A PIVOTAL BREXIT PIVOT

It took just 24 hours for two key members of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s cabinet to call it quits. But as Gabe is here to explain, the resignations of Brexit Secretary David Davis, the UK’s head Brexit negotiator, and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, have forced an important confrontation over the UK’s future that’s been years in the making.


How we got here. Last week, Prime Minister May took a decisive step—securing the approval of her preferred Brexit plan, which aims to maintain fairly close trading relations with the EU (at least when it comes to goods), at an emergency cabinet summit. Davis and Johnson, who view the plan as a direct repudiation of their preferred hardline Brexit policy, tenured their resignations in short order.

What comes next? Disgruntled members of May’s Tory Party will likely present a motion of no confidence against her government in parliament sometime in the coming days. The real test is whether these rebels can amass the 159 votes needed to pass such a motion and topple the prime minister.

Path one: If the vote fails, May will have succeeded in fending off the hardliners within her own party and be well positioned to deliver her preferred Brexit policy. Rebellious Tories would then be forced to either accept May’s position or risk forming an unnatural alliance with pro-Brexit members of the opposition Labor Party.

Path two: If the motion succeeds, it would trigger an internal race within the Tory Party to succeed May that could last for months. Any successor to May would almost certainly support a Brexit policy that places the UK much further from the EU than May would like—raising serious questions about the country’s economic future.

Why it matters: The coming days represent a fork in the road for Prime Minister Theresa May—one that will determine the future of both Brexit and Britain. By the end of the week, we will have a much clearer picture of where all three are heading.   ​

Scientists, engineers and technologists are turning to nature in search of solutions to climate change. Biomimicry is now being applied in the energy sector, medicine, architecture, communications, transport and agriculture in a bid to make human life on this planet more sustainable and limit the impacts of global warming. New inventions have been inspired by humpback whales, kingfishers and mosquitoes.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

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January 27 marks 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi extermination camp. But even as some 40 heads of state gathered in Jerusalem this week to commemorate the six million Jews who were killed, a recent Pew survey revealed that many American adults don't know basic facts about the ethnic cleansing of Europe's Jews during the Second World War. Fewer than half of those polled knew how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust, and close to a third didn't know when it actually happened. Here's a look at some of the numbers.

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A quarantine in China– Local authorities have locked down the city of Wuhan, the source of the outbreak of a new and potentially deadly respiratory virus that, as of Thursday morning, had infected more than 540 people in at least six countries. Other nearby cities were also hit by travel restrictions. Rail and air traffic out of Wuhan has been halted. Public transportation is shut, and local officials are urging everyone to stay put unless they have a special need to travel. Wuhan is a city of 11 million people, many of whom were about to travel for the Chinese New Year. We're watching to see whether these extraordinary measures help stem the outbreak, but also to see how the people affected respond to the clampdown.

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