World Headlines
Subscribe To This Feed

Buda Mendes/Getty Images(RIO DE JANEIRO) -- After five tumultuous months with Jair Bolsonaro at the helm of the biggest democracy in Latin America, thousands attended demonstrations across Brazil's major cities on Sunday to show their support for the so-called "Trump of the Tropics.”

"We are here to support our president," Marlene Camargo, a 48-year-old housewife at the demonstration in Rio de Janeiro, told ABC News. "The media is trying to destroy him. We love him and we have faith in him."

Though Bolsonaro did not directly call for protesters to hit the streets on Sunday, the president did not hesitate, upon exiting an Evangelical church in Rio de Janeiro, to tweet out videos of the demonstrators.

The number of people who turned out, however, was nowhere near what president's supporters had hoped it would be.

Brazil has recently seen major protests against Bolsonaro and his administration's policies. Last week, tens of thousands across the country protested against cuts to education. There were also protests after Bolsonaro called for celebrating the anniversary of a military coup that ushered in years of a dictatorship for Brazil.

A recent poll from the Institute for Social, Political and Economic Research (IPESPE) revealed that that 36% of Brazilians consider his government "bad or terrible," with only 34% of respondents saying it's "good or great."

"Today Bolsonaro is not as strong as he was during the campaign. He cannot make Congress cooperate in passing his agenda and so people keep protesting," said Mauricio Santoro, a political scientist and professor at the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ).

Conservative leaders in Brazil were divided over Sunday's pro-Bolsonaro demonstrations.

Kim Kataguiri, leader of the conservative Free Brazil Movement (Movimento Brasil Livre) said his party will not assist in the closure of the Parliament or the Supreme Court, two things that the president said in the past that he would like to do. Kataguiri added that the Free Brazil Movement rejects the demonization of Congress.

Although Bolsonaro, a former congressmen, was elected with much fanfare and won over 55% of the vote in October 2018, Brazilians are now questioning if he will be able to stay in power with allegations of corruption against his family members.

Bolsonaro ran a campaign pledging to end the economic recession, zero tolerance on crime, and the eradication corruption. However, his eldest son, Flavio Bolsonaro, has been accused of possible involvement in an irregular payments scheme between 2016 and 2017 when he served as a state legislator, in which the wages of "no show" employees were allegedly pocketed by their employers. These transactions also allegedly involved the future first lady, Michelle Bolsonaro.

"One of the mistakes of Bolsanoro is that he never understood electors voted for him not because they agree with him on everything. Brazilians were eager to have a clean president," Santoro told ABC News.

The protests around Brazil over the first months of Bolsinaro's presidency are reminiscent of protests against U.S. president Donald Trump, also considered by some to be a "populist" figure, during the first few months of his administration.

While chanting Bolsonaro's name at Copacabana beach on Sunday, 62-year-old Antonio Vargas, a medical doctor, told ABC News that the president has difficulties governing because Brazil’s governing institutions are dead.

"Jair Bolsonaro should not hesitate. He should close the Congress and start governing in his own way. We are wasting time" he said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Kiyoshi Ota - Pool/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- Standing on the sacred mound inside the sumo wrestling arena, President Donald Trump hoisted the massive 70-pound President's Cup into the arms of a person befitting such a trophy: the 360-pound champion of Tokyo’s top sumo tournament, Asanoyama Hideki.

"In honor of your outstanding achievement as sumo grand champion, I hereby award you the President’s Cup," Trump said, reading from a ceremonial scroll.

As part of his four-day state visit to Japan, Trump was treated to ring-side sumo seats and the opportunity to be the first American leader to award a winning trophy to the sumo champion.

.@POTUS @realDonaldTrump presents the first-ever U.S. President’s Cup to Sumo Grand Champion Asanoyama. #POTUSinJapan🇺🇸🇯🇵

— Dan Scavino Jr.🇺🇸 (@Scavino45) May 26, 2019

Trump changed from his usual black leather shoes into black slippers to present the 4 1/2 foot tall award to the 25-year-old Asanoyama.

"That was an incredible evening at sumo wrestling," Trump said after the tournament at a hibachi-style meal of Wagyu steak with first lady Melania Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie. "We brought that beautiful trophy, which they'll have hopefully for many hundreds of years.

"That was something to see these great athletes, because they really are athletes. It's a very ancient sport. And I've always wanted to see sumo wrestling, so it was really great."

Inside Ryogoku Kokugikanto arena, the matches paused and loud cheers erupted from spectators when Trump and Abe walked to their seats.

While most spectators sat cross-legged on the floor, Trump sat back in a chair between Abe and the first lady and attentively watched as the men pushed and flung their fleshy, colossal bodies around the ring and tossed ceremonial salt. Trump and Abe conversed via their interpreters and the president at times looked amused as he watched the ancient rituals associated with one of the world's oldest organized sports.

The event allows the Japanese to showcase traditional culture that dates back to the 17th century. But professional wrestling of a different sort also happens to be one of Trump’s favorite pastimes. Before he moved into the White House, Trump made it into the WWE Hall of Fame and even entered the ring to fight with WWE owner Vince McMahon and, with some dramatic flair, shave McMahon’s head.

“I’ve always found that fascinating,” Trump said about sumo wrestling last month. He added that it is “something I’ll enjoy very much.”

The president said he was convinced to attend the tournament after Abe described it as bigger than the Super Bowl in Japan.

Outside the arena, a mix of protesters, supporters waving American flags, and gawkers greeted the president's motorcade.

Joining the president for the tournament was a full house of White House officials and diplomats, including U.S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty, acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, press secretary Sarah Sanders and adviser Stephen Miller.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Vietnam News Agency/Handout/Getty Images(TOKYO) -- One day after President Donald Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, said North Korea's missile launches earlier this month violated a U.N. Security Council resolution, the president said Kim Jong Un's launch of "small weapons" doesn't bother him.

The president, who spent Sunday morning playing golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, went on to say he has confidence that Kim will "keep his promise" to not launch any missiles and thinks Kim's recent insult against presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden -- calling him a "low-IQ individual," the same language Trump himself has used -- is a "signal" to him. He also spelled Biden's name incorrectly -- as "Bidan" -- in an initial tweet, before correcting it and resending.

Trump tweeted, "North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?"

North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2019

A Biden campaign aide responded after the tweet, saying, "“I would say the tweet speaks for itself, but it’s so unhinged and erratic that I’m not sure anyone could even say that with a straight face.”

The same aide said of the president’s tweet correcting the spelling of Biden’s name: “The spelling error was not the main problem with the first one.”

While Trump has tried to spin North Korea's recent launch, both Bolton and Japan have accused North Korea of violating U.N. resolutions. Bolton's comments were the first time a U.S. official said North Korea was in violation.

The Trump administration is trying to keep diplomatic doors open to North Korea, even though Bolton admitted the U.S. has not "heard much" from North Korea since the last summit in Hanoi fell apart. He said U.S. Special Envoy to North Korea Stephen Biegun has not received contact from his counterpart in Pyongyang.

Bolton also said he supports Japan's efforts to sit down for negotiations with Kim. Abe still has not met with the North Korean leader.

Japanese officials said that during Trump's four-day state visit, Abe will be introducing Trump to the families of Japanese abducted by North Koreans. Trump had a similar meeting during his last visit to Japan. The release of Japanese abductees is a top priority for Abe.

Despite the defense of Kim, the two foreign leaders appeared to be getting along great on the golf course Sunday. Abe tweeted a photo of the two smiling from the course talking about an "unwavering" alliance between the two countries in Japanese.


— 安倍晋三 (@AbeShinzo) May 26, 2019

After the pair hit the links, Trump stated on Twitter the two world leaders have made "great progress" in the trade negotiations, but indicated he may wait until after July to announce any potential deal.

Great progress being made in our Trade Negotiations with Japan. Agriculture and beef heavily in play. Much will wait until after their July elections where I anticipate big numbers!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2019

Trump himself tweeted about the round of golf -- a pastime both leaders have bonded over -- and his love for former South African great and nine-time major champion Gary Player.

Going to play golf right now with @AbeShinzo. Japan loves the game. Tremendous fans of @JackNicklaus, @TigerWoods, and @PhilMickelson — I said what about @GaryPlayer, they said we love Gary too!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2019

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Zzvet(NEW YORK) -- A British man has died on Mount Everest, marking the tenth death in two months as a record number of mountaineers rush to conquer the world's highest summit during an unusually brief window of good climbing weather.

A 41-year-old British climber, Robin Haynes Fisher, reached Everest's peak at 8:30 a.m. local time on Sunday morning, and collapsed and died shortly after, at about 150 meters below the summit, according to Murari Sharma, Managing Director at Everest Pariwar Treks. The Himalayan Times reported that Jangbu Sherpa, a guide with the same expedition, also fell ill and was brought to a camp at lower altitude.

The deaths come amid reports of massive crowding on the mountain, especially around the Hillary Step, where climbers have to go single-file. On Wednesday, there were reports of two and three hour delays in that area.

Peak climbing season for Everest is April and May, and all of the 10 deaths have occurred within that two-month span.

