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American Sentenced to 12 Years in Vietnamese Prison

A U.S. citizen has been sentenced to 12 years in a Vietnamese prison for  “attempting to overthrow the state.”

Michael Phuong Minh Nguyen, 55, pleaded guilty to wanting to incite protests in Vietnam but denied encouraging people to attack government offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City  

He will be deported to the U.S. after he finishes his sentence, his lawyer said. Nguyen Van Mieng, told Reuters news service that Nguyen “admitted guilt at the trial and asked the jury to reduce his sentence so that he could soon reunite with his family.”

The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi said in a statement to Reuters that it is “disappointed” by the verdict. “We will continue to raise our concerns regarding Mr. Nguyen’s case, and his welfare, at all appropriate levels,” an embassy spokeswoman said. 

Nguyen, who was born in Vietnam but has lived in the U.S. since he was child, was arrested last year during a visit to his birthplace. 

Two Vietnamese men who were arrested along with Nguyen were sentenced to eight and 10 years in prison for related charges.

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US Moves Hundreds of Children from Suspect Detention Facility

Several hundred children, held in a U.S. border detention facility in Texas after entering the country without authorization, will be sheltered elsewhere, following a media report last week that described unsanitary living conditions and inadequate food and medical treatment at the facility.

The Associated Press reported Monday that authorities moved “more than 300 children” out of a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, following a June 20 story by the news agency.

Lawyers who visited the remote station said that older children were caring for other children, sanitation conditions were substandard, and children were sick, living in soiled clothes and being given rotten food,

FILE – Attorney General Jeff Sessions is shown during a news conference in San Diego near the border with Tijuana, Mexico, May 7, 2018.

It was under the Trump administration, however, that then-Attorney General Jeff Session announced a blanket zero tolerance policy to detain all migrants who crossed the border without authorization.

That policy, though short-lived, led to thousands of adults and children being held in separate facilities. The public backlash and lawsuits led the administration to rescind the policy. 

In a separate interview Sunday, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged that the conditions in the facilities as reported by AP were unacceptable, he shifted the blame to Democrats in Congress.

Meanwhile, authorities said Monday that three children and one adult found dead in South Texas near the border with Mexico probably died of dehydration and heat exposure after crossing the Rio Grande into this country, AP reported.

An increase in the detention of families with young children and children traveling without guardians has left U.S.officials scrambling to meet the shelter demands on the border.

At one point in recent months, CBP solicited bids to purchase thousands of baby bottles and diapers for detainees at the border.

From Oct. 1, 2018 – the start of the fiscal year – through May 31, CBP has detained 332,981 families and 56,278 unaccompanied children at the border, according to agency data.

The agency is under scrutiny over several deaths of children in its custody since late last year.

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India Grapples with Encephalitis Epidemic in One of Its Poorest Regions

At least 152 children have died in an encephalitis outbreak during the month of June in India’s eastern state of Bihar, according to local health authorities. Following a petition, India’s supreme court ordered an investigation into the epidemic.

Acute encephalitis syndrome, sometimes referred to as ‘brain fever’, has claimed lives in 20 of Bihar’s 38 districts.  In particular, the disease has gripped the Muzaffarpur district of Bihar, reaching epidemic proportions in a region already stricken with poverty and poor child health.

In 2014, an outbreak of encephalitis killed 350 children in Muzaffarpur.  

A petition filed to India’s supreme court sought to end the current epidemic, accusing local and regional governments of being negligent in their response.

“[Encephalitis] is completely curable and lives of young children are being lost due to the inaction of state machinery,” the petition read.

“Most of the deaths are occurring due to lack of medical facilities in the area of outbreak,” it continued.

In response to the petition, Indian supreme court justice Sanjiv Khanna said “We issue notice to the Bihar government seeking a detailed response.”

State and national officials must respond within seven days on health conditions, according to India’s top court.

India’s health ministry affirmed its earlier promise to open a children’s ward in the district and monitor the epidemic, as state health official face sharp criticism for what has been seen as indifference and negligent behavior.

India’s health minister Harsh Varadhan insisted that the Indian government was providing “all possible support” to combat the epidemic.  

Since June 1, more than 700 cases of the disease have been recorded, though there are signs that the disease has been slowing, with no new deaths reported on Monday.


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New US Sanctions Target Iran’s Supreme Leader

U.S. President Donald Trump imposed what he described as “hard-hitting” new financial sanctions on Iran on Monday, specifically targeting the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Trump signed an executive order he said would curb access that Khamenei and the country have to world financial markets. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the action would “literally” lock up “tens and tens of billions of dollars” of Iranian assets.

The U.S. leader called his order a “strong and proportionate” American response to Tehran’s shoot-down last week of an unmanned U.S. drone, which Washington says occurred in international airspace near the Strait of Hormuz and Iran claims occurred over its airspace.

Drone incident

Trump at the last minute last Thursday rejected a military response to the downing of the drone upon learning that about 150 Iranians would be killed in a U.S. attack. In announcing the new sanctions, he said “I think a lot of restraint has been shown by us, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to show it in the future. But we’ll give it a chance.”

Trump said he imposed the sanctions because of a series of “belligerent acts” carried out by Iran, which U.S. officials say include Iran’s targeting of Norwegian and Japanese ships traversing the Strait of Hormuz with mine explosions days before the attack on the drone.

The executive order is aimed at pushing Tehran back to one-on-one talks with the U.S. over its nuclear weapons program after Trump last year withdrew from the 2015 international pact restraining Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. Trump called the international deal negotiated by his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, “a disaster.”

