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Macron backs more Brexit talks but insists no concessions

Macron backs more Brexit talks but insists no concessionsFrench President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday backed holding further talks to avoid Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal but rejected major concessions, as he hosted Prime Minister Boris Johnson just over two months ahead of the planned British exit. Echoing comments by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Macron supported allowing another month to find a solution to the vexed issue of the Irish border which has bedevilled negotiations since 2017. "We need to try to have a useful month," Macron said alongside Johnson, adding that France was nonetheless planning for all scenarios and "notably that of no deal" when Britain exits the EU on October 31.




Posted on 22 August 2019 | 6:08 pm

Mozambique, Russia sign energy, security deals

Mozambique, Russia sign energy, security dealsMozambique's President Filipe Nyusi signed energy and security agreements with Russian's Vladimir Putin on Thursday in the first visit by a leader from the southern African state in two decades. Nyusi's visit came weeks his government signed a peace deal with former rebel movement Renamo and just two months before elections where the Mozambique leader will seek a second term. Russia has been looking to expand its influence in Africa and oil and gas producer Mozambique already signed a debt swap agreement with Moscow in 2017.




Posted on 22 August 2019 | 5:45 pm

Palestinians: Tax deal with Israel to ease fiscal crisis

Palestinians: Tax deal with Israel to ease fiscal crisisThe Palestinian Authority says it has reached an agreement with Israel to restore some of the much-needed tax funds withheld by Israel in recent months. Israel began this year withholding parts of some $200 million in monthly tax transfers that the Palestinians give to families of people killed or imprisoned in fighting with Israel. Israel says the payments encourage violence, while the Palestinians say the funds assist distressed families.




Posted on 22 August 2019 | 4:54 pm

Clashing statements expose rift in Iraqi paramilitary force

Clashing statements expose rift in Iraqi paramilitary forceThe head of Iraq's paramilitary forces supported by Iran on Thursday walked back a statement by his deputy the day before in which he blamed Israeli drones and held the U.S. responsible for a series of attacks on bases run by the militias. Faleh al-Fayyadh said the statement by his deputy, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, did not represent the view of the mainly Shiite militias known as Popular Mobilization Forces — or the view of the Iraqi government. The statements highlight divisions within the paramilitary force, which is headed by al-Fayyadh but practically run by his deputy, a powerful military commander known for his anti-American sentiments.




Posted on 22 August 2019 | 4:44 pm

Syrian convicted of Germany stabbing that sparked protests

Syrian convicted of Germany stabbing that sparked protestsA German court on Thursday convicted a Syrian man over a fatal stabbing in the city of Chemnitz last year that touched off far-right protests. Judges convicted asylum-seeker Alaa S. of manslaughter and dangerous bodily harm in the killing last August of 35-year-old Daniel Hillig. The 24-year-old defendant, whose last name wasn't released in line with German privacy laws, was sentenced to 9 years and 6 months in prison, slightly less than the 10-year-sentence prosecutors had demanded.




Posted on 22 August 2019 | 4:38 pm

Angela Merkel calls for EU-wide climate neutrality by 2050

Angela Merkel calls for EU-wide climate neutrality by 2050German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Thursday for the European Union to support ambitious targets for the entire 28-nation bloc to become climate neutral. Merkel made her appeal after she and members of her "climate Cabinet" met their Dutch counterparts at the official residence of Prime Minister Mark Rutte to share experiences on how best to shift their economies to sustainable energy sources. The working lunch came as Germany is set to miss its own emissions goals for 2020 by a wide margin, even as Merkel's government acknowledges that it has to further ramp up its ambition by next year as part of its commitment under the 2015 Paris climate accord.




Posted on 22 August 2019 | 4:26 pm

Trump Plans Breakfast With U.K.’s Boris Johnson on Sunday

Trump Plans Breakfast With U.K.’s Boris Johnson on Sunday(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson plan to meet for breakfast on Sunday while in France for the Group of Seven leaders’ summit, according to people familiar with the matter.Trump lands this weekend in Biarritz, France for the meetings. The two leaders are scheduled to talk as Johnson makes his international debut while global leaders weigh what a post-Brexit Britain will look like.The White House declined to comment. Johnson’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Johnson has appeared eager to forge a close relationship with Trump. They have spoken at least four times by phone since Johnson became prime minister last month, most recently on Monday. But Johnson also has to balance his closeness to Trump with the U.S. president’s deep unpopularity in the U.K.“He’s going to do a fantastic job,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday. “We have a great relationship.”Trump, who cut an isolated figure at last year’s G-7 gathering, sees Johnson as an ally as the gap between the European Union and U.S. widens. Johnson seeks closeness with both the U.S. and the EU and could potentially tip the balance on key issues from Iran to China’s Huawei Technologies Co.\--With assistance from Alex Morales.To contact the reporters on this story: Jennifer Jacobs in Washington at jjacobs68@bloomberg.net;Saleha Mohsin in Washington at smohsin2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Justin Blum, Joshua GalluFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




Posted on 22 August 2019 | 4:22 pm

UN report condemns sexual violence by Myanmar military

UN report condemns sexual violence by Myanmar militarySexual violence carried out by Myanmar's security forces against the country's Muslim Rohingya minority was so widespread and severe that it demonstrates intent to commit genocide as well as warrants prosecution for war crimes and crimes against humanity, a U.N. report charged Thursday. Its report on sexual and gender-based violence in Myanmar covers the Kachin and Shan ethnic minorities in northern Myanmar as well as the Rohingya in the western state of Rakhine.




Posted on 22 August 2019 | 4:08 pm

Syrian government opens corridor for civilians in rebel area

Syrian government opens corridor for civilians in rebel areaSyrian authorities opened Thursday a "humanitarian corridor" so civilians from a besieged, rebel-held area in the north of Hama province can leave and move to parts of the country controlled by the government, the Foreign Ministry said. Government warplanes, meanwhile, carried out an airstrike close to a Turkish military post in northwestern Syria, raising tensions between the two neighbors. Turkey is a strong backer of the Syrian opposition and rebels fighting President Bashar Assad's forces.




Posted on 22 August 2019 | 3:39 pm

Some Egyptian rights activists dismiss country's new NGO law

Some Egyptian rights activists dismiss country's new NGO lawSome Egyptian human rights activists Thursday hailed the country's new law regulating non-governmental organizations as a step forward, while others dismissed it as more of the same restrictive measures. It amends Egypt's notorious law regulating local as well as international NGOs working in the country. "These are nominal amendments that do not change anything about the oppressive nature of the law or its hostility to civil society organizations namely human rights groups," said Mohamed Zaree, a human rights lawyer with the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies.




Posted on 22 August 2019 | 3:26 pm

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