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Hong Kong Protesters News

Colin Wong has come to know the sting of pepper spray well. After more than a month of demonstrations in Hong Kong’s sweltering heat, memories of the burning sensation are a constant reminder of what protesters call an excessive use of force by police. Each time he felt the now-familiar sting, Wong, 18, was more determined to not back down. “Every time we come out and stand up, problems continue to arise afterward,” Wong said, referring to the protesters’ dissatisfaction with responses from law enforcement and Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam. “Trust in the whole Hong Kong government is bankrupt.” What began as a protest against an extradition bill has ballooned into a fundamental challenge to the way Hong Kong is governed — and the role of the Chinese government in the city’s affairs. “Hong Kong is not China” has become a refrain of the movement in what is a Chinese territory, but with its own laws and a separate legal system under a “one country, two systems” framework. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Hong Kong in three marches last month to oppose the extradition legislation, which would have allowed suspects to be sent to face trial in mainland China, where critics say their legal rights would be threatened. In recent weeks, the demonstrations have also included two smaller protests led by nativist-leaning groups against an influx of mainland Chinese into the city of 7.4 million people. All of it traces back to an underlyingHere's the full story.

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Ursula von der Leyen - Headline News in Germany

Outgoing German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday set out her political objectives on a greener, gender-equal Europe where the rule of law continues to hold sway, in an attempt to woo enough legislators at the European Parliament to secure the job of European Commission President The Christian Democrat of the European People’s Party is seeking to become the first woman to hold perhaps the most important post in the 28-nation EU by gathering the requisite 374 votes out of 747 in a secret vote later in the day. Ursula von der Leyen was a last-minute candidate to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker that EU leaders agreed as part of a package of top jobs that were decided on early this month. Under the package, the free-market liberal Renew Europe group got Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel as Council President and the Socialists won the top parliament job. France’s Christine Lagarde was put forward as head of the European Central Bank. Von der Leyen told lawmakers in Strasbourg Tuesday that the gender element will be essential if she is elected Commission President overseeing a team of 28 Commissioners. “I will ensure full gender equality in my College of Commissioners. If member states do not propose enough female Commissioners, I will not hesitate to ask for new names,” Ursula von der Leyen said. Pointing out that since its inception in 1958, less than 20 percent of Commissioners had been women, she said: “We represent half of our population. We want ourHere's the full story.

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Rashida Harbi Tlaib, Rashida Tlaib - US Politics

Palestinians denounced President Donald Trump’s attack on U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, accusing him of racism and saying it once again proves his bias against the Palestinian people. Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat and daughter of Palestinian immigrants, was one of four congresswomen of color who were targeted in a Trump Twitter barrage over the weekend. Trump said the women should go back to the “broken and crime infested” places they came from, ignoring the fact that all are American citizens and three, including Tlaib, were born in the U.S. Trump also accused them of saying “terrible things” about the U.S. and said they “hate Israel.” Although Rashida Tlaib has never lived in the West Bank, she still has relatives in the area and is widely seen as a local hero for making her way to the highest levels of American government. Bassam Tlaib, an uncle of the congresswoman who lives in the West Bank, called the president’s comments “a racist statement meant to target Rashida because she has Palestinian roots.” “This statement proves that Trump is anti-Palestinian, anti-Islam and completely biased toward Israel,” he added. He said “the main source of crime” in the West Bank is Israel’s half-century-long occupation. The Palestinians seek the West Bank as the heartland of a future state, with east Jerusalem as their capital. “Instead of helping our people get back their rights, President Trump has chosen to stand beside the oppressors, not the oppressed,” he said. Ibrahim Milhim, spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, said Trump’sHere's the full story.

