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  • France stresses need for Iran to respect nuclear accord

    France stresses need for Iran to respect nuclear accordFrench authorities in a meeting Tuesday with an Iranian envoy stressed the need for Tehran to quickly respect the 2015 nuclear accord it has breached and "make the needed gestures" to deescalate mounting tensions in the Persian Gulf region. A statement by the French Foreign Ministry said Seyed Abbas Araghchi gave a message to President Emmanuel Macron from Iranian leader Hassen Rouhani. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who met with Araghchi, is working with European partners on an observation mission to ensure maritime security in the Gulf, where tensions have mounted after Iran's seizure last Friday of a U.K.-flagged oil tanker.




  • Johnson to become Britain's new PM with Brexit mission

    Johnson to become Britain's new PM with Brexit missionBoris Johnson will officially become Britain's prime minister on Wednesday with a mission to deliver Brexit by October 31 come what may, while fending off rebellious MPs. The former foreign secretary, best known for his gaffes, rhetorical flourishes and turbulent love life, was announced as the new leader of the governing Conservative Party on Tuesday. The 55-year-old will officially take over the reins of power at a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II in Buckingham Palace later on Wednesday and will then give his maiden speech as prime minister outside his new 10 Downing Street home.




  • Australian Parliament to ban extremists from coming home

    Australian Parliament to ban extremists from coming homeAustralia is set to pass laws as early as Wednesday that would allow the government to prevent suspected extremists from returning home for up to two years while Australian supporters of the Islamic State group are demanding to be repatriated from crowded Syrian refugee camps. The bills based on British law are scheduled for debate in the Senate on Wednesday after they were passed Tuesday night in the House of Representatives where the conservative government holds a majority. The center-left Labor Party opposition wants the legislation made more consistent with the British model with amendments that would allow a judge rather than Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to decide which Australians are banished.




  • House opposes Israel boycott in bipartisan vote

    House opposes Israel boycott in bipartisan voteThe House overwhelmingly approved a resolution Tuesday opposing an international effort to boycott Israel, a rare bipartisan vote as Democrats try to tamp down increasingly heated political rhetoric over differences with the longtime U.S. ally. Liberal lawmakers, most notably Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., two newly elected Muslim Americans, have spoken out about the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement, known as BDS, as they criticize Israel's treatment of Palestinians, particularly in the occupied territories. Republicans have amplified the views of the left flank to portray Democrats as deeply divided and at odds with Israel.




  • Johnson Woos Tories With ‘Vintage Boris’ as Brexit Revolt Looms

    Johnson Woos Tories With ‘Vintage Boris’ as Brexit Revolt Looms(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson will formally take office as U.K. prime minister Wednesday and seek to build a government that will bring his Conservative Party together and deliver Brexit.The new leader, elected with two thirds of members votes, will give hardline Brexiteer Priti Patel a cabinet role and promote politicians of all stripes to try to reflect modern Britain, according to a person familiar with his plans.Johnson spent the hours after his victory Tuesday telling Conservative members of Parliament what most of them wanted to hear: the U.K. will leave the European Union on Oct. 31, and there won’t be an early general election.It was a concerted effort to rally the troops before he takes office -- after Theresa May formally resigns to Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday afternoon. Many Tory MPs fear Johnson will be forced to hold an election to try to break the parliamentary deadlock that destroyed his predecessor, but he assured them in a private meeting that it isn’t his intention.Johnson’s cabinet choices will show the sort of government he intends to lead, and he’ll try to bring the party together when he starts to appoint ministers, the person said. The new premier will fill key roles, including chancellor of the exchequer, foreign secretary and home secretary on Wednesday and promote ethnic minority and women lawmakers to ministerial jobs, the person said.The Hard PartThe announcements will also be the moment when at least some of those who backed Johnson -- hoping for promotion -- will be disappointed, potentially creating enemies for the future.Former International Development Secretary Patel, forced out of May’s cabinet in 2017 after a series of unauthorized meetings with the Israeli government, will be rewarded for her support with a return to cabinet. Employment Minister Alok Sharma will join her at the top table, the person said.‘Vintage Boris’Johnson, who was foreign secretary when Patel lost her job, described her at the time as “a very good colleague and friend” with “a great future ahead of her.’’ It was unclear what roles she and Sharma will be given, though the Times reported that Patel will be made Home Secretary.At the meeting with MPs, Johnson was cheered when he reiterated the key message from his leadership campaign: That he will deliver Brexit by the end of October, come what may. It remains hard to see how he can do that, and his supporters disagree about what constitutes a proper Brexit. But on Tuesday, few were arguing.His speech was “vintage Boris,” Nicky Morgan, who heads Parliament’s Treasury Select Committee, told reporters outside the meeting. Johnson made the party feel better about itself, she said.‘Love-Bombing’That’s not true for everyone, though. So Johnson began the process of trying to win over those who have doubts. “The love-bombing starts now,” he told MPs, according to two people who were in the room.Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, Justice Secretary David Gauke and International Development Secretary Rory Stewart have all said they don’t want to serve under Johnson, citing his pledge to deliver Brexit with or without a deal, and plan to resign to May before she stands down. Other more junior ministers have also quit.Johnson acknowledged the divisions in his victory speech.“I know that there will be people around the place who will question the wisdom of your decision,” Johnson said. His answer was to appeal to their instinctive Conservative values -- owning a home, looking after family -- and to move away from the divisions over Brexit to bring the party together.The appointment of Mark Spencer as chief whip -- a key role in Johnson’s administration given his wafer-thin ruling majority in Parliament -- was welcomed by Tory lawmakers from both sides of the Brexit divide.‘Energy and Enthusiasm’Nicholas Soames, a pro-European and fierce critic of Johnson, called the appointment “a really excellent sane and wise choice” on Twitter, while Steve Baker, a prominent member of the pro-Brexit European Research Group, described him as a “very skillful and authoritative man.”On Tuesday, many Conservative MPs were content to have a leader who cheered them up.“It was such a relief to have some energy and enthusiasm in the room,” said the pro-Brexit Theresa Villiers. She contrasted it with the “rather painful exchanges” between May and Tory backbenchers in recent years.The question is whether Johnson’s charm offensive will be enough over the coming weeks and months. Keith Simpson, who rebelled against the party whip for the first time in his career last week to try to stop a no-deal Brexit, left Johnson’s speech early and unimpressed.“I couldn’t stand any more,” he told reporters waiting outside. “The circus has come to town.”\--With assistance from Joe Mayes.To contact the reporters on this story: Thomas Penny in London at tpenny@bloomberg.net;Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.net;Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Stuart Biggs, Emma Ross-ThomasFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




  • Iran Warns Brazil Over Stranded Ship Barred From Refueling

    Iran Warns Brazil Over Stranded Ship Barred From Refueling(Bloomberg) -- Iran has threatened to cut its imports from Brazil unless it allows the refueling of at least two Iranian ships stranded off the Brazilian coast, in a sign of the global repercussions of U.S. sanctions on the Islamic republic.Iran’s ambassador in Brasilia, Seyed Ali Saghaeyan, told Brazilian officials on Tuesday that his country could easily find new suppliers of corn, soybeans and meat if the South American country refuses to permit the refueling of the vessels. Brazil exports around $2 billion to Iran a year, mostly commodities like corn, meat and sugar. Tehran buys one third of all Brazil’s corn exports.“I told the Brazilians that they should solve the issue, not the Iranians,” Saghaeyan said in a rare interview at the Iranian Embassy in Brasilia. “If it’s not solved, maybe the authorities in Tehran may want to take some decision because this is a free market and other countries are available.”State-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA refuses to supply the ships -- which have been floating for over a month off the port of Paranagua, about 450 kilometers (280 miles) south of Sao Paulo -- due to the risk of U.S. sanctions. Petrobras has said it was a business decision and other companies could sell fuel to the vessels. Without the fuel, the ships carrying Brazilian corn are unable to return to Iran. While Brazil has a long history of good relations with Tehran, President Jair Bolsonaro’s commitment to ripping up the country’s traditional foreign policy has put those ties in doubt.As a strong supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, Bolsonaro warned exporters of the risk of trading with Iran, adding that Brazil sides with the U.S. on its policy toward the Middle East country.“We are aligned to their policies. So we do what we have to,” Bolsonaro said.To resolve the stand-off, Iran is considering sending fuel to the stranded ships, although this option would take longer and prove costly, Saghaeyan said.“Independent and big countries like Brazil and Iran should work together without interference from any third part or country,” he added. Saghaeyan has requested a meeting with Brazil’s foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo, but has yet to receive an answer.In a statement the Brazilian foreign office said that it would follow legal guidance on the issue.To contact the reporters on this story: Samy Adghirni in Brasilia Newsroom at sadghirni@bloomberg.net;Sabrina Valle in Rio de Janeiro at svalle@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Juan Pablo Spinetto at jspinetto@bloomberg.net, Bruce Douglas, Walter BrandimarteFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




  • US finally gets new Pentagon chief as Senate confirms Esper

    US finally gets new Pentagon chief as Senate confirms EsperFormer soldier Mark Esper was sworn in as US secretary of defense Tuesday after earning Senate confirmation, filling America's longest-ever Pentagon leadership vacuum as Washington faces mounting tensions with Iran and struggles to end the long-running Afghanistan war. President Donald Trump's second Defense Department chief takes over nearly seven months after the shock departure of Jim Mattis, the deeply respected career US Marine who broke with Trump over policy on the Middle East and Afghanistan.




