NASA plans to allow tourists to visit the International Space Station from 2020 – at an estimated cost of more than $50million (£39million) per trip.
Until now, the floating space lab has only been accessible to astronauts representing state-level space agencies.
In a surprise announcement today, Nasa confirmed that it would be “opening the International Space Station for commercial business”.
It means that private companies will be able to take “private astronauts” to the ISS for up to 30 days.
“The agency can accommodate up to two short-duration private astronaut missions per year to the International Space Station,” Nasa explained.
“These missions will be privately funded, dedicated commercial spaceflights.”
Private visitors were banned from the space station – which has cost US taxpayers £785million since it was launched in the 1990s – but Nasa needs cash to help fund its dream of putting a man and woman on the Moon by 2024.
Transport will be provided by both Boeing and Elon Musk’s SpaceX, who are currently developing capsules that can carry humans to the ISS.
It’s expected that a trip will likely cost around $50million (£39million) per astronaut, according to early estimates – but could easily rise well above that figure.
The spaceflight to the ISS will account for a large chunk of the cost. But chief financial officer Jeff DeWit joked: “It won’t come with any Hilton or Marriott points.”
Nasa typically pays around $75million for seats aboard a Soyuz spacecraft destined for the ISS, and even paid $82million per seat in 2015.
However, Nasa says seats aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon and/or Boeing CST-100 capsules will cost roughly $58million per seat.
It’s these capsules that will be used to ferry astronauts up to the ISS – but the cost continues to rise after the journey.
Keeping astronauts on board the ISS is a pricey business.
For instance, the regenerative life support and toilet costs $11,250 (£8,800) per astronaut each day.
And general supplies – like food and air – cost $22,500 (£17,500) per astronaut each day.
Nasa will get around $35,000 (£27,000) per night that a private astronaut spends on board the ISS.
A large bank balance won’t be enough either: you’ll have to pass Nasa’s rigorous health checks and training procedures.
What is the ISS?
Here’s what you need to know about the International Space Station…
- The International Space Station, often abbreviated to ISS, is a large space craft that orbits Earth and houses astronauts who go up there to complete scientific missions
- Many countries worked together to build it and they work together to use it
- It is made up of many pieces, which astronauts had to send up individually on rockets and put together from 1998 to 2000
- Ever since the year 2000, people have lived on the ISS
- Nasa uses the ISS to learn about living and working in space
- It is approximately 250 miles above Earth and orbits around the planet just like a satellite
- Living inside the ISS is said to be like living inside a big house with five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a gym, lots of science labs and a big bay window for viewing Earth
As part of its “commercialisation” of the ISS, Nasa will be making one space station port and utilities available for a private company to “attach a commercial module to”.
And it hopes that in the long-term, there will be lots of private space stations floating just above Earth.
“In the long-term, NASA’s goal is to become one of many customers purchasing services from independent, commercial and free-flying habitable destinations in low-Earth orbit,” Nasa explained.
“A robust low-Earth orbit economy will need multiple commercial destinations, and NASA is partnering with industry to pursue dual paths to that objective that either go through the space station or directly to a free-flying destination.”
Whatever ends up going into space, it’s unlikely to get cheaper any time soon.
Even SpaceX charges $62million (£48.7million) to send commercial satellites into orbit with its relatively new Falcon 9 rocket.
And Axiom Space, a Houston-based company hoping to organise trips to the ISS, has pledged to charge $55million (£43.2million) for a 10-day trip to the ISS.
Bill Gerstenmaier, Nasa’s head of human exploration, told a news conference: “We have no idea what kinds of creativity and literally out-of-the-world ideas can come from private industry.”
But super-rich tourists and filmmakers are also being invited to make use of the experience.
And in a message recorded on the ISS, astronaut Christina Koch said it would make space “more accessible to all Americans”.
Jeff Manbar, the CEO of ISS logistics company Nanoracks, said: “It’s a very important step forward. This is the beginning of a new chapter.”
So why is Nasa letting tourists travel to the ISS?
The main advantage seems to be keeping costs down, as the ISS is very expensive to run.
But it’s also about continuing to test space travel – to make it safer and cheaper for everyone.
“Market studies identified private astronaut missions to low-Earth orbit as a key element to demonstrate demand and reduce risk for future commercial destinations in low-Earth orbit,” Nasa explained.
The long-term plan is to create space stations near Earth that can be used as stop-off points for deeper trips into space.
Nasa hopes to set up several “lunar gateways” starting from 2028 that will float near the Moon, and could be used for crewed missions to Mars.
“The first Gateway is about the moon, but I think the second Gateway, being a deep-space transport, again using commercial and international partners, enables us to get to Mars,” said Nasa top boss Jim Bridenstine, speaking last year.
“What we don’t want to do is go to the surface of the moon, prove that we can do it again, and then be done. We want to go to stay.
“And the Gateway, in my view – I’ve been convinced – enables us to take advantage of commercial and international partners in a more robust way so we are there to stay, it enables us to get to more parts of the moon than ever before, and it enables us to get to Mars.”
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Also last year, ISS astronauts enjoyed a festive treat – after Elon Musk shipped Christmas dinner to them.
Would you like to visit the ISS? Let us know in the comments!
FILE PHOTO: The sun sets behind an oil pump outside Saint-Fiacre, near Paris, France March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
June 7, 2019
By Aaron Sheldrick
TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices rose more than 1% on Friday, climbing further away from five-month lows hit earlier in the week after a report that Washington could postpone trade tariffs on Mexico and amid signs that OPEC and other producers may extend their supply cuts.
Brent crude futures were up 85 cents, or 1.4%, at $62.51 a barrel by 0356. They gained 1.7% on Thursday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 71 cents, or 1.4%, at $53.30 per barrel. They finished the previous session 1.8% higher.
Brent and WTI on Wednesday hit their lowest marks since mid-January at $59.45 and $50.60, respectively, after U.S. crude output reached a record high and stockpiles climbed to their highest since July 2017.
That put both contracts in bear territory, having lost more than 20% from peaks reached in late April.
But on Thursday oil prices followed U.S. equities higher after Bloomberg News reported that the United States may delay tariffs on goods from Mexico as talks continue.
“After prices hit the depth of the sewer this week, and (were) arguably in oversold territory, traders were always going to be predisposed to book profits ahead of the weekend,” Stephen Innes, managing partner at Vanguard Markets said in a note.
Despite the two-day bounce, Brent is heading for a third week of decline, down more than 3%. So too is WTI, which is on track for a decline of about 0.4%.
Sentiment for oil remains dim as fresh signs emerge of a stalling global economy, with the trade war between the U.S. and China intensifying.
Prices had been supported by supply curbs by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and producing allies, including Russia. Supply has also been limited by U.S. sanctions on oil exports from Iran and Venezuela.
President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Russia had differences with OPEC over what constituted a fair price for oil, but that Moscow would take a joint decision on output at a policy meeting in coming weeks.
Also potentially keeping a lid on prices is the unrelenting rise in U.S. crude production.
U.S. oil output rose to a record 12.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in the week to May 31, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, an increase of 1.63 million bpd since May 2018.
U.S. crude oil inventories also surged by 6.8 million barrels over the same week, to 483.26 million barrels, their highest levels since July 2017.
Research firm Rystad Energy has raised its forecast for U.S. crude output by 200,000 barrels bpd, to 13.4 million bpd by the December 2019, it said in a statement on its website.
(GRAPHIC: U.S. oil drilling, production & storage levels – https://tmsnrt.rs/2DxgF8W)
(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Joseph Radford and Tom Hogue)
Trump Tweeted “I kept hearing that there would be “massive” rallies against me in the UK, but it was quite the opposite.” What Do You Think?
Trump calls ‘Resistance’ protests in Britain a ‘flop,’ believes he’s dominate polls if meda were fair
President Trump, in a series of tweets early Wednesday, called out the “corrupt media” for reporting on the paltry protester turnout during his trip to the U.K.and said if there was actually “fair” news … See More accounts about his success in office, he would be dominating in polls. “I kept hearing that there would be “massive” rallies against me in the UK, but it was quite the opposite. The big crowds, which the Corrupt Media hates to show, were those that gathered in support of the USA and me,” he posted. Thousands of Londoners lined the streets Tuesday to protest his visit with the queen, including those carrying a giant baby blimp Trump.
Earlier, Trump sat down with Piers Morgan for ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” and clarified controversial comments last week about Meghan Markle in the Sun British tabloid. Trump again said he wasn’t calling Markle nasty, but rather was just surprised to hear her critical comments about him.
Trump to Schumer: Mexico tariff threat is ‘no bluff’
With Republicans threatening to block his move to impose tariffs on Mexican imports over the migration crisis at the southern border, President Trump blasted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. , for suggesting he would ultimately back down from his plan. “Can you imagine Cryin’ Chuck Schumer saying out loud, for all to hear, that I am bluffing with respect to putting Tariffs on Mexico. What a Creep. He would rather have our Country fail with drugs & Immigration than give Republicans a win. But he gave Mexico bad advice, no bluff!” Trump tweeted. Trump has vowed to impose a 5 percent tariff on Mexican imports next week unless the country does more to stem illegal migration. Lawmakers and business allies have worried publicly that the tariffs would derail the long-promised United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) — a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that Trump had promised to replace. All sides, including officials from Mexico meeting with Trump negotiators in Washington this week, have remained hopeful that high-level talks would ease the president away from his threat.
Dems and Barr ready negotiate after ‘overbroad’ subpoena requests
Hours after the Department of Justice (DOJ) slammed House Democrats for planning a contempt vote against Attorney General William Barr — and charged that Democrats had privately admitted their subpoena requests were “overbroad” –House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler announced late Tuesday that he is open to negotiating with the DOJ “without conditions.” The turn of events reopened the possibility that Barr’s contempt vote may be postponed or canceled, if both sides return to the negotiating table. Nadler, however, pointedly refused to cancel the planned contempt vote prior to beginning any new negotiations, as the DOJ had demanded.
‘Coward of Broward’ paying for alleged shooter’s sins?
Lawyers for a Marjory Stoneman Douglas High resource officer have vowed to fight the charges he faces for failure to enter the school during the 2018 mass shooting. Joseph DiRuzzo III, lawyer for Scot Peterson, said in a statement: “We will vigorously defend against these spurious charges that lack basis in fact and law. Specifically, Mr. Peterson cannot reasonably be prosecuted because he was not a ‘caregiver’, which is defined as ‘a parent, adult household member, or other person responsible for a child’s welfare.’” Peterson has been charged with seven counts ofneglect of a child, three counts of culpable negligence and one of perjury after a 15-month investigation, according to a news release from Florida authorities. The charges carry a combined potential prison sentence of nearly 100 years for the officer blasted by many critics as the “Coward of Broward.”
Rumors of Jussie Smollett’s return to ‘Empire’ squashed
Following a Variety magazine report that claimed Jussie Smollett might be returning to “Empire” for its sixth and final season, the show’s co-creator and executive producer — Lee Daniels — immediately shut down any speculation. “This is not factual. Jussie will NOT be returning to Empire. -LD,” Daniels tweeted, instantly dispelling any rumors. Smollett’s “character, Jamal Lyon,was written out of the final episodes of Season 5 of “Empire.” In May, Fox announced that its hit drama would end after Season 6 and that there were still no plans to bring back Smollett’s character.
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Mounted police officers patrol near Buckingham Palace, with both the US flag and the Union Jack flying as London and the royal family prepare a bit warily for a pomp-filled visit by US President Donald Trump
Washington (AFP) – US President Donald Trump denied on Sunday that he had called Meghan Markle “nasty” just days before heading to Britain to be hosted, and lavishly feted, by other members of the royal family.
And yet the remark about the American-born Dutchess of Sussex is heard clearly on a tape of a Trump interview with the British tabloid The Sun.
Trump’s tweet Sunday came a day before his three-day state visit is to begin with a pomp-filled ceremony at Buckingham Palace followed by lunch with 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth II.
He tweeted: “I never called Meghan Markle ‘nasty.’ Made up by the Fake News Media, and they got caught cold! Will @CNN, @nytimes and others apologize? Doubt it!”
On the tape, the interviewer points out that Markle, who married the queen’s grandson Prince Harry in 2018, had been critical of Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, saying “she’d move to Canada if you got elected; turned out she moved here.”
“Well, a lot of people are moving here, so what can I say,” Trump replied. “No, I didn’t know that she was nasty.”
And yet he went on to say he thought that as princess “she’ll do excellently, she’ll be very good, she’ll be very good. I hope she does.”
– ‘Listen for yourself!’ –
An official Trump campaign Twitter account had rather bizarrely called attention to the “nasty” comment on Saturday by linking to a video of the interview and suggesting the president had not used the word; it urged people to “Listen for yourself!”
Markle will not be meeting with Trump, though the official reason given is that she remains on maternity leave with her three-week-old son Archie.
Trump further roiled the waters ahead of his visit by weighing in on Britain’s unending Brexit woes, throwing his weight behind former foreign secretary Boris Johnson to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May and suggesting Britain should leave the European Union without a departure deal if better terms can’t be reached.
The Sun called Trump’s remarks a “bombshell intervention” and a “major breach of protocol” by a foreign leader.
The president said he was not giving an outright endorsement to any candidate to lead Britain’s ruling Conservative Party, but also said that he liked Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Hunt on Sunday played down any awkwardness over Trump’s visit.
“I don’t think it’s going to disrupt the welcome at all,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” because the British had learned “from the president that you know regularly we have to agree to disagree…
“It doesn’t affect the fact that we have the most important partnership that there is in the world for freedom, democracy, the rule of law.”
In addition to Markle’s remark about moving to Canada, she had also called Trump “misogynistic” and “divisive” during the 2016 campaign, feelings that a good number of Britons appear to share.
Large anti-Trump protests are expected during his visit, and a huge blimp of Trump as a baby in diapers is being readied to fly over the city if police allow it.
Markle’s absence may be conspicuous in one way: Trump is bringing all four of his adult children and their spouses to London and, according to The Sun, said he wants them to hold a “next generation” meeting with Princes William and Harry.
“I think my children will be meeting them,” Trump said. “It would be nice.”
Hail To American Royalty! Trump Visits English Royalty, How Do you Think It Will Go?
President Trump heads to Europe: Pomp, circumstance, turmoil, ‘fake news’ and remembering D-Day
President Trump is in Europe for a weeklong visit that is both ceremonial and official: It will include a state visit and an audience an lavish dinner with Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family in London, D-Day commemoration ceremonies on both sides of the English Channel and his first presidential … See More visit to Ireland. His visit to the United Kingdom comes days before British Prime Minister Theresa May will step down as head of the Conservative Party on Friday for failing to secure a Brexit deal. Trump has praised her her rival, prime ministerial hopeful Boris Johnson, saying that he thinks he would do “a very good job.” Trump is not expected to meet with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who called him a “global threat.” Trump has called Khan a “twin” of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, only “shorter.”
Trump stirred controversy when, in an interview with the Sun, he referred to Meghan Markle, the American-born Duchess of Sussex, as “nasty” for her past criticism of him. (Markle, who just gave birth last month, was not expected to meet with Trump this week.) Trump pushed back Sunday against the report, tweeting: “I never called Meghan Markle “nasty.” Made up by the Fake News Media, and they got caught cold!” The Sun posted the audio of the interview on its website.
China and Mexico ready to talk
China and Mexico, the two largest sources of U.S. imports who face the possibility of new tariffs in the coming weeks, are reportedly willingness to negotiate with Washington over escalating trade issues. On Sunday, Beijing reportedly released a governmentpolicy paper on trade issues, accusing the Trumpadministration of scuttling the negotiations, which stalled in May.
While saying Trump’s “American First” policy is hurting the global economy, China also said it is willing to negotiate. Mexico, meanwhile, rushed a delegation to the U.S. to discuss immigration issues, following the Trump administration’s threat last week to impose tariffs on all Mexican goods entering the U.S. if the Mexican government fails combat the migrant crisis at the border.
