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WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY

Donald Trump holds a military parade for Independence Day. The US president wants to show off the “most advanced military anywhere,” and will look on as planes fly over Washington, DC and armored vehicles make an appearance.

The tanks may actually roll through the streets of the city as a new addition to the annual July 4th parade, or they may be parked along the National Mall, where thousands come to view fireworks every year. That’s still being decided, the Pentagon spokesman said.

The White House’s insistence that tanks be part of the celebration, which Trump is calling the “Salute to America,” will likely further impair an already acrimonious relationship between the Trump administration and the city. Trump is intensely unpopular in Washington, DC.

The deeply Democratic city voted more for Hillary Clinton in 2016 than any major city in America. Washington, DC’s over-five-decades-old July 4th celebration has normally been an apolitical affair, featuring fireworks and music, but not political speeches.

“Tanks but no tanks,” the DC City Council tweeted on July 1, citing potential damage to city infrastructure. Critics says he’s making the traditionally nonpartisan holiday anything but. The city mayor’s office will be overseeing the celebration, but did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

“The Department of Defense is working with the Department of Transportation on what the appropriate measures are to protect the streets,” the Pentagon spokesman told Q-MHI. But he was able to confirm which tanks will be featured:

The M1A2 Abrams

The M1A2 Abrams tank is a 1,500-horsepower US Army vehicle that’s been the country’s primary battle tank since the 1980s.

“The Abrams Main Battle Tank closes with and destroys the enemy using mobility, firepower and shock effect,” the Army explains online, and features “shoot-on-the-move lethality and a high degree of maneuverability.” The tank fires rounds from a 120-mm smoothbore gun, capable of destroying other tanks, concrete walls and bunkers. The tank “sends a message to those who would oppose the United States as to the resolve, capability and might of the U.S. Army.”

The M2 Bradley

The M2 Bradley is not technically a tank. It’s an infantry fighting vehicle that is armed with a 25-mm gun that fires 200 rounds a minute, a machine gun, and an anti-tank missile launcher. The Bradleys were used in the Persian Gulf and Iraq wars, but are expected to be phased out in the coming years.

It is unclear how many of each will be featured in Trump’s July 4th celebration. There are two of each model now in the Washington, DC area. They appear to have been shipped in by rail, and were spotted at a Washington, DC rail yard on July 1.

The Pentagon is keeping track of the additional costs associated with Trump’s celebration, and is expected to release the totals after July 4th.


Vladimir Putin travels to Rome. 

Hasil gambar untuk Vladimir Putin meet Pope in Rome GIF

Russia’s president will meet with prime minister Giuseppe Conte and Pope Francis in a visit aimed at getting support for improved Russian ties with Europe, which imposed sanctions over the annexation of Crimea.

In response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and deliberate destabilisation of a neighbouring sovereign country, the EU has imposed restrictive measures against the Russian Federation.

  • Overview
  • Diplomatic measures
  • Restrictive measures (asset freezes and visa bans)
  • Restrictions for Crimea and Sevastopol
  • Measures targeting sectoral cooperation and exchanges with Russia (“Economic” sanctions)
  • Measures concerning economic cooperation

The European Union is focusing on de-escalating the crisis in Ukraine and on assisting Ukraine in ensuring a stable, prosperous and democratic future for all its citizens. The EU has been unwavering in its support for the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. It sees the full implementation of the Minsk agreements as the basis for a sustainable political solution to the conflict in the country’s east. Since spring 2014, the EU has been stepping up its support to economic and political reforms in Ukraine.

Hasil gambar untuk Vladimir Putin meet Pope in Rome GIF

Asset freezes and visa bans apply to 170 persons while 44 entities are subject to a freeze of their assets in the EU. This includes persons and entities responsible for action against Ukraine’s territorial integrity, persons providing support to or benefitting Russian decision-makers and 13 entities in Crimea and Sevastopol that were confiscated or that have benefitted from a transfer of ownership contrary to Ukrainian law.As part of the EU’s non-recognition policy of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, the EU has imposed substantial restrictions on economic exchanges with the territory


Floods and mudslides threaten Japan.

Hasil gambar untuk Downpours trigger flooding, 1.1 mil. asked to evacuate in Japan

Authorities in the nation’s southwest have ordered over a million residents to evacuate as torrential rains look set to continue, with a storm front expected to hover over the Japanese archipelago through Saturday.

