More than 200 killed in attack in Ethiopia, witnesses say
NAIROBI, Kenya — Witnesses in Ethiopia said Sunday that more than 200 people, mostly ethnic Amhara, have been killed in an attack in the country's Oromia region and are blaming a rebel group, which denies it.
It is one of the deadliest such attacks in recent memory as ethnic tensions continue in Africa's second most populous country.
"I have counted 230 bodies. I am afraid this is the deadliest attack against civilians we have seen in our lifetime," Abdul-Seid Tahir, a resident of Gimbi county, told The Associated Press after barely escaping the attack on Saturday. "We are burying them in mass graves, and we are still collecting bodies. Federal army units have now arrived, but we fear that the attacks could continue if they leave."
Another witness, who gave only his first name, Shambel, over fears for his safety, said the local Amhara community is now desperately seeking to be relocated somewhere else "before another round of mass killings happen." He said ethnic Amhara that settled in the area about 30 years ago in resettlement programs are now being "killed like chickens.”
Europe wilts under early heat wave from Med to North Sea
(My kids are visiting Spain...105º F. Oh, my)
BERLIN — A blanket of hot air stretching from the Mediterranean to the North Sea is bringing much of Western Europe its first heat wave of the summer, with temperatures Friday exceeding 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) from London to Paris.
Meteorologists say the unusually early heat wave is a sign of what's to come as global warming continues, moving up in the calendar the temperatures that Europe would previously have seen only in July and August.
"In some parts of Spain and France, temperatures are more than 10 degrees higher — that's huge — than the average for this time of year," Clare Nullis, a spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, said.
In France, some 18 million people woke to heat wave alerts affecting about a third of the country Friday. Forest fire warnings were issued from the Pyrenees in the south to the Paris region.
Tourists dunked their feet in fountains near the Eiffel Tower or sought relief in the Mediterranean.
At least 59 dead and millions stranded as floods devastate India and Bangladesh
At least 59 people died as floods cut a swatch across north-eastern India and Bangladesh, leaving millions of homes underwater, authorities said on Saturday.
In India’s Assam state, 18 people died in the floods or landslides and 2 million others had seen their homes submerged in flood waters since Thursday, the state disaster management agency said.
Lightning strikes triggered by the storms had killed at least 21 people in Bangladesh since Friday afternoon, police officials said. Among them were three children aged 12 to 14 who were struck in the rural town of Nandail, local police chief Mizanur Rahman said.
Another four people were killed when landslides hit their hillside homes in the port city of Chattogram (formerly known as Chittagong), police inspector Nurul Islam said.
Both countries have asked the military to help with the severe flooding, which could worsen because rains were expected to continue over the weekend.
U.S. reviews China tariffs, possible pause on federal gas tax to curb inflation
Editor note. Pausing gas tax is stupid idea and will backfire.
WASHINGTON, June 19 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden's administration is reviewing the removal of some tariffs on China and a possible pause on federal gas tax as the United States struggles to tackle soaring gasoline prices and inflation, two top officials said on Sunday.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said some tariffs on China inherited from the administration of former President Donald Trump served "no strategic purpose" and added that Biden was considering removing them as a way to bring down inflation.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the president was also evaluating a pause on federal gas tax to bring down prices, telling CNN that such a move was "not off the table".
The comments come as the Biden administration struggles to tackle record high gasoline prices and inflation, now at its highest in 40 years.
Asia shares turn lower, no dodging recession risks
SYDNEY, June 20 (Reuters) - Asian shares were unable to sustain a rare rally on Monday as Wall Street futures shed early gains amid worries the U.S. Federal Reserve would this week underline its commitment to fighting inflation with whatever rate hikes were needed.
The euro also softened slightly after French President Emmanuel Macron lost control of the National Assembly in legislative elections on Sunday, a major setback that could throw the country into political paralysis.
Trade was thinned by a U.S. holiday and Nasdaq futures soon went flat, having been up more than 1% at one stage, while S&P 500 futures eased 0.2%. EUROSTOXX 50 futures fell 0.6% and FTSE futures 0.3%.
The S&P 500 fell by almost 6% last week to trade 24% below its January high. Analysts at BofA noted this was the 20th bear market in the past 140 years and the average peak to trough bear decline was 37.3%.
North Korea reports 18,820 more ‘fever’ cases amid COVID outbreak
North Korea recorded 18,820 more cases of fever and no new deaths amid its first official COVID-19 outbreak, state media said on Monday, as authorities continue to insist infections in the impoverished country are being brought under control.
The country has reported more than 4.6 million cases of fever during its first official outbreak, but authorities have not revealed how many of those patients tested positive for the coronavirus. Authorities on Friday reported more than 23,100 cases of fever, marking the third consecutive day reported infections stayed below 30,000.
Before acknowledging the outbreak in mid-May, Pyongyang had claimed to be free of COVID-19, a record doubted by many observers due to the coronavirus’ acute transmissibility and the country’s vast land border with China.
The secretive regime, ruled by third-generation dictator Kim Jong Un, has refused outside help, including vaccinations, despite widespread malnutrition and a dilapidated healthcare system.
N Y Times
Loopholes and Missing Data: The Gaps in the Gun Background Check System
The bipartisan gun control bill being hashed out in the Senate this weekend leans heavily on a muscular but mistake-plagued bureaucratic workhorse familiar to any American who has bought a firearm recently: the federal background check system.
Two of the most significant reform measures being discussed in response to the Buffalo and Uvalde massacres — the inclusion of juvenile records in background checks and new restrictions on purchases by a wider range of domestic abusers — are dependent on the efficient operation of the check system, which is run by the F.B.I. and is already dealing with a huge surge in demand for guns.
“Almost everything they are doing relies on this system. It’s the foundation,” said Mark Collins, a top official at Brady, the gun control group that played a central role in creating the system in 1993. “The foundation has problems.”
GOP member of Jan. 6 committee warns that more violence is coming
One of two Republican members of the House committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, starkly warned Sunday that his own party’s lies could feed additional violence.
“There is violence in the future, I’m going to tell you,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), on ABC’s “This Week.” “And until we get a grip on telling people the truth, we can’t expect any differently.”
Kinzinger, who defied party leadership by serving on the Democratic-led committee, described an alarming message he received at home in the mail several days ago threatening to execute him, his wife and their 5-month-old baby.
“I’d never seen or had anything like that. It was sent from the local area,” he said.Public officials have been inundated with threats in recent months, many spurred by former president Donald Trump’s continued obsession with the baseless claim that his 2020 loss was the result of a vast conspiracy of fraud. The Washington Post last year tracked how election administrators in at least 17 states received threats of violence in the months after the Jan. 6 attack, often sparked directly by comments from Trump.