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May To Deliver Brexit Update In Parliament – Spokesperson

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May To Deliver Brexit Update In Parliament

British Prime Minister Theresa May will update parliament on the status of Brexit negotiations later on Monday, her spokesperson said, a day after last-ditch talks in Brussels failed to agree a draft divorce settlement.

The statement to MPs, due mid-afternoon, comes amid mounting concern that Britain will now struggle to get a deal agreed before it leaves the European Union in March next year.

“It’s an opportunity to provide an update to the House” of Commons, just days before a key Brussels summit starting on Wednesday, the spokesperson said.

He added that despite “real progress” in the negotiations, there were “a number of unresolved issues” relating to Ireland.

The sticking point is how to keep open the land border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland after Britain leaves the bloc’s single market and customs union.

The EU has proposed that until a wider trade deal is agreed that removes the need for frontier checks, Northern Ireland should continue to follow its customs and single market rules.

But London says this so-called “backstop” plan risks internal barriers in the UK, and instead suggests the whole country agree a “temporary customs arrangement” with the bloc.

Sunday’s talks in Brussels broke down after the EU was prepared to accept Britain’s backstop plan but only in addition to its own, a British government source told AFP.

The Northern Ireland-only option would come into effect if the whole-Britain plan – a potentially complicated arrangement which London says will still allow it to sign its own trade deals with non-EU countries – is not ready in time, Brussels reportedly proposed.

“The EU continues to insist on the possibility of a customs border down the Irish Sea…. [which] is not acceptable to the prime minister,” May’s spokesperson said, declining to give further details.

He also emphasised the need for any backstop to be temporary, saying: “We are not going to be stuck permanently in a single customs territory unable to do meaningful trade deals.”

However, when asked if there would be an end date in the final text, he said: “There are a number of means of achieving what we want to achieve.”

Several of May’s ministers are said to be considering resigning if she agrees to an indefinite customs arrangement with the EU.

The Northern Irish party which props up her government, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), is also strongly opposed to anything that affects the province’s status within the United Kingdom.

The DUP’s Brexit spokesperson, Sammy Wilson, said leaving without a deal was now “probably inevitable”.

However, May’s spokesperson said: “We want to and are confident of securing a deal this autumn.”

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Time Magazine Names Jamal Khashoggi, Other Journalists As “Person Of The Year”

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Time Magazine Names Jamal Khashoggi, Other Journalists As "Person Of The Year"

This year’s time magazine “Person Of The Year” has been bestowed on a group of journalists that includes murdered Saudi writer, Jamal Khashoggi and two Reuters reporters imprisoned by Myanmar’s government.  The magazine says it named the group of journalists as “person of the year” because the idea of truth as critical to democracy is under assault.

Also honored is the founder of a Philippines news website that has been vocal in criticizing that country’s authoritarian government. A Maryland, USA, newspaper is also among the honored.

This is the first time in its ninety-five year history that time magazine has honored people in its own profession.

The annual distinction is intended to recognize the person, group or idea that had the greatest influence on world events that year. It has been given to a wide range of influencers, from u.s. Civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. And Queen Elizabeth to Adolf Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany, who was honored before the start of world war two.

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Syrian Government Using Anti-terrorism Law To Seize Properties From Dissidents

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Syrian Government Using Anti-terrorism Law To Seize Properties From Dissidents

Rights groups and some of the affected Syrian people say the government has been using a little-known anti-terrorism law to seize property from dissidents and their families as it takes back control of areas that were held by rebel groups.

Now that Syria’s conflict has stabilized, and president Bashar al-Assad again controls the biggest cities, it is left to be seen how he will handle the areas where the 2011 uprising against him flared.

International attention has focused on policies, such as legislation known as law 10, that could eventually enable the government to dispossess people in the opposition strongholds worst damaged in the war.

But human rights groups say, while law 10 has not yet been put into effect, the separate anti-terrorism law has already been used to seize property, including from people who had no hand in violence.

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Theresa May Faces Confidence Vote

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Theresa May Faces Confidence Vote

British prime minister, Theresa May faces a confidence vote in her leadership by MPs in her own conservative party, after chaos began to roil her European union exit deal.

So much now plagues the deal that has opened up the prospect of a messy no-deal Brexit or a referendum that could reverse Brexit.  Britain is due to exit on March the twenty-ninth next year.

Graham Brady, the chairman of the party’s so-called 1922 committee, said the threshold of 15 percent of the parliamentary conservative party seeking a confidence vote had been reached.  A vote will be taken at the house of Commons later this evening.

May could lose her position as prime minister if a hundred fifty-eight of her three hundred fifteen MPs vote against her, but a mutiny could also help sustain her through the crisis.

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