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BBC World News

Hong Kong Polytechnic University: Protesters arrested as they run from campus
Some manage to escape on motorcycles after using rope ladders to get out of the Polytechnic University.
Impeachment: Trump will 'strongly consider' testifying
The US president says he likes "the idea" of testifying in the impeachment inquiry into his conduct.
Prince Andrew: Royalty has failed Epstein's accusers, says lawyer
A lawyer for Jeffrey Epstein's accusers says Prince Andrew should apologise for the pair's friendship.
Sinterklaas: Dutch protests over Black Pete festival-goers
Anti-racism campaigners protest in cities across the Netherlands over the use of black face paint.
Kylie Cosmetics: Kylie Jenner sells company for $600m
The reality TV star said she is building the brand into and "international beauty powerhouse"
Brazil's Amazon deforestation highest since 2008, space agency says
The rainforest loses 9,762 sq km in 12 months, an increase of nearly 30%, Brazil's space agency says.
Rare Charlotte Bronte book coming home after museum's auction success
The museum buys a tiny book by 14-year-old Charlotte Bronte, eight years after narrowly missing out.
French bridge collapses near Toulouse, killing girl, 15
Others are feared missing after a suspension bridge collapses on the River Tarn in the south-west.
UK PM shelves tax cut to help health service
Boris Johnson says plans to cut corporation tax to 17% next year are to be put on hold.
Iran protests: At least 12 killed at unrest over petrol price rise
The government says the situation is "calmer" as reports suggest the death toll is much higher.
Oxford Union debate: Blind student 'violently' pulled from seat
Ebenezer Azamati says he felt "unwelcome" in Britain after being "violently removed" from the Oxford Union.
Joker becomes first R-rated film to make $1bn at global box office
The origin tale, starring Joaquin Phoenix, reached the landmark despite not being released in China.
Chile protests: President Piñera condemns police 'abuses'
President Piñera has acknowledged that police used "excessive force" when cracking down on protests.
Ford unveils all-electric car - the Mustang
The new vehicle has a 370-mile range, no door handles and storage under the front bonnet.
Justice League: Stars call for the #SnyderCut
Stars of the movie Justice League want an alternative edit to be released.
Children fish WW2 ammo from pond with magnet
The children, in eastern Germany, got more than they bargained for from their fishing expedition.
'I'm Hispanic but can't speak Spanish'
Figgy is Mexican-American but he can't speak Spanish - he explains why that matters.
Climate defenders: The woman helping coal miners to save the planet
Sharan Burrow wants to find alternative livelihoods for coal miners and therefore help protect our climate.
Panorama Investigation: War crimes scandal exposed
British Special Forces have been accused of covering up the killings of four young Afghans in 2012.
Artist will.i.am accuses Qantas flight attendant of racism
The US musician was met by police at Sydney airport after a disagreement with a flight attendant.

Yahoo World News

Iran 'calmer' despite more riots over oil price hikes

Iran 'calmer' despite more riots over oil price hikesIran said it still faced riots even though the situation was "calmer" Monday after days of violent protests sparked by a shock decision to hike petrol prices in the sanctions-hit country. Its commander Brigadier General Gholamreza Soleimani accused Iran's arch-enemy the United States of instigating the unrest and said "America's plot failed", according to semi-official news agency ISNA. Iran's economy has been battered since May last year when President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from a 2015 nuclear agreement and reimposed crippling sanctions.



UPDATE 1-Iran breaches another nuclear deal cap, on heavy water stock -IAEA report

UPDATE 1-Iran breaches another nuclear deal cap, on heavy water stock -IAEA reportIran has breached another limit of its nuclear deal with major powers by accumulating slightly more than 130 tonnes of heavy water, a substance used in a type of reactor it is developing, a U.N. nuclear watchdog report showed on Monday. The limit is the latest in a series imposed by the deal that Iran has exceeded in protest at Washington's withdrawal from the deal last year and its imposition of punishing economic sanctions against Tehran. Heavy water is not as sensitive as uranium, which Iran is enriching in a quantity and to a level of purity beyond limits in the deal.



