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Trump to hold news conference on Tuesday: White House

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Trump to hold news conference on Tuesday: White House

President Donald Trump will hold a Rose Garden news conference at 5 p.m. Eastern (2100 GMT)on Tuesday, according to a White House schedule that did not provide details on what he intends to speak about.


Earlier in the afternoon, Trump will meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the White House, the schedule showed.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

Emmanuel Okara: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Foreign

German state premier to support town affected by United States troop withdrawal

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The premier of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate has pledged support to one of the regions affected by the withdrawal of United States troops from Germany.


“Whatever happens (at the military base) in Spangdahlem in the end – and we hope it will be very little – the state will of course support the local council and municipalities with the necessary measures,” Malu Dreyer said on Monday during talks with local officials.

The main aim was to maintain the United States military base in Spangdahlem and for the United States announcement to be reversed, the minister said.

“We are fighting for the site,” Dreyer added.

In the past week, the United States announced it would transfer F-16 fighter jets stationed in the town in the west of Germany to Italy, affecting around half of the 4,000 soldiers living at the air base.

The United States airforce said the base in Spangdahlem would continue to operate despite the troop withdrawal, though plans are not final yet.

Around 11,000 people live at the air base, including relatives.

United States President Donald Trump has announced the United States would withdraw about 12,000 troops stationed in Germany.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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COVID-19

Tougher COVID-19 measures as Melbourne closes retail shops, pubs

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Tougher new measures have been announced in the COVID-19-ravaged Australian city of Melbourne, with retail businesses, shops, pubs, and hotels shut down amid rising coronavirus cases.


“All Victorians are required to work from home, except where this is not practicable,” state Premier Daniel Andrews said on Monday.

All retail business, pubs and hotels, as well as manufacturing, will stop operations from 11:59 pm (1359 GMT) on Wednesday for six weeks to curb the recent spike in COVID-19 community transmission, Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.

“Retail will look very different than it has ever looked,” he said.

Only essential shops, like supermarkets, groceries, fuel suppliers, pharmacies and post offices, are to remain open. Some of the shops will be able to offer “click and collect” services or delivery.

Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria, is Australia’s second-most populous city.

It has been hit by a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic since June.

Thirteen people died from coronavirus overnight, driving the state toll to 136 and the national toll to 221, Andrews announced, with 429 new cases of the disease, with a vast majority of them being in Melbourne.

On Sunday, a “state of disaster” was announced, along with a slew of strict six-week-long restrictions, including a night curfew from 8 pm to 5 am in Melbourne, with on-the-spot fine of 1,652 dollars (1,179 US dollars) for anyone breaching it.

Residents can also not travel more than 5 kilometres from home to shop for groceries or exercise.

The state parliament has been suspended.

All recreational activities and weddings have been banned.

While the use of face masks is compulsory, restrictions are in place until Sept. 13.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Foreign

Israeli army says it hit squad placing explosives along Syria border

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The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said on Monday that it opened fire at, and hit a group of “terrorists,” who were attempting to place an explosive device near the security fence between Israel and Syria.


The army said it “thwarted an attempt by 4 terrorists” to place the explosives.

“Our troops and aircraft fired toward the squad & a hit was identified,” the IDF said in a tweet, adding that they were “ready for any scenario & hold the Syrian regime responsible for all events in Syria.”

“We understand that they are killed,” a senior IDF officer later told dpa, speaking on the four armed men.

An engineering force was in the area and was about to “neutralise” the bomb, he said.

He was unable to say to which organisation the group belonged.

Throughout the week soldiers on lookout posts with a view of the border had been aware of “suspicious” activity and seen men dressed as shepherds approaching the border fence, the officer said.

On Sunday evening, they again spotted suspects approaching the border at around 8 pm (1700 GMT).

At around 11 pm (2000 GMT) they spotted four armed men approaching the fence, placing an explosive device near the fence.

“After they placed the improvised explosive device, we opened fire at them,” the senior officer, who declined to be named, told dpa, first from the ground, and subsequently also from an Israeli aircraft.

The bomb was placed at an Israeli outpost that “wasn’t manned at the moment, but can be manned when necessary.”

The squad had crossed the so-called alpha line separating the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights and Syria.

However, they had not crossed the fence securing the border, built by Israel several metres inwards from the alpha line.

Israel for the past weeks has been on heightened alert along the borders with Lebanon and with Syria, after it reportedly unwittingly killed a member of the Lebanese Shi’ite Hezbollah movement in an airstrike outside the Syrian capital of Damascus, destroying an arms depot.

Israel has not confirmed or denied the airstrike, but admitted it was being “active” in both countries to prevent Iran from widening its influence in the region, whether through its proxies such as Hezbollah, or its own Revolutionary Guards.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syrian in the 1967 Six-Day War.

It applied its sovereignty over the strategic plateau overlooking the Sea of Galilee in 1981.

The heavily secured border has largely been quiet in recent years and incidents of this sort have been rare.

Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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Foreign

Trump furious after Appeal Court overturns Boston bomber death penalty

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United States President Donald Trump has flayed an appellate court ruling that overturned the death sentence given to the 2013 Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.


In a tweet on Sunday, Trump said that hardly had anyone deserved the death penalty than Tsarnaev.

He said the government must push for the death penalty, adding that the country could not let the ruling stand.

“Rarely has anybody deserved the death penalty more than the Boston Bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

“The court agreed that this was one of the worst domestic terrorist attacks since the 9/11 atrocities.

“Yet the appellate court tossed out the death sentence. So many lives lost and ruined.

“The Federal Government must again seek the death penalty in a do-over of that chapter of the original trial.

“Our country cannot let the appellate decision stand. Also, it is ridiculous that this process is taking so long!,” the tweet read.

Three people died and hundreds of others were injured after Tsarnaev, 27, and his older brother, Tamerlan, detonated homemade bombs along the marathon’s route on April 15, 2013.

Tsarnaev was handed the death penalty in 2015 but he appealed the ruling in 2019 on the ground that the juniors were biased.

In its ruling on July 31, the First United States Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with him, and ordered a retrial of the case.

It said the trial judge should have excluded jurors, who had already concluded that Tsarnaev was guilty.

Prosecutors are now left with two options: to comply with the appellate court ruling or challenge it at the Supreme Court.

Edited By: Silas Nwoha (NAN)

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