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U.S. President Donald Trump presented a bill to his Cabinet on Tuesday aimed at boosting border security and overhauling the current immigration system to make it more merit-based, a senior administration official said. The president will meet with Republican congressional leaders Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy later on Tuesday to map out a way forward, the official added, requesting anonymity. "The goal of this has been to unify the Republicans as much as possible around a plan," he said, noting that divisions with the GOP over policy issues had hindered immigration reform bids in the past.
The Navy simply lacks enough ships and aircraft to meet the increasing demands of its global mission. The recent oil tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman reinforce the need to reestablish a highly visible U.S. naval deterrent in the Middle East. For eight months last year, no aircraft carrier strike group plied the region, the longest such interruption this millennium. With the United States needing a more robust posture against Iran and confronting renewed challenges in Asia and Europe, several immediate measures and concerted longer-term efforts are critical to ensure America has the carriers it needs.The requirement to maintain carrier presence in the Middle East is a critical part of a broader national security strategy, in which U.S. global security interests necessitate a worldwide force presence. Indeed, the Navy's mission demands remain as high as those of the Cold War, calling on ships to be everywhere seemingly at once, but today's fleet is less than half the size it was 30 years ago.During the Obama administration, a “rebalance” supposedly allowed the Pentagon to focus on Asia and Europe while washing its hands of the Middle East. In reality, we never effectively rebalanced forces in the Indo-Pacific, and the situation on the ground forced us to remain deeply involved in the Middle East. Now with a growing Iranian threat, it would be imprudent to suddenly abandon the region, even as we face renewed challenges in the Pacific, Atlantic and Mediterranean.(This first appeared in June 2019.)
(Bloomberg) -- A small oil tanker that had gone missing in the Persian Gulf had technical difficulties and was towed into Iranian waters for repairs, an Iranian foreign ministry official said, according to the ISNA news agency.Further details on the ship, the Panamanian-flagged Riah, will be announced later, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, according to the semi-offficial ISNA. Iran responded after a request for assistance from the tanker, the report said.The Iranian comments did little to clarify exactly what happened to the Riah. The vessel was passing through the Strait of Hormuz, the shipping chokepoint at the mouth of the Gulf, before it went silent more than two days ago in unexplained circumstances, according to the Associated Press. The news agency said the U.S. “has suspicions” that Iran took control of the tanker, citing an unidentified defense official.The disappearance was first reported by CNN, which said U.S. intelligence increasingly believed the tanker had been forced into Iranian waters by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps but that some Gulf sources suggested the ship simply broke down and was towed by Iran.Earlier, a United Arab Emirates official said the ship isn’t owned or operated by the U.A.E. and hadn’t sent out a distress call.While details are unclear, if the Riah was seized, it would seem an unusual target for Iran. The vessel is 30 years old and tiny. Its capacity is 2,000 dead weight tons, according to the MarineTraffic website. That’s only a fraction of the almost 160,000-ton capacity of the British Heritage, the U.K. oil tanker harassed by Iranian ships last week while exiting the Persian Gulf.Why Tanker Attacks Raise Fears Over Strait of Hormuz: QuickTakeWhile Iran has been blamed for attacks on merchant shipping in recent months, it has denied responsibility. The main threats it has made in the past few weeks have been against the U.K. after British Royal Marines helped authorities in Gibraltar seize the supertanker as it carried Iranian crude in the Mediterranean Sea seemingly bound for Syria.In May and June, six tankers were attacked just outside the Gulf. A British Navy frigate intervened this month to stop Iranian boats from blocking the BP Plc-operated British Heritage as it was exiting the waters.U.K. Navy Intervenes After Iran Tries to Stop British Oil TankerThe U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg.\--With assistance from Anthony DiPaola and Golnar Motevalli.To contact the reporters on this story: Zainab Fattah in Dubai at firstname.lastname@example.org;Verity Ratcliffe in Dubai at email@example.com;Zoya Khan in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at email@example.com, Bill Faries, Larry LiebertFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Police in riot gear are lined up on a road in Hawaii where an estimated 2,000 people are gathered to protest construction of a telescope on a mountain that some Native Hawaiians consider sacred. Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe says officials on Wednesday closed a highway leading to the protest site so a convoy of construction equipment can be brought up Mauna Kea. Protesters are off to the side of the road, singing.
