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MPs opted not to back an attempt by backbenchers to remove the threat of a no-deal Brexit on March 29 in a key vote in the U.K.'s House of Commons.



A proposal put down by Labour MP Yvette Cooper that aims to force the government to delay Brexit day was backed by 298 MPs with 321 voting against - a deficit of 23.



The amendment, which was opposed by the government, would have carved out parliamentary time for legislation requiring the government to ask for an extension to Article 50 if no Brexit deal is approved by MPs by February 26. All EU27 leaders would have had to agree unanimously to such an extension.



To do that, the amendment had sought to suspend one of the rules governing House of Commons procedure which gives precedence to government business on the Commons timetable. Earlier today, Prime Minister Theresa May attacked the proposal as "deeply misguided" because it would "usurp the pro

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per role of the executive."


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The reality, from Axios : Exclusive poll: Americans want economic reform in 2020 Most Americans think the economic system is skewed toward the wealthy and the government should do more to fix it -


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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday that he fired Canada's ambassador to China over remarks about a high-profile U.S. extradition case.


Trudeau issued a statement saying he had asked for, and received, the resignation of Ambassador John McCallum.


The firing came after McCallum made comments picking apart the U.S. extradition request for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, apologized, then again weighed in on the case, telling the Toronto Star that it would be "great for Canada" if the U.S. dropped the charges.


That appeared to be the final straw.

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Political paralysis is a story well-known in the United States, as the very recent and long standoff over the government shutdown reminds. But few countries are more mired in gridlock, dysfunction, division and weak leadership than Britain. It is as if the worst of America has come to Britain, with a few local touches thrown in.



The long Brexit fight over the terms by which Britain leaves the European Union has exposed and heightened the troublesome state of British politics. The surprise decision by voters in June 2016 to leave the E.U., rather than to remain a part of the economic and political alliance, has resulted in a never-ending debate and a sense of exhaustion and sharpened lines of conflict that have split the country in half and divided the parties as well.



Prime Minister Theresa May has been dogged in trying to find a way out of this mess, in her negotiations in Brussels as well as in attempting to produce a coalition at hom

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e with numbers big enough to win support for a separation agreement.


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First things first: The theme song of the week is The Tonight Show theme song by Rickey Minor.



Poll of the week: An ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that only 37% of Americans approve of the job President Donald Trump is doing. A significantly higher 58% disapprove. This makes for a net approval rating of -21 points. The previous ABC/Washington Post poll put Trump's net approval rating at -13 points, so his net approval rating fell by 8 points.



What's the point: Make no mistake: Trump lost the shutdown fight. The ABC News/Washington Post poll is merely the latest to show that Trump's approval rating was plummeting. In average of all recent polls, Trump's net approval rating had dropped 6 points compared to before the shutdown.


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NATO and Russia are clashing over the country’s introduction of a new medium-range missile, when 29 envoys from security alliance met with Russia in Brussels, calling on the country to destroy the missile before a Wednesday deadline.



If Russia does not comply, the United States will go through with President Donald Trump’s call to start the six-month process to pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) on that deadline.



The INF Treaty requires that the United States and Russia — the two biggest nuclear powers in the world — eliminate all nuclear and conventional ground-launched 500 to 5,500 km-range (310-3,420 miles) cruise and ballistic and missiles.


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Longtime Donald Trump associate Roger Stone has been indicted by a grand jury on charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. He was arrested by the FBI Friday morning at his home in Florida, his lawyer tells CNN.



Stone was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia on seven counts, including one count of obstruction of an official proceeding, five counts of false statements, and one count of witness tampering.



Stone will make an appearance later Friday at the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, according to Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel's office.


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House Democrats are preparing to send President Donald Trump a proposal to boost border security — but not build a wall — by spending more than the $5.7 billion he wants for the wall, according to a Democratic aide.



The amount is subject to change, according to the aide, who said Democrats may make a proposal in a letter to Trump later this week. In past proposals, Democrats’ concept of border security has included infrastructure, more immigration judges and aid to Central American countries.