Houses and fields were inundated after river dikes washed away in Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures, with Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force dispatching troops to affected areas at the request of Kagoshima Gov. Satoshi Mitazono.

In the prefecture, a 33-year-old woman and her child reportedly suffered minor injuries as her vehicle was trapped by a mudslide in Shibushi, while an 80-year-old woman in Satsumasendai fell down and fractured her shoulder.

In the city of Kagoshima, where all 590,000 residents were told to evacuate, elderly people and others huddled in shelters to wait out the storm. Some evacuees in the neighboring prefecture’s Kumamoto city were seen carrying their bedding to evacuation centers to spend the night. “The sound of the rain is so strong that it worries me,” one evacuee said.

Kumiko Jufuku, a 77-year-old who lives alone in the city of Kagoshima, also said she fled her home as she grew worried about landslides. “I cannot walk well so I cannot survive if I’m struck by a disaster.”

The heavy rain also disrupted sections of the Kyushu shinkansen bullet train line and forced over 150 schools to cancel classes. In the 24 hours through 6 a.m. Thursday, the agency forecast up to 350 millimeters of rain in southern Kyushu, up to 300 mm in northern Kyushu, and up to 250 mm in the Shikoku region.

The Kinki region, covering Osaka, was forecast to get 150 mm of rain, while the Tokai region centered on Nagoya anticipated 120 mm. The Chugoku region around Hiroshima and the Hokuriku area facing the Sea of Japan were also expected to see heavy rainfall, according to the agency. It said a rainy front is expected to stay over the Japanese archipelago through Saturday, and could also drench eastern Japan.


Trump rips Federal Reserve chief: I have right to fire him

US markets will be closed for Independence Day. The S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq all closed at record highs in trading yesterday.

What a day for stocks. The Dow, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all finished at a record high on Wednesday. For the S&P 500 (SPX), it was the third straight record day, surpassing both Monday and Tuesday’s highs. It finished 0.8% higher at 2,996 points.The Dow (INDU) closed 0.7%, or 179 points, higher, at 26,966 points. It marks the Dow’s first record since October.

The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) closed up 0.8%, at 8,170 points. It was its first record since May 3.The stock market closed at 1 pm ET on Wednesday ahead of the Independence Day holiday on Thursday. Markets will be closed on July 4.

Stock climbed at the start of the week following President Donald Trump’s meeting with China’s Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan, where the leaders agreed to a tariff ceasefire and to resume trade talks.A global shift towards looser monetary policy is also helping stocks, as lower interest rates make it cheaper for companies to incur debt.

“We’ve seen continued doubt and worry over this bull market for a decade now, yet it continues to defy all skeptics. The bottom line is the dual benefit of both fiscal and monetary policy should help extend this business cycle potentially much longer than many expect,” said Ryan Detrick, Senior Market Strategist for LPL Financial, in emailed comments.

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING

The Russian military submarine that caught fire earlier this week was nuclear powered.

Hasil gambar untuk Putin, after three days, says fire-hit Russian submarine was nuclear-powered

Vladimir Putin disclosed the news today, prompting the country’s defense minister to reassure him the reactor had been contained following the deadly accident.

Russian officials have faced accusations of trying to cover up the full details of the accident that killed 14 sailors as they were carrying out what the defense ministry called a survey of the sea floor near the Arctic.

Moscow’s slow release of information about the incident has drawn comparisons with the opaque way the Soviet Union handled the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power station disaster, and another deadly submarine accident — the 2000 sinking of the nuclear-powered Kursk, which claimed 118 lives.

Russia, which says the details of the submarine involved in the latest accident are classified, said the fire took place on Monday, though it was only officially disclosed late on Tuesday.

Until Thursday there was also no official word on whether the vessel had a nuclear reactor, despite strong interest from neighboring Norway.

Putin revealed that the submarine had been nuclear-powered by asking Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu during a Kremlin meeting about the reactor’s condition after the fire. “The nuclear reactor on the vessel is completely isolated,” Shoigu told Putin, according to a Kremlin transcript. “All the necessary measures were taken by the crew to protect the reactor, which is in complete working order.” The fire erupted in the submarine’s battery compartment, Shoigu added, and later spread.

