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U.S. targets ‘bad actors,’ levying sanctions against Iran and rallying leaders against Russia

Press Room



Signaling that the Russian struggle in Ukraine has triggered an existential disaster for the United Nations, a number of of its key members on Thursday harshly denounced Moscow’s actions, however didn’t take new steps to cease the bloodshed and meals, vitality and humanitarian crises unleashed worldwide.

And in a separate motion, the Biden administration imposed financial sanctions Thursday on Iran’s infamous “morality police” in response to the dying of a younger lady of their custody. The weird transfer by the U.S. — sanctions usually goal army and political entities, not social-control our bodies in Iran — got here a day after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi addressed the U.N. Common Meeting.

Raisi sought to deflect worldwide outrage amid widespread road protests in Iran over the dying of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian Kurd who was reportedly arrested as a result of her government-obliged scarf didn’t fully cowl her hair. Raisi refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing, citing as an alternative the human rights abuses of the U.S. and different Western nations.

Individuals protest Wednesday towards Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi exterior the United Nations in New York Metropolis over the dying of Mahsa Amini. The 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian lady died final week within the custody of the morality police after allegedly permitting a few of her hair to point out.


(Stephanie Keith / Getty Photographs)

Iran’s morality police are males who implement gown codes and different restrictions on girls and broader society. The brand new U.S. sanctions embody some legislation enforcement figures in response to Iran’s crackdown on the protests over Amini’s dying — repression that has killed a number of extra individuals.

“The Iranian authorities wants to finish its systemic persecution of girls and permit peaceable protest,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken mentioned. “America will proceed to voice our assist for human rights in Iran and maintain those that violate them to account.”

Accountability, whether or not for Iran over punishment of dissent or for Russia over alleged atrocities in Ukraine, was entrance and heart at this week’s annual U.N. Common Meeting as members mentioned a world mired in seemingly insurmountable troubles.


With leaders from around the globe convening in New York, delegates used a rare assembly of the United Nations Safety Council, the U.N.’s governing physique, to chastise Russian President Vladimir Putin for breaking key worldwide guidelines — these on the basis of the U.N. — in his ruthless assault on Ukraine.

Workers lifting a dirt-covered body from a hole in the ground.

Employees exhume the physique of a civilian final week close to the just lately recaptured metropolis of Izium, Ukraine, the place a mass burial web site with lots of of graves was found. Witnesses and a Ukrainian investigator mentioned among the useless had been shot and others had been killed by Russian artillery fireplace, mines or airstrikes.

(Evgeniy Maloletka / Related Press)

Russia “is violating the very guidelines this physique was created for,” mentioned the international minister of Lithuania, Gabrielius Landsbergis, in one in all a list of speeches delivered by the council’s 15 members and Ukraine.

In a present of assist for Ukraine, Landsbergis wore a blue-and-yellow wristband — the colours of its flag — along with his darkish go well with.


“The very worldwide order that we have now gathered right here to uphold is being shredded earlier than our eyes,” Blinken mentioned. “We can not — we is not going to — permit President Putin to get away with it.”

But if the U.N. is seen as more and more ineffective, it’s unclear how world leaders ought to confront multinational challenges.

Thursday’s Common Meeting session was convened to debate peace and safety in Ukraine and the problems of impunity and accountability. For many delegations, that meant holding Russia accountable for invading Ukraine and allegedly committing atrocities in quite a few Ukrainian cities and areas.

Moscow’s consultant, nonetheless, mentioned Ukraine had loved impunity and ought to be blamed.

Russian Overseas Minister Sergey Lavrov used his feedback to show the struggle narrative on its head, repeating Moscow’s competition that the battle was Ukraine’s fault due to what he referred to as the abuse and repression of Russian audio system and ethnic Russians in japanese Ukraine, the place Moscow-backed separatists have operated for a number of years. And he repeated the Russian assertion that the large nation is the one underneath army menace, from Ukraine and its Western backers.


“After all, the Kyiv regime,” Lavrov mentioned, implicitly refusing to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Ukrainian authorities, “owes its impunity to its Western sponsors, initially Germany and France but in addition the USA.

“Significantly cynical is the states which might be pumping Ukraine filled with weapons, and coaching their troopers,” he mentioned, with the aim of “dragging out the combating so long as doable despite the victims and destruction, with the intention to put on down and weaken Russia.”

