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‘The US cannot be the world’s “moral conscience” by any stretch of the imagination, as both its actions and inaction in Yemen, Iraq and Syria show a lack of basic compassion, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

American envoy to the UN Nikki Haley said on Wednesday that the US is the “moral conscience” of the world, and that it would not give up this role, at the same time calling the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) “corrupt” – without providing any evidence for her accusations.

American actions worldwide, however, mainly constitute a significant lack of conscience, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova said at a press briefing on Thursday.’

Read more: ‘If US is world’s conscience, why doesn’t it see what’s happening in Yemen?’ – Moscow

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‘The nation’s top military official in the Middle East on Wednesday said Iran is one of the greatest threats to the U.S. today and has increased its “destabilizing role” in the region.

“I believe that Iran is operating in what I call a gray zone,” Commander of the U.S. Central Command, Army Gen. Joseph Votel, told the House Armed Services Committee in testimony Wednesday. “And it’s an area between normal competition between states — and it’s just short of open conflict.”

The general said Iran is exploiting this area in a variety of different ways, through things such as “lethal aid facilitation,” the use of “surrogate forces” and cyber activities, among other things. He also believes Iran poses “the greatest long-term threat to stability” in the entire region.’

Read more: Top US General calls Iran ‘destabilizing’ force, suggests US ‘disrupt’ regime by military means

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‘The State Department notified Congress on Wednesday that it supports selling F-16 fighter jets to Bahrain without requiring that the tiny island monarchy in the Persian Gulf first improve its human rights record.

The decision to proceed with the sale amounts to an abrupt reversal of an Obama administration decision. Last fall, the State Department informed Congress that it would pursue a $5 billion sale of 19 Lockheed Martin F-16s and related equipment to Bahrain. But it included the precondition that Bahrain curb human rights abuses, amid a crackdown on dissidents among the Shiite majority protesting the country’s Sunni rulers.

The about-face reflects the Trump administration’s determination to train its focus on countering Iran’s influence in the region. The Sunni leaders of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain consider the Shiite theocracy of Iran to be a regional threat to their existence. Bahrain has a unique position for U.S. national security, too, as the home of the Navy’s Fifth Fleet headquarters, responsible for keeping the shipping lanes open in the waterways traversed by oil tankers.’

Read more: State Department drops human rights as condition for fighter jet sale to Bahrain


‘A federal judge in Hawaii decided Wednesday to extend his order blocking President Donald Trump’s travel ban, preventing the government from suspending new visas for people from six Muslim-majority countries and halting the U.S. refugee program.

U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson issued the longer-lasting hold on the ban several hours after hearing arguments.

Hawaii says the policy discriminates against Muslims and hurts the state’s tourist-dependent economy. The implied message in the revised ban is like a “neon sign flashing ‘Muslim ban, Muslim ban’” that the government didn’t bother to turn off, state Attorney General Douglas Chin told the judge.

Extending the temporary order until the state’s lawsuit was resolved would ensure the constitutional rights of Muslim citizens across the U.S. are vindicated after “repeated stops and starts of the last two months,” the state has said.’

Read more: Judge in Hawaii extends order blocking Trump’s travel ban

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‘The Turkish military has successfully completed its ‘Euphrates Shield’ operation in northern Syria, the Turkish National Security Council has announced.

The NSC meeting on Wednesday was attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“It was noted that the Operation ‘Euphrates Shield’ which was started with the goal of ensuring national security, preventing the threat from Daesh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State) and return of Syrian refugees to their homes has successfully completed,” the NSC said in a statement.’

Read more: Turkey says ‘Euphrates Shield’ operation in Syria ‘successfully completed’


‘Theresa May has admitted freedom of movement could continue in some form after Britain has officially left the EU.

The Prime Minister said it might go on as the UK puts in place new arrangements during a transitional period.

Ms May was speaking at the end of a momentous day in British politics when the UK formally notified Brussels of its intention to leave the bloc.’

Read more: Theresa May admits freedom of movement could continue after Brexit


‘From Strategic Culture Foundation comes a report that Britain could lose its independent nuclear deterrent with the possibility of even handing it over lock, stock and barrel to the EU.

“With Donald Trump leading the United States, Europe seems to be losing trust in the American nuclear umbrella. As the EU focuses on the need to have its own military, the issue of European nuclear deterrent comes to the fore. The debate has been triggered. This issue is intensively discussed in Germany. The nuclear deterrence plan is eyeing France, proposing to turn the French nuclear potential into a European nuclear deterrent.

It is believed that Germany could play a decisive role in convincing France, and may be the UK, to provide security guarantees for all of Europe. Under such a plan, Europe would become independent from the US.”’

Read more: Will Britain Be Handing Over Its Nuclear Deterrent As Part Of The Brexit Deal with the EU?