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Boris Johnson on UK Politics

Britain clinched a last-minute Brexit deal with the European Union on Thursday, but still faced a challenge in getting it approved by parliament. “Where there is a will there is a deal – we have one. It’s a fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the UK and it is a testament to our commitment to find solutions,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a tweet a few hours before an EU summit in Brussels. He said he would recommend that leaders of the other 27 member states approve the deal. “I believe it is high time to complete the divorce process and move on, as swiftly as possible, to the negotiation on the European Union’s future partnership with the United Kingdom,” Juncker said in an attached letter. Separately, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “we have a great new Brexit deal”. Johnson is hoping to get approval for the agreement in a vote at an extraordinary session of the British parliament on Saturday, to pave the way for an orderly departure on Oct. 31. However, the Northern Irish party that Johnson needs to help ratify any agreement has refused to support the deal that was hammered out over weeks of negotiations. The head of the main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said in Brussels he was “unhappy” with the deal and would vote against it. Lawmakers in his party said they had been told to vote for another referendum on Saturday. STERLING SURGES Nevertheless, sterling surged moreContinue reading

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Elizabeth Warren - US Politics News Today

The question was inevitable. Elizabeth Warren’s answer was the same. And her rivals seized on it. For the second consecutive debate, Warren refused to say whether middle-class Americans would pay higher taxes under her proposed Medicare for All plan. It was a glaring dodge for a candidate who has risen to the top of the Democratic field by unveiling detailed policy proposals and selling them with a folksy flair. And it was one of nearly a half a dozen issues where Warren found herself defending the broad ambition she has laid out to remake the American economy and rebalance the nation’s wealth. More moderate candidates, including Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, cast Warren as both unrealistic and vague. How Warren handles that criticism, which was abundant Tuesday and is likely to escalate in the coming weeks, will be a central test of whether she can maintain her standing. “Warren has done a good job at remaining steady despite the arrows in her direction, but she is still missing answers to core questions about her plans,” said Bill Burton, a Democratic strategist who worked for former President Barack Obama. While Warren has surged into the upper tier of candidates with former Vice President Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, her liberal, government-funded policies have become subject to added scrutiny, prompting concerns about whether her views are out of the mainstream and would imperil Democrats’ chances in the general election against President Donald Trump. Warren’s more moderate Democratic rivals sought toContinue reading

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Elizabeth Warren - USA Politics News Headlines Today

Surging U.S. Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren came under repeated attack on her healthcare and tax policies in a debate on Tuesday, as moderate rivals pushed her to explain how she would pay for ambitious proposals including her Medicare for All plan. Warren’s recent rise into a virtual tie with former Vice President Joe Biden in many opinion polls made her a frequent target for attacks that exposed the Democratic Party’s divisions between its centrist and progressive wings on a range of issues. The Democratic contenders for the White House were united, however, in supporting the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry of Republican President Donald Trump and criticizing Trump’s recent decision to withdraw from Syria. Moderate rivals Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, facing pressure to break out of the middle of the crowded Democratic presidential field, went after Warren for being evasive on her plan for universal healthcare and said her plan would mean higher taxes or Americans. “I think we owe it to the American people to tell them where to send the invoice,” Klobuchar told Elizabeth Warren. “The difference between a plan and a pipe dream is something you can actually get done.” Klobuchar pushed back when Warren said critics of her wealth tax were trying to protect billionaires, saying: “No one on this stage wants to protect billionaires,” adding: “Your idea is not the only idea.” Buttigieg chided Warren, who boasts she has a plan for everything, for not releasing aContinue reading

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Recep Tayyip Erdoğan - Turkey Politics News Headlines - Erdogan

