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BBC World News
Thomas Cook collapses as last-ditch rescue talks fail
The tour firm's failure means more than 150,000 British tourists will need to be repatriated.
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Yahoo World News
The Latest: Iran calls for rival Gulf 'security' coalition
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Thomas Cook collapse: Operation begins to bring home 150,000 stranded holidaymakers — latest news
Thousands left stranded abroad as Thomas Cook collapses Oliver Gill: The airline bosses who will welcome Cook’s fall The Thomas Cook bosses who received £20m in bonuses in last 5 years as company collapsed We’ll keep you updated throughout the day Thomas Cook has collapsed into liquidation, a failure that consigns the most iconic name in world travel to the annals of history. Richard Moriarty, the chief executive of the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), said the Government had asked his organisation to launch “the UK’s largest ever peacetime repatriation”. In a statement, the CAA said: “Thomas Cook Group, including the UK tour operator and airline, has ceased trading with immediate effect. “All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled.” Thomas Cook collapse | Read more Around 600,000 Thomas Cook holidaymakers, 150,000 of whom are British, have been left stranded. Throughout Sunday, empty aircraft were landing at airports up and down the country as preparations finalised to bring people home. Codenamed Operation Matterhorn, dozens of charter planes, from as far afield as Malaysia, have been hired to fly customers home free of charge and hundreds of people were working in call centres and at airports. 8:32AM Thomas Cook’s Twitter support page has shut down Thomas Cook Cares, the account through which the travel giant fields customer questions, has officially shut down, and will no longer be monitored. We are sorry to announce that Thomas Cook has ceased trading with immediate effect. This account will not be monitored. Please visit https://t.co/PLklUd1C7q for further advice and information.ThomasCookpic.twitter.com/jnYvg8jpV3— Thomas Cook Cares (@ThomasCookCares) September 23, 2019 The dedicated page for customer service support, run by the CAA, is here: 8:30AM Labour’s McDonnell: Thomas Cook bosses should have to repay their bonuses Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has said the government should have bailed out Thomas Cook, and that the travel group’s bosses should hand back their bonuses. He told the BBC: When this crisis started I said to the government that they should intervene if only to stabilise the situation while a real plan for the future of the company could be addressed. I think the government should have been willing to do more, intervene and stabilise the situation and allow a long-term plan to develop.” To just stand to one side and watch this number of jobs go and to so many holidaymakers have their holidays ruined is not good government John McDonnell says the Government should have bailed out Thomas Cook He says it should have been given funding ‘with strings attached’, highlighting similar intervention in steel crisis He says Thomas Cook bosses should ‘examine their consciences’ and pay back their bonuses— Steven Swinford (@Steven_Swinford) September 23, 2019 8:21AM A 178-year legacy comes to an end Passengers talk to Civil Aviation Authority employees at Mallorca Airport Credit: ENRIQUE CALVO/ REUTERS The last-ever Thomas Cook flight will land at Manchester Airport in just over half an hour. You can follow its progress via OAG Flightview here. What began on 5th July 1841 with a train journey from Leicester to Loughborough ends in the next half an hour or so when the final ever Thomas Cook flight lands at Terminal 1 of Manchester Airport, completing its journey from Orlando. End of an era. pic.twitter.com/WQY0bKWV2m— Peter Ruddick (@ruddick) September 23, 2019 On social media, users are continuing to pay tribute to the company’s more than 20,000 staff. Thinking of the thousands upon thousands of employees of Thomas cook this Monday morning, my heart truely goes out to them. Devastating �� pic.twitter.com/xIJ1JC6tTy— s a r a h �� (@xsarahorr) September 23, 2019 8:09AM Wizz Air offers Cyprus ‘rescue fares’ for stranded Thomas Cook customers Sensing an opportunity, rival airline Wizz Air is offering Thomas Cook customers hoping to fly between Larnaca and Paphos, Cyprus, and London Luton. The airline’s managing director Owain Jones, said: Wizz Air is pleased to offer customers whose travel plans between the UK and Larnaca or Paphos have been cancelled following the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook the opportunity to travel with Wizz Air between London Luton and Larnaca at the special price of £99/€109.99 [One way including all taxes and non-optional charges]. The number of seats available at this special rescue fare is limited and the special fare is available only to customers with confirmed Thomas Cook reservations until 30 November 2019 . 7:54AM Staff ‘stabbed in the back’, says pilots’ union A security person stands next to the entrance of the German headquarters of travel company Thomas Cook in Oberursel near Frankfurt, Germany Credit: Michael Probst/ AP Thomas Cook’s staff “have been stabbed in the back without a second’s thought”, the pilots union has claimed. A statement from the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) said that while plans were in place to rescue stranded tourists, pilots and other staff have been left with no certainty about their future. While detailed plans to repatriate passengers have been carefully put together and Ministers have and will continue to claim the credit for that, the staff have been stabbed in the back without a second’s thought. Despite continuing to keep Thomas Cook going in recent weeks with dignity and integrity while their own futures were being secretly decided we don’t even know if staff will get a pay cheque this month. It is despicable. Thomas Cook pilots and all staff deserve better than this. For pilots, BALPA will be supporting our members through the legal complexities of what Thomas Cook liquidation means for them and doing everything we can to help them find alternative jobs in other airlines. 7:44AM On the Beach faces costs from Thomas Cook collapse Another British travel company, On the Beach, has warned this morning that it expects to take a one-off hit as a result of Thomas Cook’s collapse. On the Beach said that following the failure of Thomas Cook overnight it “is assisting customers that are currently in resort and whose travel plans will be affected”. The beach holiday seller said it anticipates “a one-off exceptional cost associated with helping customers to organise alternative travel arrangements, and lost margin on cancelled bookings”. The company said it expects to recover the costs of cancelled flights but that it was still assessing the potential impact on its financial performance for its next financial year, which starts in October. 