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It's Cameron!, Pakistan Copter Crash, Kimmel's Class

UK GIVES CAMERON FIVE MORE YEARS

What all British pollsters foresaw as the tightest election in decades turned out to be a night of triumph for incumbent Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservative Party and a stinging defeat for the Labour opposition. The BBC projections of 329 Conservative seats in the new House of Commons give Cameron a slender majority, just enough to govern without needing a coalition partner.

Photo: Tolga Akmen/London News Pictures/ZUMA

  • Labour’s historic defeat is likely to claim the scalp of Cameron foe Ed Miliband. The party leader is expected to announce his resignation sometime today. Observers are blaming him for his lack of charisma and a poor campaign that also failed to secure the seat of his shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Ed Balls. “The responsibility for the result is mine alone,” Miliband wrote on Twitter.

  • In the wake of the Liberal Democrats' overwhelming defeat, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg resigned as party leader today. He said the results had been immeasurably more crushing and unkind than he expected. "For that I must take responsibility and resign as leader of the Liberal Democrats.”

  • The results also proved to be a resounding triumph for the left-leaning and pro-independence Scottish National Party, which won 56 of Scotland’s 59 seats in Westminster, partially explaining Labour’s poor performance.

  • Nigel Farage, leader of the anti-EU UK Independence Party, has failed to win a seat. Despite more than 3.8 million votes for UKIP, third place in terms of vote share, the party will have just one parliament member in the House of Commons.

  • Check out our roundup of coverage about the UK election.

XI JINPING IN MOSCOW

Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Moscow for a three-day visit during which he will attend Russia's military parade marking the 70th anniversary of World War II’s Allied victory over Nazi Germany. Xi will hold key talks with several Russian leaders, including his counterpart Vladimir Putin, as the two countries seek to expand their strategic cooperation, The International Business Times reports. The two leaders are expected to sign more than 40 agreements on issues ranging from security to the economy and energy, with Moscoweager to attract Chinese investment in Russian companies.

AMBASSADORS KILLED IN PAKISTAN CRASH

The Norwegian and Philippine ambassadors to Pakistan are among the six people killed after the helicopter they were traveling in crashed in northern Pakistan, Dawn reports. The wives of the Malaysian and Indonesian ambassadors, as well as the helicopter’s two pilots, were also killed in the accident that left the Polish and Dutch ambassadors wounded. Though the Taliban claimed responsibility for the crashand said they were targeting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was traveling in a different helicopter, Army sources ruled out terrorism, telling Dawn the crash was caused by “a technical fault.”

ON THIS DAY


Can you guess which carbonated beverage recognized the world over first hit the shelves 129 years ago today? Find out in your 57-second shot of history.

ISIS “INSPIRED” BUT DIDN’T ORDER TEXAS ATTACK

Sunday’s attack at a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas was “inspired by ISIS, not directed by ISIS,” U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said, calling this “an important distinction.” But he acknowledged how troubling it is that the young attackers were influenced by the terror group. Speaking to AP, organizer Pamela Geller said she didn’t regret holding the cartoon contest and suggested she might even have saved lives. The New York Times editorial board disagrees.

$45 BILLION

Swiss agrochemical company Syngenta has rejected a $45 billion takeover offer from its U.S. rival Monsanto, saying the figure is too low. The two companies are reportedly working with investment banks on a deal, so a new offer could be forthcoming. If a deal is reached, it would create an industry behemoth with combined sales of more than $31 billion, Reuters reports.

SENIOR AL-QAEDA FIGURE KILLED IN YEMEN

Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi, a senior official for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Yemen last month, the terrorist group has said. He was among those who claimed responsibility for the January terror attacks in Paris. Read more from Al Jazeera.

MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD

CHEMICAL ATTACK ALLEGED IN SYRIA

Dozens of people have been injured in the northeast Syrian province of Idilb after government forces launched a chemical attack, AP reports, citing claims from activists. Earlier this year, several reports noted that terrorist group ISIS also had stocks of chlorine weapons. The latest allegation comes amid AP revelations that Turkey and Saudi Arabia have established a new strategy to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom they view as their enemy, despite U.S. concerns about helping extremist groups such as the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front. The news agency says this strategic alliance is behind recent rebel gains in northern Syria. Meanwhile, the U.S. hasbegun training “moderate Syrian rebels” in Jordan as part of its anti-ISIS plan.

WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

When it comes to recognition of the past and the atrocities some countries have committed, each is a specific case, but Les Echos’ Dominique Moïsi distinguishes three models, or counter-models: Germany and Turkey, on opposite ends of the spectrum — and Japan in the middle. “This is especially true regarding repentance,” he writes. “On this issue, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Japan now seems to rank somewhere between Konrad Adenauer's Germany and Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkey. Since Abe's emotional April 29 speech in Washington, where both chambers of Congress gathered for the first time ever to hear a Japanese leader, Japan inched ever so cautiously closer to Germany on the repentance scale. He finally expressed his condolences to the American people and recognized that the actions of his country had ‘brought suffering to the peoples in Asian countries.’ But he went no further, missing a critical opportunity to apologize to the Asian ‘comfort women’ who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese army during World War II.”

Read the full article, Japan, Turkey And The Difficult Exercise Of Repentance.

KIMMEL’S CLASS

“I’ll probably be crying all day, which makes it hard to work,” Jimmy Kimmel said in announcing that his May 20 show would actually be a rerun so as not to compete with David Letterman’s grand finale. “I have too much respect for Dave to do anything that would distract viewers from watching his final show.”

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Fight Over Tourist Visa Ban For Russians Is Taking Everyone For A Ride

High on the agenda of the Prague summit of Europe’s foreign ministers this week was a proposal to ban tourist visas for Russians, as punishment for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. But it is ultimately a way to change the subject, and recalls Zelensky’s iconic remark after the war began.

Passengers arrive at Sheremetyevo International Airport, Russia

TASS
Anna Akage

It’s not a new question. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had called for a ban on tourist visa for Russian soon after the war began, and this week it became the center of the Prague summit of European Union foreign ministers.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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Some European Union nations voiced their support soon after it was mentioned by Zelensky, including former Soviet republics and current Russia neighbors, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. They were followed by Finland and the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Poland. Hungary, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus. Germany and France are looking for a compromise that would allow for visas for students, workers of culture and science, as well as people who need entry for humanitarian reason. Perhaps most importantly, however, the U.S. took an unambiguous position against the restrictions.

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Writing contest - My pandemic story
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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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