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Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley - USA News

Defiant in the face of widespread criticism, President Donald Trump renewed his belligerent call for four Democratic congresswomen of color to get out of the U.S. “right now,” cementing his position as the most willing U.S. leader in generations to stoke the discord that helped send him to the White House. Content to gamble that a sizable chunk of the electorate embraces his tweets that have been widely denounced as racist, the president made clear that he has no qualms about exploiting racial divisions once again. “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” Donald Trump said Monday at the White House. “A lot of people love it, by the way.” The episode served notice that Trump is willing to again rely on incendiary rhetoric on issues of race and immigration to preserve his political base in the leadup to the 2020 election. There was near unanimous condemnation from Democrats for Trump’s comments and a rumble of discontent from a subset of Republicans — but notably not from the party’s congressional leaders. Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the party’s White House nominee in 2012 and now one of the president’s most vocal GOP critics, said Trump’s comments were “destructive, demeaning, and disunifying.” Far from backing down, Trump on Monday dug in on comments he had initially made a day earlier on Twitter that if lawmakers “hate our country,” they can go back to their “broken and crime-infested” countries. His remarks were directed at four congresswomen: Reps. IlhanHere's the full story.

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Donald Trump on D-Day in UK

Even before President Donald Trump’s racist tweets toward four Democratic congresswomen of color, Americans considered race relations in the United States to be generally bad — and said that Trump has been making them worse. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that the congresswomen should go back to the “broken and crime infested” countries they came from, despite the fact that all are American citizens and three were born in the U.S. Since his election, polling has shown Americans wary of Trump when it comes to race. But views of the president, racism in the U.S. and what defines American culture vary significantly based on political alignment. What polls show: RACE RELATIONS IN THE TRUMP ERA In January, a CBS News poll found nearly 6 in 10 Americans saying race relations in the country are generally bad. It wasn’t always that way. Positive views of the state of race relations in the country peaked with President Barack Obama’s inauguration, after which 66% of Americans said race relations were generally good in an April 2009 CBS News/New York Times poll. But views started to sour in 2014 following a number of high-profile shootings of black men by police officers and have continued to be more negative than positive in the Trump era. And Americans think Trump is contributing to the problem. A Pew Research Center poll earlier this year showed 56% of Americans saying Trump has made race relations worse. Americans gave similarly poor assessments of the president’s impact on specific racial, ethnicHere's the full story.

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Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Bobi Wine vs Yoweri Museveni - Uganda Politics News

Ugandan pop star and opposition figure Bobi Wine said Monday he will challenge longtime President Yoweri Museveni in a 2021 election “on behalf of the people.” But Wine, whose real name is Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, said he is concerned about his safety after what he believes was an attempt on his life last August. His driver was shot dead in his car after protesters threw stones at the president’s motorcade. Wine’s arrest at the time sparked protests in Uganda’s capital, Kampala. The 37-year-old said he is fearful of harm from running for president because “there has never been a threat to this regime like the threat we pose to it today as a generation.” “I live every day as it comes, not being sure of the next day. I am not blind to the fact that the regime wants me dead and wants me dead as soon as possible.” Bobi Wine Authorities have repeatedly denied Wine is being targeted. As the leader of a popular movement known as “People Power,” Wine has captured the imagination of many who want to see the exit of Museveni, a U.S. ally on regional security who has held power since 1986 and looks set to seek a sixth term. Wine said his aim ahead of the election is “to multiply myself in various young men and women, so that there are as many Bobi Wines as possible.” Uganda has never witnessed a peaceful transfer of power since the East African country gained independence from BritainHere's the full story.

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Carrie Lam - Hong Kong News HEadline

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Monday protesters who clashed with police on the weekend were rioters, a legally loaded term in the city, and she supported the police in upholding the law and seeking perpetrators. Carrie Lam made the comments at a hospital where she visited three police officers injured in violent disturbances on Sunday between police and demonstrators angry about an extradition bill. Hong Kong has been rocked by large and sometimes violent street protests over the past month against the extradition bill, which many city residents see as a threat to their freedoms, plunging the former British colony into its biggest political crisis since it was handed back to China in 1997. “We thank the police officers for maintaining social order loyally and professionally, but they have suffered in attacks from those rioters – they can be called rioters,” Carrie Lam said. RELATED COVERAGE Hong Kong police demand better protection ahead of more protests With more protests expected in coming days and weeks, her comments risk raising tension. Some activists have been demanding that the government avoid using the term “riot” to refer to the protests. A conviction for rioting in the financial hub can carry a 10-year prison sentence. Tens of thousands of people attended Sunday’s protest which ended in chaos in a shopping mall, with scores of protesters threw umbrellas, hard-hats and plastic bottles at police who fired pepper spray and hit out with batons. Lam said more than 10 police were injured withHere's the full story.

