Trump election linked to rise in premature births among US Latina

Washington, Jul 22 (PTI) A significant jump in premature births among Latina women living in the US occurred in the nine months following the 2016 election of US President Donald Trump, according to a study.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, was prompted by smaller studies that had suggested adverse, stress-related health effects among Latin Americans in the US after the Trump election.

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New audio shows UK could not prevent Iran takeover of tanker

LONDON (AP) — The release Sunday of an audio recording has shed new light on the seizure of a British-flagged tanker at the hands of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard as tensions flare in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

The audio released by maritime security risk firm Dryad Global shows that a British frigate was too far away from the targeted tanker to keep it from being diverted into an Iranian port despite U.K. efforts to keep it from being boarded.

Nadler: Mueller hearing to air evidence of Trump wrongdoing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Judiciary Committee chairman said Sunday that this week’s hearing with Robert Mueller will air “very substantial evidence” of wrongdoing by President Donald Trump and make a public case for impeachment. Republicans pledged sharp questioning of the special counsel about what they see as a “one-sided” Russia investigation.

Days before back-to-back hearings Wednesday, both sides seemed to agree that Mueller’s testimony could be pivotal in shifting public opinion on the question of “holding the president accountable.”

In some states, GOP sees the recall as its way back to power

DENVER (AP) — Republicans frustrated by losing their grip on political power in some Western states have begun deploying a new weapon: the recall.

Once reserved for targeting corrupt or inept elected officials, the recall has become part of the toolkit for Republicans seeking a do-over of election results. One GOP strategist in Colorado has put a name to it — “recall season.”

US hotels caught in fight over housing detained migrants

DETROIT (AP) — There’s a new target in the clash over immigration: hotels.

Advocacy groups and unions are pressuring Marriott, MGM and others not to house migrants who have been arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

For decades, the U.S. government has occasionally detained migrants in hotels, and Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence says it might have to split up families if hotels don’t help.

It’s the latest example of a private industry caught in the political fray of an overtaxed immigration system.

Trump: Minority Democratic congresswomen should 'apologize to America'

22 July 2019; DW: President Donald Trump has renewed his attacks on four Democratic congresswomen, demanding an apology "for the horrible (hateful) things they have said." He said the four women aren't "capable of loving" the US.

Republican President Donald Trump has continued his attack on first-term Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley, against whom he launched xenophobic tweets last week.

Ukraine president’s party buoyed by exit poll after election

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s party was headed to win the biggest share of votes in the Ukraine’s snap parliamentary election, according to an exit poll Sunday, but it was unclear if the party nailed down a solid majority in the legislature.

The poll of 13,000 voters showed Servant of the People getting 43.9% of the vote for party-list candidates, far ahead of rivals. But 199 of the 424 seats being filled were for single constituencies, which the poll didn’t assess.

Puerto Rico gov will not seek reelection, leaves his party

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Sunday evening that he will not resign in the face of public furor over an obscenity-laced leaked online chat, but he will not seek reelection or continue as head of his pro-statehood political party.

Protesters said they were not satisfied by Rosselló’s concessions, and pledged to continue demonstrations that have filled the streets of Old San Juan for more than a week.

Abe's ruling coalition wins upper house election, but suffers constitutional reform setback

TOKYO, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Japan's ruling bloc led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won more than half of the contested seats in Sunday's upper house election, maintaining a majority in the chamber.

However, the ruling parties and others who advocate constitutional reform did not win the needed 85 seats to get a two-thirds majority, a prerequisite for any amendment.

With 370 candidates vying for the 124 seats, 74 are chosen in specific districts and 50 through proportional representation.

Russia seeks to remove Iran’s influence over Syria army

22 July 2019; MEMO: Russia is working to reform the Syrian army and end Iran’s influence over it by appointing and promoting pro-regime officers and excluding Iranian allies, the American Middle East Policy Institute has revealed.

In a study published this week, the organisation said that the war has destroyed most of the capabilities of the Syrian army through splits, military attacks, assassinations and desertions, leading to a significant decline in armoured mechanical capabilities.

Egypt criticizes British Airways 7-day flight suspension to Cairo

CAIRO, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian aviation minister met on Sunday with Britain's ambassador to Egypt at the ministry headquarters, where he expressed displeasure with British Airways' decision to suspend flights to the Egyptian capital for seven days.

