Around the Globe

Around the Globe

Italian president puts nation on path to fresh elections

Italy’s president set the country on a path back to fresh elections on Monday, appointing a former International Monetary Fund official as interim prime minister with the task of planning for snap polls and to pass the next budget.

The decision to appoint Carlo Cottarelli to form a stopgap administration sets the stage for elections that are likely to be fought over Italy’s role in the European Union and the euro zone, a prospect that is rattling global financial markets.

Ireland ends abortion ban as “quiet revolution” transforms country

Ireland’s Prime Minister on Saturday hailed the culmination of “a quiet revolution” in what was once one of Europe’s most socially conservative countries after a landslide referendum vote to liberalise highly restrictive laws on abortion.

“The outcome of the referendum is an extremely worrying development for the protection of the unborn child in Northern Ireland,” said Jim Wells, a member of Northern Ireland’s socially conservative Democratic Unionist Party.

MIDDLE GROUND

Trump boosts pressure on Justice Department in Russia probe

President Donald Trump is increasing the pressure on the Justice Department, declining to say whether he has confidence in Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein after the White House negotiated rare access to classified documents for Trump’s congressional allies.

Asked before a private meeting Tuesday with the president of South Korea if he has confidence in Rosenstein, who is overseeing the special counsel's Russia investigation, he told reporters to move on to another question.

Trump facing challenges ahead of NKorea summit

Weeks before his planned North Korea summit, President Donald Trump is staring down a dealmaker's worst nightmare: overpromising and under-delivering.

As the Singapore meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un draws near, the president and his allies are growing increasingly anxious about how he can score a win on the world stage. While Trump has not suggested he wants to back out, he has struggled to define his objectives for the historic sit-down, and last week he drew fresh criticism from his foreign foil.

Venezuela's Maduro re-elected amid outcry over vote

Venezuela’s leftist leader Nicolas Maduro won a new six-year term on Sunday, but his main rivals disavowed the election alleging massive irregularities in a process critics decried as a farce propping up a dictatorship.

Victory for the 55-year-old former bus driver, who replaced Hugo Chavez after his death from cancer in 2013, may trigger a new round of western sanctions against the socialist government as it grapples with a ruinous economic crisis.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is threatening moves against Venezuela’s already reeling oil sector.

Talks with Putin will strengthen India’s special partnership with Russia, says Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday expressed hope that his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin would further strengthen the “special and privileged” strategic partnership between India and Russia.

In a series of tweets first in Russian and then in English on the eve of his visit to Russia, he said, “Am confident the talks with President Putin will further strengthen the Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia.”

Cleric Sadr wins Iraq poll but forming government far off

 Final results from Iraq's election confirmed today that an alliance spearheaded by populist cleric Moqtada Sadr has triumphed, but the fiery preacher faces a huge task to form a governing coalition.

Sadr's Marching Towards Reform bloc won 54 of the 329 seats in parliament in a major upset at a May 12 vote that saw a record level of abstentions as Iraqis turned their back on a widely reviled elite.

North Korea says won’t hold talks with ‘incompetent’ South unless differences settled

North Korea’s chief negotiator called the South Korean government “ignorant and incompetent” on Thursday, denounced US-South Korean air combat drills and threatened to halt all talks with the South unless its demands are met.

The comments by Ri Son Gwon, chairman of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the country, were the latest in a string of inflammatory statements marking a drastic change in tone after months of easing tension with plans for denuclearisation and a summit scheduled with the United States.

Merkel defends nuclear deal, Iran says won’t surrender to US

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed back on Wednesday against Washington’s rejection of the Iran nuclear deal, saying the accord helped outside powers worried about Tehran’s regional role to pursue their concerns with the Islamic Republic.

Iran reiterated it would not surrender to US pressure and would resist US “plots”, following President Donald Trump’s abandonment of the 2015 agreement last week.

Trump says first lady to leave hospital in '2 or 3 days'

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that his wife, Melania, will come home from the hospital in a few days, after receiving medical treatment this week for a kidney condition the White House said is noncancerous.

“Our great First Lady is doing really well. Will be leaving hospital in 2 or 3 days. Thank you for so much love and support!" Trump tweeted.

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