Category Archives: News

worldwide news

Russian Artist Builds Cameras out of Wood

A Russian artist is going back to the roots of photography, rejecting the digital trappings and the assembly-line convenience of the modern age, by designing and creating wooden cameras the way they were built a hundred years ago. Combining craftsmanship with the principles of old school photography, some consider his creations art forms in themselves. And as VOA’s Julie Taboh reports, his wooden cameras, and the unique photographs he takes with them, are attracting buyers from around the world.

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WWII Shipwreck Found off Alaska, Sunk After Only Battle on US Soil

Scientists have used multibeam sonar and a remotely operated craft to locate the remains of the USS Abner Read, which was sunk nearly 75 years ago after hitting a Japanese mine off Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. The ship had been sent to look for Japanese submarines following the only World War II battle to be fought on North American soil. VOA’s Jill Craig has more.

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WWII Shipwreck Found off Alaska, Sunk After Only Battle on US Soil

Scientists have used multibeam sonar and a remotely operated craft to locate the remains of the USS Abner Read, which was sunk nearly 75 years ago after hitting a Japanese mine off Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. The ship had been sent to look for Japanese submarines following the only World War II battle to be fought on North American soil. VOA’s Jill Craig has more.

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US Blasts El Salvador for Cutting Ties with Taiwan in Favor of China

The United States calls El Salvador’s decision to ditch diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China a “grave concern.” Washington warned that China’s economic inducements could come at a high price for its new friends. VOA’s Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine reports from Washington.

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US Blasts El Salvador for Cutting Ties with Taiwan in Favor of China

The United States calls El Salvador’s decision to ditch diplomatic ties with Taiwan in favor of China a “grave concern.” Washington warned that China’s economic inducements could come at a high price for its new friends. VOA’s Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine reports from Washington.

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Musk Says Investors Convinced Him Tesla Should Stay Public

Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk says investors have convinced him that he shouldn’t take the company private, so the firm will remain on the public stock markets.

The eccentric and sometimes erratic CEO said in a statement late Friday that he made the decision based on feedback from shareholders, including institutional investors, who said they have internal rules limiting how much they can sink into a private company.

Musk met with the electric car and solar panel company’s board on Thursday to tell them he wanted to stay public and the board agreed, according to the statement.

In an Aug. 7 post on Twitter, Musk wrote that he was considering taking the company private. He said it would avoid the short-term pressures of reporting quarterly results.

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Musk Says Investors Convinced Him Tesla Should Stay Public

Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk says investors have convinced him that he shouldn’t take the company private, so the firm will remain on the public stock markets.

The eccentric and sometimes erratic CEO said in a statement late Friday that he made the decision based on feedback from shareholders, including institutional investors, who said they have internal rules limiting how much they can sink into a private company.

Musk met with the electric car and solar panel company’s board on Thursday to tell them he wanted to stay public and the board agreed, according to the statement.

In an Aug. 7 post on Twitter, Musk wrote that he was considering taking the company private. He said it would avoid the short-term pressures of reporting quarterly results.

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Autos, Energy Issues Holding up NAFTA Talks

The prospect of a quick deal between Mexico and the United States retreated Friday as disagreements over energy flared up and conflict over autos persisted in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Since talks resumed last month, U.S. and Mexican negotiators have focused on reaching common ground, but in the past few days differing views on energy policy between the outgoing and incoming Mexican administrations have put up a fresh hurdle.

Oil and gas issues

Mexican president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s camp has doubts about enshrining the 2013-14 opening of the oil and gas sector enacted by current president Enrique Pena Nieto in the new pact, three sources close to the talks said.

“The energy issue is holding everything up,” said one of them Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Asked this week about the energy issue, Lopez Obrador’s designated trade negotiator, Jesus Seade, sought to downplay the matter, saying that while his team wanted to check the issue’s “consistency with the constitution,” it was not “substantive.”

Lopez Obrador, a leftist, opposed Pena Nieto’s energy reform, and the issue is divisive within his own camp.

Business-friendly aides back greater private investment in the oil and gas sector, while more nationalist allies are against it.

Elected July 1, Lopez Obrador takes office Dec. 1. Another sticking point at the talks has been new rules of origin for automobile manufacturing, which U.S. negotiators hope will bring more production to the region.

US budges little

U.S. President Donald Trump prompted the NAFTA revamp over a year ago, complaining the 24-year-old trade pact has benefited Mexico to the detriment of U.S. workers and manufacturing.

Trump has threatened to withdraw from if it is not reworked to the advantage of the United States.

Industry officials have said the U.S. team had barely moved from its demands last May of a 75 percent overall regional content threshold with 40-45 percent content from high-wage zones, effectively the United States and Canada, with the only substantial change a slightly longer phase-in time.

“It seems that the issues on autos are far from being resolved,” said the industry source.

Initial optimism over an imminent deal has gradually faded.

Mexico negotiators stay over

Mexico’s Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, who Wednesday said a bilateral breakthrough could be just hours away, said he and his team would stay in Washington over the weekend to keep negotiating with U.S. officials.

Asked about issues between the ingoing and outgoing governments on the energy chapter, Guajardo said: “We are working as one team, a team called Mexico, and we have to make sure that everybody feels comfortable with this agreement.”

Speaking outside the offices of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Guajardo commented on the difficulty of securing a final deal: “as you know … there are always last moment things that can come between you and your goals.”

Canada waiting 

Canada has sat out the latest round of talks waiting for the Mexican and U.S. teams to work out their issues.

Asked if talks had made headway on a U.S. “sunset” proposal that could terminate NAFTA after five years, Guajardo said it was an issue that would be dealt with once Canada came back.

Canada’s foreign minister Chrystia Freeland dodged questions on when she would return to talks when speaking at a steel manufacturing facility in Vancouver, but said she had been encouraged by optimistic reports from Canada’s NAFTA partners.

“As I’ve said, it really depends on how quickly the U.S. and Mexico are able to resolve those bilateral issues,” she said. “The U.S. and Mexico issues inside NAFTA are really complicated.”

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