23 Jun 2020

Trump: I’ve ‘authorized’ federal arrests for vandalizing statues; says up to 10 years in prison
“I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent,” Trump tweeted. …..This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions! — Donald J. Trump

Former Bolton chief of staff: Iran incident disproves his book
When we hear that the president doesn’t have principles [and] he’s not qualified to lead, this incident that Bolton puts forward as the turning point for his relationship with President Trump — in my mind, it disproves the whole book,” Fleitz said.

Futures, Yuan Plunge After Navarro Says “China Trade Deal Is Over”
US equity futures and offshore yuan are plunging in early Asia trading after White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said on Monday the trade deal with China is “over.”

All COVID vaccines using aborted-baby stem cells, group warns
As the Trump administration expresses optimism about the development of a vaccine for the coronvirus, a religious-liberty group is warning that the top vaccines under development are made with “aborted baby cell lines.” The vaccines are not from aborted fetuses but from embryos used by researchers, says Liberty Counsel, which is running a campaign urging members of Congress and governors to oppose a government plan to force vaccinations.

Saudi Arabia to bar arrivals from abroad to attend the hajj
Saudi Arabia said on Monday it will bar arrivals from abroad to attend the hajj this year due to the coronavirus, allowing only a limited number of Saudi citizens and residents to make the pilgrimage with social distancing measures enforced.

House GOP Leadership Circulates Letter in Support of Israeli Annexation
Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives has been circulating a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in support of Israel expected to annex parts of Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank, according to a copy of the letter obtained by JNS.

China’s Global Aggression could Trigger War of Gog and Magog Rabbi Explains
While much of the media is focused on the riots in the US and Europe, China has been quietly advancing its world domination agenda. But just as the assassination of a minor duke sparked of Worl War I, the pre-Messiah War of Gog and Magog may have already begun, set in motion by a battle in the Himalayan Mountains fought with clubs and fists.

102 shot, 14 fatally including toddler in Chicago over Father’s Day weekend
A 3-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl were among the youngest fatal victims of a deadly Father’s Day weekend in Chicago, Ill. In total, 14 people were shot and killed between Friday evening and Monday morning in Chicago, The Chicago Sun-Times reported. Another 92 people were shot and injured over the weekend, making a total of 102 shootings in the city. Five of those killed over the weekend were minors.

Series Of Large Earthquakes Rock North Iceland
A series of large earthquakes have been rumbling through north Iceland over the weekend, some of them over a magnitude of 5, the Icelandic Met Office reports. The epicentre appears to be some 20 kilometres northeast of Siglufjörður, with tremors reportedly felt as far south as Akureyri, as far west as Skagafjörður, and as far east as Húsavík. UPDATE: All this said, natural disasters specialist Ein­ar Hjör­leifs­son has told MBL that a quake or quakes with a magnitude of 7 could be expected.

5.3-magnitude earthquake strikes Mizoram; PM Modi assures support to the state
An earthquake of 5.3 magnitude hit Mizoram in the early hours of Monday, causing damage to houses and cracks on roads at several places, an official said. No casualties have been reported, the official of the state Geology and Mineral Resource Department said. Quoting the National Centre for Seismology, he said the earthquake happened at 4.10 am and the epicentre was at Zokhawthar in Champhai district on the India-Myanmar border.

Trump urged by IDF generals to stand behind Netanyahu’s sovereignty plan
A group of IDF generals have written a letter to the US President Donald Trump urging him to support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s annexation plan to apply sovereignty over parts of the West Bank. The group of IDF generals known as the Habithonistim, Protectors of Israel, holds that the plan offers Israel an unparalleled security opportunity to plan 30% of the West Bank within Israel’s permanent borders.

Drone and missile attack reported on Saudi Arabia
Explosions heard around the capital of Saudi Arabia were alleged to be a drone and missile attack in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The US embassy in Saudi Arabia confirmed media reports of “possible missile or drone” attacks that struck a building in Riyadh. Concerned that more were incoming, the US mission urged people to take precautions.

