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Germany honors resisters who tried to assassinate Hitler

Germany honors resisters who tried to assassinate HitlerGermany is marking the 75th anniversary of the most famous plot to kill Adolf Hitler, honoring those who resisted the Nazis who were stigmatized for decades as traitors as pillars of the country's modern democracy amid growing concerns about the resurgence of the far-right. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who will speak Saturday at an annual swearing-in ceremony for some 400 troops before addressing a memorial event, paid tribute ahead of the anniversary to executed plot leader Col. Claus von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators and highlighted their importance to modern Germany. Von Stauffenberg tried to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb on July 20, 1944, during a meeting at his headquarters in East Prussia.

Fri, 19 Jul 2019 02:28:35 -0400
Gulf tensions rise as US downs Iranian drone

Gulf tensions rise as US downs Iranian droneTensions in the Gulf region mounted Thursday as US President Donald Trump said an Iranian drone was destroyed after threatening an American naval vessel at the entrance of the Strait of Hormuz. It was the first US military engagement with Iran following a series of increasingly serious incidents. The drone was "immediately destroyed" after it approached within 1,000 yards (914 meters) of the Boxer, Trump said.

Fri, 19 Jul 2019 02:10:12 -0400
Trump's been hating on America. Is it time for him to leave?

Trump's been hating on America. Is it time for him to leave?The president says if Democratic congresswomen criticize the US, they should go elsewhere. But mocking America is one of his own favorite pastimesAt a campaign rally in North Carolina last night, the presidents attacks against four progressive congresswomen of color culminated in his most overt attack yet. Referring to Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib as hate-filled extremists, he continued his tirade to the delight of his supporters.Theyre always telling us how to run it, how to do this, how to do that. You know what? If they dont love it, tell em to leave it, Trump said to the crowd, who soon erupted into a chant of send her back.The chant was in reference to Omar, who came to the United States from Somalia as a refugee at eight years old.The idea that Trump and his supporters on the right are employing here is that criticizing certain aspects of the country, and proposing ways in which it could be better, as the four congresswomen have done, is tantamount to a hatred of America.Yet Trump himself has repeatedly denigrated and criticized America, perhaps more so than any other presidential candidate in recent memory. If he holds himself to his own standards, perhaps its time for him to leave and go back home?Here are some examples of Trumps attacks on the US. Make America great againA longtime critic of Obama, Trump has said he came upon his famed slogan the day his predecessor was elected to his second term. The Maga slogan implied that America was no longer great, something he also repeatedly and explicitly stated in much starker terms in the years before and during his run. Speaking to the Washington Post in 2017, he said:&> I looked at the many types of illness our country had, and whether its at the border, whether its security, whether its law and order or lack of law and order. Crippled AmericaTrumps 2015 book, Crippled America, was rife with critical quotes, referring to the country as this mess and Uncle Sucker, among other things, and took great pains to point out just how weak we had become.&> The idea of American Greatness, of our country as the leader of the free and unfree world, has vanished ... I couldnt stand to see what was happening to our great country. This mess calls for leadership in the worst way. American carnageOn the day he took office in 2017, Trump painted a picture of America as a dystopian nightmare.&> Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.&> &> This American carnage stops right here and stops right now. Laughing stockThe idea that criticizing the country is grounds for being dismissed from it would be news to the Donald Trump of the Obama years, when he described our collective humiliation many dozens of times.Stretching back to 2011, he regularly tweeted about which countries and other political bodies were laughing at us and Obama, from Opec to the mullahs, Sudan, and, most frequently, China and Vladimir Putin.&> US Gov't is on the hook for more than a third of the world's entire debt & we wonder why China & OPEC are laughing all the way to the bank!&> &> Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2012&> Thanks to @BarackObama rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, China has become Canada's biggest oil consumer. China is laughing at us!&> &> Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2012&> Lets fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us.&> &> Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2012 Lots of killersWhen asked during an interview with Bill OReilly in 2017 about his praise for Putin, Trump said America wasnt much better. But was Putin was a killer, OReilly said. Trump replied:&> There are a lot of killers. You think our countrys so innocent? InfrastructureTrump has not only often referred to the symbolic collapse of America, hes also pointed out its literal state of disrepair. His speech to the 2016 Republican national convention was a laundry list of things that he found shameful about the country, including our infrastructure. He told the crowd:&> Our roads and bridges are falling apart, our airports are in third-world condition.

