Tag Archives: leaders

China must give Hong Kong leaders room to compromise: former governor

China must give Hong Kong leaders room to compromise: former governorChina must give Hong Kong leaders leeway to reach a compromise with protesters or face continued unrest in the city, former governor Chris Patten said on Tuesday. “In order to have a resolution the Chinese government needs to make it clear that they still believe in the treaty which was signed by Britain,” he told AFP, referring to the 1985 agreement that led to Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule in 1997. Under the deal, Hong Kong was allowed to keep its unique freedoms for 50 years.



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Church leaders held homeless people captive, forced them to go begging and stole their benefits, court documents say

Church leaders held homeless people captive, forced them to go begging and stole their benefits, court documents sayChristian ministry leaders allegedly forced a group of homeless people to beg, kept them in locked group homes and threatened to take away their children if they left, prosecutors said.Victor Gonzalez and eleven other leaders of Imperial Valley Ministries (IVM) were charged on Tuesday with subjecting dozens of homeless people to forced labour.



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Trump calls off secret meeting with Taliban, Afghan leaders

Trump calls off secret meeting with Taliban, Afghan leadersPresident Donald Trump said Saturday he canceled a secret weekend meeting at Camp David with Taliban and Afghanistan leaders after a bombing this week in Kabul that killed 11 people, including an American soldier, and has called off peace negotiations with the insurgent group. Trump has been under pressure from the Afghan government, lawmakers and some members of his administration who mistrust the Taliban and think it's too early to withdraw American forces. The administration's diplomat talking to the Taliban leaders for months in recent days said he was on the "threshold" of an agreement with the Taliban aimed at ending America's longest war.



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The head of the Navy SEALs sacked 3 SEAL Team 7 leaders after team members were kicked out of Iraq

The head of the Navy SEALs sacked 3 SEAL Team 7 leaders after team members were kicked out of IraqRear Adm. Collin Green removed three senior SEAL Team 7 leaders "due to a loss of confidence that resulted from leadership failures."



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China’s Li Supports Hong Kong Leaders’ Efforts to End Unrest

China’s Li Supports Hong Kong Leaders’ Efforts to End Unrest(Bloomberg) — Premier Li Keqiang said the Chinese government supports Hong Kong’s leaders to bring violent protests to an end, its highest-level official to comment on the city’s political crisis.Li, the No. 2 official in China’s ruling Communist Party, made the comments during a news conference Friday with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel. For her part, Merkel urged China to protect the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents and find a peaceful solution to the unrest.“People should believe that Chinese people have the ability and wisdom to manage its own affairs,” the Chinese premier said, adding that Beijing supported the government to end the violence to “safeguard Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability.”Li is the highest-level Chinese official to weigh in on the unrest since more than million people took to the streets on June 9 to protest now-withdrawn legislation that would’ve allowed extraditions to the mainland. The peaceful march was the first in a series of demonstrations, which have since escalated in violence and intensity.Merkel said she supported Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s efforts to start a dialogue with the public. She called Lam’s decision Wednesday to withdraw the extradition bill an important signal.“I indicated that these rights and freedoms must of course be guaranteed,” Merkel said. “In the current situation, everything must be applied that ensures violence is avoided – and the solution can only happen peacefully, with dialogue.”Merkel is seeking to walk a fine line on Hong Kong during her two-day visit to China. While her administration urged Beijing to engage in dialogue and respect the rule of law, Merkel has declined an invitation to meet with protesters, her spokesman said on Wednesday.Earlier this year, Germany granted refugee status to two activists who faced sentences as long as 10 years on rioting charges related to a violent clash between police and anti-China radicals in 2016.\–With assistance from Stephen Tan.To contact the reporters on this story: Natalie Lung in Hong Kong at flung6@bloomberg.net;Dandan Li in Beijing at dli395@bloomberg.net;Patrick Donahue in Berlin at pdonahue1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif arrives in Biarritz in surprise visit to G7 leaders summit

Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif arrives in Biarritz in surprise visit to G7 leaders summitJavad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, unexpectedly flew into Biarritz on Sunday in a dramatic twist to a G7 leaders summit that is already riven by divisions over Russia, China and trade.  Mr Zarif, who went straight into talks with French officials after his surprise arrival on an Iranian government Airbus, showed up as French President Emmanuel Macron attempted a high-risk diplomatic gambit to defuse a confrontation that has brought Iran and the United States to the brink of war.  His presence caused immediate confusion in diplomatic circles, with a White House official saying that Donald Trump, who dined with other G7 leaders in Biarritz on Saturday night, was not informed in advance. Mr Trump's administration placed Mr Zarif under sanctions last month.  But a French diplomatic source said Mr Macron informed Mr Trump of the Iranian foreign minister’s visit when the two presidents had lunch on Saturday. Mr Macron then told the other leaders during dinner on Saturday night. “There was a very substantial conversation among the G7 leaders,” the source said.  The source added that the French and Iranian foreign ministers were also discussing “regional issues and Iran’s missile programme”. “We are working in total transparency with our US partners,” he said. Angela Merkel said she was only informed shortly before Mr Zarif arrived.  A White House official said Donald Trump was not told that Emmanuel Macron had invited Javad Zarif Credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Pool via REUTERS A highly-placed French political source told the Telegraph: “That [the foreign ministers’ meeting] doesn’t mean that Mr Trump is actively supporting the talks, only that he is allowing them to happen. If there are advances, he can welcome them and perhaps share the credit. If nothing comes of it, he won’t have to disown it because it was a French initiative. If it does succeed in reducing tension, it will be a huge diplomatic coup for Mr Macron.”   Earlier the French president played down briefings by his aides that the G7 leaders had mandated him to lead talks with Iran, which was quickly denied by Mr Trump who said the idea had not been discussed. Mr Macron said there was no such thing as a “G7 mandate” as the group is a forum for discussion rather than a formal structure. The Iranian foreign ministry said Mr Zarif had flown in for talks on saving the 2015 nuclear deal, but denied that Iran's missile programme was up for discussion. It said no talks with Mr Trump or the US delegation are planned. Mr Macron is hosting Mr Trump, Boris Johnson, Angela Merkel, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, Canada’s Justin Trudeau, and Giuseppe Conte, Italy’s caretaker prime minister, at the 45th G7 summit.  Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets U.S. President Donald Trump for bilateral talks during the G7 summit  Credit: Stefan Rousseau/Pool via REUTERS The meeting has exposed deep rifts over everything from the fires in the Amazon rain forest to Mr Trump’s trade war with China, and Mr Macron has warned that it will likely be the first summit in the Group’s 45 year history to end without a joint communique. There were reportedly lively discussions at Saturday night’s dinner of local Basque cuisine when European leaders including Mr Johnson pushed back at Mr Trump's suggestion that Russian president Vladimir Putin, who was suspended from the G7 after annexing Crimea in 2014, should be readmitted to the forum. Mr Trump and Mr Macron have also clashed over a proposed French "digital tax" which would hit US tech giants like Google and Amazon. Mr Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on French wine in retaliation.  Mr Trump sought to play down reports of division on Sunday, saying meetings so far have been “very good”. “Before I arrived in France, the Fake and Disgusting News was saying that relations with the 6 others countries in the G-7 are very tense, and that the two days of meetings will be a disaster,” Mr Trump tweeted.  An Iranian government plane is seen on the tarmac at Biarritz airport in Anglet on Sunday   Credit: REUTERS/Regis Duvignau “Well, we are having very good meetings, the Leaders are getting along very well, and our Country, economically, is doing great — the talk of the world!” Tensions between the US and Iran have spiralled since Mr Trump last year withdrew from a deal that offered Iran sanctions relief in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear programme. Since then the US has pursued a policy of “maximum pressure” in the hope that economic hardship will force the regime in Tehran to accept a more restrictive deal and end its support for armed groups like Hizbollah. The confrontation has caused tension with European allies including Britain which still support the 2015 nuclear deal.  Iran continues to hold the Stena Impero, a British flagged tanker that it seized in the Gulf in apparent retaliation for the arrest by Royal Marines of an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar in July.  Gibraltar released the Adrian Darya 1, formerly the Grace 1, on August 18, despite a US legal bid to impound it.  The Royal Navy sent a third warship to the provide maritime security in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday.  HMS Defender, a type 45 destroyer, will join the type 23 frigates HMS Kent and HMS Montrose.



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Economic storm clouds hovering over Trump and global leaders

Economic storm clouds hovering over Trump and global leadersUnder the threatening clouds of a global economic slowdown, President Donald Trump is confronting the consequences of his preference to go it alone, with low expectations that the leaders of the richest democracies can make substantive progress on an array of issues at their summit in France. The meeting of the Group of Seven nations — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the U.S. — in the beach resort town of Biarritz comes at one of the most unpredictable moments in Trump's presidency, when his public comments and decision-making increasingly have seemed erratic and acerbic of late. Trump, who arrived Saturday, and his counterparts are facing mounting anxiety over the state of the world economy and new tension on trade, Iran and Russia .



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EU leaders round on Trump over trade at G7

EU leaders round on Trump over trade at G7European leaders rounded on US President Donald Trump over his trade threats Saturday at a G7 summit in France marred by trans-Atlantic tension and worries about the global economy. The heads of the visiting G7 countries — Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States — were all smiles at a swanky welcome dinner hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron on a clifftop overlooking the surfing paradise of Biarritz. Fine French wines and champagne were served along with a dinner including locally fished bluefin tuna.



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EU leaders round on Trump over trade at G7

EU leaders round on Trump over trade at G7EU leaders rounded on US President Donald Trump over his trade threats on Saturday as they arrived in the chic French seaside resort of Biarritz for a G7 summit overshadowed by trans-Atlantic tensions and worries about the global economy. Already embroiled in a high-risk trade war with China, Trump warned late Friday he would impose punishing tariffs on French wine if France doesn't withdraw a new digital tax that will hit US tech giants. The European Union "will respond in kind," EU Council President Donald Tusk answered to Trump, who issued his threat on departing Washington for Biarritz.



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The Latest: Trump dining with G-7 leaders in France

The Latest: Trump dining with G-7 leaders in FrancePresident Donald Trump is dining with world leaders attending the annual Group of Seven summit in France. The French presidency has chosen five local chefs, all with Michelin stars, to prepare meals featuring local Basque cuisine for the summit. President Donald Trump French and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed economic and trade issues, as well as security challenges, during their private lunch ahead of the Group of Seven summit in Biarritz.



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