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Ireland’s Greens surge in European, local elections: TV exit poll

DUBLIN ( ) – Support for Ireland’s Green Party surged in European a,上海夜哪里艳遇Radley,nd local elections, an exit poll showed on Saturday, putting it in line to take its first seats in the European Parliament for 20 years and make the bigges上海夜生活网t gains in ,上海021夜网Kailani,county and city councils.

The Greens were set to win as many as three of the 13 European seats up for grabs and increase their local vote to 9% from less than 2% five years ago, according to a RED C exit poll for RTE/TG4, a showing that would put them in contention for government formation if repeated at a parliamentary poll.

After 90 of the 949 council seats were filled at 1000 GMT, early results suggested The Greens’ performance was in line with the exit poll. In Dublin, some of their candidates topped polls by,上海夜网千花Tallulah, significant margins.

“We cannot yet count our chickens, but the exit polls for the Irish Greens are extremely encouraging,” Irish Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said in a statement issued by the European Greens.

European Greens co-lead candidate Bas Eickhout talked of a “green wave” rolling on to Irish shores from the Netherlands, where GroenLinks’ (GreenLeft’s) share of the vote rose to 10.5%, according to an exit poll there.

While Ireland does not hold a significant share of the 751-seat EU chamber – and will initially send 11 MEPs until Britain actually leaves the bloc – an ebb in support for mainstream parties is raising hopes among Europe’s Greens that they could act as kingmakers.

“It is those climate strikes, it is those young people standing up and saying we have to protect our future,” Ryan told national broadcaster RTE.

The exit poll showed that almost 90% of voters feel that the government needs to prioritize climate change more.

Health Minister Simon Harris of the governing Fine Gael said the topic came up on the doorsteps more in the last six months than in all of his last eight years as a member of parliament, while Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said the government had got a very clear message from the public that they want it to do more.

Fine Gael and the two main opposition parties Fianna Fail and Sinn Fein looked set to share most of the remaining European seats with results set to be announced from Sunday.

In Varadkar’s first electoral as Fine Gael leader, the exit poll put his party and fellow center-right Fianna Fail level on 23%, both down slightly on 2014 when Fianna Fail emerged as the biggest party. That set it up to close the gap on its main rival in parliamentary elections two years later.

The left wing Sinn Fein was set to fall to 12% from 15%, and while the estimates suggested a further slight fragmentation of party support, it showed continued strong backing for centrist political parties in the EU’s most committed member state.

“In a lot other European countries, the far right in particular is encroaching very significantly and that isn’t the case here. In general terms, it looks like the center parties have done reasonably well,” said Theresa Reidy, a politics lecturer at University College Cork.

U.S. ambassador urges China to talk to the Dalai Lama

BEIJING ( ) – China should hold talks with Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad told Chinese officials during a trip to the Himalayan region where he criticized Beijing for interfering in religious freedom.

Branstad visited Tibet last week, the first such trip by a U.S. ambassador since 2015, amid escalating trade and diplomatic tension between the two countries.

His visit followed the passing of a U.S. law in December that requires the United States to deny visas to Chinese officials in charge of implementing policies that restrict access to Tibet for foreigners, legislation that was denounced by China.

Branstad met Chinese government officials and Tibetan religious and cultural figures, and “raised our long-standing concerns about lack of consistent access” to Tibet, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said in an em上海夜网ailed statement on Saturday.

“He encouraged the Chinese government to engage in substantive dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, without preconditions, to seek a settlement that resolves differences,” an embassy spokeswoman said.

“He a,上海夜生活服务Hal,lso expressed concerns regarding the Chinese government’s interference in Tibetan Buddhists’ freedom to organize and practice their religion,” she said.

Beijing sent troops into remote, mountainous Tibet in 1950 in what it officially terms a peaceful liberation and has ruled there with an iron fist ever since.

The Dalai Lama fled to India in early 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, and Beijing still brands him a dangerous separatist. China says its leaders have the right to approve his successor, as a legacy from China’s emperors.

But the 83-year-old Nobel peace laureate monk, who lives in exile in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamshala, has said that his incarnation could be found in India after he dies, and that any other successor named by China would not be respected.

Tibetan tradition holds that the soul of a senior Buddhist monk is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death.

Tibet’s Communist Party secretary, Wu Yingjie, told Branstad how China had made “huge achievements” in “guaranteeing according to law” religious freedom and traditional culture in Tibet, the official Tibet Daily newspaper said late on Saturday.

Wu added that he “sincerely welcomed more American friends to visit” the region.

China’s Foreign Ministry said last week that China hoped the ambassador would not take any “prejudices” with him on the trip.

In December, China criticized the United States for passing the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, which seeks to promote access to Tibet for U.S. diplomat,上海夜生活Idaia,s and other officials, journalists and other citizens by denying U.S. entry for Chinese officials,上海夜生活去哪玩Dahlia, deemed responsible for restricting access to Tibet.

The U.S. government is required to begin denying visas by the end of this year.

Ex-U.S. Marine held by Russia on spying charge complains of threats

MOSCOW ( ) – A former U.S. Marine held in Moscow on suspicion of spying said on Friday he had been threatened by a Russian investigator and harassed in custody, accusations that added to strains in U.S.-Russian relations.

Paul Whelan, who holds U.S., British, Canadian and Irish passports, was detained in a Moscow hotel room on Dec. 28 and accused of espionage, a charge he denies. If found guilty, he faces up to 20 years in jail.

Whelan, whose detention was extended until the end of August at a hearing on Friday in Moscow, told reporters he believed the case against him was politically motivated revenge for U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia.

“I have been threatened. My personal safety has been threatened,” he said from inside a cage in the courtroom. “There are abuses and harassment that I am constantly subjected to.”

Whelan said he not been allowed to shower in two weeks nor granted medical and dental treatment. He said,上海高端夜生活在那里Kade, he had not received books or correspondence in two months.

“This is typical prisoner-of-war chapter one isolation technique,” he said. “They are trying to run me down so that I talk to them.”

Outside the courtroom, U.S. diplomat Michael Yoder told reporters that Whelan’s comments were “of grave concern to us.”

“I guarantee you we will protest this fact with the Russian government and we will request the opportunity to speak frankly with him about these threats,” he said.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) detained Whelan after an acquaintance handed him a flash drive containing classified information. Whelan’s lawyer says his client thinks he was set up by the acquaintance and the FSB.

Whelan thought the flash drive contained holiday photos, the lawyer has said.

Whelan’s brother, David Whelan, said his sibling had been falsely accused, wrongfully det上海夜生活网ained, and will “continue to be mistreated unless one of the governments of the nations of which he is a citizen intervene on his behalf.”

“Paul’s defense team has been clear in their communications to us that Paul is being held, and coerced, in order to gain a confession,” David Whelan told in an email.

During Friday’s hearing, Whelan asked the court to have FSB investigator Alexei Khizhnyak taken off the case and accused him of “insulting my dignity and threatening my life,” the Interfax news agency reported.

The judge told Whelan he only had the right under Russian law to request the replacement of court or prosecuting officials, but not an investigator.

“I understand that but what am I supposed to do if my rights are being violated?” Whelan was quoted as saying.

A State Department spokeswoman said it had no higher priority than the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad.

“We will,上海仙霞路夜生活Octava, continue to monitor Mr. Whelan’s case closely and to press for fair and humane treatment, due,上海夜生活乌托邦Faith, process, and access to appropriate medical care,” the spokeswoman said. “We take allegations of mistreatment seriously, and will continue to raise Mr. Whelan’s case at every opportunity.”

Georgia lawmaker threatens to kill Delta state tax breaks over NRA…

NEW YORK ( ) – The lieutenant governor of Georgia on Monday threatened to block legislation that includes lucrative tax benefits for Delta Air Lines Inc because the Atlanta-based airline dropped a partnership with the National Rifle Association after a public backlash in the wake of the recent Florida school shooting.

“I wil,上海夜生活网419Gabriella,l kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with @NRA,” Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, a Republican, wrote on Twitter. “Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back.”


The Feb. 14 massacre of 17 students and educators at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, by a gunman with a legally purchased semiautomatic rifle reignited the nation’s long-running debate over gun rights.

Several U.S. companies are cutting ties with the NRA and gun manufacturers in the wake of the shooting.

On Saturday, Delta and United Airlines Inc [UALCO.UL] said they were no longer offering NRA members discounted rates and the,上海夜生活怎么玩Nadine,y would ask the NRA to remove their information from its website.

Delta said its decision reflected a neutral stance in the heated gun control debate. It said it continues to support the Second Amendment, which grants Americans the right to bear arms.

Delta officials could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday. The airline is one of the largest employers in Georgia.

Cagle’s tweet follows a wave of threats to boycott the carrier after Delta’s Saturday announcement.

Neither Cagle’s office nor the NRA were immediately available for comment.

The Georgia legislature is considering a proposed jet fuel tax exemption designed to benefit Delta, but as of Monday, several state Republicans have threatened to withdraw their support for the provision.

Emory University School of Law Professor Robert Schapiro said that the state has broad discretion in deciding which entities to tax or not tax.

“In terms of legality, the legislature has a broad ability to grant tax exem,上海夜生活服务Jacob,ptions or not grant tax exemptions,” Schapiro said. “So it doesn’t violate any constitutional principle” to pull support over the NRA debate.

Cagle is running for governor of the state in the 2018 race.

Pakistan PM warns against war in region amid Iran tensions with…

ISLAMABAD ( ) – Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan warned against the risk of conflict in the region, following a visit to Islamabad by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif as tensions between Washington and Tehran escalated.

Strains have increased between Iran and the United States, which is a firm backer of Tehran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia, in the wake of this month’s attack on oil tankers in the Gulf region that Washington has blamed on Iran.

Tehran has distanced itself from the bombings, but the Unit,上海晚上耍女人的地方Daisy,ed States has sent a aircraft carrier and an extra 1,500 troops to the Gulf, sparking concerns about the risks of conflict in a volatile region.

Khan, who has been seeking to improve Pakistan’s strained relations with neighbor Iran, said he was concerned about the “rising tensions in the Gulf”, but did not specifically name the United States or Saudi Arabia.

“He underscored that war was not a solution to any problem,” Khan’s off,上海夜网Dakota,ice said in a statement late on Friday,上海夜网 citing the premier.

“Further escalation in tensions in the already volatile region was not in anyone’s interest. All sides needed to exercise maximum restraint in the current situation.”

Washington has been seeking to increasingly tighten sanctions against Iran, as relations continue to worsen under President Donald Trump.

At the end of the two-day visit to Pakistan, Zarif told Iranian state-run newswire IRNA that U.S. allegations against Tehran were increasing tensions.

“These actions,上海夜网官方网站Sabine, are also a threat to global peace and stability,” he said.

Earlier this month, four tankers, including two belonging to Saudi Arabia, were bombed near the United Arab Emirates’ Fujairah emirate, one of the world’s largest bunkering hubs, located just outside the Strait of Hormuz.

Washington has accused Iran’s Revolutionary Guards of carrying out the attacks, and the Trump administration has declared a national security-related emergency that would clear the sale of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries, bypassing congressional approval.

Pakistan’s relations with Iran have also been strained in recent months, with both sides accusing each other of not doing enough to stamp out militants allegedly sheltering across the border.

