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British, Irish PMs to lock horns over Brexit stalemate

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will meet his Irish counterpart for last-ditch Brexit talks on Thursday, with just days left to strike an EU divorce deal and both sides blaming each other for the impasse.

Johnson will sit down with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at an undisclosed location in northwest England following several days of recriminations over the failure to find an acceptable compromise.

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“This will be a private meeting to allow both leaders and their teams to have detailed discussions,” Johnson’s Downing Street office said.

The talks come with time running out to sign off on any agreement at an October 17-18 European Union summit, ahead of Britain’s scheduled departure from the bloc at the end of the month after nearly five decades of membership.

Johnson has vowed Britain will leave on October 31 with or without a deal — despite MPs passing a law last month that requires him to seek another Brexit delay if he fails to secure a pact at the summit.

Varadkar told Ireland’s parliament on Wednesday that he would work “until the last moment” to get a deal, but added: “certainly not at any cost.”

– ‘Blame game’ –

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After days of trading increasingly bitter accusations of inflexibility, the diplomacy appears to be intensifying in a late bid to find a breakthrough.

“The reason the prime minister is meeting Leo Varadkar is not simply just to have a social conversation,” Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng told BBC radio.

“They are seriously focused on trying to resolve this issue and trying to get a deal on which basis we can leave the EU.”

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“We’re coming to a situation where I think a deal is possible”.

Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay will meet his EU counterpart Michel Barnier in Brussels on Friday.

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“We’ve put forward serious proposals and have been willing to be flexible. Now it’s time for the EU to do the same,” Barclay said.

But Barnier struck a downbeat tone Wednesday, telling the European Parliament that “we’re not on the point of envisioning and finding a deal”.

And Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, weighed in saying Britain’s proposals were “not serious” and were aimed at starting a “blame game”.

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“The real traitor is he or she who risks bringing disaster upon his country and it’s citizens, pushing the UK out of the EU,” the former Belgian premier tweeted.

– Irish border block –

Johnson and Varadkar will focus their discussions on the Irish border — the sticking point in tortuous negotiations that have dragged on for over two years.

Johnson claims his proposal provides a new way to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, and EU member Ireland after Brexit.

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It would take Northern Ireland out of the EU’s customs union along with the rest of the UK, but keep it largely aligned with the bloc’s “single market” standards and regulations, subject to local consent in the province.

Brussels is adamant it will not agree to any plan that undermines the single market or leaves Ireland exposed.

Britain’s gross domestic product contracted by 0.1 percent in August, the Office for National Statistics said, in a sign that the economy is struggling in the run-up to Brexit.

Economic activity fell back after rising by 0.4 percent in July. Some economists fear the country will fall into recession in the third quarter, after GDP fell by 0.2 percent in the second quarter, given the uncertainties surrounding Brexit.

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Meanwhile England’s Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies said people could die due to a no-deal Brexit.

“We cannot guarantee that there will not be shortages not only in medicines but technology and gadgets,” she told BBC radio.

“And there may be deaths; we can’t guarantee there won’t.”


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‘You can say Merry Christmas again’: Lara and Eric Trump declare victory in the War on Christmas

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For years, conservatives have complained about a "War on Christmas" -- but President Donald Trump finally won the war, according to his son and daughter-in-law.

Fox News personality Jeanine Pirro interviewed Eric Trump and his wife Lara in Trump Tower, which Pirro called the "New York White House."

Pirro told the two they had "done wonderful things for the country" and said Trump had ended political correctness and people could say "Merry Christmas."

"You can say Merry Christmas again," Lara Trump said. "Isn't that so nice, Jeanine?"

"It's incredible," Eric Trump said. "It is nice to say Merry Christmas again."

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‘Donald Trump was right from the beginning’: Jeanine Pirro tells Fox News audience the opposite of reality

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Less than two hours after a guest on CNN warned that Fox News is a threat to national security for its lies to support Donald Trump, Fox News personality Jeanine Pirro appeared to prove his point.

Pirro went on an angry rant in her opening, claiming that the DOJ inspector general report showed bias, despite the fact that the report found the opposite.

Regardless the facts, Pirro claimed that President Donald Trump had been vindicated.

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Fox News lying to defend Trump makes it a threat to US national security: CNN contributor

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Fox News a threat to American democracy and national security, a CNN contributor explained on Saturday.

Garrett Graff was interviewed by CNN's Ana Cabrera about a new piece he wrote for Wired titled, "Fox News Is Now a Threat to National Security."

"Monday’s split-screen drama, as the House Judiciary Committee weighed impeachment charges against President Trump and as the Justice Department’s inspector general released a 476-page report on the FBI’s handling of its 2016 investigation into Trump’s campaign, made one truth of the modern world inescapable: The lies and obfuscations forwarded ad infinitum on Fox News pose a dangerous threat to the national security of the United States," he wrote.

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