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Europe

Theresa May concedes defeat on Brexit, and states `I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honor of my life to hold`

An emotional Theresa May announced Friday she will resign as Conservative Party leader on June 7, triggering a rapid-fire battle to replace her as Tory leader and prime minister before Britain`s scheduled departure from the EU on October 31.

After six months of failed attempts to get her Brexit divorce package ratified by parliament, the U.K. prime minister finally accepted defeat Friday, accepting a new leader was needed to resolve the U.K.`s protracted Brexit process.

[Politico]

How can EU members make good on new single-use plastics law?

The European Parliament and the Council gave their official green light to the Single-use Plastics Directive on Tuesday (21 May).

Now it only needs to be published in the official journal (expected before the summer), before we enter the transposition phase. Member states will have two years to implement the new rules into their national legislation.

The measures established under the directive include outright bans, reducing consumption of key single-use plastic, extended producer responsibility (EPR), marking and labelling requirements, awareness raising measures and separate collection, among others.

[Euractiv]

Middle East

Turkey preparing for possible U.S. sanctions over S-400s

Turkey’s defense minister said it was preparing for potential U.S. sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense systems, even while he said there was some improvement in talks with the United States over buying F-35 fighter jets.

Turkey and the United States have been at odds on several fronts including Ankara’s decision to buy the S-400s, which cannot be integrated into NATO systems.

[Reuters]

Saudi Aramco inks 20-year deal with Sempra for liquefied natural gas supply

Saudi Aramco signed a 20-year agreement to buy liquefied natural gas from a forthcoming export terminal in Texas that U.S.-based Sempra Energy is developing, the two companies said on Wednesday.

Aramco has been developing its own gas resources and eyeing gas assets in the United States, Russia, Australia and Africa.

The Saudi state oil giant plans to become a major global gas player, and this deal will provide it with access to some of the world’s cheapest and most abundant natural gas via the U.S. shale boom.

[Zawya]

Africa

African Union to hold stakeholder dialogue on AfCFTA implementation

African policy makers, Regional Economic Communities, African business leaders are set to hold a two-day policy dialogue in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to map out a strategy for successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The AfCFTA was first signed by African leaders on March 21, 2018, in Kigali.

Among other benefits, experts estimate that the AfCFTA will increase intra-African trade by over 50 per cent and boost the continent’s GDP by more than $40 billion.

[The New Times]