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Diane A. Wade

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Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.


John Kasich has decided to suspend his presidential campaign after struggling to gain traction against Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

The Ohio governor did not have a path to secure the nomination outright, but pledged to lobby for his candidacy during the Republican convention in July.

Donald Trump holds a commanding lead and is closing in on the nomination.

Despite being a popular governor, John Kasich only won his home state.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz dropped out of the race on May 3 after losing to Donald Trump in the Indiana primary.John Kasich suspends presidential campaign

John Kasich canceled events in Washington and announced an evening event in his home state on May 4.

Earlier, John Kasich released a Star-Wars themed advert describing himself as the “only hope” against Donald Trump.

Blocking from winning the nomination outright, John Kasich and Ted Cruz had hoped to force a contested convention, in which party officials, not voters, choose for the nominee.

Now it is all but certain Donald Trump will have the 1,237 delegates needed to become the nominee before the July convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

John Kasich had been widely seen as the most moderate and electable Republican candidate and polled well against Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee.

However, John Kasich’s general election strength did not garner him enough support among Republican primary voters.

The Ohio governor promoted an optimistic message while campaigning, shunning negative attacks against other candidates.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who dropped out in March, garnered more delegates than John Kasich during primary elections.

Ted Cruz and John Kasich had announced an alliance to stop Donald Trump and “to ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November” prior to the Indiana, New Mexico and Oregon state primaries, but that quickly crumbled.

Republicans are now divided over whether to support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.

John Kasich’s name has been floated as a possible vice presidential pick but he has denied that he would accept a nomination.

Members of South Africa’s opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have been removed from parliament after they tried to block President Jacob Zuma from speaking.

EFF lawmakers heckled and chanted “Zuma leave the house” during the president’s first appearance in parliament since two damning court rulings against him.

The speaker ordered security officers to throw them out.

On April 29, a court said that Jacob Zuma should be charged with corruption.

The case is related to a multi-billion dollar arms deal the government negotiated in 1999.

Photo EPA

Photo EPA

South Africa’s Constitutional Court ruled that Jacob Zuma had violated the constitution when he failed to repay government money used to upgrade his private home in the rural area of Nkandla.

Jacob Zuma denies any wrongdoing, and says he will continue to “shepherd” the nation. His term is due to end in 2019.

Punches were exchanged and parliamentary benches knocked over as plain-clothed security officers dragged the EFF MPs out of their seats and evicted them from the chamber, AFP news agency reports.

The lawmakers had earlier denounced Jacob Zuma as an “illegitimate” ruler who should step down.

The High Court said on April 29 that prosecutors should review their 2009 decision to drop 783 charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering against Jacob Zuma over the arms deal.

After the Constitutional Court ruling, the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, failed in a bid to impeach Jacob Zuma after the governing African National Congress (ANC) rallied behind him in parliament.

Donald Trump’s victory in Indiana has made him the Republican presidential nominee as rival Ted Cruz has been forced to pull out from the race.

The New York businessman, unpopular with many in his own party, now has a clear path to the 1,237 delegates needed to claim his party’s crown.

That would mark a stunning victory for a businessman few took seriously when he launched his campaign in 2015.

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders has defeated Hillary Clinton in Indiana’s Democratic race.

Bernie Sanders trails Hillary Clinton in the all-important delegate count but after this victory he said the contest was still alive.

“Clinton campaign thinks this campaign is over. They’re wrong,” he said.

Ted Cruz’s advisers had targeted Indiana as the Texas senator’s best hope of halting Donald Trump’s march to the nomination.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

“We gave it everything we’ve got, but the voters chose another path,” Ted Cruz told supporters in Indiana.

Ted Cruz’s departure means Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican nominee, with plenty of state contests this month and next to reach the 1,237 delegates required to win.

Donald Trump is the first nominee since Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 to lack any previous experience of elected office.

Ohio Governor John Kasich has vowed to remain in the Republican race, but trails far behind Donald Trump in terms of delegates.

“It is a beautiful thing to watch, and a beautiful thing to behold,” Donald Trump said during a victory speech in Indiana.

“We are going to make America great again.”

Donald Trump praised Ted Cruz as a “tough, smart competitor”, which marked a sharp reversal in tone after a day when the two men slung mud at each other from close quarters.

The verbal attacks reached a new level of intensity when Ted Cruz attacked Donald Trump as a “pathological liar” and “serial philanderer”.

That was provoked by a bizarre claim from Donald Trump that Ted Cruz’s father was linked to one of the most traumatic episodes in US history, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

It is now increasingly likely that Donald Trump will face Hillary Clinton in the autumn in the battle to succeed President Barack Obama, who will be leaving the White House after two terms.

However, Republicans have expressed reservations about Donald Trump’s outspoken remarks, which have offended women and Hispanics.

There are also concerns about some of Donald Trump’s policies on immigration and national security, like building a wall on the southern US border paid for by Mexico, a ban on Muslims coming to the US and the killing of the families of terrorists.

Ted Cruz has warned that America would “plunge into an abyss” if it elected Donald Trump.

