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Trump talks with Bolsonaro; to work closely on trade, security

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Jair Bolsonaro
Picture Credit : The Intercept

Washington, Oct 30 (IANS) US President Donald Trump on Monday said that he had an “excellent” telephone conversation with Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, with whom he promised to work “closely” on trade and security.

“Had a very good conversation with the newly elected President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, who won his race by a substantial margin. We agreed that Brazil and the US will work closely together on Trade, Military and everything else!” Trump said on his official Twitter account, reports Efe.

“Excellent call, wished him congrats!” he added.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert also on Monday discussed the Brazilian presidential run-off election and confirmed in a statement that the US and Brazil, “as two of the largest democracies and economies in the world, … are working together to address the 21st century’s most pressing global and regional challenges.”

“The US and Brazil share a vibrant partnership based on our mutual commitment to promote security, democracy, economic prosperity, and human rights,” she added.

Bolsonaro, an ultrarightist lawmaker, on Sunday won the run-off election garnering 55 per cent of the votes, soundly defeating his progressive rival Fernando Haddad, with the Workers Party, who obtained 44 per cent.

The president-elect said that he wants his foreign policy to do away with “ideological trends,” bring Brazil closer to the more developed nations and recover “international respect.”

In the commercial realm, he called for trade with “the entire world” but “without prejudicing the interests of our businessmen and our industries.”

Ideologically, Bolsonaro has adopted radical stances including defending the military dictatorship that governed Brazil from 1964-1985 and repeatedly making macho, racist and homophobic statements.

The 63-year-old Bolsonario, who was stabbed in the abdomen during a campaign event and spent more than three weeks in the hospital during the final stretch of the first-round race, will take office on January 1, succeeding Michel Temer.

America

US unemployment rate falls to 50-year low

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The U.S. unemployment rate fell in September to a new five-decade low of 3.5%, while employers added a modest 136,000 jobs.

The Labor Department says that despite the ultra-low unemployment rate, which was down from 3.7% in August, average hourly wages slipped by a penny. Hourly pay rose just 2.9% from a year earlier, lower than 3.4% at the beginning of the year.

Hiring has slowed this year as the U.S.-China trade war has intensified, global growth has slowed, and businesses have cut back on their investment spending. Still, hiring has averaged 157,000 in the past three months, enough to lower the unemployment rate over time.

The unemployment rate for Latinos fell to 3.9%, the lowest on records dating from 1973.

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Trump embarrassed by TV channel

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

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New York, Sep 26 : US President Donald Trump was subjected to an embarrassment when the MSNBC news channel cut away from his press conference while he was speaking on the controversy surrounding him over the Ukrainian probe against former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump on Wednesday was addressing the press conference against the backdrop of impeachment proceedings announced against him by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following allegations that he put pressure on the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to order a probe against Biden whose family has business interests there.

The allegation against Trump came to light because of a whistleblower and a transcript of the conversation between him and Zelensky in July, which has become public.

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

She added that Trump was trying to do it to deflect the attention from his impeachment.

According to the transcript of the telephonic conversation that has gone public, Trump is heard asking Zelensky to “do us a favour”, after the latter expresses gratitude for the military aid the US provided to his country.

Trump’s words of “do us a favour” is seen as a quid pro quo for the American military aid, because of which the impeachment proceedings have been announced.

After Wallace cut the press conference, her guest on the programme, justice and security analyst Matthew Miller, rebuked Trump for saying that Biden and his son had done wrong.

“This story has been looked at and thoroughly debunked by everyone involved,” Miller said, adding the real issue was whether Trump’s conduct is “impeachable”.

Trump is facing problem at a time when he is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

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Kim Jong-un receives ‘excellent’ letter from Trump

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Pyongyang, June 23 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has received a personal letter with “excellent” and “interesting” content from US President Donald Trump, Pyongyang’s state media said on Sunday.

“After reading the letter, the Supreme Leader of the Party, the state and the armed forces said with satisfaction that the letter is of excellent content,” the Korean Central News Agency said, referring to its leader.

“Appreciating the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump, Kim Jong-un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content,” it added.

The KCNA did not disclose when and how the letter was delivered to Kim, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The letter appears to be in response to the one Kim sent to Trump recently in time for the anniversary of their first-ever summit in Singapore last June.

Trump had described Kim’s letter as “beautiful” and “very warm”. He also emphasized that the relationship between them remains strong and that “something will happen that’s going to be very positive”.

The exchange of correspondence between the leaders renewed hopes for a resumption of denuclearization talks which have stalled since the breakdown of their second summit in February.

The summit collapsed as Pyongyang wanted sanctions relief as a corresponding measure in exchange for dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear complex, while Washington insisted that sanctions should remain in place until the North completely gives up its nuclear weapons programme.

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