Tom O'Connor
Tom O'Connor
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Under pressure on immigration, Biden gives ICE a pass on private prison ban

Under pressure on immigration, Biden gives ICE a pass on private prison ban

SharePresident has cracked down on private prisons run by the Department of Justice, but his new executive order failed to address other private detention facilities run by the (DHS) and its cross-border wing, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ().Biden signed Executive Order 14006 six days after his inauguration, which directed that "The Attorney General shall not renew Department of Justice contracts with privately operated criminal detention facilities, as consistent with applicable law."The move was welcomed by prison reform proponents, who have long raised the alarm on...

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Tom O'Connor
Feb 19
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Biden continues U.S. sanctions war around world, these countries are targeted

Biden continues U.S. sanctions war around world, these countries are targeted

SharePresident and his top officials have announced a comprehensive review of the Trump administration's foreign policy decisions since coming to office nearly a month ago, but so far one staple of U.S. statecraft remains in steady use: sanctions.The United States maintains broad or targeted economic, diplomatic and travel restrictions against at least 30 countries or territories, with vastly differing degrees of scope and effect.Some experts champion the implementation of sanctions against countries, organizations or individuals as a practical or at least symbolic act of enforcing U.S....

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Tom O'Connor
Feb 17
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Belarus' Lukashenko says he stands with Russia and Putin as both face protests: it's 'peace or war'

Belarus' Lukashenko says he stands with Russia and Putin as both face protests: it's 'peace or war'

ShareBelarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has declared his country's solidarity with his Russian counterpart as both men face large demonstrations they deem foreign-backed plots that risk destabilization and conflict.Addressing the Sixth All Belarusian People's Assembly on Thursday, the man who has led Belarus for nearly 37 years warned the 2,700-person gathering of officials and industry leaders that the nation was facing one of its worst crises yet as protests continued six months after .As members of the U.S.-led Western military alliance continue to criticize Lukashenko's attempts...

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Tom O'Connor
Feb 11
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China warns Biden not to "flex muscles" after U.S. dual aircraft carrier drill

China warns Biden not to "flex muscles" after U.S. dual aircraft carrier drill

ShareChina has delivered a warning to the new U.S. administration not to meddle in the sensitive South China Sea region, where President has ordered his first naval moves since assuming the commander-in-chief title just weeks ago.The U.S. Navy's Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group joined the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group on Tuesday for rare dual aircraft carrier exercises involving the massive Nimitz-class warships alongside accompanying vessels and aircraft.It was the first time two aircraft carriers trained together in the South China Sea since July, and the first time the two groups...

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Tom O'Connor
Feb 9
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Taiwan says it's crucial Biden "reaffirms" U.S. support as China goes on "high alert"

Taiwan says it's crucial Biden "reaffirms" U.S. support as China goes on "high alert"

ShareTaiwan is claiming a robust level of support from President 's administration and is calling for even closer security ties, a move that could further provoke China during an especially tense period of relations between the world's top two powers.Representatives of the breakaway government just miles off the Chinese mainland say China's vow to reunify by force if necessary not only among the two rivals but the region as a whole. And they count on U.S. support."Beijing's military, economic, and diplomatic coercion against Taiwan constitutes a threat to the security not only of Taiwan,...

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Tom O'Connor
Feb 5
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Russia seeks quick US return to Iran nuclear deal to avoid Middle East chaos

Russia seeks quick US return to Iran nuclear deal to avoid Middle East chaos

ShareRussia is seeking a U.S. return to the Iran nuclear deal, a move that experts say would help preserve regional stability and prove lucrative for growing trade with the heavily-sanctioned Islamic Republic."This is high time for #US and #Iran to make coordinated steps to restore full implementation of #JCPOA," Russian ambassador to the Mikhail Ulyanov tweeted late Wednesday of the most recent drama regarding the nuclear deal that is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.The accord was struck by Washington and Tehran in 2015 and additionally endorsed by Moscow and...

