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News Slideshows (07/11/2019 15 hours)


  • 1/75   News Photos Slideshows
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    News Photos Slideshows - Hot Trends - Click on the image to view in augmented reality or in stereo 3D

    News Photos Slideshows - Hot Trends - Click on the image to view in augmented reality or in stereo 3D


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    Press Review


    Stable Genius   Koscielny   Happy Friday Eve   Douglass Plan   St. Benedict   Social Media Summit   ovo fest   amazon to retrain a third   Alex Carey   Dapper Dan   Rose Garden   Bill Haslam   Svitolina   Jidenna   Zero-One   Xhaka   Savannah Spurlock   Ah Lord GOD   Brachydios   Grijalva   Almost Friday   Then Peter   Space Oddity   
  • 2/75   Viola Davis’s message to white women: ‘Get to know me’
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    But Davis does see a path forward: empathy and becoming educated on one another’s experiences.

    But Davis does see a path forward: empathy and becoming educated on one another’s experiences.


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  • 3/75   Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys’s husband, says hip-hop industry lacks compassion
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    Iconic hip-hop producer and Alicia Keys’s husband, Swizz Beatz, isn’t afraid to tell his guy friends he loves them.

    Iconic hip-hop producer and Alicia Keys’s husband, Swizz Beatz, isn’t afraid to tell his guy friends he loves them.


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  • 4/75   Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Is 'Having the Time of His Life' in Prison, Snooki Says
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Is 'Having the Time of His Life' in Prison

    Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Is 'Having the Time of His Life' in Prison


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  • 5/75   'Avengers: Endgame' tops 'Star Wars,' breaks previous pre-sale record
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    'Avengers: Endgame' tops 'Star Wars,' breaks previous pre-sale record originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com"Avengers: Endgame" tickets went on sale Tuesday and just like Thanos' famous snap, they were gone just like that. But way more than half.Fandango is reporting that "Endgame" has broken its pre-sale records, topping the previous holder, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."(MORE: New 'Avengers: Endgame' trailer features Captain Marvel, the battle to beat Thanos)Guess the force is strong with Earth's mightiest heroes. ...

    'Avengers: Endgame' tops 'Star Wars,' breaks previous pre-sale record originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com"Avengers: Endgame" tickets went on sale Tuesday and just like Thanos' famous snap, they were gone just like that. But way more than half.Fandango is reporting that "Endgame" has broken its pre-sale records, topping the previous holder, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."(MORE: New 'Avengers: Endgame' trailer features Captain Marvel, the battle to beat Thanos)Guess the force is strong with Earth's mightiest heroes. ...


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  • 6/75   Selma Blair reveals she cried with relief at MS diagnosis after being 'not taken seriously' by doctors
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    The 46-year-old actress is now revealing the agony she went through before receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) last August.'Ever since my son was born, I was in an MS flare-up and didn't know, and I was giving it everything to seem normal,' Blair told Robin Roberts in an interview that aired Tuesday on 'Good Morning America.' 'And I was self-medicating when he wasn't with me.  Blair recalled that she would get so fatigued prior to her diagnosis that she would need to pull over to take a nap after dropping her son, now 7, off at his school one mile away from their home.  During her interview with 'GMA' at her Los Angeles home, Blair was in an 'exacerbation' of MS, or an attack that causes new symptoms or the worsening of existing symptoms.

    The 46-year-old actress is now revealing the agony she went through before receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) last August.'Ever since my son was born, I was in an MS flare-up and didn't know, and I was giving it everything to seem normal,' Blair told Robin Roberts in an interview that aired Tuesday on 'Good Morning America.' 'And I was self-medicating when he wasn't with me. Blair recalled that she would get so fatigued prior to her diagnosis that she would need to pull over to take a nap after dropping her son, now 7, off at his school one mile away from their home. During her interview with 'GMA' at her Los Angeles home, Blair was in an 'exacerbation' of MS, or an attack that causes new symptoms or the worsening of existing symptoms.


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  • 7/75   They won't be loved: Maroon 5 play it safe with dullest halftime show of all time
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    Maroon 5 could have silenced their many haters with a spectacular performance. But they didn’t do that.

    Maroon 5 could have silenced their many haters with a spectacular performance. But they didn’t do that.


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  • 8/75   Does U.S. women's soccer deserve equal pay?
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    Has the U.S. women's soccer team done enough to warrant salaries that match their male counterparts? The 360 gives you all the angles on heavily-debated topics in the news.

    Has the U.S. women's soccer team done enough to warrant salaries that match their male counterparts? The 360 gives you all the angles on heavily-debated topics in the news.


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  • 9/75   After fighting for 9/11 victims, Jon Stewart turns to Warrior Games
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    The former “Daily Show” host is serving as the host and emcee of this week’s 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Tampa, where about 300 wounded, ill or injured active-duty and veteran military athletes are competing in 14 adaptive sports.

    The former “Daily Show” host is serving as the host and emcee of this week’s 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Tampa, where about 300 wounded, ill or injured active-duty and veteran military athletes are competing in 14 adaptive sports.


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  • 10/75   Kevin Love talks anxiety, depression and the time he thought he was going to die mid-game
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    “Dear Men” explores how men are navigating the evolution of manhood. NBA All-Star Kevin Love’s mental health journey began in a moment of anxiety on the basketball court during a November 2017 game against the Atlanta Hawks.

    “Dear Men” explores how men are navigating the evolution of manhood. NBA All-Star Kevin Love’s mental health journey began in a moment of anxiety on the basketball court during a November 2017 game against the Atlanta Hawks.


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  • 11/75   Is there a crisis with our boys? Expert says they need love, not discipline
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    “Dear Men” explores how men are navigating the evolution of manhood. You can watch the current week's full episode of “Dear Men” every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Roku. So why are young men struggling? So I don’t never hold back my tears when I'm feeling an emotional overload,” he said.

    “Dear Men” explores how men are navigating the evolution of manhood. You can watch the current week's full episode of “Dear Men” every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Roku. So why are young men struggling? So I don’t never hold back my tears when I'm feeling an emotional overload,” he said.


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  • 12/75   Aly Raisman on Larry Nassar assault: Sometimes people forget I'm still coping with it
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    It has been a year since former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for abusing more than 150 girls. But Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman is still coming to terms with the sexual abuse she experienced as a teenager.

    It has been a year since former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for abusing more than 150 girls. But Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman is still coming to terms with the sexual abuse she experienced as a teenager.


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  • 13/75   Aly Raisman on Larry Nassar assault: Sometimes people forget I’m still coping with it
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman tells the Yahoo News show “Through Her Eyes” that she sometimes finds it difficult to hear the graphic details in the sexual assault stories of others, as she is still coping with her own traumatic experience.

    Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman tells the Yahoo News show “Through Her Eyes” that she sometimes finds it difficult to hear the graphic details in the sexual assault stories of others, as she is still coping with her own traumatic experience.


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  • 14/75   For the love of the brain: One mother's fight for CTE awareness
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    Karen Kinzle Zegel spends her days working on the Patrick Risha CTE Awareness Foundation website, fielding questions and giving out information on a disease she barely knew existed five years ago – until it took the life of her son, for whom the foundation is named.  Karen remembers, “We were a football family, his dad was a coach, I would cheer and yell and you know, do all the things the football mom does.  At the time, she was unaware of CTE – chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head – and the role it was playing in Patrick’s life.

    Karen Kinzle Zegel spends her days working on the Patrick Risha CTE Awareness Foundation website, fielding questions and giving out information on a disease she barely knew existed five years ago – until it took the life of her son, for whom the foundation is named. Karen remembers, “We were a football family, his dad was a coach, I would cheer and yell and you know, do all the things the football mom does. At the time, she was unaware of CTE – chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head – and the role it was playing in Patrick’s life.


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  • 15/75   7 tax scams to watch out for this year

    In case wringing your hands over the tax man weren’t enough, criminals are out there trying to swipe your hard-earned cash and personal information from right under your nose.

    In case wringing your hands over the tax man weren’t enough, criminals are out there trying to swipe your hard-earned cash and personal information from right under your nose.


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  • 16/75   Mother Angry After School's Robocall Keeps Mispronouncing Daughter's Name As A Racial Slur

    The daughter's name is Nicarri.

    The daughter's name is Nicarri.


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  • 17/75   Avowed Apple Fan Jeb Bush Realizes His Apple Watch Can Take Phone Calls

    Jeb Bush's love of Apple products has been widely documented, and the Republican presidential candidate continues to wear his Apple Watch on the campaign trail. Yesterday, in a meeting with The Des Moines Register editorial board documented by USA Today, Bush stumbled upon a feature he didn’t realize his smartwatch was capable of: taking phone calls. Somehow Bush managed to take a call without picking up his iPhone, and the sound of a person’s voice saying hello breaks through the meeting noise, to which Bush responds, “My watch can’t be talking.”

    Jeb Bush's love of Apple products has been widely documented, and the Republican presidential candidate continues to wear his Apple Watch on the campaign trail. Yesterday, in a meeting with The Des Moines Register editorial board documented by USA Today, Bush stumbled upon a feature he didn’t realize his smartwatch was capable of: taking phone calls. Somehow Bush managed to take a call without picking up his iPhone, and the sound of a person’s voice saying hello breaks through the meeting noise, to which Bush responds, “My watch can’t be talking.”


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  • 18/75   Social media welcomes Pope Francis to the United States

    Pope Francis gets the social media treatment upon arriving in the U.S. Tuesday.  As Pope Francis’s flight touched down in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Twitter unveiled a new batch of emojis created for the highly anticipated papal visit.  Until his departure from the United States on Sunday, Twitter users chronicling the Catholic leader’s East Coast journey will be able to include a cartoon image of the Pope’s face in front of the American flag on all Pope-related tweets by using the hashtag #PopeinUS.

    Pope Francis gets the social media treatment upon arriving in the U.S. Tuesday. As Pope Francis’s flight touched down in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Twitter unveiled a new batch of emojis created for the highly anticipated papal visit. Until his departure from the United States on Sunday, Twitter users chronicling the Catholic leader’s East Coast journey will be able to include a cartoon image of the Pope’s face in front of the American flag on all Pope-related tweets by using the hashtag #PopeinUS.


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  • 19/75   Trump lashes out on Twitter ahead of social media 'summit'
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS






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  • 20/75   Strong currency props up Indian rice rates, wider demand subdued
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Thailand's benchmark 5-percent broken rice prices were quoted at $390-$404 a tonne on Thursday, free on board Bangkok (FOB), down from $395-$413 last week.  Demand for Thai rice has remained flat as the local currency strengthened, traders added.  Thailand's rice exports fell by 12% in the first half of 2019, hurt by the stronger baht, and will likely fall short of this year's target of 9.5 million tonnes, an exporter group said on Wednesday.

    Thailand's benchmark 5-percent broken rice prices were quoted at $390-$404 a tonne on Thursday, free on board Bangkok (FOB), down from $395-$413 last week. Demand for Thai rice has remained flat as the local currency strengthened, traders added. Thailand's rice exports fell by 12% in the first half of 2019, hurt by the stronger baht, and will likely fall short of this year's target of 9.5 million tonnes, an exporter group said on Wednesday.


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  • 21/75   France adopts pioneering tax on tech giants after US threat
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    France on Thursday adopted a pioneering tax on internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook despite U.S. threats of new tariffs on French imports if Paris went ahead with the plan.  Late Wednesday, the Trump administration announced an investigation into the tax under the provision used last year to probe China's technology policies, which led to tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports.  'Between allies, we can, and we should, solve our differences without using threats,' Bruno Le Maire said just ahead of the final vote in the French Senate.

    France on Thursday adopted a pioneering tax on internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook despite U.S. threats of new tariffs on French imports if Paris went ahead with the plan. Late Wednesday, the Trump administration announced an investigation into the tax under the provision used last year to probe China's technology policies, which led to tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports. 'Between allies, we can, and we should, solve our differences without using threats,' Bruno Le Maire said just ahead of the final vote in the French Senate.


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  • 22/75   U.S. weekly jobless claims fall to three-month low
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped to a three-month low last week, suggesting sustained labor market strength that could help support a slowing economy.  Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 209,000 for the week ended July 6, the lowest level since April, the Labor Department said on Thursday.  Data for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.

    The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped to a three-month low last week, suggesting sustained labor market strength that could help support a slowing economy. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 209,000 for the week ended July 6, the lowest level since April, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.


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  • 23/75   White House Pulls the Plug on Proposed Drug-Rebate Overhaul
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    (Bloomberg) -- The White House abandoned a push to end rebates paid to middlemen who negotiate drug prices on behalf of health insurers, a move that could turn scrutiny back on how drugmakers themselves set prices.President Donald Trump has made lowering prescription-drug costs a top priority of his administration, and ending rebates was seen as a vital part of that effort.The reversal caused investors to recalibrate their expectations. After mostly languishing this year, shares of companies that operate large pharmacy-benefit managers rallied, with CVS Health Corp. rising 6% in premarket trading on Thursday, while UnitedHealth Group Inc. advanced 3%.The president’s proposal would have prohibited drugmakers from paying rebates to PBMs in government programs such as Medicare. The move could have upended a complex system that influences tens of billions of dollars of pharmaceutical spending.“Based on careful analysis and thorough consideration, the President has decided to withdraw the rebate rule,” said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman. He said that the administration was encouraged by bipartisan discussion on legislation to control drug costs.Rebates had become a popular target of criticism in Washington after drug companies lobbied aggressively to cast them as the reason for high prices. Pharmacy-benefit managers negotiate drug discounts in the form of rebates, often keeping some of that money for themselves.The practice, critics said, gives drugmakers a reason to keep list prices high, distorts incentives for drug plans who are supposed to prioritize the interest of their clients and leaves consumers paying more out of pocket for prescription drugs.Substantial ShiftThe about-face represents a second dramatic turn this week for the Trump administration’s campaign to rein in rising pharmaceutical costs. On Monday, a federal judge ruled the Department of Health and Human Services overstepped its authority with its plan to force drugmakers to disclose list prices in advertisements.Pharmacy-benefit managers blame drug companies for soaring prices and have said that rebates help keep overall health costs down.“We’re pleased the administration recognized the impact the rebate rule would have on seniors,” said CVS spokesman T.J. Crawford, “and look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders on lowering drug costs. Any solution should start with addressing drug prices.”The end of the rebate push is likely to swing discussion back toward the pricing practices of big drugmakers, and it could add momentum to other proposals that have been floated by the administration, such as tying drug costs to an index of international pharmaceutical prices.The shift is “a substantial setback for drug manufacturers that could have seen a windfall” from the rebate overhaul, said Hunter Hammond, an analyst at Height Securities, in a note to clients.Shares of many drugmakers were little-changed in premarket trading on Thursday.News of the White House decision was first reported by Axios.(Updates with stock-price movements starting in third paragraph)\--With assistance from Margaret Talev and Robert Langreth.To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Edney in Washington at aedney@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Drew Armstrong at darmstrong17@bloomberg.net, Timothy Annett, Crayton HarrisonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    (Bloomberg) -- The White House abandoned a push to end rebates paid to middlemen who negotiate drug prices on behalf of health insurers, a move that could turn scrutiny back on how drugmakers themselves set prices.President Donald Trump has made lowering prescription-drug costs a top priority of his administration, and ending rebates was seen as a vital part of that effort.The reversal caused investors to recalibrate their expectations. After mostly languishing this year, shares of companies that operate large pharmacy-benefit managers rallied, with CVS Health Corp. rising 6% in premarket trading on Thursday, while UnitedHealth Group Inc. advanced 3%.The president’s proposal would have prohibited drugmakers from paying rebates to PBMs in government programs such as Medicare. The move could have upended a complex system that influences tens of billions of dollars of pharmaceutical spending.“Based on careful analysis and thorough consideration, the President has decided to withdraw the rebate rule,” said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman. He said that the administration was encouraged by bipartisan discussion on legislation to control drug costs.Rebates had become a popular target of criticism in Washington after drug companies lobbied aggressively to cast them as the reason for high prices. Pharmacy-benefit managers negotiate drug discounts in the form of rebates, often keeping some of that money for themselves.The practice, critics said, gives drugmakers a reason to keep list prices high, distorts incentives for drug plans who are supposed to prioritize the interest of their clients and leaves consumers paying more out of pocket for prescription drugs.Substantial ShiftThe about-face represents a second dramatic turn this week for the Trump administration’s campaign to rein in rising pharmaceutical costs. On Monday, a federal judge ruled the Department of Health and Human Services overstepped its authority with its plan to force drugmakers to disclose list prices in advertisements.Pharmacy-benefit managers blame drug companies for soaring prices and have said that rebates help keep overall health costs down.“We’re pleased the administration recognized the impact the rebate rule would have on seniors,” said CVS spokesman T.J. Crawford, “and look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders on lowering drug costs. Any solution should start with addressing drug prices.”The end of the rebate push is likely to swing discussion back toward the pricing practices of big drugmakers, and it could add momentum to other proposals that have been floated by the administration, such as tying drug costs to an index of international pharmaceutical prices.The shift is “a substantial setback for drug manufacturers that could have seen a windfall” from the rebate overhaul, said Hunter Hammond, an analyst at Height Securities, in a note to clients.Shares of many drugmakers were little-changed in premarket trading on Thursday.News of the White House decision was first reported by Axios.(Updates with stock-price movements starting in third paragraph)\--With assistance from Margaret Talev and Robert Langreth.To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Edney in Washington at aedney@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Drew Armstrong at darmstrong17@bloomberg.net, Timothy Annett, Crayton HarrisonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • 24/75   16 States That Give Back-to-School Shoppers a Tax Break
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    See if your state has scheduled a summer tax holiday.

    See if your state has scheduled a summer tax holiday.


