2019, May, Newsletter

World Newsletter May 23, 2019

World News May 23


Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday implored British MPs to back her
reworked EU divorce deal but saw pro-Brexit Conservatives and opposition
parties savage her bid for a compromise to end months of political crisis.
On the eve of European elections Britain had not expected to hold three
years after the Brexit referendum, May urged lawmakers who have repeatedly
rejected her plan to vote for it in early June so that the country can
finally leave the bloc later in the summer.
“The opportunity of Brexit is too large and the consequences of failure too
grave to risk further delay,” the prime minister, who has vowed to stand
down following the crunch parliamentary vote, told the House of Commons.
“Reject it and all we have before us is division and deadlock.”
But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who last week pulled out of weeks of
cross-party Brexit talks citing the government’s unwillingness to
compromise, said it was “little more than a repackaged version of her
three-times rejected deal”. “The rhetoric may have changed but the deal has
not,” he added.


At least six people were killed as Indonesia’s capital erupted in violence
on Wednesday when police clashed with protesters opposed to the re-election
of President Joko Widodo.
Dozens were arrested and parts of Jakarta were littered with debris and
burned-out cars, as the violence triggered security advisories from the U.S.
and Australian Embassies.
Authorities also restricted access to some social media in a bid to stop
rumours and fake news from spreading online.
National police chief Tito Karnavian said six people had died, but denied
authorities had fired live rounds on protesters, and called for calm.
“Some had gunshot wounds, some had blunt force wounds but we still need to
clarify this,” he told reporters.
Jakarta’s Governor Anies Baswedan said earlier that about 200 had been
The violence came after Indonesia’s election commission on Tuesday confirmed
Mr. Widodo had beaten retired military general Prabowo Subianto for the
presidency in a poll held on April 17.


WASHINGTON, United States – Donald Trump erupted in fury Wednesday at
unrelenting probes into his links to Russia, as the top Democrat in Congress
accused the president of a “cover-up” that could be an impeachable offense.
A livid Trump abruptly shut down a White House meeting with Democratic
leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, announcing he could not deal with
them on policy until “phony investigations” are brought to a close.
The clash marked a dramatic escalation in Trump’s war of words with
congressional opponents seeking to bring him to account for what they say is
presidential wrongdoing.
Trump’s ire was seemingly triggered by House Speaker Pelosi, his nemesis in
Congress, who declared following an emergency meeting with lawmakers earlier
Wednesday: “We believe that the president of the United States is engaged in
a cover-up.”
“I don’t do cover-ups,” Trump shot back at a hastily arranged Rose Garden
press event moments after the aborted White House talks.
“So get these phony investigations over with,” Trump said — warning a
failure to do so would spell gridlock on issues like fixing the country’s
infrastructure, on which the two sides had hoped for a breakthrough
“You can’t investigate and legislate simultaneously,” he added. “It just
doesn’t work that way.”
“PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!” he tweeted Wednesday, as he stepped up his
attacks on the probes.


China must prepare for difficult times as the international situation is
increasingly complex, President Xi Jinping said in comments carried by state
media on Wednesday, as the U.S.-China trade war took a mounting toll on tech
giant Huawei.
The world’s two largest economies have escalated tariff increases on each
other’s imports after talks broke down to resolve their dispute, and the
acrimony has intensified since Washington last week blacklisted Chinese
telecom equipment company Huawei Technologies.
The listing, which curbs Huawei’s access to U.S.-made components, is a
potentially devastating blow for the company that has rattled technology
supply chains and investors, and saw several mobile carriers on Wednesday
delay the launch of new Huawei smartphone handsets.
During a three-day trip this week to the southern province of Jiangxi, a
cradle of China’s Communist revolution, Mr. Xi urged people to learn the
lessons of the hardships of the past.
“Today, on the new Long March, we must overcome various major risks and
challenges from home and abroad,” state news agency Xinhua paraphrased Xi as
saying, referring to the 1934-36 trek of Communist Party members fleeing a
civil war to a remote rural base, from where they re-grouped and eventually
took power in 1949.
“Our country is still in a period of important strategic opportunities for
development, but the international situation is increasingly complicated,”
he said.
“We must be conscious of the long-term and complex nature of various
unfavourable factors at home and abroad, and appropriately prepare for
various difficult situations.”
The report did not elaborate on those difficulties, and nor was there a
direct mention of the trade war or of the United States.


