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Israel holds large military drill amid US-Iran tensions

Israel holds large military drill amid US-Iran tensions Israel wrapped up its largest military drill in years on Wednesday, with thousands of troops from the army, navy and air force simulating a future war with the militant Lebanese Hezbollah group amid fears that Iran would draw its Shiite proxy into the recent growing tensions in the Persian Gulf. The Israeli military said the four-day exercise had been planned long in advance and focused on the immersion of all branches against threats emanating from Israel's north. It included a large deployment of unmanned aircraft and the first use of the F-35 stealth fighter planes to prepare for scenarios of missile attacks and underground infiltrations from Lebanon.

New study to examine feeding habits of Cape Cod great whites

New study to examine feeding habits of Cape Cod great whites Researchers on Cape Cod are launching a new study focused on the hunting and feeding habits of the region's great white sharks following last year's two attacks on humans, including the state's first fatal one in more than 80 years. The hope is that the work, which starts in the coming days, contributes critical information to the ongoing debate over how to keep Cape beachgoers safe, said state marine biologist Greg Skomal, who has been studying the region's great whites for years and is leading the new effort. Cape Cod officials have been wrestling with how to respond to public concern in the aftermath of last year's attacks.

Warren emerges as potential compromise nominee

Warren emerges as potential compromise nominee Centrists who once said the senator would lead the party to ruin are coming around to her as an alternative to Bernie Sanders.

Xiaomi Eyes $725 Million Expansion to Stave Off Huawei in China

Xiaomi Eyes $725 Million Expansion to Stave Off Huawei in China (Bloomberg) -- Xiaomi Corp. aims to spend an additional 5 billion yuan ($725 million) expanding its Chinese retail network over the next three years, anticipating a re-doubled effort by Huawei Technologies Co. to grow its domestic market share.The smartphone maker will spend the money on expanding distribution channels and on reward programs for its partners and sales employees, a person familiar with the matter said, citing an internal meeting convened by billionaire co-founder Lei Jun Tuesday. That spending comes on top of an existing budget for building up its retail operations. Chinese media outlet Caixin reported on the investment earlier.Huawei is said to be preparing for a drop in international smartphone shipments of 40% to 60% as the Trump administration bars its access to American components and software. That means Google will cut off popular apps like YouTube and stop providing updates for the Android system that powers all of Huawei’s devices abroad. It wants to grab as much as half of the smartphone market in China in 2019 to offset that decline overseas, people familiar with the matter have said, citing internal discussions about year-end goals. It hopes to get there also by investing in marketing and expanding distribution channels.Xiaomi aims to become the country’s top vendor but its priority is to at least become No. 3, the person said, asking not to be identified discussing internal goals. The company currently ranks fourth. It sees the roll-out of next-generation 5G mobile networks in coming years as a golden opportunity to boost sales on its home turf, the person added.Hong Kong-listed Xiaomi now commands about 12% of the Chinese smartphone market versus Huawei’s 34%, Canalys estimates. Its shipments slid 13% in the first quarter while its rivals’ soared 41%, the research outfit estimated.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Gao Yuan in Beijing at ygao199@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at, Edwin Chan, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Mars has a brand new crater, and it sure is pretty

Mars has a brand new crater, and it sure is pretty Mars, like any other rocky world, has its fair share of craters. These scars of ancient impacts give the dusty surface of the planet some serious personality, and sometimes it's easy to forget that new craters can happen right before our eyes. That's exactly what seems to have occurred, and a new image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveals a brand new impact site that might only be a few months old.The image, which was captured by the HiRISE camera built into the orbiter, shows a bold dark patch of material surrounding a circular crater on the Martian surface. Researchers believe it might have been created as recently as February 2019.The University of Arizona posted the photo, along with the following caption:> An impressionist painting? No, it's a new impact crater that has appeared on the surface of Mars, formed at most between September 2016 and February 2019. What makes this stand out is the darker material exposed beneath the reddish dust.The photo itself was captured in April and is only just now getting the attention it deserves. However, because the orbiter can't be looking at the entire planet at all times, it's unclear when exactly the crater formed, and researchers can only narrow it down to sometime between September 2016 and February 2019.This is yet another great reminder of the fantastic work NASA's Mars orbiter has been doing for years now. The spacecraft originally launched way back in 2005 and arrived at Mars in March of the following year. When it did, its primary mission was only scheduled to last for two years, but it has since put in over 13 years of faithful service for scientists. As long as it keeps producing images like this one, we hope it keeps going for a long time to come.

NASA’s asteroid probe snapped its closest photo yet of space rock Bennu

NASA’s asteroid probe snapped its closest photo yet of space rock Bennu NASA's OSIRIS-REx asteroid probe is giving scientists an even better look at the surface of the space rock known as Bennu now that it's moved even closer to the object. A new photo posted by the partnership between NASA and the University of Arizona gives us what might be our most detailed glimpse yet at the rock.The spacecraft has been hanging around Bennu for several months now, and will continue to do so for several more. Its new orbit, which its handlers call the Orbital B phase, brings it within a half mile of Bennu's surface, and this new photo shows us exactly what it sees as it orbits.The photo, which was posted to NASA's OSIRIS-REx web portal, comes with the following caption:> This image of asteroid Bennu was captured on Jun. 13, 2019, shortly after NASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft executed its second orbital insertion maneuver. From the spacecraft's vantage point in orbit, half of Bennu is sunlit and half is in shadow. Bennu's largest boulder can also be seen protruding from the southern hemisphere.The OSIRIS-REx team goes on to explain that, due to the incredibly short distance between the spacecraft and the asteroid, details "as small as 1.6 feet across" can be seen in the full-resolution image (available here).Getting a detailed look at Bennu's surface is about more than just capturing some fancy space eye candy. NASA has to know what every inch of the rock looks like in order to choose the best possible location for an eventual touchdown.Eventually, the probe will set down briefly on Bennu in order to snag a sample of its material for return to Earth. The asteroid is absolutely covered in debris, however, posing a serious challenge. In the months ahead, scientists will come up with a short list of possible landing locations and then narrow it down, and observations like this one will help them make their decision.

Xi firmly backs Pyongyang's effort to solve Korea Peninsula issues: Rodong Sinmun

Xi firmly backs Pyongyang's effort to solve Korea Peninsula issues: Rodong Sinmun Chinese President Xi Jinping said in an op-ed in North Korean state newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Wednesday that China supports North Korea's "correct direction" in politically resolving issues on the Korean Peninsula. The front-page op-ed is an honor rarely granted to foreign leaders and comes a day before Xi is set to visit Pyongyang on Thursday and Friday at the invitation of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, making him the first Chinese leader to visit in 14 years. The visit is a sorely needed show of support for Kim, whose campaign of diplomatic outreach and drive to rebuild the economy has suffered since the collapse of the Hanoi summit between North Korea's Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump in February.

