NKorea urges South to stop mediating between North, US

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

North Korea says South Korea must stop trying to work as a mediator in talks between Pyongyang and Washington

North Korea says South Korea must stop trying to work as a mediator in talks between Pyongyang and Washington

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

North Korea says South Korea must stop trying to work as a mediator in talks between Pyongyang and Washington

Thai court lets pro-army lawmakers keep seats during probe

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

A Thai court says it will allow 32 pro-military lawmakers to keep their seats while it decides whether they violated election rules, a decision criticized as unfair because it earlier suspended an opposition leader over a similar allegation

Australia probes reports of citizen detained in North Korea

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

The Australian government says it is "urgently seeking clarification" on reports that an Australian has been detained in North Korea

American woman killed by shark while snorkeling in Bahamas, police say

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

iStock(NEW YORK) — An American woman has died after she was attacked by a shark while snorkeling in the Bahamas, authorities said.

The woman, an adult, was swimming in waters near Rose Island when she was attacked, local police said in a statement.

She was then taken to shore and transported to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to police.

Additional information was not immediately available. The investigation is ongoing.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Trump says what happens in Putin meeting is ‘none of your business’

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Image(NEW YORK) — Ahead of a planned meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Japan, President Donald Trump on Wednesday said what he talks about with the Russian president is “none of your business.”

That kind of dismissal has fueled concerns about their previous meetings, some of which are under investigation by Congress over reports that Trump destroyed translators’ notes afterwards or met without any U.S. officials present. The reported destruction of notes is also the subject of lawsuits that allege the Trump administration has violated federal laws about records preservation.

“I’ll have a very good conversation with him. What I say to him is none of your business,” Trump answered as he left the White House when a reporter asked him whether he would tell Putin not to meddle in U.S. elections.

Trump and Putin are scheduled to meet Friday on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan. The Kremlin said the two will meet for about an hour and talk about U.S.-Russian relations and regional issues such as Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Iran and Ukraine, according to Putin aide Yuri Ushakov.

It’s that last topic that soured the chance of a meeting last time. Days before Trump and Putin were to meet at the G20 in November in Argentina, the U.S. canceled because Russia had seized 24 Ukrainian sailors and three vessels in international waters.

“Based on the fact that the ships and sailors have not been returned to Ukraine from Russia, I have decided it would be best for all parties concerned to cancel my previously scheduled meeting in Argentina with President Vladimir Putin. I look forward to a meaningful Summit again as soon as this situation is resolved!” Trump tweeted at the time.

Trump ended up speaking to Putin during the G20 leaders’ dinner in Buenos Aires. The White House described the encounter as an “informal conversation,” but no staff were present for it.

Ukraine’s sailors remain in pre-trial detention in Moscow.

House Oversight Committee chair Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, announced on Monday that his committee sent a follow-up letter to Trump’s acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, demanding information about Trump’s meetings with Putin in July 2017 and July 2018.

After Trump and Putin met for two hours with only their translators in Helsinki, Finland, in the 2018 summit, U.S. officials reportedly had difficulty getting a full readout of the meeting. Top aides including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said publicly they had been “fully” briefed. After the July 2017 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, where Trump was accompanied by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and a U.S. translator, Trump reportedly took the translator’s notes.

That would constitute a violation of the Presidential Records Act, according to watchdog groups like Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and American Oversight. Both groups are among the plaintiffs in two separate lawsuits against the Trump administration for allegedly destroying these records.

“This may be the only written record of a meeting between two heads of state, and the interpreter’s notes can’t be seized or destroyed just because President Trump might want them hidden,” said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, last week. “The law requires that the interpreter’s notes are recovered and preserved.”

In a letter dated March 21, the White House counsel Pat Cipollone said the administration had already provided information on some of the committee’s questions and Congress wasn’t entitled to answers on others: “Information concerning the conduct of foreign affairs is, constitutionally, within the exclusive control of the Executive Branch and Congress cannot demand its disclosure,” Cipollone wrote.

In response, House Democrats have weighed using subpoenas to compel testimony, including from the State Department translators present in Trump’s meetings — an unprecedented move.

