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By Stephanie Halasz, Zahra Ullah, Niamh Kennedy, Anna Chernova, Rob Picheta and Brad Lendon, CNN

(CNN) A British naval warship became embroiled in a confrontation with Russian forces off the coast of the disputed territory of Crimea on Wednesday. Russia says one of its warplanes dropped bombs and a patrol boat fired warning shots to turn back a British destroyer it claims entered into its territorial waters in the Black Sea. The UK Defense Ministry denied Moscow's accusation, saying that the vessel, HMS Defender, was making legal and innocent passage. A BBC reporter on the ship said he witnessed Russian warplanes and naval vessels buzzing the destroyer. more...

By STEPHEN WADE

TOKYO (AP) — A sharply limited number of fans will be allowed to attend the Tokyo Olympics, organizers announced Monday as they tried to save some of the spirit of the Games where even cheering has been banned. Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans, all of whom must be Japanese residents — for each Olympic venue, regardless of whether it is indoors or outdoors. Officials said that if coronavirus cases rise again the rules could be changed and fans could still be barred all together. Spectators from abroad were banned several months ago, and now some local fans who have tickets will be forced to give them up. The decision comes as opposition among Japanese to holding the Games in July remains high, though may be softening, and as new infections in Tokyo have begun to subside. more...

Situation Room

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he is prepared for dialogue or confrontation with the US. CNN's Brian Todd examines how President Joe Biden could handle diplomacy with the regime after the Trump administration's outwardly friendly relationship. video...

BBC News

Iran's president-elect has welcomed the negotiations with world powers aimed at reviving a 2015 nuclear deal but said they must guarantee national interests. At his first news conference since his victory in Friday's election, Ebrahim Raisi promised he would not allow the talks in Vienna to be dragged out. He also insisted that Iran's ballistic missile programme was "not negotiable". The nuclear deal has been close to collapse since the US abandoned it and reinstated sanctions three years ago. Mr Raisi, a hard-line Shia Muslim cleric who is head of Iran's judiciary and is close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, won Friday's election by a landslide, with 62% of the vote in the first round. more...

“The U.S. is obliged to lift all oppressive sanctions against Iran,” the president-elect said at a news conference.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s president-elect said Monday he wouldn’t meet with President Joe Biden nor negotiate over Tehran’s ballistic missile program and its support of regional militias, sticking to a hard-line position following his landslide victory in last week’s election. Judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi also described himself as a “defender of human rights” when asked about his involvement in the 1988 mass execution of some 5,000 people. It marked the first time he’s been put on the spot on live television over that dark moment in Iranian history at the end of the Iran-Iraq war. more...

Li-Lian Ahlskog Hou, CNN, and Reuters

Sweden's parliament backed a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Stefan Löfven on Monday, making him the first Swedish premier to be ousted by a motion put forth by opposition lawmakers. The Social Democrat leader has a week to resign and hand the speaker the job of finding a new government, or call a snap election. The nationalist Sweden Democrats had seized the chance to call the vote after the formerly communist Left Party withdrew support for the center-left government over a plan to ease rent controls for new-build apartments. more...

By Rodrigo Pedroso and Juliana Koch, CNN

(CNN) There is barely a person in Brazil today who hasn't lost a loved one to Covid-19, say local scientists, as the country reached the grim milestone of half a million deaths. The South American nation, which holds half the continent's population, is being decimated by the virus. On June 18 alone Brazil accounted for nearly one-third of all Covid-19 deaths worldwide, according to Our World in Data -- a figure that experts warn is quickly rising as the virus spreads unchecked throughout the country. The 500,000 death toll is twice as high as it was six months ago, a sign that the mortality rate is accelerating, say experts. more...

By CNN staff

Tehran, Iran (CNN) Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline judiciary chief with a brutal human rights record, has won Iran's controversial presidential election. Raisi, who is currently under US sanctions, emerged as the frontrunner after an election supervisory body barred all of his serious rivals from the race. Analysts described the vote as the country's most uncompetitive election since the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979. With 90% of the ballots counted, voter turnout stood at around 48%, according to election officials. Far fewer voters turned up for this election, which was widely seen as a foregone conclusion, than they did in 2017, when turnout was over 70%. more...

Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin lavished praise on his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden on Thursday, a day after the two leaders held a summit, saying Biden was incorrectly portrayed in the Russian and U.S. media as being unfocused and vague. Biden and Putin agreed to launch arms control and cyber-security talks at a Geneva summit on Wednesday, recording small gains and big differences at a meeting which they both described as pragmatic rather than friendly. The Kremlin said earlier on Thursday it had been pleased with what it called a positive summit and singled out a joint statement that reiterated the need to avoid nuclear war as significant. more...

