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  1. (Worthy News) - Egyptian fighter jets struck militant bases in eastern Libya late Friday in retaliation for an attack by masked gunmen on a caravan of Coptic Christians that left 28 people dead. In a televised address, President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi said his forces were hitting what he called "training bases" for the militants who carried out the killings. In the caravan attack, masked gunmen driving SUVs opened fire on the Coptic Christian pilgrims heading to a monastery about 130 miles south of the Egyptian capital. According to the local governor and Egyptian security and health officials, the gunmen killed 28 people, and injured at least 23. [ Source ] View the full article
  2. (Worthy News) - The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau’s public assurances about how carefully it handles warrantless spy data to avoid abuses or leaks. In his final congressional testimony before he was fired by President Trump this month, then-FBI Director James Comey unequivocally told lawmakers his agency used sensitive espionage data gathered about Americans without a warrant only when it was “lawfully collected, carefully overseen and checked.” Once-top secret U.S. intelligence community memos reviewed by Circa tell a different story, citing instances of “disregard” for rules, inadequate training and “deficient” oversight and even one case of deliberately sharing spy data with a forbidden party. [ Source ] View the full article
  3. (Worthy News) - Iran has built a third underground ballistic missile production factory and will keep developing its missile program, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Thursday, in a development likely to fuel tension with Arab neighbors and Washington. "Iran's third underground factory has been built by the Guards in recent years ... We will continue to further develop our missile capabilities forcefully," Fars quoted the head of the Republican Guard’s airspace division, Amirali Hajizadeh, as saying. Since taking office in January, US President Donald Trump has imposed new sanctions on Iran in response to Tehran's recent missile launches, putting Tehran "on notice." [ Source ] View the full article
  4. (Worthy News) - Donald Trump's administration is pledging a Supreme Court showdown over his travel ban after a federal appeals ruled that the ban "drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination." Citing the president's duty to protect the country from terrorism, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday that the Justice Department will ask the high court to review the case, although he offered no timetable. The Supreme Court is almost certain to step into the case over the presidential executive order issued by Trump that seeks to temporarily cut off visas for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The justices almost always have the final say when a lower court strikes down a federal law or presidential action. [ Source ] View the full article
  5. (Worthy News) - NATO’s chief has affirmed that the alliance will join the international coalition fighting the Islamic State group but will not wage war against the extremists, as U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to meet allied leaders. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that joining “will send a strong political message of NATO’s commitment to the fight against terrorism and also improve our coordination within the coalition.” But he underlined that “it does not mean that NATO will engage in combat operations.” [ Source ] View the full article
  6. (Worthy News) - The US has promised to increase military aid to Israel to help maintain the country's military edge in the region as it faces mounting threats from its neighbors, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said as he spoke at Wednesday's Mount Herzl ceremony marking Jerusalem Day. “The US has promised to maintain Israel’s qualitative advantage in the Middle East,” the premier stated. Netanyahu then revealed that three days earlier, before US President Donald Trump's visit to the Jewish state, "the US added another $75 million to the aid package for [Israel's] missile defense program." Trump’s promise to preserve Israel’s advantage came amid concerns in Jerusalem about the recently announced $110 billion US-Saudi Arabia arms deal. [ Source ] View the full article
  7. (Worthy News) - US President Donald Trump ended his 28-hour trip to Israel Tuesday afternoon extolling the prospects of Israeli-Palestinian peace but leaving no clear indication of how he plans to help bring it closer. Trump, who flew from Tel Aviv to Rome on the third leg of his first trip abroad as president, made no mention in seven public appearances in Israel of a Palestinian state, a two-state solution or settlements, something one senior government official said was a refreshing break from Trump’s predecessor. On the other hand, the president also made no mention of his campaign pledge to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. [ Source ] View the full article
  8. (Worthy News) - A suicide bomber has killed 22 people - including children - in an explosion that tore through fans leaving an Ariana Grande pop concert in Manchester. At least 59 people were also injured when the blast caused by an improvised explosive device carried by the attacker detonated at the Manchester Arena after the performance on Monday night. Victims described being thrown by the blast, which scattered nuts and bolts across the floor, and told of seeing smoke and smelling burning in the foyer area. [ Source ] View the full article
  9. (Worthy News) - The Trump administration declared the president is in "Jerusalem, Israel," on Monday for a series of meetings with Israeli officials, a proclamation that breaks with years of American policy refraining from stating that the city of Jerusalem is part of Israel. Senior Trump administration officials had ignited a wave of controversy over the past several weeks when discussing Jerusalem, with some top officials refusing to say that the ancient city is part of Israel. Decades of U.S. policy has refrained from formally labeling Jerusalem as part of Israel due to concerns this could negatively impact the Middle East peace process, in which Palestinian leaders have staked a claim to the city as their future capital. [ Source ] View the full article
  10. (Worthy News) - President Trump's first budget request would stake out a radically different path from the past budgets set out by former President Barack Obama, but it also makes a key departure from budgets that Republicans have proposed. One of the biggest differences between the Trump budget and the prior Obama budgets is that Trump's plan would balance the budget in 10 years, just as some House Republican plans have done. Trump's budget was written "through the eyes of people who are actually paying the taxes," said Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney Monday, suggesting that it hasn't been done that way in recent years. It would call for major reductions in safety net spending and on a wide range of government programs. [ Source ] View the full article
