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 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.
No decision about sending troops has been made amid tensions with Iran
A traffic jam of climbers in the Everest "death zone" was blamed for two of four new deaths reported Friday, heightening concerns that the drive for profits is trumping safety on the world's highest peak. Nepal has issued a record 381 permits costing $11,000 each for the current spring climbing season, bringing in much-needed money for the impoverished Himalayan country. The four latest deaths reported on Friday, taking the toll from a deadly week on the overcrowded peak to eight, include two Indians and a Nepali on the Nepal side and an Austrian on the way down on the northern Tibetan side, officials and expedition organisers said.
The U.S. Justice Department's antitrust division staff has recommended the agency block T-Mobile US Inc's $26 billion acquisition of smaller rival Sprint Corp, according to two sources familiar with the matter. While Justice Department staff balked at the merger, the Federal Communications Commission indicated on Monday it had reached an agreement in principle with the companies to allow the deal after the companies agreed to sell Sprint's prepaid brand Boost Mobile. The final decision on whether to allow two of the four nationwide wireless carriers to merge now lies with political appointees at the department, headed by antitrust division chief Makan Delrahim.
For the purposes of Lockheed's marketing campaign, the F-21 is a new fighter, although it shares many of its major features with the F-16V the company has sold to Bahrain, Greece, Slovakia, South Korea and Taiwan. Lockheed can build new F-16Vs or upgrade older F-16s to the V-standard.Lockheed Martin is developing a new variant of its iconic F-16 single-engine fighter in order to compete in India’s 2019 tender for 110 new warplanes.(This first appeared earlier in the month.)But don’t count on the American firm’s “F-21” to win the contract.According to journalist Angad Singh, the likely winner is French company Dassault’s Rafale twin-engine fighter.Singh explains his rationale in the May 2019 issue of Combat Aircraft magazine. India previously ordered 36 Rafales as part of an earlier fighter tender. “With 36 aircraft already on order and the infrastructure in place for an additional 36, a case could certainly be made that training, basing and sustainment costs for additional aircraft would not be an impossible burden.”Other candidates for the Indian tender are the Saab Gripen from Sweden, the European Eurofighter Typhoon, the MiG-35 from Russia and the Boeing Super Hornet from the United States. Whichever fighter New Delhi selects, it needs the new jets now, according to Singh.
Plan C and SASS—two sites that provide information on purchasing and self-administering abortion pills—told The Daily Beast they saw an increase in site traffic over the last week, after Alabama passed a law banning almost all abortions in the state. The law has yet to take effect but its passage made national headlines, leading some people to fear abortion was already illegal in their state. Amy Merrill, the founder of Plan C, said her site saw an eight-fold increase in traffic the day the ban passed the Senate.
'No one is above the law, including the president of the United States,' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says after holding a meeting with Democrat committee chairs.
The former vice president blasted President Trump for telling the crowd at a rally in Pennsylvania earlier this week that he “deserted” them.
A serial con artist was arrested Wednesday after allegedly scamming a Georgiawoman he met on Match
Alabama lawmakers abruptly adjourned after one lawmaker called for the censure of another over comments that included calling the president's son "evidently retarded." Republican Rep. Arnold Mooney of Shelby County on Wednesday went to the House microphone to read a letter seeking censure of Rep. John Rogers, a Democrat. Mooney said Rogers brought "shame" on Alabama with comments he made after debate on a proposed abortion ban.
The U.S. administration is considering Huawei-like sanctions on Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision, media reports show, deepening worries that trade friction between the world's top two economies could be further inflamed. The restrictions would limit Hikvision's ability to buy U.S. technology and American companies may have to obtain government approval to supply components to the Chinese firm, the New York Times reported https://nyti.ms/2MfgBS3 on Tuesday. The United States stuck Huawei Technologies on a trade blacklist last week, effectively banning U.S. firms from doing business with the world's largest telecom network gear maker, in a major escalation in the trade war.
Weather forecasters on Wednesday expected drenching rains to roll into the storm-ravaged U.S. southern and central states, where thunderstorms and tornadoes killed at least three people and triggered widespread flooding. More than 30 tornadoes struck a swath from Texas to Iowa since Monday, according to the National Weather Service, and residents in at least three Oklahoma riverfront communities were urged to evacuate due to flooding. One person was killed and another was injured when a tornado struck the rural town of Adair, Iowa, about 50 miles (80 km)west of Des Moines, at about 1:30 a.m. local time, the weather service said.
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.
