Egypt Independent: World-Main news en China celebrates Communist Party's 95th birthday, Xi warns on graft, security <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Chinese President Xi Jinping warned on Friday that the biggest threat to the ruling Communist Party is corruption, as he used the party&#39;s 95th birthday to also warn against any threats to China&#39;s security and Taiwan independence.<br /><br />Since Xi took power more than three years ago, he has mounted a sweeping campaign against deep-rooted graft, warning like others before him it could threaten the party&#39;s rule, and taken a muscular approach to protecting China&#39;s sovereignty, including its contested claims in the South China Sea.<br /><br />In a wide-ranging speech in Beijing&#39;s Great Hall of the People, Xi said that history had chosen the Communist Party to lead China, but that if they did not manage the party properly and listen to the people, then history would discard them.<br /><br />&quot;As the ruling party, the biggest danger we face is corruption,&quot; Xi told party members, in comments carried live on state television.<br /><br />&quot;We must have a staunch will, not let up on our zero tolerance attitude, investigate all cases and punish those who are corrupt, to give corrupt elements no place to hide in the party,&quot; he added.<br /><br />Dozens of senior officials have been jailed in Xi&#39;s anti-graft battle, including powerful former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang.<br /><br />But China faces external challenges too.<br /><br />Beijing has been infuriated by a case lodged by the Philippines at an international arbitration court over the South China Sea, vowing neither to participate in the case nor accept the ruling, which is due July 12.<br /><br />Without making direct reference to the South China Sea, Xi said that while China was not a trouble maker, no foreign country should think China would trade away its core interests.<br /><br />&quot;Do not expect that we will swallow the bitter fruit of damage to our sovereignty, security and development interests,&quot; he said to an audience including military officers, model workers and ethnic minorities.<br /><br />Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have South China Sea claims.<br /><br />A further headache for Xi this year has been January&#39;s election in self-ruled and democratic Taiwan of a president from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, Tsai Ing-wen.<br /><br />&quot;We will resolutely oppose Taiwan independence splitist forces,&quot; Xi said, again without a direct mention of Tsai or her party.<br /><br />&quot;The 1.3 billion of China and the entire Chinese race will never agree to any person, at any time, using any method to carry out activities to split the country.&quot;<br /><br />China views Taiwan as a wayward province and has never renounced the use of force to bring its under Beijing&#39;s control.<br /><br />Tsai has vowed to maintain peace with China.</p> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 09:29:00 +0000 Reuters 2470754 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/07/01/504802/cpc.jpg Britain's Daily Mail newspaper backs Theresa May for prime minister <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Britain&#39;s Daily Mail newspaper on Friday backed Theresa May&#39;s bid to become the next prime minister, saying she was the only one out of five candidates for the Conservative Party leadership who was up to the job.<br /><br />After last week&#39;s vote to leave the European Union plunged Britain into its biggest political crisis of modern times, Prime Minister David Cameron said he would resign, prompting a leadership battle in the party.<br /><br />&quot;The Mail believes only Mrs May has the right qualities, the stature and experience to unite both her party and the country &mdash; and possibly usher in a new, cleaner, more honest kind of politics,&quot; the anti-EU newspaper said in a comment piece.<br /><br />&quot;She is a serious-minded woman, with an ethic of public service and an enormous capacity for hard work and attention to detail,&quot; said the newspaper which has a daily circulation of 1.5 million, the second-biggest in Britain after The Sun tabloid.<br /><br />&quot;In this respect, and in her steeliness, she is somewhat reminiscent of Margaret Thatcher,&quot; it said.<br /><br />The other candidates are Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Stephen Crabb and Andrea Leadsom.<br /><br />Gove, the justice secretary, dramatically shifted expectations of the contest on Thursday when he put his name forward despite expectations that he would back Brexit campaign ally and then-favorite Boris Johnson.<br /><br />Under the front page headline &quot;Brexecuted&quot;, The Sun said Johnson, who after Gove&#39;s shock move announced he would not run, had gone from &quot;Brexit hero to zero in a week.&quot; In an editorial, the newspaper praised both May and Gove.<br /><br />May &quot;would make a formidable PM,&quot; The Sun said, adding that Gove&#39;s &quot;performance in the top job could yet win skeptics round.&quot;<br /><br />The list of five candidates will be whittled down to two in several votes by Conservative lawmakers, with the winner then being selected from the final pair by party members.