Former special counsel Robert Mueller sharply defended his investigation into ties between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, writing in a newspaper opinion piece Saturday that the probe was of “paramount importance” and asserting that a Trump ally, Roger Stone, “remains a convicted felon, and rightly so" despite the president's decision to commute his prison sentence. The op-ed in The Washington Post marked Mueller's first public statement on his investigation since his congressional appearance last July. It represented his firmest defense of the two-year probe whose results have come under attack and even been partially undone by the Trump administration, including the president's extraordinary move Friday evening to grant clemency to Stone just days before he was due to report to prison.
The gunman behind New Zealand's Christchurch mosque shootings sacked his lawyers on Monday and opted to represent himself, raising fears he would use a sentencing hearing next month to promote his white-supremacist views. Australian national Brenton Tarrant will be sentenced on August 24 on 51 murder convictions, 40 of attempted murder and one of terrorism arising from last year's massacre, the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's modern history. At a pre-sentencing hearing on Monday, High Court judge Cameron Mander allowed Tarrant's lawyers, Shane Tait and Jonathan Hudson, to withdraw from proceedings at the request of their client.
Education Secretary Betsy Devos on Sunday doubled down on the Trump administration's position on opening schools in the fall amid the US' ongoing record spike in cases of the novel coronavirus. "There is going to be the exception to the rule," Devos said. While children are at low risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19, the CDC has said that they can function as asymptomatic carriers of the virus and can pose risks to vulnerable populations.
Iran's Civil Aviation Organisation blamed a misalignment of a radar system and lack of communication between the air defence operator and his commanders for the accidental downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane in January that killed 176 people aboard. Iran's Revolutionary Guards shot down the Ukraine International Airlines flight with a ground-to-air missile on Jan. 8 shortly after the plane took off from Tehran,in what Tehran later acknowledged as a “disastrous mistake” by forces who were on high alert during a confrontation with the United States. "A mistake in aligning the radar system had caused human error.
Blake Neff, a writer for "Tucker Carlson Tonight," has resigned from the top-rated Fox News show amid reports he posted racist, sexist and homophobic comments to an online forum under a pseudonym. According to a report from CNN, Neff has been posting in AutoAdmit, an online forum also known as Xoxohth, a largely unregulated message board for law school students. Using the pseudonym CharlesXII, an apparent reference to the late Swedish king known for his military leadership and abstemious personal life, Neff shared an array of bigoted opinions on Black and Asian people, the Mormon church and immigrants.
Since China imposed a draconian national security law on Hong Kong, a lot of dinner party chatter in this protest-minded city has been about personal exit strategies. Michael and Serena have decided to leave Hong Kong for good and settle in the UK, a country they have never set foot in. The couple have British National (Overseas) - or BNO - passports, which were issued to Hong Kong residents that registered before the city was handed back to China on July 1997.
While there is a lot of discussion these days about statues in the public square, it is important to note that taking down Confederate statues does not actually erase history. Their very presence in prominent public locations effectively dilutes the history of the North's victory over the South and the fight to save the United States of America. History is still to be found in books, archives and museums.
earlier in July. South Africa's government had also banned the sale of alcohol but has since eased that restriction, which according to an AP report, has led to an increase in "drunken brawls and traffic accidents, putting added strain on hospitals as they deal with the virus." Reuters FITA is also arguing that by banning the legal sale of cigarettes, the South African government is encouraging a black market trade, and putting thousands of jobs at risk.
A county in Ohio has launched a hotline so that callers can report people who do not use face masks, amid concerns over a surge in the number of coronavirus cases across the state. Armond Budish, the executive of Cuyahoga county, announced the service on Friday and said complaints would be managed by county officers and would be forwarded to local health authorities. Mr Budish's comments came two days after the wearing of masks was made obligatory in the seven Ohio counties most badly affected by Covid-19, following an order given by the Republican state governor Mike DeWine.
Zindzi Mandela, daughter of Nelson Mandela, has died, a spokesperson for the African National Congress said on Monday. She was 59.
At least 10,000 protesters marched through the eastern Russian city of Khabarovsk Saturday in support of a popular local governor arrested this week for allegedly ordering several murders. A court in Moscow on Friday ruled to hold 50-year-old Sergei Furgal for two months pending trial for the murders of several businessmen 15 years ago. Furgal's nationalist Liberal-Democratic Party has thrown its weight behind the governor, and on Saturday said "35,000 people came out to the streets" in Khabarovsk to protest his arrest.
For months the Government has asked workers to operate from home, but on Friday the Prime Minister - pictured in a shop wearing a mask for the first time - said: “It's very important that people should be going back to work if they can now. I want to see more people feeling confident to use the shops. The controversial two-metre rule is based on an understanding that the virus travels through the air on droplets from a person's mouth or nose.
Prostitutes demonstrated in Hamburg's red light district late on Saturday evening demanding that Germany's brothels be allowed to reopen after months of closure to curb the spread of coronavirus. With shops, restaurants and bars all open again in Germany, where prostitution is legal, sex workers say they are being singled out and deprived of their livelihoods despite not posing a greater health risk. "The oldest profession needs your help," read a notice held up by one woman in a brothel window in the Herbertstrasse, which was flooded with red light after being dark since March.
