US President Trump to be in Vietnam for regional summit


Updated : 04/21/2017 07:46 GMT + 7

U.S. President Donald Trump holds a joint news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 20, 2017.

U.S. President Donald Trump will attend three summits in Asia in November, one of which will be hosted by the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang, Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday after a meeting with ASEAN secretary general Le Luong Minh.

President Trump will arrive in Da Nang for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Reuters quoted Pence as saying during a visit to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) headquarters in Jakarta on Thursday. Tiếp tục đọc

The Enduring Darkness of International Women’s Day


Women have gotten screwed for millennia, and that’s not a legacy that can be shaken off in a few short decades.

By Rosa Brooks March 8, 2017

The Enduring Darkness of International Women’s Day

About a week before the election that swept Donald Trump into the White House, I was sitting at home with my two girls, listening with half an ear to their after-school chatter. “Michael is so mean,” declared my seventh-grader, showing her phone to her sister. “He sent my friend Hannah” — not her real name — “a text with bad words in it.”

“Is that a screenshot? May I see?” I asked. I was curious to know what counted as a “bad word” to a 12-year-old girl. Butthead? Poop brain?

I was way off. Michael had called my daughter’s friend — also 12 — a “cunt” and a “whore.” He asserted that she “wanted dick” and accused her of giving blow jobs to another boy in the class.

Whatever I’d been expecting, it wasn’t this sexualized vitriol — not from a nice middle-class boy at a nice middle-class school. Tiếp tục đọc

Welcome to the Post-Human Rights World


Welcome to the Post-Human Rights World

Less than two months in, President Donald Trump is already shaping up as a disaster for human rights. From his immigration ban to his support for torture, Trump has jettisoned what has long been, in theory if not always in practice, a bipartisan American commitment: the promotion of democratic values and human rights abroad. Tiếp tục đọc

Don’t Believe the New Trump

Don’t Believe the New Trump

Donald Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday night was the first truly presidential speech he has ever given and therefore the best — far superior to his egomaniacal “I alone can fix it” Republican National Convention acceptance speech or his dark and divisive “American carnage” inaugural address. His tribute to fallen Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens, delivered while his widow sobbed in the balcony, was a genuinely moving moment, even if earlier in the day he refused to accept any personal responsibility for ordering the raid in which Owens died. For once he did not vilify the media or his opponents. Tiếp tục đọc

Merkel ally calls for Europe to retaliate if Trump imposes trade tariffs

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Volker Kauder (L), 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Volker Kauder (L),  Credit: Steffi Loos/Getty Images

Europe should impose punitive tariffs on imports from the United States if President Donald Trump acts to shield U.S. industries from foreign competitors, a senior ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a newspaper interview.

Trump has already formally withdrawn the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, distancing America from its Asian allies, and vowed to renegotiate the U.S. free-trade deal with Canada and Mexico.

The tycoon-turned-president has also threatened German carmakers with a border tax of 35 percent on vehicles imported into the U.S. market, saying such a levy would help create more jobs on American soil.

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China hits back at Donald Trump’s ‘champion of currency manipulation’ jibe

US president risks ratcheting up tensions with latest currency claims and repetition of desire for nuclear supremacy

Donald Trump (left) and Xi Jinping
Strained relations between Donald Trump (left) and Xi Jinping appeared to have settled after their phone call a fortnight ago. Photograph: EPA

Beijing has hit back at Donald Trump after the US president risked reigniting a simmering feud with China by accusing it of being the “grand champion” of currency manipulation.

After months of turbulence and uncertainty between the world’s two biggest economies, relations appeared to settle two weeks ago after the US president and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, held their first phone conversation since the billionaire’s inauguration.

However, in an interview with Reuters on Thursday that also saw Trump reiterate his desire for American nuclear supremacy, the US president, who has attacked China over trade, Taiwan, North Korea and the South China Sea, threatened to undermine the tentative rapprochement with a fresh verbal assault.

Vietnam Is Getting Closer To Its Rival China Because Neither Side Trusts Trump

Ralph Jennings, Contributor
I cover under-reported stories from Taiwan and Asia.

