PHNO WORLD HEADLINE NEWS THIS PAST WEEK (Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

BRAND NEW ERA BETWEEN IRAN & THE WEST: IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL, A HISTORIC AGREEMENT IN VIENNA


JULY 15 ---German Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iranian ambassador to IAEA Ali Akbar Salehi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Vienna. Photograph: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters
A comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear programme has been reached, bringing to an end a 12-year standoff that had threatened to trigger a new war in the Middle East, and potentially marking the beginning of a new era in relations between Iran and the west. Live Iran nuclear deal: historic agreement in Vienna – live updates Agreement to end 12-year standoff over Iran’s nuclear programme expected to be unveiled imminently in Vienna. Follow the latest developments live Read more A formal announcement on the agreement was due to be made at a press conference in Vienna at midday (11am BST), after a final plenary meeting at 10.30am. At some point it is expected that the US president, Barack Obama, and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, will make statements from their capitals. The deal follows 17 days of almost uninterrupted negotiations in Vienna involving foreign ministers from seven countries– Iran, US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany– and the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini. The talks only came to an end in the early hours of Tuesday morning, and diplomats stayed up through the night “scrubbing” the text, looking for mistakes and discrepancies. It is expected that the estimated 100 pages of text – including five annexes – that make up the agreement will be published in the next few days. The agreement will be made official when it becomes an attachment to a planned UN security council resolution later this month. However, the operative parts of the resolution, lifting sanctions, for example, will be suspended for a few months. Much of the outline of the agreement is already known, having been provisionally settled in Lausanne in April. It involves Iran accepting curbs on its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief, but many of the critical, politically charged details will only be made public on Tuesday. READ MORE...

ALSO: Israeli leader says his country not bound by Iran nuke deal


JULY 15 ---From left to right, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi; French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius; German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier; European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini; Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif; Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi; Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov; British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammon; U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. After 18 days of intense and often fractious negotiation, world powers and Iran struck a landmark deal Tuesday to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions — an agreement designed to avert the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and another U.S. military intervention in the Muslim world. (Carlos Barria, Pool Photo via AP)
JERUSALEM — Israel's prime minister condemned yesterday's international nuclear agreement with Iran as a "stunning historic mistake" and said his country is not bound by the deal, strongly hinting that military action remains an option. Benjamin Netanyahu has been a leading opponent of the deal since its contours were announced earlier this year and conciliatory statements by both the United States and Iranian leaders did nothing to change his sentiment. Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said the agreement would lift painful economic sanctions against Iran — bringing in a much needed influx of funds — without stopping it from developing a capacity to prevent nuclear weapons. "This cash bonanza will fuel Iran's terrorism worldwide, its aggression in region, and its efforts to destroy Israel, which are ongoing," he said. He said the deal does nothing to address Iran's "aggressive" behavior in the region, which includes support for anti-Israel militant groups, such as the Palestinian Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah group, and frequent references to Israel's destruction. He noted that just last Friday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani participated in a parade where American and Israeli flags were burned.

ALSO Greece secures bailout: What next?


JULY 14 ---Alexis Tsipras, Greece's prime minister, right, and Euclid Tsakalotos, Greece's finance minister, center, depart following all-night bailout talks in Brussels, Belgium, on Monday, July 13, 2015.  Jasper Juinen | Bloomberg | Getty Images 
After 17 hours of tough negotiation, euro zone leaders on Monday agreed a deal that could pace the way for a third Greek bailout. But it's far from a done deal. Here's a timeline of key dates as creditors prepare to dole out up to 86 billion euros ($95.2 billion) as part of a reform-for-aid package: The Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers discussed bridge financing options for Greece that will help bolster its finances in the short-term. Wednesday, July 15  -Greek parliament will have to vote on both the bailout package and measures the government must implement to receive receiving emergency funding. These include: boosting tax revenues from sale taxes, wide-ranging pension reforms and spending cuts. Meanwhile, euro zone finance ministers are expected to hold a call regarding their next move. Members states will then start to hold their own votes on the bailout, with Germany expected to vote on Greek aid Friday. This will give creditors a formal mandate to launch bailout negotiations. -Thursday, July 16 The European Central Bank (ECB) will hold its regular policy meeting, with focus likely to be on its Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA), which is currently keeping Greek banks afloat. Frederik Ducrozet, an euro zone economist with Credit Agricole, said one option would be for the ECB to approve gradual, step-by-step increases of ELA, conditional on the Greek government implementing reforms. READ MORE...

