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Thursday
April 2018
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News Headlines
Development our only agenda: PM tells Karnataka BJP workers        13 school children killed as train hits school van in UP        24 injured as gas cylinder explodes in Ludhiana        Minor raped at gunpoint in Muzaffarnagar, accused held        Supreme Court judges urge CJI to hold full court on issues plaguing judiciary        Macron urges US to help reinvent multilateralism        Scandal-plagued Madrid leader steps down        MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu bury RCB as CSK chase down 206 to win        Gautam Gambhir steps down as Delhi Daredevils captain, Shreyas Iyer to lead        Prices of energy commodities set to rise by 20 pc this year: World Bank        Parmanu– The Story of Pokhran to Release on 25th May, 2018        Asaram case: Rape victim's father happy to get justice        States like UP, Bihar keeping India backward: NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant        Engine of Chennai-bound train derails, no casualties        Asaram found guilty of rape, two co-accused convicted        Watch Video: Thrissur Pooram 2018 off to an amazing start        Mysterious deaths in Pinarayi: Soumya confesses to murder of her children, parents        What led to currency deficiency in India? Facts you must know / Video        Trump admin toughens H1-B visa procedure        Thrissur Pooram 2018: Muthukuda preparations in full swing / Video        
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International News
Trump revamps Obama's Cuba deal
 
(Jun 17, 2017, AFP): US President Donald Trump vowed Friday to overhaul Barack Obama's deal to restore ties with Cuba, promising to instead support the Cuban people against Raul Castro's government.

Trump flew to Miami's Little Havana, spiritual home of the Cuban-American community, to denounce his predecessor's "one-sided" settlement and pledge to work for Cuba's freedom.

In practical terms, Trump's review of the deal was limited. He will not break the diplomatic ties Obama worked so carefully to restore, nor does he plan to impose new trade sanctions.

But he did tighten rules for Americans traveling to Cuba, ban ties with a military-run tourism firm and reaffirm the existing US trade embargo -- which will be firmly enforced.

The Cuban government response was restrained. In a statement on state television it denounced the measures, but said Havana "reiterates its willingness to continue the respectful dialogue and cooperation."

"Effective immediately, I am canceling the last administration's completely one-sided deal with Cuba," Trump said, to cheers at the Manuel Artime Theater.

That may have been overstating his case. Trump's new measures mainly relate to stricter enforcement of existing laws that had begun to loosen as Obama sought a rapprochement.

But he won roars of approval and cries of "Viva Cuba libre!" from the invited crowd of Cuban-Americans and Cuban exiles.

And in symbolism that will not be lost in Havana, his crowd included veterans of the ill-fated Brigade 2506, which in 1961 launched the failed US-backed Bay of Pigs invasion.

"I am proud to be an American," said 75-year-old Modesto Castaner, who trained with the CIA in Guatemala before taking part in the failed bid to overthrow Fidel Castro's rule.

"Trump is keeping his promise. What Obama did was virtually all to the benefit of the Castros... but in exchange for what?"

The new measures prohibit financial transactions with Cuba's military-backed tourism conglomerate GAESA, which had hoped for a windfall from a new surge in American visitors.

Run by Castro's son-in-law Luis Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas, GAESA has joint ventures with several foreign firms that have driven a tourism boom, including the Marriott hotel chain.

Even some who oppose the embargo gave Trump's measures a guarded welcome.

Ramon Saul Sanchez, leader of the anti-embargo Movimiento Democracia, told AFP that the changes do not fully reverse Obama's open-hand policy as Trump had suggested.

And he welcomed the tightening of rules on dealing with military-run enterprises, which he described as "a mafia."

"A Cuban small businessman should not be obliged to buy from the only wholesaler that exists now, which is the state," he said.

"Trump is adding teeth to Obama's previous policy, and he's talking about putting the human rights issue first."

Human Rights

Signing a new National Security Presidential Memorandum, Trump announced stricter application of the rules under which Americans can travel to Cuba.

American citizens will still be able to take commercial flights to Cuba, but once again only for 12 specific reasons -- ranging from journalism to educational activities.

Cuban-Americans can still visit and send funds, limiting the impact in Florida, where many emigres settled and where many turned out last year to vote for Trump.

Miami's Cuban-American population has a reputation for diehard anti-communism, but in Little Havana, some -- even those who had fled oppression -- were philosophical about detente.

"Obama did the right thing," said 77-year-old Manuel Gonzales, who left the island in 2006. "The only person responsible for the embargo was Castro. We have to look forward, not back."

Others were not so forgiving.

Marta Diaz, now 75, left Cuba in 1967 and time has done nothing to dull her anger towards the regime. She urged Trump to impose "harsh measures" until the Havana regime falls.

Small Businesses

Boosting travel was a key aim of Obama's effort to restore ties with Cuba after a half-century chill, which culminated with a visit by the then-president in 2016.

Some 285,000 people visited the Caribbean country in 2016, up 74 percent over 2015, with Americans the third-biggest group after Canadians and Cuban expats.

"New restrictions on engagement with Cuban economy only pushes Cuba to China and Russia who will gladly make up the difference," argued former White House official Ben Rhodes, the architect of Obama's Cuba policy.

"Any limitations on travel hurt Cuban small business owners -- restaurants, shops, taxis -- that depend on travelers for revenue."

Engage Cuba, a group lobbying for an end to the embargo, estimates that 10,000 US jobs in aviation and the cruise business already depend on Cuba.


Macron urges US to help reinvent multilateralism
Scandal-plagued Madrid leader steps down
Trump admin toughens H1-B visa procedure
Armenian Prime Minister resigns amid protests
Afghan officials: Taliban attacks kill 14 troops, policemen
Iraq says it carried out air raid against IS in Syria
Diaz-Canel is Cuba's new president as Castro steps aside
Nawaz Sharif, daughter leave for London
Former US first lady Barbara Bush dead at 92
India, Sweden to enhance cooperation in defence, cyber security
Castro set to step aside as Cuban president, his reforms incomplete
Former FBI director James Comey makes shocking claims about Trump
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle to work as Commonwealth youth ambassadors
Putin: attack on Syria act of aggression
'Large part' of Syria chemical arsenal destroyed: France
Hope authorities bring Kathua rape perpetrators to justice: UN
Pakistan Supreme Court disqualifies Nawaz Sharif from holding office for life
India should take steps to ensure privacy in biometric identification programmes: IMF
Trump lauds US administration for handling IS in Syria
Six ministers quit Sri Lanka's troubled government
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Parmanu– The Story of Pokhran to Release on 25th May, 2018
 (Apr 25, 2018): Parmanu- The Story of Pokhran, an edge-of-the-seat thriller that will make ev  
I'm my own worst critic: Benedict Cumberbatch
Women being vocal is still new to the world: Priyanka Chopra
Shooting of 'Student of the Year 2' begins in Dehradun
KERALA NEWS
Watch Video: Thrissur Pooram 2018 off to an amazing start
 (Thrissur, Apr 25, 2018, DG): Hordes of devotees thronged the famous Vadakkunathan temple in
Mysterious deaths in Pinarayi: Soumya confesses to murder of her children, parents
Thrissur Pooram 2018: Muthukuda preparations in full swing / Video
Varappuzha custody death: Chennithala launches hunger strike for CBI probe
NATIONAL NEWS
24 injured as gas cylinder explodes in Ludhiana
 (Ludhiana, Apr 26, 2018): A gas cylinder exploded in a labour colony in Giaspura area here th
Minor raped at gunpoint in Muzaffarnagar, accused held
Prices of energy commodities set to rise by 20 pc this year: World Bank
Asaram case: Rape victim's father happy to get justice
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