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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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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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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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Donald Trump Campaigning - USA News Headlines

A nationwide immigration enforcement operation targeting people who are in the United States illegally is expected to begin this weekend after it was postponed last month by President Donald Trump, according to two administration officials and immigrant activists. The operation, which has sparked outrage and concern among immigrant-rights advocates, would target people with final deportation orders, including families whose immigration cases were fast-tracked by judges in 10 major cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Miami. “Our communities have been in constant fear,” Estela Vara, a Chicago-area organizer said Thursday at a rally outside the city’s Immigration and Custom Enforcement offices where some activists chanted “Immigration Not Deportation!” The sweep remains in flux and could begin later, according to the administration officials, who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Still, activists ramped up efforts to prepare by bolstering know-your-rights pocket guides, circulating information about hot-lines and planning public demonstrations. Vigils outside of detention centers were set for Friday, to be followed by protests Saturday in Miami and Chicago. The operation is similar to ones conducted regularly since 2003 that often produce hundreds of arrests. It is slightly unusual to target families, as opposed to immigrants with criminal histories, but it’s not unprecedented. The Obama and Trump administrations have targeted families in previous operations. But this latest effort is notable because of the politics swirling around it. Trump announced on Twitter last month that the sweep would mark the beginning of aHere's the full story.

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Mohammad Javad Zarif, Mohammed Javad Zarif - Iran Politics News Headlines

The United States has decided not to impose sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for now, two sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday, in a sign Washington may be holding a door open for diplomacy. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on June 24 had said Zarif would be blacklisted that week, an unusual public stance because the United States typically does not preview such decisions to keep its targets from moving assets out of U.S. jurisdiction. Blacklisting Iran’s chief negotiator would also be unusual because it could impede any U.S. effort to use diplomacy to resolve its disagreements with Tehran over Iran’s nuclear programme, regional activities and missile testing. The sources did not give specific reasons for the decision, which came after two months in which U.S.-Iranian tensions have soared because of attacks on tankers in the Gulf that the United States blames on Iran, despite its denials, and Iran’s downing of a U.S. drone that prompted preparations for a U.S. retaliatory air strike that was called off minutes before it was due to hit. “Cooler heads prevailed. We … saw it as not necessarily helpful,” said one source familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity, saying U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had opposed designating Zarif “for the time being.” In a sign of how close Washington came to taking action, the U.S. Treasury internally circulated a draft press release announcing sanctions on the Iranian foreign minister. Zarif is expected to attend aHere's the full story.

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Bharatiya Janata Party, BJP, India

India’s ruling party will revive a plan to build secured camps to resettle scores of Hindus in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir Valley, a senior leader said, a proposal that would almost certainly heighten tensions in the restive region. Ram Madhav, who is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national general secretary responsible for Kashmir, said his Hindu nationalist party was committed to helping bring back some of the estimated 200,000-300,000 Hindus who fled the Kashmir Valley in the aftermath of an armed revolt that began in 1989. The scenic mountain region is divided between India, which rules the populous Kashmir Valley and the Hindu-dominated Jammu region, and territory in the west that is controlled by Pakistan. The rival nations both claim the region in full. “Their fundamental rights of returning to the valley have to be respected. At the same time, we have to provide them proper security,” Ram Madhav said in an interview, referring to the Kashmiri Hindus, also known as Pandits. Nearly 7 million people live in the Kashmir Valley, 97% of them Muslim, surrounded by hundreds of thousands of Indian troops and armed police deployed to quell an uprising against New Delhi’s rule. About 50,000 people have been killed in the conflict in the last three decades, according to official figures. Madhav said that a previous BJP-backed government in Jammu and Kashmir state had considered building either separate or mixed resettlement townships, but had been unable to make headway. “No consensus could be built around any one view,” heHere's the full story.

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Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan - Russia News - Turkey Headline Story

Russia started delivering advanced missile defence equipment to NATO member Turkey on Friday, the Defence Ministry in Ankara said, setting the stage for likely U.S. sanctions on Ankara. The dispute over the Russian S-400 air defence missiles, which the United States says are incompatible with NATO military systems and could threaten U.S. F-35 stealth fighter jets which Turkey has also ordered, is one of several issues which have frayed ties between the two allies. MISSILE DEFENCE Friday’s delivery of the first parts of the S-400s to a military air base outside Ankara is likely to trigger U.S. sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). Under the CAATSA legislation, which targets purchases of military equipment from Russia, U.S. President Donald Trump should select five of 12 possible sanctions ranging from banning visas and denying access to the U.S.-based Export-Import Bank, to the harsher options of blocking transactions with the U.S. financial system and denying export licenses. Despite Erdogan’s assurances after meeting Trump last month that Turkey would not face sanctions, Washington also plans to remove it from the programme to produce the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet, an aircraft Turkey is helping to build and plans to buy. SYRIA TENSIONS Turkey is furious about U.S. support in Syria for the Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara sees as a terrorist group. Washington is coordinating with Ankara and the YPG to establish a safe zone on Turkey’s southern border. Ankara wants YPG fighters to withdraw from the area to secureHere's the full story.

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Jim Mattis - USA News Today

When he resigned as defense secretary last December, Jim Mattis thought it might take two months to install a successor. That seemed terribly long at the time. Seven months later, the U.S. still has no confirmed defense chief even with the nation facing potential armed conflict with Iran. That’s the longest such stretch in Pentagon history. There is also no confirmed deputy defense secretary, and other significant senior civilian and military Pentagon positions are in limbo, more than at any recent time. The causes are varied, but this leadership vacuum has nonetheless begun to make members of Congress and others uneasy, creating a sense that something is amiss in a critical arm of the government at a time of global uncertainty. William Cohen, a former Republican senator who served as defense secretary during President Bill Clinton’s second term, says U.S. allies — “and even our foes” — expect more stability than this within the U.S. defense establishment. “It is needlessly disruptive to have a leadership vacuum for so long at the Department of Defense as the department prepares for its third acting secretary in less than a year,” Cohen told The Associated Press. He said he worries about the cumulative effect of moving from one acting secretary to another while other key positions lack permanent officials. “There will inevitably be increasing uncertainty regarding which officials have which authority, which undermines the very principle of civilian control of the military,” Cohen said. “In addition, other countries — both allies and adversariesHere's the full story.

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