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The Serious Side - part 7

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Post by heartlove on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 00:57

Donnamarie wrote:Sadly annemarie he will blame any American deaths on Obama and Bush and, of course, the Iranians.  He will NEVER take responsibility.  And as usual the Republican Party is standing lockstep with this incompetent ass in supporting the assassination.  His base will blindly cheer him on.  It’s really hard to say at this point how this will affect his winning a second term.  I have to think the situation in the Middle East is going to get worse before it gets better.

Trump has people advising him.  Surely some adviser connected to Bush/Chaney told him this was a good move.  The plan to put the globe in flux using the pagan driven Islamic State and their heathen partners IS NOT NEW.  The goal has been to use pagan driven Islamic State terrorist attacks  to throw global financial markets in flux and attempt to gain a stronghold in Iran.  

I heard after the attack, President Trump spoke to a group of Evangelicals;  the religious right has said for YEARS the United States should NOT be the instigator in the Iran/middle east conflicts. Whoever advised Trump on the attack knew he would lose the trust of Evangelicals.  The attack WILL NOT boost his evangelical base.

I find it interesting U. S. Oil/Corporate Business has been running our economy, elected officials, and network/cable/internet/print... news sources for the last 20 plus years.  You want to dump this mess on President Trump and NOT holding the real culprits accountable.  What happened to Nancy Pelosi and the impeachment?  And where is Congress on the Iran attack? Who is responsible for the second attack that has been reported?

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Post by LizzyNY on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 01:29

You're not hearing about impeachment because drumpf ordering the killing of Suleimani has taken precedence in the media - as it should. The security of our country. has been put in jeopardy by this attack. Impeachment hasn't gone away. It's even possible that drumpf's actions have added ammunition to the impeachment process.

You'll hear more from Congress once the furor over the attack dies down a bit. They will want to know why they weren't informed - or why only some of them have been told why this attack took place. Did drumpf usurp Congress' power? The president isn't supposed to be able to unilaterally start a war. Will this be too much for even some Republicans to take? One can only hope they're waking up.
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Post by heartlove on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 03:44

LizzyNY wrote:You're not hearing about impeachment because drumpf ordering the killing of Suleimani has taken precedence in the media - as it should. The security of our country. has been put in jeopardy by this attack. Impeachment hasn't gone away. It's even possible that drumpf's actions have added ammunition to the impeachment process.

You'll hear more from Congress once the furor over the attack dies down a bit. They will want to know why they weren't informed - or why only some of them have been told why this attack took place. Did drumpf usurp Congress' power? The president isn't supposed to be able to unilaterally start a war. Will this be too much for even some Republicans to take? One can only hope they're waking up.

Right

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Post by annemarie on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 05:24

If Trump were at all competent and gave a damn about the American People he wouldn't have done this. No, his actions were simply ego driven, he would be the hero if he killed this man. Wrong he simply started a war that anyone with a brain could have seen coming if you killed this man. His if they do this we'll top them and do that is childish and ridiculous he is playing with people's lives

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Post by heartlove on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 05:46

annemarie wrote:If Trump were at all competent and gave a damn about the American People he wouldn't have done this. No, his actions were simply ego driven, he would be the hero if he killed this man. Wrong he simply started a war that anyone with a brain could have seen coming if you killed this man. His if they do this we'll top them and do that is childish and ridiculous he is playing with people's lives

Annemarie, is it your opinion no person advised President Trump regarding the attack?  He was just sitting at his desk and said... I think I'll carry out an attack on Iran?   And then ordered it?  And please don't get me started on elected officials playing games with peoples lives Republican and Democrat and the Islamic State murdering people across the globe.

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Post by annemarie on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 10:15

I never said he wasn't advised , I said he was given options and chose that one.

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Post by heartlove on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 14:16

Just to be clear I don't agree with the attack and I believe it has made the globe an unsafer place.  I know trying to gain a stronghold in Iran has been the agenda for many years and involves many players. President Trump is the pawn they're using.

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Post by annemarie on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 14:56

I think It's possible his friend who is a dictator told him to do this. Trump is too dumb to realize that he wants to see America fall . He would listen to a dictator since he has so much respect for them. Iran's ally's are China and Russia.

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Post by heartlove on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 15:09

annemarie wrote:I think It's possible his friend who is a dictator told him to do this. Trump is too dumb to realize that he wants to see America fall . He would listen to a dictator since he has so much respect for them. Iran's ally's are China and Russia.


I doubt it. Clue: one of the first things he did was speak before Evangelicals. Whoever advised him made him believe this would rally his base. I've know for at least 20 years the Evangelical conservative right has preached the U.S. should stay out of Middle East/Iran conflicts. Who ever advised him wanted to weaken his evangelical base.


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Post by annemarie on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 15:17

That is your opinion and that is mine the puppet master wants America destroyed and he may have gotten it done.

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Post by heartlove on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 15:21

annemarie wrote:That is your opinion and that is mine the puppet master wants America destroyed and he may have gotten it done.

Right.    By the way the ones who seem to be benefiting from this move is the pagan driven Islamic State and their heathen driven partners.

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Post by LizzyNY on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 15:51

heartlove - Please stop using the terms "pagan" and "heathen" when referring to people of the Muslim faith. It is disrespectful to millions of decent, peace-seeking believers. When you use such terms to describe them you give them reason to say the same about you - which just increases the hate.

Terrorists do not deserve respect but they are a small segment of the Muslim world.
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Post by heartlove on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 16:12

LIzzy the Islamic State is the name of a terrorist group who believe they have the god given right to go about the world murdering people.  I will not stop using the terms pagan and heathen.  I've been told they are NOT not recognized by the Muslim faith.

By the way, there are pagan/heathen driven Bible Believers who believe they have the Biblical right, Biblical grace, Biblical flexibility, and have been call by god to impose violence to execute moral judgement.  The media defines it as a mass killing-massacre.  Massacre in the Biblical terms is rooted to slaughter i.e., justified killing.  Notice the news media does not define these multiple killings as man-slaughter or murder.  Because in Biblical terms man slaughter and murder is NOT justified killing.

In a lot of religious circles they believe these "mass-killings", murders are God's judgement on what they perceive to be an immoral world.


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Post by party animal - not! on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 16:18

Hi Ladybug. Do you know how the inception of ISIS came about?

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Post by heartlove on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 16:25

party animal - not! wrote:Hi Ladybug. Do you know how the inception of ISIS came about?

I, like you thought the same thing. I was schooled the terrorist group is NOT connected to the organized Islamic religion.

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Post by annemarie on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 16:47

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7856463/Iranian-adviser-drops-chilling-hint-attacks-Trump-properties.html

[size=34]Mar-a-Lago in the firing line: Iranian presidential adviser posts list of Donald Trump's properties in chilling hint of an attack on his real estate empire - after Iran put an $80million bounty on his head[/size]


  • Hesameddin Ashena linked to an article listing properties owned by Trump

  • It included Trump Tower in New York as well as his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida  

  • The adviser said that Tehran's 'sole problem is Trump' rather than Americans

  • Iran has vowed revenge after the death of Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike 

  • Trump has warned of 'disproportionate' retaliation including on cultural sites 


By TIM STICKINGS FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 07:39 EST, 6 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:20 EST, 6 January 2020

     



An adviser to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani last night dropped a chilling hint of an attack on Donald Trump's property empire in revenge for the death of military commander Qassem Soleimani. 
Hesameddin Ashena shared a link to a Forbes article listing all of Trump's properties in New York, his hotels and resorts across America and golf courses in the US and Britain.
The list included the Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where the president was staying when he ordered the hit on Soleimani, as well as the Trump International Hotels in Washington and Las Vegas and his New York tower with its Fifth Avenue entrance.  
Iran has already threatened the White House and the Rouhani adviser declared yesterday that Tehran's 'sole problem is Trump' rather than the American people - dropping another hint of a direct reprisal against him. 

Tehran has sworn revenge for Soleimani's death and yesterday announced it was abandoning its remaining nuclear limits under the 2015 deal. 
Today Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wept over Soleimani's coffin as hundreds of thousands joined a funeral march in Tehran. 
Speaking to the crowds, the military commander's daughter Zeinab declared that 'families of U.S. soldiers in the Middle East will spend their days waiting for the death of their children'. 
Trump has threatened his own retaliation if Iran hits US targets, warning of a 'disproportionate response' including cultural sites. 
Today the president vowed in a capital-letters tweet that 'IRAN WILL NEVER HAVE A NUCLEAR WEAPON' despite Tehran's latest move away from the nuclear deal.   
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In the firing line? Donald Trump's resort at Mar-a-Lago, Florida (pictured), where he was holidaying when he ordered the hit against Soleimani  
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Hesameddin Ashena shared a link to a Forbes article listing all of Trump's properties in New York, including these four Manhattan skyscrapers 
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The tweet by an Iranian presidential adviser made a veiled threat against Trump Organization properties including a series of Trump International hotels (pictured) 
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The Mar-a-Lago estate where Trump spent the Christmas holidays is also on the list, along with a winery in Virginia and golf courses in America, Britain and Ireland
With tensions mounting today:


  • Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif mocked Trump by boasting about the 'sea of humanity' at Soleimani's funeral; 
  • Trump defended his plans to target 52 cultural sites in Iran despite Democratic claims that he was preparing to commit war crimes; 
  • The president warned of sanctions against Iraq over its plans to expel US troops, but Germany called the threats 'unhelpful'; 
  • A former head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards threatened to turn the Israeli cities of Haifa and Tel Aviv 'to dust'; 
  • Oil prices jumped to their highest level since September, surpassing $70 per barrel, amid fears that Iran could harass ships in the Strait of Hormuz. 


'We have ZERO problems with the American people. We even achieved deals with previous US administrations,' Rouhani's adviser Ashena said on Twitter last night. 
'Our sole problem is Trump. In the event of war, it is he who will bear full responsibility.' 
The list of properties on the article he shared included Trump Tower as well as other New York City residences including Trump Parc East. 
Elsewhere in America, the properties include hotels in Washington, Chicago and Las Vegas as well as a winery in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

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The Mar-a-Lago estate where Trump spent the Christmas holidays is also on the list, along with golf courses in Britain and Ireland. 
The location of the properties is no secret, and many of them are named after Trump, but the post by a senior Iranian adviser was a clear hint of a possible strike against Trump's real estate empire. 
Ashena has previously spoken of 'unseating' Trump from office, writing in July that 'we'll make sure he stays a one-term President' if he continued to listen to Mike Pompeo. 
'We have unseated an American President in the past. We can do it again,' he said, presumably referring to Jimmy Carter who was brought low by the Iran hostage crisis which began in 1979.  
One Iranian MP has already threatened explicitly to target the White House, warning of an attack on the US mainland in retaliation for Soleimani's death. 
'We can attack the White House itself, we can respond to them on the American soil,' Abolfazl Aboutorabi told a session of parliament.  
[size=18]Thousands take to Baghdad streets for Soleimani funeral procession




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A 2014 file photo shows the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Manhattan, New York City
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The Trump International Hotel in Washington, which was once the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue
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Headquarters: The Fifth Avenue entrance of Trump Tower, the headquarters of the Trump Organization and the president's 2020 re-election campaign 
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Pictured: A 2015 file photo of the Trump hotel and tower in Las Vegas 
One funeral organiser has called on every Iranian to donate money towards an $80million bounty on Trump's head, according to Iranian television. 
Among a series of Iranian threats, Soleimani's daughter Zeinab directly threatened an attack on U.S. forces in the region as she spoke to wailing crowds in Tehran.  
'The families of U.S. soldiers in the Middle East will spend their days waiting for [the] death of their children,' she said to cheers today. 
Warning of a 'dark day' looming for the United States, she said: 'Crazy Trump, don't think that everything is over with my father's martyrdom.' 
Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif today shared pictures of the huge 'sea of humanity' at the funeral - taunting Trump who is famously attentive to crowd sizes. 
'Do you still want to listen to the clowns advising you on our region?,' he asked. 'And do you still imagine you can break the will of this great nation and its people?'  
Esmail Qaani, who has succeeded Soleimani as commander of the Revolutionary Quards' powerful Quds Force, also swore revenge in an interview with state TV which was aired today. 
'God the almighty has promised to get his revenge, and God is the main avenger. Certainly actions will be taken,' he said. 
'We promise to continue down martyr Soleimani's path as firmly as before with help of God, and in return for his martyrdom we aim to get rid of America from the region.' 
A former head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards also threatened on Sunday to turn the Israeli cities of Haifa and Tel Aviv 'to dust' if the US attacks targets in Iran. 
[size=18]Who was powerful Iranian general Qassem Soleimani?




