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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".
South Korea blocks Google export of map data
Seoul (AFP) - South Korea on Friday rejected Google's request to export government-supplied data for its global mapping service, arguing it would make the country more vulnerable to attack by North Korea.It was the second such rebuff for the US tech giant, which said it was "disappointed" by the decision."There are concerns that Google's request to export map data could escalate security threats amid confrontation between South and North Korea," the land and transport ministry said in a… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Iraqi investigators examine mass grave site near Mosul
Hamam al-Alil (Iraq) (AFP) - Iraqi investigators carried out an initial examination on Tuesday of a mass grave site discovered in an area south of Mosul that was recently retaken from the Islamic State group.Iraqi security forces announced the discovery of the site in the Hamam al-Alil area the day before, after retaking it as part of the operation to recapture Mosul, the last IS-held Iraqi city.A dirt barrier borders the site, where body parts and bones are visible among rubbish that has been… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Powerful quake hits Japan, Fukushima residents urged to flee tsunami
Japan Meteorological Agency's earthquake and volcano observations division director Koji Nakamura addresses a news conference next to the map showing an earthquake epicentre off the coast of Fukushima prefecture, in Tokyo, Japan November 22, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Toru Hanai A powerful earthquake rocked northern Japan on Tuesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, generating a tsunami that hit the same northern Pacific coast devastated by a massive quake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
BUSINESS IN BRIEF 15/11
ACFTA brings opportunities, challenges to farms The zero per cent tax on Chinese agricultural products exported to Viet Nam and ASEAN has increased domestic concerns about market domination, though others are optimistic, seeing competition as an opportunity for Vietnamese agriculture to change and rebound.According to agreements under the ASEAN–China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) for the 2016 to 2018 period, thousands of commodities from the ACFTA member countries will enjoy an import tax of… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Ex-Palantir Employees Are Struggling To Sell Their Shares
C Flanigan / Getty Images Former employees of one of Silicon Valley’s most valuable startups are struggling to cash out of the stock options that formed a major part of their pay packages. As it grew into a $20 billion company, Palantir Technologies convinced top-tier engineers to accept salaries considered meager by Silicon Valley standards, pairing the relatively low wages with generous stock option grants. But some former employees who accepted this bargain, banking on a future windfall, are… chat_bubble_outline Read More...