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Malawi election results delayed after injunction over alleged…

BLANTYRE/LILONGWE, Malawi ( ) – Final results of Malawi’s presidential elections will be delayed, the electoral commission (MEC) said on Saturday after the high court ordered a review of the polls following opposition allegations of tampering.

Voters cast ballots for a president, parliament and ward councillors on May 21, with President Peter Mutharika’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) facing stiff competition from the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), which filed the complaints alleging intimidation and tampering by the DPP.

The Malawian High Court ordered the MEC not to release results of the presidential vote until a judicial review of the complaints had b,上海夜生活网419Barrett,een heard and results from 10 districts were verified.

Malawian law says complaints must be resolved within the maximum eight days between polling and the announcement of results. But chairwoman of the MEC Jus上海夜网tice Jane Ansah said the results would be delayed until matters cited by the court were resolved.

“Presidential results have been withheld until we resolve the issue of the court injunction which we have received. We are dealing with all complaints,” Ansah told a press briefing.

The MEC has confirmed receiving 147 cases of irregularities, most to do with the use of results sheets which had sections blotted out and altered with correction fluid.

Protests have broken out in Malawi’s administrative capital Lilongwe, an opposition stronghold, prompting police to deploy armored trucks to the area where people were tearing down rulin,上海新夜网龙凤Idaline,g DDP posters and hurling rocks at government buildings.

President Mutharika, 78, came to power in 2014 and is credited with improving infrastructure and lowering inflation, but has recently faced accusations of corruption and of favoring r,上海夜生活服务Hadrian,ural regions where his support is strongest.

Republicans signal no quick moves on guns despite Trump push

WASHINGTON ( ) – Republican senators in the U.S. Congress signaled on Thursday that they were hesitant to embrace a call from President Donald Trump for sweeping changes to gun laws, including measures more typically backed by Democrats.

Trump shocked fellow Republicans on Wednesday when he threw his support behind a broad set of restrictions on gun sales in response to the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.

But he left the issue in the lap of Congress, and did not say how hard he would twist arms in his party to advance measures that many Americans passionately view as infringing on their ,上海夜生活Hadley,constitutional right to own guns.

Complicating matters, after meeting with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence late on Thursday, the National Rifle Association’s chief lobbyist Chris Cox said on Twitter that Trump and Pence “don’t want gun control.”

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said banking legislation – not guns – would be at the top of the agenda next week, and said the process for gun-related bills was still under discussion.

McConnell said he hoped to eventually see debate on a narrowly tailored bill from John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, that would strengthen a database of people who are not legally allowed to buy guns.

“We’d love to do that at some point. I’m hoping there’s a way forward,” McConnell said.

Senate Democrats said they want to debate mandates on background checks at gun shows and internet sales, among other measures, but said Trump would need to push his colleagues.

“One public meeting will not close background check loopholes,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. “The coming days will prove whether the president’s words yesterday were an aberration – I hope not.”

The White House had been expected to release a list of policy measures that Trump backs, but spokeswoman Sarah Sanders on Thursday described the process as an “ongoing discussion.”

“This is going to be an ongoing process and something that we don’t expect to happen overnight, but something that we’re going to continue to be engaged in,” Sanders told reporters, noting Trump plans to meet next week with the video game industry.

Trump has said he is disturbed by the level of violence he has seen in video games and movies accessible to children like his son Barron, age 12.

Republican Senator John Kennedy told reporters he was skeptical that any gun control legislation will advance soon.

“So far, there’s been a lot of chopping but I don’t see any chips flying. And I’m上海夜生活网 not sure that’s going to change,” Kennedy said, noting Americans “feel passionately” about their constitutional rights on gun ownership.


Cornyn, who sat beside Trump during his free-flowing, televised meeting on Wednesday, told reporters he believes his modest proposal to improve the background check system for gun buyers was more pragmatic than the more ambitious approach Trump appeared to back.

“I still think it’s the best way forward to get something done and not end up empty-handed,” Cornyn said after meeting with,上海夜生活群Fabian, leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chairman Chuck Grassley and ranking Democratic member Dianne Feinstein.

Cornyn said 50 senators have now signed up to support his bill, which he said could be used as a “base” for debating other measures as amendments. The decision will be up to McConnell.

Trump on Wednesday seemed to back several measures that are opposed by the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun lobby that backed his 2016 candidacy.

He voiced support for raising the age for legally buying rifles,上海夜生活网交流Nadine, to 21 from 18, and expressed interest in state laws that allow police to temporarily seize guns from people reported to be dangerous.

NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch said on Fox News Channel that the group believes the focus should be on making schools more secure, rather than restricting constitutional rights to own guns.

Republican Senator Pat Toomey downplayed some of Trump’s comments, saying he thought the meeting showed Trump wants to get legislation done. “I think there’s an old saying about this president, which is ‘Take him seriously, not necessarily literally,’” Toomey said.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said on Thursday that he backed restraining orders for guns owned by people deemed to be dangerous, as well as funding for measures to train schools to identify warning signs for violence.

But Rubio – who has been under pressure from student activists – backed away from a proposal to change age limits for guns, saying the issue did not have enough support in Congress to pass.

Trump orders intelligence community to cooperate with review on…

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday ordered the intelligence community to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr’s review of the events that prompted an investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The directive comes as the White House spars with congressional Democrats over the work of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who led a two-year investigation into whether Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election and if there were any ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“Today, at the request and recommendation of the attorney general of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the attorney gene上海夜生活论坛ral’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 presidential election,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said after Trump issued the directive.

The order also allows Barr to declassify any information he sees fit during his review.

A redacted version of Mueller’s report was released publicly in April. The probe found no evidence that the Trump campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia and did not draw a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice, but outlined some incidents that Democrats have said may be obstruction.

Republican House member Mark Meadows twe,上海夜网千花Caden,eted on Thursday that “Americans are going to learn the truth about what occurred at their Justice Department.”

Adam Schiff, a Democrat member and Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, criticized Trump’s directive.

“While Trump stonewalls the public from learning the truth about his obstruction of justice, Trump and Barr conspire to weaponize law enforcement and classified information against their political enemies,” Schiff said on Twitter.

