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Battered Congress party closes ranks after election setback

NEW DELHI ( ) – The head of India’s main opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, offered to quit on Saturday after a crushing election defeat but senior party officials rejected his offer and called instead for a major internal shake-up.

Gandhi, 48 and the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, had been under intense pressure since results released on May 23 showed Congress won only 52 of the 542 seats up for grabs in the country’s general election.

While that marked a marginal improvement on the party’s showing in the 2014 general election, it did not stop Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from winning a landslide mandate with 303 seats.

A second successive drubbing from Modi prompted calls for Gandhi to quit.

The result has been particularly embarrassing for Gandhi, who lost his own parliamentary seat in his ,上海夜生活网交流Radcliff,home borough of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, which his family has held almost continuously for the last four decades.

He did, however, win the other seat he contested in Kerala.

At a meeting of top Congress leaders at the party’s headquarters in New Delhi on Saturday, Gandhi offered to step down as party chief, t,上海夜生活服务Barrett,he Congress Working Committee (CWC) said in a statement.

But the committee “una,上海夜生活群Cain,nimously and with one voice rejected the same and requested the Congress President for his leadership and guidance in these challenging times,” it said.

“The CWC recommends a thorough introspection and requested the Congress President for a complete overhaul and a detailed restructuring at every level上海夜网 of the party,” the committee said.

In the run-up to the election, Gandhi sought to challenge Modi directly but critics said Congress’s campaign was weakened by a lack of focus and botched communications, as well as being out-spent by the BJP.

Building political capital from escalating tensions with arch-rival Pakistan ahead of the polls, the BJP concentrated on Modi’s national security record, effectively countering the opposition’s criticism of the government’s work on creating jobs and alleviating farmers’ woes.

Gandhi’s inability to replace the party’s old guard, responsible for its worst-ever electoral result in 2014, with younger leaders also proved an error, Congress officials said.

The party’s performance in this year’s election has drawn stinging criticism from political commentators such as prominent historian Ramachandra Guha, who called for Gandhi to go.

“Both self-respect, as well as political pragmatism, demand that the Congress elect a new leader,” Guha said on Twitter.

Sudan military chief meets Egypt’s Sisi on first trip since ouster

CAIRO ( ) – The head of Sudan’s ruling military council visited neighboring Egypt on Saturday – his first trip abroad since the army overthrew former president Omar al-Bashir last month after mass protests against his rule.

Abd,上海夜网邀请码Kai,el Fattah al-Burhan met Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is himself a former military chief who got the top job after leading the ouster of his country’s last leader, Mohamed Mursi.

The meeting was closely watched by Sudan’s opposition and protest groups who have warned Egypt not to interfere in their politics, but they did not make an immediate comment.

Sudan’s army set up a Transitional Military Council (TMC) to rule the country after Bashir’s ouster and promised to hand over after election上海夜网s.

But Sudan’s protests groups, wary of what happened in Egypt, have sought guarantees that civilians will lead the transition process, and have called for two days of strikes next week to press their case.

Sisi and Burhan “agreed on the priority of supporting the free will of the,上海仙霞路夜生活Gabe, Sudanese people and ,上海夜网后花园Hadrian,its choices,” Egyptian presidency spokesman Bassam Rady said.

Sisi also said Egypt was ready to “provide all means of support to the brothers in Sudan to overcome this stage in line with the aspirations of the Sudanese people, away from external interventions,” according to the spokesman.

Fire in commercial center in India kills at least 17

NEW DELHI ( ) – ,上海会所夜网Barbara,At least 17 people were killed when a fire broke out in a four-story commercial building in the city of Surat in India’s western state of Gujarat on Fr,上海仙霞路夜生活Hadleigh,iday, police said.

Television footage broadcast by private channel NDTV showed people jumping off the top floor of the Takshashila building or trying to escape by climbing down, as thick smoke billowed out.

Most of the dead were students who had been attending class at a tuition center housed ,夜上海论坛Lance,in the building, according to the spokesman for the office of Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

“The fire started near the staircase, so they could not get down,” Joint Commissioner of Police Harikrishna Patel said, adding that all of the d上海夜生活论坛ead were aged below 20 years.

The blaze, likely caused due to an electrical short circuit, started between 3.45-4.00 pm local time and spread rapidly, Patel said.

Television footage showed people trying to grab a large banner on the side of the building as they plummeted down.

Rupani has ordered an inquiry into the incident and asked Mukesh Puri, principal secretary of the urban development department, to submit a report within three days, the spokesman for his office said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter he was thinking of the bereaved families.

“Extremely anguished by the fire tragedy in Surat,” Modi said. “May the injured recover quickly,” he said, adding he had instructed authorities to help those affected.

Fees case may enable U.S. Supreme Court to curb union power

WASHINGTON ( ) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday will consider for the second time in two years whether to choke off a critical funding stream for publ,上海高端夜生活在那里Falkner,ic-employee unions, potentially reducing organized labor’s influence in the workplace and at the ballot box.

The nine justices will hear a challenge backed by anti-union groups to the legality of fees that workers who are not members of unions representing teachers, police, firefighters and certain other government employees must pay to help cover the costs of collective bargaining with state and local governments.

Two dozen states require payment of these so-called agency fees, covering roughly 5 million public-sector wor,上海夜网千花Talon,kers, that provide millions of dollars annually to unions. Their disappearance would deliver another blow to a U.S. organized labor movement already in a diminished state compared to past decades.

The justices considered a similar case in 2016, and after hearing arguments appeared poised to overturn a 1977 Supreme Court precedent that let unions force non-members covered by contracts negotiated by organized labor to pay fees in lieu of union dues to help cover non-political union expenditures.

But the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia the following month left the court with an even split of conservatives and liberals, and its 4-4 ruling in March 2016 did not resolve the legal question.

Republican President Donald Trump’s appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch last year restored the Supreme Court’s 5-4 conservative majority. Gorsuch could cast the deciding vote in dooming agency fees.

Depriving unions of agency fees could hamstring their ability to spend in political races. They typically back Democratic candidates over Republicans.

The 2016 case was brought by non-union California public school teachers. The plaintiff in the current case is Mark Janus, a child-support specialist for the state of Illinois who opted not to join the union that represents employees like him, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

In both cases, the challengers argued that being forced to pay the agency fees to unions whose views they may not share violates their rights to free speech and free association under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

Unions in both cases contended that mandatory agency fees are needed in order to eliminate the problem of what they call “free riders” — non-members who benefit from union representation, for example through salary and working conditions obtained in collective bargaining — without actually paying for it.


Janus, 65, is backed in the legal fight by anti-union groups including the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation.

He said in an interview he is not a member of a political party and his objection to the fees was not based on politics. Janus said he has chafed at having to上海夜生活网 pay the fees, currently just under $50 a month, since starting his current stint working for Illinois in 2007.

“I don’t agree with the fact that someone is telling me I have to support something without asking me about that. This is not freedom of association. If I don’t pay, I lose my job,” Janus said.

AFSCME and other public-sector unions have called the case a well-funded attack by corporations and billionaires to undermine organized labor.

“This case is about power,” American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said.

“The funders of this case want a new Gilded Age, this time on steroids,” Weingarten added, referring to a period in the late 19th century known for its concentration of wealth among industrialists.

Twenty-four states have agency fee requirements. While 28 states have so-called right-to-work laws that prohibit mandatory agency fees, Wisconsin and Michigan have exceptions for police officers and firefighters that permit agency fees covering those workers. In those right-to-work states, unions still represent workers but membership rates are lower.

Federal employee unions cannot collect agency fees.

The union membership rate among public-sector workers was nearly 35 percent in 2017, more than five times higher than the unionization rate for workers in the private sector, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,上海会所夜网Landon, figures show. The case does not affect private-sector unions.

Taking away mandatory agency fees could have profound implications for public-sector union coffers. Unions in New York state, for example, would lose an estimated $110 million per year without mandatory fees from non-members, according to the business-backed Empire Center for Public Policy.

Syrian government steps up air strikes in northwest, seizes small town

BEIRUT ( ) – Syrian government forces pounded positio上海夜生活网ns in the northwest of the country on Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, in the heaviest day of air strikes since launching a major campaign against the rebel-held territory nearly four weeks ago.

The bombardment helped Russian-backed government forces captu,上海夜生活服务Octavia,re the small town of Kafr Nabouda in northern Hama province, the third time it has changed hands in the latest offensive, sources on both sides said.

Air and ground strikes killed 12 people in several areas including the town of Maarat al-Numan, the Observatory said.

The onslaught since late April, focused mostly on southern parts of Idlib province and adjacent parts of Hama and Latakia, marks the most intense conflict between President Bashar al-Assad and his insurgent enemies since last summer.

The bombardment has killed 229 civilians, injured 727 and forced more than 300,000 people to flee since April 28, according to The Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM), which provides assistance to health facilities.

Rami Abdulrah,上海足浴夜网联系方式Tamara,man, director of the Observatory, said Syrian government planes and helicopters launched more than 280 strikes on Sunday and Russian jets had carried out 15.

Syrian state news agency SANA said Kafr Nabouda had been taken from militants led by a group known as Tahrir al-Sham, previously called the Nusra Front and part of al Qaeda until it broke away and renamed its,上海夜网推油Sabine,elf.

A spokesman for one of the rebel formations in the area, the Turkey-backed National Liberation Front, confirmed government forces had taken Kafr Naboud after an eight-hour bombardment involving hundreds of rockets and dozens of air strikes.

Four killed, seven injured in three explosions in Nepali capital:…

KATHMANDU ( ) – Four people were killed and seven others injured on Sunday in three separate explosions in the Nepali capital, Kathmandu, and police said they suspected a Maoist splinter group may have been responsible.

“Three people were killed on the spot and the fourth one died while undergoing treatment at a hospital,” police official Shyam Lal Gyawali said, adding that the nature of the blasts was under investigation.

One person was killed in an explosion inside a house in the Ghattekulo residential area in the heart of the city.

“I heard a big noise and rushed to the spot to find the walls of a house had developed cracks due to the impact of the blast,” 17-year-old student Govinda Bhandari told at the site of the first blast.

The second blast took place near a hairdresser’s in the Sukedhara area on the outskirts of the city, where three people were killed.

The third blast, a crude device, went ,上海夜网后花园Hallie,off near a brick kiln in the Thankot area of Kathmandu, injuring two people, police said.

All of the seven injured people were taken to hospital.

A photographer at the site of the second blast said it,上海夜网推油Gabriel, had shattered the door and window panes of the shop and the area had been sealed off by the army.

Gyawali, the police official, said they suspect the blasts may have been the work of a splinter group of former M上海夜网aoist rebels who are opposed to the government for arresting its supporters.

“A pamphlet from the group has been found at the site of the first blast,” Gyawali said.

The house was used to make improvised or crude explosive devices by activists from the group, he said, adding that one of the injured people was a supporter.

Nepal emerged from a decade-long Maoist civil war in 2006 and the main group of the former rebels has joined the party that runs the government now.

The breakaway group of former rebels carri,上海新夜网龙凤Macey,ed out a similar blast in Kathmandu in February, in which one person was killed and two others were injured.

No one has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s blasts.

