US hosts Ethiopian Orthodox Church head after Tigray warning

US hosts Ethiopian Orthodox Church head after Tigray warning

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘I’m disgusted’: Mom targets liberal DA after son’s horrific killing

Quiz: How much do you know about the U.S. Congress?

Americans eager for ‘revenge travel’ battered by speed bumps

Quiz: Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

Olympic-sized battle looms over transgender athletes at Tokyo games

SPONSORED CONTENT

Commentary

Charles Hurt

Princess Cheney peddles another ‘BIG LIE’ …

Richard W. Rahn

Mainstream media misinformation and the high cost of COVID-19 ignorance

Kathy Barnette

Is the Biden administration the end of the American Dream?

View all

Question of the Day

How do you feel about the state of the U.S. economy?

Question of the Day

 
Strong and getting stronger

 
Strong but starting to falter

 
Struggling but it will get better

 
Weak and getting weaker

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this April 17, 2020, file photo, Abune Mathias, the 6th Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, uses hand sanitizer, to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, during an Orthodox Good Friday service at the Holy Trinity … more >

Print

By CARA ANNA

Associated Press

Monday, May 10, 2021

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) – The United States ambassador to Ethiopia on Monday hosted the patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church after he warned of “genocide” in the Tigray region in his first public comments on the war.

In a Facebook post, the U.S. Embassy said Ambassador Geeta Pasi discussed the humanitarian situation in Tigray with the patriarch, Abune Mathias, as well as his video message released last week and first reported by The Associated Press.

In the message, filmed by an American friend on a mobile phone and taken out of Ethiopia, the church leader said that “they want to destroy the people of Tigray” and said his previous attempts to speak out on the six-month conflict had been blocked.

TOP STORIES

Baffert blames Churchill Downs suspension on 'cancel culture'

Colonial Pipeline, hit by cyberattack, may be back up and running by end of week

Biden says people will go back to work if employers pay 'decent wage'

The patriarch, an ethnic Tigrayan, also said that “many barbarisms have been conducted” these days all over Ethiopia, but “what is happening in Tigray is of the highest brutality and cruelty.” Thousands of people have been killed in the fighting between Ethiopian and allied forces and Tigray ones, the result of a political struggle that turned deadly in November.

The ambassador hosted the patriarch at her residence in Ethiopia‘s capital, Addis Ababa, and invited him to attend future interfaith community meetings at the embassy to “further explore and continue their conversation,” the Facebook post said.

It was not clear whether the patriarch requested protection from the U.S. and the embassy did not comment on that. While the U.S. government has been outspoken on the Tigray conflict, notably urging soldiers from neighboring Eritrea to leave immediately, the embassy has been publicly quiet.

The spokeswoman for Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Billene Seyoum, did not respond to questions about the patriarch’s comments. The prime minister, the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner, has been under growing international pressure as atrocities in Tigray come to light, especially those committed by Eritrean forces, whose presence Abiy denied for months before admitting they were there.

Ethiopia’s government says it is “deeply dismayed” by the deaths of civilians, blames the former Tigray leaders and claims normality is returning in the region of some 6 million people. It has denied widespread profiling and targeting of Tigrayans.

But witnesses have told the AP about seeing bodies strewn on the ground on communities, Tigrayans rounded up and expelled and women raped by Ethiopian, Eritrean and allied forces. Others have described family members and colleagues including priests being swept up and detained, often without charge.

US allows diplomats, embassy families to leave Nepal

US allows diplomats, embassy families to leave Nepal

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Elimination of ‘qualified immunity’ a stumbling point in policing reform talks

Quiz: Can you name the TV show from its popular theme song?

‘Understand the threat’: Efforts to ban critical race theory in schools meet rocky reception

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

Law used against Trump allies now at center of Giuliani probe

SPONSORED CONTENT

Commentary

Robert Knight

Ocean City’s bare-chested women tops off a ridiculous woke agenda

Jed Babbin

Why believe John Kerry or Mohammad Javad Zarif?

Tom Basile

America’s suburban middle-class reckoning is near

View all

Question of the Day

Should Donald Trump be back on Facebook?

Question of the Day

 
Yes, it's his right to post

 
Maybe, if he follows the rules

 
No, he should stay banned

 
I don't care about Facebook

  View results

Story TOpics

Family members watch as Nepalese army personnel in PPE suits salute to pay tribute to the COVID-19 victims before cremating their bodies near Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, Friday, May 7, 2021. Across the border from a devastating surge in … more >

Print

By

Associated Press

Friday, May 7, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) – The State Department said Friday it is allowing non-essential diplomats and the families of all American staff at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu to leave Nepal at government expense due a surge in coronavirus cases.

The department also advised private Americans to reconsider any plans they may have to visit the Himalayan country and asked those already there who wish to leave to submit information to the embassy. That step suggests the embassy may organize charter flights out of the country in the absence of regularly scheduled commercial flights.

“On May 7, the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of family members of U.S. government employees and non-emergency U.S. government employees from Nepal,” the department said. “Commercial flights departing Nepal are currently not regularly available. U.S. citizens who wish to depart Nepal should register their interest with the embassy.”

TOP STORIES

Tawny Kitaen, star of '80s rock music videos, dies at 59

Black Lives Matter Plaza in D.C. to become permanent art installation: Mayor Bowser

Sen. Warren after Facebook's Trump ban: 'They're acting like they're bigger than government'

Nepal borders India, which is seeing a devastating surge in COVID-19 cases. The State Department has already implemented so-called “authorized departure” for non-essential workers and families of staff at U.S. embassies and consulates in India.

Doctors in Nepal have warned of a major crisis as daily cases hit record highs and hospitals were running out of beds and oxygen. Nepal reported 9,070 new confirmed cases Thursday, compared with 298 a month ago. The number of fatalities also reached peaks with 58 Wednesday and 54 Thursday, for a total of 3,529.

US says fate of nuclear pact up to Iran as talks resume

US says fate of nuclear pact up to Iran as talks resume

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Elimination of ‘qualified immunity’ a stumbling point in policing reform talks

Quiz: Can you name the TV show from its popular theme song?

‘Understand the threat’: Efforts to ban critical race theory in schools meet rocky reception

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

Law used against Trump allies now at center of Giuliani probe

SPONSORED CONTENT

Commentary

Mike Pence

Ending the tyranny of cancel culture and building an agenda that will win back America

Scott Walker

Ending cancel culture’s reign on college campuses

Daniel N. Hoffman

Stopping America’s adversaries from abusing our courts

View all

Question of the Day

Should Donald Trump be back on Facebook?

Question of the Day

 
Yes, it's his right to post

 
Maybe, if he follows the rules

 
No, he should stay banned

 
I don't care about Facebook

  View results

Story TOpics

In this May 3, 2021, photo, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, right, and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speak at a news conference at Downing Street in London. A flurry of diplomatic activity and reports of major progress suggest … more >

Print

By MATTHEW LEE

Associated Press

Thursday, May 6, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration is signaling that Iran shouldn’t expect major new concessions from the United States as a new round of indirect nuclear talks is set to resume.

A senior administration official told reporters Thursday that the U.S. has laid out the concessions it’s prepared to make in order to rejoin the landmark 2015 nuclear deal that former President Donald Trump withdrew from in 2018. The official said success or failure now depends on Iran making the political decision to accept those concessions and to return to compliance with the accord.

The official spoke to reporters in a State Department-organized conference call on the eve of the negotiations’ resumption in Vienna. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the U.S. position going into the fourth round of closed-door talks at which the remaining participants in the nuclear deal are passing messages between the American and Iranian delegations.

TOP STORIES

Pelosi refuses to denounce father's complicity in racism

Democrats worried Arizona audit may uncover fraud

Ending the tyranny of cancel culture and building an agenda that will win back America

The comments came after Secretary of State Antony Blinken complained of Iranian intransigence in the talks during a visit to Ukraine.

“What we don’t know is whether Iran is actually prepared to make the decisions necessary to return to full compliance with the nuclear agreement,” Blinken said in an interview with NBC News in Kyiv. “They unfortunately have been continuing to take steps that are restarting dangerous parts of their program that the nuclear agreement stopped. And the jury is out on whether they’re prepared to do what’s necessary.”

Iran has thus far given no indication it will settle for anything less than a full lifting of all the Trump sanctions and has balked at suggestions it would have to reverse all of the steps it has taken that violate the deal. Iranian officials have in recent weeks said the U.S. has offered significant, but not sufficient sanctions relief, but they have not outlined exactly what they would do in return.

The administration official said the United States is ready to return to the explicit terms of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA, as they were negotiated by the Obama administration, but only if Iran will do the same. The official said the United States will not accept doing more than required by the JCPOA to bring Iran back into compliance.

The deal gave Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. Much of that relief evaporated after Trump pulled out and re-imposed and expanded U.S. sanctions. Iran responded by breaking though the deal’s limits on uranium enrichment, the use of advanced centrifuges and other activities such as heavy water production.

After previous rounds of talks in Vienna, the administration had said there was flexibility in what it might offer to Iran, including going beyond the letter of the deal to ease non-nuclear sanctions from the Trump era that nonetheless affected the relief the Iranians were entitled to for agreeing to the accord.

That is still the case, although the official’s comments on Thursday suggested that the limits of that flexibility had been reached. The official would not describe the concessions the U.S. is prepared to make and declined to predict whether the fourth round would produce a breakthrough.

However, the official said it remains possible to reach an agreement quickly and before Iran‘s June presidential elections that some believe are a complicating factor in the talks. The official said the outlines of what both sides need to do is clear. “We think it’s doable,” the official said. “This isn’t rocket science;”

But, the official said success depends on Iran not demanding more than it is entitled to under the terms of the original deal and by verifiably reversing the steps it has taken that violate it.

The Biden administration has been coy about what specific sanctions it is willing to lift, although officials have acknowledged that some non-nuclear sanctions, such as those Trump imposed for terrorism, ballistic missile activity and human rights abuses, may have to be eased for Iran to get the relied it is entitled to. That’s because the some entities that were removed from sanctions under the nuclear deal are now penalized under other authorities.

US downplays prospect of post-Brexit trade deal with UK

US downplays prospect of post-Brexit trade deal with UK

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Elimination of ‘qualified immunity’ a stumbling point in policing reform talks

Quiz: Can you name the TV show from its popular theme song?

‘Understand the threat’: Efforts to ban critical race theory in schools meet rocky reception

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

Law used against Trump allies now at center of Giuliani probe

SPONSORED CONTENT

Commentary

Charles Hurt

Pinning the ‘California Dreaming’ on Caitlyn Jenner

Mike Pence

Ending the tyranny of cancel culture and building an agenda that will win back America

Scott Walker

Ending cancel culture’s reign on college campuses

View all

Question of the Day

Should Donald Trump be back on Facebook?

Question of the Day

 
Yes, it's his right to post

 
Maybe, if he follows the rules

 
No, he should stay banned

 
I don't care about Facebook

  View results

Story TOpics

US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, arrives for talks, during the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting, at Lancaster House in London, Wednesday, May 5, 2021. Diplomats from the group of wealthy nations are meeting in London for their first face-to-face gathering … more >

Print

By PAN PYLAS

Associated Press

Thursday, May 6, 2021

LONDON (AP) – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has downplayed any prospect of an imminent trade deal with a post-Brexit Britain.

In an interview with BBC radio broadcast Thursday, Blinken said any deal would take “some time” and that U.S. President Joe Biden wants to ensure any trade agreement would benefit American workers and their families.

“Our trade negotiator just got on the job, so she’s taking the time to go back and review everything that was discussed and that’s going to take some time,” said Blinken, who was in London in the early part of the week for the Group of Seven meeting of foreign ministers.

TOP STORIES

Sen. Warren after Facebook's Trump ban: 'They're acting like they're bigger than government'

Biden frames spending push as 'choice' between benefiting wealthy versus working families

Florida Gov. DeSantis signs election reform bill, restricts mail-in balloting

“We want to make sure that, whether it’s with the United Kingdom or anyone else, any agreements reached are consistent with the principles that President Biden has established to focus on making sure that these agreements really advance the wellbeing of our workers and their families. That’s our focus.”

