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US urges calm as Kirkuk crisis escalates

US urges calm as Kirkuk crisis escalates

World
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceThe US has called for "calm" after Iraqi government forces seized the northern city of Kirkuk and key installations from Kurdish control.State department spokeswoman Heather Nauert urged all parties to "avoid further clashes". Iraqi soldiers moved into Kirkuk three weeks after the Kurdistan Region held a controversial independence referendum.They are aiming to retake areas under Kurdish control since Islamic State militants swept through the region.Residents of Kurdish-controlled areas, including Kirkuk, overwhelmingly backed secession from Iraq in a vote on 25 September.While Kirkuk is outside Iraqi Kurdistan, Kurdish voters in the city were allowed to take part.Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had denounced the vote as unconstitutional. But...
North Korea: China urges Trump not to worsen situation

North Korea: China urges Trump not to worsen situation

World
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceChina's President Xi Jinping has urged Donald Trump and North Korea to avoid "words and actions" that worsen tensions, state media say.Mr Trump and North Korea have been exchanging hostile rhetoric, with the US president threatening to rain "fire and fury" on the North.But China, North Korea's only major ally, has been urging restraint.A White House statement said the US and China agreed North Korea must stop "provocative and escalatory behaviour".Long-standing tensions over North Korea's nuclear programme worsened when it tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July.The regime was also angered by last week's UN decision to increase economic sanctions against it.According to Chinese state media, Mr Xi told Mr Trump in a phone call that ...
Nationwide urges lending caution amid 'slowdown'

Nationwide urges lending caution amid 'slowdown'

Business
The boss of Nationwide has warned banks and building societies will have to "balance carefully" the way they lend to squeezed households as a possible economic slowdown looms.Chief executive Joe Garner said that while consumers were becoming more worried about the UK outlook - which has turned gloomier as Brexit approaches - most did not see the fall-out from the EU referendum affecting their access to borrowing.But he said it was important for lenders to weigh the supply of loans carefully against affordability to support demand from consumers "in a responsible way" through a slowdown.Mr Garner made the comments as Nationwide, Britain's biggest building society, reported a 20% fall in pre-tax profits to £322m for the quarter to the end of June, partly due to one-off gains made in the same
North Korea: China urges neighbour to stop missile tests

North Korea: China urges neighbour to stop missile tests

World
China's foreign minister has told his North Korean counterpart that Pyongyang should stop carrying out nuclear and missile tests, hours after fresh sanctions were agreed by the United Nations Security Council.Wang Yi said he urged Ri Yong-ho to abide by UN resolutions in a meeting on Sunday in the Philippines.He did not say how Mr Ri replied. Saturday's resolution banning North Korean exports and limiting investments in the country was passed unanimously.Mr Wang said sanctions were needed, but "are not the final goal", and he urged dialogue. He said he told North Korea to remain calm, and not provoke the international community with more tests.The Chinese envoy also urged the US and South Korea not to increase tensions, saying that the situation was at a "critical point", but also a junctu...
CBI urges single market until Brexit deal

CBI urges single market until Brexit deal

Business
The UK should stay in the single market and customs union until a final Brexit deal is in force, according to the CBI.Carolyn Fairbairn, head of the business lobby group, said it was "impossible" that all the details of a new trade deal with the European Union would be in place by March 2019.That is when talks about the UK's withdrawal are due to formally finish.To minimise disruption, UK businesses need a "bridge" instead of a "cliff edge" for the new deal, she said.Businesses are delaying investment because of the uncertainty, according to the CBI, whose members employ nearly 7 million people. The government said it was working with businesses to ensure the Brexit process was "smooth"."While we will be leaving the single market and the EU customs union, we want to achieve a comprehensive...