Poland's First Lady Goes Viral After Appearing To Snub Trump
During President Donald Trump's trip to Warsaw, he went in for a handshake with Poland's first lady and appears to have been left hanging. Videos show Trump clearly extend his hand to Agata Kornhauser-Duda, but she seemingly ignores his outstretched arm in favor of shaking hands with First Lady Melania Trump. Although it certainly appeared to be a deliberate snub, a longer version of the incident shows Kornhauser-Duda shaking the president's hand immediately after the first lady's. Fox
VOA VIEW: Sad that this headline and fact is brought up by Fox news.

'Avalanche' Of Media Leaks Hurting National Security
The Trump administration is facing an "alarming" and "unprecedented" cascade of media leaks that pose a potential danger to national security, according to a Senate report released Thursday. The Republican-authored report, which estimated the administration has dealt with roughly one leak per day, was sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The authors urged law enforcement officials to step up their investigation of leaks exposing potentially sensitive information. Fox
VOA VIEW: The leaks are anti Trump.

Ted Cruz's Obamacare Repeal Plan Would Cripple The Market Say Experts
Texas Senator Ted Cruz thinks he can break the Obamacare repeal logjam in the Senate. His solution, which is being touted as a "Consumer Freedom Option," would allow insurers that sell Obamacare policies to also offer skimpier plans. One set of policies would contain all of the Obamacare protections, including covering those with pre-existing conditions, offering all 10 essential health benefits and limiting consumers' financial exposure. Texas Senator Ted Cruz thinks he can break the Obamacare repeal logjam in the Senate. His solution, which is being touted as a "Consumer Freedom Option," would allow insurers that sell Obamacare policies to also offer skimpier plans. One set of policies would contain all of the Obamacare protections, including covering those with pre-existing conditions, offering all 10 essential health benefits and limiting consumers' financial exposure. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN is acting pro Obamacare.

Bill Cosby Retrial Is Set For November, Judge Rules
Bill Cosby will be retried on three charges of assault starting November 6 of this year, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, Judge Steven O'Neill ruled Thursday. The famed comedian stood trial in June on three charges of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home outside Philadelphia in January 2004. Judge O'Neill declared a mistrial in the case after jurors said they were unable to come to a unanimous verdict on any of the charges. CNN

North Korea Assassination Sheds Light On Chemical Weapons Arsenal
The victim himself – the playboy half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un – was traveling under false papers when he died and had to be identified using DNA. The two women accused of killing him turned out to be hired dupes, paid a few dollars to perform what they thought was a reality-TV stunt. Stranger still was the murder weapon, liquid VX, a toxin so powerful that a few drops rubbed onto the skin killed the victim in minutes, yet it failed to harm the two women who applied the poison with their bare hands. Even more mysterious: Why North Korea would go to extravagant lengths to use a battlefield-grade chemical weapon on foreign soil, only to work equally hard to cover its tracks. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: Un is a killer.

US Judge In Hawaii Leaves Trump's Travel Ban Rules In Place
A federal judge in Hawaii on Thursday left Trump administration rules in place for a travel ban on citizens from six majority-Muslim countries. U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson denied an emergency motion filed by Hawaii asking him to clarify what the U.S. Supreme Court meant by a "bona fide" relationship in its ruling last month. The Supreme Court ruled the administration could mostly enforce its travel ban, but said those "with a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States" could enter. Watson says the relationship question would be better posed to the Supreme Court, not him. Philadelphia Inquirer


Trump In Poland: CNN Has Been 'Fake News For A Long Time'
At a joint news conference with the Polish president in Warsaw on Thursday morning, President Donald Trump said he'd take a wait-and-see approach to North Korea's bad behavior, but he wouldn't tip his hand. "I don't like to talk about what I have planned," he said. Trump was also asked about CNN threatening to expose the identity of the man who created a parody of Trump beating up a CNN logo -- a parody famously retweeted by Trump. Trump answered the CNN question first, once again seizing the opportunity to criticize "fake news." More on that in a moment. CNS
VOA VIEW: CNN lost in the news.