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Tom O'Connor
Feb 3
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Syria open to talks with Biden if US exits, leaves oil, ends militia support

Syria open to talks with Biden if US exits, leaves oil, ends militia support

ShareSyria's permanent mission to the has told Newsweek that the country is willing to engage with 's administration if he reverses the policies of its predecessors.Such a reversal would include halting intervention in Syria's internal affairs, withdrawing U.S. troops deployed without Damascus' permission, and stopping the exploitation of oil and gas resources, the mission said.It would also include ending assistance to the Syrian Democratic Forces, a largely Kurdish force seeking greater autonomy in the country's northeast, as well as aid to other non-state actors engaged in the civil war,...

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Tom O'Connor
Feb 3
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Biden administration rejects Iran's offer to coordinate nuclear deal return

Biden administration rejects Iran's offer to coordinate nuclear deal return

SharePresident 's administration has rejected an Iranian offer to coordinate both countries' return to their nuclear deal commitments, arguing that the Islamic Republic must first reinstate the restrictions suspended in response to the U.S. having abandoned the agreement entirely nearly three years ago.The agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was reached in 2015 by the U.S. and Iran, alongside China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom.Former President left the accord in 2018. Facing severe U.S. sanctions, Iran has begun enriching uranium...

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Tom O'Connor
Feb 2
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Yemen rebels react to Biden moves, say US must "stop war, lift siege" to save lives

Yemen rebels react to Biden moves, say US must "stop war, lift siege" to save lives

ShareThe Yemeni rebel movement fighting a civil war in the beleaguered Arab nation is calling on President to expand the efforts to end it that he and his newly appointed Secretary of State have announced.A representative of the Zaidi Shiite Muslim movement Ansar Allah, also known as the Houthis, told Newsweek that the new U.S. administration should pressure regional partners to end the conflict and remove all restrictions surrounding the flow of goods into the country in order to save human lives."The true position as it relates to Yemen is to stop the war and lift the siege," Ansar Allah...

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Tom O'Connor
Jan 28
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Ex-officials assail DHS report on violent extremism as light on details, not new

Ex-officials assail DHS report on violent extremism as light on details, not new

SharePresident Biden's administration has released its first counterterrorism report on domestic threats following the assault on the U.S. capitol.Former officials contacted by Newsweek criticized the report, saying that the assessment did not go far enough to map out specific risks posed by anti-government forces at home and efforts to tackle them."It's pretty much worthless," said one former federal law enforcement official who spoke with Newsweek on the condition of anonymity. "There are no specifics and nothing actionable."The former official questioned the motivation behind the...

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Tom O'Connor
Jan 28
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Iran threatens to take out Tel Aviv if Israel follows through with new military plans

Iran threatens to take out Tel Aviv if Israel follows through with new military plans

ShareThe Iranian armed forces have threatened to take out two Mediterranean cities should Israel follow through with new military plans announced the day prior by the country's top general.Israeli Lieutenant-General Aviv Kochavi, chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, announced during a Tuesday address to Tel Aviv University's Institute for National Security Studies that he felt a return by President to a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran or similar arrangement would be a "bad thing operationally and strategically" as it would allow the Islamic republic a fast track to building a...

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Tom O'Connor
Jan 27
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Taliban calls on Biden to follow Trump's peace plan in Afghanistan

Taliban calls on Biden to follow Trump's peace plan in Afghanistan

ShareThe Taliban has called on President to follow through with the landmark peace deal reached between his predecessor and the Afghan Islamist movement amid concerns that the new U.S. administration could reconsider the agreement.Trump struck the historic accord last February, promising to pull troops from the longest war in U.S. history in exchange for peace and power-sharing between the internationally-recognized government in Kabul and the Taliban, officially known as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.Ongoing violence and lingering political disputes have elicited a degree of...

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Tom O'Connor
Jan 26
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UN nuclear weapons ban begins, Nobel winner asks Biden to abandon them

UN nuclear weapons ban begins, Nobel winner asks Biden to abandon them

ShareA Nobel Peace Prize winner is calling on President to reverse his predecessors' nuclear buildup and give up his strategic arsenal entirely, as a landmark treaty outlawing the world's most powerful weapons of mass destruction comes into effect.The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into effect Friday, amounting to the world's first legally binding international agreement to ban the development of nuclear weapons and seek their total elimination.It comes into force just two days after the inauguration of a new U.S. president.And now, Nobel Prize-winner Beatrice...

