Dhaka, Aug 31 (UNB) - President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw the US from the World Trade Organization (WTO) if the body fails to change the way it treats America.
"If they don't shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO," Mr Trump said in an interview with Bloomberg News, reports BBC.
The WTO was established to provide rules for global trade and resolve disputes between countries.
But Mr Trump, who has been pushing protectionist policies, says the US is treated unfairly by the body.
He said on Thursday that the 1994 agreement to establish the WTO "was the single worst trade deal ever made", though he acknowledged that the US had won some judgments in the past year.
His warning about a possible US pull-out from the organisation highlights the conflict between the president's trade policies and the open trade system that the WTO oversees.
Meanwhile, Washington has recently been blocking the election of new judges to the WTO's dispute settlement system, which could potentially paralyse its ability to issue judgments.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has also accused the WTO of interfering with US sovereignty.
The US president has been sounding off about unfair trade since even before he became president.
Last year, Mr Trump told Fox News: "The WTO was set up to benefit everybody but us… We lose the lawsuits, almost all of the lawsuits in the WTO."
The US has been embroiled in a tit-for-tat trade battle on several fronts in recent months.
The one creating the most interest is the one with China, as the world's two largest economies wrangle for global influence.
Mr Trump has introduced tariffs on a number of goods imported into the US.
A third round of tariffs on $200bn (£154bn) of Chinese goods could come as soon as a public-comment period concludes next week, according to a Bloomberg report citing various sources.
Asked to confirm this during the Bloomberg interview, President Trump said that it was "not totally wrong".
China has responded to US tariffs by imposing retaliatory taxes on the same value of US products and has filed complaints against the tariffs at the WTO.
China's commerce ministry has said it "clearly suspects" the US of violating WTO rules.
An initial complaint at the WTO was filed by China in July after Mr Trump imposed his first round of tariffs.
The WTO is at the heart of the system of rules for international trade.
It is the forum for sorting disputes between countries about breaches of global trade rules and it is the forum for negotiating new trade liberalisation.
Yes. On Monday Mr Trump announced that the US and Mexico had agreed to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), calling it a "really good deal" that was "much more fair" for both countries.
He had previously threatened to pull out of the deal, triggering a year of talks, and demanded a renegotiation of the 1994 agreement - which he blames for a decline in US manufacturing jobs, especially in the car industry.
Canada, the third member of Nafta, is yet to agree to the new terms.
On Thursday, Mr Lighthizer held talks in Washington with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland aimed at reaching a new deal.
Following four separate meetings, which continued late into the night, Ms Freeland told reporters that a deal could not be reached, adding that talks would resume on Friday.
Mr Trump has set Friday as the deadline for Canada to sign an agreement, and has threatened to tax the country's automotive sector or cut it out entirely.
Mount Holly, Aug 31 (AP/UNB) — A couple who raised more than $400,000 for a homeless man after he used his last $20 to fill up the gas tank of a stranded motorist in Philadelphia must now turn over what's left of the cash.
A New Jersey judge issued the order Thursday during a hearing on the lawsuit brought by Johnny Bobbitt , who worries Mark D'Amico and Katie McClure have mismanaged a large part of the donations raised for him on GoFundMe.
The couple deny those claims, saying they're wary of giving Bobbitt large sums because they fear he would buy drugs.
The judge ordered the couple to transfer the money into an escrow account by the end of business Friday and hire a forensic accountant to review the financial records within 10 days.
The money will be transferred to an account controlled by Bobbitt's lawyers but can't be used until the judge determines how it will be managed. The judge didn't appoint a guardian to oversee the fund, but one could be appointed later.
McClure set up the online fundraiser page as a way to give back to Bobbitt, who came to her aid when she ran out of gas on an Interstate 95 exit ramp late one night. It raised more than $400,000 in funds donated by more than 14,000 people.
Bobbitt walked a few blocks to buy McClure gas. She didn't have money to repay him at the time, but sought him out days later to give him the money, and visited him a few more times to bring food and water. They later appeared on shows like "Good Morning America" and were interviewed by the BBC.
