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EU Imposes New Brexit Timetable Allowing May Last Chance for Deal




The EU summit has offered Britain two options for a brief shift of Brexit. If the British House of Commons will accept the withdrawal agreement next week, the Brexit date will be postponed to 22 May. Otherwise, London will have until 12 April to decide whether to vote in the European elections and request a longer Brexit shift by the end of 2019. The alternative would be a disorderly exit.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said the 27 EU states other than the United Kingdom had unanimously agreed on their response to the British side’s requests. British Prime Minister Theresa May accepted the offer.

Britain was originally scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March. Due to the difficulties in ratifying the EU exit treaty, May asked for a postponement on Wednesday until 30 June.

However, this was met with resistance from many EU governments, because the deadline is only after the European elections from 23 to 26 May. Britain would actually have to take part in it, even though it is leaving the EU. The heads of state and government had been discussing Brexit in Brussels since the afternoon.

Following the EU decision, British Prime Minister May announced that she would now be working with all her might for parliamentary approval in London for a withdrawal agreement next week. “It’s time to make a decision,” May said. She also emphasized that it would be “not right” for her country to be forced to vote in the European elections in the event of another vote defeat in the lower house.

But this would be a prerequisite for a further shift of the exit. According to diplomatic sources, a postponement by the end of the year could be enough, the British Parliament should again vote against the withdrawal agreement next week. However, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker did not want to commit himself to such a limit. The British could stay in the EU “to the very end,” he said.

Council President Donald Tusk admitted that “we did not succeed in finding a final solution”. But at least there is a way to “facilitate Even in her home, May continues to come under pressure. The two largest union and business associations in the UK have called on the government to change course in the Brexit dispute.

Otherwise, a “national emergency” is imminent, Frances O’Grady of the Trade Union Confederation TUC and Carolyn Fairbairn of the CBI Business Association warned in an open letter to May. “A new approach is needed, one that protects workers, the economy and an open border in Ireland ‘getting a majority in Parliament and being negotiable with the EU,’ states a joint statement.

Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn – also in Brussels – campaigned for an alternative Brexit plan. He considers it possible to agree on a deal on closer economic relations with the EU before the European elections, Corbyn said. “It’s time for MPs to work together and find a consensus that goes through Parliament.” process for both sides”.

A hard Brexit is still not excluded from the agreement. “On April 12, we need to know where we are,” said Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel after the deliberations. “If we do not get an answer, it’s a ‘no deal’ – a tough exit from the EU without a withdrawal contract. French delegation circles said that Britain had to attend the European elections in late May in the event of a long Brexit postponement – the deadline for this decision is 12 April. “If the UK does not want to organize European elections, then we have no other chance, that would mean that they opt for a ‘no deal’.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel sees the EU summit decision as backing for May’s course. EU leaders wanted “to support Theresa May in their concerns” and would have said so, Merkel said. From her point of view, it was “a very intense, but also very successful evening”.

Merkel described the fact that the debates took off over many hours as “the seriousness of the situation” adapted. “It was a very honest, important discussion today and we are prepared for all scenarios,” she said. “We still wish for Britain to leave the European Union in an orderly manner, but we also need to prepare for other ways of being acceptable to the people of Europe.”

Several politicians had appealed to the British House of Commons at the summit in Brussels to avert a chaotic British exit. French President Emmanuel Macron said after a four-eye conversation with British Prime Minister Theresa May that the risk of a no-deal Brexit was not over. If the House of Commons rejects the agreement again next week, “we are moving towards a no-deal scenario”.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also warned that if the House of Commons was to vote no again, everything would become more difficult. The Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel called for a swift decision in London: “We are not looking for the exit door, we are looking for the emergency exit.” The problem is clearly in London: “This sometimes reminds me of the drama ‘Waiting for Godot’.”

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Thousands of people Protest in Central Madrid




Thousands of people have ignored this Saturday the unbearable heat that lashed the capital and has taken to the streets in defense of Central Madrid, the anti-pollution plan that restricts the entry of the most polluting vehicles to the heart of the city.

This plan was launched by the previous municipal government team, headed by Manuela Carmena and, after recovering the PP the mayor with the help of Citizens and Vox, the City Council has decreed a moratorium that abolishes fines for breaking the restrictions for three months This supposes its elimination in practice.

The protesters ( 10,000, as reported by the Government Delegation , and more than 60,000, according to the organizers) have taken the central lanes of the Gran Vía to the cry of “I do want Central Madrid”. “It can not be that they remove a measure that works because the party that governs changes,” lamented Ana Martín, who has attended the march with her two daughters.

This neighbor from the neighborhood explains that every day she takes her daughter to school and that she has noticed how the traffic has fallen. Traffic and pollution, as they have defended with the records of the NGO measurement stations such as Ecologists in Action and the Ministry for Ecological Transition.