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Tom O'Connor
Jan 22
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Iran says Trump gone to "dustin of history," hopes Biden has "learned"

Iran says Trump gone to "dustin of history," hopes Biden has "learned"

ShareIran has welcomed the exit of former President from the White House and expressed hope that newly sworn-in President would adopt a different and more diplomatic approach to the Islamic Republic.Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called out the departing administration on Wednesday shortly after Biden took the oath of office. The Iranian top diplomat chastised Trump and leading officials like former Secretary of State for pursuing their "maximum pressure" campaign against Tehran."Trump, Pompeo & Co. are relegated to the dustbin of history in disgrace," Zarif tweeted.He took...

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Tom O'Connor
Jan 20
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South Korea sees Biden in office as "turning point" for North peace talks

South Korea sees Biden in office as "turning point" for North peace talks

ShareA South Korean official told Newsweek that the longtime U.S. ally viewed President-elect taking office as a pivotal moment for the historic peace talks that were launched by outgoing President but later stalled.South Korea, officially known as the Republic of Korea (ROK), and North Korea, formally called the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, (DPRK) remain divided despite intensive diplomatic contacts launched three years ago. As nascent relations once again gave way to tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Seoul seeks a renewed effort to bring the two neighboring rivals together."The...

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Tom O'Connor
Jan 20
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Far-right militias pose greatest threat to US national security, experts say

Far-right militias pose greatest threat to US national security, experts say

ShareFar-right militias pose the greatest threat to the national security of the United States, experts tell Newsweek.In stark language, they warned of the increasingly grave risk posed by these organized armed extremist movements, as they seek to capitalize on unprecedented political instability to wage war on their own country."The threat posed by domestic groups is real," Richard Fontaine, chief executive officer of the Center for a New American Security think tank, told Newsweek." and have not gone away, and tremendous resources have been devoted to combating them," Fontaine said. "But...

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Tom O'Connor
Jan 15
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Taiwan seeks closer US ties after Trump lifts limits, China protests

Taiwan seeks closer US ties after Trump lifts limits, China protests

ShareTaiwan's de facto representation in the United States has told Newsweek the self-ruling island seeks closer ties to a country that provides it with military assistance, but with which it has no official relations.But China has voiced strong opposition to the continued strengthening of bonds between Taipei and Washington, where the waning days of the Trump administration have seen a growing rapprochement.With Trump silenced by social media companies over his alleged complicity in a deadly riot that stormed the Capitol Building last Wednesday, Secretary of State has announced a series of...

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Tom O'Connor
Jan 12
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Cuba rejects "hypocritical, cynical" U.S. state sponsor of terrorism listing

Cuba rejects "hypocritical, cynical" U.S. state sponsor of terrorism listing

ShareCuba has rejected the United States' decision to re-add the country to the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism, arguing the move was disingenuous and designed solely to serve political interests at home."We condemn the US announced hypocritical and cynical designation of #Cuba as a State sponsoring terrorism," Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez wrote Monday in a tweet referred to Newsweek by Havana's embassy in Washington and permament mission to the in New York."The US political opportunism is recognized by those who are honestly concerned about the scourge of...

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Tom O'Connor
Jan 11
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China warns of "final madness" in last days of Trump presidency

China warns of "final madness" in last days of Trump presidency

ShareBeijing has warned that President 's administration is intensifying hard-line U.S. measures against China in the final days of the Republican leader's tenure in office, a period marked by political chaos and instability in Washington.As the U.S. capital continues to assess damage dealt Wednesday to the Capitol Building by violent pro-Trump protesters and prepares to host President-elect 's inauguration in less than two weeks, Chinese officials have been watching closely to assess the potential impact of these events on U.S. foreign policy.The Trump administration has levied an...

