Ewan McGregor to return as Obi-Wan in new ‘Star Wars’ streaming TV series

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Reuters) – Ewan McGregor will reprise his “Star Wars” role as Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi in a series for the upcoming Disney+ streaming service, the actor announced to fans of the beloved movie franchise on Friday. FILE PHOTO: Actor Ewan McGregor poses at the world premiere of Disney’s « Christopher Robin, » in Burbank, California, U.S., July 30, 2018. REUTERS/Danny MoloshokMcGregor surprised the crowd at Walt Disney Co’s D23 Expo fan convention, walking on stage to loud cheers and applause. The Scottish actor said he was relieved that…

Hong Kong families form peaceful human chains ahead of airport protest

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Thousands of chanting Hong Kong protesters joined hands to form human chains on Friday in a peaceful protest, with almost three months of anti-government demonstrations showing no sign of let-up across the Chinese-ruled territory. Protesters hold hands to form a human chain during a rally to call for political reforms at the Avenue of Stars in Hong Kong, China, August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas PeterDemonstrators, families young and old, some people masked, some using hand wipes to stay clean, linked hands across different districts as others held…

Encouraged by Johnson’s visit, UK officials now hoping rest of EU agrees to work on Brexit solution

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is hoping the rest of the European Union falls in behind France and Germany and agrees to work on solving a deadlock over Brexit, with officials sensing a glimmer of hope after meetings this week, but conscious of the need for a wider consensus in Europe. FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes British Prime Minister Boris Johnson before a meeting on Brexit at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo FuentesBritain is on course to leave the EU, its biggest trading partner,…

As EU threatens trade retaliation, Brazil sends army to fight Amazon fires

BRASILIA (Reuters) – European leaders on Friday threatened to tear up a trade deal with South America, reflecting the growing international dismay and anger with Brazil as a record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest intensified the unfolding environmental crisis. Against the global chorus of condemnation, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was mobilizing the army to help combat the blazes, while his administration launched a diplomatic charm offensive to try to mend bridges. The Trump administration said it was “deeply concerned” about the wildfires, which now look set to be…

Wall Street plunges as U.S.-China trade war intensifies

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street tumbled on Friday after the U.S.-China trade war escalated in dramatic fashion, with President Donald Trump demanding that American companies seek alternatives to doing business with China after Beijing announced its own slate of retaliatory measures. All three major U.S. stock indexes ended the session sharply lower, posting their fourth consecutive weekly declines. The latest exchanges in the long-running tariff row triggered a broad-based sell-off that hit shares of companies with high exposure to China the hardest, such as chipmakers and other top technology…

Facing global pressure, Brazil’s Bolsonaro may send army to curb Amazon fires

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Amid growing global condemnation, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Friday he may mobilize the army to help combat a record number of fires sweeping through the Amazon rainforest. The Trump administration said it was “deeply concerned” about the wildfires and European leaders ratcheted up criticism of Brazil’s handling of the crisis, which now looks set to be discussed at a summit of G7 leaders in France this weekend. French President Emmanuel Macron’s office went so far as to accuse Bolsonaro of lying when he downplayed concerns…

Brazil’s indigenous people swear to fight for Amazon ‘to last drop of blood’

CANUTAMA, Brazil (Reuters) – Members of Brazil’s Mura indigenous tribe painted their bodies with orange-red paint and took up long bows and clubs as they headed into the jungle this week, prepared for battle. Their enemy? The deforestation and destruction of their home, the Amazon rainforest. There are more than 18,000 Mura that live in Amazonas state, the largest and best-preserved state in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, according to data compiled by the non-government organization Instituto Socioambiental. Members of the tribe showed Reuters an area the size of several football fields…

China strikes back at U.S. with new tariffs on $75 billion in goods

BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Friday it will impose retaliatory tariffs against about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, putting as much as an extra 10% on top of existing rates in the dispute between the world’s top two economies. The latest salvo from China comes after the United States unveiled tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, including consumer electronics, scheduled to go into effect in two stages on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15. China will impose additional tariffs of 5% or 10% on a…

Trump presses U.S. companies to close China operations

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in front of a portrait of former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln prior to presenting the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Boston Celtics legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Cousy at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin LamarqueWASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Friday he was ordering U.S. companies to look at ways to close their operations in China and make more of their products in the United States instead, a rhetorical strike at Beijing as trade…

Scandinavia’s biggest offshore wind farm is officially open

The Horns Rev 3 facility is located in the North Sea, off Denmark’s west coast. Vattenfall The largest offshore wind farm in Scandinavia is officially open. In a ceremony Thursday, state-owned Swedish energy firm Vattenfall inaugurated the Horns Rev 3 facility, which is located in the North Sea, off Denmark’s west coast. Horns Rev 3 consists of 49 turbines which stand 187 meters tall. If the turbines’ foundations are taken into account, they each weigh nearly 1,500 tonnes. The facility has a capacity of 407 megawatts (MW), which Vattenfall says…

Renewable energy powerhouse Statkraft acquires electric vehicle charging business