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European Union - EU News

The European Union will decide on Monday to symbolically punish Turkey over what it calls “illegal” drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus and threaten harsher sanctions in the future unless Ankara changes tack, German and Austrian ministers said. Foreign affairs ministers of the 28-nation bloc meeting in Brussels on Monday are due to endorse a decision to curb diplomatic contacts and funding for Ankara, retaliation for what it sees as interference with Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone. In June, EU leaders warned Turkey to end drilling in waters around the island or face action from the bloc. EU member Cyprus has pressed for a tough line threatening harsher sanctions in the future but others have warned against antagonising a key ally on security and migration affairs. “The provocations of Turkey are unacceptable to all of us,” German Minister of State for Europe Michel Roth said on arriving at the talks. “We have now found a balanced language that keeps all our options open, including of course sanctions.” “I can only hope that we do not now add another crisis to the many conflicts and crises. Turkey knows what’s at stake and the European Union is united on the side of Cyprus.” An EU diplomat told Reuters Ankara could lose some 150 million euros of 400 million euros the bloc had earmarked for 2020 for everything from political reforms to agriculture projects to help Turkey prepare for eventual EU membership. The EU had been due to give Turkey 4.45 billion eurosHere's the full story.

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Donald Trump vs Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez - US Today Politics News

Starkly injecting race into his criticism of liberal Democrats, President Donald Trump said four congresswomen of color should go back to the “broken and crime infested” countries they came from, ignoring the fact that all of the women are American citizens and three were born in the U.S. His attack drew a searing condemnation from Democrats who labeled the remarks racist and breathtakingly divisive. Following a familiar script, Republicans remained largely silent after Trump’s Sunday morning broadsides against the four women. But the president’s nativist tweets caused Democrats to set aside their internal rifts to rise up in a united chorus against the president. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump wants to “make America white again.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, after jousting for days with Pelosi, said Trump “can’t conceive of an America that includes us.” Trump, who has a long history of making racist remarks, was almost certainly referring to Ocasio-Cortez and her House allies in what’s become known as “the squad.” The others are Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Only Omar, from Somalia, is foreign-born. Ocasio-Cortez swiftly denounced his remarks . “Mr. President, the country I ‘come from,’ & the country we all swear to, is the United States,” she tweeted, adding that “You rely on a frightened America for your plunder.” Omar also addressed herself directly to Trump in a tweet, writing: “You are stoking white nationalism (because) you are angry that people like us areHere's the full story.

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Donald Trump and Hassan Rouhani- USA, Iran News Headlines

Iran is ready to hold talks with the United States if Washington lifts sanctions and returns to the 2015 nuclear deal it quit last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech on Sunday. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has said it is open to negotiations with Iran on a more far-reaching agreement on nuclear and security issues. But Iran has made any talks conditional on first being able to export as much oil as it did before the United States withdrew from the nuclear pact with world powers in May 2018. “We have always believed in talks … if they lift sanctions, end the imposed economic pressure and return to the deal, we are ready to hold talks with America today, right now and anywhere,” Rouhani said in his Sunday speech. In an interview with the Washington Post newspaper, Pompeo dismissed Rouhani’s idea as “the same offer that he offered to John F. Kerry and Barack Obama,” referring to the former U.S. secretary of state and president. “President Trump will obviously make the final decision. But this is a path that the previous administration had gone down and it led to the (Iran nuclear deal) which this administration, President Trump and I both believe was a disaster,” Pompeo said. Confrontations between Washington and Tehran have escalated, culminating in an aborted plan for U.S. air strikes on Iran last month after Tehran downed a U.S. drone. Trump called off the retaliatory U.S. air strike at the last minute.Here's the full story.

