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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 221)

Sen. Thom Tillis: Iran War Powers Resolution is dangerous, returns us to appeasement posture

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6120395637001_6120391600001-vs Sen. Thom Tillis: Iran War Powers Resolution is dangerous, returns us to appeasement posture thom tillis fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world 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 article 9d7832b5-d1d3-561f-a800-4186fd53b457

President Trump made the right call to order the drone strike that eliminated Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, ridding the world of a murderous terrorist leader and achieving an American strategic victory.

Iran has finally learned that its actions will be met with consequences. The future will depend on Iran’s cessation of violence against Americans and our allies – not our ability to ignore their provocations.

Moving forward, it is imperative that Congress work with President Trump – and not impede him – as he seeks to protect America and deter Iran.

NEWT GINGRICH: US VS IRAN: LIBERALS DON’T GET THAT WE’VE BEEN AT WAR FOR 40 YEARS – BUT TRUMP DOES

Iran and its terrorist proxies have waged a decades-long campaign of violence and terror against America, our service members, and our allies, with Soleimani playing a key role.

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Soleimani is directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American military service members and the wounding thousands more. He is also responsible for the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad last month, in which Iran-backed militants tried to burn it down while chanting “Death to America.” That crossed the line and President Trump took decisive action.

We have finally turned the page on the Obama era of appeasement, which failed to curtail Iran’s attacks against our service members or quell Iran’s quest for regional hegemony achieved through the export of terrorism.

Many congressional Democrats opposed the strike against Soleimani, with some arguing it was an unnecessary escalation on the part of the United States and others pandering to their base to advance their own political ambitions.

This group included Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who went so far as to label the strike against Soleimani an “assassination,” disgustingly comparing it to Russian President Vladimir Putin murdering political dissidents.

The strike eliminating Soleimani was neither assassination nor an escalation. It was a response to Iran’s malign and violent acts against American service members and civilians. It bolsters deterrence against future deadly attacks and greater escalation.

The leaders of Iran predictably responded with bluster, threatening to avenge Soleimani’s death by attacking the U.S. military. But although Iran carried out missile strikes against coalition bases in Iraq early Wednesday, there were no American causalities.

It is telling that initial intelligence reports indicate that the Iranians missed hitting anyone by design. They seemingly relied on the missile launch visuals as a way to save face with a domestic audience without challenging the United States.

This made it plain that Iranian leaders received President Trump’s message loud and clear.

Unfortunately, some Democratic members of Congress who are unsupportive of the strike on Soleimani are pushing for a War Powers Resolution. If passed with veto-proof majorities, the resolution would compel the president to remove American forces “from hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran or any part of its government or military within 30 days,” unless Congress authorizes further military action.

To be clear, America did not provoke Iran. America eliminated a notorious terrorist leader 15 miles from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad – sovereign U.S. soil – days after Iranian militias he commanded attacked it. Our retaliatory action does not meet the threshold required under the War Powers Act.

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The resolution is dangerous, causing America to relapse to the failed Obama-era posture of appeasing Iran.

The resolution would signal to the Iranian ayatollahs that when they send the new head of the Quds Force to another nation to export terror with impunity and attack Americans and American interests, they need not fear. It would signal that America will only respond when Iran and its proxies ratchet up the level of attacks on Americans far beyond what we have seen in the last few weeks.

The good news is that this restrictive resolution has little if any,chance of passing Congress with veto-proof majorities.

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All Americans should be relieved that President Trump’s strike on Soleimani was a success, resulting in both the elimination of a notorious terrorist leader and a de-escalation in the confrontation with Iran.

The leaders in Tehran now know that the Trump administration means it when it warns them of the consequences of continued violent aggression. The question now is whether Congress will be a help or a hindrance when it comes to supporting President Trump’s successful peace through strength strategy.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY SEN. THOM TILLIS

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6120395637001_6120391600001-vs Sen. Thom Tillis: Iran War Powers Resolution is dangerous, returns us to appeasement posture thom tillis fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world 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 article 9d7832b5-d1d3-561f-a800-4186fd53b457   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6120395637001_6120391600001-vs Sen. Thom Tillis: Iran War Powers Resolution is dangerous, returns us to appeasement posture thom tillis fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world 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 article 9d7832b5-d1d3-561f-a800-4186fd53b457

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Poll: Democrat Mark Kelly leads incumbent McSally in Arizona Senate race

Westlake Legal Group LA4HkkELRgGDNgUYzkW20Fzcf0rAtjGJx6kkdNJJ6I4 Poll: Democrat Mark Kelly leads incumbent McSally in Arizona Senate race r/politics

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Ohio man who claimed to be missing boy gets 2 years for identity theft

An Ohio man who impersonated the long-missing child who disappeared when he was 6 years old was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison after pleading guilty to identity theft.

Brian Michael Rini, 24, of Medina, will be credited for time served dating back to April 2019 and will be on probation for one year following his release. He pleaded guilty last year to aggravated identity theft and lying to FBI agents.

