Israel considered intervening in Syrian civil war before Russia stepped in

(Worthy News) – Israel considered military intervention in the ‎Syrian civil war before Russia stepped in to aid ‎President Bashar Assad, senior officials admitted Wednesday.‎

The possibility was considered about three years ‎ago, at the height of the conflict ravaging ‎Israel’s neighbor to the north. ‎

The Russian military intervention in the Syrian ‎civil war began in September 2015, after an official ‎request by Assad for ‎military aid in his war against the rebels trying to ‎unseat him and various jihadist groups, including al-Qaida and ‎Islamic State. ‎[ Source: Israel Hayom (Read More…) ]

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US says it will stay in Syria until jihadists defeated, demands Iran leave

(Worthy News) – The Trump administration is now pledging the US will remain in Syria until the “enduring defeat” of the Islamic State group, a move that could signal open-ended American involvement in the war-torn country.

The announcement “means we’re not in a hurry to pull out,” the US special representative for Syria, James Jeffrey, told journalists in Washington Thursday, although he added that didn’t necessarily mean a long-term American military presence in the country.

President Donald Trump has previously expressed a desire to get the US out of Syria. There are roughly 2,000 U.S. troops deployed there, according to the Pentagon. [ Source: Times of Israel (Read More…) ]

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Political rows, worsening security greet Mattis in Afghanistan

(Worthy News) – U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in Kabul on Friday to meet the new commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan and discuss progress on talks with the Taliban, despite deteriorating security and turmoil within the Afghan government.

The United States is a year into its latest attempt to step up pressure on the Taliban by increasing air strikes and sending thousands more troops to train and advise Afghan forces, but the effort has yet to make Afghanistan more secure and stable. The 17-year-old war is America’s longest conflict.

Mattis is accompanied by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine General Joseph Dunford. [ Source: Reuters (Read More…) ]

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Trump won’t answer Mueller’s obstruction questions, Giuliani says

(Worthy News) – President Donald Trump will not answer federal investigators’ questions, in writing or in person, about whether he tried to block the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, one of the president’s attorneys told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said questions about obstruction of justice were a “no-go.”

Giuliani’s statement was the most definitive rejection yet of special counsel Robert Mueller’s efforts to interview the president about any efforts to obstruct the investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and Russians. It signals the Trump’s lawyers are committed to protecting the president from answering questions about actions the president took in office. [ Source: Washington Times (Read More…) ]

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U.S. has seen evidence of Syria preparing chemical weapons in Idlib: envoy

(Worthy News) – There is “lots of evidence” that chemical weapons are being prepared by Syrian government forces in Idlib in northwest Syria, the new U.S. adviser for Syria said on Thursday, as he warned of the risks of an offensive on the country’s last big rebel enclave.

“I am very sure that we have very, very good grounds to be making these warnings,” said Jim Jeffrey, who was named on Aug. 17 as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s special adviser on Syria overseeing talks on a political transition in that country.

“Any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation,” Jeffrey told a few reporters in his first interview on the situation in Syria since his appointment. “There is lots of evidence that chemical weapons are being prepared.” [ Source: Reuters (Read More…) ]

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Church of England numbers in Britain are at record low: survey

(Worthy News) – The number of Britons who describe themselves as belonging to the Church of England has fallen to a record low with more than half now saying they have no religion, according to a survey published on Friday.

Just 14 percent of Britons identified themselves as Church of England, down from 31 percent 15 years ago, the British Social Attitudes survey found. The number saying they had no religion rose from 41 to 52 percent.

Church of Scotland numbers also fell from 31 percent in 2002 to 18 percent. [ Source: Reuters (Read More…) ]

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Democrats, Republicans both claim victory in explosive Kavanaugh hearing

(Worthy News) – Democrats and Republicans were all smiles Thursday after fireworks erupted in the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing amid a heated battle over the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Senate Democrats enjoyed the opportunity to relieve a pressure valve with liberal activists frustrated at their perceived lack of aggressive action to block President Trump’s pick to succeed Anthony Kennedy on the high court. Senate Republicans welcomed the chance to amass more evidence to use against vulnerable, red-state Democratic incumbents in the fast-approaching midterm elections.

It was a rare, win-win on Capitol Hill. [ Source: Washington Examiner (Read More…) ]

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6.3-earthquake shakes Ecuador capital Quito

(Worthy News) – A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck near Ecuador’s capital city of Quito late Thursday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Approximately two million people live within 60 miles of the region that was struck hardest by the natural disaster.

Ecuadorian officials have not shared the number of people killed, wounded, or missing as a result of the incident. [ Source: Washington Examiner (Read More…) ]

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Unemployment claims fall to 49-year low

(Worthy News) – The number of U.S. workers filing for unemployment benefits fell to near a 49-year low last week, as the labor market continues to show strength.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell to a seasonally adjusted 203,000 for the week ending Sept. 1, a drop of 10,000 from the previous week, the lowest level since December 1969, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The four-week moving average, which is a better indicator of where the job market is headed, was 209,500, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week, the lowest level for this average since Dec. 6, 1969, when it was 204,500. [ Source: The Hill (Read More…) ]

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‘Incompetence’: Bungling district attorney blasted for allowing terror suspects to go free

(Worthy News) – The New Mexico compound leaders suspected of running a terrorist training camp are back in custody, but the district attorney whose bungling allowed them to go free is facing calls for his resignation.

Taos District Attorney Donald Gallegos has come under fire after his office missed a deadline requiring a preliminary hearing to be held within 10 days of the Aug. 3 arrests, leading judges last week to drop all child abuse charges against the five clan members.

Three were released from jail. Two days later, the FBI arrested them after U.S. Attorney for New Mexico John C. Anderson filed federal weapons and conspiracy charges against the Wahhaj defendants, one of whom, Jany Leveille of Haiti, has resided in the country illegally for 20 years. [ Source: Washington Times (Read More…) ]

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