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Trump, Mexican Leader Celebrate USMCA at White House

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump hosted Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at the White House for the first time to celebrate the launch of the new North American trade agreement known as USMCA. The two leaders met on July 8 to discuss the strategic cooperation between the two countries on both trade and immigration. “The relationship between the United States and Mexico has never been closer than it is right now,” Trump said at the Rose Garden before signing a joint declaration with his counterpart. The declaration aims to bolster economic and security cooperation. He noted that “people were betting against” a good relationship between the leaders. “Each of us was elected on the pledge to fight corruption, return power to the people, and put the interests of our countries first,” Trump said. The U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) took effect on July 1, opening a new chapter in North American free trade. Known as T-MEC in Mexico, USMCA has strong labor provisions and..

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Federal Website Advertising Hundreds of Non Existent Student Volunteer Positions

OTTAWA—The federal website advertising volunteer positions for students hoping to earn money for their educations through a $900-million government aid program contains hundreds of positions that do not actually exist. Among the student-volunteer positions advertised as available on the I Want to Help website are 1,500 spots with YMCA Canada to help create online exercise regimes for kids and seniors in their communities. Yet the YMCA says those positions were actually the brainchild of WE Charity, the organization originally tapped by the Liberal government to administer the Canada Student Services Grant, and that the YMCA never agreed to them. Both the YMCA and WE blame a miscommunication as WE scrambled to get the grant program—through which students can get up to $5,000 toward their schooling if they volunteer the maximum 500 hours—up and running as quickly as possible. WE has since withdrawn from running the program. In an interview, YMCA Canada president Peter Dinsdale said ..

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Heavy Rain Hits Scenic Central Japan, More Damage in South

TOKYO—Flooding and mudslides have stranded hundreds of people in scenic hot springs and hiking areas in central Japan, while rescue workers searched on Thursday for more people missing in the disaster that already has killed nearly 60 people in a southern region. Parts of Nagano and Gifu, including areas known for scenic mountain trails and hot springs, have been flooded by massive downpours. More than 300 people, including hotel employees and visitors, were trapped in Kamikochi, as floods and mudslides hit a main road connecting the town to Matsumoto, another tourist destination in Nagano. All of the stranded people were safe, prefectural officials said. In neighboring Gifu, hundreds were also isolated in the hot spring towns of Gero and Ontake. As of Thursday morning, the death toll from the heavy rains which started over the weekend had risen to 59, most of them from hardest-hit Kumamoto prefecture on Japans third largest island of Kyushu. Searching continued for a dozen still m..

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Venezuela High Court Orders Takeover of Guaidós Party

CARACAS—Venezuelas government-stacked Supreme Court earlier this week ordered the takeover of opposition leader, interim President Juan Guaidós political party, the latest in a series of moves against regime leader Nicolás Maduros critics ahead of upcoming legislative elections. The decision removes Leopoldo López, the founder of Popular Will, as the partys official leader and names in his place a lawmaker kicked out of the organization last year amid accusations hed conspired with Maduro allies. “Our fight continues on strongly,” López said in a series of tweets after the ruling. “In spite of all the danger and to the ultimate consequences.” The decision comes less than a month after Venezuelas Supreme Court ordered the takeover of two other influential opposition parties and as Guaidós anti-Maduro movement has dipped in popularity and struggles to regain steam. A new National Electoral Council–still tilted in Maduros favor–is pressing forward with plans to hold legislative electi..

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Italy Cracks Down on Bangladesh Over Virus Concerns

ROME—More than 100 Bangladeshis who arrived at Romes airport on July 8 were refused entry as Italy tightens restrictions on travel from coronavirus hotspots in a bid to prevent new infection clusters in the onetime European epicenter of the outbreak. The 112 Bangladeshis were among 205 passengers who arrived aboard a Qatar Airways flight that originated in Pakistan and stopped in Doha, Qatar. A spokesman for Romes Leonardo da Vinci airport said the 112 werent allowed to disembark and were sent back; the other passengers were being tested and quarantined. Italy on July 7 suspended flights from Bangladesh after at least 37 Bangladeshi passengers aboard a charter flight that landed on July 6 tested positive for the virus upon arrival in Rome. Italy went on alert about possible infections in the Bangladeshi immigrant community after a cluster of about a dozen cases was traced to a recently returned worker in Rome. Bangladesh has officially registered more than 172,000 COVID-19 cases and..

