Turkish court orders US pastor Brunson to stay in prison

A Turkish soldier stands guard at the entrance of the Aliaga court and prison complex, during the trial of US pastor Andrew Brunson, held on charges of aiding terror groups, in Aliaga, north of Izmir, on July 18, 2018. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
Updated 18 July 2018

Turkish court orders US pastor Brunson to stay in prison

  • Brunson faces up to 35 years in jail if convicted on charges of carrying out activities on behalf of two groups deemed by Turkey to be terror organizations
  • The case has become a major sticking point in improving relations between Ankara and Washington

ALIAGA: A Turkish court on Wednesday ordered an American pastor held for almost two years on terror charges to remain in prison, defying growing pressure from the US authorities for his release.
The judge said the next hearing in the case of Andrew Brunson, who ran a protestant church in the Aegean city of Izmir and was first detained in October 2016, would be on October 12, an AFP correspondent reported.
This is the third time his release has been refused — the court had in both previous hearings on April 16 and May 7 denied requests by the defense for Brunson to be set free.
After the hearing was concluded, Brunson waved at supporters, saying only “thank you” in English.
The case has become a major sticking point in improving relations between Ankara and Washington and US President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for Brunson’s release.
He faces up to 35 years in jail if convicted on charges of carrying out activities on behalf of two groups deemed by Turkey to be terror organizations — one led by US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen who Ankara says was behind the failed 2016 coup and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).


US and China seeking to revive trade talks: Trump adviser Sum Obist lique

In this file photo taken on August 6, 2019 White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks to the media on the driveway of the White House in Washington, DC. (AFP)
Updated 25 min 3 sec ago

US and China seeking to revive trade talks: Trump adviser Sum Obist lique

  • The US-China negotiations began in earnest in January and seemed at first to make substantial progress, raising hopes that a trade deal could be rapidly reached

BUENOS AIRES: Washington and Beijing are working actively to revive negotiations aimed at ending the trade war that has rattled world markets, Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser said Sunday.
If teleconferences between both sides’ deputies pan out in the next 10 days “and we can have a substantive renewal of negotiations,” Larry Kudlow said on Fox News Sunday, “then we are planning to have China come to the US and meet with our principals to continue the negotiations.”
That left it uncertain, however, whether a Chinese delegation would be coming to Washington next month, as a White House spokesperson predicted after US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin left a round of trade talks in Shanghai in July.
But Kudlow emphasized that phone conversations held last week to follow up on the Shanghai talks — involving Lighthizer, Mnuchin and two senior Chinese negotiators, Vice Premier Liu He and Commerce Secretary Zhong Shan — were “a lot more positive than has been reported in the media.”
World financial markets have been on edge amid a series of signs pointing to a serious slowing of the global economy — notably because of the trade war between the world’s two largest economies — and have been reacting strongly to even the slightest new indicator.
The US-China negotiations began in earnest in January and seemed at first to make substantial progress, raising hopes that a trade deal could be rapidly reached.
But during the spring, the US president abruptly called off the talks, saying the Chinese had reneged on earlier commitments.
The discussions resumed again in June at the highest levels in the margins of the G-20 summit meeting in Osaka, Japan between Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
But markets were hit with a fresh surprise when Trump suddenly announced that as of Sept. 1 he was imposing punitive 10-percent tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods that had so far been spared.
And then came the announcement from the White House that Trump — already campaigning for re-election in 2020 — had decided to delay imposing the tariffs until Dec. 15 so as not to cast a shadow on the Christmas shopping plans of Americans.