Closer ties with Asia sought
London is committed to forming ever closer links with countries in the Indo-Pacific region, including greater economic, security and defense cooperation, Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs James Cleverly said in a speech in Singapore yesterday. Cleverly, whose trip to the region also included visits to Japan and South Korea, told the audience of business, finance and academic leaders that Britain is set to have “the broadest, most integrated presence in the Indo-Pacific by 2030.” The government is seeking to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which removes 95 percent of tariffs between its 11 members. “We intend to be the first European country to accede to the CPTPP — which will give the region access to the UK’s world-class financial services sector and the world’s sixth-largest economy,” he said. Taiwan and China are also seeking to become members of the trade bloc.
Court to get female majority
Most judges on the highest court are to be women for the first time in the institution’s 121-year history, the attorney-general said yesterday. Justice Jayne Jagot is to fill a High Court vacancy on its seven-judge bench when Justice Patrick Keane retires on Oct. 17, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said. Jagot has been a Federal Court judge since 2008. Dreyfus said Jagot’s gender did not figure in his decision to choose her after consultations with leading judges and lawyers. “This was an appointment of the best possible person to the High Court,” Dreyfus told reporters. “Justice Jagot is an eminent jurist and brings tremendous experience and was nominated by very, very many people.” Jargot would be the 56th judge and only the seventh woman to serve on the High Court since it was created in 1901.
Queen revokes titles
Queen Margrethe, Europe’s only reigning queen and the continent’s longest serving monarch, on Wednesday stripped four of her eight grandchildren of their titles, the royal palace announced. The official reason was to allow the four children of her youngest son, Prince Joachim, to live more normal lives, and follows similar moves by other royal families in Europe to slim down their monarchies, the palace said. “As of January 1, 2023, the descendants of His Royal Highness Prince Joachim will only be able to use their titles of Count and Countess of Monpezat, their previous titles of Prince and Princess of Denmark ceasing to exist,” the royal palace wrote in a statement.
Rapper Coolio dies aged 59
Coolio, a rapper best known for the chart-topping 1995 song Gangsta’s Paradise, has died, his manager said on Wednesday. He was 59 years old. The Grammy-winner passed away in Los Angeles. No cause of death was immediately provided. Coolio’s friend and long-standing manager Jarez Posey confirmed the news to Agence France-Presse without providing additional details. Posey told celebrity news Web site TMZ that Coolio was found unresponsive in the bathroom of a friend’s house on Wednesday afternoon. Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr on August 1, 1963, in Pennsylvania, the artist spent most of his life in Compton, California, attending community college and working jobs including airport security before finding success in rap. He began his music career in the late 1980s, digging roots in the Los Angeles scene by 1994 when he signed to Tommy Boy Records.
POLAND-GERMANY RIFT: Warsaw’s response to Berlin over a NATO system that would increase the alliance’s involvement in the war came as Kyiv accused Russia of war crimes Anti-missile systems that Germany offered to send to Poland should instead go to Ukraine, the Polish government said on Thursday, a proposal that is likely a nonstarter for Berlin because it would significantly ratchet up NATO involvement in Ukraine. Poland’s surprising response to Berlin’s offer was welcomed by Ukraine, which is desperate to protect its airspace as barrages of Russian missiles have knocked out power across the country. German Minister of Defense Christine Lambrecht said that use of NATO defense systems outside its territory needs to be agreed by all member states. “It is important to us that Poland can rely on allies
MONEY-MAKING SCHEME: Some students said they were misled about study or work opportunities, or were not told that they were coming to a self-proclaimed republic Foreign students are big business in northern Cyprus, a tiny, breakaway statelet only recognized by Turkey, but some warn that university recruiters are selling “dreams” in the internationally and economically isolated territory. One Nigerian student, who asked to remain anonymous, said he expected to arrive in the country whose soccer teams compete in European tournaments. Instead, when he saw the currency was the embattled Turkish lira, he realized this was “not the Cyprus I thought it was.” The Mediterranean island is divided between the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus and a northern statelet established after Turkey launched a 1974 invasion in
COUNTERING CHINA: The vice president said on the island of Palawan that the US supports the Philippines ‘in the face of intimidation ... in the South China Sea’ US Vice President Kamala Harris yesterday visited a Philippine island near waters claimed by Taiwan and China to show support for the longtime US ally and counter Beijing’s growing influence in the region. Harris is the highest-ranking US official ever to visit the western island of Palawan, the closest Philippine landmass to the Spratly Islands (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島) in the hotly contested South China Sea. Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the entire sea and has ignored an international court ruling that its claims have no legal basis. Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam have overlapping claims to parts of
CRACKDOWN ON DISSENT: The prosecution had shelved sedition charges against the six in exchange for the defendants pleading guilty to ‘conspiring’ with Jimmy Lai Six former employees of a now-defunct Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper yesterday pleaded guilty to a collusion charge under the National Security Law that has silenced and jailed most opposition voices in the southern Chinese territory. The staff members of the Apple Daily were arrested last year during a crackdown on dissent after Beijing imposed the sweeping security law in response to the widespread anti-government protests in 2019. They were charged with conspiracy to commit collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security. The six have been in pre-trial custody for almost a year-and-a-half. The law criminalizes acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion