Trump among targets for assassination by Iran: US intelligence

Trump among targets for assassination by Iran: US intelligence
Iran may be planning to assassinate top members of Donald Trump’s administration, including the former president himself, a US intelligence report has warned. (File/AFP)
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Updated 14 July 2022

Trump among targets for assassination by Iran: US intelligence

Trump among targets for assassination by Iran: US intelligence
  • Tehran reportedly seeking revenge over 2020 killing of top general Qassem Soleimani
  • Top members of Trump administration also among targets

LONDON: Iran may be planning to assassinate top members of Donald Trump’s administration, including the former president himself, in revenge for the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a US intelligence report has warned.

Issued by the National Counterterrorism Center, the report also identifies threats against former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kenneth McKenzie, former head of US Central Command, The Independent reported.

“Since January 2021, Tehran has publicly expressed a willingness to conduct lethal operations inside the United States and has consistently identified former president Donald Trump, former secretary of state Michael Pompeo, and former CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie as among its priority targets for retribution,” the report said.

“Iran would probably view the killing or prosecution of a US official it considers equivalent in rank and stature to Soleimani or responsible for his death as successful retaliatory actions.”

Iran is “waging a multipronged campaign” to avenge the death of the former Quds Force chief, including “threats of lethal action, international legal maneuvering, and the issuance of Iranian arrest warrants and sanctions,” the report said.

Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport in January 2020.


500 Arab influencers, creatives attend City Talk forum in Jordan

500 Arab influencers, creatives attend City Talk forum in Jordan
Updated 8 sec ago

500 Arab influencers, creatives attend City Talk forum in Jordan

500 Arab influencers, creatives attend City Talk forum in Jordan
  • Event aims to ‘transform influence into a positive economic and social force,’ organizer says

AMMAN: A new forum dedicated to the influencer marketing industry and content development got underway in Jordan on Monday, Jordan News Agency reported.

The three-day City Talk event, which is being held on the shores of the Dead Sea, attracted more than 500 Arab social media influencers, content creators and marketing professionals.

Organized by the Jordan Tourism Board and Dubai-based Omnes Media, the inaugural event was opened by Jordanian Minister of Commerce Nayef Fayez.

Omnes Media’s CEO Fahed Aldeeb said: “Today we celebrate a group of Arab influencers from various fields and interests. Over the next few days, we will try to answer numerous questions regarding influencers, the content they produce and how to transform influence into a positive economic and social force in the age of social media.”

JTB General Manager Abdul Razzaq Arabiyat highlighted the importance of integrating traditional and new marketing channels to keep pace with market trends, and said the board had collaborated with many influencers to promote tourism in the country.

The City Talk forum, which aims to become an annual event held in different Arab cities, incorporates visits to some of Jordan’s tourist destinations so that the influencers can share their knowledge and help to promote them.

 


USAID offers $22 million to WFP in Jordan

USAID offers $22 million to WFP in Jordan
Updated 14 min 2 sec ago

USAID offers $22 million to WFP in Jordan

USAID offers $22 million to WFP in Jordan
  • Funding will support 465,000 refugees with food vouchers, monthly cash assistance

AMMAN: The US Agency for International Development has offered the World Food Programme in Jordan $22 million in assistance toward the country’s response plan to the Syrian refugee crisis, Jordan News Agency reported.

According to a statement issued by USAID on Sunday, the new funding will allow the WFP to provide food vouchers and monthly cash assistance to about 465,000 refugees, preventing a short-term aid gap.

The new assistance package will bring USAID’s total contribution in 2022 to about $89 million, accounting for almost one-third of the financial needs of the UN program to provide food aid in Jordan in 2022, it said.

Despite the new aid, the WFP still has a $34.5 million deficit, forcing it to cut cash transfers for 353,000 refugees living in Jordan’s cities and other host communities by one-third beginning in September.

USAID Mission Director in Jordan Sherry Carlin said that the world could address the global food security crisis through coordinated action and commitment to collective action, humanitarian aid and investment in food systems.

 


Canada imposes fresh sanctions on Iran citing death of Mahsa Amini

Canada imposes fresh sanctions on Iran citing death of Mahsa Amini
Updated 47 min 53 sec ago

Canada imposes fresh sanctions on Iran citing death of Mahsa Amini

Canada imposes fresh sanctions on Iran citing death of Mahsa Amini

WASHINGTON: Canada imposed fresh sanctions on Iran on Monday for alleged human rights violations, including the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old from Iranian Kurdistan who passed away after being taken into custody by Iran’s “morality police,” the Canadian government said.


