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Pentagon Wants to Send 10,000 Troops to Middle East Amid Rising Iran Tensions: ReportSaul Loeb/GettyThe Pentagon is set to present plans to the White House on Thursday outlining the proposed deployment of up to 10,000 troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions with Iran, the Associated Press reports. According to the anonymous officials cited in the report, the troops would be defensive forces, though it is not yet clear if the White House will approve sending all of them or just some of them. The deployment would also reportedly include sending additional Patriot missile batteries, and plans to send more ships have also been discussed.Reuters also reported Wednesday that the Defense Department was considering a plan to send 5,000 additional troops to the region. Sources said the request had been made by U.S. Central Command, but it was not yet clear if the Pentagon would approve.A source also told Reuters the troops would be a defensive force. “As a matter of longstanding policy, we are not going to discuss or speculate on potential future plans and requests for forces,” Commander Rebecca Rebarich, a Pentagon spokeswoman, told Reuters.Trump Admin Inflated Iran Intel, U.S. Officials SaySpeculation that the U.S. would send troops to Iran was first reported in a New York Times story earlier this month about Trump's top national security aides reviewing a plan to send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East. After the story broke, President Trump publicly stated that he hoped the U.S. would not go to war with Iran.But National Security Adviser John Bolton has painted a different picture, citing “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” that point to Iran threatening the U.S. and allies. Sanctions the U.S. imposed on Tehran after pulling out of the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal are believed to have contributed to rising tensions between the two nations. Beyond the Iran Deal, the State Department designated Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a foreign terrorist organization in April—which reportedly sparked concerns among defense officials that the country may retaliate. Several oil tankers were also attacked or sabotaged earlier this month off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, which U.S. officials reportedly suspect was Iran's doing though there is no definitive evidence pointing the blame at the country.“It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens,” Trump told reporters when asked about the incident.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

5/22/2019 4:23:20 PM

U.S. judge approves PG&E $105 million wildfire assistance fundPG&E Corp may set up a $105 million housing fund for victims of 2017 and 2018 wildfires in California, which set records for devastation and were blamed on the utility's equipment, the judge overseeing the investor-owned power producer's bankruptcy ruled on Wednesday. Creditors, which include wildfire victims, are fighting for funds as PG&E navigates bankruptcy stemming from the blazes and as the state plans for increasingly long and dangerous fire seasons its officials attribute to climate change. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali at a hearing approved a motion by PG&E seeking permission to establish the fund for people who lost homes in the fires and were uninsured or have used up or will exhaust their insurance.

5/22/2019 12:23:21 PM

Five challenges for India's victorious ModiLast year 19 million applied for 63,000 positions at Indian Railways. Non-farm sectors are hampered by stringent labour laws and insufficient investment in skills, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Many of those looking for work are those escaping from a dire crisis gripping Indian agriculture that has driven thousands of farmers to suicide in recent years.

5/23/2019 9:51:07 AM

Serial con artist arrested after scamming woman he met on out of $85,000A serial con artist was arrested Wednesday after allegedly scamming a Georgiawoman he met on Match

5/22/2019 12:20:10 PM

Group seeks $100M for woman killed by US border agentHOUSTON (AP) — Advocates demanded $100 million in damages Thursday on behalf of the family of a 20-year-old Guatemalan woman who was shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent last year.

5/23/2019 6:05:18 PM

Four more deaths on traffic-jammed EverestA traffic jam of climbers in the Everest "death zone" was blamed for two of four new deaths reported Friday, heightening concerns that the drive for profits is trumping safety on the world's highest peak. Nepal has issued a record 381 permits costing $11,000 each for the current spring climbing season, bringing in much-needed money for the impoverished Himalayan country. The four latest deaths reported on Friday, taking the toll from a deadly week on the overcrowded peak to eight, include two Indians and a Nepali on the Nepal side and an Austrian on the way down on the northern Tibetan side, officials and expedition organisers said.

5/24/2019 5:36:36 AM

Carson says he had 'difficulty hearing' during viral Oreo testimony, defends HUD proposalsCarson said he "was having difficulty hearing” during the committee testimony that went viral when he appeared to mix up a real estate term and Oreos.

