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Iran’s President And Foreign Minister Die In Helicopter Crash At Moment Of High Tensions In Mideast

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Iran’s president and foreign minister | AP News image

United Arab Emirates’ DUBAI — Following their helicopter crash in fog on Monday, the bodies of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister were discovered, depriving the Islamic Republic of two important figures at a time when unprecedented tensions are roiling the Middle East.

The Shiite theocracy’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, swiftly appointed a little-known vice president as caretaker and affirmed that the administration was in charge, but the fatalities were yet another setback for a nation already struggling with domestic and international challenges.

The helicopter crashed in high terrain in a sudden, dense fog, but Iran has not claimed responsibility for the incident or implied that sabotage was the cause.

The capital of Iran, Tehran, saw Monday schoolchildren and open businesses. But security forces, both plainclothes and uniformed, were conspicuously present.

Iran’s president and foreign minister

Iran president and foreign minister | AP News Image

Iran’s President And Foreign Minister Die In Helicopter Crash At Moment Of High Tensions In Mideast

Hundreds more mourners poured into downtown Vali-e-Asr square later in the day, waving Palestinian flags and clutching posters of Raisi. A few males were crying clearly and holding prayer beads. Ladies with black chadors stood in a group with pictures of the deceased leader.

The 36-year-old Mohammad Beheshti remarked, “We were shocked that we lost such a character, a character that made Iran proud and humiliated the enemies.”

The disaster occurs while the region is rocked by the Israel-Hamas conflict. The crisis was initiated by an attack spearheaded by Hamas, which Iran sponsors. Hezbollah, which Tehran also backs, has fired missiles at Israel. Iran attacked Israel with its own historic drone and missile attack last month.

Raisi, 63, a hard-liner who once oversaw the nation’s judiciary, was considered Khamenei’s protégé. Under his leadership, Iran’s uranium enrichment program brought it closer to weapons-grade levels, and it provided Russia with drones equipped with bombs to aid in its conflict in Ukraine. As a result, ties with the West continued to worsen.

The situation is made much more delicate by the fact that his government has endured years of large-scale demonstrations for women’s rights and the failing economy.

The state-run IRNA news agency said that all eight occupants of the Bell 212 helicopter, which Iran had purchased in the early 2000s, perished in the crash. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, the province governor of East Azerbaijan, a prominent Tabrizian priest, a Revolutionary Guard officer, and three crew members were among the deceased, according to IRNA.

Since the time of the shah, Bell helicopters have been widely used in Iran. However, due to Western sanctions, planes in Iran frequently operate without safety inspections and experience a shortage of parts. In light of this, former Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif attempted to assign blame for the tragedy to the US.

The United States “embargoed the sale of aircraft and aviation parts to Iran and does not allow the people of Iran to enjoy good aviation facilities,” Zarif told The Associated Press, citing this as one of the main causes of yesterday’s tragedy.

Although U.S. sanctions have prevented Iran from replacing and repairing its fleet for decades, according to Ali Vaez, project director for the International Crisis Group’s Iran program, “one can’t overlook human error and the weather’s role in this particular accident.”

Aerospace researcher and consultant Richard Aboulafia stated that Iran is probably using the black market to obtain parts for maintaining the fleet, but he doubted Iran’s ability to operate older helicopters safely.

“It’s not a good combination to have black-market parts and whatever local maintenance capabilities they have,” he stated.

Iran president and foreign minister

Iran president and foreign minister | AP News Image

Iran’s President And Foreign Minister Die In Helicopter Crash At Moment Of High Tensions In Mideast

According to aviation data business Cirium, there are now 15 Bell 212 helicopters registered in Iran, with an average age of 35. These helicopters may be in storage or actively used.

State TV did not provide an apparent cause for the crash in the Iranian region of East Azerbaijan. However, IRNA footage displayed the accident location, which was across a precipitous valley among a range of lush mountains.

According to U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, the country is still investigating the circumstances surrounding the “very unfortunate helicopter crash,” but it is unable to determine what caused it. He stated, “At this point in time, I don’t necessarily see any broader regional security impacts.”

By the constitution, Khamenei has designated Mohammad Mokhber, the first vice president, as caretaker for the time being. According to IRNA, a successor would be chosen on June 28. According to Iranian state TV, Raisi’s funeral was scheduled for Thursday in his birthplace of Mashhad, with further funerals scheduled for Tuesday.

According to state television, Iran’s nuclear negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, will become the nation’s acting foreign minister.

