The White House: U.S. will respond if Russia targets satellites

National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby stated that the U.S. would respond if Russia targeted commercial satellites.

John Kirby had two press conferences, one at the White House and the other at the National Press Club, briefing American and foreign press correspondents regarding Biden-Harris foreign policy priorities.

Kirby was asked about the statements of Konstantin Vorontsov, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, during the U.N. General Assembly, saying the commercial satellites of the U.S. could be 'legitimate targets' for Russia if the U.S. insisted on assisting Ukraine.

Kirby said that Russian President Vladimir Putin's waging war in Ukraine is 'provocative and dangerous' and stated, 'We will continue to support Ukraine openly and honestly. Nothing will change our attitude. I will just tell you this: Any attacks on U.S. infrastructure will be responded to.'

Kirby rejected the allegations of Republicans against Biden's blank check to Ukraine and said, 'We did not provide a blank check. We assisted as required.'

Kirby; Putin is  the leader of a modern nuclear power

John Kirby said that President  Biden has been very clear that there will be severe consequences should they do that, and it wouldn’t – it wouldn’t just be from the United States. He added that it would be from so much of the rest of the international community.

"We have to – we don’t consider that bluster. He’s the leader of a modern nuclear power, and we find it irresponsible and reckless to be using the kinds of language he is when he’s talking about the potential use of nuclear weapons. So again, I’m not going to telegraph here publicly what options the President might consider. I’ll – I think it’s best left in his own words, which is that there would be severe." he said at the press briefing

US and Allies continue to support Ukraine

"We continue to work closely with allies and partners throughout the continent with respect to what Russia’s doing in Ukraine, which is obviously devastating to the country of Ukraine, the people of Ukraine, particularly in recent days and weeks here where they have deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure and innocent Ukrainian civilians. And so we are working closely with allies and partners to make sure that we are helping Ukraine get the security assistance they need to defend themselves, and so that when – if and when this comes to a negotiated settlement, Mr. Zelenskyy can succeed at the table as well." John Kirby said.

White House Correspondents' Association Held Its Annual Dinner.

The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, which was canceled due to the pandemic, took place in Washington, DC. The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner didn't take place for four years due to the 45th President, Donald Trump, boycotting it for two years because of COVID-19. President Biden cracked jokes about returning to everyday life during his speech as the guest of honor. He made fun of his approval ratings and praised the journalists covering the war in Ukraine.

In his 14-minute long speech, President Biden said, 'I know there are questions about whether we should gather here tonight because of COVID-19. We're here to show the country that we're getting through this pandemic. Plus, everyone had to prove they were fully vaccinated and boosted.' He also stated, 'just contact your favorite Fox News reporter. They are all here. Vaccinated and boosted.'

President Biden also made fun of the 45th President, Trump. He said, 'This is the first time a president has attended this dinner in 6 years. It's understandable. We had a horrible plague followed by two years of COVID. Just imagine if my predecessor came to this dinner this year. Now, that would really have been a real coup.' The President's remarks drew laughs.

President Biden also mentioned the 'Let's go, Brandon' phrase, which is used as a cover for an obscene joke against him. 'But Republicans seem to support one fella, some guy named Brandon. He's having an excellent year. I'm kind of happy for him!' said he.

President Biden caused laughter when he said, 'A special thanks to the 42% of you who actually applauded. I'm really excited to be here tonight with the only group of Americans with a lower approval rating than I have.'

President Biden underlined the vital role journalism plays in the American democracy, stating, 'I mean this from the bottom of my heart, that you, the free press, matter more than you ever did in the last century. You are the guardians of the truth.'

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah began by making fun of journalists, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump, and former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo. He quipped by saying, 'It is a great honor to speak tonight at the nation's most distinguished superspreader event.' South African Noah told Biden that he was confused as to why he was chosen as the comedian for the night. But then he said, 'I was told you get your highest approval ratings with a biracial African guy standing next to you,' to which Biden responded with applause and a smile. 

