British PM May loses key battle over Brexit: British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a major defeat in the House of Commons as Conservative Party (Tory) opponents backed a Labour Party measure demanding parliament vote on a final Brexit deal.
The vote took place just as May was headed to Brussels to resume negotiations with the European Union (EU).
In a narrow vote of 309–305, 11 Tory members of parliament joined nearly all Labour, Scottish National Party and Liberal Democrats in backing an amendment to require a vote before leaving the EU.
Rights group expresses alarm over imprisoned journalists: For the second year in a row, New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has announced the number of journalists jailed overseas has hit an all-time high.
Over 260 journalists are imprisoned abroad, according to CPJ, up from 259 in 2016. CPJ also noted many remain jailed without scheduled trials.
China, Egypt and Turkey lead what CPJ calls a threat to freedom of the press with over 130 journalists behind bars.
Saudi Arabia eliminates ban on movie theaters, allows women to drive: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reversed a decades-old ban on the operation of movie theaters in the country.
The changes are regarded as part of modernization policy under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Originally put into effect in the 1980s, the ban on cinemas was instituted over concerns films were a threat to cultural and religious identity.
The move to re-open movie theaters nationwide comes as the Saudis approved the right for women to drive trucks and motorcycles without permission from male guardians.
EU poised to rebuke Poland over judicial reforms: The EU’s European Commission has warned Poland it will sanction the country over its expected judicial overhaul.
The EU is prepared to sanction Warsaw as a violator of EU laws and values. Such a sanction would deny Poland’s voting rights in the EU.
Poland is poised to pass several reforms, one of which allows the majority Law and Justice (PiS) party power to appoint judges. Prior to the law’s passage, judges were approved by the National Council of the Judiciary.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki argued against a rebuke from the EU on Thursday, saying “Europe should be a Europe of sovereign states who should have the right to reform their justice systems.”
Protesters demand Israeli PM to resign: Thousands of Israeli demonstrators flooded Tel Aviv’s streets demanding the resignation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday.
Protesters are calling for Netanyahu’s resignation over charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
Investigators probing allegations of corruption questioned Netanyahu for the seventh time last week and are probing charges Netanyahu accepted bribes in return for political favor. Netanyahu denies the charges and has denounced the inquiry as a political witch hunt.
[BBC] [RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty] [U.S. News & World Report] [EUobserver] [AP]