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Brexiteer Boris Johnson to take over as British PM today, promises ‘DUDE’

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Boris-Johnson

Leading votary of Britain’s exit from European Union – Brexit – Boris Johnson is set to take over from Theresa May as Prime Minister today (Wednesday, July 24).

Johnson, a former foreign secretary and London mayor, won the leadership of the Conservative Party hands down on Tuesday, securing two-thirds of votes to beat his rival beating Jeremy Hunt decisively.

“We are going to get Brexit done on October 31, and we are going to take advantage of all the opportunities it will bring in a new spirit of ‘can do’,” Johnson, 55, said after the result was announced. “Like some slumbering giant, we are going to rise and ping off the guy-ropes of self-doubt and negativity.”

This promise of delivering Brexit with or without a deal this year by October-end pushes the United Kingdom towards a showdown with the EU and towards a constitutional crisis at home, as British lawmakers have vowed to bring down any government that tries to leave the bloc without a divorce deal, said reports.

Johnson’s Conservatives have no majority in Parliament and need the support of 10 lawmakers from Northern Ireland’s Brexit-backing Democratic Unionist Party to govern.

Even then, the majority is wafer-thin — and some lawmakers have threatened to bring down the government, a step that would probably deepen Britain’s political crisis and lead to an election.

Johnson will inherit an economy that could be heading for a slowdown or even a recession, weakening his hand in the battles ahead as the country prepares to leave the European Union.

Not many in UK are optimistic about Johnson’s capabilities to deliver and recall the experience of people who worked with him, especially when he was foreign secretary. The opening sentence in an article in The Guardian read: “If Boris Johnson is the answer, what was the question?” And a headline said tellingly: “The UK is at its most combustible. And now it’s led by a man who plays with matches.” Many came up with memes likening him to US President Donald Trump.

Johnson said the mantra of his leadership campaign had been to “deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat (Opposition Labour leader) Jeremy Corbyn — and that is what we are going to do”.

He said some wag had pointed out “deliver, unite and defeat” unfortunately spelt dud. “But they forgot the final e – ‘e’ for energise. I say for all the doubters, DUDE – we are going to energise the country and get Brexit done!” and like “some slumbering giant we will rise and ping off the guy ropes of self-doubt and negativity.”

India connection:

The ex-foreign secretary will officially become prime minister on Wednesday after an appointment with the Queen at Buckingham Palace. Thereafter he will deliver his first speech outside No.10 Downing Street before announcing his Cabinet in which Indian-origin Priti Patel MP is widely expected to get a top job. PIO Tory MPs Alok Sharma and Rishi Sunak are also tipped for Cabinet positions.

“I can’t think of any other British prime minister who has had such a strong Indian connection,” commented Indian journalist Rahul Singh, the late Khushwant Singh’s son.

Johnson’s estranged barrister wife Marina Wheeler QC, 54, to whom he has been married 26 years and with whom he has four children, is half Indian and half English. Before announcing their separation last September, Johnson travelled innumerable times to India with Marina and stayed with her cousins in Delhi and Mumbai. The couple are still married but in the process of divorcing.

UK, EU, and Brexit

The victory for one of Britain’s most flamboyant politicians places an avowed Brexit supporter in charge of the government for the first time since the UK voted to leave the EU in the shock 2016 referendum.

Johnson has pledged to negotiate a new Brexit divorce deal with the EU to secure a smooth transition out of the EU before October 31. But if the bloc refuses, as it insists it will, he has promised to leave anyway — “do or die” — on the current agreed date.

It is a step that many investors and economists say would send shock waves through world markets and tip the world’s fifth largest economy into recession or even chaos. A Brexit without a divorce deal would also weaken London’s position as the pre-eminent international financial centre while jolting the northern European economy, said reports.

The EU said a no-deal Brexit would be a tragedy for both parties but said the withdrawal deal was not up for negotiation. “We look forward to working constructively with PM Johnson when he takes office, to facilitate the ratification of the withdrawal agreement and achieve an orderly Brexit,” tweeted the bloc’s negotiator, Michel Barnier.

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Slovakia’s Prime Minister safe after surviving multiple gunshot

The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

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Slovakia’s Deputy Prime Minister has confirmed today that Prime Minister Robert Fico’s condition is stable, with his life no longer in immediate danger, following an alarming incident where he was shot multiple times.

The Prime Minister was shot by an assassin while he was leaving a meeting on Wednesday.The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

Following the attack, Prime Minister Fico was urgently airlifted to the hospital, where he underwent extensive surgery that lasted several hours. Defence Minister Robert Kalinak, addressing reporters from outside the hospital where Fico was receiving treatment on Wednesday, described the Prime Minister’s condition as critical, emphasising that he was fighting for his life.

The identity of the suspect is yet unconfirmed as the police further investigate. Unconfirmed reports from local media suggest that the assailant may have been a 71-year-old writer and political activist.

A video is currently circulating in which the alleged perpetrator can be seen. In the clip, he mentions that he does not agree with government policy.

