09:33 UK Speaker rules out third vote on PM May’s Brexit deal:
Embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May’s crisis over the Brexit in the United Kingdom Parliament has worsened as House of Commons Speaker John Bercow disallowed any attempt to hold a third vote on her withdrawal agreement with the European Union which has already been voted down by MPs twice.
Bercow ruled that he would not allow another vote on the government motion if it remained “substantially the same” after it was defeated by a huge 230-vote margin in January and a smaller 149-vote margin last week.
He said parliamentary conventions dating back to 1604 meant MPs could not be asked to vote on precisely the same subject twice, indicating that he had allowed the second vote as the government had claimed some changes to the controversial Irish backstop clause offered an improved deal for Britain’s exit from the European Union.
“It is a necessary rule to ensure the sensible use of the House’s time and the proper respect for the decisions which it takes,” he said.
“If the government was to bring forward a new proposition that is neither the same, nor substantially the same as disposed of by March 10, this would be entirely in order,” he said, adding that the new motion could not be “the same proposition or substantially the same proposition”.
The speaker, who is in-charge of selecting the motions and amendments that the Commons votes on, said the second meaningful vote motion on May’s Brexit deal held last week did not fall foul of parliamentary convention because it could be “credibly argued it was a different proposition” to that rejected on January 15 because of changes the government considered to be legally binding.
Bercow’s latest ruling comes as a fresh blow to May, who had been hoping she may get third-time lucky if she could win over enough rebellious MPs by warning that Brexit itself was in jeopardy unless she can go back to the EU with a substantial deal in place.
She is set to head to Brussels later this week for a European Council summit where EU leaders will contemplate agreeing to an extension of the March 29 Brexit Day deadline. — PTI
09:07 Alliance with AAP will harm Congress: Dikshit :
Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit has written to party president Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi saying forging an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Delhi would harm the party in the long run, sources said on Monday.
Dikshit, along with three working presidents HaroonYusuf, DevenderYadav and, Rajesh Lilothia, also expressed discontent over Congress leader PC Chacko’s phone survey through Shakti app to determine views of party workers on the alliance, the sources added.
In the letter, Sheila urged Rahul to clear the air over a pre-poll alliance with AAP so that there is no confusion among the party cadres, the source mentioned.
Chacko had recently held a meeting with Delhi’s district heads on the issue of alliance where it was decided that Rahul would take a final call in the matter.
Last week, Dikshit, after meeting the Congress president, had declared that there was unanimity among party leaders with regards to an alliance with AAP in Delhi.
Following the announcement, AAP president and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had said there are “rumours” that the Congress has a “secret understanding” with the BJP and asserted that his party is ready to fight the “unholy alliance.”
08:26 Trump slams media for blaming him for NZ attack:
United States President Donald Trump on Monday accused American media organisations of blaming him for last week’s twin terror attacks in New Zealand, calling it “ridiculous”.
“The Fake News Media is working overtime to blame me for the horrible attack in New Zealand. They will have to work very hard to prove that one. So Ridiculous!” Trump tweeted.
The US president’s comments came after some American media coverage had been focusing on the terrorist’s manifesto, which called Trump a “symbol of renewed white identity.”
The White House has rejected claims that Trump backed white nationalist views.
“The president is not a white supremacist. I’m not sure how many times we have to say that,” acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Earlier, a social media account believed to be linked to Brenton Tarrant, the 28-year-old Australian-born terrorist, expressing anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim views.
He wrote that he supported Trump “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose” but not as a “policymaker and leader.”
On March 16, Trump said that he did not see a rise in white nationalism across the world after the terrorist had called the US President “a symbol of renewed white identity.”
“I don’t really think so. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems,” The Hill quoted Trump as saying when asked if he saw a rise in white nationalism.
“If you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that’s the case. I don’t know enough about it yet,” he added. — ANI
00:42 Dalai Lama says his successor may come from India:
The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, said it was possible that once he dies his incarnation could be found in India, where he has lived in exile for 60 years, and warned that any other successor named by China would not be respected.
Pondering what might happen after his death, the Dalai Lama anticipated some attempt by Beijing to foist a successor on Tibetan Buddhists.
“China considers Dalai Lama’s reincarnation as something very important. They have more concern about the next Dalai Lama than me,” said the Dalai Lama, swathed in his traditional red robes and yellow scarf.
“In future, in case you see two Dalai Lamas come, one from here, in free country, one chosen by Chinese, then nobody will trust, nobody will respect (the one chosen by China). So that’s an additional problem for the Chinese! It’s possible, it can happen,” he added, laughing.
China has said its leaders have the right to approve the Dalai Lama’s successor, as a legacy inherited from China’s emperors.
But many Tibetans – whose tradition holds that the soul of a senior Buddhist monk is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death – suspect any Chinese role as a ploy to exert influence on the community.
00:25 One of 7 kidnapped Indians returns home from Afghanistan:
Ten months after being kidnapped in Afghanistan’s Baghlan province, one of the seven Indians has returned to India, the external affairs ministry said.
It said India continued to work closely with the Afghan government for safe and early return of the remaining six Indian nationals.
The seven Indian engineers were kidnapped by Taliban terrorists in the restive northern Baghlan province on May 6 last year. India has been requesting the Afghan government to secure release of the Indians.
“One of the seven Indian nationals, who was kidnapped in Baghlan province of Afghanistan in May 2018, has safely returned to India,” the MEA said.
“We are grateful to the Government of Afghanistan for their support in securing the release and repatriation of the Indian national,” it said.
The Indian engineers were working on a project for the construction of a power sub-station and they were kidnapped by Taliban militants from the vicinity of Cheshma-e-Sher area.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had taken up the issue with the Afghan government on multiple occasions.
India has been carrying reconstruction activities in the war-torn country. It has already provided at least $2 billion aid to Afghanistan.
00:05 As mark of respect to Parrikar, Vrindavan widows not to play Holi :
Hundreds of widows on Monday decided not to celebrate Holi this time in order to mourn the sad demise of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
Many women gathered at Gopinath temple to pay their last respects to the deceased chief minister.
Sulabh International Social Service Organisation had planned to organise Holi celebrations. “However, that will not happen now due to the chief minister’s death,” said Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of the organisation.
“As a mark of respect for the departed soul, we have decided not to celebrate Holi today. All widows mourn the sad demise of our beloved leader and statesman,” he said.
Vrindavan’s Holi celebrations in recent years have become memorable occasions for the thousands of widows, who till recent past used to face humiliation.