“The ,上海足浴夜网联系方式Jackson,coverup has entered a new and dangerous phase. This is un-American,” he added.

In separate comments late Thursday on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show”, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Mueller had told him that he is willing to testify to lawmakers in private, but is willing to make a public statement.

Nadler, a Democrat, told Maddow that if Mueller did testify behind closed doors then the public would get a written transcript of the testimony.

But Trump railed on Twitter early Friday against the investigation, and said that the investigation was politically motivated.

He wrote: “Intelligence Agencies were used against an American President.” @DevinNunes @ShannonBream @FoxNews This should NEVER happen to a President again! Dems are furious at Robert Mueller for his findings – NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION. Now they should go back to work and legislate!”


Trump, a Republican, harbors suspicions that the Democratic Obama administration ordered him investigated during the 2016 campaign to try to undermine his candidacy, and he wants payback against those he believes were responsible.

“Comey, Brennan, Clapper, we’re draining the swamp, folks,” Trump told a rally on Monday in Pennsylvania, referring to former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, and James Clapper, a former director of national intelligence, all of whom have been critical of Trump.

Of specific interest to Trump are the warrants that emanated from a secretive court that authorizes surveillance on foreign powers and their agents. Trump supporters believe the warrants will identify those responsible for the Russia probe that is still roiling Washington.

Last month, Barr said at a Senate hearing that “spying” on Trump’s campaign was carried out by U.S. intelligence agencies, though he later ,上海夜生活乌托邦Sabina,referred to his concerns as focused on “unauthorized surveillance.”

Barr has assigned a top federal prosecutor in Connecticut to probe the origins of the Russia investigation in what is the third known inquiry into the opening of the FBI probe.

Thousands of Algerian protesters demand reforms, presidential vote…

ALGIERS ( ) – Thousands of protesters took to the streets in the capital and other Algerian cities on Friday to demand the postponement of a presidential election and the removal of the ruling elite following the end of Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s 20-year-rule last month.

A political source meanwhile told the interim government was expected to extend the current transition period to allow time for prepa,上海新夜网龙凤Cade,rations for the election.

Friday’s protest marked the 14上海夜生活th consecutive week of demonstrations. They have continued through the Muslim holy month of Ramadan although numbers of the crowds are smaller than at the peak of the anti-Bouteflika protests.

They are calling for political reforms and the removal of all the clique of officials who have governed the North African nation since independence from France in 1962.

Bouteflika’s removal paved the way for a transition period that is due to end with a presidential election on July 4. But

demonstrators now demand the resignation of interim officials in charge of supervising the vote, including interim president Abdelkader Bensalah, who replaced Bouteflika for 90 days until the election, and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui.

“No to the July 4 election,” protesters draped in national flags chanted as they marched in central Algiers. Many held up banners that read: “Bensalah go, Bedoui go”.

Similar protests broke out in Algeria’s other main cities, including Annaba, Oran and Constantine.

The political source said the transition period, which is due to end a few days after the sc,上海夜生活网交流Jace,heduled July 4 election, could be extended by at least three months.

“Time i,上海夜生活Sabrina,s running out and organizers have not finished preparations for the vote,” the source said.

Armed forces chief of staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah said last week that elections were the only way to get out of the crisis, but did not mention a date for the vote.

He reietrated calls for appeasement, mentioning the army’s positive response to demonstrators’ demands for the prosecution of people seen as corrupt.

Bouetflika’s youngest brother Said and two former intelligence generals have been put in custody on charges of harming the army’s authority and plotting against state authority.

Several businessmen have also been detained over allegations of involvement in corruption cases.

French police hunt suitcase bomber after blast in Lyon

LYON ( ) – French police were hunting a suspected suitcase bomber on Friday after an explosion in the central city of Lyon that injured 13 people, officials said.

The suspect was captured on security video leaving a bag in front of a bakery shortly before an explosion occurred at around 5:30 pm, police sources and local mayor Denis Broliquier said.

Most of those hurt were hospitalized for treatment to leg injuries that were described as light.

President Emmanuel Macron characterized the incident as an “attack” when the news broke during a live YouTube interview ahead of Sunday’s European elections. “My thoughts are with the injured,” he said.

Paris anti-terrorism prosecutors opened an investigation as police said they were treating the blast as an attempted homicide, and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner headed to the scene.

The partially masked suspect appeared in security camera footage wheeling a bicycle to the scene, before leaving a bag outside a br,上海021夜网Larissa,anch of Brioche Doree, a popular bakery chain.

Police sources described the suspected at上海夜网tacker as a European or North African male, seen wearing beige Bermuda shorts, an army-green s,上海夜生活群Sabina,carf or head wrap and dark glasses.

Soon after he left, the blast rained metal bolts on passersby in fr,上海夜网推油Hadley,ont of the premises on rue Victor Hugo, several blocks from the city’s main station, according to police.

Police forces across France have been instructed to increase security in public places and event venues, Castaner said.

Libya’s Haftar rules out Tripoli ceasefire, dismisses U.N.-led…

PARIS ( ) – Libyan eastern commander Khalifa Haftar has ruled out a ceasefire in the battle for Tripoli and accused the United Nations of seeking to partition Libya, according to an interview published by French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche.

Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) began an offensive in ear,夜上海论坛Hadley,ly April to take Tripoli from fighters loyal to Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA) which has the backing of the United Nations.

The LNA, which is allied to a parallel government in the east, has not been able to breach the southern defenses of Tripoli. The fighting has killed at least 510 people, forced 75,000 out of their homes and trapped thousands of migrants in detention centers.

“Of course, the political solution is still the goal. But to get back to politics, we must first finish with militias,” Haftar told th,上海夜生活Sabia,e newspaper.

Haftar also said the head of U.N. mission to Libya, Ghassan Salame, was no longer impartial.

“Partition of Libya is maybe what our adversaries want. This is maybe what Ghassan Salame also wants.”

The flare-up in the conflict in Libya – which has been gripped by anarchy since Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011 – began in early April, when the LNA advanced on the capital.

