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President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Four Seasons Arena on July 5, 2018 in Great Falls, Montana.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

President Donald Trump on Saturday called U.S. Senator Mitt Romney a “pompous ass” after his sharp critique of the president’s push for other nations to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic political rival.

“Mitt Romney never knew how to win. He is a pompous ‘ass’ who has been fighting me from the beginning,” Trump wrote of his fellow Republican on Twitter.

Trump once again defended as “appropriate” a July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, which has triggered a House of Representatives impeachment inquiry, and said his call for China to investigate Biden and his son Hunter was linked to corruption, not politics.

“If Mitt worked this hard on Obama, he could have won. Sadly, he choked!” Trump wrote. “He is so bad for R’s.”

Romney was the Republican presidential nominee who lost to Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election. On Friday, Romney said Trump’s actions regarding Biden were “wrong and appalling.”

“When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated,” Romney said on Twitter on Friday. “By all appearances, the presidents brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling.”

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Hong Kong police threaten to use live bullets on protesters

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A police personnel vehicle is on fire as protesters and police clash on a bridge at The Hong Kong Poytechnic University on November 17, 2019 in Hong Kong, China.

Anthony Kwan | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Hong Kong police threatened on Monday to fire live bullets if “rioters” did not stop using lethal weapons in the latest flare up during anti-government protests that have convulsed the Chinese-ruled city for five months.

The police statement followed fresh clashes outside a university in the center of Hong Kong where protesters were hunkered down behind makeshift shields and hurled petrol bombs at police in a standoff blocking a vital tunnel link.

Police had said on Sunday one officer had been treated in hospital after being hit in the leg by an arrow and another had his visor struck by a metal ball, although he was not hurt.

The violence in the Asian financial hub has posed the gravest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012. Xi has said he is confident Hong Kong’s government can resolve the crisis.

In Monday’s statement, police warned people who they described as rioters to stop using lethal weapons to attack officers and to halt other acts of violence, saying office would respond with force and possibly live bullets if necessary.

Police have used live rounds in a few isolated incidents in the past.

Demonstrators, angry at what they see as Chinese meddling in the former British colony which has had autonomous status since returning to Chinese rule in 1997, have said they are responding to excessive use of force by police.

“The protesters have been reacting to the police,” said Joris, 23, a civil engineer who like others did not give his full name. “We haven’t fought back as much as we could. I would be prepared for jail. We are fighting for Hong Kong.”

Beijing denies interfering in Hong Kong’s affairs and has blamed foreign influences for the unrest.

In the road leading to Hong Kong Polytechnic University, police vehicles with water cannon advanced on barricades set up by protesters but pulled back when petrol bombs were thrown. The standoff blocked the tunnel linking Kowloon to Hong Kong island.

“We’ve been trapped here, that’s why we need to fight until the end. If we don’t fight, Hong Kong will be over,” said Ah Lung, a 19-year-old protester.

Many protesters wore gas masks or tied handkerchiefs over their mouths and noses to protect them from clouds of tear gas that lingered in the air. Some had stripped down to their underwear, after earlier dousings from water cannon that witnesses said contained an irritant.

Police had said on Sunday that police had fired a bullet but did not give details about the latest use of live ammunition. Police had shot and critically wounded a protester on Nov. 11.

Chinese soldiers in a base close to the university were seen on Sunday monitoring developments with binoculars, some dressed in riot gear, Reuters witnesses reported.

Chinese troops in shorts and T-shirts, some carrying red plastic buckets or brooms, had emerged from their barracks on Saturday in a rare public appearance to help clean up debris.

The presence of soldiers from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on the streets, even to clean up, risks stoking the controversy about Hong Kong’s status as an autonomous area.

Chinese troops have appeared on Hong Kong’s streets only once since 1997, to help clear up after a typhoon last year.

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HP board unanimously rejects Xerox’s bid to acquire the company

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Tony Avelar | Bloomberg | Getty Images

HP’s board of directors said Sunday that they unanimously rejected a proposal from Xerox to acquire the company, because the offer is not in the best interest of shareholders and would undervalue HP. 

Xerox had offered HP $22 per share in its takeover bid for the company. The bid consists of 77% cash and 23% stock, or $17 in cash and 0.137 Xerox share for each HP share. 

“In reaching this determination, the Board also considered the highly conditional and uncertain nature of the proposal, including the potential impact of outsized debt levels on the combined company’s stock,” the board wrote in a letter to John Visentin, Xerox’s CEO. 

HP announced in October that it will cut between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs by the end of fiscal 2022 as part of a broader restructuring plan that it estimates will save $1 billion a year. The cuts would amount to nearly 16% of its 55,000 employees across the world, according to data from FactSet.

The software company is worth $29 billion and is over three times the size of Xerox, which makes printers and copiers, in terms of market cap.

“We note the decline of Xerox’s revenue from $10.2 billion to $9.2 billion (on a trailing 12-month basis) since June 2018, which raises significant questions for us regarding the trajectory of your business and future prospects,” the board wrote. 

“In addition, we believe it is critical to engage in a rigorous analysis of the achievable synergies from a potential combination,” the board wrote. “With substantive engagement from Xerox management and access to diligence information on Xerox, we believe that we can quickly evaluate the merits of a potential transaction.”

HP was created after Hewlett-Packard separated its enterprise business — Hewlett Packard Enterprise — which sells data storage equipment and servers, among other things. 

Activist investor Carl Icahn, who owns a 10.6% stake in Xerox, recently bought a $1.2 billion stake in HP. He was pushing for the merger of the two companies, as he believed that a combined company would be in the best interests of both sets of shareholders given the potential for cost savings and a balanced portfolio of printer options

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Trump tells Kim to ‘get the deal done’ after North Korea turns down offer for fresh talks

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U.S. President Donald Trump with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inside the demilitarized zone.

Dong-A Ilbo | Getty Images

U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to “act quickly” to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea’s criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North’s missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state’s ruler as “Mr. Chairman”.

In his tweet, Trump told Kim, “You should act quickly, get the deal done,” and hinted at a further meeting, signing off “See you soon!”

North Korea said on Thursday it had turned down a U.S. offer for fresh talks ahead of a year-end deadline Pyongyang has set for Washington to show more flexibility in negotiations.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced in Thailand earlier on Sunday that joint U.S.-South Korean military drills would be postponed in an effort to bolster the stalled peace push.

Pyongyang’s official KCNA news agency in a commentary on Friday lashed out at Biden for insulting Kim, calling Biden a “rabid dog” that needs to be put down.

Biden tops most national opinion polls in the Democratic Party’s nominating contest to take on Republican President Trump in a November 2020 election.

“Joe Biden may be Sleepy and Very Slow, but he is not a “rabid dog,” Trump tweeted. “He is actually somewhat better than that, but I am the only one who can get you where you have to be.”



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