“You’ve got people who’ve got lifelong dreams, whether they’re 28 or 58, to climb Mount Everest. And they get there, they achieve their dream and they perish doing something that was supposed to be one of the most meaningful events of their life," said Alan Arnette, a mountaineering expert who runs a Mount Everest blog.

2019 has been the deadliest year for Everest climbers since 2012, another year that saw ten deaths, and Arnette said a collision of factors were to blame.

Nepal issued a high number of permits to climb the mountain this year -- 367 to foreigners and 14 to Nepalese climbers, according to a government liaison officer at base camp -- and there is at least that number of local support staff joining the trek. But due to unpredictable weather conditions, there were only five days when conditions were safe enough to summit, according to Arnette, who tracks Everest activity.

Last year, according to Arnette, there were 11 consecutive days of low winds.

"The jet stream has not moved off of the summit the way that it traditionally does during May," he said, adding that that creates severe wind conditions and cold that make it unsafe to stand on the summit. "It’s just too dangerous for frostbite or literally getting blown off the mountain."

This has meant that scores of mountaineers, who wait for favorable weather conditions, are reaching the summit at around the same time, creating bottlenecks. Around the Hillary Step, where climbers have to go single-file early in their descent from the summit, there were reports of two-to three-hour delays on Wednesday.

Some climbers have spent as long as 15 to 20 hours above the 8,000 meters, due to a combination of exhaustion and wait times, while the average time should be closer to 10 to 12 hours, Arnette said.

The longer a person stays at high altitude, the higher their risk is for altitude sickness, which happens when the body struggles to adapt to lower air pressure and oxygen levels. The recommended response is for a person to move to a lower-elevation area.

The number of companies offering Everest climbs has ballooned in recent years, and some companies now charge as little as half of the $65,000 price-tag that more established trekking companies charge. This has encouraged more, less experienced climbers to attempt Everest, according to Arnette, who has advocated for more rigorous standards for awarding permits.

"You have to qualify to run the Boston or the New York marathons, or to participate in the Iron Man in Hawaii," he said. "You don’t have to qualify to climb the highest mountain in the world. And that’s not right."

Among the deaths reported this week was Donald Lynn Cash, a 55-year-old Utah resident who conquered the Seven Summits -- the tallest mountains on each continent -- and died shortly after reaching the Everest peak.

Shortly after reaching the summit on Wednesday, he fainted due to high altitude sickness, guide company Pioneer Adventure wrote on its website.

"This is a total blast," Cash wrote from the mountain in April in a post on Instagram. "I'm truly blessed to just be here on this adventure with great new friends!!"

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/_laurent(LYON, France) -- French officials have launched a manhunt for an individual suspected of leaving an explosive on a busy street in the French city of Lyon that injured 13 people and blew out the windows of a nearby bakery.

Because the blast happened in broad daylight and in a public space, it was being investigated as an assassination attempt linked to a terrorist enterprise, prosecutor Remy Heinz said at a press conference in Paris on Saturday

The man was caught on surveillance cameras arriving on scene on foot at 5:25 p.m., local time, on Friday afternoon, and setting a paper bag on the ground. The explosion happened less than two minutes after the man is seen walking away -- at 5:28 p.m. and 39 seconds, according to Heinz.

Investigators were able to track the suspect as he made his way from the Rhone River waterfront area, and then walked away from the scene along the same route. He made part of the journey on a bicycle. officials said.

"It was scary," Gisele Sanchez, a local business owner, told the Associated Press. At the scene on Victor Hugo Street, investigators found screws, LR6 batteries, metal balls and a bomb triggering mechanism that allowed for remote triggering, Heinz said.

No group has claimed credit for the attack.

Of the 13 people wounded, 11 were taken to the hospital and several had to undergo operations to remove fragments from the blast from their bodies, Heinz said.

Late on Friday evening, police put out a call seeking witnesses, and since then, they have taken several dozen statements, officials said.

France has been on alert since a series of attacks in Paris in 2015 that killed 130 people and injured hundreds more. Last December, a gunman killed several people and injured a dozen more at a Christmas Market in Strasbourg, in eastern France.

Lyon, in central France, is the country's third largest city, and it is due to host the finals of the Women's World Cup soccer tournament on July 7.

In January, a science building at the University of Lyon in France caught fire after three gas cylinders on the roof of the building exploded, injuring three students -- though officials said at the time that the incident was not tied to terrorism.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/MicroStockHub(WASHINGTON) -- The Trump administration on Friday said it would sell $7 billion-worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with getting congressional approval, citing Iran as an urgent threat.

