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Puerto Rico House approves Pierluisi, but next governor still unknown

House members are pictured during a public hearing of the Commission of Government of the House of Representatives, called upon by the President of the House, Johnny Mendez, to attend the nomination of Pedro Pierluisi as Secretary of State, hours before Ricardo Rossello steps down as Governor of Puerto Rico, in San Juan, Puerto Rico August 2, 2019. REUTERS/Gabriella N. BaezSAN JUAN (Reuters) - Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives on Friday approved the nomination of attorney Pedro Pierluisi as the island’s next secretary of state, potentially positioning him to take over as governor from disgraced leader Ricardo Rosselló. Rosselló is due to resign on Friday at 5…

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Majority of House Democrats favor starting impeachment proceedings

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A majority of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives now favor launching impeachment proceedings against Republican President Donald Trump, after a California lawmaker on Friday became the 118th Democrat to call for the process to begin. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump pauses during an address at a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio. U.S., August 1, 2019. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston“In the past few years, our nation has seen and heard things from this president that have no place in our democracy,” Representative Salud Carbajal said in a statement that accused Trump of “criminal” behavior. “I believe it is time to open an impeachment inquiry…

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Apple, Google pause reviewing audio recordings from voice assistants

(Reuters) - Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google have globally suspended reviewing recordings from users interacting with their voice assistants, as concerns over data privacy mount. FILE PHOTO: Silhouette of mobile user is seen next to a screen projection of Apple logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File PhotoApple said on Friday it had paused the program called “grading”, where it reviewed anonymized recordings of conversations people had with its Siri voice assistant. The decision comes after the Guardian last week reported that the company’s contractors tasked with reviewing the recordings regularly heard confidential information and private conversations. Increased public and…

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Trump sure Kim ‘does not want to disappoint his friend, President Trump!’

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump sought again on Friday to play down North Korea’s three short-range missiles tests in eight days, saying they did not break any agreement he had with Kim Jong Un and he was sure the North Korean leader did not want to disappoint him. In an apparent reference to Kim’s pledge not to resume testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs frozen since 2017, Trump said on Twitter: “Chairman Kim does not want to disappoint me with a violation of trust.” “There is far too much for North Korea to gain - the potential as a Country, under Kim Jong…

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Trump says China has to do a lot to turn things around in trade talks

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs for travel to Bedminster, New Jersey from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., August 2, 2019. REUTERS/Leah MillisWASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Friday China has to do a lot in order to turn things around in trade negotiations with the United States and that he can increase tariffs on Chinese goods. Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said the United States had to have a better trade deal with China, not just an even deal. (This story was refiled to correct a typographical error in paragraph…

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China vows fight against Trump’s latest tariffs as stocks sink

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China on Friday vowed to fight back against U.S. President Donald Trump’s abrupt decision to slap 10% tariffs on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese imports, a move that ended a month-long trade truce. China’s new ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said Beijing would take “necessary countermeasures” to protect its rights and bluntly described Trump’s move as “an irrational, irresponsible act.” “China’s position is very clear that if U.S. wishes to talk, then we will talk, if they want to fight, then we will fight,” Zhang told reporters in New York, also signaling that trade tensions could hurt cooperation between the countries…

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Wall Street ends lower on trade fear revival

(Reuters) - Wall Street extended its sell-off on Friday amid renewed trade fears, capping a week where the benchmark S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq saw their worst weekly percentage plunges since December, when investors were spooked by the prospect of a looming recession. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 98.41 points, or 0.37%, to 26,485.01, the S&P 500 lost 21.52 points, or 0.73%, to 2,932.04 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 107.05 points, or 1.32%, to 8,004.07. Reporting by Evan Sully; Editing by Susan ThomasOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Thousands of Hong Kong civil servants defy government to join protests

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Thousands of civil servants joined in the anti-government protests in Hong Kong on Friday for the first time since they started two months ago, defying a warning from the authorities to remain politically neutral. Protests against a proposed bill that would allow people to be extradited to stand trial in mainland China have grown increasingly violent, with police accused of excessive use of force and failing to protect protesters from suspected gang attacks. Chanting encouragement, crowds turned out to support the civil servants at their rally on Friday evening which halted traffic on major roads in the heart of the city’s business district.…

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NYC police officer who killed Eric Garner should be fired, police judge rules

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A white New York City police officer who killed an unarmed black man with a banned chokehold in 2014 should be fired, a police judge recommended on Friday in a case that stoked the Black Lives Matter movement and reverberated in the U.S. presidential campaign. Officer Daniel Pantaleo had been on desk duty since widely viewed cellphone videos showed him using the chokehold on Eric Garner during an attempted arrest on a sidewalk in Staten Island, one of five boroughs in the most populous U.S. city. Police believed Garner was selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. Garner’s repeated dying cries of “I can’t breathe!” became…

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Singer R. Kelly pleads not guilty to New York sex trafficking charges

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty in New York on Friday to charges that he ran a criminal scheme that recruited women and underage girls to have sex with him, isolating them and often controlling what they ate and when they went to the bathroom. Singer R. Kelly stands next to his lawyer Douglas Anton as he attends his arraignment on charges of racketeering and sex trafficking in federal court in this court sketch in New York, U.S., August 2, 2019. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg One of Kelly’s lawyers, Douglas Anton, entered the plea to charges of racketeering and sex trafficking before Magistrate Judge Steven…

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