Police arrested two British pensioners after a "large amount of cocaine" was found on board the Marco Polo cruise ship, pictured in this file photo.

Senior citizens arrested after ‘large amount of cocaine’ found stashed on cruise ship


The 70- and 72-year-old suspects are being held by police in Portugal, the UK’s Press Association news agency reported.

The Marco Polo ship, operated by Cruise and Maritime Voyages, had returned to Europe from a cruise around the Caribbean.

The septuagenarians, who are thought to be a couple, were detained in Lisbon after Portugal’s Policia Judiciaria received information from the UK’s National Crime Agency.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson told CNN that: “Our staff are in contact with the Portuguese authorities following the arrest of a British man and woman in Lisbon.”

US Coast Guard crew seizes cocaine worth $206 million

According to the Portuguese force, the pair were arrested on suspicion of trafficking narcotics and have been remanded in custody.

“In the cabin that was occupied by the suspects, four suitcases (were found) in whose structures was concealed a high amount of product, more specifically cocaine,” the Policia Judiciaria said in a statement.

Officers boarded the ship when it docked in Lisbon on December 5 and searched the cabin. There they discovered 20 to 22 pounds (9 to 10 kilograms) of the Class A drug stashed away in four pieces of luggage, the Press Association reported.

The Marco Polo left Tilbury in Essex, England, on November 5 and traveled to the West Indies and Azores with 610 passengers and 294 crew on board. Once the couple were arrested, it continued back to Britain where it docked on December 8.

The suspects appeared in court in Portugal, where they were remanded in custody pending an ongoing investigation by forces in both Britain and Portugal, the Press Association reported.

A spokesman for the cruise line said that it is “cooperating fully with the Portuguese police officials” and “does not tolerate any criminal activity or antisocial behavior on board its ships.”

The Marco Polo previously made headlines in 2014 after an 85-year-old British passenger was killed when a massive wave struck the ship during a severe storm.



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EU tells UK's May: We will not renegotiate the Brexit treaty

EU rules out Brexit renegotiation as May seeks help from Merkel


BERLIN/STRASBOURG (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May sought Angela Merkel’s support on Tuesday to save her floundering Brexit deal but the European Union ruled out renegotiating the divorce treaty, after May postponed a parliamentary vote she admitted she would lose.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker addresses the European Parliament during a debate on upcoming EU council meeting, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, December 11, 2018. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

Less than four months until the United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, May warned British lawmakers that if they rejected her deal then the only other options were a disorderly no-deal divorce, or a reversal of Brexit that would defy the will of those who voted for it.

A day after pulling the vote in the face of hostility from lawmakers, May rushed from London for breakfast in The Hague with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and then a meeting in Berlin with Europe’s most powerful leader, German Chancellor Merkel in a frantic bid to save her deal.

The message from the EU was clear: It will give “clarifications” but will not countenance reopening the treaty.

“The deal we achieved is the best possible. It’s the only deal possible. There is no room whatsoever for renegotiation,” European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said in an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

In rainy Berlin, a hitch with May’s car door briefly trapped her inside, delaying her red carpet handshake with Merkel.

The British parliament will vote on a deal before Jan. 21, May’s spokeswoman said. If there is no satisfactory deal by then, parliament will still be given a debate on the issue.

The British pound, which has lost 25 cents against the U.S. dollar since the 2016 referendum, was up 0.4 percent at $1.2615, a recovery of sorts after falling 1.6 percent on Monday.

IRISH BORDER

The most contentious issue has been the Irish “backstop”, an insurance policy that would keep Britain in a customs union with the EU in the absence of a better way to avoid border checks between British-ruled Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.

May’s critics say it could leave Britain subject to EU rules indefinitely. Juncker said neither side intended for the backstop ever to take effect, but it had to be part of the deal.

“We have a common determination to do everything to be not in a situation one day to use that backstop, but we have to prepare,” he said. “It’s necessary for the entire coherence of what we have agreed. It’s necessary for Britain and it’s necessary for Ireland. Ireland will never be left alone.”

