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10 things you need to know today: October 19, 2019

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 7:16am

1.U.K. Parliament passed an amendment during its first Saturday session in 37 years that requires Prime Minister Boris Johnson to request a Brexit delay from the European Union by 11 p.m. Saturday. The vote was tight, but ultimately a cross-party group backed the amendment by a count of 322-306. It does not necessarily mean that the MPs would not have supported the deal Johnson had brokered with the European Union on Thursday, but the government was clear that, after being defeated in the amendment vote, it would abandon a follow-up vote on the deal, as the amendment rendered it "meaningless." It appeared that Johnson was close to receiving the votes he needed to pass the deal, and he said he would move forward with Brexit legislation next week. [BBC, The Guardian] 2.The State Department found "no evidence of pervasive systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information" after wrapping up its internal investigation launched in 2016 related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of private email during her tenure. The investigators did, however, determine that 38 unidentified current and former State Department officials were "culpable" in 91 cases of sending classified information that ended up in Clinton's personal email, meaning the use of private email did increase the vulnerability of such information. Any of the 38 officials still working for the State Department could reportedly face some form of disciplinary action, while the violations will be noted in the files of all 38, and will be considered when applying for or renewing security clearances. All in all, the investigation covered 33,000 emails and found 588 violations, though it could not assign fault in 497 cases. [The Associated Press, The Guardian] 3.The House is reportedly set to vote on a resolution to condemn the White House over its choice to hold the 2020 Group of Seven summit at President Trump's Doral resort in Miami, Florida. Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney announced the decision Thursday saying Trump would not profit from the event. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle criticized the move as a potential ethics violation, pointing out that diplomats, world leaders, and their staffers would visit the financially strained resort. The House resolution will determine whether lawmakers want to condemn Trump's "practice of accepting foreign government Emoluments without obtaining Congress' affirmative consent." The resolution will be considered next week. [Politico, The Hill] 4.Kurdish troops reportedly began withdrawing from a key zone in northern Syria on late Friday, adhering to terms agreed upon by Turkey and the U.S. one day prior. Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday that Turkey agreed to a temporary ceasefire in Syria between Turkish and Kurdish forces. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to "pause" the operation in Syria "to allow for the withdrawal of YPG forces from the safe zone for 120 hours." However, shelling and gunfire were still heard in some Syrian border towns Friday morning, leading Kurdish leadership to accuse Turkish forces of violating the ceasefire. The deal came after President Trump pulled back U.S. troops from northern Syria, clearing the way for Turkey's military to enter Kurdish-held zones. [The New York Times] 5.At least 62 people have died and more than 100 others were injured in explosions at a mosque in eastern Afghanistan. Multiple bombings caused the roof of a mosque in the Nangarhar province to collapse during Friday prayers. Rescuers are still excavating the site and pulling survivors and bodies out of the destroyed mosque, a member of Nangarhar's provincial council said. No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, though the Deh Bala district borders rural ISIS-held areas. Afghanistan's government has so far blamed the Taliban, but the Taliban has reportedly denied involvement. The United Nations recently said violence against