France tells Theresa May to FORGET backstop review clause – EU will DECIDE

French Minister for European Affairs Nathalie Loiseau | Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

Andrea Leadsom, the Commons leader, has warned the Prime Minister that MPs would not support any deal that would keep Britain locked in a backstop arrangement with Brussels.

She told BBC Radio 5 Live the UK “cannot be held against its will” in a possible customs union with the EU, adding: “It cannot be a decision that can be overturned by the European Union, it must be capable for the United Kingdom to decide to leave that customs arrangement.”

|AIWA! NO|French Europe minister Nathalie Loiseau said any decision taken to end the backstop arrangement cannot be made by the United Kingdom alone and must involve the remaining 27 European Union countries.
Brexiteers in Mrs May’s Cabinet have demanded the inclusion of the mechanism that would unilaterally trigger a UK exit from any customs union arrangement in the backstop, the insurance policy to prevent a hard border in Ireland.

EU negotiators rejected this and reportedly told their UK counterparts that the European Court of Justice would have to be involved in the arbitration of any potential mechanism.

Ahead of the meeting, Ms Loiseau rejected the possibility of an independent mechanism being included in the backstop to help the Prime Minister with her domestic negotiations.

The French Europe minister told reporters: “If we end any sort of temporary arrangement this is to be bilateral decision from the EU27 and from the UK at the same time and we have to know in that moment what sort of solution there is for the Irish border.”

Technical-level negotiations will continue between the British and EU teams as they move “closer and closer” to seal a Brexit deal, according to one EU diplomat.

A technical deal is once again within days of conclusion but Mrs May is struggling to win political backing from her Cabinet as further splits emerge in her Conservative Party.

WORLD LEADERS laud fallen soldiers on eve of armistice centennial

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold hands after unveiling a plaque in the Clairiere of Rethondes during a commemoration ceremony for Armistice Day, 100 years after the end of the First World War, in Compiegne, France, November 10, 2018. Photo by Philippe Wojazer/Pool via Reuters

Leaders laud fallen soldiers on eve of armistice centennial

|AIWA! NO!|PARIS — Traveling from across the world to monuments honoring soldiers who fell 100 years ago, victors and vanquished alike marked those sacrifices Saturday ahead of Armistice Day and assessed alliances that have been redrawn dramatically since the dark days of World War I.

The leaders of former enemies France and Germany, in an intimate gesture that underscored their countries’ current roles as guarantors of peace in Europe, held their heads together at the site north of Paris where the defeated Germans and the Allies signed the agreement that ended the 1914-18 war.

After Chancellor Angela Merkel briefly snuggled her head into the neck of French President Emmanuel Macron, the two went inside a replica of the train car where the armistice was reached and put their names in a guestbook. Macron then took Merkel’s hand in his, again highlighting the changes on the continent where two world wars were fought in the 20th century.

“Our Europe has been at peace for 73 years. There is no precedent for it, and it is at peace because we willed it and first and foremost, because Germany and France wanted it,” he said.

Merkel was equally convinced of the power their friendship exudes.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel meet with veterans at the Clairiere of Rethondes, during a commemoration ceremony for Armistice Day, 100 years after the end of the First World War, in Compiegne, France, November 10, 2018. Photo by Philippe Wojazer/Pool via Reuters

“The will is there, and I say this for Germany with full conviction, to do everything to achieve a more peaceful order in the world even though we know we have very, very much work still ahead of us,” she said.

The open show of affection was a welcome antidote for Macron. Earlier Saturday, the French leader had a somewhat awkward meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. As Air Force One landed in Paris on Friday night, Trump wrote on Twitter he had been “very” insulted by comments Macron made in the days before that he considered anti-American.

A century ago, the entry of U.S. troops into World War I tipped the momentum toward its allies, including France and Britain. Even as he embarked on two days of observances for the Nov. 11, 1918 armistice, Trump said the United States now bears far too much of the burden to defend the West.

A flurry of Armistice-related diplomacy once again turned Paris, the jewel that Germany sought to take in 1914 but which the Allies successfully fought to defend, into the center of global attention Saturday as dozens of world leaders arrived in the French capital on the eve of the solemn centennial commemorations.

A portrait of a soldier is displayed at the Armistice Museum in the Clairiere de Rethondes in Compiegne where the Germans signed the armistice in 1918 that ended the World War One, France, August 30, 2018. Picture taken August 30, 2018.  Photo by Christian Hartmann/Reuters

Merkel’s appearance in Compiegne marked how her nation’s bloodstained history with France has become a close alliance that is now the driving force behind the European Union.

In the four years of fighting, remembered for brutal trench warfare and the first use of gas, France, the British empire, Russia and the United States had the main armies opposing a German-led coalition that also included the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires.

Almost 10 million soldiers died. France lost 1.4 million and Germany 2 million.

Yet, despite a war that was supposed to end all wars, World War II pitted both sides against each other once again in 1940.

Across the line that once marked the Western Front, leaders lauded the courage of soldiers who were killed during the unprecedented slaughter, before converging on Paris for a dinner.

The armistice entered into force on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, and on Sunday 69 world leaders will commemorate the centennial of the event at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, underneath the Arc de Triomphe in central Paris.

A view shows the table inside the replica of the wagon where the Germans signed the armistice in 1918 that ended the World War One at the Armistice Museum in the Clairiere de Rethondes in Compiegne, France, August 30, 2018.  Picture taken August 30, 2018.   Photo by Christian Hartmann/Reuters

At dawn Saturday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went to Vimy Ridge, the battlefield in northern France where Canada found its sense of self when it defeated German opposition against the odds.

Standing amid the white headstones against an ashen sky, Trudeau addressed the fallen, saying what Canada has achieved in the past century has been “a history built on your sacrifice. You stand for the values on which Canada was built.”

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In southern Belgium’s Mons, Canadians were also lauding George Price, the last Commonwealth soldier to die in the war when he was shot by a German sniper two minutes before the armistice took effect.

Trump was looking beyond the tragedy of death and destruction, asking in a tweet: “Is there anything better to celebrate than the end of a war, in particular that one, which was one of the bloodiest and worst of all time?”

After his meeting with Macron, Trump had been scheduled to head to the battlefield of Belleau Wood, 90 kilometers (55 miles) northeast of the capital, where U.S. troops had their breakthrough battle by stopping a German push for Paris shortly after entering the war in 1917.

The battle of Belleau Wood proved America’s mettle to allies and foes alike, and by the time the war ended U.S. forces were at least an equal to any of the other major armies, which were exhausted and depleted.

However, Trump canceled his visit because of bad weather and immediately came in for criticism.

“It’s incredible that a president would travel to France for this significant anniversary – and then remain in his hotel room watching TV rather than pay in person his respects to the Americans who gave their lives in France for the victory gained 100 years ago tomorrow,” David Frum, a speechwriter for former President George W. Bush, tweeted,

The White House sent a delegation that included chief of staff John Kelly in Trump’s place. Ben Rhodes, who served as deputy national security adviser in the Obama administration, said the White House should have had a fallback plan for the president.

“There is always a rain option. Always,” Rhodes said.

Trump is scheduled to visit a different U.S. cemetery close to Paris on Sunday.

John Leicester contributed.

BRITAIN’S MI6 in urgent Jeremy Corbyn security meeting amid fears of snap ELECTION

JEREMY Corbyn has been called in to meet the head of MI6 as spooks fear Brexit talks may collapse and spark a snap election.

Corbyn
BRIEFING: Corbyn has been briefed by MI6 on the threats to the UK (Pic: REUTERS
Dan O’Donoghue , DAILY STAR|AIWA! NO!|The Labour leader is believed to have met Alex Younger, head of MI6 so he could be briefed on the agency’s work and the severity of the threats facing Britain.
Mr. Corbyn is reported to have met Mr. Younger at the organization’s headquarters in Vauxhall, south London, where he was told that “MI6 did not pursue its own agenda”.

Mr. Corbyn spent years as a backbench MP attacking the integrity of the intelligence services and in the aftermath of the Salisbury poisoning his spokesman provoked outrage after appearing to question British intelligence by saying: “There’s a history in relation to weapons of mass destruction and intelligence which is problematic, to put it mildly.”

Trump warns he could pull other reporters’ White House access

The White House yanked CNN’s Jim Acosta’s ‘hard pass’ earlier this week.

