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Sat, 11 Jul 2020
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Belarus, South Ossetia cool on joining Russia

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© Unknown
Belarus and South Ossetia have reacted cautiously after Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin suggested he would like to see them join the Russia Federation.

Putin, speaking to a youth forum Russia's Monday, indicated he held out hope that Belarus, South Ossetia and Russia could join a common state.

"It is possible, very desirable and fully depends on the Belarusian people's will," ITAR-Tass reported Putin as saying.

The prime minister added that Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko deserved praise for "consistently moving along the path toward integration with Russia."

Stop

Scandal-hit Polish politician Andrzej Lepper dead

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© Agence France-Presse
Andrzej Lepper was a former deputy prime minister
Polish populist politician Andrzej Lepper has died at the age of 57 in Warsaw, with police suspecting he killed himself.

The leader of the Self-Defence Party was found dead in a party office, police said.

His career in politics was latterly overshadowed by a long-running sexual assault case.

Mr Lepper served in government as deputy prime minister to Jaroslaw Kaczynski in a 2006-2007 coalition.

Police spokesman Mariusz Sokolowski told the Polish news agency Pap: "Police are at the scene ... but all indications are that the politician committed suicide."

Fish

US: How Did Those Vermont Fish Get Radioactive?

vermont nuclear power plant

The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant on the Connecticut River. Image via Wikipedia

"Hey, don't look at us" has been Entergy Corporation's response to the discovery of Strontium-90 in fish from the Connecticut River.

But the contamination, revealed this week by the Vermont Department of Health, promises to complicate the utility's effort to extend the license of its aging Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant.

One of the most lethal by-products of nuclear fission, Strontium-90 was found in the bones of nine of 13 fish collected from the Connecticut River last summer, and for the first time, in the edible flesh of one fish.

USA

China: "America Needs To Accept The Painful Fact That The Good Old Days Are Over"

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© AP

China's official comment on the S&P downgrade was harsh and condescending. Released through Xinhua (via Reuters) the statement condemned America for its "debt addiction" and "short-sighted" political wrangling.

"The U.S. government has to come to terms with the painful fact that the good old days when it could just borrow its way out of messes of its own making are finally gone," Xinhua wrote.

Heart - Black

Somalia: Seven Shot Dead In Food Scramble

somalia refugees

Refugees queue for rations at the camp in Mogadishu

At least seven Somali refugees have been killed after government troops opened fire during a handout of corn rations in the famine-stricken country.

Soldiers have been accused of sparking the chaos by trying to steal some of the rations being distributed at capital city Mogadishu's largest famine refugee camp.

Camp residents said refugees joined the scramble after witnessing the attempted theft of some of the 290 tons of dry rations - prompting the troops to open fire.

"They fired on us as if we were their enemy," said refugee Abidyo Geddi.

"When people started to take the food then the gunfire started and everyone was being shot. We cannot stay here much longer.

Dollar

Britain's biggest losers: Lakshmi Mittal, Stelios and Mike Ashley see billions wiped from their riches

  • £164bn wiped of British shares in a week
  • Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal loses £2.16bn
  • Almost $3tn wiped off shares prices worldwide sparking fears of recession
Britain's richest man became the nation's biggest loser this week as £164bn was wiped off British shares in a single week.

The world's largest steel maker Lakshmi Mittal lost £2.16bn following a calamitous six days for stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic sparking fears the meltdown will lead to a double-dip recession.

The share price of Mr Mittal's company Arcelor Mittal, of which he owns 40.83 per cent, plummeted 18.7 per cent this week reducing the value of his fortune to £9.7bn.

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Che Guevara

1000s Protest Police Brutality in Spain

Thousands of Spanish protesters have held rallies in the Spanish capital of Madrid to protest at the use of force by country's police officers during an earlier demonstration.

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© unknown
The protesters accused the authorities of abusing their power after 20 people were injured in clashes with riot police late Thursday during a rally at the interior ministry to protest the closure of the city's Puerta Del Sol Square in Madrid, AFP reported.

Madrid's Puerta Del Sol Square has been the hub of anti-government protests over the country's economic crisis since mid-May.

On Thursday, over 200 police forces were deployed to the square for the third straight day to put an end to the anti-government protests.

USA

One in Seven Americans Lives on Food Stamps

food stamps
© unknown
Believe it or not, one in seven Americans - 15 percent of the country - now need government-provided food stamps simply to survive, according to latest government figures.

Nearly 46 million Americans receive food stamps out of a population of some 311 million people, the US Department of Agriculture, which administers what's officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programme reported Thursday.

The continued high unemployment and the weak US economy have contributed to the explosive growth of the food stamp programme with no end in sight to the monthly increases, CNN said noting that 27 million people were dependent on food stamps in October 2007.

Under the food stamps programme, an eligible individual gets $200 a month in food stamps - in the form of a debit card that can be used at supermarkets and stores to buy authorised food.

A two-person household gets $367 a month. A three-person household gets $526 a month. And a four-person household gets $668 a month.

Stormtrooper

US, Colorado: TSA Confiscates Pregnant Woman's Insulin, Ice Packs


Security Tells Woman Isulin Vial Was An Explosives Risk

A Denver couple has filed a formal complaint with the Transportation Security Administration after a pregnant woman's insulin and ice packs were confiscated by screeners at Denver International Airport.

The couple has traveled around the world with her medical supplies, including insulin and syringes, and have never encountered any troubles before, they said.

"It made me feel upset and made me feel somewhat helpless," said Aaron Nieman.

Nieman's wife was traveling alone to a baby shower in Phoenix when she was questioned by a TSA agent as she went through security around 4 p.m. Thursday.

People

US, Illinois: Moms to Break Breast-Feeding Record in Hopes to Change Culture

breast feeding, breast milk, baby
© unknown
Breast-feeding moms across Illinois and the nation plan to join an international attempt to break a world Breast-feeding record.

The "Big Latch-On" is part of the World Health Organization's World Breastfeeding Week and is being sponsored, in part, by La Leche League USA.

Mothers around the world plan to gather at 10 a.m. Saturday for simultaneous breast-feeding.

National "Big Latch-On" coordinator Annie Brown tells WLS Radio that the goal is to change the stigma and culture of breastfeeding in the United States.

"I would like every baby to have access to its mother's milk, to change the environment in the U.S. as being a bottle feeding culture," Brown explained, "To change the culture so that breast feeding is normal."