Around the Globe

Around the Globe

Germany to start work on trade, China, Syria war - Merkel

Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would work with France to tackle pressing issues such as trade policy, the war in Syria and competition with China after the Social Democrats (SPD) approved joining a coalition with her conservatives.

Merkel welcomed the vote by a clear majority of SPD members that ended more than five months of political deadlock in Europe’s largest economy after an inconclusive election, and she said the right-left government must quickly get to work.

South Korea sending envoys to North Korea as Trump suggests US is willing to talk

South Korea will dispatch a delegation led by senior security officials for a two-day visit to North Korea starting Monday, the presidential Blue House announced Sunday, as US President Donald Trump hinted that he is ready to talk to


For its part, North Korea said it was not begging to talk with Washington and denounced upcoming US-South Korean joint-military exercises, warning that it would take counter measures against the United States if they went ahead.

Hope Hicks Resigns as White House Communications Director

Hope Hicks, one of President Donald Trump’s longest serving advisers and closest aides, will resign, the White House said a day after she testified to congressional investigators probing Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

Hicks was named White House communications director in September, but was on Trump’s staff from the beginning of his presidency. Prior to joining the Trump campaign, she had worked in public relations for the Trump Organization.

Malaysia’s MAXiS TO LOSE $7 billion over Aircel bankruptcy

THE company  of Malaysian tycoon T Ananda Krishnan (in pic) is poised to lose a total of about $7 billion from a failed 12-year foray in the Indian wireless market, marking his biggest hit on a soured investment, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Kushner loses top-level security clearance in Kelly crackdown

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, can no longer attend some meetings of the National Security Council, see the highly classified President’s Daily Brief or war-related intelligence after losing his top-secret security clearance as part of a broader White House crackdown, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Kushner’s reduced access raises questions about how it will affect his role as Trump’s main West Asia peace negotiator, although a spokesman insisted nothing has changed in how Kushner will be able to fulfill his multiple roles.

Chemical weapons watchdog investigates Ghouta attacks

The world’s chemical weapons watchdog is investigating recent attacks in the besieged, rebel-held Syrian region of eastern Ghouta to determine whether banned munitions were used, sources told Reuters.

The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) opened an investigation on Sunday into reports of the repeated use of chlorine bombs this month in the district near the Syrian capital, diplomatic sources told Reuters.

China pushes back against criticism of plan for Xi to stay in power

China’s plan for President Xi Jinping to remain in office indefinitely has sparked social media

opposition, drawing comparisons to North Korea’s ruling dynasty and charges of creating a dictator by a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist.

The social media reaction late on Sunday quickly saw China swing into a concerted propaganda push by Monday, blocking some articles and publishing pieces praising the party.

China sets stage for Xi to stay in office indefinitely

China’s ruling Communist Party on Sunday set the stage for President Xi Jinping to stay in office indefinitely, with a proposal to remove a constitutional clause limiting presidential service to just two terms in office. Xi, 64, is currently required by the country’s constitution to step down as President after two five-year terms. Nearing the end of his first term, he will be formally elected to a second at the annual meeting of China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament opening on March 5.

Trump hears stories from school shootings in White House meeting

President Donald Trump promised on Wednesday to act quickly to prevent school shootings as often-tearful, occasionally angry survivors and parents of victims used a remarkable White House meeting to pour out their frustration.

“I lost a best friend, practically a brother. I’m here to use my voice because I know he can’t,” said Samuel Zeif, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which was attacked on February 14. Seventeen people were killed.

Mueller Gets Plea, No Cooperation, as Skadden Lawyer Admits Lies

US Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Tuesday extracted another guilty plea as prosecutors bear down on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates.

Alex van der Zwaan, a former associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, admitted in court in Washington that he misled investigators about the last time he talked with Gates, who was indicted in October with Manafort over their consulting work in Ukraine. Gates is reportedly considering cooperating with Mueller.