The Brexit legislation enabling Boris Johnson to alter key parts of the Withdrawal Agreement cleared a major Commons hurdle on Tuesday night….
Dubai-based logistics and maritime services giant DP World (Dubai Ports World) has signed a collaboration agreement with Israel Shipyards Ltd., controlled by Shlomi Fogel, Sami Katsav, the Schmeltzer family and the Gold Bond Group (itself controlled by Fogel and the Schmeltzer family),
Representatives from Greece and Turkey are due to meet at NATO headquarters on Tuesday for technical military talks in a bid to de-escalating tension
Boris has, in effect, created our very own backstop.
Oh the irony.
1. Bob Neil
2. Geoffrey Cox
3. Simon Hoare
4. George Freeman
5. Tobias Ellwood
6. Damian Green
7. Damian Collins
8. Sir Oliver Heald
9. Sir Roger Gale
10. Gary Streeter
11. Rehman Chishti
12. Jack Lopresti
13. Sajid Javid
14. Charles Walker
15. Jeremy Wright
16. Andrew Mitchell
– Sajid Javid and Geoffrey Cox have both said they cannot support PM’s proposal
Watch the House of Commons from 2:30pm on Monday as three days of intensive debate and scrutiny on the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill begins.
Published last Wednesday, the Bill sets out rules for the operation of the UK internal market- trade between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland- after the end of the transition period in January.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad arrived today to discuss the matters related to Afghan peace talks with the Pakistan leadership, Geo News reported Monday.
BUSINESS OF THE DAY
1. United Kingdom Internal Market Bill: Second Reading
Until 10.00pm (Standing Order No. 9(3))
Europe’s refusal to offer its neighbour and security ally even a bare-bones trade deal is a hostile posture that has consequences
The former leaders, both vehement opponents of Brexit, said that respecting treaty obligations was „just as important“ as domestic law, and called for MPs to reject the legislation.
„As the world looks on aghast at the UK – the word of which was once accepted as inviolable – this government’s action is shaming itself and embarrassing our nation,“ they added.
Major Yemeni tribes, previously sponsored by Saudi Arabia waging a devastating war on the impoverished Arab country, have signed a non-aggression agreement with fighters from the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement in the strategic central province of Ma’rib.
“I warmly welcome the announcement regarding commencement of Intra-Afghan Negotiations on 12 September 2020. Finally, our combined efforts have brought forth the day that the Afghan people have been yearning for,” Prime Minister Khan said.
We decided in the Withdrawal Agreement to create a Joint Committee, in which we would thrash out the details of these new arrangements. It is here that things risk coming unstuck. We are now hearing that unless we agree to the EU’s terms, the EU will use an extreme interpretation of the Northern Ireland protocol to impose a full-scale trade border down the Irish sea. We are being told that the EU will not only impose tariffs on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, but that they might actually stop the transport of food products from GB to NI.
I have to say that we never seriously believed that the EU would be willing to use a Treaty, negotiated in good faith, to blockade one part of the UK, to cut it off; or that they would actually threaten to destroy the economic and territorial integrity of the UK. This was for the very good reason that any such barrier, any such tariffs or division would be completely contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Good Friday agreement. By actively undermining the Union of our country, such an interpretation would seriously endanger peace and stability in Northern Ireland. This interpretation cannot have been the real intention of those who framed the protocol (it certainly wasn’t ours) – and it is therefore vital that we close that option down.
He wrote: “We are now hearing that, unless we agree to the EU’s terms, the EU will use an extreme interpretation of the Northern Ireland protocol to impose a full-scale trade border down the Irish Sea.
“We are being told that the EU will not only impose tariffs on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, but that they might actually stop the transport of food products from GB to NI.
PM defends decision to alter Brexit divorce deal, saying he cannot hand Brussels the ‚power to carve up our country‘
But when the Zoom call attended by 256 MPs suddenly broke off after twenty minutes, the online forum descended into chaos as MP Michael Fabricant started singing Rule Britannia, clutching a piece of paper with the words already printed out.
After months of worsening tensions on their contested Himalayan border, India and China surprised many by announcing that troops are to quickly disengage.
The joint announcement followed a marathon meeting between Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow.
If realized, a peace deal would be the first time in generations that a new form of Afghan government was not being established at the point of a gun: The current model was ushered in by the American invasion that toppled the Taliban’s harsh Islamic regime in 2001, and each previous one back to the 1979 Soviet invasion was set off by coup, collapse or conquest.
