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  • US Secretary of State Tillerson (Photo: AP)

    NEW YORK - US President Donald Trump has determined how he wants to approach the Iran nuclear deal—which he has called the worst agreement ever negotiated by the United States—but has not told even his top national security advisers what his decision is.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that Trump had not informed him or others in the administration about his decision and had refused to share it with British Prime Minister Theresa May when she asked him about it. 

    Tillerson said he had been surprised when Trump publicly announced he had reached a decision. The secretary told reporters it would now take some time to prepare to implement the decisions. He gave no hint as to the direction Trump would take, but repeated the president's long-standing position that the deal does not address troubling non-nuclear behavior despite the hopes of those who negotiated it.

    In her comments, Mogherini also alluded to North Korea, but made the opposite argument, saying "the international community cannot afford to dismantle an agreement that is working." Mogherini declined to say whether Tillerson had pledged to remain committed to the deal, but said the European Union is committed to preserving it. She suggested that US complaints about Iran's troublesome non-nuclear activities should be discussed in a different forum.


  • Iran said on Saturday that it had successfully tested a new medium-range missile in defiance of Facebook and military parade in Tehran on Friday, the 37th anniversary of the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war. The missile was named after a city in southwestern Iran that was a ravaged in that war and liberated by the Iranians after a month of fierce fighting. 

    State television carried footage of the launch of the Khoramshahr missile, which was first displayed at a high-profile military parade in Tehran on Friday, the 37th anniversary of the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war. The missile was named after a city in southwestern Iran that was a ravaged in that war and liberated by the Iranians after a month of fierce fighting.

    The footage also carried in-flight video from the nose cone.

  • Dec. 4, 2006: Syria's President Bashar Assad (R) meets with Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Damascus, Syria (Photo: AP)

    Iran is working to restore a lost link in its network of alliances in the Middle East, trying to bring Hamas fully back into the fold after the Palestinian militant group had a bitter fall-out with Iranian ally Syria over that country's civil war.

    Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah are quietly trying to mediate a reconciliation between Syria and Hamas. If they succeed, it would shore up a weak spot in the alliance at a time when Iran has strengthened ties with Syria and Iraq, building a bloc of support across the region to counter Israel and the United States' Arab allies. 

     Hamas had long been based in Syria, receiving Damascus' support in the militant group's campaign against Israel. Hamas' powerful leadership-in-exile remained in Syria even after the group took power in the Gaza Strip in 2007. Together with Iran and the Shiite guerrilla group Hezbollah, they touted themselves as the "Axis of Resistance" to oppose Israel.

  • Additional hurricanes, beyond that of Jose and Maria, are likely over the Atlantic and may threaten the United States for the rest of the 2017 season.

    Hurricane season runs through the end of November, and it is possible the Atlantic may continue to produce tropical storms right up to the wire and perhaps into December.

    "I think we will have four more named storms this year, after Maria," according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

    "Of these, three may be hurricanes and one may be a major hurricane," Kottlowski said.

  • US President Donald Trump is seen ahead of his with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in at New York's Palace Hotel during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly September 21, 2017. (photo: AFP, Brendan Smialowski)

    US President Donald Trump on Friday warned “madman” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he would be “tested,” the latest in an exchange of insults between the two.

    “Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!” Trump tweeted.

    Trump “insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of a war in history,” Kim said, according to the official Korean Central News Agency. He blasted Trump’s maiden speech to the United Nations General Assembly as “unprecedented rude nonsense.”

  • A picture released by Israeli Defence Forces press office shows a launch of a Patriot missile in southern Israel. (photo: Reuters)

    Arab media reports on Thursday night claimed that Israel attacked a weapons depot next to Damascus International Airport. 

    A report from one daily, Al Arabia Al Jadid, said that a series of explosions shook the airport. Al Masdar News, a Lebanese outlet, also reported that an Israeli drone attack the airport, citing a report from the Syrian military that the attack did not seriously damage the airport or its surroundings, and that there were no casualties.

  • Top diplomats from Germany, Russia, China and Italy insisted Thursday there can be no turning back on the Iran nuclear deal after President Donald Trump suggested that he may seek a renegotiation or simply walk away from the pact.

    “How are we going to convince countries like North Korea that international agreements provide them with security — and in so doing make them commit to future disarmament efforts — if the only international example for such an endeavor being successful, the agreement with Iran, no longer has effect?” asked Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, addressing the UN General Assembly.

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Provocative Commentary

“The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day.” 
― E.M. Bounds