Trump Sought Options for Attacking Iran to Stop Its Growing Nuclear Program

first_imgAfter Mr. Pompeo and General Milley described the potential risks of military escalation, officials left the meeting believing a missile attack inside Iran was off the table, according to administration officials with knowledge of the meeting.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Since Mr. Trump dismissed Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and other top Pentagon aides last week, Defense Department and other national security officials have privately expressed worries that the president might initiate operations, whether overt or secret, against Iran or other adversaries at the end of his term.The events of the past few days are not the first time that Iran policy has emerged in the final days of an outgoing administration. During the last days of the Bush administration in 2008, Israeli officials, concerned that the incoming Obama administration would seek to block it from striking Iran’s nuclear facilities, sought bunker-busting bombs, bombers and intelligence assistance from the United States for an Israeli-led strike. Mr. Trump might still be looking at ways to strike Iranian assets and allies, including militias in Iraq, officials said. A smaller group of national security aides had met late Wednesday to discuss Iran, the day before the meeting with the president.White House officials did not respond to requests for comment.The episode underscored how Mr. Trump still faces an array of global threats in his final weeks in office. A strike on Iran may not play well to his base, which is largely opposed to a deeper American conflict in the Middle East, but it could poison relations with Tehran so that it would be much harder for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, as he has promised to do.- Advertisement – Mr. Trump has argued since the 2016 campaign that Iran was hiding some of its actions and cheating on its commitments; the inspectors’ report last week gave him the first partial evidence to support that view. The report criticized Iran for not answering a series of questions about a warehouse in Tehran where inspectors found uranium particles, leading to suspicion that it had once been some kind of nuclear-processing facility. The report said Iran’s answers were “not technically credible.”The International Atomic Energy Agency has previously complained that inspectors have been barred from fully reviewing some suspected sites.It is not just the U.S. military that is looking at options. Mr. Pompeo, officials said, is closely watching events unfolding on the ground in Iraq for any hint of aggression from Iran or its proxy militias against American diplomats or troops stationed there.Mr. Pompeo already drew up plans to close the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad over concerns of potential threats, although in recent days he appeared willing to leave that decision to the next administration. Mortar and rocket attacks against the embassy have waned over the past several weeks, and the task to shutter the largest American diplomatic mission in the world could take months to complete.But officials said that could change if any Americans are killed before Inauguration Day.Officials are especially nervous about the Jan. 3 anniversary of the U.S. strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and the Iraqi leader of an Iranian-backed militia — deaths that Iranian leaders regularly insist they have not yet avenged.Mr. Pompeo, who has been the most strident proponent among Mr. Trump’s advisers of hobbling Iran while the administration still can, has more recently made clear that the death of an American was a red line that could provoke a military response.That would also increase tensions between Washington and Baghdad. Diplomats said Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi of Iraq would almost certainly object to the killing of Iraqis — even Iranian-backed militiamen — on Iraqi soil by U.S. forces who already face demands to leave. WASHINGTON — President Trump asked senior advisers in an Oval Office meeting on Thursday whether he had options to take action against Iran’s main nuclear site in the coming weeks. The meeting occurred a day after international inspectors reported a significant increase in the country’s stockpile of nuclear material, four current and former U.S. officials said on Monday.A range of senior advisers dissuaded the president from moving ahead with a military strike. The advisers — including Vice President Mike Pence; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Christopher C. Miller, the acting defense secretary; and Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — warned that a strike against Iran’s facilities could easily escalate into a broader conflict in the last weeks of Mr. Trump’s presidency.- Advertisement – The report from the International Atomic Energy Agency concluded that Iran now had a stockpile of more than 2,442 kilograms, or over 5,385 pounds, of low-enriched uranium. That is enough to produce about two nuclear weapons, according to an analysis of the report by the Institute for Science and International Security. But it would require several months of additional processing to enrich the uranium to bomb-grade material, meaning that Iran would not be close to a bomb until late spring at the earliest — well after Mr. Trump would have left office.While the amount is concerning, it is far below the amount of fuel Iran possessed before President Obama reached a nuclear accord with Tehran in July 2015. Late that year, under the terms of the accord, Iran shipped about 97 percent of its fuel stockpile to Russia — about 25,000 pounds — leaving it with less than it would need to build a single weapon.The Iranians stuck to those limits even after Mr. Trump scrapped U.S. participation in the Iran accord in 2018 and reimposed sanctions. The Iranians began to slowly edge out of those limits last year, declaring that if Mr. Trump felt free to violate its terms, they would not continue to abide by them.But the Iranians have hardly raced to produce new material: Their advances have been slow and steady, and they have denied seeking to build a weapon — though evidence stolen from the country several years ago by Israel made clear that was the plan before 2003. Any strike — whether by missile or cyber — would almost certainly be focused on Natanz, where the International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Wednesday that Iran’s uranium stockpile was now 12 times larger than permitted under the nuclear accord that Mr. Trump abandoned in 2018. The agency also noted that Iran had not allowed it access to another suspected site where there was evidence of past nuclear activity.Mr. Trump asked his top national security aides what options were available and how to respond, officials said. Vice President Dick Cheney later wrote in his memoir that he supported the idea. President George W. Bush did not, but the result was a far closer collaboration with Israel on a cyberstrike against the Natanz facility, which took out about 1,000 of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges.Ever since, the Pentagon has revised its strike plans multiple times. It now has traditional military as well as cyberoptions, and some that combine the two. Some involve direct action by Israel.last_img read more