Jaclyn Diaz, Deborah Amos

Overnight, tensions between Israel and Hamas erupted into violence, posing a potential threat to the brief period of peace reached between the two just weeks ago. Israeli jets struck two targets early Wednesday in Gaza. In a tweet, which included a video of the attack, the Israel Defense Forces said its "fighter jets struck Hamas military compounds last night, which were used as meeting sites for Hamas terror operatives. Hamas will bear the consequences for its actions." The IDF said it's "prepared for any scenario, including a resumption of hostilities, in the face of continuing terror activities from the Gaza Strip." It's unclear if there were any injuries or deaths tied to the airstrikes. more...

Journalists from both countries rushed into building but were stopped by U.S. and Russian security and government officials.
By ANITA KUMAR

GENEVA, Switzerland — A scuffle broke out among U.S. and Russian journalists outside the much-anticipated meeting between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin Wednesday, leading the media to be largely shut out of the summit. Journalists from both countries rushed to the site of the meeting — the Villa La Grange, an 18th century building located in a park near Lake Geneva — but were stopped by U.S. and Russian security and government officials and told to line up separately and in single file. That didn’t happen. more...

John Ruwitch

China has flown 28 warplanes into Taiwan-controlled airspace, the biggest sortie of its kind since the Taiwanese government began publishing information about the frequent incursions last year. The flights are widely seen as part of an effort by Beijing to dial up pressure on Taiwan, a self-governed democracy of about 24 million people off the Chinese coast that the Chinese government considers a part of China. Taiwan's defense ministry said it scrambled planes, deployed missile defense systems and issued radio warnings as the Chinese planes entered Taiwan's air defense identification zone to the south of the island on Monday. China describes such flights as routine. Large sorties have often followed actions by Taiwan or the United States that Beijing disapproves of. more...

By Oren Liebermann, Ibrahim Dahman and Ruba Alhenawi, CNN

(CNN) The Israeli military struck targets in Gaza overnight Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement, citing incendiary balloons launched from Gaza earlier in the day. According to reports in Israeli media, incendiary balloons launched from Gaza sparked multiple fires in southern Israel. WAFA, the official Palestinian News Agency also reported the airstrikes in Khan Younis and said "material" damage occurred. The news agency also reported on another site south of Gaza City being targeted and said there were no casualties from both incidents. The airstrikes are the first in Gaza since a ceasefire went into effect nearly one month ago. The IDF said it struck Hamas military complexes and meeting places for the Khan Younis and Gaza brigades. more...

By JOSEPH KRAUSS

BEITA, West Bank (AP) — Israel’s fragile new government has shown little interest in addressing the decades-old conflict with the Palestinians, but it may not have a choice. Jewish ultranationalists are already staging provocations aimed at splitting the coalition and bringing about a return to right-wing rule. In doing so, they risk escalating tensions with the Palestinians weeks after an 11-day Gaza war was halted by an informal cease-fire. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s best hope for maintaining his ruling coalition — which consists of eight parties from across the political spectrum — will be to manage the conflict, the same approach favored by his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, for most of his 12-year rule. But that method failed to prevent three Gaza wars and countless smaller eruptions. more...

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

Brussels (CNN) President Joe Biden flew to Geneva on Tuesday ahead of lengthy and contentious talks with Vladimir Putin, the capstone on a European tour designed to show western solidarity ahead of the momentous summit. Biden has spent the past week consulting fellow leaders, national security aides and political advisers, reading through extensive preparation materials and thinking about what exactly he will say to the Russian President when they sit down in an 18th century lakeside Swiss villa Wednesday. At meetings of the Group of 7 and NATO, he discussed the upcoming summit with at least two dozen foreign leaders, from the Chancellor of Germany to the leaders of the tiny Baltic states to the right-wing President of Poland. He was even quizzed on the meeting by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II over tea at Windsor Castle. more...

Reuters

A U.S. Army Special Forces veteran and his son pleaded guilty in Tokyo on Monday to charges that they illegally helped former Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) Chairman Carlos Ghosn flee Japan hidden in a box aboard a private jet in December 2019. Chief judge Hideo Nirei, one of three judges presiding over their first court appearance, asked Michael Taylor and his son Peter whether there was any mistake in the charges submitted by the Tokyo Prosecutors' office. "No your honour," the older Taylor replied. "No," said his son. more...

