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Tue, 12 Nov 2019 02:36
Yahoo News - Latest News &Headlines
Israeli airstrike kills Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza homeA pair of Israeli airstrikes targeted senior Islamic Jihad commanders in Gaza and in Syria early on Tuesday, escalating Israel's confrontation with Iran across the region and threatening to unleash another devastating round of cross-border violence with Palestinian militants. In eastern Gaza, the Israeli strike killed Bahaa Abu el-Atta and his wife, setting off a furious barrage of rocket attacks reaching as far as the Tel Aviv heartland as Islamic Jihad vowed further revenge.
Israeli airstrike kills Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza home
Brexit Bulletin: The Farage FactorDays to Brexit deadline: 80(Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to get the Brexit Bulletin in your inbox every weekday.Today in Brexit: Nigel Farage has made his move, pledging to hold Boris Johnson’s feet to the fire.What’s happening? The landscape of the upcoming U.K. general election is coming more clearly into view. Nigel Farage’s decision not to run Brexit Party candidates in seats held by Conservatives means that what was a wildly confusing four-party scramble is now effectively a 3.5-party dash, with Farage’s team half-in, half-out. “I have got no great love for the Conservative Party,” Farage said at a rally in Hartlepool, in the northeast of England, as he announced his plan. He repeats that phrase in the Telegraph this morning. He talks of giving Prime Minister Boris Johnson “half a chance” to deliver Brexit “by keeping him honest and holding him to account.”Farage’s loyalty to Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal hardly runs deep. Farage made his move only after the prime minister pledged on Sunday night not to seek an extension of the post-Brexit transition period past Dec. 31, 2020. He told BBC Newsnight that his aim is to win some seats in the upcoming election and hold Johnson to his promise when the Westminster drama resumes in the new year. Farage makes no secret of his preference for what he calls a “clean break” Brexit — otherwise known as a no-deal exit — and his excoriating views on the details of Johnson’s deal remain easy to find on the Brexit Party website. With experts skeptical that a wide-ranging EU-U.K. trade deal can be negotiated and finalized before the end of next year, pressuring Johnson in this way remains perhaps Farage’s best hope of the Brexit he craves.What does it mean for the election? There are two takes on this. Andrew Hawkins, chairman of polling company ComRes, told Bloomberg that Farage’s move means the Labour vote is going to be split in key Tory-Labour marginal seats in the north of England, opening a path for the Tories to win. YouGov’s Chris Curtis says the opposite, arguing that the Brexit Party damages the Tories most by stayingin the race in seats the Conservatives need to win. Current polls don’t reflect Farage’s move. In any case, Farage’s switch away from a 600-seat strategy will only increase the difficulty of modeling this election, and the shape of Brexit, until the actual votes are counted.Today’s Must-ReadsThere’s a danger in overdoing the Tory celebrations, Therese Raphael writes for Bloomberg Opinion: Johnson will still have to scrap with Farage for Labour seats.Despite their protestations, the Liberal Democrats would put Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn in office to stop Brexit, former Tory leaderWilliam Hague writes in the Telegraph.Watching Farage cull half his party’s candidates was to see a man facing the final curtain, Robert Shrimsley writes in the Financial Times.Brexit in BriefOn the Markets | The pound was quick to rally on news of Farage’s decision, rising the most in three weeks as traders judged that the Brexit Party’s move will boost the chances of a Tory majority on Dec. 12. Sterling traded at $1.2863 early on Thursday. Recession Avoided | The Farage boost to sterling was just the latest evidence that the pound is more affected by politics than data these days; it barely reacted to anemic growth figures earlier on Monday. Investment is in a slump and the economy has lost almost all momentum, official figures showed, though quarterly growth of 0.3% nonetheless kept the U.K. out of a recession. The next snapshot of the U.K. economy comes with unemployment figures at 9:30 a.m. today. Economists expect the jobless rate to stay at 3.9%.After Carney | There's “no need” to extend Mark Carney’s tenure as governor of the Bank of England, Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid told Bloomberg. Javid said the government would act “very quickly” to announce a new name if the Conservatives win the election. He also promised to reveal details of the Conservative’s fiscal plans at a post-election budget “within weeks” of polling day. Follow the Money | A Conservative majority on Dec. 12 is now the most likely election result, according to betting markets.Boles’ Choice | Can’t decide who to vote for in the upcoming election? Former Tory MP Nick Boles might not be the election analyst you need, in that case. He didn’t mince his words in Monday’s Evening Standard, lamenting an “appalling choice” between “a compulsive liar” and a “blinkered Pharisee.”Coming Up | Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn on the campaign trail in Blackpool, northwest England at 11 a.m. Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson travels to Wales for a campaign rally at 6 p.m.Want to keep up with Brexit?You can follow us @Brexit on Twitter, and listen to Bloomberg Westminster every weekday. It’s live at midday on Bloomberg Radio and is available as a podcast too. Share the Brexit Bulletin: Colleagues, friends and family can sign up here. For full EU coverage, try the Brussels Edition.For even more: Subscribe to Bloomberg All Access for our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.To contact the author of this story: Adam Blenford in London at ablenford@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Caitlin Morrison at cmorrison59@bloomberg.net, Leila TahaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Brexit Bulletin: The Farage Factor
WFP chief vows more 'aggressive' action on sexual harassmentIn the wake of an internal survey that detailed multiple allegations of rape and sexual harassment of its female staffers, the leader of the World Food Program is vowing to go after abusers. David Beasley, the U.N. agency's executive director, said in a recent interview with The Associated Press that he is "making hard choices to bring change" to the WFP. "If we have a claim of rape by anyone in the WFP, if we can substantiate, I can't begin to tell you how aggressive" actions will be, he told the AP in a phone interview from the agency's Rome headquarters.
WFP chief vows more 'aggressive' action on sexual harassment
Why Iran’s Nuclear Escalation Goes Unchallenged(Bloomberg Opinion) -- There is never a good time for Israel to learn that Iran is  edging closer to a nuclear bomb, but Tehran’s recent announcement that it is escalating its centrifuges and uranium enrichment comes at an especially fraught moment. Israel is effectively without leadership, both at home and in Washington. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump are both caught up in legal and political troubles that consume their attention. Neither seems willing or able to come up with real answers about how to confront the situation. Many experts say that these new developments could put Iran within a year of break-out time to a nuclear weapon. That doesn't necessarily mean it would be ready for delivery. Nor would Israel be unprotected.  It has its own unconventional air, land and sea based deterrents, as well as a maturing anti-missile capability.  Even so, neither Israel nor the U.S. can afford to ignore the Iranians’ actions. Until recently, it seemed their closeness, and the relationship between the two leaders, would have ensured no developing threat would go unchecked. Now, that seems wishful thinking.Israel has enjoyed a honeymoon with the Trump administration during which Bibi wielded great influence. It was he, more than any American adviser, who convinced Donald Trump to withdraw from the nuclear pact negotiated by President Obama. The U.S. replaced that pact with a 12-point program aimed at reining in Iran’s aggressive regional behavior, dismantling its nuclear capacity and modifying (or changing) the regime in Tehran. The plan reflected Netanyahu’s thinking.   Trump’s commitment to defeating the Islamic Republic was taken for granted by many Israelis, including Netanyahu himself. It appeared that the U.S. president was fully on board. He imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran, stepped up military aid to Saudi Arabia and other enemies of Iran and spoke boldly of ending Iranian aggression and hostility. But so far those sanctions haven’t had their desired effect. If anything, they have emboldened the Iranians, which downed an unmanned American aircraft and, according to U.S. intelligence, attacked Saudi Arabian oil installations with impunity. Now it’s questionable whether he’d honor the pledge never to allow Iranians to get nuclear weapons. Israel’s leading strategic experts warned the prime minister he was being reckless when he put his chips on Trump. Better, they said, to accept the Iran nuclear deal. Flawed as it was, at least it provided a degree of control over the Iranian nuclear program. Trump is nothing if not unpredictable and perhaps some event might trigger the attack on the Iranian nuclear program that Bibi hoping for. But Trump’s time and attention are elsewhere. If Iran is really less than a year away, military force (leading to regime change) will be necessary. That’s not likely in the midst of an impeachment process and an election. Netanyahu is in a similar situation. A decade ago, Bibi invested billions of dollars and considerable political capital in preparing a unilateral strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. That kind of attack was feasible in 2012, when the Iranian sites were less fortified and more vulnerable. Today, most Israeli strategists believe it’s not. Even to attempt it would require American-supplied bunker-busters and a green light from Washington. And such a daring and dangerous operation, one