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  1. Britain plans to send a warship to the disputed South China Sea next year to conduct freedom of navigation exercises, Defence Minister Michael Fallon said on Thursday, a move likely to anger Beijing. Britain would increase in presence in the waters after it sent four British fighter planes for joint exercises with Japan in the region last year, he said. China claims most of the energy-rich sea where neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims. "We hope to send a warship to region next year. We have not finalised exactly where that deployment will take place but we won't be constrained by China from sailing through the South China Sea," Fallon told Reuters. "We have the right of freedom of navigation and we will exercise it." The presence of a British vessel threatens to stoke tensions, escalated by China's naval build-up and its increasingly assertive stance. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-britain-idUSKBN1AC1CB?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=5979c1d804d3013fef9b088a&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter
  2. +snip+ U.S. President Donald Trump could veto pending legislation that would slap new sanctions on Russia in order to push for a tougher deal than the one winding through Congress, a top White House aide said on Thursday. "He may sign the sanctions exactly the way they are or he may veto the sanctions and negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians," White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci told CNN. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-sanctions-idUSKBN1AC1U8?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social
  3. A U.S.-trained Iraqi army division allegedly executed several dozen men in the final throes of the battle against Islamic State militants in Mosul's Old City, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday. The watchdog urged the U.S. government to suspend all support for the 16th Division of the Iraqi army pending an investigation into what it called war crimes, evidence of which was seen by two international observers. Reuters could not independently verify the claims because Iraqi authorities have restricted media access to the Old City since Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over Islamic State on July 10. Spokesmen for the Iraqi government and military could not be reached for comment. "Given the widespread abuses by Iraqi forces and the government’s abysmal record on accountability, the U.S. should take a hard look at its involvement with Iraqi forces," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-watch-idUSKBN1AC1L4?utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_content=5979ec0704d301366f467430&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter
  4. Wednesday afternoon, Alaska’s two Republican senators got surprising phone calls from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke insinuating that the Trump administration would punish the state should Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) continue to oppose Obamacare repeal efforts. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) told the Alaska Dispatch News about the discussion: "I'm not going to go into the details, but I fear that the strong economic growth, pro-energy, pro-mining, pro-jobs and personnel from Alaska who are part of those policies are going to stop," Sullivan said. "I tried to push back on behalf of all Alaskans. … We're facing some difficult times and there's a lot of enthusiasm for the policies that Secretary Zinke and the president have been talking about with regard to our economy. But the message was pretty clear," Sullivan said. The Interior secretary also contacted Murkowski, he said. Sullivan said the Interior secretary was clear that his message was in response to the no vote Murkowski cast Tuesday on the motion to proceed with debate on the House-passed health care legislation. Sullivan told the Alaska Dispatch News that Murkowski, who voted against the bill, received a similar call. President Trump has been publicly critical of Murkowski, who has so far refused to support Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/27/16049172/trump-zinke-alaska-obamacare-repeal
  5. https://twitter.com/AlArabiya_Eng/status/890527209705713664
  6. Qatar has turned down several requests by third-party traders to make fresh liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies available to Egypt, raising concerns that a diplomatic row between the countries may curb regional energy trade, sources said. Top LNG producer Qatar supplies around 60 percent of Egypt's LNG but relations suffered after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties and imposed sanctions on the gas-rich Gulf state last month, accusing it of supporting terrorism. Doha denies the charges. Since then, requests by at least two companies to ship additional LNG from Qatar to Egypt have been rejected without explanation, trade sources familiar with the talks have said. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-gulf-qatar-egypt-lng-idUSKBN1AB2J9
  7. Austria's chancellor says the European Union could "never, ever" digest the economic impact of Turkey joining, underlining his country's hard line against membership. Austria has been among Ankara's most outspoken critics in the 28-nation EU and argued for freezing membership talks with Turkey. Chancellor Christian Kern told Thursday's edition of German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that "it must be legitimate to say: 'You simply are not a membership candidate'." He added that Austria has advanced not only arguments about the state of Turkish democracy but also economic ones. Kern said: "In purely economic terms, Europe could never, ever digest Turkey's accession. How is that supposed to work?" He also said that "Turkey has crossed almost all red lines" on issues such as its treatment of journalists and lawmakers. https://www.yahoo.com/news/austrian-leader-eu-could-never-digest-turkey-joining-072255865.html
  8. EU doesn´t help own homeless people but some f**kers from nowhere. Shame! The European Commission offered 209 million euros ($245 million)in new emergency aid for Greece on Thursday to help refugees stranded in the country rent homes and pay for basics with a cash card. About 62,000 refugees and migrants, mainly Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis headed to northern Europe, have been stranded in Greece since European countries closed their borders in March last year. Most live in overcrowded camps on Greece's islands and across the mainland that are marred by dire conditions and violence. The scheme, announced with UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency, will provide 22,000 rented homes in cities and towns on mainland Greece and some 2,000 places on the islands. It will increase the number of refugees living in rented apartments in Greece up to 30,000 by the end of 2017, the Commission said. "Our new funding is a game changer on how we deliver aid to improve people's lives," Christos Stylianides, the EU's commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, said in a statement. "The aim of these new projects is to get refugees out of the camps and into everyday accommodation and help them have more secure and normal lives," he said. Part of the aid will go to providing refugees with a card with a set monthly cash allocation to help them pay for basic needs such as food, medicine and public transportation. Thursday's funding more than doubles the EU's emergency support to Greece to a total of 401 million euros. "Europe means solidarity and this is what today's decision is about," the EU's migration commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos said. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-greece-idUSKBN1AC17Z
