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Britain moves to change WTO terms after Brexit vote
London (AFP) - Britain is beginning work on becoming an independent member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) after Brexit, using the EU's current terms as the template, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox said Monday.
Britain is currently represented in the 164-member body through its membership of the European Union, but when it leaves the bloc it will need to establish its own terms, or schedules.
"In order to minimise disruption to global trade as we leave the EU, over the coming period the government will prepare the necessary draft schedules which replicate as far as possible our current obligations," Fox said in a written statement to parliament.
"The government will undertake this process in dialogue with the WTO membership.
"This work is a necessary part of our leaving the EU. It does not prejudge the outcome of the eventual UK-EU trading arrangements."
Prime Minister Theresa May has promised to begin formal exit talks with EU leaders by the end of March, but has refused to give a "running commentary" on her negotiating strategy.
She says she wants "maximum possible access" to the European single market after Brexit, and last week a senior minister, David Davis, suggested the government would consider paying for this.
May has also stressed she wants to control immigration, putting her at odds with EU leaders who say freedom of movement is a pre-requisite of membership to the single market.
In a speech to the WTO last week, Fox said: "Britain stands ready to take a leading role within the WTO.
"We have the diplomatic experience and economic gravity to be a considerable ally to those countries who share our values on free trade, and our vision for the global economy.
"Director General (Roberto) Azevedo has already offered his support and that of the WTO Secretariat as we consider our transition to becoming an independent member."
76-year-old Vietnamese coach devotes life to badminton
A 76-year-old badminton coach, despite her age, retains her passion and dedication to the sport during every lesson she teaches to students in Ho Chi Minh City. Nguyen Thi Thuy Hong, now 76, continues to teach youngsters her badminton skills and techniques nearly every day at Phu Tho Sports Center in District 11. Vietnamese fans of badminton in the 1960s and 70s have been excited to learn that their one-time idol remains passionate about the sport after all these years. Hong said that she… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Iran says recent ballistic missile test was successful: Tasnim news agency
ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran said on Thursday it had successfully test-fired a ballistic missile that the United States said had exploded early, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported."The missile test on Sunday was successful ... the test was not a violation of a nuclear deal with world powers or any U.N. resolution," Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan told Tasnim.(Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Louise Ireland) chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Motorcycle show to be held in Hanoi in May
A wide range of motorcycle models manufactured by the world’s leading producers will be on display on a 10,000sq.m area during the Viet Nam Motorcycle Show 2017 (VMCS 2017). The event is scheduled in Ha Noi on May 4-7. The show, the second of its kind, will be held by the Viet Nam Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (VAMM). Famous brand names from official suppliers, including Honda, Piaggio, Yamaha, SYM and Suzuki, as well as some imported complete built units, such as Benelli, Ducati,… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
'Tombs of saints' inspire and divide in northern Nigeria
Sokoto (Nigeria) (AFP) - Pilgrims must walk through three rooms, a foyer and a 200-metre-long corridor before accessing the dimly-lit chamber where Usman dan Fodio and two of his sons are buried in Sokoto, northern Nigeria.Old women sit against the plastered white mud walls begging for money. Inside the tomb, more than a dozen visitors sit with their palms cupped and lifted upwards in prayer, seeking dan Fodio's blessing.Textile trader Sammani Yusuf is one of them. He drove more than 500… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Turkish military deploy tanks, military vehicles to Iraqi border area: sources
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's military has begun deploying tanks and other armored vehicles to the town of Silopi near the Iraqi border, in a move the defense minister said on Tuesday was related to the fight against terrorism and developments across the border.Fikri Isik said Turkey had "no obligation" to wait behind its borders and would do what was necessary if Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants took a foothold in northwest Iraq's Sinjar region, around 115 km (71 miles) south of… chat_bubble_outline Read More...