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Tom O'Connor
Jan 8
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South Korea sending troops, contacting other nations after Iran seizes ship

South Korea sending troops, contacting other nations after Iran seizes ship

ShareSouth Korea is sending military forces to respond to the seizure of one of its tankers by Iran, an endeavor in which it is seeking to work with other nations operating in the region.Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard announced Monday that its Zulfiqar fleet had seized a South Korean vessel operating in the Islamic Republic's First Naval District in the Persian Gulf "due to a series of violations of marine environmental laws" after it departed from Saudi Arabia's Al-Jubail port.The ship, Hankuk Chemi, was said to be transporting up to 7,200 tons of oil-based chemicals, and carrying a crew...

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Tom O'Connor
Jan 5
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China marks New Year with victory speech and warning for US

China marks New Year with victory speech and warning for US

ShareChinese President delivered a speech ripe with his country's successes over the past year, one wrought with global hardships, the greatest of which was first detected in his country—the COVID-19 pandemic.Ties between top world powers China and the U.S. had been deteriorating for some time, and the international crisis only served to exacerbate them. As the Chinese leader spoke of hope for the new year, his officials issued a stark warning in response to the U.S. military posing a year-end challenge in the sensitive Taiwan Strait.In the latest affront, the U.S. Navy conducted a rare...

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Tom O'Connor
Dec 31
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Lebanon arrests 'drunk' youths who drew fire trying to cross into Israel

Lebanon arrests 'drunk' youths who drew fire trying to cross into Israel

ShareLebanese authorities have arrested a group of young men who allegedly attempted to cross the country's disputed southern border while under the influence of alcohol, resulting in them being fired at by Israeli forces.News of a security event along the tense, contested border between Israel and Lebanon first emerged Tuesday as the Israel Defense Forces sent out an alert that a group of unidentified suspects had approached the security fence, with one briefly scaling the boundary and entering Israel before returning."A short while ago, IDF observation troops spotted a number of suspects...

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Tom O'Connor
Dec 29
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NATO assessing damage from SolarWinds hack, Canada issues alert

NATO assessing damage from SolarWinds hack, Canada issues alert

ShareThe NATO Western military alliance is assessing the damage caused to its communication networks as a result of a massive hack that has rocked global institutions, including multiple agencies of the U.S. federal government and neighboring Canada.The infiltration was first uncovered Sunday days after cybersecurity firm FireEye admitted it was hit by an unclaimed attack ultimately attributed to a series of trojanized updates to software company SolarWinds, which services some of the largest public and private institutions around the world.Among these customers are all five branches of the...

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Tom O'Connor
Dec 15
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Russia calls Israel "the problem" in Middle East, defends Iran and its allies

Russia calls Israel "the problem" in Middle East, defends Iran and its allies

ShareIn a noteworthy interview with an Israeli newspaper on Tuesday, Russia has accused Israel of being responsible for the unrest in the Middle East, while relieving Iran and its allies of blame."The problem in the region is not Iranian activities," Russian ambassador to Israel Anatoly Viktorov told the Jerusalem Post in comments later shared by Moscow's embassy in Tel Aviv. "It's a lack of understanding between countries and noncompliance with U.N. resolutions in the Israel-Arab and Israel-Palestinian conflict."Israelis have steadily annexed and settled across territories deemed...

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Tom O'Connor
Dec 8
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Syria's new top diplomat goes to Iran for closer ties as they face US, Israel

Syria's new top diplomat goes to Iran for closer ties as they face US, Israel

ShareSyria's new top diplomat has traveled to Iran in his debut trip abroad, using the visit as an opportunity to emphasize close relations between the two allies as they face U.S. pressure, attacks attributed to Israel, as well as strife at home and across the region.Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad, who was appointed to the post last month after the death of his longtime predecessor Walid al-Muallem, arrived Sunday in Tehran and met Monday with a number of senior Iranian officials to whom he stressed the need for close cooperation among their governments.Mekdad also conveyed his...

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Tom O'Connor
Dec 8
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