that could trigger a wider war in the region, would require a country unified behind the prime minister. It is very possible that Netanyahu will emerge from the present coalition talks as the next prime minister. But even then he would lack the stature he had a decade ago. Two years of nasty legal combat over alleged corruption and dereliction of duty have diminished him. He sometimes seems out of control. His newly appointed Minister of Justice, Amir Ohana, is a political stooge who, at Bibi’s behest, has attacked the prosecution and the nation’s legal system that have inspired an unprecedented rebuke by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. The selection of a new Minister of Defense, Naftali Bennett, shines a spotlight on how far Bibi is prepared to go to save himself at the county’s expense. Bennett’s main qualification for the defense job is that he heads a small party Bibi needs to forma coalition government. Netanyahu let it be known that he will be Israel’s de facto defense chief, not Bennett. If so, that isn’t reassuring. A growing number of Israelis no longer view him as essential, or even highly competent, but rather as an embattled politician trying to keep his job and stay out of prison. Anything Bibi now says about the gravity of Iranian nuclear escalation will be viewed through the prism of his ambition to stay in office. Ultimately, dealing with the threat from Iran, which will likely mean regime change in Tehran, is best left to future, less compromised leaders in Washington and Jerusalem. To contact the author of this story: Zev Chafets at zchafets@gmail.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Therese Raphael at traphael4@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Zev Chafets is a journalist and author of 14 books. He was a senior aide to Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and the founding managing editor of the Jerusalem Report Magazine.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Why Iran’s Nuclear Escalation Goes Unchallenged
Farage Retreat Aids Johnson's Election Push: U.K. Campaign Trail(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson will seek to capitalize on Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage’s announcement he won’t contest seats won by the Conservatives in 2017. The prime minister will now be free to concentrate on winning opposition held districts.Johnson will chair a meeting of the Cobra emergency committee on Tuesday to discuss flooding in northern England after opposition parties accused him of dragging his feet. The Tories will need to pick up seats in the north if they are to win a majority in Parliament.Must Read: Farage Won’t Fight Tories in Election Boost for U.K.’s JohnsonComing up:Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid will renew attacks on Labour’s spendingplans with a claim that their tax rises will amount to 2,400 pounds ($3,087) per person. Labour, which hasn’t yet announced its plans, dismissed the estimate as “fake news.” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will speak in Blackpool, northwest England, at 11 a.m. as his campaign focuses on skills and training. Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson will announce a 5 billion pound fund for flood defenses on a visit to inundated areas. She will then travel to Wales and speak at a campaign rally at 6 p.m.Johnson will chair a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee to discuss the floods.The Brexit Party will hold a rally at 11 a.m. in central London. U.K. unemployment data will be released at 9:30 a.m.The Polls:An ICM poll of 2,035 voters between Nov. 8-11 found the Conservatives on 39% (+1), Labour 31% (-), Lib Dems 15% (-), Brexit 8% (-1).BMG’s latest voting intention poll has the Conservatives at 37%, ahead of Labour at 29%, Liberal Democrats at 16%, Brexit Party at 9%.A Conservative majority is now the most likely result, according to betting markets.Here’s a summary of recent polls.Catching Up:Labour denounced the Brexit Party’s announcement it won’t stand candidates in the 317 districts as part of a Donald Trump inspired pact to sell-off the U.K. health service to U.S. companies.Javid sees “no need” to extend Mark Carney’s term as Bank of England governor.The U.K. economy is struggling to maintain momentum after avoiding recession.The Markets:The pound rose after Farage’s announcement on Monday. Sterling was little changed in early trading on Tuesday.\--With assistance from Peter Flanagan.To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Penny in London at tpenny@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Chris KayFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Farage Retreat Aids Johnson's Election Push: U.K. Campaign Trail
The Latest: Hamas vows revenge after Gaza targeted killingGaza's Hamas rulers are threatening to avenge the targeted killing of a top commander from the smaller Islamic Jihad group in the coastal strip. With Egyptian, Qatari and U.N. efforts, Hamas has mostly abided by an unofficial truce with Israel in recent months. Meanwhile, the Islamic Johad in Gaza says a member of its leadership survived an Israeli airstrike in Damascus earlier in the morning.