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  • 25/75   OPEC Sees New Oil Surplus in 2020 as U.S. Shale Surges Again
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    (Bloomberg) -- A week after OPEC agreed to keep oil production restrained until early next year, the group’s first forecasts for 2020 showed it faces an even longer and tougher challenge.The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which pumps 40% of the world’s oil, estimated that it’s producing about 560,000 barrels a day more than will be needed next year as the ongoing surge in U.S. shale threatens to deliver another surplus. Supplies from producers outside the cartel will grow by more than twice as much as global oil demand, it forecast.OPEC and its partners agreed in Vienna last week to continue their output curbs into the first quarter of 2020, to balance markets against a faltering global economy and record American output. The latest outlook will present the coalition with a dilemma later this year: should they continue, and even double-down on the strategy throughout 2020, or abandon the cuts and risk a price slump.Crude prices, trading near $67 a barrel in London, remain below the levels most OPEC nations need to cover government spending.Global oil consumption will continue to grow in 2020 at the same pace as this year, at about 1.1 million barrels a day, or 1.1%, according to the report from OPEC’s Vienna-based research department. The expansion will be powered by emerging economies like India and China, but tempered by stagnant consumption in developed nations.Supplies from outside OPEC, however, will soar by 2.4 million barrels a day, as new pipelines in the U.S. enable the country’s shale-oil explorers to press on with more drilling. The fresh tide of American oil will be supplemented by other countries such as Brazil and Norway.As new non-OPEC supplies swamp the growth in demand, the amount of crude required from the cartel will slump sharply for a third consecutive year.An average of 29.27 million barrels will be needed from OPEC in 2020, according to the report. That’s significantly below the 29.83 million a day its 14 members produced last month, when their output fell again as the voluntary cutbacks were compounded by crises in Iran and Venezuela.That the organization’s production has fallen far more than intended this year, and may still prove to be too high, only illustrates the scale of its challenge. As of May, OPEC and its partners said they were cutting supply by about 700,000 barrels a day more than the 1.2 million a day pledged at the start of the year as Saudi Arabia reduced supplies more than it pledged.With OPEC pumping in excess of levels needed next year, the organization and its partners would have to trim output further to keep markets in equilibrium. However, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih signaled last week in Vienna he’s reluctant to go down this path, saying that the kingdom has already cut “deep enough.”Indeed, Thursday’s report may vindicate warnings from Al-Falih’s predecessor, Ali Al-Naimi, that production cuts by OPEC would only back-fire by giving prices enough support to encourage greater investment in U.S. shale.For now, there’s no sign the kingdom intends to reverse its current policy.Saudi output will remain under 10 million barrels a day in August, well below the limit agreed with OPEC, according to a person familiar with Riyadh’s energy policy. At last week’s meeting, OPEC and its partners signed a charter symbolizing their willingness to manage supplies over the long term, and Al-Falih said that intervention will be necessary until American shale output goes into decline.The organization’s latest outlook suggests he will be tested on that commitment.(Updates with over-compliance in the ninth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at jherron9@bloomberg.net, Rakteem Katakey, John DeaneFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    (Bloomberg) -- A week after OPEC agreed to keep oil production restrained until early next year, the group’s first forecasts for 2020 showed it faces an even longer and tougher challenge.The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which pumps 40% of the world’s oil, estimated that it’s producing about 560,000 barrels a day more than will be needed next year as the ongoing surge in U.S. shale threatens to deliver another surplus. Supplies from producers outside the cartel will grow by more than twice as much as global oil demand, it forecast.OPEC and its partners agreed in Vienna last week to continue their output curbs into the first quarter of 2020, to balance markets against a faltering global economy and record American output. The latest outlook will present the coalition with a dilemma later this year: should they continue, and even double-down on the strategy throughout 2020, or abandon the cuts and risk a price slump.Crude prices, trading near $67 a barrel in London, remain below the levels most OPEC nations need to cover government spending.Global oil consumption will continue to grow in 2020 at the same pace as this year, at about 1.1 million barrels a day, or 1.1%, according to the report from OPEC’s Vienna-based research department. The expansion will be powered by emerging economies like India and China, but tempered by stagnant consumption in developed nations.Supplies from outside OPEC, however, will soar by 2.4 million barrels a day, as new pipelines in the U.S. enable the country’s shale-oil explorers to press on with more drilling. The fresh tide of American oil will be supplemented by other countries such as Brazil and Norway.As new non-OPEC supplies swamp the growth in demand, the amount of crude required from the cartel will slump sharply for a third consecutive year.An average of 29.27 million barrels will be needed from OPEC in 2020, according to the report. That’s significantly below the 29.83 million a day its 14 members produced last month, when their output fell again as the voluntary cutbacks were compounded by crises in Iran and Venezuela.That the organization’s production has fallen far more than intended this year, and may still prove to be too high, only illustrates the scale of its challenge. As of May, OPEC and its partners said they were cutting supply by about 700,000 barrels a day more than the 1.2 million a day pledged at the start of the year as Saudi Arabia reduced supplies more than it pledged.With OPEC pumping in excess of levels needed next year, the organization and its partners would have to trim output further to keep markets in equilibrium. However, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih signaled last week in Vienna he’s reluctant to go down this path, saying that the kingdom has already cut “deep enough.”Indeed, Thursday’s report may vindicate warnings from Al-Falih’s predecessor, Ali Al-Naimi, that production cuts by OPEC would only back-fire by giving prices enough support to encourage greater investment in U.S. shale.For now, there’s no sign the kingdom intends to reverse its current policy.Saudi output will remain under 10 million barrels a day in August, well below the limit agreed with OPEC, according to a person familiar with Riyadh’s energy policy. At last week’s meeting, OPEC and its partners signed a charter symbolizing their willingness to manage supplies over the long term, and Al-Falih said that intervention will be necessary until American shale output goes into decline.The organization’s latest outlook suggests he will be tested on that commitment.(Updates with over-compliance in the ninth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at jherron9@bloomberg.net, Rakteem Katakey, John DeaneFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • 26/75   Correction: Britain-Porn Block story
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    In a story July 10 about Britain's planned online 'porn block,' The Associated Press reported erroneously that James Clark was the spokesman for MindGeek.  Oversight, meanwhile, has been handed to the British Board of Film Classification, a film ratings and censorship body akin to the Motion Picture Association of America.

    In a story July 10 about Britain's planned online 'porn block,' The Associated Press reported erroneously that James Clark was the spokesman for MindGeek. Oversight, meanwhile, has been handed to the British Board of Film Classification, a film ratings and censorship body akin to the Motion Picture Association of America.


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  • 27/75   U.S. core CPI posts biggest gain in nearly 1-1/2 years
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    U.S. underlying consumer prices increased by the most in nearly 1-1/2 years in June amid solid gains in the costs of a range of goods and services, but will probably not change expectations the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this month.  The Labor Department said on Thursday its consumer price index excluding the volatile food and energy components rose 0.3% last month.  The so-called core CPI was boosted by strong increases in the prices for apparel, used cars and trucks, as well as household furnishings.

    U.S. underlying consumer prices increased by the most in nearly 1-1/2 years in June amid solid gains in the costs of a range of goods and services, but will probably not change expectations the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this month. The Labor Department said on Thursday its consumer price index excluding the volatile food and energy components rose 0.3% last month. The so-called core CPI was boosted by strong increases in the prices for apparel, used cars and trucks, as well as household furnishings.


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  • 28/75   One high school fired a gay teacher. Another school protected one. They are married to each other
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Joshua Payne-Elliott alleges in lawsuit that archdiocese interfered with his contractual and employment relationship with his school.

    Joshua Payne-Elliott alleges in lawsuit that archdiocese interfered with his contractual and employment relationship with his school.


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  • 29/75   How Do Fintel Energia Group S.p.A.’s (BIT:FTL) Returns On Capital Compare To Peers?
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Today we'll evaluate Fintel Energia Group S.p.A. (BIT:FTL) to determine whether it could have potential as an...

    Today we'll evaluate Fintel Energia Group S.p.A. (BIT:FTL) to determine whether it could have potential as an...


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  • 30/75   U.S. Futures Trim Gain, Dollar Pares on Inflation: Markets Wrap
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures pared gains and Treasuries retreated after the latest American inflation reading came in higher than anticipated. The dollar trimmed some of its drop and gold slipped.Contracts for the S&P 500 came off their highs, but the gauge still looked poised to test 3,000 again as investors weigh the latest clues on the path for monetary policy. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index edged higher, attempting its first advance in five days as energy companies climbed. Shares rallied across most of Asia, with the South Korean and Hong Kong markets outperforming and stocks in China edging higher.Emerging-market equities jumped alongside developing-nation currencies, while the pound continued its rebound from a two-year low as the greenback fell. European government bonds were mixed.This year’s rallies across stocks, bonds and credit got a fresh jolt on Wednesday thanks to comments from Fed Chairman Powell that persuaded investors rates are headed lower by at least a quarter-point in July. Minutes from the central bank’s last meeting further cemented expectations for a cut in borrowing costs. Traders will be eyeing Powell’s testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday for further clues after a measure of U.S. consumer prices rose more than forecast in June.“There has been a total shift in monetary policy -- quantitative tightening is off the table and we’re back to some mild form of quantitative easing or stable central bank balance sheets,” said Timothy Moe, chief Asia-Pacific equity strategist at Goldman Sachs. “That’s very supportive for equities.”Here are some key events coming up:Powell testifies to Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.U.S. producer prices are due on Friday.Here are the main moves in markets:StocksFutures on the S&P 500 Index gained 0.2% as of 8:41 a.m. New York time to the highest on record.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.1%, the first advance in a week and the biggest advance in more than a week.The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index dipped 0.1%, hitting the lowest in more than a week with its sixth consecutive decline.The MSCI Emerging Market Index increased 0.7%, the biggest climb in more than a week.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 0.7%, the largest climb in more than a week.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.2%, the lowest in a week.The euro climbed 0.2% to $1.1274, the strongest in a week.The British pound climbed 0.5% to $1.2566, the strongest in a week on the biggest increase in more than three weeks.The Japanese yen gained 0.2% to 108.19 per dollar, the strongest in a week.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed two basis points to 2.08%, the highest in more than three weeks.Britain’s 10-year yield jumped six basis points to 0.822%, the highest in almost two weeks on the largest surge in 14 weeks.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude climbed 0.1% to $60.51 a barrel, reaching the highest in seven weeks on its sixth straight advance.Gold dipped 0.3% to $1,415.37 an ounce.\--With assistance from Ruth Carson, Chester Yung, Cormac Mullen and Gregor Stuart Hunter.To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Curtis in London at lcurtis7@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Samuel Potter at spotter33@bloomberg.net, Yakob PeterseilFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures pared gains and Treasuries retreated after the latest American inflation reading came in higher than anticipated. The dollar trimmed some of its drop and gold slipped.Contracts for the S&P 500 came off their highs, but the gauge still looked poised to test 3,000 again as investors weigh the latest clues on the path for monetary policy. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index edged higher, attempting its first advance in five days as energy companies climbed. Shares rallied across most of Asia, with the South Korean and Hong Kong markets outperforming and stocks in China edging higher.Emerging-market equities jumped alongside developing-nation currencies, while the pound continued its rebound from a two-year low as the greenback fell. European government bonds were mixed.This year’s rallies across stocks, bonds and credit got a fresh jolt on Wednesday thanks to comments from Fed Chairman Powell that persuaded investors rates are headed lower by at least a quarter-point in July. Minutes from the central bank’s last meeting further cemented expectations for a cut in borrowing costs. Traders will be eyeing Powell’s testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday for further clues after a measure of U.S. consumer prices rose more than forecast in June.“There has been a total shift in monetary policy -- quantitative tightening is off the table and we’re back to some mild form of quantitative easing or stable central bank balance sheets,” said Timothy Moe, chief Asia-Pacific equity strategist at Goldman Sachs. “That’s very supportive for equities.”Here are some key events coming up:Powell testifies to Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.U.S. producer prices are due on Friday.Here are the main moves in markets:StocksFutures on the S&P 500 Index gained 0.2% as of 8:41 a.m. New York time to the highest on record.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.1%, the first advance in a week and the biggest advance in more than a week.The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index dipped 0.1%, hitting the lowest in more than a week with its sixth consecutive decline.The MSCI Emerging Market Index increased 0.7%, the biggest climb in more than a week.The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 0.7%, the largest climb in more than a week.CurrenciesThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.2%, the lowest in a week.The euro climbed 0.2% to $1.1274, the strongest in a week.The British pound climbed 0.5% to $1.2566, the strongest in a week on the biggest increase in more than three weeks.The Japanese yen gained 0.2% to 108.19 per dollar, the strongest in a week.BondsThe yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed two basis points to 2.08%, the highest in more than three weeks.Britain’s 10-year yield jumped six basis points to 0.822%, the highest in almost two weeks on the largest surge in 14 weeks.CommoditiesWest Texas Intermediate crude climbed 0.1% to $60.51 a barrel, reaching the highest in seven weeks on its sixth straight advance.Gold dipped 0.3% to $1,415.37 an ounce.\--With assistance from Ruth Carson, Chester Yung, Cormac Mullen and Gregor Stuart Hunter.To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Curtis in London at lcurtis7@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Samuel Potter at spotter33@bloomberg.net, Yakob PeterseilFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • 31/75   Is Foncière Volta's (EPA:SPEL) ROE Of 3.2% Concerning?
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    One of the best investments we can make is in our own knowledge and skill set. With that in mind, this article will...

    One of the best investments we can make is in our own knowledge and skill set. With that in mind, this article will...


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  • 32/75   'A dangerous nightmare': Owners of Ford Focus, Fiesta vehicles speak out
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Fiesta and Focus owners share their experiences driving cars with defective transmissions.

    Fiesta and Focus owners share their experiences driving cars with defective transmissions.


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  • 33/75   Did Changing Sentiment Drive Spero Therapeutics's (NASDAQ:SPRO) Share Price Down By 15%?
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. While individual stocks can be big winners...

    It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. While individual stocks can be big winners...


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  • 34/75   Ford knew Focus, Fiesta models had flawed transmission, sold them anyway
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    The carmaker says that it's not a safety problem if your car slips into neutral on the highway.

    The carmaker says that it's not a safety problem if your car slips into neutral on the highway.


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  • 35/75   Olivut Resources Ltd. (CVE:OLV): What Does Its Beta Value Mean For Your Portfolio?
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Anyone researching Olivut Resources Ltd. (CVE:OLV) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share...

    Anyone researching Olivut Resources Ltd. (CVE:OLV) might want to consider the historical volatility of the share...


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  • 36/75   Go-Jek to expand financial services, food delivery in Thailand
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Indonesian ride-hailing app Go-Jek will offer more financial services and expand its Thai food delivery business following an investment from Thailand's top lender, an executive said on Thursday.  Siam Commercial Bank Pcl said it made a 'significant investment' in Go-Jek's Series F funding round.  The tie-up with SCB will allow Go-Jek to add to its app the bank's products in payments, digital lending and insurance, to be rolled out in coming months, Go-Jek's head of international, Andrew Lee, told Reuters.

    Indonesian ride-hailing app Go-Jek will offer more financial services and expand its Thai food delivery business following an investment from Thailand's top lender, an executive said on Thursday. Siam Commercial Bank Pcl said it made a 'significant investment' in Go-Jek's Series F funding round. The tie-up with SCB will allow Go-Jek to add to its app the bank's products in payments, digital lending and insurance, to be rolled out in coming months, Go-Jek's head of international, Andrew Lee, told Reuters.


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  • 37/75   Does Ooma, Inc.'s (NYSE:OOMA) CEO Pay Reflect Performance?
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    In 2009 Eric Stang was appointed CEO of Ooma, Inc. (NYSE:OOMA). This analysis aims first to contrast CEO compensation...

    In 2009 Eric Stang was appointed CEO of Ooma, Inc. (NYSE:OOMA). This analysis aims first to contrast CEO compensation...


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  • 38/75   Exclusive: Komodo releases mobile application for making atomic swaps
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    AtomicDEX’s beta launch means atomic swaps are coming to a phone near you.

    AtomicDEX’s beta launch means atomic swaps are coming to a phone near you.


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  • 39/75   Binance rolls out margin trading
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    After weeks of hints and speculation, Binance’s much anticipated margin trading platform is now available. Stay safe, kid.

    After weeks of hints and speculation, Binance’s much anticipated margin trading platform is now available. Stay safe, kid.


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  • 40/75   Democrats tweet Obama-era photo of migrants to promote hearing about mistreatment
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    The photo was from June 2014 and showed migrants fenced in a facility with silver emergency blankets.

    The photo was from June 2014 and showed migrants fenced in a facility with silver emergency blankets.


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  • 41/75   When the U.S. puts a border between migrant kids and their caretakers
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Since crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally two months earlier with his 14-year-old son, he had been separated from the boy and forced to wait in Mexico for his hearing.  After they crossed into the United States, a border patrol agent declared the boy’s photocopied birth certificate to be fake, casting doubt on their father-son relationship.  Despite Gerardo’s protestations in broken Spanish, officers took the boy, Walter, away.

    Since crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally two months earlier with his 14-year-old son, he had been separated from the boy and forced to wait in Mexico for his hearing. After they crossed into the United States, a border patrol agent declared the boy’s photocopied birth certificate to be fake, casting doubt on their father-son relationship. Despite Gerardo’s protestations in broken Spanish, officers took the boy, Walter, away.


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  • 42/75   Aftershocks continue in California desert
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Aftershocks of last week's big earthquakes are still rumbling beneath the California desert, but seismologists say the probability of large quakes continues to decline.  The U.S. Geological Survey said the chance of a quake larger than Friday's 7.1 temblor is less than 1% and the chance of a magnitude 6 or higher is down to 6%.  Both were centered near the Mojave Desert towns of Ridgecrest and Trona, which suffered cracked buildings, blocked roads and several house fires.

    Aftershocks of last week's big earthquakes are still rumbling beneath the California desert, but seismologists say the probability of large quakes continues to decline. The U.S. Geological Survey said the chance of a quake larger than Friday's 7.1 temblor is less than 1% and the chance of a magnitude 6 or higher is down to 6%. Both were centered near the Mojave Desert towns of Ridgecrest and Trona, which suffered cracked buildings, blocked roads and several house fires.


