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‘Occupy London’ protesters allowed to stay until 2012: lawyer

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LONDON — Anti-capitalist protesters camped outside London’s St Paul’s Cathedral will be allowed to remain until at least the New Year, a lawyer for the group said after a meeting city authorities Wednesday.

Lawyer John Cooper, who has advised the Occupy London Stock Exchange (OLSX) group since the first day of their protest, revealed on micro-blogging website Twitter that city authorities had offered his clients a “deal to stay until New Year.”

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The lawyer said he would be advising OLSX while they considered the offer.

Greg Williams, head of media for local authority The City of London Corporation, would not confirm or deny the 2012 deadline when contacted by AFP.

Protesters, who were inspired by a similar occupation of New York’s Wall Street, later confirmed the offer and said they hoped the deadline could be extended further.

Relaying information from the group’s general assembly, demonstrator Steve Rushton told AFP that Cooper had “asserted that we have been given leave to stay until December 31.”

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“That should give us a good chance to continue the dialogue and hopefully it will be ongoing after that,” he added. “It will be great that we can stay until at least then and then look forward to continuing it.”

The City of London Corporation tweeted that it had met representatives of the camp for a “constructive meeting”, in which they outlined their responsibilities regarding public highways and planning.

“Our aim is agreement (without prejudice) regarding reducing camp size and limiting duration,” it added.

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Protest planner Tina Rothery said the group was debating a request from the authority to remove some tents in order to make space for the fire service.

“There’s a hindrance of access for St Paul’s churchyard,” she said. “We’re not blocking it but they would like more space.”

St Paul’s Cathedral and the city authorities on Tuesday suspended planned legal action against the protesters, who set up camp on October 15.

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The management of St Paul’s said it had unanimously agreed to suspend action against the demonstrators, who have turned the churchyard into a sprawling campsite and triggered turmoil in the cathedral hierarchy.

The head of St Paul’s quit on Monday after facing criticism for attempts to move on the protesters.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump aides desperately try to downplay ‘order’ to US companies to leave China

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Donald Trump's top aides on Sunday downplayed the idea of US companies being forced to abandon China any time soon, as an edict from the president ordering businesses to start looking for alternatives has been met with skepticism.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economics advisor Larry Kudlow took to the airwaves from France, where Trump is participating in the G7 summit, to smooth out tensions in the business community prompted by Trump's Friday tweet.

Trump said he has "no plan now" to bring US companies in line, and his aides quickly reinforced the message.

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Trump sparks confusion at G7 before doubling down on China tariffs

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President Donald Trump doubled down Sunday on his hard line against China after sowing confusion with statements that he might be willing to soften a trade war G7 partners fear threatens the world economy.

At the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Trump announced a major trade deal with Japan and promised more of the same with Britain, once Brexit is done.

But the positives were overshadowed by a mix-up over his apparent expression of regret for the latest escalation in the US-China dispute.

"I have second thoughts about everything," he conceded to reporters when asked if he regretted his decision on Friday to ramp up tariffs on all Chinese imports, worth some $550 billion, in retaliation for Beijing's earlier hike of levies on US goods.

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G7 wrestles with Iran, Amazon fires and trade, but own unity shaky

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G7 leaders close their summit Monday with discussion of world problems including the fires ravaging the Amazon rainforest, but overshadowed by President Donald Trump's trade wars and questions over the group's unity.

The summit in Biarritz, a high-end surfers' paradise in southwestern France, saw a dramatic shift of focus Saturday when Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif flew in to discuss the diplomatic deadlock on Tehran's disputed nuclear programme.

Zarif's presence had not been expected and it represented a gamble by French host Emmanuel Macron who is seeking to soothe spiralling tensions between Iran and the United States.

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