Greatest of shows planned for St Patrick's Day in Kerry

St Patrick’s Day goes global – parades and shows, food and drink – Annual Global Greening initiative by Tourism Ireland

WRCB
6th Annual St. Chatty's Day Parade March 16, 1-2 p.m.
WRCB: 6th Annual St. Chatty’s Day Parade March 16, 1-2 p.m.

Greatest of shows planned for St Patrick’s Weekend in Kerry, Ireland – Crimson Tazvinzwa//AIWA! NO!

The Burj Khalifa in Dubai joined in celebrations
Image captionThe world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, joins in the celebrations

This weekend will see more than 400 landmarks in more than 50 countries go green for St Patrick.

The annual Global Greening initiative by Tourism Ireland started in 2010 and topping this year’s new additions list is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai -the world’s tallest building.

Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Lord’s cricket ground in London are also among the 2019 newbies.

Is it St Patrick's Day in Las Vegas? You bet!
Image captionIs it St Patrick’s Day in Las Vegas? You bet!
Saskethewan
Image captionMac the Moose in Saskatchewan, Canada, is wearing the green
Source of the Nile bridge in Uganda
Image captionThe Source of the Nile bridge in Uganda celebrates
The Cotton Tree in Sierra Leone
Image captionAnother one from Africa – Sierra Leone – and new to 2019. The Cotton Tree is the capital Freetown’s historic symbol
Madrid's Cibeles Fountain
Image captionThe Cibeles Fountain, built in 1782, is one of the symbols of Madrid
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Who do these people threatening no Brexit at all think they are?

British parliament expected to reject a ‘no-deal’ Brexit in a vote Wednesday – throwing the country in deeper political crisis

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May  (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Theresa May confirms she will vote to rule out a no-deal Brexit – AIWA! NO!

LONDON (Reuters) – The parliament will vote on Wednesday on whether to leave the European Union in 16 days without an agreement as the government said it would eliminate import tariffs on a wide range of goods in a no-deal Brexit scenario.

British lawmakers on Tuesday handed Prime Minister Theresa May a second humiliating defeat on the Brexit plan she had agreed with the EU, plunging the country deeper into political crisis.

The turmoil leaves the world’s fifth largest economy facing a range of scenarios – it could leave without a transition deal; delay the March 29 divorce date enshrined in law; May could hold a snap election or try a third time to get her deal passed; or Britain could hold another Brexit referendum.

RELATED COVERAGE

On Wednesday, parliament is expected to reject a no-deal Brexit in a vote at 1900 GMT, although this will have no legal force. On Thursday, it will then vote on whether to ask the EU for a delay to Brexit, something to which all the bloc’s other 27 members must agree.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said the bloc would need to know why Britain wanted to extend talks and it was up to London to find a way out of the deadlock.

“If the UK still wants to leave the EU in an orderly manner, this treaty is – and will remain – the only treaty possible,” Barnier told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

In his legal advice on Theresa May’s Strasbourg agreement, Britain's Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said that new provisions “reduce the risk” of the UK being “indefinitely and involuntarily” held in the backstop, but said that “the legal risk remains unchanged” that the UK would have no legal means of exiting without EU agreement. He wrote in his legal advice on the Strasbourg agreements: "I now consider that the legally binding provisions of the Joint Instrument and the content of the Unilateral Declaration reduce the risk that the United Kingdom could be indefinitely and involuntarily detained within the Protocol's provisions at least in so far as that situation had been brought about by the bad faith or want of best endeavours of the EU.

BREXIT latest: United Kingdom cannot leave backstop without EU agreement, says Attorney General

Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the European Research Group of Eurosceptic Conservative MPs, said he had not decided which way he would vote on Mrs May's deal, but added "there must be a chance" of a further renegotiation with the EU.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the European Research Group of Eurosceptic Conservative MPs, said he had not decided which way he would vote on Mrs May’s deal, but added “there must be a chance” of a further renegotiation with the EU.

CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|Attorney General Geoffrey Cox says “legal risk remains unchanged” in updated #Brexit deal and UK would have no legal means of exiting without EU agreement

In his legal advice on Theresa May’s Strasbourg agreement, Britain’s Attorney General Geoffrey Cox said that new provisions “reduce the risk” of the UK being “indefinitely and involuntarily” held in the backstop, but said that “the legal risk remains unchanged” that the UK would have no legal means of exiting without EU agreement.

He wrote in his legal advice on the Strasbourg agreements: “I now consider that the legally binding provisions of the Joint Instrument and the content of the Unilateral Declaration reduce the risk that the United Kingdom could be indefinitely and involuntarily detained within the Protocol’s provisions at least in so far as that situation had been brought about by the bad faith or want of best endeavours of the EU.

“It may be thought that if both parties deploy a sincere desire to reach agreement and the necessary diligence, flexibility and goodwill implied by the amplified duties set out in the Joint Instrument, it is highly unlikely that a satisfactory subsequent agreement to replace the Protocol will not be concluded.

UK Attorney General Geoffrey Cox
UK Attorney General Geoffrey Cox

“But as I have previously advised, that is a political judgment, which, given the mutual incentives of the parties and the available options and competing risks, I remain strongly of the view it is right to make.

