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Russia, Turkey, Iran leaders to discuss Syria on Wednesday, Kremlin says

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – The presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey will hold a video conference on Wednesday to discuss the conflict in Syria, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

In Syria’s nine-year war, Russia and Iran are the main foreign supporters of President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, while Turkey backs opposition fighters. Under a diplomatic process dating back to 2017, they agreed to work to de-escalate fighting.

Wednesday’s talks between Vladimir Putin, Hassan Rouhani and Tayyip Erdogan were scheduled for around 1100 GMT, the Kremlin said.

After an escalation of violence displaced nearly a million people, Turkey and Russia agreed in March to halt hostilities in northwest Syria’s Idlib region. This month military jets bombed villages in the rebel-held area.

Two weeks ago, Russia and Turkey postponed bilateral ministerial-level talks which were expected to focus on Syria and Libya, another country where they support opposing sides.

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Writing by Daren Butler in Turkey; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Peter Graff)

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Canada, U.S. excluded from Britain's new quarantine-free travel list – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Britain is allowing travellers from dozens of countries to arrive without self-isolating for 14 days, but Canada and the U.S. are not on the list.

On Friday, the British government announced it would cancel the two weeks self-isolation requirement for people arriving from countries deemed a “lower risk” for the coronavirus. 

According to the guidance, travellers who have only been to or stopped in the countries on the list during the previous 14 days won’t have to self-isolate upon their arrival in Britain.

Some of the countries on the “travel corridor” list include Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Australia, and New Zealand.

Both Canada and the U.S. did not make the list.

With confirmed cases of COVID-19 climbing in 40 of 50 U.S. states and a record 52,300 newly reported cases on Friday, the U.S. remains the hardest-hit country in the world.

Canada, on the other hand, has seen a steady overall decline in new cases in recent weeks.

Other notable omissions from the list of 59 countries include Russia, Sweden, Portugal, India, and China. No countries in North, Central, or South America were given the exemption.

U.K. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps explained that countries will be given a colour based on a traffic-light system – meaning green is for low risk, amber is for medium-risk, and red is for high-risk.

The U.S., for example, falls into the red category, according to the secretary.  

The changes come into effect July 10 and only apply to arrivals in England with the semi-autonomous administrations in the rest of the U.K. – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – refusing to lift the quarantine period for travellers on the list.

The British government has chosen to relax the travel restrictions despite the fact that the U.K. has recorded nearly 44,000 deaths related to coronavirus, only behind the U.S. and Brazil as countries with the most deaths worldwide.

With files from The Associated Press 

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Canada suspends extradition treaty with Hong Kong over new security law – CBC.ca

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Canada is suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong as part of a package of responses to the new security law China has imposed on the territory, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday. 

Canada will also treat sensitive goods being exported to Hong Kong as if they were being sent to mainland China. 

“Effective immediately, Canada will not permit the export of sensitive military items to Hong Kong,” Trudeau said in a news conference. 

China imposed strict new controls on Hong Kong this week, meant to give Beijing more power to police anti-government protests and other activities it considers the work of hostile foreign powers. 

Trudeau suggested the new law is a threat to the “one country, two systems” philosophy that was supposed to last 50 years after Britain returned Hong Kong to China in 1997. 

Canada’s relationship with Hong Kong, including freer trade and travel than is allowed between Canada and mainland China, depends on that principle, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a separate statement. 

“This process demonstrated disregard for Hong Kong’s basic law and the high degree of autonomy promised for Hong Kong under the ‘one country, two systems’ framework,” Champagne said.

“Hong Kong’s role as a global hub was built on that foundation. Without it, Canada is forced to reassess existing agreements.”

Other countries are considering offering asylum. About 300,000 Canadians live in Hong Kong.

“We will continue to support the many connections between Canada and Hong Kong while also standing up for its people,” Trudeau said. 

Watch: Trudeau says Canada is suspending the extradition treaty with Hong Kong:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with reporters about the impact of Hong Kong’s new security legislation at a food bank in Gatineau, Quebec on Friday. 2:14

Canada’s moves follow measures taken by the United States earlier this week to tighten trade with Hong Kong and stop selling it military equipment. 

Britain announced that up to 2.6 million Hong Kong residents will be able to move to the United Kingdom for up to five years and ultimately seek citizenship.

Those are holders of special overseas British passports that have had much more limited rights attached to them until now. Trudeau hinted that something similar might be in the works in Canada. 

“In the days and weeks to come, we’re also looking at additional measures, including around immigration,” he said. 

The relationship between Canada and China remains extremely strained. China is holding two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, on national-security charges that Canada considers retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in 2018 on a U.S. extradition warrant.

READ | Canada’s statement on Hong Kong’s new security law:

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Trudeau unsure about Washington trip, cites concern over tariffs

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OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday he was still unsure whether he would go to Washington D.C. next week to mark a new North American trade treaty, citing concern about possible U.S. tariffs on aluminum.

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who is due to meet U.S. President Donald Trump next week, has said he would like Trudeau to attend.

(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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