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Westlake Legal Group > fnc/world (Page 83)

Iranian supertanker sought by US is leased to Revolutionary Guards in apparent act of defiance: report

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6071985956001_6071982912001-vs Iranian supertanker sought by US is leased to Revolutionary Guards in apparent act of defiance: report fox news fnc/world fnc Edmund DeMarche article 994c276d-ab2a-515e-a954-1493fd8b642c

The Iran-flagged supertanker that left port in Gibraltar has reportedly been leased out to the country’s Revolutionary Guards, which is seen as an apparent show of defiance to the U.S. that tried to seize the vessel because of its ties to the elite group designated by the Trump administration a terrorist organization.

TANKER FILLED WITH OIL HEADED TO SYRIA: SOURCE

The tanker, Adrian Darya 1, previously named Grace 1, is believed to be hauling $130 million in light crude oil. It lifted anchor in Gibraltar late Sunday and its location has been monitored. As of early Wednesday, MarineTraffic.com showed the tanker in international waters off the Iberian Peninsula. Iran appeared confident that the ship– despite U.S. efforts to stop its voyage– is not in danger.

“The Adrian Darya vessel needs no escort,” Alireza Tangsiri, the head of the  Revolutionary Guards’ navy, told the Iranian Labour News Agency, according to Reuters.

Tangsiri said the ship is “Korean-made” and owned by Russia. The U.S. argued in unsealed court documents that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are the ship’s true owners through a network of front companies.

Authorities in Gibraltar said Sunday that, unlike in the U.S., the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is not designated a terrorist organization under EU, U.K. or Gibraltar law.

The vessel had been detained for a month in the British overseas territory for allegedly attempting to breach European Union sanctions on Syria. The Iranian ship was detained while sailing under a Panamanian flag with the name Grace 1. It changed the name on Sunday and hoisted an Iranian flag.

Gibraltar authorities rejected a last-minute attempt by the U.S. to reseize the tanker, arguing that EU regulations are less strict than U.S. sanctions on Iran.

The chief minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, said he had been assured in writing by the Iranian government that the tanker wouldn’t unload its cargo in Syria.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iran about any shipments to Syria in the face of  U.S. sanctions, Reuters reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6071985956001_6071982912001-vs Iranian supertanker sought by US is leased to Revolutionary Guards in apparent act of defiance: report fox news fnc/world fnc Edmund DeMarche article 994c276d-ab2a-515e-a954-1493fd8b642c   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6071985956001_6071982912001-vs Iranian supertanker sought by US is leased to Revolutionary Guards in apparent act of defiance: report fox news fnc/world fnc Edmund DeMarche article 994c276d-ab2a-515e-a954-1493fd8b642c

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Migrants disembark rescue ship in Italy after 19-day standoff

A migrant rescue ship carrying more than 80 people was evacuated near Italy’s southernmost Island on Tuesday, ending a 19-day standoff that pushed 15 passengers to jump into the sea to escape deteriorating conditions aboard.

Sicilian prosecutor Luigi Patronaggio ordered the seizure of the ship off the Sicilian island of Lampedusa and the immediate evacuation of its passengers after he boarded the vessel and met with port authorities as part of an investigation into possible kidnapping charges resulting from the refusal of hard-line Interior Minister Matteo Salvini to allow the migrants to disembark, the news agency ANSA reported.

The rescued passengers have been on the Spanish-flagged ship Open Arms since they were plucked from the Mediterranean nearly three weeks ago.

Westlake Legal Group AP19232794429744 Migrants disembark rescue ship in Italy after 19-day standoff fox-news/world/world-regions/italy fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters/refugees fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 45db43b2-59c8-5d04-b71c-8a8dab511dde

Migrants on the Open Arms rescue ship preparing to disembark on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa on Tuesday. (AP)

Salvini had refused to open Italian ports to the vessel even after six countries stepped forward to take the migrants. The group stepped ashore about an hour after the resignation of Italian premier Giuseppe Conte, who accused Salvini of sacrificing the country’s 14-month-old populist government out of eagerness to take the top job himself.

The captain of the Open Arms had previously told Italian officials the crew of 17 was no longer able to maintain control and described the situation as “desperate.” After one Syrian national jumped and was rescued and brought to shore on Lampedusa, two more groups followed his lead. A ferry crew took them to land, sparing them a return to the ship.

