Brexit Boris Johnson prime minister ‘s 12 December election

Brexit Boris Johnson prime minister

Brexit Boris Johnson prime minister ‘s 12 December election plan has cleared its first hurdle as MPs backed it.

They are continuing to debate and will vote later on amendments, including a Labour proposal to change the date to 9 December.

The prime minister can only hold an election with the support of MPs – who have blocked it three times.

Efforts by opposition MPs to lower the voting age to 16 and allow EU nationals to take part have failed.

Proposed changes to the PM’s early election bill to extend voting rights were not selected for debate by the Deputy Speaker despite enjoying cross-party support.
It removes one major potential obstacle to a pre-Christmas poll as No 10 had said it would abandon the legislation needed for it if the franchise was altered at such a late stage.

One proposed change that will be considered is a call by Labour – backed by the other opposition parties – to hold the poll three days earlier on 9 December.

This, they argue, would ensure that university students are more likely to be able to take part because it would still be in term time.

MPs will vote on this amendment and one calling for the poll to be pushed back to 20 May before being asked to give their final approval to a 12 December poll at about 20:00 GMT. Full Story

 

Boeing accused of putting profit before safety by Senators

US lawmakers have accused Boeing of engaging in a “pattern of deliberate concealment” as it sought approval for its 737 Max 8 plane to fly.

The accusation came as Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg was quizzed by the Senate Commerce Committee.

Senators said they had serious concerns that Boeing put profits over safety as it rushed to get clearance. Full Story

 

Philippines hit by deadly earthquake in south

The death toll from an earthquake in the southern Philippines has risen to seven, officials said, with many more injured.

The victims included a seven-year-old boy and his 44-year-old father who died after they were struck by a boulder, officials told the Reuters news agency. Full Story

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Area 51: Storming of secretive Nevada base

Area 51: Storming of secretive Nevada base

Fears that thousands of people could storm Area 51 on Friday were unfounded, with just several dozen arriving at the secretive US military base.

Millions had responded to a Facebook post in June calling for people to raid the facility in Nevada on 20 September to “see them aliens”.

But nobody attempted to enter the site and only one person was arrested – for urinating near the gate.

Area 51 has long been rumoured to house secrets about extraterrestrial life.
Why are people talking about Area 51?
In June, Matty Roberts, a student from California, posted a tongue-in-cheek Facebook event inviting people to charge at the base in large enough numbers to bypass security.

Within days of its launch, the event became a viral sensation, making headlines across the world. More than three million people expressed an interest in taking part.
The US Air Force warned that Area 51 was “an open training range for the US Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces”.

What happened on Friday?
Not a lot.

Despite much anticipation surrounding the event, only around 75 people turned up at the front gate and nobody attempted to enter.

The only person to be arrested was a man caught urinating near the entrance and a woman was detained for an undisclosed reason, Associated Press reported.
The “raid” was more of a small-scale celebration, with enthusiasts dressing up and holding placards. Full Story

 

Saudi Arabia oil attacks: US to send troops to Saudi Arabia

The US has announced plans to send forces to Saudi Arabia in the wake of attacks against the country’s oil infrastructure.

Secretary of Defence Mark Esper told reporters the deployment would be “defensive in nature”. Total troop numbers have not yet been decided.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels have said they were behind the attacks against two oil facilities last week. Full Story

 

Climate protests: Marches worldwide against global warming

Millions of people around the world held a global climate strike on Friday, inspired by activist Greta Thunberg.

Protesters across continents waved placards and chanted slogans in what could be the biggest ever demonstration over global warming caused by humans.

“Our house is on fire”, Ms Thunberg said at a rally. “We will not just stand aside and watch.”

The day began in the Pacific and Asia and culminated in a massive demonstration in New York. Full Story

 

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Politics and Technology

politics and technology

China speeds ahead of U.S. as quantum race escalates, worrying scientists

U.S. and other Western scientists voice awe, and even alarm, at China’s quickening advances and spending on quantum communications and computing, revolutionary technologies that could give a huge military and commercial advantage to the nation that conquers them. The concerns echo — although to a lesser degree — the shock in the West six decades ago when the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite, sparking a space race. In quick succession, China in recent months has utilized a quantum satellite to transmit ultra-secure data, inaugurated a 1,243-mile quantum link between Shanghai and Beijing, and announced a $10 billion quantum computing center. “To me, what is alarming is the level of coordination of what they’ve done,” said Christopher Monroe, a physicist and pioneer in quantum communication at the University of Maryland. Full Story

Another confirmation that China is destined to be new the powerhouse and will probably hold this title for over 100 years after it moves to the top spot. China has focussed on developing trade; their second focus has been their military as they are primarily merchants at heart. They are going to win this battle for one reason; at the end of the day, they are going to have the biggest purse. As the saying goes “money talks and BS walks.

 

Xi Tells Zuckerberg and Cook China’s Set for ‘Unprecedented’ Reform

Chinese President Xi Jinping used a meeting with Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg and Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook to announce that his nation is embarking on reform with “unprecedented determination and vigor.”

Less than a week into his second five-year term at the helm of the world’s second-largest economy, Xi’s remarks may underscore a shift toward loosening of restrictions on doing business in China. The nation is “willing to work with the U.S.,” Xi said, according to an official Xinhua report, adding that he’s looking forward to President Donald Trump’s visit next week.

Though use of Facebook’s social networking platform is blocked in China, the leadership from Xi down have increased pledges to open up to foreign companies across the economy. Xi was speaking at an event with overseas members of the Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management advisory board on Monday.

“China is willing to work with the US, to take a long-term perspective, care for each other’s mutual interests, and appropriately handle disagreements and contradictions,” Xi said. “We have an optimistic attitude toward the prospects for China-U.S. relations.” Full Story

This is the trend we have been speaking off for a while and which we just addressed in the last interim update. Asia led by China will move and more towards the direction of free markets and freedom, while the US will and the West will seek to restrain the populace.

The New Silk Road will go through Syria

Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a sort of mini-gathering of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), billed as “The First Project Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction”.

And there will be serious follow-ups: a Syria Reconstruction Expo; the 59th Damascus International Fair next month, where around 30 Arab and foreign nations will be represented; and the China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui province, in September.

Amid the proverbial doom and gloom pervading all things Syria, the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune sometimes yield, well, good fortune.

Take what happened this past Sunday in Beijing. The China-Arab Exchange Association and the Syrian Embassy organized a Syria Day Expo crammed with hundreds of Chinese specialists in infrastructure investment. It was a sort of mini-gathering of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), billed as “The First Project Matchmaking Fair for Syria Reconstruction”.

And there will be serious follow-ups: a Syria Reconstruction Expo; the 59th Damascus International Fair next month, where around 30 Arab and foreign nations will be represented; and the China-Arab States Expo in Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui province, in September.

Qin Yong, deputy chairman of the China-Arab Exchange Association, announced that Beijing plans to invest $2 billion in an industrial park in Syria for 150 Chinese companies.

Nothing would make more sense. Before the tragic Syrian proxy war, Syrian merchants were already incredibly active in the small-goods Silk Road between Yiwu and the Levant. The Chinese don’t forget that Syria controlled overland access to both Europe and Africa in ancient Silk Road times when, after the desert crossing via Palmyra, goods reached the Mediterranean on their way to Rome. After the demise of Palmyra, a secondary road followed the Euphrates upstream and then through Aleppo and Antioch.

Beijing always plans years ahead. And the government in Damascus is implicated at the highest levels. So, it’s not an accident that Syrian Ambassador to China Imad Moustapha had to come up with the clincher: China, Russia and Iran will have priority over anyone else for all infrastructure investment and reconstruction projects when the war is over. Full Story

Read this story in Detail for it provides some of the reasons of why America has lost its place in the Middle East and why Syria was Russia’s red line in the sand.  Most importantly, it reveals how strong the relationship between China and Russia is and why these two nations are set to dominate the world stage for decades to come.

 

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Technology: UBS cut workforce – RBI repo rate unchanged – UPS improved productivity

Technology: UBS cut workforce - RBI repo rate unchanged - UPS improved productivity

Technology could help UBS cut workforce by 30 percent: CEO in magazine

ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss bank UBS <UBSG.S> could shed almost 30,000 workers in the years ahead due to technological advances in the banking industry, Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti said in a magazine interview.

