World News May 24
TRUMP, PELOSI TRADE BARBS AS IMPEACHMENT TALK STIRS ANGER
WASHINGTON, United States – Democratic congressional leader Nancy Pelosi on
Thursday said Donald Trump is angry that her party is not rushing to impeach
him, as the relationship reached new lows with the rivals trading crude
It was the second straight day of a very public war of words between Trump
and the speaker of the House of Representatives, who earlier questioned the
president’s mental fitness for office and expressed hope that those close to
Trump would stage an intervention “for the good of the country.”
Trump responded by branding Pelosi “crazy Nancy,” in what appeared to be the
first time he ascribed a pejorative nickname to the woman who is his
The back-and-forth attacks are highlighting the bitter feud that has swelled
since the release last month of the special counsel’s report on Russian
interference in the 2016 US election.
According to Pelosi, Trump’s strategy is to get his opponents to commit
themselves to impeachment — a process that would almost certainly pass in
the House, and then fail in the Republican-controlled Senate, ultimately
energizing Trump’s core voters during his re-election bid.
“The White House is just crying out for impeachment,” she told journalists.
Trump is “disappointed” that the Democrats are holding off for now, Pelosi
said, even as they intensify congressional investigations into the
president’s links to Russia and his alleged obstruction of justice — probes
that Trump is trying to block.
“It may take us to a place that is unavoidable in terms of impeachment or
not, but we’re not at that place,” she said.
Pelosi, who repeated her charge that Trump was engaged in a “cover-up,”
goaded the president, declaring that she was praying for him and that she
wished “his family or his staff or his administration would have an
intervention for the good of the country.”
Trump responded with demeaning accusations, branding her “crazy Nancy” and
questioning her mental fitness.
“She’s not the same person,” he told reporters at the White House during a
prolonged rant. “She’s lost it.”
TRUMP SAYS HUAWEI COULD BE PART OF TRADE DEAL
US President Donald Trump has said Huawei could be part of a trade deal
between the US and China, despite branding the telecoms firm “very
The US-China trade war has escalated in recent weeks with tariff hikes and
threats of more action.
Washington has also targeted Huawei by putting the firm on a trade
The US argues Huawei poses a national security risk, while Beijing accuses
the US of “bullying” the company.
“Huawei is something that is very dangerous,” Mr Trump told reporters at the
White House on Thursday.
“You look at what they’ve done from a security standpoint, a military
standpoint. Very dangerous.”
Mr Trump has said it is “possible” that the company could be part of any
trade agreement with Beijing.
“If we made a deal, I could imagine Huawei being possibly included in some
form or some part of it,” he said.
JULIAN ASSANGE, WIKILEAKS CO-FOUNDER, FACES 17 NEW CHARGES IN US
The US justice department has filed 17 new charges against Wikileaks
co-founder Julian Assange, who is facing extradition from the UK.
The latest charges accuse him of receiving and unlawfully publishing the
names of classified sources.
He was previously charged last month with one count of conspiring with
ex-intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to gain access to the Pentagon
Assange is serving a jail sentence in the UK for jumping bail.
It was while he was on bail facing sexual assault allegations in Sweden that
he sought asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012. He has always
denied the accusations.
The 47-year-old was arrested on 11 April after Ecuador abruptly withdrew his
asylum, and later jailed for 50 weeks for skipping bail.
MINISTERS EXPECT THERESA MAY TO REVEAL NO 10 DEPARTURE DATE ON FRIDAY
Theresa May is expected to announce the date of her departure from Downing
Street on Friday morning, senior cabinet ministers have told the BBC.
Sources say they expect the PM to give a timetable for her successor to be
chosen, with 10 June likely to be the start of the official leadership race.
Mrs May is due to meet the chairman of Tory backbenchers on Friday.
She has been under pressure to resign, after a backlash by her own MPs
against her latest Brexit plan.
Since January, Parliament has rejected the withdrawal agreement Mrs May
negotiated with the EU three times – and recent attempts to find a formal
compromise with Labour also failed.
Mrs May had planned to publish the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on Friday – the
legislation required to bring the agreement into UK law – describing it as
“one last chance” to deliver Brexit.
However, her proposals – including a customs union arrangement and an offer
to give MPs a vote on holding another referendum – angered many Tories.
Labour said it was a “rehash” and they would not support the plans.
PAKISTAN HOPES TO WORK WITH MODI FOR PEACE
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday joined a host of world
leaders in congratulating Narendra Modi for his Bharatiya Janata Party’s
“I congratulate Prime Minister Modi on the electoral victory of BJP and
allies. Look forward to working with him for peace, progress and prosperity
in South Asia,” Mr. Khan tweeted.
The Pakistan Prime Minister had in April told a group of foreign journalists
that “if the BJP wins, some kind of settlement in Kashmir could be reached.”
Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood said Mr. Khan’s Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government firmly believes that the real wars that
India and Pakistan need to fight are against poverty and illiteracy. “I hope
that after this victory, Mr. Modi will play a positive role towards peace
between our two countries. For peace to happen the sufferings of the
Kashmiri people have to end,” he said.
UK HAS WARNED 16 NATO ALLIES OF RUSSIA HACKING ATTEMPTS: FOREIGN MINISTER
Britain has shared with 16 NATO allies details of malicious Russian cyber
activity in their countries over the last 18 months, foreign minister Jeremy
Hunt was to say on Thursday.
He will accuse Russia’s intelligence services of mounting a “global
campaign” targeting critical infrastructure, during a speech at the NATO
Cyber Defence Pledge Conference in London, to be attended by the alliance’s
head Jens Stoltenberg.
“This global campaign also seeks to compromise central government networks,”
he will warn, according to extracts of the speech released by his
“I can disclose that in the last 18 months, the National Cyber Security
Centre has shared information and assessments with 16 NATO Allies-and even
more nations outside the Alliance-of Russian cyber activity in their
countries.” NATO has 29 member states.
He will say that attempts to influence elections in the United States and
Ukraine “breach international law-and justify a proportionate response.”
“Together, we possess options for responding to any attacks. We should be
prepared to use them.” London’s relationship with Moscow has deteriorated
since the rule of President Vladimir Putin, culminating in the poisoning
last year of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal on British soil.
50 CHILDREN SAVED AFTER POLICE BUST PAEDOPHILE WEBSITE: INTERPOL
International police group Interpol said Thursday that nine people had been
arrested in Thailand, Australia and the US and 50 children had been rescued
after investigators took down an online paedophilia ring.
More arrests were expected as police in nearly 60 countries pursue
investigations stemming from an Interpol operation launched two years ago
into a hidden “dark web” site with 63,000 users worldwide.
Fifty children were rescued following the arrests. Police are trying to
identify an additional 100 in images that had been shared on the internet’s
Interpol said its Operation Blackwrist began after it found material that
was traced back to a subscription-based site on the dark web, where people
can use encrypted software to hide behind layers of secrecy.
Dark web sites can’t be found through search engines, and users need to have
the specific URL address to land on a site.
Interpol enlisted help from national agencies worldwide, with the US
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) department eventually tracking the
site’s IP address, where new photos and videos were posted weekly.
FACEBOOK REMOVED MORE THAN 3 BILLION FAKE ACCOUNTS FROM OCTOBER TO MARCH
Facebook removed more than 3 billion fake accounts from October to March,
twice as many as the previous six months, the company said on Thursday.
Nearly all of them were caught before they had a chance to become “active”
users of the social network.
In a new report, Facebook said it saw a “steep increase” in the creation of
abusive, fake accounts. While most of these fake accounts were blocked
“within minutes” of their creation, the use of computers to generate
millions of accounts at a time meant not only that Facebook caught more of
the fake accounts, but that more of them slipped through.
As a result, the company estimates that 5% of its 2.4 billion monthly active
users are fake accounts, or about 119 million. This is up from an estimated
3% to 4% in the previous six-month report.
The increase shows the challenges Facebook faces in removing accounts
created by computers to spread spam, fake news and other objectionable
material. Even as Facebook’s detection tools get better, so do the efforts
by the creators of these fake accounts.
The new numbers come as the company grapples with challenge after challenge,
ranging from fake news to Facebook’s role in elections interference, hate
speech and incitement to violence in the U.S., Myanmar, India and elsewhere.
Facebook also said Thursday that it removed 7.3 million posts, photos and
other material because it violated its rules against hate speech. That’s up
from 5.4 million in the prior six months.
TAIWAN TO HOLD FIRST GAY WEDDINGS IN HISTORIC DAY FOR ASIA
TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan’s first official same-sex weddings will take place
later Friday in a landmark moment for LGBT rights in Asia, a week after
lawmakers took the historic decision to legalise gay marriage.
Hundreds of couples across the island are expected to turn up at government
offices on Friday morning to register their relationships as marriages, the
first time they have been able to legally wed.
Taiwan made history last week when it became the first place in Asia to
legalise gay marriage, sparking jubilation among huge crowds of gay rights
supporters on the streets of Taipei.
But the issue has also caused deep divisions on an island that remains
staunchly conservative, especially outside of the cities and among older
In Taipei more than 150 same-sex couples are scheduled to register on
Friday, according to local authorities. The city hall will co-host an
outdoor wedding party near the famous Taipei 101 skyscraper, with local and
foreign dignitaries expected to attend.
FOR GAZA GROOMS, CRIPPLING DEBT OVERSHADOWS MARITAL BLISS
Gaza City: Abu Serdanah is among hundreds of young men who have turned to
Gaza’s small industry of wedding lenders for help, only to fall onto hard
times because of crushing debt and lack of jobs in the impoverished
Palestinian territory. Many have been forced to renegotiate their debts, and
others have gone into hiding. Some have even ended up in jail.