Trump: ‘If We Do Not Have Strong Families And Strong Values…We Will Not Survive’
The values that bind America and Europe together – freedom, faith and family -- are threatened from the outside by common enemies and from the inside by bureaucracy, President Donald Trump told a cheering crowd of Poles in Warsaw on Thursday. The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive. Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it? We can have the largest economies and the most lethal weapons anywhere on Earth. But if we do not have strong families and strong values, then we will be weak. And we will not survive. In his 33-minute speech, interrupted by cheers at times, Trump warned against the “steady creep of government bureaucracy that drains the vitality and wealth of the people. CNS
VOA VIEW: Makes good sense.

U.S. Private Payrolls Growth Slows; Jobless Claims Rise
U.S. private employers hired fewer workers than expected in June and applications for unemployment benefits last week increased for a third straight week, pointing to some loss of momentum in job growth as the labor market nears full employment. Those signs were also evident in another report on Thursday showing growth in services industry employment slowing in June even as the sector, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the U.S. economy, continued to expand at a healthy clip. Reuters

U.S. Official Who Confronted Trump On Ethics Resigning For New Job
The head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, who clashed with President Donald Trump and his administration, said on Thursday he would resign before his five-year term ends in January to take a new job. In a letter to Trump dated on Thursday and posted on his Twitter account, Walter Shaub said he would step down from the ethics watchdog effective July 19 and praised his staff for their commitment to laws and ethical principles over private interests. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Good for Trump.

28 Dead After Rival Gangs Square Off In Acapulco Prison Brawl
Fighting erupted between rival gangs inside a state prison before dawn Thursday, and 28 inmates were killed and three wounded, officials in the Pacific resort said. Authorities had initially reported five deaths, but later raised the toll more bodies were found scattered throughout the prison. Robert Alvarez Heredia, the Guerrero state security spokesman, said in a statement that the fighting broke out around 4 a.m. He said security forces later regained control and slowly began discovering bodies in a kitchen, a cellblock and other areas. “The incident began because of the constant dispute between rival groups inside the prison,” Alvarez said. NY Post

QVC Buys HSN In Bid To Keep Up With Online Retail Giants
The two home shopping network giants are betting that it’s better to battle Amazon and other online retailers together rather than alone. Liberty Media-owned QVC will acquire the 62 percent of rival Home Shopping Network it doesn’t already own for $2.1 billion, it said Thursday. The acquisition by the John Malone-controlled Liberty will come in an all-stock deal. It requires regulatory approval and is expected to close in the fourth quarter. “Our combined company will be one of the largest digital retailers in the world with annual revenues of $14 billion,” HSN president Bill Brand said in a letter sent to the company’s retail partners, a copy of which was obtained by The Post. NY Post


When Study Abroad Ends In Death, US Parents Find Few Answers
Nearly six years after her son slipped and fell around 100 meters (yards) into a raging mountain river in India, never to be seen again, Elizabeth Brenner is still wondering how such an accident could have happened. Brenner's son, Thomas Plotkin, was one of the millions of American students who have studied abroad on university-sponsored programs in the last decade — part of a growing global youth travel industry estimated to be worth $183 billion a year. He wanted to experience another culture, "unlike anything that he'd ever known," Brenner said. Nearly six years after her son slipped and fell around 100 meters (yards) into a raging mountain river in India, never to be seen again, Elizabeth Brenner is still wondering how such an accident could have happened. Brenner's son, Thomas Plotkin, was one of the millions of American students who have studied abroad on university-sponsored programs in the last decade — part of a growing global youth travel industry estimated to be worth $183 billion a year. He wanted to experience another culture, "unlike anything that he'd ever known," Brenner said. Tampa Tribune

Trump Chats With Merkel, May At German Summit
President Donald Trump was spotted chatting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May as he sat down with fellow world leaders for a discussion on fighting terrorism at a German summit. Merkel and Trump sat next to each other and exchanged pleasantries at the opening session of the Group of 20 leaders' summit Friday. Trump also chatted with May, who was seated immediately to his left. Russian leader Vladimir Putin sat several seats away. Tampa Tribune

G-20 Protests Turn Violent As Trump Arrives In Hamburg
Violent clashes broke out near the site of the G-20 Summit Thursday as German riot police confronted thousands of protesters demonstrating amid the arrival of President Donald Trump. Dubbing their protest "Welcome to Hell," upwards of 10,000 people belonging to an array of anti-Trump and anti-capitalist groups — many wearing masks — attacked authorities, set fires, hurled rocks at officers and buildings, chanted slogans and touted angry banners as part of their efforts to disrupt the global conference set to kick off just miles away. German riot police, in turn, attempted to disburse the protesters with tear gas, smoke bombs and water cannons. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: The liberal media would like to report the negative.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage Suggests He Makes Up Fake Stories To Mislead Reporters
Maine's controversial Gov. Paul LePage appeared to suggest on Thursday that he makes up fake stories to mislead reporters — before adding that society would be better off without print media in general. "I just love to sit in my office and make up ways so they'll write these stupid stories because they are just so stupid, it's awful," LePage told local radio station WGAN-AM on Thursday. "I'm sorry, but I'd tell you the sooner the print press goes away the better society will be," he added. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: The print media are dead - not buried, yet.

GOP Lawmakers Ask AG To Intervene After Bernie Sanders Imposes ‘Religious Test’ On Trump Nominee
Sixty-four Republican lawmakers sent a letter Friday asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reaffirm the constitutional prohibition against religious tests for public office. Led by Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina and Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, the memo is a response to questions raised by Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont Independent, at a hearing last month to confirm one of President Trump’s nominees to the Office of Management and Budget. “While there is continuous debate about the scope and meaning of the religion clauses in the First Amendment,” the letter reads, “the text of Article VI has been clear: no religious test shall ever (emphasis added) be required as a qualification to any public office or public trust under the United States.” “Yet, questions were asked during a recent Senate Budget Committee hearing about an executive branch nominee’s adherence to the Christian faith,” the letter continues, “suggesting that such beliefs disqualified the nominee from service.” Washington Times

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Hackers Targeting Power Plants, Warn FBI And Dept. Of Homeland Security
Since May, hackers have been penetrating the computer networks of companies that operate nuclear power stations and other energy facilities, as well as manufacturing plants in the United States and other countries. Among the companies targeted was the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corp., which operates a nuclear power plant near Burlington, Kan., according to security consultants and an urgent joint report issued by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI last week. Kansas City Star

Trump Chats With Merkel, May At German Summit
President Donald Trump was spotted chatting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May as he sat down with fellow world leaders for a discussion on fighting terrorism at a German summit. Merkel and Trump sat next to each other and exchanged pleasantries at the opening session of the Group of 20 leaders' summit Friday. Trump also chatted with May, who was seated immediately to his left. Russian leader Vladimir Putin sat several seats away. Trump has alienated some U.S. allies with his decision to pull the U.S. out of an international climate agreement and his tough talk on trade. SF Gate

Tesla, For Now, Loses Spot As Most Valuable Carmaker In US
Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s tweet was the first step in the week’s decline for its stock. After three months as the nation’s most valuable automaker, a bad week in an otherwise stellar year has knocked Tesla from the top perch. The Palo Alto company’s growth remains excellent, with shares soaring close to 50 percent this year, twice that at General Motors Co., which retook the spot Thursday. Ford Motor Co. has actually fallen in value this year. But a trifecta of bad news in recent days, starting with a tweet from CEO Elon Musk, has delivered the worst weekly percentage decline for the electric automaker’s stock since early 2016. SF Gate

Kobach Says Voter Commission Reports To Trump, Isn’t Government Agency
The White House will collect and store the mass of voter data President Trump’s new integrity commission is seeking, the panel’s vice chairman said Thursday in a court filing meant to try to defuse a lawsuit seeking to derail the commission’s work. Kris W. Kobach, the vice chairman and also secretary of state in Kansas, also said that one of the commission’s members is part of another federal agency, but is not acting in her official capacity while she serves on the voter integrity commission. Washinton Times
VOA VIEW: The liberal media has it wrong, again.

White House Gender Pay Gap Has Tripled Under Trump
The median salary for a female White House staffer is $72,650 while the median salary for a male staffer is $115,000, according to the 2017 Report to Congress on White House Office Personnel, which lists the title and salary of every Executive Office employee and has been mandatory since 1995. That means there's a 37 percent gender pay gap that favors men in President Trump's White House-- a disparity that is over triple what it was in the Obama White House (11 percent), according to a report from the American Enterprise Institute. With this in mind, a woman working for Mr. Trump earns 63.2 cents per every $1 earned by her male co-worker. CBS
VOA VIEW: Don't believe everything you read - there is the twist.