 The move has sparked bipartisan outrage on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are promising to block the sales and calling out Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for what they see as an illegal decision made in a shady manner.

"The excuse that this is somehow an emergency is just flat out false, and they know it. But they're still going ahead and doing it, which is beyond the pale," said a congressional aide, speaking anonymously to discuss the details of these deals, which the State Department has not yet released publicly.

The State Department authorizes the sale of weapons to foreign countries, but Congress has the authority to block a given sale by vote within 30 days of being notified by the administration. In 2017, the Senate came within four votes of blocking a $510 million sale of munitions to Saudi Arabia, which is fighting alongside UAE and an Arab coalition against Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen.

The conflict, which began as a civil war and has raged for over four years now, pits the Saudi-backed government against the Houthis, who are increasingly supported by Iran. It's set up a proxy war between the region's two major powers that has killed tens of thousands and created the world's worst humanitarian crisis, including a devastating cholera outbreak and pervasive starvation.

With growing calls for the U.S. to withdraw its support for the Saudi and Emirati coalition, especially in Congress, the Trump administration is now invoking an emergency clause in the Arms Export Control Act to move ahead with these sales. The 22 separate sales include precision-guided munitions, mortars, anti-tank missiles, and equipment and spare parts, including fighter jet engines, according to documents that the State Department provided to Congress and ABC News obtained.

The State Department has not responded to requests for comment. State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said earlier this week that the department does not comment on potential pending arms sales.

Pompeo formally notified Congress Friday of the sales, which also allow UAE to sell precision-guided munitions to Jordan, in a series of memos and letters.

"Current threat reporting indicates Iran engages in preparations for further malign activities throughout the Middle East region, including potential targeting of U.S. and allied military forces in the region," he wrote. "The rapidly-evolving security situation in the region requires an accelerated delivery of certain capabilities to U.S. partners in the region."

In particular, Pompeo detailed the threat of consistent Houthi rocket fire into Saudi Arabia and UAE, saying these weapons were needed urgently for both countries to defend themselves.

But Congress calls that "bogus," as a second congressional aide told ABC News.

"It frankly seems they're just trying to find anything that has a Saudi and UAE connection and cut Congress out of it and go forward -- actual legal, substantive policy details be damned," they said.

Congress has approved defensive military sales, such as anti-ballistic missile systems, to both countries in the past, the aide added, but this is about continuing to arm the coalition as it bombs Yemen, despite reports from the United Nations that it has indiscriminately targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and utility services.

"There hasn't been a problem with [defensive weapons], and that's demonstrable. What they're doing here, however, is they're wanting to sell immediately -- without Congressional oversight, review, or possibility of a vote -- offensive weapons that have always been represented to us as being available to be used and have been used in Yemen," the second aide said.

It's also an open question whether or not the administration has the authority to bypass Congress in this way. The Arms Export Control Act allows the president to declare an "emergency" that requires a sale to be made immediately. President George H.W. Bush used it to arm regional allies in the lead-up to the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein, and George W. Bush expedited weapons to Israel during the 2006 war with Lebanese Hezbollah.

But the law allows for the emergency clause to be invoked in certain circumstances, including only for Australia, Japan, South Korea, Israel, New Zealand, and NATO allies, so it may not apply in the case of Saudi Arabia and UAE.

"They're citing a legal authority that they don't have," said the second aide.

Lawmakers' offices were briefed on the decision by Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper, and when he was challenged on that question, he said it was an issue of "semantics," prompting an outraged response, according to both Congressional aides.

"It just erupted. This is law, it's not semantics," said the first aide.

Some of the proposed sales are also weapons systems that take years to produce and deliver, potentially undermining the administration's argument of an emergency.

There are already discussions on capitol Hill on how "to act in a unified way to stop this," according to the first aide, adding, "There's pretty universal outrage here right now."

That will mean legislation that somehow blocks the sales or stripes the administration of certain authorities, although it's unclear yet what it would specifically look like.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Zzvet(NEW YORK) -- A total of five people have died this week on Mount Everest, as crowds of climbers experienced bottlenecks in the rush to take advantage of a short window of good weather to attempt the world's highest summit.

Three deaths were reported on Thursday, and two others died on Wednesday.

The deaths come amid reports of massive crowding on the mountain. Around the Hillary Step, where climbers have to go single-file, there were reports of two-to three-hour delays on Wednesday.

Nepal issued a high number of permits to climb the mountain this year -- 367 to foreigners and 14 to Nepalese climbers, according to a government liaison officer at base camp. This is a record number, according to Everest expert Alan Arnette.

