Theresa May to resign, departure date June 7

24 May 2019; DW: In an emotional address, Theresa May has announced she would resign as prime minister on June 7. The race to succeed her will likely start after a state visit by US President Donald Trump.

Theresa May said on Friday that she will step down as leader of the Conservative party, and therefore prime minister, on June 7.

May spoke of her "deep regret" at being unable to deliver Brexit despite her best efforts.

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Pope: Abortion is never OK, equates it to 'hiring a hitman'

Vatican City, May 25 (AP/PTI) Pope Francis says abortion can never be condoned, even when the fetus is gravely sick or malformed. He is urging doctors and priests to support families to carry such pregnancies to term.

During an audience Saturday with participants of a Vatican-sponsored anti-abortion conference, Francis said opposition to abortion isn't a religious issue but a human one: "Is it licit to throw away a life to resolve a problem? Is it licit to hire a hitman to resolve a problem?"

US envoy calls for Beijing 'dialogue' with Dalai Lama

Beijing, May 25 (AFP/PTI) The US ambassador to China has called on Beijing to open a "substantive dialogue" with the Dalai Lama in remarks made this week during a rare visit to Tibet, his embassy said Saturday.

Terry Branstad visited northwest China's Qinghai province -- home to many Tibetans -- as well as the Tibet Autonomous Region, where access is restricted for diplomats and journalists.

Ramaphosa takes oath as South Africa's president

Johannesburg, May 25 (PTI) Cyril Ramaphosa, the head of the African National Congress, was sworn in for a five-year term as South Africa's president on Saturday after being elected unopposed by Parliament following the sixth general elections this month.

Ramaphosa, 66, swore allegiance to the Constitution in the presence of thousands of dignitaries and citizens at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in the capital, Pretoria - after being voted unopposed in a process overseen by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng as the country's leader in the National Assembly this week.

US state of Arkansas declares emergency over flooding

25 May 2019; DW: Arkansas' governor proclaimed a state of emergency and ordered the National Guard to deploy rescue teams as the US state braces for record-breaking floods. Several people have lost their lives as storms continue.

At least seven people have died in the storms which continue to pound the central US, with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson declaring a state of emergency on Friday "in anticipation of severe flooding."

US ambassador makes rare visit to Tibet

Beijing : The US ambassador to China is making the first trip toTibet by an American envoy in four years after obtaining rare access to the restricted region, his embassy said Monday.

The visit by Ambassador Terry Branstad comes two months after the US State Department said Beijing had "systematically" impeded access to Tibetan areas for US diplomats, journalists and tourists.

Branstad was scheduled to visit Qinghai province and the neighbouring Tibet Autonomous Region from Sunday until this Saturday, an embassy spokespersonsaid in an email to AFP.

France: Package bomb explodes in Lyon 'attack'

25 May 2019; DW: At least 13 people were injured when an explosive device went off at a bakery in central Lyon, France's third biggest city. President Emmanuel Macron described it as an "attack."

Police in the city of Lyon were searching for a man believed to be responsible for a Friday blast which injured several people. The explosion targeted a bakery on the central street Rue Victor Hugo, in what French President Emmanuel Macron called an "attack."

US to send 1,500 troops to Middle East for 'protection' against Iran

25 May 2019; DW: Both President Trump and the Pentagon stressed that they were not seeking to engage in a military conflict with Iran. Trump has been trying to pressure Tehran into negotiating a new nuclear deal.

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that he would send some 1,500 soldiers to the Middle East as "protection" amidst a rise in tensions with Iran. At the same time, he downplayed the suggestion of a military conflict.

US charges Julian Assange with violating Espionage Act

24 May 2019; AFP: The Justice Department on Thursday charged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with violating the US Espionage Act by publishing military and diplomatic files in 2010, rejecting his claim that he is a journalist.

The department unveiled 17 new charges against Assange, accusing him of directing and abetting intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in stealing secret US files, and also recklessly exposing confidential sources in the Middle East and China who were named in the files.

Maduro asks armed forces be 'vigilant' to deter US invasion.

Caracas, May 23; GANASHAKTI: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday ordered armed forces to be "vigilant" to deter a possible United States invasion.

"I have ordered all military branches to be vigilant and be ready to protect the peace, to make any attempt by the North American empire to try anything against our homeland impossible. Peace will be our victory!" Maduro tweeted in Spanish.


India: Surat fire toll climbs to 22, coaching class owner held

Surat, May 25 (PTI) The toll in the devastating fire that engulfed a commercial complex in Surat's Sarthana area has gone up to 22 with two more students succumbing to burn injuries, a senior police official said Saturday.

Surat police spokesperson and assistant commissioner of police P L Chaudhari on Saturday identified the two deceased students, both teenagers, as Karnavi Sitapara and Dhruvi Ribadiya.

Both were undergoing treatment in separate hospitals, he added.

India: Dabholkar murder case: Defence lawyer arrested by CBI

Pune, May 25 (PTI) A lawyer representing some of the accused in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case was Saturday arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation, an official said.

Advocate Sanjeev Punalekar and a Sanatan Sanstha member identified as Vikram Bhave were held from Mumbai and will be produced in a Pune court on Sunday, the CBI official said.

He said preliminary probe had revealed that Punalekar was known to one of the shooters of Dabholkar.

Indian Polls: No need for Rahul Gandhi to resign, Cong leaders in Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram, May 25 (PTI) Coming out in support of the AICC chief, Congress leaders in Kerala said there was no need for Rahul Gandhi to resign in the wake of the party's poll debacle.

Gandhi had offered to resign as the Congress received a severe drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls.

The Congress party had faced similar defeats earlier also and has bounced back, Opposition leader in the state ssembly Ramesh Chennithala told reporters here.

