News Daypop Archives

U.S. Accuses North Korea Of U.N. Sanctions Breach, Demands End To Fuel Sales

The Trump Administration accused North Korea on Thursday of breaching a U.N. sanctions cap on refined petroleum by making illicit transfers between ships at sea, and demanded an immediate end to all sales of the fuel. The United States submitted the complaint to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee. The North Korea U.N. mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the U.S. accusation. The charge of a sanctions breach comes as Washington engages North Korea in a bid to convince Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons.... [Read Full Story]

Justice Department Plans Appeal Of AT&T-Time Warner Merger Approval

According to a court filing, the Justice Department filed an appeal challenging its loss in the AT&T-Time Warner antitrust trial on Thursday, July 12. AT&T completed its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner a few weeks ago after a federal judge rejected the Justice Department’s argument that the deal would be anti-competitive. AT&T is one of the country’s biggest telecom providers and its purchase of Time Warner allowed it to pick up some of the biggest media brands in the U.S., including HBO and CNN. AT&T said in a statement Thursday that the U.S. District Judge Richard Leon correctly decided the case.... [Read Full Story]

Comcast Offers $34 Billion For Sky TV, Topping A Bid From Fox

The bidding war for Sky TV, the European pay-TV service, heated up Wednesday when Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox upped it’s offer, but then later in the day Comcast Corp. countered with an even higher offer. Independent directors of the London company initially approved Fox’s $32.5-billion bid, but they withdrew their support and accepted Comcast’s offer, which valued Sky at $34 billion. Martin Gilbert, Sky’s deputy chairman, said in a statement, “The Independent Committee welcomes this increased offer which presents an attractive premium for Sky shareholders. We have long recognized the unique position that Sky occupies in the European direct-to-consumer landscape and unanimously recommend this offer by Comcast.” It was unclear late Wednesday whether Fox would bid again. ... [Read Full Story]

President Trump Issues Harsh Attack On Germany At NATO Summit

President Donald Trump launched a sharp public attack on Germany on Wednesday for supporting a Baltic Sea gas pipeline deal with Russia, saying Berlin had become “a captive to Russia” and he criticized it for failing to raise defense spending more. Trump met reporters with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, before a NATO summit in Brussels, said it was “very inappropriate” that the United States was paying for European defense against Russia while Germany, the biggest European economy, was supporting gas deals with Moscow.... [Read Full Story]

Federal Judge Warns Trump Administration To Meet Deadline On Family Reunification

A federal judge on Tuesday told the Trump administration to adhere to the deadline for reuniting children separated from their parents under the “zero tolerance” policy, even as officials have said they’ll be unable to meet it. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw stuck to his Tuesday deadline for the youngest children to be returned to their parents, despite government officials indicating they’d be unable to meet the target.  “These are firm deadlines; they are not aspirational goals,” Sabraw said. “I would like the process to continue as expeditiously as it has been with paramount focus on the children’s welfare.”  The judge additionally asked for an update from the government on the reunification process by Thursday. Government lawyers said that U.S. officials will only be able to reunite 75 of 102 children under the age of 5 in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services. The others are not eligible to be reunited because their parents have criminal records, haven’t been verified or have been otherwise ruled unfit.... [Read Full Story]

Facebook Faces First Fine Over Cambridge Analytica Scandal

On Tuesday, Facebook was hit with its first fine related to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved the data firm obtaining personal information on tens of millions of Facebook users without their consent. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), a privacy and data watchdog office in the United Kingdom, announced Tuesday that it would fine Facebook the maximum allowed penalty of $664,000 for what it said was improperly overlooked warning signs and for lacking overall privacy protections that could have prevented Cambridge Analytica from obtaining the sensitive data. In a statement, Facebook responded to the findings by acknowledging it “should have done more to investigate claims about Cambridge Analytica and take action in 2015.”  Facebook admitted back in April that as many as 87 million people could have had their data shared with Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica has maintained that none of the data obtained without the knowledge of Facebook users was shared with or used for the purposes of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. ... [Read Full Story]

UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson Resigns Over Brexit Plan

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has become the second cabinet minister to quit, as divisions over Brexit deepen a political crisis threatening Prime Minister Theresa May’s government. Johnson’s departure on Monday came a day after David Davis, the British minister in charge of Brexit negotiations, also stepped down amid disagreement’s over the country’s strategy. The two resignations raise questions over whether May will stand firm in her commitment to pursuing Brexit, or will be faced with more resignations and calls to quit herself. “This afternoon, the Prime Minister accepted the resignation of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary,” May’s spokesman said in a statement. “His replacement will be announced shortly. The Prime Minister thanks Boris for his work.”... [Read Full Story]

