Six In The Morning Friday 12 July 2019


US census 2020: Trump retreats on citizenship question

President Donald Trump will no longer pursue adding a question on citizenship to the 2020 US census questionnaire.

Instead, he said officials would obtain the information through an executive order for government agencies, as court challenges would have delayed a census.

The retreat follows a long fight over the inclusion of the question, which the Supreme Court blocked in June.

Critics called the question politically motivated and said it would lead to fewer immigrant households taking part.

Iran warns western powers to ‘leave region’ amid Gulf crisis

Foreign ministry demands release of Iranian oil tanker UK seized last week

Iran has called on Britain to release its seized oil tanker and warned foreign powers to “leave the region because Iran and other regional countries are capable of securing the regional security”.

The Royal Marines seized the tanker last week on suspicion it was breaking European sanctions by taking oil to Syria.

“This is a dangerous game and has consequences … the legal pretexts for the capture are not valid … the release of the tanker is in all countries’ interests,” the foreign ministry spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, told IRNA news agency.

Feeding People With SciencePlant Researchers Brace for Population Explosion

By 2050, the world will require nearly twice as much food as today. But producing it without consuming any extra resources — so as not to exacerbate climate change — will be tricky. Three scientists explain how this agricultural feat may be possible.


If the progress of the last 60 years had to be depicted in only four figures, this is what they would be: In 1960, global agriculture produced an average of 200 kilograms (around 400 pounds) of grain for each person on the planet. Today, it has risen to 400 kilograms. At the same time, the global population has risen from 3 to 7 billion.

These statistics reveal a miracle of sorts: Though the number of people on the planet has doubled in the past six decades, the amount of food per capita has also increased. The percentage of people around the world who are currently suffering from hunger, 11 percent, marks a record low. Never before in the history of humankind has our collective abundance been so high.

Libya demands answers after French missiles found at pro-Haftar base

Libya’s internationally recognised government on Thursday demanded urgent answers after Paris conceded French missiles were found at a base used by strongman Khalifa Haftar, whose forces are fighting to take over the capital Tripoli.

Foreign Minister Mohamad Tahar Siala has asked French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian to “urgently explain” how the missiles “reached Haftar‘s forces, when they were delivered and how”, according to a ministry statement.

Haftar in April ordered his self-styled Libyan National Army on an offensive to take the Libyan capital from the UN-recognised Government of National Accord.

Donald Trump stokes fear and conspiracy on path to 2020

Updated 0733 GMT (1533 HKT) July 12, 2019

President Donald Trump spent Thursday feeding the fires of fear and conspiracy he thinks he needs to keep burning to stay in power beyond 2020.

The administration finalized plans to target undocumented families in mass raids announced in advance — perhaps for maximum political effect — which are sowing anxiety in 10 cities.
Covering up a reversal in his bid to add a citizenship question to the census, Trump said liberals want to hide “illegal aliens in our midst” and questioned the loyalty of his opponents.

Everyone wants to Instagram the world’s most beautiful canyon. Should they?

A sudden burst of tourism to a photogenic natural wonder is transforming a small town, and a tribe.


Page, Arizona, has always been a small town. The 4 million visitors who come here annually, though, that’s new. For the past decade, locals have been mildly flummoxed about the massive surge of people to their home, with its population of fewer than 8,000 and somewhat remote locale. Nestled at the northernmost edge of the Arizona desert, it’s a solid two-hour drive from the Flagstaff airport and five from the larger hubs of Phoenix and Las Vegas.

Residents of Page do know, though, that many of those tourists come to see the same thing. On the night I arrive in early May, the bartender at the Courtyard Marriott cantina off the town’s main drag describes it to me thusly: “It’s rocks.”

I first see the rocks early the next morning with a tour group, which is the only way you are allowed to visit them. Before our guide tells us his name, which we find out is Anthony, he asks us the most crucial question of the day: “Do you all have iPhones?”