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Theresa May Speech - UK NEWS

Prime Minister Theresa May set out on Tuesday a “new deal” for Britain’s departure from the European Union, offering sweeteners to opposition parties in her fourth attempt to break an impasse in parliament over Brexit. Three years since Britain voted to leave the EU and almost two months after the planned departure date, May is mounting a last bid to try to get the deeply divided parliament’s backing for a divorce deal and leave office with some kind of legacy. The odds do not look good. Despite offering what she described as “significant further changes”, many lawmakers, hardened in their positions, have already decided not to vote next month for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, legislation which implements the terms of Britain’s departure. Speaking at the headquarters of PricewaterhouseCoopers, May appealed to lawmakers to get behind her deal, offering the prospect of a possible second referendum on the agreement and closer trading arrangements with the EU as incentives. “I say with conviction to every MP or every party: I have compromised, now I ask you to compromise,” she said. “We have been given a clear instruction by the people we are supposed to represent, so help me find a way to honour that instruction, move our country and our politics and build the better future that all of us want to see.” By offering the possibility of holding a second vote on her deal and a compromise on customs arrangements, May hopes to win over opposition Labour lawmakers, whose votes sheHere's the full story.

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Yemen Houthis Drone

Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis have stepped up missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia this week in a resurgence of tactics that had largely subsided since late last year amid United Nations-led peace efforts. The latest hostilities coincide with rising tensions between Iran and Gulf Arab states allied to the United States and come just as a sensitive, U.N.-sponsored peace deal is being carried out in Yemen’s main port of Hodeidah, a lifeline for millions. The Houthis, who claimed responsibility for last week’s armed drone strikes on oil assets in Saudi Arabia, said on Tuesday that one of their drones hit an arms depot at the kingdom’s Najran airport near the Yemeni border, causing a fire. The Saudi-led military coalition said a civilian facility in Najran province was targeted with an explosive-laden drone. It said on Monday that Saudi defence forces intercepted Houthi ballistic missiles fired towards Mecca, Islam’s holiest site. The Houthis denied doing so. On Sunday, the Houthis said they would attack 300 vital military targets in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Saudi Arabia and the UAE head a Western-backed coalition of Sunni Muslim states that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognised government ousted from power in the capital Sanaa by the Houthis in late 2014. The movement has during the war repeatedly targeted Saudi cities and vital installations – mostly in border areas, but on several occasions the capital Riyadh as well. The Houthis pledged last November to stopHere's the full story.

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Golriz Ghahraman - Australia News

A New Zealand lawmaker was given a security escort on Tuesday after threats against her by white supremacists opposed to her views on hate speech, a rare precaution in a country where politicians mingle freely with the public. A debate on hate speech has been raging in New Zealand since the mass shooting in Christchurch on March 15 by a suspected white supremacist that killed 51 people and wounded dozens. Green party lawmaker Golriz Ghahraman, a human rights lawyer who was born in Iran and came to New Zealand as a child refugee, has seen an escalation of threats against her in recent weeks. Ghahraman would now be accompanied by a security escort when she leaves parliament, she told reporters on Tuesday, as the police deemed the threats were serious enough to warrant the extra security. “It’s distressing to have secret white supremacist groups talking about you,” said Ghahraman, who is among a handful of parliamentarians from ethnic minority communities. “After Christchurch, New Zealand has asked us to be different. New Zealanders want us to debate issues robustly, but to keep personal attacks out of it. We have all learnt that words, including online posts, have consequences,” she told reporters in parliament. Ghahraman has called for hate speech to be monitored, infuriating opponents, some of whom have accused her of trying to curb freedom. Online threats have been more alarming. The media group Newshub gave details in a report on white supremacy of threats in private online groups against GhahramanHere's the full story.

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Brexit Deal - News in Britain Today Headline

When Britain voted to leave the European Union, few voters outside Northern Ireland thought about what it would mean for the British province. Three years on, Northern Ireland is inching closer to holding a referendum of its own — on reunification with Ireland. A united Ireland, and Northern Ireland’s withdrawal from the United Kingdom, remain distant prospects, and a unity referendum may not happen soon. But, as an unexpected consequence of Brexit, the political landscape is shifting. The two largest parties in the Irish republic, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail, both of whom ultimately favour a united Ireland, have expanded their political networks north of the border to position themselves for a possible “unity vote”. Fine Gael, Ireland’s governing party, has also taken the unusual step of selecting one-time Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Mark Durkan as a candidate to run in the Dublin constituency in this week’s European elections. “The unity debate has gained legs in the context of Brexit,” Durkan, a former leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), one of Northern Ireland’s two main pro-unity parties, told Reuters while campaigning in the Irish capital. In the 2016 Brexit referendum, nearly 56% of voters in Northern Ireland voted to stay in the EU but the province will leave when the rest as Britain departs — on a date that has not yet been set. Ireland, which won independence from Britain a century ago and joined the EU in 1973, will remain in the bloc as itsHere's the full story.

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Donald Trump Campaigning - USA News Headlines

House Democrats are facing yet another brazen attempt by President Donald Trump to stonewall their investigations, this time with former White House counsel Donald McGahn defying a subpoena for his testimony on orders from the White House. A lawyer for McGahn said he would follow the president’s directive and skip Tuesday’s House Judiciary hearing, leaving the Democrats without yet another witness — and a growing debate within the party about how to respond. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, backed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, is taking a step-by-step approach to the confrontations with Trump. Nadler said the committee would vote to hold McGahn in contempt, and take the issue to court. “You face serious consequences if you do not appear,” Nadler warned McGahn in a letter on the eve of the hearing. Democrats are encouraged by an early success on that route as a federal judge ruled against Trump on Monday in a financial records dispute with Congress. But that hasn’t been swift enough for some members of the Judiciary panel who feel that Pelosi should be more aggressive and launch impeachment hearings that would make it easier to get information from the administration. Such hearings would give Democrats more standing in court and could stop short of a vote to remove the president. The issue was raised in a meeting among top Democrats Monday evening, where some members confronted Pelosi about opening up the impeachment hearings, according to three people familiar with the private conversation who requested anonymityHere's the full story.

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Palestinians - Palestine News

Palestinians will stay away from a U.S.-led conference in Bahrain next month that the Trump administration has cast as an overture to its own plan for peace between them and Israel, a Palestinian cabinet minister said on Monday. Washington announced the conference on Sunday, describing it as an opportunity to drum up international investment for the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Palestinians, who have boycotted the Trump administration since it recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, have shown little interest in discussing a plan on which they had no input and that they anticipate will fall far short of their core demands. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said on Monday that his government had not been consulted on the June 25-26 gathering in Manama. After the cabinet met, Ahhmed Majdalani, the social development minister and a member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation executive committee, said: “There will be no Palestinian participation in the Manama workshop.” “Any Palestinian who would take part would be nothing but a collaborator for the Americans and Israel,” he said. Shtayyeh reiterated Palestinians’ aspirations for a two-state peace agreement with Israel entailing control of the occupied West Bank and Gaza – currently run by the Islamist group Hamas – as well as East Jerusalem as their future capital. Internationally-mediated talks to that end have been stalemated for years. Israel calls Jerusalem its indivisible capital and has said it might declare sovereignty in its West Bank settlements, which are deemed illegal byHere's the full story.

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Jacob Zuma - South Africa News

Jacob Zuma’s lawyers argued on Monday that the former South African president had been treated unfairly by prosecutors in his attempt to have revived corruption charges set aside because he is unpopular in the country at large. Zuma, who was in office from 2009-2018, has applied for a permanent stay of prosecution from 16 charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering relating to a deal to buy 30 billion rand (1.6 billion pounds) of European military hardware for South Africa’s armed forces in the late 1990s. The 77-year old, appearing in court on Monday for the fifth time since the charges were reinstated in March 2018, has previously denied any wrongdoing and has said he is the victim of a politically motivated witch-hunt. On the first day of the hearing, Zuma’s lawyer, Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, described the former president’s treatment by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as “mob justice” and said Zuma had been charged because the country does not like him. “Suppose we know that he may well have done what we suspect he did. Does he get stripped of human dignity, is there a reason to deal with him in a particular way because he is Mr Zuma?” Sikhakhane said in his opening comments. He accused prosecutors of being biased against Zuma, who was ousted by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in February 2018 after nine years in power marked by graft allegations and economic stagnation that led to credit rating downgrades. Sikhakhane also asked the courtHere's the full story.

