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22 December 2019

TRUMP SIGNS $738 BILLION DEFENCE BILLUS President Donald Trump has signed into law a $738 billion defence Billwhich includes controversial provisions calling for sanctions against Russiaand Turkey.Trump approved the 2020 National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA), whichwill increase the US military spending by about $20 billion, or about 2.8per cent, on Friday night at a signing ceremony held at the Joint BaseAndrews near Washington, reports Xinhua news agency.The sprawling legislation has stirred up opposition overseas as it containspunitive provisions against Russia, Turkey and other countries.The Bill notes that the “(NDAA) protects European energy security byimposing sanctions related to Russian energy pipelines Nord Stream 2 andTurkStream”.Despite facing potential sanctions, Russia and Germany have reaffirmed theircommitments to complete the Nord Stream 2 project and put it into operation.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week in Washington that"neither Nord Stream 2 nor TurkStream will stop”.The Bill also renewed a decision to exclude Turkey from the US-led F-35fighter jet program in retaliation against Ankara's acquisition of Russia'sS-400 air defence system. It also claimed that the Trump administrationshould impose sanctions on Turkey over the S-400 purchase. Turkey accusedthe US Congress of “hostile” behaviour after senators passed the NDAAearlier this week.GOOGLE FINED $167 MILLION IN FRANCE AMID CRACKDOWN ON ONLINE ADVERTISINGGoogle was fined 150 million euros ($167 million) in a French antitrust caseinvolving online advertising as regulators throughout Europe criticize thetech giant’s business practices.The French authority found Google abused its dominant position in searchwhen it set “opaque and difficult to understand operating rules” for itsGoogle Ads advertising platform that it applied unfairly and randomly. It’sthe first time France’s Autorite de la concurrence has fined Google, itspresident Isabelle de Silva told reporters at a Paris press conferenceFriday.Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc. said it will appeal, arguing that itsadvertising policies were designed to protect people from “exploitative andabusive ads.”TRUMP SLAMS 'UNFAIR' PELOSI DELAY, RALLIES CONSERVATIVESPresident Donald Trump complained on Saturday about House Speaker NancyPelosi’s delayed transmission of the articles of impeachment to the Senate,which may delay a trial in the GOP-controlled chamber."It’s so unfair,” Mr. Trump said, days after he was impeached by the House,as he spoke at a conservative student conference organized by the groupTurning Point USA. “They are violating the Constitution,” he added.Ms. Pelosi has refused so far to send the articles of impeachment to theSenate, in part to provide more leverage to Democrats in that chamber asthey seek to negotiate the rules for the trial proceedings. Senate MajorityLeader Mitch McConnell and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer remain at animpasse over whether there will be new witnesses and testimony in the trial.Still, Mr. Trump is expected to be acquitted of both charges in the Senate,where Republicans have the majority, in what will be only the thirdpresidential impeachment trial in U.S. history. Proceedings are expected tobegin in January.HONG KONG SUSPECT FIRED AT OFFICERS: POLICEHong Kong police on Saturday said an armed suspect fired a live round atofficers as they tried to arrest him in an operation linked to the months ofpro-democracy protests engulfing the city.Police said a 19-year-old man pulled a semi-automatic pistol from hiswaistband as officers approached him in Tai Po district on Friday evening.The shot did not hit anyone and the man was subdued.AR-15 rifle foundA subsequent search of a nearby flat uncovered an AR-15 semi-automatic rifleand more than 250 rounds of ammunition.Police said they believed the man and the newly discovered weapons werelinked to a group arrested earlier this month who were also allegedly foundin possession of a pistol and were plotting to attack officers.“The firearms we discovered matched the intelligence we had collected whichindicated that some people hoped to use firearms in some public assembliesto wound some others, including police officers on duty,” SeniorSuperintendent Lee Kwai-wah told reporters on Saturday. However, Mr. Leesaid the suspect was also facing ongoing firearms charges from an arrestlast year before the protests.Riot police had to be called in to back up the officers as local residentsbegan heckling police, with at least two tear gas rounds fired to dispersethem, the South China Morning Post reported.ICC TO PROBE ‘WAR CRIMES’ IN PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES SINCE 2014The International Criminal Court (ICC)’s chief prosecutor said on Fridaythat she wanted to open a full investigation into alleged war crimes in thePalestinian territories, sparking a furious reaction from Israel andcondemnation from the U.S.The Palestinians welcomed the move by the ICC as a “long overdue step”following a nearly five-year preliminary probe by the prosecutor into thesituation since the 2014 war in Gaza.Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the decision made the Hague-basedcourt a “political tool” against the Jewish state.“I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to proceed with aninvestigation into the situation in Palestine,” ICC prosecutor FatouBensouda said in a statement. “In brief, I am satisfied that war crimes havebeen or are being committed in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, andthe Gaza Strip,” she added, without specifying the perpetrators of thealleged crimes.She said that before opening a full probe, she would ask the ICC to rule onthe territory over which it has jurisdiction because of the “unique andhighly contested legal and factual issues attaching to this situation.”CUBA NAMES MANUEL MARRERO CRUZ AS FIRST PRIME MINISTER SINCE 1976Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel has appointed the country's first primeminister in more than 40 years - the tourism minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz.The post of prime minister was scrapped in 1976 by the then revolutionaryleader Fidel Castro.It was reinstated under the rules of a new constitution for thecommunist-run island passed earlier this year.Mr Marrero, 56, will take on some of the responsibilities that currentlyfall to the president."The head of government will be the administrative right hand of thepresident of the republic," state-run online news outlet Cubadebate said.However, critics say any such changes are purely cosmetic as the CubanCommunist Party and the military remain the only two real decision-makinginstitutions on the island.PAKISTAN ACADEMIC SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER BLASPHEMY CHARGESA Pakistani court on Saturday sentenced a university professor to death forblasphemy under a law that critics say is often used to target minoritiesand liberal activists.Junaid Hafeez, 33, was arrested in March 2013 for allegedly postingderogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammed on social media.Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in Pakistan, where laws against itcarry a potential death sentence. Even unproven allegations have led to moblynchings and vigilante murders.Lawyer to appeal verdictHafeez’s sentence was announced in central city of Multan, where he was auniversity professor at the time of his arrest, and his counsel Asad Jamalslammed the decision as “most unfortunate”. “We will appeal against thisverdict,” said Mr. Jamal. There was tight security in and outside Multanprison where the trial was held.After the verdict, prosecution lawyers distributed sweets among theircolleagues, who chanted “Allahu-akbar"(God is great) and “Death toblasphemers.”Government lawyer Azim Chaudhry hailed the decision while fellow lawyerAiraz Ali said it was a “victory of truthfulness and righteousness.”AUSTRALIA FIRES: PM SCOTT MORRISON SORRY FOR HAWAII HOLIDAY DURING CRISISAustralian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has apologised for going on holidaywhile the country struggled with a mounting wildfire crisis.Mr Morrison cut short his trip to Hawaii as criticism of him increased.One person was found dead on Saturday, and wildfires are raging in threestates.Since September, Australia's bushfire emergency has killed at least ninepeople, destroyed more than 700 homes and scorched millions of hectares.Earlier, deputy prime minister Michael McCormack conceded that more had tobe done to tackle global warming, after many Australians linked the severityof this year's fires to climate change."I get it that people would have been upset to know that I was holidayingwith my family while their families were under great stress," he said.Speaking after a briefing with fire officials, he said he knew Australianswere anxious about the fires but insisted that the emergency response was"the best in the world".He conceded that climate change was contributing to changing weatherpatterns, but denied that it had directly caused Australia's wildfires."It's not a credible suggestion to make that link," he argued.

Comments (0)

Hi Jenna! I made a new design, and i wanted to show it to you.
It's quite clean and it's inspired from Bulkit.
Oh really??! I want to see that.
FYI it was done in less than a day.
Great to hear it. Just send me the PSD files so i can have a look at it.
And if you have a prototype, you can also send me the link to it.

Hey Jenna, what's up?
Iam coming to LA tomorrow. Interested in having lunch?
Hey mate, it's been a while. Sure I would love to.
Ok. Let's say i pick you up at 12:30 at work, works?
Yup, that works great.
And yeah, don't forget to bring some of my favourite cheese cake.
No worries

Hello Jenna, did you read my proposal?
Didn't hear from you since i sent it.
Hello Milly, Iam really sorry, Iam so busy recently, but i had the time to read it.
And what did you think about it?
Actually it's quite good, there might be some small changes but overall it's great.
I think that i can give it to my boss at this stage.
Crossing fingers then