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- President Donald Trump has told Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the U.S. has no plan to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) “at this time,” despite his bombastic campaign promise to terminate the “job killer” that is “very bad for our country.”
- President Trump unveiled his tax plan on Wednesday which proposed sharp tax cuts for rich individuals and businesses, noting that the overhaul would pay for itself by boosting economic growth; a concern for Democrats on Capitol Hill. Furthermore, the proposal would reduce the number of tax brackets for individuals from seven to three, and lower the top tax rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent.
Around 200 demonstrators, many wearing masks, broke through a police cordon on Thursday and entered Macedonia’s parliament, attacking MPs in protest at the election of a new speaker despite a months-long deadlock in talks to form a new government.
- Israel bombed a Hezbollah arms supply near the Damascus airport in Syria on Thursday. The bombings against the Lebanese group, Hezbollah, targeted weapons allegedly sent into the country by Iran on cargo planes. Syrian state media condemned the “Israeli aggression,” saying it caused material losses. The attacks align with Israeli policy to act to prevent weapons from getting to Hezbollah.
- Israel is pressing for a fresh Middle East peace initiative involving Arab states, Mark Regev, the Israeli ambassador to the UK, told a meeting at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London as pro-Palestinian activists mounted a vocal protest outside.
U.S. President Donald Trump's warm words for Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as a "good man" will reassure Beijing that he finally understands the importance of good ties, but risks leaving America's regional allies puzzling over where they fit into the new order.
Pope Francis has given the first papal TED talk in history. In his speech at this year’s TED conference in Vancouver, titled “Why the Only Future Worth Building Includes Everyone,” Pope Francis discussed the need for love and solidarity in a world where “techno-economic systems” leave many people discarded. The Pope did not mention religion until halfway through his sermon, despite expressing hope that technology and scientific innovation may lead to more equality and social inclusion.
Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles, who lost the 2013 presidential election to President Nicolas Maduro, says that early elections are the only way to put an end to the current political crisis there. Capriles, who was banned from political office for 15 years by Maduro, argues that Maduro’s repressive state violates constitutional and human rights. Roughly 30 people have been killed in protests this month.
Kenya’s veteran politician Raila Odinga, 72, has been confirmed as the main opposition presidential candidate for August’s election to face incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, who beat him in 2013. Odinga represents the National Super Alliance (Nasa), which is a coalition of the country’s main opposition parties, and is running on an anti-corruption message.