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Volodymyr Zelenskiy - Ukraine Politics News Story

Television comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy took the oath of office as Ukraine’s new president on Monday, promising that as hard as he had worked in the past to make Ukrainians laugh, he would now work to keep them from crying. As his first act, he dismissed the parliament still dominated by loyalists of his defeated predecessor, setting up an election in two months in which his new party has a chance to win its first seats. The inauguration day was marked by informal moments that conveyed the outsider persona that helped carry the political novice to a landslide victory last month. He high-fived cheering supporters who held their arms outstretched outside the Soviet-era parliament building, and stopped for a selfie with the crowd. At one point he jumped up to kiss a man on the forehead. He later eschewed a motorcade to make his way to his new office on foot. “Dear people, during my life I tried to do everything to make Ukrainians smile,” he said in his speech to parliament. “In the next five years, I will do everything, Ukrainians, so that you do not cry.” Zelenskiy grew to national fame playing the role of a schoolteacher who unexpectedly becomes president after a pupil films him making a foul-mouthed tirade against corrupt politicians and posts the video online. His campaign exploited the parallels with that fictional narrative, portraying him as an everyman who would stand up to a crooked political class. In his inauguration speech, he called on officialsHere's the full story.

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Kamala Devi Harris - Kamala Harris USA News Politics

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, one of two dozen Democrats vying for the 2020 presidential nomination, on Monday proposed closing the gender pay gap by requiring companies to disclose pay data and secure an “equal pay certification” or be fined. Kamala Harris’ proposal aims to shift the burden from workers, who now must prove pay discrimination by employers, to corporations, which would have to show they eliminated pay disparities between men and women doing work of equal value. In 2017, full-time, year-round working women earned 80% of what male counterparts earned, the U.S. Census Bureau says, and minority women earned even less. At a college rally in Los Angeles on Sunday, Harris decried the pay gap between men and women. “This has got to end,” she said, to audience cheers. Kamala Harris said her plan would incentivize corporations to close the pay gap, because “There will be penalties if they don’t.” Under Harris’ proposal, which would require approval by the U.S. Congress, companies with 100 or more employees would give their pay data to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They would also have to prove existing pay gaps were not based on gender but merit, performance or seniority, and commit to policies barring mandatory arbitration pacts for job disputes and questions about salary history during hiring. Companies falling short of the criteria would be fined 1% of their profits for every 1% wage gap found after adjusting for variables such as experience and performance. Harris’ campaign said it estimated the planHere's the full story.

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Peter Mutharika - Malawi

Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika made a last-ditch bid to win re-election on Saturday as candidates for next week’s hotly contested election wrapped up their campaigns at rival rallies across the country. Former law professor Mutharika, 78, is trying to secure a second five-year term in Malawi, a southern African country heavily dependent on foreign aid which has experienced severe droughts in the past decade. Addressing thousands of supporters in his stronghold in Blantyre, the nation’s commercial capital, Mutharika highlighted the country’s relative economic stability during his government and said he wanted to win “without trickery and in peace”. “I found a broken economy. And I have fixed it,” he told the crowd, many of whom were dressed in traditional bright blue clothing emblazoned with the symbol of his Democratic Progressive Party. While there are no reliable opinion polls to forecast the outcome of Tuesday’s election, analysts expect a tight race between Mutharika and two leading opposition candidates — Deputy President Saulos Chilima and Lazarus Chakwera, who heads the second-largest party in parliament. “I’m confident we’re winning this on Tuesday,” said Doris Dika, a Mutharika supporter who sells clothes and shoes in Blantyre and attended Saturday’s rally. Voters will also elect a new parliament and local government councillors. CORRUPTION ACCUSATIONS On the outskirts of the city of Lilongwe, Mutharika’s former ally-turned-foe Chilima told supporters the president was corrupt and should not be allowed to stand, vowing to tackle graft and lower fertiliser prices if elected. Mutharika denies his government is corruptHere's the full story.

