U.S. Trump Supports Labeling Antifa A ‘Major Organization Of Terror’
Chuck Ross Society,Could it happen? Trump Supports Labeling Antifa A ‘Major Organization Of Terror’President Donald Trump lent support to labeling Antifa a terrorist organization Saturday, calling the group a collection of “gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs.”“Consideration is being given to declaring ANTIFA, the gutless Radical Left Wack Jobs who go around hitting (only non-fighters) people over the heads with baseball bats, a major Organization of Terror (along with MS-13 & others),” Trump wrote. “Would make it easier for police to do their job!”It is unclear what prompted Trump’s remarks, but he appeared to refer to a resolution proposed earlier this month by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy to label Antifa a terrorist group.“Antifa is a terrorist organization composed of hateful, intolerant radicals who pursue their extreme agenda through aggressive violence,” Cruz said when announcing the resolution July 19.Cruz and Cassidy were responding to the Antifa attack on journalist Andy Ngo at a protest in Portland June 29. Ngo, an editor for Quillette who has tracked the Antifa movement, had his camera equipment stolen and was bloodied and bruised in the attack, which was caught on film. Ngo also said he suffered a head injury.Cruz was assailed by members of the Washington, D.C., chapter of Antifa at a restaurant last September. After chasing him and his wife out of the restaurant, the group’s Twitter account sent the Republican a message warning that he was “not safe.”
AP FACT CHECK: Mueller’s words twisted by Trump and more CALVIN WOODWARD and HOPE YEN•Key takeaways from Mueller’s testimony WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump listened to Robert Mueller testify to Congress this past week, then misrepresented what the former special counsel said. Some partisans on both sides did much the same, whether to defend or condemn the president.Trump seized on Mueller’s testimony to claim anew that he was exonerated by the Russia investigation, which the president wasn’t. He capped the week by wishing aloud that President Barack Obama had received some of the congressional scrutiny he’s endured, ignoring the boatload of investigations, subpoenas and insults visited on the Democrat and his team.Highlights from a week in review:THE GENTLEMEN TRUMP on Democrats: „All they want to do is impede, they want to investigate. They want to go fishing. … We want to find out what happened with the last Democrat president. Let’s look into Obama the way they’ve looked at me. Let’s subpoena all of the records having to do with Hillary Clinton and all of the nonsense that went on with Clinton and her foundation and everything else. Could do that all day long. Frankly, the Republicans were gentlemen and women when we had the majority in the House. They didn’t do subpoenas all day long. They didn’t do what these people are doing. What they’ve done is a disgrace.” — Oval Office remarks Friday.THE FACTS: He’s distorting recent history. Republicans made aggressive use of their investigative powers when they controlled one chamber or the other during the Obama years. Moreover, matters involving Hillary Clinton, her use of email as secretary of state, her conduct of foreign policy and the Clinton Foundation were very much part of their scrutiny. And they weren’t notably polite about it.Over a few months in 2016, House Republicans unleashed a barrage of subpoenas in what minority Democrats called a „desperate onslaught of frivolous attacks” against Clinton. In addition, Clinton was investigated by the FBI.Earlier, a half-dozen GOP-led House committees conducted protracted investigations of the 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomats in Benghazi, Libya. Republican-led investigations of the 2009-2011 Operation Fast and Furious episode — a botched initiative against drug cartels that ended up putting guns in the hands of violent criminals — lasted into the Trump administration.On the notion that Obama was treated with courtesy by GOP „gentlemen and women,” Trump ignored an episode at Obama’s 2013 speech to Congress that was shocking at the time.”You lie!” Rep. Joe Wilson of South Caroline hollered at Obama. His outburst came when Obama attempted to assure lawmakers that his health care initiative would not provide coverage to people in the U.S. illegally.Obama also faced persistent innuendo over the country of his birth. Trump himself was a leading voice raising false suspicions that Obama was born outside the U.S._NORTH KOREA TRUMP: „We’re getting the remains back.” — Fox News interview Thursday.THE FACTS: No remains of U.S. service members have been returned since last summer and the U.S. suspended efforts in May to