Top News Stories for Today – July 9, 2017
Climate controversy in G-20 summit
World leaders at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on Saturday issued a joint communiqué acknowledging the United States’ differing stance on climate change. Negotiators attempted to reach consensus on the issue but were unable to reconcile the Trump’s administration’s approach with that of the other powers involved.
“We take note of the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the Paris Agreement,” the statement says, but the “leaders of the other G20 members state that the Paris Agreement is irreversible.” The “differences were not papered over; they were clearly stated,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel of the process. Reuters, The Guardian
Iraqi declares victory over ISIS in Mosul
The end of Islamic State occupation of Mosul, the terrorist group’s last major stronghold in Iraq, is “imminent” after a months-long battle, US-supported Iraqi coalition forces said Saturday. The victory is a major strategic blow against ISIS, which is steadily losing territory in Iraq and Syria, though it retains its de facto capital in Syria’s Raqqa.
While many Iraqi soldiers celebrated the win, for residents of Mosul joy is dulled by the destruction and civilian casualties long-term fighting has produced. “If there is no rebuilding and people don’t return to their homes and regain their belongings, what is the meaning of liberation?” asked Mohammed Haji Ahmed, a clothing merchant. ISIS used civilians as human shields, and the Pentagon confirmed Friday US-led coalition airstrikes killed more than 600 innocents. Independent estimates put that number much higher. Reuters, Rudaw, The Week
US flies bombers over Korea in show of force
The United States Air Force flew bombers over the Korean Peninsula Thursday and Friday in a show of force responding to North Korea’s recent test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) theoretically capable of striking Alaska.
B-1 Lancer bombers and US F-16 fighters based in Guam were joined by planes from the South Korean and Japanese militaries to communicate the US and her allies “are trained, equipped and ready to unleash the full lethal capability of our allied air forces.” The Pentagon is also planning to test its THAAD missile defense system in Alaska in coming days. CNN, Reuters, The Week
Russia behind hacking of US nuclear companies
Hackers who penetrated the business networks of US energy and nuclear companies in recent weeks were working for the Russian government according to a report in a prominent newspaper. The Washington Post reported late Saturday that anonymous US government officials confirmed the hackers were working for the Russian government.
The officials told The Post the Russians’ motive is not clear because the operations of the affected companies were not disrupted. VOA
Chinese Nobel Peace laureate not too ill to travel
Two Western doctors who visited ailing Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo in a Chinese hospital Saturday say it is not too late for him to travel overseas for medical treatment. However, the doctors, one from Germany and one from the United States, said in a statement that any medical evacuation would have to take place “as quickly as possible.”
The 61-year-old Liu was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2009 for “his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China” before being transferred to a hospital in the northeastern city of Shenyang for treatment of terminal liver cancer. VOA
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