2,600 Guests

Ministers, members of Congress, directors of corporations, and specific Hollywood figures were among the 2,600 guests. Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson, Kim Kardashian, Martha Stewart, Drew Barrymore, Brooke Shields, and Caitlyn Jenner were among those who participated in the dinner. All participants were required to show proof of vaccination via the My Bindle application, and they also had to take antigen tests. An extensive medical team was on standby during the dinner.

White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha also took part in the dinner. But one of the country's most famous names—81-year-old Dr. Anthony Fauci—actually planned to participate, only to change his mind midweek, stating that the risks of doing so outweighed the benefits.

During his presentation, WHCA President Steven Portnoy of CBS News mentioned that Biden took part in the dinner for the first time in 1974.

There were two emotional moments during the traditionally routine awards ceremony. The first was the presentation of a new award to two young journalists, Alice Dunnigan and Ethel Payne. Portnoy also introduced Debra Tice, the mother of freelance journalist and former Marine lieutenant Austin Tice who was kidnapped in Syria nine years ago. Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised to increase pressure in order to secure the release of Tice and other US citizens being illegally detained abroad. Portnoy also mentioned the arrest and imprisonment of Russian opposition writer and Washington Post writer Vladimir Kara-Murza and commemorated the journalists who were killed in Ukraine while talking about the war. 

The WHCA was founded in 1914, and as of today, it has about 500 active members. The association has been organizing the annual dinner since 1921.

 

President Biden: "We Still Have a Lot To Do"

President Biden: "We Still Have a Lot To Do"

According to the employment report published by the US Department of Labor, the unemployment rate was the lowest of the last 16 months in July. After the information, President Biden said that there is still a lot of work to end the pandemic and revive the economy.

In his speech, Biden also explained the paths to keep the reinvigoration of the economy sustainable after the Coronavirus pandemic.

These include tax credits that will be paid to families with children in the next ten days, providing resources for the safe reopening of the schools in the new school year, preventing the dispossession for those who were not able to pay their rent, providing more tax amnesty to small businesses, expanding the scope of the Affordable Care Act and decreasing the premiums to 40 percent, decreasing the prices and increasing the accessibility of medications.

President Biden stated that the economic stimulus package established after he has taken office is serving the purpose. The success is ongoing both in the economy and the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.

President Biden also explained that thanks to the stimulus package, the number of Coronavirus tests and protective material have increased, enough vaccines for all Americans were purchased, and the most challenging task of logistics in the history of the US has been conducted, reminding that 220 million vaccination doses were completed in the first 100 days of his presidency.
He said that 190 million Americans had at least their first dose of the vaccination, and that meant 70 percent of adults, adding that 165 million Americans have been fully vaccinated.

President Biden repeated that it is the pandemic of the unvaccinated individuals from now on and once again called people into getting vaccinated. President Biden said billions of people in America and the rest of the world had been vaccinated, and none of them died from the vaccine itself. Announcing that approximately 400 people lose their lives because of the Delta variant each day in the United States, "This is a tragedy. This could be prevented with vaccinations," he added.

President Joe Biden also stated that 4,000 people died a day from Coronavirus seven months ago, and that number is 400 now, which shows the importance of the vaccination. President Biden remarked that the recovery in the labor market was possible thanks to the resources stimulus package has provided to the administration and added that in the last three months, 832,000 new employment areas were established on average, and this number was 50,000 in the previous three months of the previous administration.

"The latest data tells us that we still have to work a lot more for the fight against the Delta variant and economic improvement. We have to vaccinate more people," said President Biden.

Reminding that his administration has announced a set of rules for those who are not vaccinated to comply, President Biden said that if federal employees are not vaccinated, they will be tested once or twice a week from now on, they will be required to wear masks in the workplaces, apply social distance rules and not be allowed to go on business trips.  He also noted that further conditions would be added in the future.

