Top news stories for today – July 25, 2016
A Syrian man blew himself up in Germany
A man who blew himself up and injured 12 people after being turned away from an open-air music festival was a 27-year-old Syrian who had been denied asylum, Bavaria’s top security official said early Monday. Three of the 12 victims suffered serious injuries.
“We don’t know if this man planned on suicide or if he had the intention of killing others,” Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann said. He added that the man’s request for asylum was rejected a year ago, but he was allowed to remain in Germany because of the strife in Syria. The attacker’s motive wasn’t clear. Associated Press
Obama aide visits China after South China Sea ruling
US National Security Adviser Susan Rice is in Beijing for talks with Chinese officials in the highest-level visit by a White House official since an international tribunal issued a ruling that invalidated China’s expansive claims to the South China Sea, a move that was set to fuel tensions.
The tribunal’s July 12 ruling, which angered China, was not raised in opening remarks Monday in front of the media at Rice’s meeting on Monday with the country’s top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi.
Rice said the US and China have been cooperating more closely on global issues and that she’s confident that they could work through other challenges with “candor and openness.” Yang said the sides had stable relations but that there are still differences that have to be carefully managed. VOA
Nepal’s Prime Minister resigns
Oli had steered the Himalayan nation closer to China, which has been trying to increase its influence in South Asia. However, analysts say Beijing’s growing footprint in Nepal may be there to stay.
Oli resigned on Sunday just before a no confidence motion that could have toppled him. The two large groups that pushed for his removal, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) and the Nepali Congress are expected to form a share power-sharing government with Maoist chief Prachanda becoming prime minister.
During Oli’s nine-month tenure, “China’s influence has definitely increased,” said Yubaraj Ghimire, an independent political commentator in Kathmandu. In the Indian capital, Oli’s resignation has raised hopes about reversing the erosion in New Delhi’s influence.
Verizon to buy Yahoo for $4.8 billion
Yahoo’s tenure as an independent internet company is coming to an end. On Monday, Verizon confirmed its $4.8-billion buyout of the beleaguered web pioneer. Verizon won the bidding war for Yahoo after a five-month-long auction, following the Yahoo’s announcement in February that it would consider alternatives as its revenue continued to plummet.
All that’s left of Yahoo now is its 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan Corp. and 15-percent interest in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.; Yahoo will hand over its email services, websites, advertising tools, and real estate assets. The deal, expected to end the tenure of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, will reportedly close in the first quarter of 2017. CNBC, The Associated Press, The Week
IOC won’t ban all Russian athletes
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided against banning all Russian teams from competing in next month’s Rio Olympics over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme.
Speaking Sunday, IOC President Thomas Bach said the committee stopped short of a collective ban in order to protect the rights of individual Russian athletes who have not used illicit drugs to gain advantage in international competition.
“It’s fine to speak about ‘collective responsibility’ and ‘we are banning everybody,’ but at the end of the day you have to be able to look into the eyes of the individual athlete concerned by your decision,” Bach said.
But the IOC also stressed that the drug testing records of all Russian athletes will face heavy scrutiny in all of the 28 summer events set to begin August 5 in Rio de Janeiro. VOA
US Presidential election
Democrats start their national convention today: Democrats kick off their national convention in Philadelphia on Monday, aiming to project the image of a party united behind Hillary Clinton as its presidential nominee. The task was made tougher and more urgent as Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she was resigning as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee after leaked emails showed some party officials were biased against Clinton’s opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sanders said he still planned to do everything he could to defeat Donald Trump, elect Clinton, and “keep focusing on the real issues facing the American people.” The Associated Press
DNC chairwoman to resign after email leaks show internal bias: Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced on Sunday that she will step down after leaked emails seem to show the committee’s bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders. In one email, the DNC’s chief financial officer, Brad Marshall, suggested attacking Sanders for his religious beliefs and painting him as an atheist. Marshall apologized on Saturday, but on Sunday, Sanders said the emails were “outrageous” and called for Wasserman Schultz to resign. “I mean there’s no question to my mind and I think no question to any objective observer’s mind that the DNC was supporting Hillary Clinton, and was at opposition to our campaign,” Sanders said.
The leaked emails, and the resignation, come just before Monday’s start of the Democratic National Convention and at a time when the Democratic Party is showing signs of division after a tense primary season between Sanders and Clinton. Wasserman Schultz will step down at the end of the convention. The Wall Street Journal, Politico, The Week
Michael Bloomberg to endorse Hillary Clinton: In a surprising move, Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire media executive and the former mayor of New York, will endorse Hillary Clinton for president and make his case for Clinton on stage at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, The New York Times reports. Bloomberg left the Democratic Party in 2000 to become a registered Republican. Earlier this year, he was considering his own presidential run as an independent. While Bloomberg disagrees with Clinton on a handful of subjects, the Times reports he is dismayed at the thought of a Donald Trump presidency, and believes Clinton to be a “far better choice,” said Howard Wolfson, a Bloomberg adviser. The hope, it seems, is that Bloomberg’s endorsement will speak to undecided moderates. The New York Times, The Week
US Democrats vote against changing superdelegates system: A US Democratic Party rules group has voted against doing away with the superdelegate system demanded by supporters of former candidate Bernie Sanders. The role of superdelegates was the main topic of discussion at the party convention rules committee meeting Saturday, ahead of its national convention in Philadelphia where Clinton will formally accept the nomination for president. Superdelegates, elected officials and party insiders who can vote for the candidate of their choice at the convention, strongly favored Clinton. She had 602, versus the 48 pledged to her main Democratic opponent. VOA
Clinton campaign said Russia is helping Trump: The suspected Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee is part of a wave of Russian cyber attacks aimed at political organizations and academic think tanks in Washington, US officials briefed on the investigations say. Over the weekend, Wikileaks began publishing emails from the DNC. The group didn’t identify the source. But the Clinton campaign pointed the finger at Russia, saying the release of stolen emails was intended to help Republican nominee Donald Trump. CNN
Clinton’s history of hiring women: Over more than two decades of public service — as first lady, presidential candidate, senator and secretary of State — a hallmark of Clinton’s management has been the hiring and promotion of women, from high-profile policy advisers and campaign managers to entry-level clerical staff. It’s reflective of how she’s likely to staff and operate the White House, as well as an indication of how she would seek to govern as the nation’s first female president. she’s already committed to appointing women to half of her Cabinet positions. USA Today
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