But the relationship has gone sour.
McClure and D'Amico have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing or misusing any of the money. D'Amico has said Bobbitt spent $25,000 in less than two weeks in December on drugs, in addition to paying overdue legal bills and sending money to his family.
The couple also bought Bobbitt a camper with some of the funds and parked it on land McClure's family owns in Florence. But Bobbitt became homeless again after D'Amico told him in June that he had to leave the property.
During an appearance Monday on NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today" show, D'Amico told Kelly there was well over $150,000 left of the donations.
Buenos Aires, Aug 30 (AP/UNB) — President Mauricio Macri asked the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday for an early release of funds from a $50 billion deal with the IMF to ease concerns that Argentina will not be able to meet its debt obligations for 2019.
Macri said in a televised address that Argentina has agreed with the IMF "to advance all necessary funds to guarantee compliance with next year's financial program."
Macri said that in the past week there have been "expressions of a lack of trust in the markets" about Argentina. He said the decision seeks to dispel any uncertainty, but he did not specify the amount or when the funds will be released.
Argentina was forced to strike a deal with the IMF earlier this year after a sharp depreciation of its currency and a run on the peso. The three year stand-by financing deal is aimed at strengthening the South American country's weak economy and helping it fight inflation, which at 30 percent per year, is one of the highest in the world.
The Argentine currency fell again Wednesday to close at an all-time low of 34.2 pesos per U.S. dollar.
The IMF said in a statement that it will "revise the government's economic plan with a focus on better insulating Argentina from the recent shifts in global financial markets, including through stronger monetary and fiscal policies and a deepening of efforts to support the most vulnerable in society."
Most Argentines have bad memories of the IMF and blame the international lending institution for encouraging policies that led to the country's worst economic crisis in 2001. The crisis 17 years ago resulted in one of every five Argentines being unemployed, millions sliding into poverty and some reporting going hungry.
The international lender has admitted that it had a made a string of mistakes that contributed to Argentina's economic implosion. A 2004 report by the IMF's internal audit unit concluded it failed to provide enough oversight, overestimated growth and the success of economic reforms, while it continued to lend Argentina money when its debt burden had turned unsustainable.
Washington, Aug 30 (AP/UNB) — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that there's no reason to spend a lot of money on military wargames with South Korea, but warned he could "instantly" relaunch the exercises again and they would be "far bigger than ever before."
Trump made the comment in a series of tweets that primarily took aim at China, blaming it for lack of progress on getting North Korea to end its nuclear program, following the president's landmark summit with Kim Jong Un in June.
But there was also a loaded message for Kim: mixing an expression of goodwill to the North Korean autocrat with an implicit military threat that will add to speculation over the direction of Trump's attempted rapprochement with a long-time adversary.
"The president believes that his relationship with Kim Jong Un is a very good and warm one, and there is no reason at this time to be spending large amounts of money on joint U.S.-South Korea war games," Trump said, citing what was presented as a White House statement. "Besides, the president can instantly start the joint exercises again with South Korea, and Japan, if he so chooses. If he does, they will be far bigger than ever before."
Trump caught military leaders by surprise in June when he announced the suspension with the South, "unless and until we see the future negotiation is not going along like it should." He called the drills costly and provocative.
The cancellation was an olive branch to Pyongyang, which has long complained that the exercises were invasion preparations. Often the North has reacted to the exercises with its own demonstrations of military might, including firing a new intermediate-range missile over Japan last year as a countermeasure to the drills.
There was some hope that the gesture of shelving the fall exercises would foster goodwill and help nudge the North in the denuclearization talks. But beyond returning the potential remains of about 55 U.S. troops missing from the Korean War, and its continuing suspension in its missile and nuclear tests, there has been little movement from the North.
As a result, the U.S. last week shelved a planned trip to Pyongyang by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, citing lack of progress on denuclearization, but remaining open to future talks.