The Latest: Hamas vows revenge after Gaza targeted killing
Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on what's moving European markets in your inbox every morning? Sign up here.Good morning. Donald Trump is making a closely watched speech, U.K. election math has shifted and protests rage on in Hong Kong. Here’s what’s moving markets.Trump SpeechU.S. President Donald Trump will make a lunchtime speech at the New York Economic Club and the market is on tenterhooks for any comments about trade, taxes, drug prices and everything in between. Trade is the key topic and the question will be whether the president will stick to prepared remarks or go off-script. There have been conflicting signals and stocks took a dip on Monday as the optimism around a possible trade deal started to wane; keep in mind there are consequences for both sides if a deal isn’t reached, in particular for American farmers.Brexit MathThe math has changed a touch in the U.K. election, though quite how much is still a debate. Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party will not contest a few hundred seats against the Conservatives, potentially clearing a path to wins for the Tories but still leaving plenty of marginal seats in the game. Still, the bookmakers now have Boris Johnson on track to win, though whether he will win the majority he needs to push through his Brexit dealis still on a knife edge and one can assume there are plenty more twists and turns to come.Hong KongPro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong gathered Tuesday in the city’s financial district for a second day running, having once more disrupted the morning commute by blocking subway lines and clashing with police. The escalation of the tensions weighed on Asia-focused financials like HSBC Holdings Plc and Prudential Plc on Monday and if this is the new normal, that could continue to be the pattern. Fake news and rumors circulating among the protesters appears to be fanning the flames and heightening the distrust and violence, making resolving the matter a much more difficult task.Car PartnersIndia’s Tata Group, the owner of Jaguar Land Rover, is said to have approached the likes of China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding and BMW AG as it seeks to form partnerships for its British autos business to share the huge cost burden of investing in creating a new generation of electric vehicles. Car companies are increasingly looking towards mergers and partnerships, as seen with the combination of PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, to bulk up and work through this expensive, transitional period for the industry. One positive for autos, however, is the U.S. may delay tariffs on imported vehicles.Coming Up…Stocks were mixed in Asia, with eyes still on the trade picture and Hong Kong, and European futures are pointing to a slightly positive open. There’s a smattering of European data to digest, including unemployment numbers in the U.K. and the ZEW economic sentiment indicator for Germany. Earnings ramp up again, with the bill topped by telecoms giant Vodafone Group Plc, U.K. broadcaster ITV Plc and German car parts maker Continental AG.What We’ve Been ReadingThis is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours. Ignoring women costs the financial industry $700 billion a year. Adidas abandoned its robot factory experiment. Wealthy folks have amassed $121 billion in tax-sheltered accounts. Burger King’s plant-based Rebel Whopper has been unveiled in Europe. Scary Spice wants to talk to Tesco’s CEO. A branded Amazon grocery store is on the way. Could gimmicky airline safety videos put passengers in danger?Like Bloomberg's Five Things? Subscribe for unlimited access to trusted, data-based journalism in 120 countries around the world and gain expert analysis from exclusive daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. Find out more about how the Terminal delivers information and analysis that financial professionals can't find anywhere else. Learn more.To contact the authors of this story: Sam Unsted in London at sunsted@bloomberg.netPhil Serafino in Paris at pserafino@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day
