Sunday, February 5, 2023

Americas

Report: UAE clients spent $64mn on US lobbying between 2020-2021

An analysis of Foreign Agent Registration Act (Fara) documents filed by more than two dozen lobbying firms representing Emirati clients between 2020 and 2021 has found that foreign agents working for the UAE reported over 10,000 political activities, including making contacts with US Congress, Senate, and major media outlets.

US lawmakers to investigate “secret oil deal” between Biden, Saudis

The top-ranking Republican on the US House Oversight and Reform Committee has announced an investigation into whether President Joe Biden forged a secret agreement with Saudi Arabia to help Democrats in November’s midterm elections by driving down oil prices.

Biden, Macron support unrest, riots in Iran

US President Joe Biden and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Thursday jointly saluted Iranians who have poured to the streets across the country for months after the death of a young woman in police custody. Hundreds, including security forces, have died during the protests and deadly riots.

Biden, Macron to discuss Iran, Russia-Ukraine war

French President Emmanuel Macron is headed to Washington for the first state visit of Joe Biden’s presidency. The two leaders will discuss Iran, war between Russia and Ukraine as well as China in a meeting at the White House, according to the US and French officials.

Turkish military operation in Syria threatens US forces: Army

The US military has announced recent Turkish airstrikes in Syria “threatened the safety” of American soldiers still in the country. It claimed that further escalations could “compromise efforts to defeat the remnants of the Islamic State (Daesh) terrorist group.”

US to open investigation into al Jazeera journalist killing

The United States has informed the Israeli authorities that it decided to open its own investigation into Israle's killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, several Israeli and US media outlets reported, citing unidentified sources.

US intelligence report reveals UAE efforts to meddle in American political system: Report

A classified US intelligence report states that the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a close ally of the United States in the Middle East, has engaged in an extensive effort to influence American political decisions.

US says ‘closely’ monitoring Iran’s missile program

The United States has announced its military “will closely monitor Iran’s development and proliferation of advanced missile and associated technology". It comes after Tehran confirmed it has built a hypersonic ballistic missile.

US elections not to change ‘bad’ ties between Moscow and Washington: Kremlin

The Kremlin has announced that Moscow’s relations with Washington are likely to “remain bad” regardless of the results of the US midterm elections, with the two sides at odds over the conflict in Ukraine.

US says can not confirm Ukraine’s claims over Iranian missiles

The US military has no evidence suggesting that Tehran has supplied Moscow with ballistic missiles for use in the Ukraine war, the Pentagon’s spokesman, Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, has stated.

Russia urges US to focus on domestic issues, stop blame game

Washington should focus on domestic issues instead of blaming all its troubles on external factors, including Moscow’s ‘interference,’ Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told the Soloviev Live TV channel on Tuesday.

US says no indications of regime change in Iran

A White House official played down the potential for regime change in Iran on Friday, and stated that US President Joe Biden was expressing solidarity with Iranian demonstrators after he said “we’re going to free Iran.”

Western officials claim Tehran preparing to send weapons to Russia, Iran denies

Despite Iran’s earlier denial, officials from a western country told CNN on Tuesday that Tehran is preparing to send approximately 1,000 additional weapons, including surface-to-surface short range ballistic missiles and more drones, to Russia to use in its war against Ukraine.

Officials say US mulling reduction of Saudi military aid over oil dispute

The White House is considering rolling back military aid to Saudi Arabia as a punishment for the decision by OPEC+, which is de facto led by Riyadh, to reduce oil production, US officials have told the news network NBC.

Kremlin says platform for Putin-Biden talks could be US desire to hear Russia out

Talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden could take place if the US was willing to listen to Russian concerns and return to discussing security guarantees, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has stated.

Moscow urges Washington to return nuclear weapons back to US territory

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov has called on Washington to return the nuclear weapons it deployed to other countries back to the US.

US says OPEC+ decision contradicts earlier talks with Saudis on boosting oil output

The recent OPEC+ decision to cut oil production contradicts the negotiations between the Biden administration and Saudi Arabia on boosting oil output, White House Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby has stated.

Families of 9/11 victims launch fresh campaign against Saudi-backed tournament

Family members of the victims of the 9/11 attacks, have launched a fresh campaign against LIV Golf, with the Saudi-backed circuit to hold a tournament at Trump National Doral Golf Club set to begin on Friday.

Afghan Americans deplore US Marine’s abduction of an orphan

Afghan-American activists have expressed indignation after reports suggested that a US Marine and his wife abducted a baby girl during the chaotic American military withdrawal from Afghanistan in August last year.

Saudi crown prince mocked Biden in private: Report

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s 37-year-old de facto ruler, has reportedly mocked US President Joe Biden in private while questioning his mental state, according to a report.

US aims to constrain Russia, maintain competitive edge over China: Security Strategy

The US aims to constrain Russia and gain the upper hand in a competitive struggle with China, according to the new National Security Strategy, a 48-page document made public by the White House on Wednesday.

US restricts visas for Taliban members

The US has put a visa restriction policy in place for members of the Taliban over the repression of women and girls in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken says.

Top senator proposes ‘freeze’ on US-Saudi cooperation over oil dispute

Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) has urged the US government to freeze its cooperation with Saudi Arabia, including in the military and security fields, due to Riyadh’s decision to cut oil production

US judge says victims not entitled to seize Afghan assets

A United States judge has recommended that victims of the September 11 attacks not be allowed to seize billions of dollars of assets belonging to Afghanistan’s central bank to satisfy court judgements against the Taliban.

Report: US president ‘rejects’ Israeli PM phone call request over JCPOA

The White House is said to have rejected a request by Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid for an emergency phone call with US President Joe Biden regarding the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in an apparent last-minute push by Tel Aviv to derail the talks on a revival of the multilateral agreement.

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