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US pushing Arab-NATO allies against Iran

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US pushing arab-nato allies against Iran

James Mattis says reports of US war against Iran is “fiction”

The contradictory statements and reports have been emanating from Washington over US intention for a possible war against Iran. Reuters, quoting US and Arab sources, reports that the Trump administration is quietly pushing ahead with a bid to create a new security and political alliance with six Gulf Arab states, Egypt and Jordan, in part to counter Iran’s expansion in the region.

Australia’s ABC news has also published an article on Thursday saying the US could initiate a missile strike against Iran as early as next month.

However, Washington based The Hill reports that US Defense Secretary James Mattis on Friday disputed a news report that US was preparing military action against Iran, calling it “fiction.”

Read More: US-Iran lock horns on strategic Hormuz waterway

“I have no idea where the Australian news people got that information,” Mattis told reporters. “I’m confident it is not something that’s being considered right now, and I think it’s a complete — frankly, it’s — it’s fiction.”

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has also denied the report, which cites unnamed Australian officials. “It’s speculation,” Turnbull said, according to The Straits Times. “It is citing anonymous sources.”

US pushing arab-nato allies against IranReuters report says that the White House wants to see deeper cooperation between the countries on missile defence, military training, counter-terrorism and other issues such as strengthening regional economic and diplomatic ties, four sources said.

Describing the details further Reuters report said that the plan to forge what officials in the White House and Middle East have called an “Arab NATO” of Sunni Muslim allies will likely raise tensions between the United States and Shi’ite Iran, two countries increasingly at odds since President Donald Trump took office.

The administration’s hope is that the effort, tentatively known as the Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA), might be discussed at a summit provisionally scheduled for Washington on Oct. 12-13, several sources said.

Read More: Trump Warns Iran Not To “Threaten” Or Face “Consequences”

The White House confirmed it was working on the concept of the alliance with “our regional partners now and have been for several months.”

Saudi officials raised the idea of a security pact ahead of a Trump visit last year to Saudi Arabia where he announced a massive arms deal, but the alliance proposal did not get off the ground, a U.S. source said.

Sources from some of the Arab countries involved also said they were aware of renewed efforts to activate the plan. Officials from other potential participants did not respond to requests for comment.

White House National Security Council’s spokesperson was quoted saying,  “MESA will serve as a bulwark against Iranian aggression, terrorism, extremism, and will bring stability to the Middle East.”

US, Saudi Arabia and UAE accuse Iran of destabilizing the region, fomenting unrest in some Arab countries through proxy groups and increasingly threatening Israel. Arabs allege that opposition Shia groups in Bahrain and Houthis in Yemen were supported by Tehran.

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Donald Trump survives assassination attempt, bullet pierces his right ear

The dead gunman has been identified as Thomas Matthew Crooks, aged 20, from Bethel Park, Pennsylvania.

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Former US President Donald Trump was immediately rushed offstage to his motorcade, with blood visible on his right ear and streaking across his cheek after gunshots erupted at a rally in Pennsylvania in an apparent assassination attempt on Saturday evening.

According to US Secret Services, the former President was injured in a volley of gunfire at 6.15 pm from an elevated position outside the venue. The gunfire erupted a few minutes after Trump began his speech at a rally of supporters in Butler, a rural town in northwestern Pennsylvania.

The available witnesses and footage suggested around eight shots were fired at Trump. The footage also showed him grimacing and raising a hand to his right ear.

Following the incident, the US Secret Service officers neutralised the suspect at the scene. The agency’s spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said that one bystander was killed in the shooting and two others were critically injured.

The US Secret Service, which is responsible for shielding current and former presidents, said the suspected shooter had fired multiple shots towards the stage and that the assailant was now dead.

The dead gunman has been identified as Thomas Matthew Crooks, aged 20, from Bethel Park, Pennsylvania.

The former US President Trump, in a post to his Truth Social network, said a bullet pierced the upper part of his right ear. Earlier, his spokesperson informed that he was receiving treatment at a local medical centre.

In a post, Trump said he knew immediately that something was wrong in that he claimed that he heard a whizzing sound, and shots, and immediately felt the bullet ripping through the skin. Trump further wrote that much bleeding took place, so he realized then what was happening.