Prosecutors later dropped the lying charge. He could have faced up to eight years in prison had he been convicted on all charges.

JUDGE ORDERS MEDICAL EXAM FOR MICHIGAN MAN ACCUSED OF GRUESOME MURDER AFTER GRINDR ‘DATE’

Westlake Legal Group AP20007466618803 Ohio man who claimed to be missing boy gets 2 years for identity theft Louis Casiano fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/missing-persons fox-news/entertainment/genres/kids fox news fnc/us fnc article 2ee536c6-4c3b-5440-9da0-fa8976b916a5

Brian Rini, 24, an Ohio man who claimed to be a missing Illinois child, was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday. (Butler County (Ohio) Jail via AP)

Rini was initially arrested after a DNA test proved he wasn’t Timmothy Pitzen, an Aurora, Ill., boy who went missing in 2011. Rini was found by authorities April 3, 2019, wandering the streets of Newport, Ky.

He claimed to be Pitzen and said he had just escaped captors who sexually assaulted him. Federal authorities became suspicious when he refused to be fingerprinted.

2 TEXAS JUVENILES CHARGED AFTER FIREWORK IGNITED IN HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA, TRIGGERING EVACUATION 

The hoax raised hope for Pitzen’s relatives that his disappearance had been solved. Investigators believe the boy vanished after his mother, 43-year-old Amy Fry-Pitzen, pulled him out of kindergarten and took him on a two-day road trip to the zoo and a water park in Wisconsin.

Fry-Pitzen killed herself at a hotel, authorities said. She left a note saying her son was safe with people who will love and care for him.

“You will never find him,” the note said.

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Rini was released from prison in March after serving more than a year for burglary and vandalism. He was accused of making up stories during his prison stint, records show. He was treated in 2017 at a center for people with mental health issues and substance abuse problems.

Rini admitted he watched Pitzen’s story on ABC’s “20/20” and wanted to get away from his own family, the FBI said. He previously twice portrayed himself as a juvenile victim of sex trafficking in Ohio, authorities said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP20007466618803 Ohio man who claimed to be missing boy gets 2 years for identity theft Louis Casiano fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/missing-persons fox-news/entertainment/genres/kids fox news fnc/us fnc article 2ee536c6-4c3b-5440-9da0-fa8976b916a5   Westlake Legal Group AP20007466618803 Ohio man who claimed to be missing boy gets 2 years for identity theft Louis Casiano fox-news/us/crime fox-news/topic/missing-persons fox-news/entertainment/genres/kids fox news fnc/us fnc article 2ee536c6-4c3b-5440-9da0-fa8976b916a5

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Fukushima nuclear plant’s exclusion zone overtaken by wild animals

The 2011 earthquake and tsunami that caused Fukushima’s nuclear plant to melt down prompted the Japanese goverment to evacuate a huge area as dangerous radiation spread.

The evacuated region, which was carved up into several zones based on how the radiation spread, has become home for a wide range of wild animals that apparently found a way to thrive amid the desolation despite the radiation.

Researchers set up cameras in all of the zones. They were able to collect more than 267,000 images over the course of two 60-day periods, providing a unique glimpse of animals roaming the Fukushima countryside — including feral hogs, monkeys and a fox.

INDONESIA TRIES ‘CLOUD SEEDING’ TO STOP THE RAIN AMID CATASTROPHIC FLOODS

Westlake Legal Group wildlife-fukushima Fukushima nuclear plant’s exclusion zone overtaken by wild animals fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc e11d33d3-3a38-534a-baea-2612f7904653 Christopher Carbone article

Wildlife has thrived amid the devastation in Fukushima, (University of Georgia)

RARE ALBINO LOBSTER GOES ON DISPLAY AFTER BEING CAUGHT OFF ENGLAND’S COAST

“Over time, some wildlife species have responded favorably to the absence of humans, even in the presence of high radiation levels, resulting in a rewilding of the evacuation zones,” Thomas Hinton, a radioecologist at the Institute of Environmental Radioactivity at Fukushima University who worked on the study, told Earther.

Human beings have put an unrelenting amount of pressure on animals. Whether fueled by the clearance of land, by wildfires or by a warming climate, some scientists believe we are at the start of a sixth mass extinction event.

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Their study, which was released Friday, was published in Frontiers in Ecology.

“Humans are nature’s cancer,” Hinton explained. “Our ever-expanding presence has discernible impacts on many wildlife species. Nature, however, is resilient and if the stress of persistent human presence is reduced, many wildlife populations are about to rebound and increase in numbers.”

