UK prime minister Theresa May is pictured in this November 2018 archive photo. Photo: Shutterstock
Brexit extensions, Vestager to run for Commission presidency and Facebook security glitch. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Friday.
EU leaders issued a two-week Brexit extension if British prime minister Theresa May fails to get parliamentary backing for the withdrawal treaty agreed with Brussels. The reprieve, issued at a Brussels summit on Thursday, runs until 12 April. If the agreement is ratified by the UK parliament, it will have until 22 May to complete the exit and begin the transition period. May had requested an extension of the negotiating period until 30 June. Politico reports that there was fierce disagreement among EU27 leaders. More from Reuters, BBC news and The Guardian. The FT published this tongue-in-cheek satire on how world leaders view the Brexit talks.
Vestager joins leadership race
EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager is to run as candidate for the role of president of the European Commission, succeeding Jean-Claude Juncker, the FT reports. The Danish commissioner will stand for Alde, the centrist political group. She told reporters on Thursday she wanted the EU to focus on issues including climate change, cyber security, immigration and jobs for the new generation.
Facebook under fire
The unencrypted passwords of 600 million Facebook users were accessible to 20,000 staff for years, according to security researcher Brian Krebs. Facebook said it has since resolved the protection “glitch”, BBC news reports. Meanwhile, the tech giant faces ongoing criticism for not responding quickly enough to a live video of the Christchurch mosque attacks posted on the social media site. According to The Guardian, Facebook is examining its reporting logic.
Pesticide plant explosion
Some 47 people were killed and 600 injured in an explosion at a pesticides plant in eastern China. The fire at the plant owned by Tianjiayi Chemical Company reportedly spread to neighbouring factories. The cause is under investigation. More from Reuters, BBC news.
Boeing fits alarm
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has said it will install an extra safety alarm as standard in 737 Max planes after criticism following two fatal crashes. The FT reports it will include a warning light in new planes and retrofit them in existing ones. The alarm tells pilots if two angle of attack sensors disagree, indicating that one doesn’t work. More on the Ethiopian plane crash probe from Reuters.
Venezuelan opposition aide detained
The Venezuelan government has detained the chief of staff of opposition leader Juan Guaido in a pre-dawn raid. Guaido was defiant and told reporters that leader Nicolas Maduro’s government was too afraid to arrest him for fear of triggering protests. The FT reports on this story.
“We are one”
Over 1,000 mourners gathered at Christchurch Hagley Park on Friday for the burial of 26 victims of last week’s mosque attacks in which 50 people were killed. New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern told the crowd “New Zealand mourns with you, we are one.” A two-minute silence was observed around the country and women in New Zealand donned head scarves in solidarity with Muslim women. Further vigils are planned over the weekend. More from The Guardian on the victims, BBC news and Reuters.
For those who enjoy a celestial sight, BBC news has published these stunning snaps of the super worm moon, as seen from around the world.