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BBC World News

Chile protests: Five dead after looters torch garment factory
Five people die after a factory is set ablaze by looters amid days of violent protests.
Sri Lanka bombings: Forgiving and fighting to recover
Six months after one of the world's worst recent terror attacks, this town is fighting to recover.
Johnson 'has the numbers' to pass Brexit deal
The government insists it will still meet the 31 October deadline, despite sending a letter asking for an extension.
Five things to know about Canada's general election
Will Canadians give Justin Trudeau a second chance when they head to the polls on 21 October?
Australian newspapers black out front pages in 'secrecy' protest
The nation's biggest media rivals unite to protest against what they say is government secrecy.
I will 'always' protect my family, says Prince Harry
The Duke of Sussex tells ITV he does not want "a repeat of the past" with his wife in the spotlight.
Lebanon protests: Mass revolt continues as PM 'agrees reforms'
The country is in the grips of the largest anti-government demonstrations in years.
US troops leaving Syria will go to Iraq, says Pentagon chief
The withdrawal of US forces paved the way for a Turkish military offensive against Kurdish fighters.
Top fund manager forced to resign after BBC investigation
Mark Denning, who managed billions of dollars of investors' money, broke investment rules, the BBC finds.
Bolivia elections: Evo Morales to face Carlos Mesa in run-off vote
Evo Morales leads in Sunday's presidential election but not enough to avoid a run-off.
Trump 'considers himself in the hospitality business' - Mick Mulvaney
The chief of staff spoke after the US president dropped plans to host next year's G7 summit at his resort.
Swiss election: Green parties 'make historic gains'
Greens make major election gains as the anti-immigration SVP suffers a setback, projections show.
Record discovery of mummies excavated in Egypt
In the largest haul of its kind in more than a century, 30 mummies have been unearthed in Egypt.
Man Utd 1-1 Liverpool: Adam Lallana saves Reds' unbeaten start
Adam Lallana rescues a late point for Liverpool at Manchester United to keep them unbeaten in the Premier League - but their run of 17 league victories comes to an end.
Playing the bagpipes to honour teachings of Hindu guru
For Darshil, playing the bagpipes is the perfect way to honour the teachings of his Hindu guru.
Black hole scientist Dr Katie Bouman on trolling and teamwork
Dr Katie Bouman's photo of the moment she saw her first black hole image went viral - but it wasn't all good.
Fire chickens and sea pigs: The artist bringing Chinese words to life
Frankie Huang translates the literal names of Chinese animals into whimsical works of art.
The Malawian radio programme that promotes women's issues
'Women's Time' is a radio programme changing the lives of women in Malawi.
Madrid taken over by hundreds of sheep for annual festival
More than 2,000 animals parade through the Spanish capital for a traditional festival.
Bernie Sanders hosts rally in New York following heart attack
Bernie Sanders, 78, marks his return to campaigning by hosting a rally in Queens, New York.

Yahoo World News

Pound shrugs off Johnson's latest Brexit setback

Pound shrugs off Johnson's latest Brexit setbackSterling fell modestly as trading resumed Monday following British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's latest failure to break the Brexit deadlock, with forex markets shrugging off a weekend of drama in the British parliament. Instead of delivering a verdict on the deal itself, lawmakers voted to force Johnson to ask the European Union for another Brexit delay, hoping to prevent the country crashing out of the bloc on October 31 with no agreement in place.



PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Oct 21

PRESS DIGEST- British Business - Oct 21Here are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson believes he "has the numbers" to ram his deal through the Commons by the end of the week, although the European Union is preparing to delay Brexit until February if he fails. - Visual effects firm DNEG, which has worked on films such as "No Time to Die" and "Captain Marvel", could have to pay HM Revenue & Customs more than 10 million pounds in back taxes and penalties, after details of an investigation came to light in disclosures filed last week.



Report: Synagogue massacre led to string of attack plots

Report: Synagogue massacre led to string of attack plotsAt least 12 white supremacists have been arrested on allegations of plotting, threatening or carrying out anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S. since the massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue nearly one year ago, a Jewish civil rights group reported Sunday. The Anti-Defamation League also counted at least 50 incidents in which white supremacists are accused of targeting Jewish institutions' property since a gunman killed 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018. The ADL said its nationwide count of anti-Semitic incidents remains near record levels.