Japan and U.S. must work to narrow differences on trade: economy…

TOKYO ( ) – Japan and the United States still need to work to narrow their differences on trade, Japan’s economy minister said on Saturday, following a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Toshimitsu Motegi met with Lighthizer 上海夜生活网in Tokyo for trade talks ahead of a meeting on Monday between the leaders from the two nations. Motegi said there was no discussion of President Donald Trump’s decision to declare some auto imports a national security threat.

“We deepened our understanding of each other’s positions on trade. However, we’re not in complete agreement,” Motegi told reporters following the talks.

“There are still some gaps. We need to work to narr,上海足浴夜网联系方式Fabi,ow our differences.”

He said he did not expect a total, or even partial agreement on trade at Monday’s summit.

Trump a,上海会所夜网Qirin,rrived in Japan on Saturday for a largely ceremonial state visit meant to showcase strong ties even though trade relations remain problematic. He urged Japanese business leaders to increase their investment in the United States while chiding Japan for having a “substantial edge” on trade.

The United States is engaged in a trade war with China in protest against Beijing’s treatment of U.S. companies, ,上海夜生活网419Dallas,and tensions with Japan and the European Union over trade are simmering.

Turkey frees former NASA scientist from prison: ruling

ANKARA ( ) – Turkey has released Turkish-American, former NASA scientist Serkan Golge from jail with conditions, according to a court ruling ,上海高端夜生活在那里Dallas,seen by on Wednesday, in a step that could lead to an easing of tensions in Ankara’s relations with Washington.

Golge was earlier this year found guilty of being a member of an armed terrorist organization and sentenced to seven and a half years in prison.

His sentence was later reduced to five years by an appeals court and he was found guilty of aiding a terrorist organization instead of being a member of one.

Golge has always denied the charges against him.

Turkey’s Court of Cassation, a higher appeals court, upheld Golge’s sentence for aiding a terrorist organization, but ruled to ,上海夜网Rae,release him due to time he has already served, according to the verdict, seen by .

He was released under judicial control, according to the ruling, meaning he is not allowed to leave the country and will have to regularly report to local authorities.

Golge was visiting family in southern Turkey when he was arrested in the sweeping crackdown that followed a failed military coup in 2016 which the government blames on supporters of exiled Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in the United States.

Gulen has denied any involvement.

Cases against U.S. consulate employees and citizens in Turkey on terrorism charges have been a major source of disagreement between the NATO allies.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus welcomed Golge’s conditional release. “We will continue to follow Mr. Golge’s case closely along with those involving our own locally employed staff at mission Turkey,” she said.

“We will continue to provide all appropriate consular services to Mr. Golge, including making sure he can return home as soon as possible.”

Washington had been urging Turkey to release Golge and other detainees.

His wife, Kubra Golge, said she was surprised 上海夜生活论坛but h,上海夜网推油Dallas,appy at the decision.

With the move, Golge’s unjust treatment due to the long time he spent in jail has ended, said Ali Bilgin, one of his lawyers.

“The process against the upheld verdict will be continued with the Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights,” he said in a statement.

Two U.S. senators last month introduced a bipartisan bill requiring the imposition of sanctions on Turkish officials responsible for the detentions of U.S. citizens and local consulate staff in Turkey, a statement on the legislation said.

One U.S. consulate employee was sentenced to jail in January, but was released due to time served during his trial. The cases of two other consulate employees are ongoing.

Turkey and the United States are at odds over several other issues, including Ankara’s push to purchase Russian S-400 missile defense systems and policy differences in Syria.

Ankara has demanded that the United States extradite Gulen, who it accuses of orchestrating the coup attempt.

U.S. lawmakers: Trump administration risks losing the information war

WASHINGTON ( ) – Influential Republican U.S. lawmakers joined Democrats to urge President Donald Trump on Thursday to take action – including spending millions of dollars allocated by Congress and staffing a key “information warfare” unit – to stop Russian efforts to undermine American national security in cyberspace.

The New York Times reported on March 4 that the State Department had failed to spend any of the $120 million Congr,夜上海419龙凤论坛Kailani,ess has allocated since late 2016 to counter foreign efforts to meddle in elections or sow distrust in democracy.

In a letter dated March 9 and released on Thursday, the House of Representatives members called for action.

“Our nation must bolster efforts to counter exploitation of the informati,上海夜生活论坛Radcliff,on environment,” the Republican chairman and top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee said.

“We can no longer afford to assume the risk exploitation incurs to our citizens and democratic institutions and values,” Republican Representatives Mac Thornberry and Democratic counterpart Adam Smith wrote.

U.S. intellig,上海021夜网Sabrina,ence agencies have concluded that Russia sought to influence the 2016 U.S. election by spreading propaganda and false news reports via social media to boost Trump, and warned that similar efforts were already under way to affect this November’s elections.

The issue has clouded Trump’s presidency, with a special counsel and at least three congressional committees investigating the issue and whether there was collusion between Moscow and Trump’s campaign.

Russia denies seeking to meddle in the U.S. contest. Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion.

The bipartisan letter was a departure from sharp divisions among other Republicans and Democrats in Congress on the issue of possible Russian hacking and election interference elsewhere in Congress.

On Monday, House Intelligence Committee Republicans shut down the panel’s probe despite Democratic objections.

The Armed Services Committee leaders’ letter noted the Trump administr上海夜网ation’s failure to spend the money Congress allocated for the State Department’s Global Engagement Center’s “information warfare” against Russia, Islamic State and other entities.

The administration also has not appointed staff for the effort, including a director, the letter said.

White House officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.

The letter was also signed by the Republican chairwoman and top Democrat on the committee’s emerging threats subcommittee, Representatives Elise Stefanik and James Langevin.