Blinken said the U.S.’s new trade negotiator, Katherine Tai, would be taking time to review the discussions that had taken place with the preceding administration of Donald Trump before progressing with the talks.

Trump had been a keen proponent of a trade deal with Britain, which formally left the economic orbit of the European Union at the start of this year. Now outside the EU, the U.K. can negotiate its own trade deals – previously, when within the bloc, the EU had negotiated trade deals on behalf of its members.

One of the main arguments of Brexit supporters in the runup to the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU in 2016 was the prospect of a swift trade deal with the U.S., the world’s largest economy.

The EU and the U.S. do not have an overarching trade agreement but they do have a series of bilateral deals to ease trade, such as on aviation.

Though the U.S. is the world’s largest economy, Britain’s trade with the EU is far higher as a proportion of its annual GDP. That’s why it was a priority for the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson to negotiate an agreement that ensured that tariffs were not put up on trade between the U.K. and the EU. Though tariffs have been avoided, there are numerous non-tariff barriers, such as customs checks, that hinder trade and add costs to businesses.

The Brexit deal has caused particular consternation within Northern Ireland, especially among those who want the region to remain part of the U.K.

As part of the agreement to ensure there is no border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland, the British government agreed to customs checks on some goods moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of the U.K., which did not exist when the U.K. was part of the EU.

In his interview, Blinken stressed the importance the president, who has Irish roots, placed on ensuring the gains of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace to Northern Ireland.

“We want to make sure that, whether it’s with the United Kingdom or the EU, whether it’s anything we’re doing, that we make sure that the tremendous gains from the Good Friday Agreement are sustained and that the economic as well the political wellbeing of Northern Ireland is taken fully into account,” he said.

___

Follow all AP stories about Brexit and British politics at https://apnews.com/Brexit

US officials in Mideast to reassure jittery allies over Iran

US officials in Mideast to reassure jittery allies over Iran

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Elimination of ‘qualified immunity’ a stumbling point in policing reform talks

Quiz: Can you name the TV show from its popular theme song?

‘Understand the threat’: Efforts to ban critical race theory in schools meet rocky reception

Quiz: Can you pass a pandemics, plagues and infectious diseases test?

Law used against Trump allies now at center of Giuliani probe

SPONSORED CONTENT

Vietnam 2021

SPONSORED CONTENT

Commentary

Ronald Kessler

Joe Biden and Jimmy Carter, two of the phoniest presidents in American history

Cal Thomas

Differences between Joe Biden and Tim Scott

Richard W. Rahn

Chamber of Commerce’s misguided support of Dems’ costly economic agenda

View all

Question of the Day

Should the government start paying people to get a COVID-19 vaccination?

Question of the Day

 
Yes, get more people vaccinated

 
No, people should do it for free

 
Maybe, that might convince me

 
No amount of $ would convince me

  View results

Story TOpics

Senator Chris Coons of Delaware talks to the journalists during a press briefing in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Monday, May 3, 2021. Top Biden administration officials and U.S. senators crisscrossed the Middle East on Monday, seeking to assuage growing … more >

Print

By ISABEL DEBRE

Associated Press

Monday, May 3, 2021

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Top Biden administration officials and U.S. senators crisscrossed the Middle East on Monday, seeking to assuage growing unease among Gulf Arab partners over America’s re-engagement with Iran and other policy shifts in the region.

The trips come as the U.S. and Iran, through intermediaries in Vienna, discuss a return to Tehran’s tattered 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that former President Donald Trump abandoned three years ago. The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies, excluded from Obama-era nuclear negotiations, have repeatedly pressed for a seat at the table, insisting that any return to the accord must address Iran’s ballistic missile program and support for regional proxies.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., a key Biden ally dispatched on overseas diplomatic missions, told reporters in the UAE’s capital of Abu Dhabi that he hoped to allay the sheikhdom’s “understandable and legitimate concerns” about the return to the landmark deal and to create “broader engagement” with Gulf partners.

TOP STORIES

Supreme Court rejects West Point cadet's case after rape allegations on campus

Biden's Supreme Court commission gives liberals chance to curtail lifetime appointments

Biden declares war on America — literally

Coons said “close consultation” with the UAE about the ongoing talks in Vienna was “important, expected and happening,” adding that he hopes the Emiratis “may not just be notified, but actually help.”

What that means remains unclear, as Gulf states now watch with resignation as negotiations gain traction in the Austrian capital. When asked to elaborate, Coons balked at the suggestion that the UAE’s input had acquired any greater significance in talks with Iran over the last five years.

“I did not in any way mean to suggest that there was some deal in the works where the Emiratis would be securing anything,” he said. “Vienna is the place where the United States government, the administration, is negotiating.”

Regional tensions are rising. To pressure the Biden administration to lift sanctions and come back into compliance with the deal, Iran has steadily violated the accord’s limitations on nuclear enrichment and stockpiles of enriched uranium. The long shadow war between Israel and Iran has intensified, with suspected Israeli attacks on Iranian ships in volatile Mideast waterways and at Iran‘s Natanz nuclear facility.

In a tour intended to boost “long-standing political, economic, cultural, and security ties,” several senior Biden administration officials are touring Arab capitals, with Brett McGurk from the National Security Council and Derek Chollet from the State Department, among others, stopping in Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Amman and Cairo this week.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. joined the flurry of diplomatic activity in the region this week, jetting to Oman, Qatar and Jordan for talks on a political solution to the war in Yemen. In an interview with The Associated Press from Amman, Murphy credited the influence of the Biden administration on recent steps in the region to defuse tensions, such as a Saudi cease-fire initiative floated to the Iran-backed Houthi rebels and secret talks between archenemies Iran and Saudi Arabia. Earlier this year, Biden announced the end of U.S. support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

However, Murphy warned, “so long as we’re still sanctioning the hell out of the Iranian economy … it’s going to be hard to push the Houthis to a cease-fire.”

Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers “is very important, perhaps critical to peace in Yemen,” he added, and without it, “the Iranians are going to see Yemen as an opportunity to make mischief against the United States and our allies.”

The visits follow the Biden administration’s decision to plow ahead with Trump-era arms sales to Gulf countries, including a $23 billion transfer of F-35 combat aircraft, Reaper drones and other advanced weapons to the UAE, despite objections from Democrats wary of states’ entanglement in the devastating war in Yemen, authoritarian policies and ties to China.

Coons, chairman of a subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, helped introduce legislation last year designed to block the sale of fighters to the UAE. He said Monday that he discussed those concerns with Emirati officials during his two-day visit.

“In a number of robust conversations with senior (Emirati) leaders, I’ve been reassured I think appropriately,” Coons said, without elaborating. “But I need to return to Washington to hear from our administration … exactly how this is being resolved and addressed.”

The senator also has become known for his sharp criticism of Saudi Arabia‘s human rights record and tactics in Yemen, where U.S.-backed Saudi coalition airstrikes have killed thousands of civilians. The Trump administration, which cultivated close ties to the powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, approved a nuclear cooperation deal to share technology with the kingdom for its nuclear power venture, including plans to build several civilian reactors.

The cooperation has sparked concerns among some U.S. senators skeptical of Saudi Arabia‘s intentions.

Although Coons declined to share what he knew of the kingdom’s nuclear technology plans, he said the disastrous war in Yemen has “left us with concerns about our ability to trust the Saudis with technology that they acquire from us.”

He added: “Iran is not the only concerning player.”

US expresses concern over El Salvador vote to remove judges

US expresses concern over El Salvador vote to remove judges

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘A nightmare’: Supreme Court ruling upends Oklahoma prosecutions of American Indians

Quiz: Name the famous inventors of these revolutionary products

China nixed meeting on biowarfare concerns as coronavirus queries increased

Quiz: Can you pass a basic medical terms test?

Afghanistan exit creates new hurdles for U.S. counterterrorism operations

SPONSORED CONTENT

Vietnam 2021

SPONSORED CONTENT

Commentary

Robert Knight

The war for the soul of America

Everett Piper

Democrats in Oklahoma prove they’re racists

Michael McKenna

Republicans would be wise to pick Zeldin in New York governor’s race

View all

Question of the Day

Should the government start paying people to get a COVID-19 vaccination?

Question of the Day

 
Yes, get more people vaccinated

 
No, people should do it for free

 
Maybe, that might convince me

 
No amount of $ would convince me

  View results

Story TOpics

New members of the New Ideas party are sworn in during the Legislative Assembly in San Salvador, El Salvador, Saturday, May 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez) more >

Print

By MARCOS ALEMAN

Associated Press

Sunday, May 2, 2021

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) – The vote by El Salvador’s new congress to remove the magistrates of the Supreme Court’s constitutional chamber and the attorney general on the newly elected legislative body’s very first day drew concern and condemnation from multinational groups and the United States.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke to Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele on Sunday about the previous day’s vote, saying ″that an independent judiciary is essential to democratic governance,″ the State Department said.

Bukele’s New Ideas party won 56 out of the 84 seats in the Legislative Assembly in February elections that pushed aside the country’s traditional parties, already weakened by corruption scandals.

TOP STORIES

New York Times, Washington Post retract stories on Giuliani, Russian disinformation

'We're going to protect our girls,' DeSantis vows, promising to sign female-sports bill

FBI spied on Giuliani, Trump iCloud chats during impeachment hearings, says lawyer

The dominant electoral performance raised concerns that Bukele would seek to change the court, which along with the previous congress, had been the only obstacles that the very popular leader faced. The vote Saturday to remove the five magistrates was 64 lawmakers in favor, 19 opposed and one abstention.

Now with effective control of the congress and the high court, few if any checks remain on Bukele’s power.

He swept into office in 2019 as a break from the country’s corrupt and troubled traditional parties, though his political career had started in the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front.

And even before the assembly was in his sway, Bukele sought to bully and intimidate El Salvador’s other democratic institutions. In February 2020, he sent heavily armed soldiers to surround the congress when it delayed voting on a security loan he had sought.

Bukele clashed repeatedly with the constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court during the pandemic. When it ruled his obligatory stay-at-home order unconstitutional last June, Bukele said, “The court has just ordered us to murder dozens of thousands of Salvadorans within five days.”

Blinken also expressed concern about the removal of Attorney General Raúl Melara, saying he was fighting corruption and has been “an effective partner of efforts to combat crime in both the United States and El Salvador,″ State Department spokesman Ned Price said. Melara had been selected by the previous congress and was an outspoken Bukele critic.

Blinken said the U.S. is committed to supporting democratic institutions in El Salvador.

In a statement, the general secretariat of the Organization of American States criticized the dismissal of the magistrates and the attorney general.

Bukele appeared to be unmoved. He said he felt very satisfied with the congress’ first session and said it was beginning of the change he had promised for the country.

“I know they can’t do it all in a day,” Bukele said via Twitter. “I know that most of the Salvadoran people eagerly await the second session.”

Juan Sánchez Toledo, an unemployed man in the capital, San Salvador, backed Bukele.

“I was already hoping for it,” he said of the vote. “They promised to get rid of all of the corrupt. We’ll see if they do it. I hope that things change for the good of the people.”

During the Trump administration, Bukele’s tendencies toward disrespecting the separation of powers was largely ignored as El Salvador’s homicide rate dropped and fewer Salvadorans tried to migrate to the United States.

But the administration of President Joe Biden has appeared more wary. When Bukele made an unannounced trip to Washington in February, administration officials declined to meet with him. Bukele said he had not sought a meeting.

Bukele appeared to respond in kind last month when he refused to meet with a visiting senior U.S. diplomat.

Governing party lawmakers defended the decision, saying the court had put private interests above the health and welfare of the people. The opposition called it a power grab by a president seeking total control.

The magistrates’ replacements and new Attorney General Rodolfo Antonio Delgado assumed their new positions under police protection Saturday.

El Salvador’s constitution states that the magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice may be removed by the Legislative Assembly for specific causes established by law. Both the election and dismissal of its magistrates must have the support of two-thirds of the lawmakers.

Aldo Cader Camilot, one of the ousted magistrates, published a resignation letter hours after the vote on social media. In it, he rejected any suggestion that he was tied to a political party or doing the bidding of economic interests.

Diego García-Sayán, the United Nations’ special investigator on the independence of legal systems, was blunt: “I condemn the steps the political power is taking to dismantle and weaken the judicial independence of the magistrates by removing the members of the constitutional chamber.”