But this doesn't mean classrooms can be exempt from social distancing and other safety precautions, particularly if schools intend to welcome kids back on site in less than two months. "It really shouldn't be a debate of getting kids back to school, but getting kids back to school safely," said Dr. Jennifer Lighter, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at NYU Langone Health in New York. Having kids physically present in schools in the fall as much as possible would be an "ideal situation," Lighter said, but schools will need to implement policies that allow students to maintain some distance indoors and avoid close contact for prolonged periods of time.
The fate of one of Alaska's most historic yet neglected structures could be decided Monday as city officials in Seward weigh whether to demolish a former Methodist boarding school where the Alaska territorial flag was first flown almost a century ago and where its Alaska Native designer lived. Benny Benson was among the orphans and displaced children who lived at the Jesse Lee Home, many of whom were sent there after the Spanish flu devastated Alaska Native villages. Benson, a 13-year-old Aleut boy sent to the home after his mother died of the flu, won a territory-wide contest in 1927 to design the flag, which became the state flag after statehood was granted in 1959.
Japanese authorities say they are "shocked" after a significant coronavirus outbreak at two US Marine bases in the country. 61 Marines have been infected with the virus in recent days, spread across two bases in Okinawa prefecture, home to about 26,000 US service personnel. "We now have strong doubts that the US military has taken adequate disease prevention measures," Okinawa governor Denny Tamaki said at a press conference.
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions lashed out Saturday at President Donald Trump after his onetime ally launched another salvo ahead of the Republican Senate primary run-off on Tuesday in Alabama. Sessions, whom Trump has derided as “Mr. Magoo,” touted himself as a trusted and independent conservative. “My honor and integrity are far more important than these juvenile insults,” Sessions wrote in a reply to Trump on Twitter.
Five people have been killed after attackers stormed a South African church, reportedly amid an argument over its leadership. Police had previously been called to the church following a shoot out between members in 2018, South Africa's IOL reports. According to national police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo, a group of attackers indicated to those inside "that they were coming to take over the premises".
An Ohio man who died of Covid-19 had repeatedly posted on Facebook about his scepticism of the outbreak – and a tweet containing a montage of his posts is now going viral. Richard Rose, 37, died at home in Port Clinton on 4 July just days after he tested positive for Covid-19. The montage of his posts spreading on social media, which has been viewed 3.5 million times, shows that he tested positive and was quarantined on 1 July, when he was already viewing symptoms.
Daniel Gold, who led the team that invented Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system, has a history of safeguarding the country against what he identifies as existential threats. With the nation facing surging coronavirus cases amid a pandemic that has triggered unprecedented economic hardship, Gold is trying to replicate his Iron Dome breakthrough in protecting Israel against the virus. Gold, who heads Israel's Defence Research and Development Directorate and holds PhDs in electronic engineering and business management, has become a celebrated figure in the Jewish state.
Russia's intelligence services have 'stepped up' their war on free media, carrying out a series of operations designed to intimidate journalists in the wake of Vladimir Putin's controversial referendum victory last week. In an unprecedented case for post-Soviet Russia, prominent defence reporter Ivan Safronov was seized outside his home on Tuesday morning by secret service agents and arrested on suspicion of treason. Last week's overwhelming approval of constitutional amendments allowing Vladimir Putin to stay in office at least until 2036 was hailed by the Kremlin as a “triumph.”
The U.S. State Department warned American citizens on Saturday to "exercise increased caution" in China due to heightened risk of arbitrary law enforcement including detention and a ban from exiting the country. "U.S. citizens may be detained without access to U.S. consular services or information about their alleged crime," the State Department said in a security alert issued to its citizens in China, adding that U.S. citizens may face "prolonged interrogations and extended detention" for reasons related to state security. "Security personnel may detain and/or deport U.S. citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government," it added, without citing specific examples.
After Baltimore police officers shot a man who pulled a firearm while undergoing a behavioral health crisis last week, the organization that oversees the city's behavioral health services called the current system “a total failure” that needs better integration of mental health professionals with the police. There is no indication that police dispatchers attempted to connect available behavioral health resources with officers on the scene before they shot Ricky Walker Jr. on July 1, said Adrienne Breidenstine, vice president of policy and communications for Behavioral Health System Baltimore. The city has two so-called crisis response teams that handle mental health issues, one inside the police department and another at the nonprofit Baltimore Crisis Response Inc. Breidenstine said the incident highlights how the city has created an unnecessarily complex system to deal with people in crisis.
The U.S. and Chinese ambassadors have gotten into a Twitter spat in Brazil, echoing the tense relations between the nations as a whole. It started Friday when U.S. Ambassador Todd Chapman retweeted a State Department account accusing the Chinese Communist Party of conducting “a mass sterilization campaign for women as part of its crackdown on Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang” province. On Saturday, the U.S. Embassy Twitter account quoted the FBI director accusing China of paying scientists at American universities “to secretly bring our knowledge and innovation back to China - including valuable research, funded by the federal government”.
Sky News The head of ICU at a hospital in Bergamo, northern Italy, said many patients there who were treated for COVID-19 now have serious long-term health issues. Bergamo was the worst-hit area in Italy's worst-hit region, Lombardy. Some 3,000 people died in Bergamo, with the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital in the thick of it.