There had been hypothesis amongst U.S. officers that Lavrov won’t attend the session to keep away from the anticipated barrage of criticism. He appeared shortly earlier than his flip to talk and left instantly afterward.

British Overseas Secretary James Cleverly, who just lately took the job when Liz Truss was named to exchange British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, described Lavrov’s characterization of the struggle as “Russia’s catalogues of distortions, dishonesty and disinformation.”

In a dig, Ukrainian Overseas Minister Dmytro Kuleba mentioned after Lavrov departed the chamber that Russian diplomats appear to flee as shortly as their troopers. It was a reference to studies of large desertions by troops deployed by Putin forward of Ukrainian advances.


The Biden administration has sought to shore up assist for Western-led efforts to arm, prepare and again Ukraine in its struggle with Russia. Some nations that depend on Russian weapons or gasoline, resembling India, have been reluctant.

In Thursday’s speeches, Blinken and others portrayed the struggle as a tragedy that goes far past Ukraine and Europe, affecting the International South and nations in Asia and Africa that have been lower off from meals provides when Russia blockaded Ukraine’s Black Sea ports and its shipments of thousands and thousands of tons of grain, fertilizer and cooking oil.

“On the international degree, the battle has supercharged a triple disaster of meals, vitality and finance,” U.N. Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres mentioned in convening the assembly.

“That is driving thousands and thousands extra individuals into excessive poverty and starvation and reversing years of progress in improvement,” he mentioned, citing issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the local weather disaster.

Particularly crucial, Guterres, Blinken and different diplomats say, is Russia’s violation of the U.N. Constitution, its foundational paperwork, through the use of pressure to aim to take over a sovereign neighboring nation. Each President Biden and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky additionally denounced this abuse by Putin and prompt that Russia be stripped of its veto powers within the Safety Council.


However no such motion was taken Thursday, and it’s not clear whether or not there’s a mechanism for stripping these powers. Binding worldwide sanctions towards Moscow are subsequent to unattainable to place in place via the U.N. attributable to Russia’s veto powers, which have allowed the nation to dam punitive actions towards it.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaking on a screen, with the United Nations logo in the foreground.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, addressing the U.N. Common Meeting by way of video on Wednesday, has joined U.S. President Biden in suggesting that Russia be stripped of its veto powers within the Safety Council.

(Jason DeCrow / Related Press)

“Defending Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is about rather more than standing up for one nation’s proper to decide on its personal path, elementary as that proper is,” Blinken mentioned Thursday. “It’s additionally about defending a world order the place no nation can redraw the borders of one other by pressure.

“If we fail to defend this precept when the Kremlin is so flagrantly violating it, we ship a message to aggressors in every single place that they will ignore it, too,” he continued. “We put each nation in danger. We open the door to a much less safe, a much less peaceable world.”


Blinken and others famous that removed from standing down or searching for a diplomatic answer, Putin this week selected to order tens of 1000’s extra Russians into the battle on the very time the world’s leaders have been assembly on the U.N.

“It is a struggle you’ll not win,” German Overseas Minister Annalena Baerbock mentioned, addressing Putin with out naming him. “Cease sending extra of your individual residents to their deaths…. Cease driving starvation around the globe…. Cease paralyzing this [U.N.] physique.”

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Sandy Hook Parents Tie Years of Threats and Vitriol to Alex Jones

Press Room



WATERBURY, Conn. — For practically a decade, Robbie and Alissa Parker stayed mum in regards to the injury Alex Jones’s lies about their daughter Emilie’s demise at Sandy Hook Elementary had achieved to their household.

This week they ended their silence in a Connecticut courtroom, delivering a wrenching and indignant rebuke to Mr. Jones, who for years on his Infowars present and web site replayed Mr. Parker’s televised tribute to his daughter the night time after her demise within the 2012 capturing, calling him an “actor” and his presentation about Emilie “disgusting.”

“I’d been taught that you simply don’t have interaction with a bully,” Mr. Parker instructed a jury on Thursday. However he determined to sue Mr. Jones for defamation as a result of “I already felt like I failed Emilie when she was alive as a result of I despatched her to highschool.” By not combating again towards the false theories, “I used to be beginning to really feel like I used to be failing her in her demise.”

Mr. Parker is a key witness within the Connecticut damages case, which households of eight Sandy Hook victims and an F.B.I. agent implicated within the conspiracy theories gained by default. The jury will resolve how a lot Mr. Jones and Infowars should pay in damages.

