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Trump lashes out in ‘crude outburst’ against migrants

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Donald Trump
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Washington, Jan 12: US President Donald Trump has reportedly lashed out at immigrants in a foul-mouthed Oval Office outburst, media reports said. A backlash to his latest remarks was swift.

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump told lawmakers on Thursday, according to the Washington Post.

The remark was reportedly in reference to people from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries, the BBC said. Trump told lawmakers the US should instead be taking in migrants from countries like Norway.

The White House did not deny the comment, which has been confirmed by other US media.

In Thursday’s meeting, lawmakers were reportedly proposing restoring the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) permits for certain countries, while offering $1.5bn for a wall that Trump wants built on the US border with Mexico.

Trump’s comments “are further proof that his Make America Great Again agenda is really a Make America White Again agenda”, black Democratic lawmaker Cedric Richmond said.

“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” a statement from White House spokesman Raj Shah said.

It continued: “Like other countries that have merit-based immigration, President Trump is fighting for permanent solutions that make our country stronger by welcoming those who can contribute to our society, grow our economy and assimilate into our great nation.

“He will always reject temporary, weak and dangerous stopgap measures that threaten the lives of hardworking Americans, and undercut immigrants who seek a better life in the US through a legal pathway.”

Trump’s remark reportedly came as lawmakers from both parties visited him to propose a bipartisan immigration deal, the BBC said.

Democratic Senator Richard Durbin was discussing US temporary residency permits granted to citizens of countries hit by natural disasters, war or epidemics, the US media said.

Three weeks ago, The New York Times reported that Trump had said Haitians “all have Aids” during a similar June meeting.

Reacting to Trump’s remarks on Thursday, Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democratic lawmaker, tweeted: “I condemn this unforgivable statement and this demeaning of the office of the Presidency.”

Mia Love, a Utah Republican and the only Haitian-American in Congress, demanded Trump apologise for the “unkind, divisive, elitist” comments.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) accused the president of falling “deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of racism and xenophobia”, the BBC reported.

However, the White House brushed off such criticism.

A Trump official was quoted by CNN as saying: “Though this might enrage Washington, staffers predict the comment will resonate with his base, much like his attacks on NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem did not alienate it.”

This week the Trump administration announced it was withdrawing TPS for more than 200,000 people from El Salvador. It means Salvadoreans living in the US for last three decades have until next year to leave, seek lawful residency or face possible deportation.

They were granted provisional US residency after an earthquake devastated the Central American nation in 1991. The State Department said on Monday that much of it has since been repaired.

TPS permits have already been withdrawn from Haitians and Nicaraguans.

With this, hundreds of thousands of migrants face possible deportation from the US, the BBC said.

IANS

India

Nepal bans use of Indian currency notes

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India Rupee

New Delhi, Dec 14: The Nepal government has declared the use of Indian currency notes of Rs 2,000, Rs 500 and Rs 200 denominations illegal in the country.

So, the government has decided to ban the use of high denomination Indian currency notes and use only Rs 100 notes in the country now onwards, according to a report in the Kathmandu Post.

The decision was announced by Nepal government’s spokesperson and Minister for Information and Communications Gokul Prasad Baskota.

The decision, which will affect middle and low-income Indian tourists, was taken at the last Cabinet meeting, said Gokul Baskota.

The Nepal government has urged the people of its country to refrain from keeping or carrying Indian bank notes higher than Rs 100 notes as it has not legalised the India bank notes of denomination Rs 200, Rs 500 and Rs 2000, the report said.

When the Indian government introduced the new denominations in the months following demonetisation in 2016, the Nepal government did not make any announcement on the status of the new currency notes. The new denominations were being used freely in Nepal over the last two years, but the latest decision will affect Nepalese labourers working in India, as well as Indian tourists frequently visiting Nepal.

WeForNews

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World

Kim Jong-un face mask stirs controversy

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kim jong un nuke masks
Thousands of controversial "nuke masks" have been sold in South Korea. (Image Credit-5149/Instagram)

Seoul, Dec 14: A South Korean fashion and cosmetics firm has stirred controversy with a facial mask featuring Kim Jong-un prompting many stores to pull the product of the shelves.

The so-called “nuke masks” were created by 5149, a South Korean fashion and cosmetics company. It said it has sold more than 25,000 “unification moisture nuclear masks” since June, the BBC reported.

Many South Korean stores, though, halted the sales amid a public backlash and concerns over the masks’ legality.

In South Korea, it is illegal to speak favourably of the North Korean government, though the law is rarely enforced.

Dozens of Koreans have posted pictures of themselves on social media with the masks, which cost 4,000 won, the BBC said.

Propaganda-style slogans claim the masks contain mineral water from Mount Paektu, the sacred, active volcano, which is the birthplace of Dangun, founder of the first Korean kingdom more than 4,000 years ago, according to Korean mythology.

“Personally, I don’t like merchandise promoting a certain political agenda,” Irene Kim, a South Korean skincare expert, told the South China Morning Post.

“A few years ago, North Korea was the largest threat to our country… Kim Jong-un was seen as a dictator and a tyrant who would stop at nothing to disrupt world peace, now he’s become the face of a popular face mask,” she added.

The North Korean leader and his regime have been criticised by the UN for “systematic, widespread” human rights abuses.

Both North and South Korea are still technically at war, but leaders from both countries attended talks this year over denuclearisation.

In an interview with the New York Times, 5149 CEO Kwak Hyeon-ju said she wanted the masks to celebrate the “once in a lifetime” Korean summits held earlier this year.

Kim has led North Korea since the death of its former dictator, his father Kim Jong-il, in 2011.

The country’s communist regime has been criticised by the UN and human rights groups for “systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations”.

IANS

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America

Bomb Threats Across United States – reports

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crime

Law enforcement authorities around the United States were reponding to a wave of bomb threats, many of them sent by email NBC reported.

A spokesman for the Oklahoma City police told NBC News that individuals in and around that city have gotten 10 to 13 specific email bomb threats, with specific addresses.

Bronx Science said it evacuated its building at 11 a.m. after it received a bomb threat by phone. The school said students were “currently well supervised at neighboring schools.”

The New York police department confirmed it received a call about the threat and responded to the school. The department later tweeteed it was monitoring “multiple bomb threats that have been sent electronically to various locations throughout the city.”

Nearly a dozen threats were received at businesses throughout South Florida, including in Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach. At least three others were reported in Orlando.

Massachusetts State Police are investigating after multiple bombs threats were allegedly mailed to “numerous businesses in the state.” Authorities said the MSP Fusion Center is tracking the activity.

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