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GENEVA, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has defended the UN's main human rights body, alluding to signs the US may withdraw from it over its alleged bias against Israel.

Speaking to the Human Rights Council, Johnson nonetheless said that its dedicated agenda item on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories was "disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace."

Johnson said: "But I stress that that does not mean that we in the UK are blind to the value of this council."

Johnson said the council's work on the Israel-Palestinian conflict could have value under the right conditions.

Diplomats said that a US withdrawal from the 47-member council could come as early as Tuesday.

Johnson's address Monday focused on the need for education of women and girls worldwide as a way to promote human rights.

 

 

 

SAN FRANCISCO, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - Apple is trying to drag the US's antiquated system for handling 911 calls into the 21st century.

If it lives up to Apple's promise, the next iPhone operating system coming out in September will automatically deliver quicker and more reliable information pinpointing the location of 911 calls to about 6,300 emergency response centers in the US.

Apple is trying to solve a problem caused by the technological mismatch between a system built for landlines 50 years ago and today's increasingly sophisticated smartphones that make most emergency calls in the US.

The analog system often struggles to decipher the precise location of calls coming from digital devices, resulting in emergency responders sometimes being sent a mile or more from people pleading for help.

SARASOTA, (United States), June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - Along sun-splashed shorelines in the US state of Florida, home prices are on the rise, developers are busy building new complexes, and listings just blocks from the beach describe homes that are "not in a flood zone," meaning no flood insurance is required.

But experts warn that ignoring sea level rise won't prevent a looming economic crisis caused by water-logged homes that will someday become unsafe, uninhabitable and too costly to insure.

A reality check may come sooner than many may think, according to a report out Monday by the Union of Concerned Scientists, which finds as many as 64,000 coastal residences worth $26 billion in Florida are at risk of chronic flooding in the next 30 years, the life of a typical mortgage.

Across the United States, 311,000 coastal homes with a collective market value of about $120 billion in Monday's dollars are at risk of chronic flooding by 2045, it said.

By century's end, if current trends continue, more than $1 trillion in commercial and private US property may be at risk, "with Florida's coastal real estate among the most exposed," said the report.

And it's not because of the increased risk of hurricanes or storm surge.

Rather, the danger comes from flooding due to high tides -- sometimes called sunny day floods, or nuisance flooding -- when waterpools into streets, sidewalks, storefronts and homes.

"This risk is relatively near-term, well before places go underwater completely, and even in the absence of storms," said Rachel Cleetus, lead economist and policy director with the Climate and Energy program at the UCS.

Coastal real estate markets are not currently factoring in these risks, she said.

"But market perceptions can shift and they can shift quickly in some places," she added, describing a market correction as "inevitable."

To make the risks clearer to people, UCS released a searchable online map that shows where the danger is greatest, available atwww.ucsusa.org/underwater.

The online realty site Zillow provided data for the analysis but did not take part in the scientific research.

The projections use a high-end scenario for sea level rise because that is an "appropriately conservative projection to use" when estimating risk to homes, often people's largest asset, Cleetus said.

Chronic inundation is defined in the report as flooding that happens at least 26 times a year.

By 2045, rising seas are expected to bring an extra 1.8 feet (55 centimeters) of water along Florida's coast, according to the UCS report.

By 2100, Florida can expect an average of 6.4 extra feet of water -- an awful lot given that the state's average elevation above sea level is only about six feet, with many places three feet or below. "This is a slow-moving disaster," said Cleetus.

The low-lying Tampa Bay area, Miami and The Keys island chain face the most peril from sea level rise.

One worry is that insurance premiums will increase so much that coastal homes become unaffordable for those with fixed or lower incomes.

Local governments may decide to cut power and water to flooded neighborhoods.

Many will risk losing their largest financial asset -- their homes -- and municipalities will forfeit huge amounts of revenue from property taxes.

In Florida alone, the "homes at risk by 2100 currently contribute roughly $5 billion collectively in annual property tax revenue," said the report.

CHICAGO, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - Former US Women's Open winner Ryu So- yeon claimed her first title of 2018 with a closing five-under 67 at the LPGA Tour's Meijer Classic late Sunday.

The 27-year-old South Korean finished with a 21-under 267 total at Blythefield Country Club to beat runner-up Caroline Masson by two strokes and earn her sixth career win.

It is her first title since last year's NW Arkansas Championship. She also won the US Open in 2011 and followed that with a rookie of the year award in 2012.

New Zealand's Lydia Ko shot a 67 to finish third at 18 under.

Third round leaders Anna Nordqvist and Lee-Ann Pace finished in a tie for fourth with three others at 17-under 271. Nordqvist and Pace each shot 73 on Sunday after firing almost identical rounds of 64 in the third round.

Jacqui Concolino (66), Azahara Munoz (68) and Angela Stanford (70) also finished a 17 under.

US Women's Open winner Ariya Jutanugarn fired a tournament-record 62. Ariya made eagle on number eight after making birdie on five of her first seven holes. She added three more birdies on the back nine.

 

 

 

 

SOUTHAMPTON, June 18, 2018 (News Wires) - Brooks Koepka became the first player in three decades to repeat as US Open Champion late Sunday, firing a final round 68 at Shinnecock Hills to beat Tommy Fleetwood by one stroke.

A year after he marched to victory with a 16-under total at Erin Hills, Koepka kept his nerve on the back nine to emerge with a one-over-par total of 281.

The world number nine is the first player since Curtis Strange in 1988-89 to win back- to-back US Open titles.

“It hasn't sunk in yet,” Koepka said. “I don't think I could have dreamed of this going back to back.

"Feels good to hold that thing again,” he said as he hoisted the trophy.

England's 12th-ranked Fleetwood matched the lowest round ever in the US Open with a brilliant seven-under 63 for a two-over total of 282.

Fleetwood had stormed into the clubhouse with a round that included eight birdies, putting the pressure on overnight leaders Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Daniel Berger and Tony Finau.

Only Koepka met the challenge. He stretched his lead to two strokes with a birdie at the par-five 16th, where he stuck his third shot less than four feet from the pin.

His approach at 18 hit a grandstand and bounced off, but a closing bogey was enough.

Of the four overnight leaders, Koepka was the only player to shoot an under par final round World number one Johnson, playing alongside Koepka in the penultimate group, carded an even-par 70 to finish alone in third on 283.

Masters champion Patrick Reed closed with a two-under 68 to finish fourth at four-over.

Finau, playing in the final group with Berger, closed with a double-bogey at the 72nd hole for a 72 that left him in fifth on 285.

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2018 (MENA) - The US-led coalition Monday denied news that its warplanes had launched airstrikes near al-Bukamal area in eastern Syria.

Major Josh Jacques, a US Central Command spokesman, said: “No member of the US-led coalition carried out strikes near al-Bukamal.”

Earlier, a Syrian military source announced that coalition jets had hit a Syrian army position, leaving scores of people dead and injured.

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