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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 284)

Top Iranian general killed by U.S. airstrike had to be identified by his ring: Iraqi officials

Westlake Legal Group 97787c38-AP20003060462384 Top Iranian general killed by U.S. airstrike had to be identified by his ring: Iraqi officials fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox news fnc/world fnc Brie Stimson article 3a10752e-31ec-5e6d-9676-0ab5c2045980

A top Iranian general killed by a U.S. airstrike at the Baghdad international airport early Friday had to be identified by the ring he wore, Iraqi officials said.

Gen. Qassem Suleimani’s body was torn apart in the attack ordered by President Trump, two officials from the Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) said.

IRAN VOWS ‘HARSH RETALIATION’ AFTER US AIRSTRIKE KILLS IRANIAN GEN. QASSEM SOLEIMANI

Following the attack, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the United States.

2020  DEMS RESPOND TO KILLING

Khamenei declared three days of public mourning for Soleimani.

Suleimani was the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, which has been designated by the U.S. as a terror group since 2007.

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Six other officials, including Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of PMF were killed in the attack, Iraqi officials said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Westlake Legal Group 97787c38-AP20003060462384 Top Iranian general killed by U.S. airstrike had to be identified by his ring: Iraqi officials fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox news fnc/world fnc Brie Stimson article 3a10752e-31ec-5e6d-9676-0ab5c2045980   Westlake Legal Group 97787c38-AP20003060462384 Top Iranian general killed by U.S. airstrike had to be identified by his ring: Iraqi officials fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox news fnc/world fnc Brie Stimson article 3a10752e-31ec-5e6d-9676-0ab5c2045980

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Oil Prices Jump After Top Iranian Is Killed on U.S. Orders

Westlake Legal Group 03oil-1sub-facebookJumbo Oil Prices Jump After Top Iranian Is Killed on U.S. Orders Terrorism Suleimani, Qassim Stocks and Bonds Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Iraq Iran Futures and Options Trading

HONG KONG — Oil prices jumped early Friday in Asia on news that a powerful Iranian military leader was killed in a strike authorized by the United States, ratcheting up geopolitical tensions and threatening to disrupt world access to oil supplies.

The price of Brent oil, the international benchmark, surged in the early hours of Hong Kong trading to nearly $70 a barrel — an increase of $3 — after the Pentagon said Mr. Trump had authorized the strike against Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani. West Texas Intermediate, the American oil benchmark, rose to nearly $64 a barrel, or $2.50 higher.

Analysts warned that the strike would be interpreted by Iran as an act of war. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, pledged “harsh retaliation,” according to the Iranian state media. These developments raised the prospect of volatility in Iran and Iraq, two major oil producers.

By noon in Hong Kong, the price of Brent crude oil had come down from a peak to settle around a six-month high of $68.44 a barrel.

The immediate jump in the price of oil was among the largest since an attack on a critical Saudi oil installation in September that temporarily knocked out 5 percent of the world’s oil supply. While Friday’s strike did not target any oil production, it raised fears of a protracted conflict in the region that could see strategic attacks on oil fields.

In other markets, investments that are considered safe havens for parking money, such as gold or currencies like Japan’s yen, strengthened on the news.

Stocks markets were more stable, with shares in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai dipping only slightly.

The coming days could see more pressure on assets that investors consider riskier like stocks. It could also threaten a rally that began just a day ago in global markets.

European markets looked poised for some volatility, and Wall Street looked set to take the biggest hit, according to trading in the futures markets. On Thursday, Wall Street finished the first day of trading in 2020 at an all-time high. Futures trading showed that it could fall by as much as 1 percent when it opens again on Friday.

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Oil Prices Jump After Top Iranian Is Killed on U.S. Orders

Westlake Legal Group 03oil-1sub-facebookJumbo Oil Prices Jump After Top Iranian Is Killed on U.S. Orders Terrorism Suleimani, Qassim Stocks and Bonds Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Oil (Petroleum) and Gasoline Iraq Iran Futures and Options Trading

HONG KONG — Oil prices jumped early Friday in Asia on news that a powerful Iranian military leader was killed in a strike authorized by the United States, ratcheting up geopolitical tensions and threatening to disrupt world access to oil supplies.