RNC Asked Hillary Clinton Where Her Health Care Plan Is -- And Clinton Responded
The Republican National Committee released one video on Twitter criticizing Democrats for not proposing their own plan to "fix" Obamacare and another challenging Hillary Clinton to produce her plan to fix Obamacare. The first video features outspoken opponents of the Senate Republican health care plan, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), like Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who acknowledge the ACA's flaws.At the end of the video, the RNC declares, "Democrats know Obamacare is broken. We have a plan to fix it," and it concludes with a pointed question to Democrats: "Where's their plan?" CBS


Microsoft Laying Off Thousands Of Workers In Sales Shakeup
Microsoft is laying off thousands of employees in a shake-up aimed at selling more subscriptions to software applications that can be used on any internet-connected device. Most of the people losing their jobs work in sales and are located outside the U.S. The Redmond, Washington, company confirmed that it began sending the layoff notices Thursday, but declined to provide further specifics except that thousands of sales jobs will be cut. "Like all companies, we evaluate our business on a regular basis," Microsoft said in a statement. "This can result in increased investment in some places and, from time-to-time, re-deployment in others." ABC

Sen. Lankford: Trump Needs To 'Apply Pain' To Putin Regime To Deter From Meddling
Amid President Donald Trump’s continued insistence that “nobody really knows for sure” who interfered in the 2016 presidential election, Sen. James Lankford took a much clearer stance when appearing on ABC News’ “Powerhouse Politics” podcast. “It is incredibly clear that Russia was trying to interfere in our election,” the Oklahoma Republican said. “There is no question on that, by any means, that Russia was trying to engage -- try to destabilize our democracy.” ABC

Delta Flight Returns To Seattle After Passenger Assaults Flight Attendant
A Delta Air Lines flight headed from Seattle to Beijing had to return to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport late Thursday night after a passenger assaulted a flight attendant. Airport spokesman Perry Cooper said the man, age 23, was sitting in first class and attacked the flight attendant about 45 minutes into Delta Flight 129. Cooper said other passengers helped to restrain the man, who was arrested when the plane landed. The flight attendant and one other person were injured. They were taken to a hospital. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Passerngers did the business.

Sen. Pat Toomey On Health Care Delay: I Didn't Think Trump Would Win Presidency
Republicans are struggling to pass a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and one GOP Senator has a possible explanation for the holdup — albeit not a new one. "I didn't expect Donald Trump to win. I think most of my colleagues didn't. So we didn't expect to be in this situation," Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said Wednesday.
Toomey's blunt answer came during a televised town hall in response to a question from an ABC news anchor about why the health bill has not passed given how vehemently Republicans have opposed the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. USA Today
VOA VIEW: At least a truthful acknowledgment.

Prince Harry: People Spend Too Much Time On Phones
Britain's Prince Harry meets schoolchildren during his visit to the Headingley Carnegie Stadium on Thursday. Prince Harry said he was concerned with the amount of time people spend on their telephones, and he urged people to "process their thoughts” more, People magazine reported. “I read recently that young people check their phones at least 150 times a day,” the prince said Thursday during a speech at a mental health center in Leeds, England. “I’m sure we could all be more effective and efficient if we took a moment to process our thoughts, rather than rushing from one thing to the next,” he said. Harry, who started a mental health campaign along with Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, said he was pleased the program is beginning to “shift the dial.” Atlanta Journal

Merkel's Husband Is Sending Ivanka And Melania Trump To Learn About Climate Change
As Group of 20 leaders seek to avoid a blowup over the U.S. stance on climate change, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s husband is giving Ivanka Trump a lesson in what it looks like. President Donald Trump’s daughter, First Lady Melania Trump and other spouses of G-20 leaders aren’t just going sightseeing during the global summit in Hamburg, they’re also getting a tour of the German Climate Computing Center on Friday. German officials say the idea for the visit came from Merkel’s husband, Joachim Sauer, a professor of physical and theoretical chemistry. Bloomberg

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Shoppers Converge At Trump Taj Mahal For 'Liquidation Sale'
Hundreds of bargain seekers converged on Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal on Thursday as a 60-day “liquidation sale” began, reported. The sale of the former casino’s contents is taking place before the building is gutted and replaced by a Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The sale is being held between floors 46 and 50, with furniture and other items available for purchase. “Why would I go to Walmart and spend $400 on a TV when I can get one here for cheap,” Gerald Winchester, the first person in line, told the Press of Atlantic City. The Taj Mahal opened in 1990 and closed in October 2016. It was the fifth casino to close in Atlantic City since 2014, reported. It was owned by billionaire Carl Icahn, who had taken possession of the casino out of bankruptcy court. President Donald Trump has not been materially involved for about seven years, other than allowing his name to be attached to the casino. Atlanta Journal