Gillibrand town hall gets heated
Things got heated at a Fox News town hall in Iowa Sunday when Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. used the platform to blame the network for allowing discussions of infanticide in debates about abortion and women’s reproductive rights. When asked by a retired pediatric nurse named Susan about her stance on late-term abortions, Gillibrand pivoted to an attack on Fox News. Gillibrand accused Fox of fueling what she called the infanticide “red herring” and “false narrative” by devoting 6.5 hours of coverage to the debate, including comments from guests on the network. Town hall moderator Chris Wallace cut her off.
“Senator, I just want to say, we’ve brought you here for an hour,” Wallace said. “We’ve treated you very fairly. I understand that maybe to make your credentials with the Democrats who are not appearing on Fox News you want to attack us. I’m not sure it’sfrankly very polite when we’ve invited you to be here.”
Investigators still seeking motive in Virginia Beach shooting
Virginia Beach police are still looking for a motive behind the workplace shooting that left 12 people dead last Friday. TheVirginia Beach shooter, identified as 40-year-old DeWayne Craddock, had submitted his resignation earlier that morning, officials said Sunday. Craddock, was an engineer with the city’s public utilities department for 15 years. In a news conference Sunday morning, Virginia Beach City Manager Dave Hansen described the man’s work performance as “satisfactory” with no ongoing issues of discipline. Hansen also reiterated that Craddock was not fired or in the process of being fired leading up to the shooting
Love triangle in Connecticut?
The estranged husband of a missing Connecticut mother is being held on $500,000 bond at the Bridgeport Correctional Center and is expected to be arraigned on Monday at 10 a.m. in Norwalk Superior Court. His girlfriend is also being held on $500,000 bond. Jennifer Dulos, the Connecticut mother of five who has been missing for more than a week. Fotis Dulos was arrested and charged with hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence, New Canaan police said Sunday. His girlfriend, Michelle Troconis, 44, was also arrested and booked on similar charges over the weekend.
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Demand Free Speech Reception: Trump Hotel July 3 w/@RogerStone
Everyone I hope to see you in DC in July – Here’s your chance to mingle with Roger Stone and other VIPs (TBA) at Trump Hotel July 3 – Demand Free Speech Reception Fundraiser 9:30pm – 11:30pm 2 hours open bar and great food! Please share! #MAGA Tickets through Facebook & Eventbrite MagaGala.com email email@example.com for questions please share! magagala.com
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FILE PHOTO: Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home, following the results of the European Parliament elections, in London, Britain May 27, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
June 1, 2019
LONDON (Reuters) – UK Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Saturday U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments endorsing Conservative front-runner Boris Johnson as the next prime minister were an “unacceptable interference” in Britain’s affairs.
In an interview with the Sun newspaper ahead of his three-day state visit to Britain next week, Trump said of the former foreign secretary: “I think Boris would do a very good job. I think he would be excellent.”
Other Conservative lawmakers in the leadership race had sought his backing, he said, although not environment minister Michael Gove, who has criticized his stance on Iran.
Veteran Socialist Corbyn, who has declined an invitation to attend a state banquet with Trump during the visit, said: “President Trump’s attempt to decide who will be Britain’s next prime minister is an entirely unacceptable interference in our country’s democracy.”
He added in a statement on Saturday: “The next prime minister should be chosen not by the U.S. president, nor by 100,000 unrepresentative Conservative party members, but by the British people in a general election.”
After failing three times this year to get parliament to back her plan for leaving the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May said last week she would step down as leader of the governing Conservative Party on June 7 to open the way for a contest to succeed her.
So far, 12 Members of Parliament have said they will stand in the leadership election. They will be whittled down by their fellow lawmakers to a final two before the grassroots party members make the final choice.
Trump praised Johnson on his last visit to Britain in July 2018, saying that he thought he had the skills needed to be prime minister, shortly after Johnson resigned in protest at May’s handling of Brexit.
Johnson, who has said he would be prepared to take Britain out of the EU without a deal on Oct. 31, has not commented on Trump’s latest endorsement.
Corbyn himself has been widely accused of failing to clarify Labour’s position on Brexit by not saying outright whether or not it is decisively in favor of a second referendum on Brexit.
Trump also praised current foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, also a Conservative leadership candidate, for his pledge to increase British defense spending.
He arrives in Britain on Monday for a state visit at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth before attending World War Two commemorations in France and visiting Ireland.
It is only the third state visit of a U.S. president to Britain.
(Reporting by Stephen Addison; Editing by Clelia Oziel)
APPLE could be developing a FOLDING iPhone with a flexible screen, newly unearthed patent documents show.
The tech giant has submitted a patent showing a double-folding screen that can be bent backwards or folded inward from either end.
It suggests the device could fold to be the size of a phone – but also open up to act as a tablet.
Huawei, Samsung and Lenovo have all launched foldable devices since Apple submitted its prototype last year.
The patent documents – found by Apple Patently – claim ownership of single and multiple-folding designs.
In the application, 37 drawings illustrate technical features and folding configurations.
The folding mechanism appears to work via a hinge that rotates to allow the screen to fold in on itself.
It can also open up to a 90 degree and a 180 degree angle, the patent claims.
The screen can also fold into a triangular shape – suggesting that two people opposite each other can view content at the same time.
Speculating about possible designs, Patently Apple reported: “The flexible cover layer may be formed from a ceramic material (e.g., glass, strengthened glass, sapphire, zirconia) to provide some measure of protection for the flexible display from impact or other potential damaging contact.
“The flexible cover layer may also provide structural support for the display along both the folded and non-folded regions of the device.