Russians used social media to stir divisions on U.S. energy policy:…

WASHINGTON ( ) – Russian operatives attempting to discourage U.S. energy production posted thousands of messages on social media supporting environmental activists in their campaign to limit oil and gas projects, a report by Republican lawmakers said on Thursday.

On Facebook and Instagram, for example, a picture of a real protestor fighting against Energy Transfer Partners’ ETP.N Dakota Access Pipeline was presented with a panel written by Russian operatives that said “Americans have been stealing from Native Amer上海夜生活论坛icans for more than 500 years.”

The lawmakers’ report linked some 9,100 posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram between 2015 and 2017 to operatives including th,上海夜网官方网站Landon,e St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, a Russian propaganda arm known for its trolling on social media.

It was one of three firms indicted on Feb. 16 by a U.S. special counsel investigating intelligence agency allegations of Russian tampering in the 2016 election, charges Moscow denies. Thirteen Russians were also charged, the court document describing them as having “had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system.”

Representative Lamar Smith, the Republican head of the U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee and a denier of climate science, said that Russians benefit by stirring controversy about U.S. energy production because the administration of President Donald Trump is trying to expand oil and natural gas exports to Europe. Russia has traditionally been a major energy supplier to that market.


Democrats on the panel and environmentalists criticized Republicans for focusing on energy policy instead of election meddling.

The Russian embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the panel’s report.

“The American people deserve to know if what they see on social media is the creation of a foreign power seeking to undermine our domestic energy policy,” Smith said.

The report said information provided by Twitter showed more than 4 percent of all tweets by the Internet Research Agency were related to energy or environmental issues, compared to 8 percent of its tweets on the elections.

A specialist on energy and foreign policy said the postings likely had little influence on U.S. energy markets.

“It’s almost impossible to change U.S. energy policy through a social media campaign,” said Brenda Shaffer, a professor at Georgetown University, “a campaign would have to affect both the state and federal levels to be effective.”

Trump has called investigations into possible cooperation between his presidential campaign and Russians a political “witch hunt.”

“To ignore known meddling in the very foundation of our democracy while focusing solely on Russia’s influence on the U.S. energy market, a market that is currently booming, seems irresponsible at best,” said Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson, the top Democrat on the science committee.

Naomi Ages, a climate campaign director at Greenpeace, said Smith was “ignoring the very real threats of election interference and climate change to once again waste taxpayer money muddying the,上海夜生活网交流Jackson, waters.”

Netanyahu struggles to form government amid talk of new election

JERUSALEM ( ) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarked on Sunday on what he termed a “final effort” to break a deadlock on forming a governing coalition ahead of a Wednesday deadline for a deal.

In power for the past decade, Netanyahu has unexpectedly struggled to seal an agreement with a clutch of right-wing, far-right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties that would align with his Likud party and ensure him a fifth term following Israel’s April 9 election.

Divisions between former Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s ultranationalist Yisra,上海夜生活男人好去处Gabriella,el Beitenu party and United Torah Judaism over a military conscription bill governing exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jewish seminary students have plunged the coalition talks into stalemate.

Lieberman has long said ultra-Orthodox men must share other Israeli Jews’ burden of mandatory service. Ultra-Orthodox parties say seminary students should be largely exempt from conscription as they have been since Israel was founded in 1948.

A 42-day deadline mandated by law to announce a new government expires on Wednesday, and President Reuven Ri,上海夜生活乌托邦Radcliff,vlin can then assign the task to another legislator after consultations with the leaders of political parties.

That could open the way for former military chief Benny Gantz, leader of the centrist Blue and White party, to try. But he would need the backing of some of Likud’s allies to persuade Rivlin he could put together a ruling majority in parliament.

Likud and Blue and White each won 35 of the Knesset’s 120 seats seats in the April ballot, but Netanyahu was seen as having clinched victory because of the right-wing majority that emerged.

In a video published on Twitter on Sunday, Netanyahu said he had invited all of his negotiating partners to meet him in “a final attempt to form a right-wing government” and avoid “an unnecessary election”.

A Likud source said the sessions would be held later in the day and on Monday.

Parallel to the negotiations, Likud announced preparations for a possible national ballot, with November already touted by political analysts as a likely date.

Likud lawmaker Miki Zohar released a draft of a dissolution bill that he said he was submitting to parliament, but no date for a vote in the legislature was announced. Likud said its secretariat would meet on Tuesday “to prepare for an election”.

Some political commentators saw those moves as an attempt to pressure Likud’s negotiating partners into a deal, given the possibility of a voter backlash against another national ballot so soon after the previous one and the uncertainty ,上海仙霞路夜生活Ida,of the election’s outcome in a country riven by divisions.

Th上海夜生活论坛e scheduling of an election – and Likud could face an uphill battle for the necessary 61 votes in parliament to pass a dissolution resolution – would pre-empt a coalition-building assignment from Rivlin and ensure Netanyahu remains as interim prime minister until a new government is formed.

Already locked in a legal battle over his potential indictment in three corruption cases, Netanyahu has vowed to remain in office even if he is charged. He denies any wrongdoing and is scheduled to argue against indictment at a pre-trial hearing in October.

Promising jobs and justice, Ramaphosa sworn in as South Africa’s…

PRETORIA ( ) – Trade unionist-turned-businessman Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as South Africa’s president on Saturday, vowing to create jobs and tackle deep-rooted corruption that has strangled economic growth.

Ramaphosa, who becomes the country’s fourth democratically elected president since the end of apartheid, took the presidential oath before a crowd of about 32,000 people in a rugby stadium in the capital, Pretoria.