BBS News

In a joint statement at the end of a three-day summit, leaders of the G7 countries urged China to "respect human rights and fundamental freedoms". Issues highlighted included abuses against the Uyghur Muslim minority group and the crackdown on Hong Kong pro-democracy activists. China's embassy in the UK accused the G7 of "baseless accusations". "Stop slandering China, stop interfering in China's internal affairs, and stop harming China's interests," a spokesman said on Monday. more...

CBS News

President Biden on Sunday declared that "America is back to the table" after leaving his first Group of Seven summit, where world leaders vowed to confront China, boost global infrastructure and donate 1 billion vaccine doses to the rest of the world. "I conveyed to each of my G-7 counterparts the U.S. is going to do our part. America is back to the table," the president said in a press conference at the conclusion of the meeting with U.S. allies. "The lack of participation in the past and full engagement was noticed significantly, not only by the leaders of those countries but by the people in the G-7 countries." more...

In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Putin claimed nearly all condemnations of Russia should apply equally to the U.S. and the West.
By Keir Simmons, Corky Siemaszko and Yuliya Talmazan

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin denied ordering a hit on political rival Alexei Navalny, but in an exclusive interview with NBC News he did not guarantee that the jailed Kremlin critic, who survived being poisoned with a nerve agent, would get out of prison alive. "Look, such decisions in this country are not made by the president," Putin said. That was one of several striking moments in Putin's first interview in three years with a U.S. news organization, days ahead of his meeting with President Joe Biden in Geneva. Reminded that Navalny wasn't just any prisoner, Putin replied: "He will not be treated any worse than anybody else." more...

By ILAN BEN ZION

JERUSALEM (AP) — For the first time in 12 years, Israelis on Monday woke up to a new government and a new prime minister, after Naftali Bennett secured the backing of parliament and ousted longtime leader Benjamin Netanyahu. The two were slated to hold a handover meeting later in the day, but without the formal ceremony that traditionally accompanies a change in government. Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, narrowly approved the new Bennett-led coalition government on Sunday, ending Netanyahu’s historic 12-year rule. The divisive former prime minister, the longest to hold office, will now serve as the opposition leader. more...

NBC News

After 12 years and three U.S. presidents, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been pushed out by the Knesset in a razor thin vote. Naftali Bennett will take his place just five weeks into Israel’s ceasefire with Hamas. video...

Greg Myre

The problem has long plagued bank robbers and drug smugglers: how to transport and hide huge sums of ill-gotten gains without getting caught? In the past few years, ransomware hackers have found an almost perfect solution — cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. It's fast. It's easy. Best of all, it's largely anonymous and hard to trace. In the latest example, the world's largest meat processor, JBS, announced Wednesday night that it recently paid $11 million in Bitcoin after a cyber attack forced the shutdown of its plants in the U.S., Canada and Australia. The FBI has blamed the attack on a Russian criminal gang. more...

They push for a “timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO convened” investigation.
By MYAH WARD

The G-7 nations on Sunday called for a “timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO-convened” investigation into the origins of Covid-19, including in China. “Strengthening transparency and accountability, including reiterating our commitment to the full implementation of, and improved compliance with, the International Health Regulations 2005,” the countries said in a joint statement. “This includes investigating, reporting and responding to outbreaks of unknown origin. We also call for a timely, transparent, expert-led, and science-based WHO-convened Phase 2 Covid-19 Origins study including, as recommended by the experts’ report, in China.” more...

"He’s been here for so many years, and won so many elections, that for so many Israelis it’s difficult to imagine any other reality," said one analyst.
By Saphora Smith and Rachel Elbaum

The Benjamin Netanyahu era is over in Israel. After 12 consecutive years in power, and another three before that, the country’s longest serving prime minister will no longer be its leader. An unlikely coalition that came together to oust Netanyahu survived a confidence vote in the Israeli parliament Sunday, passing 60-59, overcoming the final hurdle on its path to unseating him and taking a fragile hold on power. The new government has now been sworn in, sending Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud party to the opposition for the first time in more than a decade. more...

WION

According to a new study, a key Antarctic ice shelf is breaking up way faster than scientists originally expected. Watch this report to know more. video...

Naftali Bennett, the head of a small ultranationalist party, is to take over as prime minister.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

JERUSALEM — Israel is set to swear in a new government on Sunday that will send Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into the opposition after a record 12 years in office and a political crisis that sparked four elections in two years. Naftali Bennett, the head of a small ultranationalist party, will take over as prime minister. But if he wants to keep the job, he will have to maintain an unwieldy coalition of parties from the political right, left and center. The eight parties, including a small Arab faction that is making history by sitting in the ruling coalition, are united in their opposition to Netanyahu and new elections but agree on little else. They are likely to pursue a modest agenda that seeks to reduce tensions with the Palestinians and maintain good relations with the U.S. without launching any major initiatives. more...

