Morning News Roundup: Brexit, PhD Student Pardoned, Crimea Standoff and NZ Whales

By Gus Kubiak

PM TRIES TO SELL BREXIT

Theresa May is defending her Brexit plan which was backed over the weekend by the 27 EU member states.

The Prime Minister’s plan will now be discussed in Parliament, where it may be hard to find a positive response. Labour, the DUP, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, and many Tory MPs are set to vote against the plan.

The Northern Irish DUP, whose support the Tories rely on in parliament, said that they would also be reviewing their agreement with the conservative party in regards to their coalition.

Parliament is set to vote on the Brexit agreement on December 12th.

BRITISH PhD STUDENT PARDONED IN UAE

The British PhD student who was sentenced to life in prison for spying in the United Arab Emirates has been given a pardon.

Matt Hedges, a PhD student form the University of Durham had been conducting research on the countries security strategy, when he was arrested at the Dubai airport in May.

Mr. Hedges was sentenced after reportedly signing a confession in Arabic, a language which he does not understand.

Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the UK “had never seen any evidence” that the spying allegations were true.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE TENSIONS ON THE RISE AFTER KERSH STANDOFF

Protesters outside the Russian embassy in Kiev set fire to an official vehicle after three Ukrainian vessels were captured in the waters off Crimea.

The incident in the disputed region  marks a major escalation in tension between the two countries.

The parliament in Ukraine is set to decide today whether to bring martial law into effect, in an attempt to bring the situation under control.

The UN security council will hold an emergency meeting on the situation today.

WHALES DIE IN NZ AFTER MASS BREACHING

145 pilot whales have died in New Zealand after they washed ashore at Stewart Island in the south of the country.

The whales, in two different pods, were found by a hiker late Saturday on a remote beach in Mason Bay.

Local authorities said that half the whales were already dead by the time they reached them, and that the others had to be euthanized as attempts to re-float them were not possible due to the whales condition.

Mass whale stranding are not uncommon in New Zealand. Possible reasons for mass events like the one Saturday can include sickness, navigational errors, geographical features that confuse the animals, fast-falling tides, and extreme weather.