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- As the third round of Brexit talks approaches, the European Union’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, said, “We must start negotiating seriously” and criticized UK Government papers for being vague. His comments come five months after the UK triggered so-called Article 50 starting the clock ticking on leaving the 27-member union after 40 years. There’s 19 months left for negotiations before the UK leaves and automatically goes out with trade terms fixed on the World Trade Organisation instead of the current free trade with Europe. However, depending on the deal proposed, all EU governments may have to agree to the UK’s new relationship with the EU. This could require negotiations to finish in 13 months time to give EU governments time to vote on the Brexit deal. At this stage EU citizens rights in the UK and UK citizens rights in the EU are yet to be guaranteed as time runs out, adding to the pressure on Prime Minister Theresa May.
- In response to North Korea’s latest provocative missile test, President Trump said in a White House statement that “all options are on the table.” He added that its “threatening and destabilizing actions” will only increase its “isolation in the region and among all nations of the world.”
- France’s Emmanuel Macron has said that the fight against Islamist terrorism is his “first priority.” His other foreign policy priorities include French independence and restoring French influence. “France’s security is the main purpose of our diplomacy” he said in speech to 200 French ambassadors.
- Iran has rejected a U.S demand for the agreed UN nuclear inspection regime to be extended to military bases. The inspection program is part of the nuclear agreement in 2015 between Tehran, the United States and other world powers which led to the lifting of UN sanctions. However, Iran’s government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht says the sites which the U.S. has proposed including in the inspections are “classified.”
- North Korea fired an intermediate range ballistic missile into the Pacific, overflying Japan, in what Tokyo called a “reckless” act. It certainly brought the world’s attention back to the hermit kingdom after a couple of weeks of relative diplomatic calm when Pyongyang backed off its threat to fire missiles at the U.S. territory of Guam. The test jolted Asian and European financial markets and brought the Korean missile crisis back to the top of President Donald J. Tump’s agenda as he was dealing with the political fall out of the Harvey storm on Houston.
- French President Emmanuel Macron launched a combined effort between the four major European powers and three African states on the frontline of the migration crisis to tackle human trafficking and start to deal with some of the underlying pressures which lead people to try to get to Europe.
A major investigation by Reuters news agency recently, set out the reasons people are being trafficked across North Africa, the pressures those migrants face at home and the traffickers who exploit them
What we’re reading and watching
– Financial Times writer Robert Shrimsley, whose father and uncle held senior roles in Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloid newspaper empire, gives a more thoughtful view of the Australian-born media magnate than the usual cardboard cut out. This story may behind the FT.com paywall.
– Investigations in the New York Times and the Washington Post deepened the tide of allegations and suspicions behind President Trump’s business relationships with Russian figures and appear to lead directly to President Putin. The trail echoes some of the original claims in the so-called Steele Dossier, published by BuzzFeed, in which lurid sexual allegations masked evidence of suspect business connections which now appear to be being revealed.
– The Guardian profiled Abdul Al-Sayed, a Muslim doctor who is running for governor in Michigan. His candidacy comes at a time when race and faith are particularly sensitive topics in the US. If he wins, he will become the first Muslim governor in US history, potentially changing US politics the way Obama did.
– Politico Magazine has said Harvey is a picture of what climate change will do to our future’s.
– Peter Bale is the launch editor of WikiTribune. He is a former Reuters news agency correspondent and has held roles in news organisations from CNN to The Times and investigative news service, The Center for Public Integrity. He is @peterbale on Twitter.
– Linh Nguyen is a journalist with a background in the humanities. She’s worked in tech, building communities and writing on design and start-ups across SE Asia, the UK and the US. Follow her @N_Linhhh on Twitter.
– Harry Ridgewell is a WikiTribune journalist who studied magazine journalism at Cardiff University. He has a particular interest in science and politics. Follow @harryridgewell on Twitter.