Sir Alan Duncan has quit as a foreign office minister in protest against a possible Boris Johnson victory in the Conservative leadership race.
Chancellor Philip Hammond and Justice Secretary David Gauke have already said they intend to resign if he wins.
BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith said they could not stomach the prospect of a no-deal Brexit which they think Mr Johnson could oversee.
Voting for the leader closes later with the winner to be revealed on Tuesday.
The successor to Theresa May – either Mr Johnson or his rival Jeremy Hunt – will enter Downing Street on Wednesday.
Sir Alan has long been a vocal critical of the ex-foreign secretary, once describing himself as Mr Johnson’s “pooper scooper” at the Foreign Office, clearing up mess he had created.
Most recently, Sir Alan attacked his former boss over the resignation of Sir Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to the US, who stepped down after comments criticising President Trump’s administration were leaked.
Sir Alan said Mr Johnson – by failing to give his support to the ambassador – had “basically thrown our top diplomat under the bus”.
He has also previously said Mr Johnson was “the last person on Earth who would make any progress in negotiating with the EU at the moment.”
And in 2018, he described an article – in which Mr Johnson said Theresa May had “wrapped a suicide vest” around the British constitution – as “one of the most disgusting moments in modern British politics”.
The BBC’s Norman Smith said that in the resignation of Sir Alan – and the promises to quit by Mr Hammond and Mr Gauke – we were beginning to see the basis of a Tory opposition to Mr Johnson on the backbenches.
He said they – and potentially others to come – felt they could not support a prime minister comfortable with no deal and so it was better to walk now than be pushed later.
In an interview with Conservative Home, Mr Johnson said every member of his cabinet would have to be “reconciled” with the policy of leaving on 31 October – with or without a deal.
Mr Hunt has said he too is prepared to leave with no deal, but would accept a further delay, if required, to get a new withdrawal deal.
Sir Alan’s resignation was criticised by Tory MP and ex-minister Greg Hands, who tweeted: “In my view, pre-emptive ministerial resignations (If reports are true) in case your own democratically-elected party leader is not to your liking are absurd.
“And I say that as a committed Jeremy Hunt supporter. Such moves make a Corbyn government one step more likely.”
Who is Sir Alan Duncan?
He became MP for Rutland and Melton in 1992 and served as a shadow minister between 1998 and 2010.
When the coalition government came to power, he was appointed international development minister – a position he served in until 2014.
In 2016, Theresa May made him a Foreign Office minister – where he served under Boris Johnson.
The Houston Texans placed defensive end J.J. Watt and wideout DeAndre Hopkins on the active/physically unable to perform list on Sunday, indicating both players will sit out practice when training camp begins later this week.
FILE PHOTO: Dec 30, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) reacts after a play during the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo
Texans veterans report on Wednesday and begin practicing Thursday. Rookies reported Sunday.
Watt had cleanup surgery on his knee in January after Houston lost in the wild-card playoffs, but there’s no indication his recovery will threaten his regular-season availability.
Hopkins battled a shoulder injury late last season, saying after the playoff loss he tore ligaments “completely off the bone,” but reports at the time said he would not need surgery. He also fought a foot injury, but said in June he expected to be ready for training camp.
—Running back Sony Michel and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas are among six New England Patriots who will begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list later this week, multiple outlets reported.
Michel had a knee scope this offseason but is expected to be ready in time for the regular season. Thomas tore his Achilles on Dec. 23, putting him at risk of missing regular-season games. If he is not activated from the PUP list before Week 1, he would have to miss at least six games.
Avoiding the PUP list is 2018 first-round offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn, a good sign as he recovers from a torn Achilles sustained last August. Wynn is the leading candidate to start at left tackle after the departure of Trent Brown via free agency and the retirement of free agent signee Jared Veldheer.
—The Miami Dolphins placed defensive tackle Kendrick Norton — whose left arm was amputated following a car crash earlier this month — on the reserve/non-football-injury list, effectively waiving him.
Norton will not count against the 90-man roster, but the team will still pay his $495,000 salary, and his medical bills will be covered by insurance through the NFL and the Dolphins.
The 22-year-old’s NFL career is over after his July 4 accident. He had six surgeries over a two-week span before being discharged from the hospital on Thursday.
—Tight end Trey Burton and wide receiver Anthony Miller are expected to be ready for the start of Chicago Bears training camp this week after both players underwent offseason surgeries, general manager Ryan Pace told reporters.
