Spain Becomes Top EU Migrant Destination; Italy Accused of Causing Deaths at Sea

Italy has rejected criticism of its hard-line policy on immigration, after protesters marched on the Italian Interior Ministry, accusing it of being responsible for the deaths of migrants at sea. Rome has banned nongovernmental organization, or NGO, charity boats from disembarking migrants in Italian ports. As Henry Ridgwell reports, just-released figures show Italy’s crackdown is having an effect, with Spain overtaking Italy as the No. 1 destination for migrants in the European Union.

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Pompeo: US Won’t Send Any Americans to Russia for Questioning

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States will not send Americans to Russia for questioning. Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to let U.S. investigators question officials in Moscow about Russia’s interference in U.S. 2016 elections if Russian investigators are allowed to question American officials. U.S. President Donald Trump called Putin’s proposal an “incredible offer.” But in an interview with VOA on Thursday, Pompeo rejected the idea. Zlatica Hoke reports.

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Armed Forces DJ Cronauer of ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’ Fame Dies at 79

Adrian Cronauer, the U.S. military radio disc jockey immortalized by Robin Williams in the 1987 film Good Morning, Vietnam, has died at 79.

Cronauer was a U.S. Air Force sergeant who became famous in Vietnam in 1965 and 1966 by opening his daily Armed Forces Radio show bellowing, “Goood morning, Vietnam!” He then played rock ’n’ roll records instead of the light, middle-of-the-road music his superiors wanted him to play.

As portrayed by Williams, Cronauer would leap around the studio, dance, make fun of officers, mock official military announcements, and read news bulletins before they could be censored.

Cronauer said he enjoyed the film, but called Williams’ antics show business and a vast exaggeration of who he really was.

“I was always a bit of an iconoclast, as Robin was in the film,” he once said. “But I was not anti-military or anti-establishment. I was anti-stupid. And you certainly ran into a lot of stupidity in the military.”

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Russia, China Delay US Push for Halt of Refined Petroleum to North Korea

Russia and China have requested more time to consider a U.S. request to stop deliveries of refined petroleum products to North Korea, diplomats said Thursday.

 

The U.S. asked a U.N. sanctions committee last week to halt the shipments after accusing North Korea of exceeding a U.N. limit on fuel deliveries through illegal imports.

The U.S. claimed the imports go beyond the quota of 500,000 barrels per year allowed under U.N. sanctions and asked the committee to inform all U.N. member nations and the public that North Korea has violated the quota.

 

The U.S. also asked the committee to urge member states to exercise “enhanced vigilance” against Pyongyang’s attempts to obtain the products and to prevent ship-to-ship transfers.

The quota was among the sanctions imposed by the Security Council last December in response to North Korea’s launch of a missile North Korea said is capable of striking anywhere on the U.S. mainland.

At the June summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Kim agreed to denuclearization. The Trump administration, however, has said sanctions will remain in place until the denuclarization process, which has yet to begin, is completed and verified.

 

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No New Pentagon Guidance on US-Russian Military Cooperation in Syria

The commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East says he has not received new guidance from the Pentagon on military cooperation with Russia in Syria following the Helsinki summit between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We have received no specific direction at this point,” U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, who leads U.S. Central Command, told reporters at the Pentagon via teleconference from Tampa, Florida, Thursday.

Votel added that his forces are continuing communications to deconflict operations with the Russian military in Syria in order to “ensure protection” of U.S. forces.

“For us right now, it’s kind of steady as she goes (continuation of regular routine),” he said.

The U.S. is currently fighting remnants of Islamic State fighters in Syria while Russian forces are attacking anti-Assad groups in the country.

On Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that it was ready to implement what it claimed were agreements reached by Trump and Putin on increased cooperation with the U.S. military in Syria.

General Votel reiterated on Thursday that U.S. law, adopted following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, prohibits bilateral cooperation with the Russian military. Exceptions “would have to be created by Congress or a waiver,” he said.

 

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What Did Trump and Putin Agree to During ‘Successful’ Meeting?

President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin are defending their summit in Helsinki, saying the two hours of talks yielded progress on a range of issues, but disclosing few details.

“With all the difference in views, we agreed that Russian-American relations are in an extremely unsatisfactory state. In many ways, even worse than during the Cold War,” Putin said Thursday. “Of course, it would be naive to believe that the problems which accumulated over the years will be resolved in a few hours. No one expected it. Nevertheless, I believe that the path to these positive changes has started.”