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  • 43/75   Some of Putin’s Top Cops Are Mobsters. Even KGB Vets Are Ashamed.
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Michael Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/ReutersMOSCOW—Crime scandals involving Russia’s most powerful law enforcement agency have rocked this capital, exposing some phenomenal corruption at the heart of President Vladimir Putin’s power structure. Ranking officers of the Federal Security Service, known as the FSB, are allegedly involved, as are members of some of its most elite units. In April, authorities arrested three officials from the FSB’s Department K, which deals with economic crimes and financial counterintelligence. Kirill Cherkalin, the former head of the unit, and Andrey Vasilyev and Dmitry Frolov, his associates, were jailed on suspicion they took huge bribes from banks and other commerce they were supposed to supervise. A video purported to show the equivalent of $185.5 million being hauled out of Cherkalin’s residence. The initial charge against him involved a single bribe worth $850,000.The Liberation of Ivan Golunov Felt Like a Burst of Freedom in Russia, but Not for LongOne might think those arrests made by the internal affairs division of the FSB would make other criminals in the security force lie low. But no. Others were allegedly robbing banks. Last week RBC, one of Russia’s most respected newspapers, reported the arrests of four FSB agents from the Alfa and Vympel special forces units, and two more from Department K. The number has since grown to 15 suspects, according to press reports. But the FSB has confirmed only two arrests.While supposedly conducting legitimate searches, or shepherding shipments of currency, the accused are supposed to have removed the heavy ballistic plates from their bullet-proof vests and stuffed them with money instead, but such details have not been confirmed officially.There must be massive turmoil in the depths of the gloomy FSB headquarters, the nerve center of Russia’s police power located just across Lubyanka Square from the buildings of the Kremlin’s administrative offices. All of Russia’s leading newspapers reported that Instead of providing security, FSB agents robbed the Metallurg Bank, reportedly controlled by a former officer in Military Intelligence (the GRU) named Yury Karasev. If true, that’s an interesting wrinkle since the FSB and GRU are rival secret services.Moscovskij Komsomolets, a newspaper with a circulation approaching one million copies, says in its Friday report: “Generals of the special services were shocked to hear about the arrests of FSB agents accused of a bank robbery on Ivan Babushkin Street and of stealing 140 million rubles ($2.2 million.)” Veteran agents of the Soviet KGB, the predecessor of the FSB, said they were disgusted by the scandal.“This is the first time in the entire history of the Russian secret police when we see the triumph of greed that surpasses greed—so many officers of elite departments committing crimes,” retired Maj. Gen. Aleksei Kandaurov told The Daily Beast. “The FSB is not a security service any longer, it has changed its status completely: it is now a service that enforces Putin’s rule, and in exchange abuses its authority for purposes of enrichment.”Gen. Kandaurov remembers the last days of the KGB, which had an infamous heritage dating back to the Cheka at the time of the revolution, and the NKVD under Joseph Stalin. As the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 there was popular rage against the Communist regime’s symbols and its obsession with secrecy, but the officers of the KGB—among them one Vladimir Putin—saw themselves as defenders of a regime and indeed an empire that they had served all their lives. They worked on fixed salaries.On the night of August, 22, 1991, Kandaurov watched from the window of his office as thousands of protesters demanded the removal of the statue of Feliks Dzerzhinsky, the Bolshevik leader Vladmir Lenin appointed to be the director of the All-Russia Extraordinary Commission to Combat Counter-revolution and Sabotage (Cheka). Dzerzhinsky is seen as the symbol of the Bolseviks’ political repressions and mass killings. “We represent in ourselves organized terror—this must be said very clearly,” Dzerzhinsky proclaimed during the period known as the Red Terror that began in 1918.The modern state security agency, FSB, has been reviving the memory of Dzerzhinsky just as Putin has burnished the reputation of Joseph Stalin. Today many officials hang portraits of the secret police founder on their walls. In 2017 the agency celebrated the 100th anniversary of Cheka-NKVD-KGB-FSB, as a proud successor. But veterans see the current organization as an inglorious pretender to the fame of the older ones.“FSB agents should stop hiding behind the KGB reputation, behind Dzerzhinsky. If he were alive, he would have executed most of these corrupt officers as his ideological enemies,” Kandaurov told The Daily Beast.  When the KGB Wanted You Dead, This Is How They Killed YouRussia has glorified “Alfa” and “Vympel” as legendary, heroic special operators who saw service in the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan during the 1980s and many other more secretive theaters. At the Balashikha Cemetery near Moscow there are sad rows of tombstones where each is marked with an “A” or “V” for the soldiers of these units who gave their lives rescuing hostages during the Beslan school siege in September 2004. In the past few years Russian special operators have died anonymously in secret operations in Ukraine.“Today’s thugs in the special forces put shame on all the past heroes,” a retired KGB officer and corruption fighter, Gennady Gudkov, told The Daily Beast. “The FSB violates its authority for ‘operative activities,’ which was given to them to stop transactions for terrorism or drug deals. Now a group of elite FSB and special forces units used their authority to rob a bank; but the bank informed Moscow police investigators and the organized criminal group was arrested.”A channel on the Telegram messaging service covering the latest news about Russian gangsters, oligarchs and bureaucrats, said on Monday that authorities fired the head of Moscow’s FSB Directorate, Alexey Dorofeyev.Last month police tried to stop an investigation by a Medusa Project reporter, Ivan Golunov, into Dorofeyev’s links to a corrupt funeral business. After spending months researching figures and beneficiaries of the funeral industry, Golunov discovered some links connecting shadowy figures and senior FSB officers. But somebody decided to stop the reporter from publishing: police planted drugs on Golunov and kept him behind bars for five days, while thousands of people joined protests in support of the journalist.Russian veterans of secret services gossip about three “towers” of FSB power: the richest one is allegedly supported by the almighty Putin’s ally, Igor Sechin, the head of the vast Rosneft energy company; the second one also enjoys enormous financial resources and is backed by another of Putin’s long-time friends, Sergey Chemizov, the head of the Russian arms export agency; the third, the weakest financially, nonetheless has the best network of secret agents and is backed by the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin. Some see a connection between these rivalries and the revelations about high-level criminality.“It feels like everything is falling down,” a major general of the FSB reserve, Alexander Mikhailov, told reporters last week. “I want to tell you that all the old employees are shocked by what is happening. During my entire service in the Moscow KGB, and I worked there for 20 years, there were only three criminal cases.”“None of the people from the old guard understands where that number of criminals in the system came from,” said Mikhailov. “It is also disturbing that today we are confronted with the widest range of units that are involved in criminal activity. We repair it in one spot and it breaks down in another one.”There are no checks and balances at FSB management, Gudkov pointed out. “The Soviet KGB was massively repressive, you can blame that service for anything, but not for corruption. The worst we could hear about was a colleague sleeping with somebody’s wife or some secret agent bringing a pair of sneakers for a colleague from abroad—that was already a big enough scandal to write a report,” Gudkov remembered. “Even in our worst nightmare we could not imagine officers stealing millions of dollars, robbing banks. What will we hear next? The Russian Federal Security Service robbing the Kremlin’s treasury or the Central Bank’s reserves?”  Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

    Michael Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/ReutersMOSCOW—Crime scandals involving Russia’s most powerful law enforcement agency have rocked this capital, exposing some phenomenal corruption at the heart of President Vladimir Putin’s power structure. Ranking officers of the Federal Security Service, known as the FSB, are allegedly involved, as are members of some of its most elite units. In April, authorities arrested three officials from the FSB’s Department K, which deals with economic crimes and financial counterintelligence. Kirill Cherkalin, the former head of the unit, and Andrey Vasilyev and Dmitry Frolov, his associates, were jailed on suspicion they took huge bribes from banks and other commerce they were supposed to supervise. A video purported to show the equivalent of $185.5 million being hauled out of Cherkalin’s residence. The initial charge against him involved a single bribe worth $850,000.The Liberation of Ivan Golunov Felt Like a Burst of Freedom in Russia, but Not for LongOne might think those arrests made by the internal affairs division of the FSB would make other criminals in the security force lie low. But no. Others were allegedly robbing banks. Last week RBC, one of Russia’s most respected newspapers, reported the arrests of four FSB agents from the Alfa and Vympel special forces units, and two more from Department K. The number has since grown to 15 suspects, according to press reports. But the FSB has confirmed only two arrests.While supposedly conducting legitimate searches, or shepherding shipments of currency, the accused are supposed to have removed the heavy ballistic plates from their bullet-proof vests and stuffed them with money instead, but such details have not been confirmed officially.There must be massive turmoil in the depths of the gloomy FSB headquarters, the nerve center of Russia’s police power located just across Lubyanka Square from the buildings of the Kremlin’s administrative offices. All of Russia’s leading newspapers reported that Instead of providing security, FSB agents robbed the Metallurg Bank, reportedly controlled by a former officer in Military Intelligence (the GRU) named Yury Karasev. If true, that’s an interesting wrinkle since the FSB and GRU are rival secret services.Moscovskij Komsomolets, a newspaper with a circulation approaching one million copies, says in its Friday report: “Generals of the special services were shocked to hear about the arrests of FSB agents accused of a bank robbery on Ivan Babushkin Street and of stealing 140 million rubles ($2.2 million.)” Veteran agents of the Soviet KGB, the predecessor of the FSB, said they were disgusted by the scandal.“This is the first time in the entire history of the Russian secret police when we see the triumph of greed that surpasses greed—so many officers of elite departments committing crimes,” retired Maj. Gen. Aleksei Kandaurov told The Daily Beast. “The FSB is not a security service any longer, it has changed its status completely: it is now a service that enforces Putin’s rule, and in exchange abuses its authority for purposes of enrichment.”Gen. Kandaurov remembers the last days of the KGB, which had an infamous heritage dating back to the Cheka at the time of the revolution, and the NKVD under Joseph Stalin. As the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 there was popular rage against the Communist regime’s symbols and its obsession with secrecy, but the officers of the KGB—among them one Vladimir Putin—saw themselves as defenders of a regime and indeed an empire that they had served all their lives. They worked on fixed salaries.On the night of August, 22, 1991, Kandaurov watched from the window of his office as thousands of protesters demanded the removal of the statue of Feliks Dzerzhinsky, the Bolshevik leader Vladmir Lenin appointed to be the director of the All-Russia Extraordinary Commission to Combat Counter-revolution and Sabotage (Cheka). Dzerzhinsky is seen as the symbol of the Bolseviks’ political repressions and mass killings. “We represent in ourselves organized terror—this must be said very clearly,” Dzerzhinsky proclaimed during the period known as the Red Terror that began in 1918.The modern state security agency, FSB, has been reviving the memory of Dzerzhinsky just as Putin has burnished the reputation of Joseph Stalin. Today many officials hang portraits of the secret police founder on their walls. In 2017 the agency celebrated the 100th anniversary of Cheka-NKVD-KGB-FSB, as a proud successor. But veterans see the current organization as an inglorious pretender to the fame of the older ones.“FSB agents should stop hiding behind the KGB reputation, behind Dzerzhinsky. If he were alive, he would have executed most of these corrupt officers as his ideological enemies,” Kandaurov told The Daily Beast.  When the KGB Wanted You Dead, This Is How They Killed YouRussia has glorified “Alfa” and “Vympel” as legendary, heroic special operators who saw service in the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan during the 1980s and many other more secretive theaters. At the Balashikha Cemetery near Moscow there are sad rows of tombstones where each is marked with an “A” or “V” for the soldiers of these units who gave their lives rescuing hostages during the Beslan school siege in September 2004. In the past few years Russian special operators have died anonymously in secret operations in Ukraine.“Today’s thugs in the special forces put shame on all the past heroes,” a retired KGB officer and corruption fighter, Gennady Gudkov, told The Daily Beast. “The FSB violates its authority for ‘operative activities,’ which was given to them to stop transactions for terrorism or drug deals. Now a group of elite FSB and special forces units used their authority to rob a bank; but the bank informed Moscow police investigators and the organized criminal group was arrested.”A channel on the Telegram messaging service covering the latest news about Russian gangsters, oligarchs and bureaucrats, said on Monday that authorities fired the head of Moscow’s FSB Directorate, Alexey Dorofeyev.Last month police tried to stop an investigation by a Medusa Project reporter, Ivan Golunov, into Dorofeyev’s links to a corrupt funeral business. After spending months researching figures and beneficiaries of the funeral industry, Golunov discovered some links connecting shadowy figures and senior FSB officers. But somebody decided to stop the reporter from publishing: police planted drugs on Golunov and kept him behind bars for five days, while thousands of people joined protests in support of the journalist.Russian veterans of secret services gossip about three “towers” of FSB power: the richest one is allegedly supported by the almighty Putin’s ally, Igor Sechin, the head of the vast Rosneft energy company; the second one also enjoys enormous financial resources and is backed by another of Putin’s long-time friends, Sergey Chemizov, the head of the Russian arms export agency; the third, the weakest financially, nonetheless has the best network of secret agents and is backed by the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin. Some see a connection between these rivalries and the revelations about high-level criminality.“It feels like everything is falling down,” a major general of the FSB reserve, Alexander Mikhailov, told reporters last week. “I want to tell you that all the old employees are shocked by what is happening. During my entire service in the Moscow KGB, and I worked there for 20 years, there were only three criminal cases.”“None of the people from the old guard understands where that number of criminals in the system came from,” said Mikhailov. “It is also disturbing that today we are confronted with the widest range of units that are involved in criminal activity. We repair it in one spot and it breaks down in another one.”There are no checks and balances at FSB management, Gudkov pointed out. “The Soviet KGB was massively repressive, you can blame that service for anything, but not for corruption. The worst we could hear about was a colleague sleeping with somebody’s wife or some secret agent bringing a pair of sneakers for a colleague from abroad—that was already a big enough scandal to write a report,” Gudkov remembered. “Even in our worst nightmare we could not imagine officers stealing millions of dollars, robbing banks. What will we hear next? The Russian Federal Security Service robbing the Kremlin’s treasury or the Central Bank’s reserves?”  Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


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  • 44/75   Ex-White House Counsel Gregory Craig Asks Judge to Toss Lobbying Case
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    (Bloomberg) -- Gregory Craig, the former White House counsel accused of misleading the U.S. about work he did for a pro-Russia government in Ukraine, asked a judge to throw out the two-count criminal indictment against him.Craig’s lawyers told U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Wednesday the charges are technically flawed and their client is being accused of failing to disclose information he hadn’t been asked about and had no duty to reveal to enforcers of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.“You can’t prosecute somebody for not saying something they were not asked,” defense lawyer William Taylor told Jackson during a nearly three-hour hearing.Prosecutors claim Craig, while a partner at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, failed to truthfully describe the extent of the work he did for the regime of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych after it came under fire for prosecuting political rival Yulia Tymoshenko.Craig, who worked in the White House under President Barack Obama, is the only prominent Democrat indicted on charges arising from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.Warning TimeIn court on Wednesday, prosecutors pushed back on Craig’s assertion that he didn’t receive adequate warning of what information was sought by the government’s Foreign Agents Registration Act unit.“The FARA unit was very specific about the information it was requesting,” Justice Department lawyer Molly Gaston told Jackson at the Wednesday hearing. Over time the unit became more and more specific about the information they needed under a disclosure statute, she said.“What notice did Mr. Craig have that he was under an obligation to provide every jot and tittle” the FARA unit wanted to know about, Taylor’s co-counsel, William Murphy, later asked. Craig’s lawyers also assert that prosecutors waited too long to bring one charge and that the statute underlying the other charge isn’t clear enough to be enforceable.Craig and his firm had been recruited by Paul Manafort to produce a favorable assessment of the Tymoshenko case. Manafort, who lobbied for Yanukovych and his party, would go on to work as campaign chairman for President Donald Trump. He was convicted last year on bank and tax fraud charges and later pleaded guilty to illegal lobbying and other crimes. He is serving a 7 1/2-year prison sentence.In Thrall to Manafort?In January, Skadden paid $4.6 million and agreed to register as a lobbyist for a foreign government as part of a Justice Department settlement. The firm admitted it should have registered earlier for the work it did to benefit Ukraine. Craig no longer works at Skadden.Craig, 74, was charged in April and is scheduled to stand trial next month. He faces as many as five years in prison on each count if convicted.While Jackson didn’t rule on the motion to dismiss the case, she did grant the defense’s request to bar prosecutors from introducing certain evidence at trial. That is evidence supporting their claim that Craig was so in thrall to Manafort that he got his daughter a job in Skadden after it had rejected her.Prosecutors argued the episode showed the lengths to which Craig was willing to go to satisfy his client. Jackson ruled the issue was more prejudicial than likely to be useful as evidence.The case is U.S. v. Craig, 19-cr-125, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Harris in Washington at aharris16@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter Jeffrey, Steve StrothFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    (Bloomberg) -- Gregory Craig, the former White House counsel accused of misleading the U.S. about work he did for a pro-Russia government in Ukraine, asked a judge to throw out the two-count criminal indictment against him.Craig’s lawyers told U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Wednesday the charges are technically flawed and their client is being accused of failing to disclose information he hadn’t been asked about and had no duty to reveal to enforcers of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.“You can’t prosecute somebody for not saying something they were not asked,” defense lawyer William Taylor told Jackson during a nearly three-hour hearing.Prosecutors claim Craig, while a partner at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, failed to truthfully describe the extent of the work he did for the regime of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych after it came under fire for prosecuting political rival Yulia Tymoshenko.Craig, who worked in the White House under President Barack Obama, is the only prominent Democrat indicted on charges arising from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.Warning TimeIn court on Wednesday, prosecutors pushed back on Craig’s assertion that he didn’t receive adequate warning of what information was sought by the government’s Foreign Agents Registration Act unit.“The FARA unit was very specific about the information it was requesting,” Justice Department lawyer Molly Gaston told Jackson at the Wednesday hearing. Over time the unit became more and more specific about the information they needed under a disclosure statute, she said.“What notice did Mr. Craig have that he was under an obligation to provide every jot and tittle” the FARA unit wanted to know about, Taylor’s co-counsel, William Murphy, later asked. Craig’s lawyers also assert that prosecutors waited too long to bring one charge and that the statute underlying the other charge isn’t clear enough to be enforceable.Craig and his firm had been recruited by Paul Manafort to produce a favorable assessment of the Tymoshenko case. Manafort, who lobbied for Yanukovych and his party, would go on to work as campaign chairman for President Donald Trump. He was convicted last year on bank and tax fraud charges and later pleaded guilty to illegal lobbying and other crimes. He is serving a 7 1/2-year prison sentence.In Thrall to Manafort?In January, Skadden paid $4.6 million and agreed to register as a lobbyist for a foreign government as part of a Justice Department settlement. The firm admitted it should have registered earlier for the work it did to benefit Ukraine. Craig no longer works at Skadden.Craig, 74, was charged in April and is scheduled to stand trial next month. He faces as many as five years in prison on each count if convicted.While Jackson didn’t rule on the motion to dismiss the case, she did grant the defense’s request to bar prosecutors from introducing certain evidence at trial. That is evidence supporting their claim that Craig was so in thrall to Manafort that he got his daughter a job in Skadden after it had rejected her.Prosecutors argued the episode showed the lengths to which Craig was willing to go to satisfy his client. Jackson ruled the issue was more prejudicial than likely to be useful as evidence.The case is U.S. v. Craig, 19-cr-125, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Harris in Washington at aharris16@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Peter Jeffrey, Steve StrothFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • 45/75   US-made missiles found at base used by Libyan rebels to attack Tripoli are ours, France admits
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    France on Wednesday admitted that it is the owner of American-made anti-tank missiles found at a rebel military base in Libya, raising awkward questions about European involvement in the civil war. France's Army Ministry said the four Javelin missiles discovered at a base used by General Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army were intended for "self-protection of a French military unit deployed to carry out intelligence and counter-terrorism operations." "Damaged and unusable, the armaments were being temporarily stocked at a depot ahead of their destruction," it said in a statement on Wednesday.  It said the weapons, found in the mountains south of Tripoli by forces loyal to the UN-backed government, were never intended for sale or transfer to any party to Libya's conflict. The missiles were discovered on a rebel base in Gharyan when UN-recognised government forces recaptured the city Credit: Anadolu Agency  The statement did not explain how many French soldiers are in the country or why they were operating in close proximity to Gheryan, the LNA's main headquarters for its controversial assault on Tripoli. The discovery of javelin missiles at Gheryan was first reported by the New York Times. Chinese-made shells with United Arab Emirates markings were also discovered.  At least 1,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands displaced since Gen Haftar launched his assault on Tripoli in a bid to overthrow the UN-backed government of national accord in April.  France, like all permanent members of the UN Security Council, officially recognises the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).  But Fayez Al-Sarraj, the prime minister of the GNA, has publicly protested French support for Gen Haftar since the battle began.  Some observers have also accused Paris of providing the general with diplomatic cover by watering down European Union statements about his attack on Tripoli.  Jalel Harouchi, a Libya analyst at the Clingedael Institute, said the discovery made it "impossible for Paris to credibly deny its deep preference" for Gen Haftar's faction in the civil war.  "For several years now, it has sought to prop up Marshal Haftar, help him defeat his opponents and take power in Libya," he said. "In any event, other foreign states, such as the UAE, violate the Libya arms embargo much more egregiously than France does." Gen Haftar, who heads a rival administration in the east of the country, has sought to portray himself as a potential secular strongman able to deal robustly with the threat of Islamist extremism in Libya. He is believed to enjoy backing from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, and has also visited both Paris and Moscow to seek support.  He has courted the United States, which provided him with asylum after he fell out with Muammar Gadaffi in the 1980s.  Last week the United States blocked a British-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution that would have condemned an LNA airstrike on a migrant holding centre that killed at least 40 people.  The FGM 148 Javelin is a US-manufactured shoulder-launched missile designed to destroy modern tanks by striking them from above, where their armour is thinnest. They cost about £135,000 a piece.

