Strait of Hormuz: Trump: US Navy ship has destroyed Iranian drone

Another incident in the conflict between the US and Iran: The crew of a US naval ship has destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, according to President Donald Trump.

The drone had come very close to the ship and threatened the safety of the ship and its crew, Trump said. Several calls to withdraw have been ignored. The drone was destroyed immediately.

“It is the latest in Iran's many provocative and hostile actions against ships operating in international waters,” the Republican said. The US retained the right to defend its interests, institutions and employees. He called on other countries to condemn Iran's actions.

The situation in the conflict between the US and Iran is extremely tense. In recent weeks, there have been several incidents with tankers around the Strait of Hormuz. By June, two tankers had been damaged in serious incidents in the Gulf of Oman. The “Front Altair” of a Norwegian shipping company caught fire after explosions. The Japanese operator of “Kokuka Courageous” also reported two detonations. The exact backgrounds are so far unclear. The Americans blamed Iran for the attacks. Tehran rejected the allegations.

Shortly after the incident, the US military had reported that an Iranian missile was trying to launch a US drone in the affected sea area in the Gulf of Oman. The aim of the action was obvious to prevent observation of the tanker attack. The launch attempt was unsuccessful, the missile had missed the drone by about one kilometer. Further details were not mentioned.

The Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf plays a crucial role in the conflict between the two countries. Almost a third of global oil exports are shipped through the straits. In September of last year, Iranian President Hassan Ruhani even threatened with a blockade.

A unique deal in farm land: “The question is what the patient gets along with this”

The Dutch-Belgian drug company Galapagos has concluded an 'exceptional' deal with the American pharmaceutical giant Gilead. The company pays around 4.5 billion euros, but does not take over Galapagos. It will, however, gain access to all medicines that Galapagos develops. It has never happened before that a pharmaceutical group pays such a large amount in exchange for cooperation.

Gilead is interested in Galapagos because the biotech company makes medicines against inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism and osteoarthritis. These are chronic diseases. These drugs are valuable to pharmaceutical companies because patients have to take the drugs for the rest of their lives.

Founder and CEO of Galapagos, Onno van de Stolpe, thinks it's a great deal. “In the next ten years, we decide for ourselves which diseases we want to develop medicines for, how we do that and which clinical studies we want to set up. There are few deals involving cooperation between biotech and a major pharmaceutical company.”

Big money

According to the CEO, pharmaceutical companies almost always buy a biotech company when it develops a drug that appears to be successful. “With this deal – the cooperation – we were able to prevent a takeover. It is in fact also a non-attack treaty. Gilead promises not to take over the next ten years,” says Van de Stolpe, who has the ambition to grow up. “I sometimes say bullying: I want to become bigger than Philips.”

“With the money that Galapagos receives from Gilead, they can do them research and development to expand. That's good for innovation, “says professor of health economics Carin Uyl. But she is worried.” Gilead is a truly American company. That wants to earn money back and even more so. Big pharma it's about big money

As an example, she mentions the cancer drug Car-T cells. “They are now asking 350,000 euros for that, the main prize. So the question is what the patient can get from that impulse in the field of innovation if Gilead's cooperation makes the drugs incredibly expensive. Then the access to those drugs is relatively low and only a small group of patients worldwide can afford it. “

Uyl expects a new discussion in the Netherlands as to whether or not medication should be reimbursed. “The real question is what the patient gets along with this collaboration. The Americans will earn gold with this.”

Death of an oyster farmer: green algae are not in question

The green algae are not the cause of the brutal death on July 6, in the Bay of Morlaix, of a young oyster farmer of 18 years revealed the analyzes practiced on the body of the victim, announced Thursday the floor of Brest.

“The results of the laboratory specialized in research of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) dismiss this thesis”, assured the AFP the public prosecutor of Brest Jean-Philippe Recapped. “The green algae are nothing in the death of the young man,” he insisted, without clarifying the causes of death.

The autopsy of the body revealed a few days after the tragedy that water was in the lungs of the victim. Further analysis had been requested by the prosecution.

At the time of the tragedy, two environmental protection associations had mentioned the “trail of sulphuretted hydrogen poisoning”, a toxic gas released by decomposing green algae.

Saying they went to the scene of drama, they said they had “discovered a large muddy space covered by a continuous layer of green algae”.

For several years, the Trégor Safeguarding and Green Tackling associations have been fighting for the establishment of an automatic medical protocol in the event of a suspicious death.