Fri, 19 Jul 2019 02:00:50 -0400
Apollo 11: The inside story from rivalry between the astronauts to Buzz Aldrin's secret tragedy

Apollo 11: The inside story from rivalry between the astronauts to Buzz Aldrin's secret tragedyFifty years ago, Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. Here, Robert Stone and Alan Andrestellthe story of a journey that changed the world It was a glorious New York tradition, which originated at the end of the 19th century with the dedication of the Statue of Liberty. Since then Manhattan had held more than 160ticker-tape parades to celebrate visits from kings, queens, generals, sports heroes, explorers, and aviators. When the astronauts of Apollo 8 [the first mission to take humans to the vicinity of the moon] arrived in the city in early January 1969, there was no question: a ticker-tape parade was obligatory. More than 200 tons of confetti and scrap paper were transformed into a chaotic celebratory blizzard by the force of the bitter January winds rushing down the canyon of SixthAvenue. [The astronauts] Frank Borman, Jim Lovell,and Bill Anders smiled and waved at the hundreds of thousands of well-wishers. When the motorcade crossed on to Broadway, [they] noticed that the avenues signs had been changed to read Apollo Way. At precisely the same moment, journalists were gathering in an auditorium in Houston to meet another Apollo crew. Here there were no celebrations or marching bands. Instead, Nasa was introducing the newly named crew of what was expected to be the first mission to attempt a landing on the moon in just six months. Space fever started in early 1969 with a ticker-tape parade in New York to celebrate the Apollo 8 astronauts the first to reach the vicinity of the moon Credit: GETTY IMAGES Unlike the Apollo 8 crew, the Apollo 11 crew Neil Armstrong, the commander; Buzz Aldrin, the lunar-module pilot; and Michael Collins, the command-module pilot who would remain in orbit above the moon as the lunar module [known as Eagle] attempted its landing were fairly reserved when appearing in public. A perfectionist, Armstrong personified the disciplined,conscientious test pilot. His calm, soft-spoken style was the antithesis of the macho jet-jockey stereotype. Still, Armstrongs jet combat experience during the Korean War, while flying the experimental X-15 rocket plane [was] legendary. Ambitious and brilliant, Aldrin was a [strong] choice to serve as the lunar-module pilot. His intense personality was nearly the opposite of Armstrongs, whose deceptive lack of ego could make him disappear in a crowd. The lift-off of Saturn V, which propelled Apollo 11 from Earth, 16 July 1969 Credit: NASA During the Houston press conference, Aldrin revealed that his late mothers maiden name was Marion Moon. However, [he had] a sad secret. His mothers death the previous year had been the result of an overdose of sleeping pills, and he blamed himself for her suicide. She had struggled with depression in the past, and as attention surrounding her famous son increased, so did her anxiety, which proved overwhelming. Despite their contrasting temperaments Armstrong deceptively affectless and placid, Aldrin intense and focused both were as competitive as the other alpha-male astronauts. The Apollo 11 astronauts: Buzz Aldrin (left), Michael Collins (top) and Neil Armstrong (right), photographed with their wives and children Credit: GETTY IMAGES From the gallery of journalists came the inevitable question: Which one of you gentlemen will be the first man to step on the lunar surface? Aldrin had begun training for the lunar extravehicularactivity and had reason to assume that, as the lunar-module pilot, he would be the first to set foot on the moon, with Armstrong following him 40 minutes later. However, whenArmstrong answered the question, he revealed, uncomfortably, The current plan calls for one astronaut to be on the surface for approximately three-quarters of an hour prior to the second mans emergence. Now, which person is which has not been decided up to this point. Aldrin also left open the question of who would be first man. Outwardly, neither man showed much emotion about thematter. But the tension in the room did not go unnoticed. A solution arose out of practical necessity. The designers of the lunar module had placed the hinge of the square exit door on its right side. When the door opened inward, the lunar-module pilots movement within the spacecrafts cramped interior was confined; only the commander, on the left side of the cabin, had sufficient room to exit. Therefore, the commander would have to exit first and reenter last. Aldrin was disappointed but professionally stoic whenever the issue was discussed. Neil Armstrongs