Top Senate Republicans weighed in on the Turkish cease-fire with Syrian Kurds, with Lindsey Graham, a key ally of President Donald Trump, plus the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, generally applauding the development. However, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah blasted the president's Syria policy and said the Senate should hold hearings on Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria. "The announcement today is being portrayed as a victory. It is far from a victory," Romney said. "Serious questions remain about how the decision was reached to precipitously withdraw from Syria and why that decision was reached." Turkish troops and Turkish-backed Syrian fighters launched their offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria a week ago, two days after President Donald Trump suddenly announced he was withdrawing the U.S. military from the area. Trump was widely criticized for turning on the Kurds, who had taken heavy casualties as partners with the U.S. in fighting IS extremists since 2016. It was not clear whether the deal announced by Vice President Mike Pence means the U.S. military will shift gears and play a role in enabling or enforcing the cease-fire. Pence said the U.S. would "facilitate" the Kurds' pullout, but he did not say if that would include the use of American troops.
Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) has announced plans to merge with regional affiliate Prime Media and to sell Western Australia radio business Red Wave to Southern Cross Austereo. The deal is an all scrip offer to be implemented by way of a scheme of arrangement under which it is proposed that SWM will acquire all of Prime’s issued shares by way of a scheme of arrangement. Prime shareholders will receive 0.4582 Seven West Media shares for each Prime share they hold. The Prime board has unanimously recommended the merger in the absence of a superior proposal. Seven West Media says the deal allows Prime shareholders to maintain exposure to the broadcast TV industry in a larger and more relevant national platform. Merged group ownership will be split between SWM and Prime shareholders 90 per cent and 10 per cent respectively. The deal is subject to certain regulatory approvals including ACMA and the ACCC as well as Prime shareholder approval and Court approval of the Scheme. Seven West has also announced plans to sell Western Australia radio business Red Wave to Southern Cross Austereo for cash consideration of $28 million representing an FY19 Enterprise Value/EBITDA earnings multiple of 8 times. Shares in Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) closed 2.7 per cent higher at $0.38 yesterday.
The balance of power in northern Syria is dramatically shifting as Turkey continues its military offensive. Russian troops are quickly filling the vacuum left by retreating U.S. forces, even allying with Kurdish soldiers who were abruptly abandoned by President Trump last week. US Vice President Mike Pence is set to travel to Turkey, hoping to stop the bloody advance on Kurdish forces. He will also reinforce President Trump's decision to impose tariffs against Ankara over its decision to invade its neighbour further south. NBC News' Richard Engel filed this report from the conflict zone
On a day when President Donald Trump tried to minimize the crisis in northern syria (NATSOUND)(English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "This has nothing to do with us.." The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday issued a rare, bipartisan, and overwhelming rebuke to the president over his decision to pull American forces from Syria and pave the way for a Turkish military assault against U.S. Kurdish allies. The bill passed with 354 votes in favor to just 60 against, with dozens of Republicans joining Democrats to condemn the president's pullout. That led to a heated face-to-face meeting a short time later between Democratic leaders and the Republican President.
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