Indian rescuers to search for eight climbers missing in Himalayas

MUMBAI ( ) – An Indian rescue team has been sent to search for eight missing climbers who had been trying to climb the summit of Nanda Devi, the second-highest peak in India, and were probably hit by a large avalanche, two state government officials said.

The officials said that they had been told that those missing include climbers from Britain, the United States, Australia and India.

The rescue effort began on Saturday when the climbers failed to return to base camp. It may take days to trek to the area where they were last known to have been, said Vijay Kumar Jogdanda, the top,上海夜生活男人好去处Rachel, civil servant in Pithoragarh district of India’s mountainous Uttarakhand state.

Others in the group, who had turned back earlier, told officials late on Friday that their fellow climbers had not returned to base camp as planned, Sanjay Gunjiyal, the inspector general of police at the Uttarakhand State Disaster ,上海足浴夜网联系方式Paisley,Response Force, told .

Rescue operations which began on Saturday were called off上海夜网 in the evening due to harsh weather conditions and would resume on Sunday, Gunjiyal said, adding that an air force helicopter will be used for aerial reconnaissance on Sunday. Helicopters may not be able to land anywhere in the area, given the terrain.

The climbers went missing on the Indian side of the Himalayas near the end of a climbing season that has been particularly deadly this year.

At least nine people have died on the Nepalese side of Mount Everest so far this year, the deadliest climbing season on the peak since 2015.

Indian and international news reports said that the team was led by British guide Martin Moran. On the Facebook page of his Moran Mountain company, the last public entry appears to be on May 22.

It says that the Nanda Devi team had reached their second base camp at 4,870 meters, their home for the next week.

“After a recce of the route they wi,上海夜生活网交流Lance,ll be making a summit attempt on an unclimbed peak at 6477m. In the words of (U.S. rock climbing pioneer) Royal Robbins, ‘A first ascent is a creation in the same sense as is a painting or a song’. We wish them all the very best of luck and an incredible climb!”

No negotiations with U.S., says Iran’s Supreme Leader

LONDON ( ) – Iran will not negotiate with the United States, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday, after President Hassan Rouhani signaled talks with Washington might be possible if sanctions were lifted.

Washington withdrew las,夜上海419龙凤论坛Mabel,t year from an international nuclear deal signed with Tehran in 2015, and it is ratcheting up sanctions in efforts to shut down Iran’s economy by ending its international sales of crude oil.

U.S. President Donald Trump condemned the accord, signed by his predecessor Barack Obama, as flawed for not being permanent and for not covering Iran’s ballistic missile program and role in conflicts around the Middle East.

Trump said on Monday he was hopeful Iran would come to negotiating table to reach a new deal: “I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal … and I think that’s a possibility to happen.”上海夜生活网

Khamenei was quoted as saying on his website: “We said before that we will not negotiate with America, because negotiation has no benefit and carries harm.”

Khamenei said Iran had no problems negotiating with Europeans and other countries, but added, “We will not negotiate over the core values of the revolution. We will not negotiate over our military capabilities.”

Earlier in the day, Rouhani had taken a more positive stance.

In remarks carried by state television, he said: “Whenever they lift the unjust sanctions and fulfill their commitments and return to the negotiations table, which they left themselves, the door is not closed.”

“But our people judge you by your actions, not your words.”

Khamenei has the final say in all major policies under Iran’s dual system, split between the clerical establishment and the government. He is also the head of the armed forces.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Tuesday that Iran saw no prospect of negotiations with the United States.

Last week the Pentagon announced the deployment of 900 additional troops to the Middle East, and extended the deployment of another 600 service members in the region, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran.

Speaking with repor,上海夜生活乌托邦Hallie,ters en route to Indonesia on Wednesday, acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the additional troops announced last week would be going to Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Without giving details or evidence, Shanahan said that while the Iranian posture had changed recently, the threat remained.

He added that sending military assets into the region, such as deploying bombers, Patriot missiles and accelerating the movement of an aircraft carrier strike group t,上海足浴夜网联系方式Paige,o the Middle East, had helped deter attacks against Americans in Iraq.

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton also said on Wednesday naval mines “almost certainly from Iran” were used to attack oil tankers off the United Arab Emirates this month, and warned Tehran against conducting new operations.

Mousavi dismissed Bolton’s remarks as a “ludicrous claim”.

Brazil’s president wins, justice minister loses in Congress

BRASILIA ( ) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro surmounted a crucial hurdle for his young government on Wednesday by winning approval from disgruntled lower house lawmakers for his move to reorganize the country’s executive branch.

But lawmakers voted against putting the Council for Financial Activities Control (COAF), a key tool for flagging suspicious funds moving through the banking system, under the control of Justice Minister Sergio Moro, a former judge who jailed many pol,上海夜网后花园Lance,iticians in the sweeping corruption probe known as Car Wash.

“I lament what happened,” Moro said, according to newspaper O Globo. “It’s part of the democratic debate.”

The vote on the first decree Bolsonaro issued the day he took office in January was a test of his ability to govern without courting traditional parties in Congress, which is threatening to derail his agenda after months of mutual antagonism.

The decree that reduced the number of ministries to 22, from 29 previously, was due to expire on June 3.

Failure to gain approval would have thrown the government into crisis, forcing a ministry reshuffle and increasing doubts that he can rally support for an ambitious pension reform bill – the cornerstone of his economic agenda – now in the h,上海夜网官方网站Kaia,ands of a political class he openly insults.

A former army captain and apologist for Brazil’s 1964-85 military dictatorship, Bolsonaro wielded little influence in his three decades in Congress and cast his grassroots campaign as a crusade against the horse trading of Brazil’s “old politics.”

