While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, May 15

Huawei willing to sign “no-spy” pacts with governments

Huawei is willing to sign no-spy agreements with governments, including Britain, the Chinese telco company’s chairman said on Tuesday (May 14), amid US pressure on European countries to shun the firm over espionage concerns.

Washington has told allies not to use Huawei’s technology to build new 5G networks because of worries it could be a vehicle for Chinese spying, an accusation the company has denied.

“We are willing to sign no-spy agreements with governments, including the UK government, to commit ourselves to making our equipment meet the no-spy, no-backdoors standard,” Huawei chairman Liang Hua told reporters in London via an interpreter.

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British government to put forward Brexit bill in June


Pro-Brexit and anti-Brexit activists stand in the afternoon sunshine with their placards outside the Palace of Westminster in central London on May 13, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

Prime Minister Theresa May’s government will publish draft legislation in the first week of June that would allow Brexit to proceed, a Downing Street spokesman announced on Tuesday.

The statement came after talks between May and opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on a possible compromise that would end a deadlock on Brexit in parliament. May met with Corbyn “to make clear our determination to bring the talks to a conclusion and deliver on the referendum result to leave the EU.

“We will therefore be bringing forward the Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the week beginning June 3,” the spokesman said, referring to a draft law based on the divorce deal agreed with EU leaders.

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Iran’s Supreme Leader says there will be no war with US


Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaking during a ceremony in Teheran, Iran, May 14, 2019. PHOTO: EPA-EFE/IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER OFFICE

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday Tehran does not seek war with the United States despite mounting tensions between the two arch-enemies over Iranian nuclear capabilities and its missile programme.

In comments to senior officials carried by state television, Khamenei also reiterated that the Islamic Republic would not negotiate with the United States on another nuclear deal.

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Mike Pompeo tells Russia: Don’t meddle in next US presidential vote


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (left) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov after their joint news conference following their talks in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, southern Russia, May 14, 2019.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday (May 14) that Washington would brook no interference by Moscow in the 2020 US presidential election, saying such a move would seriously harm already poor relations.

Visiting Russia for the first time as secretary of state, Pompeo publicly clashed with Lavrov on issues from Ukraine to Venezuela. After their meeting, both men said they had been far apart on many issues.

“I made clear to Foreign Minister Lavrov… that interference in American elections is unacceptable. If the Russians were engaged in that in 2020 it would put our relationship in an even worse place than it has been,” he said.

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US House panel requests White House provide nondisclosure agreements


President Donald Trump (left) and House Oversight and Reform Committee chairman Elijah Cummings. PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST

The chairman of the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform on Tuesday (May 14) reissued a request made last year for copies of the nondisclosure agreements signed by White House staffers under President Donald Trump.

In a letter to acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings said he wanted to review the agreements to determine whether they include legally required language about protections for whistleblowers who cooperate with Congress.

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