  9. France will set up processing centres this summer in Libya for asylum seekers trying to reach Europe across the Mediterranean, President Emmanuel Macron announced Thursday. "The idea is to create hotspots to avoid people taking crazy risks when they are not all eligible for asylum. We'll go to them," he said during a visit to a refugee shelter in central France, adding the plan would be put in place "this summer". Macron's announcement came two days after he brokered talks in Paris between the leaders of the two rival authorities in war-torn Libya, who agreed to a conditional ceasefire. https://www.yahoo.com/news/france-conduct-asylum-seeker-checks-libya-macron-103207728.html
  10. +snip+ The Prime Ministry of Israel on Tuesday slammed Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his statements laying claim to the city of Jerusalem where tensions have recently risen between Palestinians and the Jewish state. "It is interesting what Erdogan would say to the residents of Northern Cyprus or the Kurds. Erdogan is the last person who can preach to Israel," Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement relayed by the Haaretz newspaper. http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/e68e704b-b916-474a-8dec-99cf1dc20066
  11. Referring to an anticipated visit by a Turkish delegation to Iraq, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced on Wednesday that the "imminent" withdrawal of Turkish troops stationed in Iraq. "A Turkish delegation will soon visit Iraq to discuss arrangements for the removal of Turkish forces in Iraq," Abadi said. Roughly 2,000 Turkish troops are currently in northern Iraq. In 2015, Turkey established a base in the town of Bashiqa near Mosul, where they trained Sunni Muslim and Kurdish Peshmerga units in preparations for the battle to liberate Mosul. At the beginning of the offensive in Oct. 2016, Turkey declared it would keep its troops in Iraq "until the Islamic State (IS) was expelled" from its stronghold of Mosul despite calls from other nations to withdraw their forces. “Turkey’s presence in the Bashiqa camp will remain until Mosul is rid of Daesh," then-Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told the state-run Anadolu Agency, using an acronym for IS. "Whoever the Mosul population is, Arabs or Turkmen, they have lived together for centuries and will continue to do so. If you change the ethnic structure here, the people there will not allow it. This is our perspective as Turkey. Turkey’s force in the region cannot be questioned," he said, hinting at concerns related to the presence of Kurdish and Shia forces in the area. In Jan. 2017, Abadi met with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to discuss the withdrawal of the Turkish units. “We will not accept anything other than the complete withdrawal of the Turkish troops in the Bashiqa base,” he said, stating that “the sovereignty of Iraq is non-negotiable.” http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/8d1c0a10-3277-42d4-9130-e74ea039972f
  12. US Senator Jack Reed was accidentally recorded telling Senator Susan Collins that President Donald Trump “is crazy” while the two lawmakers discussed the federal budget and Trump's lack of familiarity with the details of governing. Someone sitting near Collins, a Republican from Maine, didn’t switch off a microphone near her at the end of a Senate subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post.
  13. I think he´s gone, but he doesn´t know yet
  14. +snip+ US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has denied rumors about his possible resignation, saying he will keep the job as long as President Donald Trump wants him to. "I'm not going anywhere," Tillerson said during a photo op with Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Wednesday. Asked how long he was going to stay, he firmly said, "As long as the president lets me." The rumors of a pending “Rexit” were first spread around by CNN last week, when the network cited sources out of the White House in claiming that the top US diplomat was frustrated with Trump’s different viewpoints on important foreign policy matters. The difference of opinion has been most evident in Trump and Tillerson’s views on the ongoing diplomatic fallout between the Saudi Arabia and Qatar. While Tillerson has been openly defending Qatar in the diplomatic crisis, Trump has backed claims by Riyadh and its allies that Doha supports terrorism and wants to destabilize the region. Besides policy differences, the CNN wrote, Tillerson was fed up with Trump’s recent attacks against US Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump is mad at the attorney general over his recusal of a high-profile investigation into the president and his associates’ possible “collusion” with Russia. http://presstv.ir/Detail/2017/07/27/529821/US-Tillerson-resignation-Trump-Sessions
  15. +snip+ The jobs of Sweden's defense and interior ministers were on the line Thursday over a huge leak of sensitive data that has rocked the fragile center-left government. Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist and Interior Minister Anders Ygeman face claims that they knew the leak from the national transport agency had made the private data of millions of citizens accessible abroad but had failed to inform Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. Ahead of a press conference by Lofven at 0830 GMT, Infrastructure Minister Anna Johansson was also coming under pressure in the media for her role in the scandal, though she has insisted she found out about the leak only later. The scandal has blown up in recent weeks after it emerged that an entire database on Swedish drivers' licenses was made available to technicians in the Czech Republic and Romania, with media reporting that the identities of intelligence agents may have been jeopardized. The Swedish military also said information on its personnel, vehicles, and defense and contingency planning could have been included in the leak, although the transport agency denied having a register on military vehicles and said there was no indication the data had been "spread in an improper way." The leak stems from the transport agency's hiring of IBM in 2015 to take over its IT operations. IBM in turn used subcontractors in the Czech Republic and Romania — making the sensitive information accessible by foreign technicians who did not have security clearance. http://presstv.ir/Detail/2017/07/27/529831/Sweden-ministers-Peter-Hultqvist
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