In addition, this season's weather has forced large crowds up at once. Climbers wait for favorable weather forecasts to make summit attempts, and this year, there have only been two windows with five summit days so far, as Arnette detailed on his site. Typically, there are seven to 12 favorable days, according to Arnette.

Because of this, many climbers are going up to make their attempts all at once, creating bottlenecks.

The three deaths reported on Thursday include two Indian climbers, Nihal Bagwan and Kalpana Dash, according to The New York Times. The third death was a climber identified Swiss guide company Kobler & Partner only by his first name, Ernst.

All three climbers died while descending the mountain. Ernst was climbing on the northern, Chinese-controlled Tibet side of the mountain, while Bagwan and Dash were on the more popular Nepalese side, the New York Times reported.

On Wednesday, American Donald Lynn Cash and Indian Anjali Kulkarni died during their descents from the Everest summit.

The longer a person stays at high altitude, the higher their risk is for altitude sickness, which happens when the body struggles to adapt to lower air pressure and oxygen levels. The recommended response is for a person to move to move to a lower-elevation area.

At least one death was partially attributed to the crowds. Bagwan was "exhausted and dehydrated due to long hours spent at the death zone (above 8,000 meters) due to heavy traffic," Krishma Poudel, manager at Peak Promotion, told ABC News.

Dash was the first female mountaineer from the Indian state of Odisha, per The Hindu paper, and first summited Everest in 2008.

"Her legacy in mountaineering will inspire generations of young women in the State," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, according to The Hindu.

"We at Kobler & Partner would like to express our sincere condolences for the great loss, especially to the Ernst family, as well as to his friends and acquaintances during the difficult hours of mourning," Kobler & Partner wrote on their website.

Before the three Thursday deaths, there were 12 confirmed deaths this climbing season in the Himalayan region, according to the government liaison officer. In addition to Cash and Kulkarni this week, Indian climber Ravi Thakar died during his Everest descent last week.

Additionally, Irish mountaineer Seamus Lawless went missing in mid-May and is presumed dead.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

midesi69/Twitter(LYON, France) -- An explosion in the French city of Lyon on Friday left eight people with minor injuries, local officials said on social media.

The blast occurred at the corner of Victor Hugo Street and Sala Street, and authorities are urging people to avoid the area.

The New York Police Department's counter-terrorism division said in a message on Twitter that they were "closely monitoring" the incident and "reports of a package explosion."

In January, a science building at the University of Lyon in France caught on fire after three gas cylinders on the roof of the building exploded, injuring three students, but officials said the incident was not tied to terrorism.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Julian Assange has always been a lightning-rod for controversy, but the latest charges against him have journalism watchdog groups crying foul.

Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, was charged by U.S. authorities Thursday of violating the Espionage Act. Now there's a debate whether prosecutors can claim the same about journalists who publish stories on state secrets.

The Department of Justice is defending he charges against Assange. According to Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers, "Julian Assange is no journalist" and "the Department takes seriously the role of journalists and our democracy and we support it."

Journalism groups don't seem to agree, however. Bruce Brown, the executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, released a statement, arguing the charges could also be applied to journalists.

"Any government use of the Espionage Act to criminalize the receipt and publication of classified information poses a dire threat to journalists seeking to publish such information in the public interest, irrespective of the Justice Department’s assertion that Assange is not a journalist," Brown said in a statement.

Suzanne Nossel, the CEO of non-profit PEN America, which describes itself as a group that defends and protects free expression, called the indictment "unprecedented" and has "grave implications for a free press."

"Whether Assange is a journalist or WikiLeaks qualifies as a press outlet is immaterial to the counts set out here," Nossel said in a statement.

"The indictment encompasses a series of activities--including encouraging sources verbally and in writing to leak information and receiving and publishing such information--that media outlets routinely undertake as part of their role to hold government to account," she said.

Ben Wizner of the American Civil Liberties Union said the charges were "extraordinary."

"For the first time in the history of our country, the government has brought criminal charges against a publisher for the publication of truthful information," Wizner, director of the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, said in a statement.

"This is an extraordinary escalation of the Trump administration's attacks on journalism and a direct assault on the First Amendment," Wizner said. "It establishes a dangerous precedent that can be used to target all news organizations that hold the government accountable by publishing its secrets. And it is equally dangerous for U.S. journalists who uncover the secrets of other nations. If the US can prosecute a foreign publisher for violating our secrecy laws, there’s nothing preventing China, or Russia, from doing the same."

Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked classified information and also faces charges under the Espionage Act, weighed in on Twitter, suggesting the charges against Assange were a declaration of war.