Pound Falls as Johnson’s Brexit Breakthrough Proves Elusive

Pound Falls as Johnson’s Brexit Breakthrough Proves Elusive(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Sterling fell after U.K. politicians failed to deliver the decisive Brexit vote that had been promised at the weekend.The decline brought to a halt a four-day winning streak that was fueled by speculation Prime Minister Boris Johnson could win parliamentary backing for his divorce deal. But strategists say the drop may prove short-lived.“Investors will have to balance the disappointment of a further delay with the increasing likelihood of eventual passage,” said Ned Rumpeltin, European head of currency strategy at Toronto-Dominion Bank. “The tail risk of an accidental no-deal crash out has also ratcheted down.”Analysts remain bullish even as a verdict on Johnson’s new divorce deal was deferred. Instead, lawmakers supported an amendment put forward by former Conservative minister Oliver Letwin which requires the House of Commons to pass all necessary Brexit legislation before holding a formal vote on the Withdrawal Agreement. That meant the prime minister was legally bound to ask the EU for another extension to negotiations.The pound fell as much as 0.8% against the dollar, ending a four-day winning streak. It was down 0.6% at 1.2906 as of 8 a.m. in Tokyo.“Sterling is likely to remain somewhat volatile, but supported, because it appears the chances of a hard (no deal) Brexit are very slim,” said Joseph Capurso, a senior currency strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.The prime minister is set to introduce the legislation needed for an Oct. 31 exit and it’s possible he will garner enough support to push his deal through, according to a Bloomberg analysis. The Times of London reported that the EU may grant a three-month delay if Johnson is unable to secure support for his deal this week.“Seems like an anti-climactic open for sterling, with investors potentially comforted by the Article 50 extension that the EU seems willing to grant in the case no deal is agreed,” said Valentin Marinov, Credit Agricole’s head of Group-of-10 currency research. “Given that another vote on the Johnson deal could come as soon as Tuesday, investors could use any sterling dips as buying opportunity.”Marinov is sticking to his view that the pound could reach $1.36 medium term.European Council President Donald Tusk said he would consult EU leaders on how to react to the U.K.’s request for another extension.“General sentiment is still positive on Brexit, and this extension could be a small bump in the road,” said Sandeep Parekh, an FX strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group. “But I think the next few days will be very important.”Still, sterling could move sharply lower if Brussels were to formally reject a later deadline, according to TD’s Rumpeltin. It may lurch lower toward $1.2835 and then further to $1.2750 “if the sense from the EU was one of growing rancor and impatience,” he said.But Rumpeltin’s central view is one where the EU would grant an extension.And that more bullish slant for the pound is reflected in the views of other strategists too.“The weekend’s events, if anything, further reduce the risk of disorderly exit,” said Adam Cole, Royal Bank of Canada’s chief currency strategist. A knee-jerk negative sterling reaction may be a buying opportunity, he said.(Updates with pound extending decline, comment from strategist.)\--With assistance from Michael G. Wilson.To contact the reporters on this story: Anooja Debnath in London at adebnath@bloomberg.net;Ruth Carson in Singapore at rliew6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Paul Dobson at pdobson2@bloomberg.net, Brett Miller, Shikhar BalwaniFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



U.K. Businesses’ Brexit Frustration Is Mounting With the Costs

U.K. Businesses’ Brexit Frustration Is Mounting With the Costs(Bloomberg) -- In September, Jaguar Land Rover unveiled a new development facility near Coventry in central England, equipped with technologies like 3-D printing and dedicated to a futuristic vision dubbed “Destination Zero”: No emissions, accidents or congestion.Early next month, Britain’s biggest auto manufacturer plans to add another goose egg: Zero production.The maker of luxurious Jaguar sedans and rugged Range Rover SUVs is idling its U.K. factories for a week in order to guard against supply-chain disruption after the Oct. 31 deadline for leaving the European Union. The shutdown will go ahead whether the U.K. departs with a deal, crashes out without one or secures another delay.After a weekend of political chaos that left Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s withdrawal agreement in tatters, the answer to that question remains as elusive as it was more than three years ago when the country voted to leave. U.K. Plc is nowhere nearer the clarity it craves.“We need tariff free, frictionless and seamless conditions to do business,” Ralf Speth, chief executive officer of Jaguar Land Rover, said in an interview on Sunday.While most business leaders want to avoid a no-deal departure, continued uncertainty is not much better. With the cliff edge looming, and the prospect of another one in three months if the EU grants Parliament’s request for a further delay, collateral damage is mounting.“There will be a hangover into next year, regardless of what happens next,” said Suren Thiru, head of economics at the British Chambers of Commerce. “The political inaction has had serious economic consequences.”After Johnson secured an 11th-hour agreement with Brussels last week, industry groups including the Federation of Small Businesses and the British Retail Consortium had allowed themselves a glimmer of hope, urging politicians to move swiftly to end the state of limbo.The weekend brought a reality check. In a rare Saturday sitting of the House of Commons, lawmakers denied Johnson the chance of putting his deal to the test by voting in favor of an amendment that basically required him to ask the EU for a delay.Bonmarche, a womenswear retailer that has been struggling for years, late Friday went into administration, a British insolvency procedure, saying uncertainty over the departure from the EU delivered a knockout blow.“The delay in Brexit has created negativities, both in the global markets towards Britain and damaged consumer sentiment,” CEO Helen Connolly said. “Without such a delay, it is feasible to believe that our issues would have been more manageable.”Overall, the U.K. has weathered Brexit better than some had feared. The housing market has cooled but not collapsed. While the economy unexpectedly shrank in August, it’s on track to avoid a recession in the third quarter.The cost for companies has been steep, though. Carmakers are particularly exposed to the vicissitudes of Brexit because of their just-in-time supply chains. They’ve spent more than 500 million pounds ($650 million) to prepare, according to the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Toyota Motor Corp. and BMW AG have also announced plans to halt production, while Nissan Motor Co. has warned that tariffs on auto exports to the EU are likely to render its U.K. operations unsustainable.Drugmakers have had to build up supplies to ensure the U.K. doesn’t fall short of essential medicines, while adding plant capacity elsewhere in the EU to meet post-Brexit regulatory requirements. AstraZeneca Plc has estimated that it’s spending about 40 million pounds to 50 million pounds to make sure it can sell products overseas, while GlaxoSmithKline Plc sees its Brexit costs at almost double that amount.In London’s financial district, equity issuance has dried up and about 1,000 investment banking jobs have been moved to other European hubs. Banks have also earmarked up to 1 trillion pounds in assets to move to the EU, according to consultancy EY, but many have been slow to make the shift.“This rolling period of uncertainty does make it harder to plan around,” said James Wood-Collins, CEO at specialist currency manager Record Plc.Farmers have been struggling to attract labor amid questions over EU nationals’ post-Brexit rights in the U.K. About 16% of agricultural jobs went unfilled in September, forcing farms to seek labor from more non-EU nations, raising employment costs.Manufacturers have also been tapping the brakes. In the third quarter, U.K. factory owners reported a deterioration in sales, cash flow and investment, according to a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce.All of this is a far cry from the “sunlit meadows” beyond the EU that Johnson promised during the referendum campaign.Jaguar Land Rover’s planned shutdown shows the cost. The company makes about 450,000 Land Rover Discovery sport-utility vehicles, Jaguar XJ cars and other automobiles in the U.K.; one week’s production represents almost 9,000 vehicles.Shares of JLR parent Tata Motors Ltd. surged late last week on prospects for an end to the uncertainty. Now the best that many business leaders can dare to hope for is a new delay.“A majority of our members would rather have an extension than the reality of a no-deal Brexit,” said Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at the Confederation of British Industry. “But it needs to be an extension with a purpose.”\--With assistance from Manisha Jha, Marion Dakers, John Lauerman and Ellen Milligan.To contact the reporters on this story: Eric Pfanner in London at epfanner1@bloomberg.net;Siddharth Philip in London at sphilip3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



