world news in focus july 15 2018 feature

Headlines For Thinking & Drinking – This Is World News In Focus

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UK: Brexit Secretary David Davis resigned late last Sunday (July 8) and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson followed suit 15 hours later.

They decided to leave Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet as they disapprove of her latest Brexit plans, which were concluded on July 6 at the Chequers, the prime minister’s official country residence in Buckinghamshire, and published as the Government’s White Paper on Thursday (July 12).

Under the so-called “Chequers Deal,” the UK will propose to the European Union (EU) that they will remain as a free-trade zone with the EU.  Bilateral trade in goods and agricultural products will be abide by a “common rulebook.”

Although the deal suggests that free movement of people between UK and EU would end, it leaves a proviso that any deal with the EU will “include a mobility framework so that UK and EU citizens can continue to travel to each other’s territories, and apply for study and work.”

Johnson said the deal was far from the Brexit he had campaigned for and he warned, in his resignation letter, that UK was headed “for the status of a colony” if the Brexit plans were adopted.

For more we go to BBC Newsnight:

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China: Liu Xia, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo’s widow, left China for Germany on Tuesday (July 10).

The Chinese Foreign Ministry also confirmed her departure to seek “medical treatment on her own accord.”

The 57-year-old poet and photographer first flew to Helsinki, Finland, where she was transferred to Berlin to join with friends in Germany and receive treatment.

Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, and died of liver cancer on July 13, 2017, at age 61.

According to her friends, Liu had suffered physical and mental distress, including depression, and had been hospitalized at least twice for a heart condition since Liu Xiaobo was jailed in 2009 years ago.

It is believed that Liu’s departure was facilitated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who recently met with the Chinese premier, Li Keqiang, in Bremerhaven.

For more we go to the South China Morning Post:

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Business: Starbucks announced Monday (July 9) that it will phase out the use of plastic straws at its restaurants by 2020.

The Seattle-based chain will replace the single-use plastic straws with new recyclable strawless lids and alternative material straws.

The company’s environmental responsible measure will eliminate more than one billion straws a year, and received a positive boost on Monday as Starbucks’ shares rose 1.9 percent during morning trade.

Meanwhile, fast food giant McDonald’s decided to switch to paper straws at its UK and Ireland restaurants starting from September.

U.S. global doughnut company and coffeehouse Dunkin’ Donuts said earlier in February that it would eliminate polystyrene foam cups from its stores by 2020.

Some eight million tons of plastic waste is being dumped into the ocean every year, harming marine life, killing birds and compromising the ocean ecosystem.  Plastic straws are a particular problem as they are difficult to recycle.

For more we go to CNNMoney:

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Image (“Cocktail Straws In Glass”) Courtesy of Ruslan Grumble / Shutterstock.com