civilians has reached "extreme levels" in Afghanistan. At least 1,174 civilians died in the months of July-September, the largest quarterly total in a decade. [Reuters] 6.President Trump's personal lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani attempted to secure a visa from the State Department for former Ukraine prosecutor Viktor Shokin, U.S. diplomat George Kent reportedly told congressional investigators, two people familiar with his closed-door deposition earlier this week said. Shokin was pushed out of his position in 2016 when several world leaders, including former Vice President Joe Biden, voiced concerns that Shokin was not pursuing corruption cases in Ukraine. Giuliani has previously said he wanted to interview Shokin because he promised to reveal information about Democrats' actions in Ukraine. Giuliani has alleged that Biden was trying to stop investigations to protect his son, Hunter, who was sitting on the board of a Ukrainian gas company at the time. [CNN, NBC News] 7.Mark Forkner, a Boeing technical pilot, reportedly warned a colleague about problems with the flight-control program, MCAS, in the company's 737 MAX airplane in 2016, messages released Friday reveal. MCAS was later implicated in two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia within the last year that combined killed a total of 346 people and ultimately led to the plane's removal from the sky, as engineers and regulators attempt to implement new safeguards. In 2017, Forkner reportedly instructed a Federal Aviation Administration employee to remove MCAS from pilot manuals and training because "it's way outside the normal operating envelope." The FAA said in a statement Friday it is "disappointed that Boeing did not bring this document to our attention immediately upon its discovery." [CNBC, NPR] 8.Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) on Friday condemned Hillary Clinton after Clinton suggested Russia was "grooming" a current 2020 candidate "to be the third party candidate," appearing to indirectly suggest that the outsider Democrat Gabbard is a "favorite of the Russians." In several tweets, Gabbard labeled Clinton "the queen of warmongers" and "embodiment of corruption," and declared "this primary is between you and me." Reports have indicated Gabbard's campaign has become a target of foreign bots and Russian media. Gabbard's tweets didn't address such reports, but the lawmaker has previously slammed the characterization as a "smear." Gabbard tweeted that Clinton must be behind a "concerted campaign to destroy my reputation." [Tulsi Gabbard, The Week] 9.Astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir completed a seven hour and 17 minute spacewalk outside of the International Space Station on Friday. While 15 women have conducted spacewalks before, Meir and Koch joined up for what was the first ever all-female spacewalk. It was Koch's fourth spacewalk, and Meir's first go at it. The pair completed their primary task of replacing a failed power charging unit, as well as several extra tasks. While Meir said the walk was "really just us doing our job," she did recognize the event's importance. "We hope that we can provide an inspiration to everybody, not only women, but to everybody that has a dream, that has a big dream, and who is willing to work hard," she said. [Ars Technica, Space.com] 10.Disney's Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is projected to top the weekend box office, but with a weaker than anticipated debut. The Angelina Jolie-starring sequel centered around the Sleeping Beauty is projected to open to around $35 million, lower than earlier projections that had it making $45 million. This would be roughly half of the $69 million the original Maleficent made in its 2014 debut. Sony's Zombieland: Double Tap, meanwhile, is expected to earn around $28 million, higher than previous estimates that put it closer to $23 million. That would be a slight improvement on the original Zombieland's 2009 debut of $24 million. Joker, however, may snatch the second place slot away from Zombieland by taking in around $30 million in its third weekend. [Variety, Deadline]


