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European Union - EU News Today

The European Union is preparing an overhaul of its listing of countries that pose money-laundering risks, an EU confidential document shows, a review that could allow Saudi Arabia to be moved to a new grey list after having been briefly blacklisted. The EU executive added the oil-rich kingdom in February to its blacklist of 23 jurisdictions that represent a threat to the bloc because of lax controls against terrorism financing and money laundering, but after Saudi pressure the list was struck down by EU states. Fearful of the economic impact of that listing, European governments led by Britain and France said the EU executive commission had given no chance to Saudi Arabia and other listed states to address concerns. Required by EU rules to adopt a list, the commissioner in charge of the issue, Czech liberal Vera Jourova, went back to the drawing board and has now come up with a revised process to list countries. Instead of directly blacklisting those with shortfalls, the new process would be based on a “staged approach” under which risk countries would need to commit to changing their rules and practices by set deadlines, the document seen by Reuters said. This would effectively produce a grey list of jurisdictions that would be blacklisted only if they failed to apply required reforms, a European official told Reuters. BEFORE G20? Saudi Arabia, the largest economy included in the original blacklist, would likely be relegated to the less contentious grey list, the official said, a move thatHere's the full story.

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Bashar al Assad, Bashar al-Assad - Syria Politics News Headline

President Bashar al-Assad’s assault in the northwest has been met with a painful rebel counterpunch that underlines Turkish resolve to keep the area out of his hands and shows why he will struggle to take back more of Syria by force. More than two months of Russian-backed operations in and around Idlib province have yielded little or nothing for Assad’s side. It marks a rare case of a military campaign that has not gone his way since Russia intervened in 2015. While resisting government attacks, the insurgents have managed to carve out small advances of their own, drawing on ample stocks of guided anti-tank missiles that opposition and diplomatic sources say have been supplied by Turkey. “They’re even targeting personnel with these missiles … it means they are comfortably supplied,” a rebel source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was discussing rebel military capabilities. Turkey’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on reports that Ankara has stepped supplies of arms to rebels. With Turkey committed to the rebels, the battle for the northwest stands in stark contrast to a campaign in the southwest a year ago, when Western and Arab states stood by as Assad and his Russian- and Iranian-backed allies took the area. Despite Russian backing in the latest fighting, questions have arisen over whether Assad and his allies are entirely on the same page when it comes to the northwest, where Turkey has deployed forces in agreement with Russia and Iran.Here's the full story.

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Nancy Pelosi - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - USA NEWS HEADLINES

At a pivotal moment Wednesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi stood before House Democrats with a lofty message and a stark warning. The battle-born leader implored her majority, after days of high-profile public infighting, to focus on common goals — including defeating President Donald Trump — and to silence the sniping that threatens their fragile hold on power. The lengthy closed-door session underscored the broader divisions between her centrist and liberal members — and between Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with her “squad” of star-power freshmen — that are testing party unity and reshaping Democrats ahead of the 2020 election. “Without that unity, we are playing completely into the hands of the other people,” Pelosi said, according to a person who was in the meeting room but not authorized to talk publicly about the internal discussion. “We’re a family and we have our moments,” Pelosi told colleagues. “You got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it. But do not tweet about our members and expect us to think that that is just OK.” Then came the very Pelosi-like hammer to those who may want to publicly attack the members who make up her majority: “Think twice,” she said. “Actually, don’t think twice. Think once.” Ocasio-Cortez arrived late to the session and did not speak, according to a second person who attended the session. But she didn’t need to. AOC, as she is called, had already delivered her own lengthy pre-buttal to The New Yorker in which she decried theHere's the full story.

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Uighurs Protests - China Headline News

Nearly two dozen countries have called on China to halt its mass detention of ethnic Uighurs in the Xinjiang region, the first such joint move on the issue at the U.N. Human Rights Council, according to diplomats and a letter seen by Reuters. U.N. experts and activists say at least 1 million Uighurs and other Muslims are held in detention centres in the remote western region. China describes them as training centres helping to stamp out extremism and give people new skills. The unprecedented letter to the president of the forum, dated July 8, was signed by the ambassadors of 22 countries. Australia, Canada and Japan were among them, along with European countries including Britain, France, Germany and Switzerland, but not the United States which quit the forum a year ago. It fell short of a formal statement being read out at the Council or a resolution submitted for a vote, as sought by activists. This was due to governments’ fears of a potential political and economic backlash from China, diplomats said. “It is a first collective response on Xinjiang,” a Western diplomat told Reuters on Wednesday. “The idea of a resolution was never on the cards.” Another envoy said: “It’s a formal step because it will be published as an official document of the Council … It is a signal.” In a statement, Human Rights Watch later welcomed the letter as “important not only for Xinjiang’s population, but for people around the world who depend on the U.N.’s leadingHere's the full story.

