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India's battered Congress party closes ranks after election setbackGandhi, 48 and the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, had been under intense pressure since results released on May 23 showed Congress won only 52 of the 542 seats up for grabs in the country's general election. While that marked a marginal improvement on the party's showing in the 2014 general election, it did not stop Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from winning a landslide mandate with 303 seats. A second successive drubbing from Modi prompted calls for Gandhi to quit.


5/25/2019 6:44:34 AM

Police hunt suspect after explosion in French city of LyonLYON, France (AP) — French police on Saturday hunted a suspect believed to have deposited a paper bag containing a device that exploded Friday, wounding 13 people on a busy pedestrian street in the city of Lyon.


5/25/2019 9:06:44 AM

Trump: So What if North Korea Fired Off Weapons? Kim Jong Un Dissed Joe Biden for MeJonathan Ernst/ReutersPresident Trump says he isn’t bothered by North Korea’s recent weapons testing, unlike some of his own “people,” because Kim Jong Un has already shown his loyalty by making a crack at Joe Biden.  “North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me,” Trump tweeted Sunday while visiting Japan. “I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Bidan [sic] a low IQ individual, & worse,” the president wrote. “Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?”The president later tweeted out the exact same comments again but corrected the spelling of Biden's surname. Bizarrely, Trump made the comments not only just hours after his own national security adviser condemned North Korea for testing ballistic missiles, but also right before his scheduled meeting in Japan with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who also spoke out about the missile testing. The country's test of ballistic missiles earlier this month was seen as an aggressive escalation that violates United Nations Security Council resolutions, according to Trump's national security adviser John Bolton. “In terms of violating Security Council resolutions, there’s no doubt about that,” Bolton told reporters on Saturday morning. Bolton also said Trump is working to maintain sanctions pressure on the North Korean regime until it backs down. A day earlier, Pyongyang suggested it had no intention of cooperating with Washington until the Trump administration agrees to make compromises instead of insisting on what it described as unilateral disarmament. An unnamed North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman made the comments to state media, saying nuclear negotiations between the two countries will not resume until the U.S. changes its terms. The president's tweet, on the other hand, suggests he is placing his bets on Kim being loyal to his earlier denuclearization pledge because of the North Korean leader's diss of the former vice president. The country’s official Korean Central News Agency echoed Trump in an editorial earlier this week that labeled 2020 contender Biden a “fool of low IQ” and an “imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being.” Trump, who now says he took that as a “signal” that Kim would keep his promises, apparently forgot his own history as the subject of mockery by the North Korean regime. Several months after he took office in 2017, the North Korean Foreign Ministry dismissed Trump as an “old lunatic.” Trump’s tweet has baffled many in Washington, including members of Joe Biden’s team. Brandon English, a senior digital adviser for the presidential candidate, retweeted Trump and wrote, “... I honestly have no idea what to do with this.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get 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.


5/25/2019 5:51:53 PM

Violence and disruption against abortion clinics at highest rates since 1999Violence and disruption against abortion clinics in the US increased to its highest levels since the 1990s last year, a report by the National Abortion Federation has found.The increase in violence was attributed, at least in part, to president Donald Trump and his administration’s rhetoric.The report noted a significant increase in obstruction, vandalism, and trespassing, with 1,135 incidents of trespassing recorded in 2018 - the most since the NAF began tracking the crime in 1999.There were also 3,038 instances of obstruction, a 78 per cent increase compared to the previous year, and nearly 100,000 instances of picketing.“Anti-choice individuals and groups have been emboldened by the rhetoric of president Trump, vice president Pence, and other elected officials and we are seeing this play out in more instances of activities meant to intimidate abortion providers and disrupt patient services,” said Dr Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, who serves as interim president and CEO of NAF.She added: “Demonising health care providers and women who rely on them for abortion care has become one of the go-to tactics for anti-choice politicians. Those lies have consequences and it is not the anti-choice politicians who are facing those consequences; it is those who are denied abortion care and the providers targeted by threats, harassment, and violence who are. It is time for the demonizing of abortion providers and their patients to end.“Given the political climate and the increase in hate incidents throughout the country, it is more important than ever that law enforcement and prosecutors appropriately respond to anti-abortion criminal activity.”The study did note a decrease in stalking, burglary, assault, and battery against abortion providers.It comes during a fresh wave of anti-abortion legislation such as the Alabama abortion ban, which is currently being contested in a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood, and “heartbeat bills” which ban elective abortion after a foetal heartbeat is detectable.As a foetal heartbeat is first detectable at six weeks - a point where many pregnant people may not even know they are pregnant - these initiatives are seen as a back-door abortion ban and are also being contested in court. Politicians in support of banning abortion hope these cases will rise to the Supreme Court of the United States and lead to an overturning of Roe V Wade, which set the precedent for elective abortion until the end of the second trimester in the US.


