Americas


    • Trump launches ‘American AI Initiative’

      Trump launches ‘American AI Initiative’

      The US President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order creating the “American AI Initiative” - a high-level strategy, designed to guide AI development within the country, The Verge reports. The initiative will redirect federal funding and resources towards AI research, as well as call for the creation of US-led international standards in AI, and new research into the retraining of American workers.

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    • US, South Korea reach deal on military costs

      US, South Korea reach deal on military costs

      The United States and South Korea struck a one-year deal on the shared costs of their military alliance on Sunday, removing a potential vulnerability in an upcoming US-North Korean presidential summit later this month. Under the new agreement, South Korea will contribute about $890m a year for the US military presence, which represents an 8.2% increase from the previous five-year deal which expired at the end of 2018.

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    • Venezuela shifts oil ventures' accounts to Russian bank -  sources

      Venezuela shifts oil ventures' accounts to Russian bank - sources

      Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA is telling customers of its joint ventures to deposit oil sales proceeds in an account recently opened at Russia’s Gazprombank AO, according to sources and an internal document seen by Reuters on Saturday. PDVSA’s move comes after the United States imposed tough, new financial sanctions on 28 January aimed at blocking Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro’s access to the country’s oil revenue.

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    • Trump refuses to meet Xi Jinping before tariff deadline

      Trump refuses to meet Xi Jinping before tariff deadline

      President Donald Trump announced Thursday that there will not be a meeting, aimed at averting higher US tariffs on Chinese goods, between him and Chinese President Xi Jinping before a 1 March deadline. The move intensifies fears the two won’t strike a deal before the end of a 90-day truce and that tariffs will jump to 25% from the current 10%.

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    • US military to be out of Syria by April

      US military to be out of Syria by April

      The US military is reportedly preparing to withdraw all of its forces from Syria by the end of April, the WSJ has announced, citing former and current US officials. Unless the Trump administration changed course, the military plans to pull a significant portion of its 2,000 troops out by mid-March, with a full withdrawal coming by the end of April. However, a key concern for the US's Kurdish partners has yet to be addressed: Striking a deal to safeguard Kurdish allies from Turkish forces after the US leaves Syria. 

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    • Trump announces second NK-US meeting

      Trump announces second NK-US meeting

      A brand new Donald Trump spoke to the country on Tuesday night on the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington. During his annual State of the Union speech, the world saw a man who didn't use his usually aggressive rhetoric and did not bring the Republican conference to its feet chanting “Build that wall”. On the contrary, the US president delivered an insecure, low-energy address, with a punchline that any American politician could have used: “Let's work together and compromise, so we could make America truly safe.”

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    • Maduro rejects European ultimatum on elections

      Maduro rejects European ultimatum on elections

      Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro rejected Sunday the ultimatum by EU Member States to call snap elections after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself the Latin American country's legitimate leader. France, Germany and Spain had given Maduro until midnight on Sunday to call a presidential election, or they would recognise Guaido as the interim president. But a defiant Maduro said in an interview with Spanish television station Sexta that he would not "cave in to pressure" from those calling for his departure.

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    • Trump to deliver his State of the Union speech next week

      Trump to deliver his State of the Union speech next week

      US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday invited President Trump to deliver the State of the Union address on 5 February. The invitation for the annual speech, given by the president to outline the administration's priorities for the coming year, comes after the previously scheduled 29 January date was postponed due to the partial government shutdown.

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    • Death toll in Mexican pipeline fire rises to 109

      Death toll in Mexican pipeline fire rises to 109

      The death toll in a massive fire at an illegally tapped pipeline in Mexico has risen to 109 after 10 more injured people died at hospitals this week. According to Mexico's Health Secretary Jorge Alcocer the latest victims were severely burned and died between Wednesday and early Friday, despite all the medical efforts. Other 40 injured victims are still treated in hospitals with a very little chance to survive, too.

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