Loa
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Pictured: Par 3, 15th hole on the Ailsa Course at the Trump Turnberry Resort on July 15, 2019 in Turnberry, Scotland
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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (fourth from left) wept over the remains of Qassem Soleimani as thousands of mourners gathered in Tehran for the second day of the general's funeral
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Hesameddin Ashena (left) last night dropped a chilling hint of an Iranian attack on Donald Trump 's property empire after the death of military commander Qassem Soleimani (right)
The head of the Guard's aerospace program, Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, suggested Iran's response wouldn't stop with a single attack. 
'Firing a couple of missiles, hitting a base or even killing Trump is not valuable enough to compensate for martyr Soleimani's blood,' Hajizadeh said on state TV. 
'The only thing that can compensate for his blood is the complete removal of America from the region and taking away their evil from the oppressed people of the region.' 
In a more bizarre pronouncement, cleric Shahab Moradi said Iran could not strike back in kind because all of America's 'heroes' were fictional characters. 
'Think about it. Are we supposed to take out Spider-Man and SpongeBob?,' he wondered aloud on Iranian TV.  
Nonetheless, American forces are braced for a real-life retaliation and the US-led coalition against ISIS said in a statement yesterday that it was pausing its fight against the jihadists to shore up its own defences.
There are also fears that Iran will harass shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, which is critical to the world's oil supply. 
The global benchmark for crude oil rose above $70 a barrel on Monday for the first time in over three months.  
In a series of sabre-rattling tweets, Trump has warned that the US will 'quickly and fully strike back, and perhaps in a disproportionate manner' if Iran aims fire at US targets.  
Talking to reporters aboard Air Force One as he returned to Washington last night, Trump stood by his targeting of cultural sites despite claims of potential war crimes.
'They're allowed to kill our people. They're allowed to torture and maim our people. They're allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we're not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn't work that way,' Trump said. 
Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren, who is running for her party's presidential nomination, said Trump was 'threatening to commit war crimes'.
The president's critics have also accused him of launching the attack on Soleimani to boost his popularity before he faces an impeachment trial in the coming weeks. 
In Britain, a spokesman for prime minister Boris Johnson issued a warning over Trump's plans, saying there were international conventions in place to stop the destruction of cultural heritage. 
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Mourners gather in Tehran to pay their respects to a military commander who was hailed as a hero by many Iranians 
[size=18]Ali Khamenei prays and weeps over coffin of Qassem Soleimani




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Protesters staged a symbolic 'execution' of a Donald Trump effigy during the funeral ceremony of Qassem Soleimani
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The Rouhani adviser declared yesterday that Tehran's 'sole problem is Trump' rather than the American people (Trump is pictured on Friday after Soleimani's death was announced) 
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Hesameddin Ashena shared a link to a Forbes article listing nine of Trump's properties in New York as well as hotels and golf courses elsewhere in America
Trump has also warned he will demand billions of dollars in compensation from Iran's neighbour Iraq or impose 'sanctions like they've never seen before' if Baghdad goes through with expelling U.S. troops - which could spark an ISIS resurgence. 
The sanctions would make those on Iran look 'tame', Trump said, adding: 'We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that's there... we're not leaving unless they pay us back for it.' 
Today German foreign minister Heiko Maas said threatening Iraq was 'not very helpful'. Germany has a small contingent of troops there training Iraqi forces. 
Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport on Friday. 
His remains were flown back to Iran last night, carried in a cardboard box which had its own row of seats on a passenger jet.  
Tensions between Iran and the West had been ratcheting up for months, peaking last summer when a series of Gulf tankers were hit by mysterious explosions which Washington blamed on Iran.  
The last straw was an attack by a pro-Iran mob on the US embassy in Baghdad this week, where demonstrators burned the entrance to the compound and besieged diplomats inside.  
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Iranians carry the coffin during the funeral ceremony of Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Forces, who was killed in a U.S. drone airstrike in Iraq
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Soleimani's successor Esmail Qaani cries over the coffin of his assassinated predecessor during the funeral in Tehran today
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A tearful Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (left) prayed over the remains of Qassem Soleimani as hundreds of thousands of mourners gathered in Tehran for the second day of the general's funeral today
In a further sign of tension, Iran yesterday abandoned the remaining limits of its 2015 nuclear deal in response to the airstrike.  
Under the deal, Tehran had pledged to reduce its nuclear capacities for several years, including by capping its enrichment of uranium at 3.67 percent, far below the more than 90 percent required for a nuclear weapon. 
Iran has already overstepped some of the limits since Trump pulled out of the deal last year, which include restrictions on Iran's supply of centrifuges and the level to which uranium can be enriched. 
Tehran insisted that it remains open to negotiations with European countries and maintains that it is not seeking a nuclear weapon. 
Russia today urged parties to the Iran nuclear deal to treat salvaging the agreement as a 'priority', calling on European partners to fulfil their obligations. 
Germany also joined France and Britain in urging Iran to refrain from taking 'further violent actions or support for them'.
'It is crucial now to de-escalate,' Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Boris Johnson said in a joint statement last night. 
EU foreign ministers will hold emergency talks on the Iran crisis on Friday, diplomats said today. 
The United Nations' atomic watchdog agency says its inspectors are continuing to monitor and verify Iran's nuclear activities. 
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Iranians set a US and Israeli flag on fire during Monday's funeral procession for military commander Qasem Soleiman
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The flag-draped coffin of Qassem Soleimani is passed over the heads of mourners at his funeral in the centre of Tehran today
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Mourning: Thousands of people gathered in Tehran for the second day of Qassem Soleimani's funeral after he was killed in a US drone strike on Friday 

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Post by annemarie on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 16:49

This is terrifying for me, my daughters office is next to one of his buildings down town.

I hope and pray our agencies can protect us all.

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Post by party animal - not! on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 17:18

Well,ladybug, that's not what I asked you, and as it turns out, that is wrong. 

Explain a bit more to me. Which university did you go to?

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Post by party animal - not! on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 17:22

Annemarie, can your daughter work from home? That would be one solution and it happens a lot here. I imagine her work security would be aware of everything and have procedures in place. In London all the companies have a drill and go into lockdown and help the employees move out of the area.....

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Post by heartlove on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 17:24

party animal - not! wrote:Well,ladybug, that's not what I asked you, and as it turns out, that is wrong. 

Explain a bit more to me. Which university did you go to?

PAN, what did you ask me and what's wrong?

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Post by party animal - not! on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 17:35

I think you might need to look at the facts about how ISIS came about....

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Post by LizzyNY on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 17:46

Annemarie - Between the NYPD and Homeland Security I think the city is fairly safe. Since 9/11 most buildings have emergency plans to deal with threats so I don't think there's an imminent danger. For the forseeable future your daughter should be fairly safe at work. If she's really worried she could do as PAN suggests and ask if she can work from home.

That said, if I was a tenant of a drumpf property I'd be out of there like a shot! It will be interesting to see if this has an impact on the occupancy of his properties.


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Post by heartlove on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 17:49

party animal - not! wrote:I think you might need to look at the facts about how ISIS came about....

What's the best book to read on the subject?

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Post by annemarie on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 17:50

True I'm mom and I worry she said this morning before she left she wasn't wearing heels and new exactly where the stairs were . She said in case of anything she was leaving the building.

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Post by annemarie on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 17:51

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7856447/For-U-S-Democrats-little-recourse-Trump-Iran-actions.html

[size=34]House Democrats will introduce war powers resolution to force Donald Trump to END military action in Iran within 30 days—but Republican Senate shows no sign of agreeing[/size]


  • Nancy Pelosi announced the House will introduce a War Powers Resolution

  • It would stop Donald Trump from taking military action in Iran within 30 days

  • The resolution, however, is likely to die in the Republican-controlled Senate 

  • Democrats also expressed concern that Trump did not inform Congress before carrying out an airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani on Friday

  • Trump said his Twitter activity should act as his notification to Congress 

  • Chuck Schumer and Robert Menendez also demanded Trump declassify his congressional notification, which was sent after the attack

  • The strike was a continuation of an escalation of tensions between Iran and the U.S. following a breach of the U.S. Embassy in Iraq by pro-Iranian demonstrators 

  • Since Friday, Washington and Tehran have been in a war of words 


By KATELYN CARALLE, U.S. POLITICAL REPORTER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and REUTERS
PUBLISHED: 06:01 EST, 6 January 2020 | UPDATED: 12:13 EST, 6 January 2020

     



Nancy Pelosi announced Sunday night that the House would introduce a War Powers Resolution this week to limit Donald Trump's ability to take military action following the attack that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.
'[The resolution] reasserts Congress's long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further Congressional action is taken, the Administration's military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days,' Pelosi wrote in a dear colleague letter Sunday.
Democratic leaders expressed outrage over the weekend for the president's failure to notify Congress ahead of the strike on Soleimani, a top Iranian military commander who was classified as a terrorist during the Obama administration.
'As Members of Congress, our first responsibility is to keep the American people safe,' The House Speaker continued in her letter. 'For this reason, we are concerned that the Administration took this action without the consultation of Congress and without respect for Congress's war powers granted to it by the Constitution.'

