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Trump names Brett Kavanaugh to US Supreme Court

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Washington, July 10 (IANS):US President Donald Trump has nominated  Brett Kavanaugh, a federal appeals court judge with extensive legal credentials and a lengthy political record, to succeed Justice Anthony M. Kennedy in the Supreme Court.

“Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials,” Trump said on Monday, shortly after announcing his pick.

In a primetime announcement at the White House, the President praised his pick as a “brilliant jurist”.

The nominee, a District of Columbia appeals court judge, is a former adviser to ex-President George W. Bush.

The decision has far-reaching implications for America on everything from abortion to guns to immigration.

Trump said: “Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law.”

He added: “He is a brilliant jurist with a clear and effective writing style, universally regarded as one of the finest and sharpest legal minds of our time.”

This is the president’s second appointment to the highest court in the land, potentially allowing him to shape the US for a generation after he leaves the White House.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he hoped the Wild Boars team, who were stranded by rising floodwaters two weeks ago, would be rescued in time to watch the World Cup 2018 final in Moscow on July 15.
With reality television-style suspense, he had kept everyone guessing up until the last moment.

The appointee would replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, 81, who announced last month that he will retire this summer.

At Monday night’s announcement, Judge Kavanaugh said: “Mr. President, thank you. Throughout this process I have witnessed firsthand your appreciation for the vital role of the American judiciary.

“No president has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input abut a Supreme Court nomination.

“I am grateful to you and I am humbled by your confidence in me.”

Judge Kavanaugh has served since 2006 on the influential US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and was formerly a White House aide under George W. Bush.

He previously worked for Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who investigated Democratic former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

A Yale graduate, he once clerked for Justice Kennedy, the man he would replace.

Judge Kavanaugh recently voiced disagreement with a court decision allowing an undocumented teenage immigrant to get an abortion.

He wrote a Minnesota law review article in 2009 arguing that presidents should be shielded from criminal investigations and civil lawsuits while in office.

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US, Russia diplomats discuss Helsinki meeting, ties

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Washington, July 23 (IANS) The US Department of State has said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to discuss Helsinki meeting fruits and issues over bilateral and regional concerns.

According to a statement issued by State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert on Sunday, the phone conversation took place on Saturday when the two foreign ministers discussed a broad range of issues, “some of which were following up from the meeting between President Trump and President Putin” in Finland on July 16, Xinhua reported.

Among the topics discussed was the situation in Syria.

The two also discussed how to implement ideas on counterterrorism process coordination and the mutual goal of establishing business-to-business dialogue between private, non-governmentally controlled entities in the two countries, another deliverable of the Trump-Putin meeting.

Pompeo and Lavrov also discussed “the need for Russia to provide equal diplomatic access to the US, at a level that is fair and reciprocal”.

US White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said Thursday that Putin will be invited to Washington in the autumn, and “those discussions are already underway”.

Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said on Friday in response that that his country is open to a new meeting between the two presidents.

Trump has been widely attacked after his meeting with Putin on July 16, due to his reconciliatory remarks that many saw as a sign to side with Moscow against US intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 US elections.

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Philippines Rains: Over 700,000 affected, 5 dead

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Manila, July 22 : At least five people have died and more than 700,000 have been affected due to days of torrential rains that have lashed the Philippines and have caused dams and waterways in Northern and Central Luzon, as well as Metro Manila to overflow.

 

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said it had received reports that a resident of Luisa Pelew died in a landslide while a resident of Negros Oriental Angelito Jipulan drowned, reports Xinhua news agency.

Police have also reported at least three more deaths, including a Negros Occidental resident who reportedly drowned, and two children from Antique province whose house was buried by a landslide.

The NDRRMC said the affected population of 158,509 families or 728,003 persons were from 585 villages in the National Capital Region (NCR) and several provinces in the Philippine.

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Exempt S. Korean vehicles from new tariffs: Seoul to Washington

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Seoul, July 22 :South Korea has asked the US to exempt its vehicles from the new 25 per cent tariffs Washington is planning to impose on imported vehicles and spare parts, officials said on Sunday.

South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon made the request to his US counterpart Steve Mnuchin in a meeting on Saturday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Efe news agency reported.

According to an official statement by the finance ministry, Kim asked Mnuchin that South Korean vehicles be excluded from the new tariffs the White House is planning to impose on national security grounds.

The South Korean official reminded his US colleague of the positive impact the Asian country’s automobile industry has had on employment and investments in the US.

Currently, South Korean vehicles entering the US market are not subject to import tariffs under the free trade agreement signed by both countries in 2012.(IANS)

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