NEWS   WEDNESDAY, JULY  5, 2017   NEWS

Kucinich Rips Dems For Proposal To Examine Trump's Mental Fitness
Dennis Kucinich, the former Democratic congressman and presidential candidate, blasted his party colleagues on Tuesday over a push to examine President Trump’s mental and physical fitness for office – and potentially use the findings to seek his removal. The campaign is being led by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., who has tried to rally support for his bill in the wake of Trump’s controversial attacks on various media outlets and personalities. But Kucinich told “Fox & Friends” that Democrats aren’t doing the party any favors with proposals like this. “It’s a political statement, not a medical statement,” said Kucinich, a Fox News contributor. “I think it’s destroying the party as an effective opposition.” Fox News
VOA VIEW: It shows that Democrats and liberals are deranged.

Black Lives Matter Trying To Stop Bill That Teaches School Children How To Deal With Police
Black Lives Matter has come out against a new bill proposed by the New Jersey Assembly that compels schools to provide training to youngsters on how to interact with police and avoid confrontation. According to a co-sponsor of the bill, Democrat Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, the bill mirrors “The Talk” that many black parents have with their children, explaining the delicacies of dealing with the police in America. “Look, I’m just trying to save lives,” said the Assemblywoman, a co-sponsor of the bill which passed in a 76-0 vote back in June. Fox News
VOA VIEW: The bill makes sense - that is why BLM is against it.

Canadian Baby Given Health Card Without Sex Designation
A Canadian baby has been issued a health document that doesn't specify male or female, in what campaigners are claiming is a possible "world first." Searyl Atli Doty was born in British Columbia, "outside the medical system," and did not undergo a genital inspection after birth, campaign group Gender Free I.D. Coalition said in a statement. The group's vision, stated on its website, is "to remove all gender/sex designations from identity documents." Parent Kori Doty, who is non-binary trans, wants to avoid assigning gender to the child. "It is up to Searyl to decide how they identify, when they are old enough to develop their own gender identity," Doty said in the statement. "I am not going to foreclose their choices based on an arbitrary assignment of gender at birth based on an inspection of their genitals." CNN
VOA VIEW: Totally mad.

The World Looks Past Donald Trump
Foreign policy, increasingly, is what is happening around the world while the United States is making other plans. More than five months into Donald Trump's presidency, American adversaries and allies alike are adjusting to a new era in which Washington seeks its own idiosyncratic and unpredictable "America First" path.
In Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, governments are assessing shifting US priorities and in some cases seeking alternative sources of leadership and partnership in the belief that America has stepped back. Trump's unpopularity abroad is forcing leaders to consider their own political positions, before getting too close to the American President -- even if they seek to preserve Washington's still vital global role as the guarantor of liberal market economics and democracy. CNN
VOA VIEW: Expected from CNN - Communist News Network.

Kim Jong Un Says ICBM Is A ‘Gift’ To ‘American Bastards’
Kim Jong Un taunted the US after his ICBM missile launch on Tuesday, calling it a Fourth of July gift to the “American bastards.” “American bastards would be not very happy with this gift sent on the July 4 anniversary,” state run news agency quoted the North Korean leader gloating. “We should send them gifts once in a while to help break their boredom,” he added. Kim proudly praised the missile — which has the potential to deliver a nuclear warhead as far as Alaska — for being “as handsome as a good-looking boy.” NY Post
VOA VIEW: Jong Un needs to go.

