Good morning, here’s your Friday morning briefing to set you up for the day ahead. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

Montenegro angles for EU acceptance

Montenegro’s bid to join the European Union will be among the talking points today as the country’s Prime Minister Dusko Markovic heads to Berlin for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Among topics discussed will be Montenegro’s potential accession to the European Union, which has been in the works since 2007. Past assessments have concluded that Montenegro is moderately prepared to become a member state.

The two leaders are also expected to discuss immigration in the wake of the European migrant crisis that saw asylum seekers flood into Europe from the Middle East, many of which passed through the Balkan states.

They will meet for talks at 11am London time, which will be shortly followed by a joint press conference at 12:15pm.

This will be the first time that Markovic meets Merkel since he took the post back in 2016.

Southern African Development Community meets

The 38th annual Southern African Development Community meeting will begin today, bringing together the leaders of 16 African states to discuss the future of southern Africa.

The talks will focus on improving living standards and quality of life, improving freedom and social justice and ensuring the peace and security of southern Africa’s people.

Leaders from Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia are expected to be present. However, Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s attendance is uncertain.

Mnangagwa has faced a difficult few weeks since winning the Zimbabwean general election last month.

Despite claiming that he would hold the nation’s first “free and fair” elections, Mnangagwa’s closest challenger, Nelson Chamisa, claimed that voting was rigged. This has resulted in widespread unrest across parts of the country.

Trump’s family separation policy court challenge continues

Judges and lawyers involved in the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) challenge to the Trump administration’s family separation policy will meet today to discuss the case after the United States government failed to reunite over 700 families before the 26 July deadline.

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The Trump administration separated more than 2,500 children from their parents as they illegally crossed over the US-Mexico border earlier this year, as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration.

A court order set a 30-day deadline for the release of all of the children. Some 1,800 families have since been reunited. However, the government claims that the remaining 700 families are not suitable to be reunited.

The status conference (a meeting between those involved in the case) will take place at the US District Court in California at 9pm London time.


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