Rabat – The delegations of the Libyan High Council of State and the Parliament of Tobruk have reached an agreement after five days of talks in Bouznika, Morocco.
In a joint statement on Thursday, the two parties announced that they reached a comprehensive agreement on the criteria, mechanisms, and objectives for “assuming positions of sovereignty,” according to Morocco’s Foreign Ministry.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (C) and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Moscow, Russia, on Sept. 10, 2020.
Even if the UK leaves without a deal, the Northern Ireland protocol would kick in.
The Northern Ireland protocol replaced the NI backstop created as part of Theresa May’s deal.
The protocol is due to come into force on January 1, 2021, the end of the transition period.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will leave for Doha, Qatar, on Thursday night for the start of talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, President Trump announced.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove will meet EU official Maros Sefcovic in London to discuss how the development could affect the island of Ireland.
We are now entering the final phase of our negotiations with the EU.
The EU have been very clear about the timetable. I am too. There needs to be an agreement with our European friends by the time of the European Council on 15 October if it’s going to be in force by the end of the year. So there is no sense in thinking about timelines that go beyond that point. If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on.
We will then have a trading arrangement with the EU like Australia’s.
An angry official hit back: “The government is completely committed, as it always has been, to implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol in good faith.”
A new law will be published this week that sets out Britain’s position — with No10 arguing it had to come this week in order to get through Parliament by December.
The standoff turned nasty yesterday as Brussels voiced fury at UK threats to override parts of the Withdrawal Agreement thrashed out last year. Legislation would unilaterally ‚clarify‘ key parts of the settlement, including customs rules for Northern Ireland, that the EU insists should be resolved by a joint committee.
Despite Mr Barnier warning that step would end hopes for a trade deal, the PM’s chief negotiator Lord Frost increased the temperature again today, demanding ‚more realism‘ from the EU that the UK was now a sovereign country.
The UK ‚cannot compromise on the fundamentals of what it means to be an independent country‘
– Boris Johnson says there is ’no sense‘ in faltering trade talks after October 15
– He says he won’t compromise on UK’s freedom to set own laws and fish in waters
– Mr Johnson insists a No Deal departure would still be a ‚good outcome‘
– Is is also reported today the UK could tear up parts of the Withdrawal Agreement
– Such a move could be seen as ‚bad faith‘ by the EU, lowering chances of a deal
– Lord Frost warned Michel Barnier that the UK would not become a ‚client state‘
– He said EU needs to realise PM’s Government is adopting more steely approach
– Comments come ahead of Barnier’s arrival in London for a fresh round of talks
A Government source said: „The EU must also realise that we are serious about leaving with an Australian-style trading relationship and reclaiming our independence as a sovereign nation if we cannot find acceptable terms.”
The Pentagon on Friday reaffirmed its decision earlier this year to award a $10 billion cloud-computing contract to Microsoft over Amazon.
„After a round of talks, mediated by the Qatari representative, Mohammed al-Emadi, an understanding has been reached to avoid an escalation and stabilize the situation. Several projects were announced that will serve and alleviate the situation for our people in Gaza, given the coronavirus crisis that has struck us,“ a statement from Hamas Leader Yahya Sinwar’s office said.
The UAE and Israel wish to express their gratitude for the overwhelmingly positive response to this historic accord from governments around the world. They are especially grateful to President Donald J. Trump for his leadership and to his administration for the critical role it has played in achieving this diplomatic breakthrough. They are also greatly encouraged by the broad bipartisan support for this breakthrough from the United States Congress.
The first official flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) landed Monday in Abu Dhabi, carrying an Israeli-American delegation to advance the landmark peace agreement between the two Middle Eastern states.
Leading the historic occasion, special White House advisor Jared Kushner addressed reporters at the airport promptly after landing, as Arab media televised the event under the title “Message of Peace.”
VIENNA, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) — The United States and Russia will start the second round of nuclear disarmament talks here on Monday.
Russian and U.S. officials have begun a third round of nuclear arms-control talks in the Austrian capital as the end of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Treaty (New START) looms.
The two-day meeting in Vienna is led by U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Vienna on Friday to discuss developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Dendias will also meet with Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg,
The new resolution is almost identical to one the U.S. circulated in June, signaling the Trump administration is unwilling to make changes suggested by allies and opponents on the Security Council.
