Iran rejects anti-Semitism allegation by Pence
Iran on Saturday rejected accusations of anti-Semitism leveled against it by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, saying it respected Judaism but opposed Israel, which Tehran said was acting like a "killing machine against the Palestinians". Pence accused Iran of Nazi-like anti-Semitism on Friday after visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, maintaining his harsh rhetoric just a day after attacking European powers for trying to undermine U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic. "Iran's historic and cultural record of coexistence and respect for divine religions, particularly Judaism, is recorded in reliable historic documents of various nations," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said.
North Koreans pay tribute to Kim's father in freezing cold
The Day of the Shining Star dawned bitterly cold in Pyongyang. Kim, the son of the isolated North's founder Kim Il Sung and the father and predecessor of current leader Kim Jong Un, was born on February 16. According to Pyongyang's orthodoxy, he came into the world in 1942, in a snow-covered hut at a secret camp on the slopes of Mount Paektu, the spiritual birthplace of the Korean people, where his father was fighting occupying Japanese forces.
Iran general says Pakistan backs group behind suicide bomb
Iran's Revolutionary Guards accused "Pakistan's security forces" of supporting the perpetrators of a suicide bombing that killed 27 troops on Wednesday, in remarks state TV aired Saturday. "Pakistan's government, who has housed these anti-revolutionaries and threats to Islam, knows where they are and they are supported by Pakistan's security forces," said Revolutionary Commander Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, referring to jihadist group Jaish al-Adl ("Army of Justice").
Trump's Emergency Risks Touching Off New Battle With Congress
House Democrats may pass a resolution disapproving the emergency declaration, which the White House says allows him to take $3.6 billion from military construction projects to instead build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer could force a vote on the resolution after it passes the House, and there are indications that several Republicans would support it. In the political worst case for the president, he’d have to veto the resolution.
U.S. Weighs New PDVSA Sanctions as Next Step Against Maduro
The move is one of several options the administration is considering to help the country through a “major” political transition, according to Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and two people familiar with the matter. “I know the White House and the Treasury Department are focused on the best path forward, but the main goal is to ensure that we preserve the assets and resources that rightfully belong to the Venezuelan people and block the Maduro regime from using them for personal gain and repression,” McCaul said in an emailed statement.