Finding rural doctor a struggle for Tubungan

first_imgThe municipal government tried tappingDOH’s Doctor to the Barrio Program. Dr. Salvacion dela Cruz, DOH Region 6’smedical officer IV, was provisionally deployed to Tubungan from Sept. 9 to 30. “Doctors doing private practice earn alot, not less than P5,000 per day. On the other hand, the compensation of LGUdoctors is based on government-determined salary grade. You can’t do anythingabout it,” said Tacsagon. “Dr. Fillaro is now processing hispapers to be employed by the DOH as permanent doctor, according to Tacsagon,and if he stays in Tubungan for six months he could be considered a resident bythen,” Tacsagon added. Fillaro was immediately taken in; hestarted working on Oct. 1. Mayor Roquito Tacsagon said the hiringof a permanent RHU doctor has become difficult due to the Civil ServiceLocalization Program requiring an applicant to be a native to the assignedarea. Roqueta Gonzales, a resident, said helooks forward to seeing Tubungan’s RHU having a permanent doctor. According to the mayor, DOH Region 6pointed to the compensation offered by the LGU as another reason for thedifficulty. Then Dr. Eduardo Fillaro applied – thesole applicant, according to Tacsagon.  “Tuod nga may ospital sa Guimbal pero rayo. Kun taga-bukid kaw maplete ka pa. Kun may doctorlang man sa sentro, pareho lang manserbisyo,” said Roqueta. “We announced we’re hiring interestedTubunganon doctors but unfortunately no native doctors applied,” Tacsagon said. BY FLORY ANN TACUBAN ILOILO – Tubungan being a geographically-isolated and disadvantaged area, its rural health unit (RHU) has been operating with temporary doctors after the Municipal Health Officer retired on Dec. 31, 2018. Doctors assigned by the Department ofHealth (DOH) come and go on renewable job order contracts. The RHU is struggling to find apermanent doctor to address the townspeople’s medical needs, especially thosefrom remote areas. When medical emergencies arise, no resident doctor couldimmediately serve patients. Marivic Matillano, a local healthworker, agreed. “Naluoy kami nga gadulhogang tawo dya sa banwa para magpakonsulta, pay wara ti doctor. Nugonplete na kag oras. Indi man bi naton mapaktan kun sin-o ang ma-assign duman,” she said./PNlast_img read more

Attorney General Hill rolls out prescription drug awareness campaign

first_imgIndianapolis, in. — Attorney General Curtis Hill today praised the rollout of a new program at Perry Meridian High School in Indianapolis aimed at helping students make wise decisions about prescription medications. With financial support from Walmart, a new digital curriculum developed by the education firm EverFi is being provided to Indiana high schools at no cost to the schools, starting in the Indianapolis area.Attorney General Hill today joined educators and students at Perry Meridian to launch the initiative. Representatives from EverFi and Walmart also attended the convocation.“Almost half of all teens incorrectly believe that prescription drugs are safer than illegal street drugs,” Attorney General Hill said. “We need to correct these misconceptions and help students make safe and healthy decisions.”The EverFi program uses an evidence-based, public health approach to enabling students to make well-informed choices. Through interactive scenarios and self-guided activities, students learn facts about drugs, how to properly use and dispose of them, and how to step in when faced with a situation involving misuse. The course is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control’s National Health Education Standards and state academic standards.“The health and safety of our patients is a critical priority, and Walmart is committed to be part of the solution to the nation’s opioid epidemic,” said Kari Preston, Walmart Indiana Health & Wellness Director. “We believe education on prescription drug abuse is a key part of the solution, we are proud to help fund this program that teaches Indianapolis students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.”The digital prescription drug abuse prevention course is the flagship initiative of the Prescription Drug Safety Network, a public-private initiative to combat prescription drug abuse by providing prevention education to schools across the United States. Walmart is a partner in the nationwide coalition.“Prescription drug abuse has dealt a devastating blow to communities across the country, yet there are few programs aimed at positively preventing the abuse before it occurs,” said EverFi CEO Tom Davidson. “Through the Prescription Drug Safety Network, we are bringing together industry leaders, state officials, policy groups and community organizations committed to combating this scourge by investing in prevention education. I applaud Walmart and Attorney General Hill for their commitment to empowering youth with the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe.”last_img read more