“We’d love to be able to negotiate a deal,” Trump said.

But he declared, “Never can Iran have a nuclear weapon,” adding, “They sponsor terrorism like no one’s seen before.”

He said, “I look forward to the day when sanctions can be lifted and Iran can be a peace-loving nation. The people of Iran are great people.”

‘Highly effective’

Mnuchin said earlier sanctions imposed when Trump pulled out of the international agreement have been “highly effective in locking up the Iranian economy. We follow the money and it’s highly effective.”

“Locking up the money worked last time and they’ll work this time,” Mnuchin said. The Treasury chief said the U.S. could target Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, one of Tehran’s best known figures on the world stage, with sanctions in the coming days.

He said some of the sanctions Trump imposed Monday had been “in the works” before the drone was shot down, and some were being imposed because of the attack on the drone.

The Treasury Department headed by Mnuchin said that in addition to Khamenei, the U.S. sanctions also targeted eight senior commanders in the Iranian military and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. It said that any foreign financial institution that engages in a “significant financial transaction” with the Iranians targeted by the sanctions could be cut off from U.S. financial deals.

Coalition to counter Iran

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described the new sanctions as “significant” as he left Washington on Sunday for a trip to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to continue the Trump administration’s effort to build a coalition of allies to counter Iran.  Pompeo met Monday with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“The world should know,” Pompeo said, “that we will continue to make sure it’s understood that this effort that we’ve engaged in to deny Iran the resources to foment terror, to build out their nuclear weapon system, to build out their missile program, we are going to deny them the resources they need to do that thereby keeping American interests and American people safe all around the world.”

Iran has defended its missile work as legal and necessary for its defense. Tehran has sought support from the remaining signatories to the 2015 agreement to provide the economic relief it wants, especially with its key oil exports as the U.S. has tightened sanctions in an attempt to cut off Iranian oil shipments.

Trump said in a series of tweets Saturday about the sanctions that he looks forward to the day when “sanctions come off Iran, and they become a productive and prosperous national again — The sooner the better!”

He also said in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press that he is “not looking for war” with Iran and is willing to negotiate with its leaders without preconditions.


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Бойовики на Донбасі здійснили 15 обстрілів з початку доби, втрат немає – штаб

У зоні бойових дій на Донбасі з початку доби 24 червня підтримувані Росією бойовики 15 разів порушили режим припинення вогню, повідомляє штаб операції Об’єднаних сил. За цими даними, гібридні сили застосували і заборонені Мінськими угодами артилерійські системи та міномети.
«Втрат серед українських військовослужбовців немає», – ідеться у вечірньому зведенні.

В угрупованні «ЛНР» ще не інформували про бойові дії 24 червня.

В угрупованні «ДНР» зведених даних про події на лінії розмежування впродовж поточної доби також не подають, але звинувачують українських військових в обстрілах околиць Горлівки та Ясинуватої.

Унаслідок конфлікту на сході України з квітня 2014 року, за оцінками ООН станом на 31 грудня 2018 року, загинули від 12 тисяч 800 до 13 тисяч людей.

Перемир’я, про які домовлялися на засіданнях Тристоронньої контактної групи в Мінську, порушувалися практично відразу. При цьому сторони заперечують свою вину в цих порушеннях і звинувачують противників у провокаціях.

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Аеропорт «Київ» у вересні зачиниться на ремонт

Аеропорт «Київ» імені Ігоря Сікорського у вересні зачиниться на 10 днів на ремонтні роботи. Про це повідомляє прес-служба літовища.
«На початку осені з 9:00 2 вересня до 9:00 12 вересня 2019 року аеропорт «Київ» імені Ігоря Сікорського буде закритий на прийом/випуск повітряних суден у зв’язку з проведенням поточного ремонту злітно-посадкової смуги (NOTAM A1437/19). Також буде проведено частковий ремонт руліжних доріжок №1 та №2», – мовиться у повідомленні.

Вартість робіт оцінюється в 33 мільйони гривень.

Зазначається, що на час закриття аеропорту всі авіакомпанії, які базуються в аеропорту, перенесуть свої рейси в аеропорт «Бориспіль».

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Local Cambodian Patrols Seek to End Illegal Logging

According to Forest News, Cambodia loses about 208,000 hectares of forest every year from logging. Now some local residents who rely on the forest to make their living are fighting back and asking for help.  VOA’s Kevin Enochs reports.

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Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone

U.S. scientists are predicting an area in the Gulf of Mexico known as “the dead zone”  to grow to a near record size in coming months. The area – where there is low or no oxygen – is expected to increase to nearly 20,300 square kilometers. The dead zone is believed to be caused by nutrient pollution from human activity and can kill fish and other marine life. That is especially worrying to watermen who make a living fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee reports from the coastal city of Port Arthur.

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Бойовики стягують до лінії розмежування ЗРК

Зранку 24 червня з окупованого Луганська у напрямку лінії розмежування виїхали три ЗРК «Стріла-10», про це свідчить відео, яке отримав проект Радіо Свобода Радіо Донбас.Реалії.
Колона рухалася у напряму Кадіївки (Стаханова). 

20 червня СММ ОБСЄ у своєму звіті повідомила про чотири зенітно-ракетні установки «Стріла-10», зафіксовані з безпілотника на території Луганської області, окупованій російськими гібридними силами. Ця та інша техніка була розташована на відстані відведення, однак поза місцями для зберігання. Також СММ ОБСЄ повідомила про 30 установок «Град», що перебували ближче за лінії відведення.

ЗРК «Стріла-10» вражає цілі на висоті до 5 кілометрів.  

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