A series of parliamentary votes in the United Kingdom (UK) has added to the Brexit turmoil; the Boeing 737 Max 8 has been grounded after an Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after take-off; and mosque shootings in New Zealand left at least 49 people dead.
In the UK, despite Prime Minister Theresa May securing some concessions from the European Union (EU), her revised Brexit deal was defeated by a vote of 391 to 242 on Tuesday. On Wednesday, parliament voted twice that the UK should not leave the EU without a proper withdrawal agreement and on Thursday it approved a motion to briefly delay the March 29 withdrawal. In Nigeria, the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight – a version of the Boeing 737 Max 8, the same as the Lion Air aircraft which crashed in October last year – killed at least 150 people and led to the grounding of the plane from almost everywhere around the world. And in New Zealand, shootings at mosques in Christchurch left at least 49 people dead and 40 people wounded. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the shootings as a terrorist attack. Continue reading
France and Germany signed the Treaty of Aachen and in Afghanistan the Taliban and the United States said they agreed in principle to a peace framework, as the celebration of Australia Day remains contested, the Palestinian government submitted its resignation, and the Brexit turmoil continues in the United Kingdom. With successes: France and Germany signed the Franco-German treaty focused on political and economic cooperation, and in Afghanistan the Taliban and the US said they agreed in principle to a peace framework. With failures: The celebration of Australia Day – or Invasion Day – remains contested, attempts at reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas in Palestine have remained unsuccessful, and the UK’s plans to reopen negotiations with the European Union have been rejected. Continue reading
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