Premium Politics News Channel

Welcome to Politicoscope Premium Politics News Channel. Here you will find the best of Politicoscope long read news content and articles. Enjoy ad-free, unlimited access to exclusive articles, features and more. Comment. Share. Subscribe to all the Premium Politics News content. Save money on the popular membership news category. Register today.

Hong Kong Police

Pale and thin, a teenager wandered the nearly deserted campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University at about 1 a.m. Wednesday. He wrapped his arms around his body — although it was unclear whether it was to ward off the cold or to reassure himself. Only a handful of protesters remain at “Poly U,” which hundreds occupied for several days, fighting pitched battles with police in the surrounding streets. Authorities have cut off the campus and are arresting anyone who comes out, at least 700 since Sunday. The teen, who wouldn’t give his exact age but said he is under 18, is one of the holdouts. He figured he had slept about 10 hours in total since arriving at the campus about five days earlier. He said he had eaten only two biscuits all day because his mind was too distracted, obsessed with one thought: How am I going to get out? The campus takeovers were the latest escalation in an anti-government movement that has divided the city for more than five months. The protesters’ demands include fully democratic elections and an investigation into alleged police brutality in cracking down on the demonstrations. The teen arrived at Polytechnic late last week, heeding a call for support from protesters who were occupying five major universities in Hong Kong. It was Thursday or Friday — the days and nights have become such a blur that he kept asking an interviewer what day it currently was. Like many of the protesters, he spoke onContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Donald Trump, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Joe Biden - US News - Ukraine Headline

U.S. State Department officials were informed that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was feeling pressure from the Trump administration to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden even before the July phone call that has led to impeachment hearings in Washington, two people with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press. In early May, officials at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, including then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, were told Zelenskiy was seeking advice on how to navigate the difficult position he was in, the two people told the AP. He was concerned President Donald Trump and associates were pressing him to take action that could affect the 2020 U.S. presidential race, the two individuals said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the diplomatic and political sensitivity of the issue. State Department officials in Kyiv and Washington were briefed on Zelenskiy’s concerns at least three times, the two sources said. Notes summarizing his worries were circulated within the department, they said. The briefings and the notes show that U.S. officials knew early that Zelenskiy was feeling pressure to investigate Biden, even though the Ukrainian leader later denied it in a joint news conference with Trump in September. Congressional Republicans have pointed to that public Zelenskiy statement to argue that he felt no pressure to open an investigation, and therefore the Democrats’ allegations that led to the impeachment hearings are misplaced. “Both presidents expressly have stated there was no pressure, no demand, no conditions, no blackmail, no corruption,” one Republican lawmaker, John RatcliffeContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Brexit Headline Today

Jules Wilde has never voted for Britain’s Conservatives and would hate to do so at the Dec. 12 election, yet for the first time in his life, the 62-year-old carer is considering backing the governing party because of Brexit. Wrapped up against icy wind in the northwestern English town of Crewe, Wilde is one of thousands of supporters of the main opposition Labour Party who Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes to win over to secure a parliamentary majority and push through his “great new deal” to leave the European Union. In regions of northern and central England which traditionally back Labour and are known as the “red wall”, Johnson’s team hopes to break the opposition party’s hold on voters, who have, sometimes for generations, rejected his party’s overtures. Crewe and Nantwich constituency, which voted in favour of leaving the EU in a 2016 referendum, has sometimes been described as a bellwether, and anecdotal evidence suggests some diehard Labour supporters are edging towards the Conservatives. Split between the industrial and railway town of Crewe and its more affluent neighbour Nantwich, only 48 more voters backed Labour than the Conservatives in 2017, making it a prime “swing seat” that Johnson’s team hopes to win back. In Wilde’s case, the prime minister’s promise to “get Brexit done” seems to be working. Born of personal experience caring for a friend who struggled to find the right healthcare, Wilde backs Brexit to control the levels of immigration from the EU he suspects is stretching Britain’sContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Brexit - UK Politics News