shadow on the surface of the moon Credit: NASA Although he received slightly less attention than his crewmates, Michael Collins [was] more socially at ease than they were. [He] possessed an observant eye and an understated wit. Collins described the Apollo 11 crew as amiable strangers, in contrast to other crews like Apollo 8, who bonded far more easily. For Collins, the unique personal challenges were of an entirely different sort. By remaining in the command module [known as Columbia] in orbit above the moon while his crewmates were on the surface, he would experience a form of solitude unknown to any [other] human being. During 47 minutes of each lunar orbit, Collins would be cut off from all communication and any sign of life. On one side of the moon would be the Earth, with its three billion inhabitants as well as Armstrong and Aldrin. On the other side would be Collins, entirely alone. Many camped out on beaches and roads close to the Kennedy Space Center before the launch Credit: NASA Apollo 11s chosen landing site was a relatively leveland smooth area in the Sea of Tranquillity, near the lunar equator. Should the moonwalk proceed as planned, the Apollo 11 crew would deploy a small array of scientificexperiments, including a seismometer, a device to measure the solar wind, and an optical reflector. It was hoped the latter would aid in determining the precise distance between the Earth and moon within an accuracy of about 3cm by using a laser beam sent from an Earth observatory station. In early spring, Nasa convened a Committee on Symbolic Articles Related to the First Lunar Landing [which] resolved that nothing during the lunar landing should suggest the United States was laying claim to the moons sovereignty. The State Department endorsed the idea of displaying the flagof the United Nations, a proposal that was immediately rejected by the Nixon White House. As a compromise, the committee recommended that the American flag be planted in the lunar soil and that the achievements larger humancontext would be conveyed by the unveiling of a commemorative plaque with a text that would be read aloud during the first moonwalk. The committee would not make any recommendations about one aspect of the mission that was increasingly invested with suspense: what Armstrong should say when taking his first step on another world. The Saturn V rocket prepares to launch Apollo 11 into space Credit: NASA Armstrong was admired for his emotional stability, lack of ego, and ability to make split-second decisions when under pressure. However, among his peers, he was one of the least compelling public speakers. He would now be placed in a situation that had already been imagined by scores of writers, filmmakers and illustrators. Esquire magazine commissioned a cover story that asked, What words should the first man on the moon utter that will ring through the ages? When questioned about it in early July, Armstrong grinned and merely said he hadnt given [the words] any consideration. In fact, one story indicates that, contrary to what he attested, he did do some advance preparation. Armstrongs brother, Dean, recalls that during a lull in a board game they were playing a few weeks before the launch, Neil handed his brother a piece of paper on which he had written a few words. He didnt explain the context, but none was necessary. Dean Armstrong sensed his brother wanted some feedback. He responded with one word: Fabulous. Primed and ready at the Launch Control Center, Nasa Kennedy Space Center Credit: GETTY IMAGES On the morning of Wednesday 16 July 1969, a fewjournalists assembled near the exit door of theKennedy Space Centers Operations Building before sunrise to catch a glimpse of Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins as they boarded the white transport van that would drive them to the launchpad. When the trio exited the building, carrying their suitcase-size portable air-conditioning and ventilation units, they waved to the small crowd. One eyewitness compared it to watching Columbus sail out of port. An hour before launch, recognisable faces [began] arriving at the space centre. Vice President Spiro Agnew arrived with a contingent from the White House. Since on orders from the Apollo flight surgeon, President Nixon had been prevented from dining with the astronauts the evening before the launch, he remained at the White House, where he prepared to watch the TV coverage with [Apollo 8s] Frank Borman, and made plans to greet the crew on their return. We have a lift-off: 8.32am (EST), 16 July 1969 Credit: NASA The television cameras followed the arrival of former president Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson.The immediate suspense