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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 212)

Judge rules in favor of recall effort against Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy

An Alaska judge ruled Friday in favor of a recall effort against Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy after the state Division of Elections rejected a bid late last year to advance the campaign.

In his ruling, Superior Court Judge Eric Aarseth said he doesn’t have the authority to create more stringent definitions than those previously used by courts. He said the recall process is a “fundamentally” political process.

“This is not an issue for the judicial branch to decide whether the governor should stay in office or not or some other elected official,” Aarseth said from his bench in Anchorage. “This is a question for the voters, and the constitution makes that very clear.”

The ruling is expected to be appealed.

Recall Dunleavy, the group trying to remove the governor just over a year after he took office, says he broke the law by not appointing a judge within a mandated time frame and misused state funds for partisan online ads and mailers.

TRUMP DEFENDS EMBATTLED ALASKA GOVERNOR FACING RECALL PUSH

Westlake Legal Group md2 Judge rules in favor of recall effort against Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/alaska fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4cacb9e3-423b-5f27-8e61-ec8af551423b

An Alaska judge ruled Friday a recall effort against Gov. Mike Dunleavy can continue.  (Office of Michael Dunleavy)

The group said he also used his veto authority to attack the judiciary. Grounds for recall in Alaska are lack of fitness, incompetence, neglect of duties or corruption. The recall group is not alleging corruption.

Gail Fenumiai, director of the state Division of Elections, said she rejected the recall bid based on an opinion from state Attorney General Kevin Clarkson, who found the reasons listed for the recall “factually and legally deficient.”

The recall group argued the argument was overreaching and said it should be allowed to move on to a second signature-gathering phase.

“This is not a mere policy disagreement, and the recall sponsors have alleged serious violations of the law,” said Jahna Lindemuth, an attorney for the recall group.

Dunleavy’s office did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment. He questioned the motives of recall supporters in a Fox News interview last year.

“These folks started to talk about a recall a mere two months into my term and its more about the agenda I was elected on and the agenda I am implementing that some of the folks on the left don’t agree with,” Dunleavy told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto in October.

Aarseth said petitions supporting the recall should be issued no later than Feb. 10, unless the date is stayed by the Alaska Supreme Court. The group needs at least 71,252 signatures from registered voters.

Claire Pywell, who manages the recall group, said the ruling is “a critical step in allowing the citizens of Alaska to exercise their constitutional right to recall.”

The Department of Law, which represents the Division of Elections in the case, said it “essentially gives us a political recall with no threshold.”

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“We look forward to arguing these issues on appeal and receiving the court’s direction,” the agency told Fox News in a statement.

President Trump defended Dunleavy in October via Twitter, saying he was being “treated unfairly by the Democrats because he is doing an unbelievable job and fulfilling every one of his promises.”

Westlake Legal Group md2 Judge rules in favor of recall effort against Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/alaska fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4cacb9e3-423b-5f27-8e61-ec8af551423b   Westlake Legal Group md2 Judge rules in favor of recall effort against Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/west/alaska fox-news/entertainment/events/in-court fox news fnc/politics fnc article 4cacb9e3-423b-5f27-8e61-ec8af551423b

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Trump Ups Iran Accusations As Questions Mount About Justification

Westlake Legal Group 5e1927b525000036289906c5 Trump Ups Iran Accusations As Questions Mount About Justification

WASHINGTON (AP) — Confronted by persistent questions about his military action in the Middle East, President Donald Trump and his top officials offered a string of fresh explanations Friday, with Trump now contending Iranian militants had planned major attacks on four U.S. embassies.

Just hours earlier, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said the U.S. didn’t know when or where attacks might occur. Trump and other officials insisted anew that Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani had posed an imminent threat to the U.S., but they rebuffed repeated attempts to explain what they meant by “imminent.”

Trump, meanwhile, announced additional sanctions against Iran, which he had promised after a barrage of missiles fired by the Islamic State against American bases in Iraq earlier this week.

Those Iranian missiles, which caused no casualties, were prompted by the U.S. drone strike that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week in Baghdad. That U.S. assault set off a chain of events that may have included the downing of a Ukrainian jetliner, possibly by an Iranian missile, and calls by the Iraqi government to expel U.S. troops from their country.

At the White House, Trump issued an executive order adding additional U.S. sanctions to the already long list his administration had imposed in an effort to force Iran to accept a new agreement that would curb its nuclear program and to halt support for militant groups throughout the Middle East.

Trump declared the U.S. was holding Iran responsible for attacks against the United States as well as a threat to U.S. service members, diplomats and civilians — an apparent reference to the justification for killing Soleimani.

“The United States will continue to counter the Iranian regime’s destructive and destabilizing behavior,” he said.

But Trump and others faced continuing questions over their claims of an “imminent” threat. Members of Congress said Pompeo and other officials did not provide sufficient detail or justification in briefings this week.

Define what you mean by imminent, Pompeo was asked Friday at a White House news conference.

“I don’t know exactly which minute,” Pompeo said. “We don’t know exactly which day it would have been executed, but it was very clear. Qassem Soleimani himself was plotting a broad, large-scale attack against American interests and those attacks were imminent.”

Both Pompeo and Trump had said U.S. embassies were threatened. The secretary of state broadened it to include “American facilities,” including military bases throughout the region. “This was going to happen, and American lives were at risk,” he said.

Trump gave a more worrisome number but still no specifics in a later comment.

“I can reveal that I believe it probably would’ve been four embassies,” he told Fox News in an interview taped Friday.

He spoke amid revelations by U.S. officials that the American military had tried, but failed, to kill another senior Iranian commander on the same day that Soleimani was killed. The targeting of Abdul Reza Shahlai was apparently part of an effort to cripple the leadership of Iran’s Quds Force, which the U.S. has designated a terror organization along with the larger Islamic Revolutionary Guard Force.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the killing of Soleimani “provocative and disproportionate,” and other members said they were unconvinced after a closed-door briefing on the intelligence.

“President Trump recklessly assassinated Qasem Soleimani,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Washington state Democrat. “He had no evidence of an imminent threat or attack.”

The new sanctions were in immediate response to Iran’s firing of a barrage of missiles at American bases in neighboring Iraq this week after the killing of Soleimani. No one was injured. The larger U.S. goal is to force Iran to negotiate a new agreement on limiting its nuclear program.

In 2018, Trump withdrew from the nuclear agreement signed under President Barack Obama that traded curbs on the program for the easing of sanctions. Since then, the administration has added additional economic measures that have created hardship in Iran and brought its oil revenue to historic lows but have failed to bring the Iranian government to the negotiating table.

The sanctions added Friday include measures aimed at eight senior Iranian officials involved in what Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called “destabilizing” activities throughout the Middle East as well as Tuesday’s missile barrage.

Those measures, which would freeze any assets the officials have in U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit financial transactions with them, are largely symbolic since such senior figures are unlikely to have assets under American control after decades of hostility between the two nations.

But other measures announced Friday could have a significant effect on strategically important sectors of the Iranian economy, said Ben Davis, chief research officer at research and data analytics firm Kharon.

