By Matt Spetalnick and Martin Petty HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama chided Vietnam on political freedoms on Tuesday after critics of its communist-run government were prevented from meeting him in Hanoi, a discordant note on a trip otherwise steeped in amity between the former foes. Tens of thousands turned out to welcome Obama on the second leg of his visit, Ho Chi Minh City, which was called Saigon until April 1975 when North Vietnamese tanks rolled in to bring U.S.-backed South Vietnam under communist rule. Many in the crowds lining the streets chanted "Obama, Obama," some held handwritten signs reading "Obama, we love you," and one woman held a boy dressed in a Captain America costume, complete with shield.
US agribusiness giant Monsanto Co. rejected Tuesday the $62 billion takeover bid by Germany's Bayer AG as too low, but said it was willing to entertain further talks on a merger. Monsanto chairman and chief executive Hugh Grant said in a statement that the offer "significantly undervalues our company" and does not give enough assurance on how Bayer would finance the deal or overcome possible regulatory challenges. Monsanto's board "unanimously views the Bayer AG proposal as incomplete and financially inadequate, but is open to continued and constructive conversations to assess whether a transaction in the best interest of Monsanto shareowners can be achieved," the statement said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday warned the European Union that the Turkish parliament would block laws related to the landmark deal to stem the flow of migrants to Europe if Ankara was not granted its key demand of visa-free travel. The stark and unexpected warning from Erdogan came amid spiralling tensions between the Turkish strongman and the bloc over a string of issues ranging from existing accords and human rights as he seeks to further consolidate his powers. "If that (the visa exemption) is not what will happen... no decision and no law in the framework of the readmission agreement will come out of the parliament of the Turkish Republic," Erdogan said at the close of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.