Dozens of others have been evacuated in recent days for medical reasons or because they’re minors. Officials said tensions on board were running high, with fights breaking out among the migrants.

ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER RESIGNS AS POPULIST LEADER SALVINI DEMANDS SNAP ELECTION

The temporary confiscation of the rescue ship by the prosecutor “is a cost that Open Arms assumes to secure that the people on board can be assisted,” said the Spanish NGO’s founder, Oscar Camps, on Twitter.

“We consider indispensable prioritizing their health and security in this humanitarian emergency,” he wrote.

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Spain said it would take three days for its navy ship, the Audaz, to reach Lampedusa from the Spanish port of Rota, and it wasn’t immediately clear how long it would take to escort the Open Arms to the Spanish island of Mallorca.

Emilio Damiá Marqués, the commander of the Audaz, told Spanish public broadcaster TVE from Rota that his ship, carrying 62 people including a doctor, was expected to arrive at the Italian island by Friday afternoon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group c9479a6e-AP19232794429744 Migrants disembark rescue ship in Italy after 19-day standoff fox-news/world/world-regions/italy fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters/refugees fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 45db43b2-59c8-5d04-b71c-8a8dab511dde   Westlake Legal Group c9479a6e-AP19232794429744 Migrants disembark rescue ship in Italy after 19-day standoff fox-news/world/world-regions/italy fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/disasters/refugees fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 45db43b2-59c8-5d04-b71c-8a8dab511dde

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US Navy ‘ready’ for whatever ‘needs to be done’ in Venezuela, Naval commander says

The U.S. Navy is prepared to take action if needed in Venezuela, a top U.S. Naval commander said this week.

Adm. Craig Faller, who heads the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) based in Florida, said Tuesday that the Navy must “remain on the balls of our feet” when it comes to the situation in Venezuela, which has been facing a humanitarian crisis amid a fight for control of the country.

“I won’t speak to details of what we’re planning and what we’re doing, but we remain ready to implement policy decisions and we remain on the balls of our feet,” Faller said in Rio de Janeiro as the U.S. started a multination maritime exercise there, AFP reported.

“The United States Navy is the most powerful navy in the world. If a policy decision is made to deploy the Navy, I’m convinced that we’ll be able to do what needs to be done,” he added.

U.S. Navy and Marine forces, as well as military personnel from 12 other Latin American and Caribbean countries, are taking part in UNITAS, a maritime exercise to improve operations and strengthen relationships. The annual drill is being conducted off the coast of Brazil until Aug. 30, AFP said.

VENEZUELAN FIGHTER JET ‘AGGRESSIVELY SHADOWED’ NAVY AIRCRAFT OVER CARIBBEAN SEA, US MILITARY SAYS

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-38fd56462f9d44ed8417ab07517ad729 US Navy 'ready' for whatever 'needs to be done' in Venezuela, Naval commander says Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox news fnc/world fnc article 62b11753-edde-5a4b-bd68-a58579a4dbd7

People protest a day after a massive blackout as they gather for a rally called by self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela Juan Guaido, in Caracas, July 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

This year, the exercise should send a message to Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Faller noted.

“[It] sends a message to Maduro and other partners that don’t share the same values,” he said. “Naval exercises send a message to the world of what democracies that work together can do across a range of complex threats.”

“The U.S. government[‘s] focus continues to be to place focused and targeted pressure on an illegitimate regime to ensure there’s a transition to a legitimate, democratic government. Part of that focus is to ensure that the right humanitarian assistance is allowed to get to the people who need it,” Faller said.

Maduro has served as president of Venezuela since 2013, but this past January, opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself president and swore himself in, attempting to oust Maduro. The U.S. and more than four dozen other countries recognize Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela.

VENEZUELA’S WAR ON CHILDREN AT A ‘BREAKING POINT’ OVER LACK OF MEDICAL CARE

Maduro, who has described humanitarian aid as an “invasion” of the country, has had the support of Russia, China and Cuba, among others. Russia has vowed to send naval ships to Venezuela in a show of support to the socialist regime, Newsweek reported on Thursday.

President Trump has warned against Maduro’s repression, tweeting this past February, “I ask every member of the Maduro regime: End this nightmare of poverty, hunger and death. LET YOUR PEOPLE GO. Set your country free! Now is the time for all Venezuelan Patriots to act together, as one united people. Nothing could be better for the future of Venezuela!”

