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US restores some aid to El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala

US restores some aid to El Salvador, Honduras, GuatemalaThe Trump administration said Monday it is easing previously announced cuts in hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Central American nations of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala but will not allow new funding until those countries do more to reduce migrant flows to the United States. The State Department said that after a review of more than $615 million in assistance that President Donald Trump ordered in March to be cut entirely, it would go ahead with $432 million in projects and grants that had been previously approved.

Mon, 17 Jun 2019 19:22:38 -0400
Death toll from China quakes rises to 11

Death toll from China quakes rises to 11BEIJING/SHANGHAI, June 18 (Reuters) - The death toll from two strong earthquakes in China rose to 11 on Tuesday, with 122 people injured, state media said, adding that rescuers pulled some survivors from rubble in a part of the country that often suffers strong tremors. The quakes, roughly 30 minutes apart, hit the southwestern province of Sichuan late on Monday, with shaking felt in key regional cities, such as the provincial capital of Chengdu and the metropolis of Chongqing. People rushed into the streets and cracks were left in some buildings by the quakes, pictures posted on the social media accounts of state media showed.

Mon, 17 Jun 2019 20:07:13 -0400
China earthquake kills 13, injures 199

China earthquake kills 13, injures 199The toll from a strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake in southwest China rose to 13 dead and 199 injured on Tuesday as rescuers pulled bodies and survivors from wrecked buildings. More than 8,000 people were relocated as a large number of structures were damaged or collapsed after the quake struck late Monday near Yibin, in Sichuan province, according to the city government. Other images were of a woman being helped out of another collapsed structure.

Tue, 18 Jun 2019 10:49:28 -0400
McConnell on Jon Stewart: 'I don't know why he's all bent out of shape' over 9/11 victims' fund

McConnell on Jon Stewart: 'I don't know why he's all bent out of shape' over 9/11 victims' fundThe Senate majority leader says he cant understand why the former Daily Show host is angry over the handling of health care funding for 9/11 victims.

Mon, 17 Jun 2019 11:23:09 -0400
Daring maneuver brings NASAs orbiter closer to an asteroid than ever before

Daring maneuver brings NASAs orbiter closer to an asteroid than ever beforeNASA's OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has been orbiting the space rock known as Bennu since the start of the year. It caught up with the asteroid in late December of 2018 and successfully inserted itself into orbit around the object around New Year's day. There have been several "firsts" along the way, but its latest maneuver is the most daring yet, and it allowed the spacecraft to break yet another record.A recent tweak to its orbit has brought the probe to an orbit of just 680 meters, or around 2,230 feet from the asteroid's surface. This is now the closest that any manmade spacecraft has orbited any planetary body.It's a stellar achievement for NASA, but it's worth noting that the previous record was actually already held by the OSIRIS-REx probe. What NASA did was break its own record and set itself even farther ahead from any competition to come in the future.This new orbit, which the research team calls the Orbital B phase, will give scientists a better understanding of the asteroid's surface and hopefully allow NASA to choose a suitable location where the probe can briefly snag a sample of its material.Actually pulling off such a daring maneuver will be incredibly risky, and nobody is quite sure if the spacecraft can make it happen. This is due in large part to the incredibly messy surface of Bennu, which surprised scientists when they got their first close look. The asteroid's surface is littered with debris ranging from tiny pebbles to massive boulders, and the spacecraft's handlers now have to find the safest place on the rock from which to gather a sample.Assuming it pulls off the sample grab, the probe will then leave Bennu and return to Earth with the sample material stowed safely for scientists on Earth to examine.

Mon, 17 Jun 2019 11:44:30 -0400
US sending 1,000 more troops to Middle East as Pentagon releases new images of tanker attacks