Soon after Iran confirmed there were no survivors, condolences flowed in from allies and neighbors. In a message on the social media site X, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that his nation “stands with Iran in this time of sorrow.” In a statement by the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin called Raisi “a true friend of Russia.”

Syrian President Bashar Assad, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also extended condolences. Ilham Aliyev, the president of Azerbaijan, expressed his and his government’s “deep shock.” When the tragedy occurred on Sunday, Raisi returned from the border between Iran and Azerbaijan, where he had recently opened a dam with Aliyev.

The tragedy shocked Iranians equally, and Khamenei announced a five-day public mourning period. However, a lot of people have been demoralized by the country’s rial currency collapse and concerns of regional conflicts escalating out of control, particularly with Israel or Pakistan, with which Iran traded gunfire this year.

Tehran resident Mahrooz Mohammadi Zadeh, 53, said, “I don’t think he was as successful as he should have been, but he tried to carry out his duties well.”

Although Khamenei insisted that Iran’s government would continue as usual, Raisi’s passing aroused concerns about what would happen when the 85-year-old supreme leader passed away or resigned. Since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, only two persons have occupied this office, which has the final say on all matters pertaining to the state.

Iran president and foreign minister

Iran president and foreign minister | AP news Image

Iran’s President And Foreign Minister Die In Helicopter Crash At Moment Of High Tensions In Mideast

Raisi was considered a possible candidate. The sole additional individual proposed has been Mojtaba, Khamenei’s 55-year-old son. However, questions have been raised about appointing a family member to a position, especially since the revolution toppled the Shah’s hereditary Pahlavi monarchy.

Iran’s Cabinet promised in a statement during an emergency meeting that it would follow Raisi’s lead and that “there will be no problem with management of the country, with the help of God and the people.”

Iran’s 2021 presidential election was won by Raisi despite the lowest voter turnout in the country’s history. The U.S. imposed sanctions on him partly due to his role in the 1988 horrific Iran-Iraq war death of thousands of political detainees.

Iran now obstructs foreign inspections and enriches uranium almost to weapons-grade levels under Raisi. Iran has armed Russia in the conflict with Ukraine and attacked Israel with a large-scale drone and missile assault as part of its conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Additionally, it has persisted in arming proxies in the Middle East, like as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

For years, the nation has been rocked by widespread protests. The latest concerned Mahsa Amini’s death in 2022; she was a lady held due to her reportedly loose headscarf, or hijab. Following the protests, there was a months-long security crackdown that resulted in over 500 deaths and over 22,000 arrests.

Iran was held accountable by a United Nations investigating panel in March for the “physical violence” that resulted in Amini’s murder.

The second president of Iran to pass away in office was Raisi. President Muhammad Ali Rajai was assassinated by a bomb in 1981 during the tumultuous days following the Islamic Revolution in his nation.

SOURCE – (AP)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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2024: Supreme Court Rules California Man Can’t Trademark ‘Trump Too Small’

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Trump | Pixa Bay Image

WASHINGTON The Supreme Court decided unanimously on Thursday against a man seeking to trademark the oblique phrase “Trump too small.”

The court maintained that the government had the right to refuse Steve Elster, a Californian who wanted to use the slogan only on T-shirts and maybe other products, a trademark. It is one of many legal proceedings involving former President Donald Trump, including significant ones about the bloody assault on the Capitol in 2021. The court established guidelines earlier in the current term enabling public officials to be sued for removing detractors from their social media accounts. These instances had to do with Donald as well.

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trump | AP News image

Supreme Court Rules California Man Can’t Trademark ‘Trump Too Small’

The Justice Department backed President Joe Biden’s presumed opponent in the 2024 election, his predecessor. According to government representatives, the phrase “Trump too small” may still be used, but as Donald had not given his approval, it could not be trademarked. You can already buy “Trump too small” T-shirts online.

Elster’s attorneys had contended that the ruling infringed his right to free speech, and a federal appeals court agreed.

Chief Justice John Roberts warned at arguments that if Elster prevailed, individuals would rush to trademark “Trump too this, Trump too that.”

While the nine judges unanimously agreed to reject Elster’s First Amendment argument, their reasoning varied and comprised 53 pages of opinions.

In the last six years, the justices have twice overturned federal law clauses that denied trademarks deemed scandalous or immoral in one case and insulting in another.

