MPs are holding a string of crucial votes on Brexit that will plot the way forward just 59 days before Britain leaves the EU. Theresa May is trying to salvage her stricken premiership with a vote to RE-OPEN EU talks over her 585-page Brexit deal. Her shock bid, designed to revise the 'Irish backstop', comes despite Brussels repeatedly saying they won't restart talks. Two weeks after her deal suffered a record defeat, Mrs May told MPs it was obvious what they don't want - but they must "send an emphatic message about what we DO want". Yet MPs look set to DELAY Brexit in a separate vote tonight which will be backed by Labour. In all MPs will vote on up to 7 amendments from 7pm - read our guide to them here. Elsewhere the NHS cancelled a blood drive for fears of no deal traffic in Dover, and warned UK pensioners, students and tourists abroad they will lose their right to free healthcare. Follow live updates from the debate below or watch on the video stream above. Read More Latest Brexit … [Read more...] about Live updates as MPs hold key votes on Brexit
Controlled key systems
Proposals to merge the existing class use system in our town centres should allow more flexibility for traditional retail hubs to adapt to the changing face of the high street, according to a planning expert.It comes amid a flurry of negative headlines at the start of 2019 as retailers reported disappointing sales over December - traditionally a key performance indicator.Marks & Spencer confirmed it was axing shops in Ashford and Deal as it looks to cut costs, while Debenhams is thought to be considering adding an additional 40 stores on top of the 50 it was already planning on axing as it tries to avoid administration.To add to high street woes, stationery outlet Paperchase is also looking at closing stores, while adminstrators for HMV were still hoping to find a buyer when Kent Business went to press.Now the government has proposed merging the traditional Use Classes A1 (retail), A2 (professional services) and A3 (food and drink) to allow units the ability to change … [Read more...] about Is this the key to allowing our town centres to evolve?
At Francis Street CBS primary school, in south inner-city Dublin, the work of narrowing the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their better-off peers starts not with maths or literacy but with yoga and Pilates. The boys sit in a circle. There are exercises to develop fine and gross motor skills, which are vital for handwriting. They are encouraged to talk about empathy and how to deal with conflict. Mindfulness and meditation are also part of the approach. It is, says the school’s principal, Fiona Collins, all about playing catch-up with other children. “They are often at a disadvantage the minute they are born. They lag behind on exposure to words and on motor skills and basic development. “The Pilates and yoga are really about making up for the fact that many missed out on a lot of early developmental milestones. This can often be linked to being in buggies for too long or growing up without sufficient space to run around and explore.” There is also a big … [Read more...] about ‘To survive the Irish school system, you have to become middle class’
Romania is a key-player in the region and it will be the center of gravity for the Western countries in countering Russian aggression in Ukraine, said retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, who helmed U.S. European Command’s Army component from late 2014 through 2017, cited by militarytimes.com. The US general estimates that the Russian Federation won’t stop until it completely owns the Sea of Azov and has choked out Ukraine’s very important seaport of Mariupol. “The next phase will probably be land and sea operations that would eventually secure maybe even Mariupol but continue to take the Ukrainian coastline and connect Crimea back up to Russia along the Sea of Azov,” Hodges told Military Times. “It’s not going to happen in the next six months, but this is the direction they’re taking until they completely own the Black Sea and they’ve isolated Ukraine,” he added. The construction of new military facilities and the setting up of new … [Read more...] about US general: Romania is key in the region, it will be the center of gravity for the West in countering Russian aggression
The energy regulators of Spain and France have rejected an investment request to build the central section of the planned Midi-Catalonia (MidCat) gas pipeline linking the two countries, in a move that could spell the end of the entire project, green activists said. Permission for the central portion of MidCat, the South Transit Eastern Pyrenees (STEP), was refused on grounds of lack of necessity and high cost, the two regulators said on Tuesday (22 January). The project “fails to comply with market needs and lacks sufficient maturity to be considered,” according to a joint statement by Spain’s CNMC and France’s CRE. The two regulators framed their decision in the context of European energy policy objectives, “with a special regard to the European strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”. The project fails to provide “a clear and positive cost-benefit ratio” with regard to market developments and “the … [Read more...] about Regulators reject key section of planned France-Spain gas pipeline