Chinese govt doesn’t want its media to criticise Trump & NATO summit gets off to a rocky start
The US has failed to meet its deadline to reunite separated families and its a tussle of political ideologies in India
The media has finally been banned from criticising Trump — in China
Reuters reports that Beijing has issued unusually strict rules to its state media limiting coverage of the ongoing trade war between China and the United States, because of “worries that unrestrained reporting could spark instability or roil its already jittery financial markets”.
Media outlets have been instructed to “be careful not to link” any criticism of American words and actions to President Trump, and should instead direct it towards the US government.
“That’s one heck of a mission statement for news organisations,” writes Erik Wemple in The Washington Post. “The implications of the guidance from central planning, however, are unmistakable: Rational reporting on Trump’s international trade posture in and of itself threatens the stability of the international economy. So keep quiet.”
“President Trump should be pleased,” he writes. “Someone out there is limiting criticism of his work.”
The Trump administration has imposed levies on Chinese goods worth $34 billion, and has outlined another plan for goods worth $200 billion.
Here is the first video of the Thai youngsters rescued from flooded cave
First footage of the Thai boys after their rescue shows them in hospital, wearing masks and flashing victory signs for the camera.
The boys have reportedly lost 2 kg on average, but are otherwise in a good physical condition. They will remain in hospital for a week, before going back home to recuperate. Their families have been arriving at the hospital to visit them.
The BBC reports that the boys and their coach were heavily sedated to stop them fro, panicking during the rescue operation. Thai navy SEALs, who led the rescue mission, told reporters that some of the boys were asleep during the rescue, while others were groggy.
Angela Merkel hits back after Trump’s Russia jibe at NATO summit
At a meeting with NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, President Trump said “Germany is a captive of Russia”. He added that it was “very inappropriate” that Germany received natural gas from Russia.
In response, CNN reported that German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed her own upbringing in Soviet-controlled East Germany. “I wanted to say that, because of current events, I have witnessed this myself, that a part of Germany was controlled by the Soviet Union. And I am very happy that we are today unified in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany,” she said.
Trump criticised his NATO allies and pressed for large spending increases, reiterating his claim that the US currently spent the most. However, The New York Times reported that he “signed onto a joint statement that largely reaffirmed existing commitments”.
Meanwhile, in the United States…
While news of the rescue of the Thai boys has captivated global attention, the US has failed to meet Tuesday’s legal deadline to reunite dozens of children separated from their parents as part of Trump’s zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration.
Vox reported that the federal government scrambled Tuesday to reunite families separated at the US-Mexico border, but over 20 children under the age of five remain separated.
Arrangements haven’t been made either for eight parents in federal criminal custody and two parents currently in state custody.
Nobel Peace Prize winner’s widow allowed to leave for Germany
“Liu Xia, the widow of China’s most renowned dissident of the 21st century, Liu Xiaobo, had been facing the grim prospect of commemorating the death a year ago of her husband while herself still suffering de facto house arrest in Beijing. But on the morning of 10 July, three days before the anniversary, the authorities allowed Ms Liu to board a Finnair flight to Helsinki for a connection to Berlin,” writes The Economist.
Her confinement began in 2010, just days after her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize while carrying out an 11-year sentence for subversion. She herself has not been formally charged with any crime. In a rare exception, she was allowed to see her husband when he was dying of liver cancer.
“Officials said Ms Liu, 57, was allowed to go abroad to seek medical treatment. This is often the reason they give for letting prisoners of conscience and other such detainees leave the country. Sometimes it is merely a face-saving excuse for freeing someone whose release could help China’s diplomatic efforts (in this case probably with Germany, which China wants as an ally in its battle with America over trade),” the report adds.
India’s choice between ‘Hindu nationalism and egalitarian dictatorship’
In Foreign Policy, Alex Traub writes that India’s secularists have an unusual problem: The spectre of authoritarianism. In the context of politics in West Bengal, which he describes as the “citadel of India’s tradition of secular politics”, Traub juxtaposes the All India Trinamool Congress against its resistance to the BJP.
“The moral authority the party might earn from these measures is being undermined, however, by Trinamool’s use of violence and intimidation to retain power,” he writes. “The BJP, meanwhile, is effectively spreading its ideology while working to discredit the Trinamool.”
Since the Trinamool has gained power, it has found itself accused of “the very absolutism it once inveighed against”, he adds.
Traub explains that “frightening displays of Hindu militarism provide the best justification for keeping Trinamool in power. Yet it’s a troubling irony that West Bengal’s tradition of high-minded secularism is devolving into an electoral ploy, while crude chauvinism is waging, and winning, the war of ideas,” Traub writes.