Dec 16, 2019

REUTERS

President Donald Trump's top trade negotiator praised a "phase one" U.S.-China trade deal which is expected to nearly double U.S. exports to China over the next two years, while China remained cautious ahead of the signing of the agreement.

Republican Donald Trump is likely this week to become the third U.S. president to be impeached when the Democratic-led House of Representatives votes on charges stemming from his effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Monday urged Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to take steps to prevent bases housing U.S. troops from being shelled, a statement from the premier's office said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping offered his support for Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Monday, praising her courage in governing the Chinese-ruled financial hub in these "most difficult" times after months of often violent anti-government protests.

It sounds counterintuitive, but members of Generation Z will have to focus on human connections if they want to compete with robots for the jobs of the future. Born after 1996 on the heels of the millennials, Gen Z is just entering the workforce. Its members are the first true digital natives, and their ability to adapt to an automating workplace will likely determine their success.

AP Top Stories

A Turkish military drone was delivered to northern Cyprus on Monday amid growing tensions over Turkey's deal with Libya that extended its claims to the gas-rich eastern Mediterranean.

President Donald Trump is set to announce the withdrawal of roughly 4,000 US troops from Afghanistan as early as next week, NBC News reported on Saturday based on conversations with three current and former officials.

Side by side, the Allies and former enemy Germany together marked the 75th anniversary of one of the most important battles in World War II - the Battle of the Bulge, which stopped Adolf Hitler's last-ditch offensive to turn the tide of the war.

China announced Monday they have arrested more than one person at a temporary police checkpoint on a mega cross-border bridge, including a Hong Konger who was reported missing over the weekend by his family. It is the first time mainland officers have confirmed arrests on the artificial island that connects an enormous tunnel and bridge system linking Hong Kong to the cities of Macau and Zhuhai on the other side of the Pearl River Delta.

Nearly all companies (97%) surveyed in a report released this week by the Hong Kong Retail Management Association say they have experienced losses since citywide protests started, with 57% indicating severe drops in revenue.

The U.S. Supreme Court let stand a ruling that said homeless people have a constitutional right to sleep on public property outdoors if no other shelter is available to them.

India says it has successfully tested an interceptor capable of shooting down ballistic missiles.

Russia said on Friday it was alarmed after the United States tested a ground-launched ballistic missile that would have been banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the RIA news agency reported.

Fresh protests were expected across India on Monday over a new citizenship law seen as anti-Muslim, after clashes overnight in the capital and days of unrest in the northeast that left six people dead.

A UN climate summit in Madrid risked failing Saturday after all-night negotiations between countries left them more divided than ever over on how to fight global warming and pay for its ravages.

American farmers welcomed the announcement of an interim trade agreement between the US and China on Friday. But they remain skeptical of President Donald Trump's pledge to more than double farm exports to that country.

Human remains discovered last month at a farm outside the city of Guadalajara have been confirmed as belonging to at least 50 people, authorities reported.

A Wisconsin judge's order to boot more than 200,000 people from voter rolls in the battleground state spurred condemnation from Democrats, amid claims of voter suppression. In October, the Wisconsin Elections Commission mailed a letter to 234,000 voters who it thought might have moved, requesting that they update registration information.

BBC

Authorities in Australia have issued fresh warnings about a "mega blaze" after it spread beyond containment lines and razed 20 houses near Sydney. The fire, burning over about 400,000 hectares, has moved further into the Blue Mountains - a popular tourist area which lies west of the city. It is a blow to crews who are already battling over 100 fires and bracing for extreme temperatures this week.

The chief executive of Hallmark Cards has apologized for its decision to withdraw television advertisements featuring same-sex couples. The company's cable network pulled the ads for wedding registry and planning site Zola under pressure from the conservative group One Million Moms.

A bat used by legendary baseball player Babe Ruth to hit his 500th home run has been sold at auction for more than $1m. A jersey he wore in the 1920s and 30s was snapped up for $5.64m at auction in July, making it the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold.

WND

The Earth's magnetic North Pole is travelling at 30 miles per year, an unprecedented rate and is picking up speed as it moves towards Siberia.

The Supreme Court is being asked to strike down special privileges the city of Sterling Heights, Michigan, created for a giant mosque that Muslims want to build in a residential neighborhood. It would be tens of thousands of square feet and nearly six stories tall.

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