Watch as a Model 3 is transformed into the first Tesla pickup truck

Watch as a Model 3 is transformed into the first Tesla pickup truck For all of the hoopla surrounding Elon Musk's online antics and Tesla's ongoing struggles to ramp up Model 3 production, it's easy to overlook just how far the company has come in a relatively short period of time. In less than seven years time, Tesla managed to roll out the award-winning Model S, followed of course by the Model Y and the Model 3. It's worth noting that Tesla, during this seven-year period, has seen its deliveries and overall manufacturing figures skyrocket. As a prime example, Tesla during the first quarter of 2018 manufactured 34,494 vehicles. During the first quarter of 2019, just one year later, that figure jumped to 77,100 vehicles. All the while, Tesla has no plans of slowing down. Over the next few years, the company has plans to release a crossover version of the Model 3, a Tesla semi-truck, a next-gen Roadster, and last but not least, an electric pickup truck. Tesla's pickup truck plan is particularly intriguing given how popular pickup trucks are in the United States. Over the past few months, Musk has teased Tesla's somewhat mysterious pickup truck, noting that it will boast "incredible functionally from a load carrying standpoint" and that it will look more like a sci-fi truck than a traditional pickup truck. "That means that it’s not going to be for everyone," Musk said a few weeks ago, "like if somebody just wants to have a truck that looks like trucks have looked like for the last 20 to 40 years, it probably isn’t for them." With no definite timeline regarding a release date, or even an unveiling, an enterprising Model 3 owner and robotics enthusiast named Simone Giertz recently decided that she couldn't wait for Tesla to get around to releasing a pickup truck. So instead, she created one on her own out of a Model 3. The entire process was documented on YouTube and it's quite fascinating. "I don't know if this going to be the smartest or the most stupid thing I'm ever gonna do, but the bottom line is  I really want an electric pickup truck and more specifically I want a Tesla pickup," Giertz explains. Suffice it to say, the entire process was quite involved and not exactly straight forward. But after a lot of engineering and planning, the first Tesla pickup truck was borne into existence. It's not the most aesthetically pleasing design, but it's still quite an impressive achievement: She even went so far as to make a commercial for the fictional "Truckla" she designed:

Trump's acting defence secretary Patrick Shanahan withdraws amid family's domestic violence incidents

Trump's acting defence secretary Patrick Shanahan withdraws amid family's domestic violence incidents Donald Trump's acting defence secretary has withdrawn from consideration after a series of domestic violence incidents within his family came to light.  The US president announced on Tuesday that Patrick Shanahan, 56, had "decided not to go forward with his confirmation process" to lead the Pentagon permanently.  Mr Trump said the army secretary, Mark Esper, will come in as acting secretary of defence. The post has been vacant since James Mattis resigned in December over Mr Trump's sudden decision to remove US troops from Syria. The new upheaval leaves the Pentagon without a permanent leader at a time of rising tensions in the Middle East, with America accusing Iran of attacking oil tankers in the strategic Gulf of Oman. Mr Shanahan's nomination process in the Senate had been delayed  by an FBI background check because of the details surrounding his divorce, including a 2010 claim by his ex-wife that he punched her in the stomach.   James Mattis resigned from the role in December Credit: AP A spokesman for Mr Shanahan said that his ex-wife, who now goes by Kimberley Jordinson, started the fight and it was she who was arrested and charged with domestic violence. Court documents also revealed that Mr Shanahan's 17-year-old son William repeatedly beat his mother with a baseball bat in 2011, leaving her in hospital with a fractured skull and elbow. Two weeks later, Mr Shanahan stated in a note to his ex-wife's brother that his son had acted in self-defence. “Use of a baseball bat in self-defense will likely be viewed as an imbalance of force,” he wrote. “However, Will’s mother harassed him for nearly three hours before the incident.”   In an interview with The Washington Post published on Tuesday, Mr Shanahan said that “bad things can happen to good families” and said he feared the publicity “will ruin my son’s life.” He also said he regretted writing the memo suggesting there could be any justification for an assault with a baseball bat. Ms Jordinson maintained in a recent interview that Mr Shanahan had hit her in 2010 as the pair struggled over a briefcase.  ....I thank Pat for his outstanding service and will be naming Secretary of the Army, Mark Esper, to be the new Acting Secretary of Defense. I know Mark, and have no doubt he will do a fantastic job!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 18, 2019 However officers who were called to the family home concluded that Ms Jordinson, not Mr Shanahan, had been the attacker. Police said they could find no injuries on Ms Jordinson, but Mr Shanahan was sporting a bloody nose and his wife “appeared to be intoxicated” and had “blood stains” on her right forearm.  She was later arrested on a domestic assault charge but prosecutors dropped the case the next year because of a lack of evidence.   At the time, the couple's son William submitted a statement to his mother's lawyer stating that she called him for help during the struggle. But this week he told USA Today that his mother “coerced” him to sign the document meant to assist her defence. “I did what she told me,” he said.   During her divorce Ms Jordinson was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and police records show there have been ongoing concerns about her mental stability when officers have responded to multiple calls from her home.  Details of the incidents have started to emerge in US media reports about Mr Shanahan's nomination process.  The former Boeing executive has been leading the Pentagon as acting secretary since January 1 despite having very little experience in government, a highly unusual arrangement for one of the most sensitive Cabinet positions. In more than four months as the acting secretary, he focused on a shift from the resources and tactics required to fight small wars against extremist groups to what Mr Shanahan calls "great power" competition with China and Russia.  Addressing his withdrawal, he said: "I believe my continuing in the confirmation process would force my three children to relive a traumatic chapter in our family's life."

The Latest: 2 charged in huge cocaine bust at Philly port

The Latest: 2 charged in huge cocaine bust at Philly port Two members of a container ship's crew face federal drug charges after agents raided their vessel at a Philadelphia port and seized about 33,000 pounds (15,000 kilograms) of cocaine. Court documents filed Tuesday charge Ivan Durasevic and Fonofaavae Tiasage with conspiracy to possess cocaine aboard a ship subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

Attorney Michael Avenatti faces November trial in New York

Attorney Michael Avenatti faces November trial in New York California attorney Michael Avenatti learned Tuesday that he faces a November trial date on charges he tried to extort millions of dollars from Nike. The Nov. 12 trial date was set by U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe at a pretrial hearing in Manhattan. Avenatti participated by telephone.