get negotiations on the remains back on track in time to have more repatriated this year. It hopes more remains may be brought home next year.The Pentagon’s Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency, which is responsible for recovering U.S. war remains and returning them to families, „has not received any new information from (North Korean) officials regarding the turn over or recovery of remains,” spokesman Charles Prichard said this month.He said his agency is „still working to communicate” with the North Korean army „as it is our intent to find common ground on resuming recovery missions” in 2020.Last summer, in line with the first summit between Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un that June, the North turned over 55 boxes of what it said were the remains of an undetermined number of U.S service members killed in the North during the 1950-53 war. So far, six Americans have been identified from the 55 boxes.U.S. officials have said the North has suggested in recent years that it holds perhaps 200 sets of American war remains. Thousands more are unrecovered from battlefields and former POW camps.The Pentagon estimates that 5,300 Americans were lost in North Korea._MUELLER TRUMP to his critics, in a fundraising letter from his 2020 campaign: „How many times do I have to be exonerated before they stop?” — during Mueller’s testimony WednesdayTHE FACTS: Trump has not been exonerated by Mueller at all. „No,” Mueller said when asked during his Capitol Hill questioning whether he had cleared the president of criminal wrongdoing in the investigation that looked into the 2016 Trump campaign’s relations with Russians and Russia’s interference in the U.S. election.In his report, Mueller said his team declined to make a prosecutorial judgment on whether to charge Trump, partly because of a Justice Department legal opinion that said sitting presidents shouldn’t be indicted.As a result, his detailed report factually laid out instances in which Trump might have obstructed justice, leaving it up to Congress to take up the matter.As well, Mueller looked into a potential criminal conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign and said the investigation did not collect sufficient evidence to establish criminal charges on that front.Following Mueller’s testimony, Trump abruptly took a different stance on the special counsel’s report. After months of claiming exoneration, and only hours after stating as much in the fundraising letter while the hearing unfolded, Trump incongruously flipped, saying „He didn’t have the right to exonerate.”_TRUMP, on why Mueller did not recommend charges: „He made his decision based on the facts, not based on some rule.” — remarks to reporters Wednesday after the hearings.THE FACTS: Mueller did not say that.The special counsel said his team never reached a determination on charging Trump. At no point has he suggested that he made that decision because the facts themselves did not support charges.The rule Trump refers to is the Justice Department legal opinion that says sitting presidents are immune from indictment — and that guidance did restrain the investigators, though it was not the only factor in play._JOE BIDEN, Democratic presidential contender: „Mueller said there was enough evidence to bring charges against the president after he is president of the United States, when he is a private citizen … that’s a pretty compelling thing.” — speaking to reporters in Dearborn, Michigan.THE FACTS: Mueller did not say that, either. He deliberately drew no conclusions about whether he collected sufficient evidence to charge Trump with a crime.Mueller said that if prosecutors want to charge Trump once he is out of office, they would have that ability because obstacles to indicting a sitting president would be gone.Even that came with a caveat, though. Mueller did not answer whether the statute of limitations might put Trump off limits to an indictment should he win re-election.Biden spoke after being briefed on the hearings and prefaced his remark with a request to „correct me if I’m wrong.”