Beijing has called the presence of a US warship near a disputed island in the South China Sea “a serious political and military provocation”. The USS Stethem sailed close to Triton Island, part of the Paracel Islands archipelago, claimed by China and others. China responded by sending military vessels and fighter jets to the area. It happened hours before US President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping spoke on the phone. Source BBC
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Banning social media trolls from voting could help reduce the amount of abuse faced by politicians, the election watchdog has said. The Electoral Commission says legislation around elections should be reviewed and new offences could be introduced. Source The Guardian
Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov has called on the US-led international coalition and the opposition supported by it not to hamper the actions of the Syrian government forces against terrorists. Source Tass
Bilateral trade between China and Russia over the course of the first seven months of this year has increased by almost 25 percent, compared to the same period of 2016, Chinese ambassador to Russia Li Hui said Monday. Source: Sputnik