Thursday briefing: Trump walks away from Kurds with Normandy jibe

Thursday briefing: Trump walks away from Kurds with Normandy jibe

Civilians flee with their belongings amid Turkish bombardment of Ras al-Ain in Syria???s north-east. Photograph: Delil Souleiman/AFP via Getty Images

???They didn???t help us in WWII,??? fighters who stopped Isis are told ??? England v France cancelled due to typhoon ??? and Johnson to meet Varadkar


Main image: Civilians flee with their belongings amid Turkish bombardment of Ras al-Ain in Syria???s north-east. Photograph: Delil Souleiman/AFP via Getty Images

Top story: US seizes Isis Britons from prison camp

Good morning, I???m Warren Murray and we can???t make the news all good, but we can make it all a bit more clear.

Donald Trump has dismissed Kurdish fighters??? contribution to defeating Isis, declaring it is not as if they ???helped us with Normandy???, as Turkey???s military began attacks in north-eastern Syria. The US president washed his hands of Kurdish forces who fought alongside the US against Islamic State for nearly five years, losing roughly 11,000 of their own. As Turkish troops bombarded and advanced into the region, activists and observers have reported multiple civilian casualties. Trump???s decision has been widely criticised internationally.

Two notorious British members of Islamic State have reportedly been moved from Kurdish to US custody. Turkey says it is seeking to establish a 20-mile-deep buffer zone against the threat of what it calls Kurdish terror groups, as well as Isis, and to resettle Syrian refugees. The UN security council is due today to discuss the offensive but it is not expected to deliver a strong rebuke to Turkey, given tacit Russian support and US ambivalence.

Hagibis causes rugby havoc ??? Scotland???s World Cup remains in doubt with tournament organisers saying a short time ago that they must wait until Sunday morning to decide if their final and decisive pool match against Japan can go ahead. England and France will not play in Yokohama on Saturday evening, their match cancelled as large parts of Japan await the arrival of a powerful typhoon. Both teams have qualified for the quarter-finals with a game to spare. New Zealand and Italy also will not face each other. The matches will be treated as 0-0 draws and each team awarded two points. The stakes are high for the Scots, who would be eliminated if their match against Japan was to be cancelled, assuming that Ireland beat Samoa in Fukuoka on Saturday. Australia v Georgia and Ireland v Samoa are set to go ahead.

Antisemitic motives behind attack ??? The shooting attack that killed two people outside the Yom Kippur synagogue in Halle, Germany was livestreamed online for 35 minutes. The suspect also posted vehemently antisemitic and racist documents online, as in the Christchurch mosque attack. One woman was shot dead near a Jewish cemetery and one man killed in a nearby kebab shop when a gunman in a military-style outfit tried to force his way into the synagogue. German media identified the suspect as Stephan Balliet, a 27-year-old German citizen from the town of Eisleben in Saxony-Anhalt. Police confirmed an arrest had been made.

PM meets taoiseach ??? Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar are set for a private meeting today on undisclosed ???neutral??? territory in north-west England. Downing Street banned media from attending the talks and refused to disclose where they were taking place. The Irish taoiseach has said the British government???s demand that Northern Ireland leave the EU customs union upon Brexit taking place poses a ???grave difficulty??? for the government of the republic. Plans are being made to let parliament sit on a Saturday for the first time since the Falklands war to vote on any possible deal that emerges out of the EU summit on 19 October.

Real price of tea in your china ??? Poor pay and punitive working conditions are common on farms and plantations that supply fresh fruit or tea to UK supermarkets including Lidl, Aldi, Sainsbury???s, Tesco and Morrisons, according to Oxfam. The charity says a ???relentless??? drive to maximise profits is fuelling poverty and gender discrimination in the supermarkets??? supply chains. Oxfam interviewed workers in India and Brazil and conducted a survey in five other countries. Workers on tea plantations in Assam said cholera and typhoid were rife because of poor access to toilets and safe drinking water. On fruit farms in north-east Brazil, women with children said they were forced to rely on relatives or government support to feed their families outside harvest season. Oxfam found that out of the 79p price of 100g of black Assam tea in the UK, supermarkets and tea brands receive 49p while workers get 3p.