7:33AM ‘A deeply sad day’ — Thomas Cook's boss Thomas Cook boss Peter Fankhauser Credit: ullstein bild/Getty Thomas Cook’s boss Peter Fankhauser has said the company's collapse “marks a deeply sad day for the company which pioneered package holidays and made travel possible for millions of people around the world”. Thomas Cook collapse | Read more It was a matter of “profound regret” that he and the other board members were unable to save the company, he added. Here is what else Fankhauser had to say in this morning's stock exchange announcement: We have worked exhaustively in the past few days to resolve the outstanding issues on an agreement to secure Thomas Cook's future for its employees, customers and suppliers. Although a deal had been largely agreed, an additional facility requested in the last few days of negotiations presented a challenge that ultimately proved insurmountable. It is a matter of profound regret to me and the rest of the board that we were not successful. I would like to apologise to our millions of customers, and thousands of employees, suppliers and partners who have supported us for many years. Despite huge uncertainty over recent weeks, our teams continued to put customers first, showing why Thomas Cook is one of the best-loved brands in travel. Generations of customers entrusted their family holiday to Thomas Cook because our people kept our customers at the heart of the business and maintained our founder's spirit of innovation. 7:27AM Statement from Thomas Cook Thomas Cook has made a statement to the stock market this morning confirming that it is entering liquidation. "Further to the announcement made on 20 September 2019, Thomas Cook Group plc ("the Company") continued to engage with a range of key stakeholders over the weekend in order to secure final terms on the recapitalisation and reorganisation of the Company. Despite considerable efforts, those discussions have not resulted in agreement between the Company's stakeholders and proposed new money providers. The Company's board has therefore concluded that it had no choice but to take steps to enter into compulsory liquidation with immediate effect." The failed travel company confirmed that the High Court had granted an order for the Official Receiver to be appointed as liquidator. It said it expects Alix Partners will be appointed as special managers to act on behalf of the official receiver and that Alix will "work very closely with the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK to effect the repatriation of all UK customers impacted by this announcement". 6:00AM ‘My heart is broken’ Members of the company’s 21,000 staff reacted to the news on social media, some posting pictures of themselves walking from their last flights. “Love my job so much, don’t want it to end,” Kia Dawn Hayward, a member of the company's cabin crew, said on Twitter. Love my job so much, don’t want it to end���� Thank you for making my dream job come true ThomasCook , you will always be my first ever airline and the last in my Sunny Heart�� pic.twitter.com/1T4jL8cBsF— Kia Dawn Hayward (@kiaandmusic) September 22, 2019 Chloe Rawlinson said: “Heartbroken to say the least. Had the most surreal 2 years of my life full of fun laughter and smiles all around and I’ll always be thankful for Thomas cook. 178 years of amazing service that has came to an end.” Heartbroken to say the least�� had the most surreal 2 years of my life full of fun laughter and smiles all around and I’ll always be thankful for Thomas cook. 178 years of amazing service that has came to an end ���� thomascookpic.twitter.com/NiacbR7lxH— Chloe Rawlinson (@xChloerawlinson) September 23, 2019 Absolutely devastated , 25 years I have given to thomascook and it’s all gone overnight ��— BrendanMcgarry (@brenmcgarry) September 23, 2019 Holidaymakers also expressed sympathy for those who lost jobs. My honeymoon has gone down the drain as we had booked with thomascook but I don’t care, I’ll get refunded. I care about the employees who have lost their jobs with no warning and this close to Christmas, ❤️— Steph Wight (@steph_wight) September 22, 2019 5:43AM Grant Shapps: ‘We will bring everyone home’ Transport Secretary Grant Shapps Credit: Andrew Crowley/The Daily Telegraph Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, has promised to bring all the affected Thomas Cook customers back. Very sadly Thomas Cook has collapsed. The biggest UK peacetime repatriation in history is underway. We will bring everyone home. An enormous task, there will be some delays, but we're working round the clock to do everything we can. Visit https://t.co/0wVHltRgqB for details.— Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) September 23, 2019 4:38AM What is Operation Matterhorn? Britain's biggest ever peacetime repatriation has got under way in an effort to bring home 150,000 holidaymakers who were stranded after the collapse of Thomas Cook. Codenamed Operation Matterhorn, Richard Moriarty, chief executive of the CAA, said it had launched "what is effectively one of the UK's largest airlines" in order to repatriate British holidaymakers. Here's everything you need to know about the operation. 3:47AM What is ATOL protection? There is a lot of talk about whether your Thomas Cook holiday was ATOL protected. Here's a brief guide about what that means. At a glance | ATOL holiday protection 3:13AM Fosun 'disappointed' in collapse Fosun Tourism Group, which noted it is a "minority investor with no board representation" in Thomas Cook, issued a statement after the travel operator's collapse. The Chinese conglomerate, which owns Wolverhampton Wanderers, said: "Fosun is disappointed that Thomas Cook Group has not been able to find a viable solution for its proposed recapitalisation with other affiliates, core lending banks, senior noteholders and additional involved parties. "Fosun confirms that its position remained unchanged throughout the process, but unfortunately other factors have changed. "We extend our deepest sympathy to all those affected by this outcome." 2:58AM Dozens of charter planes hired Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announces dozens of charter planes have been hired to fly customers home free of charge. In a statement, the Department for Transport (DfT) says all customers currently abroad with Thomas Cook who are booked to return to the UK over the next two weeks will be brought home as close as possible to their booked return date. A general view of the Thomas Cook check-in desks in the South Terminal of Gatwick Airport Credit: PA The DfT says Thomas Cook package holiday customers will also see the cost of their accommodation covered by the Government, through the Air Travel Trust Fund or Atol scheme. Mr Shapps said: "Thomas Cook's collapse is very sad news for staff and holidaymakers. "The Government and UK CAA is working round the clock to help people. "Our contingency planning has helped acquire planes from across the world - some from as far away as Malaysia - and we have put hundreds of people in call centres and at airports. "But the task is enormous, the biggest peacetime repatriation in UK history. So there are bound to be problems and delays. "Please try to be understanding with the staff who are trying to assist in what is likely to be a very difficult time for them as well." 2:49AM Thomas Cook chief apologies Peter Fankhauser, the chief executive of Thomas Cook, said the tour operator's collapse was a "matter of profound regret" as he apologised to the company's "millions of customers, and thousands of employees". "We have worked exhaustively in the past few days to resolve the outstanding issues on an agreement to secure Thomas Cook's future for its employees, customers and suppliers. "Although a deal had been largely agreed, an additional facility requested in the last few days of negotiations presented a challenge that ultimately proved insurmountable. "It is a matter of profound regret to me and the rest of the board that we were not successful. Thomas Cook chief executive officer Peter Fankhauser Credit: PA "I would like to apologise to our millions of customers, and thousands of employees, suppliers and partners who have supported us for many years. "Despite huge uncertainty over recent weeks, our teams continued to put customers first, showing why Thomas Cook is one of the best-loved brands in travel. "Generations of customers entrusted their family holiday to Thomas Cook because our people kept our customers at the heart of the business and maintained our founder's spirit of innovation. "This marks a deeply sad day for the company which pioneered package holidays and made travel possible for millions of people around the world." 