“We are prepared to spend a very substantial sum of money” for border security, second-ranking House Democrat Steny Hoyer told reporters Wednesday without giving details on the planned letter.



On the other side of the Capitol, the Senate plans to vote Thursday on two rival proposals to end the partial government shutdown, now in its 33rd day. One is Trump’s plan that includes $5.7 billion for

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border wall funding; the other is a Democratic proposal to reopen shuttered agencies through Feb. 8 while both sides negotiate on how to better secure the border. Each proposal would require 60 votes to advance in the Senate, which the GOP controls 53-47.


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The U.S. Senate shifted slightly closer on Tuesday to resolving a month-long partial government shutdown, but there was no sign of relief anytime soon for 800,000 federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay.



Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell laid the groundwork for a vote on Thursday on a Democratic proposal to fund the government for three weeks, without attaching the $5.7 billion in U.S.-Mexico border wall funding demanded by President Donald Trump. The president has opposed similar legislation in the House of Representatives.


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President Donald Trump told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he’s postponing a trip she planned to take to Belgium, Egypt and Afghanistan because of the partial government shutdown, telling her in a letter she should stay in Washington to negotiate.

“In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate,” Trump wrote Pelosi, a day after she suggested he postpone his State of the Union speech scheduled for Jan. 29.
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Rep. Kathleen Rice loses out on a Judiciary seat after opposing Pelosi’s return to the speakership.
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President Donald Trump on Wednesday lashed out at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after he held a meeting with Democratic leaders. “Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time. I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!” the president tweeted.
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Ambassadors lining up to pay their respects at President George H.W. Bush's funeral knew the routine: They would be called in order of seniority, a well-established system in which everyone knew where they belonged.

Until they didn't.

The European Union's ambassador to the US, David O'Sullivan, normally among the first 30 foreign envoys to be seated, watched as almost every other ambassador to the US took a seat, leaving him among the last to be called.
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National security adviser John Bolton left here in frustration Tuesday, with the U.S. and Turkey locked in a political standoff that threatens President Donald Trump’s plans for a troop withdrawal from Syria.

Bolton left Turkey without seeing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who then publicly called earlier comments the top Trump aide had made about Turkey’s role in neighboring Syria a “serious mistake.”
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May should not expect more concessions from the EU on her Brexit deal, France’s Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau said.

The British prime minister has already received reassurances that the so-called backstop would only be used as a last resort and even the EU doesn’t want to trigger it, Loiseau told reporters in Brussels on her way into a meeting with European counterparts.
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Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib declared Thursday night that the newly installed Democratic majority in the House will "go in there and impeach the motherf---er," breaking with party leaders and stirring controversy just hours after officially taking office.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other top Democrats have been largely hesitant to promise President Donald Trump's impeachment, preferring instead to wait for the results of the ongoing Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. But Tlaib (D-Mich.) and others in the newly installed House have expressed an eagerness to begin impeachment proceedings even before Mueller issues a final report.
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President Trump, as he often does, had a few things to say.

After admitting that he had been lonely over the holidays, Trump took advantage of his first public appearance of the new year Wednesday to air lingering grievances, make multiple false claims and reinforce recent decisions that have rattled financial markets and his party’s leaders.

As he held forth for more than 90 minutes before a small pool of reporters and photographers, members of his Cabinet, ostensibly called to the White House for a meeting, sat quietly around a long conference table.