The executive order grants the administration power to place anyone involved, even indirectly, in the construction, manufacturing, textile or mining sector on a global financial blacklist. It also targets 17 of the largest steel and iron manufacturers — one of the few growth spots in the hobbled Iranian economy — along with three foreign companies, including two based in China, under secondary sanctions.

“It sends a signal to other foreign firms that continue to do business with Iranian steel producers that this is off limits,” said Davis, a former Treasury Department official.

Adnan Mazarei, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said the sanctions will hurt an Iranian economy that was forced to cut fuel subsidies earlier this year, triggering nationwide protests, but they also will make it harder for government to negotiate with the U.S.

“This will be seen as another sign that the U.S. government cannot be taken at its word when it says it wants to negotiate,” Mazarei said.

Mnuchin insisted the sanctions are working and have deprived Iran of tens of billions of dollars. “They would be using that for terrorist activities throughout the region and to enable them to do more bad things,” he said. “And there’s no question, by cutting off the economics to the region, we are having an impact.”

Associated Press writer Chris Rugaber contributed to this report.

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Byron York: Senate’s Trump impeachment trial schedule a ‘huge deal’ for 2020 Democrats

Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132231761223990000 Byron York: Senate's Trump impeachment trial schedule a 'huge deal' for 2020 Democrats fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 55ee6372-4b3d-5475-950b-cf217295da19

The timing of the Senate’s likely impeachment trial of President Trump will not bode well for some 2020 Democrats‘ hopes of campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire before those states’ respective caucus and primary, according to Fox News contributor Byron York.

York said Friday on “The Story” that a handful of the Democratic presidential hopefuls are sitting U.S. Senators, who will have to be in Washington D.C. while their primary opponents are out in Des Moines and Concord.

AOC RILES DEMS BY REFUSING TO PAY PARTY DUES, BANKROLLING COLLEAGUES’ OPPONENTS

Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Cory Booker of New Jersey will all be subject to a six-day-per-week trial, York said. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he will make all senators work Saturdays as they adjudicate the articles yet to be forwarded by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

“This is a huge deal for some Democrats,” he said. “If the trial does start next week, the Clinton trial took four or five or six weeks to finish. And if it takes that long … that will go over the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.”

“Sanders and Warren are going to be sitting in the Senate.”

York predicted that Pelosi will forward the articles sometime after Tuesday’s Democratic debate in Iowa.

Trump himself poked fun at the Democrats’ predicament Friday, sharing a clip of Sanders being interviewed by CBS “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert.

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Sanders told the comedian he would be using a private jet to fly between the District of Columbia and the early primary states in order to fulfill both his senatorial and campaign obligations.

“Looks like Crazy Bernie will use a private jet to fly to early primary states during the hoax impeachment trial,” Trump wrote on Facebook. “Is this the same Bernie Sanders who supports the Green New Deal? Hypocrite!”

Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132231761223990000 Byron York: Senate's Trump impeachment trial schedule a 'huge deal' for 2020 Democrats fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 55ee6372-4b3d-5475-950b-cf217295da19   Westlake Legal Group ENC3_132231761223990000 Byron York: Senate's Trump impeachment trial schedule a 'huge deal' for 2020 Democrats fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/senate/democrats fox-news/politics/senate fox-news/person/elizabeth-warren fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 55ee6372-4b3d-5475-950b-cf217295da19

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Iran Is Expected to Announce Cause of Ukrainian Jet Crash

Westlake Legal Group 10dc-crash1-facebookJumbo Iran Is Expected to Announce Cause of Ukrainian Jet Crash Zelensky, Volodymyr United States International Relations Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 Ukraine Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike Missiles and Missile Defense Systems Iran Defense and Military Forces Canada Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Iranian officials plan to meet with international investigators on Saturday and announce the cause of the Ukrainian jetliner crash near Tehran this week that killed all 176 aboard, Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency reported on Friday, capping a day of international recriminations.

The announcement comes amid a global race to answer the many questions surrounding the Wednesday crash. American and allied intelligence assessments have suggested that Iranian missiles brought down the plane, most likely by accident, amid the heightened tensions between the United States and Iran. On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo became the first American official to publicly confirm the disclosures.

“We do believe that it’s likely that the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile,” he said at a briefing at the White House to announce new sanctions against Iran in response to its firing of ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq this week. “We’re going to let the investigation play out before we make a final determination,” he added.

Iranian officials have denied that its missiles brought down the plane. A top aviation official doubled down on Friday, saying that statements from other nations were politically motivated.

But by late Friday, officials were considering acknowledging that Iranian missiles brought down the jet, according to four Iranians familiar with the deliberations. But the government may instead try to blame faulty jet equipment.

Ukraine’s main intelligence agency, known as the S.B.U., said only that it had narrowed the cause of the crash to a missile strike or a terrorist act and that it could not confirm Western intelligence that an Iranian missile system was likely to blame.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine made clear on Friday that Western governments, allies in his country’s conflict with Russia, had not initially shared the evidence underpinning their assessments that Iran had brought down the Ukrainian jet, though later a spokeswoman said that American officials had handed over more information.

The crash has presented Mr. Zelensky, a 41-year-old comedian who swept into office with a surprising election victory last spring, with the most urgent crisis of his short tenure. And its aftermath has the potential to open a fresh rift between Ukraine and its most important Western allies.

Mr. Zelensky has already turned into an unwilling player in United States domestic politics as a result of President Trump’s pressure campaign seeking announcements of investigations by Ukraine that could benefit him politically. Now, Mr. Zelensky is stuck in the middle of an even more volatile American crisis: the conflict with Iran.

Mr. Zelensky needs Iranian cooperation to deliver the full-fledged investigation of the disaster that he has pledged to Ukrainians. But he also needs the data collected by Western intelligence — as well as continued Western support in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.

“Our goal is to ascertain the undeniable truth,” Mr. Zelensky said in a statement on Friday. “We believe this is the responsibility of the whole international community before the families of the dead and the memory of the victims of the catastrophe.”

American and Ukrainian officials scrambled on Friday to dispel any appearance of a rift. After speaking to Mr. Zelensky, Mr. Pompeo said he was ready to offer help in the crash inquiry.

Any reluctance from Western countries to help would create suspicions in Ukraine that those countries were using the tragedy as a cudgel in their conflict with Iran, said Anatoliy Hrytsenko, a former Ukrainian defense minister.

“Western leaders must give us these intelligence findings,” Mr. Hrytsenko said. “If we assume the worst and they don’t do this, then a big question mark arises: Is this really about determining the cause of a plane crash or is this now geopolitics?”

Ukrainian officials also analyzed the plane’s flight pattern on Friday and determined it had stayed within the normal corridor for flights out of Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, Ukraine’s foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, said at a news conference.

“There was nothing to indicate the flight was in danger,” he said.

American officials have a high level of confidence that a Russian-made Iranian air defense system had fired two surface-to-air missiles at the plane minutes after it took off for Kyiv, one United States official has said. The jet had crashed hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leader of a powerful branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and was bracing for a possible American response.

But Iran’s failure to close its airspace and ground commercial planes was a key error, according to an American official. Some officials believe Iran may have left its airspace open to avoid telegraphing the precise timing of the airstrike, the official said.

