US, China officials to hold top-level security talks Friday

China's President Xi Jinping (L) and US President Donald Trump attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 06 November 2018
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US, China officials to hold top-level security talks Friday

  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chinese politburo member Yang Jiechi and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe would take part in the talks

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will host their Chinese counterparts Friday in Washington for a round of high-level diplomatic and security talks, the US State Department announced.
The second US-China Diplomatic and Security Dialogue will bring Mattis and Pompeo together with senior Communist Party foreign affairs official Yang Jiechi, and with General Wei Fenghe, a department statement said.
The talks, which follow on from a first meeting held in June 2017, are the latest sign of a normalization of US-China security ties, after relations soured dramatically amid tensions over trade and the South China Sea.


India scion Priyanka Gandhi lambasts Modi on home turf

Updated 6 min 44 sec ago
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India scion Priyanka Gandhi lambasts Modi on home turf

  • Priyanka Gandhi wrapped up a pre-election boat tour along the Ganges river on Wednesday, disembarking in Narendra Modi's home constituency

VARANASI, INDIA: The newest star in India's Nehru-Gandhi dynasty wrapped up a pre-election boat tour along the Ganges river on Wednesday, disembarking in Narendra Modi's home constituency to attack the prime minister's record.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, sister of Rahul Gandhi who wants to unseat Modi in elections starting on April 11, announced her long-awaited entry into politics in January, bolstering the hopes of the opposition Congress party, which has been dominated by her family for generations.
Their father was Rajiv Gandhi, assassinated in 1991, their grandmother Indira Gandhi, killed by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984, and their great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister.
Arriving after her three-day cruise in Varanasi, the northern holy city famous for its riverside cremations where Modi stood for election in 2014, Priyanka said people must stand up against his "anti-people" policies.
"You can bring about a change. You must raise your voice for a new government who will make policies for you and understand your problems," the 47-year-old said.
"The farmers of this country are suffering. He is neck-deep in debt and is committing suicide. He does not get seeds and fertilisers on time, he is not getting the right price for his produce," she added.
The opposition has been targeting Modi's right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over a lack of jobs, slowing growth and the desperate situation of farmers in the lead-up to the gargantuan election which ends May 19.
The centre-left Congress party, which has ruled India for about half a century since the country became independent in 1947, was thrashed by the BJP five years ago, with Modi promising to create jobs, stamp out corruption, and bring "Achhe Din" ("Good Days").
Modi's party however has been boosted after India and arch-rival Pakistan lurched alarmingly close to war last month following a suicide bombing in Kashmir that killed 40 Indian troops.
Priyanka, who for years resisted calls to enter politics, launched her campaign in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh on Monday, hopping on to a motorboat on the Ganges river, which is considered sacred by the country's majority Hindu community.
The state is a part of the Hindi "cow belt" heartland of some 475 million people — nearly as many as the United States, Canada and Mexico combined — where the BJP has its core support base.