Oil drops as U.S.-China standoff extends beyond trade

LONDON/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices edged lower on Thursday as fresh tensions between the United States and China over protests in Hong Kong fueled concern that a deal to end a trade war between the world’s top two economies may be further delayed.

Brent crude LCOc1 fell 44 cents, or 0.7%, to $61.96 a barrel by 0951 GMT, while West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 was down 36 cents, or 0.6%, at $56.65.

Both benchmarks had risen strongly on Wednesday due to bullish data on U.S. crude inventories.

'Radical and ambitious': Britain's Labour to unveil election platform

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will unveil his opposition party’s election manifesto on Thursday, setting out how in government he wants to transform Britain with “the most radical and ambitious plan” in decades.

Voters faces a stark choice at the Dec. 12 election: Corbyn’s plan for a socialist Britain, including widespread nationalisation and free public services, or Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s drive to deliver Brexit within months and build a “dynamic market economy”.

Former UK consulate employee says Chinese secret police tortured him

LONDON (Reuters) - A former employee of Britain’s Hong Kong consulate said Chinese secret police beat him, deprived him of sleep and chained him as they pressed him for information about activists leading the pro-democracy protests, the BBC and Wall Street Journal reported.

Simon Cheng, a Hong Kong citizen who worked for the British government for almost two years, was detained for 15 days on a trip to mainland China in August.

“I was shackled, blindfolded and hooded,” the 29-year-old told the BBC.

No clear champ as Johnson, Corbyn spar in UK election debate

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn attacked each other’s policies on Brexit, health care and the economy Tuesday in a televised election debate that likely failed to answer the question troubling many voters: Why should we trust you?

The two politicians hammered away at their rival’s weaknesses and sidestepped tricky questions about their own policies in the hourlong encounter, which was the first-ever head-to-head TV debate between a British prime minister and a chief challenger.

Brexit dominates UK election campaign

LONDON, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- As Brexit headlines continue to dominate British politics and the election campaign as the United Kingdom (UK) heads for a general election in December, business leaders say that the vote must break the Brexit gridlock in Parliament.

In their addresses at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference on Monday, the leaders of the country's three main national parties sent vastly different Brexit messages to a room filled with business leaders.

Danger on both left and right, warns UK business group CBI

LONDON (Reuters) - There is a threat to British business from both the left and the right of politics, the country’s biggest business lobby group the CBI warned on Monday, a month before voters head to the polls to elect a new government.

“I believe we are facing a danger that could get in the way of a bright future, and it takes the form of extreme ideology. And we see it on both sides of the political divide,” said CBI Director General Carolyn Fairbairn.

PM Johnson to tell business chiefs he will end uncertainty

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will tell business leaders on Monday that his pledge to take Britain out of the EU swiftly will end uncertainty and boost the economy, seeking to win over industrialists who have mainly opposed Brexit.

Johnson called a Dec. 12 election in a bid to end three years of political crisis since the 2016 52%-48% vote to leave the EU that has shaken investors’ faith in the United Kingdom — once considered one of the pillars of Western stability.

UK PM says every Conservative election candidate vows to back Brexit deal

LONDON, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has revealed that every Conservative Party candidate standing in the country's general election on Dec. 12 has personally pledged to back his Brexit deal.

In his first major newspaper interview of the election campaign, Johnson told the Sunday Telegraph that he has asked all 635 of his candidates to sign up to a pledge to back his Brexit Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons.

US businesswoman says 'heartbroken' by Britain's Johnson

17 November 2019; AFP: A US businesswoman at the centre of controversy over whether Boris Johnson showed her inappropriate favouritism amid an alleged affair said Sunday she had been left "heartbroken" and "humiliated" by the British prime minister.

Jennifer Arcuri, who is accused of getting privileged access to foreign trade jaunts and grants when Johnson was previously London mayor, told Britain's ITV he was treating her like "some fleeting one-night stand".

Leaked Russian interference report raises UK vote questions

LONDON (AP) — A senior Labour party official says leaks from a report on Russian interference in British politics raises serious questions about the security of next month’s election.

The Sunday Times says the report from Parliament’s intelligence committee concludes that Russian interference may have affected Britain’s 2016 Brexit referendum, though the impact was “unquantifiable.” The Times says the report discusses the impact of articles posted by Russian new sites that were widely disseminated on social media.

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