Month: June 2019

Daybreak Africa

Each morning, Daybreak Africa looks at the latest developments on the continent, starting with headline news and providing in-depth interviews, reports from VOA correspondents, sports news as well as listener comments.

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Dangerous Levels of Antibiotics Found in World’s Rivers

The rivers of the world are full of antibiotics. That’s the headline of a new survey that sampled rivers all over the world. VOA’s Kevin Enochs reports.

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King of Clay: Nadal Wins 12th French Open Title

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal has won his record extending 12th French Open title, defeating Dominic Thiem of Austria in fours sets Sunday 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1

It is the second straight year Nadal has defeated Thiem for the championship on the clay courts at Roland Garros. With the win, Nadal becomes the first player in tennis history to win 12 titles at a single Grand Slam event. In total, the Spaniard now has 18 Grand Slam title wins, two behind all-time leader Roger Federer.

In Sunday’s match, Nadal and Thiem split the first two sets that featured hard hitting and long rallies. But Nadal went on to dominate the next two on his way to victory.

Nadal said “It’s a dream to win again, an incredible moment.” He also paid tribute to his opponent.

“I want to say congratulations to Dominic. I feel sorry as he deserves to win it as well,” Nadal said after the match.

The 25- year old Theim said he will try again next year and he praised Nadal for being an “amazing champion.”

“To win 12 times, it’s unreal” Theim said.

The 33 year old Nadal, seeded number two, extended his record at the French Open to 93 wins and just two losses.

In the Women’s draw Saturday, Australia’s Ashleigh Barty defeated Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3. It was Barty’s first Grand Slam title.

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Boris Johnson to EU: I Won’t Pay Unless Deal Improved

Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is stepping up his campaign to be Britain’s next prime minister by challenging the European Union over Brexit terms.

Johnson told the Sunday Times he would refuse to pay the agreed-upon 39 billion-pound ($50 billion) divorce settlement unless the EU offers Britain a better withdrawal agreement than the one currently on the table.

 

The contest for leadership of the Conservative Party officially begins Monday. The post was vacated Friday by Prime Minister Theresa May, who will serve as a caretaker until a new leader is chosen and moves into 10 Downing Street.

 

The party expects to name its new leader in late July.

 

Johnson, the early frontrunner in a crowded field, told the newspaper he is the only contender who can triumph over the Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.

 

Johnson is a hard-line Brexit advocate who vows to take Britain out of the EU on the Oct. 31 deadline even if there is no deal in place.

 

He and other contenders say they can get better terms from EU leaders in Brussels than the deal that May agreed to but was unable to push through Parliament. Those failures led to her decision to resign before achieving her goal of delivering Brexit.

 

But EU officials have said they are not willing to change the terms of the deal May agreed to.

 

One of Johnson’s main rivals for the post, Environment Secretary Michael Gove, continued to be sidetracked Sunday by questions about his acknowledged cocaine use when he was a youthful journalist.

 

He told BBC Sunday that he was “fortunate” not to have gone to prison following his admission of cocaine use. He said he was “very, very aware” of the damage drugs can cause.

 

Nominations for the leadership post close Monday afternoon.

 

 

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US Treasury Chief: Trump ‘Perfectly Happy’ to Tax More Chinese Imports

U.S. Treasury chief Steven Mnuchin said Sunday President Donald Trump would be “perfectly happy” to tax more imports from China if he cannot reach a trade deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Both presidents are scheduled to meet later this month at the Group of 20 meeting in Japan.

“We made enormous progress, I think we had a deal that was almost 90% done,” Mnuchin told CNBC. “China wanted to go backwards on certain things” — a charge Beijing denies.

“We’ve stopped negotiating,” Mnuchin said, with the next steps depending on Trump’s meeting with Xi in Osaka at the G-20 summit of leaders of major economies June 28-29.

“The president will make a decision (on tariffs) after the meeting,” Mnuchin said. “I believe if China is willing to move forward on the terms that we were discussing, we’ll have an agreement. If they’re not, we will proceed with tariffs.”

Trump has already imposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, but now is thinking about taxing an additional $325 billion worth of Chinese products. That would include nearly everything China exports to the U.S. The world’s two biggest economies have sparred for months over a trade deal, but have not been able to reach an agreement.

Trump’s threatened tariff hike came as G-20 finance ministers meeting in Fukuoka, Japan, said trade and geopolitical conflicts are risking global economic growth, but at the U.S. insistence, dropped a call to “recognize the pressing need to resolve trade tensions.”

“Global growth appears to be stabilizing and is generally projected to pick up moderately later this year and into 2020,” the finance chiefs, including Mnuchin, said in an end-of-meeting communique. “However, growth remains low and risks remain tilted to the downside. Most importantly, trade and geopolitical tensions have intensified. We will continue to address these risks and stand ready to take further action.”

The International Monetary Fund warned last week that a continuing U.S.-China standoff on tariffs could cut a half-percentage point from the global economy in 2020.