Targeting Turkey’s economy, President Donald Trump announced sanctions Monday aimed at restraining the Turks’ assault against Kurdish fighters and civilians in Syria — an assault Turkey began after Trump announced he was moving U.S. troops out of the way. The United States also called on Turkey to stop the invasion and declare a ceasefire, and Trump is sending Vice President Mike Pence and national security adviser Robert O’Brien to Ankara as soon as possible in an attempt to begin negotiations. Pence said Trump spoke directly to Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who promised not attack the border town of Kobani, which in 2015 witnessed the Islamic State group’s first defeat in a battle by U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters. “President Trump communicated to him very clearly that the United States of American wants Turkey to stop the invasion, implement an immediate ceasefire and to begin to negotiate with Kurdish forces in Syria to bring an end to the violence,” Pence said. The Americans were scrambling for Syria’s exits, a move criticized at home and abroad as opening the door to a resurgence of the Islamic State group, whose violent takeover of Syrian and Iraqi lands five years ago was the reason American forces came in the first place. Trump said the approximately 1,000 U.S. troops who had been partnering with local Kurdish fighters to battle IS in northern Syria are leaving the country. They will remain in the Middle East, he said, to “monitor the situation” and to prevent a revival ofContinue reading

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Rudy Giuliani - US News Today

President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was paid $500,000 for work he did for a company co-founded by the Ukrainian-American businessman arrested last week on campaign finance charges, Giuliani told Reuters on Monday. The businessman, Lev Parnas, is a close associate of Giuliani and was involved in his effort to investigate Trump’s political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, who is a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic Party nomination. Giuliani said Parnas’ company, Boca Raton-based Fraud Guarantee, whose website says it aims to help clients “reduce and mitigate fraud”, engaged Giuliani Partners, a management and security consulting firm, around August 2018. Giuliani said he was hired to consult on Fraud Guarantee’s technologies and provide legal advice on regulatory issues. Federal prosecutors are “examining Giuliani’s interactions” with Parnas and another Giuliani associate, Igor Fruman, who was also indicted on campaign finance charges, a law enforcement source told Reuters on Sunday. The New York Times reported last week that Parnas had told associates he paid Giuliani hundreds of thousands of dollars for what Giuliani said was business and legal advice. Giuliani said for the first time on Monday that the total amount was $500,000. Giuliani told Reuters the money came in two payments made within weeks of each other. He said he could not recall the dates of the payments. He said most of the work he did for Fraud Guarantee was completed in 2018 but that he had been doing follow-up for over a year. Parnas and Fruman wereContinue reading

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Felipe Nyusi, Filipe Nyusi - Mozambique

The face of President Filipe Nyusi beams from flags billowing across Mozambique’s city of Beira, where T-shirts and posters colour the streets with his Frelimo party’s signature red in what is usually an opposition stronghold. Frelimo’s show of force ahead of presidential, provincial and legislative elections on Oct. 15 could signal problems for the main opposition party Renamo, and also threaten a peace agreement signed between the two civil war rivals in August. While Nyusi is all but certain to be re-elected president, the peace deal has given Renamo hope of winning more political power in a country dominated by Frelimo since the southern African country’s independence from Portugal in 1975. Under the deal, provincial governors will now be picked by the main party in each province, rather than the government in Maputo, and Renamo is banking on traditional provincial strongholds such as Sofala to gain influence. “The biggest threat to the peace process is if Renamo does not deliver a good number of provinces,” said Alex Vines, head of the Africa programme at Chatham House. The elections come at a difficult time for Mozambique, a poor country with a population of 30 million. Cities such as Beira were smashed by two devastating cyclones this year and there is a festering Islamist insurgency in the north, which is right on the doorstop of blockbuster projects to develop vast natural gas reserves. The projects led by oil giants such as Exxon Mobil Corp and Total are expected to attract investment ofContinue reading

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Bashar al-Assad - Syrian Kurdish YPG - Syria News

