Showing posts with label World News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World News. Show all posts

Trump Clears the Air on Kashmir Issue

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Donald Trump, while answering a question from a reporter at the White House about his earlier offer to mediate on Kashmir issue, said: “If they wanted somebody to intervene and I spoke to Pakistan about that… I spoke frankly with India about it… if they wanted me to I would certainly intervene”. India on Friday once again underlined the bilateral nature of Kashmir issue with Pakistan and told the US in “clear terms” that any discussion on the subject will happen only with Islamabad. New Delhi’s comment comes just hours after US president Donald Trump once again stressed that he would “certainly intervene” if “they” asked. It was, however, not clear if “they” was used for India or Pakistan, or both.

Trump first made the offer, with the claim about Modi, on June 22 in response to a public appeal from the visiting Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan in joint remarks at the White House.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is in Bangkok attending the ASEAN summit, tweeted that he had conveyed New Delhi’s intent to his US counterpart Mike Pompeo.“Have conveyed to American counterpart @SecPompeo this morning in clear terms that any discussion on Kashmir, if at all warranted, will only be with Pakistan and only bilaterally,” Jaishankar wrote.

With that, both sides decided to move on. A senior state department official took pretty much the same line at briefing for reporters Wednesday on Khan’s recent visit. “The US ability to encourage a constructive dialogue between India and Pakistan whether on Kashmir or other bilateral issues will be a function of Pakistan taking sustained and irreversible steps against militants and terrorists on its territory,” the official said. But it seems President Trump did not get an update on his offer, and was still waiting for response. When asked by a reporter Thursday, Trump replied with question: “Have they accepted the offer or not?” When told they had not, he said, “Well it’s really up to Prime Minister Modi.”


India denied Modi had ever asked Trump to mediate and reiterated known Indian position that all issues with Pakistan can only be resolved bilaterally and after Pakistan stops supporting terrorism. The state department followed up, and reiterated old US position, and one very different from Trump, that India and Pakistan should resolve their differences bilaterally and that the United States stands ready to assist.

US Security Officers Confiscated A Missile Launcher At A Washington-area


The launcher was found “early this morning” at Baltimore/Washington International airport, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein tweeted. The US transport security officers confiscated a missile launcher from a checked bag at a Washington-area airport on Monday, with a Texas man saying it was a souvenir from Kuwait.

The “man said he was bringing it back from Kuwait as a souvenir. Perhaps he should have picked up a keychain instead!” she wrote. The TSA issued a statement on the incident, saying that “the man, a resident of Jacksonville, Texas, told officials that he was an active military personnel.”

“Fortunately the item was not a live device. It was confiscated and handed over to the state fire marshal for safe disposal. The man was permitted to catch his flight,” TSA said.

The statement included images of what appears to be the launch tube for a Griffin missile, which manufacturer Raytheon says is a “precise, low-collateral-damage weapon for irregular warfare operations.”

It “has a proven track record for successful rapid integration on land, sea and air platforms,” according to Raytheon. But the TSA said that the missile’s launcher cannot, however, be integrated into luggage: “Military weapons are not permitted in checked or carry-on bags.”

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed and title has been altered.)

One Of The Presidential Candidates Of The US Democratic Party Sues Google


Tulsi Gabbard, one of the presidential candidates of the US Democratic Party, has sued Google for at least $50 million accusing the company of meddling with her campaign. Gabbard’s alleges that the search engine suspended her campaign’s advertising account for six hours following the first Democratic debate, EnGadget reported on Thursday. “In the hours following the 1st debate, while millions of Americans searched for info about Tulsi, Google suspended her search ad account w/o explanation. It is vital to our democracy that big tech companies can’t affect the outcome of elections,” a tweet from Gabbard’s official account read.


Google’s discrimination against our campaign reveals the danger of their dominance and how the dominance of big tech over public discourse threatens core American values,” another one of the presidential candidate’s tweet read. However, according to Google a spokesperson, its automated systems flag unusual activity from advertisers, like a sudden increase in spending.

Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign team also believes that its emails were being placed in Gmail spam folders at “a disproportionately high rate” compared to other Democratic contenders. Gabbard’s campaign team also believes that its emails were being placed in Gmail spam folders at “a disproportionately high rate” compared to other Democratic contenders.