Boris Johnson Cancels 2020 Tax Cut for Businesses: U.K. Votes

Boris Johnson Cancels 2020 Tax Cut for Businesses: U.K. Votes(Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his Conservatives are canceling plans to cut corporation tax next April so the government can save money to spend more on voters’ priorities, including the state-funded National Health Service.The rate was due to fall to 17% from 19%, but Johnson said businesses had already gained from a succession of corporation tax cuts in recent years. He spoke to the Confederation of British Industry to try to get the focus of his general election campaign on his Conservative Party’s pro-business policies.Must Read: What Scares Business More: Brexit or Corbyn? U.K. Campaign TrailKey Developments:Johnson tells CBI he will keep Sajid Javid as Chancellor of the Exchequer after electionJohnson also says corporation tax cut will have to waitJeremy Corbyn tells CBI Labour would keep U.K. close to or inside the EU -- and the richest must pay more taxA Survation poll for Monday’s Good Morning Britain TV show put the Tories on 42%, Labour on 28%, the Liberal Democrats on 13% and the Brexit Party on 5%Swinson Attacks ‘Extreme’ Labour and Tories (3:30 p.m.)Jo Swinson said she would not help either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn become prime minister if they come up short of a majority after the Dec. 12 election. Both Labour and the Conservatives have moved so far to extremes that she’s not even sure her party could support them with new leaders, she told Bloomberg TV.“We’re being very clear: we’re not going to support Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn,” the Liberal Democrat leader said. “Both of those parties have moved to extremes under those leaders, so it’s not at all clear that even if the leader changed the direction of travel would be any less extreme.”Swinson did leave open the possibility of working with fellow anti-Brexit MPs in the new Parliament. “What we will do is that for every Liberal Democrat MP we have is work to stop Brexit and work to pursue the other priorities we’re outlining in our plan for the future,” she said. “In the last few years, we have worked constructively with people of all different parties.”Swinson said the Liberal Democrats, if they win a majority, would abolish Business Rates and replace them with a Commercial Landowner Levy, which would be based on the value of land. The move would cut taxes for businesses in 92% of local authority areas in the U.K., the party said.Swinson Makes Lib Dem Business Pitch (2:40 p.m.)Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson said her party is the “natural party of business” because it wants to keep the U.K. in the EU. Being part of one of the most successful economic blocs in the world is the best guarantee for British businesses, she said.“If you want to get Brexit done, or get Brexit sorted, you are not the party of business,” Swinson said in a speech to business leaders at the CBI conference in southeast London. “With the Conservatives in the pocket of Nigel Farage and Jeremy Corbyn stuck in the 1970s, we are the only ones standing up for you.”“If we don’t win a majority, we will still want to stop Brexit and will continue to pursue a People’s Vote,” Swinson said when asked about the terms under which she would enter a coalition government.Corbyn Sets Out Nationalization Plans (1:27 p.m.)Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed the businesses that his Labour Party will want to take government control of if he wins power. As well as broadband infrastructure, there’s Royal Mail Plc, the operation of the railways, water companies, and the electricity grid.He also said he would be encouraging local authorities throughout the country to take control of bus services, which in most of the country outside London are run by private companies. That could affect companies including Stagecoach Group Plc, Go-Ahead Group Plc and Firstgroup Plc.“We need to integrate bus and rail services, we need to re-empower local authorities to develop bus services if they wish,” Corbyn told Bloomberg television. He insisted his plans shouldn’t scare business. “I’m not proposing massive nationalization. What I’m more interested in is a growing economy with a more skilled workforce.”He said his plan for closing the poll gap with Boris Johnson’s Conservatives was to “campaign, get our message across.”On the question of whether he’d ask Bank of England Governor Mark Carney to stay on, he said he’d made no commitments to anyone, but “we’ve worked very well with Mark Carney up to now.”Corbyn Insists He’s Fighting Antisemitism (12:15 p.m.)Jeremy Corbyn defended himself against charges that antisemitism has flourished within his Labour Party. Asked at the Confederation of British Industry conference in London if Labour was “for the many, not the Jew,” Corbyn replied: “I have lived my whole life as somebody who hates racism in every form whatsoever.”Corbyn Calls Out Miners Over Damage (12 p.m.)Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn called on commodity and oil companies to be socially responsible and consider their environmental impact.While acknowledging that many have social impact funds and support community projects, Corbyn said he is concerned by “the behavior of very big oil and mineral companies in other countries and the environmental problems” they cause. A Labour government would work with the companies to rectify issues, he said.Corbyn: Labour Isn’t Anti-Business (11:38 a.m.)Jeremy Corbyn said his opposition Labour Party isn’t anti-business. Speaking to the CBI conference, he said he wouldn’t apologize for wanting to raise taxes on the richest and for planning to take key businesses into public ownership.“It’s not anti-business to be against poverty pay,” he said. “It’s not anti-business to say the largest corporations should pay their taxes just as smaller companies do. It’s not anti-business to want prosperity in every part of our country, not only in the financial center of the City of London.”Crucially, he said Labour would keep Britain close to, or inside, the European Union.Johnson: I’ll Keep Javid as Chancellor (11:20 a.m.)Boris Johnson has confirmed that Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid will keep his job if the Conservatives win the election. “I will keep Sajid Javid as my Chancellor,” the prime minister told the CBI conference. “I think he’s a great guy, he’s doing a fantastic job and I’m proud to have him as a colleague.”Johnson Scraps Corporation Tax Cut (11:15 a.m.)Boris Johnson said he’s postponing a plan to cut corporation tax, paid by business, saving the government 6 billion pounds ($7.8 billion) to spend on priorities such as the NHS. “It is the fiscally responsible thing to do at the current time,” he told business leaders at the Confederation of British Industry conference in London.Corporation tax was due to fall to 17% from 19% next April. Canceling that puts the pre-announced Conservative Party plan to lower business taxes by around 1 billion pounds into perspective.The move will save the government money to “put into the priorities of the British people,” Johnson said. “We proudly back business across this country because we understand it is you who is creating the wealth that pays for the NHS,” he said. “And by the way, because the NHS is the nation’s priority and because we believe emphatically in fiscal prudence I hope you won’t mind that we also announce today that we are postponing further cuts in corporation tax.”Johnson Pitches Brexit Certainty to Business (10:55 a.m.)Boris Johnson made his pitch to business leaders at the confederation of British Industry conference in London: let him get Brexit out of the way, and use the ensuing certainty to help the economy grow. The prime minister said the U.K. economy “is still not achieving what it should” and had “so much more natural energy waiting to be unleashed.”He said his Brexit deal “gives business complete stability and certainty as we come out in January.” He also added a new line to his repertoire about leaving the EU, that it would make people feel better: “It’s time for us to get Brexit done because it’s the best thing for our national mood.”CBI’s Allan Criticizes Politicians’ Brexit Failings (10:30 a.m.)John Allan, president of the Confederation of British Industry, criticized political parties for failing to offer pro-business solutions to the Brexit gridlock at the general election, which he described as “kryptonite” for investment.“It’s not as simple as getting Brexit done, sorting Brexit in 6 months or stopping Brexit,” Allan said at the CBI’s annual conference in London. said, referring to the various parties’ election promises on Brexit. “Whatever happens in this election we’ll be negotiating with the EU for years to come.”Leaders to Address CBI Business Lobby (10 a.m.)Attendees at Monday’s Confederation of British Industry conference will be faced with very different economic options: A large regulatory border between the U.K. and the European Union offered by Boris Johnson, who reportedly dismissed the concerns of industry over Brexit with a four-letter epithet, or Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge to nationalize key utilities if he wins power.Johnson will address the conference in London first, offering an olive branch of tax cuts worth an estimated 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) to make up for the disruption of Brexit. “Let’s not beat around the bush, big business didn’t want Brexit,” Johnson will say, according to speech extracts released in advance. “But what is also clear is that what you want now -- and have wanted for some time -- is certainty.”A very different view will be represented by Corbyn, who speaks after Johnson. Labour has already promised tax rises both for business and for the wealthy. On Friday, the party shocked industry by announcing that if it won the election, it would take the U.K.’s broadband infrastructure into public ownership.Arcuri Had ‘Very Special Relationship’ With Johnson (8 a.m.)Jennifer Arcuri, the American businesswoman at the center of a controversy over her ties to Boris Johnson, again refused to confirm directly whether she had an affair with the prime minister during his time as London mayor.“As you can tell there was a very special relationship there,” she said in a live broadcast interview on ITV on Monday. Arcuri insisted she was not a “victim” and had entered her relationship with Johnson willingly, but said she wanted him to call her to acknowledge she’d been made “collateral damage in his quest for greatness.”In the interview, she described an occasion when she asked Johnson how many children he has. He responded by saying there were four by his second wife, and indicated another child had been born to a former lover. Johnson declined to answer in a recent broadcast interview when he was asked how many children he has.Controversy surrounding Arcuri has threatened to blight Johnson’s Dec. 12 election campaign. The Independent Office for Police Conduct agency is reviewing whether to open a criminal investigation into Johnson’s links with the U.S. technology entrepreneur during his time as mayor of London. Arcuri has acknowledged that her cyber-security business, Hacker House, benefited from joining a mayoral trade mission to Tel Aviv in November 2015.Earlier:Johnson Offers Business an Olive Branch as U.K. Election Revs UpWhat Scares Business More: Brexit or Corbyn? U.K. Campaign TrailWhy U.K. Conservatives Are So Good at Winning: Tim Bale\--With assistance from Greg Ritchie, Jessica Shankleman, Robert Hutton, Anna Edwards and Guy Johnson.To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Mayes in London at jmayes9@bloomberg.net;Greg Ritchie in London at gritchie10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Stuart BiggsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



Libyan officials: Airstrike kills 7 workers in Tripoli

Libyan officials: Airstrike kills 7 workers in TripoliAn airstrike slammed into a biscuit factory in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, on Monday killing at least seven workers including five foreign nationals and two Libyans, health authorities said. Tripoli has been the scene of fighting since April between the self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter, and an array of militias loosely allied with the U.N.-supported but weak government which holds the capital. Malek Merset, a spokesman with the ministry, told The Associated Press that the dead included five workers from Bangladesh, and two Libyan nationals.



The West Needs to Measure Russian Election Meddling. Here’s How.

