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World Bank Critic David Malpass Tapped To Lead World Bank



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.


UK Prime Minister Theresa May Will Be Leaving Her PM Position After Latest Brexit Attempt




LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May will set out a timetable for her departure in early June after the latest attempt to get her Brexit deal approved by parliament, the chairman of a powerful Conservative Committee said on Thursday.

Three years after Britain voted to leave the European Union, there is little clarity over when, how and even whether Brexit will happen, prompting some in her party to call for a new approach to the country’s biggest policy shift in more than 40 years.

May has promised to step down after her Brexit deal is approved by lawmakers. But many in her party want her to set out clearly when she will quit if the agreement is rejected for a fourth time, and others are demanding her immediate departure.

“The prime minister is determined to secure our departure from the European Union,” Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee that can make or break party leaders, said following a meeting between his committee’s executive and May in parliament which he described as a “very frank exchange”.

The government has said lawmakers will be able to debate and vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, the legislation required to enact May’s Brexit deal, in the week starting June 3.

“We have agreed that she and I will meet following the second reading of the Bill to agree a timetable for the election of a new leader,” Brady said, adding that the conversation would take place whether the bill was passed or not.

May, who became prime minister in the chaos that followed the 2016 referendum when Britons voted 52% to 48% to leave the EU, survived a no-confidence vote of her Conservative lawmakers in December.

Under current party rules, she cannot be challenged again for a year, but some on Brady’s committee had pushed for those rules to be changed in order to try to force her out earlier if she refused to set out a clear departure date.

Boris Johnson, the face of the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, said he would stand as a candidate to replace May as Conservative leader.


May’s Brexit deal has been rejected three times by parliament and weeks of talks with the opposition Labour Party, the idea of which were deeply unpopular with many Conservatives, have failed to find a consensus on the way forward.

Mired in Brexit deadlock and forced to delay Britain’s March 29 exit from the EU, May’s Conservatives suffered major losses in local elections this month and are trailing in opinion polls before May 23 European Parliament elections.

With Labour and Brexit-supporting rebels in the Conservatives planning to vote against her deal, it is unlikely to be approved as things stand.

Pro-Brexit Conservative lawmakers were unimpressed with May’s failure to set a firm date to quit. One, who declined to be named, described it as “yet further procrastination which is causing appalling damage to the Conservative Party.”

Another, Andrew Bridgen, said May was “an increasingly beleaguered and isolated prime minister who is desperate to salvage something from her premiership and is prepared to drive through an agreement that would fatally hamstring any future prime minister in negotiations with the EU.”

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




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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UK Prime Minister Theresa May Attempts To Press Pause On Brexit, Hits Roadblocks




LONDON (AP) — Exactly 1,000 days after Britain voted to leave the European Union, and nine days before it is scheduled to walk out the door, Prime Minister Theresa May hit the pause button Wednesday, asking the bloc to postpone the U.K.’s departure until June 30.

EU leaders, who are exasperated by Britain’s Brexit melodrama, said they would only grant the extension if May could win Parliament’s approval for her twice-rejected Brexit deal. Otherwise, the U.K. is facing a much longer delay to Brexit, or a chaotic “no-deal” departure from the bloc.

In a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, May acknowledged that the Brexit process “clearly will not be completed before 29 March, 2019” — the date fixed in law two years ago for Britain’s departure.

In asking to delay Britain’s withdrawal until June 30, May said she would set out her reasons to EU leaders at a summit in Brussels on Thursday.

Tusk said he thought a short delay to Brexit “will be possible, but it would be conditional on a positive vote on the withdrawal agreement in the House of Commons.”

British opposition politicians, and pro-EU members of May’s Conservative government, had urged a longer extension, saying a delay of just a few months could leave the country once again facing a chaotic “no-deal” Brexit this summer. Withdrawing without a deal could mean huge disruptions for businesses and U.K. residents, as well as those in the 27 remaining EU countries.

But a long extension would infuriate the pro-Brexit wing of May’s divided party and would require Britain to participate in May 23-26 elections for the European Parliament.

May said a longer delay would result in Parliament spending “endless hours contemplating its navel on Brexit.”

“As prime minister I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than June 30,” she told the House of Commons — a hint she could quit if Britain is forced to accept a longer delay.

Any delay that required Britain to take part in European parliamentary elections would be a major headache for the bloc. Britain’s seats already have been allocated to other countries to fill in the May election.

Britain believes it would not have to participate if it got a three-month delay, because the newly elected European parliament is not due to convene until July.

But a leading European Commission official said a June 30 extension would cause “legal uncertainty.”

The official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation, said Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told May in a telephone call that “the withdrawal has to be complete before May 23,” the first day of the European elections.

The alternative would be for Britain to participate in the elections and accept a much longer delay, to the end of 2019 or beyond.

The EU is unwilling to give Britain more time unless the government can find a way out of the Brexit impasse.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said a delay could only be granted if May guaranteed that its purpose “is to finalize the ratification of the deal already negotiated.”

“Otherwise in the absence of a vote approving the withdrawal deal, the main scenario is an exit without a deal,” Le Drian said at the National Assembly in Paris. “We are ready for that.”

EU leaders are united in saying that the divorce deal it spent more than a year and a half negotiating with Britain can’t be renegotiated.

But the deal has twice been rejected twice by hefty margins in Britain’s Parliament, amid opposition from pro-Brexit and pro-EU lawmakers.

May had planned to try again this week to get the agreement approved, until the speaker of the House of Commons ruled that she can’t ask Parliament to vote on the deal again unless it is substantially changed.

May told Tusk that despite the ruling “it remains my intention to bring the deal back to the House.”

Both sides of Britain’s Brexit divide were equally unimpressed with May’s request for a delay.

Brexit-backing Conservative lawmaker Peter Bone said delaying Brexit would be “betraying the British people.”

Opposition Labour Party lawmaker Angela Eagle said May should “stop banging her head against the brick wall of her defeated deal” and seek cross-party support for a new Brexit strategy.

The Brexit-fueled political chaos has drawn reactions ranging from sympathy to scorn at home and around the world. On its front page Wednesday, the Brexit-backing Daily Mail newspaper bemoaned the time since the referendum as”1,000 lost days.”

From Washington, Donald Trump Jr. said May should have listened to his father, who urged her last year to sue the EU in order to secure better departure terms. The U.S. president has criticized May for not taking his advice.

The president’s multimillionaire son blamed “elites” in London and Brussels for scuttling Brexit. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Trump Jr. said “democracy in the U.K. is all but dead.”

EU leaders are unlikely to agree to a delay until Parliament has voted again on May’s deal.

“As long as we don’t know what Britain could say yes to, we can’t reach a decision,” European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker told Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio.

Tusk said he didn’t foresee having to call an emergency summit next week to approve the extension, which could be done in writing.

Juncker said Britain’s Parliament needed to decide whether it would approve the only deal that is on the table.

“If that doesn’t happen, and if Great Britain does not leave at the end of March, then we are, I am sorry to say, in the hands of God,” he said. “And I think even God sometimes reaches a limit to his patience.”

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