Morning mail: Morrison funeral row, Trump on defence, Chinese investment plummets

Good morning, this is Lauren Waldhuter bringing you the main stories and must-reads on Monday 14 September. Top stories The daughter of a Queensland man whose funeral was at the centre of a federal-state brawl about border closures has accused Scott Morrison of using the case to “advance his political agenda”. When another daughter was denied an exemption from hotel quarantine to attend the ceremony, Scott Morrison asked Queensland authorities to change their minds. In an open letter Alexandra Prendergast …

Another Belarus opposition politician is taken away by masked men

Maxim Znak, legal adviser and a member of the Coordination Council presidium of the Belarusian opposition, takes part in a press conference given by the coordination council of the Belarusian opposition. Natalia Fedosenko | TASS | Getty Images Belarusian opposition politician Maxim Znak was detained on Wednesday by masked men wearing plain clothes, the Interfax news agency cited his allies as saying. Znak’s reported detention followed the similar disappearance on Monday of Maria Kolesnikova, one of the leaders of mass …

Serena Williams’ Reaction To Seeing Daughter At U.S. Open Is So Pure

The U.S. Open might’ve ditched the crowd this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but Serena Williams couldn’t have asked for a more adorable cheering section.  The tennis pro inched one step closer to taking home her 24th Grand Slam title Saturday after besting Sloane Stephens on the court in the third-round matchup between the two champions.  While the typically packed Arthur Ashe Stadium remained almost completely empty over the weekend, players’ friends and family were allowed to watch the matches. …

Japan’s Suga signals ultra-easy monetary policy to continue

Yoshihide Suga, chief cabinet secretary of Japan, speaks during a press conference. Akio Kon | Bloomberg | Getty Images Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, a frontrunner to be the next prime minister, said he would like the central bankt o continue its ultra-loose monetary policy as the economy is still struggling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In an interview that ran on Saturday in the Nikkei newspaper, Suga also said he would consider compiling another economic stimulus …

Japan’s next leader faces a ‘difficult year,’ after longtime Prime Minister Abe’s sudden resignation

Whoever succeeds Shinzo Abe as Japan’s next prime minister is set for a “difficult year” ahead, Teneo Intelligence’s Tobias Harris told CNBC in an email. The analyst said the next leader needs to address pressing, “significant issues” after Abe’s surprise resignation of long-standing incumbent on Friday. Harris said that includes a “wide-open debate” about Japan’s national security strategy as well as new defense program guidelines and negotiations with the U.S. over host-nation support. “The next prime minister will also either …

Democratic Lawmakers Erupt After Election Security Briefings Are Terminated

The sudden decision by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to cut off congressional briefings on election security is a “shocking abdication of its lawful responsibility” and a “betrayal of the public’s right to know how foreign powers are trying to subvert our democracy,” said a stinging statement Saturday from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). “This intelligence belongs to the American people. … The American people have both the right and the …

Putin: Russia is ready to provide security help to Belarus

MINSK, Belarus — Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that he stands ready to send police to Belarus if protests there turn violent but sees no such need yet, while Belarusian police dispersed a protest in the capital with renewed vigor Thursday, detaining about 180 people and raising pressure on the opposition. Belarus’ authoritarian president of 26 years, Alexander Lukashenko, has been facing weeks of protests against his reelection to a sixth term in the Aug. 9 vote, which the opposition …

Tanzania approves 15 candidates for presidential election

Analysts say a divided opposition is likely to ensure President Magufuli, left, will win a second term [AP] Tanzanian President John Magufuli will face 14 challengers in elections scheduled for this October, the elections board announced, with analysts saying a divided opposition is likely to ensure he wins a second term. His main challengers are likely to be Tundu Lissu, who returned to Tanzania last month after spending nearly three years in Belgium for treatment after he was shot during …

Tikhanovskaya pins hopes on dialogue with Belarusian authorities

Tikhanovskaya fled to neighbouring Lithuania after the August 9 vote [Mindaugas Kulbis/AP] Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who has led the biggest challenge to President Alexander Lukashenko’s 26-year rule, expressed her hopes to start a dialogue with the authorities, she told Polish Gazeta Wyborcza daily. Belarus is facing its biggest political crisis since the breakup of the Soviet Union, with tens of thousands of demonstrators rejecting Lukashenko’s victory in an August 9 vote his opponents say was rigged. Opponents …

Belarus blocks news websites amid large protests

Authorities in Belarus have blocked an array of news media websites reporting on the country shaken by two weeks of protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko By YURAS KARMANAU Associated Press August 22, 2020, 11:54 AM 3 min read MINSK, Belarus — Authorities in Belarus have blocked an array of news media websites reporting on the country shaken by two weeks of protests against authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko.   The Belarusian Association of Journalists said Saturday that more than 20 …

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on flight from Russia to Germany in coma

Medics load Alexei Navalny in an ambulance at Omsk Emergency Hospital No 1 where Navalny was admitted after he fell ill in what his spokeswoman said was a suspected poisoning in Omsk on August 22, 2020.   Gravely ill Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was en route to Germany early on Saturday to receive medical care after the opposition politician’s allies accused the Russian authorities of trying to stop his evacuation. Navalny’s life was not in immediate danger, he was in …

Rahm Emanuel: Dems have chance to break ‘Biden Republicans’ away permanently

Former Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said that this election cycle Democrats have a chance at “generational transformation” to break “Biden Republicans” away from the GOP permanently. “This year, Democrats have the chance to achieve a generational transformation. Beyond broadening the coalition to include moderate voters who oppose President Trump, we could deepen our base by turning disaffected Republicans into Democrats,” Emanuel wrote in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.   “The question is whether Democrats will …

Belarus police shoot live rounds at protesters as EU considers sanctions

Moscow – Protesters and police clashed for a third evening overnight Wednesday as demonstrators expressed anger over the re-election of longtime strongman Alexander Lukashenko in a Sunday vote that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “wasn’t held in a way that was free and fair.”   Hundreds of women dressed in white gathered in cities across the country to call for an end to the brutal crackdown by government forces on protesters, which has seen tear gas, batons, stun …

Protester dies in Belarus amid clashes with police over contested election

A protester died amid clashes between police and thousands of people gathered for a second straight night Monday in Belarus after official results from weekend elections — dismissed by the opposition as a sham — gave an overwhelming victory to authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. Interior Ministry spokesman Alexander Lastovsky said the victim was part of a crowd of people protesting results of Sunday’s presidential vote. The protester intended to throw an explosive device, but it blew up in his hand …