Green algae, which appeared half a century ago, covered up to 4,100 hectares in 2008 in Brittany, a region where the phenomenon is the most massive. They remain a scourge even if their volume tends to fall (1,860 ha in 2018).

Fighter jet program: Bursting F-35 deal: Turkey calls US decision “unfair”

Turkey has canceled its US-driven expulsion from the F-35 fighter jet production and use program with a warning to the powerful NATO partner.

The foreign ministry in Ankara said on the night of Thursday a serious mistake by the US, which would inflict “irreparable damage” on the relations between the two countries.

Washington's unilateral and unfair step does not do justice to “the spirit of the Alliance” (NATO) and has no legitimate reasons, a statement said. Therefore he must be reversed. Turkey also emphasized that the friendship between the two countries was important to her.

The background is the US sharply criticized purchase of a Russian missile defense system by Turkey. Washington fears, according to its own statements, that Russia will be able to obtain data on the capabilities of the new US F-35 fighter jets via the radar of the S-400 system. As a partner in the construction of the F-35, Turkey should have received about 100 of these aircraft.

On Wednesday, the White House then finally broke the deal and announced the exclusion of Turkey from the fighter jet program. The reason given was that the purchase of the S-400 undermined the obligations of NATO members among themselves to keep away from Russian systems. The program includes UK, Italy, Canada and Australia.

Commemoration victims MH17 also in separatist area Donbass

With a minute's silence, the victims of flight MH17 were also commemorated today at the disaster site: in the East of Ukraine controlled by the separatists. Among the public the local residents, separatists and representatives of the OSCE, the international organization that monitors the fragile stock in the area.

According to the international team investigating the disaster, the JIT, the rebels supported by Russia are responsible for the deaths of the 298 occupants of flight MH17. During the ceremony today in Donbass, their leader denies any responsibility.

On July 17, 2014, he was the leader of the separatists. Four people from his military staff have since been charged by the JIT.

You have to write so many letters with a different ethnic background

For example, whether you have a Moroccan, Turkish or Surinamese background determines how many cover letters you must send before you receive a positive response. One group is more discriminated against by employers than the other, according to new Dutch research.

That discrimination on the labor market has been known for some time, but it was less known about the differences between population groups. Lex Thijssen and Marcel Coenders from Utrecht University and Bram Lancee from the University of Amsterdam researched this.

The scientists focused – with the help of thousands of fake job applications – on the chances of young job seekers between the ages of 23 and 25, because the start of your career can be decisive for your future.

Improving your CV does not help

Researcher Lex Thijssen says that the chance that someone will receive a response to his application is highly dependent on his origin. “In particular, we see that people with a non-Western background are contacted 40 percent less often than others.”

And you can't prevent that discrimination by strengthening your resume with extra skills or experience, he says. “Even if you have done these things extra, you will be discriminated to the same extent as if you had not.”

Opportunities through internships

One of the ways to improve the situation could be internships, but also help other creative forms.

A training company in The Hague that trains plasterers allows potential clients to choose from a number of plastered model walls, without the student's name. Peet Traub from the company Traub Stuc says it works. “Ninety percent of my employees have an immigrant last name, they just get a job. There are prejudices that you only take away by showing that it's different.”

He also says that in the first period employers do not have to pay for the temporary employees. “In the first period we give them for free, it makes the employer happier. Then you become an indispensable immigrant.”

Scientist Thijssen wants to do more research into the effect of other ways of applying, such as internships. “An internship can ensure that people look at how someone functions in complete freedom, without having to be hired immediately. This ensures that prejudices and stereotypes can be removed.”

Trump accused of racism by the House of Representatives

The lower house of the US Congress on Tuesday passed a motion condemning statements deemed “racist” by President Donald Trump, an accusation he defended while continuing to attack violently four elected minority Democrats.

The House of Representatives, with a Democratic majority, “strongly condemns the racist comments of President Donald Trump legitimizing and accentuating the fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color,” says the text.

In a series of tweets, the stormy Republican President had advised Sunday several elected, including three born in the United States, to “return” in “these places completely failing and infested by the crime of which they come”. He intensified his attacks the next day, accusing them of “hating” America.

Donald Trump had called on Tuesday the elected officials of his party not to fall into the “trap” tense, according to him, by his opponents.

“These tweets were NOT racist, there is not a hint of racism in me!”, He said, citing his attacks on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), Ilhan Omar (Minnesota), Ayanna Pressley (Massachusetts) and Rashida Tlaib (Michigan).

