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Trump has put himself in a hard place with Iran saber-rattling because he has alienated all our allies: conservative columnist

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President Donald Trump speaks to the media prior to departing on Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, May 14, 2019. (AFP / SAUL LOEB)

Under President Donald Trump, tensions between the United States and Iran are mounting higher, with top officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton itching to pull the trigger on a military engagement.

But as conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks noted on Friday’s edition of PBS “NewsHour,” Trump is unlikely to pull the trigger on war, because he is in a difficult situation on the world stage.

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“I’d say the big minus is how he’s treated all our alliances, which makes all those issues harder,” said Brooks. “But his general posture is one of, sometimes, extreme bellicosity, with no convincing idea he’s actually going to do anything about these things. And so I think we’re not very close to a war in Iran. He’s loathe to do that, he’d be crazy to do that.”

Trump has taken a hardline stance on Iran from day one, and last year took the United States out of compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that secured a nuclear deal with Iran. Other countries that America jointly entered into the agreement with are still attempting to enforce it, but Iran has retaliated by moving to restore some of its nuclear technology.

Recent reports have suggested Trump does not want to declare war on Iran, and is increasingly frustrated with officials in his administration who are pushing it as an option.

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Trump’s decision to block coronavirus aid to hard-hit states will cost 4 million jobs: analysis

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President Donald Trump's refusal to provide federal aid to states hit hard by the economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus pandemic would cost the country 4 million jobs, according to an analysis by Moody's Analytics.

Negotiations over the next phase of coronavirus relief have stalled as Trump attempts to circumvent Congress with unworkable and legally dubious executive orders that fall far short of the aid that would be included in any Congressional proposal. Though House Democrats already approved a $3 trillion relief bill including an extension on federal unemployment benefits and $1 trillion in aid to states and cities whose tax revenues evaporated amid coronavirus lockdowns, Trump and Senate Republicans have balked at both provisions.

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Greenland’s ice sheet has melted past the point of no return

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Greenland's ice sheet may have shrunk past the point of return, with the ice likely to melt away no matter how quickly the world reduces climate-warming emissions, new research suggests.

Scientists studied data on 234 glaciers across the Arctic territory spanning 34 years through 2018 and found that annual snowfall was no longer enough to replenish glaciers of the snow and ice being lost to summertime melting.

That melting is already causing global seas to rise about a millimeter on average per year. If all of Greenland's ice goes, the water released would push sea levels up by an average of 6 meters -- enough to swamp many coastal cities around the world. This process, however, would take decades.

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