UK Opposition Leader to Call for No-Confidence Vote for PM Johnson to Stop ‘No-Deal BREXIT’ - That’s in the news Tuesday August 27, 2019


Opposition lawmakers in the UK declared Tuesday they will work together to try to stop a departure from the European Union without an agreement, setting up a legislative challenge to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his promise to complete the divorce by Oct. 31— come what may. Some 160 lawmakers have signed a declaration pledging “to do whatever is necessary,” to prevent Johnson from bypassing Parliament in his plans. Also British Labor Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn plans to hold a vote of no confidence for Johnson and then install himself as interim PM to stop the Britain from leaving the European Union without a deal. Corbyn pushed again for a second referendum for leaving the EU, and warned departing without an agreement would put Britain "at the mercy of Donald Trump." At the G7 summit in France last weekend, Johnson said he was "marginally" more optimistic about securing a deal, but insisted other EU states need to shift ground. Johnson repeatedly refused to rule out suspending Parliament to force through a no-deal exit. Johnson’s do-or-die promise has raised worries about a disorderly divorce that would see new tariffs on trade and border checks between Britain and the EU, seriously disrupting business. Britain has until the end of October to strike a deal with the EU or risk crashing out of the bloc. Corbyn said his party would do everything in its power to prevent that scenario.




The United States has reached a tentative trade deal with Japan giving U.S. farmers and ranchers a bright spot in an otherwise dismal year. President Trump announced the tentative trade accord with Japan at the end of the G7 summit in France. Japan is America's fourth-leading buyer of agricultural products -- and ranks even higher for certain commodities. It is the top importer of U.S. beef, for example, and the second leading buyer of corn. There had been real concern that U.S. farmers would lose the Japanese market entirely this year after the U.S. left the Trans-Pacific Partnership, negotiated by the Obama administration. However, Trump withdrew from that deal shortly after taking office, saying his administration would negotiate trade deals bilaterally with individual countries. Trump announced the deal with Japan "in principal." The Trump administration has not released any details of the pact, other than to say it includes industrial, digital and agricultural trade, and the two countries plan to formally sign the agreement during the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York in September.




The Group of Seven leaders agreed to provide $20 million to help fight fires devastating the Amazon rainforest. Much of the money was earmarked to provide Brazil with "technical and financial help" to fight the fires, according to French President Emmanuel Macron and Chilean President Sebastián Piñera. The Amazon produces about 20 percent of the planet's oxygen. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who campaigned promising to open the Amazon up for mining, logging, and other businesses, was slow to react to the fires, which environmentalists and researchers said were started by cattle ranchers and loggers. Bolsonaro's office rejected the money saying,"We appreciate [the offer], but maybe those resources are more relevant to reforest Europe."




Meanwhile Brazilian prosecutors in the Amazon state of Pará are launching an investigation into why IBAMA, Brazil's environmental agency, ignored warnings that farmers, businessmen, and land-grabbers planned on setting fires around the town of Novo Progresso. Prosecutors say that on Aug. 5, a farmer told a local newspaper that on Aug. 10, they planned on setting fires to "show the president that we want to work," saying that they could only clear the land by cutting down trees and burning everything down. IBAMA finally responded two days after the fires were set, and said police had to leave the area because it was dangerous. This month, there have been more than 26 thousand fires reported in the Amazon.




A tropical storm in the Philippine Sea will unleash flooding rainfall and elevate the risk of mudslides across the northern Philippines into early Wednesday. The storm, which is known as Jenny in the Philippines, is expected to make landfall in eastern Luzon later Tuesday into Wednesday, local time. Landfall is forecast to occur Tuesday night, local time. A continued west-northwest track will take the storm quickly across northern Luzon and into the South China Sea by Wednesday. The tropical cyclone has been given the name Podul by the Japan Meteorological Agency. This will also be the name used in other countries across eastern Asia. As the storm continues to track westward, conditions will improve dramatically across the Philippines by Wednesday afternoon. The storm is forecast to weaken into a tropical depression as it crosses Luzon; however, strengthening is once again expected as it tracks westward over the South China Sea from Wednesday into Friday. Concerns will then shift to locations from northern Vietnam to southeastern China for late this week and weekend as the tropical cyclone may reach typhoon status prior to reaching land for a second time.




Officials from France and the United States have reportedly reached a compromise on a new French tax on digital services provided by large internet companies like Google and Amazon. The new agreement stipulates that France would repay companies the difference between its digital tax and whatever taxes come from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's planned mechanism. French President Emmanuel Macron praised the agreement, while maintaining that France will nix its national tax if and when his preferred method of an international tax system is implemented. President Trump had previously repeatedly threatened to tax French wine if Paris moved forward with its approved three percent tax on digital services.




A judge on Monday ruled that Johnson & Johnson contributed to Oklahoma's opioid crisis, and ordered the consumer products giant to pay $572 million to help address the damage. The decision from Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman was the first to hold a drug maker responsible for the excessive distribution of the powerful and addictive painkillers starting in the late 1990s, and the national epidemic of addiction and overdose deaths that has resulted. The ruling in the first state trial was considered likely to affect legal strategies on both sides as more than 40 states prepare to take on the pharmaceutical industry in court. Johnson & Johnson denied wrongdoing and vowed to appeal. Two other companies named in the suit — OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma and Teva Pharmaceuticals — settled with Oklahoma before the trial for $270 million and $85 million, respectively.




Capt. Al Haynes, the United Airlines pilot who made an "impossible" landing and saved nearly 200 lives in 1989 has died at the age of 87. Haynes died Monday in Seattle nearly 30 years after he was hailed as a hero for executing an emergency landing in Sioux City, Iowa. While 110 passengers and one crew member died in the crash landing, the Federal Aviation Administration cited Haynes' piloting skills for saving 184 lives. Haynes' was flying a DC-10 from Denver when the turbine shot out of the tail engine, severing all hydraulic lines and cutting off all steering and speed control. Haynes and his flight crew regained some control by adjusting power to the remaining two engines on the wings. They headed for the Sioux Falls airport in a slow, circling descent. The jumbo jet ultimately cartwheeled across the runway and plowed into a cornfield. Using simulators, the National Transportation Safety Board determined that pilots could pick touchdown position, direction or altitude but a safe landing was "virtually impossible." Haynes, who was a pilot for the the U.S. Marines, never saw himself as a hero and never forgot those who died in the crash. He spent his retirement years volunteering as a Little League Baseball umpire and high school football announcer.