Brexit to be delayed again after House of Commons showdown vote

The House of Commons has voted to force Boris Johnson to seek a further Brexit extension in a major defeat for the PM.

The government tried – and failed – to woo MPs from the DUP, the ERG and even the Labour party to vote down the controversial Letwin amendment for the past 24 hours.

The vote passed by 322 votes to 306, garnering greater Commons support than former PM Theresa May ever achieved for her versions of the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Letwin amendment holds off approval of any Brexit deal, a move that automatically triggers the "Benn Act", effectively forcing Johnson to request a delay until January 31.

The PM remained defiant, however, insisting he had no intention of negotiating an extension with the EU.

"Alas, the opportunity to have a meaningful vote…has been passed up," Johnson said.

"I will not negotiate a delay with the EU and neither does the law compel me to do so."

If the government wants to avoid another extension, it now has to get all laws relevant to Johnson's Brexit deal through both the Houses of Commons and Lords in less than two weeks.

"Parliament has clearly spoken," said leader of the Labour party Jeremy Corbyn.

"The Prime Minister must now comply with the law…Labour is not prepared to sell out the communities it represents."

The PM insisted the UK would still leave the EU on October 31, saying he "would not negotiate another delay" with his European counterparts.

As MPs exited for the voting lobby, the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg reported members of the DUP had been seen voting "no" on the amendment alongside Labour MPs.

The defeat represents yet another blow to Johnson's leadership, as he has struggled to win a vote since coming into office.

  • Brexit
  • Boris Johnson

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Couple’s Mercedes missing after leaving it with ‘meet-and-greet’ firm for hols

A couple returning from holiday were shocked to find their £10,000 Mercedes was gone after leaving it with a meet-and-greet firm.

Lisa Hook and Anthony Smith left for a two week holiday, leaving their car with Meet and Greet Manchester Airport Services Ltd, but when they returned it was gone.

After speaking with staff members at the airport firm, they failed to find their £10,000 Mercedes.

The West Yorkshire couple were forced to take a taxi to the company's HQ in Styal, only to be shocked by the conditions the cars were left in.

The couple booked Meet and Greet through a website called Fly ark Plus.

Photographs reveal a field filled with people cars, left in the mud with little security.

The car park is not affiliated with Manchester Airport.

The police have now confirmed the couple's silver Mercedes C-class 220 CDI AMG sport edition has been stolen.

Ms Hook and Mr Smith, a warehouse worker and wagon driver respectively, had saved for years to afford the car.

Ms Hook told Manchester Evening News: "It has been so stressful."

"We rang after we'd landed and they said they couldn't find the car.

"First they were saying they couldn't find the car, then they couldn't locate the keys and then they started denying we had ever left our car with them.

"We went to the police at the airport and explained what had happened.

"They gave us the address to head up to the car park in Styal. When we got there the women who we had spoken to on the phone started saying they weren't the company we'd booked with.

"At one point she asked if we were sure we'd dropped it off at the right place.

"It was ridiculous. We'd not put it in the suitcase and took it with us.

"In the end we had to go back to the airport with no idea where our car had gone.

"That car was immaculate, there wasn't a scratch on it and we'd saved for a long time to buy it.

"We just don't understand how they could have lost.

"We couldn't believe it when we saw what it looked like in daylight.

"It was shocking. All those people who book with these firms don't realise where they're actually leaving their car."

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Dam collapses leaving many dead and injured at gold mine

At least 13 people were killed and about a dozen were missing after a dam collapsed at a gold mine in a remote Siberian settlement on Saturday, Russian authorities said.

The dam on the Seiba River in the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk burst and flooded several cabins where the victims lived, Russian authorities said.

Officials said the dam had apparently been built in breach of safety rules and claimed that the authorities were not aware of its existence.

Investigators said they have opened a criminal probe into the breach of safety rules.

‘As of now, there’s information about 13 dead,’ the emergencies ministry said in a statement.

In a separate statement, the regional authorities in Krasnoyarsk said 12 people had died and 13 more were missing.


Fourteen people were hospitalised, and three of them were in a grave condition, the regional health ministry said.

Regional governor Alexander Uss said in televised remarks that about 80 workers lived in the temporary settlement in the remote village of Shchetinkino located south of the city of Krasnoyarsk.

The settlement’s total population is estimated at about 180.

A team of doctors including a neurosurgeon were dispatched to the scene from Krasnoyarsk, which is located some 2,500 miles east of Moscow.

Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova was overseeing the delivery of aid to the injured.

A number of top regional officials including Uss, prosecutors and inspectors went to the scene of the tragedy.

The dam was built in violation of ‘every single norm,’ the head of the local government, Yury Lapshin, said in televised remarks.

The dam belonged to the Sibzoloto holding company which has not released any comment on the incident so far.

More than 270 people were involved in a search and rescue operation, the emergencies ministry said.

But the operation was challenging because of the remote location.

Deadly accidents are relatively common in Russia because of lax safety rules, bad management and Soviet-era infrastructure.

In 2009, 75 people were killed in a massive flood at Russia’s biggest hydroelectric plant in the Khakassia region of Siberia.

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Warren would be tested against Trump

As Donald Trump battles calls for his impeachment, the Democrats are engaged in their own battle to select who will take on the US president at next year’s election. While former Barack Obama sidekick Joe Biden was an early front runner, the Democratic debate last week cemented Elizabeth Warren as the new favourite.

Elizabeth Warren during the recent Democratic presidential primary debate.Credit:AP

Since launching her campaign, Ms Warren is the only candidate that has seen her support steadily increase at the polls, while her main rivals Bernie Sanders and Mr Biden have either plateaued or fallen. In campaign dollars, she is the only candidate who has attracted more money during each reporting period. In political terms, she is on a roll.

Ms Warren’s backstory begins in Oklahoma, where her family lived a comfortable life until her father had a heart attack and couldn’t work. It was a scorching experience for a young girl who witnessed the family car being repossessed and her mother saving their home by working a minimum-wage job. After earning a law degree, she taught and researched bankruptcy law.
Ms Warren’s expertise led her to Washington, where she was recruited to advocate for families and individuals in crafting new financial laws. Her one big win was helping champion a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

On the back of that success, Barack Obama encouraged her to run for the Senate, which she did six years ago. In the Senate, she got a reputation and a wider public profile for taking on bankers and the like during hearings. She was seen as a policy wonk at ease bashing the big end of town.
Labelled a ‘‘progressive’’, which in Australia would be the far left, her biggest proposals include a new wealth tax, a universal healthcare system and support for breaking up tech giants like Google and Facebook.

Can she go one step further than Hillary Clinton, finally crashing through that glass ceiling for women in the White House? She has some critical weaknesses, including lack of support in the African-American community, and her ‘‘progressive’’ views are alienating crucial swinging voters in the political centre.

Australian Labor president Wayne Swan voiced his concerns on his current visit to Washington. He fears the Democrats will lock themselves into an overly ambitious and crowded left-wing policy agenda – just as Bill Shorten did at the May election. ‘‘You can be progressive but you have to be careful about creating too many big bullseyes for your opponents to shoot at,’’ Mr Swan told The Sunday Age.

But like most things in US politics during this tumultuous period, who wins the next election probably has more to do with Mr Trump himself than his opponent. At the moment he is probably on shakier ground than at any time during his presidency after the fallout from his call to the Ukraine President, giving Turkey the green light to invade Syria and backing his own golf resort to host the next G7 leaders’ summit.
However, Mr Trump has a formidable track record of turning the usual projections of politics on their head. If Ms Warren were to be his adversary, she has her work well and truly cut out for her.

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European socialist leaders slap down Corbyn for refusing to back deal

European socialist leaders slap down Jeremy Corbyn for refusing to back Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal

  • EU leaders told Corbyn to stop playing party politics and help get deal over line  
  • Portuguese PM Mr Costa said Corbyn’s strategy would prolong uncertainty 
  • PM Antonio Costa also accused Mr Corbyn of ‘sacrificing’ people’s interests
  • Ambush came during a meeting before Thursday’s summit of six heads of state

Jeremy Corbyn has been slapped down by other European socialist leaders for refusing to back Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.

The Labour leader was taken to task during a private meeting in Brussels before the start of a summit on Thursday, according to sources.

EU leaders told him to stop playing party politics and help get a deal over the line by telling his MPs to vote for it.

 Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was taken to task during a private meeting in Brussels before the start of a summit on Thursday, according to sources

The ambush came during a meeting before Thursday’s summit of six heads of state who belong to the European Socialists and Democrats political group.

Mr Corbyn updated them on Brexit and how his party plans to reject the deal.