2:46AM Website down Holidaymakers seeking information are being left frustrated as the website dedicated to the collapse is not up and running. The website: http://thomascook.caa.co.uk/ The CAA says: "We are aware that some users are having difficultly accessing the dedicated website for information and advice following Thomas Cook ceasing trading. Please keep checking the website as it is currently launching." 2:42AM CAA launches 'one of the UK's largest airlines' Richard Moriarty, chief executive of the CAA, said it had launched "what is effectively one of the UK's largest airlines" in order to repatriate British holidaymakers.He said: "News of Thomas Cook's collapse is deeply saddening for the company's employees and customers, and we appreciate that more than 150,000 people currently abroad will be anxious about how they will now return to the UK. "The government has asked us to support Thomas Cook customers on what is the UK's largest ever peacetime repatriation. "We have launched, at very short notice, what is effectively one of the UK's largest airlines, involving a fleet of aircraft secured from around the world. The nature and scale of the operation means that unfortunately some disruption will be inevitable. We ask customers to bear with us as we work around the clock to bring them home. "We urge anyone affected by this news to check our dedicated website, thomascook.caa.co.uk, for advice and information." 2:38AM Operation begins to bring home holidaymakers The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the Government had asked it to launch a repatriation programme over the next two weeks, starting on Monday and running to Sunday 6 October, to bring Thomas Cook customers back to the UK. The CAA statement said: "Due to the unprecedented number of UK customers currently overseas who are affected by the situation, the Civil Aviation Authority has secured a fleet of aircraft from around the world to bring passengers back to the UK with return flights. "Passengers in a small number of destinations may return on alternative commercial flights, rather than directly through the Civil Aviation Authority's flying programme. Details and advice for these passengers are available on the dedicated website. "Due to the significant scale of the situation, some disruption is inevitable, but the Civil Aviation Authority will endeavour to get people home as close as possible to their planned dates. This will apply to both Atol protected passengers and those who are not protected. "Customers currently overseas should not travel to the airport until their flight back to the UK has been confirmed on the dedicated website. "Thomas Cook customers in the UK yet to travel should not go to the airport as all flights leaving the UK have been cancelled." 2:30AM Thomas Cook collapses Good morning. All eyes are on Thomas Cook this morning after the travel operator collapsed in the early hours of Monday. 5 things to start your day 1) A late-cycle surge in ‘leveraged loans’ has echoes of financial engineering before the Lehman crisis and could lead to a cascade of fire sales if conditions suddenly tighten, the world’s top financial watchdog has warned. The Bank for International Settlements said the high-risk loans have climbed to $1.4 trillion and are increasingly being sliced and diced much like subprime mortgage debt before 2007. Leveraged loans have exploded 2) London and the south east is poised to become the country’s biggest manufacturing region, overtaking Britain’s traditional industrial heartlands. A new analysis of official data by manufacturing trade body MakeUK and BDO revealed that the sector is worth £28.1bn a year in London and the south east, just £400m behind the north west’s £28.5bn. Manufacturing output by region in UK 3) Brexit is “not just a British” problem, car manufacturers from across Europe are warning, as they appeal for politicians on both sides of the Channel to avoid the UK crashing out of the trading bloc without a trade deal. 4) WeWork’s controversial chief executive Adam Neumann faces being ousted by the office space company’s board as it seeks to get its tumultuous US flotation back on track. 5) 'We're more likely to make fridges than an SUV': With one eye on the environment and one on exhilaration, McLaren boss Mike Flewitt tells Alan Tovey the GT will not please everyone. What happened overnight Thomas Cook has collapsed, a failure that will likely consign the most iconic name in world travel to the annals of history. The Government and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have launched Britain’s biggest peacetime repatriation of customers. The CAA said the tour operator has "ceased trading with immediate effect". "All Thomas Cook bookings, including flights and holidays, have now been cancelled," it added. Coming up today Today Flash PMI data from France and Germany will set the tone this morning. Recent results have shown a marked divergence, with the services sector in both countries holding firm as manufacturing suffers amid pressure from global trade tensions and Brexit uncertainty. There are suggestions that the data may show a pickup, although the bigger picture may still indicate Germany is on track to enter a technical recession. Recent data from France has tended to be more perky than its neighbour. Interim results ASA Trading update Northgate Economics CBI trends (UK), purchasing managers' index (eurozone and US)
British Labour leader Corbyn faces showdown with party members over Brexit
Britain's opposition Labour Party will vote to decide its Brexit strategy on Monday, with leader Jeremy Corbyn heading for a showdown with his members over whether the party should back staying in the European Union. The vote at its annual conference in the English seaside resort of Brighton is the latest attempt by the party to bridge its divides over Brexit, a row that has overshadowed party officials' attempt to present Labour as a government in waiting. With Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisting that Britain will leave the EU on an Oct. 31 deadline, Labour, like the ruling Conservatives, is struggling to agree strategy on Brexit, increasing the uncertainty over Britain's biggest foreign and trade policy shift in more than 40 years.