The Jesuit-led Central American University José Simeón Cañas said in a statement that “in this dark hour for our already weak democracy, the UCA calls for the defense of what was built after the war at the cost of so much effort and so many lives: a society where saying ‘no’ to power is not a fantasy.”

Civil society groups under the umbrella of “Salvadorans against authoritarianism” called for public demonstrations to condemn the congressional action.

NKorea warns US of ‘very grave situation’ over Biden speech

N. Korea warns U.S. of ‘very grave situation’ over Biden speech

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘A nightmare’: Supreme Court ruling upends Oklahoma prosecutions of American Indians

Quiz: Name the famous inventors of these revolutionary products

China nixed meeting on biowarfare concerns as coronavirus queries increased

Quiz: Can you pass a basic medical terms test?

Afghanistan exit creates new hurdles for U.S. counterterrorism operations

SPONSORED CONTENT

Vietnam 2021

SPONSORED CONTENT

Commentary

Robert Knight

The war for the soul of America

Everett Piper

Democrats in Oklahoma prove they’re racists

Michael McKenna

Republicans would be wise to pick Zeldin in New York governor’s race

View all

Question of the Day

Should the government start paying people to get a COVID-19 vaccination?

Question of the Day

 
Yes, get more people vaccinated

 
No, people should do it for free

 
Maybe, that might convince me

 
No amount of $ would convince me

  View results

Story TOpics

In this photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un delivers a closing speech at the Sixth Conference of Cell Secretaries of the Workers’ Party of Korea in Pyongyang, North Korea, Thursday, April 8, 2021. (Korean … more >

Print

By Hyung-Jim Kim

Associated Press

Saturday, May 1, 2021

SEOUL, South KoreaNorth Korea on Sunday warned the United States will face “a very grave situation” because President Biden “made a big blunder” in his recent speech by calling the North a security threat and revealing his intent to maintain a hostile policy against it.

Last week, Mr. Biden, in his first address to Congress, called North Korea and Iran’s nuclear programs “serious threats” to American and world security and said he’ll work with allies to address those problems through diplomacy and stern deterrence.

“His statement clearly reflects his intent to keep enforcing the hostile policy toward the DPRK as it had been done by the U.S. for over half a century,” Kwon Jong Gun, a senior North Korean Foreign Ministry official, said in a statement. DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.

SEE ALSO: Biden’s foreign policy marked by quick reassurances, early stumbles

“It is certain that the U.S. chief executive made a big blunder in the light of the present-day viewpoint,” Mr. Kwon said. “Now that the keynote of the U.S. new DPRK policy has become clear, we will be compelled to press for corresponding measures, and with time the U.S. will find itself in a very grave situation.”

Mr. Kwon still didn’t specify what steps North Korea would take, and his statement could be seen as an effort to apply pressure on the Biden administration as it’s shaping up its North Korea policy.

The White House said Friday administration officials had completed a review of U.S. policy toward North Korea, saying Mr. Biden plans to veer from the approaches of his two most recent predecessors as he tries to stop North Korea’s nuclear program.

Press secretary Jen Psaki did not detail the findings of the review, but suggested the administration would seek a middle ground between Donald Trump’s “grand bargain” and Barack Obama’s “strategic patience” approaches.

Kwon’s statement didn’t mention Ms. Psaki’s comments.

After a series of high-profile nuclear and missile tests in 2016-17, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un launched summit diplomacy with Trump on the future of his growing nuclear arsenal. But that diplomacy remains stalled for about two years over differences in how much sanctions relief North Korea could win in return for limited denuclearization steps.

In January, Mr. Kim threatened to enlarge his nuclear arsenal and build more high-tech weapons targeting the U.S. mainland, saying the fate of bilateral ties would depend on whether it abandons its hostile policy. In March, he conducted short-range ballistic missile tests for the first time in a year, though he still maintains a moratorium on bigger weapons launches.

“If Pyongyang agrees to working-level talks, the starting point of negotiations would be a freeze of North Korean testing and development of nuclear capabilities and delivery systems,” Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, said. “If, on the other hand, Kim shuns diplomacy and opts for provocative tests, Washington will likely expand sanctions enforcement and military exercises with allies.”

Also Sunday, an unidentified North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman vowed a strong, separate response to a recent State Department statement that it would push to promote “accountability for the Kim regime” over its “egregious human rights situation.” He called the statement a preparation for an “all-out showdown with us.”

Kim’s powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, also slammed South Korea over anti-Pyongyang leaflets floated across the border by a group of North Korean defectors in the South. The group’s leader, Park Sang-hak, said Friday he sent 500,000 leaflets by balloon last week, in defiance of a new, contentious South Korean law that criminalizes such action.

“We regard the maneuvers committed by the human waste in the South as a serious provocation against our state and will look into corresponding action,” Kim Yo Jong said in a statement.

She accused the South Korean government of “winking at” the leaflets. Seoul’s Unification Ministry responded later Sunday saying it opposes any act that creates tensions on the Korean Peninsula and it will strive to achieve better ties with North Korea.

Mr. Easley said the North Korean statements by Kwon and Kim Yo Jong show that “Pyongyang is trying to drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States” ahead of the May 21 summit between Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

MP Lisa Hanna Bats For Ganja Lab And Gets Support From Entertainers

Jamaica announced that it would authorize a regulated medical marijuana industry and decriminalize small amounts of weed in 2015, but they are yet to cash in significantly like other countries in the world. In the US, where a similar approach was taken in multiple states, Forbes Magazine reported that the marijuana industry had raked in US$17.5 billion in 2020, which represented a 46% increase from 2019. Jamaica’s industry hasn’t scratched the financial surface like this.

Just two months ago, Jamaica faced a shortage of the herb due to an increase in local consumption and a drop in the number of marijuana farmers. She added that the island faced heavy rains, which were followed by a drought. Member of Parliament Lisa Hanna may have come up with a solution to help aid the industry. She recently suggested that the government use money, which was intended for a new parliament building, to construct a ganja lab instead.

During a parliament sitting in March, she said: “The government must establish and fund a facility in partnership with one of our universities to allow small farmers to manufacture and process their raw weed, for a fee, into products that the market demands.”

She added: “This must be a national lab, so when the Israelites or Americans hear about it, they know that they can come to the Jamaican national ganja lab. This lab must also have the responsibility of promoting Jamaican ganja- the best in the world.”

Her suggestion was met with elation from several marijuana advocates and entertainers. The MP explained her plan further and indicated that the ganja lab would help to drive the scientific research for cannabis. This would bring standardization to the product that is grown, which can then be used to make products for export. According to reports, the new parliament building would cost about US$50 million (about J$7.5 billion). That’s according to the Urban Development Corporation.

Veteran conscious dancehall entertainer, Tony Rebel, was one of the entertainers who believe that the idea should be welcomed by the government. The “Jah By My Side” singer, who spoke with the STAR said that Hanna’s ambitions were in line with persons like Professor Manley West and Dr. Albert Lockhart. Two men who were instrumental in the medical marijuana research field and whose study eventually contributed to the glaucoma treatment called Canasol.

“So in the request of making a lab in Jamaica, it is very important as the lab could service our own people nationally and possibly the Caribbean,” he added. He, like many others in the industry, is waiting for the export market to open up for the real profits to begin rolling in. He added: “but the exportation of it hasn’t been opened up as yet and that’s where my interests are.”

Another reggae artiste and marijuana supporter, Chezidek, also spoke with the STAR and shared his thoughts on the matter. He would be happy to welcome the lab as “the youths have to come and study the marijuana to the fullest.”

The artist, who is most popularly known for his hit single “Leave The Trees”, also said the idea was good for breaking the barriers about how people consider the herb. It could help to erase the old way of thinking of marijuana as a drug, he added.

For Chezidek, there should also be some sort of compensation from the government for all the years of persecution as well. He saw the situation as one where the persecutors were now making all the profits off of those that they had persecuted for years. He added, “for the use of a tree given to us by the Almighty that they are now trying to capitalise on.”

His stance on the matter comes because he wants to ensure that the poor man will also be able to benefit from the decriminalization of marijuana. He believes that it should now be treated like any other crop.

“The Government should work with the people like they do for other crops. I want to see the poor man benefit from ganja. Give us the space to grow our own ganja and sell it and redesign the system so that the small man isn’t limited to just five trees,” he continued.

JACANA’s quality assurance manager Stephen-Jon Brown also agreed with the sentiments being expressed and urged the government to move forward with a plan for a ganja lab.

“As it stands now some labs are making efforts to improve, especially the Bureau of Standards Jamaica. However, if these labs don’t act quickly, we will fail to get credible results and this will greatly affect our chances of exporting,” he said.

MP Hanna has also taken issue with the fact that the small farmer is yet to reap the benefits of the marijuana industry. During the same parliament sitting in March in which she suggested the marijuana lab, she said: “Today, no small farmer with historical know-how will ever meet the standards required for production. The licensing authority is approaching it as if every applicant wants to be an exporter. This established bureaucracy is locking out our small farmers.

She added: “The same ones who created the product so many years ago and suffered at the hands of the police for something which is now a global sensation and is legal in several countries have no way of getting a slice of the pie. If those small farmers never go up in the hills for three/four months and hide, you wouldn’t know ’bout Jamaican good ganja,” she said.

Share this:

US, Belgium, France and Japan hold Mideast naval exercise

US, Belgium, France and Japan hold Mideast naval exercise

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Situation’ on Mexican border worsens as politicians fight over labeling migrant surge a ‘crisis’

Quiz: Only a true baby boomer can beat this test

Trump’s judicial appointees give Republicans hope to revoke Biden’s flood of executive orders

Quiz: Who are these movie villains?

‘Dispiriting’: Track star’s dream dashed by transgender rules

SPONSORED CONTENT

Kistefos and The Twist – Norway’s “must-see” cultural destination

SPONSORED CONTENT

Commentary

Cheryl K. Chumley

Xavier Becerra, America’s new socialist-in-chief for COVID-19 crackdowns

Michael McKenna

Tossing the filibuster bad for Senate, good for voters

Tom Basile

Time to get serious about China’s energy blackmail

View all

Question of the Day

Now that Trump has recommended getting the COVID-19 vaccine, will you?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Sunday, March 21, 2021

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The U.S. Navy said Sunday it will hold a major naval exercise alongside Belgium, France and Japan in the Mideast amid tensions over Iran‘s nuclear program in the region.

The Group Arabian Sea Warfare Exercise will see ships from the four countries conduct drills in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. Ships involved include the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, as well as the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island.

The Belgian frigate HNLMS Leopold I and the Japanese destroyer JS Ariake also will take part, as well as aircraft from the four nations.

TOP STORIES

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee: Biden border plan 'does not look like it's working at this time'

Texas governor orders probe of drinking water at Biden's camps for migrant children

Court refuses to dismiss Project Veritas lawsuit against New York Times

The drill comes as Iran has abandoned all limits of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers in the wake of then-President Donald Trump’s 2018 decision to unilaterally withdraw from the accord.

President Joe Biden has expressed a desire to return to the deal if Iran honors the deal’s limits on its nuclear program. However, tensions remain high after militias in Iraq – likely backed by Iran – continue to target American interests.

Biden last month launched an airstrike just over the border into Syria in retaliation, joining every American president from Ronald Reagan onward who has ordered a bombardment of countries in the Middle East.

There was no immediate reaction from Iran to the naval drill.

Dancehall Artist Khago Awarded $763K In Kemar ‘Flava’ McGregor Lawsuit

Khago has won a major lawsuit against his former producer as the artiste has been awarded U$800,000 in damages against Kemar ‘Flava’ McGregor.

The damages claimed were part of a countersuit against McGregor, who is the principal of Streaminn Hub Inc, in a South Florida court presided by district judge Jose E Martinez last month.

The wife and manager of the artiste, Francine Gayle, has confirmed Khago’s win and says they are happy and relieved that the case is now over. “Khago is very happy for the fact that out of all that has happened; we have gotten the final judgment. It’s been a long time’ we have waited for how long it took. Finally, the victory is here. To God be the glory, great things he hath done,” she said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

Kemar ‘Flava’ McGregor and his lawyer failed to attend the final hearing, but the judgment was handed down in spite of their absence. The judgment also included an order by the court that McGregor was to cease marketing of Khago’s music, and using his likeness, images on any platform in addition to the damages.

