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People attend rally raising awareness of child care in Washington

People attend a rally raising awareness of the need for excellent and affordable child care accessible for all families on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the United States, on April 25, 2017.

People attend a rally raising awareness of the need for excellent and affordable child care accessible for all families on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the United States, on April 25, 2017.

People attend a rally raising awareness of the need for excellent and affordable child care accessible for all families on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the United States, on April 25, 2017.

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Easter Bonnet Parade held in New York

The Annual Easter Bonnet Parade is held on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue on April 16, which is one of the most distinctive festive events in New York. People with elaborately-decorated bonnets contend in their beauty and fascination, sweeping away the cold winter and bringing the cheerful breath of spring.

People with elaborately-decorated bonnets take part in the Easter Bonnet Parade in New York, the United States, April 16, 2017. Each year on Easter, New Yorkers show off their very best bonnets along Fifth Avenue on Manhattan.

A man with elaborately-decorated bonnet takes part in the Easter Bonnet Parade in New York, the United States, April 16, 2017.

Kids with elaborately-decorated bonnets take part in the Easter Bonnet Parade in New York, the United States, April 16, 2017.

Women with elaborately-decorated bonnets take part in the Easter Bonnet Parade in New York, the United States, April 16, 2017.

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Passenger dragged off overtaked United Airlines flight may file lawsuit

Lawyer Thomas Demetrio, who is representing David Dao, the passenger who was violently dragged off an overbooked United Airlines flight, speaks during a press conference in Chicago, Illinois, the United States, on April 13, 2017.

CHICAGO, April 13 — The passenger who was violently dragged off an overbooked United Airlines flight on Sunday night may file a lawsuit against the company, his lawyer Tom Demetrio said at a press conference Thursday.

While answering questions from reporters, Tom Demetrio said the passenger, David Dao, 69 years old, has a serious concussion, a broken nose, injury to the sinuses, and lost two front teeth as a result of the incident, adding the passenger also has psychological injuries because the rudeness of the treatment by security officials.

The lawyer said they have taken the first legal steps toward filing a lawsuit.
During the same press conference, Dao’s daughter, Crystal Dao Pepper told reporters that “what happened to my dad should not have happened to any human being, regardless of the circumstance.”

“We were horrified, and shocked, and sickened to learn what had happened to him and to see what had happened to him. We hope that in the future, nothing like this happens again.”

Pepper thanked the medical team and people from around the world for what she described as an “outpouring of prayers, love, and concern.”
Video of the incident has gone viral on social media, with commentators accusing United Airlines of racism and having included several calls for a boycott.
The video shows three security officers from the Chicago Department of Aviation pulling the passenger David Dao out of his seat, and in the ensuing struggle, hitting his head on the armrest. The video then shows that Dao was dragged off the plane by the arms.

During a press conference on Thursday morning, the attorney told reporters that the City of Chicago bears responsibility as well.

“So were these three officers, these storm troopers, for a moment, doing the right thing? No, not at all,” Demetrio said. “This was not a troubled passenger. This was not a nutjob. This was not a threat to anybody. Should he have been unceremoniously dragged out of that plane the way he was? He’s a 69-year-old man. Is that really the way we went to treat the aged disembarking that plane?”

The viral reaction also extended to the markets as United Airlines stock dipped up nearly 4 percent during the morning session after the incident, and the Chief Executive Officer has publicly apologized in an interview with U.S. media.

“He was a paying passenger, sitting on our seat in our aircraft and no one should be treated that way period,” Munoz said. United Airlines’ stock has since recovered most of that loss.

Due to the concussion, Demetrio said that passenger David Dao has no recollection of the incident, and was released from the hospital on Tuesday night. According to the attorney, Dao will likely drive home to Louisville from Chicago, instead of taking a plane.

 

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Two killed in “Murder Suicide” shooting in California school

LOS ANGELES, April 10 — Two people were killed and two others were injured in a shooting incident occurred on campus of North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino of California on Monday.

A police car was seen in front of the gate of North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino of California, the United States, on April 10, 2017.

Local KESQ TV station reported two adults were killed while two injured students had been sent to hospital.

According to NBCLA, the incident happened at 10 am, two students and a teacher were shot and school district spokesperson said the tragedy might stem from domestic violence involving a teacher.