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Trump | PixaBay Image

Supreme Court Rules California Man Can’t Trademark

Elster’s case addressed a different rule that states that unless the person has provided “written consent,” a trademark application containing a name, photograph, or signature “identifying a particular living individual” will be denied.

The core of the lawsuit refers to a conversation Donald had with Florida Senator Marco Rubio during the 2016 campaign. At the time, Rubio was vying for the Republican presidential nomination.

At a speech, Rubio started the verbal sparring by telling supporters that Donald, who claims to be 6 feet 3 inches tall, had disproportionately small hands and that Donald had always called him “little Marco.” Had you looked at his hands? And you are aware of the saying regarding males with little hands, Rubio added. “You can’t rely on them.”

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Trump | Pixa Bay Image

Supreme Court Rules California Man Can’t Trademark ‘Trump Too Small’

Donald later brought up the remark during a televised debate on March 3, 2016.

Stare at those hands. Are those little hands? And he said something about my hands being small, so something else had to be, too. There is no difficulty, I promise you. You have my word,” he declared.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Yellen Says China’s Trade Policies Could ‘Interfere Significantly’ With US Bilateral Relationship

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Chinese “overconcentrated supply chains” threaten American jobs and recent investments intended to strengthen the country’s green energy industry, according to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The Asian superpower’s trade policies “may interfere significantly with our efforts to build a healthy economic relationship.”

Yellen endorsed Biden administration initiatives meant to boost American economic competitiveness in a prepared speech she gave to Wall Street and corporate executives at the Economic Club of New York on Thursday afternoon.

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Yellen | AP News Image

Yellen Says China’s Trade Policies Could ‘Interfere Significantly’ With US Bilateral Relationship

“When foreign subsidies threaten the viability of domestic firms” in important industries like green energy, she added, the United States should react. China’s green energy products are especially feared to undercut significant climate-friendly investments made possible by the Democrats’ August 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law.

Former President Donald Trump is making his argument to the Business Roundtable in Washington, an organization of over 200 CEOs, on why the economy would be better if he were back in the White House while Yellen is speaking.

Voters have heard from Biden and Trump, his likely Republican opponent, that they will be harsh on China.

The United States imposed major new duties this month on Chinese electric cars, cutting-edge batteries, solar cells, steel, aluminum, and medical equipment. On Wednesday, the European Union also acted to increase import duties, or tariffs, on Chinese-made electric vehicles after preliminary findings of a continuing inquiry into Chinese EV subsidies revealed that the nation’s battery electric vehicle “value chain” benefited from “unfair subsidization” that damaged EU competitors.

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Yellen | Forbes Image

Yellen Says China’s Trade Policies Could ‘Interfere Significantly’ With US Bilateral Relationship

Chinese companies can charge as little as $12,000 for an electric vehicle. Chinese officials contend that their manufacturing keeps costs low and would support a shift to a green economy. They also claim that their solar cells and steel and aluminum mills have enough capacity to supply most of the world’s demand.

Among other concerns, Yellen mentioned in her statement on Thursday the proportion of Chinese manufacturing companies that are losing money, the high savings rates compared to other OECD nations, and the stringent investment regulations.

Yellen listed industries where Chinese government subsidies have fueled fast output growth, including the production of electric cars and their batteries and solar energy equipment, which the U.S. administration is attempting to boost domestically.

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Yellen | CNN Image

Yellen Says China’s Trade Policies Could ‘Interfere Significantly’ With US Bilateral Relationship

“I reject the idea that ‘decoupling’ would help the US economy in any way,” she stated. Concurrently, a level playing field is necessary for us to fully enjoy the possible advantages of our economic partnership.

Her trip to Guangzhou and Beijing earlier this year was centered on industrial strategy and what the United States and Europe call China’s manufacturing overcapacity.

SOURCE – (AP)

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President Joe Biden Faces First Lawsuit Over New Asylum Crackdown At The Border

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Biden Administration Plans for Potential Presidential Transition

Washington, D.C. On Wednesday, a coalition of immigrant advocacy groups sued the Biden administration, claiming that President Joe Biden’s recent order to essentially stop asylum claims at the southern border is no different from a similar action by the Trump administration that was thwarted by the courts.

The American Civil Liberties Union and others filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Centre and the Refugee and Immigrant Centre for Education and Legal Services, or RAICES. It is the first legal challenge to Biden’s broad border crackdown, which followed months of internal White House deliberations and is intended in part to fend off political criticism of the president’s immigration policy.

