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Paris Condemns ‘Unacceptable’ Arrest of 2 French Citizens In Iran

October 16, 2019 by · Comments Off on Paris Condemns ‘Unacceptable’ Arrest of 2 French Citizens In Iran 

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voa – France has confirmed that a second French academic is being detained in Iran, condemning what it described as “an unacceptable situation.” Roland Marchal was arrested in June, at the same time as Fariba Adelkhah, a dual French and Iranian citizen, France’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. Both are senior researchers from Paris’s prestigious Sciences Po university. It was previously known that Adelkhah had been taken into custody, but the ministry had not confirmed Marchal had been detained as well. It was not clear what crimes the academics are accused of.

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First Asian American Presidential Candidate Scrutinized by Asian Americans

October 13, 2019 by · Comments Off on First Asian American Presidential Candidate Scrutinized by Asian Americans 

VOA – LOS ANGELES – From body surfing to hip-hop music, a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang can feel more like a rock concert than a political event. Yang is one of more than a dozen people running as a Democrat for a chance at the White House in the 2020 election. Though not one of the top contenders, he is the first Asian American to run for president and is a standout within that community. He has made far more headway in the polls and campaign fundraising than most observers initially assumed he would, and he has appeared in all of the Democratic presidential debates. “I hope they [Asian Americans] think I’m representing the community in a way that makes them proud,” Yang said after a campaign rally in Los Angeles Sept. 30. “Honestly I didn’t think this would happen for like another 10, 20 years. It’s insane to me because you know we don’t have as much representation in the West as we’d like. So, this is like a giant, giant step,” said Korean American student Austin Koh, who attended Yang’s Los Angeles rally.

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Iran Says China’s CNPC Pulls Out of Gas Project

October 7, 2019 by · Comments Off on Iran Says China’s CNPC Pulls Out of Gas Project 

VOA – TEHRAN – Iran’s oil minister said Sunday that China’s CNPC has withdrawn from the development of an offshore gas field and that state-owned Petropars will take over the entire project. The South Pars gas field was to be developed jointly by France’s Total, China National Petroleum Corporation and Petropars under a $4.8-billion (4.1 billion-euro) deal signed in July 2017. The deal came after Iran reached a 2015 agreement with world powers that gave it relief from sanctions in exchange for limits on its nuclear program, ending years of economic isolation.

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Iranian President’s Brother Sentenced to 5 Years for Corruption

October 1, 2019 by · Comments Off on Iranian President’s Brother Sentenced to 5 Years for Corruption 

VOA – The brother of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been sentenced to five years in prison for corruption and bribery. Gholamhossein Esmaili, a spokesman for the judiciary, told reporters on Tuesday that Hossein Fereidoun, Rouhani’s brother, might face further charges in another case, though he gave no details. The semiofficial Fars news agency quoted “an informed source” as saying that “Fereidoun allegedly paid money to certain individuals in charge of bribing banks and other influential sectors of the economy for large sums.”

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White House Aims for Historic Low in Refugee Resettlement

September 29, 2019 by · Comments Off on White House Aims for Historic Low in Refugee Resettlement 

VOA – The Trump administration is proposing to accept a maximum of 18,000 refugees in the coming year, in what would be the lowest refugee ceiling in the country’s history, the U.S. State Department said Thursday. If the government follows through, 2020 will be the third year of significant cuts to refugee resettlement under President Donald Trump. For now, however, the latest figure remains a proposal. The final decision, in the form of the so-called “presidential determination,” will be made in the coming weeks after the required consultations with Congress, a senior administration official told reporters in a phone briefing organized by the White House on Thursday.

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US Intel Chief Says He Acted Lawfully When He Blocked Trump Whistleblower Complaint

September 26, 2019 by · Comments Off on US Intel Chief Says He Acted Lawfully When He Blocked Trump Whistleblower Complaint 

VOA – White House correspondent Steve Herman contributed to this report . Acting U.S. Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire told lawmakers Thursday he has complied with his “responsibility to follow the law every step of the way” as he faced questions about why he initially blocked the release of a whistleblower complaint now at the center of an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s actions. Maguire told the House intelligence committee he could not legally disclose the complaint because he “did not have the authority to waive” executive privilege. The acting DNI, who told lawmakers he believes the matter is “unprecedented,” is also set to speak to members of the Senate’s intelligence committee behind closed doors.

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World Leaders Gather For Climate Summit

September 23, 2019 by · Comments Off on World Leaders Gather For Climate Summit 

World leaders gathered Monday in New York for a United Nations summit on climate change as scientists warn much more ambitious action must be taken to meet targets to mitigate the effects. Some 60 presidents and prime ministers are due to address the day-long event on topics including shifting away from coal toward renewable energy sources, preventing and responding to disasters, and climate finance. U.S. President Donald Trump will not be among those attending the summit.  He is spending Monday attending a meeting about the persecution of religious minorities, particularly Christians, before holding separate talks with leaders from Pakistan, Poland, New Zealand, Singapore, Egypt and South Korea.

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US Military to Present Several Options to Trump on Iran

September 20, 2019 by · Comments Off on US Military to Present Several Options to Trump on Iran 

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon will present a broad range of military options to President Donald Trump on Friday as he considers how to respond to what administration officials say was an unprecedented Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry. In a White House meeting, the president will be presented with a list of potential airstrike targets inside Iran, among other possible responses, and he also will be warned that military action against the Islamic Republic could escalate into war, according to U.S. officials familiar with the discussions who spoke on condition of anonymity. The national security meeting will likely be the first opportunity for a decision on how the U.S. should respond to the attack on a key Middle East ally. Any decision may depend on what kind of evidence the U.S. and Saudi investigators are able to provide proving that the cruise missile and drone strike was launched by Iran, as a number of officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have asserted.

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Iran Suspended From World Judo Over Israel Boycott Policy

September 18, 2019 by · Comments Off on Iran Suspended From World Judo Over Israel Boycott Policy 

VOA – LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND – Iran has been suspended from international judo competitions because it boycotts bouts with Israeli athletes. Less than a month after world champion Saeid Mollaei walked off the Iranian team in protest at the boycott policy, the International Judo Federation said Wednesday that Iran is suspended ahead of a full hearing. Iran’s judo federation is accused of discriminating against Israeli athletes and breaking rules over manipulating competition results. “The IJF Executive Committee considered that such a conduct is intolerable,” the federation said. Mollaei has said he was repeatedly ordered by Iranian officials to lose matches or withdraw from competitions, including last month’s world championships, so as not to face Israelis. He is currently in hiding in Germany. Iran does not recognize Israel as a country, and Iranian sports teams have for several decades had a policy of not competing against Israelis.

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Trump: ‘We’d Certainly Like to Avoid’ War With Iran

September 17, 2019 by · Comments Off on Trump: ‘We’d Certainly Like to Avoid’ War With Iran 

 VOA – WHITE HOUSE – U.S. President Donald Trump says any American military attack on Iran would be proportionate to the attacks carried out on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Speaking to reporters on the South Lawn on Monday afternoon, Trump, asked about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo directly blaming Iran for the attack on the Saudi installations, replied: “I think we’re the same. I think we just want to find out the final numbers and see.” The president added that it would be known who is responsible “for certain over the next pretty short period.” Earlier in the afternoon, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office during a meeting with the crown prince of Bahrain, Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, that while he does not want war with Iran, “The United States is more prepared” for a conflict than any country in history.

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