US, Iran disagree on whether surveillance drone was over international waters when it was shot down
In retaliation to Iran shooting down a US surveillance drone, President Donald Trump approved military strikes on several Iranian targets but reversed his decision on Thursday. Planes and ships were ready to fire on Iranian radars and missile batteries when Trump ordered them to step back.
US and Iran disagree as to whether the surveillance drone was over international waters when it was shot down.
This is the latest development amid escalating tensions between both nations. Last week, Iran had announced that it would breach the terms of the the 2015 nuclear pact aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear potential within 10 days. Shortly after, the US blamed Iran for two explosions on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.
These military strikes would have been the third instance of US military action in the Middle East under President Trump. He had carried out air strikes in Syria in 2017 and again in 2018.
ASEAN leaders meet amidst escalating trade war
The leaders of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are set to meet in the shadow of US-China trade war, according to a report in Bloomberg.
The ongoing trade war has led to weaker demands and “bleeding investor and business sentiment” across the ASEAN trading block. Manufacturing firms in the region have had to reorient their supply chains. And the “electronics cycle”, which is essential to Asian manufacturing, has been severely affected due to rampant uncertainty.
In such a tense scenario, the ASEAN leaders are expected to discuss the way forward. And figure out ways to boost demand and reduce economic uncertainty.
UK Conservative Party race down to two contenders
The Tory leadership race is down to two candidates: Boris Johnson, a long-time Brexiter and the clear front-runner, and Jeremy Hunt, UK’s foreign secretary who initially pushed for the UK to remain in the EU.
Michael Gove, UK’s environment minister who was previously ahead of Hunt in the race, lost by two votes. Political commentators in the UK are speculating that this is a win for Johnson, as Gove has always supported Brexit and therefore would have been harder to defeat in the race than a “born-again Brexiter,” BBC reports.
The vote will now go to a postal ballot, allowing all 160,000 registered members of the conservative party to vote. The results will be announced in four weeks.