Azmi Haroun

At the 2021 G7 summit in Cornwall, England, leaders of the exclusive political club posed for a "family photo," on the British shore with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Joe Biden at the center. There is a noticeable difference in the photos of the world leaders: First, everyone is socially distanced likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and also one man, in particular, did not steal the show. In 2017, the US was the lone country not to sign a climate declaration. And when leaders walked 700 yards for the family photo, Trump arranged for a golf cart to shuttle him there on his own. more...

BBC News

Authorities in China have punished 27 government officials over the deaths of 21 ultra-marathon runners last month. Athletes taking part in the 100km (60-mile) ultramarathon in Gansu province were hit by high winds and freezing rains. According to state media, those who died had suffered from hypothermia. In the wake of the incident, China announced it was suspending all high risk sports events lacking clear oversight, rules and safety standards. A report into the race, released on Friday, said "non-standard and unprofessional event operations led to the accident". Following the report's release, state-run media outlet Xinhua announced that the head of Jingtai County, where the race took place, had been removed from her post. more...

Biden's election has seen "a dramatic shift in America's international image," Pew said, with public opinion rebounding in a dozen key countries since he became president.
By Alexander Smith

LONDON — The first foreign trip of Joe Biden's presidency will be far more than a few smiling photo ops and well-manicured communiqués. Many see his attendance at the Group of Seven summit and then the NATO summit over the next week as a one-shot chance: not just to help fix relations with Washington's bruised allies, but also to reassert the faltering influence of the U.S. and the West itself. The visit will also be shadowed by questions about whether Biden, for all his trans-Atlantic experience, is actually more focused on the rising competitor in Beijing than in old Cold War allies across the pond. "After four tumultuous years of Trump, the Europeans have now got the U.S. leadership they always dreamed of," said Fabrice Pothier, NATO's former head of policy planning. "Except now the story has moved on." more...

Joe Hernandez

The president of El Salvador announced Wednesday that the country's state-run geothermal energy utility would begin using power derived from volcanoes for Bitcoin mining. The announcement on social media came just hours after the Central American nation's congress voted to make the cryptocurrency an acceptable legal tender. "I've just instructed the president of @LaGeoSV (our state-owned geothermal electric company), to put up a plan to offer facilities for #Bitcoin mining with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy from our volcanos," president Nayib Bukele tweeted. "This is going to evolve fast!" more...

The agreement also commits to combatting cyberthreats and climate change and to bringing the coronavirus pandemic to an end.
By Rebecca Shabad and Alexander Smith

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will agree Thursday to a new Atlantic Charter, modeled after the 1941 agreement, that outlines eight key areas on which the U.S. and the United Kingdom plan to collaborate. The new charter will highlight that "while the world is a very different place to 1941, the values the U.K. and U.S. share remain the same,” according to a preview of the updated charter released by Johnson’s office at 10 Downing Street. more...

Rebecca Falconer

Myanmar's deposed elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other detained officials have been formally charged by the military junta, state media reported Thursday morning local time.

Details: "The Anti-Corruption Commission has inspected corruption cases against ex-state counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. She was found guilty of committing corruption using her rank," the military said, per Bloomberg, which notes she could face up to 15 years in prison for the offense. more...

By Luke McGee, CNN

London (CNN) Boris Johnson's star turn on the world stage has already been undermined by his previous greatest accomplishment: Brexit. The British Prime Minister is set to welcome US President Joe Biden to Cornwall, England, on Thursday for a bilateral meeting where the pair are scheduled to discuss a new "Atlantic Charter" -- a modern update to the joint statement between Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt on the challenges facing the world after the Second World War. Biden is in the UK because Johnson is hosting the G7 summit in what was supposed to be Britain's big return to the international arena. Instead, Thursday's talks will most likely be overshadowed by heated discussions on the current and very real danger of violence erupting in Northern Ireland, as the real-world consequences of Brexit continue to undermine the peace deal brokered by the US in 1998. more...

Officials voted by a majority to pass the cryptocurrency law.
Saqib Shah

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele has made good on his promise to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. Officials in the Central American country's congress voted to accept the cryptocurrency by a majority of 62 out of 84 votes, reports CNBC. In a worldwide first, El Salvador will accept Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar in 90 days, according to the BBC. The law effectively means the cryptocurrency can be used as payment for goods or services unless a business cannot provide the tech required to facilitate the transaction. more...