Westlake Legal Group wildlife-fukushima Fukushima nuclear plant’s exclusion zone overtaken by wild animals fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc e11d33d3-3a38-534a-baea-2612f7904653 Christopher Carbone article   Westlake Legal Group wildlife-fukushima Fukushima nuclear plant’s exclusion zone overtaken by wild animals fox-news/science/wild-nature/mammals fox-news/science/wild-nature fox news fnc/science fnc e11d33d3-3a38-534a-baea-2612f7904653 Christopher Carbone article

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U.S. and Iran Conflict: Live Updates

Here’s what you need to know:

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_166844073_26225afb-7e7c-4369-843a-e5d1ec76f83c-articleLarge U.S. and Iran Conflict: Live Updates United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Iran Deaths (Fatalities) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Speaker Nancy Pelosi before a closed briefing on Iran on Wednesday.Credit…Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

The next battle may be over presidential war powers.

House members plan to vote on Thursday to force President Trump to quickly wind down military action against Iran unless he is given explicit authorization from Congress, said Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Ms. Pelosi made the announcement as lawmakers breathed a sigh of relief on Capitol Hill after Mr. Trump announced he would back away from any military escalation against Tehran.

But congressional Democrats, skeptical of the administration’s case for the drone strike last week that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, said they would press ahead with efforts to rein in the president’s war-making authority.

They said they would move forward with a measure that would require that Mr. Trump cease all military action against Iran within 30 days unless Congress votes to approve it.

The measure stands little chance in the Republican-controlled Senate, but it is certain to ignite a fierce debate over Mr. Trump’s strategy on Iran, and Congress’s role in curtailing a president’s ability to wage war.

Where Republicans have generally praised Mr. Trump for his show of restraint — and for his choice of target in General Suleimani — Democrats “have serious, urgent concerns about the administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran and about its lack of strategy moving forward,” Ms. Pelosi said.

And after a briefing on Iran from administration officials Wednesday, some Republicans, too, were unhappy about the White House’s failure to include lawmakers in the decision-making process.

Senator Mike Lee, Republican of Utah, emerged from the briefing visibly angry, complaining of hollow assurances that lawmakers would be consulted.

“Drive-by notification or after-the-fact, lame briefings like the one we just received aren’t adequate,” he said.

Video

transcript

‘Iran Appears to Be Standing Down,’ Trump Says

In an address to the nation, President Trump spoke about the conflict with Iran after its retaliatory strikes on two bases housing American troops, and announced new economic sanctions against Tehran.

As long as I’m president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned, and a very good thing for the world. The American people should be extremely grateful and happy. No Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties. All of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases. The United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime. These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior.

Westlake Legal Group 08dc-prexy-sub1-videoSixteenByNine3000-v5 U.S. and Iran Conflict: Live Updates United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Iran Deaths (Fatalities) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

In an address to the nation, President Trump spoke about the conflict with Iran after its retaliatory strikes on two bases housing American troops, and announced new economic sanctions against Tehran.CreditCredit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

President Trump announced new economic sanctions against Tehran but did not call for more military action against the Iranians during his first formal public remarks about the conflict since ordering the drone strike of Iran’s most important general last week.

“The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it,” Mr. Trump said.

Flanked by Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and other military officials, the president did little to explain his reasoning for ordering the killing of General Suleimani.

“He should have been terminated long ago,” Mr. Trump said.

Early Wednesday, the Iranians retaliated by launching more than 20 ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq where Americans are posted. Mr. Trump said no Americans were killed.

The administration has cited vague intelligence threats against American interests to explain the decision to kill the Iranian general. But many have found its strategy and goals for Iran was conflicting and confusing. Mr. Trump was forced to walk back threats to target Iranian cultural sites after Mr. Esper made clear that such actions would be a war crime.

“As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime,” Mr. Trump said Wednesday.

The United States already has crippling sanctions in place against Iran. In June, Mr. Trump announced a new round in response to Tehran’s actions against tankers in international waters. And in the spring of 2019, the United States cut off revenues from Iranian oil experts, hitting directly at the heart of the country’s economy.

There were signs Wednesday that the United States and Iran have stepped back from the edge of a war.

The Iranian foreign minister said that his country had “concluded” its attacks on American forces and that it did “not seek escalation or war.” Iran fired more than 20 ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq where United States troops are stationed.

The foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, posted the remarks on Twitter after Iran conducted the strikes in response to the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, a leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Senior Iraqi defense officials who work with the United States command said that no Americans or Iraqis had been killed in the attacks. In a short statement released on Wednesday morning, the Joint Command in Baghdad, which includes both Iraqi troops and soldiers from the international coalition, said that neither force “recorded any losses.”

Without American deaths from Iran’s missiles, Mr. Trump may not have felt the same pressure to punch back that he would have confronted with high troop casualties.

Westlake Legal Group iraq-embassy-baghdad-airport-attack-1578026455663-articleLarge-v11 U.S. and Iran Conflict: Live Updates United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Iran Deaths (Fatalities) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Maps: How the Confrontation Between the U.S. and Iran Escalated

Here’s how the situation developed over the last two weeks.

General Suleimani was killed on Friday in Baghdad in a drone strike ordered by President Trump. American officials said the general, who led the foreign expeditionary Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards, had been planning imminent attacks on American interests. One American official has since described that intelligence as thin.