The Texas senator spoke after Donald Trump suggested his father was connected to the man who killed President John F. Kennedy.

Donald Trump is poised to deliver a crushing blow to Ted Cruz as Indiana votes in the latest primary.

Ted Cruz’s advisers had targeted Indiana as the senator’s best hope of halting Donald Trump’s march to the nomination.

However, polls show Donald Trump with a sizeable lead in the mid-western state.

Ted Cruz attacked Donald Trump on May 3, calling the New York billionaire “totally amoral,” “a pathological liar” and “a serial philanderer”.

Responding, Donald Trump said “Ted Cruz is a desperate candidate trying to save his failing campaign.

Photo AP

Photo AP

“It is no surprise he has resorted to his usual tactics of over-the-top rhetoric that nobody believes.”

Ted Cruz and fellow candidate John Kasich are hoping to force a contested convention where party officials, not voters, choose the nominee.

If Donald Trump wins Indiana, he will likely reach the required 1,237 delegates to secure the nomination and avoid such a scenario.

Meanwhile in the Democratic battle, polls show Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders locked in a tight race in Indiana.

However, a Bernie Sanders win in Indiana would do little to erase Hillary Clinton’s commanding lead.

The Clinton campaign has shifted its focus to other states, opting not to actively campaign or spend money in Indiana.

Donald Trump told supporters on May 3 that he is eager turn his attention to the general election.

“You know if we win it’s over, and then I can focus,” he said at a campaign rally in the state.

Ted Cruz cannot get enough delegates to win the nomination outright, but hopes he can still deprive Donald Trump of a majority.

The third Republican candidate, John Kasich, is no longer campaigning in Indiana.

John Kasich and Ted Cruz reached a deal last month to coordinate their strategies against Donald Trump, a move which prompted Trump to label them “desperate”.

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Brazil’s Supreme Court has been asked by Attorney General Rodrigo Janot to authorize the start of corruption investigations against prominent opposition leader Aecio Neves.

Senator Aecio Neves, who narrowly lost the 2014 election to President Dilma Rousseff, was previously included in a list of some 50 politicians thought to have taken bribes originating from state-run companies, including electricity company Furnas.

The case is linked to the huge corruption scandal that has rocked Brazilian politics over the past year.

Aecio Neves denies any wrongdoing.Aecio Neves corruption investigation

If the Supreme Court agrees to open an investigation, the senator will be called to testify within 90 days, Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported.

The case is based on allegations made by Senator Delcidio Amaral as part of a plea bargain.

A former leader of the Workers’ Party in the Senate, Delcidio Amaral was arrested in November.

Senator Delcidio Amaral had been secretly recorded allegedly discussing plans to help a detained official flee Brazil in return for not implicating him in a major corruption scandal at Petrobras.

He was released in February after he agreed to testify against other suspects.

Delcidio Amaral said that Aecio Neves had received bribes from officials at Furnas.

He said the scheme was similar to that operated at Petrobras: Brazil’s top construction companies paid bribes to politicians, political parties and senior executives at the company in order to secure lucrative overpriced contracts.

Aecio Neves’s office rejected the allegations, with an aide telling reporters: “References to Senator Aecio’s name are all based on hearsay. There is no proof or evidence of any irregularity.

“These are old questions that have already been the subject of previous investigations, which were thrown out, or questions that have no relation to the senator.”

Rodrigo Janot has also requested the opening of a corruption probe against other senior politicians and officials, the Speaker of the lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha, and President Dilma Rousseff’s press secretary Edinho Silva.

Donald Trump has accused China of “raping” the United States, in renewed criticism of the Asian country’s trade policy.

The Republican presidential front-runner told a rally in Indiana that China was responsible for “the greatest theft in the history of the world”.

Donald Trump has long accused China of manipulating its currency to make its exports more competitive globally.

This, the New York billionaire says, has badly damaged US businesses and workers.Donald Trump RNC conspiracy

On May 1, Donald Trump told the campaign rally: “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that’s what we’re doing.

“We’re going to turn it around, and we have the cards, don’t forget it,” he added. “We have a lot of power with China.”

Chinese PM Li Keqiang has said the US election “has been lively and has caught the eye”, but many in his country see it as more than that.

They consider Donald Trump an inspiration rather than an antagonist.

In his America First campaign manifesto, Donald Trump pledges to “cut a better deal with China that helps American businesses and workers compete”.

Donald Trump sets out four goals that include immediately declaring China “a currency manipulator” and putting “an end to China’s illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards”.

According to latest figures, the US trade deficit with China reached an all-time high of $365.7 billion in 2015. By February 2016 the trade deficit had already reached $57 billion.

This is the first time Donald Trump has used the word “rape” in the context of China and trade, but his campaign has been punctuated by inflammatory comments.

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Venezuela has reversed a half-hour time change that was one of the signature measures of former president Hugo Chávez’s idiosyncratic 14-year rule starting with May 1.

The former leader turned Venezuela’s clocks back 30 minutes in 2007 so that children could wake up for school in daylight.

