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Diane A. Wade

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Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.

Image source Wikimedia

Typhoon Mangkhut hit the Philippines’ main island on September 15 killing at least 25 people.

Extensive crop damage is feared in the agricultural province of Cagayan.

Mangkhut, which packs a 550 mile rain band and strong winds, is heading towards southern China.

The storm poses a “severe threat” to Hong Kong, the territory’s observatory said, urging residents to stay on high alert.

In the Philippines, Mangkhut made landfall at Baggao, in the north-east of the main island of Luzon, at about 01:40 local time on September 15 and left some 20 hours later.

Originally a super typhoon billed as the strongest storm of 2018, Mangkhut lost some of its strength on landfall.

Five million people were in its path and more than 100,000 sheltered in temporary centers.

Typhoon Haiyan affected 11 million people in Philippines

A presidential spokesman and disaster response coordinator said almost all the deaths had been caused by landslides in the Cordillera and Nueva Vizcaya regions, adding that reports from other areas were still coming in.

One person was killed by a falling tree in the province of Ilocos Sur, he said.

Almost all buildings in the city of Tuguegarao, Cagayan’s provincial capital, sustained damage, a government official said.


The Philippines is routinely hit during the typhoon season but the strength of Manghukt evoked memories of the deadliest storm on national record – Super Typhoon Haiyan – which killed more than 7,000 five years ago.

However, preparation and evacuation procedures have been improved since then – warnings were issued, travel was restricted, schools shut and the army was put on standby in advance.

Mangkhut is still strong as it heads west toward southern China with current sustained wind speeds of 90mph but fears it will re-strengthen into a super typhoon have receded.

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Image source Flickr

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have marked the 17th commemoration of the 9/11 attacks by visiting a memorial in Pennsylvania.

Donald Trump delivered a speech commemorating the airplane passengers who are thought to have charged the cockpit to stop the attackers.

Ceremonies are also being held at NYC’s 9/11 Memorial plaza on the World Trade Center site.

2,996 people were killed in the deadliest foreign attack ever on US soil.

President Trump said in Shanksville on September 11: “America’s future is not written by our enemies. America’s future is written by our heroes.

“As long as this monument stands, as long as this memorial endures, brave patriots will rise up in America’s hours of need and they, too, will fight back.”

He spoke at the newly inaugurated Tower of Voices memorial, a 93ft tall structure with 40 wind chimes.

On September 11, 2001, hijackers flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York City, and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia.

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Another plane, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

It is believed hijackers were planning to aim that aircraft at the Congress or White House in Washington DC before it went down, killing all 40 people aboard.

Cockpit voice recordings of the hijackers and mobile phone calls from those aboard to loved ones indicate passengers tried to fight their way into the cockpit to regain control before the plotters nosedived the plane.

President Trump praised the passengers’ “incredible valor” and said their revolt was “the moment America fought back”.

He said: “A band of brave patriots turned the tide on our nation’s enemies and joined the immortal rank of American heroes.”

Donald Trump is the third sitting president to attend the crash site, 70 miles south-east of Pittsburgh.

Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, was among those who noted this is the first year that Americans born after the attacks will be old enough to enlist in the US military.

During remarks at the Pentagon, VP Mike Pence told audience members they “must learn the lessons of 9/11 and remain ever vigilant”.

The ceremony in New York was attended by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Mayor Bill de Blasio, as well as former mayors Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani.

Relatives of victims read out the names of the dead, and moments of silence were observed at 08:46 and 09:03 to mark the times when passenger jets struck the two skyscrapers.

In the years since the attacks, cancer cases in lower Manhattan – especially among first responders who dug through the toxic rubble – have increased.

The 9/11 Victims’ Compensation Fund has paid out $4 billion to fund medical expenses for survivors of the terror attacks.

According to the World Trade Center Health Program, nearly 10,000 of them have had some form of cancer.

Tens of thousands of people inhaled fumes in the days after the attack, and the number of patients coming forward with tumors has increased in recent years, according to the fund.

Image source Twitter

Former Trump aide George Papadopoulos, whose remarks in a London pub sparked the inquiry into possible collusion with Russia, has been sentenced to 14 days in jail.

The 31-year-old told the court in Washington DC he was a “patriotic American” who made a mistake by lying.

Last year, George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about the timing of meetings with alleged go-betweens for Moscow.

He was the first former Trump aide arrested in the probe into an alleged Russia plot to sway the 2016 US vote.

President Donald Trump reacted by taking an apparent swipe at the cost of the investigation into George Papadopoulos.

In September 7 sentencing, George Papadopoulos was also handed 12 months of supervised release, 200 hours of community service, and a fine of $9,500.

Donald Trump’s former aide said in court that his “entire life has been turned upside down” and he hoped “for a second chance to redeem myself”.

George Papadopoulos concluded by saying “this investigation has global implications, and the truth matters”.

He was a London-based petroleum analyst before he joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 as a volunteer foreign policy adviser.

George Papadopoulos soon made contact with a mysterious Maltese academic, Joseph Mifsud.

Professor Mifsud told George Papadopoulos the Russians had “dirt” on Donald Trump’s Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails”.

In the following months, thousands of emails linked to the Clinton campaign were published by WikiLeaks.

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Paul Manafort: FBI Wiretapped Donald Trump’s Campaign Chairman

George Papadopoulos told Donald Trump, then a Republican presidential candidate, and other members of the campaign’s national security team that he could set up a meeting with President Vladimir Putin ahead of the 2016 election.

A pre-sentencing statement last week read: “While some in the room rebuffed George’s offer, Mr. Trump nodded with approval and deferred to Mr. Sessions, who appeared to like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it.”

George Papadopoulos told CNN in an interview aired on September 7 that Donald Trump “gave me a sort of a nod” and “wasn’t committed either way” about the idea of a meeting with the Russian leader.

However, he said then-senator and now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions “was actually enthusiastic”. Last November, Jeff Sessions testified to Congress that he had “pushed back” against George Papadopoulos’ offer.

