Wednesday, August 3, 2016

World News Briefs -- August 3, 2016



Daily Mail: Did Obama pay a $400m ransom for American prisoners? The US secretly shipped cash to Iran as Americans were released in January - but Obama DENIES it was part of secret deal for their release

* President Obama's administration paid $400m to Iran as part of a failed arms deal as they also lifted nuclear-related sanctions
* Four Americans were also released by Iran as part of a prisoner exchange
* Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian was among them, U.S. confirms
* Former U.S. Marine, a pastor and a fourth man were also set free
* Critics claim Obama gave cash as hostage payment for the four Americans
* But Us officials insist the exchange came after ease of tensions between the two countries following the resolution
* Fifth American man - a student - was also freed but not as part of the swap
* Trump responded to the report, claiming Hillary Clinton was behind the deals when she was secretary of state between 2009 and 2013

The US secretly flew $400 million stashed inside wooden pallets out to Iran as four Americans were released from Tehran - but the Obama administration insists it was not a ransom payment.

The pallets, which were stuffed with euros, Swiss francs and other foreign currencies, arrived in Tehran on January 17. That same day, four US citizens were released in exchange for seven Iranians held in the United States.

Officials denied any link between the payment and the prisoner exchange, saying the deal was part of a $1.7 billion settlement to resolve a failed 1979 arms deal, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Read more ....

MIDDLE EAST

Obama admin denies $400M payment to Iran was ransom for hostages.

Syrian rebels target regime supply lines in attempt to lift Aleppo siege. Syria Aleppo siege: Fighting rages as Russian jets strike.

Russia says informed U.S. of toxic substance attack by rebels in Syria's Aleppo.

Hezbollah sees no immediate end to Syria war, partition in Iraq and Syria a possible outcome.

The west is supporting terrorism against Turkey, claims Erdo─čan.

Work to restructure Turkey's intelligence agency underway: minister.

Emirates airliner with 300 onboard crash lands in Dubai.

ASIA

N. Korea fires mid-range missile toward waters near Japan.

Mourners, police clash over Indian Kashmir latest deaths.

Nepal: Former rebel leader elected as prime minister.

Indian parliament passes landmark tax reform bill.

Taliban shadow governor and war commander killed in Helmand.

Thailand referendum: fears over fair vote as military cracks down on dissent.

Australia deliberately ignores refugee abuse: report.

Japan to continue talks with Russia on peace treaty — prime minister.

Terrorism, economic growth top agenda at Washington summit with Central Asian states.

Internet use in China on the rise.

AFRICA

Boko Haram in Nigeria: Abu Musab al-Barnawi named as new leader. Uncertainty over Boko Haram's leadership.

South Sudan humanitarian situation could worsen: UN.

Tunisian president nominates new prime minister. Tunisia names Youssef Chahed, 40, as PM-designate.

Burundi rejects UN police force to help end violence.

South Africans head to the polls in key municipal elections. South Africa's local elections pose crucial test for ruling ANC.

Zimbabwe police violently break up anti-Mugabe protests.

South Sudan leader fires 5 ministers close to opposition.

EUROPE

Obama says alleged Russian hack wouldn't change relations.

IS in Libya: Italy offers US airspace and airbases.

Civilian casualties highest in a year in Ukraine: U.N. rights boss.


Angela Merkel's popularity falls following terrorist attacks.

Spain may face third election in less than year, PM warns. Spain's Prime Minister Rajoy warns of consequences of ongoing political deadlock.

More armed police set to protect London, say Met chief and mayor.

Pope establishes commission to study female leadership in Church.

AMERICAS

GOP frustrations with Trump mount, but endorsements stand.

FBI took months to warn Democrats of suspected Russian role in hack: sources.

Venezuelan general on drugs charges named justice minister. Maduro appoints general as interior minister despite US charges.

Nicaraguan president accused of nepotism over wife's VP ticket.

Brazil impeachment trial closer to sealing Rousseff's fate.

Third assassination of mayor in Mexico in two weeks.

Ottawa launches inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women.

TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR

UN panel says Yazidi genocide 'ongoing,' appeals for help.

State Department looks to combat African terrorism with prevention program.

Washington transport officer charged with aiding Islamic State.

ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS

Bitcoin drops more than 10% after security breach.

China’s IPO market is the hottest it's ever been.

In a sign of broader ambitions, Facebook opens hardware lab.

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