China and the United States are expected to come to an agreement soon over trade frictions, analysts said, as the negotiating teams a

re reported to be discussing the wording of an accord and considering applying the brakes to their tariff standoff.

They made the prediction after Chinese and US officials said there had been concrete p

rogress on multiple issues in the latest round of trade talks in Washington.

During the latest talks, held from Thursday to Sunday in Washington, the seventh round since February of last year, th

e two sides focused on the text of an agreement, the Chinese delegation said, according to a Xinhua News Agency report.

The negotiators also had made substantial progress on such specific issues as technology transfers, protection of i

ntellectual property rights, nontariff barriers, the service industry, agriculture and exchange rates, the delegation said.

On the basis of the latest progress, the two sides are expected to continue their work

into the next stage, in accordance with the instructions of the two countries’ top leaders, according to Xinhua.

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have once again made concrete progress and provided positive pro

spects for bilateral relations and the global economy. Wang, also minister of foreign affa

irs, made the remark at an event on Monday, according to a statement issued by the ministry.

Yao Yang, dean of the National School of Development at Peking University, said, “It is encouraging that both sides have begu

n to work on the text of an agreement, which indicates a speeding up toward sealing a trade deal.”

“The progress also showed that effective economic diplomatic meas

ures can help resolve cumbersome issues and reduce confrontation between two nations,” Yao said.

After tit-for-tat exchanges of hefty import tariffs, President Xi Jinping and hi

s US counterpart, Donald Trump, agreed in December to halt new tariffs for 90 days to a

llow for talks. Since then, negotiations have been conducted on a wide array of topics.

Early Sunday afternoon in Washington, Trump tweeted that he “will be delaying” the incr

ease of tariffs on Chinese imports scheduled for March 1, due to “very productive” trade talks between the two countries.

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The night before his historic summit with US President Donald Trump last June, North Kore

an leader Kim Jong Un took a surprise stroll in downtown Singapore to see the sights of the wealthy capitalist city.

The inference seemed clear. If cash-strapped Pyongyang chooses to engage the world — and ditch its nuclear weapons — this could be its future.

Trump and Kim will this month have an even more symbolic backdrop for their next mee

ting: Vietnam, a country which transformed itself from bitter US enemy to peaceful partner in less than 50 years.

Experts believe the Trump administration plans to sell North Korea on a model such as communist Vietnam, hig

hlighting its relationship with Washington as well as its economic boom since adopting market reforms. And all th

e North Koreans have to do, Washington is expected to say, is give up their nukes.

Yet analysts are wary such a sales pitch will produce any tangible outcome. North Korea

knows how capitalism and market economies work: it’s just chosen not to embrace them.

China has for years been prodding the North to embrace economic reform, dragging for

mer North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on tours of capitalist enterprises whenever he visited.

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  d to persuade the world to use its 5G technology and not cave to pressure from Washington.

  ”This is not something that should be decided by politics,” Huawei’s chairman Guo Ping said on Sunday, ahead of the formal start of Mobile World Congress.

  Guo said he was hoping “independent sovereign states” will make “independent decision

s based on their own understanding of the situation and will not just listen to someone else’s order.”

  Huawei is taking the center stage at this year’s MWC in Barcelona. The event is expected to attract around 100,000 visi

tors. To get in, they will all need a badge like this, with a Huawei lanyard. pic.twitter.com/D6PRmZpqxe

  — Ivana Kottasová (@IvanaKottasova) February 24, 2019

  The US government is trying to convince its allies to shun Huawei equip

ment, which it says could be used by the Chinese government for spying. The company vehemently denies that claim.

  ”Just because you are from a certain country doesn’t mean your equipm

ent is not secure,” Guo said. He added that Huawei must abide by Chinese law and the

laws of countries where it operates. “Huawei will never, and dare not, and cannot violate any regulations,” he said.

  Vice President Mike Pence described Huawei as a “threat.” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned other cou

ntries that using Huawei would make it more difficult for the United States to “partner” with them.

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  WASHINGTON – The Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington DC held a housewarming

event inside the giant panda house on Saturday to celebrate the completion of a new visitor exhibit.

  The celebration featured frozen treats for giant pandas and red pandas, as well as interactive games and activities for visitors.

  The new exhibit, according to the zoo, teaches visitors about the ecology, history, reproduction, conservation and c

are of giant pandas and enables them to learn about these unique bears and their natural habitat.

  It also chronicles “the advances that panda scientists in China and at the Smithsonian have made during the past four decades.”