The breakdown of the damages includes U$300,000 in statutory damages for copyright infringement, US$99,568.59 for compensatory damages for tortious interference with business relationships, and US$ 65,352.00 in reasonable expenses and attorney’s fees, which all rounded off to US$763,626.36.

The lawsuit stemmed from a dispute between Khago and McGregor, whose business was hired to recoup royalties for Khago in the United States. McGregor eventually took Khago to court for fraud, breach of contract, defamation of character, and copyright infringement in 2018. The two fell out over Khago’s albums “Spirit, Walk a Mile and Dancehall Soca.”

McGregor’s claim was thrown out in 2020, and Khago then filed a countersuit. Gayle said that the lawsuit brings to the fore the need for artists to know the business of music not only from their performance side but earning passive income from their talent.

“Apart from enjoying the benefits of an artiste, know the business or find a reputable person or entity that can advise you. Music in Jamaica is not done in a professional way. People jus’ guh inna a studio and guh drop a track. They don’t know about their splits; about registering for royalties or copyright; about publishing. Basically, you just voice and walk away. Yet, your music is selling on all the platforms and you don’t even know how you’re going to get your money — How much per cent belongs to you and how much per cent supposed to go to the producer. You have to know the business and you have to know this. This is something he [Khago] learned, this is not a hobby. It’s a career.”

Meanwhile, the artist is set to open a studio in Manchester, Jamaica, in late March. He shot to fame after joining the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s independence contest, where he placed third for his song “If You Know.”

His hits include “Nah Sell Out,” which led to him snatching various local and overseas awards.

US, China top diplomats discuss key issues, show differences

US, China top diplomats discuss key issues, show differences

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Trump still a GOP titan: ‘A restoration is coming’

Quiz: Can you pass the Declaration of Independence test?

Professor points to Declaration of Independence as cause to legalize all drugs

Quiz: How well do you know your guns?

‘Most patriotic thing I’ve done’: Tipsters aid FBI in most arrests in Capitol attack

SPONSORED CONTENT

Commentary

Cheryl K. Chumley

‘Vaccine passport’ is outrageously unconstitutional

Michael McKenna

House marches toward its death with vote to strip Greene of committee posts

Tom Basile

John Kerry: Joe Biden’s one-man wrecking ball

View all

Question of the Day

Do you support raising the federal minimum wage to $15?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Saturday, February 6, 2021

BEIJING (AP) – The top American and Chinese diplomats spoke Saturday in the first major exchange between the countries since President Joe Biden took office and touched on several critical issues that have strained their ties.

China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed in a phone call the situation in Xinjiang, home to the Uighur minority whose treatment is heavily criticized in the West, as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The two statements reaffirmed the different positions of the countries, which have clashed on issues from trade to Beijing’s crackdown in Hong Kong to increased U.S. support for self-ruled democratic Taiwan.

TOP STORIES

Liz Cheney says she won't resign after Wyoming GOP calls for her to step down

Transgender sprinters finish 1st, 2nd at Connecticut girls indoor track championships

11 Iranians arrested in Arizona after jumping U.S.-Mexico border

Blinken said the U.S. would work with allies to hold China “accountable for its efforts to threaten stability in the Indo-Pacific, including across the Taiwan Strait.”

He said that the United States will continue to stand up for human rights and democratic values, including in Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, according to the State Department statement.

Yang said that at present, “the Sino-U.S. relationship is at a crucial juncture.”

“The Chinese government’s policy towards the U.S. has always maintained a high degree of stability and continuity,” he was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

He urged Washington “to correct the mistakes made over a period of time and work with China to uphold the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation and focus on cooperation, manage differences as well as promote the healthy and stable development of China-U.S. relations.”

The Chinese said maintained that Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet were strictly internal affairs and they won’t tolerate any foreign interference, Xinhua reported.

Yang called the Taiwan issue as the “most sensitive, most important and core issue between the U.S. and China.”

Under former President Donald Trump, the U.S. has increased weapons sales to and official exchanges with island, which China claims as part of its own territory to be reunited by force if necessary.

Blinken specifically called on China to condemn the military coup in Myanmar. Yang, in response, emphasized that the international community should create a good external environment for the proper settlement of the Myanmar issue.

China has invested billions of dollars in Myanmar mines, oil and gas pipelines and other infrastructure and is its biggest trading partner.

Kremlin welcomes US proposal to extend the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between the two countr

Kremlin welcomes US proposal to extend the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between the two countr

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Big Tech declares war: ‘Woke capitalism instead of freedom’

Quiz: Do you remember these grumpy TV characters?

Trump attorneys pursuing voting fraud claims snatch defeat from jaws of victory

Quiz: Can you pass a U.S. Constitution test?

College Fix editor puts student journalists on front line of fight for free speech

SPONSORED CONTENT

Commentary

Cheryl K. Chumley

Executive orders are not unifying

Everett Piper

A prayer for the Biden administration and the nation

Tony Perkins

Should extreme pro-abortionist Xavier Becerra be in charge of America’s health care?

View all

Question of the Day

Should D.C. become a state?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Friday, January 22, 2021

MOSCOW (AP) – Kremlin welcomes US proposal to extend the last remaining nuclear arms treaty between the two countries.

US rejects UN plea to reverse Yemen rebel terror designation

US rejects UN plea to reverse Yemen rebel terror designation

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Joe Biden missed many opportunities to learn about son’s business dealings

Quiz: Can you pass this general physics test?

State Department lifts all restrictions on government contacts with Taiwan

Quiz: Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

‘Hello, my wonderful social justice warriors’: School sued over critical race theory instruction

SPONSORED CONTENT

Commentary

Charles Hurt

Armed insurrection: Congress votes to overturn the next election

Daniel N. Hoffman

Kim Jong-un’s threat to bring U.S. ‘to its knees’ heightens Biden’s challenges

Newt Gingrich

GINGRICH: Big Tech is a big fraud with its bogus censorship

View all

Question of the Day

Should Trump pardon protesters arrested at the U.S. Capitol?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this Oct. 1, 2018, file photo, a severely malnourished boy rests on a hospital bed at the Aslam Health Center in Hajjah, Yemen. A leading aid organization on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 warned that U.S. Secretary of … more >

Print

By EDITH M. LEDERER

Associated Press

Thursday, January 14, 2021

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The U.N. chief and top officials urged the United States on Thursday to reverse its decision to declare Yemen’s Iran-backed rebels a terrorist group to prevent massive famine and death in the conflict-torn Arab nation – but the Trump administration in its final days stood by its action.

The U.S. deputy ambassador, Richard Mills, told the Security Council the U.S. has listened to warnings of the terrorist designation’s humanitarian impact and will take measures to reduce the impact on aid deliveries and commercial imports.

“But we do believe that this step is the right move forward to send the right signal if we want the political process to move forward,” he said.

TOP STORIES

Leftist activist arrested, charged in Capitol riot

Military battling a hidden enemy: White supremacy

Liz Cheney suffers impeachment vote blowback at home: 'Couldn't win a primary today for dog catcher'

In 2014, the rebel Houthis overran the capital, Sanaa, and much of Yemen’s north, driving the government into exile. A U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition intervened the following year to try and restore the internationally recognized government, but years of U.N. efforts to get both sides to agree to a cease-fire and start peace negotiations have not succeeded.

The conflict has been disastrous for Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, killing more than 112,000 people, creating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and wrecking infrastructure from roads and hospitals to water and electricity networks.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared the Houthis a “foreign terrorist organization” late Sunday. The designation takes effect Jan. 19, President Donald Trump’s last full day in office before Joe Biden is inaugurated president.

U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock warned the Security Council that the U.S. designation will likely lead to a “famine on a scale that we have not seen for nearly 40 years.”

Data show that 16 million of Yemen’s 30 million people will go hungry this year, he said. “Already, about 50,000 people are essentially starving to death. … Another 5 million are just one step behind them.”

Lowcock said Yemen imports 90% of its food, nearly all purchased through commercial channels, so aid shipments cannot be enough to stave off hunger.

Stressing that the designation is already seeing companies pull back from Yemen, Lowcock warned that famine will not be prevented by the measures the United States has promised to introduce so some humanitarian aid and imports can continue to reach Yemen.

World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley told the council the Nobel Peace Prize-winning agency was forced to reduce the number of Yemenis receiving aid from 13 million to 9 million, and then to cut rations in half because of a lack of funding.

Starting Feb. 1, “we will have to cut rations to 25%” because money is running out, he added.

“We are struggling now without the designation,” Beasley said. “With the designation it’s going to be catastrophic. It literally is going to be a death sentence to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of innocent people in Yemen.”

Beasley predicted that the U.S. action, coupled with the funding crisis, will leave 24 million of the 30 million Yemenis “struggling to eat” and get fuel and medicine.

“In 2020, the United States stepped up to WFP with $3.75 billion of support and I’m very grateful for that,” he said. “But this designation – it needs to be reassessed, it needs to be reevaluated, and quite frankly it needs to be reversed.”

Beasley said WFP needs $860 million to avert famine in Yemen for the next six months, and “we don’t even have half that.”

He said the Gulf Arab states – singling out Saudi Arabia – “need to pick up the humanitarian financial tab for this problem.” If they don’t, he warned, donors will take money from other countries where it’s desperately needed, “which means we’re going to have famine in many, many other countries.”

Martin Griffiths, the U.N. special envoy for Yemen, backed Lowcock’s assessment that the U.S. designation “would contribute to famine in Yemen and thus should be revoked.”

In addition, he said, “We fear that there will be inevitably a chilling effect on my efforts to bring the parties together.”

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres supports the calls by Lowcock, Beasley and Griffiths for the U.S. to reverse its designation, pointing to their “very passionate” and detailed remarks of the consequences on Yemenis.

On the political front, Griffiths condemned the Dec. 30 missile strike at Aden’s civilian airport targeting the newly formed Cabinet, an attack that killed more than 25 people. He said Yemen‘s internationally recognized government has concluded the Houthis were “behind the attack” – a charge the rebels have denied.

British Ambassador Barbara Woodward told the council the United Kingdom “assesses that it is highly likely that the Houthis were responsible for this cowardly and craven attack.”

“Only they had the means, the motive, and the opportunity for this clear and deplorable attempt to destabilize the newly formed Yemeni government,” she said.

Griffiths expressed “solidarity with the new government, which has demonstrated its resolve to stay in Aden despite the security risks to carry out its duties to the Yemeni people.”

US imposes new sanction on Beijing over South China Sea

US imposes new sanction on Beijing over South China Sea

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Joe Biden missed many opportunities to learn about son’s business dealings

Quiz: Can you pass this general physics test?

State Department lifts all restrictions on government contacts with Taiwan

Quiz: Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

‘Hello, my wonderful social justice warriors’: School sued over critical race theory instruction

SPONSORED CONTENT

Commentary

Charles Hurt

Armed insurrection: Congress votes to overturn the next election

Daniel N. Hoffman

Kim Jong-un’s threat to bring U.S. ‘to its knees’ heightens Biden’s challenges

Newt Gingrich

GINGRICH: Big Tech is a big fraud with its bogus censorship

View all

Question of the Day

Should Trump pardon protesters arrested at the U.S. Capitol?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool) more >

Print

By MATTHEW LEE

Associated Press

Thursday, January 14, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration on Thursday imposed new sanctions on Chinese officials over Beijing‘s increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea. The penalties are yet another Trump administration move that may make President-elect Joe Biden’s diplomacy with China more difficult when he takes office next week.

In its waning days, the Trump administration put in place travel bans on an unspecified number of Chinese officials and their families for what it said were violations of international standards regarding the freedom of navigation in those waters. The administration also said it was adding China‘s state oil company, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, to a list of companies with which U.S. citizens are banned from doing business.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the sanctions less than a week Inauguration Day, next Wednesday, in what is the latest in a series of last-minute U.S. moves against China.