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John Joseph Magufuli - John Magufuli - Tanzania

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli urged Tanzania’s women to “set your ovaries free” and bear more children as a way to help boost the economy into a regional powerhouse, a step critics said would instead worsen inequality and poverty. “When you have a big population you build the economy. That’s why China’s economy is so huge,” John Magufuli said late on Tuesday, citing India and Nigeria as other examples of countries that gained from a demographic dividend. “I know that those who like to block ovaries will complain about my remarks. Set your ovaries free, let them block theirs,” John Magufuli told a gathering in his home town of Chato. Since taking office in 2015, Magufuli has launched an industrialisation campaign that has helped buoy economic growth, which has averaged 6-7% annually in recent years. But he has said a higher birth rate would achieve faster progress. Tanzania has sustained relatively high growth, averaging 6–7 percent a year, over the past decade. At the same time, the East African nation of 55 million people already has one of the world’s highest birth rates – around 5 children per woman. Data from the U.N. population fund UNFPA shows Tanzania’s population is growing by about 2.7 percent a year while most public hospitals and schools are overcrowded and many young people lack jobs. UNFPA says about a third of married women in Tanzania use contraceptives, but Magufuli has criticised Western-backed family planning programmes implemented by the health ministry. Last year Magufuli said curbingHere's the full story.

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Masrour Barzani - Iraq News

Two years after a failed independence bid plunged Iraq’s Kurdistan Region into months of instability, the new regional prime minister said his priority was strengthening ties with Baghdad, signalling dreams of self-rule should be put on hold. Masrour Barzani, sworn in as regional prime minister on Wednesday, told Reuters in an exclusive interview that under his leadership, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s focus would be to establish a “strong and constructive” relationship with Baghdad, leaving the question of independence aside for now. “This (independence referendum) happened in the past and it’s a reflection of the enduring aspiration of a nation,” said Masrour Barzani, speaking at his palace in the hillside village of Salaheddine, near regional capital Erbil. “However, the focus of my government will be how to build a stronger relationship and partnership with Baghdad,” he said, adding he would look to fix “those issues that were actually keeping us apart.” The independence bid was led by Barzani’s father Masoud, who stepped down as Kurdish president in 2017 after the referendum backfired and prompted a military offensive from Baghdad. At stake for the new premier are long-running disputes over independent oil exports, revenue sharing, security, and territory which have plagued ties between Erbil and Baghdad since a U.S.-led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003. Barzani was instrumental in orchestrating the September 2017 referendum, which was held over the objections of Baghdad and regional powers. It was seen as the culmination of years of oppositional politics by the semi-autonomous region. The backlashHere's the full story.

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Donald Trump and Kim Darroch - USA News - UK Headlines

Britain’s ambassador to the United States resigned Wednesday, just days after diplomatic cables criticizing President Donald Trump caused embarrassment to two countries that often celebrate having a “special relationship.” The resignation of Kim Darroch came after Trump lashed out at him on Twitter, describing the ambassador as “wacky” and a “pompous fool.” The criticism came after leaked documents revealed the envoy’s dim view of Trump’s administration, which he described as dysfunctional, inept and chaotic. “Since the leak of official documents … there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador,” Darroch said in his resignation letter. “I want to put an end to that speculation. The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like.” Prime Minister Theresa May said the resignation was “a matter of regret,” underlining that “good government depends on public servants being able to give full and frank advice.” Darroch had been set to retire at the end of the year. It’s unclear whether May will have time to replace Darroch before she leaves office later this month. Appointing ambassadors usually involves a formal civil service process with advertisements, applications and interviews, though Simon McDonald, head of Britain’s diplomatic service, said the post of ambassador to the U.S. wasn’t always chosen that way. “History shows that there are often bespoke procedures for filling the embassy in Washington, DC,” he said. Though the matter had been brewing forHere's the full story.

