around the world
Italy: Slain police officer didn’t have gun when stabbed ROME — A plainclothes police officer had forgotten his gun the night he was fatally stabbed during a confrontation with two American teenagers in Rome, an Italian police commander said Tuesday. Gen. Francesco Gargaro of Italy’s paramilitary Carabinieri police force said that even if the officer had been armed, he would not have had time to draw his weapon before he was mortally wounded with a military-style knife. During a news conference, the commander provided some of the first details about the encounter early Friday in which Deputy Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega, 35, was knifed 11 times. Cerciello Riga and a partner, Andrea Varriale, were assigned to respond to an extortion attempt involving a failed drug deal, Gargaro said. Thieves had demanded money and cocaine in exchange for returning a stolen backpack, he said. The officers were in plainclothes and identified themselves as Carabinieri as they approached two suspects, but were immediately attacked, Gargaro said.
U.S. presidential envoy sent to Sweden for A$AP Rocky’s trial HELSINKI — American rapper A$AP Rocky pleaded not guilty to assault as his trial in Sweden opened Tuesday, a month after a street fight that landed him in jail and became a topic of U.S.-Swedish diplomacy. Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, is accused with two others of beating a 19-year-old man in Stockholm on June 30. Prosecutors played video footage in court that showed Mayers throwing a young man to the ground. Mayers, 30, pleaded not guilty to an assault charge that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison. He says he acted in self-defense. The Grammy-nominated artist’s extended detention prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to personally intervene on his behalf earlier this month. Mayers nevertheless remained behind bars, angering Trump.
Congo officials say 2nd Ebola case confirmed in city of Goma KINSHASA, Congo — Officials in Congo on Tuesday said a second Ebola case had been confirmed in Goma, the city of more than 2 million people whose first confirmed case in this yearlong outbreak was reported earlier this month. There appeared to be no link between the man’s case and the previous one in Goma, Jean-Jacques Muyembe, a local Ebola response coordinator, told reporters. He arrived on July 13 from a mining area in northeastern Congo’s Ituri province and started showing symptoms on July 22. He is now isolated at an Ebola treatment center. Ebola symptoms can start to occur between two and 21 days from infection, health experts say. — Associated Press
Today is Wednesday, July 31, the 212th day of 2019. There are 153 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On July 31, 1954, Pakistan’s K2 was conquered as two members of an Italian expedition, Achille Compagnoni (ah-KEE’-lay kohm-pahn-YOH’nee) and Lino Lacedelli (LEE’-noh lah-chee-DEHL’-ee), reached the summit. On this date: In 1715, a fleet of Spanish ships carrying gold, silver and jewelry sank during a hurricane off the east Florida coast; of some 2,500 crew members, more than 1,000 died. In 1777, during the Revolutionary War, the Marquis de Lafayette, a 19-year-old French nobleman, was made a major-general in the American Continental Army. In 1945, Pierre Laval, premier of the pro-Nazi Vichy government, surrendered to U.S. authorities in Austria; he was turned over to France, which later tried and executed him. In 1961, IBM introduced its first Selectric typewriter with its distinctive “typeball.” In 1964, the American space probe Ranger 7 reached the moon, transmitting pictures back to Earth before impacting the lunar surface. In 1970, “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” came to an end after nearly 14 years as co-anchor Chet Huntley signed off for the last time; the broadcast was renamed “NBC Nightly News.” In 1971, Apollo 15 crew members David Scott and James Irwin became the first astronauts to use a lunar rover on the surface of the moon. In 1972, Democratic vice-presidential candidate Thomas Eagleton withdrew from the ticket with George McGovern following disclosures that Eagleton had once undergone psychiatric treatment. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in Moscow. In 1992, the former Soviet republic of Georgia was admitted to the United Nations as its 179th member. Thai Airways Flight 311, an Airbus A310, crashed while approaching Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal; all 113 people aboard died. In 2002, a bomb exploded inside a cafeteria at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, killing nine people, including five Americans. In 2008, scientists reported the Phoenix spacecraft had confirmed the presence of frozen water in Martian soil. Ten years ago: Three American tourists were arrested by Iran on suspicion of espionage while hiking along the Iraq-Iran border. (Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal were sentenced to eight years after being convicted on spy-related charges, but were released after more than two years; Sarah Shourd was released on health grounds