Nursing Home Employees Say Rick Scott Destroyed Evidence Post-Irma

first_imgTwo Broward healthcare workers who were charged with aggravated manslaughter last year in connection with the deaths of 12 people at a Hollywood nursing home following Hurricane Irma are asking a judge to dismiss the cases against them, claiming that former Governor Rick Scott destroyed evidence that would have helped their defense.Residents at the nursing home, called Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, began dying three days after Hurricane Irma made landfall in South Florida on September 10, 2017.Temperatures inside the facility reach 99 degrees while the power was knocked out following the storm.Broward County prosecutors later charged four of the facility’s employees, claiming they had neglected their duties and failed to provide adequate care to residents during the hurricane’s aftermath.Two of the workers — Sergo Colin, who was a night shift nursing supervisor, and Jorge Carballo, who served as the facility’s administrator — filed the motion to dismiss earlier this week. They told a Broward County judge the cases should be thrown out because the state violated due process by destroying voicemails nursing home employees had left on Scott’s cellphone after the storm. Scott had given out his number during hurricane preparations and told administrators they should contact him directly for assistance, according to the men.After the deaths, which were ultimately blamed on the lack of an electrical supply to the facility’s air conditioning system, Scott tried to place the blame elsewhere “so as to cover up the debacle at RCHH that he personally created,” the motion to dismiss states. The men also all allege that Scott ordered the deletion of voice messages that included cries for help.The motion states, “As a direct result of Governor Scott’s order to destroy the recordings so as to cover up his own failings, the jury in this case will never have the opportunity to listen to heartfelt and desperate pleas to Governor Scott to please order [Florida Power & Light] to restore power to the A/C chiller.”In September 2017, Scott’s office told reporters who asked for access to the voicemails through public records requests that staff members had deleted the voice messages after they were transcribed.In response to the new allegations, the office for Scott, who was elected as Florida’s junior senator two years ago, says that Colin and Carballo are being held accountable for “their inexplicable failure to call 911 when people were in need.”“Every child knows that when there is imminent danger, 911 is the number to call,” a Scott spokeswoman explains. “Yet, trained health staff at this facility didn’t even do that. In addition to not calling 911, the nursing home never pursued transferring its residents to the hospital located directly across the street that had full power.”Attorney Jim Cobb, who is representing the defendants, argued after the charges against his clients were first filed last year, that Memorial Regional Hospital across the street was “slammed” after the hurricane and could not accommodate the nursing home’s residents.In response to the deaths at the nursing home, Scott issued a series of emergency orders, including one that requires such living facilities to have generators and enough fuel to keep their operations and cooling systems running for at least four days after a disruption.State lawmakers eventually reached a compromise with Scott, requiring facilities to submit emergency power plans proving they have installed an alternate power source that can supply electricity for four days. The rules also establish requirements for keeping backup fuel on site for nursing homes and assisted living facilities.Hollywood Hills had a backup generator that kicked in when Hurricane Irma knocked out two area transformers that were powering the facility. The generator only provided power for the lights, medical equipment and appliances, while another transformer that provided power to the air-conditioning system remained nonoperational.last_img read more

