European Union

A man casts his vote during European Parliament election in Riga
A man casts his vote during European Parliament election in Riga, Latvia, May 25, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

May 25, 2019

By Alastair Macdonald

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europeans vote on Sunday in an election expected to further dent traditional pro-EU parties and bolster the nationalist fringe in the European Parliament, putting a potential brake on collective action in economic and foreign policy.

Right-wing populists top opinion polls in two of the big four member states – Italy and supposedly exiting Britain – and could also win in a third, France, rattling a pro-Union campaign championed by centrist President Emmanuel Macron.

However, exit polls in some countries that have already voted have given pro-EU parties some comfort. The Dutch Labour party, all but written off, looks to have finished first, helped by the visibility of having the EU socialists’ lead candidate, current EU deputy chief executive Frans Timmermans.

In the Netherlands, pro-Union parties scored 70%, up three points on the last European Parliament vote in 2014, and left the upstart anti-immigration party of Thierry Baudet fourth on 11%.

The Dutch also turned out in bigger numbers, albeit at just 41%, reinforcing hopes in Brussels of reversing a 40-year trend of declining turnout that critics cite as a “democratic deficit” that undermines the legitimacy of European Union lawmaking.

An exit poll after Friday’s vote in deeply pro-EU Ireland pointed to an expected “Green Wave”. Across the bloc, concerns about climate change and the environment may bolster the pro-EU Greens group and could mean tighter regulations for industry and for the terms the EU may set for partners seeking trade accords.

Britain also voted on Thursday and a new party focused on getting out of the EU was forecast by pre-vote opinion polls to come top, but there has been no exit poll data. Attention there has focused on the resignation of Prime Minister Theresa May. Results will be out late on Sunday, when all countries have voted.

WAY AHEAD UNCLEAR

The challenges facing the European project include unprecedented transatlantic slights from a U.S. president who fetes Europe’s populists, border rows among its own members over migrants and an economy hobbled by public debt and challenged by the rise of China.

But parties seeking collective action on shared issues such as trade, security, migration or climate change should still dominate, albeit with a smaller overall majority.

Europeans are preparing to remember events that shaped the Union. It is 75 years since Americans landed in France to defeat Nazi Germany and since Russian forces let the Germans crush a Polish bid for freedom, and 30 since Germans smashed the Berlin Wall to reunite east and west Europe. But memories of wars, hot and cold, have not sufficed to build faith in a united future.

Mainstream parties pushing closer integration of the euro currency zone’s economy are struggling to capture the imagination of a public jaded by political elites.

Matteo Salvini’s League in Italy may pip the Christian Democrats of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the bloc’s power broker, to become the biggest single party in the 751-seat chamber.

Right-wing ruling parties in Poland and Hungary, defying Brussels over curbs to judicial and media independence, will also return eurosceptic lawmakers on Sunday.

The results should be clear by late on Sunday, with exit polls in Germany at 1600 GMT and France at 1800 GMT setting the tone before the final end of voting, in Italy at 2100 GMT, sees the Parliament publish its own seat forecast.

The result will usher in weeks of bargaining among parties to form a stable majority in the Parliament, and among national leaders to choose successors to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and other top EU officials.

Many expect a clash as early as Tuesday, when leaders meeting in Brussels are likely to snub Parliament’s demands that one of the newly elected lawmakers should run the EU executive.

(EU election graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2HvZs1M)

(Reporting by Alastair MacDonald; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Dominic Raab attends
FILE PHOTO: Dominic Raab, former Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union attends “A Better Deal” event in London, Britain, January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

May 25, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Former Brexit Minister Dominic Raab became the sixth candidate to enter the contest to replace Theresa May as prime minister on Saturday, vowing to fight for a fairer deal on Brexit.

“To deliver Brexit successfully will require focus, discipline and resolve,” Raab wrote in an article for the Mail on Sunday newspaper. “As a former Foreign Office lawyer and Brexit Secretary I have the experience.”