Germany’s European Affairs Minister Michael Roth said the EU did not want Britain to leave but added that substantial changes to the withdrawal agreement would not be possible.

“Nobody wants the UK to leave,” Roth said. “I cannot imagine where we could change something substantial in the withdrawal agreement.”

May, due to meet Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk later, said she would seek further assurances and ways to give British lawmakers powers over the Irish backstop.

BREXIT UNDONE?

As investors and allies tried to work out the ultimate destination for the world’s fifth-largest economy, rebel lawmakers in May’s party said she had to go.

“If we can’t go forwards with her deal … then I’m afraid the only way to change the policy is to change the prime minister and I really think it’s her duty to go,” Brexit-supporting Conservative lawmaker Steve Baker said.

A leadership challenge is triggered if 48 Conservatives write letters demanding one to the chairman of the party’s so-called 1922 committee, Graham Brady.

May pulled the parliamentary vote the day before it was due to take place on Tuesday, prompting ridicule, calls for a national election and blunt warnings her eleventh-hour bid for changes was in vain.

She said the deeper question was whether lawmakers wanted to deliver on the people’s will expressed in a 2016 referendum, or open up divisions with another national vote.

With little hope of substantial changes from the EU, the options open to Britain range from a chaotic Brexit with no deal to risking the wrath of pro-Brexit voters by calling the whole thing off.

Both May’s ruling Conservatives and the main opposition Labour Party have pledged to implement the results of the 2016 referendum in which British voters backed exiting the EU 52 percent to 48 percent.

But three out of four living prime ministers and a growing chorus of backbench lawmakers say a new vote is the only way out of the impasse. Among Brexit opponents there is mounting enthusiasm for a chance to have another say.

Slideshow (7 Images)

Many business chiefs fear a chaotic Brexit that they say would wreck their supply lines and hammer confidence in the British economy.

“We view the situation with a mixture of worry and hope,” one CEO said of a FTSE-listed company said on condition of anonymity. “The hope comes from the fact that it’s now such chaos it gets called off.”

Additional reporting by Michael Holden, Kate Holton, Elizabeth Piper, Andrew MacAskill and Jan Strupczewski; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Peter Graff and Andrew Heavens



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Time 'Person of Year' goes to journalists, including imprisoned Reuters pair

Time ‘Person of Year’ goes to journalists, including imprisoned Reuters pair


FILE PHOTO: Reuters journalist Wa Lone arrives at Insein court in Yangon, Myanmar September 3, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Wang

(Reuters) – Time magazine on Tuesday named journalists, including a slain Saudi Arabian writer and a pair of Reuters journalists imprisoned by Myanmar’s government, as its “Person of the Year,” in a cover story headlined “The Guardians and the War on Truth.”

The honor went to a series of journalists including Reuters journalists Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, who the government of Myanmar convicted on Sept. 3 under the colonial-era Official Secrets Act in a case seen as a test of democratic freedoms in Myanmar.

Also honored was Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was killed two months ago at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul when he went there to collect documents for his forthcoming marriage.

Reporting by Scott Malone in Boston; Editing by Nick Zieminski



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Time Person of the Year: 'The Guardians and the War on Truth'

Time Person of the Year: ‘The Guardians and the War on Truth’


A series of four black-and-white covers highlights what the magazine calls “the War on Truth.”

The group includes Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post contributor who was killed at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in October. This is the first time that a Person of the Year is a deceased person.

Another cover features Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, two Reuters journalists who were arrested late last year in Myanmar while they were working on stories about the killings of Rohingya Muslims, a minority population in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. The two men remain behind bars. Their wives were photographed for the cover.

“The Guardians” also includes the journalists at the Capital Gazette, the Annapolis, Maryland newspaper where five employees were murdered by a gunman last June.

And the fourth cover shows Maria Ressa, chief executive of the Philippine news website Rappler. She was indicted last month on tax evasion charges — a case that free speech and civil liberties advocates have warned is part of a wider crackdown on dissent by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

“For taking great risks in pursuit of greater truths, for the imperfect but essential quest for facts that are central to civil discourse, for speaking up and for speaking out, the Guardians” are the Person of the Year, Time editor Ed Felsenthal wrote.