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Earlier this month, the Trump administration implemented a freeze on the Maduro regime’s assets in the U.S., stopping short of putting a full economic embargo on the country.

When Faller was asked this week how Maduro might respond to the military drills, he said, “I don’t know how Maduro looks at anything.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-a3f316fcace44b3ca89e71e5cf593384 US Navy 'ready' for whatever 'needs to be done' in Venezuela, Naval commander says Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox news fnc/world fnc article 62b11753-edde-5a4b-bd68-a58579a4dbd7   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-a3f316fcace44b3ca89e71e5cf593384 US Navy 'ready' for whatever 'needs to be done' in Venezuela, Naval commander says Melissa Leon fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/venezuelan-political-crisis fox news fnc/world fnc article 62b11753-edde-5a4b-bd68-a58579a4dbd7

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Hong Kong British consulate employee detained in China; officials ‘extremely concerned’

British officials are “extremely concerned” after a consulate employee in Hong Kong disappeared several days ago after making a business trip to mainland China, where he was reportedly detained.

Simon Cheng Man-kit, 28, was reportedly detained after attempting to return to Hong Kong after he was last seen attending a business event in Shenzhen on Aug. 8, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement.

CHINESE DIPLOMAT WARNS BEIJING ‘WILL NOT SIT ON ITS HANDS’: MILITARY RUNS DRILLS NEAR HONG KONG BORDER

It was unclear if Cheng, who worked as a trade and investment officer with the Scottish Development International section of the consulate, had a diplomatic passport, but detaining any person or staff member from a foreign consulate is considered extremely unorthodox.

Westlake Legal Group bk_hongkong Hong Kong British consulate employee detained in China; officials 'extremely concerned' Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox news fnc/world fnc article 163c56a5-4240-51f0-816e-48b045ef1df3

In this Sunday, July 7, 2019, photo, thousands of protesters carrying the British flag march near the harbor of Hong Kong. Hong Kong police on Tuesday confirmed it had received a report on Aug. 9, 2019, about a British foreign ministry employee who has been missing since crossing into China on a business trip. (AP)

“We are extremely concerned by reports that a member of our team has been detained returning to Hong Kong from Shenzhen,” said the statement, which was forwarded by the British Embassy in Beijing. “We are providing support to his family and seeking further information from authorities in Guangdong Province and Hong Kong.”

While British officials, including the Scottish government, which said it was “concerned for Mr. Cheng’s welfare,” have acknowledged the disappearance, officials in China and Hong Kong are at odds over knowledge of the man’s status.

NEWT GINGRICH: US MUST STAND WITH PEOPLE OF HONG KONG FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday that he was “not aware of that,” when asked about Cheng’s apparent detainment.

But Hong Kong police said officers were looking into the case after receiving a missing persons report on Aug. 9, adding that they could not disclose more details because of personal data protection rules.

However, Chief Superintendent Tse Chun-chung disputed those claims saying that Hong Kong police haven’t been notified about the case by mainland Chinese authorities under a mutual notification arrangement set up for such cases.

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Cheng, a permanent resident in Hong Kong, reportedly texted his girlfriend to “pray for me” as he was “passing through” Chinese immigration shortly before his disappearance, The Washington Post reported.

The official’s disappearance comes amid weeks of heated protest between mainland China and Hong Kong over a bitter dispute involving political reform and police brutality.

Meanwhile, hundreds of members of the People’s Armed Police, as well as paramilitary vehicles, have been photographed across the border at a Shenzhen soccer stadium. The stadium is just across a bridge that is one of the main access roads between the mainland and Hong Kong.

Hong Kong was a British colony until it was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group bk_hongkong Hong Kong British consulate employee detained in China; officials 'extremely concerned' Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox news fnc/world fnc article 163c56a5-4240-51f0-816e-48b045ef1df3   Westlake Legal Group bk_hongkong Hong Kong British consulate employee detained in China; officials 'extremely concerned' Paulina Dedaj fox-news/world/world-regions/united-kingdom fox-news/world/world-regions/hong-kong fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/world/world-regions/asia fox news fnc/world fnc article 163c56a5-4240-51f0-816e-48b045ef1df3

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Russia resumes sharing radiation data following missile explosion, says they’re not obliged to do so

Russia has resumed sharing data from its radiation monitoring stations in Siberia after some were taken offline following a deadly explosion at a missile range, a nuclear weapons watchdog said Tuesday.

