Russian MOD confirms agreement on E. Ghouta safe zone signed, borders established

The agreements on functioning of Eastern Ghouta de-escalation zone in Syria have been signed, the Russian Ministry of Defense said on Saturday.
The agreements, which were signed in Cairo, Egypt, define borders of the de-escalation zone and locations of control powers, according to the statement.
"These documents define the borders of the de-escalation zone, the deployment sites and powers of the de-escalation control forces, as well as the routes for delivering humanitarian aid and clear passage to the population," the ministry said.
The ministry noted that the first humanitarian convoy to the Eastern Ghouta de-escalation zone is expected in nearest time. It will be followed by the evacuation of wounded civilians for East Ghouta.
The documents have been signed in the development of the Astana agreements with the mediation of the Egyptian side, it added.

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British forces capture Bunker Hill but suffer heavy casualties

BOSTON (JUNE 17, 1775) — British regulars captured a key strategic point in the ongoing siege of Boston today, but suffered staggering losses in the process, leading some to question the leadership of Gens. Thomas Gage and William Howe, as well as Britain’s assumed military supremacy in the American colonies.
Last night, some 1,200 American troops, operating under the command of Col. William Prescott, stealthily snuck into Charlestown and dug in on both Bunker Hill and adjacent Breed’s Hill. Sources in the American army indicate that Prescott may have disobeyed orders from Gen. Artemis Ward, who ordered Prescott to occupy only Bunker Hill, which would present a fortified and easily defensible position from which to continue the siege. However, for reasons yet unclear, Prescott also undertook to fortify Breed’s Hill farther to the southeast.
From Breed’s Hill, American artillery was suddenly within range of both the Mystic River and also Boston Harbor, which meant that the American presence there presented an untenable threat to the British forces’ supply lines. Accordingly, Gen. Gage promptly ordered that Breed’s Hill be retaken at all costs and that the American forces be driven from Charlestown neck. Gen. Howe was given a force of about 2,300 British regulars with orders to eliminate the American threat.
Howe marched his men through the streets of Boston to the Charles River, where they boarded barges to carry them across. They reached the site of their attack point around 3 p.m., accompanied by a naval bombardment from the Royal Navy, and began to march in formation the 2,000 yards up the hill to meet his waiting foe.
The American forces, which had been reinforced on orders from the reportedly furious Gen. Ward, were still hazardously low on ammunition. As such, other than isolated sniper fire, the Americans held their fire until British soldiers were less than 50 yards away, at which point they unleashed a murderous fusillade of bullets into the redcoats’ ranks. The close-range fire was so effective that Howe was forced to halt his advance and spend the better part of half an hour regrouping his men for a second charge up the hill.
Again, Americans held fire, this time until the British were even closer, and the results the second time were no less devastating. One British soldier described this second volley of fire as “a continual sheet of lightning.” Again General Howe was forced to fall back.
Reports indicate that at this point, Howe’s men began to beg with him not to attempt a third assault on the fortified position. Every member of Howe’s staff was dead or wounded at this point, and British soldiers have accused the Americans of deliberately targeting officers during the charge. Howe, though, was insistent that the hill must be taken, so he summoned reinforcements for a third charge.
According to reports, the American ammunition situation was so dire at this point that Col. Prescott ordered his men to hold their fire “until you can see the whites of their eyes.” This time, the British were allowed to get within 15 yards of the summit before the Americans opened fire. Again, the results were murderous, and British regulars gained the Hill only when Americans ran out of ammunition and were forced to flee. Many were bayoneted or shot by the British out of hand as they fled.
Ultimately, the British removed the American threat from Breed’s Hill, but paid heavily for their strategic victory. According to official British reports, 226 British regulars died and an additional 928 were wounded. Americans, on the other hand, suffered 160 dead and 271 wounded in this day’s fighting.
Although Gen. Gage issued a proclamation of victory, he also was heard to exclaim to his staff that the Americans “shew a spirit and conduct against us, they never shewed against the French,” reflecting his country’s poor opinion of American battle prowess in the French-Indian War.

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If You Use The Internet, The Trump Administration Is About To Sell You Out

Mark your calendars. The ‘Day of Action’ online protest may be your last chance to stop Donald Trump’s attack on net neutrality. […]
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G-20 Protests Resume in Hamburg, as Trump and Putin Prepare to Meet – New York Times

• Mr. Trump wants the United States to wield its economic dominance to dictate the rules of global trade, but other countries seem unwilling to follow. As if to make the point, the European Union and Japan agreed on Thursday to the outlines of a trade deal that would diminish opportunities for American companies.
Protesters get an early start, and the police are there to meet them.

Protesters blocked a street in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday.

Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters

Hamburg awoke to the buzz of helicopters and wailing of sirens as police rushed to keep up with hundreds of protesters who gathered at major crossings in the city early Friday in an effort to block the routes taken by G-20 leaders to the convention center where the summit meeting is to begin midmorning.“We remind you that gatherings in the transit corridors will not be tolerated,” the police said in a message on Twitter. Video footage from Hamburg showed the authorities using water cannons to prevent the protesters from advancing.Demonstrations on Thursday night turned violent after police moved in to separate a group wearing balaclavas and masks — which German law forbids during public protests — in a section of the 12,000 people who filled the streets outside of the security perimeter.Police said they were hit with bottles and stones, and responded with water cannon and pepper spray. Protesters said they were provoked by police dressed in riot gear and wielding billy clubs. Both sides reported injuries. Seventy six officers were wounded, and five needed to be hospitalized, including a helicopter pilot who had been blinded by a laser. Organizers of the demonstration said “many” participants had been injured, but gave no details. — Melissa EddyAll eyes on Trump and Putin as they prepare to meet.

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia arriving in Hamburg.

Alexander Zemlianichenko/Associated Press

The meeting later on Friday between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin is not officially the main event at the G-20, but for many, it might as well be.Mr. Trump delivered a mixed message on Russia while in Warsaw, issuing his sharpest criticism of Moscow since taking office. He called on Russia to “cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine,” denounced its support for “hostile regimes,” including Syrian and Iran, and offered unqualified for support for the collective defense principle of NATO (something he was unwilling to do during his first trip to Europe as president in May).At the same time, he broke with American intelligence agencies by saying he was not entirely convinced that Russia was solely responsible for interference in the 2016 election.In Moscow, there is the sense that Mr. Putin will be able to outwit and outposition the American leader and come out on top. “It is a win-win situation for Putin,” said Andrei V. Kolesnikov, a political analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center, but it’s not all clear sailing for Mr. Putin. Most notably, it is unclear what he has to offer in exchange for American cooperation.

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