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London mayor urges Brexit delay 

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London mayor urges Brexit delay 

LONDON: London Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged Prime Minister Theresa May to delay Britain’s departure from the European Union, warning time has run out to rework her withdrawal agreement.

“It’s clear that we can’t reach a meaningful deal that’s agreed by parliament by March 29,” Khan, from Britain’s main opposition Labour Party told the Media.  “I’m hoping the prime minister sees sense and either extends the notice period for Article 50 or withdraws Article 50.” 

Article 50 is the EU law that Britain invoked in 2017 triggering a two-year countdown to Brexit that ends at 11 pm (2300 GMT) on 29th March. The country is currently on course to leave without an agreement after MPs in January overwhelmingly rejected a divorce deal May struck with the EU late last year. The embattled leader is now seeking changes to the pact which she hopes will be enough to get it through parliament by March 12.

 In her revised strategy unveiled this week, May has vowed that if her deal is rejected, lawmakers will vote in the following days on whether to leave without a deal or delay Brexit briefly. But European leaders have warned any postponement would come with conditions. 

Khan, a leading advocate for a second referendum on EU membership, argued that freezing the process by unilaterally withdrawing Article 50 was the most feasible way forward. “Let’s do it… stop the clock,” he said. “The deal the prime minister negotiated, even if she’s able to improve it, is a bad deal… parliament’s in gridlock.  “In those circumstances, I think the British public should be allowed to… have a say,” the mayor added.

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Russian Pianists Mesmerize Karachiites (VIDEO AND TEXT)

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KARACHI: Music aficionados from all over the Metropolis converged at the patio of Alliance Française de Karachi (AFK) – French Cultural Centre – here on Monday (29th April). The occasion was a piano concert by Russian twin sisters Anastasia & Polina Churbanova. 

KARACHI: Humane Urduphone Consul General of the Russian Federation Dr. Aleksandr G. Khozin announced that the first piece of the evening had been dedicated to Ahmed Mir (late official of the Qatar Airways) who had sponsored the duo’s transportation – Mir died in an accident in the USA.

KARACHI: Conspicuous among others there were  Consul Generals of Russia & France, Commissioner Karachi, Bina Shah (President AFK), Behram & Goshpi Avari (who had sponsored the twin’s stay here), and family members of the late official of Qatar Airways Ahmed Mir.The soirée commenced with two sisters playing German Composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s Minuet & Badinerie  (from Orchestral Suite No.2 in B minor). The next piece was French composer & pianist Francis Poulenc’s Sonate Zu vier Händen. Alexander Scriabin’s composition (Sonata No.3 in F-sharp minor op.23) Andante was performed by Polina whereas, her sister’s solo was Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata No. 27 in E Minor op.90. The last scheduled composition played by the twin sisters was Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Barcarolle, Scherzo, Russian Theme, Romance, Waltz and Slava (6 pieces, op.11 for piano four hands). After three curtain calls the twins excused as they were too exhausted to perform.  KARACHI: Talking exclusively to this scribe Anastasia & Polina Churbanova told that they were from St. Petersburg and were playing Piano since they were six. After taking lessons for a year they took part in a globally acclaimed contest named after Lubov Brook. Later in 2003, they won first prize in the famous international competition named after celebrated Russian pianist/composer A. Rubinstein. The twins told this was their second visit to the Port City, a Metropolis where they would love to perform again in future. They give piano concerts in Russia regularly and – besides  Pakistan – had performed in five foreign countries (including Austria, Germany, Holland, & Ukraine). 

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PS: It is pertinent to mention here that this performance was part of an international concert series termed as Classical Music Without Borders.

 

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Theresa May announces her resignation!

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LONDON: Drawing three-year premiership to a close, Theresa May will leave 10-Downing Street on 7th of June. 

This was announced here today by the Premier who had to take this decision due to massive criticism for missing two Brexit deadlines failing to deliver her major policy of leaving the EU: “It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit,” stated.

She maintained that it had been the honor of her life to serve as PM and she would leave with no ill will, but enormous and enduring gratitude. 

 

 

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Macron faces a critical test this weekend

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PARIS: President Emmanuel Macron this weekend faces a critical test of his ambitions to reform France and champion a liberal Europe in European Parliament elections where his own party risks losing to the far-right.
The latest opinion surveys show the far-right National Rally (RN) outpolling Macron’s centrist Republic on the Move (LREM) by between 0.5-2 percentage points, after months where the two were neck-and-neck.
Analysts say that two years into his five-year term, the EU election represents a critical juncture for Macron and will influence whether the 41-year-old president can continue reforming in what he calls the “second act” of his time in office.
Macron has made no secret of the importance of the polls in France Sunday, telling regional newspapers this week the elections were the most important for four decades as the union faced an “existential threat”.
At stake is the youthful president’s vision of implementing further pro-business reforms in France, while emerging as a champion of more integration among EU member states.
Losing to Marine Le Pen’s RN — formerly known as the National Front — could be a glaring blow to those ambitions.
Sources close to Macron say a bad loss could prompt a major cabinet reshuffle, with the job of Prime Minister Edouard Philippe seen as being on the line.

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