H 86° L 76°
  • clear-day
    Current Conditions
    Thunderstorms. H 86° L 76°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    Thunderstorms. H 86° L 76°
  • cloudy-day
    Partly Cloudy. H 91° L 77°

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00


The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00


The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Upstart Rory Stewart takes on UK Tory favorite Boris Johnson

Upstart Rory Stewart takes on UK Tory favorite Boris Johnson

Upstart Rory Stewart takes on UK Tory favorite Boris Johnson
Photo Credit: AP Photo
This combination photo shows Britain's Secretary of State for International Development, Rory Stewart, leaving 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, left, and Conservative Party lawmaker Boris Johnson speaking during the official launch of his leadership campaign, in London, Wednesday June 12, 2019. The populist and the pragmatist: of the ten candidates running to become Britain's next prime minister, they're the ones generating most of the buzz. The former is Boris Johnson, who ran London as mayor for eight years until 2016 and then became foreign secretary until his resignation last summer. The pragmatist is International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, the self-styled "anti-Boris," who accuses Johnson of selling the public "fairy tales" about a clean and simple exit from the EU. (AP Photo)

Upstart Rory Stewart takes on UK Tory favorite Boris Johnson

The populist and the pragmatist: of the 10 candidates running to become Britain's next prime minister, they're the ones generating most of the buzz.

The populist is former Boris Johnson, who ran London as mayor for eight years until 2016 and then became Britain's foreign secretary until his resignation last summer. He's a confident if erratic Conservative Party star with a simple message: I'll sort out Brexit.

"We can get Brexit done," Johnson said at his campaign launch Wednesday, promising that Britain will leave the European Union by the end of October. "Delay means defeat."

The pragmatist is International Development Secretary Rory Stewart, the self-styled "anti-Boris," who accuses Johnson of selling the public "fairy tales" about a clean and simple exit from the EU.

All indications suggest that the Conservative Party prefers Johnson's simpler message. Johnson, who helped lead the 2016 campaign to leave the European Union, is the strong favorite on betting markets to replace Prime Minister Theresa May, who quit as party leader last week after failing to win Parliament's backing for her divorce deal with the EU.

Other contenders include Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

On Thursday the 313 Conservative lawmakers will start the process of narrowing the field down to two, who will be put to a vote of about 160,000 party members across the country. The winner, due to be chosen by late July, will become Conservative leader and prime minister, without the need for a national election.

The new leader's main challenge will be the one that defeated May: delivering Brexit. Britain's EU departure was originally due to take place on March 29, but has been delayed to Oct. 31 because of the political deadlock in London.

Never one to hold back, Johnson warned Wednesday that if politicians delayed Britain's EU departure again, "we will reap the whirlwind and we will face mortal retribution from the electorate."

Johnson said he was prepared to leave the EU without a deal if necessary, but insisted it was an unlikely outcome. He was vague about how it could be avoided, given that the 27 other EU leaders have said they will not renegotiate the deal they struck with May.

"I think there will be a symmetrical enthusiasm on the other side of the Channel about getting this thing done and moving forward," Johnson said airily.

Many businesses and economists say quitting the EU with no agreement on departure terms and future relations would cause economic turmoil and plunge Britain into recession.

Pro-EU lawmakers say they will try to block a no-deal Brexit, though the House of Commons on Wednesday narrowly rejected an opposition attempt to legislate against it.

Stewart, who voted to remain in the EU in Britain's 2016 referendum, favors a soft Brexit that retains close economic and political ties with the bloc. He says a no-deal departure is "not a destination, it's a failure to reach a destination."

For all their differences, Johnson and Stewart have strikingly similar backgrounds. Both attended Eton, Britain's most elite boarding school, and Balliol, one of the poshest colleges of Oxford University.

Johnson, 54, worked as a journalist before starting a political career that has zig-zagged between high office and spells on the sidelines. In 2016 he launched and then abandoned a bid to become prime minister in a contest won by May. She made him foreign secretary, but he quit in July 2018 in opposition to her Brexit blueprint.

