that several people set upon Khashoggi.

Noises follow and very quickly Khashoggi is fighting for air.

“I can’t breathe,” Khashoggi says. “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.”

The transcript notes the sounds of the journalist’s body then being dismembered by a saw, as the alleged perpetrators were advised to listen to music to block out the sound.

However, it does not specify the exact moment of Khashoggi’s death.

According to the source, the transcript notes that at least three phone calls were placed by Mutreb and according to Turkish officials, the calls were made to senior figures in Riyadh.

The original transcript of the audio was prepared by Turkish intelligence services but they have not revealed how they obtained the audio.

In response to the development, a Saudi official told CNN: “The relevant Saudi security officials have reviewed the transcript and tape materials through Turkish security channels and nowhere in them is there any reference or indication of a call being made.

“If there is additional information Turkish authorities have that we are unaware of, we would welcome it being officially handed over to us for review.”

The official did not address the transcript’s characterisation of the scene inside the Saudi consulate, nor Khashoggi’s last words.

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Twitter CEO under fire for Myanmar tweets

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Pic Credit : OrissaPOST

San Francisco, Dec 9 : Twitter’s chief executive Jack Dorsey, who faces a lawsuit for hurting Hindu sentiments during his visit to India in November, now faces criticism for promoting Myanmar as a tourist destination despite widespread allegations of human rights abuses in the country.

In a series of tweets, Dorsey said he had travelled to northern Myanmar in November for a meditation retreat.

“The people are full of joy and the food is amazing,” he said, before encouraging his four million followers to visit.

This led to widespread criticism of the Twitter chief, some accused him of ignoring the plight of the Muslim Rohingya minority.

In 2017, Myanmar’s military launched a violent crackdown after Rohingya militants carried out attacks on several police posts. Thousands of people were killed, and human rights organisations said the army has burned land and committed arbitrary killings and rape.

“Writing what is effectively a free tourism advert for them at this time is reprehensible,” one Twitter user wrote in response to Dorsey’s tweets.

“The tone-deafness here is… wow,” another user said. “This is an extremely irresponsible recommendation,” yet another reads. “Does he pay no attention to the news and the outcry on his own platform?”

The military crackdown had also sparked an exodus of more than 700,000 Rohingyas who have since fled to neighbouring Bangladesh to escape the violence and the destruction of their homes.

The UN has described the operation as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” and says senior Myanmar officials should be investigated and tried for genocide.

Mohammed Jamjoom, an Al Jazeera correspondent, who has interviewed Rohingya refugees, said he was left “utterly speechless” by Dorsey’s tweets.

Dorsey is yet to respond to the criticism, but earlier said he would track the responses to his tweets.

A court in Rajasthan on December 1, asked the police to file a First Information Report against Dorsey for hurting the sentiments of the Brahmin community by posing for a picture holding an anti-Brahmin message.

Dorsey was seen posing with six female journalists in a picture on Twitter, with a poster in his hands carrying the offending anti-Brahmin message: ‘Smash Brahminical Patriarchy’.

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America

Trump accuses Comey of lying in testimony to Congress

Trump criticised Comey’s testimony, the transcription of which was made public Saturday evening and was published on Sunday by several US media outlets.

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James Comey

Washington, Dec 10 : US President Donald Trump has accused former FBI Director James Comey of lying during his testimony before a congressional committee last week, when the ex-official revealed that the investigation into presumed Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was initially focused on four US citizens.

In two tweets, Trump criticised Comey’s testimony, the transcription of which was made public Saturday evening and was published on Sunday by several US media outlets, Efe reported on Sunday.

“Leakin’ James Comey must have set a record for who lied the most to Congress in one day. His Friday testimony was so untruthful! This whole deal is a Rigged Fraud headed up by dishonest people who would do anything so that I could not become President. They are now exposed!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

The president added that during Comey’s appearance before the House Judiciary and Government Reform committees on Friday, the former FBI chief told lawmakers “on 245 occasions” that “he didn’t know, didn’t recall, or couldn’t remember things when asked. Opened investigations on 4 Americans (not 2) … All lies!”

Comey, who was abruptly fired by Trump in May 2017, was ordered to appear before Congress behind closed doors on Friday to respond to questions from lawmakers investigating the actions of the FBI and the Department of Justice during the scandal involving former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton regarding her use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state.

In July 2016, Comey closed the FBI investigation into Clinton’s use of her private server to send a number of e-mails while she was serving in the Barack Obama administration, but a few days before the election he reopened the probe to review new messages, something that Democrats say could have influenced the result of the election, which Clinton lost to Trump in what most regarded as a stunning upset.

In his appearance before the House committees, Comey defended the decisions he made in 2016 and revealed that the FBI investigation into possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign initially was focused on four Americans, according to the transcript.

Comey did not identify those four people, but he said that Trump was not one of them.

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