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China says New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will visit next week, in a possible easing of recent tensions.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang announced Monday that Ardern will be in China on Sunday and Monday, but gave no details about her itinerary.

Relations between China and New Zealand have been strained in recent months after New Zealand’s spy agency in November halted mobile phone company Spark from using Huawei equipment in its planned 5G upgrade.

Since taking office in 2017, Ardern has promised to make an official visit to China to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

New Zealand was shaken earlier this month by a deadly shooting spree on two mosques in Christchurch.

Source: Fox News World

A mother and her dead child were found in a parked car in northeast Texas on Saturday in what authorities believe was a murder and suicide attempt, authorities said in a press release.

The mother and her child were found during a welfare check by police and fire departments around 6:00 p.m. on Saturday in Frisco, Texas – about 30 miles north of Dallas.

The child was pronounced dead at the scene and the mother was rushed to the hospital in an unknown condition, KTVT reported.

BABY GIRL FOUND DEAD INSIDE CALIFORNIA APARTMENT AFTER MOM, SON FALL FROM BALCONY

Their identities were not released to the public because of an ongoing investigation. Authorities are investigating the case as a homicide and suicide attempt and believe it was an isolated incident. No further details were released.

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Anyone with information is urged to contact police at 972-292-6010.

Source: Fox News National

The United States military says President Donald Trump has directed it to support relief efforts to help Mozambique with the destruction caused by Cyclone Idai more than a week ago.

The U.S. Africa Command statement comes three days after Mozambique’s government made a formal request to the international community for aid. The southern Africa nation earlier declared a national disaster as its president said deaths from the cyclone could reach 1,000. Confirmed deaths are now close to 450.

The U.S. statement says AFRICOM provides disaster relief "when it has unique capabilities that can be utilized in the U.S. Government’s response."

It says the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa will lead the U.S. military efforts and that its initial assessments have begun at the scene of the disaster.

Source: Fox News World

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Developing now, Monday, March 25, 2019

MUELLER REPORT FALLOUT: DEMS OFFER NO APOLOGIES, FIGHT FAR FROM OVER – Democrats are not ready to move on after Attorney General William Barr released the "principal conclusions" of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s completed Russia probe, which did not find evidence that President Trump or any members of his campaign team conspired with Russia to sway the 2016 presidential election. Instead, more hearings and maybe more investigations appear to be on the horizon … Democratic leaders House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are demanding that the entire Mueller report be released to the public and questioning Barr’s impartiality.

Lawmakers are also disputing Barr’s conclusion on whether the Trump campaign committed obstruction of justice. Mueller’s report did not reach a conclusion on whether the Trump campaign obstructed justice, and left that decision to Barr and officials at the DOJ — who determined there was insufficient evidence of obstruction. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler challenged Barr’s determination and wants the attorney general to testify before Congress. And while Trump declared a "total exoneration", Nadler and other Democrats stressed that Mueller’s report was anything but.

  • Read the Mueller report findings: Barr’s letter to Congress
  • Rep. Doug Collins: ‘Where’s the apology, Mr. Schiff?’
  • Five key takeaways from Mueller report summary
  • A few questions: What happens to Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Roger Stone? How will Trump use Russia against Dems in his re-election campaign? Will Dems start to run away from the Russia probe in the 2020 presidential race? And without Russia collusion, what’s Democrats’ strategy to win back the White House?

TIME TO INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS: President Trump and his legal team declared total victory Sunday following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s key findings — including no evidence of collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign — but sought to turn the tables by renewing calls to investigate the investigators and find the genesis of what they have called a fraudulent probe… “Hopefully somebody is going to look at the other side,” Trump said. “This was an illegal takedown that failed and hopefully somebody is going to be looking at the other side.”

