By Kylie MacLellan and Anirban Nag LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's vote to leave the European Union continued to reverberate through financial markets, with the pound falling to its lowest level in 31 years, despite government attempts to relieve some of the confusion about the political and economic outlook. UK finance minister George Osborne said early Monday that the British economy was strong enough to cope with the market volatility caused by last week's "Brexit" referendum which has resulted in the biggest blow since World War Two to the European goal of forging greater unity. "Our economy is about as strong as it could be to confront the challenge our country now faces," Osborne told reporters.
The United States looks unlikely to follow through on a threat to relegate Britain to second-class trade status once its ally leaves the European Union, as it weighs the potential costs of undermining the countries' close diplomatic and military ties. President Barack Obama had warned ahead of Thursday's "Brexit" referendum that Britain would move to the back of the queue on U.S. trade priorities if it voted to leave the bloc, well behind a much-larger U.S.-European trade deal now under negotiation. Security and trade experts said Washington is wary of adding to Britain's economic pain, which could hamper its ability to maintain its commitments to NATO and U.S.-led efforts to fight terrorism.
By Matt Spetalnick, Jason Szep and Antoni Slodkowski WASHINGTON/YANGON (Reuters) - The United States has decided to place Myanmar on its global list of worst offenders in human trafficking, officials said, a move aimed at prodding the country’s new democratically elected government and its still-powerful military to do more to curb the use of child soldiers and forced labor. The reprimand of Myanmar comes despite U.S. efforts to court the strategically important country to help counteract China’s rise in the region and build a Southeast Asian bulwark against Beijing’s territorial assertiveness in the South China Sea. Myanmar’s demotion, part of the State Department’s closely watched annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report due to be released on Thursday, also appears intended to send a message of U.S. concern about continued widespread persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority in the Buddhist-majority nation.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's air force has helped Syrian government troops to escape encirclement near Aleppo, Interfax news agency on Tuesday quoted Russia's ambassador to Syria as saying, adding he did not expect Syria's army to assault the city in the nearest time. "I am not confident than an offensive on Aleppo will take place in the foreseeable future," Alexander Kinshchak told Interfax. "As for Raqqa, in this case I would also like to refrain from any certain forecasts regarding its liberation," he added, referring to Islamic State's bulwark. ...
By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. prosecutor said on Monday that Chinese officials were involved in developing a United Nations-focused news outlet that was used to funnel bribes from a Macau billionaire to a former U.N. General Assembly president who died last week. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Richenthal made that claim at a hearing in Manhattan federal court as he contended that a defense lawyer's prior work for the Chinese government may create a potential conflict in representing the real estate mogul, Ng Lap Seng. Richenthal said evidence showed that Chinese officials were involved in talks with Ng about developing a U.N.-sponsored conference center for which Ng had bribed former General Assembly President John Ashe to gain his support.
By Robin Emmott BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Britain's departure from the European Union risks undermining Europe's new defense strategy, days before NATO and EU governments sign a landmark pact to confront a range of threats from Russia to the Mediterranean, officials say. The European Union and the United States plan to use two separate EU and NATO summits in the coming days to push reforms of the West's two main security pillars, aimed at reducing Europe's reliance on Washington in its own neighborhood.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab will face trial for tweets he allegedly made about the Gulf Arab kingdom's prison system and its involvement in the war in Yemen, his lawyer said on Sunday, and he could face up to 13 years in prison. Rajab was arrested earlier this month on unspecified charges in what appears an escalating crackdown by the Sunni-led government that also included a court shutting down a main opposition society and a decision to strip the spiritual leader of the island's Shi'ite Muslim majority of his citizenship. ...
Russian harassment and surveillance of U.S. diplomats in Moscow has increased significantly and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry raised the issue recently with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the State Department said on Monday. Kerry last raised the matter with Putin on March 24 this year, a State Department official said. "He has raised it with President Putin," State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told a news briefing earlier, adding: "We see an increase and we take it seriously." Trudeau said harassment by Russian security agents and traffic police had been an issue over the past two years, but did not give details of incidents nor why it was raised with Putin.
Nigel Farage, the head of Britain's anti-EU UK Independence Party, said on Tuesday he wanted to be good friends and trading partners with the remaining EU nations after Britain exits the bloc. Now we have to win the peace," Farage told journalists before a European Parliament session to discuss the British referendum. "We want to be good friends, good neighbors, good trading partners." Farage said Britain should leave as soon as possible, but that the process should be amicable, adding that the size of the British economy and its close links with the rest of the EU meant that it should be given a preferential deal.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - UKIP leader Nigel Farage seemed to offer some conciliatory private words to EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday and received a peck on the cheek in return in the European Parliament on Tuesday. As EU lawmakers gathered in stunned special session to digest Britain's Brexit vote, Farage, who has long used the Brussels legislature as a platform for his campaign to get Britain out, walked over to the European Commission president and spoke to him briefly and apparently amicably. ...
BEIRUT (AP) — A prominent Lebanese journalist who hosted a talk show on Egypt's private ONTV critical of the government of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi arrived in Beirut on Tuesday after authorities in Cairo briefly detained her and then deported her, her lawyer said.
Several online travel sites have seen a jump in queries from Americans about travel to the United Kingdom since it voted to leave the European Union, a sign so-called "Brexit" and the resulting drop in the value of the pound currency may spur U.S. visits to Britain. One site found that more Britons were also asking about flights to the United States. Travel agents, hotel chains and airlines say it is too early to tell if the vote has impacted bookings.
