Egypt Independent: World-Main news en Failure of EU free trade deal would leave Canada stranded <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The looming failure of free trade talks with the European Union would derail Canada&#39;s push to reduce its dependence on the United States and potentially complicate negotiations with other nations, such as India and China.<br /><br />The EU&#39;s hopes of signing the pact this week appeared to evaporate on Monday as the Belgian federal government failed to win the consent of regional authorities necessary to approve the deal.<br /><br />The European deal would have given Canada preferential access to a market of 500 million people, more than the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), at a time when the U.S.-Canadian partnership is under pressure.<br /><br />Canada sends 75 percent of all its exports to the United States.<br /><br />&quot;We are one of the most dependent countries in the world in regards to trade,&quot; said former Quebec Premier Jean Charest, who initiated negotiations for the EU-Canada trade deal during his tenure.<br /><br />&quot;If this agreement fails, it will be a disappointment,&quot; he told Reuters on Friday in Montreal.<br /><br />It would leave Canada, which is desperate to revive a sluggish export sector, in the predicament policymakers have tried to avoid: overly dependent on the United States, where both presidential candidates have talked about changing NAFTA.<br /><br />Getting the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) through would be a coup for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who has pressed other countries to resist protectionist sentiment ever since taking office in November.<br /><br />With NAFTA under pressure and a proposed 12-nation Pacific area trade deal on life support, Canadian officials pushed hard to try and overcome hurdles to CETA in various European states.<br /><br />Along the way, however, Canada made concessions that could make it less attractive for future potential trading partners.<br /><br />As opposition in Europe grew, Canada agreed to weaker investor protection rules to grant governments more power over overseas companies. Those new regulations will govern any future trade talks the country enters, says the trade ministry.<br /><br /><strong>&#39;Slog for the future&#39;</strong><br /><br />Increasing public backlash against globalization, one of the main challenges for the EU deal, means none of the deals Canada is working on could happen soon, said Carleton University trade policy professor Michael Hart.<br /><br />The need to diversify away from the United States was one of the reasons Trudeau vowed to boost trade with China and India and with CETA in doubt, there will be fresh impetus to press on with those trade deals.<br /><br />One person close to the discussions, however, said Ottawa would struggle to speed up the pace of those talks.<br /><br />Discussions with India are going very slowly, in part because the Indian civil service is over stretched, and there is no guarantee the negotiations will succeed, said two people familiar with the talks.<br /><br />Meanwhile, the Liberal government is split over what concessions to make in free trade talks with China, which wants Canada to ease curbs on investment in key sectors such as energy.<br /><br />Opinion polls show most Canadians oppose the idea of an China agreement, which insiders say is at least a decade away.<br /><br />The Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that Canada signed in February looks set to fall victim to political discord in the United States, killing off much-prized access to Japanese markets for Canadian beef.<br /><br />&quot;For trade policy people, it&#39;s going to be a very long slow tedious slog for the future,&quot; said Hart, a former long-time Canadian foreign ministry expert who advised on NAFTA.<br /><br />Asked whether Canada would redouble efforts to strike trade deals with China and India if the European deal died, Freeland told reporters on Monday that her &quot;absolute and relentless focus&quot; this week would be on CETA.<br /><br />One reason officials refuse to concede the deal&#39;s collapse is that the European agreement, which backers say could boost bilateral trade by 20 percent, promises most imminent and tangible benefits.<br /><br />With a proposed free trade deal between the EU and the United States at best years away, some U.S. firms close to the Canadian border might consider moving operations north to take advantage of European market access, said Jason Langrish, executive director of the Canada-Europe Roundtable for Business trade lobby.<br /><br />&quot;This is the last hope,&quot; he said.</p> Tue, 25 Oct 2016 09:03:00 +0000 Reuters 2473750 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/01/27/501010/trudeau.jpg Hong Kong jury sees British banker's torture video in murder trial <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The jury in the trial of a British investment banker accused of murdering two Indonesian women in his Hong Kong apartment on Tuesday watched a horrific video that he filmed while sexually torturing and killing his first victim.<br /><br />Rurik Jutting, 31, has admitted killing the two women but has pleaded not guilty to murder on grounds of &quot;diminished responsibility&quot;, while pleading guilty to the lesser crime of manslaughter.<br /><br />The four women and five men, all middle-aged, shifted on their seats, clenched their jaws, drew in their breath, and sometimes dropped their eyes as they sat through the grisly 20 minute clip on the second day of the trial.<br /><br />Bespectacled and wearing pale blue shirt, Jutting was flanked by three policemen as he watched what he had done on a video recording a judge said had been found on his iPhone.