Less than a year ago Vietnam was counting on U.S. support in building up a defense against China. Vietnam and China have clashed over land for centuries. Now the Asian neighbors bitterly dispute much of the sea closest to their shores, with China taking more control as the world’s No. 2 economy and No. 3 military power. U.S. ex-president Barack Obama, probably hoping to contain China, lifted a decades-old ban on arms sales to Vietnam last year and from 2014 to 2016 his government spent $46 million on upgrading Vietnam’s military. Tiếp tục đọc

A Zen Master’s Advice On Coping With Trump

huffingtonpost_For HuffPost’s #LoveTakesAction series, we’re telling stories of how people are standing up to hate and supporting those most threatened. What will you stand up for? Tell us with #LoveTakesAction.

What can Zen Buddhism teach us about the art of effective activism in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency?

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, who has been a social and environmental activist for more than 40 years, has said the most important thing for those feeling a sense of despair is to remember that meeting anger with more anger only makes matters worse.

The 90-year-old Vietnamese monk, who is considered to be one of the world’s leading spiritual teachers, is known for creating the idea of Engaged Buddhism, a method of linking mindfulness with social action.

His essential teaching on activism is that mindfulness gives people the ability to find peace in themselves so that their actions come from a place of compassion.

“Mindfulness must be engaged,” Hanh writes in his new book At Home in the World. “Once we see that something needs to be done, we must take action. Seeing and action go together. Otherwise, what is the point in seeing?”

“Nonviolence is not a set of techniques that you can learn with your intellect,” he goes on to say. “Nonviolent action arises from the compassion, lucidity and understanding you have within.”

Drawing from his own experience in seeking an end to the Vietnam War, Hanh writes that activists must learn to look after themselves if they are to be effective:

[I]f we don’t maintain a balance between our work and the nourishment we need, we won’t be very successful. The practice of walking meditation, mindful breathing, allowing our body and mind to rest, and getting in touch with the refreshing and healing elements inside and around us is crucial for our survival.

Thich Nhat Hanh.
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Trump Responds to North Korean Missile Launch With Uncharacteristic Restraint

On Sunday in Seoul, South Korea, people watched a news broadcast on the North Korean missile test. President Trump had a decidedly muted response. Credit Kim Hee-Chul/European Pressphoto Agency

WASHINGTON — After North Korea threatened on New Year’s Day to test an intercontinental ballistic missile, Donald J. Trump, then president-elect, reacted with characteristic swagger. He vowed to stop the North from developing a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States. “It won’t happen!” he wrote on Twitter.

But six weeks later, after North Korea defiantly launched a missile into the sea, Mr. Trump, now president, reacted with surprising restraint. Appearing before cameras late at night on Saturday in Florida with his golfing guest, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Mr. Trump read a statement of just 23 words that pledged American support for Tokyo without even mentioning North Korea.

Continue reading on New York  Times

In Letter to China, Trump Says He Wants ‘Constructive Relationship’

President Xi Jinping of China in Lima, Peru, last year. The fact that President Trump and Mr. Xi have not talked since Mr. Trump took office in January has drawn increasing scrutiny. Credit Cris Bouroncle/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

HONG KONG — President Trump has sent a letter to his Chinese counterpart saying he looked forward to developing a “constructive relationship” with Beijing, the latest in a series of conciliatory signals by the new administration after months of heated rhetoric aimed at America’s largest trading partner.

The letter, dated Wednesday, also thanked China’s president, Xi Jinping, for a message he sent congratulating Mr. Trump on his inauguration and conveyed wishes to the Chinese people for the Lunar New Year, the White House said in a two-sentence statement.

It is unclear whether the letter was meant as a substitute for an anticipated phone conversation between the two leaders or as an ice-breaking prelude to such a call. Before his inauguration, Mr. Trump and his cabinet appointees made comments and took actions that alarmed Beijing and pointed to rocky ties between the world’s two biggest economies.

Since his inauguration, Mr. Trump has spoken by phone with about 20 foreign leaders. Usually highly scripted affairs, many of those calls have been anything but. The president’s conversation last month with Malcolm Turnbull, the prime minister of Australia, turned contentious when Mr. Turnbull urged Mr. Trump to honor an agreement made under President Barack Obama to accept 1,250 refugees from an offshore detention center.

