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UK, European officials discussing possible Brexit delay: Telegraph

LONDON (Reuters) - British and European officials are discussing the possibility of extending the formal exit process from the European Union amid fears a Brexit deal will not be approved by March 29, The Daily Telegraph reported, citing unidentified sources. A European Union flag is seen behind a British Union Jack during an anti-brexit protest in London, Britain, January 7,2019. REUTERS/ Phil NobleThe Telegraph cited three unidentified EU sources as saying British officials had been “putting out feelers” and “testing the waters” on an extension of Article 50, a part of the Lisbon Treaty which sets out the conditions for leaving the EU. Prime Minister Theresa May…

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Junior Brexit minister says Britain to leave EU as planned

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Britain will not seek an extension to the “Article 50” process of exiting the European Union and will leave the bloc on March 29, the British minister of state for Brexit said on Tuesday. “We’re all focused in the government on winning parliamentary support in the vote that’s coming up next week,” Martin Callanan told reporters before a meeting of EU ministers in Brussels. “We’re very clear, the policy of the government is that Article 50 will not be extended. We are leaving the EU on the 29th of March this year. That’s what Article 50 says, that’s what parliament voted for and that’s…

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Exclusive: China’s HNA touts assets for sale as funding crunch intensifies

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s indebted HNA Group met bankers on Tuesday to tout the latest assets that the sprawling conglomerate is putting on the block as it looks to raise funds and stave off an intensifying cash crunch. FILE PHOTO: A HNA Group logo is seen on the building of HNA Plaza in Beijing, China February 9, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File PhotoThe range of assets, spanning a hotel project in frozen Harbin and stakes in struggling online lender Dianrong, insurer Bohai Life and brokerage HNA Futures, underscores how the group is shedding almost all non-core businesses as it pares back an empire that once spread from Deutsche Bank…

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North Korea’s Kim in China after warning of alternate path to Trump talks

BEIJING (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is visiting China at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, only days after warning he may take an alternative path if the United States does not ease sanctions and pressure on his country. The visit, confirmed by North Korean and Chinese state media, will likely lead to Kim’s fourth summit with Xi in the past year and comes amid plans for a second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump aimed at denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. Kim held three summits last year with Xi, his most important ally, before and after summits with Trump and South Korean President…

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Profit-hungry tiger breeders behind push to lift China’s trading ban

HONG KONG/HARBIN, China (Reuters) - At the Siberia Tiger Park in the frigid Chinese city of Harbin, visitors can learn about the facility’s successful breeding program and buy chicken carcasses to toss to around 20 tigers pacing the snow flecked ground of their enclosure. At the park gates, a shop sells liquor soaked with tiger bones for up to $1,000 a bottle. China has made significant strides in wildlife protection in recent years, including a total ban on ivory and plans to open one of the world’s largest reserves for wild tigers in northeast China in 2020. But it also has formidable, profit-driven wildlife business interests that…

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Father of Saudi teen asylum seeker in Thailand, seeks meeting

BANGKOK (Reuters) - The father of an 18-year-old Saudi woman asylum seeker who fled to Thailand saying she feared her family would kill her, has arrived in Bangkok and wished to meet his daughter, Thailand’s immigration chief said on Tuesday. Saudi teen Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun walks with Thai immigration authorities at a hotel inside Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019. Thailand Immigration Police via REUTERS But Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun’s father and brother would have to wait and see whether the UN refugee agency would allow them to see her, immigration chief Surachate Hakpan said. “The father and brother want to go and talk to Rahaf…

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UK not looking to extend Article 50, Brexit minister says

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Stephen Barclay walks down Downing Street in London, Britain, December 20, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File PhotoLONDON (Reuters) - The United Kingdom will leave the European Union on March 29 and is not looking to extend the Article 50 exit process, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay said on Tuesday. The Daily Telegraph reported that British and European officials are discussing the possibility of extending Britain’s formal notice to withdraw from the EU amid fears a Brexit deal will not be approved by March 29. “The government’s policy is clear on this, the prime minister has said it on many…

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UK Brexit minister denies Telegraph report on delaying Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay on Tuesday denied a Daily Telegraph report that British and European officials are discussing the possibility of extending the formal exit process from the European Union. “I’ve had no discussions with the European Union in terms of extension,” Barclay told BBC radio. When asked directly by the BBC if he could deny the report, he said: “Yes, because I can be very clear that the government’s policy is to leave on March 29, the prime minister has made that clear on numerous occasions to parliament.” The Telegraph cited three unidentified EU sources as saying British officials had been “putting…

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China gives long-awaited GM crop approvals amid U.S. trade talks

BEIJING (Reuters) - China approved five genetically modified (GM) crops for import on Tuesday, the first in about 18 months in a move that could boost its overseas grains purchases and ease pressure from the United States to open its markets to more farm goods. FILE PHOTO: A researcher uses a pipette to develop assay to detect specific gene of corn at a lab in Syngenta Biotech Center in Beijing, China, February 19, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File PhotoThe United States is the world’s biggest producer of GM crops, while China is the top importer of GM soybeans and canola. U.S. farmers and global seed companies have long complained…

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Saudi Arabia denies requesting extradition of woman in Thailand: embassy

Saudi teen Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun is seen with Thai immigration authorities at a hotel inside Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand January 7, 2019. Thailand Immigration Police via REUTERS DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Thailand has denied reports that Riyadh had requested the extradition of a young Saudi women seeking asylum in Thailand, the embassy said on Twitter. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, who fled from her family and barricaded herself inside a Bangkok airport hotel to prevent Thai authorities expelling her, was allowed to leave the airport after talks with the United Nations refugee agency late on Monday. She arrived in Bangkok on Saturday from Kuwait,…

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