Zimbabwe's main opposition leader and President Robert Mugabe's chief rival for the last 17 years said on Tuesday he has been diagnosed with cancer of the colon and is undergoing treatment in neighboring South Africa. Morgan Tsvangirai, 64, who was Zimbabwe's prime minister in an uneasy coalition government with the 92-year-old Mugabe from 2009 until 2013, said it was important for national leaders to disclose their health status. Mugabe routinely denies local media reports that he is suffering from prostate cancer and says his frequent trips to Singapore are for routine medical checks.
By Eveline Danubrata and Fergus Jensen JAKARTA (Reuters) - Foreign workers are leaving Indonesia at an increasing rate due to the slump in commodity prices that has forced resource companies to slash jobs at a time when the government has also introduced tighter regulations on expatriates in Southeast Asia's biggest economy. The number of temporary residential permits issued to foreigners, including renewals, has fallen for the past few years to 171,944 in 2015 from 194,162 in 2013. In the first five months of this year, there were 72,399 issued but many of those who provide services to expats say they expect a further drop over the whole of 2016 as they are seeing very few new arrivals.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's government lowered growth outlook for Asia's fourth-largest economy and planned a supplementary budget for a second year in a row as the global economy faces heightened uncertainty.
MARRAKECH, Morocco (AP) — U.S. first lady Michelle Obama was visiting Morocco to promote education for girls in the North African kingdom, where only 36 percent of girls continue school beyond the primary level.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index won 2.0 percent to 6,103.82 points, accelerating initial gains, while Frankfurt's DAX 30 added almost 2.1 percent to 9,458.38 points and the Paris CAC 40 jumped nearly 2.3 percent to 4,074.36. "Today's rebound is likely just investors searching for the lows," Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell told AFP. A "dead cat bounce" is a market term referring to a rebound briefly interrupting a prolonged market downturn.
Israeli authorities announced Tuesday they were closing Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound to non-Muslim visitors after a series of clashes between worshippers and police. The decision will apply until the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan next week, a police spokeswoman told AFP. Clashes between Muslims and Israeli police have been taking place every morning since Sunday over Jewish visits to the site, with youths throwing stones and security forces firing tear gas and sponge-tipped bullets.
Redcar (United Kingdom) (AFP) - "This whole seafront was packed with boats," said Vicky Thwaites, surveying the broad beach at Redcar, a once-prosperous town that voted overwhelmingly for Britain to leave the EU. Thursday's dramatic vote to quit the European Union was driven by millions of people in the post-industrial north and centre of England, in working-class towns like Redcar, on the northeast coast. The strength of feeling may have stunned metropolitan Britain, but came as no surprise in places like Redcar, where 66.2 percent ultimately voted to leave the EU.
SALEM, West Bank (AP) — As Palestinians in the West Bank fast from dawn to dusk in scorching heat during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, tens of thousands of people have been affected by a drought that has greatly reduced the flow to their taps.
It was the language of China's last imperial dynasty which ruled a vast kingdom for nearly three centuries. Traders and farmers from what are now the borders of China and Korea, the Manchus took advantage of a crumbling Ming state and swept south in the 1600s to establish their own Qing Dynasty. Now after centuries of decline followed by decades of repression, septuagenarian Ji is the youngest of some nine mother-tongue speakers left in Sanjiazi village, one of only two places in China where they can be found.
Mexico's police and armed forces routinely torture and mistreat women, sometimes using sexual violence during arrest and interrogation, Amnesty International wrote in a damning report released on Tuesday. The rights group interviewed 100 women who reported violence during arrest, all of whom described having been the victim of some form of sexual harassment or psychological abuse. Seven in ten of the women reported sexual violence during arrest or in the hours that followed.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza's Hamas rulers have thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his support following a reconciliation pact with Israel that Ankara says will help alleviate hardships in the isolated coastal strip.
LONDON (AP) — For all that he's achieved in more than a decade as a professional tennis player, from the two Grand Slam titles to the No. 2 ranking, from an Olympic gold medal in singles to a Davis Cup championship, Andy Murray is about to do something he never has: face a fellow Brit at Wimbledon.
BEIJING (AP) — China is a potential winner if Britain and the European Union rework trade deals and look for investors after a British exit. Beijing faces a blow from weaker European demand for its exports and pressure to hold its yuan steady in turbulent currency markets. But economists and political analysts say if Britain and the EU split, both sides will look to cash-rich Chinese companies that are expanding abroad — with the possible bonus for Beijing of closer political ties. "One of the benefits China can gain from 'Brexit' is a stronger and closer economic relationship with the U.K.
TOKYO (AP) — An American sailor has tapped a cloud-based technology for mobile phones to make it easier to have volunteers take turns driving drunk friends home, an initiative that has curtailed drunken driving among the Navy ranks.
In presiding over England's humiliating Euro 2016 elimination at the hands of Iceland, Roy Hodgson seemed to abandon the principles upon which he has constructed his entire career. Hodgson, 68, resigned as manager in the press conference room at Stade de Nice minutes after his side's 2-1 loss to Iceland in the last 16 on Monday had brought his third major tournament to a dismal end. Despite building his reputation upon producing well-structured, defensively organised teams, his England side proved careless in defence and shapeless in attack, prompting withering criticism from pundits.