Johnson's easy jokes and Latin quips have made him one of the party's best-known politicians, but his verbal blunders and glibly offensive statements have led some to question his fitness for high office. He has called Papua New Guineans cannibals, accused people in the city of Liverpool of "wallowing" in victimhood and last year compared Muslim women who wear face-covering veils to "letter boxes."

Johnson was unrepentant on Wednesday, saying people wanted plain-speaking politicians.

"Of course I am sorry for the offense that I have caused, but I will continue to speak as directly as I can," he said.

Stewart's eclectic CV includes a stint as tutor to Prince William and Prince Harry, a spell as a British diplomat, a solo walk across Afghanistan and time as a deputy governor in southern Iraq in the chaotic aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion. He was elected to Parliament in 2010 and was appointed international development secretary last month.

The 46-year-old lacks Johnson's public profile, but has run a savvy campaign, travelling the country talking to voters and posting endearingly amateurish videos under the hashtag #Rorywalks.

Johnson's campaign launch took place in a grand 200-year-old edifice overlooking St. James's Park; Stewart's was in a circus tent.

Johnson has the backing of dozens of Conservative lawmakers, compared to just a handful for Stewart, and a much better chance of winning the race. Both Conservative lawmakers and party members are much more strongly pro-Brexit than the population as a whole.

Stewart acknowledged that his appeal for compromise "is literally the most unpopular thing to say in British politics at the moment."

"Everybody claims to be speaking for the people and everybody claims to be right, and there is no compromise," he said.

But Stewart's message has struck a chord with a chunk of the British electorate tired of rancor and division over Brexit.

"It's just nice to hear someone who is kind and decent," said Sarah Riley-Smith, who came to hear Stewart speak in London this week. "He's the only hope — not that I think he's going to win."


Follow AP's full coverage of Brexit and the Conservative Party leadership race at: https://www.apnews.com/Brexit