Ali Abedzadeh, the chief of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, urged caution at a Friday news conference, saying that investigators could not determine anything about the cause of the crash until they analyzed data from the so-called black-box flight recorders. No missile hit the plane, he said, and it was likely on fire before it crashed.

But the Iranian air defense system used Wednesday is designed to explode near aircraft, creating shrapnel that takes a plane out of the sky, rather than directly hitting it. And footage verified by The New York Times appears to show a missile fired from Iranian territory exploding near where the jet crashed.

State television in Iran aired footage that it said showed two black boxes recovered from the crash site. Processing their data could take more than a month, and the investigation could take up to two years, Hassan Rezaeifar, the head of the Iranian investigation team, said during the news conference.

Normally, Iran has the capacity to download black-box data, but Mr. Rezaeifar said that the devices were damaged, making it difficult to extract information.

“We need special software and hardware which are available in our country, but if we fail to extract the data due to the damages of the black box, we will get help from other countries,” he said, noting that Ukraine, France, Canada and Russia have all expressed willingness to help.

France’s aviation investigation authority, known by its French acronym B.E.A., said Iran had invited it to take part in the investigation because the jetliner’s engine was designed by CFM International, a joint venture between GE Aviation, an American company, and Safran Aircraft Engines, a French one.

While many of the passengers on board were Iranians, citizens of at least seven other nations were on board, prompting expressions of sympathies from around the world that continued on Friday.

Among the dead were at least 63 Canadians, many of them university students. Dozens were believed to be from Edmonton, members of the Iranian community there told local news outlets. At least 10 were students or staff at the University of Alberta, according to a statement from David H. Turpin, the school’s president.

“We are grieving for lost colleagues, classmates, teachers, and mentors, as well as loved ones, family, friends and roommates,” he said.

A number of Swedish nationals were also on board. “We will do everything we can to find out what happened,” Stefan Lofven, the Swedish prime minister, said in a statement. “My thoughts go to the victims, their families and close relatives at this difficult time. You are not alone. We share your sorrow.”

Farnaz Fassihi and Julian E. Barnes contributed reporting.

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In Plane Crash, a Day of Blame: Ukraine Weighs In and Iran Mulls Announcement

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166870002_2ec482fd-66ed-43c5-91f2-6a2e8f021912-articleLarge In Plane Crash, a Day of Blame: Ukraine Weighs In and Iran Mulls Announcement Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Ukraine International Airlines Tehran (Iran) Iran Defense and Military Forces Canada Boeing Company Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine placing flowers at a memorial for the victims of the plane crash at the Boryspil airport on Thursday.Credit…Ukrainian Presidential Press Service

Ukraine’s main intelligence agency, the S.B.U., or Security Service of Ukraine, said on Friday that it had narrowed down the possible causes of the airplane crash in Iran to either a missile strike or a terrorist act.

The S.B.U said in a statement that it’s unclear whether the SA-15 missile system that Western officials say likely brought down the plane shortly after takeoff from Tehran was actually responsible.

The agency’s statement came shortly after Ukraine’s foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, said at a news conference in Kyiv that Ukrainian officials “will come to our conclusions,” but “we don’t want to come to them right now.”

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine spoke with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday morning Washington time after he requested that the United States and other Western countries release the evidence that a Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed shortly after takeoff in Iran had been shot down.

The jet crashed hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leader of a powerful branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and was bracing for a possible American response.

Mr. Zelensky has pledged to get to the bottom of what happened, cutting short a trip to Oman immediately after the crash and dispatching a team of 45 Ukrainian experts to Tehran.

On Friday, Mr. Zelensky made it clear that Western governments, allies in his country’s conflict with Russia, had not initially shared the evidence that led them to believe that the Ukrainian jet had been shot down by Iran.

Mr. Prystaiko said the extent of Iran’s cooperation with Ukrainian officials on the ground was “adequate.”

Ukrainian officials analyzed the plane’s flight pattern on Friday and determined it had stayed completely within the normal corridor for flights out of the airport, he said. “The plane was within the corridor departing from within the international airport, so there was nothing to indicate the flight was in danger,” he said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain both said Iran had probably shot down the plane by accident. President Trump said he suspected that the downing of the plane had been the result of “a mistake on the other side.”

An American official told The New York Times that the United States had a high level of confidence that a Russian-made Iranian air defense system had fired two surface-to-air missiles at the plane.

The crash of the Ukrainian jet has presented Mr. Zelensky, a 41-year-old comedian who swept to a stunning victory in the presidential election last spring, with the most urgent crisis of his short tenure.

“Our goal is to ascertain the undeniable truth,” Mr. Zelensky said in his statement on Friday. “We believe this is the responsibility of the whole international community before the families of the dead and the memory of the victims of the catastrophe.”

The Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office issued a public request for help from Canada, seeking information from intelligence agencies about a possible missile strike.

Secretary Pompeo confirmed on Friday that the United States and its allies have intelligence that the Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed in Iran had been shot down.

“We do believe that it’s likely that the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile,” Mr. Pompeo said at a briefing at the White House announcing new sanctions against Iran. “We’re going to let the investigation play out before we make a final determination. It’s important that we get to the bottom of it.”

Mr. Pompeo was the first American official to publicly confirm the intelligence assessments. American and allied officials said on Thursday that they had intelligence that surface-to-air missiles fired by Iranian military forces shot down the Boeing 737 minutes after it took off from Tehran, headed for Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.

Mr. Pompeo said that he had spoken with his Canadian counterpart and with Ukrainian President Zelensky by phone on Friday, but noted that an investigation was ongoing.

“When we get the results of that investigation, I am confident we and the rest of the world will take appropriate action,” he said.

The Trump administration also plans to issue sanctions waivers to American companies or others who can help the investigation, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said at the briefing.

Iran’s Fars News Agency, which is affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, said on Friday that Iran would issue a statement on Saturday announcing the cause of the crash of the Ukrainian jetliner. The report offered no hint of what that cause might be.

“There will be a meeting with domestic and international representatives related to the crash tomorrow and after studying preliminarily, the cause of the crash will be announced,” Fars News said in a news alert citing what it described as a source from the Joint Armed Forces.

Iran has maintained that there was no evidence that the plane was struck by a missile and doubled down on that assertion on Friday, despite western officials pointing to intelligence suggesting the passenger jet was accidentally hit by a missile.

Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization chief, Ali Abedzadeh, speaking during a Friday news conference, urged caution and said that nothing could be determined until the data from the black boxes was analyzed and said statements made by other nations were politically motivated.

But, he added, what could be said was that the plane had not been hit by a missile and was likely on fire before it crashed. He also urged nations with intelligence on the crash, namely the United States and Canada, to share that information with Iran.

“We cannot just give you speculation,” Mr. Abedzadeh said in footage televised and translated on Iranian state television. “So far what I can tell you is that the plane has not been hit by a missile, and we have to look for the cause of the fire.”

Hassan Rezaeifar, the head of the Iranian investigation team, said during the same news conference that it could take more than a month to process the data recovered from the flight recorders and that the investigation could take up to two years. He also noted that Ukraine, France, Canada, and Russia have all said they are willing to assist Iran with the data extraction, and Tehran will send the black box to one of these countries if it fails to retrieve the data.