NETANYAHU TO MEET WITH TRUMP: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington, D.C., scheduled to meet with President Trump on Monday, two weeks before Israel’s election … Netanyahu, facing the multiple corruption investigations back home, had already been scheduled to be in Washington for the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference. Besides holding a meeting at the White House on Monday, Trump, along with first lady Melania, will host a dinner for the longtime U.S. ally and his wife Sara on Tuesday. Netanyahu’s U.S. visit comes days after Trump announced that the U.S. would reverse policy and recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

AIPAC SPEAKERS JAB AT OMAR: Although not mentioned by name, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., clearly was on the minds of many speakers at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington … Speaking at the conference on Sunday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland hit back at some of the most visible new Democrats in Congress: “By the way, there are 62 new Democratic freshmen in the House, not three.” Hoyer apparently was referring to Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Omar. Omar drew condemnation from members of both parties last month after she suggested in a tweet that AIPAC has been paying members of Congress to support Israel. Multiple Democrats competing for the 2020 presidential nomination said last week they wouldn’t attend the AIPAC conference.

THE SOUNDBITE

‘SHAME ON MUELLER’ -  "Shame on Mueller for not having the guts to come to one decision or another … I think it [the Mueller report] did an abysmal job on the issue of obstruction of justice. We, the American public, are entitled to a yes or no decision, not some law school essay on what arguments there are on both sides of this issue." – Alan Dershowitz, attorney and Harvard Law professor emeritus, slamming Robert Mueller for a "cop out" for neither exonerating nor making a conclusion in his report on whether President Trump committed obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation. (Click the image above to watch the full video.)

TODAY’S MUST-READS
Jason Chaffetz: Post-Mueller, Republicans should focus on these four things – and avoid Dems’ traps.
Donna Brazile: What we really need to learn from the Mueller report.
Dan Gainor: Liberal media’s Mueller, collusion coverage turns out to be Titanic of media disasters.

MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Gas prices on the rise: How high will they go?
Most bitcoin trading activity is faked, research says.
Houston Astros, Verlander agree to record-breaking contract extension.

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On Fox News:

Stay with Fox News for ongoing team coverage of the fallout from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s finding of no collusion between President Trump and Russia.

Fox & Friends, 6 a.m. ET: Reaction to the Mueller report’s findings in the Russia investigation with the following special guests: Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow; Alan Dershowitz; Ken Starr, former Whitewater independent counsel; Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor.

Tucker Carlson Tonight, 8 p.m. ET: An exclusive interview with Donald Trump Jr.

Hannity, 9 p.m. ET: Special guests include: Newt Gingrich, Mark Levin, host of "Life, Liberty & Levin"; U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee; Jay Sekulow, attorney for President Trump.

On Fox Business:

Mornings with Maria, 6 a.m. ET: Special guests include: U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas; Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News senior judicial analyst; Gianno Caldwell, Fox News political analyst.

On Fox News Radio:

The Fox News Rundown podcast: "Mueller Submits His Report" – Fox News’ Jon Decker breaks down the summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings in the Russia investigation and what will happen next. Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is trying to convince President Trump to allow his state the right to import cheaper drugs from Canada. Former FBI Director Louie Freeh tells the podcast why idea is dangerous while Trish Riley, who helped Florida write the legislation, says an international market is the way of the future. Plus, commentary by Jason Chaffetz, Fox News contributor and former Utah congressman.

Want the Fox News Rundown sent straight to your mobile device? Subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher.

The Brian Kilmeade Show, 9 a.m. ET: Reaction to the Mueller report’s conclusions with the following guests: John Dowd, former lead Trump counsel in the Russia investigation; Jason Chaffetz, Fox News contributor and former Utah congressman; Andrew McCarthy, Fox News contributor and contributing editor of National Review; Michael Goodwin, columnist for the New York Post; former U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.; Dana Perino, host of "The Daily Briefing."

#TheFlashback
2006: In Los Angeles, half a million people march to protest federal legislation to make illegal immigration a felony and build more walls along the border.
1965: The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. leads 25,000 people to the Alabama state capitol in Montgomery after a five-day march from Selma to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks. Later that day, civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo, a white Detroit homemaker, is shot and killed by Ku Klux Klansmen.
1931: In the so-called "Scottsboro Boys" case, nine young black men are taken off a train in Alabama, accused of raping two white women; after years of convictions, death sentences and imprisonment, the nine would eventually vindicated.

