Teens From Around the Globe Compete at Google

Teenagers from around the world were on Google’s campus this week to compete in a science competition. Their projects brought novel approaches to address health, disability and environmental issues. Michelle Quinn visited their booths to find out more.


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A Blockchain Remedy for Handwritten Prescriptions

Doctors’ scrawls and scribbles are notoriously hard to read. Electronic prescriptions remedy the problem but around the world and especially in developing countries, the technology isn’t always accessible. One possible solution? Blockchain, the same technology underpinning cryptocurrency transactions. Tina Trinh reports.


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Tanzania Plans to Install Cable Cars on Mount Kilimanjaro

Tanzania is planning to build a car cable service on Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest peak and a world heritage site.  The country wants to boost tourist numbers but a quarter million porters and mountain guides worry the quick ride up the mountain is a threat to their livelihoods. Charles Kombe reports from Kilimanjaro.


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Ethiopia Plants Trees to Curb Climate Change Effects

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his guest, director of the World Food Program David Beasley, planted tree seedlings on Tuesday in a salute to Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative, which seeks to combat climate change through mass tree planting. Volunteers in the Horn of Africa state planted 350 million trees in the past week in an effort to curb climate change effects.


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Paws Aboard — Riverboat Cruise for Dogs

Boat cruises on the Potomac River in the Washington, D.C. area are a popular way to see famous monuments and other landmarks. But a special cruise gives dogs a chance to relax on a scenic trip with their owners. VOAs Deborah Block takes us on a cruise for canines. 


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Sheriff: 1 Dead, 1 Shot at Walmart in Mississippi

A sheriff says one person is dead and a suspect was shot at a Walmart in the northern Mississippi city of Southaven.

DeSoto County Sheriff Bill Rasco told WHBQ-TV that one person was killed and the suspect was shot.
 
The shooting prompted a sizeable law enforcement response, with officers setting up a perimeter and entering the Walmart Supercenter.
 
A woman answering the phone at the Southaven Police Department Tuesday morning said “we have ongoing emergencies” and no one was available to provide information.

 

 


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Dubai Ruler, Princess in London Court Over Welfare of Kids

A dispute between the ruler of Dubai and his estranged wife over the welfare of their two young children will play out over the next two days in a London courtroom amid reports the princess has fled the Gulf emirate.

The case beginning Tuesday in Britain’s High Court pits Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum against Princess Haya, daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan.

The princess is believed to be in Britain, where she owns a gated mansion.

The clash between Sheikh Mohammed and Princess Haya is the latest sign of trouble in Dubai’s ruling family. Last year, a daughter of Sheikh Mohammed tried to flee Dubai after appearing in a 40-minute video saying she had been imprisoned.


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Manchester Bomber’s Brother to Go on Trial in November

Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi’s brother will go on trial in November following his extradition from Libya for a 2017 attack that killed 22 people, a court ruled on Tuesday.

Hashem Abedi, 22, is accused of buying bomb-making chemicals and making detonator tubes for use in the device, as well as helping to buy a car in which to store components.

He will go on trial at London’s Old Bailey central criminal court from November 5, judge Nigel Sweeney ruled.

Salman Abedi detonated his device outside an Ariana Grande concert on May 22, 2017, killing young fans and their parents.

His younger brother Hashem Abedi left for Libya before the attack.

He was arrested in Libya days after the bombing but was only extradited back to Britain earlier this month.

Libya has been mired in chaos since the ouster and killing of dictator Moammar Ghadafi in a NATO-backed uprising 2011.

The Abedi family, originally from Libya, had fled to Britain during the dictatorship, but the brothers returned to the country along with their father when the uprising began.

 


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Trump Warns China to Negotiate Trade Deal Now Rather Than Later

As U.S.-China trade talks are set to begin, U.S. President Donald Trump is warning China against negotiating a deal after the 2020 U.S. presidential election  — declaring a delayed agreement would be less attractive than a deal reached in the near term.

“The problem with them waiting … is that if & when I win, the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now … or no deal at all,” Trump said in a post Tuesday on Twitter.

…to ripoff the USA, even bigger and better than ever before. The problem with them waiting, however, is that if & when I win, the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now…or no deal at all. We have all the cards, our past leaders never got it!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2019

The tweet came as U.S. and Chinese officials gathered in Shanghai to revive talks, with both sides trying to temper expectations for a breakthrough.

The world’s two largest economies are engaged in an intense trade war, having imposed punitive tariffs on each other totaling more than $360 billion in two-way trade.

The negotiations come after Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed at June’s G-20 summit to resurrect efforts to end the costly trade war over China’s technology ambitions and trade surplus.

China is resisting U.S. demands to abolish government-led plans for industrial leaders to enhance robotics, artificial intelligence and other technologies.

The U.S. has complained China’s plans depend on the acquisition of foreign technology through theft or coercion.

Days prior to the Shanghai meeting, Trump threatened to withdraw recognition of China’s developing nation’s status at the World Trade Organization. China responded by saying the threat is indicative of the “arrogance and selfishness” of the U.S.

The U.S. delegation in Shanghai will be represented by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. They are due to meet with a Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He, who serves as the country’s economic czar.

 

 

 

 


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UN Official Says War in Yemen Knocked Country Back 20 Years

A top U.N. official warned Monday that Yemen’s devastating five-year civil war has knocked the country back 20 years in terms of development and access to education.

Yemen was already the Arab world’s poorest nation before the war, which has killed tens of thousands of people. In 2014, rebels known as Houthis took over the capital, Sanaa, prompting a Saudi-led military intervention. The stalemated conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives, thrust millions to the brink of famine and spawned the world’s most devastating humanitarian crisis.
 
“Much of the Yemeni economy has collapsed. People literally do not have any money to buy food,” Achim Steiner, U.N. Development Program administrator, told The Associated Press.

“Thousands of schools are closed, millions of children aren’t able to attend school, missing a generation of education,” he said. “Yemen has lost… 20 years of development.”
 
Steiner recently returned from a visit to Yemen, including the strategic port city of Hodeida. He waned that one in every three Yemenis are at risk of starving to death, out of a population of 30 million.
 
In Hodeida, he said the U.N. Development Program has been working to remove land mines from Hodeida’s port, which handles 70 percent of Yemen’s food imports and humanitarian aid. He said he met with local authorities to create an agreement on “the priorities that are now needed in terms of repair spare parts, technologies that are needed in order to be able to allow the port to function again.”
 
Both sides of the conflict agreed in December to withdraw from Hodeida, considered an important first step toward ending the war. But the implementation of the U.N.-brokered deal has since been delayed, as the agreement was vague on who would control Hodeida’s key port facilities after the withdrawal, saying only that a “local force” would take over.
 
Steiner urged both sides to help U.N. agencies “deliver fast and with little obstruction, the kinds of services, support, food, medicines” that ordinary Yemenis need.

A boy and his sisters watch graffiti artists spray on a wall, commemorating the victims who were killed in Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Sanaa, Yemen, May 18, 2015.

“We would like to see that port up and running again in a matter of months. It can be done but only with the full cooperation of both sides,” he said.
 
Steiner said the UNDP in Yemen faces financial difficulties, as the pledges for humanitarian support in Yemen were close to $3 billion this year, but less than $1.1 billion has been delivered.
 
“We will have to stop programs, we will have to cut rations, and probably in the next two to three months, 21 support programs in the country have to be stopped,” he warned.

 


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