Attorney: Deputy in clash with Raptors exec has concussion

Attorney: Deputy in clash with Raptors exec has concussion A deputy suffered a concussion and is on medical leave after an altercation with the president of the Toronto Raptors as he tried to join his team on the court to celebrate their NBA championship, a lawyer said Tuesday. The 20-year-veteran of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office also has a serious jaw injury and is considering filing a lawsuit against Raptors President Masai Ujiri, attorney David Mastagni said. The clash between the deputy and Ujiri happened as the deputy checked court-access credentials after the game Thursday in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors.

The Latest: Indiana AG's office plans vigorous defense

The Latest: Indiana AG's office plans vigorous defense The Indiana attorney general's office says it will vigorously defend him against a federal lawsuit by four women who say he drunkenly groped them during a party last year. The lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges sexual harassment by Republican state Attorney General Curtis Hill on a state lawmaker and three legislative staffers in March 2018 at an Indianapolis bar. Hill has denied wrongdoing and rebuffed calls from Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb to resign.

As the trade war with China heats up this summer, who is feeling the chill?

As the trade war with China heats up this summer, who is feeling the chill? The number of visitors to the U.S. from China fell 5.7% to 3 million in 2018, the first decline In 15 years. So far, it’s not getting better in 2019.

Hong Kong leader's apology is 'fake,' more protests are coming, foes say

Hong Kong leader's apology is 'fake,' more protests are coming, foes say Leaders of a massive protest in Hong Kong rejected Chief Executive Carrie Lam's apology for a contentious extradition bill, demand her resignation.

NASA says there’s ‘no doubt’ SpaceX Crew Dragon explosion has pushed back crewed flights

NASA says there’s ‘no doubt’ SpaceX Crew Dragon explosion has pushed back crewed flights NASA desperately needs a way to get its astronauts into space without paying for pricey seats aboard Russian rockets, but the agency's two best hopes -- SpaceX and Boeing -- are stumbling a bit at the finish line. Boeing's Starliner has been plagued by delays nearly from the start, and SpaceX is now dealing with its own list of problems.In remarks to reporters at the Paris Airshow, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine admitted that the recent destruction of a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule during static testing is a major setback for NASA's crewed flight schedule. The race to be the first to deliver a suitable solution for NASA's needs now appears to be anyone's game."There is no doubt the schedule will change," Bridenstine reportedly said during his brief talk. "It won't be what was originally planned."Back in late April, something went seriously wrong during a static test of Crew Dragon's thrusters. The thrusters being tested were those that would spring into action if a launch had to be aborted after it had already lifted off. They're designed to push the crew capsule away from the rest of the launch vehicle, keeping the crew safe.Unfortunately, a glitch that so far has been described only as "an anomaly" occurred and the entire Crew Dragon capsule was destroyed in a fiery explosion. Details regarding exactly what went wrong have been scant, but both NASA and SpaceX are still conducting their investigations into the matter.Up until that point, SpaceX was clearly beating competitor Boeing in the race to finish a crew-capable NASA spacecraft. However, an explosion can be a pretty big setback, and now it's unclear when SpaceX will be able to resume its testing and get back on track. In the meantime, NASA will just have to wait.

UN chief calls on Russia, Turkey to 'stabilize' Syrian province

UN chief calls on Russia, Turkey to 'stabilize' Syrian province UN chief Antonio Guterres called on Russia and Turkey Tuesday to "stabilize the situation" in the Syrian province of Idlib, rocked by intense fighting between pro-government and jihadist-led forces. "I am deeply concerned about the escalation of the fighting in Idlib and the situation is specially dangerous given the involvement of an increased number of actors.

Boeing's troubled 737 MAX gets huge vote of confidence from IAG

Boeing's troubled 737 MAX gets huge vote of confidence from IAG US aircraft giant Boeing got a welcome vote of confidence in its beleaguered 737 MAX plane on Tuesday when International Airlines Group, owner of British Airways, said it wanted to buy 200 of the planes. It was a coup for Boeing since up to now IAG has been a longtime client of Airbus for its single-aisle jets, used on some of its most popular routes. "We have every confidence in Boeing and expect that the aircraft will make a successful return to service in the coming months having received approval from the regulators," IAG's chief Willie Walsh said in a statement.

Photos of the 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S Coupe

Police: Mom drives into Michigan river; 3 dead

Police: Mom drives into Michigan river; 3 dead Authorities say they've found the body of a woman and her 9-year-old twin daughters after she intentionally drove a car carrying them into a southwestern Michigan river. (June 18)

Reynolds Wrap will pay someone $5,000 a week to travel across America eating ribs

Reynolds Wrap will pay someone $5,000 a week to travel across America eating ribs Grill masters and backyard barbecue bosses, listen up

Comics say Trump should be interrupted by coughing more often

Comics say Trump should be interrupted by coughing more often What was Trump's White House interview with Stephanopoulos like? The comics give a crash course in Best of Late Night.

Ocasio-Cortez accuses Trump administration of creating ‘concentration camps on the southern border’

Ocasio-Cortez accuses Trump administration of creating ‘concentration camps on the southern border’ The freshman Democrat sharply criticized the Trump administration's handling of migrants seeking asylum in the United States with rhetoric that drew the ire of some Republicans.

Man who died in Dominican Republic reportedly had green foam coming out of his mouth

Man who died in Dominican Republic reportedly had green foam coming out of his mouth An Arizona man claims his dad, who died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic last June, had "something green" foaming from his mouth when he died. 

Do Trump's Polls Matter?

Do Trump's Polls Matter? This evening President Donald Trump will officially launch his reelection campaign at a rally in Orlando, Florida. The campaign’s first hiccup occurred before it even began, when a leak (a ubiquitous problem for this administration) over the weekend of internal poll numbers has dampened enthusiasm from supporters.From March 15 to March 28, the nascent campaign conducted polling in seventeen states using multiple possible Democratic nominees, according to ABC News. Not every state poll was leaked, and all of the polls show President Trump facing former Vice President Joe Biden, who’s been the frontrunner since his announcement in late April.The Trump campaign’s polling shows Biden beating the incumbent by double digits in crucial states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. The numbers show Biden leading Trump by seven points in Florida, the state where the president has spent the most time outside the beltway since his inauguration. In Texas, a requirement for any Republican victory in the Electoral College, Trump beats Biden by only two points.

Saudi, Philippines airlines order Airbus, IAG goes for Boeing

Saudi, Philippines airlines order Airbus, IAG goes for Boeing Saudi Arabian Airlines, the kingdom's national airline, said Tuesday it had ordered 65 A320neo-type aircraft from Airbus, worth more than $7.4 billion at list prices, giving an early boost to the European manufacturer at the Paris Air Show. The deal is part of Saudi Arabian Airlines' plans to boost its A320neo fleet to up to 100 aircraft from 35 now. The additional aircraft will be deployed to support the national carrier's plan to boost capacity," Airbus said in a statement.

