Hello! Here’s what you need to know to start the week.
1. US President Donald Trump doesn’t believe Russians hacked the Democrats last year because they wouldn’t have gotten caught. New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci told CNN host Jake Tapper about Trump’s view, but US intelligence officials believe Russia left behind evidence of hacking to sow chaos, and considered their mission a success and would try it again.
2. Scaramucci had a busy weekend, quoting his boss as an ‘anonymous’ source on Russia’s interference. Of course he was also deleting old tweets critical of Trump and vowed to stop leaks out of the White House or he’ll start firing people on his team.
3. The unemployment level in Britain is at a 44-year low at just 4.5%. But that’s just an example of Disraeli’s three kinds of lies, with the 1.49 million people fitting the official definition of “unemployment” disguising the true rate. In reality, about 21.5% of all workers are without jobs, or 8.83 million people, according to Britain’s Office for National Statistics.
4. Trump is railing against Republicans for failing to protect him against the ‘phony Russian Witch Hunt’. The President took to Twitter to declare “It’s very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their President,” amid a series of tweets laying into his side of politics on Sunday evening.
5. The IMF has downgraded UK’s economic growth forecast following weaker-than-expected performance. The World Economic Outlook revised downwards to 1.7% from April’s 2% prediction as European countries such as Germany, France and Spain, exceeded growth expectations.
6. Massive protests have erupted across Poland. Poles took to the streets on Sunday over new laws by the populist governing Law and Justice party that drastically limit the independence of the judiciary, accusing party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski of trying to cement his power.
7. 8 people died inside a trucked parked behind a Texas Walmart in 100F (40C) summer heat. Authorities said they were the victims of people smugglers, with another 30 people, many in critical condition and suffering from heat stoke and exhaustion, also in the trailer.
8. A car bomb in the Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, has killed at least 24 people. A suicide attacker detonated the bomb in western Kabul on Monday, killing at least 24 people and wounding 40. Officials say the death toll could rise and the target of the attack is unclear at this point.
9. A Ukrainian businessmen is exploiting the University of Oxford’s reputation to sell fake awards and honours. The Times of London has revealed that the Europe Business Assembly advertises itself as an Oxford institution to sell made-up prizes such as “The International Socrates Award” and “The Queen Victoria Commemorative Award” for up to £9,300 ($AU15,500).
10. A crackdown on VPNs by China could lead to a brain drain. Academics have been using virtual private networks (VPN) to get around the country’s notorious “Great Firewall”, which blocks sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google, and if Beijing’s 14-month nationwide “clean-up” of unauthorised internet connections succeeds, university researchers are warning that international scholars will avoid China and they also will look at leaving.
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