Why can’t we all just get along? Police in Germany’s second-largest city rolled out water cannons and tear gas on Thursday to fend off hordes of unruly anti-government protesters who converged on central Hamburg to decry the G20 summit, which kicks off Friday. “Welcome to Hell” was apparently the demonstration’s chief slogan — and apparently a nod to President Donald Trump’s arrival in the city. While no serious injuries have been reported so far, some eyewitnesses complained the police response was unnecessarily heavy-handed.
The Presidential Daily Brief
The crowd in Krasinski Square chanted “Fake news!” President Donald Trump and his Polish counterpart Andrejz Duda both slammed their news media critics before Trump delivered a speech that portrayed bureaucracy as the enemy of freedom. He also delivered rebukes to North Korea, saying “something will have to be done,” and Russian President Vladimir Putin, acknowledging that Poland is worried about Russian attempts to destabilize the region. He’ll continue on tomorrow to the G-20 summit in Germany — and his first face-to-face meeting with Putin.
But would it be enough? U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley warned that Pyongyang’s ICBM launch this week was making diplomatic solutions more difficult — and that the American military is prepared to use force if necessary. But some experts questioned whether even the U.S. military would be able to ward off a North Korean attack, given the variable reliability of its missile defense system. Others worried that even if the U.S. attacked immediately, Pyongyang would be able to cause considerable bloodshed in South Korea and Japan with its current stockpile.
They came in swinging. On Venezuela’s Independence Day, a mob supporting embattled President Nicolas Maduro attacked opposition lawmakers and journalists in the National Assembly, leaving at least 12 injured. Maduro, who has sought to strip powers from his opponents amid an ever-escalating political crisis, condemned the attacks and ordered an investigation, but suggested that “strange facts always occur with the opposition.” The bloodied legislators have vowed to continue with informal talks seeking a national vote that might move toward ousting Maduro, who they say is a dictator hanging on to power.
It broke out before dawn. Dozens died in the town of Las Varas when members of the Sinaloa cartel battled La Linea gangsters. As cartel warfare surges, another 30 people were reportedly killed last weekend in Sinaloa state alone, and May saw a record 2,186 homicides across the country. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is visiting Mexico, pushing for tougher border security — though Mexican officials say the U.S. needs to stem the demand for drugs in order to contain booming cartel violence south of the border.
The pirates’ plan worked. When FTSE 100 company Reckitt Benckiser, manufacturer of Durex condoms and Vanish stain remover, was victimized by the Petya cyberattack that struck scores of global companies, its operations were disrupted, resulting in a 2 percent sales drop for the quarter. Reckitt, the first company to make a formal sales warning since the attack, saw shares fall 2 percent at the news. It warned that some factories still haven’t returned to normal operation, but that it expects to recoup some lost revenue in Q3.
Know This: Speaking in Poland, President Donald Trump said “nobody really knows” if Russia was behind meddling in the U.S. election. Louisiana Rep. Clay Higgins has apologized for filming a political video in the gas chamber of the Auschwitz concentration camp. And Turkish police have arrested eight prominent human rights activists, including the local director of Amnesty International.
Look at This: A newly unearthed photo appears to show long-lost pilot Amelia Earhart and her navigator in the Marshall Islands during Japanese occupation, calling into question the theory that her plane crashed in the Pacific.
Wanted: OZY is growing! We’re looking to hire a number of additional reporters, videographers, podcasters and editors including a top tier Managing Editor. Read more on our jobs page. And please forward to an outstanding friend who you think may be a great fit.
They were disguised as tile samples. That’s how the craft-supply chain reportedly smuggled thousands of illicitly purchased tablets and cylinders likely to have been looted from Iraq. Hobby Lobby, which has agreed to relinquish the ancient artifacts along with paying the hefty fine, pleaded ignorance of the acquisition process, though the Justice Department said they were warned by an antiquities expert. Company president Steve Green is a known antiquities collector and primary contributor to a Museum of the Bible set to open this fall in Washington, D.C.
There’s gold in them thar hills! While national parks like Yellowstone remain highly lucrative, pulling in some $200 million a year, and thus closely protected, mining companies are hoping to make inroads in other resource-rich areas. Their success may depend on the ongoing struggles of some states and private entities to gain control of the 640 million acres of land currently under federal ownership. Some argue that reducing barriers to developing federal lands is necessary, but there’s a diverse, bipartisan opposition worried that privatization may lead to exploitation.
This could be a titanic change. The European Space Agency has announced the imminent separation of one of the largest recorded icebergs from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf. The chunk is estimated to be 2,500 square miles — about the size of Delaware — and an average of 620 feet thick, reaching almost 700 feet below sea level at its thickest point. Scientists say that a berg calving from an ice shelf isn’t unusual, but the sheer size of this one, which contains 1 trillion tons of ice, is remarkable.
Everyone loves previews, right? As of July 1, movie theaters in China have to precede all film screenings with a three-and-a-half-minute clip promoting socialist values and the “Chinese dream.” Some are protesting the propaganda on social media, arriving late to avoid the video or just not going to the movies at all this summer. The mandatory video is expected to play until the Chinese Communist Party’s 19th National Congress, which is yet to be scheduled but is expected to take place sometime this fall.
He’s making a mark … or something is. Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott has been accused of using a machine to write his signature on trading cards following his excellent rookie season. Beckett Grading Services, a Dallas-based authenticator of collectible merchandise, called into question the authenticity of the 23-year-old’s signatures on Panini’s Prizm line of cards. Beckett’s principal authenticator said he immediately knew by their “very machine-like feel” that the five cards he scrutinized had been signed using autopen. Prizm is reportedly investigating the allegations.