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Joe Biden | AP News Image

President Joe Biden Faces First Lawsuit Over New Asylum Crackdown At The Border

“We were forced to file this lawsuit by enacting an asylum ban that is legally indistinguishable from the Trump ban we successfully blocked,” said ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt.

The directive Biden issued last week will restrict the processing of asylum applications once 2,500 people are encountered between ports of entry each day. The current estimates were significantly higher, at almost 4,000 daily, so it went into effect right away.

The limits would remain in place for two weeks following the seven-day average of those daily encounter counts at or below 1,500. When the numbers might fall that low, though, is unclear; the last time was in July 2020, during the COVID-19 epidemic.

When the order entered into force on June 5, officials of the Biden administration stated they anticipated record numbers of deportations.

Advocates counter that, among other issues, suspending asylum for refugees who fail to show up at a predetermined point of entry—as the Biden administration is attempting to do—violates current federal immigration law.

For a long time, the United States has welcomed refugees seeking protection from persecution. That national commitment became legally codified with the Refugee Act of 1980. The groups said in their case filed on Wednesday that although Congress has, throughout time, imposed certain restrictions on the right to seek asylum, it has never allowed the Executive Branch to outright prohibit asylum based on where a noncitizen enters the nation.

Biden cited Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the same legal basis that the Trump administration used to justify its asylum restriction. Under this clause, a president may restrict the number of migrants admitted if it is judged “detrimental” to the country’s interests.

While running, Biden has frequently attacked the immigration policy of former President Donald Trump. His government counters that his order is unique because it has multiple humanitarian exclusions. Limits would not apply, for instance, to victims of human trafficking, unaccompanied minors, or people experiencing serious medical difficulties.

“The Securing the Border rule is legal, important to enhancing border security, and is already having an impact,” a Department of Homeland Security spokesman said, declining to comment on the complaint. We shall keep putting the contested actions into practice; they are still in force.

biden

Joe Biden | AP news Image

President Joe Biden Faces First Lawsuit Over New Asylum Crackdown At The Border

The immigrant rights organisations contend in the complaint that exceptions are “extremely limited.”

The White House forwarded questions regarding the complaint to the Justice Department, which declined to comment. According to White House spokesman Angelo Fernández Hernández, Biden’s action was required because congressional Republicans thwarted a bipartisan agreement that “would have provided critical resources, statutory changes, and additional personnel to the border.”

As per Biden’s decision, migrants who show up at the border without expressing a fear of going back to their own countries will be deported from the US in a few days or even hours. Sanctions for those migrants can include a five-year ban on entering the country again or criminal prosecution.

Proponents of the lawsuit contended that it is the migrants’ responsibility to exhibit fear, which is sometimes known as displaying fear.

“In practice, noncitizens who have just crossed the border, and may be hungry, exhausted, ill, or traumatised after fleeing persecution in their home countries and danger in Mexico, are likely to be intimidated by armed, uniformed Border Patrol officers, and are thus unlikely to ‘manifest’ their fear of return,” the lawsuit states.

However, a U.S. asylum officer will evaluate anyone who indicates fear or a desire to seek asylum, but to a higher level than is now in place. Should they clear the screening, they are eligible for more restricted humanitarian protection, such as the U.N. Convention Against Torture, which forbids sending someone back to a nation where they are likely to be subjected to torture.

biden

Joe Biden | NY Times Image

President Joe Biden Faces First Lawsuit Over New Asylum Crackdown At The Border

These revised, more stringent asylum limitations do not apply to migrants who utilise the CBP One app while in Mexico to make an appointment to present themselves at an official border crossing point to seek admission. The app is a component of the administration’s attempts to persuade migrants to attempt to enter the nation through its preferred routes rather than just crossing the border, locating a Border Patrol agent, and turning themselves in.

Advocates did, however, provide a laundry list of grievances against the app in the case. Many immigrants, for instance, lack the Wi-Fi connectivity or cellphone data plan required to use it. While some migrants are illiterates, others do not speak any of the languages the programme offers. And compared to the amount of migrants wishing to enter the nation, there are only a few spots open each day.

“As a result, numerous asylum seekers have been forced to wait indefinitely under precarious conditions in Mexico in the hope of obtaining scarce appointments,” the lawsuit says.

Together with the ACLU, additional organisations filing the complaint were the Texas Civil Rights Project, Jenner & Block LLP, National Immigrant Justice Centre, Centre for Gender & Refugee Studies, and ACLU of the District of Columbia.

SOURCE – (AP)

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