President Trump and PM Modi to meet at G-20 Summit in June

Washington, May 25 (PTI) US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have agreed to meet at the G-20 Summit in Japan next month as both the leaders pledged to further strengthen the US-India strategic partnership and build on the achievements of the last two years.

Trump telephoned Modi to congratulate him on the historic electoral victory in the Lok Sabha polls, the White House said Friday.

British firm Diageo wins USD 135mn claim against Mallya

London, May 25 (PTI) In another setback to Vijay Mallya, the UK High Court has directed the embattled liquor tycoon to pay British beverage giant Diageo over USD 135 million in relation to a collateral arrangement.

Diageo is seeking a total of USD 175 million from the 63-year-old businessman and was successful in one aspect of that claim as it was awarded a "summary judgment" by Justice Robin Knowles, who dismissed Mallya's reliance on an alleged oral promise from Diageo dating back to February 2016.

Indian Polls: Governor invites Jagan Mohan Reddy to form govt in AP

Hyderabad, May 25 (PTI) The Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana E S L Narasimhan Saturday invited YSR Congress president Y S Jagan mohan Reddy to form the government in AP.

The swearing-in ceremony would be held at Indira Gandhi Municipal Corporation stadium, Vijayawada on May 30 at 12.23 PM, a Raj Bhavan communique said here.

It said Botcha Satyanarayana and other YSR Congress elected members of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly called on the Governor and informed him about the election of Reddy as the leader of the YSR Congress Legislature Party.

Indian President dissolves 16th Lok Sabha

New Delhi, May 25 (PTI) President Ram Nath Kovind Saturday dissolved the 16th Lok Sabha with immediate effect on recommendation of the Union cabinet, the Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a statement.

A communique issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan said the President dissolved the Lok Sabha after a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi made such a recommendation Friday.

"The President has accepted the advice of the Cabinet on 24.05.2019 and signed the Order dissolving the 16th Lok Sabha," it said.

India: Drought situation in Maharashtra is very serious: Pawar

Mumbai, May 25 (PTI) NCP president Sharad Pawar said Saturday that the drought situation in Maharashtra was very serious.

Addressing a gathering in Satara district, Pawar said he would try his best to ensure that the government provided maximum assistance to drought-hit areas.

Last October, the Maharashtra government announced drought in over 150 of 358 tehsils in the state following a bad monsoon.

We will now begin a new journey to build a new India: Modi

New Delhi, May 25 (PTI) All set for a second term as prime minister, Narendra Modi on Saturday said his government will now begin "a new journey to build a new India with new energy" and asked newly elected MPs of the NDA to work without any discrimination, including on the basis of faith and castes.


'European' election sidelines 17.5 million non-EU residents

by Ian P. Johnson

25 May 2019; DW: They pay taxes in the European Union, call it home — some for decades. But they cannot vote in the European Parliament election. Some 17.5 million non-EU residents of voting age are sidelined, DW has calculated.

Some 400 million voting-age citizens of EU member states have begun electing their next European Parliament. Many of their non-EU neighbors, adults residing legally and often long-term in the EU, cannot.

Western states avoid culpability for war crimes

By Robert Fisk

When is a war crime not a war crime? When it’s committed by us, of course.

But this truism is taking on a new and sinister meaning today – and not just because Trump and his crackpots may be planning another clutch of atrocities in the Middle East.

For there is now a dangerous slippage becoming apparent in which western states are more ready than ever to countenance military crimes against humanity, to accept them, approve of them and to expect us to connive at these gross and sickening breaches of international law.

The Joy of Propaganda

by Dennis Presiloski

The purpose of propaganda is not to persuade, but rather to control.

And the less it corresponds to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent while being told obvious lies, or worse, when they are forced to repeat the lie, their ability to resist lies is destroyed.

A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. That is the true purpose of propaganda.

But what IS propaganda?

Discrimination, division and demolitions: Life as a Palestinian citizen of Israel

by Rebecca Stead

Palestinian citizens of Israel – who number around 1.8 million people and amount to just over 20 per cent of Israel’s population – are often ignored by the broader Palestinian narrative. Although unlike their compatriots in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip, Palestinian citizens of Israel do not live under a formal military occupation, their lives are not without struggle. The community is discriminated against on a daily basis, denied equal access to resources, opportunities, political rights and housing.


India should cut interest rates to help exporters take advantage of US-China trade war

By K J M Varma

Beijing, May 25 (PTI) India should cut interest rates further and adopt consistent policies for the export of agricultural produce to enable Indian exporters to take advantage of the current US-China trade war, industry body Ficci's President Sandip Somany said Saturday.

History will prove Merkel right on refugees: EU's Juncker

by Nicole Goebel

Angela Merkel was right to take in nearly 1 million refugees in 2015, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in an interview. He also revealed how he got Donald Trump to kiss him.

Jean-Claude Juncker has praised Angela Merkel for her controversial decision to let in nearly 1 million refugees in the autumn of 2015.

The US will proudly go to war with Iran for Saudi oil

by Ryan Fahey

22 May 2019; MEMO: Since coming to office, US President Donald Trump has grabbed headlines for his loud declarations; that he called the Saudi king and demanded more “protection money”, that he has demanded oil producing countries increase supplies and reduce costs, and most recently that Iran must buckle under the pressure of his sanctions and agree to new terms to end the blockade.

Trade with China key to U.S. port businesses

NEW ORLEANS, the United States, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Chinese trading partners are vital to the development of U.S. port businesses and long-term U.S.-China collaboration is mutually beneficial, a senior U.S. port official has said.

"China is a very important trading partner. We shipped about 12 million tons of cargo to China last year. That's not a small amount," said Paul Aucoin, executive director of the Port of South Louisiana, the largest tonnage port in the United States, during a recent interview with Xinhua.