Johnson to Renew Push to Get Brexit Deal Through Parliament

Johnson to Renew Push to Get Brexit Deal Through Parliament(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson will make a fresh attempt to deliver on his pledge to take Britain out of the European Union on Oct. 31 as optimism grows that he now has enough support to get his deal through Parliament.Cabinet ministers made clear the prime minister is undeterred after a crunch vote on Saturday forced him to write to the EU asking for a three-month delay to the deadline.Johnson will on Monday ask the House of Commons to back his deal with the EU in a new “meaningful vote,” a test he was denied Saturday after lawmakers voted in favor of an amendment that sought more time for the agreement to be scrutinized.That puts Johnson on a possible collision course with Commons Speaker John Bercow, who could decide not to allow the the vote because it amounts to asking the same question twice in the same session in breach of parliamentary rules.At the same time, the government is preparing to introduce the legislation needed to deliver Brexit in the hope of fast-tracking the bill through both houses of Parliament in time for Oct. 31.The government was defeated in the amendment vote, brought by former Conservative Minister Oliver Letwin, by just 16 votes. Ministers insisted on Sunday that it now has the backing of the 320 members of Parliament needed to win.“We appear to have the numbers to get this through,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told BBC TV’s “Andrew Marr Show.”No-Deal RiskThat optimism was shared by Michael Gove, the minister in charge of no-deal Brexit preparations, who said the risk of a no-deal Brexit had increased because there was no guarantee the EU would grant Britain’s request for an extension.The government confirmed on Sunday it was triggering Operation Yellowhammer, its contingency plan to make sure Britain can deal with the fallout from a chaotic departure from the EU.Johnson made clear to the EU that he’d rather Britain leave without delay and he refused to sign the letter requesting an extension, one of three sent to Brussels late Saturday. European Council President Donald Tusk is now consulting member states on how to respond.The Times of London on Sunday, citing unnamed diplomatic sources, said the EU is ready to grant a three-month extension if Parliament fails to approve the deal, with the U.K. able to leave on the 1st or 15th of November, December or January if an accord is ratified. If Johnson calls a second referendum, or meets other obstacles, governments led by Germany would push for a longer extension, possibly pushing the deadline to June 2020, the Times said.Johnson received a boost when former cabinet minister Amber Rudd, who walked out of the government and the Tory party in protest at the expulsion of 21 colleagues, said she and many among those who were kicked out are ready to support his deal.The prime minister also has the backing of a small number of Labour MPs, though he may struggle to win over many more. Crucially, Labour wants a customs union with the EU and for any deal to be put to another referendum with an option to stay in the bloc, demands on which there appears little room for compromise.His key problem could lie in wooing back his allies in the Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 votes on Saturday made the difference between defeat and victory.The Northern Irish party has deep reservations about anything that creates any kind of border between Britain and Northern Ireland, such as customs checks in the Irish Sea, and wants a stronger consent mechanism that hands a greater say to the regional assembly.To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Atkinson in London at a.atkinson@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.net, Steve GeimannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



US troops in Syria going to Iraq, not home as Trump claims

US troops in Syria going to Iraq, not home as Trump claimsWhile President Donald Trump insists he's bringing home Americans from "endless wars" in the Mideast, his Pentagon chief says all U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the American military will continue operations against the Islamic State group. The fight in Syria against IS, once spearheaded by American allied Syrian Kurds who have been cast aside by Trump, will be undertaken by U.S. forces, possibly from neighboring Iraq.