However, President Nicolás Maduro has decided to return to the previous system, four hours behind GMT, to ensure more daylight in the evening when energy consumption peaks.

The government already ordered rolling blackouts and reduced the working week for public sector workers to two days.

Nicolas Maduro has blamed the energy crisis on a severe drought.Venezuela stores working hours

He says the drought has drained the country’s hydroelectric dams and its capacity to generate power. His critics say the crisis is due to mismanagement of the energy sector.

The government has also ordered schools to close on Fridays and shopping malls to open only half time and generate their own energy.

When he announced the time change, Science and Technology Minister Jorge Arreaza said the night-time use of lighting and air conditioning was especially draining for the national power grid.

Oil-rich Venezuela is in the middle of a deep economic crisis caused by a drop in global oil prices. The country is suffering from a shortage of basic goods and food.

Nicolas Maduro has said the situation has been caused by an “economic war” against his socialist government driven by Venezuela’s business elite and the United States.

The opposition in Congress which took over the legislature in December has accused Nicolas Maduro and his government of economic mismanagement and incompetence.

They have sworn to drive Nicolas Maduro from office and have begun gathering the signatures needed to begin organizing a referendum to remove him from the presidency.

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s economic crisis has claimed another victim as the country’s largest brewer, Polar, suspended its operations.

Polar, the largest private company in Venezuela, brews about 70% of the country’s beer and Venezuela is one of the highest consumers of the beverage in Latin America.

Polar has argued that the government has not released enough dollars to allow it to import malted barley, which Venezuela does not produce.

German police clashed with hundreds of left-wing demonstrators trying to block the access of participants at a far-right party conference in Stuttgart.

At least 400 protesters have been arrested by riot police.

The right-wing populist Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) party is expected to re-brand itself as openly anti-Islamic during the meeting.

Police, who surrounded several hundred protesters, fired pepper spray at crowds. Close to 1,000 officers were deployed.AfD Stuttgart Conference clashes

The AfD wants to ban the burqa and outlaw minarets in Germany.

Despite the protest, the AfD conference began as planned on April 30.

Nearly 2,000 members of the AfD are registered to attend the conference. The party achieved gains in all three states taking part in regional elections in March, claiming almost a quarter of the vote in the relatively poor eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt.

The AfD had campaigned against what it called Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “catastrophic” decision to accept a million migrants and refugees in 2015.

In today’s conference, the party must agree a manifesto ahead of next year’s general election.

Proposals include withdrawal from the euro and the reintroduction of conscription, but there are splits within the party, including between its less hardline wing and the leadership.

Before the conference, police encircled groups of demonstrators in a technique known as kettling. Some protesters were seen being dragged away, with others chanting “Shame on you” at officers.

Dozens of people are feared trapped after the collapse of a seven-storey building in heavy rain in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, rescuers say.

Footages from the scene showed a crowd gathering at the Huruma residential estate as rescuers dug for survivors.

At least seven people are known to have died.

The Red Cross criticized “chaotic scenes” as rescuers arrived.

At least 121 people had been rescued, police told Kenya’s KTN network .Nairobi building collapse April 2016

It is unclear how many people are trapped beneath seven floors of concrete.

The rainfall in addition has caused landslides, washed away houses and flooded roads.

Fourteen people died in the Nairobi rains, including those in the collapse, police told KTN. Another four died when a wall toppled over, officials said.

The Huruma neighborhood is a poor district on the outskirts of Nairobi made up of narrow streets, meaning firefighters struggled to get to the scene and were delayed by large crowds.

After some time, the army took charge of the rescue – with the help of the Kenyan Red Cross.

Residents said that the building shook violently in the rain before collapsing.

Poor building standards are a fact of life in Kenya, correspondents say. A survey carried out last year found that more than half the buildings in the capital were unfit for habitation.

The high demand for housing in Nairobi has led to some property developers bypassing building regulations to reduce costs and increase profits.

There has however been some good news for the rescuers who extracted a number of children from the wreckage.

In 2015, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered an audit of all the buildings in Kenya after a spate of collapses.

Donald Trump’s speech in Burlingame, California, has been delayed after hundreds of protesters broke through barricades and threw eggs at police outside a hotel where the GOP front-runner was due to address the state’s Republican convention.

Because of the protest, Donald Trump had to enter the hotel via a rear entrance.

His rallies have been dogged by violence.

On April 28, a police car had its windows smashed as Donald Trump spoke inside a hall in the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. Some 20 arrests were made.Anti Trump protests Burlingame

The Trump campaign had to cancel several rallies in March after hundreds of protesters threatened to disrupt events in Chicago and St Louis.

Before his speech on April 29, news helicopters showed Donald Trump and his security detail crossing a motorway before entering the hotel via a side door.

On stage, Donald Trump joked about the protesters, saying “that was not the easiest entrance I ever made.”

“I felt like I was crossing the border,” he said, and that he walked through “dirt and mud” to get to the building outside of San Francisco.

Many of the protesters outside Donald Trump’s speech were arguing against his positions on immigration. The billionaire has advocated building a border wall with Mexico which he says Mexico would pay for.

