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White House confirms attack on Houthis in Yemen

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U.S. President Joe Biden says U.S. and UK have “successfully conducted strikes against a number of targets in Yemen used by Houthi rebels”

White House announcement

The White House has issued a statement, confirming attacks on Houthis rebel forces in Yemen.

“Today, at my direction, U.S. military forces-together with the United Kingdom and with support from Australia, Bahrain, Canada, and the Netherlands-successfully conducted strikes against a number of targets in Yemen used by Houthi rebels to endanger freedom of navigation in one of the world’s most vital waterways,” President Biden said.

“These strikes are in direct response to unprecedented Houthi attacks against international maritime vessels in the Red Sea-including the use of anti-ship ballistic missiles for the first time in history.

“These attacks have endangered U.S. personnel, civilian mariners, and our partners, jeopardized trade, and threatened freedom of navigation. More than 50 nations have been affected in 27 attacks on international commercial shipping.

“Crews from more than 20 countries have been threatened or taken hostage in acts of piracy. More than 2,000 ships have been forced to divert thousands of miles to avoid the Red Sea.”

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First strikes

These are believed to be the first strikes the United States has carried out against the Houthis in Yemen since 2016.

The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said a formal statement was soon expected to detail the strikes.

 

 

 

Earlier on Thursday, the Houthi’s leader said any U.S. attack on the group would not go without a response.

The Houthis, who seized much of Yemen in a civil war, have vowed to attack ships linked to Israel or bound for Israeli ports. However, many of the targeted ships have had no links to Israel.

Rishi Sunak responds

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirms the RAF has carried out strikes against military facilities used by Houthi rebels in Yemen He adds: “The UK will always stand up for freedom of navigation and free flow of trade”

Strikes begin

The United States and Britain have started carrying out strikes against targets linked to Houthis in Yemen, four U.S. officials told Reuters on Thursday, the first time strikes have been launched against the Iran-backed group since it started targeting international shipping in the Red Sea late last year.

The Houthis, who control most of Yemen, have been targeting Red Sea shipping routes to show their support for Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist group. The attacks have disrupted international commerce on the key route between Europe and Asia that accounts for about 15% of the world’s shipping traffic.

High alert

The city has been on alert since Thursday evening, with the heavy deployment of Houthi forces and movement of military trucks.

Houthi military sites and camps were also being evacuated.

Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi militants have stepped up attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea in protest against Israel’s war in Gaza.

Various shipping lines have suspended operations, instead taking the longer journey around Africa.

The U.S. says the Houthis had staged their 27th attack on shipping since Nov. 19.

This footage reportedly shows the beginning of the strikes on Yemen.

Houthi response

Earlier on Thursday, the Houthis’ leader said any U.S. attack on the group would not go without a response.

The Houthis, who seized much of Yemen in a civil war, have vowed to attack ships linked to Israel or bound for Israeli ports. However, many of the targeted ships have had no links to Israel.

The U.S. military said on Thursday Houthis fired an anti-ship ballistic missile into international shipping lanes in the Gulf of Aden, the 27th attack by the group since Nov. 19.

U.S. and British naval forces shot down 21 drones and missiles fired by Yemen-based Houthis on Tuesday towards the southern Red Sea, the largest attack in the area by the militants.

In December, more than 20 countries agreed to participate in a U.S.-led coalition, known as Operation Prosperity Guardian, safeguarding commercial traffic in the Red Sea.

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Time is running out for Biden’s death penalty abolition

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President Joe Biden is facing increasing pressure as his administration grapples with the challenge of fulfilling a key 2020 campaign promise – the abolition of the federal death penalty.

The issue has gained renewed attention as the Department of Justice reviews its policies on capital punishment.

Despite initial steps like imposing a moratorium on federal executions, the President’s commitment to a complete abolition faces hurdles in Congress and legal complexities.

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What can be learned from the AT&T outage?

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The outage lasted for several hours and impacted thousands of customers across the United States.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security were looking into an AT&T outage that lasted for several hours and impacted thousands of customers across the United States.

AT&T said the hour-long outage to its U.S. cellphone network appeared to be the result of a technical error, not a malicious attack and that the Federal Communications Commission was in touch with the company.

Hugh Odom a former AT&T Attorney and the Founder and President of Vertical Consultants joins Veronica Dudo to discuss. #IN AMERICA TODAY #featured #telecommunications #cellphone #AT&T #AT&Toutage

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Extremism top concern for U.S. voters ahead of election

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Worries over political extremism and threats to democracy have surged to the forefront as the primary concern for U.S. voters, setting the stage for a high-stakes showdown in the upcoming November election.

The three-day Reuters Ipsos poll, which concluded on Sunday, found that 21% of respondents identified “political extremism or threats to democracy” as the nation’s most pressing issue, narrowly edging out concerns about the economy and immigration.

President Joe Biden appears to hold a slight advantage over his predecessor, Donald Trump, in addressing this issue, with 34% of respondents believing Biden has a better approach compared to 31% for Trump.

The findings underscore the deeply polarized political landscape in America, with Democrats prioritizing extremism as the top issue, while Republicans overwhelmingly focus on immigration.

Independent voters

The poll also highlights the pivotal role of independent voters, with nearly a third citing extremism as their primary concern, followed closely by immigration and the economy.

This suggests that the handling of extremism could significantly influence voter behavior in the upcoming election.

The rise of extremism as a top concern comes amid ongoing political turmoil, with Trump continuing to challenge the legitimacy of U.S. institutions and perpetuate false claims of election fraud.

His rhetoric has not only fueled division but also incited violence, as seen in the January 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol.

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