British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to lead Britain out of the European Union at the end of this month hit another roadblock when the speaker of the House of Commons rejected his attempt to hold a new vote of lawmakers on his Brexit divorce deal, just two days after lawmakers voted to delay approving his deal during Parliament’s first weekend sitting since the 1982 Falklands War
The ruling by Speaker John Bercow triggered the government’s Plan B — an attempt to pass a Brexit-implementing bill through Britain’s fractious Parliament before the country’s scheduled Oct. 31 departure date. After months and years of political gridlock, the stage was set for another week of grinding parliamentary warfare. Lawmakers voted to make support for the Brexit deal conditional on passing the legislation to implement it. Johnson’s Conservative government was now set to try to do that, hoping to have it become law by Oct. 31.
The Trump administration is planning to collect DNA samples from asylum-seekers and other migrants detained by immigration officials and will add the information to a massive FBI database used by law enforcement hunting for criminals, a US Justice Department official told the AP, after amended regulations were issued that would mandate DNA collection for almost all migrants who cross between official entry points and are held even temporarily.
The official said the rules would not apply to legal permanent residents or anyone entering the U.S. legally, and children under 14 are exempt, but it’s unclear whether asylum-seekers who come through official crossings will be exempt. Civil rights groups already have expressed concerns that data could be misused, and the new policy is likely to lead to legal action.
Hong Kong officials apologized to Muslim leaders Monday after riot police sprayed a mosque and bystanders with a water cannon while trying to contain turbulent weekend pro-democracy demonstrations in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. The city’s leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, and the police chief visited the Kowloon Mosque to apologize to the chief imam and Muslim community leaders.
Officials were scrambling to minimize the fallout from Sunday’s incident at one of the city’s most well-known religious sites. The government said in a statement that Lam “extended an apology for the inadvertent spraying.” Authorities called it an accident, but a bystander’s account disputed that. A video of the incident on social media showed a police water cannon truck that was passing by the mosque stop to spray a stinging blue-dyed liquid at a handful of people standing in front of the mosque’s gate.
The Lebanese government approved an emergency reform package in response to protests over dire economic conditions, but the moves did not go far enough to persuade demonstrators to leave the streets or investors to halt a plunge in its bonds. Hundreds of thousands of people have flooded the streets since October 17, furious at a political class they accuse of pushing the economy to the point of collapse. Roads were blocked for 5 consecutive days across the country, while schools, banks and businesses were closed.
Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, in a televised speech, said the new measures might not meet the protesters’ demands but were a start towards achieving some of them. The government must work to recover trust, he said. “You are the compass and ... your movement frankly is what led us to this decision today,” added Hariri.