Monday morning news: July 29, 2019

Nearly 1,400 protesters detained in Russia » Police in Moscow arrested nearly 1,400 people in a violent crackdown on an opposition protest over the weekend.

Most were soon released, but 150 reportedly remain in custody. That according to a Russian monitoring service—adding that it was the largest number of detentions at a rally in the Russian capital this decade. 

Several protesters reported broken limbs and head injuries. Police justified their response by saying the rally was not sanctioned by authorities.

Crackdowns on the anti-government protesters began days before the rally. The Russian government arrested opposition leader Alexei Navalny and sentenced him to 30 days in jail for calling for Saturday’s protest against election authorities. That came after election officials barred some opposition candidates from running in the September vote for Moscow city council.

Navalny was unexpectedly hospitalized Sunday. His spokeswoman said it was due to a severe allergy attack.

Hong Kong protests continue for eighth weekend » AUDIO: [Hong Kong protests]

Pro-democracy protests continued in Hong Kong Sunday for an eighth consecutive weekend.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to drive back protesters as demonstrators blocked streets with road signs and umbrellas. 

Protesters also occupied two areas at opposite ends of central Hong Kong on Sunday following a mid-afternoon rally.

On the western end of Hong Kong Island, one group blocked areas near the central Chinese government’s liaison office. Police issued warnings, and protesters threw eggs at them. Officers fired tear gas to halt the advance. It was the second night in a row that authorities used tear gas in escalating protests. 

White House celebrates border/immigration victories » The White House is celebrating a victory this week after a Supreme Court ruling on Friday. In a 5-to-4 decision the high court said the Trump administration can use $2.5 billion in funds from the Pentagon to start building a border wall. 

It’s a short-term victory. The court did not rule on the merits of the case. But for now the administration can start replacing a hundred miles of existing fencing with a new wall.  

And Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Sunday that the administration’s celebrating another recent immigration win. 

MCALEENAN: Guatemala has really stepped up. We signed an agreement in May where they’re tackling the alien smuggling organizations. And now on Friday, adding to that, addressing asylum together, and trying to return the understanding of what asylum really means under international law. 

The Trump administration signed an agreement with Guatemala last Friday.

The “safe third country” agreement would require migrants who cross into Guatemala on their way to the U.S. to apply for asylum in Guatemala instead of at the U.S. border. It could help to further stem a surge of migrants overwhelming the U.S. immigration system.

World powers meet in Vienna in hopes of salvaging Iran nuclear deal » Diplomats from five countries met with Iranian officials on Sunday in hopes of salvaging the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Leaders from Germany, France, Britain, China, Russia, and Iran gathered for closed door talks in Vienna.

Iran is pressuring the remaining parties to the deal to offset the sanctions President Trump reinstated after pulling out of the pact. 

The country recently shot past the uranium stockpile and enrichment limits set out in the agreement.  Experts warn that higher enrichment levels and a growing uranium stockpile narrow the one-year window that Iran would need to have enough material to make an atomic bomb.

Gas prices tick downward » The price of gasoline is edging downward nationally. A recent accident at a Pennsylvania refinery and a major storm in the Gulf of Mexico earlier this month did not create any supply problems. That according to fuel price analyst Trilby Lunderg.

LUNDBERG: There’s plenty of gasoline around even with the closure of the Pennsylvania refinery after last month’s explosion and fire.

A gallon of regular unleaded dropped 2 cents over the past two weeks to an average of $2.81. 

The lowest average gas prices in the Lundberg Survey are in Baton Rouge, Louisiana at $2.24 a gallon. On the opposite end, residents in San Diego are paying an average of $3.67. Lundberg notes that “the tax on gasoline in Baton Rouge is only half that of San Diego.”

(AP Photo/ Pavel Golovkin) Police officers detain a man during an unsanctioned rally in the center of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, July 27, 2019. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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