was heightening as the steady voice of Cape Canaverals veteran public-affairs announcer Jack King chronicled each moment of the countdown. Twelve, eleven, ten, nine, ignition sequence start. Six, five, four, three, two, one, zero. Though his voice remained calm, the emotion of the moment affected Kings delivery, and he could be heard slightly stumbling his words as he said, All engine run-ning. Quickly recovering his composure, he continued, Lift-off! We have a lift-off, 32 minutes past the hour. Lift-off on Apollo 11. A wave of bodies rose to their feet, as everyone strained to get a better view and position their snapshot and 8mm movie cameras. Lady Bird Johnson beamed under a plastic cowboy hat. To her left, her husband watched the slow progress of the Saturn V. Former president Lyndon Johnson and Vice President Spiro Agnew watch as Apollo 11 is blasted into the sky Credit: NASA A few seconds after the billowing clouds at the base of the pad and the brilliant flame of the Saturns engines became visible, the observers heard a rolling and overpowering roar. With it came a buffeting concussive shock wave of pressure that could be felt through the ground and in the air pushing against their chests and eardrums. The violent controlled combustion needed to lift6.5 million pounds away from the force of the Earths gravity was an unequalled engineering achievement and remains unequalled half a century later. The spacesuit | Apollo 11 By late morning of Apollo 11s fourth day, the crew had been in lunar orbit for nearly 24 hours. Armstrong and Aldrin had checked out all systems on the lunar module Eagle and were preparing to separate it from the Columbia module. It was 20 July. Not long after Armstrong and Aldrin in the Eagle and Collins in Columbia reported that they had successfully undocked, the two spacecraft disappeared into radio silence as their orbits took them around the moons far side. In Houston, those in Mission Control knew that one of three possible scenarios could play out within the next 90 minutes. The lunar module would either crash, abort the landing attempt, or successfully touch down on the lunar surface. [Nasas second chief flight director] Gene Kranz addressed the White House team over a private audio channel. The hopes and the dreams of the entire world are with us. This is our time and our place, and we will remember this day and what we will do here always. Despite months of planning, the landing sequence contained hundreds of unknowns that could compromise the mission. Amid the curt audio communications peppered with technical acronyms, Armstrong and Aldrin offered few signs that revealed what they were feeling. Their voices remained alert and focused. Suddenly, in the midst of the data-filled transmissions, both Armstrong and Aldrin called attention to a computer-program alarm unknown to them. The Moon Landing (article) There was a sudden atypical urgency in Armstrongs voice as he mentioned it and then followed with a request to Mission Control for an explanation. It was a moment of added suspense that no one had expected. Had the alarm occurred during a practise simulation on the ground, a landing abort would likely have resulted. But the first powered descent to the lunar surface 239,000 miles from home was a rather different situation. Armstrong was determined to land successfully. His instincts proved right. The alarm had been caused by an unintended information-overflow problem in the lunar modules guidance system. Apollo 11 commander Armstrong leads the way from the Kennedy Space Center to the launchpad Credit: getty images Armstrongs attention soon turned to a bigger concern: the available fuel for the descent engine was running low as Eagle approached the moons surface. He had a good idea of his height as he came in for the landing, but he needed to find a safe location. There were more large craters than hed expected. His view of the surface was also becoming obscured as a mist of lunar-dust particles was agitated by the descent engines exhaust plume. Armstrong hovered above the moons surface while gently manoeuvring the lunar module to find the best landing spot. More than a half minute passed beyond the projected touchdown time. The descent engines fuel was running dangerously low, with only a few seconds of propellant remaining. In Houston there was still no word whether they had landed. Contact light, Aldrin announced. A moment later Armstrong responded, Shutdown. Armstrong later said he neither saw the contact light illuminate nor heard Aldrin announce it. The landing was so smooth, Armstrong couldnt even tell the precise moment when they were on the surface. This was the climax of the mission, in Armstrongs