Can Boris Johnson Pull Off the Impossible? We’re Counting the Votes

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 7:07am

(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson has managed to strike a new Brexit deal with the European Union. But does he have the numbers to get it past Parliament?Well short of a majority, he needs to persuade 61 Members of Parliament to back his deal. He looks only three-fourths of the way there, based on public comments made by lawmakers in recent days. Here’s our tally of how many have declared for him so far.Now for the health warning. This analysis is necessarily imprecise: MPs can change their minds. It’s also incomplete: There are some we would expect to back the deal but simply haven’t said so publicly yet.For Johnson, it looks tight -- but not impossible. Here’s how the numbers break down.Johnson’s Target: 320Once non-voting MPs are accounted for, Johnson needs 320 MPs on his side to win any vote in the House of Commons.May’s Baseline: 259The last time Theresa May tried to get her deal through, in March, she had the support of 279 Conservatives. They are mostly likely to back a Johnson deal too, but there are some problems.Johnson expelled a group of MPs from the party in September after they backed legislation blocking a no-deal Brexit. They were joined by Amber Rudd, who resigned in sympathy. Also out of the party is Nick Boles, who quit the Conservatives earlier this year in frustration at the Brexit deadlock.As a result there are question marks against 19 former Tories who previously backed May’s deal. On top of that number, one deal-backing Conservative, Chris Davies, lost his seat to a Liberal Democrat in a recall election.That leaves Johnson 61 votes short. Where can he go?‘Gaukeward Squad’: 19The expelled Tories, who take their name from former Justice Secretary David Gauke, are temperamentally loyalists -- some had never voted against their party before September. Many of them are looking for a way back in -- including Gauke, who says he will vote for the deal on Saturday. Given that their objection to Johnson’s strategy was the fear he was pursuing a no-deal divorce, they may be happy to get back into line now he’s reached an agreement.But it’s not certain. Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has warned of the economic dangers of not having a close relationship with the EU. Several of them, including Antoinette Sandbach, have suggested the U.K. needs to hold another referendum.Johnson would be doing very well if he got all of them on side.Democratic Unionist Party: 10Johnson worked hard to try to keep Northern Ireland’s DUP engaged, but they have come out firmly against the new deal. They have deep reservations about anything that creates any kind of border between Britain and Northern Ireland, such as customs checks in the Irish Sea, and want a stronger consent mechanism that hands a greater say to the regional assembly. They are now trying to persuade Tories to vote against the deal.The Spartans: 28The self-titled “Spartans” are Conservative MPs who refused to vote for May’s deal. They chose their name to recall the fearsome Ancient Greek warriors who held off a numerically superior Persian force at the Battle of Thermopylae.When Johnson became prime minister, the Spartans were adamant they opposed anything but the most minimal Brexit agreement. But in recent weeks they have begun to see the virtues of compromise. This is the result of the Benn Act, legislation that aims to prevent the U.K. leaving on Oct. 31 unless Johnson has reached a deal. It’s made the Spartans fear losing Brexit altogether.The leader of the Spartans, Steve Baker, twice described the emerging deal as “tolerable” before it was unveiled. Another, former Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson, was more critical. But many are desperate to get Brexit over the line -- for fear this may be their last opportunity.Two Spartans, at least, are fairly sure to back a deal: Priti Patel and Theresa Villiers are both in Johnson’s Cabinet.Labour: 31May pinned her hopes on winning the support of a significant minority of MPs from the opposition Labour Party who believe the 2016 referendum result must be honored. She struggled to get more than five to vote with her, but 15 who didn’t back her last time joined some who did in signing a letter this month urging the EU to do a deal. That might imply a commitment to actually vote for such an agreement.Against that is the fear of retribution from their party if they do so. Leader Jeremy Corbyn and his team sense that defeating Johnson’s deal is a key step on their route to beating him at an election. Others in the party see defeating a deal as essential to securing another referendum.A law unto herself is Kate Hoey, a fierce supporter of Brexit but also an MP with Northern Irish roots, who said she’ll oppose the deal.Since Johnson announced his deal, some Labour MPs who previously made pro-Brexit noises have started to come out of the woodwork, so we’ve increased the number of potential Labour votes by 10.Independents: 5Four independent MPs backed May’s deal in March. A fifth, John Woodcock, might also be tempted.Other MPs: 2Two possible supporters defy categorization. Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb, who is stepping down at the next election, represents a seat that voted to leave the EU and has been critical of his party’s anti-Brexit stance. And Jo Johnson, brother of the prime minister, voted against the deal in March, agreed to join his brother’s Cabinet, then resigned. Both could potentially back a deal to settle the issue.So, Johnson Needs 61 of 85 Available VotesIt’s tight, but feasible. In charge of wooing MPs is Johnson’s political secretary, Danny Kruger, who has been speaking not just to Conservatives but to opposition lawmakers who might be tempted to support a deal. The opposite of his more famous and abrasive colleague Dominic Cummings, Kruger is a gentle and thoughtful former political speech-writer who has set up two charities to help people on the margins of society.The RisksThere is a question, however, of whether the prime minister might lose some support, for example among those Tories who voted for a deal in March and regretted doing so afterward.There’s also another intriguing possibility. When May was prime minister, she said a Brexit deal that split Northern Ireland from Great Britain was one that no prime minister could accept. Now she’s a former prime minister and if that’s the path Johnson takes, could she live with it?She’ll almost certainly stay loyal, but then Johnson did make her life very difficult, so it’s hard to be sure.The JokerIf it comes to a tie, Speaker John Bercow has a casting vote. It’s not clear how he would exercise it.(Updates count in second paragraph, table.)\--With assistance from Kitty Donaldson and Jessica Shankleman.To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.net;Greg Ritchie in London at gritchie10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Thomas PennyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Lebanon's Nasrallah says he's against government resignation

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 6:54am

Lebanon's influential Hezbollah leader said he is against the government's resignation amid a deepening economic crisis and nationwide protests that entered their third day Saturday, calling for the removal of the country's political elite. Hassan Nasrallah said it would be "a waste of time" for the current national unity government to resign since the same political factions would have to haggle over forming a new one. "If this government resigns, we won't have a new one for a year or two," he said in a televised speech, pointing to perpetual political divisions that delayed forming the current Cabinet for nine months.