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US 2020 Elections

Pennsylvania’s message was clear: The state was taking a big step to keep its elections from being hacked in 2020. Last April, its top election official told counties they had to update their systems. So far, nearly 60% have taken action, with $14.15 million of mostly federal funds helping counties buy brand-new electoral systems. But there’s a problem: Many of these new systems still run on old software that will soon be outdated and more vulnerable to hackers. An Associated Press analysis has found that like many counties in Pennsylvania, the vast majority of 10,000 election jurisdictions nationwide use Windows 7 or an older operating system to create ballots, program voting machines, tally votes and report counts. That’s significant because Windows 7 reaches its “end of life” on Jan. 14, meaning Microsoft stops providing technical support and producing “patches” to fix software vulnerabilities, which hackers can exploit. In a statement to the AP, Microsoft said Friday it would offer continued Windows 7 security updates for a fee through 2023. Critics say the situation is an example of what happens when private companies ultimately determine the security level of election systems with a lack of federal requirements or oversight. Vendors say they have been making consistent improvements in election systems. And many state officials say they are wary of federal involvement in state and local elections. According to an analysis by The Associated Press, states are buying ‘new’ election systems that will soon be running outdated and unsupported software that makesHere's the full story.

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Rare Earths Metal

The Pentagon is rapidly assessing the United States’ rare earths capability in a race to secure stable supply of the specialized material amid the country’s trade conflict with China, which controls the rare earths industry, according to a government document seen by Reuters. The push comes weeks after China threatened to curb exports to the United States of rare earths, a group of 17 minerals used to build fighter jets, tanks and a range of consumer electronics. The Pentagon wants miners to describe plans to develop U.S. rare earths mines and processing facilities, and asked manufacturers to detail their needs for the minerals, according to the document, which is dated June 27. Responses are required by July 31, a short time frame that underscores the Pentagon’s urgency. The U.S. government’s fiscal year ends in September. The U.S. Air Force, which is part of the Pentagon and created the document, confirmed the document’s existence. The Pentagon’s headquarters did not respond to a request for comment. The responses will be reviewed by two government contractors, including Northrop Grumman Corp, which did not respond to requests for comment. “The government wants to know how much of these minerals we could eventually be producing, and how soon,” said Anthony Marchese, chairman of Texas Mineral Resources Corp, which is working to develop the Round Top rare earth deposit in the state’s western edge. Several miners, though, declined to comment when asked if they will reply to the Pentagon, a sign of the sensitivity around rareHere's the full story.

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US Democrats 2020 Candidates

In four hours of debate among Democratic contenders for the U.S. presidency, the word “deficit” was never uttered and the government’s debt was mentioned only once. The reality is that Democrats are reluctant to make a campaign issue out of one of America’s most vexing problems — the ballooning annual budget deficits and overall debt under President Donald Trump. That’s because some of their most popular policies going into the 2020 election would present significant budget challenges of their own, including expanding Medicare health coverage and offering government help to cut college costs and reduce student debt. While Democrats insist they have workable plans that will cover the costs of these proposals, Republicans counter that their tax-the-rich solutions are not realistic. On their side of the political divide, Republicans are equally interested in keeping mum on the subject, having happily backed Trump’s massive tax cuts and a surge in military spending – two key drivers of the deficit blow-out – after championing fiscal conservatism for years. By supporting Trump, many Republican lawmakers have essentially abandoned an already fading commitment to balanced budgets and cutting the national debt. “I don’t think in this election cycle there seems to be much of an interest in addressing the issue,” lamented Senator Rob Portman, a former White House budget director. Portman, a Republican, is seen as a hawk on government spending, although he was also a strong defender of the 2017 tax-cut law that will drive up the national debt by at least $1Here's the full story.

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Donald Trump Phone Call - US News

President Donald Trump abandoned his controversial bid to demand citizenship details from all respondents in next year’s census Thursday, instead directing federal agencies to try to compile the information using existing databases. “It is essential that we have a clear breakdown of the number of citizens and non-citizens that make up the United States population,” Donald Trump said at a Rose Garden announcement. He insisted he was “not backing down.” His reversal comes after the Supreme Court blocked his efforts to include the citizenship question and as the government had already begun the lengthy and expensive process of printing the census questionnaire without it. Trump had said last week that he was “very seriously” considering an executive order to try to force the question’s inclusion, even though such a move would surely have drawn an immediate legal challenge. But he said Thursday that he would instead be signing an executive order directing agencies to turn records over to the Department of Commerce. “We’re aiming to count everyone,” he said. The American Community Survey, which polls 3.5 million U.S. households every year, already includes questions about respondents’ citizenship. Critics have warned that including the citizenship question on the census would discourage participation, not only by those living in the country illegally but also by citizens who fear that participating will expose noncitizen family members to repercussions. Keeping the prospect of adding the question alive could in itself scare some away from participating, while showing Trump’s base that he is fighting forHere's the full story.