5/22/2019 11:43:28 AM

Should Any Late-Term Abortion Be Illegal? Democrats Won’t Say.Congressional Democrats responded to a spate of state laws aimed at restricting abortion on Thursday by reintroducing the Women’s Health Protection Act.The measure wouldn’t merely prohibit states such as Georgia and Alabama from banning abortion early in pregnancy if Roe v. Wade were overturned. It would also invalidate most state laws limiting late-term abortion, including Pennsylvania’s 24-week limit, under which notorious abortionist Kermit Gosnell was convicted in 2013 for killing 21 infants in utero (in addition to his conviction for murdering three infants with scissors after they had been born). Indeed, it would wipe almost all state limits on abortion, including mandatory waiting period and ultrasound requirements, off the books.Essentially, congressional Democrats seek to take the standard for late-term abortion proposed earlier this year in Virginia — and shelved after the bill’s chief sponsor Kathy Tran acknowledged it would allow abortion through all nine months of pregnancy if a lone doctor asserted it was necessary for mental-health reasons — and impose it on every state that provides greater protection for unborn children late in pregnancy.The federal legislation would require states to permit abortion after an unborn child is viable (that is, old enough to survive outside the womb) if a single doctor asserts that an abortion is necessary to protect the mother’s “health.” The text of the bill explicitly instructs the courts to “liberally” interpret the legislation, and the bill “doesn’t distinguish” between physical and mental health, as its chief sponsor Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut has said.Earlier this week in the Capitol building, I asked Blumenthal why it should ever be legal for a physically healthy baby to be aborted when the mother is physically healthy.> National Review: Is there any reason abortion should ever be legal on a healthy fetus/healthy mother — physically [healthy], that is — after viability?> > Blumenthal: I’m not sure what you mean.> > NR: Is there any reason [late-term] abortion should be legal when the mother is physically healthy, and the fetus is physically healthy?> > Blumenthal: I’m really not going to deal with hypotheticals. We’re reintroducing the Women’s Health Protection Act.> > NR: That’s a real situation though. Is there any reason why that should be legal?> > Blumenthal: I’m not sure I even know what you mean.> > NR: At 23 weeks into pregnancy, should abortion ever be legal if the baby’s healthy and the mother is healthy?> > Blumenthal: You know, I just can’t engage in speculation.> > NR: I mean, there are studies that say that does happen.> > Blumenthal: Send me those studies and I’d be glad to comment.I sent Blumenthal’s office this 2013 study, conducted by professors at University of California at San Francisco, of women who got abortions later than 20 weeks into pregnancy. According to the study, “data suggest most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.” The study points, for example, to one “woman from Illinois discovered she was 23 weeks pregnant and had her abortion the same week.” Given ample time to comment, Blumenthal’s office has not replied.Every Senate Democrat running for president has endorsed the Women’s Health Protection Act. When Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren were asked this week if abortion should ever be illegal, both 2020 presidential candidates dodged the question. Booker told me he’d like to “codify Roe v. Wade,” but when I asked him if any abortion should ever be illegal, he went silent. “You’re a very good, dastardly good, guy,” Booker finally said with a smile when I asked him if his silence should be interpreted as a “no.” Warren simply stuck to her talking point that she wanted to make Roe v. Wade a federal statute when she was asked if any late-term abortion should ever be illegal.Here’s how their colleague Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island responded to a question about elective abortions 23 weeks into pregnancy: “Most of these decisions should be made by doctors, and I don’t know many doctors who are into — what do the extremists call it — infanticide? Never met a doctor who’s for that — never once.”But doctors do perform elective late-term abortions. Dr. LeRoy Carhart was caught on tape saying he’d perform “purely elective” abortions up until 28 weeks into pregnancy. Another doctor named James Pendergraft has said he’d perform even later abortions under an “anxiety and stress” health exception. Dr. Cesare Santangelo said he would let an infant born alive at 24 weeks after an attempted abortion suffocate to death. Dr. Steve Brigham kept a freezer full of aborted babies, one as old as 36 weeks. Some infants born at 22 weeks grow up to be healthy children and adults.And of course there was Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who had likely murdered hundreds of infants born alive, in addition to the three murders for which there was enough evidence to convict him.What’s the moral difference between what Kermit Gosnell did to babies born alive and a legal abortion at 23 weeks? That’s a question Nancy Pelosi could not answer after Gosnell was convicted in 2013. Cecile Richards, then president of Planned Parenthood, defended late-term abortion when the child is suffering from a severe abnormality. But what about when the child and mother are physically healthy? Richards went silent.This isn’t a gotcha question. It’s a question about fundamental human rights. There are likely thousands of elective abortions performed later than 20 weeks into pregnancy each year. If leading Democrats and advocates of a right to abortion are unwilling or unable to defend a right to abort healthy infants late in pregnancy, then why are they so committed to maintaining America’s status as one of seven countries in the world that allows it?

