Foreign News

Donald Trump 'paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017' - NY Times

Donald Trump paid just $750 (£580) in federal income tax both in 2016, the year he ran for the US presidency, and in his first year in the White House, the New York Times says.

The newspaper - which says it obtained tax records for Mr Trump and his companies over two decades - also says that he paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years.

The records reveal "chronic losses and years of tax avoidance", it says.

Mr Trump called the report "fake news".

UK borrowing soars in August as COVID costs mount

The UK government borrowed £35.9bn in August as tackling the economic fallout of pandemic took its toll on the public finances, official figures show.

The figure - the difference between spending and tax income - was £30.5bn more than it borrowed in August last year.

The increase meant that the borrowing figure hit its highest amount for August since records began in 1993.

Borrowing between April and August totalled £173.7bn - also a record.

Bank of England warns of sharpest recession on record

The Bank of England has warned that the UK economy is heading towards its sharpest recession on record.

The coronavirus impact would see the economy shrink 14% this year, based on the lockdown being relaxed in June.

Scenarios drawn up by the Bank to illustrate the economic impact said Covid-19 was "dramatically reducing jobs and incomes in the UK".

Bank governor Andrew Bailey told the BBC there would be no quick return to normality.

Coronavirus: Who is still flying?

London's Heathrow airport normally has about 600 flights landing on an average day, but in lockdown Britain, about 60 arrive daily.

Other UK airports are receiving a tiny number of flights between them. But the number is still high enough to trouble MPs, who on Friday received a letter from the UK aviation minister explaining why flights were still in the air.

It is the airlines, who say nearly all of their passengers on their flights into Heathrow are people heading home, which decide which routes to run.

Dubai receives 15.92 million tourists in 2018

Gulf tourism hub, Dubai, had 15.92 million overnight tourist visitors in 2018, up by 0.8 per cent from 2017, official data showed on Sunday.

The number of visitors from Nigeria soared 36 per cent, while tourist numbers from China rose 12 per cent.

Dubai, one of the seven emirates which make up the United Arab Emirates, has spent billions of dollars trying to attract foreign tourists.

It is home of the world’s tallest skyscraper “the Burj Khalifa’’.

Downing Street warns MPs not to block Brexit

Attempts by backbench MPs to remove the government's power to deliver Brexit are "extremely concerning", Downing Street has said.

On Monday one group of MPs will present a bill that could allow Brexit to be delayed if Parliament does not approve an EU withdrawal agreement.

According to the Sunday Times, another group led by Dominic Grieve wishes to pause Brexit by suspending Article 50.

But Downing Street said it was "vital" MPs delivered on the referendum result.

What are the amendments being proposed?

UK Economic Growth Hits Six-month Low

Britain’s economy cooled in the three months to November, expanding at its weakest pace in six months as factories suffered from tough global trade conditions ahead of Brexit, official data showed on Friday.

Manufacturers suffered their longest period of monthly falls in output since the financial crisis, hurt by weaker overseas demand, the Office for National Statistics said.

Ethiopia’s Parliament Approves Sahle-Work Zewde as First Female President

Ethiopia’s parliament has approved senior diplomat Sahle-Work Zewde as the country’s first female president, proceedings on state television showed, cementing another shift in the country’s political system from Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Sahle-Work is at present U.N. under-secretary general and special representative of the secretary general to the African Union. She replaces Mulatu Teshome Wirtu, who tendered his resignation to parliament earlier on Wednesday, Reuters reports.

South Africa: Ramaphosa Takes Charge

Cyril Ramaphosa was elected as South Africa’s president in a parliamentary vote on Thursday and pledged to tackle endemic corruption after scandal-ridden Jacob Zuma resigned on orders from the ruling African National Congress, Reuters reports.

Ramaphosa faces an uphill battle in revitalising growth, creating jobs and stamping out a culture of graft in a nation still polarised by race and inequality more than two decades after the end of white-minority rule.