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Critics Blast Trump for Human Rights Silence on Asia Trip

President Donald Trump returns from a 12-day, five-nation trip to Asia with a pocketful of business and trade deals and, arguably, improved relations with a number of important countries in the region. But critics say those benefits have come at the expense of America’s reputation as a champion of human rights. “The United States’ voice on human rights has basically disappeared,” said Brad Adams, Asia director for Human Rights Watch. “Trump has made clear that he is only interested in having personal relationships with leaders of other countries, and if…

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US Senators Blast State Department over Cuts

The Republican and Democratic leaders of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee blasted the U.S. State Department on Tuesday for cuts in staff and what they described as a failure to have a plan for a proposed reorganization. “I don’t think they are anywhere close to having a plan to present relative to the reforms that they want,” said Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the committee. Rex Tillerson, Republican President Donald Trump’s Secretary of State, has embraced the White House’s proposal – rejected by key members of Congress…

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[Perspective] Durable resistance to rice blast

The blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae (Pyricularia oryzae) destroys rice crops worldwide (see the photo) (1) and now threatens global wheat production as well. Wheat blast disease has been spreading in South America since 1985, and last year it devastated wheat crops in Bangladesh (2, 3). Incorporation of resistance (R) genes into rice presents an effective, economical, and environmentally sound way to control blast (4). However, it takes years to move an R gene into a rice variety, whereas the highly variable fungus can overcome the R gene effects within 2…

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