But Portuguese prime minister Antonio Costa said Mr Corbyn’s strategy of another delay followed by a general election would prolong uncertainty for millions of citizens and businesses. A spokesman for Mr Costa confirmed to the Mail that he told the Labour leader to put the ‘interests of Europe and the United Kingdom’ above party politics.

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa (pictured) said Mr Corbyn’s strategy of another delay followed by a general election would prolong uncertainty for millions

He also accused Mr Corbyn of ‘sacrificing’ people’s interests. He added: ‘The European economy and the British economy cannot be sacrificed to the interests of the political will to have elections.

‘It is time, once and for all, for the British Parliament to respond to what has been a patient, sustained, persistent effort of good will on the part of the EU to negotiate successive agreements to try to overcome successive rejections.’

The spokesman said the other five EU leaders present also privately urged Mr Corbyn to help get the deal over the line.

Asked whether Mr Corbyn had been told to help get the deal through, a Labour spokesman said: ‘I’m not going to comment on private conversations.’

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Staff and customers are evacuated from Manchester's Arndale centre

Police arrest ‘knifeman’ after staff and customers are evacuated from Manchester’s Arndale centre

Staff and customers have been evacuated from Manchester’s Arndale Centre, according to reports. 

Emergency response vehicles have been seen outside the shopping centre on social media, and it has been claimed people working at the centre were sent an alert. 

Greater Manchester Police said: ‘Police are currently responding to an incident at Manchester Arndale Centre.

Emergency services are currently responding to an incident at the Arndale Centre in Manchester city centre

‘There is not believed to be a wider threat to the community.

‘Follow our social media channels for further updates.’

Witnesses at the scene reported armed police in attendance and video footage sent also showed paramedics were there. 

North West Ambulance Service confirmed crews were called to the scene.

But a spokesman said there were no casualties or patients taken to hospital. 

More follows… 

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Man who ‘killed and castrated’ Brazilian footballer ordered to support his child

A businessman who allegedly beat, castrated and murdered a Brazilian footballer has been ordered to pay support to the victim’s child.

Daniel Correa Freitas’s mutilated body was found in Parana, southern Brazil, last October.

He had been partially beheaded and his genitals had been cut off with a sharp knife.

The 24-year-old was killed after posting a prank picture of himself in bed next to the wife of Edison Brittes at a party.

Brittes will have to pay monthly instalments of 5,000 Brazilian reals (£932) to Freitas’ two-year-old daughter after reportedly confessing to the murder.

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The victim’s lawyer said: "She has the right to receive food, to have a dignified life.

“Because whether she wanted it or not, she doesn't have a father anymore.

“Therefore, it's a basic necessity for her. He (Freitas) completely supported her, and with his death, that has been affected."

Brittes is currently imprisoned awaiting trial, while wife Christina was freed from custody earlier this month.

Freitas went to the pair’s house to celebrate the birthday of their daughter Allana.

  • Church warden jailed for life after murdering uni lecturer for his money

He texted a pal beforehand saying he “was going to eat” the “birthday girl’s mum”, local media report.

Brittes claims the footballer tried to rape his wife before he attacked him.

He reportedly said in a statement: “Any man would do what I did.

“That woman in there was not my wife. She represented all the women in Brazil.

“When I threw him off my wife, I threw him on the floor and stopped her being raped by that monstrous scumbag.”

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Meghan: ‘Not many people have asked if I’m OK’

The Duchess of Sussex has said not many people ask if she is OK and admitted living in the public eye as a new mother has been a “struggle”.

Meghan told journalist and friend Tom Bradby in a new documentary that any woman when pregnant is vulnerable so the amount of attention directed at her made it “really challenging”.

In a preview of ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, the duchess thanked Bradby for asking how it has been as she said not many people have.

Filmed during the royal couple’s recent tour of southern Africa, she said: “Look, any woman especially when they are pregnant, you’re really vulnerable and so that was made really challenging.

“And then when you have a newborn – you know. And especially as a woman, it’s a lot.

“So you add this on top of just trying to be a new mum or trying to be a newlywed.

“And, also thank you for asking, because not many people have asked if I’m OK. But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”

Bradby asked: “And the answer is, would it be fair to say, not really OK, as in it’s really been a struggle?”

“Yes,” Meghan replied.

As part of the documentary detailing Prince Harry and Meghan’s 10-day tour last month, the Duke of Sussex also opens up about his grief following his mother’s death.