TOP STORIES

My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell insists Trump will remain president despite election loss, insurrection

Military battling a hidden enemy: White supremacy

Liz Cheney suffers impeachment vote blowback at home: 'Couldn't win a primary today for dog catcher'

“The United States stands with Southeast Asian claimant states seeking to defend their sovereign rights and interests, consistent with international law,” Pompeo said. “We will continue to act until we see Beijing cease its coercive behavior in the South China Sea.”

Since the fall of 2019, the administration has steadily pressured China over human rights issues in Tibet, Hong Kong and the western region of Xinjiang, as well as over trade, Taiwan and the Chinese response to the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday, the administration banned the import to the U.S. of some agricultural goods, provoking an angry response from Beijing.

Thursday’s move affects Chinese officials and others involved in South China Sea activities. The announcement did not specific which officials would be targeted but many may be covered under previous actions,

In July, Pompeo announced that the U.S. would reject virtually all of China‘s maritime claims in the South China Sea, which are disputed by most of China‘s smaller neighbors.

US nuclear submarine transits Strait of Hormuz amid tensions

US nuclear submarine transits Strait of Hormuz amid tensions

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Intelligence pros morphed into partisan political activists in rush to defend Hunter Biden

Quiz: Can you pass an elements of the periodic table test?

Border wall forces drug smugglers to turn to drones

Quiz: Can you match the songs to these 1980s one-hit wonders?

Law could delist some Chinese companies from U.S. markets

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To Get Rid of Deep Belly Fat

Commentary

Charles Hurt

All hail AOC, Death Panel Princess …

Newt Gingrich

Why I will not accept Joe Biden as president

Robert Knight

Ruling elites continue cultural cleansing rampage and not even Honest Abe is safe

View all

Question of the Day

Will you trust the results of U.S. elections again?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Monday, December 21, 2020

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – An American nuclear-powered guided-missile submarine traversed the strategically vital waterway between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula on Monday, the U.S. Navy said, a rare announcement that comes amid rising tensions with Iran.

The Navy’s 5th Fleet based in Bahrain said the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Georgia, accompanied by two other warships, passed through the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow passageway through which a fifth of the world’s oil supplies travel.

The unusual transit in the Persian Gulf’s shallow waters, aimed at underscoring American military might in the region, follows the killing last month of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist named by the West as the leader of the Islamic Republic’s disbanded military nuclear program. It also comes some two weeks before the anniversary of the American drone strike in January that killed top Iranian military commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Iran has promised to seek revenge for both killings.

TOP STORIES

All hail AOC, Death Panel Princess …

Trump gets China's attention by deploying Navy destroyer to Taiwan Strait

California Gov. Newsom picks Alex Padilla to fill Kamala Harris's Senate seat

The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine’s presence in Mideast waterways signals the U.S. Navy’s “commitment to regional partners and maritime security,” the Navy said, demonstrating its readiness “to defend against any threat at any time.” The USS Georgia is armed with 154 Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles and can host up to 66 special operations forces, the Navy added.

Earlier this month, the U.S. military flew two bomber aircraft to the Middle East in a mission that U.S. officials described as a message of deterrence to Iran. The displays of military might are meant to signal the United States’ continuing commitment to the Middle East even as President Donald Trump’s administration withdraws thousands of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 5th Fleet covers an area of 2.5 million square miles (6.5 million square kilometers), running through the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean.

Iran builds at underground nuclear facility amid US tensions

Iran builds at underground nuclear facility amid U.S. tensions

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Intelligence community plays politics in Hunter Biden probe

Quiz: Who said these famous quotes in history?

‘Every single case has been ruled on’: Trump legal team vows to pursue appeals, file new challenges

Quiz: How well do you know your guns?

Democrats hope wins in Georgia runoffs will spell end to Senate filibuster

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To Get Rid of Deep Belly Fat

Commentary

Charles Hurt

When it comes to being a flaming disaster, Biden is an expert

Daniel N. Hoffman

Not so fast on rejoining a badly flawed Iran deal, Mr. Biden

Scott Walker

Enough is enough liberals, America must be open for business

View all

Question of the Day

Will you trust the results of U.S. elections again?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

This Dec. 11, 2020, satellite photo by Maxar Technologies shows construction at Iran’s Fordo nuclear facility. Iran has begun construction on a site at its underground nuclear facility at Fordo amid tensions with the U.S. over its atomic program, satellite … more >

Print

By Jon Gambrell

Associated Press

Friday, December 18, 2020

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran has begun construction on a site at its underground nuclear facility at Fordo amid tensions with the U.S. over its atomic program, satellite photos obtained Friday by The Associated Press show.

Iran has not publicly acknowledged any new construction at Fordo, whose discovery by the West in 2009 came in an earlier round of brinkmanship before world powers struck the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

While the purpose of the building remains unclear, any work at Fordo likely will trigger new concern in the waning days of the Trump administration before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Already, Iran is building at its Natanz nuclear facility after a mysterious explosion in July there that Tehran described as a sabotage attack.

TOP STORIES

Proud Boys leader says he set fire to 'Black Lives Matter' sign taken from church, denies wrongdoing

Georgia announces signature matching review in all counties

Small business owners buck Gretchen Whitmer's shutdown: 'We don't have any other option'

“Any changes at this site will be carefully watched as a sign of where Iran’s nuclear program is headed,” said Jeffrey Lewis, an expert at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies who studies Iran.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The International Atomic Energy Agency, whose inspectors are in Iran as part of the nuclear deal, also did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The IAEA as of yet has not publicly disclosed if Iran informed it of any construction at Fordo.

Construction on the Fordo site began in late September. Satellite images obtained from Maxar Technologies by the AP show the construction taking place at a northwest corner of the site, near the holy Shiite city of Qom some 90 kilometers (55 miles) southwest of Tehran.

A Dec. 11 satellite photo shows what appears to be a dug foundation for a building with dozens of pillars. Such pillars can be used in construction to support buildings in earthquake zones.

The construction site sits northwest of Fordo’s underground facility, built deep inside a mountain to protect it from potential airstrikes. The site is near other support and research-and-development buildings at Fordo.

Among those buildings is Iran’s National Vacuum Technology Center. Vacuum technology is a crucial component of Iran’s uranium-gas centrifuges, which enrich uranium.

A Twitter account called Observer IL earlier this week published an image of Fordo showing the construction, citing it as coming from South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Research Institute.

The AP later reached the Twitter user, who identified himself as a retired Israeli Defense Forces soldier with a civil engineering background. He asked that his name not be published over previous threats he received online. The Korea Aerospace Research Institute acknowledged taking the satellite photo.

Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from Iran’s nuclear deal, in which Tehran had agreed to limit its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Trump cited Iran’s ballistic missile program, its regional policies and other issues in withdrawing from the accord, though the deal focused entirely on Tehran’s atomic program.

When the U.S. ramped up sanctions, Iran gradually and publicly abandoned the deal’s limits as a series of escalating incidents pushed the two countries to the brink of war at the beginning of the year. Tensions still remain high.

Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran agreed to stop enriching uranium at Fordo and instead make it “a nuclear, physics and technology center.”

“This location was a major sticking point in negotiations leading to the Iran nuclear deal,” Lewis said. “The U.S. insisted Iran close it while Iran’s supreme leader said keeping it was a red line.”

Since the deal’s collapse, Iran has resumed enrichment there.

Shielded by the mountains, the facility also is ringed by anti-aircraft guns and other fortifications. It is about the size of a football field, large enough to house 3,000 centrifuges, but small and hardened enough to lead U.S. officials to suspect it had a military purpose when they exposed the site publicly in 2009.

As of now, Iran is enriching uranium up to 4.5%, in violation of the accord’s limit of 3.67%. Iran’s parliament has passed a bill that requires Tehran to enrich up to 20%, a short technical step away from weapons-grade levels of 90%. The bill also would throw out IAEA inspectors.

Experts say Iran now has enough low-enriched uranium stockpiled for at least two nuclear weapons, if it chose to pursue them. Iran long has maintained its nuclear program is peaceful.

While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani opposed the bill, the country’s Guardian Council later tweaked and approved it. The bill seeks to pressure European nations to provide relief from crippling U.S. sanctions.

Meanwhile, an Iranian scientist who created its military nuclear program two decades ago recently was killed in a shooting outside of Tehran. Iran has blamed Israel, which has long been suspected of killing Iranian nuclear scientists over the last decade, for the attack. Israel has not commented on the attack.

US brands Vietnam, Switzerland as currency manipulators

U.S. brands Vietnam, Switzerland as currency manipulators

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Intelligence community plays politics in Hunter Biden probe

Quiz: Who said these famous quotes in history?

‘Every single case has been ruled on’: Trump legal team vows to pursue appeals, file new challenges

Quiz: How well do you know your guns?

Democrats hope wins in Georgia runoffs will spell end to Senate filibuster

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To Get Rid of Deep Belly Fat

Commentary

Michael McKenna

Don’t get angry with ‘happy holidays’

Tammy Bruce

Liberals sell ramshackle house of cards and market it as ‘renovated’

Joseph Curl

Wags on social media and liberals take aim at Trump’s presidential library

View all

Question of the Day

Will you trust the results of U.S. elections again?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before a Congressional Oversight Commission hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 (Alex Wong/Pool via AP) more >

Print

By Martin Crutsinger

Associated Press

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Treasury Department has branded Vietnam and Switzerland as currency manipulators while putting China and nine other countries on a watch list in an annual report designed to halt countries from manipulating their currencies to gain unfair trade advantages.

It marked the first time that the United States has labeled another country as a currency manipulator since August 2019 when it called out China at a time when the world’s two largest economies were locked in tense trade negotiations.

The Trump administration removed the designation from China in January after the two nations had achieved trade agreements aimed at lowering China‘s huge trade surplus with the United States.

TOP STORIES

Lindsey Graham denounces calls for Donald Trump to pardon 'traitor' Edward Snowden

Hatcher defeats Knight in Alabama Senate runoff election

Joe Biden says he's 'confident' son Hunter did nothing wrong

The Treasury report said that Vietnam and Switzerland were the only two countries that met all three criteria for being named a currency manipulator. The designation will trigger special negotiations over the next year, and if they are not successful in resolving the issue, the United States can move forward to impose economic sanctions on Vietnam and Switzerland.

In addition to China, the other countries put on a monitoring list were Japan, South Korea, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and India. Taiwan, Thailand and India were put on the watch list this year while the other countries were already on the watch list issued with the last report in January.

US paid for ambassador to New Zealand to fly on private jet

US paid for ambassador to New Zealand to fly on private jet

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Record number of Republican women set to join Congress

Quiz: Do you remember these grumpy TV characters?

‘No doubt’ China is upgrading its nuclear power to be on par with U.S., Russia

Quiz: Can you pass a U.S. Constitution test?

Teachers unions leading fight against parents, students to keep schools closed

SPONSORED CONTENT

Don’t Leave Contact Lens Patients on the Wrong End of a Raw Deal

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Peter Morici

What voters are telling Joe Biden about his Democrats’ radical agenda

Victor Davis Hanson

Irony abounds as the left politicizes COVID-19 pandemic

Tammy Bruce

Democrats’ plea for ‘unity’ rings hollow

View all

Question of the Day

Should a COVID vaccine be mandatory?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this July 11, 2017, file photo, U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown poses for a photograph at the U.S. Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand. The United States government paid for Brown and his wife, Gail, to … more >

Print

By NICK PERRY

Associated Press

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – The United States government paid for ambassador Scott Brown and his wife to fly domestically in New Zealand on a private jet so they could avoid going into quarantine at the border, documents show.

Just about everybody who returns to New Zealand is required to spend 14 days in a hotel guarded by the military as part of the nation’s strict strategy to keep out the coronavirus. But the Browns were able to use their special status as diplomats to avoid staying in a hotel, and instead isolated themselves at their home in Wellington.

The Browns’ special treatment has upset many New Zealanders. Documents released to The Associated Press under official information laws show the case was discussed by top officials and lawmakers and was not resolved until days before they arrived back.

TOP STORIES

Megyn Kelly pulls kids from woke school pushing claims of 'white … state-sanctioned depravity'

Raphael Warnock pressured to quit Georgia Senate race over military remark

Barack Obama bashes America (again)

The Browns returned to New Zealand in late August after spending a month in the U.S. on what the ambassador described as a “working vacation.”