US sending 1,000 more troops to Middle East as Pentagon releases new images of tanker attacksThe US is sendingabout 1,000 more troops to the Middle East amid tensions over a series ofattacks on oil tankers and with the country's nuclear agreement on the brink of collapse. Patrick Shanahan,Acting USDefence Secretary, announced the deployment on Monday, explaining the move was for "defensive purposes," citing concerns about a threat from Iran. The US has accused Iran of attacking six oil ships in the Gulf of Oman over the last month. Iran denies responsibility. "The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behaviour by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region," Mr Shanahan said in a statement. The series of mysterious attacks on oil tankers have been blamed by the US onIranian-laid limpetmines.The Pentagon on Monday released new photos intended to bolster its case thatIranwas responsible for the attacks. This photo shows what the Navy says are members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy removing an unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous Credit: AP Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which the USsuspects in the attacks, answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and operates outside of the traditional military's control. GenMohammad Hossein Bagheri, the chief of the general staff ofIran's armed forces, denied Tehran was involved in the tanker attacks, saying on Monday the country only would respond in "an open, strong and severe way" if needed. But he also reiteratedIran's traditional stance on the Strait of Hormuz. "If we decide to block the Strait of Hormuz, we will to do it in a way that even a drop of oil won't pass the strait," Bagheri added. Compounding concernsin the region, the Iran nuclear agreement is in danger of collapsing by the end of the month after Iran said it would breach the agreement on June 27 unless Europe finds a way to get around US sanctions and bolster Irans faltering economy. U.S. Pentagon in Washington releases handout imagery that it says shows damage from mines to commercial ships in Gulf of Oman Credit: Reuters One year after Donald Trump pulled the US out of the nuclear deal, Iran said on Monday that in ten days it will blow past the limits on enriched uranium that it consented to in the 2015 agreement. The ultimatum from Tehran is likely to trigger a diplomatic scramble by European powers to save the unravelling nuclear deal and force Britain, France, and Germany to consider whether they will sanction Iran if it openly breaks the accord. European officials said there appeared to be little hope of reaching a compromise before the Iranian deadline. If [the European states] had any cards, I think they would have played them by now, one diplomat said. If the deal does collapse it will plunge the world back into the uncertainty of the early 2010s, when Iran was amassing material that could be used for a nuclear weapon while Israel and the US threatened strikes on Irans nuclear facilities to stop its progress. Under the 2015 agreement Iran was able to hold up to 300kg of low grade uranium. The countrys atomic energy agency said Monday that on June 27 it would exceed that limit, a potentially serious violation of the agreement. "Today the countdown to pass the 300kg reserve of enriched uranium has started and in 10 days time we will pass this limit," said Behrouz Kamalvandi, a spokesman for the atomic agency. A U.S. military image shows what the Pentagon says is a handprint from an individual who removed an unexploded limpet mine from the side of the motor vessel M/T Kokuka Courageous Credit: Reuters Iran also threatened to resume enrichment of high-grade uranium, the kind that could eventually be used for a nuclear weapon. It did not set a precise date for when it would resume such enrichment, which would also breach the nuclear deal. Hassan Rouhani, Irans president, said there was still time to save the nuclear agreement if Europe stepped up its support for Irans economy before the end of the month. "It's a crucial moment, Mr Rouhani told the French ambassador in Tehran. France can still work with other signatories of the deal and play an historic role to save the deal in this very short time. Britain, France, and Germany have been trying to assuage Iran for months with a promise of setting up a special financial mechanism designed to let European firms trade with Iran without being hit by sanctions. But the financial mechanism, known as Instex, has so far shown little promise and many European firms are wary of doing anything that could lead to US sanctions. Gulf of Oman, US responds Benjamin Netanyahu, Israels prime minister and a leading critic of the nuclear deal, said the international community should immediately impose new sanctions on Iran if it carried out its threat to breach the deal. Mr Netanyahu came close to ordering strikes on Irans nuclear facilities in 2011 but held off largely because of concerns that Barack Obama, then president, would not support an Israeli attack. His calculations may be different under Mr Trump, who has been more supportive of Israel and more confrontational with Iran. Israeli officials said they were committed to stopping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and would attack if necessary to achieve that objective. The nuclear deal includes a snapback clause that could, if there was backing from the UN Security Council, re-impose sanctions on Iran, if it was found to have violated the agreement. Iran continues to deny it was behind the second spate of attacks on tankers passing through the Strait of Hormuz Credit: US Department of Defense Federica Mogherini, the EUs foreign affairs chief was asked about the EUs red line for the nuclear deal snapback. She said the EU hoped and expected Iran to comply with its commitments. I will not elaborate on what happens if and when because at the moment, as of today, Iranis still compliant," she said after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. During the last year it has been increasingly difficult for all to keep the nuclear deal fully implemented," she added,"Our focus is not to enter into a blame game. Our focus is to keep our agreement in place." Hassan Rouhani, Iran's president, has demanded Europe do more to help Iran's economy Credit: REUTERS/Mukhtar Kholdorbekov A UK spokesman said, The E3 [of UK, France and Germany] has consistently made clear that there can be no reduction in compliance. For now Iran remains within its nuclear commitments. We are coordinating with E3 partners on next steps. Iran announced later on Monday that it had arrested several people in Tehran who it said were CIA operatives. Mojtaba Zolnour, the head of Irans nuclear parliamentary committee, also warned that Iran could pull out of a global treaty designed to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. Mr Zolnour said that Iran could withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty, under which it agreed not to seek nuclear weapons. Iran has always claimed it has no intention of ever building a nuclear bomb but Israel and other states have accused it of secretly developing a nuclear weapons programme. Want the best ofThe Telegraphdirect to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-dailyFront Page newsletterand newaudio briefings.

Mon, 17 Jun 2019 19:06:16 -0400
Could GM Bring Hummer Back as an Electric SUV Brand?

Could GM Bring Hummer Back as an Electric SUV Brand?Reports are swirling about the revival of the military-inspired SUVs.

Tue, 18 Jun 2019 11:48:00 -0400
600 people on Monsanto 'watch lists' in Germany, France: Bayer

600 people on Monsanto 'watch lists' in Germany, France: BayerUS seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto kept lists of around 600 key pro- and anti-pesticides figures in Germany and France alone, its German parent company Bayer said Monday amid a widening probe. Bayer has admitted the lists covered politicians, journalists and others across seven European countries and in Brussels. "Update on Monsanto stakeholder lists: until the end of last week, the firm hired by Bayer contacted all the people on the German and French lists," Bayer's press department tweeted.

Mon, 17 Jun 2019 09:12:52 -0400
The Latest: Trump says Florida re-election rally will rock

The Latest: Trump says Florida re-election rally will rockTrump says his re-election launch will be a political spectacle. Opponents are launching their protests at a gay bar in Orlando. President Donald Trump is set to kick off his re-election campaign with a rally Tuesday night in Orlando, Florida.

Tue, 18 Jun 2019 08:35:30 -0400
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