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Narendra Modi wins landslide victory in Indian electionNarendra 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.”


5/23/2019 7:19:43 AM

Trump antagonist Avenatti indicted for ripping off Stormy Daniels, extorting NikeThe Nike indictment concerns charges announced in March that Avenatti tried to extort more than $20 million from the athletic wear company by threatening to expose what he called its improper payments to recruits for college basketball teams it sponsored. Avenatti also faces dozens of charges in southern California, where prosecutors on April 11 accused him of stealing millions of dollars from clients to pay for personal and business expenses, and lying to the Internal Revenue Service and a Mississippi bank about his finances. If convicted on all charges, Avenatti could face more than 400 years in prison, but would likely face a lesser punishment.


5/22/2019 8:03:45 PM

Trump moves to escalate investigation of intel agenciesWASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Thursday granted Attorney General William Barr new powers to review and potentially release classified information related to the origins of the Russia investigation, a move aimed at accelerating Barr's inquiry into whether U.S. officials improperly surveilled Trump's 2016 campaign.


5/23/2019 9:05:53 PM

The F-21 Could Be One Tough Fighter (With F-35 DNA). Here's the Problem.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.


5/23/2019 2:04:00 AM

The Real Green New Deal Doesn’t Belong to AOCClimate change has long been a disaster in the making, but until recently the American public tended to treat it as an afterthought. The Green New Deal brought climate change front and center, and made Americans think about big bold solutions instead of technical tweaks and half measures. The think tank Data for Progress has a plan that actually predates Ocasio-Cortez’s, but which goes into much greater detail about how to combat climate change both at home and abroad.


5/23/2019 8:30:13 AM

ACLU, Planned Parenthood Sue Alabama over Abortion BillPlanned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit on Friday seeking to halt the implementation of a new Alabama law -- perhaps the most restrictive of its kind in the nation -- that bans abortions except in cases where the life of the mother is threatened.The Alabama ban conflicts with Roe v. Wade, the seminal 1973 Supreme Court case that affirmed the constitutional right of women to procure abortions, the lawsuit said, and is hence unenforceable. The plaintiffs write that the law will cause "immediate and irreparable harm" to women seeking an abortion by "forcing them to continue their pregnancies to term against their will."“The Alabama legislature has been pushing abortion care further and further out of reach for years with medically unnecessary and politically-motivated restrictions, and this extreme abortion ban shows us just how far they’ll go to push their anti-abortion agenda,” read a statement from senior ACLU staff attorney Alexa Kolbi-Molinas."Along with our partners at ACLU Alabama, we just filed a lawsuit, challenging Alabama's outright abortion ban. We meant it when we said we'd see you in court, Governor Kay Ivey," Planned Parenthood wrote on Twitter.Ivey, Alabama's Republican governor, signed the Human Life Protection Act earlier this month amid extensive media coverage and a firestorm of protests from abortion advocates. The law bans all abortions, with an exception only for those cases where "abortion is necessary in order to prevent a serious health risk" to the mother. It makes doctors who perform an abortion subject to up to 99 years in prison, but does not include punishments for women who undergo the procedure.Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Ohio have also passed strict abortion bans, some of which are currently tied up in the courts. The measures are intended to spark legal challenges that would ultimately leave the issue in the hands of the new, conservative Supreme Court majority.


5/24/2019 11:06:49 AM

EXCLUSIVE-JPMorgan cuts ties with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma -sourcesJPMorgan 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.


5/23/2019 12:08:33 PM

Amazon is blowing out renewed MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models, today onlyWe wouldn't exactly call the Touch Bar a revolutionary addition to Apple's MacBook Pro line. That said, it actually is pretty awesome to have an OLED strip above your keyboard that constantly morphs to give you access to all the functions you need. 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. There's obviously limited inventory of each model though, so you'll need to hurry up if you don't want to miss out.Here are the key details from the product page: * 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 product is backed by a 1-Year Woot Warranty, and may arrive in a generic brown or white box. * 13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2560-by-1600 resolution at 227 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors * Quad-Core Intel Core i5-8259U 2.3GHz processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache * 256GB PCI-E based flash memory storage; 8GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory * Integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 processor that shares memory with the system for an amazing experience * Built-in FaceTime HD camera for video chatting; Built-in stereo speakers along with omnidirectional microphone, headphone port * 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless networking; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible; Bluetooth 5.0 technology for connecting with peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and cell phones. * Force Touch trackpad for precise cursor control and pressure-sensing capabilities; enables Force clicks, accelerators, pressure-sensitive drawing, and Multi-Touch gestures


5/23/2019 8:51:44 AM

Ukraine's Zelensky says first days of presidency 'a shock'Ukraine's new President Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian with no previous political experience, on Thursday said his first days in office have been "a bit of a shock". "There's a lot of work," the 41-year-old told AFP on the sidelines of an international book fair in the capital Kiev. "I do not like the atmosphere, the building," said Ukraine's sixth president since independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union.


5/23/2019 11:21:43 AM