Peterborough man accused of exposing himself at bus terminal

A Peterborough man has been arrested and charged with an indecent act following an incident at the downtown bus terminal on Monday morning.

Peterborough police say around 8:45 a.m., transit security at the Simcoe Street bus terminal were informed that a man had exposed himself to another adult at the terminal.

An officer attended and investigated and later located a suspect in the area of George and Brock streets.

Ivan John Dawson, 26, of no fixed address, Peterborough, was arrested and charged with committing an indecent act in a public place and failure to comply with a probation order.

He was held in custody and appeared in court later the same day.

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U.S. sanctions against Iran are not legitimate: Russia's Lavrov

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that U.S. sanctions on Iran were not legitimate, in Moscow’s first official comment since Washington restored sanctions on Tehran.

Lavrov said Moscow, itself a target of separate U.S. sanctions, expected there would be ways to pursue economic cooperation with Iran despite the reimposition of sanctions on Monday on the country’s oil, banking and transport sectors.

Speaking in Madrid, Lavrov said Washington had used “unacceptable methods” to pressure operators of the SWIFT global financial network into cutting off Iranian banks.

Russia and its European partners were looking for ways to maintain economic ties with Tehran, he said after meeting his Spanish counterpart Josep Borrell, but provided no details.

Tehran said on Tuesday it had so far been able to sell as much oil as it needs despite U.S. pressure, but urged European countries that oppose the sanctions to do more to shield Iran.

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Irish PM says backstop can't have expiry date or unilateral exit clause

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland is open to creative language and creative solutions but will not change its position that a border backstop clause in a Brexit deal can have no expiry date or unilateral exit clause, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday.

“There has to be a backstop as part of the withdrawal agreement, and that backstop cannot have an expiry date or unilateral exit clause,” he told Ireland’s parliament.

Earlier on Tuesday European affairs minister Helen McEntee said the government was open to a review mechanism that would allow the EU and Britain to decide when a backstop to keep the Irish border open after Brexit was no longer needed.

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UK PM May says won't seek Brexit deal 'at any cost', needs more time

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain needs more time to figure out a solution on the post-Brexit Irish border and will not accept a deal at any cost from Brussels, Prime Minister Theresa May told her cabinet on Tuesday.

Up against a ticking clock to get a detailed plan in place before Britain leaves the EU in March, May is battling to find a way to meet the often contradictory demands from Brussels and rival factions within her own party.

The prospect of failure has financial markets on edge, with sterling traders watching for any signs of progress at a regular meeting between May and her senior ministers on Tuesday.

But May told her cabinet that more time was needed to clear the final hurdle standing between her and a deal on the terms of Britain’s withdrawal: the plan to ensure no hard border emerges between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland after Brexit.

“(May) said that while 95 percent of the withdrawal agreement had been concluded, on the Northern Ireland backstop there are a number of issues that we still need to work through and these are the most difficult,” her spokesman told reporters.

Cabinet considered options put forward by May’s attorney general on ways to give the EU an assurance that if talks on a permanent solution to the Irish border fail, a so-called backstop agreement would kick in.

The spokesman said: “This includes ensuring that if the backstop is ever needed it is not permanent, and there is a mechanism to ensure the UK could not be held in the arrangement indefinitely.”

No decisions were taken at cabinet and more work needed to be done on the British side, he said.

That leaves only a slim chance that an agreement between British and EU negotiators can be reached in time to hold a summit of leaders in November to sign off the agreement.

A British official speaking on the condition of anonymity said a November summit had begun to look like “a stretch”.

Nevertheless, according to her spokesman, May opened the meeting by saying that while the UK should aim to conclude the withdrawal agreement as soon as possible, this would “not be done at any cost.”

The spokesman also cautioned that an overall deal was made up of two parts: a withdrawal agreement, and a framework for future ties. Progress on the Irish backstop could seal the withdrawal agreement, but a deal would not have been completed until all details of the future framework were also tied up.

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Cameroon leader tells separatists to down arms after kidnapping

YAOUNDE (Reuters) – Cameroon’s president on Tuesday warned Anglophone separatists to lay down their arms or face the full force of the law, a day after dozens of schoolchildren were abducted in the rebel region.

Clashes between a secessionist movement and the army began more than a year ago in west Cameroon, killing over 400 civilians and forcing thousands to flee their homes.

On Monday, unidentified assailants kidnapped 79 children, their principal and a driver from the PSS Nkwen school in Bamenda in Northwest region and took them into the bush outside town, military and government sources said.

An army spokesman blamed separatists for Monday’s kidnapping. A separatist spokesman denied involvement and said government soldiers had carried it out, as a ploy to discredit the insurgents.