He said he felt considerable pressure being part of the royal family in the spotlight, and every camera flash takes him back to his mother’s death.

Diana, Princess of Wales was in a fatal car accident while being chased by paparazzi in Paris in 1997.

“I think probably a wound that festers,” the prince said.

“I think being part of this family, in this role, in this job, every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back, so in that respect it’s the worst reminder of her life, as opposed to the best.

“Being here now, 22 years later, trying to finish what she started, will be incredibly emotional, but everything that I do reminds me of her.

“But as I said, with the role, with the job, and the sort of pressures that come with that, I get reminded of the bad stuff, unfortunately.”

He added that it was “quite emotional” retracing his mother’s steps in Africa.

The duke and duchess brought separate legal actions against parts of the press as they finished their tour.

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Meghan sued the Mail on Sunday over an alleged breach of privacy for publishing a private letter from her to her estranged father.

Harry then filed proceedings at the High Court over alleged illegal interception of voicemail messages from when he was a child against the Daily Mirror and News Group, which owns the Sun and the now-defunct News of the World.

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Teacher, 22, relives horrific moment she was burnt alive in Cambodia petrol station explosion that killed three – The Sun

A BRIT teacher has relived the horror petrol station explosion which left her unrecognisable after she was burned alive.

Zoe Eleftheriou, 22, from Medway, Kent, and Abigail Alexander, 18, from Ohio, USA, are lucky to be alive after suffering horrific injuries in the blast which was captured on a dashcam video in Cambodia, in August.





The pair were riding a motorcycle together past an LPG gas station in Siem Reap when it suddenly exploded – blowing them off the bike and causing severe burns.

Zoe was moved to a hospital in Bangkok, Thailand, while Abigail was treated at the Royal Phnom Penh Hospital.

The English teacher lost her eyebrows and suffered severe facial bruises in the blast which claimed three lives and left another dozen badly injured.

Reliving her ordeal, Zoe said: "The receptionist did not recognise me and I had been working there for six months.

"I was burning and all I wanted was ice and I said 'I need it now'."

Zoe suffered 40 per cent fourth and fifth degree burns all over her body, badly affecting her left leg, hands and face.

It was thought she would have to spend at least two months in a burns treatment hospital in Bangkok but after gradually coming off the ventilator she was allowed to fly home to Kent.

The receptionist did not recognise me and I had been working there for six months. I was burning and all I wanted was ice and I said 'I need it now'.

She said: "At the moment, I have pink, red, white and brown skin and some sexy marks on my feet where my flip-flops had been.

"They say pigmentation can take six months or up to two years to heal.

"It sounds horrible, but I was functioning as a vegetable. I can't put weight on my foot, so I can't walk yet.

"It's great at the age of 22 that I am no longer in nappies and using a bed-pan.

"The first time I saw my face, I did not like it. I had no eyebrows or lashes and had lost my long hair. It was bright red, apple red, fire red.

"I have had tremendous support from family and friends.

"I don't know why at Heathrow they wanted to see my passport because I don't look anything like my passport photo."

Zoe's mother, Mary, said at the time of the blast: "I arrived beside Zoe to find her bandaged back up and still with tubes down her throat.

"It was explained they were still there because of the swelling on her neck and the rest of her body.

£215k MEDICAL BILL

"She is able to nod and shake her head to questions or write letters in the air with her bandaged hands but trying to guess what she is saying is pretty hard.

"Zoe is a fighter and will pull though this so please keep her and Abbey in your prayers."

Zoe added: "One seven year old said 'You are still the same Zoe, you just look a little different'."

And luckily, her medical bills of £215,000 were covered by a £350 travel insurance policy.

Abbey faces a similar treatment bill – but had no cover.

She was paid only £10,000 by the LPG station boss, while Zoe is still battling for compensation.

After her experience, she cannot stress enough the importance to fellow travellers of getting full travel insurance.

She said: "It was on my mum's tick list before I went anywhere. You might say I don't need it, but you do."

Dashcam footage from a car shows the huge burst or orange flames hitting passing motorcycle riders who were knocked to the ground from the force of the explosion.

A tanker truck containing 2,000 litres of the liquid fuel was transferring the gas to a storage tank behind the unlicensed LPG gas station when it ignited.

ILLEGAL & UNLICENSED

Brigadier General Phing Sambath, deputy police chief of Siem Reap province, said 12 fire trucks with 30 tanks of water were used to extinguish the blaze.

