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Trump calls for more women’s health care options

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Donald Trump
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Washington, May 15, 2017: US President Donald Trump has called for improving health care access for “quality prenatal, maternal, and newborn care”, in addition to ensuring paid family leave for both mothers and fathers, the media reported.

“Ensuring affordable, accessible, and quality health care is critical to improving women’s health and ensuring that it fits their priorities at any stage of life,” Trump said in a statement on the occasion of Mother’s Day on Sunday.

“Under the current health-care system, however, the lack of choice in health insurance and in health-care providers, along with skyrocketing premium and out-of-pocket costs, are failing our citizens, our families, and, in particular, our women,” Politico quoted Trump as saying.

In addition, Trump said: “Women are living longer, healthier lives than their mothers.”

“The number of women dying from heart disease and cancer — the top two killers of women in America — has been decreasing for decades,” he continued in the statement.

“Thanks to new breast cancer treatments, our health care professionals have saved lives and improved the quality of life for millions of women. We must continue to foster an environment that rewards these needed advances in research.”

The President also said that he is committed to working with Congress for paid family leave for mothers and fathers, and to “invest in the comprehensive care that women receive at community health centres”, reports Politico news.

“Through these reforms, and my 2018 Presidential Budget, we will enable access to the critical health-care services women need.”

Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, has been an advocate for affordable child care and paid family leave and has reportedly tried to build support for it within her father’s administration.

The President’s statement comes as the Senate is working on a Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act.

Under the House bill that was passed last month, the American Health Care Act, funding for Medicaid, which covers approximately 40 percent of pregnancies, would be slashed.

The bill would also prohibit the use of federal tax credits to buy insurance that includes coverage of abortion.

States would also be allowed under the legislation to seek waivers of provisions of the Affordable Care Act that require insurers to cover maternity care.

IANS

Europe

Belgian court ends extradition case against Catalan leader Puigdemont

The judge had declared the case to be “without merit” during an in-camera hearing.

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Carles Puigdemont

A Belgian court formally closed extradition proceedings against deposed Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont on Thursday.

Puigdemont and four of his deputies fled to Belgium in October to avoid charges of rebellion, sedition and misusing public money in relation to Catalonia’s independence bid. The Spanish Supreme Court withdrew the European arrest warrants last week.

The judge had declared the case to be “without merit” during an in-camera hearing, Paul Bekaert, Puigdemont’s Belgian lawyer, told AFP.

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North Korea: Trump taking dangerous step to nuclear war by seeking naval blockade

Pyongyang also lashed out at the possible US move in a commentary on Sunday in the communist party newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

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Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald

US President Donald Trump is taking an “extremely dangerous” and “big step” towards nuclear war by seeking a naval blockade, North Korea has stated, according to the official KCNA news agency.

Pyonyang also said it will take “merciless self-defensive” measures against any blockade, as it would consider such a move an “act of war.” The North Korean government also believes any blockade would be a “wanton violation” of its sovereignty and dignity, KCNA reported, citing a foreign ministry spokesman.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson previously mentioned the “right to interdict maritime traffic transporting goods” to and from the North, following Pyongyang’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test on November 29.

Pyongyang also lashed out at the possible US move in a commentary on Sunday in the communist party newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

Earlier on Thursday, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin warned that North Korea now finds itself in a position where it “doesn’t see any other way for self-protection rather than developing weapons of mass destruction and missile technologies.” Having reiterated that Moscow in no way supports Pyongyang’s nuclear program, the Russian leader stressed that the Kremlin calls for steps by all sides towards a peaceful solution.

Both the US and North Korea “should stop fueling tensions,” Putin told international media at his annual press conference, adding that everyone should be “extremely cautious” about the situation on the Korean peninsula. “One launch from North Korea will be enough for catastrophic consequences,” the president warned.

The comments come just one day after State Department spokesperson Heath Nauert appeared to backtrack on statements made by Tillerson, in which the secretary of state said the US was “ready to have the first meeting” with Pyongyang “without preconditions.” Nauert said on Wednesday that North Korea would have to suspend its weapons tests before such talks could take place.

Earlier this month, Moscow said it was ready to help facilitate talks between Washington and Pyongyang, with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stating that “North Korea wants to talk to the US about its own security assurances.”

Russia and China have proposed a so-called “double freeze” plan which would see the US suspend joint drills with South Korea in exchange for Pyongyang halting its missile and nuclear tests. However, that plan was swiftly rejected during the summer by the US, which asserted its right to conduct military exercises with its ally South Korea.

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India ready to work with new Nepal government

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Nepal election
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New Delhi, Dec 14: Welcoming the parliamentary and provincial election results in Nepal, India on Thursday said it was looking forward to working with the new government in Kathmandu.

“India has age-old unique time-tested ties of friendship with the country,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in his weekly media briefing here.

“We look forward to working with the next democratically elected government in Nepal to advance our close and multi-faceted partnership across all sectors and to support Nepal in its pursuit of peace, stability, economic prosperity for all round development,” he said.

Nepal’s CPN-UML emerged as the largest party in the Himalayan nation. The vote count for Parliament and provincial assembly elections in Nepal ended on Wednesday.

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