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Trump to sign ‘Buy American, Hire American’ order

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Washington, April 18: US President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday directing federal agencies to implement the “Buy American, Hire American” policy which calls for a review of the H-1B visa programme for skilled workers, senior officials said.

Trump will sign the executive order during a trip Tuesday to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he will tour the headquarters of Snap-on-Tools, a high-end tools manufacturer, and deliver a speech about US manufacturing, CNN reported.

The officials on Monday touted the executive order as a “historic step” that would help protect American manufacturers and American workers whom the administration believes have been hurt by lax enforcement of “Buy American” laws and employers abusing the H1-B visa programme.

“Both ‘buy American’ and ‘hire American’ rules have been enormously diluted over time, resulting in many lost job opportunities for American workers,” an administration official told CNN.

“This is what America wants,” said a second official.

On the “hire American” front, the executive order will direct federal agencies to more strictly enforce H1-B visa laws and propose reforms to the programme to prevent fraud and abuse and ensure visas are awarded to the most-skilled applicants.

The H1-B visa programme is intended to bring skilled workers in certain fields to the US, but the administration contended that employers have abused it to hire workers who will accept cheaper pay than Americans.

The trip to Wisconsin will be Trump’s first since becoming President.

Trump clinched victory in the state that has not voted for a Republican for president since 1984.

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DJ Avicii dead at 28

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Madrid, April 21: World-renowned Swedish DJ and electronic music producer Avicii was found dead in Muscat, Oman, his agent said on Friday. He was 28.

“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” Efe quoted Diana Baron as saying.

“The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time,” Baron said. “No further statements will be given.”

Bergling had struggled with health problems, some caused by excessive drinking and was hospitalized for 11 days in 2012 for treatment of acute pancreatitis.

In early 2016, he announced his temporary retirement from touring, citing a desire to “explore other interests.”

“To me it was something I had to do for my health,” Bergling told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016, adding that he had taken on board “too much negative energy” from the music scene.

Avicii achieved global fame in 2011 with the release of his smash hit “Levels,” which was followed by other chart sensations, such as “Wake Me Up” and “Hey Brother”.

He was known for his collaborations with other artists, including Coldplay, David Guetta, Lenny Kravitz, Robbie Williams and Rita Ora.

In 2014, he teamed up with Carlos Santana, Wyclef Jean and Alexandre Pires on the official FIFA World Cup anthem, “We Will Find a Way”.

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IMF expects India’s role to expand in Indo-Pacific region

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International Monetary Fund

United Nations, April 21: The International Monetary Fund expects India’s role in the Indo-Pacific region’s development to continue to expand because of its robust growth, but it has to carry out more trade reforms, Ken Kang, the deputy director in IMF’s Asia Pacific Department said on Friday.

“Given our robust growth forecast where we see India’s growth rising from 7.4 per cent in 2017-18 to 7.8 per cent in 2019, we do expect India’s role in the region to continue to expand,” he said at a news conference in Washington.

“That being said, India does have room to expand its export orientation and to reduce further trade and non-trade barriers,” he added.

“The statutory tariff rate in India is relatively high at about 15 per cent, and higher than those in the rest of the region,” he added. “So there is room to do more on trade reform.”

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China defends Pakistan against Modi’s ‘terror export factory’ remark

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Beijing, April 20: China on Friday defended Pakistan against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark that Islamabad was a “terror export factory”, saying the country must be supported in the fight against “terrorism”.

Beijing also hinted the issue of terrorism will be on the agenda of discussion at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) when the eight-member block, joined by India and Pakistan last year, holds its annual meeting at Chinese city Qingdao in June.

At an event in London on Thursday, Modi said India will not tolerate those who export terror.

“When someone has put a terror export factory in place, attacks my people, has no power to fight a war so attempts to attack behind the back… in such a case Modi knows to how to give a reply in the same language,” the Indian leader had said in an obvious reference to Pakistan.

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Asked about Modi’s remark, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “Terrorism is an enemy faced by all. The international community should work together to combat terrorism.”

Die chinesische Außenamtsministerin Hua Chunying spricht von „internen Sachverhalten“. Quelle: picture alliance / AP Photo

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying

“Terrorism is an enemy faced by all. The international community should work together to combat terrorism. The international community should also support the efforts of Pakistan in fighting terrorism and cooperate with it,” Hua added.

China always comes to the rescue of its “all-weather ally” Pakistan when it is pilloried for sheltering terrorists. Beijing has invested over $50 billion in various infrastructure projects under its ambitious Belt and Road programme.

Asked if the issue of terrorism will be discussed at the Foreign Ministers’ meet of the SCO, Hua said: “As for the Foreign Ministers’ meeting on terrorism, I believe it is a purpose of the SCO to promote relevant cooperation in the field.”

India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will arrive in Beijing on Saturday and attend the foreign ministerial-level meeting of the SCO on Monday.

However, Hua said the security issues will be the agenda of the main SCO meet in June, which will be attended by Modi.

“Security has been a priority of the SCO since its inception. So the upcoming Prime Minister’s SCO meeting will see participants exchanging views on the relevant issues. All participants will uphold the SCO spirit to take forward the development of SCO,” Hua said.

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