_Rep. JOHN RATCLIFFE, R-Texas, to Mueller: „You didn’t follow the special counsel regulations. It clearly says, write a confidential report about decisions reached. Nowhere in here does it say write a report about decisions that weren’t reached. You wrote 180 pages — 180 pages — about decisions that weren’t reached, about potential crimes that weren’t charged or decided. …This report was not authorized under the law to be written.” — hearing Wednesday.THE FACTS: Mueller’s report is lawful. Nothing in Justice Department regulations governing special counsels prevents Mueller from saying what he did in the report.It is true that the regulations provide for the special counsel to submit a „confidential report” to the attorney general explaining his decisions to recommend for or against a prosecution. But it was Attorney General William Barr who made the decision to make the report public, which is his right.Special counsels have wide latitude, and are not directed to avoid writing about „potential crimes that weren’t charged or decided,” as Ratcliffe put it.Mueller felt constrained from bringing charges because of the apparent restriction on indicting sitting presidents. But his report left open the possibility that Congress could use the information in an impeachment proceeding or that Trump could be charged after he leaves office.The factual investigation was conducted „in order to preserve the evidence when memories were fresh and documentary materials were available,” the report said.In a tweet, Neal Katyal, who drafted the Justice Department regulations, wrote: „Ratcliffe dead wrong about the Special Counsel regs. I drafted them in 1999. They absolutely don’t forbid the Mueller Report. And they recognize the need for a Report ‘both for historical purposes and to enhance accountability.'”_Rep. MIKE JOHNSON, R-La., addressing Mueller: „Millions of Americans today maintain genuine concerns about your work in large part because of the infamous and widely publicized bias of your investigating team members, which we now know included 14 Democrats and zero Republicans.” — hearing Wednesday.THE FACTS: Johnson echoes a widely repeated false claim by Trump that the Mueller probe was biased because the investigators were all a bunch of „angry Democrats.” In fact, Mueller himself is a Republican.Some have given money to Democratic candidates over the years. But Mueller could not have barred them from serving on that basis because regulations prohibit the consideration of political affiliation for personnel actions involving career attorneys. Mueller reported to Attorney General William Barr, and before him, then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who were both Trump appointees._THE SQUAD TRUMP, on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York: „She called our country and our people garbage. She said garbage. That’s worse than deplorable. Remember deplorable?” — remarks Tuesday at gathering of conservative youth.THE FACTS: Ocasio-Cortez did not label people „garbage.” She did use that term, somewhat indirectly, to describe the state of the country.Arguing for a liberal agenda at a South by Southwest event in March, she said the U.S. shouldn’t settle for centrist policies because they would produce only marginal improvement — „10% better” than the „garbage” of where the country is now.Trump has been assailing Ocasio-Cortez and three other liberal Democratic women of color in the House for more than a week, ever since he posted tweets saying they should „go back” to their countries, though all are U.S. citizens and all but one was born in the U.S._VOTING FRAUD TRUMP: „And when they’re saying all of this stuff, and then those illegals get out and vote — because they vote anyway. Don’t kid yourself, those numbers in California and numerous other states, they’re rigged. You got people voting that shouldn’t be voting. They vote many times, not just twice, not just three times. They vote — it’s like a circle. They come back, they put a new hat on. They come back, they put a new shirt. And in many cases, they don’t even do that. You know what’s going on. It’s a rigged deal.” — remarks Tuesday.THE FACTS: Trump has produced no evidence of widespread voting fraud by people in the country illegally or by any group of people.He tried, but the commission he appointed on voting fraud collapsed from infighting and from the refusal of states to cooperate when tapped for reams of personal voter data, like names, partial Social Security numbers and voting histories. Studies have found only isolated cases of voter fraud in recent U.S. elections and no evidence that election results were affected. Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt found 31 cases of impersonation fraud, for example, in about 1 billion votes cast in elections from 2000 to 2014.Trump has falsely claimed that 1 million fraudulent votes were cast in California and cited a Texas state government report that suggested 58,000 people in the country illegally may have cast a ballot at least once since 1996. But state elections officials subsequently acknowledged serious problems with the report, as tens of thousands on the list were actually U.S. citizens._ECONOMY TRUMP: „We have the best stock market numbers we’ve ever had … Blue-collar workers went up proportionately more than anybody.” — Fox News interview Thursday.THE FACTS: Wealthier Americans have largely benefited from the stock market gains, not blue-collar workers.The problem with Trump