Donald Trump has also referred to Mexicans as “rapists” and criminals responsible for bringing illegal drugs into the US.

The New York businessman is extremely unpopular among Latino voters and California has a large Mexican-American population.

Protests are expected to continue until the California primary is held on June 7.

Donald Trump has called himself the Republican “presumptive nominee” after a string of primary wins.

In terms of delegate support, Donald Trump is far ahead of his nearest rivals, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and John Kasich, the governor of Ohio.

Thirteen people have been killed in a helicopter crash near the Norwegian city of Bergen, rescuers say.

Eleven of those on board were Norwegians, one was Italian and one Briton. No survivors have been found.

A major rescue operation was launched but ended within hours of the crash.

Meanwhile, Norway’s civil aviation authority has imposed a flight ban on the type of helicopter that crashed – the Eurocopter (EC) 225L Super Puma. Reports say it was “totally destroyed”.

Civil aviation officials told Norwegian newspaper VG that servicing for the helicopter which crashed had been delayed twice in 2015, for a total of 200 flying hours.

Photo ITV.com

Photo ITV.com

The aircraft was flying from the Gullfaks oil field to Bergen, a centre for the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Eleven bodies have been found, and two other people are still missing.

Norwegian PM Erna Solberg said news of the crash was “horrible”.

King Harald and Queen Sonja cancelled a trip to Sweden, Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported.

Oil company Statoil said the helicopter was “on assignment”. All the passengers were Statoil employees.

Both Statoil and the UK energy company BP have suspended use of the Super Puma.

Statoil has also suspended oil production at the Gullfaks B platform “so that we can take care of the staff in the best way possible”, company vice-president Arne Sigve Nylund told journalists.

The aircraft came down near the small island of Turoy, just west of the village of Solsvik.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing the helicopter’s rotor blade come loose and shear off.

Photos from the scene showed thick smoke coming from an area of rocky islets.

Local media said the helicopter dropped 2,200ft in the last 10 seconds before it crashed. Some wreckage was found on the rocks, and parts of the fuselage are in the sea.

Indiana Governor Mike Pence has backed Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, four days before the state’s GOP primary.

Campaigning on April 29, Ted Cruz praised the governor, saying he would enthusiastically welcome his support.

Indiana’s primary on May 3 is Ted Cruz’s best chance to stem the momentum of Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

Donald Trump has won a string of states, taking him closer to being the nominee.Ted Cruz endorsed by Mike Pence

However, if Donald Trump does not win 1,237 delegates, there will be a contested Republican convention in July.

This would mean the delegates – local party activists and senior GOP officials – being free to pick an alternative candidate like Ted Cruz or the third candidate John Kasich.

It has been an eventful week for Ted Cruz, taking a beating in five state primaries, picking Carly Fiorina as his running mate and then being called “Lucifer” by ex-House Speaker John Boehner.

Governor Mike Pence made his announcement on radio on April 29, saying the Texas senator was the best conservative among “three good men”.

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Kim Dong-chul, a 62-year-old naturalized US citizen born in South Korea, was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in April 2016 for spying.

Otto Frederick Warmbier, a US student who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in March 2016 for trying to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel and “crimes against the state”.

Hyeon Soo Lim, a Canadian Christian pastor of South Korean origin, was sentenced to a life term of hard labor in December 2015, also for “crimes against the state”.Foreigners detained in North Korea

Sandra Suh, an American aid worker, was arrested then expelled in April 2015, accused of gathering and producing anti-North Korea propaganda.

Matthew Todd Miller, an American citizen who was sentenced to 6 years of hard labor in September 2014 for what North Korean state media described as “hostile acts”, but was released in November 2014.

Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American Evangelical Christian Missionary who was arrested in November 2012 and accused of using his tourism business to form groups to overthrow the North Korean government. He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in May 2013 but was released along with Matthew Todd Miller.

Jeffrey Edward Fowle, an American citizen was detained for five months and charged with “anti-state” crimes. He was released in October 2014.

Merrill Newman, a Korean War veteran who was held in October 2013 on charges of “hostile acts”. He was released in December 2013.

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US citizen Kim Dong-chul has been sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in North Korea.

Kim Dong-chul, who was born in South Korea, was arrested in October 2015 after being accused of spying.

In March, the 62-year-old had made an apparent confession in Pyongyang in front of reporters, saying he was paid by South Korean intelligence officers.

The US has previously accused North Korea of using its citizens as pawns in a diplomatic game. The North Korean government denies the accusations.

Last month, US student Otto Frederick Warmbier was jailed for 15 years for stealing a propaganda sign and “crimes against the state”.Kim Dong chul sentence North Korea

North Korea has previously said Kim Dong-chul had a USB stick containing military and nuclear secrets on him when he was arrested in the special economic zone of Rason.

Kim Dong-chul, who used to live in Virginia, had said he was introduced to South Korean spies by US intelligence officers.

Forced public confessions by foreign prisoners are common in North Korea.

Kim Dong-chul’s imprisonment comes amid a period of high tensions. North Korea has recently conducted a series of missile tests following its fourth nuclear test in January, both of which break UN sanctions.

