US House votes to condemn Trump's racist tweets

Washington, Jul 17 (PTI) The US House of Representatives has voted a resolution to condemn President Donald Trump's alleged "racist" tweets against four Democartic congresswomen.

Trump, on Sunday, in a series of tweets said that four Democratic Progressive Congresswomen, who have been critical of his harsh immigration policies, should just "go back" to where they came from.

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Trump denies wanting Iran regime change

17 July 2019; DW: President Donald Trump says he’s not intent on toppling Iran’s regime to stop it acquiring nuclear arms. His nominee for defense secretary Mark Esper says the US ‘needs to get back on the diplomatic channel.’

Trump in remarks at a cabinet sitting in Washington on Tuesday asserted that "a lot of progress” had been made in ending a high-stakes US standoff with Iran, which has long denied ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons.

US sanctions Myanmar army chief over Rohingya 'ethnic cleansing'

17 July 2019; DW: The sanctions represent the strongest step that the US has taken in response to massacres in Myanmar. Recent reports have pointed to the military's role in enabling violence against the minority Muslim group.

The US State Department announced on Tuesday that it would sanction Myanmar's army chief Min Aung Hlaing and other members of the military for their involvement in violence that caused 740,000 Rohingya to flee across the border to Bangladesh last year.

Australia calls on China to let Uighur mother and son leave

17 July 2019; AFP: Australia's government on Wednesday called on China to allow an Australian child and his Uighur mother to leave the country, stepping up pressure on Beijing days after Canberra co-signed a letter denouncing its treatment of the Muslim minority.

China has rounded up an estimated one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minorities into re-education camps in the tightly-controlled region of Xinjiang in the country's northwest.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe: British-Iranian woman moved to Tehran mental ward

17 July 2019; DW: The family of a jailed British-Iranian woman says she has been taken to the psychiatric ward of a hospital in Tehran. The case has fueled tensions between Iran and the UK amid attempts to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 40, was transferred from Evin prison to the psychiatric ward at Imam Khomeini hospital, where she is being held by the Revolutionary Guard, her father said Wednesday.

Trump administration blasts WTO ruling on China

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration blasted a World Trade Organization decision Tuesday that could let China levy sanctions on the United States.

The 2-1 decision by the WTO’s appellate body was actually a mixed verdict in a case that dates back to 2007 and is unrelated to the tariffs the administration has slapped on $250 billion in Chinese goods. In its final decision, the WTO agreed with the U.S. that China lets state-owned enterprises (SOEs) subsidize Chinese firms by providing components at unfairly low costs.

Trump declines to criticize Turkey's Russia missile purchase

17 July 2019; AFP: President Donald Trump declined Tuesday to criticize Turkey's acquisition of a Russian missile system assailed by the Pentagon and NATO, making no mention of sanctions Washington had threatened over the purchase.

In his first comments since Turkey began taking delivery of the S-400 system last Friday, Trump said Turkey was forced into the move by his predecessor Barack Obama, and that he understood why they opted to buy the Russian missiles.

Iran says it helped a tanker with tow to harbor

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Latest on tensions in the Persian Gulf amid a crisis between the United States and Iran (all times local):

5:30 a.m.

Iran’s state-run media is quoting the country’s Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying the Islamic Republic helped an oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz amid U.S. concern that Tehran seized one there.

The state-run IRNA news agency early Wednesday quoted Abbas Mousavi as saying Iran towed an unnamed vessel to harbor after it suffered a technical malfunction.

House vote condemns Trump’s tweets, draws some GOP support

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a remarkable political repudiation, the Democratic-led U.S. House voted to condemn President Donald Trump’s “racist comments” against four congresswomen of color, despite protestations by Trump’s Republican congressional allies and his own insistence he hasn’t “a racist bone in my body.”

Iranian diplomat says Navy towed foreign tanker after distress signal

MOSCOW, July 17. /TASS/: A foreign tanker which made a distress call after experiencing a technical malfunction in the Persian Gulf was towed by the Iranian navy to the country’s territorial waters, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Tuesday.