Washington and Moscow have long been adversaries. Putin and Trump say they want to improve ties by increasing collaboration: in cybersecurity, military relations, counterterrorism, nuclear weapons reductions, business relations and the arts.

The specifics remain unclear. Here’s a summary of what we know:

Joint investigations

President Trump called Putin’s offer to work with U.S. investigators on the inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 vote an “incredible offer.”

In return for helping American investigators question Russian military officers charged with participating in cyber crimes as part of the covert effort, Putin said Russia would want help questioning British investor Bill Browder and the former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul as part of an alleged corruption scheme. Both are longtime Putin critics.

Browder was involved in lobbying the U.S. Congress to pass the Magnitsky Act, which freezes hundreds of millions of dollars of assets held by Kremlin-linked businessmen.

“So I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” Trump said Monday. “And what he did is an incredible offer; he offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people. I think that’s an incredible offer.”

White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders was asked about the interrogation cooperation Wednesday, and specifically whether Putin raised questioning former American ambassador McFaul.

“There was some conversation about it, but there wasn’t a commitment made on behalf of the United States. And the President will work with his team, and we’ll let you know if there’s an announcement on that front,” Sanders said.

“The overall assertions that have come out of the Russian Government are absolutely absurd,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said Wednesday. “The fact that they want to question 11 American citizens and the assertions that the Russian government is making about those American citizens — we do not stand by those assertions that the Russian Government makes.”

Military cooperation

Trump and Putin discussed military cooperation on issues like nuclear weapons treaties and coordinating operations in Syria.

“The Russian Defense Ministry is ready to enliven contact with the U.S. colleagues, between our General Staffs and via other communication channels, to discuss extension of the START Treaty, cooperation in Syria, and other topical issues of military security,” Russian spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Tuesday.

“We also agreed that representatives from our national security councils will meet to follow up on all of the issues we addressed today and to continue the progress we have started right here in Helsinki,” Trump said Monday.

Ukraine

The United States has opposed Russia’s annexation of Crimea and invasion of eastern Ukraine. However, Trump did not publicly raise the issue in his remarks following the summit. Instead, Putin said the two sides discussed how to implement the 2015 Minsk Protocol agreement aimed at halting fighting.

“President Trump’s position on Crimea is well known, and he stands by it. And he maintains that integrating Crimea into the Russian Federation was an illegal act. We have a different point of view. We believe that we conducted a referendum [there] in strict compliance with international law, with the statutes of the United Nations. For us, for the Russian Federation, this is a closed matter,” Putin said Monday.

“While we discussed the internal Ukrainian crisis, we paid special attention to the bona fide implementation of Minsk Agreements by Kyiv,” he added. “At the same time, the United States could be more decisive in nudging the Ukrainian leadership and encourage it to work actively on this.”

Syria

The two presidents highlighted Syria as a situation with conditions that favored increased collaboration.They provided few details.

“We both spoke with Bibi [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, and they would like to do certain things with respect to Syria having to do with the safety of Israel,” Trump said Monday. “So in that respect, we absolutely would like to work in order to help Israel, and Israel will be working with us. So both countries would work jointly.”

“As far as Syria is concerned,” Putin said Monday, “the task of establishing peace and reconciliation in this country could be the first showcase example of this successful joint work. Russia and the United States apparently can act proactively and take – assume the leadership on this issue, and organize the interaction to overcome humanitarian crisis, and help Syrian refugees to go back to their homes.”

General Joseph Votel of U.S. Central Command was asked Thursday if he has any information about what was agreed to on Syria.

“The direct answer is no,” he replied. “I have not been asked to do anything along those [lines]. I am not privy to any grand bargain.”

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Archaeologists Find Ancient Pottery Workshop in Egypt

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered an ancient pottery manufacturing workshop dating to more than 4,000 years ago.

Thursday’s statement by the Antiquities Ministry says the workshop is situated close to the Nile River in Aswan province in southern Egypt. It says the workshop, the oldest pottery workshop in the Old Kingdom, belongs to the 4th Dynasty, spanning 2,613 to 2,494 B.C.

The Old Kingdom is also known as the age when pyramid-building flourished.