Egypt's Minister of Civil Aviation Younis al-Masry "expressed his displeasure that British Airways makes a unilateral decision concerning the security of Egyptian airports without referring to the competent Egyptian authorities," the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement on Sunday.

3.9-magnitude quake hits New Zealand's Christchurch

WELLINGTON, July 22 (Xinhua) -- A 3.9-magnitude earthquake with a depth of 7 km hit New Zealand's Christchurch at 8:43 a.m. local time on Monday.

"Just another reminder that the Christchurch aftershock sequence is still ongoing," New Zealand's GeoNet said on its Twitter account.

It came after a magnitude 3.5 earthquake on Saturday night.

According to the GeoNet website, Over 4,000 people reported they felt the jolt just before 9 a.m.


Iran's logic on UK tankers stronger than UK, Gibraltar: Russia

Moscow, July 22, IRNA - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that Iran's logic about seizure of the UK oil tanker is more convincing than what the UK officials and the Gibraltar local government have declared about seizure of supertanker Grace 1.

Speaking to reporters, Sergei Ryabkov said it is evident that the logic offered by Iran over seizure of the UK tanker have been more convincing than the statements made by UK officials and Gibraltar government about EU sanctions on Syria.

Shares blast off as 'China's Nasdaq' debuts

Shanghai, Jul 22 (AFP/PTI) Shares on Shanghai's new Nasdaq-style technology board soared Monday, with one firm rocketing more than 500 per cent, as investors rushed to grab a piece of China's latest market liberalisation in a frenzied debut

All 25 components on the Shanghai Stock Exchange's Sci-Tech Innovation Board, or STAR Market, were driven sharply higher in a hearty initial endorsement of China's plan to use the board to help fund fast-growing tech firms and discourage them listing abroad.

Putin says Russia to help safeguard Syria's sovereignty

MOSCOW, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Russia will continue to help Syria protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday in a congratulatory message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

"I would like to confirm that Russia will continue to support Syria's government and people in their efforts to protect the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as to ensure national security and post-war reconstruction," Putin said in the message.

Police launch tear gas as Hong Kong protest turns violent

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong’s protest movement took a violent turn Sunday as police launched tear gas at protesters after a massive march continued late into the evening, and subway riders were attacked by masked assailants who apparently were targeting pro-democracy demonstrators.

The firing of the tear gas was the latest confrontation between police and protesters who have taken to the streets for over a month to fight a proposed extradition bill and call for electoral reforms in the Chinese territory.

Israel’s demolition of 100 homes in Jerusalem a ‘war crime’: Palestine FM

22 July 2019; MEMO: The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is continuing its efforts with the International Criminal Court to push forward a formal investigation into Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes, especially in the town of Sur Baher, southeast of occupied Jerusalem.

India: Man beaten then held for posting pic of having beef soup

Thanjavur (TN), Jul 21 (PTI) A 24-year-old man, who was allegedly attacked by a group of people here for posting a picture of himself consuming beef soup, was arrested Sunday on charge of disturbing peace, soon after he was discharged from a hospital, according to police.

Earlier four people were arrested for allegedly attacking him.

The people had gone to Mohammed Faisan's house in Poravacheri village on July 11 and objected to the post, police had said, adding after a quarrel, they attacked him.

India: Lightening kills 32 in UP in one day

Lucknow, Jul 21 (PTI) As many as 32 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh due to lightening on Sunday, said officials.

A day earlier, the lightening had claimed one life in the state, while two others had died of snake bites on July 18 and 20 respectively, the statement said.

Thirteen 13 others were injured due to lightening, the statement added.

HKSAR gov't strongly condemns protesters' storming of liaison office of China's central gov't

HONG KONG, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government on Sunday evening strongly condemned some radical protesters' storming of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR.

A spokesperson for the HKSAR government said the liaison office is one of the offices set up by the central people's government in the HKSAR and has constitutional functions.

Jordan stresses role of UN in addressing regional issues

AMMAN, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Jordan on Sunday underlined the key role of the United Nations (UN) in addressing regional issues, the state-run Petra news agency reported.

The remarks were made by Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi at a meeting with visiting President of the United Nations General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces on Sunday, where discussions focused on the UN role in ending regional crises.

Safadi said that empowering the UN and its institutions will enhance the international community's ability to overcome political, security and developmental challenges.