Everyone gets a taco, claim your free Doritos Locos Taco from Taco Bell

Everyone gets a taco, claim your free Doritos Locos Taco from Taco Bell As part of the company's "Steal a Game, Steal a Taco" promotion, Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Tacos will be available at all U.S. chains for free during 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

China earthquake kills 13, injures 199

China earthquake kills 13, injures 199 The toll from a strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake in southwest China rose to 13 dead and 199 injured on Tuesday as rescuers pulled bodies and survivors from wrecked buildings. More than 8,000 people were relocated as a large number of structures were damaged or collapsed after the quake struck late Monday near Yibin, in Sichuan province, according to the city government. Other images were of a woman being helped out of another collapsed structure.

White House will not invite Israeli officials to Bahrain event on grand Middle East plan

White House will not invite Israeli officials to Bahrain event on grand Middle East plan The White House will not invite Israeli government officials to a Bahrain conference devoted to gaining support for a Palestinian economic plan in order to keep the event apolitical, a senior administration official said on Monday. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Palestinian business representatives are expected to attend the event in Manama on June 25-26, but not Palestinian government officials, who have boycotted a peace initiative led by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner. As a result, the administration decided not to extend an invitation to Israeli government officials to a conference expected to be attended by envoys from Arab governments as well as European nations. "We’re inviting the Israeli business people and Palestinian business people. We'd like to make it as apolitical as possible," the official said. When the Bahrain conference was announced last month, US officials initially suggested privately that Israeli government attendance in Bahrain would be an opportunity for Israel and some of its Gulf Arab neighbors to display in public the behind-the-scenes contacts that have grown in recent years, especially on security matters over their common enemy Iran. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, met with Jared Kushner in Jerusalem in May   Credit: Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Jerusalem After the White House announced last week that Egypt and Jordan had agreed to attend, some Israeli diplomats said Israeli government officials were also likely to attend. But no formal invitation materialised. In Manama, Mr Kushner and President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt are to unveil the economic part of Mr Trump's long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. The plan, touted by Mr Trump as the "deal of the century," is to encourage investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by Arab donor countries before grappling with thorny political issues at the heart of the conflict. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has heaped scorn on the conference and urged Arab governments not to attend.

Trump would consider military force vs Iran to prevent nuclear weapon: Time interview

Trump would consider military force vs Iran to prevent nuclear weapon: Time interview U.S. President Donald Trump would consider using military force to prevent Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon but left open the question if it involved protecting oil supplies, he told Time magazine in an interview published on Tuesday. Striking a different tone than some Republican lawmakers who have urged a military response, Trump told Time the impact of the recent attacks on Norwegian and Japanese oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman had been "very minor" so far. The United States has blamed Iran for the tanker attacks, citing as evidence a series of images showing an Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps boat removing an unexploded limpet mine from the hull of the Japanese oil tanker attacked on June 13.

Parkland school shooting survivor loses admission to Harvard after racist comments surface

Parkland school shooting survivor loses admission to Harvard after racist comments surface Gun rights supporter Kyle Kashuv said that he's grown since making the comments and that Harvard, which has its own racist history, should understand that.

It shouldn't take Jon Stewart to rescue 9/11 first responders

It shouldn't take Jon Stewart to rescue 9/11 first responders 50,000 survivors have been diagnosed with 9/11-related illnesses. Reauthorizing compensation is the least Mitch McConnell and Congress can do: Our view

Far-right UK student jailed over Prince Harry online posts

Far-right UK student jailed over Prince Harry online posts A far-right university student who called Prince Harry a race traitor and created an image of him with a pistol to his head was on Tuesday jailed in Britain for more than four years. Michal Szewczuk, 19, posted the image, which also featured a blood-splattered swastika, on microblogging platform Gab in August last year, months after the prince married mixed-race actress Meghan Markle. Szewczuk, who was jailed for four years and three months, pleaded guilty to two counts of encouraging terrorism and five counts of possession of terrorist material, including the White Resistance Manual and an Al-Qaeda manual.

Venezuela's misery doesn't even spare the dead in Maracaibo

Venezuela's misery doesn't even spare the dead in Maracaibo Thieves have broken into some of the vaults and coffins in El Cuadrado cemetery since late last year, stealing ornaments and sometimes items from corpses as the country sinks to new depths of deprivation. "Starting eight months ago, they even took the gold teeth of the dead," said José Antonio Ferrer, who is in charge of the cemetery, where a prominent doctor, a university director and other local luminaries are buried. Much of Venezuela is in a state of decay and abandonment, brought on by shortages of things that people need the most: cash, food, water, medicine, power, gasoline.

The migrants risking it all on the deadly Rio Grande

The migrants risking it all on the deadly Rio Grande The 19-year-old pregnant migrant wades towards the US shore, deep enough in the Rio Grande for waves to splash against her waist. Pushing through the river’s current, and mindful of an alligator lingering upriver, she guides her friend’s crying 10-year-old boy towards a US border-patrol rescue boat. As the boat carries them on the final leg of their journey to the United States from Honduras, the young woman waves back to a group on Mexico’s riverbank cheering her rescue.The day before, border-patrol agents at the Eagle Pass river crossing in South Texas had found the body of a man too decomposed to be easily identified. A couple of days earlier, a video of a man desperately trying to swim against the current before going limp and sinking circulated in Mexican news media. And in early May, border-patrol agents at Eagle Pass pulled the body of a 10-month-old baby from the Rio Grande after a raft carrying nine migrants overturned. Only five survived.“The sad moments are the deaths. Unfortunately, we’ve seen some of those,” says Bryan Kemmett, the border-patrol agent in charge of Eagle Pass, a town of 29,000 about an hour from the larger Del Rio. “The more troubling ones, the ones more recently, are the small infants. When you see the small infant and you hear the infant dying, you think about your own children.”Migrants have for years traversed the Rio Grande on makeshift rafts to cross illegally into the United States. But facing a surge of families from Central America, border-patrol agents are now pulling dozens of migrants, including young children, from the harsh current of the river almost every day. President Donald Trump’s repeated threats and attempts to limit immigration have not deterred migrants. The US Customs and Border Protection agency took more than 144,200 into custody in May, the highest monthly total in 13 years.Policies that separated migrant children from their parents, forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for their day in court and detained teenagers in camps likened to juvenile prisons have done little to stem the immigration flow. So far in the current federal fiscal year, which began on 1 October, border-patrol agents have rescued at least 315 migrants from a 209-mile stretch of the Rio Grande – up from 12 migrants the year before.Earlier this month, a 40-year-old migrant woman collapsed at the Eagle Pass station about 30 minutes after crossing the river. She was declared dead at a hospital, and the authorities were investigating the cause of her death.Migrants who are interviewed for this article at Eagle Pass say they are well aware of the risks. But they also say they were convinced by human smugglers and by other migrants that crossing the Rio Grande, which can take about five to 10 minutes, was the fastest and least complicated way to start their requests for asylum, given the Trump administration’s clampdown at legal ports of entry.“The whole world crosses through the river,” says Yevy Leiva, 28, who steered a raft across the Rio Grande with his son and two other migrants. Nine days later, he waits in a shelter in Del Rio, packed with scores of other migrants, for a bus to Dallas to stay with friends. Only migrants who show visible distress or who are travelling with a child are rescued by border-patrol agents. And while far more migrants trying to slip into the United States die on land – from dehydration or other dangers in the desert and brush – the number of deaths in the Rio Grande is rising at an alarming rate.Over the past two fiscal years, at least 11 people have drowned in the Del Rio sector of the Rio Grande. By comparison, the border patrol recovered the remains of four people from the river from fiscal 2015 to fiscal 2017.Randy Davis, the acting deputy chief patrol agent of the border patrol for the Del Rio sector, blames the deluge of migrants on the human smugglers who are increasingly exploiting this stretch of the Rio Grande as a comparatively untapped path into the United States.Since 1 October, border-patrol agents in the Del Rio sector have arrested nearly 18,000 migrant family members – compared with 1,387 during the first eight months of fiscal 2018. Agents in the sector have also rescued nearly three times as many migrants in the water than agents in other sectors along the border with Mexico, taken together.Some of them were infants who had to be flown to a hospital in San Antonio after they nearly drowned, Kemmett says. Davis says he expects to find more bodies. “There have been hundreds and hundreds of rescues,” Davis says. “I’m trying to keep them all straight in my mind. I would suspect there are other individuals out there that were never reported missing that we will eventually recover at some point in the future.”The US border patrol has issued warnings in Mexico about the dangers of crossing the Rio Grande, and Kemmett says migrants have been urged to at least wear life jackets before making the attempt. He says the river’s levels have risen about 3ft because of a water release from a nearby hydroelectric dam and excessive rainfall. While the Rio Grande is shallow in some areas, other parts dip without warning to a depth of 8ft. Debris ricochets along the riverbed, and the banks are littered with inflatable tubes and Styrofoam noodles that migrants use to stay afloat.The river levels are expected to rise again soon and the dam releases to irrigate crops in and around Eagle Pass and to provide electricity for the town. Underscoring the dangers to the migrants, an alligator hid among river weeds one afternoon last month, floating just high enough to show the spikes along its back.“They’re navigating the currents, they’re navigating the river itself, and now you have alligators,” says Kemmett, a 24-year veteran of the border patrol. “An alligator is not going to know the difference between a child and a chicken, or any other small animal.” Migrants often head to the Rio Grande with one change of clothes as well as their identification and other documents in a plastic bag. After crossing successfully, some change into the dry clothes before they are taken to a border-patrol facility to be processed.> They’re navigating the currents, they’re navigating the river itself, and now you have alligatorsWalking along the riverbank in Eagle Pass, Kemmett stops to examine a shirt left in the weeds near the water. It belonged to a baby. “We’re seeing a lot of families,” he says. “But within those families, we’re seeing more and more younger infants. Trying to cross the river with a 2-month-old strapped to your chest or your back is not easy.”“It’s not easy to begin with,” Kemmett says, “but now you’re trying to hold on to your child. And the desperation and the panic gets in there, and then they start to struggle.” Once they cross the Rio Grande and touch US soil, the migrants are taken into custody by the border patrol. They are processed in centres that were built to detain migrants before they were deported.But the sheer number of incoming migrants – many of whom are seeking asylum and are travelling with children who, by US law, cannot be detained for more than 20 days – has created an overwhelming backlog in cases and crowding at the border processing facilities. As a result, the vast majority of migrants who illegally enter the United States are told to report to court at a later date and are released. From there, the migrants search out relatives or other places to stay while their cases wind their way through immigration court.Last month, the Trump administration began flying migrants from overcrowded centres elsewhere in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to Del Rio to be processed. But agents in Del Rio say the processing facility there was also overcapacity; earlier this month, the authorities there built a tent city to house migrants. Storage areas that had been used for border-patrol equipment in Del Rio “are now storing baby formula, diapers, additional extra space for blankets, heat blankets they can wrap up in”, Davis says. Most of the migrants who are caught by the border patrol come to the United States to escape poverty in their home nations, Kemmett says, and do not appear to be the criminals that Trump has warned of in his campaign to limit immigration. Agents in Del Rio say there is no sign that the surge of migrant families will decline.Kemmett says the border-patrol agents he oversees are becoming “battle fatigued”. He also questions why migrants would knowingly put their children in that type of danger in attempting the perilous journey to the United States.For some of the immigrants, it is the only way to protect their families. Barefoot and balancing his 8-year-old daughter on his shoulders, Angel Gabriel, 39, crosses the Rio Grande and into Eagle Pass on a hot afternoon.He steadies his 32-year-old wife as they walk into the river current; she tightly grips their barefoot 16-year-old son. Border-patrol agents meet the family in the middle of the river and bring them to land. As soon as agents finish patting down Gabriel to ensure he is not carrying weapons or drugs, he rushes to his family members and embraces them. All four of them weep.“Truly thankful,” Gabriel says through tears as he sits in a border-patrol van with his family. He says they left Honduras after being attacked. “Thankful to the power of the United States that they helped us get out,” Gabriel says. “I feel thankful that my family is OK.”A few hours earlier, a pregnant Honduran woman took her first steps on US soil. She had briefly reconsidered crossing the Rio Grande after seeing pictures on Facebook a day earlier of an alligator in the river. But turning her head, she revealed a bruised jaw – the evidence of what she said was an attack by her domestic partner in Honduras.The woman, who said she was to give birth in about a week, wanted to apply for asylum in the United States and hoped to create a good life for her soon-to-be-born son. “The life with my partner was a risk,” she said as she looked at the river. “So this is nothing compared to that.”© New York Times

UPDATE 3-Hong Kong leader signals end to extradition bill but refuses to quit

UPDATE 3-Hong Kong leader signals end to extradition bill but refuses to quit Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Tuesday signalled the end of a controversial extradition bill that she promoted and then postponed after some of the most violent protests since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997. This was the strongest indicator yet that the government was effectively shelving legislation that would allow people to be extradited to mainland China to face trial, even if it fell short of protester demands for the government to scrap the bill altogether.