"The Department of Justice just declared war––not on WikiLeaks, but on journalism itself. This is no longer about Julian Assange: This case will decide the future of media," Snowden said in a tweet.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Leon Neal/Getty Images(LONDON) — U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday announced her resignation, putting an end to months of speculation over her future because of her handling of Brexit.

"It is now clear to me that it is in the best interests of the country to have a new prime minister," May told reporters.

She said she will be resigning on June 7.

"It is a matter of deep regret that I have not been able to deliver Brexit," May added. "My successor will have to find a consensus. Consensus will only be possible if those on both sides of the debate compromise."

Toward the end of her speech, May’s voice cracked and she appeared on the verge of tears, adding: "It's been the honor of my life to serve the country I love."

BREAKING: U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May announces her resignation.

— ABC News (@ABC) May 24, 2019


Reactions were mixed but broadly respectful.


The Prime Minister has shown great courage.

She is a public servant who did all she could to bring Brexit to a resolution.

Her sense of duty is something everyone should admire and aspire to.

— Amber Rudd MP (@AmberRuddHR) May 24, 2019



1. I wish Theresa May well. She and I had profound disagreements - not least on her handling of Brexit and her disregard for Scotland’s interests. However, leadership is tough - especially in these times - and she deserves thanks for her service.

— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) May 24, 2019



What a hypocrite

— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) May 24, 2019



Theresa May is right to resign. She's now accepted what the country's known for months: she can't govern, and nor can her divided and disintegrating party.

Whoever becomes the new Tory leader must let the people decide our country’s future, through an immediate General Election.

— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) May 24, 2019


An election within the Conservative Party now will commence to determine who takes over as party leader. That person also will become prime minister, as the Conservatives are still the largest party in the House of Commons despite months of infighting.

May's authority has looked increasingly shaky in recent months. Her Brexit deal, which she spent the better part of three years negotiating and re-negotiating, has been rejected by lawmakers three times this year. She previously said she'd would resign if her Brexit deal was passed, but now she's bowing to pressure from lawmakers within her own party to resign before a deal is again put up for a vote.

A speech on Wednesday in which May unveiled a new plan to get her Brexit deal through Parliament included a vote for lawmakers on “on whether the deal should be subject to a referendum."

This proved to be deeply unpopular with Brexit-supporting members of her own party, including MP Boris Johnson, who said on Tuesday that while he'd previously backed May's deal with "great reluctance," he couldn't support her new plan.


With great reluctance I backed MV3. Now we are being asked to vote for a customs union and a second referendum. The Bill is directly against our manifesto - and I will not vote for it. We can and must do better - and deliver what the people voted for.

— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) May 21, 2019


Johnson announced his intention to run for prime minister once May steps down. Others expected to run include Dominic Raab, Esther McVey and Matt Hancock.

Whoever assumes control still must resolve key issues around Brexit.

The U.K. is set to leave the EU on Oct. 31, but the country's political future has never looked more uncertain.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

yorkfoto/iStock(GUIZHOU, China) -- At least 10 people are dead and eight missing after a boat capsized on a river in southwestern China.

The vessel capsized in the remote Banrao village of Guizhou province.

Police arrested the captain, and the others who were rescued were rushed to a hospital.

Accidents on Chinese waterways have declined in recent years because of an increased government emphasis on safety.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan (US Department of Defense)(WASHINGTON) -- U.S. Central Command is requesting additional defensive capabilities that could lead to as many as 5,000 to 10,000 additional troops being sent to the Middle East to deter Iran, a U.S. official told ABC News.

On Thursday afternoon, acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan confirmed that the Pentagon is asking for more forces, but would not confirm any numbers, saying that it was not 5,000 or 10,000.

"What we are focused on now is do we have the right force protection in the Middle East?," he told reporters outside the Pentagon.

"What we’re looking at are there things we can do to enhance force protection in the Middle East," he added.

Shanahan acknowledged that such a request " may involve sending additional troops."

There was a meeting at the White House on Thursday where the Central Command request was to be considered, according to two U.S. officials, who stressed that it was unclear which portions of the CENTCOM request could be approved at this White House meeting.

The U.S. official told ABC News Wednesday that the defensive capabilities and weapons systems were being requested, and that the number of additional forces will depend on which capabilities are approved.

The CENTCOM request has been in the works for some time, the U.S. official said.

There are currently 60,000 to 80,000 U.S. troops serving in the Middle East including 14,000 in Afghanistan, 5,000 in Iraq, 2,000 in Syria, 10,000 in Kuwait, 10,000 in Qatar and thousands more at sea and elsewhere in the region.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford briefed the House and Senate Tuesday on President Donald Trump's Iran strategy, including recent intelligence of an increased Iranian threat and the U.S. reaction to it, the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers and the ordered departure of non-emergency personnel from Iraq.

