August 24, 2019

Review Category : People

Iceland Held Talks With U.S. Ambassador Over Pence Visit

Iceland Held Talks With U.S. Ambassador Over Pence Visit(Bloomberg) -- Iceland’ prime minister is open to extending the visit of Vice President Mike Pence to the Nordic island to allow the two to meet.The option was discussed during a pre-scheduled meeting on Friday between Katrin Jakobsdottir and ambassador Jeffrey Gunter, a government spokesman told Bloomberg.Jakobsdottir, a left-of-center feminist and LGBT advocate, is due to attend a conference by Nordic trade union leaders in Sweden on Sept. 4. That’s the same day in which Pence is due to arrive.Jakobsdottir’s decision to not change her schedule to accommodate the vice president’s visit has been criticized at home. According to her spokeswoman, a final decision on whether the meeting can take place has not yet been made.The White House said Pence planned to discuss trade opportunities, the Arctic and NATO efforts to counter Russian aggression in the region.The scheduling snafu is the latest episode in a series of exchanges involving Donald Trump and the Nordics.Pence’s visit would take place in the wake of a very public spat between the U.S. president and Denmark over its refusal to sell Greenland.Trump said Saturday he had held a “nice” conversation with Mette Frederiksen, with the exchange coming just days after labeling the Danish prime minister as “nasty.”In 2017, Sweden reacted forcibly to Trump’s portrayal of the Nordic nation as being in a state of chaos and overrun by crime after an influx of refugees.(Adds background on U.S.-Nordic relations.)To contact the reporter on this story: Ragnhildur Sigurdardottir in Reykjavik at rsigurdardot@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net, Nick Rigillo, Andrew DavisFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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The Latest: Hong Kong protest winds down after clashes

The Latest: Hong Kong protest winds down after clashesA large group of protesters has largely dispersed in Hong Kong after engaging in clashes with police for the first time in nearly two weeks. Riot officers used tear gas and nonlethal rounds Saturday after protesters took over a road in the city's Kowloon Bay area. The protesters regrouped several times to challenge police again before calling it a day as night fell.


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Docking aborted for Russia's first humanoid robot in space

Docking aborted for Russia's first humanoid robot in spaceAn unmanned spacecraft carrying Russia's first humanoid robot to be sent into orbit failed to dock automatically at the International Space Station on Saturday, in a new setback for Moscow. "Russian cosmonauts issued a command to abort the automated approach of an uncrewed Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station," the US space agency NASA said in a statement. "The craft was unable to lock onto its target at the station," and "backed a safe distance away from the orbital complex while the Russian flight controllers assess the next steps," NASA said.


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Iran's Zarif heading to Asia in push against US sanctions

Iran's Zarif heading to Asia in push against US sanctionsIran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will head to East Asia on Sunday, his office said, as part of a diplomatic push to win relief from biting US sanctions. Zarif would visit China, Japan and Malaysia fresh on the heels of a tour of Western European nations, spokesman Abbas Mousavi said late Friday on the ministry's Telegram channel. "Bilateral relations and most importantly regional and international issues are some of the topics our foreign minister will discuss with the aforementioned countries' officials during the trip," said Mousavi.


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Regime forces mass in northwest Syria: monitor

Regime forces mass in northwest Syria: monitorRegime forces massed Saturday in northwest Syria in a bid to push further north after overrunning a key town and surrounding a Turkish army outpost, a monitor said. Backed by Russia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces have chipped away at the south of the jihadist-run bastion of Idlib in past weeks after months of deadly bombardment. On Wednesday, they seized the key town of Khan Sheikhun from jihadists and allied rebels, and on Friday overran the countryside to the south of the town, encircling a Turkish observation post there.


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Tear gas fired as Hong Kong police, protesters clash

Tear gas fired as Hong Kong police, protesters clashHong Kong riot cops fired tear gas and baton-charged protesters who retaliated with a barrage of stones, bottles and bamboo poles on Saturday, as a standoff in a working-class neighbourhood descended into violence, breaking an uneasy peace that had lasted several days. Earlier thousands of demonstrators, many wearing hard hats and gas masks, marched through the industrial Kwun Tong area, where they were blocked by dozens of riot police with shields and batons outside a police station. Frontline protesters -- known as "braves" -- pulled together a barricade of traffic barriers and bamboo construction poles.


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UK consulate staffer returns to Hong Kong after China detention

UK consulate staffer returns to Hong Kong after China detentionA British consulate employee detained in China has returned to Hong Kong, his family said Saturday, ending a two-week ordeal during which Beijing's state media smeared him with lurid allegations. Simon Cheng disappeared after visiting the neighbouring city of Shenzhen on August 8 and was placed in administrative detention by police, unable to contact his family or his British employers.


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Iran test fires new missile: Iran Revolutionary Guards commander

Iran test fires new missile: Iran Revolutionary Guards commanderIran has test fired a new missile, the commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Major General Hossein Salami, said on Saturday, according to the Tasnim news agency. "Our country is always the arena for testing a variety of defense and strategic systems and these are non-stop movements towards the growth of our deterrent power," Salami said. U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of an international agreement on Iran's nuclear program last year and stepped up sanctions on Tehran in order to curb its development of ballistic missiles and its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.


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