An earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale struck on Sunday the province of Coquimbo, in northern Chile.The US Geological Survey said in a statement that the epicenter of the earthquake occurred 54 kilometers from the city of La Serena in the region, and at a depth of 40.7 kilometers.So far, there have been no reports of material damage or human losses resulting from the earthquake.In 2010, a strong earthquake of 8.8 magnitude, followed by a tsunami, hit central and southern Chile, killing 500 people.Chile is located in an area called the Ring of Fire, which is an arc of rifts that surround the Pacific Ocean basin and is subject to frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity. (QNA)
Apple announced the addition of two new storage capacities to the iCloud+ service, with a storage of 6TB and 12TB, after the maximum capacity did not exceed 2 TB.Each user's Apple ID account allows only 5GB of cloud storage, and users can upgrade to a paid iCloud+ storage subscription plan to larger capacities of 50GB or 200GB, as well as 2TB, 6TB, or 12TB.In addition to the storage capacity, Apple provides subscribers with additional features such as Hide My Email and Custom Email Domains.Currently, subscribers pay $0.99 per month for 50GB of cloud storage, $2.99 per month for 200GB, and $9.99 per month for 2TB.The original photos, videos, and other files can be stored securely on iCloud with the ability to share them with others when needed, as well as the ability to make backup copies of the device used and then restore them at any time. (QNA)
Meta is reportedly working on a new AI system that is expected to be even more powerful than OpenAI's GPT-4 language model. The model is expected to be ready next year and Meta could start training from early 2024.According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Meta's new AI system will help companies develop sophisticated text analysis and other services. The new AI model is expected to be several times more powerful than the company's last AI system, Llama 2, which was released just two months ago.Llama 2 is Meta's open source AI language model launched in July, and distributed by Microsoft's cloud Azure services to compete with OpenAI's ChatGPT. (QNA)
Apple plans to stop producing silicone and fluoroelastomer accessories, replacing them with products made from next-generation, more environmentally friendly materials.The move is expected to include accessories such as the iPhone Silicone Case with MagSafe, Sport Band, Solo Loop, and AirTag Loop. Silicone accessories may not be discontinued directly but will be transitioned through gradual replacement until the current inventory is exhausted.Apple is expected to discontinue leather iPhone cases after the iPhone 15 lineup, replacing them with accessories made from a premium material sold as FineWoven. The discontinuation of all leather and silicone Apple accessories is believed to be part of a wider move to transition to more environmentally friendly materials. In a similar context, Samsung recently announced the launch of a new group of environmentally friendly accessories called "Samsung Eco-Friends accessories". The new lineup includes product cases and wearable straps that contain a large percentage of Post Consumer Material (PCM). While Apple's silicone rubber accessories have a lower carbon footprint than their leather counterparts, they are not made from recycled materials. Materials such as fluoroelastomer are also difficult to recycle due to their heat resistance and robust structure. (QNA)
Apple launches its annual event to reveal the new generation 'iPhone 15' on Tuesday, in the Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino, California. Apple's annual event, titled 'Wonderlust', will be streaming live on the Apple website and YouTube at 8 pm, Doha time. Also, expectations are pointed towards Apple revealing the new generation iPhone 15, which includes the iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, and 15 Pro Max. The new generation design will differ from the previous ones, as the edges are smoother and thinner, as well as a stronger processor, and an improved camera.Moreover, there's a possibility that Apple will reveal the launch of their new Apple Watch Series 9, and 2nd Generation Apple Watch Ultra. The new design is expected to include a new processor based on the A15 Bionic chip from Apple, already used in previous iPhone models, as performance will be enhanced.The event will also witness the announcement of the new wireless AirPods, and Apple is also likely to officially provide an update to iOS 17, iPadOS 17, WatchOS 10 and the new version of Mac, or reveal when the new version of the operating systems will be available for various devices.Amongst other awaited devices is the new generation iPad Pro 14, which is expected to have the Apple M2 processor, a bigger screen, and supports wireless charging. For the first time, the new iPhone 15 is expected to use a USB-C charging port, especially after the EU passed a landmark law last October requiring mobile phones, tablets and cameras to use a USB-C wire charging port, with a deadline of 28th of December, 2024.Notably, Apple has been announcing their new devices through published videos after the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 forced the world to shut down. (QNA)