After arriving at Auckland Airport, the Browns went to a private runway and left for Wellington on a chartered jet, documents show. That was because regular domestic flights can’t be used by new arrivals who might be carrying the virus.

U.S. officials did not immediately provide the cost of the flight, although one charter operator said such a trip would typically cost between 10,000 and 20,000 New Zealand dollars ($7,000- $14,000).

The U.S. Embassy in New Zealand said Wednesday that the flight was paid for by the embassy and the U.S. State Department, freed up hotel space for returning New Zealanders and was cost-effective.

“As the Browns were at home, the U.S. taxpayer was saved the cost of per diem and other expenses which they would otherwise have been entitled to claim,” the embassy wrote in an email.

The documents indicate the discussion about the couple’s return began back in June, when Brown wrote an email to New Zealand officials saying, “I need to be assured that I will be able to get into my car and drive home and self-isolate.” The ambassador added, “It would be problematic for me to do my job in a hotel.”

Brown told officials that he and his wife, Gail, would make sure they tested negative for the virus in the U.S. before returning.

New Zealand officials responded that top lawmakers in the government’s Cabinet were discussing what to do about diplomats – who they can’t force into quarantine because of their special status under the Vienna Convention – and “we are hopefully close to the decision-point on these issues.”

But the uncertainty would drag on for weeks.

An initial plan had the ambassador completing his two-week quarantine in Auckland at the home of the U.S. consul-general. A second plan had Brown driving the eight-hour trip back to Wellington.

“We’ll have his vehicle pre-positioned at the airport with food, water, and extra fuel, and will arrange a ‘contact-less’ handover of the keys,” U.S. officials wrote in an email.

In the end, U.S. officials told their counterparts it was their preference to book a charter flight. Brown wrote that he’d gotten approval for the plan from Washington.

“I am hopeful that this rock solid, logical plan can be approved so I can start the balls moving to make it happen,” Brown wrote on Aug. 20 from the U.S., just a week before he was due to arrive back.

The following day, New Zealand officials wrote to say the Ministry of Health had given the plan the thumbs-up.

“Outstanding!” a U.S. official responded.

Brown, a former Republican senator from Massachusetts, has close ties with President Donald Trump and was once considered a possible running mate. Brown and his wife plan to return to the U.S. permanently within the next few weeks, where Brown will take up a new role as president and dean of New England Law school in Boston.

US, Israel extend science accords into West Bank settlements

US, Israel extend science accords into West Bank settlements

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

How the shenanigans of rogue postal workers expose the weak link in mail-in voting

Quiz: Can you name these TV Shows by their catchphrases?

State Department establishment hopes to regain clout in Biden administration

Quiz: Can you name the actors who played these 1980s TV characters?

COVID-19 cases strain rural hospitals, worry health officials

SPONSORED CONTENT

This unique, American-made survival rifle is perfect for your go-bag

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Michael McKenna

New York Times asleep at the switch over journalistic ethics

Victor Davis Hanson

Election really about furious liberal Dems changing constitutional norms

Cal Thomas

What problems did Joe Biden solve during his decades in government?

View all

Question of the Day

Will Republicans win the House on Election Day?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, second right, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, second left, attend a ceremony to sign amendments to a series of scientific cooperation agreements, at Ariel University, in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, Wednesday, … more >

Print

By

Associated Press

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

JERUSALEM (AP) – The United States and Israel amended a series of scientific cooperation agreements on Wednesday to include Israeli institutions in the West Bank, a step that further blurs the status of settlements widely considered illegal under international law.

Until now, three U.S.-Israeli science cooperation agreements excluded projects in areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war – including the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

Israeli and American officials signed protocols amending the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation, the Binational Science Foundation, and Binational Agricultural Research and Development Foundation at a ceremony in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.

TOP STORIES

Amy Coney Barrett hit with impeachment calls over Pennsylvania election case

Melania Trump blasts Biden, Democrats' 'socialist agenda'

Democrats falling short in swing states, early voting statistics show

Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war, and in the decades since have built dozens of settlements that are now home to some 500,000 Israelis. The Palestinians seek the West Bank and east Jerusalem as part of a future independent state. Most of the international community considers Israeli settlements illegal under international law and supports the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 boundaries.

Breaking with decades of American policy, the Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the U.S. Embassy there. It also recognized Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights, which was captured from Syria in the 1967 war. In another reversal, the administration also said the U.S. does not consider settlements illegal.

In a statement, the U.S. Embassy in Israel said that “these geographic restrictions are no longer consistent with U.S. policy,” and that updating the agreements to remove them “further strengthens the special bilateral relationship” between the two countries.

“This geographic restriction within the three agreements was an anachronism, it had no place within our evolving region,” U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said at a ceremony at Ariel University.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a strong proponent of the settlements, thanked Friedman for his efforts “to right past wrongs.”

In the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority condemned the step as a “dangerous precedent.”

“This step is an actual American participation in the occupation of Palestinian lands,” said Nabil Abu Rdeneh, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas.

Amending the agreements grants legitimacy to Israel’s West Bank settlements and “further blurs the Green Line,” said Brian Reeves, spokesman for Israel’s Peace Now organization, referring to the boundary between Israel and the West Bank.

Eugene Kontorovich, director of international law at the Kohelet Policy Forum, a conservative Jerusalem think tank, said the decision would have long-lasting repercussions.

“This historic international agreement cements U.S. policy that Israeli settlements are not illegal, and puts money behind it,” he said.

US, North Macedonia, and Kosovo sign 5G deal

US, North Macedonia, and Kosovo sign 5G deal

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Thin blue line lining up behind Trump: ‘This is make-or-break for law enforcement’

Quiz: How much do you know about U.S. presidents?

‘America’s Forgotten’: Democrat director discovers horrors of illegal immigration while making film

Quiz: Can you name the actors who played these 1980s TV characters?

North Korea’s tyrant threatens Trump with new ballistic missile capable of targeting U.S.

SPONSORED CONTENT

This unique, American-made survival rifle is perfect for your go-bag

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Everett Piper

Charting the decline of universities: LGBTQ+ sexual ethics fail logic and reason

Scott Walker

What swing voters want in this election

Charles Hurt

Meet the Bidens, the one family who made a fortune in the Obama economy

View all

Question of the Day

Who won the final presidential debate?

Question of the Day

 
Joseph R. Biden

 
Donald J. Trump

 
Tie

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Friday, October 23, 2020

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) – North Macedonia and Kosovo signed an agreement Friday with the United States on high-speed wireless network security aimed at excluding Chinese hardware providers.

The agreement to join the so-called “5G Clean Network Security” nations was signed at ceremonies attended by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev of North Macedonia and Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti of Kosovo, as well as Keith Krach, a U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth.

U.S. government officials have led a campaign across Europe and elsewhere against the inclusion of tech giant Huawei and other Chinese companies in 5G networks. The Trump administration accuses the companies of sharing sensitive data and personal information with China’s security apparatus.

TOP STORIES

Trump says 'Borat' star is 'a creep': 'I don't find him funny'

Texts from Hunter Biden's business partner show Joe Biden involved in China deal talks

Murkowski says she'll vote 'yes' on Judge Barrett's confirmation

China argues that the U.S. initiative is driven by commercial concerns.

Israel drops objection to US sale of ‘certain’ arms to UAE

Israel drops objection to US sale of ‘certain’ arms to UAE

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Thin blue line lining up behind Trump: ‘This is make-or-break for law enforcement’

Quiz: How much do you know about U.S. presidents?

‘America’s Forgotten’: Democrat director discovers horrors of illegal immigration while making film

Quiz: Can you name the actors who played these 1980s TV characters?

North Korea’s tyrant threatens Trump with new ballistic missile capable of targeting U.S.

SPONSORED CONTENT

This unique, American-made survival rifle is perfect for your go-bag

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Everett Piper

Charting the decline of universities: LGBTQ+ sexual ethics fail logic and reason

Scott Walker

What swing voters want in this election

Charles Hurt

Meet the Bidens, the one family who made a fortune in the Obama economy

View all

Question of the Day

Who won the final presidential debate?

Question of the Day

 
Joseph R. Biden

 
Donald J. Trump

 
Tie

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this Aug. 13, 2020 file photo, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces full diplomatic ties will be established with the United Arab Emirates, during a news conference in Jerusalem. Israel says, Friday, Oct. 23, it will not … more >

Print

By JOSEPH KRAUSS

Associated Press

Friday, October 23, 2020

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel said Friday it will not oppose the U.S. sale of “certain weapon systems” to the United Arab Emirates following an agreement with Washington to upgrade its own capabilities in order to preserve its military edge in the Middle East.

The statement released by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz did not specify which weapons systems, but appeared to refer to the possible sale of F-35 stealth fighter jets, which the UAE hopes to obtain following its agreement to normalize ties with Israel.

Gantz’s office declined to elaborate on the statement, which was released late Friday in Israel, when the country is largely shut down for the Jewish Sabbath. There was no immediate comment from the Pentagon.

TOP STORIES

Air Force veteran Aja Smith hopes to be first Black Republican woman from California in Congress

Fox News analyst speculates about 'curious' Wi-Fi outage delaying Biden column

Ga. state rep mocked after apparently confusing Trump's 'coyotes' remark with animal

The statement said Gantz reached “understandings” with the Pentagon during a visit to Washington this week that “will allow the procurement of advanced weapon systems that will significantly upgrade Israel’s military capabilities, maintain its security and its military advantage in the region as well as its qualitative military edge in the coming decades.”

It said Gantz was “notified by the US administration of its plans to notify Congress of its intention to provide certain weapon systems to the UAE.”

“The Prime Minister and the Defense Minister both agree that since the US is upgrading Israel’s military capability and is maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge, Israel will not oppose the sale of these systems to the UAE,” it said.

The UAE agreed to normalize relations with Israel earlier this year, bringing longstanding covert ties into the open in a deal hailed by the U.S. and Israel as an historic breakthrough in Middle East diplomacy. The UAE and Bahrain, which signed a similar normalization agreement, became the third and fourth Arab nations to establish formal diplomatic ties with Israel.

Sudan agreed to normalize ties with Israel earlier on Friday. Egypt and Jordan made peace with Israel decades ago.

Israelis welcomed the agreement with the UAE, which paved the way for the other normalization accords, but word that the U.S. intended to sell F-35s to the Emirates proved controversial.

Netanyahu repeatedly denied there was any link between arms deals and opening ties to the Emirates. That was met with skepticism in Israel, particularly amid accusations that he bypassed Israel’s defense establishment in agreeing to a past German sale of advanced submarines to Egypt.

Critics have accused Netanyahu of lying over a key element that is believed to have clinched the deal for the UAE. Gantz, a political rival who formed a fractious coalition government with Netanyahu last spring, said he was kept in the dark about the UAE deal until the last minute.

Netanyahu said in a statement late Friday that the discussion of arms sales only began after the normalization accords were concluded and that he did not object because the U.S. agreed to upgrade Israel’s own capabilities.

US envoy warns new violence threatens Afghan peace process

US envoy warns new violence threatens Afghan peace process

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Thin blue line lining up behind Trump: ‘This is make-or-break for law enforcement’

Quiz: How much do you know about U.S. presidents?

‘America’s Forgotten’: Democrat director discovers horrors of illegal immigration while making film

Quiz: Can you name the actors who played these 1980s TV characters?

North Korea’s tyrant threatens Trump with new ballistic missile capable of targeting U.S.

SPONSORED CONTENT

You can now own the same rifle that Abraham Lincoln had in the 1860’s

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

David Keene

How the presidential election may be won or lost in the suburbs

Richard W. Rahn

Which candidate do the Chinese and Russians want to win the U.S. presidential election?

Peter Morici

Stick with stocks through the contested election

View all

Question of the Day

Should the FBI reveal what they know about Hunter Biden's laptop?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Afghan security inspects the site of a suicide car bombing in Ghor province western of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Oct. 18. 2020. A suicide car bombing on Sunday killed at least a dozen people and wounded more than 100 others in … more >

Print

By RAHIM FAIEZ

Associated Press

Monday, October 19, 2020

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – The U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan warned Monday that “distressingly high” levels of violence threaten to derail ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Zalmay Khalilzad’s comments come as renewed fighting for days has plagued Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, a longtime Taliban stronghold. The Taliban this Friday agreed to halt its attacks on condition of the U.S. stopping its airstrikes in the area.