Jules Wilde has never voted for Britain’s Conservatives and would hate to do so at the Dec. 12 election, yet for the first time in his life, the 62-year-old carer is considering backing the governing party because of Brexit. Wrapped up against icy wind in the northwestern English town of Crewe, Wilde is one of thousands of supporters of the main opposition Labour Party who Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes to win over to secure a parliamentary majority and push through his “great new deal” to leave the European Union. In regions of northern and central England which traditionally back Labour and are known as the “red wall”, Johnson’s team hopes to break the opposition party’s hold on voters, who have, sometimes for generations, rejected his party’s overtures. Crewe and Nantwich constituency, which voted in favour of leaving the EU in a 2016 referendum, has sometimes been described as a bellwether, and anecdotal evidence suggests some diehard Labour supporters are edging towards the Conservatives. Split between the industrial and railway town of Crewe and its more affluent neighbour Nantwich, only 48 more voters backed Labour than the Conservatives in 2017, making it a prime “swing seat” that Johnson’s team hopes to win back. In Wilde’s case, the prime minister’s promise to “get Brexit done” seems to be working. Born of personal experience caring for a friend who struggled to find the right healthcare, Wilde backs Brexit to control the levels of immigration from the EU he suspects is stretching Britain’sContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Bolivia, Evo Morales

Evo Morales said he would return to Bolivia from Mexico, which has granted him political asylum, if that would contribute to his country’s pacification.

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, USA News

Kamala Harris got a much needed boost this past week when the California senator picked up the endorsement of Higher Heights, the country’s largest political organization aimed at electing black women. But Elizabeth Warren would not be outdone. A day after Harris’ announcement, the Massachusetts senator won the backing of more than 100 black female activists. She also picked up the coveted endorsement of Rep. Ayanna Pressley, a black woman from her home state and the only member of the so-called squad of progressive lawmakers not to side with presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. The dueling endorsements signal an emerging battle between Warren and Harris for the support of black women, who are the Democratic Party’s most loyal and consistent voters. Both White House hopefuls are struggling with black voters, who have sided with Joe Biden by large margins. But as the election moves into a critical phase with just months before voting begins, the announcements this week highlight the contrasting styles of the surging progressive firebrand and the lone black woman in the Democratic field. “We’re still on a long road, and black women are still shopping,” said Higher Heights co-founder Glynda Carr. Harris is “exactly what our organization was built on, to be able to help support and invest in qualified black women to run for offices at all levels. At the end of the day, even if she ends up not being your top choice, black women should be celebrating this moment.” Both candidates are expected to keepContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Protesters hold a portrait of Hindu deity Ayappa - India News

India’s Supreme Court on Saturday ruled in favor of a Hindu temple on a disputed religious ground in the country’s north and ordered that alternative land be given to Muslims to build a mosque — a verdict in a highly contentious case that was immediately deplored by a key Muslim body. The dispute over land ownership has been one of India’s most heated issues, with Hindu nationalists demanding a temple on the site in the town of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh state for more than a century. The 16th century Babri Masjid mosque was destroyed by Hindu hard-liners in December 1992, sparking massive Hindu-Muslim violence that left some 2,000 people dead. Saturday’s verdict paves the way for building the temple in place of the demolished mosque. As the news broke, groups of jubilant Hindus poured into Ayodhya’s streets and distributed sweets to celebrate the verdict, but police soon persuaded them to return to their homes. As night fell, a large number of Hindus in the town lit candles, lamps and firecrackers to celebrate, and police faced a tougher time in curbing their enthusiasm. The five Supreme Court justices who heard the case said in a unanimous judgment that 5 acres (2 hectares) of land will be allotted to the Muslim community to build a mosque, though it did not specify where. The court said the 5 acres is “restitution for the unlawful destruction of the mosque.” The disputed land, meanwhile, will be given to a board of trustees for theContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Facebook News

