Posts Tagged ‘Russia’

Vladmir Putin in Berlin to talk Syria, Ukraine and pipeline

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosts Russian President Vladimir Putin outside Berlin on Saturday for discussions about the war in Syria, violence in eastern Ukraine and energy issues. "For Russia, the interest is to renew dialogue with the West," Russian and European Affairs specialist Anastasiya Shapochkina tells FRANCE 24.

News review – Wednesday 15 August 2018

News review – Wednesday 15 August 2018

EU

Express
PROSPECTS of a Hard Brexit are terrifying German businesses who are increasingly panicked over losing access to the British market – with the head of a business association urging Brussels’ negotiating team “the clock is ticking louder”.
Jan Eder, the director of the Berlin’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) said it is “highly regrettable” that the Brexit negotiations are stalling. He added: “There aren’t even 250 days left in the countdown to the end of March 2019 and we are still facing a completely open negotiation result.

Express
THE EU has been warned to prepare for the possibility of a “chaotic no-deal Brexit” by Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, who added the risk of it happening has been increasing recently.
Both London and Brussels are hoping to agree a divorce deal at the EU Council on October 18, but diplomats think that target date is too optimistic. Speaking after a meeting with Finnish counterpart Timo Soini in Helsinki, Mr Hunt warned: “I think the risk of a no Brexit deal has been increasing recently. There is absolutely no guarantee that we will get a deal.

Guardian
Jeremy Hunt has called on the EU to change its approach on Brexit, and said the risk of failing to reach a deal has risen in recent weeks.
The British foreign secretary was speaking at the start of three-day tour of continental Europe aimed at persuading member states to back Theresa May’s Brexit plan. “I think the risk of a no Brexit deal has been increasing recently,” Hunt told journalists in Helsinki. “But it’s not what anyone wants and I hope very much that we’ll find a way to avoid that.” He added: “We do need to see a change in approach by the European commission.”

Sky News
The EU needs to “change its approach” to avoid a no-deal Brexit, Jeremy Hunt has said.
Speaking at the start of a three-day tour of Northern Europe, the foreign secretary called on Jean-Claude Juncker’s European Commission to show a “pragmatic approach” to negotiations. He said: “The risk of no Brexit deal has been increasing recently. The British government is doing everything it can to avoid that outcome.” He added: “We have put some serious proposals on the table. “But we do need to see a change in approach by the European Commission if we’re going to have a pragmatic approach that works for everyone.

Times
The number of European Union citizens working in Britain has fallen by the largest annual amount since records began 21 years ago.
The number in jobs dropped by 86,000 to 2.28 million between April and June this year compared with the same period last year, according to official figures. The fall was driven largely by a big reduction in workers from Poland and seven other eastern European states, known as the A8 countries, but there was also a fall in those from the original EU member states such as France and Germany.

Sun
A STAGGERING 330,000 more Brits are in work than a year ago – as record numbers of EU nationals quit and go back home. Official figures yesterday revealed another surge in employment and unemployment at a 43-year low despite Brexit fears. The number of people in work rose by 42,000 in the three months to June to 32.39 million – 313,000 higher than last summer. And the Office for National Statistics showed the ‘net’ rise was almost exclusively accounted for by UK nationals getting a job. The number of UK nationals in work has jumped by 332,000 since June 2017 to almost 28.8 million.

Brexit

Westmonster
In the latest development sure to worry Brexiteers, there are now rumblings that Prime Minister Theresa May could cave in to accepting EU rules for the UK for an even longer period moving forward to secure a deal.
May could accept keeping aspects of the ‘transition period’, which is currently set to last until the end of 2020 and will see the UK adhere to EU rules and regulations. The move could see Britain keep not just the EU’s tariff regime until the end of 2021, but also Single Market regulations in key areas, according to Bloomberg. Time and time again the British government have seemed fine with delaying independence and opting into EU rules.

Express
EUROSCEPTIC Tories are planning to defy Theresa May by publishing their own alternative blueprint for Brexit, it has emerged. A policy paper setting out a framework for a full break with the EU is set to be published by the European Research Group of MPs and peers next month.
It is expected to set out a different vision for Britain’s post-Brexit future relationship with Brussels in contrast to the close customs links backed by the Prime Minister. Senior Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg, chairman of the European Research Group, is understood to be drawing up the proposals with the help of former Brexit minister Steve Baker.