The West Needs to Measure Russian Election Meddling. Here’s How.(Bloomberg Opinion) -- An article over the weekend in The Sunday Times says that a parliamentary report in the U.K. has concluded that it was impossible to quantify the impact of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 Brexit referendum. That largely matches research on the 2016 U.S. election by the eminent communications expert Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who has nevertheless argued that Russia played an important role in President Donald Trump’s victory.This doesn’t mean, however, that foreign propaganda’s impact couldn’t be measured quite precisely in the future — if, that is, anyone really wanted to quantify it.The U.K. Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee oversees the British intelligence services, and its report on Russian interference uncovered by The Sunday Times would be the rough equivalent of the U.S. intelligence community’s 2017 assessment of Russian activity in the run-up to the 2016 presidential contest. The British government, however, has refused to release the report before the parliamentary election scheduled for Dec. 12, and has been widely criticized for it, including by Hillary Clinton, the 2016 loser in the U.S. The critics wonder if the government is trying to protect information concerning wealthy donors to the pro-Brexit campaign and the ruling Conservative Party. The leak in The Sunday Times doesn’t reveal any new information on that matter, but it shows that the report tried to assess the influence of the Russian propaganda outlets RT and Sputnik. The Intelligence and Security Committee calculated that 260 anti-European Union articles published by the two outlets in the six months before the Brexit referendum were retweeted so widely that they could have been seen up to 134 million times, about three times the combined number of Twitter impressions generated by the two biggest pro-Brexit campaign groups, Vote Leave and Leave.eu.But did people who saw the material change their mind about how they should vote on Brexit, or did those who agreed with the anti-EU propaganda turn out in greater numbers than they would have done otherwise? Those are the billion-dollar questions for those trying to figure out whether Russia helped cause the Brexit mess or put Trump in the White House.Jamieson, the University of Pennsylvania professor for whom the study of media inputs into voting behavior is an academic specialty, made a valiant attempt to answer these questions in her 2018 book, “Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President: What We Don't, Can't, and Do Know.” The point Jamieson made in that work was that based on previous studies, the Russian trolls and hackers probably did affect the outcome, including by mobilizing potential Trump voters, discouraging liberal voters who weren’t keen on Clinton and shifting traditional media’s agenda in the final phase of the campaign.She also wrote, however, that quantifying the impact of the Russian activity was impossible in the absence of “real-time, rolling cross-sectional polling data tied to media messaging and exposure in each of the three decisive states,” Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Even with such real-time panels, she wrote, it would be hard to separate the effect of specific Russian propaganda efforts because of the difficulty of finding a control group not exposed to them. Jamieson recalled how she and her colleagues analyzed the impact of individual ads in the 2000 election by comparing data from battleground and non-battleground states. That was no longer possible in 2016:Because we lack a reliable way to locate either internet advertising and messaging or those exposed to it, and, in the case of media coverage of the hacked content, the entire nation was exposed to the resulting reporting, our 2000 model no longer works.None of these obstacles would be insurmountable, though, if dedicated researchers, or, indeed, governments, now that foreign interference — be it by Russia, Iran or the U.S. — is in everyone’s sights and considered to be an important threat to democracy. A representative panel of both voters and nonvoters would be needed, citizens who would be willing to allow their social-media feeds to be tracked. Given what researchers already know about the propaganda networks run by various states and contractors, it wouldn’t be difficult to document the spread of propaganda and the panel members’ exposure to it. Panelists could be polled at regular intervals to check how the content has affected them. By the end of the project, researchers wouldn’t even need to know how they voted — it would be enough to establish that they’d gone to the polls.Let’s face it: Thanks to social media, it’s much easier for governments and private influencers to deliver propaganda to any corner of the world, regardless of what restrictions are placed on political advertising. RT and Sputnik don’t need to buy ads to generate tens of millions of impressions. Before any vote that has a bearing on Russian interests — and that means most European and U.S. national elections, as well as many in Asia and Africa — the Russian propaganda machine is going to manufacture lots of authentic-looking content, which will be spread by both paid trolls and true believers. That means opportunities will arise to measure the effect of these influence operations. In fact, many such opportunities already have been missed: Elections have come and gone without a serious effort to figure out exactly how Russian internet-based meddling has affected results.In one recent analysis of 20 recent elections, Lucan Ahmad Way and Adam Casey of the University of Toronto wrote that “almost all cases of success by candidates whose policies dovetailed with Russian interference efforts can be explained by the actions of powerful domestic actors.” But separating the Russia effect from those actions would only be possible with the kind of real-time panels mentioned by Jamieson.A tantalizing example of the kind of results they could produce came in a paper published last year by Leonid Peisakhin and Arturas Rozenas of New York University. They analyzed the impact of Russian television broadcasts on voting in Ukrainian elections, relying both on data on where these broadcasts could be received in Ukraine and on polling. Peisakhin and Rozenas found that watching Russian TV mainly strengthened existing pro-Russian attitudes rather than altering beliefs — but by doing so, it also mobilized support for pro-Russian candidates and parties at the ballot box.Data-based research like this is what’s needed in Western societies to figure out the best responses to Russian propaganda and trolling. Do counter-propaganda efforts work? What would be effective in mobilizing voters who aren’t receptive to the Russian messages? Does it even make sense to push back against the Russian propaganda messaging, as an entire academic and media industry that has emerged since 2016 has maintained — or is the real impact of that messaging negligible? All these questions, bafflingly, remain unanswered three years after Trump’s victory and Brexit, and they can’t be answered on the basis of the limited data available about those two momentous events. What’s known about the suppressed U.K. report is further evidence of that.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Landman at jlandman4@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



The West Needs to Measure Russian Election Meddling. Here’s How.

The West Needs to Measure Russian Election Meddling. Here’s How.(Bloomberg Opinion) -- An article over the weekend in The Sunday Times says that a parliamentary report in the U.K. has concluded that it was impossible to quantify the impact of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 Brexit referendum. That largely matches research on the 2016 U.S. election by the eminent communications expert Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who has nevertheless argued that Russia played an important role in President Donald Trump’s victory.This doesn’t mean, however, that foreign propaganda’s impact couldn’t be measured quite precisely in the future — if, that is, anyone really wanted to quantify it.The U.K. Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee oversees the British intelligence services, and its report on Russian interference uncovered by The Sunday Times would be the rough equivalent of the U.S. intelligence community’s 2017 assessment of Russian activity in the run-up to the 2016 presidential contest. The British government, however, has refused to release the report before the parliamentary election scheduled for Dec. 12, and has been widely criticized for it, including by Hillary Clinton, the 2016 loser in the U.S. The critics wonder if the government is trying to protect information concerning wealthy donors to the pro-Brexit campaign and the ruling Conservative Party. The leak in The Sunday Times doesn’t reveal any new information on that matter, but it shows that the report tried to assess the influence of the Russian propaganda outlets RT and Sputnik. The Intelligence and Security Committee calculated that 260 anti-European Union articles published by the two outlets in the six months before the Brexit referendum were retweeted so widely that they could have been seen up to 134 million times, about three times the combined number of Twitter impressions generated by the two biggest pro-Brexit campaign groups, Vote Leave and Leave.eu.But did people who saw the material change their mind about how they should vote on Brexit, or did those who agreed with the anti-EU propaganda turn out in greater numbers than they would have done otherwise? Those are the billion-dollar questions for those trying to figure out whether Russia helped cause the Brexit mess or put Trump in the White House.Jamieson, the University of Pennsylvania professor for whom the study of media inputs into voting behavior is an academic specialty, made a valiant attempt to answer these questions in her 2018 book, “Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President: What We Don't, Can't, and Do Know.” The point Jamieson made in that work was that based on previous studies, the Russian trolls and hackers probably did affect the outcome, including by mobilizing potential Trump voters, discouraging liberal voters who weren’t keen on Clinton and shifting traditional media’s agenda in the final phase of the campaign.She also wrote, however, that quantifying the impact of the Russian activity was impossible in the absence of “real-time, rolling cross-sectional polling data tied to media messaging and exposure in each of the three decisive states,” Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Even with such real-time panels, she wrote, it would be hard to separate the effect of specific Russian propaganda efforts because of the difficulty of finding a control group not exposed to them. Jamieson recalled how she and her colleagues analyzed the impact of individual ads in the 2000 election by comparing data from battleground and non-battleground states. That was no longer possible in 2016:Because we lack a reliable way to locate either internet advertising and messaging or those exposed to it, and, in the case of media coverage of the hacked content, the entire nation was exposed to the resulting reporting, our 2000 model no longer works.None of these obstacles would be insurmountable, though, if dedicated researchers, or, indeed, governments, now that foreign interference — be it by Russia, Iran or the U.S. — is in everyone’s sights and considered to be an important threat to democracy. A representative panel of both voters and nonvoters would be needed, citizens who would be willing to allow their social-media feeds to be tracked. Given what researchers already know about the propaganda networks run by various states and contractors, it wouldn’t be difficult to document the spread of propaganda and the panel members’ exposure to it. Panelists could be polled at regular intervals to check how the content has affected them. By the end of the project, researchers wouldn’t even need to know how they voted — it would be enough to establish that they’d gone to the polls.Let’s face it: Thanks to social media, it’s much easier for governments and private influencers to deliver propaganda to any corner of the world, regardless of what restrictions are placed on political advertising. RT and Sputnik don’t need to buy ads to generate tens of millions of impressions. Before any vote that has a bearing on Russian interests — and that means most European and U.S. national elections, as well as many in Asia and Africa — the Russian propaganda machine is going to manufacture lots of authentic-looking content, which will be spread by both paid trolls and true believers. That means opportunities will arise to measure the effect of these influence operations. In fact, many such opportunities already have been missed: Elections have come and gone without a serious effort to figure out exactly how Russian internet-based meddling has affected results.In one recent analysis of 20 recent elections, Lucan Ahmad Way and Adam Casey of the University of Toronto wrote that “almost all cases of success by candidates whose policies dovetailed with Russian interference efforts can be explained by the actions of powerful domestic actors.” But separating the Russia effect from those actions would only be possible with the kind of real-time panels mentioned by Jamieson.A tantalizing example of the kind of results they could produce came in a paper published last year by Leonid Peisakhin and Arturas Rozenas of New York University. They analyzed the impact of Russian television broadcasts on voting in Ukrainian elections, relying both on data on where these broadcasts could be received in Ukraine and on polling. Peisakhin and Rozenas found that watching Russian TV mainly strengthened existing pro-Russian attitudes rather than altering beliefs — but by doing so, it also mobilized support for pro-Russian candidates and parties at the ballot box.Data-based research like this is what’s needed in Western societies to figure out the best responses to Russian propaganda and trolling. Do counter-propaganda efforts work? What would be effective in mobilizing voters who aren’t receptive to the Russian messages? Does it even make sense to push back against the Russian propaganda messaging, as an entire academic and media industry that has emerged since 2016 has maintained — or is the real impact of that messaging negligible? All these questions, bafflingly, remain unanswered three years after Trump’s victory and Brexit, and they can’t be answered on the basis of the limited data available about those two momentous events. What’s known about the suppressed U.K. report is further evidence of that.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Landman at jlandman4@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