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Dominic Raab attends
FILE PHOTO: Dominic Raab, former Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union attends “A Better Deal” event in London, Britain, January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

May 25, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Former Brexit Minister Dominic Raab became the sixth candidate to enter the contest to replace Theresa May as prime minister on Saturday, vowing to fight for a fairer deal on Brexit.

“To deliver Brexit successfully will require focus, discipline and resolve,” Raab wrote in an article for the Mail on Sunday newspaper. “As a former Foreign Office lawyer and Brexit Secretary I have the experience.”

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido takes part in a meeting in Caracas
FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognised as the country’s rightful interim ruler, speaks at a meeting at the Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas, Venezuela May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero

May 25, 2019

CARACAS (Reuters) – Norway said on Saturday that representatives of Venezuela’s government and opposition will return to Oslo next week following an initial round of preliminary talks about how to address the country’s political crisis.

“We announce that the representatives of the main political actors in Venezuela have decided to return to Oslo next week to continue a process facilitated by Norway,” the Scandinavian country’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

“We reiterate our commitment to continue supporting the search for an agreed-upon solution between the parties in Venezuela,” it said.

Venezuela has been plunged into political turmoil this year as opposition leader Juan Guaido invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, dismissing President Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 re-election as a fraud. More than 50 countries, including the United States and many members of the European Union, now see Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.

Maduro, who maintains control over state institutions amid a hyperinflationary economic meltdown and humanitarian crisis, calls Guaido a puppet of Washington.

The Venezuelan information ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the announcement. Guaido’s press team said it would comment shortly.

The ruling Socialist Party has endorsed the talks, but opposition sympathizers remain skeptical, arguing that Maduro has previously used dialogue as a stalling tactic to maintain his grip on power while living standards steadily declined in the oil-rich nation.

Last week, opposition lawmaker Stalin Gonzalez and two advisors represented Guaido’s side, while Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez and Miranda state governor Hector Rodriguez went to Oslo on behalf of the government.

Each side met separately with Norwegian mediators, but there was no face-to-face meeting between government and opposition representatives, Gonzalez told local media.

(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth, editing by G Crosse)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido takes part in a meeting in Caracas
FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognised as the country’s rightful interim ruler, speaks at a meeting at the Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas, Venezuela May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero

May 25, 2019

CARACAS (Reuters) – Norway said on Saturday that representatives of Venezuela’s government and opposition will return to Oslo next week following an initial round of preliminary talks about how to address the country’s political crisis.

“We announce that the representatives of the main political actors in Venezuela have decided to return to Oslo next week to continue a process facilitated by Norway,” the Scandinavian country’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

“We reiterate our commitment to continue supporting the search for an agreed-upon solution between the parties in Venezuela,” it said.

Venezuela has been plunged into political turmoil this year as opposition leader Juan Guaido invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, dismissing President Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 re-election as a fraud. More than 50 countries, including the United States and many members of the European Union, now see Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate leader.

Maduro, who maintains control over state institutions amid a hyperinflationary economic meltdown and humanitarian crisis, calls Guaido a puppet of Washington.

The Venezuelan information ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the announcement. Guaido’s press team said it would comment shortly.

The ruling Socialist Party has endorsed the talks, but opposition sympathizers remain skeptical, arguing that Maduro has previously used dialogue as a stalling tactic to maintain his grip on power while living standards steadily declined in the oil-rich nation.

Last week, opposition lawmaker Stalin Gonzalez and two advisors represented Guaido’s side, while Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez and Miranda state governor Hector Rodriguez went to Oslo on behalf of the government.

Each side met separately with Norwegian mediators, but there was no face-to-face meeting between government and opposition representatives, Gonzalez told local media.

(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth, editing by G Crosse)

Source: OANN

President Donald Trump urged Japanese business leaders on Saturday to increase their investment in the United States while he chided Japan for having a “substantial edge” on trade that negotiators were trying to even out in a bilateral deal.

