128 killed in Pakistan suicide bombing

AP: A Pakistani government official says the death toll from a suicide bombing at an election rally in the country’s southwest has risen to 128.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility.

Provincial caretaker Home Minister Agha Umar Bungalzai says about 300 people were also wounded Friday when the bomber targeted a rally for candidate Siraj Raisani, who was running for a seat in the provincial legislature.… Be Informed

New diplomatic rift between Malta and Italy as a boat with 450 migrants is in Malta’s search and rescue area

According to TGCOM the boat now has entered Italian territorial waters.

EARLIER

Times of Malta : Matteo Salvini has vowed Italy would bar a boat with 450 migrants currently in Malta’s search and rescue area.

Details on the boat are still sparse, but Italy’s right wing deputy prime minister kept up his anti-migrant rhetoric and said his country cannot and would not let the boat dock.… Be Informed

Breaking News: 12 Russian intelligence officers indicted for hacking Democrats during 2016 presidential elections

Special counsel Robert Mueller has obtained a new indictment charging 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democrats during the 2016 presidential election.

Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, on Friday announced new charges against 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton presidential campaign.… Be Informed

Breaking News: U.S. president Donald Trump has described his interview with The Sun as “fake news” and says it missed out his positive comments about Theresa May

In a Press Conference with Theresa May, the U.S. president Donald Trump has described his interview with The Sun as “fake news” and says it missed out his positive comments about Theresa May.

Donald Trump has said his relationship with Theresa May is “very, very strong”, just hours after his comments attacking her Brexit plan emerged.… Be Informed

Air China Boeing forced to make emergency descent as smoke from e-Cigarette used by co-pilot entered the cabin

Air China will fire pilots of an aircraft that plummeted 25,000 feet in 10 minutes, after the state aviation regulator said one of them smoked an e-cigarette and made an error that forced the plane’s emergency descent on Tuesday.

After an investigation to verify incident, the decision is to suspend the related crew from flying and terminate the contracts in accordance with the law.… Be Informed

Twitter clamps down on suspicious accounts

New York Times: Many celebrities, politicians and so-called social media influencers found their Twitter followings knocked down a few digits on Thursday as the company slashed tens of millions of suspicious accounts from users’ followers.

For example, the actor Ashton Kutcher, an active member since the company’s early days who led many other celebrities to embrace the platform, lost more than a million of his followers.… Be Informed

EU pushes ahead with ‘Disembarkation platforms’ outside Europe to stop illegal migration

Financial Times: European interior ministers have vowed to intensify the fight against illegal immigration by pushing ahead with the creation of “platforms” outside the continent to stop migrants arriving into the EU. Herbert Kickl, Austria’s far-right interior minister, has the support of Germany and Italy in fortifying Europe’s external borders as part of an alliance of anti-immigrant governments determined to stop the flow of migrants to Europe.… Be Informed

Greece expels Russian diplomats accused of supplying funds to protest groups opposing Macedonia deal

VOA  : Greece has moved to expel two Russian diplomats accused of supplying funds to protest groups opposing a deal that would end Greece’s longstanding name dispute with neighbouring Macedonia, a Greek official said Thursday.

The expulsions were confirmed the day after NATO formally invited Macedonia to join the western military alliance pending the agreement’s successful completion.… Be Informed

Live Aid Concert took place on this day in 1985

Live Aid was a dual-venue benefit concert held on 13 July 1985, and an ongoing music-based fundraising initiative. The original event was organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. Billed as the “global jukebox”, the event was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom (attended by 72,000 people) and John F.… Be Informed

Cabin crew strikes might prove a nightmare for those travelling with Ryanair

Politico: Europe’s summer heatwave could prove a nightmare for those flying Ryanair.

Pilots are striking Thursday in Ryanair’s home country of Ireland after the airline failed to shut down a Continent-wide rebellion of unhappy cabin crew and pilot unions. It’s the first in a series of actions threatened during the airline’s most lucrative period that could disrupt the travel plans of tens of thousands of holidaymakers.… Be Informed

Inisght: Populism and the political landscape in Europe

PEW Research Centre : Populist movements have gained ground in many Western European countries, from the United Kingdom’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union to Italy’s formation of a populist government this spring. A new Pew Research Center report explores the attitudes that underlie some of these movements, based on interviews with more than 16,000 adults in eight Western European nations.… Be Informed

Game of Thrones gets 22 nominations for the Emmy Awards

New York Times: The streaming service Netflix led the way with 112 nominations when they were announced on Thursday, snapping HBO’s 17-year streak of being the most nominated network for TV’s most coveted prize.

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” did lead all series with 22 nominations, followed by “Saturday Night Live” (NBC) and “Westworld” (HBO), which each had 21, and Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which had 20.… Be Informed