The Trump administration has been trying to win Russia over as a partner on the world stage and peel it away from its ally Iran. Secretary Pompeo met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Putin in May and said afterwards they had made progress on Syria, Afghanistan and North Korea. National Security Adviser John Bolton had a series of meetings this week in Israel with his Israeli and Russian counterparts on the way forward in Syria.

But after their meeting Tuesday, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev made clear Russia stands by Iran, saying the U.S. drone the Iranian military shot done was in its airspace and supporting the country’s military presence in neighboring Syria.

Lavrov said Wednesday that Russia would not bend to U.S. wishes: “The U.S. begins to understand the futility of its counterproductive demands that Russia should change its independent policy and follow the approaches unilaterally promoted by the United States on the international arena.”

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US: Coca cultivation in Colombia dropped slightly in 2018

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

The Trump administration is reporting that coca cultivation and cocaine production in Colombia dropped slightly in 2018 for the first time in six years, but it remained at historical high levels

Brazil’s Bolsonaro tries new tactic to loosen gun laws

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has issued several new decrees to loosen Brazil’s strict gun laws, moving to rescue a signature campaign promise after the Senate rejected his earlier effort

At least 7 civilians killed by errant shell in Egypt

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Officials in Egypt say at least seven civilians were killed when a shell mistakenly hit a home in Abuel-Lehteni village in the coastal city of el-Arish

Venezuela gov’t says it thwarted plot seeking to kill Maduro

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Venezuelan officials say they have foiled a plot to overthrow the government that included assassinating President Nicolas Maduro and his closest political allies

Leaving for G20 in Osaka, Trump complains about US defense pact with Japan

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

AlxeyPnferov/iStock(WASHINGTON) — Just before taking off on Air Force One for the G20 summit in Osaka, President Donald Trump complained about the longstanding U.S. defense pact with Japan, America’s closest ally in Asia, and bashed some member countries for using the United States as a “piggy bank.”

The president accused member countries of the G20 — specifically close allies — including Japan, Germany, and Canada — of abusing the United States in trade and defense. The president said he took particular issue with a historic postwar U.S.-Japan defense treaty that states the United States will come to defense of Japan if it is attacked and allows the United States to have a military presence on the island nation.

“If Japan is attacked, we will fight World War III. We will go in and protect them with our lives and with our treasure,” Trump said during an interview on Fox Business Network with anchor Maria Bartiromo. “But if we are attacked, Japan doesn’t have to help us at all. They can watch on a Sony television, the attack.”

Bloomberg News reported earlier this week that president has considered pulling out of the defense pact in private, but the crumbling of the agreement would have a significant impact on the United States’ influence in Asia and leave the island nation of Japan, surrounded by nuclear threats on all sides, to fend for itself.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

The president’s comments come just a month after he was treated as a special state guest in Japan where the red carpet was rolled out for a meeting with the new emperor, lavish dinners and a VIP seat at Japan’s sumo wrestling tournament. While at the G20, he is expected to again meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and discuss trade and regional geopolitical concerns like North Korea.

But Japan wasn’t the only country the president called out ahead of his G20 trip. He also said European countries were abusing the United States.

The president said Europe treats the United States “worse than China,” and then went on to suggest an EU leader “hates the United States.”

“There’s a woman in Europe — I won’t mention her name — she’s actually considered to take Jean Claude’s place — she hates the United States perhaps worse than any person I’ve ever met. What she does to our country. She is suing all of our companies.”

He went on to say the United States is propping NATO up and claimed that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said: “If it wasn’t for President Trump we won’t have NATO.”

Trump said that Canada has also taken advantage of the United States, too: “We were being taken advantage of by Canada nobody knows that — ‘O Canada,’ beautiful song — they charge 300% tariff for a little thing called agricultural products,” he said.

While in Osaka, Trump will also be meeting with China’s Xi Jinping, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and later South Korean President Moon Jae-in when he makes a visit to Seoul, South Korea.

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In South Korea, specialized schools train wannabe YouTubers

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(SEOUL) — Eileen Lee, 41, ditched her well-paying job at one of the top conglomerates in South Korea to become a YouTuber.

Lee, who now runs her own firm, believes that a YouTube channel about successful consulting strategies will help expand her business. Even with her busy work schedule, twice a week she drives three hours from her home to People YouTube, a YouTuber training agency, to take classes on becoming a YouTube star.

Being a YouTuber is one of the top dream jobs among South Korean elementary school students, according to 2018 figures from the Ministry of Education. Like Lee, a significant number of adults are also interested in quitting their stable jobs to become a professional YouTuber.

“Although it takes more than three hours from here to home and back, I come to take classes here hoping to establish a personal concept for my YouTube channel, ” Lee told ABC News.

All told, there are more than 60 YouTube-specialized programs across South Korea.

Students ranging from teenagers to 60-year-olds take so-called ‘YouTuber Master’ courses to learn YouTube tools including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro. Along with the technical instruction, students take classes on copyright law, personal branding, copywriting and channel analysis.

The agency provides students with a personal brand manager who helps them establish their channel’s identity, and a comedian who give tips on how to be witty. As visual appearance is one of the significant factors for a successful YouTuber, there’s even a Miss Bikini champion who comes to class to train students on how to keep up their body shape.

Popular institutes like People YouTube require students to take a series of tests when applying for admission. Only students who make it through all of the camera tests, interviews, and personality tests qualify for the program.

“Because we teach in small groups, around 160 students apply every month, but only 10 of them get the shot,” Lee Dong Gyu, head of teaching and learning at People YouTube, told ABC News.

Seventy students have completed the program since last November. More than half of them have begun their career as a YouTuber, and others will be starting their channel soon.

“YouTuber schools gave me the courage to make my own YouTube videos,” said Bae Soon-deok, a 64-year-old painter who took classes at People YouTube in order to start her own channel featuring memories of her mother, who has suffered from Alzheimer’s for ten years.

Even governmental organizations are offering training programs for potential YouTubers.

Gyeonggi province’s Content Agency offers a complimentary seven-week YouTube training course that teaches basic video editing plus provides mentoring opportunities and YouTuber networking activities. The agency even has in-depth courses for full-time YouTubers specializing in the beauty and game industries.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Rescue ship with 42 migrants defies Italy order to stay out

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

A German humanitarian ship carrying 42 migrants rescued off Libya two weeks ago is in Italian waters within sight of Lampedusa island in defiance of a ban by the country’s hard-line interior minister

One of the world’s largest cities is facing a devastating drought

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

stevanovicigor/iStock(NEW YORK) — One of the world’s largest cities is grappling with a water crisis that, at least in the short term, can only be fixed by rain.

Chennai, the fourth-largest city in India with an estimated population in excess of 10 million, is facing a water crisis that’s prompting people to scavenge for whatever water they can find.

“The situation is dire,” Virginia Newton-Lewis, a senior policy analyst at Water Aid, an international organization addressing water-related concerns, told ABC News.

She said that in addition to unusually high temperatures, the seasonal summer storm known as the southwest monsoon is running late this year.

On top of that, Newton-Lewis said the monsoon that comes at the end of the year, called the northeast monsoon, was “not as good” this past year as it had been in previous years, leaving residents with less of a reservoir to fall back on.

“Every year is a bit of a gamble on the rains,” Newton-Lewis said, calling the monsoons “phenomenally important.”

“The monsoon, in good years, can bring almost a city’s worth of water,” she said. “Because India is an agricultural country, the level to which agriculture is successful depends on the amount of water that comes in the monsoon.”

The extent of the drought is so dire that it appears visible even from space, with a recent satellite image showing how the Puzhal Lake reservoir looks much smaller and appears to have dried up significantly from the year before.

Chennai is the capital city in the state of Tamil Nadu. According to The Week magazine, local officials are performing “yagnas” or expressions of faith, in the hope that divine intervention will lead to rain.

Newton-Lewis said that many residents are being forced to line up with plastic containers to get water from tanker trucks that bring in water from outside the city.