Mr. Jones aired video of Mr. Parker’s remarks on the night time after his daughter’s homicide, labeling him a liar in assaults that continued for years. In so doing Mr. Jones made Mr. Parker the face of his bogus claims that the Dec. 14, 2012, mass capturing that killed 20 first graders and 6 educators at Sandy Hook Elementary College in Newtown, Conn., was staged by the federal government as a pretext for gun management, and the households have been complicit within the plot.


Mr. Parker had not identified he was the primary Sandy Hook relative to talk publicly when he agreed to fulfill what he thought could be one reporter in entrance of his church in Newtown. Confronted with a sea of cameras and reporters, he gave a brief, nervous giggle earlier than launching into an emotional memory of Emilie as a giant sister, proficient artist and empathetic 6-year-old who drew footage and playing cards for folks she sensed have been upset. Mr. Jones seized on that giggle to assault Mr. Parker as an actor, in a number of broadcasts over time, excerpts from which have been aired for the jury.

On Wednesday, Alissa Parker testified that the vicious feedback and threats from believers within the hoax on a memorial Fb web page honoring Emilie so terrified her that she couldn’t keep in mind a lot of her daughter’s funeral. Mr. Parker testified that 5 minutes earlier than the companies, he discovered Mrs. Parker hiding in a coat closet, afraid to attend the funeral.

Grief needs to be “sacred,” Mr. Parker stated Thursday, however he stated Mr. Jones and his followers had stolen that from him.


Mr. Parker’s testimony was his first alternative to handle Mr. Jones with what he has endured. The Infowars fabulist was not in courtroom on Thursday; he has skipped a lot of the trial aside from someday of testimony final week, when he loudly declared he was “achieved” apologizing for defaming the eight victims’ households along with his lies in regards to the 2012 capturing and their struggling.

In testimony on Wednesday and Thursday, Mr. and Mrs. Parker demonstrated to the jury how Mr. Jones’s phrases — and the digital siege that adopted — terrified them, disrupted Emilie’s funeral and ignited on-line abuse, demise threats and a confrontation on the road with a person who verbally attacked Mr. Parker, adopted him for blocks and requested him how a lot he had earned from the federal government for mendacity in regards to the capturing.

Mr. Parker instructed the jury on Thursday that he may inform with out watching Infowars when Mr. Jones had talked about him on his present as a result of threats to his household surged. However the relations didn’t struggle again till this lawsuit, Mr. Parker stated, as a result of they have been afraid that partaking with the conspiracy theorists would ratchet up the assaults.

Late final 12 months, Mr. Jones misplaced 4 separate defamation lawsuits filed by the households of 10 Sandy Hook victims. The households’ sweeping victory set in movement three trials for juries to resolve how a lot Mr. Jones ought to pay the households in compensatory and punitive damages.

Within the first trial earlier this summer season, a jury in Austin, Texas, awarded Scarlett Lewis and Neil Heslin, mother and father of Jesse Lewis, who died at Sandy Hook, practically $50 million, although that complete could also be revised as a result of Texas legislation caps verdicts at far much less.


The Connecticut trial is the second of the three, with testimony scheduled to conclude late subsequent week. Connecticut legislation permits for a probably ruinous monetary verdict towards Mr. Jones, who was discovered to have violated a state legislation prohibiting the usage of lies to promote merchandise.

Mr. Jones has reaped greater than $50 million in revenues yearly in recent times by promoting weight loss plan dietary supplements, gun paraphernalia and survivalist gear on his broadcasts.

In excerpts from a videotaped deposition proven to the jury after Mr. Parker’s testimony on Thursday, David Jones, Mr. Jones’s father and the Infowars worker who acquired him into the dietary supplements enterprise, testified that Mr. Jones’s broadcasts used “puffery” to capitalize on viewers’ fears and promote merchandise.

“Our prospects are so loyal to us,” David Jones stated, “that if we are saying one thing is sweet and good for you, they’re going to purchase it, and purchase a number of it.”

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Democrats blaming climate change for Hurricane Ian at odds with science, experts say

Press Room



A number of consultants contacted by Fox Information Digital argued that there is not enough proof to recommend local weather change prompted Hurricane Ian or any particular person pure catastrophe.

The consultants’ feedback come as a collection of media retailers, Democrats and progressive commentators proceed in charge the hurricane on human-caused international warming. Hurricane Ian slammed into southwest Florida as a Class 4 storm on Wednesday, inflicting greater than one million residents to lose energy and prompting stark security warnings from Florida officers.