“We believe this to be a murder suicide. Happened in a class room, two students have been transported to the hospital.” Jarrod Burguan, Chief of San Bernardino Police Department posted on his twitter at 11:02 am.

He also said that preliminary information was that 4 victims were being treated and “suspect is possibly down as well.”

Students in North Park Elementary School were evacuated after the incident.

The road to North Park Elementary School was blocked in San Bernardino on April 10.

The school gate was sealed off on Monday.

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Chinese President Xi arrives in U.S. for first meeting with Trump

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan are welcomed by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his wife upon their arrival at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida, the United States, April 6, 2017. Xi arrived here for the first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.

PALM BEACH, United States, April 6 — Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in this southeastern U.S. coastal town on Thursday for the first meeting with his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, in a bid to chart the course of bilateral ties in a new era.

In cloudy sunshine, the plane carrying the Chinese president, First Lady Peng Liyuan and other members of the delegation landed in the early afternoon at Palm Beach International Airport.

Under the gaze of an enthused welcoming crowd, including U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his wife, Xi and Peng stepped out of the hatch and waved before they walked down the ramp hand in hand.

During his two-day stay in the Sunshine State of Florida, Xi is scheduled to hold talks with Trump in the Mar-a-Lago resort, which Trump calls “the Southern White House,” to exchange views on bilateral ties and major regional and global issues of common concern.

Xi and Peng will also attend a welcome banquet hosted by Trump and First Lady Melania, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang told a press conference on March 31.

Under the current international circumstances, “the meeting will be of great significance to charting China-U.S. relationship in a new era, advancing the development of bilateral ties in a healthy and stable way from a new starting point, and promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large,” Zheng said.

Also late last month, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said at a press briefing that Trump sees the meeting as an opportunity for him “to develop a relationship in person with President Xi.”

The U.S. president, he added, “looks forward to meeting with President Xi and exchanging views on each other’s respective priorities, and to chart a way forward on a bilateral relationship between our two nations.”

Prior to the trip, the two sides, respectively the world’s largest developed and developing country, have maintained close communication at various levels and reached important consensuses.

In a telephone conversation in February, the two heads of state, who have maintained contact through phone calls and letters, agreed to build a constructive China-U.S. relationship and step up cooperation. In addition, Trump reversed his earlier stance and pledged to honor the one China policy, the political bedrock of bilateral ties.

Senior officials of the two countries have also exchanged visits to prepare for the presidential meeting. While visiting Beijing last month, Tillerson vowed to develop bilateral relations on the basis of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, a principle Beijing has championed to describe its vision for China-U.S. ties.

Since establishing diplomatic relations in 1979, the two countries have witnessed twists and turns in their relationship, but have nonetheless become highly interdependent with their interests getting increasingly intertwined.

China is now the largest trading partner of the United States. Last year, two-way trade reached 519.6 billion U.S. dollars. In comparison, the figure was 2.5 billion dollars in 1979.

Meanwhile economic cooperation with China has been vital to job creation in the United States, the U.S.-China Business Council said in a report in January. Bilateral trade and investment supported some 2.6 million jobs in the United States across a range of industries in 2015, while Chinese products also help lower costs for U.S. consumers.

Although they still have many differences and frictions, with trade and currency among the major thorny issues, the two sides have sought to properly manage them and expand common ground, as the world craves a healthy relationship between the two countries.

Noting that the first Xi-Trump meeting takes place just two and a half months after Trump assumed office, Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Kissinger Associates, an international consulting firm based in New York City, said such an early tete-a-tete will not only benefit both countries, but also serve “multilateral interests.”

A successful presidential meeting will publicly convey a message that the two countries are not caught in an “adversarial relationship” and will work together to solve problems through “constructive dialogue,” he added.

Joseph Nye, a renowned U.S. foreign policy expert, told Xinhua in an email interview that he is optimistic about China-U.S. relations for the long term.

“The U.S. and China will both compete and cooperate, but they have more gain from the cooperation dimension of the relationship,” he said.

 

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Americans’ views of China improve as economic concerns ease: poll

Americans’ views of China improve as economic concerns ease: poll
A new U.S. poll released Tuesday found that Americans’ views of China have greatly improved in the past year.

The poll was published ahead of the first meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in Florida later this week.

The Feb. 16-March 15 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center showed that 44 percent of Americans have a favorable view of China, a 7-percent rise over a year ago.

