Top News Stories for Today – July 4, 2017
N Korea tests Intercontinental ballistic missile
North Korea said Tuesday it successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile. The country has long sought that capability as it works to develop the technology necessary to send a nuclear warhead to the continental United States. An announcement on state television said the missile flew for 39 minutes and reached an altitude of 2,800 kilometers.
Those numbers are about the same as figures given by the US, South Korean and Japanese militaries shortly after the test that ended with the missile falling into the Sea of Japan. The US military’s Pacific Command described the missile involved as an intermediate range ballistic missile. South Korean President Moon Jae-in said his government assumed it to be a “medium long-range ballistic missile” but would still prepare in case it were an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). VOA
Trump calls on China to increase pressure on N Korea
Trump pressed Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday to do more to help confront the “growing threat” of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The high-stakes phone call came after a tense week in which Beijing expressed anger over the Trump administration’s arms sale to Taiwan, which China considers one of its provinces.
Trump also spoke about North Korea with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan. Trump and Abe expressed “unity with respect to increasing pressure on the regime to change its dangerous path,” the Trump administration said. Analysts have been warning that North Korea could be gearing up for another nuclear test, which would escalate tensions already stoked by a series of missile tests. For months, Trump has said that China, North Korea’s key ally and trading partner, is best positioned to pressure North Korea to curb its controversial weapons programs. The New York Times, Reuters, The Week
Russia warns US before Putin-Trump meeting
Russian President Vladimir Putin will demand the return of two diplomatic compounds seized by the United States when he meets in Germany this week with President Trump for the first time, the Kremlin said, as a senior Russian official warned that Moscow’s patience on the issue was running out.
Putin’s foreign affairs adviser Yuri Ushakov said his government showed “unusual flexibility” by not retaliating in December when then-President Obama confiscated the two compounds, in New York state and Maryland, and expelled 35 Russian diplomats as punishment for Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. abc via Yahoo
Chris Christie under fire after lounging at closed beach
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) was photographed on Sunday lounging with his family on a beach at a state park closed under a government shutdown he ordered on Friday. The pictures, showing Christie in a beach chair wearing a baseball cap, bathing suit, and T-shirt, were taken shortly before Christie flew back to Trenton in a state helicopter to unsuccessfully work on breaking a budget impasse that led to the shutdown.
He faced criticism on social media for using Island Beach State Park over the July 4 holiday weekend when state residents could not. Christie, whose family is staying in a beach house provided by the state, replied: “Run for governor, and you can have a residence there.” NJ.com, The Associated Press
Demonstrators square off in impeachment protests
Thousands of people rallied in several cities across the country to call on Congress to impeach President Trump. In Los Angeles, several thousand people marched carrying signs saying “Worst President Ever” and “We demand the truth,” and chanting, “Down, down, down with Trump — up, up, up with the people.”
“Every day when I wake up, something is more terrible than it was yesterday,” said protester John Meranda, 56, of Long Beach. In many of the cities, the demonstrations were met with counter-protests by Trump supporters. “There’s no reason at this point to impeach the president. He’s committed no crimes. There’s no reason,” Jake Lloyd, who backs the president, said in Austin, Texas. “I don’t think they understand what impeachment is.” Los Angeles Times, NBC News
Wimbledon kicks off with wins for Murray, Nadal, Williams
Wimbledon kicked off on Monday with wins from many of the top seeds. World number one and defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray had a straight-set win over Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik, winning 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. Murray is looking to claim his fourth Grand Slam title.
Rafael Nadal also had a comfortable win over John Millman in his quest for a third Wimbledon title. Venus Williams had a first-round, 7-6 (7), 6-4 victory against Belgium’s Elise Mertens. At a press conference following the match, Williams became visibly emotional after being peppered with questions about a recent car accident she was involved in that resulted in one death. Authorities say Williams was at fault. “There are really no words to describe … how devastating … I’m completely speechless,” Williams said. The Guardian, BBC
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