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Trump promises fair trade deal with Britain.

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Source: Reuters

Donald Trump promised Britain  a substantial post-Brexit trade deal with the United States on Tuesday, quipping to outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May that she should stick around to clinch it though she is due to step down in two days’ time.

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Feted by Queen Elizabeth on the first day of his state visit to Britain, Trump turned to politics on Tuesday, potentially meeting candidates vying to succeed May and a discussion about the role China’s Huawei should have in building 5G networks.

Even before Air Force One landed on British soil, Trump praised the main leaders of Brexit – Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage – and his advisers called on Britain’s next leader to block Huawei from the next generation mobile phone technology.

“We’ll have a very, very substantial trade deal, it’ll be a very fair deal, and I think it’s something we both want to do,” Trump told May at a meeting in St James’s Palace,

“I don’t know exactly what your timing is, but stick around. Let’s do this deal,” Trump said. May is due to resign as Conservative Party leader on Friday, but will remain as prime minister while a contest is held to replace her.

May said Britain and the United States should work together to keep markets free, fair and open.

The state visit, promised by May back in January 2017 when she became the first foreign leader to meet him after he took office, is cast as a chance to celebrate Britain’s “special relationship” with the United States, boost trade links and reaffirm security cooperation.

But the collapse of May’s premiership over Brexit and Trump’s penchant for ignoring the conventions of modern diplomacy have made the trip one of the most unconventional state visits in recent British history.

Ahead of the visit, Trump praised Johnson, the former foreign secretary and leading Brexit campaigner, and advised a sharp exit from the European Union on Oct. 31 with or without a deal.

Trump also called for arch-Brexiteer Farage, a scourge of May’s ruling Conservative Party, to conduct talks

BREXIT, BLIMP AND CHINA

Brexit is the most significant geopolitical move for the United Kingdom since World War Two and if it happens, London will be more reliant on the United States as ties loosen with the other 27 members of the EU.

Huawei will top talks in London after the British government appeared to defy Trump administration demands and allow the Chinese company a limited role in building 5G networks.

“We’ve been clear: Our ask is that our allies and our partners and our friends don’t do anything that would endanger our shared security interests or restrict our ability to share sensitive information,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

The Trump administration has told allies not to use Huawei’s 5G technology and equipment because it fears that would allow China to spy on sensitive communications and data. Huawei denies it is, or could be, a vehicle for Chinese intelligence.

Notwithstanding Britain’s enduring alliance with the United States, some British voters see Trump as crude, volatile and opposed to their values on issues ranging from global warming to his treatment of women.

A giant inflatable blimp depicting Trump as a pouting baby in a diaper was raised outside the British parliament in London on Tuesday ahead of what is expected to be one of the city’s largest protests against a foreign leader.

“We’re trying to remind the president how unwelcome he is in this country,” said Leo Murray, the co-creator of the blimp. “Donald Trump is childish, trivial, insulting. He embodies all of these things. This is an incredibly apt way to welcome him.”

In central London, thousands of protesters were expected to take part in a “Carnival of Resistance” later in the day to voice their opposition to the president. Environmental activists, anti-racism campaigners and women’s rights protesters were among those due to take part.

Jeremy Corbyn, the veteran socialist leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, was due to speak at the protest. Trump supporters said Corbyn’s participation was an insulting step too far for a leader of Britain’s main opposition party.

During their meeting, Queen Elizabeth gave Trump a book by Winston Churchill on World War Two while his wife Melania received a specially commissioned silver


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24 Hours Across Africa

Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival

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Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.

Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.

But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.

“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.

Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.

The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.

That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.

Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.

“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.

He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.

“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”

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24 Hours Across Africa

Zimbawe’s doctor goes missing after masterminding strike

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Fearless Zimbabwe’s minister of health has called on the government to address insecurity lapses that has lead to the disappearance Peter Magombeyi, the head of a doctor’s union, who disappeared on Saturday.

Fears are rising over the fate of Zimbabwe medical doctor Dr Peter Magombeyi after he sent a message to say he had been abducted in that country by unknown persons – apparently for demanding a “living wage”.

An AFP report earlier on Sunday quoted the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctor’s Association (ZHDA) as saying Magombeyi had not been heard from since he sent a WhatsApp message on Saturday night saying he had been “kidnapped by three men”.

Zimbabwe doctors, who earn a miserly equivalent of about R3 000 are on strike to press for better wages, equipment and medicines in state hospitals.

The ZHDA has reportedly accused state security forces of abducting the doctor because of his role in organising work stoppages.

This week some doctors said the death of deposed Robert Mugabe, 95, in a Singapore hospital on 6 September was an indication of how bad health services in Zimbabwe

“Dr Magombeyi’s crime is only to ask for a living wage for his profession. This is a reflection of the troubles born out of refusal to implement Political Reforms.”

The Zimbabwe government led by Emmerson Mnangagwa has not publicly commented on the doctor’s disappearance

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