Rouhani heads to UN in quest to win Iran support against US
President Hassan Rouhani on Monday departed Tehran for New York to attend the UN General Assembly on a mission to win Iran support against "cruel" pressure from arch-foe the United States. Speaking to reporters before boarding his flight, Rouhani said his delegation was heading to the UN gathering despite reluctance from President Donald Trump's administration to issue them visas. Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since May last year when Trump abandoned a 2015 nuclear deal and began reimposing sanctions on Iran in a stated campaign of "maximum pressure".
Torn by Brexit, Labour to vote on way out of the crisis
Britain's main opposition Labour Party prepared to vote Monday on a new Brexit strategy that could unite its warring factions and avoid a potential drubbing in early polls. Britain is hurtling toward its October 31 departure from the European Union without an exit agreement and facing the threat of border disruptions that the government admits could cause food shortages and spark civil unrest. Top members of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's shadow government argued at their annual conference Sunday that they were a fundamentally European party with an obligation to get the 2016 Brexit referendum results reversed.
Brexit Bulletin: Why Labour’s Muddle Matters
Brexit is 38 days away.(Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to get the Brexit Bulletin in your inbox every weekday.Today in Brexit: Labour gets ready for an election, but it’s still fighting about Britain’s EU withdrawal after all this time.What’s Happening? The Labour Party, Britain’s official opposition, wants to oversee an “irreversible shift in wealth and power to working people,” according to treasury spokesman John McDonnell. But Labour has spent so much time since the 2016 EU referendum arguing over Brexit that deep splits now risk undermining that mission, Bloomberg’s Jessica Shankleman reports from the party’s annual conference in Brighton.With the Oct. 31 exit deadline looming and a general election on the horizon, any plan that conference delegates approve today is likely to be the one it puts to the public. In 2017, Labour fought Theresa May’s snap general election with a manifesto that pledged to respect the referendum result. A 2019 election platform will need sharper language and more clarity of purpose.Grand plans to help “the people against the super-rich” — as leader Jeremy Corbyn put it on Sunday night — are being laid out at this week’s event. After a radical pledge to effectively abolish private schools, today McDonnell will announce multibillion-pound plans for guaranteed free adult social care.On Brexit, though, caution reigns supreme. Corbyn now embraces a new referendum on any eventual deal, but on Sunday batted away multiple attempts by the BBC’s Andrew Marr to get him to commit to “Remain” or “Leave.” He wants to hold a “special conference” to decide on Labour’s position.Divisions are seriously straining the party. An attempt to oust pro-Remain deputy leader Tom Watson was defused over the weekend. But shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, another vocal Remainer, warned her boss that Labour could lose 30% of its Remain vote at an upcoming election unless it unequivocally backs staying in the bloc. From the Tory side, Theresa May’s former adviser Nick Timothy declares today that Labour is “peddling a lie” and is preparing to overturn the referendum result.Labour’s ongoing Brexit rows have often animated the party faithful but rarely resonated with the wider public. The latest bout of schizophrenia could well influence the shape of Brexit, and of the next British government.Today’s Must-ReadsAhead of a crucial ruling on Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament, Bloomberg’s Franz Wild takes a look at how the U.K. Supreme Court is reshaping the way the judiciary interacts with politics. Watch out today for more news on when the court will rule. All roads lead to London, John Authers writes for Bloomberg Opinion, arguing that the city remains the place where the many problems and imbalances afflicting the financial world today will ultimately be sorted out. The Liberal Democrats may have made a strategic error by promising to cancel Brexit, Leave advocate Douglas Carswell writes in the Telegraph.Brexit in BriefDiplomat-in-Chief | Boris Johnson will start a week of intense diplomacy today as he tries to push for a Brexit deal on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Johnson plans to meet the leaders of Germany, France and Ireland, plus EU President Donald Tusk, as he bids to strike a revised deal before time runs out.Your Fault | European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s pre-recorded interview with Sky News made news on Friday before doing the same when finally broadcast on Sunday. Brexit would mean a hard border on the island of Ireland, Juncker said, before absolving the bloc of any blame. “The EU is in no way responsible for any kind of consequences entailed by Brexit,” he said. “That’s a British decision, a sovereign decision that we are respecting.”Carmakers Worried | Automakers believe that leaving the EU without a deal would have “an immediate and devastating impact” for their industry, “undermining competitiveness and causing irreversible and severe damage,” according to Mike Hawes, chief executive of the U.K.’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.Not Just Labour | The Tories also face electoral collapse if they get Brexit wrong, with their danger being failure to deliver the withdrawal they have promised, no-deal Brexit czar Michael Gove warned in the Sunday Times.Expat Concerns | British residents protested on the streets of Malaga in southern Spain on Sunday against what they see as their uncertain future after Brexit. Reports said “dozens” took part in the march, with many expressing concerns about healthcare rights. The Guardian reports this morning that the U.K. has pledged £150 million ($187 million) to cover healthcare costs for six months in the event of a no-deal Brexit.Want to keep up with Brexit?You can follow us @Brexit on Twitter and join our Facebook group, Brexit Decoded. For all the latest news, visit bloomberg.com/brexit. Got feedback? Send us an email.Know someone who’d like the Brexit Bulletin? Colleagues, friends and family can sign up here. For in-depth coverage of the EU, try the Brussels Edition.For even more: Subscribe to Bloomberg All Access for our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.To contact the author of this story: Adam Blenford in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Iain Rogers at email@example.com, Leila TahaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Trump Ally Graham Meets Erdogan in Bid to Mend Strained Alliance