Lebanon to send remarks on US draft on maritime border with Israel

Lebanon to send remarks on US draft on maritime border with Israel
Updated 03 October 2022

Lebanon to send remarks on US draft on maritime border with Israel

Lebanon to send remarks on US draft on maritime border with Israel
  • Draft appears to float an arrangement whereby gas would be produced by a company under a Lebanese license in the disputed Qana prospect
  • Israel would receive a share of revenues

BEIRUT: Lebanon will send its comments on a US proposal to delineate its maritime border with longtime foe Israel to the American official mediating talks by Tuesday, a top Lebanese official said on Monday.
US envoy Amos Hochstein has shuttled between Lebanon and Israel since 2020 to seal a deal that would pave the way for offshore energy exploration and defuse a potential source of conflict between Israel and Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah.
Hochstein sent a written draft proposal to Beirut last week. It was discussed on Monday by President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
The three would pull together their concerns on the draft to send to Hochstein within 24 hours and would not respond officially to the proposals until their queries were addressed, said Elias Bou Saab, Berri’s deputy and the main pointperson for the file in Lebanon.
“The devils are in the details, but the devils are now small,” said Bou Saab, speaking to journalists after the top officials met.
The 10-page draft appears to float an arrangement whereby gas would be produced by a company under a Lebanese license in the disputed Qana prospect, with Israel receiving a share of revenues.
Few other details have been made public, but Bou Saab said on Monday that the arrangement secures all of Lebanon’s rights in relation to Qana and Mikati said that the draft included “all essential matters.”
Bou Saab said he expected a response by Hochstein by the end of the week, and said only then could Lebanon prepare an official response.
Israel has said its own legal experts are also reviewing the draft before it can be approved.
Israeli media reported that the cabinet will meet on Thursday to approve the deal, but no session is formally scheduled.
A senior Israeli official told Reuters that it was not yet clear when the government would take that step, as it awaited word of Lebanon’s response.
“If they come back with changes — other than small, technical things — it may not be done by Thursday,” the official said.
A top Lebanese source briefed on the negotiations said that if an agreement is reached, it would come into force via a ceremony in the southern Lebanese border town of Naqoura.
The mechanisms are not clear, but Aoun said there would be “no partnership” with the Israeli said.
While the company carrying out the exploration in Qana has been officially named, Lebanese officials have publicly suggested a role for TotalEnergies SE and a top Israeli official was meeting company representatives in Paris on Monday, according to a source briefed on the matter.
Israel’s energy ministry confirmed that its director-general Lior Schillat, who also heads Israel’s negotiating team, was in Paris for discussions on Monday.
TotalEnergies declined to comment. 


Rights group: Israel holding 800 Palestinians without trial

Rights group: Israel holding 800 Palestinians without trial
Updated 03 October 2022

Rights group: Israel holding 800 Palestinians without trial

Rights group: Israel holding 800 Palestinians without trial
  • The number of those held in administrative detention has risen steadily this year
  • Israel says it uses administrative detention to impede attacks and restrain dangerous militants

JERUSALEM: Israel is holding nearly 800 Palestinians without trial or charge, the highest number since 2008, an Israeli rights group said Sunday.
The group, HaMoked, which regularly gathers figures from Israeli prison authorities, said that 798 Palestinians are currently being held in so-called administrative detention, a practice where the prisoners can be held for months, do not know the charges against them and are not granted access to the evidence against them.
The group said the number of those held in administrative detention has risen steadily this year, as Israel conducts nightly arrest raids in the occupied West Bank in response to a spate of attacks against Israelis earlier this year.
Israel says it uses administrative detention to impede attacks and restrain dangerous militants without revealing sensitive intelligence. Rights groups and Palestinians say it is an abusive system that denies freedom without due process, leaving some Palestinians for months or even years behind bars with no evidence against them made accessible. Some resort to life-threatening hunger strikes to draw attention to their detention, which often drives up tensions between Israel and Palestinians.
“Administrative detention should be an exceptional measure but Israel makes wholesale use of this detention without trial,” said Jessica Montell, HaMoked’s executive director. “This has to stop. If Israel cannot bring them to trial, it must release all administrative detainees.”
HaMoked said the figure was a new peak in a growing wave of administrative detentions which began last spring following a series of attacks by Palestinians against Israelis that killed 19 people. Those attacks sparked the Israeli raids that have killed some 100 Palestinians, many of them said to be militants or local youths out to protest the incursion into their cities or towns, but civilians have also died in the violence.
The Israeli military says some 1,500 Palestinians have been arrested during that time including those held in administrative detention. It says the raids are necessary to dismantle militant networks and thwart attacks against Israelis. Palestinians say the raids are aimed at maintaining Israel’s 55-year military rule over territories they want for a future state.
The raids have been met by an uptick in shooting attacks in the West Bank. On Sunday, the military said an Israeli soldier and a motorist were lightly wounded in two separate incidents.
The last time Israel held as many administrative detainees, in May 2008, also coincided with an increase in Israeli-Palestinian violence.
Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security service did not respond to a request for comment.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war and has since established some 130 settlements there, home to 500,000 settlers. The Palestinians want the territory, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip for their hoped-for independent state.