The Trump administration plans to handle applications from tech companies seeking waivers over Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s blacklisting within the next few weeks, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Bloomberg Television on Tuesday.”We will deal with them very promptly,” Ross said in an interview. “There are 50-some-odd applications from 35 companies that have been received, and within the next couple of weeks we expect to have verdicts.”Pressed on whether they would be completed in two weeks, Ross said: “I said within the next few weeks, few.”Ross’s comments came a day after President Donald Trump told the heads of top technology companies at the White House meeting that the administration would make “timely” decisions on requests by U.S. companies to sell products to Huawei.American companies were banned from selling most U.S. parts and components to Huawei without special licenses because of national security concerns. But Trump said last month that sales could resume as he sought to restart trade talks with Beijing.Ross said the technology company officials who gathered at the White House understood the process the administration was following and voiced no complaint about it. He said granting the waivers was an interagency process, involving the departments of Commerce, State, Defense and Energy.”This is not a simple thing, but in general the principle we will be following … is things that are not sensitive from a national security point of view, we’re going to be looking pretty favorably upon,” Ross said. “Those that are sensitive are in a different category and we have to be very, very careful about them.”Asked about the possibility of additional sanctions following a Washington Post report that the Chinese company had helped North Korea build its wireless network, Ross said the administration was monitoring Huawei’s activities.”We are continuing to watch very carefully everything about Huawei, including the information revealed in that article yesterday. But beyond that, we can’t really comment on a pending investigation,” he said.

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Twitter Inc is investigating issues related to its platform being inaccessible for users, the
microblogging site said on Thursday.

Outage tracking website showed that there are nearly 50,000 incidents of people across the globe reporting issues with Twitter.

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Looking to steady his presidential campaign after a debate performance against other Democratic contenders that hurt him in public opinion polls, Joe Biden on Thursday blasted U.S. President Donald Trump’s foreign policy as erratic and extreme. 

In his most extensive remarks to date on foreign affairs, the former vice president said Trump had damaged America’s “reputation and our place in the world, and I quite frankly believe our ability to lead the world.” 

The Republican president has unsettled Washington’s allies by withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accord, a nuclear deal with Iran and a trans-Pacific trade agreement, and has also threatened to leave the North Atlantic Treaty 

For Biden, who served in the U.S. Senate for 35 years, it was a much-needed return to firmer ground after weeks of having to defend his civil rights record, while allowing him to train his attention on Trump rather than other Democrats. 

Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris speaks in the Spin Room after the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season in Miami, June 27, 2019.

Kamala Harris, a black U.S. senator from California, assailed Biden, 76, in last month’s debate over his past stance on the use of busing to integrate schools and for remarks about his willingness to work with segregationists while in the Senate more than 40 years ago. 

Biden apologized for those remarks, but he has seen some erosion in support from Democratic voters, with Harris largely reaping the benefit and the field tightening in general among those vying to win the party’s nomination to run against Trump. 

Argument for collective action

In his address at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, Biden criticized Trump for abdicating the United States’ leadership role in the world, and he argued that collective action was necessary to confront threats posed by climate change, nuclear proliferation terrorism and cyberwarfare. 

As president, Biden said he would pull most U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, end U.S support for Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen and reaffirm the nation’s commitment to NATO. 

Domestically, he said he would terminate Trump’s travel ban against people from Muslim-majority countries and end the practice of separating migrant families at the U.S. border with Mexico. 

Biden has sharply criticized Trump for walking away from the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran, which Biden would reinstate should Tehran comply with its provisions. 

Biden said that as president he also would have the U.S. rejoin the Paris climate accord and would convene a global summit on climate change. 

Biden said he also would push for more ironclad commitments from North Korea to abandon its nuclear program than Trump has so far demanded. 

FILE – In this combination of file photos, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks in Collier, Pa., on March 6, 2018, and President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on March 20, 2018.

For his part, Trump has not held back from criticism of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. Trump has contended, among other things, that the Iran deal was too lenient and that Obama and Biden did not do enough to contain China’s economic aggression. 

Ahead of Biden’s speech, the Republican National Committee and a pro-Trump super PAC released lengthy critiques of Biden’s judgment on foreign affairs, pointing out that, among other things, Biden advised Obama to not go forward with the 2012 raid 
that killed Osama bin Laden. 

Not yet a target

Biden’s record has not yet been a front-burner issue among his rivals for the Democratic nomination, but his vote in favor of the invasion of Iraq while in the Senate has been denounced by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and others. 

At a campaign rally in Pennsylvania in May, Trump defended his “America First” policies, telling his supporters that Biden “said that he’s running to quote ‘˜save the world.’ … Well, he wants to save every country but ours.” 

