Washington DC

US-China agreements to help de-escalate trade tensions — IMF head

WASHINGTON, December 14. /TASS/: The implementation of an agreement that US and China had signed during the first stage of bilateral negotiations will help to de-escalate trade tensions worldwide, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday.

"We welcome today's announcement by China and the United States on "Phase One" trade discussions. When implemented, this will help to de-escalate trade tensions and begin to reverse some of the tariffs imposed by both countries since 2018," Georgieva said in a Twitter post.

US says Iran proxies carried out series of base attacks

14 Dec 2019; MEMO: Iran’s proxies have carried out a series of attacks on bases where US forces are collocated with their Iraqi partners, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alleged Friday, Anadolu Agency reports.

Pompeo cited a rocket attack on a facility at Baghdad International Airport that he said wounded five Iraqi soldiers, including two who died of their injuries on 9 December.

US-Taliban talks to take 'brief pause' after airbase attack

Washington, Dec 13 (AFP/PTI) The United States has announced a pause in talks with the Taliban after an attack near a US airbase in Afghanistan.

"When I met the Talibs today, I expressed outrage about yesterday's attack on Bagram, which recklessly killed two and wounded dozens of civilians," US special representative for Afghanistan peace talks Zalmay Khalilzad said on Twitter on Thursday.

"#Taliban must show they are willing & able to respond to Afghan desire for peace," he tweeted.

US calls on China not to interfere in Taiwan election

Washington, Dec 13 (AFP/PTI) The United States on Thursday urged China not to interfere in elections next month in Taiwan, where President Tsai Ing-wen, a critic of Beijing, is seeking a new term.

David Stilwell, the top US diplomat for Asia, said that tensions have historically risen whenever Taiwan goes to the polls.

"They should not," he said of the tensions.

US Senate passes resolution recognizing Armenian genocide

WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (NNN-AGENCIES) — US Senate unanimously passed a resolution that formally recognizes the Ottoman Empire’s mass killings against the Armenian people as “genocide,” a move might further strain relations between Washington and Ankara.

By passing Armenian Genocide resolution, “the Senate finally stood up to confirm history: What happened from 1915 to 1923 was – most assuredly – genocide,” said Democratic Senator Robert Menendez.

US imposes new sanctions on Iran airline over proliferation

12 Dec 2019; MEMO: The United States on Wednesday imposed new sanctions on Iran’s biggest airline and its shipping network, accusing them of transporting lethal aid and weapons of mass destruction proliferation, Reuters reports.

The new sanctions come just days after a weekend prisoner swap between the historic foes, a rare act of cooperation since tensions escalated after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord.

Trump signs order targeting anti-Semitism at universities

12 Dec 2019; MEMO: US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to prohibit federal funding for colleges and universities that allow anti-Semitism, but the move drew some criticism for potentially limiting free speech.

The order would extend protections against discrimination under the 1964 Civil Rights Act to people subjected to anti-Semitism on college campuses.

Pentagon suspends training of Saudis for security review

Washington, Dec 11 (AFP/PTI) The Pentagon announced Tuesday it was temporarily suspending operational training for Saudi military students in the United States following a shooting rampage last week by a Saudi air force officer.

Saudi Arabian military students in the United States will continue classroom instruction but operational training is halted pending a security review, senior Defense Department officials said.

Vishal Sikka joins Oracle's board of directors

Washington, Dec 10 (PTI) Former Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka, who recently launched his AI startup Vianai Systems, has been nominated to the board of directors of global technology major Oracle.

Sikka, 52, is among the world's leading experts in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and would be helping Oracle in the business value and adapt to change, the company said in a statement.

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