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.”
The bodies of a man and a woman were discovered Friday in a submerged vehicle near the Mississippi River in Missouri, bringing the death toll to nine from storms that have ravaged the central U.S. this week and threaten major flooding through the holiday weekend. John Reinhardt, 20, and Caitlin Frangel, 19, both of Hazelwood, Missouri, were reported missing May 15. Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper Dallas Thompson said an autopsy determined they both drowned.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Japanese conglomerate Panasonic Corp joined a growing list of global companies that is disengaging from Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world's second-largest seller of smartphones and the largest telecom-gear maker, saying it had stopped shipments of some components. Its move came a day after British chip designer ARM said it had halted relations with Huawei to comply with the U.S. supply blockade, potentially crippling the Chinese firm's ability to make new chips for smartphones. Huawei uses ARM blueprints to design the processors that power its smartphones.
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.
The National Weather Service confirmed that the deadly tornado moved over Missouri's capital, Jefferson City, shortly before midnight. Across the state, Missouri's first responders once again responded quickly and with strong coordination as much of the state dealt with extremely dangerous conditions that left people injured, trapped in homes, and tragically led to the death of three people,” Governor Mike Parson said. Authorities said the three were killed in the Golden City area of Barton county, near Missouri's south-west corner, as the severe weather moved in from Oklahoma, where rescuers struggled to pull people from high water.
For progressive presidential candidates in 2020, there is perhaps no greater prize than earning the endorsement of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The 29-year-old freshman phenom, who has helped guide her party to the left with platforms like the Green New Deal and has built a social media following dwarfing that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has not chosen a candidate in the huge field seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. “I will support whoever the Democratic nominee is,” Ocasio-Cortez told Yahoo News' “Skullduggery” podcast last month, but she singled out Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., for praise.
The American automaker Ford has unveiled "Digit," a two-legged, almost human-like robot capable of making home deliveries. Designed in collaboration with Agility Robotics, Digit can walk, go up and down stairs, and carry packages of up to 40 pounds (just over 18kg), like a human. Ford's technology, research and development department is full of surprises.
President Donald Trump ordered more troops to the Middle East as the Pentagon blamed Tehran for recent attacks in the region, yet the small scale of the U.S. move signaled a desire to avoid a further escalation of tensions between the two nations. The U.S. will bolster forces in the region by about 1,500 troops, though Trump and the Pentagon said that the deployment is for defensive purposes with a focus on missile defense, surveillance and keeping open shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf. About 600 of the troops are already in the region, meaning fewer than 1,000 new service members will deploy.
China's official airline association said Friday it will help 13 member carriers seek compensation from Boeing for losses already approaching $580 million due to the grounding of the 737 MAX 8. "As time passes by, related losses will further increase," the China Air Transport Association said in a statement. On March 11, China became the first country to ground the 737 MAX, a day after a deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airways Boeing 737 MAX that killed all 157 people on board.
Advocates demanded $100 million in damages Thursday on behalf of the family of a 20-year-old Guatemalan woman who was shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent last year. The legal claim on behalf of Claudia Patricia Gómez González was filed one year after she died. It comes as the U.S. government grapples with surging numbers of Central Americans crossing its southern border and the deaths of six children in the last year after being apprehended by border agents.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, a Republican, signed the so-called "hearbeat bill" into law in March, and the measure had been due to take effect on July 1. Mississippi is one of several states, including Georgia and Alabama, where Republican-controlled legislatures have enacted strict anti-abortion measures this year in direct challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy. Roe held that the due process clause of the 14th Amendment provides a fundamental right to privacy protecting a woman's right to abortion, though it allows states to restrict the procedure from the time a fetus can viably survive outside the womb, which the opinion placed at 24 to 28 weeks from conception.
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.
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.
In a stunning escalation of the Trump administration's war on the press, the Justice Department has indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for revealing government secrets under the Espionage Act. The charges invoke broad provisions of the Espionage Act that make it a crime to disclose or retain any defense information knowing it “could be used to injure” the U.S. The act has no exception for reporters or publishers, but prior administrations have balked at invoking the law against journalists for fear of colliding with the First Amendment.
There are millions of apps available for your phone, but you can't take all of them on your next trip. Of the 10 most-downloaded iPhone apps last year, only one – Google Maps – made the list (at No. 8). "Google Maps first comes to mind," says Anne Woodyard, who owns a tour company in Reston, Virginia.
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.
Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan discusses the ongoing immigration crisis at the border on 'The Ingraham Angle.