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May to fire starting gun on Brexit today, exit in 2019Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper faced a backlash Tuesday for comparing the legs on show when British PM Theresa May and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon held talks. AFP

May to fire starting gun on Brexit today, exit in 2019

PM to formally deliver divorce papers | Two years of talks loom29 Mar 2017 | 12:44 AM

LONDON: Prime Minister Theresa May will file formal Brexit divorce papers on Wednesday, pitching the United Kingdom into the unknown and triggering years of uncertain negotiations that will test the endurance of the European Union.

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LONDON, March 28 

Prime Minister Theresa May will file formal Brexit divorce papers on Wednesday, pitching the United Kingdom into the unknown and triggering years of uncertain negotiations that will test the endurance of the European Union.

Nine months after Britons voted to leave, May will notify EU Council President Donald Tusk in a letter that the UK really is quitting the club it joined in 1973.

The PM, an initial opponent of Brexit who won the top job in the political turmoil that followed the referendum vote, will then have two years to settle the terms of the divorce before it comes into effect in late March 2019.

“We stand on the threshold of a significant moment for Britain as we begin the negotiations that will lead us towards a new partnership with Europe,” May said on Monday. “We are going to take this opportunity to forge a more global Britain.” 

On the eve of Brexit, May, 60, has one of the toughest jobs of any recent British PM: holding Britain together in the face of renewed Scottish independence demands, while conducting arduous talks with 27 other EU states on finance, trade, security and a host of other complex issues.

The outcome of the negotiations will shape the future of Britain's $2.6 trillion economy, the world's fifth biggest, and determine whether London can keep its place as one of the top two global financial centres. For the EU, already reeling from successive crises over debt and refugees, the loss of Britain is the biggest blow yet to 60 years of efforts to forge European unity in the wake of two  devastating world wars.

Its leaders say they do not want to punish Britain. But with nationalist, anti-EU parties on the rise across the bloc, they cannot afford to give London generous terms that might encourage other member states to follow its example and break away.

EU officials expect May's notice of intention to leave the bloc under Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty to be hand-delivered by British diplomats on Wednesday, when May will also speak to parliament.

Within 48 hours of reading the letter, Tusk will send the 27 other states draft negotiating guidelines. — Reuters

Putin, Rouhani talk unity in Moscow

Putin, Rouhani talk unity in Moscow

29 Mar 2017 | 12:44 AM

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin today was hosting his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani for talks that are being closely watched for signs of their next moves in Syria.

Carlos the Jackal gets 3rd life term

Carlos the Jackal gets 3rd life term

29 Mar 2017 | 12:44 AM

PARIS: A French court sent Carlos the Jackal, once one of the world’s most wanted criminals, back to jail for his third life sentence on Tuesday after convicting him of a grenade attack 42 years ago on a Paris shop that killed two persons.

Bones found near sunken ferry not human

Bones found near sunken ferry not human

29 Mar 2017 | 12:44 AM

SEOUL: South Korea on Tuesday said forensic examination showed bone fragments found near a salvaged ferry that sank in one of its worst disasters three years ago came from an animal and not an unrecovered victim, as an official had said earlier.

Scottish parliament votes for freedom referendum again

Scottish parliament votes for freedom referendum again

29 Mar 2017 | 12:44 AM

EDINBURGH: Scottish lawmakers voted today to seek a new referendum on independence, to be held within the next two years an unwanted headache for the British government as it prepares to push the European Union exit button.

Briefly

Pak court asks Punjab govt to explain Hafiz’s detention

29 Mar 2017 | 12:44 AM

Lahore: A Pakistani court has asked the Punjab government to explain under what authority it has detained Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed “without a trial”.

Richard Verma joins Georgetown UniversityBy the way...

Richard Verma joins Georgetown University

29 Mar 2017 | 12:44 AM

Washington: Former US Ambassador to India Richard Verma, 48, has joined Georgetown University as Centennial Fellow to support its ‘India Initiative’, aimed at advancing research and teaching around India.

Man detained with suspicious package near White House

Man detained with suspicious package near White House

28 Mar 2017 | 10:17 PM

WASHINGTON:The White House was briefly lockdown on Tuesday morning after a male suspect approached US Secret Service agents with a "suspicious package" and made suspicious comments, officials said.