Iran breaches another nuclear deal cap, on heavy water stock -IAEA report

Iran breaches another nuclear deal cap, on heavy water stock -IAEA reportIran has breached another limit of its nuclear deal with major powers by accumulating more than 130 tonnes of heavy water, a moderator used in a type of reactor Iran is developing, a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Monday. "On 16 November 2019, Iran informed the Agency that its stock of heavy water had exceeded 130 metric tonnes," the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a report to member states obtained by Reuters.



UPDATE 1-In rare "wake-up call", Berlin urged to massively boost investment

UPDATE 1-In rare "wake-up call", Berlin urged to massively boost investmentGermany's BDI industry association and the DGB trade union called in a rare joint statement on Monday for the government to rethink its budget priorities and boost public investment to make Europe's largest economy fit for future growth. The unusual move by Germany's most influential business lobby group and the country's largest umbrella union show how much public debate has shifted in a country long obsessed with its "black zero" budget policy of no new debt. With the economy barely growing and Berlin's borrowing costs at record lows, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz are facing growing pressure at home and abroad to ditch their self-imposed balanced budget pledge, which limits the fiscal room to increase public spending.



Lam Urges Besieged Protesters to Heed Police: Hong Kong Update

Lam Urges Besieged Protesters to Heed Police: Hong Kong Update(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam urged protesters holed up in a university to heed police calls to surrender, as tens of thousands of protesters marched to support the trapped demonstrators.Police and protesters have clashed around Hong Kong Polytechnic University for much of the day, leading to multiple arrests and injuries as dozens tried to flee the area. Running battles have occurred, with police firing tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators who threw bricks and Molotov cocktails while hiding behind umbrellas.The chaotic scenes came as Hong Kong braced for yet more disruption after protests left the city paralyzed much of last week. Demonstrations seeking greater democracy in the Beijing-controlled territory have become increasingly violent in recent weeks, with protesters vandalizing transportation networks and China-friendly businesses as they push for demands including an independent inquiry into police violence and the ability to nominate and elect the city’s leaders.Key Developments:Lam decries violence near universityTens of thousands march to rescue campus demonstratorsOfficial says chaos putting Sunday’s election at riskCourt rules mask ban is unconstitutionalHang Seng Index rises 1.3% despite violenceProtesters gather in centralPolice urge campus protesters to drop weapons, surrenderHere’s the latest:Thousands reinforce trapped campus demonstrators (21:55 p.m.)Tens of thousands of protesters heeded calls to reinforce and save the demonstrators trapped in the PolyU campus, using umbrellas to battle back tear gas and water cannons in nearby Tsim Sha Tsui.Police fired tear gas at high points of the campus buildings after a number of protesters tried to escape by abseiling out, according to Radio Television Hong Kong.U.K. government ‘seriously concerned’ (8:45 p.m.)The U.K., which handed Hong Kong over to Chinese rule in 1997, said it was “seriously concerned” by the escalating violence from both protesters and authorities around university campuses in the city.“It is vital that those who are injured are able to receive appropriate medical treatment, and that safe passage is made available for all those who wish to leave the area. We need to see an end to the violence, and for all sides to engage in meaningful political dialogue ahead of the District Council elections on Sunday,” according to a statement attributed to a Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson.Officials warn public to steer clear of PolyU (6:20 p.m.)Top Hong Kong officials urged the public not to approach or reinforce the PolyU campus amid calls for rallies near the university. Security Secretary John Lee urged those remaining at the campus to surrender to police in an orderly and peaceful manner. He condemned the use of weapons by protesters, including remote-controlled bombs, catapults and petrol bombs.As the standoff ground on, Matthew Cheung, the city’s No. 2 official, vowed that the government was determined to tackle “deep-seated problems” and that ending violence remained its top priority.Violence putting election at risk (5:36 p.m.)The escalating violence in recent days has “reduced the chance of holding” citywide District Council elections as scheduled Sunday, Patrick Nip, secretary for constitutional and mainland affairs, told reporters Monday. Nip said staff at polling stations and candidates must feel safe on election day and that people need to be able to get to the polls without disruption.“Postponing would be a difficult decision,” Nip said, adding that the government wouldn’t take such a step “unless absolutely necessary.”Lam decries PolyU violence (5:18 p.m.)Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, decried the chaos around PolyU in a Facebook post Monday, blaming “rioters” for continuing “to escalate the level of violence.” “Police have repeatedly made appeals and people in PolyU campus should listen,” she said.Protesters call for rallies (5:14 p.m.)Protesters have called for rallies from 7 p.m. in Tsim Sha Tsui, a location near the university, to support those who are stuck in PolyU.City’s No. 2 to meet media (5:11 p.m.)Hong Kong Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung and Secretary for Security John Lee will meet the media at 6 p.m. local time at the government headquarters, according to a statement.Police tell university protesters to surrender (4:23 p.m.)Protesters inside PolyU should stop their violence immediately and surrender as the situation is getting “risky,” Cheuk Hau-yip, regional commander of Kowloon West, told reporters at a briefing on Monday. He said all protesters leaving the university would be arrested for participation in a riot.Police are most concerned about fires being lit as “rioters” charge at them outside PolyU, he said, without giving an estimate on how many protesters are still there. He also said police arrested a group of demonstrators who claimed to be volunteer first aid workers and journalists.Police said they allowed Red Cross volunteers into the PolyU campus around 2 p.m. to offer medical assistance to those injured. Some of them were brought to the hospital, according to a statement on Facebook.About 600 still trapped: SCMP (4:07 p.m.)About 600 people are still trapped on the PolyU campus, the South China Morning Post reported, citing Derek Liu Kin-kwan, president of the university’s student union.Clashes as protesters flee university (2:05 p.m.)Police fired tear gas and made arrests as dozens of black-clad protesters ran to escape Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which is under siege by officers. Television images showed police wrestling some protesters to the ground, and at times beating them with batons, while others climbed down trees next to an overpass to avoid arrest.It was unclear how many protesters remained in the university. Several police appeared to point guns at protesters, but there were no indications that anyone was shot.Schools to remain closed (1:30 p.m.)Hong Kong’s Education Bureau said schools will remain closed Tuesday “since there are still unstable factors affecting the roads and traffic conditions and more time should be given for schools to make good preparation for class resumption.” Schools have been suspended since last Thursday on safety concerns. Some primary and secondary schools are expected to resume classes Wednesday, while kindergartens, schools for children with physical disability or intellectual disability will remain closed till Sunday.Mask ban found unconstitutional (1 p.m.)A Hong Kong court ruled that the mask ban imposed by Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s government was incompatible with the Basic Law, the mini-constitution that governs the financial hub. The High Court ruled that the ban, which has been widely ignored by protesters, went further in curbing people’s fundamental rights than the situation warranted.Hong Kong’s government had invoked a colonial-era Emergency Regulations Ordinance to pass the prohibition on face-coverings, angering protesters and igniting fresh protests. Recent protests have seen thousands of people wearing masks in contravention of the law, and many have been arrested for violating it.Protesters gather once again in Central (12:45 p.m.)Protesters, including many professionals and office workers, have started gathering and blocking roads in Hong Kong’s Central financial district. Last week, there were five-straight days of lunch time protests in the heart of Asia’s key financial hub, with many white-collar workers hitting the streets to chant protest slogans. Police fired numerous tear gas volleys in the area last week, sending bystanders and office workers running for cover past the area’s luxury retail outlets.Goldman Sachs cancels anniversary event (12:30 p.m.)Goldman Sachs Groups Inc. is postponing a Hong Kong event to mark the firm’s 150th anniversary. The celebration was scheduled to be held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong, but was delayed because of ongoing protests, according to an email the bank sent to attendees.Police urge protesters to drop weapons (11:46 a.m.)In a series of Twitter posts, Hong Kong’s police force urged protesters to drop their weapons, remove their gas masks and leave PolyU in an “orderly manner” without making any menacing moves toward officers. A large group of “masked rioters” armed with petrol bombs charged at police cordons around 8 a.m., police said.Carrie Lam visits officer in hospital (11:30 a.m.)Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam visited an injured police officer at the city’s Kwong Wah Hospital, according to the South China Morning Post, which tweeted a video of her emerging from a hospital building. She declined to take any questions.Protests block roads in Kowloon (11:10 a.m.)Small groups of protesters blocked roads in the Jordan and Tsim Sha Tsui areas, not far from the standoff at PolyU. Activists had issued calls on social media for demonstrators to come out to the Kowloon area, as well as Central, to support protesters still at the university. So far, there were no significant crowds in Central.Military defends clean-up effort (10:35 a.m.)A spokesman for China’s military defended the decision by the local People’s Liberation Army garrison in Hong Kong to come out into the streets Saturday and help clean up from last week’s protests. The soldiers “joined the citizens in clearing these road blocks and their efforts were welcomed by the Hong Kong citizens,” Senior Colonel Wu Qian told a briefing Monday on the sidelines of a regional security meeting in Bangkok.“Ending violence and restoring order is the most pressing task we have in Hong Kong,” Wu said, citing a similar statement by Chinese President Xi Jinping last week.Dozens of protesters detained (9 a.m.)Police detained dozens of protesters in Tsim Sha Tsui East, near the PolyU campus, where clashes have been the most intense in recent hours. At least 30 could been seen on television feeds sitting on the ground with their hands restrained. It was unclear how many protesters and students were still on campus.\--With assistance from Stanley James, Linus Chua, Sebastian Tong, Shelly Banjo, Glen Carey, Fion Li, Shawna Kwan and Karen Leigh.To contact the reporters on this story: Natalie Lung in Hong Kong at flung6@bloomberg.net;Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.net;Annie Lee in Hong Kong at olee42@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Chris Kay, Colin KeatingeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