The price of Brent oil, the international benchmark, surged in the early hours of Hong Kong trading to nearly $70 a barrel — an increase of $3 — after the Pentagon said Mr. Trump had authorized the strike against Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani. West Texas Intermediate, the American oil benchmark, rose to nearly $64 a barrel, or $2.50 higher.

Analysts warned that the strike would be interpreted by Iran as an act of war. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, pledged “harsh retaliation,” according to the Iranian state media. These developments raised the prospect of volatility in Iran and Iraq, two major oil producers.

By noon in Hong Kong, the price of Brent crude oil had come down from a peak to settle around a six-month high of $68.44 a barrel.

The immediate jump in the price of oil was among the largest since an attack on a critical Saudi oil installation in September that temporarily knocked out 5 percent of the world’s oil supply. While Friday’s strike did not target any oil production, it raised fears of a protracted conflict in the region that could see strategic attacks on oil fields.

In other markets, investments that are considered safe havens for parking money, such as gold or currencies like Japan’s yen, strengthened on the news.

Stocks markets were more stable, with shares in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai dipping only slightly.

The coming days could see more pressure on assets that investors consider riskier like stocks. It could also threaten a rally that began just a day ago in global markets.

European markets looked poised for some volatility, and Wall Street looked set to take the biggest hit, according to trading in the futures markets. On Thursday, Wall Street finished the first day of trading in 2020 at an all-time high. Futures trading showed that it could fall by as much as 1 percent when it opens again on Friday.

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2020 Democrats condemn Soleimani before attacking Trump for ordering the airstrike

Westlake Legal Group AP20003060462384 2020 Democrats condemn Soleimani before attacking Trump for ordering the airstrike fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 9f5609c7-d47b-50e2-b7d6-243517ba14bf

Several Democrats vying for the White House in 2020 condemned Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani before taking aim at President Trump for ordering the deadly airstrike that will escalate tensions in the region and was done so without Congress’ approval.

IRAN VOWS ‘HARSH RETALIATION’ AFTER US AIRSTRIKE KILLS IRANIAN GEN. QASSEM SOLEIMANI

Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed that by ordering the airstrike Trump “just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox.”

In a lengthy statement, Biden said Trump “owes the American people an explanation of the strategy and plan to keep our troops and embassy personnel, our people and our interests, both here at home and abroad, and our partners throughout the region and beyond.

“No American will mourn Qassem Soleimani’s passing. He deserved to be brought to justice for his crimes against American troops and thousands of innocents throughout the region. He supported terror and sowed chaos,” the statement read.

“None of that negates the fact that this is a hugely escalatory move in an already dangerous region. The Administration’s statement says that its goal is to deter future attack by Iran, but this action almost certainly will have the opposite effect.”

Biden also questioned whether the Trump administration considered the “second- and third-order consequences” of Soleimani’s death that now puts the U.S. “on the brink of a major conflict across the Middle East.”

“I fear this administration has not demonstrated at any turn the discipline or long-term vision necessary — and the stakes could not be higher,” he said.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, both echoed Biden’s sentiments – and mentioned the financial consequences of a renewed conflict in the Middle East.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the price of oil surged late Thursday after the Pentagon announced Trump had ordered the airstrike that killed the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ foreign wing.

“When I voted against the war in Iraq in 2002, I feared it would lead to greater destabilization of the region. That fear unfortunately turned out to be true,” Sanders said. “The U.S. has lost approximately 4,500 brave troops, tens of thousands have been wounded, and we’ve spent trillions.”

“Trump’s dangerous escalation brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars,” he continues in a second tweet. “Trump promised to end endless wars, but this action puts us on the path to another one.

Two combat veterans running for president — Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Peter Buttigieg – did not immediately issue statements in response to Soleimani’s death as of early Friday morning. Gabbard voluntarily deployed to serve with a field medical unit in Iraq. Buttigieg deployed to Afghanistan for seven months in 2014.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., also weighed in on Twitter, calling on the Trump administration to consult with Congress in regards to its strategy moving forward.

“Qassem Soleimani was responsible for directing Iran’s destabilizing action in Iraq, Syria, and throughout the Middle East, including attacks against U.S. forces. But the timing, manner, and potential consequences of the Administration’s actions raise serious questions and concerns about an escalating conflict,” her statement said.

“Our immediate focus needs to be on ensuring all necessary security measures are taken to protect U.S. military and diplomatic personnel in Iraq and throughout the region. The Administration needs to fully consult with Congress on its decision-making, response plans, and strategy for preventing a wider conflict.”

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Speaking to MSNBC, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., said, “We have a president who had a failure in his Iranian policy, who has no larger strategic plan and who has made that region less stable and less safe.”

Long-shot Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson took aim at federal laws dating back to 1961 which she says fail to cap spending by the U.S. Department of Defense, and thus allow Trump’s “recklessness” in the Middle East. In a series of tweets, the author, activist and faith leader slammed Congress for passing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Westlake Legal Group AP20003060462384 2020 Democrats condemn Soleimani before attacking Trump for ordering the airstrike fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 9f5609c7-d47b-50e2-b7d6-243517ba14bf   Westlake Legal Group AP20003060462384 2020 Democrats condemn Soleimani before attacking Trump for ordering the airstrike fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 9f5609c7-d47b-50e2-b7d6-243517ba14bf

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Women win $13M in lawsuit against porn site in California

Westlake Legal Group online_porn_istock Women win $13M in lawsuit against porn site in California fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 7b2f7b4d-e35e-52d2-ab30-74b01c866dee

The owners and operators of a San Diego-based porn website must pay $12.7 million after a judge found them liable for fraud and breach of contract for lying to women about how their explicit videos would be distributed, according to a court ruling Thursday.

The site, GirlsDoPorn, was sued by nearly two dozen women who claimed they were deceived and coerced into making sex videos without knowing the footage would be posted on the internet, the Union-Tribune reported.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Kevin Enright, who presided over a four-month-long trial, ruled in favor of all 22 plaintiffs and against a total of 13 defendants, the newspaper said.

PORN SITE’S OPERATORS MADE MILLIONS AFTER USING 22 WOMEN’S NAMES, IMAGES WITHOUT CONSENT: LAWSUIT

Among the defendants are website owners Michael James Pratt, 36, and Matthew Isaac Wolfe, 37, and adult film actor Ruben Andre Garcia, 31.

Attorneys for the defense were not immediately available for comment.

Enright found that the individuals and various affiliated businesses had operated as a single business entity and therefore all were liable.

He awarded the women $9.45 million collectively in compensatory damages and $3.3 million in punitive damages.

The judge also granted the women’s request for ownership rights to their images that appeared on videos produced by the defendants and were posted on several adult websites. In addition, the judge ordered the defendants to take down the women’s sex videos.

The judge also ordered the GirlsDoPorn website owners to prominently post in recruitment ads that videos would go on the internet. Women who sign up to make the videos must get copies of the legal agreement ahead of time and give permission before their names or personal information are used.

“The money’s one thing but these guys have ruined (the plaintiffs’) lives and we have to clean this up as much as possible,” Ed Chapin, attorney for the women, said after the judge issued the decision.

At trial, defense attorneys argued that the women were over 18, understood what they were doing, accepted payment and in some cases returned to San Diego again and again to make more videos. The plaintiff’s attorneys said the videos were not immediately posted on the internet and defendants later refused requests to take down the films.

Some of the women testified that although they accepted performing sex on camera to earn money, including paying for college, the subsequent publicity ruined their lives and careers.

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The women were identified in the suit only as “Jane Does 1-22.”

