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China summons US ambassador over Huawei arrest

BEIJING: China summoned the US ambassador on Sunday to protest the "extremely bad" arrest of telecom giant Huawei's chief financial officer in Canada and demand that the United States drop its extradition request. The arrest of Meng Wanzhou, who faces US fraud charges related to sanctions-breaking dealings with Iran, has infuriated Beijing, threatening to disrupt a trade war truce between China and the United States. Meng -- the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in China's People's Liberation Army…

Qureshi hopes Pak-US ties to soon be back on track

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Sunday hoped that relations between Pakistan and the United States (US) will soon be back on track and added that American President Donald Trump hailed the role of Islamabad in Afghan peace process and sought support for the settlement in Afghanistan. Talking to journalists in Islamabad, Shah Mehmood Qureshi the US had for the first time agreed with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) stance that there could not be a military solution to the Afghanistan issue. He said that…

Japan’s military sees record spending, aims to buy more US arms

TOKYO: Japan’s military looks to raise spending over the next five years in response to security challenges and to narrow Japan’s trade surplus with the United States by buying U.S. equipment, the Nikkei business daily reported on Saturday. The Ministry of Defence looks to spend at least 27 trillion yen ($240 billion) between April 2019 and March 2024, with the spending rising an average 1.1 percent per year, exceeding the 0.8 percent average during the five years ending next March, the report said without identifying its…

Trump fumes over low popularity

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump says the polls have it all wrong, so on Thursday he calculated his own popularity rating: 75 percent. The Republican began reflecting on his approval numbers with an overnight tweet celebrating a new poll that gave him 50 percent. "Working hard, thank you!" he wrote on a tweet featuring a huge "50%" superimposed over a picture of Trump clapping at a campaign rally. Working hard, thank you! pic.twitter.com/3SoWTkZjP6 — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2018 The…

Russia must scrap or alter missiles US says violate arms treaty

WASHINGTON: Russia must scrap its 9M729 nuclear-capable cruise missiles and launchers or modify the weapons’ range to return to compliance with a key Cold War-era arms control treaty and avert a U.S. pullout from the pact, a senior U.S. official said Thursday. “Either you rid the system, rid the launcher or change the system where it doesn’t exceed the range” in a verifiable manner, said U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson. On Tuesday, the United States announced it was…

Saudi Arabia works on convincing Russia to join oil cuts

VIENNA: Saudi Arabia sought to persuade Russia on Wednesday to cut oil production substantially with OPEC next year in an attempt to arrest a decline in the price of crude and prevent another global glut. OPEC meets on Thursday in Vienna, followed by talks with allies such as Russia on Friday. The producer group’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, has indicated a need for steep reductions in output from January but has come under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to push oil prices lower. Russian Energy Minister…

‘Trump is building a new world order upheld by American leadership’

BRUSSELS: US President Donald Trump is building a new world order upheld by American leadership and democracy, his secretary of state told diplomats at an event in Brussels on Tuesday, blaming Iran and China for instability in the world. “In the finest traditions of our great democracy, we are rallying the noble nations to build a new liberal order that prevents war and achieves greater prosperity,” Mike Pompeo said in a foreign policy speech. “Under President Trump, we are not abandoning international leadership or our…

US clean coal program fails to deliver on promised smog cuts

Champions of coal say the superabundant fossil fuel can be made environmentally friendlier by refining it with chemicals – a “clean coal” technology backed by a billion dollars in U.S. government tax subsidies annually. But refined coal has a dirty secret. It regularly fails to deliver on its environmental promises, as electric giant Duke Energy Corp found. Duke   began using refined coal at two of its North Carolina power plants in August 2012. The decision let the company tap a lucrative federal subsidy designed to…

‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ stays No. 1

LOS ANGELES: Disney’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” recharged for its second consecutive weekend atop the North American box office, generating a healthy $25.8 million. That marks a decline of just 53 percent, and pushes the animated sequel’s domestic haul past $100 million. Overseas, “Ralph” earned $33.7 million this weekend, taking its international total to $87 million. Keeping in line with end of the year traditions, major studios largely sat out the post-Thanksgiving frame. The only new nationwide release, “The…

Iran says it will continue missile tests after U.S. allegation

DUBAI: Iran said on Sunday it would continue missile tests to build up its defences and denied this was in breach of U.N. resolutions following U.S. allegations that Tehran had tested a new missile capable of carrying multiple warheads. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday condemned what he called Iran’s testing of a medium-range ballistic missile in violation of the 2015 international agreement on the Iranian nuclear programme, from which Washington has withdrawn. “Missile tests ... are carried out for…