“However, the legal risk remains unchanged that if through no such demonstrable failure of either party, but simply because of intractable differences, that situation does arise, the United Kingdom would have, at least while the fundamental circumstances remained the same, no internationally lawful means of exiting the Protocol’s arrangements, save by agreement.”View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Key points:

British and EU flags flutter outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

Brexit hangs in balance as parliament to vote on May’s tweaked deal

British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker at a news conference in Strasbourg, France, on March 11 2019. Picture: REUTERS/VINCENT KESSLER
British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker at a news conference in Strasbourg, France, on March 11 2019. Picture: REUTERS/VINCENT KESSLER

Theresa May secures 11th-hour Brexit assurances from EU – AIWA! NO!

Guy FaulconbridgeKylie MacLellan//REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) – The future of Britain’s exit from the European Union hung in the balance on Tuesday as lawmakers prepared to vote on a divorce deal after Prime Minister Theresa May won last-minute assurances from the European Union.

Scrambling to plot an orderly path out of the Brexit maze just days before the United Kingdom is due to leave, May rushed to Strasbourg on Monday to agree ‘legally binding’ assurances with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

British lawmakers, who on Jan. 15 voted 432-202 against her deal, were on Tuesday studying the assurances with lawyers. The government’s top lawyer, Geoffrey Cox, is due to give his opinion on Tuesday ahead of the vote due around 1900 GMT.

“We have secured legal changes,” May said in a late night news conference in Strasbourg beside Juncker, 17 days before the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29.

May said the assurances created an arbitration channel for any disputes on the backstop, “entrenches in legally-binding form” existing commitments that it will be temporary and binds the UK and EU to starting work on replacing the backstop with other arrangements by December 2020.

After two-and-a-half years of haggling since the 2016 Brexit referendum, Juncker cautioned this was the last chance for Britain. “It is this deal or Brexit might not happen at all,” he said.

Sterling rose 1.5 percent against the dollar and to a near two-year high against the euro.

If lawmakers vote down May’s deal, she has promised a vote on Wednesday on whether to leave without a deal and, if they reject that, then a vote on whether to ask for a limited delay to Brexit.

Sky News Ethiopian Airlines plane crash kills all 157 people on board

UK: At least 224 Boeing 737 MAX 8s owned or ordered by Irish firms

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Photograph: EPA/STR
An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Photograph: EPA/STR

The relatively new aircraft type involved in the Ethiopian Airlines crash is popular with Irish lessors –
Peter Hamilton

Ireland’s main aircraft lessors have had at least 224 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft delivered or are on order, figures compiled by The Irish Times show.

The relatively new aircraft type has recorded two fatal crashes since its entry into service, including that of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 and Lion Air flight 610.

Dublin-headquartered SMBC Aviation Capital appears to be the biggest owner of MAX 8s that operates out of the Republic, with five owned, three managed and about 110 committed. The company recently delivered one to Icelandair, and in December signed a deal with US budget carrier Southwest for 12 MAX 8s in a sale and leaseback agreement.

There are 13 Boeing 737 MAX 8s on the Irish aircraft register, the Irish Aviation Authority has said. It will not follow the lead of regulators in China, Ethiopia and Indonesia, all of whom ordered carriers to ground the 737 MAX model in the wake of the latest crash, which displayed similarities to the earlier Lion Air incident.

Norwegian Air has no current plans to withdraw its 737 MAX aircraft, and Ryanair has said it is reserving judgment on similar models it has ordered. The Irish airline is due to take delivery of 200 Boeing 737 MAX-8s out to 2024.

Some of the aircraft grounded by Chinese and Indonesian authorities include aircraft owned by Irish lessors including SMBC and Avolon.

In December, SMBC delivered the first MAX 8 from its order book to Chinese carrier Lucky Air, with three more to be delivered in the first and second quarter of this year.

In the summer of 2017, Avolon delivered two MAX 8 planes to Indonesian low-cost carrier Lion Air having originally delivered the world’s first MAX 8 to Malindo Air in May 2017.

Lion Air flight 610 crashed in October 2018, killing all passengers on board, but that specific plane was not owned by any Irish aircraft lessor.

In total, Avolon has agreed to firm orders for 55 MAX 8 aircraft, with options for an additional 20. Goshawk, meanwhile, owns 24 MAX 8s, while AerCap appears to hold five. However, it’s not clear whether AerCap has more on order. The lessor declined to comment.

Operations

Other entities which have operations in the Republic with MAX 8s include BBAM and GE Capital Aviation Services.

Fly Leasing has two Boeing 737 MAX 8s. The company’s chief executive, Colm Barrington, has been dealing with Ethiopian Airlines for more than 20 years.

“They’re a fantastic airline who I’ve recently used myself. We’ve had nothing but good experiences with them.”

Mr Barrington added that Fly Leasing has no more orders in for MAX 8s.

It is believed that the aircraft that crashed on Sunday was directly owned by the airline rather than leased.

US manufacturer Boeing has faced questions over the safety of the aircraft given the fact that two have been involved in fatal crashes despite its relatively recent introduction into airline fleets.

The company said in a statement that a technical team would be travelling to the crash site to provide assistance to the Ethiopian accident investigation bureau.