Monday, 17 June 2019: PM hopefuls clash over Brexit, Crisis in the Gulf of Oman, G20 countries agree to tackle ocean plastic waste, Guterres calls on EU to raise climate goal


PM hopefuls clash over Brexit: Contenders to replace Prime Minister Theresa May as conservative leader have clashed over delivering Brexit during a TV debate. The MPs argued over whether a new deal could be renegotiated with the EU, and the prospect of a no-deal Brexit. Some of the sharpest exchanges came over whether parliament should be shut down in order to push through a no-deal Brexit by 31 October – something four of the five candidates argued against. International Development Secretary Rory Stewart said proroguing parliament was a deeply disturbing option and Home Secretary Sajid Javid warned against „trashing“ democracy. However ex-Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab refused to rule it out. Former London mayor and foreign minister Boris Johnson came under fire for not taking part in the debate. He had defended his non-appearance, arguing debates with many guests could be slightly cacophonous. Knowing Johnson is the man to beat, candidate after candidate questioned his ability to navigate Britain’s departure from the EU, saying his pledge to leave on 31 October was nigh on impossible and would set Britain on track for a no-deal Brexit.,

Hunt says he will not commit to October Brexit deadline at any cost: British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt has signalled he is willing to delay Brexit as he refused to commit to leaving the EU at any cost by the end of October if wins the contest to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May. The foreign secretary also made the claim he could negotiate a new deal with the bloc that would do away with the need for the Irish backstop – despite such a route already being repeatedly dismissed by the EU. Hunt came second in the first round of voting among Tory MPs in the party’s leadership contest, achieving 43 backers, but still considerably behind Boris Johnson, who received 114 votes.

Trump attacks Sadiq Khan over London violence: US President Donald Trump has once again hit out at London Mayor Sadiq Khan, calling him a national disgrace in response to a series of violent deaths in the British capital. Trump’s comments came after five violent attacks in London in less than 24 hours left three men dead and three injured. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said it was absolutely awful that Trump was using the tragedy of people being murdered to attack the mayor. Khan did not directly respond to Trump’s tweets. Overnight, he instead tweeted information from the London Mayor’s Office outlining the work being done to tackle violent crime in the capital. His spokesman told the BBC the mayor’s thoughts were with the victims‘ families and he was not going to waste his time responding to this sort of tweet, referring to Trump’s comments.,

Russia: UK and Russia consider May-Putin meeting to thaw relations
Labour: Tom Watson to say Labour must adopt clear anti-Brexit stance
Economy: UK growth tipped to slow as firms run down Brexit stockpiles


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Crisis in the Gulf of Oman: The United States, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia have blamed Iran for the recent attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, but the country has denied any involvement. Iran has protested to Britain’s ambassador in Tehran, Rob Macaire, in response to the accusations. On Thursday, two tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, a month after four others were targeted off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday stood firm in his rhetoric, saying it was unmistakable that Iran was responsible for the attacks. The UK Foreign Office also said it was almost certain that a branch of the Iranian military — the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — was responsible. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih called for a swift and decisive response to the attacks.,,,

G20 countries agree to tackle ocean plastic waste: The Group of 20 major economies agreed a deal to reduce marine pollution at a meeting of their environment ministers on Sunday in Japan. The new framework is aimed at facilitating further concrete action on marine waste, though on a voluntary basis. G20 member states are tasked with promoting a comprehensive approach to prevent and reduce plastic waste discharge to the oceans and share their best practices with other nations. Japan plans to host a follow-up meeting to review the efforts at the G20 Resource Efficiency Dialogue this autumn. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he wanted his country to be a leader in reducing marine plastic waste by using biodegradable material and other technological innovations.,

Guterres calls on EU to raise climate goal: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on the European Union to aim for a 55% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, far more than the EU’s current target for a 40% reduction. In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk ahead of a summit of EU leaders, Guterres said the world’s largest economic bloc should lead by example to avert the worst effects of global warming and limit temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Hong Kong executive apologises to citizens: Hong Kong’s top official Carrie Lam issued a rare apology Sunday for her management of an extradition bill. A government spokesman said Lam’s handling of the bill had caused substantial controversies and disputes in society, causing disappointment and grief. Lam apologised to the people of Hong Kong for this and pledged to make improvements in serving the public, the statement added. Protests continued even after Lam suspended the bill, which would allow criminal suspects to be tried in China. Demonstrators say pausing the bill is not enough. They insist the bill be scrapped instead. They say an extradition agreement with China would undermine Hong Kong’s independence and free speech.

EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Avramopoulos: EU allowed 33,000 refugees to enter directly


Trump is a great friend of Israel.
As promised, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has named a new community in the Golan Heights after US President Donald Trump.


Italy allows ten migrants to leave rescue ship: Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on Saturday gave permission for ten migrants to leave the German „Sea-Watch 3“ rescue ship. Among the ten were two pregnant women, three minors and two sick men. The group was allowed to disembark on the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, which lies between the Italian mainland and the North African coast. The German ship had rescued more than fifty migrants drifting in an inflatable dinghy off the coast of Libya on Wednesday, but Italy’s populist government did not allow the ship to enter an Italian port.

Suspect in German politician’s murder linked to extreme right: German authorities said on Sunday they had arrested a man in connection with the murder of a pro-migrant politician, as media reported the suspect could have links to the far right. Walter Lübcke, head of the regional Kassel government in the central German state of Hesse, was found shot in the head on the terrace of his home earlier this month. Police on Saturday arrested a 45-year-old man as a suspect based on DNA evidence. According to reports in German newspapers „Bild“ and „Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“, the suspect was a member of the right-wing extremist scene. Police and prosecutors declined to comment on a possible motive, saying they would offer further information in the coming days about the arrest and the investigation’s progress.,

Germany exports weapons to coalition fighting in Yemen: The German government has approved more than one billion euros this year in defence exports to members of the Saudi-led coalition directly involved in the war in Yemen. Last year, Germany imposed a temporary halt on arms exports to Saudi Arabia following the assassination of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Germany also cited the four-year war in Yemen when it suspended arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has headed an alliance of Arab states — including Egypt and the UAE — fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen.

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Swiss women go on strike: Women across Switzerland staged a nationwide strike Friday in protest against their country’s sluggish progress on gender equality. Switzerland, one of the world’s wealthiest countries, still has a gender pay gap of about 20%, with the gap increasing slightly in recent years. The country long lagged behind other Western European countries on gender equality, adopting universal suffrage only in 1971 on a federal level, with the last canton following suit as late as 1990. In 1981, it enshrined gender equality in its constitution but made little progress, prompting a strike in 1991.

France 1: Soldier shoots knife-wielding man in Lyon
France: Government launches national civic service for youth
Spain: Launch of 5G network

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Dane becomes Germany’s first foreign mayor: Danish national Claus Ruhe Madsen has won a run-off to become mayor of the northern German city of Rostock. He is the first foreigner to secure the post. Madsen beat off competition from seven other first-round applicants for the position, which became vacant as a result of incumbent Roland Methling’s retirement. Before taking on the mayoralty, Madsen was president of Rostock’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce for six years while, at the same time, managing five furniture stores.



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