Felsenthal unveiled the covers on the “Today” show on Tuesday.

“As we looked at the choices, it became clear that the manipulation and abuse of truth is really the common thread in so many of this year’s major stories.” he said.

President Trump, not coincidentally, was the runner-up for this year’s Person of the Year title. Special counsel Robert Mueller ranked No. 3.

On “Today,” Felsenthal discussed the killing of Khashoggi and the reasons for the selections.

“This is the first time we’ve chosen someone no longer alive as Person of the Year, but it’s also very rare that a person’s influence grows so immensely in death,” Felsenthal said. “His murder has prompted a global reassessment of the Saudi crown prince and a really long overdue look at the devastating war in Yemen.”

Karl Vick, the author of the Time’s cover story about “The Guardians,” wrote that “this ought to be a time when democracy leaps forward, an informed citizenry being essential to self-government. Instead, it’s in retreat.” And “the story of this assault on truth is, somewhat paradoxically, one of the hardest to tell.”

Joshua Berlinger contributed to this report.



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Armed police restrain a man inside the grounds of the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday.

UK Parliament: Armed police arrest man at Palace of Westminster


London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed in a statement that the man was “detained and arrested by Carriage Gates inside the Palace of Westminster on suspicion of trespassing at a protected site.”

The statement added that the incident happened around 11:55 a.m. in the British capital.

According to the UK Press Association, around a dozen officers “swarmed” around the man, who was then held against a fence.

Met Police confirmed that the man was "detained and arrested."

“A taser was deployed,” the police statement said, adding that “enquiries into the circumstances continue.”

A CNN producer on the scene saw the man put into a police van following the disturbance.

It’s the same location where in 2017 Khalid Masood fatally stabbed 48-year-old police veteran Keith Palmer during a rampage that left four others dead.

Prior to the stabbing, Masood had rammed a rental car onto the sidewalk of Westminster Bridge targeting pedestrians.

Since the 2017 attack, a barrier has been built to protect those walking across the bridge and armed police have been stationed outside the Houses of Parliament permanently.



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Sterling sinks on Brexit vote delay, Asian shares dither

Trade détente bounce masks unease over Brexit and growth


LONDON (Reuters) – Stocks jumped on Tuesday as investors clung to hopes of a detente in the China-U.S. trade war and picked through the rubble of conflagrations in other top economies, with heightened uncertainty over Brexit and French protests.

FILE PHOTO: Pound Sterling notes and change are seen inside a cash register in a coffee shop in Manchester, Britain, September 21, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble/File Photo

A report China is moving to cut import tariffs on American-made cars drove European stocks to extend gains strongly as auto stocks jumped and the market interpreted this as a sign China is ready to make concessions on trade.

The report came after China’s Vice Premier Liu He exchanged views on the next stage of trade talks with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

S&P 500 and Dow futures were up 0.8 to 1 percent, indicating a strong open on Wall Street.

Euro zone stocks rose 1.8 percent and Germany’s DAX climbed 2 percent while Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 1.6 percent. Germany’s DAX, the most China-sensitive market in Europe, last week entered bear market territory.

MSCI’s world equity index gained 0.4 percent – set for its first day of gains after a five-day losing streak. China’s blue-chip index had risen 0.5 percent overnight.

Sterling, meanwhile, still floundered near 20-month lows as the market sought clarity on the next steps for Brexit after Britain’s prime minister postponed a vote on her deal.

WHERE NEXT FOR BREXIT?

Sterling hesitantly rose 0.4 percent to $1.2610 as traders sought to price in a range of possibilities after Prime Minister Theresa May’s abrupt decision to postpone a parliamentary vote on her Brexit agreement on Monday, a move that sent the pound spiralling down to $1.2505.

Goldman Sachs analysts said volatility across UK assets has increased, with option markets pricing a wider range of outcomes including Brexit without a deal, a last-minute agreement or another referendum on EU membership.

“We still think a no deal is a very low probability, but the uncertainty will persist for some time,” said Richard Turnill, global chief investment strategist at Blackrock.

“The events of the last few days show you why there’s caution,” he added.