Barak Ravid

The incoming Israeli government will be sworn in on Sunday if it survives a confidence vote, outgoing parliamentary speaker Yariv Levin said in a statement on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies, including Levin, are trying to thwart the formation of the new government, which would see right-wing Naftali Bennett replace Netanyahu as prime minister in an alliance with Yair Lapid, the centrist opposition leader.

Between the lines: Bennett and Lapid need to submit their final coalition agreement 24 hours before a vote in Israel's parliament, the Knesset. But they can't do so on a Saturday, as Levin was well-aware, meaning they'll have to submit the agreement two days before the vote. more...

Kevin Breuninger

French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped in the face, leading police to arrest two men, a spokesman for the National Gendarmerie told NBC News on Tuesday. A widely circulated video clip shows a masked man shouting “Down with Macronia” in French before swinging at the president’s face with his open palm. The two suspects were arrested after the incident, which occurred during Macron’s visit to a school in southeast France, NBC reported. more...

By Jordan Valinsky and David Goldman, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business)Countless websites and apps around the world went down for about an hour Tuesday after Fastly, a major content delivery network, reported a widespread failure.
Fastly supports news sites and apps like CNN, the Guardian, the New York Times and many others. It also provides content delivery for Twitch, Pinterest, HBO Max, Hulu, Reddit, Spotify (SPOT) and other services. The outage took down other major internet platforms and sites, including Amazon, Target, and the UK government website — Gov.uk. The problem was caused by an outage at Fastly (FSLY), a cloud service provider. The company said on its service status website (which was working) Tuesday morning it had identified the problem and fixed the issue. Service for sites and apps started to be restored around 7 a.m. ET, although Fastly said some customers may experience longer load times as a residual effect of the problem. more...

The Associated Press

TORONTO — A driver plowed a pickup truck into a family of five, killing four of them and seriously injuring the other in a deliberate attack that targeted the victims because they were Muslims, Canadian police said Monday. Authorities said a young man was arrested in the parking lot of a nearby mall after the incident Sunday night in the Ontario city of London. Police said a black pickup truck mounted a curb and struck the victims at an intersection. "This was an act of mass murder perpetuated against Muslims," Mayor Ed Holder said. "It was rooted in unspeakable hatred." more...

By Jennifer Gray, CNN meteorologist

(CNN) The aurora borealis, or northern lights, could easily be described as Earth's greatest light show. A phenomenon that's exclusive to the higher latitudes has had scientists in awe and wonder for centuries. The mystery surrounding what causes the northern lights has been speculated but never proven, until now.

The great aurora mystery finally solved
A group of physicists from Iowa State University have finally proven that the "most brilliant auroras are produced by powerful electromagnetic waves during geomagnetic storms," according to a newly released study. The study shows that these phenomena, also known as Alfven waves, accelerate electrons toward Earth, causing the particles to produce the light show we know as the northern lights. more...

George Dvorsky

A lone rotifer has awakened after spending the past 24,000 years in frozen hibernation. Scientists hope that further studies of this multicellular animal may lead to better ways of cryopreserving human cells, tissues, and organs. Rotifers are worm-like aquatic animals that prefer freshwater environments and moist soil. These complex organisms aren’t as charismatic as tardigrades, another microscopic animal, but they’re likewise known for their extreme survival skills, as they’re capable of withstanding dehydration, freezing temperatures, starvation, and low oxygen levels. By reviving a 24,000-year-old rotifer found in Siberian permafrost, scientists have demonstrated that these creatures are even tougher than previously thought. The new findings were published today in Current Biology. more...

Russian president formalises Moscow’s exit from pact ahead of highly anticipated Geneva summit with Joe Biden.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Monday that formalises Russia’s exit from the Open Skies arms control treaty, a pact that allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries. Russia had hoped that Putin and his United States counterpart Joe Biden could discuss the treaty when they meet later this month at a summit in Geneva. But the Biden administration informed Moscow in May that it would not re-enter the pact after the Trump administration quit it last year. more...

The pact, from which former President Trump withdrew, allowed surveillance flights over military facilities in both countries.

The United States told Russia on Thursday it will not rejoin the Open Skies arms control pact, which allows unarmed surveillance flights over member countries, a US official reportedly said. Citing unnamed US officials, The Associated Press reported that Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told the Russians that the Biden administration had decided not to re-enter the treaty, which had allowed surveillance flights over military facilities in both countries before President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact. more...

