While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 30

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No-deal Brexit fears rise as British parliament sinks PM's deal again

Lawmakers rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal for a third time on Friday, sounding its probable death knell and leaving Britain's withdrawal from the European Union in turmoil on the very day it was supposed to quit the bloc.

The decision to reject a stripped-down version of May's divorce deal has left it totally unclear how, when or even whether Britain will leave the EU, and plunges the three-year Brexit crisis to a deeper level of uncertainty.

"I fear we are reaching the limits of this process in this House," May told parliament after the defeat. "The implications of the House's decision are grave."

Within minutes of the vote, European Council President and summit chair Donald Tusk said EU leaders would meet on April 10 to discuss Britain's departure from the bloc.


White House warns Russia over troops in Venezuela, threatens sanctions

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The White House on Friday warned Russia and other countries backing President Nicolas Maduro against sending troops and military equipment to Venezuela, saying the United States would view such actions as a"direct threat" to the region's security.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been given a list of options to respond to Russia's growing presence in Venezuela in support of Maduro, including new sanctions, said Elliott Abrams, the US special representative for Venezuela.

"We have options and it would be a mistake for the Russians to think they have a free hand here. They don't," Abrams told reporters at the State Department.


Trump says he will close border if Mexico doesn't stop migration

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President Donald Trump said he will close the southern border next week unless Mexico "immediately" stops illegal migration into the US, which his Homeland Security secretary said threatens a "system-wide meltdown" at her agency.

Trump has periodically threatened to close the border, where he has declared a national emergency because of the number of migrants crossing illegally.

It is unclear what he means, since closing the border entirely would halt millions of dollars worth of cross-border commerce.


Vettel fastest as Ferrari dominate Bahrain GP practice

Sebastian Vettel narrowly beat new team mate Charles Leclerc to the fastest time as Ferrari signalled a return to form in Bahrain Grand Prix practice on Friday.

The German, a four times world champion who had trailed the Monegasque in the first of the day's two sessions, lapped the floodlit 5.4km Sakhir desert track in one minute 28.846 seconds, pipping Leclerc by just 0.035.

Five times world champion Lewis Hamilton, fourth in the afternoon behind team mate Valtteri Bottas, was the quickest Mercedes driver in the evening as the pair swopped positions.


Apple, in rare reversal, pulls plug on wireless charging mat

Apple on Friday said it is cancelling the AirPower wireless charging mat that the company announced in 2017 on the same day as its iPhone X, a rare public retreat for the gadget maker known for splashy product launches.

The mat was intended to wirelessly charge up to three Apple products at once, such as an iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods wireless headphones.

While wireless charging has spread through the gadget industry, charging three devices at once with higher wattage "fast charging" has proved challenging.


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