<br /><br />The Cambridge University graduate, who had attended Winchester College, one of Britain&#39;s most prestigious private schools, shut his eyes, sometimes covering his face with his hand rather than look at the screen in front of him.<br /><br />While the video was not shown to the public in the courtroom, journalists covering the trial could hear the audio.<br /><br />After boasting of humiliating and killing his first victim, 23-year-old Sumarti Ningsih, Jutting spoke of a &quot;fantasy&quot; to kidnap three teenaged girls from Wycombe Abbey, a girls&#39; boarding school in High Wycombe, a town northwest of London.<br /><br />Jutting used a belt, sex toys, a pair of pliers and his fists to torture Ningsih before eventually slitting her throat with a serrated-edged knife, according to the prosecution.<br /><br />On the recording, Jutting spoke in a relaxed soft voice as he taunted, bullied and mutilated Ningsih, a single mother who had been visiting Hong Kong on a tourist visa.<br /><br />&quot;Its better than being beaten isn&#39;t it? Do not cry, take it like a good girl,&quot; Jutting said as he described how he was going put his fist into her.<br /><br />Jutting called his victim &#39;Alice&#39; as he tormented her.<br /><br />While threatening to cut off her nipples he calmly said: &quot;This doesn&#39;t really hurt does it? You deserve some water don&#39;t you? Just one more before some water.&quot;<br /><br /><strong>&#39;Turned on&#39;</strong><br /><br />After that video, others showing Jutting and Ningsih&#39;s mutilated, naked body were screened in an open court room.<br /><br />Jutting, appearing topless, very overweight and unshaven, spoke in a series of monologues to the camera meandering from repenting for what he did to describing the pleasure he derived from the tortuous acts.<br /><br />&quot;I just killed someone, first person I ever killed, I cut her throat in the be precise I cut her throat while she was bending over licking dirty toilet bowl,&quot; he said.<br /><br />He is shown taking cocaine while he explained how he tortured her.<br /><br />&quot;I treated her as a non person, a sex object and that turned me on.&quot;<br /><br />As he listened to the passage where he fantasised over plans to kidnap British schoolgirls, Jutting shook his head while holding a hand over his face.<br /><br />Prior to the jury selection on Monday, Deputy High Court Judge Michael Stuart-Moore warned potential jurors that if they were unable to cope with viewing extreme violence they should excuse themselves.<br /><br />The defence and prosecution were largely in agreement over the physical evidence, Stuart-Moore had advised the jurors on the first day of the trial.<br /><br />He told them that the outcome could rest on psychiatric and psychological testimony to determine whether it was a case of murder or manslaughter.<br /><br />Murder carries a mandatory life sentence, while manslaughter carries a maximum of life though a shorter sentence can be set.<br /><br />The women&#39;s bodies were found in Jutting&#39;s luxury high-rise Hong Kong apartment after he had called police.<br /><br />Ningsih&#39;s remains were discovered in a suitcase on the balcony, while the body of the second victim, 26-year-old Seneng Mujiasih, was found inside the apartment with wounds to her neck and buttocks, the prosecutor told the court.<br /><br />Mujiasih, a domestic helper, was working in a bar when she met Jutting, according to the prosecution.<br /><br />Jutting had previously worked at Bank of America Corp in Hong Kong, and during one of the videos Jutting remarks that after killing Ningsih, he felt most guilty about not being in the office to close a &quot;financing deal for a literally soulless project.&quot;<br /><br />As he prepared to hide the body in a suitcase Jutting questions whether he has a problem as he feels excited.<br /><br />He also briefly mentions &ldquo;job depression,&rdquo; and his addiction to drugs and alcohol.<br /><br />Bank of America said in November 2014 that Jutting had worked there until recently but did not say exactly when or why he left. The bank declined to comment further when contacted by Reuters on Tuesday.</p> Tue, 25 Oct 2016 08:17:00 +0000 Reuters 2473753 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/10/25/504802/sadist.jpg Gunmen kill 59 in attack on police academy in Pakistani city of Quetta <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>At least 59 people were killed and more than 100 wounded when gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed a Pakistani police training academy in the southwestern city of Quetta and took hostages, government officials said on Tuesday.<br /><br />More than 200 police trainees were stationed at the facility when the attack occurred late on Monday, officials said. Some cadets were taken hostage during the attack, which lasted five hours. Most of the dead were police cadets.<br /><br />&quot;Militants came directly into our barrack. They just barged in and started firing point blank. We started screaming and running around in the barrack,&quot; one cadet who survived told local media.<br /><br />Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, home minister of Baluchistan province, of which Quetta is the capital, said the gunmen attacked a dormitory inside the training facility while cadets rested and slept.<br /><br />&quot;Two attackers blew up themselves while a third one was shot in the head by security men,&quot; Bugti said. Earlier officials said there were five to six gunmen.<br /><br />A Reuters photographer at the scene said authorities carried out the body of a teenaged boy who they said was one of the attackers and had been shot dead by security forces.