Trump pulls back from big changes to gun laws after Florida shooting

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will support a modest set of fixes to gun laws, stepping back from some of the more sweeping changes he had considered after the country’s latest mass school shooting, senior officials told reporters yesterday.

Chile’s Pinera, at inauguration, vows to end ‘stagnation’

SANTIAGO,  (Reuters) – Conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera vowed to combat economic “stagnation” from years of center-left rule as he started a new term as Chile’s president on Sunday, calling for austerity and support for the shrinking middle class in one of Latin America’s wealthiest nations.

Korea says no tests ‘through our meetings’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Donald Trump said on Saturday North Korea had agreed to not conduct another missile test until after proposed meetings with its leader, Kim Jong Un, had taken place, as he sought to rally international support for a potential summit.

‘Paris of the oceans’ pact crucial to save seas, says WWF head

PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – To save the world’s oceans from rampant over-fishing, pollution and degradation, countries should hammer out a deal like the Paris Agreement on climate change that sets stringent targets for protection, said the head of global conservation group WWF.

Nun fighting sale of convent to Katy Perry dies in court

(Reuters) – An 89-year-old Roman Catholic nun who has battled pop star Katy Perry for years over the sale of a Los Angeles convent collapsed and died during a court appearance, according to media reports and supporters.

UK police identify over 200 witnesses in nerve agent attack – minister

SALISBURY, England (Reuters) – British police have identified more than 200 witnesses and are looking at more than 240 pieces of evidence in their investigation into a nerve agent attack on a Russian ex-spy and his daughter, interior minister Amber Rudd said on Saturday.

EU, Japan start push for exemptions from Trump tariffs

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union and Japan urged the United States on Saturday to grant them exemptions from metal import tariffs, with Tokyo calling for “calm-headed behaviour” in a dispute that threatens to spiral into a trade war.

In state media, China presents itself as crucial to US-N Korea talks

BEIJING (Reuters) – China helped bring about a dramatic easing of tensions between the United States and North Korea, according state media outlets, adding evidence that the government sees itself as a central player in any agreement despite largely sitting on the sidelines so far.

U.S. seeks ‘concrete actions’ from N. Korea before planned talks

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will not meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un unless Pyongyang takes “concrete actions,” the White House said yesterday as it faced criticism for agreeing to talks that would boost Kim’s standing.

U.S. eases way to more tariff exemptions under pressure from allies

WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS/SHANGHAI, (Reuters) – The United States opened the way for more exemptions from its steel and aluminum tariffs yesterday, after pressure from allies and intense lobbying from lawmakers, further diluting the measures just a day after they were formally announced.

Venezuela’s Maduro calls UN rights chief a U.S.-backed ‘tumor’

CARACAS, (Reuters) – Venezuelan socialist President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday the United Nations human rights chief was a puppet of the United States who had implanted himself like a “tumor” and had no right to criticize Maduro’s handling of the crisis-stricken nation.

Convoy delivers food to Syria’s besieged Ghouta amid shelling

BEIRUT,  (Reuters) – A convoy of relief trucks crossed front lines into the rebel-held Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta on Friday and unloaded all its food to the trapped population, despite fighting that the Red Cross said had come “extremely close”.

EU set to add Bahamas, US Virgin Islands to tax haven blacklist

BRUSSELS,  (Reuters) – The Bahamas, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Saint Kitts and Nevis are set to be added next week to a European Union blacklist of tax havens, raising to nine the number of jurisdictions on it, an EU document seen by Reuters shows.

Trump sets steel and aluminum tariffs but exempts Canada, Mexico

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump pressed ahead yesterday with import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent for aluminum but exempted Canada and Mexico and offered the possibility of excluding other allies, backtracking from an earlier “no-exceptions” stance.

Trump ready to meet North Korean leader Kim by May -South Korean official

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – President Donald Trump is ready to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May in response to Kim’s invitation to hold the first-ever U.S.-North Korea summit, a South Korean envoy said, marking a potentially dramatic breakthrough in the North Korea nuclear standoff.

Asian giants China and India flex muscles over tiny Maldives

NEW DELHI/COLOMBO, March 7 (Reuters) – A Chinese naval combat force that entered the Indian Ocean for the first time in four years may have helped deter an Indian intervention in the Maldives after its pro-China president imposed a state of emergency, according to military and diplomatic sources and analysts.