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World News

    Libya's U.N.-backed government in Tripoli says three Turkish workers who were kidnapped last year in a southern Libyan town have been released. The government said late Saturday the workers would be flown back to Turkey from the capital Tripoli. The hostages were working for the Turkish company ENKA Teknik building a power plant in the desert town of Ubari, about 950 kilometers (590 miles) south of Tripoli. An unknown armed group abducted them along with a German national in November. After their abduction, the power plant shut down and the firm evacuated dozens of its staff from Libya. Libya was plunged into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled and later killed longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi, and is now split between rival governments, each backed by an array of militias.
  • Israel's opposition leader has been appointed chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, a non-governmental organization responsible for bridging Israel and Jewish communities worldwide. The organization issued a statement Sunday that its board of governors unanimously elected Isaac Herzog, a former Labor Party leader, as its new chairman. Herzog was selected over Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. His appointment is seen as a defeat for Netanyahu, but Herzog vowed to work closely with his political rival. Herzog, who starts Aug. 1, succeeds outgoing chairman, former Soviet political prisoner Natan Sharansky. The Jewish Agency is a non-governmental umbrella organization that works closely with the Israeli government to encouraging Jewish immigration and developing ties with Diaspora communities. It had a $362 million budget in 2018.
  • Hundreds of protesters are marching through the German capital to demand an end to burning coal to produce electricity. The demonstrators — many of them families pushing strollers, people on bikes and samba bands — walked through the Berlin's government district on Sunday, ahead of next week's first meeting of Germany's commission on exiting coal use. Germany has invested a lot in renewable energy but still heavily relies on coal, which creates harmful carbon emissions when burnt. About 22 percent of Germany's electricity still comes from burning soft lignite coal — and a further 12 percent from hard coal — while some 33 percent is now generated using renewable energy. Last week, Germany's environment minister said the country will likely miss its goal of cutting emissions by 40 percent by 2020.
  • The leaders of Germany, France and about a dozen other European Union nations are converging on Brussels for an afternoon of informal talks on differences over migration ahead of a full EU summit that starts next Thursday. Facing a domestic political crisis in Germany over the topic, Chancellor Angela Merkel will be seeking to get EU leaders to forge a joint approach to manage the influx of migrants and refugees. At the heart of the problem lies deep divisions over who should take responsibility for arriving migrants, how long they should be required to accommodate them, and what should be done to help those EU countries hardest hit like Italy and Greece. What started as talks between a half dozen leaders now involves about 16, as others demanded to take part.
  • At least 25 people were hurt in an explosion in Wuppertal, Germany, police said Sunday. According to The Associated Press, four victims were hurt 'severely' in the blast and ensuing fire late Saturday at a 'several-story building.' The other victims suffered slight injuries, the AP reported.  >> Read more trending news  'It can currently not be ruled out that there are still other people in the building,' police said Sunday, according to Deutsche Welle. 'The rescue efforts are ongoing.' Authorities are looking into what caused the blast, the AP reported. Read more here.
  • Pro-Brexit politicians and business figures have urged British Prime Minister Theresa May to be ready to walk away from the European Union without a trade agreement, despite warnings from major manufacturers that a 'no deal' Brexit would be an economic disaster. In an open letter, 60 lawmakers, economists and business chiefs accused the EU of being 'intransigent' in divorce talks and said Britain should threaten to withhold the 39 billion pound ($52 billion) divorce bill it has already agreed to pay. The letter released Sunday by Economists for Free Trade was signed by prominent supporters of a 'hard Brexit,' including ex-U.K. Treasury chief Nigel Lawson, Conservative lawmakers John Redwood and Peter Bone, and Tim Martin, chairman of the Wetherspoons pub chain. They urged U.K. authorities 'to accelerate their preparations for 'no deal' and a move to a World Trade Deal under WTO rules.' That would mean tariffs and other trade barriers between Britain and the EU, and many businesses say it would severely harm the U.K. economy. Airbus, Siemens and BMW have all warned recently that leaving the EU without a free-trade deal would hurt British businesses and cost jobs. Airbus alone employs nearly 14,000 workers in the U.K. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the warnings from businesses were 'inappropriate' and undermined chances of getting a 'clean Brexit.' 'The more that we undermine Theresa May, the more likely we are to end up with 'a fudge,' which would be an absolute disaster for everyone,' he told the BBC. May's Conservative government is divided between Brexit-backing ministers calling for a clean break so that Britain can strike new trade deals around the world, and those who want to stay closely aligned to the EU, Britain's biggest trading partner. Hunt urged people to unite behind the prime minister, saying she would mix 'cautious pragmatism' with a determination to fulfil voters' decision to leave the EU. On Saturday, however, tens of thousands of anti-Brexit protesters marched in London to demand a new referendum on leaving the EU as Britain marked the second anniversary of its 2016 vote to quit the bloc. 'Brexit is not a done deal. Brexit is not inevitable. Brexit can be stopped,' Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable told the crowd.
