Top News Stories for Today – July 7, 2017
UN condemnation over N Korea fail
Both Russia and China are objecting to a UN Security Council condemnation of North Korea’s July 4 rocket launch drafted by the United States, with Russia refusing to accept that North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, diplomats told Reuters and Bloomberg. North Korea said it was an intercontinental ballistic missile, and the United States believes this was the case, but in a statement, Russia’s UN mission said the flight data “corresponds to the tactical and technical parameters of a medium-range ballistic missile.”
Security Council statements have to be agreed on by all members, and it’s unclear if further negotiations will take place. On Wednesday, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said she will propose new sanctions against North Korea in the next few days. The country has been under sanctions since 2006 over its nuclear weapons program. Reuters, Bloomberg, The Week
Violent protests erupt in Germany as G-20 summit kicks off
At least 76 police officers were injured Thursday when 8,000 protesters, some violent, hit the streets of Hamburg ahead of the G-20 summit. Police said three officers have been hospitalized, including one who was wounded when a firecracker exploded in their face. Several shops and cars were vandalized by protesters wearing black masks, police said, and other demonstrators threw rocks and objects at officers and pointed laser lights at a police helicopter.
Police have not shared how many protesters have been arrested or injured, but did reveal that pepper spray and water cannons were used to try to break up the crowds. More than 20,000 officers will work during the summit, as 100,000 protesters are expected to march in Hamburg throughout the event. ABC News, The Week
Hackers target US nuclear facilities
A joint report issued by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security obtained by The New York Times reveals that since May, hackers have been targeting employees of nuclear power plants and other energy facilities, apparently attempting to map out their computer networks for future attacks. The report, out on June 28, does not state if the hackers, whose identities and nationalities are unknown, are trying to steal company secrets or if they simply want to cause chaos, and does not say how many facilities have been breached.
Two people familiar with the attacks told the Times industrial control engineers are primarily being targeted, because they have direct access to systems that, if harmed, could lead to explosions or hazardous material spills. One of the companies targeted, Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation, runs a nuclear power plant near Burlington, Kansas, and told the Times it could not comment on cyberattacks or security issues, but none of the plant’s “operations systems” had been tampered with. The New York Times, The Week
18 states sue US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
Accusing her of putting for-profit schools above students, 18 Democratic attorneys general sued Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday over her decision to delay and rewrite rules that make schools responsible financially for fraud. “Since day one, Secretary DeVos has sided with for-profit school executives against students and families drowning in unaffordable student loans,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement.
“Her decision to cancel vital protections for students and taxpayers is a betrayal of her office’s responsibility and a violation of federal law.” The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., calls for the implementation of rules crafted during the Obama administration that were set to take effect July 1. On June 14, DeVos said the rules — which would also prevent schools from forcing students to resolve complaints outside of court — would be postponed and ultimately rewritten because they created a “muddled process that’s unfair to students and schools and puts taxpayers on the hook for significant costs.” The Associated Press
Doctors stop giving cancer drug to China’s Nobel laureate
A Chinese medical team charged with treating imprisoned Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo has stopped using cancer-fighting drugs so as not to overwhelm his severely weakened liver, raising concerns that China’s most prominent political prisoner is critically ill.
The team decided to stop use of an inhibitor drug for advanced liver cancer in light of Liu’s rapidly deteriorating liver functions, according to a statement Friday on the website of the First Hospital of China Medical University. It said a traditional Chinese medicine anti-tumor treatment was also suspended while low-molecular heparin had been added to treat venous thrombosis developing in Liu’s left leg. VOA
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