North Korea withdraws from DMZ joint liaison office after new US

  North Korea is withdrawing from a joint liaison office near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) with Sout

h Korea, a key symbol of the rapprochement and ongoing peace process between the two countries.

  The move comes after the US slapped two Chinese firms with sanctions for doing busin

ess with Pyongyang, the first action taken by Washington against North Korea since the second summit bet

ween North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in Hanoi ended early with no agreement.

  South Korea’s Unification Ministry announced the move Friday, say

ing the decision had been taken by the North on “instructions from the superior authority.”

  In its communication with the South, Pyongyang said it would not mind Seoul’s representatives “remaining in the office,” whi

ch is based in Kaesong, a part of North Korea near the de facto border between the two countries.

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I would have done it much differently. I actually told

  Theresa May how to do it, but she didn’t listen to me,” Trump told the tabloid. “The deal she is striking is a much different deal than the one people voted on.”

  Trump apologized in private to May, one of the rare times he‘s admitted wrong. And tho

ugh he’s expressed a desire to remain diplomatically impartial — “I think we will stay right in our lane,” he sa

id last week when questioned about Brexit — he has nevertheless bemoaned May’s handling of the issue over and over.

  ”I’m surprised at how badly it’s all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation,” he said in the Oval Office last week, mome

nts after suggesting he wouldn’t offer an opinion on the issue. “I gave the prime minister my ideas on how to n

egotiate it. And I think you would’ve been successful. She didn’t listen to that, and that’s fine.”

  A few weeks before, Trump spoke briefly with one of the UK’s most visible pro-Brexit campaig

ners, Nigel Farage, on the sidelines of a conservative conference outside Washington. And he’s ma

intained close ties to the hardline conservatives who have bemoaned May’s handling of the matter.

  Trump wasn’t alone in his criticism. Two of his top confidants — son Donald Trump Jr. and national security adviser John

Bolton — both offered critical views this week of May and her plan to try and delay Britain’s exit from Europe.

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Xi added that he is glad that US President Donald Trump

also voiced his support for bilateral exchanges and cooperation in education during their meeting at the G20 Summit in Argentina in December.

The rising level of education has been a major contributor to

China’s rapid development in its 40 years of reform and opening-up, he said.

China remains committed to advancing the modernization of its education, making

itself an education powerhouse and developing education that people are satisfied with, he added.

During this process, China is willing to conduct broader exchanges and cooper

ation with education and research institutions including Harvard University, he said.

Bacow, who last year became the 29th president of Harvard U

niversity, said he is glad to make China his first overseas stop since his inauguration.

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The visit was not only for Harvard but also on behalf of

  all of US higher education in order to promote bilateral educational exchanges, he said.

  ”I am here precisely because, like you, I believe these ties are extremely import

ant for our academic institutions, but even more importantly, for our nations,” he said.

  He noted that there are a large number of overseas students from China at Har

vard, and the Chinese language is among the most popular foreign languages at the institution.

  He also expressed his admiration for the great emphasis the Ch

inese government has placed on education and its efforts to enhance higher education, addi

ng that Harvard University is ready to move forward with exchanges with Chinese education and research inst

itutions.He calls for tapping partnership potential in such sectors as shipping, telecommunications

  China stands ready to work with Italy on the Belt and Road Initiative by strengthening its alignment with the Eur

opean country’s development strategies to bring bilateral ties to a new level, President Xi Jinping said.

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hina will continue to support Chinese companies in deve

  loping cooperation with their Italian counterparts on telecommunications, particularly in the 5G network, Wang said.

  The two countries have witnessed productive economic cooperation in recent years. Bilat

eral trade topped $50 billion last year, while the two-way accumulative investment reached more than $20 billion.

  Xi also called for intensifying coordination with Italy in international affairs and within multilateral orga

nizations such as the United Nations, the Group of 20 and the World Trade Organization.

  China is ready to deepen communication and cooperation with Italy on major i

ssues such as global governance, climate change and WTO reforms to safeguard their shared in

terests, uphold multilateralism and free trade, and promote world peace, development and prosperity, Xi said.