“Iran took & concluded proportionate measures in self-defense,” Foreign Minister Zarif said in his Twitter message, adding, “We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression.”

Although Mr. Zarif, said his country had concluded its attack, officials around the region cautioned that the statement did not mean Tehran was done maneuvering, and Iran’s leadership has reiterated its goal of forcing United States troops out of the Middle East.

Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, said Wednesday that General Suleimani had “fought heroically” against jihadist groups and that Europe was safer because of his efforts.

“Our final answer to his assassination will be to kick all US forces out of the region,” he wrote.

An influential Iraqi Shiite cleric, Moktada al-Sadr, said on Wednesday that the crisis Iraq was experiencing had ended and called on militia groups not to carry out attacks, Reuters reported.

Mr. al-Sadr said Iraq should still seek to expel foreign troops, but appeared to be laying his hopes in a new Iraqi government. One capable of protecting the nation’s sovereignty and independence should be formed in the next 15 days, he said.

“I call on the Iraqi factions to be deliberate, patient, and not to start military actions, and to shut down the extremist voices of some rogue elements until all political, parliamentary and international methods have been exhausted,” he said.

Mr. al-Sadr’s remarks came after Iranian and American officials made statements attempting to de-escalate the conflict.

Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi of Iraq also released a statement on Wednesday saying his government would “continue its intense attempts to prevent escalation” in the simmering conflict.

After Iranian missiles struck bases housing American troops in Iraq on Wednesday, Mr. Abdul Mahdi objected to the violation of his country’s sovereignty. His comments echoed remarks he made after an American drone strike killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani on Friday, and after the United States struck an Iranian-backed militia in western Iraq in late December.

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and a close ally of the president, declared Mr. Trump’s speech on Iran “excellent.” He said Mr. Trump had briefed him the night before.

“I said to the Iranian leadership and people: He’s giving you a pathway to peace — I hope you’ll take it,” Mr. Graham told reporters on Wednesday.

Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, acknowledged that Mr. Trump seemed to pulling American forces off the “path to conventional war.” But pointing to the new set of sanctions the president announced against Iran, he said, “It also doesn’t seem as if we are truly de-escalating.”

“Remember, Iran started their provocations in response to our unilateral set of sanctions,” Mr. Murphy said. “Time will tell, but I’m not sure that this is going to be effective in de-escalating the crisis.”

Addressing the U.S. conflict with Iran on Wednesday, Mr. Trump called on Europeans to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, as he did in May 2018. His wish is likely to go unheeded.

Just a few hours before the president spoke, top European leaders repeated their commitment to the deal and urged Iran to return to compliance, even in the face of harsh American sanctions.

After the killing of General Suleimani, Iran announced that it no longer would be limited by the deal, but it did not say what it would do, leaving room for both escalation and a return to compliance.

The European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, and the bloc’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell Fontelles, both said the nuclear agreement should be preserved. To that end, Ms. von der Leyen, said Mr. Borrell has been reaching out to all signatories to the deal, including Russia and China.

Iran has, in effect, been making a phased retreat from its obligations under the deal since Mr. Trump abandoned it and reimposed economic sanctions on Iran.

Britain, France and Germany, together with the European Union, Russia, China and the United States negotiated the deal, but only Washington has pulled out of it. Iran has regularly complained that the Europeans are not doing enough to provide Iran the economic benefits it was promised in the deal.

Any country giving Iran financial assistance could run afoul of the sanctions and risk incurring sanctions itself. But both Russia and China have found ways to buy at least some Iranian oil. And some European countries have proposed workarounds to help Iran while complying with U.S. policy.

The Europeans say that the nuclear deal is in their national interests and have pressed Iran to come back into compliance.

The deal, Mr. Borrell said Wednesday, is “today more important than ever, because this is the only place where we can sit together with the Russians and Chinese to talk on a multilateral basis about the many risks that we are facing. It’s one of the most important tools of nonproliferation and regional security.”

Investors signaled their relief after President Trump backed away from further confrontation with Iran. Stocks in the United States climbed to new highs shortly after the conclusion of the president’s speech, in which he said the strikes produced no American casualties and that Iran now “appears to be standing down.”

Oil prices, which had spiked after the missile attacks and fallen hours later, fell further after the televised address. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was down more than 3.5 percent and 4 percent shortly after midday.

At the same time, the S & P 500 was up more roughly 0.7 percent to nearly 3,260. If the market holds that level until the end of the trading day, it would be a record, overtaking the previous high-water mark set on Jan. 2.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran, said on Wednesday that his military had dealt the United States a “slap in the face” when it unleashed missiles at American forces stationed in Iraq.

In a televised address from the holy city of Qom, Ayatollah Khamenei said incremental military actions against the United States alone were “not sufficient.”

“What matters is that the presence of America, which is a source of corruption in this region, should come to an end,” he said to a hall filled with imams and others.

“Death to America!,” the crowd chanted. “Death to Israel!”

Ayatollah Khamenei said that “sitting at the negotiating table” with American envoys would open the door to greater American intervention in the region and that such negotiations therefore must “come to an end.”

