U.S. touts new evidence of Iranian weaponry in Yemen, Afghanistan
The United States on Thursday displayed pieces of what it said were Iranian weapons deployed to militants in Yemen and Afghanistan, a tactic by President Donald Trump’s administration to pressure Tehran to curb its regional activities. The second presentation of Iranian weapons by the Pentagon, many of which were handed over by Saudi Arabia, coincides with growing concern in Congress over U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s civil war, which has led to a deep humanitarian crisis.
UK lawmakers propose amendment to oppose PM May’s Brexit deal
A group of senior British lawmakers on Thursday proposed an amendment to block Prime Minister Theresa May’s EU withdrawal deal which is due to be discussed in parliament next week and to also rule out a no-deal Brexit. “I have tabled this amendment this afternoon — with the support of Yvette Cooper, Dominic Grieve, Rachel Reeves, Sarah Wollaston and Meg Hillier — to the government’s motion on the EU withdrawal agreement,” opposition lawmaker Hillary Benn wrote on Twitter along with a picture of a copy of his amendment.
Ukrainian leader says Putin wants his whole country, asks for NATO help
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday accused Russia’s Vladimir Putin of wanting to annex his entire country and called for NATO to deploy warships to a sea shared by the two nations. Poroshenko’s comments to German media were part of a concerted push by Kiev aimed at gaining Western support for more sanctions against Moscow, securing tangible Western military help, and rallying opposition to a Russian gas pipeline that threatens to deprive Ukraine of important transit revenue.
Fearing espionage, U.S. weighs tighter rules on Chinese students
The Trump administration is considering new background checks and other restrictions on Chinese students in the United States over growing espionage concerns, U.S. officials and congressional sources said.
Hate crimes in Canada jump 47 percent in 2017
Hate crimes in Canada increased 47 percent in 2017, primarily targeting Muslims, Jews and black people, according to figures released by the country’s statistical agency on Thursday. The biggest increase was in crimes targeting Muslims, Statistics Canada reported, in a year that saw a deadly mass shooting in a Quebec mosque, followed by a government motion to study Islamophobia that itself sparked anti-Muslim sentiment.
— From Wire Reports
From Malbec to scarfs, G20 leaders showered with Argentine gifts
The leaders of the world’s largest economies received alpaca scarfs, silver bracelets, wine from Argentina’s Mendoza region and teas from Patagonia as they arrived in Buenos Aires on Thursday for the first G20 summit to be held in South America. Heads of the Group of 20 industrialized nations touched down in Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital, for what looked to be a tough two-day summit that opens on Friday, with big differences on major issues including trade, migration and climate change.
G20 members struggle for agreements ahead of Argentina summit
G20 member nations were still struggling to reach agreement on major issues including trade, migration and climate change as world leaders began arriving in the Argentine capital ahead of a summit starting on Friday. “This is not a good year for multilateralism,” said a German government source about talks on a final statement that the leaders are due to issue at the end of their meeting on Saturday. The negotiations are “very, very difficult,” the official told Reuters.
In abrupt switch, Trump cancels Putin meeting, cites Ukraine crisis
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday abruptly canceled a planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Argentina, registering his disapproval of Russia’s treatment of Ukraine and casting new uncertainty over U.S.-Russian ties. Trump said he pulled out due to tensions over Russian forces opening fire on Ukrainian navy boats and then seizing them and their crew on Sunday near Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Violence, attacks on doctors plague Venezuela hospitals: doctors survey
After a woman died while connected to a respirator at a hospital in central Venezuela last month, one of her relatives punched the attending doctor in the chest, blaming her for the woman’s death. “They think when there’s no equipment or antibiotics that it’s the doctor’s fault,” said the doctor at the Hospital Central in Maracay, 130 kilometers (80 miles) west of the capital Caracas. She requested anonymity for fear of reprisals.
Canada reviews Cuba presence after another diplomat falls ill
Canada’s government is reviewing its diplomatic presence in Cuba, officials said on Thursday, after another staff member developed the same mysterious health problems that first began affecting diplomats last year. Canadian and U.S. diplomats in Havana first began complaining of dizziness, headaches and nausea in the spring of 2017. The United States reduced embassy staffing in Cuba from more than 50 to a maximum of 18, after more than two dozen personnel developed unusual illnesses.