American authorities were alerted in mid-2016 after George Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat during a drinking session in a London pub about his meetings with Professor Mifsud.

The envoy told US investigators, shortly after the emails hacked from the Democratic Party were leaked.

When the FBI interviewed George Papadopoulos in January 2017, he falsely claimed he had met two individuals with Russian ties before he joined the president’s team in March 2016.

He had actually met them after joining Donald Trump’s campaign.

One individual was a Russian woman who George Papadopoulos believed had connections to the Russian government.

In July 2018, the DoJ charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democratic officials.

Prosecutors said George Papadopoulos’s lack of cooperation with investigators meant they were unable to effectively question or detain Joseph Mifsud. The professor has since left the United States.

No connection between Joseph Misfud and the hacked emails has been proven.

The DNC, which is suing Russia, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over the alleged election interference in the 2016, filed a court document on September 7, saying Joseph Mifsud “was missing and may be deceased”, without any further explanation, according to Bloomberg News.

It referred to him as a key figure to have evaded the Mueller inquiry.

George Papadopoulos said: “I made a dreadful mistake, but I am a good man who is eager for redemption.”

He said he lied not to impede investigation but “to preserve a perhaps misguided loyalty to his master”.

Judge Randolph Moss said he took the “genuine remorse” into consideration for the sentencing.

The only other person to be sentenced in the investigation – lawyer Alex Van Der Zwaan – received 30 days in prison. His judge referred to his regret as “muted”.

Outside court on September, George Papadopoulos’ lawyer, Thomas Breen, said his client was a “fool” and had acted “stupidly” in lying to the FBI.

However, the attorney said “the president of the United States hindered this investigation more than Papadopoulos ever could”.

The lawyer said President Trump had hampered the inquiry by calling it a “witch hunt” and “fake news”.

Image source Wikimedia

Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush have paid tribute to Senator John McCain at a memorial service at Washington’s National Cathedral.

Vietnam War hero John McCain, who became one of America’s most high-profile politicians, died a week ago from brain cancer at the age of 81.

John McCain’s daughter Meghan was the first to speak, paying an emotional tribute to her father while also criticizing President Donald Trump’s agenda.

President Donald Trump did not attend the service.

The two Republicans had major differences, both personal and political, and John McCain’s family made it clear that President Trump was not welcome.

Members of the Trump administration who were present included Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

Following memorial services in the state of Arizona – which John McCain represented as a senator, and where he died on August 25 – and in Washington, a private burial service will be held at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on September 2.

On August 31, John McCain’s body was taken back to the Congress buildings where he worked for decades and lay in state in the Capitol rotunda overnight.

On the way from the Capitol to the cathedral, the cortege stopped at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where John McCain’s widow Cindy laid a wreath.

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John McCain Diagnosed with Brain Cancer

Meghan McCain told mourners at the cathedral: “We gather here to mourn the passing of American greatness.

“The real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those who live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.

“The America of John McCain is generous and welcoming and bold, she is resourceful and confident and secure, she meets her responsibilities, she speaks quietly because she is strong.

“America does not boast, because she does not need to. The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again, because America was always great.”

Former President Barack Obama paid tribute to the man he defeated in the 2008 US presidential election.

He described John McCain as an “extraordinary man – a warrior, a statesman, a patriot” who embodied much of what made America great.

Barack Obama said that, despite their many differences, “we never doubted we were on the same team”.

The former president added: “John understood that our security and our influence was won not just by our military might, not just by our wealth, not just by our ability to bend others to our will, but from our capacity to inspire others with our adherence to a set of universal values – like rule of law and human rights – and an insistence on the God-given dignity of every human being.”

George W. Bush – who defeated John McCain for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000 – paid tribute to the senator’s courage, honesty and sense of honor.

“At various points during his long career, John confronted polices and practices that he believed were unworthy of his country. To the face of those in authority, John McCain would insist: <<We are better than this, America is better than this.>>

“John would be the first to tell you he was not a perfect man, but he dedicated his life to national ideals that are as perfect as men and women have as yet conceived.”

Other speakers included former Senator Joe Lieberman and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, 95.

Before he went into politics, John McCain was a US Navy pilot who was shot down over Hanoi while on a bombing mission in 1967.

He was held as a prisoner until 1973, enduring torture that – along with the injuries he sustained bailing out of his jet – left him with life-long injuries.

While deeply conservative on some issues, the Arizona senator had a maverick streak that endeared him to political friends and opponents.

John McCain championed reform of US immigration, campaign finance and environmental laws, and was outspoken in criticizing those who advocated what he considered torture against captured enemies of the US.

The pallbearers he chose reflected his desire to reach across political divides.

They included actor and liberal political activist Warren Beatty; former independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; liberal former Senator Russ Feingold, who drew up campaign finance reform legislation with McCain; and Russian opposition politician Vladimir Kara Murza.

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Image source Flickr

Donald Trump has warned that his policies will be “violently” overturned if the Democrats win November’s mid-term elections.

The president told Evangelical leaders that the vote was a “referendum” on freedom of speech and religion, and that these were threatened by “violent people”.

President Trump appealed to conservative Christian groups for help, saying they were one vote away from “losing everything”.

Mid-term elections are widely seen as a test of President Trump’s popularity.

The president has been battling negative publicity after his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen and former campaign chief Paul Manafort were convicted earlier this month.

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An audio recording of Donald Trump’s closed-door meeting with Evangelical leaders at the White House was leaked to US media.

During the meeting, President Trump said the mid-term elections were not just a referendum on him but also “on your religion, it’s a referendum on free speech and the First Amendment [guaranteeing basic freedoms]”.

He said: “It’s not a question of like or dislike, it’s a question that they will overturn everything that we’ve done and they will do it quickly and violently. And violently. There is violence. When you look at Antifa – these are violent people.”

Antifa – short for anti-fascist – is a conglomeration of left wing autonomous, self-styled anti-fascist militant groups in the United States. The far-left groups fight against far-right ideology and regularly clash with far-right demonstrators.