May embarked on the first leg of a trip to meet European leaders on Tuesday, seeking support for changes to her Brexit deal, while at home some lawmakers agitated for a vote of no confidence.

The EU was adamant the withdrawal agreement, including its most contentious element – a “backstop” for the Northern Ireland frontier – could not be renegotiated.

“I have no doubt a no-deal Brexit would rank pretty high on the list of market accidents … and have a global impact,” said Andreas Utermann, CEO of Allianz Global Investors.

FRENCH FOCUS

Bond markets were focused on France as investors fretted over fiscal spending after the government announced concessions aimed at defusing weeks of often violent protests.

President Emmanuel Macron announced wage rises for the poorest workers and tax cuts for pensioners.

This sent French bond yields to their highest level over Germany’s in 19 months, with the spread over the safe-haven German Bund hitting 48.5 basis points.

Macron’s announcement “leaves open the question about how the new fiscal measures will be covered financially,” wrote UniCredit analysts.

Olivier Dussopt, junior minister for public accounts, said on BFM TV the measures would cost 8-10 billion euros ($9.1-$11.4 billion).

(For a graphic on ‘Macron measures push France/Germany 10-year yield spread wider’ click tmsnrt.rs/2PwwJLc)

The dollar index, which measures the U.S. dollar against a basket of major currencies, slipped 0.3 percent to 97.078.

In emerging markets, stocks rose 0.4 percent from one-month lows hit on Monday.

The shock resignation of India’s central bank governor hurt India’s NSE share index initially, but it closed up 0.6 percent, helped by election results in three states which were not as poor for the ruling party as some had expected.

Oil prices rebounded strongly from earlier losses, having sunk on Monday.

U.S. crude futures climbed 1.2 percent to $51.61 and Brent futures rose 0.8 percent to $60.47.

Growth worries still stalked markets.

Japan’s economy provided the latest negative data point, contracting the most in over four years in the third quarter.

Disappointing economic data has fanned worries about corporate earnings and factory output, with the Sino-U.S. trade battle clouding the outlook for growth.

All sectors in Europe are in the red this year after oil became the last to give up all its 2018 gains, as investors licked their wounds and awaited the end of a bruising year.

(For a graphic on ‘All European sectors erase 2018 gains’ click tmsnrt.rs/2zUCdu4)

Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Robin Pomeroy



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NDTV

Jamal Khashoggi Is TIME Person of the Year Alongside Other Journalists


Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in October at his country’s Istanbul consulate, was on Tuesday named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” alongside several other journalists.

The magazine also honored Philippine journalist Maria Ressa, Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo — currently imprisoned in Myanmar — and the staff of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, including five members killed in a June shooting.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

For the latest News & Live Updates on Election Results from each assembly constituency in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for updates.



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Raman Singh resigns as Chhattisgarh CM, takes moral responsibility for loss

Raman Singh resigns as Chhattisgarh CM, takes moral responsibility for loss


Raman Singh had been the state’s chief minister for the past 15 years.

Raman Singh resigns as Chhattisgarh CM

Raman Singh said he will take the responsibility for BJP’s defeat in the state. (Photo:PTI)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • It comes after BJP suffered a massive loss in Chhattisgarh assembly elections
  • Raman Singh said he takes the “moral responsibility” for the BJP’s defeat
  • Singh had been the state’s chief minister for the past 15 years

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has resigned after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered a massive loss in the Chhattisgarh assembly elections. Tendering his resignation, Raman Singh said he takes the “moral responsibility” for the BJP’s defeat. Raman Singh had been the state’s chief minister for the past 15 years.

“I take the responsibility for this defeat because the poll was contested under my leadership. We will act as a strong Opposition and work for the development of the state,” he said.

The Congress has outperformed the BJP in these assembly elections. Results as of 6:20 showed that the Congress had leads in 64 seats, the BJP in 16 and Others in 9.

Speaking about the election results, Rama Singh said: “We respect the mandate that the public has given. I congratulate Congress on this success. I consider it my luck to serve the public of Chhattisgarh for the last 15 years.”

