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Australia's leader says Trump isn't chasing a refugee deal
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's prime minister on Sunday ruled out any deal to get the United States to honor an agreement to resettle hundreds of Muslim refugees that President Donald Trump has described as "dumb."
Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull also dismissed a Nine Network television network journalist's suggestion that he should be offended that White House spokesman Sean Spicer has repeatedly called him "Trumbull" in press briefings. Turnbull said, "The important thing is results."
Spicer says Trump has agreed to honor an Obama administration deal to resettle up to 1,250 asylum seekers rejected by Australia. Trump made the agreement during a conversation with Turnbull last weekend, but has since tweeted, "I will study this dumb deal!"
Turnbull said Trump had asked for nothing in return for resettling the mostly Muslim refugees from Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Australia pays the impoverished Pacific countries of Nauru and Papua New Guinea to keep the refugees in camps.
"Absolutely not," Turnbull said. "It's a deal obviously that President Trump has said he wouldn't have entered into, but he has committed to honor it."
Turnbull said there would be no link between the refugee resettlement and any future U.S. request for military help in the Middle East or the South China Sea.
Australia is one of the largest contributors to the U.S.-led military campaign in Iraq and Syria. Australia has resisted U.S. pressure to conduct freedom of navigation exercises close to artificial islands created by China in the contested South China Sea.
"We assess all requests for military assistance on their merits and there is no linkage at all between an arrangement relating to refugee resettlement and any other matters," Turnbull said.
The Obama administration agreed to resettle Australia's refugees after Australia agreed in September last year to accept Costa Rican refugees fleeing drug wars.
Vietnam plans to spend more on tourism promotion to boost growth
A file photo of foreign tourists visiting an exhibition on farming tools in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue. Photo: Dinh Toan/Thanh Nien In a new effort to attract more foreign visitors, Vietnam's tourism authority seeks to increase spending on marketing three-fold to VND120 billion (US$5.24 million) next year. A fund for tourism promotion is set to be established with an initial corpus of at least VND300 billion ($13.11 million), news website Saigon Times Online said Saturday, citing a… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Blast kills seven, injures almost 100 in northwestern China
BEIJING (Reuters) - A powerful blast at a prefabricated house in northwestern China on Monday killed at least seven people and injured 94, state news agency Xinhua said.The explosion, whose cause was as yet unknown, occurred in the early afternoon in the town of Xinmin in Shaanxi province, damaging dozens of buildings including the local hospital, Xinhua said.Four of the injured were in intensive care, it said.Pictures carried by state media showed rescuers digging through the rubble of low… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Appeals court to hear arguments on Trump's travel ban
By Dan LevineSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department will face off with opponents in a federal appeals court on Tuesday over the fate of President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries, his most controversial action since taking office last month.The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco is to hear arguments about whether to restore the ban from Justice Department lawyers and opposing attorneys for the states of Minnesota… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
South Africa's Ramaphosa backs embattled finance minister
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa came out in support of embattled Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Sunday and said fraud charges brought against him should not be allowed to undermine his efforts to revitalize the economy.Prosecutors have ordered Gordhan to appear in court next month, in what his supporters say is part of a plot to discredit a man who has defied close allies of President Jacob Zuma."Events of the past few days regarding summonses served… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Hue ancient citadel tops tourist destinations in Vietnam
The ancient imperial citadel in Hue City, the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, has been selected the top tourist destinations in Vietnam in 2016 by the National Administration of Tourism and the Vietnam Tourism Association. Tourists visit Hue citadel, which tops tourist destinations in Vietnam. Hue Imperial Citadel is part of the Complex of Hue Monuments, a political, cultural and religious centre under the Nguyen Dynasty lasting from 1802 to 1945 that was recognised by UNESCO as a World… chat_bubble_outline Read More...