U.K. Starts ‘No-Deal’ Brexit Preparations as EU Poised to Delay

U.K. Starts ‘No-Deal’ Brexit Preparations as EU Poised to Delay(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.The U.K. accelerated its preparations to leave the European Union without an agreement on Oct. 31 as the bloc was reportedly poised to give Prime Minister Boris Johnson more time, if he needs it, to work out a deal.The government on Sunday activated “Operation Yellowhammer,” in which agencies and departments take action to offset the worst-case outcomes anticipated from an exit without a formal agreement. The deadline for leaving is the end of this month.“We have now entered the final, most intensive stage” of preparations, according to a government official. “With less than two weeks until 31 October, hundreds of civil servants will from today move to work on these operational matters.”Johnson’s plan to win approval of his newly minted deal with the EU was set back when the House of Commons, in a rare Saturday meeting, voted 322-306 in favor of an amendment that required him to ask the EU for the delay. Bound by a law he opposed, Johnson formally asked the EU to delay Brexit until Jan. 31. But he made clear that he’d rather Britain leave without delay and refused to sign the letter requesting an extension to his Oct. 31 target.Johnson’s reverse knocked the pound in early Asian trading, though any weakness may be short lived, analysts at Credit Agricole and Natwest Markets wrote in research notes. Even though political uncertainty remains, both banks see a diminishing risk of the U.K. crashing out of the bloc without a deal, with Credit Agricole predicting the pound reaching $1.36 and Natwest forecasting $1.35.The Times of London on Sunday, citing unnamed diplomatic sources, said the EU is ready to grant a three-month extension if Parliament fails to approve the deal, with the U.K. able to leave on the 1st or 15th of November, December or January if an accord is ratified. If Johnson calls a second referendum, or meets other obstacles, governments led by Germany would push for a longer extension, possibly pushing the deadline to June 2020, the Times said.Gove’s WarningOne of the leading members of Johnson’s cabinet warned lawmakers on Sunday the country could crash out on Oct. 31 if Parliament rejectsJohnson’s Brexit deal.Michael Gove said he was confident the prime minister had enough support in Parliament to get the agreement over the line as he warned that lawmakers had increased the risk of a no-deal Brexit by forcing Johnson to ask the EU for a delay. A vote on the plan could come as soon as this week.“If we don’t back this deal, then the risk is that the European Council may not grant an extension,” Gove, who is in charge of no-deal Brexit preparations, told Sky TV’s “Sophy Ridge on Sunday” show. “We can’t bet on that. It’s not a sure thing.”Hours after the Saturday vote, French President Emmanuel Macron made it clear the deal had been negotiated and that further delay in Britain’s departure was “in no one’s interest.” However, Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne said Sunday that it would be “sensible” to grant an extension. A unanimous agreement among EU nations is needed to approve a delay.Johnson now plans to push through the legislation needed to take Britain out of the EU at the end of the month, and the slender margin of Saturday’s vote suggests he could succeed.TimetableThe Withdrawal Agreement Bill could begin its journey as soon as Tuesday, after Johnson makes another attempt on Monday to get Parliament to sign off on the principle of his deal. If a vote is permitted tomorrow and Johnson wins, he could withdraw the request for an extension.“We’re going to deliver by the 31st of October,” Gove said. “We are going to ensure that we get this deal done and I’m confident that with the support of good people with whom we may have disagreed in the past, but who respect democracy, we will get this deal done.”Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also expressed optimism, telling BBC TV’s “Andrew Marr” show that “we appear to have the numbers to get this through.”Johnson received a boost earlier Sunday when former cabinet minister Amber Rudd, who walked out of the government and the Tory party in protest at the expulsion of 21 colleagues, said she and many among those kicked out are ready to support his deal.“We do want to leave with a deal and this deal from the prime minister is good enough for me,” said Rudd, who backed the Letwin amendment that forced the delay.Labour and DUPJohnson also has the support of a small number of Labour MPs, though he may struggle to win over many more with the party calculating that a wounded Johnson would be easier to take on in the likely general election to come.Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership is seeking safeguards over issues from the environment to workers’ rights. Crucially, it wants a customs union with the EU and for any deal to be put to another referendum with an option to stay in the EU, areas in which Johnson is highly unlikely to compromise.His key problem could lie in wooing back his allies in the Democratic Unionist Party, whose 10 votes on Saturday made the difference between defeat and victory. The Northern Irish party has deep reservations about anything that creates any kind of border between Britain and Northern Ireland, such as customs checks in the Irish Sea, and wants a stronger consent mechanism that hands a greater say to the regional assembly.To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Atkinson in London at a.atkinson@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.net, James Ludden, Steve GeimannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



Lebanese revolt against their leaders in rare sign of unity

Lebanese revolt against their leaders in rare sign of unityHundreds of thousands thronged public squares in the capital and across Lebanon on Sunday in the largest protests the country has seen since 2005, unifying an often divided public in revolt against traditional leaders who have ruled for three decades and brought the economy to the brink of disaster. Ditching party flags and carrying only white and red Lebanese flags with a cedar tree in the center, they flooded streets in Beirut, the northern city of Tripoli, in eastern Baalbek as well as cities, towns and villages near the southern border with Israel and along Syria's border in the east. In downtown Beirut, the scene was reminiscent of the days after Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated by a massive bombing in 2005, triggering a mass uprising against Syria's occupation of Lebanon after Damascus was blamed for the killing.