Syria’s troops have entered a northeastern town, Syrian state media said on Monday, after Washington announced it was abruptly pulling out its forces, and its former Kurdish allies reached a deal with Damascus to help resist a Turkish attack. The abrupt U.S. withdrawal from the eight-year Syrian war, and the potential return of the Syrian army to the Kurdish-controlled northeast, are major victories for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies Russia and Iran. The U.S. announced on Sunday it would swiftly withdraw its remaining 1,000 troops from northeast Syria, just four days after Turkey launched its cross-border offensive with a green light from President Donald Trump. The Turkish assault has prompted widespread criticism and alarm that it could allow Islamic State fighters in Syria to escape their Kurdish-run prisons and regroup. Trump decided a week ago to move U.S. troops out of the way of the Turkish assault, an act denounced as a stab in the back by the Kurds, thousands of whom died fighting against Islamic State in partnership with Washington since 2014. The Kurds announced on Sunday they were pursuing a new pact instead with Washington’s foes, Assad and his Russian backers. Meanwhile, the United States said it was pulling its troops out of Syria altogether. Ankara says its operation aims to neutralise the Kurdish YPG militia, the main element of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which was the key U.S. partner in dismantling the jihadist “caliphate” set up by Islamic State militants in Syria. Ankara viewsContinue reading

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Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan Phone Calls, Turkey and Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the Turkish military incursion into northeastern Syria could lead to the revival of the Daesh terrorist group in the region. Putin issued the warning in a televised address during a visit to Turkmenistan on Friday, saying that members of the Takfiri outfit held in northeast Syria could escape from jail as a result of the Turkish offensive. “I’m not sure whether the Turkish army will be able to take this under control — and how soon,” Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying by the Russia’s Interfax news agency. “This is a real threat to us.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Tuesday that his country’s military forces and the Turkish-backed militants of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) had launched an offensive in Syria’s northeast. Erdogan has claimed that the offensive only targets militants affiliated with Daesh as well as Kurdish militants in order to establish a Turkish safe-region there and resettle millions of refugees in the area. Ankara views US-backed YPG militants as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984. The YPG also constitutes the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an anti-Damascus alliance of predominantly Kurdish militants, which has much of northern Syria under control. Russia calls on Turkey to show restraint The Russian Foreign Ministry also called on Ankara on Friday to exercise restraint in northeast Syria, saying inContinue reading

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Ecuador, Lenín Moreno - News Today

Ecuador’s army took to the streets after President Lenín Moreno ordered the first 24-hour curfew in decades in response to a day of attacks on government buildings and media offices. By Saturday night, soldiers had retaken control of the park and streets leading to the National Assembly and the national comptroller’s office, which had been broken into by protesters who lit fires inside the building. Moreno said the military would enforce the round the clock curfew in Quito and around critical infrastructure like power stations and hospitals in response to the day’s violence. It was the first such action imposed since a series of coups in the 1960s and ’70s. “We are going to restore order in all of Ecuador,” Lenín Moreno said. Late Saturday night, Moreno announced some possible concessions in an economic package that was opposed by many Ecuadorians. But he didn’t retract his decision to remove fuel subsidies, a step that triggered the nationwide protests and clashes. Moreno said his government would address some concerns of protesters, studying ways to ensure resources reach rural areas and offering compensation for those who lost earnings because of the recent upheaval. “We’ll negotiate with those who have decided to do so,” Lenín Moreno said in remarks broadcast on radio and television. “The process is moving forward and I hope to give you good news soon, because different organizations and sectors have confirmed their willingness to talk.” For many in Ecuador, which had become one of the safest and most stableContinue reading

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Boris Johnson - UK Political News Today

The European Union agreed on Friday to enter intense talks with Britain to try to break the deadlock over Brexit, lifting financial markets with a sign that a deal could be done before the Halloween deadline. A flurry of activity has brought the fraught bargaining process to a new level as Britain’s scheduled departure date of Oct. 31 grows ever closer, but it is still uncertain whether the two sides can make a breakthrough before then. The move came at the end of a tumultuous week which started with a public row between London and Brussels. By Thursday British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar said they had found “a pathway” to a possible deal, and by Friday some officials were expressing guarded optimism. “I think both of us can see a pathway to a deal, but that doesn’t mean it’s a done deal,” Boris Johnson said on Friday. “There’s a way to go, it’s important now our negotiators on both sides get into proper talks about how to sort this thing out.” Ireland is crucial if a deal is to be done to avert a potentially disorderly Brexit that would hurt global growth, roil financial markets and could even split the United Kingdom. Dublin will have to consent to any solution to the toughest problem of all: how to prevent the British province of Northern Ireland from becoming a backdoor into the EU’s markets without having border controls. A diplomat and an EU official saidContinue reading