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Alhaji Lai Mohammed - Lai-Mohammed - Nigeria News

The Federal Government says it has ‘credible evidence” to back up its outcry that the opposition is planning to “sabotage President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration, generally overheat the polity and make the country ungovernable”. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said this on Saturday at the 2019 edition of his Annual Ramadan Lecture held at his home town Oro, Kwara. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 12th annual Ramadan lecture was attended by Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi, Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, political stalwarts, traditional rulers, clergy men, Muslim and Christian faithfuls. “As you are aware, a few days ago we raised the alarm that either by themselves or via their proxies, the PDP and it’s presidential candidate are doing everything possible to sabotage the Buhari Administration. “Our interventions are based on credible evidence, and no government with the kind of evidence that we have, of plans to subvert the power of the state, attack the nation’s economic live wire and generally unleash mayhem on the polity, will keep quiet. “The security agencies are all alert to their responsibilities and will not sit by and allow anyone to reverse the gains of our democracy under any guise,” he said. The minister noted that similar alarms had been raised by the police, the military and the DSS. He said the government will neither be distracted nor dissuaded by pseudo and partisan analysts that had teamed up with the opposition to “either exhibit their ignorance orHere's the full story.

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Justin Amash - USA NEWS

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, on Saturday became the first Republican lawmaker to say the president has engaged in impeachable behavior. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election reveals that Trump “engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment,” Justin Amash, who has signaled he would consider running as a libertarian against Trump in the 2020 election, wrote on Twitter. Mueller’s report “identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence,” Amash wrote. Trump has said Mueller’s report concluded there no obstruction of justice. Mueller’s report made no formal finding on that question, leaving the matter up to Congress. Amash also wrote that “it is clear” that Attorney General William Barr intended to mislead the public about Mueller’s report in his conclusions and congressional testimony about it. In his letter to Congress, Barr said he and his deputy Rod Rosenstein determined there was insufficient evidence to establish that the president committed criminal obstruction of justice, or acted unlawfully to impede the investigation. Amash’s comments echoed the conclusions of many Democrats. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said May 8 that Trump was moving closer to impeachment with his efforts to thwart congressional subpoenas and obstruct lawmakers’ efforts to oversee his administration. Still, Democrats are divided about impeachmentHere's the full story.

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Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud - Saudi Arabia Headlines News Today

Saudi Arabia wants to avert war in the region but stands ready to respond with “all strength and determination” following last week’s attacks on Saudi oil assets, a senior official said on Sunday, adding that the ball was now in Iran’s court. Riyadh has accused Tehran of ordering Tuesday’s drone strikes on two oil pumping stations in the kingdom, claimed by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group. The attack came two days after four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Iran has denied it was behind the attacks which come as Washington and the Islamic Republic spar over sanctions and the U.S. military presence in the region, raising concerns about a potential U.S.-Iran conflict. “The kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not want a war in the region nor does it seek that,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir told a news conference. “It will do what it can to prevent this war and at the same time it reaffirms that in the event the other side chooses war, the kingdom will respond with all force and determination, and it will defend itself and its interests.” Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Sunday invited Gulf and Arab leaders to convene emergency summits in Mecca on May 30 to discuss implications of the attacks. “The current critical circumstances entail a unified Arab and Gulf stance toward the besetting challenges and risks,” the UAE foreign ministry said in a statement. Saudi Arabia’s Sunni MuslimHere's the full story.

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Scott Morrison and his family - Australia

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison thanked his fellow Pentecostal churchgoers on Sunday after a miraculous election victory that defied years of unfavourable opinion polls and bruised a Labor opposition that had been widely expected to win. Morrison’s Liberal-led conservative coalition has won or is leading in 76 seats, the number needed to form a majority government, according to the Australian Electoral Commission. Slightly more than three-quarters of the roughly 17 million votes have been counted. A jubilant Scott Morrison hugged community members after an early Sunday service at the Horizon Church in Sydney’s southern suburbs, from where he was first elected to parliament in 2007. “You don’t get to be a prime minister and serve in that capacity unless you first are a member of your local electorate,” Scott Morrison said. He drew cheers later on Sunday when he arrived in the stands to watch his team, the Cronulla Sharks, in a rugby league match in his beachside electorate. Morrison told raucous supporters late on Saturday, who had earlier seemed resigned to defeat, that he had always believed in miracles. The result drew comparisons with Republican Donald Trump’s victory over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were among the first world leaders to congratulate Morrison. “Congratulations to Scott on a GREAT WIN,” Trump said on Twitter before calling the Australian leader.. Jacinda Ardern, the progressive prime minister of neighbouring New Zealand, also called to congratulate him, saying that MorrisonHere's the full story.