Carolyn Hebbard | Moment | Getty Images Norway’s state-owned energy business Statkraft has acquired E-Wald GmbH, a German electric vehicle charging firm. In an announcement Friday, Statkraft said the deal strengthened its position in both the German and European electric vehicle (EV) charging sector. In 2018, the Oslo-headquartered business became a majority shareholder in eeMobility, another German EV charging company. The cost of the E-Wald acquisition was not disclosed in Statkraft’s announcement. « E-Wald is well placed for growth within fast charging in Germany, » Bjorn Holsen, senior vice president…

Special prosecutor to review actor Jussie Smollett’s case: judge

FILE PHOTO: Actor Jussie Smollett leaves court after charges against him were dropped by state prosecutors in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski/File PhotoCHICAGO (Reuters) – A Chicago judge on Friday named a special prosecutor to investigate the case involving ex-“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett’s allegation that he was the victim of a racist attack, which authorities have ruled a hoax. Cook County Judge Michael Toomin appointed former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb to probe the case of the actor, who is black and gay, and who told police on…

As Amazon burns, Brazil’s Bolsonaro tells rest of world not to interfere

BRASILIA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Amid growing international criticism over the wildfires raging through the Amazon, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday admitted farmers could be illegally setting the rainforest ablaze but told foreign powers not to interfere. French President Emmanuel Macron and United Nations Secretary General António Guterres both took to Twitter to express concern about the fires that have reached a record number this year, devastating vast swathes of forest considered a vital bulwark against climate change. Bolsonaro responded angrily to what he regarded as meddling. “These countries that…

EU piles pressure on Brazil over Amazon fires

DUBLIN/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union piled pressure on Friday on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over fires raging in the Amazon basin, with Ireland and France saying they could block a trade deal and Finland urging a ban on Brazilian beef imports. FILE PHOTO: An aerial view of a deforested plot of the Amazon near Humaita, Amazonas State, Brazil August 22, 2019/File PhotoBolsonaro has rejected what he calls foreign interference in domestic affairs in Brazil, where vast tracts of the Amazon rainforest are ablaze in what is known as the…

Rockin ‘n’ rollin on Mars: Rolling Stones have space rock named after them

The Rolling Stones perform during their No Filter U.S. Tour at Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California, U.S., August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni(Reuters) – The Rolling Stones have rocked stages around the world in their more than 50-year career. But now their influence has gone into space after NASA’s Mars InSight Mission named a rock on the planet after the band. Slightly larger than a golf ball, the “Rolling Stones Rock” is said to have rolled some 3 feet (1 meter), spurred by the InSight spacecraft’s thrusters during touchdown on…

Chicago judge may tap special prosecutor to review actor Jussie Smollett’s case

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The case of ex-“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett, who sparked a firestorm in Chicago by reporting a racist attack authorities have ruled a hoax, returns to court on Friday, when local media say a judge may tap a special prosecutor to review the case. FILE PHOTO: Actor Jussie Smollett leaves court after charges against him were dropped by state prosecutors in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. March 26, 2019. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski/File PhotoThe actor, who is black and gay, stunned the city when he told police on Jan. 29 that two…

Hong Kong airport faces renewed protest turbulence after last week’s fracas

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong braced for an anti-government protest “stress test” of the airport this weekend, as weeks of sometimes violent demonstrations in the Chinese-ruled city showed no signs of let-up amid rising tension between China and some Western nations. FILE PHOTO: Officials post a court injunction to stop people from obstructing airport operations at an entrance to Terminal 1 of Hong Kong Airport, China August 14, 2019. REUTERS/Thomas PeterThe airport, reached by a gleaming suspension bridge carrying both rail and road traffic, was forced to close last…

Japan says South Korea fails to grasp North Korea threat with scrapping of pact

TOKYO/SEOUL (Reuters) – Japanese Minister of Defence Takeshi Iwaya said on Friday South Korea’s decision to end an intelligence-sharing pact was regrettable and showed it failed to appreciate the growing security threat posed by North Korea. South Korea officially informed Japan on Friday of its decision to scrap the intelligence-sharing agreement, further straining ties amid a dispute over South Koreans pressed into forced labor during Japan’s wartime occupation of Korea. “North Korea’s repeated missile tests threaten national security, and cooperating between Japan and South Korea and with the U.S. is…

How a not-for-profit charity is helping Apple, Goldman Sachs and others to embrace renewables

The CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, is a not-for-profit charity. It operates a « global disclosure system » which allows businesses, states, regions and cities to « measure and manage » their impact on the environment. With offices and partners in 50 countries, the CDP’s reach is global. It says that, through its work, it has managed to create the « most comprehensive collection of self-reported environmental data » on the planet. Paul Dickinson is the executive chair of the CDP. He told CNBC’s Sustainable Energy that…

Qatar may be losing the top spot as world’s biggest LNG exporter

Workers walk towards a plant at the Queensland Curtis Liquefied Natural Gas (QCLNG) project site in Gladstone, Australia, on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Patrick Hamilton | Bloomberg | Getty Images Qatar will lose its title as the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) within the next year, as Australia ramps up production on a slew of multi-billion dollar export projects. « Australia and Qatar continued to jostle for the title of the world’s largest LNG exporter over the first five months of 2019, » the Australian government said…

