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Congress News Headlines - Yahoo! News

This feed includes news on our Congress from Yahoo.

Putin says use of US force against Iran would be 'disaster'

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said any use of force by the US against Iran would lead to disaster as tensions escalate between Washington and Tehran. "The US says it does not rule out the use of force... This would be a disaster for the region," Putin said during an annual televised phone-in with screened questions posed by Russian viewers. Moscow has backed Tehran in its stand off with the United States since Washington pulled out of an international 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran last year.

Witness: Navy SEAL called dead prisoner an 'ISIS dirtbag'

A Navy SEAL charged with killing a captive militant boy in his care had told fellow troops that if they encountered a wounded enemy, he wanted medics to know how "to nurse him to death," a former comrade testified Wednesday. When a radio call announced an Islamic State prisoner was wounded on May 3, 2017, Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher replied: "Don't touch him, he's all mine," Dylan Dille told jurors in a military courtroom. The captive was on the hood of a Humvee fading in an out of consciousness with only a minor leg wound visible when Iraqi forces delivered him to a SEAL compound in Mosul.

9/11 responder who appeared with Jon Stewart on Capitol Hill is now in hospice care

Lou Alvarez, a 53-year-old former NYPD detective who testified alongside Jon Stewart at last week’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on reauthorizing the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, says his cancer has worsened.

Former Interpol chief pleads guilty in Chinese bribery case amid crackdown by authorities

Meng Hongwei, the former president of Interpol, confessed to accepting more than $2 million (£1.6 million) in bribes and expressed regret for his crime, a Chinese court said Thursday. The No. 1 Intermediate Court in the northeastern port city of Tianjin said Mr Meng read a statement containing the confession at a hearing. That move assures a conviction, although it isn't immediately clear when a verdict and sentence would be handed down. Admitting guilt and expressing regret can result in slightly lighter punishment, although China has been quick to hand out life sentences as it cracks down on corruption and political disloyalty under a campaign run directly by the president and head of the ruling Communist Party, Xi Jinping. Elected president of the international police organization in 2016, Mr Meng disappeared into custody after traveling to China from France at the end of September. Interpol was not informed of Mr Meng's detention and was forced to ask China about his whereabouts. Interpol vice president Alexander Prokopchuk and and Meng Hongwei pictured in 2017 Credit: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images The Tianjin court said Mr Meng had abused his positions, including as a vice minister of public security and maritime police chief, to curry favor for others in return for bribes. Shown on television wearing a plain brown windbreaker and flanked by two bailiffs, Mr Meng appeared older and grayer than during his time as one of the nation's top law enforcement officers. He has already been fired from his positions and kicked out of the Communist Party. While serving at Interpol, Mr Meng retained his title as a vice minister of public security. There are suspicions he had fallen out of political favor with Mr Xi, who has come down hard on corruption and perceived disloyalty in what observers say is calculated to strengthen party control while bringing down potential challengers to his authority. Mr Meng's wife, Grace, has remained in France, where Mr Meng was stationed for Lyon-based Interpol, and has accused Chinese authorities of creating a "fake case" against him for political reasons.

Has "the sacrificial lamb" arrived?: UN cites new recordings in Khashoggi murder

Moments before Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered last October, two of his suspected murderers laying in wait at the kingdom's Istanbul consulate fretted about the task at hand, according to a U.N. report published on Wednesday. Will it "be possible to put the trunk in a bag?" asked Maher Mutreb, a Saudi intelligence officer who worked for a senior advisor to Saudi crown prince, according to a report from the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions. Mutreb and 10 others are now standing trial in closed hearings in Saudi Arabia for their role in the crime.