    France on Wednesday admitted that it is the owner of American-made anti-tank missiles found at a rebel military base in Libya, raising awkward questions about European involvement in the civil war. France's Army Ministry said the four Javelin missiles discovered at a base used by General Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army were intended for "self-protection of a French military unit deployed to carry out intelligence and counter-terrorism operations." "Damaged and unusable, the armaments were being temporarily stocked at a depot ahead of their destruction," it said in a statement on Wednesday.  It said the weapons, found in the mountains south of Tripoli by forces loyal to the UN-backed government, were never intended for sale or transfer to any party to Libya's conflict. The missiles were discovered on a rebel base in Gharyan when UN-recognised government forces recaptured the city Credit: Anadolu Agency  The statement did not explain how many French soldiers are in the country or why they were operating in close proximity to Gheryan, the LNA's main headquarters for its controversial assault on Tripoli. The discovery of javelin missiles at Gheryan was first reported by the New York Times. Chinese-made shells with United Arab Emirates markings were also discovered.  At least 1,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands displaced since Gen Haftar launched his assault on Tripoli in a bid to overthrow the UN-backed government of national accord in April.  France, like all permanent members of the UN Security Council, officially recognises the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).  But Fayez Al-Sarraj, the prime minister of the GNA, has publicly protested French support for Gen Haftar since the battle began.  Some observers have also accused Paris of providing the general with diplomatic cover by watering down European Union statements about his attack on Tripoli.  Jalel Harouchi, a Libya analyst at the Clingedael Institute, said the discovery made it "impossible for Paris to credibly deny its deep preference" for Gen Haftar's faction in the civil war.  "For several years now, it has sought to prop up Marshal Haftar, help him defeat his opponents and take power in Libya," he said. "In any event, other foreign states, such as the UAE, violate the Libya arms embargo much more egregiously than France does." Gen Haftar, who heads a rival administration in the east of the country, has sought to portray himself as a potential secular strongman able to deal robustly with the threat of Islamist extremism in Libya. He is believed to enjoy backing from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, and has also visited both Paris and Moscow to seek support.  He has courted the United States, which provided him with asylum after he fell out with Muammar Gadaffi in the 1980s.  Last week the United States blocked a British-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution that would have condemned an LNA airstrike on a migrant holding centre that killed at least 40 people.  The FGM 148 Javelin is a US-manufactured shoulder-launched missile designed to destroy modern tanks by striking them from above, where their armour is thinnest. They cost about £135,000 a piece.


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  • 46/75   Meet India's BrahMos II: The World's Fastest Supersonic Cruise Missile?
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    With the BrahMos II venture put on indefinite hold, the Indian military is forging ahead with  new, long-range and deep-dive versions of their BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.Earlier this week, BrahMos CEO Sudhir Kumar Mishra announced that vertical deep-dive and 500 kilometer-range BrahMos variants are ready to enter India’s missile arsenal: "India has successfully test-fired a vertical deep dive version of BrahMos, the world's fastest supersonic cruise missile, that can now change the dynamics of conventional warfare...the upgraded version of the missile with enhanced range of up to 500 km is also ready.” Both of these new variants will feature the Mach 2.8 speed of the original BrahMos missile, roughly three times the speed of sound.As the name implies, vertical deep-capability allows the missile to be fired at a “near-vertical” trajectory of 90 degree, climbing fourteen 14 kilometers before making making a steep dive toward its target. Mishra asserts that this will make BrahMos more effective on mountainous terrain and against bunkers as well as large surface vessels, suggesting that these improvements are aimed at bolstering Indian missile strike capability vis-à-vis China amid ongoing tensions over the Tibet region.

    With the BrahMos II venture put on indefinite hold, the Indian military is forging ahead with  new, long-range and deep-dive versions of their BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.Earlier this week, BrahMos CEO Sudhir Kumar Mishra announced that vertical deep-dive and 500 kilometer-range BrahMos variants are ready to enter India’s missile arsenal: "India has successfully test-fired a vertical deep dive version of BrahMos, the world's fastest supersonic cruise missile, that can now change the dynamics of conventional warfare...the upgraded version of the missile with enhanced range of up to 500 km is also ready.” Both of these new variants will feature the Mach 2.8 speed of the original BrahMos missile, roughly three times the speed of sound.As the name implies, vertical deep-capability allows the missile to be fired at a “near-vertical” trajectory of 90 degree, climbing fourteen 14 kilometers before making making a steep dive toward its target. Mishra asserts that this will make BrahMos more effective on mountainous terrain and against bunkers as well as large surface vessels, suggesting that these improvements are aimed at bolstering Indian missile strike capability vis-à-vis China amid ongoing tensions over the Tibet region.


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  • 47/75   Media watchdog slams Pakistan curbs on TV broadcasters
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    A global media watchdog has slammed Pakistani authorities over the removal of three television channels from the country's airwaves, saying the move was 'indicative of disturbing dictatorial tendencies' as pressure mounts on journalists in the South Asian nation.  The statement from Reporters Without Borders (RSF) comes days after AbbTakk TV, 24 News, and Capital TV all had their broadcasts cut, after screening a press conference with opposition leader Maryam Nawaz.  Pakistani authorities say the channels were unavailable due to 'technical issues', but RSF described the outage as an act of 'brazen censorship'.

    A global media watchdog has slammed Pakistani authorities over the removal of three television channels from the country's airwaves, saying the move was 'indicative of disturbing dictatorial tendencies' as pressure mounts on journalists in the South Asian nation. The statement from Reporters Without Borders (RSF) comes days after AbbTakk TV, 24 News, and Capital TV all had their broadcasts cut, after screening a press conference with opposition leader Maryam Nawaz. Pakistani authorities say the channels were unavailable due to 'technical issues', but RSF described the outage as an act of 'brazen censorship'.


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  • 48/75   A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Thwaites glacier in Antarctica might be past the point of no return. Scientists predict its ice sheet may break off, increasing sea levels.

    Thwaites glacier in Antarctica might be past the point of no return. Scientists predict its ice sheet may break off, increasing sea levels.


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  • 49/75   Freshman Rep. Veronica Escobar reports death threats over asylum story
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Texas Democrat says federal authorities looking into threats against her, her family and aides

    Texas Democrat says federal authorities looking into threats against her, her family and aides


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  • 50/75   Vivera Pharmaceuticals Names Dr. Mehdi Hatamian Senior Scientific Advisor
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Newport Beach, California--(Newsfile Corp. - July 11, 2019) - Vivera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company focused on non-addictive pain management, today announces the appointment of Mehdi Hatamian, Ph.D., as the Company's Senior Scientific Advisor. A key aspect of his role is to assist with advancing the research and development of medical devices and products. Dr. Hatamian is currently working on the development of a dose-controlled, drug-delivery, medical device and system to help control dosing ...

    Newport Beach, California--(Newsfile Corp. - July 11, 2019) - Vivera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company focused on non-addictive pain management, today announces the appointment of Mehdi Hatamian, Ph.D., as the Company's Senior Scientific Advisor. A key aspect of his role is to assist with advancing the research and development of medical devices and products. Dr. Hatamian is currently working on the development of a dose-controlled, drug-delivery, medical device and system to help control dosing ...


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  • 51/75   16 bewitching destinations in France to visit in your lifetime
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    "Every man has two countries – his own and France." These words were supposedly spoken by Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States and ardent Francophile. Whether apocryphal or not, there is surely a kernel of truth to these words, since no place on earth would seem to inspire travellers in the way France does: the streetlights and cobblestones of Paris, the snow-capped Alps, the sun-kissed Riviera, the chateau-strewn banks of the Loire – each has a lustre that lures writers, artists, musicians and philosophers from across the globe (not to mention the 90 million or so 'regular' visitors). Of course, when considering the country's must-see destinations, a multitude of towns, cities and regions present themselves, but the following stand out for the way in which they have captured the world's imagination.   PROVENCE No other region in Europe, not even Tuscany, has so nourished our dreams and sensual demands. Provence has been a playground since the Romans scattered arenas and theatres across the landscape. When the 14th-century Popes fled Rome for Avignon, their interests were markedly more licentious than liturgical: Petrarch described contemporary Avignon as “a thoroughfare of vices”. And life in the region may still flow uninterrupted from the spiritual to the voluptuous. During the summer, the fields of Provence erupt into a riot of vivid purple as the lavender nears harvest Credit: DAVID CLAPP Provençal markets effortlessly rise to their reputation for colours, curves and lust-inducing display. And the region fulfils its other promises – of canoeing and climbing, of prettily-perched villages and of old blokes bringing ancestral wisdom to the game of pétanque. Tourists are now numerous, and welcome. But they retain only walk-on parts. Provence remains overwhelmingly Provençal, its villages still held together by family and farming, festivities and feuds round the fountain. The best hotels in Provence   Paris The uniform sandstone of the Haussmann buildings, the abundance of gilded historic monuments, and the glimmering Seine and its elegant bridges have arguably made Paris the most recognisable and romanticised cityscape in the world. But though the city wears its history – of monarchy, revolution, revolt and artistic innovation – with characteristic style, it is also increasingly looking to the future and outwards to the rest of the world. Paris offers what is arguably the most recognisable and romanticised cityscape in the world Credit: KISZON PASCAL Telegraph logo Sofitel Paris La Defense £ 468 pp 3 nights £156 per night Check availability Provided by Inspired Luxury Escapes Those looking to explore the city’s rich heritage can spend long afternoons getting lost in the Louvre or exploring the Musée d'Orsay, or ducking in and out of Paris’s countless historical churches (many of which were reinvented as Republican temples after the Revolution). For more contemporary tastes, there’s plenty of exploring to be done in the less tourist-trodden outer arrondissements – from arts venues on the sloping streets of Belleville to the boutique hotels and reinvented dive bars of Pigalle. The best hotels in Paris   Bordeaux Stroll the most graceful streets in France, eat well, drink better and then have the liveliest possible time in a city lately in touch with its Latin side. The centre of Bordeaux has a grandiose 18th-century harmony unmatched in Europe – so much so it seems quite possible that the French Revolution never made it this far. And the city has had the renovators in with a vengeance too, restoring noble façades, installing trams and reclaiming from dereliction the vast swathe of riverbank. There are few more graceful urban sights in France than Bordeaux's miroir-d'eau reflecting the splendid Palais-de-la-Bourse. Credit: CLAUDE-OLIVIER MARTI Telegraph logo Four-star Hotel Burdigala, Bordeaux £ 324 pp 3 nights £108 per night Check availability Provided by Inspired Luxury Escapes This also remains the world HQ of wine and château-owning folk. Many do their business in the Chartrons district, where there’s a lingering air of aristocratic commerce. But there’s also a cracking museum of modern art next door, tapas bars up the road and fusion food in the restaurants. Welcome, in short, to the Bordeaux nouveau. It offers the ancient dignity but with added zest and fruitiness. For immediate drinking. The best hotels in Bordeaux   Burgundy Burgundy may well be renowned for its wine – with villages such as Chablis and Nuits-St-Georges known throughout the world – but its rural reaches have a great deal more to offer. Renaissance chateaux, medieval abbeys and fortified villages all stand testimony to the colourful history of this lesser-known region of France. Burgundy’s history stretches further into the past. Hilltop villages and market towns are adorned with some of the most magnificent Romanesque structures in Europe. Burgundy is known for its wine, but there are plenty other reasons to visit this historic region Credit: JOHN HARPER At Burgundy’s rural heart lies the Morvan National Park, dotted with lakes and picturesque villages, many of which have family-run brasseries in their tree-shaded squares. And even if there were no historical wonders in Burgundy, the gastronomic cuisine would be reason enough to holiday here. Boeuf bourguignon is the region’s signature dish but there are scores of other local specialities. One of France’s most celebrated cheeses, Epoisses, comes from a lovely little village of the same name (complete with rambling medieval castle). The best hotels in Burgundy   Carcassonne From a distance, the cité of Carcassonne looks as if it recently landed on its hilltop fresh from a starring role in a medieval myth. The arrangement of ramparts, pointy-roofed towers and bulky buildings is almost Disney-perfect. The mind’s eye can’t help filling in the knights, damsels-in-distress and a dragon or two. Up close, though, the prospect is real enough. The 52 towers and monumental walls battled their way through the Middle Ages, guarding the frontier against the Spanish. The fortified medieval city of Carcassonne looks like it belongs in a fairy tale Credit: NADIA ISAKOVA But by the 19th century, the whole place was in a state of collapse. Rescue work was as much about recreation as restoration, but it left Carcassonne with the finest fortified medieval city in Europe. The Carcassonnais make the most of this world-class site. The old stones throb with multi-coloured gift shops and more eateries than you could get round in a month of lunchtimes. Purists sniff, but let them. The 12th-century cité, overseen by the Trencavel family, would have been full of merchants, food and music, so a certain vibrant raucousness is traditional. The best hotels in Carcassone   Nice Nice, the capital of the Côte d’Azur, is beautifully curved round the Bay of Angels, desirable and as lively as you like. Awaiting you is the clearest-possible light, which spangles the Mediterranean to create a setting for sybarites, and shadows for well-dressed decadence. This is France's WAG, a fine-looking courtesan at once cultured and racy; a glorious, and playful, slice of urban greensward. And it’s bewitching at pretty much any time of year. Nice is the sun-kissed capital of the Côte d’Azur – a vibrant playground curving round the glorious sweep of the Bay of Angels Credit: CINTRACT ROMAIN Telegraph logo Marseille and Nice twin-centre £ 599 pp 6 nights £100 per night Check availability Provided by Inspired Luxury Escapes The key sight - it's unmissable as you wing into Nice airport - is the glorious curve of the Bay of Angels, miles of the loveliest urban sea-front in Europe, fringed by the celebrated Promenade des Anglais. You could spend an entire trip just wandering along here, but you'll also need to see Nice old town. Here, the Niçois jostle to sell Provençal frocks, dodgy art, olive oil – and simmered lambs’ trotters on restaurant terraces.'Touristy', cry the purists. Purists know nothing. Nice has always done commotion and boisterous commerce. The best hotels in Nice   Cote d'Azur The fabled Côte d’Azur ribbons from St Tropez to the Italian border in a vital medley of blue sky, turquoise sea and shocking pink rosé. Artists attracted by this kaleidoscope of colour – Picasso in Antibes, Cocteau in Menton, Matisse in Nice – gifted the 100-mile shore more museums than any other area outside Paris. But in truth, most visitors to the region are drawn by the many miles of beach, the enticing turquoise hue of the sea, and the 300-plus days of sunshine a year. There's more to the Côte d’Azur than beach and sea, with many fine restaurants, art galleries and picturesque inland villages to entice visitors away from the shore Credit: getty But there's plenty to tempt the sunbathers away from the shoreline. The region is home to more than 3,000 restaurants, plenty of them serving world-famous Provençal staples such as bouillabaisse and daube, the pretty coastal harbours are lined with smart cafés and trendy bars, and there are numerous medieval villages and towns to explore in the tranqil hinterland that forms a blurred boundary between the Riviera and Provence. The best hotels on the Côte dAzur   Dordogne It is not difficult to coax the British to the Dordogne in southwest France – the English fought the French over this glorious rural idyll until the end of the Hundred Years War (1453) for goodness sake. The cuisine is sensational, combining a natural love for seasonal fruits of the land with duck, goose and one of the most luxuriant foods known to mankind, black truffles. Wine from Bergerac is not as revered as neighbouring Bordeaux vintages but it is eminently respectable; while a glass of sweet Monbazillac paired with foie gras or early summer strawberries is a fine marriage indeed. Credit: CALLE MONTES Then there is the undulating landscape, a perfect mirror of quintessential France with its pastoral green meadows and vineyards romantically wrapped around chateaux, farms, honey-stone bastides (fortified hilltop villages) built by feuding French and English in the 13th century and – the pièce de résistance – the languid twists and turns of the majestic Dordogne River itself. In the east, ancient caves and rock shelters conceal Europe’s best treasure trove of prehistoric art. The best hotels in the Dordogne   Cannes Much smaller and less substantial than its Côte-d’Azur neighbour, Nice, Cannes gleams on the surface. But it’s mainly glitter and bling underneath too, and all the way down. Since noble Britons rolled in to what was then a tiny fishing village in the 1830s, the place has been fashioning itself in the image of the fashionable. More recently, its real achievement has been to spin out the sparkle generated by the two-week film festival across the whole year. Since noble Britons rolled in to Cannes in the 1830s, the place has been fashioning itself in the image of the fashionable Credit: PAWEL TOCZYNSKI Of course, the bay is glorious and there are sandy beaches. But such things aren’t unknown around the Med. What sets Cannes apart is the shiny veneer with which it has coated these elements. For the truth is that Cannes’ visitor population is not entirely made up of movie legends, Russian billionaires and Mid-East moguls. Ordinary Joes like you and me are there in our thousands. It is the town’s triumph to pretend that its visitors are all wealthy, beautiful and glam, while catering to the fact that they aren’t.  The best hotels in Cannes   Monaco Ever since Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier, this fairytale principality has been centre stage. Monte Carlo’s pristine streets are paved with Michelin-starred restaurants and designer shops, while the superyacht-lined harbour is home to late-night bars. The Old Town recalls its medieval roots through its castle, its cobbled streets and its earthy Monegasque cuisine. Carefully watched over by the world’s largest police force per capita, this billionaire’s playground is occasionally shady, but usually sunny. Monaco's pristine streets are paved with Michelin-starred restaurants and designer shops, while the superyacht-lined harbour is home to late-night bars Credit: PABLO POLA DAMONTE Start up on the Rock where Monaco itself started. Be before the Princely Palace at 11.55am for the daily changing of the guard. Then wander the narrow streets of the old town - buffed up as if for a royal visit at any moment. Take in the wonderful Oceanographic Museum, before descending to the Port Hercule - and up the other headland to Monte Carlo, the casino, the limos, the posh shops and magnificent gardens. The best hotels in Monaco   Normandy Normandy is often described as the Devon of northern France, with Brittany as the corresponding Cornwall. It’s easy to see why – Normandy is altogether a gentler place, dotted with lush meadows and bucolic farmland, and famed for its cheese and apples. Rather than locked in an endless tussle with a wild ocean, its coastline consists for the most part of long low dunes, lapped by the Channel. For visitors, the chance to combine cultural heritage with gastronomic indulgence makes for a winning formula.  Normandy is altogether a gentler place than neighbouring Brittany, dotted as it is with lush meadows and bucolic farmland Credit: Jelle De Laender The remarkable legacy of the Normans is everywhere apparent, with showpiece sights including the thousand-year-old embroidery of the Bayeux Tapestry, the cathedrals of Rouen and Coutances, and above all the magnificent abbey of Mont St-Michel, on the border with Brittany. Lovely old ports line the coast, ranging from medieval treasures like Honfleur and Barfleur to nineteenth-century resorts such as Etretat and Trouville, while the Seine too holds gems like the abbey of Jumièges and Richard the Lionheart’s castle at Les Andelys, as well as Monet’s waterlily-filled garden at Giverny. The best hotels in Normandy   Brittany If there’s one word that British visitors indelibly associate with Brittany, it’s beaches. Great beaches are everywhere you look, from the posh north-coast watering hole of Dinard, beloved by nineteenth-century British aristocrats, to any number of humbler family resorts strung along the entire, endlessly intricate and gloriously unpredictable coastline. Some of the region’s abundant strands of sand bustle with life and energy; others lie tucked away at the end of unpromising little rural lanes, rewarding those who take the trouble to find them with splendid, unspoiled isolation. Great beaches are everywhere you look in Brittany – some bustle with life and energy; others lie tucked away at the end of unpromising little rural lanes Credit: getty There’s much more to Brittany than beaches, though. For many centuries this was a proudly independent realm, with closer connections to Britain than France. The pan-Celtic traditions of that era are still going strong; the Breton language remains proudly spoken, while cultural festivals celebrate Celtic music and dance. There are striking walled medieval citadelles that once guarded its borders with France – places like Dinan, Vitré and the ports of St-Malo in the north and Vannes in the south. And in the west, vestiges of ancient forests survive around villages such as Huelgoat. The best hotels in Brittany   Pays de la Loire Cooler, greener, more refined than the heaving south, the Loire in France is an enchanted land of elaborate chateaux, verdant landscapes and world-class vineyards. Steeped in nobility, the Loire is easily France’s valley of the kings. An impressive cast of renaissance men and royal megalomaniacs – from the culturally minded Francis I to the bombastic Louis XIV – made the region their playground, with the result that its medieval past is still its backbone today in the shape of the hundreds of fairytale castles strewn along its banks. With its ubiquitous elaborate chateaux, the Pays de la Loire is easily France’s valley of the kings Credit: MANFRED GOTTSCHALK Poets and painters, too, have long been drawn here; the delicate light and pastel colours of the Loire sky that so inspired Turner are an enduring attraction. Go for the gentle pace of life, the grandeur of the countryside, perhaps at its most beautiful against the backdrop of autumn leaves – and leave plenty of room in the boot for the fruits of the land. There are almost as many wine appellations as turrets. The best hotels in the Pays de la Loire   Lyon It may not have the mythical might or romantic heritage of Paris, but France’s second-largest city is French-charming to the core. Lyon is a discreet seductress, quietly surprising with its elegant architecture, vibrant museums, twinset of rivers and magnificent Unesco World Heritage-protected old town set between the hills of Fourvière and Croix-Rousse, its narrow streets punctuated with characteristic passageways that were used by the silk merchants to transport their products when the city echoed with the clacking of hundreds of thousands of looms. France's second city, Lyon, quietly surprises with its elegant architecture, vibrant museums, and exceptional cuisine Credit: SUGERE LOIC Exceptional cuisine – from resolutely traditional to dazzling contemporary – creates the urban buzz today, new-generation chefs reinventing classics with trademark chic and panache. A gourmet slant is inevitable on any weekend itinerary thanks to the healthy sprinkling of Michelin-starred restaurants and streets packed with the traditional Lyonnaise bouchons, their red-and-white checked tabletops groaning with dishes of offal, quennelles de brochet and unctuous St Marcellin cheeses. The best hotels in Lyon   Avignon For around 100 years or so, Avignon jostled for position at the centre of the Christian world when, in the 14th century, the papacy decamped here from the Vatican on the orders of French-born Pope Clement V, who didn't much fancy the idea of living in Rome. Six subsequent popes (and a further two antipopes) didn't quite cement this status, but the period known as the Avignon Papacy has left the city with a history as unique as it is well-preserved in the form of the Palais des Papes (the papal palace), the cathedral and the Pont Saint-Bénézet. The seat of the papacy for much of the 14th century, Avignon has been left with a history as unique as it is well-preserved Credit: HANS GEORG EIBEN Strategically situated high above the river Rhône and encircled by medieval ramparts, Avignon's walled old town – designated a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1995 – is a warren of cobbled streets, lantern-lit passageways and architectural treasures. Bathed in the extraordinarily brilliant Provençal light, this former papal enclave has long attracted artists and painters, as well as those in search of cultural diversion, which can be found in the form of Europe’s greatest drama festival: hundreds of shows held daily in 133 different venues and encompassing theatre, music, art and absurdity. The best hotels in Avignon   Marseille The key attraction of Marseille is the city itself – the atmosphere, flux and throbbing beat of a big port city. The place lives and works essentially in the present, and has done for the past two and a half millennia. Almost despite itself, though, it has accumulated a backlog of culture – to which Marseille's stint as European Capital of Culture in 2013 brought a certain amount of coherence and much pizzazz. From wandering along the Old Port to getting lost in the colours and smells in Le Panier, there’s a wealth of cultures and communities to explore. Marseille has had its rough years (and has the reputation to match), but it's a lively and vibrant port city that deserves exploration Credit: VERONICA GARBUTT Since 2013, the emphasis has been on cultural consolidation. New and renewed museums are hitting their stride. The Stade Vélodrome soccer stadium - epicentre of culture for many Marseillais - has appeared in refurbished apparel, and Marseille will remain magnificent with its coast of rocks, the sea, and the beat of a big port city. Spring and autumn are generally perfect for pursuing outdoor moments – say, walking along the glorious calanques (limestone creeks). Meanwhile, summer in the city might involve the south-side beaches followed by an al fresco evening until whatever hour you deem is bedtime. The best hotels in Marseille

