Thursday, 29 November 2018: Britain’s support for Arctic oil and gas incompatible with climate goals, Merkel, Trump, and Putin to meet at G20 summit, UK worse off under all Brexit scenarios, Italy bows out of meeting on UN migration pact


Britain’s support for Arctic oil and gas incompatible with climate goals: The UK’s support for oil and gas exploration in the Arctic is incompatible with its international climate change commitments, a report from a cross-party group of lawmakers said on Thursday. It called for Britain to cease encouraging British business to explore oil and gas opportunities in the Arctic. The UK government should also call on other nations to adopt a similar approach. The report said Arctic multi-year sea ice is at its lowest level since records began and the Arctic Ocean could be ice free in the summer as soon as 2050. Governments should provide greater funding for Arctic research and set targets to protect Arctic biodiversity as well as setting a timeline to reduce the country’s plastic pollution.

Pakistan blasphemy case: PM asked about asylum bid: Prime Minister Theresa May has defended herself after being asked whether she had intervened to stop the UK government offering asylum to a Pakistani Christian woman. The PM was asked to put the record straight by Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith after reports she had blocked an asylum bid for Asia Bibi. The Pakistani mother was acquitted of blasphemy last month and has been held in a secure location since her release. Almost 50 MPs have signed a motion calling on the UK to offer her unconditional asylum. However, the “Sun” newspaper reported May had decided against offering her asylum over fears for the safety of diplomats in Pakistan. May said one shouldn’t necessarily believe everything one reads in the papers, adding the absolute prime concern was the safety and security of Bibi and her family.

Smugglers targeted from intelligence centre in Calais: A joint intelligence centre targeting criminals smuggling people into the UK in boats has opened in France, the Home Office has announced. More than 100 migrants, the majority of whom claimed to be Iranian, have crossed the Channel from northern France this month. French and British officials will work together to maintain border security from the base in Calais. The Coordination and Information Centre, which is part of an agreement between the two countries, will see Border Force officers working with their counterparts in Police Aux Frontieres.

John McDonnell: Brexit referendum may be inevitable
Rape: MPs call for change of law on rapist fathers after Rotherham case
Carl Sargeant: Inquest witness may have lied to coroner
Rogue landlords: 90% of local authorities fail to issue fines
Weapons: Ban on military grade assault rifles dropped by MPs


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Merkel, Trump, and Putin to meet at G20 summit: German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit to discuss the Ukraine crisis. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko has warned that Russia will face serious consequences if it attacks the Ukraine, days after Russia seized three Ukrainian navy ships and their crew members claiming they had entered Russian waters illegally. Putin accused Poroshenko of provoking the crisis in the Kerch Strait on Sunday to boost his popularity ahead of an election. The United States has urged its European allies to consider further sanctions against Russia over the situation in Ukraine. Russia on Wednesday said it would send another advanced anti-aircraft system to the Crimean peninsula. (G20), (Poroshenko), (Putin), (Sanctions), (Missiles)

UK worse off under all Brexit scenarios: Britain leaving the EU without a deal could trigger a deep and damaging recession with worse consequences for the UK economy than the 2008 financial crisis, the Bank of England has warned. GDP could fall by as much as 8% next year, exceeding the depth of the recession that followed the financial crisis. House prices could fall by 30% and the unemployment rate could increase from its current level of 4.1% to about 7.5%. Meanwhile, a government analysis showed all Brexit scenarios would hurt the economy, but the impact of leaving under Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans would be significantly less than exiting with no agreement at all. UK Treasury chief Philip Hammond said, under any scenario, leaving the EU would make Britain poorer than staying in. Remaining in the single market would give the country an economic advantage.,,

Italy bows out of meeting on UN migration pact: Italy has joined a handful of countries and bowed out of a conference next month to formally adopt a UN-backed pledge regulating safe migration. Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte announced on Wednesday that Italy will decide whether or not to support the deal after the Italian parliament considers it. Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak wants to give up his ministerial post if his country doesn’t support the UN migration pact at the UN meeting in Marrakech in December. The German parliament will debate the migration pact this Thursday.,

Geneva Conference on Afghanistan: More EU aid for Afghanistan


Seehofer tells Islam conference Muslims are a part of Germany: Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Wednesday that Muslims belong to Germany, speaking as he presided over the fourth German Islam Conference in Berlin. The comments drew particular attention given Seehofer’s past statement that Islam was not part of Germany – which had prompted stark criticism. Now, however, Seehofer said Muslims had the same rights and duties as all German citizens. There could be no reasonable doubt about that. The Islam Conference brings together German Muslims and officials of the federal and local governments to improve the religious and social participation of Muslims in Germany and to further develop the dialogue between government representatives and Islamic organisations.

Le Pen fined for homophobic remarks: A court has fined French far-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen for making a string of homophobic remarks. Le Pen, who founded the National Front (recently renamed the National Rally), already has multiple convictions for xenophobic and anti-Semitic comments. The EU’s top court on Wednesday dismissed an appeal by French far-right leader Marine Le Pen against an order by the EU Parliament that she repay €41,554 that was wrongly used to pay her bodyguard.,

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Strike in Greece shuts down traffic: Public transport was disrupted and ships remained in ports as Greek workers went on strike on Wednesday, seeking increases in minimum wages and the re-introduction of collective bargaining. Greece’s biggest private-sector union, GSEE, called the 24-hour walkout, demanding tax cuts and a rise in the minimum wage, which was slashed under the terms of the country’s three international bailouts since 2010, which ended in August. The GSEE also held a protest rally in central Athens.,

Germany: Government to double donation for UN climate change fund
Norway: Former Norwegian minister charged with sexual abuse of asylum seekers

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Trump accuses Clinton and Obama of treason: US President Donald Trump appeared to accuse his own deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, of treason on Wednesday, posting a meme to his Twitter feed that shows an image of Rosenstein and a slew of Trump critics behind bars. The image also included special counsel Robert Mueller, former FBI Director James Comey, former national intelligence director James Clapper, former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Meanwhile, the lawyers of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort have briefed Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani on Manafort’s discussions with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.,


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