World Monthly Headline News June 2020 Page 1
Holly EllyattScientists have identified a new strain of flu carried by pigs in China that they say has the potential to become a pandemic. The new strain is descended from the type of flu — known as “swine flu” — that emerged in 2009 causing the first global flu pandemic in 40 years. The scientists published their peer-reviewed findings in U.S. science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday. They said the new strain of flu, which they called “G4 EA H1N1,” is a variation of swine flu, and includes the “G4″ genotype that has become predominant in swine populations since 2016.As with swine flu, the new strain has been identified as having “all the essential hallmarks of a candidate pandemic virus.” The scientists, who studied flu viruses in pig populations between 2011 and 2018, noted that around 10% of swine industry workers they tested in China had already been exposed to the virus, which they described as “of concern.” That rate increased among younger workers, aged 18-35, “indicating that the predominant G4 EA H1N1 virus has acquired increased human infectivity.”
Beijing — China said Tuesday it will retaliate after the U.S. announced it was ending the export of sensitive military items to Hong Kong in response to Beijing imposing a controversial national security law on the semi-autonomous city. China's rubber-stamp parliament formally passed the sweeping law for Hong Kong on Tuesday, which critics and many western governments fear will smother the global financial hub's freedoms and hollow out its autonomy."U.S. attempts to obstruct China advancing the Hong Kong national security legislation through so-called sanctions will never prevail," said foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. "In response to the U.S.'s wrongful actions, China will take necessary countermeasures." Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that the U.S. was ending the export of sensitive military items to Hong Kong because Washington "can no longer distinguish between the export of controlled items to Hong Kong or to mainland China."
Stunning Report Alleges Trump Regularly Bullies U.S. Allies, Gets ‘Outplayed’ By Enemies In Phone CallsBy Andrew Solender - Forbes Staff BusinessA report from CNN’s Carl Bernstein based on anonymous sources alleges that President Trump is regularly unprepared and out of his depth in phone calls with world leaders, in which he frequently bullies U.S. allies and gets outplayed by enemies, with people familiar with the calls describing them as national security threats that would cause senior Republicans to lose confidence in the president. Senior U.S. officials, including former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, former Chief of Staff John Kelly and former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, reportedly felt that Trump “posed a danger to the national security of the United States” in his phone calls with world leaders and concluded that he was often “delusional.”“The sources said there was little evidence that the President became more skillful or competent in his telephone conversations with most heads of state over time,” Bernstein writes. “Rather, he continued to believe that he could either charm, jawbone or bully almost any foreign leader into capitulating to his will, and often pursued goals more attuned to his own agenda than what many of his senior advisers considered the national interest.” Trump would reportedly bash his predecessors, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, in phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Erdoğan, who consistently “outplay” Trump, with one source “comparing the Russian leader to a chess grandmaster and Trump to an occasional player of checkers.”Calls with allies fared no better, particularly with female heads of state like former British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who Trump frequently labelled “stupid” and accused of being in the pocket of the Russians in calls so egregious the German government took “special measures” to keep them secret, Bernstein writes.
The US killed General Soleimani and others in a January drone attack near Baghdad International Airport.Iran has issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining US President Donald Trump and dozens of others it believes carried out the drone strike that killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad. Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said on Monday that Trump, along with more than 30 others Iran accuses of involvement in the January 3 attack that killed General Qassem Soleimani, face "murder and terrorism charges", the semi-official ISNA news agency reported. Alqasimehr did not identify anyone else sought other than Trump, but stressed Iran would continue to pursue his prosecution even after his presidency ends. Interpol, based in Lyon, France, said in a statement that its constitution forbade it to undertake "any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character". "Therefore, if or when any such requests were to be sent to the General Secretariat," it added, "... Interpol would not consider requests of this nature."
Nearly six months after the US assassinated IRGC General Soleimani, Tehran is losing its grip on armed groups in Iraq.Iraqi militia factions expected the usual cash handout when the new head of Iran's Quds Force made his first visit to Baghdad earlier this year, succeeding the slain General Qassem Soleimani. Instead, to their disappointment, Esmail Ghaani brought them silver rings. For his second visit, Ghaani had to apply for a visa, something unheard of in Soleimani's time - a bold step by Baghdad's new government effectively curtailing Iran's freedom of movement inside Iraq. The episodes, relayed by several Iraqi officials, illustrate Iran's struggles to maintain sway over Iraqi armed groups six months after the United States assassinated Soleimani and top militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a drone strike. Iran at the same time is grappling with the economic fallout from US sanctions and the coronavirus outbreak. Without imposing figures such as Soleimani and al-Muhandis to unify disparate factions, divisions have emerged in the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), the umbrella group of mainly Shia fighters.
The WHO warns the pandemic 'is not even close to being over', as the number of deaths worldwide reached 500,000.by Kate Mayberry & Hamza MohamedGlobal coronavirus cases now exceed 10 million and more than half a million people have died from the respiratory disease, according to Johns Hopkins University. The United States accounts for about a quarter of all deaths.
By Associated PressThe Chinese government is taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uighurs and other minorities as part of a sweeping campaign to curb its Muslim population, even as it encourages some of the country’s Han majority to have more children. While individual women have spoken out before about forced birth control, the practice is far more widespread and systematic than previously known, according to an AP investigation based on government statistics, state documents and interviews with 30 ex-detainees, family members and a former detention camp instructor. The campaign over the last four years in the far west region of Xinjiang is leading to what some experts are calling a form of “demographic genocide.” The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousands, the interviews and data show. Even while the use of IUDs and sterilization has fallen nationwide, it is rising sharply in Xinjiang. The population control measures are backed by mass detention both as a threat and as a punishment for failure to comply. Having what is considered too many children is a major reason people are sent to detention camps, the AP found, with the parents of three or more ripped away from their families unless they can pay huge fines.
By John BowdenAt least three security officers were killed and four gunmen also died in an attack Monday on Pakistan's stock exchange building in downtown Karachi. Multiple news sources indicated that a police officer and two security guards died in the attack, while all four gunmen were slain by responding security forces. Reuters reported that the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a Pakistani-based group that has led terrorist attacks with the goal of independence for Pakistan's Balochistan region, claimed credit for Monday's assault. One other security guard was reportedly in critical condition after the attack. Information on any other wounded was not immediately available.
"And yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed," Pelosi told ABC's "This Week."By Allan SmithHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Sunday that President Donald Trump "wants to ignore any allegation against Russia" as he and his administration deny ever being briefed about intelligence that Russians have offered to pay bounties to Taliban fighters who kill Americans. Speaking with ABC's "This Week," Pelosi said, "This is as bad as it gets." "And yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed," Pelosi said. "Whether he is or not, his administration knows and our allies — some of our allies who work with us in Afghanistan had been briefed and accept this report." "Just as I have said to the president: With him all roads lead to Putin," she added. "I don't know what the Russians have on the president, politically, personally, financially, or whatever it is, but he wants to ignore, he wants to bring them back to the G8 despite the annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine, despite what they yielded to him in Syria, despite his intervention into our election which is well documented by our intelligence community, and despite now possibly this allegation, which we should have been briefed on." The U.S gathered intelligence on the Russian bounty offers, three people briefed on the matter told NBC News. The New York Times was first to report on the intelligence, and other outlets have confirmed too.
By James WalkerThe European Union plans to bar most U.S. travelers from entering the region amid fears over failures to control the spread of COVID-19. E.U. officials told The New York Times and CNN on Friday that senior diplomats had negotiated a list of countries deemed safe for travel with the bloc when it reopens on July 1. While the U.S. did not make the list, along with Russia and several other countries, China was reportedly deemed to be a safe country from which to welcome travelers. The E.U. travel list could still be changed before the start of next month, as it has yet to receive formal backing from member state leaders. But an unnamed E.U. diplomat told CNN yesterday that it was highly "unlikely" that U.S. travelers would get approval to travel into the bloc, largely due to the country's current coronavirus infection rate per 100,000 people.
Situation RoomRussian intelligence officers for the military intelligence GRU recently offered money to Taliban militants in Afghanistan as rewards if they killed US or UK troops there, a European intelligence official told CNN. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement that the President and Vice President Mike Pence were not briefed "on the alleged Russian bounty intelligence." CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd discusses the latest developments with Wolf Blitzer. Source: CNN
By Adam BienkovThere has been a surge in support for European Union membership among the British public since the Brexit referendum, a major new survey found. The European Social Survey, conducted every two years, found that support for the EU had risen across the continent and in Britain. The survey, completed in 2019 and released this week, found that 57% of Brits said they would vote to be inside the EU, compared with 50% who said the same in the previous survey, released in 2018. By contrast, just 35% said they would vote to be outside the EU, compared with the 52% of people who voted to leave in 2016. Eight percent of Brits said they would not vote in such a referendum. The findings have been released four years after Britain voted to leave, as the country faces an increasingly gloomy economic outlook amid the coronavirus pandemic.
By Chas DannerA Russian spy unit secretly offered bounties last year to Taliban-linked militants for the killing of U.S. coalition forces in Afghanistan, including American troops, the New York Times reported Friday. President Trump was briefed on the intelligence and the U.S. developed a range of possible responses to the significant Russian escalation, including diplomatic efforts and new sanctions, but the White House has not authorized any of them, according to U.S. intelligence officials who spoke with the Times. (The officials didn’t offer any explanation as to why.) The intelligence officials believe that militants did collect some of the bounty money after completing successful operations against coalition forces, but it’s not yet clear if any of the deaths of the 20 American servicemembers who were killed in combat in Afghanistan last year are linked to the Russian operation. The Washington Post added in its own subsequent report that “it was not immediately clear whether the militants approached by Russia as part of the initiative had succeeded in killing Americans or allied forces.” The National Security Council discussed the intelligence during an interagency meeting at the White House in March, but the Trump administration did not brief U.S. allies about it until this week. Neither the Times nor Post reported anything about what President Trump’s views are on the matter, but he has notoriously dismissed the conclusions of the U.S. intelligence community regarding Russia in the past. According to the Post, the alleged Russian operation “has generated an intense debate within the Trump administration about how best to respond to a troubling new tactic” in light of Trump’s ongoing stance toward the country. - It has been several months since the Trump administration was notified that the Russians were paying bounty for dead Americans Trump has not responded to protect our American soldiers. However, he has attempted to get Russia back in the G7 after he found out about the bounties on our American soldiers.
By Brett Molina - USA TODAYFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlined several steps the social network will take to combat hate speech as companies pull advertising from its platform. In a live stream and post published to Facebook on Friday, Zuckerberg detailed multiple steps the company will take ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Among the planned steps: pushing back against voter suppression, boosting standards for hateful content in ads, and labeling content deemed newsworthy. "I'm optimistic that we can make progress on public health and racial justice while maintaining our democratic traditions around free expression and voting," wrote Zuckerberg. "I'm committed to making sure Facebook is a force for good on this journey." Zuckerberg said any posts that would typically violate their policies but remain on the platform will include a label noting the content they are sharing may violate their policies.