Ermotti told Bloomberg Markets that “process-oriented” companies see scope to cut workforces in half through new technology but he believed the true number for banks was around half that. “If you look at UBS, we employ a meaningful amount of people— almost 95,000, including contractors,” Ermotti said. “You can have 30 percent less, but the jobs are going to be much more interesting jobs, where the human content is crucial to the delivery of the service.”

Ermotti said the coming decade would be heavily influenced by technology, as the previous one was marked by regulation.

“It’s not the Big Bang; it’s going to be very gradual,” he said. “But you’re going to be faster — much more efficient, proficient. Instead of serving 50 clients, you’ll be able to serve 100 and in a more sophisticated way.”

Consultancy Accenture <ACN.N> said in May that three-quarters of bankers surveyed believed artificial intelligence (AI) will become the primary way banks interact with their customers within the next three years. Full Story

Another one bites the dust; it’s quite interesting that as soon as we stated that the trend had changed concerning AI and human Jobs; story after story has emerged indicating how fast this trend is gaining traction. At least 40% of today’s companies could end up being irrelevant in as little as ten years

 

RBI keeps repo rate unchanged but frees up more liquidity

The Reserve Bank of India held its policy rate steady near seven-year lows on Wednesday after inflation surged, but still looked to prop up the cooling economy by spurring banks into lending more.

The decision to keep the repo rate at 6.00 percent had been widely expected, with all but three of 60 analysts polled by Reuters predicting the RBI would stand pat after cutting the rate by 25 basis points (bps) in August. But in a concession to the weakening economy, which is growing at its slowest pace in over three years, policymakers surprised markets by taking steps to release more liquidity into the financial system.

The RBI said it would lower the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) — the amount of bonds that banks must set aside with the central bank — by 50 bps to 19.50 percent from mid-October. It had lowered the ratio by the same amount in June. Full Story

If you look around, central bankers are talking tough, but they are all talk and no action. The Majority of central banks from Japan to South Africa are an opting to leave rates unchanged. We wonder why? Well not really, as we have been stating all along, that anyone with a pea for a brain realises that this economic recovery is as bogus as they come. Remove the easy money and the glorious recovery vanishes.

The Philippines just joined the club of central bankers that see no reason to raise rates.

Philippine central bank Governor Nestor Espenilla said contained inflation means there isn’t a need to increase interest rates in the near term. “Right now there is no need to move policy rates looking at the inflation outlook,” Espenilla said in Washington where he was attending the annual International Monetary Fund meetings. “It might be too much of an anticipation to say we will raise interest rates at the next review.” Full Story

 

 

UPS CEO: Thanks to automation, we’re shipping more packages with the same number of people

The upcoming holiday period is shaping up to be another record-breaking shipping season. In fact, United Parcel Service (UPS) forecasts 750 million packages will be delivered between Black Friday and New Year’s Eve, a 5% increase from last year.

Despite the expected increase in volume, UPS expects to hire the same number of temporary seasonal workers as last year (95,000).

“Last year we hired about the same number of people and we’re doing it this year with an extra 5% of packages and it is because of automation,” UPS CEO David Abney told Yahoo Finance. Full story

Another confirmation that many jobs will cease to exist in the very near future; a day is going to dawn where individuals with an IQ that’s lower than 100 are going to find it almost impossible to land a decent job in developed nations.

Dow 22K Predicted In July 2017; Next Target Dow 30k?

Dow Jones predictions

Dow Jones predictions: The Dow appears to have broken through the top of the Channel formation that fell in the 20,800-21,000 ranges. If it closes above 21,300 on a monthly basis then despite the markets being overbought, the Dow could surge past 22K before running into a strong zone of resistanceMarket Update June 18, 2017

Give the resiliency of this market; the Dow could very easily trade to 22K before it trades to 19K.  The masses need to show some enthusiasm; if they don’t and the market pulls back strongly, then it has to be viewed as a screaming buy.  For now, the masses seem to be locked in the pessimistic mode.