"Iranian sailors acted in strict compliance with international rules," the Al Mayadeen TV quoted the Iranian diplomat as saying.

According to him, the ship will stay on the territory of Iran until the technical issue on board is fixed.

Iran says minister’s missile remarks meant to challenge US

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran says remarks by the country’s foreign minister about Iran’s missile program possibly being up for negotiations with the U.S. meant to challenge Washington’s arms sales policy to the region — and were not meant to indicate a readiness by Tehran for any such talks.

The Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, tweeted late on Tuesday that Mohammad Javad Zarif’s comments “threw the ball into the U.S. court while challenging America’s arm sales” to its Mideast allies.


ICJ to deliver verdict in Kulbhushan Jadhav case

The Hague, Jul 17 (PTI) The International Court of Justice will deliver on Wednesday its verdict in a case relating to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, whose death sentence by a Pakistani military court based on an "extracted confession" has been questioned by India.

Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of "espionage and terrorism" after a closed trial in April 2017. His sentencing evoked a sharp reaction in India.

Tehran Refuses to Negotiate Missile Program Cutbacks Under Any Condition

WASHINGTON, July 17 (NNN-Sputnik) – Iran has denied speculation that the nation could reconsider its missile programs if the United States stopped selling missiles and other weapons to nations in the region, Iran’s mission at the United Nations in New York said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Iran’s missiles are absolutely and under no condition negotiable with anyone or any country, period”, the statement said.

U.S. civil rights group urges Bay Area city to ban facial recognition technology

SAN FRANCISCO, July 16 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. civil rights advocacy group Tuesday urged Oakland city in the Bay Area to ban the use of facial recognition technology in public surveillance.

The Northern California affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released an advisory letter to the Oakland City Council earlier Tuesday, the same day when the council unanimously approved an ordinance banning the use of facial recognition technology by the city departments, including the police.

Australia calls on China to let Uighur mother and son leave

Sydney, Jul 17 (AFP/PTI) Australia's government on Wednesday called on China to allow an Australian child and his Uighur mother to leave the country, stepping up pressure on Beijing days after Canberra co-signed a letter denouncing its treatment of the Muslim minority.

China has rounded up an estimated one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minorities into re-education camps in the tightly-controlled region of Xinjiang in the country's northwest.

Hong Kong protests expand to oppose China, with no end near

HONG KONG (AP) — 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.

Babri masjid demolition case: Special judge seeks 6 months to conclude

New Delhi, Jul 15 (PTI) A special judge holding trial in Babri Masjid demolition case, involving BJP veterans L K Advani, M M Joshi and others, Monday moved the Supreme Court seeking six more months to conclude the trial in the case.

The special judge, in a letter written in May, has informed the top court that he is due to superannuate on September 30, 2019.

Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’ faces sentencing in US case

NEW YORK (AP) — Will the notorious Mexican drug lord known as “El Chapo” go quietly?

For Joaquin Guzman, that’s the biggest question at his sentencing in New York City on Wednesday. The highly-anticipated hearing could be his last chance to speak publicly before spending the rest of his life behind bars at a maximum security U.S. prison.

Press freedom under threat in India: Survey

New Delhi, Jul 16 (PTI) As many as 71 per cent people feel that press freedom is threatened in India, according to a new poll.

Neta app, a technology platform that lets users rate and review politicians, conducted a poll to get people's opinion with respect to freedom of press in the country.

The firm said more than 75,000 people across 19 states and the NCR took part in the poll.

China urges U.S. to correct faulty practices in anti-subsidy probes

BEIJING, July 17 (Xinhua) -- China's Ministry of Commerce has urged the United States to correct faulty practices in anti-subsidy probes against Chinese products, after a World Trade Organization (WTO) report ruled that U.S. countervailing measures were inconsistent with WTO rules.