PA Sport StaffFormer Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone has claimed black people are often “more racist” than white people and questioned whether Lewis Hamilton’s vocal support for the Black Lives Matter movement will make any difference. In an interview with CNN, the 89-year-old Ecclestone, who stepped down as chief executive in 2017, also said he was “surprised” to hear Hamilton had been affected by racist issues in the sport. Ecclestone said: “In lots of cases black people are more racist than what white people are. “(It’s just) things over the years that I’ve noticed, and there’s no need for it. I’m against injustice for anyone, whatever colour they are. It’s important to do something about that for a start.” In the wake of the death of George Floyd in police custody in the United States, Hamilton criticised his sport’s failure to combat racism and referenced issues he has faced since his junior karting days. The 35-year-old specifically referred to an incident in Barcelona in 2008 when a group of fans dressed up in blackface and aimed derogatory chants towards him – something Ecclestone claims he had “never” discussed. - Sorry Bernie Ecclestone you are wrong you never heard the term driving while white or walking while white have you or a black person going on racist rant against white people for something dumb like white people do. You have never heard of a white person not getting a job or a place to live because of the color of their skin. Have you people calling white racist names simply because they are white, no.
by Brandon HillTikTok has taken the world by storm as people of all ages uses the social networking platform to share videos. People use the platform to lip-sync to their favorite songs, perform short skits, or any number of humorous hijinks that the platform has been recognized for over the past year. It’s become a blockbuster app that is especially popular with the young adults. However, users have raised privacy concerns about the app ever since it launched in the United States, with many questioning whether the Chinese government was somehow using the app to spy on Americans. Today, TikTok isn’t doing itself any favors in assuaging those fears after it was found that the app has been accessing the iOS system clipboard with reckless abandon. In fact, the app has likely been doing this ever since it was released for iOS, but it wasn’t until the beta of iOS 14 launched that customers found out what was going on. iOS 14 includes a new feature that provides a pop-up notification whenever a third-party app attempts to access the system clipboard to paste text. You can see the features in action in the tweet below:
BBCPakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has come under fire from opposition MPs after telling parliament that the US "martyred" Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was killed in 2011 when US special forces raided his hideout in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. Pakistan was not informed in advance. "I will never forget how we Pakistanis were embarrassed when the Americans came into Abbottabad and killed Osama Bin Laden, martyred him," Khan said. Khan used the word "shaheed" - a reverential Arabic term for a martyr of Islam. Opposition leader and former Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif criticised Mr Khan, calling Bin Laden an "ultimate terrorist". "He destroyed my nation, and [Khan] is calling him a martyr," Mr Asif said in parliament. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, whose Pakistan Peoples Party was in power when Bin Laden was killed, accused the prime minister of appeasing violent extremism.
BBCLabour leader Sir Keir Starmer has sacked Rebecca Long-Bailey, saying she shared an article containing an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. Mrs Long-Bailey retweeted an interview with actor and Labour supporter Maxine Peake. The shadow education secretary - who was beaten to the party leadership by Sir Keir - later said she had not meant to endorse all aspects of the article. But Sir Keir said his "first priority" was tackling anti-Semitism. The Labour leader said: "The sharing of that article was wrong… because the article contained anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and I have therefore stood Rebecca Long-Bailey down from the shadow cabinet. "I've made it my first priority to tackle anti-Semitism and rebuilding trust with the Jewish community is a number one priority for me."
Polls open in seven-day vote on constitutional reforms that would allow Russia's leader to seek re-election twice more.Russians have begun voting in a seven-day referendum on constitutional amendments that would allow President Vladimir Putin to run for re-election twice more and potentially remain in the top job for the next 16 years. Election officials said they were opening polls on Thursday across the country before the official July 1 vote to avoid overcrowding that could spread coronavirus infections. Masks and disinfectant gels are being made available to 110 million voters across 10 time zones, from the Kaliningrad exclave on the Baltic Sea to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on the Pacific Ocean.
Aviation minister says more than 30 percent of country's commercial pilots committed fraud to obtain licences.by Asad HashimIslamabad, Pakistan - Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has suspended 150 pilots after questions over the authenticity of their licences emerged, a spokesman told Al Jazeera. The announcement comes a day after an initial investigation found human error was primarily responsible for a PIA plane crash that killed 98 people in southern Pakistan last month. "Out of our 434 pilots, 150 will be grounded as of today," PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan told Al Jazeera by telephone from Karachi, where the crash took place on May 22. "It will totally cripple us. But we cannot take risks with this." Thursday's suspensions will remain until investigations can be carried out to verify the authenticity of the pilots' licences. The airline will primarily look into allegations that the pilots did not sit for the examinations themselves and sent others instead. Seventeen pilots were suspended in January 2019 over similar allegations following a probe into an air crash in the southwestern Pakistani town of Panjgur - where a plane carrying 43 passengers careered off the runway after making an unsafe approach - said Khan. No one was injured in that incident.
Seoul, South Korea — North Korea said Wednesday leader Kim Jong Un suspended a planned military retaliation against South Korea, in an apparent slowing of the pressure campaign it has waged against its rival amid stalled nuclear negotiations with the Trump administration. Last week, the North had declared relations with the South as fully ruptured, destroyed an inter-Korean liaison office in its territory and threatened unspecified military action to censure Seoul for a lack of progress in bilateral cooperation and for activists floating anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border. Analysts say North Korea, after weeks deliberately raising tensions, may be pulling away just enough to make room for South Korean concessions.
By Hannah AllamRight-wing extremists are turning cars into weapons, with reports of at least 50 vehicle-ramming incidents since protests against police violence erupted nationwide in late May. At least 18 are categorized as deliberate attacks; another two dozen are unclear as to motivation or are still under investigation, according to a count released Friday by Ari Weil, a terrorism researcher at the University of Chicago's Chicago Project on Security and Threats. Weil has tracked vehicle-ramming attacks, or VRAs, since protests began. The 20 people facing prosecution in the rammings include a state leader of the Virginia Ku Klux Klan, as well as a California man who was charged with attempted murder after antagonizing protesters and then driving into them, striking a teenage girl. Video footage of some attacks shows drivers yelling at or threatening Black Lives Matter protesters before hitting the gas. "The message they're trying to send is, 'You need to get out of the street and stop these protests,' " Weil said. "They're trying to intimidate the most recent wave of BLM protesters, to stop their movement." The last rash of vehicle rammings occurred in 2015 and 2016, Weil said, when the "Run Them Over" meme was popularized in far-right circles in response to Black Lives Matter protests and demonstrations against the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. The most high-profile attack occurred a year later, during the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. A white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and wounding dozens of others in a bloody weekend that jolted the country into recognizing the resurgent threat of far-right violence.
By George Ramsay, CNN(CNN) Novak Djokovic has tested positive for coronavirus following an exhibition event he organized in Croatia. The Adria Tour, which took place in Zadar last weekend, has been mired in controversy after the final was canceled following Grigor Dimitrov's positive test. Djokovic, the world No.1 tennis star who was scheduled to play in Sunday's final, confirmed Tuesday that both he and his wife Jelena had also tested positive for Covid-19 upon returning home to Serbia, while his children's results were negative. The 17-time grand slam champion said he was sorry that the tournament had caused harm and acknowledged "we were wrong and it was too soon." He said that the organizers would be sharing health resources with those who attended the events in Belgrade, Serbia, and Zadar, Croatia. "I am so deeply sorry our tournament has caused harm. Everything the organizers and I did the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions. We believed the tournament met all health protocols and the health of our region seemed in good condition to finally unite people for philanthropic reasons. We were wrong and it was too soon. I can't express enough how sorry I am for this and every case of infection," he said in the statement published on his Twitter account.
The historic Saharan dust plume is darkening skies in the Caribbean and will soon stretch into the USBy Judson Jones, CNN Meteorologist(CNN) The current Saharan dust episode is leading to the worst dust storm in the Caribbean in decades. Over the weekend, Saharan dust moved into the Caribbean. By Monday, it had changed the tropical blue skies into a hazy brown-gray color. On Tuesday, this sunset enhancing, blue sky limiting, tropical threat reducing dust plume continues its 5,000-mile journey toward the US. But before it does, it is leaving these pristine islands with a few more days with one the most significant dust events seen in the Caribbean. It is definitely historic," Olga Mayol-Bracero, a researcher at the University of Puerto Rico told CNN Weather. "We knew we were going to be in an extraordinary situation." Many of her colleagues across the Caribbean said they have not seen air quality conditions this bad in their entire careers. Aerosols, measured in PM10, at Mayol-Bracero's research station in northeastern Puerto Rico, have never reached the levels they have seen the past few days. Records at this station go back 15 years. It is unusual that the dust is forecast to travel over central America and the US with such high concentrations, Claire Ryder, NERC Independent Research Fellow at the University of Reading, told CNN Weather.
Europe may issue a travel ban for Americans because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the USBy David SlotnickThe European Union is planning to reopen its borders on July 1, allowing some travelers in for the first time since the closure as the coronavirus pandemic worsened in March. However, Americans might not be welcome. The EU is considering barring Americans from entering the bloc because the United States has not adequately controlled the spread of COVID-19, The New York Times reported on Tuesday, citing draft lists of travelers who would be allowed. Travelers from Russia and Brazil would also be blocked from entering EU countries under the lists, according to The Times. The move would be a major blow to America's prestige and world image, despite the Trump administration's claims that the US's outbreak is under control. The US has had more than 2.3 million coronavirus cases and 120,000 deaths, more than any other country. In early March, the Trump administration barred travel to the US from much of Europe, citing outbreaks in northern Italy, Germany, and elsewhere in the European Union. The prohibition has not been lifted, even as Europe has largely contained its outbreaks. The European border closure, which came later in March, applied to visitors from most countries outside the bloc, not specifically Americans. However, the new ban, expected to be announced before July 1, calls out several countries that have handled outbreaks poorly and seen increases in cases.
By Kate GibsonU.S. consumers should not use any of nine brands of possibly toxic hand sanitizer that may contain methanol, or wood alcohol, a substance that's potentially dangerous when absorbed through the skin or ingested, the Food and Drug Administration warned. The agency's alert comes at a time when hand sanitizers are in especially heavy demand due to the coronavirus pandemic that has public health officials urging consumers to frequently wash their hands. In issuing its warning Friday, the FDA said the Mexico-based manufacturer Eskbiochem SA de CV had rebuffed its request that it remove the "potentially dangerous products" from the U.S. market. Agency tests found samples of one product, Lavar Gel, contained 81% methanol and those of CleanCare No Germ contained 28%.
By Charles Riley, CNN BusinessLondon (CNN Business) Scandal-plagued Wirecard has acknowledged that $2.1 billion its auditors were unable to locate probably never existed, deepening a crisis at the German digital payments company. The tech firm said in a statement Monday that after "further examination," its board believes there is a "prevailing likelihood" that €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion) in cash that was supposed to be in its accounts does not exist. Shares in Wirecard (WCAGY) plunged in early trading on Monday. The stock has lost more than 85% over three trading sessions — wiping out $12.5 billion in market value — since EY, its auditor refused to sign off the company's accounts. On Monday, the company withdrew its preliminary results for 2019, the first quarter of 2020 and its profit forecast for 2020. It warned that financial results from previous years may also be affected. CEO Markus Braun resigned on Friday after EY said the cash, which makes up roughly a quarter of the company's assets, could not be located. Before he quit, Braun suggested the company may have been the victim of massive fraud.