The bullish sentiment has never traded to the 60% ranges even once this year; it did not even make it to the 55% ranges, and that is very telling. On the same token, the number of individuals in the neutral camp has generally continued to trend higher and higher.  Market Update July 6, 2017 

What’s next for the Dow Jones?

Not only did the Dow Jones trade to 22K but it surpassed this target and is now dangerously close to striking 23K.  The sentiment is still not bullish, so the path of least resistance is upward.  As for Dow 30K;  there is a good chance that the Dow could strike this target. We discuss that in full detail in this article titled “Dow Could Trade to 30K But not before This Happens ”

If you prefer to watch a video; then the video covers the essential points of the above article

Dow forecast by longforecast.com

2020/01/03. Dow Jones Industrial Average index forecast for next months and years.

Dow Jones forecast for January 2020.
The forecast for beginning of January 28538. Maximum value 29368, while minimum 26044. Averaged index value for month 27914. Index at the end 27706, change for January -2.9%.

DJIA forecast for February 2020.
The forecast for beginning of February 27706. Maximum value 28512, while minimum 25284. Averaged index value for month 27100. Index at the end 26898, change for February -2.9%.

Dow Jones forecast for March 2020.
The forecast for beginning of March 26898. Maximum value 29007, while minimum 25723. Averaged index value for month 27248. Index at the end 27365, change for March 1.7%. Read More

 

Dow forecast by investinghaven.com

Our Dow Jones forecast for 2020 and 2021 is strongly bullish. We expect the Dow Jones to peak near 32,000 points in 2020. It will continue its rise in 2021. We forecast a crash in the Dow Jones in 2022. Investors should get the maximum out of the bullish potential from our Dow Jones forecast for 2020 and 2021. Note that this another critical piece in our annual series of forecasts because it paints a very clear picture of our general market forecasts for 2020: bullish stock market (not only this bullish Dow Jones forecast but all global stock markets), bullish peak in precious metals, some commodities bullish, strongly bullish crypto markets.

Why This Dow Jones Prediction?
What we are really interested in is to understand whether the stock bull market is the place to be invested in for 2020 and 2021. We want to be invested in bull market trends, and the Dow Jones prediction will help with this.

As said before we are on the lookout of markets that become a multi bagger in 6 to 9 months time. We committed before on this: Forecasting The 3 Top Opportunities Per Year Becomes Invsting Haven’s Mission. If we get the high level trend right we can know in which direction to look for these extraordinary returns. Read More

 

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US market live data chart and commentaries

US market live dataUS market live trend

Through a difficult patch and this is not something new, however when it occurs, it seems like it is a brand-new event and the very first thing crops to mind is the term “fear” because the experts are claiming it is different this time.

They would talk less and do more if they understood what they talked about; being a bear is dangerous, for in the future US market constantly tendency higher. Now attempt to see the fantastic depression, “Black Monday” .etc.


If you have a look at all those”ends of the world occasions” closely, they are blips in an otherwise massive upward tendency.  There are always likely to be days, weeks and sometimes weeks when the markets are coming down, but ultimately the US market has trended in 1 direction which is”up”.

By viewing these disaster type events via a lens that was bullish, massive fortunes were produced. In addition, we have Mass Psychology and the Trend Indicator on our side, both of which signify that this downtrend at most could turn out be the backbreaking correction we spoke of recently. Every Bull Market experiences at one and 90% of the traders assume that this event marks the beginning of a trend.

 

US market live: Focus on Truth And Not Imagination

Take one event that most recalls, the fantastic Recession. Even if you mistimed your entrance and began to open positions before the Dow had bottomed, you would be sitting on massive gains today.

Panic should be seen via a lens that was squishy now that we are in the age of forever QE (Quantitative Easing) and above all remember when this sell-off started that the masses weren’t euphoric. There’s a time to sell, and that time appears when the masses are in a state of bliss.

When the markets sell-off, it means there will be plenty of chances, so an individual should build a list of stocks that they always wished to purchase. US market always returns to the mean and hence the saying the larger the deviation from the mean the greater the opportunity. History clearly attests that finally, the market trends in one direction only (upward).

US Market: 2021 Predictions and Projections

The Dow Jones prediction, NASDAQ prognosis and S&P predictions continue to be rosy regardless of the rocketing COVID 19 diseases in California, Texas and Florida.

