UK and EU officials have agreed the draft text of a Brexit agreement

img

UK and EU officials have agreed the draft text of a Brexit agreement after months of negotiations. A cabinet source told the BBC that the document has been agreed at a technical level by officials from both sides after intensive discussions this week. A special cabinet meeting was set to be held on Wednesday (after Dhaka Courier went to press) as Theresa May seeks ministers' backing.

The PM has been meeting ministers in Downing Street for one-to-one talks on the draft agreement. BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said the agreement contained a UK-wide customs "backstop" aimed at preventing new border checks in Northern Ireland. There is no additional Northern Ireland-only backstop - but sources wouldn't be drawn on any specific arrangements for Northern Ireland on rules and regulation within the UK-wide one, she added.

This "backstop" has proved to the most contentious part of the withdrawal negotiations, with concerns raised by Brexiteer Tories and the DUP over how it will work.

 

Sri Lanka's Supreme Court suspended the president's move to dissolve parliament, as a political crisis in the island nation deepens. President Maithripala Sirisena shocked the nation by sacking parliament and calling snap elections on Friday. The dramatic decision came two weeks after Mr Sirisena fired his prime minister and replaced him with the country's former leader. But his actions have been called unconstitutional.

Ranil Wickremesinghe, the ousted PM, had refused to give way to his named successor, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and had called for MPs to vote on who they believed was the rightful premier. Correspondents said the president and Mr Rajapaksa decided to called the snap election because they did not have enough support in parliament for their new government.

 

Crews battling the most deadly wildfire in state history in northern California have managed to hold their containment lines, the state fire service says. They have contained 30% of the fire, stretching over 125,000 acres (50,500 ha), but do not expect to contain it fully until the end of the month. In the ruined town of Paradise, Butte County, forensics teams are continuing to search for human remains. The official death toll is 42, with dozens of people missing.

Another blaze in the south of the state, the Woolsey Fire, has killed at least two people, damaging beach resorts including Malibu, a favourite with the rich and famous. It is still burning across more than 96,000 acres but is 35% contained, the state fire service tweeted. Another, smaller blaze, the Hill Fire, is 90% contained in Ventura County, north of Los Angeles. President Donald Trump has paid tribute to emergency crews' "incredible courage in the face of danger". The California Public Utilities Commission is investigating what sparked the latest blazes - amid reports electrical companies may have suffered malfunctions near the sources shortly before the fires began. Low humidity, warm Santa Ana winds, and dry ground after a rain-free month have produced a prime fire-spreading environment.

 

Stan Lee, creator of some of comics books' most enduring characters and the former president of Marvel Comics, died aged 95. Lee created The Fantastic Four, Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk and X-Men among others. In its heyday, Marvel sold 50 million copies a year. Until he retired from editing in 1971, Lee wrote all the copy for Marvel's covers. He was also known for making a cameo in every Marvel film. His characters brought the humans behind the heroes to life for the first time. Hugh Jackman, who played Wolverine in the X-Men films, called Lee a "pioneering force in the superhero universe".

Mr Lee's daughter has also paid tribute to her father, describing him as "the greatest, most decent man". Many marvel at the man who gave his characters extraordinary powers and everyday headaches - a formula which revolutionised comics. The Hulk, Iron Man, Daredevil and the Fantastic Four all sprang from his fertile imagination and spilled onto the page.

  • DhakaCourier
  • Vol 35
  • World this week
  • Issue 19

Leave a Comment