Cuba diplomats expelled after bizarre incident with U.S. embassy workers in Havana

 

The U.S. has expelled two Cuban diplomats in retaliation for a bizarre incident purportedly involving a covert sonic device that allegedly left a group of American diplomats in Havana with severe hearing loss.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Wednesday spoke only cryptically about the matter, referring to an “incident” without elaboration.

Cuba has strongly denied any allegations of wrongdoing.

The purported affair began in late 2016 when a series of U.S. diplomats in Havana began suffering unexplained losses of hearing, according to officials with knowledge of the investigation into the case, the Associated Press reported.

Several of the diplomats had recently arrived at the embassy, which reopened in 2015 as part of former President Obama’s re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba and relaxation of travel restrictions.

Nauert said that as a result of the incident, two Cuban diplomats were ordered to leave their embassy in Washington on May 23.

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Trump’s evangelical adviser: Says trump has God’s authority over bombing North Korea

 

Texas pastor Robert Jeffress, one of President Trump’s evangelical advisers, said that God has given the president “full control” to take out North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In a statement to CBN News Tuesday, the First Baptist Dallas pastor wrote that a biblical passage in the book of Romans endowed “rulers full power to use whatever means necessary — including war — to stop evil.”

“In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong-Un,” Jeffress told CBN News. “I’m heartened to see that our president — contrary to what we’ve seen with past administrations who have taken, at best, a sheepish stance toward dictators and oppressors — will not tolerate any threat against the American people.”

Citing Romans 13, Jeffress told The Washington Post Wednesday that the passage “gives the government … the authority to do whatever, whether it’s assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers like Kim Jong Un.”

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President Trump: Maybe my ‘fire and fury’ threats against North Korea weren’t tough enough

 

 President Trump doubled down on his threats to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea on Thursday, pushing back against criticism that his aggressive rhetoric might backfire and inflame tensions.

“Maybe it wasn’t tough enough,” Trump said of his previous statement.

“It’s about time that somebody stuck up for the people of this country and for the people of other countries,” Trump said, “So if anything, maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough. And we’re backed 100 percent by our military, we’re back by everybody and we’re backed by many other leaders.”

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Trump vows ‘fire and fury’ Amid North Korea missile strike threaths on Guam

North Korea has threatened a ballistic missile strike on the U.S. territory of Guam, the latest war mongering exchange between the rogue nation and President Trump, has vowed “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Trump on Tuesday lashed out at North Korea in response to reports of a new milestone in its nuclear quest. North Korea’s military said it is considering a missile launch aimed near the U.S. strategic military installations in Guam, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

Trump’s harsh comments to reporters came hours after The Washington Post, citing a confidential Defense Intelligence Agency report, said North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.

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Engineer behind Google anti-diversity memo has been reportedly fired

 

In San Francisco, The Google engineer who wrote an anti-diversity manifesto that has roiled the company and Silicon Valley has been fired, according to reports.

Recode and Bloomberg both reported Monday night that the yet unnamed author has left the company.

Google declined to confirm the firing.

The essay by the male engineer began to circulate within the company last week. Titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” it suggests the company encourage “ideological” rather than gender diversity and contends that women don’t make up 50% of the company’s tech and leadership positions because of differences in their preferences and abilities, not sexism.

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U.S.-led airstrikes kill seven children in Syria’s Raqqa

At least seven children were killed by fresh U.S.-led airstrikes on Syria’s northern city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic State (IS), state news agency SANA reported on Friday.

“The airstrikes targeted several residential areas in Raqqa overnight, leaving many people wounded and destroying their houses,’’ SANA said.

The U.S.-led coalition has carried out 44 air raids over the past 48 hours, targeting residential areas.

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U.S. approves sale of $600 million attack planes to Nigeria

The United State government has approved the sale of 12 high-tech attack aircraft worth $600 million (N219 billion) to Nigeria’s Air Force for the fight against the violent extremist group, Boko Haram, White House officials briefed on the matter told the Associated Press.

President Donald Trump has pushed forward plan to sell the attack planes to Nigeria after it was suddenly suspended by the Barack Obama administration following the January bombing of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camp in Rann, Borno State Nigeria.

The sale of the planes was part of the issues discussed by President Continue reading “U.S. approves sale of $600 million attack planes to Nigeria”

Putin may consider running for another 6-year term as president

 

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who was first elected 17 years ago, said on Friday that he would consider running for re-election in 2018.

The Kremlin has been coy in recent weeks about whether the 64-year-old head of state would run for another six-year term in the March 2018 election.

In early July, his spokesman said the matter was still undecided.

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NATO soldier, 3 Afghan civilians killed in Taliban attack

 

One NATO soldier and three civilians were killed and four injured in the suicide attack that targeted a NATO convoy in Afghanistan in different days, Basir Mujahid, police spokesman in Kabul province, said on Friday.

The NATO mission Resolute Support, RS, had already confirmed the death of a soldier in the Kabul attack late Thursday, without giving further information on the nationality of the victim.

It said that another five soldiers and an interpreter were injured; adding that they were in stable condition and being treated at nearby Bagram Airfield, the largest U.S. base in the country.

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Russia, Syria opposition agree on 3rd Syria Safe Zone

 

The Russian Defence Ministry and Syrian opposition have agreed to create a new “de-escalation” zone north of the city of Homs.

The Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson, Igor Konashenkov, said that the ceasefire in the area is set to take affect at 1200 (0900 GMT) on Thursday.

He said: “on July 31, Cairo hosted regular negotiations between representatives of the Russian Defence Ministry and moderate Syrian opposition. Agreements on the functioning of the third de-escalation zone in Syria, north of Homs, were reached at the meeting.”

The spokesman added that 84 settlements with a population of more than 147,000 people were in the zone.

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