  ”So much has changed for giant pandas, for the better, in the past decade,” Steven Monfort, the John and Adri

enne Mars Director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, said in a statement.

  ”This updated exhibit is really inspiring because it shows how much of a difference we can

make with science and cooperation,” he said, noting that “Smithsonian and Chinese scientists have bee

n collaborating for decades, and visitors can see the results of our work as they walk through the panda house.”

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  ”Giant pandas are China’s national treasures,” said Minister Xu Xueyuan, the Chinese embassy in the United States. “Although they are large in size, they are also charm

ing, tolerant, and peace-loving, representing many values of China itself, and are loved by people all over the world.”

  ”Giant pandas are also symbolic of the China-US friendship,” she told a ceremony at the giant panda house.

  The housewarming was jointly hosted by the zoo and the Chinese embassy.

  Giant pandas live mainly in southwest China’s Sichuan Province as well as neighboring Shaanxi and Gansu.

  The latest census in 2014 found there were 1,864 giant pandas alive in the wild. The number of pand

as bred in captivity reached 548 globally as of November, 2018, according to China’s National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

  At the zoo’s David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat currently live three giant pandas, Mei Xiang, Tian Tian and their three-year-old son, Bei Bei.

  The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is one of Washington DC’s most popular tourist desti

nations and is part of the Smithsonian Institution, a world-renowned museum and research complex.

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PYONGYANG — Kim Jong-un, top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), left here Saturday afternoon by train f

or Vietnamese capital Hanoi for the second DPRK-US summit, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Sunday.

Kim will meet with US President Donald Trump there on Feb 27-28. Their first meetin

g was held in June 2018 in Singapore, which resulted in improved bilateral relations.

Kim will pay an official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong before his meeting with Trump.

Kim was accompanied by Kim Yong-chol, Ri Su-yong, Kim Phyong-hae and O Su-yong, members of th

e Political Bureau and vice-chairmen of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of K

orea (WPK), Ri Yong-ho, member of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Com

mittee and foreign minister, No Kwang-chol, alternate member of the Po

litical Bureau of the WPK Central Committee and minister of the People’s Armed Forces, among others, said the KCNA.

Kim was seen off at Pyongyang Railway Station by Kim Yong-nam, Choe Ryong-hae and Pak Pong-ju, members of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Cen

tral Committee of the WPK, and other senior officials of the party, government and armed forces, said the KCNA.

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  voters have spent in line to cast their ballots in the crucial election.

  The incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari, 76, is running against 71 other ca

ndidates, but his main challenger is Atiku Abubakar, a 72-year-old business tycoo

n and former vice president. They are both Muslim candidates from the north of the country.

  When Buhari, a former military ruler, was elected in 2015, it wa

s the first peaceful transition of power in Nigeria. He promised to offer a clean sweep of the old

routine, but many have been left disillusioned and angry at the rising levels of inequality and extreme poverty.

  More than 84 million people registered for the vote in Africa’s largest economic p

ower, according to data from the Independent National Electoral Commission.

  Videos have surfaced on social media reportedly showing the burni

ng of ballot papers and disruption of the electoral process in various parts of the country.

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  US sanctions have exempted medical goods. “The United States maintains broad authorizations that allow for the sale of agricultu

ral commodities, food, medicine, and medical devices by US persons or from the United States to Iran,” the spokesperson said.

  Budget over emotions

  A middle-aged man suffering from lung cancer writhes and squirms on his hospital b

ed as Dr. Behrouz Emami checks on him. His eyes bulge as he gasps for air through an oxygen mask.

  The cancer has metastasized to the man’s brain, Emami explains. The doctor has recommended

to the patient’s family that he be sent to a private ward where he can spend his final days with his family.

  But the family simply cannot afford it, says Emami. They must settle for daily visits of just one-hour a day at the government-funded ward.

  ”The decisions of families are not made by their emotions. They decide based on their budget,” explains Emami.

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  to “obey Islamic affairs,” but many swap their headscarves for ski hats. The morality police

who for years were said to chase transgressors down the slopes on skis, have a dwindling presence in these areas.

  The penalty for breaking hijab rules is also being reduced, with fines of around $15 becoming more common than arrests.

  For commentators and activists, the incident in Tehran may be a sign of more acts of rebellion against the morality police to come.

  ”Iranians are very angry with morality police these days,” tweeted Masih Alineja

d, the Iranian activist behind the “White Wednesday” social media campaign against mandatory hijabs.

  Update: This article has been updated to remove a tweet containing images that CNN c

ould not independently verify. This is a developing story and will continue to be updated.

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