A wave or the outbreaks is terrifying and upsetting Television commentators and investors it does not seem like the market wishes to slow down for the interest of this Corona Virus. Shore kids and the rioters put an attack on the nation together in hopes of shutting down the market, but it does not seem it will get the job done.

Of the indicators were down about 1 percent at the end of today, Tuesday, July 7th after yesterday that is climbing. It seems like an answer to rising COVID 19 diseases in a brand new record along with California yesterday. Nevertheless, instances have dropped from Florida.

Are superspreaders able to replicate exactly what they did last week’s bunch? Or is that the subversive threat in check? Investors Assurance and sentiment that the next shutdown will not occur isn’t 100.

He is referring to a secular bull market in which the S&P could attain 4000.

That has not occurred, although now a motion projected. Rather, all indicators are up 1 hour to trading. The inadequate excellent stock market predictions, even for a single day beforehand are alarming.

With $3 Trillion injected to the market and stimulation expected with more companies reopening, there is a reason for optimism at the stock markets.

 

2020 US Stock Market Predictions

It is an election year it’s probably the administration will do what it can to keep the decade-long bull run, ” said Ryan Grace, chief market strategist for dough, a Chicago-based brokerage company. ”

I had expected more volatility heading into the election,” he said. “I really don’t find these current below-average levels in volatility being more sustainable.
There’s a close record short position in the volatility futures now and most of us know how that ended last time in February of 2018.”

Global Economic Slowdown Could ContinueGrace said he doesn’t see a breakout in yields throughout the curve that appears to be the telephone every year.”We are
Not from the woods yet regarding the ongoing global economic downturn,” he said. “China continues to slow, there are indications that the U.S. the economy is slowing and there’s no resolution to the transaction deal yet.”

The trade war remains the biggest issue facing shareholders, but”with markets where they are now, it seems most are optimistic there is a settlement coming,” Grace said. “The real details of the bargaining thing China can buy more agricultural goods and that is fantastic for the U.S. farmers, but it does not solve any of the more structural issues that got us here in the first place.” Federal Reserve May Should Be More AccommodativeWhile the Federal Reserve, the central bankers who vote on the future of interest, has said it plans to be on hold unless something changes in the market, there’s a possibility it might happen, Grace explained.”

US market forecast for next 3 months

Is this overall recovery likely to last in the summer? That raises another question, and that’s exactly what factors are most likely to affect markets throughout the next 3 weeks?
On its face, this doesn’t appear likely to encourage a stock-market recovery. Back in April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced: “As a consequence of the pandemic, the international market is projected to contract aggressively by 3 percent in 2020, considerably worse than during the 2008-09 fiscal meltdown.

In a baseline situation — that presumes the pandemic fades at the next half 2020 and containment attempts could be slowly unwound — the international market is projected to rise by 5.8 percent in 2021 as economic action normalises, aided by coverage assistance.”

But as you could be thinking the 2021 figure doesn’t seem too bad. What’s our small stock-market rally doomed? One is that enormous amounts of bandwidth have been pumped to attempt and stabilise markets and there is. Not yet, although that service will be pulled. Rally. As a stock market crash could foretell an economic downturn, an uptrend can signal recovery. By instinct, investors and many traders prefer to walk the bright side of the road.

The lender sees the benchmark index closing annually at 3,000 – approximately 2% greater than its Friday near 2,930 – since the coronavirus hazard fades and the market stinks. Together with looming threats dragging the index at the end of the summer to 2,400 However, Goldman’s prediction reflects a drawback to its goal. The stock market’s recent surge in late-March lows is best attributed to some”fear of falling out”; mindset among investors, and doubt concerning the rally’s power stay, Goldman added.

 

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Elizabeth Warren nabs 2020 backing of Iowa’s state treasurer

Elizabeth Warren

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has announced the endorsement of one of Iowa’s last two uncommitted Democratic elected officials, state Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald.

“She’s the one I think can address the biggest problems we have, and that is the hollowing out of the middle class,” Fitzgerald said in an interview with The Associated Press. “She’s clear, you understand her message, and I want her fighting for me and all of us.”

