- Two moderate earthquakes have struck the Middle East just before 6:00am on Sunday morning. The first one, measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale, was recorded 182km southeast of Minab, Iran, the USGS said, adding that the quake was registered at a depth of 10 km. Just six minutes later, Yemen experienced a 5.4 jolt, according to the agency. Also located some 10 km below the surface, the quake's epicenter was registered 136km east of Sayhut. So far there are no reports of casualties or widespread destruction.
- Demonstrations against unemployment, poor government services and corruption that began in Basra have now spread to other Iraqi cities, including Najaf, Amara, Nasiriya and the capital Baghdad. Two protesters were killed amid clashes with security forces in Amara, near Iraq's Iranian border, on Saturday night, the medics said, bringing the death toll during the week of unrest to three people, with dozens also injured. There was also a small protest in Baghdad, which took place under a heavy deployment of security forces, AFP reported. Iraqi authorities have convened for an extraordinary National Security Council meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi, in order to decide how to control the situation.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have discussed “joint steps aimed at resolving the crisis situation in Syria” in a phone conversation, the Kremlin has said, in a statement. The Russian leader also congratulated his Turkish counterpart on his victory in the recent presidential elections, the statement added. Earlier, Ankara said that the two presidents agreed to hold bilateral talks on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in South Africa later this month.
- It’s “not the best period” in Palestine’s relations with the US as Washington is trying to “impose its solutions of the most sensitive issues” towards a peaceful settlement with Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, during a meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Palestine disagrees with the relocation of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and other steps taken by the Americans in preparation of what Donald Trump describes as “the deal of the century,” Abbas said. He also singled out the expansion of Israeli settlements to Palestinian territories “a major problem,” TASS reported. Putin agreed that “the situation in the region was difficult,” adding that he was glad to inform Abbas on his talks with other Middle East leaders regarding the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
- “Today, we are in conditions in which the United States is more isolated than ever over the sanctions issue. America's illegal actions ... have even isolated it among its own allies as we just saw,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech, referring to protests held in the UK on Friday against US President Donald Trump's visit there, Reuters reported. Rouhani said the government guarantees “there will be no problems for the country in terms of energy, transportation, basic goods and production” should America re-impose sanctions.
- Chinese solid waste imports dropped 56.3 percent in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period of last year, state run Xinhua news agency reported citing the customs authority on Saturday. The solid waste imports reached 9.98 million tones over the six month period. The plunge is the result of Beijing’s 2017 decision to ban some trash imports due to deteriorating pollution. In 2018, Chinese authorities added more than 32 types of waste to the blacklist, such as steel waste, used auto parts, and old ships.
World NewsThe US is becoming increasingly isolated, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on the anniversary of the country’s nuclear deal and even allies have learned that Washington can’t be trusted to honor any agreement, its FM has said.
- American Jews slam Israel’s ‘racist’ nation-state bill as thousands protest against it in Tel AvivThousands of people have taken to the streets of the Israeli capital in protest against the so-called nation-state bill, which, they say, would enable ethnic segregation. The controversial bill also drew criticism from US Jews.
- All eyes on Putin’s limo: Russian president’s supercar sparks interest among foreign customersThe manufacturers of a custom-made supercar have seen an increase in foreign interest since the vehicle was added to the motorcade of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to one of its developers.
- 19yo Indian girl pushed to her death in disastrous college safety drill (GRAPHIC VIDEO)A 19-year-old college student in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu hit a railing and died after a fake disaster-preparedness trainer pushed her from the second floor of a building onto a net held by other students during a drill.
- ‘4% on military spending will not make world more secure’ – German Foreign MinisterIncreased defense spending championed by the US President Donald Trump at the NATO summit will not make the world safer, the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said, adding that respect for international order is needed instead.
- Russian meddling or World Cup hopes? Wrong French flag color at July 14 parade puzzles (PHOTOS)While grandiose and colorful, this year’s pomp-filled Bastille Day parade in the French capital wasn’t free of some puzzling fails. And some netizens even suspected Russians may be involved.
- Israeli minister wants to close embassy in Ireland after vote to ban imports of settlement goodsIsrael’s defense minister has called for its embassy in Ireland to be closed after the country proposed a law that would ban the importation of goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements.
- Vaping Air China co-pilot fired after causing plane to plummet 6,000 metersInvestigators have revealed that passengers on an Air China flight endured a gut wrenching 19,600 feet plummet because the plane’s co-pilot needed to get his tobacco fix.
- US 6th fleet flagship, Marines flock to Ukraine for massive Sea Breeze war games (PHOTO, VIDEO)30 vessels, dozens of combat jets and around 3,000 troops from 19 nations have been deployed to Ukrainian waters to take part in massive the US-led Sea Breeze 2018 war games in the Black Sea.
- S. Korea summons Russian officials after scrambling jets to escort Russian planesSouth Korean defense and foreign offices summoned Russian officials after its air force were dispatched to warn Russian bombers of entering its air defense zone. Moscow says the planes were flying over the international waters.
- Sweet as salt: Finnish cafe braces for Helsinki meeting with ‘Trumputin’ fusion pancakesA Helsinki cafe is adding some salty-sweet flavor to the much-anticipated meeting between the US and Russian leaders with a fusion “Trumputin” meal, featuring pancakes with salmon, onions, vanilla and berries on one plate.