<br /><br />No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but one of the top military commanders in Baluchistan, General Sher Afgun, told media that calls intercepted between the attackers and their handlers suggested they were from the sectarian Sunni militant group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).<br /><br />&quot;We came to know from the communication intercepts that there were three militants who were getting instructions from Afghanistan,&quot; Afgun told media, adding that the Al Alami cell of LeJ was behind the attack.<br /><br />LeJ, whose roots are in the heartland Punjab province, has a history of carrying out sectarian attacks in Baluchistan, particularly against the minority Hazara Shias. Pakistan has previously accused LeJ of colluding with al Qaeda.<br /><br />Authorities launched a crackdown against Lashkar-e-Jhangvi last year, particularly in Punjab province. In a major blow to the organisation, Malik Ishaq, the group&rsquo;s leader, was killed in July 2015 alongside 13 other members of the central leadership in what police say was a failed escape attempt.<br /><br />A home ministry official said it was unclear what motive the group would have in attacking the police academy.<br /><br />&quot;Two, three days ago we had intelligence reports of a possible attack in Quetta city, that is why security was beefed up in Quetta, but they struck at police training college,&quot; Sanaullah Zehri, chief minister of Baluchistan, told the local Geo TV channel.<br /><br /><strong>Well-coordinated attack</strong><br /><br />Monday night&#39;s assault was the deadliest in Pakistan since a suicide bomber killed 70 people in an attack on mourners gathered at a hospital in Quetta in August.<br /><br />The bomber struck as a crowd of mostly lawyers and journalists crammed into the emergency ward of the hospital to accompany the body of a prominent lawyer who had been shot and killed in the city earlier in the day.<br /><br />Monday night&#39;s attack also appeared well coordinated, with senior law enforcement agencies saying that assailants had fired at the police training centre from five different points.<br /><br />Later, the attackers entered the centre&#39;s hostel where around 200 to 250 police recruits were resting, security officials said. At least three explosions were reported at the scene by local media.<br /><br />Quetta has long been regarded as a base for the Afghan Taliban, whose leadership has regularly held meetings there.<br /><br />The Afghan Taliban&#39;s new leader Haibatullah Akhundzada openly taught and preached at a mosque outside Quetta for 15 years, until May this year. Akhundzada&#39;s predecessor Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed by a U.S. drone strike while travelling to Quetta from the Pakistan-Iran border.<br /><br />Baluchistan province is no stranger to violence, with separatist fighters launching regular attacks on security forces for nearly a decade and the military striking back.<br /><br />Militants, particularly sectarian groups, have also launched a campaign of suicide bombings and assassinations of minority Shias.</p> Tue, 25 Oct 2016 08:02:00 +0000 Reuters 2473749 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/10/25/504802/cadet.jpg At least three killed in India-Pakistan cross-border shelling <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Shelling across the border between India and Pakistan killed two Pakistani civilians and an Indian soldier, military officials from the two sides said on Monday, as tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors simmers.<br /><br />Pakistan&#39;s military said the shelling hit the sectors of Harpal, Pukhlian and Charwah along the disputed &quot;working boundary&quot;, which separates Pakistan&#39;s Punjab province from Indian-administered Kashmir&#39;s Jammu region.<br /><br />India&#39;s military said the firing occurred in the Pura, Pargwal and Kanachak sectors.<br /><br />Both countries have claimed the disputed Kashmir region in full since partition and independence from the British in 1947, but administer separate portions of it. They have fought two of their three wars over the territory.<br /><br />Tensions have been strained since July, when Indian forces killed a young Kashmiri fighter, prompting mass protests in Indian-administered Kashmir. The resulting crackdown by security forces has seen at least 80 Kashmiri protesters killed.<br /><br />Relations plummeted even further in September, when gunmen stormed an Indian military base in Uri, killing 18 Indian soldiers, the largest such attack in 14 years.<br /><br />India blamed Pakistan for the attack, and in response said it had launched &quot;surgical strikes&quot; across the de facto border in Kashmir on Sept 29 to target Kashmiri fighters based there. Pakistan denied any incursion had occurred on its territory.<br /><br />Pakistan&#39;s military said a one-year-old child was among the dead in Pakistan in the village of Janglora. Pakistani forces responded to the Indian firing and an exchange of fire continued through the night.<br /><br />Seven civilians were wounded in the firing, Pakistan said.<br /><br />In India&#39;s Jammu region, a Border Security Force (BSF) soldier was killed by the Pakistani firing, while another was wounded, a BSF spokesman told Reuters. Five civilians, including two women and a child, were also wounded, he said.<br /><br />He was the second BSF soldier to be killed by Pakistani firing in the last three days, the spokesman said.</p> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:38:00 +0000 Reuters 2473727 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/10/24/504802/kashmire_coffin.jpg