2019.05.31

News Headlines - 31 May 2019

'Sordid Chapter' Ends As Philippines Sends Back Canada's Trash : NPR

Shipping containers of Canadian trash have moldered in the Philippines for years, in a situation so irksome to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that he threatened to personally sail it back to Canadian waters.
Now, much of the trash that arrived in 2013 and 2014 is on its way back to Canada. The Canadian government says that 69 shipping containers of rubbish have left the Philippines and are expected to reach Canada by the end of June.

Did Kim Jong Un Actually Execute His Nuclear Negotiators? - Foreign Policy

An unconfirmed report that North Korea executed senior diplomats following failed nuclear talks between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un has underscored how badly negotiations have run aground, and it suggested that Pyongyang may be reverting back to past practices... But the Chosun Ilbo report was based on a single anonymous source, prompting former U.S. intelligence officials and longtime North Korea watchers to urge caution.

Merkel Has Harvard Cheering Attack on Trump Politics of Lies - Bloomberg

Angela Merkel delivered a forensic takedown of Donald Trump and his presidency to Harvard University’s class of 2019 on Thursday as she urged graduates to act with integrity and self-control as they embark on their careers.
Without ever mentioning the U.S. leader by name, the German chancellor checked off a list of policy issues where she has clashed with Trump -- from trade, to immigration and climate change -- that left her audience in no doubt as to whom she might mean.

MPs elect ex-Soviet dissident with Jewish roots as Latvian president | The Times of Israel

Levits and his parents, Latvian patriots of Jewish origin, were expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972 because the KGB viewed them as a threat to the Communist regime.
His father, Jonas, was Jewish but his mother was not, he said in an interview last month for the Delfi news channel... Levits helped write the country’s 1990 declaration of independence following the end of the Soviet occupation.

Big Ben’s Great Clock celebrates its 160th Birthday - UK Parliament

The world’s most iconic clock turns 160 today, as vital conservation work continues to ensure its future for generations to come... In 1846 a competition to design and build the clock mechanism was held, overseen by the Astronomer Royal, Sir George Airy. Airy wanted to see the most accurate turret clock in the world, and stipulated that it must be accurate to within one second.
Clockmaker Edward John Dent was subsequently appointed to build the clock to the design of Edmund Beckett Denison, a barrister and amateur clockmaker. Dent died soon after, and his stepson, Frederick, completed the clock in 1854.
The clock was installed in the Tower in 1859, after Denison had made many refinements, including inventing the 'Double Three-legged Gravity Escapement'. This was a revolutionary mechanism, ensuring the clock's accuracy by making sure its pendulum was unaffected by external factors, such as wind pressure on the clock's hands.

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