News You Should Read Today – January 27 – 2016

US and China divided on N Korea sanctionsUS and China divided on N Korea sanctions

The United States and China have reaffirmed their commitment to a denuclearized Korean peninsula, but have not agreed on a new set of penalties following North Korea’s recent nuclear test.

After meeting in Beijing Wednesday with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the two countries have made cooperative progress on issues such as climate change, but they remain divided over how to deal with North Korea.

Wang said Wednesday his country was prepared to support a new U.N. resolution against Pyongyang’s nuclear program. But he did not mention any specific penalties and said the resolution should not provoke new tensions. Without the support of China, the North’s key provider of oil and economic assistance, and its principle trading partner, the ban would be difficult to enforce. VOA News



French Minister resigns amid terror rowFrench Minister resigns amid terror row

French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira has stepped down from her job, shortly before plans to strip people convicted of terrorism of their citizenship go before parliament. Ms Taubira was known to disagree with the controversial proposals.

The citizenship plans were put forward after the 13 November Paris attacks in which 130 people were murdered. “Sometimes staying on is resisting, sometimes resisting means leaving,” she tweeted.

Ms Taubira, one of France’s few senior black politicians, has been replaced by Jean-Jacques Urvoas who is seen as a supporter of the constitutional change and an ally of Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Born in French Guiana, Ms Taubira, 63, has suffered racist taunts from the far-right during her time as justice minister.

Her left-wing leanings have put her increasingly at odds with official policy, especially after the November attacks. BBC



US Presidential election newsUS presidential election news

Trump boycotts Fox News network’s upcoming GOP debate after he asked Fox to remove Kelly as a debate moderator and the network refused. Fox News didn’t waste any time responding to Donald Trump’s announcement that he planned to bail on the network’s upcoming presidential debate. “It should be clear to the American public by now that this is rooted in one thing — Megyn Kelly, whom he has viciously attacked since August,” Fox said about the GOP frontrunner’s decision to skip the debate. The Wrap

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz remain neck-and-neck in Iowa less than a week before Republicans head to the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. The latest Quinnipiac University survey out Tuesday shows Trump just two points ahead of Cruz, with 31 percent to Cruz’s 29 percent. Marco Rubio comes in a distant third with 13 percent. The remainder of the candidates polled in the single digits. The Week

It had been more than 30 years since a Democratic presidential candidate said he’d raise taxes on all Americans. Walter Mondale had been the last. In 1984, accepting his party’s nomination he said: “Taxes will go up …  It must be done. Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won’t tell you. I just did.” It didn’t work out so well for Mondale, who was trounced in that election by President Ronald Reagan. CNN



US, Vietnam slam Taiwan PresidentUS, Vietnam slam Taiwan President

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou planned trip to an island in the South China Sea, is “extremely unhelpful” and won’t do anything to resolve regional disputes over the waterway, a U.S. official said Wednesday. Ma’s office says the president will travel to Taiping island Thursday to meet with Taiwanese military personnel stationed there ahead of the Lunar New Year.

Tran Duy Hai, representative of the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, the defacto embassy for Vietnam in the absence of official diplomatic ties, echoed the comments. “If he goes, it will raise tensions in the area,” Tran said.

The island is in a resource-rich area at the center of territorial disputes between China and its Asia-Pacific neighbors. VOA News

57% pessimistic about U.S. future, highest in 2 years57% pessimistic about U.S. future, highest in 2 years

Nearly 6-in-10 Americans say things are going badly in the United States, the largest share to say so in more than two years, according to a new CNN/ORC Poll.

The negative turn in views of how things are going in the U.S. comes as the state of the country has become a flashpoint in the 2016 presidential campaign, with the Republican front-runner Donald Trump resting his campaign on a promise to restore America’s greatness and national Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton vows to build on the progress Obama has made as president.

Overall, 57% say things in the country today are going badly, while 42% say they’re going well. That’s a downturn compared to a poll conducted just after Thanksgiving, when 49% said things were going well compared to 50% who said they were going badly. CNN

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