Hasil gambar untuk Putin, after three days, says fire-hit Russian submarine was nuclear-powered

Although the Kremlin publicized the meeting on Thursday morning, it was not immediately clear when the men had met. “There has not been any formal communication from Russia to us about this,” Per Strand, a director at the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, told Reuters when asked if it had been informed that the submarine was nuclear-powered.

“We understand they brought the situation under control quickly, under difficult conditions, and there was, as such, no nuclear incident that they were obligated to tell us about. “Still, we would have been happy to have been informed of such incidents,” he added.


The UK rebuked China’s ambassador.

Hasil gambar untuk UK summons China ambassador in row over Hong Kong protests

The British Foreign Office told the envoy his comments claiming Britain was backing lawbreakers in Hong Kong were unacceptable. UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt stressed support for Hong Kong citizens’ right to protest on the same day some demonstrators broke into the city’s legislature.

On Wednesday, Liu Xiaoming said Hunt’s remarks represented gross and unacceptable interference, a claim that was dismissed by the Foreign Office as unacceptable and inaccurate.

In a bid to underline British displeasure at the ambassador’s remarks, the permanent under-secretary at the Foreign Office, Sir Simon McDonald, summoned the ambassador for a dressing down.

The sudden collapse in Sino-British relations – relative to the golden era hailed by David Cameron in 2013 – represents a personal test for Hunt as he makes his bid for the premiership, but it is also likely to have consequences for Hong Kong’s future relations with Chinese government.

The past month has seen the worst political unrest in Hong Kong for decades, amid protests against a proposed law allowing for the extradition of individuals to mainland China, where courts are controlled by the Communist party.

Earlier this week, protesters stormed the legislative council building and raised the old British colonial flag on the 22nd anniversary of the territory’s return to Chinese rule on 1 July.

Liu also complained that the British government had called on the Chinese government not to use the violence as an excuse for oppression when it was a matter for the independent judiciary in Hong Kong to punish the offenders, including those who had attacked the police with toxic powder.

Hunt has adopted an increasingly outspoken tone of support for the demonstrators, who are demanding the Hong Kong legislature drop, rather than merely suspend, the proposed extradition law.

Liu also complained that the British government had called on the Chinese government not to use the violence as an excuse for oppression when it was a matter for the independent judiciary in Hong Kong to punish the offenders, including those who had attacked the police with toxic powder.

Hunt has adopted an increasingly outspoken tone of support for the demonstrators, who are demanding the Hong Kong legislature drop, rather than merely suspend, the proposed extradition law.

Liu told a press conference at the embassy: “I think it is totally wrong for Jeremy Hunt to talk about freedom – this is not a matter about freedom, it’s a matter about breaking laws in Hong Kong. “It’s very disappointing when the senior officials of his calibre show support of these lawbreaking people. We all remember what Hong Kong was 22 years ago under British rule: there was no freedom, democracy, whatever.

“We all know that all governors were appointed by the British government, people had no right to elect officials, no right to demonstrate, certainly, and they did not even have a right to have an independent judicial power.”

Liu warned that Britain’s relationship with China would be damaged by what he described as the “interference” of the British government. “If the British government goes further, it will cause further damages, so that is why I’m calling the British government to reflect the consequences of its words and deeds with regards to Hong Kong. I do hope the British government will realise the consequences and refrain from further interference from further damaging the relationship.”

Liu also complained that the British government had called on the Chinese government not to use the violence as an excuse for oppression when it was a matter for the independent judiciary in Hong Kong to punish the offenders, including those who had attacked the police with toxic powder.

Hunt has adopted an increasingly outspoken tone of support for the demonstrators, who are demanding the Hong Kong legislature drop, rather than merely suspend, the proposed extradition law.


An Australian student who was detained in North Korea is safe.

Australian Alek Sigley smiles as he is surrounded by media in Beijing after being released from detention in North Korea

Alek Sigley, who was studying in Pyongyang and also ran a tour company, is in China, Australia’s leader said. Mr Sigley arrived in Beijing on Thursday, telling reporters he was feeling “great”, but declining to answer any questions about his time in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

“I’m fine. I’m very good,” he said. He was accompanied by Swedish Government envoy Kent Rolf Magnus Harstedt, and was ushered out of the airport by an embassy vehicle shortly after. He then flew on to Japan, where he again declined to speak to the media as he strolled through Tokyo’s Haneda airport just after 10:00pm.

