Narendra Modi swept back into power on Thursday as his Hindu nationalist party made unexpected gains in a landslide victory. After a mammoth six-week election in which over 600 million people voted, all the results were tallied on Thursday and within hours the TV networks predicted a win for Mr Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Official data from the Election Commission showed Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party ahead in 300 of the 542 seats up for grabs, up from the 282 it won in 2014 and more than the 272 seats needed for a majority in the lower house of parliament. That would give his party the first back-to-back majority for a single party since 1984. "Together we grow," Mr Modi said on Twitter. "Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again!" Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at BJP headquarters to attend a ceremony to thank the Union Council of Ministers for their contribution in India's general election, in New Delhi Credit: AFP The win by Modi and the BJP has surprised even the most hardened political analysts, with the consensus being that they would be returned to power but with a reduced majority. His re-election reinforces a global trend of right-wing populists sweeping to victory, from the United States to Brazil and Italy, often after adopting harsh positions on protectionism, immigration and defence. The result reinforces Mr Modi's immense popularity and vindicated what at times was a belligerent campaign by several parties, with the focus heavily on the economy, national security, and from the BJP's perspective, an affirmation of its underlying ideology of Hindu nationalism. Nalin Kohli, a senior BJP official, claimed his party had picked up votes from Muslims, especially Muslim women. “We are the party of power, we are the flavour of the season. It is the aspirations of 1 billion-plus people that have elected us." The main opposition Congress party was heading for a better performance than its nadir in 2014, but early results suggested it would get at least 52 seats. With its partners it makes up the United Progressive Alliance, which was predicted to hit the 110 mark. With some of the BJP's critics accusing it of making India a more divisive country, particularly for Muslims and other minorities, many are asking what happens next for India. सबका साथ + सबका विकास + सबका विश्वास = विजयी भारत Together we grow. Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again! VijayiBharat— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 23, 2019 Professor Santosh Kumar Rai, of Delhi University, said: “Certainly a second term means an ideological victory, even if it is more a personality cult. With a [BJP] majority, a rightist agenda with all the institutions of the state under its control, the party will be more likely to convert India into a majoritarian state. “Law, education and culture will be the major areas expecting paradigm shift. Foreign and Finance policies will continue as they are going on now.” The election has been the biggest democratic exercise in history with an electorate of 900million, more than 1 million polling booths, seen phases of polling, seven national parties and dozens more regional parties vying for seats in the New Delhi parliament. Commentators have said Mr Modi put himself at the centre of a more presidential style of campaign, often making himself and his party interchangeable. At a packed victory rally at the BJP headquarters in Delhi, Mr Modi said: "This victory will be an inspiration for generations in the country. Crores [tens of millions] of Indians have blessed us, my gratitude to the people. "This is the highest voter turnout since Independence, even in adverse weather conditions. I congratulate the Election Commission for conducting smooth elections in such a big democracy. "I have been saying that no party or candidate is fighting the polls but the people of India are. If anybody has won, it is the people of India. This is the biggest event in any democracy in the world." Referring to his rivals in the Congress Party, he said: "They used a fake tag of Secularism that they thought would wash all sins; today these people have been completely unmasked. Today, India has only two castes - those who are poor and those who want to eradicate poverty. "This is not Modi’s victory. This is victory of honest people’s hope, this is a victory of youths who have walked on the path of 21st century with dreams.”
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — This story was first published on Dec. 21, 2001, when AP journalist Justin Pritchard reported on the American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh's journey to the Taliban front lines. We are reprinting the story now to mark Lindh's release after nearly two decades in prison.
At a rambling White House news conference, President Trump on Thursday sought to refute House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's description of his demeanor at a meeting on infrastructure that the president walked out of the day before. “She said I walked into the room right next door yesterday and walked in and started screaming and yelling,” Trump told reporters. Seeking backup from his staff, Trump asked White House counselor Kellyanne Conway for her description of his bearing during the meeting with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
A Hawaii woman has been found alive in a forest on Maui island after going missing more than two weeks ago. Amanda Eller was found injured in the Makawao Forest Reserve, the Maui News reported Friday. Family spokeswoman Sarah Haynes confirmed she spoke with Eller's father John.
Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan discusses the ongoing immigration crisis at the border on 'The Ingraham Angle.
Essentially, congressional Democrats seek to take the standard for late-term abortion proposed earlier this year in Virginia — and shelved after the bill's chief sponsor Kathy Tran acknowledged it would allow abortion through all nine months of pregnancy if a lone doctor asserted it was necessary for mental-health reasons — and impose it on every state that provides greater protection for unborn children late in pregnancy. The federal legislation would require states to permit abortion after an unborn child is viable (that is, old enough to survive outside the womb) if a single doctor asserts that an abortion is necessary to protect the mother's “health.
