David Allen Neron

David Allen Neron

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SNP to oppose Sunday trading shake-up

The SNP has said it is to vote against UK government plans to change Sunday trading laws in England and Wales.

Proposals to allow English and Welsh councils to permit larger stores to open for more than six hours will not directly affect Scotland, where there are no trading restrictions in place.

But the SNP said it had concerns over the knock-on effects on Scottish pay.

With more than 20 Tory MPs set to rebel, the risk of a government defeat in a vote on Wednesday has increased.

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Asia and Pacific set for solar eclipse

Millions of people across Indonesia and the Pacific are about to be treated to a total solar eclipse.

Beginning late on Tuesday (GMT), the Moon will pass directly in front of the Sun, fully eclipsing the solar disk.

This will block all direct sunlight, turning day into night.

The eclipse will be total in Indonesia and the Central Pacific, while parts of Australia and east Asia will experience a partial one.

People along a 150km-wide strip running through Sumatra, Borneo and Sulawesi - the path of eclipse totality - will experience a blackout from about 07:00 to 11:00 local time.

Parties can be a good measure of friendship.

For years, the Christmas party at the U.S. ambassador's home was a lovely affair, but not frequented by many Conservatives from Stephen Harper's cabinet.

That all changed last December.

The U.S. Ambassador to Canada, Bruce Heyman, could barely contain his excitement as everywhere you turned, there was yet another minister from Justin Trudeau's newly named cabinet being swarmed by invitees anxious for face time.

To say nothing of the appearance of the prime minister himself, who was generally mobbed by guests.

Consumer watchdog the Better Business Bureau has clarified its position on now-defunct Trump University after the agency's score became a political football in a recent Republican presidential debate.

The school named after and founded by bombastic candidate Donald Trump came up in last week's debate, with the GOP frontrunner shaking off claims the school provided no value to its students, saying at one point: "We have an A from the Better Business Bureau."

His rival, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, quickly interjected with a claim the bureau had in fact given Trump's eponymous school a rating of Dā€“.

GENEVA/BRUSSELS The United Nations and human rights groups warned on Tuesday that a tentative European Union deal to send back all irregular migrants to Turkey in exchange for political and financial rewards could be illegal.

"I am deeply concerned about any arrangement that would involve the blanket return of anyone from one country to another without spelling out the refugee protection safeguards under international law," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi told the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

He was speaking hours after the 28 EU leaders sketched an accord with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Brussels that would grant Ankara more money to keep refugees in Turkey, faster visa-free travel for Turks and a speeding up of Ankara's long-stalled membership talks.

JERUSALEM Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cancellation of a proposed meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama put more strain on their troubled ties on Tuesday just before a visit to Israel by Vice President Joe Biden.

The White House said on Monday it was "surprised" to learn first from Israeli media that Netanyahu had decided against coming to a conference of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC in Washington on March 20, and the suggestion in some reports that among his reasons was Obama's unavailability to see him.

READ MORE: Special Report: Grim toll mounts in Japanese detention centers

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MH370 searchers remain 'hopeful'

Malaysia and Australia say they remain "hopeful" that flight MH370 will eventually be found, two years on from its disappearance.

The aircraft disappeared between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing on 8 March 2014 with 239 people on board.

Australian-led search teams are combing a 120,000 sq km (46,330 sq mile) area of the southern Indian Ocean.

Jaromir Jagr continued his climb up the all-time NHL scoring list on Monday night, surpassing Gordie Howe into third spot with 1,851 points.

After being denied by Boston goalie Tuukka Rask, Jagr's rebound was buried by Florida Panthers teammate Aleksander Barkov, who cut the Bruins lead to 3-1 at 16:48 of the first period.

Jagr assist on Barkov goal puts him in sole possession of 3rd place all time on the points list pic.twitter.com/49FCnjZmfT

ā€” @myregularface

With his 12th point in his last 13 games, the 44-year-old Jagr tops the Panthers with 49 points in 63 games this season.

Twenty Canadians, including a pregnant woman, have tested positive for the Zika virus, Canada's chief public health officer told a Commons committee Monday.

"We are aware of one [pregnant woman] in Canada at this time. There may be more but we're not aware of that," Dr. Gregory Taylor, told the standing committee on health.

Taylor would not identify where the pregnant woman is from, in order to protect her privacy.

WASHINGTON The United States is imposing export restrictions on China's ZTE Corp and three other entities over an alleged scheme developed by the telecoms equipment maker to re-export controlled items to Iran, contrary to U.S. law, according to a U.S. notice on Monday.

The U.S. Commerce Department, in the public notice, cited ZTE documents that showed the mobile handset maker planned to use shell companies in the scheme, leading the department to impose export curbs that will make it harder for ZTE to acquire U.S. products.

READ MORE: Wall St. vets battle BP in fallout over Canada refinery

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