May 23, 2019
NEW DELHI (AP) – Narendra Modi, India’s charismatic but polarizing prime minister, is headed for a landslide election victory, propelling his Hindu nationalist party to back-to-back majorities in parliament for the first time in decades. With most of the votes counted, Modi’s stunning re-election mirrors a global trend of right-wing populists sweeping to victory, often on a platform promoting a tough stand on national security, protectionist trade policies and putting up barriers to immigration.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. has filed new charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. He is accused of placing the United States at risk of “serious harm” by publishing thousands of secret and classified documents, including the names of confidential sources for American armed forces. In an 18-count, superseding indictment, Justice Department prosecutors allege that Assange directed former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in one of the largest compromises of classified information in U.S. history.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Congress is rushing to wrap up a long-overdue $19 billion disaster aid package, but only after Democrats insisted on jettisoning President Donald Trump’s $4.5 billion request to handle an influx of migrants at the southern border. The disaster package – which has more than doubled in size since the House first passed it last year – would deliver aid for southern states suffering from last fall’s hurricanes, Midwestern states deluged with floods, and fire-ravaged California.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Pentagon is presenting proposals to the White House to send military reinforcements to the Middle East to beef up defenses against Iran amid heightened tensions in the region. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan says the Defense Department has not yet determined how many troops might be sent to reinforce the existing U.S. military presence in the region. It’s also not clear whether the White House will approve sending all of the troops proposed by the Pentagon, whatever the number.
UNDATED (AP) – John Walker Lindh, the California man took up arms for the Taliban before 9/11, is out of prison after more than 17 years. The 38-year-old “American Taliban” was released Thursday from a federal penitentiary in Indiana under tight restrictions that reflect government fears he still harbors radical views. He was captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan by invading U.S. forces in late 2001.
WASHINGTON (AP) – A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says the “unprecedented charges” against his client threaten all journalists looking to inform the public about actions taken by the American government. Assange was charged in a new 18-count indictment Thursday with soliciting and publishing classified information. Barry Pollack, his lawyer, says the indictment charges Assange with “encouraging sources to provide him truthful information and for publishing that information.”