Britain weighs response to Iran Gulf crisis with few good options

DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) – Britain was weighing its next moves in the Gulf tanker crisis on Sunday, with few good options apparent as a recording emerged showing that the Iranian military defied a British warship when it boarded and seized a ship three days ago. Little clue has been given by Britain on how it plans to respond after Iranian Revolutionary Guards rappelled from helicopters and seized the Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday in apparent retaliation for the British capture of an Iranian tanker two weeks earlier.…

Saudi minister says Iran’s actions are unacceptable

FILE PHOTO: A helicopter hovers over British-flagged tanker Stena Impero near the strait of Hormuz July 19, 2019, in this still image taken from video. Pool via WANA/Reuters TV via REUTRSCAIRO (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs said on Sunday that Iran must be aware its actions, including the detention of a British ship, are completely unacceptable. “Any attack on the freedom of navigation is a violation of international law,” Adel Aljubeir said on Twitter. “Iran must realize its acts of intercepting ships, including most recently…

Japan pro-constitution reform forces fall short of 2/3 upper house majority: NHK

TOKYO (Reuters) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc won a solid majority in Japan’s upper house election on Sunday, but his coalition and its other allies fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to push ahead with revising the pacifist constitution, a projection by public broadcaster NHK showed. A voter casts a ballot at a voting station during Japan’s upper house election in Tokyo, Japan July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Issei KatoAbe, who took office in December 2012 pledging to restart the economy and bolster defense, is on track to become…

Box Office: ‘The Lion King’ Rules With $185 Million Debut

LOS ANGELES, (Variety.com) – Simba and Mufasa reigned supreme this weekend as Disney’s “The Lion King” dominated box office charts. Director Jon Favreau’s remake of the animated classic collected a massive $185 million from 4,756 North American theaters during its first three day of release. FILE PHOTO: Actor Florence Kasumba attends the European premiere of « The Lion King » in London, Britain July 14, 2019. REUTERS/Henry NichollsThat figure represents the second-best domestic debut of the year behind Disney and Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” ($357 million). It also marks the biggest…

This health investor shadowed Jeff Bezos and worked for Bill Gates — here’s what he learned

Jeff Bezos’s ambitions in health care are no longer a secret.Between the Haven partnership with J.P. Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, his company’s stealthy work in cancer research, investments in health clinics for employees and last year’s $753 million purchase of online drug seller PillPack, the Amazon CEO is openly taking on the $3.5 trillion health-care industry.While most of those developments are very recent, Bezos has had his eyes on this market for over two decades. Nobody knows that better than Peter Neupert, who became CEO of online pharmacy Drugstore.com…

Japan’s ruling bloc set for upper house majority, may get 2/3: NHK exit poll

TOKYO (Reuters) – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc is set to keep a solid majority in Japan’s upper house election on Sunday and with allies could seal the two-thirds majority needed to keep alive his dream of revising the pacifist constitution, an NHK exit poll showed. A voter casts a ballot at a voting station during Japan’s upper house election in Tokyo, Japan July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Issei KatoAbe, who took office in December 2012 pledging to restart the economy and bolster defence, is already on track to become Japan’s…

As Instagram tests its ‘like’ ban, influencers will have to shift tactics to make money

Kylie Jenner visits Houston Ulta Beauty to promote the exclusive launch of Kylie Cosmetics with the beauty retailer, on November 18, 2018 in Houston, Texas.Rick Kern | Getty ImagesInstagram’s test of hiding « likes » on posts just expanded to more markets around the globe. For influencers, or individuals who work with brands to promote services or products on social media, this will likely mean a continued shift away from « vanity metrics » — such as likes or follower counts — and toward actual sales.Facebook-owned Instagram said in April…

Philip Hammond plans to quit if Johnson becomes PM

Philip Hammond has said he intends to resign as chancellor if Boris Johnson becomes UK PM. Mr Hammond told the PCF leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson was « likely » to become the next PM, and a no-deal Brexit was « not something I could ever sign up to ». Mr Johnson has said the UK must leave the EU by 31 October with or without a deal. Mr Hammond said it was important the next PM and his chancellor were « closely aligned » on Brexit. Source: The Guardian

Iran warns UK against escalating tensions, says crew of seized ship safe

DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran on Sunday urged Britain to contain “domestic political forces” intent on escalating tensions between the two countries following Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker. Stena Impero, a British-flagged vessel owned by Stena Bulk, is seen at Bandar Abbas port, in this undated handout photo. Tasnim News Agency/Handout via REUTERS Britain has called Iran’s capture of the Stena Impero in the Gulf on Friday a “hostile act” and rejected Tehran’s explanation that it seized the vessel because it had been involved in an accident. The “UK…