Even Republicans Are Scoffing At Trump’s Voter Fraud Commission
Red and blue states alike are thumbing their noses at President Trump’s commission to root out alleged voter fraud. So far, 44 states have defied the administration’s request for personal voter information — including name, age, party and even the last four digits of Social Security numbers — according to CNN. “You’re not going to play politics with Louisiana’s voter data,” said Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler, a Republican. NY Post

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Maine, New Jersey End State Government Shutdowns
New Jersey and Maine ended partial government shutdowns just in time for the Fourth of July holiday on Tuesday, helping New Jersey Governor Chris Christie move past the embarrassment of being photographed on a beach that had been closed to the public. Both states had suspended non-essential services for three days after failing to reach budget agreements. Their Republican governors signed the budget bills after late-night negotiations with their respective state legislatures. New Jersey and Maine were two of nine states that had missed their deadlines for enacting budgets in time for the July 1 start of the fiscal year. Reuters

Pressure Builds On Trump At Home Over Pledge For Closer Moscow Ties
During his presidential campaign, Republican Donald Trump praised Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "strong leader" with whom he would like to reset tense U.S.-Russian relations. But as Trump heads to his first face-to-face meeting as president with Putin on Friday at the G20 summit in Germany, he is under pressure at home to take a tough line with the Kremlin. Allegations of Russian meddling in last year’s U.S. election have alarmed both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, who are pushing to extend tough sanctions placed on Russia following its 2014 annexation of Crimea, a peninsula belonging to Ukraine. Lawmakers including Republican Senator Cory Gardner are also concerned Russia has prolonged the civil war in Syria by backing its President Bashar al-Assad, a strongman whose forces have used chemical weapons against insurgents and civilians. The chaos has fueled instability in the region and a flood of migrants to Europe. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Trump will do what he has too.

U.S.-Backed Forces Breach Wall Around ISIS-Held Raqqa In Syria
U.S.-backed forces in Syria have breached the wall around Raqqa's Old City, the U.S. military said on Tuesday, marking a major advance in the weeks-old battle to drive ISIS militants out of their self-declared capital. The U.S. Central Command said the coalition struck two "small portions" of the Rafiqah Wall, allowing the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces "to advance into the most heavily fortified portion" of the city, bypassing booby traps and snipers. It said the strikes left most of the 2,500-yard wall intact. MSNBC

Trump Faces ‘Uncomfortable Conversations’ With World Leaders At G20 Summit
President Donald Trump's second foray on the world stage will include navigating a much-anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and a potentially chilly reception from European leaders over his recent decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. The stakes for Trump are especially high as he travels to the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, beginning Friday to discuss critical issues of counter-terrorism, the civil war in Syria, and trade, among other topics, with his European counterparts. In his meeting with Putin, Trump will have to work to confront and deter Russia, but also find ways to work together on issues like Syria and combating ISIS, experts said. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: To liberal MSNBC - Trump will do good.

No 'Specific Agenda,' But Trump, Putin Have Lots To Discuss
President Donald Trump's first face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday will be brimming with global intrigue, but the White House says there's "no specific agenda." So in the absence of a set list of topics, what are two of the world's most famously unpredictable leaders to discuss? Trump, who prefers to have neatly packaged achievements to pair with high-profile meetings, may be looking for some concessions from Russia to show he's delivering progress and helping restore a productive relationship between the two powers. Putin would almost surely want something in return, and there's a long list of "irritants" between the two countries that they could potentially resolve. Houston Chronicle

UN Chief: US May Meet Paris Climate Goals Despite Exit
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the United States may meet the Paris climate agreement's targets despite pulling out of the deal. Guterres says Michael Bloomberg, a U.N. special envoy on climate change, is "convinced" the U.S. will reach the Paris goals. Guterres says that's because some U.S. states, cities and businesses are committed to green energy regardless of the federal government. Guterres said in a speech Monday in Lisbon, Portugal, that President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the global Paris agreement last month strengthened the deal to fighting global warming by prompting other major countries to reaffirm their commitment to it. He named China, India and the members of the European Union as examples. Houston Chronicle

