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Australia warns more terror attacks ‘likely’ in Sri Lanka

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Australia warns more terror attacks likely in Sri Lanka

SYDNEY: Australia on Friday warned more terror attacks were “likely” in Sri Lanka, cautioning citizens against visiting the island nation following the Easter Sunday bombing that claimed 253 lives.

“Terrorists are likely to carry out further attacks in Sri Lanka,” the foreign ministry warned in its latest travel advice.

“Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners,” it said.

Canberra advised Australians to “reconsider your need to travel to Sri Lanka”, following similar warnings from Britain, the Netherlands and the United States since the April 21 bombings.

The US State Department has warned that terrorist groups “continue plotting” possible attacks, with targets including tourist locations, places of worship and airports.

 

 

 

 

 

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Next British PM to be announced July 23: Conservative Party

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Next British PM to be announced July 23

LONDON: The winner of the contest to replace Theresa May as leader of Britain’s ruling Conservatives and prime minister will be announced on July 23, the ruling party said Tuesday.

Former foreign minister Boris Johnson is the favourite in the race, battling Britain’s current top diplomat, Jeremy Hunt.

The two candidates were chosen from a field of 10 by the Conservative party’s 313 MPs, and are now seeking to woo an estimated 160,000 party members who will make the final choice.

Postal ballots will be sent out between July 6 and 8, and the deadline for returning them has been set at 5:00pm on July 22.

“The announcement of the next leader of the Conservative party will be made on Tuesday 23 July. This process has been agreed with both candidates,” the statement said.

Once a successor is confirmed, May would be expected to visit Queen Elizabeth II to formally tender her resignation as premier.

Her replacement would then make his own visit to Buckingham Palace to be confirmed in office.

The Conservatives do not have a majority in parliament’s lower House of Commons, but govern through an alliance with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

May announced her resignation last month after failing to get her Brexit deal through parliament, faced with opposition from both Conservative MPs and the DUP.

It is possible that the main opposition Labour party calls an immediate vote of confidence in the new prime minister, to force them to prove they have the support to govern.

This would have to happen by July 25 when parliament breaks for its summer holiday, or wait until MPs return on September 3.

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Turkey court lifts house arrest on US consulate staffer

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Turkey court lifts house arrest on US consulate staffer

ISTANBUL: A Turkish court on Tuesday lifted the house arrest of a US consulate staffer charged with terrorism offences, just days before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to meet US counterpart Donald Trump, an embassy official said.

Mete Canturk is one of three consulate staffers arrested for links to a group accused of an attempted coup in 2016.

Canturk, a Turkish citizen, still faces trial and is barred from leaving the country, with his next hearing set for October 2.

US charge d’affaires Jeffrey Hovenier welcomed the decision to release him from house arrest.

“We continue to see no evidence to support the charges brought against him and we reiterate our call for this process as well as other processes involving our unjustly detained staff to be resolve quickly, transparently and fairly,” said Hovenier.

Relations between Ankara and Washington have been strained over several issues, including Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile defence system and US support for a Kurdish militia in Syria.

Erdogan is due to meet Trump this week on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

A Turkish-American former NASA scientist, Serkan Golge, detained in Turkey for nearly three years on similar terrorism charges, was released in May.

Another Istanbul consulate staffer, Metin Topuz, who also faces espionage charges, is due back in court this week.

A third staffer, Hamza Ulucay, from the Adana consulate, has already been sentenced to 4.5 years for “aiding a terror organisation”.

They are suspected of links to US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for orchestrating the failed coup.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bears growl at Hong Kong bourse

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Bearish bourse

HONG KONG: Shares fell more than one percent Tuesday, hit by concerns over rising  Iran-US tensions and as investors await this week’s crucial trade talks between  Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.
The Hang Seng Index sank 1.15 percent, or 327.02 points, to 28,185.98. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.87 percent or 26.07 points,
to 2,982.07, while the Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, lost 0.99 percent, or 15.63 points, to 1,560.46.

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