Brexit: More votes promised as Labour says May running down the clock

Housing and Communities Secretary James Brokenshire on securing “seamless border” in Ireland

MPs will get another chance to vote on Brexit this month – even if Theresa May has not been able to negotiate a deal by then.

Housing Secretary James Brokenshire admitted it might not be the final, decisive vote on the PM’s deal that Labour and some Tories are demanding.

The prime minister needs to get a deal approved by Parliament by 29 March to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

Labour has accused her of “cynically” running down the clock.

Instead of a “meaningful” vote on the prime minister’s deal with the EU, MPs could be given another series of non-binding votes on possible Brexit alternatives by 27 February, with the final vote on whether to approve or reject the deal delayed until the following month.

On Wednesday, Mrs May will ask MPs for more time to get legally-binding changes to the controversial Northern Irish backstop, which she believes will be enough to secure a majority in Parliament for her deal.

But the following day, Labour will attempt to force the government to hold the final, “meaningful vote” on Mrs May’s Brexit deal by 26 February.

Mr Brokenshire refused to commit to this date in an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, saying there could be more votes on amendments to the proposed deal instead.

“If the meaningful vote has not happened, so in other words things have not concluded, then Parliament would have that further opportunity by no later than 27 February,” said Mr Brokenshire.

“I think that gives that sense of timetable, clarity and purpose on what we are doing with the EU – taking that work forward and our determination to get a deal – but equally knowing that role that Parliament very firmly has.”

He also ruled out removing the Irish backstop from the government’s deal with the EU, as some Conservative MPs are demanding.

He said ministers were exploring a possible time-limit to the backstop, or a legal mechanism allowing the UK to exit the backstop without the agreement of the EU, but he insisted some kind of “insurance policy” was needed to keep the Irish border free-flowing.

But Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, says he believes the prime minister is “pretending to make progress” on the Irish backstop issue.

He says what she actually intends to do is return to Parliament after the 21/22 March European Council summit the week before Brexit and offer MPs a “binary choice” – her deal or no deal.

“We can’t allow that to happen,” Sir Keir told The Sunday Times.

“There needs to be a day when Parliament says that’s it, enough is enough.”

‘Completely irresponsible’

Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable said delaying the final vote on the Brexit deal was “worse than irresponsible” and he “would not be surprised if [Theresa May] faces a massive rebellion by Conservative MPs”.

Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, who like Sir Vince has campaigned for another EU referendum, called for ministers who were “serious” about preventing a no-deal Brexit to resign and vote against the government.

Fellow Conservative MP Heidi Allen also called for ministerial resignations, saying it was “completely irresponsible” for the government to keep delaying the final Brexit vote.

Labour is proposing its own Brexit plan, which would involve the UK staying in a customs union with the EU, which they say could get the backing of a majority of MPs.

The government has not ruled out supporting this – and has promised a formal response to it and further talks with Labour – but they say it would prevent the UK from making its own trade deals after Brexit.

Theresa May and her husband Philip arrive for a church service on Sunday
Theresa May and her husband Philip arriving at a church service on Sunday

There are fewer than 50 days until Brexit. The law is already in place which means the UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019.

Mrs May’s Brexit deal – which she spent months negotiating and had agreed with the EU – covers the terms of the UK’s divorce and the framework of future relations.

But it was rejected by the UK Parliament and if it is not approved by Brexit day, the default position would be a no-deal Brexit.

Last month, Parliament voted in favour of an amendment that supported most of the PM’s deal but called for backstop which is a last-resort option to prevent a hard border in Ireland – to be replaced with “alternative arrangements”. The prime minister is now in talks with Brussels to seek these changes to the backstop.

A number of government ministers will also be meeting their counterparts across the continent this week, in order to underline Mrs May’s determination to achieve a deal.

Critics of the backstop in Mrs May’s current deal say they could tie the UK to EU rules indefinitely or mean Northern Ireland ends up under a different system to the rest of the UK.

But the Irish government and the EU have repeatedly rejected calls for changes.

Other options likely to be debated by MPs on Thursday include extending Article 50 the legal mechanism taking the UK out of the EU on 29 March, to allow more time to reach an agreement with Brussels.

England in West Indies: Mark Wood takes 5-41 as tourists claim 142-run lead

Third Test, Daren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia (day two of five)
England 277 (Stokes 79, Buttler 67, Roach 4-48) &19-0
West Indies 154 (Campbell 41, Wood 5-41, Moeen 4-36)
England lead by 142 runs

Mark Wood claimed his first five-wicket Test haul to help England to a 142-run lead over West Indies on day two of the final match of the series.

Wood, playing for the first time since May 2018, bowled at 95mph as he took 5-41, with Moeen Ali claiming 4-36 as West Indies were dismissed for 154.