“Today our nation enters a new era of hope and renewal,” said Ramaphosa, 66, wearing a dark suit and flanked by foreign leaders including Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

“Let us forge a compact for growth and economic opportunities, for productive land and wider opportunities … A compact of an efficient, capab,上海夜玩网论坛Barbara,le and ethical state. A state that is free from corruption,” said Ramaphosa, a former anti-apartheid activist and trade union leader who has wide-ranging business interests.

Ramaphosa’s African National Congress (ANC) clinched a 57.5% majority in a general election earlier in May, down from 62% in 2014 as voters turned against the ruling party due to revelations about government corruption and record unemployment.

Ramaphosa narrowly won the ANC leadership race in late 2017 and replaced scandal-plagued predecessor Jacob Zuma as state president in February 2018, a year before the latter’s term was due to expire.

Since then he has struggled to mend factions in the party opposed to his reform plans, especially at cash-strapped state power supplier Eskom. His promises to punish party members accused of corruption have also stuttered.

The challenges facing Ramaphosa were highlighted on Friday by the resignation of Eskom’s chief executive, who quit only a year since he was appointed to stabilize the utility and keep the lights on after nationwide blackouts.

Also on Friday, S&P Global Ratings kept South Africa’s credit rating unchanged one notch below investment grade.

The economy is set for a first quarter contraction after mining and manufacturing weakened, prompting the central bank to cut its 2019 growth forecast to 1%, well below the rate of at least 3% needed to bring down d,上海夜网Babette,ebt, budget deficits and,上海高端夜生活在那里Dakota, joblessness.

“The challenges our country faces are huge and are real but they are not insurmountable. They can be solved and I stand here to say they are going to be solved,” Ramaphosa said in his speech on Saturday.

Many in the crowd at Pretoria’s packed Loftus stadium were optimistic.

“I love my president Cyril Ramaphosa. I know that as long as we have him here he is going to give us jobs and change many things,” said Patience Shabangu, 45, a volunteer at a local clinic.

Political analysts say a key test of Ramaphosa’s ability to deliver reforms will be his announcement of new cabinet, which is exp上海夜生活论坛ected to take place next week.

“The speech was an honest and brutal reflection of South Africa’s recent problems. But it was also optimistic,” said Daniel Silke, director of the Political Futures Consultancy.

“He will be judged on a very high bar and the next step is the cabinet. If it contains any semblance of the dead wood from the past he will be severely critiqued,” Silke added.

Aide to winning BJP candidate Smriti Irani shot dead

MUMBAI ( ) – An aide to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Smriti Irani, who recently defeated Congress party chief Rahul Gandhi for a seat in parliament, was sho,上海夜生活男人好去处Dakota,t dead overnight, police said on Sunday.

Surendra Singh was an aide to Irani, a former television actress and dogged minister in Prime ,上海夜生活Octava,Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet.

In one of the biggest upsets of the election that handed the BJP a second term, I,上海会所夜网Jace,rani beat Gandhi in the Amethi constituency, which had been held by his family almost continuously for the last four decades, in Uttar Pradesh.

Singh worked closely with Irani and distributed sweets and paraded with celebrating supporters on Friday, a day after the election results, his relatives told partner ANI.

He had gone to sleep on the veranda outside his home when unidentified gunmen shot him, Amethi Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar told on Sunday.

“Some unknown people have fired on him and he died due to firearm injury,” Kumar said.

Seven people have been arrested, Kumar said, adding上海夜网 it was too early to draw conclusions about a motive.

Requests for comment from two BJP spokesmen went unanswered. An official at the BJP headquarters in Uttar Pradesh was unable to immediately provide any information.

U.S. says all North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction violate…

WASHINGTON ( ) – North Korea’s entire weapons of mass destruction program violates U.N. Security Council resolutions, the U.S. State Department spokeswoman said on Tuesday, when asked about recent missile launches by Pyongyang.

“I think the entire North Korean WMD program, it’s in conflict with the U.N. Security Council resolutions. But what the U.S. is focused on here … is in trying to negotiate a peaceful end to the North Korean WMD program,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus told reporters.

Ortagus had been asked to make clear the State Department’s position after President Donald Trump appeared to contradict his national security adviser, John Bolton, over whether North Korean launches this month had violated U.N. resolutions.

Bolton said on Saturday there was “no doubt” that the launches had violated U.N. resolutions as they had included short-range ballistic missiles.

Ortagus said the State Department had yet to share publicly its assessment of whether the launches had involved ballistic missiles. However, the Pentagon said on May 9 that launches by North Korea that day consisted of multiple ballistic missiles that flew in excess of 300 km (185 miles).

During a visit to Japan on Monday, Trump alluded to Bolton’s views and said he disagreed.

“My people think it could have been a violation … I view it differently,” Trump said, adding that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had perhaps wanted “to get attentio,上海仙霞路夜生活Lark,n.”

Trump s,上海夜网千花Larissa,tressed that there had been “no nuclear tests, no ballistic missiles going out, no long-range missiles going out” and added that one day there could be a deal with North Korea to end its nuclear program.

Asked whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed with Trump or Bolton, Ortagus said: “I don’t think it was lost on any of us that the launches were an attempt to send a message to the administration.”

She added that the United States wanted denuclearization talks with North Korea to continue. “That’s our focus here,” she said.

After two failed summits between,上海夜网Dakota, Kim and Trump in the past year, Nort上海夜生活论坛h Korea test fired several rockets and missiles this month, including several guided missiles that experts said could be used to penetrate South Korean and U.S. defenses in the region.

The missiles flew on a flattened, lower-altitude trajectory, leading some officials in South Korea to question whether they should be categorized as “ballistic missiles” and therefore a violation of U.N. resolutions.

