World/Int'l (204)

Downing Street has described the UK's new ambassador to the European Union, Sir Tim Barrow as a "seasoned and tough negotiator", who will bring "energy" to Brexit talks.

Barrow takes on the role as discussions with the EU are expected to start soon and promised to work for the "right outcome".
He replaces Sir Ivan Rogers, who quit earlier this week, accusing ministers of "muddled thinking".
Some Members of Parliament have accused Sir Ivan of being "half-hearted" towards Brexit.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to give what is being billed as a "major" speech on Brexit within the next few weeks.

The trial of Choi Soon-sil, the woman at the centre of an influence-peddling scandal involving South Korea's president, has gone under way.

Choi, a close friend of President Park Geun-hye, is charged with abuse of power and attempted fraud.

Separately, the Constitutional Court began considering President Park's impeachment over the scandal.

That trial, where the court must ratify or overturn a parliamentary impeachment vote, began despite Park's absence.

Both cases centre on allegations that President Park gave Choi unauthorised access to government decisions and allowed her to exploit their close relationship to solicit money from corporations for foundations from which she benefitted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President-elect Donald Trump has backed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in casting doubt on intelligence alleging Russian meddling in the US election.

Assange said Russia was not the source for the site's mass leak of emails from the Democratic Party.

The president-elect has repeatedly refused to accept the conclusions of the US intelligence community.

Several US agencies including the FBI and the CIA believe Russia directed hacks against the Democratic Party and the campaign of its presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The FBI and CIA say information, released through Wikileaks and other outlets, was intended to help Trump win the election.

On Tuesday evening, Trump said an intelligence briefing he was due to receive on the issue had been delayed but US intelligence officials insisted there had been no delay in the briefing schedule.

Ivanka Trump has made her upcoming move to Washington, D.C., official by purchasing a mansion in the nation’s capital.

As her father prepares to move into the White House, Trump, her husband, Jared Kushner, and their three children, Arabella, Joseph and Theodore, will be following him to the nation’s capital. Washington Fine Properties agent William F.X. Moody confirmed the move to The Washingtonian, telling the magazine that Trump had finished off a deal for a 6 bedroom, $5.5 millon D.C. house.

The Kushner family will be moving to Kalorama, the same D.C. neighborhood that the Obamas are planning to move to after they leave the White House. The two families will live less than two blocks apart.

Last month, PEOPLE reported that Trump and Kushner were planning a move to Washington. Though Trump still does not plan to take on a formal job in her father’s administration, she does hope to have influence in the policy areas she’s passionate about, like maternity leave and child care for working mothers.

“Everyone is adjusting to these new circumstances during the transition period, and while Ivanka has no intention of taking a formal role in the administration, she plans to be an advocate for issues she cares deeply about,” a source close to Ivanka tells PEOPLE.

However, there’s widespread speculation that Kushner, a close adviser during his father-in-law’s campaign, could be taking a position in the Trump White House.

Whatever formal roles they do or don’t take in the new president’s administration, Trump and Kushner will clearly be a presence in D.C. in 2017.

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