Breitbart
Pro-Brexit Tories are plotting to challenge the Prime Minister directly by drawing up their own “positive” plan for a clean Brexit, including a “no deal” exit from the European Union (EU).
Leading Brexiteer MP Jacob Rees-Mogg is organising the policy paper, which will outline the advantages to pulling out of the protectionist bloc on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms, The Times reports. Mr. Rees-Mogg leads the 60-strong pro-Brexit European Research Group and the paper is expecting to be backed by as many as 80 Tory MPs, ramping up the pressure on Mrs May ahead of the party conference in Birmingham.

Telegraph
The proposed Brexit outline ministers agreed at Chequers may be floundering in Brussels and Westminster, but Theresa May is refusing to let it die.
Supporters of her plan say that it offers the best chance of delivering on the referendum result, while Brexiteer critics like Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson insist that it should be torn up in favour of something much more ambitious. As strong as their criticism might be, decrying her plan as “not Brexit”, it has fallen on deaf ears in Downing Street.

Independent
Conservative Brexiteers are reportedly drawing up an alternative plan to rival
Theresa May’s  Chequers  agreement, detailing what they claim to be the advantages of leaving the EU without a deal. The European Research Group (ERG) of backbench Eurosceptic Tory MPs – led by Jacob Rees-Mogg – is expected to publish a policy paper ahead of the Conservative party’s annual conference in Birmingham next month. The paper will challenge the prime minister’s proposals set out before the summer recess, which led to the resignations of the Brexit  secretary David Davis and the foreign secretary Boris Johnson.

Guardian
British expatriates have launched a fresh legal challenge against the 2016 referendum, arguing that the result has been invalidated by the Electoral Commission’s ruling on leave campaign spending.
The judicial review against the prime minister, Theresa May, has been submitted to the high court in London by the UK in EU Challenge group, which represents Britons living in France, Italy and Spain. It argues that the recent Electoral Commission findings on BeLeave and Vote Leave – which resulted in two officials being reported to the police and punitive fines being imposed – means that the referendum to leave the EU was not a lawful, fair or free vote. 

Terror attack

Telegraph
A terror suspect is believed to have travelled through the night from Birmingham to stake out Westminster for more than an hour and a half before mowing down cyclists outside the Houses of Parliament, it emerged on Tuesday night. The 29-year-old man, named on Tuesday night as Salih Khater who is believed to be of Sudanese origin, waited until rush hour before swerving on to the wrong side of the road and hitting cyclists who were waiting at the traffic lights. He then crashed into barriers outside the entrance to the House of Lords

Times
A suspected terrorist spent 90 minutes trawling the streets of Westminster before
crashing into cyclists and pedestrians outside Parliament yesterday. The 29-year-old man, a British citizen of Sudanese origin, brought the spectre of terrorism back to London when he allegedly drove his Ford Fiesta into commuters and towards police officers before hitting a security barrier. The suspect had travelled to London late on Monday from Birmingham, where he had recently lived in a rented flat above a barber’s and internet café in Sparkbrook, an area that has been previously linked with terrorist plots. His name is understood to be Salih Khater.

Mail
A Sudanese immigrant known to police is thought to be behind another terror attack on Westminster after ploughing his car into 15 cyclists outside Parliament.
Salih Khater, 29, veered off the road careering into pedestrians and cyclists at Parliament Square, after spending the night cruising around London. There were screams as the Ford Fiesta mounted the pavement and mowed people down at up to 50mph at 7.37am. In a chilling echo of Khalid Masood’s murderous rampage on Westminster 17 months ago, the driver, from  Birmingham, sped towards the Palace of Westminster – narrowly missing two police officers guarding the access road who jumped out of his path. He then smashed into a security barrier outside Parliament.

BBC News
Police are searching three addresses in the Midlands after a man was arrested on suspicion of terrorism following a car crash outside Parliament.
The 29-year-old British suspect is not believed to be known to MI5 or counter-terrorism police. A vehicle swerved into cyclists and pedestrians shortly after 07:30 BST before crashing into a barrier outside the Houses of Parliament. Two people were treated in hospital but were later discharged. A third person with minor injuries was assessed at the scene. No-one else was in the car when it crashed and no weapons were found in it.