“This region,” he said, “does not accept the U.S. presence.”

A 4.5-magnitude earthquake struck southern Iran just before dawn on Wednesday, the United States Geological Survey reported, in the same region as the troubled Bushehr nuclear power plant.

No casualties were immediately reported, though rescue teams were working at the site, the state-run IRNA news agency said.

The quake was reported about 30 miles from the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear plant, long seen as a safety concern by Western countries. It has been plagued by construction delays and technical problems, and is on an active fault line.

Two more reactors are planned for the same site. Construction on the first of those began in November.

The quake struck just hours after Iran launched missiles at United States forces based in Iraq and an airliner carrying more than 170 people crashed after takeoff from Tehran, killing everyone on board.

A Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 carrying at least 170 people crashed on Wednesday shortly after takeoff from Tehran, killing everyone aboard, according to the Iranian state news media.

The circumstances of the crash were unclear. The Iranian outlets cited technical problems with the plane, which was bound for Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. The crash came at a tense time in Iran, as conflict with the United States had the country on edge.

Photographs posted by Iranian news organizations showed rescuers examining smoking rubble in a field. The state-run Iranian Students’ News Agency shared a video it said showed the predawn crash, with a distant light descending in the distance before a bright burst filled the sky upon impact.

The plane, Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, departed Imam Khomeini International Airport at 6:12 a.m. on Wednesday and lost contact at 6:14 a.m., according to a flight tracker.

Source: Flightradar24

By The New York Times

Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s foreign minister, said the victims included 82 Iranians and 11 Ukrainians, including nine Ukrainian crew members. Sixty-three passengers were from Canada, 10 from Sweden, four from Afghanistan, three from Britain and three from Germany, he said.

Video

transcript

Iran Retaliates Against U.S. Forces in Iraq

Iran launched missile attacks on two military bases in Iraq where American and Iraqi forces are stationed, in retaliation for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani in a U.S. airstrike. American and Iraqi officials said there were no casualties.

As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime.

Westlake Legal Group 07iran-live-briefing-live-1-videoSixteenByNine3000-v2 U.S. and Iran Conflict: Live Updates United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Iran Deaths (Fatalities) Aviation Accidents, Safety and Disasters

Iran launched missile attacks on two military bases in Iraq where American and Iraqi forces are stationed, in retaliation for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani in a U.S. airstrike. American and Iraqi officials said there were no casualties.CreditCredit…Nasser Nasser/Associated Press

A number of international airlines announced that flights would be avoiding the airspace over Iran and Iraq after reports of strikes on bases housing American troops in Iraq. The moves also came after the apparently unrelated news of the crash of a Ukrainian passenger plane in the early hours of Wednesday near Tehran. Other airlines have canceled flights to the region.

On Tuesday, the F.A.A. barred American airliners from flying over Iran, citing the risk of commercial planes being mistaken for military aircraft.

The Dutch airline KLM said on Wednesday that it was no longer flying in Iraqi or Iranian airspace “until further notice,” citing security risks. Air France and the Australian carrier Qantas took similar measures, news agencies reported.

The German carrier Lufthansa also announced the temporary cancellation of a daily flight between Frankfurt and Tehran because of the security situation, according to Reuters, but later said it would restart that route on Thursday.

The European Union on Wednesday condemned Iran’s rocket attacks on Iraqi bases housing American and coalition troops, urging an end to the “spiral of violence” that has gripped the region. The bloc also urged the continuation of dialogue to calm tensions in the Middle East.

“The latest rocket attacks on air bases in Iraq used by U.S. and coalition forces, among them European forces, are yet another example of escalation and increased confrontation,” said the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell Fontelles. “It is in no one’s interest to turn up the spiral of violence even further.”

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that “the use of weapons must stop now to give space to dialogue,’’ adding, “we all are called upon to do everything possible to rekindle talks, and there cannot be enough of that.’’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, speaking in the British Parliament on Wednesday, echoed the calls for calm but said that the Iranian general killed by the United States last week had “blood on his hands.”

The French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, also condemned the strikes and said was in touch with “all of the parties involved to encourage restraint and responsibility.”

Reporting was contributed by Alissa J. Rubin, Peter Baker, Michael D. Shear, Eileen Sullivan, Falih Hassan, Megan Specia, Ben Hubbard, Steven Erlanger, Russell Goldman, Farnaz Fassihi, Daniel Victor, Anton Troianovski, Andrew Kramer, Eric Schmitt, Vivian Yee and Catie Edmondson.

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Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos puts remarkable corner-kick shot in the net during Super Cup match vs. Valencia

Westlake Legal Group Toni-Kroos Real Madrid's Toni Kroos puts remarkable corner-kick shot in the net during Super Cup match vs. Valencia Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/soccer fox news fnc/sports fnc f625e97a-3cc9-53a6-b600-76dc1f17c54d article

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos scored a remarkable goal against Valencia on Wednesday in a Spain Super Cup semi-final matchup.