Pyongyang attempted to launch two mid-range ballistic missiles on April 28 which crashed shortly after their launches, prompting an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

It is believed North Korea will attempt a fifth nuclear test soon.

The recent burst in activity is thought to be a ramp-up to a rare party congress due to be held on May 6, where leader Kim Jong-un is expected to consolidate power.

Ted Cruz has named Carly Fiorina as his running mate, in the event he becomes the GOP nominee at a campaign event in Indianapolis on April 27.

He called Carly Fiorina a “consistent, courageous fighter”.

The former presidential candidate is the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

Carly Fiorina dropped out of the presidential race after a poor showing at the New Hampshire primary.

She has been an active supporter for Texas Senator Ted Cruz on the campaign trail.

The early announcement is unusual because vice-presidential picks are not normally decided until after a candidate secures the nomination.

Photo AP

Photo AP

“Over and over again, Carly has shattered glass ceilings,” Ted Cruz said.

Carly Fiorina could help Ted Cruz in his battle against front-runner Donald Trump, who has made disparaging comments about women – including her.

“Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?” he said.

Carly Fiorina responded: “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”

Ted Cruz alluded to this exchange in introducing Carly Fiorina in Indiana, saying she handled it with “grace and class”.

While at Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina laid off 30,000 people and was fired by the company’s board, though she has argued that her leadership “saved” the company.

Carly Fiorina also had a failed bid for a California Senate seat.

Donald Trump’s son Eric Trump called the move desperate.

While addressing the crowd, Carly Fiorina broke into song.

She sang about Ted Cruz’s daughters and their times together on the Cruz campaign bus.

“Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are two sides of the same coin,” Carly Fiorina said, and Ted Cruz’s presidential bid is not over yet, despite what “the media says”.

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has detailed his foreign policy just one day after winning in five primaries.

In a speech in Washington on April 27, Donald Trump said he would pursue an “America First” policy.

The New York businessman called the foreign policy of President Barack Obama’s administration “a complete and total disaster”.

On April 26, Donald Trump called himself the Republican “presumptive nominee” after his primary wins.

He claimed victories in Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Before the speech, Donald Trump promised it would not be a “Trump doctrine”, and that he would retain some flexibility to make changes if elected.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

Much of his speech focused on what he called the “weakness, confusion and disarray” of the Obama administration, and his hope of reversing it.

Before the audience in Washington, he vowed to “shake the rust off America’s foreign policy”.

Donald Trump said that, under his administration “their days are numbered – I won’t tell them when, and I won’t tell them how”.

He had previously said he would weaken ISIS by cutting off their access to oil, and supported waterboarding and other strong interrogation methods against them. He did not return to these proposals on today’s speech.

“Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States and indeed, the world,” Donald Trump said, adding that he would work closely with US allies in the Middle East to combat extremism.

He also said that new talks would be sought with the US’ allies in NATO to try and reshape the organization’s structure and discuss a “rebalancing” of US financing towards it.

Donald Trump said he would also aim to hold talks with Russia to seek common ground, possibly over Islamist extremism.

“Some say the Russians can’t be reasonable,” he said.

“I intend to find out.”

Donald Trump said China “respects strength, and by letting them take advantage of us economically like they are doing, we are losing all their respect”. He said he would seek to “fix our relations with China” but did not suggest how.

On US allies, he said: “The countries we defend must pay for the cost of this defense.

“If not, the US must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves. We have no choice.”

Speaking to the New York Times last month about the US-Japan relationship, Donald Trump said: “If we’re attacked, they do not have to come to our defense, if they’re attacked, we have to come totally to their defense. And that is a, that’s a real problem.”

Donald Trump once said he was his own best foreign policy adviser, but, in recent months, has expanded his backroom team. Some of his appointments have proved controversial.

His team is led by Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

Another member, retired Gen. Joseph Schmitz, resigned from the military in 2005 amid accusations of misconduct. However, Joseph Schmitz was never charged with wrongdoing.

Another adviser, Walid Phares, was criticized when he was named as part of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy team in 2011.

Muslim advocacy groups took issue with Walid Phares’s close ties to right-wing Christian militia groups during the Lebanese civil war.

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Turkey’s new constitution will feature the principle of secularism, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has announced.

Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey’s secular and democratic character was “not up for debate”.

The prime minister’s comments came a day after parliamentary speaker Ismail Kahraman – a key member of the ruling AK party (AKP) – called for secularism to be taken out of the constitution.

Ismail Kahraman, who is overseeing the draft charter, said Turkey was a Muslim country and should have a religious constitution.

Turkey is a NATO member and aspires to join the European Union, which has traditionally regarded the country as a model of secular democracy in the Islamic world.

However, critics of the government fear the modern state’s secular foundations are being eroded.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

Opposition parties also fear the new constitution could concentrate too much power in the hands of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who wants an executive presidency to replace the current parliamentary system.

In a speech on April 27, Ahmet Davutoglu said: “Secularism will feature in the new constitution we draft as a principle that guarantees citizens’ freedom of religion and faith and that ensures the state is an equal distance from all faith group.”

