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.
The US will order more troops to the Middle East, Donald Trump has said, despite just a day earlier saying he thought further deployments in the region were unnecessary. "We want to have protection. The Middle East, we're going to be sending a relatively small number of troops," Mr Trump told reporters at the White House before boarding a plane for Japan.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
If you're an AT&T mobile customer, and you have some extra bitcoin lying around that you're not doing anything with, you can now use it to pay your phone bill. AT&T just became the first big US wireless carrier to announce that its customers can now use cryptocurrency to make payments, as greater acceptance of this digital medium of exchange can be seen at companies ranging from AT&T to cable provider Dish, which also lets its customers pay via cryptocurrency. Likewise, Facebook on Friday garnered headlines over a report that it's set to launch its own cryptocurrency for use on the social network early next year.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani rival Imran Khan sent messages highlighting the need for "peace" Thursday after Modi's hawkish party won a new term in power. While the nuclear-armed rivals launched cross-border air strikes at each other barely three months ago, some analysts say the return of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a new landslide could help peace prospects. Khan congratulated Modi on the win by the BJP, which has long taken a strong anti-Pakistan stance.
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.
Top politicians in Alabama have resulted to publicly calling for the Supreme Court to review Roe v Wade in the wake of the state passing the most severe restrictions against abortions in America. Del Marsh, one of the 25 all-male senators who voted for the abortion ban earlier this month, defended the legislation against criticism for not including exceptions for rape or incest by saying its sole purpose is to challenge the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling. “At the end of the day, the bill passed with the only exemption the health of the mother,” he said in an interview with Sky News. “What I voted for was a bill to get to the Supreme Court to challenge Roe v Wade.”“That’s what the instrument is,” he continued. “We understand that this is not the end game. The federal courts are going to have to make a determination. What we're trying to do is force, then reconsider. That's what this is all about."Alabama’s abortion ban arrived amid a national trend in which states are passing restrictive legislation surrounding women’s reproductive health. Kentucky, Ohio, Georgia and Mississippi have also approved similar laws in which abortions on banned when a fetal heartbeat is detected. Those restrictions can occur six weeks into a pregnancy, when most people are not yet aware they are with a child. Not all states have taken a conservative approach towards abortion access in recent months, however. Nevada’s state legislature passed a bill relaxing decades-old policies surrounding abortion that critics said deterred women from seeking access. Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey also called for the Supreme Court to reconsider its landmark ruling when signing the abortion ban. “Many Americans, myself included, disagreed when Roe v Wade was handed down in 1973,” she said in a statement at the time. “The sponsors of this bill believe that it is time, once again, for the US Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur.”The wave of bans have sparked major protests across the country, with many 2020 presidential hopefuls speaking out against the restrictive measures against women’s reproductive rights. “Our democracy only works when the people of this country stand up and demand it,” Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York senator running for the White House, said at a StopTheBans rally in Washington on Tuesday. “Do not allow this moment to pass without putting everything you have behind it … organise, advocate and vote.”
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.
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.
The Fed’s 2018 report on the economic well-being of households, published Thursday, indicated “most measures” of well-being and financial resilience “were similar to, or slightly better than, those in 2017.” The slight improvement coincided with a decline in the average unemployment rate to 3.9% last year, from 4.3% in 2017. The statistic, which was a bit better than in the 2017 report, has become a favorite rejoinder to U.S. President Donald Trump’s boasts about a strong economy among Democratic politicians, including 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris, the U.S. senator from California. “Relatively small, unexpected expenses, such as a car repair or replacing a broken appliance, can be a hardship for many families without adequate savings,” the report said.
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.
GlaxoSmithKline Plc said on Thursday its shingles vaccine had been approved for use in China in adults aged 50 and above. The company said the vaccine will be introduced in phases in China, starting in 2020, to ensure reliable supply to all countries, where it has been launched. Shingrix, which has already been approved for use in the European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan and Australia, brought in 357 million pounds ($452.03 million) in the latest quarter.
A student at Oregon State University died on Sunday after falling 100 feet from a scenic lookout on the Oregon coast, authorities said. Michelle Casey, 21, was taking pictures of the popular coastal viewpoint near the city of Manzanita when she lost her balance and slipped off the steep edge, KPTV reported. Her boyfriend told deputies that she landed in a tree, which stopped her from falling into the Pacific Ocean, the sheriff's office said in a statement on Monday.