United States President Donald Trump said he had not yet seen any direct evidence of Russian state involvement in the suspected poisoning of dissident Alexei Navalny, but had no reason to doubt the German assessment.
Trump, who said this while speaking during a news conference at the White House on Friday, however, described the suspected poisoning of Navalny as “horrible”.
German authorities say toxicology tests have revealed that Navalny, who is currently comatose in a Berlin hospital, has been poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok.
“Based on what Germany is saying that seems to be the case.
“I would be very angry if that’s the case,” Trump said.
Separately, United States Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun met with Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov to express “grave concern about the German government’s findings that Russian opposition leader Aleksey Navalny was poisoned by a chemical nerve agent.”
At the meeting in Washington, Biegun urged Russia to cooperate with an international probe.
Trump said he expected to soon receive documentation on the case which would allow for the United States to make a determination.
He said he understood the desire to take action against Russia, but also insisted he “maintains” a good relationship with President Vladimir Putin.
The Russian state has adamantly denied allegations of involvement in the Navalny incident.
Trump also raised his long-standing disagreement with Germany over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, questioning Berlin’s decision to buy energy from Moscow.
The United States has imposed some sanctions on the pipeline project and more could come.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)https://nnn.ng/ive-no-reason-to-doubt-germany-on-navalny-poisoning-trump/
Suga hopes for ‘forward-looking’ ties with S. Korea in letter to President Moon
Japan’s new prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, expressed hope for “forward-looking” relations with South Korea as “important neighbors” in his recent letter to President Moon Jae-in, Cheong Wa Dae said Monday.
Suga sent a reply to Moon on Saturday for his congratulatory message, as he was sworn in as the successor of Shinzo Abe, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok.
He expressed the hope that the two sides would establish forward-looking ties by overcoming “difficult issues,” Kang added without elaborating.
Suga was apparently referring to longstanding disputes over shared history, especially compensating victims of forced labor and sexual enslavement of women during Japan’s colonial rule of Korea.
A combined image of South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (Yonhap).
Moon earlier sent a letter to Suga, in which he proposed joint efforts to improve Seoul-Tokyo relations, shortly after his inauguration.
On Sunday, Suga reportedly had a phone conversation with United States President Donald Trump.
Cheong Wa Dae officials have not announced when Moon will also talk with Suga on the phone.
ited by Emmanuel Yashimhttps://nnn.ng/suga-hopes-for-forward-looking-ties-with-s-korea-in-letter-to-president-moon/
‘Watchmen,’ ‘Schitt’s Creek’ rule at virtual Emmys with pandemic and political twists
Media family saga “Succession,” dystopian drama “Watchmen” and feel-good comedy “Schitt’s Creek” dominated the Emmy Awards on Sunday in a show sprinkled with jokes about the coronavirus pandemic, political jibes and appeals for racial justice.
“Hello, and welcome to the PandEmmys!,” said host Jimmy Kimmel, opening the show, where most celebrities took part remotely from their sofas and backyards dressed in a variety of gowns, hoodies and sleepwear.
“It seems frivolous and unnecessary to do this during a global pandemic,” Kimmel said as he opened the live show from Los Angeles.
“What’s happening tonight is not important. It’s not going to stop COVID. It’s not going to put out the fires, but it’s fun.
“And right now we need fun. … This has been a miserable year. It’s been a year of division, injustice (and) disease,” he added.
HBO’s “Succession,” the wickedly juicy tale of a fractious media family, was named best drama series, while Jeremy Strong won best actor for his role as a downtrodden son. “Succession’s seven-Emmy haul included writing and directing.
In one of the most pointed acceptance speeches of the night, “Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong made a series of what he called “un-thank yous.”
“Un-thank you to the virus for keeping us all apart this year. Un-thank you to President Trump for his crummy and uncoordinated response.
“Un-thank you to (British Prime Minister) Boris Johnson and his government for doing the same in my country.
“Un-thank you to all the nationalist and sort of quasi-nationalist governments in the world who are exactly the opposite of what we need right now,” said Armstrong.
HBO’s alternative-reality show “Watchmen,” infused with racial themes, won for best limited series, while actress Regina King won for her lead performance as the show’s kick-ass police detective.
“Watchmen” was the night’s biggest winner with a total of 11 Emmys, including technical awards handed out last week. HBO was the biggest overall winner, with 30 Emmys, followed by Netflix with 21.
“Watchmen” creator Damon Lindelof dedicated his Emmy to the victims and survivors of the 1921 massacre of the Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which partly inspired the series.
Several celebrities, including King, presenter Sterling K. Brown, and “Mrs. America” supporting actress winner Uzo Aduba, wore Black Lives Matter-themed tee-shirts or urged viewers to vote in the Nov. 3 United States elections.
“Schitt’s Creek,” a sleeper hit on the small Pop TV network about a wealthy family forced to live in a rundown motel, won a total of nine Emmys.
“It also won best comedy series as well as acting awards for Canadian stars Catherine O’Hara, Eugene Levy, his son Daniel Levy, and Annie Murphy.
The coronavirus pandemic meant no red carpet and no physical audience. Instead, producers sent camera kits and microphones to all the nominees, scattered in 125 places around the world, who chose how and where they wanted to be seen.
The “Schitt’s Creek” winners got their trophies delivered to them in a restaurant-style setup in Ontario, Canada, by a person dressed in a custom hazmat suit, designed to resemble a tuxedo.
The biggest shock of the night came when former Disney Channel actress Zendaya, 24, was named best drama actress for playing a teen drug addict in HBO’s “Euphoria,” beating presumed favourites Laura Linney (“Ozark”) and Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show.”)
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” was named best variety talk series for the fifth successive year, and the British comedian accepted wearing a red Liverpool soccer shirt in honour of his favourite British team.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)
Russia conducts its largest 2020 military exercise in Caucasus
Russia began its largest military exercise of this year on Monday in the southern part of the country’s Caucasus region, with about 80,000 troops to participate.
Forces from Russian allies Belarus, China, Armenia, Myanmar and Pakistan are taking part to strengthen coordination in joint military efforts, Russia’s Defence Ministry said in a statement.
The Caucasus-2020 exercise is to take place for five days at military bases in southern Russia and in the Black and Caspian seas, the statement said.
Russian media reported that Iranian forces would participate in naval drills in the Caspian Sea.
The exercise is to focus on combating cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as electronic warfare activities, the Russian Defence Ministry said.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Maharazu Ahmed
UN to mark 75th anniversary with largely online event
The UN is to mark the 75th anniversary of its founding amid the ruins of World War II with a largely online event on Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, has said.
Guterres is expected to deliver in-person, remarks in the gilded General Assembly Hall, while world leaders, including United States President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will deliver pre-recorded video speeches.
“It’s very unfortunate but its going to be a pretty gloomy birthday celebration for the UN,” UN expert Richard Gowan from the think tank Crisis Group said.
Leaders are set to adopt a declaration agreed on in July, committing to a reinvigorated multilateralism.
Gowan described the declaration as a “perfectly fine but pretty anodyne statement of support for UN principles, weakened by the fact that the United States did not want strong language on climate change.”
The commemoration comes at a time when the world body faces questions over whether it is still fit for purpose in a more multipolar world, and whether it can muster consensus to deal with current conflicts and challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic.
“In this 75th anniversary year, we face our own 1945 moment. We must meet that moment; we must show unity like never before to overcome today’s emergency,” Guterres told a news conference last week.
A day after the event, the UN’s annual general debate kicks off, with leaders also sending in video speeches due to the pandemic.
Trump, who had expressed interest in being the only head of state to address the General Assembly live, is now said not to be heading to the UN’s New York headquarters.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Ejike Obeta