News Headlines - 12 March 2019

MPs ignore May’s pleas and defeat her Brexit deal by 149 votes | The Guardian

Theresa May has suffered a second humiliating defeat on her Brexit deal, as MPs voted it down by a crushing majority of 149, dealing a fresh blow to her shattered authority.
With just 17 days to go until the UK is due to leave the EU, backbenchers from both sides of the Brexit divide immediately began manoeuvring to take control of the next steps of the process, in a series of key votes in the coming days.
MPs ignored the prime minister’s pleas to “get the deal done” and voted the deal down for a second time, after the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) said it was not convinced by last-minute assurances won from Brussels on Monday.

U.S. official suggests Italy avoid China's Belt and Road plan | Reuters

The Italian government should not support China’s “Belt and Road” infrastructure plan, a spokesman for the White House’s group of national security advisers said on Saturday, calling it a “vanity project.”
On Friday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that he might sign an accord with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this month, despite reports that the United States was concerned at the prospect of a key ally joining the venture.

French prosecutors open inquiry into Carlos Ghosn's lavish Versailles wedding party, source says | The Japan Times

French prosecutors have begun an inquiry into the lavish wedding party at the Palace of Versailles for former Renault and Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn, part of which was billed to the French automaker, a legal source said.
Renault SA disclosed last month that the chateau had waived the usual €50,000 (¥6.3 million) rental fee for the October 2016 party under a sponsorship fee signed a few months earlier.
The waived bill could amount to the misuse of company resources, as well as tax evasion, if the benefit-in-kind was not declared to French authorities.

Toyota and JAXA plan to send space rover to the moon in 2029 | The Japan Times

Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it will jointly develop a rover to be sent to the moon in 2029, amid fierce global competition to explore Earth’s natural satellite.
Toyota unveiled the project with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to build a rover that can be powered by fuel cells and enable astronauts to live inside it for a certain period without wearing space suits, in what would be the first such development in the world.
JAXA is planning to send manned missions to the moon between 2029 and 2034.

Venezuela's Power Outage Continues, Situation Grows Desperate : NPR

Venezuela has been in the grip of a crippling blackout for four days - and the humanitarian situation there is growing increasingly dire.
Signs of the crisis are everywhere you look in the Venezuelan capital. "Drive around Caracas, and you see long lines of cars waiting for hours at the few gas stations still operational," NPR's Philip Reeves reported from the city.








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