Iran says tanker incidents have not impacted its oil exports: SHANA

FILE PHOTO: Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh talks to journalists at the beginning of an OPEC meeting in Vienna, Austria, July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard FoegerDUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said on Sunday that the country’s oil exports had not been impacted so far by the recent tanker incidents in the Gulf. “Oil tankers and export of oil is one of the issues in which we have limitations and the U.S. and its allies have caused restrictions for us and we have to be sensitive,” the Iranian oil…

U.S. adviser Bolton travels to Japan, South Korea amid trade dispute

(Reuters) – U.S. national security adviser John Bolton departed on Saturday for a trip to Japan and South Korea as the two countries are in the middle of a trade dispute. FILE PHOTO: U.S. national security adviser John Bolton looks on as U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump acknowledge former astronauts and their family members during an Apollo 11 moon landing 50th anniversary commemoration in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 19, 2019. REUTERS/Leah MillisA White House National Security Council spokesman said…

Iran tanker seizure: Radio exchanges reveal Iran-UK confrontation

Media playback is unsupported on your device A recording has emerged of radio exchanges between a Royal Navy frigate and Iranian armed forces vessels, moments before a British-flagged oil tanker was seized in the Gulf. In the recording, what is thought to be an Iranian vessel can be heard telling HMS Montrose it wants to inspect the tanker for security reasons. The Stena Impero was boarded by Iranian authorities on Friday. The foreign secretary has urged Iran to reverse the tanker’s « illegal » seizure. In the radio recording, which…

Brexit: Irish deputy PM hopes backstop will be ‘unnecessary’

Ireland wants a relationship between the UK and EU that makes the so-called backstop unnecessary, the country’s deputy prime minister has said. Writing in the Sunday Times, Simon Coveney said he looked forward to working with the new UK prime minister, who takes office on Wednesday. But he said the withdrawal agreement reached between the UK and the EU was not up for renegotiation. He also said a no-deal Brexit would « devastate » Northern Ireland’s economy. The backstop, included in the withdrawal agreement negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May…

British Airways flights to Cairo cancelled

British Airways has cancelled all flights to the Egyptian capital Cairo for a week as a security « precaution ». Passengers about to board a BA flight to the city from London’s Heathrow Airport were told that it was cancelled – and that there would be no alternative flights for a week. The airline did not specify what the security issue was. A spokesman for Cairo airport told the PCF the airport had yet to be notified by BA of any such changes. A BA spokesman said: « We constantly…

England’s seaside towns where young people might disappear

More than half of England’s coastal communities could see a decline in the number of residents aged under 30 by the year 2039. Analysis by PCF News of population projections has found seaside towns in northern England could see the biggest decline in under-30s. The Parliamentary Group for Coastal Communities said funding cuts meant seaside towns were « being left behind ». The government said it had invested more than £200m in costal communities. The coastline in England is home to some of the most beautiful but also poorest places…

Manchester puppy theft: Machete-wielding men steal seven dogs

Seven puppies have been stolen by machete-wielding burglars and might die if they are not reunited with their mother, police have said. The litter was snatched at about 09:30 BST on Saturday when two men followed a man into a flat in north Manchester. They were shoved into carrier bags and when their mother tried to defend them she was slashed in the face, Greater Manchester Police said. A man at the address in Fernclough Road, Harpurhey, was also attacked. Police said he sustained « defensive wounds » to his…

Ukraine’s Zelensky aims to bolster power in parliamentary polls

Polls have opened in Ukraine, with voters electing a new parliament. Volodymyr Zelensky became president in a landslide victory in April but says he has so far been unable to appoint the ministers he wants. The ex-TV star hopes this election, which he called quickly after being sworn in, will consolidate his power and give a greater mandate for reform. Mr Zelensky’s Servant of the People party – named after the TV show he starred in – is expected to do well. Why Zelensky needs second election win What does…

Jolie in ‘Eternals’, Ali as ‘Blade’ highlight Marvel’s star-studded slate

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co’s Marvel Studios on Saturday unveiled a star-packed slate of superhero films for the next two years that includes Angelina Jolie in “The Eternals,” Mahershala Ali in a remake of “Blade” and Natalie Portman as a female “Thor.” The announcements at San Diego Comic-Con charts Marvel’s course following mega-blockbuster “Avengers: Endgame,” which Disney said was set to top 2009 film “Avatar” by Sunday as the highest-grossing movie of all time. Jolie appeared on stage in front of 6,500 cheering fans, along with other “Eternals”…