Meanwhile, China vowed Sunday to build what it calls a strong firewall against attempts to restrict its ability to technologically innovate.

“China … will never allow certain countries to use China’s technology to contain China’s development and suppress Chinese enterprise,” the main state-run newspaper declared.

China plans to announce details of its plans in the near future.

The Chinese statement did not mention any country by name, but the United States has restricted U.S. firms from selling technology to China’s Huawei, suspecting the company of building spyware into its telecommunications products.

The U.S. has also warned its allies against the alleged risk in buying Huawei technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Satellites Monitoring Air Health

One of the ways astronomers learn about planets beyond Earth is by studying our own. And there are satellites doing just that, monitoring the Earth’s health, and our own. VOA’s Kevin Enochs reports.

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US Recruits Next Generation of Cybersecurity Professionals

Online data is at risk. Hackers are getting smarter and companies across the globe are facing a shortage of trained professionals who can help protect their data. To fill this gap, the U.S. government is beefing up its efforts to recruit the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. VOA’s Sahar Majid has more.

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Amazon Set to Begin Drone Package Delivery

The giant e-commerce technology company, Amazon, has announced that it expects to start delivering orders to shoppers’ homes by drones in the coming months. The details are still in the works, but the innovation could change the way we get packages. VOA’s Kevin Enochs reports.

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Sir Winston Comes From Behind to Win Belmont Stakes

Sir Winston held off the favorites with a bold move from the inside rail Saturday to capture the 151st Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. 

 

Sir Winston, ridden by Joel Rosario, at one point was pinched on the rail but then made a wide move to the outside followed by a storming charge to the finish line. The winning time at Belmont Park was 2 minutes, 28.30 seconds. 

 

Sir Winston, a 10-1 long shot, won for the third time in the last 10 starts, beating out runner-up and pre-race favorite Tactitus and third-place Joevia. 

 

The Belmont Stakes came five weeks after this year’s controversial Kentucky Derby which was won by Country House after Maximum Security became the first horse in history to be disqualified from the iconic American race. 

 

Country House did not race on Saturday. 

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Australian Barty Wins 1st Major at French Open

Ash Barty knew she needed a break from tennis, from the pressure and expectations, from the week-in, week-out grind. So she stepped away in 2014 and wound up trying her hand at cricket, joining a professional team at home in Australia.

After almost two years away, Barty was pulled back to the tour. Good choice. Now she’s a Grand Slam champion.

Taking control right from the start of the French Open final and never really letting go, the No. 8-seeded Barty capped a quick-as-can-be rise in her return to the sport by beating unseeded 19-year-old Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, 6-1, 6-3, Saturday for her first major championship.

“I never closed any doors, saying, ‘I’m never playing tennis again.’ For me, I needed time to step away, to live a normal life, because this tennis life certainly isn’t normal. I think I needed time to grow as a person, to mature,” Barty said.

And as for why she came back three years ago?

I missed the competition. I missed the one-on-one battle, the ebbs and the flows, the emotions you get from winning and losing matches,'' said Barty, who will jump to a career-best No. 2 in the rankings Monday behind Naomi Osaka.They are so unique and you can only get them when you’re playing and when you put yourself out on the line and when you become vulnerable and try and do things that no one thinks of.”

That last part is an apt description of how she approaches each point, looking for just the right angle or speed, understanding where an opponent might be most vulnerable at any given moment. After using her slice backhand, topspin forehand and kick serve to do just that to Vondrousova, she called it a “kind of ‘Ash Barty brand’ of tennis.”

Vondrousova’s take

“She’s mixing things up. And she has a huge serve,” Vondrousova said. “So it’s all, like, very tough to play against.”

Barty raced to a 4-0 lead and then held on, showing that she learned her lesson after blowing a 5-0 edge in the opening set of her quarterfinal victory a day earlier against another unseeded teenager, 17-year-old American Amanda Anisimova.

“An absolute roller-coaster,” Barty called it.

Her coach, Craig Tyzzer, said the two of them huddled with Ben Crowe, who helps Barty with the mental side of things, and they had a “really good discussion about it” to make sure she’d avoid that sort of trouble in the final.

Neither Barty, 23, nor Vondrousova had ever played in a Grand Slam final before. Neither had even been in a major semifinal until this week, either. But it was only Vondrousova who seemed jittery at the outset; she was playing at Court Philippe Chatrier for the first time.

Barty wound up with a 27-10 edge in winners to become the first Australian to win the trophy at Roland Garros since Margaret Court in 1973.

“I played the perfect match today,” Barty said. 

The women’s final started about 1½ hours later than scheduled because it followed the resumption of Dominic Thiem’s 6-2, 3-6, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 victory over Novak Djokovic in the men’s semifinals, a match suspended Friday evening because of rain. 

Thiem will face 11-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal on Sunday in a rematch of last year’s final.  

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