Normally, Iran has the capacity to download black box data, but Mr. Rezaeifar said that since the devices had been damaged, it would be difficult to extract information.

“We need special software and hardware which are available in our country, but if we fail to extract the data due to the damages of the black box, we will get help from other countries,” he said.

The black box will begin to be evaluated on Friday, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported, “to assess and check whether it is possible to reconstruct and analyze the information inside the country.” State television aired footage that it said showed the two black boxes that were recovered from the crash site.

Video

Westlake Legal Group xxivid-iran-plane-2-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 In Plane Crash, a Day of Blame: Ukraine Weighs In and Iran Mulls Announcement Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Ukraine International Airlines Tehran (Iran) Iran Defense and Military Forces Canada Boeing Company Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

The New York Times has obtained and verified video showing the moment a Ukrainian airliner was hit in Iran.CreditCredit…Screenshot from video

Footage verified by The New York Times appears to show a missile fired from Iranian territory hitting a plane near Tehran’s airport, the area where a Ukrainian jet crashed on Wednesday.

A small explosion occurred when what appears to be a missile hit the plane above Parand, a city near the airport, but the plane did not explode, the video showed. The jet continued flying for several minutes and turned back toward the airport, The Times has determined.

The plane, which by then had stopped transmitting its signal, flew toward the airport ablaze before it exploded and crashed quickly, other videos verified by The Times showed.

Visual and audio clues in the footage also matched flight path information and satellite imagery of the area near where the plane crashed.

The Trump administration slapped another round of sanctions on Iran on Friday, seeking to further deter what it called Tehran’s support for terrorist activities. Given that Iran is already under heavy sanctions from the United States, the newest round is unlikely to have any major economic effect but could help deter investment from countries including China and Russia, analysts said.

Secretaries Mnuchin and Pompeo announced the new sanctions in a briefing at the White House. The sanctions apply to industries including steel, construction, mining and textiles, as well as to eight senior officials said by the United States to have had a role in the missile strikes by Iran this week.

“The president has been very clear we will continue to apply economic sanctions until Iran stops its terrorist activities and commit that it will never have nuclear weapons,” Mr. Mnuchin said.

The move was the first substantive response by the United States following the missile strikes on bases housing American forces in Iraq, and was seen by analysts as an additional signal of de-escalation by the administration.

Peter Harrell, a sanctions expert at the Center for New American Security, a research organization, said the sanctions would do negligible additional damage to Iran’s economy because the bulk of its revenue streams have been cut off already. The new sanctions, he said, largely, tighten enforcement of existing sanctions by targeting companies that are engaging in prohibited trade with Iran.

“When it comes to putting materially more economic pressure on Iran, the Trump administration is something of a victim of its own success — and I think we are reaching the end of the road for what ‘maximum pressure’ can achieve when it comes to Iran’s economy,” Mr. Harrell said. “Trump has already succeeded in cutting off the vast majority of Iran’s cash-earning exports, particularly oil, and has caused a sharp drop in Iranian GDP.”

The aftermath of the plane crash in Iran has the potential to open a fresh rift between Ukraine and its most important Western allies.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has already turned into an unwilling player in United States domestic politics as a result of the Trump administration’s pressure campaign seeking assistance in the 2020 presidential race. Now, he is stuck in the middle of an even more volatile American crisis: the conflict with Iran.

On the one hand, Mr. Zelensky needs Iranian cooperation to deliver the full-fledged investigation of the disaster that he has pledged to his public. On the other, Mr. Zelensky needs the data collected by Western intelligence — not to mention his continued reliance on Western support in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.

“He could end up in a situation of being caught between two fires,” said Oleksandr Danylyuk, Mr. Zelensky’s former national security adviser, who resigned in September. “It’s a very complicated situation.”

Mr. Zelensky was caught flat-footed on Thursday when American officials went public with intelligence findings about the crash, and it was clear that the United States and its Western allies had not briefed Kyiv.

In an interview with The New York Times, Pavlo Klimkin, a former foreign minister of Ukraine, described the failure by Western officials to share their intelligence earlier as a moral setback in Kyiv’s relationship with its partners.

“We lost our plane, we lost our citizens,” Mr. Klimkin said. “Of course we want to expect of our friends to be with us in this important moment in the sense of sharing information, in the sense of solidarity, in the sense of simply working together.”

On Friday, American and Ukrainian officials raced to dispel any appearance of a rift. But Anatoliy Hrytsenko, a former Ukrainian defense minister, said that any recalcitrance from Western countries would create suspicions in Ukraine that they were using the tragedy as a cudgel in their conflict with Iran.

“Western leaders must give us these intelligence findings,” Mr. Hrytsenko said. “If we assume the worst and they don’t do this, then a big question mark arises: Is this really about determining the cause of a plane crash or is this now geopolitics?”

France’s aviation investigation authority said on Friday that it had been invited by Iran to take part in the investigation into the crash of an Ukrainian plane near Tehran this week.

A spokesman for the authority, known by its French acronym B.E.A., or Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses, said France was getting involved because the jetliner’s engine had been designed by CFM, a joint venture between GE Aviation, an American company, and Safran Aircraft Engines, a French one.

“No further assistance has been requested at this point in time,” the spokesman said, adding that Iranian aviation authorities were the lead investigator in the case.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s foreign minister, did not say on Friday whether the country had proof that the jetliner had been shot down by Iranian missiles, but said that France was “available” to help with the investigation.

“Before the speculation, we must establish the truth in conditions of utmost transparency,” Mr. Le Drian told RTL, a French radio station. France, one of the signatories of the Iranian nuclear deal, is now trying to salvage it by acting as a go-between for Iran and the United States.

While many of the passengers onboard the Ukrainian plane that crashed near Tehran on Wednesday were Iranians, there were citizens of at least seven other nations on the flight when it plunged to the ground killing everyone.

Among the dead were at least 63 Canadians, many of them university students. Dozens are believed to be from the city of Edmonton, members of the Iranian community told local news outlets. At least 10 were students or staff at the University of Alberta, according to a statement from David H. Turpin, the president of the university.

“These individuals were integral to the intellectual and social fabric of our university and the broader community,” Mr. Turpin said. “We are grieving for lost colleagues, classmates, teachers, and mentors, as well as loved ones, family, friends, and roommates.”

“We will feel their loss — and the aftermath of this tragedy — for many years to come,” he added.

Sweden’s prime minister said he spoke with the leaders of Canada and Britain following reports that the plane may have accidentally been shot down by an Iranian missile, and said that the country would do all it could to aid in the investigation after the “serious information” emerged.

A number of Swedish nationals were also onboard the Ukraine International Airlines flight when it crashed.

“We will do everything we can to find out what happened,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of Sweden said in a statement. “My thoughts go to the victims, their families and close relatives at this difficult time. You are not alone. We share your sorrow.”

Although no German citizens were among the victims, the mayor of Werl, a town in western Germany, told the German news agency DPA on Friday that a 30-year-old Afghan woman who had been granted asylum in the country and had been living in the town since 2017 was killed. Her 8-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son had also died in the crash. The mayor, Michael Grossmann, said the woman’s brother, who also lives in the town, had confirmed the deaths, but gave no further details.

The Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany posted an online tribute to a Paniz Soltani, a young Iranian woman who had been completing her doctoral studies at the institute. Described as “a sparkling and gifted PhD student, a valued colleague and dear friend.”

Anton Troianovski, Megan Specia, Aurelien Breeden, Melissa Eddy, Christiaan Triebert, Malachy Browne, Sarah Kerr and Ainara Tiefenthäler contributed reporting.

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Rolling Stone hits Pompeo for ‘military strike that left 2 children dead’ when referring to ISIS leader’s killing

Westlake Legal Group Pompeo-Baghdadi-Rolling-Stone Rolling Stone hits Pompeo for 'military strike that left 2 children dead' when referring to ISIS leader's killing Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/music fox news fnc/media fnc article 4c190a9d-3f0f-5148-a683-c403b3f7eee1

Rolling Stone magazine took a swipe at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over what it described as a “military strike that left two children dead,” which in reality was referencing the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

On Friday, Pompeo took a moment to reflect on 2019 “+ a few days into the new year” in a post that shared several images summarizing the past year including ones of his family, his dog, the cover of Linda Ronstadt‘s Greatest Hits album, last week’s killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, as well as an image of al-Baghdadi, who was killed in a daring Special Operations forces mission back in October.

However, Rolling Stone reporter Ryan Bort chided the top Trump official, declaring “the secretary of state juxtaposed a military strike that left two children dead with the ‘When Will I Be Loved’ singer” towards the top of the piece.

THE ATLANTIC’S DAVID FRUM BLAMES TRUMP FOR DOWNING OF PLANE IN IRAN, DEATHS OF 176

Bort noted that Pompeo has had “a busy few days of 2020” with Soleimani’s killing and his constant interviews with the press, including the press conference that was held at the White House Friday morning.

“Shortly before he took the podium, however, Pompeo was able to take a breather from his propaganda duties to reflect on the year gone by, which included a military strike that resulted in the death ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and two children who accompanied him; bringing the U.S. to the brink of war with Iran; and, apparently, a whole hell of a lot of Linda Ronstadt’s Greatest Hits,” Bort wrote for the magazine’s website.

After detailing Ronstadt’s recent criticisms of Pompeo after the two met at a reception in December, the Rolling Stone staff writer went on to call Pompeo’s tweet as “unsettling” for “lumping” his family, dog, and the music icon with his accomplishments as Secretary of State, reiterating the deaths of the two children from the al-Baghdadi raid.

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“What’s unsettling about Pompeo’s tweet Friday morning isn’t his attempt to troll Ronstadt (or whatever he’s trying to do); it’s how flippantly he lumped pictures of his dog and family and favorite singer-songwriter in with a military strike that resulted in the death of two children, and the assassination of senior foreign official that could have very easily — and still could — lead to war with a nation of 80 million,” Bort said.

Westlake Legal Group Pompeo-Baghdadi-Rolling-Stone Rolling Stone hits Pompeo for 'military strike that left 2 children dead' when referring to ISIS leader's killing Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/music fox news fnc/media fnc article 4c190a9d-3f0f-5148-a683-c403b3f7eee1   Westlake Legal Group Pompeo-Baghdadi-Rolling-Stone Rolling Stone hits Pompeo for 'military strike that left 2 children dead' when referring to ISIS leader's killing Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/tech/companies/twitter fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox-news/entertainment/music fox news fnc/media fnc article 4c190a9d-3f0f-5148-a683-c403b3f7eee1

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In Plane Crash, a Day of Blame: Ukraine Weighs In and Iran Mulls Announcement

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166870002_2ec482fd-66ed-43c5-91f2-6a2e8f021912-articleLarge In Plane Crash, a Day of Blame: Ukraine Weighs In and Iran Mulls Announcement Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Ukraine International Airlines Tehran (Iran) Iran Defense and Military Forces Canada Boeing Company Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine placing flowers at a memorial for the victims of the plane crash at the Boryspil airport on Thursday.Credit…Ukrainian Presidential Press Service

Ukraine’s main intelligence agency, the S.B.U., or Security Service of Ukraine, said on Friday that it had narrowed down the possible causes of the airplane crash in Iran to either a missile strike or a terrorist act.

The S.B.U said in a statement that it’s unclear whether the SA-15 missile system that Western officials say likely brought down the plane shortly after takeoff from Tehran was actually responsible.

The agency’s statement came shortly after Ukraine’s foreign minister, Vadym Prystaiko, said at a news conference in Kyiv that Ukrainian officials “will come to our conclusions,” but “we don’t want to come to them right now.”

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine spoke with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday morning Washington time after he requested that the United States and other Western countries release the evidence that a Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed shortly after takeoff in Iran had been shot down.

The jet crashed hours after Iran fired ballistic missiles at American targets in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the leader of a powerful branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and was bracing for a possible American response.

Mr. Zelensky has pledged to get to the bottom of what happened, cutting short a trip to Oman immediately after the crash and dispatching a team of 45 Ukrainian experts to Tehran.

On Friday, Mr. Zelensky made it clear that Western governments, allies in his country’s conflict with Russia, had not initially shared the evidence that led them to believe that the Ukrainian jet had been shot down by Iran.

Mr. Prystaiko said the extent of Iran’s cooperation with Ukrainian officials on the ground was “adequate.”

Ukrainian officials analyzed the plane’s flight pattern on Friday and determined it had stayed completely within the normal corridor for flights out of the airport, he said. “The plane was within the corridor departing from within the international airport, so there was nothing to indicate the flight was in danger,” he said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain both said Iran had probably shot down the plane by accident. President Trump said he suspected that the downing of the plane had been the result of “a mistake on the other side.”

An American official told The New York Times that the United States had a high level of confidence that a Russian-made Iranian air defense system had fired two surface-to-air missiles at the plane.

The crash of the Ukrainian jet has presented Mr. Zelensky, a 41-year-old comedian who swept to a stunning victory in the presidential election last spring, with the most urgent crisis of his short tenure.

“Our goal is to ascertain the undeniable truth,” Mr. Zelensky said in his statement on Friday. “We believe this is the responsibility of the whole international community before the families of the dead and the memory of the victims of the catastrophe.”

The Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office issued a public request for help from Canada, seeking information from intelligence agencies about a possible missile strike.

Secretary Pompeo confirmed on Friday that the United States and its allies have intelligence that the Ukrainian passenger jet that crashed in Iran had been shot down.

“We do believe that it’s likely that the plane was shot down by an Iranian missile,” Mr. Pompeo said at a briefing at the White House announcing new sanctions against Iran. “We’re going to let the investigation play out before we make a final determination. It’s important that we get to the bottom of it.”

Mr. Pompeo was the first American official to publicly confirm the intelligence assessments. American and allied officials said on Thursday that they had intelligence that surface-to-air missiles fired by Iranian military forces shot down the Boeing 737 minutes after it took off from Tehran, headed for Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.

Mr. Pompeo said that he had spoken with his Canadian counterpart and with Ukrainian President Zelensky by phone on Friday, but noted that an investigation was ongoing.

