U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday the coronavirus pandemic has led to the largest disruption of education in history, with schools closed in more than 160 countries in mid-July, affecting over 1 billion students. In addition, the U.N. chief said at least 40 million children worldwide have missed out on education “in their critical preschool year.” As a result, Guterres warned that the world faces “a generational catastrophe that could waste untold human potential, undermine decades of progress, and exacerbate entrenched inequalities.”
Three men have been rescued from a tiny Pacific island after writing a giant SOS sign in the sand that was spotted from above, authorities say. The men had been missing in the Micronesia archipelago for nearly three days when their distress signal was spotted Sunday on uninhabited Pikelot Island by searchers on Australian and U.S. aircraft, the Australian defense department said Monday.
An Australian ambassador has visited a British-Australian academic convicted of espionage before being moved recently to a notorious Iranian prison and found that she “is well,” Australia’s government said Tuesday. Kylie Moore-Gilbert was a Melbourne University lecturer on Middle Eastern studies when she was sent to Tehran’s Evin Prison in September 2018 and sentenced to 10 years. Australia sought urgent consular access and its ambassador to Iran, Lyndall Sachs, visited Moore-Gilbert in Qarchak Prison on Sunday, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, or DFAT, said in a statement.
As U.S. lawmakers plot to stop one of Moscow's most important projects in Europe, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, lobbyists supporting it are busier than ever but disclosing few details of their work, according to government filings and current and former U.S. officials. The pipeline linking Russian gas fields to Western Europe has become a lightning rod of contention in U.S.-Russia relations, with the Trump administration concerned it would dangerously expand the region’s energy dependence on Moscow but backers, including in Europe, saying the gas is needed. U.S. President Donald Trump has already signed a sanctions bill that delayed construction on the $11 billion project, wholly-owned by Russia's state-run Gazprom <GAZP.MM> and headed by Alexei Miller, a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
For nearly 70 years, until he turned 85, Lee Jong-keun hid his past as an atomic bomb survivor, fearful of the widespread discrimination against blast victims that has long persisted in Japan. The knowledge of their dwindling time — the average age of the survivors is more than 83 and many suffer from the long-lasting effects of radiation — is coupled with deep frustration over stalled progress in global efforts to ban nuclear weapons. According to a recent Asahi newspaper survey of 768 survivors, nearly two-thirds said their wish for a nuclear-free world is not widely shared by the rest of humanity, and more than 70% called on a reluctant Japanese government to ratify a nuclear weapons ban treaty.
For almost a century, no outsider was allowed to buy land and property in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Since then, India has brought in a slew of changes through new laws. Under a new law, authorities have begun issuing “domicile certificates” to Indians and non-residents, entitling them to residency rights and government jobs.
In Iceland, a nation so safe that its president runs errands on a bicycle, U.S. Ambassador Jeffery Ross Gunter has left locals aghast with his request to hire armed bodyguards. Gunter has also enraged lawmakers by casually and groundlessly hitching Iceland to President Donald Trump's controversial "China virus” label for the novel coronavirus. Well, Gunter is hardly a diplomat by training.
The debate over Joe Biden's running mate has recently ticked through a familiar list of stereotypes about women in politics as the Democratic presidential candidate and his allies stumble through a search they had hoped would stand out for its inclusion and diversity. Instead, the vice presidential vetting has resurfaced internal party divisions between the old-guard establishment and a younger generation that's more attuned to gender and racial biases and willing to speak out. “The fact is that although we’ve come really far in the last 100 years, we haven’t come far enough for women candidates to be treated with the same level of decency as the male candidates are," said Donna Brazile, a former Democratic National Committee chair.