Upholding the findings of a WTO dispute panel announced in March 2018, the Appellate Body ruled Tuesday Geneva time that the United States acted inconsistently with provisions of the subsidies and countervailing measures agreement in 11 of its countervailing proceedings.

Delhi govt schools launch Happiness Festival

New Delhi, Jul 17 (PTI) Delhi government launched "Happiness Utsav" in its schools Tuesday to celebrate completion of a year of introduction of its happiness curriculum.

During the festival, the first 50 minutes of each day, all children studying in Delhi govt schools will take part in various activities.

"The Delhi government is celebrating the Happiness Utsav to mark the first year of the curriculum's launch. On Day 1, the children were involved in a drawing mela, where they drew on the subject 'What makes you happy?'," Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.

India: 'Godman' arrested for duping woman

Thane, Jul 16 (PTI) The city police have arrested a so-called godman and another person on the charge of cheating a woman of Rs 15 lakh promising to solve her family's problems.

The woman, a city resident, had approached Ganesh Salunke, an acquaintance, for help, as her family had faced several troubles in the recent time, including her son meeting with an accident.

Salunke allegedly referred her to Rahul More, a police officer said Tuesday.

Strategic paper underway to help Rohingya refugees, says Malaysian Foreign Minister

KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 (NNN-BERNAMA) — The Foreign Ministry is preparing a strategic paper to determine the optimum role Malaysia can play to help the Rohingya refugees, the Malaysian parliament (Dewan Rakyat) was told today.

Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said Malaysia has been consistent in championing the fate of the community, especially in bringing their oppressors to justice.


‘Go back’ captures core of Trump political agenda


WASHINGTON (AP) — Go back where you came from.

President Donald Trump’s tweet on Sunday did more than take a shot at four Democratic lawmakers of color. In just a few words, Trump summed up the backbone of his agenda — one aimed at reducing the number of immigrants in the U.S. through fear and force.

UK hosts press freedom summit while fighting for right to spy on media

by Meirion Jones

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is hosting a Global Conference for Media Freedom in London today. Meanwhile, 400 miles away in Strasbourg UK government lawyers are fighting for the right to continue spying on the press.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism today brings a case to the highest human rights court in Europe against the UK intelligence agencies’ mass snooping on press and public and the severe impingement on media freedom that this surveillance entails.

Libya's civil war: US 'undermines any hope for a successful political process'

by Carla Bleiker 

15 July 2019; DW: The warring factions in Libya's stalemated conflict don't seem to be interested in a diplomatic solution. The United States could use its clout in order to trigger discussions — but it appears to be doing the opposite.

Barr: Justice Dept. is ‘all in’ on criminal justice overhaul


EDGEFIELD, S.C. (AP) — Leroy Nolan has spent the last 26 years behind bars at a federal prison for a drug conviction. In the prison factory, he works making T-shirts, backpacks and other products that are later sold to government agencies, nonprofits and others.


Saudi Arabia’s dilemma as the UAE pulls out of Yemen

by Thembisa Fakude

15 July 2019; MEMO: The war in Yemen is entering its fifth year with no solution in sight. Every day thousands of people, including women and children, are injured and maimed. According to Amnesty International, “there is extensive evidence that irresponsible arms flows to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition have resulted in enormous harm to Yemeni civilians.”

Membership milestone is world's vote of confidence in AIIB

by Jiang Li

BEIJING, July 16 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has expanded its membership to 100 with the approval of the African newcomers of Benin, Djibouti and Rwanda at the fourth annual meeting of the bank's board of governors held in Luxembourg over the weekend.

The fact that the AIIB has almost doubled its membership in just three years is a vote of confidence of the international community for the multilateral financing body's efforts to boost sustainable development worldwide.

Georgia's President Salome Zurabishvili: 'We are used to tension with Russia'

by Vladimir Esipov

15 July 2019; DW: In a DW interview, Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili spoke about tension with Russia caused by protests on the streets of Tbilisi, and her country's wish to put the Soviet past behind and join the European Union.