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Finland, a new NATO member, is the final stop on Biden’s Europe tour



President Joe Biden is closing out a five-day time out to Europe on July thirteen standing alongside Nordic leaders in an effort to exhibit NATO’s increasing energy and impact in opposition to a burgeoning Russia.

The quick end in the shoreline Finnish capital is the coda to a Mr. Biden tour that was once cautiously sketched to spotlight the increase of the navy alliance that the president says has fortified itself on account that the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Finland joined as NATO’s most modern member previously this year, an entry that correctly doubled the alliance’s border with Russia.

“I’ve been doing this a lengthy time,” Mr. Biden stated as he opened a assembly with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö at the presidential palace in Helsinki. “I don’t assume NATO has ever been stronger.”

Indeed, Mr. Biden arrived in Helsinki after what he deemed a profitable annual NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, the place allies agreed to language that would in addition pave the way for Ukraine to additionally grow to be a member. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy referred to as the summit’s consequence “a full-size protection victory” for his u . s . however then again expressed disappointment Kyiv did no longer get an outright invitation to be a part of NATO.

Mr. Biden and different administration officers additionally held what aides stated had been pivotal conversations with Ankara quickly earlier than Turkey reversed direction and dropped its objections to Sweden becoming a member of NATO.

“I’m feeling desirable about the trip,” Mr. Biden instructed journalists Wednesday earlier than the flight to Finland. “You know, we achieved each aim we set out to accomplish.”

And regardless of Mr. Zelenskyy’s expressed frustrations, Mr. Biden — who met with the Ukrainian chief on July 12 afternoon in Vilnius — stated on July thirteen that Mr. Zelenskyy “ended up being very happy.”

The U.S. president’s outing this week — a meticulously choreographed activity intended to show off global opposition to Russian chief Vladimir Putin’s hostilities in Ukraine — performed out almost 5 years to the day considering the fact that then-President Donald Trump infamously stood alongside Mr. Putin in Helsinki and forged doubt on his very own Genius apparatus. That was once simply days after Mr. Trump tore via a NATO summit the place he disparaged the alliance and from which he threatened to withdraw the United States.

In contrast, Mr. Biden has heartily embraced the tenets of multilateralism that Mr. Trump shunned, speakme over and over of having to rebuild global coalitions after 4 tumultuous years led by way of his predecessor. The garrulous former Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman is in his thing at summits abroad, and speaks of how his history in worldwide coverage is proof advantageous that many years of journey on the world stage has mattered for the presidency.

While in Finland, Mr. Biden additionally used to be assembly with leaders of different Nordic countries such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Sweden is poised to be admitted as NATO’s thirty second member usa after it pledged greater cooperation with Turkey on counterterrorism efforts whilst backing Ankara’s bid to be a part of the European Union.

It’s the 1/3 such U.S.-Nordic leaders’ joint assembly between a U.S. president and heads of the 5 Nordic nations. Previous summits have been held in Stockholm in 2013 and in Washington in 2016.

The talks at the seaside Presidential Palace in the coronary heart of Helsinki had been to center of attention on nearer cooperation between the Nordic nations and the United States on security, surroundings and science issues, Mr. Niinistö’s workplace said. Mr. Biden additionally scheduled a information convention with Mr. Niinistö earlier than departing for Washington.

Mr. Biden is the sixth U.S president to go to Finland, a united states of america of 5.5 million that has hosted numerous U.S.-Soviet and U.S.-Russia summits. The first worried President Gerald Ford, who would signal the so-called Helsinki Accords with greater than 30 different international locations in 1975.

But Charly Salonius-Pasternak, senior researcher at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, referred to that Mr. Biden’s go to marked the first time a sitting U.S. president got here to Finland to honor the united states itself, instead than as a impartial vicinity for assembly Russian leaders or different comparable reasons.

“The reality that Biden has chosen to go specially to Finland for Finland is symbolic and, in some ways, very concrete,” he said. “It’s a variety of deterrence messaging that solely the United States can do.”