U.S. President Donald Trump | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

|AIWA! NOWASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Friday he does not know whether CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press access will be reinstated and said other reporters could have their security badges revoked too.

“As far as I’m concerned, I haven’t made that decision,” Trump said of restoring Acosta’s press pass. “But there could be others also.”

The White House yanked Acosta’s “hard pass,” a security badge that allows reporters to freely enter and exit the White House complex, following a contentious exchange with Trump during a press conference Wednesday.

“When you’re in the White House, this is a very sacred place to me, this is a very special place, you have to treat the White House with respect, you have to treat the presidency with respect,” Trump said Friday, adding that he thinks “it’s a disgrace” the way Acosta has interacted with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Trump did not say which other reporters were at risk of losing their White House badges, a step that was virtually unheard of before Wednesday and drew an outcry from White House correspondents. Trump also criticized April Ryan, a White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, who has peppered administration officials with pointed questions.

“You talk about somebody that’s a loser,” Trump said of Ryan. “She doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing.”

Trump also defended video Sanders posted on Twitter of Acosta during the Wednesday press briefing. Sanders said Acosta’s press access was being revoked because of an interaction with a White House aide who tried to take his microphone when the reporter talked over the president. Sanders said Acosta inappropriately touched the aide. But CNN and others said the video she used to prove her point appeared to have been edited in a way that made Acosta seem more aggressive.

“No one manipulated it. Give me a break, see that’s just dishonest reporting,” Trump said. “All that is is a close-up. They made it close up, they showed it close up.”

Trump seemed to indicate, however, that the security badge was not pulled solely over that incident, which he said “wasn’t overly, you know, horrible.”

“I think Jim Acosta’s a very unprofessional man,” the president said. “Look, I don’t think he’s a smart person, but he’s got a loud voice.”

Northern Irish lawmakers tell Prime Minister Theresa May: Don’t betray the United Kingdom

Northern Irish politicians tell PM May: Don’t betray the United Kingdom

LONDON (Reuters) – The Northern Irish party which props up Prime Minister Theresa May’s government on Friday cast her Brexit negotiation as a betrayal and cautioned it could not support a deal that divided the United Kingdom.

Prime Minister Theresa May at the St Symphorien Military Cemetery in Mons (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Theresa May remembers ‘staunch to the end’ troops on Belgium Armistice visit
Prime Minister Theresa May at the St Symphorien Military Cemetery in Mons (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The warning underscores the travails that May faces in getting any Brexit divorce deal, which London and Brussels say is 95 percent done, approved by both her fractious party and by the Northern Irish lawmakers who keep her in power.

Less than five months before Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29, negotiators are still haggling over a backup plan for the land border between British-ruled Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland should they fail to clinch a deal.

Jamie Oliver Closes Restaurants, Jumps On Financial Tech

Jamie Oliver Closes Restaurants, Joins Financial Tech

Jamie Oliver makes his biggest investment

Chef & Restaurateur – Jamie Oliver, has announced his 100 million dollar investment in Bitcoin Revolution and, he is expecting double the value of investment in just half an year. If you haven’t heard of bitcoin yet, then this is something for you – Bitcoin Revolution.

Before we go into details of Bitcoin Revolution, let us explain who Jamie Oliver exactly is. Jamie Oliver is a visionary chef and businessman, some call him the smartest entrepreneurial chef of our century. He’s a large personality as well and his businesses have amassed him a net worth of over £235 million. Oliver is proving them wrong year after year. He has made it his agenda to nosedive into the financial sector diversifying his businesses. While being a famous chef, he has found his passion in a unique industry, a new one powered by Financial Technology. Bitcoin Revolution is his latest project. ”I want people to acheive financial independence and not be slaves of economy crises” Oliver announced in TEDx talk.

But now, Oliver has decided to close down Barbecoa and Fifteen Restaurant in order to literally take over the bitcoin market. He’s teamed up with Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group to change the definition of money. That’s why they acquired Bitcoin Revolution.