After hearing from the officials, Democratic lawmakers expressed alarm over the administration's posture in the Middle East and the possibility of a conflict with Iran.

Additional defensive capabilities could include additional Patriot anti-missile batteries like the one already deployed to an unspecified location in the Middle East to deter Iran.

CENTCOM could also be requesting additional U.S. Navy ships to the region beyond the USS Abraham Lincoln Strike Group and the USS Kearsarge Amphibious Group that are currently in the North Arabian Sea.

But it's unclear when additional ships could arrive in the region. Two weeks ago, the Pentagon announced that the USS Arlington would be headed to the Middle East to swap out with another ship, but that has yet to occur as the Arlington is currently in Spain.

The new CENTCOM request for additional defensive capabilities and forces comes as Shanahan said on Tuesday that the threat of Iranian attacks against U.S. forces had been put "on hold."

U.S. officials said the Iranian threat to U.S. forces continues even as Iran has pulled back some weapons systems. Two U.S. officials said that Iran has removed cruise missiles from two civilian dhows that posed a risk to U.S. Navy ships, commercial ships and land targets.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

lucagavagna/iStock(NEW YORK) -- United Nations officials on Thursday named an emergency Ebola response coordinator to help bolster efforts to contain the growing outbreak in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo that has killed more than 1,200 people in 10 months.

David Gressly, the U.N. deputy special representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has been appointed to the new position, in which he "will oversee the coordination of international support for the Ebola response and work to ensure that an enabling environment -- particularly security and political -- is in place to allow the Ebola response to be even more effective," according to a statement from the World Health Organization, the global health arm of the U.N.

“The Ebola response is working in an operating environment of unprecedented complexity for a public health emergency -- insecurity and political protests have led to periodic disruptions in our efforts to fight the disease," Gressly said in a statement Thursday. "Therefore, an enhanced UN-wide response is required to overcome these operating constraints, and this includes moving senior leadership and operational decision making to the epicenter of the epidemic in Butembo. We have no time to lose."

Gressly will work closely with the WHO, which will continue to lead all health operations and technical activities in support of the Congolese government's response to the Ebola epidemic.

“This system-wide and international support is exactly what WHO has been calling for," Dr. Ibrahima Soce Fall, the WHO's assistant director-general for emergency response, said in a statement Thursday. "We know that the outbreak response must be owned by the local population, and this new approach reflects what they have asked for: better security for patients and health workers, wider access to vaccination, and a more humane face to the response.”

A total of 1,866 people have reported symptoms of hemorrhagic fever in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's northeastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri since ‪Aug. 1.‬ Among those cases, 1,778 have tested positive for Ebola virus disease, which causes an often-fatal type of hemorrhagic fever, according to Wednesday night's bulletin from the country's health ministry.

A third of those who have fallen ill are children, which is a higher proportion than in previous Ebola epidemics, according to the WHO.

The current outbreak has a case fatality rate of about 66 percent. There have been 1,241 deaths so far, including 1,153 people who died from confirmed cases of Ebola. The other deaths are from probable cases, according to the Congolese health ministry.

The vast majority of cases have been recorded in the cities of Katwa, Beni, Butembo and Mabalako in North Kivu province.

So far, no cases have spread beyond North Kivu and Ituri provinces, nor across international borders. But the risk of national and regional spread remains "very high," according to the WHO.

The confinement of the virus to the two affected provinces has been aided by an experimental Ebola vaccine developed by American pharmaceutical company Merck. Since Aug. 8, more than 121,000 people have been vaccinated against Ebola in the outbreak zone in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, along with health workers in neighboring Uganda and South Sudan, according to the WHO.

However, access to communities is hampered by ongoing security issues in the region and community mistrust in the Ebola response.

North Kivu and Ituri, the two provinces where people have been infected, are awash in conflict. Health workers and other frontline personnel are being targeted in sporadic attacks from armed groups operating near the country's volatile, mineral-rich border with Uganda. This is the first Ebola outbreak in history to occur in an active war zone.

Response teams are also grappling with a population that's very mobile and has never faced an Ebola outbreak before. A quarter of people interviewed in the cities of Beni and Butembo in North Kivu province during a survey last September said they didn't believe the deadly virus was real, according to a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal in March.

Moreover, this outbreak came amid a fresh wave of violent political unrest over a long-anticipated election to replace the country's leader of 18 years. The turmoil peaked in late December when the Congolese government postponed voting in certain Ebola-hit communities.