Trump defended his decision last month to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria and sharply cut the deployment to Afghanistan, moves that disturbed Republican allies in Congress and prompted the resignation of Defense Secretary James N. Mattis. In doing so, he contradicted his own recent claim that the U.S. had achieved its objectives of total victory over Islamic State militants in Syria.
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Russia says it arrested a U.S. citizen spying in their country. But former CIA officers say that, far from a counterintelligence coup, the American’s detention is most likely payback for the U.S. arrest of confessed Russian agent Maria Butina.
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House Democrats — increasingly convinced they’re winning the shutdown fight with President Donald Trump — are plotting ways to reopen the government while denying the president even a penny more for his border wall when they take power Jan. 3.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her top lieutenants are considering several options that would refuse Trump the $5 billion he’s demanded for the wall and send hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal employees back to work, according to senior Democratic sources.
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Not since the days when Donald Trump defended neo-Nazis and white supremacists as “very fine people” has approval for his job performance sunk so low: And, of course, besides Trump’s shutdown, there’s also the recent news of migrant children...


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Is the fox guarding the henhouse?


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The federal government entered a partial shutdown at 12:01 a.m. EST on Saturday because President Donald Trump would not budge on his attempt to get the American people to pay for the border wall he spent his entire 2016 campaign promising Mexico would pay to build.
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Budget now moves to lower house after EU dispute resolved.


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"If, God forbid, something like [nuclear war] were to happen, it would lead to the end of all civilization"


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A newly obtained document shows President Donald Trump signed a letter of intent to move forward with negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Russia, despite his attorney Rudy Giuliani claiming on Sunday the document was never signed.


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President Trump is finding himself increasingly isolated less than a week ahead of a potential government shutdown, as even members of his own party admit that he has backed himself into a corner with his demands for $5 billion in funding for a wall on the Mexican border.


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In the corridors of the U.K. Parliament, an idea that four months ago seemed laughable is now being seriously discussed. Is another referendum a way out of the Brexit deadlock? Speaking privately, some ministers raise it unprompted. At a press conference on Tuesday, leaders of the smaller opposition parties urged the government to consider it as a contingency worth preparing for.


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Another day, another potential White House chief of staff turning down President Donald Trump. Although it was reported on Friday that former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was the front runner to be Trump’s next chief of staff, Christie abruptly announced that he was taking himself out of the running. “I’ve told the president that now is not the right time for me or my family to undertake this serious assignment,” Christie said, in a statement posted  by the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman. “As a result, I have asked him to no longer keep me in any of his considerations for this post.”


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EU leaders, at their last summit of 2018, failed to reach agreement on a comprehensive overhaul of migration and asylum policy.

The failure to reach a deal was a particular defeat for the Commission, which had made a last-ditch attempt to try to push through a deal. The European Council's refusal to act even on legislative initiatives that were close to completion drew a sharp rebuke from Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who accused some national capitals of "hypocrisy" by critcizing Brussels but then refusing to implement policy changes.
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Theresa May is seeking "further clarification" to satisfy MPs after "robust" exchange with EU chief.


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British Prime Minister Theresa May abruptly postponed the scheduled Parliament vote on her Brexit deal on Monday, conceding that the proposal was headed for defeat. The vote will now be held before January 21, according to the prime minister’s spokesperson, but an exact date has not been set. It’s likely that the vote will be pushed into January, inching closer to the Brexit deadline of March 29, 2019.


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President Donald Trump on Thursday announced that he is canceling a previously scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing recent naval clashes between Russian and Ukrainian military ships.
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Petro Poroshenko’s support is so low, ‘you need to do something to aggravate the situation,’ Russian president says.
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Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says he believes the UK parliament will ratify the deal.


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Breakthrough achieved after all-night work by EU and Spanish advisers.


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Spain’s prime minister said he fully intends to veto the Brexit deal if no agreement on Gibraltar can be found. And he warned that if there’s no agreement, the European Council on Sunday “will most likely not take place.” “Not enough guarantees have been given yet around the agreement that’s being negotiated in Brussels and, therefore, Spain maintains its veto,” Pedro Sánchez told reporters in Havana during a state visit to Cuba. The Spanish government insists that the Brexit deal must make clear that negotiations on the future relationship between Gibraltar and the EU will be conducted separately to those between the U.K. and EU, and that they can only proceed with Madrid’s approval.
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Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain, who came to Brussels on Wednesday evening hoping to improve her chances of winning parliamentary approval for her plan for withdrawal from the European Union, is discovering once again that other nations of the bloc have domestic politics, too.
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Representative Mia Love Once a Republican Star Loses Re-Election in Utah

NormanT Politics https://www.nytimes.com   Discuss    Share
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British Prime Minister Theresa May is defying demands to quit as she battles to keep control of her fractious government long enough to deliver a Brexit deal that’s drawn ire from across the political spectrum.
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President Donald Trump claimed on Tuesday that his administration is aware of more than a dozen ballistic missile bases in North Korea, labeling a New York Times report on those sites "inaccurate" and "more fake news."