Google unveiled a new look and feel today for the way it presents Google Search results on mobile, and the update has been regarded in a few corners now as somewhat News Feed-like.It's easy to see why that's the case, as the search giant's changes include putting emphasis on a website name and favicon above the search results. Whereas the source of results had previously not been so clearly emphasized, which makes the new design for showing results feel a little like scrolling through a feed of posts from publishers and the like."With this new design, a website's branding can be front and center, helping you better understand where the information is coming from and what pages have what you're looking for," explains Google Senior Interaction Designer for Search Jamie Leach in a company blog post today. "The name of the website and its icon appear at the top of the results card to help anchor each result, so you can more easily scan the page of results and decide what to explore next."The post notes that the refreshed look for what's arguably Google's most important product will start showing up to users over the coming days. As part of the changes, Leach continues, when you search for a product or service and Google feels like it's got a relevant, "useful" ad that would be worth including in the results, you'll now see an ad label in bold at the top of a search results card. The web address will also be included, so you can quickly determine where the information you're seeing is coming from.The other important thing to note about the Google Search refresh on mobile is that this also lays the foundation for Google to add more action buttons and information previews to search results cards, with Google wanting you to be able to now do everything from buying movie tickets to playing podcasts right there from within the results. "Our goal with Search always has been to help people quickly and easily find the information that they're looking for," Leach says. "Over the years, the amount and format of information available on the web has changed drastically -- from the proliferation of images and video to the availability of 3D objects you can now view in AR." Which is why the company thought a "visual refresh" of Search on mobile would do a better job of helping people find the information they need and quickly determine where it came from.
Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/CSPANThe acting head of the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday was accused of overseeing the “intentional” deaths of five migrant children, in an aggressive line of questioning by a Democratic member of the House Committee on Homeland Security. Rep. Lauren Underwood, an Illinois Democrat serving her first term, called the deaths the logical result of “a policy choice being made on purpose by this administration,” an assertion that Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan disputed as “an appalling accusation.”McAleenan, who was first tapped to replace outgoing secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in April, previously served as commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, where he was an architect of the administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their families. That policy, Underwood said, as well as a spate of recent deaths of children in DHS custody, amounts to more than simple administrative negligence.“People keep dying, sir. People keep dying,” Underwood said at the conclusion of five minutes of aggressive questioning, disputing that overcrowding and lack of access to medical treatment at migrant detention facilities is the result of a lack of appropriations. “Congress has been more than willing to provide the resources and work with you to address the security and humanitarian concerns, but at this point, with five kids that have died, 5,000 separated from their families, I feel like—and the evidence is really clear—that this is intentional. It’s intentional.”DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Blames Migrant Girl’s Death in Border Patrol Custody on Her FamilyAs colleagues protested her characterization, Underwood continued, calling the deaths “a policy choice being made on purpose by this administration, and it’s cruel and inhumane.”McAleenan, who co-authored a memo to then-Secretary Nielsen asserting that Homeland Security could “direct the separation of parents or legal guardians and minors held in immigration detention so that the parent or legal guardian can be prosecuted,” protested Underwood’s remarks.“That’s an appalling accusation, and our men and women fight hard to protect people in our custody every single day,” said McAleenan, adding that Congress providing adequate resources “would have prevented this from happening.”Republican committee members—as well as one Democrat, Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan—voted to strike Underwood’s remarks from the congressional record.On Monday, a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy became the fifth minor to die in U.S. government custody since December after being kept in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility for more than a week. Federal law requires minors to be held in Border Patrol stations, which are not equipped to house children or the infirm, for no longer than 72 hours.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Columbine survivor Austin Eubanks became a nationally known speaker on the dangers of addiction. His family says he "lost his battle" this weekend.
Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee of rank-and-file Conservative MPs, confirmed he will meet with Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, adding that he will follow that with a meeting of his committee’s executive. Speaking to reporters in Parliament, Brady declined to comment on the question of changing party rules to allow an earlier leadership challenge against May.
Things are looking stormier for Michael Avenatti, who was charged Wednesday with embezzling funds from porn star Stormy Daniels, the very client who made him famous when he represented her in her legal battle with US President Donald Trump. In a 16-page indictment Manhattan federal prosecutors accused infamous lawyer Avenatti of falsifying documents in order to directly pay himself about $300,000, originally intended for Daniels as part of an advance payment from her editor for her memoir. Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was not explicitly named in the indictment, which only refers to "Victim No. 1," but multiple media outlets confirmed she was the client in question.
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.
A top NASA executive hired in April to guide strategy for returning astronauts to the moon by 2024 has resigned, the space agency said on Thursday, the culmination of internal strife and dwindling congressional support for the lunar initiative. Mark Sirangelo, named six weeks ago as special assistant to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, left the agency as NASA abandoned a reorganization plan due to a chilly reception on Capitol Hill, Bridenstine said in a statement. Two individuals close to the space program and familiar with the situation said Sirangelo was escorted out of NASA's headquarters in Washington on Wednesday after his resignation.
A powerful tornado swept across Missouri, killing several people as it knocked down power lines and trees, smashed windows and left streets strewn with debris, officials said on Thursday.
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.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Latest on increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran (all times local):