5/25/2019 10:16:00 AM

British climber who died in Everest 'death zone' had feared overcrowding on summit's slopesA British climber, who became the latest person to die on Mount Everest this season, admitted before setting off that he feared the dangers of overcrowding in the "death zone". Robin Haynes Fisher, 44, died on his descent after reaching the 8,850-metre (29,035 feet) summit of the world's highest mountain. He passed away in the "death zone", the area named for the low levels of oxygen on descent from the summit. Mr Fisher, who lived in Birmingham, is one of at least eight climbers to die on the treacherous slopes in the current climbing season that ends this month. Hiking officials attributed most of the deaths to weakness, exhaustion and delays on the crowded route to the summit. In his last social media post on Tuesday, Mr Fisher wrote how he had changed his climbing plans in order to avoid the crowds. View this post on Instagram Climbed up to camp 3, 7500m but the jet stream had returned closing the summit after only 2 days so I descended to basecamp. Around 100 climbers did summit in those 2 days with sadly 2 deaths, an Indian man found dead in his tent at camp 4 and an Irish climber lost, assumed fallen, on his descent. A go fund me page has been set up for a rescue bid for the Irish climber but it is a well meaning but futile gesture. Condolences to both their friends and families. Both deaths happened above 8000m in the so called death zone where the majority of deaths of foreign climbers happen. Around 700 more people will be looking to summit from Tuesday the 21st onwards. My revised plan, subject to weather that at the moment looks promising, is to return up the mountain leaving basecamp Tuesday the 21st 0230 and, all being well and a lot of luck, arriving on the summit the morning of Saturday the 25th. I will be climbing with my Sherpa, Jangbu who is third on the all time list with an incredible 19 summits. The other 4 members of our team decided to remain on the mountain and are looking to summit on the 21st. My cough had started to return at altitude so I couldn’t wait with them at altitude for the window to open without the risk of physically deteriorating too much. Furthermore as I had missed due to sickness the earlier camp 3 rotation best practice was for me to descend to allow my body to recover from the new altitude high so I could come back stronger. This was not an easy decision as the 13 hours climbing from basecamp to camp 2 in a day was the hardest physical and mental challenge I had ever done, now I have it all to do again. Finally I am hopeful to avoid the crowds on summit day and it seems like a number of teams are pushing to summit on the 21st. With a single route to the summit delays caused by overcrowding could prove fatal so I am hopeful my decision to go for the 25th will mean fewer people. Unless of course everyone else plays the same waiting game. everest everest2019 lhotseface A post shared by Robin (@1c0n0clast22) on May 19, 2019 at 1:15am PDT "With a single route to the summit delays caused by overcrowding could prove fatal so I am hopeful my decision to go for the 25th will mean fewer people. Unless of course everyone else plays the same waiting game," he added.  He also described how the altitude had already taken its toll on his health.  "My cough had started to return at altitude so I couldn’t wait with them at altitude for the window to open without the risk of physically deteriorating too much. "Furthermore as I had missed due to sickness the earlier camp 3 rotation best practice was for me to descend to allow my body to recover from the new altitude high so I could come back stronger.  