Top News Stories for Today – Aug 6, 2017
UN Security Council approves new N Korea sanctions
The UN Security Council voted unanimously Saturday to pass a resolution being pushed by the United States that will deprive North Korea of $1 billion a year in revenue that helps fuel its illicit nuclear and ballistic missile program. The move for additional sanctions came in response to Pyongyang’s intercontinental ballistic missile launches July 3 and 28, which showed that the rogue nation might now have the capacity to bring the US mainland and much of Europe into its cross hairs.
The provisions effectively deny Pyongyang of one-third of its annual $3 billion in exports revenue. Four export sectors are targeted in the resolution — coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore, and seafood. VOA
UK ready to pay up to 40B Euros for Brexit
Britain is prepared to pay up to 40 billion euros ($47 billion) as part of a deal to leave the European Union, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported, citing three unnamed sources familiar with Britain’s negotiating strategy. The European Union has floated a figure of 60 billion euros and wants significant progress on settling Britain’s liabilities before talks can start on complex issues such as future trading arrangements.
The government department responsible for Brexit talks declined to comment on the Sunday Telegraph article. So far, Britain has given no official indication of how much it would be willing to pay. VOA
Trump boosts McMaster amid criticism
President Trump defended National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in a statement Friday evening, attempting to ward off right-wing criticism the official has attracted this week. “General McMaster and I are working very well together,” Trump said.
“He is a good man and very pro-Israel.” McMaster has come under fire for his dismissal of several National Security Council staff members; his approach to the war in Afghanistan; and his renewal of security clearance for former President Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice. The Hill, Politico, Theweek
US officially begins exit from Paris climate deal
The State Department on Friday officially started the process of extracting the United States from the Paris Agreement. President Trump announced his intent to withdraw from the international emissions reduction deal in June, but no official notice was delivered to the United Nations until this week.
“The United States supports a balanced approach to climate policy that lowers emissions while promoting economic growth and ensuring energy security,” says the statement, which also indicates the US will continue to participate in major climate negotiations “to protect US interests and ensure all future policy options remain open to the administration.” Politico, Business Insider
Mueller requests Flynn records from White House
Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating allegations of election manipulation collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, has asked the White House for documents pertaining to Michael Flynn, President Trump’s short-tenured national security adviser, The New York Times reports.
The request is not an official subpoena, but it marks the first time Mueller’s probe is known to have sought information directly from the White House. The request also indicates Mueller’s investigation — which has entered a new, “more serious phase” as it now involves a grand jury — encompasses Flynn’s financial dealings as well as Trump’s. The New York Times, The Hill
Former Russian ambassador says Flynn talks transparent
Former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak maintained the innocence of his conversations with former US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in a Russian television appearance Saturday. “We only spoke about the most simple things,” Kislyak claimed, labeling the talks “completely correct, calm, absolutely transparent.”
“In any case, there were no secrets on our side,” he added, specifying terrorism as one topic of conversation. Kislyak also met with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, before Trump took office. Reuters, The Hill, Theweek
3 US Marines missing after Australia crash
The troops were flying in a Marine MV-22B Osprey when a “mishap” took the plane down. Of the 26 Marines on board at the time of the accident, 23 have been rescued already. Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said no Australian forces were involved and offered Australian assistance for the search. Marine Corps Times, The Australian
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