Fox News First is compiled by Fox News’ Bryan Robinson. Thank you for joining us! Have a good Monday! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Tuesday morning.

Source: Fox News National

A former senior Philippine police official says President Rodrigo Duterte has been photographed with two Chinese men involved in illegal drugs and sent a report to warn him about the two.

Dismissed Senior Superintendent Eduardo Acierto told a news conference late Sunday that he’s unaware what government action has been taken after he submitted his report about the Chinese men to top police officials starting in December 2017. Instead, Acierto said he’s now facing illegal drugs complaints and has been the target of drug threats that forced him to go into hiding recently.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino says he received Acierto’s report and the allegations against the Chinese are being validated.

Source: Fox News World

An Ohio man was arrested last week for attacking a teen he said was raping a 5-year-old, police said.

Richard Adams, 20, walked into a room of his Eastlake, Ohio, home last Thursday and said he saw a 17-year-old raping a 5-year-old boy, WEWS reported.

“I kinda blacked out,” Adams told Cleveland’s Fox 8. “I saw a 17-year-old molesting a 5-year-old. I wanted to help the young boy and that was all I was thinking about was getting it stopped.”

FLORIDA MAN CHARGED WITH SEXUAL BATTERY ON UNDERAGE GIRL HE ALLEGEDLY LURED AFTER CLAIMING TO BE ‘INSTAGRAM FAMOUS’

Both the teen and Adams were arrested – the teen for rape, and Adams for felony assault, police said.

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Adams’ relationship to the 17-year-old — whose identity was not released — was not immediately clear. Adams posted bond and is due in court next month, Fox 8 reported.

Source: Fox News National

Thailand’s election commission says it will release full vote counts from the first election since a 2014 coup on Friday as an anti-junta party claimed it won the most seats and will try to form a government.

The commission said Monday it will announce the results of 350 constituency seats later in the day but full vote counts, which are needed to determine the allocation of 150 other seats in parliament, won’t be available for several days.

The Pheu Thai party, which was ousted from government in the coup, said it won the most constituency seats in Sunday’s election and will try to form a government with similar-minded parties.

Unofficial results show the military-backed Palang Pracharat party won the popular vote.

Source: Fox News World

An Afghan official says a devastating Taliban attack over the weekend on an army outpost in southern Helmand province killed 26 soldiers and seven policemen — casualties the country’s defense ministry has refused to disclose.

Provincial council chief Attahullah Afghan told The Associated Press on Monday that the attack took place in Sangin district on Friday and that it also left 31 soldiers wounded.

The Taliban claimed the attack a day later, on Saturday. There was no government statement on the attack.

Afghan military spokesman Nawab Shah said government jets aided the besieged troops and eventually sent reinforcements to Helmand, an old Taliban heartland. He refused to discuss casualties.

The insurgents stage near-daily attacks on Afghan forces, inflicting staggering casualties, even as they hold peace talks with the United States.

Source: Fox News World

A senior Russian lawmaker has welcomed the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian involvement in the U.S. presidential election, saying this gives the countries a chance to mend ties.

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, said in a social media post on Monday that Mueller’s probe was accompanied by "two years of incessant lies," but proved that there was no collusion, something that "we in Russia knew from the start."

Mueller’s report found no evidence that U.S. President Donald Trump’s campaign conspired with Russian officials to influence the 2016 elections.

Kosachev said the conclusion of the investigation gives Trump enough space to repair ties with Russia, but he said he is uncertain if Trump will "take this risk."

Source: Fox News World

A look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential oil and gas reserves:

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a weekly look at developments in the South China Sea, the location of several territorial conflicts in the region.