Even if the resolution succeeded in the House, the chances are slim to none that the Republican-controlled Senate would vote to limit Trump's powers.  
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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Sunday in a letter to Democratic colleagues that they would introduce a War Powers Resolution this week to limit Donald Trump's military action in Iran
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'[The resolution] reasserts Congress's long-established oversight responsibilities by mandating that if no further Congressional action is taken, the Administration's military hostilities with regard to Iran cease within 30 days,' Pelosi wrote in her letter
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Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that if Iran retaliates against the U.S. he will take 'disproportionate' action against them. He also said he did not need to notify Congress if he decides to issue another attack 
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Trump warned on Saturday that he would target 52 Iranian sites if Tehran decided to retaliate against the airstrikes
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The resolution comes after Trump ordered an airstrike on an airport in Baghdad, Iraq that took out Iranian General Qassem Soleimani (pictured). Democrats lament Trump did not notify Congress of the military action before it was carried out
[size=10][size=18]House to vote to limit Trump's military actions after airstrike




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The resolution introduction comes after Trump directed an airstrike on an airport in Baghdad, Iraq, killing Soleimani. The attacked followed a raid on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, which has never been breached before, on New Years Eve by protesters who support Iran-backed Shia militia amid growing escalations between the U.S. and Iran.
Lawmakers and politicians lament that the president did not inform Congress of the planned attack, but the president asserted Sunday he did not have to tell Congress.
'These Media Posts will serve as notification to the United States Congress that should Iran strike any U.S. person or target, the United States will quickly & fully strike back, & perhaps in a disproportionate manner. Such legal notice is not required, but is given nevertheless!' Trump tweeted over the weekend.
Lawmakers have few options for tamping down any escalation by the president.
As members of Congress return to Capitol Hill Monday from their year-end holiday recess, Democrats said they will attempt quickly to pass legislation to bar him - or any future U.S. commander-in-chief - from conducting a campaign against Iran without obtaining Congress' approval. 
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Thousands gathered in Tehran for Soleimani's funeral, where his coffin and others who were killed in the drone strike, were processed on a truck through the city
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Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (left) wept as he recites a prayer in front of the coffin of General Soleimani during a funeral procession in Tehran Monday
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The processions marks the first time Iran has honored a single man with a multi-city ceremony since the funeral of Islamic Republic founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989 
Pelosi said the Democratic-led chamber would introduce and vote this week on a War Powers Resolution that would force Trump to stop military action against Iran within 30 days.
The resolution is being led by Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, a former CIA and Department of Defense analyst who specialized in in Shia militias.
The resolution, however, is expected to fail with little inclinations that the Republican-controlled Senate would stray from Trump.
Longtime foes Tehran and Washington have been in a war of words since Soleimani was killed on Friday, with Iran vowing retaliating against the U.S.
On Sunday, Trump doubled down on his threats to target Iran for any retaliatory attacks and Iran said it was stepping back from commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal with six major powers.
Trump broke precedent when he didn't notify congressional leaders before the attack on Soleimani.
Under the U.S. War Powers Act, the president must inform Congress within 48 hours of introducing military forces into armed conflict abroad. Those notifications normally detail the justification for the intervention.
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (left) and Democratic Senator Bob Menendez (right) sent a letter to Trump demanding he declassify the notification he sent to Congress following the attack 
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'It is critical that national security matter of such import be shared with the American people in a timely manner,' they wrote


He also classified his formal notification to Congress of the attack on Saturday.
Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, told The Washington Post in an article published Monday that he wants the House hold open hearings on multiple aspects of this spiraling situation in Iranian-U.S. relations.
'I think there should be open hearings on this subject,' Schiff said. 'The president has put us on a path where we may be at war with Iran. That requires the Congress to fully engage.'
Schiff is helping lead the House leading impeachment efforts against the president – and several Democratic lawmakers have not ruled out the possibility that the situation could bring about even another article of impeachment against Trump on top of the two already levied against him.
Senator Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat who serves as the minority leader, and Robert Menendez of New Jersey sent a letter to Trump Sunday asking him to declassify the war powers notification following the attack.
'It is critical that national security matters of such import be shared with the American people in a timely manner,' they wrote. 'An entirely classified notification is simply not appropriate in a democratic society, and there appears to be no legitimate justification for classifying the notification.'
The War Powers Act also bars a president from committing U.S. armed forces from any foreign action lasting more than 60 days without Congress' approval.
By making the War Powers notification classified, Trump limited lawmakers' ability to talk about it, and sidestepped the law's goal of keeping Americans informed about military action, some legal experts said.
The War Powers Act was passed in 1973, largely in response to President Richard Nixon's secret bombing of Cambodia.
Congress' main power over the president is its control of federal spending, and the Democratic-controlled House could pass legislation that would bar Trump from spending any taxpayer dollars on a conflict with Iran.
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Donald Trump said in a tweet Sunday that his words should serve as his official notification to Congress that he will take action
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The House Foreign Affairs Committee responded to Trump's tweet, telling him to look at the War Powers Act. 'You're not a dictator,' the account for the panel wrote
However, Republicans removed a similar measure from the annual National Defense Authorization Act last year before it was passed with overwhelming support from both parties and signed into law by Trump last month.
Congress can also put pressure on a president by refusing to pass bills he supports, and the Senate could block his nominees. But Senate Republicans have shown little appetite for opposing Trump.
The Democratic-led House impeachment of Trump has led his party to rally more closely around him, further complicating efforts to rein him in on Iran.
Administration officials are expected to brief Congress on Iran this week. Lawmakers said they want a detailed explanation of the administration's justification for the strike against Soleimani, as well as future plans.
Rep. Slotkin noted that past administrations had decided not to go after Soleimani after determining it could lead to a protracted conflict.
'The Iranian government has vowed to retaliate and avenge Soleimani's death, and could do so in any number of ways,' she said on Twitter.

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Post by heartlove on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 18:33

I wonder what he could do in 30 days?

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Post by annemarie on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 18:38

He can definitely cause more trouble. He is an idiot who seems to think this is a game you do this and I'll out do you.

The people that can stop him  won't because they lose their voters and their money they are making from all the things they are

doing.

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Post by heartlove on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 18:48

Right

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Post by party animal - not! on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 18:49

Yep, he's a bully and a cheat and has always got his own way.

According to this, he has played golf 242 times (so far) and it has cost the nation $120, 000,000 so far....................

https://trumpgolfcount.com/

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Post by LizzyNY on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 18:59

If only all he did was play golf we might survive his presidency. Unfortunately he also tweets!

(I know this is the wrong place to ask, but Luddite that I am I'm asking for help. I want to post a video from YouTube to January chit chat but can't seem to get it right. HELP!!)
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Post by annemarie on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 19:12

Hey Lizzy try this, go to the video click on it when it comes up copy the link at the top of the video then go to chit chat and paste it.

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Post by LizzyNY on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 19:33

Annemarie - that's the part that keeps messing me up - the going from one site to the other. Anyway, I did it the hard way and just typed in the YouTube address in my post on Jan. chit chat.

I was really thinking of you when I posted these clips. They're funny and  I thought they might cheer you up and take away a little of the worry you're feeling. Please take a look.
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Post by Way2Old4Dis on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 21:16

party animal - not! wrote:Yep, he's a bully and a cheat and has always got his own way.

According to this, he has played golf 242 times (so far) and it has cost the nation $120, 000,000 so far....................

https://trumpgolfcount.com/

Turns out, that $120M figure is low. That's for travel, lodging, and staffing, a bunch of which goes into the tRump plunder coffers. It does not include the 'secret' costs of the trips. Every time the Orange Menace takes one of these holidays, there are days of security sweeps, sniper preps, diversionary planning (for instance, there is a decoy limo -- which means two limos airlifted to the site, BTW), medical contingencies, and the like.

He'll be the cause of future Presidents having a cap on taxpayer-funded vacation expenses.

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Post by LizzyNY on Mon 06 Jan 2020, 22:08

What really ticks me off is that he makes money off all this. IMO if they're staying at one of his properties the Secret Service and all the security personnel should stay for free - and drumpf should be billed for any extra expenses incurred. The only time, in my opinion, that Mr. Billionaire should be recompensed is when he's traveling on the country's business - not when he's vacationing. Why should we pay for his vacations if we can barely pay for our own?
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Post by party animal - not! on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 00:00

..And now, put simply, he has got rid of the Iran Shia general who fought ISIS or Daesh for America and helped them in Iraq for a while...

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Post by annemarie on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 00:17

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7857097/Trump-accuses-Dems-pursuing-impeachment-moment-history-busy.html

[size=34]Donald Trump accuses Democrats of pursuing his impeachment 'at this moment in our history, when I am so busy' - a day after Elizabeth Warren asked whether he ordered Qassem Soleimani's death as a distraction[/size]


  • Donald Trump blasted Democrats Monday for the timing of impeachment, in an apparent reference to the mounting Iran crisis

  • 'The great Scam continues,' he wrote on Twitter Monday. 'To be spending time on this political Hoax at this moment in our history, when I am so busy, is sad!'

  • The criticism came after Elizabeth Warren suggested Sunday that Trump's actions were made to be a distraction from impeachment 

  • 'We know Donald Trump is very upset about this upcoming impeachment trial. But look at what he's doing now. He is taking us to the edge of war,' she said 

  • Meanwhile Nancy Pelosi said she would introduce a resolution to limit Trump's ability to wage war on Iran

  • But the Republican Senate is highly unlikely to do the same, making it a symbolic gesture by Democrats

  • Trump directed the attack that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani Friday; the designated terrorist's funeral in Tehran Monday drew a crowd of 1 million

  • Trump threatened over the weekend to target 52 Iranian sites if they retaliated against the airstrike

  • In retaliation, Iran tweeted a list of the president's personal properties including Mar-a-Lago which he left on Sunday night after a two-week vacation 


By KATELYN CARALLE, U.S. POLITICAL REP

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Post by annemarie on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 00:25

https://www.voanews.com/middle-east/voa-news-iran/trump-threat-destroy-iranian-cultural-sites-condemned-internationally


[size=42]Trump Threat to Destroy Iranian Cultural Sites Condemned Internationally
By Steve Herman
Updated January 06, 2020 05:43 PM


The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 000_1NG8YC

FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in Miami, Florida, Jan. 3, 2020.

WHITE HOUSE - Threats by U.S. President Donald Trump to destroy Iranian cultural sites are generating widespread international condemnation and accusations it would be a war crime.
It is also seen as a reversal of an American code of conduct dating back to the Civil War administration of Abraham Lincoln.
"The history of the American military of protecting cultural sites when possible, goes back over 150 years. The military and the United States, more broadly, is rightly proud of that," according to Depaul University Law Professor Patty Gerstenblith, director of the school's Center for Art, Museum and Cultural Heritage Law.
"Both at the U.S. national level and internationally, the thought of using an attack on cultural heritage as a form of retaliation and reprisal — which is what this would be — is really abhorrent," Gerstenblith, a former chair of the President's Cultural Property Advisory Committee in the Obama administration, told VOA.
 Some of the criticism of Trump's threats is coming from among America's closest allies.
"We've been very clear that cultural sites are protected under international law and we would expect that to be respected," said British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab.


The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 E31249e3b9b1ab348a5885c31cc61ae1

Mourners attend a funeral ceremony for Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and his comrades, who were killed in Iraq in a U.S. drone strike on Friday, at the Enqelab-e-Eslami (Islamic Revolution) square in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 6, 2020.
Speaking to reporters Sunday evening on Air Force One, Trump doubled down on an earlier tweeted threat to attack sites of cultural importance if Tehran retaliates for last week's lethal strike by a U.S. military drone on Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, who was blamed for numerous terrorist attacks internationally.   
"They're allowed to kill our people," said the president during the flight to Joint Base Andrews in Maryland from Florida. "They're allowed to torture and maim our people. They're allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people and we're not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn't work that way."
Opposition to threat
A former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said he believes such attacks by the United States would violate international law.
"We would incur the wrath of the international community if we did so and potentially put such targets in the United States at risk from attack by sleeper cells," Clapper told VOA. "I'm sure his list of targets is news to the Pentagon, whom I'm sure has done no serious planning for such targets."


