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British Parliament set to vote on Monday on a motion calling for an early election

A file photo of Jo Johnson, Conservative MP and brother of PM Johnson, who quit the government on Thursday.AFPBEN STANSALL

Boxed in by opponents and abandoned politically even by his own brother, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson struggled Thursday to keep his Brexit plans on track, and he accused lawmakers of thwarting democracy by blocking his call for a new election.

Mr. Johnson remained determined to secure an election after lawmakers rejected his call for a snap poll on October 25. Lawmakers moved to stop the U.K. leaving the European Union next month without a divorce deal. House of Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg told Parliament that a vote would be held on Monday on a new motion calling for an election in October.

It’s uncertain whether it will pass, with opposition parties divided over whether to agree to an election now.

Mr. Johnson said he would “rather be dead in a ditch” than delay Brexit any further, and insisted that whether or not Britain left the EU as planned on Oct. 31 must be “a matter for the people of this country to decide.”

“I don’t want an election at all, but frankly I cannot see any other way,” he said, flanked by cadets at a police academy on what felt very much like an election campaign stop.

Earlier, he called the rejection of a snap election “a cowardly insult to democracy.”

Mr. Johnson’s determination to lead Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31 faces strong opposition from lawmakers, including members of his own Conservative Party who oppose a no-deal Brexit.

In a personal blow, the Prime Minister’s brother, Jo Johnson, quit the government, saying he could no longer endure the conflict “between family loyalty and the national interest.”

Mr. Jo had served as a Minister in his older brother’s government, despite his opposition to leaving the EU without a divorce deal. .

After just six weeks into the Prime Minister’s office, his plans to lead the U.K. out of the EU are in crisis. He is caught between the EU, which refuses to renegotiate the deal it struck with Mr. Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May. A majority of lawmakers are opposed to leaving without an agreement. Most economists say a no-deal Brexit would cause severe economic disruption and plunge the U.K. into recession.

Mr. Johnson’s solution is to seek an election that could shake up Parliament and produce a less troublesome crop of lawmakers. It’s a risky gambit as opinion polls don’t point to a clear majority for the Conservatives.

New tariffs to make it difficult for them to hammer out a deal

Next stop: Workers making cowboy boots for export to the U.S. at a factory in Dongguan, China.NYTGIULIS MARCHI

The U.S. and China will hold trade talks in Washington early next month, officials from both countries said on Thursday, but new tariffs will make it difficult to find a way to end their economic clash.

Liu He, a top Chinese economic official and Beijing’s top trade negotiator, will travel to Washington in October, State media said. Mr. Liu spoke on Thursday morning with Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, and Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary. Mr. Lighthizer’s office said that deputy-level meetings would take place before the talks.

If held as scheduled, the talks would take place after new U.S. tariffs kick in, which could make it difficult for the two sides to reach a deal.

President Donald Trump has said he would raise tariffs to 30% from the current 25% on $250 billion in Chinese goods. Those tariffs cover everything from cars to aircraft parts.

On Sunday, Washington began charging a 15% tax on more than $100 billion worth of Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated with its own increased tariffs. Both countries plan to impose still more tariffs in December, barring a breakthrough in talks.

Businesses in both the United States and China have begun to express concern about a trade war that has dragged on for more than a year. NY Times

Violence continues even as the U.S. and the militant group are negotiating a peace deal

Surge in violence: Resolute Support (RS) forces at the site of a car bomb explosion in Kabul on Thursday. APRahmat Gul

A Taliban suicide blast in the centre of killed at least 10 people and wounded more than 40 on Thursday, destroying cars and shops in an area near the headquarters of Afghanistan’s NATO force and the U.S. embassy, officials said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack even as the insurgents and U.S. officials have been negotiating a deal on a U.S. troop withdrawal in exchange for Taliban security guarantees. “At least 10 civilians have been killed and 42 injured were taken to hospitals,” said Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the interior ministry.

Video footage and photographs posted on social media showed several cars and small shops torn apart by the blast at a checkpoint on a road near the NATO office and U.S. embassy.

“My car windows were shattered. People rushed to get me out,” Besmellah Ahmadi, an eyewitness, told Reuters.

There has been no let-up in violence in Afghanistan even though both the Taliban and U.S. officials are negotiating a “peace deal”.

The U.S. negotiator in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, said this week the two sides had drawn up a draft framework deal under which U.S. troops would leave five military bases in Afghanistan within 135 days of the signing of the pact.

He displayed a map showing edited path, which is against the law

Damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian on the Great Abaco island town of Marsh Harbour, Bahamas. REUTERSDANTE CARRER

Trouble is raining down on U.S. President Donald Trump, who appears to have given Americans incorrect information on Hurricane Dorian’s trajectory.

During an Oval Office press briefing on Wednesday, Mr. Trump displayed a map from the National Hurricane Center showing the storm’s predicted path.

As he held up the poster to give the journalists a better view, it became clear the map had been edited: Dorian’s cone had been extended with what appeared to be black marker to include the state of Alabama. It is against the law to falsify a National Weather Service forecast and pass it off as official.

When asked a few hours later about the surprising addition, Mr. Trump responded, “I don’t know. I don’t know,” while continuing to maintain that the predictions included the possibility that Dorian would make landfall in the southern state.

The story of how Bhagiratha of the Ikshvaku race brings the celestial Ganga to earth is described in the many puranas and the Itihasas. In a discourse, Swami Paramasukananda drew attention to how posterity has come to associate Bhagiratha’s name with the value of tremendous effort, austere penance and determination by which even the most formidable challenges can be overcome. It shows that self confidence, tenacity and above all faith in God are of utmost importance when pursuing any goal, worldly or spiritual. Bhagiratha’s sole aim is to redeem his ancestors, the sons of King Sagara, who had been reduced to ashes in the hermitage of Lord Kapila.

The story goes that during the Aswamedha yaga performed by Sagara, the sacrificial horse goes missing. His sons go in search of it and find it in the ashram of Sage Kapila. In a fit of haughtiness they raise their weapons against the sage who is steeped in meditation. This act reduces them to ashes. Amshuman, the grandson of Sagara, follows the footprints of his uncles and finds the horse near the heap of ashes. He also sees Lord Kapila and is told that the forbears would be relieved of their sin if the sacred waters of the Ganga are sprinkled on the ashes. Though Amshuman and later his son Dilipa try to bring the Ganga during their lifetime, they fail. It is left to Dilipa’s son, the righteous Bhagiratha to take up the responsibility of saving his forefathers. He understands the importance of honouring the family tradition and the duties of the progeny towards the family ancestors.

He renounces kingly responsibilities and devotes his entire time and effort to somehow see Goddess Ganga and request her to come to earth.

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