UK’s May to initiate “Brexit” on March 29: After much legal wrangling, which included involvement of Great Britain’s highest court, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced her government will begin its exodus from the European Union on Wednesday, March 29.
May announced her intent to formally withdraw from the European economic bloc in writing on Wednesday. In triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the UK sets off a two-year procedure in which the UK and the EU engage in negotiations to end the British Isles’ 44-year relationship with the Common Market, and later, the EU.
Negotiations are expected to begin immediately and are believed to require no more than two years.
Former Egyptian leader freed from prison: Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been freed after six years in prison.
Deposed in February 2011 in Egypt’s “Arab Spring” uprising, Mubarak was arrested two months later and was tried on a number of charges, primarily the allegation of the murder of over 200 protesters in a crackdown early in the 2011 rebellion.
Initially sentenced to life behind bard, upon appeal, Mubarak was acquitted on March 2.
A staunch ally of the U.S. for years, relations between the two nations deteriorated rapidly under former President Barack Obama.
Turkey’s Erdogan accuses Germany of backing 2016 coup: Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s war of words with Germany came to a head last week with the allegation the German government supports activists aligned with exiled Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.
Turkey has long maintained Gulen incited the 2016 Turkish coup.
The controversy revolves around Berlin refusing entry to Turkish officials over safety concerns ahead of an expected referendum on proposed changes to the Turkish constitution.
Former Russian lawmaker shot dead on street in Ukraine: Former State Duma member Denis Voronenkov, a known critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was shot dead on a street in the capital city of Kiev Thursday.
Voronenkov, who fled Russia in late 2016 over alleged threats from Russian security apparatus, the FSB, was attacked while walking outside a hotel. The gunman approached Voronenkov, shot him in the head and neck, wounded his bodyguard and attempted to flee. Voronenkov’s bodyguard returned fire, wounding the assailant. The gunman later died at a local hospital.
Voronenkov had frequently criticized the Russian government over its annexation of Crimea. Following his flight from Russia, authorities in Moscow accused Voronenkov of $5 million in property fraud.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko placed blame on Russia; the Kremlin denies any involvement.
Iran hits 15 U.S. firms with sanctions: Citing support of the State of Israel, alleged complicity in terrorism and repression against Middle Eastern nations, the government of Iran has imposed economic sanctions on 15 American businesses.
All U.S. companies targeted by Tehran have deep business interests in the defense industry and include Raytheon and United Technologies.
AP reported Iran is weighing legislation that would label the CIA and U.S. military as terrorist organizations if America imposes further sanctions or designates the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terror threat.
[RT UK] [Reuters] [Middle East Monitor] [The Guardian] [AP]