The mysterious accident at a naval weapons testing range on the White Sea in northwestern Russia earlier this month has been accompanied by changing or contradictory information from Russian authorities. That has led to speculation about what really happened in the town of and what type of weapon was involved.

RUSSIA NUCLEAR MONITORING SITES LOST CONTACT AFTER MYSTERY BLAST: REPORT

It has even raised comparisons to the Soviet Union’s 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the world’s worst nuclear disaster, when Soviet officials tried to cover up the news for days.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization said earlier this week that several Russian radiation monitoring stations went silent shortly after the reported explosion.

Westlake Legal Group AP19226555115395 Russia resumes sharing radiation data following missile explosion, says they're not obliged to do so fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 4dc8d40b-9bd1-5bd3-b58a-559e233b2bdb

This photo taken on Oct. 7, 2018, shows a village of Nyonoksa, northwestern Russia. The Aug. 8, 2019, explosion of a rocket engine at the Russian navy’s testing range just outside Nyonoksa led to a brief spike in radiation levels and raised new questions about prospective Russian weapons.  (AP)

RUSSIAN HEALTH WORKERS SAY THEY WEREN’T WARNED PATIENTS WERE COMING FROM NUCLEAR ACCIDENT SITE

Lassina Zebro, the organization’s executive secretary, said Tuesday on Twitter that the two Russian stations that were reported to be offline are back in operation and they are now backfilling the data. He also lauded Moscow for “excellent cooperation.”

Russian officials earlier Tuesday brushed off suggestions that they were concealing details of the explosion from foreign nations.

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Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Interfax news agency Tuesday that it is Russia’s choice, not an obligation, to share data under the treaty. He did not directly address the reports that information on radiation levels was not shared.

Westlake Legal Group AP19226555115395 Russia resumes sharing radiation data following missile explosion, says they're not obliged to do so fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 4dc8d40b-9bd1-5bd3-b58a-559e233b2bdb   Westlake Legal Group AP19226555115395 Russia resumes sharing radiation data following missile explosion, says they're not obliged to do so fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 4dc8d40b-9bd1-5bd3-b58a-559e233b2bdb

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Brazil police ‘neutralize’ armed man holding dozens hostage on bus in Rio de Janeiro

Westlake Legal Group police-rio-2-iStock Brazil police 'neutralize' armed man holding dozens hostage on bus in Rio de Janeiro Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/brazil fox news fnc/world fnc article 604315df-922d-54fd-b86a-686ca2020455

A Brazilian police sniper “neutralized” an armed man who held dozens of people hostage on a public bus in Rio de Janeiro, officials said.

All of the hostages were released unharmed, Rio de Janeiro State Military Police said.

The hostage situation began around 5:30 a.m. local time Tuesday on a busy bridge linking Niteroi to downtown Rio de Janeiro. Police shut down traffic to the area and placed a sniper on a nearby perch.

BRAZIL GANG LEADER WHOSE ELABORATE DAUGHTER DISGUISE FAILED FOUND DEAD IN JAIL CELL

Federal Highway Police said the armed man, who was threatening to set the bus on fire, had been holding 37 people hostage. Negotiations were underway before the standoff ended.

At least 6 of the hostages were released during the incident, telling authorities that the man had spilled gasoline in the bus. They said the man identified himself as a policeman, although this has not been confirmed. He reportedly had a gun and a knife.

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Authorities said the man had not made any particular demands and appeared to have “psychological problems.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Westlake Legal Group police-rio-2-iStock Brazil police 'neutralize' armed man holding dozens hostage on bus in Rio de Janeiro Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/brazil fox news fnc/world fnc article 604315df-922d-54fd-b86a-686ca2020455   Westlake Legal Group police-rio-2-iStock Brazil police 'neutralize' armed man holding dozens hostage on bus in Rio de Janeiro Stephen Sorace fox-news/world/world-regions/latin-america fox-news/world/world-regions/brazil fox news fnc/world fnc article 604315df-922d-54fd-b86a-686ca2020455

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Al Qaeda-linked Syrian militants forced to flee key rebel town

Westlake Legal Group ad1c390c-800-1 Al Qaeda-linked Syrian militants forced to flee key rebel town Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/terrorism/al-qaeda fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox news fnc/world fnc article 33881aaa-fed1-5759-8292-a9c057728383

The main Syrian militant group linked to Al Qaeda pulled out of a key rebel town following the Syrian government forces’ campaign of bombardment and airstrikes.

