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Kissinger says impressed by China’s ‘calm reaction’ to Trump’s Taiwan call

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Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said on Monday he was impressed by the Chinese leadership’s calm reaction to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s call last week with the president of Taiwan.

“At this moment I’ve been very impressed at the calm reaction of the Chinese leadership, which suggests a determination to see whether a calm dialogue can be developed,” Kissinger said at an event sponsored by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by David Alexander)

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Reparations, concentration camps and racial slurs: Republicans want to turn all discussion of race into pointless culture war debats

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It wasn’t slavery. They are concentration camps. Racial slurs are not a youthful indiscretion.

This week has seen a series of culture-war debates dominate the discourse only to be derailed by bad faith arguments about semantics.

First, on Monday, nearly all of the right-wing ecosystem was engaged to defend the honor of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior and gun rights activists Kyle Kashuv after he revealed that his admission to Harvard had been rescinded. At least one of Kashuv’s classmates in Parkland, Florida, released a number of text messages from him which included racist and misogynistic attacks on fellow students, including the description of black athletes as “niggerjocks.”

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New Zealand opens gun buyback after mosque killings

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New Zealand opened a gun buyback scheme Thursday aimed at ridding the country of semi-automatic weapons similar to those used in the Christchurch mosque attacks that killed 51 Muslim worshippers.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed in the hours after the March 15 killings that New Zealand's gun laws would be tightened and her government has expedited the change in just three months.

"The buyback and amnesty has one objective -- to remove the most dangerous weapons from circulation following the loss of life at Al Noor and Linwood mosques," Police Minister Stuart Nash said.

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US Senate to vote on blocking Saudi arms sales

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The US Senate will vote Thursday on whether to block $8.1 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies, a lawmaker said, as legislators' outrage with the kingdom grows.

Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican-led Senate, had agreed to allow votes on the 22 arms sales that critics say will aggravate the devastating war in Yemen.

"I want to thank the bipartisan group of cosponsors of these resolutions, the majority leader and our staffs for diligently working through this unprecedented process," Menendez said late Wednesday on the Senate floor.

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