Politics Internet Services Comments A petition to revoke Article 50, the clause triggering the UK’s exit from the EU, went viral on Thursday, causing Parliament’s petitions site to display a notice saying it was “down for maintenance.”The petitions site was unavailable for several short periods of time after gaining traction overnight on Wednesday. “We know that the Petitions site is experiencing problems due to the number of people using the site,” said a House of Commons spokesman. “This is a mixture of people signing petitions and refreshing the site to see changes to the number of signatures. We are working to get the problems fixed as soon as possible.”At the time of writing, the petition to stop Brexit had over 827,000 signatures. According to Parliament’s own rules, a petition will be considered for debate when it reaches 100,000 signatures and the government has three days to respond.A notice on Parliament’s petitions site. Screenshot/Katie Collins “The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people’,” the petition reads. “We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU. A People’s Vote may not happen — so vote now.”The number of signatures picked up steam following a speech by Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday evening, in which she claimed that the Brexit crisis was not her fault, but rather the fault of politicians who refused to vote for the deal she had negotiated with the EU.As it stands, the UK will either leave the EU on March 29 with May’s deal (which has been voted down three times in Parliament), leave the EU on March 29 with no deal at all (a prospect rejected by a separate vote in Parliament), or it can revoke Article 50 and choose not to leave at all. The Prime Minister is in Brussels on Thursday to ask all 27 EU member states for an extension in the hope that it will buy her more time to pass her deal and get it ratified to ensure a smooth transition.Spokespeople from the Prime Minister’s office didn’t immediately respond to request for comment. Share your voice 4 Tags
BNP`s public rally begins at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city on Sunday afternoon where the party leaders are expected to unveil their various demands and plans over the next general election. Photo: Dipu MalakarBNP’s public rally began at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city on Sunday afternoon where the party leaders are expected to unveil their various demands and plans over the next general election, reports UNB.The rally formally began around 2pm with recitation from the holy Quran.Though BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has been in jail since 8 February, the party has made her the chief guest of the rally as a mark of respect to her.Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir is presiding over the rally.Party insiders said Mirza Fakhrul Islam is likely to place a seven-point demand and a 12 or 13-point vision of the party at the rally.The party’s demands include releasing party chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail, forming a neutral election-time government, dissolving current parliament and cabinet, creating a level-playing field by withdrawing all the political cases and releasing all the political prisoners, reconstitution of the election commission, deploying army and discarding electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the election.In the 12-point vision, the party will say what steps it will take to improve the country’s political culture, get rid of the politics of vengeance, ensure good governance, democracy and fight against extremism and ensure Bangladesh’s territory not to be allowed to use to carry out criminal activities against other countries, including India.Hundreds of party leaders and activists started gathering at the venue in small processions since morning.Huge number of law enforcers have been deployed in and around the rally venue to maintain law and order.One of the conditions is that the rally will have to be concluded by 5pm.On Saturday, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) authorities permitted BNP to hold the rally at Suhrawardy Udyan with 22 conditions.The conditions include not using any provocative words and refraining from carrying any sticks, large banners and creating any barriers to public life.BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said they will unveil their party’s future course of action and strategy at the rally. BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed hinted that their party may also announce fresh action programmes from it.
High school students embrace as they give hugs to Muslims waiting for news of their relatives at a community centre, following Friday`s shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand 18 March, 2019. Photo: ReutersNew Zealand Muslim leaders on Monday conveyed messages of love, compassion and appreciation for the community support they had received after a lone gunman attacked two mosques, killing 50 people and injuring dozens more.Mustafa Farouk, the President of Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, said the community was in shock and mourning, but was resilient.”We know we are living in a country that we are welcome, that loves us. One of the most beautiful and most peaceful countries in the world,” he told a media conference in Christchurch, where the attack took place on Friday.Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday. Tarrant was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5 where police said he was likely to face more charges.Farouk said the message for those who pedalled hatred was that they had “failed woefully”.”Because what they have done, if anything, is to increase the love and the feeling we have for our own country and we have also seen the tremendous outpouring of love, what we call aroha here in New Zealand.”Some families have expressed frustration that the bodies of almost all victims have not been released while authorities carry out post mortems and investigations.Under Islam it is customary to conduct burials within 24 hours.Rehanna Ali, coordinator of womens affairs’ Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand, described the process of preparing the bodies for burial.”These people died in prayer, on their way to prayer, on our holy day, a Friday, in the precincts of our holy places. And faith was what they died for. And so faith is now part of the healing process for their loved ones.”Over the weekend and into Monday, tens of thousands of people flocked to memorial vigils around New Zealand and a victim support website raised more than NZ$5.5 million ($3.8 million).Hundreds visited the sites of the shootings, performing songs, bringing flowers and food, and offering condolences.”Through all of this we try to remember that what we are bringing back to this tragedy, this horror, is a sense of compassion,” Ali told media. “The response to so much hate, has been love.”