claiming the stock market has helped working-class Americans is that the richest 10% of the country controls 84% of stock market value, according to a Federal Reserve survey. Because they hold more stocks, wealthier Americans have inherently benefited more from the 19% gain in the Standard & Poor’s index of 500 stocks so far this year. Only about half of U.S. families hold stocks, so plenty of people are getting little to no benefit from the stock market gains.What Trump may be claiming with regard to the stock market is that working Americans are disproportionately benefiting in their 401(k) retirement savings.Trump has said that 401(k) plans are up more than 50%. His data source is vague. But 401(k) balances have increased in large part due to routine contributions by workers and employers, not just stock market gains.The Employee Benefit Research Institute shows that only one group of Americans has gotten an average annual 401(k) gain in excess of 50% during Trump’s presidency. These are workers age 25 to 34 who have fewer than five years at their current employer. At that age, the gains largely came from the regular contributions instead of the stock market. And the percentage gains look large because the account levels are relatively small._TRUMP: „We have the best economy we’ve ever had.” — Fox News interview Thursday.TRUMP: „We have the best economy in history.” — remarks Tuesday.THE FACTS: No matter how often he repeats this claim, which is a lot, the economy is nowhere near the best in the country’s history.In fact, in the late 1990s, growth topped 4% for four straight years, a level it has not reached on an annual basis under Trump. Growth reached 7.2% in 1984. The economy grew 2.9% in 2018 — the same pace it reached in 2015 under President Barack Obama — and simply hasn’t hit historically high growth rates.The economy is now in its 121st month of growth, making it the longest expansion in history. Most of that took place under Obama._TRUMP: „Most people working within U.S. ever!” — tweet Thursday.TRUMP: „The most people working, almost 160 million, in the history of our country.” — remarks Tuesday.THE FACTS: Yes, but that’s only because of population growth.A more relevant measure is the proportion of Americans with jobs, and that is still far below record highs.According to Labor Department data, 60.6% of people in the United States 16 years and older were working in June. That’s below the all-time high of 64.7% in April 2000, though higher than the 59.9% when Trump was inaugurated in January 2017._TRUMP: „The best employment numbers in history.” — remarks Tuesday.THE FACTS: They are not the best ever.The 3.7% unemployment rate in the latest report is not a record low. It’s near the lowest level in 50 years, when it was 3.5%. The U.S. also had lower rates than now in the early 1950s. And during three years of World War II, the annual rate was under 2%._VETERANS TRUMP, on his efforts to help veterans: „I got Choice.” — remarks Tuesday.THE FACTS: He is not the president who „got” the Veterans Choice program, which gives veterans the option to see private doctors outside the Department of Veterans Affairs medical system at government expense.Obama got it. Congress approved the program in 2014, and Obama signed it into law. Trump expanded it._NATO TRUMP: „We’re paying close to 100% on NATO.” — remarks Tuesday.THE FACTS: The U.S. isn’t „paying close to 100%” of the price of protecting Europe.NATO has a shared budget to which each member makes contributions based on the size of its economy. The United States, with the biggest economy, pays the biggest share, about 22%.Four European members — Germany, France, Britain and Italy — combined pay nearly 44% of the total. The money, about $3 billion, runs NATO’s headquarters and covers certain other civilian and military costs.Defending Europe involves far more than that fund. The primary cost of doing so would come from each member country’s military budget, as the alliance operates under a mutual defense treaty.The U.S. is the largest military spender, but others in the alliance have armed forces, too. The notion that almost all costs would fall to the U.S. is false. In fact, NATO’s Article 5, calling for allies to act if one is attacked, has only been invoked once, and it was on behalf of the U.S., after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001._Associated Press writers Eric Tucker in Washington and Corey Williams in Dearborn, Michigan, contributed to this report._Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck
Police officers detain a woman prior to an unsanctioned rally in the center of Moscow, Russia, Saturday, July 27, 2019. OVD-Info, an organization that monitors political arrests, said about 50 people had been detained by 1:30 p.m. Saturday (1030 GMT), a half-hour before the protest against the exclusion of opposition figures from the ballot for city council elections was to start. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko) MOSCOW (AP) — Russian police cracked down fiercely Saturday on demonstrators in central Moscow, beating some people and arresting more than 1,000 who were protesting the exclusion of opposition candidates from the ballot for Moscow city council. Police also stormed into a TV station broadcasting the protest.Police wrestled with protesters around the mayor’s office, sometimes charging into the crowd with their batons raised. State news agencies Tass and RIA-Novosti cited police as saying 1,074 were arrested over the course of the protests, which lasted more than seven hours.Along with the arrests of the mostly young demonstrators, several opposition activists who wanted to run for the council were arrested throughout the city before the protest. Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition figure, was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail for calling an unauthorized protest.The protesters, who police said numbered about 3,500, shouted slogans including „Russia will be free!” and „Who are you beating?” One young woman was seen bleeding heavily after being struck on the head.Helmeted police barged into Navalny’s video studio as it was conducting a YouTube broadcast of the protest and arrested program leader Vladimir Milonov. Police also searched Dozhd, an internet TV station that was covering the protest, and its editor-in-chief, Alexandra Perepelova, was ordered to undergo questioning at the Investigative Committee.Police eventually dispersed protesters from the area of the mayor’s office, but many demonstrators reassembled at a square about a kilometer (half-mile) away, where new arrests began, with police beating some to the ground with wide truncheon swings while other demonstrators tried to push them away.Before the protest, several opposition members were detained, including Ilya Yashin, Dmitry Gudkov, Lyubov Sobol and top Navalny associate Ivan Zhdanov. All were released later in the day; Zhdanov and Sobol went to the relocated protest and were detained again.There was no immediate information on what charges the detainees might face.Once a local, low-key affair, the September vote for Moscow’s city council has shaken up Russia’s political scene as the Kremlin struggles with how to deal with strongly opposing views in its sprawling capital of 12.6 million.The decision by electoral authorities to bar some opposition candidates from running for having allegedly insufficient signatures on their nominating petitions had already sparked several days of demonstrations even before Saturday’s clashes in Moscow.The city council, which has 45 seats, is responsible for a large municipal budget and is now controlled by the pro-Kremlin United Russia party. All of its seats, which have a five-year-term, are up for grabs in the Sept. 8 vote.
Romania Kidnap Slaying
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania’s prime minister said Saturday she is considering a referendum on harsher penalties for crimes like murder, rape and pedophilia in the wake of the rape and killing of a 15-year-old girl that has shocked the country.
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila also called for efforts to reduce the authorities’ reaction time in similar cases, after police were criticized for reacting too slowly to the girl’s repeated phone calls for help to the country’s emergency hotline. Romania’s national police chief was fired Friday over the handling of the case.
Thousands of people took part Saturday evening in a march protesting the handling of the case, blaming Romanian officials for negligence, incompetence and a lack of empathy.
Chanting anti-government slogans and carrying Romanian flags, the protesters marched from Victoria Palace, the government headquarters, to Revolution Square, where they lit candles outside the Interior Ministry. Some chanted „Resignation,” ”Corruption kills” and „Down with the government” during the march, while also taunting police officers with shouts of „Hide, your hands are stained with blood!”
Authorities say the man suspected in the case, Gheorghe Dinca, has been detained on suspicion of trafficking minors and rape. A court is expected to place him under preliminary arrest for up to 30 days.
The girl, whose identity has yet to be officially confirmed, was raped and killed in the southern city of Caracal.
It reportedly took police 19 hours until they began to search the suspect’s home after the victim’s calls saying she had been beaten and raped by a man who picked her up in his car as she was hitchhiking to Caracal from a nearby village.
Task and Purpose
What led to this?