“When we get the results of that investigation, I am confident we and the rest of the world will take appropriate action,” he said.

The Trump administration also plans to issue sanctions waivers to American companies or others who can help the investigation, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said at the briefing.

Iran’s Fars News Agency, which is affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, said on Friday that Iran would issue a statement on Saturday announcing the cause of the crash of the Ukrainian jetliner. The report offered no hint of what that cause might be.

“There will be a meeting with domestic and international representatives related to the crash tomorrow and after studying preliminarily, the cause of the crash will be announced,” Fars News said in a news alert citing what it described as a source from the Joint Armed Forces.

Iran has maintained that there was no evidence that the plane was struck by a missile and doubled down on that assertion on Friday, despite western officials pointing to intelligence suggesting the passenger jet was accidentally hit by a missile.

Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization chief, Ali Abedzadeh, speaking during a Friday news conference, urged caution and said that nothing could be determined until the data from the black boxes was analyzed and said statements made by other nations were politically motivated.

But, he added, what could be said was that the plane had not been hit by a missile and was likely on fire before it crashed. He also urged nations with intelligence on the crash, namely the United States and Canada, to share that information with Iran.

“We cannot just give you speculation,” Mr. Abedzadeh said in footage televised and translated on Iranian state television. “So far what I can tell you is that the plane has not been hit by a missile, and we have to look for the cause of the fire.”

Hassan Rezaeifar, the head of the Iranian investigation team, said during the same news conference that it could take more than a month to process the data recovered from the flight recorders and that the investigation could take up to two years. He also noted that Ukraine, France, Canada, and Russia have all said they are willing to assist Iran with the data extraction, and Tehran will send the black box to one of these countries if it fails to retrieve the data.

Normally, Iran has the capacity to download black box data, but Mr. Rezaeifar said that since the devices had been damaged, it would be difficult to extract information.

“We need special software and hardware which are available in our country, but if we fail to extract the data due to the damages of the black box, we will get help from other countries,” he said.

The black box will begin to be evaluated on Friday, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported, “to assess and check whether it is possible to reconstruct and analyze the information inside the country.” State television aired footage that it said showed the two black boxes that were recovered from the crash site.

Video

Westlake Legal Group xxivid-iran-plane-2-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600 In Plane Crash, a Day of Blame: Ukraine Weighs In and Iran Mulls Announcement Zelensky, Volodymyr United States Ukraine International Airlines Tehran (Iran) Iran Defense and Military Forces Canada Boeing Company Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

The New York Times has obtained and verified video showing the moment a Ukrainian airliner was hit in Iran.CreditCredit…Screenshot from video

Footage verified by The New York Times appears to show a missile fired from Iranian territory hitting a plane near Tehran’s airport, the area where a Ukrainian jet crashed on Wednesday.

A small explosion occurred when what appears to be a missile hit the plane above Parand, a city near the airport, but the plane did not explode, the video showed. The jet continued flying for several minutes and turned back toward the airport, The Times has determined.

The plane, which by then had stopped transmitting its signal, flew toward the airport ablaze before it exploded and crashed quickly, other videos verified by The Times showed.

Visual and audio clues in the footage also matched flight path information and satellite imagery of the area near where the plane crashed.

The Trump administration slapped another round of sanctions on Iran on Friday, seeking to further deter what it called Tehran’s support for terrorist activities. Given that Iran is already under heavy sanctions from the United States, the newest round is unlikely to have any major economic effect but could help deter investment from countries including China and Russia, analysts said.

Secretaries Mnuchin and Pompeo announced the new sanctions in a briefing at the White House. The sanctions apply to industries including steel, construction, mining and textiles, as well as to eight senior officials said by the United States to have had a role in the missile strikes by Iran this week.

“The president has been very clear we will continue to apply economic sanctions until Iran stops its terrorist activities and commit that it will never have nuclear weapons,” Mr. Mnuchin said.

The move was the first substantive response by the United States following the missile strikes on bases housing American forces in Iraq, and was seen by analysts as an additional signal of de-escalation by the administration.

Peter Harrell, a sanctions expert at the Center for New American Security, a research organization, said the sanctions would do negligible additional damage to Iran’s economy because the bulk of its revenue streams have been cut off already. The new sanctions, he said, largely, tighten enforcement of existing sanctions by targeting companies that are engaging in prohibited trade with Iran.

“When it comes to putting materially more economic pressure on Iran, the Trump administration is something of a victim of its own success — and I think we are reaching the end of the road for what ‘maximum pressure’ can achieve when it comes to Iran’s economy,” Mr. Harrell said. “Trump has already succeeded in cutting off the vast majority of Iran’s cash-earning exports, particularly oil, and has caused a sharp drop in Iranian GDP.”

The aftermath of the plane crash in Iran has the potential to open a fresh rift between Ukraine and its most important Western allies.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has already turned into an unwilling player in United States domestic politics as a result of the Trump administration’s pressure campaign seeking assistance in the 2020 presidential race. Now, he is stuck in the middle of an even more volatile American crisis: the conflict with Iran.

On the one hand, Mr. Zelensky needs Iranian cooperation to deliver the full-fledged investigation of the disaster that he has pledged to his public. On the other, Mr. Zelensky needs the data collected by Western intelligence — not to mention his continued reliance on Western support in Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.

“He could end up in a situation of being caught between two fires,” said Oleksandr Danylyuk, Mr. Zelensky’s former national security adviser, who resigned in September. “It’s a very complicated situation.”

Mr. Zelensky was caught flat-footed on Thursday when American officials went public with intelligence findings about the crash, and it was clear that the United States and its Western allies had not briefed Kyiv.

In an interview with The New York Times, Pavlo Klimkin, a former foreign minister of Ukraine, described the failure by Western officials to share their intelligence earlier as a moral setback in Kyiv’s relationship with its partners.

“We lost our plane, we lost our citizens,” Mr. Klimkin said. “Of course we want to expect of our friends to be with us in this important moment in the sense of sharing information, in the sense of solidarity, in the sense of simply working together.”

On Friday, American and Ukrainian officials raced to dispel any appearance of a rift. But Anatoliy Hrytsenko, a former Ukrainian defense minister, said that any recalcitrance from Western countries would create suspicions in Ukraine that they were using the tragedy as a cudgel in their conflict with Iran.

“Western leaders must give us these intelligence findings,” Mr. Hrytsenko said. “If we assume the worst and they don’t do this, then a big question mark arises: Is this really about determining the cause of a plane crash or is this now geopolitics?”

France’s aviation investigation authority said on Friday that it had been invited by Iran to take part in the investigation into the crash of an Ukrainian plane near Tehran this week.

A spokesman for the authority, known by its French acronym B.E.A., or Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses, said France was getting involved because the jetliner’s engine had been designed by CFM, a joint venture between GE Aviation, an American company, and Safran Aircraft Engines, a French one.

“No further assistance has been requested at this point in time,” the spokesman said, adding that Iranian aviation authorities were the lead investigator in the case.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s foreign minister, did not say on Friday whether the country had proof that the jetliner had been shot down by Iranian missiles, but said that France was “available” to help with the investigation.