As doubts grow in Washington and beyond over Kim's willingness to relinquish his nukes, Trump has been heaping blame on China, which is North Korea's traditional ally and main trading partner. On Wednesday the president accused Beijing of pressuring the North because of current tensions in U.S.-China trade relations, and also of providing North Korea money, fuel, fertilizer and other commodities, which he said was not helpful.
China cooperated with the U.S. last year in adopting tough international sanctions against North Korea and maintains it is still enforcing the restrictions adopted by the U.N. Security Council.
But in his tweets, Trump also signaled that the U.S. has its own military means of exerting pressure on Pyongyang. His remarks compounded confusing messages from the Pentagon over the past two days that have revived speculation over the drills.
On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters the U.S. might carry out drills with South Korea next spring after having cancelled a major exercise this summer. He said no decision has been made on when to resume military exercises, but his statements suggested the recent cancellation might not be repeated.
Several U.S. officials acknowledged Wednesday that planning is going forward for the spring exercises, which require months of preparation.
"Routine planning continues for major U.S.-ROK exercises on the peninsula in accordance with the normal exercise program planning cycle," said Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder, spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, referring to the acronym for South's official name, the Republic of Korea.
Other U.S. officials also said preliminary work on the drills has begun, noting that it is much easier to cancel an exercise than it is to slap one together quickly. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal conversations.
David Maxwell, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the initial planning for the exercises can begin a year in advance, including the funding, scheduling and movement of forces and units that will participate. As time goes on, planners would nail down the war game scenario and other details.
"We continue to plan for exercises, but we can stop them on a dime," said Maxwell, a retired Army colonel who served five tours in Korea. "We can't restart them on a dime."
He said the risk of a continued halt in the major drills would be a diminishing of skills and institutional memory between South Korean forces and the more than 28,000 U.S. troops based there. "The longer we go without exercises, the more risk there is that we will suffer significant challenges if there is a war," Maxwell said.
U.S. officials said Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces in Korea, has taken steps to mitigate any loss of training by scheduling smaller exercises and staff drills.
A key challenge in Korea is that the bulk of the U.S. forces deploy for just a year, so they rely on the summer exercise to get familiar with the South Korean military and the ways allied troops coordinate and operate with them. The spring Foal Eagle drill is more expansive and includes fighter jets, maritime maneuvers, amphibious assault tactics and computer-simulated scenarios.
Sao Paulo, Aug 30 (AP/UNB) — A leading candidate in Brazil's presidential election said police should be given license to kill criminals and those who do should receive medals not face prosecution.
Hard-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro said in an interview Tuesday night that he would "leave good people out of range of the shooting" and go at criminals full steam.
"This kind of people (criminals), you cannot treat them as if they were normal human beings, ok? We can't let policemen keep dying at the hands of those guys," Bolsonaro said on TV Globo's main nightly news program. ""If he kills 10, 15 or 20 with 10 or 30 bullets each, he needs to get a medal and not be prosecuted."
Bolsonaro is polling second ahead of Brazil's October presidential election, with jailed former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the lead. But da Silva is likely to be barred from running by electoral authorities for a corruption conviction.
Bolsonaro has a history of controversial comments. He has defended Brazil's 1964-1985 military dictatorship and made comments opponents have called homophobic and racist.
Political analysts say his get-tough-on-criminals rhetoric appeals to many Brazilians weary of rampant crime but could backfire.
"His adversaries might use that quote saying he will kill people using many bullets. He is saying you can fight violence with more violence, and average Brazilians don't agree with that," said political science writer Alberto Almeida.
Human rights groups say police killings of suspects in Brazil are already common.
Earlier this month a report showed a record 63,880 people were slain in Brazil last year. Brazil has long been the world leader in overall homicide numbers, and its homicide rate is also one of the highest.
On Wednesday, Bolsonaro told supporters in southern Brazil that if elected he would change legislation to treat landless activists that trespass on private property as terrorists.
Left-leaning candidate Ciro Gomes, who has about 10 percent support in the polls, called Bolsonaro "a little project of a tropical little Hitler."