He said: "A total of 13 people, including police officers, guards, and female westerners, were wounded in the blast.

"The two foreigners, whose nationalities are not identified, had their skins burned while passing through the gas station when the tank exploded."

The police are gathering evidence and searching for the owner of the gas station who was not at the shop when officers arrived to begin investigation.

Major General Neth Vantha, National Police Fire Prevention Department director, said that according to investigations, the explosion was caused during the transfer of gas from the tanker into the storage tank.

He added: "The transfer was done improperly and some gas leaked. The station owner asked the staff to turn off the electricity and there was a sudden."










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Hong Kong protesters vow to hit the streets in major 'illegal' march

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigners on Friday vowed to stage a major march at the weekend despite police ruling the rally illegal, setting the scene for possibly more unrest in a city battered by months of violent protests.

Hong Kong has been relatively calm for the past week, with only small, often colorful demonstrations, and Sunday’s march will test the strength of the pro-democracy campaign, which has in the past rallied millions onto the streets.

In rejecting the protesters’ request for a march permit, police said past events had been “hijacked by a group of radical protesters” who set fire to buildings, hurled petrol bombs at police, detonated a home-made bomb, and wrecked infrastructure.

“While we always respect citizens’ rights to assembly and freedom of speech, we are alarmed by this epidemic that radical protesters resort to violence in expressing their opinion,” Acting Chief Superintendent of Police Public Relations Branch, Kong Wing-cheung, said in announcing the rejection.

Thousands have defied police in the past and staged mass rallies, often peaceful at the start but becoming violent at night.

“We will not back down even after the attack on the Civil Human Rights Front convener Jimmy Sham. Our most powerful force is the unity and resistance of this civil society,” said the rights group, calling on the public to rally on Sunday.

Prominent rights activist Jimmy Sham was brutally beaten by four men wielding hammers and knives on Wednesday, a move pro-democracy lawmakers said was meant to intimidate protesters and incite violence ahead of Sunday’s planned march.

Protesters on Friday night formed a human chain wearing Jimmy Sham face masks, with a banner reading: “We are all Jimmy Sham. Je Suis Jimmy Sham”.

The human chain was planned to stretch a 40 km (25 miles) along the city’s metro, with many people wearing humorous and eccentric masks in defiance on a ban on covering faces at public rallies. Wearing a face mask at a public rally carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail.

“I am not worried about being prosecuted because I violate the anti-mask law. I think people won’t be afraid to come out on Sunday,” said Kiki, 29, wearing a pig face mask.

Hong Kong has been hit by four months of protests, driven by concerns Beijing is eroding freedoms granted when Britain handed the city back to China in 1997.

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China denies the accusation, blaming foreign nations such as the United States and Britain for inciting the unrest.

The crisis in the Chinese-ruled city is the worst since the handover and poses the biggest popular challenge to China’s President Xi Jinping since he took power. Xi has warned he would crush any attempt to split China.

DAMAGED METRO

Riot police and protesters have fought street battles, with police firing tear gas, rubber bullets and occasionally live rounds against brick and petrol-bomb throwing activists.

Two people have been shot and wounded by police and thousands injured. Police have arrested more than 2,300 people since June.

Many Hong Kong residents are angry with what they believe is excessive force by police and the introduction of colonial-era laws, which ban face masks, by embattled leader Carrie Lam.

Lam has rejected the protesters’ 5 core demands: universal suffrage, an independent inquiry into police behavior, amnesty for those charged, stop describing protesters as rioters, and the formal withdrawal of a China extradition bill.

The bill, which would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be sent to Communist Party-controlled courts for trial, was seen as the latest move to erode those freedoms and sparked the unrest. Lam says the bill is now dead, but it has not been formally withdrawn.

The Asian financial hub is facing its first recession as a result of the unrest, which has damaged tourism and retail.

Protesters dressed in black ninja-like outfits have torched metro stations, and Chinese banks and shops they believe are linked to mainland China. Many businesses have been forced to close.

China has banned the bulk shipment to the city of black clothing and other items popularly used by Hong Kong protesters, staff at Chinese courier firms said.

Secretary for Transport and Housing, Frank Chan, said on Friday it would be weeks before the metro operated fully.

Pro-democracy candidates will stand in almost all 452 seats in Hong Kong’s upcoming local elections, encouraged by the protests, with the outcome of the November poll a barometer of support for the city’s embattled government.

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