  • Zimbabwe's presidential spokesman is ruling out an election delay or a state of emergency after an explosion at the president's campaign rally on Saturday that state media called an assassination attempt. George Charamba told the state-run Sunday Mail newspaper that the historic July 30 vote will go ahead as planned despite the blast that occurred shortly after President Emmerson Mnangagwa addressed a stadium crowd in Bulawayo, an opposition stronghold. At least 49 people, including both of Zimbabwe's vice presidents, were injured in the explosion that Mnangagwa said occurred just 'inches' from him. Dramatic footage showed him walking off the stage and into a crowded tent where the blast occurred seconds later, sending up smoke as people screamed and ran for cover. Mnangagwa was unscathed and later pointed out he'd had numerous attempts on his life in the past, saying he was used to them by now. No arrests have been reported. Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba told reporters on Sunday that investigations continued and a 'substantial reward' was being offered for information. She gave no further details and did not take questions. The president 'will not be driven by vengefulness or a spirit of retribution,' his spokesman told The Sunday Mail. 'Until the investigators pronounce themselves and present the evidence for arrest and prosecution, no one should ascribe motive or blame.' Mnangagwa shortly after the attack told the state broadcaster, without elaborating, that those responsible must have come from 'outside Bulawayo.' He added: 'I can assure you these are my normal enemies.' Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa, condemned the attack. The president has vowed to hold a free and fair election, the first since longtime leader Robert Mugabe stepped down in November under military pressure. Allegations of violence and fraud marked past votes. Mnangagwa, a longtime ally whose firing as Mugabe's deputy after a ruling party feud led to the transfer of power, is under pressure to deliver a credible election that western countries see as key to lifting international sanctions. He has invited election observers from the United States, the European Union and elsewhere for the first time in 16 years. Mugabe rejected Western observers, accusing them of bias. ___ Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP_Africa
  • Twenty-five people were injured, four of them severely, when an explosion destroyed an apartment building in the western German city of Wuppertal, police said Sunday. Police said the explosion rocked the several-story building shortly before midnight Saturday with a large bang, scaring people in surrounding homes so much they ran out into the street in a panic. The detonation was so severe it destroyed the building's attic and the top three floors, the German news agency dpa reported. Fire then broke out in several different parts of the apartment building and firefighters had trouble dousing the flames because parts of the building kept collapsing. They were able to rescue four severely injured from inside the building and sent them to the hospital. Another 21 people were slightly injured and treated by emergency staff at the scene. Police said Sunday they were still trying to get the fire under control and were investigating the cause of the explosion. They would not comment when asked if the explosion could possibly be terror-related. A car nearby was destroyed, buried under window frames that were blown onto it by the impact of the explosion. Emergency personnel on Sunday picked up bricks and furniture on the street from the explosion. Some of the building's roof beams stood black and eerie in the smoke as police scoured accessible parts of the building for further people trapped inside before giving the all-clear. The place where the building stood is now a huge gap in a row of apartment buildings in the city's Langerfeld neighborhood.
  • Saudi women drove to work and ran errands on Sunday, relishing the freedom to move about without relying on men after the kingdom lifted the world's last remaining ban on women driving. It's a historic moment for women who have been at the mercy of their husbands, fathers, brothers and drivers to move around. The ban had relegated women to the backseat, restricting when they could meet friends, where they could spend their time and how they could plan out their day. 'It feels beautiful. It was a dream for us so when it happens in reality, I am between belief and disbelief— between a feeling of joy and astonishment,' said Mabkhoutah al-Mari as she pulled up to order a drive-thru coffee on her way to work. The 27-year-old mother of two is a driving instructor for women and already had a driver's license from the U.S., where she'd spent time in Tennessee studying. But on this morning, she drove freely in her hometown of Riyadh for the first time. As she prepared to set off on the road, her older brother sent her off with a kiss on the forehead and a wave. For most of her life al-Mari relied on drivers hired by her family, and she and her sisters had to coordinate drop-offs and pick-ups. 'Now, thanks to God, I can plan out my own schedule and my errands and my daughters' errands,' al-Mari said. Some women didn't wait until the morning to drive, jumping in their cars at the stroke of midnight and steering their way through the capital's still busy streets. 