The rise in Americans’ favorable ratings of China may be related to the easing of Americans’ concerns about the U.S. economy, Pew said.

Currently, 58 percent of Americans say the U.S. economic situation is either very or somewhat good, up from 44 percent in 2016, and 40 percent in 2015, the poll showed.

There are notable differences along partisan lines, with Democrats significantly more likely than Republicans or independents to offer a positive opinion of China, Pew said.

Despite the negative rhetoric about China by candidates during the 2016 presidential campaign, ratings of China have become more positive among both Republicans and Democrats, according to the survey.

Now 39 percent of Republicans have a favorable opinion of China, up from 27 percent a year ago. Among Democrats, 49 percent hold a favorable opinion, up from 39 percent a year ago, the poll found.

Americans are more worried about China’s economic strengthening, at 52 percent, than its military power, at 36 percent, the poll discovered.

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New study predicts major Southern California beaches erosion by 2100

Exposed bedrock on the beach during very low (negative) tide at Isla Vista, California.

LOS ANGELES, March 29 — Using a new computer model, U.S. scientists predict that 31 to 67 percent of Southern California beaches could be severely damaged by rising sea levels by the year 2100.

According to a new study, published online by the American Geophysical Union in their Journal of Geophysical Research, predictions of shoreline change with limited human intervention indicate that 31 to 67 percent of Southern California beaches may become completely eroded by 2100 under predicted scenarios of one to two meters.

“Beaches are perhaps the most iconic feature of California, and the potential for losing this identity is real. The effect of California losing its beaches is not just a matter of affecting the tourism economy,” Sean Vitousek, lead author of the study, said in a statement.

“Losing the protecting swath of beach sand between us and the pounding surf exposes critical infrastructure, businesses and homes to damage. Beaches are natural resources, and it is likely that human management efforts must increase in order to preserve them,” said Vitousek, who was a post-doctoral fellow at the U.S. Geological Survey when he conducted this study.

Scientists apply “CoSMoS-COAST,” a newly-developed shoreline change computer modeling system for coastal hazard assessment and management planning, to simulate sandy shoreline evolution along 500 kilometers of coastline in Southern California, which hosts complex mixtures of beach settings variably backed by dunes, bluffs, cliffs, estuaries, river mouths, and urban infrastructure, providing applicability of the model to virtually any coastal setting.

“Beaches in Southern California are a crucial feature of the economy, and the first line of defense against coastal storm impacts for the 18 million residents in the region. This study indicates that we will have to perform massive and costly interventions to preserve these beaches in the future under the erosive pressures of anticipated sea level rise, or risk losing many of the economic and protective benefits beaches provide,” said U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) geologist and coauthor, Patrick Barnard.

As greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the window to limit global warming below 2 degrees Celsius appears to be closing. Associated projections for sea-level rise generally range near or below 1 meter by 2100.

Coastal communities threatened by sea level rise and heavy storms are particularly hard hit. And according to a 2011 study, sea level rise could displace nearly 190 million people by the end of the century around the world.

Although 72 percent of beaches in Southern California show historical trends of accretion or getting larger, due to large artificial beach nourishments since the 1930s, future predictions indicate that nearly all of the beaches will experience erosion due to accelerated sea-level rise, according to the study.

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Trump unveils budget blueprint with huge increases in defense spending

WASHINGTON, March 16 — U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday unveiled the administration’s $1.1 trillion budget blueprint which proposes to increase $54 billion to defense spending and correspondingly to cut down expenses across federal departments and agencies with a massive cancellation of other federal programs.

Trump’s budget expenses in 2018 fiscal year is focused on spending on military and national security areas, the spending for Defense Department will be increased by 10% and Department of Homeland Security(DHS ) will also add $2.8 billion(also 6.8%) for uses of arresting and repatriating illegal immigrants.

After Trump’s request to ask Congress in this fiscal year to allocate $1.5 billion to build the US-Mexico border wall, he also requests an additional $2.6 billion in the 2018 fiscal year. While it have not mentioned Donald Trump’s $1 trillion in infrastructure programmes of budgets.

State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) became big losers in the budget, the former’s funds were even reduced more than $10 billion. RexTillerson, Secretary of State, responded that the State expenditures are at record highs, and such spending is unsustainable.

Copies of U.S. President Donald Trump administration’s first budget blueprint.

Copies of U.S. President Donald Trump administration’s first budget blueprint.

