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Trump heads to Europe for visit to Poland, G-20 summit

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Washington, July 5 : US President Donald Trump left Washington on Wednesday for Europe, where he will visit Poland and later attend the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Trump is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in the German port city during the July 7-8 summit, Efe news reported.

Air Force One left Andrews Base in Maryland at 7.15 a.m. and Trump is expected to arrive in Polish capital Warsaw on Wednesday night.

First Lady Melania Trump is accompanying her husband on his second foreign trip since being inaugurated on January 20.

Trump’s European tour starts as tensions with North Korea continue to rise following Pyongyang’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a range that, according to experts, could allow it to strike Alaska.

While Russia and China have called for restraint and renewed negotiations with North Korea, South Korea and the US reacted with a joint military drill.

In Hamburg, Trump is also scheduled to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, British Premier Theresa May, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, among other leaders.

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Iran warns OPEC against raising oil output

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Tehran, July 17 Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said Monday that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would suffer if its members do not adhere to their commitment regarding the oil output.

The decision made at the 174th OPEC Conference did not grant the member states the right to exceed their production level above the allocated quota, or the right to redistribute the production cut quota among the members, said Zanganeh in a letter to OPEC President Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Xinhua reported.

However, according to the OPEC’s latest monthly report, some member countries’ production level in June 2018 was far above the agreed production level allocated to them, Zanganeh said.

This is a violation of their commitment, he said, adding that “we are concerned that this violation may continue in the remaining months and in contradiction with the agreement adopted at the OPEC conference.”

The US State Department announced in June that the United States had been pushing its allies to stop oil imports from Iran by November 4.

US President Donald Trump asked Saudi Arabia to increase its oil exports to compensate for the shortage in the market demand in case Iran’s crude exports drop.

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Lava bomb hits Hawaii tour boat, 23 injured

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Lava Bomb Kilauea volcano
Kilauea is one of the world's most active volcanos and one of five on the island.

Honolulu, July 17: At least 23 people were injured when a lava bomb hit a tour boat in Hawaii, according to fire officials.

The lava bomb or a flying chunk of molten rock, punctured the boat’s roof on Monday after which it returned to Wailoa Harbour, CNN quoted the Hawaii County Fire Department as saying.

Of the injured, one woman in her 20s was in serious condition with a fractured femur.

It was unclear exactly where or when the incident occurred. But from where lava from the Kilauea volcano is hitting the ocean to the harbour is about an hour’s boat ride, depending on waves.

Kilauea erupted in early May, sending a smouldering flow of lava into residential areas on the Big Island.

Kilauea was still erupting lava as of Sunday, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Meanwhile, the lava has also created a tiny new island off the coast of Hawaii.

The island is part of the lava flow that extends underwater away from the coastline, according to the USGS.

If the lava flow stays active, the island will probably connect to the coastline. If not, it might erode away because of wave action.

The agency said the island is just a few metres offshore, and about 20 to 30 feet in diameter.

IANS

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US challenges five WTO members for imposing retaliatory trade tariffs

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Washington, July 17: The US on Monday launched a dispute at the World Trade Organization (WTO) challenging five WTO member countries for applying trade tariffs in retaliation for US President Trump’s recent actions on the aluminum and steel trade.

According to a US Department of Commerce statement, the US has launched separate disputes at the WTO against China, the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Turkey, challenging the alleged “illegal” tariffs each of these WTO members imposed in response to President Trump’s actions on trade in aluminum and steel in order to protect US “national security” interests, Efe reported.

“The actions taken by the President are wholly legitimate and fully justified as a matter of US law and international trade rules,” said the statement quoting US secretary of Commerce, Robert Lighthizer.

In recent months, Donald Trump has increased tensions among traditional US partners and allied trading blocs such as the EU, Canada, and Mexico, with a focus on trade issues.

Last June, the US administration decided to terminate its steel and aluminum tariff waivers on imports from the EU, Canada, and Mexico. Said action was responded with similar retaliatory moves by these WTO members.

Washington’s move on Monday coincided with another formal challenge issued hours before by Beijing against the US, after President Trump decided to impose, earlier this year, $ 200 Billion in additional tariffs on a list of Chinese products.

These new US trade tariffs will be more comprehensive than those already in effect, to the tune of $ 34 Billion, that drove China to issue on July 6 a WTO complaint.

“The US will take all necessary actions to protect our interests, and we urge our trading partners to work constructively with us on the problems created by massive and persistent excess capacity in the steel and aluminum sectors,” US Secretary of Commerce Lighthizer concluded.

IANS

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