Trump arrived in Japan on Saturday for a largely ceremonial state visit meant to showcase strong ties even though trade relations are problematical. In the evening, the Tokyo Sky Tree tower was lit up red, white and blue in Trump’s honor.

Shortly after arriving at the airport to a red-carpet welcome, Trump attended a reception at the residence of U.S. Ambassador William Hagerty that the White House said included Japanese business executives from Toyota, Nissan , Honda, SoftBank and Rakuten.

Trump told the company officials there had never been a better time to invest in the United States and repeated a complaint that the Federal Reserve’s policies had kept U.S. economic growth from reaching its full potential.

With trade talks ongoing, Trump also got in a dig at Japan and said he wanted a deal to address the trade imbalance between the two countries.

“Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years, but that’s OK, maybe that’s why you like us so much,” he said.

“With this deal we hope to address the trade imbalance, removing barriers to United States exports and ensure fairness and reciprocity in our relationship,” Trump said.

Trade is one of Trump’s signature issues, and encouraging foreign investment in the United States is a hallmark of his trips abroad.

Trump will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday for a round of golf, a sumo tournament and a private dinner.

The two men share a warm relationship, which the Japanese leader aims to emphasize as Washington considers tariffs on Japanese auto exports that the Trump administration views as a potential national security threat.

STILL GAPS

Trade is likely to be addressed during a formal meeting on Monday between Trump and Abe, but even a partial trade agreement isn’t expected, said Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi after meeting his counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, in Tokyo on Saturday.

Motegi said there was no discussion of Trump’s decision to declare some auto imports a national security threat.

“We deepened our understanding of each other’s positions on trade. However, we’re not in complete agreement,” Motegi told reporters following the talks. “There are still some gaps. We need to work to narrow our differences.”

The United States is in the middle of an expensive trade war with China, and trade tensions als als simmering with Japan and the European Union.

Trump’s Japan trip is largely ceremonial in nature. The president will become the first foreign leader to be received by new Japanese Emperor Naruhito since he inherited the throne earlier this month; he and Harvard-educated Empress Masako will host an elaborate dinner for the Trumps on Monday night.

A medium-strength earthquake hit eastern Japan, causing buildings to shake in Tokyo, hours before Trump’s arrival. The epicenter was southern Chiba, southeast of the capital, the prefecture where Trump is due to play golf on Sunday.

No tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of damage.

Source: NewsMax Politics

President Donald Trump urged Japanese business leaders on Saturday to increase their investment in the United States while he chided Japan for having a “substantial edge” on trade that negotiators were trying to even out in a bilateral deal.

Trump arrived in Japan on Saturday for a largely ceremonial state visit meant to showcase strong ties even though trade relations are problematical. In the evening, the Tokyo Sky Tree tower was lit up red, white and blue in Trump’s honor.

Shortly after arriving at the airport to a red-carpet welcome, Trump attended a reception at the residence of U.S. Ambassador William Hagerty that the White House said included Japanese business executives from Toyota, Nissan , Honda, SoftBank and Rakuten.

Trump told the company officials there had never been a better time to invest in the United States and repeated a complaint that the Federal Reserve’s policies had kept U.S. economic growth from reaching its full potential.

With trade talks ongoing, Trump also got in a dig at Japan and said he wanted a deal to address the trade imbalance between the two countries.

“Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years, but that’s OK, maybe that’s why you like us so much,” he said.

“With this deal we hope to address the trade imbalance, removing barriers to United States exports and ensure fairness and reciprocity in our relationship,” Trump said.

Trade is one of Trump’s signature issues, and encouraging foreign investment in the United States is a hallmark of his trips abroad.

Trump will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday for a round of golf, a sumo tournament and a private dinner.

The two men share a warm relationship, which the Japanese leader aims to emphasize as Washington considers tariffs on Japanese auto exports that the Trump administration views as a potential national security threat.

STILL GAPS

Trade is likely to be addressed during a formal meeting on Monday between Trump and Abe, but even a partial trade agreement isn’t expected, said Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi after meeting his counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, in Tokyo on Saturday.

