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North Korea Cuts Off All Communication

North Korea is expected to cut all communication with South Korea on the evening of June 15.

It has been a tradition since 2018 that the two countries had to conduct two phone calls daily, one at 9:00 am and the other at 5:00 pm. These phone calls were to diffuse any tension at their borders.

The decision to shut down communications between the two countries came after Pyongyang failed to answer the morning call on Sunday with no explanation given.

North Korea had earlier threatened to close its liaison office with South Korea. This happened after human rights activists and defectors from North Korea living in the South flown balloons with leaflets bearing pro-democracy messages past the border to the North.

Do you think this new development will reignite a tiff between the two countries?

U.S. President Donald Trump Set to Resume Campaign Rallies

The U.S. is planning for its next presidential election on Tuesday, 3 November and the Trump campaign team is expected to start holding rallies this month as more and more states loosen coronavirus restrictions.

Trump’s chief advisors are said to be in the process of working out on modalities on how the rallies will be held safely without risking the lives of the citizens.

Brad Parscale, the President’s campaign manager, is expected to present him with the options this week or early next week. Parscale said that the President is ready to get back to action and so are the Americans.

The last rally by the Trump team was held in Charlotte, North Carolina, on March 2. That was even before the former Vice President Joe Biden was nominated as the Democratic candidate.

Do you believe there’s any danger lurking with the campaigns restarting again?

Schiff Wants Answers from the Pentagon

Rep. Adam Schiff wrote to the Pentagon on Monday to express his concerns about the Defense Department’s involvement in what he referred to as “unethical or unlawful activities” relating to how the government responded to recent countrywide protests following the death of George Floyd.

George Floyd died on May 25 after a police officer in Minneapolis pinned him down with a knee on his neck for over 8 minutes.

This triggered unprecedented protests across all states in the U.S. with curfews imposed in many cities in the country.

Schiff, a Democrat from California and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, wrote to the Undersecretary of Defense for Security and Intelligence, Mr. Joseph Kerman, seeking to know whether the Pentagon was working on surveilling the protests or had been asked to so.  

Schiff cited the “impulsive and sudden” manner in which the law enforcement agencies, including the Armed Forces, had been mobilized to contain the protests and the lack of transparency regarding their deployment.

Are Schiff’s concerns genuine or they are blown out of proportion?

Stocks Rise Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

The economy went down on its knees in March and April when the cost of oil became negative for the first time in history. Stocks also plummeted and everything overall looked gloomy.

However, things are now looking bright as many states that were on lockdown are opening up. Investors are optimistic that the economy will recover as soon as possible.

There are a lot of activities on the stock market with many investors buying shares at their current low prices, hoping to sell them in the future and make a kill.

On Monday, the Dow Jones index gained 0.4%, or 91.91 points, closing at 25,475.02. The NASDAQ gained 0.7%, closing at 9,552.05. Another index, S&P 500, closed at 3,055.73 translating to a 0.4% gain. The NASDAQ gain is the highest since February, while that of S&P is the highest since March.

Although indexes were muted on Tuesday, Wednesday morning futures appeared a return to rising numbers.

Do you think that now is finally the right time to invest?

North Korea Could Be Selling Sand

In May of last year, Lauren Sung and Lucas Kuo noticed a strange phenomenon in North Korea. Over one-hundred ships gathered near Haeju in North Korea. Their mission wasn’t clear.

Later on, Sung and Kuo discovered that the ships, about 279 of them, were not involved in dealing drugs, running guns, trafficking endangered species, or offloading counterfeit cash but were instead dredging and transporting sand.

Under the U.N. sanctions against North Korea imposed in 2017, the country is barred from dealing in stone and earth. Therefore, trading in sand by the country violates international law. North Korea made at least $22 million in 2019 by exporting sand according to a report published in April.

The U.N. is currently investigating this violation. But the question is, where is North Korea exporting the sand to?

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