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World

The US said on Tuesday that it had observed preparations for a possible chemical weapons attack at a Syrian air base allegedly involved in a sarin attack in April following a warning from the White House that the Syrian regime would “pay a heavy price” for further use of the weapons.

In a bluntly worded statement released late on Monday night, the White House said: “The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children

The unusual public warning on Monday night appeared to be intended to deter the regime from repeating its use of chemical weapons against rebel-held cities and towns.

It may also have been aimed at the regime’s backers in Moscow and Tehran, who have resolutely backed Assad and denied the regime’s responsibility for chemical weapons use.

Although the focus of US military operations in the region is the defeat of Isis in its two major strongholds, Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, the Trump administration has showed itself willing to act if the Assad regime carries out a major chemical weapons attack.

US forces in Syria have also been empowered to defend themselves and their allies against attack, which has led to a string of recent clashes with pro-regime forces competing for the same territory. theguardian.com
Things are not looking good for the coal industry.

In the latest blow to this fossil fuel, the world biggest coal company is closing a total of 37 mines.

It seems that the rise of solar power is playing a major role in the decline of coal.

The company, Coal India, produces 82 percent of India’s coal, according to The Independent. 

The closings account for nine percent of Coal India’s sites. futurism.com
Maksym Shapoval, a colonel in the chief intelligence directorate of Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense, was blown up in a car-bomb explosion at 8:14 a.m. on June 27 in Kyiv.

Ukraine’s law enforcement agencies put the blame on Russia, chief military prosecutor Anatoly Matios said during a press briefing at the Presidential Administration building in Kyiv.

An explosion in a car killed Shapoval on Solomyanska Street in Kyiv.

It also injured a female passerby. kyivpost.com
In a typical case of ‘bush-meat-become-hunter,’ an American man has been arrested and charged to court for scamming three Nigerians of over $500,000.

Marco Ramirez, an American citizen, was remanded in Kirikiri Maximum Prison by an Ikeja High court Thursday after it he was accused by the EFCC of taking money from his victims under the pretext of securing them American passports.

According to Herald, the EFCC prosecutor said the accused was managing director of three companies – USA Now Plc., Eagleford Instalodge Group and USA Now Capital Group.

Ramirez was accused of collecting $545,000 from Amb. Godson Echejue, to invest in his company, Eagleford Instalodge Group, in exchange for procuring him an American green card (residence permit) for him. ekometro.com
A Roman Catholic priest abducted by Islamist militants who seized parts of a southern Philippine city has been seen alive, the military said Monday, as troops pressed on with their offensive.

Military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jo-Ar Herrera said the militants were deliberately burning houses and using improvised bombs, booby traps and hostages as human shields to delay the troops' advance, five weeks into the fighting.

Hundreds of gunmen flying the black flag of the Islamic State (IS) group occupied parts of Marawi on May 23, triggering bloody fighting that has claimed nearly 400 lives according to an official count.

Father Teresito "Chito" Suganob, a Catholic priest assigned to Marawi, was taken hostage along with some parishioners early in the siege.

"We don't have details of his health. We were just told that he was sighted alive," he told reporters, citing accounts from civilians rescued from the battle zone.

Fighting resumed with renewed fury on Monday, with government fighter jets and other aircraft seen carrying out bombing attacks. dailymail.co.uk
A lorry carrying fuel has burst into flames near the Pakistani city of Ahmedpur East, killing at least 150 people, local officials say.

Villagers had gathered, reportedly to collect fuel leaking from the crashed tanker, when it caught fire. Dozens are being treated in hospital.

It appears the tanker blew a tyre while rounding a sharp bend in the road.

The fire was sparked by a passer-by lighting a cigarette, a rescue services spokesman told the BBC.

"The incident, which was a minor [one], turned into a major blast," Jam Sajjad said.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is cutting short a visit to London in response to the incident, the Pakistani government news agency, APP, reported. bbc.com
Turkish police fired rubber bullets in an attempt to break up a gay pride parade in Istanbul on Sunday, witnesses said.

The march had been banned by Istanbul's governor, who cited security concerns after threats from an ultra-nationalist group.

Police with riot shields and helmets sealed off entrances to Istiklal Street, where organizers had planned to hold the march before authorities announced the ban.

Small groups of people gathered in side streets waving rainbow flags, symbols of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride. 

Footage posted on the internet appeared to show police firing tear gas and nationalists were seen clashing with LGBT activists. Several people were detained. haaretz.com
The German Foreign Ministry warned Turkish bodyguards involved in violent scuffles in Washington last month not to attend the G20 summit in July, German media reported on Sunday.

The Turkish Embassy sent the Foreign Ministry a list of 50 people who were to accompany Erdogan to Hamburg, local daily Hamburger Abendblatt reported on Sunday. The list reportedly included several agents who were involved in an incident in Washington last month.

In May, Recep Tayyip Erdogan's bodyguards allegedly pushed past US police to attack supporters of a Kurdish group following a meeting with US President Donald Trump in Washington.

Videos posted to social media showed a group of men in suits punching and kicking protesters, including a woman lying down, while police struggled to stop the violence.

More than 10,000 left-wing extremists are expected to descend on Hamburg for the G20 Summit being held on July 7 and July 8. Hamburg is already a hotbed of left-wing activism and cars have been regularly torched in the lead up to the summit. dw.com
An explosive device injured former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos in Athens on Thursday, NBC News has confirmed.

Police said that Papademos, his unidentified driver and another passenger were taken to a local hospital after a bomb exploded inside the former prime minister's car at 6:30 p.m. 

They did not suffer life-threatening injuries and are expected to stay in the hospital through the night.

The three were inside a Bank of Greece-owned Mercedes driving through central Athens when the bomb went off.

According to Hellenic Police, the explosion came from a letter in the former Greek leader's possession, an explosive device was tucked inside the envelope. nbcnews.com
The United States has admitted that at least 105 Iraqi civilians were killed in an air strike it carried out in Mosul in March.

US Central Command (CentCom) said it had targeted two snipers from so-called Islamic State (IS) with what it called a "precision-guided munition".

However, the strike detonated explosives that militants had placed in the building, CentCom said.

Civilians sheltering in the lower floors were killed when it collapsed.

In another incident, 35 civilians were killed on Thursday in US-led coalition air strikes in an eastern Syrian town, monitors said.

The strikes targeted the IS-held town of Mayadeen in the province of Deir Ezzor, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, families of IS fighters, including children, were among those killed, it added. bbc.com