Archive for the ‘World news’ Category

What we don’t talk about when we only talk about Brexit | Jonathan Freedland

Warming oceans, war in Yemen, the fate of the Uighurs, Gaza … We’ve been too busy with the backstop to notice the world

One of Brexit’s more pernicious aspects, even before you get to its actual flaws, is its tendency to suck all available oxygen unto itself, to drain resources that might otherwise have gone elsewhere. Before the referendum, civil servants warned that such a task – untangling 40 years of legal agreements, ripping out a delicate web of connections that had become embedded – would consume all their energies. Naturally, their warnings were dismissed as Project Fear. But even the head of Vote Leave, Dominic Cummings, before he took on the form of Benedict Cumberbatch, conceded via Twitter that leaving the European Union would present the British state with the “hardest job since beating Nazis”.

Related: Brexit: Boris Johnson says he would be 'utterly amazed' if UK could not get EU to drop backstop - Politics live

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Global markets up on possible China-US deal

US stocks appear to have erased the December doldrums on news of a possible trade agreement with China

Investors appear to have welcomed a report which says that the US is considering at least a partial lift of tariffs on Chinese products in a bid to encourage Beijing to further open its markets to foreign goods.

All European markets were up between 1.23 and 2.63 per cent with the FTSE 100 defying Brexit uncertainty in favor of optimism that there may be a trade breakthrough between China and the US.

On Thursday, Bloomberg news reported that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was deliberating on an idea to spur Chinese concessions by walking back tariffs on that country’s exports to the US.

The two countries have held several cycles of trade talks since US President Donald Trump announced a three-month freeze on additional Chinese tariffs during the G20 Summit in Argentina in early December.

American and Chinese, in addition to the IMF and World Bank, economic experts have urged both governments to reach an agreement before the freeze expires on March 1.

In China, the Hang Seng index closed 1.14 per cent up while the benchmark Shanghai Composite was up 1.42 per cent.

This pulled up other Asian stocks: Japan’s Nikkei closed up 1.29 per cent, while South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.82 per cent.

In the US, markets all opened up on reports that China could propose buying about $1 trillion in US goods by 2024, thereby erasing the US trade deficit between the two.

At press time, the Dow Jones had jumped more than 300 points to a midday high of 24711, registering an increase of 1.40 per cent, while the Nasdaq was up 1.33 per cent, and the S&P 500 up 1.44 per cent.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

Women’s March: 30 countries set to take part in third global protest

Women to march against violence and austerity with UK rally likely to have anti-Brexit tone

Women in more than 30 countries around the world are expected to gather on Saturday as part of the global Women’s March, to protest against violence against women and the impact of policies of austerity.

In London thousands are expected to gather outside Portland Place in central London at 12.30pm and march to Trafalgar Square by 1.30pm, ending in a two-hour rally.

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Ditch Brexit, German leaders urge UK in paean to ale and milky tea

Leading politicians among signatories to Times letter calling on Britain to stay in EU

A group of influential German politicians and business leaders including the woman primed to take over from Angela Merkel as chancellor have urged Britain to stay in the EU as Brexit looms.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who became leader of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union last month, joined more than two dozen political, business and cultural figures in penning an open letter to the Times, arguing “from the bottom of our hearts” that Britain should not leave the bloc.

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France triggers €50m contingency plan in case of no-deal Brexit

Five decrees to be issued within three weeks to authorise investment in border control checkpoints, roads and lorry parks at ports

France has triggered a €50m contingency plan for a no-deal Brexit following parliament’s overwhelming rejection of Theresa May’s deal, the French prime minister, Edouard Philippe, has said.

“What’s certain is that the scenario of a no-deal Brexit is less and less unlikely,” Philippe told reporters in Paris after a meeting with ministers on Thursday, adding that there were “strong fears” Britain would now leave without a deal on 29 March.

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Thursday US briefing: Britain in Brexit deadlock as May clings on

How the shutdown affects a small rural town ... US plans new space sensors for missile defence ... The plant-focused diet that could save the world

Good morning, I’m Tim Walker with today’s essential stories.

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‘More animal than ever’: Europeans find joy in John Bercow

Continental press warms to Speaker’s style, hailing him as a solitary source of order

As Europeans on the continent have watched the UK’s Brexit car crash, one figure offered some light relief to those new to the peculiarities of British politics.

The often thunderous pronouncements of John Bercow, the verbose Speaker of the House of Commons, have become the subject of numerous profiles in newspapers, and a fair few highlights videos, shared heavily on social media.

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