“Water Aid’s concern is for poor and marginalized groups [who] are often the least able to cope and the most impacted when cities run out of water and the situation is dire,” she said.

While the lack of monsoon rain and rising temperatures are clearly factors in the immediate crisis, there are other issues that are contributing to this situation, Newton-Lewis said, pointing to the “rapid rate of urbanization” and “a lot of unplanned, haphazard development.”

“You have a water supply network which is leaking. You’ve got old infrastructure, and then you couple that with some of the city’s natural wetlands — where water can be stored — have been built over,” she said of the longer-term issues confronting Chennai.

Those infrastructure issues can also be a problem when the monsoons finally bring rain to the area, since excessive rains could cause poorly designed buildings to flood, Newton-Lewis said.

As for what can be done about the current crisis, Newton-Lewis said that it’s largely out of man’s control.

“There are medium and long term solutions,” Newton-Lewis said. “In the short term, I think we’re reliant on the rain.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

NATO weighs boost to air defenses over Russia missile system

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

NATO is considering beefing up European air and missile defenses and ramping up its war games plans should Russia fail to respect a key Cold War-era nuclear missile treaty by August, alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned Wednesday

AP Interview: Russia hails Norway-brokered Venezuela talks

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Russia’s envoy on Venezuela says the Norway-brokered talks between the Venezuelan government and the opposition have raised a glimmer of hope for settling the country’s crisis

Stadium stampede in Madagascar’s capital kills 15, wounds 80

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

A stampede at a concert in Madagascar’s capital by a popular singer killed at least 15 people Wednesday night

A breakdown of what’s at stake in US-Iran crisis

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Both sides in the US-Iran standoff say they don’t want war

Guatemalan authorities raid electoral offices amid recount

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Guatemala’s Attorney General’s Office says it searched the offices of the country’s election commission following supposed inconsistencies in the voting count from its June 16 general elections

Russia hails return European body amid objections

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Russian officials are hailing the decision by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to ratify credentials of the country’s delegation, restoring Russia’s participation five years after being stripped of voting rights

‘They died in each other’s arms,’ migrant’s mother says

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

The mother of a man who drowned alongside his 23-month-old daughter while trying to cross the Rio Grande into Texas says she feels a hole that "nobody can fill."

US warns Turkey it faces sanctions if it buys Russian system

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper is making it clear to Turkey that it will face economic sanctions if it goes ahead with the purchase of a Russian missile defense system

The Latest: Bahrain FM gives interview to Israeli TV channel

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Bahrain’s foreign minister has given an unprecedented interview to an Israeli television channel, calling for open communication with the Jewish state

Defense: Chinese scholar’s killer offered to locate body

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Lawyers for a former University of Illinois doctoral student convicted of killing a scholar from China says he offered after his arrest to divulge where her remains are in exchange for a life sentence

Georgia strips lawmaker of immunity in protest case

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Georgia’s parliament has voted to lift the immunity of an opposition lawmaker, opening him to prosecution on charges of inciting disorder at a protest last week

Spain nabs Brazilian air force officer with cocaine in bag

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Spanish police say they have arrested a Brazilian air force officer at Seville airport with 39 kilograms of cocaine in his suitcase

4 seriously injured in Vienna explosion, building collapse

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Austrian police say at least four people have been seriously injured and several more suffered lesser injuries after a building collapse caused by a suspected gas explosion in Vienna

Kenya court stops building of coal plant in heritage site

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

A Kenyan environmental tribunal Wednesday blocked the construction of a government-backed coal power plant in Lamu County, which hosts a UNESCO world heritage site

Partial building collapse in Vienna, gas explosion suspected

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Austrian police say one or two residential buildings have partly collapsed after a suspected gas explosion in the capital

Federal agency hears testimony on fate of gray wolves

Posted on: June 26th, 2019 by ABC News No Comments

Federal officials are weighing impassioned testimony from the only public hearing anywhere in the country on the government’s latest attempt to take gray wolves off the endangered and threatened species list