after 14 months.) Space shuttle Endeavour and its seven astronauts returned to Earth, completing a long but successful construction job that boosted the size and power of the international space station. Five years ago: The CIA’s insistence that it did not spy on its Senate overseers collapsed with the release of a stark report by the agency’s internal watchdog documenting improper computer surveillance and obstructionist behavior by CIA officers. The death toll from the worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history surpassed 700 in West Africa. One year ago: Jury selection began in the trial of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman; he was accused of failing to report tens of millions of dollars in Ukrainian political consulting fees. (Manafort was sentenced to a total of seven and a-half years in prison after being convicted at trial in Virginia and pleading guilty in Washington to two conspiracy counts.) Actor Alan Alda revealed that he has Parkinson’s disease, telling “CBS This Morning” that he’d been diagnosed three and a half years ago. Today’s Birthdays: Actor Don Murray is 90. Jazz composer-musician Kenny Burrell is 88. Actress France Nuyen is 80. Actress Susan Flannery is 80. Singer Lobo is 76. Actress Geraldine Chaplin is 75. Former movie studio executive Sherry Lansing is 75. Singer Gary Lewis is 74. Actor Lane Davies is 69. Actress Susan Wooldridge is 69. International Tennis Hall of Famer Evonne Goolagong Cawley is 68. Actor Barry Van Dyke is 68. Actor Alan Autry is 67. Jazz composer-musician Michael Wolff is 67. Actor James Read is 66. Actor Michael Biehn is 63. Rock singermusician Daniel Ash (Love and Rockets) is 62. Actor Dirk Blocker is 62. Entrepreneur Mark Cuban is 61. Rock musician Bill Berry is 61. Actor Wally Kurth is 61. Actor Wesley Snipes is 57. Country singer Chad Brock is 56. Musician Fatboy Slim is 56. Rock musician Jim Corr is 55. Author J.K. Rowling (ROHL’-ing) is 54. Actor Dean Cain is 53. Actor Jim TrueFrost is 53. Actor Ben Chaplin is 50. Actor Loren Dean is 50. Actress Eve Best is 48. Retired NFL quarterback Gus Frerotte is 48. Actress Annie Parisse (pah-REES’) is 44. Actor Robert Telfer is 42. Country singermusician Zac Brown is 41. Actor-producer-writer B.J. Novak is 40. Actor Eric Lively is 38. Country singer Blaire Stroud (3 of Hearts) is 36. Singer Shannon Curfman is 34. NHL center Evgeni Malkin is 33. Hip-hop artist Lil Uzi Vert is 25. Actor Reese Hartwig is 21. Actor Rico Rodriguez is 21. Thought for Today: “The art of life is to show your hand. There is no diplomacy like candor. You may lose by it now and then, but it will be a loss well gained if you do. Nothing is so boring as having to keep up a deception.” -- E.V. Lucas, English author and critic (1868-1938).
wednesday, july 31, 2019
SKorea says NKorea fired unidentified projectiles Associated Press
SEOUL, South Korea— North Korea on Wednesday fired several unidentified projectiles off its east coast, South Korea’s military said, less than a week after the North launched two shortrange ballistic missiles into the sea. Observers say the launches were aimed at ramping up pressure on the United States to make concessions as the two countries are struggling to resume diplomacy on the North’s nuclear weapons program. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement the latest launches were done from the North’s northeastern
area. It said South Korea’s military is monitoring for possible additional launches by North Korea. It wasn’t immediately known exactly what North Korea fired or how far the projectiles flew. The launches came six days after North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles that Seoul officials say flew 370 miles before landing off the North’s east coast. The latest launches also came hours after a senior U.S. official said President Donald Trump has sent mementos from his brief visit to North Korea last month to Kim. The official said a top staffer from the National
Security Council hand-delivered photographs from the June Trump-Kim meeting at the demilitarized zone to a North Korean official last week. The Trump administration official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. Diplomacy between North Korea and the United States remained deadlocked since the second Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam in February ended without any agreement. The summit fell apart after Trump rejected Kim’s demand for widespread sanctions relief in return for dismantling his main nuclear complex, a partial disarmament step.
North Korea’s state media said leader Kim Jong Un supervised a test of a new missile Thursday designed to deliver “solemn warning” to South Korea over its purchase of high-tech U.S.made fighter jets and its plans to conduct military drills that Pyongyang sees as an invasion rehearsal. South Korea’s military said the flight data of the weapon launched Thursday showed similarities to the Russian-made Iskander, a short-range, nuclear-capable missile. A North Korean version could likely reach all of South Korea — and the 28,500 U.S. forces stationed there — and would be extremely hard to intercept.