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Trump Is No Original: Latin American Presidents Have Been Using Feisty Twitter Attacks For Years
It’s late at night at the residence, and the president is tweeting attacks on the mainstream media: Journalists publish nothing but “daily lies, pathetic contradiction and permanent disaster,” she writes. “She” — because it’s not Donald Trump at the keyboard, but former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez. Turns out that long before Mr. Trump brought his feisty Twitter style to the White House, his South American counterparts — Ms. Fernandez, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Venezuelan populist Hugo Chavez among them — had already mastered the art of making friends, but mostly enemies, in 140 characters. According to Twiplomacy.com, Latin American politics and social media sites such as Twitter are fast friends. Mr. Pena Nieto has been tweeting since 2007, and Bolivian President Evo Morales last year ended his holdout as the last Latin American leader without a Twitter account. Argentine President Mauricio Macri, who succeeded Ms. Fernandez in 2015, is rated the most active leader in the world on Snapchat and boasts over 630,000 followers on Instagram. Washington Times

‘Pope’s Hospital’ To Release Annual Report After AP Probe
The Vatican’s children’s hospital is releasing its annual report after denouncing as a “hoax” an Associated Press investigation that found its mission shifted under its past administration to focus more on profits than on its small patients. The president of the Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital and senior medical officials were scheduled to present the report Tuesday in the presence of the Vatican secretary of state and Italy’s health minister. The previous day, the AP revealed that staff complained to the Vatican in early 2014 that corners were being cut, safety protocols ignored and children put at risk in a push for profits. Those complaints, the AP reported, sparked two secret Vatican-commissioned investigations into the hospital. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Time will tell.

7 Of The Best Cars Made In The USA
While celebrating American independence this Fourth of July, you may wish you could buy a car made in the U.S.A. and free of foreign influences. But in this era of globalization, deciding which cars deserve the Made in America label is trickier than ever. The traditional approach was scored according to where a car was assembled and where the parts were made. But now, German and Japanese car companies hire American workers to assemble their vehicles. And Honda (HMC) and Toyota (TM) even make parts here. But those profits still go home to headquarters in other countries. CBS

Trump Looks For Friendlier European Welcome In Poland
President Donald Trump is headed back to Europe hoping to receive a friendly welcome in Poland despite lingering skepticism across the continent over his commitment to NATO, his past praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his decision to pull the U.S. out of a major climate agreement. Trump arrives in Warsaw, Poland, on Wednesday for a brief visit that will include a speech in Krasinski Square, near the site of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis. He'll also meet with the leaders of Poland and Croatia and hold a joint news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda. Before moving on to an international summit in Germany, the president will also hold meetings with the leaders of a dozen countries located between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black seas at a summit of the Three Seas Initiative, which aims to expand and modernize energy and trade. One of the initiative's goals is to make the region less dependent on Russian energy. Tampa Tribune
VOA VIEW: Poland will be behind the US.

Illegal Credit Card Skimmer Use On The Rise At Florida Gas Stations
Protecting your pin while paying for gas at the pump may not be enough to keep your card's information safe. State inspectors have found more credit card skimmers in the first seven months of this year — 276 — than during all of 2016 — 219. "Identity theft is the last thing Floridians and visitors want to deal with while traveling," Adam H. Putnam, commissioner of agriculture, said in a release. "An educated consumer is the best defense." Credit card skimmers are small devices, some the size of a matchbox, that are placed in the dispensers and collect card information. This can include debit card pin numbers. Thieves can then make purchases with the cards' stolen details. Tampa Tribune

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Some Heartburn Drugs Linked With Higher Risk Of Death
Some heartburn drugs used by millions of Americans are associated with a higher risk of death, a new study suggests, but people on the drugs should talk with their doctor first before stopping the medicines, experts say. The drugs, called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), reduce stomach acid and are available over-the-counter and by prescription. Other recent studies have linked PPIs to a range of potential health risks including kidney disease, stomach infections, heart disease, pneumonia, bone fractures, and dementia. Popular brand-name PPI medications include Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid and others sold over-the-counter or by prescription. CBS

Trudeau: Trump, Brexit Mean New Chances For Canada, Ireland
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that his country and Ireland should seize the opportunity to be open and progressive as their big neighbors, the U.S. and Britain, turn inward. Trudeau said there are "tremendous opportunities for countries like Canada and Ireland at a time where perhaps our significant allies and trading partners ... are turning inward or at least turning in a different direction." He said the two nations should "make the pitch that Canada and Ireland are places that are exciting and open to the world in a positive, progressive way." ABC
VOA VIEW: Canada will lose.

