(Washington, DC-AP) — The U.S. is showing off its military might in a warning towards Iran. National Security Advisor John Bolton said in a statement that the U.S. is deploying a carrier strike group and bombers to the Middle East.
He says the presence of the U.S. military will send a message to the Iranian government that any attack on U.S. interests or allies “will be met with unrelenting force.” He said that while the U.S. doesn’t seek war with Iran, it’s fully prepared to respond to any attack by Iran or its proxies.
The move comes after a series of rocket strikes against Israel by forces in the Gaza Strip that are allied with Iran.
(AP) — Israel is hoping to become one of four nations to land a spacecraft on the surface of the moon. A small Israeli spacecraft is expected to touch down this afternoon in what would be the first privately funded mission to land on the moon.
The Beresheet (In the Beginning) spacecraft is set to land in the lunar plane known as the Sea of Serenity between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
The spacecraft sent back images of the moon’s far side last week. A successful landing will put Israel in the exclusive club that now includes the U.S., Russia, and China.
(Washington, DC-AP) – The McCain family announced Friday that he was stopping medical treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer. He began chemotherapy treatment in July 2017 and has been absent from Washington since December. He spent the remaining time at his ranch in Arizona. McCain, known as a moderate conservative, was a retired Navy captain and POW during the Vietnam War.
The abuse he suffered while in captivity which included being hung by his arms from he ceiling, was the reason mobility was restricted in his upper limbs.
McCain’s bomber was hit by a surface-to-air missile on Oct. 26, 1967, destroying the aircraft’s right wing. According to McCain, the plane entered an “inverted, almost straight-down spin,” and he ejected.
But the sheer force of the ejection broke his right leg and both arms, knocking him unconscious, the report said. McCain came to as he landed in a lake, but burdened by heavy equipment, he sank straight to the bottom. Able to kick to the surface momentarily for air, he somehow managed to activate his life preserver with his teeth.
Once he reached the surface, he was pulled ashore by some North Vietnamese, the account said.
As his captors tore at his clothes in the wake of the crash, McCain recalls realizing the extent of his injuries. When he noticed the injuries to his right leg –- which he says had fractured at the knee –- one of his captors slammed a rifle butt into his right shoulder, shattering it, the account said. He was then bayoneted in the abdomen and foot.Over the next few days, he “lapsed from conscious to unconsciousness” while the North Vietnamese interrogated him, he said. “I refused to give them anything except my name, rank, serial number and date of birth,” McCain said in the U.S. News report. “I was in such a bad shape that when they hit me it would knock me unconscious,” he said.
Though initially refusing to give McCain medical treatment, the North Vietnamese, upon discovering that McCain’s father was an admiral in the Navy, decided to give him medical care, according to U.S. News. As word got around of McCain’s imprisonment and his father’s high military rank, several high ranking North Vietnamese officers came to the prison to observe McCain. Vietnamese surgeons operated on McCain’s broken leg, damaging several ligaments in the process. To this day, there is a noticeable limp in McCain’s step.
After receiving less than adequate treatment, McCain says he was moved to a prison camp known as “The Plantation” and locked in a cell with George “Bud” Day and Norris Overly, two Air Force majors. Day, who survived the ordeal, said of McCain: “He was in this great big white case, and his hair was snow white. He just looked like he was absolutely on the verge of death,” the report quoted him as saying.
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT AND TORTURE
When he was moved into solitary confinement in March 1968 and when his father was named commander-in-chief of all US Pacific forces several months later, McCain’s troubles were just beginning. The North Vietnamese hoped to score a propaganda victory by offering McCain an early release. McCain has said he refused the offer on the condition that he would only accept if every man captured before him was released as well. When McCain was brought to the senior North Vietnamese officer -– a man he refers to as “The Cat” –- he refused the offer of an early release yet again.
McCain says his torture began in August of 1968. “For the next four days, I was beaten every two or three hours by different guards. My left arm was broken again and my ribs were cracked,” he said according to U.S. News. The North Vietnamese wanted a confession for crimes committed against the North Vietnamese people. After holding out for four days, McCain, at the point of suicide, agreed to write a confession. Looking back on his decision, McCain reflected “I felt just terrible about it… Every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine,” he said, according to the report.
McCain notes that toward the end of 1969, the treatment which he and his fellow POWs received became more tolerable. He reports of torture ended around October of 1969 and his solitary confinement concluded in March 1970. “Aside from bad situations now and then, 1971 and 1972 was a sort of coasting period,” McCain told U.S. News. After the signing of the Paris Peace Accords on Jan. 27, 1973, putting an end to the Vietnam War, McCain was released on March 14, 1973.
He’s leaving behind a long political legacy. Republican McCain was a conservative icon in the Senate for three decades. He also relished a reputation as a political maverick and was always willing to work with Republicans and Democrats. One of McCain’s top achievements was passage of a bipartisan campaign finance reform bill in 2002. Key provisions of the bill were later struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. McCain also led bipartisan efforts to reform the U.S. immigration system. The Senate passed a sweeping immigration bill in 2013 but the House refused to take it up.
McCain served two terms in the U.S. House before being elected to the Senate. He ran for president in 2000 but could not get past George W. Bush in the Republican primaries. McCain tried again in 2008 and became the Republican presidential nominee. He lost the general election to Democrat Barack Obama.It was during that campaign that another example of McCain’s character was displayed. During a rally, one of his supporter was asking a question and preceded it by speaking disparagingly about Barack Obama. McCain took the mic and refuted the woman’s claims and clarified that he may not agree with Barack on some of the issues but that he was a good man.