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Grzegorz Schetyna - Poland News

Poland’s biggest opposition group, the European Coalition, plans to eliminate coal from power production by 2040, its leader said on Saturday as he unveiled pledges ahead of an autumn election to be fought against the coal-friendly, conservative government. Poland generates electricity mostly from coal and has some of the worst air quality in Europe. The ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, which won a 2015 election partly on promises to sustain coal, plans to cut the use of the polluting fuel to around 60 percent by 2030 from around 80 percent now. “We are committed that by 2030 we will eliminate coal in household heating, by 2035 in systemic heating and by 2040 in the energy sector,” Grzegorz Schetyna, the European Coalition leader said in a televised speech at the group’s convention. “We must clean Poland up,” he said. Coal has fueled Poland’s economy for years and a promise to support it has been used in previous political campaigns, due to the strength of the coal unions and a large mining workforce. However attitudes among Poles have shifted in recent years due to increased awareness of coal’s impact on the environment. MORE PROMISES Schetyna also promised that if the European Coalition won the election – likely to be held in October or November – it would remove the Sunday trade ban introduced by PiS and raise salaries. PiS has led in most opinion polls since the 2015 election due to robust social spending. In European elections in May it wonHere's the full story.

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Hong Kong Protesters

Hong Kong protesters clashed with police on Saturday in a town near the boundary with mainland China where thousands rallied against the presence of Chinese traders, seizing on another grievance following major unrest over an extradition bill. The demonstration in the Hong Kong territorial town of Sheung Shui, not far from the Chinese city of Shenzhen, began peacefully but devolved into skirmishes and shouting. Protesters threw umbrellas and hardhats at police, who retaliated by swinging batons and firing pepper spray. Later in the day Hong Kong police urged protesters to refrain from violence and leave the area. The protest was the latest in a series that have roiled the former British colony for more than a month, giving rise to its worst political crisis since its 1997 handover to China. Sometimes violent street protests have drawn in millions of people, with hundreds even storming the legislature on July 1 to oppose a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be sent to China to face trial in courts under ruling Communist Party control. Critics see the bill as a threat to Hong Kong’s rule of law. Chief Executive Carrie Lam this week said the bill was “dead” after having suspended it last month, but opponents vow to settle for nothing short of its formal withdrawal. Protests against the bill had largely taken place in Hong Kong’s main business district, but demonstrators have recently begun to look elsewhere to widen support by taking up narrower,Here's the full story.

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Amhara Democratic Party, ADP vs Tigray People’s Liberation Front, TPLF - Ethiopia

A failed regional coup in Ethiopia has exposed rare divisions in the alliance that has dominated the country for three decades, with two of the four ethnic parties that form the ruling coalition trading insults in a public feud. While there have been disagreements among the parties in the past, analysts described the acrimonious exchange this week between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Amhara Democratic Party (ADP) as among the most serious yet. The two groups have shared power with two other ethnic parties since 1991 in a coalition, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), that tolerated little dissent until Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took power last year and launched political reforms. The new tension between them arose after a rogue militia tried to seize power last month in the northern Amhara region, ruled by the ADP. The authorities blamed the June 22 attempted regional coup on Asamnew Tsige, a rogue ADP member, killed in fighting on the outskirts of the regional capital Bahir Dar. In recent days, the TPLF has accused the ADP of having stood by while Asamnew trained and armed a militia in the lead-up to the uprising, and of having failed to denounce him since. “The TPLF would have difficulty working with its so-called sister party, which hasn’t even dared to stare the killer in the eye,” Getachew Reda, executive member of TPLF and former national communication minister, told Reuters on Thursday. The ADP responded by accusing the TPLF of being “responsibleHere's the full story.

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