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Trump administration ups sanctions on Russia before Paris summit

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European Union negotiator Michel Barnier said on Friday a Brexit deal with the United Kingdom was 90 percent done, although there was still a chance no accord would be reached due to ongoing stumbling blocks over the Irish border.
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Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) released a string of attack ads against opponent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) Wednesday, a day after the two engaged in a contentious debate in Texas. 
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French President Emmanuel Macron reshuffled his government on Tuesday, naming loyalist and head of his ruling party Christophe Castaner to the sensitive post of interior minister.

The reshuffle is an attempt to steady his administration after a series of resignations, and revive a reform drive that has shown signs of flagging.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who has spearheaded Macron's eurozone reform push, and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian retained their posts.

The president and his prime minister have been weighing the reshuffle for a few weeks, following the departure of three ministers since late August, including Interior Minister Gérard Collomb and Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot.
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As the Supreme Court considered whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross must answer questions in a court case about why he decided to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday publicly attacked the judge who ordered Ross to be deposed, calling his actions “outrageous.”
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Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Bavarian allies suffered their worst election result since 1950 on Sunday, bleeding votes to the far-right in a setback that immediately raised tensions within Germany’s crisis-prone national government.

The Christian Social Union (CSU) won 35.6 percent of the vote, preliminary results showed, losing its absolute majority for only the second time since 1962 ― an outcome sure to stoke infighting in the conservative party, already a difficult partner for Merkel in Berlin.
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With the fate of the Prespes name deal expected to become clear this week, as the pact goes to Skopje’s Parliament Tuesday, attention is to shift to the prospects for Greece’s fragile coalition which the contentious pact has tested. Reports over the weekend suggested that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev would be able to draw the 80 votes he needs to push the deal and the constitutional changes it requires through his country’s Parliament, as he urged the political opposition to embrace the agreement as the best possible compromise. In the event that Zaev fails to secure the support he needs, he will face snap elections, most likely on November 25. Officials in Athens are preparing for both scenarios. The ratification of the Prespes deal will mean that a rift within the coalition over the agreement will come to fore as the stage will be set for the pact to come to Greece’s Parliament.


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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's security clearance has been revoked at her request, the State Department told lawmakers, according to a letter made public Friday. Clinton's clearance was withdrawn on Aug. 30, according to a letter from the State Department to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), which he released.


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As Washington wrestled this week with the disappearance and possible murder of the Saudi Arabian journalist-in-exile Jamal Khashoggi, South Carolina GOP Senator Lindsay Graham said enough is enough. "The one thing I've learned from John McCain above all else is that, in moments like this, you have to embrace your values," Graham, told reporters Thursday, referencing the deceased Arizona Republican who cultivated an image as an independent minded legislator. "No more transactional interactions."


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Turkey on Friday ordered a North Carolina pastor, who was held on espionage charges for more than two years, to be released from house arrest, according to the Associated Press.

At a hearing in Ankara, the court released Rev. Andrew Brunson from house arrest but convicted him of a "terror" charge, AP reported.

"Working very hard on Pastor Brunson!" President Donald Trump tweeted Friday morning.

Turkey imprisoned Brunson and his wife, Norine, in October 2016, along with 20 other Americans, as part of a political crackdown following a failed coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Norine Brunson was released after 13 days. Andrew Brunson was held in prison until July, when Turkish officials moved him to house arrest.

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