How the world is reacting to war of words between Trump and North Korea

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This week, tensions between the United States and North Korea hit a boiling point.

Things ratcheted up Tuesday when President Trump told reporters that the United States would respond with “fire and fury the likes the world has never seen” if Pyongyang continues its provocations. (He later suggested that his world-rattling words might not have been “tough enough.”) Those comments came in response to U.S. intelligence reports suggesting that Pyongyang had the capacity to fit a nuclear weapon to a long-range ballistic missile.

On Wednesday, North Korea struck back, calling Trump’s statement a “load of nonsense,” and accusing the U.S. president of being senile and spending too much time on golf. The country also warned that it is working on a plan to deploy four missiles that would envelope Guam, a U.S. territory with several American bases, in a wall of fire.

Though senior U.S. officials rushed to calm Americans and allies, the president did little to cool tensions Thursday, announcing that his administration is reviewing its options and that the military is “locked and loaded,” ready to #fighttonight.

Here’s a look at how other countries are responding to this tense situation:

China

In the past, China has tried to act as something of a mediator between the United States and North Korea, urging restraint and caution on both sides. As The Washington Post’s China correspondent reported, “China has become deeply frustrated with the regime in Pyongyang, and genuinely wants to see a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. But it has always refused to do anything that might destabilize or topple a regime which has long been both ally and buffer state . … That’s because Beijing does not want to see a unified Korean state allied to the United States on its border: Indeed, hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers died during the 1950-53 Korean War to prevent that from happening.”

But on Friday, Beijing said in no uncertain terms that it would not come to North Korea’s defense if the Hermit Kingdom launched a preemptive strike against the United States. An editorial in the state-run Global Times reads, in part, “if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral. … If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.”

Japan

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has long argued for a tougher line on North Korea, pushing to strengthen Japan’s military and antimissile defense. In recent days, Abe and other senior officials have reiterated their support of the U.S. president’s strategy. Trump is “putting all options on the table,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said to the New York Times. “Our government approves of that stance. It’s extremely important that the Japan-U.S. alliance further strengthens its ability to deter and respond.”

That might not sit so well with Japan’s electorate, which largely does not share Abe’s bellicose position. “If it looks like the U.S. set off the chain of events that led to escalation, and Abe didn’t use his relationship with Trump to moderate that, it’s easy to imagine that there would be a domestic price to pay,” Tobias Harris, a Japan analyst at Teneo Intelligence, told the New York Times.

South Korea

On Friday, South Korea said that the country’s national security adviser had been in touch with his American counterpart and had been assured that the White House will not do anything on the Korean Peninsula that would “catch the South off guard.” “Both South Korea and the United States reaffirmed their promise that as they take step-by-step measures to ensure their security and the safety of their peoples, they will coordinate with each other closely and transparently,” a statement from presidential spokesman Park Soo-hyun said.

Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated Friday that Russia will not accept a nuclear North Korea. But he blamed the current tensions on the United States and Kim Jong Un’s regime, saying that there has been an “overwhelming amount” of “belligerent rhetoric” from Washington and Pyongyang. Lavrov also advocated for his country’s preferred solution to the crisis — a “smart plan” developed by Russia and China that would have Kim freeze his country’s nuclear tests in exchange for the United States and South Korea freezing their large-scale drills.

Live on state television, Lavrov said that “there are direct threats of deploying [military] power” and that “the side that is stronger and cleverer” will take the first step to defuse tensions.

Australia

In a statement to 3AW, an Australian radio station, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that if North Korea launches an attack on the United States, Australia will have our back. “America stands by its allies, including Australia of course, and we stand by the United States,” Turnbull said, according to ABC. “Be very, very clear on that. If there’s an attack on the U.S., the ANZUS Treaty would be invoked and Australia would come to the aid of the United States, as America would come to our aid if we were attacked.”

He also called on Kim’s regime to stop its “illegal, reckless, provocative conduct.”

Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called the escalation of rhetoric “the wrong answer.” She has pledged her country’s support to “any nonmilitary solutions,” telling reporters in Berlin: “I don’t see a military solution to this conflict . … I see the need for enduring work at the U.N. Security Council … as well as tight cooperation between the countries involved, especially the U.S. and China.”

United Kingdom

British officials have called on the United States to dial back the rhetoric. First Secretary of State Damian Green has said that it is “obviously” in Britain’s interests for the the two countries to avoid war; he also called on Trump to “be sensible” and go through the United Nations before undertaking military action. According to the Sun, an unnamed government source has said the U.K. won’t support a U.S. military strike. “The Americans are more than capable of doing what they might want, or have to do, in the region without our help,” the paper quoted the source as saying.

France

On Wednesday, government spokesman Christophe Castaner told reporters that his country was “preoccupied” by the situation and urged “all sides” to “act responsibly.”