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Nancy Pelosi - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - USA NEWS

They don’t talk to each other much, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But they’re lately speaking at one another in a way that threatens party unity and underscores broader tensions reshaping the Democrats. Their power struggle has spilled open in what could be a momentary blip or a foreshadowing of divisions to come. It started with a rare public rebuke — Pelosi chiding AOC, as she’s called, in a newspaper interview; AOC responding pointedly on Twitter — that’s now challenging the House agenda and rippling into the 2020 presidential campaign. A new test will come this week on a must-pass defense bill that the White House on Tuesday threatened to veto. At its core, the tension between the most powerful Democrat in the country and one of the party’s newest, most liberal members embodies a debate over how best, in style and substance, to defeat President Donald Trump. And both sides think they’re right. For allies of the longtime California congresswoman, Pelosi’s off-handed dismissal of Ocasio-Cortez and the three other liberal freshmen House members who opposed a border security package last month was a necessary comeuppance for “the squad” of newcomers who are trying to push the party leftward. “These people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” Pelosi told The New York Times. “But they didn’t have any following.” In the speaker’s world, they lack what Pelosi often calls “the currency of the realm” — the power to turn their high-volume activism into a coalitionHere's the full story.

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Migrants News

Italy’s government plans to throw more resources into its fight against boat migrants, an official said on Tuesday, as the number of new arrivals gathers speed, putting pressure on Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. Some 47 migrants were brought to shore before dawn by an Italian police patrol vessel, while a charity ship rebuffed by Italy picked up 44 people in the central Mediterranean and said they would be transferred to Malta later in the day. After a sharp fall in migrant arrivals in recent months, numbers have picked up since June, with people-smugglers increasingly towing packed boats deep into international waters to escape especially the Italian-funded Libyan coastguard. Previously, the underpowered, rubber dinghies were pushed to sea from local beaches, making it relatively easy for the Libyans to stop them before they left their territorial waters. To clamp down on this, Italy is planning to boost its own sea and air patrols to try to spot traffickers before they leave local waters, and will give 10 motorboats to the Libyan coastguard. Salvini, who has built much of his political credibility on a drive to halt migrant flows, also wrote to his Tunisian counterpart urging him to do more to stop departures from Tunisia and to accept back swiftly those caught fleeing. Over the past 18 months, the largest number of migrants entering Italy have come from Tunisia, a change from previous years when the new arrivals came mainly from sub-Saharan Africa. TUNISIANS TOP MIGRANT LIST Since the start of 2019,Here's the full story.

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Boris Johnson - Headlines Today in UK

With a string of sausages round his neck and holding packs of “Boris bangers”, Boris Johnson extolled the virtues of new business in northern England as part of his pitch to become Britain’s next prime minister. A day later, the man whose stint as foreign minister was marked by gaffes which have prompted some of his critics to question his suitability for high office couldn’t quite remember where the factory making the sausages was. At a hustings on Friday in the northeastern town of Darlington, most of the Conservative members amassed to hear him and his rival, current foreign minister Jeremy Hunt, were sympathetic to the slip, laughing when he said he had been at the factory “somewhere in Yorkshire” the day before. For others, it was yet another sign that the would-be prime minister, who has promised to take Britain out of the European Union “do or die” by Oct. 31, has little grasp of the detail needed to run a country going through turbulent times. “He can’t even remember where he was. I can remember where I was at that time yesterday and I don’t want to be prime minister,” said William Oxley, 65, from the market town of Malton in the northern English region of Yorkshire, who is “prone” to backing Hunt. “Don’t get me wrong, Boris is fabulous and there’s a huge place for Boris in British politics, but I don’t think it’s as prime minister because I think he is prone to get things wrong,Here's the full story.