Ismail Kahraman said on April 25: “We are a Muslim country… Secularism cannot feature in the new constitution.”

He later said his comments were “personal views”.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of Turkey’s main CHP opposition party, condemned Ismail Kahraman’s comments, tweeting: “The chaos that reigns in the Middle East is the product of ways of thinking that, like you, make religion an instrument of politics.”

The AKP, which has Islamist roots, has been pushing to replace the existing constitution, which dates back to a 1980 military coup and does not promote any religion.

Over the past two years, the Turkish government has lifted bans on women and girls wearing headscarves in schools and civil service. It also limited alcohol sales and made efforts to ban mixed dorms at state universities.

The government has pledged that European standards on human rights will form the basis of the new text.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP holds 317 of the 550 seats in parliament. To submit its draft constitution to a referendum, it would need 330 votes , so it will need to win over lawmakers from other parties.

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has won primaries in all five states that voted on April 26, while Democrat Hillary Clinton triumphed in four out of five.

Donald Trump called himself the Republican “presumptive nominee” after victories in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

The results bring the New York businessman closer to the number of delegates he needs before the party’s national convention in July.

For the Democrats, Hillary Clinton was denied a clean sweep by Bernie Sanders.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders won in Rhode Island and vowed to fight to the end of the primaries process.

Speaking at the Philadelphia Convention Center after securing the four other states, Hillary Clinton said her campaign was setting “bold, progressive goals” to improve lives in the US.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

“We believe in the goodness of our people and the greatness of our nation,” she said.

After his sweep of the five states, Donald Trump said of the battle for the Republican nomination: “It’s over. As far as I’m concerned, it’s over.”

He told supporters in New York he would not moderate his policies if elected president.

Donald Trump said: “You know I went to the best schools. I’m like a very smart person. I’m going to represent our country with dignity and very well.

“But I don’t really want to change my personality. You know, it got me here.”

After their victories, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton turned their fire on each other.

Donald Trump said his Democratic rival’s only advantage in the presidential race was being a woman.

“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5% of the vote,” he said.

Hillary Clinton hit back at his accusation that she was playing the “woman card”.

“Well, if fighting for women’s healthcare and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in,” she told cheering supporters in Philadelphia.

Donald Trump’s rivals, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, have already shifted their attention to forthcoming states.

As part of a new campaigning pact, John Kasich will give Ted Cruz a “clear path” to tackle Donald Trump in Indiana on May 3, with Cruz reciprocating for Kasich in the Oregon and New Mexico primaries.

Donald Trump has condemned their pact as a sign of weakness and desperation, and another sign of the GOP colluding against him.

Neither John Kasich nor Ted Cruz has a chance of securing the Republican nomination outright. The hope of a contested convention this July in Cleveland is keeping them in the race.

This scenario would see party delegates – Republican officials and activists – choose the nominee.

Analysts believe that Indiana, with its 57 delegates, will be crucial if Donald Trump’s rivals are to stop him securing the 1,237 he needs to win outright.

Opinion polls suggest Donald Trump has 39% support there, Ted Cruz 33% and John Kasich 19%.

Venezuela has announced it is imposing a two-day working week for public sector workers as a temporary measure to help it overcome a serious energy crisis.

According to Vice-President Aristobulo Isturiz, civil servants should turn up for work only on Mondays and Tuesdays until the crisis was over.

The South American country is facing a major drought, which has dramatically reduced water levels at its main hydroelectric dam.

However, the opposition has accused the government of mismanaging the crisis.

The measures announced on national television by Aristobulo Isturiz affect two million public sector workers.

In the TV address, the vice-president said: “There will be no work in the public sector on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, except for fundamental and necessary tasks.”Venezuela food shortage

President Nicolas Maduro had already given most of Venezuela’s 2.8 million state employees Fridays off during April and May, to cut down on electricity consumption.

He said Venezuela had been badly hit by the El Nino weather phenomenon and would return to normal when it started raining again.

“We are requesting international help, technical and financial aid to help revert the situation,” he said.

“We are managing the situation in the best possible way while we wait for the rains to return.”

“Several countries in the region have been affected by the drought, caused by El Nino. But Venezuela has the highest domestic consumption of energy.”

Venezuela’s government has already adopted a number of other measures to try to deal with the crisis. In February, shopping centers were told to reduce their opening hours and generate their own energy.

Earlier this week, the government put the clocks forward by half an hour to reduce demand for electricity in the early evening.

Last week, it announced it was introducing power cuts for four hours a day.

The power shortages have deepened Venezuela’s serious economic crisis.

Many businessmen and opposition politicians blame the energy crisis and shortages of basic goods on government economic mismanagement.

They say tough currency controls introduced in 2003 by the late president, Hugo Chavez, have only made this worse.

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s economy has also been hit by a sharp fall in the price of its main export, oil.

North Korea has announced its ruling Workers Party will hold its first congress in 36 years in May.

The North Korean Workers Party congress, which will take place in Pyongyang from May 6, will be only the seventh in the party’s history and the first under leader Kim Jong-un.