In the Cold War era, Finland acted as a impartial buffer between Moscow and Washington, and its leaders performed a balancing act between the East and West, retaining properly family members with each superpowers.

Finland and neighboring Sweden gave up their standard political neutrality by means of becoming a member of the European Union in 1995 however each remained militarily non-aligned, with opinion polls displaying a clear majority of their residents antagonistic to becoming a member of NATO. That modified rapidly after February 24, 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine.

Mr. Biden’s go to follows U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s time out to Finland in early June, when he stated in a speech at the Helsinki City Hall that Finland’s membership in NATO was once “a sea exchange that would have been unthinkable a little extra than a 12 months earlier.”

Among different things, Mr. Blinken and Finland’s then-Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto signed a U.S.-Finland cooperation deal in superior wi-fi communications which include lookup and improvement of next-generation 6G community technology.

The deal is applicable now not solely to Finland, which is domestic to wi-fi science and community infrastructure issuer Nokia Corp. — a world chief in the subject — however additionally to Washington, which is apparently attempting to comprise China’s ambitions to dominate the cell community enterprise thru Huawei and different Chinese science companies.


An official of Hamas says the tunnels were built to protect its fighters, not civilians



The underground tunnels constructed in the Gaza Strip are to defend the Hamas “fighters” and the accountability to defend the civilians is with the United Nations and Israel, a Hamas authentic advised.

Hamas professional Mousa Abu Marzouk saying, “Protecting Gaza civilians is the duty of the United Nations (UN) and Israel.”

“We have constructed the tunnels to guard ourselves from getting centered and killed. These are intended to defend us from the airplanes,” Marzouk said, including that they have no different alternatives however to battle from tunnels.

Citing the Geneva Conventions, the Hamas respectable said, “It is the duty of the UN to furnish them with all the offerings as lengthy as they are underneath occupation.”

Hamas launched a multi-pronged assault on Israel on October 7, killing 1,400 people, and kidnapping 230 others. In retaliation, Israel attacked companies in the Gaza Strip, which have killed over 8,000 humans so far, the Gaza Health Ministry claims.

Fierce air and artillery strikes rang out in Gaza on Monday as Israeli troops backed by way of tanks pressed into the Palestinian enclave with a floor assault that brought about extra worldwide calls for civilians to be protected.

A terrorist was once shot at and held after he stabbed a police officer in Jerusalem, leaving him severely injured close to the Shivtei Israel mild rail station on Monday. The injured reliable is presently beneath treatment.

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During “targeted” overnight raid, Israeli tanks enter north Gaza, retreating a short time later



Israel stated Thursday that a column of tanks and infantry had launched an in a single day raid into Hamas-controlled Gaza, putting “numerous” objectives earlier than withdrawing to domestic soil.

The army introduced the incursion into the north of the Palestinian territory hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared preparations for a floor battle had been underway.

The Israel Defense Forces described the operation as a “targeted raid” that hit “numerous terrorist cells, infrastructure and anti-tank missile launch posts”.

It stated the operation used to be “preparation for the subsequent levels of combat” including that “the troopers have given that exited the region and back to Israeli territory”.

Black-and-white video photos posted with the aid of the army confirmed a column of armoured motors and bulldozers winding towards what seemed to be a border fence and breaking via it.

Another video seemed to exhibit an airstrike and later constructions being struck with munitions, sending particles flying excessive into the air, alongside with a thick plume of smoke.

Just hours beforehand Netanyahu had delivered a nationally televised tackle to Israelis nonetheless grieving and livid after Hamas’s bloody October 7 attacks, telling them “we are in the midst of a marketing campaign for our existence”.

The shock assault noticed throngs of Hamas gunmen pour from Gaza into Israel, killing 1,400 people, more often than not civilians, and kidnapping 222 more, in accordance to reliable tallies.

