Global News June 05, 2017

  1. BBC
  2. Global News June 05, 2017

“Qatar rift: Saudi, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt cut diplomatic ties”

A number of Arab countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of destabilising the region.
They say Qatar backs militant groups including so-called Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda, which Qatar denies. The Saudi state news agency SPA said Riyadh had closed its borders, severing land, sea and air contact with the tiny peninsula of oil-rich Qatar. Qatar called the decision «unjustified» and with «no basis in fact». The unprecedented move is seen as a major split between powerful Gulf countries, who are also close US allies. It comes amid heightened tensions between Gulf countries and their near-neighbour, Iran. The Saudi statement accused Qatar of collaborating with «Iranian-backed terrorist groups» in its restive eastern region of Qatif and in Bahrain.
The diplomatic withdrawal was put into motion first by Bahrain then Saudi Arabia early on Monday. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Yemen and Libya’s eastern-based government followed suit.
Past efforts by the neighbours to pull the Qataris into line have had limited impact. But now Doha has suddenly come under much greater and more co-ordinated pressure. Emboldened by President Trump’s trip two weeks ago, the Saudis and the Emiratis believe that this is the moment to make clear to Qatar that its divergent views will no longer be tolerated. And right now, this small country’s rulers will probably be feeling very lonely indeed.


“Florida shooting: ‘Multiple fatalities’ in Orlando”

Police in the US state of Florida say there have been «multiple fatalities» in a shooting in Orlando.
The shooting happened early on Monday morning in the east of the city, the Orlando Sentinel newspaper reports.
It comes a week before the first anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in the city – the deadliest mass shooting in US history – in which 49 people died.
The Orange County sheriff is expected to give a briefing soon.
Police said the scene of the shooting had been «stabilised», indicating the shooting was not ongoing.


The Guardian
“Police shoot gunman dead and free hostage in Melbourne”

A possible terror incident has left two men dead and three police officers and a woman hostage injured in a Melbourne apartment building. Police shot the gunman dead after discovering the body of another man in the foyer in the serviced apartment in Brighton, 11km south-east of Melbourne’s central business district. The Seven Network is reporting the gunman called the organization saying “This is for I.S [Islamic State]. This is for al-Qaida.”
Victoria police said it was investigating whether the incident was “terrorism related”.
Channel Seven reporter Paul Dowsley reported that his newsroom was called by a man claiming to be linked to the incident.


The Guardian
“Cyprus reunification talks to resume, says UN secretary general”

Talks to reunify Cyprus are to resume after the resolution of an impasse at a meeting of the island’s Greek and Turkish leaders.
Emerging from a four-hour meeting with Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akıncı in New York on Sunday night, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, said negotiations would recommence. The breakthrough was met with relief on the island, where many had feared the collapse of talks widely seen as a once-in-a generation chance of reconciliation.
Flanked by island’s two leaders, Guterres said all three had “agreed on the need to reconvene the conference on Cyprus”. A special UN adviser, Espen Barth Eide, who terminated mediation efforts last month in exasperation after two years of shuttle diplomacy, would be tasked with the “preparation of common documents to guide discussions on security”, he said. “The chapter on security and guarantees is of vital importance,” Guterres continued, emphasizing that both were essential to building trust between the two communities in an envisaged federation. “The leaders agreed [that] … all other outstanding issues, starting with territory, property and governance and power sharing … will be negotiated interdependently and that nothing is agreed till everything is agreed.” Cyprus has been divided since the summer of 1974 when Ankara, responding to an attempted coup to unite the island with Greece, ordered an invasion, with Turkish troops seizing its northern third. No other country but Turkey recognizes the self-proclaimed breakaway republic in the north.


The Economist
“Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn both struggled on Question Time”

The biggest winner of last night’s BBC Question Time debates with first Theresa May and then Jeremy Corbyn was the audience. Participants asked several tough questions of the two would-be prime ministers and did not hesitate to follow them up, making both of them at times look distinctly uncomfortable.
Mrs. May’s refusal to debate one-on-one with Mr. Corbyn may not cost her many actual votes on June 8th. And despite the narrowing of the polls recently, she is still on course for victory. Yet her performance during the campaign and on television has been less impressive than most observers expected when it began. She has seemed brittle, defensive and wooden in answering questions, as she was yet again last night. The Tory manifesto launch went badly, most obviously in relation to social care where Mrs. May had to backtrack within days. Her position as prime minister may well be weaker, not stronger, on June 9th. That will not help her when she has, almost immediately, to begin the Brexit negotiations in Brussels.
As so often, neither Mrs May nor Mr Corbyn emerged as the clear winner from the Question Time debates. Because he has been the underdog from the start of the election campaign, that is a boost for Mr Corbyn—and it may be the single best explanation why the Tories’ lead in the opinion polls has consistently shrunk as the campaign has gone on. But it still seems unlikely to propel him to 10 Downing Street.