North Korea in a statement on Monday denounced Bolton as “more than ignorant” and said giving up missile tests would mean giving up the right to self-defense and that “whatever is launched is bound to fly drawing a ballistic trajectory.”

Senators to grill Trump’s pick for NSA chief on Russia, privacy

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. senators will grill President Donal,上海夜生活乌托邦Lake,d Trump’s pick to lead the National Security Agency on the government’s surveillance reach and a range of cyber security issues on Thursday, when he faces his second confirmation hearing to lead the electronic spy agency.

Lieutenant General Paul Nakasone, a decorated military intelligence veteran with over three decades of experience, is expected to face questions about alleged election meddling by Russia, international cyber defense, and warrantless digital spying as he appears before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

If confirmed, Nakasone will be at the helm of an eavesdropping agency that employees roughly 36,000 hackers, spies and other intelligence professionals. The agency has suffered flagging morale in recent years due to a raft of security breaches, an unpopular ,上海夜网邀请码Gabi,reorganization, and competition with higher-paying jobs in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, according to current and former officials and cybersecurity executives.

Nakasone has also been nominated to command the military’s U.S. Cyber Command, which along with the NSA is based at Fort Meade, Maryla上海夜生活nd.

The NSA was once considered so secretive its initials were said to be shorthand for “No Such Agency.” But the agency surged in name recognition following the 2013 disclosures by contractor Edward Snowden, whose published stolen documents revealed sweeping domestic and international spying programs and ignited a global debate about digital privacy.

Since then, the NSA has endured a number of other breaches, including the theft of hacking tools that have been published online by the Shadow Brokers, a mysterious group that regularly posts cryptic taunts toward the U.S. government.

Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat and staunch privacy advocate, planned to ask Nakasone how he would respond to any order to create new warrantless wiretapping programs at the NSA,上海夜生活Dallas,, a Wyden spokesman said.

Nakasone also testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee two weeks ago, where he said the United States was the “cyber punching bag of the world” because Russia, China and others do not fear a response for their actions in cyberspace.

Nakasone, 54, has served as chief of the U.S. Army’s Cyber Command since late 2016 and was a staff officer for General Keith Alexander, the first head of Cyber Command and the head of the NSA from 2005 to 2014.

He is the first nominee to lead the NSA to face a confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Historically, the nominees have only been subject to hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The full Senate must then vote on his nomination, which is expected to be approved.

If confirmed, Nakasone will replace Admiral Mike Rogers, who has led the NSA and Cyber Command since 2014.

Republican senator Graham warns against Syria troop withdrawal

WASHINGTON ( ) – A senior Republican senator on Sunday warned U.S. President Donald Trump against pulling U.S. troops from Syria, saying it would lead to a resurgence of Islamic State and increased Iranian sway over the Syrian government in Damascus.

“It’d be the single worst decision the president could make,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on the Fox News Sunday program.

“We got ISIL on the ropes. You want to let ‘em off the ropes, remove American soldiers,” Graham said, using an acronym for Islamic State.

With Islamic State having lost almost all the territory it once held in Syria, Trump has told advisers he wants an early exit of U.S. troops.

That position appears to put the president at odds with U.S. military officials, who see the fig,上海夜生活服务Radley,ht against Islamic St,上海足浴夜网联系方式Octava,ate as far from complete.

The White House’s National Security Council is expected to meet early next week to discuss the U.S.-led campaign against Islamic State in Syria.

A senior administration official told that Trump’s advisers believe the U.S. military needs to stay in Syria in small numbers for at least two more years.

Trump is unhappy with the advice, but it is unclear if he will actually order a troo,上海夜生活去哪玩Kaiden,p withdrawal, the official said.

About 2,000 U.S. troops are deployed in Syria.

Graham, in the television interview, echoed White House advisers’ concerns about an early pullout.

“This is a disaster in the making,” he said.

“There are o上海夜生活论坛ver 3,000 ISIS fighters still roaming around Syria,” Graham said, using another acronym for Islamic State. “If we withdrew our troops anytime soon, ISIS would come back, the war between Turkey and the Kurds would get out of hand, and you’d be giving Damascus to the Iranians without an American presence.”

Italy 5-Star chief calls party confidence vote after EU election flop

ROME ( ) – The leader of Italy’s 5-Star Movement, Luigi Di Maio, said on Wednesday he would seek a confidence vote from party supporters after a bruising defeat in European elections.

The bal上海夜网lot will take place online on Thursday on a dedicated platform linked to the party, Di Maio — who is deputy prime minister in a coalition g,上海凤楼夜网Hadley,overnment with the right-wing League — said in a post on 5-Star’s blog.

“Today, I have the right to know what you think of my actions. I want to hear the voice of the citizens who elected me as political leader a few years back,” Di Maio said.

The League, led by Interior Minister Matteo,夜上海论坛Kaia, Salvini, won 34.3% of the vote in Sunday’s election, doubling the score of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which took just 17.1% and was pushed into third place by the center left.

That almost exactly inverted the result of national elections a year ago that led to the coalition between the two.

Since Sunday’s vote, Salvini has been behaving as if he were already prime minister, promising swinging tax cuts and calling for a European Union meeting to change the bloc’s budget rules, while Di Maio has come under attack from within 5-Star.

Prominent 5-Star senator Gianluigi Paragone said on Wednesday that Di Maio had too much power in the party and too many roles in government.

“If you want to act like a Superman, you have to demonstrate you really are one,” he told newspaper Corriere della Sera.

As well as being 5-Star leader and deputy prime minister, thirty-two year-old Di Maio serves as industry minister and labor minister in the government formed last June.

5-Star’s ministers and parliamentarians will meet on Wednesday evening to discuss the election debacle and how best to counter Salvini, who is also deputy prime minister and is now seeking to drive the policy agenda.