Kelyn Yanez used to clean homes during the day and wait tables at night in the Houston area before the coronavirus. Nationally, the figure was 26.5% among adults 18 years or older, with numbers in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Nevada, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee and Texas reaching 30% or higher.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- When Mustafa al-Kadhimi became Iraq’s prime minister on May 7, after five months of political deadlock in Baghdad, I argued his best chance of success was to fail fast. The only way to clean the Augean stables of Iraqi politics was with the strong broom of a popular mandate — and that could only be obtained from elections. Thoroughgoing political and economic reforms would require a majority — or at least a plurality with which to build an irresistible coalition — in parliament.Last week, the prime minister called for early elections — on June 6, 2021, a year ahead of schedule. But Iraq’s circumstances have deteriorated so much in the three months since he took office, Kadhimi will have a much harder time convincing Iraqis to give him a mandate to rule.All the crises he inherited have deepened. The coronavirus pandemic, already alarming when Kadhimi was sworn in, has since only grown more frightening, forcing him to announce fresh lockdowns. The Iraqi economy, having suffered extensive collateral damage from the Saudi-Russian oil war, has weakened. Powerful, Iran-backed Shiite militias have grown more brazen. Corruption, already ingrained in the body politic, seems to have metastasized across every aspect of the state.Even the weather has been worse than expected. Iraq is now wilting in the hottest summer ever recorded, with temperatures nearing 52 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit) in Baghdad and 53C (127F) in Basra last week. The heat threatens to bring the protests against electricity and water shortages — a summer fixture in the Iraqi political calendar — to a fever pitch. Some demonstrations in Baghdad have already boiled over into clashes with security forces: Two protesters were killed last Monday.Governing Iraq through the next 10 months will present a series of Herculean challenges for Kadhimi. The first will be to get parliament to agree to the new election date. The political elite is thoroughly discredited and few parliamentarians have any hope of being reelected, so they will want to cling to their positions and privileges for as long as possible.Not only must Kadhimi persuade a rafter of turkeys to vote for Thanksgiving, he also needs them to sign off on the roasting recipe: A new electoral law, whose broad contours were approved late last year, needs to be finalized before the vote. The law would allow Iraqis to vote for individual candidates rather than party lists. It represents the best hope for making individual parliamentarians more accountable to voters.Likewise, Kadhimi needs parliament to approve a new election commission and to fill positions in the federal court that ratifies election results.Plenty of lawmakers who have a stake in the current dysfunctional system will want to delay these changes. So too will Iran, which has a vested interest in perpetuating sectarian politics in order to preserve Shiite dominance in Baghdad. On the other hand, the U.S. wants an end to Iraq’s sectarian system, but it has little leverage in parliament.The prime minister has neither a strong political organization to support him, nor a well-armed militia at his command. He has not been able to rally the country’s other powerful political force — the popular protest movement that brought down his predecessor — behind him.The protesters, most of them young Iraqis with little or no recollection of the Saddam Hussein era, are deeply (and rightly) suspicious of the political elite — and Kadhimi is very much an establishment figure. By calling early elections, he has met at least one of their demands. The others, including improved government services, more jobs and less corruption, will be much harder to deliver.The protests will likely grow if Kadhimi doesn’t address the electricity crisis. Fatih Birol, the head of the International Energy Agency, has warned that the power outages, combined with the economic downturn caused by low oil prices, threatens Iraq’s political stability.But solutions cost money, and the Iraqi government’s revenue shortfall is no less acute than its power shortage. The global economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic has greatly reduced demand for oil, which means prices are unlikely to rise anytime soon. Finance Minister Ali Allawi has said that revenues from oil have fallen to $3 billion a month, compared with $7 billion a month last year, forcing the country to seek help from the International Monetary Fund.That IMF assistance can’t come fast enough. The government, far and away the country’s largest employer, is struggling to pay wages.Caught between a fretful civil service, a fractious political class and a restive population, Mustafa Kadhimi can expect little respite in the 10 months ahead.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Bobby Ghosh is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He writes on foreign affairs, with a special focus on the Middle East and the wider Islamic world.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The hurricane touched down just after 11 p.m. on Monday with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (136 km/h). The storm set off flooding and sparked five home fires in Ocean Isle Beach, Debbie Smith, the town’s Mayor, told WECT-TV. Firefighters from the town’s fire department were battling the blaze with assistance from Horry County firefighters in South Carolina, Tony Casey, a spokesperson for Horry County Fire Rescue, told the Associated Press.
