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Why is Trump’s Golan Heights announcement controversial?

Why is Trump’s Golan Heights announcement controversial?What is the Golan Heights and what is its current status? The Golan Heights is a narrow strip of mountainous land, roughly 1,800sq km, bordering Syria, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon. It has officially been recognised as part of Syria since 1944 – when the country was recognised as an independent republic – but was captured by Israeli forces in the 1967 Six-Day War, thereafter becoming Israeli-occupied territory.



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Kim Jong-un absent from North Korea election announcement

Kim Jong-un absent from North Korea election announcementKim Jong-un was not on the list of 687 candidates elected to the North Korean parliament in Sunday’s election, state media announced on Tuesday, although his sister was voted into the rubber-stamp parliament. No reason has been given for Mr Kim’s absence from the ballot, five years after he was elected in the previous vote as head of the Workers’ Party of Korea. Every candidate who did run in the election was returned with 100 percent of the vote in their constituencies, including Kim Yo-jung, Mr Kim’s younger sister, who previously worked in the government’s propaganda division but has more recently taken on the management of his day-to-day schedule. “North Korean elections have no meaning anyway, but this is designed to show that Kim feels himself to be above those who were elected”, said Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor who specialises in North Korea’s leadership at Tokyo’s Waseda University. “He is telling the nation that he is not on the same level as the rest of the party and it is effectively beneath him to go through the election process”, he added. “This will not affect his control on the party or the nation, but it is meant to show that he’s a better leader than his own father and Kim Il-sung, his grandfather and the founder of North Korea”. Rah Jong-yil, a former head of South Korean intelligence charged with monitoring the North, echoed that assessment. “Kim apparently does not consider it necessary for himself to be elected, but he is the head of state so he will still be in parliament and make all the decisions, which means the entire election is a joke. “It’s all for the facade of legitimacy and this will change nothing in the way the country is run or the leadership’s policies”. Fully 99.99 percent of all eligible voters had exercised their democratic right to select their leaders, KCNA reported, with citizens serving at sea excused the obligation to vote. The results of the election were never in any doubt – each ballot paper only has one name and anyone who wants to vote against the approved candidate has to enter a special booth and put a cross through the name. But defectors say that Mr Kim’s standing has been damaged by his failure to win concessions on sanctions on the regime at the recent Hanoi summit with President Donald Trump.  “Mr Kim expected a lot from this summit”, said  Lee Ae-ran, who fled North Korea with her family in 1997 but retains contacts there as president of The Centre for Liberty and Reunification.  “It was more than simply relief from the sanctions; he believed a victory in Hanoi would earn him more support from the people, enabling him to tighten his control over the nation even more”.  And while discontent was never going to be reflected in Sunday’s election, Mrs Lee says it is not far beneath the surface.  “The sanctions are causing the economic devastation to spread in the North and people are struggling to overcome the terrible shortage of food”, she told The Telegraph. “I believe the grudges they hold towards Kim could worsen and possibly even explode.  “Any rupture could be lethal to Kim Jong-un and his regime”, she added.  Voters queue to cast their ballots at the '3.26 Pyongyang Cable Factory' during voting for the Supreme People's Assembly elections, in Pyongyang Credit:  ED JONES/AFP Mrs Lee said the North Korean dictator will use the election to “replace the ‘older generation’, who were loyal to his father, with his own group of flatterers”, but she believes the resentment will inevitably deepen.  “If the people in the North can continue to build stronger connections with the outside world and complaints against the party and the leadership continue to grow, then the people will realise that they can escape from the abuse that they are presently suffering at the hands of their own leaders”, she said. Jiro Ishimaru, chief editor of AsiaPress, said his network of “citizen reporters” in North Korea is saying that there is “extreme disappointment” at the failure of the Hanoi summit, which the regime had indicated would be a victory for Mr Kim that would see sanctions quickly lifted.  There is a growing sense that Mr Kim “is an incompetent person”, he added.



