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Tuesday, Aug 20th

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Twitter shuts Chinese accounts targeting Hong Kong protests

Twitter shuts down 200,000 Chinese accountsTwitter said it has suspended more than 200,000 accounts that it believes were part of a Chinese government influence campaign targeting the protest movement in Hong Kong.

The company also said Monday it will ban ads from state-backed media companies, expanding a prohibition it first applied in 2017 to two Russian entities.

Both measures are part of what a senior company official portrayed in an interview as a broader effort to curb malicious political activity on a popular platform that has been criticized for enabling election interference around the world and for accepting money for ads that amount to propaganda by state-run media organizations.

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Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte says he'll resign, attacks Salvini as 'irresponsible'

Italy PM resigns)Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told the Italian Senate that he would resign as he launched a scathing attack on right-wing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini who was sat beside him in the chamber on Tuesday.

In an hour-long speech, Conte said Salvini's demand for fresh elections -- 18 months after the last ones were held -- was "irresponsible" and accused him of putting the national interest at risk in order to advance his own personal interests.
"With a political crisis in mid-August, elections will probably be held in autumn and then this would mean a provisional government and will make us weak with our EU partners," Conte said.

Russia and China say US missile test could revive arms race

Tomahawk cruise missile tested by USChina and Russia have accused the United States of stoking a new arms race by testing a cruise missile, just weeks after Washington withdrew from a cold-war era missile control treaty that would have barred the test launch.

The ground-launched missile, a conventionally-configured version of the nuclear-capable Tomahawk cruise missile, hit its target after over 500 kilometres of flight during Monday’s test, the Pentagon said in a statement.

Ground-launched versions of the missile had been removed from service decades ago, after the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty was signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.

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Russian nuclear monitors near blast site 'went silent' after missile testing explosion

Russian nuclear monitors silencedFour Russian radiation monitoring stations went offline following reports of a nuclear accident in Arkhangelsk region on Russia’s northern frontier, fuelling concerns of a cover-up.

The Russian government has been vague and at times contradictory when addressing the mysterious explosion near a military test range on August 8.

At least five nuclear scientists died, and a brief radiation spike was detected over nearby Severodvinsk.

According to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), which operates an international network of radiation monitoring stations, two key Russian stations went offline two days after the unexplained explosion and reports of radiation spikes.

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Islamic State claims bombing at Kabul wedding that killed 63

Kabul deadly explosion kills 63The suicide bomber stood in the middle of the dancing, clapping crowd as hundreds of Afghan children and adults celebrated a wedding in a joyous release from Kabul’s strain of war. Then, in a flash, he detonated his explosives-filled vest, killing dozens — and Afghanistan grieved again.

The local Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for the deadliest attack in the capital this year, with 63 killed and 182 wounded, while outraged Afghans questioned just how safe they will be under an approaching deal between the United States and the Taliban to end America’s longest war.

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Gibraltar rejects US pressure, says Iranian oil tanker free to go

Gibralter frees iranian tankerThe government of Gibraltar on Sunday rejected a U.S. request to continue holding an Iranian supertanker detained more than a month ago on suspicion of attempting to breach global sanctions against Syria.

The ship was free to go and could be sailing unfettered by Monday, authorities said. The Gibraltar government, in a statement, cited differences between the sanctions authorized by the U.S. and those of the European Union.

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Denmark: Trump’s Plan to Buy Greenland Is ‘Final Proof That He’s Gone Mad’

Greenland not for saleGreenland on Friday dismissed the notion that it might be up for sale after reports that U.S. President Donald Trump had privately discussed with his advisers the idea of buying the world’s biggest island.

“We are open for business, but we’re not for sale,” Greenland’s foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters.

Trump is due to visit Copenhagen in September and the Arctic will be on the agenda during meetings with the prime ministers of Denmark and Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory.

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