Weakened UK leader Boris Johnson survives no-confidence vote
LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a no-confidence vote on Monday, securing enough support from his Conservative Party to remain in office despite a substantial rebellion that leaves him a weakened leader with an uncertain future.
Known for his ability to shrug off scandals, the charismatic leader has struggled to turn the page on revelations that he and his staff repeatedly held boozy parties that flouted the COVID-19 restrictions they imposed on others. Support among his fellow Conservative lawmakers has weakened as some see a leader renowned for his ability to connect with voters increasing as a liability rather than an asset in elections.
Johnson won the backing of 211 out of 359 Conservative lawmakers in a secret ballot, more than the simple majority needed to remain in power, but still a significant rebellion of 148 MPs.
Johnson called it a “convincing” win and said the party should now “come together.”
“What it means is that as a government we can move on and focus on stuff that I think really matters to people,” he said.
Proud Boys charged with seditious conspiracy in Capitol riot
The former top leader of the far-right Proud Boys extremist group and other members were charged Monday with seditious conspiracy for what federal prosecutors say was a coordinated attack on the US Capitol to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.
The latest indictment against Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the former Proud Boys chairman, and four others linked to the group comes as the US House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot prepares to begin public hearings this week to lay out its findings.
The indictment alleges that the Proud Boys conspired to forcibly oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power. Tarrio and the others — Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs, Zachary Rehl and Dominic Pezzola — were previously charged with different conspiracy counts.
They are scheduled to stand trial in August in Washington, DC’s federal court.
The seditious conspiracy charges are among the most serious filed so far, but aren’t the first of their kind. Eleven members or associates of the anti-government Oath Keepers militia group, including its founder and leader Stewart Rhodes, were indicted in January on seditious conspiracy charges in a serious escalation in the largest investigation in the Justice Department’s history.
AP Exclusive: Ukraine recovers bodies from steel-plant siege
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia has begun turning over the bodies of Ukrainian fighters killed at the Azovstal steelworks, the fortress-like plant in the destroyed city of Mariupol where their last-ditch stand became a symbol of resistance against Moscow’s invasion.
Dozens of the dead are taken from the bombed-out mill’s now Russian-occupied ruins have been transferred to the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, where DNA testing is underway to identify the remains, according to both a military leader and a spokeswoman for the Azov Regiment.
The Azov Regiment was among the Ukrainian units that defended the steelworks for nearly three months before surrendering in May under relentless Russian attacks from the ground, sea and air.
It was unclear how many bodies might remain at the plant.
Meanwhile, Russian forces continued to fight for control of Sievierodonetsk, an eastern Ukrainian city that is key to Moscow’s goal of completing the capture of the industrial Donbas region.
Musk threatens to walk away from Twitter deal
DETROIT (AP) — Elon Musk is threatening to walk away from his $44 billion bid to buy Twitter, accusing the company of refusing to give him information about its spam bot and fake accounts.
Lawyers for the Tesla and SpaceX CEO made the threat in a letter to Twitter dated Monday, and Twitter disclosed it in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
The letter says Musk has repeatedly asked for the information since May 9, about a month after his offer to buy the company, so he could evaluate how many of the company’s 229 million accounts are fake.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has said that Twitter has consistently estimated that fewer than 5% of its accounts are fake. But Musk has disputed that, contending in a May tweet that 20% or more are bogus.
Shares of Twitter Inc. slid just under 3% Monday, likely incensing Twitter shareholders who filed a suit against Musk late last month for deflating the price of the stock. Shares of Twitter are down 23% in the last month.
UN: Climate shocks, war fuel multiple looming food crises
ROME (AP) — Two UN food agencies issued stark warnings Monday about multiple, looming food crises on the planet, driven by climate “shocks” like drought and worsened by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine that have been sent Soaring fuel and food prices.
The glum assessment came in a report by two Rome-based food agencies: the World Food Program (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
WFP Executive Director David Beasley said besides hurting “the poorest of the poor” the global food crises threaten to overwhelm millions of families who are just getting by.
“Conditions now are much worse than during the Arab Spring in 2011 and 2007-2008 food price crisis, when 48 countries were rocked by political unrest, riots and protests,” Beasley said in a statement. He cited as “just the tip of the iceberg” food crises now in Indonesia, Pakistan, Peru and Sri Lanka.
The report calls for urgent humanitarian action to help “hunger hotspots” where acute hunger is expected to worsen over the next few months.
An infamous day. A search for answers. Will America tune in?
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans are processing the nightmare of the slaughter of children in Texas, the racist murders in Buffalo, New York, and the other numbingly repeated scenes of carnage in the United States.
They’re contending with what feels like highway robbery at the gas pump, they’re nagged by a virus that the world can’t shake, and they’re split into two hostile camps over politics and culture — the twin pillars of the nation’s foundation.
They’ve already been through two set-piece dramas of presidential impeachment — indeed, through the wringer on all things Donald Trump.
Now, beginning in prime time on Thursday, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is setting out to establish the historical record of an event damaging not only to a community or individual families but to the collective idea of democracy itself.
After more than 100 subpoenas, 1,000 interviews and 100,000 documents, the committee has a story to tell in hearings that open this week. A story for the ages, it’s been said.
In blow to Biden, Mexico president to skip Americas Summit
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed Monday that he will skip the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, dealing a blow to the US’ efforts to rally governments to work together to address surging migration in the hemisphere.
López Obrador had been leading a chorus of mostly leftist leaders pushing the US to invite Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela to the gathering taking place on US soil for the first time since 1994. Other leaders, including from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — three big drivers of migration to the US — have indicated they’ll stay away too.
“There cannot be an Americas Summit if not all of the continent’s countries participate,” López Obrador said Monday, indicating that Mexico would instead be represented by his foreign affairs secretary, Marcelo Ebrard, “Or there can be one, but that is to continue with the old politics of interventionism.”
The White House defended its decision to exclude certain countries, while also confirming López Obrador will visit Washington in July to meet with Biden. Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said there was “candid engagement” with the Mexican leader about the summit.
“We do not believe that dictators should be invited,” Jean-Pierre said.
Poland, with near-total abortion ban, to record pregnancies
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The government of Poland, where a near-total abortion ban is in place, faced allegations Monday of creating a “pregnancy register” as the country expands the amount of medical data being digitally saved on patients.
Women’s rights advocates and opposition politicians fear women face unprecedented surveillance given the conservative views of a ruling party that has already tightened what was one of Europe’s most restrictive abortion laws.
They fear the new data could be used by police and prosecutors against women whose pregnancies end, even in cases of miscarriage, or that women could be tracked by the state if they order abortion pills or travel abroad for an abortion.
“A pregnancy registry in a country with an almost complete ban on abortion is terrifying,” said Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, a left-wing lawmaker.
The matter gained attention Monday after Health Minister Adam Niedzielski signed an ordinance Friday expanding the amount of information to be saved in a central database on patients, including information on allergies, blood type and pregnancies.
Joy, sadness intertwine at Normandy’s D-Day commemorations
COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — Joy and sadness in acute doses poured out Monday on the beaches of Normandy.
As several dozen D-Day veterans — now all in their 90s — set foot on the sands that claimed so many colleagues, they are thankful for the gratitude and friendliness of the French toward those who landed here on June 6, 1944. The sadness comes as they think of their fallen comrades and of another battle now being waged in Europe: the war in Ukraine.
As a bright sun rose Monday over the wide band of sand at Omaha Beach, US D-Day veteran Charles Shay expressed thoughts for his comrades who died here 78 years ago.
“I have never forgotten them and I know that their spirits are here,” he told The Associated Press.
The 98-year-old Penobscot Native American from Indian Island, Maine, took part in a sage-burning ceremony near the beach in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer. Shay, who now lives in Normandy, was a 19-year-old US Army medic when he landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.
Mickelson the last to sign up for Saudi-funded golf league
Phil Mickelson, a chief recruiter for a Saudi-funded rival league to the PGA Tour, is ending his four-month hiatus by adding his name to the 48-man field for the LIV Golf Invitational that starts Friday outside London.
Mickelson will be joining Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and three other former major champions in a 54-hole tournament at Centurion Golf Club with $25 million in prize money and $4 million going to the individual winner.
“I am ready to come back to play the game I love but after 32 years this new path is a fresh start, one that is exciting for me at this stage of my career,” Mickelson said in a statement posted on social media.
Mickelson also said he would be playing the last two majors, starting June 16 in the US Open at The Country Club outside Boston.
He said the “transformative” new league would allow him to focus on a healthier approach to life on and off the course. Mickelson did not mention the signing fee, which is likely to be every bit of the $125 million or more reportedly paid to Johnson.