The United States on Sunday expressed concern about the worsening situation in a disputed Azerbaijan enclave, calling for humanitarian supplies to be allowed through and declaring any use of force in the dispute with Armenia as "unacceptable.""The United States is deeply concerned about the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Nagorno-Karabakh," said a statement from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.He called for the immediate opening of two supply routes to allow the passage of "desperately needed humanitarian supplies" to the Armenian-populated region and warned leaders against any provocation.Nagorno-Karabakh on Saturday elected a new president as tensions spiraled between archrivals Azerbaijan and Armenia.Lawmakers in the breakaway enclave voted overwhelmingly to elect security chief Samvel Shahramanyan, 45, to immediately succeed outgoing leader Arayik Harutyunyan.Popular frustration with Harutyunyan's rule was growing amid food shortages after Azerbaijan closed the sole road linking Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia.But Azerbaijan called the election "a clear violation of Azerbaijan's sovereignty and territorial integrity" and a "flagrant violation of international law."In recent months, Armenia and Azerbaijan have traded accusations of cross-border attacks.Armenia has warned that Azerbaijan was massing troops on the countries' shared border and near Nagorno-Karabakh.Blinken, in his statement, said the United States would "continue to strongly support efforts by Armenia and Azerbaijan to resolve outstanding issues through direct dialogue, with the aim of achieving a dignified and enduring peace" that protects the enclave's residents.Nagorno-Karabakh was at the center of two wars between the Caucasus neighbors.Six weeks of fighting in 2020 ended with a Russian-brokered ceasefire that saw Armenia cede swaths of territory it had controlled for decades.bbk/caw
The United Nations announced that it is ready to provide support for the Moroccan government to assist those affected by the devastating earthquake that hit Morocco last night and caused 820 deaths and 672 injuries.In a statement on Saturday, UN Secretary-General's Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expresses his solidarity with the government and people of Morocco in these difficult times and offers his condolences to the families of the victims wishing a speedy recovery for the injured. (QNA)
Mexico will almost certainly have its first female president in 2024, after the ruling party and the opposition coalition both chose women as their candidates.Former Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum was named ruling party's presidential candidate, while the opposition coalition named senator Xochitl Galvez as its presidential candidate.Mexico will hold presidential elections in June 2024 to succeed current President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is prohibited by the constitution from running for a second six-year term.Sheinbaum, 61, was selected last Wednesday following a series of polls conducted by members of the ruling coalition.ruling party's national council president Alfonso Durazo said Sheinbaum beat former Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard by double figures in five party surveys.Sheinbaum is a close ally of the president Lopez Obrador.The ruling party has expanded its control to 22 of Mexico's 32 states, and as the party's candidate, Sheinbaum is expected to enjoy a distinct advantage in June. (QNA)
The US embassy in Syria said Sunday that senior officials had met Kurdish-led forces and community leaders in eastern Syria, discussing the need for de-escalation after days of deadly violence.Fighting erupted in the Kurdish-controlled areas of Deir Ezzor province after the US-backed, Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) detained Ahmad al-Khabil, the head of the local Deir Ezzor Military Council, last Sunday.The violence has killed 49 fighters from both sides and eight civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor, and a curfew went into effect in the area on Saturday.US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Ethan Goldrich and Major General Joel Vowell, commander of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, met "in northeast Syria" with the SDF, Kurdish authorities and tribal leaders from Deir Ezzor, the American embassy said."They agreed on the importance of addressing the grievances" of Deir Ezzor residents, "the dangers of outsiders interfering" and "the need to avoid civilian deaths and casualties", said an embassy statement on X, formerly Twitter.The participants also agreed on "the need for de-escalation of violence as soon as possible", said the statement from the US embassy, which is based outside Syria.The largely Arab-majority Deir Ezzor province is controlled by the SDF to the east of the Euphrates, while forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Iran-affiliated fighters are stationed on the west bank.Kurdish authorities manage areas under their control through local civilian and military councils, to avoid upsetting local Arab tribes.The US-led coalition maintains bases in the area, including at Syria's largest gas field, Al-Omar.Goldrich and Vowell "reiterated the importance of the strong US partnership with the SDF" in efforts to defeat IS, the statement added.The SDF has denied any dispute with Arab tribes in the region, saying the clashes have mostly involved "elements of the regime and some beneficiaries" of Khabil.On Sunday, a day after the curfew came into effect, the SDF and the Observatory said the situation appeared to be calming down.SDF spokesman Farhad Shami said the tensions had been restricted to five villages out of 120 in the area, adding that "in one remaining village, matters are moving towards resolution".The situation "is being handled with great sensitivity, but we hope the issues will be settled soon, whether militarily or in communication with the Arab tribes in the region", he added.The SDF spearheaded the offensive that defeated the IS group's self-declared caliphate in Syria in 2019.Syria's war has killed more than half a million people since it broke out in 2011.