Escorted by the Australian embassy’s consul-general, Mr Sigley went through immigration — and out a special exit away from more waiting media.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the release of Mr Sigley in Question Time on Thursday.

“Alek is safe and well,” Mr Morrison said.

“We were advised that the DPRK have released him from detention and he has safely left the country and I can confirm that he has arrived safely [in China].”

Australia’s limited diplomatic presence in North Korea meant officials had to go through the Swedish Government, which has an embassy in North Korea, to provide consular assistance to Mr Sigley.

“On behalf of the Australian Government I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Swedish authorities for their invaluable assistance in securing Alek’s prompt release, which demonstrates the value of discreet behind-the-scenes work by officials in solving sensitive consular cases in close partnership with other governments,” Mr Morrison said.

“I’m sure we all could not be more pleased.”

North Korea not dangerous, Sigley said

Mr Sigley was reported missing by friends last week. The 29-year-old, who was believed to be the only Australian living in North Korea, began studying for a master’s degree in Korean literature at Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang last year.

He is the founder of Tongil Tours, an Australian-based company specialising in guided tours to North Korea since 2013. In 2017 he told the ABC North Korea was “a fascinating country, there’s no other country in the world like North Korea” and said it was not dangerous to travel there. “If we thought it was unsafe, we’d stop doing these tours,” he said at the time.

Mr Sigley grew up in Perth but attended the Australian National University in Canberra before moving overseas.


The US exported rice to China.

Hasil gambar untuk United States makes first-ever rice sale to China: trade group

A private Chinese importer bought 40 metric tons from a California company, the first time the US has exported the grain to China, the world’s largest rice grower. The sale may have been a goodwill gesture to smooth over tensions in the US-China trade war.

China was a major buyer of U.S. soybeans and pork before the trade war started by the Trump administration. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that China had agreed to make unspecified new purchases of U.S. farm products after he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but purchases of major export crops have so far been elusive.

It was not immediately clear whether the rice purchase was a goodwill gesture following the Trump-Xi meeting. The rice deal follows a sale of 544,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China confirmed last week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the largest such sale since March.

China is the world’s largest rice grower and consumer, producing 148.5 million tonnes of the grain in the 2018/19 marketing year and importing 3.5 million tonnes.

The United States produced 7.1 million tonnes of rice in 2018/19 and exported less than 3 million tonnes.

Chinese officials agreed to allow imports of U.S. rice in July 2017, following years of negotiations. But a nearly year-long trade dispute between the two countries threatened the first sale. “It looked dicey for us for a while, with the hostility going back and forth … We were about to have a market, and saw it snatched away, or so we thought,” Klein said.

Sun Valley Rice hopes the deal lays the groundwork for more sales of U.S. rice to China in the future, representatives said. “Sun Valley has been a leader when it comes to agriculture trade with China, we have been taking the first steps,” said Karen Leland, Sun Valley’s chief marketing officer.


California legislated free hair.

The state passed a law to ban employers and school officials from discriminating against people based on their natural hair. Signed into law by governor Gavin Newsom, the act makes it illegal to enforce dress codes that would discriminate against afros, braids, and twists. New York City passed a similar measure (pdf) in February.

SURPRISING DISCOVERIES

Alitalia used blackface to depict Barack Obama.

The Italian airline defended the ad, which was used to promote a new route between Rome and Washington, DC. An Italian airline was accused of racism after a non-black actor portraying former US President Barack Obama was heavily made up to appear as a black person.

The company this week created a series of marketing videos for social media to highlight the route. Each one features four actors playing four United States presidents: Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Donald Trump and Barack Obama.

The advertising campaign, using the hashtag #WhereIsWashington, was not creating any major response until it was Obama’s turn to find the flight to Washington. In the video, an actor was covered in heavy black-and-brown makeup to appear African American. His nose was enlarged and his mouth and lips were changed to resemble a black man. Later the airline company apologised for “the offense caused by the promotional video”.”Alitalia deeply apologises for the offense caused by the promotional video on our new Washington route. It has since been removed from all of our social media channels,” it said in an email statement.