The militant group, operating in the Syrian province of Idlib that held the town of Khan Sheikhoun since 2014, said in a statement released by Syria’s main Al Qaeda-linked faction that it had to make “a redeployment,” with its fighters withdrawing to areas south of the town.

“After fierce bombardment by the criminal enemy that avoids direct confrontation with holy warriors by implementing a scorched-earth policy, our fighters have redeployed south of Khan Sheihoun,” the statement said.

“After fierce bombardment by the criminal enemy that avoids direct confrontation with holy warriors by implementing a scorched-earth policy, our fighters have redeployed south of Khan Sheihoun.”

— Al Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham

KURDISH-SYRIAN ‘FEMINISTS’ FORM GIANT HUMAN SHIELD TO RESIST TURKISH INCURSION

The withdrawal is a major loss for the militants in its last major stronghold of Idlib, in northwestern Syria, though the group pledged to continue fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces – backed by Russia – and defend the territory it still holds.

The government forces have been conducting an offensive campaign in Idlib and northern parts of the Hama province since April 30, forcing nearly half a million people to flee the area to safety while more than 2,000 people have died, including hundreds of civilians.

SHOCKING IMAGE FROM SYRIA SHOWS GIRL, 5, CLINGING TO SISTER’S T-SHIRT AT BOMBED BUILDING

Opposition activists say Syrian government forces were able to penetrate parts of the town overnight thanks to air support from Russia. Syrian troops are now working to clear the area abandoned by militants of explosives and booby-traps.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the Al Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and other insurgent groups withdrew from Khan Sheikhoun as well as all the towns and villages south of the town.

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The group said Khan Sheikhoun was home to about 1 million people, with nearly 700,000 of them displaced by fighting in other parts of the country.

The town was also a stronghold of the Al Qaeda-linked militant faction, the most powerful group in rebel-held areas in Syria. The town was also the scene of a chemical attack on April 4, 2017, that left 89 people dead.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group ad1c390c-800-1 Al Qaeda-linked Syrian militants forced to flee key rebel town Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/terrorism/al-qaeda fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox news fnc/world fnc article 33881aaa-fed1-5759-8292-a9c057728383   Westlake Legal Group ad1c390c-800-1 Al Qaeda-linked Syrian militants forced to flee key rebel town Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/terrorism/al-qaeda fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox news fnc/world fnc article 33881aaa-fed1-5759-8292-a9c057728383

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Armed man holds dozens hostage on bus in Rio de Janeiro

Westlake Legal Group police-rio-2-iStock Armed man holds dozens hostage on bus in Rio de Janeiro fox-news/world/world-regions/brazil fox news fnc/world fnc article 604315df-922d-54fd-b86a-686ca2020455

Brazilian police are negotiating with an armed man who is holding dozens of people hostage on a public bus in Rio de Janeiro.

The hostage situation began around 5:30 a.m. local time Tuesday on a busy bridge linking Niteroi to downtown Rio de Janeiro.

Federal Highway Police said the armed man, who has threatened to set the bus on fire, is holding 37 people hostage. They said negotiations are underway.

At least four of the hostages have been released so far, telling authorities that the man had spilled gasoline in the bus. They said the man identified himself as a policeman, although this has not been confirmed.

Authorities said the man has not made any particular demands and appears to have “psychological problems.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Westlake Legal Group police-rio-2-iStock Armed man holds dozens hostage on bus in Rio de Janeiro fox-news/world/world-regions/brazil fox news fnc/world fnc article 604315df-922d-54fd-b86a-686ca2020455   Westlake Legal Group police-rio-2-iStock Armed man holds dozens hostage on bus in Rio de Janeiro fox-news/world/world-regions/brazil fox news fnc/world fnc article 604315df-922d-54fd-b86a-686ca2020455

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China could win military conflict in Indo-Pacific region even ‘before America can respond’, think tank warns

A new study by a think tank warns the U.S. has lost its military supremacy in the Indo-Pacific region, with China being able to launch and win a military conflict even before American forces are able to respond.