On August 6 & 9, join four of the world’s leading interfaith/intercultural organizations in the call to abolish nuclear weapons. Credit: gettyimages.com / RonaldReaganLibrary / Stringer This photo shows the 1986 Summit in Reykjavik where Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze, US President Ronald Reagan, and Secretary of State George Shultz discussed possible nuclear disarmament. For their efforts in this meeting, which brought the world tantalizingly close to the total elimination of nuclear weapons, both former President Gorbachev and Secretary Shultz will be honored at the August 6 and 9 online event commemorating the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. An award to young people pursuing nuclear disarmament will be established in perpetuity in their names. Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons is composed of dynamic voices from across the political, professional, spiritual, and geographical spectrums who have united in a single purpose to eliminate nuclear weapons once and for all. Learn more at https://www.voices-uri.orgSan Francisco, CA, USA, Aug. 03, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki will be commemorated on August 6, and 9, 2020 by four of the world’s leading interfaith/intercultural organizations with a call for the abolition of all nuclear weapons.The appeal will be part of an hour-long online video presentation with supporting statements from former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev, former US Secretary of State George Shultz, and other prominent voices. It will be held on August 6 and 9.“On August 5, 1945 – the day before the atomic bombing – the people of Hiroshima had no idea of the cataclysmic disaster that awaited them. On August 6, 2020, the people of the world have little idea of the thermonuclear disaster that is aimed at them,” said Bishop William Swing, retired bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California.Swing, founder of United Religions Initiative (URI), (with The Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian, Jr., Executive Director), has joined the leaders of the Charter of Compassion, (Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director); the Parliament of the World’s Religions (Audrey Kitagawa, Chair); and Religions for Peace, (Azza Karam, Executive Director) in jointly issuing the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Accord statement.“It is a measure of the urgency we all feel that this is the first time the organizations have joined together to make a common statement,” Swing said. “Our hope is that this statement will help to awaken the world to the trigger-ready threats posed by these weapons and to spur a global movement for a nuclear-free world.”“At a time when peoples’ health should be first and foremost, billions of dollars are being invested in modernizing nuclear weapons and digitalizing the battlefield with unknown consequences, while agreements that stabilized nuclear dangers are being torn up,” Swing said. “The world is at a quiet, ultimately consequential, crossroads concerning nuclear weapons. More hands are poised over nuclear ’buttons,’ and the nuclear armed counties have decided to move rapidly in the direction of raising, rather than lowering, the nuclear threat to the world."“Not one nuclear weapons country has leadership calling for a change in direction. Therefore, for the sake of security of the world community, citizens have to stand up. That is why we have organized this initiative,” said Swing.Other speakers commemorating the August 6 and August 9 atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki include:Kazumi Matsui, Mayor of Hiroshima; Tomihisa Taue, Mayor of Nagasaki; former US Senator Sam Nunn; Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Nobel Laureate; Lassina Zerbo, head of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO); Beatrice Fihn, Executive Director International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN); Leona Morgan, Coordinator with the Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium mining; and Kehkashan Basu, founder and president of Green Hope Foundation.Both former President Gorbachev and Secretary Shultz will be honored for their efforts that brought the world tantalizingly close to the total elimination of nuclear weapons at the 1986 Summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. An award to young people pursuing nuclear disarmament is being established in perpetuity in their names.The Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemoration will be streamed online globally, across various time zones on Facebook, YouTube and other platforms. Visit www.voices-uri.org.After you register, you will receive links to all the platforms where it will be streaming.Broadcast Times:Thursday, August 6, 20205AM PDT San Francisco | 8AM EDT New York | 2PM UK | 5:30PM Delhi | 9PM Japan12PM PDT San Francisco | 3PM EDT New York | 6PM UK | 9:30PM Delhi | 4AM Japan5PM PDT San Francisco | 8PM EDT New York | 2AM UK | 5:30AM Delhi | 9AM Japan Saturday, August 8, 20205PM PDT San Francisco | 8PM EDT New York | 2AM UK | 5:30AM Delhi | 9AM Japan Sunday, August 9, 202012PM PDT San Francisco | 3PM EDT New York | 6PM UK | 9:30PM Delhi | 4AM JapanRegister for this free