(Bloomberg) -- Senator Lindsey Graham, one of President Donald Trump’s closest Congressional allies, met Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an effort to mend an alliance most recently strained by Ankara’s purchase of a Russian missile defense system.“We’re trying to get them back in the F-35 program,” Graham said in New York on Sunday. The U.S. has locked Turkey out of a program for advanced F-35 fighter jets to punish it for buying Russian S-400 missiles that Washington says could compromise intelligence gathered by American aircraft.Erdogan met with Graham ahead of a possible gathering with Trump on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly this week. Graham praised Turkey as a “very important ally” in the Middle East and said both countries may also “talk about about a free trade agreement.”Erdogan, meanwhile, is shopping around for alternatives to the F-35 that could draw him even closer to Moscow.Putin’s Knights Joust in Istanbul Sky to Tempt Erdogan From NATOTurkey and the U.S. are also at loggerheads over how far to push American-backed Kurdish forces away from the Turkish border with Syria. Ankara views the Kurdish YPG fighters as enemies because of their links to the separatist PKK group Turkey has battled for decades. But the Kurdish force was critical to U.S. efforts to defeat Islamic State in Syria, and many in Congress opposed Turkey’s attempts to weaken them and render them more vulnerable to any Turkish attack.To contact the reporter on this story: Selcan Hacaoglu in Ankara at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Onur Ant at email@example.com, Amy Teibel, Taylan BilgicFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
At UN, Trump to face questions about Iran, Ukraine, allies
Faced with growing tumult at home and abroad, President Donald Trump heads into his three-day visit to the United Nations this week hoping to lean on strained alliances while fending off questions about whether he sought foreign help to damage a political rival. Trump's latest U.N. trip comes after nearly three years of an "America First" foreign policy that has unsettled allies and shredded multinational pacts. A centerpiece of this year's U.N. schedule will be a Monday session on climate change that Trump plans to skip.
UPDATE 2-UK PM Johnson says: don't expect Brexit breakthrough in New York
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday cautioned that there would be no Brexit breakthrough at talks with European leaders in New York as gaps remained but said significant progress had been made on striking a deal. Three years after Britons voted to leave the EU, hopes of a breakthrough were stoked last week when Johnson said the shape of a deal on Britain's departure from the European Union was emerging, and European Commission President Juncker said agreement was possible.
UK says Iran responsible for attack on Saudi oil facilities
Britain has concluded that Iran was responsible for attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday. Britain had previously held back from attributing blame for the drone and missile attack.
UN secretary general hails 'turning point' in climate crisis fight
* United Nations hosts climate summit in New York on Monday * New data shows 2014-19 warmest five-year period on recordAntónio Guterres attends a press briefing. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty ImagesThe world may have hit a hopeful “turning point” in the struggle to tackle the climate crisis despite escalating greenhouse gas emissions and the recalcitrance of major emitters Brazil and the US, according to the United Nations secretary general.On Sunday, ahead of a key UN climate summit in New York, the World Meteorological Organisation published new data showing 2014-19 to be the warmest five-year-period on record.But UN secretary general António Guterres said recent action by some countries and businesses, as well as the stunning rise of the youth climate movement, gave him hope that international goals to avoid catastrophic global heating could be met.“I see a new momentum,” Guterres said. “I believe in these last few months [there has been] a turning point. Six months ago, I must tell you, I was quite pessimistic about everything. I would see no movement, now I see a lot of movement and we need to boost that movement.”Guterres said he expects “very meaningful” climate commitments to be made by countries during the summit on Monday, which was thrown open to world leaders who had new initiatives on cutting planet-warming gases to announce.> I feel that we are still running late and we need to accelerate. The next few years are absolutely crucial> > António GutteresRepresentatives from around 60 countries will speak, including Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi and Boris Johnson, the British prime minister.The summit is designed to sharply prod countries to do more to meet the commitments of the Paris climate accords, where governments agreed to limit the average global temperature rise to 2C above the pre-industrial era. The world has already warmed by around 1C since this time.Progress has been limited. Global emissions hit a record high last year, Donald Trump has said the US, the world’s second-largest emitter, will quit the Paris deal and Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has opened the way to raze vast tracts of the Amazon rainforest.Guterres said neither Brazil nor the US have “turned up” with any new commitments for the UN summit.“Clearly, we are lagging behind and that there are many resistances in many areas,” he said. “I feel that we are still running late and we need to accelerate. The next few years are absolutely crucial to reverse the present trend, that is still a negative trend.“Emissions are still growing and the situation is getting worse, clearly. I am deeply convinced that climate change is the defining issue of our time.”The daunting task of staving off disastrous climate change has been laid bare in a new analysis released by the UN that shows global emissions are not estimated to peak by 2030, the year when scientists say emissions must be slashed by nearly half from now to avoid devastating heatwaves, flooding and loss of species.This dire forecast, driven by the continued dominance of fossil fuels despite the growth of alternatives such as solar and wind power, means countries will need to at least triple their current emissions reduction commitments to meet the Paris target, the UN report states.The G20, the world’s wealthiest countries, represent 80% of emissions but are according to the UN doing “nowhere near enough” to scale up their ambition, eclipsed by developing countries that in the case of low-lying countries in Asia and the Pacific are at most peril from rising seas and drought.Guterres, who has called for net zero emissions by 2050 and the end of new coal projects from next year, said he expects countries will do more, although he admitted he was concerned by a spate of new coal mines backed by China.On the Trump administration, the secretary general said: “Of course we understand that the policy that exists today is not in line with this concern [of climate change].”The UN summit is set to provide a sobering counterpoint to Friday’s global climate strikes, where millions across 150 countries skipped work or school in order to protest inaction over the climate crisis.Guterres said pressure from young people, galvanized by the Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg, will be “fundamental” in shaping the response from countries.It appears however to have made little impression on Trump, who will pointedly be at the UN on Monday to attend a gathering on religious freedom rather than the climate summit.