Burton had sports hernia surgery after missing the Bears’ playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles because of a groin injury.
Miller had surgery on his shoulder after his rookie campaign, during which he hauled in 33 catches for 423 yards and seven touchdowns.
Marvel announced a host of other movie projects at its Comic-Con panel Saturday, including the long-awaited “Black Widow,” “Eternals,” “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” and a reboot of “Blade,” with Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali taking over the Wesley Snipes role.
The new slate of films place greater emphasis on superheroes who are female and people of color, bringing fresh excitement to a Marvel world still adapting to life after Iron Man and the OG “Avengers.”
McALLEN, Texas (Reuters) – U.S. Democratic lawmakers on Friday called President Donald Trump’s latest anti-immigration initiatives “unacceptable” and warned his administration against misappropriating funding authorized only for humanitarian use.
FILE PHOTO: Transport buses used to carry migrants in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody are seen parked next to chartered planes before departure from Brownsville South Padre International Airport in Brownsville, Texas, U.S., May 18, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott
The criticism came as two congressional delegations toured the U.S.-Mexico border area near McAllen, Texas, as part of efforts to oversee policies banning nearly all asylum-seekers from entry, warehousing detainees in crowded quarters and holding children separately from the adults they traveled with.
“The administration has continued to push anti-immigrant policies that have hurt migrants, endangered asylum-seekers and exacerbated the humanitarian crisis,” U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice, a Democrat leading a bipartisan House delegation, said in a statement. “This is unacceptable.”
While Democrats have denounced Trump for precipitating what they consider a humanitarian crisis, the president’s supporters have applauded him for cracking down on illegal immigration along the 2,000-mile (3,000-km) border.
Immigration, one of Trump’s signature issues in the 2016 presidential campaign, is already shaping up as a central issue in November 2020.
Reporters were not allowed inside as the House group visited the same detention center that Vice President Mike Pence toured last week, experiencing firsthand facilities overcrowded with detainees, many of whom had little access to basic hygiene.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer led 15 Democratic senators on a tour of sites including of a Customs and Border Protection migrant holding facility in nearby Donna, Texas, where two large tents built this spring have been full with more than 1,000 migrants.
Back in Washington, Senate Democrats warned Trump against misusing any of the $4.5 billion in humanitarian aid that congress approved last month, saying in a letter that lawmakers would “scrutinize” how the funds were spent.
The supplemental spending was meant to “alleviate and improve the inhumane conditions faced by children and families seeking refuge at the southern border,” the letter said.
In the past, Democrats have criticized Trump for attempting to use funds set aside for the Department of Defense for border wall construction.
A Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman said on Friday it would expand a program forcing migrants to await their U.S. hearings on the south side of the border. The government will add Brownsville, Texas, as a fifth border city for processing applications of migrants who must wait for a decision in Mexico.
Brownsville is in the Rio Grande sector, where almost 40 percent of all southern border apprehensions since October have been made, Customs and Border Protection data show.
The Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP, is one of the few immigration programs initiated by the Trump administration that courts have allowed to proceed while a lawsuit to stop the program is under consideration. Federal judges have blocked other measures to limit asylum applicants at the U.S.-Mexico border until legal challenges go to trial.
The MPP is unusual in that the U.S. government has secured the cooperation of the Mexican government. Under pressure from Trump, Mexico agreed to take in migrants, mostly from Central America, returned to the south side of the border while they await their U.S. court hearings.
The program began in January in San Diego, and has been expanded to Calexico, California, and to El Paso, Laredo and now Brownsville in Texas.
Slideshow (6 Images)
U.S. officials plan to build a tent court with around two dozen areas where immigration judges will appear over a video monitor, according to Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz.
In Brownsville, U.S. officials told Mayor Trey Mendez they plan to open a tent facility with more than 60 virtual immigration courtrooms in coming weeks.
“Despite the strain that it puts on our law enforcement and fiscal resources, Brownsville will continue to act with the utmost human compassion toward the migrants, regardless of the protocol,” Mendez said.
Reporting by Mitchell Ferman in McAllen Texas; Mica Rosenberg and Daniel Trotta in New York; and Kristina Cooke in San Francisco; Editing by Frank McGurty and Sonya Hepinstall
Mack Horton walked into the dining room at the athletes’ village and the applause began. It swelled into a standing ovation for the Australian swimmer after his personal protest against China’s Sun Yang at the world championships.