President Trump has previously criticized left-wing groups, infamously saying that there had been violence on “many sides” after a white nationalist killed a left-wing demonstrator at a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville last year.

Urging the Evangelical leaders to use their influence to swing voters, President Trump told them they had “tremendous power”.

He said: “In this room, you have people who preach to almost 200 million people. Depending on which Sunday we’re talking about.”

“Little thing: Merry Christmas, right? You couldn’t say <<Merry Christmas>>,” he added, according to media reports.

President Trump himself is not up for re-election, but his ability to govern in the final two years of his term will hinge upon the November 6 outcome.

All 435 members of the House of Representatives, 35 seats in the 100-member Senate and 36 out of 50 state governors, along with many state and local offices, are up for election.

Image source Wikimedia

The Vietnam War hero turned senator and presidential candidate John McCain has died aged 81.

Senator McCain died on August 25 in Arizona surrounded by his family, a statement from his office said.

John McCain was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor in July 2017 and had been undergoing medical treatment.

His family announced on August 24 that the senator, who left Washington in December, had decided to stop treatment.

The son and grandson of Navy admirals, John McCain was a fighter pilot during the war in Vietnam. When his plane was shot down, he spent more than five years as a prisoner of war.

While in the custody of his captors, John McCain suffered torture that left him with lasting disabilities.

John McCain Diagnosed with Brain Cancer

John McCain’s widow, Cindy, tweeted: “My heart is broken. I am so lucky to have lived the adventure of loving this incredible man for 38 years. He passed the way he lived, on his own terms, surrounded by the people he loved, in the place he loved best.”

His daughter Meghan said the task of her lifetime would now be “to live up to his example, his expectations, and his love.

Following news of John McCain’s death, wellwishers waving flags lined the street as a hearse brought his body from his ranch near Cornville, Arizona, to a funeral home in Phoenix.

The six-term senator for Arizona and 2008 Republican presidential nominee was diagnosed after doctors discovered his tumor during surgery to remove a blood clot from above his left eye last July.

John McCain’s family said he would lie in state in Phoenix, Arizona, and in Washington DC before a funeral at the Washington National Cathedral and his burial in Annapolis, Maryland.

Former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama are expected to give eulogies.

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President Donald Trump asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to call off a planned trip to North Korea.

The president tweeted that insufficient progress was being made in dismantling North Korea’s nuclear program.

President Trump also suggested China was not doing enough to put pressure on North Korea – due to trade tensions with the US.

After his summit with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in June, Donald Trump said North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat.

However, since then there have been several reports that it is failing to dismantle nuclear facilities.

The UN’s nuclear agency (IAEA) has also said North Korea is continuing with its nuclear program.

Mike Pompeo was due to head to Pyongyang next week with his newly appointed special envoy for North Korea – Stephen Biegun, a retiring Ford executive.

It would have been the secretary of state’s fourth trip, though he was not expected to meet Kim Jong-un.

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President Trump took a swipe at China in the second of three tweets on the issue.

He tweeted: “…Additionally, because of our much tougher Trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were (despite the UN Sanctions which are in place)…”

China and the US are embroiled in a tit-for-tat tariff war after President Trump complained about the size of the US trade deficit with China and what Washington sees as other unfair trade practices.

However, only two days ago President Trump said China had been a “big help on North Korea”.

Mike Pompeo might still make another trip though.

President Trump tweeted: “…Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved. In the meantime I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon!”

After the optimism of Singapore, the latest development might seem like quite a change.

However, there have been ups and downs in the Trump-North Korea relationship since then.

After a visit by Mike Pompeo in July, North Korea condemned his “gangster-like demands”, only for another trip to be announced, albeit now cancelled.

The summit itself was called off in May – President Trump citing Pyongyang’s “open hostility” – only for it to take place after all.

The US has made clear that it wants to see an end to North Korea’s nuclear activities before it will consider lifting economic sanctions.

The summit was seen as possible turning point after a ratcheting up of tensions.

North Korea had carried out a sixth nuclear bomb test in September and boasted of its ability to launch a missile at the US.

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Image source Flickr

President Donald Trump has said that payments to two women who say he had affairs with them did not break election campaign rules.

His comments come after his ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to violating laws during the 2016 presidential election over his handling of the hush money.

Interviewed by Fox & Friends, President Trump said the payments had come from him personally, not from the campaign.

Donald Trump has in the past denied knowing about one of the payments altogether.

He also accused Michael Cohen of making up stories to receive a lighter sentence.

In an excerpt from the Fox & Friends interview, which will be aired in full on August 23, President Trump responded to questions about the hush payments by insisting that they were “not a campaign violation”.

He said: “They came from me. And I tweeted about it. But they did not come out of the campaign.”

President Trump added that he only found out about the payments “later on”.

The president’s comments contradict a statement made earlier by Michael Cohen under oath in which he said Donald Trump had instructed him to make the payments.

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Last month, Michael Cohen released audio tapes of him and Donald Trump allegedly discussing one of the payments before the election.

Michael Cohen, who was Donald Trump’s personal lawyer for more than a decade, admitted passing on funds to two women thought to be Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

The hush money payments were not reported to the Federal Election Commission during the campaign.

The question is whether the payments were made to protect Donald Trump’s personal reputation or to protect his image as a presidential candidate.

Under US election rules, any payments made with the aim of influencing a vote must be reported.

Michael Cohen acknowledged in court that the aim was indeed to protect Donald Trump’s candidacy, saying he had paid the money “at the direction” of Trump “for the principal purpose of influencing the election”.

If Donald Trump were to be prosecuted over the money – not through the normal courts, because he is the sitting president, but conceivably in Congress, through an impeachment process – investigators would have to prove that he had indeed given the money to Michael Cohen for electoral reasons.

In his first public comments, back in April, about his alleged affair with Stormy Daniels, President Trump denied knowing about the $130,000 payment made to the actress via Michael Cohen.

Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, alleges that she and Donald Trump had met in a hotel room in 2006.

Asked by a reporter in the press cabin of Air Force One if he had any knowledge about where Michel Cohen had got the money to pay Stormy Daniels, President Trump responded at the time: “I don’t know.”

The following month, the president officially disclosed a payment to Michael Cohen of between $100,001 and $250,000 for expenses incurred in 2016.

Michael Cohen has reached a plea deal with prosecutors, which may see his prison sentence reduced from 65 years to five years and three months.

On the same day that Michael Cohen pleaded guilty, a jury convicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of bank and tax fraud charges.

It was the first criminal trial arising from the justice department probe led by former FBI chief Robert Mueller.

Robert Mueller has been investigating allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, and whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to swing the election in his favor.

Russia has denied claims it interfered in the elections.

There is no confirmation that Michael Cohen will speak to Robert Mueller’s Russia inquiry but his personal lawyer has said his client is happy to talk.

Image source kremlin.ru

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has ratified a new law that tightens controls over the internet.

The law on “cybercrime” means websites can be blocked in Egypt if deemed to constitute a threat to national security or the economy.

According to the new legislation, anyone found guilty of running, or just visiting, such sites could face prison or a fine.

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Authorities say the new measures are needed to tackle instability and terrorism.

However, human rights groups accuse the government of trying to crush all political dissent in Egypt.

The Cairo-based Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression said more than 500 websites had already been blocked in Egypt prior to the new law being signed.

Last month, another bill was passed by parliament, yet to be approved by the president, that would allow any social media accounts with more than 5,000 followers to be placed under supervision.

Correspondents says that with street protests in Egypt all but banned, the internet has been one of the last forums left for Egyptians to express dissent.

Last month, Human Rights Watch issued a warning that Egyptian authorities were increasingly using counterterrorism and state-of-emergency laws and courts to unjustly prosecute journalists, activists, and critics for peaceful criticism.

Those recently arrested include the well-known blogger and rights defender Wael Abbas; Amal Fathy, a political activist and the wife of the head of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms; and the comic Shady Abu Zaid.

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Two women who killed Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, will go on trial, after a judge said evidence suggested they knew what they were doing.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Thuong smeared the toxic nerve agent VX on Kim Jong-nam’s face in Kuala Lumpur airport last year.

However, the women deny murder, saying they were told they taking part in a TV prank.

Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Thuong could face the death penalty if convicted.

Four North Korean men also charged over the murder are still at large.

Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of Kim Jong-un, had been waiting to board a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Macau on February 13, 2017, when two women approached him in the departure area.

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CCTV footage shows one woman placing her hands over his face before she and the other woman leave the scene.

Kim Jong-nam is then seen seeking medical help – he told staff a chemical had been sprayed on him.

He died on the way to hospital from what was later found to have been exposure to the VX, one of the most toxic of all known chemical agents.

Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong – both in their 20s – have said they were innocent victims of an elaborate North Korean plot.

Their lawyers say that in the days before Kim Jong-nam’s death, the women had been paid to take part in pranks where they wiped liquid on people at airports, hotels and shopping malls.

They thought the airport was just another prank.

Their lawyers had expressed confidence that the court would see they had no motive to kill Kim Jong-nam.

However, Judge Azmi Ariffin said there was enough evidence to suggest it was “a well-planned conspiracy between the women and the four North Koreans at large”.

He said there was no hidden crew and no attempt to bring the target in on the joke afterwards, and that the footage “showed that they had the knowledge that the liquid on their hands was toxic”.

They will now go on trial for murder and could be hanged if found guilty.

Kim Jong-nam was the older half-brother of Kim Jong-un.

He was once seen as a future leader of North Korea, but when his father died, was bypassed in favor of the younger Kim.

Kim Jong-nam was largely estranged from the family, and spent most of his time overseas in Macau, mainland China and Singapore.

He had spoken out in the past against his family’s dynastic control of North Korea and in a 2012 book was quoted as saying he believed his half-brother lacked leadership qualities.

North Korea has fiercely denied any involvement in the killing.

Four men – believed to be North Koreans who left Malaysia on the day of the murder – have also been charged in the case, but have not been found.

Judge Azmi Ariffin said on August 16: “I cannot rule out that this could be a political assassination. Despite that, I am unable to confirm this fact.”

Image source Wikipedia

A suspect has been held in London on suspicion of terrorism offences after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament.

The car swerved into cyclists and pedestrians on August 14, injuring three people.

The 29-year-old man is not believed to be known to MI5 or counter-terrorism police, and is not co-operating with officers. Searches are taking place in Birmingham and Nottingham.

Two people were treated in hospital for their injuries but discharged.

Neil Basu, the Scotland Yard’s head of counter terrorism, said: “Given that this appears to be a deliberate act, the method and this being an iconic site, we are treating it as a terrorist incident.”

The assistant commissioner added there was “no intelligence at this time of further danger” to London or the UK as a whole.

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No-one else was in the car and no weapons have been found.

The government held a meeting of its Cobra emergency committee and PM Theresa May has paid tribute to the “formidable courage” and professionalism of the emergency services who “ran towards a dangerous situation in order to protect the public”.

Urging the public to remain vigilant but “carry on as normal”, the prime minister added: “For the second time in as many years the home of our democracy, which is a potent symbol of our precious values of tolerance and freedom, has witnessed terrible scenes just yards from its door.”

The suspect, who has not been named, is being held at a south London police station and the vehicle is being searched.

According to sources, the suspect is from the Birmingham area.

A number of eyewitnesses have said the silver Ford Fiesta, which was travelling westbound in Parliament Square, appeared to deliberately hit members of the public as it swerved into the opposite lane.

The car traveled from Birmingham to London on the previous night, arriving in the capital just after midnight.

Westminster subway station was closed for entry and exit, and streets around Millbank and Parliament Square cordoned off for several hours after the crash.

The immediate area around the incident remains taped off and screened by white temporary fencing.

