“Scottish independence: Nicola Sturgeon to seek second referendum”
Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed she will ask for permission to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence. Ms. Sturgeon said she wanted a vote to be held between the autumn of 2018 and the spring of the following year. The Scottish first minister said the move was needed to protect Scottish interests in the wake of the UK voting to leave the EU. She said she would ask the Scottish Parliament next week to request a Section 30 order from Westminster. The order would be needed to allow a fresh legally-binding referendum on independence to be held. The first minister said the UK government had not «moved even an inch in pursuit of compromise and agreement» since the Brexit referendum, which saw Scotland vote by 62% to 38% in favor of Remain while the UK as a whole voted to leave by 52% to 48%. The EU Withdrawal Bill is widely expected to complete its final stages in the UK Parliament later on Monday, which would allow Mrs. May to then trigger Article 50 – which formally starts the Brexit process – as early as Tuesday. Ms. Sturgeon said Scotland stood at a «hugely important crossroads», and insisted she would continue to attempt to reach a compromise with the UK government. But she added: «I will take the steps necessary now to make sure that Scotland will have a choice at the end of this process.
“Turkey’s president calls the Netherlands “Nazi” after it denies entry to his foreign minister”
Until this week, the referendum called by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, to change his country’s constitution and grant himself almost complete control over the government seemed to be a purely Turkish affair. This was inconvenient for the president’s cause. It would be easier for him to persuade Turks to vote him more power if he could frame the campaign as a battle against foreigners opposed to his rule. Now Mr. Erdogan has succeeded in doing just that. On March 11th the Netherlands refused landing rights to an aeroplane carrying Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, who was on his way to address a referendum rally of Turkish-Dutch dual nationals in Rotterdam. Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, said the two governments had been negotiating to limit the rally’s risks to safety and public order, but that Mr Cavusoglu had threatened to retaliate if he was not allowed in. (In an interview, Mr. Cavusoglu had said that if his landing rights were revoked, “our sanctions will be heavy.”) Mr. Rutte said the threat made further discussions impossible. The Turkish reaction was furious. In a speech before a large crowd in Istanbul, Mr. Erdogan called the Netherlands “fascist” and (somewhat mysteriously) “a Nazi remnant”. “Let’s see how your planes land in Turkey now,” he added. The Dutch finally lost their cool as well. “It was a bizarre speech. Completely unacceptable,” Mr. Rutte said.
“Trump planning to host Chinese president at Mar-a-Lago”
President Donald Trump is planning to host Chinese President Xi Jinping for a summit next month at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, a senior administration official told CNN Monday. The official cautioned that the plan is only tentative at the moment. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to finalize plans for the summit with Chinese officials as he arrives in Beijing this week, the official added.
Plans for the summit — which would be the first in-person meeting between Trump and Xi — come amid heightened tensions in the region, particularly the increasing North Korean nuclear threat. Trump has said in recent weeks that North Korea is one of the biggest security challenges he faces as president and has said he plans to call on China to take more serious action to rein in Pyongyang, pointing to the nation’s significant leverage over the North Korean regime. Territorial disputes in the South China Sea and China’s continued building of man-made islands are also likely to be on the agenda, as the issue has caused flaring tensions between China and the other major powers in the region, Japan and South Korea. Trump’s meeting with the Chinese president comes as he has already formed a bond with another major leader in Asia, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whom Trump hosted at Mar-a-Lago last month. That meeting was the second between Trump and Abe, who first met privately at Trump Tower during the transition.
“Intel to Buy Driverless Car-Tech Firm Mobileye for $15B”
U.S. chipmaker Intel agreed to buy driverless car-technology firm Mobileye for $15.3 billion on Monday, positioning itself for a dominant role in the autonomous-driving sector after missing the market for mobile phones. The $63.54-per-share cash deal marks the largest purchase of a company solely focused on the self-driving sector. The deal underscores the expanding alliances between automakers and their suppliers as they race to develop self-driving cars, a concept that once seemed a science-fiction dream but is drawing closer to reality. While Intel is known for hardware chips and Mobileye for collision detection software, the merger promises to create a large portfolio of technologies needed for driverless vehicles. That includes cameras, sensor chips, in-car networking, roadway mapping, machine learning and cloud software, as well as the data-centers needed to manage all the data involved.
“Fitch warns Britain faces five Brexit challenges”
All the day’s economic and financial news, as investors anticipate US interest rates being raised on Wednesday, and Britain starting its exit from the EU this week. The Scottish government’s push for a fresh referendum on independence isn’t hurting the pound. Sterling is holding onto this morning’s gains, and changing hands at $1.223 against the US dollar, up 0.5% today. Kathleen Brooks of City Index believes traders believe Scotland would vote to remain in the UK (assuming this second referendum actually happens). Another reason for calm is that the UK government (which must approve the plan) has tried to slap down the idea, saying another referendum would be divisive (i) and cause economic uncertainty (ii). Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has tweeted her opposition too.