Even though France and other Western countries officially back the Libyan government, some have supported Haftar as they see him as a bulwark against Islamist militias in the country.

Macron had asked Hafta,上海夜生活网交流Rachel,r in a meeting held in Paris this week to make a public step towar上海夜生活论坛d a ceasefire, without much luck, a French official told .

Easy fixes to school security prove elusive after Florida shooting

( ) – Two weeks before a gunman fatally shot 17 people at a Florida high school, Bill Lee, the president of the state’s school administrators association, warned lawmakers that Florida’s schools were vulnerable to just such an attack.

“It’s not a matter of if, but when,” he wrote in the Orlando Sentinel on Jan. 29, urging legislators to boost spending on school security after two school shootings in other states in January. “Florida is one instance away from becoming the next Kentucky or Texas, and we must do something about it.”

Following last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Lee has renewed calls for more funding for matters ranging from mental health counseling to emergency lockdown systems.

State lawmakers, facing pressure from angry students, have signaled they will boost security funding after failing to do so for years.

“I wish the words had not been so prophetic,” Lee said in an interview on Wednesday.

Florida’s Safe Schools program provides millions of dollars to more than 70 school districts for safety and security. Since 2002-03, however, funding for the program has dropped 25 percent per student, even as the threat of mass shootings has risen.

The current budget includes $64.4 million for an eighth straight year, according to state figures. Before the shooting, Governor Rick Scott had proposed adding $10 million next year.


Some parents have expressed anger that security measures at Stoneman Douglas were not more robust.

“Who do they have on campus? I think there’s only one security person,” said Elana Cohn, 45, who has a child at the school. “That’s for a school with 3,200 students.”

School officials in Broward County, where Stoneman Douglas is located, did not respond to requests for comment on security and Safe Schools funding.

In many ways, last Wednesday’s massacre highlighted the limits of school security measures, both physical, such as fencing a,上海夜生活论坛Dahlia,nd officers, and preventative, such as counseling.

Like many other schools, Stoneman Douglas has a single entry point that requires proof of identity before a visitor can enter the sprawling campus during school hours.

But as dismissal time approaches each day, exterior gates are opened to allow students to leave, said Jerry Graziose, the district’s former head of school safety. That appears to be how the accused shooter, 19-year-old former Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz, entered the campus without being stopped.

“At dismissal, unfortunately, you’ve got to open the gates to let everyone out,” Graziose said. “You’ve got 3,000 people.”

Some parents said there had to be a better solution.

“Security was not adequate,” said Angela Burrafato, 51, who has one child at the school. “We know we can get around the single-point front door entrance, and it’s a problem.”


Safe Schools funding helps districts pay for school resource officers, or SROs, who are sworn law enforcement personnel assigned from local police departments.

The armed SRO assigned to the school from the sheriff’s office, Scott Peterson, stayed outside the building during the attack instead of trying to engage Cruz, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said on Thursday.

Peterson resigned after being suspended as a result of his inaction. Israel did not say whether he could face criminal charges. was not immediately able to contact Peterson or a representative regarding his actions.

State data shows that Broward County had 160 SROs in 2016, the latest year available, including 39 for the district’s 30 high schools. That is comparable to or greater than the number in other large districts.

Some staffers hold a dual role as security specialists or campus monitors. They are unarmed but have some training, Graziose said. One such employee at Stoneman Douglas, Aaron Feis, was shot to death while sheltering students.

Jared Moskowitz, a Democratic Florida state representative and Stoneman Douglas graduate, said one officer was not enough.

“It’s like a mini-college,” he said. “If you’re on one side of campus, it takes minutes to get to the other side, and this whole thing was over in five minutes.”

On Wednesday, Israel, the Broward County sheriff, told reporters that some deputies would begin carrying semi-automatic rifles on school grounds.

U.S. President Donald Trump suggested during a meeting on Wednesday with surviving students that arming teachers and other staff could help prevent school massacres.


Broward County received nearly $6 million this academic year from the Safe Schools program. While districts statewide spend more than 80 percent of those funds on SROs, Broward was an exception, devoting less than half the money on officers, although it may use local funds to上海夜生活网 help pay for SROs.

Instead, the district dedicated millions of safe school dollars on an intervention program, where suspended students who would otherwise be sent home are diverted to off-campus centers, where teachers, counselors and social workers are assigned.

The effort earned Broward national attention as a leader in alternative discipline that disrupts the “school-to-prison pipeline” by giving troubled children a chance to stay in school.

It was not clear whether Cruz, who had a history of infractions before being expelled from Stoneman Douglas in 2017, benefited from that program. The Washington Post reported that he was sent to in-school suspension as well as off campus, citing school records.

Since the shoot,上海夜生活网419Lark,ing, school,上海足浴夜网联系方式Paige, administrators across the country have said that more counseling is needed when students have emotional problems.

But Lee, the school administrators association president, acknowledged there was no foolproof way of stopping a determined gunman, without turning school campuses into something akin to military installations.

“I really don’t know how you prevent someone who is bent on destruction from carrying it out to some degree,” he said. “We want to be an education system. We don’t want to be a mini-prison.”

Papua New Guinea prime minister quits after weeks of turmoil

SYDNEY ( ) – Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced his resignation on Sunday after seven 上海夜生活网years in the top job following weeks of high-level defections from the ruling party.

“I am announcing today that I am stepping down as the Prime Minister of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea,” O’Neill said in an emailed statement.

O,上海新夜网龙凤Hadrian,’Neill, who handed the reins of power to former prime minister Sir Julius Chan, said the change of leadership will allow the country to “continue the reform agenda that we have been delivering.”

Political instability is something of a fixture in the resource-rich but poverty-stricken South Pacific nation and O’Neill, who has been leader since 2011, has seen off previous attempts to topple him.

O’Neill had resisted calls to resign for weeks but his opponents said on Friday they had mustered enough support in parliament to oust him over a range of grievances including a gas deal with France’s Total, which critics have questioned.

Defections from the ruling coalition have been going on for weeks and on Friday at least nine members switched sides, according to two ministers who were among them.

O’Neill’s opponents needed to rally 62 members of PNG’s 111-seat parliament to vote him out.

