Wednesday, May 18TRUSTED FEARLESS INTERNATIONAL & NATIONAL NEWS PORTAL

Tag: world news

Politics

Lankan Parliament defeats no-trust motion against President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

A no-confidence motion tabled by the Opposition against Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was defeated in Parliament on Tuesday, in a comfortable win for the embattled President amidst nationwide protests demanding his resignation due to the country’s worst-ever economic crisis. The motion by Opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M A Sumanthiran to suspend Parliament’s standing orders in order to debate an expression of displeasure over President Rajapaksa was defeated with 119 MPs voting against it, the Economy Next newspaper reported. Only 68 MPs voted in favour of the motion, it said, giving the 72-year-old President a comfortable victory. With the motion, the Opposition sought to demonstrate how nationwide calls for President Rajapaksa’s resignation are reflected in the ...
Politics

Skies Turn Orange After Latest Iraq Sandstorm, Thousands In Hospital With Breathing Problems

New Delhi: At least 4,000 people had to be admitted to hospital with breathing problems after second fierce sandstorm of the month engulfed Iraq capital Baghdad and many other cities Monday. The thick cloud of dust led to the closure of airports, schools and other establishments across the country, news agency AFP reported. This is the eighth dust storm Iraq has seen since mid-April. The last one that happened earlier this month had even claimed a life.  Iraq has been battling effects of climate change, with soil degradation, severe droughts, very little rainfall and rising average temperatures. Apart from Baghdad, the other places that witnessed the sandstorm include the Shiite shrine city of Najaf, and Sulaimaniyah in the Kurdish autonomous region. The storm led to th...
Politics

McDonald’s to sell its Russian business, exit after 30 years

More than three decades after it became the first American fast food restaurant to open in the Soviet Union, McDonald’s said Monday that it has started the process of selling its business in Russia, another symbol of the country’s increasing isolation over its war in Ukraine. The company, which has 850 restaurants in Russia that employ 62,000 people, pointed to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war, saying holding on to its business in Russia “is no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald’s values.” The Chicago-based fast food giant said in early March that it was temporarily closing its stores in Russia but would continue to pay its employees. Without naming a prospective Russian buyer, McDonald’s said Monday that it would seek one to hire its workers and pay them until...
Business

‘America better positioned to lead the world in 21st century’, Biden tells Indian American

Washington, May 17 (PTI): America is better positioned than any other country to lead the world in the 21st century, US President Joe Biden has said to an eminent Indian American from Boston area as the nation celebrates Asian Heritage month. “Our country faces many challenges, and the road we will travel together will be one of the most difficult in our history. Despite these tough times, I have never been more optimistic for the future of America. “I believe we are better positioned than any country in the world to lead in the 21st century not just by the example of our power but by the power of our example,” Biden wrote in a recent letter to Boston-based Indian American Abhishek Singh. Singh is president of Federation of Indian Association, New England, which...
Business

N. Korea reports 270,000 new fever cases amid COVID crisis

Seoul (South Korea), May 17 (AP): Health officials in North Korea found 269,510 more people with feverish symptoms and reported another six deaths, state media said Tuesday, as the country grapples with an escalating but largely undiagnosed COVID-19 outbreak across its unvaccinated population. According to the North's anti-virus headquarters, 56 people have died and more than 1.48 million fell ill amid a rapid spread of fever nationwide since late April and outside experts believe most of the illnesses to be COVID-19. The North said at least 663,910 people were still in quarantine. State media isn't specifying how many of the fever cases have been confirmed as COVID-19. North Korea likely lacks testing supplies to confirm coronavirus infections in large numbers and its...
Business

Chilean filmmaker sentenced to five years for sexual abuse

Santiago (Chile), May 17 (AP): Chilean director Nicolás López, one of the country's highest-profile filmmakers, was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for sexual abuse against two actresses. The sentence coincided with what was requested by prosecutors after a court found him guilty at the end of April. In that verdict, the court absolved López of rape charges because judges determined there was not enough proof. The filmmaker has insisted he is innocent of any wrongdoing. His lawyers asked for a far lesser punishment, saying he should receive two sentences of 61 days each that would not require time behind bars. The prosecution alleged López “took advantage of work meetings to attack” victims, using his position to commit the crimes that took place between 2004 ...
Business