U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft acknowledged Tuesday that Russia and China are likely to veto any resolution
President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal two years ago but his administration argues it retains the right to invoke the “snapback” of U.N. sanctions because it is a council member. Others disagree.
Hook did not give a reason for leaving, although he has young children and was frequently away from home on travel. He had just returned to the U.S. from an extended trip to the Middle East and Europe during which he tried to drum up support for the Iran arms embargo extension.
QUESTION: So tomorrow and August 9th marks 75 years since the United States unleased the first atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So could you tell us your opinion on nuclear arms control, including the future of the New START Treaty between U.S. and Russia?
SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah. So President Trump, literally since I first met him, first in my role as CIA director and now as Secretary of State, has made clear one of his top priorities is ensuring that we don’t have a really bad day in the world as a result of a nuclear weapon being used, and so we have worked along multiple fronts. For example, we left the INF Treaty because the Russians weren’t complying with that and that was – that had the risk of being destabilizing, because when you have an arms control agreement and only one of the two parties is complying, you have created strategic risk.
But in the last handful of months, we’ve been working diligently to get the three nations that have the largest nuclear capabilities – the United States, Russia, and China – to have a strategic dialogue about how we move forward together to decrease the risk to the world that these massive weapons are used, and we’ve made progress with the Russians. We’ve had two good gatherings; I hope we’ll have one before too long. And we are hopeful that the Chinese will choose to participate. We think it’s in their best interest. We know it’s in the best interest of the world. And for nations that assert they want win-win solutions, that they want good outcomes, that they want to be a player on a global stage, they now have moved to a point where they need to, like the United States and Russia, be prepared to engage in conversations about how you create a strategic situation that reduces the risk that nuclear weapons will be used at any time or any place anywhere in the world.
That evaluation has turned into a delicate process with Russia, with high-level and working-level meetings taking place in Vienna to see if New START can be salvaged. Officials from both countries met again at the end of July in Austria’s capital, while China — which the US wants involved to discuss limiting its nuclear and missile capabilities, even though it isn’t a party to New START — didn’t show up.
A U.S. delegation of staff members from the departments of State, Defense, Energy, and the National Security Council will hold a U.S.-Russia Space Security Exchange in the Austrian capital on July 27, U.S. State Department said in a statement.
Johnson’s government has pleased President Donald Trump’s administration in recent weeks as it blocked telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co. and took action over Hong Kong, but has stopped short of the kind of sanctions imposed on individuals and companies by Washington. While Pompeo’s goal is not to ask for more, according to people familiar with his plans, the MPs will try to get him to carry their demands to his meeting with Johnson.
The U.S. welcomed the U.K.’s announcement in July that it would remove Huawei from its future telecommunications infrastructure.
The U.K. will eliminate Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from its 5G network by 2027, after pressure from Sino-skeptic lawmakers and U.S. politicians.
“We convinced many countries…not to use Huawei,” U.S. President Trump said after the U.K. announced the removal.
according to dips
Now, I’m not implying Trump is some kind of hippy peacenik. (He would look atrocious with no bra and flowers in his hair.) No, the military under Trump has dropped more bombs than under Obama, and that’s impressive since Obama dropped more bombs than ever before.
However, in certain areas of the world, Trump has threatened to create peace. Sure, he’s doing it for his own ego and because he thinks his base wants it, but whatever the reason, he has put forward plans or policies that go against the military industrial complex and the establishment war-hawks (which is 95 percent of the establishment).
Former US national security adviser John Bolton on Thursday said Israelis should be worried about US President Donald Trump winning a second term in office.
„I describe in the book how eager he was to have a meeting with the Iranian leadership, whether Rouhani or Khamenei. Are the Iranians prepared to sit down for talks to get relief from the sanctions, to buy time so they can push forward their nuclear program? Sure, they’re willing to do that,” said Bolton, in an interview to promote “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.”
“Just as North Korea’s Kim Jong-un played Trump all along, I worry that in a second term, the Iranians might be able to do the same with Trump. That to me is a danger.”
Netanyahu made the comments shortly after wrapping up talks with White House envoy Avi Berkowitz and the U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. The sides have been holding talks for several months on finalizing a map spelling out which areas of the West Bank will be annexed by Israel.