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Elizabeth Warren and African-American - USA NEWS

Elizabeth Warren was the last of eight presidential candidates to take the stage at Texas Southern University last month when she was pressed for a solution to black women dying during childbirth at far higher rates than white women. The Massachusetts senator responded with what has become a campaign catchphrase: “So, I got a plan.” She proposed holding hospitals financially responsible for the disparity, imposing penalties on institutions that don’t act to prevent such deaths. “Doctors and nurses don’t hear African American women’s medical issues the same way that they hear the same things from white women,” Elizabeth Warren said. “We’ve got to change that, and we’ve got to do it fast because people’s lives are at stake.” By the time Warren left the stage at the “She the People” forum, thousands of black women in the audience were on their feet roaring cheers and applauding. The reaction eclipsed the response earlier in the day to Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey — the black candidates in the Democratic contest. It reflected the unlikely traction that Warren, a 69-year-old white woman who lives in tony Cambridge, Massachusetts, is gaining with black women who are debating whom to back in a historically diverse primary. “To have an ally — she’s a woman, but she’s not a black woman — who can speak intelligently and has thought about people who don’t look like you, that resonates,” said Roxy D. Hall Williamson, a 49-year-old who was in theHere's the full story.

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Joe Biden - US Today Headline Stories

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday held a presidential-style rally intended to make his march towards becoming the Democrat to take on President Donald Trump seem inevitable, even as rivals search for ways to slow him down. Since entering the race last month, Biden, 76, has largely ignored the other 23 contenders in the Democratic field, instead training his fire on Republican Trump. Trump, in turn, has regularly knocked Biden, making the 2020 presidential contest sometimes feel like a general election more than a year before the vote takes place. Biden’s outdoor rally in Philadelphia, where he has established his campaign headquarters, illustrates the importance of Pennsylvania to Democratic hopes next year. Trump narrowly won the state over Hillary Clinton in 2016. After Biden leaves, Trump will hold an event of his own on Monday in the northeast part of the state. In his remarks, Biden will attempt to reach out to Republicans and independent voters as well as Democrats by striking a moderate tone. “Some say Democrats don’t want to hear about unity. That they are angry, and the angrier you are, the better,” Biden will say, according to excerpts of his address released in advance. “That’s what they are saying to have to do to win the Democratic nomination. Well, I don’t believe it.” And as he has done during his campaign, he will directly confront Trump. “If the American people want a president to add to our division, to lead with a clenched fist, closedHere's the full story.

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Iran Dispatches Naval Destroyer to Bab el-Mandeb Strait to Shield Its Vessels

Iran’s top diplomat on Saturday dismissed the possibility of war erupting in the region, saying Tehran did not want a conflict and that no country had the “illusion it can confront Iran”, the state news agency IRNA reported. Tensions between Washington and Tehran have increased in recent days, raising concerns about a potential U.S.-Iran conflict. Earlier this week the United States pulled some diplomatic staff from its Baghdad embassy following attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf. “There will be no war because neither do we want a war, nor has anyone the idea or illusion it can confront Iran in the region,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told IRNA before ending a visit to Beijing. President Donald Trump has bolstered economic sanctions and built up U.S. military presence in the region, accusing Iran of threats to U.S. troops and interests. Tehran has described those steps as “psychological warfare” and a “political game”. “The fact is that Trump has officially said and reiterated again that he does not want a war, but people around him are pushing for war on the pretext that they want to make America stronger against Iran,” Zarif said. He told Reuters last month that Trump could be lured into a conflict by the likes of U.S. national security adviser John Bolton, an ardent Iran hawk. REGIONAL TENSIONS In a sign of the heightened tension across the region, Exxon Mobil evacuated foreign staff from an oilfield in neighbouring Iraq after days of sabre rattling between WashingtonHere's the full story.

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