Lopez Obrador takes lead
Presidential contender Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has stretched his lead over rivals ahead of a July 1 election, a new voter survey by polling firm Mitofsky showed late on Thursday. Lopez Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor, garnered 29.5 percent support in the poll conducted from Friday to Sunday last week, up from 27.1 percent in a previous Mitofsky survey last month. Running second was former National Action Party chairman Ricardo Anaya, who heads a right-left alliance, although his support slipped 1.1 percentage points to 21.2 percent. In third place was Jose Antonio Meade of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, who slipped by 1.6 percentage points to 16.4 percent, the poll showed.
Weapon named after bird
The winners of an online contest to name three of the county’s recently announced advanced weapons honor a renowned medieval warrior, a seabird and the mythical Greek god of the sea. The weapons are among an array of fearsome new armaments announced by President Vladimir Putin on March 1. He invited people to take part in a Ministry of Defence contest to name them. The ministry on Thursday said that “Poseidon” received the most votes for the name of an underwater nuclear drone. A nuclear-powered cruise missile is to be called “Burevestnik,” which is Russian for petrel. A high-powered laser weapon system was named “Peresvet,” after a Russian warrior monk who died in the 1380 Battle of Kulikovo. Some of the names suggested in the contest showed distinctly mordant humor, including “Sanction” and “Thaw.”
Wedding invitations sent
Kensington Palace on Thursday said that invitations for the wedding between Prince Harry and his fiancee, Meghan Markle, have been dispatched. About 600 people have been invited to the May 19 nuptials at noon at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. All 600 have also been invited to a lunchtime reception given by Queen Elizabeth II at St George’s Hall. Harry and Markle are also to celebrate with about 200 guests at a private evening reception given by Prince Charles at Frogmore House, a royal mansion near Windsor Castle. The palace declined to comment on who is on the list. The invitations, which are beveled and gilded along the edges, feature Charles’ three-feather badge embossed in gold. They feature italic writing on thick white card and are issued under the name of Charles, father of the groom. The invitations revealed the dress code for wedding guests: Uniform, morning coat or lounge suit for men, or day dress with a hat for ladies. The stationery was made by Barnard & Westwood, which has held the Royal Warrant for printing and bookbinding since 1985.
Tillerson laments Washington
Fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is lamenting the “mean-spirited” nature of Washington, as he bids good-bye to the US diplomatic corps. In a brief final farewell address to Department of State employees on Thursday, Tillerson urged them to protect their personal integrity and to strive to respect one another. “This can be a very mean-spirited town,” he said to laughter from a crowd of several hundred people gathered in the main lobby of the building. “But you don’t have to choose to participate in that.” Tillerson had been the subject of months of negative reports and speculation before President Donald Trump abruptly fired him last week.
THREAT OF SANCTIONS: China is not a democracy, but its government can still be pressured, especially by business and financial interests, US Senator Pat Toomey said US senators on Tuesday vowed to move quickly on a bill that threatens sanctions on Chinese officials seen as undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and voiced hope the measures would dissuade Beijing. The proposal, which would punish individuals who curb Hong Kong’s freedoms, came after Beijing last week put forward a controversial bill that would ban “treason” and other perceived offenses in the territory, which was rocked last year by major pro-democracy protests. US Senator Pat Toomey, a Republican coleading the bill with a Democrat, said that while China is not a democracy, its leadership is “certainly subject to political pressure.” “When business interests
DANGER ZONE? Trump threatened to move the Republican National Convention if mass gatherings are not allowed in North Carolina, where new cases hit a daily high US President Donald Trump on Monday honored the US’ war dead in back-to-back Memorial Day appearances colored by an epic struggle off the battlefield, against the novel coronavirus. Eager to demonstrate national revival from the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump doubled up on his public schedule while threatening to pull the US Republican National Convention out of Charlotte in August unless North Carolina’s Democratic governor gives a quick green light to the party’s plans to assemble en masse. The US death toll from the pandemic approached 100,000. North Carolina two days earlier reported its largest daily increase yet in COVID-19 cases. Trump first honored the
COSTA RICA Same-sex unions legalized The nation became the latest to legalize same-sex marriage early yesterday when a ruling from the Supreme Court went into effect, ending its ban. Couples scheduled ceremonies — mostly private due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but some that would be broadcast — to celebrate their unions before judges and notaries after the ban was lifted at midnight. In August 2018, the court said that the nation’s ban was unconstitutional and gave the Legislative Assembly 18 months to correct it or it would happen automatically. The legislature did not act, so at midnight the law banning same-sex marriage
‘THE RIGHT CALL’: Being black in the US should not be a death sentence, the mayor of Minneapolis said, adding that George Floyd’s death was not justified and race was a factor Four Minneapolis police officers were fired on Tuesday over the death of an unarmed black man seen in a video lying face down in the street, gasping for air and groaning: “I can’t breathe,” while a white officer knelt on his neck for several minutes. Hours after the officers’ dismissals were announced, thousands of protesters filled the streets near the scene of Monday evening’s deadly incident in a boisterous, but peaceful rally. Many in the crowd wore facial coverings to protect against spread of COVID-19. However, the gathering took an unruly turn around dusk as police in riot gear fired tear gas