The company says that in this case its system triggered a suspension that was pulled back in a short while. For now, Gabbard has filed a lawsuit against Google, details about which still remain unclear. According to the lawsuit, she sides with Senator Elizabeth Warren in the call for large tech companies to be broken up. While this lawsuit may not go anywhere, it is believed to be the first time a presidential candidate has sued a major tech firm, the report said. Gabbard is a military veteran serving as the US Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district since 2013. She is also the first Hindu member of the United States’ Congress.



Iranian Oil Tanker Seized Off The Spanish Coast


The Iranian oil tanker ‘Grace 1’ was seized off the Spanish coast earlier this month by British marines and Gibraltar police. A team of the Indian High Commission in London met the Indian crew and staff on board VLCC Grace 1 on Wednesday, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said.

Giving an update on 18 Indians on board the British oil tanker Stena Impero which was seized last week by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in the Strait of Hormuz for what Tehran called alleged violation of international maritime rules, he said India has called for their early release and repatriation. “We have sought access. We hope we are granted (access) very soon. We continue to impress upon Iranian authorities to release them so that they can be repatriated,” Kumar said.

“Crew’s morale is high. Assured all assistance for early release. HCI London will facilitate necessary travel document and related arrangements,” the minister tweeted. MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, at a media briefing, said India had sought consular access which was granted on Wednesday and a three-member team visited and met all the 24 crew members.

“What we saw was that the crew members were very calm, very composed, and there was no sense of panic. They had been in regular touch with their family members. We had assured them that the government of India will undertake all the necessary steps to ensure their early release and repatriation,” Kumar said.

Indian officials have met the 24 Indian crew members who were on board shipping vessel ‘Grace 1’, which was detained by Gibraltar police authorities, and assured them that the government will take necessary steps to ensure their release and repatriation, the External Affairs Ministry said.

VESSEL, CARRYING NO CARGO, WAS TAKEN TO THE IRANIAN PORT

Cargo sheep

The vessel, carrying no cargo, was taken to the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. It will remain there with its 23 crew - 18 of them Indians - while the accident is investigated, Iranian news agencies quoted the head of Ports and Maritime Organisation in southern Hormozgan province, Allahmorad Afifipour, as saying.

Britain on Saturday denounced Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf as a “hostile act” and rejected Tehran’s explanation that it seized the vessel because it had been involved in an accident. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards posted a video online showing speedboats pulling alongside the Stena Impero tanker, its name clearly visible.

Troops wearing ski masks and carrying machine guns rappelled to its deck from a helicopter, the same tactics used by British Royal Marines to seize an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar two weeks ago. Friday’s action in the global oil trade’s most important waterway has been viewed in the West as a major escalation after three months of confrontation that has already taken Iran and the United States to the brink of war. It follows threats from Tehran to retaliate for Britain’s July 4 seizure of the Iranian tanker Grace 1, accused of violating sanctions on Syria.


British Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt called the incident a “hostile act”. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he had expressed “extreme disappointment” by phone to his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif. Britain also summoned the Iranian charge d’affaires in London. A spokesman for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Brigadier-General Ramezan Sharif, said Tehran had seized the ship in the Strait of Hormuz despite the “resistance and interference” of a British warship which had been escorting it. No British warship was visible in the video posted by the Guards.


In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, Britain said the tanker was approached by Iranian forces when it was in Omani territorial waters exercising its lawful right of passage, and the action “constitutes illegal interference.” “Current tensions are extremely concerning, and our priority is to de-escalate. We do not seek confrontation with Iran,” the letter said. “But it is unacceptable and highly escalatory to threaten shipping going about its legitimate business through internationally recognised transit corridors.”


Zarif told Hunt that the ship must go through a legal process before it can be released, Iran’s ISNA news agency reported. The strait, between Iran and the Arabian peninsula, is the sole outlet for exports of most Middle Eastern oil, and the seizure sent oil prices sharply higher. The United States, which tightened sanctions against Iran in May with the aim of halting its oil exports altogether, has been warning for months of an Iranian threat to shipping in the strait. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he also discussed the situation with Hunt, his British counterpart.