    "Every man has two countries – his own and France." These words were supposedly spoken by Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States and ardent Francophile. Whether apocryphal or not, there is surely a kernel of truth to these words, since no place on earth would seem to inspire travellers in the way France does: the streetlights and cobblestones of Paris, the snow-capped Alps, the sun-kissed Riviera, the chateau-strewn banks of the Loire – each has a lustre that lures writers, artists, musicians and philosophers from across the globe (not to mention the 90 million or so 'regular' visitors). Of course, when considering the country's must-see destinations, a multitude of towns, cities and regions present themselves, but the following stand out for the way in which they have captured the world's imagination.   PROVENCE No other region in Europe, not even Tuscany, has so nourished our dreams and sensual demands. Provence has been a playground since the Romans scattered arenas and theatres across the landscape. When the 14th-century Popes fled Rome for Avignon, their interests were markedly more licentious than liturgical: Petrarch described contemporary Avignon as “a thoroughfare of vices”. And life in the region may still flow uninterrupted from the spiritual to the voluptuous. During the summer, the fields of Provence erupt into a riot of vivid purple as the lavender nears harvest Credit: DAVID CLAPP Provençal markets effortlessly rise to their reputation for colours, curves and lust-inducing display. And the region fulfils its other promises – of canoeing and climbing, of prettily-perched villages and of old blokes bringing ancestral wisdom to the game of pétanque. Tourists are now numerous, and welcome. But they retain only walk-on parts. Provence remains overwhelmingly Provençal, its villages still held together by family and farming, festivities and feuds round the fountain. The best hotels in Provence   Paris The uniform sandstone of the Haussmann buildings, the abundance of gilded historic monuments, and the glimmering Seine and its elegant bridges have arguably made Paris the most recognisable and romanticised cityscape in the world. But though the city wears its history – of monarchy, revolution, revolt and artistic innovation – with characteristic style, it is also increasingly looking to the future and outwards to the rest of the world. Paris offers what is arguably the most recognisable and romanticised cityscape in the world Credit: KISZON PASCAL Telegraph logo Sofitel Paris La Defense £ 468 pp 3 nights £156 per night Check availability Provided by Inspired Luxury Escapes Those looking to explore the city’s rich heritage can spend long afternoons getting lost in the Louvre or exploring the Musée d'Orsay, or ducking in and out of Paris’s countless historical churches (many of which were reinvented as Republican temples after the Revolution). For more contemporary tastes, there’s plenty of exploring to be done in the less tourist-trodden outer arrondissements – from arts venues on the sloping streets of Belleville to the boutique hotels and reinvented dive bars of Pigalle. The best hotels in Paris   Bordeaux Stroll the most graceful streets in France, eat well, drink better and then have the liveliest possible time in a city lately in touch with its Latin side. The centre of Bordeaux has a grandiose 18th-century harmony unmatched in Europe – so much so it seems quite possible that the French Revolution never made it this far. And the city has had the renovators in with a vengeance too, restoring noble façades, installing trams and reclaiming from dereliction the vast swathe of riverbank. There are few more graceful urban sights in France than Bordeaux's miroir-d'eau reflecting the splendid Palais-de-la-Bourse. Credit: CLAUDE-OLIVIER MARTI Telegraph logo Four-star Hotel Burdigala, Bordeaux £ 324 pp 3 nights £108 per night Check availability Provided by Inspired Luxury Escapes This also remains the world HQ of wine and château-owning folk. Many do their business in the Chartrons district, where there’s a lingering air of aristocratic commerce. But there’s also a cracking museum of modern art next door, tapas bars up the road and fusion food in the restaurants. Welcome, in short, to the Bordeaux nouveau. It offers the ancient dignity but with added zest and fruitiness. For immediate drinking. The best hotels in Bordeaux   Burgundy Burgundy may well be renowned for its wine – with villages such as Chablis and Nuits-St-Georges known throughout the world – but its rural reaches have a great deal more to offer. Renaissance chateaux, medieval abbeys and fortified villages all stand testimony to the colourful history of this lesser-known region of France. Burgundy’s history stretches further into the past. Hilltop villages and market towns are adorned with some of the most magnificent Romanesque structures in Europe. Burgundy is known for its wine, but there are plenty other reasons to visit this historic region Credit: JOHN HARPER At Burgundy’s rural heart lies the Morvan National Park, dotted with lakes and picturesque villages, many of which have family-run brasseries in their tree-shaded squares. And even if there were no historical wonders in Burgundy, the gastronomic cuisine would be reason enough to holiday here. Boeuf bourguignon is the region’s signature dish but there are scores of other local specialities. One of France’s most celebrated cheeses, Epoisses, comes from a lovely little village of the same name (complete with rambling medieval castle). The best hotels in Burgundy   Carcassonne From a distance, the cité of Carcassonne looks as if it recently landed on its hilltop fresh from a starring role in a medieval myth. The arrangement of ramparts, pointy-roofed towers and bulky buildings is almost Disney-perfect. The mind’s eye can’t help filling in the knights, damsels-in-distress and a dragon or two. Up close, though, the prospect is real enough. The 52 towers and monumental walls battled their way through the Middle Ages, guarding the frontier against the Spanish. The fortified medieval city of Carcassonne looks like it belongs in a fairy tale Credit: NADIA ISAKOVA But by the 19th century, the whole place was in a state of collapse. Rescue work was as much about recreation as restoration, but it left Carcassonne with the finest fortified medieval city in Europe. The Carcassonnais make the most of this world-class site. The old stones throb with multi-coloured gift shops and more eateries than you could get round in a month of lunchtimes. Purists sniff, but let them. The 12th-century cité, overseen by the Trencavel family, would have been full of merchants, food and music, so a certain vibrant raucousness is traditional. The best hotels in Carcassone   Nice Nice, the capital of the Côte d’Azur, is beautifully curved round the Bay of Angels, desirable and as lively as you like. Awaiting you is the clearest-possible light, which spangles the Mediterranean to create a setting for sybarites, and shadows for well-dressed decadence. This is France's WAG, a fine-looking courtesan at once cultured and racy; a glorious, and playful, slice of urban greensward. And it’s bewitching at pretty much any time of year. Nice is the sun-kissed capital of the Côte d’Azur – a vibrant playground curving round the glorious sweep of the Bay of Angels Credit: CINTRACT ROMAIN Telegraph logo Marseille and Nice twin-centre £ 599 pp 6 nights £100 per night Check availability Provided by Inspired Luxury Escapes The key sight - it's unmissable as you wing into Nice airport - is the glorious curve of the Bay of Angels, miles of the loveliest urban sea-front in Europe, fringed by the celebrated Promenade des Anglais. You could spend an entire trip just wandering along here, but you'll also need to see Nice old town. Here, the Niçois jostle to sell Provençal frocks, dodgy art, olive oil – and simmered lambs’ trotters on restaurant terraces.'Touristy', cry the purists. Purists know nothing. Nice has always done commotion and boisterous commerce. The best hotels in Nice   Cote d'Azur The fabled Côte d’Azur ribbons from St Tropez to the Italian border in a vital medley of blue sky, turquoise sea and shocking pink rosé. Artists attracted by this kaleidoscope of colour – Picasso in Antibes, Cocteau in Menton, Matisse in Nice – gifted the 100-mile shore more museums than any other area outside Paris. But in truth, most visitors to the region are drawn by the many miles of beach, the enticing turquoise hue of the sea, and the 300-plus days of sunshine a year. There's more to the Côte d’Azur than beach and sea, with many fine restaurants, art galleries and picturesque inland villages to entice visitors away from the shore Credit: getty But there's plenty to tempt the sunbathers away from the shoreline. The region is home to more than 3,000 restaurants, plenty of them serving world-famous Provençal staples such as bouillabaisse and daube, the pretty coastal harbours are lined with smart cafés and trendy bars, and there are numerous medieval villages and towns to explore in the tranqil hinterland that forms a blurred boundary between the Riviera and Provence. The best hotels on the Côte dAzur   Dordogne It is not difficult to coax the British to the Dordogne in southwest France – the English fought the French over this glorious rural idyll until the end of the Hundred Years War (1453) for goodness sake. The cuisine is sensational, combining a natural love for seasonal fruits of the land with duck, goose and one of the most luxuriant foods known to mankind, black truffles. Wine from Bergerac is not as revered as neighbouring Bordeaux vintages but it is eminently respectable; while a glass of sweet Monbazillac paired with foie gras or early summer strawberries is a fine marriage indeed. Credit: CALLE MONTES Then there is the undulating landscape, a perfect mirror of quintessential France with its pastoral green meadows and vineyards romantically wrapped around chateaux, farms, honey-stone bastides (fortified hilltop villages) built by feuding French and English in the 13th century and – the pièce de résistance – the languid twists and turns of the majestic Dordogne River itself. In the east, ancient caves and rock shelters conceal Europe’s best treasure trove of prehistoric art. The best hotels in the Dordogne   Cannes Much smaller and less substantial than its Côte-d’Azur neighbour, Nice, Cannes gleams on the surface. But it’s mainly glitter and bling underneath too, and all the way down. Since noble Britons rolled in to what was then a tiny fishing village in the 1830s, the place has been fashioning itself in the image of the fashionable. More recently, its real achievement has been to spin out the sparkle generated by the two-week film festival across the whole year. Since noble Britons rolled in to Cannes in the 1830s, the place has been fashioning itself in the image of the fashionable Credit: PAWEL TOCZYNSKI Of course, the bay is glorious and there are sandy beaches. But such things aren’t unknown around the Med. What sets Cannes apart is the shiny veneer with which it has coated these elements. For the truth is that Cannes’ visitor population is not entirely made up of movie legends, Russian billionaires and Mid-East moguls. Ordinary Joes like you and me are there in our thousands. It is the town’s triumph to pretend that its visitors are all wealthy, beautiful and glam, while catering to the fact that they aren’t.  The best hotels in Cannes   Monaco Ever since Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier, this fairytale principality has been centre stage. Monte Carlo’s pristine streets are paved with Michelin-starred restaurants and designer shops, while the superyacht-lined harbour is home to late-night bars. The Old Town recalls its medieval roots through its castle, its cobbled streets and its earthy Monegasque cuisine. Carefully watched over by the world’s largest police force per capita, this billionaire’s playground is occasionally shady, but usually sunny. Monaco's pristine streets are paved with Michelin-starred restaurants and designer shops, while the superyacht-lined harbour is home to late-night bars Credit: PABLO POLA DAMONTE Start up on the Rock where Monaco itself started. Be before the Princely Palace at 11.55am for the daily changing of the guard. Then wander the narrow streets of the old town - buffed up as if for a royal visit at any moment. Take in the wonderful Oceanographic Museum, before descending to the Port Hercule - and up the other headland to Monte Carlo, the casino, the limos, the posh shops and magnificent gardens. The best hotels in Monaco   Normandy Normandy is often described as the Devon of northern France, with Brittany as the corresponding Cornwall. It’s easy to see why – Normandy is altogether a gentler place, dotted with lush meadows and bucolic farmland, and famed for its cheese and apples. Rather than locked in an endless tussle with a wild ocean, its coastline consists for the most part of long low dunes, lapped by the Channel. For visitors, the chance to combine cultural heritage with gastronomic indulgence makes for a winning formula.  Normandy is altogether a gentler place than neighbouring Brittany, dotted as it is with lush meadows and bucolic farmland Credit: Jelle De Laender The remarkable legacy of the Normans is everywhere apparent, with showpiece sights including the thousand-year-old embroidery of the Bayeux Tapestry, the cathedrals of Rouen and Coutances, and above all the magnificent abbey of Mont St-Michel, on the border with Brittany. Lovely old ports line the coast, ranging from medieval treasures like Honfleur and Barfleur to nineteenth-century resorts such as Etretat and Trouville, while the Seine too holds gems like the abbey of Jumièges and Richard the Lionheart’s castle at Les Andelys, as well as Monet’s waterlily-filled garden at Giverny. The best hotels in Normandy   Brittany If there’s one word that British visitors indelibly associate with Brittany, it’s beaches. Great beaches are everywhere you look, from the posh north-coast watering hole of Dinard, beloved by nineteenth-century British aristocrats, to any number of humbler family resorts strung along the entire, endlessly intricate and gloriously unpredictable coastline. Some of the region’s abundant strands of sand bustle with life and energy; others lie tucked away at the end of unpromising little rural lanes, rewarding those who take the trouble to find them with splendid, unspoiled isolation. Great beaches are everywhere you look in Brittany – some bustle with life and energy; others lie tucked away at the end of unpromising little rural lanes Credit: getty There’s much more to Brittany than beaches, though. For many centuries this was a proudly independent realm, with closer connections to Britain than France. The pan-Celtic traditions of that era are still going strong; the Breton language remains proudly spoken, while cultural festivals celebrate Celtic music and dance. There are striking walled medieval citadelles that once guarded its borders with France – places like Dinan, Vitré and the ports of St-Malo in the north and Vannes in the south. And in the west, vestiges of ancient forests survive around villages such as Huelgoat. The best hotels in Brittany   Pays de la Loire Cooler, greener, more refined than the heaving south, the Loire in France is an enchanted land of elaborate chateaux, verdant landscapes and world-class vineyards. Steeped in nobility, the Loire is easily France’s valley of the kings. An impressive cast of renaissance men and royal megalomaniacs – from the culturally minded Francis I to the bombastic Louis XIV – made the region their playground, with the result that its medieval past is still its backbone today in the shape of the hundreds of fairytale castles strewn along its banks. With its ubiquitous elaborate chateaux, the Pays de la Loire is easily France’s valley of the kings Credit: MANFRED GOTTSCHALK Poets and painters, too, have long been drawn here; the delicate light and pastel colours of the Loire sky that so inspired Turner are an enduring attraction. Go for the gentle pace of life, the grandeur of the countryside, perhaps at its most beautiful against the backdrop of autumn leaves – and leave plenty of room in the boot for the fruits of the land. There are almost as many wine appellations as turrets. The best hotels in the Pays de la Loire   Lyon It may not have the mythical might or romantic heritage of Paris, but France’s second-largest city is French-charming to the core. Lyon is a discreet seductress, quietly surprising with its elegant architecture, vibrant museums, twinset of rivers and magnificent Unesco World Heritage-protected old town set between the hills of Fourvière and Croix-Rousse, its narrow streets punctuated with characteristic passageways that were used by the silk merchants to transport their products when the city echoed with the clacking of hundreds of thousands of looms. France's second city, Lyon, quietly surprises with its elegant architecture, vibrant museums, and exceptional cuisine Credit: SUGERE LOIC Exceptional cuisine – from resolutely traditional to dazzling contemporary – creates the urban buzz today, new-generation chefs reinventing classics with trademark chic and panache. A gourmet slant is inevitable on any weekend itinerary thanks to the healthy sprinkling of Michelin-starred restaurants and streets packed with the traditional Lyonnaise bouchons, their red-and-white checked tabletops groaning with dishes of offal, quennelles de brochet and unctuous St Marcellin cheeses. The best hotels in Lyon   Avignon For around 100 years or so, Avignon jostled for position at the centre of the Christian world when, in the 14th century, the papacy decamped here from the Vatican on the orders of French-born Pope Clement V, who didn't much fancy the idea of living in Rome. Six subsequent popes (and a further two antipopes) didn't quite cement this status, but the period known as the Avignon Papacy has left the city with a history as unique as it is well-preserved in the form of the Palais des Papes (the papal palace), the cathedral and the Pont Saint-Bénézet. The seat of the papacy for much of the 14th century, Avignon has been left with a history as unique as it is well-preserved Credit: HANS GEORG EIBEN Strategically situated high above the river Rhône and encircled by medieval ramparts, Avignon's walled old town – designated a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1995 – is a warren of cobbled streets, lantern-lit passageways and architectural treasures. Bathed in the extraordinarily brilliant Provençal light, this former papal enclave has long attracted artists and painters, as well as those in search of cultural diversion, which can be found in the form of Europe’s greatest drama festival: hundreds of shows held daily in 133 different venues and encompassing theatre, music, art and absurdity. The best hotels in Avignon   Marseille The key attraction of Marseille is the city itself – the atmosphere, flux and throbbing beat of a big port city. The place lives and works essentially in the present, and has done for the past two and a half millennia. Almost despite itself, though, it has accumulated a backlog of culture – to which Marseille's stint as European Capital of Culture in 2013 brought a certain amount of coherence and much pizzazz. From wandering along the Old Port to getting lost in the colours and smells in Le Panier, there’s a wealth of cultures and communities to explore. Marseille has had its rough years (and has the reputation to match), but it's a lively and vibrant port city that deserves exploration Credit: VERONICA GARBUTT Since 2013, the emphasis has been on cultural consolidation. New and renewed museums are hitting their stride. The Stade Vélodrome soccer stadium - epicentre of culture for many Marseillais - has appeared in refurbished apparel, and Marseille will remain magnificent with its coast of rocks, the sea, and the beat of a big port city. Spring and autumn are generally perfect for pursuing outdoor moments – say, walking along the glorious calanques (limestone creeks). Meanwhile, summer in the city might involve the south-side beaches followed by an al fresco evening until whatever hour you deem is bedtime. The best hotels in Marseille


