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China says US-led trade war has become biggest ‘confidence killer’ for world economy

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The U.S.-driven trade war has become the biggest “confidence killer” for the global economy, China’s foreign ministry warned on Wednesday, saying the whole world would fight back if the United States continued to be “willful”.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters at a regular press briefing that the United States is fabricating all kinds of justifications for its trade actions, including that of national security.

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Earlier this month the United States and China slapped tariffs on $34 billion of each other’s imports in an escalating trade tussle that has roiled financial markets.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened further tariffs unless Beijing agrees to change its intellectual property practices and high-technology industrial subsidy plans.

Trump has also hit European metal imports with tariffs and has threatened to curb car imports from Europe with a 20 percent duty.

“The U.S. trade war is not just with China but with the rest of the world. By regarding the rest of the world as adversaries, the U.S. has dragged the entire global economy into a place of danger,” Hua said.

The European Commission last week cut its forecasts for the euro zone’s economic growth this year, saying the main causes for the revision were trade tensions with the United States as well as higher oil prices.

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China’s economy grew at a slower pace in the second quarter, data on Monday showed, with Beijing’s trade dispute with Washington challenging the growth outlook for the world’s second-biggest economy.

“If the U.S. continues to be willful, countries around the world will only harden their resolve to hit back,” Hua said.

Reporting by Michael Martina; Writing by Ryan Woo; Editing by Sam Holmes & Shri Navaratnam

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Myanmar’s Suu Kyi set to make history in Hague genocide case

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Former democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi is set to make legal history when she defends Myanmar in The Hague this week against charges of genocide targeting the Buddhist state's minority Rohingya Muslims.

The tiny west African state of Gambia, acting on behalf of the 57-nation Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, will ask the International Court of Justice to take emergency measures to halt Myanmar's "ongoing genocidal actions".

But in a highly unusual move, the office of Nobel Peace laureate and Myanmar civilian leader Suu Kyi has said she will lead a team to the UN's highest court, based in the turreted Peace Palace in the Netherlands.

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Sesame Street still going strong after 50 years

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Generations of children around the world have grown up learning their ABCs and 123s from the lovable muppets on "Sesame Street," and as the pioneering television program turns 50, it's as popular as ever.

It's also about to earn one of America's top cultural awards, to go along with a pile of nearly 200 Emmys -- at a gala in Washington on Sunday, it will be the first TV show to earn the Kennedy Center Honors.

Since its debut in November 1969 on American public television, the famous address has taken on many forms, in more than 150 countries.

In Afghanistan, it's "Baghch-e-Simsim." In Latin America, it's "Plaza Sesamo." And in Arabic-speaking countries, it's "Iftah Ya Simsim."

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The wacky, big-money world of pet influencers

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They have millions of followers on Instagram. They generate major profits for their owners. They are... pet influencers.

Grumpy Cat, Lil Bub, Boo the Pomeranian and Doug the Pug are just some of the internet's star animals, who do everything from support worthy causes to promote major brands.

The death this week of Lil Bub, a cat whose tongue was always hanging out due to genetic anomalies, inspired a wave of emotion that highlighted the internet's power to elevate just about anything to cult status.

"She was a ray of pure joy in my life and so many others," said one Instagram user, who uses the handle @missmaddyg.

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