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US Closing Off Spigots to Iranian Oil

April 23, 2019 by · Comments Off on US Closing Off Spigots to Iranian Oil 

VOA – The United States is ending its sanctions waivers for five countries importing Iranian oil, hoping to put new pressure on Tehran to curb its military aggression in the Mideast by cutting off its main source of national revenue.  The decision “is intended to bring Iranian oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” said the White House in a Monday announcement. US Carves Out Exceptions for Foreigners Dealing With IRGC The waivers will end, effective May 2, for three allies — Japan, South Korea and Turkey — as well as China and India. Additionally Italy, Greece and Taiwan had already acceded to U.S. demands to end their purchases of Iranian oil. On Twitter Monday, President Donald Trump said Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel “will more than make up the Oil Flow difference in our now Full Sanctions on Iranian Oil.”

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US Ends Sanctions Waivers for Iranian Oil Importers

April 22, 2019 by · Comments Off on US Ends Sanctions Waivers for Iranian Oil Importers 

VOA – The United States on Monday said it is ending sanctions waivers for five countries importing Iranian oil, hoping to put new pressure on Tehran to curb its military aggression in the Mideast by cutting off its main source of national revenue. The White House announced that President Donald Trump had decided to end the waivers on May 2 for three allies — Japan, South Korea and Turkey — as well as China and India. Three others — Italy, Greece and Taiwan — had already acceded to U.S. demands to end their purchases of Iranian oil. In a Twitter comment,Trump said Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel “will more than make up the Oil Flow difference in our now Full Sanctions on Iranian Oil.”

Iran Sinks in Press Freedom Index After Jailing More Journalists

April 20, 2019 by · Comments Off on Iran Sinks in Press Freedom Index After Jailing More Journalists 

VOA – Media rights group Reporters Without Borders says Iran has slipped further toward the bottom of its World Press Freedom index because of an increase in arrests of Iranian journalists and citizen-journalists.  In its annual press freedom ranking published Thursday, the Paris-based group also known as RSF said Iran dropped six places to 170th out of 180 countries and territories. It attributed the drop to Iran’s increased arrests of “professional and non-professional journalists, especially those posting on social networks” in 2018.  The report described Iran as one of the world’s biggest jailers of journalists.

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What We Know About the Mueller Report

April 19, 2019 by · Comments Off on What We Know About the Mueller Report 

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election concludes that Moscow used two main operations to try to impact the vote: a social media campaign that favored then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and disparaged his opponent Hillary Clinton, as well as a hacking effort targeting Clinton that published stolen documents. While the investigation resulted in numerous guilty pleas by former Trump campaign associates for a variety of financial and other crimes, it did not find that any campaign officials knowingly conspired with Russian authorities to swing the election.

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Iran’s Parliament Labels US Troops in Mideast as Terrorist

April 17, 2019 by · Comments Off on Iran’s Parliament Labels US Troops in Mideast as Terrorist 

VOA – Iran’s lawmakers on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a bill labeling U.S. forces in the Middle East as terrorist, a day after the U.S. terrorism designation for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard formally took effect, state TV reported. Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami introduced the bill authorizing the government to act firmly in response to “terrorist actions” by U.S. forces. It demands authorities use “legal, political and diplomatic” measures to neutralize the American move, without elaborating. The U.S. move aims at “thwarting Iran’s influence,” and shows that America’s longstanding sanctions against Iran have become ineffective, Hatami told lawmakers. During the debate, some hard-liner lawmakers had demanded listing the entire U.S. Army and security forces as terrorist. The TV report said 204 lawmakers approved the bill, out of 207 present at the session in the 290-seat chamber. Two lawmakers voted against the bill and one abstained.

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Strong Storms in US South Kill at Least 8 and Injure Dozens

April 15, 2019 by · Comments Off on Strong Storms in US South Kill at Least 8 and Injure Dozens 

Powerful storms swept across the South on Sunday after unleashing suspected tornadoes and flooding that killed at least eight people, injured dozens and flattened much of a Texas town. Three children were among the dead. Nearly 90,000 customers were without electricity in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Georgia as of midday Sunday, according to www.poweroutage.us as the severe weather left a trail of destruction. Two children were killed on a back road in East Texas when a pine tree fell onto the car in which they were riding in a severe thunderstorm Saturday near Pollok, about 150 miles (241 kilometers) southeast of Dallas. Powerful Storms Continue to Move Across South The tree “flattened the car like a pancake,” said Capt. Alton Lenderman of the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office. The children, ages 8 and 3, were dead at the scene, while both parents, who were in the front seat, escaped injury, he said. At least one person was killed and about two dozen others were injured after a suspected tornado struck the Caddo Mounds State Historic Site in East Texas during a Native American cultural event in Alto, about 130 miles (209 kilometers) southeast of Dallas. Cherokee County Judge Chris Davis said the fatality that was reported was of a woman who died of her critical injuries.

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Migrants Could Benefit From Trump Sanctuary City Idea

April 14, 2019 by · Comments Off on Migrants Could Benefit From Trump Sanctuary City Idea 

VOA – An idea floated by President Donald Trump to send immigrants from the border to “sanctuary cities” to exact revenge on Democratic foes could end up doing the migrants a favor by placing them in locations that make it easier to put down roots and stay in the country. The plan would put thousands of immigrants in cities that are not only welcoming to them, but also more likely to rebuff federal officials carrying out deportation orders. Many of these locations have more resources to help immigrants make their legal cases to stay in the United States than smaller cities, with some of the nation’s biggest immigration advocacy groups based in places like San Francisco, New York City and Chicago. The downside for the immigrants would be a high cost of living in the cities.

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USA Pentagon Sounds Alarm US Losing Competitive Edge in Space

April 10, 2019 by · Comments Off on USA Pentagon Sounds Alarm US Losing Competitive Edge in Space 

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan has sounded the alarm that the U.S. military “is not moving fast enough to stay ahead” of rivals China and Russia in space. Speaking at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Shanahan said “China and Russia have weaponized space with the intent to hold American space capabilities at risk.” He then warned that the U.S. is “not capable of tracking” some of China’s rapid advancements in space weapons, particularly in hypersonic weapons.

A 37-Year-Old Indiana Mayor is Surging in the Democratic Presidential Sweepstakes

April 8, 2019 by · Comments Off on A 37-Year-Old Indiana Mayor is Surging in the Democratic Presidential Sweepstakes 

 
Seems like just about no one can pronounce his name. But more and more people want to know about him. Four months ago, Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, was a flat line on the political landscape outside of, well, Indiana. But after announcing a presidential exploratory committee in mid-January, he’s everywhere: CNN. Vox. Stephen Colbert. Bill Maher. New York Times. Washington Post. Fox. And CNN again. While lacking in stature among a Democratic political field strewn with U.S. senators, House members, a former governor, and likely, a former vice president, Buttigieg boasts an impressive resume.

Rain, Dam Releases Prompt Evacuations in Southwestern Iran

April 6, 2019 by · Comments Off on Rain, Dam Releases Prompt Evacuations in Southwestern Iran 

VOA – Iranian authorities have ordered the evacuation of six more towns in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, which is widely inundated with floods, state TV reported Saturday. Gholamreza Shariati, the provincial governor, told state TV that rescue teams are taking residents to nearby shelters, including three army barracks. Evacuation orders came as a new round of rain and floods is expected. Shariati said emergency discharges from dams and reservoirs were adding to the high floodwaters, but su h measures were essential to prevent the dams from overflowing or catastrophic breaches, with river waters continuing to rise upstream from the province. Young men were asked to remain behind to help with rescue operations.

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