Corbyn

Mail
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faces fresh condemnation today after a photograph emerged of him apparently making the salute of a controversial Muslim movement.
Mr Corbyn was seen making the Rabbi’ah four-fingered gesture popularised by the Muslim Brotherhood – the political movement condemned as ‘counter to British values and democracy’. The shot, which emerged in the Daily Telegraph, shows Mr Corbyn standing alongside a man in a Muslim Association of Great Britain badge at Finsbury Park Mosque in the MP’s Islington North constituency. The paper said the picture was believed to have been taken in February 2016, after he became party leader.

Telegraph
Jeremy Corbyn has been condemned for making the salute of an Islamist organisation which was described by a Government inquiry as “counter to British values and democracy”.
The Labour leader was pictured making the four-fingered Rabbi’ah sign, a symbol of the Muslim Brotherhood, during a visit to Finsbury Park mosque in his Islington North constituency. The Brotherhood has been accused of engaging in terrorist activities and is proscribed across much of the Middle East and in Russia.

ITV News
Jeremy Corbyn faces further criticism after a picture emerged of him apparently making a salute linked to an Islamist organisation found to have possible connections to extremism.
The photograph, published in the Daily Telegraph, shows the Labour leader making the four-fingered Rabbi’ah sign, which is used by the Muslim Brotherhood as a symbol of support for the overthrow of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi in a military coup d’etat in 2013. It comes as Mr Corbyn continues to face questions over his visit to a controversial event at a Palestinian Martyrs Cemetery in 2014.

Mail
Jeremy Corbyn faced fresh condemnation today as photographs underlined how he was standing at the foot of Munich terrorists’ graves during a wreath-laying ceremony.
The photographs, revealed by the Daily Mail, show him holding a wreath by the graves of members of Black September, the terror group that massacred 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics. Mr Corbyn sighed and rolled his eyes as he faced questions about the incident in a television interview yesterday. He said there were ‘many people laying many wreaths’ during his visit to the cemetery in Tunisia where Palestinian ‘martyrs’ are buried.

Sun
JEREMY Corbyn might have been spending some time on a farm today, but it is his explanation for being at a wreath-laying ceremony for Munich terrorists which smells funny.
The Labour leader can’t stop changing his line on what really happened at the cemetery in Tunis in 2014, which has seen him widely condemned. From saying he wasn’t there at all when the Black September killers were honoured, he was forced to admit he was there after pictures emerged. Mr Corbyn then admitted to being there when the wreath was laid, but claimed he “didn’t think he was involved”.

Times
Jeremy Corbyn is facing a parliamentary inquiry into claims that he failed to declare who paid for his wreath-laying trip to Tunisia.
Labour admitted that Mr Corbyn had been funded by the Tunisian government to travel there in 2014, before he became party leader, along with two nights’ accommodation in a hotel. It was during the trip to attend a conference on Middle Eastern affairs that he visited the Palestinian martyrs’ cemetery in Tunis and laid a wreath near the graves of members of the terrorist group that carried out the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre.

Mail
The Labour leader faces an investigation into why he failed to register his controversial trip to Tunisia with Parliamentary authorities.
Jeremy Corbyn‘s office originally refused to say who paid for his flights and accommodation as he attended a conference on the  Israel-Palestine conflict. Last night a Labour spokesman revealed it was the Tunisian government. The 2014 visit was not declared in the Register of Members’ Interests at the time.  The spokesman said this was because the costs fell below the threshold for declarations, which was then £660. 

Guardian
Labour has hit out at what it said were “false and misleading” claims about Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to the Palestinian cemetery in Tunis and insisted he had attended an annual memorial for victims of an Israeli air attack on the Palestine Liberation Organisation headquarters in October 1985. The party offered its most complete version of events yet about Corbyn’s controversial visit in 2014, and said the commemoration for the 74 people who had died was attended by “mainstream leaders”, including a Palestinian authority minister.

Defence

Mirror
Britain must expand its military presence in the Arctic to ward off Russian expansion in the region, MPs have warned.
The Commons Defence Committee says President Vladimir Putin is building up a heavy military presence along the Arctic coastline. It comes amid the Arctic ice sheet retreating, due to global warming, revealing natural resources like oil and minerals. The melt has also made the region more accessible to ships, sparking a rush to dominate the Arctic militarily and exploit its vast resources. But a new report by the Commons Defence Committee warns the UK is far behind in the race.

