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Trump talks with Macron and Merkel about China trade practices

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U.S. President Donald Trump discussed trade practices with China in calls on Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the White House said. Trump and Merkel also discussed “joining forces to counter” China’s economic practices and alleged intellectual property theft, the White House said, in what would be a further escalation of Trump’s trade actions against China.

The U.S. president also pushed for intensifying cooperation with Turkey on Syria in his call with Macron, according to the White House.

Mexico and the United States agree that weapons do not go south nor drugs north

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MEXICO CITY – The Secretary of Homeland Security of the United States, Kirstjen Nielsen, indicated that the US government and the Department of Homeland Security in particular, is committed to a strong and healthy relationship with Mexico. Mexico, he said, is one of the most important business partners of the American Union, and the United States is a very important commercial partner for Mexico. The alliance, Nielsen emphasized, is important for the two countries, not just for security and prosperity, “as it was in the past, it is now, and will continue to be the same from now on”. The US official stressed that “we all want drugs not to go north. We want weapons and money does not continue to flow”.

Farc and Eln will meet in Ecuador

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Members of the Revolutionary Alternative Force of the Common (FARC) asked the National Liberation Army (Eln) for an emergency meeting in Quito, Ecuador, to address several issues related to the safety of their ex-combatants who have being killed, apparently, by hands of Eln guerrillas. In recent days the ex-guerrilla denounced that in Cauca several ex-combatants were kidnapped and threatened by the ELN in what would be a dispute over a territory that historically occupied the Farc.

US allocates 2.5 million dollars to the assistance of Venezuelans fleeing to Colombia

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The United States approved on Tuesday to allocate, “with immediate effect,” 2.5 million dollars to the assistance of Venezuelans fleeing to Colombia. The drift of the regime of Nicolás Maduro has caused in recent months a massive flight, which has led to a humanitarian emergency on the border between the two countries, especially in the city of Cúcuta. These funds, in addition to the contribution of 36.5 million that the Administration of Donald Trump reserved to support the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the region, fall on the organizations that provide food and health assistance to the tens of thousands of Venezuelans who arrive daily in Colombia.

Gina Haspel, Trump’s pick for CIA director, tied to use of brutal interrogation measures

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President Trump on Tuesday chose CIA veteran Gina Haspel to be the spy agency’s next director, picking a woman who spent multiple tours overseas and is respected by the workforce but is deeply tied to the agency’s use of brutal interrogation measures on terrorism suspects. Haspel, 61, would become the first woman to lead the CIA if she is confirmed to succeed outgoing director Mike Pompeo, who has been picked to serve as secretary of state.

Yountville attack: California hostage-taker was former patient

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The man who killed three women after a stand-off at a veterans’ home in Napa Valley, California was a former patient, authorities say. The three victims were all employees at the centre in Yountville. The residential centre provides mental health services for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The suspected gunman, who died at the scene, has been named as Albert Wong, 36. No motive for the attack has been identified, police say. Wong, reportedly a former US Army rifleman, had left a programme to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The gunman entered the building while employees were having cake as a leaving celebration for some colleagues. After a siege lasting all day police discovered the four bodies in a room at The Pathway Home on Friday evening.

Trump imposes tariffs on steel and aluminum, but offers relief to allies

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President Trump on Thursday signed a pair of proclamations that impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum while offering relief to some U.S. allies, as the president took his most significant step yet away from free trade but stopped short of the global tariffs his GOP allies begged him to avoid. The tariffs, set to take effect in 15 days, do not apply to imports from Canada and Mexico so that U.S. officials can assess progress as they renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Other countries with a “security relationship” to the United States may seek exemptions by opening talks with the administration on “alternative ways” to address the threats the administration alleges their products pose to national security.

Peru and other 10 countries to sign revamped TPP trade deal in Chile

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Peru’s Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Eduardo Ferreyros will head to Chile, where he will sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) on Thursday, March 8. Countries under CPTPP —a revised version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement— include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Viet Nam. In addition to the signing ceremony, Ferreyros will attend a series of high-level bilateral meetings in the Chilean capital of Santiago. An agreement among Peru and the 10 countries making up the CPTPP will grant the Andean nation access to a market whose GDP accounts for 13% of the world’s total GDP.

Pushback on Trump tariffs gathers steam, Mexico rejects bid to split NAFTA

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WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY – Republican lawmakers stepped up calls for President Donald Trump to pull back from proposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports as key trading partner Mexico rejected a bid by Washington to drive a wedge between it and Canada in talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. On Tuesday, Representative Mark Meadows, the head of the Freedom Caucus, raised concerns about the impact of the tariffs on American manufacturing and agriculture. Agriculture is a potential target for retaliatory tariffs from China if Trump pushes ahead. Moreover Mexico’s Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo raised the prospect of reprisals if Washington pushed ahead with tariffs and insisted NAFTA remain “a trilateral accord” in response to a U.S. proposal to hold talks with Canada and Mexico separately.

Trump tells Israel peace means compromise; U.S. envoy under fire

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U.S. President Donald Trump told Israel on Friday that it too would need to make “significant compromises” for peace with the Palestinians, even as they accused one of his Middle East envoys of bogging down diplomacy with what they see as pro-Israel bias. The Palestinians were outraged by Trump’s Dec. 6 recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, a move overturning decades of U.S. reticence on the city’s status, and say they are looking at additional world powers as potential mediators. In an interview with an Israeli newspaper that was excerpted ahead of its full publication on Sunday, Trump described his Jerusalem move as a “high point” of his first year in office. The language of Trump’s announcement did not rule out a presence in Jerusalem for the Palestinians, who want the eastern part of the city – captured by Israel in a 1967 war and annexed in a move not recognized internationally – as their own capital.

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