Florida City To Rename Streets Honoring Confederate Generals
City commissioners in Florida have agreed to begin the process of changing the names of streets named after Confederate generals in the heart of an African-American neighborhood. During a contentious three-hour meeting Monday night, the Hollywood City Commission voted 5-2 to begin renaming Lee Street, named after Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee; Hood Street, named after Gen. John Bell Hood, and Forrest Street, named after Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan member Nathan Bedford Forrest. ABC
VOA VIEW: Good thought.

U.S. And South Korea Confirm ICBM Test, Launch Joint Military Exercises
The U.S. army and the South Korean military responded to North Korea’s July 4 test missile test by hosting joint military exercises, firing missiles off the eastern coast of South Korea in what Pacific Command called an “ironclad” show of resolve. The move came shortly after the U.S. confirmed that North Korea’s July 4 launch was indeed an intercontinental ballistic missile test. Japanese and South Korean authorities delivered the same assessment, with Seoul reporting that the two-stage missiles has a range of about 4,300 to 5,000 miles. Washington Post

More Americans Trust CNN More Than They Trust The President.
According to a Survey Monkey poll published by Axios, 89 percent of Republicans polled view President Donald Trump as more trustworthy than CNN, but 91 percent of Democrats think otherwise. Among Independents, CNN was found to be 15 percentage points more trustworthy than Trump. Meanwhile, among all political affiliations, those polled view the network as more trustworthy than the president by a 7-point margin of 50-43 percent. Atlanta Journal
VOA VIEW: Expected from the dubious liberal media.

‘Surgical Strike’ Could Spin Into ‘Worst Kind Of Fighting’
Over the years, as it does for potential crises around the world, the Pentagon has drafted and refined multiple war plans, including an enormous retaliatory invasion and limited pre-emptive attacks, and it holds annual military exercises with South Korean forces based on them. But the military options are more grim than ever. Even the most limited strike risks staggering casualties, because North Korea could retaliate with the thousands of artillery pieces it has positioned along its border with the South. Though the arsenal is of limited range and could be destroyed in days, the United States defense secretary, Jim Mattis, recently warned that if North Korea used it, it “would be probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes.” NY Times

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Kim Jong Un Seeks To Exploit U.S.-China Tensions With Missile Claims
When Kim Jong Un gave the order for what North Korea claims to be its first successful intercontinental ballistic missile test, he knew it would ruffle feathers in Washington and Beijing. He may have even timed the launch of the missile, which Pyongyang dubbed the Hwasong-14, for maximum effect, ahead of the July 4 holiday in the U.S. and to throw a wrench into a planned meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Germany this week. Whatever his motivations, Tuesday’s test -- which follows a volley of other missile launches in recent months -- shows Kim is not being slowed by international sanctions, Trump’s threats against him, or pressure from China. If anything he’s accelerating his efforts to acquire a bigger nuclear deterrent, with the ultimate prize a missile that can carry a nuclear-tipped warhead to the U.S. mainland. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: Un is pushing Trump.

War Or Recession Might Be Needed To Break Low-Vol, Goldman Says
It’ll take more than central bank tightening to shake volatility from its yearlong slumber, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. A large shock such as recession or war is usually required. That’s generally been the case for the 14 similar low volatility “regimes” since 1928, at least in equity markets, Goldman Sachs strategists Christian Mueller-Glissmann and Alessio Rizzi said. These periods on average lasted nearly two years, featured short-lived spikes and realized S&P 500 volatility was usually at or below 10. Swings picked up across assets in the past week and investors are positioning for a shift higher, in part because of fears of central bank tightening, the strategists wrote in a July 3 report. But a sustained breakout is unlikely without an escalation in uncertainty or recession risk, they said. Bloomberg

Europe-Themed Homage For Holocaust Survivor Veil
Holocaust survivors are joining France's president and European dignitaries at a special memorial ceremony for Simone Veil, who rose from the horrors of Nazi death camps to become president of the European Parliament and one of France's most revered politicians. Best known in France for spearheading the legalization of abortion, Veil faced down sexist criticism and repeatedly broke barriers for women in politics. She died last week at age 89. President Emmanuel Macron ordered a national ceremony with military honors Wednesday at the Invalides monument, home to Napoleon's tomb. European flags around France were lowered to half-staff to honor a woman whose experience at Auschwitz-Birkenau made her a firm believer in European unification. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: A woman of valor.