  • Surviving a Traumatic Childhood With the Help of Imaginary Friends

    Surviving a Traumatic Childhood With the Help of Imaginary FriendsA woman who grew up in Iran describes how having nine imaginary friends helped her get through a traumatic childhood.




  • US spars with key allies at UN over Mideast peace approach

    US spars with key allies at UN over Mideast peace approachThe U.S. derided the viability of reaching "international consensus" on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Tuesday, further distancing itself from the two-state solution preferred by most of the world and drawing rebukes from its European allies. President Donald Trump's Mideast negotiator, Jason Greenblatt, delivered the harsh assessment during a U.N. Security Council debate as the White House says it is preparing to unveil the political portion of its Mideast peace plan. Greenblatt dismissed the prospect of reaching global consensus on sensitive issues, including the fate of Palestinian refugees and the final status of contested Jerusalem.




  • US now says it 'engaged' 2 Iranian drones, not 1

    US now says it 'engaged' 2 Iranian drones, not 1The U.S. military says that when it destroyed an Iranian drone last week over the Strait of Hormuz, it also took aim at a second drone. Iran denies it lost any drones. U.S. Central Command says that one Iranian drone crashed into the sea after the USS Boxer took what Central Command called "defensive action" against it last Thursday.




  • How the Middle Classes Ruined Britain review: anyone who eats avocado is the enemy

    How the Middle Classes Ruined Britain review: anyone who eats avocado is the enemyAs a working class, Tory-voting, pro-Brexit comedian, Geoff Norcott is rarer than a hen’s tooth in the liberal, left-leaning, middle-class world of stand-up comedy. So much so, that as soon as the refined folk at the top of the BBC got a sniff of his existence, they threw out a net to catch him and promptly appointed him to a "diversity panel" of people whose existence must be acknowledged in the eternal quest for balance. Norcott immediately set about biting the hand that feeds with How the Middle Classes Ruined Britain (BBC Two), identifying the BBC and we who watch it – “you lot” – and especially anyone who regularly eats avocado, as the enemy. “The thing about the middle classes is they talk out both sides of their mouth,” he said at the outset. “They’re hypocrites because they claim to be virtuous and caring, yet simultaneously they’re doing things that serve their self-interest.”   Whether you agree with Norcott or not, he hit the nail on the head sometimes: “You know the type, usually called Oliver or Jemima – they like a protest march so long as it’s followed by a spot of light brunch.” To begin with, his targets to illustrate middle-class hypocrisy seemed well chosen. Like those who “game the system” to get their little darlings onto the best state schools. He travelled to Manchester to rail at luxury developments with no affordable housing quotas, and to Deptford to join protesters against council flats being redeveloped by a housing charity. Too often though, Norcott’s his views on class seemed to run contrary to his own free-thinking, small state, right-wing views. Especially when he started banging on about the middle classes trying to “keep people like [him] at arms’ length”, using heinous methods like a dating app that only paired up people who’d been to public school. His attempts to game this circle, by consulting a posh dating counsellor and crashing a toffs-only dating event backfired – leaving him looking cowed, obsessed with his own sense of difference, and patronised by everyone he met. Similarly, his decision to try out his schtick on university students’ union officers was a car crash waiting to happen. When his feeble jokes about disability fell on deaf ears and stony faces, the students’ response – that they were unmoved not out of humourlessness but because they had “heard it all before” – left Norcott with nowhere to go and looking weak. In the end, despite successfully skewering some examples of middle-class hypocrisy, his approach was just too scattergun and politically inconsistent. I have seen Norcott shine on The Mash Report and his Right Leaning But Well Meaning stand-up show for Radio 4 was very, very funny. His is a voice that deserves to be heard. But he needs to be sharper if he’s to adopt the role of social commentator and take on something as nebulous as the class system. Otherwise this most relevant-seeming of comedians will quickly end up looking out of touch.




  • US citizens and Iranian relatives sue over travel ban

    US citizens and Iranian relatives sue over travel banA group of American citizens and legal residents trying to bring their Iranian spouses and other family to join them in the United States has filed a federal lawsuit saying they are being unfairly blocked by the Trump administration's travel ban. The families sued late Monday in federal court in Santa Ana, California, saying they have waited months for waivers to be able to be reunited, but the U.S. government hasn't issued them. Escalating tensions between the United States and Iran cause the families additional stress, and they fear they could be separated indefinitely.




  • House Democrats Unveil Climate Goal Short of Ocasio-Cortez’s

    House Democrats Unveil Climate Goal Short of Ocasio-Cortez’s(Bloomberg) -- House Democrats unveiled a target to stave off climate change Tuesday, one that is a far cry from the controversial Green New Deal being championed by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives.Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee announced they would pursue legislation this year that calls for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a less ambitious but politically, and technologically, achievable alternative to Ocasio-Cortez’s sweeping Green New Deal that called for hitting that target by 2030.“We just think that target is more realistic,” said Representative Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat and chairman of the committee.“If we don’t go down to net-zero carbon pollution by then we have a catastrophic situation,” Pallone said, citing scientific reports on the issue by the United Nations and others.The announcement comes as some Democrats worry the Green New Deal could cost them at the polls. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has thrown cold water on that plan, which drew Republican derision for its jobs guarantee and other elements.“Mainstream Democrats are determined to make climate change a centrist -- not a far left -- policy as an electoral issue,” said Paul Bledsoe, who advised President Bill Clinton on climate issues and now works as an adviser with the Progressive Policy Institute. “I think they are concerned that Ocasio-Cortez and others could actually alienate swing voters rather than attract them with aggressive rhetoric.”Pallone said there would be a series of hearings and meetings with stakeholders with the aim of creating legislation by the end of the year. The first hearing, on ways to decarbonize the economy, is scheduled for Wednesday. “We’re going to start a process,” Pallone said.Pallone said the committee would try to incorporate parts of the Green New Deal into their plan.The Sunrise Movement, the progressive advocacy group that helped pioneer the Green New Deal, criticized Pallone’s announcement, arguing that Democratic leaders were “misrepresenting the science.”“To set a low goal that is misaligned with what science demands out of the gate is irresponsible, and bargaining against our future,” co-founder Varshini Prakash said in a statement.A spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez didn’t respond to a request for comment.Achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 is no small task, and may reflect the way the Green New Deal has shifted the political conversation around climate change -- as well the goal posts.“The majority of the Democratic caucus is behind aggressive but not socialist climate policies,” Bledsoe said. “They worry the Green New Deal rhetoric could alienate rather than attract swing voters needed in 2020.”Democratic presidential candidates, including front-runner Joe Biden, have outlined plans to reach decarbonization targets by mid-century as well.But nobody thinks it will be easy. Analysts say achieving such a goal will require massive shifts such as an end to vehicles powered by internal combustion engines, most electricity produced by coal, and the use of natural gas in buildings for heat and cooking. New bio-based fuels for aviation and carbon capture technology for cement factories and chemical refineries will be required. And a shift away from the consumption of meat could be required.“We are looking for any and all ideas,” said New York Representative Paul Tonko, the head of the Environment and Climate Change subcommittee.The Green New Deal’s manifesto, in the form of a non-binding resolution offered in both chambers of the U.S. Congress, calls for a “10-year national mobilization” to shift the nation to 100% “clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources” -- a high bar, given that fossil fuels (petroleum, natural gas and coal) accounted for 80% of U.S. energy consumption in 2018.In addition to Tonko, Pallone was flanked by Bobby Rush of Illinois, the head of the Energy subcommittee, and other committee cardinals. Ocasio-Cortez and other Green New Deal architects didn’t attend the press conference.The Natural Resources Defense Council’s John Bowman applauded the initiative.“Reaching 100% clean energy and zero net carbon pollution by 2050 must be the guidepost for every energy, environmental, and economic policy decision we make over the next 30 years,” Bowman, the organization’s managing director for government affairs, said in a statement.(Updates with Pallone comments starting in third paragraph, Sunrise Movement in ninth.)To contact the reporter on this story: Ari Natter in Washington at anatter5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at jmorgan97@bloomberg.net, Joe SobczykFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




  • Send in the F-22s: Why Iran's F-14s Are No Joke

    Send in the F-22s: Why Iran's F-14s Are No JokeThe U.S. Navy retired its last Tomcat in 2006. But with its long range and powerful radar, the F-14 remains one of the world’s most capable fighters. For that reason, the Americans for many years have been trying to ground the Ayatollah’s F-14s.Tensions have escalated in the Persian Gulf region in the aftermath of U.S. president Donald Trump’s decision unilaterally to withdraw the United States from the agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program.The U.S. military has implicated Iranian agents in several summer 2019 attacks on civilian ships sailing near Iran. The U.S. Navy sent the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and her strike group to the region. The U.S. Air Force deployed B-52 bombers and F-22 and F-35 stealth fighters.If war breaks out, American forces likely will attempt to secure Gulf air space by destroying or suppressing Iran’s air forces. The regular Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force and the air wing of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps militia together operate around 700 aircraft.(This first appeared in July 2019.)The IRIAF’s 1970s-vintage F-14s could be U.S. forces’ first targets. According to a survey by Flight Global, the Iranian air force in 2019 operates around 24 F-14 Tomcats from a batch of 79 of the Grumman-made, swing-wing fighters that Iran acquired in the mid-1970s before the Islamic revolution.The U.S. Navy retired its last Tomcat in 2006. But with its long range and powerful radar, the F-14 remains one of the world’s most capable fighters. For that reason, the Americans for many years have been trying to ground the Ayatollah’s F-14s.