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Counter Terrorism

Nigeria has promised to assist Cameroon in combating the separatist crisis rocking the central African country’s English speaking region. The pledge, made during a security meeting, has been described by Cameroon authorities as reassuring, following accusations that separatist fighters in Cameroon were being trained in Nigeria, and that weapons they use are brought in through the neighboring country. Brigadier General Emmanuel Adamu Ndagi, leader of the Nigerian delegation to the Cameroon-Nigeria transborder security meeting that ended in Yaounde Saturday, says his country has been seriously affected by the separatist crisis in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon. The closure of parts of the border has led to a sharp decline in food imports, like sorghum, rice and onions, to Nigeria on one hand, while basic commodities exported from Nigeria, like fuel, are hard to get into Cameroon. Ndagi says because of the security, economic and humanitarian threats caused by the separatist war, Nigeria will support Cameroon in bringing peace to its troubled regions. “The current political upheavals in that region will not be allowed to affect our cordial relations,” said Ndagi. “We will continue to support your efforts to bring lasting peace to the region. This will facilitate the return of Cameroonian refugees that have crossed the border into Nigerian territory. We must reduce vulnerabilities along our borders that are being exploited to perpetrate transnational organized crime notably terrorism, proliferation of small arms and light weapons as well as piracy.” When Cameroon declared war on the armed separatists in November 2017,Here's the full story.

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Carrie Lam - Hong Kong News HEadlines

The extradition bill that sparked Hong Kong’s biggest crisis in decades is dead, the territory’s leader said on Tuesday, adding that the government’s work on the legislation had been a “total failure”, but critics accused her of playing with words. The bill, which would allow people in Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China to face trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party, sparked huge and at times violent street protests and plunged the former British colony into turmoil. In mid-June, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam responded to protests that drew hundreds of thousands of people on to the streets by suspending the bill, but demonstrations that shut government offices and brought parts of the financial centre to a standstill continued. Her latest attempt to restore order did not satisfy many protesters who stood by demands that she completely withdraw the bill and accused her of playing word games. “There are still lingering doubts about the government’s sincerity or worries whether the government will restart the process in the Legislative Council,” Lam told reporters on Tuesday. “So, I reiterate here, there is no such plan, the bill is dead.” The bill triggered outrage across broad sections of Hong Kong society amid concerns it would threaten the much-cherished rule of law that underpins the city’s international financial status. Lawyers and rights groups say China’s justice system is marked by torture, forced confessions and arbitrary detention, claims that Beijing denies. University students who have been out in force during theHere's the full story.

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Donald Trump USA Headlines News Today

President Donald Trump declared himself a champion of the environment Monday, working to boost his standing on climate change and pollution issues in advance of the 2020 election despite having launched some of the most sweeping rollbacks in air, water and other protections in decades. “We have only one America. We have only one planet,” Trump said in a White House address that featured some of his most extensive remarks on the environment to date. Trump’s previous conservation statements have included campaigning to all but eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency and tweets that mocked climate change science. His administration has focused on propping up the lagging U.S. coal industry and expanding a boom in U.S. gas and oil. “A strong economy is vital to maintaining a healthy environment,” Trump declared, saying he was balancing business-friendly oversight with public health and conservation protections. Cabinet members stood and applauded the president’s remarks and then went to the East Room podium, one-by-one, to attest to his dedication to conservation. The president also brought to the stage a Florida bait and tackle shop owner, Bruce Hrobak, who praised what he said were the administration’s efforts against water-fouling algae before pumping his fist in the air and declaring, “Trump 2020.” Former government regulators and environmental advocates said Trump’s promotion of its environmental record strained credulity, coming from an administration that has moved to weaken several landmark U.S. protections for air and water and roll back Obama-era efforts against climate change. “Trump’s environmental record is suchHere's the full story.

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Iran Missile

Iran’s decision to further challenge the United States by boosting its uranium enrichment beyond limits in its 2015 nuclear deal has deepened fears among Iranians that their country will remain in crisis mode over the long term. The United States’ exit from the pact last year, under President Donald’s Trump’s campaign to squeeze Iran with sanctions, has so far failed to force its clerical rulers to renegotiate. Iran confirmed on Monday it had enriched uranium to a purity beyond that allowed by the pact. Trump, who ordered air strikes last month only to cancel them minutes before impact, has warned Iran’s leaders ‘to be careful’. Since May, he has tightened sanctions with the aim of halting Iran’s oil exports entirely, depriving it of its main source of revenue. “Yes, life is difficult because of the sanctions. Yes, I think this (nuclear) programme is too costly for Iranian people,” said Firouzeh, 43, a housewife in the city of Babolsar, reached by telephone. “But no matter what the reason is, I am against my country being attacked,” she said. Like others interviewed, she asked that only her first name be used due to sensitivities. The confrontation has taken on a military dimension, with Washington blaming Tehran for attacks on oil tankers, and Iran shooting down a U.S. drone, prompting Trump’s aborted strikes. Iran emerged from years of sanctions under the deal with world powers that curbed its nuclear programme in exchange for access to world trade. But it had barely begun toHere's the full story.