Westlake Legal Group online_porn_istock Women win $13M in lawsuit against porn site in California fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 7b2f7b4d-e35e-52d2-ab30-74b01c866dee   Westlake Legal Group online_porn_istock Women win $13M in lawsuit against porn site in California fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 7b2f7b4d-e35e-52d2-ab30-74b01c866dee

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Pelosi says Trump carried out strike on Iranian commander without authorization and she wants details

Westlake Legal Group MlFBpGf0rBa9aWZU8UZHrSbuttSVAtGwhaRnun9-hvA Pelosi says Trump carried out strike on Iranian commander without authorization and she wants details r/politics

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Christian Whiton: Trump right to order killing of Iranian Gen. Soleimani – Will make Americans safer

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119400872001_6119402773001-vs Christian Whiton: Trump right to order killing of Iranian Gen. Soleimani – Will make Americans safer fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense/conflicts fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Christian Whiton article 991bb420-4fb6-5678-8e45-a11998c0fd5c

President Trump acted correctly and decisively in ordering the Friday morning killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, in an airstrike in Iraq.

The force Soleimani led is responsible for exporting terrorism and political chaos for the Iranian regime.

Soleimani had the blood of hundreds of Americans on his hands, and was in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad planning attacks on more Americans throughout the Middle East. Trump acted to prevent this bloodshed from occurring and also effectively retaliated for the failed attack by an Iranian proxy militia on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad Tuesday.

IRAN VOWS ‘HARSH RETALIATION’ AFTER US AIRSTRIKE KILLS IRANIAN GEN. QASSEM SOLEIMANI

Responding to the killing of Soleimani, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Friday that “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S.

Trump’s Democratic opponents didn’t even wait for our president to speak before they attacked him.

Far-left freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., tweeted: “So what if Trump wants war, knows this leads to war and needs the distraction?”

More from Opinion

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., asked: “…did America just assassinate, without any congressional authorization, the second most powerful person in Iran, knowingly setting off a potential massive regional war?”

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the frontrunner in the Democratic presidential nomination, said in a statement: “President Trump just tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox.”

So much for rallying around our president at a time of crisis.

Instead, Democrats are busy implying Trump acted only to distract the public from the impeachment sham – which most Americans have already tuned out – or ordered the killing in haste and without sufficient provocation.

Let’s look at the scoreboard since the Islamist regime came to power in Iran a 1979 revolution marked by capturing and holding 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

Iran’s proxies then bombed our embassy in Beirut in 1983 and were responsible for killing 241 servicemen at our Marine barracks there. They took American officials hostage in Lebanon later that decade and tortured and killed some.

Iranian agents blew up the Khobar Towers dormitory used by U.S. Air Force personnel in Saudi Arabia in 1996. During the 2000s, Iran was responsible for the deaths of a major portion of the Americans killed in Iraq by Shiite militias.

Just in the past year, Iran has repeatedly targeted U.S. citizens and interests, ranging from killing a U.S. serviceman in Afghanistan, to disrupting shipping in the Arabian Gulf, to shooting down a U.S. Navy aircraft in international airspace.

Trump has hardly acted in haste. He canceled an attack on Iran last June because he thought the possible cost in human lives would have been disproportionate to the provocation. And he has prioritized financial sanctions over military force in trying to get Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Trump finally had enough only after Iran was caught once again plotting American deaths and attacked our embassy in Baghdad.

For the first time, an American president has pushed back forcefully on Tehran and made it pay a clear consequence for its use of terrorism. Ultimately, that is what Democrats cannot countenance.

Democrats cannot stand the decisive use of American power to advance our national security without apology. They want to blame Trump – and America – for the world’s problems, especially in the Middle East.

Singing from Tehran’s song sheet, Democrats in Congress and on the campaign trail now all but promise Iranian retaliation.

We’ll see. These are the same voices that promised mayhem when we moved our embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The ensuing protests featured more Western journalists than actual protesters.

Trump can hold Iranian territory at risk with little cost to the United States. As hawkish Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has suggested, we could strike Iran’s vulnerable oil refineries with little risk and great impact on the Iranian economy.

Better still, we could seriously degrade Iran’s nuclear weapons potential by disabling its uranium-processing centers and plutonium-yielding nuclear reactor. None of this need entail an invasion or nation-building.

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Most likely these steps will not be necessary, as the Iranian regime reels, facing strong new resistance to its foreign adventures and protests at home by Iranian citizens who want a different government.

Furthermore, don’t think the importance of Trump’s action will be lost in the capitals of other U.S. adversaries. China’s Xi Jinping, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin all undoubtedly hoped that the Democrats’ impeachment sham would have weakened Trump – even if it didn’t remove him from office. Now they know it didn’t.