  11. (Worthy News) - President Donald Trump has cast the elusive pursuit of peace between Israelis and Palestinians as the "ultimate deal." But he will step foot in Israel having offered few indications of how he plans to achieve what so many of his predecessors could not. On the eve of Trump's visit, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Security Cabinet approved several confidence-building measures, including construction permits for Palestinians near their cities in parts of the West Bank that had previously been off limits, a senior official said. Under interim agreements 60 percent of the West Bank, known as Area C, site of Israel's settlements, is under Israeli control and Palestinian development there has mostly been forbidden by Israel. Speaking on condition of anonymity in line with protocol, he said the package also includes economic concessions and opening the border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan. [ Source ] Saudi King Tells Trump: Convinced You Can Make Progress Toward Israeli-Palestinian Peace Saudi King Salman told U.S. President Donald Trump during their meeting in Riyadh on Saturday that he is convinced in Trump's ability to make progress toward reaching a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said during a press conference with his U.S. counterpart, Rex Tillerson. The Saudis, Jubeir added, are willing to help. Jubeir noted that the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is one of the central issues the two discussed during Trump meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. [ Source ] Netanyahu: I will discuss ‘ways to advance peace’ with Trump Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said Israel was welcoming US President Donald Trump “with open arms,” adding that he will “discuss ways to advance peace” with the US leader during his Israel visit on Monday-Tuesday. “Mr. President, we look forward to your visit. The citizens of Israel will receive you with open arms,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “I will discuss with President Trump ways to strengthen even further the primary and strongest alliance with the US. We will strengthen security ties, which are strengthening daily, and we will also discuss ways to advance peace,” he said. [ Source ] View the full article
  12. (Worthy News) - President Donald Trump said the war on terrorism isn’t a battle between different faiths, toning down rhetoric that had fueled concerns America was at war with Islam. On the second day of his inaugural foreign trip, where he’s been hailed by Arab leaders as a “dear brother” and a man with “unique personality,” Trump told Muslim allies on Sunday not to wait for U.S. help to crush terror groups. Countries must ensure that terrorists find “no sanctuary,” he said in a speech to more than 50 leaders who gathered in Riyadh. “This is a battle between good and evil,” Trump said. “Drive them out of your places of worship, your communities, your Holy Land and the Earth.” [ Source ] “This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations. This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it. This is a battle between good and evil,” the president will say. “Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory — piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and your soul will be condemned.” [ Source ] View the full article
  13. (Worthy News) - The U.S. military’s satellite communications are facing a crisis, threatened by a growing array of foreign weapons, including cyberattack capabilities, lasers, electronic jammers and anti-satellite weapons, according to a Pentagon study. An executive summary of the report by the Defense Science Board warns that military satellite communications used for global operations “will be contested by a myriad of effects ranging from reversible to destructive.” “The estimated and projected electronic threats against satellite communication (satcom) have rapidly escalated in the last few years and will continue to increase in the foreseeable future,” the report says. “Advances and proliferation in advanced electronic warfare (EW), kinetic, space, and cyber capabilities threaten our ability to maintain information superiority,” the study notes, adding that “under severe stress situations, jamming can render all commercial satcom and most defense Satcom inoperable.” [ Source ] View the full article
  14. (Worthy News) - A coalition airstrike in Syria on Thursday targeted pro-regime forces who were threatening a coalition base where advisers train anti-Islamic State fighters, the U.S.-led coalition command said. The forces came within a 34-mile defensive zone around the at-Tanf base in southern Syria, according to the command. U.S. military officials have not yet determined if Syrian army forces were targeted in the strike or if they were militias aligned with the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. [ Source ] With latest airstrikes, US signals to Iran: Containment is back According to a U.S. defense official, a convoy of 20 pro-regime vehicles was headed toward al-Tanf, a military base on the Syrian-Jordanian border, on Wednesday night. Al-Tanf, which Russian warplanes bombed a year ago in two successive airstrikes, is occupied by U.S. and British Special Forces that are advising an anti-ISIS Syrian rebel group known as Maghawir al-Thawra, or the Commandos of the Revolution. Thirteen of the vehicles apparently breached the "de-confliction zone" around the base, an area that the coalition has communicated to Moscow to stay well clear of. U.S. warplanes were first scrambled in a "show of force" against the oncoming convoy. But then five vehicles kept approaching, coming within 29 kilometers of the base when they were finally hit by U.S. aircraft. [ Source ] View the full article
  15. (Worthy News) - The U.S. dollar index touched its lowest level since early November on Tuesday, hurt by weaker-than-expected U.S. housing data and as political turmoil in Washington raised anew concerns about the outlook for passing expected legislation. A rally in the euro was reinforced by dollar losses, prompted by reports that U.S. President Donald Trump disclosed highly sensitive intelligence information to senior Russian officials at a meeting last week. The disclosure adds to concern over the administration's chances of passing legislation, including tax reform, that has been priced in partly by financial markets. Major U.S. stock indexes remain at or near record highs, supported by the strongest earnings season for S&P 500 components since 2011. The dollar fell even after U.S. manufacturing production recording its largest increase in more than three years. [ Source ] View the full article