Rory Burns and Keaton Jennings guided England to 19-0 at stumps.

Earlier, the tourists lost their final six wickets for 46 runs as they were bowled out for 277 in St Lucia.

England arrived in St Lucia on the back of four batting collapses and having lost the first two matches of the series.

After their improved batting performance on the opening day, they again collapsed but their fielding was sharp and their bowling disciplined as they dismissed their hosts cheaply to take control of the match.

Wood bowled with a hostility and speed the side have been missing, regularly exceeding 90mph, and was backed up by Moeen’s off-spin and England’s close fielders.

Stuart Broad, who took 1-42, claimed a stunning one-handed catch, throwing himself backwards to dismiss Alzarri Joseph as West Indies’ innings fizzled out.

It will be frustrating, however, for England and their fans that they enjoyed their best day of the tour so far with the series already lost.

Wood brings pace on England return

Mark Wood
Mark Wood claimed two wickets in his first over in St Lucia

Wood has long been tipped as the bowler who could add extra zip to England’s attack, but a long-term ankle injury and some disappointing returns have limited his appearances.

In the past England have used him in an enforcer role, coming round the wicket and consistently bowling short, but he struggled to maintain his pace for long spells.

However, in St Lucia, Root simply let Wood run in and bowl, with the 29-year-old’s new, lengthened run-up allowing him to generate extra pace at an awkward angle.

Introduced in the 21st over, Wood claimed two wickets in two deliveries, with Shai Hope and Roston Chase both playing loose drives and edging to Rory Burns at gully.

Wood’s ball to Hope was 92mph; his hat-trick delivery to Darren Bravo was clocked at 95mph. He mixed up his lengths, going short to throw the batsmen off-balance and backing it up with full, straight deliveries.

He had Shimron Hetmyer caught in the slip cordon from a short ball before Bravo edged a full delivery to Root at first slip to leave West Indies 79-6.

Root then rested Wood, bringing him back to bowl at the tail, and the Durham man bowled Shannon Gabriel with a yorker to claim his fifth wicket

His pace was complemented by the spin of Moeen, who dismissed openers Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell with consecutive deliveries after they had put on 57 for the first wicket.

Campbell had been the aggressor, twice striking James Anderson down the ground for four, but he was trapped lbw by a ball that straightened, immediately after Brathwaite had been caught at mid-wicket following an uncharacteristic stride down the pitch.

Keemo Paul was tidily stumped by Bairstow off Moeen before Broad’s superb catch, running back from mid-on, to dismiss Joseph put England firmly on top.

Gabriel sparks England collapse

Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow has been bowled 30 times in 109 Test innings

England have collapsed in every innings this series, usually because of a series of rash shots.

However they were simply overpowered in the morning in St Lucia, with a superb spell of fast bowling from Gabriel seeing them lose their final six wickets in 95 minutes.

Resuming on 231-4, England added just one run before Buttler was bowled by a full Gabriel delivery, and the same bowler tormented a jittery Jonny Bairstow.

Bairstow was struck on the grille as he tried to evade a 93mph bouncer and Gabriel dropped a tough caught and bowled chance with the wicketkeeper on two and struggling for rhythm.

“I’ve caught balls off Shannon Gabriel in practice and he nearly blows your hand off,” ex-Windies coach Stuart Law told The Cricket Social.

“He’s such a big strong bloke – physically and mentally strong, and he bowls it with a certain pace and heaviness. It’s amazing to see it come at you.”

Having come through Gabriel’s spell, Ben Stokes was caught spectacularly at square leg by keeper Shane Dowrich after top-edging a pull, before Bairstow was bowled once again trying to drive a Roach inswinger.

The wickets fell quickly, with Moeen loosely edging behind and Wood holing out at fine leg, before Anderson fended a bouncer to fourth slip.

‘Today I felt like an England player’ – what they said

Stuart Broad
Stuart Broad claimed a superb catch to dismiss Alzarri Joseph

Former England captain Alastair Cook on The Cricket Social: “I don’t think there will be a happier dressing room than there is right now for Mark Wood.

“He always said to me he has always felt like he has underachieved. It has been really fiery stuff from him. You can see how popular he is within this team.”

Mark Wood speaking on Sky Sports: “It feels fantastic – all the hard times I’ve had with injury, and the self doubt, today I felt like an England player.

“I have had some bad times. There were times where I was desperate to do well but it wasn’t quite happening for me. I am here on merit not potential.”

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew:“We’ve realised yet again what a difference pace can make to any attack. We saw some terrific bowling and wonderful catching.”

