President Donald Trump blamed Rick Perry and attacked Mitt Romney over the weekend as the scandal surrounding his phone call with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky grew. Photo: Aaron-Schwartz / Shutterstock
Elections in Portugal and Kosovo; China reluctant on trade deal; North Korea withdraws from talks; IVF rights protest; and a sports roundup. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
Second whistleblower confirmed
A second whistleblower from the US intelligence community with first-hand knowledge of the accusations about President Donald Trump’s communications with Ukraine has come forward, according to media outlets including Time and the BBC. The Guardian says the second whistleblower’s account could accelerate the impeachment inquiry against Trump. The New Yorker’s Jeffrey Toobin reckons the scandal stems from Trump’s “apparent willingness to accept political favors from foreign leaders, and his eagerness to do Putin’s bidding.” And GQ’s Julia Ioffe explains why Ukraine is “increasingly involved in America’s political chaos.” Reuters has compiled a handy “who’s who” of those involved in the story. Meanwhile, energy secretary Rick Perry has denied urging the president to make the crucial call to Ukraine president Zelenskiy after Trump appeared to try to pin the scandal on him, the Mail reports. And Trump also called fellow Republican Mitt Romney a “pompous ‘ass.'” for criticising him, according to the New York Post.
Macron gives Johnson until end of week
French president Emmanuel Macron has told UK prime minister Boris Johnson that EU leaders will “evaluate at the end of the week whether a deal is possible that respects European Union principles,” an official at the Élysée Palace said after the two leaders spoke about Brexit on the phone. The deadline “increases the chances of the negotiations imploding within days”, The Guardian reckons. UK Brexit negotiator David Frost is to hold further discussions with the European Commission today, according to the BBC, which cites No.10 as saying that “it's time for the Commission to show a willingness to compromise too. If not the UK will leave with no deal.” The Independent reports that no.10 has also told the EU that it would be a “historic misunderstanding” to place its faith in the law requiring the UK to ask for a further Brexit delay.
Socialists win in Portugal
Politico reports that Portuguese prime minister António Costa looks set to seek a fresh partnership with parties on the far left in order to form a government after his Socialist Party emerged victorious in Sunday’s election. Costa said that the coalition, nicknamed the 'Geringonça' or 'contraption', was well-liked, according to Euronews.
Bloomberg says its sources claim Chinese leaders are “increasingly reluctant to agree to a broad trade deal” when negotiations with the USA restart on Thursday. Commitments to reform industrial policy or government subsidies will not be part of the package that China brings to the talks, according to vice premier Liu He. CNBC says Asia markets traded mixed on Monday as they speculated whether the US would go ahead with imposing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods on October 15.
North Korea withdraws from US negotiations
Working-level talks in Sweden between the USA and North Korea were broken off on Saturday, Reuters reports. The North Koreans says the US must take “a substantial step to make complete and irreversible withdrawal” of its “hostile policy” if talks are to continue. Meanwhile, the South China Morning Post reports that China and North Korea vowed to strengthen ties on Sunday amid speculation that Kim Jong-un will soon pay another visit to Beijing.
Paris protest against extending IVF rights
A march in Paris on Sunday saw tens of thousands protest a bill that would allow lesbian couples and single women access to medically-assisted procreation, says Deutsche Welle. More than 65% of French people support the bill, The Guardian reports.
Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Duncan Roberts