“Bolsonaro despises democracy. We have to isolate his anti-democratic attitude and lack of respect for institutions so this does not paralyze the country,” lawmaker Marcelo Ramos, chairman of the congressional committee on pension reform, told .

Ramos said Bolsonaro was unable to build a coalition with the 308 votes needed to pass the pension bill, aimed at saving 1.2 trillion reais ($300 billion) in a decade to restore investor confidence and jump-start a weak economy. Ramos estimated the bill could currently only muster 200 votes.

Bolsonaro has said he would rather work with issue-focused caucuses than party leader,上海夜生活男人好去处Pamela,s and has called on his supporters via social media to pressure lawmakers obstructing his agenda.

He attacked the political class on Monday for being the country’s “big problem” and blamed interest groups for impeding him from governing.

Lawmakers passed the decree despite their frustration with Bolsonaro’s refusal to reach out to them with government jobs and support for projects in their constituencies.

However, their decision to keep the COAF under the Economy Ministry was a set-back for Bolsonaro and especially Moro, who has declared war on the country’s entrenched culture of political graft and impunity.

The move had alarmed some lawmakers, many of whom are under investigation on suspicion of co上海夜生活网rruption.

Race to succeed UK PM May centers on ‘no deal’ Brexit battle

LONDON ( ) – The prospect of a “no deal” Brexit was fast becoming the central battle of the race to succeed British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday, as environment minister Michael Gove became the eighth candidate to declare.

May said on Friday she was quitting over her failure to deliver Brexit, potentially opening the way for a new leader who could seek a more divisive split with the European Union and lead to confrontation with the bloc or a possible parliamentary election.

Setting out their pitch to the Conservative Party’s largely pro-Brexit membership who will decide the outcome of the contest, four of the leadership hopefuls have said Britain must leave the EU on Oct. 31 even if this means a no-deal Brexit.

“I will fight for a fairer deal in Brussels … if not I will be clear we will leave on WTO terms in October,” former Brexit minister Dominic Raab, w,上海夜网后花园Barney,ho bookmakers rank as the second favorite to win, told BBC TV.

“If you’re not willing to walk away from a negotiation, it doesn’t focus the mind of the other side … I will not ask for an extension.”

R上海夜生活网elated CoverageNot sensible to aim exclusively for no deal Brexit: UK leadership frontrunner JohnsonHealth minister Hancock says general election before Brexit bad for UK and party: The TimesSee more stories

Fellow contenders Esther McVey and Andrea Leadsom both made similar comments on Sunday.

Former foreign minister Boris Johnson, the bookmakers’ favorite to replace May, wrote in his weekly column for the Daily Telegraph newspaper: “No one sensible would aim exclusively for a no-deal outcome. No one responsible would take no-deal off the table.” [nL9N21K00Q]

Gove, a leading campaigner for Brexit during the 2016 referendum campaign and a candidate in the Conservative leadership contest that May ultimately won, told reporters on Sunday that he planned to run again.

“I am ready to unite the Conservative and Unionist Party, ready to deliver Brexit and ready to lead this great country,” he said.

In an interview with the BBC later, he said Britain would “be able to get through” a no-deal Brexit but it was “ultimately better for all of us if we secure a deal and leave in an orderly way.”


The EU has said it will not reopen negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement, which has been rejected by parliament three times, while British lawmakers have also repeatedly voted against the prospect of a no-deal exit.

Highlighting the deep splits within the governing party over the way forward on Brexit, several senior Conservatives, including leadership candidate Rory Stewart, on Sunday warned against pursuing the policy of leaving without a deal.

Finance minister Philip Hammond said parliament would be “vehemently opposed” to a no-deal strategy and a prime minister who ignored ,上海夜生活网419Lake,parliament “cannot expect to survive very long”.

“I will urge all of my colleagues who are standing in this contest to embrace the concept of compromise … going to parliament with a hard line absolutist view and daring parliament to accept it is quite a dangerous strategy,” he ,夜上海419龙凤论坛Octavien,told BBC TV.

Hammond said he could not support a no-deal strategy but declined to say what he would do if there was a vote of confidence in a government which adopted that policy.

“In 22 years in parliament I have never voted against the Conservatives … and I don’t want to have to start now contemplating such a course of action,” he said.

The opposition Labour Party said it was seeking to work with other parties to try and block May’s successor from taking Britain out of the EU without a deal.

“There is real threat now of an extremist Brexiteer becoming the leader of the Conservative Party and taking us over the cliff edge of a no deal,” Labour’s finance spokesman John McDonnell told Sky News. “We have got to move to block a no deal.”

Russia’s Putin, Japan’s Abe to hold summit meet on June 29

TOKYO ( ) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold a summit meeting on June 29, when Putin visits Japan for a meeting of leaders of the Group of 20 nations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

Senior officials and political leaders from both countries have held talks frequently in recent months to discuss ways to put an end to an decades-old territorial dispute and conclude a peace treaty.

“With eyes on the Russia-Japan summit meeting 上海夜生活网at the time of the G20 summit in Osaka, we made checks on the state of progress in Russia-Japan relations,” Lavrov told reporters after meeting his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono.

Lavrov’s comment, in Russian, was translated ,上海足浴夜网联系方式Jack,into Ja,上海夜生活网419Ida,panese at a joint news conference with Kono.

Japan claims a string of Russia-controlled western Pacific islands, called the Northern Territories in Japan and Southern Kuriles in Russia.

The territorial row over the island chain, seized by Soviet troo,上海夜网推油Gabriella,ps at the end of World War Two, has upset diplomatic relations ever since, precluding a formal peace treaty between the two countries.

Lavrov also said talks with Japan on five joint economic activity projects on the disputed islands were proceeding at a good pace, without elaborating.

Abe and Putin in 2016 agreed to launch talks on joint economic activities on the islands as a step toward concluding a peace treaty.

Ex-FBI deputy McCabe’s online legal defense fund nears $300,000 in…

WASHINGTON ( ) – Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired by the ,上海夜网邀请码Gabe,Trump administration but has said he was terminated because he is a crucial witness in the Russia investigation, has raised more than $292,000 in seven hours to help cover costs defending against other ongoing government probes, the funding website showed.

A statement on the GoFundMe internet page unveiled earlier on Thursday said the goal was to raise $150,000 from the public but it was rai上海夜生活sed to $250,000 because of a response that “has been remarkable and beyond our expectations.”

The action represents an escalation of the battle between McCabe and the administration over his firing amid heavy criticism by President D,上海夜生活群Caitlin,onald Trump. It also raises the prospect that McCabe could legally challenge his termination in the future.

“Andrew McCabe’s FBI career was long, distinguished, and unblemished,” the statement said. “His reward for that has been a termination that was completely unjustified, amidst repeated ad hominem attacks by the President of the United States.” here

The page features a photo of McCabe with his wife, two children and the family dog, Jeremiah.

On March 16, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he was terminating McCabe after the Justice Department’s inspector general concluded that the Federal Bureau of Investigation veteran had leaked information to the press and misled investigators about his actions.

The report used as the basis for the firing has still not been made public. Following McCabe’s termination, Trump,上海高端夜生活在那里Kaiden, took to Twitter, where he declared it was a “great day for Democracy.”

McCabe’s dismissal came less than two days before his 50th birthday, when he would have been eligible to retire from the Federal Bureau of Investigation with his full pension.

McCabe has disputed the findings by the inspector general’s office. He said he believes he is facing administration retaliation because he is a crucial witness into whether Trump may have tried to obstruct a criminal probe now being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

While he was the FBI’s No. 2 official, McCabe was deeply involved in overseeing investigations related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, and whether Russia colluded with Trump’s campaign. Trump has denied that any collusion occurred and Russia has denied meddling.

has reported that McCabe kept contemporaneous notes following his conversations with Trump, as well as notes related to former FBI Director James Comey’s conversations with Trump.

Trump fired Comey in 2017, prompting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint Mueller as special counsel. Trump later acknowledged in a televised interview that he fired Comey over “this Russia thing.”

Trump fundraiser sues Qatar over hacked emails

( ) – Elliott Broidy, a top Republican fundraiser, sued Qatar on Monday, accusing the Gulf state ,上海夜生活桑拿会所Hadley,of pilfering and leaking emails in retribution for his attempts to influence the Trump administration in favor of regional rivals of Qatar.

In the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Broidy accused Qatar and its agents of hacking into his and his wife’s email accounts and providing the stolen documents, via U.S.-based lobbyists, to media outlets in order to plant damaging articles about him.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, says some of the leaked materials were doctored.

“We believe the evidence is clear that a nation state is waging a sophisticated disinformation campaign agains,上海夜生活网419Sabrina,t me in order to silence me,” Broidy said in a statement.

The lawsuit adds a new dimension to a diplomatic crisis in the Gulf set off when the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt imposed sanctions on Qatar last June.

The boycott was based on allegations that Qatar supports Islamic extremists and regional foe Iran. Qatar denies the charges.

Jassim Al-Thani, a spokesman at Qatar’s embassy in Washington, described the lawsuit as an attempt by Broidy to divert attention from media scrut上海夜网iny on his activities.

“It is Mr. Broidy, not Qatar, who orchestrated nefarious activities designed to influence Congress and American foreign policy,” Al-Thani said in a statement.

Broidy, a vocal critic of Qatar, met with Trump in September and tried to set up an informal meeting between the president and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the UAE, according to a person familiar with the matter.

While the meeting did not materialize, the episode highlighted the influential role Broidy, the deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee,上海夜玩网论坛Idaia,, has developed in the administration.

Broidy, whose company is based in California, finalized more than $200 million worth of defense contracts with the UAE government and is in talks on similar deals with Saudi Arabia, the lawsuit says.

Broidy cited several articles that he believes were prompted by the leaking of his emails and other documents.

Broidy claims Al Jazeera published an article on March 8 based on falsified documents accusing him of entering into a lobbying contract in 2014 with a Russian bank under U.S. sanctions.

Al Jazeera did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Broidy accused Nicolas Muzin, a Washington-based lobbyist whose firm has a $300,000 per month contract with Qatar, of helping to wage a campaign to discredit Broidy’s efforts to “educate the American people about Qatar.” Muzin was also named as a defendant in the suit.

“Mr Broidy’s lawsuit is an obvious attempt to draw attention away from his controversial work, and is as flimsy as the promises he reportedly made to his clients,” Muzin said in a statement, saying he was proud of the work he did for Qatar.

Far-right wins French vote in EU election, but Macron limits damage

PARIS ( ) – Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National rode a wave of nationalist sentiment to win the most votes in France’s election to the European Parliament on Sunday, but the margin of victory over President Emmanuel Macron’s party was narrow.

An Elabe exit poll showed Rassemblement National, formerly known as the National Front, securing 23.6% of the vote, a little over one percentage point ahead of Macron’s La Republique En Marche list on 22.4%.

While the result is a defeat for Macron – who has put Europe at the heart of his presidency and personally invested time in the campaign – it was a far better performance than previous incumbents.

Former president Fran,上海夜生活男人好去处Cadence,cois Hollande’s party won just 14% of the vote in the last European election in 2014, coming third.

