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US Fed keeps interest rate unchanged

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Washington, June 13 (IANS) The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday kept the interest rate unchanged but hinted that there could be one cut between now and the end of the year as they continue the fight against inflation.

The Fed announcement came after a two-day meeting of its top officials.

They will meet four more times this year — July, September, November and December.

The Fed increased interest rate multiple times starting in early 2022 when inflation hit a four-decade high and took it up to 5.3 per cent in July where it has been kept since.

The Fed expected to announce three cuts in 2024 as inflation showed signs of coming down, but decided against it every time as inflation stayed stubbornly high.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will address a news conference shortly.

Inflation has cooled down notably since May and the Fed predicted that inflation could be more stubborn than expected and the overall rate could end bottom out at 2.6 per cent by the end of the year instead of the 2.4 per cent they had estimated earlier.

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–IANS

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One dead, two missing in floods in Philippines

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Manila, July 14 (IANS) At least one person died and two others were missing after floods hit parts of the southern Philippines over the weekend, a government agency monitoring disasters said on Sunday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said that the lone fatality was due to drowning, reported in Davao Occidental province on Friday.

The two missing people were reportedly swept away by a strong current while crossing a river in Bukidnon province, reported Xinhua news agency.

The agency said the flooding affected nearly 39,000 people in four regions. Around 10,000 displaced villagers of the affected population have stayed in evacuation centres while waiting for the flood to subside.

The agency recorded at least eight landslides triggered by incessant rains in the Davao region and Zamboanga Peninsula.

The floods have damaged at least 47 houses in two regions, 40 roads, and two bridges in four regions of the Southeast Asian country.

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–IANS

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Trump's shooter identified as Thomas Matthew Crooks

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) Thomas Matthew Crooks (20) has been identified as the person suspected of shooting former US President Donald Trump in an attempted assassination, the FBI said in a statement.

“The suspected shooter was Thomas Matthew Crooks (20) of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, as the subject involved in the assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump on July 13, in Butler, Pennsylvania,” said the FBI.

Crooks was killed on the spot by the security officials after he fired shots at the former US President, piercing through his ear, during a campaign rally in western Pennsylvania.

The FBI had earlier said that the shooting was being investigated as “an assassination attempt” on Trump.

The motive behind the assassination attempt, however, is yet to be revealed.

Trump, who is due to be anointed the Republican Party’s Presidential candidate, had a narrow escape on Saturday when shots aimed at him at a campaign rally grazed his right ear and killed two people at the event.

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–IANS

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Maldives pledges $1.3 million in aid for Palestinians

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Colombo, July 14 (IANS) The Maldives has pledged to donate over $1.29 million in humanitarian aid for Palestine, Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the United Nations Ali Naseer Mohamed said.

The aid was announced during the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Pledging Conference held Friday at the UN headquarters, Xinhua news agency reported.

Naseer also said that the Maldivian government has increased its annual donation of $5,000 to Palestine by 10-fold, to $50,000 this year.

The representative also urged the international community to increase their financial assistance and fulfill political obligations to progress UNRWA initiatives.

–IANS

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Six killed in road accident in Afghanistan

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Pul-e-Khumri, July 14 (IANS) Six commuters have been confirmed dead and five others injured in a road accident in north Afghanistan’s Baghlan province, police said.

The deadly road crash on Saturday occurred in the province’s Dand Ghouri district when a military vehicle collided with a passenger car, killing six travelers including a woman, and injuring five others, the statement added, reported Xinhua news agency.

Similarly, a motorcyclist was killed when his motorbike hit a vehicle in Hussainkhail region, Pul-E-Khumri city, the provincial capital of the province late on Saturday.

Road accidents are prevalent in Afghanistan due to poor road conditions, reckless driving, difficult terrains, overloading, overtaking, and overspeeding.

–IANS

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World leaders condemn assassination attempt on Trump

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United Nations, July 14 (IANS) World leaders have condemned the attack on former US President Donald Trump at an election rally in western Pennsylvania.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, on Saturday said, “The Secretary-General unequivocally condemns this act of political violence.”

“He sends his best wishes to President Trump for a speedy recovery,” he added.

Trump, who is due to be anointed the Republican Party’s presidential candidate, had a narrow escape on Saturday when shots aimed at him at a campaign rally grazed his ear and killed two people at the event.

Many leaders took to X, the social media for immediate dissemination, to express their disgust with the attack and condemn political violence, while some saw it as an attack on democracy.

US Vice President Kamala Harris took to her X handle and expressed her shock over the attack on Republican Party Presidential candidate Trump.

“I have been briefed on the shooting at former President Trump’s event in Pennsylvania. Doug and I are relieved that he is not seriously injured. We are praying for him, his family, and all those who have been injured and impacted by this senseless shooting,” Harris wrote.

She said, “We are grateful to the United States Secret Service, first responders, and local authorities for their immediate action.”

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“Violence such as this has no place in our nation. We must all condemn this abhorrent act and do our part to ensure that it does not lead to more violence,” Harris added, condemning the attack.

Former US President Barack Obama said, “There is absolutely no place for political violence in our democracy. Although we do not yet know exactly what happened, we should all be relieved that former President Trump was not seriously hurt, and use this moment to recommit ourselves to civility and respect in our politics. Michelle and I are wishing him a quick recovery.”

Former US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also expressed shock over the incident and wished for Trump’s speedy recovery.

“As one whose family has been the victim of political violence, I know firsthand that political violence of any kind has no place in our society. I thank God that former President Trump is safe. As we learn more details about this horrifying incident, let us pray that all those in attendance at the former President’s rally today are unharmed,” Pelosi said in a post on X.

Former Presidential candidate Nikki Haley, in a post on X, said, “This should horrify every freedom-loving American. Violence against presidential candidates must never be normalized. We are lifting up Donald Trump, the entire Trump family, and all in attendance in prayer.”

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UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer expressed his shock over the attack and said that political violence has no place in society.

“I am appalled by the shocking scenes at President Trump’s rally, and we send him and his family our best wishes. Political violence in any form has no place in our societies, and my thoughts are with all the victims of this attack,” Starmer said in a post on X.

One of Trump’s closest Western allies, Hungary’s President Viktor Orban posted. “My thoughts and prayers are with President in these dark hours.”

Another right-wing politician, Argentina’s President Javier Milei, blamed what he called the “international left” for the attack, writing, “In panic of losing at the polls, they resort to terrorism to impose their backward and authoritarian agenda.”

Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, another leader from the right, expressed “apprehension” and wrote that she hoped during “the electoral campaign, dialogue and responsibility can prevail over hate and violence.”

From the US neighbour to the north, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted, “I’m sickened by the shooting at former President Trump. It cannot be overstated – political violence is never acceptable.”

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, “We must stand firm against any form of violence that challenges democracy. I pray for former President Trump’s speedy recovery.”

Writing in Portuguese, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said, “The attack on former President Donald Trump must be vehemently repudiated by all defenders of democracy.”

Writing on his and his wife’s behalf, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted, “Sara and I were shocked by the apparent attack on President Trump. We pray for his safety and speedy recovery.”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wrote that the “incident” at the campaign rally “is concerning and confronting. There is no place for violence in the democratic process.”

Chile’s President Gabriel Boric Font posted in Spanish, “Violence is a threat to democracies and weakens our life together. We must all reject it.”

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol denounced the attack as “horrible political violence” and wished Trump a quick recovery.

“I am appalled by the horrible political violence. I wish former President Trump a speedy recovery. The people of Korea stand in solidarity with the people of America,” Yoon wrote in English on his official X handle.

–IANS

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