Horton refused to step onto the podium or shake Sun’s hand after losing to Sun in the 400-meter freestyle final on Sunday night.
“Gutsy move, for sure,” U.S. backstroker Matt Grevers said Monday.
Horton is angry that Sun, who served a three-month doping suspension in 2014, is being allowed to compete in Gwangju before he faces a Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing in September that could potentially end his career.
The World Anti-Doping Agency is challenging a decision by FINA, swimming’s world governing body, merely to warn Sun over incidents during a doping control team’s attempts to take blood and urine samples at his home in China last September.
“I don’t feel like it really hurt Sun Yang,” Grevers said of Horton’s protest. “I think it just let him know that, ‘Hey, it’s a weird incident and until it gets uncovered, we don’t fully trust you.'”
Horton is the only swimmer to beat Sun in the 400 free in the last eight years, taking gold in the event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where the Aussie also refused to shake Sun’s hand. Horton went further at a news conference later, calling Sun a “drug cheat” to his face.
That prompted China’s swimming federation to demand an apology, but none was forthcoming.
With such history between the two, American Lilly King said other swimmers were waiting for the awards ceremony Sunday “to see what was going to happen.”
Horton stood behind the podium when given his silver medal. He didn’t join Sun and bronze medalist Gabriele Detti of Italy for the traditional photos on the top spot afterward.
“I don’t think I need to say anything,” Horton said Sunday. “His actions and how it has been handled speaks louder than anything I could say.”
Sun said Sunday he was aware Horton has a problem with him.
“Disrespecting me was OK, but disrespecting China was unfortunate,” Sun said through a translator. “I feel sorry about that.”
King, an outspoken critic of doping, was in the dining hall when Horton arrived back at the village.
“It was pretty great to see the athletes united on his stance and supporting him as well,” she said. “I don’t think anyone at FINA is going to stand up for the athletes, so the athletes have to stand up for themselves.”
Horton’s teammate, Mitch Larkin, voiced a familiar concern among swimmers about a clean playing field.
“You can never be confident,” he said. “You’ve got to trust the authorities, but with what’s going on in sport these days it’s hard to be 100% sure.”
Horton didn’t alert the Australian coaching staff of his podium plans in advance, according to head coach Jacco Verhaeren.
“I understand him very much,” the coach said. “You can only respect him for what he does.”
Detti told Italian media that Horton approached him before the medals ceremony and asked if he would be willing to stand behind rather than on the podium while receiving his award.
Detti declined, explaining that he worked hard to earn a medal and wanted to enjoy it.
None of the anti-Sun sentiment goes over well in China, where he is viewed as a star and his fans demand respect for him via social media. A large contingent of Chinese fans cheered and shouted as Sun made his victory parade around the pool. Banners featuring his face hung from the stands.
Larkin estimated that 99% percent of swimmers at the meet back Horton.
“He’s not really standing alone,” Larkin said. “What he did was certainly brave and gutsy, and I have a lot of respect for him for doing that.”
Not everyone agreed with Horton, however.
“That’s his opinion, not mine,” said British swimmer James Guy, who described himself as a close friend of Horton’s.
Guy was the leading qualifier going into the 200 free semifinals Monday night; Sun was second-fastest.
American backstroker Ryan Murphy said he didn’t consider Horton’s protest to be directed at Sun “but more so standing against FINA and WADA for their response to these things.”
More AP swimming: https://apnews.com/tag/Swimming and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports
FILE PHOTO: The Philadelphia Energy Solutions oil refinery is shown following a recent fire that caused significant damage to the complex, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., June 26, 2019. REUTERS/Laila Kearney/File Photo
(Reuters) – Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) filed for its second Chapter 11 bankruptcy in less than two years on Sunday, a court filing showed, a month after a fire and explosion led to the permanent shutdown of the biggest oil refinery on the U.S. East Coast.
PES said in June it will seek to permanently shut its oil refinery in Philadelphia after the massive fire caused substantial damage to the complex.
The business has struggled ever since the explosion, with the refinery no longer in a functional state and crude shipments charted for PES being diverted in the weeks after June 21.
The refinery, struggling financially for years, slashed worker benefits and scaled back capital projects to save cash.
PES filed for bankruptcy process in January 2018 to reduce debt, but cash on hand dwindled even after it emerged from bankruptcy in August.
