The Brexit deal offered by Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) Theresa May was defeated by a vote of 432 to 202. The majority of 230 against the prime minister is the biggest government defeat since 1924. Later, by a vote of 325 to 306, the prime minister survived a confidence vote in parliament. In the aftermath, four options are now likely: First, a new deal with the European Union; second, a no-deal Brexit on March 29, 2019; third, postponement of the Brexit date; and fourth, a second referendum within the UK. “The Economist” argues for the fourth option: “The give and take that Brexit requires mean that no form of exit will resemble the prospectus the public were recklessly sold in 2016”. “The New York Times”, however, lays out five big risks for a second referendum. Continue reading
The government shutdown in the United States – the third to happen during President Donald Trump’s tenure – became the longest on record, and it is set to continue, leaving nearly one million employees working without pay or sent home. Earlier in the week, Mr. Trump’s first formal, prime-time address from the Oval Office focused on the “growing humanitarian and security crisis” along the Mexico-United States border. The Democrats, in response, stressed the ongoing government shutdown. “Eventually, the pressure on Republicans in the Senate to bypass the president and cut a deal could prove irresistible”. Continue reading
In the same week China landed a lunar probe on the moon and Canada said that 13 of its citizens have been detained in China, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Taiwan to follow the “one country, two systems” model for unification. The president said that “Taiwanese independence should not be tolerated” and urged the start of democratic consultations between the two countries. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, however, said Taiwan will never accept the model, even as Mr. Xi proposed two options: First, military force; or second, the aforementioned “one country, two systems” model.
Later in the week, China’s landing of a lunar probe marked “the world’s first expedition to a lunar region that never faces the Earth”. And in Canada, following the arrest of the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, the government said that 13 of its citizens have since been detained in China. At least eight of the 13 have been released. Continue reading