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Israeli police clash with Palestinian worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque

In the week since three men were killed in a midday shootout in an Arab town in northern Israel, the country has seen mass protests, complaints of police negligence and a public debate about violence in Arab communities that has veered into racist generalizations. A recent spike in killings within Arab towns has exposed the longstanding mistrust between the marginalized community and Israeli authorities, with each side accusing the other of neglecting the problem. Arab citizens, who suffer from widespread discrimination, say Israel’s vaunted security forces are suspiciously powerless when it comes to combatting violence in their communities. Police say local leaders and residents must do more to help them impose law and order. The debate was reignited last week by the shootout in the northern town of Majd al-Krum, which killed two brothers, Ahmed and Khalil Manaa, and a third man, Mohammed Sabea. Another Manaa brother was wounded and remains in hospital, and a fifth man is said to be on the run. The police have opened an investigation but refuse to provide any details. “They loved everyone and everyone loved them,” Aisha Manaa said as she sobbed and held a picture of her two slain sons, one of whom is survived by a wife and two small children. “How can something like this happen?” Israel’s Arab citizens make up just 20% of the population but account for more than half of all murder victims nationwide. At least 71 Arabs have been killed so far this year, nearly asContinue reading

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Barbed Wire-Ringed Prison Detention Center For Immigrants, USA NEWS

Tucked away in the dense forest of rural Louisiana is a barbed wire-ringed prison that has quickly grown into a major detention center for immigrants detained at the border. The Winn Correctional Center is one of eight Louisiana jails that have started housing asylum seekers and other migrants over the past year, making Louisiana an unlikely epicenter for immigrant detention under President Donald Trump. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it’s now holding about 8,000 migrants in Louisiana out of 51,000 nationally. These new facilities, a mix of old state prisons and local jails, are several hours away from New Orleans and other major cities in the region, far from most immigrant rights’ groups and immigration lawyers. Migrants complain of mistreatment and prolonged detention. “I knew they would detain us, but I never thought it would be for this long,” said Howard Antonio Benavides Jr., an 18-year-old from Venezuela who has been at Winn for three months. The surge in migrant detention has occurred against the backdrop of a criminal justice overhaul in Louisiana that has reduced the state’s prison population and threatened the economies of the small towns that rely on the jails. ICE has stepped into the void. At Winn, which started detaining migrants in May, employee salaries have risen from $10 an hour to $18.50. Local officials have signed contracts that guarantee millions in payments to the local government, the state, and a private prison company based in the state, while still allowing ICE to detain migrantsContinue reading

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Abiy Ahmed - Ethiopia Politics News

During a high-level meeting at Ethiopia’s foreign ministry in July, officials were shocked by social media reports that their prime minister was visiting Eritrea. No one in the room had been informed of Abiy Ahmed’s trip, his second since clinching a peace deal last year that ended two decades of hostility between the two neighbours. “The foreign office was not in the loop,” said a senior official who was present. “We learned of it from the Eritrean media, on Facebook and Twitter.” The surprise visit is typical of Abiy, who both fans and critics say often relies on bold personal initiatives and charisma to drive change instead of working through government institutions. Nebiat Getachew, the foreign ministry spokesman, said policy was well co-ordinated but he did not confirm that Abiy had made the July trip without informing the ministry. The deal with Eritrea won Abiy international plaudits. Abiy Ahmed is the bookmakers’ favourite to win a Nobel Peace Prize on Friday after climate activist Greta Thunberg. But Abiy’s unpredictable style annoys some Ethiopians. It is unclear how much of the fractious ruling coalition — some form of which has been in power since 1991 — backs his reforms, or how durable those reforms would be without his leadership. He has already survived one assassination attempt: a grenade thrown at a rally last year. Lasting change cannot be built through a “cult of personality”, said Comfort Ero, Africa programme director at the International Crisis Group think tank. “None of Abiy’s promisedContinue reading