The company has both assets and liabilities between $1 billion and $10 billion, a filing made in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware showed.
The company began selling its stocks of oil and some equipment after the refinery’s owner announced it would seek to permanently shut it, four people familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier this month.
The asset sell-off triggered worries among workers that the company no longer aimed to find a buyer willing to restart the plant, as it had promised after the fire. The sale proposals included offers for future crude cargoes and time-chartered Jones Act vessels, sources had told Reuters.
Reporting by Akshay Balan in Bengaluru; editing by Gopakumar Warrier
Trading on the new tech board of the Shanghai stock exchange, known as the Star Market, began on Monday, less than a year after the initiative was unveiled by President Xi Jinping.
The 25 stocks listed on Star gained 160% on average by midday in China. Shares in Anji Microelectronics Technology, which makes materials for semiconductors, rocketed as much as 520% before trimming those gains a little.
The wall of money pouring into the market created several new billionaires on paper, including the founders of Suzhou HYC Technology and Zhejiang Hangke Technology.
Analysts said the spectacular gains were being driven by China’s desire for a strong market debut and unrealistic expectations among investors, fueled by bullish state propaganda.
“This [surge] is crazy,” said Ronald Wan, chief executive of Partners Capital International in Hong Kong. “But it’s already overdone. I don’t think such gains can last long. It’s way too speculative.”
China has been encouraging its companies to become less dependent on foreign money and technology, a campaign that has intensified during the trade war with the United States and since the Trump administration blacklisted Huawei, a leading global smartphone maker and 5G network supplier.
Previous attempts by China to create a rival to Nasdaq in 2009 and 2013 failed because of a lack of quality listings and limited turnover in shares. Shanghai’s Star Market might be different.
It’s the first time a Chinese president has announced the establishment of a stock exchange, highlighting the extent to which Beijing hopes that the board will help China become the dominant player in the technologies of the future.
The country’s top securities regulator says the new Shanghai market will welcome innovative companies in six emerging industries of “strategic significance.”
Those industries include next-generation information technology, smart manufacturing, aerospace, new materials, renewable energy and biotech.
The sectors all align with Beijing’s Made in China 2025 initiative and the latest five-year plan, which aim to transform the country into a manufacturing superpower that dominates high-tech industries.
Regulators have introduced some significant changes for Star. In a first for China, the market allows companies that are losing money to list. Piloting a US-style registration IPO system,it has also streamlined the application process and given issuers and investors greater control over the pricing and timing of initial public offerings.
Of the first batch of 25 companies that began trading Monday, 24 were listing for the first time. In total, the 25 companies raised more than 37 billion yuan ($5.4 billion).
“To break the foreign monopoly and develop [our] integrated circuits testing industry, we need continued investments in research and development. Tapping the capital market will give us the biggest boost,” Suzhou HYC Technology chairman Chen Wenyuantold the state-run Shanghai Securities Journal.
Suzhou HYC Technology manufactures testing equipment for integrated circuits and touch and panel displays. It counts Apple(AAPL) and Samsung as its clients.
Star’s initial lineup also includes chipmakers, AI companies, biotech firms, electric-car battery makers, and suppliers for high-speed railways. There’s a pipeline of more than 100 companies waiting to list, according to the Shanghai stock exchange.
The new tech board has fallen into line with the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and Hong Kong by allowing listings of companies with dual-class shares or weighted voting rights.
It’s a change aimed squarely at attracting Chinese tech companies currently trading overseas. Both structures are popular with entrepreneurs because they allow them to retain control after going public.
“I believe that the leading Chinese tech companies will return because of better valuation, and favorable policies,” said Hao Hong, managing director and head of research at BOCOM International.
Like Alibaba and Tencent, other big Chinese tech companies such as Baidu(BIDU), JD.com(JD), Xiaomiand Pinduoduo(PDD) have chosen New York or Hong Kong to go public. Alibaba is reportedly considering a second listing in Hong Kong, following its record $25 billion flotation in New York in 2014.
“Policymakers clearly don’t like the fact that, despite huge domestic savings, the best Chinese companies such as Alibaba still have to go abroad to raise money,” said Larry Hu, head of China economics research at Macquarie Group.
Last year, smartphone maker Xiaomi was the first company to go public in Hong Kong with weighted voting rights after regulators changed the rules to attract more tech listings.
PORTRUSH, Ireland (AP) — No longer in the shadows of Irish golf, Shane Lowry now has his name etched on the base of the silver claret jug.