Motegi said there was no discussion of Trump’s decision to declare some auto imports a national security threat.

“We deepened our understanding of each other’s positions on trade. However, we’re not in complete agreement,” Motegi told reporters following the talks. “There are still some gaps. We need to work to narrow our differences.”

The United States is in the middle of an expensive trade war with China, and trade tensions als als simmering with Japan and the European Union.

Trump’s Japan trip is largely ceremonial in nature. The president will become the first foreign leader to be received by new Japanese Emperor Naruhito since he inherited the throne earlier this month; he and Harvard-educated Empress Masako will host an elaborate dinner for the Trumps on Monday night.

A medium-strength earthquake hit eastern Japan, causing buildings to shake in Tokyo, hours before Trump’s arrival. The epicenter was southern Chiba, southeast of the capital, the prefecture where Trump is due to play golf on Sunday.

No tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of damage.

Source: NewsMax Politics

President Donald Trump urged Japanese business leaders on Saturday to increase their investment in the United States while he chided Japan for having a “substantial edge” on trade that negotiators were trying to even out in a bilateral deal.

Trump arrived in Japan on Saturday for a largely ceremonial state visit meant to showcase strong ties even though trade relations are problematical. In the evening, the Tokyo Sky Tree tower was lit up red, white and blue in Trump’s honor.

Shortly after arriving at the airport to a red-carpet welcome, Trump attended a reception at the residence of U.S. Ambassador William Hagerty that the White House said included Japanese business executives from Toyota, Nissan , Honda, SoftBank and Rakuten.

Trump told the company officials there had never been a better time to invest in the United States and repeated a complaint that the Federal Reserve’s policies had kept U.S. economic growth from reaching its full potential.

With trade talks ongoing, Trump also got in a dig at Japan and said he wanted a deal to address the trade imbalance between the two countries.

“Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years, but that’s OK, maybe that’s why you like us so much,” he said.

“With this deal we hope to address the trade imbalance, removing barriers to United States exports and ensure fairness and reciprocity in our relationship,” Trump said.

Trade is one of Trump’s signature issues, and encouraging foreign investment in the United States is a hallmark of his trips abroad.

Trump will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday for a round of golf, a sumo tournament and a private dinner.

The two men share a warm relationship, which the Japanese leader aims to emphasize as Washington considers tariffs on Japanese auto exports that the Trump administration views as a potential national security threat.

STILL GAPS

Trade is likely to be addressed during a formal meeting on Monday between Trump and Abe, but even a partial trade agreement isn’t expected, said Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi after meeting his counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, in Tokyo on Saturday.

Motegi said there was no discussion of Trump’s decision to declare some auto imports a national security threat.

“We deepened our understanding of each other’s positions on trade. However, we’re not in complete agreement,” Motegi told reporters following the talks. “There are still some gaps. We need to work to narrow our differences.”

The United States is in the middle of an expensive trade war with China, and trade tensions als als simmering with Japan and the European Union.

Trump’s Japan trip is largely ceremonial in nature. The president will become the first foreign leader to be received by new Japanese Emperor Naruhito since he inherited the throne earlier this month; he and Harvard-educated Empress Masako will host an elaborate dinner for the Trumps on Monday night.

A medium-strength earthquake hit eastern Japan, causing buildings to shake in Tokyo, hours before Trump’s arrival. The epicenter was southern Chiba, southeast of the capital, the prefecture where Trump is due to play golf on Sunday.

No tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of damage.

Source: NewsMax Politics

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit Japan
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive aboard Air Force One at Tokyo Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan May 25, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

May 25, 2019

By Jeff Mason

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump urged Japanese business leaders on Saturday to increase their investment in the United States while he chided Japan for having a “substantial edge” on trade that negotiators were trying to even out in a bilateral deal.

Trump arrived in Japan on Saturday for a largely ceremonial state visit meant to showcase strong ties even though trade relations are problematical. In the evening, the Tokyo Sky Tree tower was lit up red, white and blue in Trump’s honor.