The gathering will be closely watched for signs of major policy shifts, movement among senior officials or comment on North Korea’s nuclear program.

The announcement comes as North Korea is believed to be preparing a fifth nuclear test.

North Korea has often timed its controversial tests to coincide with big political occasions.North Korea jams GPS signals

Its fourth test, in January, was followed by the launch of a satellite.

Both were violations of existing sanctions and resulted in the UN imposing further measures limiting trade and contact with North Korea.

The last North Korean congress was in October 1980, before the current leader Kim Jong-un was born.

The congress lasted four days and among other issues saw Kim Jong-il formally named as the intended successor to then leader Kim Il-sung.

Expectation has been growing for months that the leadership was about to announce the seventh congress.

The statement from North Korea’s KCNA news agency on April 27 gave no details of the event, and did not specify how long it would last.

However, it is widely expected that Kim Jong-un will use the party’s congress to both reinforce his role as Supreme Leader and to push his agenda of economic development coupled with nuclear progress.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on April 26 that North Korea had finished preparations for its fifth nuclear test and could carry it out it any time.

North Korea also claimed last week to have used “cold launch” technology to fire a missile from a submarine, while South Korean officials say it also appears to be preparing another test launch of its medium-range Musudan ballistic missile.

Republican presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and John Kasich have announced they will now co-ordinate strategies against rival Donald Trump.

Ted Cruz has said he will cut campaigning in the Oregon and New Mexico primaries to help John Kasich, while the latter will give Ted Cruz a “clear path” in Indiana.

Donald Trump responded to his rivals saying they were “totally desperate” and “mathematically dead”.

The New York businessman has a clear lead in delegates but may still fall short of the 1,237 needed to win outright.

If Donald Trump does not reach the target, the vote will go to a contested convention – where a different nominee may emerge through negotiations among party figures.

John Kasich and Ted Cruz announced their move in near-simultaneous statements.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Ted Cruz’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe, said: “Having Donald Trump at the top of the ticket in November would be a sure disaster for Republicans. Not only would Trump get blown out by [Hillary] Clinton or [Bernie] Sanders, but having him as our nominee would set the party back a generation.”

John Weaver, John Kasich’s strategist, said in a statement released on the candidate’s site: “Our goal is to have an open convention in Cleveland, where we are confident a candidate capable of uniting the party and winning in November will emerge as the nominee.”

Some Republican strategists have been urging this deal for weeks but analysts say it may now have come too late to stop Donald Trump.

In response, Donald Trump tweeted: “Wow, just announced that Lyin’ Ted and Kasich are going to collude in order to keep me from getting the Republican nomination. DESPERATION!

“Lyin’ Ted and Kasich are mathematically dead and totally desperate. Their donors & special interest groups are not happy with them. Sad!”

Donald Trump has frequently said the GOP nomination process is “rigged” to favor establishment figures against him.

However, the Republican frontrunner did last week promise to change his image, in a closed-door meeting with GOP leaders.

The Indiana primary is on May 3, Oregon is on May 17, with New Mexico on June 7.

However, before those comes voting in five north-eastern states where Donald Trump is heavily favored.

Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware all vote on April 26.

Campaigning in Maryland on April 24, Donald Trump said he was confident of avoiding a contested convention.

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders spoke to a rally of 14,000 supporters in New Haven, Connecticut, on April 24, again accusing rival Hillary Clinton of earning money through “speeches behind closed doors on Wall Street”.

Hillary Clinton retains a clear lead in delegates and will hope the north-eastern state votes will effectively put an end to Bernie Sanders’ dogged campaign.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have traded increasingly hostile remarks in recent weeks.

However, Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said: “Regardless of the intensity of what’s played out here… we are going to be unified.”

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Ecuador has declared 8 days of national mourning a week after the devastating earthquake that killed at least 646 people.

In a speech announcing the national mourning, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa has said the number of fatalities has risen to 646 and another 130 people were still missing.

The 7.8 magnitude quake struck off the Ecuadorean coast on April 16, injuring thousands and destroying many towns.

It was the worst tragedy to hit the South American nation in decades.

“These have been sad days for the homeland. The country is in crisis,” Rafael Correa said on his weekly TV broadcast on April 23.Ecuador earthquake 2016

Rafael Correa praised the 27 countries who sent rescue teams over the past week and said that 113 people had been rescued alive from the rubble.

“This is an amazing figure, which made all this effort worthwhile,” he added.

The president also announced that “in the next few hours” he would sign a decree declaring eight days of national mourning.

“It has been a national tragedy, but we will recover,” he said.

More than 12,000 people were treated over the past week across the country for injuries caused by the earthquake, said Rafael Correa.

Foreign nationals from the Colombia, Cuba, the UK, Ireland, Canada, and the Dominican Republic have been confirmed among the dead.

Major international and aid organizations have sent help.

The cost of rebuilding could be up to $3 billion, President Rafael Correa said during a visit to the worst-affected region.

The World Bank has agreed to lend $150 million to help Ecuador cope with the financial costs of the quake.

