The Guardian – Jessica Elgot, Lisa O’Carroll and Jennifer Rankin / Brexit: Boris Johnson to override EU withdrawal agreement
- Boris Johnson is drawing up legislation that will override the Brexit withdrawal agreement on Northern Ireland, a move that threatens the collapse of crunch talks which the prime minister has said must be completed within five weeks.
- Johnson will put an ultimatum to negotiators this week, saying the UK and Europe must agree a post-Brexit trade deal by 15 October or Britain will walk away for good.
- But progress on the already fragile talks will be threatened by plans revealed on Sunday for the UK government to publish a controversial section of the internal market bill on Wednesday that will intentionally try to unpick parts of the withdrawal agreement signed in January.
- A UK government source told the Guardian the plan was part of the preparation for a no-deal exit that would present a number of new barriers to trade from Northern Ireland – and accepted that the move was likely to blow up at the negotiations this week.
- Bloomberg – Stuart Biggs, Tim Ross and Nikos Chrysoloras / Boris Johnson warns EU not to expect compromise ahead of trade talks
Financial Times – James Shotter / Fractures appear in Belarus opposition as Lukashenko digs in
- When Alexander Lukashenko was met by boos, whistles and chants of “Resign! Resign!” on a visit to the Minsk Wheel Tractor Plant, it looked as if the Belarusian autocrat’s days as president might be numbered.
- Three weeks on, however, Belarus’s opposition movement has had to reconcile itself to the fact that, in the short term at least, Mr Lukashenko has been able to cling on to power. Although the 66-year-old former collective farm boss continues to face huge street protests, the latest on Sunday, his security apparatus has remained loyal.
- Crucially, he also seems to have the backing of his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. With Mr Lukashenko digging in, there were for the first time signs last week of disagreement within the opposition about how to keep up the pressure on his regime.
- “Russia is the most serious risk for Lukashenko,” said Mr Forbrig. “Once they’ve got the concessions out of him that they want, do they still need him in that situation?” The other looming problem for Mr Lukashenko’s regime is the Belarusian economy. Economists are forecasting a contraction of between 4 and 6 per cent as a result of the coronavirus emergency.
- Politico – Sergei Kuznetsov / Belarusian opposition broadens tactics in bid to unseat Lukashenko
The Washington Post – Anne Gearan / Serbia and Kosovo sign breakthrough economic accord that is short of normal relations
- Serbia and Kosovo agreed Friday to normalize economic ties, a breakthrough in a political standoff over Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008 that President Trump said resulted from his involvement.
- The agreement signed at the White House is short of the full diplomatic recognition that Kosovo seeks and that the Trump administration and the European Union have both worked to achieve. “It’s a first step,” said Richard Grenell.
- The deal will encompass freer transit, including by rail and road, Grenell said, and clear away other barriers to commerce. Trump predicted a “tremendous relationship” between those two countries.
- He announced that majority-Muslim Kosovo and Israel have agreed to diplomatic ties. The announcement follows a U.S.-brokered agreement in August to normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
- Haaretz – Noa Landau and Reuters / Israel to recognize Kosovo, which will open embassy in Jerusalem along with Serbia
The New York Times – Sarah Watson, Shawn Hubler, Danielle Ivory and Robert Gebeloff / A new front in America’s pandemic: college towns
- Last month, facing a budget shortfall of at least $75 million because of the pandemic, the University of Iowa welcomed thousands of students back to its campus — and into the surrounding community.
- Now, Iowa City is a full-blown pandemic hot spot — one of about 100 college communities around the country where infections have spiked in recent weeks as students have returned for the fall semester.
- Despite the surge in cases, there has been no uptick in deaths in college communities, data shows. This suggests that most of the infections are stemming from campuses, since young people who contract the virus are far less likely to die than older people.
- The potential spread of the virus beyond campus greens has deeply affected the workplaces, schools, governments and other institutions of local communities. The result often is an exacerbation of traditional town-and-gown tensions.
- Foreign Policy – Nine experts / Will schools and universities ever return to normal?
- Foreign Affairs – Carmen Reinhart and Vincent Reinhart / The pandemic depression
The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.