Brussels Edition: Engine Damage, NATO Strain, German Unity(Bloomberg) -- Welcome to the Brussels Edition, Bloomberg’s daily briefing on what matters most in the heart of the European Union. Sign up here to get it in your inbox every weekday morning.With euro-area economic growth likely to stay muted for the next couple of years, it remains to be seen how badly the engine is damaged and what it will cost to repair. Data later this week are likely to show Germany either in a recession or just skirting one. Investor sentiment indicators due out today will give a taste of what comes next. German businesses are already turning more pessimistic on China, one of their biggest markets. And with monetary policy maxed out, any further evidence of a downturn will amplify calls for Angela Merkel’s government to provide bold economic stimulus — something it has so far vehemently resisted.What’s HappeningCarbon Clash | Germany’s competitive challenges were laid bare in a forgotten frenzy over carbon fiber, which BMW and its peers bet would be the core of future automobiles. But the push, which came as Tesla was inventing the iPhone on wheels, proved to be more of an engineering vanity project and highlights the shortcomings of a corporate culture with a bias for stability. Here's more.NATO Strains | NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg  heads to Washington, where he’ll hold a series of meetings, including with Donald Trump. His trip comes days after Emmanuel Macron said Trump’s unilateral withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria marked the “brain death” of the trans-Atlantic alliance. Meanwhile in Brussels, EU defense ministers will talk about EU-NATO cooperation, a discussion that Macron’s comments made a lot more interesting.Farage’s Gift | While a group of EU lawmakers debate the latest on Brexit in Brussels today, Boris Johnson’s chances of winning the U.K. general election got another boost after Nigel Farage said his party wouldn’t contest Tory seats. The move should help Johnson’s efforts to secure a majority for a Brexit deal, but Farage’s party continues to pose a threat in other key regions.Cambodia Action | The EU may move a step closer today to imposing trade sanctions against Cambodia over alleged humans-rights violations, just days after it sent troops to its border and called on neighbors to arrest exiled dissidents, accusing them of plotting a coup. The Commission is due to send a monitoring report to the Cambodian government as part of a threat to suspend a policy that lets it export all goods except weapons duty-free and quota-free to the EU.In Case You Missed ItGerman Unity | Merkel signaled support for her deputy’s push to break a years-long impasse over Europe’s banking integration, saying Monday eveningin Rome that the proposals from Finance Minister Olaf Scholz go in “the direction that we need.” While not officially endorsed by the government, Merkel’s comments reflect a willingness to negotiate on establishing EU-wide bank deposit insurance.In the Air | EU regulators stopped the clockon their antitrust probe into Boeing’s plan to invest in Embraer, saying they hadn’t received sufficient information. The heightened scrutiny puts new pressure on Boeing’s plan to take an 80% stake in a venture controlling Embraer’s commercial airplane and services businesses, a move that would broaden its reach into the regional-jet market and position the two companies to better compete with Airbus. A review can only be restarted once the Commission gets the answers it needs.Slovak Split | Slovakia’s former authoritarian premier, Vladimir Meciar, announced he will lead a newparty into general elections, adding to the number of groups seeking to derail the country’s pro-western orientation. The vote comes amid rising frustration over corruption, which has boosted liberal and center-right parties but also fueled support for nationalist anti-establishment groups.Warsaw vs Netflix | Poland’s prime minister wrote an official letter to Netflix requesting that the company correct facts about the Holocaust in a documentary series. His move follows last year’s decision by the nationalist ruling Law &Justice party to outlaw the phrase “Polish death camps” and make it a criminal offense to suggest that Poland was complicit in the mass murder of Jews during World War II.Chart of the DayBritain dodged a recession ahead of the now-postponed Brexit deadline, but the figures underscored the economic challenge facing whoever winsnext month’s election. The latest numbers give parties across the political spectrum something to latch on to as they campaign, with both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn unveiling massive spending plans in a bid to woo voters.Today’s AgendaAll times CET.8:30 a.m. EU defense ministers meet inBrussels, to discuss EU-NATO cooperation, third-country participation in joint military projects 3 p.m. The European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee debates Brexit state of play ECB Supervisory Board Chair Enria, EBA Chair Campa, EU Commission