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Trump hosts Australian PM for lavish WH state dinner

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Washington, Sep 21 US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania hosted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife, Jenny, to a lavish state dinner in the White House.

The dinner on Friday night was hosted outdoors in the iconic Rose Garden decorated with a carpet and circular and rectangular tables for the guests.

The menu included ravioli with Reggiano cream and sauteed vegetables. The second course had crunchy parsley, fennel ‘mousseline’ (savoury mousse), pumpkin and zucchini flowers, and garlic ‘rouille’ (sauce), reports Efe news.

Apple pie with calvados ice cream was served for dessert, paired with American sparkling wines.

According to Melania Trump’s office, the menu highlighted “the lush, late summer season across the vast lands of America”.

It said, “pays homage to Australia’s special blend of culinary adaptations from its various cultures, not unlike the diverse food traditions of the US”.

The US First Lady, known for her tasteful fashion choices, opted for a J. Mendel green foam gown for the evening with transparent sleeves and a high neck.

The ceremony included Marine band performances of the national anthem of both countries. The entertainment part also featured musical groups from the US Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Morrison is the second world leader to be hosted for a state dinner during the nearly three years of Trump administration. French President Emmanuel Macron was feted last year in April.

The day began with the traditional welcome ceremony for Morrison’s state visit in the South Garden of the White House.

“The Trump administration is proud to carry on the traditional military arrival ceremony, which has been part of our nation’s history for centuries,” Melania’s office noted,

Nearly 500 members of the US Armed Forces from the five military branches were present on the South Lawn for the “Review of the Troops”.

Those invited to attend the arrival ceremony included the President’s Cabinet, Members of Congress, military families, and guests of the Australian Embassy.

Trump and Morrison later held a meeting and a joint press conference.

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Rioters’ acts imitate terrorism: Hong Kong police

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HONG KONG RAMPAGE

Hong Kong, Nov 18 : Condemning the escalating violence, Hong Kong police on Monday said that the latest attacks by rioters imitated terrorism, after a car attempted to hit an officer and a large group of rioters took away an arrested woman by force.

Kwok Ka-chuen, Chief Superintendent of Police, Public Relations Branch, made the remarks at a press conference on Monday.

On Sunday night, a private car suddenly drove through the police cordon line set in the vicinity of Austin Road and attempted twice to hit an officer. As warnings went in vain, an officer fired one shot at the car, which then quickly fled, Xinhua reported.

In the small hours of Monday, police arrested a 20-year-old woman for taking part in an unlawful assembly at the junction of Nathan Road and Jordan Road, and arranged an ambulance to send her to hospital as she sustained head injury.

A large number of rioters attacked the ambulance and took away the arrested woman. Two police officers were trapped inside the ambulance and attacked by rioters with stones, bricks and unknown liquids. With their lives under serious threat, an officer fired three warning shots.

Kwok said assisting offender is a serious offence and could lead to 10-year imprisonment.

Seven police officers were injured during the weekend, sending the total number of officers injured in the months-long violence to over 450, Kwok said.

Since June, the police have arrested 4,491 people aged between 11 to 83 over offences including unlawful assembly, rioting, possession of offensive weapon, arson, and assaulting police, among others.

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Prince Andrew ‘categorically’ denies sex claim

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Prince Andrew

New Delhi, Nov 17 : Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has “categorically” denied any sexual contact with an American woman, who alleged that she was forced to have sex with him at the age of 17, a media report said on Sunday.

Answering questions during a BBC interview about his links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II said the alleged incidents “never happened”.

Virginia Giuffre, then called Virginia Roberts, has said that she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew between 2001 — when she was 17 — and 2002 in London, New York and Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands. Giuffre is one of Epstein’s accusers.

Andrew maintained that he was home with his children on one of the alleged occasions.

Andrew, who is the Queen’s third child, has been facing questions for several months over his ties with Epstein, an American financier who, at the age of 66, took his own life while awaiting a trial on sex-trafficking charges.

Speaking to BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis, Andrew said: “It didn’t happen. I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”

He said Giuffre’s account of him “profusely sweating” and “pouring with perspiration” when they danced at the club on the night in 2001 when she says they first had sex was impossible, because he had a medical condition preventing him from perspiring.

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Bangladesh gas line explosion kills at least 7

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Bangladesh Gas Blast

Dhaka, Nov 18 : At least seven people were killed and 10 injured in a gas line explosion near a port in southern Chittagong city of Bangladesh, police said.

The incident occurred in the Pathorghata area of the city, police deputy commissioner Mehedi Hasan told EFE on Sunday.

“At least 17 people were injured in the incident. Seven of them were declared dead in a hospital. There could be some pedestrians among the victims,” he said.

Mehedi said a part of a five-storied building also collapsed after the explosion.

“We are suspecting that the explosion occurred due to a leak in the gas line,” he said.

Alahuddin Mia, a sub-inspector at the police camp of Chittagong Medical College Hospital, said some of the injured were taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Gas line explosion is not uncommon in Bangladesh, where poor maintenance is often blamed for such accidents.

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