- It has long been clear that trade negotiations between Britain and the European Union are making no progress. On, access to British fisheries and the EU’s wish to constrain state subsidies to ensure fair competition, neither side seems ready to compromise.
- But the British government has now dropped a new bombshell by apparently planning to publish a new bill on September 9th that will, if no trade deal is agreed on by the end of the year, override parts of the withdrawal agreement.
- Johnson’s new bill seeks to overturn the withdrawal agreement’s requirement for export declarations on goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain, and also to scrap a provision that Britain must provide details of state subsidies for firms operating in the province.
- As Brexit itself has shown, the right way to change a treaty is to negotiate with its signatories, not to pass unilateral domestic legislation in breach of it. The government’s bombshell is making a deal at the end of the year ever more unlikely.
- Euractiv – Benjamin Fox / Johnson threatens to override Irish protocol ahead of EU-UK trade talks
The New York Times – Melissa Eddy / Aleksei Navalny out of a coma and responsive, German doctors say
- The Russian opposition leader Aleksei A. Navalny is no longer in a medically induced coma and is responsive, doctors treating him at the Charité hospital in Berlin said on Monday.
- But they did not rule out lasting damage from what they called his “severe poisoning” with what the German government has said was a military-grade nerve agent.
- The German government has demanded an explanation from Russia, but the Kremlin does not seem inclined to offer one, saying it has not yet been shown proof that Mr. Navalny was poisoned.
- Mr. Navalny has been brought out of the medically induced coma and is being weaned from a respirator, the hospital said in a statement. “He is responsive to verbal stimuli,” the statement said. “It remains too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning.”
- The Washington Post – Robyn Dixon and Ruby Mellen / Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is out of induced coma and responsive, Berlin clinic says
Politico – Simon Marks / African trio set out battlelines for decisive phase of WTO leadership fight
- It is increasingly likely that it will fall to a new boss from Africa to revive the World Trade Organization just as it has never seemed so powerless. The selection of a successor to Brazil’s Roberto Azevêdo is now turning toward the elimination stage.
- There are three Africans among the eight candidates. POLITICO has spoken to each of them, and asked them why they are better suited than their rivals to rescue an organization that has ground to a standstill.
- The next WTO chief will have their work cut out. Washington has effectively stopped the WTO by blocking the appointment of judges to the world’s top tribunal for trade disputes, arguing that the organization is too soft on China.
- Starting on Monday, ambassadors from all 164 members of the WTO will provide four names to Ambassador David Walker of New Zealand, the current chairman of the WTO’s General Council.
- Financial Times – Brendan Greeley / Trump raises prospect of ‘decoupling’ US economy from China
The Guardian / California fires burn record 2m acres
- Wildfires have burned more than 2m acres (809,000 hectares) in California this year, setting a state record even as crews battled dozens of growing blazes in sweltering temperatures Monday that strained the electrical grid and threatened power outages for millions.
- Firefighters struggled to corral several dangerous blazes ahead of dry, hot winds predicted to raise fire danger to critical levels in the coming days. Evacuation orders were expanded to more mountain communities as the largest blaze, the Creek Fire, churned through the Sierra National Forest.
- Debra Rios wasn’t home when the order came to evacuate her hometown of Auberry, just northeast of Fresno. Sheriff’s deputies went to her ranch property to pick up her 92-year-old mother, Shirley MacLean. They reunited at an evacuation center.
- Record-breaking temperatures were driving the highest power use of the year, and transmission losses because of wildfires have cut into supplies. The California Independent System Operator that manages the state’s power grid warned of possible power outages if residents didn’t curtail their electricity usage.
- Bloomberg – Brian Eckhouse and Joe Ryan / California power crisis set to worsen as PG&E warns of outages
- Project Syndicate – Kemal Dervis and Sebastián Strauss / Multilateralism for the masses