Tribune News Service

International Budget for Sunday, July 21, 2019

Updated at 0000 UTC (8 p.m. U.S. EDT Saturday).

Additional news stories, including full U.S. coverage, appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT and MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.


^Britain mounts diplomatic response for Iran to release tanker<

BRITAIN-IRAN-TANKER:LA — Britain mobilized a diplomatic broadside — but no immediate military action — against Iran on Saturday in retaliation for its seizure of the Stena Impero, a British-flagged tanker, in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran's top diplomat in London was summoned to the foreign office, while British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt expressed "his extreme disappointment" in a phone call to Mohammad Javad Zarif, his Iranian counterpart.

British ships were also warned to temporarily avoid the strategic Middle East waterway and top government officials were looking for ways to stem the rising tensions while branding Iran's seizure of the British-flagged vessel an "illegal act."

"We are looking for ways to deescalate the situation," Hunt said. "But we are also very clear that we will do what it takes to ensure the safety and security of British and international shipping."

1100 by Christina Boyle in London and Nabih Bulos and Ramin Mostaghim in the Middle East. MOVED


Also moving as:

BRITAIN-IRAN-TANKER:DPA — 700 by Farshid Motahari in London/Tehran. MOVED



^Putin hints at rapprochement with Ukraine on eve of vote<

^PUTIN-UKRAINE:BLO—<Virtually on the eve of Ukraine's parliamentary elections, the Kremlin released comments by President Vladimir Putin, saying that the two countries will mend ties despite their five-year conflict.

Putin went as far as to say that Russians and Ukrainians are one people. "We have many things in common, we can use this as our competitive advantage during some form of integration," Putin said, according to the transcript of a June 19 interview with American film director Oliver Stone. "Rapprochement is inevitable."

250 by Anatoly Medetsky. MOVED


^Venezuela claims US military aircraft violated its airspace<

USVENEZUELA-AIRCRAFT:BLO — A U.S. intelligence aircraft flew over Venezuelan airspace on Friday in "a clear provocation" and in violation of international treaties, officials with President Nicolas Maduro's defense ministry said.

The alleged incident may further roil Washington-Caracas relations at a time Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is visiting Latin America, and as a summit of so-called anti-imperialist countries is held in Venezuela's capital.

The U.S. military aircraft entered local airspace over the Caribbean in a one-hour flight in breach of international treaties until it was pursued by the Venezuelan air force, according to defense officials.

250 by Fabiola Zerpa in Caracas, Venezuela. MOVED


^US fears this huge Southeast Asian resort may become a Chinese naval base<

CAMBODIA-CHINA-RESORT:BLO — Along pristine Cambodian beaches, past parades of elephants in its largest national park, sits an area half the size of Singapore that is raising alarm bells among military strategists in the U.S. and beyond.

Dara Sakor, a $3.8 billion China-backed investment zone encompassing 20% of Cambodia's coastline, is unlike any other in the developing Southeast Asian nation. Controlled by a Chinese company with a 99-year lease, it features phased plans for an international airport, a deep-water seaport and industrial park along with a luxury resort complete with power stations, water treatment plants and medical facilities.

The size and scope of the plans for Dara Sakor have fanned U.S. concerns the resort could be part of a larger Chinese plan to base military assets in Cambodia, according to an official familiar with the situation. A naval presence there would further expand China's strategic footprint into Southeast Asia, consolidating its hold over disputed territory in the South China Sea and waterways that carry trillions of dollars of trade.

1500 (with trims) by Philip Heijmans in Singapore. MOVED


^Trump tells Sweden he'll vouch bail for jailed rapper A$AP Rocky<

^ASAP-ROCKY:BLO—<President Donald Trump said he received assurances from Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven that detained American rapper A$AP Rocky would be "treated fairly" after promising to "personally vouch" for the bail of the hip-hop artist.

The leader-to-leader phone call came after recording artist Kanye West lobbied Trump to help secure the release of the musician on Friday, after a Swedish judge ruled he would be detained until at least July 25.

400 by Justin Sink. MOVED



^Warren outshines Biden in race to build Iowa 2020 ground game<

^WARREN-BIDEN-IOWA:BLO—<Boxes of printers and office supplies lay scattered on the ground. Campaign staff sat on the floor in mostly unfurnished offices as they were just starting to occupy Joe Biden's Iowa headquarters in Des Moines after weeks of working remotely in coffee shops around the city.

The delayed headquarters opening is just one of the many ways Biden is playing catch-up in the crucial first-caucus state where voters prize retail politics and sustained engagement.

An elected Democratic official in the state, speaking on condition of anonymity, complained that if Biden has a campaign in Iowa, he doesn't know who's working on it or how many.

1000 by Tyler Pager, Bill Allison and Mark Niquette. MOVED


^Marco Rubio aims to boost small biz, counter China, with SBA reauthorization<

SENATE-RUBIO-SMALLBIZ:CON — Even if you follow Congress, you might not realize that Sen. Marco Rubio is the chairman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

But the Florida Republican has been active with that part of his portfolio too, this week unveiling a chairman's mark for what would be the first full reauthorization and overhaul of the Small Business Administration in almost 20 years, and holding a field hearing on the role of small businesses in the Sunshine State's space industry.

"We view it as an opportunity not just to conduct oversight and our proper role to reauthorize, but also as an opportunity to modernize and sort of adjust the SBA to the 21st century needs of our country and to sharpen it as a tool that serves our national interest," Rubio said this week in his first interview about the small business legislation.

850 by Niels Lesniewski in Washington. MOVED


^Report: Trump expected to speak in Jamestown for 400th anniversary event<

^TRUMP-JAMESTOWN:NN—<Lawmakers in Virginia are now sparring over Democrats' plans to boycott a major event at Jamestown later this month because President Donald Trump will be attending.

850 Peter Dujardin. MOVED


^AOC rails at Trump immigration policy, racist 'go back' tweets, vows 'we're gonna stay right here'<

AOC-TOWNHALL:NY — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unloaded on President Trump on Saturday, bashing his immigration policy as one that focuses on "ethnicity and racism."

At her first town hall event in Queens since the president's weeklong bashing of her and three other minority congresswomen — Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts — that included a tweet advising they "go back" to the countries they came from — the freshman firebrand vowed, "we're gonna stay right here."

350 by Jasper K Lo and Cathy Burke in New York. MOVED


^Apollo 11, 50 years later: Celebrating a giant leap<

APOLLO11-SPACECENTER:PM — Sure it was corny. Sure they were watching a recording a half century after the fact. The man saying the historic words has been dead nearly seven years. No one cared.

"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."

And people clapped.

On Saturday, at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, several dozen people attended a special celebration of the first landing on the moon 50 years ago. They paid for a buffet that included swag bags and commemorative pins and a piece of "the world's largest Moon Pie." And listened to "Clair de Lune" — "Light of the Moon." Then they settled down to experience the sounds and images they probably had seen a thousand times, but not in this context.

950 by Eliot Kleinberg in Cape Canaveral. MOVED


^Jeffrey Epstein case: No easy solution to fixing breach of victims' rights<

^EPSTEIN-VICTIMS:PM—<Money awards to victims could be affected if Judge Kenneth Marra could throw out the non-prosecution agreement, lawyers say.

Recent criticism of federal prosecutors' once-secret plea deal with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has already sparked a New York-based criminal investigation that led to fresh charges for the 66-year-old financier and forced the resignation last week of one of President Donald Trump's Cabinet members.

1200 (with trims) by Daphne Duret. MOVED


^Hot, hot, hot summer day as NYC bakes in 90-plus temperatures, with forecasters predicting no immediate relief<

NYC-HEAT:NY — Hot, hot, hot summer day as NYC bakes in 90-plus temperatures, with forecasters predicting no immediate relief.

The summer's first heat wave descended Saturday on a sweat-soaked city where New Yorkers kept their cool by splashing in sprinklers or sitting in air conditioning.

The temperature hit 91 degrees before noon in Central Park, with the high mark threatening to reach 100 degrees for the first time in the city since July 18, 2012. The Sunday forecast promised no relief, with a high of 96 expected and hardly any breeze.

450 by Wes Parnell and Larry McShane in New York. MOVED



^British Open spectator hit by ball after Kyle Stanley doesn't yell 'fore'<

GLF-BRITISHOPEN-STANLEY-SPECTATOR:LA — Golfer Kyle Stanley isn't being criticized for what he said — but for what he didn't.

The controversy concerns something that happened during the second round of the British Open.

First, Stanley accidentally struck a course marshal on the shin with an errant shot on No. 14. Then, on No. 17, Stanley hit a shot that sailed toward some spectators, and he only watched as it did. It's customary to yell "fore" if someone could possibly be struck by a shot.

500 by Sam Farmer in Portrush, Northern Ireland. MOVED


^Shane Lowry leads British Open by four shots after shooting 63<

GLF-BRITISHOPEN-ROUND3:LA — Under slate-gray skies, with a passionate crowd cheering his every swing, Irishman Shane Lowry found something Saturday that no one else could:

Daylight. Glorious daylight.

Lowry distanced himself from the field by shooting a 63 in the third round of the British Open. He masterfully worked his way around Royal Portrush with eight birdies and no bogeys.

With the giddy home crowd serenading him by belting out the soccer anthem "Ole, Ole Ole," Lowry nearly drained his shamrock-stamped ball on 18 for his fourth birdie in a row. He missed his long putt by an inch. Still, the gallery roared.

850 by Sam Farmer in Portrush, Northern Ireland. MOVED




International Photo Budget


World Photos


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