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January 3, 2020 | | Post a Comment

first_imgBush was wrapping up his Asia visit on Saturday, joining Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for breakfast in a glassed-in room on the 31st floor of a hotel overlooking the Opera House on a drizzly morning. “Morning, George,” Howard said as the president joined he and Abe. “Hi, how are you?” Bush replied. “Sleep well?” Howard asked. Bush ignored a shouted question about the video tape showing Osama bin Laden for the first time in three years. In the tape, bin Laden tells Americans they should convert to Islam if they want to end the war in Iraq. Bush planned to attend a final session of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and then head home. His weeklong trip started with a surprise visit to Anbar province in Iraq. He returns to a big week for his Iraq strategy. Congress comes back from its August recess. A key progress report on Iraq will be delivered by Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq. And the president is expected to address the nation on whether he will modify his Iraq strategy. In an unexpected confrontation, Roh publicly challenged Bush during a picture-taking session to pledge support for “a declaration to end the Korean War.” That conflict ended in a truce in 1953, not with a peace treaty, so the two sides technically remain at war. Bush said North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has “got to get rid of his (nuclear) weapons in a verifiable fashion” for the United States to agree to sign a peace treaty. Roh told Bush he should “be a bit clearer in your message” and Bush shot back “I can’t make it any more clear, Mr. President.” By coincidence or design, Hill showed up at a White House press briefing here a few hours later to announce that North Korea appeared to be following through on a promise to rid itself of all nuclear facilities capable of being used for weapons. “This is the first time we’ve had real nuclear experts” from the three nuclear states in the six-party talks “go and have a look,” Hill said. Under a deal reached in February after years of negotiations, North Korea agreed to relinquish its nuclear programs, including one that has produced bomb material. In return, Washington agreed to open talks on establishing normal diplomatic relations with the North and to explore removing a terrorism designation for Pyongyang, among other inducements. The parties to the agreement include China, Japan, Russia and South Korea as well as the U.S. and North Korea. “This is an idea the North Koreans came up with,” Hill said of the plan to let outside nuclear experts in. He said it was hoped that the full dismantling would be completed by Dec. 31. Meanwhile, the White House played down the testy exchange between the South Korean president and Bush and said the meeting went smoothly.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SYDNEY, Australia – In an unexpected twist, President George W. Bush’s bout of diplomacy in Asia hit a snag in dealings with longtime ally South Korea and drew a conciliatory gesture from “Axis of Evil” member North Korea. Just hours after Bush suffered an awkward moment on Friday with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun over terms for ending the Korean War, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill announced a breakthrough in efforts to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear program. North Korea has invited nuclear experts from the United States, China and Russia into the country to survey and recommend ways of disabling all of its atomic facilities by the end of the year, Hill, the chief U.S. envoy to the communist regime, announced Friday. The team will go next week. Hill called the overture “another significant step toward the de-nuclearization” of the Korean peninsula. last_img read more

December 17, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest According to Iowa State University Economist Dermot Hayes, U.S. pork producers have lost $2.2 billion on an annualized basis due to events leading up to and following China’s 25% punitive tariffs in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on aluminum and steel.“U.S. pork has invested significantly to ramp production to capitalize on growth opportunities around the world, including China and other markets throughout the Asia-Pacific region,” said Jim Heimerl, a Johnstown, Ohio pig farmer and president of the National Pork Producers Council. “We applaud the administration for making the expansion of agriculture exports a cornerstone of the discussions with China. We hope the next round of trade talks with China results in improved market access to a critical export market for U.S. pork and other farm products.”The National Pork Producers is calling for a swift resolution of the United States-China trade dispute, paving the way for increased U.S. pork exports to the world’s largest pork-consuming nation.“Since March 1, when speculation about Chinese retaliation against U.S. pork began, hog futures have dropped by $18 per animal, translating to a $2.2 billion loss on an annualized basis,” Hayes said. “While not all of this lost value can be attributed to trade friction with China, it is certainly the main factor.”The market disruption caused by export market uncertainty comes at a time when U.S. pork is expanding production to record levels. Five new pork processing plants have recently opened or will soon begin operations, increasing U.S. pork production capacity by approximately 10% from 2015 levels by next year. Exports accounted for more than $53 of the average $149 value of a hog last year and support over 110,000 U.S. jobs. The United States has, on average, been the top global supplier of pork over the last ten years. “We produce the safest, highest-quality and most affordable pork in the world,” Heimerl said. “We are dependent on exports and are one of the few sectors of the U.S. economy that can immediately reduce the trade imbalance with China, where pork represents approximately ten percent of the consumer price index. Eliminating punitive tariffs and improving access to China by eliminating or reducing tariffs on frozen and chilled pork would result in an explosion of pork exports, contributing significantly to U.S. economic growth and reduction of the trade deficit.”last_img read more