The manifestation of this Saturday transcends the local scope and, even, the national one. And not only because several of the main European newspapers have echoed the reversion of a low emission area , something unprecedented in a large capital of the European Union (EU), according to the federation of NGO Transport and Environment.

Air pollution occupies, together with climate change, the first place in the environmental concerns of European citizens. “Pollution of the environment and poor air quality,” says the protest manifesto, “are extremely serious problems that must be disconnected from the political colors with which each one identifies.”

“Pollution is one of the most important health problems now,” explained recently retired pediatrician Mariano Sánchez Bayle. “He is responsible for 5,000 premature deaths every year in Madrid, we must go out to the streets to defend the population.”

The manifestation of this Saturday transcends the local scope and, even, the national one.

The manifesto of the protest, moreover, recalls the threat from Brussels hanging over Spain with a hypothetical fine millionaire, like the one that is already being paid for the poor purification of the waters – if the Madrid problems of contamination are not solved.

Cutting pollution has so far been one of the objectives of the European Commission. And the expected thing is that, after the last European elections in which the green movement has gained weight, this fight adds even more impulses.

For the past decade, the EU has had an air quality directive that sets limits for the most common pollutants. But the Commission itself acknowledged a year ago, in its report Pure air for all , a “contumative breach of air quality standards” in the majority of EU members. And warned: these breaches continue “undermining the quality of life of citizens.”

Spain is also part of the group of countries that have settled in the “non-compliance contumaz” and the problems are centered mainly in Madrid and Barcelona with nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ). Almost parallel to the preparation of this report, the Commission decided to take the EU Court of Justice for non-compliance to six countries including Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. Spain was spared because Barcelona and Madrid presented anti-pollution plans that include areas of low emissions such as the one that has now suspended the new Madrid City Council.

Faced with the threat that the case against Spain is being reopened, the mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez-Almeida (PP), has argued that Brussels does not specifically demand that Central Madrid be maintained, but that pollution be lowered. But that is impossible if you do not attack the exhaust pipes, the vehicles that burn fossil fuels.

“The transport sector is the one that contributes most to nitrogen oxide emissions and, also, significantly to particle emissions,” the Commission recalled in its report, which cited low-emission areas.

The measures carried out in Madrid and in nine other large cities of the EU have been analyzed during the last five years by the European Environment Agency. And, as this agency concludes, low emission areas are one of the most used tools to combat pollution in the cases they have studied. In fact, in nine of those ten cities are already implemented or are planned.

“It can not be that we are all wrong, that all European cities are wrong,” says CSIC researcher and pollution expert Xavier Querol. Remember that in the EU there are 280 low emission areas and that the Madrid (with only 4.7 kilometers) is nothing from the point of view of the surface compared to the 88 square kilometers of the Brussels, for example .

“Pollution is one of the most important health problems now,” explains the pediatrician since the march

Querol says to be expectant to see what plan the City Council presents, because he has no doubt that he will have to act, fundamentally, because of the threat from Brussels. But he insists: “You have to touch traffic, there is no other”. “And you have to reduce the number of vehicles, not just make a technological change,” he says.

The report of the European Environment Agency pointed out, however, that these low emission areas and restrictions on traffic are generally the measures against pollution that are most opposed. “It is true that in the beginning they generate opposition or indifference,” admits Paco Segura, state coordinator of Ecologists in Action, one of the organizing platforms of the event.

“But it happens as with the anti-smoking law: People at first do not pronounce or there is some opposition, but when it is approved people see unthinkable to go back”.

“All the capitals of the world should have a Central Madrid, and larger,” said Patricia Gomez, neighbor of the city and user of electric vehicle. Because Central Madrid, as Querol explains, was a “first brick” that would serve to build something greater. However, the City Council has decided to leave it in the air, which has made the center of the city filled this Saturday with demonstrators.

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Cristiano Ronaldo Leaves Massive Tip For Hotel Staff in his Geek Vacation




After a season of triumphs with the Portuguese football team and with Juventus of Turin, Cristiano Ronaldo has started his period of rest in style, accompanied by his partner, Georgina Rodríguez, their children and some friends.

After spending a few days in Greece, in a luxury resort where they paid 8,000 euros per night, the family moved to the Costa Azul, where they are spending a few days at sea aboard a large yacht, which costs more than 200,000 euros a week. The couple has been counting their million-dollar vacation through Instagram and uploading images in which they are seen enjoying the boat, sunbathing, or taking a bath together.

In Greece, the destination chosen by the player also for his summer retreat last year, the family stayed at the Royal Villa Methoni mansion, on the lavish Costa Navarino.

There he enjoyed the luxurious accommodation and all its benefits: spa, gym, sauna, multimedia room, etc. He was so satisfied with the service that, apparently, according to media such as Fox Sport, decided to leave a huge tip of about 20,000 euros for the staff. This type of gestures of generosity are not rare in the soccer player.

