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USA and IRAN. 17 01 2020. Khmer News Today,Khmer Political News

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Politics

Trump Reports Progress Toward India Trade Deal but No Breakthrough

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NEW DELHI — President Trump said on Tuesday that he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India had made progress toward what he hopes will be a landmark trade agreement between the two economic giants. But there was no breakthrough to announce after formal talks on the second and final day of the president’s visit, as Mr. Trump complained about steep Indian tariffs.

A joint public appearance by the two leaders was long on florid language about the strength of their relationship and short on concrete results. While Mr. Trump had said before departing the United States that “we may make a tremendous deal there,” the two sides appeared far apart on major points of a trade pact.

“Our teams have made tremendous progress on a comprehensive trade agreement, and I’m optimistic we can reach a deal that will be of great importance to both countries,” Mr. Trump told reporters, without elaborating.

Speaking at a news conference a few hours later, he diverged from the sunny rhetoric that had characterized his appearances with Mr. Modi over the past two days, saying that India maintained unfairly high tariffs on American goods, including Harley Davidson motorcycles.

“We’re being charged large amounts of tariffs, and they can’t do that,” Mr. Trump said. “I want reciprocal. The United States has to be treated fairly.”

Such complaints were absent earlier in the day when the two leaders appeared before reporters in the lush garden of Hyderabad House, the iconic building typically used to host foreign leaders, and spoke in front of a backdrop of flags, flowers and fountains.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Modi celebrated a series of modest agreements that were set before the visit, including a $3 billion arms purchase and a letter of cooperation between Exxon Mobil and India’s energy sector. They agreed to create a joint counternarcotics working group to reduce opioid abuse.

“We think we’re at a point where our relationship is so special with India, it has never been as good as it is now,” Mr. Trump said. “We feel very strongly about each other, and we have done something that is very unique.”

The two leaders took no questions at their joint appearance before the news media. Although Mr. Modi has taken questions from reporters while overseas next to other world leaders, he is the first prime minister in recent memory to not have held any news conferences in India.

Mr. Modi treated Mr. Trump to a rally of 125,000 people at a giant cricket stadium in Ahmedabad on Monday, an event meant to appeal to the American president’s love of crowds and spectacle, and welcomed him to the presidential palace on Tuesday with the roar of guns and an honor guard of red-uniformed soldiers on horseback.

At his news conference, Mr. Trump was basking in the glow of that event. “Nobody else that came here got the kind of reception that I got,” Mr. Trump said in response to a question about American limits on H-1B visas for Indians.

“Someone said it was greatest greeting ever given to any head of state of any country,” Mr. Trump added, even though it was not even the largest crowd ever to welcome an American president to India.

He did gently urge Mr. Modi’s government to respect freedom on the internet, which the Indian government has shut down repeatedly. Talking about the need for secure 5G wireless, the president added that it should be “a tool for freedom, progress, prosperity, not to do anything where it could be even conceived as a conduit for suppression and censorship.”

A trade deal with India has been a priority for two years for Mr. Trump, who would like to have another economic agreement to take onto the campaign trail before the November election. But the two sides have been divided over farm products, medical devices, digital trade and new tariffs. Mr. Trump has complained that India treats the United States unfairly and called Mr. Modi a “tough negotiator.”



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New Delhi Streets Turn Into Battleground Between Hindus and Muslims

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NEW DELHI — In one part of New Delhi, President Trump was sightseeing and talking about his warming relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In another, a neighborhood was ripping apart in flames, along religious lines.

A mob of Hindu men, their foreheads marked by a saffron stripe, angrily patrolled the streets carrying iron bars, clubs and baseball bats. They were itching for a fight.

The streets were littered with scraps of brick. All shops were closed and almost no women or children were out — except for two Hindu women brandishing sticks and threatening journalists. The whole area felt as if it were about to ignite.

Gangs of Hindus and Muslims have been clashing in the neighborhood, Maujpur, and surrounding areas since Sunday, killing at least 11 people, including a police officer bashed in the head with a rock.

As Mr. Trump and his counterpart, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, continued with their program on Tuesday, discussing geopolitics and lunching together, thousands of furious residents faced off again, hurling petrol bombs, attacking vehicles, hospitalizing several journalists and drawing more and more police officers and paramilitary troops.

The violence is connected to the ongoing protests against India’s divisive citizenship law, but this was the first time that the protests have set off major bloodshed between Hindus and Muslims. It’s an old and dangerous fault line, and any sign of communal violence raises alarm instantly.

“The situation is volatile and tense,” said Alok Kumar, a senior police officer. “It’s a mixed neighborhood, and in seconds you can have crowds of tens of thousands. Even a small thing can lead to violence.”

In the Muslim quarters, many people felt victimized and accused Mr. Modi’s government of abandoning them. This is a longstanding grievance: that Mr. Modi’s ruling political party, which is rooted in a Hindu-nationalist worldview, has taken sides and abetted violent religious extremists.