The Navy Reportedly booted SEAL Team 7 out of Iraq
When the commander of Special Operations Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve unceremoniously booted SEAL Team 7 out of Iraq this week, the U.S. Special Operations Command justified it „due to a perceived deterioration of good order and discipline within the team during non-operational periods.”
But according to an alarming new report in the New York Times, „deterioration of good order and discipline” seemed to be an understatement.
While the Navy initially indicated that an alcohol-soaked July 4th party was the core driver of the decision, a senior Navy official revealed to the New York Times’ David Philipps that a senior enlisted platoon member had allegedly raped a female service member assigned to the SEAL platoon.
In addition, „when commanders began investigating the allegations, the entire platoon invoked their right to remain silent” under the Fifth Amendment, Philipps reports. „At that point, the official said, commanders decided to send the whole platoon home, including the lieutenant in command.”
When reached for comment by Task & Purpose, SOCOM spokesman Ken McGraw said the command was „unable to confirm the nature of any allegations that are currently under investigation.”
- Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson got married on July 23, 1986. Despite divorcing in 1996, Princess Eugenie commemorated the 33rd wedding anniversary of her parents this week.
- In newly resurfaced footage, Queen Elizabeth can be seen being dragged along by her grandson, a young Prince William, as the Duke and Duchess of York are driven away from the ceremony.
- It’s unusual to see the queen running, and it’s beyond adorable that she was looking out for Prince William on the happy occasion.
Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, and Prince Andrew got married on July 23, 1986. The couple divorced on May 30, 1996, but have remained close ever since, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that their wedding anniversary was celebrated by their daughter, Princess Eugenie, on Instagram.
They wrote, „Late post, but it’s been 33 years since the wedding of Prince Andrew and Fergie in 1986. And so here’s Queen Elizabeth running after little Prince William to stop him from getting closer to the carriage. Her Majesty as a grandma is cute”:
It’s beyond adorable to see the queen chasing after her grandson at the royal wedding, especially as it’s incredibly rare to see the monarch moving at such a fast pace. Holding on to Prince William’s hand, Queen Elizabeth was truly the doting grandmother at the royal nuptials.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince William’s sweet connection was evident even then.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heads to Asia next week with an agenda dominated by a stalemate in the Trump administration’s nuclear talks with North Korea and impasses with China over trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea.
Pompeo travels to Thailand on Tuesday for the Association of Southeast Asian National Regional Forum where North Korea’s launch of medium-range missiles this week and increasingly assertive Chinese maritime actions will be major issues. U.S. officials declined Friday to say if Pompeo plans specific meetings on either matter in Bangkok but acknowledge they are major concerns.
North Korea has suggested it won’t attend the annual meeting, at least at the foreign minister level, as it has done in the past, according to the officials. The officials were not authorized to preview Pompeo’s trip publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
But, the officials would not rule out direct discussions between the two sides, noting that President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had agreed to resume negotiations at their most recent meeting at the demilitarized zone in June.
Pompeo said Thursday that he was hopeful the talks on getting North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons and long-range missiles — which have stalled several times since Trump and Kim’s first summit in Singapore last year — could re-start in the coming weeks.
„We’re working our way towards that, I think we’ll be able to pull that off in just a handful of weeks,” he said in an interview with Fox News. Pompeo discounted suggestions that the most recent missile launches would imperil a new round of talks.
„I think we’re still going to go sit down and have a conversation about this,” he said. „North Korea has engaged in activity before we were having diplomatic conversations far worse than this … Lots of countries posture before they come to the table.”
Trump referred to the launches as „small” and not necessarily an indication that Kim is rejecting a resumption of negotiations.
Still, there has been no visible progress on denuclearization since the June 2018 Singapore summit. Although the North has not conducted any new nuclear tests since then, numerous independent experts have reported continuing work and expansion at several North Korean missile and atomic sites citing analysis of commercial satellite imagery.
Pompeo will depart for Bangkok as a new round of U.S. trade talks with China gets underway. This also follows events in the South China Sea that that Washington and some of China’s Southeast Asian neighbors have complained are provocative.
