Current Affairs in Short: 28 March 2019

British MPs fail to agree alternative Brexit plan

• British MPs have failed to give an outright majority to any of the alternative Brexit options including no deal and Labour's alternative deal.
• The UK Parliament is trying to find an alternative to Prime Minister Theresa May's twice-rejected European Union exit deal.
• The lawmakers have voted on options that include leaving the European Union (EU) without a deal, staying in the bloc's customs union and single market, putting any exit deal to a public referendum, and canceling Brexit if the prospect of a no-deal departure gets close.
• The strongest support was for a plan to stay in a customs union with the bloc after Brexit, which was defeated by eight votes that is 272 to 264.
• The lawmakers now plan to narrow the list of options down and hold more votes on April 1. Britain has until April 12 to find a new plan or crash out of the EU without a deal.

SC seeks Centre's view on bringing all tribunals under one umbrella

• The Supreme Court has sought the Centre's view within two weeks on bringing all the quasi-judicial bodies under one central umbrella body to ensure efficient functioning and streamlining the working of tribunals.
• A five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, said on March 27 that it is tentatively of the view that directions given by the apex court in its two verdicts of 1997 and 2010 for bringing all the tribunals of the country under one nodal agency should have been implemented long back.
• The bench, which dealt with vacancies in tribunals, said recommendation of the search-cum-selection committee for the appointment of members in National Company Law Tribunal and National Company Law Appellate Tribunal should be immediately implemented within two weeks.
• The bench said, once all the information with regard to appointments of members of the tribunal and the Centre's view is made available, it would pass appropriate orders. The bench was hearing a petition filed by Madras Bar Association in 2012, which sought orders to the Centre for implementing the directions given in its two verdicts in 1997 and 2010.
• They had ordered the Union Ministry of Law and Justice to take over the administration of all tribunals created by Parliament and streamline their functioning.

China expels ex-Interpol chief from Communist Party

• China has expelled former Interpol chief Meng Hongwei from the Communist Party and dismissed him from his official positions. The announcement was made by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection on March 27, 2019.
• The disciplinary commission said that Meng has no party principle nor does he report personal matters in accordance with regulations and refuses to implement the decision of the Party Central Committee.
• The 65-year-old, who had been living in France, resigned as Interpol president after being detained by the Chinese authorities. In October, Chinese authorities said Meng was being investigated over suspected bribe-taking.

China protects terror groups from UN Sanctions: Mike Pompeo

• US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said, China abuses over a million Muslims at home, but protects terror groups from UN sanctions.
• He said in a tweet that the world cannot afford China's hypocrisy towards Muslims.
• Pompeo further said, China has detained more than one million Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities in internment camps in Xinjiang since April, 2017.

Syria asks UN Security Council to hold meeting on Golan Heights

• Syria has asked the United Nations Security Council to hold an urgent meeting on the US decision to recognise the Golan Heights as an Israeli territory.
• President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on March 27 in which the United States recognised Israel's annexation of the strategic plateau, despite UN resolutions that call for Israel's withdrawal from the Golan.
• In a letter, the Syrian mission to the United Nations asked the council presidency, held by France, to schedule an urgent meeting to discuss the situation.
• Three UNSC resolutions call on Israel to withdraw from the Golan, which it seized from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in 1981, in a move that was never recognized internationally.

SC refuses to stall release of film 'Ram Ki Janmabhoomi'

• The Supreme Court on March 28, 2019 refused to stall the release of film 'Ram Ki Janmabhoomi' which is scheduled to hit the screens across the country on March 29. The court said, there is no connection between the mediation proceeding and the release of the movie.
• A plea seeking to stall the release of the film was mentioned before a bench headed by Justice S A Bobde and the petitioner claimed that the release of the movie will vitiate the ongoing mediation proceeding in the Ayodhya land dispute case.
• The bench listed the plea for hearing after two weeks. The film 'Ram Ki Janmabhoomi', directed by Sanoj Mishra, revolves around the issue of Ram Mandir.

Thailand: Anti-military parties claim to have seats to form government

• In Thailand, seven political parties, led by one ousted from power in a military coup, said that they believed they won enough seats in the recent general elections to form the next government.
• The announcement came amid concerns about potential irregularities in the vote that took place on March 24. The vote was the first since a 2014 coup. The official results are due in May.
• The leader of the Pheu Thai party, which headed the last elected government and the leaders of five other parties, believed they had won more than 250 seats in the 500-seat lower house.
• The Election Commission, appointed by the ruling junta's hand-picked legislature, delayed the release of a full preliminary vote count twice before. It has now said it will release its final preliminary results on March 29.
• The incomplete results reported so far show Pheu Thai won the most seats, while the military-backed Palang Pracharath party appeared to have received the most votes. Both have said those results mean they have a mandate to form the next government.

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