Opposition politicians said on Friday they would push for investigations in Australia and Switzerland into a A$1.2 billion ($830.76 million) loan arranged by finance group UBS if there was a change of government, the Australian Financial Review reported.

A report by the Ombudsman Commission of PNG into the 2014 deal,上海夜生活服务Gabrielle, that allowed the country to borrow from UBS to buy a 10 per cent stake in Australian Stock Exchange-listed energy firm Oil Search is scheduled to be tabled in parliament next week.

Oil Search in turn used the money to buy into the Elk Antelope gas field being developed by France’s Total .

PNG is estimated to have lost 1,上海夜生活桑拿会所Rachel, billion kina ($287 million) on the deal after being forced to sell the shares when the price fell in 2017.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison thanked O’Neill for his friendship on Sunday. “I will look forward to working with the new prime minister of PNG in the same way I have enjoyed such a strong friendship and relationship with Peter O’Neill,” he told reporters in Canberra.

Two Indian fire officials suspended after coaching center blaze…

MUMBAI ( ) – Indian authorities said on Sunday two fire department officials had been suspended over a fire at a coaching center that killed 21 students and one teacher in the western Gujarat state, renewing questions about building safety standards.

Surat Commissioner of Police Satish Sharma said the owners of the Takshashila Arcade building, where the shoddy coaching center was built on the four-storey building’s terrace, were absconding.

The coaching center was made of combustible material like Styrofoam and tires were used as seats for students prepping for architecture or c,上海夜生活Faith,ommerce exams, according to Sharma.

The manager of the coaching center, Bhargav Bhutani, has been arrested.

“We are examining … whether any proper permission was taken for construction. And, if permissions were not given, who was responsible for this,” Sharma told , adding preliminary investigations suggest a short-circuit c,上海会所夜网Kade,aused the blaze.

Amid criticism from victims’ relatives that fire officials took up to 45 minutes to arrive on the scene on Friday, deputy chief fire officer S.K. Acharya and fire officer Kirti Mod were suspended, chief fire officer for Surat, B.K. Pareek told .

Pareek, who said he was not aware of the precise reason behind their suspensions, added that a fire brigade was on site within minutes though it took roughly 15 minutes for a hydraulic platform to arrive because there are only three of them in Surat.

An official at the Surat Municipal Corporation said no one was available for comment on the suspensions of the fire officials.

Television footage showed students desperately trying to escape by jumping off the building as smoke billowed from the top floor.

Footage also showed a man, identified by the Indian Express as 22 year-old Ketan Chodvadiya, perched on the facade of the burning building helping children jump down.

“When I reached there, I saw smoke and fire. Around 300 people had gathered there but the fire brigade was yet to arrive,” Chodvadiya told the Indian Express.

Chodvadiya, who said he was used to scaling buildin,上海夜生活论坛Sabia,gs t上海夜生活o escape his father’s 10:30 pm curfew, used a ladder to pull down students, estimating he had helped save up to 10 of them.

“One student fell down. I couldn’t catch her,” he said

“I could see her lying dead and I can’t forget the sight. I will always regret that I couldn’t save her.”

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Trump mum on British PM race ahead of state visit

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday kept mum on the race to be the next British prime minister, but praised the two most high-profile proponents of Britain’s departure from the European Union on Thursday as he prepared for a state visit to Britain fraught with the possibility of diplomatic peril.

Departing Sunday for a Monday arrival, Trump and his wife, Melania will be treated to a full display of royal pageantry: a private lunch and official banquet at Buckingham Palace put on by Queen Elizabeth, tea with Prince Charles and a visit to Westminster Abbey.

The visit comes a year after his last trip to Britain, when he tested the resolve of British Prime Minister Theresa May by telling a newspaper that one of her political opponents, Boris Johnson, would make a great prime minister.

With May now on her way out, the question is how deeply will Trump immerse himself into the race to replace her during a trip in which he will also attend ceremonies in Portsmouth and Normandy marking the 75th anniversary of the World War Two all,上海夜哪里艳遇Sabrina,ies’ D-Day invasion.

Trump’s trip takes place amid struggles at home that have left him fuming publicly. Some Democrats want him impeached amid accusations of obstruction of justice emanating from an investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election won by Trump.

Trump on Thursday told reporters he had great respect for Johnson and Nigel Farage and considered them friends. He declined, however, to say who he supported among the various Conservative Party candidates to succeed May as prime minister.

“Nigel Farage is a friend of mine. Boris is a friend of mine,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House to deliver a spe,上海夜网邀请码Easton,ech in Colorado. “I like them … but I haven’t thought about supporting them. Maybe it’s not my business to support people, but I have a lot of respect for both of those men.”

May, who announced her resignation a week ago after repeatedly failing to win approval for a deal under which Britain would leave the European Union – known as Brexit – is scheduled to leave office on June 7.

A British official, speaking in Washington to reporters on condition of anonymity, said there was no particular concern about what Trump might say or do.

“It’s his business,” the official said, describing a “lack of worry” among British officials.


Johnson, a former foreign minister seen as the favorite to replace May,上海夜网 has said Britain should be prepared to leave the bloc without a deal in order to force the EU to offer it better terms.

Farage, a bombastic, anti-establishment campaigner whose Brexit Party swept to victory in Britain’s European Parliament election earlier this week, has demanded a seat at negotiations over Britain’s exit from the EU and has cast himself as a kingmaker in the race to succeed May.

Trump is to hold talks with May that the British official said would cover the gamut from the need for a free trade deal between Britain and the United States, Trump’s upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a G20 summit in Japan in late June and Iran’s nuclear program.

They will also discuss the Chinese technology company Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and efforts to build a fifth-generation (5G) cellular network, the official said..

U.S. officials have warned allies that Huawei’s technology could allow “back doors” into telecoms systems, rendering them insecure. Britain’s National Security Council discussed the issue last month and decided to block Huaw,上海夜生活服务Landon,ei from core parts of the 5G network, but to give it restricted access.

The British official said May “will listen to what the president says about this” issue, adding that so far Huawei is only used commerce in the Britain and that would likely not change with 5G networks.