Unusually high temperatures in region linked to wildfires, oil spill and moth swarmsBy Damian Carrington Environment editorA prolonged heatwave in Siberia is “undoubtedly alarming”, climate scientists have said. The freak temperatures have been linked to wildfires, a huge oil spill and a plague of tree-eating moths. On a global scale, the Siberian heat is helping push the world towards its hottest year on record in 2020, despite a temporary dip in carbon emissions owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Temperatures in the polar regions are rising fastest because ocean currents carry heat towards the poles and reflective ice and snow is melting away. Russian towns in the Arctic circle have recorded extraordinary temperatures, with Nizhnyaya Pesha hitting 30C on 9 June and Khatanga, which usually has daytime temperatures of around 0C at this time of year, hitting 25C on 22 May. The previous record was 12C. In May, surface temperatures in parts of Siberia were up to 10C above average, according to the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). Martin Stendel, of the Danish Meteorological Institute, said the abnormal May temperatures seen in north-west Siberia would be likely to happen just once in 100,000 years without human-caused global heating.
The aim is to learn more about the elusive Higgs Boson particle.By Steve DentCERN has approved plans to build a $23 billion super-collider 100 km in circumference (62 miles) that would make the current 27 km 16 teraelectron volt (TeV) Large Hadron Collider (LHC) look tiny in comparison. The so-called Future Circular Collider (FCC) would smash particles together with over 100 TeV of energy to create many more of the elusive Higgs bosons first detected by CERN in 2012. This “Higgs factory” would be key to helping physicists learn more about dark matter and other mysteries of the Standard Model of physics. “Such a machine would produce copious amounts of Higgs bosons in a very clean environment, would make dramatic progress in mapping the diverse interactions of the Higgs boson with other particles and [allow] measurements of extremely high precision,” the CERN council wrote in a press release.
Each with the potential for hosting life.By Rachel EnglandIs humanity alone in the universe? It’s a question that mankind has grappled with for literal ages, and while Hollywood has spent decades feeding our curiosity with depictions of little green men and pew-pewing lasers, scientists have taken a more cautious approach. For life (at least as we know it) to exist on other planets, those planets must be capable of supporting life. Now, new research shows there are considerably more of these types of planets out there than previously thought. Such planets, known as Earth-like planets or ocean worlds, must be a similar size to Earth, orbit a sun-like star and be a rocky (or terrestrial) planet. It needs to orbit its star (called G-type stars) within a habitable zone, so the temperature is not too hot or too cold, and it’s able to host liquid water. Typically, such planets are hard to find, given their small size and distance from their stars, but thanks to new research techniques, scientists now think there could be as many as six billion earth-like planets across our galaxy. The study, published in The Astronomical Journal, shows that previously, it was thought there were around 0.02 Earth-like planets for every G-type star. Now, drawing on data from NASA’s Kepler planet-hunting program, researchers from the University of British Columbia have established up to 0.18 Earth-like planets for every G-type star.
“We’re talking about the last foundation brick of the Cold War nuclear arms control security architecture,” one expert said.By Keir Simmons, Willem Marx, Annabel Coleman and Abigail WilliamsAs U.S.-Russia talks on the future of the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals begin in Vienna on Monday, diplomats and experts warned that President Donald Trump’s insistence that China join the discussions could obstruct the renewal of a crucial treaty and might even precipitate a new nuclear arms race. Russia's lead envoy in the talks has told NBC News that the Kremlin does not currently believe the United States will extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START, ratified by President Barack Obama in 2011 and due to expire in February. Washington has withdrawn from a number of other agreements between the two former Cold War foes since Trump took office. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said ahead of his arrival in Vienna that he rejected what he called the American position on “verification for verification’s sake.” But he accepted that some of Russia’s more recent nuclear weapons systems that appear to concern the U.S. could be placed under the “umbrella” of the existing treaty, as part of a reciprocal arrangement that would cover new American weaponry, including advanced missile defense systems that have become a major bone of contention for Moscow in recent years.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Vladimir Putin is considering running for a new term as Russia’s president if voters approve constitutional changes that would enable him to do so, Russian news agencies quoted him as saying in an interview on Sunday. Russia will hold a nationwide vote from June 25 to July 1 on proposed changes to the constitution, including an amendment that would allow Putin to seek two more six-year terms as president when his current mandate ends in 2024. Opponents say the reforms are designed to allow Putin to keep power until 2036 and amount to a constitutional coup. The Kremlin says they are needed to strengthen the role of parliament and improve social policy and public administration.https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/putin-is-having-a-bad-year-he-needs-the-reelection-of-president-trump/2020/06/21/4e7cdf62-
Image without a captionBy Jackson DiehlVladimir Putin is suffering through his worst year in two decades in power. The coronavirus is raging across Russia, which has reported more than half a million cases and 8,100 deaths and is suspected of hiding many more. The economy is crashing so steeply that the government failed to issue a monthly gross domestic product report in May for the first time in 15 years. Putin’s foolish launching of an oil price war with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made a bad recession worse. Forced to postpone a referendum that would allow him to remain in office until 2036, Putin is now going ahead with it on July 1, and no doubt it will be rigged to produce the right result. But his poll ratings are the lowest they have been since he was installed as Boris Yeltsin’s prime minister and successor in 1999.
By Amalia Zatari BBC Russian, MoscowThe Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests have not swept across Russia the way they have elsewhere, but people of colour living there have told the BBC about the casual discrimination they experience on a daily basis. There are estimated to be tens of thousands of people of colour living in Russia - including Russian-born people with mixed heritage and people from African and Caribbean countries who are working or studying in Russia.Here are some of their stories.Roy Ibonga, economics student, 21Recently a video of a taxi driver refusing to take a black man in his cab made waves on the internet in Russia. The person left standing on the kerb was 21-year-old Roy Ibonga, a Congolese man studying economics at Bryansk State University. In his video, published on social media, the driver can be heard saying "If I don't like a person, I won't give them a ride. It's my car". When Roy asks him bluntly "Are you a racist?" the driver replies, "Yes, of course." Later the Yandex taxi company, the Russian equivalent of Uber, apologised to Roy.
By ReutersVIENNA (Reuters) - Nuclear weapons talks between the United States and Russia started in Vienna on Monday, with the two countries’ envoys making only guarded comments shortly before they met. Little has been said officially about the arms control negotiations but the U.S. envoy has made clear they will be about nuclear weapons, suggesting they will include replacing the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which expires in February. “We’ll see,” U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea told Reuters when asked what he expected to come of the talks as he arrived with his delegation at a palace adjoining Austria’s Foreign Ministry.
By ReutersMUMBAI (Reuters) - China lost at least 40 soldiers in a clash with India at their disputed border this week, a federal government minister has said, as the nuclear-armed countries remained locked in confrontation on the frontline on Sunday. China has not said anything about any losses in the hand-to-hand combat that took place in the heavily contested Galwan Valley in the western Himalayas, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed and at least 76 injured. “If 20 were martyred on our (Indian) side, then there would have been at least double the casualties on their (China) side,” V.K.Singh, the minister for roads and transport, told TV News24 in an interview broadcast late on Saturday.
"This is an unprecedented find of major significance within the UK," said archaeologist Vincent Gaffney.By ReutersLONDON, June 22 — Archaeologists have discovered a wide circle of deep shafts surrounding an ancient settlement close to Stonehenge, opening up new lines of investigation into the origins and meaning of the mysterious, prehistoric monument. The stone circle at Stonehenge, whose purpose remains unknown to scientists despite decades of research, is one of Britain's most famous landmarks and a draw to tourists and people in search of spiritual connections with nature. The new discovery, described as "astonishing" by a team of archaeologists from multiple universities who took part in the project, shows a circle of shafts, 1.2 miles (2 km) in diameter, surrounding the settlement of Durrington Walls.
By Benjamin FearnowWhite House Trade Advisor Peter Navarro rebuffed criticism over President Donald Trump asking to slow coronavirus testing down, instead saying China "created" COVID-19 and sent "hundreds of thousands" of its own citizens abroad to spread the virus. The Trump administration official responded Sunday morning on CNN's State of the Union to Trump telling Tulsa, Oklahoma rally-goers Saturday that he directed his health officials to "slow the testing down, please," in order to discover fewer cases. Navarro insisted the president was only joking in a "tongue-in-cheek" fashion, before redirecting the conversation and culpability for the pandemic toward the Chinese government.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin is concerned about how much he can trust arrangements with U.S. President Donald Trump amid protests in the United States, the Interfax news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying on Saturday. U.S. and Russian envoys are due to discuss “mutually agreed topics related to the future of arms control” in Austria next week, the U.S. State Department has said. [nL1N2DX00N]
By Peter NichollsREADING, England (Reuters) - A stabbing rampage in the southern English town of Reading in which three people were killed and others wounded was an act of terrorism, police said on Sunday, calling the attack in a sunny park an atrocity. Detectives said a man had run into a park in Reading, about 40 miles (65 km) west of London where locals had been enjoying the evening sun on Saturday, and attacked people with a knife before being detained by unarmed officers. Police said an unnamed 25-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of murder and remained in police custody. A Western security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the arrested man was a Libyan called Khairi Saadallah.
By Jeff BerardelliAlarming heat scorched Siberia on Saturday as the small town of Verkhoyansk (67.5°N latitude) reached 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, 32 degrees above the normal high temperature. If verified, this is likely the hottest temperature ever recorded in Siberia and also the hottest temperature ever recorded north of the Arctic Circle, which begins at 66.5°N. The town is 3,000 miles east of Moscow and further north than even Fairbanks, Alaska. On Friday, the city of Caribou, Maine, tied an all-time record at 96 degrees Fahrenheit and was once again well into the 90s on Saturday. To put this into perspective, the city of Miami, Florida, has only reached 100 degrees one time since the city began keeping temperature records in 1896.
By Dana KennedyRocketman better watch out. His kid sister, nicknamed “Princess” in North Korea and sometimes referred to as the “Twisted Sister,” is now acting more like the Terminator. Kim Yo Jong, all regal cheekbones and icy glare, ordered a joint liaison office for both North and South Korea blown up last week as part of an aggressive charge against South Korea — and by extension the United States. She also slammed the leader of South Korea and threatened military action in a sudden seizing of power that may or may not be authorized by her big brother. Some wonder if she is the Hermit Kingdom’s new dragon lady, and want to know her endgame. “From what I’ve observed she is cold and ruthless and haughty,” said Suzanne Scholte, the American founding co-chair of Free North Korea Radio and president of the Washington DC Defense Forum. “Her new aggressiveness is part of the consolidation and solidification of power. Kim Jong Un has to show that if something were to happen to him, there’s a successor and that the Kim family … bloodline is still in power.”
A border clash between the two nuclear armed neighbors has drawn the world's gaze to a disputed region in the Himalayas.By Saphora SmithHigh up in the Himalayas, Indian and Chinese armed forces warily eye each other across a disputed border region that has become the scene of a tense standoff between the two nuclear powers. The conflict in the remote Galwan Valley that spans their shared border sparked into life Monday with the killing of 20 Indian soldiers, the first reported deaths in 45 years. China has not disclosed whether its forces suffered any casualties, according to a report in its state-run newspaper, the Global Times. The deaths have drawn the world’s gaze to a region that the two most populous countries have been contesting for decades. The implications go far beyond the lonely snowcapped mountains of this geopolitically complex region.
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea is gearing up to send propaganda leaflets over its southern border, denouncing North Korean defectors and South Korea, its state media said on Saturday, the latest retaliation for leaflets from the South as bilateral tensions rise. Enraged North Korean people across the country “are actively pushing forward with the preparations for launching a large-scale distribution of leaflets,” which are piled as high as a mountain, said state news agency KCNA.
CBS NewsBlack Lives Matters protests are now global, with weekly demonstrations taking place in cities around the world. In the U.K., calls to "defund the police" are gaining steam. CBS News reporter Haley Ott spoke with British activists about the changes they want to see.
