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Twitter storm: Trump lashes out at ex-FBI chief!

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Trump calls off Pompeo North Korea trip

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump launched into another furious Twitter tirade against James Comey here today hours before the broadcast of an extended interview with the fired former FBI director and with a memoir detailing his interactions with the US president soon to hit US bookstores.

Excerpts of the interview with ABC News already have been aired, as have reviews of Comey’s memoir, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership.”

The book, which is due out Tuesday (17th of April), likens Trump to a dishonest, ego-driven mob boss and says he demanded Comey’s personal pledge of loyalty – a damning account that has infuriated the president at a moment of intensifying legal pressure on other fronts. “I never asked Comey for Personal Loyalty.

I hardly even knew this guy. Just another of his many lies. His ‘memos’ are self serving and FAKE!” Trump said in one of his latest tweets. The president again called Comey, who has said he took detailed notes of his meetings with Trump, a “slime ball” and said he “stupidly” handled a probe into Trump’s 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton.

In another tweet, the president undertook a mini-review of Comey’s memoir: “The big questions in Comey’s badly reviewed book aren’t answered like, how come he gave up Classified Information (jail), why did he lie to Congress (jail), why did the DNC refuse to give Server to the FBI (why didn’t they TAKE it), why the phony memos, McCabe’s $700,000 & more?”

The jumble of references appeared to allude to unsubstantiated accusations Trump has previously made claiming Comey lied in Senate testimony last May in denying he had served as an anonymous news source.

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Health

Pakistan-US Effort to Safeguard Children’s Food

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ISLAMABAD:  Researchers, government agencies, and private businesses from Pakistan and the United States announced today their cooperation to eliminate a toxic fungus that causes liver cancer and stunting in children.  The joint effort also aims to improve nutrition and safeguard the health of Pakistan’s citizens by securing a disease-free food supply.

Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working with the Pakistani company Rafhan Maize Products to target the fungus aflatoxin, which occurs naturally in crops.  The project will use a cutting-edge USDA technology that works to eliminate aflatoxin in the fields, where it affects up to 25% of all crops grown. This joint effort will make Pakistan a leader in global efforts to grow safer vegetables, such as maize, as well as nuts, such as pistachios, and will even help secure the health of livestock by protecting the plants grown as feed for the animals.

At the event to announce the project, Deputy Chief of Mission John Hoover from the U.S. Mission Pakistan congratulated the partners working on this effort and highlighted the long history of U.S.-Pakistani cooperation in the field of agriculture.  Commenting on the impact that fighting aflatoxin will have, Hoover, commented, “It will affect the health and job prospects of thousands of Pakistanis and improve the economic viability of Pakistani commodities for export.” 

Key partners working with the USDA to safeguard Pakistani crops include the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Agricultural Research Centre, and the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International.

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Education

US Govt. assistance in Pk. focuses on education!

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KARACHI: U.S. Consul General JoAnne Wagner interacted with youth at a forum organized by the Karachi Rotaract Club and highlighted the role that youth can play for the welfare of society by promoting peace and harmony.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Mission Director for Sindh and Balochistan, John Smith-Screen also accompanied the Consul General on this visit.  Dr. Anum Akram, Rotaract Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan provided an overview of Rotaract while Hassan Naviwala, Member Rotaract, outlined Rotaract’s programs and the Club’s role in the community. 

With one of the highest youth populations in the world, Pakistan has a unique opportunity for social, political and economic progress. However, the challenge of keeping youth productively engaged is also enormous. Therefore the U.S. government is supporting the Government of Pakistan as well as private youth fora across the country and holds interactive sessions between youth and policy-makers, and provides grants to organizations that seek to promote social tolerance and community cohesion among young people.

“I’m pleased to see youth, like those gathered in this room tonight, taking steps and creating organizations and public spaces which are an essential platform for development,” said Consul General Wagner. “Many U.S. government assistance activities in Pakistan focus on education, training, employment opportunities, and more inclusive communities for youth.”

Consul General Wagner also highlighted some USAID programs supporting youth such as the Centers for Advanced Studies in various disciplines which send students and faculty on exchange programs to partnering U.S. universities. She also spoke of the support for building 118 schools and improving education in Sindh to allow millions of children to have a brighter future, as well as focused job-readiness training to youth and helping them find jobs or become entrepreneurs. Within Karachi, USAID has partnered with UNDP and Aman Foundation to provide job skills training to 21,500 young people. About 65% of those trained so far have found employment.

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Economy

US stocks open higher after the two-day rout

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NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks jumped in opening trading on Friday, recovering some of the losses from a two-day rout following upbeat comments from the US Treasury Secretary and leading bank executives.
About five minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.3 percent to 25,376.03. The broad-based S&P 500 gained 1.4 percent to 2,765.87, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 2.1 percent to 7,481.26.

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