A court hearing in Gibraltar on Thursday could pave the way for the release of an Iranian super tanker after Iran said Britain would soon release the vessel.
A source close to the Gibraltarian government on Tuesday dismissed reports in Iran that the Grace 1 would be set free later in the day.
However, the British territory said last month a hearing on the tanker’s fate would take place on 15 August.
That followed a decision by the Supreme Court in Gibraltar to extend the period of detention for the tanker by a month, a deadline which expires on Saturday.
This time around the court could order a further extension, it could find that an offence was committed, or it could say the tanker is free to go.
The commandeering of the Grace 1 on 4 July exacerbated friction between Tehran and the West and led to the retaliatory seizure of a UK-flagged tanker in the Gulf a fortnight later.
Britain accused the Iranian vessel of violating European sanctions by taking oil to Syria, a charge Tehran denies.
The deputy head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organisation, Jalil Eslami, said on Tuesday that Britain was thinking of freeing the Grace 1 following an exchange of documents.
“The vessel was seized based on false allegations,” Eslami said in comments reported by state news agency IRNA. “We hope the release will take place soon.”
Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency, quoting unidentified authorities in Gibraltar, said the tanker would be freed by Tuesday evening.
However, a senior source in the government of British overseas territory denied that would happen on Tuesday.
Britain said that investigations into the Grace tanker were a matter for Gibraltar. The territory has denied Iran’s claim that the action was taken on the orders of Tehran’s longtime foe Washington.
“As this is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to comment further,” a British Foreign Office spokesman said.
The Gulf tanker crisis has added to worsening hostilities since Washington pulled out of Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers, under which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear work in return for most international sanctions being lifted on it.
The Iranian capture of the Stena Impero drew condemnation from Britain and other European parties to the nuclear deal that have been trying to salvage it by shielding Iran’s economy from reimposed and toughened US sanctions.
YouTube star PewDiePie marries longtime girlfriend Marzia Bisognin in London | Ents & Arts News
YouTube star PewDiePie has married his longtime girlfriend Marzia Bisognin at a ceremony in London.
The 29-year-old, who has more than 99 million subscribers on the online video site, announced the news on Twitter on Tuesday.
He wrote: “We are married!!! I’m the happiest I can be.
“I’m so lucky to share my life with this amazing woman.”
The couple, who live in Brighton with their pugs Edgar and Maya, have been together for eight years.
They tied the knot at London’s Kew Gardens on Monday.
PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, has the second most-subscribed YouTube channel in the world.
The Swedish former economics student mainly posts comedy-formatted shows which attract millions of views.
Bisognin had her own fashion YouTube channel called CutiePieMarzia up until 2012, which focused on fashion, beauty, DIY, books and movies.
Since 2015 she has launched several lines of fashion and design merchandise.
She posted on Instagram after her wedding: “Yesterday, the 19th of August – after exactly 8 years since we met – we celebrated our wedding with our closest friends and family.
“It was the most beautiful day, which I will treasure forever, I am so thankful for all the people that made time to attend the event and helped us celebrate our marriage.
“I feel like the luckiest person and I’m so full of love.
“Incredibly ecstatic to be able to call Felix my husband for the rest of our lives.”
The couple first met after Bisognin’s friend recommend that she watch “this idiot playing video games”.
They started dating in 2011 after she emailed him and told him that she found his videos funny.
The couple lived in Sweden and Italy before settling in the UK.
PewDiePie has been controversial. He was forced to apologise to fans after using a racial slur while live-streaming a video game.
Disney and YouTube said they would stop sponsoring his channel after some of his videos used Nazi imagery and anti-Semitic jokes.
Donald Trump: It would be appropriate for Russia to rejoin G7 | US News
Donald Trump has said it would be appropriate to let Russia join the G7 group of advanced industrialised countries.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, the US leader noted his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, had pushed for Russia’s expulsion out of what used to be the G8 because President Vladimir Putin “outsmarted” him.
“But I think it’s much more appropriate to have Russia in. It should be the G8 because a lot of the things we talk about have to do with Russia,” Mr Trump said.
Russia was pushed out of the G8 in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
He also said that John Sullivan, the US deputy secretary of state, “could very well be” the next US ambassador to Russia.
Mr Trump, who was hosting Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis, indicated that Mr Sullivan was being considered for the job.
“He’s somebody that is being put up and respected very much… very respected. I know that Mike Pompeo likes him very much, and he’s very respected. He could very well be [my nominee],” he told reporters.
It was not the first time Mr Trump has suggested Russia be brought back into the G7, which groups the US, Germany, Japan, France, Britain, Italy and Canada – the countries representing 58% of the global net wealth of $317tn (£260tn).
He said in 2018 that Russia should attend a forthcoming G7 summit in Canada, with a Kremlin spokesman seeming to reject the idea, saying Russia was focused on other formats.
President Vladimir Putin said Russia did not choose the G7 and would be happy to host its members in Moscow.
The US leader has periodically called for closer ties with Russia, despite his administration’s policy including strong sanctions against Moscow.
Last week, US administration officials knocked down media reports that Stephen Biegun, the US envoy for North Korea, was being considered as the next ambassador for Russia.
If Mr Sullivan is nominated for the role, he would succeed Jon Huntsman, who resigned earlier this month amid speculation he plans to run for governor of Utah.
Epstein questions await Prince Andrew at home as he holidays with Sarah Ferguson in Spain | UK News
While the unanswered questions keep coming about Prince Andrew’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, the Duke of York has been taking time out among Europe’s moneyed elite with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson in Sotogrande.
According to locals, the pair are regulars in this part of southern Spain and Sarah is a familiar face at the Santa Maria polo club.
Jon Clarke, who has lived here for almost two decades, says the former Duchess of York has been here 11 or 12 times and often hands out the winners’ medals at the annual summer polo tournament.
We know the former couple flew into Spain last week and, as we toured the secluded lanes where some of the grandest estates are hidden in the hillsides trying to find them, it became clearer that they were still here.
We met an Argentinian woman who told us she had cooked a traditional barbecue for the pair who were guests at a private 50th birthday party on Monday night, also telling us she was going to do something similar for the Sultan of Brunei who’s also in the area.
Earlier in their stay, staff at the exclusive Cancha Dos restaurant, which is surrounded by private polo fields, told us they ate in a specially cordoned off area, but only after the prince’s security team had swept the place to make sure it was safe.
And workers at the Valderrama golf course, one of the best in the world, said the prince had been playing there.
In August, only members of the club are allowed to tee off, but even outside the summer month a round for non-members will set you back not far short of €500 (£456).
How long the duke is planning to stay here in the wealthy enclave in the sun is unclear.
What is as clear as the glistening sea of Sotogrande is the questions about his time with Jeffrey Epstein will still be waiting when he gets home.
A Buckingham Palace statement said: “The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes.
“His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”
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