 

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Winter storm stella brings heavy snow to NE United States

A girl walks on the snow with her skis in Washington D.C., the United States, on March 14, 2017. Winter storm stella brought heavy snow and sleet Tuesday to the northeastern United States, where thousands of flights were canceled and most of schools closed.

A woman walks on the snow with her baby in Washington D.C., the United States, on March 14, 2017. Winter storm stella brought heavy snow and sleet Tuesday to the northeastern United States, where thousands of flights were canceled and most of schools closed.

Cherry blossoms are seen on the snow-covered street in Washington D.C., the United States, on March 14, 2017. Winter storm stella brought heavy snow and sleet Tuesday to the northeastern United States, where thousands of flights were canceled and most of schools closed.

People walk at Times Square in New York, the United States, on March 14, 2017. Winter storm stella brought heavy snow and sleet Tuesday to the northeastern United States, where thousands of flights were canceled and most of schools closed.

A girl poses for photos at Times Square in New York, the United States, on March 14, 2017. Winter storm stella brought heavy snow and sleet Tuesday to the northeastern United States, where thousands of flights were canceled and most of schools closed.

 

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Lincoln to make SUV in China with Chang’an Auto Group

Lincoln, the luxury unit of Ford Motor Co, said on Monday that it plans to build a luxury sport utility vehicle in China in partnership with the Chang’an Automobile Group.

The as-yet unnamed vehicle will be built at a plant in the city of Chongqing. It is scheduled to go on sale in late 2019 only in China, the world’s largest auto market, according to Lincoln spokesman Said Deep.

Building in China will help Lincoln meet growing customer demand and enable the company to become more responsive to changing customer preferences, Deep wrote in an email. “As Lincoln grows in China it makes sense to produce this new SUV in China,” he added.

Lincoln exports its vehicles from North America to China, and reported sales of 32,558 in 2016, three times more than it sold in 2015.

Ford and its joint venture partners sold a record 1.27 million vehicles in China last year. Lincoln isn’t the only US luxury brand taking aim at China. General Motors said its Cadillac volume in China rose 46 percent in 2016 to 116,406 , the first time it passed 100,000 vehicles in China in a single year.

U.S. study calls for tailored health approaches for biggest minority population

SAN FRANCISCO, April 25 — A new study suggests that public health approaches may need to be tailored based on needs of the diverse groups within the Latino population in the United States.

Past research has shown that increased wealth, defined as the accumulation of property such as homes and cars, savings and more, has been linked to better cardiovascular health across various racial and ethnic groups. But among Hispanic/Latinos, the association has been inconsistent.

An analysis of health data for nearly 5,000 Hispanic/Latino people ages 18 to 74 in the United States, collected for the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos and the Sociocultural Ancillary Study, showed that on whole there was no strong association between wealth and cardiovascular health among Hispanic/Latinos.

“What we found is that it’s important to be careful not to make assumptions that everyone who is considered Hispanic or Latino can be put into the same basket,” said Daniel López-Cevallos, assistant professor of ethnic studies in the Oregon State University (OSU) College of Liberal Arts. “There are differences within the group that are important to take into consideration when it comes to addressing public health issues such as cardiovascular health.”

Much of the health research today tends to focus on Latinos in the country as a single racial/ethnic group. But in reality, that group includes people from a diverse range of backgrounds, including Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Central American and South American, and the health risks they face may vary from group to group.

Published this month in the journal Ethnicity and Health, the new study underscores the need for further examination of differences within the Hispanic/Latino population, particularly when developing medical treatments or public health interventions, said López-Cevallos, the lead author on the study.

The Hispanic/Latino population is the largest and one of the fastest-growing racial/ethnic minority groups in the United States. And cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death among Hispanic/Latinos.

The researchers found that health and wealth were closely associated for some groups but not others. For example, wealthier Central Americans were less likely to be obese, while wealthier Puerto Ricans were more likely to be obese. “Within this group, there is a diversity of experiences,” he said. “What is it about the experience of wealthy Puerto Ricans that is different from the experience of wealthy Central Americans? Unless we explore those differences further, we won’t be able to understand and address health risk factors appropriately.”

Further research is needed to understand and tailor public health messaging and health interventions for sub-groups within the Hispanic/Latino population, López-Cevallos was quoted as saying in a news release from OSU. “As the Latino population continues to grow, these differences within groups will become more and more important,” he said. “We really need to amp up our study of these deeper differences.”