GOP Leader Says He'll Rework Health Bill, But Offers Plan B
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he plans to produce a fresh bill in about a week scuttling and replacing much of President Barack Obama's health care law. But he's also acknowledging a Plan B if that effort continues to flounder. "If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to the private health insurance market must occur," McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday. It was one of his most explicit concessions that a top priority for President Donald Trump and the entire GOP, erasing much of Obama's landmark 2010 statute, might fall short. Houston Chronicle

U.S. Seeks North Korea Funds From Eight International Banks
U.S. prosecutors disclosed an effort to seize millions of dollars linked to North Korean entities from eight global banks after tensions with Pyongyang escalated over the Fourth of July holiday. There is no indication that the government believes that any of banks -- Bank of America Corp., Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings Plc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Standard Chartered Plc and Wells Fargo & Co. -- knowingly violated U.S. sanctions against North Korea. The Justice Department’s attempt to seize the funds, disclosed Thursday in court filings, comes after North Korea tested a long-range missile this week capable of reaching Alaska. The U.S. government’s actions show a continuing determination to identify and shut down Pyongyang’s points of access to the U.S. financial system. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: The US must financially freeze North Korea out.

US Warns Qatar Crisis At Impasse, Could Last For Months
The United States is warning that the Persian Gulf crisis between Qatar and its neighbors is at an impasse and may not be quickly resolved. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert says the U.S. believes the crisis could potentially drag on for weeks or even months. She says it could "possibly even intensify." Nauert isn't specifying what type of escalation the U.S. fears. But she says Secretary of State Rex Tillerson remains in close contact with the countries involved. The U.S. is praising Kuwait for trying to mediate a resolution. Las Vegas Sun

US Says Refugee Admissions Won’t Be Suspended Until July 12
The State Department says the U.S. refugee admissions program won't be suspended until next week and has told resettlement agencies to continue scheduling arrivals through then. The department said Thursday that arrivals can continue until July 12, when a cap of 50,000 refugee admissions for the current fiscal is expected to be reached. Once the cap is hit, only refugees with a close relationship with a person or business in the United States will be eligible for admission. As of Thursday morning, admissions for fiscal 2017 stood at 49,501. After the Supreme Court last month partially upheld the Trump administration's travel ban for citizens of six mainly Muslim countries and portions of a suspension in refugee admissions, resettlement agencies were initially told to schedule arrivals only through July 6. Las Vegas Sun

Laughter May Be An Important Tool Of Evolution
Sharing a laugh can make you feel closer to someone else, and that quick-forming social bond may have been a big evolutionary boon to human survival, a small study suggests. The act of laughing out loud triggers the brain to release its very own "feel good" neurotransmitters, known as endorphins, the study's brain scans showed.
Endorphins are naturally occurring opioids that may produce a sense of euphoria, calmness and stress reduction, the researchers said. UPI

Lockheed Martin Receives $73.8 Million Long-Range Precision Fires Contract
Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $73.8 million contract for work on Phase 2 of the U.S. Army's Long Range Precision Fires battlefield missile program. Phase 2 of the program includes technology development to produce a prototype missile and its two-missile Launch Pod Missile Containers for transport and mounting on compatible missile launchers. "We intend to demonstrate to our Army customer that our LRPF solution will be the most cost-effective, precise and reliable munition to meet their future long-range," vice president of Precision Fires for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control Scott Greene said in a news release. UPI

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Narendra Modi, who departed Israel on Thursday after being the first-ever Indian prime minister to visit, spent 49 hours in the country, participated in more than a dozen events, and spoke publicly five times. And never once did he publicly utter the word “Palestinians.” There are many reasons why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must have hated to see the departure of his Indian counterpart, the leader of the world’s largest democracy with whom he waded barefoot into the Mediterranean on Thursday. Jerusalem Post

