Wednesday, June 28

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President Emmanuel Macron’s party wins massive majority in French parliament

President Emmanuel Macron’s party wins massive majority in French parliament

News
French President Emmanuel Macron's centrist party won a massive majority in parliamentary elections on Sunday, dominating the country's traditional forces in a dramatic re-drawing of the political map. Macron's year-old Republic on the Move (REM) and their allies were set to win between 355 and 425 seats in the 577-seat National Assembly, according to partial results after the second round of an election in which many high-profile figures were thrown out. The result, if confirmed, would give 39-year-old Macron one of France's biggest post-war majorities, strengthening his hand in implementing his programme of business-friendly reforms. The assembly is set to be transformed with a new generation of lawmakers - younger, more ethnically diverse and with far more women than the ou...
Portugal declares three days mourning as battle to contain deadly forest fire continues

Portugal declares three days mourning as battle to contain deadly forest fire continues

News, World
Portugal declared three days of national mourning on Sunday after a forest fire triggered by thunderstorms in the north of the country killed more than 60 people, many of them fleeing in their cars. At least 30 people died in vehicles, with more bodies found near cars on the side of a road and others in rural areas near Pedrogao Grande, Secretary of State for Internal Administration Jorge Gomes said in comments broadcast Sunday by RTP. According to an initial analysis by the Judicial Police, the fire was caused by a dry thunderstorm, Gomes said. Government officials said an assessment will be made of the cause. "So many deaths represent an almost unprecedented tragedy in the history of democratic Portugal,'' President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said in a televised speech on Sunda...
Stay put? Deadly London fire puts scrutiny on high-rise rule

Stay put? Deadly London fire puts scrutiny on high-rise rule

News
NEW YORK -- A catastrophic blaze at a London apartment tower has brought new scrutiny to a long-accepted, counterintuitive rule for people in tall buildings: If the blaze breaks out elsewhere in the structure, don't automatically run for the stairs. Stay put and wait for instructions. That's what residents of London's 24-story Grenfell Tower had been told to do, but the strategy failed early Wednesday when flames that began on a lower floor spread shockingly fast and quickly engulfed the entire building. Many residents were trapped, forcing some on higher floors to jump to their deaths rather than face the flames or throw their children to bystanders below. So far, at least 30 people have been reported dead and about 70 people were missing. Despite that outcome, fire experts say ...
Britain honours hero policeman alongside stars

Britain honours hero policeman alongside stars

News
Among the other recipients of honours were singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran; a pensioner who tried to save murdered lawmaker Jo Cox; and the last surviving crew member of the World War II Dambuster raids. The British policeman killed while defending parliament during a terror attack was on Saturday honoured by Queen Elizabeth II, alongside Paul McCartney, J.K. Rowling and Hollywood icon Olivia de Havilland. Keith Palmer, 48, who was stabbed to death by Khalid Masood following his rampage on Westminster Bridge on March 22, received a posthumous George Medal for bravery in the monarch’s annual birthday honours list. “Keith acted that day with no thought for his own safety ... He paid the ultimate price for his selfless actions,” said London police chief Cressida Dick. Among the oth
Republicans divided as Trump reverses some Obama Cuba policy

Republicans divided as Trump reverses some Obama Cuba policy

News
President Donald Trump’s decision to reverse some Obama-era Cuba policies landed with a thud among many congressional Republicans who say the new approach surrenders a potentially lucrative market for American goods and services to competitors. While anti-Castro conservatives hailed Trump’s partial rollback of President Barack Obama’s détente, a number of other GOP lawmakers, particularly from farm states, criticised the change as misguided and isolationist. They urged him to ease barriers with Havana that will boost trade and create jobs in both countries. Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Ark., said Trump’s shift is more than just a missed opportunity for rural America, which would benefit from greater access to Cuba’s agricultural import market. He said Trump’s policy may put US national
Trump nominates Kelly Knight Craft as U.S. ambassador to Canada

Trump nominates Kelly Knight Craft as U.S. ambassador to Canada

News
President Donald Trump has nominated a big-money political donor and philanthropist with personal ties to the coal industry as the next American ambassador to Canada. The White House said in a statement Thursday that Trump has picked Kelly Knight Craft for the post, which has been vacant since January, and sent the nomination to the Senate. Knight Craft, who would replace former ambassador Bruce Heyman, still needs approval from the Senate to take up the post. Heyman resigned on Jan. 20, saying he would respect Trump's mandate that required ambassadors installed by former president Barack Obama to leave by Trump's Inauguration Day. Knight Craft is married to American billionaire Joe Craft, who is the president and CEO of Alliance Resource Partners L.P., one of the largest c...
DEWA’s summer power saving campaign

DEWA’s summer power saving campaign

Entertainment, News, World
Set air conditioning to 24C, fix water leaks, and use energy efficient light bulbs, says utility body Dubai: The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority is running a campaign to tell residents to save electricity and water this summer — the time of the year when usage soars. A graphic distributed by DEWA on social media channels gives five tips. The tips include instructions to switch to energy efficient light bulbs, fix water leaks, and to set your air conditioning to 24C. A DEWA team has been organising lectures and field visits to government organisations and departments, private companies, malls, and union centres. During the month of Ramadan, DEWA also organises events and workshops, in cooperation with the General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowment (GAIAE)
Suspected North Korean drone spies on US anti-missile system before crashing, South Korea says

Suspected North Korean drone spies on US anti-missile system before crashing, South Korea says

News
A suspected North Korean drone took photographs of an advanced United States anti-missile battery in South Korea before crashing while apparently on its way back home, the South Korean military says. The drone, mounted with a camera, was found last week in a forest near the border with North Korea. It was similar in size and shape to a North Korean drone found in 2014 on an island near the border. "We confirmed that it took about 10 photos," of the anti-missile system, known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD), a South Korean Defence Ministry official said. The drone was suspected to be from North Korea, the official added. South Korea is deploying the US anti-missile defence system in the Seongju region, about 250 kilometres from the border with North Kor...
India: Man carries wife’s body on motorcycle

India: Man carries wife’s body on motorcycle

Entertainment, News, World
New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission has sent a notice to Bihar government over reports of a man carrying his wife’s body on a motorcycle after allegedly being denied a mortuary van by a hospital in Purnia. Expressing its displeasure over the incident, the NHRC has observed it was “not the first” such instance which has come to its attention. “At several places across the country such shameful incidents have happened and the commission has also taken cognisance in some of these cases. It seems that authorities are lacking on their part in understanding the sensitivity involved in such situations,” the commission said on Monday. Taking suo Motu cognisance of a media report that authorities at the District Purnia Sadar Hospital, where she had died, “failed to
India: BJP chief Amit Shah forms panel to decide presidential candidate

India: BJP chief Amit Shah forms panel to decide presidential candidate

News, World
New Delhi: With the presidential election just weeks away, the Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah on Monday formed a three-member panel of senior ministers to start consulting allies on the next president. Union ministers Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu are part of the panel that will build consensus around BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA)’s candidate. “The committee’s mandate is to consult leaders of all political parties for the presidential poll and try to evolve a consensus. They will consult regional parties and other stakeholders on an NDA [National Democratic Alliance] candidate,” a BJP statement said. Shah put off a visit to Arunachal Pradesh for discussions on the presidential elections. Till date, no party has come up with a presidenti