New York

Tensions between Trump’s top foreign policy advisers escalate over Iran strategy

NEW YORK, May 18 (APP): The ongoing US-Iran tensions have exposed the growing strains among President Donald Trump’s top foreign policy advisers: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton, according to an American media report.

Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran has exacerbated fissures between the two men, especially “over the tight control Bolton has tried to exert over the national security decision-making process,” Politico, an online news service, said.

China’s ban on scrap imports a boon to US recycling plants

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The halt on China’s imports of wastepaper and plastic that has disrupted U.S. recycling programs has also spurred investment in American plants that process recyclables.

U.S. paper mills are expanding capacity to take advantage of a glut of cheap scrap. Some facilities that previously exported plastic or metal to China have retooled so they can process it themselves.

And in a twist, the investors include Chinese companies that are still interested in having access to wastepaper or flattened bottles as raw material for manufacturing.

Digital billboard catches fire in Times Square

NEW YORK (AP) — Firefighters have responded to the scene of digital billboard on fire in Times Square.

Flames stated to shoot out of the LED billboard just after 3 p.m. Saturday.

The Fire Department says no injuries have been reported and there was no damage to the building the sign is attached to.

A department spokesman says firefighters are working to turn the billboard’s power off.

Wobbly week for US stocks; 2nd weekly drop for S&P 500

18 May 2019 (AP) - Stocks fell broadly on Wall Street Friday as investor jitters over the heated trade war between the world’s two biggest economies overshadowed encouraging developments in conflicts between the U.S. and other key trading partners.

The sell-off gained strength in the last hour of trading, handing the benchmark S&P 500 index its second straight weekly loss.

Luckin, a Starbucks rival in China, rises in US stock debut

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Luckin Coffee, a fast-growing rival to Starbucks in China, rose 20% in their U.S. stock market debut Friday.

The Chinese company, which opened its first store in Beijing less than two years ago, has 2,370 locations and plans to surpass the 3,700 stores Starbucks has in China by the end of the year.

But unlike Starbucks, Luckin is losing money.

It brought in $125 million in revenue last year, but spent much more than that on coffee beans, store rent and other costs. Last year, it lost $475 million.

Trump orders aides to avoid conflict with Iran: Report

NEW YORK, May 17 (APP): US President Donald Trump has ordered his administration to avoid a military confrontation with Iran, the New York Times reported Friday.

The Times said that Trump, during a Wednesday morning meeting in the White House Situation Room, sent a message to his hawkish aides that he does not want the US pressure campaign against Iran to explode into an open conflict.

UN calls for immediate de-escalation of violence in greater Idlib, Syria

UNITED NATIONS, May 17 (Xinhua): The United Nations on Friday called for an immediate de-escalation of violence in greater Idlib, Syria.

"Let us unite today for the first step - to support an immediate de-escalation of the violence in greater Idlib and work towards a political solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people," UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo told a Security Council meeting on Syria.

UN calls for restraint amid Iran-U.S. tensions

UNITED NATIONS, May 16 (Xinhua): The United Nations on Thursday called for "maximum restraint" from all parties amid heightened tensions between Iran and the United States and in the Gulf region.

"We are very concerned about the volatility of the situation. We call on everyone to exercise maximum restraint, prevent any escalation of and heightening of tensions," Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, told reporters.

War with Iran would be ‘many times worse than the Iraq War’

NEW YORK, May 15 (APP): U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who is a candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, has warned that war with Iran would be “many times worse than the Iraq War,” in response to a report in The New York Times saying that the Trump administration is reviewing a plan to send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East amid growing tensions with Tehran.

The idea was reportedly spearheaded by John Bolton, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, who served in the George W. Bush administration at the height of the conflict in Iraq.

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