"Wear a mask and go get vaccinated today. This way, we will not go through the economic hardships that we have faced during the earlier stages of a pandemic." Biden added.
 
Journalist, Ali Cinar

President Trump: “There will be a lot of death over the next two weeks.”

New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, has recorded 630 deaths, the highest number of fatalities in a single day. The President of the US, Trump, said, “The next two weeks will be tough, and unfortunately there will be a lot of death.”

 President Trump put an end to the vaccine issue: “It takes 15–16 months for approval.” He is talking instead about ready-to-use drugs that may suppress the virus.

Some Highlights from President Trump:

-We are trying to save people’s lives. The media must stop fake news! Are they after ratings?

-I don’t care about OPEC.”

-There's going to be "a horrific point in terms of death" and US getting close to that level now,

-I believe in the effect of the drug hydroxychloroquine.We have stockpiled 29 million pills of the hydroxychloroquine. There's some very strong, powerful signs" that hydroxychloroquine works for treating #COVID19

-I want to save live and I don't want it to be in the lab for the next year and a half while people are dying all over the place

3000 soldiers(Health Professionals) will be sent to New York,New Jersey and Connecticut

Trump also remarked that 300 million gloves, 8 million masks, 3 million gowns, and many more critical supplies are being distributed across the nation right now.

Trump stated, “We want them to help our country. We need masks. We don’t want others to buy these masks. You can call this retaliation.” He pointed out, “The expenses of the hospitals that treat uninsured coronavirus patients will be covered by the federal government for the next sixty days. We are expanding the role of our armed forces in our fight against the Coronavirus. Because nobody is as ready for war as us, and we are fighting an invisible enemy right now. I didn’t say that stadiums and arenas must be open in August.”

 President Trump also announced he had a video conference with the managers of the three most popular sports in the country (baseball, American football, and basketball).

Trump said, “We need to open up our country. The treatment can’t be worse than the problem. I want to see the fans back at the arenas when they are ready. The sooner, the better!” 

Trump stated that he believed the national congress of the Republican party would take place as planned on August 24, prior to the presidential election that will be held on November 3.

The Trump administration has recommended the people of the USA to use cloth masks on a volunteer basis to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Sharing the recommendation at a press conference in the White House, Trump also announced that he would not implement the recommendation.

President Trump Vows Sanctions on Iraq

The hundreds of Iraqis attacking the U.S. embassy in Baghdad were not innocent "protesters," They were mainly members of the Iran-backed militias that, not least at the behest of the IRGC Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed by U.S. strike.

U.S.-Iran tensions have manifested themselves on Iraqi land for at least three years, and the United States and Iran are on heightened alert after a weekend of military action and fiery rhetoric. President Trump finished his Florida visit last night. During a flight from Florida to Washington, DC on Air Force One, President Trump talked about the increasing tensions with Iran. "They're allowed to kill our people, they're allowed to torture and maim our people, they're allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people, and we're not allowed to touch their cultural site? It doesn't work that way," President Trump stated.  

President Trump threatened Iraq with the sanctions and a bill for billions of dollars if the U.S. is forced to withdraw its troops from the nation after the Iraqi Parliament. "If they do ask us to leave if we don't do it on an amicable basis. We will charge them sanctions as they've never seen before ever," President Trump said. Last night, there were strikes in the capital of Iraq, in which three rockets landed inside the heavily fortified Green Zone, US Embassy in Baghdad. Pentagon has announced that additional 3,500 troops are in progress to be sent to the region/U.S. have almost 60,000 troops in the Middle East. United States has 9 Military bases with 5200 US Troops. 

Recent Tweets from President Trump on Iran:

"Iran has been nothing but problems for many years. Let this serves as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!"

"They attacked us, & we hit back. If they attack again, which I would strongly advise them not to do, we will hit them harder than they have ever been hit before!"

