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Trump says he has ‘reasonably attractive news’ about India-Pakistan crisis

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US President Donald Trump was hopeful Thursday of a resolution to an ongoing crisis between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan which has ignited fears of an all-out conflict in South Asia.

Trump, speaking at a press conference in Hanoi after a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said he had had “reasonably attractive news from Pakistan and India”.

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The US has been “involved in trying to have them stop,” he told reporters.

“We have some reasonably decent news… Hopefully that’s going to be coming to an end,” he added.

The comments were his first since India and Pakistan both claimed to have shot down each other’s fighter planes after a rare aerial engagement in the skies over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir early Wednesday, with Pakistan capturing one Indian pilot.

The incident — the latest in a dangerous sequence of events between the two countries — sent tensions rocketing, as major world powers including China, the US and the UN urged restraint.

New Delhi said it lost one fighter jet and a pilot was missing in action, later confirming he was in Pakistani custody. India also downed a Pakistani jet, the foreign ministry said.

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Pakistan claimed to have shot down two Indian jets and denied it lost any aircraft in the dogfight.

Islamabad said its incursion across the heavily militarised border was in response to Indian warplanes bombing Balakot, well inside its territory, on February 26.

That attack was the “jaw breaking” response Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised after militants staged a suicide bombing in Indian Kashmir on February 14, killing at least 40 paramilitaries.

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New Delhi blamed the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad for the attack, and hit what it called a training camp for the militants in its aerial raid 12 days later.

The crisis has seen the US thrust into the familiar position of trying to defuse tensions, but American officials are making no secret of faulting Islamabad.

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US policymakers have grown exasperated with Pakistan for not doing more against Islamist extremists, and envision a broad, long-term alliance with an emerging India.


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President helped ‘increase anti-Trump turnout’ in red-state governor’s races — which could spell disaster for the GOP

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President Donald Trump was once the Republican Party's greatest asset in an election, mobilizing thousands of supporters to rush to the polls. Recently, however, it seems he's now driving anti-Trump votes up so much that it may no longer be worth the Trump trouble.

“So you’ve got to give me a big win, please,” Trump told a Louisiana crowd this week before the GOP candidate lost the governor's race in a red state.

“What Trump did in Louisiana was increase voter participation. While he increased the pro-Trump turnout, he also increased the anti-Trump turnout. That’s kind of the lesson here,” polling analyst Ron Faucheux told The Washington Post in an interview.

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Fire holds off Hong Kong police at campus as democracy protests escalate

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A large fire held off an apparent police advance on the Hong Kong campus where hundreds of pro-democracy protesters were holed up early Monday, hours after officers warned they may use "live rounds" if confronted by deadly weapons in a dangerous escalation of the near six-month crisis engulfing the city.

Protests have rocked the global financial hub since June, with many in the city of 7.5 million people venting fury at eroding freedoms under Chinese rule.

China has repeatedly warned that it will not tolerate the dissent, and there have been concerns that Beijing could send in troops to put an end to the spiralling unrest.

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Ambassador Sondland was updating Trump officials on progress of ‘push for investigations’ — including Mulvaney

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The Wall Street Journal obtained emails showing that ahead of President Donald Trump's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Ambassador Gordon Sondland was updating officials on the strive for investigations.

Chief of staff and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney was one of the main points of contact, and he replied to the email saying he would schedule the call with Zelensky.

“I talked to Zelensky just now. He is prepared to receive Potus’ call. Will assure him that he intends to run a fully transparent investigation and will ‘turn over every stone,’” Sondland wrote in an email on July 19.

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