Then, true to his strategy of fueling the controversies he himself created, Mr. Trump took care to repeat his message: “Our country is free, beautiful and prosperous.If you hate our country, or if you you're not happy here, you can go! “

With the run-up to the November 2020 presidential election, he seems more determined than ever to galvanize his electoral base – overwhelmingly white – and to do everything possible to fuel divisions among his political opponents.


Mr. Trump knows he can count on the support of the Republican Congressmen.

Because if, here and there, elected officials of the “Grand Old Party” have denounced the presidential tweets, they are on the whole very cautious in their criticisms towards the one who will be – if not huge surprise – their candidate in 2020. And alone four elected Republicans in the House of Representatives voted for the text of the Democratic majority.

Mitch McConnell, leader of the Republican majority in the Senate, has stuck to a very general statement. “We all have a responsibility (…), our words are important”, he simply said, before adding, in response to a question, that the president was, in his eyes, “not a racist “.

For Kevin McCarthy, leader of the Republican minority in the House, the whole controversy “is just a political story.”

Mr. Trump returned to Twitter on the evening of Tuesday to congratulate himself on the cohesion of his party in this circumstance. He stressed “how much the Republican Party was united on today's vote”.

These statements do not seem to affect the popularity of Mr. Trump among Republican voters: his approval rate at home has even increased five points to 72%, according to a Reuters / Ipsos poll conducted Monday and Tuesday. Compared to last week, its popularity rating in the overall population remained stable at 41%.

The four women targeted by the president have responded together on Monday night, showing their determination not to give in to attacks from the White House.

Donald Trump “does not know how to defend his policy, so he attacks us personally,” said Rashida Tlaib. Her attacks “are a continuation of her racist and xenophobic stance,” she added.

“Ignorant and insulting”

For former Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who has many mouthpieces with the President, the silence of his party can not be justified in such a case.

“I have often said that Republican politicians can not be expected to answer all the presidential statements, but there are times when they are so ignoble and insulting that it is up to them to condemn them.” he tweeted.

Chuck Schumer, leader of the Democratic Senators, has once again deplored the silence in the ranks of the presidential party.

“It's frightening to see how many of my Republican colleagues have just let the storm pass without saying a word,” he said. And to question the reasons for this silence: an “agreement” with the president or “embarrassment” in his remarks.

“In both cases, it's inexcusable,” he said.

For Joe Biden, vice president under Barack Obama and Democratic nomination candidate for 2020, no president in American history “has been as overtly racist as this man”.

“Can you imagine a conservative president like George W. Bush making such racist statements?” launched Bernie Sanders, who also hopes to wear the colors of democracy in the upcoming presidential election.

(with AFP)

Ursula von der Leyen: That's what the German press says about its election

Ursula von der Leyen becomes the first woman in history to become President of the powerful EU Commission in Brussels. The current Federal Defense Minister received on Tuesday with 383 of 747 votes extremely close to the necessary absolute majority in the European Parliament. One result that makes it clear how little backing from the Leyen starts in the future, says the German press.

“Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung”

For the first time, Ursula von der Leyen will lead a woman to head the commission. A native of Brussels, she speaks fluent English and French and, as Secretary of Defense, has helped shape the idea of ​​a common European defense policy. Von der Leyen has a real European identity, it is supported by the heads of state and government in North, South, East and West. Europe has weakened the lead candidate this year – but its leadership may be as modern and strong over the next few years as never before.

“Westphalian News”

For the first time a woman at the top of Europe – to a German. Historically – but: Everybody's Darling is by no means the new EU Commission president. … The conservative Ursula von der Leyen has made several concessions to her political adversaries. And she promised a lot – climate, social, rule of law. MEPs should take them at their word. The Juncker successor must follow action. So that the Europeans do not lose the desire for Europe. Ursula von der Leyen still has to work hard for the trust.

“Badisches Tagblatt”

Many announcements in her application speech remained vague. She promised something to everyone, especially the Green Party and the Social Democrats, because it appealed to their votes. But none of her suggestions can be implemented so easily. The small and small of European politics, the turmoil, the postponement to the next summit, all this will shape the EU as before. A new departure is not from von der Leyen, but in the past few weeks has broken too much. But because the tasks are so enormous, the future head of the administration is hoping for good luck and a feeling for it. After all, it's not just about candidates and offices. But also a Nobel Peace Prize winner whose future we can not care less: the EU.

“New Osnabrück newspaper”

Politics was considered to be an art of compromise between the visionary and the manageable. In the EU, with its 28 Member States, it has shrunk to the art of least common denominator. That is why EU policy often works like the election of Leyens as EU Commission President: not wrong, but not satisfying either. Basically, the Leyens victory is a joyous event. For the first time, a woman is at the head of the EU. But it was the rationale that led many parliamentarians to vote for them. Some did not want to put the former secretary of defense on the throne, but to prevent a destabilization of Europe.