The Federal Aviation Administration is meeting with international air regulators from around the world on Thursday to determine what is needed to return the grounded Boeing Co 737 MAX to return it to service. The agency will summarize the status of three major ongoing reviews of the 737 MAX and give an update of the recertification process and shed light on Boeing's proposed revisions to its software and pilot training. Acting FAA Administrator Dan Elwell said on Thursday he thought travelers in the United States and around the world would respect any eventual decision by the FAA to return the plane to service.
If you've got Touch Bars on the brain but you've been unwilling to cough up the extra cash to get one, today is your lucky day. Amazon is running a one-day Gold Box deal on renewed MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models, and the prices are crazy. This product has been tested and certified to work and look like new, with minimal to no signs of wear, by a manufacturer or specialized third-party seller approved by Amazon.
The United States is considering deploying more troops to the Middle East as it looks for ways to enhance the protection of its forces in the turbulent region, acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Thursday. "What we're looking at, are there things that we can do to enhance force protection in the Middle East?" he said, speaking to reporters at the Pentagon. The Pentagon has dispatched B-52-bombers and a Patriot missile battery to the region, and accelerated the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Gulf.
The Indian National Congress Party went from understated optimism to shellshocked defeat within the space of a few hours on Thursday as Narendra Modi and his party celebrated another landslide victory. For the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, the performance by his party was nothing short of a humiliation, with several members of his own party demanding he step down and lay the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty to rest for good. Mr Gandhi suffered the sting of losing the iconic seat of his family homestead in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, which he had held since 2004 and was controlled by his father before him. He won in his second constituency – candidates can run from two in India – but the symbolism of the defeat was one from which he may never recover. Modi vowed to build an 'inclusive' India after a first term marred by accusations of fomenting religious hatred Credit: AFP At a brief press conference as the results were still coming in, Mr Gandhi congratulated Mr Modi and said “the people are king and they have directed that the BJP and Modi have won this election”. He added: “I don't want to get into what went wrong today, this is not the time for that. I fully respect the Indian people's decision.” During the briefing he also conceded defeat in the Amethi election and congratulated his opponent Smriti Irani, of the BJP, who was more than 28,000 votes ahead at the time. Congress party officials did not return calls by The Telegraph but there were widespread reports in Indian media that the party had wildly miscalculated the margin of any potential loss with its internal polling, and now all that was left was to call for its talisman's head. “If they want to change anything, change the leadership,” a Congress official in Rajasthan told Reuters, referring to Mr Gandhi and the party's high command. “You need to give young people a chance.” However Mr Gandhi, 48, will probably not face an immediate leadership challenge as India's establishment party does some soul searching after an inglorious defeat. Some reports claimed Mr Gandhi had offered to resign. “According to sources, Sonia Gandhi and senior Congress leaders advised him to bring up the matter before the party forum,” reported India Today TV. “The CWC (Congress Working Committee) will meet in a week in which the proposal will be discussed,” it added. Ironically the youthful pretender had grown into his role as leader in the past 18 months after previously being seen as a reluctant heir to his political lineage which stretched back to India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. He campaigned vigorously and was not shy on calling out Mr Modi on the economy, national security, Hindu nationalism and women's rights. After a while the media started to take notice. However behind the scenes his inability to foster good relations with a host of regional party leaders that could have generated a tenable anti-Modi alliance may have damaged his chances. "The BJP fought these elections on the basis of social and religious divisive policies and the agenda was set by them on this basis," said Atul Kumar Anjaan, national secretary of the Communist Party of India, a potential ally. "But more significant is the fact that the unity of the opposition has been damaged by the Congress. The policies and decisions of Rahul Gandhi has weakened opposition unity, led to divisions and opened the doors for Modi's victory.” Congress has ruled India for most of its history since independence from Britain in 1947, and boasts three prime ministers from the Nehru-Gandhi clan. But its weak performance in the last two elections seems to suggest it needs a drastic change of direction to take on someone with Mr Modi's political savvy.
Prominent Trump critic George Conway on Thursday posted a picture of President Trump's $35,000 check to his former lawyer Michael Cohen, along with a quote from Trump's Wednesday press conference: “I don't do cover-ups. Cohen has testified that the check was partial reimbursement for the $130,000 he paid actress Stormy Daniels as hush money to cover up a sexual encounter she says she had with Trump. The money changed hands shortly before the 2016 election and was part of the evidence in Cohen's plea deal with federal prosecutors that resulted in his prison sentence.