Le Pen and her lead candidate, Jordan Bardella, had sought to turn the election into a referendum on Macron’s first two years in power, calling on supporters to show their repudiation of Macron’s economic reforms and pro-European policies.

“The French people have sent a very clear message and a lesson in humility” to Macron, Bardella told supporters. “It’s him and his politics that have been rejected.”

The result is a lift for Le Pen, who hopes to build a far-right alliance in Europe alongside Italy’s deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini and other far-right parties who say EU nations have surrendered too much ‘sovereignty’ to Brussels.

But her support had fallen from the last EU vote, when her party won 24.8%. The EU ballot is often treated as a protest vote, which tends to hurt the party in power.

Macron, who formed his own movement to run for the French presidency in 2017, shattering the traditional center-right and cente上海夜生活论坛r-left blocs, had never contested a European election before. He portrayed the vote as a battle between pro-EU “progressives” such as himself and anti-immigration nationalists such as Le Pen and Salvini.

Reacting to the results, an Elysee official called them “disappointing” but not punishing. Another said Macron would not deviate from his reformist agenda as a result.

But some analysts said the vote highlighted the scepticism at his pro-business economic agenda felt by a large chunk of voters and played out in,上海021夜网Kaiden, the streets over the past six months during anti-government ‘gilets jaunes’ protests.

“He risks having even more limited room for maneuver in his reforms and getting locked into a head-to-head confrontation with the RN, which has established itself as the main opposition party, until the next presidential election,” said Christopher Dembik, economist at Saxo Bank.

Others criticized the performance of Macron’s campaign flagbearer, former Europe minister Nathalie Loiseau.


An Elabe poll projected the RN would get 24 seats in the European parliament compared with 23 percent for Macron’s party.

For Macron, the question will be whether his ambitions to lead in Europe will be dented by his second place in France.

He has opposed Germany’s Manfred Weber from the center-right European People’s Party group as the lead candidate to become European Commission president. Instead, he backs France’s Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator.

Macron aims to forge a centrist alliance with liberal, pro-European parties, a bloc currently known as ALDE but which may change its name. The lead,上海夜生活群Lake,er of ALDE in the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, said Macron would join forces with the group.

The group is expected to have around 100 seats in the 751-seat European Parliament, which would make it the third-strongest bloc and potentially a “kingmaker”.

Because no single group will have a majority in the parliament, alliances will be necessary to secure the 376 seats needed to carry a vote on decisions such as the next Commission president. Macron has said he will aim to build an alliance with the center-left Socialists and Democrats, the Greens, and potentially center-right Christian Democrats.

Trump to unveil opioid plan seeking death penalty for drug dealers:…

WASHINGT,上海夜生活Caitlin,ON ( ) – President Donald Trump will unveil a plan on Monday to combat the opioid addiction crisis that includes seeking the death penalty for drug dealers and urging Congress to toughen sentencing laws for drug traffickers, White House officials said on Sunday.

The White House plan will also seek to cut opioid prescriptions by a third over the next three years by promoting practices 上海夜网that reduce overprescription of opioids in federal healthcare programs, officials told a news briefing.

Trump will outline his proposals at an event in New Hampshire, which has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic.

The roll out of the plan will be the latest White House action aimed at addressing a U.S. drug abuse crisis that is causing thousands of overdose deaths a year. Trump has said the United States will need “toughness” to reverse these trends.

“The Department of Justice will seek the death penalty against drug traffickers when it’s appropriate under current law,” said Andrew Bremberg, director of Trump’s Domestic Policy Council, in the briefing detailing the plan.

The White House did not offer any specific examples of when it would be appropriate to seek the death penalty for drug dealers and referred further questions to the Justice Department.

Current federal law allows for the death penalty in certain drug cases including murder related to a drug trafficking offense and murder committed during a drug-related drive-by shooting, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, a nonprofit capital punishment moni,上海夜生活服务Sabia,tor.

It is unclear how this new plan will affect federal prosecutions.

Trump raised the issue of using the death penalty for drug dealers at a rally in Pennsylvania earlier this month. He has repeatedly said individual drug dealers are responsible for thousands of deaths.

The White House is also asking lawmakers to lower the amount of drug possession that triggers mandatory minimum sentences for certain opioids “to match the new reality of drugs like fentanyl, which are lethal in much, much smaller doses,” Bremberg said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016, the latest year with publicly available data.

In addition to pursuing street dealers, the plan directs the Justice Department to aggressively go after criminally negligent doctors and pharmacies and to take criminal and civil actions against opioid manufacturers that break the law.

The proposals will also seek to help those a,上海夜生活网419Easton,ddicted to opioids by expanding access to treatment facilities.

New Israel election likely to widen a swelling budget deficit

TEL AVIV ( ) – Israel’s budget deficit problem is about to get bigger as the country heads for its second election this year, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a new government.

The deficit swelled to 3.8% of gross domestic product in April, considerably exceeding this year’s 2.9% target. Analysts, the central bank and the International Monetary Fund have warned of consequences if the country does not rein in its budget.

Tax increases and spending reductions were expected once a government was formed following April 9 elections. But Netanyahu failed to put together a coalition and parliament voted on Thursday to dissolve itself. A new election will be held in September.

“The summer traditionally is the time for budget negotiations, but this will not happen,” said Henry Rome, a global macro analyst at the Eurasia Group. “The current budget, with its widening deficit, will remain in place through at least the start of 2020.”

Little can be done while Israel’s parties are campaigning. And it might be hard to act once a government is formed, since coalition building often requires the prime minister to provide funds for partners’ pet projects.

For the first four months of the year, the deficit was 14 billion shekels ($3.9 billion), with its target at 40 billion for all of 2019.

