The Trump administration plans to handle applications from tech companies seeking waivers over Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s blacklisting within the next few weeks, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Bloomberg Television on Tuesday.”We will deal with them very promptly,” Ross said in an interview. “There are 50-some-odd applications from 35 companies that have been received, and within the next couple of weeks we expect to have verdicts.”Pressed on whether they would be completed in two weeks, Ross said: “I said within the next few weeks, few.”Ross’s comments came a day after President Donald Trump told the heads of top technology companies at the White House meeting that the administration would make “timely” decisions on requests by U.S. companies to sell products to Huawei.American companies were banned from selling most U.S. parts and components to Huawei without special licenses because of national security concerns. But Trump said last month that sales could resume as he sought to restart trade talks with Beijing.Ross said the technology company officials who gathered at the White House understood the process the administration was following and voiced no complaint about it. He said granting the waivers was an interagency process, involving the departments of Commerce, State, Defense and Energy.”This is not a simple thing, but in general the principle we will be following … is things that are not sensitive from a national security point of view, we’re going to be looking pretty favorably upon,” Ross said. “Those that are sensitive are in a different category and we have to be very, very careful about them.”Asked about the possibility of additional sanctions following a Washington Post report that the Chinese company had helped North Korea build its wireless network, Ross said the administration was monitoring Huawei’s activities.”We are continuing to watch very carefully everything about Huawei, including the information revealed in that article yesterday. But beyond that, we can’t really comment on a pending investigation,” he said.

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Looking to steady his presidential campaign after a debate performance against other Democratic contenders that hurt him in public opinion polls, Joe Biden on Thursday blasted U.S. President Donald Trump’s foreign policy as erratic and extreme. 

In his most extensive remarks to date on foreign affairs, the former vice president said Trump had damaged America’s “reputation and our place in the world, and I quite frankly believe our ability to lead the world.” 

The Republican president has unsettled Washington’s allies by withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accord, a nuclear deal with Iran and a trans-Pacific trade agreement, and has also threatened to leave the North Atlantic Treaty 

For Biden, who served in the U.S. Senate for 35 years, it was a much-needed return to firmer ground after weeks of having to defend his civil rights record, while allowing him to train his attention on Trump rather than other Democrats. 

Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris speaks in the Spin Room after the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season in Miami, June 27, 2019.

Kamala Harris, a black U.S. senator from California, assailed Biden, 76, in last month’s debate over his past stance on the use of busing to integrate schools and for remarks about his willingness to work with segregationists while in the Senate more than 40 years ago. 

Biden apologized for those remarks, but he has seen some erosion in support from Democratic voters, with Harris largely reaping the benefit and the field tightening in general among those vying to win the party’s nomination to run against Trump. 

Argument for collective action

In his address at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, Biden criticized Trump for abdicating the United States’ leadership role in the world, and he argued that collective action was necessary to confront threats posed by climate change, nuclear proliferation terrorism and cyberwarfare. 

As president, Biden said he would pull most U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, end U.S support for Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen and reaffirm the nation’s commitment to NATO. 

Domestically, he said he would terminate Trump’s travel ban against people from Muslim-majority countries and end the practice of separating migrant families at the U.S. border with Mexico. 

Biden has sharply criticized Trump for walking away from the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran, which Biden would reinstate should Tehran comply with its provisions. 

Biden said that as president he also would have the U.S. rejoin the Paris climate accord and would convene a global summit on climate change. 

Biden said he also would push for more ironclad commitments from North Korea to abandon its nuclear program than Trump has so far demanded. 

FILE – In this combination of file photos, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Collier, Pa., on March 6, 2018, and President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on March 20, 2018.

For his part, Trump has not held back from criticism of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. Trump has contended, among other things, that the Iran deal was too lenient and that Obama and Biden did not do enough to contain China’s economic aggression. 

Ahead of Biden’s speech, the Republican National Committee and a pro-Trump super PAC released lengthy critiques of Biden’s judgment on foreign affairs, pointing out that, among other things, Biden advised Obama to not go forward with the 2012 raid 
that killed Osama bin Laden. 

Not yet a target

Biden’s record has not yet been a front-burner issue among his rivals for the Democratic nomination, but his vote in favor of the invasion of Iraq while in the Senate has been denounced by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and others. 

At a campaign rally in Pennsylvania in May, Trump defended his “America First” policies, telling his supporters that Biden “said that he’s running to quote ‘˜save the world.’ … Well, he wants to save every country but ours.” 

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Ride-hailing application Uber, after successful launches in Ghana and Nigeria, is looking to expand in West Africa to Senegal’s capital, Dakar.  But in a city full of taxis, and drivers without smartphones, the Silicon Valley company will have to overcome a lot of challenges to make a profit.  From Dakar, VOA’s Esha Sarai reports.

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The world is dealing with climate refugees, people whose homes have been inundated by rising sea levels. But in Wales, residents of one seaside town are confused and angry because of a political decision to let nature have its way and let the town sink back into the sea. VOA’s Kevin Enochs reports.

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U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta has defended a plea deal he helped broker with Jeffrey Epstein in 2008 in Florida. The billionaire financier, who socialized with U.S. President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton, is detained in New York where federal prosecutors have charged him with sex trafficking of minors between 2002 and 2005. Acosta is under pressure to step down because as U.S. attorney in Florida, he agreed to a mild sentence for Epstein. VOA’s Zlatica Hoke reports.

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Японський безпілотний космічний зонд Hayabusa 2 («Хаябуса 2») вдруге за 2019 рік здійснив успішну посадку на астероїд Рюґу, повідомляє 11 липня Японська агенція дослідження космосу.

Такі дані агенція отримала від самого зонду. Повідомлення про те, що апарат зміг приземлитися на поверхні астероїда, викликало овації в приміщенні спостереження за місією.

Зонд Hayabusa 2 розроблений для того, щоб збирати зразки, які допоможуть дізнатися більше про еволюцію сонячної системи. Він розміром з великий холодильник і оснащений сонячними панелями, які забезпечують живлення.

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Це друга за рік коротка посадка Hayabusa 2 на поверхню астероїда Рюґу, який перебуває на відстані близько 300 мільйонів кілометрів від Землі. Першу вдалося здійснити у лютому. Тоді зонд вистрілив кулею в поверхню космічного тіла, щоб здійняти та зібрати пил, перш ніж відправитися назад, на своє постійне місце перебування.

У квітні з зонду була випущена вибухівка, яка утворила кратер на поверхні астероїда, збуривши матеріал, який раніше не був виявлений, та розчистивши площу для посадки зонда.

Попередник Hayabusa 2, зонд Hayabusa 1, повернувся на Землю зі зразками пилу з меншого астероїда в 2010 році, завершивши свою семирічну космічну місію.

Hayabusa 2 запустили в грудні 2014 року. Вартість місії становить 270 мільйонів доларів.

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