At one point in the meeting Tump, said he wasn’t going to

  ”comment on Brexit,” but characteristically unable to constrain himself, could barely leave the topic alone.

  At the start of his meeting, Trump welcomed Varadkar, and pointin

g out that his visitor was in a difficult position over Britain’s tortured attempts to com

plete its withdrawal from the European Union, which could harm Ireland’s peace and prosperity.

  Trump also, as he often does, used his position to slyly shout out one of his businesses, in this case, a golf course in Ireland.

  ”I have a very warm spot for Doonbeg, I will tell you that and it just a great place really.”

  While praising Ireland, Trump promptly switched to a characteristic boast about his own success, his mana

gement of the economy and how he held “all of the records … every single record for the stock market.”

  Trump’s obsession with Obama — a defining characteristic — app

eared like a nervous tick twice in his photo-op, twinned with a willingness to spout untruths.

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Police also evacuated properties close to a “location of interest”

  ern city of Dunedin, some 225 miles from Christchurch late Friday night local time.

  Evacuations were made as a precaution, according to police, and alternative accommodation has been provided for residents.

  ”There is no further information available at this time,” police said on Twitter.

  In a press conference, Prime Minister Ardern described the attack as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

  ”What has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence,” she said, adding that the attackers have “no place in New Zealand.”

  ”For now my thoughts and I’m sure the thoughts of all New Zealanders are with those who are being affected and with the families,” she said.

  Police said they have mobilized every national police resource to respond to the incident.

  Gunman opened fire ‘for 10 to 15 minutes’

  Armed police were deployed after first receiving reports of the shootings at 1:40 p.m. Fri

day local time. It is the busiest day for many mosques around the world when Muslims convene for Friday prayers.

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Speaking to CNN, witness Mohan Ibn Ibrahim said he was

  inside the mosque when the shooting began and that he heard the gunman “continuously shooting for 10 to 15 minutes.”

  ”It’s a big mosque and there were more than 200 people inside. The gunmen came from the backside. Gunshots wen

t on for a long time. We had to jump the wall to escape. I saw lots of broken glass and bricks on the backside of the mosque,” he said.

  ”I came to the street I saw one person got shot on his chest,” he said, adding that the ambulance and police then arrived on the scene.

  He said that he had a friend in another mosque in the area who told him a gunman had opened fire there as well and five people were dead.

  ”I could not contact two of my friends who are in the mosque as well,” he said.

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brought all the skyscraper buildings down and this is one

  Australian Prime Minister Morrison said he has asked for flags to be flown at half-staff out of respect for those killed in the attack.

  ”Australians stand with all New Zealanders today during this dark time where hate and v

iolence has stolen their peace and innocence. Kia kaha (stay strong),” Morrison tweeted earlier.

  US President Donald Trump said in a tweet: “My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to t

he people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so sen

selessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can.”

  My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the hor

rible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seri

ously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!In a statement, the White House sa

id: “The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the vict

ims and their families. We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate.

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litical advisers leave the closing meeting of the seco

Economic, social concerns take center stage in National Committee

More than 2,100 national political advisers wrapped up their annual meeting o

n Wednesday in Beijing with more attention devoted to the country’s economic and social issues.

President Xi Jinping and other leaders attended the closing meeting of the second session of the 13th National Commi

ttee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

Wang Yang, chairman of the 13th CPPCC National Committee, called on members to better serve as consultants to the gov

ernment, including legislative and judicial organs, to support the development of the country.

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The top procuratorate has restructured its internal sys

tems and formed 10 departments to handle criminal, civil, administrative and public interest cases, he said in an interview.

“Justice and fairness should not only be achieved, but also be felt and seen by the public in a more sensible way,” Zhang said.

To achieve that goal, prosecutors have been closely watching crimes that most affect people’s daily lives. For example, 43,929 p

eople were charged in 2018 with telecom fraud — a crime to which everyone is vulnerable — up by 29.3 percent year-on-year.

Another 42,195 people were prosecuted for damaging the environment and resources, an i

ncrease of 21 percent annually, and 12,360 people were charged with producing or selling fake or sub

standard drugs or toxic food products, an increase of 5.5 percent, according to the SPP.