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As for the Democratic naysayers, we once again should marvel at the wisdom of the Founding Fathers in investing nearly all defense and foreign policy power in the presidency. As Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Papers:” “… the direction of war most peculiarly demands those qualities which distinguish the exercise of power by a single hand.”

Members of Congress make statements; presidents take action. And Trump’s action will make the world safer for Americans.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119400872001_6119402773001-vs Christian Whiton: Trump right to order killing of Iranian Gen. Soleimani – Will make Americans safer fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense/conflicts fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Christian Whiton article 991bb420-4fb6-5678-8e45-a11998c0fd5c   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6119400872001_6119402773001-vs Christian Whiton: Trump right to order killing of Iranian Gen. Soleimani – Will make Americans safer fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/us/terror/counter-terrorism fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense/conflicts fox-news/politics/defense fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc Christian Whiton article 991bb420-4fb6-5678-8e45-a11998c0fd5c

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New York, Los Angeles increase security after U.S. airstrike kills top Iranian general

Westlake Legal Group NYPD-iStock New York, Los Angeles increase security after U.S. airstrike kills top Iranian general fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/los-angeles fox news fnc/world fnc Brie Stimson article 7d86b045-cadf-5d5d-8558-e1474b9ebd89

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said late Thursday he’d spoken with top NYPD officials about immediate steps the department could take to protect key areas in the city from a potential retaliatory attack by Iranian after a U.S.-led airstrike that killed a top Iranian general.

IRAN RESPONDS TO GENERAL KILLING

“We will have to be vigilant against this threat for a long time to come,” De Blasio tweeted.

The Pentagon confirmed that President Trump ordered an airstrike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassim Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force as well as six others at the Baghdad international airport early Friday.

“At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization,” the agency said in a statement.

TRUMP ORDERS ATTACK THAT KILLS IRANIAN GEN. QASSIM SOLEIMANI, OTHER MILITARY OFFICIALS IN BAGHDAD, PENTAGON SAYS

De Blasio made an earlier statement about the airstrike, saying he’s worried about New York City and the U.S. as a whole.

“Without the approval of Congress, the US Government effectively declared war on Iran tonight,” De Blasio tweeted. “The American people had no say in the matter, despite voting time + again to stop endless wars + bring our troops home. This one will not end soon.”

The Los Angeles Police Department issued a statement after the attack, saying they are monitoring the events in Iran.

“We will continue to communicate with state, local, federal and international law enforcement partners regarding any significant intel that may develop,” the department wrote on their Twitter account.

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The LAPD added there is no known credible threat to Los Angeles.

Westlake Legal Group NYPD-iStock New York, Los Angeles increase security after U.S. airstrike kills top Iranian general fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/los-angeles fox news fnc/world fnc Brie Stimson article 7d86b045-cadf-5d5d-8558-e1474b9ebd89   Westlake Legal Group NYPD-iStock New York, Los Angeles increase security after U.S. airstrike kills top Iranian general fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/travel/vacation-destinations/los-angeles fox news fnc/world fnc Brie Stimson article 7d86b045-cadf-5d5d-8558-e1474b9ebd89

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Iran’s Supreme Leader: ‘Harsh Retaliation Is Waiting’ For U.S.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iran has vowed “harsh retaliation” for a U.S. airstrike near Baghdad’s airport that killed Tehran’s top general and the architect of its interventions across the Middle East, as tensions soared in the wake of the targeted killing.

The killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, marks a major escalation in the standoff between Washington and Iran, which has careened from one crisis to another since President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and imposed crippling sanctions.

The United States urged its U.S. citizens to leave Iraq “immediately.” The State Department said the embassy in Baghdad, which was attacked by Iran-backed militiamen and other protesters earlier this week, is closed and all consular services have been suspended.

Around 5,200 American troops are based in Iraq, where they mainly train Iraqi forces and help to combat Islamic State militants.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S. after the airstrike, calling Soleimani the “international face of resistance.” Khamenei declared three days of public mourning for the general’s death.

