UK foreign aid: Yemen cut condemned by charities

Displaced Yemenis in the western province of Hodeida receive food aid donated by a British organisation More than 100 UK charities have condemned the government’s decision to cut aid to Yemen, following cross-party criticism. At least £87 million has been pledged in aid to the Middle Eastern country, down from £164m in 2019-2020. A Foreign Office spokesman said the government remained “steadfast” in its support to the Yemeni people. Yemen is among several Middle Eastern and African countries whose UK aid is at risk, a leaked email suggests. First reported…

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Budget 2021: Four things missing from Rishi Sunak

Chancellors like to claim their Budgets include something for everyone, and Rishi Sunak’s tax and spend statement on Wednesday certainly cast the net wide. There were short-term policies to tackle the impact of Covid-19 and long-term plans for righting the nation’s finances. But some people still feel there were gaps, areas where he could have done more: for those struggling to make ends meet, for example, and on action to fast-track the switch to a low carbon economy. Here are four areas where critics and commentators were surprised by what…

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US and EU suspend tariffs in Boeing Airbus row

Italian parmesan had been affected by tariffs The US and the EU have agreed to a four-month suspension of tariffs they imposed on each other as punishment for subsidies provided to rival planemakers Airbus and Boeing. The move affects billions of dollars worth of goods from both countries. including tractors, wine and cheese. It comes a day after the US agreed to suspend its tariffs on UK imports stemming from the dispute. The US said the step marked a “fresh start” to US-EU trade relations. European Commission Executive Vice-President and…

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Pope Francis meets powerful Shia cleric in Iraq

Pope Francis has held a symbolic meeting with one of the most powerful figures in Shia Islam on the second day of his landmark trip to Iraq. The Pope’s encounter with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the spiritual leader of millions of Shia Muslims, took place in the holy city of Najaf. It is the Pope’s first international trip since the start of the pandemic – and the first ever papal visit to Iraq. Covid-19 and security fears have made this the pontiff’s riskiest trip yet. The 84-year-old leader of the…

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