As U.S. Boosts Pressure, Iran Tests Trump's Appetite for a Fight

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s campaign vow to get the U.S. out of costly foreign entanglements is colliding with the messy reality of America’s commitments in the Middle East, where tensions are rising between Washington and Tehran after attacks on two tankers last week.The dilemma emerged again as the administration ordered another 1,000 troops to the region on Monday in response to what Trump officials say was Iran’s role in the latest strikes. The Tehran government has rejected those accusations.So far the international response to the U.S. charges has been muted. With the rhetoric on both the American and Iranian sides rising, the relatively small deployment announced Monday appears calibrated to show the U.S. will push back on what it sees as Iran’s bad behavior without changing the balance of American power in the region.“Trump is very determined to avoid getting dragged into a military conflict if he can avoid it,” said Gary Samore, a former White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction in the Obama administration.The president seemed to reinforce that impression in a Time magazine interview published late Monday. “So far, it’s been very minor,” he said of the attacks. Asked if he was considering a military confrontation, he told Time, “I wouldn’t say that. I can’t say that at all.”A Navy explosives expert who briefed reporters on the attacks at the Pentagon on Monday said the mines attached to a Japanese tanker were above the water line, which may indicate the attackers meant to damage the ship but not destroy it. A Pentagon spokesman later said the expert wasn’t part of the U.S.’s official investigation into the attacks.Analysts say that the broader Trump approach to foreign policy -- exerting maximum pressure on adversaries to force concessions -- raises the risk of an unintended conflict and has yet to pay off. From Tehran to Caracas to Pyongyang, U.S. efforts to force hostile regimes to back down have met stubborn resistance, despite threats or demands from officials including National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.Read More: Pentagon Shares New Photos, Timeline of Gulf Oil Tanker AttacksBefore Bolton joined the Trump administration last year, he publicly advocated war with Iran to eliminate its nuclear program. And it was Pompeo who last year announced a lengthy list of demands Iran had to meet to enter talks with the U.S., only to have the president say he just wished officials in Tehran would call him to work things out.“If it was up to others like Bolton and Pompeo, they would advocate more aggressive action but I don’t see any sign Trump is spoiling for a fight,” Samore said.The mixed messages and a general distrust of American motives have fueled doubts about U.S. intentions toward Iran, even among allies. The situation has been exacerbated, analysts say, by Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord and his administration’s general skepticism of alliances and multilateral institutions.“Unfortunately, our great comparative advantage as a nation — building and working with alliances — has eroded, particularly with respect to Iran,” Brett McGurk, Trump’s former envoy to the global coalition to combat the Islamic State, wrote in a tweet June 14. “Key western allies warned of this very circumstance and sequence of events when the US began its maximum pressure campaign a year ago.”Trump may be even less willing to consider military force this week given he will symbolically kick off his re-election campaign on Tuesday in Florida. Though he campaigned in 2016 on promises to get out of overseas conflicts, Trump has struggled to draw down troops in Syria and Afghanistan, and now is in the position of sending more forces to the Middle East as he tries to convince voters he deserves another four years in office.Sensing inconsistencies in Trump’s strategy, leaders in Tehran may even be trying to call the president’s bluff.Limited OptionsIranian officials have indicated the country may stop abiding by some elements of the 2015 nuclear accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in days, a move experts argue is a carefully calibrated bid to exert new pressure for sanctions relief on European nations that have urged Iran to remain in the deal.Short of war, options for additional U.S. pressure include stepping up military escorts for tankers in the Gulf region or striking boats or facilities belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the U.S. has said was involved in the latest attacks.Air Force General Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs, said Tuesday in Washington that the U.S. has communicated a message to Iran of “hands off -- don’t come after our forces” in public statements as well as through Iraqi and Swiss intermediaries.If Iran “comes after U.S. citizens, U.S. assets or the U.S. military we reserve the right to respond with military action -- and they need to know that,” Silva, the No. 2 U.S. military official, said at a breakfast with defense reporters.Selva, who’s retiring next month, said tanker escorts like those the U.S. organized in the 1980s, would be “ill-advised” unless the “international community” fully participates.‘Lot of Hysteria’“There’s a lot of hysteria that holding Iran accountable has to be justified as a prelude to war,” said Ray Takeyh, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “We’re already in the midst of a low-intensity conflict that has managed to regulate itself.”Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a close Trump supporter, told reporters on Tuesday that “nobody’s talking about an Iraq War, but we are talking about a military response on the the table that would cripple their ability” to disrupt oil flow and about “destroying their ability to refine oil.”Yet others among Trump’s allies, such as Republican Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, caution that the U.S. and Iran must not edge closer to conflict.McCaul said that American forces in the region are in a “defensive posture” to protect transit through the Straits of Hormuz and he warned that military action against Iran would be “very, very complicated.”“I don’t think anyone has the appetite for war, although we do have military plans, obviously, contingency plans, in the event that is to happen,” McCaul said on Bloomberg Television. “I would caution that Iran is about the size of Iraq and Afghanistan combined and it would be very, very complicated."(Updates with Senator Graham in second paragraph after ‘Lot of Hystery’ subheadline.)\--With assistance from Margaret Talev, Daniel Flatley and Tony Capaccio.To contact the reporter on this story: Nick Wadhams in Washington at nwadhams@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Faries at wfaries@bloomberg.net, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

The Stealth Sniper: The F-22 Raptor Has a New Job

The flying branch only bought 187 operational Raptors — out of an original goal of 381. The F-22 also won’t fly into the 2060s without upgrades. Three years ago, four F-22 Raptors taking part in the second-wave of the U.S.-led coalition’s opening airstrikes on Islamic State in Syria dropped their bombs. It was the first time the stealthy fifth-generation fighters had ever engaged in combat. The coalition’s war planners also used the F-22s to leverage their low-observable profiles — and far-reaching sensors — while escorting non-stealthy fighters in case Syrian fighters or air-defense systems engaged.Fortunately, the Syrian military held its fire.Fast forward to today, and F-22 Raptors are still flying over Iraq and Syria and have shifted almost fully into that latter role, according to Air Force Magazine. “When we first got here, we were 95 percent precision strike. And now we’re probably 95 percent air superiority,” Lt. Col. “Shell” — a callsign — of the 27th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron told the magazine.This first appeared in October 2017.

You Can Visit These 5 Vanderbilt-Family Homes

Gloria Vanderbilt’s ancestors had an impressive real estate portfolio

Huge great white shark surprises stunned New Jersey fishermen

A party of fishermen about 30 miles southeast of the Manasquan Inlet got a shocking visitor: a huge great white shark.

Sacramento police officer shot, killed while on domestic violence call

Sacramento Police Ofc. Tara O'Sullivan was shot and killed while trying to help a woman connected to a domestic violence call. The 26-year-old East Bay native was described as a person with a bubbly personality, big dreams and a big heart.

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