The tragedy comes at a time when the oil-producing country is already reeling from the slump in global crude prices.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the Ecuador earthquake had struck at a fairly shallow depth of 12 miles, about 17 miles from Muisne in a sparsely populated area.

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has promised to change his image, in a closed-door meeting with GOP leaders.

Donald Trump, who leads the Republican race to be presidential nominee, delivered his message via aides, the Associated Press news agency reports.

The New York businessman’s success in primary elections so far has set off alarm bells among those in the party anxious that his tone and policies will turn off voters.

Five states go to the polls on April 26 to pick their presidential candidates.

Donald Trump has a clear lead in the number of delegates but may fall short of the 1,237 threshold required to win the nomination without a contested convention – where the nominee is chosen through negotiations among party figures.Donald Trump foreign policy advisory team

In a recording of April 21 meeting obtained by Associated Press, Donald Trump’s senior aides told Republican leaders that he has been “projecting an image” so far and “the part that he’s been playing is now evolving”.

In it, Donald Trump’s newly hired senior aide, Paul Manafort, told the Republican National Committee (RNC) members that the presidential hopeful has a campaigning personality and a private one.

“When he’s out on the stage, when he’s talking about the kinds of things he’s talking about on the stump, he’s projecting an image that’s for that purpose,” Paul Manafort said.

Donald Trump knows he needs to moderate his personality, Paul Manafort told the meeting. “The negatives [unfavorable ratings in polls] will come down. The image is going to change.”

His standing among female voters is particularly low, after a series of controversial remarks about women, abortion and rival Ted Cruz’s wife.

According to analysts, Donald Trump’s decisive win in the New York primary this week seemed to signal a new, softer side in his victory speech.

Meanwhile, he told a rally in Pennsylvania on April 21: “At some point, I’m going to be so presidential that you people will be so bored.”

On one of the key social issues currently engulfing the GOP, transgender rights, Donald Trump took a stance out of step with his key rival Ted Cruz on April 21, when he said transgender people should be allowed to use a toilet assigned to a gender of their choosing.

Ted Cruz criticized this as politically correct but former candidate Ben Carson praised Donald Trump for “trying to moderate”.

Donald Trump has accused the RNC of conspiring against him and of rigging the way delegates are awarded in a way that is unfavorable to him.

Venezuela will cut power for four hours a day from next week to deal with a worsening energy crisis.

The power cuts will last for 40 days as the country struggles under a severe drought limiting hydroelectric output.

It is the latest setback to Venezuela’s economy which has been hit by a sharp fall in the price of its main export, oil.

Venezuela’s main brewer, Polar, also says it will stop production because it has no dollars to buy grain abroad.

Polar, which produces 80% of Venezuela’s beer, says 10,000 workers will be affected by the stoppage.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

Announcing the restrictions on April 21, Energy Minister Luis Motta Dominguez said the hours of suspension would be published on a daily basis in newspapers and on ministerial websites. He added that the cuts would not happen between 20:00 and midday.

Venezuela’s energy crisis has been deepening all this year, in February, shopping malls were told to reduce their opening hours and generate their own energy.

President Nicolas Maduro has accused Venezuela’s business elite of colluding with the US to wreck the economy.

He has accused Polar President Lorenzo Mendoza of being allied to the opposition which now dominates the Venezuelan parliament against him.

Many businessmen and opposition politicians blame the energy crisis and shortages of basic goods on government economic mismanagement.

They say tough currency controls introduced in 2003 by the late president, Hugo Chavez have only made this worse.

The country’s economy is in dire straits, suffering from spiraling inflation, shortages of some basic goods and dwindling revenue from oil.

Venezuela’s almost exclusive relies on oil, the price of which has fallen sharply.

At least three people were killed and other 136 injured after a large explosion hit an oil plant in the south-east Mexican state of Veracruz.

The facility is owned by Mexico’s state oil company, Pemex, in the port city of Coatzacoalcos.

Hundreds of people have been evacuated and schools closed. Footage showed a large fire and vast plumes of smoke.

The cause of the explosion is unclear. Several blasts have been reported at Pemex facilities in recent years.

The latest incident occurred at around 15:15 local time, Pemex said in a statement. Veracruz state Governor Javier Duarte told a radio station the blast was felt 6 miles away.

Photo Reuters

Photo Reuters

The fire was under control by early evening, Pemex said. Residents were told to stay indoors because of the possible toxic nature of the smoke from the blast, but Pemex said the smoke dissipated quickly, lessening any possible toxic effects.

According to Pemex, of the 136 people injured, 88 remain in hospital, 13 of whom are in a serious condition.

Video posted on social media purporting to show a local hospital showed scenes of chaos and patients suffering heavy blood loss.

Pemex said the part of the factory hit by the explosion was managed by a sister company, Mexichem.

Associated Press reported that the plant produces vinyl chloride, a dangerous chemical used to make PVC pipes and packaging materials.

Exports of oil from the plant, one of the largest terminals for oil distribution in Mexico, would not be affected, the company added.

Pemex’s own headquarters in Mexico City was hit by a large gas blast in January 2013, killing 37 people.