Pacifist constitution reform at stake as Japan goes to polls

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc was forecast to win a solid majority in an upper house election on Sunday that could determine whether his dream of revising the post-war, U.S.-drafted pacifist constitution can be kept alive. A voter casts a ballot at a voting station during Japan’s upper house election in Tokyo, Japan July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Issei KatoMedia surveys show Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its junior coalition partner on track to win more than half the 124 seats up for grabs in the…

Suspected Japan arsonist a reclusive, quarrelsome gamer, neighbor says

OMIYA, Japan (Reuters) – The man suspected of killing 34 people in an arson attack in Japan lived alone, hundreds of kilometers from the torched Kyoto Animation studio, where he played video games non-stop and had “terrified” his neighbor just days earlier. A woman prays in front of a row of flowers placed for victims of the torched Kyoto Animation building in Kyoto, Japan, July 20, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-HoonPolice late on Saturday issued an arrest warrant for 41-year-old Shinji Aoba, suspected of causing Japan’s worst mass killing in two decades…

Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to set all-time box office record

FILE PHOTO: Fans watch Avengers figures before an early premiere of « The Avengers: Endgame » movie in La Paz, Bolivia, April 24, 2019. REUTERS/David Mercado/File PhotoSAN DIEGO (Reuters) – Marvel Studios superhero movie “Avengers: Endgame” will claim the top of the global box office charts by Sunday, distributor Walt Disney Co said. “Endgame” ticket sales will overtake the $2.789 billion collected worldwide by James Cameron’s 2009 science-fiction epic “Avatar,” Disney said in a statement released on Saturday as it presented a new slate of films to fans at San…

Jolie in ‘Eternals’, Ali as ‘Blade’ highlight Marvel’s new slate

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co’s Marvel Studios on Saturday unveiled a slate of upcoming superhero films that includes “The Eternals” starring Angelina Jolie, “Blade” featuring Mahershala Ali, and a “Thor” sequel with Natalie Portman as a female Thor. The announcements at San Diego Comic-Con charts Marvel’s course following the April release of mega-blockbuster “Avengers: Endgame,” which Disney said was set to top 2009 film “Avatar” by Sunday as the highest-grossing movie of all time. Jolie appeared on stage in front of 6,500 cheering fans, along with other “Eternals”…

Trump relished rally chant, Ocasio-Cortez tells constituents in Queens

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said on Saturday that President Donald Trump relished a chant by the crowd at a campaign rally this week that called for a Democratic congresswoman to be sent back where she came from. Trump renewed his criticism of four minority women lawmakers on Friday, saying that they had said horrible things about the United States, and defended himself from criticism over his comment that they should leave the United States if unhappy. A day after saying his audience in North Carolina went…

Britain calls ship seizure ‘hostile act’ as Iran releases video of capture

GENEVA/LONDON (Reuters) – Britain on Saturday denounced Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf as a “hostile act” and rejected Tehran’s explanation that it seized the vessel because it had been involved in an accident. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards posted a video online showing speedboats pulling alongside the Stena Impero tanker, its name clearly visible. Troops wearing ski masks and carrying machine guns rappelled to its deck from a helicopter, the same tactics used by British Royal Marines to seize an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar…

‘Star Trek’ favorites to return with Patrick Stewart in ‘Picard’

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – The upcoming “Star Trek” series about Jean-Luc Picard will reunite the beloved starship commander with android officer Data and other characters from the long-running space franchise, the cast revealed to fans at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. FILE PHOTO: Actor Patrick Stewart attends a Service of Thanksgiving for Sir Peter Hall at Westminster Abbey in London, Britain, September 11, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKayBritish actor Patrick Stewart, who is returning to the role of Picard that he played from 1987 to 1994 in the TV series “Star Trek:…

British Airways suspends flights to Cairo for seven days

CAIRO (Reuters) – British Airways and Lufthansa abruptly suspended flights to Cairo from Saturday over security concerns, but giving no details about what may have prompted the move. British Airways aircraft are seen at Heathrow Airport in west London, Britain, February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay“We constantly review our security arrangements at all our airports around the world, and have suspended flights to Cairo for seven days as a precaution to allow for further assessment,” British Airways said in a statement. Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) later said it had canceled its flights to…

UK calls seizure of ship a ‘hostile act’; Iran releases video of capture

GENEVA/LONDON (Reuters) – Britain denounced the Iranian seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf as a “hostile act” on Saturday, rejecting Tehran’s explanation that it had seized the vessel because it had been involved in an accident. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards posted a video online showing speedboats pulling up alongside the Stena Impero tanker, its name clearly visible. Troops wearing ski masks and carrying machine guns rappelled to its deck from a helicopter, the same tactics used by British Royal Marines to seize an Iranian tanker off the coast…