Israel has retaliated with heavy bombing that Gaza’s Hamas-run fitness ministry stated has killed extra than 6,500, with the toll predicted to upward shove considerably if tens of lots of Israeli troops massed close to Gaza pass in.

Netanyahu, in the face of ever-louder global calls to mood the ferocious bombing campaign, vowed to press in advance with plans for a floor war.

Boasting of “raining down hellfire on Hamas” and killing “thousands of terrorists”, Netanyahu stated his battle cupboard and the navy would decide the timing of a “ground offensive”.

He pledged to “eliminate Hamas” and “bring our captives home” however harassed that “I will no longer element when, how or how many” forces would take part.

The floor raid into Gaza used to be no longer the first of its kind, a spokesman for the navy instructed. But it was once probable to increase tensions in an already anxious region.

US President Joe Biden is amongst the overseas leaders stepping up public calls for Israel to “protect harmless civilians” and to comply with the “laws of war” as it pursues Hamas targets.

Biden on Wednesday stated he had privately recommended Israel ought to get hostages out if feasible earlier than any floor invasion.

“It’s their decision, however I did no longer demand it”, Biden said, as he known as on Congress to allocate extra cash for Israeli defence.

Speaking in Cairo, French President Emmanuel Macron warned: “A huge intervention that would put civilian lives at threat would be an error.”

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Maine mass shooting: At least 22 dead, suspect identified as dangerous former army instructor



At least 22 human beings had been killed and 30 had been injured in shootings in the US metropolis of Lewiston, Wednesday night, with police pronouncing that the gunman was once nevertheless at large. The active-shooter incident in the country of Maine came about at three locations Schemengees Bar and Grille Restaurant, a Walmart keep and Sparetime Recreation.

Authorities in Lewiston beforehand despatched out an emergency alert for the public to are searching for refuge due to an lively shooter. The nearby sheriff’s workplace launched pictures of a suspect preserving a high-powered assault-style rifle. The Lewiston Police Department later recognized Robert Card as a character of interest. Card is reportedly a firearms teacher in the US Army Reserve who used to be lately discharged from a intellectual fitness facility after reporting hallucinations.

“Law Enforcement is trying to hit upon Robert Card 4/4/1983, as a man or woman of pastime concerning the mass capturing at Schemengees Bar and Sparetime Recreation this evening. CARD must be regarded armed and dangerous. Please contact regulation enforcement if you are conscious of his whereabouts,” Lewiston police said in a declaration on Facebook.

Maine Governor Janet Mills stated she has been briefed on the situation. “I am conscious of and have been briefed on the lively shooter state of affairs in Lewiston. I urge all humans in the region to comply with the path of State and nearby enforcement. I will to proceed to screen the state of affairs and stay in shut contact with public security officials,” the governor wrote on X.

US President Joe Biden spoke with the aid of cellphone with a variety of Maine lawmakers in the wake of the mass shootings in Lewiston, the White House press workplace advised pool Wednesday. “The President spoke via telephone in my opinion to Maine Governor Janet Mills, Senators Angus King and Susan Collins, and Congressman Jared Golden about the taking pictures in Lewiston, Maine and supplied full federal assist in the wake of this horrific attack,” the White House stated in a statement.

In an previously post, Lewiston police stated they are searching for a automobile with a the front bumper painted black in connection with the lively shootings in Lewiston. Aside from nearby police, FBI and US Homeland Security have presented assist in the lethal shootings.

“The whole Department of Homeland Security grieves with the cherished ones of these killed and injured, and stands with the courageous regulation enforcement officers and first responders who are presently working to invulnerable and protect the humans of Lewiston,” the spokesperson stated in a statement.

The FBI workplace in Boston stated it’s geared up to aid following the lethal mass shootings in Lewiston. “The FBI Boston Division continues to coordinate with our local, country and federal regulation enforcement companions in Maine and we stand geared up to aid with any handy assets they need, which includes proof response, investigative and tactical support, as nicely as sufferer assistance,” the FBI in Boston stated in a statement.

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