British protesters lampoon the 'Lucifer' of Brexit and his billionaire backers

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 6:53am

Anti-Brexit protesters on Saturday used a bizarre array of humour to lampoon Britain's leaders, casting Prime Minister Boris Johnson's chief adviser as a manipulating devil behind a divorce that was the work of a privileged few. The battle over Brexit spilled onto the streets of London when hundreds of thousands of people gathered to demand a new referendum while lawmakers decided the fate of Britain's departure from the European Union. Many turned to sometimes risqué British humour.


Northern Ireland's DUP say they will use every strategy to seek changes to Brexit deal

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 6:44am

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party will use every strategy available to try and get changes to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal, its Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson said on Saturday. Lawmakers are due to vote on Saturday on a proposal to withhold support for Johnson's Brexit deal until formal ratification legislation has passed. The vote is expected to be very close and the DUP, who oppose the Brexit deal, have not said if they will back the amendment.


Rebel with a cause plots ruin of Johnson's big Brexit day

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 6:33am

Fearing Britain could drop out of the European Union without a deal by design or default, one British lawmaker has threatened to deny Prime Minister Boris Johnson his day of Brexit glory by delaying a vote on a last-minute divorce deal. Oliver Letwin, 63, is a former cabinet minister with a reputation as an unofficial fixer, using his affable manner and procedural knowledge to head off awkward disagreements in parliament. Brexit has given him notoriety as a rebel with a cause: to stop a no-deal Brexit.


Brexit Countdown, Canada Votes, Erdogan’s Gamble: Weekend Reads

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 6:00am

(Bloomberg) -- Want to receive this post in your inbox every day? Sign up for the Balance of Power newsletter, and follow Bloomberg Politics on Twitter and Facebook for more.Can he pull it off? U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seeking enough votes to get his Brexit deal through a Parliament where he lacks a majority, and where his Northern Irish allies say they can’t support it. Can he pull it off? Justin Trudeau is no longer the political superstar he once was, and it's going to be a struggle to eke out another term when Canadians go to the polls next week.And speaking of pulling it off, Recep Tayyip Erdogan may have just outfoxed self-proclaimed deal master Donald Trump on Syria policy. Catch up on these and other topics with the latest edition of Weekend Reads. Canadian ElectionsOnce a Superstar, Canada’s Trudeau Fights for His Political LifeDogged by controversy and declining popularity, the prime minister is still the favorite — but barely. Ethan Bronner takes a closer look at what went wrong. Click here for interactive charts showing where things stand on the cusp of Monday’s election. Canadian Conservatives Want This ‘Barbecue Dad’ to Beat TrudeauTheophilos Argitis profiles Andrew Scheer — the former speaker of Canada’s House of Commons  — who’s running to oust Trudeau on a platform of extreme relatability. The Fortune Buried in Canada’s Oil Sands May Swing This ElectionTrudeau thinks the nation can be both an oil superpower and a climate pioneer. As Kevin Orland and Natalie Obiko Pearson report, this election will show if voters disagree.ElsewhereErdogan’s ‘Too Big to Fail’ Gamble Pays Off, But Carries RiskPresident Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long based his dealings with the U.S. and Europe on a bet: that threats to cut his country loose or crush its economy won’t be followed through, because Turkey is simply too strategically important. The wager just paid off, Marc Champion and Selcan Hacaoglu report. To Win Giuliani’s Help, Oligarch’s Allies Pursued Biden DirtAssociates of a Ukrainian oligarch fighting extradition to the U.S. were working to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden last summer in an effort to get Rudy Giuliani’s help in the oligarch’s legal case, Stephanie Baker and Irina Reznik report. Pensioners Sleep Outside Zimbabwe Banks as Savings Vanish AgainAs hundreds of pensioners line up outside a bank in central Harare in the hope of collecting their pensions, military veteran Elias Nyabunzi has a sense that he has seen this all before. Ray Ndlovu spoke to pensioners in Zimbabwe, who are among the hardest hit in an economy that’s stagnated for almost 20 years. Census Could Miss Millions, Even Without a Citizenship QuestionCommunity groups are working to convince Latinos that answering the decennial survey isn’t just important, it’s essential. Reade Pickert explains why. Indonesia Oligarchs Are Trying to Yank Power From the PresidentIndonesia’s elites are edging closer to securing constitutional changes to strip President Joko Widodo of key powers in a move that could eventually end direct elections. As Arys Aditya and Karlis Salna write, it presents the most crucial test for democracy in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy since the downfall of the dictator Suharto in 1998.And finally … 2019 has seen a slow, steady advancement of women in leadership positions. It’s been a slightly different story in the aviation industry. Women still make up just over 7% of all pilots in the U.S., according to the most recent data. The numbers are even worse for black women — they make up fewer than 1% of all pilots holding airline transport, pilot, commercial, military, and/or certified flight instructor licenses. Jennifer Zabasajja takes a closer look at Sisters of the Skies, a group that aims to change that.  To contact the author of this story: Kathleen Hunter in London at khunter9@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Karl Maier at kmaier2@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Not responsible for PM to threaten 'my deal or no deal' - UK lawmaker Letwin