mind. The first step and moonwalk to come a few hours later were secondary. Then from the moon came the official word as Armstrong announced, Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. Aldrin prepares to take his first step on the moon Credit: NASA In New Yorks Central Park, a crowd had gathered to watch the moonwalk broadcast on a large screen. Unfortunately it was beginning to rain, and preparations and depressurising the lunar modules cabin took far longer than expected. Movement inside the small cabin while wearing the stiffened pressure suits and large backpack life-support units was proving cumbersome. Rather than 9pm, it was a little after 10.30pm when the door of the lunar module was pulled inward to open. [The] spectral, shadowy images [broadcast on televisions around the world came] from a small Westinghouse television camera, which Armstrong had deployed by pulling a release mechanism as he inched feet-first out of the lunar module. Aldrin poses beside the US flag, which was reinforced with metal so it appears to fly on the windless lunar surface Credit: NASA The television camera had been added to the lander very late in its development, and only after [Nasas assistant administrator of public affairs] Julian Scheer had learnt that the only broadcast camera scheduled to fly to the moon was the one designed exclusively for the command module. The picture was ghostly, but Armstrong could be seen descending the ladder of the lunar module. From a position at the bottom of the landers footpad, Armstrong provided an initial report. The surface appears to be very, very fine grained Its almost like a powder. And then, after an extended pause, Armstrong delivered the words for which he will be forever known: Thats one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. Aldrin deploys two components of the Early Apollo Scientific Experiments Package Credit: NASA Armstrongs training for that first step included one bizarre precaution for a wildly unlikely scenario. Some lunar scientists theorised that the moons surface might be combustible and that when Armstrongs boot came into contact with the lunar soil, it could set off a reaction. Everyone thought the chances of this occurring highly remote, but to be safe Armstrong was advised to touch the heel of his boot gently upon the lunar surface when extending his initial step. After taking a few more steps and bending his knees in the suit, Armstrong reported that he was experiencing no trouble walking or moving around. His initial tasks before Aldrin joined him were to obtain a soil sample and take some photographs. After the sample was placed in a pouch attached to his leg, Armstrong took a panorama of the barren, flat landscape. He reported that he found it starkly beautiful, not unlike the high desert of California. Its different, but its very pretty out here. Aldrins reaction when he joined Armstrong on the lunar surface was Magnificent desolation. Earth photographed from the surface of the moon Credit: NASA The harsh sunlight was coming from an angle 14 degrees above the horizon, this being a lunar morning, which would last longer than an entire Earth day. The relatively low angle of the sun also meant the lunar surface hadnt yet reached the maximum temperature of 127C. Armstrong and Aldrins first ceremonial task was to remove a protective metal cover from the memorial plaque. Scheer had drafted the initial text, but [a] White House speechwriter had insisted on adding A.D. (Anno Domini) after July 1969 so as to subtly acknowledge God. The final plaque read: Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon July 1969, a.d. we came in peace for all mankind. When, shortly after landing on the lunar surface, Aldrin had requested that every person listening in pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way, few were aware he was in the process of taking communion with a small bit of bread, a plastic vial of wine and a silver chalice. A second silent religious observance during the moonwalk may have occurred as well. Film-maker Theo Kamecke spoke with Neil Armstrongs grandmother shortly after the moon landing. Neil made me a promise, she told him. He promised the first thing he would do when he stepped on the moon was to say a prayer. Kamecke concluded that this explained Armstrongs unusually long pause when he stepped off the lunar module; he was saying a silent prayer just between him and the universe. Joan Aldrin, centre, applauds her husbands arrival back to Earth as she watches TV coverage Credit: GETTY IMAGES It was estimated that when Armstrong and Aldrin unveiled the plaque, one-fifth of the worlds population 600 million people was watching. After mounting the small