Tuesday, 13 August 2019: UK and US could sign sector-by-sector trade deals, says Bolton, Hundreds of migrants stuck aboard two rescue ships in the Mediterranean, Asylum applications in the EU on the rise, Italian leaders can’t agree on date for no-confidence vote


UK and US could sign sector-by-sector trade deals, says Bolton: US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, has said the UK is first in line for a trade deal with the US. He said Britain and the US could sign sector-by-sector free-trade deals prior to a comprehensive trade deal as a way of helping the UK cope with the consequences of leaving the EU without a deal. Bolton said the mini-deals, focusing on areas such as the car and other industries, could be negotiated quickly, and would receive overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress. He made it clear that the US government fully understands that Brexit was the UK’s first priority, and said issues like Iran, China, and the involvement of Huawei in building the UK’s 5G mobile infrastructure could be put off until after Britain leaves the EU. Bolton underlined the US administration’s Eurosceptic tendencies by saying he and Trump were leavers before there were leavers.
bbc.com, theguardian.com

British MPs running out of options to block no-deal Brexit, report warns: Stopping the UK from leaving the EU without a deal is very unlikely due to the lack of time to secure a new agreement and reduced opportunities for lawmakers to legislate against it, the Institute for Government has concluded in a report. Rebel MPs are plotting to rewrite the Commons rulebook in a bid to prevent Prime Minister Boris Johnson from forcing through a no-deal Brexit, “The Independent” reported. A senior government source said Downing Street believed the first legislative showdown over no deal would be on 9 September, when parliament is due to debate a progress report on power-sharing in Northern Ireland0. Labour’s shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, suggested Labour was gearing up to table a no-confidence motion in Johnson. Green MP Caroline Lucas, meanwhile, apologised after not including any people of colour in her proposed all-female emergency cabinet. Lucas had said the cross-party group, formed of ten female politicians, could bring a different perspective, but cabinet minister Liz Truss criticised the plan as sexist.
euronews.com, theguardian.com, independent.co.uk, bbc.com

New Ukip leader Braine condemned for Islamophobia: The newly-elected leader of Ukip has been condemned for Islamophobia after footage emerged of him arguing it should be illegal to publicly distribute the Qur’an in the UK and that some British towns are no-go areas for non-Muslims. Speaking to Ukip members at hustings, Richard Braine also claimed that British Islam has particular problems with bigamy and welfare abuse, and referred to the jailed far-right anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson as a political prisoner. A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain accused Ukip of a continued descent into even greater depths of bigotry.

Prisons: Boris Johnson pledges £100m to beef up prison security theguardian.com
Tuition fees: Graduates in England face increasing debt burden, Labour warns theguardian.com
Jared O’Mara: MP’s office investigated by House of Commons over security failure bbc.com
Cambridge Analytica: Facebook denies giving contradictory evidence to parliament theguardian.com


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Hundreds of migrants stuck aboard two rescue ships in the Mediterranean: French charities SOS Mediterranea and MSF rescued another 105 migrants off the coast of Libya on Monday, bringing to 356 the number of those aboard the Ocean Viking now seeking a safe port. Another 150 rescued migrants are stuck on board the “Open Arms” ship operated by Spanish charity “Proactiva” off the coast of Italy’s southern Lampedusa island, some of them for over ten days. The ships, operated by charities, provide the only search and rescue operations in the international waters where often-unseaworthy boats packed with people attempt to cross from Libya to the nearest European country, Italy.
france24.com, nytimes.com

Asylum applications in the EU on the rise: Asylum applications in the European countries are up again, having jumped by 10% in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2018. According to analyses by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), 337,200 applications for asylum were lodged in the first six months of the year in EU+ countries – the 28 member states as well as Norway and Switzerland. The main countries of origin of asylum seekers were Syria, Afghanistan and Venezuela. Overall, just over a third of decisions (34%) issued in the first six months of 2019 were granted EU-regulated protection.
easo.europa.eu, euronews.com

Hong Kong protests: Hong Kong airport shuts down as protesters occupy terminal politico.eu


We can fulfill the tasks that we’re tackling without new debt.
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has announced that Germany could pursue more ambitious climate protection measures and other big policy steps without having to incur new debt.


Italian leaders can’t agree on date for no-confidence vote: The heads of Italy’s political groups have failed to reach agreement on when to hold a vote of no confidence, amid a government crisis triggered by League party leader and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. A majority of representatives from the political groups in parliament voted Monday to hold the no-confidence vote 20 August, but this was opposed by the ruling far-right League, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia and the Brothers of Italy. The next step will now be decided by a full Senate session this Tuesday. The government is headed by an independent prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, and a no-confidence vote would bring him down.
bbc.com, politico.eu

Norwegian authorities received vague tip ahead of mosque shooting: The man suspected of shooting at people inside a Norwegian mosque on Saturday, and of killing his stepsister, appeared in court on Sunday with black eyes and wounds on his face and neck. Police are seeking to hold him on suspicion of murder, as well as of breaching anti-terrorism law by spreading severe fear among the population. Officials in Norway said they received a vague tip about the suspected mosque gunman one year ago but did not investigate further, since there was nothing in that tipoff that suggested there was danger of an act of terrorism or that planning of an attack was under way.
washingtonpost.com, theguardian.com, euronews.com

Bolsonaro criticises German Amazon aid: Germany has decided to suspend 35 million euros in funds to finance projects in Brazil aimed at preserving the Amazon forest due to increasing deforestation. In response, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said his country had no need for German money. He accused the German government of wanting to buy influence. Bolsonaro does not intend to designate any further conservation areas in the forest, and has instead pledged to allow more clearances and make more economic use of the Amazon region. The former military officer has also scorned any advice from abroad. Bolsonaro has long been skeptical of environmental issues, and has repeatedly said the Amazon is a resource that belongs to Brazil, which Brazilians should choose how to administer.
nasdaq.com, dw.com

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British delivery service Deliveroo pulls out of German market: British food delivery service Deliveroo will cease operations in Germany on Friday to focus on other markets in Europe and beyond, a spokesman for the Amazon-backed company said on Monday. Deliveroo will shift its resources and investment toward boosting growth and expanding in markets around Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. The company was founded in London in 2013 and continues to operate in 13 countries worldwide. The service faced calls for a boycott in France last week after delivery riders there criticised the company’s new payment system that would lower their wages.
reuters.com, dw.com

Fuel crisis in Portugal: Portugal rations gas as tanker drivers strike over pay apnews.com
Sweden: CO2 tax and high growth rates don’t need to be a contradiction handelsblatt.com
Switzerland: Dispute over corporate responsibility handelsblatt.com


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politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)


Brits are stockpiling goods ahead of no-deal Brexit: Britons have spent £4bn stockpiling goods in preparation for a possible no-deal Brexit, a recent survey has found. One in five people in the UK are already hoarding food, drinks and medicine. About 800,000 people have spent more than £1,000 building up stockpiles before the 31 October Brexit deadline. Brexit-related stockpiling is also hitting cashflow, according to the report, with companies taking out credit to cover the cost of insurance and other fixed costs.


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