Top news stories for today – June , 9 2016
Israel suspends Palestinian entry permits
Israeli police said Wednesday that two Palestinian cousins fatally shot four people and wounded at least 16 when they opened fire on a popular market in central Tel Aviv. Both men, from the West Bank town of Yatta, are in police custody.
On Thursday, Israel responded by suspending the special Ramadan permits for 83,000 Palestinians who wanted to visit family in Israel, pray in Jerusalem, or fly out of Tel Aviv’s airport; the Israeli military also froze work permits for 204 members of the attackers’ family and closed in-and-out access to Yatta.
The shooting took place at the Max Brenner restaurant inside the Sarona Marketplace. In the past eight months 31 Israelis and two Americans have been killed in Palestinian attacks, and 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israel. The Associated Press, BBC News
Indian PM charms US lawmakers with humor
As leader of a nation beset with sectarian, religious and ethnic divisions, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought common understanding with US lawmakers through humor.
“I’m informed that the working of the US Congress is harmonious. I am also told that you are well-known for your bipartisanship,” Modi said to hearty laughter followed by applause, addressing a joint meeting of Congress Wednesday. “Well, you are not alone. Time and again, I also witness a similar spirit in the Indian Parliament,” he added with playful sarcasm. “As you can see, we have many shared practices.”
Modi returned to humor again and again, noting that more Americans “bend to yoga than throw a curveball,” as the prime minister hailed a deepening relationship between Washington and New Dehli. From blossoming trade to energy cooperation to shared strategic interests, Modi said the distance and mistrust that once marked US – India ties are a thing of the past.
Modi’s speech was the sixth delivered by an Indian head of government to the US legislature. VOA
Japan protest Chinese warship
China on Thursday rebutted a warning from Tokyo, just hours after Japan expressed a strong vow to protect its territory following a Chinese naval vessel sailing close to Diaoyu islands, known as Senkaku in Japanese, claimed by both countries.
Japanese vice foreign minister Akitaka Saiki summoned China’s ambassador, Cheng Yonghua, at 2 a.m., while the maritime incident in the East China Sea was underway, to express “serious concern” and lodge a protest, according to a Japanese foreign ministry statement.
Japan will protect the Senkaku islands “by any means” and the Chinese frigate which moved early Thursday just outside Japanese territorial waters is a grave matter and “behavior unilaterally escalating tensions,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo.
China’s patrol ships, from time to time, are spotted close to or have entered waters which Japan considers its own but Thursday’s incident marks the first time a naval vessel has sailed into this particular disputed area. Japanese officials say Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has instructed his government to coordinate with the United States and other countries about the incident. VOA
Sharapova banned by Tennis Federation
Tennis champion Maria Sharapova was banned from tennis for two years by the International Tennis Federation after testing positive for the drug meldonium. Sharapova, 29, said she will appeal the suspension portion of the ruling.
During the Australian Open in January, the Russian tennis player tested positive for the banned drug meldonium, a metabolic modulator that is also known as Mildronate.
In March, Sharapova announced to the public that she had tested positive to the substance and accepted “full responsibility.” She had taken the drug since 2006, due to a family history of heart issues and diabetes with a doctor’s guidance, Sharapova said. According to Reuters, the drug is sold in only a few Eastern European nations, but wasn’t banned by the International Tennis Federation until Jan. 1, 2016. Players were sent the list of banned substances, but Sharapova said she had not read the list. PBS
US Presidential election
Obama to meet with Sanders: Bernie Sanders is meeting President Obama in the White House on Thursday, then Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), and holding a campaign rally at RFK Stadium. At the White House meeting, which Sanders requested, Obama will gently and respectfully prod Sanders toward recognizing Hillary Clinton’s victory, and harnessing his campaign to support her and defeat Donald Trump, the White House said. Obama won’t pressure Sanders to quit, aides say, and will offer to help Sanders continue pressing for the progressive ideas he espoused in the campaign. “You’ve built this enormous grass-roots movement; what do you want to do with that?” said Obama’s communications director, Jen Psaki, previewing the meeting. Sometime after the meeting, Obama is expected to endorse Clinton. The New York Times, The Associated Press, The Week
Elizabeth Warren to endorse Clinton soon: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has remained neutral throughout the primary race, but she is expected to endorse presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton within a week or two, sources told Reuters. Warren has been regularly communicating with the Clinton campaign, the sources say, and while she is not currently interested in being Clinton’s running mate, she has not entirely ruled it out. A progressive hero, Warren’s top priority is to defeat presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and to advance issues that are closest to her, like income inequality, the sources said. Reuters, The Week
GOP lawmakers pile on Trump over judge attacks: Donald Trump’s recent comments regarding U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel have pushed at least 20 Republican lawmakers to vehemently speak out against their party’s standard-bearer. Trump called for Curiel, who is presiding over a civil lawsuit against Trump University, to recuse himself from the case because he says Curiel’s Mexican heritage would preclude him from ruling fairly against him. House Speaker Paul Ryan has deemed Trump’s attacks the “textbook definition of racism,” while Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called the Republican presidential candidate’s remarks “the most un-American thing from a politician since Joe McCarthy.” Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) decided to un-endorse Trump because of his remarks. Trump maintains his comments have been “misconstrued.” The Washington Post, The Week
Obama eager to campaign for Clinton: Barack Obama is the first sitting US president in several decades who can significantly impact the race to elect his successor. His approval ratings are more than 50 percent. Administration officials have repeatedly said Obama is extremely eager to help unite the Democratic Party and hit the campaign trail to support its presidential nominee. However, the White House says he will not make an endorsement until after a meeting with candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday. VOA
Koch’s team to meet Trump’s aides: Top officials within Charles Koch’s powerful policy network plan to meet with Donald Trump’s aides, the industrialist told USA TODAY on Wednesday. The meeting comes at the request of the Trump team, Koch said. No date has been set for the gathering, which has not been publicly disclosed before. In a wide-ranging interview, Koch criticized Trump’s recent comments about the Mexican heritage of a federal judge overseeing a civil fraud case against his now-shuttered Trump University. USA Today
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