“We talked about what they’ve seen, what they know, and how they’re beginning to think about how they will respond,” Pompeo said in an interview with the Washington Examiner that was published on Saturday by the State Department. “Iran is in a place today that they have taken themselves.” Another oil tanker, the Mesdar, was also boarded by Iranian personnel on Friday and temporarily forced to divert toward Iran, but later was allowed to continue on its route through the strait. On Saturday Algeria’s APS news agency said the Mesdar was owned by Algeria’s state oil company Sonatrach. France, Germany and the European Union joined Britain in condemning the seizure.


The three big European countries are signatories to a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers that Washington undermined by quitting last year, setting Iran’s already fragile relations with the West on a downward spiral. Under the pact, Iran agreed to restrict nuclear work in return for lifting sanctions. The European countries opposed the Trump administration’s decision to abandon the agreement last year, but have so far failed to fulfil promises to Iran of providing alternative means for it to access

“Just spoke to ... Zarif and expressed extreme disappointment that having assured me last Saturday Iran wanted to de-escalate situation, they have behaved in the opposite way,” Hunt wrote on Twitter. “This has to be about actions not words if we are to find a way through.”Earlier he said London’s reaction would be “considered but robust” and it would ensure the safety of its shipping.


On Friday, Hunt said the solution would be found via diplomacy and London was “not looking at military options.” Britain’s government said it had advised British shipping to stay out of the Hormuz area for an interim period. During the past three months of escalation, the United States and Iran come as close as ever to direct armed conflict. In June, Tehran shot down a U.S. drone and President Donald Trump ordered retaliatory air strikes, only to call them off just minutes before were to have been carried out. The vessel had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia and suddenly changed course after passing through the strait.

The United States has blamed Iran for a series of attacks on shipping around the Strait of Hormuz. Tehran has rejected the allegations. Washington also said it had this week downed an Iranian drone near where the Stena Impero was seized. The United States is sending military personnel and resources to Saudi Arabia for the first time since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.

  • (Additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Dubai, Arno Schuetze in Frankfurt, Johnson Irish in Paris, Stephen Addison in London, Michelle Nichols in New York, and Lesley Wroughton in Washington; Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by John Stonestreet, Peter Graff and Will Dunham)

Trump Deploys More Troops to Mexican Border for 2020 Re-eclection Campaign


Trump has focused on cracking down on undocumented immigration, one of his signature issues for weeks as his 2020 re-election campaign gets underway. He prodded Mexico to take steps to block migrants from crossing into the U.S. after threatening the country with tariffs on goods last month. 2,100 more troops to help “secure the southern land border of the United States,” the Defense Department said in a statement on Wednesday night.

About 6,000 active-duty U.S. troops were deployed to the Mexican border last October, with Trump saying they were needed to address a “national emergency” as caravans of asylum-seeking Central American migrants made their way toward the U.S.Up to 1,000 of the troops will be members of the Texas National Guard. About 750 of them will assist the Department of Homeland Security “with operational, logistical, and administrative support” at “temporary adult migrant holding facilities” in Donna and Tornillo, Texas, according to the Pentagon statement. “Migrants will be supervised by DHS law enforcement personnel,” it added.

Another 250 members of the guard force would be stationed at ports of entry along the border. About 1,100 active duty members of the armed forces would also be deployed in various roles, the Pentagon said. As of July 8, there were about 4,000 service members at the border, the Pentagon said on Wednesday night.

The announcement comes amid continuing rancorous debate regarding Trump’s immigration policies and the treatment of undocumented migrants who have been apprehended while trying to cross into the US.

The Defense Department has been pulled into the fray: More and more troops are being sent to the border, and Trump wants to use Pentagon funds to construct more than 100 miles of fencing along it. The department said the new deployments had been approved by Acting Secretary of Defense Richard Spencer. The department has not had a permanent secretary since Jim Mattis resigned late last year. President Donald Trump has nominated Mark Esper for the post, and the Senate Armed Services Committee has been considering his nomination this week.

Earlier this week, he moved to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants who cross the southern border. The Justice Department and Homeland Security said the change was made because the asylum system is being abused. But the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups quickly filed suit to block the rule.

Bill Gates Ranked Below Number 2 in Bloomberg Billionaires Index


Bill Gates has never ranked lower than Number 2 in the seven-year history of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That run ended Tuesday when the Microsoft Corp. co-founder dropped to Number 3 behind France’s Bernard Arnault. This year has been particularly good to French tycoons, with Arnault, Kering SA’s Francois Pinault and cosmetics heir Francoise Bettencourt Meyers tacking on a combined $57 billion.

