Sunday 18 August 2019

Maduro courts Huawei for 4G network

China's under-fire Huawei mobile phone company received a vote of confidence this weekend- from Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.

He invited Huawei to help set up a 4G network in Venezuela, prompting opposition leader Juan Guaido to accuse him of having an "absolute disconnection with reality".

Maduro said a day earlier that he wanted to make a joint infrastructure investment with Huawei and other Chinese and Russian companies. He didn't offer details about how such a project would work in a country gripped by hyperinflation and shortages of basic goods.

The US calls Huawei a threat to its national security and has put the company on a blacklist - though president Donald Trump has said if China does a trade deal, that can be reversed.

Richard quits UK for 'anonymity' of US

Cliff Richard has moved to New York because he likes the "anonymity" of America, his friend Gloria Hunniford has said.

The 78-year-old has previously told how the trauma of BBC coverage of the police search of his Berkshire home in 2014, following a claim of historical sexual assault, had left him emotionally drained.

He has now chosen to leave the UK for good, with Hunniford saying: "Cliff won't come back and live here. He likes the anonymity in America."

Trump defies Congress over Saudi arms

The Trump administration has invoked a rarely used provision in US federal law to bypass Congress and permit arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen, claiming the Saudi state faces a threat from Iran.

The sales of €6bn of aircraft and weapons comes as Donald Trump announced plans to send 1,500 additional US troops to the Middle East as part of a build-up in response to an unspecified threat from Iran.

It also comes after the Trump regime actively courted close ties with Saudi Arabia - again, defying congressional objections - notably following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in October.

Khashoggi's murder, coupled with increasing concerns about civilian casualties in the Saudi-led military operation against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, prompted the US Congress to block arms sales to the Saudis for more than a year.

Pope compares abortion to 'hiring hitman'

Pope Francis said yesterday that abortion can never be condoned, even when the fetus is gravely sick or likely to die, and urged doctors and priests to support families to carry such pregnancies to term.

Speaking to a Vatican-sponsored anti-abortion conference, Francis said the opposition to abortion wasn't a religious issue, but a human one.

"Is it licit to throw away a life to resolve a problem?" he asked. "Is it licit to hire a hitman to resolve a problem?"

Francis denounced decisions to abort based on prenatal testing, saying a human being is "never incompatible with life".

Even those babies destined to die at birth or soon after deserve to receive medical care in the womb, Francis said, adding that their parents need to be supported so they don't feel isolated and afraid. "Taking care of these children helps parents to grieve and not only think of it as a loss, but as a step on a path taken together," he said.

Sunday Independent

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