Macron’s ‘bromance’ with Trudeau fires up internet

The Internet was abuzz Friday with Photographs of French President Emmanuel Macron and his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau schmoozing at the G7 summit in Sicily have caused a sensation on the internet.

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Two leaders were pictured strolling through flowered walkways and chatting against the backdrop of a sparkling blue Mediterranean sea.

“Apparently Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron flew to Sicily for their wedding photoshoot,” netizen @sherlockify joked on Twitter.

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The reaction to the pair’s encounter in the picturesque, hillside town of Taormina, immortalised by Macron himself who tweeted a video of their meeting, provided some light relief from a summit otherwise devoted to thorny issues such as climate change and the threat of extremism.

“The Franco-Canadian friendship has a new face,” Macron tweeted after sitting down for talks with Trudeau and taking the now famous stroll.

“@JustinTrudeau, it’s up to us to take on the challenges of our generation!”

Sitting down with @EmmanuelMacron for the first time, talking jobs, security & climate – looking forward to more conversations, my friend. pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/8ih8iEZ4aw

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 26, 2017

“Sitting down with @EmmanuelMacron for the first time, talking jobs, security & climate – looking forward to more conversations, my friend,” Trudeau responded on Twitter, posting pictures of both smiling, shaking hands, and looking out over the Mediterranean, their dapper suit jackets billowing in the breeze.

Trudeau, 45, is popular with liberals worldwide for his commitment to fighting climate change and easing the refugee crisis – in stark contrast to the United States, Canada’s powerful neighbour.

Macron, 39, has only been in power for 12 days but enjoys similar kudos, particularly abroad where he has been compared to Trudeau.

L’amitié franco-canadienne a un nouveau visage. @JustinTrudeau, à nous de relever les défis de notre génération ! #G7Taormina pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/8EdQopviov

— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 26, 2017

“This image of Trudeau and Macron in Sicily is right out of a liberal fantasy dream sequence,” tweeted Dhruva Jaishankar, an expert on foreign policy at the India section of the Brookings Institution think tank.3

Others were even more explicit.

“Le swoon, le sigh,” tweeted netizen MissMary, above a photo of both leaders in apparent earnest chat.

“Is there a budding bromance between Macron and Trudeau? Two hunks!” added @MaureenRamsden.

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Swans pushed themselves to limit: Longmire

Sydney coach John Longmire knows his side made key errors in a frantic finish to Friday night’s AFL match at the SCG.

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But Longmire was reluctant to criticise his players after a six-point loss to Hawthorn, given how taxing the contest was.

“You say it how it is,” a dejected Longmire said, when asked what his message to the team was.

“We probably didn’t play the sort of footy we wanted to in the first half but there were some huge efforts in the second half … unfortunately not enough to hold on.”

The hosts, coming off consecutive six-day breaks, were reduced to two fit men on the bench at halftime with Sam Reid and Jake Lloyd both ruled out because of concussion.

They somehow reeled in Hawthorn’s 21-point lead and hit the front early in the final term amid a run of five consecutive goals.

“Some blokes dug in and competed, they pushed themselves to their absolute limits,” Longmire said.

“There was some pretty courageous efforts by a lot of players.”

However, the Swans were both physically and mentally exhausted during the final five minutes of the game – and it showed.

They failed to man the mark correctly for Jarryd Roughead’s match-winner with a tick over a minute remaining. That chance had only come about because reigning Rising Star winner Callum Mills turned the ball over instead of having a shot to put the Swans in front.

“We did some things we’d probably do better if we had another opportunity to, in the last few minutes,” Longmire said.

“Whether they were fatigued and couldn’t think clearly, or couldn’t (physically) quite get the distance in the kick, it was probably a couple of those things together.”

The result snapped Sydney’s three-match winning streak.

The club now has the mid-season bye and, with a 3-7 record, a hell of a lot of work ahead if they’re to reach the finals.

Trump has been complete disaster: Boehner

US President Donald Trump’s time in office has been a “complete disaster” aside from foreign affairs, fellow Republican and former House Speaker John Boehner said at an energy conference.

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The former Ohio congressman said he has been friends with Trump for 15 years but never thought he would occupy the White House.

And while he praised Trump’s aggressive steps to challenge the Islamic State militant group and other moves in international affairs, he was highly critical of the president’s other early efforts.

“Everything else he’s done has been a complete disaster,” Boehner said at the energy conference in Houston on Wednesday, according to the energy publication Rigzone. “He’s still learning how to be president.”

