Thursday, Oct 19 2017 | Time 05:31 Hrs(IST)
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  • Trying to unlock Brexit, Britain's May to make offer on EU citizens
  • Canada's Trudeau defends finance minister amid ethics questions
  • Catalonia to press ahead with independence if Madrid suspends autonomy
  • ACLU, North Carolina governor reach agreement in transgender bathroom lawsuit
  • UN chief pushes for 900 more peacekeepers in Central Africa
  • Guilty verdict in Boston Islamic State beheading plot
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Final tally in NZ election strengthens Labour in negotiation talks

Final tally in NZ election strengthens Labour in negotiation talks

WELLINGTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) A possible Labour-Green coalition narrowed the gap with the ruling National Party in New Zealand's final election tally, strengthening their position ahead of talks on Sunday with the small nationalist party which holds the balance of power. The final Sept. 23 election results released on Saturday showed National won 56 seats and Labour and Greens together took 54 seats, leaving them both reliant on New Zealand First's nine seats to meet the 61 seats needed for a majority in parliament in New Zealand's proportional representation system. National lost two seats to the Labour-Green bloc compared with preliminary results - a development which Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said buoyed their position at the negotiating table. "We will continue our negotiations in earnest with potential support parties beginning this weekend," Ardern told reporters in Auckland. "This now means that we have a strengthened mandate to negotiate and form a durable, stable coalition government." Ardern, 37, took over the Labour leadership nearly two months before the election, quickly drawing comparisons with youthful, cosmopolitan leaders like Canada’s Justin Trudeau and France’s Emmanuel Macron. She has almost single-handedly brought Labour to within reach of forming government. New Zealand First said in an emailed statement that it would hold discussions on Sunday with the National Party at midday and with the Labour Party in the afternoon. New Zealand First leader Winston Peters told local media that knowing the facts "puts us in a better position to make judgements". Peters has said he would only make a decision on which party to back after the final tally and after the results become official on Oct. 12. Prime Minister Bill English told reporters in Queenstown that the final results did not change the nature of the negotiations, which would now likely focus on the economy. "I don't think it weakens it significantly at all," he said, referring to National's negotiating position. "The fundamentals haven't altered, and that is National has significantly more seats than Labour, we are larger than a Labour-Greens combination." POLICIES If New Zealand First chooses to go with Labour, which are thought to have more in common in terms of policy, the gain in seats for the Labour-Greens bloc would make it easier for Peters to justify the move, analysts said. Both parties have said they want to curb immigration, renegotiate certain trade deals and adjust the role of the central bank albeit in different ways. "If Labour, the Greens and NZ First had formed a government with a majority of one (seat)...that wouldn't have sat comfortably with many people," Richard Shaw, politics professor at Massey University, refering to preliminary results. A Labour, Greens, NZ First coalition would now hold a three-seat majority after the final tally. But some say Peters could be swayed to go to National given it would be a straightforward coalition between two parties. Peters, a veteran New Zealand politician who has now held the balance of power three times, has in past elections formed coalition governments with both the National Party and Labour. The National Party won 44.4 percent of the votes, the Labour Party 36.9 percent, New Zealand First 7.2 percent, the Green Party 6.3 percent. REUTERS SV 1334

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Smriti Irani asks Cong to come clean on Bofors, rakes up 'VP Singh bogey'

Smriti Irani asks Cong to come clean on Bofors, rakes up 'VP Singh bogey'

New Delhi, Oct 18 (UNI) The BJP on Wednesday stepped up attack against Congress party on Bofors controversy with the party leader and Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti wanting to know why former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi chose to silence his own Minister VP Singh.

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18 Oct 2017 | 8:00 PM
Bofors: CBI to study claims made by Michael Hershman

Bofors: CBI to study claims made by Michael Hershman

New Delhi, Oct 18 (UNI) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday said it will consider the facts and circumstances of the Bofors scam, as per the claims of private detective Michael Hershman.

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18 Oct 2017 | 9:19 PM
BJP fields Sukhram's son from Mandi, Dhumal to contest from Sujanpur

BJP fields Sukhram's son from Mandi, Dhumal to contest from Sujanpur

New Delhi, Oct 18 (UNI) The list of candidates released by BJP on Wednesday included the names of senior leaders like former Chief Minister P K Dhumal, who will be contesting from Sujanpur, while Sukhram's son Anil Sharma has been named as party candidate for Mandi.

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18 Oct 2017 | 6:56 PM
IBSA should play its role in shaping global discourse: India

IBSA should play its role in shaping global discourse: India

Durban, Oct 18 (UNI) Expressing its commitment to consolidate and enrich IBSA Forum further, India on Wednesday called the three-country group to play its due role in shaping the global discourse.

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18 Oct 2017 | 7:11 PM
HP polls: Cong releases 1st list of 59 candidates

HP polls: Cong releases 1st list of 59 candidates

New Delhi, Oct 18 (UNI) The Congress on Wednesday released it's first list of candidates for the November 9, Assembly election in Himachal Pradesh with Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh contesting from Arki and AICC secretary Asha Kumar from Dalhousie.

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18 Oct 2017 | 11:42 PM
Taj Mahal can also be demolished like Babri mosque: Azam

Taj Mahal can also be demolished like Babri mosque: Azam

Rampur, Oct 18 (UNI) In fresh controversial statement by Samajwadi Party (SP) General Secretary Azam Khan has stated that there is conspiracy to blow up Taj Mahal with dynamite.

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18 Oct 2017 | 8:57 PM
Delhi Metro runs a specially decorated train with ‘Swacchta’ slogans, Diwali greetings

Delhi Metro runs a specially decorated train with ‘Swacchta’ slogans, Diwali greetings

New Delhi, Oct 18 (UNI) The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, in its endeavor to spread the message of cleanliness and to promote clean and green environment on Wednesday launched a specially decorated train with slogans on ‘Swacchta’ and greetings on the occasion of Diwali.

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18 Oct 2017 | 8:21 PM
HP polls: Cong releases 1st list of 59 candidates

HP polls: Cong releases 1st list of 59 candidates

18 Oct 2017 | 11:42 PM

New Delhi, Oct 18 (UNI) The Congress on Wednesday released it's first list of candidates for the November 9, Assembly election in Himachal Pradesh with Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh contesting from Arki and AICC secretary Asha Kumar from Dalhousie.

Trying to unlock Brexit, Britain's May to make offer on EU citizens

19 Oct 2017 | 4:50 AM

By Elizabeth Piper and Alastair Macdonald BRUSSELS, Oct 19 (Reuters) British Prime Minister Theresa May will promise on Thursday to make it as easy as possible for European Union citizens living in Britain to stay after Brexit, trying to unlock stalled talks that have spurred calls for her to walk away.

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