The United States formally withdrew from a landmark nuclear missile pact with Russia on Friday after determining that Moscow was in violation of the treaty, something the Kremlin has repeatedly denied. Washington signaled it would pull out of the arms control treaty six months ago unless Moscow stuck to the accord. Russia called the move a ploy to exit a pact the United States wanted to leave anyway in order to develop new missiles.
Liberals fear unrest as Poland Catholic Church doubles down on anti-gay rhetoric
Poland’s Catholic Church has doubled down on the anti-gay rhetoric that has become the nationalist ruling party’s dominant theme in recent weeks, drawing a rebuke from liberal politicians who compared an archbishop’s remarks to incitement to genocide. In a sermon given to mark the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw uprising by Polish resistance fighters against Nazi occupation, the archbishop of Krakow, Marek Jedraszewski, described Poland as under siege from a “rainbow plague” of gay rights campaigners he compared to Poland’s former Communist rulers.
Fourth Ebola case found in Congo city, raising fears of faster spread
A fourth case of Ebola has been confirmed in the eastern Congo city of Goma, the government said late on Thursday, as the disease spreads in a city of more than 1 million people. The new case is the wife of a man who died of the virus earlier this week and who only sought treatment over a week after starting to show symptoms, authorities said – raising concern he might have infected more people in Goma.
Saudi Arabia lifts travel restrictions on women, grants them greater control
Saudi Arabia has allowed adult women to travel without permission and granted them more control over family matters, further eroding a heavily criticized male guardianship system at a time of heightened scrutiny over its human rights record. A series of royal decrees published by the official gazette on Friday stipulated that a Saudi passport should be issued to any citizen who applies for it and that any person above the age of 21 does not need permission to travel.
North Korea increases pressure with latest missile launches
North Korea fired missiles for the third time in eight days on Friday, a series of launches that analysts say are designed to improve military capabilities and pressure the United States and South Korea as they seek to restart denuclearization talks. U.S. officials, who have been hoping to revive the stalled talks with North Korea, played down the launches. The North has been testing missiles despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s June 30 meeting with its leader Kim Jong Un, where they agreed to revive the talks.
Bombs hit Bangkok during major security meeting
Six small bomb blasts wounded at least four people in Bangkok on Friday, as the Thai capital hosted a Southeast Asian security meeting with top diplomats from the United States, China and other world powers. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha ordered an investigation into the bombs, a blow to Thailand’s image during the high profile event and barely two weeks after his former military junta transformed into a civilian government.
Pompeo jabs at China’s ‘bad behavior’, defends U.S. tariffs
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday decried “decades of bad behavior” from China that have hampered free trade, laying out a case at a Southeast Asian forum for Washington’s escalating trade war with Beijing. Pompeo’s statements came after President Donald Trump on Thursday announced he would slap a 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese imports starting Sept. 1, abruptly ending a truce in year-long trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.
UK PM Johnson’s parliamentary majority almost gone as pro-EU party wins seat
Britain’s pro-European Union Liberal Democrats won a parliamentary seat from the governing Conservative Party, taking new Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s working majority to just one as he tries to steer the country through Brexit. Johnson is expected to face a showdown with lawmakers in the autumn over his vow to take Britain out of the European Union on Oct. 31 with or without a divorce deal.
South Korea says ‘won’t be defeated again’ as Japan trade row spirals
South Korea fired back at Japan over a deepening trade dispute on Friday, pledging it would not be “defeated again” by its neighbor, laying bare decades-old animosity at the root of a row over fast-track export status. During a rare live television broadcast of his cabinet meeting, President Moon Jae-in threatened countermeasures after Japan’s cabinet approved the removal of South Korea’s fast-track export status from Aug. 28.
Thousands of Hong Kong civil servants rally, wave of protests planned
Thousands of Hong Kong civil servants rallied on Friday night to support protesters and urge authorities to rebuild confidence in the government as escalating protests rock the Asian financial hub. The rally is the first time government employees have promoted a demonstration in Hong Kong. The civil servants assembled peacefully with protesters in the heart of the business district, many in black masks to hide their identity.