'I'm speechless. I'm so excited it's actually happening,' said Hessah al-Ajaji, who drove her family's Lexus down Riyadh's Tahlia Street after midnight. Al-Ajaji had a U.S. driver's license before obtaining a Saudi one and appeared comfortable at the wheel as she pulled up and parked. As for the male drivers on the road, 'they were really supportive and cheering and smiling,' she said. For nearly three decades, outspoken Saudi women and men had called for women to have the right to drive as a symbol of other changes they said were needed in the deeply conservative kingdom. While there was never explicitly a law against women driving in Saudi Arabia, a ban was enforced by police and licenses were not issued to women. The driving ban had been a stain on the country's reputation and hindered women's ability to contribute to the economy. In 1990, during the first driving campaign by activists, women who drove in Riyadh lost their jobs and were barred from traveling abroad, even as women in other conservative Muslim countries drove freely. Ultraconservatives in Saudi Arabia had long warned that allowing women to drive would lead to sin and expose women to harassment. Ahead of lifting the driving ban, the kingdom passed a law against sexual harassment with up to five years in prison for the most severe cases. Three of the women who'd taken part in that 1990 protest and several others who campaigned years later for the right to drive were arrested last month, just weeks before the kingdom lifted its ban. Some have since been temporarily released. The arrests have cast a pall on the social openings being pushed by 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has attempted to brand himself a reformer. Three of those still detained— Aziza al-Yousef, Loujain al-Hathloul and Eman al-Nafjan— are seen as icons of the women's rights movement in Saudi Arabia. They had also been calling for an end to guardianship laws that give male relatives final say over whether a woman can marry, obtain a passport or travel abroad. The government has accused them of vague crimes, including working with 'foreign entities' to harm the interests of the kingdom. Their arrest, however, appears to send a message that only the king and his powerful son and heir will decide the pace of change. Although women can now drive in Saudi Arabia and don't need male permission to obtain a license, most will still need the support of a father or husband to drive. As she drove through the streets of Riyadh, Ammal Farahat, a mother of two, said every effort or risk taken over the years has made a difference and led to Sunday's change. 'It's like they say the ocean is made of little drops of water and that's exactly how I feel today. It's the efforts of everyone, little drops of sweat,' Farahat said. With state-backed support for women driving, more Saudis are openly expressing their support for the decision, saying it is long overdue. Not all women are driving at once, though. The overwhelming majority of women in Saudi Arabia still don't have licenses. Many haven't had a chance to take the gender-segregated driving courses that were first offered to women only three months ago. There's a waiting list of several months for the classes on offer in major cities. And the classes can be costly, running several hundred dollars. Other women already own cars driven by chauffeurs and are in no rush to drive themselves. In many cases, women say they'll wait to see how the situation on the streets pans out and how male drivers react. 'I will get my driver's license, but I won't drive because I have a driver. I am going to leave it for an emergency. It is one of my rights and I will keep it in my purse,' said 60-year-old Lulwa al-Fireiji. While some still quietly oppose the change, there are men openly embracing it. 'I see that this decision will make women equal to men and this will show us that women are capable of doing anything a man can do,' said Fawaz al-Harbi. 'I am very supportive and in fact I have been waiting for this decision so that my mother, my sisters will drive.' ___ Associated Press writers Fay Abuelgasim and Malak Harb contributed to this report.
  • Ethiopia's health minister says a second person has died after Saturday's explosion at a massive rally in the capital for the new prime minister. Health Minister Amir Aman says on Twitter that the person died at a local hospital in intensive care. More than 150 people were injured in the blast, several of them critically. State broadcaster ETV reports that nine police officials have been arrested, including the deputy head of Addis Ababa's police commission. Witnesses say a man in the crowd tried to throw a grenade at Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed but was restrained by people around him. Tens of thousands had gathered to cheer a wave of reforms under the young leader, who took office in April. The ruling party has blamed 'desperate anti-peace elements' for the attack.
  • A male pedestrian was hit and killed Saturday night while crossing the street in Tulsa. An officer at the scene tells KRMG the auto-pedestrian collision happened around 11:10 p.m. in the westbound lanes of 71st Street near Trenton Avenue. “A black truck comes through and strikes him,” the officer said.  “Then continues on westbound and we were not able to get a good description of the vehicle.” The pedestrian was transported to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead.  As of early Sunday morning, the victim hasn't been identified. KRMG’s told the scene was closed to traffic until around 2 a.m. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.  
  • You may have heard the storms overnight in and around the Tulsa area.   The possibility of storms continues on Sunday.  This is especially true during the morning hours.   “We’ll probably start the morning with lingering storm chances,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Lacy said.  “Those storm chances will gradually go away during the afternoon.” The high for Sunday will be close to 91 degrees.   The Tulsa area will have more chances for storms Sunday night.  NWS is reporting the low will be near 77 degrees.   There is a severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Tulsa and surrounding counties until 10 a.m.