“For our Company, respect for everyone is mandatory, it was never our intention to hurt anyone and we will learn from what has happened.”


A medieval chess set is closer to completion.

The missing piece was sold for £735,000

One of its five lost figures, originally bought for $6 in 1964, just fetched more than $900,000 at auction.


Nicki Minaj will perform in Saudi Arabia. 

Skimpy costumes and a strong pro-gay stance go against the grain in the ultraconservative kingdom. Nicki Minaj has been announced as a headline act for a music festival in Saudi Arabia, prompting confusion on social media over how her typically revealing outfits and explicit lyrics would go over in the ultra-conservative kingdom. The rapper will perform at the Jeddah World Fest on 18 July.

The concert is the latest example of the kingdom loosening restrictions on entertainment and encouraging the growth of the arts sector.

  1. Saudi Arabia to set up opera and orchestra
  2. Why is going to the cinema in Saudi Arabia suddenly OK?
  3. End of Saudi women driving ban reflects deep changes in society

“Nicki Minaj” trended on Twitter on Wednesday as people reacted to the announcement. “Imagine waking up from a three year coma and the first thing you hear is Nicki Minaj [is] opening a musical festival in Saudi Arabia, I’d honestly think I woke up in some parallel universe,” one person wrote.

Another questioned if the event organisers had Googled the performer prior to booking her. “No one in Saudi Arabia googled Nicki Minaj did they?” tweeted Kabir Taneja.


A new threshold for fame. If you have 30,000 or more fans on social media, you’re officially a celebrity, according to the UK Advertising Standards Authority.

Sarah Willox Knott, breached its rules when she promoted an over-the-counter sleeping sedative, as the size of her Instagram following classified her as a “celebrity”. The ruling is the first of its kind where a social media ‘influencer’ has fallen foul of regulations banning celebrities or health professionals from endorsing medical products.

The Telegraph understands that despite the new precedent, the watchdog will still judge whether posts from smaller social media accounts breech its endorsement rules on a case-by-case basis. The ruling comes after the blogger posted an image on her ThisMamaLife Instagram account in February of her sat in bed smiling with a packet of Phenergan Night Time Tablets visible in the background.

However, the ASA rejected Sanofi’s arguments that Ms Willox Knott’s then 32,000 followers on Instagram did not class her as a celebrity. The company argued that Ms Willox Knott’s following was considerably less than that of other “recognised celebrities” on the platform, citing David Beckham who has 55 million followers.

The ASA concluded: “We considered over 30,000 followers indicated that she had the attention of a significant number of people. Given that she was popular with, and had the attention of a large audience, we considered that ThisMamaLife was a celebrity for the purposes of the CAP Code.”

The watchdog also said that Willox Knott, 27, who started blogging about raising her two small children four years ago, had done more than 1,000 sponsored and recommended posts on her Instagram page.

The ASA banned the ad and said Sanofi must not use celebrities or social media influencers again to endorse medicines.Following the ruling, the Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB), which represents manufacturers of over-the-counter medicines said: “Following today’s ASA ruling, PAGB will be working with the regulators to understand the implications of this decision for member companies and the wider consumer healthcare industry.”


“God Bless America” is a money-maker.

Irving Berlin, right, who wrote “God Bless America,” was honored on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in 1968 for his 80th birthday. Berlin performed the song while backed by a choir from the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, organizations that still benefit today from the song’s royalties.

In 1940, composer Irving Berlin established a fund to channel royalties from the patriotic song, and a few others, to the Boy Scouts’ and Girl Scouts’ Greater New York councils. Since 2001, it’s given each council more than $2.5 million.

According to the book “God Bless America: The Surprising History of an Iconic Song,” by Sheryl Kaskowitz, Smith sang it on the radio nearly every week for more than two years. Berlin sold more than half a million copies of the sheet music in 1939 alone. After the United States entered World War II, she performed the song (and others) during radio marathons to raise money for war bonds.

Then, as now, some listeners found the song jingoistic. Woody Guthrie is said to have written his earthy standard “This Land Is Your Land” as a protest after growing tired of repeatedly hearing Smith singing Berlin’s song. (Guthrie’s original title was “God Blessed America for Me.”)


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