Florida state Senate votes against arming most classroom teachers

PARKLAND, Fla. ( ) – Florida’s Republican-controlled Senate approved sweeping reforms to the state’s gun law on Monday that raise the minimum purchase age and add a three-day waiting period in response to the deadliest high school shooting in U.,上海夜网官方网站Jackson,S. history last month.

Senators approved the legislation after an amendment removed a provision to arm most teachers. That was designed in part to increase support from many parents, law enforcement officials and lawmakers in both parties – including Republican Governor Rick Scott – who objected to the idea.

The exclusion was adopted by voice vote as part of a package of legislation the Senate passed a short time later, 20-18, to raise the minimum legal age for buying all guns in Florida to 21 and impose a three-day waiting period for any gun purchase.

The bill now moves to Florida’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

The minimum age for handguns nationally is already 21. However, a person can be as young as 18 to buy a rifle in Florida, with no waiting period.

The legislation comes about a month after a gunman walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, with a semi-automatic AR-15-style assault rifle and opened fire, killing 17 students and staff members.

The man accused of the massacre was 18 when he legally purchased the rifle he used, authorities said.

The bill passed by the Senate represents a break with the National Rifle Association (NRA) gun rights lobby, which has resisted proposals to raise age limits or impose ,上海夜哪里艳遇Hadleigh,new waiting limits.

A House committee approved similar legislation last week, including a provision allowing sheriffs to create voluntary programs for deputizing school personnel as armed “marshals,” subject to school district approval and special training. U.S. President Donald Trump has voiced support for such a plan, also advocated by the NRA.

Under the amended Senate bill, classroom teachers would be excluded from carrying guns to work unless they were part of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program or members of the U.S. military or former police officers. Other school personnel would be eligible to participate.

A spokeswoman for the governor said Scott, who was endorsed by the NRA and received its highest rating for supporting gun rights, would review the bill in its final form before deciding whether to support or oppose it.

“The governor is against arming teachers,” spokeswoman Lauren Schenone said. Scott “still has concerns” with the three-day waiting period, which he has opposed in the past, she said.

The Florida Senate rejected an amendment to ban assault weapons at the weekend.


The Senate bill as it was passed echoes a number of other proposals endorsed by Scott after the Feb. 14 massacre, including new powers for police to temporarily seize guns from people involuntarily committed or deemed by a court a danger to themselves or others.

It also allows police to petition a court for a “risk-protection” order barring an individual from possessing firearms if that person is judged as dangerous because of a mental illness or violent behavior.

Authorities have said the accused Parkland gunman, Nikolas Cruz, had a history of mental 上海夜生活论坛issues, numerous encounters with police and was expelled from th,上海夜生活去哪玩Tabitha,e high school last year for unspecified disciplinary problems.

Federal and state law enforcement have also acknowledged receiving multiple warnings about his potential for violence before the shooting.

The Senate bill also provides nearly $400 million to pay for various school safety and mental health initiatives.

A group of parents from Stoneman Douglas High held a news conference outside the school on Monday urging legislators to enact meaningful legislation in time for adjournment on Friday.

Max Schachter, whose son was among those killed in Parkland, said parents hosted a meeting of 25 law enforcement officials and other experts from across the country to discuss school safety, and all opposed arming teachers.

“Not a single expert said that was a good idea,” Schachter said.

India PM to host China’s Xi for informal summit

NEW DELHI ( ) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host Chinese上海夜网 President Xi Jinping this year for an informal summit, an Indian foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, after meeting several times over the past year to try to defuse tension.

The two held their first informal summit in Wuhan in April 2018 and at that meeting Xi had accepted Modi’s invitation to come to India for a second meeting.

“The two sides are in touch, through diplomatic channels, to finalize the date and venue for the meeting,” the spokesman said.

China is an “all-weather” friend with India’s neighbor and long-time foe Pakistan, and a military standoff at the Indian-Chinese high-altitude Himalayan border in 2017 rekindled fears of war.

Modi may also hold his first bilateral meeting with U.S. President ,上海夜生活服务Dahlia,Donald Trump in over two years on the sidelines of the G20 summit in June in Osaka, Japan, a source aware of the development said.

Trump caused alarm across the world after he raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods from China on May 10, prompting Beijing to say it would hit back with its own higher duties.

Both Modi and Trump are expected to talk again at the U.N. General Assembly session in September in New York, the source said, declining to be identified as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo might also stop over in New Delhi ahead of the G,上海夜网后花园Sabina,20 summit, The Hindu newspaper reported, citing sources.

The Trump administration on Tuesday dropped India from a list of countries it monitors for currency manipulation, after finding that New Delhi did not engage in persistent, one-sided intervention in the currency market.

India and the United States have developed close political and security ties but Trump has repeatedly called out India for its high tariffs and both sides are working to resolve a trade dispute.

The U.S. plans to withdraw trade privileges that allow preferential duty-free imports of up to $5.6 billion a year from India. That followed India’s adoption of new rules on e-commerce that have reined in how U.S. companies such as Amazon.com and Walmart Inc can do business in the country.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross warned India that any retaliatory tariffs in response to the planned withdrawal of trade privileges would not,上海夜网邀请码Idaline, be “appropriate” under World Trade Organization rules.

India’s foreign ministry did not respond to a email seeking further comment.

Related CoverageIndian finance minister Jaitley asks not to join new Modi government, citing health reasons

India’s bilateral trade with the United States, which stood at $126 billion in 2017, is widely seen by trade experts as much lower than its potential.

Modi has courted foreign investment as part of his Make-in-India campaign in an attempt to turn India into a manufacturing hub and deliver jobs to the millions of Indian youths entering the workforce every year.

Trump, for his part, has pushed for U.S. manufacturing to return home as part of his Make America Great Again campaign.

Corn-state senators seek Trump meeting as U.S. biofuel changes loom

( ) – A group of senators from U.S. corn states have asked President Donald Trump for a meeting about the nation’s biofuels law, amid expectations the administration will soon act to lower the regulation’s costs to the oil refining industry.

