Top News Stories for Today – July 6, 2017
US, China over North Korea’s nuclear activity
After North Korea on Tuesday announced that it had successfully launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, the US and China are at odds over how to address Pyongyang’s nuclear activity. China and Russia responded by calling for “peace and stability” on the Korean peninsula and proposing that North Korea halt its nuclear testing in exchange for the US and South Korea pausing joint military drills.
Within hours of that statement, however, the US and South Korea conducted a joint drill in response to North Korea’s “destabilizing and unlawful actions.” North Korea said the launch marked the “final step” in achieving a “powerful nuclear state that can strike anywhere on Earth,” and experts said the missile could be capable of reaching Alaska. CNN, The Week
Trump arrives in Poland ahead of G-20 summit
President Trump landed in Poland on Wednesday, his second trip abroad since his inauguration. The White House is expecting a warm reception for Trump in Poland, where he will give a speech in Warsaw’s Krasinski Square and discuss energy with Eastern European countries, before he heads to Hamburg for a more challenging G-20 summit that will include his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin as president.
The Kremlin said Tuesday that the long-anticipated meeting will take place on Friday, and the White House says “no specific agenda” has been set for the face-to-face meeting. Likely topics of conversation include terrorism and the Syria conflict. It’s not clear if Trump plans to raise the issue of Russia’s meddling in last year’s election. BBC News, The Associated Press, The Week
Pro-Government attack Venezuela law makers
Opposition deputies were attacked Wednesday in Caracas by supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro armed with stones and metal tubes. At least six lawmakers were injured, in addition to several staffers. The Maduro backers reportedly entered the National Assembly complex on Venezuela’s independence day, with national guard officers watching, and opposition member Tomas Guanipa showed reporters shell casings he said came from bullets fired from the street at the assembly.
Guanipa accused Maduro and his supporters of using “disproportionate violence to maintain himself in power.” Since March, at least 91 people have been killed and 2,500 injured during anti-government protests, and more than 3,000 demonstrators have been arrested. The country is being rocked by an economic crash, food shortages, and violent crime, and polls show a majority of Venezuelans oppose Maduro’s push for a new constitutional convention, which will be voted on July 30. Los Angeles Times, The Week
Steve Scalise readmitted to ICU
Rep. Steve Scalise has been readmitted to the intensive care unit “due to new concerns for infection,” a statement from his office said. His condition is listed as serious, according to the statement. Scalise, the Republican House majority whip who represents Louisiana, was critically injured when a gunman, identified as James T. Hodgkinson, opened fire on the GOP baseball team as they were practicing for a charity game on June 14.
Hodgkinson, a small business owner in Illinois, had been vocal about his support for Bernie Sanders — and his hatred for conservatives. He died following a shootout with authorities. CNN
Hobby Lobby to pay $3 million for smuggling case
Hobby Lobby is settling federal antiquities smuggling charges by paying $3 million and returning thousands of clay artifacts from Iraq. The company said it purchased the items because of a “passion for the Bible,” but “should have exercised more oversight and carefully questioned how the acquisitions were handled.”
In 2009, company president Steve Green and a consultant went to the United Arab Emirates, where they looked at engraved seals, clay impressions, and thousand-year-old cuneiform tablets. The criminal complaint says Hobby Lobby was warned that the items might be looted, but instead of making sure their country of origin was marked on customs forms, 5,500 artifacts from Iraq were shipped without proper documentation, with labels calling them “ceramic tiles” or “samples” from Turkey and Israel. Hobby Lobby also didn’t pay the dealer who sold the items, but wired $1.6 million to seven different people. NBC News
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