It’s on there with more than a century’s worth of the best that have conquered the links to win the British Open. Lowry gazed at the oldest trophy in golf as he tried to soak up his storybook finish Sunday at Royal Portrush, a course wet from rain and then from tears.
“I can’t believe this is mine,” Lowry said after his six-shot victory.
He earned his place with a 63 in the third round that broke the 54-hole scoring record at the British Open and staked him to a four-shot lead. And then he handled the nerves and expectations, both in abundance, and never let anyone closer than three shots.
A year ago, Lowry sat in a parking lot at Carnoustie and cried after missing the cut in the British Open for the fourth straight year.
“Golf wasn’t my friend at the time,” he said.
And there he was Sunday, in rain and wind so ferocious that pars felt like birdies, never giving anyone much of a chance as he closed with a 1-over 72 for the largest margin of victory in the Open in nine years.
Lowry isn’t afraid to be honest, and he didn’t mind telling caddie Bo Martin that he was nervous, scared and worried he would mess up for a raucous, rollicking crowd that wanted nothing more than to celebrate with him.
“I suppose I didn’t even know going out this morning if I was good enough to win a major,” Lowry said. “And look, I’m here now, a major champion. I can’t believe I’m saying it, to be honest.”
So many others in the Irish golf community can.
Graeme McDowell recalls a story from famed swing coach Pete Cowen, who long ago traveled to Dublin to scout the Irish Boys golf team. They were curious about his views on the obvious star — a teenager named Rory McIlroy — except that Cowen saw more.
“The guy said, ‘Who do you like?’ And he said, ‘Rory McIlroy looks pretty good, but that slightly overweight kid with the glasses on … he looks good,'” McDowell said. “So he’s always been talented.”
That kid was Lowry, so talented that he was still an amateur 10 years ago when he won the Irish Open at County Louth.
McDowell remembers something else about that Irish Open, the first time he met Lowry.
“I just shot 61 at Baltray, and he came in and shot 62,” McDowell said. “And he didn’t even introduce himself. He said, ‘I can’t believe you beat me by one out there.’ And I’m like, ‘Who’s this kid?'”
That kid is now “champion golfer of the year.”
Lowry could barely contain his joy when he rolled in an 8-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole for a six-shot lead with three to play. He knew it was over when he found the fairway on the 17th because “I knew that I could really lose a ball from there.”
The cheers got louder with each step closer to the finish line, and Lowry stretched out his arms when his second shot to the 18th was safely on the fringe. Waiting to celebrate with him was McDowell, a former U.S. Open champion who grew up at Portrush; Padraig Harrington, who preceded Lowry as the first Irishman to win a major; four-time major champion Brooks Koepka and his caddie, Rickie Elliott, also raised at Portrush and once a promising amateur in Irish golf.
Lowry was asked earlier in the week if he felt like a forgotten Irishman.
The return of the British Open to Northern Ireland for the first time in 68 years was all about McIlroy, McDowell and Darren Clarke, a trio of Ulstermen with major championships. No one in these parts — the largest Open crowd outside of St. Andrews — will forget Lowry and his performance.
“Everyone knows we’re all one country when it comes to golf,” Lowry said.
The names on the claret jug include Harry Vardon and Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. Lowry would be equally satisfied to see his name below Clarke and McIlroy, Harrington and Fred Daly.
He held the jug aloft on the 18th green and said to crowd, “This one’s for you.”
Lowry was headed home for a celebration — the Irish are known for that, too.
“It’s not going to sink in for a couple of days, is it?” he said.
He won for the fifth time in his career, a short list that includes big wins — the Irish Open as an amateur, a World Golf Championship at Firestone, and earlier this year in the Abu Dhabi Championship.
“The one thing you want to do is back up your success,” Lowry said. “In the short term, I’m going to enjoy this, there’s no doubt about that. My big goal still remains the same, and that is to be on the plane going to Whistling Straits next year (for the Ryder Cup). Hopefully, that involves a couple of wins along the way.”
It will be hard to beat this one — an Irishman winning the first Open in Northern Ireland since 1951.
He stood near the tunnel leading to stairs away from the 18th green with family, friends, coaches and major champions. He wasn’t the other Irishman or even the forgotten Irishman. He was a major champion.
“He can create his own shadows,” McDowell said.
More AP golf: https://apnews.com/apf-Golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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