Britain ‘actively avoided’ looking into Russia meddling; EU reaches stimulus deal; New US sanctions on Chinese companies

Britain 'actively avoided' looking into Russia meddling; EU reaches stimulus deal; New US sanctions on Chinese companies

The World staff

Anti-Brexit demonstrator Steve Bray holds a placard as he protests outside Downing Street in London, Britain, July 21, 2020.


Hannah McKay/Reuters


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Britain’s government failed to determine and “actively avoided” looking into whether Russia meddled in the country’s 2016 referendum on EU membership and the Scottish independence referendum, according to a long-anticipated report by Parliament.

The report, which was produced more than a year ago and shelved until now, raised serious questions about who is protecting the country’s democratic system amidst Russia’s long running effort to meddle in British politics. The answer given by the report’s authors was that “no one” is watching.

“The government here has let us down. The outrage isn’t if there is interference, the outrage is no one wanted to know if there was interference,” said  Kevan Jones, a UK member of Parliament who served on the intelligence committee that released the report.

What The World is following

European Union leaders reached a $857 billion deal today on a massive stimulus plan to help counter the economic recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The deal comes almost five days of blistering debate and hot tempers. Environment advocates say the deal also includes substantial green investments.

And, yesterday the US announced sanctions against a new group of 11 Chinese companies, accusing them of alleged involvement in human rights violations against Uighurs in China’s northwest Xinjiang region.

From The WorldWhy US immigration judges are leaving the bench in record numbers

A migrant returns to Ciudad Juárez after he had his family’s court dates changed by Customs and Border Protection on the Paso del Norte International Bridge after court cancelations amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Ciudad Juárez , Mexico, April 20, 2020.


Paul Ratje/Reuters

The US immigration system is situated within the Department of Justice, a law enforcement agency. That’s always been a problem, explains Judge Ashley Tabaddor. But under the Trump administration, immigration judges have faced “unprecedented micromanagement” — and it’s causing many of them to resign or retire early.

In Karachi, planting dense urban forests could save the city from extreme heat

Men and children take bath as they cool off during a hot and a humid day at China Creek area, Karachi, Pakistan June 8, 2020. 


Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

Extreme heat often hovers over Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city. But each time Shahzad Qureshi transforms a barren patch of land into a dense, urban forest, he helps his city adapt to extreme urban heat.

Bright spot

A rare (and mesmerizing) yellow turtle was found in Balasore in the east of India.  Locals safely placed the creature — thought to have an albino mutation — with wildlife officials.

Extremely rare yellow turtle spotted in India

— The Independent (@Independent) July 20, 2020In case you missed itListen: Oxford’s coronavirus vaccine study shows glimmer of hope

Vinicius Molla, a hematologist and volunteer of the clinical trial of Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine, examines a patient at a consulting room in São Paulo, Brazil July 9, 2020.


Amanda Perobelli/Reuters/File Photo

Scientists at Oxford University published the results Monday of an early-phase coronavirus vaccine experiment showing strong immune response and no early safety concerns. And, for four days now, leaders from the European Union’s 27 member states have been locking horns over the EU’s coronavirus recovery package. Plus Italian police found cocaine inside hollowed out coffee beans. Investigators were tipped off when a shipment of coffee beans from Colombia arrived addressed to Santino D’Antonio, the name of a mafia boss in the action film “John Wick: Chapter 2.”

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