“I don’t think other countries feel there’s much point putting pressure on President Trump because he hasn’t put off any signal in changing,” said Todd Stern, who was US special envoy for climate change during the Paris negotiations.“In the absence of the US there is some lack of energy in the overall system so it’s good that the secretary general is convening people and pushing them hard.”Some major businesses have set out new goals, with a group of 87 companies – including Nestle, Nokia and L’Oreal – on Sunday committing to net zero emissions by 2050. But the abdication of the US looms large.“The EU and China are the parties that can take this forward,” said Frank Rijsberman, director general of the Global Green Growth Institute. “It looks like we will have to wait until there’s another US president.”The summit will be considered a success with a raft of new national commitments but it’s clear that even that may not be enough.“I’m looking for something that will begin to bend that curve,” said Mary Robinson, former UN high commissioner for human rights. “And until it begins to bend, we’re not there at all.”
Johnson Takes Bid for Brexit Deal to New York as Clock Runs Down
(Bloomberg) -- Follow @Brexit, sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, and tell us your Brexit story. Boris Johnson will start a week of intense diplomacy on Monday, as he tries to push for a Brexit deal on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.The British prime minister will hold meetings this week with all the key players -- Germany’s Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar and European Council President Donald Tusk. He will try to persuade them to renegotiate the divorce deal they agreed to with his predecessor, Theresa May, that was rejected three times by Parliament.“I would caution you all,” he told reporters on the plane to New York, trying to reduce expectations. “I don’t wish to escalate excessively the belief that there will be a New York breakthrough. We will be pushing ahead but there is still work to be done.”He’ll also try to look beyond Brexit. Johnson will seek to find a consensus on how to handle Iran, which Britain blames for the recent attack on an Aramco installation in Saudi Arabia. He’ll announce a 1 billion-pound ($1.2 billion) fund to pay for the development and testing of new technology to tackle climate change in developing countries. And, he’ll meet U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday as he attempts to advance talks on a free-trade deal.Johnson’s New York visit risks being overshadowed from home. On the plane, he refused six times to discuss a Sunday Times report that in his time as London mayor he had given privileged access to a model-turned-entrepreneur with whom he was friendly. And the U.K. Supreme Court is due to rule on whether he broke the law when he suspended Parliament for five weeks.‘Do or Die’If he can navigate those problems, the tortured negotiations over the U.K.’s departure from the European Union will dominate Johnson’s agenda. He has pledged to leave “do or die” on Halloween and without a deal if necessary -- though that would mean defying a law passed by Parliament this month requiring him to seek a delay to Jan. 31 instead.The government has said the best way out of the impasse is to negotiate a deal with the EU that British politicians can support. But Johnson won’t be able to do so unless he can show the bloc viable alternatives to the contentious backstop, a measure to keep the Irish border free of checks that Johnson has vowed to remove from any divorce deal because it keeps the U.K. tied to EU rules.“A large number of the important players really do now want a deal,” Johnson said. The prime minister said he was “cautiously optimistic” but that “there are clearly still gaps, still difficulties.”In a recorded interview broadcast on Sunday, though, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made clear the EU is not yet convinced Johnson has a solution to the Irish border. He also made clear where he thought the blame would lie for a no-deal Brexit.“The EU is in no way responsible for any kind of consequences entailed by Brexit,” he told Sky News. “That’s a British decision, a sovereign decision that we are respecting.”Three AimsThe key problem remains -- as it was for May -- how to deliver on three apparently incompatible aims: Moving from EU rules and strike independent trade deals; not to have a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland; and not to have checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K.Britain has suggested that agricultural produce and animals could be regulated on an all-Ireland basis, effectively putting a border in the Irish Sea for those products. Asked if that could be extended to manufactured goods, Johnson said it was “a very interesting question.”“What you might want to do is ensure that the U.K., whole and entire, is able in the future to diverge from EU law if it had to,” the prime minister said. “That’s the crucial thing. We may want to regulate differently. Clearly there is also a strong incentive to keep goods moving fluidly. We think we can do both.”Juncker said that a no-deal Brexit would mean a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland to protect the integrity of the EU single market.“We have to preserve the health and the safety of our citizens,” he said.Meanwhile, it’s not just Johnson’s Tories that are struggling over Brexit. Splits are re-emerging in the main opposition Labour Party, overshadowing efforts to use the party’s annual conference to build a platform to challenge the Conservatives.Angry PoliticiansLeader Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong euroskeptic, said his party is pledging to hold a second referendum on Brexit if it’s elected to government, pitting “Remain” against a “credible” deal he negotiates with the EU -- but has refused to say which side he’d campaign for.That has angered senior politicians and party members, the majority of whom want to stay in the EU. They are demanding an unambiguous commitment to campaign to remain.“If you believe in internationalism and if you believe in socialism, why on earth would you back Brexit?” Labour’s foreign affairs spokeswoman, Emily Thornberry, said in a speech on the margins of the conference in Brighton. “We must not just campaign to remain, we must lead the campaign to remain.”To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at email@example.com, Virginia Van Natta, Bill FariesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
