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Trump impeachment hearings highlight immigrants’ stories

Several witnesses who testified in the House impeachment inquiry this week chose to highlight their immigrant backgrounds, sharing their families’ stories in highly personal opening statements. Their stories offered a sharp counterpoint to President Donald Trump, who has often derided immigrants as a threat to the national security of the United States.

Trump says will stick with Vice President Pence as 2020 running mate

"He's my guy, he's my friend," Trump said in an interview with Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends." He said former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley "would be great," but that Pence has done a "phenomenal job."

From Goya to Rubens, visitors marvel at Spanish duke's art-filled palace

Home to one of Spain's most important private art collections that includes paintings by Goya, Velazquez and Rubens, the Liria Palace was for decades Madrid's best kept cultural secret. But over 14,000 people have so far visited the home of the 19th Duke of Alba, the head of one of Spain's oldest and richest aristocratic houses, since it opened its doors to the general public in September and there is a two-month waiting period for tickets. "The social pressure to see the collection was strong," said Alvaro Romero Sanchez-Arjona, head of the culture department at the Casa de Alba Foundation which runs the 18th century palace located near the bustling Gran Via, the Spanish capital's main shopping street.

Sri Lankan Tamils prefer Premadasa over Wickremesinghe to lead main Opposition

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is a political alliance in Sri Lanka that represents the country's Tamil community. Formed in October 2001, the TNA, since the end of civil war, has dropped the demand for an independent state, saying that it is ready to accept regional self-rule.

Black shadows in Hong Kong's university campus

In a near-empty, soundless labyrinth, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) is decoupled from the cacophony of a brash, bustling city of 7.5 million people.Black shadows flitting around in small groups, deserted rubbish-strewn corridors and cockroaches in disemboweled kitchens: dawn broke on Friday to reveal a post-apocalyptic scene at a Hong Kong campus six days after a police siege began.The pro-democracy protesters holding this brick "fortress" are almost invisible as they hide among the maze of rooms and corridors. They occasionally emerge, clustered in twos or threes and give interviews to the assembled media.

How Russia's foster children are saving dying villages

In a small room with a blackboard and lace curtains, first-grader Danya listens as his teacher explains the concept of vowels and consonants. In this village school with 36 pupils, he is one of 13 foster children. "Adoption is how the school and the village have survived," says headmaster Gennady Chistyakov who like most Russians uses the term adoption to refer to foster care. "If it weren't for the children, we would be shut." Foster children have become a lifeline not only for Chistyakov's village of Brodi, about 500 kilometres (300 miles) north of Moscow, but for countless other rural communities. They are facing a slow death from unemployment and precipitous population decline, followed by closures of schools and clinics. "People leave with their children, leading the schools to shut, and leaving only retirees," says Vera Galindabayeva, a sociologist at the Russian Academy of Sciences who studies the fostering phenomenon. "Eventually such villages disappear."

Baghdad tunnel becomes symbolic of Iraq's mutiny

The Saadoun Tunnel has become an ad hoc museum for Iraq's massive anti-government protest movement. Along its walls, young artists draw murals, portraits and graffiti that illustrate the country's tortured past and the Iraq they aspire to.The tunnel passes under Baghdad's Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the protests where thousands of people are camped out in a giant sit-in that has taken on the feel of a vibrant mini-city.

Lack of transparency in CPEC could foster corruption, resulting heavier debt burden for Pakistan: Alice Wells

US Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells on Thursday deemed China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) not an aid to Pakistan but form of financing ensuring guaranteed profits for Chinese enterprises, a form of financing ensuring guaranteed profits for Chinese state-owned enterprises, and pointed out that the multi-billion dollar project is certain to take a toll on Pakistan's economy at the time of the repayment of the debt and dividend in the coming years. Speaking at an event at the Wilson Center on China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in South and Central Asia, Wells said that the lack of transparency in the CPEC could foster corruption and increase the project cost, thereby resulting in an even heavier debt burden for Pakistan. Because it is clear or needs to be clear that CPEC is not about aid, this is almost always the form of loans or other forms of financing, often non-concessional with sovereign guarantees or guaranteed profits for Chinese State-owned enterprises that are repatriated to China," Wells said. "Now together with non-CPEC Chinese debt payment, China is going to take a growing toll on Pakistan's economy, especially when the bulk of payment starts to come due in the next four to six years. Even if loan payments are deferred they are going to hang over Pakistan's economic development potential, hamstringing Prime Minister Khan's reform agenda. The lack of transparency can increase CPEC cost and foster corruption, resulting in an even heavier debt burden for Pakistan," she added.

Imran Khan, Trump discuss Afghan peace process, Kashmir during telephonic conversation

In a telephonic conversation on Thursday, Pakistan PM Imran Khan discussed Afghan peace process and the Kashmir issue with US President Donald Trump along with other bilateral and regional matters. Khan apprised President Trump of the current situation in Kashmir and also re-affirmed Pakistan's commitment to the advancement of the Afghan peace process

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu charged in corruption cases

Israel’s attorney general has formally charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a series of corruption cases, throwing the country’s paralyzed political system into further disarray and threatening the long-time leader’s grip on power.

Growth to pick up next year: OECD

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development forecasted a growth rate of 6.2% in 2020 ans 6.4% in 2021. The forecast came ahead of the release the GDP numbers for the July-September quarter by the government’s statistics office, scheduled for November 29. India’s economy grew 6.8% in FY19.

US Senate passes funding bill to avert government shutdown this week

US Senate passes funding bill to avert government shutdown this week

The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed legislation that would continue the funding for a wide range of federal agencies through Dec. 20 and avoid partial government shutdowns that otherwise would begin on Friday, when existing money expires.

N. Korea says Kim turned down Moon invitation to visit South

N. Korea says Kim turned down Moon invitation to visit South

Officials have insisted that Kim has no interest in another summit with Trump unless the North gets something in return. They have also called for the US to end ``hostile'' policies against the North, apparently referring to its enforcement of sanctions and pressure, and permanently halt joint military exercises with the South for any progress in negotiations.

4 Indian-origin lawmakers inducted into Justin Trudeau’s new Cabinet

4 Indian-origin lawmakers inducted into Justin Trudeau’s new Cabinet

In the Canadian general election held in October, the Liberal Party bagged 157 seats, the opposition Conservative 121, Bloc Quebecois 32, Indian-origin Canadian Jagmeet Singh-led New Democratic Party (NDP) 24, Green Party 3 and one Independent. To reach the majority of 170 in the 338-seat House of Commons, the Liberals are short of 13 members.

Israeli AG formally charges Netanyahu in corruption cases

Israeli AG formally charges Netanyahu in corruption cases

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit issued an indictment Thursday charging Netanyahu with fraud, breach of trust and bribery. He was scheduled to address reporters later Thursday. Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and said he is a victim of a witch hunt.

British Airways says flights hit by glitch

British Airways says flights hit by glitch

BA warned that there would be knock-on delays -- but declined to comment on the nature of the problem nor the number of flights affected. Meanwhile only two months ago, the airline was forced to ground its entire UK fleet for two days when pilots went on strike in a bitter and long-running pay dispute.

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