Auschwitz Memorial Condemns Congressman's Gas Chamber Video
Officials at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum have criticized a Louisiana congressman for narrating part of a five-minute video from inside a former gas chamber at the Nazi concentration camp in Poland. Louisiana news outlets report that U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins posted the video Saturday. In it, the Republican says the gas chamber killings took only about 20 minutes and show why the U.S. military "must be invincible." A post on the Auschwitz Memorial's official Twitter account said Tuesday that a former gas chamber is not a stage but a place where there should be respectful silence. Later Tuesday, it posted a photo of the entrance sign to that building, asking visitors to "maintain silence here." Philadelphia Inquirer

Seattle Mayor: $15 Minimum Wage Raises Incomes
Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has been in the news lately, with some questioning its benefits. As the mayor who signed the ordinance in 2014, I know how important it has been for workers in this city. By raising the minimum wage, we raised incomes for our lowest paid workers and our economy continues to accelerate. Three years ago, Seattle became the first major city to pass a $15 minimum wage. While not a silver bullet to address inequality, the minimum wage is a critical tool benefiting low-wage workers and our economy. Putting more money in workers’ pockets leads to more spending at local businesses, growing our economy. We are also taking other steps, such as building more affordable housing, expanding transit and investing in preschool, to address inequities. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Cost of products and services have increased.

Dubai’s Emirates Says U.S. Exempted It From Laptop Ban
Dubai-based Emirates airlines says the U.S. has exempted it from a ban on laptops in airplane cabins. The Middle East’s biggest long-haul carrier said in a statement Wednesday that new security measures were in place and the ban had been lifted “effectively immediately.” This follows Abu Dhabi-based Etihad being exempted from the ban. Emirates’ Dubai hub has grown into the world’s busiest airport for international traffic, in large part thanks to Emirates’ expansion. It was one of 10 airports affected by the ban on cabin electronics put in place by the Trump administration in March. USA Today

Is Alcohol Good For You? An Industry-Backed Study Seeks Answers
It may be the most palatable advice you will ever get from a doctor: Have a glass of wine, a beer or a cocktail every day, and you just might prevent a heart attack and live longer. But the mantra that moderate drinking is good for the heart has never been put to a rigorous scientific test, and new research has linked even modest alcohol consumption to increases in breast cancer and changes in the brain. That has not stopped the alcoholic beverage industry from promoting the alcohol-is-good-for-you message by supporting scientific meetings and nurturing budding researchers in the field. Now the National Institutes of Health is starting a $100 million clinical trial to test for the first time whether a drink a day really does prevent heart attacks. Las Vegas Sun

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Mueller Probe Could Draw Focus To Russian Crime Operations
The U.S. government has long warned that Russian organized crime posed a threat to democratic institutions, including "criminally linked oligarchs" who might collude with the Russian government to undermine business competition. Those concerns, ever-present if not necessarily top priorities, are front and center once more. An ongoing special counsel investigation is drawing attention to Russian efforts to meddle in democratic processes, the type of skullduggery that in the past has relied on hired hackers and outside criminals. It's not clear how much the probe by former FBI Director Robert Mueller will center on the criminal underbelly of Moscow, but he's already picked some lawyers with experience fighting organized crime. And as the team looks for any financial entanglements of Trump associates and relationships with Russian officials, its focus could land again on the intertwining of Russia's criminal operatives and its intelligence services. Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: Mueller may take a long road.

