British PM announces her departure
British Prime Minister Theresa May announced she would step down on June 7th, after opposition to her Brexit strategy within her own party and cabinet became overwhelming.
“Broken by Brexit,” was The Guardian’s verdict on her political demise and the paper argued that she, “passes on an insoluble problem to a successor who can only win the job by promising to do the impossible.”
The Guardian May 25th
The Times, whose headline ran, “It all ends in tears,” argued that May, “failed partly because she was woefully ill-suited to the job. She lacked the personal skills that one expects in a national leader… She was unable to build allies in her cabinet, let alone in parliament.”
The Mail on Sunday – May 26th
The race to replace May as PM and party leader started rapidly with eight candidates putting themselves forward by the end of the week. “PM race turning toxic already,” headlined The Mail on Sunday.
The pro-Brexit Telegraph warned that, “the future success of the Tories depends upon the victory of a candidate who sees Brexit as an opportunity for the revival of our economy and constitution.”
But New York Times columnist, Roger Cohen, supported a new referendum to stop Brexit, saying, “May’s departure changes the scenery but does not alter Britain’s drift into a paralysing impasse that only a second referendum can resolve.”
Modi wins re-election in India with a landslide
The New York Times – May 22th
Narendra Modi and the BJP’s landslide victory in the Indian election was met with some concern in both the US and UK press.
The Washington Post saw Modi’s victory as a threat to India’s democracy. “Having campaigned five years ago as an economic moderniser, the charismatic prime minister this year offered a platform of nationalism and sectarianism…The worry now is that Mr Modi will take his resounding victory as a mandate to double down on Hindu nationalism, rather than pivoting back to the needed economic reforms.”
The Guardian argued the world did not need, “another national populist leader who pursues a pro-business agenda while trading in fake news and treating minorities as second-class citizens.”
Trump and Democrats break off talks
US papers highlighted the sudden suspension by President Trump of talks with the Democrats in Congress in protest over ongoing investigations. USA Today headlined Trump insisting, “Drop inquiries or no deals,” while The Washington Post headlined, “Trump storms out of talks.”
The Washington Post – May 23th
The New York Times noted, “since taking over the House (of Representatives) Democrats have been adamant that they can pursue a dual-track strategy of working with the president on shared policy aims, even as they investigate his administration. Mr Trump has effectively blown up that plan.”
Ebola outbreak spreads in Congo
The New York Times reported the Ebola outbreak in Congo on its front page as the, “second largest ever recorded” and, “spiralling out of control,” in part because of mistrust and suspicion of the official eradication programme. “Efforts to combat the epidemic have been hobbled by attacks on treatment centres and health workers, deep suspicion of the national government … and growing mistrust of the international medical experts.”
The New York Times – May 20th
US tables spy charges against Assange
The US last week levelled new charges under the Espionage Act against WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, currently imprisoned in the UK for jumping bail. Papers were concerned the move could open the way to the prosecution of investigative journalists.
A Washington Post editorial stated, “we don’t believe Mr Assange’s activities qualify as journalism but the legal theory used against him could easily be applied to journalists.”
The New York Times called the espionage charges, “a marked escalation in the effort to prosecute Mr Assange, one that could have a chilling effect on American journalism as it has been practised for generations.”