The University of Sydney’s United States Study Center released a study on Friday detailing the profound changes it claims is happening in the region, paving way for China to exert more influence.

CHINESE DIPLOMAT WARNS BEIJING ‘WILL NOT SIT ON ITS HANDS’; MILITARY RUNS DRILLS NEAR HONG KONG BORDER

The report, titled “Averting Crisis: American strategy, military spending and collective defence in the Indo-Pacific,” claims that “America no longer enjoys military primacy in the Indo-Pacific and its capacity to uphold a favorable balance of power is increasingly uncertain.”

“America no longer enjoys military primacy in the Indo-Pacific and its capacity to uphold a favorable balance of power is increasingly uncertain.”

— The University of Sydney’s United States Study Center

The researchers found that although the U.S. military is still perceived as a force to be reckoned with globally, the “combined effect of ongoing wars in the Middle East, budget austerity, underinvestment in advanced military capabilities and the scale of America’s liberal order-building agenda has left the U.S. armed forces ill-prepared for great power competition in the Indo-Pacific.”

More alarmingly, the report warns that China would be able to use the U.S. military’s lack of reach in the region to launch a military attack against America’s regional allies and achieve victory even before the U.S. responds, Newsweek reported.

Westlake Legal Group President-Xi- China could win military conflict in Indo-Pacific region even 'before America can respond', think tank warns Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c66fbbc-2635-5b73-86ad-b181db90012c

FILE – In this June 29. 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump, left, meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

“Having studied the American way of war — premised on power projection and all-domain military dominance — China has deployed a formidable array of precision missiles and other counter-intervention systems to undercut America’s military primacy,” the report said.

NEWT GINGRICH: US MUST STAND WITH PEOPLE OF HONG KONG FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM

“By making it difficult for US forces to operate within range of these weapons, Beijing could quickly use limited force to achieve a fait accompli victory — particularly around Taiwan, the Japanese archipelago or maritime Southeast Asia — before America can respond, sowing doubt about Washington’s security guarantees in the process.”

“By making it difficult for US forces to operate within range of these weapons, Beijing could quickly use limited force to achieve a fait accompli victory … before America can respond, sowing doubt about Washington’s security guarantees in the process.”

— The University of Sydney’s United States Study Center

The report comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing. While the two countries have repeatedly clashed over trade, with President Trump criticizing the Chinese government over policies that he claims hurt the American economy, the U.S. military cautioned China earlier this year over the islands claimed by China in the disputed South China Sea.

Two U.S. warships sailed near islands claimed by China back in May, while two American nuclear-capable B-52H flew over the South China Sea at least twice in March.

US WARSHIPS SAIL NEAR DISPUTED ISLANDS CLAIMED BY CHINA, AS TENSIONS ESCALATE: REPORT

The South China Sea has been the site of ongoing tension, primarily between the U.S. and China, which claims nearly all of the strategic waters despite competing claims from other Southeast Asian nations.

But as the U.S. and China engage in more symbolic military moves, the Friday’s study claims the Chinese military could launch a “limited war” to retake Taiwan or fully take control of the disputed islands using not only conventional capabilities but cyber and political weapons as well.

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“In all these scenarios, Beijing’s aim would be to strike first to secure longstanding political goals or strategically valuable objectives before the United States can do anything to stop it,” the report said.

Westlake Legal Group President-Xi- China could win military conflict in Indo-Pacific region even 'before America can respond', think tank warns Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c66fbbc-2635-5b73-86ad-b181db90012c   Westlake Legal Group President-Xi- China could win military conflict in Indo-Pacific region even 'before America can respond', think tank warns Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/world-regions/pacific fox-news/world/world-regions/china fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/world fnc article 1c66fbbc-2635-5b73-86ad-b181db90012c

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Islamist terror plots in Europe declining, but schemes getting more ‘creative,’ analysis says

Despite being driven from its former Iraq and Syria strongholds six months ago, ISIS continues to find ways to wreak havoc across the Middle East, remaining an innovative — if less strategically successful — terror force.

According to a new report from The Heritage Foundation, “The Post-Caliphate Terror Threat in Europe – and the Need for Continuing U.S. Assistance,” ISIS’ territorial defeat can be directly equated with the decline in attacks; but, the author also notes, the threat landscape has changed.

