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US not ready for comprehensive immigration reform, says Trump

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Washington, July 14 : President Donald Trump told reporters aboard the Air Force One that the conditions are not in place for a thorough overhaul of the US immigration system.

“What I’d like to do is a comprehensive immigration plan. But our country and political forces are not ready yet … There are two sides of a story. It’s always tough,” he said in what was originally supposed to be an off-the-record session with journalists accompanying him on a visit to France.

The White House subsequently authorised media outlets to report the President’s comments later on Thursday, reports Efe news.

His statement on immigration reform came in response to a question about the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, established by predecessor Barack Obama to shield hundreds of thousands of undocumented youths from deportation.

Trump said he has not made a decision over the DACA, while emphasising that he – and not his subordinates – who would make the final determination.

“It’s a decision that I make and it’s a decision that’s very very hard to make. I really understand the situation now,” he said.

Last month, the Department of Homeland Security said that DACA would remain in effect for the time being, though Texas and a number of other states have threatened to sue the federal government if the program is not ended by September 5.

On the related matter of his plan for a wall on the US-Mexican border, Trump said that his remarks about installing solar panels on the structure had not been in jest.

“We have major companies looking at that. Look, there’s no better place for solar than the Mexico border – the southern border. And there is a very good chance we can do a solar wall, which would actually look good,” he said.

The President said the wall needs to be transparent for the safety of people on the US side.

“And I’ll give you an example. As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them – they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over. As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall,” Trump said.

He also suggested that the barrier would not have to extend the entire length of the 2,000-mile border.

“Remember this, it’s a 2,000 mile border, but you don’t need 2,000 miles of wall because you have a lot of natural barriers. You have mountains. You have some rivers that are violent and vicious. You have some areas that are so far away that you don’t really have people crossing. So you don’t need that. But you’ll need anywhere from 700 to 900 miles,” he added.

IANS

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North Korea suspends nuclear, ballistic missile testing

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North Korean Kim Jong un

Seoul, April 21: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Saturday announced the immediate suspension of nuclear and long-range missile tests.

“From April 21, North Korea will stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles,” Efe quoted Kim as saying.

According to the report, North Korea will also close a nuclear test site in the country’s northern side in a bid to guarantee transparency in suspending nuclear tests.

Having established a nuclear deterrent, North Korea can now turn to overhauling its economy, Kim said.

Pyongyang’s decision comes ahead of Kim’s April 27 summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the demilitarized zone that divides the two countries.

The last bilateral talks between the leaders of North and South Korea took place 11 years ago.

US President Donald Trump, who accepted Kim’s proposal for a meeting after months that saw the two men trade insults and threats, praised the announcement from Pyongyang.

“North Korea has agreed to suspend all Nuclear Tests and close up a major test site. This is very good news for North Korea and the World — big progress! Look forward to our Summit,” Trump said in a tweet.

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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”.

IANS

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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.”

IANS

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