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APEC

Gala glitz masks Asia’s tensions as Trump winds up tour

MANILA: Leaders from across Asia joined U.S. President Donald Trump at an extravagant gala dinner in the Philippines’ capital on Sunday, a show of amity in a region fraught with tensions that have lurked behind his marathon tour of the continent. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte set the tone of cordiality ahead of the two days of summit meetings he will host, suggesting that despite their differences over claims to the South China Sea, the leaders should not discuss the issue. “We have to be friends, the other…

Trans-Pacific trade deal advances without United States

DANANG, VIETNAM: Countries in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal have agreed on the core elements to move ahead without the United States, officials said on Saturday, after last-minute resistance from Canada raised new doubts about its survival. Taking the agreement forward is a boost for the principle of multilateral trade pacts after U.S. President Donald Trump ditched the TPP early this year in favor of an “America First” policy he believes would save U.S. jobs. Talks - often heated - have been held on…

Trump and Putin share brief handshake in Vietnam

DANANG, VIETNAM: Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin briefly shook hands at a gala dinner during an Asia-Pacific summit on Friday after days of frenzied speculation on whether the two would meet. It is still unclear whether the pair plan to hold substantive talks during their visit to Vietnam following days of mixed messages from the Kremlin and the White House. Relations between Moscow and Washington have plummeted as a US probe has accused Trump's former campaign aides of secretly meeting Kremlin-connected officials -- a…

Trump brings tough trade message in vision for Asia

DANANG, VIETNAM: U.S. President Donald Trump set out a strong message on trade at a meeting of Asia-Pacific countries in Vietnam on Friday, saying the United States could no longer tolerate chronic trade abuses and would insist on fair and equal policies. Trump said the United States was ready to make a bilateral deal with any country in the Indo-Pacific region, but only on the basis of “mutual respect and mutual benefit”. "When the United States enters into a trading relationship with other countries or other peoples,…

APEC leaders vow to fight protectionism, look to China on trade

LIMA: Pacific Rim leaders vowed on Sunday to fight protectionism and Chinese officials said more countries are looking to join a China-led trading bloc after Donald Trump's election victory raised fears the United States would scrap free trade deals. Trump campaigned for US president on a promise to pull out of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, and also threatened to impose steep tariffs against China and Mexico. Regional leaders responded on Sunday, saying they would push ahead with the TPP.…

Facebook’s Zuckerberg discloses steps to fight fake news

LIMA, PERU: Facebook, facing withering criticism for failing to stem a flood of phony news articles in the run-up to the US presidential election, is taking a series of steps to weed out hoaxes and other types of false information, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post Friday evening. Facebook has long insisted that it is a technology company and not a publisher, and rejects the idea that it should be held responsible for the content that its users circulate on the platform. Just after the election,…

John Kerry is going to Antarctica as first US top diplomat

WASHINGTON: John Kerry, an ardent champion of the fight against climate change, will become the first top US diplomat to visit Antarctica, where the world's largest protected marine reserve was just created. The State Department announced Friday the itinerary for Kerry in what will be one of his last trips as secretary of state before President Barack Obama's administration ends on January 20. During his November 10-18 world tour, Kerry will visit Antarctica, New Zealand, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco – for…