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EU’s Top Diplomat: EU-Iran Trade Vehicle Could Be Ready by Year-End

December 11, 2018 by · Comments Off on EU’s Top Diplomat: EU-Iran Trade Vehicle Could Be Ready by Year-End 

The European Union’s foreign policy chief said Monday a system to facilitate non-dollar trade with Iran and circumvent U.S. sanctions could be in place by year’s end. The European Union wants the so-called Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to help preserve the economic benefits for Iran deriving from the curbs it placed on its nuclear program under a 2015 deal with world powers, from which President Donald Trump withdrew the United States in May. EU diplomats had hoped to have the SPV in place by now but ran into delays as member states balked at hosting it for fear of being targeted by the revived U.S. sanctions regime against Iran.

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Key House Lawmaker: Trump Impeachment Hearings Possible

December 11, 2018 by · Comments Off on Key House Lawmaker: Trump Impeachment Hearings Possible 

A key U.S. lawmaker said Sunday that Democrats in the House of Representatives could pursue impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump, saying that the U.S. leader had “surrounded himself with crooks” and was part of a broad “conspiracy against the American people” to win the 2016 election. Congressman Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat set to become chairman of the House Judiciary Committee when Democrats take control of the chamber next month, told CNN that lawmakers have to decide “how important” allegations are against Trump, but should pursue impeachment charges “only for serious offenses.” Nadler offered his thoughts two days after federal prosecutors accused former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, “in coordination with and at the direction” of Trump, of orchestrating $280,000 in hush money payments shortly before the 2016 election to two women who alleged they had affairs with Trump so they would stay silent before Election Day.

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Iranian TV: Suicide Car Bombing Kills 2 Police Officers, Injures 28

December 6, 2018 by · Comments Off on Iranian TV: Suicide Car Bombing Kills 2 Police Officers, Injures 28 

A suicide car bomber attacked a police headquarters in the southeastern Iranian port city of Chabahar on Thursday, killing at least two police and wounding 28 people, state TV reported. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack State television broke into its regular broadcast to report the attack, because such assaults are rare in the Islamic Republic. Rahmdel Bameri, a provincial official, told state TV that a suicide attacker driving a vehicle loaded with explosives drove up to the police headquarters. He said police officers blocked the vehicle and started firing at the driver, who then detonated his explosives.

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White House Seeks to End Subsidies for Electric Cars, Renewables

December 4, 2018 by · Comments Off on White House Seeks to End Subsidies for Electric Cars, Renewables 

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Monday the Trump administration wants to end subsidies for electric cars and other items, including renewable energy sources. Asked about plans after General Motors announced U.S. plant closings and layoffs last week, Kudlow pointed to the $2,500-to-$7,500 tax credit for consumers who buy plug-in electric vehicles, including those made by GM, under federal law. “As a matter of our policy, we want to end all of those subsidies,” Kudlow said. “And by the way, other subsidies that were imposed during the Obama administration, we are ending, whether it’s for renewables and so forth.” Asked about a timeline, he said: “It’s just all going to end in the near future. I don’t know whether it will end in 2020 or 2021.” The tax credits are capped by Congress at 200,000 vehicles per manufacturer, after which the subsidy phases out. GM has said it expects to hit the threshold by the end of 2018, which means under the current law, its tax credit scheme would end in 2020. Tesla said in July it had hit the threshold.

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Truce in Trade War After Trump-Xi Dinner in Argentina

December 2, 2018 by · Comments Off on Truce in Trade War After Trump-Xi Dinner in Argentina 

The world’s two largest economies, the U.S. and China, have agreed to a small truce in their escalating trade war after a meeting between presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping following the G-20 summit. Trump, speaking to reporters on Air Force One after the plane departed Argentina, said his agreement made over dinner with Xi, will go down “as one of the largest deals ever made. … And it’ll have an incredibly positive impact on farming, meaning agriculture, industrial products, computers — every type of product.” Trump agreed that he will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products at the 10 percent rate, and not raise it to 25 percent, for now, as he has threatened to do come Jan. 1, according to a White House statement.