Thai Cave Rescue: Seven Boys Now Freed As Mission To Save Others Continues

Four more youngsters have reportedly been freed from the flooded Thai cave – a day after four boys were pulled from the complex. The second phase of the dangerous operation to rescue the youth football team began on Monday. It was confirmed at 11am BST that a fifth boy had been freed. An hour later, two more were reportedly taken to safety. And an eighth was seen on a stretcher at around 1pm BST, a witness said.  Four boys and their coach remain trapped amid a race against time and water. Those rescued so far are said to be in “good health”. Rescuers have been rushing to save the boys – aged 11 to 16 – and their coach from the cave as monsoon rains bore down on the mountainous region in far northern Chiang Rai province. Authorities said heavy downpours overnight did not raise water levels in the cave, where workers continue to pump water out. Local official Narongsak Osottanakorn said: “Today we are ready like before. And we will do it faster because we are afraid of the rain.”... [Read Full Story]

U.K.’s Senior Official In Charge Of Brexit, David Davis, Resigns

Britain’s senior official in charge of negotiating the country’s exit from the European Union resigned Sunday. David Davis’ resignation comes days after Prime Minister Theresa May secured the cabinet’s backing for her Brexit plan. Davis was a strong pro-Brexit voice in a Cabinet divided between supporters of a clean break with the bloc and those who want to keep close ties. On Friday, Davis and the rest of May’s fractious Cabinet agreed on a plan for ties with the EU after the U.K. leaves next year.  On Monday, May is due to brief lawmakers on the plan agreed by the Cabinet during its 12-hour meeting. It seeks to keep the U.K. and the EU in a free-trade zone for goods, and commits Britain to maintaining the same rules as the bloc for goods and agricultural products. Less than nine months remain until Britain leaves the bloc on March 29, 2019. The EU has warned Britain that time is running out to seal a divorce deal.... [Read Full Story]

Puerto Rican Mayor And Two Other Government Officials Arrested On Corruption Charges

A mayor and two former government officials in Puerto Rico face public corruption charges in separate cases that involve a total of $8 million in federal and local funds, authorities said Thursday. The suspects are the mayor of the southwest town of Sabana Grande and the former directors of finance for the northern town of Toa Baja. U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez told reporters that the former officials from Toa Baja are accused of using nearly $5 million worth of federal funds to pay the town’s public employees and municipal contractors. Toa Baja’s former interim finance director, Angel Roberto Santos Garcia, is accused of making similar transactions worth $650,000 using funds from those two federal agencies. A spokeswoman for Ortiz could not be immediately reached for comment. The arrests come as Puerto Rico struggles to recuperate from Hurricane Maria and tries to restructure a portion of its $70 billion public debt load.... [Read Full Story]

Scott Pruitt Resigns As EPA Administrator Amid Ethics Scandals

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned after months of ethics controversies, citing “the unrelenting attacks” on himself and his family, which “have taken a sizable toll on all of us.” President Donald Trump first tweeted the news Thursday that Pruitt had resigned. “I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,” Trump tweeted. “Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this.” Pruitt’s resignation follows months during which the EPA administrator has been embroiled in controversy. Trump said on Twitter that Pruitt’s recently Senate-confirmed deputy Andrew Wheeler will on Monday assume the duties of acting administrator of the EPA.... [Read Full Story]

Protester Climbs Statue Of Liberty On July 4 Shutting Down Liberty Island

A protest against U.S. immigration policy forced the evacuation of the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July, and a woman held police at bay for hours after she climbed the base and sat by the statue’s robes. The woman’s climb forced thousands of visitors to leave the iconic American symbol on the nation’s birthday. About 100 feet above ground, the woman engaged in a four-hour standoff with police before two officers climbed up to the base and went over to her.  She and the officers edged around the statue toward a ladder, and she climbed down about 25 feet to the monument’s observation point and was taken into custody. The woman, Therese Okoumou, told police she was protesting the separation of immigrant children from parents who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally. Jay W. Walker, an organizer with Rise and Resist, arranged the demonstration and said the other demonstrators had no idea the woman would make the climb, which wasn’t part of the planned protest. “We don’t know whether she had this planned before she ever got to Liberty Island or whether it was a spur-of-the-moment decision,” Walker said.  Visitors were forced to leave Liberty Island hours before its normal 6:15 p.m. closing time.... [Read Full Story]