“As used herein, a cover layer may also be referred to as a cover sheet or simply as a cover.
“In general, a foldable electronic device can be folded to accommodate a variety of form factors.
“For example, a foldable electronic device may be used in an unfolded configuration to allow use of an entire display area.”
The apparent tech breakthrough could be rolled out to multiple Apple devices – including the iPad, MacBook and Apple Watch.
It comes after a previous patent by Apple titled ‘Flexible Display Devices’ was filed on October 12th, 2018
Designs have been transformed into convincing pictures showing how the product would look by Dutch industrial designer Roy Gilsing.
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It is unclear whether Apple actually plans to develop the folding device.
The Sun Online has reached out to the firm for comment.
BORIS Johnson looks set to take over from Theresa May as Prime Minister now she’s finally announced she will step down.
The 54-year-old ex-Foreign Secretary revealed last week he WOULD run to replace her, and his campaign is set to be in full swing within days.
The bookies have had him as the favourite for months, and Tory members insist he is the one they want to take them into the next election too and fight Jeremy Corbyn.
His charisma, energy and bravado have already attracted voters from across the spectrum to him for years – giving him two successful terms as Mayor of London, and four election wins as an MP.
After much deliberation he was also on the winning side for the historic 2016 referendum – proving he’s in touch with the people of Britain and understands what they want.
He draws crowds wherever he goes and lines up supporters in a celebrity-like fashion – it would be foolish to rule out his chances.
Leadership candidates have already been meeting with MPs for weeks, begging them for their support, and Boris has been no exception.
He’s been smartening up with a new haircut, fresher suits, and he’s even lost weight to help win his more support and look like a PM in waiting.
But Boris has had relatively few friends in Parliament for years now – and it could be too little, too late to woo over the hundreds of MPs he needs to get down to the final two candidates.
He’ll have to make sure he has a great team around him to make that happen.
Fresh YouGov research today even said he was the most popular and least popular candidate in the running, showing how incredibly divisive he is among Tories and voters.
The top Tory has got a huge task on his hands to avoid the pitfalls from the last leadership race in 2016, which seriously damaged his credentials.
Boris was set to run on a joint ticket with Michael Gove, who eventually knifed him in the back and went for it alone.
Just hours later after a morning of chaos, Boris dramatically pulled out of the race.
During his time as Foreign Secretary he also came under fire for undermining statesmanship-like credentials with a string of gaffes and undignified behaviour – which he will have to overcome if he wants to enter No10.
His rival candidates will be keen to emphasise and capitalise on his weaknesses in the days ahead to try and slap him down before he gets the momentum going.
However, in recent days even Remainer MPs have coming around to the idea of Boris as PM, believing he might be the one to fight off Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party who are soaring in the polls.
The Tories are suffering a terrifying mauling from fuming voters for not delivering Brexit yet, and many think he’s the only one who can stop the Brexit Party tidal wave.
And he’ll be popular with many right-wingers in the Tory party by saying today we have to get out of the EU by October 31 – deal or No Deal.
“The way to get a good deal is to prepare for a no deal,” he said today at a conference in Switzerland.
And he added: “A new leader will have the opportunity to do things differently and have the momentum of a new administration.
“The job of our next leader has to be getting the UK properly out of the EU, putting Brexit to bed.”
One Remainer MP told The Sun: “I won’t back Boris at the start but might do in the later rounds.
“Maybe we need a strong Brexiteer to take on Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Farage. And it certainly can’t be Dominic Raab.”
Boris last week tweeted his support of a group of One Nation values – pushed by moderate remainers like Amber Rudd and Damian Green – in a clear message that he wants their support for the top job and is prepared to compromise and mould his positions.
His support will be vital for Boris as he’s got good relations with the Northern Irish party, the DUP, who could be vital in another government.
Loyal former minister Alastair Burt, when asked whether he could back Mr Johnson, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The answer to the question for almost all the candidates is yes.
“I would find it very difficult to support a candidate who said it was in Britain’s best interest to leave with no deal, leave straight away…
“I don’t expect any candidate really to say that.”
Rising star Johnny Mercer, who some said could run for the top job himself, confirmed he was backing Boris to bring the country back together.
He told ITV that he needed to “go out and inspire the party, bring them together, and get over this issue”.
Then Britain could get back to everyday business of governing, he predicted optimistically.
THE END OF MAY
Teary Theresa finally QUITS after Brexit shambles & says ‘I’ve done my best’
AND THEY’RE OFF!
Boris says ‘I’ll put Brexit to bed’ as Hunt joins race to replace May
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When do we find out the results of the EU Parliament elections in the UK?
the real nasty party
Labour trolls tell Theresa May to ‘burn in hell’ after she quits No10
THANKS FOR THE MAYMORIES
PM calls time on troubled tenure… but it’s not all been grim!
AND THEY’RE OFF!
Boris kicks off race to be PM as he praises May’s ‘stoical service’ to UK
SHAKES, BATTLES AND POLLS
Nigel Farage set for huge Euro election win as polls close
‘SHE HAD TO GO’
The Sun readers react as Theresa May resigns as PM
How May’s heartfelt sense of duty didn’t stop her being her own worst enemy
Scottish MP Stephen Kerr said: “For me and my Scottish Conservative colleagues, strengthening the union must be a very strong theme in the prospectus that any prospective leader offers the Scottish Conservatives.
“I think Boris is aware, from my conversations with him, that he has to project a different image to the people of Scotland, there’s no doubt about that. He recognises that challenge.
