ICC issues warrant for Libyan army commander’s arrest

Judges at the International Criminal Court, ICC, on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for Mahmoud al-Werfalli, a Libyan National Army (LNA) Commander accused of allegedly executing dozens of prisoners.

Prosecutors at the world’s permanent war crimes court are seeking Mr. al-Werfalli’s hand-over to face charges of murder during the armed conflict in Libya.

According to the ICC, Mr. al-Werfalli “is alleged to have directly committed and to have ordered the commission of murder as a war crime” during seven incidents, involving 33 persons in June and July 2017 in and near Benghazi.

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Guam missile launch plan: Kim Jong Un waiting for US ‘foolish conduct’ before firing

 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will watch what “the foolish Yankees” do before making a decision on plans to fire four missiles toward the U.S. territory of Guam, state media in the reclusive nation reported.

The statement appears to edge North Korea away from the brink of conflict with the United States.

Kim was briefed on and examined the missile plan, and said he would watch Washington’s actions “a little more,” the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Kim said he will make an “important” decision if Washington continues its “extremely dangerous reckless actions,” Yonhap reported.

The KCNA said Kim would watch the “foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees.”

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Putin may consider running for another 6-year term as president

 

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who was first elected 17 years ago, said on Friday that he would consider running for re-election in 2018.

The Kremlin has been coy in recent weeks about whether the 64-year-old head of state would run for another six-year term in the March 2018 election.

In early July, his spokesman said the matter was still undecided.

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U.S. scientists fix disease genes in human embryos for 1st time

 

For the first time, scientists working in a U.S. lab have used gene editing to correct a disease-causing mutation in viable human embryos, according to scientific paper published Wednesday.

The work, reported in  Nature, could be a step toward genetically modified babies. But the altered embryos created in the study were quickly destroyed and never intended to be implanted in a woman — a step that would be illegal under current regulations in the United States and many other countries.

Still, the experiment moves the idea of tinkering with genes before birth “from future fantasy to the world of possibility,” said Peter Braude, an emeritus professor of obstetrics and gynecology at King’s College London.

Safety and ethical questions remain, Braude and other experts not involved in the research said. And the technique has not been perfected enough to warrant moving forward.

“We still have room to improve,” said Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a researcher at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Portland and lead author of the paper.

Here’s what Mitalipov and his colleagues, including scientists in the United States, South Korea and China, did:

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UN agencies call for urgent intervention in Yemen amid cholera outbreak, malnutrition

The international community has been urged to redouble support for the people of Yemen as the country as a protracted political conflict has pushed the country into one of the the world’ largest humanitarian crisis.

This call was made on Wednesday in a joint statement by the heads of three United Nations agencies after their representatives visited Yemen to examine the scale of the humanitarian crisis and to step up assistance to the people.

UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake; the World Food Programme (WFP), Executive Director, David Beasley; and and World Health Organisation, WHO, Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, signed the statement.

Yemen is currently facing a cholera outbreak in the midst of one of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

In the last three months alone, 400,000 cases of suspected cholera and nearly 1900 associated deaths were recorded in the country, Mr. Lake said.

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U.S. Admiral says ready for nuclear strike on China if Trump so ordered

 

The U.S. Pacific Fleet commander, Scott Swift, said he would be prepared to launch a nuclear strike on China if President Donald Trump so ordered.

Mr. Swift, a naval admiral, who made this while answering a question in Australia, later said the question was asked as an “outrageous hypothetical”.

Mr. Swift was speaking at the Australian National University in Canberra when he was asked whether he would be prepared to launch a nuclear attack on China if ordered to do so by President Trump.

“The answer would be yes,” he said.

Mr. Swift said all members of the U.S. military had sworn an oath to obey officers and the U.S. president as commander in chief to defend the constitution.

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Google fined $2.7 billion for breaking EU “Fair Play” rules

The European Union has issued a hefty $2.7 billion fine against tech giant Google.

The European Commission for Competition said in a statement on Tuesday, that the fine was administered because Google has given “an illegal advantage” to itself over its competitors.

The company holds a 90 per cent market share in Europe’s online searches.

Commissioner Magrethe Vestager, said Google has “abused its market Continue reading “Google fined $2.7 billion for breaking EU “Fair Play” rules”

Council of Europe lawmakers move against its chief for visiting Syrian President

The Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly moved Tuesday to sack its president, Pedro Agramunt, because of a visit to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in March.

The move came after the parliamentary assembly of the human rights-focused organisation voted to amend its procedures to allow it to dismiss its president or vice president.

There was previously no procedure for sacking or withdrawing confidence from the assembly’s president.

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U.S Supreme Court declares churches eligible for some public funds

Supreme Court church-state

The U.S Supreme Court ruled decisively Monday that religious institutions should be eligible to receive public funds for purely secular purposes.

Like, for instance, playgrounds.

The justices ruled 7-2 that Missouri stretched the constitutional separation of church and state too far by declaring a Lutheran church ineligible to receive a competitive state grant for playground resurfacing. The decision could have implications for as many as 39 states with constitutional provisions that block public funds from going to religious organizations.

Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

Even though the state’s denial of funds likely would lead only to “a few Continue reading “U.S Supreme Court declares churches eligible for some public funds”

White House correspondents’ chief wins top award for standing firm despite Donald Trump’s challenge

Deutsche Welle Director General, Peter Limbourg, on Monday presented this year’s Freedom of Speech Award to Jeff Mason, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA), at the Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany.

In his acceptance speech, Jeff Mason said he and his colleagues would “never have sought or expected” the award.

Gregor Mayntz, president of the Federal Press Conference, Germany, held the laudatio. Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Monika Grütters, also gave a speech.

“We see this award as recognizing free press worldwide and in the U.S. – and as a sign of solidarity and encouragement for those colleagues who have the exciting task of reporting about the U.S. President and his policies,” said Mr. Limbourg.

He emphasized that “we do not see ourselves as being above others. I very much hope that Donald Trump does not serve to stir up anti-Americanism.”

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