Two Critically Ill From The Same Nerve Agent That Poisoned Ex-Russian Spy

Tests on two Britons found unconscious in their home determined that they were poisoned by the same nerve agent used against a former Russian spy and his daughter earlier this year, British police said Wednesday. The discovery triggered new security precautions in the area of Amesbury, England, where the couple were sickened. The town is seven miles from Salisbury, where former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with the military-grade nerve agent Novichok in March. The British government blamed Russia for the attack. Moscow has repeatedly denied any involvement. The man and the woman, both in their mid-40s, remain in critical condition. Investigators are now focusing on how and where the man and the woman came into contact with Novichok.... [Read Full Story]

12 Boys, Soccer Coach Found Alive in Flooded Cave In Thailand After More Than 1 Week

Rescuers found 12 boys and their soccer coach alive deep inside a partially flooded cave in northern Thailand late Monday, more than a week after they disappeared and touched off a desperate search that drew international help and captivated the nation. Video released early Tuesday showed the boys in their soccer uniforms sitting on a dry area inside the cave above the water as a spotlight, apparently from a rescuer, illuminated their faces. Chiang Rai provincial Gov. Narongsak Osatanakorn said the 13 were in the process of being rescued, but he cautioned that they were not out of danger yet.  The discovery of the boys was captured on video and posted on the Thai Navy SEAL Facebook page. The youths appeared alert, chatty even and seemed anxious to see daylight again. Officials said the boys, ages 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach need to first be examined by navy doctors and fed before they can be extricated from the partially flooded cave, and even that could pose difficulties if the water level begins to rise, as it did earlier in the search.... [Read Full Story]

Plan In Place To Dismantle Korean Nuclear Program Within A Year

The United States has a plan that would lead to the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs in a year, U.S. National security adviser John Bolton said today, although U.S. intelligence reported signs that Pyongyang doesn’t intend to fully give up its arsenal. Bolton said top U.S. diplomat Mike Pompeo will be discussing that plan with North Korea in the near future. Bolton added that it would be to the North’s advantage to cooperate to see sanctions lifted quickly and aid from South Korea and Japan start to flow. Bolton’s remarks on CBS’ “Face the Nation” appeared to be the first time the Trump administration had publicly suggested a timeline for North Korea to fulfill the commitment leader Kim Jong Un made at a summit with President Donald Trump last month for the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula.... [Read Full Story]

Housing Assistance Extended For Nearly 1,700 Puerto Rican Hurricane Evacuees

A judge has ordered federal emergency officials to extend vouchers for temporary hotel housing for nearly 1,700 Puerto Rican hurricane evacuees, saying ending the program could cause irreparable harm. The decision came shortly after civil rights group LatinoJustice PRLDEF filed a lawsuit seeking relief for the Puerto Ricans, whose federal housing assistance vouchers were set to expire at midnight Sunday, meaning the evacuees could have been evicted from the hotels. The order says the agency cannot end its Transitional Sheltering Assistance program until at least midnight on Tuesday. The organization is pushing to let families stay another six months. U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin of Massachusetts wrote that ending the program would drain other public resources.  In a statement, FEMA said it was “aware of the Judge’s ruling regarding the end of the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program for Puerto Rico and is working with its vendor and notifying hotels that the TSA program has been extended until 5 July to comply with the Court’s order.”... [Read Full Story]

5 People Dead In Shooting At Maryland’s Capital Gazette Newsroom

Five people are dead and several others are injured after a shooting at a building where the Capital Gazette is located in Annapolis, Maryland, Thursday afternoon. The gunman, a Maryland man in his late 30s, targeted the Capital Gazette in the Annapolis shooting that killed five people, police said, and is now in custody. Police have not identified the man at this time, but he is currently being interrogated, Anne Arundel County police spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure said at a press conference shortly after 5:30 p.m., about three hours after police first received reports of multiple gunshots fired. Officials did not have exact numbers of how many people were injured, around three people are being treated for injuries. The wounded are being treated at two local medical centers, including Anne Arundel Medical Center.... [Read Full Story]

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy Announces Retirement; President Trump Will Make His Second Supreme Court Pick

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement Wednesday. The 81-year-old Kennedy said in a statement he is stepping down after more than 30 years on the court. A Republican appointee, he has held the key vote on such high-profile issues as abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, guns, campaign finance and voting rights. Kennedy said he had informed his colleagues and President Trump of his plans, and that his retirement will take effect at the end of July. President Trump praised Kennedy as a man of “tremendous vision” and said his search for a new justice would begin “immediately.” Without Kennedy, the court will be split between four liberal justices who were appointed by Democratic presidents and four conservatives who were named by Republicans. Trump’s first high court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed in April 2017. It is likely that the President will name a nominee within weeks, setting in motion a process that could allow confirmation by the time the court reconvenes in early October. Trump already has a list of 25 candidates — 24 judges and Utah Sen. Mike Lee — and has said he would choose a nominee from that list.... [Read Full Story]