Instagram announced new options for users to create Reels for up to ten minutes.The social media platform indicated that it was conducting internal testing of these options, but that it was not currently providing them for users' experience outside the company.The move comes from Instagram as part of the TikTok platform's competition, where it previously extended the maximum duration of the video to 10 minutes early this year.The possibility of extending the duration of the video is expected to give content creators in Instagram greater flexibility when filming. Thus, allowing them to deliver more in-depth content without having to shoot several parts, the move is also aimed at improving the followers' experience by making it easier to watch content sequentially. Instagram had previously announced that users would be allowed to upload short videos (Reels) so that users could share them via other apps, a feature that has been in TikTok for years.In a related context, Instagram is testing a new feature that allows content creators to share their followers' comments in the stories they share. (QNA)
Apple is testing 3D printers to manufacture steel tyres for some of its next smart watches.A Bloomberg report said production technology would eliminate the need to cut parts of the metal to form the product, reducing the time taken in the manufacturing process and contributing to environmental conservation.The new technology uses some kind of 3D printing to create the general clock frame, and then the printing process is done using crushed material, which then goes through a process called "sintering", where heat and intense pressure on the material are used to convert it into what looks like conventional steel.This approach could significantly streamline Apple's supply chain, according to the report. If tests of this technology are successful with its smart watches, the company can start using it in its various products over the coming years.Apple plans to apply this process to its titanium watch (Apple Watch Ultra), but does not plan to make this shift until 2024.Over the past few months, the company has tested the process using custom steel cans for Apple Watch Series 9, which is due to be unveiled next month. (QNA)
Google Docs is getting a new "Proofread" feature that replaces today's Spelling and grammar check.Google calls Proofread the "next generation of writing suggestions, powered by AI."It uses the same A and checkmark icon in the toolbar (next to Print). A blue dot appears in the top-left corner when writing suggestions are available. Tapping opens a side panel to review all suggestions and accept/reject. The user can quickly browse suggestions by type.This feature helps users more easily and quickly compose high-quality content in Google Docs.It is expected to be available in Duet AI for Google Workspace. (QNA)
Hurricane Idalia strengthened over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday on its relentless crawl toward Florida's Gulf Coast, forcing evacuations in low-lying coastal areas that are expected to be swamped when the powerful storm hits on Wednesday. The storm was carrying maximum sustained winds of 150kmph by early Tuesday afternoon, but its intensity will ratchet higher before slamming ashore in the early hours of Wednesday, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC). By that time, it was forecast to reach Category 3 strength - classified as a major hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of at least 179kmph - on the five-step Saffir-Simpson wind scale. Idalia's most dangerous feature, however, appeared to be the powerful surge of water it is expected to deliver along the coast. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis urged residents in low-lying areas to heed orders to seek higher ground, warning that the storm surge could cause life-threatening floods. "The time is running out very, very rapidly," he said at an afternoon news briefing. Mary Wolcott Martino, 79, an editor and travel writer in St. Petersburg, was packing up as fast as she could on Tuesday afternoon, grabbing items that cannot be replaced such as hard drives containing family photos. "We're leaving in five minutes, headed out the door now," she said. She and her husband did not board up their home as they did ahead of last September's Hurricane Ian, saying they are more concerned about flooding than high winds this time. "We're on the canal and just 9 feet above sea level," she said. The NHC said Idalia's center would likely hit Florida's coastline somewhere in the Big Bend region, where the state's northern panhandle curves around into the Gulf side of the Florida Peninsula. The area, roughly between the inland cities of Tallahassee and Gainesville, is much more lightly populated than the Tampa-St. Petersburg area to the south. Most of Florida's 21 million residents, along with many in Georgia and South Carolina, were under hurricane, tropical storm and storm surge warnings and advisories. Idalia transitioned from a tropical storm to a hurricane early on Tuesday, a day after passing west of Cuba, where it damaged homes and flooded villages. By early Tuesday afternoon, the storm was churning about 390 km southwest of Tampa as it crept northward at 24kmph. Idalia is in line to become the fourth major hurricane to strike Florida over the past seven years, following Irma in 2017, Michael in 2018 and Ian, which peaked at Category 5, last September. In Sarasota - a city hard-hit by Ian last year - Milton Bontrager's home is boarded up and stocked with food, water and a generator. "I don't panic, I prepare," said Bontrager, 40, who runs six sport and charter fishing boats in Venice along the Gulf Coast near Tampa. He stopped taking customers out days ago so he could secure the boats. His biggest craft is tied down to a floating dock with 16 lines and equipped with battery-powered pumps that turn on automatically if the boat starts taking on water. Florida's Gulf Coast along with southeastern Georgia and eastern portions of North and South Carolina could face torrential rains of 10 to 20cm through Thursday, with isolated areas seeing as much as 30cm, the hurricane center warned. Surge warnings were posted for hundreds of miles of shoreline, from Sarasota to the sport fishing haven of Indian Pass at the western end of Apalachicola Bay. In some areas, the surge of water could rise 3 to 4.6m, the hurricane center said. "The No. 1 killer in all of these storms is water," Deanne Criswell, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's administrator, said on CNN. More than 40 school districts across the region canceled classes, DeSantis said. Tampa International Airport planned to suspend commercial operations beginning at midday Tuesday. Some 5,500 National Guard troops were mobilized and between 30,000 and 40,000 electricity workers were standing by to help restore power after the hurricane passes. The state has set aside 1.1 million gallons of gasoline to address any interruptions to fuel supplies, DeSantis said. As Floridians were preparing for Idalia's arrival, Cubans were grappling with the aftermath of the storm, which lingered for hours on Monday near the western end of the Caribbean island nation, toppling trees and flooding coastal villages. By Monday afternoon, brown floodwaters had swamped the small fishing village of Guan, an hour's drive south of Havana. Decades-old buses missing floorboards and windows carried women and children to higher ground as winds howled, rattling tin roofs and slamming fishing boats tucked in the mangroves. In Pinar del Rio, an area known for producing the tobacco used to make some of the world's finest cigars, 60% of the province was without power. Authorities evacuated tens of thousands of people from that province as well as neighboring Artemisa, while squalls of heavy rain doused the Cuban capital of Havana.