WELLINGTON, New Zealand – The number of Australians making online queries
about migrating to New Zealand has surged after conservative Prime Minister
Scott Morrison’s shock election win, official data showed Tuesday.
Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition defeated the opposition Labor party on
Saturday night to secure a third term in office, despite every public poll
during the campaign predicting a Labor win.
While Aussies are normally quick to joke about their Kiwi neighbors, the
prospect of three years under conservative Morrison appears to have many
contemplating a dash across the sea to New Zealand.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) said the number of Australians visiting its
website for prospective migrants increased 12-fold to 8,522 the day after
the election, up from 715 the previous Sunday.
The number who took the next step and submitted details to register interest
in migrating soared from 20 to 512 over the same period.
“It is important to note that these are purely registrations of interest in
coming to New Zealand and does not necessarily translate to the number of
people actually moving,” INZ manager Greg Forsythe said in a statement.
Australians do not need a visa to migrate to New Zealand, making it
difficult to gauge how serious the interest is.
INZ’s websites experienced similar spikes in 2016 after the Brexit vote and
Donald Trump’s election.


In a major boost for the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), China has delivered the
first overhauled multi-role JF-17 fighter jet to Islamabad as part of a
project undertaken by the two countries for the development and manufacture
of the aircraft.
China and Pakistan had begun joint development and manufacture of the
single-engine light JF-17 jets over a decade ago. Beijing delivered the
first batch in 2007 and a number of them were later commissioned by the PAF,
state-run Global Times reported on Wednesday.
After a decade of use, it was time for the first JF-17s to undergo
overhauls, the report quoted military analysts as saying, adding that the
first overhaul started in November 2017 after a contract was signed between
the two sides in 2016.
Changsha 5712 Aircraft Industry Co Ltd under the state-owned Aviation
Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) reassembled the jet and delivered it to
its Pakistani client in March, the daily quoted a report by China Aviation
This is also the first time AVIC has overhauled a made-for-export third
generation fighter, or fourth generation according to another widely used
standard, the report said.


Ahead of a series of important international events in Japan, including the
G20 summit in June and the Rugby World Cup later this year, Japan has
requested the English-speaking world to call its Prime Minister as Abe
Shinzo, not Shinzo Abe.
In Japanese, people are referred to by their family name first, followed by
a given name, the same pattern as used by Chinese and Korean.
For almost a century and a half, however, Japanese names have been written
in English the opposite way round, with the given name first. This practice
was adopted during the Meiji Era (October 1868 to July 1912) as a part of
broader attempts at internationalisation.
As it entered the new “Reiwa” era with the arrival of a new emperor, the
Japanese government has said it would like to settle the matter once and for
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said the government hoped going forward
that the Prime Minister’s name “would be written Abe Shinzo, just like
Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Moon Jae-in”.
“I am planning to issue a request to the international media,” Kono said,
adding he hoped Japanese English-language media would follow suit, CNN
reported on Wednesday.
The request comes as Japan is set to host a number of major events,
including the G-20 summit of world leaders in June, followed by the Rugby
World Cup in September and the Summer Olympics in 2020.


Pakistan and Russia today voiced concern over weaponisation of the outer
space and vowed to prevent it from becoming an arena for military
confrontation, nearly two months after India shot down one of its satellites
in space with an anti-satellite missile.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Russian counterpart
Sergey Lavrov signed a joint statement on “no first placement of weapons in
outer space” on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
Council of Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
The joint statement said the outer space should be used in compliance with
international law for the benefit of all nations, regardless of the level of
their economic, scientific or technological development.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office said the two countries shared a common position on
the prevention of arms race in outer space and work collectively on various
international fora towards that goal.


Jokha Alharthi has become the first Arabic author to win the Man Booker
International prize for her novel “Celestial Bodies” which reveals her Omani
homeland’s post-colonial transformation.
“I am thrilled that a window has been opened to the rich Arabic culture,”
Alharthi, 40, told reporters after the ceremony at the Roundhouse in London
on Tuesday.
Alharthi is the author of two previous collections of short fiction, a
children’s book and three novels in Arabic.
She studied classical Arabic poetry at Edinburgh University and teaches at
Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat.
The prestigious 50,000-pound (USD 64,000) prize, which celebrates translated
fiction from around the world, is divided equally between the author and the
Alharthi’s translator was US academic Marilyn Booth, who teaches Arabic
literature at Oxford University.

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