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  • 52/75   Amazon Back on Cusp of $1 Trillion Value After 7-Day Streak
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    (Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. is flirting with a $1 trillion valuation again after posting its longest winning streak since briefly surpassing that level in September.Seven consecutive days of gains have boosted the e-commerce giant’s market value to $993 billion as of Wednesday’s close, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A gain of less than 1% for the stock would push the market capitalization above the 13-figure mark. The shares closed that gap on Thursday morning, climbing 0.4% in early trading before U.S. markets opened -- a move that would push the market value to nearly $998 billion.Amazon has added about $119 billion in market value since the end of May. Nearly half of those gains have come in the past seven days, which comprises Amazon’s longest string of advances since Sept. 4.Microsoft Corp. is currently the only company with a market value above $1 trillion. Apple Inc. was long the world’s largest company, but hasn’t regained all of the market value it lost late last year amid concerns about demand for the iPhone, its top selling product, and the U.S. trade war with China. Apple has a current market valuation of $935 billion, down from an October record of $1.12 trillion.(Adds Thursday’s trading in the second paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Jeran Wittenstein in San Francisco at jwittenstei1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at clarkin4@bloomberg.net, Courtney DentchFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    (Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. is flirting with a $1 trillion valuation again after posting its longest winning streak since briefly surpassing that level in September.Seven consecutive days of gains have boosted the e-commerce giant’s market value to $993 billion as of Wednesday’s close, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A gain of less than 1% for the stock would push the market capitalization above the 13-figure mark. The shares closed that gap on Thursday morning, climbing 0.4% in early trading before U.S. markets opened -- a move that would push the market value to nearly $998 billion.Amazon has added about $119 billion in market value since the end of May. Nearly half of those gains have come in the past seven days, which comprises Amazon’s longest string of advances since Sept. 4.Microsoft Corp. is currently the only company with a market value above $1 trillion. Apple Inc. was long the world’s largest company, but hasn’t regained all of the market value it lost late last year amid concerns about demand for the iPhone, its top selling product, and the U.S. trade war with China. Apple has a current market valuation of $935 billion, down from an October record of $1.12 trillion.(Adds Thursday’s trading in the second paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Jeran Wittenstein in San Francisco at jwittenstei1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at clarkin4@bloomberg.net, Courtney DentchFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • 53/75   Trump’s Social Media Summit Brings Fringe Voices to White House
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    (Bloomberg) -- The White House is holding a closed-door social media summit on Thursday that’s short on social media companies and long on fringe conservative voices that back up President Donald Trump’s claims of being silenced online.While Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. and other internet platforms weren’t invited, several presidential fans, provocateurs, leaders of conservative groups, media figures, and lawmakers have said they’re going -- including some who’ve faced allegations of racism and antisemitism, trolling and conspiracy theories.“The White House will be hosting a very big and very important Social Media Summit today,” Trump said Thursday on Twitter. “Would I have become President without Social Media? Yes (probably)!”Trump is scheduled to address the gathering, which was billed by the White House as a way to “bring together digital leaders for a robust conversation on the opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment.” But the confirmed attendees are primarily conservative tech critics who echo Trump’s own complaints that social media systematically silences conservative voices.The president has repeatedly accused large technology platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google of anti-conservative bias, with little evidence. Last month, he said the U.S. government should sue Facebook and Google for unspecified wrongdoing.In May, the administration posted a form urging people to report potential political censorship by the social media companies, which White House spokesman Judd Deere said on Wednesday got “thousands of responses.” The form is now defunct.“I don’t think there’s going to be serious policy matters discussed,” said Ethan Porter, a professor at George Washington University who has studied the political role of media in the Trump era. “It looks like a theatrical gathering at the White House -- a venting session for conservative media stars,” he said.The summit is expected to attract figures like Bill Mitchell, a Twitter booster of Trump’s who has promoted the conspiracy theory known as QAnon; as well as the person behind a pro-Trump meme account known as @CarpeDonktum, whose work has attracted retweets from the president.Brent Bozell, who heads an organization devoted to exposing alleged liberal media bias and once compared President Barack Obama to “a skinny, ghetto crackhead,” was also expected, alongside another Twitter personality who has said the media was pushing a civil war.The conservative nonprofit Project Veritas, which uses undercover sting operations in attempts to expose wrongdoing, said founder James O’Keefe would be there. Senator Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican and frequent Google critic, is scheduled to attend, as is Republican Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida.Traditional Washington conservative organizations such as the Heritage Foundation will be represented. So will a fairly new one, the youth-focused group Turning Point USA, which has been accused of promoting baseless claims against liberals.While the White House schedule lists the event as closed to the press, Trump has repeatedly opened private meetings in the past.Ben Garrison, a pro-Trump political cartoonist, tweeted Wednesday that his invitation had been rescinded after criticism that one of his works, which depicted Jewish financiers controlling U.S. foreign policy, was anti-Semitic. Garrison denied the accusation.Accusing social media companies of shutting out conservative agendas could help Trump maintain ties to allies, some of whom have devoted media followings of their own, Porter said. Trump officially launched his re-election campaign last month, and it reported last week that he and the Republican National Committee had together raised $105 million in the second quarter and had $100 million in available cash.Nearly 65% of Republicans or those who lean Republican believe big tech companies support liberal views over conservative ones, and a full 85% think it’s at least somewhat likely the companies are intentionally censoring viewpoints, according to a Pew Research Center survey from last year.“There is a segment of the population that’s motivated to get out to vote based on what they’re against,” said Kevin Madden, a former spokesman for Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign who has also worked with technology companies.Michael Beckerman, president of the Internet Association, a trade group that represents large technology companies, said in a statement that his members provide “the best tool for promoting voices from all political perspectives in history,” including conservatives.“Internet companies are not biased against any political ideology, and conservative voices in particular have used social media to great effect,” Beckerman said.Pressure on the technology companies is increasing in Washington as Republicans in Congress dig into allegations of conservative bias, Democrats in the House conduct an antitrust inquiry and enforcers at the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission divvy up oversight of Google, Facebook, Apple Inc., and Amazon.com Inc. Politicians from both parties are also exploring limiting liability protections that the companies enjoy for third-party content.Jesse Blumenthal, who directs tech policy for the network of groups funded by the libertarian Koch brothers, said that those on the right have long feared gatekeepers would keep conservative opinions from out of the public square.“That is not a new complaint,” said Blumenthal, who advocates for the government to stay out of speech issues. “What is new is, so what do you want the government to do about it?”The fight to remove the government from regulating speech resulted in the successful push to end the “fairness doctrine” that required television broadcasters give equal amounts of time to candidates seeking public office, Blumenthal said. Trump has mused about bringing the idea back for social media.(Adds Trump comment on meeting in third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Alyza Sebenius.To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Brody in Washington at btenerellabr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    (Bloomberg) -- The White House is holding a closed-door social media summit on Thursday that’s short on social media companies and long on fringe conservative voices that back up President Donald Trump’s claims of being silenced online.While Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. and other internet platforms weren’t invited, several presidential fans, provocateurs, leaders of conservative groups, media figures, and lawmakers have said they’re going -- including some who’ve faced allegations of racism and antisemitism, trolling and conspiracy theories.“The White House will be hosting a very big and very important Social Media Summit today,” Trump said Thursday on Twitter. “Would I have become President without Social Media? Yes (probably)!”Trump is scheduled to address the gathering, which was billed by the White House as a way to “bring together digital leaders for a robust conversation on the opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment.” But the confirmed attendees are primarily conservative tech critics who echo Trump’s own complaints that social media systematically silences conservative voices.The president has repeatedly accused large technology platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google of anti-conservative bias, with little evidence. Last month, he said the U.S. government should sue Facebook and Google for unspecified wrongdoing.In May, the administration posted a form urging people to report potential political censorship by the social media companies, which White House spokesman Judd Deere said on Wednesday got “thousands of responses.” The form is now defunct.“I don’t think there’s going to be serious policy matters discussed,” said Ethan Porter, a professor at George Washington University who has studied the political role of media in the Trump era. “It looks like a theatrical gathering at the White House -- a venting session for conservative media stars,” he said.The summit is expected to attract figures like Bill Mitchell, a Twitter booster of Trump’s who has promoted the conspiracy theory known as QAnon; as well as the person behind a pro-Trump meme account known as @CarpeDonktum, whose work has attracted retweets from the president.Brent Bozell, who heads an organization devoted to exposing alleged liberal media bias and once compared President Barack Obama to “a skinny, ghetto crackhead,” was also expected, alongside another Twitter personality who has said the media was pushing a civil war.The conservative nonprofit Project Veritas, which uses undercover sting operations in attempts to expose wrongdoing, said founder James O’Keefe would be there. Senator Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican and frequent Google critic, is scheduled to attend, as is Republican Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida.Traditional Washington conservative organizations such as the Heritage Foundation will be represented. So will a fairly new one, the youth-focused group Turning Point USA, which has been accused of promoting baseless claims against liberals.While the White House schedule lists the event as closed to the press, Trump has repeatedly opened private meetings in the past.Ben Garrison, a pro-Trump political cartoonist, tweeted Wednesday that his invitation had been rescinded after criticism that one of his works, which depicted Jewish financiers controlling U.S. foreign policy, was anti-Semitic. Garrison denied the accusation.Accusing social media companies of shutting out conservative agendas could help Trump maintain ties to allies, some of whom have devoted media followings of their own, Porter said. Trump officially launched his re-election campaign last month, and it reported last week that he and the Republican National Committee had together raised $105 million in the second quarter and had $100 million in available cash.Nearly 65% of Republicans or those who lean Republican believe big tech companies support liberal views over conservative ones, and a full 85% think it’s at least somewhat likely the companies are intentionally censoring viewpoints, according to a Pew Research Center survey from last year.“There is a segment of the population that’s motivated to get out to vote based on what they’re against,” said Kevin Madden, a former spokesman for Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign who has also worked with technology companies.Michael Beckerman, president of the Internet Association, a trade group that represents large technology companies, said in a statement that his members provide “the best tool for promoting voices from all political perspectives in history,” including conservatives.“Internet companies are not biased against any political ideology, and conservative voices in particular have used social media to great effect,” Beckerman said.Pressure on the technology companies is increasing in Washington as Republicans in Congress dig into allegations of conservative bias, Democrats in the House conduct an antitrust inquiry and enforcers at the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission divvy up oversight of Google, Facebook, Apple Inc., and Amazon.com Inc. Politicians from both parties are also exploring limiting liability protections that the companies enjoy for third-party content.Jesse Blumenthal, who directs tech policy for the network of groups funded by the libertarian Koch brothers, said that those on the right have long feared gatekeepers would keep conservative opinions from out of the public square.“That is not a new complaint,” said Blumenthal, who advocates for the government to stay out of speech issues. “What is new is, so what do you want the government to do about it?”The fight to remove the government from regulating speech resulted in the successful push to end the “fairness doctrine” that required television broadcasters give equal amounts of time to candidates seeking public office, Blumenthal said. Trump has mused about bringing the idea back for social media.(Adds Trump comment on meeting in third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Alyza Sebenius.To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Brody in Washington at btenerellabr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • 54/75   Meet the Ploonets! Runaway Moons with Delusions of Planethood Get Astronomy's Cutest Name Ever
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    What do you call a runaway exomoon with delusions of planethood? You call it a "ploonet," of course.Scientists had previously proposed the endearing term "moonmoons" to describe moons that may orbit other moons in distant solar systems. Now, another team of researchers has coined the melodious nickname "ploonet" for moons of giant planets orbiting hot stars; under certain circumstances, these moons abandon those orbits, becoming satellites of the host star.The former moon is then "unbound" and has an orbit like a planet's -- ergo, a ploonet. [Top 10 Amazing Moon Facts]Ploonets -- and all exomoons, for that matter -- have yet to be detected. But ploonets may produce light signatures that planet-hunting telescopes could identify, researchers reported in a new study. Their findings were published June 27 in the preprint journal arXiv and have not been peer-reviewed.For the study, the scientists created computer models to test scenarios that might transform a planet-orbiting moon into a star-orbiting ploonet. The researchers found that if a moon is circling a type of exoplanet known as a "hot Jupiter" -- a massive gas giant close to a star -- the gravitational tug of war between star and planet could be powerful enough to wrest the moon from its planetary orbit and send the object circling around the star instead.Orbiting a nearby star would be stressful for a tiny ploonet; during its transit, the ploonet's atmosphere could evaporate and the world would lose some of its mass, creating a distinctive signature in the light emitted from the star's vicinity, the study said. That's the signature that telescopes might be able to detect.In fact, recent observations of mysterious light emissions around faraway hot stars could be explained by the appearance, and drawn-out deaths, of wayward ploonets, the study said.Some ploonets could sustain their orbits for hundreds of millions of years. By accreting material from the disk of dust and gas around its star, a ploonet could even build up its body until it eventually became a small planet, the study authors wrote.However, most ploonets would likely be relatively short-lived, the simulations showed. The majority of the endearingly named objects disappeared within a million years and never became planets; instead, they disintegrated during collisions with their former host planets, were gobbled up by stars in acts of "planetary cannibalism" or were ejected from orbit into space, the researchers reported.  * 11 Fascinating Facts About Our Milky Way Galaxy  * In Images: Rising 'Phoenix' Aurora and Starburst Galaxies Light Up the Skies  * 15 Amazing Images of StarsOriginally published on Live Science.

    What do you call a runaway exomoon with delusions of planethood? You call it a "ploonet," of course.Scientists had previously proposed the endearing term "moonmoons" to describe moons that may orbit other moons in distant solar systems. Now, another team of researchers has coined the melodious nickname "ploonet" for moons of giant planets orbiting hot stars; under certain circumstances, these moons abandon those orbits, becoming satellites of the host star.The former moon is then "unbound" and has an orbit like a planet's -- ergo, a ploonet. [Top 10 Amazing Moon Facts]Ploonets -- and all exomoons, for that matter -- have yet to be detected. But ploonets may produce light signatures that planet-hunting telescopes could identify, researchers reported in a new study. Their findings were published June 27 in the preprint journal arXiv and have not been peer-reviewed.For the study, the scientists created computer models to test scenarios that might transform a planet-orbiting moon into a star-orbiting ploonet. The researchers found that if a moon is circling a type of exoplanet known as a "hot Jupiter" -- a massive gas giant close to a star -- the gravitational tug of war between star and planet could be powerful enough to wrest the moon from its planetary orbit and send the object circling around the star instead.Orbiting a nearby star would be stressful for a tiny ploonet; during its transit, the ploonet's atmosphere could evaporate and the world would lose some of its mass, creating a distinctive signature in the light emitted from the star's vicinity, the study said. That's the signature that telescopes might be able to detect.In fact, recent observations of mysterious light emissions around faraway hot stars could be explained by the appearance, and drawn-out deaths, of wayward ploonets, the study said.Some ploonets could sustain their orbits for hundreds of millions of years. By accreting material from the disk of dust and gas around its star, a ploonet could even build up its body until it eventually became a small planet, the study authors wrote.However, most ploonets would likely be relatively short-lived, the simulations showed. The majority of the endearingly named objects disappeared within a million years and never became planets; instead, they disintegrated during collisions with their former host planets, were gobbled up by stars in acts of "planetary cannibalism" or were ejected from orbit into space, the researchers reported. * 11 Fascinating Facts About Our Milky Way Galaxy * In Images: Rising 'Phoenix' Aurora and Starburst Galaxies Light Up the Skies * 15 Amazing Images of StarsOriginally published on Live Science.


