Tuesday, Jan 17th

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Former Iran president Rafsanjani dies of heart attack

RasfanjaniFormer Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died on Sunday at the age of 82, state media reported, a big blow to moderates and reformists deprived now of their most influential supporter in the Islamic establishment.

"Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani was taken to hospital after heart attack and more than an hour long efforts by doctors to revive him were not successful," the deputy minister of health was quoted by Fars news agency as saying.

Residents said a crowd gathered outside the hospital in northern Tehran where Rafsanjani was taken.


New Army regulations allow for turbans, beards and religious garb

New army regulations for religious dress, beardsThe U.S. Army announced a new policy that permits religious exemptions for uniform regulations, allowing for beards, turbans, hijabs and other signs of religious devotion.

The policy, which can be overturned by the incoming Trump administration, allows brigade commanders to grant permission for religious garb, rather than previous rules that called for individual soldiers to petition the secretary of the Army. The new rule makes it easier for Sikhs, Muslims and members of other religious groups to wear outward signs of devotion. Commanders are permitted to deny an exemption if they feel the soldier does not have a sincerely held religious belief or if it poses a "concrete hazard" to the soldier.


Deadly attack as truck rams into soldiers in Jerusalem

Deadly attack on Israeli soldiersAt least four Israeli soldiers have been killed and several more wounded after a truck rammed into the troops in Jerusalem with authorities calling it a deliberate attack.

Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith, reporting from Jerusalem, said the driver of the attacking vehicle was shot dead following the incident on Sunday.

"Disturbing CCTV shootage shows the truck coming down the street, clearly the driver spotted the soldiers when he hit them," Smith said.

At least 10 soldiers were trapped under the truck but later rescued with three in critical condition, he quoted a medical official as saying.


UK MPs urge probe into Israeli plot against politicians

israelis trying to take down UK MPsSenior members of parliament have slammed comments made by an Israeli diplomat on plans to "take down" the UK's deputy foreign secretary over his criticism of Israel's settlement policy in the occupied West Bank.

Emily Thornberry, the Labour Party's shadow foreign secretary, called the statements by Shai Masot - a  senior political offficer at the Israeli embassy in London - "extremely disturbing" and demanded a probe into the potential extent of political "interference" in the United Kingdom.


President Obama cancels dangerous testing in the Atlantic

Offshore oil rigThe Obama administration announced that it has denied all permits for seismic testing in the Atlantic, a move that helps solidify the president’s environmental legacy in his final weeks and comes as welcome news to environmentalists bracing for the new administration.

“We know that seismic airgun blasting is dangerous,” Oceana campaign director Claire Douglass said in a statement. “Today, we thank the Obama administration for finishing the job in protecting the Atlantic Ocean from offshore drilling activities.”


Kentucky lawmakers pass 20-week abortion ban

Kentucky abortion law passed

A bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy passed Kentucky’s state legislature Saturday after a final vote in the state House, according to The Associated Press.

The legislation now heads to Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R), who has indicated he will sign it. An emergency clause in the bill allows it to take effect immediately.

The ban doesn’t include exceptions for instances of rape or incest, and only permits abortions after 20 weeks if the mother’s life is threatened.

TVNL Comment:  Back to the butchers for so many women.  It's horrendous and outrageous.


Intel experts worry Trump will go rogue

Intel fear TrumpPresident-elect Donald Trump’s skepticism of the Intelligence Community’s findings on Russian election interference has raised fears among experts that Trump will bypass intel analysts and demand that his personal team conduct its own analyses of raw data.

Tossing aside career analysts can create false conclusions, critics warn — like the George W. Bush administration’s incorrect assessment that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).


Trump national security pick Monica Crowley plagiarized multiple sources in 2012 book

Monica Crowley plagiarismCrowley did not return a request for comment. Multiple requests for comment by phone and email over the past two days to HarperCollins went unreturned.

Crowley, a syndicated radio host, columnist, and, until recently, a Fox News contributor, will serve as Trump’s senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council.

Trump’s transition team is standing by Crowley.


Gunman shoots, wounds US consular official in Mexico

guadalajaraMexican prosecutors said Saturday they are searching for a gunman who opened fire on an official of the U.S. consulate in the western city of Guadalajara.

The Attorney General's Office said Saturday the official was wounded in the attack Friday in Guadalajara.  Surveillance video of the attack shows the gunman following the official in a parking garage. The official, whose name was not released, was dressed in shorts.

The shooting appeared to be a direct attempt to kill the consular employee.















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