Continue reading on  New York Times

But arguably no bilateral relationship is more important than the one between Beijing and Washington, and the fact that Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi have not talked since Mr. Trump took office in January has drawn increasing scrutiny.

Donald Trump and China on dangerous collision course, say experts

The Guardian

Report says ties between the two nuclear-armed countries could deteriorate into an economic or military confrontation

Chinese news papers showing US president Donald Trump at a newsstand in Shanghai.
Chinese news papers showing US president Donald Trump at a newsstand in Shanghai. Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

A highly combustible cocktail of Donald Trump’s volatility and Xi Jinping’s increasingly aggressive and autocratic rule threatens to plunge already precarious US-China relations into a dangerous new era, some of the world’s leading China specialists say in a new report.

For the last 18 months a taskforce of prominent China experts, some of whom have dealt with Beijing for more than 50 years, hahes been formulating a series of recommendations on how the incoming White House should conduct relations with the world’s second largest economy.

The group’s report, which was handed to the White House on Sunday and will be published in Washington DC on Tuesday, says ties between the two nuclear-armed countries could rapidly deteriorate into an economic or even military confrontation if compromise on issues including trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea cannot be found.

Continue reading on The Guardian

Donald Trump is making China great again

The US president has dismayed the world; Xi Jinping has wooed it. This could be a huge win for Beijing

‘Xi Jinping reminded his audience of China’s contribution to global economic stability since the financial crisis, of an average of 30% of global growth each year.’
‘Xi Jinping reminded his audience of China’s contribution to global economic stability since the financial crisis, of an average of 30% of global growth each year.’ Photograph: POOL/Reuters

Two years ago, some European and US experts gathered to discuss China in an elegant English country house. The setting was seductive, but the mood was dark. Two years into Xi Jinping’s presidency, China’s politics were turning away from the liberalising trend of the previous three decades, towards a hard-edged nationalism that was discomfiting China’s immediate neighbours and their western allies.

China was getting more powerful but less friendly, squeezing foreign competition out of its internal markets, throwing its weight around the South China Sea, crushing internal dissent and enforcing loyalty to the regime. Tiếp tục đọc

Trump Tells South Korea That Alliance With U.S. Is ‘Ironclad’

Hwang Kyo-ahn, the acting leader of South Korea, spoke by phone with President Trump from Seoul on Monday. The call followed North Korea’s warning that it could test an intercontinental ballistic missile “anytime.” Credit Yonhap/European Pressphoto Agency

SEOUL, South Korea — President Trump assured South Korea’s acting president on Monday of the United States’ “ironclad” commitment to defend the country, agreeing with Seoul to strengthen joint defense capabilities against North Korea.

Mr. Trump’s assurances came amid anxiety in South Korea over the future of the alliance with the United States. During his campaign, Mr. Trump cast some doubt on the United States’ defense and trade commitments, saying that South Korea was not paying enough to help keep 28,500 American troops in the country.

But speaking by phone to Hwang Kyo-ahn, the acting president of South Korea, Mr. Trump said that the coming visit to South Korea by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis reflected the close friendship of the two countries and the importance of their alliance. Mr. Mattis is scheduled to visit South Korea on Thursday on his first official trip abroad, which also includes a stop in Japan.

“President Trump reiterated our ironclad commitment to defend the R.O.K., including through the provision of extended deterrence, using the full range of military capabilities,” the White House said in a statement after Mr. Trump’s phone conversation with Mr. Hwang, using the initials for South Korea’s official name, the Republic of Korea.

Continue reading on New York Times

‘How Do I Get Back Home?’ Iranians Turned Away From Flights to U.S.


They were turned back from flights to the United States in Tehran and in the major transfer hubs of Istanbul and Dubai. Some of those who arrived in the United States after midnight, when the decree went into effect, were held or deported, rights groups and airline representatives said.

No one, not passengers, airline representatives or even United States border control officials, seemed to know how to interpret the executive order that went into effect at midnight on Friday. Under the new policy, refugees, immigrants and almost anyone from seven countries deemed to be hotbeds of terrorism are banned from the United States for 90 days, pending a review of policies.

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