Around the Globe

Around the Globe

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.

Israeli forces kill 28 in Gaza protests as anger mounts over US Embassy

Israeli forces killed at least 28 Palestinians along the Gaza border on Monday, health officials said, as demonstrators streamed to the frontier on the day the United States prepared to open its embassy in Jerusalem.

It was the highest Palestinian single-day death toll since a series of protests dubbed the “Great March of Return” began at the border with Israel on March 30 and since a 2014 Gaza war.

The health officials said 900 Palestinians were wounded, about 450 of them by live bullets.

'Trust me on Brexit', UK PM May says as ministers squabble


British Prime Minister Theresa May said she could be trusted to deliver Brexit, but that it could not be done without compromises on all sides—a possible warning to cabinet ministers who are deeply split over future customs arrangements.

Trump move to benefit Riyadh most

Saudi Arabia seems to be the biggest beneficiary after US President Trump decided to walk away from Iranian nuclear deal and to re-impose sanctions on Iran. The quick embrace of Trump's announcement reflects a sense of vindication by Saudi Arabia and UAE, which have pushed President Trump to take seriously Tehran's ballistic missile programme and support for militant groups.

Iran targets Israeli bases across Syrian frontier

Iranian forces in Syria launched a rocket attack on Israeli army bases in the Golan Heights early on Thursday, Israel said, prompting one of the heaviest Israeli barrages against Syria since the conflict there began in 2011.

The attack on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, just past midnight, marked the first time Iranian forces have hit Israel from Syria, where they have deployed along with Iran-backed Shi’ite militias and Russian troops to support President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s civil war.

Offshoring budgets of US companies down to 5%

Tech offshoring budgets of buyer enterprises in the US have reduced from 20 per cent in 2014 to 12 per cent in 2016 and 5 per cent in 2018, says a recent study by Seattle-based HfS Research.

This would mean the annual growth of Indian information technology (IT) sector will be in the 4 per cent range in the next four years, predicts HfS, a global analyst firm that tracks change agent technologies and services.

Europeans scramble to salvage Iran deal after Trump reneges

Dismayed European allies sought to salvage the international nuclear pact with Iran on Wednesday after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the landmark accord, while officials in Tehran poured scorn on the US leader.

“The deal is not dead. There’s an American withdrawal from the deal but the deal is still there,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

French President Emmanuel Macron would speak later in the day to his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, Le Drian said. Iran also signalled its willingness to talk.