„I spoke about the question of sovereignty, which we are working on these days and we will continue to work on in the coming days,“ Netanyahu said.
The offer, according to the paper, would upend a rotation agreement between Netanyahu and Gantz for the premiership as stated in their coalition agreement signed earlier this year.
Likud party officials insist it would be „unreasonable“ for Netanyahu to honor the agreement – which allows Gantz to become Prime Minister in November 2021 – due to his politically weakened position, according to a string of national polls.
As the city budget process begins, Streetsblog has been asking Council members to put an actual figure on their vague demands for cuts as part of the #defundTheNYPD movement, but none has provided a target number, citing ongoing budget negotiations.
Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel expressed concern about the escalation of hostilities in Libya and emphasised that a speedy ceasefire and launch of intra-Libyan negotiations under the auspices of the UN were essential. The Russian side gave a positive assessment of Egypt’s mediation efforts to peacefully settle the Libyan crisis, following on from the decisions of the Berlin International Conference held on January 19 of this year.
Key aspects of developments in Syria, including those related to the humanitarian needs of the population of the republic, were also discussed.
As of Thursday afternoon, Netanyahu and his coalition partners haven’t completed talks on ministerial appointments, some of which would only apply to the first half the government’s term, before Gantz is set to take over as prime minister in a year and a half.
Long time Netanyahu loyalist and Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi as well as Likud MK Avi Dichter, tenth in the list, decided to boycott the swearing-in ceremony given that Netanyahu did not offer them posts in the new government.
Washington’s reversal came a day after it agreed to the text, negotiators said under cover of anonymity.
A staunch supporter of Israel, Pompeo will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his centrist rival turned partner Benny Gantz in Jerusalem on May 13, the day the government is expected to be sworn in.
Israel’s withdrawing from the West Bank city of Hebron is an absurd proposition tantamount to the idea of the United States abandoning the Statue of Liberty, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman told Israeli media Friday.
Speaking to Israel Hayom, Friedman stressed the importance to Israel of Jewish communities outside the large settlement blocs in Area C of the West Bank, which is widely expected to remain under Israeli control.
The parties also decided that emergency orders instated to fight the coronavirus pandemic would not extend beyond six months.
The bill known as the „Norwegian law,“ which allows any Member of Knesset (Israel Parliament) appointed to a ministerial post to temporarily resign from the legislative chamber, will reportedly be dropped.
European Union leaders are expected to clash over the size and scope of a coronavirus recovery fund as they stand on the precipice of an economic slump unparalleled since the 1930’s Great Depression.
– Only credit lines (#loans)
– No mutualised debt (#Eurobonds)
– No currency issued to countries (#monetary #sovereignty)
– Free money for financiers, not the real economy
– Skyrocket the #debt/#GDP ratio => more #austerity soon.
Short thread, based on chats 1/
Last week, exasperated by the back-and-forth that has paralysed the council, including between China and the United States, nine of the 10 non-permanent members formally requested a meeting featuring a presentation by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The Eurogroup is trying to find a compromise between Italy, France and Spain, on the one hand, who want ‚coronabonds‘, and northern deficit hawks like the Netherlands, Denmark and Finland who advocate the use of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), rejecting any mutualizing of debt.
The two sides have been speaking in recent days over Skype, officials have said, as the coronavirus pandemic has curbed international travel.
Pompeo will meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his rival, ex-Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who also proclaimed himself president after results of the September vote were published with a months-long delay.
The Kabul-Taliban prisoner swap, which is one of the steps outlined in the Doha agreement will allegedly be at the top of the agenda,
CureVac said on its website that CureVac CEO Daniel Menichella met with President Trump and Vice President Pence earlier this month to discuss a coronavirus vaccine. The CEO said at the time he was “very confident that we will be able to develop a potent vaccine candidate within a few months.”
According to a statement from Netanyahu’s bureau on Friday morning, the premier stressed to Gantz during their nighttime meeting that „terror supporters“ cannot be part of said government, neither in normal circumstances nor in emergency.
The comment seems to be implicitly refering to members of the Arab-majority Joint List, the third largest party in the Knesset, which Netanyahu heavily vilified during Israel’s numerous election campaigns over the last year.
Talks between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the European Union over the fate of refugees in his country ended in failure Monday with no clear agreement over what should happen next on an issue that has further strained relations.
Kahol Lavan confirmed Sunday night that party representatives were in contact with Yisrael Beiteinu and the Joint List over efforts to form a minority government with their support.
A source in Kahol Lavan said nothing will be said to the media “until it’s certain and finalized.”
The Joint List of Arab Israeli parties will meet Sunday to discuss the matter of recommending Kahol Lavan chairman Benny Gantz to form Israel’s next government, as well as whether to back a bill that would prevent a criminally indicted candidate from receiving such a mandate.
„Agreed. We need to move forward,“ Gantz tweeted in response a list of demands that the Yisrael Beiteinu leader listed earlier Sunday in a Facebook post.
EU TO HOST SYRIA DONOR CONFERENCE IN BRUSSELS ON JUNE 29-30, WILL ALSO INVITE GOVERNMENTS INVOLVED IN CONFLICT – BORRELL
#Ankara #Greece #Idlib #Erdogan #Europe
Fighting in the northwest has triggered a humanitarian disaster and brought Russia and Turkey closer to war
Britain will begin preparations to leave the EU without a trade deal in just four months if Brussels has not agreed to its key demands by then.
A spokesman for Frankfurt’s regional court said judges had ruled Khalili’s extradition to the U.S. was permissible last year, but that the German government hadn’t provided the approval necessary for this to occur. The court then decided that it wouldn’t be proportional to detain Khalili any longer, “despite the flight risk,” and ordered him released Feb. 12, spokeswoman Gundula Fehns-Boeer told The Associated Press.
David Frost says democratic consent would snap if UK agreed to EU alignment
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, Laura Kuenssberg claimed Michael Gove could be given the role to look after the last leg of the Brexit trade negotiations in Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle today.
The prime minister will use a speech on Monday to toughen his stance ahead of trade talks following the UK’s formal withdrawal from the bloc.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier will also set out his approach to the talks, which are due to start next month.
Boris Johnson is preparing to impose full customs and border checks on all European goods entering the UK after Brexit, in a ramping up of pressure on the coming EU-UK trade talks, the Telegraph has learned.
„We do not have a communique text. Let us hold the conference first and then examine the results, see what steps we can take and then discuss them. Let us see what these will be. „
The draft also recognizes Tripoli-based state oil company NOC as the sole legitimate entity allowed to sell Libyan oil, according to the draft, which will be discussed at the summit.
„As you do that step by step, that’s in essence how you develop some trust that lets you go to the final goal, which is elimination of nuclear weapons and the means to produce them, and integration of North Korea into the community of nations and the international economic system,“ he added.
Hecker was in Seoul to attend a forum on geopolitics and the denuclearization of the North hosted by the Korean National Diplomatic Academy and the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network.
„I’d be surprised if North Korea acted hostilely,“ Trump was quoted as telling reporters at the White House. „He knows I have an election coming up. I don’t think he wants to interfere with that. But we’ll have to see.“
The remark came as the North has increased pressure on the United States to meet its demand for a new negotiating proposal by year’s end, strongly suggesting that otherwise, it could restart testing of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
In the statement, the ambassador, Kim Song, said the United States‘ pursuit of „sustained and substantial dialogue“ was a „time-saving trick“ to benefit a „domestic political agenda.“
„We do not need to have lengthy talks with the US now and the denuclearization is already gone out of the negotiation table,“ he said.
The U.N. bans North Korea from launching satellites because it is considered a forbidden test of long-range missile technology.
After repeated failures, North Korea successfully put a satellite into orbit for the first time in 2012 in a launch from the same site. North Korea had another successful satellite launch in 2016.
Erdogan repeated an expression Macron had used to describe NATO to hit back at the French leader over his criticism of fellow NATO member Turkey’s intervention against Kurdish forces in Syria.
„This is not a statement, these are insults,“ an Élysee official said, adding: „The ambassador will be summoned to the ministry to explain things.“
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has harshly slammed French President Emmanuel Macron over his criticisms of the Turkish military operation into Syria, while urging him to check his own “brain death” before talking about the status of NATO, in reference to the French president’s remarks that the alliance was suffering a “brain death.”
“The president of France, Mr. Macron, I am saying this to you from Turkey and I will say it at NATO as well. You should first check your own brain death,” Erdoğan said at a groundbreaking ceremony for a university complex in Istanbul on Nov. 29.