event here: https://www.voices-uri.org/registrationEndorsers of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Accord include: * Council for a Livable World; Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation – John Tierney, Executive Director * Global Security Institute – Jonathan Granoff, President * Lightbridge Corporation – Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr., Chairman Mayors for Peace * Disarmament and Security Centre – New Zealand – Dr. Kate Dewes ONZM * International Peace Bureau – Lisa Clark, Co-President * Ploughshares Fund - Joe Cirincione, President * Nuclear Watch New Mexico – Jay Coghlan, Executive Director * Peace Action – Paul Kawika Martin, Senior Director, Policy and Political Affairs * Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary – Karenna Gore Founder and Director American Renewable Energy Institute – Chip Comins Chairman and CEO * Atomic Reporters – Peter Rickwood, Founder * Earth Day Network: México – Tiahoga Ruge, Regional Director * World Beyond War – David Swanson Journalist, and Antiwar Activist * NSquare – Erika Gregory, Managing Director * Interfaith Power and Light – Rev. Susan Hendershot, President Union for Reform Judaism * Chishty Foundation – Haji Syed Salman Chishty, Chairman * Sufi Ruhaniat International – Pir Shabda Kahn * Tri-Faith Initiative – Wendy Goldberg, Executive Director * International Youth Alliance for Peace – Thirukumar Premakumar, Founder and President, Sri Lanka * Veterans for Peace Golden Rule Project – Helen Jaccard, Executive Director * May Peace Prevail on Earth International – Fumi Johns Stewart, Executive Director * The Shift Network – Philip M. Hellmich, Global Peace Ambassador * Goi Peace Foundation – Hiroo Saionji, President, Masami Miyazaki, Executive Director * Project Ploughshares – Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director * Heiwa Peace and Reconciliation Foundation of New York – Rev. Dr. TK Nakagaki, President and Founder, Hiroshima Peace Ambassador, Nagasaki Peace Correspondent * Church Council of Greater Seattle – John Ramos, Executive Director * Global Consciousness Project – Dr. Roger Nelson, Director * Tanenbaum – Rev. Mark E. Fowler, CEO * Middle Powers Initiative – Tarja Cronberg, Chair * Friends Committee on National Legislation – Diane Randall, General Secretary * One Billion Youth for Peace – Abraham Karickam, Founder * Green Hope Foundation – Kehkashan Basu Founder, and President * Unity Earth – Ben Bowler, Executive Director * Living Peace Projects – Brigitte van Baren Chair, Co-Founder * The Global Sunrise Project – Kasha and Marla Slavner * One Life Alliance – Kia Scherr, President * MasterPeace – Aart Bos, CEO * A Common Word Among the Youth (ACWAY) – Rawaad Mahyub, Executive Director * Pathways to Peace (PTP) – Tezikiah Gabriel, Executive Director * Soka Gakkai International * Committee of Religious NGOs at the UN – Hiro Sakurai, President * Sérgio Duarte – Ambassador, President of Pugwash * Bruce Knotts – President and CEO: NGO Committee on Disarmament, Peace and Security; and Director of the Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations * Daryl G. Kimball – Executive Director, Arms Control Association * Bruce Blair – Co- founder, Global Zero * Ken Kimmell – President, Union of Concerned Scientists * Lieutenant-General (ret) the Honourable Roméo Dallaire * Dr. Mary-Wynne Ashford – International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Winner 1985 Noble Peace Prize * Dr. Hans Blix – former Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) * Michael Krepon – Co-Founder and Distinguished Fellow The Stimson Center * Richard Rhodes – Pulitzer Prize-winning historian * Kathleen Kennedy Townsend – former Lieutenant Governor of the State of Maryland * Pierce Corden – Expert Advisor, Holy See Mission to the United Nations in New York, and former US arms control official * David T. Ives – Executive Director Emeritus, The Albert Schweitzer Institute, and Senior Advisor for the Summits of Nobel Peace Laureates * Alyn Ware – Director, World Future Council, Peace & Disarmament Program * Dr. Kim Phuc PHAN THI – UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Founder Kim Foundation International * Joan Brown Campbell, Rev. Dr. – General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Christ (ret.) and Former Director, Department of Religion, Chautauqua Institution * His Holiness Tep Vong, The Great Supreme Patriarch of the Kingdom of Cambodia * His Holiness Chamgon Kenting Tai Situpa * Bhai Sahib, Bhai Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia OBE KSG – Chairman of Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha and the Nishkam Group of Charitable Organizations * The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham – President Emerita, The Regeneration Project, Interfaith Power and Light * Hereditary Chief Phil Lane Jr. – Four World’s International Institute * Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq – Shaman and Healer, Greenland * Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji – Spiritual Leader, and President of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh, India * Rev. Drew Christiansen, S. J. – Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Global Human Development * Senior Research Fellow, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs Georgetown University * Swamini Adityananda Saraswati – Spiritual Leader, and Co-Founder of Pan African Association Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji – Spiritual Leader and Secretary General of The Global Interfaith WASH Alliance * Mohanji – Humanitarian and Philanthropist, Founder of the Mohanji Foundation * Dharma master Hsin Tao – Founder Museum of World Religions * Rabbi David Rosen KSG, CBE – International Co-President of Religions for Peace * Rev. Kosho Niwano – President-Designate, Rissho Kosei Kai, Co-Moderator Religions for Peace Bishop Rubén Tierrablanca González – ofm Apostolic Vicar of Instanbul – Latin Catholic Church James Carroll – Author, Historian, Journalist * Cynthia Lazaroff – Founder, NuclearWakeUpCall.Earth * Dr. Karen Hallberg – Professor of Physics at Balseiro Institute, and Research Director Centro Atómico BarilocheAttachments * nagasaki-hiroshima-accord * voices nuclear logo bk CONTACT: Julie Schelling Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons 1 347 719 1518 firstname.lastname@example.org
Seventy five years ago, on August 6, 1945, a U.S. plane dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. This happened only a few short weeks after scientists in the U.S. conducted the world’s first successful nuclear test. The Trinity Test, in New Mexico’s Jornada del Muerto desert, proved that the design of the bomb worked and started the nuclear era.The U.S. tested nuclear bombs for decades after World War II. But at the end of the Cold War in 1992, the U.S. government imposed a moratorium on U.S. testing. This was strengthened by the Clinton administration’s decision to sign the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Although the Senate never ratified the treaty and it never entered into force, all 184 countries that signed the test ban, including the U.S., have followed its rules. But in recent weeks, the Trump administration and Congress have begun debating whether to restart active testing of nuclear weapons on U.S. soil. Some conservative Republicans have long expressed concerns over the reliability of aging U.S. warheads and believe that testing is a way to address this problem. Additionally, the U.S., Russia and China are producing novel types of nuclear missiles or other delivery systems and replacing existing nuclear weapons – some of which date to the Cold War – with updated ones. Some politicians in the U.S. are concerned about the reliability of these untested modern weapons as well.We are two nuclear weapons researchers – a physicist and an arms control expert – and we believe that there is no value, from either the scientific nor diplomatic perspective, to be gained from resuming testing. In fact, all the evidence suggests that such a move would threaten U.S. national security. Why did the US stop testing?Since the Trinity Test in July 1945, the U.S. has detonated 215 warheads above ground and 815 underground. These were done to test new weapon designs and also to ensure the reliability of older ones.When the Cold War ended, the U.S. pledged to stop doing such tests and a group within the United Nations began putting together the CTBT. The goal of the test ban treaty was to hinder new nations from developing nuclear arsenals and limit the capabilities of nations that already had them. Subcritical testing to maintain the arsenalAfter the U.S moratorium went into effect, the U.S. Department of Energy created a massive program called the Stockpile Stewardship Program to maintain the safety and reliability of U.S. nuclear weapons. Instead of crudely blowing up weapons to produce a nuclear explosion, scientists at facilities like U1A in Nevada began conducting what are called subcritical tests.[Expertise in your inbox. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter and get expert takes on today’s news, every day.]In these tests, the plutonium that drives the nuclear chain reactions is replaced by a similar-acting but non-nuclear explosive material such as tungsten or a modified plutonium shell. There is still a big bang, but no nuclear chain reaction. Rather, these experiments produce data that researchers feed into elaborate supercomputer programs built using the massive amounts of information collected from earlier live tests. Using these subcritical tests and earlier data, scientists can simulate full-scale detonations with incredible accuracy and monitor the current arsenal without blowing up nuclear warheads. What could be going wrong in the bombs?All nuclear weapons currently in the U.S. stockpile are two-stage nuclear weapons called hydrogen bombs. Put simply, hydrogen bombs work by using a smaller nuclear bomb – akin to the bomb dropped on Nagasaki – to detonate a second, much more powerful bomb. Nearly all the components of a nuclear weapon can be replaced and updated except for one piece – the explosive plutonium core known as the pit. These pits are what trigger the second, larger explosion. The weapons in the U.S. arsenal are, on average, about 25 years old. The main concern of people pushing to resume testing is that the plutonium pits may have deteriorated from their own radiation in the time since they were made and will not properly trigger the second fusion