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Bosco Ntaganda - Congolese - Congo

Judges at the International Criminal Court on Monday convicted Bosco Ntaganda, a former Congolese military leader, on charges of atrocities including murder, rape and conscripting child soldiers. Ntaganda, 45, was convicted for acts committed while he was military operations chief at the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) militia in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002-2003. Ntaganda’s conviction is a rare success for prosecutors at the ICC, an international court set up in 2002 to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity when its member states are unable or unwilling to do so. Ntaganda’s sentence will be determined at a later hearing. “Mr Ntaganda please rise”, said judge Robert Fremr, reading a summary of the ruling. “The chamber…having heard all the evidence mentioned by the parties, finds you as concerns count one, murder as a crime against humanity, guilty.” The court then continued to find Ntaganda guilty on all 18 charges against him. His lawyers argued that Ntaganda had sought to maintain discipline among his troops, punishing those that violated rules of war. Ntaganda, in a dark blue suit, showed no emotion as the sentence was read out. He has 30 days to appeal. In the conflict in Congo, Ntaganda’s UPC, dominated by the Hema clan, targeted rival Lendu people for expulsion from the mineral-rich Ituri region. Hundreds of civilians were killed and many thousands were forced to flee. Ntaganda’s boss, UPC leader Thomas Lubanga, is currently serving a 14-year prison sentence after his conviction at theHere's the full story.

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Joe Biden - US Today Headline Stories

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Sunday he chose South Carolina to deliver an apology for his controversial remarks about segregationist senators because he wanted to offer it to an audience most likely to have been offended by his words. Kamala Harris, a rival for the Democratic nomination who sharply criticized Joe Biden for those remarks and his views on federally mandated busing, used her campaign trip to the state Sunday to praise Biden for apologizing. South Carolina looms large over the early months of the Democratic contest because it is fourth in line behind Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada in voting for a nominee, is the first state in the South to vote, and has the largest African American electorate in the early states. As the state is a test of black support, both Biden and Harris as well as other Democrats have been addressing African American issues during campaign visits to the state. The criticism of Biden began last month after he recalled how, as a young senator from Delaware, he worked on some issues with two Southern Democratic segregationists in the U.S. Senate even though they agreed on little, offering that period as an example of a long-ago time of civility and himself as a consensus-seeker. “Was I wrong a few weeks ago?” Joe Biden asked a mostly black audience of several hundred people in Sumter on Saturday, the first day of a weekend visit to South Carolina. “Yes, I was. I regret it, and I’m sorryHere's the full story.

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Choe In-guk - South Korea

The son of the highest-profile South Korean to defect to North Korea has arrived in the North to permanently resettle, North Korean state media said. The state-run Uriminzokkiri website reported that Choe In-guk, about 72, arrived in Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, on Saturday to dedicate the rest of his life to Korean unification at the guidance of leader Kim Jong Un. The website published photos and a video showing a bespectacled Choe in a beret reading his arrival statement at Pyongyang’s airport. Choe said he decided to live in North Korea for good because it was his parents’ “dying wishes” for him to “follow” North Korea and work for its unification with South Korea, according to a written statement published on the website. Choe is the son of former South Korean Foreign Minister Choe Dok-shin, who defected to North Korea with his wife in 1986, years after he was reportedly embroiled in a corruption scandal and political disputes with then-South Korean President Park Chung-hee. He died in 1989. Some analysts say North Korea accepted Choe In-guk so it could use him as a propaganda tool to tell its citizens its system is superior to South Korea’s. North Korea is struggling to revive its moribund economy and improve people’s livelihoods, since the United States has not agreed on major sanctions relief until it takes significant steps toward nuclear disarmament. South Korea’s Unification Ministry said Choe In-guk was in North Korea without special permission from the Seoul government to visit the North.Here's the full story.

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