This Tank Could Stop a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan

This Tank Could Stop a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan The Trump administration’s plan to sell tanks, missiles and ground-launched air defenses to Taiwan embodies what might be called a strategic paradigm shift to empower the small island’s deterrence posture against an often-threatened Chinese invasion.While much existing discussion centers upon strengthening Taiwanese air, sea and undersea defenses, there also appears to be an unequivocal need for major land defenses. The existing air-sea emphasis is extremely important, yet there are certainly elements of this approach which invite further discussion about the need to provide Taiwan with a strong, armored ground force as well.The proposed $2 billion arms package includes 108 main battle tanks, 250 Stinger anti-air missiles, as well as 409 Javelins and 1,240 TOW anti-tank missiles.Drawing heavily upon a US Pacific presence along with Asian-theater allied support, a maritime-air Taiwan defense strategy has clearly had a deterrence impact in recent years. Part of this ability to keep a Chinese invasion at bay has naturally hinged upon a strong US posture ensuring defense of the island.

Trump threatens to deport millions starting next week as he prepares to announce 2020 bid

Trump threatens to deport millions starting next week as he prepares to announce 2020 bid Donald Trump has promised to begin deporting “millions” of people living in the US illegally, on the eve of the formal announcement of his 2020 presidential re-election campaign, Writing on Twitter late on Monday night, the president, who is seeking to portray himself as a strong and confident candidate to an unconvinced electorate said those entering the US would be “removed as fast as they come in” and said US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would begin removals next week.He also praised Mexican efforts to prevent illegal border crossings.“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” the president wrote. “They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people long before they get to our Southern Border. Guatemala is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement. "The only ones who won’t do anything are the Democrats in Congress. They must vote to get rid of the loopholes, and fix asylum! If so, Border Crisis will end quickly!”Mr Trump campaigned heavily on immigration during his 2016 presidential bid, and is expected to use similar tactics to fire up support among his base ahead of next year’s election.> Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people.......> > — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) > > 18 June 2019But despite his campaign talk of building a wall which he said Mexico would pay for and of stopping “bad hombres” coming into the US, immigration from countries south of the US border has risen during his presidency.Mr Trump recently threatened to hit Mexico with tariffs on goods if the country didn’t improve border enforcement.The move prompted Mexican authorities to dispatch their national guard and step-up coordination and enforcement efforts.A Mexican official, who briefed reporters in Washington on Monday, appeared to claim the efforts had resulted in an overnight success. He said US Border Patrol arrested 2,600 people per day after the agreement was struck on 7 June, according to Politico. This would represent a fall of almost a half from the average of 4,300 border arrests every day in May.Mr Trump is due to announce his 2020 presidential re-election bid on Tuesday.

The secret to Elizabeth Warren's surge? Ideas

The secret to Elizabeth Warren's surge? Ideas Of all the Democratic candidates, Warren has offered by far the most plans-driven and ambitious campaign – and voters love it‘Rather than condescend to voters, like most politicians, Warren has treated voters as adults, smart enough to handle her wonky style of campaigning.’ Photograph: Mark Makela/Getty ImagesOn Friday, the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren co-sponsored a bill to impose mandatory fines on companies that have data breaches. It was the kind of consumer welfare legislation that in the past would have been unremarkable. But in an era when Congress has consistently shirked its duty to shield consumers, the bill stood out.The legislation capped a week in which Warren surged in the polls. Less than eight months before the Iowa caucus, Warren is making strides in 2020 primary polls. According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey of 1,000 adults, 64% of Democratic primary voters in June were enthusiastic or comfortable with Warren, compared with 57% in March. Fewer of these voters were enthusiastic or comfortable with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, who have lost 11 and six points, respectively, since March.There’s more. In a poll last week of 2,312 registered voters in South Carolina, Warren gained nine points to reach 17% compared to Biden’s 37%. Among 18-34 year olds, Warren is leading 24% to Sanders’ 19% and Biden’s 17%.> There’s a simple reason for Warren’s sudden rise in the polls: the public has an appetite for policyThere’s a simple reason for Warren’s sudden rise in the polls: the public has an appetite for policy. Of all the Democratic candidates, Warren’s campaign has been by far the most ideas-driven and ambitious in its policy proposals. And voters love it.Rather than condescend to voters, like most politicians, Warren has treated voters as adults, smart enough to handle her wonky style of campaigning. Instead of spoon-feeding prospective voters soundbites, Warren is giving them heaps to digest – and her polling surge shows that voters appreciate the nerdy policy talk.Indeed, since Warren declared her candidacy for president, she has been offering policy prescriptions for our country’s most pressing ailments – and she hasn’t been brainstorming in a bubble.Week in and week out, she has been crisscrossing the country to tell receptive voters her ideas for an ultra-millionaire tax, student debt cancellation and breaking up big tech. She has also weighed in on reproductive rights, vaccines, the opioid crisis and algorithmic discrimination in automated loans. Her bevy of white papers demonstrates that there isn’t a policy area Warren won’t touch and she isn’t worried about repelling anyone with hard-hitting proposals.Better than any other candidate, Warren has articulated a connection between her personal and professional struggles and her ideas, lending an air of authenticity to her campaign. Her backstory – teacher turned reluctant stay-at-home mom turned Harvard Law School professor – clearly resonates with voters in important states such as Iowa and South Carolina.That sense of reciprocity has turned Warren into a populist rock star. Instead of appealing to the lowest common denominator among the voting public, she’s listening to and learning from voters in an ideas-driven campaign that doesn’t take voters for granted.The strategy is paying off – and proving wrong the outdated political wisdom that Americans don’t care about the intricacies of government.In May, Warren traveled to Kermit, West Virginia, the heart of Trump country, to pitch a $2.7bn-a-year plan to combat opioid addiction.“Her stance is decisive and bold,” Nathan Casian-Lakes told CBS News. “She has research and resources to back her ideas.” * Jill Priluck’s reporting and analysis has appeared in the New Yorker, Slate, Reuters and elsewhere

Forget Glock or Sig Sauer: This 100 Year Old Gun Might Be Better

Forget Glock or Sig Sauer: This 100 Year Old Gun Might Be Better The response of some weapons designers might have been to develop a fully automatic gun. If one bullet wouldn’t stop the enemy, three might. That would be the argument of a disposable, consumerist culture of overabundance, but we weren’t there yet. The 1911 was frugal with the bullets, but the ones it dished out really did the job.The 1911 is one of the most notorious handguns in history and easily the most famous in America, having seen action in every U.S. conflict since World War I. One of the most successful product designs ever, the 1911 has achieved something rare in the world of machines: immortality. Over a hundred years old, it remains largely unchanged.What Apple is to consumer electronics, John Browning was to late 19th and early 20th century firearms. The 1911 is his most famous design. The typical 1911 is 8.25 inches from tip to tail and weighs 2.49 pounds empty — about as much as a trade paperback book. The 1911 is made of steel, steel and more steel, and takes a magazine that holds seven bullets.The 1911 has seen service in World War I, Mexico, Haiti, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic (twice), Lebanon, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Iran, Grenada, Panama, the Gulf War, the Iraq War and Afghanistan. It has chased bad men from Pancho Villa to Osama Bin Laden.

