President Trump issued an executive order on Monday that expands existing U.S. sanctions against Venezuela to include a total economic embargo against the country. The order means Americans are now banned from doing business with the Venezuelan government. The action to freeze assets places Venezuela on a par with North Korea, Iran, Syria and Cuba, the only other countries now under such stringent U.S. sanctions.
Egypt’s government has said a car packed with explosives was the cause of an explosion near a medical center in the capital that killed at least 20 people and wounded 47 others. Egypt accuses Hasm, which emerged in 2016 and has claimed several attacks, of being a wing of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. The movement denies this and says it seeks change through peaceful means only.
The US has officially named China as a “currency manipulator”, a statement which will intensify tensions between the world’s two largest economies. The announcement by the US Treasury follows a sharp fall in the value of the Chinese yuan against the dollar. The drop caught markets off-guard as Beijing usually supports the currency. Last week, China pledged to retaliate after US President Donald Trump vowed to impose 10% tariffs on $300bn of Chinese imports.
North Korea fired missiles into the sea off its east coast for the fourth time in less than two weeks, South Korea said on Tuesday, as Pyongyang warned that hostile moves against it “have reached the danger line.” The North, criticizing the U.S.-South Korean drills and their use of high-tech weapons, has fired a series of missiles and rockets since its leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed at a June 30 meeting to revive stalled denuclearization talks.
India’s government has revoked part of the constitution that gives Indian-administered Kashmir special status, prompting fears of unrest. Article 370 is sensitive because it guarantees significant autonomy for the Muslim-majority state. The measure was accompanied by a telecoms and media blackout which began on Sunday evening. There is a long-running insurgency on the Indian side. India and Pakistan fought several conflicts over Kashmir.