Inside Daily Brief - June 30th, 2017

Inside Daily Brief (Jun 30th, 2017)

Syria gas attack / Refugee camp / RIP Simone Veil / Chicago violence

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The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague says that the banned nerve agent sarin was used in the April attack in Syria. Dozens of people died when the gas was released on April 4 in the Idlib province. It was the most deadly attack in the country’s civil war in more than three years. "It is the conclusion of the (fact-finding mission) that such a release can only be determined as the use of sarin, as a chemical weapon," read a summary of the OPCW’s report. – REUTERS

Guests who visited the People’s Liberation Army Base in China for celebrations on Friday were banned from taking numerous items with them, including pens, contraceptives, and lipstick. The celebration marked the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s transition from British to Chinese rule. Invitation-only guests were also banned from taking umbrellas, eye drops, perfume, sunscreen and pets. Police were positioned on top of roadside cliffs near the base and helicopters circled above. The event marked one of the rare opportunities the public had to observe barracks life. – REUTERS

Two Syrian refugee camps were attacked by five suicide bombers in the Arsal area on Friday. Seven soldiers were injured and a girl was killed when one of the bombers blew himself up, according to the army, but no further details were provided. There are conflicting reports on exactly how many bombers detonated their weapons and the number of people who were wounded. The attacks came as Lebanese soldiers raided the camp as a part of a major security sweep. – REUTERS

Simone Veil, who paved the way for the legalization of abortion in France, has died at the age of 89. "No woman resorts to an abortion with a light heart,” Veil said in her opening address at the National Assembly in 1974. “One only has to listen to them: it is always a tragedy.” She pushed for a bill, which is still referred to today as “Veil’s law,” legalizing abortion for women in France. In 1979, she was elected President of the European Parliament in its first direct vote of lawmakers. She served as president until 1982 and remained a member of Parliament until 1993. – NPR

Twitter may reportedly launch a feature that would allow users to flag tweets that include “misleading, false, or harmful” information such as hate speech. According to two anonymous sources, the feature is still in a “prototype phase” and may not be released; Twitter spokeswoman Emily Horne says there are “no current plans to launch” such a feature, but did not say whether one was being tested. If the reported function goes live, it could appear as a small tab in a dropdown menu alongside tweets. Twitter has faced long-standing issues surrounding hate speech. Extremists have turned to Twitter for recruiting new militants as well. – WAPO

In a random act of road rage, a man shot and killed an 18-year-old in West Goshen, Pennsylvania. Bianca Roberson had just graduated high school and “had her whole life ahead of her,” according to West Chester Area School District Superintendent Jim Scanlon. She was attempting to merge into a single lane when a man pulled out a gun and shot her in the head. Her car veered off the road and was later found in a ditch. “To that man who fired that shot, turn yourself in now,” said District Attorney Thomas Hogan. “Every second you are out there you are only making this worse for yourself and making this worse for this young lady’s family.” – AP

Federal agents and prosecutors will now work with Chicago police to curb gun violence. President Trump tweeted on Friday, “Crime and killings in Chicago have reached such epidemic proportions that I am sending in Federal help. 1714 shootings in Chicago this year!” State police, intelligence analysts and state and federal prosecutors will now focus on repeat gun offenders and illegal guns in an effort to “change the way” crime is fought across the city. – AP

Jay-Z has released his new album, “4:44,” which is being perceived as his response to Beyoncé’s “Lemonade.” His wife’s album appeared to accuse the rapper of cheating when it was released last year. “You matured faster than me,” Jay-Z raps in one song, seemingly referencing Beyoncé. “I wasn’t ready, so I apologize, I seen the innocence leave your eyes.” The rapper also seems to reference the elevator fight he had with Beyoncé’s sister, Solange, back in 2014, and his relationship with Kanye West. “4:44” is currently available for streaming through Jay-Z’s Tidal. – AP


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