North Korea says it 'will no longer gift' Trump with fruitless talks 'he can boast of'

North Korea says it 'will no longer gift' Trump with fruitless talks 'he can boast of'Former White House National Security Adviser John Bolton told a group of bankers in Miami two weeks ago that his former boss President Trump "believes his personal chemistry with foreign leaders, including authoritarians like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, means that the U.S. relationship with those countries is a positive one," Axios reported last week. If that's the case, America's relationship with North Korea is ... complicated.Kim has set a year-end deadline for a breakthrough in the U.S.-North Korea nuclear talks, and Trump tweeted Sunday that Kim "should act quickly, get the deal done." U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday that the U.S. had indefinitely scrapped joint military exercises with South Korea as an "act of goodwill" toward Pyongyang to create space for diplomacy.On Monday, North Korean Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan poured cold water on the Trump administration's outreach. "The U.S. only seeks to earn time, pretending it has made progress" with North Korea, he said. "We are no longer interested in such talks that bring nothing to us. As we have got nothing in return, we will no longer gift the U.S. president with something he can boast of."North Korea has been ramping up its missile tests and publicizing its military drills. It's not clear what Kim is willing to put on the table, but along with suspending the joint military exercises with Seoul, Trump has asked Tokyo to pay four times as much to host U.S. troops in Japan and demanded that South Korea pay nearly five times as much, Foreign Policy and Reuters report. Bolton delivered the news in July."This kind of demand, not only the exorbitant number, but the way it is being done, could trigger anti-Americanism" in close allies, Bruce Klingner at the Heritage Foundation tells Foreign Policy. "If you weaken alliances, and potentially decrease deterrence and U.S. troop presence, that benefits North Korea, China, and Russia who see the potential for reduced U.S. influence and support for our allies."More stories from theweek.com The coming death of just about every rock legend The president has already confessed to his crimes Why are 2020 Democrats so weird?



OSCE Slams Belarus Vote as Opposition Shut Out of Parliament

OSCE Slams Belarus Vote as Opposition Shut Out of Parliament(Bloomberg) -- Opposition groups in Belarus lost their only two seats in parliamentary elections criticized by international observers, as the country’s authoritarian leader focused on looming trade negotiations with Russia.The vote “did not meet important international standards for democratic elections,” Margareta Cederfelt, who leads the short-term observer mission from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, told reporters Monday at a press conference in the capital, Minsk.The OSCE also has concerns about whether results from Sunday’s elections were counted and reported honestly, she said, adding that the “restrictive environment” in Belarus had “inhibited” opposition participation.The newly elected 110-seat lower house of parliament will be packed with loyalists to President Alexander Lukashenko, who has controlled the former Soviet republic of 9.5 million since 1994. The two sitting opposition deputies and many other opposition activists were barred from running. Among the newly elected members is Maria Vasilevich, the 2018 Belarusian representative to the Miss World competition.Critics say the parliament is little more than a rubber stamp. The outgoing set of deputies, elected in 2016, didn’t vote down a single piece of draft law submitted by the president or government.Lukashenko, who faces his own re-election campaign in 2020, has recently made overtures to the European Union as the Kremlin increases pressure on Minsk to integrate with Russia. This month Lukashenko made his first official trip to the EU since it dropped sanctions against him in 2016, ahead of upcoming negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin on energy issues and integration.“They keep palming off new conditions on us, and as a result we keep losing, losing, and losing something in the economy,” Lukashenko said about his country’s tie-up with Russia as he cast his ballot in Minsk. “Who the heck needs a union like that?”(Updates with OSCE comments from second paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Aliaksandr Kudrytski in Minsk, Belarus at akudrytski@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net, Tony Halpin, Andrea DudikFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