Inside the workshop, archaeologists found an ancient pottery manufacturing wheel made of a limestone turntable and a hollow base.

Mostafa al-Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, says the discovery is “rare” and reveals more about the development of pottery manufacturing and the daily lives of ancient Egyptians during that time in history.

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Bruce Springsteen Surprises Audience at Billy Joel Concert

Bruce Springsteen propped himself on top of Billy Joel’s piano to sing a duet with The Piano Man, who was celebrating his 100th concert at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.

Joel told the energetic crowd he had a guest coming onstage who has won a Grammy, Oscar and Tony. Springsteen emerged, surprising the feverish and fanatic audience, who loudly cheered “BRUCE.”

“Congratulations, Billy, on your 100th show,” Springsteen yelled.

“Ready, Billy?” he asked, as Joel began to play while sitting at the piano.

Springsteen encouraged the crowd to cheer louder and then sang “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.” He jumped onto Joel’s piano — making it on his second try — and sat on it while Joel played and the piano slowly spun. Springsteen then rocked his guitar for “Born to Run.”

Joel, 69, and Springsteen, 68, hugged after their two-song performance, and The Boss kissed Joel on his head as he walked offstage.

A banner celebrating Joel’s 100th performance at MSG rose to the ceiling near the top of the two-hour-plus concert. Joel started performing a monthly residency at the arena in 2014. No artist has performed at the famed venue more than Joel.

“Good evening to you, New York City,” said Joel, whose 2-year-old daughter, Della Rose Joel, sat on his lap. “I want to thank you all for coming to our show.”

Joel was excited throughout his set, going from piano to harmonica to guitar. He put on his sunglasses while he passionately sang “New York State of Mind” and twirled his microphone stand in the air and danced happily after singing “Uptown Girl.”

He said he had to think of a special song to sing to celebrate his new milestone, and then performed “This Is the Time.”

“Maybe it’ll hit me later,” he said of his new feat.

Earlier on Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo proclaimed July 18, 2018, as “Billy Joel Day.” Joel, who was born in the Bronx, first performed at MSG on December 14, 1978. His piano is on display in front of the venue.

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МОН назвало найпопулярніші спеціальності та виші серед вступників

Право, філологія, середня освіта, менеджмент та медицина – нині саме на ці спеціальності вступники подали найбільше заяв, повідомив заступник міністра освіти і науки Юрій Рашкевич 19 липня на прес-конференції.

Серед університетів найпопулярнішими у вступників зараз є Київський національний університет імені Тараса Шевченка, Львівський національний університет імені Івана Франка, Національний технічний університет «Київський політехнічний інститут імені Ігоря Сікорського, національний університет «Львівська політехніка» та Харківський національний університет імені Василя Каразіна, повідомили в МОН.

«Сьогоднішній день можна вважати «екватором» вступної кампанії – тиждень подачі заяв вже позаду і тиждень ще попереду, їх прийом триватиме до 18-ї години 26 липня. До 18-ї години 25 липня буде відкрита реєстрація електронних кабінетів. А вже 1 серпня відбудеться оприлюднення рейтингового списку вступників», – повідомив Юрій Рашкевич.

Читайте також: Кабмін зменшив обсяг держзамовлення в університетах на 9,6%

Він наголосив, що база, через яку відбувається реєстрація електронних кабінетів, працює в штатному режимі, жодного критичного збою за цей час в її роботі не було.

У міністерстві навели статистику: загалом на ранок 19 липня вступники подали до вишів майже мільйон заяв на бакалавра, магістра та молодшого спеціаліста, з них понад половина – близько 600 тисяч заяв – подані в електронному вигляді; електронні кабінети зареєстрували вже 151 тисяча вступників – це понад 90% відсотків від очікуваної цього року кількості, з них 130 тисяч вже подали електронні заяви.

У середньому, кожен випускник подав по чотири заяви, зазначив заступник міністра освіти.

«Згідно з умовами прийому, кожен вступник може подати на бюджет до 7 заяв. Тобто скоріше за все більшість вступників чекають останніх днів вступної кампанії, щоб залежно від ситуації, рейтингових списків подати заяви, що залишилися. У підсумку тільки на бакалавра ми очікуємо близько мільйона заяв», – зазначив Юрій Рашкевич.

Раніше Міносвіти назвало «топ-10» спеціальностей, на які виділено найбільше «бюджетних» місць.

 

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