Westinghouse camera on a tripod to offer a long shot of their working area in front of the lunar module, Aldrin decided to give viewers a spontaneous demonstration. First he walked at a regular pace, then he tried a kangaroo hop; he followed that with a manoeuvre in which he moved rapidly and then attempted to change direction by countering his momentum, putting his foot out to the side and making a cutting motion, which he likened to a football player dodging down a field. Never forgetting the small television camera watching him, Aldrin made an effort to remain within the lenss field of view. It turned out to be one of the highlights of the moonwalk. President Richard Nixon speaks on the phone to Armstrong from the White House Credit: NASA Before Armstrong and Aldrin deployed a small array of scientific instruments, there were two other ceremonial duties to perform. The first was the erection of the American flag, which had been outfitted with a simple metallic support to fully display it in the windless lunar environment. The second was a live telephone call from President Richard Nixon in the White House, [which he] described as the most historic telephone call ever to be made from the White House. As you talk to us from the Sea of Tranquillity, Nixon said, it inspires us to redouble our efforts to bring peace and tranquillity to Earth. For one priceless moment, in the whole history of man, all the people on this Earth are truly one one in their pride in what you have done, and one in our prayers that you will return safely to Earth. Now all attention was focused on the lunar modules powered ascent from the surface, a procedure that had never been attempted, even by an automated spacecraft. There existed no contingency backup should the lunar modules ascent engine fail to operate properly. If it didnt work, Collins would be forced to return alone. At the New York Daily News, a typesetter had already prepared a special disaster edition of the paper if the astronauts were stranded on the moon. It was a stark front page with a one-word headline: Marooned! Fortunately, Eagles launch countdown proceeded flawlessly. The ascent engine worked perfectly, and the subsequent rendezvous and docking with the command module in lunar orbit [were] almost routine. All that remained was leaving lunar orbit and re-entry. Eight months earlier, the idea of executing both of these procedures had been fraught with suspense. Now, compared to what had just been accomplished, they seemed business as usual. Armstrong (right), Aldrin and Collins inside the quarantine vehicle where they stayed for 21 days Credit: GETTY IMAGES Minutes after Columbias successful splashdown, the trio was required to don biological isolationgarments, and the men were then helicoptered [to] a specially prepared sealed living area constructed from a converted Airstream trailer. This would serve as a temporary quarantine facility until their return to Houston where they would spend the remainder of a planned 21-day period of isolation. All these precautions stemmed from the remote possibility that the astronauts could return with an unknown contagion. When Nixon finally came face-to-face with the Apollo 11 crew, they looked at one another through a small plate-glass window and relied on microphones and speakers. Standing outside the trailer, Nixon awkwardly engaged in small talk about baseballs All-Star Game before pronouncing the recent events, the greatest week in the history of the world since the creation. Nixon was as intoxicated by the moon landing as much of the world He invited the crew to be honoured with the largest presidential state dinner ever planned. Aldrin, Collins and Armstrong wave to the crowds from an open-top car during the New York parade Credit: GETTY IMAGES The Dinner of the Century, as the Los Angeles event a month later was nicknamed, was conceived as both a national patriotic observance and a television spectacular. Massive ticker-tape parades in New York and Chicago had greeted the astronauts [before] they flew to the West Coast for the event. A long calendar of tributes, parades, formal dinners and award ceremonies continued as the three men undertook an exhausting 37-day round-the-world Giant Leap Goodwill Tour. Apollo demonstrated to the world that not only was itpossible to dream the impossible dream, but it wasachievable. While the world of the late 1960s was rife withturmoil and division, a better future seemed certain. Abridged extract from Chasing the Moon: The Story of the Space Race from Arthur C Clarke to the Moon Landings, by Robert Stone and Alan Andres (William Collins, 20). To order your copyfor the discounted price of 16.99, visit books.telegraph.co.uk

