Wednesday, 21 November 2018: Spain and DUP threaten Brexit deal, Poland and Israel reject UN Migration Pact, Trump stands with Saudi Arabia despite Khashoggi killing


Spain and DUP threaten Brexit deal: British Prime Minister Theresa May’s efforts to pass a Brexit deal have suffered a further setback after Spain threatened to veto her draft divorce agreement over the handling of Gibraltar. Spain objects to part of the deal that covers future trade and security relations between the UK and the EU. Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez insisted on Tuesday that arrangements relating to Gibraltar, a small British territory on the southern tip of Spain, should be discussed separately. May’s fight to save the Brexit deal was further damaged Tuesday by the refusal of Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) members to back her government in a number of finance votes in the UK Parliament. British ministers had to accept Labour amendments to the Finance Bill after the DUP withdrew its backing. Labour said the government was „falling apart in front of us“. May is to travel to Brussels on Wednesday evening to finalise the Brexit deal in a meeting with the EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.,,,

Poland and Israel reject UN Migration Pact: The Polish government said Tuesday that it will not support the global compact seeking international cooperation on migration, citing national sovereignty as it joins countries including Hungary, Austria and the United States in rejecting it. Poland’s current government has taken a strong anti-migrant position. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will also not sign the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The pact is aimed at boosting cooperation to address the world’s growing number of migrants and will be adopted during a conference in Morocco in December. Meanwhile, EU defence ministers were unable to agree with Italy on an extension of the naval mission „Sophia“ in the Mediterranean Sea. Italy has ordered the seizure of the „Aquarius“, the rescue ship at the centre of international criticism over its government’s hard line against migration, saying the vessel had illegally disposed of potentially infectious waste.,, (Sophia), (Aquarius)

Trump stands with Saudi Arabia despite Khashoggi killing: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that the United States stands with Saudi Arabia, despite the murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. Trump said that „we may never know all of the facts surrounding“ Khashoggi’s death, but „our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.“ Trump acknowledged Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman could very well have known about Khashoggi’s murder, but said there was not enough evidence yet. Trump appeared to cast doubt that the US probe of the matter was complete. Turkish media have begun leaking quotes from the audio tapes of Khashoggi’s killing.,,

Kabul suicide bomber kills dozens: The bombing of a crowded religious gathering in the Afghan capital on Tuesday killed at least 50 people and injured over 70 more. Najib Danish, the spokesman for the Interior Ministry, called it a suicide bombing, and confirmed the death toll. Witnesses said there were a thousand people inside the hall when the explosion took place. They included clerics and religious scholars along with others who had gathered to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, a national holiday in Afghanistan. It is one of the deadliest attacks in Kabul in recent months.,

Bin Laden: Pakistan summons US envoy over Trump’s comments
Interpol: Russia says US is meddling in selection of Interpol head
Travel expenses: UN environment chief Erik Solheim quits amid expenses row


Macron faces motorist mutiny over gas tax: After more than 280,000 people took to the streets on Saturday in opposition to the French president’s planned hike of taxes on gasoline, protests resumed on Monday, causing road blockages across much of the country. The so-called Yellow Jacket activists, named after the neon vest worn by motorists during roadside emergencies, are demanding that Emmanuel Macron abandon or at least reduce the planned tax increase. Meanwhile, Renault appointed an acting chief executive on Tuesday, but stopped short of removing Carlos Ghosn as CEO and chairman following his arrest on suspicion of financial misconduct in Japan. Ghosn was detained by Japanese authorities after an internal investigation at Nissan, where he is also chairman, revealed significant acts of misconduct over many years. (Protests), (Renault)

Macedonia’s former PM may have been granted asylum in Hungary: Former Macedonian prime minister Nikola Gruevski, who fled abroad after being sentenced to two years in prison on corruption-related charges, said on Tuesday that he had been granted political asylum in Hungary. Macedonian police had issued an arrest warrant for Gruevski, who resigned in 2016 after a decade in power, after he failed to show up to begin his sentence, following a court ruling against his motion for a reprieve. A spokesperson for the US State Department told „Reuters“ that Gruevski was convicted of misuse of office by Macedonian courts after a thorough and transparent legal process.

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Court calls for release of pro-Kurdish opposition leader: The European Court of Human Rights has called on Turkey to release Selahattin Demirtas, the imprisoned leader of a pro-Kurdish opposition group, ruling that detention was motivated by stifling pluralism and limiting freedom of political debate. Demirtas was first arrested in November 2016 for alleged links to the Kurdistan Workers party (PKK), which is considered a terrorist group by Turkey. Citing a tense political climate in Turkey that has created an environment capable of influencing certain decisions by the national courts, the European court said that judicial authorities had reacted harshly to Demirtas‘ conduct because of his position as an opposition leader and a dissenting voice. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the court rulings were not binding and announced: „We will make a counter-move and finish the job.“ Istanbul human rights activist Eren Keskin said with this statement, Erdogan has openly admitted that his government controls the Turkish judiciary.,

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Italians now say the euro’s a good thing: A big majority of people in all 19 eurozone countries support the common euro currency and think it is a good thing for the bloc, a Eurobarometer survey has found. Despite an ongoing row around Rome’s budget, support for the euro in Italy rose by 12 percentage points from a year earlier, with 57% of Italians now saying the euro is good for their country. The survey also showed that fewer people still mentally convert to their former currency — though 15% still do.



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