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FILE - Then-Director of National Security James Clapper testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Feb. 2, 2012.
Before becoming DNI under former President Barack Obama, Clapper served as under-secretary of defense for intelligence in two different administrations.
Clapper said attacking cultural targets "would only serve to heighten the emotions of the Iranians, and, ironically, galvanize them to support the regime — the exact antithesis of what we've allegedly been pursuing with our 'maximum pressure' campaign, which has shown itself to be an abject failure."
A former senior director of the White House situation room agreed.
"This can only increase the threat to Americans. When the U.S. President makes it open season on cultural sites, he offers false justification to adversaries to do the same," Larry Pfeiffer, also a former chief of staff to the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, told VOA.
"These threats sound like something that would be issued by an autocratic regime like North Korea," added Pfeiffer, director of the Hayden Center for Intelligence, Policy and International Security at George Mason University. "This is not how America should behave and likely would violate international conventions and norms. This is what the Taliban did to universal condemnation. And this targeting makes it difficult for our western allies to support U.S. goals."
The Taliban, while in power in Afghanistan in 2001, dynamited giant Buddha statues that dated back to the 6th century.
"Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo said yesterday that we will be within the law, and I think that Iran has many military, strategic military sites, that you may cite are also cultural sites," Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, told White House reporters on Monday.
Asked if she was accusing the Iranians of camouflaging military equipment within cultural sites, Conway replied: "No, I wouldn't say that," before adding, "I mean, maybe. Who knows?"
'War crime'
The Hague Convention recognizes situations where an attack on cultural property may be lawful, such as when the site has been turned into a military objective and an attack would be required by "imperative military necessity," according to international law experts.
The law, however, prohibits the destruction of cultural property as a means of intimidating people under occupation or as a reprisal, as is implied by Trump's statements, according to scholars.
Iran foreign minister, Javad Zarif, tweeted on Sunday "targeting cultural sites is a WAR CRIME."

[/size]
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Javad Zarif

✔@JZarif





[ltr]-Having committed grave breaches of int'l law in Friday's cowardly assassinations, @realdonaldtrump threatens to commit again new breaches of JUS COGENS;

-Targeting cultural sites is a WAR CRIME;

-Whether kicking or screaming, end of US malign presence in West Asia has begun.[/ltr]




13.4K
3:43 AM - Jan 5, 2020
Twitter Ads info and privacy

[ltr]



[/ltr]


During a Monday meeting between the director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Audrey Azoulay, and Iranian Ambassador Ahmad Jalali, the U.N. agency head noted both the United States and Iran had ratified two legal instruments protecting world cultural sites in armed conflict.
Azoulay also pointed out that U.N. members in 2017 unanimously approved a resolution condemning acts of destruction of cultural heritage.
Trump's administration withdrew the United States from UNESCO in 2018.
An al-Qaida-linked extremist was convicted of war crimes in 2016 by the International Criminal Court for destroying historic and religious artifacts in Mali.
The United States, however, does not recognize the jurisdiction of the court based in The Hague.
WWII targets
In the closing days of the Second World War, the U.S. military placed Japan's former capital of Kyoto at the top of its list to be the target for the first atomic bombing.
Secretary of War Henry Stimson persuaded President Harry Truman to spare the city dotted with thousands of sites of religious and cultural importance.
Stimson, in his diary, recalled telling Truman in July of 1945 he "did not want to have the United States get the reputation of outdoing [Nazi party leader Adolf] Hitler in atrocities."
The Allies, months earlier, conducted a heavy bombardment of Dresden, a German cultural landmark. Military officers defended the raids, noting the city's major rail hub, communications centers and 100-plus factories in support of the Axis war effort.
A special U.S. Army unit during the war in Europe sought to redirect Allied bombing raids away from German cathedrals and recovered thousands of valuable items of art looted by the Nazis.
Their mission was dramatized in a 2014 movie "The Monuments Men," starring George Clooney.
Gerstenblith, author of "Art, Cultural Heritage, and the Law," said she hopes Trump will take inspiration from the tradition of "The Monuments Men" and that his threats to destroy artifacts of history will turn out to be "just bluster."
Asked on Monday by a reporter at the Pentagon whether the United States would strike cultural sites in Iran, Defense Secretary Mark Esper replied, "We will follow the laws of armed conflict."
Jeff Seldin, Patsy Widakuswara and Carla Babb contributed to this report.

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Post by Donnamarie on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 00:29

Since Trump came into office experts have wondered how he would handle a serious international crisis. Well now we know. Not only has he blown it he actually created it too ... a twofer.

I don’t know whether or not to believe Iranian officials when they say that when they strike it will be a US military site. I’m not sure we can believe what they say but it might reassure annemarie about anything happening in NYC.
But if Trump attacks Iranian cultural sites, which are off limits according to international law, all bets could be off.

Trump did this for his ego. He was looking weak on the international stage and wanted to show the world what he was capable of doing. I’m not convinced that he thought he could change the subject from impeachment. Even if the newspaper headlines changed it was only for a day or two. Big impeachment talk today as John Bolton says he is willing to testify during the Senate trial.

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Post by LizzyNY on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 01:08

Donnamarie - It's easy for Bolton to say he'll testify if the Senate subpoenas him because he knows they won't. McConnell has already said he won't call any witnesses.
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Post by Donnamarie on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 03:44

You’re right. Bolton could easily be trying to pull a fast one to make himself at least look like he wants to cooperate. No one knows his motivation right now.

It has been suggested that possibly the House could reissue their subpoena to Bolton and have him come to the House committee to testify. I don’t know how realistic that scenario is but would like to see if Bolton would refuse the House subpoena.
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Post by annemarie on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 10:48

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7859901/Benjamin-Netanyahu-distances-Israel-airstrike-General-Soleimani.html

[size=34]Benjamin Netanyahu distances Israel from US airstrike on General Soleimani and tells his ministers they should 'stay out of it'[/size]


  • America killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike in Iraq last week 

  • Iran promised 'crushing revenge' starting Tuesday when mourning period ends 

  • Israel initially praised Trump for 'strong action' and said it stands alongside US

  • But Netanyahu has now told security cabinet that country should 'stay out of it' 


By CHRIS PLEASANCE FOR MAILONLINE 
PUBLISHED: 03:46 EST, 7 January 2020 | UPDATED: 03:54 EST, 7 January 2020

     


Benjamin Netanyahu has told his security cabinet that Israel should 'stay out of' any fallout sparked by the killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani.
The Israeli Prime Minister told top ministers on Monday that since the general's assassination was carried out solely by the US, there is no reason to get involved.
Iran has promised a 'crushing revenge' following the strike which killed Soleimani and other top Revolutionary Guards commanders last week, expected to ramp up on Tuesday when a three-day period of mourning ends.
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Benjamin Netanyahu has banned top ministers from talking to the press about Soleimani's death and told them Israel should 'stay out of it'
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Iran vowed to exact a 'crushing revenge' on US in retaliation for Soleimani's death, expected to ramp up Tuesday when a three days of mourning ends (pictured, a funeral procession)
Top Iranian minister Mohsen Rezai, a former Guard commander, has threatened to reduce the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa 'to dust' as part of the retaliation. 

Netanyahu, who has cultivated a close relationship with Trump, initially threw his backing behind the strike, praising the US president for taking 'strong' action.
But he has since banned ministers from talking to the press about the strike for fear of creating the impression Israel was involved, two ministers present at Monday's meeting told Axios.
'The killing of Soleimani is a U.S. event, not an Israeli event, and we should stay out of it,' they reported Netanyahu as saying.


The director of Israel's security service Mossad told the same meeting that the risk of an Iranian strike on Israel is low because 'Israel stayed distant from the event'.
Iran has already said it will no longer abide by any of the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal signed under Obama in response to the attack.
The Iraqi parliament has also voted to expel all US troops from the country, which Iran said signals the beginning of the end of America's presence in the region. 
While Iran has not made the rest of its plans clear, it is likely that US troops based in Iraq, the embassy in Baghdad, and troops in Syria will be targeted in response.
Hassan Nasrallah, the Lebanese secretary-general of Iran-backed Hezbollah, said all US bases, all warships and every single soldier in the region is now a target.
'The true, just retribution for those who conducted this assassination is an institution, which is the U.S. military,' he said during a ceremony to mourn Soleimani's death in Beirut on Sunday.
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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (left, weeping at Soleimani's funeral) has been personally orchestrating Iran's response to the death
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Israel was initially quick to praise Trump for his 'strong action' in taking out Soleimani, but has since stayed quiet on the issue
'We will launch a battle against those killers, those criminals.' 
US intelligence believes that Iran will try to kill one of its top generals in the region in a tit-for-tat slaying. 
One official said the U.S. anticipates a 'major' attack of some type within the next day or two.
The U.S. military has increased protection of its forces, particularly in Iraq. 
Officials said a number of the recently deployed soldiers from the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division had moved into Iraq from Kuwait in order to increase security for Americans there. 
The U.S. military has stopped all training of Iraqi forces to focus on force protection, officials said.
As of Monday, officials said, there had not been a broadly distributed order or recommendation to increase security at military installations worldwide.
Instead, decisions were being left up to the commanders.

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Post by annemarie on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 10:51

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7859021/Pentagon-rejects-Trump-threat-hit-Iranian-cultural-sites.html\\

[size=34]Defense Secretary Mark Esper contradicts Trump and says U.S. military WILL NOT target Iranian cultural sites[/size]


  • Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday said the U.S. military would not be targeting Iranian cultural sites

  • It comes after Trump's earlier assertions that he would bomb Iranian cultural sites despite international prohibitions on such attacks 

  • Esper insisted that the U.S. will 'follow the laws of armed conflict' 

  • The split between Trump and Esper came amid heightened tensions with Iran following a U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani 

  • Trump had twice warned, once via Twitter, that he would hit Iranian cultural sites if Iran retaliates against the U.S 

  • It comes after Esper denied reports on Monday that the U.S. would soon withdraw all its forces from Iraq 

  • An American military letter had emerged informing Iraqi officials about repositioning troops in preparation for leaving the country

  • Officials were forced to admit that the letter was a draft and a 'huge mistake'


By EMILY CRANE and DAVID MARTOSKO, U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 19:52 EST, 6 January 2020 | UPDATED: 22:45 EST, 6 January 2020

     
s




Defense Secretary Mark Esper has contradicted President Donald Trump by saying the U.S. military will not target Iranian cultural sites.
The Pentagon chief on Monday distanced himself from Trump's assertions that he would bomb Iranian cultural sites despite international prohibitions on such attacks.
Esper insisted that the U.S. will 'follow the laws of armed conflict'. 
When asked if that ruled out targeting cultural sites, Esper said pointedly: 'That's the laws of armed conflict.'

