Disagreement drags UN climate talks into a 2nd extra day

MADRID (AP) — U.N. climate talks in Madrid dragged into a second day of extra time Sunday, with officials from almost 200 countries unable to break the deadlock on key points of difference.

The chair of the meeting, Chilean Environment Minister Carolina Schmidt, told weary delegates to examine new agreements drafted by her team and meet at 1:30 a.m. (0030 GMT) for further talks.

“This has been very tough, very long,” she said as the talks entered their 14th day. Still, Schmidt said some progress had been made, adding that “things are coming together.”

Zelensky submits draft constitutional amendments on decentralization to Verkhovna Rada

KIEV, December 13. /TASS/: Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has submitted to the Verkhovna Rada (national parliament) draft amendments to the country’s constitution on the decentralization of power.

The document was registered by the Verkhovna Rada on Friday. The text of the bill is not available on the parliament’s website.

Kiev’s decentralization amendments to be applicable all over Ukraine — minister

KIEV, December 14. /TASS/: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadim Pristayko said that the country’s constitution will be amended for decentralization on the entire territory of Ukraine.

"Ukraine remains committed to the [Minsk] agreements. We go ahead with constitutional amendments that envisage decentralization all over Ukraine," he said.

Russian, Japanese companies plan to jointly design moon robot

MOSCOW, December 14. /TASS/. Russia’s Android Technology Company and Japan’s GITAI startup plan to create a robot to operate on the lunar surface, the Russian company’s executive director, Yevgeny Dudorov, told TASS.

"Colleagues from Japan are thinking in approximately the same direction as we do, eyeing step-by-step design of robotic systems to explore the near and far space. We both identify the Moon - or, in other words, robotic systems that could function and perform tasks on the Moon surface - as our primary target," he said.

Kiev court puts in custody another suspect in journalist Sheremet’s murder

KIEV, December 14. /TASS/: Kiev’s Pechersky District Court ruled to place in custody for two months Yulia Kuzmenko, a suspect in the high-profile murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet, Judge Sergei Vovk said.

"Custody until February 8 shall be applied," the judge said on Friday.

Earlier in the day, the court ordered a suspected accomplice in the assassination, Yana Dugar, to be placed under house arrest. Both Kuzmenko and Dugar were participants in the military operation in Donbass.

Russian, Belarusian prime ministers discuss integration, energy dialogue issues

MOSCOW/MINSK, December 14. /TASS/: Prime ministers of Russia and Belarus, Dmitry Medvedev and Sergei Rumas, have discussed the issues of bilateral cooperation in the integration field as well as trade and economic area, including a number of issues related to the energy dialogue, in a telephone conversation initiated by Minsk, press service of Russia’s cabinet of ministers said in a statement on Saturday.

European stocks surge on Johnson election triumph, US trade deal

14 December 2019; AFP: London stocks and the British pound jumped Friday after an election triumph for Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson that analysts said will bring clarity to Brexit proceedings and unlock stronger economic growth.

Other European stock markets -- although lagging buoyant London, which rose over two percent at one point -- also powered ahead, supported by confirmation of a partial trade deal between the United States and China.

UNESCO pulls Belgian carnival from heritage list over anti-Semitism charges

BOGOTA (Colombia), Dec 14 (NNN-AGENCIES) — UNESCO on Friday withdrew an annual carnival in the Belgian city of Aalst from its heritage list over persistent charges of anti-Semitism.

In an unprecedented move, UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage said it was withdrawing the carnival “over recurring repetition of racist and anti-Semitic representations” at the event.

Spain pledges funds for asylum seekers as Latin American arrivals spike

MADRID, Dec 14 (NNN-AGENCIES) — The Spanish government authorised nearly 150 million euros in subsidies to ease the strain on its migrant-processing system after a recent spike in arrivals from Latin America overwhelmed its social services.

Government spokeswoman Isabel Celaa, who announced the measure at a weekly briefing, said the subsidies will be complemented by 25 million euros from European funds.

Provoked by national crises in Spanish-speaking countries like Venezuela and Colombia, the number of people seeking asylum in Spain has skyrocketed.

Clashes break out in central London after Conservative victory

LONDON, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Clashes broke out in central London on Friday as hundreds of protesters took to Downing Street to "defy Tory rule" after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's election victory.

A heavy police presence was seen close to the Cenotaph in Whitehall, which was cordoned off as clashes broke out.

Videos on social media showed a huge police presence trying to contain the crowds, who could be seen scuffling with officers.

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