West Indies wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich: “I think we’ve missed an opportunity to capitalise on a good pitch. Mark Woody came in and made a difference – it was a decent spell and he was sharp – but there were some soft dismissals in there as well.”

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Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley cancels Patisserie Valerie bid”:

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has cancelled a bid for collapsed cafe chain Patisserie Valerie, just two days after making an offer.

The retail billionaire announced his bid for the chain Friday evening.

Sports Direct offered £15m, but was told by administrator KPMG it would need to offer up to £2m more than this, according to the Financial Times.

Patisserie Valerie collapsed last month KPMG closed 70 outlets, but kept 121 open in the hope of selling them.

Mr Ashley is thought to be facing several competing bids for Patisserie Valerie, including, according to reports, from Costa, the coffee chain bought by Coca-Cola last year.

The retail tycoon, who also owns English Premier League football club Newcastle United, made his name building budget chain Sports Direct into Britain’s biggest sporting goods retailer.

He has since become known for buying up struggling retail chains and bought both department store chain House of Fraser and cycle shop Evans out of administration last year.

Sports Direct’s sprawling High Street empire also includes lingerie chain Agent Provocateur as well as shareholdings in Debenhams, French Connection and Game Digital. Last week, it emerged as front runner to buy

mike ashley's empire

Patisserie Valerie collapsed after an accounting scandal which left the firm without enough money to pay its debts.

Rescue talks with banks HSBC and Barclays to restructure the business broke down, leaving no option but administration.

The cafe chain employed about 3,000 staff, but some 900 jobs were lost in the initial wave of closures after KPMG was appointed to run the business on 22 January.

presentational grey line
Patisserie Valerie cakes
  • The first cafe was opened on Frith Street in London’s Soho district in 1926
  • In 1987 the Scalzo family bought the Old Compton Street store and ran the business
  • In 2006, Luke Johnson’s Risk Capital Partners bought a majority stake when it had eight stores.
  • Patisserie Valerie was floated on the AIM stock market, for smaller companies, in 2014
presentational grey line

In addition to Patisserie Valerie, the company’s other brands include Druckers Vienna Patisserie, Philpotts, Baker & Spice and Flour Power City.

The Serious Fraud Office is carrying out a criminal investigation into Patisserie Valerie and finance director Chris Marsh was arrested and released on bail after having been suspended by the company.

Also under investigation, by the Financial Reporting Council, are former Patisserie Valerie auditors Grant Thornton.

Endurance: Search for Shackleton’s lost ship begins.”

Antarctic scientists seeking to locate the wreck of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s lost ship, the Endurance, have arrived at the search site.

The team broke through thick pack ice on Sunday to reach the vessel’s last known position in the Weddell Sea.

Robotic submersibles will now spend the next few days scouring the ocean floor for the maritime icon.

Shackleton and his crew had to abandon Endurance in 1915 when it was crushed by sea ice and sank in 3,000m of water.

Their escape across the frozen floes on foot and in lifeboats is an extraordinary story that has resonated down through the years – and makes the wooden polar yacht perhaps the most sought-after of all undiscovered wrecks.

The British-led Weddell Sea Expedition has given itself five days to find the sunken remains.

Operating from the South African ice-breaker, the SA Agulhas II, the team’s plan is to put down an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to map the seafloor for anomalies.

A wide box has been designated, and the robot, equipped with side-scan sonar, will run back and forth across this search zone like a lawnmower. Its first dive will last 45 hours.

the SA Agulhas II
The SA Agulhas II will have to keep holes in the sea-ice open to operate the subs

There will be no attempt to retrieve artefacts should the Endurance be found. The intention only is to make a 3D model of the wreck site.

The search will be challenging because of the sea ice at the surface. The Agulhas will have to periodically shift its hull to maintain open holes in the floes, through which to launch and recover AUVs.

Frank Worsley (Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, with permission )
Frank Worsley used his sextant to record the position of the sinking

Scientists are extremely confident they are in the right place to find Endurance.

Shackleton’s skipper, Frank Worsely, was a very skilled navigator and used a sextant and chronometer to calculate the precise co-ordinates of the Endurance sinking – 68°39’30.0″ South and 52°26’30.0″ West.

The ship is almost certainly within a few nautical miles of this point – and there is every chance it is in reasonable condition.

The organisms that normally consume sunken wooden vessels do not thrive in the cold waters of the Antarctic, so even though the Endurance was broken when it went down, its timbers are most probably well preserved on the ocean floor.

The Agulhas made good progress to the search site last week after picking up supplies

Just getting to the search site is a remarkable effort. The Agulhas has had to fight its way through ice that has thickened over several years.

Unlike Shackleton, however, the Weddell Sea Expedition team has been assisted by satellite ice charts, which make picking a way through the floes a lot easier.