Bipartisan hostility against Facebook has been building for months, fueled by a series of privacy scandals, the site’s role in Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign and accusations that Facebook crushes competitors. Now, with the 2020 elections approaching, Democrats especially are homing in on the conduct of the social media giant and its refusal to fact-check political ads and remove false ones. “When you’re the No. 1 monopoly, people are going to come after you,” says John Feehery, a veteran Republican communications strategist. The challenge for Democrats, as he sees it: “They’re facing a base that is very angry and restive. So they have to be much more aggressive in taking on corporations.” Zuckerberg enjoyed a cozy relationship with the Obama administration. But in the face of growing public outrage, the co-founder of the upstart born under the motto “Move fast and break things” is learning the art of smoothing over and piecing back together. His new strategy: a personal blitz featuring serial private meetings in Washington with key lawmakers of both parties and President Donald Trump; small, off-the-record dinners at his California home with conservative journalists and opinion makers; and the occasional public address or TV interview. He’s become lobbyist-in-chief for a tech giant that has about 60 people officially playing that role. The company spent an estimated $12.6 million on federal influencing last year. The political ad issue hits close to home for Democrats. Facebook, as well as Twitter and Google, refused in September to remove aContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, UK

Nigel Farage, the minor-party leader who played a major role in Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, is trying to throw his weight around again in the U.K.’s Brexit-dominated election. Farage on Friday piled the pressure on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, saying his Brexit Party will run against Johnson’s Conservatives across the country in the Dec. 12 early election unless Johnson abandons his divorce deal with the EU. Farage spoke a day after U.S. President Donald Trump barged into the British election campaign, urging his friend Farage to make an electoral pact with Johnson’s Conservatives. Trump told Farage on the Euroskeptic politician’s own radio phone-in show Thursday that he and Johnson would be “an unstoppable force.” Johnson on Friday gently rebuffed Trump’s suggestion and ruled out an electoral pact with Farage. “If I may respectfully say to all our friends around the world … the only way to get this thing done is to vote for us,” Johnson told ITV News. “If you vote for any other party, the risk is you’ll just get Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party, dither and delay.” All 650 seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs in the election that is coming more than two years early, with winners to be chosen by Britain’s 46 million voters. If the Brexit Party runs in only a small number of seats, that would help the Conservatives, who are vying with Farage for the support of Brexit-backing voters. Farage’s party, which was foundedContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Iraqis Protest - Iraq News

Protests in which 250 people have died over the past month have accelerated dramatically in recent days, drawing huge crowds from across Iraq’s sectarian and ethnic divides to reject the political parties in power since 2003. Protests in which 250 people have died over the past month have accelerated dramatically in recent days, drawing huge crowds from across Iraq’s sectarian and ethnic divides to reject the political parties in power since 2003. Thousands have been camped out in Baghdad’s central Tahrir Square, with many thousands more joining them by day. Friday, the Muslim day of prayer, was expected to draw the biggest crowds yet, with many taking to the streets after worship. More than 50 people were wounded overnight and early Friday morning, police and hospital sources said. By late morning hundreds were marching to the square from side streets, condemning elites they see as deeply corrupt, beholden to foreign powers and responsible for daily privations. In recent days protests have been comparatively peaceful by day, joined by elderly people and young families, becoming more violent after dark as police use tear gas and live ammunition to battle self-proclaimed “revolutionary” youths in the street. Amnesty International said on Thursday security forces were using “previously unseen” tear gas canisters modelled on military grenades that are 10 times as heavy as standard ones. In Baghdad, protesters had set up checkpoints in the streets leading into and surrounding Tahrir Square, redirecting traffic. New arrivals joined and assisted those who had camped overnight. AContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Jeremy Corbyn vs Boris Johnson - UK News

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn traded barbs over Brexit and public spending Wednesday as campaigning unofficially kicked off for the country’s crucial yet unpredictable Dec. 12 general election. The Conservative and Labour leaders honed their pitches to the public while speaking during the House of Commons’ weekly Prime Minister’s Questions session, the last before Parliament is suspended for the five-week election campaign. “This election is a once-in-a-generation chance,” Corbyn said. “People have a chance to vote for real change after years of Conservative and Lib Dem cuts, privatization and tax handouts for the richest.” Johnson agreed “that there is a stark choice facing this country.” He said the choice was between “getting Brexit done and ending the dither and the delay” if the Conservatives won, and “economic catastrophe under the Labour Party.” The partisan peacocking came a day after the House of Commons approved an early election that politicians hope could break the deadlock over Britain’s stalled departure from the European Union. The date will become law once it is approved later Wednesday by the unelected House of Lords, which doesn’t have the power to overrule the elected Commons. The looming national vote comes 2 1/2 years before Britain’s next scheduled vote in 2022 and will be the country’s first December election since 1923. While Johnson’s Conservative Party has a wide lead in opinion polls, analysts say the election is unpredictable because Brexit cuts across traditional party loyalties. Johnson told Conservative lawmakers onContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Miguel Diaz-Canel and Vladimir Putin - Russia News - Cuban - Cuba Headline Today