Musk hints at paying less for Twitter than his $44B offer

Detroit, May 17 (AP): Tesla CEO Elon Musk gave the strongest hint yet Monday that he would like to pay less for Twitter than his $44 billion offer made last month. Musk told a Miami technology conference that a viable deal at a lower price would not be out of the question, according to a report by Bloomberg News, which said it viewed a livestream video of the conference posted by a Twitter user. Also at the All In Summit, Musk estimated that at least 20 per cent of Twitter's 229 million accounts are spam bots, percentage he said was at the low end of his assessment, according to the report. The appearance came a few hours after Musk began trolling Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal, who posted a series of tweets explaining his company's effort to fight bots and how it has consi...
Business

Biden praises Greece for leadership after Russia invasion

Washington, May 17 (AP): US President Joe Biden on Monday thanked Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for his country's “moral leadership” in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine as the two held talks at the White House on Monday about the ongoing conflict. Mitsotakis was in Washington to mark a COVID-delayed commemoration of the bicentennial of the start of the Greek War of Independence, a more than eight-year-long struggle that led to the ouster of the Ottoman Empire. He will deliver an address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. But the celebratory moment was shadowed by the most significant fighting on the continent since World War II, and as Biden seeks to keep the West unified as it pressures Russia to end the war. Biden praised Greece for sh...
Business

Georgia parole board declines to halt killer’s execution

Atlanta, May 17 (AP): Georgia's parole board on Monday declined to halt the execution of a man who killed an 8-year-old girl 46 years ago. Virgil Delano Presnell Jr killed the girl and raped her 10-year-old friend after abducting them as they walked home from school in Cobb County, just outside Atlanta, on May 4, 1976. He is scheduled to die by injection of the sedative pentobarbital at the state prison in Jackson at 7 pm Tuesday. The parole board held a closed-door meeting to discuss his case on Monday. As is customary, the board did not explain its decision to deny clemency. If the execution proceeds, Presnell will be the first person put to death in Georgia this year and the seventh nationwide. A lawyer for Presnell had argued that he is “profoundly brain damaged” a...
Business

Accused Buffalo gunman followed familiar radicalisation path

Buffalo (New York), May 17 (AP): The 18-year-old gunman accused of a deadly racist rampage at a Buffalo supermarket seems to fit an all-too-familiar profile: an aggrieved white man steeped in hate-filled conspiracies online, and inspired by other extremist massacres. Payton Gendron of Conklin, NY, appears to have been driven to action roughly two years from when his radical indoctrination began, showing just how quickly and easily murderous assaults can be spawned on the internet. No tactical training or organisational help required. While law enforcement officials have grown adept since the Sept 11 attacks at disrupting well-organised plots, they face a much tougher challenge in intercepting self-radicalised young men who absorb racist screed on social media and plot...
Business

Mali government says it has thwarted countercoup attempt

Bamako (Mali), May 17 (AP): The Malian government headed by a two-time coup leader announced late Monday that security forces had thwarted a countercoup attempt that it said was supported by an unnamed Western government. The announcement was the latest turmoil to unfold in Mali, where Col. Assimi Goita led coups in 2020 and 2021 before becoming president of the West African nation. The news release did not name the country it was accusing. However, relations with former coloniser France have deteriorated significantly under Goita's rule, prompting the French military to begin a withdrawal of its forces that had spent nine years fighting Islamic extremists. “These soldiers were supported by a Western state,” said the statement signed by the government spokesman, Col. A...
Business

With echoes of Trump, GOP splinters over $40B for Ukraine

Washington, May 17 (AP): Signs of Republican resistance are mounting over a $40 billion aid package to Ukraine, a reemergence of the Trump-led isolationist wing of the GOP that's coming at a crucial moment as the war against the Russian invasion deepens. The Senate is expected to start voting late Monday on the Ukraine aid, pushing the bill toward President Joe Biden's desk by week's end to become law. But more vocal objections from Republicans in Congress are sending warning signs after what has been rare and united support for Ukraine as it desperately battles hostile Russia. It comes as Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell led a delegation of GOP senators to visit the region over the weekend in a show of support, vowing to push past detractors, finish up the ai...
Business

Turkey objects as Sweden, Finland seek NATO membership

Stockholm, May 17 (AP): Sweden on Monday decided to join neighbouring Finland in seeking NATO membership, ending more than two centuries of military nonalignment in a historic shift prompted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The move drew strong objections from Turkey, a key NATO member who declared the two nations should not be allowed to join because they have been too lax in taking action against Kurdish militants. Countries can only join NATO if all current members agree. Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson warned that the Nordic country would be in a “vulnerable position” during the application period and urged her fellow citizens to brace themselves for the Russian response. “Russia has said that that it will take countermeasures if we join NATO,” she said....
Business