Asian stocks cautious ahead of Powell’s speech; yuan at fresh 11-1/2 year low

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shares struggled to make headway on Friday as uncertainty over how much further the U.S. Federal Reserve would cut interest rates added to investors’ worries over slowing global growth. A passerby walks past in front of a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, May 10, 2019. REUTERS/Issei KatoWith the U.S.-China trade war dragging on, and political tumult in Hong Kong, Italy and Britain adding to the tense backdrop, investors were keenly awaiting Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at a gathering of central bankers…

Hong Kong protesters target airport week after arrivals hall mayhem

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong braced for multiple anti-government demonstrations on Friday and a “stress test” of the airport this weekend, as protests in the Chinese-ruled city showed no signs of let-up and diplomatic tension between China and some Western nations rose. Students attend a rally to call for political reforms outside City Hall in Hong Kong, China, August 22, 2019. REUTERS/Kai PfaffenbachThe airport, built on reclaimed land and reached by train or a highway over a series of spectacular interlocking bridges, was forced to close last week and…

‘People were hiding’: Bangladesh bid to repatriate Rohingya stalls as refugees refuse

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) – An attempt to begin repatriating thousands of Rohingya Muslims living in camps in Bangladesh stalled on Thursday after nearly 300 refugee families refused to go back to Myanmar, almost a year after a similar effort failed amid protests. FILE PHOTO: Rohingya refugee children look on at the Balukhali camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, November 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir HossainLast week, the neighbors said they had agreed Aug. 22 as the start date for the return of 3,450 people cleared by Myanmar, of more than 730,000…

Two years on, a look at the Rohingya crisis

YANGON (Reuters) – This month marks the second anniversary of the fleeing of more than 730,000 Rohingya from Myanmar’s northwest Rakhine State to Bangladesh after a military-led crackdown in response to an attack by Muslim militants on Myanmar police posts. FILE PHOTO: Rohingya refugees, who crossed the border from Myanmar two days before, walk after they received permission from the Bangladeshi army to continue on to the refugee camps, in Palang Khali, near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva/File Photo Here is a timeline of key events in…

Oil prices eke out small gains ahead of Fed Chair speech

Oil operations in the Permian Basin near Midland, Texas Nick Oxford | Reuters Oil prices clawed back the previous day’s losses on Friday, with Brent nudging above $60 a barrel, as tighter supplies from key producers offset slowing demand growth while investors await clues from the Federal Reserve on U.S. monetary policy. Brent crude rose 10 cents to $60.02 a barrel by 0118 GMT, while U.S. crude futures were at $55.38 a barrel, up 3 cents. Both contracts were on track for a second weekly gain. « Oil is set to trade…

Hong Kong gears up for fresh protests as activists target airport

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong braced on Friday for further demonstrations and a “stress test” of the city’s international airport at the weekend, as nearly three months of anti-government protests showed no sign of abating. General view of the central district of Hong Kong, China, August 22 , 2019. REUTERS/Kai PfaffenbachMultiple protests are planned for Friday, including a march by accountants to government headquarters and a “Baltic Chain” event where protesters will join hands across different districts in the Chinese territory. In 1989 an estimated two million people joined…

Bernie Sanders proposes $16.3 trillion Green New Deal plan

WASHINGTON, August 22 (Reuters) – Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders unveiled a climate change strategy on Thursday that would mobilize $16.3 trillion to help the U.S. generate 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and achieve “full decarbonization” by 2050. The plan would “launch a decade of the Green New Deal,” a 10-year federal “mobilization” that would factor climate change into every policy action from immigration to foreign policy while promising to create 20 million jobs in the process. The plan outlines dozens of policies aimed aggressively moving the…

Five people killed in stampede at Algiers rap concert

ALGIERS (Reuters) – At least five people were killed in a stampede at a packed rap concert in the Algerian capital on Thursday night, a hospital source said. Thousands had gathered at the concert of local rap star Abderraouf Derradji, known as “Soolking”, in a stadium in Algiers. No further details were immediately available Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; Editing by Sandra MalerOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. Source: Reuters

Russian nuclear accident: Medics fear ‘radioactive patients’

Russian medics who treated radiation victims after a military explosion in the Arctic had no protection and now fear they were irradiated themselves. Two of the medics in Arkhangelsk spoke to BBC Russian about the victims’ evacuation, on condition of anonymity. Five nuclear engineers died on 8 August when an « isotope-fuel » engine blew up at the Nyonoksa test range, officials said. Six other people were injured. President Vladimir Putin said the test involved a new weapon system. Officials gave few details about the accident. On 14 August Russia’s…

Ukraine, EU oppose Trump’s suggestion of readmitting Russia to G7

KIEV/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine’s president backed leading European powers on Thursday in opposing the readmission of Russia to the Group of Seven advanced economies, saying Moscow still occupied Crimea and was frustrating peace in eastern Ukraine. A G7 Summit patch is seen on a French Gendarme’s uniform as he patrols at a toll station in Anglet ahead of the G7 Summit in the French coastal resort of Biarritz, France, August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Regis DuvignauU.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday it would be “appropriate” to have Russia rejoin what used…