  • Russian activist's murder raises fears of wave of anti-LGBT violence

    Russian activist's murder raises fears of wave of anti-LGBT violenceA female activist in St Petersburg has been brutally murdered in what friends fear may be the start of a new wave of violence against LGBTQ people.  Yelena Grigoryeva, 41, was found on Sunday in bushes near her home with stab wounds to her back and face and signs of strangulation, the Fontanka news outlet reported.  Law enforcement later detained a 40-year-old man with a history of bad debts and charged him with murder, it said.  The killing comes after a homophobic vigilante group called Saw, in the style of the horror film, posted that it had “prepared very dangerous and cruel gifts” for LGBTQ activists including Ms Grigoryeva. Russian authorities banned the group's site last week. Vitaly Bespalov, a fellow activist and friend of Ms Grigoryeva whose name was also on the Saw list, said her acquaintances suspected the tragedy was connected to her activism. “She was always standing up against discrimination against LGBTQ people, violence against LGBTQ people, and now she herself has been murdered,” he said.  Ms Grigoryeva had often been photographed at protests holding signs like, “In Russia there are more than 5 million gay people. Because of backwardness and hatred, they have to live secretly”. Mr Bespalov said activists on the Saw list and supporters would ask law enforcement to take measures to prevent further violence against LGBTQ people, fearing her murder was “one link in a bigger chain”.  Last week an LGBTQ support centre in Yekaterinburg received a threat from people who said they had “liquidated gays in Chechnya and Ukraine” and warned that it would “become the next victim of our game” if it didn't shut down.  The email contained a link to the Saw site and an image showing the centre, a bomb, a bloody body and a gravestone.  Activist Dinar Idrisov accused the Russian government of failing to protect Ms Grigoryeva. She had been receiving death threats and even asked a mutual friend to take care of her cat if she was murdered, he posted on Facebook. “Lena and her lawyer appealed to law enforcement about violence, about threats, but there was no noticeable reaction,” he said. “It was all in the style of, 'Call us if you're being killed.' She didn't have time to call.”  Vladimir Putin signed a law against gay propaganda among minors in 2013 as the government stepped up promotion of traditional values and the Orthodox church exerting increasing influence on society.  Activists and groups like Human Rights Watch said the law led to a rash of homophobic violence, including groups of vigilantes who taunted, beat and poured urine on gay people in online videos.  It has also curtailed mental health support and education for LGBTQ youth.  In 2017, several people died after Russia's Chechnya republic began rounding up gay men en masse and torturing them in secret facilities.  Opposition activists have also faced threats and violence. Mr Idrisov was beaten up by three men during a St Petersburg protest ahead of Mr Putin's re-election last year, and his fellow activist Konstantin Sinitsyn was beaten to death shortly before that.  Friends have called into doubt the police conclusion that his murder resulted from a conflict with a coworker.




  • Trump envoy says only direct talks can solve Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    Trump envoy says only direct talks can solve Israeli-Palestinian conflictPresident Donald Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt told the United Nations Security Council Tuesday that an "international consensus" cannot solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, only direct talks between the two. Greenblatt, who is working with White House advisor Jared Kushner on a controversial peace plan, put the United States at odds with other council members by insisting that UN resolutions and international law were not the answer.




  • Turkish banker released from US prison in sanctions case

    Turkish banker released from US prison in sanctions caseA Turkish banker convicted of helping Iran evade economic sanctions has been released from a U.S. prison, his defense attorney said Tuesday. Mehmet Hakan Atilla was released from prison Friday and surrendered to U.S. immigration officials to await deportation, attorney Victor Rocco said. It was not immediately clear when Atilla would be deported to Turkey.




  • Boris Johnson to become new UK PM: What that means for Brexit

    Boris Johnson to become new UK PM: What that means for BrexitCharged with unifying a politically divided country, Johnson will lead the U.K. in the face of an impending Oct. 31 Brexit deadline.




  • IMF downgrades world growth, warns of 'precarious' 2020

    IMF downgrades world growth, warns of 'precarious' 2020Global trade tensions, continued uncertainty and rising prospects for a no-deal Brexit are sapping the strength of the world economy, which faces a "precarious" 2020, the International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday. Trade conflicts are undercutting investment and weakening manufacturing, and the IMF urged countries to avoid using tariffs to resolve their differences. "Global growth is sluggish and precarious, but it does not have to be this way, because some of this is self-inflicted," IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath told reporters.




  • 'Different kind of guy' - Trump sees kindred spirit in Boris Johnson

    'Different kind of guy' - Trump sees kindred spirit in Boris JohnsonIn Boris Johnson, U.S. President Donald Trump may be getting the brash British prime minister he wanted after Trump made up his mind that Theresa May was a hapless leader for failing to deliver a credible Brexit deal. Trump appeared poised to quickly extend an invitation to Johnson to visit the White House once he takes over as prime minister on Wednesday after winning the Conservative Party leadership. Suddenly, the two provocateurs will be the caretakers of the "special relationship" between the United States and the United Kingdom that has stood the test of time and underpinned one of the strongest military and diplomatic alliances in the West.




  • Former Israeli PM apologizes for killing of Arab protesters

    Former Israeli PM apologizes for killing of Arab protestersFormer Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak apologized Tuesday for the killing of 13 Arab protesters by Israeli police in 2000. Ehud Barak's statements on Israeli public radio addressed a point of friction between him and Israel's Arab minority. "There is no place for protesters to be killed by their country's security forces," said Barak, the leader of the newly formed Democratic Israel party.




  • UPDATE 1-IMF says Q1 global trade growth slowest since 2012, big downside risk

    UPDATE 1-IMF says Q1 global trade growth slowest since 2012, big downside riskGlobal trade expanded by just 0.5% in the first quarter of 2019, marking the slowest year-on-year pace of growth since 2012 amid signs a more significant slowdown is possible, International Monetary Fund officials said on Tuesday. The IMF on Tuesday lowered its forecast for global growth this year and next, warning that more U.S.-China tariffs, auto tariffs or a disorderly Brexit could further slow growth, weaken investment and disrupt supply chains. IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath told reporters in Santiago, Chile, the global lender did not see signs of a recession, but did see "significant downside risks" for global growth going forward, including escalating trade wars.




  • Trump falsely claims ‘I can do whatever I want’ because of Article 2, as he says people in the UK love him

    Trump falsely claims ‘I can do whatever I want’ because of Article 2, as he says people in the UK love himDonald Trump told a group of conservative students in America that Boris Johnson, the next prime minister of the UK, will be “Britain’s Trump”.“We have a really good man who’s going to be the prime minister of the UK now, Boris Johnson,” Mr Trump said to the audience at Turning Point USA’s Teen Student Action Summit in Washington DC. “He’s tough, and he’s smart,” the president continued. “They say ‘Britain’s Trump’, they call him Britain’s Trump, and that’s a good thing. They like me over there. That’s what they wanted. That’s what they need. “He’ll get it done,” he added, appearing to refer to Brexit, which the new leader has just a few months to finalise. “Boris is good. He’s gonna do a good job.”After praising the next prime minister, Mr Trump attempted to shout out Nigel Farage, who was, according to the president, in the audience. “Where’s Nigel?” he said, placing a hand above his eyes. “He’s here some place. I saw him. I said, ‘what is he doing here!’ He’s a little older than most of you. I’ll tell you what, he got 32 per cent of the vote from nowhere, over in UK. Thank you Nigel. He did a great job. I know he’s going to work well with Boris.”Turning Point opened the president’s speech with a video recalling his election in 2016, beginning from doubt and ending with his victory. Led by right-wing organiser Charlie Kirk, the group is meant to “educate students about the importance of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government”.Mr Trump used his lengthy speech to disperse lies about his tariffs, saying they’re bringing in “billions” of dollars, insult representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with another riff about her two-part last name, and assert that he has unlimited power.“I have an Article 2 where I have the right to do whatever I want as president,” he said to applause, referring to the part of the US Constitution that gives him executive – but not unlimited – power. “But I don’t even talk about that.” As is common with his speeches, he also referenced the number of federal judges he’s appointed while in office. According to him, the current total is 124.




