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Gas explosion kills 2 firefighters, a tourist in Paris!

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PARIS: Two firefighters died and twelve got seriously injured when a powerful explosion caused by a gas leak tore through a bakery here today.
Earlier the Commander of Paris fire service while talking to Media here today said: “Twelve people are seriously injured, including three firefighters, and 24 others have more minor injuries.”
“Among the 12, two firefighters and three civilians are in life-threatening condition,” he said

Relevant: A powerful gas explosion tore through a building in central Paris on Saturday, killing two firefighters and a Spanish woman, injuring dozens of people and badly damaging nearby apartments, officials said. Around 200 firefighters were mobilized to battle the fire that broke out after the blast and evacuate victims and residents in the area, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told reporters at the scene. The explosion came with the city on edge during the latest “yellow vest” anti-government demonstrations, which have often degenerated into violence and vandalism in Paris and other cities in recent weeks. Cars were overturned by the blast and glass and rubble was strewn across large swathes of the street after the explosion gutted the lower part of the building. Dozens of residents were treated by rescue workers on the street. “I was sleeping and was woken up by the blast wave,” Claire Sallavuard, who lives on the Rue de Trevise where the explosion occurred, told AFP. “All the windows in the apartment exploded, doors were blown off their hinges, I had to walk on the door to leave the room, all the kids were panicking, they couldn’t get out of their room.” “Firefighters advised us to leave but the elevator shaft had been blown out, there was no railing, nothing, and there was too much smoke,” she said.

 

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Shooter kills 3 on Dutch tram, wounds 9 more, police suspect terrorism

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THE HAGUE: The mayor of the Dutch city of Utrecht says that three people have been killed in an attack on a tram and adds that a “terror motive” is the most plausible option.

Jan van Zanen also said that nine have been wounded, three of them seriously.

Van Zanen said that “we cannot exclude, even stronger, we assume a terror motive. Likely there is one attacker, but there could be more.”

Dutch authorities have named a 37-year-old Turkey-born man as linked to the tram shooting.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says that the Netherlands has been hit by an attack in Utrecht and that terrorism isn’t excluded, after one person was killed in a tram shooting along with an unknown number of wounded.

Rutte says that “our nation was hit by an attack in Utrecht. It is clear there were shots on tram passengers in Utrecht, that there are wounded,” without specifying how many. He said that “a terror motive is not excluded.”

Rutte said that throughout the nation, “there is a mix of disbelief and disgust.”

He said “if it is terror attack then we have only one answer: our nation, democracy must be stronger that fanaticism and violence.”

Dutch authorities have named a 37-year-old Turkey-born man as linked to the tram shooting.

Dutch authorities have named a 37-year-old Turkey-born man as linked to the tram shooting in the central Dutch town of Utrecht.

Police showed the picture of a bearded man sitting on public transport and dressed in a dark blue top with a hood tucked in his neck. Police identified him as Gokmen Tanis.

It was the first image distributed of someone linked to the shooting. Police warned citizens not to approach the man but call authorities instead.

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Europe

UK’s delay in departure from EU

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Hitachi freezes British nuclear project

LONDON: British Parliament voted on Thursday (14th March) to seek a delay of the country’s departure from the European Union,  averting chaotic withdrawal on the exit date of 29th  March. 

According to details, the House of Commons voted 412-202 to ask the bloc to postpone Britain’s exit until at least  30th of June EU officials have said they would only allow a delay if Britain either approves a divorce deal or makes a fundamental shift in its approach to Brexit.

It is pertinent to mention here that after the passage of even three years  Britain voted to leave the EU, its future is now in the bloc’s hands.

Relevant pieces published earlier: 

British MPs set to vote on no-deal Brexit

British Parliament rejects Brexit Deal by 149 votes

British MPs to vote on draft Brexit deal tomorrow

London mayor urges Brexit delay 

British opposition raises prospect of second Brexit referendum

 

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Europe

British MPs set to vote on no-deal Brexit

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LONDON: British MPs will vote Wednesday on whether the country should leave the EU without a deal in just over two weeks, after overwhelmingly rejecting a draft divorce agreement.
The House of Commons is expected to vote against a “no deal” Brexit, although this could still happen on March 29 unless it can agree on what should happen instead. MPs on Tuesday rejected for a second time the withdrawal deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May, despite her obtaining last-minute assurances from EU officials. Some eurosceptics are now pressing to leave with no deal, but May warned this scenario could cause “significant economic shock” – and many MPs agree with her. If the “no-deal” option is voted down, the government is planning another Commons vote on Thursday on whether or not to request a Brexit delay. But May warned: “Voting against leaving without a deal and for an extension does not solve the problems we face. The EU will want to know what use we mean to make of such an extension. This House will have to answer that question,” she said, her voice half-breaking due to a cold.
“Does it wish to revoke Article 50?” she said, referring to the Brexit process. “Does it want to hold a second referendum? Or does it want to leave with a deal but not this deal?” British media have reported that May could make a desperate attempt at a third vote on her deal, hoping that Brexit hardliners will fall in line. But Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour party, said the text was “clearly dead” and urged her to back his own plan for closer economic ties with the EU. A group of lawmakers will on Wednesday put forward an alternative proposal to delay Brexit until May 22 and agree on a series of interim agreements with the EU lasting until 2021. But Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, said Brussels had nothing more to offer and must now brace for the possibility of a messy divorce. “The EU has done everything it can to help get the withdrawal agreement over the line,” he tweeted after Tuesday’s result. “The impasse can only be solved in the #UK. Our ‘no-deal’ preparations are now more important than ever before.” After MPs first rejected the 585-page Brexit deal in January, May promised changes to its hated backstop plan, an arrangement intended to keep open the border with Ireland. Weeks of talks failed to make a breakthrough, but May made a late dash to Strasbourg to meet EU leaders on the eve of the vote.
She announced she had secured “legally binding changes” to the backstop, which would keep Britain in the EU’s customs union if and until a new way was found to avoid frontier checks. Hours later, however, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said these additions would not completely allay MPs fears of being trapped in the arrangement indefinitely. Brexit-supporting MPs in May’s Conservative party, and her allies, Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), swiftly declared they would not support the deal. Some eurosceptics did change their mind, urging their colleagues not to risk everything. But the margin of Tuesday’s defeat was 149 votes, not significantly smaller than the historic 230-vote thumping the plan first suffered on 15th January. If MPs vote against a no-deal exit on Wednesday and want to postpone Brexit, the other 27 EU nations would need to agree. Their leaders will meet in Brussels for a summit on 21-22 March. But any postponement may have to be short-lived. European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday said Brexit “should be complete before the European elections” at the end of May.

Relevant pieces published earlier:

British Parliament rejects Brexit Deal by 149 votes

British MPs to vote on draft Brexit deal tomorrow

London mayor urges Brexit delay 

British opposition raises prospect of second Brexit referendum

Brexit: UK ministers warn PM to get her deal now

UK posts slowest growth in six years as Brexit looms

 

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