The split between Trump and Esper came amid heightened tensions with Iran following a U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani - the head of Iran's elite Quds Force.  
Trump had twice warned that he would hit Iranian cultural sites if Iran retaliates against the U.S.
Esper's public comments reflected the private concerns of other defense and military officials, who cited legal prohibitions on attacks on civilian, cultural and religious sites, except under certain, threatening circumstances. 
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 23083836-7859021-Mark_Esper-a-2_1578368732786

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Defense Secretary Mark Esper has contradicted President Donald Trump by saying the U.S. military will not target Iranian cultural sites by vowing to 'follow the laws of armed conflict'
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The Pentagon chief on Monday distanced himself from Trump's assertions that he would bomb Iranian cultural sites despite international prohibitions on such attacks
[size=10][size=18]Esper contradicts Pentagon letter, says US not pulling Iraq troops




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Trump first raised the prospect of targeting cultural sites in a tweet on Saturday and reiterated that view to reporters the following day.
'We have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD,' he tweeted. 
His Twitter message caught administration officials off-guard and prompted an immediate outcry from legal scholars, national security experts and Democratic lawmakers. But the president stood by his threat the following day.
'They're allowed to kill our people. They´re allowed to torture and maim our people. They're allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people,' he told reporters traveling with him on Air Force One. 'And we´re not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn't work that way.'
By international law, however, it does.  
Specifically, the 1954 Hague Convention says nations must 'take all possible steps' to protect cultural property and shall refrain 'from any act of hostility, directed against such property.' It also says nations must not use cultural sites for any threatening purposes that would make such locations a military target.
The Pentagon has long had a list of potential targets both inside Iran as well as those associated with Iran throughout the Middle East. Those targets and war plans are routinely updated, including during the recent uptick in hostilities. 
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The split between Trump and Esper came amid heightened tensions with Tehran following a U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Pictured above is his funeral in Iran on Sunday
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The shrine of Iran's revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini is seen, just outside of Tehran, Iran. The ancient and rich cultural landscape of Iran has become a potential U.S. military target as Washington and Tehran stumble toward a possible open conflict
Officials won't discuss the list, but it is certain to include an array of Iranian military sites and capabilities, including missile, air defense and command and control locations.
Any targets would go through a lengthy vetting process within the military and the Pentagon to determine that they are legal, appropriate and proportionate to any Iranian action. Only after that process is complete would a list of potential sites go before the president for approval.
Outside the Pentagon, Trump's threats were met with condemnation.
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The killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force, on Friday marks a major escalation in the standoff between the U.S. and Iran
'It shows that he is somewhat deranged about this,' said Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. 'The pledge to attack cultural sites, likely, is a violation of international law.'
Kaine said that all Trump is doing 'is escalating tensions and he seems to believe, 'I can strike you, but you can't strike me.' That's not the way the world works.' He added that Trump needs to confer with Congress.
The threats also drew reaction from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
'The targeting of sites of global cultural heritage is abhorrent to the collective values of our society,' museum leaders said in a statement. 'At this challenging time, we must remind ourselves of the global importance of protecting cultural sites - the objects and places by which individuals, communities, and nations connect to their history and heritage. 
Ahead of Esper's comments, other administration officials tried to make clear that the U.S. would follow the law without directly contradicting the President.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday said that any U.S. military strikes inside Iran would be legal.
'We'll behave inside the system,' Pompeo said. 'We always have and we always will.' 
It comes after Esper denied reports on Monday that the U.S. would soon withdraw all its forces from Iraq following the emergence of an American military letter informing Iraqi officials about repositioning troops in preparation for leaving the country. 
The American military letter said U.S.-led coalition forces would use helicopters to evacuate.  
[size=18]Top Iranian general calls for removal of US from Middle East




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The Pentagon said this letter, informing an Iraqi military leader the the U.S. and other coalition forces are pulling up stakes, was a draft and should never have been sent
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While the letter was real, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told reporters that it was only a draft that should never have been released; Milley is pictured last week at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort 
'There's been no decision whatsoever to leave Iraq,' Esper said, adding there were no plans issued to prepare to leave.
'I don't know what that letter is... We're trying to find out where that's coming from, what that is. But there's been no decision made to leave Iraq. Period,' Esper said.
The letter caused confusion about the future of U.S. forces in Iraq, who now number 5,000. A U.S.-led invasion in 2003 toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.
It turns out, however, that the letter was just an 'honest mistake'. 
'Here's the bottom line, this was a mistake,' Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said as he tried to unravel a knot of miscommunication that came at a time of already soaring tensions with the Middle East.










The bungled message started when a draft letter from Marine Brig. Gen. William Seely began circulating on social media. Addressed to an official at the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, the letter said U.S. troops would be 'repositioning forces' to prepare for 'onward movement.'
Seely added, 'We respect your sovereign decision to order our departure.'
The 'order' Seely mentioned was a reference to the Iraqi parliament's vote over the weekend to expel U.S. troops after following the drone strike. 
A flurry of news reports followed Seely's letter, saying the United States was ending its military presence in Iraq.
But after a few hours of denials and frantic phone calls, top Pentagon leaders tried to do damage control, stating flatly that the U.S. had no plans to leave and saying the letter was a poorly worded draft that never should have gone out.
'Nobody's leaving,' Milley said. 'There's no onward movement. Honest mistake.'

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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 10:57

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51010441

Could killing of Iranian general help Trump get re-elected?
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 Anthonyzurcher
Anthony ZurcherNorth America reporter@awzurcheron Twitter


  • 6 January 2020







The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 _110410769_trump_976gettyImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
It was inevitable that the fallout from the US airstrike that killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani would spill into presidential politics. Everything spills into presidential politics these days, and this is without a doubt a major story.
With tensions rising between the US and Iran, the long-term consequences will largely depend on the nature of Iran's response to the attack and the intensity of any conflict that follows.
If the end result is a US withdrawal from Iraq, the politics of the situation could be turned on its head, with hawks doing the howling and non-interventionists celebrating.
In the short term, however, there are already some possible implications both for the Democratic presidential primaries that begin in less than a month and November's general election contest.

A wartime president?


Traditionally, a US president facing a major foreign policy crisis benefits from at least a short-term bump in public support.
The "rally around the flag" effect boosted George HW Bush's standing during the 1991 Gulf War. George W Bush saw his approval surge to record levels in the days after the September 11 attacks and subsequent bombing of Afghanistan.
Those were massive military engagements, however. When the stakes have been lower, the tangible political benefits - at least in terms of polling - are harder to discern.
Barack Obama saw no change in his approval ratings during the 2011 air war in Libya. When Donald Trump fired missiles at a Syrian air base in response to that nation's use of chemical weapons, the slight increase in his ratings appear in hindsight to be little more than statistical noise for a man whose approval has been relatively stable throughout his presidency.
The first survey following the Soleimani strike suggests the public will be as sharply divided on Trump's handling of the situation as it has been on everything else this president has done. A slim plurality approve of the action, but a similar plurality also express concern that the president did not "plan carefully enough".
Short of a stunning military victory or a protracted bloody fight, the end result could be simply more of the same when it comes to views on the Trump presidency.

Republican support


Trump could end up benefiting from this episode, however, the way he always seems to benefit from his controversial or incendiary moves - by rallying his base.
In that same Huffington Post poll, 83% of Republicans said they approved of the airstrike. Meanwhile, the president's supporters have gone on the attack, treating the Soleimani strike as the latest way to "trigger" political opponents.
On social media, a common Trumpian response for those expressing concerns about the consequences of the Soleimani strike is "sorry for your loss". The Babylon Bee, a conservative parody website, joked that Democrats want to fly US flags at half-mast to mourn Soleimani's death.
The drama in the Middle East may also help the president by turning national attention away from his impeachment and looming Senate trial. That seemed to be on the president's mind in multiple tweets Monday morning.
"To be spending time on this political Hoax at this moment in our history, when I am so busy, is sad!" he wrote.


  • What is Trump's strategy on Iran?
  • Under threat - Iran's sites of cultural importance



Democratic doves


On the Democratic side, the Soleimani strike could invigorate an anti-war movement within the party that has not seriously flexed its muscles since the height of the Iraq War.
Bernie Sanders, one of the Democratic front-runners, was quick to stake out his peace candidate credentials.
"I was right about Vietnam. I was right about Iraq. I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran," he wrote in a tweet that included a video about his anti-war efforts. "I apologize to no one."
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 _110410771_protest_976afpImage copyrightAFPImage captionProtests were held in Washington about the drone strike
Tulsi Gabbard, another candidate who has vigorously opposed what she views as "regime-change wars" pursued by both parties, said the Soleimani strike was an "act of war" that violated the US constitution.


  • Iranian-Americans 'harassed' by US border officials


Those statements stood in contrast to other Democratic candidates, who both condemned Soleimani's record of support for proxy wars against US forces in the region and criticised the wisdom of the attack.
"There are serious questions about how this decision was made and whether we are prepared for the consequences," said Pete Buttigieg. Elizabeth Warren called Soleimani a "murderer". Amy Klobuchar expressed concerns for US troop safety in the region.
Meanwhile, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg took aim at Sanders, saying it was "outrageous" for the Vermont senator to call the strike an "assassination" (a word used by several Democratic candidates).
"This is a guy who had an awful amount of American blood on his hands," Bloomberg said. "Nobody that I know of would think that we did something wrong in getting the general."
A rift within the party between progressives and moderates was on display time and again when the topic turned to healthcare during the debates. If the Iran crisis gets hot, the use of military force could become an equally divisive topic.

Biden's challenge


The Huffpost poll on the Soleimani strike had some particularly good news for front-runner Joe Biden, with 62% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters saying they "trust" him on Iran. That's well ahead of Sanders and Warren, who 47% said they trust on the subject.
Such a response isn't surprising, given Biden's long record of foreign policy experience, including eight years as vice-president and a lengthy tenure as chair of the Senate foreign relations committee.
That track record isn't entirely a blessing, however, as a focus on the Middle East has once again turned attention to Biden's support for the 2003 Iraq War - and his sometimes muddled defence of it.


  • Voices from Iran: 'Soleimani did not deserve such a fate'


In response to a question from a voter in Iowa on Saturday, Biden said that while he voted for the Iraq War authorisation, he opposed President Bush's handling of the conflict "from the very moment" it began.
Biden had spoken in support of the war before and after it was launched, however, and only first expressed regrets about his vote starting in 2005.
The more Biden twists and turns to qualify his Iraq War support, the more media outlets will point out where he is misleading or exaggerating, giving the story national attention - and the more Biden's opponents could sense a weakness they could exploit.

No more oxygen


As if December's impeachment fight didn't make it hard enough for back-of-the-pack Democrats to generate attention amid a flood of major breaking news, now Iran is set to compete with a Senate trial of the president for top billing.
That's bad news for candidates like Cory Booker, Deval Patrick, Tom Steyer and the few other stragglers who are still in the race but languishing in the polls and below the cut-off mark to qualify for upcoming primary debates.
It could also spell trouble for Klobuchar, whose surge in fundraising and Iowa polling of late could prove short-lived if voters become preoccupied with events overseas.
In presidential campaign politics, it helps to be the candidate who gets hot late in the game. With the Iran crisis looming, however, it may end up already being too late.