Fitzgerald was an early supporter of then-Sen. Barack Obama, who went on to win the presidency. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller also supported Obama but is endorsing Montana Gov. Steve Bullock for 2020. Iowa’s last remaining uncommitted statewide elected Democrat is Auditor Rob Sand.

Asked what stood out about Warren in a field of Democrats often aligned on key issues, Fitzgerald declared that Warren “is a Democrat, she is a capitalist, and she wants to make our system work.” He said he’d do whatever the Warren campaign needed to help her win the caucuses.

Warren’s organization is seen as one of the strongest in Iowa, but compared with the other top-tier contenders in the field Warren has been relatively slow to roll out endorsements in the state. After a trickle of endorsement announcements, her first major haul of supporters in Iowa came out just last week, after her strong performance in the primary debate in Houston.

Fitzgerald marks Warren’s 25th Iowa endorsement and her sixth endorsement from an Iowa elected official. Full Story

 

Jimmy Carter says he couldn’t have managed presidency at 80

ATLANTA (AP) — Weeks shy of his 95th birthday, former President Jimmy Carter said he doesn’t believe he could have managed the most powerful office in the world at 80 years old.

Carter, who earlier this year became the longest-lived chief executive in American history, didn’t tie his comments to any of his fellow Democrats running for president in 2020, but two leading candidates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, would turn 80 during their terms if elected. Full Story

 

Sri Lankan doctors strike over salary ‘injustice’

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Doctors at state-run hospitals across Sri Lanka began a 24-hour strike on Wednesday, demanding that the government resolve what they say is a salary “injustice.”

Two years ago, the government gave an unusually high salary increase to legal officers in the government sector, creating what Dr. Haritha Aluthge, secretary of the Government Medical Officers Association, called “a severe injustice to doctors and other professionals.” Full Story

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Brexit news: Talks ‘should not be a pretence’ warns Barnier

Brexit news: Talks 'should not be a pretence' warns Barnier

Brexit news: The UK and EU “should not pretend to be negotiating” a Brexit  deal if there are no new proposals on the table, the EU’s chief negotiator has said.

Michel Barnier said the UK telling the EU what it does not like about the current agreement was “not enough”.

He cast doubt on two ideas put forward by the UK – a single all-Ireland zone for agriculture and livestock and a Northern Irish veto over EU rules.

Boris Johnson has said there is a “landing zone” for an agreement.

He has said a deal is possible at a crucial summit of EU leaders on 17 October – although ministers have said they are reluctant to reveal the details of new proposals in advance for fear they will be “rubbished” by the EU.
Mr Johnson has insisted he will not accept a further delay beyond 31 October despite MPs passing a law requiring him to seek an extension if there is no deal by 19 October.

After meeting Mr Barnier and Mr Juncker in Luxembourg on Monday, Mr Johnson said the process of trying to get a deal on the terms of exit would be accelerated.

‘Not enough’
Briefing the European Parliament, Mr Juncker said the lunch had been “friendly and constructive” but there had been no progress on the main sticking point – the UK’s demand that the Northern Irish backstop should be removed from the current agreement. Full Story

 

Live facial recognition surveillance ‘must stop’

UK police and companies must stop using live facial recognition for public surveillance, politicians and campaigners have said.

The technology allows faces captured on CCTV to be checked in real time against watch lists, often compiled by police.

Privacy campaigners say it is inaccurate, intrusive and infringes on an individual’s right to privacy. Full Story

 

Inside Afghanistan’s ‘no-man’s land’

Earlier this year the UN released data showing that more civilians were killed by allies than insurgents in Afghanistan.

The BBC has gained incredibly rare access to Taliban-controlled territory, in Faryab province, to meet those civilians most at risk. Full Story

 

Israel election: Netanyahu and rival headed for deadlock

Unofficial results in Israel’s second election in five months suggest it is too close to call, Israeli media say.

Incumbent PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s party and that of his main challenger, Benny Gantz, are neck and neck with 32 seats each, the Kan public broadcaster says.

A prime minister needs to command a 61-seat majority in parliament. The smaller Yisrael Beiteinu party appears to hold the balance of power.