The significance of the moment was not lost on the expedition’s marine archaeologist, Mensun Bound: “We are the first people here since Shackleton and his men!” he was quoted as saying.

If it’s found, no attempt will be made to raise artefacts

Baftas 2019: Film awards ceremony is under way

SPOILER ALERT: This story is being updated live and will include the latest news from the Bafta ceremony, which runs from 19:00 GMT to 21:30 GMT.

It is being broadcast on BBC One from 21:00 until 23:00. So please stop reading if you don’t want to know the winners in real time!

The Favourite has dominated the awards, winning seven including outstanding British film.

Olivia Colman won best actress and Rachel Weisz best supporting actress.

She said they were having “such an amazing night” and would be enjoying some drinks later.

The Favourite’s other awards were best production design, best costume design and best hair and make-up and best original screenplay.

Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma also had a successful night picking up four prizes – best film, best director, best cinematography and best film not in the English language.

After picking up best cinematography, Curaon said: “It’s an amazing honour, Bafta, thank you very much.

“Foreign is just a different colour, and colour complements each other, I’m very happy Bafta is honouring a story about a domestic worker of indigenous background.

“The specific colour of this film is Mexico, so I want to thank also Mexico.”

Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman
The Favourite is also nominated for the Oscars

Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite’s director, said of the outstanding film award: “It’s a great honour… this film took 20 years to make – I contributed to the last 10.”

He also thanked actresses Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz saying: “Of course the three leading ladies that I couldn’t be more proud of.”

Collecting the prize for original screenplay, Deborah Davis said: “I’m so excited to be standing here to receive my first Bafta for my first screenplay.

“Thank you for celebrating our female-dominated movie about women in power.”

Rami Malek won the leading actor prize at the Baftas for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.

Rami Malek
Malek paid tribute to Freddie Mercury

The film also won best sound.

Malek said as he collected his Bafta: “You Brits do music well, it’s not lost on me how sacred your musical heritage is. Thank you to the greatest outsider of them all, Freddie Mercury.”

‘Different colour’

Many of the night’s prizes were split amongst several films.

Mahershala Ali won best supporting actor for Green Book and was visibly moved as he collected his award. He praised his fellow nominees for “their work”.

Claire Foy
Claire Foy is nominated for her role in space drama First Man

Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman won best adapted screenplay.

“Brooklyn’s in the house!” he yelled triumphantly as he collected his prize.

Letitia Wright gave an emotional speech as she picked up the Bafta rising star award.

Boost from Bafta

“A few years ago I saw myself in a deep state of depression and I wanted to quit acting.

“The only thing that pretty much pulled me out of that was God, my belief, my faith and my family and an email from Bafta saying they wanted me to be a part of the Bafta Breakthrough Brits, and I was like ‘let me try again’.”

Yalitza Aparicio
Yalitza Aparicio is the star of Roma, which has won two awards so far

No Lady Gaga

Black Panther won best visual effects.

Other winners included Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse, which won best animated film and Roughhouse, which won British short animation.

Best British short film was 73 Cows, while Vice won best editing.

A Star is Born won the award for best original music.

Lady Gaga, who appears opposite Cooper in A Star Is Born, did not attend as the ceremonyclashes with the Grammys in the US.

But she posted on Twitter:

Richard Madden
Bodyguard star Richard Madden was among the early arrivals

The Favourite, which stars Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, led the race with 12 nominations.

The ceremony, at London’s Royal Albert Hall, is being hosted by Joanna Lumley for the second consecutive year.

Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star Is Born, Roma and First Man, each have seven nods.

The ceremony began at 19:00 GMT.

The Baftas are often a good indicator of who will go on to awards glory at the Oscars – which are being held this year on Sunday 24 February.

The Oscars have decided to not have a host this year after Kevin Hart stepped down following a controversy over homophobic tweets.

Lumley joked: “Thank goodness Bafta has a host. But that’s probably just down to the fact I’m not on Twitter.”

Bafta best actress nominee Melissa McCarthy praises her co-star Richard E Grant
Bafta best actress nominee Melissa McCarthy praises her co-star Richard E Grant

Last year, the winners of the acting categories – Frances McDormand, Gary Oldman, Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell – were exactly the same at the Baftas and the Oscars.

However, the Baftas are historically more likely to reward British talent than the Academy Awards, which could mean wins for Colman and Richard E Grant.

A selection of this year's Bafta nominations

The Favourite was the only production to be up for both best film and outstanding British film.

Weisz told the BBC: “It was very exciting to work with the two goddesses that are Olivia Colman and Emma Stone.

