Nigel Farage, the former leader of the Ukip party and prominent Leave campaigner in the Brexit referendum in June, has been shortlisted for Time magazine's person of the year award. Farage is one of the 11 contenders named by the U.S. publication alongside U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Beyoncé and Russian President Vladimir Putin. "As head of the U.K. Independence Party, Farage was a face of the successful campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, positioning the referendum as the start of a global populist wave against the political establishment," the magazine said. The other contenders are U.S. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, residents of Flint, Michigan, who blew the whistle on lead-poisoned water and Russia's CRISPR scientists, who have developed technology that can edit DNA. Last year's winner was German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
More than 60 world leaders gathered in Paris Sunday to mark 100 years since the end of World War I, and although the general theme was unity, President Donald Trump seemed determined to stand apart. While world leaders took a bus to the Arc de Triomphe and walked side-by-side as bells tolled to mark the exact moment 100 years ago when the war ended, Trump arrived with his own motorcade. Russian President Vladimir Putin also arrived separately and walked in by himself to the ceremony that included, among others, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump arrived separately "due to security protocols." But his insistence on standing apart didn't sit well with others, particularly after Trump drew fire for his decision to cancel his appearance at a memorial service Saturday because of rain.
The government declined calls for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to join Western leaders in condemning Russia in December over the Syrian civil war, fearing that doing so would negatively affect his impending summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, diplomatic sources said. Japan's dissociation from that action, despite its role this year as chair of the Group of Seven industrialized nations, has drawn criticism that it put its interests ahead of the humanitarian crisis in the city of Aleppo and damaged G-7 solidarity. In a statement issued Dec. 7, the leaders of Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the United States called for an immediate cease-fire in Aleppo, condemned the Syrian government for its attacks, and condemned Russia, Syria's chief backer, for blocking humanitarian aid. It also called on the United Nations to investigate reports of alleged war crimes and evidence to hold perpetrators responsible, while singling out Russia for preventing the U.N. Security Council from working effectively to end atrocities in Aleppo. Sources close to the G-7 said that with the exception of Japan, the leaders of its member countries, including U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, backed the statement.
Activists wearing the masks of the seven leaders of G7, from left, French President Emmanuel Macron, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni, British Prime Minister Theresa May, U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, sit at a table eating mock pasta during an initiative by Oxfam, an international confederation of NGOS aimed at fighting poverty, ahead of the G7 summit scheduled for May 26 and 27 in Taormina, Italy, Thursday, May 25, 2017.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, left, and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, talk during a family picture prior to a meeting, in Paris, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. From left; British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, French Foreign Minister Jean Marc Ayrault, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, pose for a family picture prior to a meeting, in Paris, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. From left; British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and French Foreign Minister Jean Marc Ayrault talk during a family picture prior to a meeting in Paris, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and leading diplomats are trying to find solutions for Syria's desperate opposition, as Syrian government forces squeeze rebels out of Aleppo after a devastating blitz.