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Indians are voting in the third phase of the general elections with campaigning by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party and the opposition marred by bitter accusations and acrimony.

The voting for 117 parliamentary seats in 13 states and two Union Territories on Tuesday means polls are half done for 543 seats in the lower house of Parliament. The voting over seven phases ends May 19, with counting scheduled for May 23.

The election is seen as a referendum on Modi’s five-year rule. He has adopted a nationalist pitch trying to win the majority Hindu votes by projecting a tough stance against Islamic neighbor Pakistan.

The opposition is challenging him for a high unemployment rate of 6.1% and farmers’ distress aggravated by low crop prices.

Source: Fox News World

North Korea confirmed Tuesday that leader Kim Jong Un will soon visit Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin in a summit that comes at a crucial moment for tenuous diplomacy meant to rid the North of its nuclear arsenal.

North Korea has so far not gotten what it wants most from the recent flurry of high-level summitry between Kim and various world leaders — namely, relief from crushing international sanctions. There are fears that a recent North Korean weapon test and a series of jibes at Washington over deadlocked nuclear negotiations mean that Pyongyang may again return to the nuclear and long-range missile tests that had many in Asia fearing war in 2017.

The North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency released a terse, two-sentence statement saying Kim “will soon pay a visit to the Russian Federation,” and that he and Putin “will have talks.” A date for the meeting was not released, and it wasn’t clear if Kim would fly or take his armored train. There are some indications the meeting will be held this week in the far-eastern port of Vladivostok, not too far from Russia’s border with the North.

The Kremlin said in a brief statement last week that Kim will visit Russia “in the second half of April,” but gave no further details.

It’s not clear how — or even if — Putin will push the stalled nuclear talks along, and the visit may have more to do with each nation’s economic interests. Russia is interested in gaining broader access to North Korea’s mineral resources, including rare metals. Pyongyang, for its part, covets Russia’s electricity supplies and wants to attract Russian investment to modernize its dilapidated industrial plants, railways and other infrastructure.

Kim and President Donald Trump have had two summits, but the latest, in Vietnam in February, collapsed because North Korea wanted more sanctions relief than Washington was willing to give for the amount of disarmament offered by Pyongyang.

For a leader often perceived by foreign media as isolated, Kim has had a remarkable string of summits, meeting with the leaders and other senior officials of South Korea, China, Vietnam and Singapore. He has also sent his deputies to Washington and received Trump’s lieutenants in Pyongyang as part of nuclear talks.

But Kim’s patience appears to be wearing thin. The North last week announced that it had tested what it called a new type of “tactical guided weapon.” While unlikely to be a prohibited test of a medium- or long-range ballistic missile that could scuttle the negotiations, the announcement signaled the North’s growing disappointment with the diplomatic breakdown.

The North also demanded that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be removed from the talks, and on Saturday criticized White House national security adviser John Bolton for calling on North Korea to show more evidence of its disarmament commitment before a possible third leaders’ summit.

Source: Fox News World

Authorities in the northern Mexico state of Nuevo Leon are investigating five law enforcement officers for their alleged involvement in the death of a man who fell from the 14th floor of a building.

Deputy state prosecutor Luis Enrique Orozco says authorities are looking for one more person believed to have been involved.

The man fell to his death early Sunday in Monterrey. Prosecutors say police allegedly arrived at the building with a false arrest warrant and then the man fell from a window.

Prosecutors say two officers with the state investigative unit of the public safety agency are believed directly involved and the others allegedly helped in some way.

State security secretary Aldo Fasci Zuazua denies that any members of the state police were involved.

Source: Fox News World

Four runner-ups to become the next Spanish prime minister are exchanging attacks while slipping in campaign pledges during the first of two televised live debates ahead of Sunday’s general election.

Monday night’s debate on Spanish public television and the second on Tuesday on a private broadcaster are seen as key in mobilizing nearly one-third of voters who polls say remain undecided.

Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez is leading voting predictions in his bid to stay in office, though short of a majority to form a government alone. He was the target of most of the criticism from opposition candidates in the debate.

A surging far-right party was left out of the debate after Spain’s electoral board disallowed a five-way debate, ruling that other smaller parties would also need to be invited.

Source: Fox News World

An earthquake has caused tall buildings to sway in the Mexican capital, prompting some office workers to evacuate.

There is no immediate word of any damage or injuries related to the Monday afternoon quake.

Mexico City is built on a former lakebed, meaning earthquakes even far away are felt strongly there.

Source: Fox News World

Police say they have rescued a 17-month-old boy three hours after he fell into a three-meter (nearly 10-foot) shaft in western Germany.

Rescue workers were called on Monday afternoon after the boy lifted a cover from the empty conduit while playing with his brother and fell inside the shaft.

German and U.S. military police helped oversee the operation in the village of Erzenhausen, which is near the United States’ Ramstein Air Base.

Fire personnel used a small excavator to uncover the conduit as far as possible and then opened it up to free the toddler. The child was taken to a local hospital for observation and reported to be uninjured.

Source: Fox News World

Mali’s president has chosen an economist to replace the prime minister following growing violence by ethnic militias in the country’s center.

Boubou Cisse, the 45-year-old finance minister, is seen as a close ally of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

Cisse’s appointment was the sixth made by the president since he took power in 2013.

Mali’s former prime minister, Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, resigned under pressure amid the insecurity in central Mali.

The conflict drew an international outcry after an attack last month left 154 people dead.

Members of ethnic groups on both sides of the rival militias say the army has failed to protect them, complicating government efforts to disarm the fighters.

Source: Fox News World

Israel has announced it will honor the head of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community during next month’s Independence Day celebrations, six months after 11 members of the community were killed in a synagogue shooting.

Israel’s Culture Ministry said Monday it had selected Jeff Finkelstein, the president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, to light a torch on behalf of the Jewish Diaspora as part of the government’s May 8 Independence Day festivities. It noted Finkelstein’s work to lead “the Jewish community’s efforts to cope and rebuild” after the deadly Tree of Life attack on Oct. 28.

In a statement, Culture Minister Miri Regev praised Finkelstein embodiment of the “spirit of greatness and social cohesion among our people.”

Source: Fox News World

Syrian state media is reporting that more than 4,300 residents of a remote displaced people’s camp near the border with Jordan have returned to government-controlled areas over the last month.

SANA on Monday quoted a Syrian-Russian coordination committee that oversees efforts to vacate the Rukban camp.

The camp has been a source of tension between Russia and the U.S., as it lies near a U.S military base near the border and inside a so-called “de-confliction zone” agreed to by Moscow and Washington.

Moscow and Damascus say the U.S. is obstructing emptying the camp. Washington denies the claims. The U.N. says those leaving the camp must have safety guarantees they will not be harassed when they return to government-controlled areas. The camp houses over 40,000 people living in dire conditions.

Source: Fox News World

The Jerusalem municipality says it will “fix” a wave of fliers that have appeared in kindergartens city-wide forbidding entrance to “minorities,” using a Hebrew term considered code for Arabs.

After an anti-racism group brought attention to the fliers, the city said Monday it had followed “security protocol determined by the police and Education Ministry,” and promised to “correct” the posters, which were distributed a year and a half ago.

Noa Sattath, director of Israel’s Religious Action Center, said she noticed kindergarten security regulations this week featured the contentious rule, and pledged a lawsuit against the municipality if it did not take action.

Sattath called the fliers a “classic case of the dehumanization of Arabs in Israel,” where Arabs comprise 20 percent of the population and have faced decades of discrimination.

Source: Fox News World

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