Shortly after arriving at the airport to a red-carpet welcome, Trump attended a reception at the residence of U.S. Ambassador William Hagerty that the White House said included Japanese business executives from Toyota, Nissan, Honda, SoftBank and Rakuten.

Trump told the company officials there had never been a better time to invest in the United States and repeated a complaint that the Federal Reserve’s policies had kept U.S. economic growth from reaching its full potential.

With trade talks ongoing, Trump also got in a dig at Japan and said he wanted a deal to address the trade imbalance between the two countries.

“Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years, but that’s OK, maybe that’s why you like us so much,” he said.

“With this deal we hope to address the trade imbalance, removing barriers to United States exports and ensure fairness and reciprocity in our relationship,” Trump said.

Trade is one of Trump’s signature issues, and encouraging foreign investment in the United States is a hallmark of his trips abroad.

Trump will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday for a round of golf, a sumo tournament and a private dinner.

The two men share a warm relationship, which the Japanese leader aims to emphasize as Washington considers tariffs on Japanese auto exports that the Trump administration views as a potential national security threat.

The United States is in the middle of an expensive trade war with China in protest against Beijing’s treatment of U.S. companies, and tensions with Japan and the European Union over trade are simmering.

Trump and Abe are expected to address trade during more formal talks on Monday, but officials have played down the possibility of a deal during the visit. North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs are also likely to be on the agenda.

The trip is largely ceremonial in nature. The president will become the first foreign leader to be received by new Japanese Emperor Naruhito since he inherited the throne earlier this month; he and Harvard-educated Empress Masako will host an elaborate dinner for the Trumps on Monday night.

A medium-strength earthquake hit eastern Japan, causing buildings to shake in Tokyo, hours before Trump’s arrival.

The epicenter was southern Chiba, southeast of the capital, the prefecture where Trump is due to play golf on Sunday.

No tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of damage.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Jeff Mason and Malcolm Foster; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Source: OANN

U.S. President Trump arrives aboard Air Force One during a refueling stop on his way to Japan at Joint Base Elmendorf, Alaska
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives aboard Air Force One during a refueling stop on his way to Japan at Joint Base Elmendorf, Alaska, U.S. May 24, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

May 25, 2019

By Jeff Mason

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, landed in Japan on Saturday on a largely ceremonial visit meant to showcase strong ties with Tokyo even as trade tensions loom.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will treat Trump to an imperial banquet and front row seats at a sumo tournament during the trip, which lasts through Tuesday.

The two men share a warm relationship, which the Japanese leader aims to emphasize as Washington mulls tariffs on Japanese auto exports that the Trump administration views as a potential national security threat.

The United States is in the middle of an expensive trade war with China in protest against Beijing’s treatment of U.S. companies, and tensions with Japan and the European Union over trade are simmering.

Trump and Abe are expected to discuss trade during talks on Monday, but officials have played down the possibility of a deal during the visit.

Trump will become the first foreign leader to be received by new Japanese Emperor Naruhito since he inherited the throne earlier this month.

He made clear during an impromptu news conference on Thursday that he was flattered by the invitation.

“Prime Minister Abe said to me, very specifically, ‘You are the guest of honor.’ There’s only one guest of honor … I’m the guest of honor at the biggest event that they’ve had in over 200 years,” Trump said.

“So it’s a great thing. And we get along very well with Japan. I get along very well with the Prime Minister.”

After his arrival, Trump was due to meet with business leaders before retiring.

On Sunday, Trump and Abe are expected to play golf and attend a sumo match. On Monday, they will discuss North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs in addition to trade.

A medium-strength earthquake hit eastern Japan, causing buildings to shake in Tokyo, hours before Trump’s arrival.

The epicenter was southern Chiba, southeast of the capital, the prefecture where Trump is due to play golf on Sunday.

No tsunami warning was issued and there were no immediate reports of damage.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Additional reporting by Linda Sieg; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Nick Macfie)

Source: OANN


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