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US declares ‘ethnic cleansing’ against Rohingya in Myanmar

WASHINGTON—The United States declared the ongoing violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar to be “ethnic cleansing” on Wednesday, threatening penalties for military officials engaged in a brutal crackdown that has sent more than 620,000 refugees flooding over the border to Bangladesh. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson blamed Myanmar’s security forces and “local vigilantes” for what …

US warns of risk of missiles from Yemen hitting Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON — The United States is warning Americans travelling to Saudi Arabia about the risk of ballistic missile attacks from neighbouring Yemen. A new U.S. travel warning follows a Houthi missile attack in early November near the international airport in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The missile was intercepted. Both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia say the Houthis …

US says Sudan cutting trade, military ties to North Korea

WASHINGTON — The United States said Thursday that Sudan will cut all military and trade ties to North Korea, a move that would be a significant victory in the Trump administration’s efforts to isolate the Stalinist nation amid increasing tensions over the North’s testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert …

US opposes Nazi speech, but will vote no at UN to banning it

WASHINGTON—The United States government wants you to know: It really, truly doesn’t like Nazis. At the United Nations this week, the U.S. plans to vote against a yearly resolution that condemns the glorification of Nazism, State Department officials said Wednesday. Although it may seem counterintuitive — who wouldn’t want to condemn Nazis? — officials said …

Belatedly, Trump admin finishes list of off limits Russians

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration gave Congress on Thursday a list of Russian officials who may soon become off-limits to anyone who wants to avoid U.S. sanctions, as criticism mounted over the administration’s tardy execution of new penalties on Moscow. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former NATO chief and adviser to Ukraine’s leader, said Russian President Vladimir Putin …

‘I’m intact,’ Tillerson says, brushing off drama with Trump

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday ducked, danced and sidestepped the question of whether he truly called President Donald Trump a “moron,” dismissing the brouhaha as the “petty stuff” of Washington. Though they keep coming, Tillerson insisted the persistent queries aren’t hindering his mission as the nation’s top diplomat. Asked about a …

US to Americans: Stay away from Cuba after health ‘attacks’

WASHINGTON — The United States delivered an ominous warning to Americans on Friday to stay away from Cuba and ordered home more than half the U.S. diplomatic corps, acknowledging neither the Cubans nor America’s FBI can figure out who or what is responsible for months of mysterious health ailments. No longer tiptoeing around the issue, …

Trump admin defends new refugee cap of 45,000 in coming year

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration defended its decision Wednesday to sharply curtail the number of refugees allowed into the United States to 45,000 next year, even as global humanitarian groups decried the move and called the number far too low. The 45,000 cap, to be formally announced by President Donald Trump in the coming days, …

Qatar giving $30 million to help Harvey victims in Texas

WASHINGTON — Qatar is donating $30 million to help people in Texas recover from Harvey, its ambassador said Thursday, as the Persian Gulf nation works to show it’s a constructive global player amid a diplomatic crisis with its neighbours. The contribution appears to be the largest from a foreign government to assist with the hurricane …

US ban on travel North Korea kicks in, with few exceptions

WASHINGTON — A U.S. ban on Americans travelling to North Korea took effect Friday amid concerns about the fate of those who have been detained there in the past. The U.S. said its citizens can start applying for exceptions, but few will be granted. The ban, announced by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in July …

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