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Downed drone was some 34 km (21 miles) from Iran coast: US general

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A US spy drone was some 34 kilometers (21 miles) from the nearest point in Iran when it was shot down over the Strait of Hormuz by an Iranian surface-to-air missile Thursday, a US general said.

“This dangerous and escalatory attack was irresponsible and occurred in the vicinity of established air corridors between Dubai, UAE, and Oman, possibly endangering innocent civilians,” said Lieutenant General Joseph Guastella, who commands US air forces in the region.

The Pentagon released a graphic pinpointing the position of the drone on a map of the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic passage through which much of the world’s oil passes.

Guastella said the drone, a Navy variant of a high-flying Global Hawk, was over the Strait when it was hit and it fell into international waters.

“At the time of the intercept the RQ-4 was at high altitude, approximately 34 kilometers from the nearest point of land on the Iranian coast,” he said, over a video to the Pentagon press briefing room.

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Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said the drone was shot down with a missile over the waters of Hormozgan province, which borders the north side of the Strait of Hormuz.

It said the drone departed Wednesday from a US base on the south side of the Gulf, passed through the Strait of Hormuz and headed east toward the Iranian port of Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman.

On its return, according to the Guard, the drone was shot down at 1944 GMT Wednesday in a coastal area near Badar-e Jask on the Gulf of Oman.

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“Iranian reports that this aircraft was shot down over Iran are categorically false,” Guardella said. US Central Command said the drone was shot down at approximately 2335 GMT.

The Pentagon released a video showing the fall of a brilliant object trailed by a streak of black smoke.


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WATCH: Trump blurts out a massive lie about Dem congresswomen — after being asked about Melania

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President Donald Trump on Friday falsely accused Democratic congresswomen of using the phrase "evil Jews."

Trump ignited a firestorm over the weekend after saying that the congresswomen of color should "go back" to their countries of origin. At a rally on Wednesday, his supporters chanted "send her back" after Trump attacked one of them, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

But on Friday, Trump insisted the congresswomen were the real racists.

"You know what is racist to me? When somebody goes out and says the horrible things about our country, the people of our country, that are anti-Semitic, that hate everybody, that speak with scorn and hate -- that to me is really a very dangerous thing," Trump said.

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Iran says it has seized British oil tanker

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Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Friday they had captured a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf after Britain seized an Iranian vessel earlier this month, further raising tensions along a vital international oil shipping route.

Britain said it was urgently seeking information about the Stena Impero after the tanker, which had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia, suddenly changed course after passing through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf.

The Revolutionary Guards said they seized the tanker at the request of Iranian maritime authorities for "not following international maritime regulations," state television reported.

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Former FBI Director James Comey outlines the burning questions he’d ask Robert Mueller

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Former FBI Director James Comey has written a lengthy post at the Lawfare blog outlining the most important questions that Democrats need to ask of former special counsel Robert Mueller.

Although many of the questions outlined by Comey are simply asking Mueller to rehash the findings of his final report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, he does ask some questions designed to get Mueller to offer up his own analysis of President Donald Trump's actions, such as, "Did you find substantial evidence that the president had committed obstruction of justice crimes?" and "Did you reach a judgment as to whether the president had committed obstruction of justice crimes?"

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