The British parliament is not currently sitting.

Image source Wikimedia

At least 98 people died and some 10,000 have been evacuated on the Indonesian island of Lombok following a powerful 6.9 magnitude quake on August 5.

At least another 236 people have been injured.

Witnesses spoke of chaos and terror, with thousands of buildings damaged, and power and communication lines cut.

Boats have been sent to evacuate more than 1,000 tourists from the nearby Gili islands.

Rescuers said the priority was to provide shelter for residents too scared to return to their homes.

They said the impact was far bigger than another quake that hit Lombok last week killing 16 people.

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged the speedy evacuation of casualties, calling for more flights to be sent to the affected areas.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the Indonesian Disaster Management Agency, said that the northern area of Lombok had suffered massive damage.

Three C-130 Hercules aircraft and two helicopters have been deployed to deliver tents and medical aid, but the earthquake has brought down roads and bridges, making areas difficult to reach.

Electricity supply in the worst-affected areas has been cut off and telecommunication networks are not working.

One official said 80% of north Lombok had suffered damage.

The main city of Mataram was also badly affected, with medical staff struggling to cope with the injured at the damaged hospitals.

Situated off the north-west of Lombok and popular with backpackers and divers, they were badly hit, with a number of hotels damaged.

Video and still images showed hundreds of tourists flocking to the beach to be evacuated.

There have been reports of deaths on the islands but these have not been confirmed.

Hundreds of tourists have been taken off by boat, but hundreds still remain.

Image source Wikipedia

According to recent reports, Venezuela’ President Nicolás Maduro has survived an assassination attempt involving explosive drones.

The president was speaking at a military event in Caracas when the alleged attack occurred.

Live footage of Nicolas Maduro’s speech shows him suddenly looking upwards – startled – and dozens of soldiers running away.

He has blamed Colombia for the attack – something denied by Bogota as a “baseless” accusation.

According to authorities, 7 soldiers were injured, and several people were later arrested.

The incident happened when President Maduro was speaking at an event to mark the 81st anniversary of the national army.

Two drones loaded with explosives went off near President Maduro’s stand, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez said.

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The president later said in a national address: “A flying object exploded near me, a big explosion. Seconds later there was a second explosion.”

Photos on social media showed bodyguards protecting the president with bulletproof shields after the alleged attack.

Nicolas Maduro accused neighboring Colombia and elements within the US of instigating “a right-wing plot” to kill him.

The president added that he had “no doubt” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was “behind this attack”.

Nicolas Maduro, who has previously accused the US of plotting against him, provided no evidence to back his claim.

The Colombian government has denied any involvement, saying there is “no basis” to President Maduro’s allegations.

By contrast, Jorge Rodriguez accused Venezuela’s right-wing opposition of carrying out the attack.

He said: “After losing the vote, they failed again.”

The communications minister was referring to May’s presidential elections, where Nicolas Maduro was re-elected for another six-year term.

Meanwhile, a little-known group called Soldiers in T-shirts said on social media that it was behind the alleged attack.

The group said it had planned to fly two explosives-laden drones at Nicolas Maduro, but they were shot down by the military.

The claim was not backed up by any evidence, and the group did not respond to media requests for comment.

To add further to the confusion, firefighters at the scene disputed the government’s version of events, the AP reports.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, three of the firefighters said the incident was actually a gas tank explosion inside an apartment, but did not provide further details, the AP says.

Zimbabwe’s incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa has won the country’s presidential election, according to the electoral commission.

With all 10 provinces declared, Emmerson Mnangagwa won 50.8% of votes, compared to 44.3% for opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.

Police removed opposition officials from the electoral commission stage when they rejected the results.

The chairman of Nelson Chamisa’s MDC Alliance said the count could not be verified.

By narrowly winning more than 50% of the vote, Emmerson Mnangagwa avoids a run-off election against Nelson Chamisa.

Image source Khuluma Afrika

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Emmerson Mnangagwa, from the governing Zanu-PF party, said on Twitter he was “humbled”, and called the result “a new beginning”.

He took over as president in November 2017 from long-serving leader Robert Mugabe.

Nelson Chamisa has insisted he is the winner of the presidential poll, telling reporters on August 2 that Zanu-PF was “trying to bastardize the result”, something “we will not allow”.

However, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said there was “absolutely no skullduggery”.

Six people died after opposition protests in Harare on August 1 over alleged vote-rigging.

The elections were the first since former President Robert Mugabe, 94, was ousted and were intended to set Zimbabwe on a new path following years of repressive rule.

The trial of Paul Manafort is starting, the first to emerge from an inquiry into Russian meddling in the vote.

Donald Trump’s ex-election campaign chief faces 18 criminal counts, including bank fraud, and could face up to 30 years in jail if found guilty.

Paul Manafort, who ran the Trump campaign for three months, has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors are expected to say that the former political consultant’s life of luxury did not match what he had declared on his tax returns.

Image source Wikipedia

Paul Manafort: FBI Wiretapped Donald Trump’s Campaign Chairman

Paul Manafort Allegedly Hid $750,000 Payment Made by Ukrainian Party

Paul Manafort Resigns as Donald Trump’s Campaign Chairman

Before joining Donald Trump’s team in summer 2016, Paul Manafort had worked on a number of Republican presidential campaigns, including those of Gerald Ford in the mid-1970s and Ronald Reagan from 1978 to 1980.

As a lobbyist, Paul Manafort developed a reputation for representing the unrepresentable, including former Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos, who was accused of torturing, abducting and killing thousands of opponents.

Paul Manafort took over as chairman of the Trump campaign in May 2016 and aimed to present a more thoughtful candidate, who stuck to scripts instead of ad-libbing in campaign rallies. He was in the hot seat when Donald Trump eventually won the Republican nomination, and organized the Republican convention in July 2016.

However, he quickly faced allegations that he had not disclosed millions of dollars he received for consultancy work he carried out in Ukraine for its then pro-Russian president. At the same time, the Republican Party changed the language in its manifesto regarding the conflict in Ukraine, removing anti-Russian sentiment.

