Sat, Jul 02, 2016 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

UNITED KINGDOM

WWI battle remembered

Queen Elizabeth II attended a service at Westminster Abbey on Thursday, the eve of the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, one of the deadliest chapters of World War I. The 90-year-old British monarch laid a wreath of roses on the grave of the Unknown Warrior inside the ancient abbey in London before a bugler sounded the Last Post, a tribute to the fallen. An honor guard of soldiers and civilians were to hold an overnight vigil at the grave, ending just before 7:30am, the time British troops were sent into battle on July 1, 1916. The British and French offensive against German forces ground on for 141 days in 1916, leaving more than 1 million dead or wounded. Prince William, his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry attended a vigil on Thursday evening at the Thiepval Memorial in northern France, where 70,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers are commemorated.

UNITED STATES

Breath testers recalibrated

Philadelphia police said their breath test machines have been recalibrated and returned to service after discovering they were improperly calibrated. Private attorney Joseph Kelley, who notified police of the issue on Wednesday, said he estimates between 500 and 1,000 driving under the influence cases could be affected by the improper calibrations. A police spokesman said they have asked the district attorney’s office to review cases involving breath tests from Jan. 17 to Wednesday. The machines must be calibrated yearly with updated solutions that determine the accuracy of blood alcohol readings. Kelly said the machines were accurate, but that defense attorneys can argue the results should be barred from court.

CHECHNYA

TV show to find aide

President Ramzan Kadyrov is to recruit a new aide through an Apprentice-style reality TV show, major state-run channel Rossiya said on Thursday. The station said it was looking for candidates to take part in the show called The Team. Contestants will face challenges such as climbing mountains as well as “experiencing Chechen hospitality and traditions to the full degree,” it said in a statement. Kadyrov is to hand the winning candidate a job as head of the Strategic Development Agency. “Who is the best? The head of the republic Ramzan Kadyrov will decide that himself. He will judge all the trials with the help of a special jury,” the statement said.

UNITED STATES

Package to help Puerto Rico

President Barack Obama on Thursday signed a rescue package for financially strapped Puerto Rico, which is facing more than US$70 billion in debt and a major payment that was due yesterday. Obama signed the bill hours after it won final Senate passage on Wednesday night. Obama said there is still tough work to do to get Puerto Rico out of the hole, “but it is an important first step on the path of creating more stability, better services and greater prosperity over the long term for the people of Puerto Rico.” This came as Puerto Rico’s governor signed an executive order on Thursday to implement a debt moratorium on more than US$1 billion worth of general obligation bonds. Puerto Rico was facing a US$2 billion debt payment due yesterday that includes those general obligation bonds. Puerto Rican Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla previously said the government did not have enough money to make the payments.

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