Barak Ravid

The director of Israel’s domestic security service, the Shin Bet, warned on Saturday of growing incitement that could lead to politically motivated violence. Why it matters: Nadav Argaman's rare public statement raised concerns about the threat of a Jan. 6-style attack in Israel to prevent a peaceful transition of power if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is ousted after 12 years in office. Driving the news: Netanyahu on Friday published a Facebook post that cited a story from the Bible, which compared his political rivals on the right to the spies Moses sent to tour the land of Canaan and that lied to the people when the returned. more...

Fishing communities fear for future as oil, plastic and toxic chemicals devastate ecosystem
Zinara Rathnayake

Until last week Lucien Justin, the chair of the Jude Watta fisheries committee in Wattala, near Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, lived a simple life. He and his wife ate two meals a day, and their small community of 90 fishers regularly supported each other with food and money. “If we fish, money comes. If not, we are left hungry,” he said. After the worst maritime disaster in Sri Lanka’s history poisoned the waters near where he fishes, however, he fears even that simple life is now in dire danger. “People are scared. Even if we caught fish, they wouldn’t eat it because they think it’s poisonous,” he said. The fire may be out aboard the cargo ship MV X-Press Pearl, which has now partially sunk, but observers fear the worst impacts of the chemical ship disaster are yet to come. more...

By Elizabeth Elkind

Every Belarusian journalist who Russian investigative editor Alexey Kovalev has worked with "is in jail or exiled," he told CBSN. His claim is an echo of a chilling May op-ed the Russian journalist penned in The New York Times, in which Kovalev lists three leading figures in Belarus independent media that he once worked with. Now, one of them is detained by authorities for "tax evasion," another is sitting in pretrial detention after her website was shut, and the third spent a 15-day stint in jail before fleeing the country. "That's just the people I can name without causing any further harm to them," Kovalev said on Friday. more...

Joanna Ossinger

(Bloomberg) -- Dogecoin, the Shiba Inu-themed cryptocurrency started as a joke in 2013, outperformed top rivals in the week as it launched on the Coinbase exchange. While the biggest cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ether were up 6.2% and 14.9% over the past seven days respectively, Dogecoin advanced 24% over the same period as of 7:50 a.m. in London, according to CoinGecko pricing. While Coinbase said weeks ago that it planned to add Dogecoin, the announcement that it now supports the meme-based token on Coinbase.com and in the Coinbase Android and iOS apps means Dogecoin is more accessible and continuing to establish itself. more...

Shawna Chen

Thirty-two years after the Chinese government cracked down on student protesters in Tiananmen Square, people around the world gathered to remember the bloody June 4 event and its victims. Why it matters: Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have long rallied around the Tiananmen anniversary, which over the years has become synonymous with the struggle against the Chinese Communist Party. This year, Hong Kong officials banned a scheduled vigil for the second year in a row. more...

By Blaire Toedte | BBC Monitoring

Mexico's mid-term elections on Sunday have been marred by one of its bloodiest campaigns, even in a country known for its drug cartel wars and soaring homicides. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's governing National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party and its allies are hoping to head off an opposition challenge and keep their majority in the lower house of Congress. But in recent weeks, Mexican media have been running daily stories of threats, kidnappings, attacks and murders committed against candidates, campaign aides and election officials, that have mostly been blamed on the country's powerful drug cartels and crime groups that permeate local politics. more...

BBC

Nigeria's government has told the country's mobile phone networks to block access to Twitter, a statement from the industry umbrella body said. Phone users are reporting difficulties in accessing the site. It is still available through some wi-fi networks. This comes after the government said it was suspending Twitter operations in the country "indefinitely". It alleged the site was being used to undermine "Nigeria's corporate existence". Twitter has called the ban "deeply concerning". The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (Alton) said its members complied with the request to suspend Twitter access based on "national interest provisions" in the telecoms law and the licensing terms. more...

Silvia Amaro, Joanna Tan

LONDON — The finance ministers of the most advanced economies, known as the Group of Seven, have backed a U.S. proposal that calls for corporations around the world to pay at least a 15% tax on earnings. “G-7 finance ministers today, after years of discussions, have reached a historic agreement to reform the global tax system, to make it fit for the global digital age — and crucially to make sure that it’s fair so that the right companies pay the right tax in the right places,” U.K. Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announced in a video statement on Saturday. more...

Asha C. Gilbert | USA TODAY

In a series of unfortunate events, a groom married the sister of his bride after she collapsed and died earlier in the wedding ceremony. The incident happened in Uttar Pradesh, India when a woman named Surabhi and man named Mangesh Kumar were tying the knot in a Hindu ceremony on May 27,Times of India reported. During the jaimala, the exchanging of garlands by the bride and the groom in an Indian wedding, Surabhi collapsed and a doctor was called to treat her after she suffered a heart attack, News 18 reported. After the doctor pronounced the bride dead, the families of the bride and groom agreed the bride’s younger sister, Nisha, would wed the groom. more...