"The United States just spent Two Trillion Dollars on Military Equipment. We are the biggest and by far the BEST in the World! If Iran attacks an American Base, or any American, we will be sending some of that brand new beautiful equipment their way...and without hesitation!"

Secretary Pompeo's Media Appearances and Diplomatic Efforts:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has appeared on many major TV outlets since Saturday. "We have developed a strategy to attempt to convince the Iranian regime to behave like a normal nation. We expect to achieve that goal. We will defend America." Secretary Pompeo said on CNN. 

He was asked about the Iraqi Parliament's vote; Secretary Pompeo said on the CBS program "Face the Nation,": "It is the United States that is prepared to help the Iraqi people get what it is they deserve and continue our mission there to take down terrorism from ISIS and others in the region,

Iranian Cultural Site Conflict

President Trump raised the prospect of targeting Iranian heritage/cultural sites Saturday in a tweet; however, many foreign policy experts objected to his tweet regarding targeting Iranian culture. As an example, Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Nicholas Burns, said President Trump's threat to destroy Iranian cultural sites would be a war crime under U.N. Security Council resolution 2347.

Regarding President Trump's statement attacking Iranian Cultural sites, Secretary Pompeo said that the United States would "behave lawfully" and "behave inside the system." Also, Presidential Adviser Kellyanne Conway suggested that Iran may be hiding strategic military targets at cultural sites

Secretary Pompeo Speaks Turkish Foreign Minister 

Secretary Pompeo and Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu has discussed the decisive defensive action by President Donald Trump employed in Baghdad to protect American lives. Secretary reiterated the importance of countering the Iranian regime's destabilizing activities.

Secretary Pompeo has called his counterparts of Israel. Germany, Russia, China, Italy, France, UAE, and many other senior leaders globally regarding the U.S. recent operation in Baghdad.

Written Statement from Turkish Foreign Ministry:

 "We strongly reiterate that turning Iraq into a conflict zone will harm peace and stability not only in Iraq but also in the entire region. Turkey has always been against foreign interventions, assassinations, and sectarian conflicts in the region."

European Leaders urge Iran to abide by nuclear pact.

French President, German Chancellor, and U.K. Prime Minister release a joint statement "We specifically call on Iran to refrain from further violent action or proliferation, and urge Iran to reverse all measures inconsistent with the JCPA. Also, NATO and US-led coalition Suspend Training Missions in Iraq After Soleimani's Killing

What to expect this week?

President Trump continues tweeting and speaking on Iran and Iraq. Additionally, Iran officials continue to criticize and threaten the U.S. regarding Soleimani's death. It is unknown what would be Iran's next step on U.S. however U.S. is ready to hit back harder if necessary. Gasoline is already up by about six cents a gallon in response to the escalation. We might see a negative economic impact shortly, globally. Iran could disrupt shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, which is the world's biggest oil chokepoint. There are about 21 million barrels of oil a day flowed through Strait of Hormuz per year. 

The U.S. administration continues to pursue a robust program of sanctions against Iran and has issued 9 Executive Orders to implement Congressional legislation since 2011. Trump has an option to have more sanctions on Iran.

Cybersecurity is important since one of the Iranian groups hacked the website of the Federal Depository Library Program.

The relationship between the U.S. and Iraqi government is getting worse, so if the Iraq Government approves the resolution of U.S. troops leaving would be a disaster. This would be more an opportunity for Iran and many terrorist groups. Iran also announced its complete departure from the 2015 nuclear deal that would be bad news for the West. 

With the nuclear agreement, the West was controlling Iran at some point. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and many Democrats have been critical of Trump's decision to conduct an airstrike in Iraq that killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The House will introduce and vote on a War Powers Resolution to limit the President's military actions regarding Iran. Senator Tim Kaine introduced a similar resolution. Diplomatic channels are essential to reduce the tension, so many countries have a responsibility to talk to both sides.

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