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  • 55/75   Billionaire Woos Amazon and Google With Indian Data Hubs
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    (Bloomberg) -- A string of successful bets on ports, mining and commodities helped transform Gautam Adani from a nondescript diamond trader into a tycoon with a net worth of almost $10 billion.Now the Indian businessman is setting his sights on what he believes could become another big money maker: Selling data storage services to companies such as Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.India’s government is weighing a new law that would require data to be stored locally, and his conglomerate Adani Enterprises Ltd. has said it expects to invest 700 billion rupees ($10.2 billion) to build data parks in a southern state over the next two decades. The billionaire’s hope is to capitalize on demand from foreign technology companies, who are expanding in India as the use of smartphones and Internet surges.If the proposed law goes through “it will explode data storage requirements, and that will need capacity,” Adani said in a rare interview in New Delhi. “This will be a multi-billion-dollar project that will bring in the Googles and the Amazons of the world.”It’s an approach that’s been a hallmark of Adani’s empire: Pick a hot new industry -- especially one favored by the government -- build the infrastructure, and keep going till you hit the top. Much like China, India has sought to draw more private investment to ramp up its infrastructure as it attempts to double GDP to $5 trillion over coming years.‘Nation Building’When the Indian government pushed for gas projects in cities for cooking and transportation, Adani’s group bid for and won many licenses, a move that could make it the biggest player in gas retailing. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to develop local manufacturing of defense equipment, Adani quickly built the capacity to supply the military by going on an aggressive shopping spree of defense contractors.And when Adani’s group decided to get involved in operations of airports, it bid almost double its main competitors in some cases. A clean sweep in the bidding process is set to add six airfields to the business overnight.“Our main goal is nation building through infrastructure,” the billionaire said. “The Adani Group has always focused on businesses in line [with] the government’s vision.”Shares of Adani Enterprises Ltd., the flagship company, closed 1.2% higher at 141 rupees on Thursday in Mumbai. The stock has declined 12% this year, compared with a 7.6% gain in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex.Regulated BusinessesAdani, 57, built his empire around heavily regulated businesses of coal mining, electricity and ports, a reflection of his ability to navigate different political parties and governments in states and at the center in New Delhi.The focus of his empire is the 15,000 hectare industrial zone at Mundra in the western state of Gujarat, which houses the group’s largest port and the country’s largest power plant. Adani began commercial operations of its port in 2001 and built the industrial cluster around it in the following years, when Modi was the executive head of the state of Gujarat. Since then, Adani has rapidly expanded his various businesses, many of which complement each other.For more, read: Billionaire Adani Doubles Down on Controversial Aussie Coal MineAs in other infrastructure businesses, by expanding into data centers, the businessman would be entering a space that demands large investment. He would also have to contend with competition from other large Indian players that decide to make a big push into the industry.Personal DataOne of the big supporters of data localization has been Adani’s fellow billionaire Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man. Ambani has argued that India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indians, and not by global corporations. Ambani’s younger brother, Anil, has also built data centers in India.A draft of India’s 2018 Personal Data Protection Bill mandates storage of personal data on a server or in a data center located in the country, citing the need to protect the autonomy of individuals and their personal data. The bill would need to be approved by lawmakers.“The concerns over data security is fueling the need for countries to demand localization of data and India being a growing economy, I don’t expect global data giants like Google, Amazon or Alibaba to overlook this market,” said Apalak Ghosh, industry manager for digital transformation at Frost & Sullivan.While that would offer a big business opportunity for service providers, the need for real estate would mean that investments could run into “billions of dollars,” Ghosh said.(Updates with closing share price in ninth paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Anurag Kotoky in New Delhi at akotoky@bloomberg.net;Rajesh Kumar Singh in New Delhi at rsingh133@bloomberg.net;Debjit Chakraborty in New Delhi at dchakrabor10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Nagarajan at samnagarajan@bloomberg.net, Anjali Cordeiro, Abhay SinghFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    (Bloomberg) -- A string of successful bets on ports, mining and commodities helped transform Gautam Adani from a nondescript diamond trader into a tycoon with a net worth of almost $10 billion.Now the Indian businessman is setting his sights on what he believes could become another big money maker: Selling data storage services to companies such as Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.India’s government is weighing a new law that would require data to be stored locally, and his conglomerate Adani Enterprises Ltd. has said it expects to invest 700 billion rupees ($10.2 billion) to build data parks in a southern state over the next two decades. The billionaire’s hope is to capitalize on demand from foreign technology companies, who are expanding in India as the use of smartphones and Internet surges.If the proposed law goes through “it will explode data storage requirements, and that will need capacity,” Adani said in a rare interview in New Delhi. “This will be a multi-billion-dollar project that will bring in the Googles and the Amazons of the world.”It’s an approach that’s been a hallmark of Adani’s empire: Pick a hot new industry -- especially one favored by the government -- build the infrastructure, and keep going till you hit the top. Much like China, India has sought to draw more private investment to ramp up its infrastructure as it attempts to double GDP to $5 trillion over coming years.‘Nation Building’When the Indian government pushed for gas projects in cities for cooking and transportation, Adani’s group bid for and won many licenses, a move that could make it the biggest player in gas retailing. When Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to develop local manufacturing of defense equipment, Adani quickly built the capacity to supply the military by going on an aggressive shopping spree of defense contractors.And when Adani’s group decided to get involved in operations of airports, it bid almost double its main competitors in some cases. A clean sweep in the bidding process is set to add six airfields to the business overnight.“Our main goal is nation building through infrastructure,” the billionaire said. “The Adani Group has always focused on businesses in line [with] the government’s vision.”Shares of Adani Enterprises Ltd., the flagship company, closed 1.2% higher at 141 rupees on Thursday in Mumbai. The stock has declined 12% this year, compared with a 7.6% gain in the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex.Regulated BusinessesAdani, 57, built his empire around heavily regulated businesses of coal mining, electricity and ports, a reflection of his ability to navigate different political parties and governments in states and at the center in New Delhi.The focus of his empire is the 15,000 hectare industrial zone at Mundra in the western state of Gujarat, which houses the group’s largest port and the country’s largest power plant. Adani began commercial operations of its port in 2001 and built the industrial cluster around it in the following years, when Modi was the executive head of the state of Gujarat. Since then, Adani has rapidly expanded his various businesses, many of which complement each other.For more, read: Billionaire Adani Doubles Down on Controversial Aussie Coal MineAs in other infrastructure businesses, by expanding into data centers, the businessman would be entering a space that demands large investment. He would also have to contend with competition from other large Indian players that decide to make a big push into the industry.Personal DataOne of the big supporters of data localization has been Adani’s fellow billionaire Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man. Ambani has argued that India’s data must be controlled and owned by Indians, and not by global corporations. Ambani’s younger brother, Anil, has also built data centers in India.A draft of India’s 2018 Personal Data Protection Bill mandates storage of personal data on a server or in a data center located in the country, citing the need to protect the autonomy of individuals and their personal data. The bill would need to be approved by lawmakers.“The concerns over data security is fueling the need for countries to demand localization of data and India being a growing economy, I don’t expect global data giants like Google, Amazon or Alibaba to overlook this market,” said Apalak Ghosh, industry manager for digital transformation at Frost & Sullivan.While that would offer a big business opportunity for service providers, the need for real estate would mean that investments could run into “billions of dollars,” Ghosh said.(Updates with closing share price in ninth paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Anurag Kotoky in New Delhi at akotoky@bloomberg.net;Rajesh Kumar Singh in New Delhi at rsingh133@bloomberg.net;Debjit Chakraborty in New Delhi at dchakrabor10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Nagarajan at samnagarajan@bloomberg.net, Anjali Cordeiro, Abhay SinghFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • 56/75   It's a Breadmaker's Dream as Russia Faces Glut of Premium Wheat
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    (Bloomberg) -- It’s a case of too much of a good thing for Russian farmers –they’re reaping unusually high-quality wheat as the new season starts but the abundance of top-notch grain means traders are reluctant to pay big premiums.Recent hot and dry weather in Russia’s southern wheat belt, where harvesting started a few weeks ago, has boosted the level of protein in the kernels.  Higher protein content is linked with gluten, the component that makes bread dough strong and stretchy. At Andrey Burdin’s farm in the southern region of Krasnodar, the share of higher-quality wheat – with at least 13% protein – is about 80% of the total crop this year.  That’s four times as much as usual.“Quality improvement requires certain effort,” Burdin said by phone. “This year, even those who didn’t make any effort got high quality. Pure luck.”QuicktakeHow Russia Came to Dominate WheatSome farmers are seeking higher prices for the better wheat but the large supply of such grain makes it difficult, he said. “We have a wall of wheat coming” that has protein upward of 12.5% in southern Russia, according to Dmitry Rylko, director general at consultant the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies, or IKAR.“We have a wall of wheat coming”Temperatures were so high in May and June that some analysts started to reduce estimates for the Russian crop. Harvesting is now starting in central Russia and will continue through September as crops ripen in Siberia. As the harvest progresses, the overall quality of the Black Sea nation’s crop may get closer to usual, according to Moscow-based IKAR.Some southern Russian farmers are holding on to grain, betting the premium for their high-grade wheat will get fatter if crops in other parts of Russia are of lower quality, Burdin said.“I have some wheat with 16% of protein. It used to be a first-class achievement before,” he said. “But the offered price is the same as for 12.5%. So much money has been invested in better quality – is it money down the drain?” The higher quality still means that traders in the biggest wheat shipper may have to pay higher prices to buy grain from farmers. That’s part of the reason why Russia, typically the main supplier to No. 1 importer Egypt, has been snubbed in the African country’s two most recent tenders in favor of cheaper grain, according to IKAR. Russian exports haven't ground to a halt though. Although the country's agencies haven't yet reported trade data for this season started in July, Geneva-based Prime Trading SA shipped out some cargoes in the first days of the month, according to Managing Partner Ivan Vikulov.Ukraine, another major Black Sea wheat exporter, is also seeing high-quality wheat at the start of the harvest. The bulk of grain in the southern region is registering as milling grades after hot, dry weather near harvest time, said Andrey Novoselov, director of Kiev-based consultant Spike Invest Solutions.“The overwhelming majority of wheat delivered to silos has good and high bread-baking quality,” Volodymyr Topchiy, Ukraine's deputy agriculture minister, said in comments on the ministry's website.More feed-quality wheat may be collected as fieldwork shifts to the north and west, Novoselov said. The total crop still has the potential to end up comparable to a normal season, with 50% to 60% ranking as milling quality.(Updates with comments on July exports in 10th paragraph.)To contact the authors of this story: Anatoly Medetsky in Moscow at amedetsky@bloomberg.netMegan Durisin in London at mdurisin1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at lthomasson@bloomberg.net, Liezel HillDylan GriffithsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    (Bloomberg) -- It’s a case of too much of a good thing for Russian farmers –they’re reaping unusually high-quality wheat as the new season starts but the abundance of top-notch grain means traders are reluctant to pay big premiums.Recent hot and dry weather in Russia’s southern wheat belt, where harvesting started a few weeks ago, has boosted the level of protein in the kernels.  Higher protein content is linked with gluten, the component that makes bread dough strong and stretchy. At Andrey Burdin’s farm in the southern region of Krasnodar, the share of higher-quality wheat – with at least 13% protein – is about 80% of the total crop this year.  That’s four times as much as usual.“Quality improvement requires certain effort,” Burdin said by phone. “This year, even those who didn’t make any effort got high quality. Pure luck.”QuicktakeHow Russia Came to Dominate WheatSome farmers are seeking higher prices for the better wheat but the large supply of such grain makes it difficult, he said. “We have a wall of wheat coming” that has protein upward of 12.5% in southern Russia, according to Dmitry Rylko, director general at consultant the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies, or IKAR.“We have a wall of wheat coming”Temperatures were so high in May and June that some analysts started to reduce estimates for the Russian crop. Harvesting is now starting in central Russia and will continue through September as crops ripen in Siberia. As the harvest progresses, the overall quality of the Black Sea nation’s crop may get closer to usual, according to Moscow-based IKAR.Some southern Russian farmers are holding on to grain, betting the premium for their high-grade wheat will get fatter if crops in other parts of Russia are of lower quality, Burdin said.“I have some wheat with 16% of protein. It used to be a first-class achievement before,” he said. “But the offered price is the same as for 12.5%. So much money has been invested in better quality – is it money down the drain?” The higher quality still means that traders in the biggest wheat shipper may have to pay higher prices to buy grain from farmers. That’s part of the reason why Russia, typically the main supplier to No. 1 importer Egypt, has been snubbed in the African country’s two most recent tenders in favor of cheaper grain, according to IKAR. Russian exports haven't ground to a halt though. Although the country's agencies haven't yet reported trade data for this season started in July, Geneva-based Prime Trading SA shipped out some cargoes in the first days of the month, according to Managing Partner Ivan Vikulov.Ukraine, another major Black Sea wheat exporter, is also seeing high-quality wheat at the start of the harvest. The bulk of grain in the southern region is registering as milling grades after hot, dry weather near harvest time, said Andrey Novoselov, director of Kiev-based consultant Spike Invest Solutions.“The overwhelming majority of wheat delivered to silos has good and high bread-baking quality,” Volodymyr Topchiy, Ukraine's deputy agriculture minister, said in comments on the ministry's website.More feed-quality wheat may be collected as fieldwork shifts to the north and west, Novoselov said. The total crop still has the potential to end up comparable to a normal season, with 50% to 60% ranking as milling quality.(Updates with comments on July exports in 10th paragraph.)To contact the authors of this story: Anatoly Medetsky in Moscow at amedetsky@bloomberg.netMegan Durisin in London at mdurisin1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at lthomasson@bloomberg.net, Liezel HillDylan GriffithsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • 57/75   France to Tax Facebook, Google In Spite of U.S. Trade Threat
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. France won’t back off from its planned tax on companies like Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google even after the U.S. suggested it may use trade tools against the levy.The French Senate passed a bill on Thursday to impose a 3% tax on global tech companies with at least 750 million euros ($845 million) in worldwide revenue and digital sales totaling 25 million euros in France. The U.S. said Wednesday that it will examine whether the tax would hurt its tech firms, using the so-called 301 investigation, the same tool President Donald Trump deployed to impose tariffs on Chinese goods because of the country’s alleged theft of intellectual property.France said the digital tax is in keeping with international rules, and that it won’t accept the use of trade tools to try to thwart it.“I deeply believe that between allies we can and must resolve our differences in ways other than with threats,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a speech in the Senate. “France is a sovereign state that decides its tax measures with sovereignty and will continue to take sovereign tax decisions.”With the passage of the bill, France will become the first country in the European Union to impose such a levy, with other nations, including the U.K. and Germany, mulling similar taxes. A broad, EU-wide digital tax failed to garner a consensus in the 28-nation bloc this year, with France among the biggest advocates of a region-wide tax on tech companies’ revenue from digital advertising, user data sales and the like -- the so-called GAFA tax (after Google, Apple Inc., Facebook and Amazon.com Inc.).Related Story: Threat of Legal Challenges Hangs Over French Digital TaxFirst InvestigationThe law, which goes into effect retroactively as Jan. 1, 2019, targets about 30 companies around the world. While most of them would be American, the list would also include Chinese, German, U.K. and even French firms. It would affect companies that profit from providing digital services to French users.President Emmanuel Macron has two weeks to sign off or seek changes to the law. French presidents rarely modify laws once they are passed by parliament. It has only happened three times in the last 40 years.Le Maire said he spoke to U.S. Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin Wednesday, and noted that it’s the first time in the history of relations between the two countries that Washington has opened a 301 investigation against France.Trade TensionsThe passage of the tax bill and the U.S. investigation threaten to further strain trans-Atlantic ties as the two sides prepare to negotiate a limited trade agreement on industrial goods. The French government has in the past asked the U.S. to work with Europe at the OECD for a “fair digital tax.”Those OECD talks have accelerated in recent months. Le Maire reiterated that France would abolish its revenue tax if an OECD accord is reached. In May, the minister said he was optimistic for an agreement this year.“My message to our American partners is that (the tax) should encourage them to accelerate even more the work on an international digital tax solution at the OECD level,” Le Maire said Thursday.Meanwhile, the U.S. said its Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will have as long as a year to examine whether the French tax plan will hurt U.S. technology firms, and suggest remedies.The U.S. is concerned that the tax “unfairly targets American companies,” Lighthizer said in a statement announcing the action on Wednesday. “The president has directed that we investigate the effects of this legislation and determine whether it is discriminatory or unreasonable and burdens or restricts United States commerce.”The U.S. can levy tariffs specifically on products from France even though it is a member of the EU, said Douglas Heffner, a international trade litigator at law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath. Under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, the president has authority to impose tariffs or take other restrictive measures if it’s determined that a foreign country’s trading rules are damaging to U.S. businesses.G7 Meeting“The U.S. can be very creative,” Heffner said. “They don’t have to just go after digital products. They can go after products where they have leverage.”The move would come as talks on a limited trans-Atlantic trade agreement on industrial goods have progressed slowly because the U.S. and EU are at odds over whether to include agriculture in any final agreement. France is the country most adamantly opposed to making any agriculture concessions. Trump’s threat to impose a tariff of as much as 25% on European car exports has cast a cloud over the negotiations as well.Finance ministers and central bankers at a Group of Seven meeting in Chantilly, France, next week will discuss international taxation and competition and the digital economy.(Updates with OECD accord details in.)\--With assistance from Jenny Leonard and Laura Davison.To contact the reporters on this story: William Horobin in Paris at whorobin@bloomberg.net;Helene Fouquet in Paris at hfouquet1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.net, Vidya RootFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. France won’t back off from its planned tax on companies like Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google even after the U.S. suggested it may use trade tools against the levy.The French Senate passed a bill on Thursday to impose a 3% tax on global tech companies with at least 750 million euros ($845 million) in worldwide revenue and digital sales totaling 25 million euros in France. The U.S. said Wednesday that it will examine whether the tax would hurt its tech firms, using the so-called 301 investigation, the same tool President Donald Trump deployed to impose tariffs on Chinese goods because of the country’s alleged theft of intellectual property.France said the digital tax is in keeping with international rules, and that it won’t accept the use of trade tools to try to thwart it.“I deeply believe that between allies we can and must resolve our differences in ways other than with threats,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in a speech in the Senate. “France is a sovereign state that decides its tax measures with sovereignty and will continue to take sovereign tax decisions.”With the passage of the bill, France will become the first country in the European Union to impose such a levy, with other nations, including the U.K. and Germany, mulling similar taxes. A broad, EU-wide digital tax failed to garner a consensus in the 28-nation bloc this year, with France among the biggest advocates of a region-wide tax on tech companies’ revenue from digital advertising, user data sales and the like -- the so-called GAFA tax (after Google, Apple Inc., Facebook and Amazon.com Inc.).Related Story: Threat of Legal Challenges Hangs Over French Digital TaxFirst InvestigationThe law, which goes into effect retroactively as Jan. 1, 2019, targets about 30 companies around the world. While most of them would be American, the list would also include Chinese, German, U.K. and even French firms. It would affect companies that profit from providing digital services to French users.President Emmanuel Macron has two weeks to sign off or seek changes to the law. French presidents rarely modify laws once they are passed by parliament. It has only happened three times in the last 40 years.Le Maire said he spoke to U.S. Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin Wednesday, and noted that it’s the first time in the history of relations between the two countries that Washington has opened a 301 investigation against France.Trade TensionsThe passage of the tax bill and the U.S. investigation threaten to further strain trans-Atlantic ties as the two sides prepare to negotiate a limited trade agreement on industrial goods. The French government has in the past asked the U.S. to work with Europe at the OECD for a “fair digital tax.”Those OECD talks have accelerated in recent months. Le Maire reiterated that France would abolish its revenue tax if an OECD accord is reached. In May, the minister said he was optimistic for an agreement this year.“My message to our American partners is that (the tax) should encourage them to accelerate even more the work on an international digital tax solution at the OECD level,” Le Maire said Thursday.Meanwhile, the U.S. said its Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will have as long as a year to examine whether the French tax plan will hurt U.S. technology firms, and suggest remedies.The U.S. is concerned that the tax “unfairly targets American companies,” Lighthizer said in a statement announcing the action on Wednesday. “The president has directed that we investigate the effects of this legislation and determine whether it is discriminatory or unreasonable and burdens or restricts United States commerce.”The U.S. can levy tariffs specifically on products from France even though it is a member of the EU, said Douglas Heffner, a international trade litigator at law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath. Under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, the president has authority to impose tariffs or take other restrictive measures if it’s determined that a foreign country’s trading rules are damaging to U.S. businesses.G7 Meeting“The U.S. can be very creative,” Heffner said. “They don’t have to just go after digital products. They can go after products where they have leverage.”The move would come as talks on a limited trans-Atlantic trade agreement on industrial goods have progressed slowly because the U.S. and EU are at odds over whether to include agriculture in any final agreement. France is the country most adamantly opposed to making any agriculture concessions. Trump’s threat to impose a tariff of as much as 25% on European car exports has cast a cloud over the negotiations as well.Finance ministers and central bankers at a Group of Seven meeting in Chantilly, France, next week will discuss international taxation and competition and the digital economy.(Updates with OECD accord details in.)\--With assistance from Jenny Leonard and Laura Davison.To contact the reporters on this story: William Horobin in Paris at whorobin@bloomberg.net;Helene Fouquet in Paris at hfouquet1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.net, Vidya RootFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • 58/75   Fierce storms tear through Greek tourist area, killing six
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Six people died and at least 23 were injured as a fierce storm tore through a beachfront in one of Greece's top tourist areas, terrifying thousands of holidaymakers caught in the open, authorities said Thursday.  Six tourists including two children were killed -- two each from the Czech Republic, Russia and Romania -- in the northern region of Halkidiki, near Greece's second city Thessaloniki, in the storms late Wednesday.  'There was panic, people were howling and running to hide inside,' said Haris Lazaridis, owner of a tavern where a 54-year-old woman from Romania and her son were killed when the roof caved in.