Asian power list ??? Sajid Javid, Priti Patel and Rishi Sunak, all members of Boris Johnson???s cabinet, have made it into the top 10 of the 101 most influential Asians in Britain. Javid appears as number one on the list for a second successive year. Gina Miller made the top three after her legal challenges against the government over Brexit. Sadiq Khan, the Labour mayor of London, features in fourth place in the GG2 power list, which is collated by the Asian Media Group. Despite being second-generation migrants, Javid and Patel have both attracted controversy for their language around immigration. This is the ninth year of the list and it features 29 new entries.

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Lunchtime read: Why Nixon defenders are silent on Trump

Veterans of President Richard Nixon???s administration and members of his foundation ??? normally faithful Republican loyalists ??? have found little to say when approached by the Guardian about whether Donald Trump should face impeachment. The Trump presidency poses a number of awkward challenges to the Nixonian worldview, writes Andrew Gumbel: ???For all his willingness to lean on the FBI and the IRS to do his political bidding domestically, Nixon never ??? at least as president ??? sought to extract political favours from overseas allies or client states.???

Richard Nixon waves goodbye from the steps of the presidential helicopter after a farewell address to White House staff on 7 August 1974
Richard Nixon waves goodbye from the steps of the presidential helicopter after a farewell address to White House staff on 7 August 1974. Photograph: Chick Harrity/AP

For 45 years Nixonians have refused to accept their man was guilty of presidential abuse of power ??? which puts them in an awkward spot with Trump, because the Ukraine scandal turns entirely on that point. Timothy Naftali, who was the first National Archives-appointed director of the Nixon library, says: ???If the loyalists are to accept that this is a rerun of Nixon, that would imply they think Nixon himself was guilty of abuse of power. And for many Nixonians, that???s a bridge too far.??? Bob Bostock, who put together a sympathetic account of the Watergate scandal, said: ???I don???t believe for a second that Nixon committed an impeachable offence. I don???t think President Clinton committed an impeachable offence. Andrew Johnson certainly didn???t. With respect to Trump ??? it???s way too early.???


Typhoon Hagibis is also threatening to mess with the Japanese Grand Prix, but it is likely to only delay the coronation of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton. The NBA has postponed scheduled media sessions in Shanghai for the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers, and it remains unclear if the teams will play in China this week as scheduled.

Joey Barton, manager of Fleetwood Town, will stand trial after pleading not guilty to a charge of assaulting Daniel Stendel, his Barnsley counterpart, when the teams met in League One last season. England manager Phil Neville says he can take journalists and fans questioning his methods and his team???s performances, but he does not seem able to handle the criticism, writes Suzanne Wrack. And the former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has joined British ice hockey team Guildford Phoenix.


Uncertainty around the outcome of trade talks between the US and China in Washington, fuelled by a report that the lead Chinese negotiator only plans to stay one day in the US capital, subdued animal spirits on Asian stock markets overnight. The FTSE100 looks like opening flat. The price of Brent crude also sank as traders fretted about a slowing in global demand. The pound is on $1.223 and ???1.119.

The papers

Pollution, wags and the perils of food on the go feature on today???s front pages. The Guardian launches a special project revealing the 20 polluters behind a third of all global carbon emissions, giving over its entire front page to new data showing how a cohort of state-owned and multinational firms is driving the climate emergency.

Guardian front page, Thursday 10 October 2019
Guardian front page, Thursday 10 October 2019.

The Times and Metro say eating and drinking must be banned on public transport to tackle obesity, according to the outgoing chief medical officer: ???Ban food on trains, says top doctor??? is the headline in the former. The Telegraph says the EU will grant a Brexit extension only if a fresh referendum is held, while the i focuses on a Tory party rift over the hard line being taken on Brexit. ???Tories risk being torn apart by no-deal manifesto??? is the i headline. The Mail launches a vaccination campaign, calling for ministers to convince the public that vaccines such as MMR are safe. ???Give them a chance ... give them their jab??? is the headline.

The Sun and Mirror focus on the social media spat between Coleen Rooney and Rebekah Vardy. The Sun covers the claims that Vardy has been leaking personal details to the newspaper with the headline: ???Waggro!???. The Mirror goes for ???Roodunnit???? Both are tagged as exclusives. The Express says ???Coleen kicks off??? but gives its splash to an exclusive in which it reports Priti Patel has promised to put more police on the streets ??? Turkey???s bombing of Kurds in Syria is its main picture. The FT has the OECD planning a tax shake-up to target big tech. It carries picture coverage of the Turkey offensive into Syria.

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