North Korea Threatens ‘Sensational Event’ to End America
A statement from North Korea’s embassy in Moscow observing the 70th anniversary of the still-ongoing Korean War this weekend threatened a “sensational event” leading to the destruction of the United States. North Korea routinely threatened nuclear attacks on America for much of the past decade, peaking in intensity around 2016-2017.

Germany struggles to impose local coronavirus infections
Authorities in Germany’s Goettingen and North Rhine Westphalia regions have called on police to enforce quarantine measures following a rise in local coronavirus infections and trouble getting people to adhere to isolation rules. Health authorities needed police reinforcement to maintain lockdown conditions at a tower block in Goettingen after a riot broke out on Saturday where around 700 people had been placed into quarantine.

Need for speed: Japan supercomputer is world’s fastest
Japan’s Fugaku supercomputer, built with government backing and used in the fight against coronavirus, is now ranked as the world’s fastest, its developers announced Monday. It snatched the top spot on the Top500, a site that has tracked the evolution of computer processing power for more than two decades, said the Riken scientific research centre.

Arizona wildfires grow as flames flicker throughout Desert Southwest and California
Wildfires continue to rage in Arizona, leading into another week set to feature hot, dry conditions from the Desert Southwest to California. At the same time as the fires are burning, prompting evacuations, spikes in coronavirus cases are being recorded in several states in the region, including Arizona. The fifth-largest wildfire in Arizona state history continued to rage Monday morning, swelling to 186,086 acres in size.

North Korea: Balloons and speakers raise Korean border tensions
South Korean activists say they have flown propaganda-carrying balloons across the border in to North Korea, the latest provocation in an escalation of tensions between the two neighbours. The North has expressed its anger about the balloons, and the South has attempted to stop the activists. Since a 2018 thaw, the long-standing rivals had been making efforts to improve ties and maintain dialogue.

BeiDou: China launches final satellite in challenge to GPS
China has successfully put into orbit the final satellite in its BeiDou-3 navigation system, further advancing the country as a major power in space. Tuesday’s launch will allow China to no longer rely on the US government-owned Global Positioning System (GPS). The $10bn (£8bn) network is made up of 35 satellites and provides global navigation coverage.

Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia bars international pilgrims for Hajj
Saudi Arabia has banned international visitors from making the Islamic pilgrimage, or Hajj, this year in a bid to control coronavirus. Only a very limited number of people currently living in the kingdom may take part, an announcement on state media says. An estimated two million people would otherwise have visited Mecca and Medina this summer for the annual gathering.

Egypt says keen to reach agreement on Nile dam issue
Egypt willing to continue negotiations over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam issue and reach an agreement favorable to all sides, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said. Shoukry’s statement came in response to a claim made by the Ethiopian foreign minister that Egypt was attempting to escape negotiations by calling on the United Nations (UN) Security Council to intervene, local daily Ahram Online reported on Monday.

New rocket attack in Baghdad, 6th in two weeks
A rocket slammed into the Baghdad airport on Monday, the Iraqi military said, landing near a complex where US soldiers and diplomats are housed. The airport has been shut to commercial flights since mid-March in an effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has infected more than 20,000 in Iraq and cost over 1,100 lives. “The rocket did not cause casualties or material damage,” the Iraqi military’s statement said.

24 organizations urge UN chief to blacklist Saudi coalition
Two dozen human rights and humanitarian organizations urged Secretary-General Antonio Guterres…to reconsider his decision to take the Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen’s government off a global blacklist of parties whose actions have killed or injured children in conflict. The 24…organizations also urged the U.N….to reconsider taking Myanmar’s armed forces…off the blacklist for recruiting and using children in conflict.

More than 58 000 ha (143 000 acres) of rice damaged as ‘worst’ drought in history hits Mekong Delta
More than 58 000 ha (143 000 acres) of rice have been damaged in Mekong Delta due to the region’s worst drought in history, according to Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). The MARD, in cooperation with the People’s Committee of Long An Province, held a conference to discuss the results of the prevention of drought, saltwater intrusion, and water shortage during the 2019/20 dry season.