The biggest world stories of the week: May 26-June 1, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – From United States Special Counsel Robert Mueller's first public statement on Russia's interference in the 2016 election to China's escalating trade tensions with the US, here's a look at the biggest stories of the past week.

"If we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so," Special Counsel Robert Mueller said on Wednesday, May 29, during his first public statement on his investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia in the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller said he had lacked power to charge a sitting president and suggested that Congress has both the constitutional powers and the responsibility to pursue the case.

CLASH OVER JOBS. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) meets with French President Emmanuel Macron prior to a meeting on the sidelines of a European Union summit at EU Commission Headquarters in Brussels on May 28, 2019.

Photo by Olivier Matthys/AFP

Following the recently concluded European elections, the hunt for a new generation of top European Union officials has begun. The key job to be filled is that of president of the European Commission, the union's powerful chief executive – a five-year post currently held by Jean-Claude Juncker.

Alongside the commission role, the leaders also have to choose a new council president, a foreign policy chief, a speaker for the European Parliament, and a central bank director.

SECOND TERM. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays tribute at Rajghat, the memorial for Mahatama Gandhi, in New Delhi on May 30, 2019.

Photo by Money Sharma/AFP

This week also saw two leaders launch their second term in office: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

"Honored to serve India!" Modi said on Twitter soon after he took his oath of office. He also vowed to "work for India's progress."

"I do solemnly swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria," Buhari said when he was sworn into office. He earlier vowed to continue his crackdown against corrupt officials.

TARIFFS. A view of the Rio Grande atop the Paso del Norte International Bridge between Downtown El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico at dusk on May 31, 2019. The border area is bracing for the impact of what may happen after Trump unexpectedly announced his readiness to levy tariffs on all Mexican imports.

Photo by Paul Ratje/AFP

On Saturday, June 1, China increased tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods in retaliation for Washington raising duties on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25%.

China also said it would create a blacklist of "unreliable" foreign firms and individuals, a move seen to pressure foreign companies to maintain commercial relations with telecommunications giant Huawei.

Trump, meanwhile, threatened to impose tariffs of up to 25% on all imported Mexican goods beginning June 10, until "illegal migrants" stop coming into the US. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador believes, however, that US government officials are willing to "establish dialogue and reach agreements and compromises."

IN MEMORY. A slide of the victims in the May 31, 2019 mass shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal building is shown during a press conference on June 1, 2019. (L-R, top to bottom) Richard Nettleton, Ryan Keith Cox, Christopher Kelly Rapp, Katherine Nixon, Tara Welch Gallagher,Laquita Brown, Robert Williams, Michelle Langer, Joshua Hardy, Herbert Snelling, Alexander Mikhail Gusev, and Mary Louise Gayle.

Photo by Eric Baradat/AFP

DeWayne Craddock, a longtime city engineer working at the public works department of Virginia Beach, fired indiscriminately on his workplace colleagues on Friday, May 31, killing at least 12 people and wounding 4. Craddock was killed in a fierce gun battle with police.

"Why do these tragedies happen? And I don't have an answer for that, but God knows.... And God is in control here," Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said during a prayer vigil.

Officials have decided not to pronounce Craddock's name again in public so as to focus attention on the victims of America's latest mass shooting.

Here are other big stories the past week:

– with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com