“Before the speculation, we must establish the truth in conditions of utmost transparency,” Mr. Le Drian told RTL, a French radio station. France, one of the signatories of the Iranian nuclear deal, is now trying to salvage it by acting as a go-between for Iran and the United States.

While many of the passengers onboard the Ukrainian plane that crashed near Tehran on Wednesday were Iranians, there were citizens of at least seven other nations on the flight when it plunged to the ground killing everyone.

Among the dead were at least 63 Canadians, many of them university students. Dozens are believed to be from the city of Edmonton, members of the Iranian community told local news outlets. At least 10 were students or staff at the University of Alberta, according to a statement from David H. Turpin, the president of the university.

“These individuals were integral to the intellectual and social fabric of our university and the broader community,” Mr. Turpin said. “We are grieving for lost colleagues, classmates, teachers, and mentors, as well as loved ones, family, friends, and roommates.”

“We will feel their loss — and the aftermath of this tragedy — for many years to come,” he added.

Sweden’s prime minister said he spoke with the leaders of Canada and Britain following reports that the plane may have accidentally been shot down by an Iranian missile, and said that the country would do all it could to aid in the investigation after the “serious information” emerged.

A number of Swedish nationals were also onboard the Ukraine International Airlines flight when it crashed.

“We will do everything we can to find out what happened,” Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of Sweden said in a statement. “My thoughts go to the victims, their families and close relatives at this difficult time. You are not alone. We share your sorrow.”

Although no German citizens were among the victims, the mayor of Werl, a town in western Germany, told the German news agency DPA on Friday that a 30-year-old Afghan woman who had been granted asylum in the country and had been living in the town since 2017 was killed. Her 8-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son had also died in the crash. The mayor, Michael Grossmann, said the woman’s brother, who also lives in the town, had confirmed the deaths, but gave no further details.

The Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany posted an online tribute to a Paniz Soltani, a young Iranian woman who had been completing her doctoral studies at the institute. Described as “a sparkling and gifted PhD student, a valued colleague and dear friend.”

Anton Troianovski, Megan Specia, Aurelien Breeden, Melissa Eddy, Christiaan Triebert, Malachy Browne, Sarah Kerr and Ainara Tiefenthäler contributed reporting.

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Texas online gamer saves UK teen who had seizure

Westlake Legal Group Gamer-Headset-iStock Texas online gamer saves UK teen who had seizure Louis Casiano fox-news/tech/topics/video-games fox-news/health fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/tech fnc ba5b203c-70d7-57e5-8252-5857b43fe747 article

A British teen who had a seizure while playing an online game with a Texas woman earlier this month was reportedly saved when his opponent alerted first responders from thousands of miles away.

Aidan Jackson, 17, was talking with Dia Lathora, 20, from his home in Widnes, England, when he began feeling ill, the BBC reported.

Lathora told the Liverpool Echo newspaper she heard what she thought was Jackson having a seizure through her headset and began searching for a number to alert emergency responders, she said.

CALIFORNIA HIKER, 17, SURVIVES BEING STRANDED FOR 30 HOURS IN SNOWY UTAH MOUNTAINS: ‘I SHOULDN’T EVEN BE ALIVE’

“When he didn’t respond I instantly started to look up the emergency number for the EU,” Lathora said. “When that didn’t work I just had to hope the non-emergency would work, it had an option for talking to a real person…and I can’t tell you how quickly I clicked that button.”

Jackson’s parents weren’t aware of what was happening to their son until authorities showed up to the home.

“The next thing we noticed was two police cars outside with flashing lights,” Jackson’s mother, Caroline, told the news outlet. “I assumed they were in the area for another reason and then they ran up to the front door.”

“They said there was an unresponsive male at the address,” she added. “We said we hadn’t called anyone and they said a call had come from America.”

Jackson, who is studying photography and graphics in college, was taken to a hospital, the Echo reported. He had a seizure in May 2019 and was hospitalized for a week.

He is waiting for a doctor’s appointment following the most recent episode. He is reportedly doing well. Seizures are sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbances in the brain that can cause changes in movements, feelings and behavior, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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Caroline Jackson thanked Lathora for her getting her son medical attention.

“Dia had our address but didn’t have any contact numbers, so it was amazing she managed to get help from so far away,” she said. “I’ve spoken to her and expressed our thanks — she’s just glad she could help.

Westlake Legal Group Gamer-Headset-iStock Texas online gamer saves UK teen who had seizure Louis Casiano fox-news/tech/topics/video-games fox-news/health fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/tech fnc ba5b203c-70d7-57e5-8252-5857b43fe747 article   Westlake Legal Group Gamer-Headset-iStock Texas online gamer saves UK teen who had seizure Louis Casiano fox-news/tech/topics/video-games fox-news/health fox-news/good-news fox news fnc/tech fnc ba5b203c-70d7-57e5-8252-5857b43fe747 article

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New Poll Shows It’s Anybody’s Race In Iowa

Westlake Legal Group 5e190d0125000036289906c2 New Poll Shows It’s Anybody’s Race In Iowa

The four leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination are locked in a tight race with less than a month to go before the all-important Iowa caucuses, with a majority of voters still saying their minds are not definitely made up, according to a new survey conducted by the state’s definitive pollster.

The poll found that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has the support of 20% of likely Iowa Democratic caucus-goers, compared to 17% for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), 16% for former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and 15% for former Vice President Joe Biden.

A close race in Iowa, the first state to vote, could set the tone for a contentious and potentially costly battle for the Democratic nomination to challenge President Donald Trump. A victory for Sanders, Warren or Buttigieg could provide them with the momentum necessary to directly challenge Biden for the nomination. But a strong performance by the former vice president could lock down his substantial lead in national polling. 

No other candidate in the race breaks the crucial 15% viability threshold necessary to win delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has the support of 6% of voters, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang has the backing of 5% of the electorate. The results mean Yang is unlikely to qualify for the next Democratic debate, which is set to be held on Tuesday in Iowa.

Legendary Iowa pollster J. Ann Selzer conducted the survey, which was sponsored by CNN and The Des Moines Register.

The poll shows plenty of potential for movement in the race’s final four weeks. Just 40% of voters said their minds are definitely made up on which candidate to support, while 45% said they could be persuaded to back another candidate and 13% haven’t settled on a first choice yet. (At the same point before the 2016 caucus, nearly 60% of voters had made up their minds.)

The last iteration of this poll was conducted in mid-November. Since then, Sanders has improved his position, jumping from 15% to 20%. Buttigieg has fallen after leading the field with 24% of the vote. Neither Warren nor Biden saw significant movement.

The peculiarities of the caucus system — in which voters are required to switch who they are backing if their preferred candidate doesn’t break 15% at their caucus site — means paying attention to voters’ second choices is important: A full third of the electorate says Warren is either their first or second choice, with Sanders and Buttigieg close behind at 32% and 31%, respectively. Twenty-seven percent said Biden is either their first or second choice.

The poll also shows voters are continuing to value a candidate’s ability to defeat Trump more than almost every other quality: 58% said a candidate having a “superior chance of winning in November” was “extremely important,” a trait only topped by a candidate’s “ability to unite the country,” which 69% of voters said was extremely important.