stage of the explosion.Since most of the previous tests were done on much younger bombs with newer plutonium pits, supporters of testing claim that the subcritical tests cannot accurately test this part of the process.The deterioration of the plutonium pit is a valid concern. To study this, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory used a far more radioactive type of plutonium and artificially aged the metal to simulate the effects of what would be equivalent to 150 years of radiation on a normal plutonium pit. They found that the aged plutonium pits “will retain their size, shape, and strength despite increasing damage from self-irradiation,” and concluded that “the pits will function as designed up to 150 years after they have been manufactured.” This isn’t to say that scientists can stop worrying about the aging of U.S. nuclear weapons. It’s important to continue “to assess and, if necessary mitigate threats to primary performance caused by plutonium aging”, as the JASON group – a group of elite scientists that advises the U.S. government – says.However, these scientists do not suggest that it is necessary to conduct live nuclear tests. Decades of experimental studies by nuclear weapons laboratories have led experts to believe that the U.S. can maintain the nuclear arsenal without testing. And in fact, as the former director of Los Alamos National Labs, Dr. Sigfried Hecker said recently, many believe that by resuming testing, “we would lose more than we gain.” Little to gain, much to loseNuclear weapons are intricately tied to the world of geopolitics. So if there isn’t a scientific need to resume testing, is there some political or economic reason?The U.S. has already spent tens of billions of dollars on the infrastructure needed to conduct subcritical tests. Additionally, a new, billion-dollar facility is currently being built in Nevada that will provide even finer detail to the data from subcritical test explosions. Once subcritical test facilities are up and running, it is relatively inexpensive to run experiments. Nuclear testing won’t save the U.S. money.So is it politics? Currently, nuclear powers around the world are all improving the missiles that carry nuclear warheads, but not yet the warheads themselves.With little evidence, the Trump administration has sought to sow suspicion that Russia and China may be secretly conducting very low-yield nuclear tests, implying that the countries are trying to build better nuclear warheads. In response, movement towards testing in the U.S. has already begun. The Senate Armed Services Committee recently approved an amendment to spend US million to cut the time it would take to conduct a test if the president ordered one. Some officials seem to believe that a resumption of U.S. testing – or the threat of it – could give Washington an upper hand in future arms control negotiations. But we believe the opposite to be true. Even though the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty has not entered into force, nearly every nuclear power on earth has more or less followed its rules. But if the U.S. were to resume nuclear testing, it would be a green light for all other nations to start their own testing. The U.S. already has the ability to perform subcritical tests and data from over 1,000 test detonations that scientists can use to modernize, improve and maintain the current arsenal. No other country, aside from Russia, has as robust a foundation. If the ban were broken, it would give other countries like Iran, India, Pakistan and China a chance to gather huge amounts of information and improve their weapons while the U.S. would gain next to nothing. When it comes to the U.S nuclear testing ban, our view is, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. This story was updated on August 3, 2020 to refer to the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more: * SpongeBob’s Bikini Bottom is based on a real-life test site for nuclear weapons * Why didn’t sanctions stop North Korea’s missile program? * Iran nuclear deal: how to ensure compliance?The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
North Korea is pressing on with its nuclear weapons programme and several countries believe it has "probably developed miniaturised nuclear devices to fit into the warheads of its ballistic missiles", according to a confidential UN report. The report by an independent panel of experts monitoring UN sanctions said the countries, which it did not identify, believed North Korea's past six nuclear tests had likely helped it develop miniaturised nuclear devices. Pyongyang has not conducted a nuclear test since September 2017. The interim report was submitted to the 15-member UN Security Council North Korea sanctions committee on Monday. "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is continuing its nuclear programme, including the production of highly enriched uranium and construction of an experimental light water reactor. A Member State assessed that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is continuing production of nuclear weapons," the report said. North Korea is formally known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). North Korea's mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the UN report.