  • Boris Johnson Hires Sky Executive as Adviser to Woo Business

    Boris Johnson Hires Sky Executive as Adviser to Woo Business(Bloomberg) -- Britain’s incoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson hired pay-TV broadcaster Sky Ltd.’s Chief Operating Officer Andrew Griffith as his senior business adviser, giving him the job of improving the government’s relations with U.K. companies.Griffith will start on Wednesday, as soon as Johnson officially replaces Theresa May, according to an internal Sky memo seen by Bloomberg. A 20-year veteran of the company, Griffith most recently helped handle its $39 billion takeover by Comcast Corp.Johnson is looking to bolster his credentials with Britain’s business community, which is concerned about the potential damage of a no-deal Brexit and was stung when he reportedly said “F*** business” after being prodded on the Brexit needs of U.K. employers.In recent weeks Johnson has been using Griffith’s London townhouse as a base as he prepares to enter No. 10 Downing Street, the prime minister’s official residence. Griffith, who is also a board member of food delivery firm Just Eat Plc, has previous ties with the Conservative Party, unsuccessfully standing for parliament in both 2001 and 2005.The appointment was first reported by the Financial Times.To contact the reporter on this story: Joe Mayes in London at jmayes9@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, John BowkerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




  • Johnson Rules Out Election After Leadership Win: Brexit Update

    Johnson Rules Out Election After Leadership Win: Brexit Update(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson addressed Conservative members of Parliament after he was elected their leader and ruled out an early general election. He is preparing to take over as U.K. prime minister on Wednesday and is facing a new civil war inside the party over Brexit.Must read: How Boris Johnson Plans to Deliver Brexit in 100 DaysKey Developments:Trump tweets his congratulations, EU leaders reactRory Stewart joins Hammond and Gauke in indicating he will resignJohnson has just over 3 months to deliver Brexit, deal or no-dealJohnson is selecting his Cabinet; current deputy leader of the House of Commons Mark Spencer will be his chief whipGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel says she’s looking forward to working well with JohnsonThe pound fell for a third day as Johnson’s landslide victory revived Brexit anxietyJohnson’s EU Adviser Is Former Diplomat: BBC (5:30 p.m.)Johnson has appointed David Frost, a former ambassador and Europe Director at the Foreign Office, as his EU adviser, the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg reports.The role, known also as EU sherpa, is a key one for Brexit talks.Frost also worked for Johnson when he was foreign secretary, and is CEO of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.Johnson Appoints Sky Exec as Business Adviser (5:15 p.m.)Boris Johnson has appointed Sky’s Chief Operating Officer Andrew Griffith as his senior business adviser, according to an internal Sky memo seen by Bloomberg.Griffith worked at Sky for over 20 years and most recently helped handle its acquisition by Comcast. Johnson has been using Griffith’s London townhouse in recent weeks as he prepares to enter No. 10.Johnson Enthusiasm May Sway MPs: Villiers (5 p.m.)Theresa Villiers, a former Cabinet minister and an early backer of Johnson, said he’s injected enthusiasm back into the parliamentary Conservative Party, which may help shift the math in the House of Commons.“It was such a relief to have some energy and enthusiasm in the room,’’ Villiers said, contrasting it with the “rather painful exchanges” between Theresa May and Tory backbenchers in recent years.“I’m not naive, I know that the divisions are still there, there’s still going to be difficult parliamentary maths, but I really think there is a lot of support for him and I think opinion has shifted decisively within the Conservative Parliamentary Party,” Villiers said. “There is an acceptance that we promised to leave on March 29 and we didn’t. We got punished in the European elections. We have to stick to this Oct. 31 deadline.”Labour to Call Vote at ‘Appropriate Time’ (4:45 p.m.)Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the BBC the main opposition party will call for a no-confidence vote in Boris Johnson’s government at the “appropriate time,” without giving details.“It will be an interesting surprise for all of you,” Corbyn said. “We will do a motion of no confidence at the time of our choosing.”Earlier, Labour Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer (see 2:45 p.m.) indicated the party won’t propose a confidence motion before Parliament begins its summer recess on Thursday, saying the current focus is on building a coalition of lawmakers to block Johnson from pursuing a no-deal Brexit.MPs Say Johnson’s Bringing Party Together (4:35 p.m.)Matt Hancock, who was knocked out of the leadership contest in voting among Parliamentarians said Johnson’s speech “left everyone feeling good and positive and cheerful.” The cheering was “the sound of the party coming back together,” he told reporters.Former party leader Iain Duncan Smith said Johnson will face trouble from rank-and-file lawmakers but he will “deal with it by leading.” Johnson “lifted the room, made everyone feel part of the team,” Duncan Smith told the BBC.Johnson Rules Out Early Election (4:30 p.m.)Boris Johnson ruled out an early general election, according to three MPs who were in the room for an address to the Parliamentary Conservative Party on Tuesday afternoon.During the leadership campaign, Johnson’s rival Jeremy Hunt warned that if Johnson stuck to his deadline of delivering the divorce from the EU by Oct. 31 it risked triggering an election.“He said he didn’t want an early election,” Nicky Morgan, chairwoman of the Treasury Select Committee told reporters outside the meeting. She said the speech had been “vintage Boris” and that he makes the party feel better about itself.Not all Tories were impressed (4:25 p.m.)While there were cheers for Johnson in the room, one unimpressed Tory MP walked out before he finished. Keith Simpson, who rebelled against the party whip for the first time in his career last week in order to stop a no-deal Brexit, told reporters outside: “I couldn’t stand any more.”Simpson said Johnson’s speech was “very funny. There was a supermarket trolley, into which he chucked every policy. The circus has come to town.”Tory Cheers Greet Johnson at 1922 Committee (4 p.m.)Boris Johnson is addressing the Conservative Party’s 1922 Committee of rank-and-file members of Parliament. As expected, he also got a lively reception with loud cheers and banging of desks -- just as his vanquished rival Jeremy Hunt did moments before.Hunt Gets Raucous Reception From Tories (3:55 p.m.)The Conservative Party’s 1922 Committee of rank-and-file members of Parliament is meeting in Westminster, and Boris Johnson is due to speak shortly. His vanquished opponent Jeremy Hunt just got a raucous reception as he went in, with MPs cheering and banging desks.Merkel Looking Forward to Working With Johnson (3:50 p.m.)Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Boris Johnson on his victory and is looking forward to working well with him, Ulrike Demmer, a deputy German government spokeswoman, said in a Tweet.“Our nations should continue to be linked by a close friendship in the future,” Demmer cited Merkel as saying.Johnson Chooses Mark Spencer as Chief Whip (3:45 p.m.)Boris Johnson has chosen Mark Spencer -- currently deputy leader of the House of Commons -- to be his chief whip, according to a person familiar with the matter. It was earlier reported by Sky News.The role will be hugely important (see 2:10 p.m.) in Johnson’s administration, given the wafer-thin majority with which he will have to govern.DUP’s Foster Calls Johnson, Will Review Support (3:15 p.m.)Democratic Unionist Party Leader Arlene Foster said she’s spoken with Johnson to congratulate him and discuss their shared objectives to implement Brexit and restore devolution to Northern Ireland.In a statement, she said the confidence-and-supply agreement between her party and the Tories remains in place, but will be reviewed “over the coming weeks.” That review "will explore the policy priorities of both parties for the next Parliamentary session," she said.Foster’s support is crucial for Johnson, because the ruling Conservative Party relies on the DUP’s 10 members of Parliament for its majority in the House of Commons. The DUP’s opposition to the Brexit deal struck by Theresa May was influential in persuading Tory rebels to vote against the agreement three times, ultimately bringing about her downfall.Varadkar Anticipates Johnson ‘Engagement’ (2:55 p.m.)Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar congratulated Johnson on his election win but, in a hint of the issues ahead, added he is looking forward to “an early engagement” on Brexit and other matters.Finding a solution to avoiding a hard border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland is seen as key to whether the U.K. Leaves the EU with a deal or not. So far, the Irish government has maintained the EU position that the withdrawal agreement will not be changed.Starmer Hints Labour Will Wait for Confidence Vote (2:45 p.m.)Keir Starmer, Brexit spokesman for the main opposition Labour Party, said the question of whether to call for a vote of no confidence in the government is an issue for leader Jeremy Corbyn. He stressed that the party’s focus is on building the coalition of lawmakers in Parliament to block Johnson from pursuing a no-deal divorce from the EU.The best timing for a confidence vote is when there’s a chance to win it, Starmer told Sky News. That’s a fairly strong indication that Labour won’t propose a no-confidence motion before Parliament’s recess begins on Thursday.Earlier, Corbyn repeated his call for a general election and said in a series of tweets that a no-deal split “would mean job cuts, higher prices in the shops, and risk our NHS being sold off to US corporations in a sweetheart deal with Donald Trump.”French President, New EU Chief Weigh In (2:40 p.m.)“I am happy to get to work with him as quickly as possible, not just on European issues such as Brexit, but on the daily international issues on which we closely coordinate with the British and the Germans, such as the situation in Iran,” Emmanuel Macron says. He salutes the work of outgoing premier Theresa May, saying she was “loyal.”Incoming EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says: “There are many issues to tackle together, we have challenging times ahead of us. We have the duty to deliver something good for the people in Europe and the United Kingdom.”Johnson’s Chief Whip is Mystery Man (2:10 p.m.)The incoming premier is planning to speak to Tory MPs in Parliament in a private meeting at around 4 p.m. and is working on who he’ll appoint to his first Cabinet, a person familiar with the matter said.Only one MP has been told he’ll have a Cabinet job so far -- Johnson’s chief whip, who is helping him choose ministers. It will be a man, but beyond that, the identity of Johnson’s party enforcer remains a secret.It also isn’t yet clear whether Johnson’s partner, Carrie Symonds, will move in to the premier’s official Downing Street apartment with him.Iran Doesn’t Seek Confrontation: Foreign Minister (1:40 p.m.)“Iran does not seek confrontation. But we have 1500 miles of Persian Gulf coastline. These are our waters & we will protect them,” Javad Zarif says in a tweet in which he also congratulated Johnson.Tensions have escalated between the two countries after the Royal Navy seized an Iranian oil tanker in Gibraltar earlier this month, saying it carried contraband cargo. Iran retaliated by holding a British tanker on Friday near the Strait of Hormuz, through which about 40% of the world’s seaborne oil travels.Hammond’s Message to Johnson: Get a Brexit Deal (1:35 p.m.)Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has delivered a message to Johnson: get a deal on Brexit.The in-between-the lines message is that Hammond won’t support Johnson if he pursues a no-deal Brexit. Hammond said on Sunday that he’d quit Wednesday if Johnson wins, and he’s an implacable opponent of no-deal departure, having rebelled against party orders last week in a vote on a provision that makes one less likely.Stewart Signals He’ll Quit Cabinet (1:20 p.m.)International development Secretary Rory Stewart on Tuesday reiterated his long-stated intention to resign in the event of Boris Johnson winning the leadership contest. The cabinet minister posted a tweet that congratulated the victorious candidate before saying it’s been an honor to serve in various ministerial roles and concluding with the comment: “Backbench tomorrow serving Cumbria.”It’s not his actual formal resignation, but rather an indication that he, like Justice Secretary David Gauke and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, intends to resign before Johnson takes the reins from Theresa May on Wednesday afternoon.Trump Wastes No Time Congratulating Johnson (12:29 p.m.)Donald Trump was quick to congratulate Johnson. The U.S. president has been highly critical of Theresa May, calling her Brexit strategy “ a disaster.”Tory MP Morgan Says Confidence Vote Unlikely (9 a.m.)Conservative MP Nicky Morgan said there’s unlikely to be a confidence motion against the government this week in Parliament, adding that MPs should give the new prime minister time to establish a Cabinet and lay out policies. The situation will become more unpredictable in September, she said.She told Bloomberg TV that while a no-deal Brexit would be a “highly undesirable outcome,” the Oct. 31 deadline should not be pushed again because businesses want the issue resolved.Morgan also called for the next prime minister to include members of the so-called One Nation caucus of moderate Tories in his Cabinet, citing Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd and Health Secretary Matt Hancock.“Boris talks about unifying the party and that’s absolutely right,” Morgan said. “We have got to heal the divisions in the country, too, so he’s got to make sure there’s a spread of people around his table.”Unhappy Tories Could Back New Brexit Vote: Swinson (Earlier)Support in Parliament for a second Brexit referendum could get a boost from Tories unhappy with Boris Johnson and his apparent willingness to take the U.K. out of the European Union without a deal if he becomes prime minister, according to Jo Swinson, the new leader of the pro-EU Liberal Democrats.“There’s a chance there’ll now be more Conservative MPs, including some people who are currently or soon to be not in government, who can back a People’s Vote as a way out of this absolute Brexit mess,” Swinson told BBC radio. Parliament rejected a second Brexit referendum in a vote in March.Confidence Vote ‘Such a Risk’ for Tories, Gauke Says (Earlier)Justice Secretary David Gauke, who has said he’ll resign if Boris Johnson becomes prime minister, said his Conservative Party colleagues would be wary of bringing down the administration in a confidence vote because it risks bringing the Labour Party to power.“It may well end up with a Jeremy Corbyn government,” Gauke said on BBC radio on Tuesday. “The idea that there will be some sort of national government that gets formed, I don’t think anyone can say that whatsoever.”Gauke’s comments reflect the debate in Westminster about far Tory rebels would go to block a government attempt to pursue a no-deal Brexit. While Gauke, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and former Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan have said they’ll do everything they can to prevent it, the justice secretary’s remarks indicate there may be a line they won’t cross.Earlier:Next U.K. Prime Minister Faces Crises at Home and AbroadBrexit Bulletin: Already in DoubtU.K. Lawmakers Plan Scottish Suit to Block Parliament SuspensionIran Exposes Boris Johnson’s Brexit Bombast: Therese Raphael\--With assistance from Stuart Biggs, Robert Hutton, Thomas Penny, Peter Flanagan, Caroline Alexander and Emma Ross-Thomas.To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Mayes in London at jmayes9@bloomberg.net;Alex Morales in London at amorales2@bloomberg.net;Tim Ross in London at tross54@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Stuart Biggs, Thomas PennyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