“It was a true ensemble so it’s lovely that all three of us have been recognised here tonight (Weisz, Colman and Stone). Emma’s not here, she’s filming… but she’s an honorary Brit, her English accent is better than mine!”

Speaking of the film’s playfulness and wit, she said: “It was Yorgos Lanthimos (the director) – the tone was down to him. I’m just a member of his orchestra.”

One person who definitely won’t be recognised among the winners is Bohemian Rhapsody director Bryan Singer.

His name has been removed from the film’s Bafta nomination due to allegations he sexually abused under-age boys.

Brian May
Brian May and Anita Dobson are supporting the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody

Singer denies the allegations which he calls a “homophobic smear”.

Speaking on the red carpet, Queen’s Brian May said of the Singer controversy: “It’s nothing to do with us. He hasn’t been the director for a long time. He was sacked for very good reason… not by us, by Fox so it’s a very arm’s-length thing for us.

“The only reason he’s on the movie is his guild forced Fox to do this… technically, really, he’s not the director of the movie. That’s just life.

“Everybody who had something to do with the movie should be very proud.”

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Haile Selassie: Why the African Union put up a statue

A statue of Ethiopia’s last emperor has been unveiled outside the African Union’s headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The likeness of Haile Selassie is being given pride of place outside the $200m (£154m) building in recognition for his role in establishing its predecessor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

But that might not be the first thing that springs to mind on hearing the name Haile Selassie. The name is perhaps more easily connected with Jamaican singer Bob Marley and Rastafarians.

So who exactly is Haile Selassie, and how did he come to be worshipped as a god by people living thousands of miles away?

First things first: why is he getting a statue?

Haile Selassie was more than 30 years into his reign when he helped establish the OAU. Its first meeting, in May 1963, was held in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia – which has never been colonised although it was subjected to a five-year military occupation by Mussolini’s Italy – had served as a symbol of African independence throughout the colonial period.

Now other countries were finally gaining independence, and this was a chance to bring nations together to fight against colonisation and white minority rule while also co-ordinating efforts to raise living standards and defend their sovereignty.

“May this convention of union last 1,000 years,” Selassie, who spent a year preparing the city for the meeting, told the gathered delegates.

His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia
Haile Selassie was Ethiopia’s last emperor

As it happened, the OAU ceased to exist in its original form in 2002, replaced by the African Union (AU).

But his role in establishing the union has not been forgotten, and the statue is a way for the AU to recognise Selassie’s contribution.

So, how exactly did he come to be seen as a god?

It all comes down to his coronation in 1930, and a “prophecy” made by a Jamaican black rights campaigner, Marcus Garvey, a decade earlier.

Garvey had told his followers in 1920 they should “look to Africa, when a black king shall be crowned, for the day of deliverance is at hand”.

Rastafarian Reggae fans take parts in the Bob Marley "One Love" Festival and Rasta Fair to commemorate and celebrate the life of Bob Marley at the North Beach Amphitheatre in Durban, South Africa on February 3, 2019
Rastafarians believe Haile Selassie was the messiah

So, when a black man called Ras Tafari was crowned in Ethiopia, many saw that as a sign the prophecy had come true.

In East Africa, Ras Tafari (“chief” Tafari) became Haile Selassie (“power of the trinity”). Almost 8,000 miles away in the West Indies, Haile Selassie became God (or Jah) incarnate – the redeeming messiah – and Ethiopia, the promised land.

In short, the Rastafari movement was born.

Did Selassie believe it himself? Well, he certainly didn’t try to dispel the belief when he visited Jamaica in 1966. The emperor was greeted by thousands, desperate to get a glimpse of their god. Among the devotees was the wife of a young Reggae musician, Bob Marley, who was away in the US.

Rita Marley would later describe how she saw nail marks on Selassie’s palm as he waved at her. It was a moment of religious awakening, and when her husband returned, they embraced the belief.

Three years earlier, Rastafarians had begun to move to Ethiopia and a piece of land Selassie had put aside for black people from the West in 1948. After the visit, the numbers grew larger. Today, the community numbers about 300 people.

But followers were presented with a conundrum after Selassie died in 1975, a year after he was deposed in a Marxist revolution. After all, gods cannot die.

This was resolved after it was argued Selassie’s body was just his earthly body.

Also, it should be noted, Garvey was never a believer. In fact, he was a critic of Selassie.

What was he really like?

Opinion is still split over whether Selassie was good for Ethiopia or not.

A Human Rights Watch report accuses him of acting with “official indifference” to famines in various regions of the country and attempting to conceal the famine of 1972-72, in which an estimated 200,000 people died.

He is also known to have violently cracked down on people who opposed him during his reign.

The Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie (C) and Ghana"s founder and first President Kwame Nkrumah (L) during the formation of the Organization of African Unity in Addis Ababa. Ghana
Selassi’s statue joins that of Ghana’s President Kwame Nkrumah, another AU founder

Marcus Garvey was unimpressed after he fled Ethiopia in 1936 following the invasion of Benito Mussolini’s troops a year earlier, describing Selassie as a “coward” and calling him out for “the terrors of slavery”. The practice was not outlawed in Ethiopia until 1942.

Academic Dr Yohannes Woldemariam has gone as far as to argue that Selassie should be remembered as a dictator. Indeed, he created a constitution which placed all the power in his hands and those of his descendents.

But his supporters argue he was a great leader and moderniser, who was one of the first African leaders to become a figure on the global stage.

His appeal to the League of Nations after his country was invaded is still remembered today – not least because it forms the basis of Bob Marley’s 1976 song, War.

What’s more, he was not made emperor through a chance of birth. Although born into a noble family in 1892, he was only named leader after impressing Menelik III with his intelligence.

And – as the AU’s statue to him reminds people – he was a great advocate for pan-African cooperation, leaving a lasting legacy that continues to have an effect on millions of people across the continent today.

Election Observers, write your report and go home -Tinubu”:

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has welcomed all foreign observers ahead of the up coming general election in Nigeria and urged them to write their various political reports and go back home.

Tinubu, speaking at the presidential campaign rally of the APC in Lagos, urged them to steak to their primary assignment.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

He said: “Observe, write your report and go home. This is our democracy. We are watching Trump and China.”

The former governor described Obasanjo as a master rigger, whose legacies in office were electoral fraud.

“CNN asked the late President Umaru Yar’Adua about election. He said the election that brought him to power was severely flawed.

Who conducted the election? Obasanjo is the greatest election rigger. He has expired. Confine him to the dustbin,” he said.

What is a cosh, and the week’s other most-Googled questions,:

The truth is out there. All you need to do is Google it.

And that’s what plenty of you have done in the past week, if the most-searched questions on Google are any indication.

We decided to answer some of those questions posed by UK users – and they tell us plenty about what happened the news this week.

Where is 21 Savage from?

BBC Radio 1's Nesta McGregor on what we don't know about 21 Savage
BBC Radio 1’s Nesta McGregor on what we don’t know about 21 Savage

Why did this come up?

The US rapper, whose real name is Shayaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was arrested on Sunday and now American immigration officials could deport him.

What’s the answer?

We now know he is definitely from the UK -the big question is whether he should be allowed to stay in the US ,

US officials say he came to America from the UK in July 2005 aged 12 and failed to leave when his visa expired a year later. Reuters news agency obtained a birth certificate showing he was born in Newham, east London.

The rapper’s lawyer says he arrived in the US from the UK in 1999 and that his immigration status expired through no fault of his own.

What is a cosh?

Why did this come up?

In an interview with The Independent published this week, actor Liam Neeson said he once set out to kill an innocent black man after someone close to him was raped.

“I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody,” said Neeson, who has gone on to face significant criticism and faced calls to apologise.

What’s the answer?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a cosh is “a stout stick, bludgeon or truncheon; a length of metal used as a life-preserver”.

Who won Super Bowl 2019?

New England Patriots linebacker Brandon King (36) lays in the confetti after Super Bowl LIII
The New England Patriots’ Brandon King lies in confetti after his side’s win

Why did this come up?

The Super Bowl, the biggest event in the American football calendar, took place on Sunday (or Monday, in many parts of the world).

What’s the answer?

The New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in a tight, defensive game (the lowest-scoring Super Bowl yet, in fact).

In doing so, the team based just outside Boston equalled the Pittsburgh Steelers’ record of six Super Bowl wins, and their star player Tom Brady won his record sixth title.

Which HMV stores are closing?

Why did this come up?

This week the British record store chain was rescued from collapse for the second time in under 10 years, although 27 shops (including affiliates) will close.

What’s the answer?

Here goes….

Ayr; Bath; Bluewater; Bristol, Cribbs; Chichester; Exeter, Princesshay; Fopp, Bristol; Fopp, Glasgow Byres; Fopp, Manchester; Fopp, Oxford; Glasgow, Braehead; Guernsey; Hereford; Manchester, Trafford; Merry Hill; London Oxford Street; Peterborough, Queensgate; Plymouth, Drake Circus; Reading; Sheffield, Meadowhall; Southport; Thurrock; Tunbridge Wells; Uxbridge; Watford; Westfield; Wimbledon.

The flamingo is the national bird of which country?

American flamingo

Why did this come up?

Most likely it is prompted by the news that the pink flamingo is on the list of emojis officially released for 2019.

