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Trump to start process of sending Americans back to moon: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday will sign a directive aimed at sending Americans back to the moon and eventually to Mars, the White House said. U.S. President Donald Trump holds a space astronaut toy as he participates in a signing ceremony for Space Policy Directive at the White House in Washington D.C., U.S., December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria Trump will sign “Space Policy Directive 1” that orders NASA “to lead an innovative space exploration program to send American astronauts back to the Moon, and eventually Mars,”Read More


Democratic Senator Franken faces pressure to resign, announcement looms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrat Al Franken faced intense pressure from members of his own party on Wednesday to resign from the U.S. Senate over accusations of sexual misconduct. Minnesota Public Radio reported Franken would resign on Thursday. Franken’s office said in an email that no final decision had been made and that the senator was still discussing the issue with his family. After accusations began surfacing three weeks ago, Franken said he would remain in office and work to regain the trust of voters in Minnesota, the state he represents.Read More


PM Hariri urges Lebanese to put country first

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Thursday that the political crisis in Lebanon this month was “a wake up call” for Lebanese with different loyalties to put their country ahead of regional issues. Hariri was referring to the crisis ignited by his decision to resign earlier this month. He announced the shock resignation from Saudi Arabia, a Sunni monarchy and regional powerhouse, which is locked in a tussle with Shi‘ite Islamist Iran. After returning to Lebanon this week, he shelved the decision on Wednesday at the requestRead More


Merkel’s fourth term in doubt after would-be partner pulls out

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s efforts to form a three-way coalition government that would secure her a fourth term hit a major setback on Sunday after a would-be coalition partner pulled out of exploratory talks, citing irreconcilable differences. The pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) unexpectedly walked out of the talks with Merkel’s conservatives and the Greens, saying that the three parties could not find compromises on key issues like immigration and the environment. Merkel could seek to form a minority government with the Greens, or new elections will beRead More


Cuban businesswomen seek Rubio meeting as U.S. policy bites

HAVANA (Reuters) – An association of Cuban businesswomen has asked to meet with Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida to explain the impact on the country’s nascent private sector of rolling back a detente in U.S. relations. Rubio, a Cuban-American politician who advocates a “no contact” policy with the Communist-run island, has advised President Donald Trump on Cuba policy and welcomed his reversal of the Obama administration’s efforts at a rapprochement. “The current situation has us very worried and we would like to share our personal histories and perspective fromRead More


Top ranks of career U.S. diplomats thin under Tillerson: union

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. foreign service has seen its top ranks shrink under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, according to a letter written by the head of the union representing U.S. diplomats seen by Reuters on Wednesday. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (R) and Defense Secretary James Mattis testify about authorizations for the use of military force before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. October 30, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst The number of career ambassadors, the foreign service’s highest personal rank granted to only aRead More


Trump warns ‘rogue regime’ North Korea of grave danger

SEOUL (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump issued a stark warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday, telling him that the nuclear weapons he is developing “are not making you safer, they are putting your regime in grave danger.” U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his speech at the National Assembly hall in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. REUTERS/Lee Jin-man/Pool “Do not underestimate us and do not try us,” Trump told North Korea as he wrapped up a visit to South Korea with a speech toRead More


Can’t guarantee tax cut for entire middle class: Mnuchin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday said one of the top goals of the Trump administration’s tax plan is to help the middle class, but he could not guarantee that every middle-class family would receive a tax cut. “It is our objective that the entire middle class will get a tax cut,” Mnuchin said on ABC’s “This Week” program. “You cannot make guarantees because every single person’s taxes are different, people take advantage of different things.” President Donald Trump last week outlined his plan, which includesRead More


Yoko Ono won’t let it be, forces ‘John Lemon’ drink to re-brand

LONDON (Reuters) – It wasn’t exactly instant karma when Beatle John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, heard about a Polish beverage company’s new drink called “John Lemon”. She threatened legal action alleging that it infringed on the trademark of her late husband. The company has now agreed to change its drink’s name to “On Lemon”, after lawyers acting for Ono wrote to distributors warning they faced costs of up to 5,000 euros ($5,998) a day and 500 euros for every bottle sold if they infringed the trademark. Lawyers acting for theRead More


If world is drifting apart, it isn’t happening in economic growth: James Saft

(Reuters) – If the world becoming less economically integrated, someone is going to have to explain why growth around the world is so remarkably consistent and tightly correlated. It isn’t just that all 45 OECD countries are growing together for the first time since 2007, but that the level of growth around the world is as similar as its been in a long time. Growth levels among the Group of 10 wealthy nations are as tightly clustered – meaning rates of growth are similar – since at least 1991, andRead More