As tensions continue to mount between the United States and Iran, the New York Times reports the Pentagon has drawn up a plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East if President Trump decides to take military action against Iran.
The U.S. recently deployed a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the region claiming there was a “credible threat by Iranian regime forces.”
Meanwhile the European Union is urging the Trump administration to show “maximum restraint” following a meeting Monday between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and EU diplomats in Brussels. Iran has announced it will stop complying with parts of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal if others signatories of the deal do not take action to shield Iran’s oil and banking sectors from U.S. sanctions.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has canceled a visit to Moscow today and is instead heading to Brussels to meet with European leaders to discuss “recent threatening actions and statements” from Iran, according to the State Department. The nature of the threats has not been specified but the U.S. announced it is sending additional bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf to act as a “deterrent.” The European Union reiterated today its continued support for the Iran Nuclear Deal in the face of mounting tensions with the U.S.
Meanwhile, Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani is calling for internal unity as the nation faces sanctions that could have worse consequences than war with Iraq in the 1980s and that he said amount to “a war unprecedented in the history of our Islamic revolution.”
I held off on this in hopes that there would be more videos from today to share. Medea sis one earlier today, but when I went to view it is had been taken down. At the end of this e-mail I am sharing something that has been sent out by the mob to slander one of the Protector allies who I know personally and who in no shape or form did anything but try to deliver something to the Protectors. I want to make sure the truth is out there.
PS:If you want to stop getting these updates on Venezuelan Embassy please let me know.
Poor people’s campaign from Philly has arrived at Venezuela embassy !!!! Yeah
The original person who posted the video is named Marlon Correa. He runs this account “Ask a Venezuelan.”
Marlon Correa and his father Pedro Correa were at the marches (both were extremely aggressive and trying to start fights). Both father and son are video producers who have experience editing videos. They clearly sped the video up to make it look like Dean was attacking the woman.
Let me know if I can help in any other way! Thank you Dean for your sacrifice and thank you for supporting the cause!
In Venezuela, government security forces clashed with anti-government protesters in the streets of Caracas Wednesday, one day after Venezuelan opposition leaders launched a failed bid to overthrow the government of President Nicolás Maduro. Speaking to a massive crowd of supporters outside the presidential palace of Miraflores, Maduro said Wednesday that President Trump—and his national security adviser John Bolton—were directly involved in the attempted coup d’état.
President Nicolás Maduro: “The coup that was attempted yesterday, this coup skirmish, was personally directed from the White House, from John Bolton. I denounce it.”
In Washington, the National Security Council held a principals’ meeting on Wednesday to discuss Venezuela. The Washington Post reports the staff of national security adviser John Bolton clashed with a top general during the meeting for not presenting sufficient military options on Venezuela. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the Fox Business channel the Trump administration is ready to go to war in Venezuela.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “The president has been crystal clear and incredibly consistent. Military action is possible. If that’s what’s required, that’s what the United States will do.”
After headlines, we’ll go to Caracas, Venezuela, for the latest.
Pentagon officials commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month in March 2015
The US military has reported a major spike in sexual assaults despite years of efforts to address the problem.
Figures show 20,500 instances of unwanted sexual contact occurred in 2018, up from 14,900 in 2016 which is the last time a survey was conducted.
Alcohol was involved in one third of cases, and female recruits ages 17 to 24 are at the highest risk of attack.
On Thursday, Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan directed the military to “criminalise” sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment can fall within other legal violations of military behaviour, but is not yet a “stand-alone” criminal offence.
The directive from Mr Shanahan was among a series of other recommendations, released in a memo on Thursday.
“Sexual assault is illegal and immoral, is inconsistent with the military’s mission and will not be tolerated,” he wrote.
In the US, sexual harassment is illegal, considered a form of sexual discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which also covers discrimination based on race, skin colour, religion and national origin.
What does the report show?
The report released on Thursday surveyed the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, and estimated a total of 20,500 cases in 2018.
The total figure is based reports of attacks as well as an extrapolation of survey data which was gathered through a poll of over 100,000 troops. Researchers say the survey has a 95% level of confidence.
Incidents of unwanted sexual contact – which ranges from groping to rape – rose by around 38% between 2016 and 2018.
Only one out of three cases were reported to authorities, the report found.
