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European elections: Tom Watson ‘pleads’ for votes despite Labour position

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Tom WatsonImage copyright
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Labour’s deputy leader is calling for members to vote for the party at forthcoming elections, despite unhappiness with its EU position.

In a speech on Monday, Tom Watson will “plead” with voters to back Labour against Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.

Campaigning for the European elections continues, with votes to elect 73 UK MEPs due to be cast on 23 May.

Cross-party talks between Labour and the government to find a way through the Brexit deadlock continue on Monday.

Mr Watson’s speech will mark the 25th anniversary of the death of the former Labour leader John Smith.

In it, he will say he believes Mr Smith would have supported the view of his former deputy, Dame Margaret Beckett, and backed a “People’s Vote”.

Mr Watson will also say that “corrosive far-right sentiment, posing as patriotism, will dominate this EU election”.

“There are only two forces that can win this election – that nasty nationalism of the Farage Brexit Party, or the tolerant, compassionate outward-looking patriotism of the Labour Party.

“I can only plead with Labour supporters – don’t stay at home, don’t put that cross elsewhere, don’t let them win.”

Mr Watson had called for his party to promise a referendum on any Brexit deal in its European elections manifesto.

Image copyright
PA

Image caption

John Smith died at the age of 55

Talks between representatives from the government and Labour are set to continue on Monday – Mrs May is hoping to reach a cross-party consensus on her withdrawal agreement after failing to get it through Parliament three times.

The UK had been due to leave the EU on 29 March, but the deadline was pushed back to 31 October after Parliament was unable to agree a way forward.

Ahead of European elections later this month, two separate polls, by ComRes and Opinium, give the Brexit Party the biggest share of the vote with the Conservatives in fourth place behind Labour and the Lib Dems.

Labour has agreed to support a further referendum on Brexit under certain circumstances.

The National Executive Committee, when it met to decide the wording of the EU election manifesto, rejected the idea of campaigning for a referendum under all circumstances.

But the party will demand a public vote if it cannot get changes to the government’s deal or an election.

Labour’s position on Brexit

June 2017 – Labour’s general election manifesto accepts referendum result

March 2018 – Shadow Northern Ireland secretary Owen Smith sacked for supporting second referendum on final deal

September – Labour agrees if a general election cannot be achieved it “must support all options… including a public vote”

18 November – Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says a new referendum is “an option for the future” but “not an option for today

28 November – Shadow chancellor John McDonnell says Labour will “inevitably” back a second referendum if unable to secure general election

16 January 2019 – 71 Labour MPs say they support a public vote

6 February – Mr Corbyn writes a letter to Mrs May outlining five changes with no mention of a “People’s Vote”

28 February – Labour says it will back a public vote after its proposed Brexit deal is rejected

14 March Five Labour MPs quit party roles to oppose a further referendum

27 March – The party backs a confirmatory public vote in Parliament’s indicative votes on a way forward for Brexit

30 April – Party agrees to demand a public vote if it cannot get changes to the government’s deal or an election, as it decides wording to EU election manifesto

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Tanzania to open first gold refinery plant in October: official

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FILE PHOTO: Gold bars and coins are stacked.
INTERNATIONAL  –Tanzania is set to export fully refined gold from October this year upon completion of the first gold refinery plant in the country currently under construction in the nation’s capital, Dodoma, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Dotto Biteko, Tanzania’s Minister for Minerals said that once operation begins, the country will be able to establish national gold reserve as called for in the Mining Act.

He noted that it will also enable the Central Bank of Tanzania purchase and store gold following President John Magufuli’s directive for the bank to do so. “This will be the first gold refinery to operate in the country.

Previously, gold was refined outside the country,” said Biteko. The government set up 28 mineral trading centers since March this year to improve revenue collection from artisanal miners.

Following the setting up the mineral trading centers, gold worth $60 million has been traded through the centers and the government has collected $3 million royalty and clearance fees, Biteko said last month.

Small-scale miners produce around 20 tonnes of gold a year, but 90 percent is illegally exported, according to a parliamentary report. 

Tanzanian President John Magufuli said recently that revenue collection from mining had increased over the past two years after his government tightened controls. “Our minerals have been stolen through smuggling or through exploitative mining contracts,” said Magufuli. 

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Police And Demonstrators Clash, Ending Stretch Of Calm : NPR

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Police and pro-democracy demonstrators clashed during a protest in Hong Kong on Saturday. The protests in Hong Kong started in June over an unpopular bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China.

