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Japan’s Osaka to snap sister city link with San Francisco over ‘comfort women’ statue

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The mayor of Japan’s western city of Osaka plans to cut ties with U.S. sistercity San Francisco after the latter accepted the donation of a “comfort women” statue from a private group there.

The issue of “comfort women”, as those forced to work in Japan’s wartime military brothels were euphemistically known, has long embittered the ties of neighbors, such as China and South Korea, with Japan.

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“This is highly regrettable,” Osaka Mayor Hirofumi Yoshimura told reporters, describing Wednesday’s endorsement by San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee of a city council decision. “The relationship of trust has completely been destroyed.”

Yoshimura aims to complete the procedures necessary to snap ties by the end of the year, he said in a statement on Thursday.

No officials at the San Francisco mayor’s office were immediately available for comment.

“Erecting comfort women statues in the United States and other countries is in conflict with our country’s stance and extremely regrettable,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a regular news conference on Friday.

“We plan to continue making every effort so that things like this won’t happen again.”

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In January, Japan temporarily recalled its ambassador to South Korea over a “comfort women”statue put up near its consulate in the southern city of Busan.

In 2015, Japan and South Korea agreed the issue of “comfort women” would be “irreversibly resolved” if both sides fulfilled their obligations, including a Japanese apology and a fund to help victims.

But South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said many South Koreans did not accept the deal reached by his conservative predecessor and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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On Friday, Suga said Japan had protested to Seoul after the South Korean parliament passed a bill designating Aug. 14 as a day of commemoration for “comfort women”, adding that the move risked affecting ties, Kyodo news agency reported.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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Trump rages at Sally Yates minutes before she testifies in the Senate: Greatest political crime of the century!

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President Donald Trump lashed out at former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates on Wednesday, just minutes before she was set to deliver her opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Sally Yates has zero credibility,” Trump tweeted, as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham was speaking at the hearing.

“She was a part of the greatest political crime of the Century, and ObamaBiden knew EVERYTHING! Sally Yates leaked the General Flynn conversation? Ask her under oath. Republicans should start playing the Democrats game!“

Graham is accusing former Justice Department officials of abusing their power by surveilling some Trump’s associates during their investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

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2020 Election

Trump makes pitch on Catholic TV: ‘Catholics like their Second Amendment so I saved the Second Amendment’

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President Donald Trump this week made a pitch to Catholic voters based on his assertion that he "saved the Second Amendment."

In a Tuesday interview with the Catholic TV network EWTV, correspondent Tracy Sabol asked Trump if he had a message for Catholic voters.

"Well, I think anybody having to do with, frankly, religion, but certainly the Catholic Church, you have to be with President Trump when it comes to pro-life, when it comes to all of the things, these people are going to take all of your rights away, including Second Amendment," the president said, "because, you know, Catholics like their Second Amendment. So I saved the Second Amendment."

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‘Jim Acosta is a fake reporter!’ Trump angrily denies reports that he ‘still doesn’t get’ coronavirus threat

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CNN's Jim Acosta must have struck a nerve with President Donald Trump.

Trump angrily denied Acosta's reporting that some members of the president's coronavirus task force were alarmed that Trump kept trying to change the subject during Tuesday's meeting about the deadly pandemic, and sources familiar with the White House meeting feared he still doesn't understand the gravity of the situation.

“He still doesn’t get it,” the source said. “He does not get it.”

As some members of the task force tried to stress the dire nature of the situation to the president during the meeting, the source said Trump repeatedly attempted to change the subject.

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