Israeli and Palestinian Authority military officials agreed in principle to an IDF withdrawal from the Jordan Valley within 10 to 15 years of a broader West Bank pullout, the US general who drafted a security plan under the Obama administration said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post. “A deal is reachable if the sides get over the politics,” said retired Gen. John Allen, a former commander of US forces in Afghanistan and special envoy to ex-secretary of state John Kerry, during talks he led in 2013-2014. Allen stressed that Israeli political leaders on both sides never came on board with the plan. Jeruslaem Post

Libya Eastern Commander Haftar Declares Benghazi 'Liberated'
The head of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) has said his forces "liberated" the eastern Benghazi city after years of fighting with Islamists. Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar said the city now enters a new era of "security, peace and reconciliation". If confirmed, victory would mark a major advance for the one-time commander in the army of late strongman Muammar Gaddafi. The LNA is not recognised by Libya's UN-backed government in Tripoli. Libya's unrest since the 2011 ousting of Gaddafi saw extremist organisations, including so-called Islamic State, gain a foothold in the country. BBC

Spreading Cancer Caught On Film
The way in which every single cancer cell spreads around the body has been captured in videos by a team in Japan. The normal body tissues show up as green, while the cancer comes out as intense red spots. The team, at the University of Tokyo and the RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center, says the technology will help explain the deadly process. The research is on mice so far, but it is hoped the method could one day help with treatment too. BBC

McConnell Hints Healthcare Vote Could Fall Short: 'I'm A Guy With A Rubik's Cube
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday hinted that the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could fall short as conservatives and moderates in his conference remain at an impasse over key aspects of the bill. Before leaving Washington for a week-long Fourth of July recess, McConnell delayed a vote on the Republican healthcare bill after it was clear there was not enough support for the plan, which would leave 22 million fewer people without health insurance over the next decade, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. Guardian

Chilcot: Tony Blair Was Not 'Straight With The Nation' Over Iraq War
Sir John Chilcot has said he does not believe Tony Blair was “straight with the nation” about his decisions in the run-up to the Iraq war. The chairman of the public inquiry into the 2003 conflict said the former prime minister had however been “emotionally truthful” in his account of events leading up to the war, meaning he relied on both emotion and fact. Breaking his long silence on the matter in an interview with the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, Chilcot said: “Tony Blair is always and ever an advocate. He makes the most persuasive case he can. Not departing from the truth but persuasion is everything.” Chilcot was later asked if Blair was as truthful with him and the public as he should have been during the seven-year inquiry. He replied: “Can I slightly reword that to say I think any prime minister taking a country into war has got to be straight with the nation and carry it, so far as possible, with him or her. I don’t believe that was the case in the Iraq instance.” Guardian

Republican Shooting Victim Steve Scalise Readmitted To Intensive Care
US congressman who was severely injured in a shooting at a baseball practice session last month has been readmitted to an intensive care unit. Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana, was described as in a serious condition after suffering an infection. He and four other people were injured when a gunman opened fire at the baseball event just outside Washington on June 14. Mr Scalise, 51, was struck in the hip and underwent several surgeries, and multiple blood transfusions, following injures to internal organs. Telegraph

Charlie Gard's Parents In Touch With White House As Donald Trump To Raise Issue With Theresa May At G20
The parents of Charlie Gard have said they are in touch with the White House and that support from President Donald Trump and Pope Francis had given them hope. The US president tweeted an offer to help the 11-month-old terminally-ill British baby baby earlier this week. President Trump will raise the matter during talks with Theresa May at the G20 Summit in Germany on Friday. Telegraph

UN Member States Set To Adopt ‘Historic’ Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons
In what is set to be a “historic” moment at the United Nations, Member States will adopt on Friday a legally-binding treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons. “After our final review of the text yesterday, I am convinced that we have achieved a general consensus on a robust and comprehensive prohibition,” said Ambassador Elayne Whyte Gómez of Costa Rica, who serves as the President of the conference to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons. UN News

Monthly Global Food Price Index Up 1.4 Per Cent; Cereal Stocks Set To Hit New Record, Says UN Agency
Rising prices of cereals, meat and dairy products have pushed the global food price index up by 1.4 per cent compared to last month and 7.0 per cent compared to last year, the United Nations agriculture agency has said. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the rise in the Food Price Index – a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities – was largely because of surging prices of high-protein wheat due to deteriorating crop conditions in the United States. UN News

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