The social networking platform X (formerly Twitter) revealed that it plans to support the Passkeys feature, which allows users to log in without having to enter passwords.The passkeys are a new standard developed in cooperation between the two most major technology companies, FIDO Alliance and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and the feature uses encryption techniques to create a secure link between the user's device and the website or application, and by using it, users will not need to remember or write traditional passwords, or fear that they will be leaked or stolen.Some application developers have spotted signs and indications in the latest version of the X platform, indicating that the company's developer team is working on adding the passkeys feature soon.The new feature is available to users as a more secure additional option, and when available, users will be able to log into their accounts using biometric authentication through fingerprints or facial recognition technology.The passkey feature has also been detected in many applications currently, such as the online recruitment platform LinkedIn, WhatsApp, and TikTok. It is expected that large technology companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and others will join the adoption of this feature in the future to replace traditional passwords. (QNA)
Traders extended a global rally Tuesday ahead of US data this week that could be key to the Federal Reserve's decision-making on interest rates.Hong Kong and Shanghai enjoyed big gains following fresh promises of help for China's economy, but worries about the outlook continue to dampen sentiment, with authorities facing growing calls for bigger stimulus to revive growth.After a painful August on trading floors, investors have enjoyed a positive start to this week, with Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell's insistence that monetary policy would be based on a range of indicators fuelling hope the tightening cycle has drawn to a close.This week sees the release of the US central bank's preferred gauge of inflation, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, as well as jobs creation and factory activity."The trio should tell investors where critical factors in the Fed's decision tree on rates lie following the central bank's gathering in Jackson Hole last week and ahead of a scheduled meeting in September," said Stephen Innes at SPI Asset Management.While inflation is easing, Fed officials have warned it remains too high at 3.2 percent -- well above their two percent target -- and that borrowing costs might have to rise or at least remain elevated until they are satisfied prices have been tamed.That, however, has led to concerns that they could deal a blow to the economy.Anthony Saglimbene, at Ameriprise, said: "Investors want to see economic releases this week that suggest activity is slowing enough to keep further rate hikes at bay, but not too slow to indicate the economy is headed for a recession."Asian markets were up across the board.Hong Kong climbed more than one percent thanks to a surge in tech giants, while Tokyo, Sydney, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Jakarta were also up.London returned from a long weekend to see healthy gains, while Paris and Frankfurt both opened higher. - China stimulus hopes -Shanghai rose again, helped by China's weekend decision to slash the stamp duty paid on stock trades for the first time in 15 years as leaders try to revitalise the beleaguered market.Later Monday, Finance Minister Liu Kun and National Development and Reform Commission chairman Zheng Shanjie said they would provide more policy support and speed up government spending, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. Still, observers say equities are unlikely to recover until the government announces a wide-ranging "bazooka" support package like the $550 billion doled out in 2008."The measures over the past weekend are not enough to stem the downward spiral" and their impact will be short-lived if further help for the economy is not forthcoming, said Ting Lu, at Nomura Holdings."Without additional and more aggressive policy stimulus, these stock-markets-focused policies alone have little sustainable positive impact."Those sentiments were echoed by Alvin Tan, head of Asia FX strategy at RBC.He said in a note: "It's becoming obvious that much more significant stimulus, particularly from the fiscal side, will be needed to change the bearish outlook on mainland markets, including the renminbi."Hopes for a softer reading on jobs and inflation weighed on the dollar, which weakened against its main peers, though the yen remains weighed by the Bank of Japan's refusal to move away from its ultra-loose monetary policy.Goldman Sachs strategists warned that if the BoJ sticks to its guns, then the yen could fall to around 155 per dollar over the next six months, which would be its weakest since 1990.- Key figures around 0715 GMT -Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 percent at 32,226.97 (close)Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 2.0 percent at 18,486.88Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.2 percent at 3,135.89 (close)London - FTSE 100: UP 0.6 percent at 7,383.13Dollar/yen: DOWN at 146.37 yen from 146.50 yen on MondayEuro/dollar: UP at $1.0821 from $1.0820Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2623 from $1.2600Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.68 pence from 85.85 penceWest Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.3 percent at $79.88 per barrelBrent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.2 percent at $84.25 per barrelNew York - Dow: UP 0.6 percent at 34,559.98 (close)
Amnesty International called on Tuesday for the release of about 300 people being held in Venezuela for political reasons, slamming the country's "politically-motivated arbitrary detentions".In a new report, Amnesty said the detentions were used to silence "those who dissent from the government of Nicolas Maduro or for other political purposes."The group identified patterns in the detentions that included arrests without warrants, a "lack of judicial independence", use of "ambiguous" laws, and "incommunicado detention and isolation of detainees."Rights groups estimate there are about 300 political prisoners in Venezuela, including nine cases Amnesty said are "emblematic" of abuses in the penal system.The imprisonments were meant to send a "message of intimidation, often aimed at family members or people close to those who are being repressed," Amnesty said in the report on detentions between 2018 and 2023. "The rights to freedom, to a fair trial, to integrity and freedom from torture or ill-treatment are often violated through these practices," it said. One highlighted case was that of Javier Tarazona, founder of the FundaRedes rights group, who was arrested in 2021 and charged with "terrorism" after accusing the Maduro government of links to the Colombian guerrilla group ELN. Amnesty called on Venezuela to release all political detainees and urged the international community to demand guarantees to prevent such practices from being repeated.It also called on the International Criminal Court to include the cases in its investigation into alleged crimes against humanity committed by Maduro's administration.