Iran also summoned the Swiss charges d’affaires, who represents U.S. interests in Tehran, to protest the killing. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the strike “an act of state terrorism and violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.”

Westlake Legal Group 5e0eda3a2500003b1998fa58 Iran’s Supreme Leader: ‘Harsh Retaliation Is Waiting’ For U.S.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared three days of public mourning for the general’s death.

The killing, and any forceful retaliation by Iran, could ignite a conflict that engulfs the whole region, endangering U.S. troops in Iraq, Syria and beyond. Over the last two decades Soleimani had assembled a network of powerful and heavily armed allies stretching all the way to southern Lebanon, on Israel’s doorstep.

The Defense Department said it killed Soleimani because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” It also accused Soleimani of approving the orchestrated violent protests at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad earlier this week.

The airport strike also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces. A PMF official said the strike killed a total of eight people, including Soleimani’s son-in-law, whom he did not identify.

Trump was vacationing on his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, but sent out a tweet of an American flag.

The dramatic attack comes at the start of a year in which Trump faces both a Senate trial following his impeachment by the Congress and a re-election campaign. It marks a potential turning point in the Middle East and represents a drastic change for American policy toward Iran after months of tensions.

Tehran shot down a U.S. military surveillance drone and seized oil tankers last year. The U.S. also blames Iran for a series of other attacks targeting tankers, as well as a September assault on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry that temporarily halved its production.

The tensions are rooted in in Trump’s decision in May 2018 to withdraw the U.S. from Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers, struck under his predecessor, Barack Obama.

The 62-year-old Soleimani was the target of Friday’s attack on an access road near the airport, which was conducted by an armed American drone, according to a U.S. official.

A senior Iraqi security official said the airstrike took place near the cargo area after Soleimani left his plane and joined al-Muhandis and others in a car. The official said the plane had arrived from either Lebanon or Syria.

PMF officials said the bodies of Suleimani and al-Muhandis were torn to pieces. A senior politician said Soleimani’s body was identified by the ring he wore.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief media.

It’s unclear what legal authority the U.S. relied on to carry out the attack. American presidents claim broad authority to act without the approval of the Congress when U.S. personnel or interests are facing an imminent threat. The Pentagon did not provide evidence to back up its assertion that Soleimani was planning new attacks against Americans.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the “highest priority” was to protect American lives and interests, but that “we cannot put the lives of American service members, diplomats and others further at risk by engaging in provocative and disproportionate actions.” She said Congress was not consulted on the strike and demanded it be “immediately” briefed on the situation and the next steps.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said Trump had “tossed a stick of dynamite into a tinderbox,” saying it could leave the U.S. “on the brink of a major conflict across the Middle East.” Other Democratic White House hopefuls also criticized Trump’s order.

But Trump allies were quick to praise the action. “To the Iranian government: if you want more, you will get more,” tweeted South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

The killing promised to strain relations with Iraq’s government, which is closely allied with both Washington and Tehran. Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi condemned the strike as an “aggression against Iraq” and a “blatant attack on the nation’s dignity.”

He also called for an emergency session of parliament to take “necessary and appropriate measures to protect Iraq’s dignity, security and sovereignty.”

The Syrian government, which has received key support from Iran throughout the civil war, also condemned the strike, saying it could lead to a “dangerous escalation” in the region. Hassan Nasrallah, the head of the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, released a statement mourning those killed in the U.S. strike, saying their blood was not wasted.

There was no immediate reaction from Israel, which views Iran as its greatest threat. Authorities closed the Mount Hermon ski resort near the borders with Lebanon and Syria as a precaution but didn’t announce any other security measures. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said he was cutting short a trip to Greece to return home and follow “ongoing developments.”

Yoel Guzansky, an expert on Iran at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, a prestigious Tel Aviv think tank, said the killing restored America’s deterrence powers in the Middle East.

“I think the Iranians are shocked now, the Russians, the Chinese, no one would believe Trump would do that,” he said, adding that Iran, in the short run, was likely to retaliate against the U.S. or its allies, and possibly against Israel. But he said in the long run, the loss of Soleimani — who had also been on Israel’s radar for some time — would weaken Iran’s capabilities across the region.