What’s the answer?

The Bahamas. Its national bird is the American Flamingo ( Phoenicopterus ruber ), which is common across the island nation and Cuba in particular.

Some American Flamingo facts: they’re surprisingly good swimmers, and mating females lay only one egg a year.

Why do Ireland have two anthems?

Why did this come up?

The clue here is in the word “do” instead of “does” – it refers to the Irish rugby team, who lost at home to England in their first match of the 2019 Six Nations tournament.

Two anthems were played before the match.

What’s the answer?

Before all the Irish rugby team’s matches, the song Ireland’s Call is played.

At home games in Dublin, Amhrán na bhFiann (A Soldier’s Song) – the national anthem of the Republic of Ireland – is also sung.

Ireland’s Call was commissioned by the Irish Rugby Football Union for the 1995 World Cup because many of the IRFU’s members are from Northern Ireland and regarded the use of A Soldier’s Song as inappropriate, as it is the national anthem of the Republic of Ireland.

Hockey Ireland and the Irish Cricket Union have also adopted Ireland’s Call – both are also all-Ireland teams.

Why is Chinese New Year important?

A family pose for a photo in front of a light display in Chinatown on the eve of the Lunar New Year of the Pig

Why did this come up?

This week saw the start of the lunar new year, also known as Chinese New Year. It’s the Year of the Pig!

What’s the answer?

It’s the biggest annual celebration for a sixth of the world’s population, and a time for families to come together. Wherever there is a Chinese community around the world, it is marked.

Where is the Truckers’ Oasis?

Why did this come up?

This is all about the wildly popular online game Fortnite. In the latest round of challenges in the game, users are told to visit “a truckers’ oasis”.

What’s the answer?

If you’re playing Fortnite, you’ve probably already figured this out, but the Truck ‘N’ Oasis is in the bottom left-hand corner of the map.

And if you’re not playing Fortnite, and have no idea what we’re talking about, then this is a good place to start

Newspaper headlines: ‘Child victims of Tinder’, and more Brexit plots

A story on the Observer front page also examines the plight of vulnerable young people, reporting that suicidal children are having to wait for weeks for beds in mental health units. The paper’s main story says Theresa May is under pressure to sack Transport Secretary Chris Grayling over the collapsed Brexit ferry deal.
Mail on Sunday front page
The Mail on Sunday publishes exclusive extracts of a letter the Duchess of Sussex allegedly sent to her father, Thomas Markle, in August 2018. Mr Markle, who has apparently given the MoS the letter, says it left him feeling “devastated”. The paper says the letter reveals the “true tragedy” of the duchess’ rift with her father.
Sunday Express front page
Grainy pictures of Commons Speaker John Bercow and leading Tory Remainer Kenneth Clarke are evidence of a “Brexit curry house plot”, says the Sunday Express. The paper’s lead story expresses “outrage” that head teachers are backing a strike by pupils over climate change.
Daily Telegraph front page
The Sunday Telegraph publishes new claims about Sir Philip Green, alleging that there was a “cover-up” in the investigation into one of the £1m sexual harassment claims against him. Two witness accounts were left out of the internal report which cleared the billionaire tycoon, the paper says. Sir Philip has previously denied any wrongdoing.
Sunday Mirror front page
Meanwhile, the Sunday Mirror focuses on the news that Prince Philip is giving up his driving licence at the age of 97. “I’ll feel safer now he’s off roads,” is the headline, based on comments from Emma Fairweather, who was injured in his crash last month.
Sunday People front page
The daughter of a disabled man who was murdered and robbed appears on the front of the Sunday People. Aimy Brady asks: “What kind of human kills someone over a games console?” The 23-year-old is speaking out after a couple were convicted of killing her father Eamon.
Daily Star on Sunday front page
And Manchester United forward Anthony Martial is branded a “cheatskate” in the Daily Star on Sunday. The paper says the player was unfaithful while his partner was pregnant – but it focuses on the budget-conscious £70-a-night price of the hotel where he allegedly strayed.

The retail tycoon, Sir Philip Green, remains under the spotlight, with a second day of allegations about his treatment of some senior executives.

The Sun on Sunday predicts that more claims are in the pipeline and none of them are covered by the controversial gagging orders known as non-disclosure agreements.

Sir Philip has denied doing anything that was criminal or amounted to gross misconduct.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Women and Equalities Minister Penny Mordaunt says the government will launch a consultation about the use of non-disclosure agreements so that workers cannot be intimidated into silence.

Sir Philip Green

In its editorial the Telegraph welcomes her approach , saying Sir Philip’s case shows the urgent need for reform of their use.