Kroos helped Real Madrid to the 3-1 victory thanks to a corner-kick goal that narrowly got past Valencia goalkeeper Jaume Doménech in the 15th minute of the match.

SPANISH SOCCER CLUB SUSPENDS MANAGER AFTER VIRAL VIDEO ALLEGEDLY SHOWS HIM IN THE NUDE

Luka Modric and Isco would add two more goals to seal the game. Isco scored in the 39th minute to make it 2-0 Real Madrid, and Modric scored in the 65th minute to make it 3-0.

“We were in complete control throughout the game, we came out with the intention of getting hold of the ball, that’s what we did and our plan worked perfectly,” Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro told reporters after the match, according to ESPN.

Valencia’s Dani Parejo scored in injury time on a penalty. But it was too late for Valencia.

AUSTRALIA STAR KERR MAKES INCIDENT-FILLED DEBUT FOR CHELSEA

Real Madrid moves to the Super Cup final. They will play the winner between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in Sunday’s match.

All matches have been held in Saudi Arabia thanks to a three-year, 120 million euro deal that was reached in November.

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The Super Cup format, which would usually pit the winner of La Liga against the Copa del Rey champions, expanded to four teams to include the best clubs that didn’t win the title in either competition. Barcelona won the Super Cup last year.

Westlake Legal Group Toni-Kroos Real Madrid's Toni Kroos puts remarkable corner-kick shot in the net during Super Cup match vs. Valencia Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/soccer fox news fnc/sports fnc f625e97a-3cc9-53a6-b600-76dc1f17c54d article   Westlake Legal Group Toni-Kroos Real Madrid's Toni Kroos puts remarkable corner-kick shot in the net during Super Cup match vs. Valencia Ryan Gaydos fox-news/sports/soccer fox news fnc/sports fnc f625e97a-3cc9-53a6-b600-76dc1f17c54d article

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Alcohol-related deaths in US have more than doubled over past 20 years, study finds

Westlake Legal Group iStock-974765782 Alcohol-related deaths in US have more than doubled over past 20 years, study finds Morgan Phillips fox-news/health fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/us fnc article 78ebdb76-a346-52bc-bb4e-efdd39159a0a

The number of alcohol-related deaths in the U.S. has more than doubled since the turn of the century, according to a new government report.

“Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research” found alcohol-related deaths per year shot up from 35,914 in 1999 to 72,558 in 2017. Given reports that death certificates often fail to indicate alcohol as a cause of death, the actual number is likely higher.

Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics looked at death certificates from 1999 to 2017 and found the rate of alcohol-related death increased 50.9 percent, from 16.9 to 25.5 per 100,000. This equates to nearly 1 million lives lost over the 18-year span.

In 2017 alone, 2.6 percent of deaths in the United States were alcohol-related. Nearly half of the alcohol-related deaths were the result of liver disease or overdoses.

‘DRY JANUARY’ GAINS POPULARITY AS MORE PEOPLE TRY TO CUT BACK ON ALCOHOL 

Rates were highest among males, those between the ages of 45 and 74 years and among non-Hispanic American Indians or Alaska natives. However, the largest annual increase occurred among non-Hispanic white females.

Unsurprisingly, Americans have been consuming more alcohol since the start of the new millennium. Per capita consumption of alcohol over the same time period by about 8 percent. An average of 2.34 gallons of ethanol were consumed per capita in 2017. Over 20 million gallons of beer were consumed that year, according to Statista.

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As of 2017, health care costs from alcohol abuse alone in the U.S. were estimated to be $27 billion per year.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-974765782 Alcohol-related deaths in US have more than doubled over past 20 years, study finds Morgan Phillips fox-news/health fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/us fnc article 78ebdb76-a346-52bc-bb4e-efdd39159a0a   Westlake Legal Group iStock-974765782 Alcohol-related deaths in US have more than doubled over past 20 years, study finds Morgan Phillips fox-news/health fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/us fnc article 78ebdb76-a346-52bc-bb4e-efdd39159a0a

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How Rupert Murdoch Is Influencing Australia’s Bushfire Debate

Westlake Legal Group 08oz-disinformation-1-facebookJumbo How Rupert Murdoch Is Influencing Australia’s Bushfire Debate Wildfires News and News Media Murdoch, Rupert Morrison, Scott (1968- ) Fires and Firefighters Australia

WOMBEYAN CAVES, Australia — Deep in the burning forests south of Sydney this week, volunteer firefighters were clearing a track through the woods, hoping to hold back a nearby blaze, when one of them shouted over the crunching of bulldozers.

“Don’t take photos of any trees coming down,” he said. “The greenies will get a hold of it, and it’ll all be over.”

The idea that “greenies” or environmentalists would oppose measures to prevent fires from ravaging homes and lives is simply false. But the comment reflects a narrative that’s been promoted for months by conservative Australian media outlets, especially the influential newspapers and television stations owned by Rupert Murdoch.

And it’s far from the only Murdoch-fueled claim making the rounds. His standard-bearing national newspaper, The Australian, has also repeatedly argued that this year’s fires are no worse than those of the past — not true, scientists say, noting that 12 million acres have burned so far, with 2019 alone scorching more of New South Wales than the previous 15 years combined.

And on Wednesday, Mr. Murdoch’s News Corp, the largest media company in Australia, was found to be part of another wave of misinformation. An independent study found online bots and trolls exaggerating the role of arson in the fires, at the same time that an article in The Australian making similar assertions became the most popular offering on the newspaper’s website.

It’s all part of what critics see as a relentless effort led by the powerful media outlet to do what it has also done in the United States and Britain — shift blame to the left, protect conservative leaders and divert attention from climate change.

“It’s really reckless and extremely harmful,” said Joëlle Gergis, an award-winning climate scientist at the Australian National University. “It’s insidious because it grows. Once you plant those seeds of doubt, it stops an important conversation from taking place.”

News Corp denied playing such a role. “Our coverage has recognized Australia is having a conversation about climate change and how to respond to it,” the company said in an email. “The role of arsonists and policies that may have contributed to the spread of fire are, however, legitimate stories to report in the public interest.”

Yet, for many critics, the Murdoch approach suddenly looks dangerous. They are increasingly connecting News Corp to the spread of misinformation and the government’s lackluster response to the fires. They argue that the company and the coalition led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison are responsible — together, as a team — for the failure to protect a country that scientists say is more vulnerable to climate change than any other developed nation.

Editors and columnists for News Corp were among the loudest defenders of Mr. Morrison after he faced blowback for vacationing in Hawaii as the worst of the fire season kicked off in December.

In late December, the Oz, as the News Corp-owned paper is known here, heavily promoted an interview with the government’s energy minister, Angus Taylor, warning that “top-down” pressure from the United Nations to address climate change would fail — followed by an opinion piece from Mr. Taylor on New Year’s Eve.

Other News Corp outlets followed a similar playbook. Melbourne’s Herald Sun, for example, pushed news of the bushfires to Page 4 on New Year’s Eve, even as they threatened to devastate towns nearby and push thick smoke into the city.

Days later, residents in a town nearly flattened by the fires heckled and snubbed Mr. Morrison during a visit to assess the damage. A new hire for Mr. Murdoch’s Sky News channel, Chris Smith, branded them “ferals” — slang for unkempt country hobos.

As is often the case at Murdoch outlets around the world, there have been exceptions to the company line — an article about the Australian golfer Greg Norman’s declaration that “there is climate change taking place”; an interview with an international expert who explained why this year’s fires are unique.

But a search for “climate change” in the main Murdoch outlets mostly yields stories condemning protesters who demand more aggressive action from the government; editorials arguing against “radical climate change policy”; and opinion columns emphasizing the need for more backburning to control fires — if only the left-wing greenies would allow it to happen.

The Australian Greens party has made clear that it supports such hazard-reduction burns, issuing a statement online saying so.

Climate scientists do acknowledge that there is room for improvement when it comes to burning the branches and dead trees on the ground that can fuel fires. But they also say that no amount of preventive burning will offset the impact of rising temperatures that accelerate evaporation, dry out land and make already-arid Australia a tinderbox.

Even fire officials report that most of the off-season burns they want to do are hindered not by land-use laws but by weather — including the lengthier fire season and more extreme precipitation in winter that scientists attribute to climate change.

Still, the Murdoch outlets continue to resist. “On a dry continent prone to deadly bushfires for centuries, fuel reduction through controlled burning is vital,” said an editorial published Thursday in The Australian. It went on to add: “Changes to climate change policy, however, would have no immediate impact on bushfires” — a stance that fits hand in glove with government officials’ frequent dismissals of the “bogey man of climate change.”

It’s that echoing between officialdom and Murdoch media that has many people so concerned.

“Leaders should be held to account and they should be held to account by the media,” said Penny D. Sackett, a physicist, astronomer and former chief scientist for Australia.

Timothy Graham, a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology who conducted the study of Twitter accounts exaggerating the role of arson in Australia’s fires, said media companies also needed to be cognizant of the disinformation ecosystem and stop contributing to the problem. That includes mainstream outlets, like ABC News, sharing inaccurate maps that exaggerate the reach of the fires.

But in the case of the arson issue, he said, scores of bots and trolls — many of which previously posted support for President Trump — have joined conservative media like the Murdoch outlets in promoting the idea that Australia’s fires are not a “climate emergency” but an “arson emergency.”

“Maybe 3 to 5 percent of fires could be attributed to arson, that’s what scientists tell us — nevertheless, media outlets, especially those that tend to be partisan, jump on that,” Dr. Graham said.

Of course, it is often hard to know just how much influence any media company has. Gerard Henderson, a columnist for The Australian, said he didn’t think there was much need to address climate change because it was already a focal point across the rest of the media.

“It’s hard to distract from climate change because it’s spoken about constantly,” he said.

But there are signs that the Murdoch message is making headway — at least in terms of what people make a priority. Many firefighters working the smoky hills south of Sydney hesitated to state their views on climate change this week (some said senior leaders had told them to avoid the issue). But they were quick to argue for more backburning.

Similarly, in Bairnsdale, Tina Moon, whose farm was devastated by the fires, said she was mostly furious about the government’s failure to clear the land around her property.

“I don’t think it’s climate change,” she said.

Livia Albeck-Ripka contributed reporting from Bairnsdale, Australia.

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Alcohol-related deaths in US have more than doubled over past 20 years, study finds

Westlake Legal Group iStock-974765782 Alcohol-related deaths in US have more than doubled over past 20 years, study finds Morgan Phillips fox-news/health fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/us fnc article 78ebdb76-a346-52bc-bb4e-efdd39159a0a

The number of alcohol-related deaths in the U.S. has more than doubled since the turn of the century, according to a new government report.

“Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research” found alcohol-related deaths per year shot up from 35,914 in 1999 to 72,558 in 2017. Given reports that death certificates often fail to indicate alcohol as a cause of death, the actual number is likely higher.

Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics looked at death certificates from 1999 to 2017 and found the rate of alcohol-related death increased 50.9 percent, from 16.9 to 25.5 per 100,000. This equates to nearly 1 million lives lost over the 18-year span.

In 2017 alone, 2.6 percent of deaths in the United States were alcohol-related. Nearly half of the alcohol-related deaths were the result of liver disease or overdoses.

‘DRY JANUARY’ GAINS POPULARITY AS MORE PEOPLE TRY TO CUT BACK ON ALCOHOL 

Rates were highest among males, those between the ages of 45 and 74 years and among non-Hispanic American Indians or Alaska natives. However, the largest annual increase occurred among non-Hispanic white females.

Unsurprisingly, Americans have been consuming more alcohol since the start of the new millennium. Per capita consumption of alcohol over the same time period by about 8 percent. An average of 2.34 gallons of ethanol were consumed per capita in 2017. Over 20 million gallons of beer were consumed that year, according to Statista.

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As of 2017, health care costs from alcohol abuse alone in the U.S. were estimated to be $27 billion per year.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-974765782 Alcohol-related deaths in US have more than doubled over past 20 years, study finds Morgan Phillips fox-news/health fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/us fnc article 78ebdb76-a346-52bc-bb4e-efdd39159a0a   Westlake Legal Group iStock-974765782 Alcohol-related deaths in US have more than doubled over past 20 years, study finds Morgan Phillips fox-news/health fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/us fnc article 78ebdb76-a346-52bc-bb4e-efdd39159a0a

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Greg Gutfeld on Iran missile attack: ‘This was an operation saving face’ for Tehran

Westlake Legal Group Greg-Gutfeld- Greg Gutfeld on Iran missile attack: 'This was an operation saving face' for Tehran Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article a95f4595-6b30-5ee1-8e0c-72ffb5a594a8

Greg Gutfeld analyzed Tuesday’s missile attack by Iran and credited President Trump for his handling of the recent showdown with the rogue nation.

“I’m thinking that this was a way to shake the Iranian box and to start over,” Gutfeld said on “The Five” Wednesday, before speculating that Iranian leadership did not actually care much for Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by a U.S. drone last week.

“We know Iran can hit stuff, but they didn’t. They put the miss in missiles on purpose. We got advanced warning,’ Gutfeld said. “They told the proxies to lay off. And then [Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] said that last night was proportionate to America killing a general. What is he telling you? That they’re not so upset about what happened? That in fact, that maybe the general was an impediment to the things that they wanted to do, too?”

TRUMP SAYS IRAN ‘APPEARS TO BE STANDING DOWN,’ MISSILE STRIKES RESULTED IN NO CASUALTIES

President Trump declared Wednesday that Iran “appears to be standing down” in the wake of the missile strikes on two airbases housing U.S. service members in Iraq, which Trump said resulted in “no casualties.”

Gutfeld believes Iran’s response was about “saving face.”

“It’s [Tuesday’s attack is] when you allow a team to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter against your scrubs because they’re behind 77 to nothing,” Gutfeld said. “This was, you know, this was an operation saving face for Iran to let them have their token score so everybody can walk away.”

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Gutfeld praised the president for his actions.

“I think what Trump has done is, he’s blown up the myths and the lies. He’s actually really good at this stuff. He’s not impulsive,” Gutfeld said. “This is something that was thought through and it was decided. It was decisive and unpredictable.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Greg-Gutfeld- Greg Gutfeld on Iran missile attack: 'This was an operation saving face' for Tehran Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article a95f4595-6b30-5ee1-8e0c-72ffb5a594a8   Westlake Legal Group Greg-Gutfeld- Greg Gutfeld on Iran missile attack: 'This was an operation saving face' for Tehran Victor Garcia fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/the-five fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article a95f4595-6b30-5ee1-8e0c-72ffb5a594a8

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