How to Tame Irrational Iran and Win a Nuclear Deal

How to Tame Irrational Iran and Win a Nuclear DealThe Trump administration should remain firm with the pressure campaign, continue trying to get the Europeans on board a harsher response to Iran’s aggressions, carve out a clear negotiations strategy, and be wary of blinking first.



Lebanon rocked by vast protests demanding resignation of Hariri government

Lebanon rocked by vast protests demanding resignation of Hariri governmentLebanon was shaken on Sunday by its largest protests in years as young and old turned out en masse to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri and his coalition government. It marked the fourth day of protests following a proposal for new taxes, which ignited widespread anger over austerity measures and corruption in a deeply unequal society.  The plan - to tax WhatsApp calls and other third-party applications that have long afforded cash-strapped Lebanese a chance to chat for free - was quickly dropped. But the protests have morphed into demands for an overhaul of the entire political system in the crisis-ravaged country. After on Friday laying out a 72-hour deadline for parties to agree to a framework for economic reforms, Mr Hariri held round-the-clock meetings with Lebanon’s various political blocs to discuss proposals for the 2020 budget.  Late on Sunday Mr Hariri appeared to have bought himself some time with the announcement of a package of reforms including a 50 percent reduction in the salaries of current and former officials.  The reforms also include $3.3 billion in contributions from banks to reduce the deficit in the heavily indebted country, and plans to overhaul the crippled electricity sector. But they will not be confirmed until approved by the cabinet on Monday, and it is unclear whether they will go far enough. On Saturday night, the resignation of four ministers from the Christian Lebanese Forces, a party allied with Mr Hariri, underscored the chaos in government.  By Sunday evening, with just 24 hours to go before Mr Hariri’s deadline, the country’s streets were awash in flags and furious Lebanese taking aim at all corners. “Neither Saudi nor Iran will be able to take this protest down,” chanted demonstrators in downtown Beirut Sunday night, referencing the regional arch-rivals that have long jostled for control of the tiny Mediterranean country. In the predominantly Shia city of Tyre, in the country’s south, there were chants accusing parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri, himself Shia, of corruption. There has also been vocal opposition to Hizbollah and its leader Hassan Nasrallah. “All of them means all of them. Nasrallah is one of them,” was heard throughout the protests.  While demonstrators called for the government’s departure, its actual collapse would likely herald even greater instability and economic disaster – something MPs seem anxious to avoid. Mr Hariri has hinted at resignation if his demands are not met. But there are few obvious alternatives to the current PM. Not only is the post limited to Sunnis by the country’s power-sharing system, but it is also unclear who would be willing to take over in such a disastrous economic situation. Mr Hariri formed the current government of national unity in February after nine months of wrangling. He is currently in his third term as leader.



South Sudan's opposition leader warns of return to civil war

South Sudan's opposition leader warns of return to civil warSouth Sudan's opposition leader Riek Machar warned Sunday that the country could return to civil war if a coalition government is formed by a Nov. 12 deadline and he asked for another months-long delay for the crucial step in a fragile peace deal. Machar made an impassioned plea to a visiting United Nations Security Council delegation that met with him and President Salva Kiir to urge speedier progress in pulling the country out of a five-year civil war that killed almost 400,000 people. "Suppose we form a government on the 12th, you know what's going to happen?



Mick Mulvaney seeks Trump damage control over impeachment and more

Mick Mulvaney seeks Trump damage control over impeachment and more* Chief of staff defends Doral G7 fiasco and own Ukraine remarks * Nancy Pelosi visits Jordan to discuss Turkey Syria incursionMick Mulvaney in his news conference at the White House on Thursday. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPASenior Trump administration officials were on Sunday scrambling to defend the president from escalating domestic and foreign policy scandals, ranging from impeachment proceedings in Washington to the US troop withdrawal in northern Syria.Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was forced to row back comments he made earlier in the week acknowledging the administration withheld military aid to Ukraine in order to elicit assistance investigating Donald Trump’s political opponents.In a White House briefing on Thursday, Mulvaney listed “three issues” tied to the decision to withhold almost $400m in aid. These included “whether [Ukrainian officials] were cooperating in an ongoing investigation with our Department of Justice” related to the origins of the inquiry into Russian interference in 2016 election, which Mulvaney linked to an unfounded conspiracy theory which says Ukraine was involved in the theft of emails from Democratic servers.Asked if that was tantamount to a quid pro quo, Mulvaney said: “We do that all the time with foreign policy.”Speaking to Fox News Sunday, Mulvaney claimed his words had been misreported, stating he had not acknowledged a quid pro quo.> That’s what people are saying that I said, but I didn’t say that> > Mick Mulvaney“That’s what people are saying that I said, but I didn’t say that,” he said.But he had clearly changed his line, now stating there were only “two reasons” aid was withheld: “rampant corruption in Ukraine” and “whether or not other nations, specifically European nations, were helping with foreign aid to the Ukraine”.The existence of a quid pro quo between Trump and Ukraine is at the centre of an impeachment inquiry led by Democrats in the House of Representatives.The committees involved are also investigating Trump’s request that the Ukrainain government commence an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. The president made the request during a 25 July phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.Mulvaney has denied that the Biden request was tied to the decision to withhold aid.The acting chief of staff is under the spotlight in the impeachment inquiry after testimony from a state department official, George Kent, placed him at the centre of efforts to create a separate diplomatic channel to Ukraine staffed by Trump loyalists including outgoing energy secretary Rick Perry and Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.Democrats are weighing up whether to summon Mulvaney, according to reports.Reports also emerged on Sunday that Mulvaney was facing ejection from his post before the impeachment inquiry began. CNN reported that Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and other advisers began screening for new candidates last month.Mulvaney, a former South Carolina congressman, is the third White House chief of staff under Trump although he retains the “acting” prefix. He said on Sunday he had not considered tendering his resignation this week.“I’m very happy working there. Did I have the perfect press conference? No.” He said.The Ukraine scandal is only one of a number in which the administration is currently embroiled.On Saturday evening Trump was forced into an embarrassing climbdown, announcing his golf resort in Doral, Florida would no longer host the G7 summit next year following bi-partisan criticism of the decision.> At the end of the day he [Trump] still considers himself to be in the hospitality business> > Mick MulvaneyIn an attempt to defend the move, Mulvaney said: “At the end of the day he [Trump] still considers himself to be in the hospitality business.”The administration is also reeling from bipartisan criticism of its decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria.On Sunday, secretary of state Mike Pompeo sought to defend a fragile and brief ceasefire brokered with Turkey, which he described as “the outcome that President Trump sent us to achieve”.The US and Turkey reached an agreement on Thursday to halt Turkish operations against Kurdish forces for five days to allow military and civilians to evacuate an area of land around the border about 20 miles deep, before the territory is claimed by Turkey.An American soldier mounts the US flag on a vehicle near the town of Tel Tamr in northern Syria. Photograph: Baderkhan Ahmad/APBoth sides have accused the other of violating the agreement. Republicans and Democrats in Washington argue the deal has undermined US interests in the region and delivered a significant victory to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.Pompeo, also at the centre of the Ukraine scandal, distanced himself from such criticisms during an interview with ABC’s This Week, when asked if the Turkish government had been handed everything it had asked for.“I was there. It sure didn’t feel that way when we were negotiating,” Pompeo said. “It was a hard-fought negotiation. It began before the vice-president and I even arrived in Ankara.”Trump chimed in on Twitter, quoting his defense secretary on how “the ceasefire is holding up very nicely”. In his first version of the tweet, the president typed Mark Esper’s name as Mark Esperanto.Later on Sunday he returned to the subject of impeachment, tweeting that the Ukraine whistleblower was a “fraud, just like the Russia Hoax”.> ....fiction to Congress and the American People? I demand his deposition. He is a fraud, just like the Russia Hoax was, and the Ukraine Hoax is now. When do the Do Nothing Democrats pay a price for what they are doing to our Country, & when do the Republicans finally fight back?> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2019Over the weekend, Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi led a bipartisan delegation to Jordan to discuss the fallout of Trump’s troop withdrawal.“Our bipartisan delegation is visiting Jordan at a critical time for the security and stability of the region,” Pelosi’s office said in a statement released on Saturday.“With the deepening crisis in Syria after Turkey’s incursion, our delegation has engaged in vital discussions about the impact to regional stability, increased flow of refugees, and the dangerous opening that has been provided to Isis, Iran and Russia.”Despite the chaos over US Syria policy, one of Trump’s most ardent supporters in the Senate seemed to have abandoned his previously stringent criticism.Speaking to Fox News, Lindsey Graham said he was “increasingly optimistic that we can have some historic solutions in Syria that have eluded us for years if we play our cards right”.



Pompeo, Graham Back Trump Approach to Turkey Syria Incursion

Pompeo, Graham Back Trump Approach to Turkey Syria Incursion(Bloomberg) -- Secretary of State Michael Pompeo led the defenders of President Donald Trump’s handling of Turkey’s incursion into Syria, saying Sunday that a cease-fire is holding and that U.S. goals in the Middle East are being met despite criticism allies are being betrayed.Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a recent sharp critic of Trump’s Syria policy, also came around, saying the president was “thinking out of the box.” Earlier this month Graham suggested Trump’s withdrawal from northern Syria made him want to vomit.Pompeo said he received a report Sunday morning of “relatively little” fighting along the Syrian border after he and Vice President Mike Pence brokered a temporary cease-fire with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara last week. He insisted U.S. interests, including preventing ethnic cleansing of the Kurds in the region and a resurgence of Islamic State, or ISIS, are being served.“I’m very confident that this administration’s efforts to crush ISIS will continue,” Pompeo said on ABC’s “This Week.” The comment came a day after Erdogan referred to “crushing the heads of terrorists” after the ceasefire ends Tuesday night. Parallel UniverseBut New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and others on the Sunday morning political shows called the administration’s actions a mistake that abandons the Kurds and other allies while bolstering Russia’s position in the Middle East.“I think the secretary lives in a parallel, alternative universe,” Menendez said on ABC.Former Army General David Petraeus said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the U.S. has abandoned its Syrian Kurdish partners, and called the U.S. actions “a grave, strategic mistake.”“This does not end an endless war,” he said, a reference to comments Trump has made about bringing U.S. troops home. “It probably prolongs it.”Critics say Trump gave Erdogan a green light to attack American-allied Kurdish militias, risking a resurgence of the Islamic State and a slaughter of the Kurds, by pulling U.S. troops out of Syria.Policy by TweetThe president often makes policy on the fly, said Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful. “What President Trump does is wake up in the morning and have a phone call or maybe a tweet and completely change years or even decades of U.S. policy, surprising his own generals and country,” Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, who left the Republican Party this year, said Trump knew what Turkey was going to do and can’t justify his response now.“You don’t wait ’till after withdrawing the troops to make a plan to go pressure Turkey to ease up and then call for a cease-fire,” Amash said on “Meet the Press.” “I think it’s very difficult to put it all back together.”Trump said in a tweet Sunday that the cease-fire is “holding up very nicely,” citing U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper -- whom he called “Mark Esperanto” before correcting the spelling after almost two hours.Esper said about 1,000 U.S. troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and continue to conduct operations against the Islamic State to prevent its resurgence, according to a transcript the Pentagon released of Esper’s comments to reporters on Saturday en route to Afghanistan.The defense secretary said the U.S. would continue to provide air cover for any of its operations in Syria, and that he intends to discuss the “next phase” of the mission to counter the Islamic State with U.S. allies. Esper said he’s spoken with his French counterpart and the NATO secretary-general, and there’s a meeting on it planned this week in Brussels.“That’s a top concern of mine, second only to protection of our forces coming out of Syria,” Esper said.Graham said on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures” that he spoke with the president this weekend and now sees a “historic” result possible in Syria that protects oil interests.“President Trump is thinking outside the box,” Graham said. “I think we can end Syria successfully.”House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is in Jordan this weekend, leading bipartisan talks about Turkey’s incursion into Syria.‘Kangaroo Court’“With the deepening crisis in Syria after Turkey’s incursion, our delegation has engaged in vital discussions about the impact to regional stability, increased flow of refugees, and the dangerous opening that has been provided to ISIS, Iran and Russia,” Pelosi’s office said in a statement on Saturday.Pompeo, meanwhile, rejected accusations that Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine for political reasons, saying “I never saw that in the decision-making process that I was a part of.”He also said is “deeply unfair” that state department lawyers are not allowed into depositions that Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has been holding in private as part of the impeachment inquiry into Trump.“This has been unfair in the Nth degree,” Pompeo said. “Adam Schiff ought to be embarrassed by the kangaroo court that he’s running.”Pompeo declined to answer questions about State Department officials testifying and controversies swirling around Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney. Asked whether he will appear if called by Congress, Pompeo said, “I’ll do everything I’m required to do by law.”Menendez said Pompeo and the State Department “have done everything humanly possible to impede, to obstruct and not to provide information,” and it’s clear that Trump tried to “extort” Ukraine in what he called the “weaponizing U.S. foreign assistance.”(Updates with Esper comments from 14th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Hailey Waller.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Niquette in Columbus at mniquette@bloomberg.net;Billy House in Washington at bhouse5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Whitelaw at kwhitelaw@bloomberg.net, Steve GeimannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



European leaders ponder how to deal with British request for Brexit delay

European leaders ponder how to deal with British request for Brexit delayEuropean Union leaders are considering Boris Johnson's Brexit delay request and how to turn it to their own maximum advantage — though some are wondering if there’s any advantage left to gain. After the British parliament withheld approval on the new Brexit deal clinched Thursday with the EU, forcing the prime minister to ask for a short extension, Johnson on Saturday night complied and sent Brussels a request to delay the Oct. 31 deadline until Jan. 31, 2020. Johnson also sent a second letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, addressing him personally and by first name, to make clear that he is not happy about having been obliged to send the first letter, which he didn't sign.



Kurds evacuate Syrian town in 1st pullout of cease-fire

Kurds evacuate Syrian town in 1st pullout of cease-fireDozens of vehicles rolled out of a besieged Syrian border town, evacuating Kurdish fighters and civilians and opening the way for Turkish-backed forces to take over in the first pullback under a three-day-old U.S.-brokered cease-fire. Kurdish officials say the evacuation of the town of Ras al-Ayn will be followed by a withdrawal of their forces from a broader section of the border with Turkey, a central requirement of the cease-fire deal. Turkey says it wants a "safe zone" clear of the Kurdish fighters — whom it considers terrorists — across the entire northeast border.