  Regarding Xi’s visit to Monaco, Wang said it will open a new chapter for their bilat

eral ties, which have become a good example of interactions between big and small countries.

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Tax cuts on the way as steps taken at meetingplement a g

China will implement a group of measures to cut value-added ta

x rates, ensuring that the tax burden on all industries will only go down, according to a

decision made by the State Council’s executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday.

The Government Work Report this year set out a plan for l

arger tax cuts, including lowering the VAT rate in manufacturing and other industries from 16 t

o 13 percent and the VAT rate in transportation, construction and other industries from 10 to 9 percent.

A number of concrete measures were decided upon at the

Wednesday meeting to achieve the targets, which will be enacted on April 1.

Input VAT eligible for deduction will be expanded and will cove

r passenger transportation services. Taxpayers will be able to get their input tax on real esta

te payments deducted in full on a one-time basis, instead of on two occasions in two years.

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Taxpayers whose main business is postal services, telecom

postal services, telecommunications, modern services or consu

mer services will receive 10 percent additional input VAT deduction before the end of 2021.

An increase in the overpaid VAT following this round of tax cuts will be refunded.

“The planned VAT cuts must be delivered as soon as possible,” Li said.

“Their implementation must be closely monitored to ensure that tax burdens are meaningfully reduced

in the major industries and lowered to various extents in some industries. All industries will see their taxes go down, not up.

“In case of an increased tax burden due to inadequate deducti

ons in certain individual industries, the government will work out targeted solutions,” he added.

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May’s spokesman said Tusk’s comments were in keepi

  ing with her request for a short delay.She herself told a rowdy session of parliament that she c

ould not countenance the prospect of a long delay – which could give time for notional alter

native approaches to emerge, but would infuriate Brexit supporters in her own party.

  ”As prime minister, I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than the 30th of June,” she said.

  May said she planned to ask parliament to vote a third time on her departure

deal, which lawmakers have voted down twice. She did not say when the vote would happen.

  ”RATIFY OR EXIT”

  If May cannot win over enough reluctant lawmakers to pass her deal next week, Britain faces the choice of reque

sting a longer delay or leaving the EU as planned on March 29 – without a deal to cushion the economic upheaval.

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Vice-Premier Liu to hold trade talks with US officials in Beijing

  Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He will hold a new round of high-level China-US economic and trade consultation with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer a

nd Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Beijing from March 28 to 29, the Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

  Liu will visit Washington in early April for further cons

ultation, the ministry said.The Government Work Report released on March 5 has charted a co

urse for China’s economic development for this year. By setting fairly robust growth targets, the country is s

et to be the locomotive pulling the world economy amid global economic headwinds. A number of pro-growth eff

orts have been unveiled to spur innovation and continue opening-up. The country has also released the Foreign Inv

estment Law to better protect the rights of foreign businesses in China. China Daily polled senior executives from mul

tinational corporations to understand their positioning, perception and predictions of the Chinese market.

  Q1: The year 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. What in your opini

on are China’s biggest achievements to date? What are the biggest achievements made by your company so far?

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The revelation that an extra pilot saved the plane the day

before the crash has never been reported before, according to Bloomberg.

Aviation analyst and editor in chief of Airlineratings.com, Geoffrey Thomas, said it was not unusual for off-duty pilots, known as dead heads, to fly in the cockpit of planes.

“It could well be that the flight is full and he needs to get back t

o Jakarta — so as long as he is authorized to do so — then it’s absolutely fine,” he said.

However, the presence of the third pilot in the cockpit did not appear in the National Tra

nsportation Safety Committee’s (KNKT) November preliminary report into the crash.

Thomas said this fact should have been reported “as you could argue that the pilot was a distraction or an assistance,” he said.

Wall Street Journal: Transportation Department inspector general investigating FAA’s approval of Boeing 737 Max

CNN contacted Lion Air Group Captain Daniel Putut for comment and he directed questions to the KNKT.

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