Top News Stories for Today – July 30, 2017
Trump tweets gif of himself beating ‘CNN’
President Trump on Sunday tweeted an edited gif of his staged attack on Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania XXIII in 2007. On McMahon’s head was the CNN logo, so the clip depicted Trump physically beating CNN.
The president captioned the gif, “#FraudNewsCNN.” Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert defended the tweet in an appearance on ABC News later Sunday. Trump is “the most genuine president and the most non-politician president we’ve seen in my lifetime,” he said, and “no one would perceive [the tweet] as a threat. I hope they don’t. I do think that [Trump is] beaten up in a way on cable platforms that he has a right to respond to.” The Week, The Hill
Trump delivers first July 4 speech as president
Trump gave his first speech celebrating Independence Day, delivering his Saturday evening address at the Celebrate Freedom Rally in Washington, D.C. His talk dwelled on twin themes of veterans and the media. “There is no place I would rather be than with you,” Trump told a majority-military audience, touting the United States as “a land rich with heroes.”
His words about the press were less warm. “The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House, but I’m president and they’re not,” Trump said. “The fact is the press destroyed themselves because they went too far. Instead of being subtle and smart, they used the hatchet and the people saw it right from the beginning.” The New York Times, The Hill
Car bomb kills at least 19 in Damascus
At least 19 people were killed and another dozen wounded Sunday when a car bomber eluded police in Damascus, Syria. Police were tracking three vehicles and caught two of them, safely detonating the car bombs without casualties.
The third vehicle escaped, striking on the first normal workday after celebrations to mark the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan. “The terrorist bombings killed and wounded several civilians and caused physical damage to the area,” a local official told state-run media. The attack has not been claimed by any terror group so far. BBC, The Associated Press, The Week
Qatar is given new deadline on Gulf demands
Saudi Arabia and three other Arab states have extended the deadline for Qatar to accept a list of demands, or face further sanctions, by 48 hours. The initial deadline for Qatar to agree to the group’s 13 demands, including the shutting down of the Al Jazeera news network, expired on Sunday.
The Gulf state, which denies funding extremism, is expected to submit a formal response later. It has called the demands an “affront to international law”. Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani arrived in Kuwait on Monday to deliver a formal response in a letter, according to Al Jazeera. The letter is from the emir of Qatar to the emir of Kuwait, who is the main mediator in the Gulf crisis. BBC
US destroyer sails near disputed South China Sea Island
A US Navy destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of a tiny, disputed island in the South China Sea that is claimed by three Asian governments. Triton Island is claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam. China deployed military vessels and fighter jets to the area Sunday, accusing the USS Stethem of trespassing. A US government official said the Stethem was conducting a routine “right of innocent passage” exercise,” meant to demonstrate freedom of navigation in the disputed waters.
Lu Kang, China’s foreign ministry spokesman said, in a statement, the US move was “a serious political and military provocation” and that such operations “violate China’s sovereignty and threaten China’s security.” Authorities say the sailing of the Stethem within 12 nautical miles of the island was meant to indicate that the US does not recognize territorial claims to the island. VOA
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