UK Conservatives take four-point lead over Labour

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at the University of Edinburgh before signing the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal in Edinburgh, Scotland, on August 7, 2018. (REUTERS)
Updated 11 August 2018
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UK Conservatives take four-point lead over Labour

  • The poll, which interviewed 1,675 adults in Britain earlier this week, showed that May extended her lead over Corbyn to 14 points
  • The latest poll suggests a reversal in the recent trend of Labour benefiting from the Conservative infighting over May’s plans for Britain to leave the EU

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party has taken a four point lead over Labour according to a poll published in the Times newspaper on Friday, which suggests a row over anti-Semitism is damaging the opposition party’s appeal.
The YouGov poll published on Friday showed that 39 percent of those asked said they would vote for the Conservatives, a gain of one point for May’s party compared to last week when the pair were level. Labour dropped three points to 35 percent.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been criticized by Jewish groups for what they describe as his tolerance of anti-Semitism in the party. Corbyn has said he will not tolerate anti-Semitism.
But the row has threatened Corbyn’s standing at a time when the governing Conservatives are deeply divided over Brexit.
The latest poll suggests a reversal in the recent trend of Labour benefiting from the Conservative infighting over May’s plans for Britain to leave the European Union, which has raised the possibility of an early election.
The poll, which interviewed 1,675 adults in Britain earlier this week, showed that May extended her lead over Corbyn to 14 points, a jump of seven points on last week, on the question of who would be the best prime minister.


Trial starts for suspect in tourist killings in Tajikistan

Updated 23 October 2018
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Trial starts for suspect in tourist killings in Tajikistan

  • Man who swore allegiance to Daesh before killing four foreign cyclists in ex-Soviet Tajikistan went on trial
  • Four of Abdusamadov’s accomplices were killed by police during a manhunt

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan: A man who swore allegiance to Daesh before killing four foreign cyclists in ex-Soviet Tajikistan went on trial Tuesday in a process closed to the public.
Tajikistan’s Supreme Court spokesperson told AFP Tuesday the trial for the “brutal murder of four foreign cyclists” had begun in the suspect’s high-security detention center.
Hussein Abdusamadov, 33, already confessed to killing American cycling tourists Lauren Geoghegan and Jay Austin, Dutch citizen Rene Wokke and Swiss citizen Markus Hummel in July.
The victims were struck by a car as they cycled along the remote Pamir Highway, a popular route among adventure tourists, before being set upon with knives and firearms.
Four of Abdusamadov’s accomplices were killed by police during a manhunt.
A video of the five men pledging allegiance to Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was released by an official Daesh media channel.
Tajik authorities have so far ignored the video evidence, instead blaming a former opposition party — the Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan — that was banned by the government in 2015.
The fact the trial is closed has raised concerns about due process in a country with a poor record on political freedoms and human rights.
Abdusamadov implicated the IRPT as the ultimate organizer of the attack in a televised confession, but critics say the government is using the case to tar the opposition.
A dozen senior members of the IRPT are serving long sentences up to life on charges government critics say are trumped up.
In addition to Abdusamadov, 16 other people stand accused of not offering information to the authorities that could have prevented the attack, a source in the police told AFP.