CBS News

Netanyahu and opponents scramble after deal to oust him reached. Tel Aviv, Israel — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's opponents on Thursday pushed for a quick parliament vote to formally end his lengthy rule, hoping to head off any last-minute attempts by the premier to derail their newly announced coalition government. The latest political maneuvering began just hours after opposition leader Yair Lapid and his main coalition partner, Naftali Bennett, declared they had reached a deal to form a new government and muster a majority in the 120-member parliament, or Knesset. more...

Lawmakers and First Nations groups are calling for all former residential schools across Canada to be examined for signs of unmarked graves.
By Yuliya Talmazan

Canada has been dealt a somber reminder of one of the darkest chapters of its history over the past week. The remains of 215 children were found buried in unmarked graves at a former residential school, one of more than 150 institutions in a now-defunct system that for well over a century forcibly separated Indigenous children from their families to assimilate them into Canadian society. The discovery sent shockwaves through the nation, prompting communities from coast to coast to lower their flags to half-mast and hold moments of silence in honor of the children. From Vancouver to Ottawa, children's shoes, toys and candles have been left at makeshift memorials. more...

Natasha Turak

It was an 11th-hour breakthrough, quite literally. Less than 30 minutes before his midnight deadline, Israeli opposition party leader Yair Lapid announced Wednesday night that he and Naftali Bennett — the tech millionaire leading one of Israel’s ultraright wing minority parties — had reached an agreement to form a governing coalition that could oust long-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The coalition also includes an Islamist party, the first time in Israeli history that an Arab party has agreed to join a governing alliance. It’s a big deal. The controversial Netayahu, leader of the right-wing Likud party, is Israel’s longest-serving prime minister and is in his 12th year in power despite facing numerous corruption charges, which he denies. more...

CBS News

Tehran, Iran — The largest warship in the Iranian navy caught fire and later sank Wednesday in the Gulf of Oman under unclear circumstances, semiofficial news agencies reported. The Fars and Tasnim news agencies said efforts failed to save the 679-foot support ship Kharg, named after the island that serves as the main oil terminal for Iran. The Reuters news agency reported that the entire crew was able to safely disembark. Reuters cited Fars, which quoted a navy statement. The statement said the Kharg was on a training mission. more...

Wild herd has wrecked barns and eaten fields of crops after absconding from nature reserve in April
Vincent Ni

For months, their trek through China’s south-western Yunnan province had gone almost unnoticed. But last week, when images of a herd of 15 Asian elephants walking through a residential area appeared on social media, it immediately captured the imagination of the nation, generating intense media interest and sparking questions as to what prompted the epic journey. The movement was so unusual that authorities dispatched a taskforce of 360 people with 76 cars and nine drones to track it. State TV has spent days following their every footstep. And as of Wednesday, the hashtag #WhyElephantsTrekkingNorth had been viewed more than 16m times on Weibo. more...

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu political statement
By Dan Williams

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -A last-gasp legal challenge by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to thwart a bid by a rival rightist to head a new government was rejected on Tuesday as his opponents raced to seal a pact that would unseat him. Naftali Bennett, Netanyahu's former defence minister, announced on Sunday he would join a proposed alliance with centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid, serving as its premier first under a rotation deal. more...

CBS News

Russia's military will form 20 new units in the country's west this year to counter what it claims is a growing threat from NATO, the defense minister said Monday. Sergei Shoigu made the announcement at a meeting with top military officials. He pointed to a growing number of flights by U.S. strategic bombers near Russia's borders, deployments of NATO warships and increasingly frequent and major drills by alliance forces. He charged that such actions "destroy the international security system and force us to take the relevant countermeasures." more...

By Selcan Hacaoglu

Turkey said it will send home Russian missile experts overseeing the S-400 air defense technology that has strained ties with the United States, addressing one of Washington’s concerns with the system while ruling out scrapping it altogether. The remarks, which come ahead of a planned meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Joe Biden on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels mid-June, signal Ankara’s readiness to compromise on one element of U.S. concerns. Washington has said Turkey should end the presence of Russian personnel in the country to help with training and assembly of the missiles. more...