“What they’re attempting to do is politicize the ache and struggling of those folks to advertise their inexperienced agenda,” Gregory Wrightstone, the manager director of the local weather coverage assume tank CO2 Coalition, informed Fox Information Digital in an interview. “Effectively, their insurance policies and their agenda to advertise renewables will do far larger financial destruction to the nation and Florida.”

During the last a number of days, media retailers, together with the New York Occasions, Related Press, Politico, NPR and Axios, have printed information tales reporting that local weather change is in charge for Hurricane Ian and the storm’s fast intensification. A Time journal article stated the “science is well-known” that local weather change created the circumstances for Hurricane Ian.



The town of Naples, Florida, is pictured throughout Hurricane Ian on Wednesday.
(Metropolis of Naples)

As well as, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., appeared to recommend that People have to vote for Democrats to keep away from future hurricanes throughout an interview Tuesday. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Sick., tweeted Thursday that “the fast storm intensification we’re seeing with Hurricane Ian will turn out to be extra widespread and extra harmful” because the local weather adjustments.

And a collection of progressive commentators and local weather activists took to social media to equally peg the hurricane on international warming.


“Ian is a local weather change hurricane,” Pam Keith, a former Democratic Senate candidate and founding father of left-wing agency Heart for Employment Justice, tweeted Wednesday.


“[Hurricane Ian] is a textbook instance of local weather change impacting folks,” Nina Turner, a senior fellow at progressive assume tank Institute on Race, Energy and Political Economic system, added. “Local weather change isn’t political, it’s actuality.”

Nevertheless, Wrightstone and the opposite consultants contacted by Fox Information Digital rejected these arguments, arguing that particular person storms can’t be linked to local weather change.

“In the event you learn what [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)] says on hurricanes, there’s simply not sufficient knowledge,” Steve Milloy, a senior authorized fellow on the Power & Surroundings Authorized Institute, informed Fox Information Digital.

“There’s nothing to again up what they’re saying is,” he continued. “There have been about 16 main hurricanes between 1916 and 1965 however solely six since 1965. So, clearly main hurricanes occur with decrease ranges of carbon dioxide. That does not add up for them.”



A NOAA examine final revised in July concluded that its fashions and evaluation did not help the notion that greenhouse gas-induced warming results in massive will increase in both tropical storm or total hurricane numbers within the Atlantic. The examine, authored by senior NOAA scientist Tom Knutson, added that it was “untimely to conclude with excessive confidence” that human-caused rising greenhouse gases have had any influence on hurricane exercise within the Atlantic.

Jamie Rhome, the appearing director of NOAA’s Nationwide Hurricane Heart, echoed the examine’s findings in an interview with CNN on Tuesday, pushing again in opposition to anchor Don Lemon’s argument that Hurricane Ian’s intensification is tied to local weather change. Rhome stated he “would warning in opposition to” linking anybody storm to local weather change.

A satellite image of Hurricane Ian approaching the coast of Florida.

A satellite tv for pc picture of Hurricane Ian approaching the coast of Florida.
(NOAA by way of Getty Photos)

“Attempting in charge international warming for Hurricane Ian not solely defies scientific proof — the clear weight of scientific proof — however it’s a despicable politicization of an actual tragedy that requires our consideration and concentrate on the folks negatively affected,” James Taylor, the president of conservative assume tank Heartland Institute, stated in an interview with Fox Information Digital.

“Some of these hurricanes existed earlier than SUVs and coal-fired energy crops have been invented,” Taylor added. “In truth, they have been way more frequent and extreme earlier than coal energy crops and SUVs.”


Wrightstone, who additionally serves as an professional reviewer for the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change (IPCC), added that the variety of hurricanes this 12 months has truly been decrease than earlier years.

“The IPCC sees no correlation between warming temperatures and extra hurricanes,” he informed Fox Information Digital. “And we noticed that this 12 months. Up till this hurricane, which is very large, it had been nearly traditionally low numbers of hurricanes.”

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Newsom signs bill protecting transgender youths and families fleeing red-state policies

Press Room



Once more heralding California as a refuge from discriminatory insurance policies in conservative states, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a invoice into regulation on Thursday that goals to guard transgender youths and their households from bans towards gender-affirming care.

