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Boris Johnson says he would ‘rather be dead in a ditch’ than delay Brexit

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised on Thursday he would never delay Britain’s exit from the European Union, due on October 31, saying he would rather be “dead in a ditch” than do so.

Asked if he could promise the British public that he would not go to Brussels and ask for another delay to BrexitJohnson said: “Yes I can. I’d rather be dead in a ditch.”

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“It achieves absolutely nothing. What on earth is the point of further delay,” he added, speaking at a police training centre in northern England.

Johnson said there must be an election so the British public can decide whether to leave the EU at the end of next month or remain in the bloc for longer.

“I don’t want an election at all but frankly I can’t see any other way” to end the Brexit impasse, Johnson said.

On Wednesday, lawmakers rejected Johnson’s bid to call an early election for October 15, and also made moves to stop him from taking Britain out of the EU on October 31 even if there is no deal with Brussels to pave the way.

Johnson said that legislation would “scupper our negotiating power” and hand control to the EU.

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At the police academy in West Yorkshire on Thursday, the British leader said that whether the UK left the EU on October 31 “really should be a matter for the people of this country to decide”.


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Pressured by US sanctions, Cuba struggles to pay its debts

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Foreign companies going unpaid, creditor countries told to be patient: as Cuba struggles under the weight of US sanctions it has also been struggling to pay its debts, raising serious concern among its partners.

Having negotiated a restructuring of its debt with 14 countries through the Paris Club of creditors in 2015, Cuba last year failed to make timely payments to six of them - Austria, Belgium, Britain, France, Japan and Spain.

The Caribbean nation was supposed to pay those countries "$32 to $33 million" of the total $82 million due in 2019, one diplomatic source said. Its failure to do so leaves it facing stiff interest payments of 9 percent.

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Israel’s ‘most vulnerable’ hit by political stalemate

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Israel's grinding political deadlock has squeezed funding for programmes helping troubled youths, disadvantaged communities and the disabled, forcing state-backed social organisations to rely on crowd-funding to get by.

Polls indicate the country's March 2 election, the third in less than a year, will not produce a clear win for right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or his main rival Benny Gantz of the centrist Blue and White party.

That result could force more fraught coalition talks, prolonging the stalemate that has kept lawmakers from passing a budget for this year.

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‘America First’ vs ‘Make in India’ as Modi hosts Trump

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Trade ties between the United States and India have long been problematic but under "America First" President Donald Trump and "Make in India" Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they have worsened.

While eclipsed by his trade war with China, Trump's tussle with India, and New Delhi's prickly reaction, has made a major pact unlikely during the American president's visit to the world's fifth-largest economy from Monday.

"They've been hitting us very, very hard for many, many years," Trump said of India ahead of the 36-hour trip to Ahmedabad, Agra and New Delhi accompanied by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and others.

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