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US: Iran Floods Unstable Regions With Advanced Weaponry

November 30, 2018 by · Comments Off on US: Iran Floods Unstable Regions With Advanced Weaponry 

The United States is sounding more warnings about Iran’s malign activities across the Middle East and beyond, urging countries to take action or risk growing instability and conflict. To back up its assertions, the U.S. on Thursday unveiled what it said was more evidence of Tehran’s meddling: pieces of missiles, rockets, drones and other Iranian weaponry, either recovered from Iranian proxies or interdicted on the high seas. “The new weapons we are disclosing today illustrate the scale of Iran’s destructive role across the region,” U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook told reporters while standing in front of a section of a Sayyad-2C surface-to-air missile he said had been intercepted by Saudi forces earlier this year, before it could reach Houthi rebels in Yemen. “Tehran is intent on increasing the lethality and reach of these weapons to deepen its presence throughout the region,” Hook said. “We are one missile attack away from a regional conflict.”

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Are US History Books absolete

November 28, 2018 by · Comments Off on Are US History Books absolete 

 It used to be that American students learned the history of their country from “official” sources — teachers and textbooks accredited and vetted by experts. But that’s no longer true. Amateur historians and others without official bona fides can upload anything they want to the internet, profoundly changing the amount of information available and how we access it. This onslaught of online data might mean it’s time to let the textbook method of teaching history become part of the past itself. “Many of our pedagogies were developed at a time when there was a scarcity of information and so we needed to memorize things. We couldn’t lug a textbook around everywhere that we went,” says Sam Wineburg, professor of education and history at Stanford University and author of Why Learn History (When It’s Already on Your Phone?). “Now it’s faster to ask Siri than it is to recall it from memory. So we’ve got devices now that externalize memory in ways that are unimaginable. Given that, how should we efficiently and thoughtfully use the time we devote to instruction in school?” Wineburg, who studies the way history is taught in the United States, says that instead of protecting students from the internet, it’s time to teach them how to differentiate the good information from the bad.

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Over 400 Hurt in 6.3 Magnitude Earthquake in Western Iran

November 26, 2018 by · Comments Off on Over 400 Hurt in 6.3 Magnitude Earthquake in Western Iran 

A strong 6.3 magnitude earthquake shook a province in western Iran Sunday, injuring more than 400, but no deaths are reported. The quake struck Sunday evening in Kermanshah province, near the border with Iraq. It was felt as far away as Baghdad. Local officials tell Iranian television that most of those injured were hurt running for safety. Some buildings were damaged and power was knocked out.

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US Welcomes Cutoff of German Telecom Services to Iran’s Bank Melli

November 24, 2018 by · Comments Off on US Welcomes Cutoff of German Telecom Services to Iran’s Bank Melli 

The United States has welcomed a report that Iran’s largest commercial lender, Bank Melli, has seen its German branch disconnected from phone and internet service under pressure of U.S. sanctions. In a Thursday report, German business newspaper Handelsblatt said Germany’s part state-owned telecom provider Deutsche Telekom had cut off Bank Melli’s Hamburg office. It was not clear when the branch lost its phone and internet services. Handelsblatt quoted Deutsche Telekom as sending Bank Melli a message, saying: “We have to assume that you can no longer make any payments” for telecom services. There was no immediate response from Deutsche Telekom to a VOA Persian request for comment on the move.

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Witness at ‘El Chapo’ Trial Tells of High-Level Corruption

November 21, 2018 by · Comments Off on Witness at ‘El Chapo’ Trial Tells of High-Level Corruption 

A witness at the U.S. drug trafficking trial of accused Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman on Tuesday testified that he paid a multimillion-dollar bribe to an underling of Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in 2005. The witness, Jesus Zambada, also said he paid millions of dollars in bribes to former Mexican government official Genaro Garcia Luna on behalf of his brother, drug lord Ismael “El Mayo” Zambada, who remains at large. A spokesman for Lopez Obrador did not immediately respond to a call and text message seeking comment. Garcia Luna, in a written statement, said the accusations were “defamation” and “perjury” and made without any proof. Garcia Luna said he had received commendations from high-level U.S. officials for his labors in fighting organized crime in Mexico and that he had been “systematically defamed” due to the actions he took against criminal networks. “There has never been a single proof or evidence of all those infamies,” he said.

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