In 2006, only one in 14 victims reported sexual assault crimes, the Pentagon said.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the Marines acknowledged they had “historically viewed an increase in reporting as an indicator Marines feel more empowered to report more confident in the care victims receive”.
“However, with the number of estimated assaults rising, especially among our young Marines, the Marine Corps must evolve its prevention methods and continue to foster a climate and culture of dignity, respect and trust,” the statement said.
In more than 85% of cases, victims knew their attacker. The majority of cases involved young women whose attacker was often a superior officer.
The report should be “a trip wire”, said Nate Galbreath, Deputy Director of the Department’ of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.
“This is what tells us that there’s something going on that we need to hone in on,” he told ABC News.
“We’ve got a higher prevalence for women 17 to 24. We’re going to be focusing very, very tightly on that.”
Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee’s personnel panel, told the USA Today newspaper that the military “must accept that current programmes are simply not working”.
“Congress must lead the way in forcing the department to take more aggressive approaches to fighting this scourge,” she said, calling for intervention from US lawmakers.
On Thursday, Mr Shanahan revealed some of the recommendations made by the Sexual Assault Accountability and Investigation Task Force, which was created last month after the urging of Senator Martha McSally.
Senator McSally, who was the first female US fighter pilot to fly in combat, revealed in March that she had been raped by a superior officer while serving in the Air Force.
In response to the report, Mr Shanahan directed the US Department of Defence “criminalise” sexual harassment “to combat this scourge”.
He detailed prevention, accountability and support efforts in order to “eliminate” sexual assault, including new methods of identifying repeat offenders.
“We must, and will, do better,” he wrote in the memo.
It is unclear if he would need congressional approval to make changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice – the US military’s legal code, to make the offence a “stand-alone crime”.
In his memo, Mr Shanahan also announced plans to train commanders in a new programme to uncover serial sex offenders.
“To put it bluntly, we are not performing to the standards and expectations we have for ourselves or for each other,” Mr Shanahan said.
“This is unacceptable. We cannot shrink from facing the challenge head on.”
In a series of tweets, Gen Robert B. Neller, the highest ranking officer in the US Marine Corps, joined in condemning the behaviour captured by the study.
Robert B. Neller
I have read the report regarding sexual assault statistics for 2018 and findings are unacceptable. Marines know that sexual assault is a crime. Marines also know that alcohol abuse is a contributing factor to a significant number of these incidents and other aberrant behaviors.
According to the report, compared with the Navy, Army, Air force and Coast guard, the Marines had the highest rates of sexual assault throughout the US Armed Forces – sitting at 11%.
“Marines know that sexual assault is a crime,” Gen Neller wrote. “We are better than this.”
Democratic Senator and 2020 presidential contender Kirsten Gillibrand also responded on Twitter, calling on Congress to take action where the defence department has “repeatedly failed”.
Sen Gillibrand has been an outspoken advocate of victims of sexual assault and has pressed for legislation to make it easier to prosecute sexual violence in the military.
In her tweets, she cited a 2013 statement from the chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – the highest US military post – that called sexual assault in the military a “crisis”.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
It’s been almost 6 years since the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said that the Pentagon would try to solve this problem. The status quo isn’t working. Congress must bring accountability where @DeptofDefense has repeatedly failed. We must pass the Military Justice Improvement Act.
Protect R Defenders@ProtectRDfnders
In a setback for the U.S. military’s efforts to reduce sexual assault in the military, a new Pentagon survey obtained by ABC News shows the number of sexual assaults increased in 2018 to 20,500. https://abcn.ws/2ZSWhID
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro says he’s defeated a coup attempt launched by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly. On Tuesday morning, Guaidó appeared in an online video standing among heavily armed soldiers, calling for the military to oust Maduro, but the Venezuelan military appears to have remained largely behind Maduro. During the day, clashes broke out between backers of Guaidó and the Venezuelan government. There are reports of one death and more than 100 people injured. On Tuesday night, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro gave a televised address and denied claims by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he had prepared to flee the country.
President Nicolás Maduro: “The skirmish in Venezuela has been defeated, and Mr. Trump set off a thousand expletives and lies. My god, how far are the men in the United States government willing to go?”
Maduro and Guaidó have both called on supporters to take to the streets today. We’ll have more on Venezuela after headlines.