Ghani seeks ‘clarification’ after Trump war comments

Kabul: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said on Tuesday that the US should clarify remarks President Donald Trump made about Afghanistan, including a claim he could easily win the war but didn’t “want to kill 10 million people”. Trump had made several controversial statements a day earlier alongside Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House, including that he had plans that would ensure a speedy end to the Afghan conflict, but which would wipe the country “off the face of the Earth”. Trump’s statements came as his peace envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, travelled to Kabul ahead of a new round of peace talks with the Taliban. AFP

Spain’s Sanchez loses first bid to be confirmed as PM

Madrid: Spain’s Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez failed on Tuesday in a first attempt to get Parliament’s backing to form a government, leaving him two days to try and strike a deal with the far-left Unidas Podemos ahead of a second vote. Sanchez won the most seats in an election in April but fell short of an absolute majority, requiring him the support of other parties to be confirmed as prime minister. He lost by 124 votes to 170, with 52 abstentions. He would have needed a full majority of at least 176 votes to be confirmed as PM. On Thursday he will only need a simple majority, more ‘yes’ than ‘no’ votes, and much can change until then. Reuters

Kim inspects new sub, wants N Korea’s military bolstered

Seoul: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has inspected a newly built submarine and ordered officials to further bolster the country’s military capabilities, state media reported on Tuesday, as the North increases pressure on the US ahead of the possible resumption of nuclear diplomacy. Last week, North Korea said it may lift its 20-month suspension of nuclear and missile tests to protest expected military drills between the US and South Korea that Pyongyang says are an invasion rehearsal. Kim expressed “great satisfaction” with the submarine after learning about its operational and tactical data and weapon systems. AP

Teen climate activist’s visit divides French Parliament

Paris: Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg (16) hit back at critics as she visited the French Parliament on Tuesday following outraged comments from some right-wing MPs who have slammed her presence. The activist, who was invited by 162 MPs from a cross-party group concerned about climate change, called “Let’s Accelerate”, was welcomed by speaker Richard Ferrand at his residence before heading to Parliament. But many conservative figures on the French right have criticised the invitation, dismissing her as a “prophetess in shorts” and the “Justin Bieber of ecology”. AFP