McCain was a frequent traveler to Iraq and Afghanistan and was a harsh critic of Obama’s policies in both war-torn countries. McCain became chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2015.
McCain died Saturday following a battle with aggressive brain cancer. He’ll be given a full funeral at the Washington National Cathedral before his burial in Annapolis, Maryland, at the U.S. Naval Academy. McCain will be the 13th former Senator to lie in state at the national capitol. His office said the official schedule would be released once all the arrangements are finalized. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has ordered all flags there to be flown at half-staff.
(USA) – The country is heating up as the Fourth of July approaches. A dangerous heat wave is stretching from Arizona to Maine, with heat advisories in effect particularly in the Midwest and Northeast.
The peak of the heatwave is set to be between July 1st and the Fourth of July. Over 50-percent of the lower 48 states will see temperatures above 90-degrees Fahrenheit. Cities like Kansas City, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and Nashville could see temperatures reach or exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
(SL) – Chinese investment in the U.S. has dropped 92 percent in the first five months of 2018. Around one-point-eight billion dollars had been invested as of May, the lowest amount in seven years. That’s according to a report out last week by foreign investment research firm Rhodium.
The drop comes as trade tensions have escalated between Beijing and Washington, with billions of dollars worth of tariffs slapped on each side. Donald Trump has complained repeatedly about what he says are unfair trade practices by China, and scrutiny on possible Chinese deals has increased under his administration.
(Washington, DC) – Russia is issuing a warning to the United States following a suspected chemical attack in Syria. In a statement, Russia’s foreign ministry says if the U.S. uses any “military intervention” in Syria, it would be “unacceptable” and lead to the “most serious consequences.”
The statement adds the alleged chemical attack is “fabricated.” The weekend attack killed dozens of people in a rebel-held Damascus suburb in war-torn Syria.
President Trump spread the blame of the alleged attack, singling out Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia and Iran for backing “Animal” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
(SL) – Candidates in Mexico are tearing into President Trump as the country’s presidential campaign begins. Mexico’s leading liberal and conservative candidates both slammed Trump in campaign appearances Sunday. Leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Mexico and its people won’t be the pinata of any foreign government. Conservative Ricardo Anaya blamed the U.S. for trafficking guns into Mexico. Trump gave the candidates new reasons to not like him this weekend as he accused Mexico of doing very little or nothing to stop drugs and illegal immigration to the U.S.
Trump also again threatened to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement. Under NAFTA, Mexico sends 80-percent of its exports to the U.S. The treaty allows free trade between the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.
(Detroit, MI) – A 39-year old father of two has been sent back to Mexico after living in the United States for 29 years.
Jorge Garcia was brought over to the United States by a relative when he was 10 years old. He’s been here ever since, married and has two kids. Past work includes gardening and he has NO arrest record.
His wife Cindy and their kids 12 and 15 had a tearful goodbye as their father was ordered to leave for no apparent reason outside of just being Mexican. Yes, technically, he’s still illegal but he and his wife have been working since 2005 to legalize his status.
He alerted himself to ICE and in 2009 he was told to expect deportation. However, the Obama Administration was lenient and gave them several extensions to become an American citizen. In November, under Trump’s administration he was told he had to go. And to add injury to insult, he could be banned from reentering the U.S. for 10 years.
Jorge doesn’t qualify for DACA as the age requirement means he would’ve had to have been under age 31 in June of 2012 to request permanent status. He was 32.
Protesters joined the family at the airport with signs that said “Stop tearing families apart.” Cindy Garcia says the whole scenario has been a nightmare.
Garcia was escorted through the checkout desk by two ICE agents. The agency hasn’t responded to inquiries about Garcia’s case.
(Washington, DC) — The Trump administration is asking for 18-billion dollars to begin building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. The request first reported by the “Wall Street Journal” is part of the administration’s 33-billion-dollar plan to secure the border. The money would pay for just the initial phase of Trump’s long-promised wall. It would fund 316 miles of new fencing and reinforce more than 400 miles of already existing barriers. The request comes during budget negotiations that include the risk of a government shutdown if a deal isn’t reached by January 20th.
Democrats want to link any budget deal to immigration and are seeking long term protections for so-called “Dreamers.” The “Dreamers” are young immigrants who were brought into the U.S. illegally as children and now face deportation when the DACA program expires. Trump has connected any deal on DACA with the funding of the border wall.
(SL) – NBC News reports, Kim Jong Un’s latest ballistic missile test flew 10 times higher than the International Space Station and twice as high as any satellite in low-earth orbit, according to South Korea’s military.
Although analysts were scrambling Wednesday to learn what they could about the North Korean launch, Pyongyang said it had tested a new type of missile, named the Hwasong-15.
Dictator Kim’s secretive state claimed it was carrying a “super-large heavy warhead” that was capable of striking the entire U.S. mainland. But analysts say that based on the current evidence it’s hard to prove or debunk the Pyongyang’s claim that it can now hit faraway American targets such as New York or Washington, D.C.
The North Koreans have now test-fired missiles 18 times since President Donald Trump took office in January. Tuesday’s launch was the first for more than two months.
Western officials agreed it appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, which flew further than any other demonstrated by the North.
It was fired on what is called a “lofted” trajectory, meaning it was aimed at a steep angle and traveled very high but landed relatively close to its launch site.
Reaching an altitude of around 2,800 miles above the Earth’s surface, according to South Korea, it crashed down in the Sea of Japan around 600 miles away from where it was fired.
“It went higher, frankly, than any previous shot they’ve taken,” Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters at the White House.
Some experts believe that if North Korea aimed the rocket at a lower angle, as it would in an attack scenario, this range could be stretched to some 8,100 miles — theoretically putting the entire East Coast in range.