Meanwhile, the Mail on Sunday devotes a total of thirteen pages to the serialisation of a new book, which the paper believes shows Jeremy Corbyn is unfit for office .

It says author Tom Bower has spent eighteen months creating an in-depth profile of the Labour leader, including what it describes as shocking details about the anti-Semitism of his supporters and what his critics say is hisduplicity over Brexit .

The paper also publishes parts of a “sensational letter” which the Duchess of Sussex allegedly sent to her father, Thomas Markle.

In the extracts published by the paper, the duchess accuses her father of breaking her heart “into a million pieces” by speaking to the press.

According to the MoS, Mr Markle says he planned to keep the letter “totally private out of respect for her” but changed his mind after her friends allegedly gave an anonymous interview “attacking him” to a US magazine last week.

The Observer wonders, at a time of Brexit splits, claims of anti-Semitism and rows about Venezuela, whether Mr Corbyn can hold his increasingly divided party together.

It reports that – according to very senior figures – there is concern at the highest level about rising levels of discontent and talks of breakaways.

The Sunday Times feels that, try as he might, Mr Corbyn cannot escape the charge that the party has become a hotbed of anti-Semitism. It also thinks he is struggling because he cannot reconcile his own Euroscepticism with the views of Labour supporters – most of whom back a second referendum.

Prince Philip’s driving

The Duke of Edinburgh’s decision to surrender his driving licence after being involved in a crash last month is seen by the Telegraph as a marked change of heart , after he took delivery of a replacement Land Rover two days later.

The Mail on Sunday reports that he could still face criminal charges after police handed over a file about the crash to the Crown Prosecution Service.

But the Sunday Times believes the Duke’s announcement means he is likely to escape being charged and prosecuted for careless driving .

Prince Philip driving near Sandringham Estate on 19 January 2019

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock tells the Sun on Sunday that he is setting up a team of NHS senior doctors and nurses to work with social media companies to oversee the removal of images of self-harm to make their sites a safe place for children.

The Sunday Times highlights concerns that the failure to enforce adult age limits on dating apps is placing a generation of children at riskof grooming and sexual exploitation.

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There is much speculation about the Brexit negotiations. The Sun on Sunday reports thatTheresa May has set her sights on clinching an agreement just 72 hours before Britain is due to leave , raising the prospect of MPs having to vote for a final deal or crashing out.

The Sunday Times suggests Labour is seeking to seize control of the talks by forcing Mrs May to put her deal to a second decisive vote before the end of the month.

In an interview with the paper , Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer says Labour will try to stop a no-deal Brexit with an amendment that will compel her to hold another meaningful vote before 26 February.

The Mail on Sunday claims six cabinet ministers have met to try to find “common ground” between warring cabinet groups – with more talks planned for Monday.

Brexit ferry contract scrapped

The Observer says Theresa May is facing cross-party calls to sack the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling after the collapse of the contract to a ferry company that had no ships.

It reports that senior Tories have accused her of turning a blind eye to Mr Grayling’s decision to award a deal to Seaborne Freight, despite widespread derision. The governmen scrapped the contract on Saturday.

For the Sunday Mirror, Mr Grayling’s “legacy of failure is unprecedented in modern politics” and he should resign.

White House bid

In the United States, there are many reviews of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s speech, confirming that she has entered the contest for the Democratic nomination in next year’s presidential election.

Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren launching her campaign to be the Democrats’ 2020 candidate

The New York Times thinks she is seeking to establish herself as a champion of liberal policy, while the Boston Globe believes she’s attempting to present a unifying and inclusive message, with a focus on inequality .

The Washington Post says she is positioning herself as the leader of a renewed crusadeagainst what she calls the “corrupt” influence of large companies and powerful politicians.

Finally, the Sunday Times highlights new research which suggests that men’s ears really do grow with age . Scientists have even calculated the mathematical formula describing the process.

It seems women’s ears grow less noticeably – except for those who wear heavy earrings.

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Kemoy Campbell: Jamaican taken to hospital after collapsing during 3,000m

Jamaican distance runner Kemoy Campbell has been taken to hospital after collapsing during the men’s 3,000m at the Millrose Games in New York.

Campbell, 28, was acting as a pace-setter when he collapsed and fell into the infield after the second turn just beyond the 1,000m mark.

He was given medical attention by the side of the track and then carried out of the stadium on a stretcher.

The athlete is in a stable condition in hospital, according to reports.

However, organisers have yet to provide official information on his condition.

The Jamaica Gleaner, quoting the athlete’s agent Ray Flynn, said Campbell had to be revived by defibrillator before being taken to an intensive care unit.

“We were all shocked to see what happened, but thank God, he is doing better. He has his girlfriend and his brother beside him,” Flynn told the newspaper.