On Monday, Israeli jets struck several Syrian military targets, including intelligence-collection systems, observation posts, antiaircraft artillery facilities, and command and control centers, the Israeli army announced in a statement.The army said this was in response to the Israeli military foiling an attack early Sunday, after troops spotted four suspected militants from Syria attempting to drop explosive devices along a security fence in the Golan Heights region; they were fired on by Israeli troops and aircraft and killed."The Israel Defense Forces holds the Syrian government responsible for all activities originating from Syrian soil, and will continue operating with determination against any violation of Israeli sovereignty," the army stated.Last week, Israel said Hezbollah militants attempted to cross into its territory from Lebanon, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the group's sponsor, Iran, is trying to cause chaos by "entrenching its military in our region." Hezbollah denied being part of the operation.More stories from theweek.com The most damning inside portrait of the Trump administration yet 5 brutally funny cartoons about Bill Barr’s brand of justice Leaked report shows DHS targeted Americans who fought against ISIS in attempt to tie antifa to foreign power
Pharmaceutical companies should stockpile six weeks' worth of drugs to limit disruption at the end of the Brexit transition period, the Government has warned. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has written to medicine suppliers advising them to make boosting their reserves a priority. The letter, published online on Monday, reiterates that ministers will not be asking for an extension to the transition period past December 31, despite the coronavirus pandemic. There are concerns that the Covid-19 crisis has led to a dwindling of some medical stocks and that a disorderly exit without a trade deal could cause significant disruption. Suppliers were advised all scenarios must be planned for, including reduced traffic flow at short crossings such as between Calais and Dunkirk, and Dover and Folkestone. "We recognise that global supply chains are under significant pressure, exacerbated by recent events with Covid-19," the letter says. "However, we encourage companies to make stockpiling a key part of contingency plans, and ask industry, where possible, to stockpile to a target level of six weeks' total stock on UK soil." The advice comes amid continued uncertainty over whether the UK and the EU will be able to strike an agreement on a future relationship before time runs out. Brussels' chief negotiator Michel Barnier said last month that London's position made the prospects of a deal "at this point unlikely" (below).
A Libyan military commander who spent decades living in Virginia is now responding to two federal lawsuits accusing him of atrocities in his military campaigns. Khalifa Hifter leads the self-styled Libyan National Army. Once a lieutenant to Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, Hifter defected to the U.S. during the 1980s and spent many years living in northern Virginia.
North Korea is continuing to develop its nuclear weapons program and several countries assess that it has "probably developed miniaturized nuclear devices to fit into the warheads of its ballistic missiles," according to a confidential U.N. report seen by Reuters on Monday. The report by independent experts monitoring U.N. sanctions said that the countries, which they did not identify, believed North Korea's past six nuclear tests had likely helped it develop miniaturized nuclear devices. Pyongyang has not conducted a nuclear test since September 2017.
The House Oversight Committee has invited the new postmaster general to appear at a September hearing to examine operational changes at the U.S. Postal Service that are causing delays in mail deliveries across the country. The plan imposed by Louis DeJoy, a Republican fundraiser who took over the top job at the Postal Service in June, eliminates overtime for hundreds of thousands of postal workers and orders that mail be kept until the next day if postal distribution centers are running late. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat who chairs the Oversight panel, said the Sept. 17 hearing will focus on “the need for on-time mail delivery during the ongoing pandemic and upcoming election,” which is expected to include a major expansion of mail-in ballots.
The World Health Organization said Monday an advance team looking into the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak has concluded its mission in China, and the U.N. health agency is preparing the deployment of a larger group of experts to the suspected outbreak zone. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the “international team” will deploy to Wuhan, the city where the pandemic is believed to have erupted late last year. Tedros said “terms of reference” have been drawn up by the WHO and China, but he did not specify.