Brazilian police say they’ve shut down a clandestine factory that was producing fake Ferraris and sham Lamborghinis
One month ago, former Daily Show host Jon Stewart went on Fox News to shame Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for failing to protect 9/11 first responders. Wednesday afternoon, he was back on that network to give his fellow Republican senator from Kentucky a piece of his mind. In an interview with Bret Baier, Stewart immediately took aim at Rand Paul who, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), blocked a Senate bill that would extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, making the case that it should be offset by other spending cuts. Responding directly to Paul, Stewart called his objection “absolutely outrageous,” adding, “Pardon me if I’m not impressed in any way by Rand Paul’s fiscal responsibility virtue signaling.” Jon Stewart Fires Back at Mitch McConnell on ‘Colbert’: Stop ‘Jacking Around’ 9/11 First RespondersStewart went on to condemn Paul for supporting President Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut that “added hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit” and now trying to “balance the budget on the backs of the 9/11 first responder community.” “Bret, this is about what kind of society we have,” a clearly furious Stewart continued. “At some point, we have to stand up for the people who have always stood up for us, and at this moment in time maybe cannot stand up for themselves due to their illnesses and their injuries. And what Rand Paul did today on the floor of the Senate was outrageous.” “He is a guy who put us in hundreds of billions of dollars in debt,” he said of Paul. “And now he’s going to tell us that a billion dollars a year over 10 years is just too much for us to handle? You know, there are some things that they have no trouble putting on the credit card, but somehow when it comes to the 9/11 first responder community—the cops, the firefighters, the construction workers, the volunteers, the survivors—all of a sudden we’ve got to go through this.” Appearing next to Stewart was 9/11 first responder and activist John Feal, who thanked the host and Fox News as a whole for being so “generous” with their time on this issue before calling Senators Paul and Lee “bottom-feeders” who “lack humanity” and “lack leadership.”Stewart said survivors like Feal and others shouldn’t have to “drag themselves back to Washington, put their hats in their hands and beg for something that this country should have done 14 years ago,” adding, “It’s an abomination.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
As more than a million people on Facebook say they're "going" to a joke event to "storm Area 51," the U.S. military has responded to the plans.
Investigators looking into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have discovered a “mysterious 200lb load” added to the flight list after take-off, according to an engineer whose wife and two children were on board. Ghyslain Wattrelos said the cargo was revealed in a report on the passengers and baggage by French investigators. Mr Wattrelos, who believes the flight was deliberately downed, told Le Parisien newspaper: “It was also learned that a mysterious load of 89 kilos was added to the flight list after take-off. A container was also overloaded, without anyone knowing why. It may be incompetence or manipulation. Everything is possible. This will be part of the questions for the Malaysians.” MH370 became one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries when it vanished with 239 people on board en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. French investigators who examined flight data at Boeing’s headquarters in Seattle believe that the pilot was in control of the airliner “right up to the end”. A modern mystery | Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Mr Wattrelos said the investigators told him the data “lends weight” to the theory that the pilot crashed into the sea in a murder-suicide, although they stressed that there was no proof. The investigators expect it to take up to a year to examine the data fully. However, some experts believe a hijack by a stowaway is a possibility and the mysterious load could lend credence to the theory. Tim Termini, an aviation security specialist, told Channel 5 earlier this month: “It’s highly likely that a hijack took place and again, there’s four options for the hijack. "One is the hijack of the aircraft through a crew member. The second is a hijack coming from a passenger. A third option, which is a fairly unusual one, would be a stowaway. And then of course the fourth option is an electrical takeover of the aircraft from a ground-based station.” Mr Wattrelos, 54, who has led a campaign to find out what happened to the flight, acknowledged that “there is a risk that I may never learn the full truth.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
Australia's government on Wednesday called on China to allow an Australian child and his Uighur mother to leave the country, days after co-signing a letter denouncing Beijing's treatment of the Muslim minority. China has rounded up an estimated one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking minorities into re-education camps in tightly controlled Xinjiang region, in the country's northwest. Sadam Abdusalam has campaigned for months for his Uighur wife, Nadila Wumaier, and their son Lutifeier, whom he has never met, to be allowed to come to Australia.
GENEVA/WASHINGTON, July 17 (Reuters) - The increased use of drones by Iran and its allies for surveillance and attacks across the Middle East is raising alarms in Washington. The United States believes that Iran-linked militia in Iraq have recently increased their surveillance of American troops and bases in the country by using off-the-shelf, commercially available drones, U.S. officials say.
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