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Hong Kong Secret Volunteer Medics

As riot police fought anti-government demonstrators on the streets of Hong Kong over the weekend, two photos popped into the encrypted inbox of a group of volunteer medics who call themselves the “Hidden Clinic.” The images showed the nastily swollen left arm of a 22-year-old protester who had been beaten and were accompanied by a message from the sender that said, “I suspect his bone is broken.” After exchanges through the night via the Telegram messaging app that arranged an off-the-books X-ray, the protester was diagnosed with a displaced fracture of the ulnar bone. With Hong Kong’s summer of protests now stretching into the fall and clashes becoming increasingly ferocious, medical professionals have quietly banded together to form the Hidden Clinic and other networks to secretly treat the injuries of many young demonstrators who fear arrest if they go to government hospitals. The person who messaged the network on the injured protester’s behalf later explained the youth’s wariness by saying, “Many of his friends have been detained when seeing doctors.” The Hong Kong Hidden Clinic says it has clandestinely treated 300-400 protesters with an array of injuries: broken and dislocated bones, gaping wounds and exposure to tear gas so prolonged that they were coughing up blood. It also says the severity of the injuries has increased sharply in the past week, with hard-core protesters and police increasingly tough on each other. A practitioner who specializes in traditional Chinese medicine and is not affiliated with Hidden Clinic says she alone hasContinue reading

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Northern Ireland, Irish Republic, No-Deal Brexit, Border

The small ferry moves gently across the calm waters of Carlingford Lough, connecting the picturesque hamlet of Greencastle in Northern Ireland with the village of Greenore, a mile and a half away in the Republic of Ireland. It began sailing a little more than two years ago, saving farmers, commuters and tourists an hour-long drive inland to the nearest bridge. The service is another sign that the border has all but vanished since the Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998, ending decades of sectarian violence and creating a quiet sense of normality that older generations cherish and younger people may take for granted. But if the U.K. leaves the European Union on Oct. 31 without a Brexit divorce deal, this local boat could find itself plying an international border. “We don’t know what to expect,” said Paul O’Sullivan, the ferry company’s managing director. “Brexit has resulted in chaos for our company.” With both in the EU, the border barely resonates. As members, both the U.K. and Ireland have to abide by the rules of the club — the free movement of goods, services, capital and people. In a no-deal Brexit, that all goes and the border — the only land border between the U.K. and the EU — will resonate once again. Little wonder then that it’s been the most intractable issue in the Brexit negotiations over the past three or so years since the U.K. voted to leave the EU in June 2016. With little more than threeContinue reading

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Elizabeth Warren - US Politics News Today

When Elizabeth Warren campaigned in Nevada in February, Abbie Peters was there. Energy and enthusiasm for the Massachusetts senator was not. “It was early, and she wasn’t as popular,” said Peters. Nearly eight months later, Peters, a retiree from California, was back again to see Warren. The message hadn’t changed. But she felt like she was watching a different messenger. The crowd swelled with enthusiastic supporters, and Warren’s status near the top of the Democratic presidential field was affirmed. “She gave pretty much the same speech, but it’s a good one and it’s authentic,” Peters said. Still, Warren is quickly finding that her rapid ascent is accompanied by heightened scrutiny and criticism, from President Donald Trump and her Democratic opponents. Her political allies and foes alike say Warren has appropriately sharp elbows and isn’t afraid to throw them — something she’ll likely increasingly have to do during the Democratic primary and in Twitter combat with Trump. The latest examples came this week, when Warren was forced to defend a critical portion of the biographical story she tells on the campaign trail and a top Democratic challenger said that her health care plan would potentially alienate half the nation’s population. With less than four months until the first votes in the Democratic nominating process are cast, Warren can anticipate that those criticisms will sharpen and accelerate. “It’s a new phase for her, but if you’re the front-runner, all that means is everybody’s behind you and they want to be in frontContinue reading

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