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Ride-hailing application Uber, after successful launches in Ghana and Nigeria, is looking to expand in West Africa to Senegal’s capital, Dakar.  But in a city full of taxis, and drivers without smartphones, the Silicon Valley company will have to overcome a lot of challenges to make a profit.  From Dakar, VOA’s Esha Sarai reports.

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The world is dealing with climate refugees, people whose homes have been inundated by rising sea levels. But in Wales, residents of one seaside town are confused and angry because of a political decision to let nature have its way and let the town sink back into the sea. VOA’s Kevin Enochs reports.

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U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta has defended a plea deal he helped broker with Jeffrey Epstein in 2008 in Florida. The billionaire financier, who socialized with U.S. President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton, is detained in New York where federal prosecutors have charged him with sex trafficking of minors between 2002 and 2005. Acosta is under pressure to step down because as U.S. attorney in Florida, he agreed to a mild sentence for Epstein. VOA’s Zlatica Hoke reports.

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Японський безпілотний космічний зонд Hayabusa 2 («Хаябуса 2») вдруге за 2019 рік здійснив успішну посадку на астероїд Рюґу, повідомляє 11 липня Японська агенція дослідження космосу.

Такі дані агенція отримала від самого зонду. Повідомлення про те, що апарат зміг приземлитися на поверхні астероїда, викликало овації в приміщенні спостереження за місією.

Зонд Hayabusa 2 розроблений для того, щоб збирати зразки, які допоможуть дізнатися більше про еволюцію сонячної системи. Він розміром з великий холодильник і оснащений сонячними панелями, які забезпечують живлення.

Читайте також: НАСА випробувало систему аварійного порятунку космічного корабля​

Це друга за рік коротка посадка Hayabusa 2 на поверхню астероїда Рюґу, який перебуває на відстані близько 300 мільйонів кілометрів від Землі. Першу вдалося здійснити у лютому. Тоді зонд вистрілив кулею в поверхню космічного тіла, щоб здійняти та зібрати пил, перш ніж відправитися назад, на своє постійне місце перебування.

У квітні з зонду була випущена вибухівка, яка утворила кратер на поверхні астероїда, збуривши матеріал, який раніше не був виявлений, та розчистивши площу для посадки зонда.

Попередник Hayabusa 2, зонд Hayabusa 1, повернувся на Землю зі зразками пилу з меншого астероїда в 2010 році, завершивши свою семирічну космічну місію.

Hayabusa 2 запустили в грудні 2014 року. Вартість місії становить 270 мільйонів доларів.

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Один український військовий загинув, семеро отримали поранення, ще двоє – бойові травми. Такі підсумки доби 10 липня наводить штаб Операції об’єднаних сил.

За даними штабу, бойовики незаконних збройних формувань напередодні 42 рази порушили режим тиші в тому числі 28 разів застосували зброю, заборонену Мінськими угодами.

Зокрема обстрілів зазнали позиції Збройних сил України поблизу Мар’їнки, Пісків, Новотроїцького, Широкиного, Попасної, Новолуганського. Як повідомляють у штабі, бойовики стріляли в тому числі з мінометів калібру 120 та 82 міліметри, гранатометів, зенітних установок, протитанкових ракетних комплексів, озброєння БМП, великокаліберних кулеметів і стрілецької зброї.

Крім того, ще шість обстрілів зафіксовано з початку доби, додають у штабі.

«В районі відповідальності оперативно-тактичного угруповання «Схід» ворог здійснив три обстріли позицій українських захисників: два рази поряд Тарамчука – з мінометів калібру 120 та 82 міліметри, а також гранатометів різних систем; поблизу Водяного – зі стрілецької зброї. В районі відповідальності оперативно-тактичного угруповання «Північ» позиції наших захисників були обстріляні три рази: неподалік Новолуганського – з міномету калібру 120 міліметри та автоматичного гранатомету; околиці Зайцевого – з гранатометів різних систем, великокаліберного кулемету та стрілецької зброї; в районі населеного пункту Луганське – з міномету калібру 82 мм та великокаліберного кулемету», – йдеться в повідомленні.

Бойовики незаконних угруповань, своєю чергою, звинувачують ЗСУ в обстрілі окупованих ними територій.

Збройний конфлікт на Донбасі триває від 2014 року після російської окупації Криму. Україна і Захід звинувачують Росію у збройній підтримці бойовиків. Кремль відкидає ці звинувачення і заявляє, що на Донбасі можуть перебувати хіба що російські «добровольці».

Унаслідок бойових дій, 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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More than 20 U.N. ambassadors have sent a letter to the human rights council in Geneva condemning China’s treatment of Uighurs and other Muslims in the Xinjiang region.

U.N. diplomats from 22 mostly European nations along with Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand signed the letter. The United States has not yet signed on.

The ambassadors express concern about “credible reports of arbitrary detention … as well as widespread surveillance and restrictions, particularly targeting Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang.”

They urge China to stop detaining minorities and grant them “freedom of movement” within their communities.

FILE PHOTO: An ethnic Uighur woman carries a metal rod as she walks down a main road in the city of Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region, July 10, 2019.

The ambassadors chose to raise their concerns in a letter instead of a resolution, which China would have undoubtedly squelched.

“The joint statement is important not only for Xinjing’s population but for people around the world who depend on the U.N.’s leading rights body to hold even the most powerful countries to account,” the Geneva director of Human Rights Watch, John Fisher, said Wednesday.

China denies holding Uighurs and others in what rights groups and former inmates call “concentration camps” aimed at forcibly integrating them into Chinese society and culture and suppressing their own culture and religion.

China calls the camps “vocational educational centers” set up to train people for jobs and steer them away from alleged extremism and the threat of terrorism.

FILE – Uighurs rest near a food stall and Beijing Olympic Games billboards in Kashgar in China’s western Xinjiang province, Aug. 6, 2008.

Human Rights Watch’s U.N. director, Lou Charbonnau, told VOA he was disappointed when Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent top counterterrorism officials to visit the camps instead of his human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet.

Charbonnau said that was a confirmation of China’s claim that it is fighting terrorism instead of violating Muslim rights.

“What we have here is human rights abuses and that’s why Michelle Bachelet needs to be able to go there with her team of experts on terms that she considers acceptable so that they can make a credible and independent evaluation of what’s going on,” he said.

Charbonnau also said he hoped the United States, which has been very outspoken about alleged Chinese human rights violations, would “swallow its pride” and sign the letter.

He said the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the U.N. Human Rights Council over the panel’s criticism of Israel was a “very shortsighted decision.”

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A Soviet nuclear submarine that sank off the coast of Norway in the Arctic Barents Sea in 1989 is emitting high levels of radiation, researchers said. 

The Komsomolets was a nuclear-powered, titanium-hulled attack submarine equipped with two torpedoes carrying nuclear warheads.  

A joint Norwegian-Russian team of scientists said Wednesday that a remote-controlled mini-sub had taken samples near the wreckage and found the level of radioactivity at the site was up to 100,000 times higher than normal.

The remotely operated vehicle called Aegir 6000 examines the wreck of the Soviet nuclear submarine Komsomolets, southwest of Bear Island in the Norwegian Arctic, Norway, in this handout image released July 10, 2019.

While Russia and Norway have monitored radiation levels annually since the sub sank, it is the first time a submersible was used to conduct the tests. 

“This is, of course, a higher level than we would usually measure out at sea, but the levels we have found now are not alarming,” said expedition leader Hilde Elise Heldal of the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research.

Radioactivity levels “thin out” quickly at these depths and there are few fish in the area, she said.

The Komsomolets lies at a depth of about 1,700 meters (1 mile). It sank after a fire broke out on board, killing 42 of its 69 crew members. 

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South Korea’s foreign minister told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Japan’s export curbs against South Korea are “undesirable” for trilateral cooperation, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

Japan tightened curbs last week on exports of three materials crucial for smartphone displays and chips, saying trust with South Korea had been broken over a dispute with Seoul over South Koreans forced to work for Japanese firms during World War II

The restrictions will affect companies such as Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd and SK Hynix Inc., which supply chips to companies such as Apple Inc., and South Korea is stepping up diplomatic overtures to their mutual ally the United States to step in.

Widespread damage

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told Pompeo in a phone call late Wednesday that Japan’s trade restrictions may not only cause damage to South Korean companies but could also disrupt the global supply chain and hurt U.S. companies.

Kang “expressed concern that this is undesirable in terms of friendly relations between South Korea and Japan and trilateral cooperation among South Korea, the U.S. and Japan,” the ministry said. Seoul hoped Tokyo would withdraw the curbs and that the situation would not deteriorate further, it said.

Pompeo “expressed understanding” and both agreed to continue to cooperate and to strengthen communication between the three sides, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Kim Hyun-chong, deputy chief of South Korea’s National Security Office, arrived in Washington Wednesday in an unannounced visit and told reporters he was there to meet officials from the White House and Congress to discuss issues that included Japan’s export curbs.

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