Robin Haynes Fisher on his way to climb Mount Everest Credit: PA "This was not an easy decision as the 13 hours climbing from basecamp to camp 2 in a day was the hardest physical and mental challenge I had ever done, now I have it all to do again." Mr Fisher has been described by his family as an “aspirational adventurer”. Mr Fisher’s family said: “He achieved so much in his short life, climbing Mont Blanc, Aconcagua and Everest. "He was a 'tough guy', triathlete, and marathoner. A champion for vegetarianism, published author, and a cultured theatre-goer, lover of Shakespeare.” Now Nepal is facing scrutiny for issuing a record 381 permits — at £8,600 each — for this year’s spring season. View this post on Instagram Completed oxygen training which we will use in the so called death zone, above 8000m. I have 8 bottles, each weighing 4kg when full that the Sherpas have thankfully already shipped up the mountain to our advanced camps. Tomorrow we head up the mountain, leaving at 3am. We are going to bypass camp 1 and go all the way to camp 2. I can expect a 13 or 14 hour day of climbing. From camp 2 the plan is to go up to c3 for an acclimatisation climb and then return to c2. Depending on how the summit window looks, what the other teams are doing and how I feel I may then descend to basecamp to complete acclimatisation and return up the mountain later or may go for my summit push. A summit push will mean a return to c3, spending the night, proceeding to c4 and either spending the night or pushing for the summit that evening. It depends on how we feel, the weather and what the other 380 climbers are doing. As most expeditions average 1 to 1.5 Sherpas per climber we need to pick a day when there are not a few hundred other people heading for the summit. Due to their being one set of ropes their are a number of bottlenecks at tricky points. Standing around in a queue of a hundred people when with the windchill can be -40C is a recipe for frostbite or worse. When I was waiting to see the doctor in base camp yesterday to get the all clear to go up the patient before me had just come down the mountain. He had, at altitude, taken his summit mitts off to change the batteries in his headtorch. These 2.5 minutes had caused him stage 3 frostbite in his fingers and the prognosis was that he may lose the tips of his fingers. A timely reminder to keep my gloves on at all times. everest everest2019 A post shared by Robin (@1c0n0clast22) on May 14, 2019 at 12:34am PDT This week, a climber shared a photograph of the lengthy tailbacks on the mountain. Hundreds found themselves stuck for hours in the notoriously dangerous death zone, having used the window of good weather to push for the 8,848m (29,030ft) summit. Murari Sharma, of the Everest Parivar Treks company that arranged Mr Fisher’s logistics, told Reuters: “He died because of weakness after a long ascent and difficult descent. “He was descending with his sherpa guides from the summit when he suddenly fainted.” Fellow guides changed Mr Fisher’s oxygen bottle and offered him water, but could not save him. This handout photo taken on May 22, 2019 and released by climber Nirmal Purja's Project Possible expedition shows heavy traffic of mountain climbers lining up to stand at the summit of Mount Everest Credit:  AFP At least four other deaths have been linked to the human traffic jam. A Nepali guide is also believed to have died. Irish climber Kevin Hynes, 56, died in his tent at 7,000 metres on the early hours of Friday morning, after turning back before reaching the summit. With each climber normally accompanied by at least one Sherpa, the mountain could see more than 750 people trekking to the summit this season. Garrett Madison of the U.S. based Madison Mountaineering company that sponsors climbers to Mount Everest said many were not well qualified or prepared climbers and lacked  the support necessary to ascend and descend safely. Mr Madison told Reuters: “If they were with a strong and experienced team they would have likely been fine, but with minimal support, once something goes wrong it’s tough to get back on course.”