ALSO: Greek leader faces outrage at home over rescue deal 'coup'


JULY 14 ---Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras speaks to reporter before taking a secular oath at the Presidential Palace in Athens on Jan. 26, 2015. The 40-year-old radical left leader is the youngest man to hold the post in 150 years. PHOTO FROM CBC.CA FILE  ATHENS — Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faced open revolt from some of his own ministers as he sought support Tuesday for a bailout deal that, while saving the country from financial collapse, would cause years of more pain for Greeks. The government must pass a raft of measures through Parliament by Wednesday night, including consumer tax increases and pension reforms to start negotiations with European creditors on a third bailout worth as much as 85 billion euros ($95 billion). The deal tramples on practically all of Tsipras' pre-election promises to repeal the budget austerity that European creditors have imposed for five years. But after dragging out the rescue talks for months, Tsipras was out of alternatives this week: without a deal, Greece's banks would likely have collapsed, pulling the country out of the euro, Europe's joint currency. The draft bill is expected to be submitted Tuesday and voted on Wednesday. Tsipras is expected to have the numbers in Parliament to pass the measures, since he will have the support of most opposition parties. But the government's political survival is in danger if large numbers of its own lawmakers resign their seats or openly vote against the bill. There was speculation Tsipras might choose to reshuffle his Cabinet, which would remove dissenters from key positions. Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, one of the hardliners in Tsipras' radical left Syriza party, denounced the deal and called on the prime minister to cancel it before legislation reaches Parliament. "The deal ... is unacceptable and does not deserve to be charged to a radical political party such as Syriza, and a battling government that promised to abolish ... austerity," Lafazanis said in a statement posted on his ministry website Tuesday. Germany, he said, treated Greece "as if it was their colony and (behaved) as brutal blackmailers and 'financial assassins.'" READ MORE...

ALSO: 10 mind-blowing facts about Pluto and the New Horizons probe


JULY 15 ---This July 13, 2015 image provided by NASA shows Pluto, seen from the New Horizons spacecraft. The United States is now the only nation to visit every single planet in the solar system. Pluto was No. 9 in the lineup when New Horizons departed Cape Canaveral, Fla, on Jan. 19, 2006. NASA via AP
According to NASA's calculations, the New Horizons spacecraft, the first vessel devoted to studying Pluto, made it to the icy dwarf.
The moment of closest approach for the New Horizons spacecraft came at 7:49 a.m. EDT Tuesday. It culminated an unprecedented journey spanning 9 and a half years and 3 billion miles, AP said in a report. As a tribute to the successful cosmic journey, here are some mind blowing facts about Pluto and New Horizons probe. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO Pluto close-up: Spacecraft makes flyby of icy, mystery world


JULY 15 ---Members of the New Horizons science team react to seeing the spacecraft's last and sharpest image of Pluto before closest approach later in the day, Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft was on track to zoom within 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) of Pluto on Tuesday. Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP
CAPE CANAVERAL — By NASA's calculations, we've made it to Pluto.
The moment of closest approach for the New Horizons spacecraft came at 7:49 a.m. EDT Tuesday. It culminated an unprecedented journey spanning 9½ years and 3 billion miles. Based on everything NASA knows, New Horizons was straight on course for the historic encounter, sweeping within 7,800 miles of Pluto at 31,000 mph. But official confirmation won't come until Tuesday night, 13 nerve-racking hours later. That's because NASA wants New Horizons taking pictures of Pluto, its jumbo moon Charon and its four little moons during this critical time, not gabbing to Earth. NASA marked the moment live on TV, broadcasting from flight operations in Maryland. The United States is now the only nation to visit every single planet in the solar system. Pluto was No. 9 in the lineup when New Horizons departed Cape Canaveral, Florida, in 2006 to shed light on the mysterious icy world, but was demoted seven months later to dwarf status. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: Annual checkup of Earth's climate says we're in hotter water
[EARTH IS 'GRAVELY ILL' DOCTOR SAID]


JULY 14---FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2014 file photo, a fishing boat heads out to the Atlantic Ocean near Miami as dark clouds loom in the distance. In the annual detailed physical for Earth’s climate, scientists noted the world is in increasingly hot and rising water. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Meteorological Society’s annual state of the climate delved into the hot details of already reported record-smashing warmth globally in 2014, giving special attention to the world’s oceans. (AP Photo /Wilfredo Lee)WASHINGTON — In their annual, detailed physical of Earth's climate, scientists say the world is in increasingly hot and rising water. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Meteorological Society's annual state of the climate report delves into the details of already reported record-smashing warmth globally in 2014, giving special attention to the world's oceans. NOAA climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt, co-editor of the report, said the seas last year "were just ridiculous." The report said ocean surface temperatures were the warmest in 135 years of records, with the seas holding record levels of heat energy at lower depths. Sea level also hit modern highs. Jeff Severinghaus of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said if this report is Earth's annual checkup, "the doctor is saying 'you are gravely ill.'" THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Iran nuclear deal: historic agreement in Vienna


German Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iranian ambassador to IAEA Ali Akbar Salehi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Vienna. Photograph: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

MANILA, JULY 20, 2015 (THE GUARDIAN) A comprehensive deal on Iran’s nuclear programme has been reached, bringing to an end a 12-year standoff that had threatened to trigger a new war in the Middle East, and potentially marking the beginning of a new era in relations between Iran and the west.

Live Iran nuclear deal: historic agreement in Vienna – live updates Agreement to end 12-year standoff over Iran’s nuclear programme expected to be unveiled imminently in Vienna. Follow the latest developments live Read more A formal announcement on the agreement was due to be made at a press conference in Vienna at midday (11am BST), after a final plenary meeting at 10.30am. At some point it is expected that the US president, Barack Obama, and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, will make statements from their capitals.

The deal follows 17 days of almost uninterrupted negotiations in Vienna involving foreign ministers from seven countries – Iran, US, UK, Russia, China, France and Germany – and the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini.

The talks only came to an end in the early hours of Tuesday morning, and diplomats stayed up through the night “scrubbing” the text, looking for mistakes and discrepancies.

It is expected that the estimated 100 pages of text – including five annexes – that make up the agreement will be published in the next few days. The agreement will be made official when it becomes an attachment to a planned UN security council resolution later this month. However, the operative parts of the resolution, lifting sanctions, for example, will be suspended for a few months.

Much of the outline of the agreement is already known, having been provisionally settled in Lausanne in April. It involves Iran accepting curbs on its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief, but many of the critical, politically charged details will only be made public on Tuesday.

READ MORE...

It is understood that the conventional arms embargo will last another five years, and restrictions on ballistic missile technology will last eight years. Under a complicated arrangement, a violation could lead to the automatic “snap-back” of sanctions within 65 days, if a dispute-resolution process failed.

The full agreement, known as the joint comprehensive plan of action, is likely to come under instant and ferocious attack from its opponents – mostly in the US, Iran and Israel – but its defenders portray it as one of the most important arms control accords of modern times and a rare diplomatic success in the Middle East.

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who has been leading his country’s delegation in Vienna, described the agreement as a “win-win” solution but not perfect.

“I believe this is a historic moment,” he said. “We are reaching an agreement that is not perfect for anybody but is what we could accomplish. Today could have been the end of hope, but now we are starting a new chapter of hope.”

Mogherini said the agreement would “open the way to a new chapter in international relations” and show that diplomacy can overcome decades of tension. “This is a sign of hope for the entire world,” she said.

Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, who has faced mounting criticism at home over his handling of the diplomacy around Iran, moved pre-emptively to denounce the deal even before the details had emerged.

Netanyahu denounces Iran nuclear deal but faces criticism from within Israel Read more Heading a chorus of condemnation from Israeli politicians – many members of his rightwing coalition – he said the agreement was a capitulation and a mistake of historic proportions. The deal was also denounced by hardline former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman as “a total surrender to terror”.

Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, said Netanyahu’s campaign over Iran had been a “colossal failure”.

On Monday, the Iranian president’s office was forced to delete a premature tweet in his name that appeared to welcome a nuclear agreement that had yet to materialise.

The deleted tweet on the English-language account under Rouhani’s name declared: “#IranDeal is the victory of diplomacy & mutual respect over the outdated paradigm of exclusion & coercion. And this is a good beginning.”

Soon after, a new tweet was posted in its place, adding the word ‘if’ at the beginning.

Iran nuclear talks: timeline Read more As the Monday evening target came and went, Javad Zarif had appeared on the balcony of the Palais Coburg hotel in Vienna hotel, the venue for the talks, and faced shouted questions from the journalists in the street below. Asked how he was feeling, Zarif replied: “Sleepy and overworked.”

Once an agreement is announced, it will not take effect for some time: it must first survive a trial by fire from its critics in Washington and Tehran.

The greatest hurdle will be the US Congress, where Republicans have a majority and are expected to vote against the deal after a review period of up to 60 days. They will seek to win over 12 Democrats in an attempt to defeat a presidential veto.


PHILSTAR

Israeli leader says his country not bound by Iran nuke deal By Josef Federman (Associated Press) | Updated July 15, 2015 - 7:44am 0 0 googleplus0 0


From left to right, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi; French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius; German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier; European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini; Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif; Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi; Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov; British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammon; U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, July 14, 2015. After 18 days of intense and often fractious negotiation, world powers and Iran struck a landmark deal Tuesday to curb Iran's nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions — an agreement designed to avert the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and another U.S. military intervention in the Muslim world. (Carlos Barria, Pool Photo via AP)

JERUSALEM — Israel's prime minister condemned yesterday's international nuclear agreement with Iran as a "stunning historic mistake" and said his country is not bound by the deal, strongly hinting that military action remains an option.

Benjamin Netanyahu has been a leading opponent of the deal since its contours were announced earlier this year and conciliatory statements by both the United States and Iranian leaders did nothing to change his sentiment.

Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said the agreement would lift painful economic sanctions against Iran — bringing in a much needed influx of funds — without stopping it from developing a capacity to prevent nuclear weapons.

"This cash bonanza will fuel Iran's terrorism worldwide, its aggression in region, and its efforts to destroy Israel, which are ongoing," he said.

He said the deal does nothing to address Iran's "aggressive" behavior in the region, which includes support for anti-Israel militant groups, such as the Palestinian Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah group, and frequent references to Israel's destruction.

He noted that just last Friday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani participated in a parade where American and Israeli flags were burned.

READ MORE...

Netanyahu also said the deal "repeats the mistakes" of an earlier international agreement with North Korea, in which a system of inspections and verifications failed to prevent the country from developing a nuclear weapons capability.

When the deal expires in a decade, an "unreformed, unrepentant and far richer terrorist regime" in Tehran will have the capacity to build an entire nuclear arsenal, Netanyahu added.

"What a stunning historic mistake," he said, stressing that Israel is not bound by the deal. "We will always defend ourselves," he said.

Such sentiments were echoed across the political spectrum in Israel, where concern is high that the country's archenemy has duped the world and will acquire nuclear weapons to use against Israel.

Netanyahu has been at the forefront of global opposition to the nuclear deal and has openly clashed with the Obama administration and other global powers that negotiated the deal, which lifts sanctions in return for greater restrictions on its nuclear program.

In the past, Israel has threatened to carry out a military strike against Iran's nuclear installations. Despite Netanyahu's latest comments, that option now appears remote.

Israel's first course of action looks to be an intense lobbying effort in the US Congress to oppose the deal. Netanyahu spoke against the emerging deal before a joint session of Congress in March. Yet despite strong opposition to the deal among Republicans in Congress, there is little that can be done now.

Although President Barack Obama doesn't need Congressional approval for the deal, lawmakers will likely try to derail it by passing new sanctions or preventing Obama from lifting existing sanctions — the key incentive for Iran to comply with the deal. Under an agreement that Obama struck with lawmakers earlier in the year, Congress has 60 days to review the agreement before he can start easing sanctions.

Obama on yesterday threatened to veto any resolutions from Congress seeking to undermine the deal, meaning opponents would have to muster a two-thirds majority in Congress to override the veto. That would require dozens of Democrats to vote against the president, which appears unlikely, and even if opponents are successful, Obama could use his presidential powers to offer substantial sanctions relief on his own.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Israel "will employ all diplomatic means to prevent confirmation of the agreement."

Netanyahu's coalition partners angrily criticized Wednesday's agreement. Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who heads the hawkish Jewish Home party, said July 14 will be remembered a "dark day for the free world." Cabinet Minister Miri Regev said the agreement gave Iran a "license to kill."

The cascade of criticism crossed party lines, reflecting the widespread opposition to the deal in Israel.

"This is a regime based in deceit, and now they are going to do what they did for the last 20 years, which is trying to get themselves nuclear weapons behind the back of the world," Yair Lapid, the head of the opposition Yesh Atid Party, told The Associated Press. "Now they are going to do it with the help of the international community."

Netanyahu called on all sides to "put petty politics aside" and unite behind opposing Iran.


CNBC.COM

Greece secures bailout: What next? Kalyeena Makortoff | @kalyeena 3 Hours Ago CNBC.com 118 SHARES


Alexis Tsipras, Greece's prime minister, right, and Euclid Tsakalotos, Greece's finance minister, center, depart following all-night bailout talks in Brussels, Belgium, on Monday, July 13, 2015.  Jasper Juinen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

After 17 hours of tough negotiation, euro zone leaders on Monday agreed a deal that could pace the way for a third Greek bailout. But it's far from a done deal.

Here's a timeline of key dates as creditors prepare to dole out up to 86 billion euros ($95.2 billion) as part of a reform-for-aid package:

The Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers discussed bridge financing options for Greece that will help bolster its finances in the short-term. Wednesday, July 15

Greek parliament will have to vote on both the bailout package and measures the government must implement to receive receiving emergency funding. These include: boosting tax revenues from sale taxes, wide-ranging pension reforms and spending cuts.

Meanwhile, euro zone finance ministers are expected to hold a call regarding their next move. Members states will then start to hold their own votes on the bailout, with Germany expected to vote on Greek aid Friday.

This will give creditors a formal mandate to launch bailout negotiations.

Thursday, July 16

The European Central Bank (ECB) will hold its regular policy meeting, with focus likely to be on its Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA), which is currently keeping Greek banks afloat.

Frederik Ducrozet, an euro zone economist with Credit Agricole, said one option would be for the ECB to approve gradual, step-by-step increases of ELA, conditional on the Greek government implementing reforms.

READ MORE...

Monday, July 20

A crucial day for Greece, as a 3.5 billion euro (£3.8 billion) payment is due to the ECB. Euro zone leaders say the country needs a total of 7 billion euros by this date to cover "urgent financing needs."

Greece must submit proposals outlining plans to modernize and "significantly strengthen" the country's administration, and will formally request technical assistance from its creditors and euro zone member states by July 20.

Wednesday, July 22

By now, the government must have started to overhaul the country's justice system, implementing new procedures that will accelerate the judicial process and ultimately reduce costs.

It must also adopt the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive; the "rulebook" used by all EU member states that outlines how countries must deal with failing banks.

August 2015

The country is likely to need an additional 5 billion euros ($5.5 billion) in "urgent financing needs" by mid-August.

Autumn 2015

Supervisors from the ECB will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the Greek bailout program after the summer, as it considers Greek bank funding.

October 2015

Its creditors require Greece to have carried out its "ambitious" pension reforms by the end of this month.

March 2016

The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) involvement in Greece's financial aid is due to end, and the country will have to apply for further support from the fund after this date.

Kalyeena Makortoff News Assistant, CNBC.com


PHILSTAR

Greek leader faces outrage at home over rescue deal 'coup' By Elena Becatoros (Associated Press) | Updated July 14, 2015 - 9:57pm 0 0 googleplus0 0


Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras speaks to reporter before taking a secular oath at the Presidential Palace in Athens on Jan. 26, 2015. The 40-year-old radical left leader is the youngest man to hold the post in 150 years.

ATHENS — Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras faced open revolt from some of his own ministers as he sought support Tuesday for a bailout deal that, while saving the country from financial collapse, would cause years of more pain for Greeks.

The government must pass a raft of measures through Parliament by Wednesday night, including consumer tax increases and pension reforms, in order to start negotiations with European creditors on a third bailout worth as much as 85 billion euros ($95 billion).

The deal tramples on practically all of Tsipras' pre-election promises to repeal the budget austerity that European creditors have imposed for five years. But after dragging out the rescue talks for months, Tsipras was out of alternatives this week: without a deal, Greece's banks would likely have collapsed, pulling the country out of the euro, Europe's joint currency.

The draft bill is expected to be submitted Tuesday and voted on Wednesday.

Tsipras is expected to have the numbers in Parliament to pass the measures, since he will have the support of most opposition parties. But the government's political survival is in danger if large numbers of its own lawmakers resign their seats or openly vote against the bill.

There was speculation Tsipras might choose to reshuffle his Cabinet, which would remove dissenters from key positions.

Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, one of the hardliners in Tsipras' radical left Syriza party, denounced the deal and called on the prime minister to cancel it before legislation reaches Parliament.

"The deal ... is unacceptable and does not deserve to be charged to a radical political party such as Syriza, and a battling government that promised to abolish ... austerity," Lafazanis said in a statement posted on his ministry website Tuesday. Germany, he said, treated Greece "as if it was their colony and (behaved) as brutal blackmailers and 'financial assassins.'"

READ MORE...

Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, who heads the government's junior coalition partner, the right-wing Independent Greeks, stressed he would continue to support Tsipras but described the agreement and the pressure Greece was put under at the summit as an attempt to overthrow the government.

"The night before last, there was a coup. A coup in the heart of Europe," Kammenos told reporters outside Parliament. "They want the government to fall and to replace it with one that hasn't been voted on by the Greek people."

He said he would not allow that, and would continue to support the government. Party spokesman Terence Quick said the Independent Greeks' 13 lawmakers would vote according to their conscience.

The government holds 162 seats in Greece's 300-member Parliament, and the bill is likely to pass as it enjoys the support of most opposition parties. But about 30 of Syriza's own lawmakers have publicly voiced objections.

If Syriza sees significant losses during the parliamentary vote, one option would be to form a so-called 'national unity' government with other parties.

However, opposition parties have suggested they would be unwilling to enter into a power-sharing agreement with the current two governing parties, although they have promised to support the government in the votes on the bailout terms.

That would leave Syriza as a minority government. It would still be able to push legislation through Parliament, such as the reforms needed for the bailout agreement, but only with the support of opposition parties.

Many Greeks have appeared to take the latest turmoil in stride, saying the measures Greece will have to pass are harsh but that the alternative would have been worse.

"We aren't in a good position within the European Union under the current measures and under this present situation," said merchant Kostas Plafoutzis in Athens. "But under the current conditions if we exit the EU, we will find ourselves in a considerably worse situation."

Others are outraged. Greece's civil servants union called a public sector strike for Wednesday, the day the bill is expected to be voted on.

Since his election in January, Tsipras has faced intense pressure to backpedal on his promises to Greece's exhausted electorate, who have faced five years of harsh austerity measures that have left the economy reduced by a quarter and unemployment at 25 percent.

But with the economy on its knees, he had little choice. If Greece's third bailout in five years goes ahead, it will provide about 85 billion euros in loans and financial support, preserving its membership in the euro, shoring up its banks and allowing some stability to return to the battered Greek economy.

It will take an estimated four weeks for Greece to access those loans, before which it will face debt repayments it cannot afford.

On July 20, it has to repay 4.2 billion euros ($4.6 billion) to the European Central Bank. It is also in arrears on 2 billion euros to the International Monetary Fund.

EU finance ministers are trying to find a way to give Greece a quick cash infusion so that it can avoid defaulting on the July 20 debt.

Finland's Alexander Stubb, one of Greece's most outspoken critics, said that while it would be difficult, a solution would likely be found.

He said one option would be for Greece to get bilateral loans, or even for the IMF and the ECB to delay the repayments. Neither of the institutions has so far suggested that is a possibility.

The Greek economy, meanwhile, is in freefall, as banks have been shut for more than two weeks, with cash withdrawals restricted to 60 euros ($67) per day.

When the Greek banks eventually reopen, they will most likely have to depend on more emergency credit from the ECB.

The ECB is not expected to sanction further help to the banks until the Greek parliament passes the first set of creditor demands Wednesday. Even then, limits on money withdrawals and transfers are expected to last for months.


PHILSTAR

10 mind-blowing facts about Pluto and the New Horizons probe (philstar.com) | Updated July 15, 2015 - 4:40pm 3 92 googleplus0 0


This July 13, 2015 image provided by NASA shows Pluto, seen from the New Horizons spacecraft. The United States is now the only nation to visit every single planet in the solar system. Pluto was No. 9 in the lineup when New Horizons departed Cape Canaveral, Fla, on Jan. 19, 2006. NASA via AP

MANILA, Philippines - According to NASA's calculations, the New Horizons spacecraft, the first vessel devoted to studying Pluto, made it to the icy dwarf.

The moment of closest approach for the New Horizons spacecraft came at 7:49 a.m. EDT Tuesday. It culminated an unprecedented journey spanning 9 and a half years and 3 billion miles, AP said in a report.

As a tribute to the successful cosmic journey, here are some mind blowing facts about Pluto and New Horizons probe.

CONTINUE READING...


If the sun were as tall as a typical front door, Earth would be the size of a nickel and dwarf planet Pluto would be about the size of the head of a pin. Mike and Annabel Beales/CC-BY-ND


One day on Pluto takes about 153 hours. That's the time it takes for Pluto to rotate or spin once. NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI via AP


It takes about five hours for sunlight to reach Pluto.IMCCE, Paris Observatory, CNRS via AP


An 11-year-old girl named Venetia Burney gave Pluto its name. She proposed the name Pluto, after the Roman god of the Underworld because Pluto is described as dark and cold. Simon/CC-BY-NC


Pluto has a heart shape on its surface - a sign of ongoing geologic processes. NASA via AP


Pluto has five moons - Charon, Nix, Styx, Hydra and Kerberos. All of the names have something to do with the "underworld" since Pluto is known as the Roman God of the Underworld.


Pluto is downgraded from being one of the planets to being a dwarf planet not because of its size, but because, Pluto is merely the brightest member of the Kuiper Belt.


According to NASA, New Horizons spacecraft is a thousand-pound space probe the size of a baby grand piano. It can spin through space at 31,000 miles per hour, making it the fastest spacecraft ever launched in history. AP/Detroit News, David Coates


New Horizons has traveled for nearly 9 years and 5 billion kilometers, the farthest any space vessel has ever traveled. Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP


Clyde Tombaugh's ashes were delivered to Pluto through the New Horizons space craft as per his request. Tombaugh is the astronomer who discovered the dwarf plaent. He died in 1997, nine years and two days before New Horizons' launch.


PHILSTAR

Pluto close-up: Spacecraft makes flyby of icy, mystery world By Marcia Dunn (Associated Press) | Updated July 14, 2015 - 8:17pm 0 225 googleplus0 0


Members of the New Horizons science team react to seeing the spacecraft's last and sharpest image of Pluto before closest approach later in the day, Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft was on track to zoom within 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) of Pluto on Tuesday. Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP

CAPE CANAVERAL — By NASA's calculations, we've made it to Pluto.

The moment of closest approach for the New Horizons spacecraft came at 7:49 a.m. EDT Tuesday. It culminated an unprecedented journey spanning 9½ years and 3 billion miles.

Based on everything NASA knows, New Horizons was straight on course for the historic encounter, sweeping within 7,800 miles of Pluto at 31,000 mph. But official confirmation won't come until Tuesday night, 13 nerve-racking hours later. That's because NASA wants New Horizons taking pictures of Pluto, its jumbo moon Charon and its four little moons during this critical time, not gabbing to Earth.

NASA marked the moment live on TV, broadcasting from flight operations in Maryland.

The United States is now the only nation to visit every single planet in the solar system. Pluto was No. 9 in the lineup when New Horizons departed Cape Canaveral, Florida, in 2006 to shed light on the mysterious icy world, but was demoted seven months later to dwarf status.


PHILSTAR

Annual checkup of Earth's climate says we're in hotter water By Seth Borenstein (Associated Press) | Updated July 16, 2015 - 10:57pm 0 0 googleplus0 0


FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2014 file photo, a fishing boat heads out to the Atlantic Ocean near Miami as dark clouds loom in the distance. In the annual detailed physical for Earth’s climate, scientists noted the world is in increasingly hot and rising water. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Meteorological Society’s annual state of the climate delved into the hot details of already reported record-smashing warmth globally in 2014, giving special attention to the world’s oceans. (AP Photo /Wilfredo Lee)

WASHINGTON — In their annual, detailed physical of Earth's climate, scientists say the world is in increasingly hot and rising water.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Meteorological Society's annual state of the climate report delves into the details of already reported record-smashing warmth globally in 2014, giving special attention to the world's oceans.

NOAA climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt, co-editor of the report, said the seas last year "were just ridiculous."

The report said ocean surface temperatures were the warmest in 135 years of records, with the seas holding record levels of heat energy at lower depths. Sea level also hit modern highs.

Jeff Severinghaus of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said if this report is Earth's annual checkup, "the doctor is saying 'you are gravely ill.'"


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