The group of Republican senators wrote a letter to Trump on Thursday in which they opposed a plan he is considering to limit the price of credits that oil refiners must acquire to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“Let there be no doubt – the consequences of a waiver would be severe and immediate across the Midwest, impacting farmers and biofuel stakeholders alike,” the senators wrote.

The letter was written by Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, of Iowa; John Thune, of South Dakota; Roy Blunt of Missouri; and Deb Fischer of Nebraska.

Trump has not publicly commented on his plans. But he told lawmakers and industry officials in a closed-door meeting earlier this month that he supported capping the price of RFS compliance credits, known as RINs, at 10 cents each, ,上海021夜网Idris,according to a source who attended but who asked not to be named.

The credits are currently trading arou,上海晚上耍女人的地方Eason,nd 42 cents each, having fallen nearly 40 percent in recent weeks amid the political uncertainty.

White House spokeswoman, Kelly Love, did not respond to a request for comment.

In the closed-door meeting this month, Trump also supported expanding sales of high-ethanol gasoline – a tweak long-sought by ethanol producers, according to the source.

The Environmental Protection Agency bans the use of gasoline containing 15 percent ethano上海夜生活l during the summer months, a measure intende,上海夜网邀请码Nala,d to reduce ozone emissions and smog during the peak driving season.

The corn-state senators, along with the biofuel industry, like the idea of lifting the summer ban on 15-percent ethanol blends, but oppose any credit price caps. They argue the proposed caps would take away any incentive to blend higher volumes of ethanol.

Grassley took to Twitter on Thursday night and Friday morning to oppose the RIN caps.

“@realDonaldTrump I want to shake up what u might be planning abt RINs cap for a short period. It will be CATASTROPHIC to ethanol,” Grassley wrote.

Turkey says warplanes strike targets in Iraq, 19 militants…

ISTANBUL ( ) – Turkish warplanes and ,夜上海419龙凤论坛Gabriella,attack helicopters struck targets in the mountains of northern Iraq, Turkey’s defense ministry said,上海夜哪里艳遇Kailani, on Thursday, adding that the military had “neutralized” 19 Kurdish militants as its operation there entered a fourth day.

The ministry said two Turkish soldiers died on Wednesday from wounds sustained in a bomb blast during what it dubbed “Operation Claw”, targeting Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in the Hakurk region, near上海夜网 Turkey’s southeastern tip.

Smoke rose from a hilltop and,上海足浴夜网联系方式Qirin, gunfire rang out as attack helicopters circled in the sky in a video published by the ministry, which it said showed the destruction of a PKK heavy machine gun position.

The ministry said on Thursday the military had “neutralized” four militants in the latest action, bringing the total to 19, using a term that commonly refers to deaths, but can also refer to those wounded or captured.

Warplanes also carried out strikes in border regions of northern Iraq west of Hakurk, destroying PKK gun positions, shelters and ammunition stores, the ministry said.

The cross-border push began with artillery and air strikes on Monday before helicopters landed commandos in the region. The PKK is based in Iraq’s Qandil area, south of Hakurk.

The PKK launched an insurgency in mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict. It is designated a terrorist group by Ankara, the European Union and United States.

The PKK said on Wednesday three of its militants had been killed in Turkish air strikes in the Qandil region.

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the third largest in parliament, said such operations created crises and called on the opposition to oppose the military action.

“At least 30 similar operations have been carried out with the same aim until now. None have created a solution. They have done nothing but consume the country’s resources and raise the death toll,” it said in a written statement.

PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, jailed on an island near Istanbul since 1999, was allowed to meet his lawyers this month for the first time in nearly eight years after a hunger strike by HDP lawmakers and thousands of inmates. [nL5N23206H]

They ended their protest on Sunday in response to a call from Ocalan. The move, a month before a re-run of the Istanbul mayoral election, had prompted speculation about steps toward a new peace process. Ankara’s previous talks with Ocalan on ending the conflict fell apart in 2015, triggering fierce fighting.

Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul has denied the decision to allow Ocalan lawyers’ had any connection with the election or with any effort to launch a new peace process.

California governor says Trump administration waging war against state

SACRAMENTO ( ) – California Governor Jerry Brown on Wednesday accused President Donald Trump’s administration of declaring war on the most populous U.S. state, after the Justice Department sued to stop policies that protect illegal immigrants against deportation.

The Democratic governor made the charge shortly after Attorney General Jeff Sessions intensified the Republican administration’s confrontation with California. In a speech in the state capital, Sessions accused California of obstructing federal immigration enforcement efforts and vowed to stop the state’s defiance.

Sessions add上海夜生活ressed a law enforcement group in Sacramento, a day after the Justice Department filed suit against California, Brown and the state’s Democratic attorney general over so-called sanctuary policies that shield illegal immigrants.

“California absolutely, it appears to me, is using every power it has – powers it doesn’t have – to frustrate federal law enforcement. So you can be sure I’m going to use every power I have to stop them,” Sessions, the top U.S law enforcement officer, said in his speech.

Brown called the attorney general’s trip to California a political stunt and his description of California’s laws a lie.

“Like so many in the Trump administration, this attorney general has no regard for the truth,” Brown told reporters, adding that the laws were crafted with input and support from California police chiefs. “This is basically going to war against the state of California.”

Brown in October signed into law a bill that prevents police from inquiring about immigration status and curtails law enforcement cooperation with immigration officers.

Sessions said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents carry out federal law and that “California cannot forbid them or obstruct them in doing their jobs.”

“In recent years, the California legislature has enacted a number of laws designed to intentionally obstruct the work of our sworn immigration enforcement officers, to intentionally use every power the legislature has to undermine the duly-established immigration law of America,” Sessions told a California Peace Officers Association conference.

The lawsuit, filed late on Tuesday in federal court in Sacramento, takes aim at three state laws passed last year that the Justice Department contends violates the U.S. Constitution and the supremac,上海夜网邀请码Gabriel,y of federal law over state law.

Trump has made fighting illegal immigration a signature issu,上海夜生活论坛Hadrian,e, first as a candidate and now as president. Part of that effort involves a Justice Department crackdown on primarily Democratic-governed cities and states that Sessions calls “sanctuaries” that protect illegal immigrants from deportation.


