A phone call between UK prime minister Boris Johnson and German chancellor Angela Merkel has led to negative speculation about the prospects of a Brexit deal. The BBC reports that a source in Downing Street has said Merkel’s language about the Irish border made any deal “essentially impossible”. The Irish Times reports that officials in Berlin said there was “no new German position on Brexit”. The FT says Johnson’s blame game strategy is “dangerous”. And the Independent reports on the outrage sparked by ads published by Leave.EU showing a photo of Merkel and featuring a caption that read “We didn't win two world wars to be pushed around by a Kraut.” Meanwhile, The Guardian reckons EU leaders may offer the UK an extension until June 2020.
The United States has announced it will restrict visas to Chinese officials over human rights violations against Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province, Deutsche Welle reports. CNBC cites secretary of state Mike Pompeo calling on China to “immediately end its campaign of repression”. But China responded by urging the US to “stop making irresponsible remarks on the issue of Xinjiang”
Iraq protests continue
Anti-government protesters in Iraq continue to demand the removal of the government even after prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi issued a new 13-point plan to meet some of their grievances, Reuters reports. 110 have died and 6,000 have been wounded since the protests began 8 days ago.
Three physicists share Nobel
The Nobel Prize in physics has gone to three scientists whose work furthers humanity's understanding of our place in the universe. James Peebles will get half the prize, whilst Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz share a quarter. The Register has a good summary of their work.
Landmark LGBT+ hearings begin
The US supreme court has heard opening arguments in cases of alleged discrimination against gay and transgender employees, the BBC reports. Esquire reckons the case could “set a precedent allowing employers to fire LGBT people based on sexuality or gender identity.” Pink News examines judge Brett Kavanaugh’s views on LGBT+ rights, which it says have so far remained “firmly in the closet.”
Heartburn medicine Zantac is the subject of a global recall after the FDA found “unacceptable” levels of potential carcinogens in the drug, The Guardian reports.
Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Duncan Roberts