LVMH, Arnault’s luxury-goods maker, advanced to a record Tuesday and pushed his net worth to $107.6 billion and ahead of Gates by more than $200 million. Arnault, 70, joined Gates and Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, in the most exclusive wealth club last month, when his fortune surpassed $100 billion for the first time.

Arnault and his family are among luxury titans who pledged more than $650 million in April for the reconstruction of Notre Dame Cathedral after fire ravaged the landmark church. He controls about half of Paris-based LVMH through a family holding company and also owns a 97% stake in Christian Dior, the fashion house founded three years before his birth in 1949.

Arnault entered the luxury-goods market in 1984 by acquiring a textile group that owned Christian Dior. Four years later, he sold the company’s other businesses and used the proceeds to buy a controlling stake in LVMH. His art collection of modern and contemporary paintings includes pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Damien Hirst, Maurizio Cattelan, Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso.

Were it not for Gates’s philanthropic giving, he’d still be the world’s richest person. Gates has donated more than $35 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Bezos’s net worth is up slightly this year to $125 billion, even after reaching a divorce settlement with MacKenzie Bezos that made her the world’s fourth-richest woman.

US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP PULLED OUT OF THE IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL

International news


Britain’s ambassador to Washington believed US President Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal because it was associated with his predecessor Barack Obama, according to leaked documents published Saturday.

“The administration is set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons -- it was Obama’s deal,” ambassador Kim Darroch wrote in a diplomatic cable in May 2018.
The cable was included in a second batch of leaked reports published by the Mail on Sunday newspaper, the first of which caused Darroch to resign earlier this week. Separately, the Sunday Times reported that a government investigation into the leak had identified a civil servant as the person responsible.

Working with officials from the National Cyber Security Centre, part of spy agency GCHQ, and MI6, the probe has homed in on a suspect who had access to historical Foreign Office files, the paper said. The first leaked reports authored by Darroch were published last weekend, causing major turmoil between Britain and its closest ally. The ambassador was reported to have described the White House as “inept”, prompting Trump to claim the ambassador was a “pompous fool” whom he would no longer deal with. Darroch resigned on Wednesday, saying it was now “impossible” to do his job.

In May 2018, Britain’s then-foreign minister Boris Johnson went to Washington to try to persuade Trump not to abandon the Iran deal.In a cable sent afterwards, Darroch reportedly indicated there were divisions in Trump’s team over the decision, and criticised the White House for a lack of long-term strategy. “They can’t articulate any ‘day-after’ strategy; and contacts with State Department this morning suggest no sort of plan for reaching out to partners and allies, whether in Europe or the region,” he wrote.He reported back that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during his talks with Johnson, “did some subtle distancing by talking throughout about ‘the President’s decision’“.

The newspaper reported that, according to Darroch, Pompeo also hinted that he had tried but failed to “sell” a revised text to Trump.In 2015, the United States, China, Britain, France, Russia and Germany signed a deal with Iran to limit its nuclear programme in exchange for a partial lifting of international economic sanctions.


Trump had long been critical of the deal and withdrew the United States on May 8, 2018. As well as a government investigation into the leaks, police are also looking into a potential breach of the Official Secrets Act. London’s Metropolitan Police sparked widespread condemnation on Saturday after a warning to journalists that publishing leaked documents could be a criminal matter. Johnson, who is now in the race to succeed May as prime minister, said that prosecuting media outlets would have a “chilling effect on public debate”.

A 1-year-old Girl Slips From Her Grandfather’s Hands In Puerto Rico


A 1-year-old girl baby slipped from grand dad’s arms and fell from 11th floor of cruise ship in Puerto Rico, police reported. Puerto Rico Ports Authority spokesman José Carmona told the AP that the family was gathered in or near a dining hall on the 11th floor and that the grandfather sat the toddler on the edge of a window. He said officials are investigating whether the window was already opened or if someone had opened it.

The Authorities said the girl was travelling with her parents, two siblings and two sets of grandparents aboard the Freedom of the Seas, which docked in Puerto Rico on Sunday after a weeklong trip through the Caribbean.

Nelson Sotelo told The Associated Press that the family of the child will remain in the U.S. territory until the investigation is complete. He said officers have not been able to interview any relatives yet. “They’re in shock,” he said.

The death occurred Sunday afternoon at the Panamerican dock in the capital of San Juan. Sotelo said the toddler’s maternal grandfather, Salvatore Anello of Valparaiso, Indiana, is under investigation. He said the rest of the family is from Granger, Indiana.

The South Bend Police Department said in a statement that the girl was the daughter of Officer Alan Wiegand and asked “the community to pray for the entire Wiegand family as they grieve and to respect their privacy.”

The police chief of South Bend, Indiana, Scott Ruszkowski, disputed the statement issued by Puerto Rico police that the girl was being held out of a window in an interview with WSBT television. Royal Caribbean Cruises called it a tragic incident and said it was helping the family. A spokeswoman said the ship departed Puerto Rico on Monday for St. Maarten on a new itinerary and declined

Microsoft Unravels Cryptic Teasers About Its Partnership With Netflix’s Stranger Things

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Microsoft has finally unraveled the mystery behind its cryptic teasers about its partnership with Netflix’s Stranger Things. The company has introduced a Windows 1.11, a special edition of the classic operating system. Earlier, Microsoft started teasing a nostalgic throwback to 1985, 33 years ago when Windows 1.0 debuted. “The software company began cryptically teasing Windows 1.0 from earlier this month and the latest tease on the Windows handle confirms that it’s indeed a Netflix / ‘Stranger Things’ tie-in, one that we should expect to come to fruition on July 8,” according to report.

The application, essentially a game, aims to bring the 1985 nostalgia but in a world taken over by the Upside Down from Stranger Things. Users have to beat the Mind Flayers using an ancient Windows 1.0 OS. To make the game more immersive, Microsoft shows a technicolour-like “Microsoft Windows” title. It even boots your PC through a command line. According to Windows Central, Windows 1.11 feels like a “point-and-click adventure.”

The game is listed on Microsoft Store and is expected to release on July 8. Here’s what the game description on Microsoft Store says: “Experience 1985 nostalgia with a special edition Windows 10 PC app inspired by Windows 1.0—but one that’s been taken over by the Upside Down from Stranger Things.

Explore the mysteries and secrets plaguing Hawkins, unlock unique show content and easter eggs, and play retro games and puzzles—all building off Stranger Things 3. Join Eleven, Steve, Dustin and gang as they seek to save Hawkins and the world. Embrace the 80s and grab your hairspray, because it’s basically the raddest show companion experience ever. But fair warning: beware the Mind Flayer.”

Netflix’s Stranger Things bring 1985 nostalgia with Windows 1.11 Microsoft aims to deliver experience 1985 nostalgia through a special edition Windows 10 PC app inspired by Windows 1.0.Windows 1.11 listed on Microsoft Store (Microsoft)

Finance Minister Proposes Key Changes in Tax Provisions


Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her maiden Budget speech on Friday proposed many changes in income tax provisions for this year but kept income tax slab rates unchanged. In a key announcement, Nirmala Sitharaman announced that Aadhaar and PAN would be made interchangeable for tax-filing purpose. This means that if you don’t have a PAN, you can file returns using Aadhaar.
Tax images

Here are the key changes in tax provisions:

1.Additional income tax deduction of ₹1.5 lakh on home loans for affordable houses costing below ₹45 lakh. This benefit will be available for home loans taken till March 2020. Cumulatively, the interest paid on home loan deduction will go up to ₹3.5 lakh, from the current ₹lakh for self-occupied house property.

2.Retail investors in CPSE(central public sector enterprises) ETFs could get ELSS-like income tax benefits, according to the Budget proposals. The government today set a ₹1.05 lakh crore divestment target this year. Currently, investments made in ELSS (equity linked savings scheme) mutual funds, which come with a lock-in period of three years, are eligible for tax deduction of up to ₹1.50 lakh under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.

3.The FM also announced ₹1.5 lakh income tax deduction on interest paid on loans for purchase of electric vehicles.

5.The government also announced 2% TDS on cash withdrawal on amount exceeding ₹1 crore in a year.

7.Annual cash withdrawals over Rs 1 crore to be taxed at 2 per cent.

8.The government also increased income tax surcharge for HNIs (high net worth individuals) earnings more than ₹2 crore a year. Those earning between ₹2-5 crore will have shell out 3% more, with surcharge rate being increased from 15% to 25%. Those earning above ₹5 crore will have to shell out a surcharge of 37%, from current 15%, according to the reports.

9.Also the government has asked the GST Council to reduce tax rate on EVs from 12 per cent to 5 per cent. Customs duty on certain parts of EVs has been reduced.

Addressing the angel tax issue faced by startups, she said startups and investors who file requisite declarations will not be subjected to any kind of scrutiny in respect of valuation of share premium.

Acting DHS Inspector General Takes Measure to Alleviate Overcrowding in Rio Grande Valley


Acting DHS Inspector General Jennifer Costello urged the department, which overseas border enforcement, to “take immediate steps to alleviate dangerous overcrowding and prolonged detention of children and adults in the Rio Grande Valley.” The report included images taken at several Texas sites, showing dozens of migrants including young children packed shoulder to shoulder into cage-like holding areas or cells.

In this regard, President Donald Trump has brushed off reports of overcrowding and squalid conditions in migrant detention centers Wednesday by saying the migrants can opt “not to come” to the United States. “If Illegal Immigrants are unhappy with the conditions in the quickly built or refitted detentions centers, just tell them not to come. All problems solved!” Trump tweeted.

The comment came one day after a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report warned of “dangerous overcrowding” in the facilities, which hold thousands of migrants seeking to remain in the country, most of them fleeing violence and poverty in their Central American homes. And it follows Democratic lawmakers who also visited detention facilities reporting massive crowding in cells with no running water, children and adults lacking access to needed medicines and deprived of showers for up to two weeks.The reports raised pressure on the Trump administration to shut the facilities and release the migrants.

On Tuesday, the DHS inspector general released its latest in a series of reports on facilities and camps for the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have crossed the border from Mexico in recent months, most of them in families.

Costello said one detention facility manager described the situation as a “ticking time bomb” and raised security concerns for agency staff and detainees.Children at three of the five Border Patrol facilities had no access to showers and few spare clothes, while two facilities had not provided hot meals, only sandwiches. Most single adults had not had a shower in a month and were being given wet wipes. Some detainees were suffering from constipation after a diet consisting only of bologna sandwiches.

Conclusively, President Donald Trump said, “Migrants can opt ‘not to come’ if they dislike squalid camps. ” The comment came one day after a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report warned of “dangerous overcrowding” in the facilities, which hold thousands of migrants seeking to remain in the country, most of them fleeing violence and poverty in their Central American homes. Trump brushed off reports of overcrowding and squalid conditions in migrant detention centers by saying the migrants can opt “not to come” to the US.

Rate Of Rainforest Destruction Stables During Bolsonaro's Presidency

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The rate of rainforest destruction had been stable during the first few months of Bolsonaro's presidency but began to soar in May and June, according to Brazil's National Institute of Space Research (INPE), a government agency whose satellites also monitor the Amazon.

769.1 square kilometers were lost last month - a stark increase from the 488.4 sq km lost in June 2018, INPE's data showed. That equates to an area of rainforest larger than one and a half soccer fields being destroyed every minute of every day.

However, more than two-thirds of the Amazon are located in Brazil and environmental groups blame far-right leader Bolsonaro and his government for the increase, saying he has relaxed controls on deforestation in the country.

Consequently, the Amazon deforestation accelerated more than 60% in June over the same period last year, in what environmentalists say is a sign that the policies of President Jair Bolsonaro are starting to take effect.

During Bolsonaro's election campaign, he promised his government would focus on recovering the Brazilian economy and said he would look at ways of exploring the Amazon's economic potential. He took office in January.

Donald Trump's Visits North Korean Soil


President Donald Trump’s entry onto North Korean soil is a dramatic re-enactment of the extraordinary scene last year when the young leader invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to walk over the Military Demarcation Line that divides the Koreas. In a symbolic diplomatic spectacle and a first for any American president. After shaking hands with Kim over the line that marks where their two countries and their allies fought each other to a standstill in the 1950-53 Korean War, Trump walked for several steps into North Korean territory, before another handshake.

The two men then walked into Seoul’s territory together -- pausing on the line for photographers -- where they were joined by South Korean President Moon Jae-in. “It’s a great day for the world and it’s an honour for me to be here,” Trump said. “A lot of great things are happening.” The impromptu meeting in the DMZ -- which came after Trump issued an invitation on Twitter on Saturday -- comes with negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington over the North’s nuclear arsenal at a deadlock.

The two would “just shake hands quickly and say hello because we haven’t seen each other since Vietnam”, Trump said earlier. Their first summit took place in a blaze of publicity in Singapore last year but produced a vaguely-worded pledge about denuclearisation, and a second meeting in Vietnam in February intended to put flesh on those bones broke up without agreement.

In an unusually fast and public response, within hours of Trump’s tweet the North’s official KCNA news agency quoted Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui as saying the offer was “a very interesting suggestion”.
Trump’s entry onto North Korean soil is a dramatic re-enactment of the extraordinary scene last year when the young leader invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to walk over the Military Demarcation Line that divides the Koreas.

Moon -- who seized on last year’s Winter Olympics to broker the process between Pyongyang and Washington, after tensions soared in 2017 amid missile and nuclear tests and mutual insults -- will be going to the DMZ with Trump. “The leaders of the US and the North will have a handshake for peace at Panmunjom, the symbol of division, for the first time,” Moon said, referring to the “truce village” in the DMZ.

‘Barren no-man’s land’ But analysts were divided over the headline-grabbing meeting’s potential impact on the underlying issues. The four-kilometre-wide (2.5 miles) DMZ, running for 250 kilometres, is where the front line lay when the Korean War ended with a ceasefire rather than a peace treaty, and is described as the world’s last Cold War frontier.


John Delury of Yonsei University in Seoul said an encounter in the “barren no man’s land that embodies the unhealed wound of post-WWII division, the Korean War, and 70 years of animosity” would help improve ties.“It’s not just about denuclearisation and it’s not all about a deal -- important as those are,” he said. “If Trump and Kim meet & can announce some kind of interim agreement, that’s great. If they meet and don’t, that’s ok too. If in the end they don’t meet, it’s good that Trump offered to.” But Joshua Pollack of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies cast doubt on what it could achieve. The Hanoi meeting foundered amid disagreements on what the North -- which has carried out six nuclear tests and developed missiles capable of reaching the entire US mainland -- would be willing to give up in exchange for relief from sanctions that have crippled its economy.

“An agenda-free, made-for-TV encounter won’t undo a year of inflated expectations and disappointment,” said Pollack. What was needed, he added, was “something more than a one-page letter and another handshake”. The DMZ has been a regular stop for US presidents visiting the South, a security ally -- although Trump’s helicopter was forced to turn back by fog in 2017 -- while Panmunjom saw the first two summits between Moon and Kim last year.

The contact between the two sides has since been minimal -- with Pyongyang issuing frequent criticisms of the US position -- but the two leaders have exchanged a series of letters and Trump turned to Twitter on Saturday to issue his offer. “If Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!,” he wrote from from Osaka in Japan, where he was attending a G20 summit before flying to Seoul.

Five Hundred Immigrants Have Been Detained In US Holding Centers

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Nearly five hundred thousand immigrants have been detained at the border since the start of the year, resulting in dangerous overcrowding in US holding centers. Migrant families have been coming over the border in unprecedented numbers in recent months, reaching a peak in May, when eighty four thousand adults and children traveling together were apprehended.A nd the bodies of a father and nearly 2-year-old daughter from El Salvador were recovered from the Rio Grande on Monday, the Mexican newspaper La Jornada reported. The mother told the paper she watched her husband and child disappear in the strong current.

Authorities believe the four may have been dead for days before the bodies were discovered on Sunday in the Rio Grande Valley. No details were released on the victims’ relationship. It was the latest grim discovery of migrants who died while trying to cross the perilous desert and the swollen Rio Grande.

A total of 283 migrant deaths were recorded along the 2,000-mile border last year. The death toll so far this year was not immediately released. Three children and an adult from Honduras are believed to have died after their raft overturned on the Rio Grande in April. They had considered seeking asylum but were daunted by a long wait list to get into the US, according to a shelter official who met the family.

A 6-year-old immigrant from India was found dead in the triple-digit heat in Arizona this month, and seven people believed to be migrants died in June alone in irrigation canals that run alongside border barriers near El Paso. The total last year for such deaths in those canals was 11

Two babies, a toddler and a woman were found dead near the US-Mexican border, overcome by the sweltering heat in a glimpse of what could lie ahead this summer as record numbers of migrant families try to get into the United States. A law enforcement official close to the investigation told The Associated Press the four were overcome by the heat after fording the river. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero said that in past years, agents would be posted near canals and hear the cries of help from migrants. But they are doing other duties this year with so many immigrants showing up, some in poor health. “Unfortunately, because of the large influx of illegal aliens and agents having to be diverted to other duties, such as transporting, hospital escorts ... there are not a lot of agents readily available to hear these cries,” he said in a statement.

The Trump administration is also under siege from critics who believe it is taking too hard a line toward humanitarian volunteers who help border crossers by leaving jugs of water in the desert and providing medical assistance. The Justice Department prosecuted a volunteer with the aid group No More Deaths on conspiracy charges for providing two migrants with water, food and lodging last year. He faced up to 20 years in prison, but the case ended in a mistrial earlier this month when the jury deadlocked.

The immigrants who make it across the border and turn themselves in to authorities are experiencing their own problems and safety risks in government detention. Five children have died after being detained by the government since late last year, and dozens of youngsters were found last week in unsanitary conditions inside a Border Patrol station near El Paso. The government had transferred the majority of the children out of the facility by Monday.


Authorities say the weather is one factor in some of the recent deaths.
Higher-than-average snowfall in the Rocky Mountains is sending more water into the Rio Grande and adjacent canals, creating deceptively swift waters. Border agents say they are rescuing immigrants from the river on an almost daily basis.

During the last budget year, Customs and Border Protection rescue teams responded to more than 4,300 emergencies.The irrigation canals near El Paso look calm on the surface and easy to cross, but their V-shape creates a quick undertow, and it is difficult to climb out of them.“They don’t realize that once they get in there, their feet can get swept away. There’s a lot of obstacles, there’s debris in the canal, and there are headgates,” which can trap or stop people, said Capt. Kris Menendez, head of the El Paso County Water Rescue Team. The team was training near a headgate on June 11 when one of the firefighters spotted a body in the water. By the time they got in the water, there were two bodies — one a preschool-age girl, and the other a 30-year-old man.

The names of the four who died in the Rio Grande were not immediately released, and authorities were working to determine their country of origin. The bodies were found in or near a park that borders the river in the city of Mission, Hidalgo County sheriff’s Sgt. Frank Medrano said.


The FBI is leading the investigation because the park is on federal land. Medrano said the area is commonly used by migrants entering the country illegally. Customs and Border Protection agents have responded to 3,330 rescue emergencies since the start of the fiscal year Oct. 1. Those numbers typically spike in the coming months as triple-digit heat becomes the norm.

VIRAL ACHARYA QUITS 6 MONTHS BEFORE HIS TERM ENDS


Viral Acharya, deputy governor of the R.B.I ( Reserve Bank of India), resigned six months before his term ends, Business Standard reported, citing him. Acharya, who was in charge of monetary policy, will return to New York University as an economics professor in August instead of February 2020.

Acharya took office at the RBI in January 2017 for a three-year term. His departure follows Urjit Patel’s sudden resignation in December last year amid rising tension between the central bank and the government about the RBI’s independence. Acharya, deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India, resigned six months before his term ends, Business Standard reported, citing him.

N.S. Vishwanathan, a deputy governor whose term is due to end in the first week of July, is likely to stay on for another term, the report said. Michael Patra, executive director at the RBI, and Sanjeev Sanyal, principal economic adviser at the Ministry of Finance, are among possible successors to Acharya, the report said.

A spokesman for the RBI said on Monday he was unaware of the development. Acharya didn’t immediately reply to a message from Bloomberg seeking comment. The rupee fell in offshore trading on the report. The dollar/rupee 1-month contract was up 0.1% to 69.98. Business Standard cited people it didn’t identify as saying Acharya handed in his resignation a few weeks before the RBI’s June monetary policy committee meeting. When asked for further comments, he said: ``A schoolteacher once told me: ‘When your work speaks for itself, do not interrupt.’”