Reuters: World News: Poll shows India’s Modi-led coalition could come close to majority: TV

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India’s ruling party alliance was likely to come within a few seats of winning a simple majority in parliament at the general election set to start on April 11, a nationwide opinion poll has shown.

Reuters: World News


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FOX News: USC music student, son of Oakland councilwoman, killed near campus: police

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A student who is the son of an Oakland, California, city councilwoman was shot and killed in what might have been a robbery attempt near the University of Southern California campus, officials said.

FOX News


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World – TIME: Malaysia Drops Murder Charge Against Indonesian Suspect in Kim Jong Nam’s Killing

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(SHAH ALAM, Malaysia) — Malaysian prosecutors have withdrawn the murder charge against the Indonesian suspect in the killing of the North Korean leader’s half brother.

Prosecutor Iskandar Ahmad didn’t give a reason for dropping the charge against Siti Aisyah. It was not yet clear in Monday’s court proceedings if she would be charged with a lower count.

Aisyah’s lawyer Gooi Soon Seng said she should be acquitted as the prosecution case against her has closed.

A High Court judge last August had found there was enough evidence to infer that Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese suspect Doan Thi Huong, along with four missing North Korean suspects, had engaged in a “well-planned conspiracy” to kill Kim Jong Nam.

Aisyah’s defense had been put on hold while a court heard arguments over obtaining a witness statement.

World – TIME


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Reuters: World News: China orders its airlines to suspend use of Boeing 737 Max aircraft

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China’s aviation regulator said on Monday it had ordered Chinese airlines to suspend their Boeing Co 737 MAX aircraft operations by 6 p.m. (5.00 a.m. ET) following a deadly crash of a 737 MAX 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines.

Reuters: World News


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Voice of America: Ethiopian Airlines Chief Not Ruling Anything Out in Sunday’s Fatal Crash

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The head of Ethiopian Airlines says he cannot rule out anything as the cause of Sunday’s crash of a passenger jet moments after takeoff from Addis Ababa, killing all 157 on board.

“Ethiopian Airlines is one of the safest airlines in the world,” Tewolde GebreMariam told reporters while visiting the crash site.

He stood inside the crater where the plane went down with the ground littered with plane parts and body bags.

The flight was on its way to Nairobi. Citizens…

Voice of America


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World – TIME: India’s Elections to Begin April 11 as Modi Seeks Another Term

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(NEW DELHI) — India’s Election Commission announced Sunday that national elections will begin April 11, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party seeks a second term.

About 900 million people are eligible to vote in a staggered process that allows the government to deploy tens of thousands of troops around the country to prevent violence and the capture of voting stations by party activists.

Chief election commissioner Sunil Arora said the election will be held April 11, 18, 23 and 29, and May 6, 12 and 19. The votes will be counted May 23.

Modi’s Bhartiya Janata Party, or BJP, hopes the government’s recent tough stand against Pakistan will help it retain its popularity despite suffering a setback in December when it lost three key state elections to the opposition Congress party.

Indian aircraft crossed into Pakistan on Feb. 26, carrying out what India called a pre-emptive strike against militants blamed for a Feb. 14 suicide bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir that killed 40 Indian troops. Pakistan retaliated, shooting down two Indian planes and capturing a pilot, Wing Cmdr. Abhinandan Varthaman, who was later returned to India.

Since then, Modi and BJP leaders have been projecting the party and its leaders as decisive and tough on national security. Opposition parties, however, have accused Modi and his party of using national security matters to try to influence voters.

On Saturday, the Election Commission ordered political parties to tell their candidates and leaders not to display photographs of defense personnel in advertisements as part of their election campaigns.

The commission said armed forces are “apolitical and neutral stakeholders in a modern democracy.”

The order came after billboards featuring the BJP, including Modi and the party’s president, Amit Shah, along with air force pilot Varthaman, appeared in parts of the country.

While it is too early to speculate on whether Modi’s toughened stand will help the BJP, the December election setback is expected to revive the political fortunes of the Congress party, led by Rahul Gandhi, the 48-year-old scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family.

Gandhi, who took over as party president from his mother, Sonia Gandhi, in 2017, is also trying to bring disparate opposition parties together with his party as the main threat to Modi.

India’s last national election, in 2014, was conducted in nine phases. The BJP achieved an absolute majority, with 282 parliamentary seats out of 543. The then-ruling Congress party managed only 44 seats following bribery charges against several party leaders and poor governance.

World – TIME


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