Over the last year Russia has sent Cuba 1,000 minibuses, 50 locomotives, tens of thousands of tourists and a promise to upgrade the island’s power grid with a multi-million dollar improvement plan. Russian-Cuban trade has more than doubled since 2013, to an expected $500 million this year, mostly in Russian exports to Cuba. And a string of high-ranking Russian officials have visited their former ally in the Caribbean, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. On Tuesday, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel lands in Moscow for meetings with officials including President Vladimir Putin, with the expectation that they will move forward on deals for more trade and cooperation. Russian-Cuban ties are far from the Cold War era of near-total Cuban dependence on the Soviet bloc, which saw this island as a forward operating base in the Americas then largely abandoned it in the 1990s. But observers of Cuban and Russian foreign policy say there is a significant warming between the former partners prompted in part by the Trump administration’s reversal of President Barack Obama’s opening to Cuba. Cuba and Russia are also heavily supporting Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, whom the U.S. has been trying to overthrow. “We did make huge mistakes in the 1990s while turning our backs on Cuba. That time is definitely over, and I’m absolutely sure that our relations deserve better attention from Russia,” said Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of the Russian parliament. “They deserve more investments from Russia both inContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Iraq Protests

Iraq declared a curfew in Baghdad on Monday as two people were killed and 112 injured in the fourth day of anti-government protests, and the coalition government’s most powerful erstwhile supporter called for early elections. Baghdad’s top military commander imposed the curfew from midnight (2100 GMT) until 6 a.m. (0300 GMT) effective “until further notice,” state television said, but protesters in the capital’s central Tahrir Square remained defiant. The curfew provides cover for security forces to clear the square, demonstrators said, but they intended on going nowhere. “No, we will stay. They have now declared a curfew and severe punishments for anyone not going to work, this is how they fight us. We will stay here until the last day, even if there are a thousand martyrs,” one protester said. The unrest, driven by discontent over economic hardship and deep-seated corruption, has broken nearly two years of relative stability in Iraq, which from 2003 to 2017 endured a foreign occupation, civil war and an Islamic State insurgency. Counting Monday’s deaths, which security and medical sources said resulted from security forces launching tear gas canisters directly at the heads of protesters, some 233 people have been killed overall in the disturbances this month. Security forces on Monday fired tear gas at school and university students who defied a warning from Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and joined thousands in Baghdad protesting against his government. A spokesman for the premier, whose position is increasingly precarious in the face of the stiffest challengeContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Arlene Foster - Northern Ireland Headlines Politics Today

Boris Johnson’s allies in Northern Ireland vowed Saturday to keep rejecting the British prime minister’s divorce deal with the European Union until his government wins more concessions from the bloc. Arlene Foster, the leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, said she demanded honesty from the British government. She told her party conference in Belfast that regulatory and customs borders between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom were not acceptable. “We will not give support to the government when we believe they are fundamentally wrong and acting in a way that is detrimental to Northern Ireland and taking us in the wrong direction,” Arlene Foster said. “We will oppose them and we will use our votes to defeat them.” Her comments are important because Johnson needs more votes in Parliament than just his Conservative party to get his Brexit deal passed. “Let me say clearly from this platform today that we want to support a deal that works for the whole of the United Kingdom and which does not leave Northern Ireland behind,” she said. “But without change, we will not vote for the prime minister’s agreement.” Parliament has already dealt Johnson a series of setbacks and derailed his promise to take Britain out of the EU by the end of the month “come what may.” Johnson has now pinned his hopes on an early general election, calling for one on Dec. 12, but how Britain will solve its Brexit stalemate is still completely up in theContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, USA NEWS