Guam

Guam Gov. Eddie Baza Calvo has endeavored to calm nerves and reassure the island’s 160,000 citizens that they’re safe. In a video address, he said, “There is no change in the threat level resulting from North Korea events” and that “there are several levels of defense, all strategically placed to protect our island and our nation.” But Guam also released a two-page pamphlet advising residents on how to react to a North Korean strike.

“Our island has been a target since 2013, and even before that,” Dee Cruz, a senior watch officer with Guam Homeland Security, told The Post. “We’re ready, and prepared, as much as possible.”

Source:-washingtonpost

World Bank approves $570mn for Bangladesh

World Bank, Bangladesh

The World Bank has approved $570 million for two projects in Bangladesh to improve health, nutrition and population services and strengthen the country’s public procurement.

The $515 million Health Sector Support Project will strengthen the country’s health system and improve quality and coverage of essential service delivery, with a focus on Sylhet and Chittagong divisions, Xinhua news agency reported.

Key health indicators are below national average in Sylhet and Chittagong, said the Washington-based lender in a statement on Saturday.

The $55 million Digitizing Implementation Monitoring and Public Procurement Project will help Bangladesh improve public procurement performance, including its capacity to monitor implementation of development projects and programmes using digital technology, it said.

Bangladesh spends over $7 billion a year on public procurement, which constitutes about 70 per cent of the annual development programme.

According to the bank, the Health Sector Support Project aims to increase the number of mothers receiving quality delivery care in public health facilities to at least 146,000 mothers annually in the two regions.

It will also provide basic immunization to nearly five million children.

“The World Bank and the government have been working together for years to improve the health sector and public procurement performance,” said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.

“These two projects will help further progress towards better health outcomes and optimal use of public resources through an effective public procurement and monitoring system. This will benefit the entire nation and support Bangladesh’s journey to becoming an upper middle-income country,” he said.

 

 

[“source-thestatesman”]

Wheelchair rugby league: Wales threaten to leave pitch at World Cup

Wheelchair rugby league

Wales’ wheelchair rugby league side are threatening to leave the pitch in their final World Cup match if flash photography takes place after one of their players suffered seizures.

Wales say Harry Jones suffered a seizure in two previous games because of flash photography.

They are scheduled for a fifth-placed play-off game versus Spain on Thursday.

“Harry has been carried off on a stretcher because of photography,” Wales manager Mark Andrew Jones said.

Banning flash photography is not a competition rule at the rugby league World Cup but Wales requested to tournament bosses that announcements be made to both the crowd and photographers.

Wales boss Jones says they are pushing for it to be brought in as a rule in future tournaments.

“There are announcements and posters at every game regarding flash photography. We now remove the team from the pitch until it’s sorted,” he said.

“Harry has photo sensitive epilepsy and flash photography can affect him quite badly, to the point of a seizure.

“We made the organisers aware we would request no flash photography and the organisers have been helpful in trying to make that happen.

“It is not a rule, but Wales rugby league will take it up with international bodies to make it a rule not to use flash photography in the future.

“If we see flash photography, the Wales team will come off the pitch until the problem is sorted.

“If you had seen the condition Harry was in, you would not see that as a drastic measure… it is all about player safety.”

England play in the final of the rugby league World Cup on Friday.

Source:-.bbc.

Lenovo lines up new software and gadgets at Tech World Summit

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The Chinese company unveiled AI-focused technology and gadgets at the show

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the glitzy, sometimes mysterious, aura around what the technology promises entices everybody, right from the tech bigwigs to scribes jostling for the latest byte or scoop about it. A recent example being Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg siding with the technology, saying it promises a lot, as opposed to Tesla chief Elon Musk, who had earlier warned about AI’s possible dangers.

Well, dangerous or not, companies are betting big on it; and that includes Chinese gadget maker Lenovo, which unveiled a host of AI-focused tech and gadgets at its Tech World 2017 Summit.

At a time when Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri are finding their way to power the smart home ecosystem, virtual assistants are hot property.

Lenovo unveiled its Context Aware Virtual Assistant (CAVA), which can read messages and understand their meaning, and give you suggestions based on them. It uses deep learning-based facial recognition and can analyse data from apps to give you suggestions based on the weather and traffic, for example.

Lenovo also unveiled a SmartVest, which uses 10 textile sensors to track heart activity, giving it the ability to record ECG in real time. It can also be used to monitor heart rate and detect cardiac problems.

SmartCast+ was another interesting device at the show, which is a smart speaker that is capable of recognising objects and noises. It also has a built-in projector, so it looks like Lenovo has a home entertainment kit rolled into one speaker, with this one.

Though these are still concepts, mostly, we eagerly await their commercial availability, given the buzz around them.

Source:-thehindu