Read More

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Police arrested a 33-year-old man Monday on suspicion of intentionally driving into pedestrians in Jefferson City, injuring a 61-year-old man and killing a pregnant woman and her 2-year-old son, according to investigators. >> Read more trending news  Authorities said William David Phillips, of Jefferson City, swerved to intentionally hit Tillman Gunter, 61, while driving west on East Main Street on Monday afternoon. Police said Phillips traveled less than a mile before swerving again, striking Sierra Wilson Cahoon, 30, and her 2-year-old son, Nolan Cahoon. Cahoon, Nolan and Cahoon’s unborn child were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, according to investigators. Gunter was taken to a hospital with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, police said. Authorities were called around 3:30 p.m. Monday after Phillips lodged the car he was driving into a building for Sustainable Aquatics, a fish hatchery, according to The Citizen Tribune and the Knoxville News Sentinel. Witness Bill Ray Jones told WBIR-TV he heard Phillips yelling that the “government told him to do it” as he tried to flee from the scene of the crash. 'He knew he had hit (Cahoon) and I'm sure he did because he was talking all crazy,' he told the news station. Sustainable Aquatics owner John Carberry told the News Sentinel he arrived at the scene of the crash within minutes Monday and found Cahoon and her son dead on the sidewalk. “There was a hole in the building and one of my employees ran out,” Carberry told the News Sentinel. “She had minor injuries. She ran up to the main building, and the perpetrator ran out of the hole and ran up and some local citizens grabbed him.” The crash ruptured several fish tanks and destroyed four fish systems, Carberry told The Citizen Tribune and the News Sentinel. He estimated about 2,000 wild-caught fish died after the crash caused more than 10,000 gallons of water to rush from the tanks. “I just want to let the police do their job and mourn the passing of this mother and child,” Carberry told The Citizen Tribune. “It’s very sad.” Phillips, of Jefferson City, was arrested on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder. Authorities filed an additional murder charge against Phillips on Wednesday for the death of Cahoon's unborn child, WATE reported. In a news release, police said investigators believed 'this was an intentional act of violence toward randomly chosen pedestrians. “Investigators have determined that Phillips did not know the victims,” police said. In an arrest warrant obtained Wednesday by the News Sentinel, authorities said Phillips told investigators “a voice told him that he needed to go kill meth addicts.” After Phillips spotted Cahoon and her son, 'He said the voice told him that the baby stroller had meth in it so he intentionally drove into (the mother and child) ... killing them both,' the warrant said, according to the News Sentinel. Records from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department showed he remained jailed Wednesday. A spokesperson for Carson-Newman University, a Christian university in Jefferson City, told WBIR-TV that Cahoon and Nolan were the wife and son of Matt Cahoon, an assistant athletic trainer at the school. “Our hearts are breaking for one of our own,” Carson-Newman University interim President Paul Percy said Tuesday in a statement. “We take comfort in knowing that God also feels our pain and hears our prayers. Because of this, we ask for prayers for Matt and his family now and in the days ahead.” Officials at First Steps Preschool at the First United Methodist Church told WBIR-TV Nolan was a happy student who always gave out hugs and high-fives. 'He was a joy,' the preschool’s director, Jessica Lawson, told WBIR-TV. 'He would walk through the door smiling every morning.' Officials at Carson-Newman University started a fund to benefit the Cahoon family. Those wishing to contribute can donate online to The Randall and Kay O’Brien Benevolent Fund on the university’s website.[Summary]
  • A man who stabbed a New York City man early Tuesday also partially severed his own finger during the attack, police said. >> Read more trending news  The 35-year-old victim, who was repeatedly stabbed, lived in the Bronx, WPIX reported. According to police, the attacker and victim were arguing outside a bar at 1:15 a.m. when the stabbing occurred. The victim was stabbed in the back, while the attacker partially cut a finger on his left hand, WPIX reported. The assailant then ran away, police said. Police said the attacker appeared to be in his mid- to late 20s, the television station reported. The man had a beard and tattoos on his right forearm and upper right arm, WPIX reported. Police said the man was last seen wearing a red baseball cap, white T-shirt and dark colored shorts, the television station reported.
  • A mentally ill Oregon woman suffered life-threatening injuries Monday when she apparently climbed into a garbage chute at her boyfriend’s condominium community and plunged 16 stories to the bottom. The Oregonian reported that the woman, who was not publicly identified, suffered head injuries in her fall from the 16th floor of the Civic, a condo building in Portland’s Pearl District.  Portland Fire & Rescue spokesman Rich Chatman told the newspaper the woman, who is in her late 20s, slid down into the garbage collection area, where firefighters found her unconscious. Police declined to file charges against the woman. “I can say there was a mental health component involved,” Chatman told the paper.  On Tuesday, Chatman said it appeared the woman put herself in the chute.  “The prevailing assumption is that she got into the chute on her own will,” he said.  Steven Lofton, who lives on the 16th floor of the Civic, told a reporter that the woman and her boyfriend are known on their floor for getting into fights, both verbal and physical. Neighbors had voiced their concerns to the building’s management. >> Read more trending news Lofton said he heard someone pounding on his door just after lunchtime Monday and went to the door to find the woman, who told him she was afraid. When he opened his door, she rushed in, screaming, and began trashing his condo, he told the paper.  “She was wild, just absolutely wild,” Lofton said. “She was breaking and throwing everything in her sight. Plates, vases, cutlery. You name it.” The woman ran out into the hallway, where she encountered her boyfriend. They got into a physical confrontation, Lofton said.  Lofton said he closed his door and called 911. The woman went down the garbage chute moments later, The Oregonian said.  A Portland police spokeswoman told the paper Tuesday that a domestic violence investigation is ongoing, though detectives are waiting for the woman’s condition to improve. “The involved woman’s medical situation is of a higher priority than the criminal investigation at this time,” Jones said in an email to the newspaper.  
  • Meet Poncho Via - the newest holder of a Guinness World Record with a sensational set of 10 foot-7.4 inches horns from tip to tip. The 7-year-old steer makes his home in Goodwater, Alabama and has been living with his family, the Pope’s, since he was six-months old. The family said they knew Poncho was something special when his horns began to grow out to the sides inside of curving up, like other longhorns’ do. Poncho is very popular around town too, with his ‘dad’ saying of him, 'All my neighbors (around) here, any time they have company, they come over to see the longhorn. He's just a big, gentle character. Everyone brings (food) with them -- he likes apples, carrots and marshmallows.' Mobile user see tweet here. His humongous horns aren’t all glitz and show, though. They’ve gotten him into trouble a time or two. George Jones, a family member who helps out with Poncho on the ranch, tells the story, “He pulled a water bottle right out my pocket with his tongue. He's there playing with the bottle and I reached and scratched him for a bit.'  The caretaker said he was knocked into a pond once, when the longhorn became spooked by something. 'That went on for a little while and I guess a horsefly got on him or something (because), all of a sudden, he turned that head and I went airborne into the pond. He just knocked me completely off my feet into the water,' Jones said. The former record holder, a Texas longhorn named Sato, had a horn spread of 10 feet, 6.3 inches, when measured in September, according to Guinness World Records. As the tweet below mentions, Poncho’s horns measures more than twice the width of a concert grand piano. Mobile user see tweet here.
  • An independent investigator for the United Nations says there is 'credible evidence' warranting a probe into Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's possible involvement in the 2018 slaying of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.  >> Read more trending news  According to The Associated Press, U.N. special rapporteur Agnes Callamard said in a 101-page report that 'a proper authority' should consider whether the crown prince or senior adviser Saud Alqahtani bore 'criminal responsibility' in the death. 'Mr. Khashoggi's killing constituted an extrajudicial killing for which the State of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is responsible,' the report said.  Khashoggi, who was critical of the Saudi regime, was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October. Saudi officials later blamed the death on 'rogue operators,' CNN reported. Eleven people – five of whom could receive the death penalty – are being tried in Saudi Arabia in connection with the slaying. The report said Callamard made 'no conclusion' as to whether the crown prince or Alqahtani are guilty but determined that Khashoggi's execution was 'deliberate' and 'premeditated,' news outlets reported. The report also named 15 suspects in the incident, during which Khashoggi was drugged, suffocated and dismembered, CNN reported. Read more here or here. – The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Washington Insider