November 28, 2019 | | Post a Comment

first_imgPredicting winners at a Grand Slam is an easy job. It is almost like the jobs of psephologists who for hours rattles about all kinds of poll data and then gives hints. In the end, what the outcome is could be just the other way. If you want to do anything like that for the men’s singles final between Rafael Nadal and new World No.1 Novad Djokovic at Wimbledon on Sunday, it’s not tough. The tennis fraternity is basically divided between the Roger Federer fans and the Nadal fans. And now that Djokovic has dramatically changed the equations in 2011 with his ability to beat any player, it would be tempting to think he can pull of this one as well against Nadal. On Saturday, at a mandatory press conference, Djokovic was a bit puzzled why he had to be answering questions. “It feels strange to do a press conference before the match, it’s usually after the match. But you know, I’m excited it’s another day to come before the match,” said Djokovic. Unlike Maria Sharapova, who said she was going to sleep a day before the final, Djokovic detailed his plans well – get in practice and then relax. Head to head: Rafael Nadal and Novak DjokovicIt is these qualities, getting in practice and staying cool, which will help Djokovic as he takes on Nadal on Centre Court. Rafa, as he is popularly known, has a larger than life image in this part of the world. And he has been talking about how big it is to be at Wimbledon.That’s something Djokovic can’t say, as this is his maiden Wimbledon final, after he defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a big match on Friday. “I’m ready for the long rallies against Nadal. This is going to be best of five and I do feel motivated,” said Djokovic and added that Nadal was “physically stronger.” If you had heard the last two Nadal press conferences, he would have fooled you into thinking his foot injury is so serious, yet local anesthetics work on it. Even against Andy Murray in the semifinal, at one point Nadal had a bad fall. But he was back on his feet so quickly. If people think Nadal will have problems in court coverage in the final, they are fooling themselves. Yes, one interesting bit of statistics is how Djokovic has beaten Nadal four times already this year. But that doesn’t mean going into his maiden Wimbledon final, Djokovic can be relaxed. “The last couple of years, I have been losing to Federer and Nadal at the top level. Now I feel I can win the matches against those big guys. I have matured as a player and I feel that on court,” says Djokovic.So where does that leave Nadal? “We must congratulate Djokovic for his No.1 ranking because what he did in the first part of the season was really fantastic. He was really unbelievable,” said Nadal. Reminded about his flawless tennis against Murray in the semi-final, Nadal summed it up in one sentence: “I probably played my best match this year here.” As one who signs paeans about the importance of Wimbledon, Nadal really loves this place. He was quick to remind the media how in the past Spaniards never cared about Wimbledon. “I never thought I gonna play five finals. This is fantastic news for me and my country,” says the defending champion. Nadal then talked about match strategy. “I have to play with intensity on Sunday and I have to be aggressive. That’s what I am gonna try,” he said. Was grass not a better surface for him than Djokovic? “No, I don’t have an advantage here more than clay. I am a better player on clay than grass,” he said. And then Nadal was asked, if he was not better than Djokovic on grass? “You know what? Playing two semi-finals and now the final, probably he’s not a bad player on grass, too. That’s my feeling,” added Nadal. Just as TV viewers get confused by what psephologists say, Nadal and Djokovic have left us guessing. But one thing is for sure, this has to be a head-banger’s ball!advertisementlast_img read more