Paul Manafort quit Donald Trump’s team in August 2016.

According to Greece’s Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Toskas, there are “serious indications” that a fire that killed at least 83 people near Athens earlier this week was started deliberately.

The fire broke out on July 23 and hit coastal villages popular with tourists.

Authorities say that some 60 people are still being treated in hospital, 11 in intensive care. Dozens more are missing.

Image source Wikimedia

Greece Wildfire: Three Days of Mourning as 79 Died and Dozens Are Missing

Earlier, rescue workers searching a cliffside in the seaside town of Mati found more human remains.

A large number of the victims were caught close to the cliff as the flames spread rapidly, whipped up by winds as high as 75mph. Many of the survivors were saved by the sea, but dozens of victims were unable to reach the water.

Nikos Toskas also said that another fire that broke out near Athens a few hours earlier but did not cause casualties had been started intentionally.

The minister added that “climate conditions” in the areas affected by fire were “extreme due to climate change”.

Imran Khan is on course to become Pakistan’s new prime minister, early results from the country’s election suggest.

With nearly half the votes counted from July 25election, the ex-cricket star’s PTI party is in the lead.

It is expected to fall short of an overall majority and to seek coalition partners. Officials deny claims of vote rigging made by Imran Khan’s rivals.

With votes counted in 47% of stations, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party was leading in 113 of the 272 National Assembly constituencies being contested, Pakistan’s Dawn Newspaper reported, citing Election Commission figures.

Image source Wikimedia

Imran Khan’s party to resign all its seats in Pakistan’s national assembly

Imran Khan married Reham Khan in secret

Oxford-educated Imran Khan, who led Pakistan to victory in cricket’s World Cup in 1992, first entered politics in 1996 but struggled for years on the political sidelines. In the lead-up to this vote, the 65-year-old faced accusations that he was benefiting from military interference against his rivals.

Campaigning has been marred by violence. On voting day a bomb killed 31 people at a polling station.

This election will mark only the second time that a civilian government has handed power to another after serving a full term in Pakistan.

However, the party of disgraced former PM Nawaz Sharif has rejected the results, as have a host of smaller parties, all alleging vote-rigging and manipulation.

The party of assassinated former PM Benazir Bhutto, the historically liberal PPP, is widely expected to come third.

The party is now fronted by Benazir Bhutto’s son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, a 29-year-old Oxford University graduate.

The turnout has been estimated at between 50% and 55% out of 106 million registered voters, AFP reports.

Greek rescuers are searching for dozens of people missing after the deadly wildfires near Athens.

Up to now, at least 79 people have died, and a search continues for survivors who fled the blaze, including those who took to the sea.

According to authorities, high winds spread the fire, trapping many in homes and vehicles and forcing others into the water as they tried to escape the flames.

The fire is now widely reported to be the deadliest on record in Greece.

On July 24, PM Alexis Tsipras has declared three days of mourning.

There is no formal count of the missing. The fire brigade has received dozens of calls, but is unable to verify the exact number.

Relatives of those reported missing have posted photographs of more than 30 people online in the hope of tracing their whereabouts.

Coastal patrol boats combed the shoreline on July 25, searching for survivors and bodies, while rescue teams searched houses and cars.

Image source Wikimedia

Thomas Fire: California Governor Jerry Brown Brands Wildfires as New Normal

California Wildfires: At Least 17 Dead and More Than 150 Missing

The number of injured, meanwhile, continues to grow, and stands at more than 180, including two dozen or so children. Tourists were also caught up in the blaze, including one British man who was treated for burns.

Others have been evacuated to temporary accommodation.

On July 24, the bodies of 26 adults and children who apparently died embracing each other were found on a cliff top.

Among those killed in the fires that swept Eastern Attica were a Belgian tourist and a Polish woman and her son.

On July 23, hundreds of firefighters battled the flames, which were fanned by winds of up to 100km/h (60mph).

The prime minister has declared a state of emergency in Attica, saying all emergency services have been mobilized.

Meanwhile, Germany, Italy, France, Romania and Poland have all sent help in the form of planes, vehicles and firefighters, while Spain, Turkey, and Cyprus have also offered assistance.

The Greek government and emergency services are facing allegations that their response to  emergency was too slow.

A Supreme Court prosecutor has ordered a probe into the cause of the fire, amid allegations that there had been no evacuation plan in place.

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President Donald Trump has invited his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to visit the US, in a move that drew startled laughter from US intelligence chief Dan Coats.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said when he was told about the invitation during a live interview: “That’s gonna be special!”

President Trump’s presidency has been clouded by allegations that Russian hackers meddled in the 2016 US presidential election in his favor. However, the Kremlin denies the allegations.

At the Helsinki summit, President Putin offered access to 12 Russians indicted in absentia by the US authorities over the alleged interference, on condition the Russian authorities could question 12 Americans over a different case. President Trump first praised the suggestion as “incredible” but later rejected it.

Since his return from Finland, President Trump or the White House have had to correct or clarify other comments regarding Russia, creating confusion and prompting the Democrats to demand details of his private talks with President Putin.

Vladimir Putin, in power in Russia since 2000, last visited the US in 2015, when he met President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York to discuss the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

Image NBC News

President Trump Criticized after Summit with Vladimir Putin

Maria Butina: Russian Charged with Spying in US

Trump-Putin Summit: Donald Trump Defends Russia over Claims of Election Interference

On July 19, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted that discussions about a visit by Vladimir Putin to Washington DC this autumn were already under way.

Russian ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said Russia had always been open to the idea of a visit but it was “up to the Kremlin to decide how many summits are needed, and when”.

The announcement appeared to come as a surprise to US intelligence chief Dan Coats, who was told about it during a live interview at the Aspen Security Forum in the state of Colorado.

Dan Coats added that he did not yet know what President Trump and President Putin had discussed during their meeting, at which only the pair and their interpreters were present.