“Southwest Press”

A shadow lies at the beginning of the tenure of the Leyens: the failure of the top candidate principle. The CDU politician is not to blame, but she benefits from it. But if Parliament and the Commission are serious about choosing voters from the top of the EU, then they must start by setting the legal framework for it. Confessions alone, as the past weeks have shown, can not be trusted.

“Pforzheimer newspaper”

With the election of Ursula von der Leyens as Commission Commissioner, Parliament has averted the very big disaster at the last minute. But it is also clear that the compromise candidate von der Leyen starts with little support for the future. She has to drill thick boards and do a better job than most recently in the Department of Defense. Politically, a lot is at stake in the coming years, but when it comes to the climate or refugees, a wide variety of interests can be reconciled. The most important task for the new Commission Chief will be to bring together the fractured blocs in the short term. As long as the EU politicians – regardless of which institution – distrust, as long as no citizen will donate new trust. And that is exactly what this Europe needs most.

Ursula von der Leyen speaks in her application speech to the Members of the European Parliament

“Black Forest Messenger”

European policy that gets people involved: when has this ever happened? But it is good that in the end the insight has prevailed in the Strasbourg parliament. To skip the frustration of the implosion of the top candidate model of the Leyen may be understandable. But it is shortsighted. To take revenge on the heads of government is foolish. A loud bang would have cooled many a little thing. Better for Europe but is a sense of reality, are fair compromises and viable solutions to problems. The stony path!


Ursula von der Leyen has made it. But the price of her rise to become the first woman at the head of the main EU administration is high. What remains is a European Parliament, in which the dispute over the personnel concept has left severe land damage. This shows the short result. Von der Leyen was not involved in the taboo that led to her nomination, but she has to heal him. The CDU politician must undoubtedly act differently than she did as a minister under Chancellor Merkel. Deflecting and not fixing neither help with climate protection nor with the rule of law or the elimination of democratic deficits. Von der Leyen has not had a reputation for taking programmatic positions. She has to change that. And Berlin should quickly understand that this Commissioner from now on has to act as a European and is not an extended arm of the Federal Government.

Westland city council continues to oppose Islamic school

Article 23

The Islamic foundation, which wants a school in Westland, also perseveres. The director of the Islamic school community Yunus Emre, Abdelsadek Maas, says that the school community already received applications from students from Westland five years ago.

“Because in a general sense we do not like to drag children over great distances, we have said: we can help you with the application for a school in Westland.”

The school did a first online survey to see how many students would register, it showed that there would be around 110 applications. To start the school, 250 students are needed. “But we have a five-year period for that, as the minister agreed,” says Maas.

Zoontjens believes that the incident in Westland clearly illustrates that Article 23, the Fundamental Right to Freedom for Education, should be re-examined. “We are reaching the limits of freedom of education. The support for religion as the basis for a school is constantly decreasing.”

Heat in cities: better protection, according to the Red Cross

How to protect oneself in cities against heat waves more and more frequent with global warming? In a guide for municipalities presented Tuesday at the UN, the Red Cross offers trails, including more green spaces creating shade.

“The heat waves are predictable and can be guarded against.The measures that the authorities can take to save lives and greatly reduce suffering are simple and affordable,” said Francesco Rocca, president at a press conference. of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), which brings together 190 national institutions.

Among these measures, detailed in an 80-page document, is the need to provide green spaces for the construction of new urban neighborhoods or recreate them in existing ones, as well as establish areas prohibited to vehicles.

According to the IFRC, about five billion people live in areas where extreme heat can be anticipated days or weeks beforehand.

Since the beginning of the century, several episodes of extreme heat have killed tens of thousands of people around the world, including in 2015 in India (about 2,500 deaths) and in 2003 in Europe (more than 70,000 deaths). More recently, in June, Western Europe faced temperature records.

“It is vital that everyone knows how to prepare” to face them in order to “limit their impact,” insisted Francesco Rocca.

In addition to the development of green spaces, IFRC's “Guide for Cities” suggests that municipalities establish warning systems for the population, strengthen medical facilities to prevent them from being quickly overwhelmed, and information campaigns and establish temporary reception centers with air conditioning.

Special attention should be paid to the most vulnerable, children, the elderly, pregnant women and workers working outdoors, the Red Cross document also points out.