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May 2019
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News Headlines
Day after BJP''s massive victory, all eyes now on govt formation        Cong-JDS cabinet reposes faith in Kumaramaswamy after dismal show in LS polls        Surat: 19 students die as fire engulfs commercial complex        Britain''s Brexit-beaten Theresa May announces resignation, to step down on June 7        Two more Indian mountaineers die on Mount Everest, toll of Indians rises to 8        Nadal, Federer set up potential semifinal at Roland Garros        India, New Zealand seek tune-up in warm-up clash        Federer, Nadal threaten Djokovic bid for historic Slam        Uncertainty over Serena fitness, Osaka form at Roland Garros        Sensex, Nifty hit record highs as early trends hint at NDA win        Rupee rises 26 paise to 69.40/USD in early trade ahead of Lok Sabha elections outcome        Chinese man guilty of defrauding Apple out of 1,500 iPhones        US aviation regulator says Boeing hasn't submitted 737 MAX fix        Indian among 18 people arrested in Nigeria for illegal bunkering        US-Japan vision for Indo-Pacific serves as foundation for global partnership: White House        Rahul elected from Wayanad LS seat        Will approach party high command against Sidhu: Amarinder Singh        Amit Shah wins Gandhinagar seat by margin of 5.57 lakh votes        People of India decided Narendra Modi as PM, I fully respect it: Rahul Gandhi        BJP set to return to power as Modi wave sweeps most of India        
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International News
Iran's supreme leader makes uranium enrichment threat
 
Dubai: Iran's supreme leader issued a veiled threat in the same speech in which he stated that "no one is seeking war," saying it wouldn't be difficult for the Islamic Republic to enrich uranium to weapons-grade levels amid rising tensions with the US, state media reported Wednesday.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's comments late Tuesday came after Yemen's Houthi rebels launched a coordinated drone attack on a critical oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia. A satellite image obtained by The Associated Press shows one of the two pumping stations attacked by the drones apparently intact.

The drone assault is just the latest incident in the Mideast to shake global energy markets, as authorities allege oil tankers anchored off the coast of the United Arab Emirates were targeted by sabotage. Benchmark Brent crude prices remained around 71 a barrel in early trading Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the US is deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers into the region in response to a still-unspecified threat from Iran, further ramping up tensions a year after President Donald Trump withdrew America from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers.

Speaking Tuesday night in Tehran at an iftar, the traditional dinner Muslims have when breaking their daylong fast during the holy month of Ramadan, Khamenei's reported comments first focused on him downplaying the chances of a wider conflict in the Mideast with America.

He reportedly told senior officials that his country won't negotiate with the United States, calling such talks "poison." But he also said, "Neither we, nor them is seeking war. They know that it is not to their benefit." In Wednesday's edition, the state-run IRAN newspaper carried his comments on the nuclear program, his first since Iran announced it would begin backing away from the accord itself.

Tehran is threatening to resume higher enrichment in 60 days if no new nuclear deal is in place, beyond the 3.67 per cent permitted by the current deal between Tehran and world powers.

Iranian officials have said that they could reach 20% enrichment within four days. Though Iran maintains its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, scientists say the time needed to reach the 90 per cent threshold for weapons-grade uranium is halved once uranium is enriched to around 20 per cent.

"Achieving 20 per cent enrichment is the most difficult part," Khamenei said, according to the newspaper. "The next steps are easier than this step." It was a telling remark from the supreme leader. Iran is not known to have enriched beyond 20 per cent previously and it's unclear how far Tehran is willing to go in this process.

Khamene spoke just after Yemen's Houthi rebels, who are at war with Saudi Arabia and are believed by the West to receive weapons from Iran, said earlier Tuesday that they launched seven drones targeting vital Saudi installations. That included two pumping stations along its critical East-West Pipeline, which can carry nearly 5 million barrels of crude a day to the Red Sea.

Saudi Aramco, the government-controlled oil company, said that as a precaution, it temporarily shut down the pipeline and contained a fire, which caused minor damage to one pumping station. It added that Saudi Aramco's oil and gas supplies were not affected.

An image from San Francisco-based Planet Labs Inc. that the AP examined on Wednesday shows Saudi Aramco's Pumping Station No. 8 outside of the town of al-Duadmi, 330 kilometers west of the kingdom's capital, Riyadh.

The photo, taken Tuesday after the attack, shows two black marks near where the East-West Pipeline passes by the facility. Those marks weren't there in images taken Monday. The facility otherwise appeared intact, corroborating in part Saudi Arabia's earlier comments.

Details around alleged acts of sabotage to four oil tankers, including two belonging to Saudi Arabia, off the coast of the UAE's port of Fujairah remain unclear. Satellite images obtained Tuesday by the AP from Colorado-based Maxar Technologies showed no visible damage to the vessels, and Gulf officials have refused to say who they suspected was responsible.

The MT Andrea Victory, one of the alleged targets, sustained a hole in its hull just above its waterline from "an unknown object," its owner Thome Ship Management said in a statement. Images of the Norwegian ship, which the company said was "not in any danger of sinking," showed damage similar to what the firm described.

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, has said the other three showed damages as well.


Britain''s Brexit-beaten Theresa May announces resignation, to step down on June 7
Two more Indian mountaineers die on Mount Everest, toll of Indians rises to 8
US aviation regulator says Boeing hasn't submitted 737 MAX fix
Indian among 18 people arrested in Nigeria for illegal bunkering
US-Japan vision for Indo-Pacific serves as foundation for global partnership: White House
Protesters clash with Indonesian police after election loss
Indian-American judge orders Trump accounting firm to hand over records to Congress
Australia govt says it won't break election tax pledge
Indonesia's Joko Widodo wins second term as president
Lanka govt appeals to parents to send their children to school without fear
US delays implementation of Huawei trade ban by 90 days : Commerce Dept.
S. Arabia calls GCC, Arab League meetings
Blast near tourist bus injures at least 17 in Egypt
UK gets new weapons act, secures Sikh right to carry kirpans
Austrian far-right leader resigns over ''Ibiza affair''
Afghan security forces killed in US strike in Helmand
Trump says he hopes for no war as US-Iran tensions escalate
Iran''s Zarif says ''no possibility'' of talks with US: Kyodo
Theresa May to confirm resignation date in June
US imposes visa restrictions on three senior Pakistani officials
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Cate Blanchett, Yvonne Strahovski to star in 'Stateless'
 Los Angeles: Cate Blanchett is set to feature in Australian TV psychological drama "Stateless".
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I am not going to get into politics: George Clooney
India moots tax breaks, refunds for foreign film units
To attack Vidyasagar is to attack Bangla language: Mahesh Bhatt
KERALA NEWS
Rahul elected from Wayanad LS seat
 Thiruvananthapuram: Congress president Rahul Gandhi was Thursday declared elected from the Wayanad L
LS polls candidate attacked in Kerala
Two women abort their plan to enter Lord Ayyappa temple Sabarimala
Kerala CM meets CEOs of leading business firms in Switzerland
NATIONAL NEWS
Day after BJP''s massive victory, all eyes now on govt formation
 New Delhi: As the BJP swept to power with a spectacular performance for a second term, all eyes are
Cong-JDS cabinet reposes faith in Kumaramaswamy after dismal show in LS polls
Will approach party high command against Sidhu: Amarinder Singh
Amit Shah wins Gandhinagar seat by margin of 5.57 lakh votes
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