Briefing :- 8/7/17

Here is CurrentHow’s Briefing™ for the 8th of July, 2017 :-

1. G-20 reaches compromise on climate, trade in big win for Trump :-

US President Donald Trump won key concessions on climate and trade Saturday from world leaders at the most fractious G-20 summit to date, in exchange for preserving the unity of the club of major industrialised and emerging economies.

In a final statement agreed by all 20 economies, 19 members including Russia, China and the European Union acknowledged Trump’s decision to go his own way on taking the US out of the 2015 Paris climate accord.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said all G-20 members except US agreed that Paris agreement was irreversible. “The Communique clearly mentions US dissent and position of all others; obviously it could not be a fully common position,” Angela Merkel said.

But the G-20 also accommodated Washington’s wish to “work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently”.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron announced a summit on climate change for December 12, two years after the landmark Paris accord. He also said that he still hoped to change Trump’s mind on climate.

“On December 12… I will organise a new summit in order to take new action for the climate, including on the issue of financing,” he said after the G20 summit in Hamburg.

While renewing a key anti-protectionist pledge, the communique for the first time underlined the right of countries to protect their markets with “legitimate trade defence instruments”.

Such wording gives room for Trump to push on with his “America First” policy.

Carried on a wave of public fury over deindustrialisation in vast areas of the United States, Trump had promised to “Buy American” and “Hire American”.

But that stance had set him against many of America’s allies, who warned Trump against an isolationist path.

Nevertheless, the wording of the final agreement marked the group of top economies’ decision to finally close ranks despite bitter differences.

Just behind the tightly secured G-20 summit venue, charred road barricades, trashed shops and stones, debris and shattered glass bore testimony to an anarchic night, when police commandoes with semi-automatic weapons detained militants who hurled rocks from rooftops.

The clashes had blocked US First Lady Melania Trump at her residence on Friday, forcing her to miss a tour of Hamburg harbour, and for G-20 organisers to completely alter a programme for spouses of visiting leaders.

On Saturday, thousands of anti-riot cops were on standby and helicopters hovered overhead, as some 70,000 people were on the march again, according to organisers.

2. Islamic State claims car bomb attacks in Egypt’s Sinai that killed 23 soldiers :-

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the car bomb attacks in Egypt’s Sinai that killed at least 23 soldiers in the deadliest attack in the turbulent region in two years.

The IS issued an online statement saying it carried out the coordinated attack.

At least 23 soldiers were killed and 26 injured when two car bombs hit two checkpoints just south of Rafah, Reuters cited security sources as saying.

The two cars blew up as they passed through two checkpoints outside of a military compound, on the border with the Gaza Strip, the security sources said.

Security sources described Friday’s attack as a coordinated strike, with car bombs blowing apart checkpoints as gunmen in four-wheel drive vehicles shot down soldiers running for cover.

Militants in armoured vehicles meanwhile fired rocket-propelled grenades at a military site just beyond the checkpoint, the sources said.

The attack is the most severe in Sinai since at least July 2015, when Islamic State militants assaulted simultaneously a slew of checkpoints and military sites around North Sinai. At least 17 soldiers were killed, according to an official tally.

3. Trump calls first meeting with Putin an ‘honour’, ‘presses’ him on election meddling :-

n one of the most anticipated meetings between two leaders in years, US President Donald Trump met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Friday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg.

In their first face-to-face meeting, Trump said it was an “honour” to meet Putin and that he was looking forward to “positive things”.

The two leaders spoke through translators in the presence of their foreign ministers for six minutes before reporters were allowed into the room for their statements. The reporters were then ushered out and the meeting continued, Reuters reported.

The meeting went on for two-and-a-quarter-hour.

“President Putin and I have been discussing various things, and I think it’s going very well,” Trump told the media, Reuters reported.

“We’ve had some very, very good talks. We’re going to have a talk now and obviously, that will continue. We look forward to a lot of very positive things happening for Russia, for the United States and for everybody concerned. And it’s an honour to be with you.”

Putin, through a translator, said: “We spoke over the phone with you several times,” adding: “A phone conversation is never enough.”

“I am delighted to be able to meet you personally, Mr President,” he said, noting that he hoped the meeting would yield results.

US secretary of state Rex Tillerson said Trump pressed Putin on allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.

“The president opened the meeting with President Putin by raising the concerns of the American people regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election,” Tillerson told reporters after the meeting.

“They had a very robust and lengthy exchange on the subject. The president pressed President Putin on more than one occasion regarding Russian involvement. President Putin denied such involvement, as I think he has done in the past,” Tillerson told reporters.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, told the media separately that Trump “accepted” Putin’s denials of any involvement in the US election.

“President Trump said he heard clear statements from Putin that (the allegations of meddling) are not true, and that Russian authorities did not intervene, and he accepted these declarations,” Lavrov said.

AFP said Tillerson refused to answer a question on Lavrov’s statement.

4. China cautious ahead of joint India, US and Japan naval drill in Bay of Bengal :-

The annual Malabar naval exercise involving Indian, US and Japanese navies will begin on July 10 amid a standoff between the armies of India and China over the Dokalam plateau and China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea.

The annual exercise which will see India sending its largest naval fleet aims to achieve deeper military ties between the three countires.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeman said that China does not have any objection to such cooperations and relationships as long as such exercises are not directed against a third nation.

“As we have said before, we have no objection to normal bilateral relationship and cooperation among relevant countries. We hope that this kind of relationship and cooperation will not be directed against third country and that it will be conducive to the regional peace and security,” Geng Shuang, China’s foreign ministry spokeman, said.

The standoff between the two armies at the strategically important Dokalam area began over the construction of a road by the Chinese army near the Bhutan trijunction.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the G20 summit on Friday in the backdrop of the impasse between both the countries back home.

Beijing has been wary of the Malabar exercise which is seen as an effort to contain its influence in the region.

India’s aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, Japanese warship JS Izumo and US carrier Nimitz will be part of the joint naval drill.

5. India gets new ant-hijacking law :-

A little over a year after it was passed by India’s Parliament, the Anti-Hijacking Act, 2016 — a new and tougher law — quietly came into effect on July 5 after a formal gazette notification by the ministry of civil aviation.

Under the new law, the perpetrators of a hijacking are now punishable with death should the hijacking result in the death of any person — including ground handling staff and airport personnel — or with life imprisonment or with a fine.

Earlier, the death penalty was applicable only in the case of the death of hostages or security personnel.

The new law also allows for the confiscation of the offenders’ moveable and immoveable property.

Another key feature of the new law is that it widens the definition of hijacking from “in-flight” to “in-service”.

That means an aircraft will be considered to be in-service from the time it is being prepared for a specific flight by the crew or ground personnel to until 24 hours after it lands.

The new law also expands the definition of a hijacker.

A hijacker is now any person who organises a hijacking or directs others to commit one, a person who participates in a hijacking, and one who assists any person to evade investigation, prosecution, or punishment for a hijacking.

The new law also enhances the jurisdiction Indian courts can exercise in a hijacking case.

Under its provisions, Indian courts will be able to exercise jurisdiction over a hijacking anywhere — should the offence be committed against or by an Indian citizen on board a flight, irrespective of the country where the offence is committed.

That includes hijackings by stateless persons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

17 − two =