World Bulletin / News Desk
British opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn insisted Thursday that he could still win a snap June election despite dire poll ratings, pitching himself as an anti-establishment candidate fighting for change.
A new poll put the centre-left party 24 points behind Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives, a seemingly insurmountable challenge ahead of election day on June 8.
But addressing a hall in London packed with supporters, Corbyn denied a Conservative victory was a "foregone conclusion", pointing to his own unlikely election as Labour leader in 2015.
May called the surprise vote on Tuesday to bolster her position going into negotiations on pulling Britain out of the EU, which are due to begin shortly after the election.
But Corbyn said the debate should not be about Brexit but about the battle between "the Conservatives, the party of privilege and the richest, versus the Labour party, the party that is standing up for working people".
In a passionate speech targeting a "cosy cartel" of multinational corporations and rich individuals who dodged their taxes, he said he would not play by the rules "set by failed political and corporate elites".
"It is a rigged system set up by the wealth extractors, for the wealth extractors. But things can, and they will, change," he said.
No second referendum
May, who took office after the Brexit vote last June, is seeking to capitalise on public support to increase her slim majority of 17 in the 650-seat House of Commons.
She has promised "strong and stable leadership" as Britain begins talks on ending its 43-year-old membership of the European Union, which are likely to be tough.
Brexit has divided both of Britain's main political parties, but Labour is also struggling under Corbyn's leadership, with 172 of his 229 MPs last year trying unsuccessfully to oust him.
The Conservatives were quick to condemn the party as in "chaos" on Thursday after Corbyn dodged a question about whether Labour might back a second referendum on the final Brexit deal.
He stressed only that he wanted continued economic ties with the EU, while May has said she will pull Britain out of Europe's single market.
Conservative party chairman Patrick McLoughlin said Labour was seeking to "disrupt" the Brexit negotiations, adding: "This can only mean more uncertainty for Britain."
A spokesman later said Corbyn would not back a second referendum.
Tackling Tory europhiles
The Conservatives are set to include in their election manifesto May's promises to take Britain out of the single market and cut EU migration after Brexit, according to the Daily Mail.
The intention is to tie the hands of europhile Conservative MPs who might challenge her in the months ahead, the tabloid said.
"Every Conservative vote will strengthen the UK's negotiating position in Europe -- every vote for another party will weaken it," McLoughlin said.
The Conservatives have had a commanding lead over Labour for months, but a new YouGov poll for The Times on Thursday put them on 48 percent, double Labour's showing of 24 percent.
Meanwhile one of the Tories' most controversial characters, Douglas Carswell, who defected to the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) in 2014, announced he would not run again.
Carswell's defection gave UKIP its first MP, in the southern English coastal town of Clacton, and helped persuade former prime minister David Cameron into calling the EU vote.
Carswell had already announced last month that he was quitting UKIP to become an independent, and he said Thursday he would stand down and support the local Conservative candidate.
The president had flown to South Africa on Wednesday to attend a two-day regional leaders' summit in Pretoria that began Saturday -- which police said she had been expected to attend.
Local media says 3 armed men were reportedly spotted on Paris-Nimes train
Opposition protesters call for change in country's constitution, want term limits
Police said they had cast a dragnet for 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub, who media reports say was the driver of a van that smashed into people on Barcelona's busy Las Ramblas boulevard on Thursday.
In perhaps the worst to date, he dealt a crushing blow to his own embattled administration by saying "both sides" were to blame for the bloodshed in Charlottesville, Virginia following a rally by neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
A so-called "free speech" rally by far-right groups had been scheduled to run until 2 pm (1800 GMT), but a half-hour before that police escorted its participants -- whose numbers appeared to be in the dozens -- to safety past a throng of anti-racism protesters.
Comments appearing to trivialize racial hatred have president isolated, even within own party
The accident happened late Friday when around 650 people were celebrating inside the tent in Sankt Johann am Walde in the north of the country.
The Trump administration, wary of international involvements but eager for progress in the grueling Afghan war, has been weighing a range of options. It had originally promised a new plan by mid-July.
Melika Salihbeg Bosnawi, an important poet and intellectual of Bosnia and Herzegovina, died at the age of 72
In this gusty rural region near the Pacific coast, the wind is so strong it sometimes flips over cars and even trailer trucks.
The suspected extremists behind Spain's twin terror attacks are thought to have formed a cell in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains where they allegedly planned large-scale assaults.
The officers had been checking on suspicious people in an area known for drug activity around 9:30 pm Friday (0130 GMT Saturday). Five minutes later, authorities received a call that officers had been shot.
The 74-year-old left for the British capital on May 7 with his prolonged absence causing tensions back home where calls have grown for him to either return or resign.
A planned referendum on the secession of northern Iraq's Kurdish region on Sep. 25 is opposed by the majority of the international community while Israel supports it.
It said that armed police then arrived and used their weapons on the attacker and "liquidated" him.