South Korea Justice Minister’s Home Raided in Corruption Investigation
(Bloomberg) -- South Korean prosecutors raided the home of Justice Minister Cho Kuk, the Yonhap News Agency reported, as part of a widening corruption investigation that has already dented support for President Moon Jae-in.Investigators entered Cho’s house shortly after 9 a.m. Monday, Yonhap said, citing the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office. The move comes amid a range of inquiries into issues involving Cho and his wife including their children’s university applications and an investment in a private equity fund. Cho has denied wrongdoing.The Seoul Central Prosecutors Office, the Justice Ministry and the presidential office declined to comment when reached by phone Monday.The raid comes two weeks after Moon appointed Cho -- a political ally and close confidant -- despite parliamentary resistance to his nomination. The president’s approval rating slipped to a record low of 40% last week, a regular Gallup Korea survey showed, as the appointment controversy, a slowing economy and setbacks in U.S.-North Korea talks all weighed on his support.Prosecutors are investigating how Cho’s daughter won admission to a prestigious university after she was credited as a main author of a published scientific paper while a high school student on a brief internship. They’re also looking into how his family made a hefty profit from a questionable investment in the private equity fund.Cho’s university professor wife Chung Kyung-shim was indicted earlier this month on allegations that she interfered with the probe by forging documents, YTN reported. Chung has denied the allegations in a Facebook post.On Monday, prosecutors visited Cho’s home in southern Seoul to collect computer hard drives and numerous work-related documents, Yonhap said. Investigators have visited numerous locations related to the probes, including the private equity fund’s office and university campuses.To contact the reporter on this story: Jihye Lee in Seoul at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at email@example.com, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Trump Sucks Ukraine’s Novice Leader Into His Re-Election Battle
(Bloomberg) -- Ukraine’s novice leader may have thought Vladimir Putin would pose his biggest diplomatic challenge. Five months after being elected, it’s Donald Trump who’s giving him a crash course in the perils of international politics.President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is being pulled into the storm surrounding the 2020 U.S. election over a July phone call during which media allege Trump repeatedly asked him to investigate the son of the Democratic hopeful Joe Biden.It’s an awkward predicament: the U.S. has been a major donor since Ukrainians booted out their Kremlin backed leader back in 2014, providing financial aid and military assistance. And the timing is far from ideal, with Zelenskiy traveling this week to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where he’s scheduled to meet Trump.Ukraine, already the source of the worst tensions between the U.S. and Russia since the Cold War, is becoming a focus of next year’s re-election bid by Trump, who’s trailing in polls. He appeared to acknowledge Sunday that he’d discussed Biden with Zelenskiy, though said he was just concerned about corruption.Zelenskiy, who scored a shock election victory in April, must tread carefully.“Ukraine needs to hold neutral ground, and that requires flexibility and resourcefulness,” Volodymyr Fesenko, head of the Penta Political Analysis Center in Kyiv, said by phone. “He can’t quarrel with Trump, but at the same time it’s not in his or Ukraine’s best interest to become part of the internal political scuffles in the U.S.”Whistle-Blower EmergesThe controversy concerns Hunter Biden’s role on the board of one of Ukraine’s biggest gas companies, which featured in a corruption investigation. Trump’s allies say a push by President Barack Obama’s administration to remove then General Prosecutor Viktor Shokin in 2016 was aimed at closing down any probe.In May, Ukraine’s chief prosecutor said he had no evidence of wrongdoing by Biden or his son. Vitaliy Kasko, a prosecutor who pursued a case against the gas company’s owner, told Bloomberg in May that there was no U.S. pressure to close the case. Many world leaders and the European Union were demanding Shokin’s dismissal. Shokin denied accusations of wrongdoing.A whistle-blower from the U.S. intelligence community, who hasn’t been publicly identified, raised concerns about Trump’s interactions with a foreign leader, subsequently believed to be Zelenskiy during the July call.New ‘Lawlessness’Zelenskiy had been off to a flying start at home. His market-friendly policies helped turn the hryvnia into this year’s best-performing currency. He sealed a prisoner swap with Putin and has top diplomats talking about the improved chance of peace between the longtime foes. He’s riding high in polls.But the past week has seen Zelenskiy’s job become trickier. First, ties with a billionaire whose TV channel use to air Zelenskiy’s shows have come under the microscope once again. Then, a champion reformer under the previous administration said her house had been burned down in an arson attack in Kyiv.The scandal over Trump could be his biggest challenge yet because of the extreme partisan nature of U.S. politics.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned Sunday of “a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation.”\--With assistance from Daryna Krasnolutska.To contact the reporter on this story: Aliaksandr Kudrytski in Minsk, Belarus at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrea Dudik at email@example.com, Andrew Langley, Michael WinfreyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Iran Demands a $15 Billion Credit Before Resuming Talks With Trump and EU
Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily BeastForeign Minister Javad Zarif said Sunday that Iran would not resume talks with President Donald Trump and his administration until a French plan to extend $15 billion of credit to Tehran goes into full effect.“The credit we are talking about is not a charity. We are a wealthy nation,” Zarif told a group of reporters in New York Sunday. “The credit is in lieu of the oil [the French] were supposed to buy.” Zarif said Iran is requesting the the $15 billion credit be extended until December at which point in time it would request $3 billion per month. “That was one way for the French—not just the French but the European Union—in order for them to come back into compliance with the JCPOA,” Zarif said, referring the Iran nuclear deal. He said the U.S. would eventually “lose its leverage” if it continued to block Tehran from selling its oil.“They are the ones who are dependent on the global market,” Zarif said.Iran has been in conversations with French President Emmanuel Macron for weeks about the possibility of accessing billions of dollars from either the French central bank or the European Central Bank to compensate for the money Iran lost in oil sales due to American sanctions. Trump Flirts With $15 Billion Bailout for Iran, Sources SayZarif, who is in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, said the $15 billion deal was just one of several of the Iranian government’s demands for the European Union and the U.S. It also wants to be able to sell its oil and access the revenues made from oil sales. Zarif said the Trump administration’s sanctions campaign was “starving” the Iranian people and equated it to “economic terrorism”, saying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo should “be prepared to face the consequences in the International Criminal Court.”On CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday Pompeo said: “I don’t know why anyone listens to the Iranian foreign minister. It’s beneath the dignity of anyone to listen to him.”Since the early days of 2017, the Trump administration, with the help of hawkish Washington think tanks and politicos, has rolled out what it calls a “maximum pressure campaign.” The policy relies almost entirely on the implementation of targeted economic sanctions on Iran’s most important leaders, sectors and industries. The plan was in part crafted by former National Security Adviser John Bolton. Following Bolton’s departure, it was unclear exactly how President Trump would move forward with Iran. He has long tried to avoid military confrontation with Iran but members of his administration, notably Pompeo and Brian Hook, the special representative for Iran, have quietly lauded Bolton’s maximum pressure campaign and aggressive attitude toward Tehran.On Friday, the Trump administration announced that it had placed the Iranian central bank under the strictest of sanctions, making it almost impossible for France or any other country to extend it a line of credit. Trump called them the sanctions package the “highest sanctions ever”. Zarif blamed Mark Dubowitz, the CEO of Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a right-leaning think tank in Washington that has been instrumental in the shaping of the Trump administration’s Iran policy.“Mark Dubowitz wanted to make sure that neither this president or his successor will not be able to normalize relations with Iran,” Zarif said. “I think President Trump knowingly or unknowingly closed the door to negotiations on Friday.” In August, Iran blacklisted FDD, accusing it of “economic terrorism”.Now, Zarif said, Iran is only going to agree to talks with the U.S. and the European Union if the cash starts flowing.“When we went and discussed all of that and [France] thought—and we respect their decision but that does not relieve them of [their] legal obligations—that [they] needed to get some green light from the U.S.,” Zarif said. “That’s a contradiction because if the U.S. is interested in maximum pressure, then they wouldn’t give them a green light and that’s what we warned them about.”The Daily Beast has previously reported that President Trump was considering the possibility of giving that green light to the French. But following the latest attacks on the Saudi oil facilities—described by Trump officials as “an act of war” on the part of Iran—Trump seems to have completely written off any idea of approving a deal that would benefit Tehran. Zarif flatly denied any accusations that Iran was involved in those attacks, pointing the finger instead at “the Yemenis.” Saudi Arabia is currently investigating the exact origin of the drones and missiles that were used in the attack. “I think [Trump] is determined not to get involved in our country militarily,” Zarif said. “But there are others who are determined to drag him into a military conflict with Iran.”Zarif said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani would introduce a plan, titled “Coalition for Hope,” at the United Nations this week. Although he did not provide reporters with the exact details, he said the coalition would include Iraq and other Persian Gulf countries should they choose to join and would focus on freedom of navigation and energy security. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
France says top issue is de-escalation _ not US-Iran talks
France's top diplomat said Sunday the most pressing issue following attacks on key Saudi Arabian oil installations is not a potential meeting between the leaders of the United States and Iran but whether it's possible to de-escalate the current "dangerous" situation. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told a news conference that Iran's decision to violate the 2015 nuclear deal on three occasions recently was also a factor in increasing tensions. Iran has said it is responding to escalating U.S. sanctions following the Trump administration's withdrawal from the agreement and its difficulties doing business internationally.
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Markets face major risks over lax climate forecasts, top investors warn
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At UN General Assembly, Iran and US historically at odds
Iran has often commanded center stage at the annual U.N. gathering of world leaders, turning the organization's headquarters into an arena for arguments over the Persian Gulf's daily complexities and hostilities. As Tehran's leadership prepares to address the U.N. General Assembly this week, there are fears that a wider conflict, dragging in Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States, could erupt after a summer of heightened volatility in the region. After the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal — and Washington hit Tehran with escalating sanctions —Iran has begun to break some of the limits that were set in return for sanctions relief.
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