One senior U.S. official said that recent Chinese actions, including the ramming of Filipino and Vietnamese fishing ships by Chinese naval vessels in disputed areas „fly in the face of” China’s claims to be interested in peace and security in the region.
Meanwhile, China has expressed anger over new U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and the passage this week of an American destroyer through the Strait of Taiwan. In response, Beijing again warned against foreign interference in its relationship with the island that it regards as a renegade province.
Pompeo will spend three days at the security forum in Bangkok before visiting Australia for an annual meeting of the U.S. and Australian foreign and defense ministers. Newly sworn-in Defense Secretary Mark Esper will join him in Sydney for those talks.
On his way home, Pompeo will become the first sitting secretary of state to visit Micronesia, where he will meet leaders from several Pacific island nations that have compact associations with the United States, including Palau and the Marshall Islands.
US drug busts in Pacific net cocaine worth $350 mn
Shamkhani, who spoke after meeting with bin Alawi, also hit out at a British plan for a European coalition to escort tankers in the Gulf.
„Security measures for the region must use local capabilities and cooperation between regional countries, and foreign countries’ interference will achieve nothing but increase problems,” he said, quoted by the website of Iran’s state television.
Tensions in the Gulf have soared since last year when President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions on the country.
In retaliation, Iran said in May it would disregard certain limits the deal set on its nuclear programme and threatened to take further measures if remaining parties to the accord, especially European nations, did not help it circumvent US sanctions.
Tensions have escalated further in the region with a string of incidents involving tankers and drones.
The United States and Gulf powerhouse Saudi Arabia accused Iran of being behind multiple attacks on tankers in the Gulf in June, which Iran denies.
On July 19, a British-flagged tanker was impounded by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards with its 23 crew aboard in the Strait of Hormuz.
The seizure was seen by London as a tit-for-tat move for British authorities detaining an Iranian tanker off the UK overseas territory of Gibraltar in early July.
Shamkhani called on all countries to „respect international maritime law in order to maintain security”.
„In contrast to the British maritime piracy, who illegally detained an Iranian oil shipment in Gibraltar, Iran’s move was completely legal and was made in order to implement maritime rules and maintain maritime security,” he said.
Bin Alawi also held talks with Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Tehran on Saturday.
Oman has called for the release of the UK-flagged Stena Impero and for London and Tehran to resolve their dispute diplomatically.
Kano (Nigeria) (AFP) – Boko Haram gunmen on Saturday killed 23 mourners in Borno state in Nigeria’s restive northeast after they attended a funeral, local militia and residents said.
At around 1030 GMT, the attackers on three motorbikes opened fire on a group of men as they walked back from a funeral in Nganzai district near the state capital Maiduguri, local militia leader Bunu Bukar Mustapha said.
„Our men recovered 23 dead bodies from the scene of the attack, which happened this morning,” Mustapha told AFP.
The men were returning to Badu Kuluwu from nearby Goni Abachari village where they had attended funeral prayers for a relative, Mustapha said.
A Nganzai district official confirmed both the incident and death toll.
„I received calls from Nganzai that Boko Haram killed 23 people near Badu Kuluwu this morning,” said the official, who asked not to be identified for his own safety.
Local hunters and militia recovered the bodies after survivors returned to the village and alerted them, Nganzai resident Saleh Masida said.
Boko Haram fighters have been repeatedly attacking Nganzai district.
In September last year, the group killed eight people and stole livestock in two villages in the area after residents tried to stop them from taking their animals.
Boko Haram and its IS-supported ISWAP splinter have intensified attacks on civilian and military targets in recent months.
Late Thursday, Boko Haram fighters attacked a camp for displaced people outside Maiduguri, killing two residents and looting food supplies after burning a nearby military base.
The decade-long jihadist conflict has spilled over into neighbouring Chad, Niger and Cameroon, claiming around 27,000 lives and forcing more than two million people to flee their homes.