Hello, readers! Here is a News Roundup before Independence Day in the United States.
I tried to give myself enough time to finish this News Roundup, but for now I will only share two stories from the past few weeks. This post will be updated with some more stories I want to share.
Table of Contents
Here are the stories I have curated for this week:
In International News …
The United States Finalized Part of a Weapons Deal with Qatar.
On Wednesday, June 14, United States Defense Secretary James Mattis met with Qatari Defense Minister Khalid al-Attiyah. The same day, it was announced that the two countries were finalizing the first part of a $21 billion weapons deal. This part amounts to $12 billion, in which 36 American-made F15’s will be sent to Qatar.
It seems like Trump is contradicting himself again since he recently made comments disparaging Qatar for its support of Iran and accusing the former of being a leading sponsor of terrorism. However, this weapons deal was approved by Congress and then-President Obama in November 2016. Last November, Congress approved the sale of up to 72 F-15QA aircraft to Qatar for a reported $21.1 billion.
The recent announcement also came at a time when Qatar was being cornered by other nations in the region, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. The three countries are part of a group that is blocking aid to Qatar and cutting it off diplomatically.
On June 14, the Qataris sent an entourage to Washington D.C. in order to talk about the weapons deal and hopefully talk about the recent blockade. The people in the group included Qatar’s Defense Minister (who met with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis) and representatives from the Qatar Central Bank. Meshal bin Jamad al Thani, the Qatari ambassador to the U.S., tried to remind the U.S. of Qatar’s long-standing commitment to working with the United States.
Although Qatar faces mounting pressure from other oil-rich nations in the region, the Pentagon still enjoys a close relationship with Qatar. At the moment, Qatar hosts the largest U.S. military base in the region. On Tuesday, the United Arab Emirates ambassador suggested that the United States might consider moving their base to the UAE.
However, the response from U.S. officials was tepid at best. Trump repeated his assertion that Qatar was a sponsor of terrorism and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who met with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubier on June 13, said nothing as al-Jubier insisted there was no blockade being enforced on Qatar. Additionally, there have been no plans from the U.S. to host talks with representatives for the nations involved in the regional conflict nor has the U.S. worked to pass along terms of the blockade to Qatar (which says it has not received any terms).
In Entertainment News …
I will start this off with a story about Venus Williams.
Venus Williams Was Involved in a Deadly Crash in Florida Early Last Month.
Venus Williams, 37, a former world number player on the WTA and older sister to Serena Williams, was involved in a car crash on June 9, 2017. Last week, the police Palm Beach Gardens (Florida) Police Department released the report.
The crash occurred as the driver of a Hyundai Accent crashed into Williams’ car. As a result Jerome Barson, 79, was injured. He was the passenger in the Hyundai and he later died of his injuries. His wife, Linda, was driving the vehicle at the time; she suffered moderate injuries.
Witnesses said Venus Williams caused the accident by running a red light. Yet Williams said she crossed a six-lane intersection when she had the green light but she stopped her Toyota Sequoia SUV midway because of the traffic in front of her.
As of this date, Williams — who has a Palm Beach Gardens residence — has not been cited, charged, or arrested. Police are still investigating the accident.
Currently, Williams is playing at Wimbledon. She won her first round match today.
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