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    Washington was accused of trying to 'bully' the UK over Brexit yesterday after warning a trade deal was under threat. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Congress will not support a free trade deal with Britain if the Government persists with 'deeply concerning' plans to 'unilaterally discard' the Northern Ireland Protocol. Former Tory Cabinet minister John Redwood accused her of 'idle threats', stressing 'a majority of UK voters do not accept bullying from abroad'. In a stark message, House speaker Nancy Pelosi branded the PM's threat to axe the protocol 'deeply concerning' Former Tory Cabinet minister John Redwood accused her of 'idle threats', stressing 'a majority of UK voters do not accept bullying from abroad' Theresa May's former chief of staff Lord Barwell said: 'Not just our European friends that are very concerned about this government's apparent willingness to renege on commitments it has made.' But senior DUP MP Sammy Wilson said: 'As far as people who understand Northern Ireland go, Speaker Pelosi is at the 'back of the queue'.' This was a reference to Barack Obama, who as president...
    Coming out of the annual GM meetings, Around the Horn takes a spin around the league looking at MLB trade rumors and offseason buzz for 10 teams. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in the industry expect the owners to lock out the players once the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires at midnight Dec. 1. The general consensus is that it will not last long enough to jeopardize the 2022 season. Both the owners and players have one thing in common — they want to make money — and as one prominent agent put it, “deadlines spur action,” especially after each side lost significant money in a COVID-shortened 2021 season. But MLB and the Players’ Association are nowhere close to a deal, with one source familiar with the talks saying that there is “almost no chance” that a deal is reached before Dec. 1. In the meantime, teams and agents laid the foundation for future transactions at the GM Meetings, and multiple sources describe talks throughout the league as “active.” But the bulk of signings and trades will come after the...
    Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is pictured on the screen (R) as he addresses his counterparts during the 4th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit held online on Nov. 15, 2020.Nhac Nguyen | AFP | Getty Images The world's largest trade deal — which includes China and excludes the U.S. — will come into force in January next year. It comes as Australia and New Zealand announced they have ratified the agreement. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP was signed last year by 15 Asia-Pacific countries. The countries are the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and five of their largest trading partners China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. Australia said in a statement on Tuesday that its ratification — together with New Zealand's — paved the way for the deal to enter into force on Jan. 1, 2022, and allowed RCEP to reach a "milestone." New Zealand confirmed its ratification in a separate statement on Wednesday. RCEP will be in force 60 days after a minimum of six ASEAN members and three...
    The Whiteboard is The Step Back’s daily basketball newsletter, covering the NBA, WNBA and more. Subscribe here to get it delivered to you via email each morning. Officially, NBA players and teams aren’t supposed to be able to begin free-agent negotiations until 6 p.m. ET this evening. Unofficially, this is one of those rules no one seems to abide by and the league seems to be wholly uninterested in meaningfully enforcing (Bogdan Bogdanovic aside). Per a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski just this side of vague, it seems the pieces are already in place for a sign-and-trade between the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors, sending Goran Dragic and Precious Achiuwa (and maybe more?) to Toronto, with Kyle Lowry going to Miami. Again, this is a complicated transaction with multiple moving parts and one that has probably been developing for days — the Heat picking up Dragic’s option was a key element and they did that yesterday. Woj has all but confirmed but it will be officially reported within hours of the 6 p.m. deadline passing and we’ll all (including the NBA)...
    A free trade agreement between the United States and the UK is unlikely to be signed until at least 2024, as the Biden administration is set to focus on China and domestic issues, American sources told a British broadsheet. The pro-Brexit former President Donald Trump had championed a UK-U.S. deal; however, the crucial agreement for Britain has reportedly been put on the backburner by the famously anti-British 77-year-old Democrat. A former U.S. Trade Representatives Office official (USTR), who has worked with Biden’s Trade Representative nominee, told The Daily Telegraph: “It [a UK deal] is going to be some years at a minimum.” “You might not get to it in the first term. I predict they’ll do it, but there’s a material chance they don’t,” the source added. “It would be a mistake to assume this (the UK negotiations) continues. I’m sceptical they’re going to move forward from what I’ve seen and heard,” the former official continued. Another former American trade official told the paper: “They’re not going to pursue something that’s not essential to what he [Mr Biden] is doing. The...
    The Whiteboard is The Step Back’s daily basketball newsletter, covering the NBA, WNBA and more. Subscribe here to get it delivered to you via email each morning. Bradley Beal just keeps scoring. He’s already dropped a 60-piece this season, he hung 47 on the Pelicans Wednesday night and he’s averaging 41.0 per game over his last six. Unfortunately, the Wizards just keep losing. They’ve lost five of the last six games Beal played, six of their last seven overall and have dropped to a league-worst 3-11 on the season. Beal is clearly frustrated. He confirmed what we can all see by responding “Is the sky blue?” when asked by a reporter last night if he was indeed frustrated. He keeps saying he wants to win in Washington but that’s looking like an increasingly implausible scenario, a fact which can’t be lost on him. A trade may still be just a vague possibility but there are a dozen teams who would try to piece together meaningful offers if it was clearly on the table. If the Wizards and Beal decide it’s...
    Prosecutors looking at all actors, including Trump, as charges are filed against Capitol rioters Last known widow of a Civil War soldier dies at 101 Why the Mets and Francisco Lindor are a perfect match for a long-term deal New York Mets fans are finally seeing what it’s like to have a billionaire owner willing to break the bank to bring a championship to Queens. Or, put another way, to have leadership willing to do things the way the Yankees do. With Francisco Lindor coming to town, via a six-player trade with the Cleveland Indians on Thursday, the Mets are getting a face-of-the-franchise player and Lindor is getting a new home that perfectly fits his star power.  The next step seems obvious: The Mets need to do what Cleveland wouldn’t — pay Lindor every penny he’s worth and watch him play in a Mets uniform for the next decade. If you’ve watched him play, you know Lindor is smooth on the field. If you’ve encountered him off the field, seen his big smile and realized how affable he is, you...
    The European Union’s investment pact with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been characterised as a “real setback for the free world” by the founder of Hong Kong Watch, as human rights campaigners, diplomats, and others chastise the bloc for cosying up to the dictatorship in Beijing. The EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) was signed in principle last week, following claims of concessions from the communist regime in Beijing. The deal, which has been characterised as the first stage of cooperation between the bloc and China, is said to pave the way for €120 billion in trade. The European Commission has described the deal as the “most ambitious agreement that China has ever concluded with a third country”. One of the claimed concessions made before the signing of the agreement from China was to “work towards” implementing International Labour Organization conventions which prohibit the use of slave labour and set out rights for labour unions. The idea that the Chinese Communist Party will live up to the goal of abolishing slave labour appears to stand in direct contradiction to...
    23/12/2020. London, United Kingdom. Boris Johnson Brexit Deal. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen from his desk inside No10 Downing Street, at 1pm Wednesday 23rd December 2020 agreeing to a Brexit deal. – Andrew Parsons/No 10 Downing Street It is 4pm on Thursday, and only a matter of hours since Boris Johnson struck the agreement that finally sealed Britain’s divorce from the European Union after 47 years of membership. But as he sits down and begins to reflect on the tumult of the past few weeks in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, it is clear the Prime Minister is fully aware of the historical significance of the moment. “I think it has been a long intellectual odyssey for many people of this country,” he said, casting back to 1988, shortly before he, an up-and-coming journalist at The Telegraph, was dispatched to Brussels to report on the European Commission. “The whole country has been divided about this issue, because we are European, but on the other hand we...
    After a year in the making, the historic agreement between Britain and the EU was signed by Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen at 2.30pm on Thursday.  Five hundred pages long – and not yet published – it sets out the future relationship between the UK and the continent.  Policy Editor DANIEL MARTIN looks at the deal and key provisions: After a year in the making, the historic agreement between Britain and the EU was signed by Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen at 2.30pm on Thursday TRADE First zero-tariff, zero-quota trade deal in EU history There will be no tariffs on the movement of goods between the UK and the EU, and no limit on the quantity of any types of goods that can be traded Agreement covers cross-border trade worth more than £600 billion a year But a slew of non-tariff barriers will come into force, including extra customs checks and forms And there could be tariffs in future if there are disputes over state aid or standards Britain can sign free trade deals with...
    Boris Johnson: ‘We have taken back control of our laws and our destiny. We have taken back control of every jot and tittle of our regulation in a way that is complete and unfettered’ Boris Johnson hailed a £660 billion Brexit trade deal which finally “takes back control” from the EU more than four years after Britain voted to leave it. The Prime Minister said the Christmas Eve deal resolves the European question which has “bedevilled” British politics for generations. He said that in negotiating a “jumbo” free trade agreement with Brussels, his negotiating team had achieved what cynics claimed was “impossible” but which the British people “instinctively” knew could be done. The deal, which allows British businesses to continue trading with Europe free of tariffs or quotas, was held up by a last-minute hitch over the EU’s calculations on fishing rights. It was finally resolved after an all-night session in Brussels which stretched into the afternoon of Christmas Eve before being sealed with a thumbs-up by Mr Johnson in a video call with European Commission president Ursula von...