Bernie Sanders insists he feels better than ever less than a month after heart surgery, but his return to the campaign trail this week sparked new questions about the unusually old age of the Democratic Party’s leading 2020 presidential candidates. Both Sanders, 78, and Joe Biden, 76, suggest their age isn’t a major issue, but voters, particularly older voters, aren’t so sure. Gordon Lundberg, a 71-year-old retired Lutheran pastor from Ames, said candidates’ health is a key issue for him because he understands how it feels to age. He’s leaning toward Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts because, even though she’s 70, “she’s the most liberal and she’s not got one foot in the grave yet.” “Bernie’s just too darn old. And so is Biden,” Lundberg said. “They look old, they sound old, they are old. They fall in the shower, and they get heart attacks!” Lundberg is not alone. Polling has suggested that a significant number of Americans believe a candidate in his or her late 70s is too old to be president. If elected, Sanders would take office having already exceeded the average U.S. life expectancy of 78.6 years, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. Biden would be just a few months away. Warren would be the oldest new president in history, eclipsing Trump, who himself eclipsed Ronald Reagan. Biden and Sanders would be older on their first day in office than Reagan, a two-term president, was on hisContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Brexit Headline Today

The United Kingdom will ultimately leave the European Union on the terms of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s deal, a senior Downing Street source said on Thursday, as EU leaders mulled offering London a three-month flexible Brexit delay. More than three years after voting 52%-48% to be the first sovereign country to leave the European project, the United Kingdom is waiting for the EU to decide how long the latest delay to Brexit should be. “This ends with us leaving with the PM’s deal,” a Downing Street source who spoke on condition of anonymity said. “We will leave with a deal, with the PM’s deal.” When asked when Brexit would happen, given that the current deadline of Oct. 31 is only a week away, the source said: “Parliament has taken back control.” Johnson won the top job by staking his career on getting Brexit done by Oct. 31, though he is almost certain to fail to do that after parliament defeated his proposed legislative timetable on Tuesday. So will there be an election before Christmas? “Perhaps,” the Downing Street source said. “We shall see.” As British politicians discuss the pros and cons of a Christmas election, responsibility for the timing of Brexit has passed to other European capitals: Berlin supports a three-month delay, while Paris is pushing for a shorter one. Timing is crucial to the Brexit riddle. While both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron appear to be fatigued by Brexit, they fear a no-deal exit thatContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up
Russian Tupolev Tu-160 - Russia News Headlines

Russia landed two nuclear-capable bombers in South Africa on a training mission on Wednesday, a flight apparently timed to coincide with President Vladimir Putin’s opening of a flagship Russia-Africa summit designed to increase Russian influence. The two Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bombers touched down at Waterkloof air force base in Tshwane on Wednesday, the South African National Defence Force said. Russia’s Ministry of Defence has said the mission is designed to nurture military ties with South Africa. Speaking before dozens of African heads of state at a two-day summit in the southern Russian city of Sochi, Putin called for trade with African countries to double over the next four to five years and said Moscow had written off African debts to the tune of over $20 billion. The first Russia-Africa summit is part of a Kremlin drive to win business and restore influence that faded after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, which backed leftist governments and movements across the continent throughout the Cold War. “Many Russian companies have long and successfully worked with partners from the most different sectors of the African economy and plan to expand their influence in Africa. We of course will provide support at the state level,” said Putin. The prize is greater political clout on a continent with 54 United Nations member states, vast mineral wealth and potentially lucrative markets for Russian-manufactured weapons. But Russia is starting from a low base. Although it has enjoyed considerable success selling arms to African countries, Moscow lagsContinue reading

Here's why you should get Politicoscope premium articles:
. Get all year access to premium articles on any device.
. Enjoy full, unlimited content with less on-site advertising.
. Exclusive long reads and a weekly look ahead email.
. Be the first to receive all the breaking news as they happen.
. Cancel anytime with Premium Membership. Limited time offers.
Log In Sign Up