The GuardianSmall towns, as well as big cities, across the UK have been holding Black Lives Matter protests and continue to do so. Flora, 23, meets fellow activists Hannah, Annabel and Alex for the first time at the demo they are organising together in their home town of Yeovil, in Somerset. Flora, who is mixed race, moved to the area from south London when she was 10.
BEIJING (Reuters) - China has found the trading sections for meat and seafood in Beijing’s wholesale food market to be severely contaminated with the new coronavirus and suspects the area’s low temperature and high humidity may have been contributing factors, officials said on Thursday. Their preliminary report comes as the country’s capital tackles a resurgence of COVID-19 cases over the past week linked to the massive Xinfadi food center, which houses warehouses and trading halls in an area the size of nearly 160 soccer pitches. The latest outbreak infected more than 100 people and raised fears of wider contagion in China.
[The Conversation]By Ana Santos Rutschman, Assistant Professor of Law, Saint Louis University ,The ConversationHundreds of COVID-19 vaccine candidates are currently being developed. The way emerging vaccines will be distributed to those who need them is not yet clear. The United States has now twice indicated that it would like to secure priority access to doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Other countries, including India and Russia, have taken similar stances. This prioritization of domestic markets has become known as vaccine nationalism. As a researcher at Saint Louis University’s Center for Health Law Studies, I have been following the COVID-19 vaccine race. Vaccine nationalism is harmful for equitable access to vaccines – and, paradoxically, I’ve concluded it is detrimental even for the U.S. itself.Vaccine nationalism during COVID-19Vaccine nationalism occurs when a country manages to secure doses of vaccine for its own citizens or residents before they are made available in other countries. This is done through pre-purchase agreements between a government and a vaccine manufacturer. In March, the White House met with representatives from CureVac, a German biotech company developing a COVID-19 vaccine. The U.S. government is reported to have inquired about the possibility of securing exclusive rights over the vaccine. This prompted the German government to comment that “Germany is not for sale.” Angela Merkel’s chief of staff promptly stated that a vaccine developed in Germany had to be made available in “Germany and the world.”
Most of the free extensions siphoned off browsing history and data that provided credentials for access to internal business tools.By ReutersA newly discovered spyware effort attacked users through 32 million downloads of extensions to Google’s market-leading Chrome web browser, researchers at Awake Security told Reuters, highlighting the tech industry’s failure to protect browsers as they are used more for email, payroll and other sensitive functions. Alphabet's Google said it removed more than 70 of the malicious add-ons from its official Chrome Web Store after being alerted by the researchers last month. “When we are alerted of extensions in the Web Store that violate our policies, we take action and use those incidents as training material to improve our automated and manual analyses,” Google spokesman Scott Westover told Reuters.Most of the free extensions purported to warn users about questionable websites or convert files from one format to another. Instead, they siphoned off browsing history and data that provided credentials for access to internal business tools. Based on the number of downloads, it was the most far-reaching malicious Chrome store campaign to date, according to Awake co-founder and chief scientist Gary Golomb.
Trump told China's president that building concentration camps for millions of Uighur Muslims was 'exactly the right thing to do,' former adviser saysBy David Choi and Sonam ShethPresident Donald Trump expressed approval of a concentration camp for Uighur Muslims in China during a private meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to former national security adviser John Bolton's upcoming memoir, "The Room Where It Happened." In a private meeting during the 2019 G20 meeting in Japan, Trump and Xi were accompanied only by their interpreters, according to Bolton's book, parts of which were published in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. Xi "explained to Trump why he was basically building concentration camps in Xinjiang," Bolton wrote, citing the interpreter's account. The interpreter added that "Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do," according to the book. Bolton also wrote in the book that Matthew Pottinger, a retired US Marine and the current deputy national security adviser, "told me that Trump said something very similar during his November 2017 trip to China."
Her daughter Kym confirmed her death to US media on Thursday. Ms Smith was the second youngest of the nine Kennedy siblings, who included President John F Kennedy and Senator Robert F Kennedy. A diplomat, activist and humanitarian, Ms Smith was the last-surviving child of Joseph P Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald. Ms Smith served as the US ambassador to Ireland in the 1990s, playing an important role in attempts to end sectarian violence in Northern Ireland. In 2011, US President Barack Obama awarded Ms Smith the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the country. She led a quiet life until she entered politics, doing philanthropy work and keeping out of the limelight her prestigious family name attracted. Her first taste of politics came in 1960, when she campaigned across the country in support of her brother, John F Kennedy, who was running for the presidency.
By Patricia ZengerleWASHINGTON (Reuters) - China threatened retaliation after U.S. President Donald Trump signed legislation on Wednesday calling for sanctions over the repression of China’s Uighurs, as excerpts from a book by his former national security adviser alleged he had approved of their mass detention. The bill, which Congress passed with only one “no” vote, was intended to send China a strong message on human rights by mandating sanctions against those responsible for oppression of members of China’s Muslim minority. The United Nations estimates that more than a million Muslims have been detained in camps in the Xinjiang region. The U.S. State Department has accused Chinese officials of subjecting Muslims to torture, abuse “and trying to basically erase their culture and their religion.” China, which denies mistreatment and says the camps provide vocational training and are needed to fight extremism, responded to the signing of the law with anger, saying it “vilified” the human rights situation in Xinjiang and was a malicious attack against China.
ABC NewsThe former national security adviser speaks to ABC News chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz about Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
CNNFormer national security adviser John Bolton claims President Donald Trump asked his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to help him win the 2020 US presidential election, according to an excerpt from his upcoming book published by the Wall Street Journal. That encounter, according to Bolton, took place during a June 2019 meeting between the two leaders in Osaka, Japan, where "Xi told Trump that the U.S.-China relationship was the most important in the world" and said that "some (unnamed) American political figures were making erroneous judgments by calling for a new cold war with China."
Trump cared little about North Korea's nuclear weapons and treated Kim Jong-un summit as publicity exercise, Bolton saysPresident was fixated on getting an autographed CD of Elton John's "Rocket Man" to Hermit Kingdom's dictatorBy John T Bennett - Washington Bureau Chief - IndependentDonald Trump cared little about North Korea's nuclear arsenal when he met with Kim Jong Un and was more interested in making friends with the dictator as he treated the historic meeting as "an exercise in publicity," a former senior aide says. "Trump told ... me he was prepared to sign a substance-free communique, have his press conference to declare victory and then get out of town," former Trump national security adviser John Bolton writes in a coming book, according to the Washington Post. Mr Bolton writes that ahead of the big North Korea summit, Mr Trump insisted on giving Kim gifts that violated US sanctions on the country. US officials were forced to waive those sanctions, he contends. The former adviser's description of working for Mr Trump largely confirms what others have laid out and what it often seems like for reporters on the beat: A disorganised, chaotic, constantly shifting workspace with an erratic commander in chief at the helm. For instance, Mr Bolton describes the president's fascination with getting an autographed CD to Kim. The artist was Elton John. The song? "Rocket Man."
Europe said U.S. influence had waned under Trump. Then Black Lives Matter protests rocked the continent.By Michael BirnbaumBRUSSELS — Europeans have lamented that the United States has relinquished its role as a global moral leader under President Trump. But the proliferation of Black Lives Matter protests around the world has solidified belief here that American society remains a superpower of influence, even if its politicians do not. Protests have erupted in Australia, South Africa, Brazil. In war-wracked Syria, one artist painted a mural of George Floyd, the black man who died while being pinned down by a Minneapolis police officer, on a fragment of a wall in a bombed-out house. But nowhere outside the United States has the Black Lives Matter movement forced a more powerful reckoning than in Europe, where increasingly diverse societies have often done little to grapple with their colonial legacies and modern-day discrimination. In Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Madrid, Lisbon and cities across Britain, protesters have taken to the streets to express solidarity with Americans but also to demand changes within their own countries.
The nuclear-armed Asian powers share a long history of mistrust and clashes along their lengthy border.Asian regional superpowers India and China share a long history of mistrust and conflict along their lengthy border, and tensions flared this week in their first deadly clash in more than four decades. The world's two most populous nations and nuclear-armed neighbours have never even agreed on the length of their "Line of Actual Control" frontier, which straddles the strategically important Himalayan region.Nehru's 1959 Beijing visitIndia inherited its border dispute with China from its British colonial rulers, who hosted a 1914 conference with the Tibetan and Chinese governments to set the border. Beijing has never recognised the 1914 boundary, known as the McMahon Line, and currently claims 90,000 square kilometres (34,750 square miles) of territory - nearly all of what constitutes India's Arunachal Pradesh state. The border dispute first flared up during a visit by India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to Beijing in 1959. Nehru questioned the boundaries shown on official Chinese maps, prompting Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai to reply that his government did not accept the colonial frontier.
The incident follows rising tensions between the two Asian powers in the border area of the western Himalayas.At least 20 Indian soldiers have been killed in a violent face-off with Chinese forces over a disputed border area in the western Himalayas, the Indian army has said, in a major escalation of a weeks-long standoff. In a statement, the army said on Tuesday that 17 "critically injured" Indian troops succumbed to their wounds, in addition to an officer and two soldiers who had died earlier. The troops died "in the line of duty at the stand-off location and exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the high altitude terrain ... taking the total that were killed in action to 20", the statement said. Indian and Chinese troops have disengaged in the areas where the clashes took place, the statement said, adding that India is firmly committed to "protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation".
By Rick NoackTensions between North Korea and South Korea increased Tuesday, after Pyongyang threatened to move forces into the demilitarized zone between the two countries and blew up their joint liaison office in the North Korean city of Kaesong. “I feel it is high time to surely break with the South Korean authorities,” said Kim Yo Jong, the increasingly influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to the BBC. South Korea on Tuesday confirmed that Pyongyang was responsible for the office’s dramatic demolition, with Kim You-geun, first deputy chief of Seoul’s National Security Council saying that it “betrayed the hopes of peace on the Korean Peninsula.”How substantial is this escalation?The now-demolished liaison office was opened in 2018, following a historic summit between South Korean leader Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un. “From today, South and North Korea can hold face-to-face discussions 24 hours a day and every day of the year on matters concerning improving inter-Korean ties and promoting peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula,” South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said at the time. Closed over coronavirus concerns since January, it served as a de facto embassy between the two countries, which are technically still at war despite a 1953 armistice. After 2018, relations seemed to improve, with plans to sign a formal peace treaty. The countries even discussed a bid to host the 2032 Olympics together. The liaison office was a key element in their plan to broaden cooperation and remained a symbol for those efforts until Tuesday.
ForbesBy Jamie Carter Senior ContributorIt’s the oldest and the greatest cosmic question of all: is there anybody out there? For years all we’ve had is the Drake Equation to help us understand the question, but no indication of an answer. Now a group of scientists at the University of Nottingham think they’ve come up with a new “cosmic evolution”-based calculation that says that there are likely to be at least 36 ongoing intelligent civilizations in our Milky Way galaxy. The Milky Way, home to our Solar System, is estimated to have 100 billion to 400 billion stars, and roughly one exoplanet per star in our galaxy. Published today in The Astrophysical Journal, the new paper examines the likely number of Communicating Extra-Terrestrial Intelligent (CETI) civilizations in the Milky Way. It assumes that intelligent life comes to occur on other planets much as it has done on our own planet. A key assumption is that it takes around five billion years for intelligent life to form on other planets, as it does on Earth. Another is that a technological civilization will last at least 100 years—as ours has, thus far. After all, it took 4.5 billion years of evolution before a technological civilization arose on Earth, and was capable of communicating.
By Jeong-Ho Lee, Nick Wadhams and Jennifer Jacobs / BloombergA large “Black Lives Matter” banner draped on the front of the U.S. embassy in Seoul was removed on Monday after it was brought to the attention of President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, according to people familiar with the matter. Pompeo and Trump were both displeased about the banner, the people said. A large, multicolored Pride”banner recognizing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people was also removed on Monday. They were replaced with a banner commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Korean War. The embassy unfurled the “Black Lives Matter” banner on its mission building on Saturday to support worldwide anti-racism protests that have followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody last month. - Trump America’s racist president
China's new coronavirus outbreak sees Beijing adopt 'wartime' measures as capital races to contain spreadBy Nectar Gan, CNN(CNN) Beijing is reintroducing strict lockdown measures and rolling out mass testing after a fresh cluster of novel coronavirus cases emerged from the city's largest wholesale food market, sparking fears of a resurgence of the deadly outbreak. The Chinese capital reported 36 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total number to 79 since a locally transmitted infection was reported on June 12 for the first time in nearly two months, according to the National Health Commission. The cases are linked to Xinfadi market in the southwest of the city, which supplies most of the capital's fresh fruit and vegetables. The market, which also sells meat and seafood, has been shut down since Saturday. The outbreak has already spread to the provinces of Liaoning and Hebei, where a total of five new cases were found to be close contacts of patients in Beijing. The new cluster has sent shock waves throughout China, with Beijing's municipal government spokesman Xu Hejian describing it as "an extraordinary period" during a press conference Sunday. Chinese state media has repeatedly touted China's effective measures in containing the virus as the number of infections and deaths surged abroad, contrasting its success with the failures of Western governments, especially the United States.
By Josh TaylorSocial media site incorrectly removed historical photo on grounds of nudity, then for three days blocked and even banned users who posted link to articleIndigenous prisoners in chains The image of Aboriginal prisoners in chains in Western Australia that was incorrectly tagged as nudity by Facebook. It blocked a user who posted it, then blocked users from sharing the Guardian article that reported the user’s experience. Facebook has blocked and in some cases banned users who tried to share a Guardian article about the site incorrectly blocking an image of Aboriginal men in chains. On Saturday, Guardian Australia reported that Facebook had apologised for incorrectly preventing an Australian user from sharing the photo from the 1890s. The post was made in the context of the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, claiming there was no slavery in Australia, before he backed down on those comments a day later. Facebook incorrectly removes picture of Aboriginal men in chains because of 'nudity' The post was removed by Facebook and the man had his account restricted, with Facebook claiming the photo contained nudity and was in breach of the social media site’s community standards.
Colin DwyerYou'd be forgiven for not knowing that the Polish military recently invaded and briefly occupied territory in the Czech Republic. Seems like headline news, sure — but it appears that even the Polish troops didn't know what they were doing. A spokesperson for the Czech Foreign Ministry confirmed to NPR on Saturday that "Polish soldiers mistakenly deterred our citizens from entering a church on the Czech territory in close vicinity of the Czech-Polish borders." Czech officials say the incident happened in late May near a small village known as Pelhřimovy, just across the border from Poland. They added that their diplomats immediately notified their Polish counterparts, and that Polish soldiers are "no longer" present at the site, which Czech nationals can again visit as they wish. Poland's Foreign Ministry confirmed the incident while contradicting the assertion that it was officially notified. Neither the ministry nor the Polish Embassy in Prague were formally informed about it, a spokesperson told NPR.
Protest in French capital was generally peaceful but after three hours skirmishes broke out.Riot police fired tear gas to prevent thousands of anti-racism protesters marching through central Paris on Saturday, as a wave of anger continued to sweep the world following the death of African American George Floyd in the United States. The protesters gathered in Place de la Republique, where the crowd chanted "No justice, no peace" and some climbed the statue of Marianne, who personifies the French Republic. Police refused organisers permission to proceed to the Opera House.
By Tal AxelrodNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister threatened military action against South Korea over declining diplomatic relations with Seoul and what she said was its inability to stop leaflets from defectors from pouring over the border. Kim Yo Jong, who is first vice department director of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Committee, panned South Korea as the “enemy” and said public opinion has determined that the South should pay the “dearest price.” “Getting stronger day by day are the unanimous voices of all our people demanding for surely settling accounts with the riff-raff who dared hurt the absolute prestige of our Supreme Leader representing our country and its great dignity and flied rubbish to the inviolable territory of our side and with those who connived at such hooliganism, whatever may happen,” Kim said in a statement carried by state media outlet KCNA. “The judgment that we should force the betrayers and human scum to pay the dearest price for their crimes and the retaliatory action plans we have made on this basis have become a firm public opinion at home, not part of the work of the field in charge of the affairs with enemy," she continued. "It is necessary to make them keenly feel what they have done and what inviolability they hurt amiss.” Kim added that North Korea “will soon take action” and that she ordered the military to “decisively carry out the next action.”
By Michael Holden, Guy Faulconbridge - ReutersLONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned “racist thuggery” after far-right protesters clashed in London on Saturday with anti-racist demonstrators and police trying to keep the two sides apart. Fights broke out between groups outside London’s Waterloo station, with fireworks thrown before police cordoned off areas. On a nearby bridge, stones were lobbed at police. Sporadic skirmishes continued in central areas. “Racist thuggery has no place on our streets,” Johnson said in a tweet. “Anyone attacking our police will be met with the full force of the law.” Earlier in the day, small bands of protesters jostled, tossed bottles and cans in Trafalgar Square. Far-right groups shouted racial slurs at the anti-racism protesters, and some tried to use metal crash barriers to break through police lines. The Metropolitan Police said in a statement they had arrested five people for offences including violent disorder and assault on police and that six officers had suffered minor injuries. The ambulance service said it had treated 15 people. “It is clear that far-right groups are causing violence and disorder in central London, I urge people to stay away,” Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Twitter. The police, who had already imposed a restriction calling for all demonstrations to end by 5 p.m., urged people to disperse.
By Colin Dwyer, Amy Cheng - NPRFor nearly two months, the Chinese capital, a city of more than 20 million people, did not report a single local case of the coronavirus. But a recent spike in confirmed cases has officials in Beijing afraid they're staring down a new outbreak — and they are responding with swift and sweeping measures to contain it. Authorities say there have been seven new cases in the past three days, all of which are connected to the Xinfadi market, the city's largest wholesale food market. Health officials said Saturday that, of the 517 samples that they took from market workers the day before, 45 tested positive for the virus. Under China's standards for confirming coronavirus cases — which exclude asymptomatic individuals — this cluster of people won't be counted as confirmed unless they begin displaying symptoms and come up positive on a separate nucleic acid test. Yet officials view the development with significant alarm — at least partly because the market employs or hosts some 10,000 workers and vendors and provides 90% of the capital's vegetables and fruit, according to state-run media.
Thousands demonstrated in Britain and France, capping a week of protests punctuated by damage and destruction to colonial statues and increased calls for reckonings over Europe’s imperial past.By Iliana Magra, Elian Peltier and Constant MéheutLONDON — Thousands of people rallied against police brutality and racism in European cities like London and Paris on Saturday, punctuating a week of protests across the continent that included destruction of statues linked to slavery and demands for a reckoning with racial discrimination. As European protesters have shown solidarity with demonstrators in the United States in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month, they have also denounced their own countries’ problems and urged the authorities to address them. But even as protesters gathered en masse to demand stronger measures against racism, far-right groups and protesters have fiercely pushed back, leading to chaotic episodes of violence on Saturday. The situation grew especially tense in London, where crowds of white male counterprotestors clashed repeatedly with the police, who had imposed restrictions on the marches because of concerns about the potential for violent exchanges with supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement and left-wing causes.
By Nick Paton Walsh, Jo Shelley, Roberta Fortuna and William Bonnett, CNNRio de Janeiro (CNN) Coronavirus rages on the edges of Rio de Janeiro -- in the hills and slums run by drug gangs, where police dare not go unless on an armed raid. Absent of help from the state -- President Jair Bolsonaro has pledged to crush criminals "like cockroaches" -- the gangs have stepped up. Where before they peddled narcotics with the rule of the gun, now they also push curfews, social distancing and food handouts for the neediest. "We fear the virus, not Bolsonaro," said Ronaldo, a gang member who, like most people interviewed, either requested anonymity or gave a false name. "We can't count exactly how many have already died. The hospitals kill more than if you stay home and take care of yourself." Rio cartels go from running drugs to pushing medication. A drug gang granted CNN access one of Rio's poorest and most socially isolated communities, to illustrate how it has dealt with Covid-19. It's an area inaccessible to state healthcare. Alcohol gel, medication and cash handouts are all part of a system that gang members were eager to display, with Brazil now the country with the second highest number of coronavirus infections behind the United States, and where cases are still doubling every two weeks. Four young men climb off their motorbikes and begin to lift large plastic bags from the back of a pickup truck. The first package of groceries goes to a manicurist who has been out of work for four months. The second goes to a street vendor. "Things are getting very difficult," said the street vendor, who requested anonymity. She says she is trying to set up a stall in the community, but there is nobody to buy her products.
Now that the deal has collapsed, some experts expect North Korea to do something provocative in the fall to punish Trump during the political campaign.By Ken DilanianWASHINGTON — North Korea officially declared an end Friday to its diplomatic dalliance with the U.S. But experts say it’s been clear for some time that President Donald Trump’s bold but risky effort to sweet talk Kim Jong Un into relinquishing his nuclear weapons never really went anywhere. Two high-profile meetings with North Korea’s leader bought Trump a hiatus from bellicose rhetoric and nuclear tests, but Kim never stopped building nuclear warheads and the missiles to deliver them, U.S. intelligence officials and private analysts say. Now, on the second anniversary of that first Trump-Kim summit in Singapore, North Korea is renouncing the diplomacy while promising to expand its weapons program, even as experts say it is ever closer to perfecting a long-range missile capable of reaching and destroying an American city. Trump therefore joins a long list of presidents who tried and failed to cut a deal to get rid of North Korean nuclear weapons — but the first one who met face to face with the leader of the outlaw regime, lending it a measure of legitimacy. Trump at one point mused that he and Kim “fell in love,” and he showered praise on a dictator who is said by human rights groups to keep tens of thousands of political prisoners in vast gulags.
Police clash with far-right demonstrators as rival rallies are held in parts of central London.Anti-racism protesters and far-right activists have rallied in London in rival demonstrations, despite strict police restrictions and warnings to stay home to contain the coronavirus. Demonstrations have been taking place around the world and in parts of the United Kingdom over the death of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis last monht after a white policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. In the UK, a debate is raging over monuments to those involved in its imperialist past, especially after the statue of slave trader Edward Colston was torn down and thrown into the harbour of Bristol port last weekend. In London, a statue of Winston Churchill was daubed with the words "was a racist". In and around Parliament Square on Saturday afternoon, hundreds of people wearing football shirts, chanting "England, England", and describing themselves as patriots, gathered alongside military veterans to guard the Cenotaph war memorial. "Winston Churchill, he's one of our own," they chanted, near his statue.
Guardian NewsPrime minister urges people in the UK to not support Black Lives Matter demonstrations that 'are in all probability going to end in violence'. He says it is absurd and wrong that a statue of 'national hero' Winston Churchill has been boarded up ahead of protests expected in London at the weekend. Priti Patel has made demonstrations illegal during the coronavirus pandemic, because they include gatherings of more than six people, and Johnson says violence against property is a reason not to attend.
By Josh MiltonWaving Union Jack flags, occasionally wearing face masks, almost always sipping beer and flashing Nazi salutes, an angry far-right mob made its way through London, England, as police officers, vastly outnumbered, appeared too paralysed to intervene. The blob was a melting pot of, according to journalists on the ground, various right-wing groups and non-affiliates and it spilt onto the streets Saturday afternoon (June 13) to protect historic monuments that had been the target of Black Lives Matter protests in recent days. Chiefly, a statue commemorating Winston Churchill alongside the Cenotaph war memorial. Britain’s World War II leader, that many consider racist, has become a flashpoint in a debate over Britain’s colonial, anti-Black history. Police bracketed the now boarded-up landmark, protecting it from a Black Lives Matter demonstration that organisers called off, but instead now clashed with the counterprotesters, who had shown up to counter the cancelled protest by defending the statue of Churchill, who fought against the Nazis, by doing Nazi salutes and brutally beating the police, who were on-site to protect the statue and the Cenotaph. And that sentence is, by far, the most 2020 thing ever written.
BBCA statue of Winston Churchill may have to be put in a museum to protect it if demonstrations continue, his granddaughter has said. Emma Soames told the BBC the war-time prime minister was a "complex man" but he was considered a hero by millions. She said she was "shocked" to see the monument in London's Parliament Square boarded up, although she said she understood why this was necessary. It came after protesters daubed "was a racist" on the statue last weekend. Ms Soames said it was "extraordinarily sad that my grandfather, who was such a unifying figure in this country, appears to have become a sort of icon through being controversial." "We've come to this place where history is viewed only entirely through the prism of the present," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. Ms Soames acknowledged her grandfather had often held views which "particularly now are regarded as unacceptable but weren't necessarily then". However she added: "He was a powerful, complex man, with infinitely more good than bad in the ledger of his life." She said if people were "so infuriated" by seeing the statue it may be "safer" in a museum. "But I think Parliament Square would be a poorer place without him," she added. Churchill's grandson Sir Nicholas Soames said he was "deeply upset" after the statue was vandalised and then boarded up. "I find it extraordinary that millions and millions of people all over the world who look up to Britain will be astonished that a statue of Churchill and the Cenotaph, our national war memorial, could have been defaced in this disgusting way," he told the Daily Telegraph.
CBC NewsPrime Minister Justin Trudeau said today he has "serious questions" about the arrest of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam after viewing recently released dashcam video that shows an RCMP officer jump-tackling the chief to the ground and punching him in the head. Power & Politics speaks to Alberta Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief Marlene Poitras and Brian Beresh, Adam's lawyer.
Angry police across France have thrown their handcuffs on the ground as they feel "insulted" by claims that they tolerate brutality and racism. Protesting police also drove in convoy down the Champs-Élysées in central Paris on Friday, sounding their horns. They rejected any parallels with the Minneapolis police officers whose fatal arrest of George Floyd sparked a wave of anti-racism protests worldwide. And they are furious with a government ban on the police "chokehold". Interior Minister Christophe Castaner announced the ban on Monday, after French protesters took to the streets alleging that police in France exhibited racism towards ethnic minorities, in the same way that US police have been accused of using brutality towards black suspects. Mr Castaner held talks with police unions on Thursday and they are continuing, as the government seeks to cool an intense racism debate that has re-ignited tensions in some communities. There was trouble earlier this month when protesters, inspired by the US anti-racism marches, commemorated Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black Frenchman who died in a 2016 police operation. Police have also been accused of seriously wounding a 14-year-old boy called Gabriel, when he was detained on suspicion of trying to steal a scooter in Bondy near Paris late last month. Anti-racism activists plan to march from République to Opéra in central Paris on Saturday. The Paris police department has warned that shops and other businesses in the area should close and board up their windows, as trouble could flare up again.
UAE ambassador to the US says move would be 'illegal takeover' of land Palestinians seek for a state.The United Arab Emirates' ambassador to the US has warned Israel against annexing parts of the occupied West Bank, saying the move would "upend" Israel's efforts to improve ties with Arab countries. In a rare appeal to the Israeli public by an Arab official, Yousef al-Otaiba, said on Friday that the move would be an "illegal takeover" of land Palestinians seek for a state. "Annexation would - certainly and immediately - upend all Israeli aspirations for improved security, economic and cultural ties with the Arab world and the UAE," al-Otaiba wrote in an op-ed in Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. Al-Otaiba was among three Arab ambassadors who attended President Donald Trump's January unveiling of his Middle East plan, which allows Israel to annex around 30 percent of the already illegally occupied West Bank. The plan was immediately rejected by the Palestinians. Some Israeli officials have dismissed the notion that applying sovereignty to Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank would slow a discreet opening between Israel and Arab countries - particularly with Gulf states who share Israeli concerns over Iran.
By Kim Hjelmgaard USA TODAYNorth Korea on Friday said it was abandoning attempts to pursue a diplomatic relationship with the White House because two years after a historic handshake between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un "even a slim ray of optimism" for peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula had "faded away into a dark nightmare." The statement by North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon, published on state media, represented the clearest indication yet that Pyongyang appears to have all but given up on improving ties with the Trump administration and working toward "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula." The phrase formed the basis of a vaguely worded accord between Trump and Kim Jong Un when the two leaders shook hands during a carefully choreographed summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018. Trump broke with diplomatic norms and protocol when he became the first sitting American president to hold a face-to-face meeting with a leader of North Korea. A year later, he made another unconventional move by diplomatic standards by briefly stepping on to North Korean soil as he met with North Korea's dictator at the Demilitarized Zone, the heavily fortified and guarded border area that separates the two Koreas. A third meeting, in Vietnam, ended in stalemate after Kim insisted that all the sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Pyongyang be lifted before North Korea committed to eliminate its nuclear arsenal.
The two leaders first met at a breakthrough summit in Singapore in June 2018, but talks have made little progress.North Korea sees little use in maintaining a personal relationship between leader Kim Jong Un and United States President Donald Trump if Washington sticks to hostile policies, state media reported on Friday - two years after the two men held their first summit. Policies from the US prove Washington remains a long-term threat to the North Korean state, and its people and North Korea will develop more reliable military forces to counter that threat, Foreign Minister Ri Son Gwon said in a statement carried by state news agency KCNA. Trump and Kim exchanged insults and threats in 2017 as North Korea made large advances in its nuclear and missile programme, and the US responded by leading an international effort to tighten sanctions. Relations improved significantly around the Singapore summit in June 2018, the first time a sitting US president had met a North Korean leader, but the statement that came out of the meeting was light on specifics.
By Holly EllyattThe number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Russia surpassed 500,000 on Thursday, and the rate of new daily cases remains high, but restrictions are being lifted quickly ahead of key political events. Experts say Russia is keen to lift unpopular lockdown measures ahead of two important political milestones which were rescheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic: Moscow’s Victory Day Parade — Russia’s annual show of military hardware — and a historic referendum on constitutional changes that would allow President Vladimir Putin to run for further terms in office. The Kremlin has insisted that the coronavirus crisis is under control and restrictions can be safely lifted. Russia’s Covid-19 case tally hit 502,436 Thursday after a further 8,779 cases were reported. The country’s coronavirus crisis center said a further 174 people had died in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 6,532. The number of new cases had risen from 8,404 reported the previous day, but the daily death toll was lower than Wednesday’s 216 fatalities.
By Steve HollandWASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Thursday issued an executive order authorizing U.S. sanctions against International Criminal Court employees involved in an investigation into whether American forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan. A senior Trump administration official, without providing details, said the investigation is “being pushed forward by an organization of dubious integrity” - referring to the Hague-based ICC - and accused Russia of having a role. The order authorizes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in consultation with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, to block assets in the United States of ICC employees involved in the probe, according to a letter sent by Trump to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi accompanying the order. It also authorizes Pompeo to block entry into the United States of these individuals. ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda wants to investigate possible crimes committed between 2003 and 2014 including alleged mass killings of civilians by the Taliban, as well as the alleged torture of prisoners by Afghan authorities and, to a lesser extent, by U.S. forces and the CIA. Trump has assailed the ICC, which was established in 2002 by the international community to prosecute war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. It has jurisdiction only if a member state is unable or unwilling to prosecute atrocities itself.
Campaign against symbols of racism continues around world after Black Lives Matter protests spark global reckoningGuardian correspondentsStatues of Christopher Columbus, King Leopold II of Belgium and a hero of Irish nationalism could be the next to fall as the campaign against symbols of racism and colonialism spreads around the world. Activists have organised petitions – and in one case set a statue on fire – to remove monuments to historic figures tainted by racism or slavery. None have gone as far as the group in Bristol that tumbled a statue of Edward Colston into the harbour on Sunday but they are pushing authorities to act in solidarity with protests in the United States over the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer. The targets are disparate – their lives separated by continents and centuries – but they share a common fate of once being revered and now falling into controversy, even disgrace. Belgian authorities in Antwerp took down a statue of Leopold II on Wednesday after it was set on fire and daubed with paint. It is being taken to a museum in the Flemish capital for restoration and is unlikely to be returned to its original spot.
OIL has travelled 12 miles north from a collapsed fuel tank and is at risk of polluting the Arctic Ocean.By Gursimran HansOfficials say it is the worst accident of modern times in the Arctic region of Russia. The leak began on May 29 and 21,000 tonnes have contaminated the Ambarnaya river and surrounding subsoil. Alexander Uss, governor of Krasnoyarsk region, said: "The fuel has got into Lake Pyasino. "This is a beautiful lake about 70km [45 miles] long. Naturally, it has both fish and a good biosphere. "Now it's important to prevent it from getting into the Pyasina river, which flows north. That should be possible." Ria Novosti reports clean up crews have removed 23,000 cubic metres of soil that has been contaminated. Vasily Yablokov of Greenpeace Russia warned the pollution "will have a negative effect on the water resources, on the animals that drink that water, on the plants growing on the banks".
Palestinians send mediators' response to the US plan, which endorses Israel annexing parts of the occupied West Bank.by Ali YounesThe Palestinian Authority (PA) says it has sent international mediators a counterproposal to United States President Donald Trump's Middle East plan, proposing the establishment of a demilitarised and sovereign Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. In a news conference with foreign journalists on Tuesday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the proposal was submitted to the Quartet, an international body made up of the United Nations, the European Union, the US and Russia that is tasked with mediating peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinian proposal seeks to create a "sovereign Palestinian state, independent and demilitarised", with East Jerusalem as its capital. It also leaves the door open to border modifications between the proposed state and Israel, as well as exchanges of land equal "in size and volume and in value - one to one", according to Shtayyeh. No other details were immediately available. The Palestinian proposal came as a response to Trump's controversial plan that gives a green light for Israel to annex large swaths of the occupied West Bank, including illegal settlements, and the Jordan Valley. Unveiled in late January, Trump's plan proposed the establishment of a demilitarised Palestinian state on the remaining patchwork of disjointed parts of the Palestinian territories without East Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as the capital of their state. The Palestinians rejected Trump's plan as utterly biased in favour of Israel and threatened to withdraw from the Oslo Accords. The Palestinian leadership had already cut ties with the Trump administration in 2017 over its pro-Israel stance, including its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the relocation of the US embassy there in May 2018.
Al Jazeera EnglishIran has announced it will execute a man it says helped the US assassinate its top general, Qassem Soleimani.A judiciary spokesman said an Iranian citizen provided information about Soleimani's whereabouts to the US’s CIA and Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike in Iraq in January.
By Berkeley Lovelace Jr., Jasmine Kim, William Feuerhe World Health Organization walked back comments made Monday when one of its top scientists said transmission of the coronavirus by people who never developed symptoms is “very rare,” which drew skepticism from physicians and others across social media. That admission sent shock waves throughout the world, much of which has been locked down for months for fear of spreading the virus by people that show no signs of illness. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said Tuesday that asymptomatic spread is a “really complex question” and much is still unknown. “I was responding to a question at the press conference. I wasn’t stating a policy of WHO or anything like that. I was just trying to articulate what we know,” she said on a live Q&A streamed across multiple social media platforms. “And in that, I used the phrase ‘very rare,’ and I think that that’s misunderstanding to state that asymptomatic transmission globally is very rare. I was referring to a small subset of studies.” Studies show that about 16% of the population may be asymptomatic, she said. Some models developed by other scientists suggest as much as 40% of global transmission may be due to asymptomatic individuals, she said, clarifying her comments. “We don’t actually have that answer yet,” she said.
MICHELLE STARRFor the second time ever, astronomers have found a fast radio burst (FRB) that repeats on a regular, predictable cycle. This could mean that - at least in some cases - the wild unpredictability of mysterious deep-space FRBs could actually be a problem with our detection capabilities. FRB 121102 is already famous for being the most active FRB discovered yet, spitting out repeated bursts several times since its discovery in 2012. It was thought that there was no rhyme or reason to it - but new analysis of those bursts has revealed a pattern. According to a careful study of new observations and previously published ones, FRB 121102 exhibits repeated burst activity for a period of about 90 days, before going quiet for about 67 days. Then this whole 157-day cycle repeats again. If this analysis is correct, the source should have entered a new activity cycle around June 2 this month. It's a jaw-dropping discovery, and one that could help to rule out proposed causes for these mysterious signals. But, at the same time, it's a very neat demonstration of how strange and difficult-to-identify these signals really are. "This is an exciting result as it is only the second system where we believe we see this modulation in burst activity," explained astronomer Kaustubh Rajwade of The University of Manchester.
By Helen Regan, Angus Watson and Carly Walsh, CNN(CNN) Protesters have gathered in major cities across Australia demanding justice over minority deaths in police custody in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. About 10,000 people gathered in central Sydney Saturday after a court overturned a previous injunction that ruled any protest there illegal because of social distancing restrictions. Similar demonstrations went ahead in Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide, with protesters waving banners and chanting "black lives matter." The rallies were organized by indigenous rights groups -- among others -- under the banner "Stop Black Deaths in Custody." Jeremy, 27, who didn't reveal his surname, attended the march in Sydney. "To know that I stand on the shoulders of black, queer people before me who have enabled me to live the life I lead, I had to ask myself if I was going to be the ancestor that people after me needed me to be," he told CNN. "Change needs to happen ... I want to see it at its grass-roots level, see it in the education system, with people in power. What I want to see is that we haven't come this far for everything that's come before us to mean nothing."A common plightProtesters rallying outside Sydney's Town Hall called for justice for David Dungay, an Aboriginal man who died in a Sydney prison in 2015. His case has drawn parallels with George Floyd's death at the hands of police in the US. Like Floyd, Dungay's family say his last words were, "I can't breathe." Dungay, who was schizophrenic and diabetic, died in Long Bay Prison Hospital after he was overpowered and restrained by at least four prison officers, according to a press release sent to CNN by his family's lawyer, George Newhouse, of the National Justice Project. Dungay's family is calling for criminal charges to be brought against the correctional officers involved in his case.
The spill of diesel has caused rivers to run redBy Elizabeth Weise, Karina Zaiets, and Karl Gelles, USA TODAYMelting permafrost caused a fuel tank holding 21,000 tons of diesel oil to collapse in Russia's Arctic Circle, leading to a 135-square mile oil spill. According to Rosprirodnadzor, the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources, 6,000 tons spilled onto the ground, another 15,000 tons into the water. Oil products got into the Ambarnaya and Daldykan rivers and in almost all their tributaries. The spill occurred in the city of Norilsk, Russia, at a power plant operated by Norilsk-Taimyr Energy Co., a subsidiary of Nornickel. The town is located above the Arctic Circle in Russia’s far North.
George Floyd's death, after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck while detaining him, has convulsed the United States.ReutersFrankfurt / London: Protesters around the world took to the streets again on Friday, despite coronavirus warnings, in a wave of outrage at the death of African American George Floyd in the United States and racism against minorities in their own nations. Floyd's death, after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck while detaining him, has convulsed the United States. The largest demonstrations elsewhere on Friday appeared to be in Germany, where more than 10,000 people gathered in Frankfurt and Hamburg, according to Reuters journalists. Many raised hands in the air and held banners with slogans such as: "Your Pain Is My Pain, Your Fight Is My Fight". One poster at the Frankfurt rally asked: "How Many Weren't Filmed?" in reference to the fact that Floyd's case was caught on camera in Minneapolis. As authorities in many parts warned of the risk of COVID-19 infections from large gatherings, many protesters wore anti-coronavirus masks, some in black or with a clenched fist image. In London's Trafalgar Square, dozens took to one knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
QUID PRO QUOSwiss court case exposes the murky tactics employed by the same rogue Russian department that plotted the notorious Trump Tower meeting.By Nico HinesLONDON—A corrupt former police officer who was caught working with Trump Tower lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya has revealed in a Swiss court how Russia’s complex foreign influence campaign targets justice systems in Western countries. The former consultant to the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office was sacked and convicted after his entanglement with Veselnitskaya and the Russian prosecutor general’s office was exposed. He reportedly told a court in Switzerland this week that he discussed a high-profile corruption case against Russia with Russian officials during an all-expenses-paid hunting trip to Siberia. On the visit to the spectacular Kamchatka Peninsula and Lake Baikal, the official, who is identified only as Victor K., reportedly admitted that he spent a week fishing, enjoying the rugged countryside, and hunting for bear, including from a helicopter, with officials from the Russian prosecutor general’s office. Victor K. told the appeals court Tuesday that he had conferred with the Russian officials on the trip about the high-profile Magnitsky case, which he was supposed to be investigating. The $230 million fraud against the Russian people was uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, who was subsequently detained and beaten by Russian officials, who left him to die in a prison cell. The case led to American sanctions against Russia, which were signed into law by President Obama in 2012, after a campaign by U.S.-born financier Bill Browder. While the Swiss authorities originally froze millions connected to the Magnitsky case that flowed through Switzerland nine years ago, the case has stalled. The appeals court ruled Friday that Victor K. was guilty of improperly accepting the hunting trip, but it dismissed the fine that had been imposed by a lower court.
Police arrest 23 people after 'assault on officers' as thousands of Black Lives Matter activists marched on US embassy in London and crowds gathered peacefully around UK demanding 'justice' for George Floyd killed by cops 4,000 miles away in USBy Ross Ibbetson For MailonlineTwenty-three people were arrested in London yesterday as thousands of Black Lives Matter protesters peacefully marched on the US Embassy in London, with hundreds more taking to the streets of Cardiff and Manchester, to demonstrate against the killing of George Floyd. Chants of, 'I can't breathe,' rebounded across the Thames this afternoon, the words Floyd was heard gasping before his death as a white police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Monday. They defied the ban on mass gatherings to rally at Trafalgar Square before making their way to the gates of Downing Street and then south of the river towards the US Embassy. Three people were arrested for breaching coronavirus legislation, said police, while two others were detained for assaulting officers. The other arrests were for a range of offences from possession of an offensive weapon to assault on police, obstructing a public carriageway to breaches of COVID legislation.
By Holly EllyattPresident Vladimir Putin has declared a state of emergency in a region within the Arctic Circle in far northern Russia after 20,000 tons of oil leaked into a river from a power plant. The spillage occurred on May 29 when the “oil products” leaked from a tank in an industrial plant operated by a subsidiary of Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and one of the largest producers of nickel, platinum and copper. “The accident took place at the industrial site of the Nadezhdinski Metallurgical Plant, and part of the spilled petrochemicals, a considerable amount actually, seeped into the Ambarnaya River,” Putin said as he discussed the incident with officials on Wednesday, according to the Kremlin. He questioned the measures being taken to clean up the fuel leak that took place near the city of Norilsk in the Krasnoyarsk region, within the Arctic Circle.
ReutersPolice in riot gear drove back demonstrators with tear gas as the protesters demand justice for the death of black Frenchman Adama Traore killed in 2016.
BEIJING/WASHINGTON/DUBAI (Reuters) - U.S. unrest over the death of a black man in police custody has reversed the usual tide of diplomacy over human rights, as nations stung by American criticism over the years return fire, accusing U.S. authorities of double standards.China and Iran, described respectively in the past as authoritarian and a mafia-like state by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, both urged the United States in recent days to tackle racism and protect the rights of minorities. U.S. protesters ignored curfews overnight, angry over the treatment of George Floyd who died after a white policeman kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25. President Donald Trump has threatened to deploy the military to quell the nationwide unrest. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying has used Floyd’s dying words — “I can’t breathe” — in a tweet responding to State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus, who criticised China’s move to impose security laws on Hong Kong. Chinese state media have given heavy coverage to the protests, even on the eve of the anniversary of its own military crackdown on protesters 31 years ago, an event it rarely mentions. On June 4, 1989, troops fired on students in Beijing. Rights groups say thousands may have been killed. “China can tell right from wrong. We always oppose racial discrimination. On this issue, no double standards should be applied,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a regular media briefing on Wednesday. Iran’s supreme leader also waded in on Wednesday. “The people’s slogan of ‘I can’t breathe’, which can be heard in the massive protests throughout the U.S., is the heartfelt words of all nations against which the U.S. has committed many atrocities,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a televised speech. “The crime committed against this black man is the same thing the U.S. has been doing against all the world,” he said, citing Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Vietnam.
By Laura KellySecretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday criticized Chinese and Hong Kong authorities for banning a vigil marking the 1989 massacre of pro-Democracy protesters on Tiananmen Square, one day after President Trump oversaw a crackdown on protesters outside the White House. “It starts; so soon,” Pompeo tweeted. “For the first time in 30 years, Hong Kong authorities denied permission to hold the #TiananmenVigil. If there is any doubt about Beijing’s intent, it is to deny Hong Kongers a voice and a choice, making them the same as mainlanders. So much for two systems.” The secretary is expected to meet with Tiananmen Square survivors, according to the State Department. Pompeo has focused intense criticism on the Chinese Communist Party over the spread of the novel coronavirus and condemned Beijing’s actions with respect to Hong Kong, most recently certifying the territory as no longer autonomous from mainland China and laying the groundwork for Trump to impose sanctions and visa restrictions and end bilateral agreements with the U.S. Hong Kong officials denied organizers for the Tiananmen square vigil permission, citing concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. Only the semi-autonomous territories of Hong Kong and Macau have been allowed to hold annual vigils marking the events of June 3 and June 4. The approximate numbers of those killed and injured are unknown, ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand. - Pompeo criticizing China is the pot calling the kettle black.
Trump uses Russia as a shield, or weapon, in fight with European leaders over future of Group of SevenThe Debrief: An occasional series offering a reporter’s insightsBy Anne GearanThe on-again, off-again saga of this year’s Group of Seven economic meeting has had several plotlines. To review: President Trump first announced he would host it himself at his Doral golf resort in Florida. Then, after criticism over his decision to use his private business as the site of a government event, the annual meeting was relocated to the woodsy Camp David retreat in Maryland. The coronavirus pandemic then led to it being rescheduled as a virtual event. But after a few weeks, Trump attempted to reverse that decision in favor of an in-person session at the White House in June. When that proposal was met with resistance from other G-7 nations, Trump said on Saturday that the whole thing is on hold until at least September. It wasn’t until that last plot twist that Trump raised what seemed the dormant, and fraught, question of whether Russia should again be included in the clubby annual meetings. The potential invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin to join the meeting would insert a poison pill into discussions about holding any meeting at all this year, when the United States is the G-7 host. Trump also proposed expanding the group’s membership to include South Korea, Australia and India, although the most he could do on his own is to invite those nations and Russia to attend this year as his guests. South Korean President Moon Jae-in accepted during a phone call Monday, White House spokesman Judd Deere said. If Trump did get his way and Putin came as his guest this fall, Trump could also be spotlighting his relationship with Russia just weeks before the 2020 election. Trump denies he received any help from Russia in the 2016 election, although U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that was one goal of Russian election interference. Those agencies have also warned Russia is likely to try again this year. - The real question is why does Trump continue to protect, promote and support Putin and Russia.
By Laura KellyCanada is opposed to Russia rejoining the Group of Seven (G7) meeting, an idea proposed by President Trump over the weekend, because Moscow continues to disregard international rules, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Monday, according to Reuters. “Russia was excluded from the G7 after it invaded Crimea a number of years ago, and its continued disrespect and flaunting of international rules and norms is why it remains outside of the G7, and it will continue to remain out,” Trudeau said during his daily news conference. Trump on Saturday said he will postpone the G7 gathering of leaders until September and said he would like to see Australia, Russia, South Korea and India participate. He reiterated his idea of inviting Russia to the G7 summit in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday, the Kremlin said. The Canadian prime minister did not answer if he would boycott the event if Putin were to attend, instead saying there were still “many discussions” needed before the meeting, Reuters reported. Trudeau said the G7 is a meeting for “frank conversation with allies and friends” and pointed to the G20 group, which includes Russia, as a forum with members “we don’t necessarily have great relations with,” Reuters reported. “The G7 has always been a place for frank conversations with allies and friends who share so much. That’s certainly what I’m hoping to continue to see.”
The world demands justice for George Floyd: Thousands of protesters from Berlin to New Zealand show solidarity with US demonstrators as violent riots rock AmericaBy Ross Ibbetson and Georgia Simcox For MailonlineProtests over the death of George Floyd have swept across the globe with demonstrations from Poland to New Zealand in solidarity with US demonstrators caught up in violent riots. Thousands rallied outside the US embassies in London, Copenhagen and Berlin, chanting 'I can't breathe,' the words Floyd gasped as a white police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last Monday. They defied coronavirus lockdown and social distancing rules in Dublin, Ireland; Toronto, Canada; Cardiff, Wales; and in Milan, Italy; to protest the latest African-American death in police custody in the States. Candles were lit in Krakow, Poland, and also in Mashhad, Iran, where leaders have cynically criticised Donald Trump's 'racism' and tweeted their support for #BlackLivesMatter.
The SunA protest related to London's "Black Lives Matter" movement broke out in the neighbourhood Peckham on Saturday (May 30), in response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a police officer in the U.S. city Minneapolis earlier this week. Organisers for the demonstration said they held a moment of silence in the park for Floyd's death but also said the protest was meant to shed light on racial injustice within the British judiciary system against black people. Earlier in the week, graphic video footage of his death showed George Floyd gasping for air and pleading for help as he repeatedly groaned, "please, I can't breathe," while a crowd of anguished bystanders shouted at police to let the man up. The white former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin shown in video footage using his knee to pin Floyd's neck to the street was charged with murder on Friday following Floyd's death. Floyd's death has led to dozens of often violent protests erupting across dozens of U.S. cities.
By James WalkerChinese state media has mocked President Donald Trump over the ongoing George Floyd protests, with one newspaper editor telling the commander-in-chief not to "hide behind" law enforcement. As demonstrations against police brutality have spread to cities across the U.S. in the wake of Floyd's death, Chinese propaganda outlets have called instances of rioting "retribution" for American support of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters. The state mouthpieces have also called on U.S. politicians to solve problems in America before "trying to create new problems" in other countries. "Mr. President, don't hide behind the Secret Service," Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin tweeted on Saturday. "Negotiate with them, just like you urged Beijing to talk to Hong Kong rioters." Xijin later peddled an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory that "Hong Kong rioters" had infiltrated the U.S. and were the "mastermind of violent protests" impacting cities across the country. In a Global Times editorial published on Sunday, the state-operated newspaper compared Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrations with the ongoing protests over Floyd's death in police custody. "The ongoing chaos in the US will not lead to due reflection, but will bring the practices of verbal assault and buck-passing to a new height," the editorial read. "No matter what happens, the US will always believe its political system is the best." In a separate op-ed published on Monday morning, the Global Times said the sight of rioting in the U.S. felt like "retribution" for American support of Hong Kong protests last year. "The US incited Hong Kong's rioters, but now it is facing the same troubles," the article said. "Chinese netizens' feelings are direct reaction to the US' mistaken polices toward China."
By Matt SpetalnickWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has supplied Brazil with 2 million doses of hydroxychloroquine for use against the coronavirus, the two governments said on Sunday, despite medical warnings about risks associated with the anti-malaria drug. The White House released a joint announcement on the drug, whose use has been touted both by U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, just days after the World Health Organization suspended testing it in COVID-19 patients because of safety concerns. Trump himself said in mid-May that he was on a regimen of hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had issued a warning about its use for the coronavirus. Bolsonaro, a right-wing leader who has forged personal ties with Trump, said recently he kept a box of the drug in case his 93-year-old mother needed it. “The American and Brazilian people stand in solidarity in the fight against the coronavirus,” the statement said. “We are announcing the United States Government has delivered two million doses of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to the people of Brazil.” “HCQ will be used as a prophylactic to help defend Brazil’s nurses, doctors and healthcare professionals against the virus. It will also be used as a therapeutic to treat Brazilians who become infected,” it said.
Announcement means event will not be held for first time since massacre in 1989By Helen DavidsonHong Kong police have formally banned this week’s vigil for the Tiananmen Square massacre, citing Covid-19 measures. The move had been expected, especially after the Hong Kong government extended its ban on public gatherings in groups larger than eight, but the announcement confirms that for the first time since the Chinese military killed untold numbers of protesters on 4 June 1989, there will be no commemorative event. The annual event – a sombre and peaceful affair attended by tens of thousands – is also often a vehicle for other causes. Attenders last year drew awareness to a proposed extradition bill that would draw a million people to the streets in protest just a few days later, and spark months of demonstrations. On Monday, Hong Kong’s police force wrote to organisers of the vigil to object to it taking place, citing the social distancing measures that were due to expire on Tuesday. It said public assemblies were a “high-risk activity” owing to the large crowds that gather. “Police believe the event will not only increase participants’ chances of contracting the virus, but also threaten citizens’ lives and health, thus endangering public safety and affecting the rights of others,” police said. The decision follows a vote by China’s ceremonial parliament to bypass Hong Kong’s legislature and enact national security legislation for the semi-autonomous territory. Democracy activists and many legal experts worry that the law could curtail free speech and opposition political activities.
China has told state-owned firms to halt purchases of soybeans and pork from the United States, two people familiar with the matter said, after Washington said it would eliminate special treatment for Hong Kong to punish Beijing. Large volume state purchases of U.S. corn and cotton have also been put on hold, one of the sources said. China could expand the order to include additional U.S. farm goods if Washington took further action, the people said. “China has asked main state firms to suspend large scale purchases of major U.S. farm products like soybeans and pork, in response to U.S. reaction to Hong Kong,” the source said. “Now we will watch and see what the U.S. does next.” U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he was directing his administration to begin the process of eliminating special treatment for Hong Kong, ranging from extradition treatment to export controls, in response to China’s plans to impose new security legislation in the territory.
By Zack BudrykRussian President Vladimir Putin announced on Monday that a vote on constitutional reforms that could extend his time in office through 2036 will take place July 1 after being postponed due to the coronavirus. Russia’s parliament and Constitutional Court have already approved the amendments, which would allow Putin to serve an additional two terms, Bloomberg reported. Putin’s current presidency would end in 2024 without the amendments. The vote was originally set for April 22 before the pandemic forced the postponement. But in a teleconference from his residence outside Moscow on Monday, Putin told Kremlin officials the spread of the virus had slowed enough to reschedule the vote. “On the whole, we have managed to resolve the biggest problem, preventing the explosive nature of the situation from developing into a worst-case scenario,” Putin said at the start of the session. “This is allowing us to return to normal life.” Russia's election chief, Ella Pamfilova, said at the same meeting that the voting should take place over a week to prevent large crowds, according to Bloomberg. “I’m very much counting on the citizens of Russia participating as actively as possible in the voting on determining the parameters of the basic law,” Putin said.
Iran Leaders Criticize U.S. 'Racism' After George Floyd Death: Black Americans 'Not Sure They'll Be Alive in A Few Minutes'By Benjamin FearnowIranian leaders accused the United States and President Donald Trump of "racism" Sunday after the death of George Floyd, using Twitter to criticize the U.S.-- which comes as several GOP senators demand they be removed from the social media platform entirely. Iran Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted out their support for #BlackLivesMatter and their opposition to racism in a series of tweets criticizing the United States. Both Iranian officials expressed their support for the protests demanding justice for Floyd, whose police-involved death led to one officer's arrest on third-degree murder charges. "If you're dark-skinned walking in the US, you can't be sure you'll be alive in the next few minutes. #ICantBreathe #BlackLivesMatter," Iran's Supreme Leader tweeted. "Racial discrimination is still a dilemma in a country that claims to support freedom and human rights #Black_Lives_Matter." "If you have colored skin, are black or Amer-indian, and are walking the streets of the United States, you cannot be sure that you will be alive in a few minutes. These are the words of the US president himself. That is the racism of the USA. #GeorgeFloydProtest," Khamenei tweeted Sunday in Spanish. Zarif tweeted: "Some don't think #BlackLivesMatter. To those of us who do: it is long overdue for the entire world to wage war against racism. Time for a #WorldAgainstRacism."
By Theresa Braine - New York Daily NewsRage over the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd hopped the pond during the weekend as protesters marched in London, Berlin and other cities across Europe. Thousands of people gathered across Central London, holding up signs declaring, “Justice for George Floyd,” starting at Trafalgar Square and making their way to the U.S. Embassy. Floyd died after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinned him with a knee to the neck for eight minutes on May 25 in an incident caught on video. Four days later, Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and fired, and the three officers who stood by were also let go. Five people were arrested by Met Police during the London protest, BBC News reported. Three of the arrests were for breaching COVID-19 social distancing rules, and two for alleged assaults on police, Scotland Yard told The Independent. They ranged in age from 17 to 25. The protests were not limited to London, as hundreds marched through the center of Manchester in northern England, chanting, “Black Lives Matter,” BBC News said. Another protest took place in Cardiff, Wales. In gathering to protest, demonstrators were bucking the ban designed to keep the coronavirus in check. People are still prohibited from gathering in groups of more than two, and avoid public transport, to maintain social distancing – both measures that appear to have been ignored, The Independent reported.
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