    Fifteen Asia-Pacific countries on Sunday signed the world's biggest free trade deal, seen as a huge coup for China in extending its influence amid the pandemic. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has been struck as the world's financial markets have been destroyed by coronavirus.  China's is one of the few economies to have successfully weathered the storm, despite being the country from which the calamitous virus originated.  'Under the current global circumstances, the fact the RCEP has been signed after eight years of negotiations brings a ray of light and hope amid the clouds,' said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang after the virtual signing. The deal builds on existing terms among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - and forges a new single pact that includes Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.    Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh (R) attend the signing ceremony for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade pact at the ASEAN summit...
    The Lakers would not be satisfied with just one championship victory after an entire decade’s worth of wait. Their top guns, Anthony Davis and LeBron James, would also like to pull a three-peat and cement their legacy with the franchise. To achieve all this, they’d need some strong helping hands to back the duo. The assumption here is that the duo is here to stay in the city of Los Angeles. However, the same assumption can not be made for their Game 6 hero, Rajon Rondo. He will explore his free agency and could leave the Lakers this offseason. This would leave a vacant place in the squad with another star-caliber to search for it.  Los Angeles Lakers’ Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Anthony Davis, Alex Caruso, and Rajon Rondo celebrate after defeating the Denver Nuggets in game four of the Western Conference Finals of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports The hunt has begun, and a name is almost finalized! Last year, too, the news was hot that the Lakers were actively pursuing Derrick Rose. They were reportedly...
    New York (CNN Business)The release of the eagerly anticipated iPhone 12 (and its siblings) is just about here. The 5G-equipped phones, which were unveiled earlier this week, include enhanced cameras, an upgraded display, a tougher glass screen and some new colors, among other bells and whistles.Preorders for the iPhone 12 and Pro begin Friday morning before hitting stores next week. And Apple (AAPL) is releasing two more models in the coming weeks: The iPhone 12 mini and 12 Pro Max will be available for preorder on November 6. The cheapest phone in the lineup is the iPhone 12 mini, which starts at $699. The top-of-the-line iPhone 12 Pro Max, featuring Apple's biggest ever smartphone display at 6.7 inches, starts at $1,099. However, there are several ways to get cheaper -- or even free -- new iPhones, depending on the phone carrier. Read MoreHere's who offering deals:AT&TAT&T (T) is letting new and existing customers get the iPhone 12 for free with an $800 trade-in offer to owners of the iPhone 8 and newer. To be eligible, AT&T customers must have an...
    LONDON, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Britain’s housing minister said on Tuesday that unless the European Union started to show more flexibility to help clinch a Canadian-style free trade deal then the government would be happy to leave the bloc without a deal. “We want to leave with a Canada-style free trade arrangement – that’s always been our preference – and we think that’s still possible,” Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News when asked if he was looking forward to a no-deal Brexit.
    BRITAIN can get a zero tariff free trade deal with Australia by the end of the year, the former Aussie PM claims. Tony Abbott flew to London and hit back at critics of his envoy role representing the UK on the Board of Trade. ⚠️ Read our Brexit live blog for the latest news & updates 4The UK can get a zero tariff free trade deal with Australia before the year is up, says Tony AbbottCredit: Getty Images - Getty Confirming job talks, he told MPs he was “more than happy to help” and said it was be in Britain’s and Australia’s interests to do a deal quickly. Mr Abbott said he would be doing the job in his capacity as a private citizen but added he had the backing of current Australian Premier Scott Morrison to take the new role. After The Sun revealed the star on the newly revamped body tasked with drumming up support for Brexit Britain, the forthright right-winger faced a barrage of condemnation for his views on climate, migration and women. Today the Chair of...
    The United Kingdom and Japan are seeking to forge a free trade agreement in six weeks in order to get it passed during the current parliament in Japan. Set to be one of the fastest-signed deals in trading history, the two parties are aiming for a conclusion by the end of July, two weeks after talks were launched. This would also be the first bilateral trade deal the UK has signed for some 40 years, since becoming a member of the European Union. “To avoid a gap in January, we must pass this in the autumn session of the Diet [the Japanese parliament],” Tokyo’s chief trade negotiator Hiroshi Matsuura told the Financial Times. “That means we must complete negotiations by the end of July.” “The shortage of time means that both sides will have to limit their ambitions,” Mr Matsuura added, suggesting that the UK will initially seek to agree on a more basic deal. While the deadline is fast approaching, the “mini-deal” between the United States and Japan ratified in 2019 took only six months to agree; the UK-Japan deal...
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