Marie Yovanovich represents something Americans are desperate for: decency

Marie Yovanovich represents something Americans are desperate for: decencyTrump calls her ‘bad news’, but the public won’t be convinced by his smear ‘Trump could not resist bursting out his tweet trying to defame her. Photograph: Ron Sachs/CNP/REX/ShutterstockPresident Trump finally jumped the shark on Twitter last week when he smeared former Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovich while she was testifying to the House Intelligence Committee.Immediately the words of Joseph Welch, a native of Primghar, Iowa, and general counsel to the Army in 1954, sprang to mind:“Have you no sense of decency, sir?”They were written on her stunned face and echoed in the standing ovation Yovanovich received as she was escorted from the capitol hearing room on Friday.This woman of understatement and restraint has become a symbol of something America yearns for down to its very core, as it did in the McCarthy era ended by Welch’s seven words of exasperated pleading.Decency.Marie Yovanovich was cloaked in it.You could hear it in the timbre of her quiet voice and see it in her downward gaze as congressmen, even Trump’s most ardent backers, praised her patriotism and selflessness for 33 years of diplomatic service — including five hardship postings in places like Somalia.Trump calls her “bad news” to world leaders. He told the President of Ukraine that she would be going through some things.She felt threatened. She was told by a friend to watch her back in Kiev. What does that mean? Get home on the first flight, she was told at 1 am. What is going on? She took the call not long after her corruption-fighting Ukrainian patriot friend had been murdered by acid. We imagined her fear.Why did Trump and Giuliani smear her? To what ends will they go? And, what will stop their recklessness and lawlessness?Yovanovich and others of courage stood erect, raised their right hands to tell the truth, and defied Trump’s orders not to testify.Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent and current Acting Ukrainian Ambassador William Taylor provided a sober recitation of the facts on the first day of the impeachment hearings: President Trump demanded that Ukraine investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, on trumped-up corruption charges already proven baseless. We knew that before the impeachment hearings. Public opinion was not going to change by repeating the facts out loud. What, or who, could move the Senate Republican caucus still standing firm with a corrupt but feared President?The daughter of refugees from the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, that’s who. An immigrant, no less, who earned her citizenship.America knew from the moment she spoke that she represented honesty and true loyalty to the Constitution, that safe harbor we always seek in a storm. Yovanovich is our lodestar, just like Joe Welch, himself the son of immigrants.She said that her service is an expression of her gratitude for what this country gave her family, and what she seeks to spread to Ukraine through diplomacy: freedom.That’s the powerful stuff that we were taught in school to believe. Who could rebut her? Not Representative Jim Jordan in shirtsleeves, certainly.Trump could not resist bursting out his tweet trying to defame her. That’s where the reality TV circus stopped.Yovanovich told Congress she felt threatened and intimidated. Devastated.She looked down at the table and moved the paper cup from her right side to her left, took a brief sip through parsed lips, and then looked up and sideways wishing to avoid the attention. Most right-thinking Americans — truth be told, secretly some Republican senators — wanted to embrace her right then.Or name her ambassador to the United Nations. Or Secretary of State, if she would take it for the needless scars already suffered.House Republicans could not defend Trump in the face of this 61-year-old single woman whose song was her work in the cause of freedom by means of rooting out corruption.She rooted out Trump in the middle of the hearing as he blurted more bile. It changed the course of the impeachment hearings. It will change the course of politics, just as Joe Welch did. We were reminded of the redeeming power of decency, which properly resides in a healthy sense of shame that is very much alive right now. It will take down Trump and revive the Republic. * Art Cullen is editor of The Storm Lake Times in Iowa and won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. Cullen is the author of the book, Storm Lake: A Chronicle of Change, Resilience, and Hope from a Heartland Newspaper



Boris Johnson's Brexit tightrope

Boris Johnson's Brexit tightropeEverything seems to be falling into place for Boris Johnson. The polls show the Conservative prime minister way out in front in the U.K.'s upcoming December 12 election. His conviction is infectious, and "Get Brexit Done" -- his core campaign message -- is beguilingly simple. The opposition is divided, and may chip away at each other's vote share in key constituencies. On top of that, the Brexit Party recently unilaterally decided not to contest Conservative seats in the election. In other words, if voters want to throw their weight behind the Leave campaign, Johnson is their only choice.The result of this election will determine the nation's future more than any for generations, but while Johnson seems on course for victory, his plan to achieve it requires an organization and discipline that he and his seem to lack. With less than four weeks to go before the nation votes, Johnson's victory is not a sure thing.The stakes are very high for the Conservatives. They are the only party that needs to win a majority in December, because in betraying their only potential coalition partner, Northern Ireland's DUP, they have no potential allies in the U.K. Parliament. If they fail to win a majority -- or to at least come within one or two seats of a majority -- their opponents will likely coalesce, and there will almost certainly be a second Brexit referendum, if not a reversal of the process altogether. Perhaps more painfully for Johnson, a man who has wanted to be "world king" since childhood, he would become the shortest-serving British prime minister in 100 years.Conservatives' strategy is to make this election about Brexit, and in doing so, transpose the 2016 referendum coalition that voted to leave the European Union into December's general election. But the 52 percent of U.K. voters who voted Leave in 2016 straddled the political and social spectrum. Crucially, some of the areas with the highest proportion of Leave voters are found in the traditional Labour heartlands of Northern England and Wales, an area that has been dubbed the "red wall." Tories know they will lose a number of seats in Scotland, and in Remain voting constituencies in the South, so breaking the "red wall" has become the aim. But Britain is a nation with deeply ingrained party-political loyalties built up over time. Many Leave voters have long-held bitter resentment of Conservative leadership, and decades of family history voting for the Labour party, currently the Tory's main opposition. Success in December's election for the Tories rests on whether voters' fealty to Leave overrides these ancient affiliations. If the gamble pays off, the public will deliver a massive Conservative majority.The polls give us a vague indication of where the public stands now. The Guardian's poll of polls -- an average of all polls -- has Conservatives enjoying a dominant 11-point lead over Labour, with 40 percent of the vote. This advantage translates into an imposing 50-seat majority in the House of Commons.Still, it remains unclear where voters will stand after weeks of campaigning. In 2017, Johnson's predecessor Theresa May called an election buoyed by a 22-point lead in the polls. Her election strategy was similar: She wanted to unite Leave voters under a Conservative flag. But after a gruelling campaign that spiralled out of her control, May lost her party's majority in the Commons, and U.K. politics has been at loggerheads ever since. The Conservative Party is also at odds with itself: Many senior figures, moderate by temperament, have been cast out for being insufficiently loyal to the Brexit cause, while others have said they will not stand again in the coming election. Among them were some of the party's most proven and disciplined campaigners.To tip the balance, the Tories have revealed a host of policies designed to sway voters in "red wall" constituencies, in the form of heavy investment in the three "people's priorities": schools, law and order, and health. On its face, this is a necessary, bold piece of populist electioneering, but it also opens the campaign up to non-Brexit policy issues where the opposition is strong. Born out of the ashes of Brexit, the current crop of Conservative leaders believe they can repaint themselves as a group of radicals who do not need to defend their predecessors' record, but in reality, a campaign about the National Health Service, policing, and education could be a quagmire for the Tories, who only recently under Johnson have emerged from years of "austerity" that left public services in tatters. A Labour government founded the NHS, and has a much stronger record funding it. Recently they pledged 6 years of free education to adults as part of their vision for a cradle-to-grave national education service. None of this is about Brexit, and all of it is appealing to "red wall" voters.Johnson also wants to pitch the election as a presidential standoff between himself and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Years of floundering opposition have hurt Corbyn's popularity: A recent poll gave him a -43 public approval rating, compared to Johnson's +4. Naturally, Johnson's team wants to go for the jugular. The problem is that the Labour chief comes alive in a campaign. It was his brand of campaigning, with its digital expertise, an army of activists, and a radical forward-looking vision that outmaneuvered Theresa May in 2017. He managed to make the election about issues other than Brexit.Of course, the colorless May, a dour professional politician, is the antithesis of Johnson. Nevertheless, while Boris plays well with the electorate, he, like his party, is also ill-disciplined, often unprepared, and gaffe-prone. Last week, as parts of the country flooded, Johnson was pilloried for his sluggish response. Again the Conservative party looks out of touch and unconcerned with the lives of the people whose votes it needs.The campaign to come will decide December's result. Johnson's team is betting that for the next four weeks, they can keep the narrative under tight control, but they face an opposition of skilled campaigners who relentlessly steer the conversation away from Brexit and onto broader campaign issues. Even though the Conservative path to victory is visible, it is perilously narrow, and the Tories lack the qualities to walk it safely.More stories from theweek.com The coming death of just about every rock legend The president has already confessed to his crimes Why are 2020 Democrats so weird?