Cristiano Ronaldo, of humble origins and who has made his fortune from nothing, is the second best paid player in the world, according to Forbes magazine , with a profit of more than 109 million dollars a year, behind the Barcelona player Lionel Messi, that occupies the first position, with an income of 127 million dollars.

For the second stage of his vacation, the Portuguese star chose a luxury megayacht, Africa I,47 meters in length, valued at 17 million euros, built by the Italian firm Benetti in 2010 and remodeled in 2018. The profile of the forward’s Instagram is flooded with photos of himself, alone or with his eldest son, Cristiano Jr of eight years, on the deck of the opulent boat, which has the capacity to host 12 people in six exclusive stays.

It also has a crew of nine members and all kinds of amenities, such as a gym and Jacuzzi on board or a stabilizing system that reduces the waves when the ship is at anchor. It also has several inflatable slides, from which to jump into the water, as seen in the images that Ronaldo has uploaded to the networks. And two jet skis, as you can see in the photographs that Georgina has posted.

This weekend, the footballer coincided with basketball legend Michael Jordan , current owner of the NBA team Charlotte Hornets. Jordan had spent the previous days in Paris to present a new model of sneakers at Men’s Fashion Week. The footballer raised a photo of both smiling in his networks in which he wrote “we have made history”.

In addition to his family, Cristiano Ronaldo also shared his days of relaxation with one of his best friends, Miguel Paixão, with whom he also uploaded photographs aboard the yacht. Miguel, a former Portuguese footballer, has been part of Ronaldo’s most intimate circle for years and is one of his most trusted men.

They met in adolescence, they forged their friendship dreaming of becoming Real Madrid players and later consolidated it by playing together at Sporting Lisbon. Together with Georgina and his family, he is one of the greatest supporters of the Juventus striker.

This year has been particularly complicated personally for the star of the ball. He has faced a conviction for tax fraud in Spain of 23 months in prison and a fine of 18 million euros, agreed with the Prosecutor’s Office and the Treasury.

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Hong Kong Calls on the G20 for its Freedoms




Thousands of people demonstrated Wednesday night in Hong Kong, in the area around the autonomous legislature, under the slogan “Freedom for Hong Kong. Democracy is already “on the eve of the G20 summit that will gather the main economies of the world in Osaka (Japan) starting on Friday.

The protesters, who plan to hold another mass demonstration on Monday, when the anniversary of the return of the British ex-colony to Chinese sovereignty will be fulfilled, demand the complete withdrawal of the extradition bill, suspended two weeks ago.

They also want the resignation of the head of the autonomous government, Carrie Lam , and the withdrawal of charges against the participants in the protests on the 12th, which ended up being forcibly dissolved by the police. The called ones also demand an independent investigation on the behavior of the agents that day.

To meet these demands, protesters demand international support, considering that Lam is too dependent on the Beijing government to make decisions for itself. Therefore, they consider, it is necessary to exert pressure from abroad.

Throughout Wednesday, hundreds of young protesters dressed in black T-shirts – the color of these protests – toured 19 consulates – the member countries of the G20, with the exception of China – to ask for support and explain their demands. According to the organizers, up to 1,500 people came to participate in these marches.

In addition, the young people have launched a fundraising campaign to buy advertising during the days of the G20 summit, on Friday and Saturday, in the main newspapers of the world and spread their campaign.

According to they assure, 22,000 people contributed in a record time, eleven hours on Tuesday to complete 6.7 million hongkoneses dollars (about 8 million euros) with which to pay the announcements. If there is a surplus, they say, it will be used to help the hospitalized in the violent dissolution of the concentration on the 12th.

China has stated, through its deputy foreign minister Zhang Jun, that it “will not tolerate” the Hong Kong issue, “an internal Chinese issue”, being addressed at the G20 meetings. The United States had pointed out the possibility of its president, Donald Trump, bringing it out in the meeting he will have with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the trade disputes of both countries.

The United Kingdom, the treaty’s consignee for the return of Hong Kong in 1997 to Chinese sovereignty, has indicated that it will continue to defend its position on its former colony despite China’s protests of interference in its internal affairs.

Earlier this month, London had urged the Hong Kong autonomous government to stop the extradition bill that is at the origin of the current protests, and that had authorized for the first time the delivery of suspects of any nationality to China. This week it announced that it had prohibited the sale of tear gas to the autonomous police in the face of allegations of excessive use of force in the dissolution of the demonstrations on the 12th.

“The joint declaration is a legally binding treaty between the United Kingdom and China that remains as valid now as when it was signed and ratified more than thirty years ago,” a Foreign Office spokeswoman told Reuters. “As a consignee, the British government will continue to defend our position.”

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