Donald Trump reportedly gave initial approval for the US military to launch strikes on Iran in retaliation for Tehran shooting down an American drone, before pulling back at the last minute. Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down on Thursday night, the New York Times quoted an unnamed official as saying.
Georgia’s president called Russia “an enemy and occupier” and suggested Moscow had helped trigger protests that rocked Tbilisi, but the Kremlin on Friday blamed radical Georgian politicians for what it called “an anti-Russian provocation”. The strong statement from President Salome Zurabishvili followed violent scenes in the Georgian capital, where police late on Thursday used tear gas and fired rubber bullets to stop crowds angered by the visit of a Russian lawmaker from storming the parliament building.
EU talks to decide who should take on the bloc’s top jobs have broken down. Theresa May attended the talks in Brussels which continued until the early hours of the morning. A new summit will now be held on 30 June. The three lead candidates (called Spitzenkandidaten) to succeed Jean Claude-Juncker as the next European Commission president failed to receive enough support from the leaders of the EU’s member states.
Campaigners hailed a “historic” ruling by the United Kingdom’s court of appeal declaring British arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in its war against Yemen unlawful as a potential turning point in the conflict. The decision in London on Thursday follows a challenge by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) that accused the UK government of licensing arms sales despite a clear risk their use could breach international humanitarian law.
Apple has joined a growing chorus of firms urging the Trump administration to drop a plan for more US tariffs on Chinese goods. The US has said it may impose duties on $300bn (£236.1bn) worth of Chinese products if the two sides can’t reach a trade deal. In a letter, Apple “urged” the White House to drop the tariff plan. The tech giant said the duties would “tilt the playing field” to its global rivals.