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|The Latest: Trump says Florida re-election rally will rock
Trump says his re-election launch will be a political spectacle. Opponents are launching their protests at a gay bar in Orlando. President Donald Trump is set to kick off his re-election campaign with a rally Tuesday night in Orlando, Florida.
POSTED JUNE 18, 2019 8:35 AM
|Death toll from China quakes rises to 11
BEIJING/SHANGHAI, June 18 (Reuters) - The death toll from two strong earthquakes in China rose to 11 on Tuesday, with 122 people injured, state media said, adding that rescuers pulled some survivors from rubble in a part of the country that often suffers strong tremors. The quakes, roughly 30 minutes apart, hit the southwestern province of Sichuan late on Monday, with shaking felt in key regional cities, such as the provincial capital of Chengdu and the metropolis of Chongqing. People rushed into the streets and cracks were left in some buildings by the quakes, pictures posted on the social media accounts of state media showed.
POSTED JUNE 17, 2019 8:07 PM
|600 people on Monsanto 'watch lists' in Germany, France: Bayer
US seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto kept lists of around 600 key pro- and anti-pesticides figures in Germany and France alone, its German parent company Bayer said Monday amid a widening probe. Bayer has admitted the lists covered politicians, journalists and others across seven European countries and in Brussels. "Update on Monsanto stakeholder lists: until the end of last week, the firm hired by Bayer contacted all the people on the German and French lists," Bayer's press department tweeted.
POSTED JUNE 17, 2019 9:12 AM
|McConnell on Jon Stewart: 'I don't know why he's all bent out of shape' over 9/11 victims' fund
The Senate majority leader says he can’t understand why the former “Daily Show” host is angry over the handling of health care funding for 9/11 victims.
POSTED JUNE 17, 2019 11:23 AM
|Hong Kong protesters block road outside Carrie Lam's office to demand she step down
Thousands of protesters laid siege to the Hong Kong Chief Executive’s office on Monday in the latest escalation of a long-running standoff with the government over a controversial new extradition law. The mostly young demonstrators closed down a main road near the city’s waterfront as they stood outside Carrie Lam’s office and called for her to resign and scrap the bill which would allow suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial in its opaque justice system. Dressed in the black and sheltering from heavy rain under colourful umbrellas, the determined remnant from a march of an estimated two million people on Sunday threatened to block the road until the law was withdrawn. The latest demonstration added to the growing pressure on Ms Lam to step down over her poor handling of Hong Kong’s biggest political crisis since its handover to China in 1997. On Monday Lu Kang, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, said Beijing would continue to support the embattled leader. However, a senior Hong Kong government official revealed that China, which would lose face over her resignation after handpicking Ms Lam for the job, would not let her leave the post even if she wanted to. “It’s not going to happen,” the official told Reuters. The demonstrations show little sign of abating despite Lam's apology and indefinite suspension of the law Credit: Reuters With the demonstrations showing little sign of ending and activists rejecting her apologies for misjudging the public mood and her gesture to indefinitely suspend the law, Ms Lam appeared on Monday to have been backed into a political corner with no obvious way out. The calls for her resignation were invigorated by Joshua Wong, 22, one of Hong Kong’s most renowned pro-democracy activists, after his surprise release from jail where he had been serving a two-month sentence for obstructing the clearance of a protest camp during mass rallies five years ago. The charismatic Mr Wong, who became the face of the 2014 “Occupy” movement, revived the spirits of protesters outside the Hong Kong parliament with the rallying cry that he was ready to re-join the frontline of their campaign. “I am proud of each and every Hong Konger that we are sending a loud and clear message to President Xi Jinping and Chief Executive Carrie Lam that we are not weak,” he said to loud cheers. “We want to send a message about the power of the people!” Mr Wong asked supporters to allow him time to figure out his next move after his stint in jail, but many hope he will further galvanise the protests which have spontaneously snowballed into a mass civil resistance movement despite the lack of a clear figurehead or strategy. The uproar over the extradition bill highlights public fears that Beijing is chipping away at rights and freedoms in the former British colony despite the promise of a special autonomous status when China took control 22 years ago. Mr Wong made clear as he left prison on Monday that his political struggle ran much deeper than abolishing the extradition bill. “It is a long-term battle for us to fight for democracy under the suppression of the Communist party of China,” he told a waiting media scrum. Bonnie Leung, a leader of the Civil Human Rights Front – one of the main groups behind the mass rallies – told The Telegraph that Mr Wong’s involvement could help elevate the flourishing campaign “to the next level,” especially among the younger generation who were inspired by his activism. “I believe that Joshua Wong coming back and joining this campaign will only encourage people to persist and to throw out more great and creative ideas,” she said. But Ms Leung added that international pressure was also crucial for the movement’s survival. “Concern from all around the world is important because this is for justice, for freedom, and people need to speak up for these values,” she said.
