UK, EU come to terms on Brexit payment: The United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) have tentatively reached an agreement in which London would pay in excess of €50 billion to the EU for its departure from the European economic bloc.
An increase from an early offer by British Prime Minister Theresa May of €20 billion, EU negotiators said the UK’s liabilities could reach €100 billion and demanded €50 billion.
One of three hurdles the UK must overcome to leave the alliance, the two lingering issues requiring negotiations include the rights of EU citizens in the UK and British citizens residing in EU member countries, and the question over Ireland’s future role with the EU remain.
Negotiators involved in talks to facilitate the UK’s departure from the EU will resume meetings in Brussels on Dec. 14.
Niger approves U.S. use of armed drones: Weeks after four U.S. servicemen were killed in an ambush in Niger, the Nigerian government has approved a plan which would allow armed American drone flights in Niger.
The U.S. has partnered with Niger to thwart militant Islamic groups Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, the Islamic State (ISIS) and ISIS affiliate, Islamic State of the Sahel from operating in Niger.
The U.S. is currently constructing a drone base in central Niger.
China returns North Korean defectors: Ten North Korean asylum seekers arrested by Chinese authorities in early November have been returned to a detention center in their native land.
Chinese police arrested the escapees at a safe house in Liaoning province on Nov. 4.
The return of the civilians came despite pleas from family members warning their return could lead to prolonged imprisonment or torture, which NGO Human Rights Watch says China would be “complicit in”.
“They are doomed and Beijing’s refusal to protect them and treat them as refugees fleeing persecution is precisely the reason why,” said HRW’s deputy Asia director, Phil Robertson.
Ireland Deputy PM steps down: Stating she sought to avoid a “unwelcome and potentially destabilizing” snap election, embattled Irish Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald resigned her post on Tuesday.
Fitzgerald’s resignation arrived ahead of a no-confidence vote scheduled for later Tuesday in the Irish Dial. The no-confidence vote was filed by opposition parties in mid-November.
The center of controversy over the course of the last year, Fitzgerald stepped down after it was revealed through emails she was aware of a legal strategy to discredit an Irish Garda whistleblower who uncovered police corruption.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar appointed Simon Coveney Tánaiste on Thursday to replace Fitzgerald.
Lower House of Russian Parliament considers ban on U.S. media: A senior Russian lawmaker has announced the lower house of the Russian Parliament is considering a motion to ban all U.S. media outlets from covering the activity in the State Duma.
The move is speculated to be a response to U.S. Congress voting to deprive Russian state news network, RT, of media accreditation.
The bill to ban U.S. media is scheduled for a vote on Dec. 6.
[RTÉ] [Reuters] [BBC] [Irish Times] [Daily Mail]