IMF urges Pakistan to mobilise domestic tax revenue

Washington, Jul 22 (PTI) The IMF has urged Pakistan to mobilise domestic tax revenues to provide for the social and development spending and place debt on a downward trend.

The statement of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Acting Managing Director David Lipton came after he met Prime Minister Imran Khan who is on a three-day official visit to the US at the invitation of President Donald Trump.

India: Plea in HC for equal status to 'Vande Mataram' as that of national anthem

New Delhi, Jul 22 (PTI) A plea was Monday filed in the Delhi High Court seeking directions to the Centre to frame a policy to equally propagate the national anthem and the national song -- 'Vande Mataram'.

The plea, filed by BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, has sought that 'Vande Mataram', written by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, be given the same respect as the national anthem -- 'Jana Gana Mana', penned by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.

India: 4 lynched in Jharkhand for ‘practicing’ witchcraft

Ranchi, July 21; IANS/GANASHAKTI: In another case of mob lynching, four persons were thrashed and killed in the Gumla district of Jharkhand on Sunday.

According to police, 10-12 people attacked a family in the Siskari village in the wee hours of Sunday. The attackers dragged the victims out of a house, thrashed them and later slit their throats. The victims have been identified as 60-year-old Chapa Oraon, his wife and two others.

"It seems the attackers believed the victims were practicing witchcraft", said Anajani Kumar Jha, Gumla Superintendent of Police.

India: BJP resolves to win over 220 seats in Maha state polls

Mumbai, Jul 21 (PTI) The ruling BJP on Sunday set a target of winning more than 220 out of the total 288 seats in the Maharashtra Assembly polls due later this year.

Senior BJP leader and Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar moved a political resolution to this effect at the party's state executive meeting here.

Mungantiwar said the BJP along with its allies will win more than 220 seats in the forthcoming state polls.


‘Go back’ captures core of Trump political agenda


WASHINGTON (AP) — Go back where you came from.

President Donald Trump’s tweet on Sunday did more than take a shot at four Democratic lawmakers of color. In just a few words, Trump summed up the backbone of his agenda — one aimed at reducing the number of immigrants in the U.S. through fear and force.

UK hosts press freedom summit while fighting for right to spy on media

by Meirion Jones

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is hosting a Global Conference for Media Freedom in London today. Meanwhile, 400 miles away in Strasbourg UK government lawyers are fighting for the right to continue spying on the press.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism today brings a case to the highest human rights court in Europe against the UK intelligence agencies’ mass snooping on press and public and the severe impingement on media freedom that this surveillance entails.

Libya's civil war: US 'undermines any hope for a successful political process'

by Carla Bleiker 

15 July 2019; DW: The warring factions in Libya's stalemated conflict don't seem to be interested in a diplomatic solution. The United States could use its clout in order to trigger discussions — but it appears to be doing the opposite.

Barr: Justice Dept. is ‘all in’ on criminal justice overhaul


EDGEFIELD, S.C. (AP) — Leroy Nolan has spent the last 26 years behind bars at a federal prison for a drug conviction. In the prison factory, he works making T-shirts, backpacks and other products that are later sold to government agencies, nonprofits and others.


U.S. Democrats' squad receives disproportionate media attention, experts say

by Matthew Rusling

WASHINGTON, July 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump drew controversy once again by attacking on four Democratic ethnic minority congresswomen, known as "the squad," saying that they should leave the United States if they do not like it.

However, of the four Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is known as AOC, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley, only Omar was born overseas, in Somalia, but has since become an American citizen according to U.S. media.

Israel’s newest myth: Palestinians originate from southern Europe

Dr Fayez Rasheed

18 July 2019; MEMO: Israelis continuously come up with false facts for two purposes: first, to prove their divine historical right to Palestine, and second, to deny the Palestinians’ connection to their land. This results in the invention and formulation of what they call “scientific facts” that serve their two purposes.

Saudi Arabia’s dilemma as the UAE pulls out of Yemen

by Thembisa Fakude

15 July 2019; MEMO: The war in Yemen is entering its fifth year with no solution in sight. Every day thousands of people, including women and children, are injured and maimed. According to Amnesty International, “there is extensive evidence that irresponsible arms flows to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition have resulted in enormous harm to Yemeni civilians.”