Scottish parliament backs bid for new independence referendum

Scottish parliament backs bid for new independence referendum

28 Mar 2017 | 10:05 PM

EDINBURGH:The Scottish parliament on Tuesday backed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's bid for a new independence referendum, further complicating Britain's political situation just as years of talks on the terms of Brexit were about to begin.

Germany tells Turkey not to spy on Turks living on its soil

28 Mar 2017 | 8:54 PM

BERLIN: Germany will not tolerate foreign espionage on its territory, the interior minister said on Tuesday, in a robust response to media reports that Turkish secret services were spying on supporters of the Gulen movement in Germany.

Secret to long marriage is 'hot meal': UK's longest-wed couple

28 Mar 2017 | 7:44 PM

LONDON: The key to a lasting marriage is a hot meal every night and 'looking in your purse' while shopping, say couple, believed to be Britain's longest-wed, ahead of their 77th anniversary.

Clock is ticking on Bob Dylan's Nobel prize money

Clock is ticking on Bob Dylan's Nobel prize money

28 Mar 2017 | 6:42 PM

STOCKHOLM:The Swedish Academy has warned that Nobel literature laureate Bob Dylan has until June 10 to deliver the traditional Nobel lecture, in order to receive the eight million kronor (USD 910,000) that comes with the prize.

Secret to long marriage is 'hot meal': UK's longest-wed couple

28 Mar 2017 | 6:34 PM

LONDON: The key to a lasting marriage is a hot meal every night and 'looking in your purse' while shopping, say couple, believed to be Britain's longest-wed, ahead of their 77th anniversary.

3,800-year-old Egyptian mummy discovered along Nile River

28 Mar 2017 | 6:26 PM

LONDON: A 3,800-year-old tomb holding the mummy of powerful governor’s family has been discovered along the Nile River in Egypt.

Paris clashes over police killing of Chinese man; 3 injured

28 Mar 2017 | 5:57 PM

PARIS: Violent clashes in Paris between baton-wielding police and protesters outraged at the police killing of a Chinese man in his home have seen three police officers injured and 35 protesters arrested, authorities said today.

Pak court asks Punjab govt to explain detention of Hafiz Saeed

Pak court asks Punjab govt to explain detention of Hafiz Saeed

28 Mar 2017 | 6:29 PM

LAHORE: A Pakistani court has asked the Punjab government to explain under what authority it has detained Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Saeed "without a trial".

Thousands shelter as ‘screaming, howling’ Cyclone Debbie hits north Australia

Thousands shelter as ‘screaming, howling’ Cyclone Debbie hits north Australia

28 Mar 2017 | 5:14 PM

SYDNEY: Howling winds, heavy rain and huge seas pounded Australia's northeast on Tuesday, damaging homes, wrecking jetties and cutting power to thousands of people as Tropical Cyclone Debbie tore through the far north of Queensland.

Trump says his Russia story is ‘hoax', questions Clinton's ties with Moscow

Trump says his Russia story is ‘hoax', questions Clinton's ties with Moscow

28 Mar 2017 | 10:25 AM

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump today described as a hoax the allegations about his campaign's connection to Russia and said that the intelligence panel should probe Bill and Hillary Clinton's ties to the country instead of his campaign advisers' links.

Pak invites UK ire over ‘illegal’ occupation of Gilgit-Baltistan

Pak invites UK ire over ‘illegal’ occupation of Gilgit-Baltistan

28 Mar 2017 | 12:42 AM

LONDON: A motion has been tabled in the UK parliament condemning Pakistan’s “arbitrary” move to declare the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region, bordering disputed PoK, as its fifth province.

A day after vote, Hong Kong targets democracy activists

A day after vote, Hong Kong targets democracy activists

28 Mar 2017 | 12:42 AM

HONG KONG: The police cracked down on Hong Kong democracy activists today saying they would be charged over the Umbrella Movement mass protests, a day after a pro-Beijing candidate was chosen as the city’s new leader.

Thousands evacuated as Australia braces for cyclone

28 Mar 2017 | 12:42 AM

TOWNSVILLE: Thousands of people including tourists were evacuated today as northeast Australia braced for a powerful cyclone packing destructive winds, with warnings of major structural damage and surging tides.

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