Around the Globe

Around the Globe

Trump, Democrats spar over shutdown with no deal in sight

President Donald Trump and top Democrats in Congress sparred over the partial shutdown of the US government on Monday, with no sign of tangible efforts to reopen agencies closed by a political impasse over Trump’s demand for border wall funds.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, accused Trump of being under the sway of conservative House Republicans and blasted the White House for saying “different things about what the president would accept or not accept.”

Pakistan's former PM sentenced to 7 years for corruption

An anti-graft tribunal sentenced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to seven years in prison for corruption on Monday, drawing criticism from his party, which said the decision was a "black spot" on the justice system.

The verdict came after Sharif was removed from power last year over corruption allegations. Sharif, who was serving his third stint as prime minister, has denied any wrongdoing.

Tsunami from erupting Krakatau kills at least 222 in Indonesia

A tsunami killed at least 222 people and injured hundreds on the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra following an underwater landslide believed caused by the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano, officials and media said on Sunday.

Hundreds of homes and other buildings were “heavily damaged” when the tsunami struck, almost without warning, along the rim of the Sunda Strait late on Saturday, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the disaster mitigation agency, said.

Sino-India ties actively moving forward: President Xi

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday said Sino-India relations are "actively" moving forward with deepening mutual trust and cooperation, as the foreign ministers of the two countries held extensive talks in New Delhi under a newly established framework.

In his message of congratulations to the first meeting of 'High Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges' being held in New Delhi, Xi said China and India are both ancient civilisations boasting long history and splendid culture.

Trump pulling out of Syria. Will Afghanistan be next?

Against the advice of many in his own administration, President Donald Trump is pulling US troops out of Syria. Could a withdrawal from Afghanistan be far behind?

Trump has said his instinct is to quit Afghanistan as a lost cause, but more recently he's suggested a willingness to stay in search of peace with the Taliban. However, the abruptness with which he turned the page on Syria raises questions about whether combat partners like Iraq and Afghanistan should feel confident that he will not pull the plug on them, too.

British government to activate full 'no-deal' Brexit preparations

The British government said on Tuesday it would implement plans for a no-deal Brexit in full and begin telling businesses and citizens to prepare for the risk of leaving the European Union without an agreement.

Those plans include setting aside space on ferries to ensure a regular flow of medical supplies and keeping 3,500 armed forces personnel ready to support the government with its contingency plans.

Xi pledges 'unswerving' reforms, but on own terms

Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Tuesday for the unswerving implementation of reforms on Beijing’s terms, saying no one could boss it around, but offered no new measures in a speech marking 40 years of market liberalisation.

In remarks lasting nearly an hour-and-a-half, Xi called for support for the state economy and development of the private sector, and said China would expand efforts at opening up and ensure the implementation of major reforms.

China’s substantial support of its sprawling state sector is a point of contention with the United States.

US conducts 6 airstrikes against Somalia extremists, kill 62

The US military says it has carried out six airstrikes in the Gandarshe area of Somalia which killed a total of 62 al-Shabab extremist rebels.

In a statement issued Monday, the US military's Africa command said it carried out four strikes on December 15 in which 34 people were killed and two more on December 16 which killed 28.

All the air attacks were in the Gandarshe coastal area south of the capital, Mogadishu, it said.

No civilians were injured or killed in the attacks, it said.

Trump asks Fed not to raise rates on eve of policy meeting

US president Donald Trump on Monday called on the Federal Reserve not to raise interest rates, one day before a meeting at which policymakers are widely expected to do so. The Twitter outburst renewed the president's rock throwing at the central bank, which he accuses of undermining his economic agenda of tax cuts, slashed regulations and multi-front trade offensives.

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