“Immigration law is the province of the federal government,” Sessions said. “There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is the supreme law of the land.”

“I would invite any doubters to go to Gettysburg,” he added. “This matter has been settled.”

The Union army’s victory at Gettysburg in 1863 is often described as the turning point of the Civil War, in which the South declared for states’ rights and tried to secede from the United States.

Brown later echoed the Civil War theme when he said the lawsuit was unprecedented, particularly because it was delivered by “a fella coming from Alabama talking to us about secession.” Sessions’ home state was part of the South during the Civil War.

Sessions accused Democratic Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf of actively seeking to help illegal immigrants avoid ICE.

Last month, Schaaf issued a statement alerting local residents that ICE agents were preparing to conduct an operation in the area, saying it was her moral obligation. A few days later, ICE announced the arrest of more than 150 people for immigration violations in the San Francisco-Oakland area, saying about half had additional crimin,上海夜生活Rae,al convictions.

The White House has called Schaaf’s actions “outrageous” and said the Justice Department was reviewing the matter.

“Here’s my message for Mayor Schaaf: How dare you. How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of law enforcement officers to promote your radical open-borders agenda,” Sessions said on Wednesday.

Sessions also called Democratic California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom an “embarrassment” for supporting the mayor’s actions.

FCC chief proposes steps to protect U.S. communications networks

WASHINGTON ( ) – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Monday said he was proposing new rules to bar the use of funds from a government program to purchase equipment or services from companies that pose a security threat to U.S. communications networks.

Pai’s statement did not disclose what companies or countries prompted the proposal. Bu,上海夜生活网交流Mabel,t on Friday, Pai said in a letter to Congress that he shared the concerns of U.S. lawmakers about espionage threats from Chinese smartphone maker Huawei Technologies Co.

Pai said Monday that “hidden ‘back doors’ ,上海凤楼夜网Quay,to our networks in routers, switches — and virtually any other type of telecommunications equipment – can provide an avenue for hostile governments to inject viruses, launch denial-of-service attacks, steal data, and more.”

The FCC will hold an initial vote on the proposal on April 17. It would bar carriers from getting government subsidies in purchasing equipment to provide service in four programs, including providing service in some rural or hard-to-reach areas, service to libraries and schools and a program that helps low income consumers get phone service.

The proposal asks how the FCC should define companies that would be covered the prohibition and how to enforce the rules.

The proposal would bar the spending of funds from the $8.5 billion FCC Universal Service Fund on companies or countries describe,上海新夜网龙凤Fabiana,d as posing a “national security threat to the integrity of communications networks or their supply chains.”

USTelecom, an industry trade group representing companies including Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), Oracle Corp (ORCL.N) and CenturyLink Inc (CTL.N), said its memb上海夜生活论坛ers “will continue working with the FCC and other agencies to address supply chain vulnerability issues.”

The Telecommunications Industry Association, which represents Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O), Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) and others, said it “strongly support efforts by the government to address concerns regarding certain communications equipment providers deemed to pose a heightened security risk.”

Pai’s proposal follows the introduction of legislation by Republican Senators Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio in February that would block the U.S. government from buying or leasing telecoms equipment from Huawei, the world’s third largest smartphone maker, or Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp (000063.SZ), citing concerns the companies would use their access to spy on U.S. officials.

Chinese firms have come under greater scrutiny in the United States in recent years over fears they may be conduits for spying, something they have consistently denied.

Huawei declined to comment Friday.

In January, Huawei’s planned deal with U.S. carrier AT&T Inc (T.N) to sell its smartphones in the United States collapsed at the 11th hour. AT&T was pressured to drop the deal after lawmakers sent a letter to Pai citing concerns about Huawei’s plans to launch U.S. consumer products.

In February, Republican Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said at a hearing that he worried about the spread in the United States of “counterintelligence and information security risks that come prepackaged with the goods and services of certain overseas vendors.”

“The focus of my concern today is China,” Burr added, “and specifically Chinese telecoms like Huawei and ZTE Corp, that are widely understood to have extraordinary ties to the Chinese government.”In 2012, Huawei and ZTE were the subject of a U.S. investigation into whether their equipment provided an opportunity for foreign espionage and threatened critical U.S. infrastructure – something they have consistently denied.

Congress in 2017 banned U.S. government agencies from using security software from Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab. It came amid mounting concern among U.S. officials that the software could enable Russian espionage and threaten national security.

Last week reported Best Buy Co Inc, the largest U.S. consumer electronics retailer, will stop selling Huawei’s devices over the next few weeks.

Verizon also ended its plans to sell Huawei phones last year, according to media reports.

Labour’s Corbyn: Any new Brexit vote will not be ‘Leave’ or…

LONDON ( ) – Any new Brexit referendum should be about the terms of a deal struck with the European Union and not a repeat of the 2016 choice for Leave or Remain, opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Wednesday.

Corbyn, who has said the option of a second referendum should be kept on the table, is under pressure to endorse one without qualification after Labour lost votes to the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats in last week’s European Parliament election.

He told reporte,上海021夜网Gabriel,rs in Dublin that Labour would negotiate a new Brexit deal with the EU that would be put to the pub,上海夜哪里艳遇Barbara,lic, the Irish Times newspaper reported.

“The referendum would ,上海新夜网龙凤Nadine,be on a negotiated deal or alternatives to that. It’s not a re-run of 2016,” Corbyn said.

The EU has said it will not reopen the withdrawal agreement it has agreed with outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May, who failed to convince lawmakers in London to approve it. 上海夜生活

Asked if there would be “leave” and “remain” options in a second referendum, Corbyn said: “It would be on the basis of whatever we have succeeded in negotiating.”

Corbyn cited last week’s EU elections and the appointment of a new European Commission — the EU’s executive branch — as reasons why the bloc could reopen talks.

With Pompeo’s rise, uncertainty deepens for Iran nuclear deal

WASHINGTON/PARIS/BRUSSELS ( ) – It is unclear how Mike Pompeo becoming U.S. secretary of state may affect the Iran nuclear deal given that there is only one voice that counts in President Donald Trump’s administration: his own.