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 5:51am

British lawmaker Oliver Letwin said on Saturday it was not responsible for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to threaten a choice between his Brexit deal and a no deal. Letwin has put forward a proposal which is due to be voted on later on Saturday to withhold support for Johnson's Brexit deal until formal ratification legislation has passed. "The prime minister has a strategy ... he wants to be able to say to any waverers 'it is my deal or no deal, vote for the implementing legislation or we crash out'," Letwin told parliament.


Libya's navy intercepts about 150 Europe-bound migrants

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 5:20am

Libya's coast guard says it has intercepted around 150 Europe-bound migrants off the country's Mediterranean coast. Spokesman Ayoub Gassim said Saturday the migrants had been returned to shore and would be taken to a detention center in the capital, Tripoli. Gassim said the three rubber boats with 148 Arab and African migrants were stopped off Libya's western towns of Zuwara and Sabrata Friday, and included 15 women and 11 children.


The Latest: Turkish proxy forces clash with Syria's Kurds

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 5:10am

A war monitor group says Turkey-backed Syrian fighters have clashed in several locations with Kurdish forces, in possible violations of a U.S.-brokered cease-fire in northern Syria. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday that the Turkish proxy forces crossed into Syria east of Ras al-Ayn to a village where clashes have been ongoing since Friday. Ankara wants the Kurdish forces to vacate a large zone along its borders.


UPDATE 3-"We are voiceless": Hundreds of thousands protest in London for new Brexit vote

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 5:10am

Hundreds of thousands of Britons marched through London on Saturday to demand a new Brexit referendum and celebrated as lawmakers in parliament voted to postpone Britain's departure from the European Union. The protesters, some having travelled for hours from around the United Kingdom to get to the capital, waved EU flags under sunny skies and held placards that employed creativity and wit. The crowd clogged vast stretches of central London, with thousands of people waiting to begin the march at Hyde Park by the time others had reached parliament as lawmakers held the first Saturday session since the 1982 Falklands war.


Millions march in Iraq in annual Arbaeen Shiite pilgrimage

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 4:44am

Millions of pilgrims made their way on foot to the Iraqi city of Karbala on Saturday for the Shiite pilgrimage of Arbaeen, regarded as the largest annual public gathering in the world. Militias patrolled roads leading into the city and escorted Iranian pilgrims from the border, hiking up security for processions that have previously been targeted by Sunni militant groups with bloody bombings. This year's Arbaeen ceremonies take place amid widespread anger in Iraq's Shiite south over the government's heavy crackdown on protests that erupted earlier this month against unemployment, corruption and government mismanagement.


The Latest: Gulf gov'ts warn travelers over Lebanon protests

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 4:20am

Arab Gulf nations are encouraging their citizens to leave Lebanon amid violent nationwide protests over the country's worsening economic crisis. The state-run Saudi Press Agency says Saudi Arabian nationals have been warned against travelling to Lebanon and those already there are being asked to take utmost caution. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain went a step further, calling on their citizens to leave amid the unrest.