Injury puts Taylor out of India series

first_imgGROS ISLET, St Lucia, (CMC) – Injury has ruled captain Stafanie Taylor out of the remainder of the Twenty20 series against India, dealing a serious blow to West Indies’ chances of making a comeback in the five-match rubber.Cricket West Indies (CWI) said Sunday that Taylor had sustained a grade one medial collateral ligament sprain during the third One-Day International against the Indians last Thursday, and would require a two-week recovery period.Taylor, who struck two half-centuries in the three-match one-day series, sat out Saturday’s opening Twenty20 International here which West Indies lost by 84 runs at the Darren Sammy National Stadium.“It is very disappointing to lose Stafanie at this crucial time and she will no doubt be missed but her health and recovery are of utmost importance,” said chief selector Anne Browne-John.“We have the ICC T20 World Cup in a few months and it is critical that Stafanie gets the time to recover and return to full fitness.”Veteran off-spinner Anisa Mohammed, who led the Windies in Saturday’s T20 opener, will continue as captain for the remainder of the series with Shemaine Campbelle as her deputy.Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Taylor has been replaced by uncapped fast bowling all-rounder Cherry-Ann Fraser, who hails from Guyana.Browne-John said the move would further accelerate the 20-year-old Fraser’s development.“Cherry-Ann Fraser is a young Guyanese all-rounder who was in the last camp and we were impressed by her performance,” Browne-John said.“Therefore having her join the team now will get her that experience to further her development.”last_img read more

Kearns says Kerry pose different challenge

first_imgTipp will play Kerry on the 3rd July in Killarney. Liam Kearns’ side secured a meeting with the Kingdom after scoring a first championship victory over Cork since 1944.The Premier County will continue their preparations for next month’s provincial decider this evening.Kearns says it’ll require a massive effort to pull off another surprise.last_img

Dutch KSA sets out new long-term Remote Gambling Act strategy

first_imgShare Related Articles Share Kansspelautoriteit enters into MoU with Malta Gaming Authority August 28, 2020 Netherlands Remote Gambling Act submitted for EC review July 15, 2020 KSA issues ‘conduct warning’ following covid marketing breaches July 28, 2020 StumbleUpon Submit Dutch gambling authority Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has set out its long-term strategy pertaining to the Remote Gambling Act that is set to come in to force, after a vote to accept implementation earlier this year came in excess of two and a half years after the bill was originally passed in its lower house.The regulator has laid out an initial target of the Remote Gambling Act to be rolled out by Wednesday 1 July, 2020, with operators able to submit permit applications from this date onward. The gambling market will then be able to officially open from Friday 1 January, 2021.Chairman of the KSA, René Jansen, has confirmed that the most recent update is expected to come into force, having emphasised that overseeing the licensing process in the context of the Remote Gambling Act will become a top priority over the next two years.The Ministry of Justice and Security is currently developing new legislation into “lower regulations,” which – when complete – will enable the regulator to be able to decide upon suitable permit conditions.Jansen stated: “Such an operation demands a lot from an organisation with the size of the Ksa. But we do everything in our power to get this done. If we don’t make it through the permanent staff, we hire external staff.”Intending to create “a safe, legal gambling offer”, Jansen called on interested parties to register interest through the Ksa website: “It is important for the Ksa to know how many permit applications we can expect in the future. This allows us to properly organise the organisation. We have an interest in that, but that also applies to companies that are going to apply for a permit.”Under current legislation it is not possible to apply for a licence to offer online games of chance, with the new act – which was adopted by the first chamber on 19 February 2019 – set to legalise online gambling under a series of strict conditions.last_img read more

Hammam to challenge Sepp Blatter for FIFA Presidency this year

first_imgMohamed Bin Hammam has announced that he’ll challenge Sepp Blatter for the FIFA Presidency this year.The current Asian Football Confederation president will campaign ahead of the elections at the FIFA Congress in Zurich on June 1.In terms of what he would bring to FIFA if elected president, one of Bin Hammam’s biggest points was to increase the FIFA Executive Committee to 40 members whilst renaming it the “FIFA Board”, if elected.The Qatari also called for “greater transparency” within the organization and will attempt to achieve this with the establishment of an appropriately-named “Transparency commitee”.When asked about his chances of unseating Blatter from his throne, Bin Hammam said he rated them as “50-50”.His announcement at the AFC House in Kuala Lumpur ends recent speculation sparked largely by suggestions from the Qatari that he would run against Blatter for football’s top job. Over the past few months the 61 year-old has dropped hints but also at times distanced himself from talk of the presidency.Long seen as the heir to Blatter’s throne, Bin Hammam’s decision to nominate himself now rather than wait for his opponent’s expected retirement in four years is perhaps the biggest decision he has made during his FIFA career.It was 15 years ago that he became a member of FIFA’s 24-man executive committee, a position which he has had to fight for recently within his own confederation.Elected president of the AFC in 2002, Bin Hammam has reformed football on the continent, elevating standards of professionalism and strengthening the sport financially.However, he has also divided opinion within his confederation with a perceived authoritarian style and the ruthless and somewhat uncouth manner in which he has run election campaigns in the past. If he is to end Blatter’s reign as president, he will need to win over a majority (two-thirds) of FIFA’s 208 member national associations who will vote in June.Bin Hammam’s assistance was key in Blatter winning the 1998 FIFA elections but the relationship between the two individuals has grown frosty, with Blatter failing to openly defend the Qatari’s place on the executive committee when it was under threat in 2009.The Swiss national also reportedly reneged on a personal agreement with the Asian chief to retire from his post so that he may be succeeded, instead opting to stay on for another term.Source: Goal.comlast_img read more