Tropical Storm Chance Increases In Atlantic
The National Hurricane Center on Tuesday said there was a 70 percent chance of a tropical depression forming in the Atlantic Ocean in the next two days. The agency was monitoring a storm system called Invest 94L about 800 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. The storm hasn't changed much in recent hours, but environmental conditions are favorable for a tropical depression or tropical storm to form in the Atlantic Ocean. There's a 70 percent chance a depression will form in two days, 80 percent chance in five days. UPI

Most States Refuse Trump Administration's Request For Voter Data
A majority of states are refusing to comply with a request by a new White House commission on election fraud to hand over personal voter information. State elections officials, including some led by Republicans, said they will not cooperate with the commission in at least some form. Some say state law prevents the release of the information. Many have denounced the probe as a way to satisfy President Donald Trump's allegation that millions voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election and that's why he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton. Some say it is a way to justify further voter-suppression efforts. "I find this request repugnant," Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat, posted on Twitter on Monday. "Repeating a false story of expansive voter fraud, and then creating a commission to fuel that narrative, does not make it any more true." UPI
VOA VIEW: What do the states have to lose?

Schools Rethink Meal-Debt Policies That Humiliate Kids
Teaching assistant Kelvin Holt watched as a preschool student fell to the back of a cafeteria line during breakfast in Killeen, Texas, as if trying to hide. "The cash register woman says to this 4-year-old girl, verbatim, 'You have no money,'" said Holt, describing the incident last year. A milk carton was taken away, and the girl's food was dumped in the trash. "She did not protest, other than to walk away in tears." Holt has joined a chorus of outrage against lunchroom practices that can humiliate children as public school districts across the United States rethink how they cope with unpaid student lunch debts. The U.S. Agriculture Department is requiring districts to adopt policies this month for addressing meal debts and to inform parents at the start of the academic year. San Diego Union

Redditor Behind Trump Vs CNN Wrestling Meme Apologizes: ‘I Am In No Way This Kind Of Person’
The redditor who took credit for creating the infamous meme featuring Donald Trump beating up CNN in a wrestling match is sorry for the reactions the video sparked, and has taken to Reddit today in order to apologize. “I would also like to apologize for the posts made that were racist, bigoted, and anti-semetic [sic]. I am in no way this kind of person, I love and accept people of all walks of life and have done so for my entire life.” The user, who calls himself “HanAssholeSolo” on the site, has also announced he leaving Reddit. “This is my last post from this account and I wanted to do it on a positive note,” the user said. “[H]opefully it will heal the controversy that this all caused. Peace.” SF Gate
VOA VIEW: The individual feared threats from CNN.

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DUELING HOMAGE PAID TO HOLOCAUST, PALESTINIAN VICTIMS AT UNESCO
The dueling narrative of Jewish and Palestinian victimhood came to a head on the floor of the World Heritage Committee, as the 21-member states held a moment of silence first for the Holocaust victims and then again for the Palestinians. The Palestinian Ambassador Elias Sanbar stood in both instances. Israel’s Ambassador Carmel Shama HaCohen objected to the comparison, particularly given his belief that terrorists were included in the designation. Jerusalem Post

Algerian Student: 'University Censored My Political Thesis'
A PhD student in Algeria says her university is withholding her degree because of objections to the political content of her thesis. An official at the faculty said there were concerns over the way she presented the military. Leila Sidhoum has accused the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Algiers 3 of censorship and intimidation. She said she had already successfully defended her work before a board. Ms Sidhoum, who is also an assistant professor at the university, themed her work on the role of governing elites in the democratic transition in Algeria, from 1989 to 2016. BBC

North Korea Missile Test: Russia And China Urge Launch Freeze
Russia and China have urged North Korea to "freeze" its missile and nuclear programmes after it claimed to have successfully tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile. Both countries also called for a simultaneous suspension of US-South Korea large-scale military exercises. Meanwhile, US officials reportedly said they believed North Korea's claim. But while Pyongyang appears to have made progress, experts believe the device cannot accurately hit a target. Calling the launch "unacceptable", Russia and China, which share a land border with North Korea, also urged the US to not deploy the Thaad missile system - which aims to intercept attacks from Pyongyang - in South Korea. BBC

Canada To Pay $10.5m To Youngest Guantanamo Inmate, Convicted Of Killing US Soldier
The Canadian government is going to apologise and give millions to a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner who pleaded guilty to killing a US soldier in Afghanistan when he was 15, with Canada’s supreme court later ruling that officials had interrogated him under “oppressive circumstances”. An official familiar with the deal said on Tuesday that Omar Khadr will receive 10.5 million Canadian dollars (US$8 million). The official was not authorised to discuss the deal publicly before the announcement and spoke on condition of anonymity. The government and Khadr’s lawyers negotiated the deal last month. The Canadian-born Khadr was 15 when he was captured by US troops following a firefight at a suspected al-Qaida compound in Afghanistan that resulted in the death of an American special forces medic, US army Sgt Christopher Speer. Guardian

US Still Has No Path To Peace In Afghanistan, Bipartisan Senators Say
After more than 15 years in Afghanistan the US still does not have a strategy for winning peace and is making that goal even more unattainable by hampering diplomacy, a bipartisan group of US senators said in the Afghan capital on Tuesday. The criticism came as the Trump administration considers the deployment of thousands of additional soldiers, without publicly explaining what they are meant to achieve. In Kabul, the Republican senator John McCain excoriated 15 years of US efforts in Afghanistan, which, he said, pursued a goal amounting to “don’t lose”, rather than winning. Guardian

France 'Dancing On A Volcano' On State Spending And Debt Warns Prime Minister In Inaugural Speech
France is "dancing on a volcano" of chronic state overspending and debt, its new prime minister warned in his first speech to parliament detailing his roadmap for reform. Edouard Philippe's technical address to the National Assembly contrasted with president Emmanuel Macron's lofty, long-winded vision of how to revamp France at the palace of Versailles on Monday. Outlining a raft of planned reforms, the Right-wing Mr Philippe, an amateur boxer and part-time crime writer, announced ambitions plans for tax cuts and public spending cuts - key, Mr Macron believes, to convincing Berlin to embark on European Union reform. Telegraph

How Many Nukes Are In The World And What Could They Destroy?
It seems the world is a long way from "coming to its senses" - with millions of kilotons already in military service around the world. Between them, the world's nuclear-armed states have around 15,000 warheads - the majority of which belong to the US and Russia. It is estimated that just under 10,000 of these are in military service, with the rest awaiting dismantlement, according to the Arms Control Association.  There are five nuclear-weapon states in the world: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States. These are officially recognised as possessing such weapons by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. This treaty acknowledges and legitimises their arsenals, but they are not supposed to build or maintain them forever. Indeed, they have committed to eliminate them.  Telegraph

UN 'Appalled' By Terrorist Attacks In The Syrian Capital, Damascus
The United Nations has condemned the terrorist attacks in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and underscored the need to bring those responsible to justice, a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres said today. “We are appalled by the utter disregard for human life displayed by the perpetrators,” Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN chief, said in a statement today. “Those responsible for the attacks must be held accountable.” According to reports, at least 20 people were killed and dozens more wounded in the incident. In the statement, Mr. Dujarric also offered the Organization's condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to those injured. UN News

Rising Cholera, Diarrhoea And Malnutrition 'Deadly' For Children In Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia And Sudan, Warns UNICEF
Access, funding and security are urgently needed to ensure humanitarians can reach hundreds of thousands of children suffering from cholera and diarrhoea across Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Sudan, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said. On top of these diseases, rising rates of malnutrition in these countries “could be deadly for children,” Christophe Boulierac, a spokesperson for the UN agency, said at a regular news briefing in Geneva. “Access, funding and security are needed in the four countries so that UNICEF and our partners can reach children with an integrated response that deal simultaneously with both malnutrition and disease prevention treatment,” he added. UN News

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