Vice President Dombrovskis speak at anevent on Basel III in Brussels NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg travels to Washington D.C. for four-day trip EU trade chief Malmström in Gothenburg, Sweden, participates in panel discussion on the Global Economy EU antitrust chief Vestager receives the Harvard Club Leadership Prize in Brussels ECB Executive Board member Coeure speaks at money markets event in Frankfurt First parliamentary sitting since Polish election, with Morawiecki to form new government as the ruling party battles for control of the upper houseLike the Brussels Edition?Don’t keep it to yourself. Colleagues and friends can sign up here. We also publish the Brexit Bulletin, a daily briefing on the latest on the U.K.’s departure from the EU. For even more: Subscribe to Bloomberg All Access for full global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.How arewe doing? We want to hear what you think about this newsletter. Let our Brussels bureau chief know.\--With assistance from Jonathan Stearns and Zoe Schneeweiss.To contact the author of this story: Viktoria Dendrinou in Brussels at vdendrinou@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Heather Harris at hharris5@bloomberg.net, Iain RogersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Brussels Edition: Engine Damage, NATO Strain, German Unity
Nikki Haley: I was asked by Cabinet members to take sides against the presidentThe former U.N. Ambassador – a Trump loyalist dismissive of the Ukraine scandal being investigated by Congress – also says she doesn't feel comfortable pursuing impeachment in an election year
Nikki Haley: I was asked by Cabinet members to take sides against the president
Germany Won’t Enlist in Macron’s European Army(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Now that German leaders have responded to French President Emmanuel Macron’s provocative remarks concerning the future of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, an unusually wide public rift has emerged between France and Germany. At its root, it’s about France’s leadership ambitions, to which Germany is opposed without itself wanting to lead.“We do want a strong and sovereign Europe,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas wrote in an op-ed article in the weekly Der Spiegel on Sunday. “But we need it as part of a strong NATO, and not as a substitute.”That doesn’t just mean Maas is keen to preserve Europe’s, and Germany’s, transatlantic alliance regardless of U.S. President Donald Trump’s relative lack of interest in it — simply because Europe cannot defend itself without U.S. help today. Maas insisted that “when Europe is one day able to defend its own security, we should still want NATO.”And, directly answering Macron’s musings about improving relations with Russia as the alliance with the U.S. erodes, the German minister declared that “Germany will not tolerate any special arrangements, not vis-à-vis Moscow and not on any other matters,” because it takes the security of Poland and the Baltic states to heart.These are strong statements, especially coming from Maas. He’s a member of the Social Democratic Party, which is less pro-U.S. and pro-NATO than its senior partner in Germany’s governing coalition, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union. But on the points Maas made in his article, the German government appears to be united. Merkel, too, has criticized Macron’s vision more sharply than on any other matter since his election in 2017, calling it a “sweeping attack.”“We must bring the European part of NATO closer together,”Merkel said on her regular Sunday podcast. That, she added, was what the European Union defense project, known as Permanent Structured Cooperation, or Pesco, is all about.That’s an approach radically different from Macron’s. To him, the EU defense project is about strategic sovereignty. To German politicians, it’s largely an efficiency project aimed at harmonizing European countries’ defense industries, cutting the number of different defense systems used by member states’ armies, and centralizing the development of new weapons such as warplanes and tanks.This German vision is consistent with the Framework Nations Concept, adopted by NATO in 2014. It’s a mechanism for voluntary defense cooperation built around specific nations’ projects, such as Germany’s own idea of coordinating the development of defense capabilities, or the U.K.’s work on a multinational rapid response force. Under the concept, pretty much any cooperation projects, even those including non-NATO members such as Sweden and Finland, can take place under NATO’s