For Iran, the killing represents the loss of a cultural icon who represented national pride and resilience while facing U.S. sanctions. While careful to avoid involving himself in politics, Soleimani’s profile rose sharply as U.S. and Israeli officials blamed him for Iranian proxy attacks abroad.

While Iran’s conventional military has suffered under 40 years of American sanctions, the Guard has built up a ballistic missile program. It also can strike asymmetrically in the region through forces like Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

As the head of the Quds, or Jersualem, Force of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, Soleimani led all of its expeditionary forces and frequently shuttled between Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Quds Force members have deployed into Syria’s long war to support President Bashar Assad, as well as into Iraq in the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, a longtime foe of Tehran.

Soleimani rose to even greater prominence by advising forces fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and in Syria.

U.S. officials say the Guard under Soleimani taught Iraqi militants how to manufacture and use especially deadly roadside bombs against U.S. troops after the invasion of Iraq. Iran has denied that.

Soleimani’s killing follows the New Year’s Eve attack by Iran-backed militias on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. The two-day embassy attack, which ended Wednesday, prompted Trump to order about 750 U.S. troops deployed to the Middle East. No one was killed or wounded in the attack, which appeared to be mainly a show of force.

It prompted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to postpone his trip to Ukraine and four other countries “to continue monitoring the ongoing situation in Iraq and ensure the safety and security of Americans in the Middle East,” the State Department said.

The breach at the embassy followed U.S. airstrikes Sunday that killed 25 fighters of Kataeb Hezbollah, an Iran-backed militia operating in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. military said the strikes were in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that the U.S. blamed on the militia.

U.S. officials have suggested they were prepared to engage in further retaliatory attacks in Iraq.

“The game has changed,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Thursday, telling reporters that violent acts by Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq will be met with U.S. military force.

Karam reported from Beirut. Associated Press writers Robert Burns and Zeke Miller in Washington; Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Nasser Karimi and Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran; Bassem Mroue and Sarah El Deeb in Beirut; and Joseph Krauss and Josef Federman in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

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Jennifer Lopez is hoping to ‘give the best Super Bowl ever’

Jennifer Lopez has high hopes for her Super Bowl halftime performance.

Lopez, 50, is set to perform with Shakira on Sunday, Feb. 2 in Miami for the season’s biggest football game.

The multihyphenate spoke with Entertainment Tonight about the upcoming performance.

“I cannot tease or reveal, but we are rehearsing,” said Lopez. “I started in December, now it’s crunch time. We’re all coming back, we’re all excited. It’s going to be a great show, what can I tell you? We’re going to try to give the best Super Bowl ever.”

Westlake Legal Group jennifer-lopez-stripper-hustlers-display Jennifer Lopez is hoping to 'give the best Super Bowl ever' Nate Day fox-news/person/jennifer-lopez fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc eab6fe61-08c4-55ba-93d7-2e73e8de38e9 article

Jennifer Lopez in a scene from “Hustlers.” Lopez stars as Ramona, a leader of strippers in a Robin Hood-esque scheme to steal from rich men. (AP)

Lopez and the outlet were at the 31st Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Film Awards Gala on Thursday night, where she will accept the Spotlight Award for her work in the film “Hustlers” — an award that is often a precursor of an Oscar nomination.

“The journey of this film has been such a labor of love and, kind of, such a push that to be here and to be recognized tonight at the Palm Springs Film Festival, such a legendary festival, and to even be in the conversation, is just a dream come true,” Lopez said.

Lopez earned a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the film, as well.

Westlake Legal Group jennifer-lopez-ap Jennifer Lopez is hoping to 'give the best Super Bowl ever' Nate Day fox-news/person/jennifer-lopez fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc eab6fe61-08c4-55ba-93d7-2e73e8de38e9 article   Westlake Legal Group jennifer-lopez-ap Jennifer Lopez is hoping to 'give the best Super Bowl ever' Nate Day fox-news/person/jennifer-lopez fox-news/entertainment/music fox-news/entertainment/movies fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc eab6fe61-08c4-55ba-93d7-2e73e8de38e9 article

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