Top News Stories for Today

World’s top news stories for today from Washingtonian post (May 7, 2016)

London elects its first Muslim mayor

London elects its first Muslim mayorThe Labour Party’s Sadiq Khan won the election Friday, becoming London’s first Muslim mayor. Khan received 44.2% of first preference votes to Conservative Party candidate Zac Goldsmith’s 35.6%. Second preference votes are now  counted with Khan passing the crucial 50% mark to secure victory, according to the BBC. Friday.

Khan, 45, is the son of a bus driver from Pakistan.  Khan was the bookmakers’ favorite to succeed flamboyant American-born Mayor Boris Johnson. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and other politicians congratulated Khan on Twitter. USA Today

 

 

US adds 160,000 jobs for April

The U.S. economy created 271,000 jobs in OctoberUS employers added 160,000 jobs in April — fewer than expected — the Labor Department reported Friday. Economists had forecast a gain of 200,000 jobs.

Analysts interpreted the number, the lowest in seven months, as an indication that slow first-quarter economic growth had sapped momentum from the nation’s hiring binge. March’s gains were revised down to 208,000 from 215,000 new non-farm jobs. The unemployment rate remained at 5 percent due to people dropping out of the labor force. Hourly wages rose by 0.3 percent, a bright spot in the report. Reuters, Marketwatch via The Week

 

 

Kim Jong Un to receive new title

Kim Jong Un to receive new titleNorth Korea’s historic ruling party congress entered its second day Saturday with leader Kim Jong Un expected to be bestowed a new, more prestigious title.

North Korea’s state-run Korea Central News Agency reported that Saturday’s itinerary includes electing Kim to a new position that will likely put him on an equivalent level with his father and grandfather, who held the title of general-secretary of the Workers’ Party.

Kim currently holds the title of first secretary, and while symbolic, the elevated title is another clear signal to the world that Kim has a firm grasp on power within the country. The agenda for Saturday also includes reviewing reports and audits from party commissions and revising party rules. VOA

 

 

China warns Critics over South China Sea dispute

China warns Critics over South China Sea disputeAs China awaits an international arbitration ruling over its claims to almost all of the South China Sea, Beijing issued a warning Friday to its critics, stating that the more they challenge its position regarding disputed territories in one of the world’s busiest waterways, the more it will push back.

Speaking at a special briefing on the dispute, Ouyang Yujing, director-general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, said China is willing to take into consideration constructive comments and criticism from relevant countries.

Each year, more than $5 trillion in maritime trade passes through the South China Sea’s energy-rich waters. China claims almost all of the sea to be historically part of its territory and in recent years has been aggressively creating artificial islands there to bolster its position, including the building of airstrips. But the waterway is also crisscrossed by claims from the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan. VOA

 

 

Russia-Japan leaders meet as tensions loom

Russia-Japan leaders meet as tensions loomJapanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was in Russia Friday hoping to ease strained relations between Tokyo and Moscow before President Vladmir Putin heads to China for a bilateral summit next month.

At the top of the agenda was a long-running dispute over the group of islands Russia calls the southern Kurils and Japan calls the Northern Territories. But Moscow and Tokyo were both quick to dismiss any suggestions that Friday’s meeting would lead to a quick fix to their long-standing territorial dispute.

The governments in Tokyo and Moscow have yet to sign a peace treaty for World War II after Soviet troops seized four islands. While Japan has demanded the return of the islands, Russia has offered to give back only two of them. Russia announced plans in March to station coastal missile systems on the disputed islands, sparking a rebuke from Japan. In 2013, Abe was the first Japanese leader to make an official visit to Russia in a decade. VOA

US Presidential election

US Presidential election newsGOPs split on embracing Trump: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday that they won’t be voting for Donald Trump in November. In a Facebook post, Bush questioned the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s temperament and conservatism; Graham told CNN he thought the Republican Party had been “conned” by Trump. The two politicians — both of whom lost to Trump in this year’s Republican presidential primary — declined to support Democrat Hillary Clinton and vowed to advocate for down-ballot Republicans. Meanwhile, former Vice President Dick Cheney on Friday told CNN that he has always supported the GOP nominee, and that he would do the same for Trump. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday he was “not ready” to support Trump as the Republican presidential nominee. CNN via The Week

Ryan to meet Trump next week: House Speaker Paul Ryan will meet with Donald Trump next week, Ryan’s office said in a statement Friday. Trump and Ryan will convene in Washington on May 12 to discuss the need to “unify the party” in a private meeting, which RNC Chairman Reince Priebus will also attend. Per the statement, Ryan has also invited Trump to meet with members of the House Republican leadership in order to discuss how the GOP can come together to win in November. The announcement comes after Ryan and Trump clashed Thursday over Ryan’s decision to withhold his endorsement of Trump for the presidency, saying he was “just not ready” to make that declaration. Politico, The Week

US Presidency Not a Reality Show: American voters should “take seriously” remarks made by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and other presidential candidates, U.S. President Barack Obama said Friday. “This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show,” Obama told reporters during a briefing at the White House. When asked specifically about Trump, the president said all presidential candidates should be “subject to exacting standards and genuine scrutiny.” VOA

GOP advisers and Trump’s foreign policy: Donald Trump’s unorthodox foreign policy views could dramatically affect the United States’ standing around the world if he’s elected president in the fall. But a group of former Republican administration officials and academics may have more impact. They are weighing the consequences of his policies for the Republican Party and whether they would join his administration. Now they must decide whether they will support a nominee whose foreign policy lacks definition and direction. “What is his foreign policy? Where will this guy go?” retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson pictured Republican policymakers asking. VOA

Warren fights Trump on Twitter: On Wednesday, soon after Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropped out of the race for president, Senator Elizabeth Warren took to Twitter to chastise Trump in a flurry of nine tweets in which she accused him of being racist, sexist and xenophobic. “There’s more enthusiasm for [Trump] among leaders of the KKK (white supremacist organization) than leaders of the political party he now controls,” Warren said in one tweet. Warren, revered among progressive Democrats for her work in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, went on to accuse Trump of inciting violence among his supporters and supporting Russia’s strong-man President Vladimir Putin. VOA

Japan ambassador on Trump’s America First policy: Without mentioning Trump by name, Japan’s ambassador Kenichiro Sasae told a Washington forum that Japan had come up unexpectedly in the election debate. “In the presidential elections, there are arguments whether the United States is going for the isolationist stance; I don’t want to see that kind of United States. I want to see the United States to be strong and come with a strong robust position, not really thinking of the United States only,” he said. VOA

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