Six In The Morning Sunday 19 May 2019

2019 Australia election: Morrison’s coalition seeking shock majority

Final results are being counted in Australia where Prime Minister Scott Morrison hopes his victory in Saturday’s election will give him a majority government.

His conservative coalition has defied the polls and now needs to win three more seats to seal a shock majority.

“I have always believed in miracles,” Mr Morrison told supporters in his victory speech on Saturday night.

Exit polls had predicted a Labor Party win for the first time in six years.

Dalai Lama lets slip how India vetoed his meeting with China’s leader in 2014

President Xi appeared open to discussing Tibet but the Dalai Lama’s hosts in Delhi were not so keen, a book reveals

China’s President Xi Jinping agreed to meet the Dalai Lama during a state visit to India in 2014, but the plan was quashed by Delhi, the Buddhist spiritual leader has said.

The bombshell claim, which could signal that in the early years of his term Xi was open to the most radical shift in China’s Tibet policy in decades, was made during an interview for a book by Indian journalist Sonia Singh, an executive at the Delhi-based television channel NDTV.

The Dalai Lama appeared to let the detail slip casually in the November 2018 interview, according to an audio recording the Observer has heard.

AustriaThe Strache Recordings – The whole Story

In a secret recording from 2017 obtained by DER SPIEGEL, Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache of the far-right Freedom Party is heard discussing a deal with a purported Russian millionaire to trade state contracts for campaign support. By DER SPIEGEL Staff

A snow-white vacation house on a hill, a few kilometers from Ibiza Town. Three bedrooms, four bathrooms, an outdoor pool and a separate guest house with around 500 square meters (5,382 square feet) of living space for 1,000 euros a night.

The group mingling on the terrace on the evening of July 24, 2017, drinking champagne, eating tuna tartare and sushi, was discussing delicate topics: How could they make sure that a Russian investor was awarded contracts from Austrian businesses and the government?

Saudi Arabia calls urgent summit with Gulf and Arab League leaders

Saudi Arabia has called for urgent meetings of the regional Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League to discuss escalating tensions in the region, the kingdom’s official news agency said on Saturday.

The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said King Salman had invited Gulf leaders and Arab states to two emergency summits in Mecca on May 30 to discuss recent “aggressions and their consequences” in the region.

Tensions have soared in the Gulf, with the United States deploying an aircraft carrier and bombers there over alleged threats from Iran.

What are China’s naval goals? The West can’t wait to find out

By Carl Schuster

It’s no secret that China’s navy has experienced unprecedented growth, rapid modernization and an expanded range of operations over the past 15 years — and this has raised concerns about the country’s ultimate intentions.

At a conference earlier this month, more than 200 naval experts gathered at the United States Naval War College to discuss these concerns and the broader challenges posed by China’s expanded naval power.
One expert, the US Pacific Fleet’s former intelligence chief, retired Navy Capt. James Fanell noted that China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy, or PLAN for short, has commissioned nearly four times as many ships as the US Navy over the last decade.

IS THAT WHAT we think it is?” gasped a woman on the Patriot Caravan. The MAGA- and Trump-hatted group of about 25 people were on a walking tour of the U.S.-Mexico border in the desert near El Paso, Texas. It was led by a large, garrulous man named Jim Benvie, a member of the Guardian Patriots, which used to be the United Constitutional Patriots, or UCP.

“Oh sh … It might be the coyotes bringing them in!” said another woman.

“It is what you think it is,” said Benvie. As he lectured about immigrants invading America to the caravan members and the livestream audience on his phone, Benvie gazed south, past parched hills and rocky outcrops, past an invisible line dividing the U.S. from Mexico.