Dhaka Courier

Britain's government and the main opposition party

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Britain's government and the main opposition party were clinging to hope Monday of finding a compromise Brexit deal, two days before Prime Minister Theresa May must try to persuade European Union leaders to grant a delay to the U.K.'s departure from the bloc. If the bloc refuses, Britain faces a sudden and chaotic departure on Friday, the Brexit deadline previously set by the EU.

May sought talks with the opposition Labour Party after Parliament three times voted down her divorce deal with the EU. Three days of negotiations last week failed to yield a breakthrough, with Labour saying the Conservative government had not offered concrete changes to its Brexit plan. Labour Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said "the ball is in the government's court." In fact the ball is in the court of French President Emmanuel Macron, with rumours swirling that he is on a course to veto any extension to Britain.

 

Clashes between rival Libyan forces for control of Tripoli escalated as the death toll from days of fighting rose to at least 51, including both combatants and civilians, and the city's only functioning airport said it was hit by an airstrike. The self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Khalifa Hifter who last week launched the push on Tripoli, acknowledged striking the Mitiga airport, barely 8 kilometers (5 miles) east of the city center.

Hifter's forces have clashed with rival militias which support the U.N.-backed government that controls Tripoli and the western part of the country. The escalation has threatened to plunge the fractured North African nation deeper into chaos and ignite civil war on the scale of the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The U.N. said the latest fighting has displaced some 3,400 people.

 

India's ruling party released its election manifesto three days before polling in the world's largest democracy begins. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party laid out their platform emphasizing national security and economic development. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the government "wants to expedite the path of progress."

Jaitley also cited an Indian airstrike claimed against an alleged terrorist camp in Pakistan after a suicide bomber killed 40 Indian soldiers in disputed Kashmir in February. The main opposition Congress party released its manifesto last week, blasting the Hindu nationalist BJP for working "to divide the nation." The BJP manifesto opens with an entreaty from Modi for voters' "valued blessings."

 

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his ex-wife, MacKenzie, finalised the biggest divorce settlement in history, leaving him with 75 percent of their stock in the tech giant and giving her nearly $36 billion in shares. MacKenzie Bezos said she would give all of her stake in The Washington Post and the space exploration firm Blue Origin to her ex-husband - the world's richest man - as well as voting control of her remaining Amazon stock.

Bezos, 55, and MacKenzie, a 48-year-old novelist, married in 1993 and have four children. Bezos founded Amazon in their Seattle garage in 1994 and turned it into a colossus that now dominates online retail.

  • DhakaCourier
  • Vol 35
  • World this week
  • Issue 40

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