Lebanon Heads for Showdown as Reform Vows Fail to Quell Protests

Lebanon Heads for Showdown as Reform Vows Fail to Quell Protests(Bloomberg) -- Lebanese officials were scrambling to finalize a plan to avert a financial meltdown as tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets nationwide for a fourth straight day, demanding the ouster of a political class they blame for rampant corruption and worsening living standards.Prime Minister Saad Hariri held talks with some of his coalition partners on Sunday, two days after he gave them 72 hours to back reforms to rebuild confidence. The plan envisages contributions from banks to help lower public debt servicing without raising taxes on citizens, Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil said.The proposals also include imposing a “wealth tax” while leaving wages intact, Industry Minister Wael Abou Faour said.But those pledges have done little to end protests that broke out Thursday over a decision, later rescinded, to tax WhatsApp calls. Drone footage showed a sea of people marching through the upscale streets of downtown Beirut near Hariri’s headquarters.“What they’re offering now is too little too late,” said Sami Nader, head of the Beirut-based Levant Institute.Inequality, UnemploymentThe cause of Lebanon’s protests bears a striking resemblance to upheavals sweeping the region from Algeria to Iraq: rising inequality, growing unemployment and accusations that the elite have lined their pocket at the expense of the nation.But Lebanon’s sectarian politics and the influence of regional rivals such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, along with one of the world’s highest debt burdens, have made it harder for analysts to predict an easy way out.Gulf powers led by Saudi Arabia, dismayed at the unchecked influence of Iran-backed Hezbollah, have largely ignored Hariri’s pleas for aid. Hezbollah, a militant group with representatives in cabinet and parliament, has resisted calls to loosen its grip on power.The result was captured by one protester who spoke on local television to thank the ruling elite for uniting all sects “to demand their resignation. Leave!”Against this backdrop, banks said they’ll stay shuttered on Monday to repair damage from previous demonstrations in the hope that the government can take steps to restore stability.Four ministers from a major Christian party, the Lebanese Forces, stood down late Saturday, saying they had no faith in the government’s ability to deliver.Hezbollah and its allies, primarily the Free Patriotic Movement led by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, want to preserve the government, warning that the alternative would only lead to chaos. The Hezbollah coalition holds a majority in parliament and the cabinet.Observers doubt that the planned road map would ease tension on the streets given the magnitude of the demonstrations that have spread to regions known for their loyalty to political leaders such as the parliamentary speaker, Nabih Berri, and Hezbollah’s chief Hasan Nasrallah.Protesters have filled up the streets of the capital, insisting their demonstration is peaceful and nonsectarian and would continue until the fall of the government. Fistfights erupted in the southern town of Tyre and Aley in Mount Lebanon Saturday, where protesters clashed with supporters of Berri and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt.Berri, who has been house speaker for nearly 28 years, is the head of one of the largest Shiite parties in the country and is a longtime ally of Hezbollah. Some protesters say armed men tried to dispel protests in Tyre, with Berri’s party vowing to investigate the incident.“I love Berri but we want to eat. We are hungry. We are poor,” one protester said.To contact the reporter on this story: Dana Khraiche in Beirut at dkhraiche@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at lnoueihed@bloomberg.net, Alaa Shahine, Paul AbelskyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



Detroit-area men who sent millions to Yemen spared prison

Detroit-area men who sent millions to Yemen spared prisonA group of Detroit-area men opened bank accounts to move millions of dollars to Yemen, their war-torn native country. One by one, U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn declined to send them to prison, despite guidelines that call for a few years or more behind bars. The Detroit area is believed to have the highest U.S. population of Yemenis, a demographic that has risen amid war in Yemen that has killed tens of thousands of people and left millions more with food and health care shortages.



The Latest: Kurdish fighters pull out of Syrian border town

The Latest: Kurdish fighters pull out of Syrian border townA spokesman for the main Kurdish-led group in Syria says their fighters have evacuated the northern town of Ras al-Ayn, saying they have no armed presence there anymore. Kino Gabriel of the Syrian Democratic Forces said Sunday's evacuation was part of the agreement to pause military operations with Turkey with American mediation. The withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from Ras al-Ayn would open the way for them to leave a broader swath of territory along the Syria-Turkey border, as part of an agreement reached between the U.S. and Turkey.



Burmese fishermen 'faint' after mistaking $20 million of floating crystal meth for natural deodorant

Burmese fishermen 'faint' after mistaking $20 million of floating crystal meth for natural deodorantSacks of crystal meth scooped from the sea by Burmese fishermen who mistook it for a deodorant substance had a street value of $20 million (£15.4m), an official said on Sunday, in a country believed to be the world's largest methamphetamine producer. The accidental drug haul off Burma's coastal Ayeyarwady region occurred when fishermen spotted a total of 23 sacks floating in the Andaman Sea on Wednesday. Each one contained plastic-wrapped bags labelled as Chinese green tea - packaging commonly used by Southeast Asian crime gangs to smuggle crystal meth to far-flung destinations including Japan, South Korea and Australia. Locals were mystified by the crystallised substance in the sacks, Zaw Win, a local official of the National League for Democracy party who assisted the fishermen and police, told AFP. At first, they assumed it was a natural deodorant chemical known as potassium alum, which is widely used in Burma. "So they burned it, and some of them almost fainted," he said. They informed the police, who on Thursday combed a beach and found an additional two sacks of the same substance - bringing the total to 691 kilogrammes (1,500 pounds) which would be worth about $20.2 million (£15.6m), Zaw Win said. "In my entire life and my parents' lifetime, we have never seen drugs floating in the ocean before," he said. The massive haul was sent on Sunday to Pyapon district police, who declined to comment on it. Burma's multi-billion-dollar drug industry is centred in eastern Shan state, whose poppy-covered hills are ideal cover for illicit production labs. Made-in-Burma crystal meth - better known as ice - is smuggled out of the country to more lucrative markets using routes carved out by narco gangs through Laos, Thailand and Cambodia. A study by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says that Southeast Asia's crime groups are netting more than $60 billion a year - a conservative estimate, according to experts - thanks to a sophisticated smuggling and money-laundering operation. In March, Burma authorities seized more than 1,700 kilogrammes of crystal meth worth nearly $29 million, which police said at the time was their biggest drug haul this year.



BBC Sports News

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