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Post by annemarie on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 11:01

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7858943/U-S-Air-Force-launches-F-35A-Lightning-II-stealth-fighters-Utah.html

[size=34]U.S. Air Force warns Iran with huge show of strength as 52 fully-armed F-35A Lightning II stealth fighters worth $4.2 BILLION take off in a single wave after 'elephant walk' along Utah base runway[/size]


  • The 52 F-35A aircrafts, which are worth a whopping $4.2 billion, took off in quick succession from the Hill Air Force Base in Utah on Monday

  • The exercise carried out by the active duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings showed the Air Force's ability to deploy a large force of the F-35As 

  • While the exercise has been planned for several months, the execution of it came in the same week the U.S. continues to brace for Iran to respond to the killing of its most powerful general

  • The Fighter Wings revealed on Monday that the F-35As have now finally reached full war-fighting capability 

  • The U.S. received its first F-35A at the Hill Air Force Base four years ago 

  • The model is billed as the most advanced military aircraft ever sent into the skies 


By EMILY CRANE FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 20:29 EST, 6 January 2020 | UPDATED: 22:24 EST, 6 January 2020

     



The U.S. Air Force has performed a huge show of strength by launching more than 50 fully-armed Lightning II stealth fighters in a single wave following an elephant walk down the runway.
The 52 F-35A aircrafts, which are worth a whopping $4.2 billion, took off in quick succession from the Hill Air Force Base in Utah on Monday. 
The exercise carried out by the active duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings showed the Air Force's ability to deploy a large force of the F-35As.
While the exercise has been planned for several months, the execution of it came in the same week the U.S. continues to brace for Iran to respond to the drone strike killing of its most powerful general in Iraq

The Fighter Wings revealed on Monday that the F-35As have now finally reached full war-fighting capability. 
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The 52 F-35A aircrafts, which are worth a whopping $4.2 billion, took off in quick succession from the Hill Air Force Base in Utah on Monday following an elephant walk down the runway
[size=10][size=18]US Air Force launches 52 stealth fighters in 'combat power exercise'




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'We're ready to fly, fight, and win,' the 419th Fighter Wings tweeted after the exercise.
They added the exercise 'pushed the boundaries and tested our Airmen's ability to deploy the F-35As en masse'.
The 388th Fight Wingers said: 'The exercise, which was planned for months, demonstrated their ability to employ a large force of F-35As – testing readiness in the areas of personnel accountability, aircraft generation, ground operations, flight operations, and combat capability against air and ground targets. 
'A little more than four years after receiving their first combat-coded F-35A Lightning II aircraft, Hill’s fighter wings have achieved full warfighting capability.' 
Each F-35A fighter is worth about $89.2 million. 
The U.S. received its first F-35A at the Hill Air Force Base four years ago.  
Since then, the Fighter Wings have been training pilots, engaging in multiple large combat exercises and supporting two Middle East combat deployments.  
'Every training opportunity, exercise and deployment we've completed over the past four years has been a key stepping stone in reaching full warfighting capability,' Col. Steven Behmer, 388th Fighter Wing commander, said. 
'This is just the beginning of sustained F-35A combat operations and we will remain focused on staying ready to deploy whenever, wherever we're needed.' 
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The exercise carried out by the active duty 388th and Reserve 419th Fighter Wings showed the Air Force's ability to deploy a large force of the F-35As
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While the exercise has been planned for several months, the execution of it came in the same week the U.S. continues to brace for Iran to respond to the drone strike killing of its most powerful general in Iraq
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It was a huge show of strength from the Air Force in a week where the U.S. braced for Iran to respond to the killing of its most powerful general, noting heightened military readiness in the country and preparing for a possible 'tit-for-tat' attempt on the life of an American military commander
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The Fighter Wings revealed on Monday that the F-35As have now finally reached full war-fighting capability
The Air Force deployed its F-35A stealth fighter jets to the Middle East for the first time ever last year.
At least six F-35As from the 388th and 419th Fighter Wings left the Hill Air Force Base in April 2019 en route to the Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates. 
The Air Force said at the time that the fighters would be participating in coalition air operations targeting ISIS militants.
While they were the first U.S. Air Force-operated F35As to enter to Middle East, they weren't new to the region with Israel already operating 12 of the jets. 
The model is billed as the most advanced military aircraft ever sent into the skies.  
The Air Force has previously boasted that the jet 'improves lethality, survivability and adaptability against emerging threats in order to maintain air superiority'.
The F-35A is the conventional takeoff and landing variant version of the jet, and the first of the three versions to enter full service.
The F-35B, which is capable of vertical take-off and landing, only recently entered service. 
Meanwhile the F-35C, which specializes in aircraft carrier operations, has consistently fallen behind in testing. 
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Some of a group of 52 U.S. Air Force F-35A aircraft from the 388th and 428th Fighter Wings, form up in an "elephant walk" exercise at Hill Air Force Base on Monday
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The Air Force has previously boasted that the jet 'improves lethality, survivability and adaptability against emerging threats in order to maintain air superiority'
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 23080786-7858943-A_U_S_Air_Force_pilot_adjusts_his_mask_as_he_taxies_his_Air_Forc-a-4_1578364195454

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A U.S. Air Force pilot adjusts his mask as he taxies his Air Force F-35A aircraft from the 388th and 428th Fighter Wings, to form up in an "elephant walk" exercise at Hill Air Force Base 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 23080760-7858943-The_419th_Fighter_Wings_tweeted_after_the_exercise_We_re_ready_t-a-5_1578364195464

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The 419th Fighter Wings tweeted after the exercise 'We're ready to fly, fight, and win' after revealing the fleet had reached full war-fighting capability
The F-35 is the first to combine radar-evading stealth technology with supersonic speeds and the ability to conduct short take-offs and vertical landings. 
It has the ability to operate from land and sea and has previously been hailed as a huge leap forward in aerospace technology. 
The Fighter Wings on Monday insisted that the training exercise was not a result of heightened tensions with Iran following the U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran's elite Quds Force. 
Esmail Ghaani, the general who replaced Qassem Soleimani after he was killed, has since vowed to take revenge as part of the fallout over the U.S. strike.

[quote]The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 C3eXlry9_normal

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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by party animal - not! on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 13:19

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-news-live-trump-war-us-latest-soleimani-death-attack-burial-a9273186.html



https://news.sky.com/video/iran-uk-looking-to-de-escalate-tensions-raab-11902927

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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 13:33

Iran news – live: Trump faces mounting backlash as senior Republican says ‘I don’t see a way out of this’ and Tehran issues dire threats of revenge to US

Follow here for the latest updates




  • Andy Gregory

  • 13 minutes ago 













[size=16]The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards vowed to “set ablaze” places supported by the US, drawing cries of “death to Israel” from the vast crowd of mourners gathered for slain general Qassem Soleimani’s funeral in his hometown of Kerman.
It came amid confusion in Washington as a leaked “poorly-worded draft letter” forced the Trump administration to deny plans to pull American troops from Iraq, where Iran-backed militias threatened to “send American soldiers back in coffins” if US citizens re-elect Donald Trump, thereby endorsing “his crimes”.
Despite calls for de-escalation, US-Iranian relations appeared in further disarray as Iran’s foreign minister claimed he had been denied a visa to attend an upcoming UN meeting in New York, and Tehran moved to designate the US military’s command at the Pentagon a “terrorist force”.


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KEY POINTS





  • Senior Republican: 'I don't see a way out of this'
  • Dozens killed in stampede at Soleimani funeral procession
  • Iran 'considering 13 revenge scenarios' - official
  • Revolutionary Guards chief vows to 'set ablaze' US-backed places
  • US forced to deny pulling troops from Iraq where tensions mount




5 minutes ago
More than four in 10 Americans approve of Soleimani assassination, poll suggests
 
The YouGov/HuffPo survey found that while 40 per cent of polled Americans approved of Donald Trump's handling of the crisis, only 30 per cent thought he had "a clear strategy for dealing with Iran".
 



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 13:20



17 minutes ago
With Croatia becoming the latest European nation to move troops out of Iraq, it seems worth pointing out the hazardous position Western troops now find themselves in after Soleimani's death.
 
According to The Independent's Middle East correspondent, Patrick Cockburn, US military bases tend to actually be compounds within Iraqi military facilities. The same goes for their European allies.
 
This means troops are often stationed alongside members of Iranian-backed Iraqi militias, and as a result, US-led forces have always run some risk of becoming hostages surrounded by hostile Iraqis.
 
This risk increased notably on Friday. Many of these militias fall under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilisation Forces, the deputy leader of which – Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis – was killed by Donald Trump's drone strike on Soleimani.
 
 
And with increasingly fiery rhetoric on both sides over the presence of US troops in Iraq, the Trump administration appears to be less than coherent in its decision-making.
 
Here's The Independent's Washington correspondent's assessment of the official response to last night's debacle, in which officials were forced to clarify US troops were not in fact leaving Iraq, after a leaked letter appeared to show intentions to the contrary.
 



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 13:16



48 minutes ago
Nuclear deal 'not dead yet', Iranian deputy foreign minister says
 
Iran's state news agency IRNA has released further clarification to remarks by Abbas Araqchi earlier today, when the foreign ministry quoted him as saying: "We are ready to come back to full compliance with the deal depending on the ending of sanctions and gaining from the economic benefits of the deal."
 
"The nuclear deal is not dead yet," Mr Araqchi said, according to IRNA.
 
His declaration comes after European diplomats warned Iran's decision to abandon limits on enriching uranium could lead to renewed UN sanctions. 
 
Iran has criticised Britain, France and Germany for failing to salvage the pact by shielding Tehran from harsh sanctions imposed by Donald Trump after he pulled the US out of the 2015 deal.
 
Mr Trump's sanctions saw Iran's currency plummet in value, as exports diminished and the cost of living surged, leading to food and critical medicine shortages in Iran.



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 12:45



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1 hour ago
Croatia latest European country to move troops from Iraq
 
Croatia's defense ministry says the country's 14 troops in Iraq have been moved to Kuwait amid soaring tensions, and that any future steps also will be made in consultation with Nato allies.

Germany says it has moved 35 soldiers serving in Iraq to neighboring Jordan and Kuwait. Slovakia says it has moved its seven service members from Iraq to an unspecified location.



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 12:26



1 hour ago
Soleimani's funeral shows Trump underestimated how powerful anti-imperialism and nationalism is in Iran
 
While Qassem Soleimani's assassination came as a shock to both Iranians and Americans, the response in Iran to Soleimani’s killing seems to have caught the Trump administration off-guard, The Independent's diplomatic correspondent Negar Mortazavi reports.
 
Although a controversial figure disliked and despised by many Iranian dissidents for masterminding and leading Iran’s regional proxies, Soleimani’s key role in the fight against Isis brought him respect across various socio-political groups inside the country. 
 
“Soleimani’s ugly role in Syria, defending Bashar al-Assad, via war crimes, is not generally known in Iran," said Nader Hashemi, Middle East Studies director at the University of Denver. "What is also not known is his involvement in the bloody repression more recently in Iraq, where at least 500 peaceful protesters have been killed by forces linked to Soleimani.”
 
Read more insight here: 
 
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 De7b5879-3f1a-4e99-8001-e6f03c3c30b3

Soleimani's funeral shows Trump has underestimated anti-imperialism and nationalism in Iran




  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 12:17



1 hour ago
The death toll from a stampede at Soleimani's funeral has risen to 40, an emergency services official has told Iran's Fars news agency.
 
The official claims 213 people were also injured, however there are contradictory reports of the true figure.



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 12:04



Advertisement
1 hour ago
Malaysian PM compares Soleimani killing to murder of Khashoggi
 
"The act is akin to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi which happened across boundaries," said Mahathir Mohamad, the world's oldest premier.
 
"This is also another act where one country decides on its own to kill the leaders of another country. Both are guilty of immoral acts, it is against the law."
 
Saudi Arabia recently sentenced five men to death and detained three over Khashoggi's murder, but so far Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has avoided official scrutiny.
 
Turkish intelligence sources told Reuters the prince's top aide, who was promptly fired, had told his men to "bring me the head of the dog".



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 11:55



1 hour ago
Soleimani's burial indefinitely postponed after deadly funeral stampede
 
The internment of the former IRG Quds Force commander's body has been postponed, according to the semi-official Iranian news agency, ISNA.
 
The indefinite delay was due to a stampede during his funeral in Kerman that reportedly left some 35 people dead and dozens more injured.
 
Soleimani was reportedly due to be buried next to two veterans of the Iran-Iraq war who perished during a 1986 amphibious assault that cut Iraq off from the Persian Gulf and brought an end to the conflict.



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 11:41



1 hour ago
Images of Trump set alight in New Delhi as protests against Soleimani's killing held in multiple countries
 
The killing of Qassem Soleimani has sparked anti-US protests in various Eastern countries, including India, Pakistan and Palestine.
 
Indian Shiite Muslims burn a banner with Donald Trump's photograph during a protest near the US embassy in New Delhi, India. Credit: AP Photo/Altaf Qadri
 
Further afield, Malaysia's controversial PM Mathathir Mohamad said Muslim countries should unite to protect themselves from external threats, labelling Soleimani's killing as immoral and against international laws.

