Saturday 24 August 2019
News ID: 66068
Publish Date: 17 May 2019 - 22:10
LONDON (AFP) -- Britain's Labor opposition pulled the plug Friday on six weeks of Brexit compromise talks with Prime Minister Theresa May, blaming her evaporating authority as her premiership nears its death throes.
Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said the gaps between them could not be bridged -- and he had no confidence that her successor would stick to any bargain they might have reached.
The discussions have "gone as far as they can," Corbyn said in a letter to May.
"The increasing weakness and instability of your government means there cannot be confidence in securing whatever might be agreed between us," he said.
Corbyn said Labor would therefore continue to oppose the government's EU divorce deal as it stands.
MPs three times rejected the deal May struck with Brussels, forcing her to delay the date of Brexit twice and to reach out to Labor.
MPs are due to vote for a fourth time in early June on the terms of Britain's withdrawal from the EU.
An ashen-faced May said they would be faced with a "stark choice": voting to deliver Brexit, or "to shy away again".

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — An F-16 fighter jet crashed Thursday into a warehouse just outside March Air Reserve Base in California, sending a dozen people to hospitals for evaluation after they were exposed to debris, authorities said.
The pilot ejected and parachuted to safety, said Maj. Perry Covington, the base’s director of public affairs. The cause of the crash was under investigation.
Interstate 215, which runs between the base and the warehouse, was closed in both directions, backing up rush-hour traffic for miles.
Television news showed a large hole in the roof and sprinklers on inside the building about 65 miles (105 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.
Cellphone photos and video from inside showed what appeared to be the tail of the plane buried in twisted metal and piles of cardboard boxes.
 The F-16, assigned to the Air National Guard, was carrying standard armaments, March Air Reserve Base Deputy Fire Chief Timothy Holiday said. It will be recovered once authorities make sure the weapons don’t pose a risk, he said.

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PARIS (Reuters) -- France’s Constitutional Council cleared the way on Friday for former president Nicolas Sarkozy to be tried over alleged illegal financing of his failed re-election campaign in 2012.
Sarkozy had appealed to the council invoking the "double-jeopardy” principle because he had already been convicted in 2013 and ordered to pay more than 360,000 euros for breaching campaign-finance rules.
But in its decision on Friday, the council ruled that the penalty Sarkozy was ordered to pay in 2013 was for different violations and different amounts than the fraud he and 13 co-defendants are now being investigated for.
The case now hinges on the country’s top appeal court, the Cour de Cassation, where Sarkozy, 64, has lodged a separate appeal. If that too is rejected, the case will return to prosecutors who will decide whether he should be tried.
If he is, Sarkozy would be the first French president in the dock since Jacques Chirac, who preceded him at the helm of the country from 1995 to 2007. Chirac was convicted of misusing public funds and given a suspended jail term in 2011.

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KIEV (Reuters) -- Ukraine’s ruling coalition broke up on Friday and one of its two constituent parties said it would try to form a new one, annoying President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy who is weighing calling a snap parliamentary election to bolster his power.
The decision of the People’s Front party to quit the faction of outgoing President Petro Poroshenko triggers a 30-day period for discussions on forging a new coalition. This would probably prevent Zelenskiy from calling an election as it would be too close to the current planned date of the poll in late October.
Zelenskiy, a comedian with no prior political experience, won the presidency by a landslide last month but his new party has no representation in parliament, making it expedient for him to call a snap poll while his popularity remains high.
His ability to work with parliament will be crucial to his ability to meet the expectations of his voters and also pass reforms needed to keep foreign aid flowing.

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OSLO (Dispatches) -- Venezuela’s government and opposition have sent envoys to Norway to attend talks on ways of ending the South American country’s crisis, though their mutual mistrust and differences on key issues are likely to reduce chances of progress.
The development reported by officials appeared to reflect a recognition that neither side had been able to prevail in the struggle for power, leaving Venezuela in a state of paralysis after years of hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicine.
It was also a policy reversal for the opposition, which has accused the president, Nicolلs Maduro, of using previous negotiations to play for time.
The representatives include the information minister, Jorge Rodrيguez, on the government side and Stalin Gonzلlez, a leading member of the national assembly, the officials said.
Maduro did not directly comment on the talks during televised remarks, but he said Rodrيguez was on a "very important” mission outside Venezuela.
 



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