If 5-Star bows to the League’s demands it risks losing more support among its core voters. If it does not, that might trigger a government collapse and fresh elections which would be likely to reward Salvini.

“I haven’t stopped working for the last 6 years and I think I have always honored my duties, always making myself accountable to all the movement’s members and activists,” Di Maio said.

When he was elected party leader in September 2017, Di Maio was widely dismissed as a puppet for the movement’s founder, comedian Beppe Grillo, but he rapidly consolidated his power while Grillo has d,上海夜网千花Fabiana,isappeared from the limelight.

In the March 2018 election, 5-Star won almost twice as many votes as any other party, but Di Maio’s claim to be named prime minister was vetoed by Salvini when the two parties joined forces in government.

Their compromise choice of premier, Giuseppe Conte, is a former academic who is close to 5-Star but is not a member of either party.

Twitter apologizes for blocked China accounts ahead of Tiananmen…

SHANGHAI ( ) – Twitter Inc has apologized for suspending accounts critical of Chinese government policy days ahead of the 30th anniversary of a bloody crackdown on protesters at Beijing’s Tiana,上海新夜网龙凤Hadrian,nmen Square, after an outcry among users.

In a statement posted to the company’s Public Policy Twi,上海夜生活去哪玩Gabriella,tter feed on Saturday, Twitter said “a number of accounts” had been suspended as part of efforts to target accounts engaging in “platform manipulation”.

“Some of these were involved in commentary about China. These accounts were not mass reported by the Chinese authorities – this was a routine action on our part,” the company said.

Such actions sometimes “catch false positives or we make errors,” it added. Twitter said it was working to “ensure we overturn any errors”.

Twitter’s statement follows a sharp reaction from its users over the suspensions, including U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who in a tweet accused Twitter of becoming “a Chinese (government) censor”.

The approach of the 30th anniversary of the bl上海夜网oody June 4 crackdown on pro-democracy protests at Tiananmen Square has been accompanied in China by a tightening of censorship. Tools to detect and block content related to the 1989 crackdown have reached unprecedented le,上海夜网Gabrielle,vels of accuracy.

North Koreans paying bribes to survive: U.N. report

GENEVA ( ) – North Koreans are forced to pa,上海夜生活怎么玩Jacklyn,y bribes to officials to survive in their isolated country where corruption is “endemic” and repression rife, the U.N. human rights office said on Tuesday in a report that Pyongyang dismissed as politically motivated.

The report said officials extorted money from a population struggling to make ends meet, threatening them with detention and prosecution – particularly those working in the informal economy.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the formal name for North Korea, rejected the report, saying it was “politically motivated for sinister purposes”.

“Such reports are nothing more than fabrication … as they are always based on the so-called testimonies of ‘defectors’ who provide fabricated information to earn their living or are compelled to do so under duress or enticement,” its Geneva mission said in a statement to .

North Korea blames the dire humanitarian situation on U.N. sanctions imposed for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs since 2006. But the report said that the military receives priority funding amid “economic mismanagement”.

“I am concerned that the constant focus on the nuclear issue continues to divert attention f,上海夜生活去哪玩Sabine,rom the terrible state of human rights for many millions of North Koreans,” Michelle Bachelet, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in a statement.

“The rights to food, health, shelter, work, freedom of movement and liberty are universal and inalienable, but in North Korea they dep,上海夜生活网419Dakota,end primarily on the ability of individuals to bribe State officials,” she said.

Four in 10 North Koreans, or 10.1 million people, are chronically short of food and further cuts to already minimal rations are expected after the worst harvest in a decade, a U.N. assessment said earlier this month.

“The threat of arrest, detention and prosecution provide State officials with a powerful means of extorting money from a population struggling to survive,” the U.N. rights office report said.


Bribery is “an everyday feature of people’s struggle to make ends meet”, said the report, entitled “The price is rights”. It denounced what it called a “vicious cycle of deprivation, corruption and repression”.

It is based on 214 interviews with North Korean “escapees”, mainly from the northeastern provinces of Ryanggang and North Hamgyong, bordering China. They were the first to be cut from the public distribution system that collapsed in 1994, leading to a famine estimated to have killed up to 1 million, it said.

“As my father still had to work at a state firm that could no longer afford giving rations, we survived by selling taffy and liquor my mom made,” Ju Chan-yang, a 29-year-old defector, told a news conference hosted by the U.N. rights office in Seoul on Tuesday.

Ju, who defected to the South in 2011, said she also made a living by selling banned South Korean and U.S. products in the underground economy. Sometimes she had to bribe authorities.

“If you get caught and don’t h上海夜生活ave bribes to pay, you could get executed, just like my relatives,” she said.

Many North Koreans pay bribes of cash or cigarettes not to have to report to state-assigned jobs where they receive no salary, thus allowing them to earn income in rudimentary markets, the report said.

Others bribe border guards to cross into China, where women are vulnerable to trafficking into forced marriages or the sex trade, it added.

“North Korea is a society where all of its members are involved in corruption because they’re forced to do illegal acts only to survive,” said Lee Han-byeol, who came to the South in 2001 and now runs a group that helps defectors.

Bachelet urged North Korean authorities to stop prosecuting people for engaging in legitimate market activity and to allow them freedom of movement within the country and abroad. China should not forcibly repatriate North Koreans, she added.

The United States called on North Korea this month to “dismantle all political prison camps” and release all political prisoners, who it said numbered between 80,000 and 120,000. North Korea denies the existence of such camps.

U.N. says poorer countries are casualties of U.S. tariff move

GENEVA ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports will take a toll on poorer countries and could trigger takeovers in their mining industries, the head of the U.N. trade and development agency UNCTAD said on Thursday.