But then came a suicide car bombing Sunday that killed at least 13 people and wounded around 120 others in Afghanistan’s western Ghor province. Though no one claimed responsibility for the bombing, suspicion immediately fell on the Taliban.

TOP STORIES

Republican governor to consider new stay-at-home order 'if the numbers dictate it'

Trump campaign launches two-week ad blitz, predicts victory in key states

No Russian conspiracy in Biden laptop scandal: DNI Ratcliffe

“Violence has stalked Afghans for far too long. It has robbed far too many Afghans of their loved ones,” Khalilzad wrote on Twitter. “The tragedy in Ghor today is the most recent example.”

He added: “The belief that says violence must escalate to win concessions at the negotiating table is very risky. Such an approach can undermine the peace process and repeats past miscalculations by Afghan leaders.”

The Taliban offered no immediate reaction to Khalilzad’s tweets. However, it issued a statement Sunday over the U.S. airstrikes targeting Helmand province. The Taliban warned that “all responsibility and consequences from continuation of such actions shall fall squarely on the shoulders of the American side.”

Omer Zwak, a spokesman for Helmand’s provincial governor, said Monday there were still gun battles in a few areas of the province’s Nad Ali and Nawa districts. The Afghan air force separately conducted limited airstrikes to support Afghan forces trying to retake Taliban-held areas, Zwak said.

The fighting has overwhelmed the only emergency hospital in Lashkar Gah, Helmand’s provincial capital, said Marco Puntin, the program coordinator at EMERGENCY, an aid group working there. He said doctors faced those wounded from six-consecutive nights of fighting.

“Most of the patients we are currently admitting to the hospital are victims of bomb attacks and therefore suffer complicated injuries, which require complex surgery and a long hospital stay,” Puntin said in statement. “Civilians are paying the price for this offensive, trapped by the crossfire and often hit by mortars, rockets and grenades.”

The peace talks in Qatar between the Taliban and Afghan government negotiators began in September, but after a ceremonious start they became bogged down, mainly in the minutiae of Islamic jurisprudence. This current round of negotiations come after a deal in February between the U.S. and the Taliban that seeks to end America’s longest war.

Despite the challenges, the ongoing talks represent the most-serious effort yet at ending decades of war in Afghanistan that followed the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that toppled its Taliban government, which then was hosting al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden who planned the Sept. 11 attacks.

Meanwhile, prominent Afghan politician Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who was once designated a militant by the U.S. and who made peace with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government in 2016, arrived in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad for a three-day visit, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Hekmatyar met with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who called for a reduction in violence in Afghanistan, leading to a cease-fire, according to a ministry statement. Hekmatyar was also scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Imran Khan.

US official holds Beirut meetings after Israel-Lebanon talks

US official holds Beirut meetings after Israel-Lebanon talks

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Emboldened Antifa increasingly violent as national profile rises

Quiz: Man-made and natural disasters test

North Korea’s new missile able to target U.S. unveiled to send message to Trump, analysts say

Quiz: Who are these movie villains?

Israel’s unease over F-35 sales to UAE tests new relations

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Scott Walker

Kamala Harris embarrassed herself at VP debate and Barrett confirmation hearings

Daniel N. Hoffman

Beware of hostile regimes weaponizing Trump’s COVID-19 battle

Tammy Bruce

Dems make fools of themselves at Barrett confirmation hearing

View all

Question of the Day

Should the remaining presidential debates be cancelled?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

A UNIFIL Navy ship patrols in the Mediterranean Sea next to a base of the U.N. peacekeeping force, off the southern town of Naqoura, Lebanon, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. Lebanon and Israel are to begin indirect talks Wednesday over their … more >

Print

By

Associated Press

Thursday, October 15, 2020

BEIRUT (AP) – Lebanon’s parliament speaker met Thursday with a visiting U.S. official, a day after Beirut began indirect negotiations with Israel over their disputed maritime border.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker, the top American diplomat for the Middle East, did not speak to reporters after his meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

Berri has been the main Lebanese official dealing with U.S. mediators regarding the dispute with Israel over the past decade.

TOP STORIES

Kamala Harris embarrassed herself at VP debate and Barrett confirmation hearings

Hunter Biden demanded Chinese billionaire pay $10 million for 'introductions alone,' emails show

Twitter locks press secretary Kayleigh McEnany's account

On Wednesday, Schenker attended the opening session of U.S.-mediated talks between Lebanon and Israel in a U.N. compound in the border area known as Ras Naqoura. A joint statement released Wednesday by the U.S. State Department and Jan Kubis, the U.N. special coordinator for Lebanon, said the Israeli and Lebanese teams “held productive talks and reaffirmed their commitment to continue negotiations later this month.”

Israel and Lebanon have no diplomatic relations and are technically in a state of war. They each claim about 860 square kilometers (330 square miles) of the Mediterranean Sea as being within their own exclusive economic zones.

Israel has already developed a natural gas industry elsewhere in its economic waters, and Lebanon hopes oil and gas discoveries in its territorial waters will help it overcome the worst economic and financial crisis in its modern history.

Lebanon’s economic crisis is the result of decades of corruption and mismanagement, but has been dramatically worsened by the coronavirus pandemic as well as a massive blast in Beirut on Aug. 4, which killed and wounded many and caused damage worth billions of dollars.

Schenker visited Beirut after the blast and met members of Lebanon’s civil society. He did not hold talks with politicians at that time.

The international community has said it will not help Lebanon get out of its economic crisis before it implements major reforms, on top of fighting corruption.

President Michel Aoun was scheduled to hold binding consultations with members of parliament on Thursday to name a new prime minister, but postponed it for a week at the last minute.

A top candidate for the post was former Prime Minister Saad Hariri. He resigned in October last year, days after nationwide protests broke out demanding an end to the rule of the political class that’s brought the country to the verge of bankruptcy.

On Wednesday, Hariri failed to win the backing of the two largest Christian blocs in parliament.

US expresses concern over China link to Cambodian base

US expresses concern over China link to Cambodian base

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

How Treasury Dept. tracked overseas cash pocketed by Hunter Biden

Quiz: Do you remember the 2000s?

China ramps up campaign of bribes and economic extortion in global power play

Quiz: Can you pass a U.S. state capitals test?

‘Not plausible’: Flynn-Russian female agent rumor doubted early on by FBI whistleblower

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Michael McKenna

Tracking surveys show presidential race closer than one-off polls suggest

Victor Davis Hanson

Ignoring current problems, California’s Newsom signs illogical reparations bill

Andrew P. Napolitano

Michigan’s Supreme Court liberates citizens from Whitmer’s draconian pandemic orders

View all

Question of the Day

Will Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis impact the election?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Cambodian navy troop members stand on a navy boat at Ream Naval Base in Sihanoukville, southwestern of Phnom Penh, Cambodia on July 26, 2019. Cambodia’s government on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, officially denied suggestions that its demolition of a U.S.-funded … more >

Print

By SOPHENG CHEANG

Associated Press

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) – The United States expressed disappointment Wednesday that Cambodia is tearing down a U.S.-funded building used for a maritime security program, and voiced concern that the action may be linked to the possible use of a Cambodian naval base by China’s military.

“Such a military presence would negatively impact the U.S.-Cambodia bilateral relationship and be disruptive and destabilizing to the Indo-Pacific region,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement distributed Wednesday by the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh.

Controversy over the Ream Naval Base on the Gulf of Thailand erupted more than a year ago, when The Wall Street Journal reported that an early draft of a reputed agreement seen by U.S. officials would allow China 30-year use of the base, where it would be able to post military personnel, store weapons and berth warships.

TOP STORIES

Pelosi: Trump's tweets on coronavirus relief bill are an attempt to reverse 'terrible mistake'

Republican attorneys general slam former colleague Kamala Harris as 'original lawless liberal'

Trump leaves residence, works from Oval Office

The State Department said the U.S. hopes Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen will accept Washington’s offer of a dialogue to discuss how the United States “can support infrastructure at Ream that would benefit an independent Cambodia and all nations supportive of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Washington and Beijing are contending for influence in Southeast Asia. China is Cambodia’s closest political ally and main source of economic support, through aid and investment. Relations between Cambodia and the United States are rocky because of Washington’s criticisms of Hun Sen’s government for being undemocratic.

Concerns about China’s intentions for the area were heightened by a deal that gave a Chinese company control over a large part of the coastline, and construction of an airport on its land that appeared to be designed to accommodate military as well as civilian aircraft.

Hun Sen in June last year responded that China has not been given exclusive rights to use the base, while also saying that warships from all nations, including the United States, are welcome to dock there. He pointed out that Cambodia’s Constitution does not allow foreign military bases to be established on its soil.

However, the issue was resurrected last week with new reports in Western media about satellite photos showing the demolished facility.

Cambodia on Tuesday issued a statement saying that the demolition of the 7-year-old Tactical Command Headquarters at the Ream base and its relocation in a new building elsewhere was a planned upgrade because the existing facility was too small and lacked docking facilities, with limited capacity for training and other activities, It said the new facility would involve no change in function or relationships with foreign partners.

Hun Sen on Wednesday addressed the controversy again. Speaking at a ceremony opening an amusement park, he denied that Cambodia was allowing China to establish a base on its territory. He said that to clarify the issue, he has ordered the state television to rebroadcast, with English subtitles, his speech last year denying that China was being allowed to set up a base.

He also said he had ordered the Foreign Ministry to send an official diplomatic note to all foreign embassies in Cambodia to let them know his government’s position.

China says US has ordered it to close Houston consulate in what it calls a provocation that violates

China says US has ordered it to close Houston consulate in what it calls a provocation that violates

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Eastern Oregon residents eye revolt to join Idaho amid daily protests in Portland

Quiz: Who said these famous quotes in history?

NIH’s ‘Shark Tank’-style competition helps develop rapid coronavirus test

Quiz: Can you pass a European history test?

War footing: Trump takes on Putin, China in international power battle

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Victor Davis Hanson

Why the current cultural revolution isn’t like the ‘60s

Cal Thomas

They’re coming for our guns (really)

Michael McKenna

Progressives must destroy American history to complete their new order revolution

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

BEIJING (AP) – China says US has ordered it to close Houston consulate in what it calls a provocation that violates international law.

US offers $5M bounty for top Venezuela judge, Maduro ally

US offers $5M bounty for top Venezuela judge, Maduro ally

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Eastern Oregon residents eye revolt to join Idaho amid daily protests in Portland

Quiz: Who said these famous quotes in history?

NIH’s ‘Shark Tank’-style competition helps develop rapid coronavirus test

Quiz: Can you pass a European history test?

War footing: Trump takes on Putin, China in international power battle

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Cal Thomas

They’re coming for our guns (really)

Michael McKenna

Progressives must destroy American history to complete their new order revolution

Tammy Bruce

Vandals, Marxists, Antifa lay siege to Portland, while Dems decry federal intervention

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this Jan. 31, 2020 file photo, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, right, speaks with Supreme Court President Maikel Moreno at the Supreme Court in Caracas, Venezuela. Maduro is at the court to give his annual presidential address. On … more >

Print

By

Associated Press

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – The Trump administration offered a $5 million reward Tuesday for information leading to the arrest of the head of Venezuela’s high court, accusing the judge of taking bribes.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Supreme Tribunal of Justice President Maikel Moreno, a close political ally of socialist President Nicolás Maduro, actively participated in transnational organized crime.

Moreno has allegedly received bribes in over 20 criminal and civil court cases, Pompeo said.

TOP STORIES

Black Lives Matter leader Charles Wade charged with sex trafficking

GOP lawmaker tells AOC: 'You are out of your freaking mind'

Bill de Blasio's 'crucial' $52 million coronavirus hospital treated 79 patients

Moreno quickly rejected the reward, saying it was based on lies aimed at undermining him and will only strengthen his “autonomy and independence” as the head of Venezuela’s high court.

“This is not the first time a mouthpiece of the U.S. empire has tried to attack me,” Moreno said in a statement posted on Facebook. “They will never succeed because the independence and sovereignty of our homeland is not up for discussion.”