The shooting has sparked international concern. Expressing shock over the incident, PM Modi conveyed his solidarity with the people of the Slovak Republic, wishing Prime Minister Fico a speedy recovery. He strongly condemned the shooting, denouncing it as a cowardly and despicable act while emphasising the need for unity against such violent acts and reaffirming India’s support for Slovakia during these challenging times.

Earlier, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen also expressed disapproval of the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico . On X, she stated that such acts of violence have no place in society, undermining democracy, the most precious common good. Von der Leyen extended her thoughts to Prime Minister Fico and his family, highlighting the European Union’s solidarity during this challenging time. The condemnation from EU leadership underscores the gravity of the situation and the need for a united stance against violence targeting political figures. As the investigation unfolds, international support for Slovakia remains steadfast, emphasising the importance of upholding democratic principles and ensuring the safety of leaders across Europe.

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World Earth Day 2024: Google Doodle showcases aerial view of planet’s natural beauty

Google celebrated Earth Day 2024 with a special doodle featuring an aerial view of our planet’s biodiversity.

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Google shared a doodle today to celebrate World Earth Day 2024, which showcased aerial photos of the planet’s biodiversity and natural beauty. Google reminded us of the importance of protecting planet earth for future generations with the help of this doodle.

The Google letters depict specific locations across the globe where people, communities, and governments work every day to help protect the planet’s natural beauty, biodiversity, and resources, according to the explanation of the annual Earth Day 2024 doodle on their website.

It said, these examples remind us that there’s much more to do to address the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, but also offer the promise of hope and optimism.

The islands of Turks and Caicos are represented by the letter “G.” The islands’ conservation efforts are concentrated on protecting important regions for biodiversity and addressing persistent environmental problems.

The largest reef in the southern Gulf of Mexico and a UNESCO biosphere reserve, Scorpion Reef National Park, is represented by the letter “O” in the Mexican flag.

The letter “O” features Iceland’s Vatnajokull National Park, which was designated as a national park in 2008 following decades of advocacy. The ecology within and surrounding the biggest glacier in Europe is safeguarded by this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The letter “G” has the Jau National Park in Brazil on it. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the biggest forest reserves in South America.

The Great Green Wall of Nigeria is represented by the letter “L,”  and the Pilbara Islands Nature Reserves of Australia are represented by the letter “E.”

Meanwhile, Earth Day is a worldwide event that promotes protection of the environment every year. April 22 serves as a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts and sustainable practices to guarantee a healthier world and a brighter future.

The occasion inspires people across the world to come together and take action to protect the environment, strengthening our bonds with nature and promoting good change.

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Bigg Boss 14 contestant Rahul Vaidya struggles walking in knee deep water, compares Dubai rains with Mumbai floods

Singer and TV personality Rahul Vaidya was recently stranded in the Dubai rains.

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Rahul Vaidya, who was in Dubai ahead of his show which was scheduled to take place today, left the country due to heavy rains and reached Kolkata. The artist shared on social media his encounters in the UAE city, including challenges like walking through knee-deep water. Rahul provided an update regarding the heavy rainfall in Dubai on his Instagram profile.

The Bigg Boss 14 contestant revealed that he was in Kolkata and prepared to do an evening performance. Recalling the terrifying period he went through, Vaidya said there was a lot of confusion and panic in Dubai. The situation was similar to that when heavy floods hit Mumbai in 2005.

Vaiday also posted seval other images and videos of cars that were underwater and flooded roadways. The Bigg Boss 14 contestant, who shared his ordeal, claimed that even though it had just rained for two hours, the situation was dire.

In one of the video, which went viral he can be seen struggling in walking in knee-deep water. He can be also seen holding his sneakers in one hand and with other hand he was seen managing other things.

This is the result of the two hours of rain that it had, he can be heard saying in the video. Vidya also said he dosen’t believe Dubai is accustomed to a lot of rain. Everything had stopped working, he remarked.

After taking part in the first season of the singing reality show Indian Idol, Rahul Vaidya gained widespread recognition. In addition to Bigg Boss, he took part in Khatron Ke Khiladi 11.

Meanwhile, heavy rains that triggered flooding in the UAE and Bahrain, which left 18 people dead in Oman on Sunday and Monday, have paralyzed the financial hub of the Middle East, Dubai.

A lot of incoming flights were diverted from Dubai’s international airport because of the rain. At 7:26 p.m., the busiest airport in the world for foreign visitors stopped accepting new arrivals; a gradual resumption was announced for more than two hours later.

Images of planes navigating flooded tarmacs are making the rounds on social media.

According to pictures shared on social media, the flagship malls Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates both experienced heavy floods, while at least one Dubai Metro station had water up to the ankles.

There were several road collapses, severe flooding in residential areas, and numerous reports of leaks from windows, doors, and roofs.

Due to the unfavourable weather, schools around the United Arab Emirates were forced to close, and as more storms are predicted, the closures are anticipated to last until Wednesday. The government of Dubai allowed its staff to work remotely till this Wednesday.

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