Senate Invoice 107 by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) offers for a spread of safeguards meant to dam out-of-state makes an attempt to penalize households that come to California looking for medical remedy for transgender kids and teenagers or transfer to the state to keep away from penalties for already looking for that remedy elsewhere.

In a signing message, Newsom stated that state legal guidelines making an attempt to ban medical take care of transgender folks youthful than 18 “demonize” the neighborhood and are an act of hate.


“In California we imagine in equality and acceptance. We imagine that nobody needs to be prosecuted or persecuted for getting the care they want — together with gender-affirming care,” Newsom stated. “Mother and father know what’s finest for his or her children, and they need to be capable of make selections across the well being of their kids with out concern. We should take a stand for parental alternative.”

The brand new regulation prohibits California courts and attorneys from imposing subpoenas requested by different states about gender-affirming take care of minors, and healthcare suppliers from releasing medical info.

The invoice additionally declares that any potential out-of-state arrest warrant for violating legal guidelines associated to such care shall be given “the bottom regulation enforcement precedence.”

“Whereas assaults on the transgender neighborhood are usually not new, we’re experiencing alarmingly blatant makes an attempt to make use of laws, coverage and political rhetoric to limit or remove the autonomy, freedom and existence of transgender folks throughout the nation,” the advocacy group Equality California stated in an announcement of assist for the invoice.

The California invoice comes after greater than 20 Republican-led states have launched laws to outlaw gender-affirming medical take care of younger folks, and to penalize dad and mom and healthcare suppliers who permit it.


The precise enactment of insurance policies to restrict that care has largely been stalled as states face authorized challenges on the federal stage. In August, a federal appeals court docket in Arkansas dominated that the state can’t implement its ban on transgender kids receiving gender-affirming medical care.

However Wiener stated California can not financial institution on such blockages persevering with.

“We don’t know what’s going to play out in attraction or if states will discover different kinds of legal guidelines they will get by means of to courts,” Wiener stated in an interview earlier than the invoice’s passage. “It will be completely negligence for us to say we’re not going to do something till certainly one of these legal guidelines will get upheld and somebody will get put in jail.”

Whether or not SB 107 itself shall be upheld in court docket can be in query due to federal necessities that states should acknowledge out-of-state legal guidelines when residents journey.

Final-minute amendments to the invoice embody a severability clause as a result of “it’s unclear whether or not this invoice will run afoul of the Structure,” based on a legislative evaluation of the measure. Severability permits elements of a regulation to stay in impact even when different provisions are struck down.


Wiener acknowledged that uncertainty, and stated that the invoice was crafted fastidiously to keep away from violations of the U.S. Structure, however stated that California mustn’t act as “an arm of regulation enforcement of the states of Texas or Alabama.”

“We might have limits underneath the U.S. Structure, however we’re going to go proper as much as the sting of what we’re in a position to do to guard them and say, ‘Until we’re completely compelled to ship you again, we’re not going to ship you again,’” he stated of potential households of transgender youth who might come to California.

California has additionally labeled itself a “sanctuary state” for these looking for abortions, which a number of states have banned following the U.S. Supreme Court docket’s resolution to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the historic 1973 ruling that granted a authorized proper to the process.

As with California’s try and assist out-of-state residents looking for abortions, the influence of SB 107 is difficult to estimate as a result of many individuals in different states don’t have the choice or monetary wherewithal to abruptly transfer to California.

“We are able to’t clear up all the things in a single invoice. We’re ensuring that people who find themselves being criminalized have a spot to go,” Wiener stated. “This invoice is about giving folks refuge.”


Gender-affirming care features a vary of “social, psychological, behavioral and medical interventions designed to assist and affirm a person’s gender identification,” based on the World Well being Group.

That may embody hormones and puberty blockers, relying on a toddler’s age. The World Skilled Assn. for Transgender Well being recommends some surgical procedures for sufferers beginning at 15 years outdated, based on new tips launched in June.

Conservative teams opposed the invoice. The California Household Council, which routinely opposes LGBTQ rights laws, stated that SB 107 encourages “medical youngster abuse.”

Sen. Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), who’s operating towards Newsom for governor, stated kids “actually don’t know what their establish is,” and stated the laws would insert the state into household custody battles.

“If one guardian is for it and the opposite is towards it, the state now shall be in the midst of that call,” Dahle stated on the Senate ground earlier than voting towards the measure. “This invoice is mainly placing the state in your house.”


The invoice’s supporters included Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta, Deliberate Parenthood Associates of California and Equality California.

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