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Merkel 'prefers new vote' after German coalition talks fail

Media playback is unsupported on your device German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she would prefer new elections to leading a minority government, after a breakdown in coalition talks plunged the country into political crisis. She also said she did not see any reason to resign from her post despite the failed negotiations. On Sunday evening, the FDP liberals pulled out of talks with Mrs Merkel’s CDU/CSU bloc and the Greens. Germany’s president called on parties to “reconsider their attitudes”. Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged them to make compromises for Germany’s “well-being”,…

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Germany coalition: Talks collapse as FDP pulls out

Talks on forming a three-party coalition government in Germany have collapsed after the free-market liberal FDP pulled out. FDP leader Christian Lindner said there was no “basis of trust” with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU bloc and the Greens. If the FDP refuses to rejoin the talks, Mrs Merkel will have to form a minority coalition or hold fresh elections. Her bloc won September’s poll, but many voters deserted the mainstream parties. After winning its first parliamentary seats, the far-right nationalist AfD (Alternative for Germany) vowed to fight “an invasion…

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NI boss O'Neill set for talks over Scotland job

Media playback is not supported on this device Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill is set to hold talks with the Scottish Football Association in the coming days about the vacant Scotland job. BBC Scotland understands the Irish Football Association has honoured a gentleman’s agreement and granted O’Neill permission to speak to the SFA. The 48-year-old is the organisation’s preferred candidate to succeed Gordon Strachan as national manager. The IFA agreed to the SFA’s request after a board meeting on Friday. It has already offered O’Neill an improved contract in an…

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Brexit: Davis says the UK has compromised in talks

Media playback is unsupported on your device David Davis says he has “been offering some creative compromises and not always got them back” in Brexit talks. He told the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg many EU countries do want to move on in the negotiations because they can see it is very important to their economies. But it was, he added, a “27 country decision”. The EU says negotiations cannot move on to trade until questions about the UK “divorce bill”, citizens’ rights and Northern Ireland are resolved. All you need to…

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Trump lands in China for talks with Xi amid N Korea tensions

US President Donald Trump has arrived in China for a visit likely to focus heavily on trade and tensions with North Korea. He has landed in Beijing where Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping has a lavish reception planned for him. Earlier, in a speech to the South Korean parliament, Mr Trump urged China to sever ties with North Korea. Mr Trump is in China as part of a five-nation tour of Asia. He has also visited Japan so far. What’s in store on Trump’s trip? Property man meets career communist Before…

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Ryan says health insurance mandate part of GOP tax talks

House Speaker Paul Ryan says Republicans are discussing whether their tax plan should include a repeal of the Obama health law’s requirement that people have insurance coverage or pay a penalty. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that repealing that requirement — known as the individual mandate — would save $ 416 billion over a decade. The mandate provides a powerful incentive for people to get coverage before health problems arise. But the money represents a tempting revenue source for GOP tax-writers whose tax plan would add an estimated $…

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Selena Gomez talks 'life or death' kidney transplant in first post-hospital interview

Selena Gomez and Francia Raisa, the singer’s friend who donated a kidney to her earlier this year, have given a joint interview about the procedure. In the interview, with US television show Today, Gomez describes the kidney transplant as a “life or death” move. Actress-singer Selena Gomez poses at the 3rd Annual InStyle Awards at the Getty Center on Monday, October 23, 2017, in Los Angeles. Photo: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP “My kidneys were just done,” she said, in her first interview after leaving hospital. “That was it and I didn’t want to ask…

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