Merkel pushes Brexit talks
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday urged Britain to quickly launch Brexit talks with the EU after Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a harsh election setback. “We are ready for the negotiations. We want to do it quickly, respecting the calendar,” Merkel said during a visit to Mexico. “We were waiting for the election in Britain, but in the next few days, these talks will begin. We will defend the interests of the 27 member states, and Britain will defend its own interests,” she told a news conference. “At the same time, we say that we want to remain a good partner to Britain. Britain is part of Europe, even if it will no longer be part of the European Union.”
Senator uses salty slogans
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on Friday used salty language to express her frustration with Washington politics. “If we are not helping people, we should go the fuck home,” the Democrat declared in a speech to activists. “And that should be our North Star. That should be our framing principle of what we are doing in public service.” It is rare for members of Congress to swear in public, but it is not the first time for Gillibrand. The 50-year-old New Yorker cursed several times in her 2014 book and used the f-word in a recent magazine interview. She faces re-election for her Senate seat next year and is also among several Democrats who could run for president in 2020. Gillibrand’s fiery language prompted cheers and applause from those gathered for the Personal Democracy Forum, a New York City conference of political activists and technology enthusiasts. She also lashed out at President Donald Trump for failing to follow through on promises to improve healthcare and the tax system for working families. “Has he kept any of his promises?” she asked. “No. Fuck no.”
Opposition files new cases
Opposition lawmakers on Friday filed fresh court cases against planned crisis reforms, raising pressure on the government in a deadly political struggle after a similar challenge by a senior official. The opposition filed a case with prosecutors alleging that the government, judges and electoral officials were conspiring “to violently change the constitution,” lawmaker Tomas Guanipa said. The move came after Attorney General Luisa Ortega on Thursday mounted a separate challenge in the Supreme Court against President Nicolas Maduro’s efforts to rewrite the constitution. Various opponents of Maduro also went to the court on Friday to try to add their names to the list of plaintiffs in that lawsuit, but found the tribunal closed and blocked by riot police vans.
Seven arrested for attacks
State television is reporting that authorities have arrested seven suspects for supporting the Islamic State-claimed dual attacks that killed 17 people in Tehran. The state TV’s Web site iribnews.com quotes Alborz Province Chief Justice Ahmad Fazelian as saying: “These agents who were supporters of the two terrorist groups and had full coordination with them were arrested and they were delivered to Tehran’s judicial and security authorities.” The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for dual attacks on Wednesday on Iran’s parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Iranian authorities on Thursday said the assailants were Iranian nationals and they have arrested six suspects, including one woman, since the attacks. More than 40 people were wounded in the attack.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete