Counter-demonstrations from pro-Iran parliamentary factions fuel tensions as supporters of Iraqi Shia leader al-Sadr continue their sit-in protests.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington opposes any effort to unilaterally change the status quo on Taiwan and that the US policy has not changed.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke with her South Korean counterpart, pledging to support deterrence and denuclearization in North Korea.
The junta charged Japanese journalist Toru Kubota with encouraging dissent against the military and breaching immigration laws.
The Taliban's envoy to the UN said the insurgent group was not aware that Ayman al Zawahiri was residing in Kabul.
Kyiv said it was forced to abandon territories deemed defensive positions as Russian forces gear up for new offensive in the south.
Iran's nuclear agency has started adding fuel to its centrifuges amidst a proposal to start a new round of talks in Vienna.
The regional governor said Ukrainian forces successfully recaptured 53 villages in the Russian-occupied Kherson region.
The UK defense ministry said in an intelligence update that Russian forces are still focusing their tactical assault in the Bakhmut area of eastern Ukraine.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell welcomed the decision by the Kosovo government to delay the requirement of Serbs in its northern area to register for license plates in the country.
The Senate near-unanimously approved the accession of Finland and Sweden into the NATO alliance this week.
US Vice President Kamala Harris announced over $1 billion in grants for states to prepare for and respond to calamities caused by climate change.
British foreign secretary Truss said the public wants the government to focus on other key issues instead of taxes on foods deemed unhealthy.
Senate Democrats are waiting for a go signal from the parliamentarian on whether to proceed with budget reconciliation on the energy, climate, and tax bill.
Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo needed to be reminded that the US would not strike Iran, former Pentagon chief says
Former US Defense Secretary Mark Esper wrote about his experiences serving under former President Donald Trump in his tell-all memoir. In one part of the book, Esper described now-former vice president Mike Pence and now-former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as “Warhawks” who needed to be reminded that Trump was not going to strike Iran.
In his book, Esper recalled his meetings with Trump to discuss options on how to respond to Iran after Iranian forces shot down a US drone. The discussions were as early as October of 2019. At the meetings, Esper provided the now-former president with options that targeted several Iranian assets that had varying degrees of impact, along with estimates of casualties and the anticipated responses.
Esper recalled that it was difficult to keep Trump focused on what was being presented to him as the now-former president would often get sidetracked onto other topics. The former Pentagon chief recalled that there were times when officials such as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross suggested a tougher approach. Esper wrote that he had to remind Trump of what he pledged was to not give Iran a nuclear weapon nor go to war.
Esper said he would read the phrases regarding Iran aloud in the room “to remind the president of what he said, let him know that we were listening, and ensure others in the room – especially the Warhawks like National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, and to a lesser extent Secretary of State Pompeo and Vice President Pence – were all reminded of the president’s views.”
A rift has grown between Pence and his former boss over the 2020 elections, with Pence ultimately refusing to do Trump’s bidding by rejecting the electoral votes in favor of Joe Biden. Pence became a target of the pro-Trump mob on January 6, along with other congressional leaders.
In a report by Raw Story, Trump loyalist attorney Lin Wood’s baseless accusations of Pence, accusing Pence of being a “traitor,” a “communist sympathizer,” and a “child molester,” with assistance from prominent QAnon conspiracy theorist Ron Watkins, could be traced back to a federal felon. Wood’s accusations of Pence also hit its peak during the January 6 rally that preceded the insurrection.
The felon in question is Ryan Dark White, also known as Jonathan McGreevey, who notoriously peddled conspiracy theories. Wood’s baseless accusations toward Pence, along with claims of government betrayal, would stem from a story that White came up with, linking Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to the murder of DNC staff Seth Rich back in 2016.