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Raw Politics in full: Oil tankers struck in Gulf of Oman, Boris Johnson leads UK prime minister race

Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson attends the launch of his campaign in London, Britain June 12, 2019.
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson attends the launch of his campaign in London, Britain June 12, 2019. -
Conservative Party leadership candidate Boris Johnson attends the launch of his campaign in London, Britain June 12, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
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Suspected attacks in Gulf of Oman

Two tankers sustained damage in suspected attacks in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday. The US Navy assisted in aiding the two tankers but the cause of the incident was not immediately known.

All 44 crew members were evacuated and relocated to a southern Iranian port, according to Iranian state television.

The reported attack comes a month after the US suspected Iran of attacking four oil tankers near the port of Fujairah in UAE.

US and Poland sign defence agreement

US President Donald Trump and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda signed a defence agreement on Wednesday that will station an additional 1,000 American troops in Poland.

The leaders marked the agreement with a rare flyover of a F-35 fighter jet.

Trump said Poland will pay for the cost of the additional deployment.

The troops could be rotated out of Germany, a country Trump has criticised for not paying enough into NATO.

"Poland has really built up a great country," said Trump. "They get hurt, unfortunately, too often. They`'re in the middle of everything, and when bad things happen, it seems that Poland is always the first one in there."

Duda went on to commend Trump for understanding European security.

"You are among those presidents of the United States who understand how it works perfectly," he said.

"You understand that when the US looks at Europe, when it looks at the security of the European states, it plays a key role for the peace around the globe."

Alliances reveal rebranding

France’s Marine Le Pen unveiled the Identity and Democracy group in the European Parliament on Thursday, uniting eurosceptics who aim to transfer power from Brussels to capitals.

The group brings together Le Pen’s National Rally and Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini’s Lega party — both of which are housed with the Europe of Nations and Freedom group — and brings in Germany’s Alternative for Germany (AfD). Nationalists from Austria, Finland, Denmark and other countries will also be part of the group.

ID's rebrand sees the dissolution of the Europe of Nations and Freedoms group.

However, ID is not the only group to undergo rebranding.

Europe's liberals, now in an alliance with Emmanuel Macron's party, unveiled Renew Europe.

The group brings together the former Alliance of Liberals and Democrats Party and France's La Republique en Marche party, while also benefitting from UK Liberal Democrats.

Guy Verhofstadt, one of Renew Europe's leaders, posted the announcement on Twitter.

Boris Johnson leads UK prime minister race

Boris Johnson has topped the first round of voting in the race to become the next Conservative Party leader and UK prime minister, tallying 114 votes from Tory MPs.

The three candidates eliminated from the leadership race were Esther McVey, Andrea Leadsom and Mark Harper.

The second round of voting will take place on June 18. Additional ballots are scheduled for June 19 and 20 until only two candidates are left. The new prime minister is expected to be chosen by the end of July.