​​​​​​​In Brazil, thousands marched over the weekend against the country’s lack of response to the coronavirus crisis and its high death toll. More than 460,000 people in the country have died from COVID-19 so far.
By Michael Fox | The World

It was an image not seen on São Paulo’s iconic Paulista Avenue since the start of the pandemic: Tens of thousands of people in the streets. A sea of red hats, flags and shirts — the color associated with leftist and labor movements in Brazil — stretching on for almost a dozen blocks. Protests hit Brazil in 213 cities on Saturday against the government of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro and his failed handling of the pandemic and its high death toll. More than 460,000 people in the country have died from COVID-19 so far — the second-largest number of COVID-19 deaths in the world — while total cases there have reached 16.5 million. more...

By Francois Murphy

VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran has failed to explain traces of uranium found at several undeclared sites, a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog showed on Monday, possibly setting up a fresh diplomatic clash between Tehran and the West that could derail wider nuclear talks. Three months ago Britain, France and Germany scrapped a U.S.-backed plan for the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 35-nation Board of Governors to criticise Iran for failing to fully explain the origin of the particles; the three backed off as IAEA chief Rafael Grossi announced fresh talks with Iran. more...

Alicja Ptak, Justyna Pawlak

An espionage trial involving a former Polish secret services agent and an ex-employee of Huawei begins in a Warsaw court on Tuesday as some European states consider whether to exclude the Chinese group's equipment from their 5G telecom networks. Poland arrested the two men in January 2019 on suspicion of spying for China, in a move that has ramped up international debate over the potential security risks of using Huawei equipment in communications networks. more...

DW

Minsk's border agency has announced new rules that will make it nearly impossible to leave the country. As citizens attempt to flee Belarus, longtime leader Alexander Lukashenko appears to be closing all the exits. Belarus' border security agency on Monday announced a severe tightening of already strict rules limiting citizens' ability to exit the country — even if they have long-term residency permits abroad. The changes, which the agency said were temporary and designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus, essentially block all land border crossings. Ever more citizens have fled the former Soviet bloc country since Alexander Lukashenko was declared the winner of a disputed presidential election last August and mass protests over election rigging were met with a severe crackdown. more...

By Nimi Princewill, Stephanie Busari and Amy Cassidy

(CNN) Students from an Islamic school in the north-central Nigerian state of Niger were indiscriminately shot and abducted Sunday by a group of "armed bandits," state police said in a statement. At least one person was confirmed dead in the latest string of school kidnapping raids the country has seen this year. Yaro Alhassan, the Salihu Tanko Islamic School's headmaster, told CNN the exact number of students abducted from the school remains unclear, but said that more than 150 remain missing or unaccounted for. more...

Jasmin Hartin was arrested near to location of body with ‘what appeared to be blood on her arms’
Matthew Weaver

The partner of the son of Lord Ashcroft, a Conservative party donor and former treasurer, is being questioned in Belize over the killing of a police officer. Jasmine Hartin was arrested on Friday following the discovery of the body of Supt Henry Jemmott on a pier in the resort town of San Pedro. Hartin, 38, an American, is the partner and colleague of Ashcroft’s youngest son, Andrew. She initially refused to give a statement to the police, according to a media briefing by the police commissioner, Chester Williams. He said she would only answer questions in the presence of her lawyer. more...

Reuters

The U.S. National Security Agency used a partnership with Denmark's foreign intelligence unit to spy on senior officials of neighboring countries, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Danish state broadcaster DR said.  video...

The Sun

JASMINE Hartin, the daughter-in-law of British billionaire Lord Ashcroft, has been charged with manslaughter in the death of a Belize cop. video...

By Jake Kwon and Yoonjung Seo, CNN

Seoul, South Korea (CNN)Belgium is recalling its ambassador to South Korea following an incident in which his wife was recorded striking a woman in Seoul. In a statement Friday, Belgium's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had "become clear" that Ambassador Peter Lescouhier could not "further carry out his role in a serene way." Lescouhier's wife, Xiang Xueqiu, got into a confrontation with two shop assistants in April. Police in Seoul originally said she could not be prosecuted due to diplomatic immunity, but in its statement, Brussels said this had been waived. more...

Reuters

Morocco and Spain traded new accusations on Monday in a diplomatic row triggered by the Western Sahara territorial issue that led this month to a migration crisis in Spain's enclave in northern Morocco. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez described Morocco's actions in appearing to relax border controls with the enclave of Ceuta as unacceptable and an assault on national borders. Morocco's Foreign Ministry meanwhile blamed Spain for breaking "mutual trust and respect", drawing parallels between the issues of Western Sahara and Spain's Catalonia region, where there is an independence movement. more...

South China Morning Post
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