Protest Leaders Ignore Ban, Call for March: Hong Kong Update

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 4:09am

(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong protest organizers said they would lead demonstrators through Kowloon on Sunday in a march despite losing an appeal against a police ban on the procession.The Appeal Board on Public Meetings and Processions supported the police’s refusal to approve the march because of the potential for violence, Radio Television Hong Kong reported. The rally was originally called to protest a government ban on masks and comes after Wednesday’s attack on Civil Human Rights Front’s organizer Jimmy Sham by hammer-wielding thugs in Mong Kok.Protesters are seeking to keep the pressure on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam with a 20th straight weekend of demonstrations. Earlier this week, Lam was twice shouted down in the city’s legislature by opposition lawmakers as she discussed her annual policy address.The protests began in opposition to Lam’s since-scrapped bill allowing extraditions to mainland China and have expanded to include calls for greater democracy and an independent inquiry. The unrest has turned increasingly violent, with frequent clashes between protesters and police.Here’s the latest (all times local):March to go ahead (5:17 p.m.)Civil Human Rights Front convener Figo Chan said he will lead a march Sunday along the route originally planned and he will be joined by other prominent pro-democracy activists including Leung Kwok-hung, Albert Ho and Cyd Ho, RTHK reported.Demonstrators planned to walk from Tsim Sha Tsui to the express rail terminus in West Kowloon before the police banned the march. The protesters could face arrest, but all of the city’s protests have had to deal with risks, whether they received police permission or not, RTHK cited Chan as saying.March ban upheld (2:30 p.m.)Hong Kong protesters lost an appeal against the police ban of their planned march on Sunday through Tsim Sha Tsui on concern about violence, RTHK reported.Organizers had planned to march through Tsim Sha Tsui to the west side of the district, where the high-speed train station to mainland China is located. Civil Human Rights Front Sham was one of the organizers of the event.Despite the police ban, protesters could still go ahead with the march. Activists mostly ignore restrictions on their gatherings and have continued to show up at events that lack police permits, with some devolving into violent clashes.On Friday night protesters formed human chains citywide, with everyone covering their faces in some way in defiance of the mask ban. People masqueraded as Disney characters, animals and super heroes, but the most popular mask was one of China President Xi Jinping. In Tsim Sha Tsui a long line of protesters linked hands, all wearing a facade of Xi’s smiling face.Lam may reshuffle ExCo (1 p.m.)Chief Executive Lam said she would consider reorganizing the city’s Executive Council, its de facto Cabinet, but would wait until protests had ended.The beleaguered leader of Hong Kong said on an RTHK radio program that she doesn’t “blindly” support the actions of each officer but fully supports the force in enforcing the law. She urged people to wait for a report from Independent Police Complaints Council into the recent clashes, RTHK said. Lam again rejected calls for an independent inquiry into police brutality, the latest coming from Chinese University’s vice-chancellor, Rocky Tuan.Taiwan gets letter (10:45 a.m.)Taiwan’s Criminal Investigation Bureau confirmed it had received a letter from the Hong Kong police offering assistance in the case of Chan Tong-kai, Central News Agency reported.There is no precedent for the cooperation and the Taiwan bureau will follow up with relevant departments for discussion, CNA reported.Homicide suspect to surrender himself to Taiwan (11:28 p.m.)Hong Kong’s Chief Executive received a letter Friday from Chan Tong-kai, a Hong Kong man who’s been accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend during a Valentine’s Day trip to Taiwan, saying that he’d decided to surrender himself to Taiwan, according to a statement on the website of Hong Kong’s government.Chan, who’s currently serving a prison sentence for money laundering in a Hong Kong jail, “requested the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to assist him in making the relevant arrangement,” according to the statement.Hong Kong newspaper Sing Tao Daily reported earlier on Friday, citing a person it didn’t identify, that Chan made the decision after consulting with a pastor.Protesters march across city (1 p.m.)Demonstrators marched in the Central financial district on Hong Kong Island, temporarily blocking traffic, as well as in the Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok neighborhoods of Kowloon. Some carried a banner calling on the Hong Kong government to agree to their five demands, which include an independent inquiry into police violence, an amnesty for arrested protesters and greater democratic freedoms.Police deny weekend permit (12:30 p.m.)Hong Kong police denied a protest permit for the Civil Human Rights Front’s planned march in Kowloon on Sunday. The group -- whose organizer Jimmy Sham was hospitalized this week -- has been behind some of the largest protests during the last five months, including a few that have drawn over one million people. In many cases, protesters have continued to show up at events that lack police permits, with some devolving into violent clashes with police.\--With assistance from Dominic Lau.To contact the reporter on this story: Iain Marlow in Hong Kong at imarlow1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Stanley JamesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