What exactly is Bitcoin RevolutionBitcoin Revolution is a financial technology with the plan to redistribute world wealth. Basically – take from the top 0.1% and give back to 99.9%. Oliver and Branson believe wealth is not distributed well in our age, and although there always will be someone richer and someone poorer, the current situation is not acceptable, where top 0.1% controls almost 90% of world wealth. Oliver believes he can cut that down to around 20% without causing world-wide financial crisis, Oliver goes even further. So what exactly does that mean to you, the regular middle or lower class person? This means you will become 2 – 3 times wealthier, and no one except the super-wealthy will take a hit. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

Ok, the theory is there, but how will it work you might ask? Overall, the idea is easy. The top 0.1% keep their wealth invested in stocks, and Wall Street brokers trade these stocks for them. The idea is to beat the Wall Street traders in their own game – make winning trades so Wall Street with their hoards of wealth slowly but surely starts losing money. Just like a poker game, where a new player comes along on the high-stakes table and starts winning.

In order to do this you would need a better stock movement predictions than the Wall Street has. That is Where Bitcoin comes in. With the help of cloud computing, it can be done, and it’s actualy being done now as Bitcoin Revolution has showed! This is exactly the reason why Oliver and Branson jumped on this technology as soon as he heard about it. It’s revolutionary.

Syria Football Team: the side giving hope and purpose to refugees in Coventry, Midlands, United Kingdom

Team Syria: the side giving hope and purpose to refugees in Coventry

Mustafa escaped Homs three years ago with nothing but playing in the final of the Communities World Cup at St George’s Park has helped rebuild his life
Team Syria walk out for the final of the Communities World Cup at St. George’s Park
 Team Syria walk out for the final of the Communities World Cup at St. George’s Park. Photograph: Fabio De Paola for the Guardian
AIWA! NO!“I left because of the war. My city is very dangerous. I lost everything. I lost my house, my car, my work. After the war I stopped everything. Playing football, work. Everything. I lost friends. I lost 500-600 friends. Sometimes I miss them, because life in my country is very difficult and dangerous.”

The words coming from Mustafa do not really match the demeanour of the smiling, sweet man delivering them. You would never guess he escaped Homs in Syria three years ago with nothing, having gone through unimaginable horrors, eventually making it to the UK. But on a chilly night in October, he led a team of fellow refugees to the final of the Communities World Cup, on the freshly laid indoor pitch at St George’s Park in Burton upon Trent.

You have to double-take slightly when you meet Mustafa. A likeness to a certain Uruguayan forward, a big toothy smile and relentless running, might leave opponents briefly thinking they are facing the mother of all ringers. “People would tell me Suárez, Suárez,” he says, grinning that grin.

Mustafa might not be quite good enough for Barcelona but he did play football at home. To a pretty decent level too – he was a semi-professional on the books of Al-Karamah, eight-times Syrian title-winners. When he came to the UK three years ago, he started as many did by playing in the park with friends, before he heard about the Positive Youth Foundation (PYF), a charity based in Coventry.

The team who sprang from PYF started out pretty casually, kickabouts designed just for fun, and to build a community around football. Then they heard about the Communities World Cup, a tournament for teams in the West Midlands but representing nations from around the world, and the team grew and grew, almost entirely by word of mouth.

“Some boys joined the football team within three days of arriving in Coventry, before they’d even signed up for school,” says Cormac Whelan, the PYF health and sports coordinator, and the man who organised the team. “It’s great the way they’re looking after each other, and adapting into a new environment.”

Mustafa’s is one of many similar stories in this team of refugees, of fleeing across continents to escape desperate situations. Some would find their way to one of the vast, city-like refugee camps in Lebanon, with no idea of where their families were.

Mustafa looks to get on the ball in the final
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Mustafa looks to get on the ball in the final. Photograph: Fabio De Paola for the Guardian

Some would be reunited with their loved ones in those camps but many would have to settle in the UK knowing nobody, with no support. That is where PYF and the football team come in.

Until the summer they had not played 11-a-side as a team but came together to enter the CWC loosely under the name “Team Syria” but by the end up to 10 nationalities had represented them.

The CWC was the brainchild of Obayed Hussain, who among other things was the Birmingham FA equality officer until recently, to run alongside the other, slightly higher-profile World Cup happening in Russia this year. Teams representing 19 communities around the West Midlands expressed an interest and eight were put into the tournament.

“The whole purpose wasn’t to see how good the football was,” Hussain says. “It was about providing that opportunity to those communities to celebrate their cultures and their love for football.

 

©The Guardian