TRUMP Eyes Permanent U.N. Arms Embargo on Iran & Look at the Foe Who Stopped US Special Forces in Their Tracks

TRUMP Eyes Permanent U.N. Arms Embargo on Iran & Look at the Foe Who Stopped US Special Forces in Their Tracks

The Liberals

A former top European Union (EU) official is openly pining for former Vice President Joe Biden to win the November general election.

Donald Tusk, a one-time prime minister of Poland and until last year the president of the European Council—the body responsible for defining the EU’s political direction, took to social media on Thursday to signal his backing of Biden.

“I’ve always believed in the Republican ideals and greatness of America,” Tusk wrote, noting his own history as an “anti-communist” opposition leader in Poland during the Cold War. “Reagan was my hero. And I got to know Donald Trump really well. These are the reasons why I pray for Joe Biden’s success.”

Tusk’s backing of the former vice president is the first endorsement by any European leader in the 2020 presidential election. Although the reason behind its timing remains unclear, Tusk’s support is by no means a surprise. The former EU president has long been a critic of the emergence of populist leaders and causes, most notably Trump.

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Trump admin vows to secure permanent U.N. arms embargo on Iran.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Pompeo says arms ban cannot be lifted on Iran as long as it poses global threat.

The United States will seek a permanent extension of an arms embargo on Iran that is set to expire later this year, setting up a confrontation at the United Nations with Russia and China, Iranian allies poised to block the Trump administration’s efforts.

The October expiration of the United Nations arms embargo on Iran was a key part of the Obama-era nuclear deal that blocked nations from exporting arms to Tehran. 

The Trump administration has vowed to keep the embargo alive and in recent months expended significant diplomatic capital preparing a U.N. resolution to accomplish that goal.

The Trump administration has made extending the arms embargo a centerpiece of its “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran, which includes crippling economic sanctions. 

The diplomatic push comes as Iran ramps up its contested nuclear work, particularly the enrichment of uranium, the key component in an atomic weapon.

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Leading Market News

Oil prices crash below $27 a barrel

Overnight on Wall Street, the  Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 92.39 points higher, or 0.4%, at 25,827.36. 

The Nasdaq Composite hit a record high, rising 0.5% to end its trading day at 10,207.63. 

The S&P 500 also gained 0.5% to close at 3,130.01. U.S. markets will be closed on Friday for the July Fourth holiday.

Oil prices slipped in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.46% to $42.94 per barrel. 

The U.S. crude futures contract shed 0.52% to $40.44 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 97.196 after earlier rising from levels below 97.2.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.53 per dollar after seeing lows beyond 108 earlier in the trading week. 

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6924 following its rise this week from levels around $0.684.

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The Back Page

U.S. Army Special Operations Command officials announced today that 90 students who were going through survival training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina have tested positive for COVID-19.

Instructors teach students how to friction-rapel during the evasion phase of Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape Level-C training (SERE) at Camp Mackall,

The soldiers were participating in the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) course, according to a news release from the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

The New York Times first reported this news.

Out of the 110 students in the course, 82 students, along with eight instructors, tested positive for COVID-19, Janice Burton, a spokeswoman for SWCS told The course was terminated and all 110 soldiers are being quarantined for 14 days, Burton said.

The three-week SERE course at Camp Mackall is one of the phases of the Special Forces Qualification Course (Q-Course).

 Students receive two weeks of training to learn how to live off the land, evade enemy patrols, resist the enemy’s interrogation techniques and escape from captivity. 

On week three, the students are broken up into small groups for a field training exercise which involves two to four days in a prisoner-of-war setting.

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