Times
Britain must step up its defence of the Arctic to counter increased Russian military activity, MPs have warned.
The Kremlin is boosting its presence in the territory and could prompt a return to “great power competition” over it, the defence sub-committee said in a report, On Thin Ice: UK Defence in the Arctic, published today. The shrinking of the ice sheet has opened up new opportunities for shipping and the exploitation of natural resources in the Arctic, and several south and east Asian countries now claim an interest in the region.

Education

Times
The number of teenagers awarded A-levels in modern languages is expected to fall sharply tomorrow despite attempts to revive French and German by making it easier to get an A*.
Initial figures published this year showed the number of pupils in England taking French A-level this summer had fallen to less than 8,000, a decline of 8 per cent in one year, and German has decreased by 16 per cent to 2,890. Numbers taking German have halved in ten years and figures for French have halved in the past 14 years. Changes to A-levels, the results of which will be received by hundreds of thousands of teenagers tomorrow, have been blamed, as have funding cuts.

Weather

Mail
Stifling heatwaves are likely to be a feature of the global climate for at least the next four years, scientists say.
Both average ground and sea surface temperatures could be abnormally high, which may in turn increase the likelihood of tropical storms. The research was carried out before this summer’s heatwaves that sent temperatures in the UK and other parts of the world soaring. But the unusually hot weather was correctly predicted by the same scientists in January – who said 2018 had a ‘high probability of having a warm anomaly’, relative to the general effects of global warming. 

Times
The next four years will be “anomalously warm” as natural factors amplify the effects of man-made climate change, scientists have predicted.
A new, statistical forecasting method has suggested that over the next four years temperature rises attributable to cyclical natural effects could eclipse the long-term global warming trend. On the heels of this year’s heatwave, the forecast suggests that we should ready ourselves for an elevated chance of “extreme warm events” until at least 2022, and possibly longer. The findings also suggest that oceans will warm more rapidly than the air above land, potentially increasing the risk of hurricanes, typhoons and other extreme weather.

Mail
Temperatures across the UK are set to plummet this week as a gulf stream shift is set to bring an end to the hot weather in Britain, Met Office data suggests.
The Met Office has warned that along with cooler air sweeping across the country, there is likely to be rain and strong winds in the next few days. Already this week, east of England and Scotland have been battered by thunderstorms and some torrential downpours.  Unfortunately for Britons hoping the hot weather continues, cooler air is sweeping across the country while hot streams are being pushed back towards mainland Europe.

Apocalypse

Star
THE world will end in 2040 as over-population and pollution choke the world – according to an advanced computer programme. The end of the world prediction was made by researchers in 1973 – using the programme “World One” but has resurfaced this week.
The Australian Broadcasting Company has also republished its original report on the doomsday prediction machine. The computer analysed trends such as pollution levels, population growth and the depletion of natural resources.  “At around 2020, the condition of the planet becomes highly critical,” the report said. “If we do nothing about it, the quality of life goes down to zero. 

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Western filmmakers demand Russia liberate hunger-striking director Sentsov

French film director Jacques Audiard, alongside Ken Loach and David Cronenberg and over a hundred others from the film world, called Monday for the release of Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov, who is on hunger strike in a Russian jail.

We like to mock Trump, but Britain’s Russia stance is even worse | Jonathan Freedland

When it comes to evidence of Russian intervention in the 2016 referendum, Theresa May is unaccountably relaxed

There are not many laughs to be had from international diplomacy, but US foreign policy in the age of Donald Trump provides a grim kind of comedy all the same. This week the world’s diplomats allowed themselves a chuckle at the risibly inconsistent US approach to Russia, in which the State Department whacks Moscow with sanctions even as the president murmurs sweet nothings into the ear of Vladimir Putin.

When it comes to Russia, the US has become the Jekyll and Hyde superpower. Just three weeks ago, Trump stood next to Putin in Helsinki, unable to utter so much as a word of criticism of the Russian dictator who, a vast body of evidence shows, acted to subvert the American democratic process in 2016. And yet on Wednesday the US announced new sanctions on Moscow as punishment for the attempted assassination of Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury with a lethal nerve agent.

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