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Europe, bid au revoir to American tourists

July 1, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The Canadians will be in Europe this summer, and the Thais and the Moroccans. You might bump into a Rwandan, and no doubt Aussie backpackers will give it a go. If Beijing reciprocates on border openings, Chinese travelers could be on their way, too.

Rather, staffers say the President still refuses to read briefings before calls, boosts himself personally to strongmen like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and insults female leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel as "stupid" and weak.

Now the spy agency is again at the center of international attention, after reports that US intelligence concluded GRU operatives offered cash incentives to the Taliban to kill American and British troops in Afghanistan.

But strangely, the alleged operation could potentially conflict with Russia's own stated goal to bring warring parties to the table in Afghanistan.

Intelligence experts say the Salisbury poisoning -- which led to the investigative outlet Bellingcat unmasking the alleged GRU operatives through open-source research -- showed a pattern recklessness and overt brutality, rather than a secretive approach to spycraft.

Trump says he was never briefed about the GRU's alleged bounty scheme.

In fact, intelligence about the apparent plot did appear in one of Trump's daily briefs early this year, a US official with direct knowledge also told CNN on Monday -- and that it was considered serious enough that the National Security Council staff met to discuss "possible response options," including sanctions, if the intelligence developed.

In light of a massive resurgence in coronavirus cases across the United States, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said Monday that he wouldn't mind a wall just for his region.

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