    Six people died and at least 23 were injured as a fierce storm tore through a beachfront in one of Greece's top tourist areas, terrifying thousands of holidaymakers caught in the open, authorities said Thursday. Six tourists including two children were killed -- two each from the Czech Republic, Russia and Romania -- in the northern region of Halkidiki, near Greece's second city Thessaloniki, in the storms late Wednesday. 'There was panic, people were howling and running to hide inside,' said Haris Lazaridis, owner of a tavern where a 54-year-old woman from Romania and her son were killed when the roof caved in.


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  • 59/75   Trump official resigns after climate change warning is blocked
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    A State Department intelligence official who was blocked by the White House from submitting written congressional testimony on climate change last month is resigning from his post.Rod Schoonover - who worked in the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues' Bureau of Intelligence and Research - spoke about the security risks the US faces due to climate change before the House Intelligence Committee on 5 June.But White House officials would not let him submit the bureau's written statement that climate impacts could be "possibly catastrophic" after the State Department refused to cut references to federal scientific findings on climate change.Individuals familiar with the matter, who asked for anonymity in order to speak frankly, said Mr Schoonover chose to leave voluntarily. But the incident that helped lead to his departure underscores the extent to which climate science has become contested terrain under the current administration.Andrew Rosenberg, who directs the Centre for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a phone interview on Wednesday that federal experts should be free to provide their expertise with policymakers, even if it is at odds with the views of whoever occupies the Oval Office."This isn't carrying forward your political opinions," Mr Rosenberg said. "This is bringing the work you're hired to do in a policy setting."Donald Trump has repeatedly questioned the scientific consensus that human activity is driving recent climate change, and that the planet's warming poses a major security risk to the United States.Asked about the matter on Wednesday, a State Department official confirmed that Mr Schoonover would step down 12 July.Mr Schoonover, who has served in the federal government for roughly a decade, could not be reached for comment. Before working at the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, he had served as director of environment and natural resources at the National Intelligence Council and as a full professor of chemistry and biochemistry at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.Three divisions of the White House, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Office of Management and Budget and the National Security Council all raised objections to parts of the intelligence bureau's testimony, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post. Ultimately, the Office of Legislative Affairs made the decision not to submit the document to the House Intelligence Committee.One of the statements White House officials objected to was the observation, "Absent extensive mitigating factors or events, we see few plausible future scenarios where significant - possibly catastrophic - harm does not arise from the compounded effects of climate change."Last month, after the Post reported that the testimony had been suppressed, the panel's chairman, Adam Schiff, D-Calif, demanded the heads of two federal intelligence agencies provide documents about the incident.Mr Rosenberg said even though Mr Schoonover may have left on his own, the controversy surrounding his testimony could intimidate other experts within the federal government's ranks."That's just a terrible signal to federal professionals broadly, to people in the State Department who don't know what they can say in their relations with other countries and the Hill," he said.Even as the fallout over last month's climate hearing continues, the White House has decided to shelve one controversial idea: establishing a group to question the federal government's own findings on climate change. The task force, championed by NSC senior director William Happer, has been under discussion for months but ran into opposition from members of the intelligence and defence community as well as some of Mr Trump's own scientific appointees.E&E News first reported on Tuesday that the climate science panel had been indefinitely postponed. Two individuals briefed on the matter, who asked for anonymity because they were not authorised to speak on the record, confirmed the delay.Myron Ebell, who directs the Centre for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, attributed the decision to a political calculation by Mr Trump's re-election campaign consultants, saying they effectively told him: "We have polling showing that you need to stress your environmental accomplishments and not start controversial things that will get you bad press, like going after climate science."Officials at the National Security Council declined to comment on the status of the aborted climate panel.Francesco Femia, CEO of the Council on Strategic Risks and co-founder of the Centre for Climate and Security, welcomed the decision to nix the task force."The very lowest baseline is that the White House should never politicise science or intelligence analysis, so this isn't anything to celebrate under normal circumstances," Mr Femia said in an email."But it is still good to see this politically-motivated effort fail. The national security, military, intelligence and science communities came out strongly against it, and the result affirms that standing up for the integrity of our democratic system matters, especially since too many of our political leaders won't."The Washington Post

    A State Department intelligence official who was blocked by the White House from submitting written congressional testimony on climate change last month is resigning from his post.Rod Schoonover - who worked in the Office of the Geographer and Global Issues' Bureau of Intelligence and Research - spoke about the security risks the US faces due to climate change before the House Intelligence Committee on 5 June.But White House officials would not let him submit the bureau's written statement that climate impacts could be "possibly catastrophic" after the State Department refused to cut references to federal scientific findings on climate change.Individuals familiar with the matter, who asked for anonymity in order to speak frankly, said Mr Schoonover chose to leave voluntarily. But the incident that helped lead to his departure underscores the extent to which climate science has become contested terrain under the current administration.Andrew Rosenberg, who directs the Centre for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a phone interview on Wednesday that federal experts should be free to provide their expertise with policymakers, even if it is at odds with the views of whoever occupies the Oval Office."This isn't carrying forward your political opinions," Mr Rosenberg said. "This is bringing the work you're hired to do in a policy setting."Donald Trump has repeatedly questioned the scientific consensus that human activity is driving recent climate change, and that the planet's warming poses a major security risk to the United States.Asked about the matter on Wednesday, a State Department official confirmed that Mr Schoonover would step down 12 July.Mr Schoonover, who has served in the federal government for roughly a decade, could not be reached for comment. Before working at the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, he had served as director of environment and natural resources at the National Intelligence Council and as a full professor of chemistry and biochemistry at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.Three divisions of the White House, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Office of Management and Budget and the National Security Council all raised objections to parts of the intelligence bureau's testimony, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post. Ultimately, the Office of Legislative Affairs made the decision not to submit the document to the House Intelligence Committee.One of the statements White House officials objected to was the observation, "Absent extensive mitigating factors or events, we see few plausible future scenarios where significant - possibly catastrophic - harm does not arise from the compounded effects of climate change."Last month, after the Post reported that the testimony had been suppressed, the panel's chairman, Adam Schiff, D-Calif, demanded the heads of two federal intelligence agencies provide documents about the incident.Mr Rosenberg said even though Mr Schoonover may have left on his own, the controversy surrounding his testimony could intimidate other experts within the federal government's ranks."That's just a terrible signal to federal professionals broadly, to people in the State Department who don't know what they can say in their relations with other countries and the Hill," he said.Even as the fallout over last month's climate hearing continues, the White House has decided to shelve one controversial idea: establishing a group to question the federal government's own findings on climate change. The task force, championed by NSC senior director William Happer, has been under discussion for months but ran into opposition from members of the intelligence and defence community as well as some of Mr Trump's own scientific appointees.E&E News first reported on Tuesday that the climate science panel had been indefinitely postponed. Two individuals briefed on the matter, who asked for anonymity because they were not authorised to speak on the record, confirmed the delay.Myron Ebell, who directs the Centre for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, attributed the decision to a political calculation by Mr Trump's re-election campaign consultants, saying they effectively told him: "We have polling showing that you need to stress your environmental accomplishments and not start controversial things that will get you bad press, like going after climate science."Officials at the National Security Council declined to comment on the status of the aborted climate panel.Francesco Femia, CEO of the Council on Strategic Risks and co-founder of the Centre for Climate and Security, welcomed the decision to nix the task force."The very lowest baseline is that the White House should never politicise science or intelligence analysis, so this isn't anything to celebrate under normal circumstances," Mr Femia said in an email."But it is still good to see this politically-motivated effort fail. The national security, military, intelligence and science communities came out strongly against it, and the result affirms that standing up for the integrity of our democratic system matters, especially since too many of our political leaders won't."The Washington Post


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  • 60/75   Germany to step up surveillance of far-right 'Identitarians'
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    The German domestic intelligence agency said Thursday it is stepping up observation of the far-right Identitarian Movement in Germany, a group that campaigns against immigrants and Islam.  The decision comes amid fresh fears about far-right extremism in Germany following the arrest last month of a man with a long history of neo-Nazi activity over the killing of a regional politician from Chancellor Angela Merkel's party.  Originally started in France, the Identitarian Movement's German offshoot was founded in 2012 and there are sister organizations in other European countries.

    The German domestic intelligence agency said Thursday it is stepping up observation of the far-right Identitarian Movement in Germany, a group that campaigns against immigrants and Islam. The decision comes amid fresh fears about far-right extremism in Germany following the arrest last month of a man with a long history of neo-Nazi activity over the killing of a regional politician from Chancellor Angela Merkel's party. Originally started in France, the Identitarian Movement's German offshoot was founded in 2012 and there are sister organizations in other European countries.


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  • 61/75   Boris Johnson Attacked by MPs Over Treatment of U.K. Ambassador
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    (Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson was attacked from all sides in Parliament over his treatment of the former British ambassador in Washington -- a foretaste of the difficulty the favorite to be next prime minister may face in securing cross-party support for his Brexit plans.In a televised Conservative leadership debate on Tuesday evening, Johnson refused to back envoy Kim Darroch after his diplomatic cables -- which described U.S. President Donald Trump in unflattering terms -- were leaked to a newspaper. Johnson’s response, in contrast to the support offered by his rival for the premiership Jeremy Hunt, outraged critics, who said it proved he wouldn’t stand up to Trump if he becomes premier.Kim Darroch Quits as U.K. Ambassador to U.S. Amid Trump’s Fury“Real leaders protect their people, they don’t throw them to the wolves because they can sniff a prize for themselves,” Labour’s Pat McFadden told the House of Commons on Thursday. Johnson’s “actions were a chilling warning of what is to come if he becomes prime minister,” he said.Roger Gale -- a Conservative like Johnson -- called his behavior “lamentable,” while Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson, favorite to become her party’s new leader, called the Tory front-runner a “wimp.” Replying to Swinson, Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan agreed, adding that it “was one of the kinder words” he had used about Johnson.In an interview with the Sun newspaper, Johnson said he was a “great supporter” of Darroch’s and called the attempts to blame him for the ambassador’s resignation “bizarre.”“I don’t think it’s right to drag public servants’ careers into the arena in that way,” he said of his comments in the debate.Lawmakers didn’t hold back in their criticism of Trump either. Labour’s Liz McInnes said the U.S. president was guilty of “ridiculous temper tantrums,” while McFadden called Trump’s comments on Twitter and elsewhere “the opposite of mature leadership.”(Updates with Johnson comment in fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Kitty Donaldson in London at kdonaldson1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Stuart Biggs, Thomas PennyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

    (Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson was attacked from all sides in Parliament over his treatment of the former British ambassador in Washington -- a foretaste of the difficulty the favorite to be next prime minister may face in securing cross-party support for his Brexit plans.In a televised Conservative leadership debate on Tuesday evening, Johnson refused to back envoy Kim Darroch after his diplomatic cables -- which described U.S. President Donald Trump in unflattering terms -- were leaked to a newspaper. Johnson’s response, in contrast to the support offered by his rival for the premiership Jeremy Hunt, outraged critics, who said it proved he wouldn’t stand up to Trump if he becomes premier.Kim Darroch Quits as U.K. Ambassador to U.S. Amid Trump’s Fury“Real leaders protect their people, they don’t throw them to the wolves because they can sniff a prize for themselves,” Labour’s Pat McFadden told the House of Commons on Thursday. Johnson’s “actions were a chilling warning of what is to come if he becomes prime minister,” he said.Roger Gale -- a Conservative like Johnson -- called his behavior “lamentable,” while Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson, favorite to become her party’s new leader, called the Tory front-runner a “wimp.” Replying to Swinson, Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan agreed, adding that it “was one of the kinder words” he had used about Johnson.In an interview with the Sun newspaper, Johnson said he was a “great supporter” of Darroch’s and called the attempts to blame him for the ambassador’s resignation “bizarre.”“I don’t think it’s right to drag public servants’ careers into the arena in that way,” he said of his comments in the debate.Lawmakers didn’t hold back in their criticism of Trump either. Labour’s Liz McInnes said the U.S. president was guilty of “ridiculous temper tantrums,” while McFadden called Trump’s comments on Twitter and elsewhere “the opposite of mature leadership.”(Updates with Johnson comment in fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Kitty Donaldson in London at kdonaldson1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net, Stuart Biggs, Thomas PennyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • 62/75   Man at center of French soul-searching on life support dies
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    A man who was in a vegetative state for 11 years yet at the center of a bitter dispute that divided his family and French courts, and provoked national soul-searching over how to deal with terminally ill patients, died on Thursday.  Vincent Lambert, 42, died in a hospital nine days after doctors stopped providing artificial feeding and hydration, ending years of legal flip-flopping over whether to keep him alive.  Stopping treatment came four days after France's highest court quashed a Paris court decision to resume feeding so the United Nations could examine the case.

    A man who was in a vegetative state for 11 years yet at the center of a bitter dispute that divided his family and French courts, and provoked national soul-searching over how to deal with terminally ill patients, died on Thursday. Vincent Lambert, 42, died in a hospital nine days after doctors stopped providing artificial feeding and hydration, ending years of legal flip-flopping over whether to keep him alive. Stopping treatment came four days after France's highest court quashed a Paris court decision to resume feeding so the United Nations could examine the case.


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  • 63/75   The Latest: EU cites progress on Iran barter system
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    Iran has breached the deal's limitations in an attempt to get other nations to provide economic incentives to offset U.S. sanctions. The Trump administration withdrew from the landmark nuclear agreement last year.  Apart from the three EU member nations that are part of the deal, Britain, Germany and France, seven more EU member states have recently committed to take part.

    Iran has breached the deal's limitations in an attempt to get other nations to provide economic incentives to offset U.S. sanctions. The Trump administration withdrew from the landmark nuclear agreement last year. Apart from the three EU member nations that are part of the deal, Britain, Germany and France, seven more EU member states have recently committed to take part.


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  • 64/75   Merkel sits through anthems after shaking spells
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    Angela Merkel remained seated during national anthems at an official ceremony on Thursday, as the German chancellor apparently sought to prevent a repeat of uncontrollable shaking with a rare change of protocol.  After greeting Denmark's new Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen at the portico of the chancellery, a smiling Merkel walked her over to a podium where both leaders took their seats.  The unusual move came a day after a similar ceremony when the German chancellor was seen shaking involuntarily for the third time.

    Angela Merkel remained seated during national anthems at an official ceremony on Thursday, as the German chancellor apparently sought to prevent a repeat of uncontrollable shaking with a rare change of protocol. After greeting Denmark's new Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen at the portico of the chancellery, a smiling Merkel walked her over to a podium where both leaders took their seats. The unusual move came a day after a similar ceremony when the German chancellor was seen shaking involuntarily for the third time.


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  • 65/75   Britain says Iranian vessels tried to block tanker in Gulf
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    The British navy said it prevented three Iranian paramilitary vessels from impeding the passage of a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz early Thursday, a day after Iran's president warned of repercussions for the seizure of its own supertanker.  Iran's Revolutionary Guard denied the allegations, saying if it had received orders to seize any ships it would have done so immediately.  The incident came at a time of heightened tensions over Iran's unraveling nuclear agreement with world powers.

    The British navy said it prevented three Iranian paramilitary vessels from impeding the passage of a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz early Thursday, a day after Iran's president warned of repercussions for the seizure of its own supertanker. Iran's Revolutionary Guard denied the allegations, saying if it had received orders to seize any ships it would have done so immediately. The incident came at a time of heightened tensions over Iran's unraveling nuclear agreement with world powers.


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  • 66/75   AP Explains: Mideast tensions threaten key global oil route
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    The brief standoff between British and Iranian naval vessels in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday looks to renew concerns about the vulnerability of world energy supplies to tensions in the Persian Gulf region.  The British navy says it thwarted an attempt by the Iranians to impede the passage of a British oil tanker, a day after Iran warned of repercussions after its own supertanker was seized by authorities in Gibraltar for allegedly trying to breach European sanctions on oil shipments to Syria.  About a fifth of all oil traded around the world goes through the Strait of Hormuz, so any conflict could cause huge disruption to crude supplies for energy-hungry countries, particularly in Asia.

    The brief standoff between British and Iranian naval vessels in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday looks to renew concerns about the vulnerability of world energy supplies to tensions in the Persian Gulf region. The British navy says it thwarted an attempt by the Iranians to impede the passage of a British oil tanker, a day after Iran warned of repercussions after its own supertanker was seized by authorities in Gibraltar for allegedly trying to breach European sanctions on oil shipments to Syria. About a fifth of all oil traded around the world goes through the Strait of Hormuz, so any conflict could cause huge disruption to crude supplies for energy-hungry countries, particularly in Asia.


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  • 67/75   US, UK will 'regret' seizing tanker off Gibraltar: Iran Guards
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Thursday that the United States and Britain will 'strongly regret' the seizure of a tanker off Gibraltar, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported.  'If the enemy had made the smallest assessment they wouldn't have done this act,' said Rear-Admiral Ali Fadavi, deputy commander in chief of the Revolutionary Guards, referring to the seizure of an oil tanker late last week by Gibraltar's police aided by British Royal Marines.

    Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Thursday that the United States and Britain will 'strongly regret' the seizure of a tanker off Gibraltar, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported. 'If the enemy had made the smallest assessment they wouldn't have done this act,' said Rear-Admiral Ali Fadavi, deputy commander in chief of the Revolutionary Guards, referring to the seizure of an oil tanker late last week by Gibraltar's police aided by British Royal Marines.


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  • 68/75   Britain says Iran tried to 'impede' UK tanker in Gulf
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    London said Thursday that Iranian military vessels tried to 'impede the passage' of a UK oil tanker but were warned off by a British warship in a dramatic escalation of tensions with Tehran in the Gulf.  Iran's Revolutionary Guards denied involvement but also cautioned both the United States and Britain that they would 'strongly regret' the UK Royal Marines' detention of one of the Islamic republic's tankers off Gibraltar last week.  Wednesday's incident in the flashpoint Strait of Hormuz occurred after US President Donald Trump raised the pressure by announcing that sanctions against Iran over its stepped-up nuclear activities would be 'increased substantially' soon.

    London said Thursday that Iranian military vessels tried to 'impede the passage' of a UK oil tanker but were warned off by a British warship in a dramatic escalation of tensions with Tehran in the Gulf. Iran's Revolutionary Guards denied involvement but also cautioned both the United States and Britain that they would 'strongly regret' the UK Royal Marines' detention of one of the Islamic republic's tankers off Gibraltar last week. Wednesday's incident in the flashpoint Strait of Hormuz occurred after US President Donald Trump raised the pressure by announcing that sanctions against Iran over its stepped-up nuclear activities would be 'increased substantially' soon.


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  • 69/75   Germany's Merkel sits for anthems after shaking episodes
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the visiting Danish prime minister have sat through their countries' national anthems at a ceremony in Berlin, a day after the latest of three incidents in which Merkel's body shook as she stood at a similar event.  Merkel showed no signs of ill-health as she sat alongside new Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen outside the chancellery in Berlin on Thursday — an unusual arrangement at a military honors ceremony.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the visiting Danish prime minister have sat through their countries' national anthems at a ceremony in Berlin, a day after the latest of three incidents in which Merkel's body shook as she stood at a similar event. Merkel showed no signs of ill-health as she sat alongside new Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen outside the chancellery in Berlin on Thursday — an unusual arrangement at a military honors ceremony.


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  • 70/75   9 Easy Ways to Make Your Jack-o'-Lanterns Last Longer
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Voice Sythesis
The Microsoft SAPI 5 ActiveX object is needed.
In the security option of your browser, you must not disable the initialization of non signed ActiveX controls.
You can install and use any English voice compatible with SAPI 5.
(such as the speech component of Microsoft).
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