6 injured by fireworks amid Hong Kong protests on riot charges By Katie Tam Associated Press
HONG KONG — Protesters clashed with police again in Hong Kong on Tuesday night after reports that some of their detained colleagues would be charged with the relatively serious charge of rioting. Several hundred protesters mobilized in the streets outside a police station after 44 people were arrested on riot charges stemming from a Sunday night demonstration. Hong Kong police said in a statement Tuesday that the protesters set up roadblocks, broke fences, damaged street signs and attacked police officers with bricks and iron rods. One of the accused is a 33-year-old man who was also charged with assaulting a police officer, police said. The accused rioters and a 24-year-old man charged with weapons possession will appear in court Wednesday. A total of 49 people, including 32 men and 17 women
Vincent Yu / Associated Press
A protester waves a U.S. flag as hundreds of protesters gather outside Kwai Chung police station in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
between the ages of 16 and 41, had initially been arrested from the scene. Hong Kong police said it “will not rule out the possibility of further arrest” as it investigates the four others released temporarily or out on bail. Video livestreamed by Hong Kong media showed protesters chanting slogans and throwing eggs at the Kwai Chung police station. Police used pepper spray to try to disperse them. Fireworks were set off just
before 3 a.m. Wednesday, injuring six men near another police station. Five people were taken to a nearby hospital for their injuries and the sixth man declined medical treatment at the scene, police said. Video footage on social media appears to show a car driving by the Tin Shui Wai police station as fireworks flare by where protesters were gathered. Police said it was not an action taken by officials and
that officers are investigating the incident. The unannounced protest capped another day of unrest. During the morning rush hour, commuters argued with demonstrators who blocked subway train doors in their continuing movement to demand greater accountability from the semiautonomous Chinese territory’s government. Activists began protesting in early June for the government to withdraw an extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to stand trial in mainland China, where critics say their legal rights would be threatened. The government suspended the bill, but the protests have expanded to calls for democracy and government accountability. Service was delayed and partially suspended on the Island and Kwun Tong lines, subway operator MTR said. It cited “a number of train door obstructions” as well as someone activating a safety device at a platform on the Kwun Tong line.
Brexit rhetoric toughens; pound slumps By JILL LAWLESS Associated Press
LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Wales on Tuesday on a national tour to reassure voters that his push to leave the European Union “come what may” won’t hurt the economy and rip apart the U.K. The move failed to persuade currency markets,
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where the pound slid to a new 28-month low amid rising concerns about a chaotic no-deal Brexit. A day after Johnson was booed in Scotland, he faced another tough reception from farmers — a group central to the Welsh economy — who fear economic havoc if Britain leaves the EU without a divorce deal. They say millions of sheep might have to be slaughtered if tariffs are slapped on lamb exports to the EU. Johnson said after visiting a south Wales poultry farm that his Conservative government would support farmers if their markets became “tricky.” “We will look after the farming sector,” he said. “We will make sure that they have the support that they need.” But National Farmers’ Union President Minette Batters said Britain exports 40% of its lamb and mutton, most of it to EU nations. “(If) we’re tariffed out of the EU market, where does that 40% go?” she said. Helen Roberts of the National Sheep Association accused Johnson of playing “Russian roulette” with the agriculture industry. Johnson’s government argues that leaving the 28-nation trading bloc and its Common Agricultural Policy will be “a historic opportunity to introduce new schemes to support farming” and will open up new markets for U.K. agricultural exports.
The government’s Wales Secretary Alun Cairns said “90% of global growth will come from outside of the EU.” However, trade with the EU accounts for almost half of all British exports and any new trade deals are years away. The Welsh trip follows Johnson’s visit Monday to Scotland, where he was booed by protesters and warned by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that his vow to take Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31 with or without a divorce deal was “dangerous.” Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the EU divided the country and also strained the bonds among the four nations that make up the U.K.: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. A majority of voters in England and Wales backed leaving in the referendum, while Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain. That has emboldened Scotland’s nationalist government to demand another vote on independence, arguing that Scotland should not be forced out of the EU against its will. In Parliament last week, Scottish National Party lawmaker Ian Blackford mockingly welcomed Johnson as “the last prime minister of the United Kingdom.” Johnson also plans to visit Northern Ireland, the only part of the U.K. to share a land border with the EU. The status of that currently invisible
frontier with the Republic of Ireland has become the main stumbling block to a Brexit deal. The pound has fallen sharply in recent days as businesses warn that no amount of preparation can eliminate the economic damage if Britain crashes out of the EU trading bloc without a Brexit deal. The currency fell early Tuesday to $1.2120, its lowest value since March 2017. “Investors’ main concern remains a hard no-deal Brexit, which has the potential to pull the economy into chaos,” said Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index. “Boris Johnson’s new cabinet did little to alleviate those fears, taking a hard line with Europe on forthcoming negotiations.” Johnson became prime minister last week after winning a Conservative Party leadership contest by promising the strongly pro-Brexit party membership that the U.K. will leave the EU on the scheduled date of Oct. 31, with or without a divorce deal. The EU struck a withdrawal agreement with Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, but it was rejected three times by Britain’s Parliament. Johnson is insisting the bloc make major changes to May’s spurned deal, including scrapping an insurance policy for the Irish border that has been rejected by U.K. lawmakers.
July 31, 2019 edition of the Peninsula Clarion