UK government focused on defeating Letwin amendment - PM Johnson's spokesman

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 3:39am

The British government is focused on making sure lawmakers do not back a proposal to withhold support for Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit deal until formal ratification legislation has passed, Johnson's spokesman said on Saturday. If the amendment, put forward by former Conservative lawmaker Oliver Letwin, is accepted, parliament will not get to vote on Saturday on whether to approve Johnson's Brexit deal.


U.S. Proposed to Help North Korea Build Tourist Area: Report

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 3:17am

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. officials proposed a long-term plan to help North Korea construct a tourist area in return for denuclearization during recent working-level talks in Stockholm, Hankook Ilbo newspaper reported.U.S. negotiators prepared plans on the development of the Kalma tourist area, the paper said, citing an unidentified senior South Korean diplomat familiar with the talks in Stockholm. The paper didn’t say how North Korea reacted to the proposal.North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been pushing to complete a resort construction in the Wonsan-Kalma coastal area. In August, Pak Pong Ju, a key member of the ruling party’s politburo, visited the region to encourage workers to make the area “a scenic spot” on the east coast.The talks in Stockholm earlier in October were the first in about eight months between the U.S. and North Korea, but ended with little agreement about what was even on the table. North Korean nuclear envoy Kim Myong Gil said the U.S. arrived “empty-handed” to the meeting, a point disputed by State Department officials.To contact the reporter on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Jasmine NgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


UK PM Johnson says hopes this is the moment to get Brexit resolution

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 2:38am

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he hoped lawmakers would go ahead with a vote on Saturday on the divorce deal he struck this week with the European Union and this would be the moment Britain would get resolution over Brexit. "I do hope in assembing for the purposes of a meaningful vote that we will indeed be allowed to have a meaningful vote," Johnson told parliament ahead of a debate on the deal.


EXPLAINER-Britain's 'Super Saturday' Brexit showdown in parliament

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 2:36am

Prime Minister Boris Johnson faces a Brexit showdown with parliament on Saturday after clinching a last-minute divorce deal with the European Union, but a wrecking amendment could derail his plans. Other options include collapsing his government so that others can take control of Brexit negotiations. Johnson will make a statement to lawmakers, after which there will be a debate and then a vote.


UK government will not participate in Brexit deal vote if Letwin amendment passes -BBC

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 2:19am

The British government will not take part in a vote on its Brexit deal on Saturday if lawmakers back a proposal which seeks to withhold support for a deal until formal ratification legislation has passed, the BBC's political editor said. The proposal, put forward by former Conservative lawmaker Oliver Letwin, has a strong chance of being accepted, meaning a subsequent vote on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's deal would no longer be a so-called "meaningful vote" to approve it. Instead, Johnson's Downing Street office would tell Conservative lawmakers they could go home rather than stay to participate in the vote, and would bring forward the legislation required to ratify a deal on Monday, the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg reported.


AP PHOTOS: 10 days on the Turkish border with Syria

Yahoo World News Feed - October 19, 2019 - 1:59am

Turkey's 10-day incursion into Syria, aiming to rid the border area of Kurdish fighters, caused deaths and destruction on both sides and sent tens of thousands of civilians fleeing their homes. As Turkish and Turkish-backed Syrian opposition forces battled the Kurdish-led fighters, Associated Press photographers worked to get images out to the world despite obstacles including disruption of communications networks, hostility to international media and sporadic shelling. Elsewhere, AP pictures showed the reality for families forced to flee the region, the funerals of civilians killed by shelling and children witnessing fighting close to their homes.


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