Around the Globe

Around the Globe

Merkel takes a gamble with new immigration law

Chancellor Angela Merkel hopes a new immigration law will make it easier for foreign workers to find jobs in Germany, but her push to fill a record number of vacancies risks angering voters who still resent her open-door refugee policy.

With an ageing population and a shrinking workforce, Germany needs greater flexibility to fill more than a million empty positions, business leaders say.

“We will continue to depend on foreign professionals,” Merkel said in the Bundestag last week, defending her immigration plans against criticism from opposition politicians.

Support my deal or face no deal, says May

Prime Minister Theresa May cautioned rebels in her party that unless they support her potential Brexit deal with the EU then they will face a potentially disorderly “no-deal” exit that the IMF said would make the United Kingdom significantly poorer.

The United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29 and yet little is clear: There is, so far, no full exit agreement and some rebels in May’s Conservative Party have threatened to vote down a deal if she clinches one.

“I think that the alternative to that will be having no deal,” May told BBC TV.

Abe aims to rewrite Japan constitution as he seeks 3rd term

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears headed for a third three-year term as ruling party leader, extending his hold on power and giving him time to pursue a long-cherished goal revising his country's post-World War II constitution.

Abe reportedly has the support of a large majority of party representatives ahead of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's September 20 leadership vote.

Putin says Russia identified suspects in Novichok poisoning

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia has identified the two men that Britain named as suspects in the poisoning of a former Russian spy, and that there is "nothing criminal" about them.

Britain last week charged two alleged agents of Russia's military intelligence agency in absentia with the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Britain blames the Russian government for the attack, a claim that Moscow has vehemently denied.

Kim asks Trump for another meeting in ‘very warm’ letter

US President Donald Trump received a “very warm, very positive” letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un asking for a second meeting and the White House is looking at scheduling one, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Monday.

The two countries have been discussing North Korea’s nuclear programmes since their leaders met in Singapore in June, although that summit’s outcome was criticised for being short on concrete details about how and whether Kim is willing to give up weapons that threaten the United States.

UK govt won’t say if it has legal advice on 2nd Brexit referendum

The British government has refused to confirm whether it has taken legal advice on holding a second referendum on the final Brexit deal, saying revealing such information would harm its negotiating position in talks with Brussels.

The Brexit department, which oversees the negotiations on Britain’s departure from the European Union next year, made the comment in response to a Reuters query submitted under the Freedom of Information law.

Nations round on US, allies as UN climate talks wrap up

Developing countries rounded on the US and its allies at emergency climate talks on Sunday, accusing the world’s richest nations of stalling a deal aimed at preventing runaway global warming.

Experts from around the world have been locked in discussions this week in Bangkok, aiming to reach a comprehensive rulebook for countries to implement the landmark Paris Accord on climate change. But talks have foundered over the key issue of how efforts to limit climate change are funded and how contributions are reported.

British Navy warship sails near South China Sea islands, angering Beijing

Beijing expressed anger on Thursday after a British Royal Navy warship sailed close to islands claimed by China in the South China Sea late last month, saying Britain was engaged in “provocation” and that it had lodged a strong complaint.

The HMS Albion, a 22,000 ton amphibious warship carrying a contingent of Royal Marines, exercised its “freedom of navigation” rights as it passed near the Paracel Islands, two sources, who were familiar with the matter but who asked not to be identified, told Reuters.

Pompeo says Pak hasn’t done enough to counter terrorist groups

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said Pakistan still hasn’t done enough against terror groups to merit the resumption of security assistance, a point he said he would relate to senior leaders in the country when he visits on Wednesday.

“We certainly haven’t seen the progress that we would have hoped to have seen,” Pompeo told reporters on his plane after leaving Washington en route to Islamabad on Tuesday. “Certainly not progress that would be sufficient for us to have advocated for turning back on that financial support.”

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