“America’s strategy has worked: It took almost four-and-a-half years, but the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria and Iraq has been dismantled. Yet the threat from ISIS is far from over,” the report, authored by Heritage National Security and Foreign Policy fellow Rob Simcox, states. “Increased focus is now being placed instead on the danger that ISIS is likely to pose as an insurgency.”

ISIS SLEEPER CELLS BURN, BLOW UP AND SLAUGHTER HUNDREDS IN UPTICK OF ATTACKS ACROSS IRAQ AND SYRIA

The total number of attacks on European soil has declined since 2014, the year ISIS emerged and undertook a stunning campaign that won it large swaths of territory across Iraq and Syria.

In 2014, Europe was targeted with 16 Islamist attacks and plots, the number rising to 44 in 2015 and then up to 84 in 2016 – the height of ISIS’ influence before major efforts were undertaken by numerous world powers to force the terrorists from their operations base. In 2017, the attacks in Europe decreased slightly to 78 attacks and plots, followed by 41 in 2018 and, so far in 2019, just 16.

The report credits improved intelligence sharing and the destruction of the so-called caliphate for disrupting the group’s ability to consistently export terror to Europe.

“Removing ISIS from its caliphate appears to have had positive consequences for European security: As of mid-June 2019, there has not been a major, coordinated attack in Europe since fall 2017. However, more unsophisticated Islamist operations continue, with 21 injured and three killed in four separate attacks so far this year,” the report says. “Yet there was evidence that terrorists and terror suspects were getting even more creative with their European plots in 2018, and the threat picture was growing more diverse.”

Westlake Legal Group Spain-France-Terror Islamist terror plots in Europe declining, but schemes getting more 'creative,' analysis says Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox news fnc/world fnc c58f178a-e3fe-54ea-bcd9-1890ed7ade02 article

Armed security patrols around the Eiffel Tower on January 9, 2015 in Paris, France.  (2015 Getty Images)

The report underscores the three chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear terror plots in Europe in 2018 — despite none in the previous four years. All involved ricin, with one plot also involving anthrax.

“Also striking was an arrest made in the U.K. in the summer of 2018 to prevent an alleged plan to deploy drones as part of a broader Islamist plot,” Simcox continued. “Another unusual plot saw multiple attempts to derail trains in Germany. An Iraqi refugee and his associates are suspected of placing steel rope and cement blocks on train lines carrying high-speed trains.”

INSIDE VENEZUELA’S TORTUROUS INTELLIGENCE AND DRUG-RUNNING BRANCH SEBIN

The “Post-Caliphate Terror Threat” also acknowledges that several hundred fighters who fled Europe to join ISIS during its bloody reign were never caught, and, as the caliphate began to collapse, smugglers transported ISIS fighters, both foreign and local, and their families to Turkey, where they were ordered to lie low.

Some chose to enter (or re-enter) Europe, exploiting well-traveled migrant routes, the report states, noting that “European security officials have speculated that a host of other countries— ranging from Afghanistan to the Maldives—could serve as potential bases where foreign fighters can lie low after the loss of the caliphate.”

Simcox also stressed the importance of the U.S. remaining deeply engaged in the counterterrorism effort, and working closely with European partners to stay on top of emerging threats. But Simcox cautioned the “U.S. should also certainly not be making public proclamations of defeating ISIS, which is a very premature statement and only invites complacency.”

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As for Europe, there’s still a lot of work ahead, according to the report.

“[Europe] needs to adopt an aggressive and wide-ranging approach to counterterrorism. It needs to pass legislation where necessary that enables it to either prosecute or deport national security threats; continue to improve intelligence sharing; focus on improving integration and assimilation; develop de-radicalization initiatives, including in prisons; control mass immigration; shut down terrorist financing; and contribute militarily where appropriate in the Middle East, Africa, Asia when Islamist groups threaten Western security,” Simcox wrote. “It must do so all the while being cognizant of the need to try and defeat the ideology that animates these Islamist groups.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6070071574001_6070080521001-vs Islamist terror plots in Europe declining, but schemes getting more 'creative,' analysis says Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox news fnc/world fnc c58f178a-e3fe-54ea-bcd9-1890ed7ade02 article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6070071574001_6070080521001-vs Islamist terror plots in Europe declining, but schemes getting more 'creative,' analysis says Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox news fnc/world fnc c58f178a-e3fe-54ea-bcd9-1890ed7ade02 article

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