Around the Globe

Around the Globe

May defies leadership revolt, warns Brexit in peril

Prime Minister Theresa May vowed to fight for her job on Wednesday after Conservative lawmakers triggered a challenge to her leadership, saying a change could jeopardise Britain’s planned divorce from the European Union.

With less than four months until the United Kingdom is due to exit on March 29, Brexit has been plunged into chaos with options ranging from a potentially disorderly no-deal departure to another referendum that could reverse it.

EU rules out renegotiation as May seeks help from Merkel

Prime Minister Theresa May sought Angela Merkel’s support on Tuesday to save her floundering Brexit deal but the European Union ruled out renegotiating the divorce treaty, after May postponed a parliamentary vote she admitted she would lose.

Less than four months until the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, May warned British lawmakers that if they rejected her deal then the only other options were a disorderly no-deal divorce, or a reversal of Brexit that would defy the will of those who voted for it.

‘Yellow vest’ protests slow French economy

The anti-government protests convulsing France will slow grow­th to close to a standstill in the final quarter, the central bank said on Monday, complicating President Emmanuel Macron’s task of finding concessions to placate the “yellow vest” movement.

The Bank of France on Monday forecast the euro zone’s number two economy would eke out growth of only 0.2 per cent in the quarter from the previous three months, down from 0.4 percent in a previous estimate.

Duterte seeks martial law extension in southern Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday asked legislators to extend martial law across the southern Philippines until the end of 2019 in order to quell continuing violence in the restive region, officials said.

Duterte's request, which could be approved as early as next week, comes despite critics voicing concerns the move threatens human rights and places too much power in the leader's hands.

However, the president's spokesman Salvador Panelo said a third extension was needed in the southern region of Mindanao to "protect the nation and its people".

Huawei founder's daughter arrested on US request, clouding China trade truce

The daughter of Chinese tech giant Huawei’s founder has been arrested in Canada and is facing extradition to the United States, dealing a blow to hopes of an easing of Sino-US trade tensions and rocking global stock markets.

The shock arrest of Meng Wanzhou, who is also Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s chief financial officer, raises fresh doubts over a 90-day truce on trade struck between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping on Saturday - the day she was detained.

China swings into action on trade as ‘Tariff Man’ Trump ups pressure

China swung into action to start delivering on the trade commitments that led to its weekend truce with the US, even as uncertainty over what was agreed lingers.

Beijing will start to quickly implement specific items where there’s consensus with the US and will push forward on trade negotiations within the 90-day "timetable and road map," the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on Wednesday morning in China.

France halts fuel tax hikes

The French government on Tuesday announced that it would suspend planned increases in fuel taxes for six months in a bid to quell fierce protests that have ballooned into the deepest crisis of Emmanuel Macron's presidency.

The concession was one of several made by prime minister Edouard Philippe in a rare televised address, after the country was rocked by intense street clashes and vandalism in Paris over the weekend.

Qatar to quit Opec in Jan

Qatar will leave Opec next month in order to focus on gas production, the Gulf state's new energy minister Saad al-Kaabi announced Monday, denying the surprise move was a result of Doha's bitter feud with oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

Qatar has been a member of Opec since 1961 and the decision to pull out after more than five decades comes at a turbulent time in Gulf politics, with Doha under a boycott by former neighbouring allies including Saudi Arabia for 18 months.

Macron visits riot-damaged Arc de Triomphe, mulls state of emergency

President Emmanuel Macron rushed to the Arc de Triomphe on Sunday after one of France’s most revered monuments was vandalised by rioters, with the government considering a state of emergency after the worst bout of unrest for years.

Masked, black-clad groups ran amok across central Paris on Saturday, torching dozens of cars and buildings, looting shops, smashing windows and fighting police in the worst unrest the capital has seen since 1968, posing the most formidable challenge Emmanuel Macron has faced in his 18-month-old presidency.

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