<br /><br />The first test comes on July 5 when the candidate with the least support in that vote will be eliminated, and the winner will be announced on September 9.</p> Fri, 01 Jul 2016 08:36:00 +0000 Reuters 2470749 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/07/01/504802/theresa_may.jpg California gets go-ahead to vote on legalization of marijuana <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Californians are set to decide whether to make recreational marijuana use legal, as other Western states have done, after the California Secretary of State&#39;s office said on Tuesday the issue could be put to voters in the November ballot.<br /><br />The proposed so-called &quot;Adult Use of Marijuana Act,&quot; which is supported by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom among others, would allow people aged 21 and older to possess as much as an ounce of marijuana for private recreational use and permit personal cultivation of as many as six marijuana plants.<br /><br />&quot;Today marks a fresh start for California, as we prepare to replace the costly, harmful and ineffective system of prohibition with a safe, legal and responsible adult-use marijuana system that gets it right and completely pays for itself,&quot; initiative spokesman Jason Kinney said in a statement.<br /><br />The measure would also establish a system to license, regulate and tax sales of marijuana, while allowing city governments to exercise local control over or disallow commercial distribution within their borders.<br /><br />The initiative required just over 402,000 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot and exceeded that number on Tuesday, the Secretary of State&#39;s office said. Secretary Alex Padilla is slated to certify the initiative on June 30.<br /><br />Opinion polls show attitudes have shifted more in favor of liberalized marijuana laws since California voters defeated a recreational cannabis initiative in 2010.<br /><br />California led the way in legalizing marijuana for medical purposes in 1996, with 22 other states and the District of Columbia following suit, although cannabis remains classified as an illegal narcotic under U.S. law.<br /><br />Voters in four states &mdash; Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska &mdash; plus the District of Columbia, have gone a step further since 2012 in permitting recreational use for adults. Voters in several more states will consider similar legislation in November as well.<br /><br />Opponents of liberalized marijuana laws have argued that such measures carry public safety risks and would make pot more accessible to youngsters.<br /><br />A new survey out last week showed however that marijuana consumption by Colorado high school students has dipped slightly since the state first permitted recreational cannabis use by adults.</p> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 14:52:00 +0000 Reuters 2470726 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/06/29/504802/marijuana.jpg India arrests five suspected of plotting Islamic State attacks <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p style="display: table;"><span id="articleText"><span class="focusParagraph">Indian counter-terrorism officials on Wednesday arrested five men on suspicion of plotting a series of attacks across the country on behalf of Islamic State, two intelligence officials said.</span></span></p><p style="display: table;"><span id="articleText">The National Investigation Agency (NIA) and local police raided 11 locations in the southern city of Hyderabad at dawn, seizing ammunition, explosive materials and cash.</span></p><p style="display: table;"><span id="articleText">Nine men were detained and five of them were arrested for conspiracy to wage war against the Indian state, one of the officials said, on the condition he was not named. If a suspect is arrested, police have 90 days to present charges.</span></p><p style="display: table;"><span id="articleText">&quot;We have ample proof to show that the suspects were working for ISIS (Islamic State) and also had direct connection with Syrian leaders,&quot; the first official told Reuters.</span></p><p style="display: table;"><span id="articleText">The second official, NIA Inspector General Sanjeev Kumar, said the men were recruited by an Islamic State handler operating outside of India, but declined to say how many of those detained would be charged.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">Islamic State has struggled to win over many recruits in India, which is home to the world&#39;s third-largest Muslim population.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">However, Indian police arrested 29 men last year for establishing bases to recruit men to the Islamist militant group. All men were charged with conspiracy to wage war against the state.</span></p><p><span id="articleText">A handful of Indians are also suspected of having traveled to Iraq and Syria to join Islamic State, where the group is fighting to install an Islamic caliphate. </span></p><p style="display: table;"><span id="articleText">In a video circulated in May, a group of Indian fighters vowed to avenge the deaths of Muslims killed in riots in Prime Minister Narendra Modi&#39;s home state of Gujarat and elsewhere.</span></p> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 14:45:00 +0000 Reuters 2470724 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/01/03/503194/7f3e8b248ccd78008c0f6a7067008a58.jpg