Official partial results are expected on Wednesday morning. Full Story

 

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Trump Syria: US cedes region to Russia

Trump Syria: US cedes region to Russia

Trump Syria: WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump declared success in Syria and created a bumper-sticker moment to illustrate his campaign promise to put a stop to American involvement in “endless wars.”

But with his abrupt withdrawal from what he called “bloodstained sand,” the Republican president ceded American influence over a huge swath of the region to rivals and may have spun the Middle East into a new season of uncertainty.

In remarks at the White House, Trump made the case that American administrations before him wasted too much money and blood on sectarian and tribal fighting in which the U.S. had no place meddling.

“We have spent $8 trillion on wars in the Middle East, never really wanting to win those wars,” Trump said Wednesday. “But after all that money was spent, and all those lives lost, the young men and women, gravely wounded so many, the Middle East is less safe, less stable and less secure than before these conflicts began.”

But analysts and lawmakers said Trump declared victory for a crisis along the border of Turkey and Syria that was arguably of his own making, while underplaying the reality that he has strengthened the hand of Russia.

Critics also say the move will roll back advances made by U.S.-led forces in the fight against the Islamic State group. Full Story

 

Ukrainian leader felt Trump pressure before taking office

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — More than two months before the phone call that launched the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Ukraine’s newly elected leader was already worried about pressure from the U.S. president to investigate his Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy gathered a small group of advisers on May 7 in Kyiv for a meeting that was supposed to be about his nation’s energy needs. Instead, the group spent most of the three-hour discussion talking about how to navigate the insistence from Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani for a probe and how to avoid becoming entangled in the American elections, according to three people familiar with the details of the meeting. Full Story

 

The Latest: Police: 39 dead in UK truck were from China

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on the death of 39 people found in a truck container in southeastern England (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

British police have confirmed that 39 people found dead in a container truck near an English port were Chinese citizens.

The Essex Police force says the dead found Wednesday in the southeastern city of Grays included 31 men and eight women. The force says one victim previously thought to be a teenager was a young adult woman.

The 25-year-old truck driver, who is from Northern Ireland, is being questioned on suspicion of attempted murder but has not been charged. Police in Northern Ireland have searched three properties there as they try to reconstruct the path of the truck and the victims’ final journey. Full Story

 

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Francisco Franco exhumation: Spanish dictator’s remains being moved

Francisco Franco exhumation

Francisco Franco ‘s remains of Spanish dictator are being moved from a vast mausoleum to a low-key grave, 44 years after his elaborate funeral.

Thursday’s long-awaited relocation fulfils a key pledge of the socialist government, which said Spain should not continue to glorify a fascist who ruled the country for nearly four decades.

His family unsuccessfully challenged the reburial in the courts.

The Franco era continues to haunt Spain, now a robust democracy.

Family members are present to witness the ceremony at the Valley of the Fallen, a national monument and basilica carved into a mountain about 50km (30 miles) from Madrid that was built in the Franco era.

The remains will be moved by helicopter.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the exhumation was “a great victory for dignity, memory, justice and reparation – and thus for Spanish democracy”.
Only a few people are being allowed to attend the event, which is taking place under high security. They include the justice minister, an expert in forensics, a priest and 22 descendants of Francisco Franco. Media are excluded but more than 200 journalists are near the site.

As part of the ceremony, a crane will need to lift a concrete slab weighing 1,500kg that covers the coffin. In total, the exhumation and re-burial will cost about €63,000 (£54,000; $70,000).

Why is Franco being moved? Full Story

Inside Bosnia’s ‘nightmare’ camp for migrants trying to enter the EU

Aid agencies are warning of a humanitarian disaster in Bosnia, with people facing a winter without proper accommodation.

Bosnia is now a major route into the EU – 45,000 migrants have arrived in the country since the start of 2018. Full Story

Leonardo da Vinci five centuries on: Louvre in Paris opens long-awaited exhibition

It took more than a decade to prepare and was almost thwarted by a diplomatic row. Now, one of the world’s most expensive art exhibitions – to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death – is finally opening to the public.

The Louvre museum in Paris, home to Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, opens its doors on Thursday to a display of more than 160 Renaissance-era paintings and drawings, some of which are on loan from Queen Elizabeth II and Bill and Melinda Gates. Full Story

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