The incident received condemnation from across the US political spectrum, with President Joe Biden, who spoke to Trump late on Saturday, describing the incident as sick and said the reason why the US needs to be united. There’s no place in America for this kind of violence, Biden asserted.

International leaders also have denounced the act of violence, with UK Prime Minister Keir Starmer saying, he was appalled by the shocking scenes. Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he would pray for President Trump’s speedy recovery. There were conflicting reports about the cause of Trump’s injury.

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, also expressed his concern over the assassination attempt on former US President Trump and said violence has no place in politics and democracies.

PM Modi wished him a speedy recovery. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased, those injured and the American people”, he added. 

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Slovakia’s Prime Minister safe after surviving multiple gunshot

The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

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Slovakia’s Deputy Prime Minister has confirmed today that Prime Minister Robert Fico’s condition is stable, with his life no longer in immediate danger, following an alarming incident where he was shot multiple times.

The Prime Minister was shot by an assassin while he was leaving a meeting on Wednesday.The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

Following the attack, Prime Minister Fico was urgently airlifted to the hospital, where he underwent extensive surgery that lasted several hours. Defence Minister Robert Kalinak, addressing reporters from outside the hospital where Fico was receiving treatment on Wednesday, described the Prime Minister’s condition as critical, emphasising that he was fighting for his life.

The identity of the suspect is yet unconfirmed as the police further investigate. Unconfirmed reports from local media suggest that the assailant may have been a 71-year-old writer and political activist.

A video is currently circulating in which the alleged perpetrator can be seen. In the clip, he mentions that he does not agree with government policy.

The shooting has sparked international concern. Expressing shock over the incident, PM Modi conveyed his solidarity with the people of the Slovak Republic, wishing Prime Minister Fico a speedy recovery. He strongly condemned the shooting, denouncing it as a cowardly and despicable act while emphasising the need for unity against such violent acts and reaffirming India’s support for Slovakia during these challenging times.

Earlier, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen also expressed disapproval of the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico . On X, she stated that such acts of violence have no place in society, undermining democracy, the most precious common good. Von der Leyen extended her thoughts to Prime Minister Fico and his family, highlighting the European Union’s solidarity during this challenging time. The condemnation from EU leadership underscores the gravity of the situation and the need for a united stance against violence targeting political figures. As the investigation unfolds, international support for Slovakia remains steadfast, emphasising the importance of upholding democratic principles and ensuring the safety of leaders across Europe.

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World Earth Day 2024: Google Doodle showcases aerial view of planet’s natural beauty

Google celebrated Earth Day 2024 with a special doodle featuring an aerial view of our planet’s biodiversity.

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Google shared a doodle today to celebrate World Earth Day 2024, which showcased aerial photos of the planet’s biodiversity and natural beauty. Google reminded us of the importance of protecting planet earth for future generations with the help of this doodle.

The Google letters depict specific locations across the globe where people, communities, and governments work every day to help protect the planet’s natural beauty, biodiversity, and resources, according to the explanation of the annual Earth Day 2024 doodle on their website.

It said, these examples remind us that there’s much more to do to address the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, but also offer the promise of hope and optimism.

The islands of Turks and Caicos are represented by the letter “G.” The islands’ conservation efforts are concentrated on protecting important regions for biodiversity and addressing persistent environmental problems.

The largest reef in the southern Gulf of Mexico and a UNESCO biosphere reserve, Scorpion Reef National Park, is represented by the letter “O” in the Mexican flag.

The letter “O” features Iceland’s Vatnajokull National Park, which was designated as a national park in 2008 following decades of advocacy. The ecology within and surrounding the biggest glacier in Europe is safeguarded by this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The letter “G” has the Jau National Park in Brazil on it. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the biggest forest reserves in South America.

The Great Green Wall of Nigeria is represented by the letter “L,”  and the Pilbara Islands Nature Reserves of Australia are represented by the letter “E.”

Meanwhile, Earth Day is a worldwide event that promotes protection of the environment every year. April 22 serves as a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts and sustainable practices to guarantee a healthier world and a brighter future.

The occasion inspires people across the world to come together and take action to protect the environment, strengthening our bonds with nature and promoting good change.

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