  • Boris Johnson wins race to become Britain's next PM

    Boris Johnson wins race to become Britain's next PMBoris Johnson won the race to become Britain's next prime minister on Tuesday, heading straight into a confrontation over Brexit with Brussels and parliament, as well as a tense diplomatic stand-off with Iran. The former London mayor easily beat his rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, in a vote of grassroots members of the governing Conservative Party.




  • World reacts to Britain's PM to-be Johnson

    World reacts to Britain's PM to-be JohnsonBritain's main allies congratulated Boris Johnson on Tuesday after he won a party leadership vote that will see him become Britain's next prime minister, but the EU warned of challenging times ahead over Brexit. Trump has declared himself a big fan of Johnson.




  • Iran warns new British PM it will 'protect' Gulf waters

    Iran warns new British PM it will 'protect' Gulf watersIran warned Britain's next prime minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday that it will "protect" waters of the oil-rich Gulf, amid a standoff between the two countries over the seizure of tankers. In the face of rising hostilities with the United States, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on Friday impounded a tanker sailing under the flag of US ally Britain. The seizure of the Stena Impero has been seen as a tit-for-tat move after British authorities detained an Iranian tanker on July 4 in the Mediterranean on suspicion it was shipping oil to Syria in breach of EU sanctions.




  • U.S. charges Chinese nationals with sanctions violations related to North Korea

    U.S. charges Chinese nationals with sanctions violations related to North KoreaThe U.S. Department of Justice said on Tuesday that four Chinese nationals and a Chinese company have been charged with conspiring to evade sanctions related to North Korea by trying to conceal financial transactions on behalf of North Korean entities linked to weapons of mass destruction. In a statement, the Justice Department said an indictment by a federal grand jury in Newark, New Jersey charged Ma Xiaohong, her company Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co, and three of its officials with sanctions violations, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and conspiracy to launder money.




  • Venezuela: widespread blackouts could be new normal, experts warn

    Venezuela: widespread blackouts could be new normal, experts warnCountry struggled to restore power after massive blackout on Monday left millions without powerThe lights went out in most of Caracas on Monday. Photograph: Yuri Cortéz/AFP/Getty ImagesWidespread electricity outages could become the new normal in Venezuela, experts have warned, as the country struggled to restore power after a massive blackout that left millions without power or access to the internet.The energy minister, Freddy Brito, said on Tuesday morning that power had been restored in Caracas and at least five states after the outage which the government blamed on an “electromagnetic attack” at hydroelectric dams in the south of the country. About 80% of Venezuela’s grid is served by hydropower.But energy analysts were deeply suspicious of government claims, arguing instead that years of corruption and mismanagement have eroded Venezuela’s energy capacity.“This blackout is the result of negligent mis-operation of the power grid,” said José Aguilar, a Venezuelan energy and risk consultant based in the US. “These will keep happening and it will get worse before it gets better.”Other analysts express similar incredulity. “It’s hard to believe that it was an electromagnetic attack, when you’ve seen years of theft and corruption in the energy sector,” said Geoff Ramsey, an analyst at the Washington Office on Latin America. “This blackout shows government doesn’t have the tools to return to normalcy.”Some supporters of Nicolás Maduro have claimed that US sanctions aimed at Venezuela’s oil industry have hampered his government’s ability to keep the lights on, but many of those sanctions target individuals accused corruption.A wave of nationwide blackouts struck Venezuela in March helped drive support for Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader who is heading a movement to unseat Maduro.Since taking office in 2013, Maduro has overseen a political and economic crisis without parallel in Latin America’s recent history. Hyperinflation could reach 10m% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund, while shortages in foodstuffs and medicines are commonplace. More than 4 million people have fled the country, according the the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR.Guaidó swore himself in as president in January, but although he counts on the backing of the US and dozens of other western states, he has been unable to force Maduro from power, and public support for his campaign has run into headwinds.“Popular sentiment goes against politicians that cannot resolve the country’s problems,” said Dimitris Pantoulas, an analyst. “That goes for the whole political class.”Guaidó is set to hold a rally on Tuesday morning in Caracas, where he is likely to address the blackouts.“They tried to hide the tragedy by rationing supplies across the country, but their failure is evident,” Guaidó tweeted on Monday night. “They destroyed the system and they don’t have answers.”




