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22 August 2019updated 23 Jun 2021 9:17am

Five things you need to know today: Johnson to meet Macron after Brexit demands rejected

By New Statesman

Macron warns Brexit renegotiation “not an option”

Boris Johnson will meet Emmanuel Macron today in Paris hours after the French President dismissed his demand to renegotiate the Brexit withdrawal agreement and scrap the Irish backstop as “not an option”. Angela Merkel had earlier suggested that an alternative to the backstop could potentially be devised “in the next 30 days” but Macron refused to endorse this stance. “We have to help the British deal with this internal democratic crisis but we mustn’t be held hostage to it nor export it,” he said.

Trump plans to permit indefinite detention of migrant families 

The Trump administration has announced a new policy allowing the indefinite detention of migrant children with their parents. At present, under the decades-old Flores agreement, the government must hold children in the least restrictive setting and release them as quickly as possible, usually after 20 days in detention. The new regulation, announced by Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, is due to come into effect in 60 days if it does not face anticipated legal challenges. 

UK must discourage car ownership to meet climate targets, MPs warn

The UK government must discourage personal vehicle use if it is to meet its legally binding target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, MPs have said. In a sharply critical report, the science and technology select committee urged ministers to bring forward a planned ban on petrol and diesel cars, to promote and improve public transport, and to encouraging vehicle usership in place of ownership. They added that fuel duty, which has been frozen since 2010, should be increased in line with the average rise in rail or bus fares.

Protesters march on Ardern’s office over Māori land dispute

Hundreds of protesters have demonstrated outside Jacinda Ardern’s Auckland office, demanding that she visit Ihumātao, the site of a major indigenous land dispute. A group of children delivered a petition, signed by more than 26,000 people, urging her to visit the site where a housing development is set to be built on land considered sacred by Māoris. Arden refused to say whether she would visit the site but added of the protesters: “If they wish to know they’ve been heard, I can tell them now: they have been heard.” 

Pompeo praises Denmark after Trump cancels visit over Greenland furore 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has praised Denmark after Donald Trump cancelled a state visit to the country in protest at its refusal to sell him Greenland. In a phone call with Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, Pompeo “expressed appreciation for Denmark’s co-operation” as a US ally. Trump had criticised Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen as “nasty” after she rejected his request to buy Greenland as “absurd”. 

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