umbrella.With NATO providing such a flexible platform, it’s often not obvious why any other defense cooperation programs are necessary. NATO and the EU have agreed to coordinate their activities, anyway, and it’s evident from progress reports on that effort that this creates a lot of duplicative bureaucratic activity such as cross-participation in working groups. The same exercises under the program get two different names, one for the EU and one for NATO.But especially from the French point of view, NATO isn’t the best platform for joint procurement programs, because outside it, Europeans can keep out U.S. competition. Involving NATO also means dealing with the U.S. as the organization’s military leader. France, as the country with the strongest military in the EU, likes to exercise leadership, too. Which is perhaps the best explanation for Macron’s European Intervention Initiative, an attempt at coordinating European countries’ strategic thinking that isn’t even part of EU defense cooperation.Germany doesn’t have France’s military ambitions. It’s a low defense spender because higher expenditure is politically unpopular. The Bundeswehr’s combat readiness is constantly in question, and there’s all the weight of history on the shoulders of  German leaders. So Germanpoliticians see their function in maintaining European security differently than Macron does, even if they, too, refer to “leadership.”“As a country at the centre of Europe, Germany must play a central, mediatory and balanced role – within Europe and vis-a-vis the United States,” Maas wrote. “If we do not assume this leadership role, nobody will.”Being a mediator, though, is not the same as being a leader. An unambitious, compromise-minded Germany won’t compete with Macron’s cocky France, but it’ll be a drag on Macron’s security strategizing, getting in the way as he tries to provoke the U.S. with talk of strategic autonomy or flirt with Russia. It’ll provide the reliably boring alternative, and that’s probably for the best: Any machine in which Macron designs the sporty engine needs German-made brakes.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tobin Harshaw at tharshaw@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Germany Won’t Enlist in Macron’s European Army
Performers wounded in knife attack on stage in Saudi ArabiaTwo men and a woman were wounded in a knife attack Monday evening as they performed on stage in a park in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, marking the first such incident since the kingdom began loosening restrictions on entertainment. Saudi broadcaster al-Ekhbariya reported that police detained the suspect, who was identified only as a 33-year-old Yemeni male resident of Saudi Arabia. Al-Ekhbariya reported the three performers wounded in the attack are in stable condition.
Performers wounded in knife attack on stage in Saudi Arabia
Trump's leadership style 'misunderstood': Nikki HaleyFormer United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley says Trump is a leader who listens.
Trump's leadership style 'misunderstood': Nikki Haley
Brazil's Bolsonaro to walk diplomatic tightrope at BRICSBrazil's President Jair Bolsonaro will walk a diplomatic tightrope Wednesday when he hosts his Chinese counterpart, as he seeks to boost ties with Beijing and avoid upsetting key ally Donald Trump. Just weeks after his first official visit to China, Bolsonaro will hold talks with Xi Jinping in Brazil's capital Brasilia on the eve of a summit with their BRICS counterparts from Russia, India and South Africa. Bolsonaro's bilateral meeting with Xi -- one of several to be held on the sidelines of the annual BRICS get-together that will focus on economic growth and innovation -- comes as the United States and China wage a protracted trade war that has roiled the global economy.
Brazil's Bolsonaro to walk diplomatic tightrope at BRICS
Pneumonia kills a child every 39 seconds, health agencies sayPneumonia killed more than 800,000 babies and young children last year - or one child every 39 seconds - despite being curable and mostly preventable, global health agencies said on Tuesday. In a report on what they described as a "forgotten epidemic", the United Nations children's fund UNICEF, the international charity Save The Children and four other health agencies urged governments to step up investment in vaccines to prevent the disease and in health services and medicines to treat it. "The fact that this preventable, treatable and easily diagnosed disease is still the world's biggest killer of young children is frankly shocking," said Seth Berkley, chief executive of the GAVI vaccines alliance.