Duterte Stands by China, Doubts Own Fishermen in Sea Collision

Duterte Stands by China, Doubts Own Fishermen in Sea Collision (Bloomberg) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is standing by China over a collision involving the two nations’ boats in the South China Sea, with his spokesman casting doubts on local fishermen’s accounts of the incident.In his first public statement about what he described as a “maritime incident,” Duterte said China’s side should be heard on the collision that resulted in a Philippine vessel carrying 22 fishermen sinking in disputed waters on June 9. The crew were rescued by a Vietnamese fishing boat and a Philippine Navy ship.“It is best investigated. I don’t issue a statement now because there’s no investigation and no result," Duterte said in speech at a Philippine Navy event on Monday night. "The only thing we can do is wait and give the other party the right to be heard.”The Philippines will not escalate tensions with China by sending military ships to the South China Sea following the collision, he added, reiterating his nation isn’t ready to go to war with Beijing.At a briefing Tuesday, Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo said there are "circumstances that give doubt to the version" of the Filipino fishermen, including how most of them were asleep when the collision happened.“The President doesn’t want this to be blown into an international crisis,” Panelo said. “We are being careful because there will be repercussions if we make the wrong move.”‘Passive’ PolicyDuterte stuck to his pro-China stance despite calls from the opposition, led by Vice President Leni Robredo, to change his “passive” China policy by actively asserting the nation’s rights in the disputed waters. Robredo, in a Facebook post Sunday, also called on Duterte’s government to demand the Chinese fishermen’s trial in the Philippines.Duterte now has to convince the public that friendly ties with China is still the way to go, said Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines’ Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea.“Between the Philippine government and the Chinese government the friendship policy has been set, but this incident has happened and casts doubt on the sincerity and wisdom of it to the Filipino people,” Batongbacal said.The Philippines’ long-term position in the South China Sea dispute may be weakened if Duterte maintains his pro-Beijing stance after the incident, said Professor Jeffrey Ordaniel, a fellow at Hawaii-based foreign policy research institute Pacific Forum. “The Duterte administration’s China policy is unfortunately helping the Chinese pursue their maritime ambitions.”Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang described the incident as an “accidental collision" at briefing on Monday, adding that politicizing the collision “is not appropriate.” Beijing’s embassy in Manila earlier said the Chinese vessel’s captain tried to rescue the Philippine fishermen after bumping into their boat, but was afraid of being "besieged" by other Filipino fishing boats.The incident took place near Reed Bank, an area claimed by both Manila and Beijing where there’s a pending oil exploration plan by Philippines company PXP Energy Corp.\--With assistance from Dandan Li and Philip J. Heijmans.To contact the reporter on this story: Andreo Calonzo in Manila at acalonzo1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecilia Yap at, Ruth Pollard, Caroline AlexanderFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Russia's 1st 5th Generation Stealth Fighter: Meet the Secret MiG 1.44

Russia's 1st 5th Generation Stealth Fighter: Meet the Secret MiG 1.44 Over the prior decade, Russia’s foray into fifth-generation jet fighter development has become synonymous with the upcoming Su-57. But the Su-57 was only Russia’s second attempt at developing a fifth-generation aircraft, preceded by several decades with an altogether different project.This is the story of the ill-fated MiG 1.44.In 1979, Soviet high command determined that a new generation of fighter aircraft was needed to ensure the competitiveness of the Soviet Air Force (VVS) into the 1990’s and beyond. The timing could not have been more apt; it was only several years later that the US air force began researching and developing what would become the highly capable F-22 fighter.The project, which became known as MFI or “Multifunctional Frontline Fighter,” established a set of core design criteria roughly corresponding with the Soviet and early Russian understanding of what makes a fifth-generation fighter: supermaneuverability, supercruise capability (sustained supersonic speeds without the use of afterburners), low radar cross-section, integrated avionics system, and substantially improved landing/takeoff capability.

DR officials identify man believed to have paid Ortiz hitmen

DR officials identify man believed to have paid Ortiz hitmen Dominican authorities on Monday identified the man they believe paid hit men to try and kill David Ortiz, adding that they were closing in on the mastermind and motive behind the shooting of the famous slugger who is recovering at a hospital in Boston. The man was identified as Alberto Miguel Rodríguez Mota, whom authorities say is a fugitive. The announcement was made as a judge held a hearing closed to the public for another suspect nicknamed "Bone." Officials did not release details, but according to court documents obtained by The Associated Press, the man, whose real name is Gabriel Alexánder Pérez Vizcaíno, is accused of being the liaison between the alleged hit men and the person who paid them.

Death toll from China quakes rises to 11

Death toll from China quakes rises to 11 BEIJING/SHANGHAI, June 18 (Reuters) - The death toll from two strong earthquakes in China rose to 11 on Tuesday, with 122 people injured, state media said, adding that rescuers pulled some survivors from rubble in a part of the country that often suffers strong tremors. The quakes, roughly 30 minutes apart, hit the southwestern province of Sichuan late on Monday, with shaking felt in key regional cities, such as the provincial capital of Chengdu and the metropolis of Chongqing. People rushed into the streets and cracks were left in some buildings by the quakes, pictures posted on the social media accounts of state media showed.

US sending 1,000 more troops to Middle East as Pentagon releases new images of tanker attacks

US sending 1,000 more troops to Middle East as Pentagon releases new images of tanker attacks The US is sending about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East amid tensions over a series of attacks on oil tankers and with the country's nuclear agreement on the brink of collapse.   Patrick Shanahan, Acting US Defence Secretary, announced the deployment on Monday, explaining the move was for "defensive purposes," citing concerns about a threat from Iran. The US has accused Iran of attacking six oil ships in the Gulf of Oman over the last month. Iran denies responsibility.  "The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behaviour by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region," Mr Shanahan said in a statement. The series of mysterious attacks on oil tankers have been blamed by the US on Iranian-laid limpet mines. The Pentagon on Monday released new photos intended to bolster its case that Iran was responsible for the attacks. This photo shows what the Navy says are members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy removing an unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous Credit: AP Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which the US suspects in the attacks, answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and operates outside of the traditional military's control. Gen Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, the chief of the general staff of Iran's armed forces, denied Tehran was involved in the tanker attacks, saying on Monday the country only would respond in "an open, strong and severe way" if needed. But he also reiterated Iran's traditional stance on the Strait of Hormuz. "If we decide to block the Strait of Hormuz, we will to do it in a way that even a drop of oil won't pass the strait," Bagheri added. Compounding concerns in the region, the Iran nuclear agreement is in danger of collapsing by the end of the month after Iran said it would breach the agreement on June 27 unless Europe finds a way to get around US sanctions and bolster Iran’s faltering economy.  U.S. Pentagon in Washington releases handout imagery that it says shows damage from mines to commercial ships in Gulf of Oman Credit: Reuters One year after Donald Trump pulled the US out of the nuclear deal, Iran said on Monday that in ten days it will blow past the limits on enriched uranium that it consented to in the 2015 agreement. The ultimatum from Tehran is likely to trigger a diplomatic scramble by European powers to save the unravelling nuclear deal and force Britain, France, and Germany to consider whether they will sanction Iran if it openly breaks the accord.  European officials said there appeared to be little hope of reaching a compromise before the Iranian deadline. “If [the European states] had any cards, I think they would have played them by now,” one diplomat said.  If the deal does collapse it will plunge the world back into the uncertainty of the early 2010s, when Iran was amassing material that could be used for a nuclear weapon while Israel and the US threatened strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities to stop its progress.   Under the 2015 agreement Iran was able to hold up to 300kg of low grade uranium. The country’s atomic energy agency said Monday that on June 27 it would exceed that limit, a potentially serious violation of the agreement.  "Today the countdown to pass the 300kg reserve of enriched uranium has started and in 10 days time we will pass this limit," said Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for the atomic agency.  A U.S. military image shows what the Pentagon says is a handprint from an individual who removed an unexploded limpet mine from the side of the motor vessel M/T Kokuka Courageous Credit: Reuters Iran also threatened to resume enrichment of high-grade uranium, the kind that could eventually be used for a nuclear weapon. It did not set a precise date for when it would resume such enrichment, which would also breach the nuclear deal.  Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president, said there was still time to save the nuclear agreement if Europe stepped up its support for Iran’s economy before the end of the month. "It's a crucial moment,” Mr Rouhani told the French ambassador in Tehran. “France can still work with other signatories of the deal and play an historic role to save the deal in this very short time.” Britain, France, and Germany have been trying to assuage Iran for months with a promise of setting up a special financial mechanism designed to let European firms trade with Iran without being hit by sanctions.  But the financial mechanism, known as Instex, has so far shown little promise and many European firms are wary of doing anything that could lead to US sanctions.  Gulf of Oman, US responds Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister and a leading critic of the nuclear deal, said the international community should “immediately” impose new sanctions on Iran if it carried out its threat to breach the deal.  Mr Netanyahu came close to ordering strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2011 but held off largely because of concerns that Barack Obama, then president, would not support an Israeli attack.  His calculations may be different under Mr Trump, who has been more supportive of Israel and more confrontational with Iran. Israeli officials said they were committed to stopping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and would attack if necessary to achieve that objective.  The nuclear deal includes a “snapback clause” that could, if there was backing from the UN Security Council, re-impose sanctions on Iran, if it was found to have violated the agreement. Iran continues to deny it was behind the second spate of attacks on tankers passing through the Strait of Hormuz Credit:  US Department of Defense Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign affairs chief was asked about the EU’s red line for the nuclear deal snapback. She said the EU hoped and expected Iran to comply with its commitments. “I will not elaborate on what happens if and when because at the moment, as of today, Iran is still compliant," she said after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. “During the last year it has been increasingly difficult for all to keep the nuclear deal fully implemented," she added,"Our focus is not to enter into a blame game. Our focus is to keep our agreement in place." Hassan Rouhani, Iran's president, has demanded Europe do more to help Iran's economy Credit: REUTERS/Mukhtar Kholdorbekov A UK spokesman said, “The E3 [of UK, France and Germany] has consistently made clear that there can be no reduction in compliance. For now Iran remains within its nuclear commitments. We are coordinating with E3 partners on next steps.” Iran announced later on Monday that it had arrested several people in Tehran who it said were CIA operatives.  Mojtaba Zolnour, the head of Iran’s nuclear parliamentary committee, also warned that Iran could pull out of a global treaty designed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. Mr Zolnour said that Iran could withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty, under which it agreed not to seek nuclear weapons.  Iran has always claimed it has no intention of ever building a nuclear bomb but Israel and other states have accused it of secretly developing a nuclear weapons programme.   Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.

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Suspected home intruder chased off by 11-year-old boy with machete

Suspected home intruder chased off by 11-year-old boy with machete An 11-year-old boy is making headlines after he chased off three home invadersby striking one of them with a machete last Friday morning, according to WTVD

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover finally has its head

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover finally has its head NASA's Mars 2020 mission will be its most ambitious trip to the Red Planet yet. The Mars 2020 rover is absolutely packed with the latest high-tech instruments, and while the mission isn't scheduled to begin until next summer, excitement is already building in a big way.Recently, NASA began hosting a live stream where viewers can watch its engineers slowly testing and assembling the components that will be shot skyward. As NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory boasts in a new blog post, the rover just got a huge addition in the form of its mast, which is the iconic "face" of any rover.The mast of the Mars 2020 rover is equipped with lenses and various sensors that will provide scientists back on Earth with a more detailed glimpse of the Martian surface than ever before. However, the mast will actually be folded flat for the trip between Earth and Mars.JPL explains:> During Mars 2020's launch, interplanetary cruise, and its fast and fiery descent toward the Martian surface, the mast will be in stowed flat on the rover's deck. Soon after touchdown, the mast (which tops out at over 7 feet, or 2.2 meters) will be raised to provide a high perch for the SuperCam, Mastcam-Z and Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzerinstruments as well as four Navcam engineering cameras.That's a whole bunch of high-tech goodies that need to work perfectly, and hooking it all up takes time. According to JPL, the "selfie" above was snapped on June 5th after the mast was first attached, but its various instruments took another six days to fully integrate.The Mars 2020 mission is scheduled to get underway on July 17th, 2020, but it won't actually arrive on the Red Planet until February of 2021. We still have a bit of a wait on our hands, but once the rover is on the Red Planet it'll surely have some surprising discoveries to share with us.

Auction of WWII internment camp art, mementos sparks outrage

Bay Area residents say they are shocked and outraged by an upcoming auction of personal mementos and art collected from Japanese-Americans forced into internment camps during World War II.