An international crew of four representing four countries is in orbit following a successful launch to the International Space Station on Saturday, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The agency's SpaceX Crew-7 mission is the seventh commercial crew rotation mission for NASA.A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the Dragon spacecraft into orbit carrying NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov, for a science expedition aboard the orbital laboratory, NASA said.During Dragon's flight, SpaceX will monitor a series of automatic spacecraft maneuvers from its mission control center in Hawthorne, California, and NASA teams will monitor space station operations throughout the flight from the Mission Control Center at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston.Named Endurance, the Dragon spacecraft will dock autonomously to the space-facing port of the station's Harmony module at 8:39 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 27. Crew-7 will join the space station's Expedition 69 crew. For a short time, the number of crew aboard the space station will increase to 11 until Crew-6 members return to Earth a few days later, said the agency. (QNA)
US President Joe Biden on Friday said American officials were trying to determine precisely how Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin's plane was brought down in Russia, leaving no survivors.Russia earlier on Friday scolded Biden for expressing his lack of surprise that Prigozhin had been killed in a plane crash and cautioned that it was not appropriate for Washington to make such remarks.Asked by reporters what brought the Wagner leader's plane down, Biden said: "I'm not at liberty to speak to that precisely ... We're trying to nail down precisely, but I don't have anything to say."Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to Prigozhin's family on Thursday, breaking his silence after the mercenary leader's plane crashed two months after he led a mutiny against Russia's army chiefs.
The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a $7.5 billion disbursement for Argentina.The agreement combines the fifth and sixth reviews of an existing 30-month, $44 billion IMF program, in a move aimed at improving the South American country's economic situation."Since completion of the fourth review, key program targets were missed reflecting the historic drought along with policy slippages," the IMF announced in a statement."Against the backdrop of high inflation and rising balance of payments pressures, agreement was reached on a new policy package centered on rebuilding reserves and enhancing fiscal order," the IMF continued.The announcement brings the total disbursements by the IMF to Argentina under the arrangement to around $36 billion, with the next review scheduled for November, the IMF said. (QNA)
US commerce secretary Gina Raimondo will visit China from August 27 to 30, Beijing and Washington said Tuesday."Secretary Raimondo looks forward to constructive discussions on issues relating to the US-China commercial relationship, challenges faced by US businesses, and areas for potential cooperation," the US Department of Commerce said in a statement.She will travel to both Beijing and Shanghai, Washington said, while Beijing also confirmed the visit, adding that Raimondo has been invited by her Chinese counterpart Wang Wentao.Her visit will build on an agreement between Presidents Xi Jinping and Joe Biden in Bali last year "to deepen communication between the US and the PRC on a range of issues," Washington said.Raimondo's visit follows a slew of high-level US official trips to China as Washington seeks to ease tensions with Beijing.US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen visited last month, stressing the need for healthy economic competition and improved communication, and urged cooperation on the grave threat posed by climate change.And in June, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken travelled to Beijing, where he met Xi and said progress had been made on a number of key sources of contention.But neither visit led to major breakthroughs between the two powers, which are at loggerheads over everything from trade to human rights and Taiwan.