A new report claims that President Donald Trump approved cyberattacks against the nation of Iran after rejecting more violent alternatives for retaliation.
Trump signed off on the Pentagon’s decision to engage in cyberattacks against computer systems that control missile launches and rockets within Iran in order to retaliate for that nation’s shooting down of an American drone last week, according to CBS News. The network based its reporting on “sources familiar with the matter” and also claimed that Trump decided not to engage in military strikes against Iran because the casualties would have been disproportionate to what Iran had done to the United States.
As Trump said on Saturday, “It was probably intentional. Regardless, they targeted something without a person in it, without a man or woman, and certainly without anybody from the United States in it.”
The story of the cyberattacks was initially broken by Yahoo News, which reported that U.S. Cyber Command had decided to target an Iranian spy group that had supported limpet mine attacks on commercial ships last week. The digital strike also occurred in response to the shooting down of an unmanned drone by Iran last week, an act that escalated tensions in an already delicate diplomatic situation between the two countries.
The United States and Iran disagreed over a number of critical details regarding the downed drone. American officials claimed that the drone had been shot down over international airspace — namely, over the Strait of Hormuz, an important global shipping route — and that the drone itself was a MQ-4C Triton. By contrast, Iran’s Revolutionary Guard argued that the drone had been shot down over their sovereign territory and that the drone model was a RQ-4 Global Hawk. Both types of drones are unmanned surveillance aircraft manufactured by Northrop Grumman.
Although the cyberattack was not as belligerent as an outright military strike, that decision — combined with the Trump administration deploying 1,000 new troops to the Middle East last week — still constitutes another sign that the Trump administration is taking a more assertive position toward Iran than President Barack Obama. As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” last month, “the previous administration took a different path. They underwrote that government, giving them hundreds of billions of dollars and the ability to put the terror team in place that we’re seeing today — the very terror threat that we’re facing. President Trump’s taken a very different course of action. We are determined to stop not only their nuclear program — and from them ever getting a nuclear weapon — but to prevent them from building up their missile program and conducting terror campaigns.”
He added, “Without getting into specifics, you can be sure that President Trump will ensure that we have all the resources necessary to respond in the event that the Islamic Republic of Iran should decide to attack Americans; or American interests; or some of our great soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines who are serving in that region; or the diplomats serving in Iraq or elsewhere.”
Trump’s critics argue that his policies have been unnecessarily provocative toward Iran and that his hard-line views are inaccurate. In January former CIA chief John Brennan tweeted to Trump, “Your refusal to accept the unanimous assessment of U.S. Intelligence on Iran, No. Korea, ISIS, Russia, & so much more shows the extent of your intellectual bankruptcy. All Americans, especially members of Congress, need to understand the danger you pose to our national security.”
Disney heiress who went undercover to Disneyland ‘livid’ at conditions and pay
Heiress Abigail Disney went to one of her family's resorts to see conditions for workers herself and was disgusted by what she saw.
In comments to Yahoo News podcast "Through Her Eyes," Disney described how she went to Disneyland in California undercover and found that workers at the resort were treated poorly—and underpaid.
"Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, 'I don't know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people's garbage,'" said Disney.
Ex-Peru president wanted for corruption arrested in the US
Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo was arrested in the United States Tuesday to face extradition to his home country on corruption charges, authorities in the South American nation said.
The 73-year-old is suspected of involvement in the sprawling Odebrecht scandal in which the construction giant paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes throughout the continent to secure huge public works contracts.
The Peruvian attorney general's office announced on Twitter that Toledo "was arrested this morning for extradition, in the United States."
Toledo has been formally charged with receiving a $20 million payment from Odebrecht to grant it the tender to build the Interoceanic Highway that links Peru with Brazil.
Comic-Con mines past for future hits on 50th edition
A smorgasbord of sequels, prequels and reunions from "Terminator" to "Game of Thrones" awaits thousands of misty-eyed comic book geeks and sci-fi nerds descending on San Diego this week for the world's largest celebration of pop culture fandom.
The 50th edition of Comic-Con International will see 135,000 cosplayers, bloggers, movie executives and humble fans pile into a sweaty convention center for glimpses of their heroes, in town to promote the next mega-hit films, TV shows and comic books.
This anniversary edition promises to be more nostalgia-laden than most -- among those expected to appear are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who will soon reunite on screen for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2" for Paramount's killer cyborg sequel "Dark Fate."