A spokesman for Boehner confirmed the comments. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The former House speaker, who resigned from Congress in 2015, was also highly critical of efforts by the administration and his former Republican colleagues in Congress to advance sweeping healthcare and tax reform plans.

He said Republicans should never have tried to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, even after the House narrowly passed an overhaul measure. The Senate is considering its own version of the package.

And he dismissed tax reform efforts, which form a cornerstone of the Republican policy agenda, as “just a bunch of happy talk.”

While Boehner’s successor, Speaker Paul Ryan, tries to include a border adjustment tax, a tax on imports, as a key piece of any tax code overhaul, Boehner declared it “deader than a doornail” amid opposition from fellow Republicans and the White House.

Boehner also supported efforts to “get to the bottom” of any potential interactions between Trump associates and the Russian government. However, he described any calls to impeach Trump as the purview of “the crazy left-wing Democratic colleagues of mine.”

Democratic Representative Al Green has formally introduced articles of impeachment for Trump, but such an effort has not been embraced by most Democratic lawmakers as the investigation continues.

US, Japan to extend North Korea sanctions

US President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have agreed to expand sanctions against North Korea for its continued development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, the White House says.

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Pyongyang has carried out repeated missile tests in the past year, prompting an array of countries to demand tougher economic sanctions to push the isolated country towards dismantling its weapons programmes.

Meeting before a G7 summit, Trump and Abe dedicated most of their discussions to the issue, aides said.

“President Trump and Prime Minister Abe agreed their teams would cooperate to enhance sanctions on North Korea, including by identifying and sanctioning entities that support North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs,” the White House said in a statement.

“They also agreed to further strengthen the alliance between the United States and Japan, to further each country’s capability to deter and defend against threats from North Korea.”

Trump has said he will prevent North Korea from being able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile, a capability experts say Pyongyang could have some time after 2020.

“It is very much on our minds … It’s a big problem, it’s a world problem and it will be solved. At some point it will be solved. You can bet on that,” Trump told reporters, sitting alongside Abe.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson this month called on countries all over the world to implement existing UN sanctions on North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, adding that the US administration would be willing to use secondary sanctions to target foreign companies that continue to do business with Pyongyang.

Most of North Korea’s trade is with its ally China, and so any hard-hitting secondary sanctions would likely target Chinese firms.

Speaking in Beijing, a senior US State Department official said on Friday that China realised it has limited time to rein in North Korea through negotiations and that it was open to further sanctions.

Susan Thornton, the acting assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs told reporters the United States was looking at discussing with China a new UN Security Council resolution on measures to reduce delays in any response to further nuclear tests or other provocations from the North.

Johnson lashes ‘monstrous’ Corbyn speech

Boris Johnson has condemned a speech by Jeremy Corbyn which sought to link terror in the UK to the country’s military interventions as “absolutely monstrous”.

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The Foreign Secretary said it was “extraordinary” that “there should be any attempt to justify or to legitimate the actions of terrorists in this way” after the Labour leader drew a connection between the country’s involvement in the “war on terror” and attacks in Britain.

Mr Corbyn stressed that the link between foreign policy and terrorism “in no way reduces the guilt of those who attack our children”, but Mr Johnson said such comments were “inexplicable in this week of all weeks”.

Mr Johnson was speaking alongside US secretary of state Rex Tillerson at the Foreign Secretary’s official residence in London.

“This is a moment … when we should be coming together, uniting to defeat these people, and we can and we will, not just in Iraq and in Syria, but of course in the battle for the hearts and minds,” he said.

“They are wrong, their view of the world is a corruption and perversion of Islam and it can be completely confounded.

“But now is not the time to do anything to subtract from the fundamental responsibility of those individuals, that individual in particular, who committed this atrocity and I think it is absolutely monstrous that anybody should seek to do so.”

Mr Johnson and Mr Tillerson signed a condolence book for the victims of the Manchester attack after holding talks on issues including Syria, Iran and North Korea, as well as the “vital importance of the work that we do together across such a range of fields including, of course, intelligence sharing”.

The US secretary of state, who was making his first official visit to the UK, said the US took “full responsibility” for and “regrets” the leaking of information from the Manchester bombing.

A row erupted between the US and British authorities after a host of sensitive information, including photographs from the scene of the attack, was leaked to American news outlets in the wake of Monday’s attack.

“This special relationship that exists between our two countries will certainly withstand this particular unfortunate event,” Mr Tillerson said.

He paid tribute to the victims of the attack, saying that “hearts are broken” across America and that the British people would “not be broken by terrorists”.

“For those families there will be forever a void in this world that will never be filled.”