  • A 37-year-old Broken Arrow man faces a long list of sexual-related charges in connection with having an alleged sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.  Court records show Larado Smith was charged on Friday with 12 counts of second-degree rape and three counts of forcible sodomy.  Tulsa World reports the sexual acts apparently happened at the girl's home when her parents were not home.  When police found out about what was going on, a sting was set up. They posed as the girl over social media.    Smith showed up at the teenager's home and was arrested.  He has been booked into the Tulsa County Jail.  
  • Today may not be the best day for outdoor activities. National Weather Service Meteorologist Mike Teague says to keep an umbrella handy.  This is especially true during the afternoon hours.   “We are still holding on for a chance of showers and thunderstorms during the day,” Teague said.  “Again, another chance of showers and thunderstorms late into the evening.” The high is expected to reach around 86 degrees. There is better news for Sunday.  The sun is expected to come out, storm chances are low and the high will be close to 93 degrees.  
  • As President Donald Trump this week threatened $200 billion in new tariffs on Chinese imports, and then warned Europe that he would slap a 20 percent tariff on imported automobiles, members of both parties Congress accused the administration of starting a trade war which could cause collateral economic damage across the United States. The differences were on display at a hearing Wednesday with Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who took a bipartisan tongue lashing on a recent round of tariffs levied on imported steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico and Europe. “We’re picking winners and losers,” argued Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who said those tariffs were already hurting businesses in his home state. “Probably resulting – in my view – in far more jobs being lost than being gained,” Toomey told Ross, citing a very well-known Pennsylvania company that could find it less expensive to move jobs from the U.S. to Canada. Sen. @PatToomey tells Ross that $KHZ moved some @HeinzKetchup_US manufacturing to Pennsylvania from Canada – but could move back now that Canada plans to tax American ketchup as retaliation for steel and aluminum tariffs. — Kayla Tausche (@kaylatausche) June 20, 2018 Almost every Senator on the panel had a story of a small business that was feeling the pinch due to Trump Administration tariffs, impacting all sorts of agricultural products, as well as manufacturing, big and small. “Do you think we’re in a trade war right now?” asked Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA). “Because I do,” as Cantwell rattled off farm products that were losing markets because of retaliatory tariff measures. Ross downplayed the cost of higher imported steel and aluminum, basically making the case that economic hardships were being overplayed. “It’s a fraction of a penny on a can of Campbell’s soup, it’s a fraction on a can of Budweiser, it’s a fraction on a can of Coke,” Ross said. That did not please the Senator from the state of Coca-Cola. “Although a couple of pennies on a can is not much, a couple pennies times a billion is lots,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA). “We’re hit harder than any other state by the Canadian retaliatory tariffs,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), warning the Trump Administration against tariffs on imported automobiles, as GOP Senators labeled such actions a tax on consumers. “Steel prices are going up – not just for foreign steel subject to tariffs, but also for U.S. steel,” complained Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). “Mexico’s buying their wheat from Argentina and their corn from Brazil,” said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), as he told Ross that Kansas wheat exports were encountering troubles because of new retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports, bringing bad economic news on the farm report. Ross simply told Senators if other countries put new tariffs on U.S. exports, that was out of his control. “We have no control over what another country does in retaliation,” Ross said. The bipartisan complaints clearly had no impact, as by Friday, President Trump was on Twitter, issuing new threats against European auto imports. Based on the Tariffs and Trade Barriers long placed on the U.S. & its great companies and workers by the European Union, if these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 23, 2018 As Democrats registered their opposition, they also couldn’t help but note the oddity of a Republican President going against what’s been a bedrock belief of the GOP. “I feel like I’ve gone down a rabbit hole,” said Sen. Clare McCaskill (D-MO), who said she found it hard to believe the party of free trade now had a President in office who was doing the exact opposite. “In a chaotic and frankly incompetent manner, you’re picking winners and losers,” McCaskill told Ross. But for the President, this is about re-setting trade deals, which he says were tilted against the United States. #President #Trump #speaking in #Duluth, #Minnesota: We want fair & reciprocal #trade not stupid trade that we've had for years. We've been ripped off by all of our friends. And frankly the do a much better job than our enemies. #MAGA #economy #POTUS #TrumpTrain — Leanne Howard Kenney (@neeneebucket) June 21, 2018 “As far as trade is concerned with other countries, we want fair and reciprocal trade, we don’t want stupid trade like we had for so long,” the President said at a rally in Minnesota. “Remember the world reciprocal,” Mr. Trump said. “We have been ripped off by almost every country on Earth, our friends and our enemies.” “But those days are over,” the President said to cheers from the crowd. But while they’re cheering Mr. Trump on the stump, at the U.S. Capitol, they’re worried about a trade war. “We’re getting into a war that’s going to cost lots of billions of dollars,” Isakson warned.