Officials issued a "serious" crisis warning in South Korea on Monday after a weekend of heavy rainfall caused floodwaters to overtake cities across the region. This won't be the last round of downpours for the country as Hagupit, currently a typhoon, will reach the region by the second half of the week as a tropical rainstorm.A storm system brought heavy rainfall to much of the Korean Peninsula this past weekend and into the start of the week, including in the capital city of Seoul, where the Han River spilled into the streets on Monday morning.According to KBS World, at least 12 people have been killed and another 13 are missing in South Korea due to the heavy rainfall.> LOOK: Torrential rain drenched most of South Korea over the weekend killing six people and leaving seven others missing. > > The downpour triggered dozens of landslides and flooding in residential areas pic.twitter.com/TPnPd1HOKj> > -- Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) August 2, 2020Four people were rescued after a landslide sent mud and debris into a factory in Pyeongtaek in northwestern South Korea. One local news outlet reported that three people were found unconscious and one was seriously injured.Streets were turned into raging rivers in the city of Cheonan after 183 mm (7.20 inches) of rainfall fell in the city from Sunday into Monday. Another 190 mm (7.48 inches) of rainfall was reported in the city of Chuncheon in just 24 hours.Residents in Icheon City were forced to evacuate their homes as the nearby Bonjuk Reservoir began to collapse, according to local reports. Nearly one thousand people have been forced from their homes across the region due to numerous instances of flooding and landslides.Residents across the Korean Peninsula are bracing for another round of widespread heavy rainfall that will spread over the area by the middle of the week.CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APPAs Hagupit moves inland across eastern China by Tuesday morning, it will be pulled north by a nontropical system that has been sitting over northern China and across the Korean Peninsula.Hagupit will track over the mountainous terrain of Anhui, Jiangsu and Shangdong, China, through Tuesday night and into Wednesday, which will work to rip apart the system. This will limit impacts in these prefectures to areas of rain and thunderstorms.As Hagupit is absorbed by the non-tropical system, it will strengthen over the Yellow Sea, which will help to produce widespread flooding downpours across the Korean Peninsula. "Widespread rainfall of 100-200 mm (4-8 inches) is expected across North Korea later Wednesday into Thursday, local time," stated AccuWeather Lead International Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.Nicholls added that an AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 250 mm (10 inches) will be possible in areas that receive the heaviest rainfall, especially into the higher elevations.Rainfall totals of 50-100 mm (2-4 inches) will be common across South Korea. However, if the storm system shifts farther south, higher rainfall totals can threaten northern parts of the country, including Seoul.Disruptive flooding already caused disruptions across South Korea in late July after a storm system combined with high tide to inundate the city of Busan along the southern coast.It's not unusual for heavy rain to make an appearance across the region during July and August. The front that produces the rainy season across southern China and Japan during the late spring and early summer typically shifts north by the end of the summer.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
July in Chicago ended as it began: Mourning the death of a child whose only mistake was venturing outside to play when someone armed with a gun came to the neighborhood hunting for an enemy. On Monday, two days after his department released statistics that revealed the month had been one of the deadliest in the history of the city, Police Superintendent David Brown repeated what has become a grim ritual of recounting the death of a child. This time, the story was about Janari Ricks.
Three key Nile basin countries on Monday resumed their negotiations to resolve a years-long dispute over the operation and filling of a giant hydroelectric dam that Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile, officials said. The talks came a day after tens of thousands of Ethiopians flooded the streets of their capital, Addis Ababa, in a government-backed rally to celebrate the first stage of the filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s 74 billion-cubic-meter reservoir. Ethiopia's announcement sparked fear and confusion downstream in Sudan and Egypt.
“He’s not a radical. But he is running on the most liberal policy platform of any Democratic candidate in modern history.”
“Public opinion has been shifting leftward, and Biden’s thinking has shifted with it.”
“Biden shows that he’s more moderate than some in his party.”
“Biden has always been a creature of his time, and the COVID-19 crisis could force him to veer further left.”
“Liberal activists have lauded the campaign’s outreach to progressives.”