"The time is right for Muslim countries to come together," he told reporters.



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 11:34



Advertisement
2 hours ago
Raab says 'Daesh will be the only winners' ahead of diplomatic trip to Brussels
 
The foreign secretary told Sky News the UK has been working very hard with allies in Europe, America and the Middle East to de-escalate tensions in the Gulf.
 
"I've spoken to the prime minister of Iraq and the Iranian foreign minister, and I'm going out today to have further conversations with our European partners and the EU foreign affairs high representative," he said.
 


"What we're looking to do is deescalate the tensions with Iran and with relation to Iraq making sure that we don't lose the hard-won gains that we've secured against Daesh.

"We want to deescalate the tensions. We are concerned that if we see a full blown war it will be very damaging and actually the terrorists, in particular Daesh will be the only winners."



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 11:16



2 hours ago
Charges dropped against French-Iranian researcher 
 
Fariba Adelkhah, who has been detained in Iran since June, has seen charges against her dropped, according to her lawyer.
 

 
Iran's foreign ministry had said Ms Adelkhah was arrested for "conspiring against national security", and previously criticised French efforts for her release as "interference". Iran rejected the fact that she was a dual national, and had reportedly prevented consular access.
 
Ms Adelkhah and another detained academic, British-Australian Kylie Moore-Gilbert, began a hunger strike in December, according to The Telegraph.



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 11:10



2 hours ago
Boris Johnson to chair security meeting amid criticism of slow response to crisis
 
Boris Johnson will chair a meeting of the National Security Council as Britain grapples with the Gulf crisis – a move one expert said should have happened days ago.
 
Former national security adviser Lord Ricketts said he would have expected the National Security Council to have met on Friday, when the killing of General Soleimani took place, to co-ordinate measures to ensure British nationals were protected.

"I'm glad to see that the wheels are now in motion and things are happening but we are four days downwind of this sudden and dramatic escalation," Lord Ricketts said.
 
The PM finally returned from his Carribean holiday on Sunday, and while forced to tread a treacherous diplomatic line, a Number 10 spokesperson yesterday appeared to warn Donald Trump against committing war crimes by targeting Iranian cultural sites.



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 10:57



Advertisement
2 hours ago
Trump 'got bad advice' on Soleimani killing and revenge attack 'a certainty', Republican says
 
“It’s now a certainty” that Americans will face attacks in revenge for Soleimani's assassination, Republican senator Rand Paul has told CNN, describing the Quds force commander’s replacement Esmail Ghaani as a “hard-liner”. 
 
"The Iranians will not be able to approach us on diplomacy until there's revenge, until there's adequate revenge to satiate the people, who want some kind of revenge," Mr Rand said. "The death of Soleimani, I think, is the death of diplomacy with Iran. I don't see an off-ramp. I don't see a way out of this.
 
"You would have to be brain dead to believe that we tear up the agreement, we put an embargo on you and we kill your major general, and they're just going to crawl back to the table and say: 'What do you want, America?'"
 

 
He asserted Donald Trump received "bad advice" before ordering the deadly drone strikes, and responded to claims in the Washington Post that John Bolton was at the forefront of the decision to kill Soleimani.
 
 



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 10:46



2 hours ago
US warns ships in Mideast crucial to global energy supplies of 'possibility of Iranian action'

The US Maritime Administration warned of the "possibility of Iranian action against US maritime interests" on Tuesday.

Oil tankers were targeted in mine attacks last year the US blamed on Iran. Tehran denied being responsible though it did seize oil tankers around the crucial Strait of Hormuz, through which 20 per cent of the world's crude oil travels.
 
Over the weekend, two British warships were deployed to the Strait of Hormuz to guide British-flagged vessels through the key oil passage.



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 10:33



3 hours ago
Several graphic videos purporting to show the stampede at Soleimani's funeral in Kerman are doing the rounds on social media at the moment, but here's some aerial footage of the crowds from beforehand, to give a sense of scale.
 



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 10:28



Advertisement
3 hours ago
Here's The Independent's Middle East correspondent Bel Trew with the latest updates on the deadly stampede at Soleimani's funeral in Kerman. 
 


'35 mourners killed' during stampede at Qassem Soleimani's funeral




  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 10:15



3 hours ago
Soleimani to be buried between veterans of Iran-Iraq war
 
The Associated Press has this interesting detail on Soleimani's bural:
 
Solemani will be buried later Tuesday between the graves of Enayatollah Talebizadeh and Mohammad Hossein Yousef Elahi, two former Guard comrades.
 
The two died in Operation Dawn 8 in Iran's 1980s war with Iraq in which Soleimani also took part, a 1986 amphibious assault that cut Iraq off from the Persian Gulf and led to the end of the bloody war that killed 1 million people.



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 10:11



3 hours ago
Iran's foreign minister claims US denied him visa for upcoming United Nations meetings
 
"This is because they fear someone will go there and tell the truth to the American people," Javad Zarif said on Tuesday. "But they are mistaken. The world is not limited to New York. You can speak with American people from Tehran too and we will do that."
 
As host of the UN headquarters, America is supposed to allow foreign officials to attend such meetings.

The US State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from AP.



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 10:08



Advertisement
3 hours ago
More than 30 people have died in the Kerman funeral procession, Iranian state media and several high-profile journalists in the region are reporting.
 
No official numbers have yet been given, but according to state media 35 people have been killed, and a further 48 people injured.



  • Andy.Gregory

  • 7 January 2020 09:46



3 hours ago
Mourners killed in stampede at Soleimani funeral procession, reports suggest
 
Footage purporting to show dozens of casualties at a stampede in Kerman has emerged on social media.
 
Several people have died because of the overcrowding and some were transferred to the hospital, state media reported Iran's emergency services chief Pirhossein Koulivand as saying.
 
Some one million people are estimated to have turned out in Tehran yesterday, with images of today's funeral procession showing expansive crowds that reports suggest showed no sign of slowing throughout the day.



  • Andy.Gregory



annemarie
Casamigos with Mr Clooney

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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Tue 07 Jan 2020, 14:53

[size=34]A nation on fire: Astonishing graphic shows the true scale of bushfires across Australia[/size]


  • Composite was made using data from NASA's satellites and shows where bushfires have hit in the last month

  • Brightest spots on the graphic are in NSW and Victoria, where more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed

  • At least 25 people are dead and six million hectares of land have been destroyed - and the worst is yet to come


By CHARLOTTE KARP FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA
PUBLISHED: 20:52 EST, 6 January 2020 | UPDATED: 21:54 EST, 6 January 2020

     



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A graphic has revealed the true extent bushfire devastation across Australia, as experts warn the worst is yet to come.
The composite was made using data from NASA's satellites and shows where bushfires ravaged the nation between December 5 last year and January 5.
The brightest spots on the graphic are in New South Wales and Victoria, where more than 2,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed by the raging infernos. 
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The graphic, made using data from NASA's satellites, shows the where the bushfires have ravaged Australia over the last month
The image's creator, Anthony Hearsey, explained that it is a 3D visualisation of the fires, and not an actual photograph.  

'Scale is a little exaggerated due to the render’s glow, but generally true to the info from the NASA website,' he said.
'Also note that NOT all the areas are still burning, and this is a compilation,' he added.


At least 25 people are dead and six million hectares of land have been destroyed nationwide - an area similar to size of the Republic of Ireland.
While milder conditions on Tuesday have given emergency crews temporary relief, the weather is set to turn on Friday and climate experts believe the hottest and driest days are yet to come.
Temperatures could hit the mid-30s on the south coast and soar to into the 40s in other parts of NSW by Friday.  
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An infrared image shows fires burning in a forest near Lake Eucumbene in Kosciuszko national park, New South Wales
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A shortwave infrared image shows wildfires burning east of Orbost on the south east coast of Victoria
[size=18]Rural Fire Brigade battles raging bushfires in NSW city of Lithgow




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Fire season usually peaks in February - the hottest and driest month when the nation has been hit by the likes of Black Saturday and Ash Wednesday - the worst bushfire disasters in national history.
The Bureau of Meteorology's (BOM) long-range climate outlook predicted above average temperatures and below average rainfall for much of the east through until at least the end of March.
Weatherzone meteorologist Tom Hough said: 'Warmer than average and drier than average is the trend that looks to be continuing.
'Based off the climate outlooks it doesn't look like we're going to see any significant rainfall.' 
In a piece for The Conversation, Monash University emeritus professor Neville Nicholls said Australia has already suffered through severe heatwaves this summer, but it may get worse.
'They usually peak in the middle and end of summer, so the worst may be yet to come.' 
Billions of animals are believed to have perished in the blazes and experts fear some may now be extinct. 
As the unprecedented crisis worsens with warnings of power brown outs, NSW transport minister and MP for the fire-ravaged south coast, Andrew Constance, compared the fires to 'an atomic bomb'.
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 23081752-7858823-Residents_look_on_as_flames_burn_through_bush_on_January_4_in_La-a-50_1578360752939

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Residents look on as flames burn through bush on January 4 in Lake Tabourie, NSW
The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 23081754-7858823-The_sky_turned_red_from_smoke_of_the_Snowy_Valley_bushfire_on_th-a-51_1578360752943

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The sky turned red from smoke of the Snowy Valley bushfire on the outskirts of Cooma on January 4
'I've got to be honest with you, this isn't a bushfire it's an atomic bomb,' he said, as he revealed he had been defending his own home from embers.
'It's indescribable the hell it's caused and the devastation it's caused.' 
Power cuts hit 15,000 people in Sydney's north and south-west on Saturday night, while homes in the Newcastle suburbs of Fletcher and Wallsend were also affected.
More than 300 fires still ravaging the parched land nation-wide. 

