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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington’s decision to end Iran oil waivers to China will not have a negative impact on the latest trade talks between two countries. VOA

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington’s decision to end Iran oil waivers to China will not have a negative impact on the latest trade talks between the world’s two leading economies.

“We have had lots of talks with China about this issue. I’m confident that the trade talks will continue and run their natural course,” Pompeo told an audience in Washington on Monday.


China is Iran’s largest oil buyer.

Pompeo added the U.S. would ensure the global oil markets are adequately supplied.

Last Monday, the United States announced it was ending waivers on sanctions to countries that import Iranian oil, including China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey. Since the sanctions were reintroduced, Italy, Greece and Taiwan have halted their Iranian oil imports.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in Beijing on Tuesday, for the latest round of negotiations. The two sides will discuss intellectual property, forced technology transfer, non-tariff barriers, agriculture, and other issues.

Vice Premier Liu will then lead a Chinese delegation to Washington for additional talks on May 8.


There has to be something for China. On the other hand, I guess I will be surprised if the U.S. removed all of the tariffs because clearly, the USTR team would like to keep at least some of them in place. VOA

Washington and Beijing have held several rounds this year to resolve a trade war that began in 2018 when President Donald Trump imposed punitive tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports. He has been trying to compel Beijing to change its trade practices. China retaliated with tariff increases on $110 billion of U.S. exports.

Positive tone

The U.S. and China have struck a positive tone ahead of this week’s talks in Beijing, aimed at ending the trade war, as both countries work toward an agreement.

“We’re doing well on trade, we’re doing well with China,” President Trump told reporters last week.

In Beijing, Chinese officials said that “tangible progress” has been achieved.

“Both sides are also maintaining communication. We believe that both sides’ trade delegations can work together, meet each other halfway and work hard to reach a mutually beneficial agreement,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said last week.

As the United States and China appear close to reaching a negotiated settlement over trade disputes, a group of American business and retailers has called for a “full and immediate removal of all added tariffs” on Chinese goods in a deal, saying anything less would be a “loss for the American people.”


“Americans have paid over $21 billion in taxes due to the imposition of new tariffs,” said a letter to President Trump April 22.Pixabay

Business groups from “Americans for Free Trade” have asked the Trump administration to “fully eliminate tariffs” on Chinese goods, saying tariffs are taxes that American businesses and consumers pay.

“Americans have paid over $21 billion in taxes due to the imposition of new tariffs,” said a letter to President Trump April 22.

Some experts say the administration lacks confidence in China’s enforcement of a trade deal, and predict some punitive tariffs are likely to remain.

Also Read: Directions To Officials To Toughen Asylum Rules, U.S. President Donald Trump

“I cannot imagine China accepting a deal where all the tariffs stay in place. I don’t see how [Chinese President] Xi Jinping can take that to his people. There has to be something for China. On the other hand, I guess I will be surprised if the U.S. removed all of the tariffs because clearly, the USTR team would like to keep at least some of them in place,” David Dollar, Brookings Institution’s senior fellow, told VOA Mandarin.

“The smart thing would be to remove the tariffs on all of the parts and components, and perhaps on some consumer goods. It seems likely to get that compromise,” he added. (VOA)


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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday asked the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to prevent dumping of toxic wastes in India.

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"Sitharaman said that the message through such enforcement actions should be such that these acts of brazen attempts at smuggling are nipped in the bud," the statement added. The Finance Minister also said that better coordination among the law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies and sharing of actionable intelligence are the way forward in protecting the frontiers of the country more efficiently. "Sitharaman also asked the DRI to focus on interdicting dual use technology items as well as preventing the dumping of toxic wastes in our country," the statement said. (IANS/ MBI)


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Tech giant Amazon has expanded the sound detection capabilities of Alexa along with more features.

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When Alexa detects that the faucet has been left open, it will send users a notification as well so they can take appropriate action, it added. Amazon previously said at its event in September that it would add the ability to programme Alexa to recognise custom sounds, but that feature has yet to arrive. Having said that, the two new sound detection capabilities not only help users save energy, but they also make it easier to avoid paying for unnecessary charges on your home utilities, the report said.

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Comforting Christmas cocktails help you enjoy the celebrations and get into the festive spirit.

By Olivia Sarkar
It's the holiday season, which means it's time to be merry! As the month of December approaches, we're all in a festive mindset. With Christmas just around the corner, there will be plenty of parties and get-togethers with friends and family.

Comforting Christmas cocktails help you enjoy the celebrations and get into the festive spirit. The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts offer distinctive cocktails ranging from Hot Toddies to Decadent Egg Nogs. Sit back and enjoy one martini at a time to make the festive season a little brighter.

Dirty Chai Eggnog:

Eggnog is a Christmas favorite that is accustomed to toasts for good health and prosperity. It is an American tradition that has spread around the world. Historically, it has been made using eggs, milk, and alcohol. Our culinary artists have given an Indian twist to this winter drink, making it quintessentially desi!



Recipe:

30 ml Bourbon
30 ml Baileys
90 ml Hot milk tea
Whole Spices
Sweet cream foam to top up

Garnish:
Cinnamon powder and star anise.

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