Fri, 19 Jul 2019 02:00:00 -0400
Brussels Edition: Nothing Is Free

Brussels Edition: Nothing Is Free(Bloomberg) -- Welcome to the Brussels Edition, Bloombergs daily briefing on what matters most in the heart of the European Union. Sign up here to get it in your inbox every weekday morning.Theres no such thing as free access. Thats the message prepared by the European Commission for the new British premierin a paper to be presented later this month. The U.K. should expect a rigorous assessment of its regulations before its banks will be allowed to do business in theEU after Brexit, according to the draft document. Meanwhile, members of Britains Parliament moved to stop the next prime minister forcing the country out of the bloc without an agreement. Its a clear warning to Boris Johnson, the favorite to succeed Theresa May next week, that he will have a fight on his hands if he tries to deliver a no-deal Brexit.Whats HappeningSaving Trade | The EU also has a message for Donald Trump: Its workingwith Canadaon a solution to preserve the global commercial order in the face of the U.S. presidents onslaught threatening the very existence of the World Trade Organization. Europes Donald also made thepointthatracist remarks are not O.K.Italian Instability |Matteo Salvini, Italys de facto leader, is doing little to quell talk of a possible snap election as the scandal that has become known as Russiagate continues to make headlines. It doesnt help that hisLeague party is becoming isolated in the countrys ruling coalition after it backed out of an agreement to supportUrsula von der Leyenas EU Commission president, raisingquestions over its right to dictate a key appointment in Brussels.Spanish Vote | Still in the South, supporters of the Spanish anti-austerity party Podemos refused to endorsePedro Sanchezs bid to form a Socialist-led government, dealing a blow to his chances of winning a vote next week that would allow him to stay on asprime minister. On July 22, Parliament will begin a debate on Sanchezs bid, and if hecant get through the vote, Spains constitutional clock starts the countdown toward a repeat election.Target Rethink | ECB staff have begun studying a potential revamp of their inflation goal,in a move that could embolden policy makers to pursue monetary stimulus for longer.A shakeup of the framework would be another step in the ECBs transformation from a traditional central bank to one adopting innovative strategies for a world where standard economic models no longer seem to work.In Case You Missed ItChip Fine | Qualcomm was fined 242 million eurosby EU antitrust regulators for deliberately pricing some chips so low they could eliminate a smaller rival.The penalty comes a year after Qualcomm was ordered to pay 997 million euros for thwarting rival suppliers toApple.Companies have complained about the slow pace of EU antitrust enforcement in fast-moving technology markets.Cable Clearance | Vodafonewon conditional EU approval for its 18.4 billion euro takeover ofLiberty Globals cable assets in Germany and eastern Europe after it assuagedthe blocs concerns.The deal sees Vodafone scoop up almost a third of Liberty Global and helps it bundle internet, phone and TV services in Germany, its biggest market, in a challenge to former monopolyDeutsche Telekom.IMF Vacancy| EU governments want to reach a consensus over the next two weeks ona single candidate to succeed Christine Lagarde atop the IMF. Yet discussionsin France this week failed to bring them any closer to agreeing on even a shortlist, let alone one proposal. If thestalemate persists, the bloc will be vulnerable to achallenge toitstraditional grip on the job.Tech Detente|The U.S. and France agreed to push ahead with creating a global digital tax system at a G-7 meeting, papering over a feud on the matter that still has Washington dangling threats of tariffs. Yet whatever common ground was foundremains only an incremental step toward resolving differences that threaten to combine with and exacerbate broader transatlantic trade tensions.Chart of the DayThe Federal Reserve and other leading central banks are declaring the peak in global interest rates has been reached and are preparing to start the march down. The Bloomberg Economicsquarterly reviewof 23 of the top central banks showed that most are set to cut rates by the end of the year. Thats instark contrastto three months ago, when the majority were set to hold for the rest of 2019.Todays AgendaInformal meeting of justice and home affairs ministers in Helsinki EU Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen in Pori, Finland: Attends public debate forum SuomiAreena and delivers a keynote speech on the EUs economic situation and sustainable financeLike the Brussels Edition?Dont keep it to yourself. Colleagues and friendscan sign up here. We also publishthe Brexit Bulletin, a daily briefing on the latest on the U.K.s departure from the EU.For even more:Subscribe to Bloomberg All Accessfor fullglobal news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.How are we doing?We want to hear what you think about thisnewsletter.Let our Brussels bureau chiefknow.\--With assistance from Paul Gordon.To contact the authors of this story: Viktoria Dendrinou in Brussels at vdendrinou@bloomberg.netNikos Chrysoloras in Brussels at nchrysoloras@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Heather Harris at hharris5@bloomberg.net, Andrew BlackmanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Fri, 19 Jul 2019 01:01:44 -0400
U.S. andChina Trade Negotiators Spoke by Phone, Lighthizer Says