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PHILIPPINE FOREIGN SECRETARY PRAISES CHINA

The Philippine foreign secretary heaped praise on China’s ruling Communist Party during a visit to Beijing, underscoring the growing distance between the Philippines and the United States as China’s regional political and economic influence rises.

Teodoro Locsin said Wednesday that China’s authoritarian one-party system has provided opportunities for developing economies to grow and has given them a certain momentum for improvement that Western democracies currently lack.

"Without the new China there will be no prospect whatsoever for the developing world to grow into emerging economies," Locsin said.

The secretary’s remarks reflected sentiment in the Cabinet of President Rodrigo Duterte, who has frequently praised China and criticized his county’s long-standing alliance with the U.S.

Earlier this month, the Philippine defense secretary said his country’s defense treaty with the U.S. needs to be re-examined, bringing expressions of concern from Washington.

The newfound goodwill comes despite the fact that China and the Philippines have competing claims to territory in the South China Sea. The Philippines has been successful at international arbitration to contest China’s claim to virtually the entire crucial waterway, but Beijing has ignored the ruling.

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EX-PHILIPPINE OFFICIALS CLAIM CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

Two former Philippine officials are filing a complaint with the International Criminal Court accusing Chinese President Xi Jinping of crimes against humanity over his government’s assertive actions in the South China Sea.

The two former officials contend that China’s actions have deprived thousands of fishermen of their livelihood and wrecked the environment.

Former Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and ex-chief anti-graft prosecutor Conchita Carpio Morales said Thursday that they filed the complaint with the tribunal before the current Philippine president’s move to withdraw the country from the tribunal took effect.

They accused Xi and other Chinese officials of turning seven disputed reefs into islands, causing extensive environmental damage, and of blocking about 320,000 Filipinos and other counties’ fishermen from their fishing grounds.

"This has seriously undermined the food and energy security of the coastal states in the South China Sea, including the Philippines," del Rosario and Carpio Morales said in a statement.

China’s island building, which started in 2013 in an effort to construct air and naval bases in the disputed waters, reportedly destroyed large expanses of coral reefs and endangered fisheries.

"It presents one of the most massive, near permanent and devastating destruction of the environment in humanity’s history," they said.

There was no immediate reaction from China.

Duterte decided to withdraw the Philippines from the ICC last year in a move that took effect March 17. Duterte’s move has been challenged by human rights advocates before the Philippine Supreme Court.

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US NAVY PROTESTS CHINESE BEHAVIOR

A senior U.S. Navy commander says the U.S. won’t alter its so-called "freedom of navigation" sailings in the disputed South China Sea and has pressed ahead with such operations despite a dangerous maneuver by a Chinese navy ship against an American destroyer.

Vice Adm. Phillip Sawyer, commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, told reporters in Manila that Washington protested that "unprofessional behavior" by the Chinese ship, which maneuvered very close to the USS Decatur as the latter sailed closely by a Chinese-occupied island in the Spratlys in September.

"No, it’s not going to change where we do our freedom of navigation operations," Sawyer said when asked if the Sept. 30 incident off Gaven Reef would change such U.S. Navy operations. Several such sail-bys have been undertaken by American naval ships since that close encounter in the disputed waters, he said.

"It was concerning because the ships got too close," Sawyer said, adding that U.S. officials have voiced "our displeasure with what we consider to be unprofessional behavior."

The USS Decatur had sailed within 12 nautical miles of Gaven Reef when a Chinese destroyer approached within 45 yards (41 meters) of the bow of the U.S. Navy ship, which changed course to prevent a collision. The Decatur was also warned to leave the area, U.S. Pacific Fleet officials said at the time.

China said the Luoyang, a Chinese missile destroyer, was deployed to identify the U.S. warship and drive it away near Chinese territory. Beijing protested the Decatur’s action as provocative.

One of seven disputed reefs transformed by China into militarily fortified islands in recent years, Gaven is claimed by China, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. Malaysia and Brunei also have claims in the South China Sea.

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Associated Press writer Jim Gomez reported from Manilla, Philippines.

Source: Fox News World


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