10 things you need to know today: July 5, 2017

Tensions rise over North Korea following ICBM test, GOP senators skip July 4 events amid health-care backlash, and more

A ballistic missile is test-fired in North Korea
(Image credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

1. U.S. and South Korea hold missile drill after North Korea ICBM launch

The United Nations Security Council has scheduled a Wednesday meeting to discuss North Korea's latest missile test. The U.S. called for an urgent closed-door session of the 15-member council after U.S. officials said they believed that North Korea had, as it claimed, successfully launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, which experts said might be able to reach Alaska with a nuclear warhead. China and Russia, both of which share land borders with North Korea, called for Pyongyang's leader, Kim Jong Un, to freeze his nuclear program. The U.S. and South Korea responded with a joint missile drill that Seoul said was "intended as a strong warning against North Korean provocation" and "showcased precision targeting of the enemy's leadership in case of an emergency."


2. Most GOP senators skip July 4 events as health-care backlash continues

Most Republican senators skipped public appearances on the Fourth of July — the handful who did show up at Independence Day parades and other events opposed the Senate GOP health-care bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who scrapped a planned vote last week after a handful of Republicans threatened to block the bill, had wanted a vote before the break in part so GOP senators would not be swayed by public sentiment against his widely unpopular bill. Only four of the 52 GOP senators had announced participation in July 4 parades — Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Dean Heller (Nev.), and Ted Cruz (Texas); all four had voiced concern about McConnell's bill, and all but Murkowski were solid no votes before the break. Collins and Murkowski said people at their parades thanked them for saying no to the proposed legislation.

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The Washington Post The New York Times

3. Police rein in protest ahead of G-20 summit

Police clashed with protesters in Hamburg, Germany, on Tuesday night in what was expected to be a preview of mass demonstrations during the G-20 summit on July 7 and 8. Dozens of groups have registered to protest during the event, which will be attended by President Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and other leaders. Anti-globalization activists have registered a Thursday protest under the slogan "Welcome to Hell." "We are calling on the world to make Hamburg a focal point of the resistance against the old and new capitalist authorities," said organizers tied to the Rote Flora squat, a center for radical leftists near the G-20 meeting venue where police often confront protesters.

The Associated Press

4. Iraqi leader congratulates forces on Mosul victory despite continued fighting

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Tuesday praised his country's soldiers for "the big victory in Mosul," although Iraqi forces are still fighting Islamic State militants in Mosul's Old City and facing increasingly fierce resistance. Al-Abadi's congratulatory remarks came less than a week after he declared ISIS's self-proclaimed caliphate had come to an end after government troops took over the remains of the iconic al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City. Civilians, many cut off from food and water for months, are fleeing the Old City and humanitarian groups have reported a surge in the number of malnourished and dehydrated people seeking shelter. "None of the previous battles were like this," said Iraqi Maj. Faris Aboud at a small field hospital near the Old City.

The Associated Press

5. Ukraine police seize company's servers in cyberattack investigation

Ukraine's Cyber Police on Tuesday seized servers at M.E.Doc, an accounting software firm, as part of the investigation into a cyberattack that hobbled computers at companies around the world. Investigators believe that a vulnerability in M.E.Doc's accounting software, which 80 percent of Ukrainians use to file their taxes, helped spread the malware virus in the massive hacking operation, an allegation the company has denied. Investigators said early Wednesday that police seized the servers to "immediately stop" what they described as "new activity" suggesting the hackers might be launching another attack. "Our experts stopped [it] on time," cyber police spokeswoman Yulia Kvitko said.

Radio Free Europe

6. EU offers Italy $40 million to help handle refugees

The European Commission on Tuesday announced that it would provide $40 million in extra funding to help Italy handle thousands of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean from northern Africa. Rome had requested that other European nations do more to share the burden. EU leaders also called on private groups to review their rescue-boat operations off the coast of Libya to make sure that their presence did not serve as a "pull factor" encouraging people to make the risky voyage, giving them hope that if they set out in unseaworthy boats they would be picked up and ferried to Italy.


7. Volvo says it will shift to only electric and hybrid vehicles by 2019

Volvo said Wednesday that it would phase out cars that only have traditional combustion engines in a major new push into electric motors. "This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car," Volvo's president, Håkan Samuelsson, said in a statement. The Chinese-owned Swedish automaker said that by 2019 every new model it produces will have an electric motor, in what it called a step toward the "historic end" of the technology that has been used to propel cars and trucks for more than a century. Other automakers also have launched pushes into new technology, but Volvo is the first traditional car manufacturer to fully commit to an all electric and hybrid lineup.

Bloomberg CNNMoney

8. Canada reaches deal to apologize and pay former Guantanamo detainee

The Canadian government reportedly reached a deal to apologize and pay millions of dollars to Toronto-born Omar Khadr for abuses he allegedly suffered while he was detained by the U.S. in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Khadr's lawyers said the Canadian government violated international law by failing to protect one of its citizens, and effectively conspiring with the U.S. to abuse him. Khadr was 15 when he was shot and detained by American commandos in Afghanistan. The Pentagon accused him of "murder in violation of the laws of war" for the death of Delta Force Sgt. Christopher Speer. Khadr agreed to a plea deal in 2010 and was permitted to return to Canada after 10 years in detention, but later said he didn't know if he threw the grenade that killed Speer. Lawyers for Speer's widow, who won a wrongful death lawsuit against Khadr in the U.S., filed an application asking Canada to have any money it pays go to her and a soldier who was injured.

The Star The Associated Press

9. Joey Chestnut, Miki Sudo win Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest

Joey Chestnut won his 10th title at the annual Nathan's Famous July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island. The Californian ate 72 dogs and buns in 10 minutes, beating his own record and outdoing the runner-up, Carmen Cincotti of New Jersey, by a dozen franks. Miki Sudo of Las Vegas won her fourth straight title in the women's competition, eating 41 hot dogs and buns. The runner up, Michelle Lesco of Arizona, ate 32 hot dogs. Five people trying to hold a protest were arrested, although People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, whose members gave away vegan hot dogs nearby, said the people who were detained had nothing to do with PETA.

The Associated Press

10. Sagan disqualified from Tour de France after elbowing incident

Popular cyclist Peter Sagan was disqualified from the Tour de France on Tuesday after he appeared to elbow Mark Cavendish, sending him into a barrier in the last 200 meters of the day's 207.5-kilometer Stage 4. An official from the race jury said the decision to boot Sagan was made because "He endangered multiple riders, Mark Cavendish and others who were implicated in the crash, in the final meters of the sprint." Cavendish, winner of the second-most Tour de France stages ever, was trying to pass Sagan, who won Stage 3, when the incident occurred. He suffered serious injuries, including to a shoulder on which he had surgery to replace a ligament, and said he was "not optimistic" that he would be able to continue the race.

The Washington Post

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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.