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Trump shutdown announcement: President offers Daca extensions for undocumented migrants in exchange for border wall funding

Trump shutdown announcement: President offers Daca extensions for undocumented migrants in exchange for border wall fundingDonald Trump has proposed a compromise to reopen the federal government which would provide extensions to protections for certain undocumented immigrants in exchange for $ 5.7bn (£4.4bn) to fund a wall along the US-Mexico border. Under the president’s plan, migrants who arrived to the country at a young age and qualified for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme (Daca), as well as other immigrants under Temporary Protected Status (TPS), would receive extensions to their protections from deportation. “If we are successful in this effort, we will have the best chance … At real, bipartisan immigration reform,” the president said, before outlining the proposal he says received input from border security professionals.



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Huawei boss Ren Zhengfei denies espionage allegations in rare public announcement

Huawei boss Ren Zhengfei denies espionage allegations in rare public announcementHuawei founder Ren Zhengfei has broken a lengthy silence to hit back at criticism levelled at the Chinese telecoms giant by western countries in recent months, claiming that the firm is not aiding Beijing in espionage. Mr Ren, who has not spoken to the foreign press since 2015, said that his company has “never received any request from any government to provide improper information”. The chief executive made the public appearance following the arrest of his daughter and Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver two months ago, who is alleged to have violated US sanctions on Iran. Huawei is the world’s biggest provider of telecoms equipment and will be a key partner for companies working to build next-generation 5G mobile networks. The company has come under fresh pressure after a Huawei executive arrested in Poland was accused of spying. Huawei has since sacked the employee. The arrest comes after months of heightened scrutiny from the likes of the US, Australia, Japan and the UK, which have raised questions about the cyber security risks posed by the telecoms firm. Technology intelligence – newsletter promo – EOA “I love my country, I support the Communist Party. But I will not do anything to harm the world,” Mr Ren told journalists in Shenzhen on Tuesday. “I don’t see a close connection between my personal political beliefs and the businesses of Huawei.” The Huawei boss doubled-down on his defense, saying that his company does not have regular contact with the political regime and would refuse any requests from the Chinese government for sensitive information.  Huawei has also found support from the Chinese government amid a backlash from western countries. During a briefing in Beijing on Monday, Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the allegations of security threats posed by Chinese companies were being used to suppress their growth in international markets. “We urge relevant parties to cease the groundless fabrications and unreasonable restrictions toward Huawei and other Chinese companies, and create a fair, good and just environment for mutual investment and normal cooperation by both sides’ companies,” she said. Ms Hua added that those using "security reasons to hype, obstruct or restrict" Chinese company ties with other countries would be hurting their own interests.



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Internet rips into Jeff Bezos' divorce announcement calling it an 'Alexit'

Internet rips into Jeff Bezos' divorce announcement calling it an 'Alexit'Unless you’ve literally been hiding under an internet-less rock, it’s safe to



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Ford, VW planning auto partnership announcement: source

Ford, VW planning auto partnership announcement: sourceFord and Volkswagen are preparing to announce a strategic partnership, including in areas such as self-driving and electric autos, a person with knowledge of the matter told AFP on Wednesday. The announcement could come Tuesday during this year’s Detroit auto show, the person said. The organizers of the auto showcase have set aside a time slot on the main stage that day between 8:30 and 9:30 am local time (1330 to 1430 GMT) for an industry announcement but have given no further details.



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Macron says 'an ally must be reliable' after US Syria pullout announcement

Macron says 'an ally must be reliable' after US Syria pullout announcementN’Djamena (AFP) – French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday criticised US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw American forces from Syria, saying “an ally must be reliable”. In a sign of the growing diplomatic rift between the two leaders, Macron said “I deeply regret the decision” by Trump to pullout US troops. Trump last week ordered a complete troop pullout from Syria, asserting that the Islamic State group had been defeated, as well as a significant withdrawal from Afghanistan.



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Trump chief of staff announcement looms as Nick Ayers declines role

Trump chief of staff announcement looms as Nick Ayers declines rolePresident Trump expected to announce John Kelly's replacement soon after telling reporters the chief of staff is leaving the role.



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GM Stock Price Shoots Up On Announcement Of Thousands Of Job Cuts

GM Stock Price Shoots Up On Announcement Of Thousands Of Job CutsThe news out of Detroit Monday offered a stark reminder that the fortunes of



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Kmart employee gives emotional announcement before the store closed permanently

Kmart employee gives emotional announcement before the store closed permanentlyThe once-beloved American retailer Sears Holdings filed for bankruptcy earlier



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