G20 finance ministers reach consensus on free trade, open markets

WASHINGTON, April 21 — Finance ministers from the Group of 20 leading economies have reached a broad consensus that free trade and open markets is better for promoting global economic growth, German senior officials said on Friday.

The general mood of the discussion was a broad agreement in the direction that “free trade is better for global growth and better for every national economy concerned as well,” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Friday after wrapping up a meeting of the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors here.

“Protectionism would be damaging to the global economy and the concerned economies as well. There was a broad consensus,” Schaeuble, whose country holds the G20 presidency this year, said at a press briefing on the sidelines of the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

“Almost everybody underscored the importance of open markets and free market access, so that was a consensus in the meeting,” Jens Weidmann, president of the German central bank, said at the same press briefing.

Citing of discussions about current account balances during the meeting, Weidmann said, ministers agreed that the policy response would be “opening more markets” rather than raising trade barriers.

Finance ministers and central bankers of the G20 pose for a family photo after G20 meeting during the IMF and World Bank spring meetings in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, April 21, 2017.

The task of the G20 finance ministers’ meeting is to articulately discuss these issues in a way that’s helpful to “get things moving to the right direction,” Schaeuble said, noting that G20 policymakers have to do more to “make the economy more inclusive” and address negative effects of globalization.

“We need to tackle this, otherwise we’ll see more protectionism,” he added.

Weidmann also said the G20 should focus more on inclusive growth as the lack of structural reforms dampens growth prospects and “rising inequality puts the strain on potential growth.”

“When the inequality rises, there is a risk of course of people increasingly becoming disenchanted with globalization,” he said, adding reducing inequality with economies will remain at the top of the G20 agenda under the German presidency.

The IMF on Tuesday raised its forecast for global economic growth this year to 3.5 percent, but warned that inward-looking policies threaten global integration and the cooperative global economic order.

“Avoiding the damage from potential protectionist measures will require a renewed multilateral commitment to support trade, paired with national initiatives that can help workers adversely affected by a range of structural economic transformations including those due to trade,” IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld told reporters.

The Group of 20 include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

Chinese first lady visits U.S. art school

PALM BEACH, United States, April 7 — Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, on Friday visited an art school in this southeastern U.S. coastal town accompanied by U.S. First Lady Melania Trump.

Peng Liyuan (7th R, Front), wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, and U.S. First Lady Melania Trump (6th L, Front) pose with students during their visit to the Bak Middle School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida, the United States, April 7, 2017.

At the Bak Middle School of the Arts, Peng visited different classrooms, watched performances by students and talked with them. She also joined a class about politics and economics, answered a question from a student reporter about her connection with arts, and was presented with a student’s painting as souvenir.

Noting that China and the United States should enhance communication and cooperation in the area of arts, Peng said she hopes that teachers and students of the Bak Middle School of the Arts will make greater contribution in strengthening bilateral ties and friendship through education and arts.

Peng is in Palm Beach with Xi for the Chinese president’s first meeting with his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump. The two leaders agreed that the meeting, held at the seaside Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, was “positive and fruitful.”

U.S.launches missiles at Syria in response to chemical weapons attack

The United States launched 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield Thursday evening (local time) in response to a chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians, Syrian military said that six were killed and several were wounded, according to the media.

It’s the first direct assault on the Damascus government since the beginning of that country’s bloody civil war in 2011.

“It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” President Donald Trump said in a statement. “Tonight I call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria, and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.”

Tomahawk missiles were fired from ships in the Mediterranean Sea around 8:40 p.m. Eastern time at the Al-Shayrat Airbase in central Syria.

The attack targeted the base’s airstrips, hangars, control tower and ammunition areas, the media reported.

The attack was met with mixed reactions across nations, as Israel, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia showed support, while Russia and Iran voiced criticism and concern.

On behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said that the strike is “aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international law.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the attack and said that he fully supported the decision.

In a statement from the Department of Defense, a spokesperson said that initial indications show the “strike has severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment” at the base.

The U.S. took “extraordinary measures to avoid civilian casualties,” the statement said, and “every precaution was taken to execute this strike with minimal risk to personnel at the airfield.”

However, Trump said he would not disclose the details of his plans ahead of time as the Obama administration on whether the U.S. government takes further action against Syria, including military action.