At the post-summit news conference in Helsinki, President Putin was asked whether he would extradite 12 Russian intelligence agents indicted in the US for hacking Democratic Party computers.

No extradition treaty exists between the US and Russia, but Vladimir Putin said he would meet the US government “halfway”.

President Putin said that US investigators could question the 12 suspects inside Russia if, in turn, Russian investigators were allowed to question US citizens with regard to a case against financier Bill Browder.

Bill Browder was instrumental in the US imposing sanctions in 2012 on top Russian officials accused of corruption in the Magnitsky affair.

One of the Americans on Russia’s list is a former US ambassador to Moscow, Michael McFaul.

The idea of allowing Russia to quiz US citizens sparked outrage and the Senate voted 98-0 against it. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it was “not going to happen”.

Michael McFaul tweeted his gratitude to the Senate: “98-0. Bipartisanship is not dead yet in the US Senate. Thank you all for your support.”

At the news conference in Helsinki, President Trump said: “He [Vladimir Putin] offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigations with respect to the 12 people. I think that’s an incredible offer.”

Now, however, President Trump says he “disagrees” with President Putin’s proposal.

He has also clarified remarks at the news conference in which he said he saw no reason for Russia to have meddled in the 2016 US election – despite US intelligence concluding just that.

Speaking to CBS News on July 18, President Trump said he held Vladimir Putin personally responsible for interfering in the election, and that he was “very strong on the fact that we can’t have meddling”.

Vladimir Putin has also described the summit as “successful” but warned “there are forces in the United States that are prepared to casually sacrifice Russian-US relations”.

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President Donald Trump has responded to those criticizing his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Writing on Twitter, President Trump condemned “haters” who did not want him getting along with Vladimir Putin, saying they suffered from “Trump Derangement Syndrome”.

President Trump said he misspoke at the press conference with President Putin.

He had sided with the Russian leader over his own intelligence services on claims of Russian election meddling.

That had sparked outrage from both sides of the political divide.

In a series of tweets, President Trump said: “So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki. Putin and I discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting. We got along well which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match. Big results will come!”

Later, he added: “Some people HATE the fact that I got along well with President Putin of Russia. They would rather go to war than see this. It’s called Trump Derangement Syndrome!”

President Trump Criticized after Summit with Vladimir Putin

Maria Butina: Russian Charged with Spying in US

Trump-Putin Summit: Donald Trump Defends Russia over Claims of Election Interference

The tweets came a day after he said he had missed out a word when appearing to support Vladimir Putin’s claim that there was no Russian involvement in the 2016 US presidential election.

President Trump said he accepted his intelligence services’ assessment that Russia had interfered.

The controversy centers on a response he gave to a question at a news conference on July 16 following the summit with President Putin.

The AP reporter asked at the news conference: “President Putin denied having anything to do with the election interference in 2016. Every US intelligence agency has concluded that Russia did. My first question for you, sir, is, who do you believe?”

President Trump responded: “My people came to me… they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

President Trump said he had reviewed the transcript and realized he needed to clarify.

He said: “In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word <<would>> instead of <<wouldn’t>>.

“The sentence should have been: ‘I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t’ or ‘why it wouldn’t be Russia’. Sort of a double negative.”

President Trump added: “I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place. Could be other people also. A lot of people out there.”

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President Donald Trump has been widely criticized in the US after defending Russia over claims of interference in the 2016 elections.

At a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, President Trump contradicted US intelligence agencies, saying Russia had no reason to meddle.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, said President Trump must see that “Russia is not our ally”.

The president’s own intelligence chief publicly broke with him.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said in a statement that Russia is responsible for “ongoing, pervasive attempts” to undermine US democracy.

Vladimir Putin denied the claim.

On July 16, the two leaders held nearly two hours of one-on-one talks without their advisers in Helsinki.

Image NBC News

Maria Butina: Russian Charged with Spying in US

Trump-Putin Summit: Donald Trump Defends Russia over Claims of Election Interference

At a news conference after the summit, President Trump was asked if he believed his own intelligence agencies or the Russian president when it came to allegations of meddling in the election.

He replied: “President Putin says it’s not Russia. I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

President Trump also blamed poor relations with Russia on past US administrations rather than Russian actions.

US intelligence agencies concluded in 2016 that Russia was behind an effort to tip the scale of the US election against Hillary Clinton, with a state-authorized campaign of cyber attacks and fake news stories planted on social media.

President Trump later backtracked, tweeting that he had “great confidence in my intelligence people”.

He tweeted: “As I said today and many times before, “I have GREAT confidence in MY intelligence people.” However, I also recognize that in order to build a brighter future, we cannot exclusively focus on the past – as the world’s two largest nuclear powers, we must get along! #HELSINKI2018

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A 29-year-old Russian woman has been charged in the US with conspiracy to act as a Russian government agent while infiltrating political groups.

According to media reports, Maria Butina had developed close ties with the GOP and had become an advocate for gun rights.

The charges are not related to Robert Mueller investigation that is examining alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Maria Butina allegedly worked at the direction of a high-level Kremlin official.

Her attorney, Robert Driscoll said in a statement released on July 16 that his client was “not an agent” and instead just an international relations student “who is seeking to use her degree to pursue a career in business”.

Robert Driscoll added the charges were “overblown” and there was “no indication of Maria Butina seeking to influence or undermine any specific policy or law or the United States”.

He said his client had “been co-operating with various government entities for months” over the allegations.

Maria Butina, who lives in Washington, was arrested on July 15 and was held in jail pending a hearing set for July 18, the DOJ said in a statement.

The announcement of Maria Butina’s arrest came hours after President Donald Trump met Russian President Vladimir Putin, and defended the Kremlin against claims of interference in the 2016 presidential election.

President Trump said there had been no reason for Russia to meddle in the vote.

Maria Butina’s arrest also came days after the justice department charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democratic officials in the 2016 US elections.