  • Who blinks first? Boris Johnson's risky Brexit bet

    Who blinks first? Boris Johnson's risky Brexit betLondon (AFP) - Britain's incoming prime minister Boris Johnson has bet big on a risky Brexit strategy that he hopes will take the UK out of the EU on favourable terms.




  • Will Boris Johnson Take a Tougher Stance on Iran?

    Will Boris Johnson Take a Tougher Stance on Iran?British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced a series of measures aimed at countering Iran in the Persian Gulf during a Monday afternoon speech to Parliament. Hunt refused to offer any concessions for the release of the Stena Impero, a British tanker captured by Iranian forces on Friday, and stopped short of retaliating against Iran. In his last major action before Conservative Party leadership elections, Hunt attempted to prove his leadership abilities while avoiding a conflict his country cannot afford to fight—a gambit that failed the next day when he was passed up in favor of his hawkish predecessor, Boris Johnson, who is now slated to become prime minister.Hunt announced that Britain would be dispatching HMS Duncan, a Type 45 destroyer, while “seek[ing] to put together a European-led maritime protection mission” in the Persian Gulf. Additionally, his government has been advising British-owned ships to wait for instructions, “which may involve travelling in convoy,” before entering the Strait of Hormuz.The Foreign Secretary was one of two candidates to replace outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party, a political race that occurred amid Britain’s effort to complete “Brexit” and leave the European Union before the October 21 deadline. Johnson defeated Hunt in an internal party election on Tuesday, but the EU immediately shot down Johnson’s Brexit proposal, leaving Britain’s foreign policy in a puff of uncertainty.




  • Germany's Merkel congratulates Britain's Johnson

    Germany's Merkel congratulates Britain's JohnsonGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Boris Johnson on his election as Conservative Party leader on Tuesday and said she looked forward to good cooperation with the new British prime minister. "I congratulate Boris Johnson and look forward to good cooperation," a spokeswoman quoted her on Twitter as saying. Johnson, the Brexiteer who has promised to lead Britain out of the European Union with or without a deal by the end of October, will replace Theresa May as prime minister after winning the leadership of the Conservative Party on Tuesday.




  • Iraqi forces clear farmland near Baghdad of IS militants

    Iraqi forces clear farmland near Baghdad of IS militantsIraqi security forces were sweeping villages and farmland north of Baghdad on Tuesday as part of an operation aimed at clearing remnants of the Islamic State group from around the capital. A military helicopter soared overhead as troops searched for weapon caches and bombs in Tarmiyah and Iraqi river police combed the Tigris River.




  • UPDATE 1-France's Macron congratulates Boris Johnson, as ex-minister warns "EU not for turning"

    UPDATE 1-France's Macron congratulates Boris Johnson, as ex-minister warns "EU not for turning"French President Emmanuel Macron and future head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen both congratulated Boris Johnson on becoming Britain's next prime minister, although a key Macron ally warned Johnson that the EU would not budge on Brexit. "First of all, congratulations to Boris Johnson for being nominated as Prime Minister.




  • North Korea: A Submarine Superpower or Total Joke?

    North Korea: A Submarine Superpower or Total Joke?North Korea’s latest submarine is a step in a different direction, the so-called Sinpo or Gorae (“Whale”) class ballistic-missile submarine (SSB). The SSB appears to blend submarine know-how from previous classes with launch technology from the Soviet Cold War–era Golf-class ballistic-missile submarines; North Korea imported several Golf-class subs in the 1990s, ostensibly for scrapping purposes. Both the Golf and Gorae classes feature missile tubes in the submarine’s sail. The tubes are believed to be meant for the Pukkuksong-1 (“Polaris”) submarine-launched ballistic missiles currently under development. If successful, a small force of Gorae subs could provide a crude but effective second-strike capability, giving the regime the opportunity to retaliate even in the face of a massive preemptive attack.North Korea should by all rights be a naval power. A country sitting on a peninsula, Korea has a long naval tradition, despite being a “shrimp” between the two “whales” of China and Japan. However, the partitioning of Korea into two countries in 1945 and the stated goal of unification —by force if necessary—lent the country to building up a large army, and reserving the navy for interdiction and special operations roles. Now, in the twenty-first century, the country’s navy is set to be the sea arm of a substantial nuclear deterrent.Recommended: America Has Military Options for North Korea (but They're All Bad)




  • Tuesday's Market Minute: Range-Bound Currencies Set For A Breakout?

    Tuesday's Market Minute: Range-Bound Currencies Set For A Breakout?Currency futures are center stage this month, and the British Pound is in the spotlight today. The prospect of a No-Deal Brexit on October 31 now looms ever larger, as Britain’s Conservative Party chose hardliner Boris Johnson to take the reins as prime minister. Sluggish economic conditions overseas have many questioning whether President Mario Draghi and company will take a more dovish posture in their forward guidance.




  • North Korea's Ballistic Missile Submarine: The Next Big Threat from Kim?

    North Korea's Ballistic Missile Submarine: The Next Big Threat from Kim?At the end of the day, neither the Sinpo-B or Sinpo-C are particularly impressive vessels. However, it is nonetheless impressive that an impoverished and technologically backward state with primitive industrial capabilities developed and built its own ballistic missile submarine. It should be a reminder that North Korea might not be quite the pushover that some might imagine it to be.The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea appears to be continuing on its path to developing a new diesel-electric ballistic missile submarine (SSB) despite the recent summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.(This first appeared last year and is being reposted due to breaking events.)South Korean lawmaker Kim Hack-yong made the claim citing intelligence reports provided last week by South Korean defense officials, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to the paper, satellite imagery reviewed by South Korean intelligence officials show that North Korea is moving men and material to the port of Sinpo where the submarine is believed to be under construction.Despite the new development, some South Korean experts believe it is too early to give up on the Trump-Kim deal.