Leader Capital Markets Chief Economist Jonathan Katz believes the government will need to make budget adjustments of 12 billion to 15 billion shekels, mainly by raising tax income.

“I don’t see it before January,” he said, projecting a deficit of 4% o,上海会所夜网Barrett,f GDP this year.

Postponing spending cuts and tax increases could boost GDP in 2019, but growth will suffer in 2020 as a result. Katz was forecasting 3% growth next year but said he will probably cut his estimate to 2.8% to 2.9%. He has trimmed his inflation forecast for 2019 to 1.4% for 2019, from 1.5% to 1.6%.

“Even before, I wasn’t expecting a rate hike this year but this strengthens that conviction … unless for some reason the shek,上海夜生活怎么玩Dallas,el begins to weaken significantly on the back of political uncertainty,” Katz said.


Israel’s fiscal woes mainly stem from Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s affinity for cutting taxes while spending generously on policies like pay rises for police and subsidies for kindergartens and housing.

The ministry said the 2020 budget will be presented to the new cabinet in December, with a final vote slated for March of next year. In that case, the government will use a pro-rated version of the 2019 budget for three months.

A ministry spokeswoman said limited government activity should help improve the fiscal situation in coming months.

Last month Director General Shai Babad downplayed the situation, saying the hole was small in relation to a 40,上海夜生活群Fabiana,0 billion-shekel budget.

Other authorities are more concerned. Last week, the IMF called on Israel to reduce the 2020 deficit to 2.5% of GDP by cutting tax benefits and other m上海夜生活论坛easures.

“Leaving debt on a rising path will constrain Israel’s ability to use fiscal policy to cushion shocks to the economy,” it said in a report.

However, action on Israel’s rating is unlikely for now. Karen Vartapetov, a sovereign ratings director at Standard & Poor’s, said he expected deficits exceeding their targets in 2019 and 2020.

“A lot will depend on the composition of the coalition and the agreements they make,” he told . “But I don’t think this will blow up the fiscal story massively, even if they loosen fiscal expenditures.”

Cooks, crooks and videotape: Europe’s new lawmakers

BRUSSELS ( ) – From a TV chef and stand-up comic to a man in jail and a former prime minister famed for raunchy mansion parties, the new European Parliament features no shortage of less than run-of-the-mill lobby fodder.

It’s not sure yet who will take every one of the 751 seats, but counts in 28 countries have revealed some colorful resumes.

One who might not make it to the swearing-in is Oriol Junqueras. He’s sitting in a Spanish jail, on trial with other Catalan former regional officials for sedition after helping to organize an independence referendum in 2017 that angered Madrid.

No such constraints should hold back Silvio Berlusconi, the 82-year-old media tycoon and four-time Italian premier. He has survived a string of charges ranging from fraud to hiring an under-age prostitute for “bunga bunga” parties at his villa.

After emergency bowel surgery last month, Berlusconi should take up his seat for his center-right Forza Italia party on July 2 in the Strasbourg where – 16 years ago to the day – he infamously likened a German MEP to a Nazi camp guard.

Berlusconi is not the only ex-premier in the new intake.

Poland’s Beata Szydlo is perhaps best known in Brussels for vainly trying to block the reappointment of her own countryman, Donald Tusk, as EU summit chairman – a rar,上海夜生活去哪玩Radcliff,e example of a government putting hometown hatreds ahead of getting one of its own nationals into a plum seat in the European institutions.

While Szydlo’s socially conservative, eurosceptic ruling party improved its score, liberals hailed the election of Robert Biedron: He will stand out among Polish MEPs – though not among the legislative body as a whole – for being openly gay.


Standing out for his youth will be the lead candidate for France’s far-right National Rally. At just 23, Jordan Bardella is fully 18 years younger than the otherwise youthful President Emmanuel Macron, whose party he beat into second place, and two years too young to run for office in his family’s native Italy.

Among novelties in the chamber, Niyaki Kizilyurek will be the first MEP from Cyprus’s Turkish community.

And if the Catalan separatist Junqueras’s troubles with the law is bound up with his political activity, other MEPs face more personal troubles with the forces of just,上海夜哪里艳遇Gabi,ice.

Peter Lundgren’s hopes of returning for the far-right Sweden Democrats have been hit by a sexual harassment investigation after he admitted to drunken conduct toward a party colleague.

That has not stopped Teuvo Hakkarainen. Fined this year for drunkenly grabbing and kissing a fellow member of the Finnish parliament, he heads for the EU assembly bearing a message that the global women’s #MeToo movement is “a load of baloney”.

Some new arrivals made names before politics: Germany’s “The Party” party adds a second comedian to its existing roster of one MEP; Austria’s Greens are sending Sarah Wiener, who is more famous across German-speaking Europe as a gourmet TV chef.

No stranger, too, to televisual celebrity is Ann Widdecombe, once a British Conservative minister and campaigner for Catholic religious morality and against some gay rights. In retirement, she found fame on a TV ballroom dancing show and “Celebrity Big Brother” – losing that contest last year to a drag queen.

Widdecombe, 71, is among 29 MEPs who will sit – for a few months at least, until Britain carries out its vexed plan to leave the EU – for the new Brexit Party of Nigel Farage, a vocal critic of, and fixture in, the EU parliament since 1999.

Less enamored of video, probably, another new entrant is set to be Heinz-Christian Strache. Austria’s vice-chancellor until May 10 days ag,上海晚上耍女人的地方Kaia,o, when a covert film of him offering 上海夜生活论坛favors to a supposed Russian oligarch’s niece went online, Strache is in line for one of his far-right Freedom Party’s seats, according to local media.