Pneumonia kills a child every 39 seconds, health agencies say
Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on what's moving Asia’s markets in your inbox every morning? Sign up here.More gunshots have fueled tensions in Hong Kong, Sydney faces a “catastrophic” fire warning, and Boeing soared after providing more detail on how soon the 737 Max will return to the skies. Here are some of the things people in markets aretalking about today.Rumors AboundFake news is taking a sinister role in stoking violence in Hong Kong. As anti-government protests stretch into their 23rd straight week, the city is being inundated with online rumors, fake news and propaganda from both sides of the political divide. Soon after a 22-year-old student Alex Chow fell off the edge of a parking garage last week, allegations that he was chased — and maybe even pushed — by police began spreading on social media and messaging apps. Never mind that the claims were unsubstantiated: Hundreds of protesters seized on Chow’s Nov. 8death to engage in clashes with police that resulted in one person being shot on Monday, and another st on fire. Both remain in critical condition. The day’s chaos also showed the strains facing Hong Kong’s police, which the China-appointed government has relied on to suppress increasingly violent protests aimed at securing greater democracy. Markets UpStocks in Asia looked set to claw back some of Monday’s losses as investors awaited further developments on a trade deal and kept an eye on the volatile situation in Hong Kong, while the dollar fell for the first time in six days. Futures pointed higher in Tokyo, Sydney and Hong Kong, where shares dropped as much as 3% Monday to lead a slide in regional markets on continued unrest in the city. In the U.S., the S&P 500 Index dropped for the first time in four sessions on below average volume. Treasuries were closed for the Veterans’ Day holiday, and the pound rallied as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s efforts to leave the European Union got a boost from the Brexit Party. Elsewhere, emerging market shares fell the most in more than two months. Crude oil edged lower.Sydney in SmokeAfter Sydney was issued a “ catastrophic”fire danger warning for Tuesday — the highest level that’s ever been issued for Australia’s largest city — waking up to the smell of smoke came as no surprise to Sydney-siders this morning. As the country’s bushfire season becomes longer and more intense, the threat to lives and homes across the nation has grown. High temperatures and strong winds are expected to fan more than 50 fires burning across New South Wales state, with authorities warning that embers could be blown 30 kilometers from the numerous fire fronts and trigger more outbreaks. With three people dead and 150 homes destroyed in recent days, and almost million hectares of land burned this season, the fires have thrust the threat posed by global warming back into the headlines in a nation that gets the bulk of its energy from burning coal. Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has largely sidestepped the issue of climate change when asked about the bushfires.Boeing SoarsBoeing surged the most since June after providing more detail on how the 737 Max will return to the skies — even as the company backed away from saying the grounded jet would win full regulatory approval next month. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is on track to certify redesigned flight-control software by mid-December, Boeing spokesman Gordon Johndroe said Monday in an email. That could enable the planemaker to begin shipping new jets that have been stashed away across the Pacific Northwest and Texas during a flying ban imposed back in March, after two crashes killed 346 people. While the Max won’t be cleared to resume commercial flights until regulators also sign off on updated training material for pilots — expected to occur in January — the more detailed road map eased investor jitters over Boeing’s prospects. Farage Forgoes FightIt’s been all quiet on the Brexit front for a couple of days, but now, Nigel Farage has boosted Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chances of winning a majority by dramatically announcing his Brexit Party won’t fight to oust Conservatives at next month’sU.K. general election. The pound rose on the news. The Brexit Party leader told a rally in Hartlepool, northeast England, on Monday that it was a difficult decision to stand down candidates in the 317 seats the Tories won in the last national vote in 2017, but said he’s reassured by Johnson’s plans for a sharper split with the European Union. Farage said he’s “unilaterally” creating an “alliance” for Brexit to stop pro-EU politicians winning seats, as a means of preventing a triggering of a second referendum to keep Britain in the bloc.What We’ve Been ReadingThis is what’s caught our eye over the past 24 hours.Alibaba smashes last year’s Singles’ Day sales record. Apple Card’s sex-bias issue shows AI hasn’t tackled a ’70s problem. Malaysia’s airline-safety ranking has been downgraded. WeWork is searching for a new CEO to turn around the troubled co-working company. A $100 billion fund manager is debunking stock-bubble theories. A record $173 billion is flowing from Korea into riskier assets. This Patek Philippe watch just sold for $31 million. To contact the author of this story: Sybilla Gross in Sydney at sgross61@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Alyssa McDonald at amcdonald61@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
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