This is the 10th outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the most severe seen in the Central African nation since 1976, when scientists first identified the virus near the eponymous Ebola River.

It's also one of the worst outbreaks ever, second only to the 2014-2016 epidemic in multiple West African nations that infected 28,652 people and killed 11,325, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The WHO has twice decided not to declare the current outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, as it did for the West African epidemic. The proclamation would mobilize more resources and command global attention.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

Chirag Wakaskar/Getty Images(LONDON) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed victory in the country's general election on Thursday, as early vote counts showed his Bharatiya Janata Party on course for a significant win.

Early data from the nation's Electoral Commission showed the BJP led in contests for 269 of the 542 seats in Parliament, while its rival party, the Indian National Congress, was winning just 56.

"Together we grow. Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again!" Modi wrote in announcing his victory on Twitter.

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

— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 23, 2019

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulated Modi on his election win, saying he was looking forward to "working with him for peace, progress and prosperity."

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

— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) May 23, 2019

Although tensions between India and Pakistan in the disputed region of Kashmir dominated the build-up to the election, Modi's victory could lead to a new dialogue between the two countries, according to Chatham House senior research fellow Dr. Gareth Price.

"Despite a large part of the BJP campaign being predicated on projecting strength against Pakistan, ironically over the next few months – terrorist attacks notwithstanding – one of the occasional windows of opportunity for talks with Pakistan has opened up," Price told ABC News. "Political insecurity in one or both countries has undermined previous attempts at rapprochement. For now, at least, both governments have the legitimacy to engage with the other.”

Modi's projection of a strong Hindu identity for India, as well as emphasis on economic growth, played a crucial role in his victory, Price said. But Price said this could end up being problematic.

“The BJP’s narrative clearly resonated with voters across northern India," he told ABC News. "That is that India should be strong economically and militarily and proud of its Hindu-ness. This has implications for minorities, in particular Muslims. However, some of the policies mooted by the BJP for electoral purposes may come back to haunt it -- in particular, the National Citizens Register, which, if followed through, could create millions of stateless people.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed

sasacvetkovic33/iStock(PRETORIA, South Africa) — Big 5 hunters are rejoicing after two Southern African countries scrapped or relaxed their hunting laws.

Five years after outlawing elephant hunting, Botswana has backtracked its decision, claiming an increased population has started to impact farmers' livelihoods. Wildlife authorities in neighboring Zimbabwe lifted a ban on hunting buffaloes with bows and arrows.

The prohibition on elephant hunting in Botswana was introduced in 2014 by then-president Ian Khama, who was a keen environmentalist. But within months of being succeeded by President Mokgweetsi Masisi last year, a public review was launched.

Lawmakers from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) lobbied to overturn the ban, saying numbers have become unmanageable in some areas.

"Botswana has taken a decision to lift the hunting suspension," the environment ministry said in a statement.

It said a cabinet committee review found that "the number and high levels of human-elephant conflict and the consequent impact on livelihoods was increasing."

The ministry has promised that the hunting of elephants would be reinstated "in an orderly and ethical manner."

Botswana has the largest elephant population in Africa, with more than 135,000 roaming freely in its parks and wide open spaces.

At the same time, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said the prohibition on hunting buffaloes with bows and arrows has been lifted.

"ZimParks has relaxed conditions relating to the hunting of buffaloes by allowing the use of specific bows and arrows as part of efforts to diversify options for professional hunters and boost revenue from the sport," the agency said in a statement.

Zimbabwe has been at the center of several contentious high-profile hunting incidents.

In 2015, the killing of Cecil the lion sparked international outrage. Cecil, a large black-maned lion, was a well-known animal in a monitoring program and was killed by an American dentist on a hunting trip after he wandered beyond the park's protected boundaries.

Zimbabwe has been capitalizing on its wildlife as a source of revenue. Earlier this month, ZimParks revealed that it made more than $2.7 million from the sale of more than 90 elephants to China and Dubai. The Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said that the money raised from the sale would be used to fund conservation efforts.

While hunting elephants is now legal in Botswana, it remains unlikely that American hunters would be able to bring their trophies home. In 2017, a controversy erupted after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to lift the ban on elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe and Zambia. After President Donald Trump tweeted his dissatisfaction with the decision, the Fish and Wildlife Service reversed course and decided to evaluate all applications to import elephant trophies from all countries on a case-by-case basis. Since then, no permits have been issued.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Local News

News Headlines for Sat. May 25, 2019

Gold Star families recognized during annual rememberance in Jamestown... The nearly 20 service men and women who died in service to the nation are being remembered today as heros who made the ultimat...

Read More

Join Us Facebook