News ID: 91280
Publish Date : 14 June 2021 - 22:49

LONDON (Reuters) -- U.S. President Joe Biden will take some “tough messages” to Russian President Vladimir Putin this week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, saying so far London’s relations with Moscow had yet to improve. “I’m always hopeful that things will improve with Russia, but ... I am afraid that so far, it’s been pretty disappointing from the UK point of view,” Johnson said on arrival to a meeting of the NATO military alliance. “I know that President Biden will be taking some pretty tough messages to President Putin. In the course of the next few days.”

LONDON (Reuters) -- Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he has spoken with U.S. President Joe Biden about how to lift pandemic-related border restrictions between the two countries but made clear no breakthrough has been achieved. U.S. and Canadian business leaders have voiced increasing concern about the ban on non-essential travel in light of COVID-19 that was first imposed in March 2020 and renewed on a monthly basis since then. The border measures do not affect trade flows. The border restrictions have choked off tourism between the two countries. Canadian businesses, especially airlines and those that depend on tourism, have been lobbying the Liberal government to relax the restrictions. Canada last week took a cautious first step, saying it was prepared to relax quarantine protocols for fully vaccinated citizens returning home starting in early July.

BEIJING (Reuters) -- A Chinese spacecraft will blast off from the Gobi Desert on a Long March rocket in the coming days, ferrying three men to an orbiting space module for a three-month stay, the first time China has sent humans into space for nearly five years. Shenzhou-12, meaning “Divine Vessel”, will be the third of 11 missions needed to complete China’s space station by 2022. Among them, four will be missions with people on board, potentially propelling up to 12 Chinese astronauts into space - more than the 11 men and women that China has sent since 2003. The craft will also carry into space the hopes of some in Earth’s most populous nation. “The motherland is powerful,” one person wrote on Chinese social media, which has lit up with well-wishes for the Shenzhou-12 crew. “The launch is a gift to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party.”

TOKYO (AP) — Until recently, the location of executed wartime Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo’s remains was one of World War II’s biggest mysteries in the nation he once led. Now, a Japanese university professor has revealed declassified U.S. military documents that appear to hold the answer. The documents show the cremated ashes of Tojo, one of the masterminds of the Pearl Harbor attack, were scattered from a U.S. Army aircraft over the Pacific Ocean about 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of Yokohama, Japan’s second-largest city, south of Tokyo. It was a tension-filled, highly secretive mission, with American officials apparently taking extreme steps meant to keep Tojo’s remains, and those of six others executed with him, away from ultra-nationalists looking to glorify them as martyrs. The seven were hanged for war crimes just before Christmas in 1948, three years after Japan’s defeat. The discovery brings partial closure to a painful chapter of Japanese history that still plays out today, as conservative Japanese politicians attempt to whitewash history, leading to friction with wartime victims, especially China and South Korea. After years spent verifying and checking details and evaluating the significance of what he’d found, Nihon University Professor Hiroaki Takazawa publicly released the clues to the remains’ location last week. He came across the declassified documents in 2018 at the U.S. National Archives in Washington. It’s believed to be the first time official documents showing the handling of the seven war criminals’ remains were made public, according to Japan’s National Institute for Defense Studies and the Japan Center for Asian Historical Records. Hidetoshi Tojo, the leader’s great-grandson, told The Associated Press that the absence of the remains has long been a humiliation for the bereaved families, but he’s relieved the information has come to light.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The top two Democrats in the U.S. Congress vowed to probe the “rogue” actions of the Justice Department during former President Donald Trump’s term, including its move to seize the communications records of Democratic lawmakers. Those reviews will run parallel with an investigation by the department’s own internal watchdog into its moves to subpoena phone records of Representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, as part of a probe into leaks of classified information. The Justice Department under former attorneys general William Barr and Jeff Sessions was regularly accused of putting Trump’s personal and political interests ahead of the law. “The Justice Department has been rogue under President Trump, understand that, in so many respects. This is just another manifestation of their rogue activity,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

* Comment: