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World Bank Critic David Malpass Tapped To Lead World Bank

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says Treasury Department official David Malpass is his choice to lead the World Bank.

Trump introduced Malpass on Wednesday as the “right person to take on this incredibly important job.” Malpass is a sharp critic of the 189-nation lending institution.

Malpass says he’s honored by the nomination. He says a key goal will be to implement changes to the bank that he and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin helped negotiate, and to ensure that women achieve full participation in developing economies.

Malpass would succeed Jim Yong Kim, who departed in January three years before his term was to end.

Other candidates will likely be nominated for the post by the bank’s member countries. A final decision on a new president will be up to the bank’s board.

Brexit

European Union Offers To Extend Brexit Until October 31st, 2019, Awaiting UK Response

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BRUSSELS (AP) — Two European officials say EU leaders are offering to allow Britain to extend Brexit until Oct. 31 and are awaiting the U.K.’s response.


The officials said that the European leaders agreed at an emergency Brexit summit early Thursday in Brussels that part of the offer is that the EU would assess the situation June.

The officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door negotiations.

British Prime Minister Theresa May was expected to meet with EU Council President Donald Tusk to discuss the offer.

May had come to the summit requesting a delay until June 30 but had acknowledged she would be willing to extend that date. The British Parliament has repeatedly rejected a withdrawal deal negotiated with the EU, leading to today’s deadlock over Britain’s long-awaited departure.

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Brexit

British Lawmakers Reject Brexit Deal For Third Time, Brexit Fate Uncertain

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March 29 (UPI) — British lawmakers rejected for a third time Friday Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposal to leave the European Union, this time foiling an option to extend the departure deadline to late May.


The House of Commons voted 344-286 to decline the withdrawal agreement.

May called the impact of the vote “grave,” but said the government will keep working for an orderly exit instead of leaving with no deal.

“I fear we are reaching the limits of this process in this house,” she said.

May promised this week to step down if the deal was approved, hoping that would be enough to convince lawmakers to vote for it. That way, her Conservative Party could appoint another leader. Now many deal supporters in the party are calling for her to resign anyway.

Even if lawmakers had approved the agreement, they still would’ve had to vote on the political declaration to establish a future relationship with EU countries. The long-term arrangements would be negotiated over time after Britain exits. But none of that is possible now.

Shortly after the vote, EU Council President Donald Tuskcalled an emergency summit for April 10, two days before Britain’s new departure date of April 12. Lawmakers only needed to pass the withdrawal agreement Friday — not the political declaration — to extend the exit date to May 22.

The EU Commission said Friday a no-deal departure would be significantly worse than approving May’s withdrawal agreement.

“The Commission regrets the negative vote,” the EU Commission said. “A ‘no deal’ scenario on 12 April is now a likely scenario. The benefits of the Withdrawal Agreement, including a transition period, will in no circumstances be replicated in a ‘no-deal’ scenario.”

The British pound fell slightly in value after the vote, to $1.29 against the U.S. dollar.

“I think it’s a scandal. We voted to have a referendum … leave means leave,” one protester told CNN. “It’s like a game … when a team scores eight goals and another team scores nine goals, the team that scores nine goals is the winner.”

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Economy

Maryland Adopts $15 Minimum Wage, Overrides Governor’s Veto

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March 28 (UPI) — Maryland’s General Assembly voted Thursday to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill to gradually raise the state’s minimum wage to $15.


The override passed by a vote of 96-43 in the House of Delegates and a vote of 32-15 vote in the Senate, surpassing the three-fifths vote needed to undo Hogan’s veto of the bill.

Under the legislation, companies with 15 or more employees must pay workers at least $15 an hour by 2025. The legislature agreed to allow companies with fewer than 15 employees until July 2026 to comply with the law.

The bill’s lead sponsor, state Sen. Cory McCray, said he bill will affect a half-million people in the state.RELATEDSupreme Court declines to block national bump stock ban

“When I think about the American dream I think about shared prosperity,” he said during a debate of the override vote. “When we lift the standards for one worker, we are lifting the standards for all workers.”

In issuing his veto of the bill, Hogan said it would “cost us jobs, negatively impact our economic competitiveness and devastate our state’s economy.”

The governor issued a proposal that would raise the state’s minimum wage from $10.10 to $12.10 by 2022, allowing for further increases only if the surrounding states reach a combined average of 80 percent of Maryland’s wage. The minimum wage is $7.25 in Virginia and Pennsylvania, and $8.75 in Delaware and West Virginia.RELATEDTrump: Special Olympics will be funded after proposed cuts

“We are obviously disappointed that the legislature completely ignored the governor’s reasonable compromise proposal to protect jobs and small businesses,” Hogan spokesman Michael Ricci said. “So much for olive branches.”

Republicans also opposed the bill, with some saying it would hurt small businesses and rural parts of the state.

Democratic Delegate Dereck E. Davis, chair of the House Economic Matters Committee, said similar concerns were expressed when the state raised its minimum wage in 2014 and lawmakers responded by giving small businesses more time to make the changes.

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