  • After weeks of negotiations over a White House request for extra money to deal with a surge of illegal immigrants along the southern border with Mexico, Senators on a key spending panel voted 30-1 on Wednesday to approve a $4.59 billion spending package to insure that various federal agencies have enough money to address what President Donald Trump has said is a crisis at the border. 'This situation as most of us realize is past the breaking point,' said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL). 'I believe we must act.' 'The fact is that we do have a humanitarian crisis on the border that does need to be addressed,' said Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), who recounted crowded holding facilities for illegal immigrants. 'We've seen big numbers in the past, but we're going to exceed that this year,' said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO). 'This bill is absolutely necessary,' said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). 'There are families and children who need our support.' The only 'no' vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee came from Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). The bill only deals with money to help address the humanitarian needs along the border - it does not address any changes in U.S. immigration laws desired by President Trump. On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee had been scheduled to start work on a bill which would make some of those immigration reforms, but that work will be delayed into July in search of a bipartisan agreement. “This is not a crisis - this is a disaster,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is leading President Trump's charge to change immigration laws. 'Our immigration laws are a disgrace and the Democrats can get together with the Republicans and solve the problem quickly,' the President told his campaign kickoff rally on Tuesday night in Orlando, Florida. It's expected the full Senate could vote on the package next week. It is not clear if the House would follow suit before lawmakers leave town at the end of June for a break during the week of July Fourth.