Libyan officials: Airstrike kills 7 workers in Tripoli

Libyan officials: Airstrike kills 7 workers in TripoliAn airstrike slammed into a biscuit factory in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, on Monday killing at least seven workers including five foreign nationals and two Libyans, health authorities said. Tripoli has been the scene of fighting since April between the self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter, and an array of militias loosely allied with the U.N.-supported but weak government which holds the capital. Malek Merset, a spokesman with the ministry, told The Associated Press that the dead included five workers from Bangladesh, and two Libyan nationals.



Yemeni government back in Aden under deal with separatists

Yemeni government back in Aden under deal with separatistsYemen’s internationally recognized government returned to the war-torn country on Monday for the first time since it was forced out by southern separatists during clashes last summer. Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed landed in the southern port city of Aden, fulfilling a key point in the power-sharing deal brokered by Saudi Arabia that ended months of infighting with separatists in Yemen’s south. “The government’s priorities in the next stage are to normalize the situation in Aden first and then consolidate state institutions on the ground ... as a guarantor of stability,” Saeed told The Associated Press when he disembarked onto the tarmac.



Kuwait’s ruler fires son over feud with fellow minister

Kuwait’s ruler fires son over feud with fellow ministerKuwait’s ruler on Monday fired his own son and another Cabinet minister after they publicly feuded over accusations of corruption, ordering the prime minister to form a new government. Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah issued the decree just days after Kuwait’s Cabinet resigned amid a separate inquiry. Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al Mubarak Al Sabah, who has held the post since 2011, has asked the emir to relieve him of the task of forming a new government.



The Case Is Only Growing for an Economic Forever War

The Case Is Only Growing for an Economic Forever War(Bloomberg) -- Want to receive this post in your inbox every day? Sign up for the Terms of Trade newsletter, and follow Bloomberg Economics on Twitter for more.President Donald Trump’s trade war with China has become a bigger, broader economic forever war. It’s hard to look ahead and see any outcome that undermines that emerging reality. A “phase one” deal may be in what U.S. officials say is its messy end stages. But that deal, if it comes, will be partial and more ceasefire than game changer. It also doesn’t mean a larger peace is nigh. Moreover, there are three live truths that are becoming inescapable:While both the U.S. and China have worked hard to maintain a wall between their trade talks and other political developments, that’s becoming harder with each passing week. The events in Hong Kong over the weekend, with police laying siege to a university, are escalating as are the calls in Washington for U.S. action. The weekend publication by the New York Times of documents detailing the official Chinese campaign against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang will only add to that sentiment. The art of the trade deal is the art of knowing how to exploit the domestic politics of your opponent. It’s hard for a dispassionate observer to look at the impeachment inquiry, or the weekend gubernatorial election win for Democrats in Louisiana, and see strength for Trump. Beijing has long been best at misreading American politics and Trump has been a unique political phenomenon. But the reasons are only growing for China to hold out for elections that are now less than a year away. The search for survival strategies is afoot. At this week’s Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Beijing the dominant discussion will be how to navigate a new era of technological competition between the U.S. and China. And the ideas are already flowing fully. In a Bloomberg Opinion column published last week, Jude Blanchette and Scott Kennedy called for a new strategy of “managed interdependence.” In another over the weekend Gabriel Wildau called for the U.S. to return to a tradition of state-led technology investment (think Sputnik moment) and emulate rather than attack China’s industrial policy.None of these things will go away if the U.S. and China, whose top negotiators spoke again late Friday, close an interim deal. Much as that may pacify — or even cheer — financial markets.Charting the Trade WarThe U.S.-China trade war reignited the debate over which developing countries in Asia could take over the mantle of the world’s workshop. The front-runners? India and Indonesia.Today’s Must ReadsFalling barometer | Global trade in goods will likely remain below trend because of heightened tensions and rising tariffs in key sectors, according to a WTO report. Limited damage | Japan’s trade curbs on South Korea have so far been a case of “the bark was worse than the bite,” with only limited fallout for South Korea’s economy, according to Citigroup. Eyeing China | Ford is considering making its new electric Mustang Mach-E in China, depending on how the trade war plays out, the automaker’s CEO said in an interview. Core constituency | Trump plans to tour an Apple plant in Texas this week to highlight how the company is assembling computers there after getting some Chinese parts excluded from tariffs. Adriatic dreams | Chinese money for a new high-speed rail line serving Italy’s Trieste port is another example of President Xi Jinping’s efforts to revive ancient trading routes under his Belt and Road Initiative.Economic AnalysisOutlook 2020 | Bloomberg Economics releases forecasts for the world economy in the year ahead. Three scenarios | Truce, peace, or war? Here are several scenarios for the global trade disputes.Coming UpNov. 20: Japan trade balance Nov. 21: South Korea exports and importsLike Terms of Trade?Don’t keep it to yourself. Colleagues and friends can sign up here. We also publish Balance of Power, a daily briefing on the latest in global politics.For even more: Subscribe to Bloomberg All Access for full global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.How are we doing? We want to hear what you think about this newsletter. Let our trade tsar know.To contact the author of this story: Shawn Donnan in Washington at sdonnan@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brendan Murray at brmurray@bloomberg.net, Zoe SchneeweissFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



Polish Judicial Overhaul Faces Biggest EU Court Test Yet

Polish Judicial Overhaul Faces Biggest EU Court Test Yet(Bloomberg) -- Poland’s sweeping judicial overhaul faces its toughest test yet as the European Union’s top court prepares to rule in the latest in a series of lawsuits challenging some of the populist government’s most controversial policies.The EU Court of Justice will on Nov. 19 rule on the legality of a new disciplinary body of Poland’s Supreme Court, whose member judges are chosen by a panel dominated by political appointees. An adviser to the Luxembourg-based EU court in June said the system failed to protect judges from political interference.A ruling against the disciplinary body may also have consequences for the National Council of the Judiciary. The recently overhauled council, partly elected by politicians, doesn’t just pick the judges allowed to sit in the disciplinary chamber, it also selected hundreds of judges for numerous courts across the country.The legality of these nominations, as well as the rulings made by such justices, could be in question as a result of the EU verdict, according to experts including Laurent Pech, a professor of European law at Middlesex University in London.Preparing the ground for a potential negative EU verdict, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki set out conditions under which his government would respect the ruling: it must conform to the bloc’s treaties as well as to Poland’s constitution. While EU members are obliged to carry out the judgments of the top EU court, Poland asserts that the bloc doesn’t have the jurisdiction to vet its justice-system changes.Upholding ValuesThe case goes to the heart of Poland’s wide-ranging court overhauls, which have triggered numerous lawsuits by the EU’s executive regarding the government’s alleged failure to protect the rule of law and uphold the bloc’s values. Some EU countries, such as France and the Netherlands, have suggested making access to the bloc’s common budget conditional on fulfillment of democratic standards.While Poland -- the biggest net beneficiary of the EU budget -- backtracked on some changes, a string of cases have reached the EU court, including one in which the tribunal chided the nationalist government over discriminatory rules on retirement ages for male and female judges.If EU judges find that disciplinary chamber of the Polish Supreme Court “does not offer sufficient guarantees of independence as required under EU law, any decision issued by this chamber until or after the” EU court’s ruling “must be considered null and void,” said Pech.It could also have “indirect consequences on every single judge nominated by the” Judicial Council to any court, “and every single ruling which has been issued by them,” according to the law professor.Uncharted TerritoryThe EU is in uncharted territory regarding its standoff over democratic backsliding against Poland at a time when the bloc has to deal with priorities such as immigration, security and its post-Brexit future.Three Polish judges brought the cases over the new authority, which was set up after the ruling Law & Justice party rallied against what it calls a self-serving “caste” of judges who distort justice for ordinary citizens. A number of disciplinary cases have been brought against judges who had criticized the government.While Poland argues it can freely shape its judiciary without kowtowing to Brussels, the EU’s executive believes that independent courts are one of the founding values of the bloc’s democracies.The cases are: C-585/18, C-624/18, C-625/18.To contact the reporters on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at sbodoni@bloomberg.net;Marek Strzelecki in Warsaw at mstrzelecki1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Peter Chapman, Wojciech MoskwaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