Zhang said prosecuting authorities also actively participated in a joint crackdown against or

ganized crime and local mafia groups to bring the people a greater sense of security.

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He said that to achieve the 2020 goals, the military mus

strengthen planning and coordination, concentrate resources on its priorities and enhance its accountability system.

More attention should be given to projects that concern the military’s combat readiness

fforts, and those key to boosting the armed forces’ operational capability or to facilitating reforms in natio

nal defense. The military should gear up such projects and make sure they are of high quality, according to Xi.

Policies pertaining to military buildup and troop management should be refined to lay a solid foundation for the realization of the goals.

Xi ordered the military to intensify its internal supervision and inspection to prevent and

uproot the practice of formalities for formalities’ sake and bureaucratism. Funds should be used whe

re they are truly needed, and the virtues of hard work and thrift should be promoted. Management and scrutiny over

the use of funds should be strengthened to eliminate misconduct and corruption, he said.

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Austria, Poland and Italy are the latest to ground 737 MAX 8s

  Austria, Poland and Italy have all suspended the use of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in the aftermath of the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

  Austria announced the suspension of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft over the apparent “massive pr

oblems” with the fleet, a statement from Austria’s Transport Minister Norbert Hofer said on Tuesday. Hofer added that “safety is a top

priority” and the decision to ground the aircrafts was made “on the basis of the facts currently available.”

  Italy said it was grounding all Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft as of 9 p.

m. Tuesday (4 p.m. ET) over the “continuing lack of definite information” since the fatal Eth

iopian Airlines crash on Sunday, according to a statement from the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (ENAC) on Tuesday.

  The Polish national carrier LOT also said on Twitter: “In connection with the decision of subse

quent #LOT aircraft agencies, LOT flights with the Boeing # 737MAX8 are suspended until further not

ce.” “Connections as far as the fleet is concerned will be carried out using other types of aircraft,” LOT spokesperson Adrian Kubicki tweeted.

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However, there is no way of knowing if anything other tha

  n coincidence is to blame. Boeing’s 737 historically have an outstanding safety record, and no potential causes — includ

ing human error, random malfunction or terrorism — have yet been ruled out.

  Furthermore, eyewitnesses told CNN that they saw the plane swerving, dipping and emitti

ng smoke as it came down. Those details don’t immediately match with the Lion Air crash.

  We don’t know what technical problems the pilot reported

  Little is known about the Ethiopian Airlines pilots flying the jet on Sunday morning. One of the pilots had flown mo

re than 8,000 hours, according to company CEO GebreMariam. He had an “excellent flying record,” GebreMariam added.

  GebreMariam also told reporters at a press conference that the pilo

t in contact with air traffic control had reported technical difficulties, and later elabo

rated to CNN that he reported “flight control problems.” He asked for clearance to return to Addis Ababa, which

he was granted. What particular problems he cited in those communications are unclear.

  The Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane had flown into Addis Ababa Sunday morning from Johannesburg on Flight ET858.

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hina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Iceland, Germany and the air

  rlines TUI Airways, GOL Linhas Aereas, Aeromexico, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Cayman Airways, Comair Airways, Eastar Jet, Jet Airways, Mon

golian Airlines, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Lion Air and Silkair have suspended the MAX 8 model.

  Turkey and Poland have suspended the 737 MAX 8 and 9.

  These airlines are still flying 737 MAX planes: American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Fiji Airways, Icelandair, Flydubai, Spicejet and WestJet.

  Two crashes, 6 months: What to know about the Boeing 737 MAX 01:54

  Those decisions on Tuesday followed the lead of China’s aviation administration, who on Monday ordered that all

domestic Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets be out of the air by 6 p.m. local time, due to its principle of “zero tolerance for safety hazards.”

  China has one of the world’s largest fleets of Boeing 737 MAX 8, operating 97 of the planes, according to Chinese state-run media.

  The fallout has appeared to affect Boeing’s bottom line. The aircraft maker’s stock dropped 8% Monday, with investors voicing concerns about the 737 and B

oeing’s future in China, predicted to soon become the world’s first trillion-dollar market for jets.

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