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[size=34]AUSTRALIA'S BUSHFIRE CRISIS - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW[/size]


Evacuations are underway and emergency alerts are in place in NSW, Victoria and South Australia as authorities predict the devastating bushfires will continue burning until at least March. 
At least 25 people have been killed in blazes across the country since the bushfire season began in October
NEW SOUTH WALES/ACT


  • At least 130 bushfires were burning in NSW on Tuesday
  • 20 people dead 
  • 3.6 million hectares burned, greater than the size of Belgium 
  • At least 1,588 homes confirmed destroyed 


VICTORIA  


  • Two people dead
  • About 31 active bushfires burning
  • More than 784,000 hectares burned
  • 330 structures confirmed destroyed but significantly more expected 


SOUTH AUSTRALIA


  • Three people, including two from Kangaroo Island, are dead
  • 17 bushfires burning, four of significance
  • More than 100,000 hectares burned
  • 88 homes confirmed destroyed  
  • About 600 properties on Kangaroo Island remain without power with SA Power Networks warning it may be some time before crews can access the fire ground to assess damage 


QUEENSLAND


  • 33 bushfires burning
  • 250,000 hectares burned
  • 45 homes confirmed destroyed


WESTERN AUSTRALIA


  • More than 35 bushfires burning, two of significance
  • 1.5 million hectares burned
  • One home confirmed destroyed


TASMANIA


  • 23 bushfires burning, two of significance
  • 30,000 hectares burned
  • Two homes confirmed destroyed


NORTHERN TERRITORY


  • Five bushfires burning
  • Five homes confirmed destroyed

annemarie
Casamigos with Mr Clooney

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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Wed 08 Jan 2020, 10:07

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7862801/Ivanka-Trump-CES-Verified-work-skills-history-portable-like-electronic-medical-records.html

[size=34]'Ivanka is not a woman in tech': President's daughter is criticized for delivering keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show because 'she's not a CEO and has no background'[/size]


  • Ivanka spoke at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, an annual bacchanal of gadgets and gizmos

  • Democrat video game developer, Brianna Wu, who is running for Congress in Massachusetts, said Ivanka Trump had 'no background' to speak Tuesday

  • #BoycottCES was trending online as attendees said there were better choices 

  • Some liberal critics had complained that there were better examples of women in the tech field but the publicity was powerful for the event 

  • Ivanka said workers in the future should be able to quickly access proof of their acquired job skills on a smartphone like electronic medical records

  • Job openings should be sent via 'push' alerts to people whose verified skill sets match what employers are looking for, she said

  • She also riffed on paid family leave, job training, STEM programs at black colleges, and apprenticeships as a future model for manufacturers to follow


By DAVID MARTOSKO, U.S. POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM and ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 19:10 EST, 7 January 2020 | UPDATED: 03:11 EST, 8 January 2020

     



CES, the nation's largest consumer electronics show, faced a backlash on Tuesday as critics slammed the decision to have Ivanka Trump as a keynote speaker. 
The choice to have President Trump's daughter speak at the Nevada event, drew scorn from many women in technology because she has no background in technology.
Video game developer Brianna Wu, who is running for Congress in Massachusetts as a Democrat, led the opposition as the hashtag #BoycottCES started trending..
'Ivanka is not a woman in tech,' Wu tweeted about the White House adviser's presence at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). 'She's not a CEO. She has no background. It´s a lazy attempt to emulate diversity, but like all emulation it´s not quite the real thing.'

There was no mention of the pushback about her appearance at the show. The hall was full, and she was met with applause. Organizers declined to say how many people were in the audience.   
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 Fff-hover


The nation's largest consumer electronics show faced a backlash on Tuesday after attendees hit out at a decision to have Ivanka Trump as a keynote speaker 
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#BoycottCES was trending online as attendees said there were better choices for speakers
[size=10][size=18]Ivanka Trump touts technology's importance for workforce at CES 2020




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But organizers of the annual technology bacchanal in Las Vegas drew online heckling for booking Ms. Trump to speak on its highest profile stage, despite making her appearance part of a concerted effort to focus on women in technology.
Other women with more experience in the tech sector, critics said, would have been better choices. 
Some said they'd requested a refund and others deemed her unqualified for the invite. 
One Twitter user said it's 'shocking' so many women had been passed over for the opportunity in favor of Ivanka Trump. One man said it's 'insulting'.
But with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff watching from the front row, the event went off without a hitch.
In a closely watched keynote at the Trump said that workers of the future should be able to access life-long records of their on-the-job skills from a smartphone the way many Americans can see their medical histories at a moment's notice.  
'And oh, by the way,' she mused, 'wouldn't it be great, if there was a job vacancy in your ZIP code that matched the skill you have, if it got pushed to you?'
'This is not hard to do. It just hasn't been done,' Ms. Trump said.  
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The adviser to her father President Donald Trump said job openings should be sent via 'push' alerts to people whose verified skill sets match what employers are looking for
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Most Americans have ownership of their medical records and can access them on short notice; skills certifications are often overlooked, however, Ms. Trump said, because no one has harnessed the 'big government data' to empower Americans with their own histories
Sitting onstage with Consumer Technology Association CEO Gary Shapiro, she said data about Americans' work histories is often left behind when they change jobs, making it harder for them to find positions that require their acquired skills.
'We need to harness technology and data to enable people to have their information in their iPhone,' she said, referring to 'big government data' as the idea's wellspring. 
She noted that while most jobs in America don't require four-year college degrees, it's often difficult to confirm that a job applicant finished high school before entering the workforce.
'Why can't you have your high school degree verified and in your phone, so an employer doesn't need to call your high school and find out, did you in fact graduate? So it takes the friction out of the process. It's all verified, it's right there,' she said.
'But also on-the-job skills that were learned. Maybe you learned CPR as a lifeguard. Maybe you learned or got upscaled working on a factory floor or learned a new skill.
'All of that should be cataloged and tracked and accessible and available, and empowering the individual, as opposed to locked-up and siloed in the HR department of a company where, if you leave, it stays with them as opposed to travels with you.' 
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Ms. Trump was at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, promoting her job-training initiative at the White House; some liberals in the tech field complained that she would be a poor example of female empowerment in the industry
Ms. Trump pushed for industry apprenticeships as a new model for bringing non-college-graduates into the ranks of the employed.
'It's just not part of the American DNA,' she said, 'outside of the skills trade.'
And she promoted the Trump administration's success in forcing federal government agencies to provide aid family leave to all their employees.
'We're not stopping there,' she said.
Ms. Trump said the administration has worked to bring STEM programs into historically black colleges.
A polite audience received her message that buttressing and growing the nation's pool of employable workers should be a bipartisan goal.
'If we can’t come together on this, we can’t come together on anything,' Ms. Trump told Shapiro. 
And she renewed a periodic White House complaint about education visas that leave foreigners who attend U.S. universities with no choice after graduation but to leave America.


She said President Donald Trump, her father, believes that's 'absolutely insane.'
Shapiro told The Associated Press that Ivanka Trump is fighting for workers at a time when robots are filling warehouses and factories and self-driving vehicles are worrying truck drivers.
'We've had politicians speak before, cabinet secretaries and others who've come in,' Shapiro said ahead of the talk.
Ivanka Trump said the event offered a chance to talk 'about the way jobs are evolving and changing'.
'People need to be thinking about investing in their workforce so that they can enable those people to do their same job using different equipment tomorrow,' she said.
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The Serious Side - part 7 - Page 10 Empty Re: The Serious Side - part 7

Post by annemarie on Fri 10 Jan 2020, 17:35

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7872643/American-Cancer-Society-slams-Trump-taking-credit-countrys-declining-cancer-death-rate.html

[size=34]The American Cancer Society slams Trump for taking credit on the country's declining cancer death rate after the president hailed it another triumph for his administration[/size]


  • Trump tweeted that it was 'a lot of good news coming out of this Administration'

  • Cancer death rates fell 2.2 per cent from 2016 to 2017 - the largest ever recorded

  • Overall, cancer death rates in the country fell by 29 per cent from 1991 to 2017

  • But ACS chief executive officer said the 2017 findings are not linked to Trump


By JAMES GANT FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 05:35 EST, 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 07:28 EST, 10 January 2020

     





The American Cancer Society has slammed President Donald Trump for taking credit for the country's declining cancer death rate.
Trump tweeted yesterday: 'U.S. Cancer Death Rate Lowest In Recorded History! A lot of good news coming out of this Administration.'
Cancer death rates in the US fell 2.2 per cent from 2016 to 2017 - the largest single-year drop ever recorded - fueled largely by progress against lung cancer.
Overall, cancer death rates in the country fell 29 per cent from 1991 to 2017, driven by steady declines in deaths from lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancers.

The rates are based on the number of cancer deaths per 100,000 people in the US.
But the ACS's chief executive officer Gary Reedy said the 2017 findings are not linked to Trump's actions.
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The American Cancer Society has slammed President Donald Trump (pictured in Ohio yesterday) for taking credit for the country's declining cancer death rate
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Trump tweeted yesterday: 'U.S. Cancer Death Rate Lowest In Recorded History! A lot of good news coming out of this Administration'
He told CNN: 'The mortality trends reflected in our current report, including the largest drop in overall cancer mortality ever recorded from 2016 to 2017, reflect prevention, early detection, and treatment advances that occurred in prior years.
'Since taking office, the president has signed multiple spending bills that have included increases in funding for cancer research at the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute - though the impact of those increases are not reflected in the data contained in this report.
'The administration has an opportunity to significantly impact future declines in both cancer incidence and mortality by increasing access to comprehensive health care, supporting robust and sustained increases in federal funding for cancer research and passing and implementing evidence-based tobacco control policies.'
Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz also attacked the President over the tweet.
She fired back: 'Cancer rates dropped before you took office. Hopefully they keep dropping because Congress rejected your cruel research budgets, which sought billions in CUTS to @NIH and the National Cancer Institute. This is good news despite you - not because of you.'
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Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz attacked the President over the tweet
Rebecca Siegel, co-author of the the American Cancer Society report, released on Wednesday, attributes the decline to a doubling in improvement in lung cancer death rates, which fell 4 per cent in the study period. 
Lung cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease.
'If you take lung cancer out of the mix, the drop was only 1.4 per cent. It is truly the acceleration for lung cancer that is driving the record drop that we saw,' she said in a phone interview.
Sharpless, who in November returned to the NCI after a stint as acting commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, believes some of the gains in lung cancer are related to better therapies. 
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Cancer mortality rates for men (blue) and women (purple) alike (orange) began falling in the 1990s, and from 2016 to 2017, the American Cancer Society reports a record drop 
But as the report only goes through 2017, the impact of many of the relatively new immunotherapies for lung cancer, such as Merck & Co's Keytruda, Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo and others, as well as newer targeted treatments, have yet to be fully reflected in the mortality data.
'We think the lung cancer data are going to continue to improve for a few years,' he said.
Typically, mortality data in the United States is about three years behind the current year, due in large part to the need to confirm that deaths were actually linked with a cancer. 
Even so, Sharpless said, data on cancer deaths is the most important metric used by the NCI for planning purposes.


To make up for the lag, the ACS uses computer models of cancer and population trends to project what is currently happening in oncology.
In its latest report, ACS projects that in 2020 roughly 1.8 million new cancer cases and 606,520 cancer deaths will occur in the United States.
Progress has slowed for female breast and colorectal cancer, and has essentially leveled off for prostate cancer over the past decade, the report found.
The number of new cases of breast cancer has climbed by about 0.3 per cent per year since 2004, a rise linked in part to lower rates of fertility and increases in obesity.
In prostate cancer, the number of new cases fell sharply from 2007 to 2012, linked in part to decreased use of blood tests for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) to screen for these cancers in the wake of guideline changes. 
Some studies suggest the declines in new cases may be masking increases in more severe cancers, the report said.
The increase in more advanced prostate cancers may reflect success in easier-to-treat cancers, but it also may reflect decreased PSA testing, Sharpless said.
'It is concerning after seeing so much progress against prostate cancer to see it level off,' Sharpless said, adding that the NCI 'has got to be open-minded about this and fund appropriate research, both clinical and basic science, to really tease this out.'
Sharpless also expressed concern that rapid declines in new cases of colorectal cancer are slowing in spite of the availability of effective screening tools, such as colonoscopy.
'There's an increased incidence of mortality that we think is likely related to obesity,' Sharpless said.
The NCI has noticed in particular an increase in colon cancer deaths in people under age 40, who would be too young for routine screening. 'That's a concerning trend,' Sharpless said.
Obesity may also be playing a role in the slight rise in new cases of breast cancer.
'We have all this progress against smoking-related cancers but obesity is something that we're just probably seeing the tip of the iceberg now in terms of the influence on cancer,' Siegel said.
She said excess body weight currently accounts for about 7 per cent of cancers. 'I'm sure that proportion will continue to increase because it takes a decade or two before you see the influence on exposure reflected in cancer rates.'

annemarie
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Post by Donnamarie on Fri 10 Jan 2020, 21:29

This reminds me of when Trump crashed an AIDS event for kids back in 1996 and he didn’t even donate a dime!

He’s a sick SOB!
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