Mr. Modi had choreographed Mr. Trump’s visit as a demonstration of India’s rising stature on the world stage, seeking to turn the page on months of street protests.

Demonstrations keep breaking out against the citizenship law, which makes it easier for migrants of every significant South Asian religion except Islam to become Indian citizens. Hundreds of thousands of Indian Muslims have protested, joined by students, academics, human rights activists, and those worried about the country’s direction. Many of them say the new law is a grave threat to India’s traditions of being a secular and inclusive nation.

Since last year’s election handed Mr. Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party another term in power, many Indians feared a resurgence of communal violence, sparked by Hindu triumphalism and Muslim desperation. Until now, however, most of the demonstrations remained peaceful.

Maujpur is a working-class neighborhood about a half-hour’s drive from the center of Delhi. Gray, two- and three-story buildings stand along its roads, housing small factories and many migrant workers.

For the past several weeks, Muslim residents, many of them women, have been protesting the citizenship law. On Saturday night, they began to block a major road.

The next day, Kapil Mishra, a local leader from Mr. Modi’s political party, showed up. He threatened to mobilize a mob to clear out the protesters. He said he didn’t want to create trouble while Mr. Trump was visiting but warned the police that as soon as Mr. Trump left India on Tuesday night, his followers would clear the streets if the police didn’t.

Tensions shot up. As Sunday evening approached, gangs of Hindu men and Muslim men began throwing rocks at each other. This quickly degenerated into wider violence, with Hindu residents accusing Muslims of attacking Hindu statues and Muslim residents expressing fear that a Hindu mob was forming to get them.

Several Muslim residents in Maujpur and adjacent neighborhoods said that police officers had stood by while they were attacked. In mob lynchings of Muslims in the recent past, in other parts of India, many people have made similar accusations against officials in Mr. Modi’s party, saying that the police officers under their command did not intervene.

A stretch of highway between Maujpur’s Hindu neighborhood and a nearby Muslim-dominated area called Jaffrabad now serves as a no-man’s land. It is lined by deserted shops, the asphalt marred by burn marks. Few people dare to walk through here.

Several police officers conceded that they felt more comfortable deployed in the Hindu crowd that had gathered at one end of the buffer zone than with the Muslims massed at the other. While the Muslim crowd hoisted a big Indian flag, the Hindu crowd chanted religious slogans.

Members of a Hindu mob, armed with crude weapons, begged the police to let them attack Muslims.

“Give us permission, that’s all you need to do,’’ one mob leader said. “You just stand by and watch. We will make sure you don’t get hurt. We’ll settle the score,” he said, and then used a slur to refer to Muslims.

But the hatred on the streets was heavy. Several Hindu men said they felt Muslims didn’t belong in India.

“Why should they?’’ asked Rakesh Sharma, one of the Hindu men who had taken it upon themselves to chase outsiders from his neighborhood. “The Muslims have other countries they can go to, like Syria or Nigeria. They need to get out of India.’’

Many Muslims feared that once Mr. Trump left India, the violence would get even worse.

“It’s a little quiet because Trump is here,’’ said Mohammed Tahir, a rickshaw driver. “Their side is scared to give the prime minister a bad name.’’

“But as soon as Trump leaves,’’ he said, “they will attack. They want to uproot us. But we won’t let that happen. We were born here, we live here, this country is as much ours as theirs — and if we need to, we will all die here, together.’’



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Weinstein’s N.Y. Trial Was Just the First. He Still Faces One in L.A.

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“I just couldn’t believe what was happening to me,” she testified. “I started realizing: I’m trapped.”

Ms. Young testified that Mr. Weinstein unzipped her dress — pulling it down, she said, despite her objections — and told her: “No, we are just going to have a talk here. How am I going to know if you can act?”

Mr. Weinstein, she said, started to masturbate, gripping and pinching her breast and squinting at her as she was pushed up against the sink. At some point, she said, he tried to touch her genitals. He ejaculated into a towel, she said, and then left the bathroom.

Ms. Young said that she told two friends about the attack, but that she did not report it to the police, adding that she feared Mr. Weinstein’s power.

Ms. Young said that she met with his assistant the next day to discuss opportunities in the entertainment industry, but that she ignored later calls from Mr. Weinstein and his company.

“I didn’t want anything to do with any of them,” she testified.

Dave Ring, a lawyer for the unidentified Italian actress, that the Los Angeles case would be less complicated than the New York case for a jury. The women, he said, did not maintain relationships with the producer after the episodes they have described.

In New York, the two main accusers — Miriam Haley, who said Mr. Weinstein had forcibly performing oral sex on her in 2006, and Jessica Mann, who said he raped her in a Midtown Manhattan hotel room in 2013 — continued to communicate with Mr. Weinstein and had sex with him after what they said were his attacks.



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