President Paul Biya, making an inauguration speech after re-election last month that extends his 36-year-old rule, did not mention the kidnapping but attacked the separatists.

“They need to know that they will face the rigor of the law and the determination of our defense and security forces,” Biya said in the national assembly.

“I appeal to them to lay down their arms.”

Last week, an American Baptist missionary was shot dead amid fighting between the army and separatists in Bamenda.

The secessionists have imposed curfews and closed schools as part of their rebellion against the French-speaking government, which they say has marginalized the Anglophone minority.

Samuel Fonki, a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, said he had been mediating with the kidnappers for the children’s release. He said separatists were responsible.

The search for the children continued on Tuesday. About 200 parents gathered outside the school, waiting to hear if their children were among those who had been abducted or had remained unharmed at the school.

Authorities denied parents access to the school, according to six parents and a security guard who spoke to Reuters.

The kidnapping was a chilling echo of the 2014 abduction of the Chibok girls by Boko Haram in neighboring Nigeria. There are no known links between the Cameroon separatists and the Nigerian Islamist militant group.

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UK PM May's ministers need more time on Brexit backstop mechanism: spokesman

LONDON (Reuters) – Ministers in Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet team need more time to consider possible mechanisms to ensure Britain cannot be bound to the European Union by a backstop to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland, her spokesman said on Tuesday.

The spokesman told reporters that the cabinet meeting discussed options for such a mechanism that would make sure that Britain would not be kept in a backstop arrangement indefinitely, but that more work was necessary.

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Nova Scotia advisory council on education meets behind closed doors for first time

Nova Scotia’s Provincial Advisory Council on Education met for the first time on Monday — but with meetings taking place behind closed doors, critics and Opposition MLAs are crying foul over a lack of transparency.

The 15-member council was created by the provincial government as part of the Education Reform Act passed earlier this year.

The act dissolved Nova Scotia’s elected school boards and replaced them with regional education centres while also creating the Provincial Advisory Council on Education (PACE).

The bill was a response to the Glaze Report, which was commissioned by the Liberal government in October and released in January.

Claudia Chender, an NDP MLA for Dartmouth South, says she has been skeptical of the claim that PACE was “somehow” going to take the place of the school boards.

“At least if these meetings were open, if people had access to this council and if people understood the issues that are being discussed, there would be some public forum that parents and other concerned citizens could engage with,” Chender said in an interview on Monday.

But behind closed doors, Chender says there is no avenue to have discussions.

Paul Wozney, president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, agrees with Chender’s comments.

“Teachers are certainly noticing the downloading of issues that typically belong to the school board, especially here in metro where there were incredible concerns about buses not being on time, not showing up,” he said.

An agenda provided by the Department of Education to Global News indicates that busing and busing consultations were a topic of discussion on Monday.

The department says that in the future, agendas and minutes as well any outcomes of the PACE meetings, will be posted publicly online.

The website was not ready in time for the first meeting of the council.

— With files from Sarah Ritchie

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India: Delhi pollution level deteriorates to 'hazardous' category

The US embassy in New Delhi said its air pollution index breached the ‘hazardous’ level upper limit.

    New Delhi, India – A blanket of smog greeted residents of New Delhi on Monday as air quality deteriorated sharply overnight in India’s capital, triggering warnings that even healthy people were at risk of health problems.

    The air quality index, that measures PM 2.5 tiny particulate matter that reaches deep into the lungs, more than doubled within a few hours to 707 on Monday morning at Mandir Marg, the worst affected area in the city, pollution monitoring agency AQICN data revealed.

    This is double the mark of 300 that authorities deem as hazardous.

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    U.S. reimposes tough curbs on Iran, Tehran hits at 'bullying'

    WASHINGTON/DUBAI (Reuters) – The United States imposed strict sanctions on Iran on Monday and threatened more action to stop Tehran pursuing “outlaw” policies, steps the Islamic Republic condemned as economic warfare and vowed to defy.

    The measures are part of a wider effort by U.S. President Donald Trump to curb Tehran’s missile and nuclear programs and diminish the Islamic Republic’s influence in the Middle East.

    “The Iranian regime has a choice: it can either do a 180-degree turn from its outlaw course of action and act like a normal country, or it can see its economy crumble,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters.

    “We hope a new agreement with Iran is possible,” he added. “Rest assured, Iran will never come close to getting a nuclear weapon on President Trump’s watch.” Pompeo said.

    The move restores, and strengthens, sanctions lifted under a 2015 international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program from which Washington withdrew in May.

    In a statement, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the move “should make clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation and economic stagnation until they fundamentally change their destabilizing behavior.”