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Police and pro-democracy demonstrators clashed during a protest in Hong Kong on Saturday. The protests in Hong Kong started in June over an unpopular bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China.

Vincent Yu/AP

After a stretch of relative peace in Hong Kong, a standoff between protesters and riot police became violent again on Saturday.

Police fired tear gas after pro-democracy demonstrators blocked roads with barricades made of bamboo sticks and hurled bricks, in the district of Kwun Tong.

In a statement, police said protesters paralyzed traffic and affected emergency services in the area near a police station.

Protesters tore down and dismantled “smart lamp posts” out of a fear that they contain high-tech cameras and facial recognition software used for surveillance by authorities in China.

Some used an electric saw, attempting to slice through the bottom of the lamppost, while others tied a rope around it to successfully bring it crashing to the ground, the Associated Press reported.

The government in Hong Kong insists that the lampposts only collect data on weather, air quality and traffic, according to the AP.

There are plans to install about 400 of these smart lampposts over a three-year period, according to a government report.

Demonstrators try to pull down a smart lamppost during the protest in Hong Kong on Saturday that turned violent. The smart lampposts are raising fears of stepped-up surveillance from authorities.

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Demonstrators try to pull down a smart lamppost during the protest in Hong Kong on Saturday that turned violent. The smart lampposts are raising fears of stepped-up surveillance from authorities.

Kin Cheung/AP

The latest skirmish marked the 12th straight weekend of demonstrations in Hong Kong and ended nearly two weeks of relative calm, according to the AP.

Just a day before, thousands of Hong Kongers held hands and formed human chains, in a peaceful bid to gain support from the international community, NPR’s Anthony Kuhn reported.

On Saturday, Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam expressed a desire to open a dialogue on Facebook.

“I don’t expect that dialogue will be able to easily untangle this knot, stop the demonstrations or provide a solution to the problem,” Lam wrote. “But continuing to fight is not a way out.”

“After more than two months, everyone is tired. Can we sit down and talk about it?” she wrote.

Just a few hours later, protests in Kwun Tong turned violent, according to the New York Times.

The protests in Hong Kong originally began in June over a bill that would have allowed some extraditions of Hong Kong residents to mainland China. The bill sparked a backlash among those who saw it as a violation of the “one country, two systems” agreement that was formed in 1997 when Hong Kong was returned to China from the British.

The bill has since been shelved but it’s not formally dead. Hong Kong’s government indefinitely suspended the legislation in June but hasn’t withdrawn it entirely from the legislative process.

The demands from the movement have since expanded and now include calls to investigate excessive police violence during the demonstrations and a more transparent and open government.

Also on Saturday, Simon Cheng, a worker from the British Consulate in Hong Kong, was released after being detained in mainland China.

Cheng disappeared on a business trip in mainland China two weeks ago amid the rising tensions between Beijing and London.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Cheng’s detention had anything to do with Britain’s support of the pro-democracy protests, NPR’s Scott Neuman reported.

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EPL live scores and result

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You can find our lives cores at the bottom of this preview.

Early Premier League leaders Liverpool and
Arsenal face-off at Anfield on Saturday where one of the only two remaining 100
percent records in the Premier League will go.

 The
European champions will hope to continue a fine recent record against the north
Londoners.

Jurgen Klopp has never lost in seven
previous Premier League meetings against Arsenal and his side have beaten the
Gunners 4-0 and 5-1 at home in the past two seasons.

However, Unai Emery’s outfit are hoping a
busy summer in the transfer window, while Liverpool did not strengthen, will
have significantly narrowed the 27-point gap between the sides last season.

Emery could hand a first start to £72
million ($87 million) club record signing Nicolas Pepe, while on-loan Real
Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos earned rave reviews by creating both goals on
his full debut against Burnley last weekend.

This can 
be seen as an early opportunity for veteran centre-back David Luiz to
make his mark by halting the free-scoring trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino
and Mohamed Salah, who combined for all five Liverpool goals when the sides
last met.

The Gunners 
have some outstanding finishers of their own. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang,
who shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Mane and Salah last season, has
scored his side’s winner in the first two games of the campaign

English Premier League live scores on 23-25 August

Get the latest English Premier League scores below. Get fixtures and results from all the weekend’s English Premier League matches here.

Scores will be live at kick off.

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