In a sworn statement unsealed on July 16, FBI Special Agent Kevin Helson said Maria Butina’s assignment was to “exploit personal connections with US persons having influence in American politics in an effort to advance the interests of the Russian Federation”.

Maria Butina did so without registering her activities with the US government, as required under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, prosecutors say.

She sought to foster ties with an “organization promoting gun rights”, the DOJ said, without naming any group or politicians.

According to an affidavit, Maria Butina was trying to “establish a <<back channel>> communication for representatives of the Government of Russia”.

The criminal complaint states that Maria Butina focused on developing personal connections with influential US politicians to “advance the interest” of Russia.

Image source VK Page

Trump-Putin Summit: Donald Trump Defends Russia over Claims of Election Interference

As a part of that alleged mission, the complaint says she was organizing an event to further influence “the views of US officials as those views relate to the Russian Federation”.

According to the complaint, Maria Butina reported back to an official in the Russian government about her progress using Twitter direct messages among other means.

In one message, the Russian official told her: “Your political star has risen in the sky. Now it is important to rise to the zenith and not burn out (fall) prematurely.”

The affidavit also states that the unnamed official was sanctioned by the US Treasury.

Maria Butina, originally from Siberia, came to the US on a student visa to study at American University. The complaint alleges that she was in fact secretly working for the Russian government.

The woman founded a group called the Right to Bear Arms before she arrived in America, and US media have previously reported her ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA), the most powerful gun lobby in the US.

Maria Butina has previously denied having worked for the Russian government.

The Washington Post reported that she became an assistant to Russian banker and former senator Alexander Torshin. He was sanctioned by the US Treasury in April.

Alexander Torshin, who is a lifetime member of the NRA, and Maria Butina attended NRA events in the US beginning in 2014.

Maria Butina also attended a Trump campaign event and reportedly asked Donald Trump about his views on foreign relations with Russia.

According to the Washington Post, Donald Trump had answered: “We get along with Putin.”

After face-to-face talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, President Donald Trump has defended Russia over claims of interference in the 2016 presidential election.

President Trump contradicted US intelligence agencies and said there had been no reason for Russia to meddle in the vote.

President Putin reiterated that Russia had never interfered in US affairs.

The two leaders held nearly two hours of closed-door talks in the Finnish capital on July 16.

At a news conference after the summit, Donald Trump was asked if he believed his own intelligence agencies or the Russian president when it came to the allegations of meddling in the elections.

He replied: “President Putin says it’s not Russia. I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

Trump-Putin Talks Will Go Ahead Despite Russian Intelligence Officers Indictment

President Donald Trump Prepared to Be Questioned by Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller Investigation: Michael Flynn Admits Making False Statements to FBI

US intelligence agencies concluded in 2016 that Russia was behind an effort to tip the scale of the election against Hillary Clinton, with a state-authorized campaign of cyber attacks and fake news stories planted on social media.

Some US politicians had called for the Trump-Putin summit to be canceled after 12 Russian intelligence officers were indicted last week, accused of hacking the presidential campaign of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Speaking at the press conference in Helsinki, President Putin offered to allow US investigators to visit Russia to question the officers.

Vladimir Putin made it clear that, in return, Russia would want similar access to people in the US it suspects of criminal activity.

Image source Wikipedia

Donald Trump’s first visit official visit to the UK as president took place in between the NATO summit in Brussels and a meeting on July 16 in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Speaking after talks with UK’s PM Theresa May at Chequers, President Trump said the US-UK relationship is “the highest level of special”, while PM May said they had discussed plans for an “ambitious” trade agreement.

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump later had tea with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor.

Thousands of people have protested in London against President Trump’s UK visit.

A large balloon, portraying Donald Trump as a baby, has been floated in Parliament Square as part of the demonstrations. Other protests are taking place across the UK on July 13 and 14.

Brexit: Donald Trump Hails UK Referendum Result

Donald Trump on Angela Merkel, Brexit and NATO

The Queen greeted President Trump and the first lady as their motorcade arrived at Windsor Castle. The band of the Coldstream Guards played the Star-Spangled Banner and she invited the president to inspect the guard of honor.

Their meeting lasted nearly an hour and was the final engagement in Donald Trump’s two-day working visit to the UK.

The presidential couple took off from Windsor in a helicopter before boarding Air Force One, which flew them to Ayrshire and a weekend stay at his Turnberry golf resort.

Donald Trump and Theresa May’s talks at Chequers took place after The Sun published its wide-ranging interview with the president in which he was critical of the PM’s Brexit plan.

But standing alongside Theresa May after the meeting at her Buckinghamshire country residence, Donald Trump praised her as an “incredible woman” and a “very tough negotiator” who was “doing a fantastic job”, and said there could be a “great” trade deal between the US and UK.

The president said: “I read reports where that won’t be possible, but I believe after speaking with the prime minister’s people and representatives and trade experts it will absolutely be possible.”

At the news conference, Donald Trump said: “The relationship between our two nations is indispensable to the cause of liberty, justice, and peace.”

President Trump described Brexit as a “very tough situation… between the borders and the entries into the countries and all of the things”, saying: “The only thing I ask is that she work it out so that we can have very even trade.”

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Qin Yongmin, one of China’s highest-profile democracy campaigners, has been sentenced to 13 years in jail for “subversion of state power”.

The 64-year-old has already spent a total of 22 years behind bars.

Qin Yongmin had “refused to cooperate with the court” and stayed silent throughout his trial, human rights lawyer Lin Qilei earlier told the AFP.

Image source www.asianews.it

Liu Xiaobo’s Death: China’s Most Prominent Dissident Dies from Liver Cancer Aged 61

The dissident is a co-founder of the China Democracy Party, and was handed a 12-year prison term in 1998 after trying to register it officially. A year later, while still in prison, Qin Yongmin was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Qin Yongmin was leading a pro-democracy group called China Human Rights Watch when he was arrested in January 2015. Its activities included organizing discussion groups and criticizing the government’s policies online.