5/25/2019 7:33:53 PM

Battered EU centre holds off populist surge in voteEurope's mainstream political parties took a hit in elections on Sunday but held off a strong surge by the populist right of Marine Le Pen, Matteo Salvini and Nigel Farage. In one of the world's biggest democratic votes, the main centre-right and centre-left groups lost their combined majority in the European Parliament in the face of a challenge by eurosceptic and nationalist forces. The symbolic clash of the campaign saw French far right leader Le Pen's National Rally on course to come in just ahead of President Emmanuel Macron's centrist movement, damaging his drive for deeper European integration.


5/26/2019 6:24:03 PM

Amanda Eller, Missing Maui Yoga Instructor, Ate Berries and Drank From Waterfalls to SurvivePhoto Illustration by The Daily Beast/Maui Police Department/FacebookAmanda Eller, the 35-year-old yoga instructor and physical therapist who went missing on a hike in a Maui forest on May 8, ate plants and berries and drank from the base of waterfalls to survive, her rescuers say. Hours after rescuers in a helicopter plucked Eller from a ravine, she said that she had to make the choice to stay alive while lost for 16 days in the forest.“There were times of total fear and loss and wanting to give up, and it did come down to life and death, and I had to choose,” Eller said from her hospital bed on Saturday. “I chose life.”Eller also thanked the volunteers who tirelessly searched for her, the Maui community, and those who donated to help fund the search. “People that know me, that don't know me, just under the idea of helping one person make it out of the woods alive just warms my heart," she said in a video posted on the Facebook page “Find Amanda.”Chris Berquist, a friend who was fired from a part-time job for not returning to work until he found Eller, told Maui Now that she was “alive and well” and, despite cuts to her legs and severe sun exposure, was “walking and healthy.”“We found her in a stream bed, she was waving up at us while we were in the helicopter, and we got her out nice and safe,” Berquist told ABC News Radio. “She was not injured. She has a little bit of exposure from the sun, a little bit of sunburn. She lost her shoes a few days in. But no injuries."She was last seen buying a Mother’s Day present on the surveillance video of a local shop on May 8. Eller’s family reported her missing when she did not answer calls after going hiking. Her white SUV was found in the Makawao Forest Reserve parking lot with her cellphone and wallet inside, prompting fears that she might have been abducted. Her friends and family offered a $50,000 reward for anyone who could provide information about her disappearance. More than 60 volunteers worked tirelessly to comb the area where she was thought to have hiked, but her family now said she slipped into a deep ravine between two waterfalls, slightly twisting her leg, and could not climb out. Rescuers had to be air-lifted in and out of the ravine to carry out the rescue.Eller’s father John told a local news channel that he had been “bawling like a baby” since hearing the news. He said that she was “mentally 100%” but that she had skin damage to her feet and legs from sun exposure. Another friend involved in her rescue, Javier Cantellops, a former Special Operations Airborne Ranger with the 3rd Ranger Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment, told a local news station what it was like when they spotted her: “We all look to our right… and out of the woodwork, man, you see Amanda Eller, my friend, coming out, waving her hands,” he said. “It was unbelievable, dude.” Eller’s mother Julia said she had never given up hope on finding her daughter alive. “I felt in my heart she was alive,” she told KHON2. “I never gave up hope for a minute. Even though at times I would have those moments of despair, I stayed strong for her because I knew we would find her if we just stayed with the program, stayed persistent and that we would eventually find her.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get 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.


5/25/2019 9:24:16 AM

Eating Way Too Much Rice Almost Doomed Japan's Imperial NavyAfter the war, the Emergency Beriberi Investigative Committee investigated the disease’s devastation of Japanese ranks. Worried about the composition of the committee and fully aware of Takaki’s success, the emperor stepped in. “The army’s beriberi problem can be effectively prevented if the army provides a staple of barley and rice,” the emperor stated.In August 1882 in Incheon Bay near Seoul, four Japanese warships were locked in a tense stand-off with two Chinese warships that had brought troops to quell a revolt on the Korean peninsula.On paper, the Japanese flotilla outnumbered the Chinese, but the hulls of the Japanese ships hid a deadly secret. Less than half of their crews could man their stations.The Korean peninsula erupted into conflict on July 23. A soldiers’ protest against ill treatment, unpaid wages and poor provisions turned into widespread mutiny. Ousted from power, the former regent of the king set the mutineers upon the government—and against the Japanese advisers working to modernize the Korean army.


5/25/2019 10:30:00 PM

'Don't be too optimistic': Huawei employees fret at US banWhile Huawei's founder brushes aside a US ban against his company, the telecom giant's employees have been less sanguine, confessing fears for their future in online chat rooms. Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei declared this week the company has a hoard of microchips and the ability to make its own in order to withstand a potentially crippling US ban on using American components and software in its products. "If you really want to know what's going on with us, you can visit our Xinsheng Community," Ren told Chinese media, alluding to Huawei's internal forum partially open to viewers outside the company.


5/25/2019 8:46:44 PM

'No Food, No Drink, No Watermelon' Boston Schoolteacher Claims Her Students Were Racially Profiled at MuseumA Boston schoolteacher alleges that her 7th grade students were racially profiled during a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts.


5/25/2019 1:32:50 PM

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