POSTED JUNE 17, 2019 12:42 PM
|U.S.-North Korea Summit Proves to Be All Talk, No Seoul
Moon Jae-in was a very busy man last week. He spent three days in Northern Europe with a large host of dignitaries and very important people. During that time he engaged in a “hackathon” with the Finlandian president, held talks with the Norwegian prime minister, and attended a state dinner with the king and queen of Sweden. It was an opportunity for the South Korean president to play the statesman and escape the rough-and-tumble politics of Seoul for at least a few days.Moon, however, has a big problem. He has staked his five-year tenure in large part on transforming inter-Korean relations and turning the page on seven decades of animus on the Korean Peninsula. So, he can’t escape the North Korea file for long—even when he is in the Nordic.In fact, Moon delivered two speeches during his three-day trip, which were heavily devoted to his peace project with the North. His June 14 address to the Swedish parliament, in which Moon predicted that the “international society will immediately respond if North Korea puts forth sincere efforts” towards denuclearization, was a public plea to knock some sense into the North Korean elite. By pushing Pyongyang into fulfilling its obligations in the letter and spirit of the three inter-Korean summits last year, Moon was sending a very basic message to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un: we are in this thing together, so help me help you.
POSTED JUNE 17, 2019 11:48 AM
|Daring maneuver brings NASA’s orbiter closer to an asteroid than ever before
NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has been orbiting the space rock known as Bennu since the start of the year. It caught up with the asteroid in late December of 2018 and successfully inserted itself into orbit around the object around New Year's day. There have been several "firsts" along the way, but its latest maneuver is the most daring yet, and it allowed the spacecraft to break yet another record.A recent tweak to its orbit has brought the probe to an orbit of just 680 meters, or around 2,230 feet from the asteroid's surface. This is now the closest that any manmade spacecraft has orbited any planetary body.It's a stellar achievement for NASA, but it's worth noting that the previous record was actually already held by the OSIRIS-REx probe. What NASA did was break its own record and set itself even farther ahead from any competition to come in the future.This new orbit, which the research team calls the Orbital B phase, will give scientists a better understanding of the asteroid's surface and hopefully allow NASA to choose a suitable location where the probe can briefly snag a sample of its material.Actually pulling off such a daring maneuver will be incredibly risky, and nobody is quite sure if the spacecraft can make it happen. This is due in large part to the incredibly messy surface of Bennu, which surprised scientists when they got their first close look. The asteroid's surface is littered with debris ranging from tiny pebbles to massive boulders, and the spacecraft's handlers now have to find the safest place on the rock from which to gather a sample.Assuming it pulls off the sample grab, the probe will then leave Bennu and return to Earth with the sample material stowed safely for scientists on Earth to examine.
POSTED JUNE 17, 2019 11:44 AM
|Suspected home intruder chased off by 11-year-old boy with machete
An 11-year-old boy is making headlines after he chased off three home invadersby striking one of them with a machete last Friday morning, according to WTVD
POSTED JUNE 17, 2019 4:48 PM
|Bodies of missing Oregon mother, son found
Authorities have found the bodies of a missing Oregon woman and her 3-year-old son. The boy's biological father had been charged with killing them before the bodies were found. (June 17)
POSTED JUNE 17, 2019 4:59 PM
|Nuclear changes, more troops heighten US-Iran tensions
The U.S. and Iran edged toward a flashpoint Monday as Tehran announced it was breaking compliance with the accord that keeps it from making nuclear weapons and the Trump administration followed by ordering 1,000 more troops to the Middle East. The Pentagon said the deployment includes security forces and troops for additional surveillance and intelligence gathering in the region. While the number is small, it represents an escalation of U.S. military might aimed at deterring Iran and calming allies worried that transit through key shipping lanes could be in jeopardy.
POSTED JUNE 18, 2019 12:18 AM