The Trump administration this year launched a “maximum pressure” campaign to oust Maduro as Venezuela’s economic and social crisis deepens in the once-wealthy oil nation. U.S. officials earlier this year charged Maduro as a narcoterrorist, offering $15 million for his arrest.

Maduro has rejected the U.S. charges against him, saying the are politically motivated.

The White House recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate leader. U.S. federal prosecutors earlier this year charged Moreno with money laundering offenses associated with the bribery.

“The United States continues to stand with the people of Venezuela in their fight against corruption and for the peaceful restoration of democracy,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Seafarers group: Tanker off UAE sought by US ‘hijacked’

Seafarers group: Tanker off UAE sought by U.S. ‘hijacked’

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

Rise of Kim Jong-un’s sister marks increase North Korean cyberattacks

Quiz: Can you pass a U.S. Constitution test?

New St. Andrews College president under fire after ‘we know science’ bathroom video

Quiz: Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

Not so Top Gun: Navy’s newest $13 billion supercarrier plagued by mechanical woes

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Michael McKenna

Expect huge tax increases and a slumping economy if Biden wins

Victor Davis Hanson

NFL fans will not tolerate watching multimillionaires dishonor the flag

Andrew P. Napolitano

A brief history of the freedom of speech in America

View all

Question of the Day

Should schools re-open in the fall?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

BREAKING NEWS BANNER FROM THE WASHINGTON TIMES more >

Print

By Jon Gambrell

Associated Press

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An oil tanker sought by the U.S. over allegedly trying to circumvent sanctions on Iran was hijacked on July 5 off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, a seafarers organization said Wednesday.

Satellite photos showed the vessel in Iranian waters on Tuesday and two of its sailors remained in the Iranian capital.

It wasn’t immediately clear what happened aboard the MT Gulf Sky, though its reported hijacking comes after months of tensions between Iran and the U.S.

TOP STORIES

Black Lives Matter leader Charles Wade charged with sex trafficking

Trump plans to send federal authorities into cities to break up 'war zone' of violence

Cancel culture punishes Goya Foods over pro-Trump remarks; calls for boycott land with a thud

David Hammond, the CEO of the United Kingdom-based group Human Rights at Sea, said he took a witness statement from the captain of the MT Gulf Sky confirming the ship had been hijacked.

Hammond said that 26 of the Indian sailors on board had made it back to India, while two remained in Tehran, without elaborating.

“We are delighted to hear that the crew are safe and well which has been our fundamental concern from the outset,” Hammond told The Associated Press.

Hammond also said that he had no other details on the vessel. TankerTrackers.com, a website tracking the oil trade at sea, said it saw the vessel in satellite photos on Tuesday in Iranian waters off Hormuz Island.

The Emirati government, the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

North Korea says it has no plans for talks with US

North Korea says it has no plans for talks with US

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘Morale is lower with White officers’ in wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

Grim math of the border: Media hypes ‘haunting’ deaths, ignores thousands of rescues

Quiz: Can you match the nickname to the Major League Baseball player?

Benjamin Netanyahu maintaining vow to annex West Bank land by July 1

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Cheryl K. Chumley

America groans under the weight of disunity

Everett Piper

Al Gore, U.N. secretary-general and other elitists call for a ‘great reset’ of the global economy

Robert Knight

Left-wing activist wants to replace ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ with Lennon’s ‘Imagine’

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By KIM TONG-HYUNG

Associated Press

Saturday, July 4, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea on Saturday reiterated it has no immediate plans to resume nuclear negotiations with the United States unless Washington discards what it describes as “hostile” polices toward Pyongyang.

The statement by North Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui came after President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, told reporters in New York Thursday that Trump might seek another summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as an “October surprise” ahead of the U.S. presidential election.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who had lobbied hard to help set up the now-stalled negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang, also expressed hope that Trump and Kim would meet again before the election in a video conference with European leaders on Tuesday.

TOP STORIES

Antifa 'ringleader' arrested in attempted destruction of Andrew Jackson statue: 'They had acid'

Hydroxychloroquine is effective, 'helped save lives,' new peer-reviewed study finds

Barr orders legal action against governors whose COVID-19 actions infringe on civil rights

Kim and Trump have met three times since embarking on their high-stakes nuclear diplomacy in 2018, but negotiations have faltered since their second summit in February last year in Vietnam, where the Americans rejected North Korean demands for major sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capability.

Kim entered 2020 vowing to bolster his nuclear deterrent in face of “gangster-like” U.S. sanctions and pressure. Choe’s statement followed a series of similar declarations by the North that it would no longer gift Trump with high-profile meetings he could boast of as his foreign policy achievements unless it gets something substantial in return.

“Is it possible to hold dialogue or have any dealings with the U.S. which persists in the hostile policy toward the DPRK in disregard of the agreements already made at the past summit?” Choe said, referring to North Korea by its formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“We do not feel any need to sit face-to-face with the U.S., as it does not consider the DPRK-U.S. dialogue as nothing more than a tool for grappling its political crisis,” she said.

Some analysts believe North Korea would avoid serious negotiations with the United States at least until the November presidential election as there’s a chance U.S. leadership could change.

Choe said the North has already established a “detailed strategic timetable” for managing what she described as U.S. threats.

“The U.S. is mistaken if it thinks things like negotiations would still work on us,” she said.

The North in recent months have also been ramping up pressure against South Korea, blowing up an inter-Korean liaison office in its territory and threatening to abandon a bilateral military agreement aimed at reducing tensions. It follows months of frustration over Seoul’s unwillingness to defy U.S.-led sanctions and restart joint economic projects that would breathe life into the North’s broken economy.

The North’s state media on Friday said that Kim, while supervising a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party on Thursday, discussed “import issues related to the external affairs” but didn’t specify what they were.

US to provide Cambodia with $56 million in development aid

US to provide Cambodia with $56 million in development aid

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘A fundamental challenge’: William Barr says U.S. is cracking down on Chinese spying

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

EXCLUSIVE: U.K. assassination attempt reveals illegal Russian chemical weapons push

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Trump says Biden weaker than Hillary Clinton; predicts historic economic recovery

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

David Keene

Rioters who burned police stations and businesses may find their nemesis, Trump, reelected

Peter Morici

Investors that stick with stocks will be rewarded as economy reopens

Everett Piper

Welcome to the neo-Marxist ‘Church of Holy Wokeness’

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

Print

By

Associated Press

Friday, June 26, 2020

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) – The United States has agreed to provide Cambodia with more than $56 million in development assistance, the two countries announced.

The aid provides an opportunity to improve relations between the nations, which are strained because of Washington’s criticism of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government as authoritarian and undemocratic.

After the U.S. judged Cambodia’s 2018 general election to be unfree and unfair, it imposed limited diplomatic and economic sanctions to show its disapproval.

TOP STORIES

Parler topples 'tech tyrant' Twitter in Apple 'News App' store

IG Report confirms Obama lied about Hillary's emails

Facebook moderators brag about deleting pro-Trump posts in Project Veritas sting

The U.S. is also competing with China for influence in Cambodia, where Beijing has its strongest political foothold in Southeast Asia thanks to generous aid and investment and a lack of criticism of Hun Sen’s style of governing.

The joint statement received Friday said $38 million of the aid is for health and education, and about $18 million for agriculture and environmental programs.

It quoted Chin Bun Sean, a government minister and vice chairman of Cambodia‘ state development agency, as saying the agreement signed Thursday “is an important pillar in promoting and strengthening the cooperation and partnership between the two countries.”

The statement said U.S. development assistance to those sectors has totaled more than $253 million since March 2016, and that an additional $11 million was provided to help Cambodia cope with this year’s COVID-19 pandemic.

“The U.S. government is committed to continuing its support to the Cambodian people towards sustainable, inclusive, and equitable socio-economic development,” it quoted U.S. Ambassador W. Patrick Murphy as saying.

US report: Pakistan doing too little to counter terrorism

US report: Pakistan doing too little to counter terrorism

Follow Us




Search
Search Keyword:

Sign Up For Our
Daily Newsletters

Breaking News Alerts
Enter your email address:

Manage Newsletters

Front Page Podcast

Recommended

‘A fundamental challenge’: William Barr says U.S. is cracking down on Chinese spying

Quiz: Do you remember these popular TV couples?

EXCLUSIVE: U.K. assassination attempt reveals illegal Russian chemical weapons push

Best states for concealed carry — ranked worst to first

EXCLUSIVE: Trump says Biden weaker than Hillary Clinton; predicts historic economic recovery

SPONSORED CONTENT

How To: Fix Dark Spots And Uneven Skin Tones

Commentary

Everett Piper

Welcome to the neo-Marxist ‘Church of Holy Wokeness’

Charles Hurt

The Democrats’ ‘Bonfire of Inanities’

Scott Walker

Ignorant rioters take violence to Madison and leftist Democrats do nothing

View all

Question of the Day

Would you vote by mail if given the option?

Question of the Day

 
Yes

 
No

 
Not sure

  View results

Story TOpics

FILE – In this March 1, 2020 file photo, supporters of Pakistani religious group rally to celebrate the signing agreement between United States and Taliban, in Quetta, Pakistan. Washington’s annual terrorism report says Pakistan is doing too little to counter … more >

Print

By KATHY GANNON

Associated Press

Friday, June 26, 2020

ISLAMABAD (AP) – Washington’s annual terrorism report said Pakistan was doing too little to counter terrorist groups, particularly those taking aim at rival India and the dreaded Haqqani network operating in Afghanistan.

Islamabad bristled at the criticism in the U.S. State Department report, saying it has been relentless in its assistance to Washington as the United States brokered a peace deal with the Taliban, which it signed in February. At the time, the deal was touted as Afghanistan’s best chance in four decades of finding a lasting peace.

Amir Rana, executive director of the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, which tracks militant groups, said Friday the report is a warning to Pakistan that it needs to do more to target terrorist financing and dismantle terrorist networks if it wants to avoid being blacklisted by the Financial Action Task Force, the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog based in Paris.

TOP STORIES

William Barr: Geoffrey Berman was an 'interim' U.S. attorney 'living on borrowed time'

Tommy Lee warns 'Trumpsters': 'We are going to pay you back so f-ing hard for all of this'

Christians should destroy all Baphomet statues

Pakistan, which was put on a so-called grey list by the task force in 2018, was given a further reprieve this month to avoid the blacklist by meeting a series of benchmarks set by the task force. If Pakistan is put on a blacklist, its international borrowing would be severely restricted.

“The tone of the report this year was more critical than the previous year’s,” said Rana. “This is a warning that it needs to do more to stay off the blacklist, to dismantle terrorist groups still operating in Pakistan.”

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry in a statement late Thursday called the report disappointing.

Pakistan has arrested some high profile terrorist group leaders, such as Hafiz Saeed, chief of the outlawed Lasjkar-e-Taiba. However, the whereabouts of others, such as Maulana Masood Azhar, the head of Jaish-e-Mohammad, is still unknown, said Rana. That group took responsibility for the devastating 2019 attack on Indian troops in Indian-ruled Kashmir.

More than a dozen Al-Qaida in the Asian Subcontinent operatives have been arrested in Pakistan’s Punjab province in recent months and this week several were sentenced to lengthy prison terms, said Rana. That would indicate Pakistan’s willingness to tackle some of the militant groups in Pakistan.

“While the Report recognizes that Al Qaeda has been seriously degraded in the region, it neglects to mention Pakistan’s crucial role in decimating Al Qaeda , thereby diminishing the threat that the terrorist group once posed to the world,” the Foreign Ministry statement said.

The State Department report called Pakistan’s help in getting a deal with the Taliban “a constructive role.”

Pakistani officials who addressed the report’s finding Friday asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to speak to the media. They said that on the one hand, the U.S. wants Pakistan to break all ties with Afghanistan’s Taliban groups, like the Haqqani network. Yet it wants Islamabad to use its influence to bring that group to the negotiating table.

Rana said it was Pakistan’s decades-old association with the Haqqani network, which dates back to the 1980s invasion of Afghanistan by the former Soviet Union, that helped move U.S. talks with the Taliban forward.

The next stage of the peace deal, which is considered crucial, is negotiations between Afghans on both sides of the conflict. Those negotiations are expected to take place sometime in July in the Middle Eastern State of Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office.