KERRY: QUASI COLD WAR
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he was "concerned" and warned of a return "to a kind of Cold War status" after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the addition of more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to Russia's nuclear arsenal. These new missiles will be "capable of overcoming any, even the most technically sophisticated, missile defense systems," The Washington Post quotes Putin as saying. The Russian leader's announcement came after the Pentagon confirmed it was seeking to place heavy weaponry closer to Russia, in NATO states of Eastern Europe and the Baltics.
STRIKES AGAINST YEMEN EXPAND
Airstrikes from the Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Muslim states have expanded to a western Yemen province for the first time, with more strikes across the country and on the capital Sanaa, despite ongoing peace talks in Geneva, Reuters reports. The negotiations in Geneva between the exiled government and Houthi rebels have made little, if any, progress so far and it's unclear whether they will continue next week with the start of Ramadan. Yesterday, the Houthi delegation accused the government of trying to use the UN as a "tool," saying that it was "seeking to hamper any serious ... outcomes that could resolve the country's political situation." Read more from Al Jazeera.
ON THIS DAY
Cathy Come Home, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Riff-Raff â€¦ Can you name the British director who was born on this day, 79 years ago? This, and more, thanks to your 57-second shot of history.
HUGE CHINA-AUSTRALIA TRADE DEAL
Australia and its largest trading partner China have signed a free-trade deal that Beijing described as its "most liberal" yet. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott hailed the agreement as "history-making," saying it would "change our countries for the better, it will change our region for the better ... change our world for the better." According to Australia's ABC, tariffs will be lifted on 95% of Australian exports to China. Xinhua meanwhile highlights that the deal will make Chinese investments in Australia easier.
"I'm certain future historians will recognise that little Greece, with its little power, is today fighting a battle beyond its capacity not just on its own behalf but on behalf of the people of Europe," a defiant Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told legislators during a televised address on Tuesday. The leftist leader accused Athens' international creditors of wanting to "humiliate" Greece with more pensions cuts and tax hikes that would affect the poor. What is being billed as a last-chance meeting of eurozone ministers is due to take place tomorrow.
HONG KONG DEMOCRACY DEBATE
Hong Kong government members and lawmakers have started a three-day debate on a blueprint for the election of the city's next leader in 2017, South China Morning Post reports. The move, described as an "historic moment," will give citizens the right to elect their leader for the first time but critics lament that Beijing wants to cherry-pick the candidates, a decision that sparked the "umbrella protests" of last year. Both supporters and opponents to the reform package are demonstrating.
DONALD TRUMP TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT
Photo: Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA
Two days after Jeb Bush, real estate mogul Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he would seek the Republican nomination for the 2016 U.S. presidency. Speaking from Trump Tower in New York, Trump said, "Sadly the American dream is dead — but if I get elected president, I will bring it back, bigger and better and stronger than ever before and we will make America great again."
Hamas, the Islamist group that governs Gaza, is now facing a challenge from Islamic State insurgents and growing disenchantment with its leadership, Piotr Smolar writes for Le Monde: "The leaders of Hamas recognize this prospect: Over the past several months, Israel has loosened its grip, letting more material and people circulate. The drip is keeping the patient in a stable state of survival. But Hamas has other worries, including talks over national reconciliation with their Palestinian Authority counterparts in the West Bank, which have been frozen, as all sides appear unwilling to give ground."
Read the full article, ISIS And Corruption Undermine Hamas Rule In Gaza.
JAPAN LOWERS VOTING AGE
Japanese lawmakers have lowered the country's voting age from 20 to 18, a move aimed at boosting political participation in younger people, news agency Kyodo reports. But despite adding 2.4 million to the electorate, the move is unlikely to dent the "silver" vote's dominance in one of Asia's most-rapidly aging countries.
As many as 2.1 million lives could be saved every year if every country on the planet brought their pollution levels within those recommended by the World Health Organization, a recent study found. Read more from AP.
MY GRAND-PÈRE'S WORLD
NORTH KOREA HIT BY SEVERE DROUGHT
The worst drought in 100 years is hitting North Korea hard and is dramatically affecting rice-growing provinces, raising fears of food shortages in a country where million already suffer from malnutrition, state news agency KCNA reports. Find out more about the five most alarming droughts around the world in our Take 5 feature.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS NBA CHAMPIONS
The Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 in Game 6 of the finals to claim their first championship in 40 years.