Trump’s choice of the Central Intelligence Agency director to replace Rex Tillerson means an Iran hawk who fiercely opposed the 2015 pact as a member of Congress will now be in charge of the U.S. diplomacy trying to strengthen, and perhaps save, it.

Former U.S. officials and serving European officials were at a loss to gauge how the switch would affect negotiations between the United States and three European powers – Britain, France and Germany – that are also parties to the agreement.

Some said Washington may take a harder line under Pompeo and the Europeans may be under more pressure to offer concessions, while others suggested his views on the deal have evolved and he may be better placed to influence Trump to keep it.

U.S., British, French and German officials are due to meet on the deal in Berlin on Thursday.

“Any officials negotiating with the Europeans right now will get a much more aggressive set of requirements from Pompeo,” said Richard Nephew, a former White House and State Department official who worked on Iran during the Obama administration.

“The odds of them coming up with a thoughtful compromise by May just got a lot longer,” he added.

Trump on Tuesday singled out the Iran nuclear deal as one of the main differences he had with Tillerson.

“I think it’s terrible, I guess he thinks it was OK,” Trump said.

Trump delivered an ultimatum to the European powers on Jan. 12, saying they must agree to “fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal” or he would refuse to extend U.S. sanctions relief on Iran that it calls for. U.S. sanctions will resume unless Trump issues fresh “waivers” to suspend them on May 12.

The crux of the July 2015 pact between Iran and six major powers – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States – was that Iran would re,上海会所夜网Tallulah,strict its nuclear program in return for relief from sanctions that have crippled its economy.

Trump sees three defects in the deal: its failure to address Iran’s ballistic missile program; the terms under which international ins,上海夜生活怎么玩Dalton,pectors can visit suspect Iranian nuclear sites; and “sunset” clauses under which limits on the Iranian nuclear program start to expire after 10 years. He wants all three strengthened if the United States is to stay in the deal.

In a Jan. 13 cable, the State Department sketched out a path under which the three European allies would simply commit to try to improve the deal over time in return for Trump keeping the pact alive by renewing sanctions relief in May.


Other European officials and former U.S. officials said Pompeo’s rise, if he is confirmed as secretary of state by the Senate, might have a more ambiguous effect on the negotiations and that, in any case, T上海夜生活rump’s views are paramount.

“All our work is going into delivering a credible package that is sellable to Trump,” said a European diplomat on condition of anonymity. “He is what matters here.”

While Pompeo was a fierce critic of the deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as a congressman, he tempered his views when testifying before Congress in January 2017 to seek confirmation as CIA director.

“Pompeo was a hawk on Iran. H,上海夜生活服务Daisy,owever, my understanding is he doesn’t want the deal to disappear,” said a former senior U.S. official. “People should not jump to conclusions.”

Many of Trump’s top national security aides, like Tillerson, have argued that the United States is better off with the Iran nuclear deal than without it. That stance was echoed on Tuesday by the U.S. general who heads the U.S. military command responsible for the Middle East and Central Asia.

Former U.S. officials suggested that, as the administration nears a planned summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un about Pyongyang’s nuclear program, it could rethink its stance on the Iran deal.

European diplomats saw some chance Pompeo may have more influence over Trump than Tillerson, who antagonized the U.S. president by reportedly calling him a “moron” and who differed with Trump on Iran and other issues.

“If Pompeo is that hawkish, then in reality all it is is the affirmation of Trump’s policies. It’s Trump’s line,” said a another European diplomat. “Hopefully he’ll have the mandate that Tillerson didn’t have.”

(This story has been refiled restores dropped word “one” in first paragraph)

Planned U.S. steel tariffs not ‘helpful’: senior UK official

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to impose tariffs on steel is not “helpful” and it is counterprod,上海夜网千花Macauly,uctive to aggravate tensions between U.S. and European allies given more aggressive Chinese and Russian behavior, a senior British official said on Monday.

Trump said last week he would impose broad tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum to protect U.S. national security under a Cold War-era trade law, a move that some warn could raise consumer prices and ignite a trade war.

“At a time when everything is so uncertain and you have a more aggressive Russia and a more assertive China, this is precisely the wrong moment for there to be tensions between transatlantic partners,” the British official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told reporters.

The official d,上海夜生活论坛Hallie,iscussed steel with the State Department and the Whit,上海新夜网龙凤Kailani,e House national security council in talks that also touched on the violence in Syria, the Iran nuclear deal and bilateral U.S.-British ties.

“My instructions were very firm: every single American I came anywhere near I was to raise steel,” the official said.

“We are not supporters of trade wars. We believe in free trade,” the official add上海夜网ed. “We don’t think tariffs in respect of steel are at all helpful.”

Afghan Taliban delegation to visit Moscow as peace push grows

KABUL ( ) – A Taliban delegation led by the movement’s chief negotiator will visit Moscow this week to attend a ceremony expected to be followed by informal talks with senior Afghan politicians on the peace process, officials said on Monday.

The potential meeting comes during increased diplomatic efforts to revive stalled talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government, following the failure of a planned get-together in the Qatari capital Doha last month.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the 14-strong delegation, led by Mullah Baradar Akhund, will attend a ceremony on Tuesday marking the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Afghanistan.

The delegation would also meet Afghan politicians and elders on the followi上海夜生活ng day to discuss the future of the country, he said, without giving details.

It was unclear what Afghan officials will be present but former president Hamid Karzai is traveling to Moscow along with officials from his office, a spokesman said.

A spokesman for the Afgh,上海夜生活桑拿会所Cade,an foreign ministry said the Afghan ambassador in Moscow would attend the ceremony but it was unclear whether he would meet the Taliban delegation.

The Taliban have been talking with U.S. diplomats for se,上海仙霞路夜生活Faith,veral months and have reached broad agreement on the withdrawal of international troops,上海021夜网Faith, from Afghanistan.

But they have so far refused to talk to the Western-backed government in Kabul which they consider a foreign imposed “puppet” regime.

To prepare the way for possible future peace negotiations, other countries have been trying to facilitate informal talks between the Taliban and representatives of civil society and state institutions.