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Gilead to Deliver More Remdesivir to Europe From Autumn

Gilead Sciences Inc pharmaceutical company is seen after they announced a Phase 3 Trial of the investigational antiviral drug Remdesivir in patients with severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Oceanside, California, U.S., April 29, 2020. (Mike Blake/Reuters) BERLIN—Gilead Sciences Inc plans to make more of its drug remdesivir available for Germany and Europe from autumn and will decide how much each country gets based on the rate of infection, the drugmakers Germany boss told a German magazine. Bettina Bauer, managing director of Gilead in Germany, told WirtschaftsWoche the U.S. drugmaker can increase its worldwide monthly production from currently 190,000 treatment cycles to 2 million treatment cycles in December. Bauer said she was in talks with the German government about increasing supply. Gilead has faced criticism after the company allocated nearly all of its supply of remdesivir to the United States over the next three months, stirring concerns about availability elsewher..

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Senate Committee Says Canada Not Prepared for Second Wave of COVID-19

OTTAWA—A new report from a committee of senators says the country is ill-prepared to handle a second wave of COVID-19. The Senates social affairs committee says the federal government needs to pay urgent attention to seniors in long-term care homes where outbreaks and deaths in the pandemic have been concentrated. There are also concerns in the report about the vulnerability of low-income seniors should there be a second wave of the novel coronavirus later this year. The document made public this morning is the committees first set of observations on the governments response to the pandemic, with a final report expected later this year. Senators on the committee say the national emergency stockpile of personal protective gear like masks, gowns, and gloves, wasnt managed well over the years, nor sufficiently stocked when the pandemic struck the coRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] The Epoch Times [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

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Vandalism of Memorial to Victims of Communism Site in Ottawa Draws Condemnation

A chorus of voices has risen to condemn the vandalism of a site in Ottawa where a memorial to victims of communism is in the process of being built. On July 1, a large sign at the construction site of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism was spray-painted with “communism will win” and three hammer and sickle symbols. “Millions of Canadians know firsthand about Communist atrocities, having fled its brutality & oppression to find refuge in Canada. Communism has taken the lives of over 100 million around the world. We must always remember its victims. Ignorant vandalism like this is unacceptable,” Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer tweeted. Alberta premier Jason Kenny tweeted that “An estimated 100 million people have been murdered by Communist regimes. Hundreds of thousands of refugees from Communism fled to freedom in Canada. Its appalling to see their experience mocked at this site of collective memory.” The memorial, which was expected to be completed this summer but has been ..

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Remains of Another of 43 Missing Students Identified, Mexico Says

MEXICO CITY—Investigators have found a bone fragment belonging to one of the 43 student teachers who disappeared in Mexico in 2014, the Attorney Generals office said on Tuesday, only the second set of remains to be definitively identified in a case that has roiled the country. The abduction and apparent massacre of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers College in September 2014 battered Mexicos reputation and became a symbol of the countrys failure to tackle chronic gang violence and corruption. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office 19 months ago, pledging to shed light on the crime after the last governments conclusions about the case were widely criticized. Prosecutors announced the find of the bone fragment of Christian Alfonso Rodriguez Telumbre as they again questioned central parts of the previous official story. Omar Gomez, the prosecutor who has overseen a fresh probe into the case, said investigators from Austrias University of Innsbruck identified the..

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Shuttered Service Canada Centres to Slowly Reopen With New COVID-19 Measures

OTTAWA—The federal government says it plans to slowly reopen Service Canada centres it shuttered in late March over public health concerns related to the COVID−19 pandemic. Up to 90 centres across the country will gradually reopen in July, starting with 14 on Wednesday. Further openings are to be guided by public health advice as well as how many Canadians each centre serves. The government has spent the past few weeks upgrading the centres to put up clear barriers at counters, signs to encourage physical distancing and reduce seating in waiting areas. Personal protective equipment will also be provided to staff at centres that reopen. Face masks will be offered to people visiting centres in provinces or municipalities that have mandated their use in indoor public spaces. Anyone going to a centre that doesnt fall under any such provincial or municipal requirement will be encouraged to wear a mask and use hand−sanitizer. While the newly reopened centres will handle queries for soc..

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