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Trump officials chafe at second-guessing of North Korean missile sites

David S. Cloud When workers at North Korea’s Sohae rocket facility began rebuilding the dormant site’s launch pad and engine test stand this month, U.S. spy satellites orbiting overhead quickly detected the construction. So did Joe Bermudez, a freelance North Korea military expert who keeps close tabs on unclassified overhead photos of

AFRICOM commander calls for diplomatic push in Africa as US pulls troops from continent

John Vandiver The United States needs higher level political engagement in Africa to counter China’s growing influence even as the military cuts back troop levels on the continent, U.S. Africa Command’s commander told lawmakers Thursday. About 300 counterterrorism troops have been pulled from Africa in connection with a strategy shift that calls

US concerned at reported Nigerian election intimidation

Edith M. Lederer  The United States said Thursday that Nigeria’s upcoming national elections will be “a critical test of democracy” in the country and the region, and expressed concern at reports of intimidation and partisanship by government security forces. U.S. deputy ambassador Jonathan Cohen told a U.N. Security Council meeting on West

Canada unveils tougher regulations for drone operators

Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau on Wednesday unveiled tougher new regulations for drone operators, including minimum age, required certification and a prohibition on flying under the influence. His announcement comes after reports of drones near Britain’s Gatwick airport caused major travel disruptions over the Christmas holidays, and again on Tuesday at

US-China trade talks begin on positive note, but tech tensions loom

Joe Macdonald China has sounded a positive note ahead of trade talks this week with Washington, but the two sides face potentially lengthy wrangling over technology and the future of their economic relationship. Both sides have expressed an interest in settling their tariff fight over Beijing’s technology ambitions. Yet neither has indicated its stance

First GPS III satellite successfully launched–US Air Force

Jude Johnson The United States Air Force and its mission partners have successfully launched the first Global Positioning Systems III satellite from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The Lockheed Martin-built satellite was on December 23, 2018, carried to orbit aboard a Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX,

China-US tech war will make or break a world safe for interdependence–Report

Nathan Gardels One of the deeper insights to emerge from the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council gathering in Beijing in December was offered by Pascal Lamy, the former head of the World Trade Organization. When trade relations with China involve information technology, Lamy observed, there is a cultural clash that goes beyond

Five ways US retreated from world stage under Trump this year

Ted Piccone In 2018, the Trump administration made good on its promises to unwind long-standing U.S. commitments to guarantee global security and prosperity. These moves will further weaken U.S. standing and influence in the world and favor China's rise as a rival contender for international supremacy. Since taking office, President Trump

Mattis resignation triggered by phone call between Trump and Erdoğan

US president complied with Turkish leader’s demands and took own advisers by surprise, accounts say Julian Borger The resignation of US defence secretary James Mattis was triggered by a phone conversation between Donald Trump and the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in which Trump abruptly decided to upend previous US policy and withdraw troops from Syria, according

Trump Russia affair: Key questions answered

For nearly two years the Trump-Russia affair has dominated front pages and mired the president's administration in conflict and controversy. But what is it exactly? How did it begin? And where is it going? The inquiry is being led by Robert Mueller, a widely respected former director of the FBI. Holed

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