World breaking news today (May 28): US tells Russia it won’t rejoin Open Skies arms control pact

World breaking news today (May 28): US tells Russia it won’t rejoin Open Skies arms control pact. Meanwhile, UN rights council to investigate crimes during Gaza conflict, Israel said it would not cooperate with the probe and gold price also make headlines today.
May 28, 2021 | 13:18
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World breaking news today (May 28):  US tells Russia it won’t rejoin Open Skies arms control pact
(Photo: AP)

US tells Russia it won’t rejoin Open Skies arms control pact

The Biden administration informed Russia on Thursday that it will not rejoin a key arms control pact, even as the two sides prepare for a summit next month between their leaders, the State Department said.

U.S. officials said Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told the Russians that the administration had decided not to reenter the Open Skies Treaty, which had allowed surveillance flights over military facilities in both countries before President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact. As a presidential candidate, Biden had criticized Trump’s withdrawal as “short-sighted.”

The Biden administration informed Russia on Thursday that it will not rejoin a key arms control pact, even as the two sides prepare for a summit next month between their leaders, the State Department said.

U.S. officials said Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told the Russians that the administration had decided not to reenter the Open Skies Treaty, which had allowed surveillance flights over military facilities in both countries before President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact. As a presidential candidate, Biden had criticized Trump’s withdrawal as “short-sighted.”

The announcement comes ahead of a meeting between President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland. They will try to find common ground amid a sharp deterioration in ties that have sunk relations to their lowest point in decades. Yet, Biden, who had supported the treaty as a senator, had been highly critical of Trump’s pullout, AP reported.

“In announcing the intent to withdraw from the Open Skies Treaty, President Trump has doubled down on his short-sighted policy of going it alone and abandoning American leadership,” then-candidate Biden said in May 2020.

UN rights council to investigate crimes during Gaza conflict

The UN Human Rights Council has agreed to launch an open-ended international investigation into violations during the 11-day conflict between Israel and Palestinian groups in Gaza, and into “systematic” abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories and inside Israel.

By a vote of 24 states in favour, nine against, with 14 abstentions, the 47-member forum adopted a resolution after an all-day special session on Thursday brought by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Palestinian delegation to the United Nations.

The resolution calls for the creation of a permanent Commission of Inquiry – the most potent tool at the council’s disposal – to monitor and report on rights violations in Israel, Gaza, and the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. It would be the first such COI with an “ongoing” mandate.

World breaking news today (May 28):  US tells Russia it won’t rejoin Open Skies arms control pact
A Palestinian boy walks near his makeshift tent amid the rubble of houses which were destroyed by Israeli air raids in Gaza (Photo: Reuters)

According to the text, the commission is also to investigate “all underlying root causes of recurrent tensions, instability and protraction of conflict” including discrimination and repression.

The investigation should focus on establishing facts and gather evidence for legal proceedings, and should aim to identify perpetrators to ensure they are held accountable, it said.

Israel said it would not cooperate with the probe.

US, European nations call for investigation into Belarus plane diversion at UN Security Council

Western nations on Wednesday demanded the International Civil Aviation Organisation investigate the forced diversion of a plane by Belarusian authorities.

In a joint statement following a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council's permanent members on the incident, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, the UK and the US, reiterated their condemnation of Belarus.

"The airplane, owned by a European Union company, carrying more than 100 passengers from one EU Member State’s capital to another, was forced to land based on false grounds by a Belarusian military aircraft.

"These acts are a blatant attack on international civilian aviation safety and on European security and show flagrant disregard for international law."

World breaking news today (May 28):  US tells Russia it won’t rejoin Open Skies arms control pact
(Photo: Times of Israel)

They demanded that the International Civil Aviation Organization "urgently investigate this unprecedented and unacceptable incident and for full accountability for those responsible" as well as the "immediate release" of journalist Roman Pratasevich and his girlfriend, Sofi Sapega.

Both were detained after the flight was grounded. Pratasevich, 26, runs a message app channel that was seen as key to the massive mobilisation against Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko following the August election ruled fraudulent by the West.

Their continued detention was described by the Western countries as "yet another blatant attempt by the Belarusian authorities to silence all opposition voices."

The Belarusian government rejects any criticism, arguing it adhered to international law and diverted the plane over a bomb threat. It accused the West of politicising the incident and of trying to "strangle" the country, as reported by Euro News.

Biden asks US intel to push for stronger conclusions on the coronavirus’ origins

President Biden said on Wednesday that he has asked the U.S. intelligence community to push to get closer to a "definitive conclusion" on how the pandemic started.

In a statement, Biden said the intelligence community has "coalesced around two likely scenarios" — that the coronavirus either came from human contact with an infected animal, or from a laboratory accident in Wuhan, China.

He said most intelligence entities don't believe there's sufficient information to reach a conclusion about the virus' origins, and the three intel entities that lean toward one explanation or another only have "low or moderate confidence" in their conclusions.

He said he wants intel officials to identify "areas of further inquiry," including from China, and the United States would continue to push China to provide access to data.

World breaking news today (May 28):  US tells Russia it won’t rejoin Open Skies arms control pact
(Photo: Osservatorio Balcani)

The first known cases of the novel coronavirus came from Wuhan, where there is a lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, that works with bat coronaviruses.

The notion that the virus had "escaped" from the lab — that there had been some sort of accident and then someone got sick — emerged in the early days of the pandemic, but was largely dismissed as highly unlikely by most scientists.

Some researchers and far-right commentators latched onto the idea, however, and the theory spread, especially in conservative news circles and among Republicans, according to NPR.

Gold price forecast: Gold markets find exhaustion

Gold markets have ran into a bit of exhaustion during the trading session on Wednesday, as we may have gotten ahead of ourselves.

Gold markets have rallied a bit during the trading session on Wednesday again, as the gold markets continue to get a bit of a boost. However, we have seen the market give up some of those gains to form a bit of a shooting star, and therefore I think what we are looking at is a potential pullback towards the $1850 level. That is an area that was important in the past and therefore I would anticipate that the market would offer support, according to FX Empire.

World breaking news today (May 28):  US tells Russia it won’t rejoin Open Skies arms control pact
(Photo: FX Street)
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Jasmine Le

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