Feb 20, 2019

3 Conservative MPs resign from party, join Independent Group

Theresa May. Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Three members of the U.K. Parliament have resigned from the Conservative Party on Wednesday, joining 8 of their former Labour Party colleagues in the newly formed Independent Group of lawmakers, citing an opposition to Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit approach, per The Independent.

Why it matters: The Independent Group now has as many members in the House of Commons as the Liberal Democrats, which held power with the Conservatives in a coalition government from 2010 to 2015. And, while the defections do little to change the Brexit voting calculus in the Commons, they do add symbolic strength to the Independent Group's makeup.

Go deeper ... The Brexit dilemma: British politics is broken

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.