“The reality is that Boris is a major player in this contest, but whoever is going to lead the Conservative Party, whoever puts themselves forward to lead the Conservative Party, is going to have to be a unifier.”
TEARFUL Theresa May today finally admitted her time was up and quit as Prime Minister insisting: “I’ve done my best”.
The PM was forced to resign after she failed to deliver Brexit and lost the support of her own MPs – but will continue in office as a lame duck until July.
Shortly after meeting Tory “executioner” Sir Graham Brady, she addressed the nation in the spring sunshine of Downing Street – watched by adoring husband Philip – and admitted her time is up.
The PM confessed she now has no chance of ever getting her Brexit deal through Parliament but insisted “I have done my best” to deliver on the referendum result.
As Mrs May enters her final days:
Today the PM claimed she had done all she could to take Britain out of the EU with a deal, saying: “Ever since I first stepped through the door behind me as Prime Minister, I have striven to make the United Kingdom a country that works not just for a privileged few, but for everyone. And to honour the result of the EU referendum.
“If you give people a choice you have a duty to implement what they decide. I have done my best to do that.
“Sadly I have not been able to do so. I tried three times – I believe it was right to persevere even when the odds against success seemed high.”
Her voice cracking, she attempted to defend her legacy and insisted she has helped to fix Britain’s “burning injustices”.
Mrs May concluded: “I will shortly leave the job it has been the honour of my life to hold – the second female Prime Minister, but certainly not the last.
“I do so with no ill will but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.”
After her speech, the PM and Philip May drove off to spend the Bank Holiday weekend at their home in Sonning, Berkshire.
A VERY LONG GOODBYE
Mrs May will stay in office for the next two weeks, allowing her to welcome Donald Trump to the UK on his state visit, and step down as party leader on June 7.
She will then continue as interim PM until a new Tory leader is chosen, and finally leave office in July.
Even after leaving No10, she plans to stay as MP for Maidenhead until the next election scheduled for 2022.
In a snap poll, two thirds of Brits said Mrs May was right to resign – and half said she had been a “bad” or “terrible” Prime Minister.
Jeremy Corbyn today called for the new PM to trigger a snap General Election and let voters decide who should lead the country, saying: “The Prime Minister is right to have resigned. She has now accepted what the country has known for months – she cannot govern, and nor can her divided and disintegrating party.
“Parliament is deadlocked and the Conservatives offer no solutions to the other major challenges facing our country. Whoever becomes the new Conservative leader must let the people decide our country’s future, through an immediate General Election.”
The embattled Mrs May ran out of road this week after her Brexit deal collapsed and ally Andrea Leadsom stormed out of the Cabinet.
Her resignation fires the starting gun on the Tory leadership race, with Boris Johnson at the head of a crowded field of contenders.
But the next PM could face the same Brexit deadlock as Mrs May – with Parliament and the Tory party bitterly divided over how to move forward.
Today European leaders insisted there is no prospect of ripping up the withdrawal agreement and starting talks again – although Irish PM Leo Varadkar admitted he was worried about the prospects for his country.
He said: “In the next couple of months we may see the election of a Eurosceptic Prime Minister who wants to repudiate the withdrawal agreement and go for a No Deal.”
David Davis said the new leader should return to Brussels and demand the EU remove the hated backstop from the existing deal.
And Boris said: “We will leave the EU on October 31, deal or No Deal.”
Tories today rallied around to praise Mrs May for her time in office – even the ones who stabbed in her in the back and quit her Government.
This is a sad but necessary day
Mrs Leadsom, whose resignation earlier this week helped lead to Mrs May’s departure, tweeted: “A very dignified speech by @theresa_may.
“An illustration of her total commitment to country and duty. She did her utmost, and I wish her all the very best.”
Hardline rebel Steve Baker said: “Very dignified statement from Theresa May, beginning to set out the many things which she has achieved in office. This is a sad but necessary day.”
Leadership candidate Dominic Raab, who is set to run to replace Mrs May, said: “Dignified as ever, @theresa_may showed her integrity. She remains a dedicated public servant, patriot and loyal Conservative.”
Boris Johnson added: “Thank you for your stoical service to our country and the Conservative Party. It is now time to follow her urgings: to come together and deliver Brexit.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who is also tipped to run for the leadership, said: “Incredibly moving and dignified speech from the Prime Minister. She has given all in service of her country. Thank you Theresa.”
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Nobody could have worked harder or had a greater sense of public duty than the Prime Minister.”
Simon Hoare, one of Mrs May’s closest allies, joked: “I hope there’s a most enormous gin awaiting the PM.”
Paying tribute to his successor, David Cameron said: “I know what it feels like when you come to realise that your leadership time has finished, that the country needs a new leader.
“It’s extremely difficult and painful to step outside Downing Street and say those things.
“She will be remembered as someone who worked very hard on our behalf. A dedicated public servant, who was passionate about the future of this country.”
‘I have done my best’: Theresa May’s resignation speech in full
Ever since I first stepped through the door behind me as Prime Minister, I have striven to make the United Kingdom a country that works not just for a privileged few, but for everyone.
And to honour the result of the EU referendum.
Back in 2016, we gave the British people a choice.
Against all predictions, the British people voted to leave the European Union.
I feel as certain today as I did three years ago that in a democracy, if you give people a choice you have a duty to implement what they decide.
I have done my best to do that.
I negotiated the terms of our exit and a new relationship with our closest neighbours that protects jobs, our security and our Union.
I have done everything I can to convince MPs to back that deal.
Sadly, I have not been able to do so.
I tried three times.
I believe it was right to persevere, even when the odds against success seemed high.
But it is now clear to me that it is in the best interests of the country for a new Prime Minister to lead that effort.
So I am today announcing that I will resign as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party on Friday 7 June so that a successor can be chosen.
I have agreed with the Party Chairman and with the Chairman of the 1922 Committee that the process for electing a new leader should begin in the following week.
I have kept Her Majesty the Queen fully informed of my intentions, and I will continue to serve as her Prime Minister until the process has concluded.
It is, and will always remain, a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.
It will be for my successor to seek a way forward that honours the result of the referendum.
To succeed, he or she will have to find consensus in Parliament where I have not.
Such a consensus can only be reached if those on all sides of the debate are willing to compromise.
For many years the great humanitarian Sir Nicholas Winton – who saved the lives of hundreds of children by arranging their evacuation from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia through the Kindertransport – was my constituent in Maidenhead.
At another time of political controversy, a few years before his death, he took me to one side at a local event and gave me a piece of advice.
He said, “Never forget that compromise is not a dirty word. Life depends on compromise.”
He was right.
As we strive to find the compromises we need in our politics – whether to deliver Brexit, or to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland – we must remember what brought us here.
Because the referendum was not just a call to leave the EU but for profound change in our country.
A call to make the United Kingdom a country that truly works for everyone. I am proud of the progress we have made over the last three years.
We have completed the work that David Cameron and George Osborne started: the deficit is almost eliminated, our national debt is falling and we are bringing an end to austerity.
My focus has been on ensuring that the good jobs of the future will be created in communities across the whole country, not just in London and the South East, through our Modern Industrial Strategy.
We have helped more people than ever enjoy the security of a job.
We are building more homes and helping first-time buyers onto the housing ladder – so young people can enjoy the opportunities their parents did.
And we are protecting the environment, eliminating plastic waste, tackling climate change and improving air quality.
This is what a decent, moderate and patriotic Conservative Government, on the common ground of British politics, can achieve – even as we tackle the biggest peacetime challenge any government has faced.
I know that the Conservative Party can renew itself in the years ahead.
That we can deliver Brexit and serve the British people with policies inspired by our values.
Security; freedom; opportunity.
Those values have guided me throughout my career.
But the unique privilege of this office is to use this platform to give a voice to the voiceless, to fight the burning injustices that still scar our society.
That is why I put proper funding for mental health at the heart of our NHS long-term plan.
It is why I am ending the postcode lottery for survivors of domestic abuse.
It is why the Race Disparity Audit and gender pay reporting are shining a light on inequality, so it has nowhere to hide.
And that is why I set up the independent public inquiry into the tragedy at Grenfell Tower – to search for the truth, so nothing like it can ever happen again, and so the people who lost their lives that night are never forgotten.
Because this country is a Union.
Not just a family of four nations.
But a union of people – all of us.
Whatever our background, the colour of our skin, or who we love.
We stand together.
And together we have a great future.
Our politics may be under strain, but there is so much that is good about this country. So much to be proud of. So much to be optimistic about.
I will shortly leave the job that it has been the honour of my life to hold – the second female Prime Minister but certainly not the last.
I do so with no ill-will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.
Mrs May had been warned that if she didn’t quit today, Sir Graham would start the process to force her out through a new no-confidence vote.
And Cabinet ministers threatened to bring down the Government if the PM didn’t abandon her attempts to force through the Withdrawal Agreement Bill.
Meanwhile the Tories face a near-total wipeout when the Euro election results are announced on Sunday night.
This morning Mrs May faced one final blow to her authority as Helen Grant resigned as Tory party vice-chair, saying she wants to be involved in the leadership race by backing Dominic Raab.
The Prime Minister wanted her legacy to be taking Britain out of the EU, before turning to the “burning injustices” of UK society.
Instead she will remembered for her stubborn refusal to compromise and inability to unite her party.
Her last-ditch bid to save the Brexit deal by offering MPs a vote on whether to hold a second referendum proved the last nail in her coffin, triggering a Cabinet rebellion with Andrea Leadsom resigning.
Mrs May’s resignation will kickstart a furious race to replace her with Boris Johnson the favourite to take over.
Mr Raab, Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove are also considered frontrunners – but as many as 20 Tory MPs could throw their hats in the ring.
Today Mr Hunt confirmed he’s planning to run for No10 while in a surprise move Sir Graham quit his 1922 Committee position to launch his own run for the leadership.
The leadership election is set to be hugely divisive for the Tory party with the two different wings attacking each other over what should happen next with Brexit.
It’s not just Theresa! Vince Cable to quit in July too
VINCE Cable today announced he will ALSO step down in late July – almost exactly the same time as Theresa May.
The Lib Dems boss revealed he’ll hand over to a successor on July 23.
He previously revealed he was planning to resign as party leader after the European Parliament elections.
Today he formally kicked off a two-month leadership election with Jo Swinson and Ed Davey favourites to replace him.
Sir Vince told members: “Our campaigning over the last three years has kept the cause of remaining in the European Union alive, and I now believe we have a strong chance of stopping Brexit.”
He took over in 2017 with the party at a low ebb having suffered two poor General Election results.
But the Lib Dems have since risen in the polls, with a strong showing in the recent local elections.
What next after Theresa May quits?
THERESA May’s resignation today kickstarts the Tory leadership election.
The Prime Minister will formally stand down as party leader on June 7 – but will stay in place while the new PM is being chosen, rather than handing over to an interim chief such as David Lidington.
The leadership contest, overseen by party chairman Brandon Lewis, will take around six weeks.
Any Tory MP can enter the race, and the list of contenders is then whittled down by the parliamentary party.
MPs vote in multiple rounds, eliminating one candidate each time until just two are left.
The party’s 120,000 activists then choose behind the final shortlist of two, with the winner declared leader and Prime Minister.
When Mrs May became leader, she didn’t have to submit to a vote of members because Andrea Leadsom pulled out of the race.
So the last time activists have had a say on the leadership was 2005, when David Cameron defeated David Davis.
AND THEY’RE OFF
Boris says he’s man to deliver Brexit as Hunt is 1st minister to run for PM
EUR VOTE COUNTS
When do we find out the results of the EU Parliament elections in the UK?
BOJO’S TO LOSE
Boris favourite to be PM as Remainers back him – but he can’t screw up again
THANKS FOR THE MAYMORIES
PM calls time on troubled tenure… but it’s not all been grim!
SHAKES, BATTLES AND POLLS
Nigel Farage set for huge Euro election win as polls close
Today top Brexiteer Steve Baker insisted the next leader must be someone who is fully committed to our EU departure and ready to leave with No Deal.
Jacob Rees-Mogg added: “A new leader can get us out of the EU on October 31, that is in law. Once that’s happened, then we can move on to other issues.”
But the veteran Europhile Ken Clarke hit back, saying: “The idea that Conservative and DUP MPs will all come together behind a Nigel Farage-type figure is nonsense.”
May 23, 2019; Concord, NC, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) during practice for the Coca-cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
May 23, 2019
For all the deserved attention this Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (6 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) receives annually — for its celebration of our country’s military heroes and the challenge of mastering NASCAR’s longest race — it has presented a unique competitive situation for even the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series best.
Eight of the top-16 drivers in the current series standings — Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones and Kyle Larson — have never won a regular-season race on the Charlotte oval.
Five more — Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer — have only one Charlotte trophy each despite four championships and 149 race wins among them.
Not only is this race the longest of the season (600 miles — 400 laps), but it has more stages (four) and will be contested under unusual conditions, late afternoon turning into nighttime.
“It’s a hundred miles longer than any other race we run, which provides a challenge in and of itself,” said Almirola, driver of the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. “On top of that, there is an extra stage, which gives us the opportunity to earn more points.
“The cars have less grip when the sun is out, and they tend to slip and slide a lot more. As the sun goes down, the track gets more grip and we start going faster. That’s one of the very unique things about this race.
“What you have from a drive-ability and balance standpoint from the race car at the beginning of the race is not what you have at the end. You’re trying to figure out what it takes to get your car to win at the end, and you have to be good at all facets because there are a lot of points to be made.”
There have been nine different Coca-Cola 600 winners in the last 10 years — only Kevin Harvick has won the race twice in that span. Austin Dillon earned his first-ever Monster Energy Series win in the 2017 Coca-Cola 600. Kyle Busch got his first-ever series victory at Charlotte Motor Speedway last spring.
Martin Truex Jr. set an amazing mark of dominance, leading 392 of the 400 laps, in the 2016 Coca-Cola 600. And Jimmie Johnson earned a fourth Coca-Cola 600 trophy in 2014 — tops among this week’s field.
The opportunity to win in such a unique, extended format during one of the most celebrated racing weekends of the year is something that makes the drivers even more enthusiastic.
“With it being the 600, I love the tradition of the extra 100 miles and the toll that it puts on the cars, teams and drivers,” Dillon said. “It is genuinely a cool event and one of the marquee races in NASCAR.”
As Dillon indicated, even the talented younger drivers recognize the special circumstance it takes to hoist a trophy in this particular event.
“I think it’s a true test of your fitness level and mental capacity as a driver, not just for the heat but for the endurance it takes,” said Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron, who did not finish in his Charlotte 600-mile debut last year.
“Team-wise, there was a stretch for a few years that it was easier to make it 600 miles, but now with the performance as critical as it is, I think the cars are pushed more and the engines are pushed more, making it harder to go the full distance. I think this race really is a test of everything you have as the sport just gets more and more competitive.”
XFINTY SERIES RETURNS TO CHARLOTTE
As with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 600-miler, the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco 300 (Saturday at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) has proven to be one of the most competitive events on the schedule with six different winners taking the checkered flag in the past six races.
Brad Keselowski won the Xfinity Series race last year over Cole Custer and Christopher Bell — two drivers who ultimately raced for the Xfinity Series championship in 2018 and are setting themselves up for another run at the title this season.
This weekend, Austin Dillon is the only full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver entered in the race. He swept the series Charlotte races in 2015. He and veteran Jeff Green (May 2001 and May 2002) are the only former Charlotte winners in the field.
This weekend marks the 11th race for the Xfinity Series, and an impressive seven races have been won by series regulars, led by Joe Gibbs Racing’s Bell (three) and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Custer (two). Both their team owners, coincidentally — Gibbs and Tony Stewart — were voted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Defending series champion Tyler Reddick (the Talladega race winner) leads the points standings by 23 points over Bell. Custer is third, 71 points behind. Austin Cindric (-81) and Justin Allgaier (-114) round out the top five.
–By Holly Cain, NASCAR Wire Service. Special to Field Level Media.