US deploys more troops to Saudi to counter Iran

20 Nov 2019; MEMO: The Trump administration yesterday informed Congress that it has deployed an additional 3,000 troops to the Middle East in a bid to counter the perceived growing threat posed by Iran, some of whom have already arrived in Saudi Arabia.

“United States Armed Forces have been deployed to the Middle East to protect United States interests and enhance force protection in the region against hostile action by Iran and its proxy forces,” President Donald Trump informed Congress in a letter.

Unpredictable Sondland faces questions about Trump, Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ambassador Gordon Sondland, the most anticipated witness in the impeachment inquiry, is likely to be unpredictable when he faces questions about his evolving accounts of the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine and a newly revealed summertime phone call with President Donald Trump.

Turkey threatens to "look elsewhere" if F-35 dispute with U.S. continues

ANKARA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- If the U.S. stance on delivery of F-35 fighter jets does not change, Turkey would be forced to "look elsewhere" to meet its defense necessities, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.

"If the current disagreement on F-35 fighter jets continues, Turkey must look elsewhere to meet its medium-term needs," Erdogan said while addressing his party members at the parliament.

The Turkish president was referring to his meeting last week with U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington.

No clear champ as Johnson, Corbyn spar in UK election debate

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn attacked each other’s policies on Brexit, health care and the economy Tuesday in a televised election debate that likely failed to answer the question troubling many voters: Why should we trust you?

The two politicians hammered away at their rival’s weaknesses and sidestepped tricky questions about their own policies in the hourlong encounter, which was the first-ever head-to-head TV debate between a British prime minister and a chief challenger.

U.S. to provide Vietnam with coast guard ship, eyes South China Sea

HANOI (Reuters) - The United States announced on Wednesday it will provide Vietnam with another coast guard cutter for its growing fleet of ships, boosting Hanoi’s ability to patrol the South China Sea amid tensions with China.

U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper disclosed the decision during an address in Vietnam, which has emerged as the most vocal opponent in Asia of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.

In the same speech, Esper sharply criticized China.

Iran's Rouhani claims government victory over unrest he blames on foreigners: state media

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian President Rouhani on Wednesday claimed government victory over unrest he blamed on Iran’s foreign enemies, according to state media, after protests since a hike in gasoline prices last week that have shaken the country.

“The Iranian people have again succeeded at an historic test and shown that they will not let enemies benefit from the situation, even though they might have complaints about the country’s management,” Rouhani said in remarks carried by the state broadcaster IRIB on its website.

Netanyahu celebrates US settlement decision in West Bank

ALON SHVUT, West Bank (AP) — Israel’s prime minister traveled to the West Bank on Tuesday to celebrate the U.S.’s announcement that it does not consider Israeli settlements to violate international law.

Benjamin Netanyahu called the Trump administration’s declaration, which stepped back from four decades of U.S. policy and reversed the policies of President Barack Obama, a “huge achievement” that “fixed a historic wrong.”

“I think it is a great day for the state of Israel and an achievement that will remain for decades,” he said.

Planned fossil fuel output swamps Paris climate goals

20 November 2019; AFP: Oil, gas and coal output already planned or in the pipeline will overwhelm efforts to cap global warming at levels consistent with a liveable planet, the UN and leading research groups warned Wednesday.

The world is on track to produce 50 percent more fossil fuels than could be burned without increasing Earth's surface by more than two degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, they said in a major report.

Pope arrives in Thailand to encourage Catholic minority

BANGKOK (AP) — Pope Francis arrived in Bangkok on Wednesday to begin a tour of Thailand and Japan, part of a mission to boost the morale of those countries’ tiny minority Catholic communities and speak about issues of concern including human trafficking and peacemaking.

He is expected to highlight his admiration in Thailand for the community’s missionary ancestors who brought the faith to this Buddhist nation centuries ago and endured bouts of persecution more recently.

‘I now recall:’ What to watch in Trump impeachment hearings

WASHINGTON (AP) — Exactly what is Gordon Sondland’s story?

Certainly it’s full of international mystery, which House impeachment investigators are sorting through as they probe President Donald Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden. But the intrigue is largely due to other witnesses recalling conversations with Sondland that he did not mention to impeachment investigators.

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