China trade more important than ever says UK

China’s trade is “more important than ever to the UK” said the British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond at a press conference with China’s Vice-Premier. Mr Hammond added that it was important for the UK to tap into the Chinese market, with the country’s middle class population expected to reach 600 million, reports the BBC. Speaking after a meeting with Mr Hammond on his visit to the UK, China’s Vice-Premier, Ma Kai, added, “China wishes to see a UK and Europe that encourage stability and high prosperity. China will be happy to see the UK and Europe reaches a win-win relationship...

Protests after Trump wins US presidential election

Protests took place in major cities across the United States on Wednesday as thousands came out to express their anger at the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, victory in the presidential election. Mr Trump beat his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton by 279 to 228 electoral college votes, despite Mrs Clinton reportedly winning the popular vote. One of the largest protests was by Trump Tower in New York, with demonstrators chanting, "Not our president!" See here , here and here for more.

Suspected Basque separatist leader arrested

Mikel Irastorza, the suspected leader of the Basque separatist group ETA, has been arrested on Saturday in southwestern France according to latest reports. Spain’s Interior Ministry said in a statement that the arrest would make it “difficult for the terrorist group to reach any of its objectives". He is thought to have been leading the group since after previous leaders David Pla and Iratxe Sorzábal were arrested in September of 2015. More than 300 ETA militants remain in prison claim Spanish authorities. ETA has been fighting for an independent Basque state in northern Spain and southern...

UK opens new Department for International Trade (DIT) in Tamil Nadu

The British government opened up a new office for the Department for International Trade (DIT) in Chennai today, as it looks to expand links across the region. British Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai, Bharat Joshi, opened the new centre and said that the UK's “ties with India have never been stronger”. “Our new Prime Minister’s visit next month to open the India-UK TECH Summit with Prime Minister Modi is another milestone in this key relationship and reflects India’s importance as a strategic partner,” he added. UK Prime Minister Theresa May's visit to India will be her first outside of...

Civilians and US troops killed in heavy Afghan fighting

At least 30 civilians have been killed by an alleged NATO air strike in northern Afghanistan where heavy fighting with the Taliban has seen the death of two US soldiers. Local Afghan officials in the city of Kunduz blamed NATO air strikes for the deaths, after angry protestors brought bodies of the dead to the governor's office, reports the BBC . The New York Times reported 22 bodies were brought into Kunduz hospital including 14 of them children and four women. One of the protestors, 55-year-old labourer Taza Gul told the BBC: "I am heartbroken. I have lost seven members of my family. I want...

Pro-Kurdish politicians arrested by Turkey over 'terrorism'

The leaders of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic party (HDP) and at least 10 other MPs have been arrested by Turkish authorities over charges linking them to “terrorist propaganda” on Friday. Those arrested included HDP leaders Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ in early morning raids that also saw internet services cut off to the Kurdish southeast. The Turkish government has accused the HDP of being the political wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which for decades has been fighting for a separate state. Commenting on the arrests, Turkey's Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said...

English and Scottish FA to defy Fifa ban and wear poppies on Armistice day

The Football Associations of England and Scotland have confirmed that they will defy the ban on players wearing poppies when the teams meet on Armistice Day. The world football’s governing Body Fifa prohibits political, religious and commercial messages on shirts. However, the chief executive of the English Football Association FA Martin Glenn told the BBC that the players from both sides would wear the poppy symbol, and were willing to accept any punishment. Speaking at Prime Minister’s questions, British Prime Minister Ms Theresa May added to the debate stating, “"Our football players want...

UN Sec-Gen sacks commander of UN peacekeeping forces in South Sudan for failure to protect civilians

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon sacked the commander of the peacekeeping forces in South Sudan following a damning report that accused the UN forces of failing to protect civilians during outbreaks of violence in July. The report of the UN special investigation found that a lack of leadership in the UN mission, culminated in a “chaotic and ineffective response” during the heavy fighting South Sudan that killed dozens of people this summer. Peacekeepers abandoned their posts and failed to respond to pleas from aid workers under attack, reports Reuters. The UN Secretary General’s...

Rwanda accuses 22 French army officers of genocide

The Rwandan government this week named 22 French senior military officials accused of aiding in the planning and execution of genocide in 1994. According to Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide, the French officers were involved as both perpetrators and accomplices. Acts said to be perpetrated in Rwanda included the establishment of tools for genocide, leading in acts of torture and concealing crimes committed by the Juvénal Habyarimana regime. The statement also included the names of 3 officers from Paris believed to be involved in crimes. “As supreme commander of the...

Turkey rejects criticism for detention of opposition newspaper editor

Turkey’s prime minister rejected criticism for the detention of senior journalists at an opposition newspaper, adding that he would not be brought to heel by international threats. Speaking in parliament today about EU criticism Binali Yildirim said, “We don’t care about your red line. It’s the people who draw the red line. What importance does your line have? We have no problem with press freedom. This is what we can't agree with our European friends. They always bring up press freedom when we take steps in our fight against terrorism.” The United States and European Parliament both voiced...

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