North Korea says it won’t give Trump a summit for free

North Korea says it won’t give Trump a summit for freeNorth Korea on Monday responded to a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump that hinted at another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying it has no interest in giving Trump further meetings to brag about unless it gets something substantial in return. The statement by Foreign Ministry adviser Kim Kye Gwan is the latest call by North Korea for U.S. concessions ahead of an end-of-year deadline set by Kim Jong Un for the Trump administration to offer mutually acceptable terms for a deal to salvage nuclear diplomacy.



10 things you need to know today: November 18, 2019

10 things you need to know today: November 18, 20191.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday said that President Trump was welcome to testify in the House impeachment inquiry. If Trump has information to clear himself "then we look forward to seeing it," she said on CBS' Face the Nation. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said if Trump wants to counter testimony suggesting he abused his power by withholding military aid to pressure Ukraine into investigating Democrats, "He should come to the committee and testify under oath. And he should allow all those around him to come to the committee and testify under oath." The remarks came ahead of the House Intelligence Committee's second week of public impeachment hearings. Trump's ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, is one of the people due to appear this week. [The Associated Press] 2.Hong Kong police and protesters continued a violent standoff for a second day at a university campus occupied by anti-government activists. The protesters barricaded themselves inside Polytechnic University, and used gasoline bombs and bows and arrows to fight off the police. One arrow reportedly hit a media liaison officer in the calf. Riot police rushed into the area after giving protesters an ultimatum to get out. Some of the protesters retreated inside the university as the officers tried to storm in, while other demonstrators set fires on bridges leading to the campus. Also on Monday, a Hong Kong court ruled that a ban on face masks that authorities imposed last month, invoking a colonial-era emergency law, was unconstitutional, although the ban was not immediately lifted. [Reuters, The Associated Press] 3.President Trump on Sunday tweeted harsh criticism of a national security aide to Vice President Mike Pence, calling her a "Never Trumper" after it was revealed that she told House impeachment investigators that she found Trump's July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky "unusual and inappropriate." Trump said he said nothing wrong in his calls with Zelensky, so Williams should get together "with the other Never Trumpers" and "work out a better presidential attack!" Williams is Pence's special adviser on Europe and Russia. She took notes on Trump's July 25 call with Zelensky as she listened in. She told impeachment investigators in a closed-door deposition that Trump's request for Ukraine to investigate Democrats appeared politically motivated. She is scheduled to testify publicly on Tuesday. [Politico] 4.Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Sunday apologized for supporting the aggressive "stop-and-frisk" policing strategy for a decade. The practice resulted in disproportionate police stops of black and Latino people in the city. "I was wrong," Bloomberg said at a black megachurch in Brooklyn, "and I am sorry." The remarks came in Bloomberg's first speech since reports that he was preparing a possible run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, after ruling out a bid last year. Bloomberg's policing record is considered a possible trouble spot if he runs. Jumaane Williams, New York City's public advocate, said Bloomberg's apology was suspect because it came "a decade late and on the eve of a presidential run." [The New York Times] 5.Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Sunday that people participating in protests over a 50-percent hike in gas prices are "thugs" stirred up by counterrevolutionaries and foreign enemies of the Islamic republic. Protesters have responded to the price increase by abandoning cars on highways and participating in mass street protests. Authorities say at least three people have died in the unrest, including a police officer killed in an attack on a police station in the western city of Kermanshah on Saturday, the state-run IRNA news agency reported. Khamenei specifically blamed the unrest on people linked to the family of Iran's late shah, who was overthrown 40 years ago, and the exile group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, which advocates toppling Iran's government. [The Associated Press] 6.Two chemistry professors at Henderson State University in Arkansas have been arrested on allegations that they made methamphetamine at the school. The chemistry professors, Terry David Bateman and Bradley Allen Rowland, were arrested on Friday, Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson said in a statement. Bateman, 45, and Rowland, 40, were placed on administrative leave on Oct. 11. Three days earlier, university authorities received a report of an undetermined chemical odor at a science facility. Initial tests found elevated levels of benzyl chloride, a chemical that can be used to make meth, in a lab. The building was closed for two weeks to make it safe to use again. [The Washington Post] 7.Venice, Italy, was flooded Sunday by a record third exceptional tide in a week. The latest extraordinarily high tide reached 1.5 meters. On Tuesday, the flood tide peaked at 1.87 meters, the highest flood level in 53 years. This week's three 1.5-meter tides were unprecedented. Since records began in 1872, that mark had never been hit even twice in a single year. Store owners around hard-hit St. Mark's Square closed their doors. The famous St. Mark's Basilica was also closed, and canal-side windows were blocked off with sandbags to prevent the church's crypt from flooding again. The city's mayor estimated the flood damage at hundreds of millions of dollars, and Italian authorities declared a state of emergency. [The Associated Press] 8.President Trump has changed his mind about banning e-cigarettes with youth-friendly flavors like mint, candy, and fruit, The Washington Post and The New York Times report. A Trump adviser told the Post that Trump declined to sign a Nov. 4 "decision memo" on the ban because of concerns from White House and re-election campaign officials that banning flavored e-cigarettes could lose him the vaper vote in key swing states. When Trump announced his intention to ban flavored e-cigarettes in early September, amid growing concerns about vaping-related lung disease and an explosion of youth vapers, he credited advocacy from first lady Melania Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump. "He didn't know much about the issue and was just doing it for Melania and Ivanka," a senior administration official told the Post. [The Washington Post, The New York Times] 9.Ford on Sunday unveiled its all-electric 2021 Mustang Mach-E, an SUV based on the automaker's new EV architecture. The Mach-E marks an attempt to expand the appeal of the iconic Mustang and lure in a new generation of buyers. The Mach-E is the first Mustang that isn't a two-door sports car. The vehicle, with a starting price of about $44,000, is part of Ford's $11 billion effort to introduce 40 new electric and hybrid models by 2022. Ford said the Mach-E would get 210 miles to 300-plus miles on a charge, depending on the battery option. The Mach-E's performance and price will rival Tesla's Model Y SUV. Ford CEO Jim Hackett said the Mach-E also will have the company's new hands-free driver assist system, similar to Tesla's Autopilot and Cadillac's Super Cruise systems. [CNBC] 10.Gunmen fired into a crowd of people at a backyard party in southeast Fresno in central California on Sunday, killing four people and wounding six more. "What we do know is that this was a gathering, a family and friend gathering in the backyard," Fresno Police Lt. Bill Dooley said. "Everyone was watching football this evening when unknown suspects approached the residence, snuck into the backyard, and opened fire." About 35 people were at the party. All of the victims were Asian men between the ages of 25 and 35. "Thank God that no kids were hurt," Dooley said. Police said investigators could not immediately determine whether the victims knew the attacker or attackers. Police reported no immediate arrests in the case. [Fresno Bee]More stories from theweek.com The coming death of just about every rock legend The president has already confessed to his crimes Why are 2020 Democrats so weird?



BBC Sports News

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BBC Americas News

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