EU tells PM Johnson to stop playing ‘stupid’ Brexit game

The European Union accused Britain of playing a “stupid blame game” over Brexit on Tuesday after a Downing Street source said a deal was essentially impossible because German Chancellor Angela Merkel had made unacceptable demands.

With just 23 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the bloc, the future of Brexit remains deeply uncertain and both London and Brussels are positioning themselves to avoid blame for a delay or a disorderly no-deal Brexit.

Ex-U.S. envoy Huntsman urges rethink of Russia sanctions

Days after ending his term in Moscow, former United States ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman has urged Washington to review its sanctions-dominated approach to Russia, questioning its efficiency and calling for dialogue.

The U.S. has placed multiple layers of sanctions on Russia, its senior officials and largest companies, as well as businessmen it views as connected to the Kremlin, the bulk of them linked to Moscow’s role in the Ukrainian crisis which began in 2014 and has yet to be resolved.

Macron: France needs vigilance against Islamist ‘Hydra’

France must develop a “society of vigilance” in its fight against the “Hydra” of Islamist militancy, President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday, as he paid homage to the victims of a deadly knife attack at the headquarters of the Paris police.

The assailant, an IT worker at the premises, killed three police officers and an administrative worker with a knife last week, before being shot dead by police.

— From Wire Reports

Hong Kong leader Lam does not rule out Beijing help as economy suffers

Hong Kong’s embattled leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday did not rule out asking Beijing for help, as the Asian financial hub struggles to deal with months of often violent anti-government protests that are damaging its economy. Lam said Beijing wanted Hong Kong to solve its own problems, but under its mini-constitution, known as the Basic Law, Hong Kong could ask Beijing for help.

Turkey says it’s ready for Syria push, Kurds signal Damascus talks

Turkey said on Tuesday it was all set to launch a military push into northeast Syria after the United States began pulling back troops, opening the way for a Turkish attack on Kurdish-led forces long allied to Washington. But U.S. President Donald Trump warned he would “obliterate” the NATO ally’s economy if it took action in Syria that he considered “off limits” following his decision on Sunday to pull 50 American special forces troops from the border region.

Kazakh president orders investigation into China-linked transport project

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Tuesday ordered an investigation into former senior officials who initiated a struggling $1.5 billion Chinese-led project to build a light rail network in the capital. While Tokayev mentioned no names, his order could mean that he is targeting former and current members of his patron and predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev’s inner circle — challenging the widespread notion that the president is only No.2 in the Kazakh political hierarchy.

Five more Thai elephants died in waterfall plunge, drone footage shows

Five more wild elephants in Thailand died in a plunge from the top of a waterfall, drone footage released on Tuesday showed, bringing the death toll to 11, including a three-year-old calf. Only two elephants in the herd are known to have survived the fall at the 200 meter (656.17 ft) high Haew Narok Waterfall in a national park in Thailand’s mountainous northeast, officials said.

Science of far-away planets and infant universe wins Nobel prize

Canadian-American cosmologist James Peebles and Swiss scientists Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz won the 2019 Nobel Prize for Physics on Tuesday for revealing the wonder of the evolution of the universe and discovering planets orbiting distant suns. Peebles, of Princeton University in the United States, was awarded half of the 9-million-Swedish-crown ($910,000) prize while Mayor and Queloz, from Switzerland’s University of Geneva and Britain’s Cambridge University, shared the rest.