For the latest Assembly Election News and updates from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Mizoram, Log on to indiatoday.in
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Mizoram assembly election result 2018: Here is the full list of winners

Mizoram assembly election result 2018: Here is the full list of winners


The Mizo National Front (MNF) got simple majority in Mizoram assembly after election results were declared by the Election Commission today. The regional party, led by party president Zoramthanga, ousted the Congress in the Northeastern state. The Congress had been in power in Mizoram for the past two terms. Five-time chief minister Lal Thanhawla lost from both Serchhip and Champhai South seats he contested from. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that secured no seat in 2013 election made its debut in the Mizoram assembly this time. BJP’s Buddha Dan Chakma won the Tuichawng assembly constituency against MNF’s Rasik Mohan Chakma by 1594 votes. The MNF secured 26 seats, and the Independents won eight. The Congress that won 34 seats in 2013 election bagged only five in 2018, thus losing its only Northeast bastion.

Here is the list of winners as declared by the Election Commission:

1. Hachhek: Lalrindika Ralte of Indian National Congress

2. Dampa: Lalrintluanga Sailo of Mizo National Front

3. Mamit: H Lalzirliana of Mizo National Front

4. Tuirial: Andrew H Thangliana an independent candidate

5. Kolasib: K Lalrinliana of Mizo National Front

6. Serlui: Lalrinsanga Ralte of Mizo National Front

7. Tuivawl: Lalchhandama Ralte of Mizo National Front

8. Chalfilh: Lalrinliana Sailo of Mizo National Front

9. Tawi: R Lalzirliana of Mizo National Front

10. Aizawl North-I: Vanlalhlana an independent candidate

11. Aizawl North-II: Vanlalthlana an independent candidate

12. Aizawl North-III: C Lalmuanpuia of Mizo National Front

13. Aizawl East-I: Zoramthanga of Mizo National Front

Read | CM-elect Zoramthanga likely to ban booze in Mizoram

14. Aizawl East II: Robert Romawia Royte of Mizo National Front

15. Aizawl West-I: Lalduhoma an independent candidate

16. Aizawl West-II: Lalruatkima of Mizo National Front

17. Aizawl West-III: VL Zaithanzama an independent candidate

18. Aizawl South-I: C Lalsawivunga an independent candidate

19. Aizawl South-II: Lalchhuanthanga an independent candidate

20. Aizawl South-III: F Lalnunmawia of Mizo National Front

21. Lengteng: L Thangmawia of Mizo National Front

22. Tuichang: Tawnluia of Mizo National Front

23. Champhai North: Dr. ZR Thiamsanga of Mizo National Front

24. Champhai South: TJ Lalnuntluanga of Mizo National Front

Click here for our complete coverage of Mizoram assembly election

25. East Tuipui: Ramthanmawia of Mizo National Front

26. Serchhip: Lalduhoma an independent candidate

27. Tuikum: ER Lalrinawma of Mizo National Front

28. Hrangturzo: Lalchamliana of Mizo National Front

29. South Tuipui: Dr. R Lalthangliana of Mizo National Front

30. Lunglei North: Vanlaltanpuia of Mizo National Front

31. Lunglei East: Lawmawma Tochhawng of Mizo National Front

32. Lunglei West: C Lalrinsanga of Mizo National Front

33. Lunglei South: K Pachhunga of Mizo National Front

34. Thorang: Zodintluanga Ralte of Indian National Congress

35. West Tuipui: Nihar Kanti Chakma of Indian National Congress

36. Tuichawng: Buddha Dhan Chakma of Bharatiya Janata Party

37. Lawngtlai West: C Ngunlianchunga of Indian National Congress

38. Lawngtlai East: H Biakzaua of Mizo National Front

39. Saiha: Dr. K Beichhua of Mizo National Front

40. Palak: KT Rokhaw of Indian National Congress

Read | MNF wrests power in Mizoram as Congress’s last Northeast bastion falls

Also read | Congress falters in Mizoram, CM Lal Thanhawla loses Champhai South, Serchhip seats

Also watch | Mizoram exit poll: Congress likely to lose last Northeast bastion

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