U.S. andChina Trade Negotiators Spoke by Phone, Lighthizer Says(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here.U.S. and Chinese senior officials spoke by phone on Thursday in Washington, the second call since the late June summit at which the two sides agreed to a truce in their ongoing trade conflict.U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Steven Mnuchin spoke to the Chinese side earlier, a USTR spokesman confirmed. There were no details released on what was discussed, and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce didnt respond to a faxed request for more information. Reuters reported the phone call earlier.Talks between the two sides collapsed in May and theres been little public progress since Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a truce when they met in Japan last month. There are still deep differences between the two nations, with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross cautioning the negotiations would be a long, involved process.Trump this week reiterated that he could impose additional tariffs on Chinese imports if he wants, and complained again that China wasnt buying the large volumes of U.S. agricultural goods that he claims Xi promised to purchase. Another major sticking point for any resumed negotiations will be how exactly the U.S. will ease trade restrictions on Chinese technology giant Huawei Technologies Co.The U.S. government is under pressure from Congress not to make concessions on Huawei, with a bipartisan group of U.S. Senate and House lawmakers unveiling legislation this week that that would stop the removal of Huawei from the technology blacklist without an act of Congress. U.S. Senator Rick Scott said on Thursday in an Bloomberg Television interview that Huawei is not a trade issue, but a national security one and is non-negotiable.Mnuchin said earlier this week that if discussions with Chinese officials by phone were productive that he and Lighthizer would travel to Beijing for more meetings.\--With assistance from Jenny Leonard.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Miao Han in Beijing at mhan22@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey Black at jblack25@bloomberg.net, James Mayger, Sharon ChenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 23:23:09 -0400
US hits Iran 'nuclear enrichment network' with sanctions

US hits Iran 'nuclear enrichment network' with sanctionsThe US Treasury named a group of companies in Iran, Belgium and China to its sanctions blacklist Thursday for acting as a supply network for Tehran's nuclear enrichment program. The companies served as a procurement network for Iran's Centrifuge Technology Company (TESA), which produces enrichment centrifuges for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), the Treasury said.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 19:44:00 -0400
American warship destroys Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz

American warship destroys Iranian drone in Strait of HormuzA U.S. warship on Thursday destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after it threatened the ship, President Donald Trump said. The incident marked a new escalation of tensions between the countries less than one month after Iran downed an American drone in the same waterway and Trump came close to retaliating with a military strike. In remarks at the White House, Trump blamed Iran for a "provocative and hostile" action and said the U.S. responded in self-defense.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 18:41:36 -0400
US sanctions four Iraqis for rights abuses, corruption

US sanctions four Iraqis for rights abuses, corruptionThe United States on Thursday sanctioned two Iraqi militia leaders and two former governors for human rights abuses and corruption. The sanctions target any property they own or have an interest in that is within the United States or under the control of "US persons," as well as "any entities" in which they have a 50 percent or greater stake, the Treasury Department said. Ahmed al-Juburi, the former governor of Iraq's Salaheddin province, was sanctioned over corruption and has also "been known to protect his personal interests by accommodating Iran-backed proxies," Treasury said in a statement.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 17:40:15 -0400
Suspected Islamic State member brought to US for prosecution

Suspected Islamic State member brought to US for prosecutionThe Trump administration said Thursday that it has brought home for prosecution a U.S. national suspected of fighting alongside the Islamic State group in Syria. The Pentagon said the individual had previously been held by Syrian Democratic Forces as a suspected member of IS. Tens of thousands of foreign fighters from across the world had traveled to Syria to join IS after it declared a global caliphate there in 2014.

Thu, 18 Jul 2019 17:39:35 -0400
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