No 10 staff will be able to give evidence confidentially to inquiry into whether PM lied over Partygate – UK politics live

From 1h ago No 10 staff will be able to give evidence confidentially to inquiry into whether PM lied over Partygate, committee says The Commons privileges committee has issued a statement after its first meeting to consider its inquiry into whether Boris Johnson lied to MPs about Partygate. It has issued a wide-ranging call for evidence, and it is inviting whistleblowers to give evidence anonymously if they want. This provision seems intended to encourage civil servants working in No 10, who may have heard Boris Johnson reveal in private that…

Russia becomes China’s top oil supplier amid Ukraine war sanctions

China’s crude oil imports from Russia soared by 55% from a year earlier to a record level in May, displacing Saudi Arabia as the top supplier, as refiners cashed in on discounted supplies amid sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. Imports of Russian oil, including supplies pumped via the east Siberia Pacific pipeline and seaborne shipments, totalled nearly 8.42m tonnes, according to data on Monday from the Chinese general administration of customs. The shipments are equivalent to almost 2m barrels per day (bpd) and up a quarter from…

Putin’s Threats Highlight the Dangers of a New, Riskier Nuclear Era

WASHINGTON — The old nuclear order, rooted in the Cold War’s unthinkable outcomes, was fraying before Russia invaded Ukraine. Now, it is giving way to a looming era of disorder unlike any since the beginning of the atomic age. Russia’s regular reminders over the past three months of its nuclear might, even if largely bluster, were the latest evidence of how the potential threat has resurfaced in more overt and dangerous ways. They were enough to draw a pointed warning to Moscow on Tuesday from President Biden in what amounted…

China Is Not the Biggest Threat to the World Order. It’s Russia.

In a speech on Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed the long-awaited outlines of the Biden administration’s official posture toward China. Rather than Vladimir Putin’s Russia, Mr. Blinken said, it is China that represents the most potent and determined threat to the American-championed world order. Only China, he continued, has “both the intent to reshape the international order” and the power to do so, he said. The United States will seek to rally coalitions of other nations to meet Beijing’s challenge. The writing had been on the wall. Just…

Your Monday Briefing: A ‘Toothless’ Trip to Xinjiang

your monday briefing a toothless trip to

Good morning. We’re covering the U.N. human rights chief’s trip to China, India’s expanded protections for sex workers and Ukraine’s offensive in Kherson. U.N.’s tempered criticism of China The United Nations’ top human rights official spent six days in China, offering only limited criticism of China’s crackdown on predominantly Muslim minorities. Michelle Bachelet said that her visit “was not an investigation,” and that she had raised questions about China’s application of “counterterrorism and de-radicalization measures” when she spoke by video with Xi Jinping, China’s leader. In so doing, Bachelet couched…

Chinese Hackers Tried to Steal Russian Defense Data, Report Says

Under China’s authoritarian leader, Xi Jinping, Beijing has refined its approach to cyberspying, transforming over the past decade into a far more sophisticated actor. China’s premier spy agency, borrowing a page from Russia, has recruited beyond its ranks, pulling from the country’s growing pool of tech workers. The strategy has made its attacks more scattershot and unpredictable, but analysts say it has also helped strengthen the country’s efforts, enabling spies to run stealthy attacks that target intellectual property as well as political and military intelligence around the world. Mr. Xi…

Economic Headwinds Mount as Leaders Weigh Costs of Confronting Russia

The interruption of wheat exports from Ukraine and Russia, which together account for 28 percent of global exports, along with supply chain disruptions, a severe drought in India that has caused it to ban shipments of grain and Covid-related lockdowns in China, are also causing food prices to spiral and increasing global hunger, particularly in Africa and the Middle East. The question for both American and European policymakers is how to corral leaping prices without sending their economies into recession. The Federal Reserve has begun raising interest rates to tame…

Your Tuesday Briefing: Russia’s Faltering Campaign

Good morning. We’re covering Russia’s struggling military campaign, Australia’s halting recovery from bush fires and a Covid-19 protest at Peking University. Russia scales back its charge east After a series of military setbacks, Moscow now appears to be focusing on a narrow objective: widening its holdings in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donbas. But even there Russia may be forced to scale back its ambition to take most of eastern Ukraine, according to the Institute for the Study of War. Russia still controls the wide swath of southern Ukraine it seized…

Secret British ‘black propaganda’ campaign targeted cold war enemies

The British government ran a secret “black propaganda” campaign for decades, targeting Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia with leaflets and reports from fake sources aimed at destabilising cold war enemies by encouraging racial tensions, sowing chaos, inciting violence and reinforcing anti-communist ideas, newly declassified documents have revealed. The effort, run from the mid-1950s through to the late 70s by a unit in London that was part of the Foreign Office, was focused on cold war enemies such as the Soviet Union and China, leftwing liberation groups and…

Your Monday Briefing: Russia’s Pre-Holiday Push

Good morning. We’re covering Russia’s nationalist holiday, Hong Kong’s new leader and a Taliban decree targeting women. Lee, the top architect of the crackdown on Hong Kong’s antigovernment protests in 2019, plans to push through laws on treason, secession, sedition and subversion, and to root out critics in the civil service. He inherits a city that has been tamed and cowed: Sweeping national security laws imposed two years ago have quashed dissent, gutted the free press and put critics behind bars or sent them into exile. He will also face…

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