Reversing Trump, Biden acts to deploy US troops to Somalia

Washington, May 17 (AP): President Joe Biden signed an order Monday to redeploy hundreds of US troops to Somalia to counter the Islamic extremist rebel group al-Shabab, an effort that American military leaders said had been hampered by President Donald Trump's late-term decision to withdraw forces from the country. US troops will be repositioned from elsewhere in Africa to train and provide other support to Somali forces in their fight against al-Shabab, which is considered the largest and wealthiest affiliate of the al-Qaida extremist organisation. “Our forces are not now, nor will they be, directly engaged in combat operations," said Pentagon press secretary John Kirby. “The purpose here is to enable a more effective fight against al-Shabab by local forces.” It's a...
Business

UK officials: 4 men infected with ‘rare’ monkeypox in London

London, May 16 (AP): British health authorities say they have identified four “rare and unusual” cases of the disease monkeypox among men who appear to have been infected in London and had no history of travel to the African countries where the smallpox-like disease is endemic.In a statement Monday, the U.K.'s Health Security Agency said an investigation had begun into how the men became infected and whether they had any links to each other. Three of the men are in London and one is in northeast England. All of the men identify as gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men.Last week, Britain reported three earlier cases of monkeypox, including two people who lived in the same household and the other who had previously traveled to Nigeria, where the disease is endemic in...
Politics

Biden approves redeployment of under 500 ground troops to Somalia -officials

US President Joe Biden has authorised the redeployment of fewer than 500 American troops into Somalia, US officials said on Monday, after Donald Trump ordered their withdrawal during his presidency. Prior to Trump’s withdrawal, the United States had about 700 troops in Somalia focused on helping local forces defeat the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab insurgency. “President Biden has approved a request from the Secretary of Defense to re-establish a persistent US military presence in Somalia to enable a more effective fight against al Shabaab,” a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said. “This is a repositioning of forces already in theatre who have traveled in and out of Somalia on an episodic basis since the previous administration made the decision t...
Politics

Starbucks to cover travel for workers seeking abortions

Starbucks said on Monday it will pay the travel expenses for US employees to access abortion and gender-confirmation procedures if those services aren’t available within 100 miles of a worker’s home. The Seattle coffee giant said it will also make the travel benefit available to the dependents of employees who are enrolled in Starbucks’ health care plan. Starbucks has 240,000 US employees; it was not immediately clear what percentage of them are enrolled in the company’s health care plan. Starbucks is among the most high-profile companies to adopt a travel benefit in the wake of a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court which would abolish the nationwide right to abortion. “Regardless of what the Supreme Court ends up deciding, we will always ensure our partners have access to q...
Politics

Elisabeth Borne to become France’s first female prime minister in 30 years

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday picked Labour Minister Elisabeth Borne as his new prime minister as he prepares for legislative elections in June, the second time in 30 years that a woman has been appointed to the job. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Jean Castex handed in his resignation, paving the way for a cabinet overhaul after Macron’s re-election in April. Macron, who needs to show he has heard the frustrations of voters expressed by low turnout and big support for the far right and far left, has been looking for a premier with green and social policy credentials. Such a profile could help counter the challenge mounted by hard-left veteran Jean-Luc Melenchon who achieved a strong third place in the presidential election, giving him the opportunity to rally a broad co...
Politics

Replacement Theory, fostered online, is refashioned by the Grand Old Party

Inside a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018, a white man with a history of antisemitic internet posts gunned down 11 worshippers, blaming Jews for allowing immigrant “invaders” into the United States. The next year, another white man, angry over what he called “the Hispanic invasion of Texas,” opened fire on shoppers at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, leaving 23 people dead, and later telling police he had sought to kill Mexicans. And in yet another deadly mass shooting, unfolding in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday, a heavily armed white man is accused of killing 10 people after targeting a supermarket on the city’s predominantly Black east side, writing in a lengthy screed posted online that the shoppers there came from a culture that sought to “ethnically replace my own people.” Three shoo...
Politics

Kim blasts pandemic response as North Korean outbreak surges

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un blasted officials over slow medicine deliveries and ordered his military to respond to the surging but largely undiagnosed COVID-19 crisis that has left 1.2 million people ill with fever and 50 dead in a matter of days, state media said Monday. More than 564,860 people are in quarantine due to the fever that has rapidly spread among people in and around the capital, Pyongyang, since late April. Eight more deaths and 392,920 newly detected fevers were reported Monday, the North’s emergency anti-virus headquarters said. State media didn’t specify how many were confirmed as COVID-19, but North Korea is believed to lack sufficient testing supplies to confirm coronavirus infections in large numbers and is mostly relying on isolating people with symptoms at she...