  • Boris Johnson Wins Race to Be Next British Prime Minister

    Boris Johnson Wins Race to Be Next British Prime Minister(Bloomberg) -- Follow @Brexit, sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, and tell us your Brexit story. Boris Johnson, the public face of the Brexit campaign, won the contest to succeed Theresa May as British prime minister, taking over a country in crisis and a government on the brink of breaking apart.After a six-week leadership race, which he led from the start, 55-year-old Johnson defeated his rival Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt by a landslide in a ballot of the Conservative Party’s roughly 160,000 members.“I say to all the doubters... we are going to energize the country, we are going to get Brexit done on Oct. 31, we are going to take advantage of all the opportunities that it will bring in a new spirit of can do,” Johnson said in his acceptance speech. “Like some slumbering giant we are going to rise and ping off the guy ropes of self-doubt and negativity.”The pound fell for a third day as Johnson’s landslide victory revived Brexit anxiety, with market attention turning to what changes he will make to the inner circle of government. The result marks the end of a bruising battle for the biggest job in British politics and the start of what threatens to be a brutal new phase in the civil war inside the government over Brexit.The incoming prime minister has just 100 days to negotiate a new divorce deal with the European Union before the U.K. is due to leave the bloc at the end of October.He must do so despite opposition from the EU and a growing rebellion from his own colleagues, including a group of ministers quitting the government because they can’t work for him. Within minutes of Johnson’s victory, Justice Secretary David Gauke confirmed he was resigning from the government.An hour later, International Development Secretary Rory Stewart also announced he would quit. On Sunday, Philip Hammond said he would stand down as finance minister. Hammond has declined to rule out voting to topple Johnson’s government if it’s the only way to stop a no-deal Brexit.The rebels inside the party Johnson now leads are vowing to fight his policy of exiting the EU with or without an agreement -- “do or die” -- by the hard deadline of Oct. 31. Adding to his problems is the Tories’ lack of an automatic majority in Parliament -- and The Democratic Unionist Party, the small Northern Irish grouping that props up the Conservatives, wants to renegotiate the terms of its continuing support.Even with the DUP on board, Johnson’s majority is perilously small, after a number of defections and defeats. Some Conservative believe a general election is inevitable and Johnson’s team have been war-gaming their options for a snap poll in the fall.Second Time LuckyThe victory is a personal triumph for Johnson, who quit the prestigious role of foreign secretary a year ago and was dismissed by many colleagues, including some of his own supporters, as a failure whose time had been and gone.Johnson tried to run for the premiership in 2016, when David Cameron resigned after losing the EU referendum. But his fledgling leadership bid was killed off before it launched when his friend Michael Gove quit as his campaign chief and decided to run as a rival because he did not believe Johnson was up to the job.The former foreign secretary got a second chance when May finally conceded defeat in her attempt to honor that referendum and resigned. The Brexit deal she spent two years negotiating with the EU was rejected three times in Parliament and Johnson must now find a way through where she failed.He has declared May’s Brexit agreement to be “dead” and has vowed to secure better divorce terms by the Oct. 31 deadline for Britain to leave the bloc.Johnson’s main aim is to strip out the so-called backstop guarantee plan for the Irish border, a protocol designed to ensure there’s never a hard frontier with checkpoints and security guards at the land border between Ireland and the U.K. This is what the die-hard Brexiteers want of him.Steve Baker, a leading Tory euroskeptic, said in an interview that he was “absolutely confident” Johnson will deliver on his promises. “I am very happy for him,” Baker said. “We have at last got our man where we want him.”Problem is that the EU has flatly rejected those pledges, saying any exit deal must include the backstop. If nothing changes, that puts Johnson on course to crash the U.K. out of the bloc at the end of October without any deal at all.He has promised to step up preparations for a no-deal Brexit, to ensure the inevitable economic damage and disruption to trade are minimized, as far as possible. That rising prospect of a messy split from the EU has weighed on the pound in recent weeks.Johnson is due to take over from May as prime minister on Wednesday, when he visits Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace to be formally appointed to the role. In the hours that follow, he’s expected to name a new Cabinet before making a speech to Parliament on his Brexit plans on Thursday. He will have to decide whether to give top jobs to his two biggest rivals: Gove and Hunt.While the U.K.’s divorce from the EU is the most daunting policy priority for Johnson, he has other demands competing for his attention, including the escalating tensions with Iran over the break down of the nuclear deal and the seizure of a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf.He inherits an economy weakened by Brexit uncertainty and slowing demand internationally. His government must also appoint a successor to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, who is scheduled to step down at the end of January.In the meantime, U.S. President Donald Trump was quick to congratulate Johnson, whom he considers a like-minded friend.(Updates with latest pound move in fourth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Joe Mayes, Alex Morales and Charlotte Ryan.To contact the reporters on this story: Tim Ross in London at tross54@bloomberg.net;Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at fjackson@bloomberg.net, Caroline Alexander, Thomas Penny, Stuart BiggsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




  • UPDATE 1-Top Khamenei aide hails Iran's downing of U.S. drone, tanker seizure

    UPDATE 1-Top Khamenei aide hails Iran's downing of U.S. drone, tanker seizureA top adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday praised Iran's recent downing of a U.S. drone and seizure of a British-flagged tanker as turning points in "Muslims' struggle", the semi-official news agency Fars said. Ali Akbar Velayati, Khamenei's top foreign policy adviser, told a visiting delegation from the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas that Iran and its regional allies would stand with the Palestinians against Israel and the United States. "Islamic countries and the resistance front are today stronger than before as shown by the seizure of the British oil tanker or the downing of the U.S. drone which violated Iran's territory - which are milestones in the history of Muslims' struggle," Velayati said, according to Fars.




  • Iran reassures Iraq over freedom of maritime navigation - ministry

    Iran reassures Iraq over freedom of maritime navigation - ministryIran has reassured Iraq that there will be freedom of international maritime navigation in the Strait of Hormuz, Iraq's oil ministry said on Tuesday. Iran communicated this to Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi during a visit by him to Tehran on Monday, the ministry said in a statement. "Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (gave) reassurances to the Iraqi delegation ... around guaranteeing freedom of navigation in the Gulf and Strait of Hormuz and respect for international law guaranteeing that," the statement said.




  • Want Email in Russia? The Kremlin Wants Your Phone Number First

    Want Email in Russia? The Kremlin Wants Your Phone Number First(Bloomberg) -- Russians who want to send email will have to disclose their identities under draft legislation that includes a ban on sharing content deemed illegal in messages.Internet providers would be compelled to link accounts of email users to their mobile phone numbers in the proposals submitted to Russia’s upper house of parliament by senators Andrei Klishas and Lyudmila Bokova on Tuesday.The Kremlin has been tightening control over the internet as support for President Vladimir Putin declines amid a groundswell of protests against the authorities on issues ranging from elections to trash collection and declining living standards. The new legislation follows a similar law on messaging services passed in 2017 that required them to identify users and block sharing of content outlawed by the authorities.“Email services providers should only allow messages to be transmitted from identified users,” the senators wrote in an explanatory note. The legislation is needed to counter terrorism and prevent the spread of “knowingly false” bomb threats, they said.The bill is “inappropriate and excessive,” said Vladimir Gabrielyan, vice president of Russia’s Mail.ru Group. “It involves significant inconveniences for users and discriminates against Russian market players,” since foreign providers will face no such requirements, he said.Sponsored LawKlishas and Bokova sponsored Russia’s “sovereign internet” law that passed in May and provides for internet traffic to be routed through domestic servers and exchanges, a measure critics say makes it easier for the authorities to block content. Putin signed laws in March to punish online media and individuals for spreading “fake news” or material that insults Russian officials.Provisions of the so-called “Yarovaya Law” took effect last year, requiring communications carriers to store records of users’ phone calls and internet history for up to six months. Russia’s communications watchdog warned last month that it’s seeking powers to sharply increase fines for foreign companies including Twitter and Facebook Inc. if they fail to comply with demands to move data storage to domestic servers.The latest proposal “will be difficult to implement,” because email is an open system, said Karen Kazaryan, an analyst at the Russian Association of Electronic Communications, an internet lobby group. “A user can send a message at random, using any server. If it was possible to regulate emails, there would’ve been no spamming and phishing globally.”Russia faced a wave of false bomb threats earlier this year, often sent by email, that targeted schools, hospitals, offices and shopping centers, according to the state-run Tass news service.(Updates with threat of fines in seventh paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Ilya Khrennikov in Moscow at ikhrennikov@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, Tony Halpin, Gregory L. WhiteFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




  • UPDATE 2-Saudi Arabia urges global community to deter maritime trade disruptions

    UPDATE 2-Saudi Arabia urges global community to deter maritime trade disruptionsSaudi Arabia's cabinet said on Tuesday that Iran's interception of commercial vessels in Gulf waters, including its seizure of a British tanker, violated international law and must be prevented. The Saudi remarks came after Britain called on Monday for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Straight of Hormuz, the world's most important oil artery. "Any disruption of the freedom of international maritime traffic is considered a violation of international law and the international community must do what is necessary to reject it and deter it," the Saudi cabinet said in a statement carried on state media.




  • Irish foreign minister promises to work constructively with PM Johnson

    Irish foreign minister promises to work constructively with PM JohnsonIreland will work constructively with Boris Johnson to resolve the impasse over Britain's planned exit from the European Union, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Tuesday after Johnson was elected leader of Britain's governing Conservative Party. "Congratulations to Boris Johnson on becoming leader of the UK Conservative Party," Coveney said in a Twitter post. "We will work constructively with him and his government to maintain and strengthen British/Irish relations through the challenges of Brexit," Coveney said.




  • Goldman Sachs raises "no deal" Brexit chances after Johnson election

    Goldman Sachs raises "no deal" Brexit chances after Johnson electionGoldman Sachs on Tuesday raised its estimate of the likelihood Britain leaves the European Union without a deal to 20% from 15%, saying the "hurdle" to stop a hard Brexit will be higher following the election of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister. Johnson was elected as leader of Britain's governing Conservative Party and the next prime minister, tasked with following through on his "do-or-die" pledge to deliver Brexit in just over three months time. "There will be less tolerance for another long Article 50 extension, with patience wearing thin in both Westminster and Brussels," Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a note.




  • French President Macron to speak to Boris Johnson in the coming days

    French President Macron to speak to Boris Johnson in the coming daysFrench President Emmanuel Macron will speak to Britain's incoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the coming days, said an official from Macron's Elysee presidential office, who declined to provide further details. Boris Johnson was elected leader of the governing Conservative Party and Britain's next prime minister on Tuesday, tasked with following through on his "do or die" pledge to deliver Brexit in just over three months' time.