Army engineers say two runaway barges did "minimal" damage when they struck an Arkansas River dam. The barges, filled with 1,500 tons of fertilizer, swept down the flood-swollen river and hit the Webbers Falls Lock and Dam about noon Thursday and sank. Town officials in the riverfront town of Webbers Falls had warned residents to flee for fear such a collision would catastrophically breach the dam and flood the town.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said during a congressional hearing Wednesday that a redesign of the $20 bill to feature abolitionist hero Harriet Tubman would not be ready in time for a planned 2020 release. "The primary reason we've looked at redesigning the currency is for counterfeiting issues," Mnuchin said when asked by Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass. whether the new currency would be ready on time.
While abortion is legal nationwide, Americans have unequal access to the procedure, depending on their location in the United States and how much they are able to spend. The disparities are great indeed, from the more than 150 abortion clinics available in the most populous state of California, to only one in states like Mississippi in the South or Missouri in the Midwest. State laws also vary widely on other matters like speed limits for drivers and marriage age requirements, but the Supreme Court has set a "minimum standard throughout the entire country," noted Meg Penrose, of the Texas A&M School of Law.
JPMorgan Chase & Co has cut ties with Purdue Pharma LP over the OxyContin maker's alleged role in the U.S. opioid crisis, forcing it to find a new bank to manage cash and bill payments, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The move makes JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets, the most high-profile corporation known to have distanced itself from Purdue and its wealthy owners, the Sackler family, amid thousands of lawsuits alleging the company pushed addictive painkillers while downplaying their abuse and overdose risks. JPMorgan's decision also underscores a drive among U.S. banks to reassess their relationships with clients and industries in response to controversy and political debates over matters such as immigration detention and mass shootings.
The age of the foldable smartphone stumbled right out of the gate as multiple Galaxy Fold review units suffered from serious malfunctions before the device could even make it to market. As a result, Samsung was forced to delay the launch of its first foldable smartphone (which still doesn't have a release date). With that in mind, it's worth noting the Galaxy Fold won't be Samsung's last foldable phone, and this week, Patently Mobile dug up a recent Samsung patent for a device with similar ambitions, but a completely different design.
The head of the United Nations organisation for Palestinian refugees on Thursday rejected a US call to dismantle the agency, saying it cannot be blamed for stalled peace efforts. UNRWA's commissioner general Pierre Krahenbuhl rebuffed the criticism from US envoy Jason Greenblatt during a visit to the Gaza Strip. "I unreservedly reject the accompanying narrative that suggests that somehow UNRWA is to blame for the continuation of the refugee-hood of Palestine refugees, of their growing numbers and their growing needs," he said in response to a question about Greenblatt's comments.
Facebook has been accused of leaving 'broken children' as collateral damage in the wake of their commercial aims, the child sex abuse inquiry has heard. Barrister William Chapman, representing the victims of abuse at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), said social media companies were not preventing paedophiles reaching children as it was “contrary to their business model” and that their apps needed to be “fundamentally redesigned”. Police also warned that tech firms were going ahead with plans to encrypt more features "in the certain knowledge" it would lead to more children being abused.
Master communicator and battle-hardened political scrapper, Narendra Modi fought his way off the streets to become one of India's most popular and polarising prime ministers. There is no middle ground between admirers and adversaries of the 68-year-old, who is on target to become the first leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to win two five-year terms. After helping his father run a railway station tea stall in the small Gujarat town of Vadnagar, Modi ran away as a teenager to devote his life to politics.
President Trump issued a memo on Thursday granting attorney general William Barr the authority to declassify all documents related to the FBI's surveillance of his campaign in 2016. The memo also instructs all intelligence-community officials to cooperate with Barr in his investigation into the origins of the counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign and its alleged ties to Russia. The heads of elements of the intelligence community .
An outbreak of nasty storms spawned tornadoes that razed homes, flattened trees and tossed cars across a dealership lot, injuring about two dozen people in Missouri's capital city and killing at least three others elsewhere in the state. The National Weather Service confirmed that a large and destructive twister moved over Jefferson City shortly before midnight Wednesday. The tornado cut a path about 3 miles long and a mile wide from the south end of Jefferson City north toward the Missouri River, said police Lt. David Williams.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday that the U.S. decision to deploy more troops to the Middle East in response to the perceived threat from Iran was "extremely dangerous" for peace. The United States said it was sending 1,500 troops to region in what it called an effort to bolster defenses against Tehran, and it accused Iran's Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for attacks on tankers this month. quot;The Americans have made such allegations to justify their hostile policies and to raise tensions in the Persian Gulf," Zarif told state news agency IRNA.