Michael Parkhurst captains Atlanta United to title, ending MLS Cup drought

first_imgAfter letting Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank be the first to lift the big silver trophy, Parkhurst grabbed it and joined his teammates on stage at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and lifted the trophy aloft, a moment that also helped lift the burden of those previous championship losses off his shoulders.”It was everything I dreamed about and more,” Parkhurst told Goal of the moment he lifted the trophy. “I can’t wait to relive it, see the pictures and party with these guys tonight. It was special.”Parkhurst came into Saturday’s final one of four MLS players to ever lose four MLS Cup finals without ever winning one, and he went into Saturday determined to change that. He gave his pre-game captain’s speech to the team, and didn’t mention his past finals defeats. He didn’t need to.“I told them to control the emotions, go out there and play your best game under the biggest lights,” Parkhurst said. “Step up like we have all season and go win a trophy for the city.”Parkhurst did his part, leading the Atlanta United defense to its third shutout in five matches during the playoffs, and making a key play to help start the sequence leading to Atlanta United’s opening goal, which set the tone for Saturday’s victory. Michael Parkhurst admitted to allowing himself to dream about the moment that had eluded him for the better part of 13 years. Dreams of one day lifting an MLS Cup stayed in his mind, even after loss after loss. The fourth of those losses, suffered three years ago, crushed him, mainly because of the fear that another chance to win a title might not come.That fifth opportunity came on Saturday, and Parkhurst made the most of it, shaking off an ankle injury and turning in a standout performance to help Atlanta United beat the Portland Timbers and lift an MLS Cup title in just the club’s second year of existence. The most unfair aspect of Parkhurst’s legacy in cup finals before Saturday was what went often overlooked, the fact that Parkhurst actually played well in all of his past cup final appearances. He was never directly involved in allowing any of the goals his teams gave up, but that didn’t make the losses any easier for him to take.”Each one I think you take a little harder than the rest,” Parkhurst said, admitting that the loss he suffered with the Columbus Crew in 2015 devastated him. “That one was tough because we were at home, it was an opportunity lost. It was crushing. You never know if you’re going to get a next one, but everything happens for a reason.”I thought I’d play my career in Columbus, but I got shipped to Atlanta, thankfully,” Parkhurst told Goal. “Getting another opportunity to close the deal was special, and tonight was everything I ever imagined winning MLS Cup would be.” Getty Nobody was happier for Parkhurst than central defense partner and long-time teammate Jeff Larentowicz, who was Parkhurst’s collaborator on the New England Revolution team that lost three straight MLS Cup titles from 2005 to 2007. Larentowicz ended his own MLS Cup drought by helping the Colorado Rapids win the title in 2010, but on Saturday he played alongside Parkhurst on the way to a shutout victory 13 years after they endured their first loss.”He deserves it. He’s a champion in this league. No one can take that from him now. I’m so happy for him,” Jeff Larentowicz told Goal. “He had an ankle injury. He’s a guy that had trouble coming into the game. Nothing was going to stop him from playing. He’s our leader, our captain, and he had a really good night. He put it all together tonight and he deserved it.”last_img read more

Handball : “Dragons” Against Lithuania, Belarus and Denmark

first_imgGroup drawing for qualification at the European Handball Championship 2016 in Poland took place today.The B&H handball representation will play in group 2, together with Lithuania, Belarus and Denmark.Croatia, Norway, the Netherlands and Turkey will play in group 1 and Serbia, Iceland, Montenegro and Israel will play in group 4.The two best qualified teams of every group will be included in the best selections of the old continent.(Source: