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It would seem not even world leaders are averse to a bit of playground-style gossip about their colleagues.

The ongoing NATO summit in London has been notable for a few frosty meetings between the prime ministers and presidents who have gathered, notably between Donald Trump and French counterpart Emmanuel Macron.

Now Mr Macron, who riled Mr Trump by describing NATO as suffering from strategic “brain death”, appears to have been caught on camera gossiping about an unnamed associate with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

NATO leaders
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NATO leaders have gathered in London this week

During footage from a reception at Buckingham Palace, the pair are seen chatting with Boris Johnson and the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte and can be heard joking about a “40 minute press conference” that had run late.

When Mr Johnson asks Mr Macron “is that why you were late?”, Mr Trudeau replies “he’s late because he takes a 40 minute press conference off the top” – seemingly a reference to the Macron-Trump meeting earlier in the day.

Princess Anne is also seen on the fringes of the conversation, which appeared to show Mr Trudeau making another cheeky remark about the press conference.

He tells his fellow leaders: “You just watched his team’s jaws drop to the floor.”

Mr Trump certainly made his presence felt in London during several media briefings on Tuesday, not just in his tense appearance alongside Mr Macron

The US president used a press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to say he would not be offering any comment on the UK general election – only to then immediately do just that.



Donald Trump







Trump: ‘I’ll stay out of UK election’

Mr Trump said: “I’ll stay out of the election. I’m a fan of Brexit, I called it. I was here, they asked if it was going to happen and I said yes and they smiled, it was just my opinion.

“I’ll stay out of it, but Boris is very capable and I think he will do a good job.”

Mr Trump and his fellow leaders capped off the day by marking the 70th anniversary of NATO at Buckingham Palace, where they posed for a traditional group photo alongside the Queen.



Donald Trump attends a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg







‘We wouldn’t want NHS if it was on silver platter’

On Wednesday, Mr Johnson will address leaders from all 29 member states at The Grove hotel in Hertfordshire.

The prime minister will attempt to bring harmony to the top of the alliance by echoing a famous phrase from the classic French adventure story The Three Musketeers, reminding colleagues that it is “one for all, and all for one” in the quest to keep their people safe.

The meeting is expected to consider new threats, including in the areas of cyber and space, after NATO last month declared space one of its operational domains alongside air, land, sea and cyber.

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Coronavirus: 56 people killed from outbreak in China | World News

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Fifty-six people have died from the coronavirus outbreak in China, the country’s state media has reported.

It comes as China’s Hubei province reports 13 new deaths from the virus.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in China is now at 1,975.

Shanghai also reported its first death from the outbreak and 323 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections.



More than 50 million people are on lockdown in China as the government warns the virus is "accelerating its spread".







President Xi warns of ‘grave situation’ as Coronavirus infection spreads

Separately, the province of Henan reported one death from the virus.

The virus originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei late last year and has spread to Chinese cities including Beijing.

President Xi Jinping told a politburo meeting the country was facing a “grave situation” where the virus is “accelerating its spread”.

A report on state TV said resources and experts are being concentrated at designated hospitals for treatment of severe cases, with no treatment delayed due to cost, and supplies of materials to Hubei province and its capital Wuhan to be guaranteed.

Around two dozen cases in all have been confirmed outside mainland China, nearly all of them in Asia: Hong Kong, Macao, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Nepal, Australia, Malaysia and Canada.

Canada declared on Saturday that Toronto had identified its first coronavirus case – a resident who recently returned from Wuhan.

France confirmed three cases on Friday, the first in Europe, and the US identified its second, a woman in Chicago who had returned from China.

Pharmacy workers wearing protective clothes and masks serve customers in Wuhan
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Pharmacy workers wearing protective clothes and masks serve customers in Wuhan
Chinese tourists wearing masks walk through the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo, Japan
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Chinese tourists wearing masks walk through the Ginza shopping district in Tokyo, Japan

“The individual is stable and is hospitalised” the government said in a statement.

China has announced further transport restrictions in a bid to stop the outbreak from spreading, with Hong Kong declaring a virus emergency and scrapping Luna New Year celebrations that began on Saturday.

More follows…

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Coronavirus: President Xi warns of ‘grave situation’ as China infection spreads | World News

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China has confirmed 1,372 people have been infected with coronavirus and 41 people have died.

It comes as President Xi Jinping told a politburo meeting the country was facing a “grave situation” where the virus is “accelerating its spread”.

A report on state TV said resources and experts are being concentrated at designated hospitals for treatment of severe cases, with no treatment delayed due to cost, and supplies of materials to Hubei province and its capital Wuhan to be guaranteed.

The latest tally comes from 29 provinces and cities across China and includes 237 patients in serious condition.

All 41 deaths have been in China, including 39 in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, and one each in Hebei and Heilongjiang provinces.

China added three cities to those cut off from transportation, bringing the total to 16 in Hubei province and covering a population greater than that of New York, London, Paris and Moscow combined.

Authorities are trying to limit further spread of the disease by preventing people from leaving Wuhan, the city of 11 million where the outbreak originated, and the surrounding area.

The Chinese military dispatched 450 medical staff, some with experience in past outbreaks including SARS and Ebola, who arrived in Wuhan late on Friday night to help treat the many patients hospitalised with viral pneumonia.

Two new dedicated hospitals are being built in the city to cope with rising number of cases.

Construction has already started on the first facility, with enough space for 1,000 patients, which is expected to be completed by 3 February.

The second, which is designed to have 1,300 beds, is due to be finished within three weeks.

The Ministry of Commerce is coordinating an effort to supply more than two million masks and other products from elsewhere in the country.

An unprecedented national lockdown that has kept people from travelling has been expanded to more than 50 million residents, and authorities have cancelled a host of Lunar New Year events.

Temples locked their doors, Beijing’s Forbidden City, Shanghai Disneyland and other major tourist destinations closed, and people cancelled restaurant reservations ahead of the holiday.

The vast majority of cases have been in and around Wuhan or involved people who visited the city or had personal connections to those infected.

About two dozen cases in all have been confirmed outside mainland China, nearly all of them in Asia: Hong Kong, Macao, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Nepal, Australia and Malaysia.

Liang Wudong (Pic: People's Daily)
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Liang Wudong (Pic: People’s Daily)

The virus has also been detected in the US and France.

While most of the deaths have been older patients, a 36-year-old man in Hubei died on Thursday.

State-run China Global Television Network also confirmed that a doctor who had been treating patients in Wuhan, 62-year-old Liang Wudong, had died from the virus.

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Turkey earthquake: Dozens still trapped as 20 killed and 500 injured | World News

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At least 20 people have been killed after an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 struck eastern Turkey.

Turkish officials have said more than 553 people are injured, including 11 who are in a serious condition, while around 30 were left trapped in the wreckage of toppled buildings.

The quake struck at 8.55pm local time (5.55pm GMT) at a depth of 6.7km near the town of Sivrice in Elazig
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At least 20 people have died following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey

Hundreds of residents were left homeless or with damaged homes as buildings collapsed in affected towns near the centre of the tremor, which was felt in several neighbouring countries.

The quake jolted Elazig province, which is around 340 miles (550km) east of the capital Ankara, and was followed by dozens of aftershocks.

Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said 16 people were killed in Elazig and five more in the neighbouring province of Malatya.

He said two people suffered heart attacks and five others died in Malatya.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu described the earthquake as a “level 3” incident, according to Turkey’s emergency response plan – meaning that it called for a national help response but did not require international help.

Around 30 buildings collapsed from the quake in the two provinces, according to Environment Minister Murat Kurum.

State broadcaster TRT showed footage of police and emergency workers searching a partly collapsed building in Elazig, as well as smashed windows and balconies that had crashed to the ground.

Rescue teams could also be seen working by hand to remove bricks and plaster from the ruins.

Residents walk on a street as following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig
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The quake jolted Elazig province, which is around 340 miles east of the capital Ankara
Turkish officials and police work at the scene of a collapsed building following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig
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More than 500 people were injured in the disaster

Elazig residents whose homes were damaged were being moved to student dormitories or sports centres amid freezing conditions.

Mr Soylu added that the country, which is prone to earthquakes, had learnt lessons from past disasters which helped it address Friday’s quake.

Drones were deployed in search operations and communication between provinces.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a tweet that all measures were being taken to “ensure that the earthquake that occurred in Elazig and was felt in many areas is overcome with the least amount of loss”.

Turkish officials and police work at the scene of a collapsed building following a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Elazig
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Many people have lost their homes

The quake struck at 8.55pm local time (5.55pm in the UK) at a depth of 4 miles (6.7km), near the town of Sivrice in Elazig, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) said.

Several aftershocks followed, the strongest at 5.4 and 5.1.

The AFAD warned residents not to return to damaged buildings because of the risk of further aftershocks.

It said beds, blankets and tents were being sent to the area, where the overnight temperature was below 0C (32F).

Syria and Iran both reported feeling the earthquake, according to the countries’ state media.

Turkish officials and police try to keep warm at the scene of a collapsed building
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The overnight temperature in the area was below 0C (32F)

Turkey straddles seismic faultiness and has a history of powerful earthquakes.

In 1999, more than 17,000 people were killed when a 7.6 magnitude quake struck the western city of Izmit, around 55 miles (90km) southeast of Istanbul. Around 500,000 people were made homeless after the disaster.

And in 2011 an earthquake struck the eastern city of Van and the town of Ecris, killing at least 523 people.

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