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Trump in Japan, begins five-nation Asia tour

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Tokyo, Nov 5: US President Donald Trump on Sunday said that “no dictator” should underestimate Washington’s resolve, as he arrived in Japan to begin his five-nation tour through Asia, media reports said.

“No one, no dictator, no regime should underestimate American resolve,” The Guardian quoted Trump as saying to cheering servicemen after he landed at the Yokota Air Base near Tokyo earlier on Sunday.

“You are the greatest threat to tyrants and dictators who seek to prey on the innocent,” he said, adding that authoritarian regimes could also take the route “towards prosperity and peace”.

“No nation should ever underestimate American resolve… Every once a while in the past they underestimated us. It was not pleasant for them, was it? We will never yield, never waver and never falter in defence of our people, our freedom and our great American flag.”

Trump’s first-ever visit to Japan comes amid heightened tensions with North Korea over its nuclear programme and missile tests.

Pyongyang launched two ballistic missiles over Japan and has threatened to conduct a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific Ocean.

In another remark, Trump said US forces “always, always win. This is the heritage of the US armed forces, the greatest force for freedom and justice that the world has ever known”.

The Air Force One landed at the US-controlled base at about 10.37 a.m. (local time) on Sunday where the President and First Lady Melania Trump was received by the US Ambassador to Japan, William Hagerty, and the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Taro Kono, reports CNN.

The President also lauded the assembled troops as “brave warriors” who are “the last bulwark against threats” facing the US and Japan.

“We dominate the sky. We dominate the seas. We dominate the land and space… You put hope in every soul that yearns for peace” Trump said.

Trump along with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will play golf at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama later in the day with the country’s top golfer, Hideki Matsuyama, state-run public broadcaster NHK reported.

On Monday, Trump will visit Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. He is also scheduled meet with families of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korean agents in the 1970s and 80s. The meeting may include a former abductee who returned in 2002.

During their talks, the leaders are expected to discuss North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats and might also jointly urge China and other countries to increase pressure on Pyongyang.

On the economic front, they are expected to agree to strengthen cooperation in the energy sector. They will also discuss further cooperation on foreign infrastructure projects.

En route to Japan, the President on Saturday stopped in Hawaii where he visited the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor – the scene of the 1941 Japanese attack that drew the US into World War Two.

He also took part in a briefing at the US Pacific Command.

After Japan, Trump will head to South Korea on November 7 where he will visit Camp Humphreys, a US military complex south of Seoul but would not go to the heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) on the border between the South and North.

Trump will then visit China on November 8 where he will participate in a series of events with his counterpart Xi Jinping, the BBC reported.

In Vietnam (November 10-11), Trump will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Danang and make a state visit to Hanoi. He expects to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin here.

His final engagement will be a summit of South-East Asian nations in the Philippine capital, Manila (November 12-13).

The last time a US president made such a marathon trip to Asia was when George.H.W. Bush visited the region in late 1991 and early 1992.

IANS

World

Rod Rosenstein resignation : Trump to meet Deputy AG Today

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Washington, Sep 25 : It appears Rosenstein will remain in his position at least for a few more days as US President Donald Trump and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will meet on Thursday  amid reports that the latter could resign or be fired.

But Trump is set to ask Rosenstein for the clarification  about the  reports that emerged that Rosenstein in 2017 suggested secretly taping Trump in the White House and then – on the basis of that potential tape – convincing members of the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the President from office, a story that the Deputy Attorney General categorically denied in a statement, calling the reporting “inaccurate” and “factually incorrect”.

I’m going to be meeting Rod Rosenstein when I get back to from all these meetings,” Trump told reporters at the United Nations.

Rosenstein ‘suggested recording’ Trump to ‘invoke 25th Amendment’
“We will be meeting at the White House and we will determine what’s going on. We want to have transparency. We want to have openness, and I look forward to meeting with Rod at that time.”

 

 

“At the request of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he and President Trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

Sanders added that “because the President is at the UN General Assembly (in New York) and has a full schedule with leaders from around the world, they will meet on Thursday when the President returns to Washington, DC”.

Sanders denied the reports earlier on Monday saying that Rosenstein had already resigned verbally in a conversation with Chief of Staff John Kelly so as not to be pre-emptively fired.

Rosenstein is the official in charge of overseeing the investigation headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into alleged connections between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.

 

If Rosenstein were to step down or be ousted, it is highly likely that Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who is the highest-ranking Senate-confirmed Department of Justice official below Rosenstein, would assume control of the Mueller investigation.

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Russia to supply Syria with S-300 missile system

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Moscow, Sep 24 (IANS) Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad on Monday about his decision to strengthen Syria’s air defence, including providing it with an S-300 surface-to-air missile system.

“Both sides noted readiness for further joint efforts to achieve long-term normalization in Syria, restoration of its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity,” a Kremlin statement said, Xinhua news agency reported.

Earlier in the day, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia will supply an S-300 air defence system and identification, friend or foe equipment to Syria within two weeks after its Il-20 surveillance plane was mistakenly downed by Syria’s S-200 system last week.

In areas adjacent to Syria over the Mediterranean, Russia will carry out radio-electronic suppression of satellite navigation, airborne radars and communications systems of combat aircraft attempting to attack facilities on the Syrian territory, Shoigu said.

The Russian Defence Ministry has said that the Il-20 plane with 15 servicemen on board was shot down by mistake on September 17 by a Syrian missile due to a simultaneous Israeli air strike that confused Syria’s S-200 air defence system.

The Israeli military rejected the accusation that its jets deliberately used the Il-20 as a shield and led to its downing.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow’s decision to strengthen Syria’s air defence was made after week-long discussions between the leadership of the country and military experts.

He said that the deployment of the S-300 system in Syria does not target a third country.

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Honour Killing in Pakistan : Teen, boyfriend beheaded by father

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Islamabad, Sep 24 : An 18-year-old girl was beheaded along with her 21-year-old boyfriend in Pakistan by her father and uncle in what the police are calling yet another incident of honour killing, the media reported on Monday.

The incident took place in a small village in Attock district when the man arrived at the girl’s house to meet her, police was quoted by Dawn News as saying. Soon after, the girl’s father and her uncle walked in and, after tying the victims with ropes, beheaded them with a sharp object.

The police have arrested both suspects and recovered the murder weapon as well, Sub-inspector of Saddar police station Asif Khan said.

Scores of people in Pakistan, an overwhelming majority of whom are women, are still being murdered by relatives for bringing “shame” on their family.

At least 280 such murders were recorded by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan from October 2016 to June 2017 – a figure believed to be understated and incomplete.

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