When asked whether it was more important that the winner of the caucus be able to defeat Trump or for the winner to share their stances on the issues, 55% said beating Trump was more important, while 40% said it was important for a candidate to agree with them on the issues. That’s a significant change since November, when 63% said beating Trump was more important and 32% said it was important for a candidate to agree with them on the issues.

The poll of 701 likely Democratic caucus-goers, conducted between Jan. 2 and Jan. 8, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

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U.S. Unsuccessfully Tried Killing a Second Iranian Military Official

Westlake Legal Group 10dc-military-facebookJumbo-v2 U.S. Unsuccessfully Tried Killing a Second Iranian Military Official Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Quds Force Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Defense Department Defense and Military Forces

WASHINGTON — The American military unsuccessfully tried to kill a senior Iranian military official in Yemen on the same day a drone strike killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most powerful commander, according to American officials.

The disclosure of a second mission indicated that the Trump administration had plans for a broader campaign than was previously known, intended to cripple Iran’s ability to carry out proxy wars in other countries. After Iran’s retaliatory missile strikes on Iraqi bases that host American troops, both Washington and Tehran appear to have stepped back from escalating the conflict further, at least for now.

The unsuccessful airstrike in Yemen was aimed at Abdul Reza Shahlai, an official with Iran’s Quds Force, a potent paramilitary organization that General Suleimani had led. Mr. Shahlai was known as a main organizer of financing for Shiite militias in the region.

President Trump approved the strike against Mr. Shahlai in the same period that he authorized the strike against General Suleimani on Jan. 3, although it was unclear if the American attack in Yemen occurred at precisely the same time.

Mr. Shahlai and General Suleimani were two of several Iranian officials the administration targeted in an effort to halt Iran-backed attacks on sites with Americans and to deter Iran from ramping up aggression in the region, American officials said.

The United States had offered a $15 million reward for information about Mr. Shahlai. The announcement of the reward accused him of involvement in attacks on American allies, including a failed 2011 plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States.

Mr. Shahlai was based in Yemen, where Iran is supporting the Houthi rebels, who are fighting a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and that gets logistical help, intelligence and weapons from the American military and American arms makers. The attempted strike on Mr. Shahlai was first reported by The Washington Post.

On Friday, Mr. Trump expanded his description of the threat from Iran that he said prompted the strike on General Suleimani, saying Iran had planned to attack multiple embassies across the Middle East, including the American Embassy in Baghdad.

“I can reveal that I believe it probably would’ve been four embassies,” Mr. Trump told Laura Ingraham of Fox News. He provide no additional information.

But the new detail brought immediate criticism from Democrats, who have complained that the Trump administration has not shared specific, credible intelligence warning of an imminent attack.

“If there was evidence of imminent attacks on four embassies, the Administration would have said so at our Wednesday briefing,” Senator Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut, who serves on the Foreign Relations Committee, wrote on Twitter. “They didn’t. So either Fox News gets higher level briefings than Congress…or…wait for it…there was no such imminent threat.”

Mr. Pompeo has said that General Suleimani had been planning an “imminent attack” against Americans, although he also told Fox News on Thursday night that “we don’t know precisely when and we don’t know precisely where.”

Speaking on Friday at the White House, Mr. Pompeo defended the credibility of the intelligence, saying that “we had specific information on an imminent threat.”

“And those threats included attacks on U.S. embassies,” he added. “Period, full stop.”

Even so, Mr. Pompeo stopped short of repeating Mr. Trump’s comments about a specific plot against the American Embassy in Baghdad. But he also dismissed criticism from members of Congress that the administration had failed to share intelligence that backs up its case.

“I don’t know exactly which minute,” Mr. Pompeo said. “We don’t know exactly which day it would have been executed, but it was very clear: Qassim Suleimani himself was plotting a broad, large-scale attack against American interests, and those attacks were imminent.”

Asked how he defined an imminent threat, Mr. Pompeo replied: “This was going to happen. And American lives were at risk.”

A senior administration official said Friday that the intelligence showed that Mr. Suleimani was planning to have forces carry out some sort of attack in the region that would result in mass casualties of Americans, with the intent of getting the American military to withdraw from Iraq, one of his main missions. But the official provided no further details.

Some Pentagon and State Department officials have said since the killing of General Suleimani that there was nothing in intelligence that showed threats that were out of the ordinary. They said the United States was aware that General Suleimani was always capable of lethal attacks on Americans and at any given time would have various plans underway.

Administration officials say General Suleimani and the Quds Force, which is an arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans, most of them soldiers who were fighting in Iraq in the mid-2000s. At the time, the Quds Force passed technology and training to Iraqi Shiite militias that allowed the militias to make powerful explosives that could penetrate armored vehicles used by the American military. They were the deadliest types of roadside bombs encountered by Americans in the war.

On Friday, Mr. Pompeo and the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, announced new sanctions on Iranian officials and on a few companies — including two in China — involved in the production and export of Iranian steel and other metals. The Trump administration had already imposed major sanctions on Iran’s metals industry after Mr. Trump’s withdrawal in 2018 from a landmark nuclear agreement with the country, so analysts said the new sanctions would have little additional effect.

The damage to Iran from the new sanctions will be negligible, said Peter Harrell, a sanctions expert at the Center for a New American Security in Washington. “When it comes to putting materially more economic pressure on Iran, the Trump administration is something of a victim of its own success — and I think we are reaching the end of the road for what ‘maximum pressure’ can achieve when it comes to Iran’s economy,” Mr. Harrell said.

The successful drone strike against General Suleimani on Jan. 3 at Baghdad International Airport, which Iraqi officials say killed five Iranians and five Iraqis in a two-car convoy, and the unsuccessful attack in Yemen appeared aimed at knocking the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps back on its heels. Some senior military and intelligence officials had argued internally that significant strikes against the group would effectively damage Iran’s ability to direct its proxy forces.

But others in the Trump administration, including intelligence officials, had contended that strikes against senior commanders were risky and might have the effect of inciting a wider conflict with Iran that Mr. Trump has said he wants to avoid.

The Pentagon declined to confirm the strike attempt in Yemen. But Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich, a Pentagon spokeswoman, noted that Yemen was “long understood as a safe space for terrorists and other adversaries to the United States.”

Members of Congress from both parties have tried to force Mr. Trump to end American involvement in the war in Yemen, which has resulted in the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crisis. Last April, the president vetoed a resolution from Congress that would have forced the military to halt all aid to the Saudi-led coalition.

Tensions between the United States and Iran have been on the rise since Mr. Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions.

In Iraq, militias supported by Iran carried out 11 rocket attacks over two months late last year on sites with Americans, United States officials say.

One such attack on Dec. 27 resulted in the death of an American interpreter, Nawres Hamid. That then prompted the Americans to carry out airstrikes on Dec. 29 on five sites in Iraq and Syria that killed at least 25 members of the Kataib Hezbollah militia and injured 50 others, American officials said.

Two days later, members of the militia carried out a protest at the American Embassy in Baghdad, which ignited outrage in Mr. Trump and Mr. Pompeo.

Eileen Sullivan, Alan Rappeport and Katie Rogers contributed reporting.

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