  • The Choice Isn’t Between Capitalism or Socialism

    The Choice Isn’t Between Capitalism or Socialism(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Americans are once again interested in debating economic systems. The 2016 presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist, reignited a debate about capitalism and socialism that some believed had died with the Soviet Union. Younger Americans are now divided on which system they like best:Unfortunately, the debate over what these terms actually mean has become hopelessly muddled.  Without a Soviet bloc to provide an official alternative to capitalism, people cast about for examples that fit their desired narrative. Self-appointed defenders of capitalism will point to the economic failures of the USSR, China and North Korea, or to the more recent economic disaster in Venezuela as proof positive of socialism's defectsSocialism’s champions tend to rebut these charges by pointing to the successes of the Scandinavian countries. Sanders himself regularly praises Denmark, and occasionally Sweden, as examples of what he would like to achieve in the U.S., while others prefer Norway. But American socialists have, on occasion, received pushback from residents of those countries -- in 2015, Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen stated bluntly that Denmark was a market economy rather than a socialist one.So is Sanders right, or is Rasmussen? Are the Scandinavian countries socialist or capitalist? The truth, unfortunately, is much more nuanced and complex. There will never be a clear, simple definition of socialism or capitalism, because there are multiple ways that a government can try to intervene in markets.Markets aren’t perfect. They generate unequal outcomes, and often unfair ones, and they are subject to numerous inefficiencies. Governments can try to remedy these problems in a number of ways. They can provide services directly, as with the U.K.’s National Health Service. They can own businesses, as China does with state-owned enterprises. They can write regulations to restrain or promote various forms of market activity. They can sanction and empower various institutions like unions that counter the power of business. And they can use taxes and spending to redistribute income and wealth.But governments don’t have to do all of these things at once. In Scandinavia, for example, there are a lot of government-provided services, a lot of redistribution and strong unions, but a relatively light regulatory touch otherwise. In a recent report, J.P. Morgan Asset Management researcher Michael Cembalest breaks down the Nordic model using various indicators from the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. As he notes, the Nordic countries (in which he includes the Netherlands) generally have fewer capital controls and trade barriers than the U.S. They also score quite highly on indexes of property rights and business freedom:These indicators are compiled by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank that might have reason to want to give high rankings to rich countries in order to make business freedom look more attractive. But rankings from the OECD confirm the general picture of Scandinavia as a lightly regulated place. Interestingly, the indicators also show higher direct state control of industry in the U.S.:Labor markets are a different matter, however; Scandinavian countries generally make it harder to fire workers than the U.S. does. Unions and collective bargaining are also stronger. Interestingly, though, Cembalest finds that labor in Nordic countries claims a slightly smaller share of national income than in the U.S., suggesting that the impact of pro-business policies in those countries might outweigh the impact of labor protections when measured in purely monetary terms.The Scandinavian countries, of course, have much higher taxes and spend more on social services:Whether these various policy differences are large enough to constitute different systems is open to debate. Some economists consider them all merely different varieties of capitalism. The picture is complicated by the fact that countries change their policies over time. For example, in the 1970s, Sweden had a very large amount of redistribution, but since the late 1990s its fiscal system has become much less progressive. American socialists like Bernie Sanders may be pining for a much more interventionist Scandinavian model like that of the mid-20th century that has since changed dramatically.The spirited online debates about socialism and capitalism are, therefore, mostly useless. They ignore and obscure the multiple dimensions of policy, as well as changes over time, and thus make it harder rather than easier to think about concrete ways to fix the problems in the U.S. system. It would be helpful to have a new consensus terminology to describe the economic systems that various industrialized countries -- the U.S., France, Japan, China, and the countries of Scandinavia -- have developed over the last three decades. But one thing is for certain -- the dichotomy of social versus capitalism, inherited from the ideological battles of the past two centuries, is badly out of date.To contact the author of this story: Noah Smith at nsmith150@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Noah Smith is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, and he blogs at Noahpinion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




  • The Choice Isn’t Between Capitalism or Socialism

    The Choice Isn’t Between Capitalism or Socialism(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Americans are once again interested in debating economic systems. The 2016 presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist, reignited a debate about capitalism and socialism that some believed had died with the Soviet Union. Younger Americans are now divided on which system they like best:Unfortunately, the debate over what these terms actually mean has become hopelessly muddled.  Without a Soviet bloc to provide an official alternative to capitalism, people cast about for examples that fit their desired narrative. Self-appointed defenders of capitalism will point to the economic failures of the USSR, China and North Korea, or to the more recent economic disaster in Venezuela as proof positive of socialism's defectsSocialism’s champions tend to rebut these charges by pointing to the successes of the Scandinavian countries. Sanders himself regularly praises Denmark, and occasionally Sweden, as examples of what he would like to achieve in the U.S., while others prefer Norway. But American socialists have, on occasion, received pushback from residents of those countries -- in 2015, Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen stated bluntly that Denmark was a market economy rather than a socialist one.So is Sanders right, or is Rasmussen? Are the Scandinavian countries socialist or capitalist? The truth, unfortunately, is much more nuanced and complex. There will never be a clear, simple definition of socialism or capitalism, because there are multiple ways that a government can try to intervene in markets.Markets aren’t perfect. They generate unequal outcomes, and often unfair ones, and they are subject to numerous inefficiencies. Governments can try to remedy these problems in a number of ways. They can provide services directly, as with the U.K.’s National Health Service. They can own businesses, as China does with state-owned enterprises. They can write regulations to restrain or promote various forms of market activity. They can sanction and empower various institutions like unions that counter the power of business. And they can use taxes and spending to redistribute income and wealth.But governments don’t have to do all of these things at once. In Scandinavia, for example, there are a lot of government-provided services, a lot of redistribution and strong unions, but a relatively light regulatory touch otherwise. In a recent report, J.P. Morgan Asset Management researcher Michael Cembalest breaks down the Nordic model using various indicators from the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. As he notes, the Nordic countries (in which he includes the Netherlands) generally have fewer capital controls and trade barriers than the U.S. They also score quite highly on indexes of property rights and business freedom:These indicators are compiled by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank that might have reason to want to give high rankings to rich countries in order to make business freedom look more attractive. But rankings from the OECD confirm the general picture of Scandinavia as a lightly regulated place. Interestingly, the indicators also show higher direct state control of industry in the U.S.:Labor markets are a different matter, however; Scandinavian countries generally make it harder to fire workers than the U.S. does. Unions and collective bargaining are also stronger. Interestingly, though, Cembalest finds that labor in Nordic countries claims a slightly smaller share of national income than in the U.S., suggesting that the impact of pro-business policies in those countries might outweigh the impact of labor protections when measured in purely monetary terms.The Scandinavian countries, of course, have much higher taxes and spend more on social services:Whether these various policy differences are large enough to constitute different systems is open to debate. Some economists consider them all merely different varieties of capitalism. The picture is complicated by the fact that countries change their policies over time. For example, in the 1970s, Sweden had a very large amount of redistribution, but since the late 1990s its fiscal system has become much less progressive. American socialists like Bernie Sanders may be pining for a much more interventionist Scandinavian model like that of the mid-20th century that has since changed dramatically.The spirited online debates about socialism and capitalism are, therefore, mostly useless. They ignore and obscure the multiple dimensions of policy, as well as changes over time, and thus make it harder rather than easier to think about concrete ways to fix the problems in the U.S. system. It would be helpful to have a new consensus terminology to describe the economic systems that various industrialized countries -- the U.S., France, Japan, China, and the countries of Scandinavia -- have developed over the last three decades. But one thing is for certain -- the dichotomy of social versus capitalism, inherited from the ideological battles of the past two centuries, is badly out of date.To contact the author of this story: Noah Smith at nsmith150@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Noah Smith is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, and he blogs at Noahpinion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




  • EU tells incoming British PM Johnson it won't change Brexit terms

    EU tells incoming British PM Johnson it won't change Brexit termsThe European Union on Tuesday congratulated incoming British Prime Minister Boris Johnson but was firm that it would not heed his election promises of renegotiating Brexit. The bloc's executive European Commission was willing to work with Johnson, a spokeswoman said, but the limits were clear. "We look forward to working constructively with PM Johnson when he takes office, to facilitate the ratification of the withdrawal agreement and achieve an orderly Brexit," said the bloc's negotiator of the unprecedented divorce, Michel Barnier.




  • Trump Tweets Congratulations to U.K.’s Boris Johnson After Vote

    Trump Tweets Congratulations to U.K.’s Boris Johnson After Vote(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump on Tuesday congratulated Boris Johnson, the public face of the Brexit campaign, who won the Conservative Party contest to succeed Theresa May as British prime minister.“He will be great!” Trump said on Twitter.After a six-week leadership race, which he led from the start, Johnson defeated his rival Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in a ballot of the Tory party’s 180,000 members. He takes over a country in crisis and a government marked by fissures.The result marks the end of a bruising battle for the biggest job in British politics and the start of what threatens to be a brutal new phase in the civil war inside the government over Brexit.The incoming prime minister has just 100 days to negotiate a new divorce deal with the European Union before the U.K. is due to leave the bloc at the end of October.Trump considers Johnson a like-minded friend, while EU leaders view him with deep suspicion. And with an escalating crisis with Iran — the U.S. and Europe are divided over preserving the 2015 nuclear agreement and Tehran last week seized a U.K.-flagged oil tanker — his allegiances will be tested early.To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in Washington at tdopp@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kasia Klimasinska at kklimasinska@bloomberg.net, Elizabeth Wasserman, Kathleen MillerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.





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