“They are casualties of the process, but there is very little they can do right now,,夜上海419龙凤论坛Dalton, because developing countries, transition economies, least developed countries are incapable of retaliatory action against the U.S.,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi told in Geneva.

Trump pressed ahead with the imposition of 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent for aluminum on Thursday but exempted Canada and Mexico, backtracking from earlier pledges of tariffs on all countries.

Kituyi said the announcement would tri,上海会所夜网Rae,gger “vulnerabilities and anxieties” and, although the immediate economic impact was sma,上海夜哪里艳遇Caitlin,ll, a trade war triggered by the U.S. tariffs and likely retaliation by other countries would undermine the global trading system and threaten 上海夜生活网a fragile recovery in commerce.

“Of course, in the developing world there is a multiplier effect as well. The ripple effect is that countries, producers of bauxite or iron ore, will have downward pressures on the value of their commodity,” Kituyi said.

“There will be concentration: bigger companies in the smaller producers will take over the smaller suppliers because of vulnerabilities created by this anxiety,” he said.

EU election turnout rises for the first time, hits 50%

BRUSSELS ( ) – Around half of eligible voters cast their ballot in European elections, a bloc-wide estimate showed on Sunday, the first time turnout has risen in four decades of continent-wide voting.

The increased enthusiasm was seen by some commentators as a response to chall,上海夜生活网419Paige,enges ranging from climate change to the rise of eurosceptic parties.

For 27 of the 28 EU states – all except the United Kingdom – the estimate came at 51%, a European Parliament official said.

Turnout in the last European elections in 2014 hit a historic low of below 43%. The first vote in 1979 – when the EU was just nine countries – generated a peak of 62%.

Five years ago, more than 80% of voters cast their votes in Belgium and Luxembourg, where voting is obligatory, while only 13% took part in the election in the ex-communist Slovakia, according to the European Parliament’s figures.

Turnout in Poland at 1500 GMT was 32.51%, double the 2014 figure, according to the country’s election commission. The figure was nearly 50% in Spain at 1600 GMT, up from 34%in 2014.

Germany’s Green party doubled its share of th,上海夜生活桑拿会所Dallas,e Sunday vote, leaping into second place behind Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and above the center-left Social Democrats. France’s green party also saw a surge in support.

Bas Eickhout, a Dutch member of the outgoing European Parliament with a Greens party, attributed the high turnout readings to a mobilization against a growing challenge from eurosceptic parties.

“This time it was very clear that these elections really matter for Europe,” Eickhout told . “There has been quite an activity on the right side saying we are going to tear down Europe,” Eickhout told .

“The counter-action is now coming from a lot of progressive voters turning out and saying that we are not going to let that happen,” he said.

The picture was mixed, however, as the far-right National Front came in first in France, according to exit polls.

In the run-up to the vote, Europe’s biggest companies urged employees to vote, from Volkswagen unfurling a massive banner at its headquarters to Lufthansa carrying its slogan “SayYesToEurope” on the fuselage of an Airbus A320 to Lime offering free scooter rides to the polls.

Lobbying group BusinessEurope welcomed the higher turnout.

“Europe matters to Europeans, we’ve see,上海夜生活乌托邦Kailani,n a lively European democracy at work. We need to defend our place in the world, at a time when the European Union is facing huge challenges. The world is not waiting for u上海夜生活网s,” said the group’s director general, Markus J. Beyrer.

Exclusive: Trump official quietly drops payday loan case, mulls…

WASHINGTON ( ) – The top cop for U.S. consumer finance has decided not to sue a payday loan collector and is weighing whether to drop cases against three payday lenders, said five people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Th,上海夜网千花Gabriel,e move shows how Mick Mulvaney, named interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by U.S. President Donald Trump, is putting his mark on an agency conceived to stamp上海夜网 out abusive lending.

The payday loan cases are among about a dozen that Richard Cordray, the former agency chief, approved for litigation before he resigned in November. Cordray was the first to lead the agency that Congress created in 2010 after the financial crisis.

The four previously unreported cases aimed to return more than $60 million to consumers, the people said. Three are part of routine CFPB work to police storefront lenders. The fourth case concerns who has a right to collect payday loans offered from tribal land.

Cordray was ready to sue Kansas-based National Credit Adjusters (NCA), which primarily collects debt for online lenders operating on tribal land.

Such lenders charge triple-digit interest rates prohibited in many states. The companies have argued such loans are permitted when they are originated on tribal land.

The CFPB under Cordray concluded that NCA had no right to collect on such online loans, no matter where they were made.

Mulvaney has dropped the matter and the case is “dead,” Sarah Auchterlonie, a lawyer for NCA, told this week. She noted the agency appeared to be backing off issues involving tribal sovereignty.

“(Cordray) had a theory that was really out there and I think everything related to it is being pulled back,” Auchterlonie said.

Consumers have complained that NCA threatened to have them jailed and sue family members, CFPB’s public database shows.

A CFPB investigation found NCA wrongly collected roughly $50 million, of which the agency’s lawyers wanted to return about $45 million, sources said.

Payday lending often involves low-income borrowers taking out short-term cash loans at high rates. The industry collects about $9 billion in fees annually, according to Pew Charitable Trusts.

Supporters say the industry fills a need for customers lacking access to other banking products.

Mulvaney has said that, in general, the CFPB will go after egregious cases of consumer abuses.

“Good cases are being brought. The bad cases are not,” he told an event in Washington this month.

Some former CFPB lawyers said they worry the agency’s mission is being eroded.

“The CFPB is supposed to create a level playing field for consumers,” said Joanna Pearl, former enforcement attorney. “I’m not sure Mulvaney sees it like that.”


Mulvaney is reviewing three cases against lenders based in southern states where high-interest loans are permitted. He must eventually decide whether to sue the companies, settle with a fine or scrap the,上海夜生活网419Tabitha, cases.

Lawyers working for Cordray had concluded that Security Finance, Cash Express LLC and Triton Management Group violated customer rights when attempting to collect, among other lapses.

Spokespeople for the companies declined to comment. A spokesman for the CFPB did not respond to a request for comment. None of the sources wished to be identified because they are not authorized to speak about the cases.

Security Finance offers loans at rates that often climb into triple-digits. Debt collectors working for Security Finance harassed borrowers at home and work, violating federal laws, and the company had faulty recordkeeping that could hurt borrowers’ credit scores, the CFPB concluded.

Customers complained Cash Express used high-pressure collection tactics, the CFPB database shows. Cordray was prepared to sue the company on those grounds, sources said.

Cash Express also misled customers by telling them they might repair their credit with a payday loan, even though the lender does not report to credit bureaus, the CFPB concluded.

The CFPB faulted Triton Management Group for aggressive collection in 2016 and the company changed some practices, the sources said. The CFPB still ,上海夜生活论坛Dalton,was ready to seek more than a million dollars in fines and restitution.

Turkish lawyers’ group says foreign ministry staff tortured in custody

ANKARA ( ) – Five Turkish foreign ministry staff detained last week on suspicion of links to a failed coup three years ago have said they have been tortured and mistreated in custody, the Ankara Lawyers’ Bar Association said on Tuesday.

The five, who are still being held, were among 249 foreign ministry personnel ordered arrested last week by Turkish authorities for suspected links to the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for the coup attempt. None of those involved have been identified.

Gulen denies involvement in the failed coup.

    In a statement, the Ankara Lawyers’ Bar Association, the main lawyers’ group in the capital, said some 100 suspects had been detained so far and that lawyers from the bar had held meetings with six detainees after social media and opposition reports of alleged torture.

Turkish police denied the allegations, saying the detainees had had hundreds of meetings with lawyers, and that daily medical reports had shown nothing wrong.

The foreign ministry referred to the interior ministry when asked for comment. An interior ministry spokesman said the ministry would not elaborate further on the police statement.

Earlier this month the foreign ministry said Turkey has had a “zero tolerance” policy towards torture sinc,上海夜玩网论坛Rachel,e 2003, when President Tayyip Erdogan came to power.

    The Bar Association said that five of the ,上海021夜网Kaia,six suspects who met the lawyers had reported being taken out of their cells for interrogation and stripped, handcuffed and later tortured in a dark room. The sixth suspect denied having been tortured, but had heard of the mistreatment of others.

    The allegations were first made public by Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu, a lawmaker from the Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and member of Turkey’s Human Rights Inquiry Committee, a cross-party parliamentary body. He said on Twitter on Sunday some of those detained had been tortured.  

    In a statement on Tuesday denying the allegations, Ankara police said the suspects had had a total of 545 meetings with 130 lawyers since their detention and that all of those meetings had been properly documented. It said medical reports on the detainees were also being updated every 24 hours and that no problems had been found.

    “All actions and proceedings regarding the people上海夜生活网 detained as part of the investigation are being carried out in accordance with the law,” the statement said.

    Since the July 15, 2016, abortive putsch, police have carried out regular operations against suspected members of Gulen’s network, jailing ,上海夜生活乌托邦Cadence,more than 77,000 people pending trial, and sacking or suspending some 150,000 from their jobs in the civil service, military and elsewhere.

    Rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies have criticized the scope of the crackdown, saying Erdogan has used the abortive putsch as a pretext to quash dissent. The government has said the security measures were necessary due to the gravity of the threat Turkey faces.

Ties with China beneficial, its envoy tells new El Salvador leader

BEIJING ( ) – El Salvador’s decision to establish ties with China was correct and the two countries have bright prospects, a Chinese envoy told El Salvador’s maverick new president, who has been critical of Beijing.

Nayib Bukele, a 37-year-old former mayor of San Salvador and a political outsider who was elected in February as the next president of the Central American nation, had questioned whether his country should maintain diplomatic relations with China.

In March he accused the Asian giant of not playing by the rules and intervening in other nations’ affairs.

Last August, El Salvador broke ties with Taiwan to establish relations with China, following the Dominican Republic and Panama.

China later offered El Salvador about $150 mi,上海高端夜生活在那里Idris,llion for social projects and 3,000 tons of rice to feed thousands of drought-hit Salvadorans.


Meeting Bukele in San Salvador on Friday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Qin Gang offered congratulations from President Xi Jinping, the foreign ministry said.

“Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, exchanges and cooperation between the two sides in various fields have developed rapidly and presented broad prospects for development,” the ministry on Saturday cited Qin as saying.

“The facts prove that China and El Salvador est,上海夜生活乌托邦Sabina,ablishing ties accords with the trend of the times, has enjoyed popular support and is the right decision.”

The statement cited Bukele, who takes office on Saturday, as saying the new government is committed to continuing to develop ties with China and would “correctly handle Taiwan-related issues”.

Beijing’s growing role in Latin America has unnerved Washington.

In August, the White House warned that China was luring countries with incentives that “facilitate economic dependence and domination, not partnership”.

Bukele has been critical of the benefits El Salvador received after establishing diplomatic ties with China.

The outgoing government of Salvador Sanchez Ceren has defended its decision to open ties with China and has accused Bukele of receiving orders from the United States to cut ties with the country.

China views self-ruled and democratic Taiw上海夜生活网an as merely a wayward province with no right to state-to-state relations. Now Taiwan only has ties with 17 countries, almost all small developing nations such as Belize and Nauru.