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Hello, Slovenia: Melania calls home with Trump
Ljubljana (AFP) - This is one phone call Ljubljana didn't want to miss: US President-elect Donald Trump and his Slovenian-born wife Melania rang the leaders of her home country for a brief chat on Wednesday.
"Prime Minister Miro Cerar received this afternoon a call from the newly elected US president and the future first lady Melania Trump," the Slovenian premier's office said in a statement.
Apart from congratulating Trump, 70, on his "exceptional success", the office said Cerar had "underlined that in Slovenia we are proud of the fact that the future first lady comes from our country".
Cerar also spoke directly to Trump's 46-year-old wife, telling her: "We are proud of you and we look forward to meeting you. We wish you much success on your new path."
Born Melanija Knavs in the small town of Sevnica, the former model has lived in New York for two decades. She met her future husband there in 1998 and became his third wife in 2005. A year later, she took US citizenship.
In the course of Wednesday's phone conversation, the American president-elect enquired about how Slovenia was doing.
"After a series of years of crisis, Slovenia is now in better shape," Cerar's office quoted the premier as replying.
"We are modernising the state and making some progress that we will be glad to show you when you pay us a visit," he said.
President Borut Pahor also got a chance to congratulate the Trumps and extend an invitation to visit Slovenia in a phone call on Wednesday.
His office said the president had a "warm talk with the future first lady Melania Trump... and also transmitted her the best wishes of his partner Tanja Pecar".
Israel pushing for more settler homes despite UN vote
Jerusalem (AFP) - Israel could advance plans this week for thousands more settlement homes in annexed east Jerusalem in defiance of a landmark UN resolution demanding an end to such activity.It would mark the first such approvals since Friday's UN Security Council vote demanding a halt to Israeli settlement building in Palestinian territory.The resolution, which passed after the United States took the rare move of abstaining, infuriated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who lashed out at… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Zaid: If Mahathir 'boleh', why can't you?
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US capital banner highlights journalist held in Syria
Washington (AFP) - The family of Austin Tice, a US journalist held captive in Syria since 2012, renewed calls Wednesday for his release as a banner highlighting his case was unveiled by press freedom groups.The #FreeAustinTice banner was attached to the facade of the Newseum, a museum focused on news media and located on the street linking the US Capitol and the White House."This banner will stay in front of the Newseum until Austin Tice is released," said Jeffrey Herbst, president and chief… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
UNICEF helps improve sanitation, water access in drought-hit Vietnam
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Vietnam Red Cross Society on Tuesday inked an agreement for a relief program for six Vietnamese provinces affected by drought and saltwater intrusion this year. The project will improve sanitary conditions and access to clean water for 10,000 children and 15,000 women in six provinces in the central and southern regions -- Binh Thuan, Ninh Thuan, Ben Tre, Soc Trang, Kon Tum and Gia Lai. The project will be implemented between November and… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Quang Binh cuts entrance fees at 3 caves to attract tourists
The Thien Duong Cave in Quang Binh Province. Photo: Ngo Huy Hoa Quang Binh authorities have announced a 30 percent cut in entrance fees for three caves from the end of this year. The new prices will apply only for guests who stay at any hotel in the province. Current ticket prices are VND250,000 (US$11.2) for Thien Duong cave and VND150,000 and VND80,000 for Phong Nha and Tien Son. The People’s Committee has also called on hotels and restaurants to reduce prices by 10-20 percent to attract… chat_bubble_outline Read More...