    The sanctions cover 50 Iranian banks and subsidiaries, more than 200 persons and vessels in its shipping sector, and targets Tehran’s national airline, Iran Air, and more than 65 of its aircraft, the statement said.

    In reaction, a senior Iranian official who declined to be identified said Tehran was not concerned about the sanctions and will not yield to pressure to change its policies.

    Hours earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would to continue to sell its oil despite Washington’s “economic war”. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said U.S. “bullying” was backfiring by making Washington more isolated, a reference to other world powers opposed to the initiative.

    European powers which continue to back the nuclear deal said they opposed the reapplication of sanctions and major oil buyer China said it regretted the move.

    The move intensifies a campaign by Trump to force Iran to further limit its nuclear work and halt a missile program, as well as end its support for proxy forces in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East.

    Switzerland said it was holding talks with the United States and Iran about launching a humanitarian payment channel to help food and drugs keep flowing to Tehran.

    U.S. sanctions permit trade in humanitarian goods such as food and pharmaceuticals, but measures imposed on banks and trade restrictions could make such items more expensive.

    Pompeo said Washington had granted exemptions to eight countries allowing them to temporarily continue buying Iranian oil. More than 20 countries had already cut their oil imports from Iran, reducing purchases by more than 1 million barrels per day, he said.

    Iran’s clerical rulers dismissed the curbs. “Today the enemy (the United States) is targeting our economy … the main target of sanctions is our people,” Rouhani said.

    SANCTIONS “ILLEGAL AND UNFAIR”

    “America wanted to cut to zero Iran’s oil sales … but we will continue to sell our oil … to break sanctions,” Rouhani told economists, adding the sanctions were illegal and unfair.

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    “This is an economic war against Iran … We are prepared to resist any pressure,” Rouhani said.

    The Belgium-based SWIFT financial messaging service said it is suspending some unspecified Iranian banks’ access to its messaging system in the interests of the stability and integrity of the global financial system.

    Trump announced in May his government was withdrawing from what he called the “worst ever” agreement negotiated by the United States. The other parties to the deal – Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia – say they will not leave.

    The deal had seen most international financial and economic sanctions on Iran lifted in return for Tehran curbing its disputed nuclear activity under U.N. surveillance.

    The European Union, France, Germany and Britain said they regretted the U.S. decision and would seek to protect European companies doing legitimate business with Tehran.

    Diplomats told Reuters last month that a new EU mechanism to facilitate payments for Iranian oil exports should be legally in place by Nov. 4 but not operational until early next year.

    In Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed what he called Trump’s courageous decision in reimposing the sanctions on Iran, an arch-foe of Israel.

    The eight countries given temporary exemptions from the sanctions to ensure crude oil prices are not destabilized will

    deposit Iran’s revenue in an escrow account and the funds will be used for humanitarian purposes, according to U.S. officials.

    OIL PRICES STEADY

    Oil prices rose as the sanctions went into effect, with international benchmark Brent crude up by more than $1 to a session high of $73.92 a barrel. U.S. crude futures were up about one percent at $63.85 a barrel.

    Prices rallied to near four-year highs in early October on expectations the imposition of sanctions would create a global supply shortage. However, news of the waivers last week sent prices lower as top buyers would continue to import Iranian oil.

    Rouhani said even without the waivers Iran would still be able to sell its oil, semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

    The curbs come as the United States is focused on U.S. congressional and gubernatorial elections on Tuesday. Campaigning in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on Sunday, Trump said his “maximum pressure” against Iran was working.

    “Iran is a much different country than it was when I took office,” said Trump, adding: “They wanted to take over the whole Middle East. Right now they just want to survive.”

    To keep the deal alive, the remaining parties to the Iran accord are trying to maintain trade with Tehran, despite scepticism that this is possible.

    Graphics

    Iran’s nuclear program tmsnrt.rs/2D0wdT3

    Iran’s crude exports 1975-2018 tmsnrt.rs/2CUMBnT

    Iran’s crude exports, production tmsnrt.rs/2CRTM0h

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    Israeli authorities arrest six in suspected diamond smuggling scheme

    JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli authorities arrested six people on Monday suspected of smuggling large amounts of diamonds into the country over several years.

    Israel’s tax authority and police said they suspected each played a part in the conspiring, planning and smuggling of “hundreds of millions of shekels” worth of diamonds. They did not identify the individuals.

    “The investigating units intend to carry out more arrests of suspects in Israel and abroad,” police said in a statement.

    Israel is a world center for diamond cutting and polishing with one of the biggest exchanges in the world.

    ($1 = 3.6893 shekels)

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