5/24/2019 9:08:04 AM

Two Words That Even an F-22 Doesn't Have the Power to DefeatThe small Raptor force is expensive to operate ($58,000 per flight hour, three times the cost of an F-16), but the fifth-generation stealth aircraft remain the U.S. military’s preferred weapon for countering the latest 4.5-generation jets like the Russian Su-35 or China’s J-20 stealth fighter and J-11D.The F-22 Raptor may be the most elusive fighter ever built. It has a radar-cross section the size of a marble, and if it gets into trouble, it can rocket away traveling up to two-and-a-half times the speed of sound—so fast that the friction from the air would melt its radar-absorbent coatings right off its airframe. But this October, the Air Force discovered that a Raptor with its wings clipped can’t evade the force of nature.(This first appeared late last year.)Tyndall Air Force Base, located on a coastal peninsula across from Panama City, Florida, is a sprawling twenty-nine thousand-acre complex which at the beginning of October housed fifty-five F-22 Raptors of the 325th Fighter Wing—nearly a third of all F-22s built, making it the primary center for Raptor pilot training. It also houses QF-16 jet fighter drones used for Full-Scale Aerial Target tests, T-38 supersonic jet trainers and Mitsubishi Mu-2 twin-engine utility planes used to train AWACS crews in airborne-early warning skills.

5/22/2019 1:48:00 PM

Trump lashes out in televised rant, quizzing room about meeting with 'crazy' Pelosi and insisting he is 'stable genius'Donald Trump has lashed out at Nancy Pelosi and Democrats in a rant in which he called the House speaker “crazy” and claimed she “lost it” at a meeting he himself has been criticised over.Speaking at an event alongside farmers and ranchers, Mr Trump slammed his democratic rivals before asking his White House staff to reassure him that he was “calm” during a meeting over infrastructure on Wednesday.“I’ll tell you what, I’ve been watching her, and I have been watching her for a long period of time, she’s not the same person. She’s lost it,” Mr Trump said of Ms Pelosi. “I think she’s got a lot of problems.”Mr Trump reportedly left the meeting with Ms Pelosi and senate minority leader Chuck Schumer — who he nicknamed as “Cryin’ Chuck” — after, according to Ms Pelosi, he “flipped … because he didn’t see a rush to impeachment coming out of our caucus.”Ms Pelosi suggested after the meeting that Mr Trump actually wants to be impeached, so that the Republican-controlled Senate can overrule the measure. Ms Pelosi also said that she hopes the president’s administration and staff stage an “intervention” for Mr Trump after his "temper tantrum."But, during the Thursday event, Mr Trump insisted it was Democrats who had lost their cool. After asserting that he is an “extremely stable genius”, Mr Trump then asked the room to attest to his chill attitude in the immediate aftermath of the meeting.“You all saw me minutes later, I was at a news conference, I was extremely calm,” Mr Trump said.“Kellyanne, what was my temperament yesterday,” Mr Trump asked his counsellor Kellyanne Conway, who he claimed was present yesterday.“You were very calm,” she replied.Mr Trump then asked his senior communications director about his attitude, and she replied: “Very direct.”He also asked press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about his “tone” at the meeting, and she said he was “definitely not angry or ranting.”During the course of his insults on Ms Pelosi, Mr Trump said that she was waving her arms about in the air. He likened that to the behaviour of Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke.”“She reminded me of Beto,” the president said.

5/23/2019 2:36:38 PM

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