Scotland to initiate talks with EU: Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told reporters Friday Edinburgh will immediately initiate talks with the European Union (EU) to remain within the economic bloc despite last weeks “Brexit” vote.
Scotland voted overwhelmingly, 62-38 percent, to remain in the EU.
Concurrent with the EU referendum, several Scottish National Party officials resuscitated talk regarding a second Scottish independence referendum, which they say is justified in the wake of “Brexit.”
Sturgeon stopped short of declaring her intent to petition for a second referendum, but did mention the possibility an independence plebiscite was “very likely.”
Al-Shabaab militants bomb Mogadishu hotel: After detonating a truck laden with explosives, al-Shabaab militants stormed a Mogadishu hotel, the Naso-Hablod, took hostages and shot other hotel guests. Police say at least four militants were involved with the attack.
Authorities place the death toll at 14, and include civilians outside the hotel, members of a hotel security detachment and several al-Shabaab gunmen.
This is the second attack perpetrated by the al-Qaeda-linked group in June. Several weeks ago, al-Shabaab terrorists claimed responsibility for the attack on the Ambassador hotel in Mogadishu, killing 15.
Moscow, Beijing conclude $50bn energy deal: Seeking to strengthen ties between the two and bolster Russia’s standing as a major oil exporter, Moscow and Beijing signed off on a series of energy deals which will open the door for Russia to the Asia-Pacific markets.
In one agreement, Russia’s largest petroleum firm, Rosneft, sold 40 percent interest in a planned petrochemical plant in Russia’s far east. A second pact will commence the sale of 2.4 million tons of crude to ChemChina beginning August 1, 2016, through July 31, 2017. The deal marginalizes Saudi Arabian petroleum exports to China.
Rosneft and Beijing Enterprises Group Company Limited also agreed to sell 20 percent of a Rosneft subsidiary,Verkhnechonskneftegaz, to a subsidiary of Beijing Gas Group.
Canadian firm seeks to recoup $15bn over Keystone XL: Calgary-based energy firm, TransCanada, filed legal papers seeking arbitration to settle its dispute with the U.S. government over costs and damages incurred after President Obama’s Nov. 2015 rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.
TransCanada’s arbitration is requesting $15 billion in damages.
A separate lawsuit filed by TransCanada against the United States requesting a turnaround of Obama’s decision is underway in federal court.
Popular websites move to automated removal of extremist content: Websites YouTube and Facebook are on the vanguard of implementing software originally designed to remove copyrighted material to detect and remove extremist content from their websites.
Until recently, many websites have depended on users to “flag” material to alert websites of content suspected of having extremist origins.
The move was inspired by intense pressure from the U.S. government and the governments of many European nations to combat Islamic extremism and online radicalization.
[BBC] [Reuters] [RT News]