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SPLASH! News: Russian Missiles Target IS, Cyclone Hits Bangladesh, British PM May Could Lose Majority, and More

Dive Into the News for May 31, 2017

Kiran Opal

SPLASH! NEWS

Thousands Displaced as Powerful Cyclone Hits Bangladesh, Prompting Fears for Rohingya Refugees

TIME – The powerful Cyclone Mora swept the coast of Bangladesh Tuesday morning, pummeling low-lying villages and tearing the roofs off of huts where hundreds of thousands Rohingya refugees have sought shelter after fleeing persecution in Myanmar. The U.N. estimates that about 2.8 million people are affected by the storm, and warns that damage to refugee settlements could be “severe.”

Mora made landfall around 6 a.m. on a stretch of coast between Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar, bringing heavy rains and winds up to 73 m.p.h., according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department. At least six people have died, the BBC reports, mostly from being struck by fallen trees.

 Humanitarian response teams are still assessing the damage and a clearer picture should emerge within the next 24 hours. A spokesperson for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Nazmul Azam Khan, tells TIME that more than 450,000 Bangladeshi villagers have been evacuated and at least 10,000 homes destroyed, though the extent of the damage is still unknown. “We sent a damage and need assessment team in the morning,” Khan tells TIME. “We’ll have a clearer picture tomorrow.”

British PM May could lose majority in June 8 election: YouGov projection

Reuters – Prime Minister Theresa May could lose control of parliament in Britain’s June 8 election, according to a projection by polling company YouGov, raising the prospect of political deadlock just as formal Brexit talks begin.

In stark contrast to opinion polls that have until the past week shown May on course for a big win in the snap election she called, the YouGov model suggested May would lose 20 seats and her 17-seat working majority in the 650-seat British parliament.

The YouGov constituency projection, based on 50,000 interviews over the course of a week, showed May would win 310 seats, down from the 331 seats won by her predecessor David Cameron in 2015.

 

Trump Widens Rift With Germany and NATO With Reckless Tweet

Progressive Army – If language, enthusiasm, and tone are calculated into deriving the true commitment of an ally, then President Trump, on his first trip abroad and since, transmitted his unwavering commitment to Saudi Arabia while conveying his growing frustration with NATO allies — Germany chief among them.

In addition to what was perceived as lecturing, Trump broke with a long tradition of United States Presidents expressing the nation’s commitment to NATO’s mutual defense agreement in Article 5.

And while members of Trump’s administration sought to reassure his and the United States’ commitment to Article 5, the glaring omission did not go unnoticed.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared to have responded during a speech at a campaign event stating, “We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands.”

 

Russian cruise missiles target IS in Syria

BBC News – A Russian warship and submarine in the Mediterranean have fired four cruise missiles at so-called Islamic State (IS) positions in central Syria.

The strike – the first of its kind since November – targeted militants and heavy weapons near the city of Palmyra, the Russian defense ministry said.

The militants had been redeployed from the IS stronghold of Raqqa, it added.

Russia has been carrying out air and missile strikes in support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since 2015.

Government forces recaptured Palmyra and its Unesco World Heritage-listed ruins with Russian help in March 2016, but were driven out by IS eight months later.

They eventually regained the city this March, but fighting continues nearby.

 

WATCH LIVE: Veterans Affairs Secretary Shulkin to speak at news briefing

PBS News – Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin will speak at a news briefing with reporters Wednesday in the White House.

Shulkin is expected to begin speaking at 11:30 a.m. EST Wednesday. Watch live in the player above.

The White House did not indicate what Shulkin will address. Earlier this month, Shulkin said he is considering closing more than 1,100 VA facilities nationwide, “as it develops plans to allow more veterans to receive medical care in the private sector.”

 

Organizer of Portland pro-Trump rally reacts to deadly rampage

CBS News – Jeremy Christian, the man accused of a deadly stabbing spree on a Portland, Oregon, commuter train made several outbursts in his first court appearance. The 35-year-old was arraigned Tuesday on aggravated murder and other charges. He is accused of going on a hate-filled tirade against two teenagers. He then allegedly stabbed three men who intervened to protect the teens, killing two.

“You call it terrorism. I call it patriotism. You hear me? Die!” a defiant and angry Christian said in court, adding: “Free speech or die Portland, you got no safe place.”

Tuesday’s affidavit says that after his arrest, Christian told police: “I just stabbed a bunch of [expletive] in their neck… I hope they all die.” He called himself a “patriot” and said, “That’s what liberalism gets you.”

 

Written by Pamela Getz

Pamela Getz

Writer and Activist. Follow Pamela on Twitter @goddesspamela.

Pamela Getz is a Senior Writer for Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

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Trump Widens Rift With Germany and NATO with Reckless Tweet

SPLASH! News: Russian Missiles Target IS, Cyclone Hits Bangladesh, British PM May Could Lose Majority, and More