Theresa May tells MPs she has identified ‘three key changes’ needed to her Brexit policy

Scotland’s external affairs and culture secretary said it was welcome the UK government had finally bowed to pressure and scrapped the £65 registration fee for EU citizens who wanted to stay, but added that it should never have been introduced. She said this does not change the fact that EU citizens should not be asked to apply simply to retain the rights that they already have to live, work and study in Scotland. This has caused real anxiety for EU citizens in Scotland, who contribute so much to our economy and society.

Theresa May’s Brexit ‘plan B’ rejected by Europe

Theresa May’s Plan B was bluntly ruled out by European leaders today just hours before she stood up to announce it to MPs. Dublin delivered a firm “No” to Downing Street’s latest bid to go back to Brussels and ask for concessions on the backstop. And the vice-president of the European Parliament also flatly rejected two other ideas being hastily floated as ways of defusing the Brexit deal: one being to remove the backstop from the EU agreement and replace it with an Anglo-Irish treaty; the other being to rewrite the Good Friday agreement that underpins the peace process. The triple-No to Mrs May followed a weekend of political confusion as ministers argued over how best to break the deadlock in Parliament and backbenchers plotted openly to seize the reins.

Israel opens new airport to boost Eilat tourism, provide wartime back-up

TIMNA, Israel, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Israel opened a new international airport outside its Red Sea resort of Eilat on Monday, hoping to boost winter tourism from Europeans and provide an alternative for times of conflict to its main gateway in Tel Aviv. Abutting the Jordanian border some 19 km (12 miles) north of Eilat, Ilan and Asaf Ramon Airport cost $500 million and will replace the city's cramped municipal airport as well as Ovda, an Israeli desert airbase that also accommodates civilian traffic. Named after an Israeli astronaut lost in the 2003 space shuttle disaster and his eldest son, who died in a 2009 air force accident, the single-runway Ramon is designed for wide-body planes and an annual capacity of 2.5 million passengers. Jordan and Egypt, Red Sea neighbours which both have peace treaties with Israel, may also benefit from transit tourists landing there, Israeli officials say. "It (Ramon) is going to be a regional airport and if some of our tourists are going to Aqaba and Taba, that´s great," Chanan Moscowitz, head of Eilat-area airport operations, told Reuters, referring to the Jordan and Egyptian border terminals.

Benjamin Netanyahu: ‘Israel, Chad renew diplomatic ties

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his country has renewed its ties with Chad during a trip to the central African country. "We renew the diplomatic relations between the countries!" Netanyahu posted on Twitter on Sunday during his trip, which he earlier hailed as a "historic and important breakthrough". Chad, a Muslim-majority country, borders Libya and Sudan. Chad's President Idriss Deby visited Jerusalem in November, the first by a leader of the Central African country. The country broke its relations with Israel in 1972. Netanyahu has pushed to extend Israeli diplomacy to Africa and has visited the continent several times in recent years.

Mexico pipeline blast death toll rises to 79

The death toll from a fiery explosion at the site of an illegally tapped fuel line in central Mexico rose Sunday to 79, officials said. Hundreds of people had been drawn to the site in the state of Hidalgo on Friday to gather fuel amid shortages and a government crackdown on pipeline fuel thefts. The cause of the explosion is under investigation, Attorney General Alejandro Gertz told a news conference

Zimbabwe president cuts short foreign tour over protests

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa broke off a foreign tour Sunday, saying he wanted his country "calm, stable and working again" as criticism grew over a brutal crackdown in response to protests. Mnangagwa appeared to take a more conciliatory approach than his spokesman George Charamba, who said the crackdown was "just a foretaste of things to come", as allegations mount up of shootings, beatings and abductions of opposition figures, activists and ordinary people. The security forces' operation has underlined fears of a return to the violent repression of Robert Mugabe, who was ousted from power by the military 14 months ago.